As a Brother-in-Christ, I would rather Pat Robertson be slung into a shallow grave from a passing mule cart by Gypsies than say an unkind word about his competitive efforts to whip up both dollars and hysteria for Christ. Nevertheless, after spending an uncomfortable afternoon as a guest speaker at the Christian Coalition, I thought surely there should be a place where people don't ask "was he before or after Enoch?" when you mention reading Ulysses. Sitting in an enormous space at a suburban Sheraton, wistfully called a "ballroom," with a carpet of mauve and green swirls and a ceiling sporting clusters of Lucite icicles (as if someone from the wrong side of Long Island had redecorated Carlsbad Cavern), the Lord, as He is wont to do, was equally disgusted with His creations and their décor and called me out of the Christian Coalition. As Jesus no doubt realized, when Betty Bowers is surrounded by thousands of women who are no more likely to have the means to break a four minute mile than the "no diamonds before five" rule, Betty Bowers is in the wrong place.

It is with this in mind that I was called by the Lord and my unsaved accountant to start a competing organization, the:

Like the Christian Coalition, the Christian Cognoscenti allows Christians to indulge in the cheerful delusion that being a member of a painstakingly orchestrated multi-million-dollar Republican organization has anything to do with nonpartisan grassroots politics. But that is where the similarity ends. To be honest, if you don't own a pair of Jimmy Choo shoes -- or think "Choos" refers to something Solomon said to a beleaguered mother -- you may very well be acceptable to the notoriously lackadaisical Jesus, but the Christian Cognoscenti is not for you, dear.

Think you are right for Mrs. Bowers' Christian Cognoscenti? Begin your membership application by answering the following questions. (Mrs. Bowers will graciously suggest a right-wing organization more suitable to your lack of taste if you answer even one question incorrectly.)

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