“Is that all?”
“He was agin’ it.”
We both cracked up. No matter how many times C.W. and I do that old Will Rogers skit, with him of course shaped like Will himself, we get tickled as we reenact Calvin Coolidge’s wife asking him about his trip to church.
We soon got down to serious business, though. The media was full of news about states, including ours, passing laws against what they feel is the sin of being gay. C.W.wondered why our state legislature thought it is a sin.
“Because the Bible says it’s so,” said one of our state’s senators—as C.W. described him: “A strange looking little fellow with a goatee that looks like it might slide off to the floor at any moment.”
So here we were, in our living room pondering the concept of sin in more detail. How did it take its origin or rise?” C.W. asked.
“It originated,” I said, in the book that so many of our local species claim to observe.”
“This?” He picked up a worn copy of a King James version.
“That’s the one.”
“So when, in this process, did sinning start in earnest?”
“Well,” I said, “there is the issue of ‘original sin’ which I guess is the granddaddy of them all.”
“And that sin involves?”
“Having sex,” I said.
“So it was forbidden for your species?”
“Quite so, it seems.”
“But,” he said, “ain’t that sorta like telling a chick that it’s sinful to peck its way out of the egg.”
“I guess you might put it that way.”
“Any other long standing sins? I mean the ones that could really get you a spiritual butt-whipping?”
“Well,” I said, “we’re not supposed to kill.”
“Not supposed to …” he had begun to take notes but stopped in mid-sentence. “You’re kidding.”
“But your species in this country has been at war constantly this time for uh …” he consulted some notes. “Twelve years.”
“More or less.”
“With not only no end in sight but lining up a couple more?”
“Our junior senator seems to hope it’s so.”
“Wouldn’t it put more milk in the bucket to aim some laws toward stopping war?”
“Maybe so,” I said, “but some of us seem to like it?”
He took a deep breath. “Hit me again,” he said.
“We are supposed to honor our parents, otherwise we are sinning big time.”
“What?” He picked up the Bible and began turning pages, “Where oh where is it?” he muttered to himself, “Here,” he said, “In what you call ‘The Gospel of Luke,’ your Fearsome Father’s favorite son says, ‘If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.’ Now what the heck?”
“Some things in that book we take more seriously than others,” I said, rather weakly.
He made a note. “Anything else?”
“And the Fearsome Father’s take on that?”
“He’s agin it.” I said. We both smiled.
“What about this King David, whom your religion regards so highly?”
“What about him?”
He opened the Bible. “Reads like the crack of dawn wasn’t safe when he was on point.”
“Stop it,” I said.
“But tell me,” he said, turning very serious, “Where will I find the stricture against one of worst sins that we Falloonians could imagine. We treasure our children,” He added, handing me the Bible.
“And that is?” I prepared to begin searching.
“Purposefully inducing primal fears, nightmares, and post-traumatic stress disorder in young children.”
“You know what I mean,” he said, his face gray and hard.
“No,” I said, “I don’t think I do.”
“This practice that your species seems not only to condone but encourage during the rearing of children”
|What does it say about the power of your religion|
if you must have the government enforce it? - C.W.
“And that is?”
“The practice of taking those precious young things into a dark room and telling them that the Fearsome Father might just, if they displease them, hurl their bodies into a fiery pit for all eternity where they will writhe and scream in constant agony forever and ever.”
I couldn’t speak.
“When are your lawmakers going to deal with that?”
“I don’t know how we could,” I said.
“Maybe you could put a monument forbidding it on your state capitol grounds.”
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