Darrow, Clarence

Darrow, Clarence: (N) a lawyer and author of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, he was known as the defense attorney in the Scopes trial.

There are two ways to err:  (1) making a mistake because you’re being too cautious, and (2) the predicament in which your forward thinking causes you to be too radical.

Let us take a historical journey to consider both.

How often have people from our past been wrong because they followed the party line or continued to promote old ideas that were desperately in need of revision?

And how often were some found guilty of being too progressive or too open-minded?

Seriously—think about it.

The man most religious people follow as being the Savior of the world was declared guilty and crucified for sedition.

What is the definition of sedition? It is conduct or speech inciting people to rebel against authority.

So who, really, was Jesus? Was he a religious icon, martyred for the sins of the world? Or did he come to rebel against the religious tyranny which left people ignorant and was brutally judgmental?

In Tennessee there was a court case which has become known as “the Scopes trial.” A science teacher in a high school was arrested and charged with teaching evolution in his classroom. This was forbidden.

Two attorneys showed up for the confrontation:

  • William Jennings Bryan, who was a Biblical scholar and aspiring politician.
  • And Clarence Darrow, an East Coast attorney who was always looking for a case to challenge the hypocrisies he felt existed in the law.

If you lived in Dayton, Tennessee, at the time of the trial, you would have been convinced that Attorney Bryan was representing the will of God, making a stand against a satanic effort to steal Creation from our Maker, placing it with the evolving monkeys. But if you live today, you are fully aware that William Jennings Bryan was misled and ended up ignorant—on the wrong side of history.

Clarence Darrow, ridiculed by the hometown folks, is now deemed, in our times, to be a hero.

Nothing good happens when people are aware of injustice and remain silent.

But we always must remember:

To be a saint in the future, you must be prepared to be considered a sinner in the present.

 

Damn

Damn: (v) to declare something to be bad, unfit, invalid

 “…and he that believeth not shall be damned.”

I think I was eight years old when I read that for the first time.

I wondered why.

Why does God need to damn anyone?

I wasn’t sure what I believed about God. It is an evolution. Matter of fact, to this day our love affair is a private matter.

But I was pretty sure, from my understanding, that He was “man enough” to survive an unbeliever.

After all, I do. There are many people who don’t believe in me. Some of them have gone so far as to declare their unbelief and pronounce damnation on my soul. But I never had the inclination to toss my own rendition of ultimate rejection back their way.

It’s not because I’m noble. It just seems very childish to be really mad at someone because they don’t believe in you.

The instinct may be there.

Perhaps hurt feelings.

A bit of confusion.

But fury? Rage? I don’t think so.

And why would God, who has so many devotees, focus in on the few who decide to be reluctant, or even rebellious?

Why would God damn anyone?

Hell, if He started damning people, I don’t know where He would stop.

So yes—I’m pretty sure if damnation is part of the nature of God, we all are lost and abandoned.

No, I just have to believe that somebody wrote that. Maybe they were trying to scare their congregation into being faithful. Maybe they wanted their race to seem better than others who did not believe.

I don’t know.

I just don’t reckon God is so insecure that He has to retaliate apathy with judgment.

Wouldn’t it be funny if each one of us received an eternity that matched our own choices? Those who believe heaven is “streets of gold and mansions” would discover that they are surrounded with great wealth—but nothing really to do.

And those who believe we come back again through reincarnation to be other creatures would find themselves on that merry-go-round.

And of course, those who believe there is no God, and the grave is the end of the journey, would be allowed to decay in peace.

Cro-Magnon Man

Cro-Magnon Man: (n) an early type of modern man

There is an abiding thought that steers my thinking:

“If I end up being wrong, how can I survive it well?”

Because basically, my life thus far has told me that I’m going to be wrong—partially because I’m a little pig-headed, but also because on occasion, I follow the instincts of others who are likewise oinkers.

I remember one weekend sitting in a seminar in which the pros and cons of evolution were discussed. I immediately felt that the topic was a bit high minded, with low results. But I listened anyway.

It quickly boiled down to a single issue:

Those of a more religious inclination were very upset about man evolving from the animal kingdom.

And those who were less concerned about ecclesiastical matters didn’t seem to care much.

Now, here’s a fact:

None of them knew what the hell they were talking about.

We usually don’t.

Probably long, long ago, when there were Cro-Magnon people walking the Earth, they would have been equally upset to think they evolved from apes, even though the similarity was close enough that a gorilla would occasionally hit on one of the women.

Very early on, we decided what’s ugly, what’s stupid and what’s spiritual.

Yet I never heard a frog object to evolving from a fish, nor a two-cell organism insisting it was impossible to have once been singular.

It’s a fear in our race—that if we are not superior, then it’s just not fair and needs to be changed immediately.

I can tell you the truth—I don’t care.

I personally look nothing like a Cro-Magnon Man.

They were hairy, dark brown and stooped.

I, on the other hand, appear to have evolved from a marshmallow.

funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

 


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Creationism

funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

Creationism: (n) the doctrine that matter and all things were created by an omnipotent Creator

It is a twelve-year-old conversation. By this, what I really mean is that it is a discourse among twelve-year-olds. It makes no sense outside that gathering—and to many would seem frivolous.

But when I was twelve years old and had a sleepover at my house with five other young gentlemen, we sat around and discussed, lamented, worried, bragged and mocked one another over the size of our testicles and penises.

It was not a planned topic for the evening. Someone brought up the subject of girls, and since we knew absolutely nothing about that, we decided to discuss what we believed, in our infantile reasoning, was the item that attracted women to men.

In the course of that ridiculous discussion, some of my young brethren waxed eloquent. Others were just silly. One or two were belligerently adamant on their foreknowledge—yet all of us, obviously, ignorant.

But this misinformation did not keep us from speculation and postulating on our particular rendition or theory.

Fortunately, we never pulled out our private areas to actually visually compare—but while maintaining them securely within our briefs, we explained to everyone in the room how massive they were and also, evolving.

It was a comical situation which could only be tolerated by a roomful of immature individuals who were over-zealous about their insights.

Likewise, this is the identical way I feel about the theory of evolution and creationism. When I hear people argue about “how we got here” or if there is a “here,” or where “here” came from, or where “there” is going, my head begins to spin and I want to scream and ask them to pull out their balls and prove their point.

Of course, they can’t.

There are no balls to pull out and no one has a definitive point.

Since we are creatures which inhabit a planet which has been around a long time, and we only have the possibility of a hundred years, it might be better for us to get about the business of creating something beautiful as we evolve toward kindness.

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Coordinate

Coordinate: (v) to place or arrange in proper order or position.

“Where am I?”

I find that many people spend too much time trying to figure out, “Who am I?”

There is some childish notion that we can be separate from the rest of humankind without any regard for the flow of the times, and be able to maintain our autonomy without finding ourselves lonely and out of step.funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

It is not 1955. We do not have television shows where men and women who are married have to sleep in separate beds. We are allowed to say the word “pregnant.” Chauvinism is no longer an acceptable behavior, or even one that can be winked at as just part of “human tribe banter.”

It is not 1974. We are no longer going to tolerate a President who breaks the law and tries to cover it up. (At least I hope not.)

It is not 1985. We are no longer promoting greed and believing that the AIDS virus is a punishment from God against the gay community.

Where am I?” is a very important question. If I am not able to coordinate what I believe in some sort of harmony with the world around me, I will not only be ineffective, but can quickly gain the reputation for being bigoted and notorious.

While I am sure some people are frightened that we’re losing the moral fiber of our society, a decision was made millions and millions of years ago by a Creator—to imbue His creation with free will.

Free-will opens the door to evolution. Evolution invites change.

There is only one immutable fact: if we don’t love our neighbor as ourselves, we will always be out of step and out of time.

We must coordinate with the world around us.

To do so, we must honor where we are much more than who we are.


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Convert

Convert: (v) to change; transform.

All my life, I’ve been asked to convert.

As a young boy, I was threatened that we would soon convert to the metric system. Still waiting.

I had to convert to being color-blind. I wasn’t raised that way, nor was anyone else under the age of twenty.

I was told to convert to the idea of divorce, and then to the concept that dividing children between households was wise, even though Solomon passed on the idea.funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

Each time it has been explained to me that for the sake of tolerance and mercy it is good that I allow for other people to have their choices.

I had to convert to the practicality of pro-choice, even though I find abortion enigmatic.

But now I’m being asked to convert to sexuality. I have always believed that sexuality is having an orgasm. I do not care how you reach that climax, nor should you be interested in my path.

But we were told to convert because of the stigma, prejudice and animosity toward homosexuality. Excellent. This made me more open, congenial and kind to lesbians and gays. Then I was told this was insufficient.

I was informed that even though lesbians and gays were “born that way,” there is another group—bisexuals—which should be included, even though their existence brings to question the assertion of being born gay. Not satisfied with the LGB community, transgenders were thrown in. Transgender actually has nothing to do with sexuality but is a processing in the lives of a few people to discover in what gender they truly find themselves.

Then, this was no longer sufficient. Even though for years it was the LGBT community, a Q has been added—for “questioning.” This is apparently for people who were not born in any particular way, who are deciding who they want to be, even though we originally said this was not something you determined.

What is obviously missing from the acronym is an H—for heterosexual.

Why would that be?

I guess if I want to convert to something, I would like to see a consistency in thought rather than trying to jump on at the amoeba stage and hang around for the entire evolution… to being human.


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Contrivance

Contrivance: (n) a plan or scheme; expedient

 It happens every day.

I have an idea how things should work, how they should unfold, and the results do not conform to my plan.

My instinct? Ignore the information that’s been provided, push past the obvious defeat and persevere with my thinking, adding some last-minute changes, funny wisdom on words that begin with a Cwhile insisting that no evolution is necessary.

I am determined to be right, even when I’m wrong.

Therefore, I’m often wrong, even when I’m right.

I possess the ability to learn but I suppress it because I’m afraid that being a learner will make me appear to be a student instead of a teacher.

Presently, I’m a master of contrivance, attempting to learn to be a master of service.

Life on Earth is not really difficult—you try something and it either works or it doesn’t. Pain only arrives if you insist on continuing to do what doesn’t work instead of changing in the direction where Mother Nature, Father God and fellow humans are headed.

Our religion is a contrivance because it withholds mercy, clinging to the law.

Our government is a contrivance because it is in need of refreshing.

Our relationships with our fellow human beings are a contrivance because we insist on how different we are instead of acknowledging that we are one people.

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