First it was the blacks. That one was easy, like a warm-up. They’re a cinch to pick out after all. Then it was the commies. They were harder, but with such catchy slogans, who could pass it up? Then came the terrorists. That one must have been fun. I mean, when you think about it, who isn’t a terrorist? But that one blew over too. Then came the gays, but we all expected that. I mean, really, they were asking for it. I didn’t care one way or the other, but I knew they had it coming.

Then there was a while when they didn’t go after anybody. That was our finest hour. It took two thousand years, but finally everyone believed that the fisherman was right: we really could live in peace. For us, it was Heaven. For them, it was Hell. Peace was bad for business.

Now it’s the preachers. Not the way it used to be, when one set of preachers went after another—priests, lamas, rabbis, gurus, whatever—but in the new way, where anyone who admits to a higher power is punished. We were asking for it, too, I guess. It’s ironic, but then, irony has always been God’s purview in my mind.

Now we meet in basements, back alleys, fields, or barns in the middle of nowhere to muffle the noise. All the symbols are lit up inside with Christmas lights from before Christmas was forbidden. It’s a celebration paying homage to something greater than ourselves, something that flows inside of us and can’t be stopped. I watch from the edge of the room, sitting cross-legged on an old crate and feeling straw poke through my habit. The dance is a circle of laughter, warm and fluid, more beautiful than any sermon I have ever heard or given. No one argues over whether they get to dance with the cross, the star, or the moon; they’re just glad to have something to show that they care. We don’t bother to call Him by names anymore.