ENOUGH OF ST. PAUL. Life would be so much better for a lot of us folks of faith if we could just run St. Paul's sorry ass out of the New Testament the way they snuffed the Gospel of Thomas. Granted, the Book of Revelation has caused an awful lot of trouble, but it has the saving grace of being gorgeously written. Not so with the Bill O'Reilly of Tarsus, "that great blatherskite with his epistles in bad Greek," according to the immortal Flann O'Brien. (In heaven, according to Himself, Paul is repeatedly squelched by his fellow saints, who tell him, "You're not on the road to Damascus now!") Anyway, here's the latest damage he�s done.

The woman taught there for 54 years. Was she silent the whole time, or was the First Baptist Church of Watertown, N.Y., operating a carnival of sin in its Sunday school until the providential arrival of Reverend/Councilman LaBouf? I can only imagine how many of these smaller, manifestly un-Christian incidents take place, day after day, all over the country. (Note that the one in question is from Watertown, N.Y.) Actually, I can do more than imagine, having recently finished Michelle Goldberg's invaluable book on the subject. Tell me again how I have to "respect" people who use Scripture for a cudgel. I'd rather deal with seven-headed beasts.

--Charles P. Pierce