Losing My Religion

More and more, all over North America, and probably the world, smug, self-assured “Good Christians” are having their unthinking beliefs and systems questioned and rejected.  One of the recent sore spots has been the distribution in Public Schools, of Gideons’ Bibles.  The local school board took its own sweet time, but finally agreed to end the practice, after increasing complaints from Jews, Muslims, Sikhs, Hindus, Atheists, and even some Christians.  Of course, the Christians wanted the Gideons’ Bible out, and their Bible in.

The wife’s Bible, which I have been using as a reference book for years, had started to get a little tattered.  When my brother was placed in the local Catholic hospital for quintuple bypass surgery, and I visited him, he was taken from the room for a few minutes for a test.  While he was gone, I looked inside his bedside drawer, and took the Gideons’ Bible that was placed there.  What?  They hope people take them home.  Brother wouldn’t touch one, even with heart surgery, but I needed a new one.

I live in a suave, sophisticated urban area, and can even say that without giggling too hard.  There are still regions in Southern Ontario which are more Bible-belt than here.  Despite the tourist Mecca/casino aspects, the Niagara Region Board of Education still has not ended the Christian-only handouts.  There’s even a public-funded Mennonite school.  An Atheist couple had refused to sign a consent form for their daughter to receive a Bible, but were particularly incensed when she was expected to distribute them to other Grade five students.

They have officially applied to have a booklet titled Just Pretend: A Free Thought Book for Children and Losing Faith In Faith, distributed to the same students.  A female newspaper columnist doesn’t understand the concept.  She asks, if they object to the Bible being distributed, why would they think it’s acceptable to have this booklet handed out.  This is how the Christian monopoly of the Lord’s Prayer-only in schools was broken.  A local Muslim group offered to distribute Korans, but backed out at the last minute.  Still, it stirred the board to action.

If enough of a fuss is raised, and they are refused the right to give away their literature, they have grounds for legal action.  Jewish and Muslim groups asked to have their prayers said along with the Lord’s Prayer.  The courts rightly decided that it was an all or nothing situation.  Since the “Good Christians” didn’t want their kids exposed to “that heathen crap”, they decided on nothing.  The heathens didn’t take God and the Lord’s Prayer out of school, Christians did.

A Connecticut Yankee in King Jesus’ Court was transferred to a branch office in Kentucky, by his company.  An extension was added to a road up a mountain, out in the boondocks.  He purchased the last, highest lot, and lived in a trailer while he cut trees to clear a site and build a log home.  He thought he was getting along well with the locals, but after several months of the first summer, he realized there was a problem.  He began to hear that the mountain folk wanted something done about him.  Burned at the stake was not specifically mentioned, but there was a lot of, he felt, undeserved antipathy.

Wanting to remain a good neighbor, he began asking those who would speak to him, what the problem was.  It began with the fact that he had brought with him from Yankee-land, two small concrete garden Demons, and had placed them on both sides of the end of his driveway.  These God-fearin’ folks didn’t cotton to no Demon-worshippers.

He protested that he didn’t worship them, or any other Demons.  They were just silly caricatures, for decoration.  Yeah, then why don’t y’all go to church on Sunday mornin’ when we go to church?  Because I thought that was a good time to haul out the chainsaw and cut down a bunch more trees when you weren’t here to be disturbed by the noise.

Sadly, at this point, I lost the story.  Nothing further was published.  He was probably as good a Christian as was necessary in Connecticut, a vague believer, just not a great church attender, and was not ready for the degree of surveillance and intrusion from hyper-Christians.

To be tolerated, he had to fit tightly within these peoples’ religious limits, do exactly as they did, act exactly as they acted.  It was probably a great surprise to him to find these “Good Christians” with no live-and-let-live in their makeup.  Narrow-minded and narrow-social-viewpoint people like these are slowly and reluctantly learning that other people have legal, social and moral rights to act differently, without interference.

There is a tiny poem which reads;

Rebel, heretic, a thing to flout,

He drew a circle to shut us out,

But Love and I had the wit to win.

We drew a circle which took him in.

There are millions of Hyper-Christians who will not enlarge their circle to take in anyone whose beliefs don’t exactly match theirs.  Frighteningly, many of them have advanced to powerful positions within the American government.  It is hoped that, slowly but surely, they will be shown that citizens other than Good Christians have equal rights.

Chili Cook-off

For those of you who have lived in Texas, you know how TRUE this is! They actually have a chili cook-off about the time the rodeo comes to town. It takes up a major portion of the parking lot at the Astrodome!

Grab a tissue, this is hilarious.

Notes From An Inexperienced Chili Taster Named FRANK, who was visiting Texas from the East Coast: “Recently I was honored to be selected as a judge at a chili cook-off. The original person called in sick at the last moment and I happened to be standing there at the judge’s table asking directions to the beer wagon when the call came. I was assured by the other two judges (Native Texans) that the chili wouldn’t be all that spicy, and besides, they told me I could have free beer during the tasting, so I accepted. Here are the scorecards from the event:

Chili # 1: Mike’s Maniac Mobster Monster Chili

JUDGE ONE: A little too heavy on tomato. Amusing kick.

JUDGE TWO: Nice, smooth tomato flavor. Very mild.

FRANK: Holy shit, what the hell is this stuff? You could remove dried paint from your driveway. Took me two beers to put the flames out. I hope that’s the worst one. These Texans are crazy.

Chili # 2: Arthur’s Afterburner Chili

JUDGE ONE: Smoky, with a hint of pork. Slight Jalapeno tang.

JUDGE TWO: Exciting BBQ flavor, needs more peppers to be taken seriously.

FRANK: Keep this out of reach of children! I’m not sure what I am supposed to taste besides pain. I had to wave off two people who wanted to give me the Heimlich maneuver. They had to rush in more beer when they saw the look on my face.

Chili # 3: Fred’s Famous Burn-Down-the-Barn Chili

JUDGE ONE: Excellent firehouse chili! Great kick. Needs more beans.

JUDGE TWO: A bean less chili, a bit salty, good use of red peppers.

FRANK: Call the EPA!! I’ve located a uranium spill. My nose feels like I have been snorting Drano. Everyone knows the routine by now; get me more beer before I ignite. The Barmaid pounded me on the back; now my backbone is in the front part of my chest. I’m getting shit-faced from all the beer.

Chili # 4: Bubba’s Black Magic

JUDGE ONE: Black bean chili with almost no spice. Disappointing.

JUDGE TWO: Hint of lime in the black beans. Good side dish for fish or other mild foods, not much of a chili.

FRANK: I felt something scraping across my tongue, but was unable to taste it, is it possible to burn-out taste buds? Sally, the barmaid, was standing behind me with fresh refills; that 300 lb. bitch is starting to look HOT, just like this nuclear waste I’m eating. Is chili an aphrodisiac?

Chili # 5: Linda’s Legal Lip Remover

JUDGE ONE: Meaty, strong chili. Cayenne peppers freshly ground, adding considerable kick. Very impressive.

JUDGE TWO: Chili using shredded beef; could use more tomato. Must admit the cayenne peppers make a strong statement.

FRANK: My ears are ringing, sweat is pouring off my forehead and I can no longer focus my eyes. I farted and four people behind me needed paramedics. The contestant seemed offended when I told her that her chili had given me brain damage. Sally saved my tongue from bleeding by pouring beer directly on it from a pitcher. I wonder if I’m burning my lips off? It really pisses me off that the other judges asked me to stop screaming. Screw those rednecks!

Chili # 6: Vera’s Very Vegetarian Variety

JUDGE ONE: Thin yet bold vegetarian variety chili. Good balance of spice and peppers.

JUDGE TWO: The best yet. Aggressive use of peppers, onions, and garlic. Superb.

FRANK: My intestines are now a straight pipe filled with gaseous, sulfuric flames. I shit myself when I farted and I’m worried it will eat through the chair. No one seems inclined to stand behind me except that slut Sally; she must be kinkier than I thought. Can’t feel my lips anymore. I need to wipe my ass with a snow cone!

Chili # 7: Susan’s Screaming Sensation Chili

JUDGE ONE: A mediocre chili with too much reliance on canned peppers.

JUDGE TWO: Ho Hum, tastes as if the chef literally threw in a can of chili peppers at the last moment. I should note that I am worried about Judge Number 3. He appears to be in a bit of distress as he is cursing uncontrollably.

FRANK: You could put a grenade in my mouth, pull the pin, and I wouldn’t feel a damn thing. I’ve lost the sight in one eye, and the world sounds like it is made of rushing water. My shirt is covered with chili, which slid unnoticed out of my mouth. My pants are full of lava-like shit to match my damn shirt. At least during the autopsy they’ll know what killed me. I’ve decided to stop breathing, it’s too painful. Screw it, I’m not getting any oxygen anyway. If I need air, I’ll just suck it in through the 4-inch hole in my stomach.

Chili # 8: Helen’s Mount Saint Chili

JUDGE ONE: A perfect ending, this is a nice blend chili, safe for all, not too bold but spicy enough to declare its existence.
JUDGE TWO: This final entry is a good, balanced chili, neither mild nor hot. Sorry to see that most of it was lost when Judge Number 3 passed out, fell over and pulled the chili pot down on top of himself. Not sure if he’s going to make it. Poor Yankee, wonder how he’d have reacted to a really hot chili?
FRANK: ————–(editor’s note: Judge #3 was unable to report.

If you can even see the keyboard to type a comment after that one, you’re a better man that I am, even if you’re a woman.  I would love to give credit to whoever fabricated that piece of genius, but sadly it came to me unattributed.