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AND THESE RADIO PERSONALITIES CALL THEMSELVES 'CHRISTIAN GENTLEMEN'?

they're not just of Hollywood anymore. All those nasty elements that provoke righteous indignation in conservative moralizers can now be found much closer to home -- provided by none other than "Christian" radio.

On a recent trek up the New York Thruway I was astonished to find a "religious" program that provided enough sleaze and slime to make the most hardened media elitist weep with envy. This particular radio station claimed to "spread the Living Gospel to all the world," a noble goal to be sure. But while their gospel was allegedly living, the subjects of their godly talk show were most definitely dead.

For more than a hundred miles I listened to a pair of self-described "Christian gentlemen" promote a book entitled something like: "How Many Innocent Citizens Have Died in Arkansas and How Many Did Bill and Hillary Kill?"

I was hooked immediately, although it shames me to admit it. Life's been dull post-O.J., and I've been searching for a juicy conspiracy or alien abduction to enrich my winter-worn existence. These two men evidently heard my prayers and rewarded me with manna colorful and manic beyond my wildest imagination.

Pausing piously from time to time to claim they weren't actually "accusing anyone of anything," they proceeded to dive headlong into a murky sewer of sexual innuendo, giggling all the way. Is Hillary actually the head of a gang of militant lesbians who, in fits of PMS overdrive, order their enemies killed? Who knows? Could be true.

Is Bill Clinton in charge of a zillion-dollar drug smuggling operation that continues to this very day in the bowels of the White House? Has he personally ordered the deaths of all the people who have died in Arkansas since 1982? Who knows? Could be true.

Their progress unimpeded by fact or common sense, this matched pair of God's own messengers guided their listeners into dark caves filled with cruel character assassination and delusional blather.

They "prayerfully" promoted books and tapes that promised to "reveal the truth that the left-wing media just won't touch." Darkly mysterious music played in the background. It was squalid. It was slimy. It was nuts.

If I'm to accept the premise that the Clintons are demons sent by Satan, it follows that my Presbyterian Sunday School teachers were part of the awful plot. All that sweet talk about tolerance and kindness and truth must have been nothing more than a devilishly clever act.

It also follows that everything I was taught about Christian history is wrong, if the sanctimonious accusations of our book-peddling pastors are true. Maybe Hillary Rodham seduced Herod. Maybe Judas and Mary Magdalene were Bill and Hill in earlier incarnations. Maybe the Crucifixion was the ultimate liberal plot. Who knows? Could be true.

My mind boggled. Mercifully, the dizzying conversation wound to an end with an oily and pompous prayer for national unity and the immediate removal of those demon-possessed mass murderers from the "Christian White House."

By the time I pulled into my Williamsville garage I was afraid Chelsea Clinton would be lurking behind the snowblower, ready to eliminate me for having registered Republican all those years ago. Scary stuff -- and I hadn't even read the book.

Sanity returned with morning sun and I started asking questions. As these pious patriots hawk their sludge-filled slander, I want to know some things.

Why are they so interested in the sex lives of liberals? Why can't they accept the fact that ordinary people often die of ordinary causes, even in Arkansas? Why do grown men giggle when they describe the alleged sins of Hillary Clinton?

Why are they so intent on destroying the Clintons that they totally ignore the Ninth Commandment and its annoying prohibition against lying? Is it possible that this isn't intellectual inquiry at all but rather projection of their own naughty sexual fantasies? Who knows? Could be true.

MANYA WARN lives in Williamsville.
Send submissions for this column to My View, The Buffalo News, Box 100, Buffalo N.Y. 14240.

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