06/23/2011 09:56 am ET Updated Aug 22, 2011

Separating the Sheep From the Goats

There was a scalawag on the Town Square in Berryville, Arkansas, last week recruiting members for a church whose main purpose is to rescue Catholics, Methodists, and other pseudo Christians from the clutches of the Great Whore of Babylon (Catholics), Communist inspired agent-Bishops (Methodists), and feminist church leaders (you know who you are).

A secondary but important purpose, the man said, "Is to make America a Christian nation once again," and to "return to the time when we were all on the same page and were, all as a people, washed in the Blood of the Lamb."

Was it Dorothy Parker who said "You can lead a whore to culture but you can't make her think"? Regardless of provenance it was advice I took and walked away; but it got me thinking:

Which one among the 39,000 different Christian denominations in the world today is the genuine Christian article? In our pursuit of becoming a Christian nation "again" how will we separate the sheep from the goats?

Even if we rule out the US's 68,000,000 Catholics and our 7,900,000 Methodists from the get go, we'd still have 38,998 denominations to research, probe, investigate, scrutinize, dissect, analyze, and otherwise study -- all before passing judgment and identifying the lucky winner.

The Devil -- probably a Catholic or a Methodist -- is obviously in the details. What we can be sure of, however, is that if Berryville's Town Square scalawag is barred from evangelizing -- there is talk of doing so -- his cause will be picked up by rightwing bloggers describing his disbarment as one more example of the "Cultural War" against conservatives in general and religion in particular. I can see the headline now: "Prayer Banned in the Bible Belt!"

My advice is to silence the bozo and then enlist the American Civil Liberties Union to defend him on the basis of his 1st Amendment rights. This will disgruntle and confuse the Cultural Warriors -- imagine them celebrating the ACLU -- and it may help us avoid the long and expensive process of deciding who the genuine Christian might be, and the interesting problem of how to dispose of the non-genuine articles.