I have never before encountered anything like it. As I rode my bike out of Arlington, I noticed about fifty cops and a dozen protestors. One protestor carried a sign that said, “God Bless IEDs.” I couldn’t believe that she knew what IED were, so I stopped to ask her. She said something about an IED being a blessed device that killed soldiers. When I told her that I had been in Iraq and people I knew had been killed or maimed by IEDs, she told me that was a good thing and that I must be a coward for coming home alive. It was an almost instant escalation with all the weirdoes yelling at me, calling me names and screaming that I was going against God’s plan. They didn’t specify how.
When I asked what kind of horrible and vengeful god they worshipped, since I didn’t recognize the one they were talking about, they really went wild and threatened that he would strike me down. I noticed that they had started to tape the meeting (I may appear on the “Nutcase News tonight). I figured that they wanted a show, so I gave them one. Doing my best channeling of Charlton Heston I theatrically spread my arms and challenged their false god to strike me down. I mentioned as a side comment that the true believers might want to stand back so as not to be collateral damage from the expected lightning bolt. This didn’t amuse them very much. They told me I was an “arrogant bastard” and that their god would indeed strike me down, only later. I guess he has been busy or just really lethargic, since he has not got around to me yet.
I didn’t learn who these people were. They showed no desire to explain anything to anybody and fomenting hatred seemed to be their only goal. It worked. I hate them and I know why there were so many cops around. Lacking the protection of the authorities, my guess is that these clowns – advocating the violent death of American military personnel while standing at the gates of Arlington Cemetery – would quickly get a beat down by decent folks. I was sorely tempted to toss the first stone myself, but they probably would have enjoyed that too much.
I am not a religious scholar but I am reasonably sure that if you go to hell, these are some of the people you will meet down there. It is amazing and frightening that such people exist. I have seen lots of “peaceful” protestors, but never such that could be so appropriately labeled evil. Maybe there still is some need for this striking down thing. If I notice a thunderstorm forming over the Potomac I will assume their time of reckoning has arrived.