Now that this journal is live again, anything’s possible.
As I’ve said ad nauseam, funny shit happens out in the world. All you have to do is pay attention once in a while.
To wit: An hour ago I was editing some found notes about one man’s dramatic conversion to atheism in a half-assed McDonald’s that doesn’t even sell hot mochas when I took to eavesdropping on the conversation at the next table. Some middle-American Paul, looking a bit like a plump Bob Newhart, was hard at work proselytizing to a homeless man.
I could hardly believe my ears.
“Did you know,” says our fast-food missionary, leaning in a bit to enhance the conspiratorial effect, “that Charles Darwin on his deathbed said evolution is impossible?”
Holy specious adaptation, Batman! Evolution Impossible! Hold the presses!
Well, I couldn’t remember hearing this juicy tidbit before, but I guessed right off it was a load of bollocks. I only wished my pal and resident Darwin expert Lauri Lebo (author of “The Devil in Dover: An Insider’s Story of Dogma vs. Darwin in Small-Town America) were here, because I’d love to see her head explode in real time.
She wasn’t here, so I consulted the Great God Google. While I was doing this, my man of God, having happily used Darwin as a foil to dismiss evolution, had moved blithely on and was now trashing the Big Bang theory.
The main thrust of his sermon? The reason such worldly myths as evolution and Big Bang persist today is simply this: “We don’t want to believe in God.”
I’m glad I wasn’t drinking the mocha they don’t sell here, because I would’ve spit it all over myself in disbelief. What evidence does this soda-swilling charlatan have to support his theory that we don’t want to believe in God?
Where does this relentless sense of persecution come from? Has he watched TV lately? Listened to the radio? Consulted the Internet?
God is everywhere, for Christ’s sake. God is fighting the good fight, whether that means trying to stop evil women from thwarting their (God-given) reproductive capabilities or peddling No. 15 jerseys in the greater New York City area.
I don’t really take issue with one man’s right to sell his beliefs to a homeless man in a cut-rate McDonald’s in northeast Albuquerque. I just wish he wouldn’t resort to shameless sophistry to tilt the argument in his favor. Why doesn’t he take the poor bastard out into the parking lot, point to the Sandia Mountains and say, “You think Charles Darwin created that?”
That would be a much more persuasive argument.
As for Darwin, there’s absolutely no evidence he renounced evolution on his deathbed. Even the dubiously named “Institution for Creation Research” had no recourse but to dismiss the tale as nothing more than an urban myth.
Why do such urban myths persist? Maybe, to turn our friend’s thesis on its head, it is because people don’t want to believe in evolution. They want to believe in God.
And I’m OK with that. Just stop selling shameless bullshit to already vulnerable people. Please.
How does this story end? Our protagonist tells William, poor homeless, probably insane William, to keep the faith:
“Please know that Lord takes care of you and that He loves you.”
I wanted to spring out of my seat and throttle the bastard.
If the Lord loves William so goddamn much, I wanted to scream, then why did He leave him here to listen to such blatant horseshit? Why did He leave him nothing to wear but the donated ski cap and the ill-fitting sweatshirt, the homeless man’s uniform?
And why, please tell me why, did He make William homeless, and you, Sir, so comfortably smug?
But I didn’t.
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