"Gun-toting Christian town" is not a common descriptor in news stories, but that's the deck head for a story in yesterday's Contra Costra Times about a Christian ministry using paintball as an evangelistic tool on public grounds.
MARIPOSA -- This is a mountain town where there's a Bible verse painted over a pizza parlor door and a local politician keeps a cardboard cutout of John Wayne holding a Winchester rifle in his office as proof of fealty to the NRA.
But a proposal to bring "Paintball for Jesus" to public land has some people riled.
"I'm sorry, maybe I'm missing something in my upbringing as a Methodist, but Paintball for Jesus? God help us all. Seriously, this teaches bad habits of shooting each other," said Mariposa County Supervisor Brad Aborn, 71, the John Wayne fan who is a former Vietnam War Navy helicopter pilot.
Though my only memories of paintballing as a teenager are of outings with my church youth group, we always splattered each other orange and green and yellow and blue at a private paintball park. But at what point does public land become remote enough for paintballing or dirt biking or any other activity that requires open land and is officially unsavory?
The Bible Belt Blogger responds: "I guess Mr. Aborn didn't receive his "Open Hearts, Open Minds, Open Doors" memo from headquarters ... "