Gut Rumbles
 

October 14, 2007

Good question

Originally published October 14, 2003

Jay Solo posted a Question of the Week that I want to answer. Maybe my answer will explain something about who I am. Here is the question:

Even if you are religious normally, pretend that we have learned there is no deity or anything along those lines. The prophets and such were all just men, whether deluded, imaginitive, or what. What we see is what we get, plus what we can't see that is more extensive and strange than we have yet imagined, however natural in origin.

Okay then... From that perspective, what would you make of the historic - and prehistoric - rise of religions and related practices? Would you say it was a case of God not existing, but we had to invent him? Was it imperative to fill a need most humans have? On the balance, has the existence of religion been a positive thing, a negative thing, or just a thing; neutral? Conversely, would religion being provably null and void be, on the balance, good, bad, or neutral for the human population overall?

Once upon a time, a village of the MOOG tribe learned to move out of their caves and live in huts that they built from wood and thatch. They hunted and gathered for a while, until Moffer, a smart little boy, learned to save seeds and plant his own crop. He grew a lot of the sacred weed that the village elders made beer from and he became rich selling his crop to the drunkards. After that resounding success, EVERYBODY started growing his/her own crops. Life was good for the MOOG.

Then, one night, a terrible thunderstorm decended upon the village. Lightning flashed from the dark sky and the ground trembled from the thunder. Everyone was frightened and the children screamed. "What can we do? What can we do?" asked the bravest hunters in the tribe.

About that time, Alfonso woke up. Alfonso was a skinny, pock-marked skuzzbucket who never hit a lick at anything in his life but somehow managed to bum enough beer to get drunk unto unconsciousness every day. Men hated him and wimmen wouldn't touch him with a ten-foot pole. But Alfonso was smart, the way a rat is smart. He saw a golden opportunity in that thunderstorm.

"I'LL SAVE US ALL!" he yelled, and ran outside to do a crazy dance amid the rain and the lightning. He figured that he had nothing to lose. If he got struck by lightning and killed on the spot, it was no big deal. His life sucked. So, he yoo-hooed and boo-hooed and howled at the sky. People watching were most impressed.

The storm went away and nobody in the MOOG tribe was dead. Alfonso said, "You have ME to thank for that, because GOD listens to ME," and he became the very first priest in the world.

The next time a thunderstorm came, Alfonso was so drunk that he slept through the whole thing. Orrg woke him up the next morning. "I need a favor, Mr. Priest, sir. My hut was hit by a lightning bolt last night and I never want that to happen again. Can you make my bad luck go away?"

Alfonso assured Orrg that he could, but insisted on sleeping with Orrg's wife and taking the fattest pig from his herd as payment. Orrg reluctantly agreed. So, Alfonso screwed Orrg's wife, ate his fattest pig and went back to drinking beer.

Another thunderstorm came, Orrg's hut was hit by lightning again and Orrg was pissed. He came to kill Alfonso for dicking out on a fair trade. "YOU GODDAM LIAR!" he said, while poking a spear into Alphonso's throat.

But Alphonso was smart, the way a rat is smart.

"I spoke to God and he told me that you were not sincere in your sacrifice. You hid your fattest pig and gave me the second best one. Then, your wife was a dud in bed. I did not receive what I was promised and God hurled down his wrath upon you. I didn't screw this up. YOU DID!"

Orrg had to admit that everything the priest said was true. He DID hide the fattest pig. His wife WAS a dud in bed. "How do I make this up to you, Oh, Man of God?" Orrg asked.

"I want your fattest pig and I want to screw your wife again," replied Alphonso. "And this time, she'd better give me a blow-job!"

Orrg went back to his burned-out hut, beat the shit out of his wife and sent both her and his fattest pig over to Alphonso's place. The wife put out like a Las Vegas hooker and the pig was delicious. Orrg never had lightning strike his hut again.

Some people might call that sheer coincidence, but Orrg believed in God after that. Alphonso got a lot of pussy and a lot of pork because other people starting believing, too. Pretty soon thereafter, we had the Catholic Church. Unlike Alphonso, a lot of Catholic priests prefer to screw your children rather than your wife.

That's the only real difference I see between then and now. Man didn't invent God. Con-men did.

That's what I think about religion.

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