In order to make room for all the new converts being harvested through Year of Evangelism efforts, the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists has asked local churches to remove all members who read Spectrum.
Any churches not complying will be hit with a new Obama era "We Have This Hope Too" progressive tax. There does seem to be some confusion about the legality of this, but apparently in the recently passed stimulus bill Rep. Roscoe Bartlett (R-MD) added an earmark that would allow the GC to extract 90% of all tithe from churches which harbor Spectrum readers. By calling it a "progressive tax" it apparently slipped through without objection. A spokesman for Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-TX) states that she would have voted against it, but "who really reads these things, anyway?" This reverse tithe tax on progressives has gone into effect already and pastors, claiming a desire to free up church hearing assistance system receivers, have encouraged local board action.
Although some church secretaries are reporting that a few individuals were never actually on the books, most church boards have authorized House of Worship Un-review of the Review committees which have followed a careful profiling approach to ferret out what's being called colloquially, the "read or would."
This process, pending final approval at the Spring Meetings later this week, includes asking each member a series of questions: Have you or anyone you know read the journal or the blog, listened to a podcast or read one of Tom or Elaine's comments? While many can say "no" to three of those, due to Tom and Elaine's prodigious output, many plead for mercy citing the fact that it's almost impossible to surf the world wide web without finding their commentary.
As these committees work, the rumor is that several dozen pastors in the Michigan conference were instantly fired when a history search was done of their computers only to find www.spectrummagazine.org cached and shockingly, sometimes even bookmarked. In another conference, one young Alabama minister, shepherding three congregations, tried to excuse the evidence to the committee: apparently he had only looked at Spectrum to read the interviews.
"Our little church just lost all three doctors, a dentist, our elementary school teacher and school board chair who had shared a copy, plus the organist, whispers Fresno Central Church member (who recently joined the Adventists) A. F. Firm. "I'm not sure that the committee realized who would be involved. I knew because several weeks ago Dr. Faith B. Strong tried to give me a printout of the weekly Spectrum Sabbath School Commentary, but as soon as I saw the URL I just said 'no.'"
Some churches have included bulletin inserts that list some identifying marks of a Spectrum reader. These include, a quizzical look, eyes occasionally open during the invocation, less than full-hearted singing during praise music time, and sometimes they bring a non-Bible, non-Ellen White book with them into the sanctuary. The quick I.D. guide notes that most non-lesson adult Sabbath School groups are probably infected beyond 50%.
Several colleges and universities have had to close instantly. One student reports, "I once thought my professor was pretty liberal with her God-involved evolution and coffee cup, but here at state. . .watch out for the flying keg! I miss talking with faculty who actually cared about my mind and my faith." Along with higher ed, most large institutional or urban-centered churches are affected, with some finding tithe down 95%. "But on the bright side," notes conference president I. Hart Baptismo, "at least everyone still in the pews just thinks Desmond Ford has something to do with a heavenly tax shelter for auto executives."
Due to this time of trouble, the Spectrum staff have had to abandon their computers and run for the hills. A remnant, we are twittering in this final post as we prepare for the end of time. At any moment Spectrum will be now become an official organ of our Church and will be edited by. . .Doug Pipim-Goldstein.
*Of course, April Fools.
This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/1540