Beast Banner October 5 - 19, 2006
ISSUE #108
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Features

ArrowWelcome to the Monkey House
On Safari at “The Chapel” in Getzville

Ian Murphy

ArrowI, Left Gatekeeper
Why the "9/11 Truth" movement makes the "Left Behind" sci-fi series read like Shakespeare
Matt Taibbi

ArrowGet on Board
A farewell to Habeas Corpus in one act.

Allan Uthman

ArrowThe Madness of King Us
Think we're turning a corner? Think again

Donnie Dobovitch

ArrowSexual Predators
What can you do?

ArrowHow the Media Lies About China
"Try harder," American worker – and Thomas Friedman thinks everything will be fine
Matt Taibbi

Local BEAST

ArrowPig Roast
Tom Reynolds is done. Let’s all stick forks in him.
Allan Uthman

ArrowBEAST Staff Aids Non-Millionaire
“Relief for Reynolds” Campaign a Modest Success
Josh Bunting

ArrowCaring is Hard Work!
A selection of transcripts from our neighborhood canvass in the 26th district.

Departments

ArrowThe Beast Page 3
Incredibly Full of Shit Asshole

ArrowKino Korner: Movies
Jackass Number Two, The Guardian, Flyboys, All the King's Men, School for Scoundrels, Fearless

ArrowBEAST-O-Scopes
As divined by your ethereal guide

Arrow[sic] - Letters
Partisan Bickering, A Bold Challenge, Crocodile Punter, Reynolds R.I.P. and more

Welcome to the Monkey House

continued - page 2

I was eventually ushered out of King’s World by its supreme leader, Earl Leatherland. Earl was as pleasant and as closed to reality as possible. He beamed while telling me he had no compunction against war, or teaching small children that hell was a real place, in which they may burn, if not for their acceptance of Jesus Christ. “Jesus even said: I didn’t come here to make peace, I came here to make war.” He explained war was necessary, and offered the human “fight or flight” mechanism as proof. “You know, when the adrenaline is pumping, you can almost smell as good as a dog,” he told me as I struggled to suppress a laugh. Earl assured me, however, that he was “not brainwashing the children.” Seeing how I hadn’t mentioned brainwashing, I found it odd that he would. In fact, the theme of the day’s kiddy sermon was “individuality,” a cruel irony indeed.

I learned some very valuable science from Earl about how dinosaur bones are found at deeper stratal layers than the oldest human remains because the great flood had smashed them down there. This made a lot of sense because, as Earl put it, “I doubt Noah would take a T-rex on the boat. That would be crazy!” Yeah, that would be crazy. “Here’s a good science fact,” Earl proffered “there’s a story in the bible about the earth stopping its rotation for 4 hours, so that God’s army could win, the Israelites could win. Science has, you know, tracked back the history of, you know, how the earth has gone around on its orbit, how it spins on its axis. Did you know that when they went back, I think it’s a number of billion of years they tracked back – they found out the earth was 4 hours behind where it was supposed to be?” Earl’s approach was funny. He set out to disprove actual science, not with scripture, but with something I respect: science - even if it was totally bunk. I give him credit for trying. Earl was starting to sweat my mini-inquisition, and promised to get me some face time with Pastor Gillis.

For unknown reasons the gigantic pastor couldn’t be bothered by my heresies, and I was pawned off on a kindly looking older gent, Rich George. George is the Shepherding Pastor at The Chapel, and a-shepherding he went. Barring that the man may have glaucoma, George’s eyes were the most far gone of the bunch. A religious haze was visible in his stare, and an unreasoning faith in his wrinkled expression. He explained to me that evolution is impossible because of the second law of thermodynamics, but was unwilling to concede that a super-powerful being that shaped man out of clay might also be a bit of a scientific sticking point. Pastor George nearly ruined evolution for me, despite the tonnage of empirical evidence in its favor. “If he is God – and that means he’s all powerful,” the pastor intoned with illogical authority, “then he can do whatever he wants.” Touché. George taught me that the earth was at least 6,000 years old, that the fall of the British Empire was brought about by its failure to fully back Israel, and for some reason, he told me “gay” meant something different in the ‘50s. He also graciously warned me not to be seduced by “weirdoes in robes like the Dalai Lama,” though he did say they mostly have “good intentions.” The pastor also made it clear that “the idea of separation of church and state was a Marxist idea,” and that it just isn’t right for America.

The Chapel espouses a relatively low-key, born-again, biblical literalist theology. There are far more extreme cases of fundamentalism in churches, temples and mosques across the world, and the congregation doesn’t appear to be violent upon first impression. I guess I went to this place for the same reason one might go to the zoo to see gorillas: you know they exist, you’ve seen them on TV, but you want to see one in the flesh. When you meet a gorilla, it isn’t mentally equipped to handle basic truths, like evolution and the age of the planet. Similarly, the born again Christians I met seem all too content denying the facts. Their selective biblical literalism and circular logic is impeccable, their faith unshaken by reality. I wanted badly to find The Chapel full of indigent beggars suffering a rough lot in life, people who had been so thoroughly abused by the system or their parents or some guy in a dark alleyway, that their brittle, broken minds where subject to believe any old comforting nonsense. Sadly, this was not the case. These people were (relatively) healthy, well adjusted and well off. They’re as dumb as clams, and just as happy about it. And there are a hell of a lot of them.

 

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