Not long ago I thought about writing the story of a church in some small town where the parishioners decided to make huge foam hammers and bop one another on the head as a reminder of the need to get right with God. So, every Sunday morning they all carried their big foam hammers into the sanctuary and bopped one another on the head. No one really remembered how this head bopping practice started but it went on for a while every Sunday and they felt God had inspired and blessed the practice.
One Sunday morning the pastor suggested that they needed to spread the message and bop heads wherever possible. So, the congregation began taking their huge foam hammers to the streets of the little town and began bopping the heads of anyone who came close. This became accepted practice in the little community and went on for many years. Some were not happy about it but the church was powerful in the community and so no one complained.
Then one day someone spoke out against the head bopping practice. They did not appreciate the significance and though it may have been a harmless huge foam hammer, they felt it was an annoyance.
Before long, the issue was front page of the newspaper. There were letters to the editor - for and against. And very soon the issue came before the court with non-head bopping believing citizens seeking to prevent the practice of bopping heads willy nilly throughout the community.
The head bopping parishioners were outraged that anyone was offended. "You are infringing on our religious freedom," they insisted. They rallied and marched carrying their huge foam hammers saying God would reign terror on the little town for their disobedience.
The people who did not believe in head bopping also rallied and carried huge umbrellas as a symbol of the need to protect their heads from bopping.
After months of testimony, the court ruled that head bopping could not be done to anyone who did not wish to be bopped. And the ruling was fairly popular in the community - especially with those who didn't believe in head bopping. But it was not at all popular with those who felt they were called by God to bop people on the head with their big foam hammers.
After the ruling, the head bopping parishioners were very upset. "This has been our practice for many years and must remain so."
"People should be allowed to have an opinion", they said as they realized their head bopping days were no longer accepted as normal and necessary.
So, how should the story end? Perhaps the huge foam hammers need to stay within the sanctuary of those who share the belief in the significance of head bopping. The actual reign of terror would then end in the little town. And everyone lives happily ever after.