“My grandpappy always advised me to never argue with a man whose god sat in heaven with a magic wand blessing some people and damning others. Unwinnable situation.” – larrypaulbrown
In 1979 the wonderful comedy troupe Monty Python released a movie called the Life of Brian. The film tells the story of Brian Cohen, a young Jewish man who is born on the same day and in the stable next door to Jesus Christ. He subsequently spends the rest of his life being mistaken for a Messiah. Some countries, including Ireland and Norway, banned it’s showing. The filmmakers used this notoriety to benefit their marketing campaign, with posters in Sweden reading, “So funny, it was banned in Norway!”.
When the film was released in my hometown I had to cross a picket line of sign carrying, bible holding protesters marching in front of the theater. For an eighteen year old it was pretty unnerving. I was a fan of Monty Python and their film Holy Grail was and continues to be one of my all time favorite movies that, sadly, I can quote verbatim; “Your Mother was a Hamster, and your Father smelt of Elderberries!”
Critics, and there were many, said the film was nothing short of blasphemy. There were even those who claimed that the theater owners who profited from showing it and those of us that paid for a ticket supporting it were headed to hell. It was a tough life decision for kid more concerned about pimples than where he was going to spend eternity.
In the end, it wasn’t Monty Python’s best work. It had all the trappings of trying to capitalize on their success of the Holy Grail. But thirty-eight years later I have never forgotten the “passion” though seemingly misplaced and misdirected “passion” of those protesters. They believed in something, something fervently. They believed in a book of stories which they claimed were divinely written by the big guy upstairs and they believed in a man, a divine man whose birth, life and demise was foretold in those stories.
Now, one segment of the population believes part of the prophecy has been completed (they are waiting on the Revelation’s chunk to finish it) while the other segment of the population is still in a holding pattern, waiting for the arrival of the Mashiach. One group has grown much larger, certainly more vocal and at times more condemning and condescending to those of us not on “their” team. The other group is less visible, at times seemingly invisible, less vocal (expect in matters of Israel) and hasn’t had nearly the growth of the other group but still welds a lot of power, control and influence.
So whose book of stories is right, whose “truths” are correct, which fairy tale are we to believe? I am always a little skeptical when someone is willing to pound me over the head with their truth. I always wonder what they are trying accomplish, convince themselves that they are right or do they feel an obligation to save me from myself? Do they assume more people on their side makes the story grow from a fairy tale to a truth?
I may be a few fries short of a Happy Meal and my cerebral evolution may be just one step above a rock but I know what bullshit looks like, and smells like. I also know to step around it rather than walk through it. I love the passion of some you of Christians, I love how right you think you are. But 69% of the rest of the world isn’t convinced you have all the answers so please don’t get offended if we step around “it” rather than messing up the bottom of our shoes. Your truths, like your rights, end at the tip of my nose and I can smell them a mile away.