Freedom of religion can get you killed. Mark Twain analyzed religion as follows:
“Man is the Reasoning Animal. Such is the claim. I think it is open to dispute. Indeed, my experiments have proven to me that he is the Unreasoning Animal… In truth, man is incurably foolish. Simple things which other animals easily learn, he is incapable of learning. Among my experiments was this. In an hour I taught a cat and a dog to be friends. I put them in a cage. In another hour I taught them to be friends with a rabbit. In the course of two days I was able to add a fox, a goose, a squirrel and some doves. Finally a monkey. They lived together in peace; even affectionately.
Next, in another cage I confined an Irish Catholic from Tipperary, and as soon as he seemed tame I added a Scotch Presbyterian from Aberdeen. Next a Turk from Constantinople; a Greek Christian from Crete; an Armenian; a Methodist from the wilds of Arkansas; a Buddhist from China; a Brahman from Benares. Finally, a Salvation Army Colonel from Wapping. Then I stayed away for two whole days. When I came back to note results, the cage of Higher Animals was all right, but in the other there was but a chaos of gory odds and ends of turbans and fezzes and plaids and bones and flesh–not a specimen left alive. These Reasoning Animals had disagreed on a theological detail and carried the matter to a Higher Court.”
Nowhere in the constitution does the phrase, Separation of church and state occur. When cited, the first amendment proclaims that the government can’t declare an official religion, and then Bar B Q those who miss church on Sunday, however history has shown that this is not the approved rendering of the sacred text. What it’s really saying is if you start a religion that is outside the acceptable norms of what the white hats consider to be the center of the road, i.e. Jesus was a carpenter, but never joined the union and love thy neighbor so long as they look like you, then your freedom of religion can get you killed! I submit, for your approval, the case of One Joseph Smith.
Young Joseph was a money digger. Nothing wrong with that, I’ve been digging for money all my life. He could also spin a yarn. Again, I’m cool. I, myself am a terrible liar, hence I became a writer. I cannot tell a lie, and if you believe that have I got a bridge for you, and it’s on sale! Where was I? Oh yes, Joseph the money digger. Anyway, he made some chump change going around telling folks he could find buried treasure by using some rock he stuck in his hat and squished up against his head that would revealith where the goodst of the purse shall lie. When no treasure was found, he’d collect his fee for his effort, tell the sucker the devil got the gold, and split. I crappith thee not!
Well, he got brought up on charges, but, being an enterprising young lad, he upped his game. Why look for a small treasure in a potato field? Make it pounds of golden plates. Why rook some farmer? Tell the entire community he’d FOUND the treasure AND, for bonus points it was in the form of a manuscript that he, and only he could decipher by, you guessed it, putting a rock in his hat, and squishing it up against his face, revealing the Old English translation of a brand New Testament of Jesus Christ for the Latter Day Saints, can I have a, “Amen?” Hey people, you can’t make this stuff up, well, actually Joseph DID make this stuff up, and as PT Barnum told us, there’s a sucker born every minute. As of today there are around fifteen million suckers in the world praying their holy underwear off, and paying ten percent of their income for the privilege, not counting the cost of the long johns! Now, for the sake of argument I will admit that I, myself, have tested Smith’s method of composition. In an effort to find a more lucrative way to compose articles I drank myself into a stupor one night, fetched a rock from my garden, placed it in my hat, pushed my face into said hat as indicated by Joseph’s technique, and waited for the Lord to speak to me. I didn’t hear God, but my dog finally asked what I was up to? I didn’t write down anything the dog said because it was in “Revised Dog,” and only I could understand it, a gift I discovered that I had lost the next morning.
But Smith did have total recall, and boy did they believe Joseph! He started a church, declared himself a prophet, married every girl in sight, and blazed his way into history. He was jailed, tarred and feathered, burned out, and eventually freedom of religion got him killed. Why? Because “We The People” will not tolerate anything in the passing lane, that’s why. Stay with the traffic. Joseph didn’t hurt anyone. All he really did was run his mouth. Oh, and he bedded a boat load of women, and that always rubs the religious’ nuts the wrong way. If you’re a preacher, and want to get crucified, get laid! Works every time.
All religions claim to be the one true faith. Else, why have a religion at all. I’m mean Coke would not be Coke if their attitude was Pepsi is just another Coke in a different bottle. There really should be an eleventh commandment. “My invisible guy in the sky can beat up your invisible guy in sky!” Now, as I said before, for the record, I don’t think Joseph Smith ever hurt anyone. And, he didn’t “run” anyone crazy. Hey folks, anyone who believes a kid composed a Bible from a rock in a hat, that’s not a run, that’s a short walk. It gets better. His replacement, Brigham Young convinced the Mormons to load their JeeJaws in a wheel barrel, push it over the Rocky Mountains and drink water out of a salty lake. Now brothers and sisters, that’s FAITH! The girls are what got Joseph Smith done in though. I WISH I could find a chick who was stupid enough to disrobe when I told her an angel would kill me with a flaming sword if she didn’t. But, Joseph died for his freedom of religion.
Next case in point is David Koresh. David wasn’t as inventive as Joseph was, but he had his ways. He was smart enough to leave the golden tablets alone, but didn’t quite understand the new improved second amendment which was a little different from Joseph Smith’s day. Back then you just bought a gun and went your merry way. By the time Koresh came along it had been revised. “The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed, unless we infringe it!”
There is a two hundred dollar tax on fully automatic rifles, hereafter referred to a ratta tat tat guns, which are different from squeeze one, shoot one guns. Oh, David had a home brewed religion, thought he was a prophet, and he liked the little girls. Volatile mix. Now get this; America, land of the free, home of the brave, conqueror of nations, leader of the free world, gets worried because they think some crazy eyed preacher in Waco, Texas with a ratta tat tat, and a fourteen year old girlfriend is gonna overthrow the government. And they spent money on this adventure friends. Up towards seven million dollars to do what a Texas sheriff could do for one hundred dollars and fifty cents. But, I do understand we couldn’t have David carousing with all them kids. Government solution? Burn ‘em up!
For fifty-one days we got to see the FBI dance to the tune, lie, murder, impede the press, call in the Army, hold nonsensical press conferences and in the end the Branch Davidians’ freedom of religion got them killed! David forgot the government’s rule number one, Thou Shall have no God before me!
If there IS a heaven, David Koresh and Joseph Smith are talking about this. Jesus walks up and sits down. Looks them in the eye, and shakes his head, saying, “Didn’t work for me either.” Always remember, and write this down, Freedom if religion can get you killed!
Bill the ButcherThe Butcher Shop