The Barbarism of Certitude

Ooh, that's some catchy English. I happened upon a Tract, or small illustrated booklet by a man named Chick, which told the tale of an Olde West Gun Slinger. This Gun Slinger came to town to stir up trouble, for some mysterious reason attends church on Sunday morning, and gradually comes to accept the line that God loves all sinners and Jeebus can save him from going to Hell. In the meantime, the local sheriff has posted a reward for his capture and is gathering the forces of Decency, or perhaps Greed and Self-Interest, to capture this Nefarious Bad Guy.

The Gun Slinger emerges from church a converted man, but the locals have him surrounded and cart him off to jail to await his hanging. There is presumably a preponderance of evidence that this dude has done some Heinous Crimes, such that no trial was necessary to determine his guilt. The Sheriff watches his neck snap, the Reverend stands by and covers his eyes. The Nefarious Bad Guy, who may have burned down orphanages, shot countless innocent people, and otherwise engaged in the worst possible criminal behaviour in mid-19th century America, goes to Heaven because he clapped his hands together the night before and agreed to believe in a magical book and special Power Words.

After he's buried, the Sheriff is rejoined by the Reverend to accept Jeebus as well. The Sheriff declines, rides off into the sunset, get's bitten by a snake, dies, and is immediately sent to Hell. Apparently, no amount of Doing Good on Earth can get you into heaven, but no amount of Doing Evil can keep you out. It all hinges on whether or not you believe that a 2,000 year old dead dude can erase a lifetime of moral crapulence.

But Wait, There's More! Apparently a lot more, although I won't link directly to this man's website. I realise no one reads this journal, but I don't even want to take the chance that someone might increase his business. Let it be said that there are plenty of other Tracts on other subjects, including the absolute truth of the Bible in regards to the creation date of the Earth, roughly 6,000 years ago.

The light from distant stars that's been traveling for millions of years? The measurable radioactive half-life of the most common life-giving element on Earth? The less than 2% variation between higher ape and human DNA? The amount of evidence and provable fact that you must ignore in order to arrive at the conclusion that only an invisible Super Man could have built the universe is staggering. It's just not even worth conversing with these people. If that sounds horrible it, is, but I cannot believe that anyone who buys this crap whole could make any useful contribution to human society. It's just flabbergasting.

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