Two years ago, Ernest Perce V (below, the Pennsylvania State Director of American Atheists at the time) and Carl Silverman (of the PA Nonbelievers) tried to convince the Greencastle-Antrim School District board members to drop the Lord’s Prayer, a 50-year-old tradition.
And it worked! The board members realized they weren’t going to win this battle, so they stopped fighting it.
Last week, when the school board held its regular meeting, Ernest Perce was there once again… but for a very different and surprising reason.
Wearing a white clergy collar against a black shirt, he said he was now a traveling preacher.
“Every day I kick myself at what I did,” Perce told the board members and public in attendance. “Forgive me.”
… the hell?
The man who once made actually-Islamophobic comments online, and who threatened to publicly desecrate the Koran if Pennsylvania state officials didn’t drop their “Year of Religious Diversity” Resolution, and who dressed up like Zombie Muhammad during a Halloween parade was now a Christian?
What changed his mind?
He was an atheist for six years, and then a prophecy turned his life around. That was Revelation 2:9. In the Revised Standard Version the text reads, “I know your tribulation and your poverty (but you are rich) and the slander of those who say that they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan.”
Umm… okay. I mean, that did nothing for me, but I guess those words are magical. Who knew.
(I should say that his apology doesn’t negate the fact that he was right two years ago — the Christian prayers still have no place at a school board meeting.)
I guess we should all just reflect on how an atheist leader managed to (re-)discover his faith and how we may have pushed him away…
He also became convinced, after reading a book by President Dwight D. Eisenhower, that Jesus was not a Jew, the Jewish holocaust never occurred, and 9/11 was caused by “the false state of Israel.” He now leads Jesus Was Not a Jew Ministries, with 40 followers. He and his wife intend to pull their boys, Praise, 12, and Apple, 5, out of public school, to be homeschooled while traveling with them on the preaching circuit.
So he became a Christian, Holocaust denier, and 9/11 conspiracy theorist all around the same time. He also became a guy who posts things like this on Facebook.
You know what, Christians?
You can keep him.
(Thanks to Brian for the link)