So what first, the funny or the serious? Coin toss? How about that the funny is shorter and relates to paleo a bit more, and if I might suggest, makes a bit fun of the Whole Foods fetish, and especially so for the super environmentally conscious.
I give you “Whole Foods Parking Lot.” It’s gettin’ real. Laf.
Now on to those who take evolution seriously top to bottom, to include neolithic power structures, including religious ones — having exploited the natural trepidation of a thinking being over the realization of death.
Christopher Hitchens, Sam Harris, David Wolpe and Bradley Artson debate the fantasy of an afterlife. I’d have said “Mother Goose fantasy,” but that’s just me. Oh, wait, they didn’t even use the word fantasy. Never mind.
I do hold rabbis and intellectual catholic priests in far higher esteem than I do the ignorant charlatans you might get in a debate here, such as some pulpit pounding Baptist preacher who is not even smart enough to actually understand that metaphor is more powerful than the literal in terms of inspiring rational and healthy human behavior.
While this isn’t entirely apropos to what I just claimed, it is nonetheless something I wrote yesterday for my book and serves to illustrate some of the utter absurdity I encountered from the authoritarian religious realm.
The Board Room, Tennessee Temple University: some Saturday morning, spring, 1980
“Dr.” Lee Roberson, founder, head pastor, shepherd of the flock, and best dressed sat at the head of the table in his dark blue pinstripe, double-breasted suit and asked me to explain myself.
“We went to LuLu Falls, in the afternoon.”
“Did you check into the chapel, for services?” he asked, with a piercing look. He’d done this before.
“Yes, I did, and then left right away.”
“And you went to LuLu?”
“And what did you find?” he asked, and as with all his questions, knowing the answer already.
“They tossed me a beer they’d brought along.”
“Did you bring anything for them?” he asked.
“Because I didn’t know about the alcohol.”
“And did you drink it?”
“So, they brought it along, and you yielded to the temptation; is that correct?”
In their view this was essential. My culpability was that of an average sinner tempted by all the things that serve to undermine the authority and concentrated power of those who make being a prison guard in that realm their life’s work.
After, “Dr.” Dennis Michelson (these Bible schools incestuously bestow honorary doctorates upon each other to prop up the aura and schtick of authority never seriously questioned) speaks up. “We just want our son to be right,” Michelson tells Roberson, relaying the essentials of a conversation he’d had with my mother a day or so after he woke me from a sound sleep at 2am of the night in question. I didn’t take substantial account of the gross insanity I was being subjected to at the time, because I was largely ignorant and, in those days, you did not learn from any varied collection of history and philosophy books. You learned from only one book.
Squinting to the fluorescent lights from the massive ceiling unit, 2am: “Yes, sir, I’m Richard Nikoley.”
“Can you come with me?”
And down we went, to the stairwell at the end of the hall.
“Were you out at LuLu Falls this afternoon?”
“And did you bring a cache of booze?”
“Don’t jive me, boy!” as he hovers over me and gets in my face, for maximum intimidation. Hi, “Dr.” Micheleson.
He ran me up, over, down and about, from wall to wall and floor to ceiling. In the end I confessed to the crime. It had been either guys I’d been to the falls with before, or friends who knew my love of the place. It was an easy decision for anyone who knew the ins & outs of a supposed college life: there were no classes this week, only boring indoctrination — something they call a “revival” — and it spans a week.
We thought we’d not asked for much. We decided to take a day. And they decided to give us hell.
So there you go. You can like and tweet the post, if you like. I won’t mind.