Like most people in polite society, Leedom isrepulsed by the idea of pedophile priests and even more so by a Catholic Church hierarchy that continues to protect them. (Full disclosure: The Book Your Church Does Not Want You to Read IIreprints Gustavo Arellano's OC Weekly story, "Pope John Paul II: A Moral, Abject Failure When It Mattered.")
"I went over there to complain," Leedom says, "and they acted like they've never heard of him."
He's also called the church to complain, only to be essentially told to get a life, something members of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) can relate to whenever they protest in front of churches harboring molesters.
"The thing that really shocks me is if you have a son or daughter abused by a priest, why not throw that guy down the stairs instead of rallying around him?" Leedom asks. "And yet you have the church snapping at SNAP. . . . It's like Animal Farm. It's total brainwashing."
On December 21 or 22, the Sun, going south, reaches its lowest point in the sky (our winter solstice). By December 25th, it is clear that the Sun is returning northward. Therefore, on Dec. 25th the Sun is "Born Again." Christians stole Dec. 25th from the Roman celebration of Sol Invictus—the Sun Unconquered. And to this day, His worshipers still celebrate His birthday—Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year.
Brothers and sisters, we end today's sermon by digging into the long-ago past (the 1990s), to the time Tim Leedom was on the cold-chicken circuit promoting The Book Your Church Does Not Want You to Read.He was invited to speak at a scholarly religious gathering in Newport Beach, the kind that draws a lot of folks in their seventies and their walkers.
Leedom was preceded at the podium by local pastors and ministers of several faiths. Everyone seemed kind and friendly to him . . .at first. Then he started noticing how any time someone would mention him, they'd butcher his name.
"Tom, it's nice having you here."
And then the clincher: he was introduced as "Tim Cleedom."
Now, all the preachers who went before him had received polite applause, but Leedom was greeted with stone silence.
"I got up and looked out, and everyone is like this," Leedom says as he folds his arms across his chest.
"All the preachers who had spoken were lined up in the back, with their arms folded the same way."
He decided to turn the tables. He asked the audience what the God Boys in the back had told them about his book, and whether they were sure what they said about his book was actually in his book "because, right now, other people are making up your mind for you."
He then asked if anyone knew who the first person was to die on the cross.
"Jesus" the people shouted back, in consensus, with gusto.
Leedom pointed out that there had actually been 16 crucified saviors before Jesus Christ. He then segued into other common misassumptions about the uniqueness of Christian mythology.
Up rose a guy who looked like John Wayne—an angry John Wayne.
"I thought to myself 'here it comes.'"
"Mr. Leedom," the gentleman said, "do you mean to tell me all these preachers and ministers never taught us this in church?"
Leedom fumbled with a "Well . . . yeah."
Duke's doppelgänger swung around, pointed at the preachers and said, "I need to talk to them."
"After that," Leedom recalls, "I sold three dozen books and got out of there with my life."