Satan Rides a Harley


I’ve been wanting to write this post for many years, but haven’t had the courage. Is it okay to hate something? I mean, to loathe it with a passion? As children of the Most High we are taught not to hate, but this is taken out of context much like the common thought that money is the root of all evil (1 Timothy 6:10).

Of course, it’s the love of money that is evil; and we are not to hate another person, but to love your neighbor as yourself (Matthew 22:39).

The Psalmist exhorts those who love the LORD to hate evil, just as Paul instructs the Romans to hate what is evil (Psalm 97:10, Romans 12:9).

When I was a kid, Mom would often serve beets as a side dish. I hated beets! Until I discovered their health benefits. But to this day there is something that I hate so much that it makes me cringe. Now, I know that this post may generate a lot of negative feedback — which will all be deleted as spam, by the way. But it has to be said.

I hate motorcycles! Especially Harley Davidson’s. I hate the whole rebellious, counter-culture, tattooed, outlaw mentality. But more than that, I hate the NOISE!

See, I don’t drive so I walk everywhere to do errands. Just this morning I was walking home from the laundromat, and I could hear a Harley coming down the road. They’re so loud that you hear them before you see them. I’ve been told that when a Harley comes off the assembly line it is in compliance with noise restrictions, but the owners tamper with the exhaust system for, they say, safety reasons. Whatever.

So, I’m walking down the street, carrying my laundry — or groceries on many occasions — and this monster machine from hell is roaring like a thousand demons let loose from the pit — however that sounds — and I have to make a choice …

… suffer the agony (as I am afflicted with hyperacusis), or drop my clean clothes on the filthy sidewalk to cover my ears. Over the years I have come home with dirty clothes and broken eggs because my sensitivity to noise is so acute that it causes extreme discomfort.

But that’s not the end of the story. Another biker (off-road) coming from the opposite direction noticed my distress — well, he noticed my reaction to the first biker — and took offense that I was not enamored with the sound so he glares at me, throttles his engine and pops a couple of wheelies for good measure.

Newsflash — we don’t want to hear your engine roar! It’s an unpleasant sound for most of us. To my Christian brothers, who are bikers, I exhort you to love you neighbors and give us peace (and quiet).

A motorcycle cop told me that these bikes are illegally tampered with and in violation of noise ordinances, but the police department doesn’t have the manpower or resources to deal with the problem. (Isn’t it interesting that you never hear a motorcycle cop? Think about that one.)

Have you ever been awakened from a deep sleep when a Harley comes rumbling through the neighbored at 4 A.M.? I’m actually thrown out of bed, and clinging to the ceiling when they pass through. The first time it ever happened I thought I was being raptured. While the rider is three miles down the road all of the car alarms are going off including the really annoying one that blares Hell’s Bells.

It seems to me that Harley owners take an almost perverted pleasure in the number of car alarms they set off. I imagine they sit in the creepy biker’s bar and regale each other with their stories of conquest: “Oh, yeah. Christmas Eve, 1977, I broke my own record. Must have set off 300 car alarms that night.” And, as he scratches himself, “Yep, I took the silent outta Silent Night, brother.”

I’m not a drinker, but I made a non-alcoholic toast to the seeming demise of Harley Davidson back in 2010. My celebration was premature as the federal government gave the bankrupt company a $2.3 billion loan to stay in business.

That reminds me of the second thing I hate — government bail-outs. Neither a borrower nor lender be. Yes, I know. That’s not a Bible verse, but a scene from Shakespeare (Hamlet Act 1, scene 3, 75–77) where Polonius counsels his son Laertes. However, the Bard of Avon quite prolifically seasoned his prose with Christian themes no doubt cultivated by his Anglican upbringing.

Harley Davidson ad wonks like to market this phrase:

If the Devil rides a Harley so does Jesus.

No. When the Lord rides into town it will be on a steed (war-horse), and no Harley from hell will be able to outrun Him.

On that day I will roar with glee!

Copyright © 2015 Messiah Gate


One thought on “Satan Rides a Harley

  1. Brother, I love this post. I love your conviction. And I love you. Yet, I also love Harleys. I would perhaps suggest to you that it is still possible to hate the bike but love the biker. When you think about it, it’s really the NOISE you hate. I’m on board with that. Consider that Harleys are at the apex of the motorcycle world. They are made in America, of the highest quality, and are very expensive. A lot of pride in that. Then again, we know what Scripture says about pride. You have to have a substantial income to purchase one of those babies! Of course, that may also include criminal types, like drug dealers, but for the most part, Harley owners are very responsible middle class type folks.

    The problem is of course when we talk about “bikers” we (sound-sensitive pedestrians) usually think of the Hell’s Angels type. As someone with in-laws who ride Harleys, I’ve been corrected on that point. But stereotypes aside, any motorcycle with a libertarian penchant for cheating on muffler laws can modify their “hog” so that they are no longer decibel compliant. They do that because it increases the power of the engine. That is going to be true of any brand of bike, and I am pretty sure that most of the loud bikes that have been modified like that are the less expensive makes.

    My father lost an older brother to a motorcycle accident, and I lost a nephew who was killed while riding his off-road dirt bike. I don’t have a love affair with motorcycles. However, I respect the rebel-like independence and self-reliance of those who do. I may not agree with them on everything, but I respect them. There is a couple at church (in their 50s) who ride to church on Harleys. But they have the decency and respect to have legal mufflers which comply with noise laws. That points out the fact that respect is a two-way street.

    Those obnoxious bikers who do wheelies and rev their engines just to be so annoying that you drop your laundry are doing what any self-absorbed exhibitionist would do: declare to anyone who is offended by them. “I am here! So, what are you going to do about it?” What I recommend is keep some ear plugs in your pocket, and when you hear them approaching in the distance, put the plugs in your ears. When the biker drives by, make a point of (in the “coolest” way possible) smiling at him, with an approving nod, and maybe even approvingly pointing at him. He will think his presence is not needed, so he will just keep going in search of someone else to annoy.

    Hate the noise, love the noise-maker.


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