by Doug Hawley
I ignored emails
from my brother-in-law Ed. They were all
variations on Get right with God or go to
hell. I-Dont-Care-Ism suited me just
fine as a belief, but then for several days in a
row I read articles like People of faith
have better relationships, Religious
people have more success and money and
New proof for intelligent design.
Maybe there was something worthwhile about faith
or religion after all.
On my next day off,
I went to The Highest Court which was
our local religion mall. All of the major brands
and their recruiters were present. Before I
started, I looked at their banners:
monotheism (If you dont count an Egyptian
Up to four wives
peyote are legitimate parts of our worship
If it wasnt
for us youd probably be a Catholic
We would have
sorted it out without the Reformation
What makes you
think all of the miracles ended 2,000 years ago?
We invented heaven
I visited the
booths in the order of their banners. At my first
stop they explained how their religion started
with the creation of the universe by God about
6000 years ago (I decided not to ask about
carbon dating). On the other hand they told
me that maybe their holy book was just a myth. It
depended on which branch of their religion that
you chose. It would help if I spoke Hebrew (I
have trouble with English) and I needed to go
through a conversion process (whats that
about circumcision?) and I should be prepared
to be subjected to persecution.
Youve given me a lot to think about.
I moved on.
When I first asked
about the four wives, I was told You might
have to move to another country first, unless we
can change the laws here quickly. There are a few
things that you might consider. You may be called
a terrorist. It would help if you read Arabic and
I hope that you are not a drinker.
I just had my
three martini lunch. Youve given me a
lot to think about. Thank you.
At my next stop, I
was already thinking about my stoner years in
high school and college before I became
respectable. Im sure that youll
get a lot out of your vision quest that initiates
you into our faith. This requires going out into
the wilderness and bedding down into a rocky
hollow for several days without food while your
mind goes on a journey. What tribe do you belong
to? There are rumors that there was an
American aborigine in my family a couple of
hundred years ago, but I cant go more than
a few hours without my easy chair.
think about what youve told me.
At the next stop I
asked about the beliefs and requirements of the
religion. The representative said If you
want, you can view the three and a half hour
video explaining the differences between our
have to come back later; I just remembered that I
have a dental appointment in an hour.
I looked at the
next booth and thought about their liberal policy
towards drinking and that they let you beef and
pork, and then thought about recent scandals and
their attitude towards birth control and gave it
At the next booth,
the representative started off with The
Garden of Eden was close to present day
Independence, Missouri. Native Americans came
from the Middle East. In 1823 Joseph Smith found
gold plates which explain our religion.
Lucky for me, I had the rare ability to fall
asleep standing up with my eyes open. About
fifteen minutes later, I woke up and noticed that
he wasnt speaking anymore, but he seemed to
have expected a response from me.
told me is something to think about.
representative, who to my taste was rather oddly
dressed, told me that the troubles of the world
were due to cars, friends, money and desire. I
should try to extinguish all of my ambition and
motivations to attain perfect peace. His talk had
the opposite effect and I started to think about
how much money I was likely to spend on Andrea
that evening. What about the conflict between
your religion and Muslims in Myanmar? Not very
Thanks a lot.
Ill be thinking about what you told me.
I ran out of time
and interest before I got to the last booth.
husband and my wife were out of town, I spent the
whole evening with Andrea, rather than just a
quickie at the office. While I drank my third
scotch on the rocks and ate my ham sandwich with
her that evening, I was humming the Curtis
Mayfield song (If Theres A Hell Down
Below) Were All Going To Go.
think that the writer knows nothing about
religion. Those readers are very astute.
in Story Shack.