Short Stack #6

They’re organizing the Fundamentalist Christian Olympics for this coming summer. The Gay Bashing semi-finals are already under way across the nation, and the TV Evangelist Healing Decathlon is just now about to start the preliminaries of the Bible Forehead Slam event. Shortly before Christmas, the Roadside Aborted Fetus Poster Flashing event will begin, with the Planned Parenthood Clinic Sidewalk Blocking Drill Team along for morale.


Next time you meet a fundamentalist Christian, ask them this question: “How many books have you read all the way through, not counting the Bible or works of fiction, in the past year?”

I’ve done it many times, and I’ve been amazed at the number of them who have answered honestly and unselfconsciously, “None.”


Very Early Christmas Songs:

I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus … So I Bade My Brothers and Uncles to Drag the Faithless Harlot Out of Bed in the Middle of the Night and Stone Her to Death, Over the Misguided Protestations of My Foolish Father.


The whole bunch of “spirituality” fans could benefit from FIRST learning a lot about science, which is, after all, a look at the deep nature of Real Reality. And THEN starting to formulate their general tenets.


Hypatia of Alexandria. It would’ve been great to meet her.

Instead, I got this nice Christian stepfather. When my bookish Uncle Joe died, Rudy went over and cleaned out his house, simply burning all his books – hundreds of them! – in a big barrel. He couldn’t imagine any use for them, you see.

Hypatia was a mathematician, astronomer, and Platonic philosopher who lived during the 5th century A.D. The last librarian of the Library of Alexandria, she was killed by a Christian mob. They seized her on the street and beat her to death, then dragged her through the streets to a church, where they mutilated and burned her body.

People who love knowledge, and thinking, and books, are MY people, no matter what era or nation they live in. Whereas people who exist to destroy learning and understanding, people who joy in burning books or spreading lies, they’d be my enemies … even if they were from my own family.


I think most people make decisions because it’s in them to make the decision that way. Most of us run on genetic programming handed down from 3.5 billion years of evolutionary mandates.

Watch the broad patterns of the things people do. You’ll see blatant evidence of pure instinct.

I see people argue about whether or not we have free will, and I kinda tend to think that, while everybody has it IN POTENTIAL, most people somehow or other choose not to use it. They follow automatic patterns of behavior. I consider religion to be one of these automatic patterns. Follow a leader, obey, absorb his thinking as your own, never dare to even think about disagreeing.

Following your biological/genetic/evolutionary mandates is easy. Automatic, literally. It’s only those people willing to work at … well, educating themselves, for instance, who stand a chance of breaking out into the realm of free will. And most people just don’t manage to exert that amount of energy. Free will and rationality, things like that, are very labor-intensive.


Thinking about Westboro Baptist’s Pastor Fred Phelps, I just had an interesting thought. Some people never, ever have a good word to say about or to anyone. I know some people like this myself. So they expend a lot of energy tearing people down, but absolutely zero building them up, making them feel better about themselves, or increasing their capacity for joy or accomplishment.

These people are, literally, human poison. They exist, apparently, only to destroy others. I see this same kind of energy in so many of the fundamentalists.

And I guess my question is … how does a person turn into human poison? What could possibly make you go there and be that?

Guys like this have been around for a loooong time. And nobody takes them seriously. That’s the paradoxical side effect of what’s they become. They want to affect us, but the way they go about it leaves them without effect, because they become figures of ridicule.

I picture the characters on sitcoms. They’re so outrageous that nobody believes they really exist. These poison people are in the same predicament. It’s almost like they’re not really there, not human. They come across as a kind of mechanism, with pure hate as the engine and insult and invective as the wheels.


I prefer people knowing that WE are our brothers’ keepers, rather than living in a fantasy world where some Big Magic Juju Guy is supposedly picking up all the loose ends.


Ain’t no gods, by the way. Never were. They’re metaphors at best, harmful fantasies in the middle and, at worst, totalitarian attempts to control people’s minds with fear.

"Best to you, Mr. Fox, and for your efforts."

Goodbye Patheos—Hank Fox Bows Out
"All the best, Hank! Your thoughts and words have always given me something to ponder."

Goodbye Patheos—Hank Fox Bows Out

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