of you who visit this web site regularly can't help but
notice that I take virtually every opportunity to take a
pot-shot at Industrial Christianity.
My main complaint is that most people use the Bible as a
book of obscure laws in order to restrict the freedoms of
others, to force the "unbeliever" to adhere to their particularly peculiar
In my view,
the Bible is best used as a set of guidelines meant to
help us be more at peace with ourselves and our neighbors,
live and let live, to love others as ourselves. That's the
sort of sacred society I could honestly get behind.
of that, though. American Conservative's have so altered
the face of Christianity in this country that the
actually becomes "What would Jesus do if no one was looking?"
So it may surprise you to know that there exists
a true man of God, one whom I would willingly support, in
both time and money,
should he ever choose to run for public office (and there
are rumors that he just might, though not in my vicinity).
Steves, noted travel author, radio host, and creator
of a much-beloved travel series for Public Broadcasting.
I've followed the career of this charming Lutheran for years
and it's clear that his faith is the engine which drives
the world. It's not all about the fanciest hotels in the
most exotic locales, it's about places you never heard of
common man can best afford to get there.
He is the Jesus
of travel program hosts.
But he's more than just about travel.
He was in town last week for a pledge drive at my local public
radio station and he spent a great deal of his time talking
about the problems in Haiti. He offered many commonsensical
ideas that would help the Haitian people escape
the yoke of the banana Republic economy they've been doomed
to for the past
He also shared stories about traveling recently in, of all
places, Iran. My favorite anecdote was when he talked about
the taxi driver cursing traffic in his city. "Death to traffic!",
he said. You see, in Iran saying "death to" anything
is common and never meant literally. Western media rarely
sort of thing out, and I'll take Rick's word on it .
He's even written a book called "Travel
As a Political Act",
the central point of which is that people who travel have
a better understanding of the world than those who just sit
at home, callously regarding anyone beyond their borders
as an inscrutable enemy.
(This philosophy makes you realize how events such as 9-11
are so useful to a government that sees xenophobia as a
tool and not a problem, especially when it comes to finding
enemies to invade. The lesson: Keep traveling.)
If you've never had the opportunity to enjoy Mr. Steves'
work you can find his travel books and videos at your
from Netflix. He
to choose from and they're all terrific.
You go, Steves.