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When I heard that Nick Cannon, host of the show "The Masked Singer" on Fox, had declared that white people were basically savages, I knew that I had to check it out for myself. Sure enough, when I watched the video, I found that the reports were correct. And, since it is apparently a sign of racism to disagree with any liberal African-American these days, I dutifully set about trying to fulfill my role of modern savage, though to be fair I am only sort of white when it gets right down to it.

Nonetheless, I broke the news to my wife.

"Hey, babe, I hate to tell you this, but we are savages. That being the case, I am afraid I am going to have to drag you around by your hair. You good with that?"

She just laughed. Not the response I, a natural savage, was hoping for. What's even worse, she immediately handed me a bag of trash, and I instinctively carried it out. Clearly this savagery thing is not as easy as it sounds, even though Nick Cannon is surely right about it being part of my nature.

So I decided to practice on my youngest daughter. Dana and I have three kids (and yes, I know that having an intact nuclear family is also a sign of failing as a savage) and my baby girl happened to be available. She is 17 and is my "lightning in a bottle" child.

"Hey, you," I said roughly as I walked into the piano room where she was practicing a classical score, "get over here!"

"Daddyyyyy!" she chirped in her happiest of happy voices. Then she launched herself into my arms as she is wont to do. "I am almost done on the piano and then I need help with my nursing homework. Can you call some questions out to me?"

I was ashamed, so ashamed; I sat there patiently and allowed her to finish, then spent the next hour calling questions out to her. She is an honors student, and I am wrapped around her little finger. I realized I was failing miserably at being a savage.

But practice and consistency is the key to anything. And since family is so near and dear to my heart, I figured that maybe practicing my natural savagery on strangers may get me rolling in the right direction.

Thus it was (and I know, as a savage I really shouldn't use words like "thus") that I found myself down at the local Bojangles' to grab a bite of lunch. I figured that maybe verbally roughing up one of the ladies who work there would gain me some "street cred" as a savage. But doggone it (Sorry, I know that as a savage I should curse instead of use words like doggone it, but my mother, whom I dearly love and respect, taught me not to) if one of the nice ladies who work there didn't greet me with, "Hey, pastor, how are you doing today? Do you want the usual?"

She gave me the usual. And a special prayer request, which she and I immediately took a moment and prayed over, right there at the counter. And, after praying together, I thought it might not be the best time to let my natural savagery loose.

The rest of my day did not go any better. I caught myself reading some of my Greek and Hebrew textbooks, brushing up on my skills parsing those biblical languages instead of posting incendiary comments on social media. Embarrassed at yet another failure, I went downtown to buy some "savage clothes" and instead ended up with a nice pair of loafers and some new khakis.

By now I was nearly desperate. I truly hate failing at anything. So, as a last ditch effort, I determined to look for a "struggling savages support group." But then my father-in-law called, and I ended up playing 18 holes of golf instead. As we did, I told him of my struggles.

"Preacher," he said, "you are a born-again child of God. As such, 2 Corinthians 5:17 says that you are a new creature. So, even if you ever had been a savage, salvation changes people completely from the inside out."

I smiled, suddenly at peace, knowing he was right. But then he just had to add, "Besides, as horrible as you are with these clubs, you could be as white as Elmer's glue and not be able to handle any actual savage clubs."

Ouch. That hurts. Even failed savages have feelings.

Bo Wagner is pastor of Cornerstone Baptist Church of Mooresboro, North Carolina, a widely traveled evangelist and the author of several books available on Amazon and at www.wordofhismouth.com. Email him 2knowhim@cbc-web.org.

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Pastor Bo Wagner
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