UnNews:Minister just making up history as he goes

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20 August 2006

The Rev. Fred Inhofe, a master of pseudo-history.

HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. -- First Methodist Church pastor Fred Inhofe sprinkled his sermon Sunday with history that never took place.

Preaching on Luke 15:1-7, the Parable of the Lost Sheep, Inhofe illustrated the importance of the individual with stories of past ages taken from forwarded e-mail, Dear Abby and his own imagination.

"One vote can make a huge difference," Inhofe said at First Methodist's 10 a.m. service. "One vote led to the passage of the Civil Rights of 1964. One vote gave Adolf Hitler control of the Nazi Party in 1921."

Hitler won control of the Nazi Party by a vote of 553-1, while the Civil Rights Act passed the Senate 73-27 and the House of Representatives 290 to 130.

"And one person can make an enormous difference," Inhofe continued. "One day in 1944, a German soldier decided he didn't want to go to church that day. He wanted to have fun. So he went down to a pond to do some skating. On his way there, the soldier ran into the 101st Airborne Division. And the Battle of the Bulge began."

Inhofe led his congregation through many other events in made-up history, including the destruction of Rome by the Philistines, Henry VIII's conquest of Switzerland in 1508 and the legalization of homosexuality during the French Revolution.

"Oh, there were people in the Convention Center who thought Robespierre was crazy or immoral, but they kept quiet," Inhofe said. "And what happened afterward? The Reign of Terror."

Members of the First Methodist congregation praised Inhofe after the service.

"I always learn something from Rev. Fred," said Tim McNally, an accountant from Garden City. "I never knew America was the reason the Allies won the Thirty Years' War."

"And the story about the young man who stopped the Somme Offensive by holding a Bible up for everyone to see," McNally's wife Andrea added. "Wow. Rev. Inhofe really makes the past come to life."

Inhofe admits to being a history buff, but says his error-ridden tales help proclaim Jesus' message of redemption.

"I get in that pulpit to tell everyone at First Methodist how much God loves them," he said. "But that's not enough. You have to appeal to their minds as much as their hearts. Like how Abraham Lincoln got Congress to fund the Intercontinental Ballistic Missile."


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This article features first-hand journalism by an UnNews correspondent.