God of Thunder and Rock'n'Roll (archmage) wrote,
God of Thunder and Rock'n'Roll

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Oh Hell, Here He Goes Again...

Yep...this week's rant is hitting bright and early in the week. And, as you might expect, it hits one of my pet subjects...religion. In fact, as opposed to my normal way, I'm going to not only warn you in advance, I'm going to APOLOGIZE in advance to my Christian friends, because I'm just in the mood, and it'll prolly offend some of you. Well, if you really are my friend, you know how I feel, but my buttons just got pushed. Nothing against you, I still believe that you have the freedom to choose what your salvation is, and I defend your right to worship Jehovah. What pisses me off is not the religion itself (since it's nothing I have truck with), it's those who decide they have to convert others.

George Carlin, one of the only true prophets to the masses, said it best: religion is like a lift in your shoe. It helps you stand tall and walk straight, but it's bad to depend solely on it, and your shoes don't necesarily fit ME...and it's just WRONG to go and nail lifts to the natives' feet.

I do firmly believe that one's choice of religion is between you and your deity, and no one should tell you you are wrong...anyone who does, IS. It's your soul, save it how you wanna. You cannot prove to me that yours is correct, and I can't do the same for you, so why bother? I'm happy, you're happy, let's go get lunch. I don't happen to have any religious food issues, so you pick the restaurant.

What are the bloodiest wars? Those fought between religious fanatics. At least in a political situation, someone MIGHT actually say 'wait a tick...you might have a good point there'. Hell, look at the terrorist situation...most of THAT is because someone decided their religion is better than another's, and therefore that country is wrong...um, hello? My country of habitation and my deity are two completely separate things.

Speaking of separation of church and state, let me digress for a minute. It is something I believe in...when your government becomes ruled by religion, it stagnates. There is no room for growth, there. I recently became aware of a rather insidious new twist in the whole 'evolution vs. creationism' debate. A new angle/group has been lobbying for inclusion in biology texts/teachings, called 'intelligent design'. The short version is that, according to it, the universe is too complex to be the product of 'random' evolution, implying a 'designer' behind it. Never says 'God', hell, it could be space aliens, but the point is that that is not scientific, it's an OPINION. And, frankly, it IS a ploy to get creationism into school texts...the person who is pretty much the 'godfather' of the movement, Philip E. Johnson, a law professor at UC Berkeley, ADMITTED that this is a "wedge" to introduce people to the Bible, and that the next steps were to then introduce the "question of sin" and finally to "introduce people to Jesus". This religious agenda was openly given when he spoke at a gathering organized by TV evangelist D. James Kennedy. (Incidently, have you ever noticed that "EVANGELIST" can be rearranged to form "EVIL'S AGENT"?) The language of "intelligent design" is carefully crafted to keep it from sounding too religious, but that doesn't make it any less true.

Well, enough of that. The point is, don't come tell me what to think, feel, and worship. The moment you do so, you lose all respect in my mind. Hell, the moment you do that to anyone else, you lose that standing, whatever it may have been. I'd like to leave you with a humourous look at the concept of Christian prosyltizers, just because it really is the essence of the whole prolem, to me. This is where I will prolly get someone's goat:
This morning there was a knock at my door. When I answered the door I found a well groomed,
nicely dressed couple. The man spoke first: "Hi! I'm John, and this is Mary."

Mary: "Hi! We're here to invite you to come kiss Hank's ass with us."

Me: "Pardon me?! What are you talking about? Who's Hank, and why would I want to kiss his ass?"

John: "If you kiss Hank's ass, he'll give you a million dollars and if you don't, he'll kick the shit out of you."

Me: "What? Is this some sort of bizarre mob shake-down?"

John: "Hank is a billionaire philanthropist. Hank built this town. Hank owns this town. He can do what ever he wants, and what he wants is to give you a million dollars, but he can't until you kiss his ass."

Me: "That doesn't make any sense. Why..."

Mary: "Who are you to question Hank's gift? Don't you want a million dollars? Isn't it worth a little kiss on the ass?"

Me: "Well maybe, if it's legit, but..."

John: "Then come kiss Hank's ass with us."

Me: "Do you kiss Hank's ass often?"

Mary: "Oh, yes, all the time..."

Me: "And has he given you a million dollars?"

John: "Well, no, you don't actually get the money until you leave town."

Me: "So why don't you just leave town now?"

Mary: "You can't leave until Hank tells you to, or you don't get the money, and he kicks the shit out of you."

Me: "Do you know anyone who kissed Hank's ass, left town, and got the million dollars?"

John: "My mother kissed Hank's ass for years. She left town last year, and I'm sure she got the money."

Me: "Haven't you talked to her since then?"

John: "Of course not, Hank doesn't allow it."

Me: "So what makes you think he'll actually give you the money if you've never talked to anyone who got the money?"

Mary: "Well, he gives you a little bit before you leave. Maybe you'll get a raise, maybe you'll win a small lotto, maybe you'll just find a twenty dollar bill on the street."

Me: "What's that got to do with Hank?"

John: "Hank has certain 'connections.'"

Me: "I'm sorry, but this sounds like some sort of bizarre con game."

John: "But it's a million dollars--can you really take the chance? And remember, if you don't kiss Hank's ass he'll kick the shit out of you."

Me: "Maybe if I could see Hank, talk to him, get the details straight from him..."

Mary: "No one sees Hank, no one talks to Hank."

Me: "Then how do you kiss his ass?"

John: "Sometimes we just blow him a kiss, and think of his ass. Other times we kiss Karl's ass, and he passes it on."

Me: "Who's Karl?"

Mary: "A friend of ours. He's the one who taught us all about kissing Hank's ass. All we had to do was take him out to dinner a few times."

Me: "And you just took his word for it when he said there was a Hank, that Hank wanted you to kiss his ass, and that Hank would reward you?"

John: "Oh no! Karl's got a letter Hank sent him years ago explaining the whole thing. Here's a copy; see for yourself."

John handed me a photocopy of a handwritten memo on From the Desk of Karl letterhead. There were eleven items listed:

1. Kiss Hank's ass and he'll give you a million dollars when you leave town.
2. Use alcohol in moderation.
3. Kick the shit out of people who aren't like you.
4. Eat right.
5. Hank dictated this list himself.
6. The moon is made of green cheese.
7. Everything Hank says is right.
8. Wash your hands after going to the bathroom.
9. Don't drink.
10. Eat your wieners on buns, no condiments.
11. Kiss Hank's ass or he'll kick the shit out of you.

Me: "This appears to be written on Karl's letterhead."

Mary: "Hank didn't have any paper."

Me: "I have a hunch that if we checked we'd find this is actually Karl's handwriting."

John: "Of course--Hank dictated it."

Me: "I thought you said no one gets to see Hank."

Mary: "Not now, but years ago he would talk to some people."

Me: "I thought you said he was a philanthropist. What sort of philanthropist kicks the shit out of people just because they're different?"

Mary: "It's what Hank wants, and Hank's always right."

Me: "How do you figure that?"

Mary: "Item 7 says, 'Everything Hanks says is right.' That's good enough for me!"

Me: "Maybe your friend Karl just made the whole thing up."

John: "No way! Item 5 says, 'Hank dictated this list himself.' Besides, item 2 says, 'Use alcohol in moderation,' item 4 says, 'Eat right,' and item 8 says, 'Wash your hands after going to the bathroom.' Everyone knows those things are right, so the rest must be true, too."

Me: "But 9 says, 'Don't drink,' which doesn't quite go with item 2, and 6 says, 'The moon is made of green cheese,' which is just plain wrong."

John: "There's no contradiction between 9 and 2, 9 just clarifies 2. As far as 6 goes, you've never been to the moon, so you can't say for sure."

Me: "Scientists have pretty firmly established that the moon is made of rock..."

Mary: "But they don't know if the rock came from the Earth, or from out of space, so it could just as easily be green cheese."

Me: "I'm not really an expert, but I think the theory that the moon came from space has been discounted. Besides, not knowing where the rock came from doesn't make it cheese."

John: "Aha! You just admitted that scientists make mistakes, but we know Hank is always right!"

Me: "We do?"

Mary: "Of course we do. Item 5 says so."

Me: "You're saying Hank's always right because the list says so, the list is right because Hank dictated it, and we know that Hank dictated it because the list says so. That's circular logic, no different than saying, 'Hank's right because he says he's right.'"

John: "Now you're getting it! It's so rewarding to see someone come around to Hank's way of thinking."

Me: "But ... oh, never mind. What's the deal with wieners?"

Mary blushes.

John: "Wieners, in buns, no condiments. It's Hank's way. Anything else is wrong."

Me: "What if I don't have a bun?"

John: "No bun, no wiener. A wiener without a bun is wrong."

Me: "No relish? No mustard?"

Mary looks positively stricken.

John: (shouting) "There's no need for such language! Condiments of any kind are wrong!"

Me: "So a big pile of sauerkraut with some wieners chopped up in it would be out of the question?"

Mary: (sticks her fingers in her ears) "I am not listening to this. La la la, la la la."

John: "That's disgusting. Only some sort of evil deviant would eat that...."

Me: "It's good! I eat it all the time."

Mary faints.

John: (catches her) "Well, if I'd known you were one of THOSE I wouldn't have wasted my time. When Hank kicks the shit out of you, I'll be there, counting my money and laughing. I'll kiss Hank's ass for you, you bunless cut-wienered kraut-eater."

With this, John dragged Mary to their waiting car and sped off.

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