This weekend, an American Airlines pilot turned his entire airplane and passengers into an evangelical bus trip in the sky.
While Flight 34 was en route from Los Angeles to New York City, the pilot asked over the loudspeaker that all Christians identify themselves. He then asked that the remaining non-Christian passengers take the hours left in the flight to discuss any issues about religion.
Rodger made himself graciously available at the end of the flight to clarify any issues that may arise.
While American Airlines has promised an investigation and the media has been somewhat quiet, I submit the following 'top-ten' (tongue in cheek) explanations for this bizarre behavior:
10. The pilot wanted to test the onboard sky marshall's chaotic crowd control during mid-flight.
9. The pilot and American Airlines agreed to have captive passengers participate in a coercive human experiment designed by missionary researchers at Regent University (Pat Robertson's breeding ground in Virginia).
8. The staff on Flight 34 forgot to bring the regularly scheduled in-flight movie and the only tape available was the pilot's personal copy of a Franklin Graham crusade. Which obliged the pilot to ask all Christians to declare their faith to the person next to them.
7. The pilot, nicknamed, "Rodger the Lionheart" by his colleagues, recently learned on the History Channel that the word infidel was in fact originally a Christian term used to identify non-Christians in the crusades.
6. On board were a few evangelical leaders, friends of the pilot, energized after a private first screening of Mel Gibson's, The Passion of The Christ.
5. The pilot had intel that the plane was filled with peaceful American Muslims returning from the Hajj and heard the voice in his head say "You will never have this opportunity again."
4. The assigned U.S. Marshal who happened to be from the pilot's congregation complained at the L.A. holdover that he hasn't been able to even strike up a conversation with his neighbors in the last 50 flights.
3. The American Airlines stewardesses were hazing a new first-time stewardess and were playing that underground in-flight profiling game, "Find the Muslims on board."
2. When the pilot received his pre-flight instructions, he misread "interstate" and thought it said "interfaith."
1. The pilot, recently honored by his colleagues as "Chief American Airlines Theologian," just wanted the passengers to be able to understand what he meant at the end of the flight when he said, "I would like to thank my co-pilot, Jesus."