Wednesday, February 11, 2009

It ain't Bible

Religious people continue to amuse me and sometimes baffle me.

Whether it's the Pope being asked to resign over lifting the excommunication of a Holocaust-denying priest, or the Reverend Ted Haggard making talk-show rounds hawking a book about his sexual sins, the behavior of godly men often provides a chuckle.

But it's the fundamentalist Christians who often make me do a double-take.

A few days ago I was driving along a highway in north Georgia, the buckle of the Bible-belt. I came up behind a late-1990's lavender-colored pickup truck.

Attached to the rear of the truck were two large white vinyl magnets. One of them bore a representation of the two tablets of the Ten Commandments. I couldn't read the wording over the tablets.

I had no trouble reading the other magnet, though. Emblazoned in huge block letters, it said:


Eventually, I passed the truck, and couldn't resist checking out the driver. Long blond hair was all I could see. Just as I was thinking, "Aha, a young woman caught up in a Christian cult!," the driver turned, revealing a thin, 50-something year old man with a cheesy pencil-thin blonde mustache of the type I haven't seen since the 1970s. He looked more like an aging hippie than he did a "mountain man."

After I passed him, the incongruities increased again. The front of the truck bore a license plate painted with what I always considered a Catholic symbol: the bleeding heart of Jesus.

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Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Happy 200th Birthday, Charles Darwin

In our never-ending quest to bring you news of anything even remotely related to monkeys, The Burning Taper invites you to participate in Charles Darwin's 200th Birthday Celebration.

Nearly 34,000 Facebook users have already joined the Facebook group "Happy Birthday Charles Darwin." The group is shooting for 200,000 members by Feb. 12, Darwin's birthday.

For more information, to join, or to submit movies of your favorite monkeys singing "Happy Birthday" to Chuck, check out the Happy Birthday Charles Darwin website, or go directly to the group's Facebook site.

I've found no evidence that Charles Darwin was a Freemason, but based on both "legitimate" Masonic websites and conspiracy websites, we find that Chuck's grandfather, whom some conspiracists say passed on his evolutionary beliefs to Charles (nevermind the fact that grandpa had been dead seven years when Chuck was born), was in fact a Mason, as was at least one of his sons and grandsons. This passage reportedly from Mackey's Encyclopedia of Freemasonry, as quoted in John Daniel's book Scarlet and the Beast Volume II, discusses the Darwin-Masonic connection:
Before coming to Derby in 1788, Dr. [Erasmus] Darwin had been made a Mason in the famous Time Immemorial Lodge of Cannongate Kilwinning, No. 2, of Scotland. Sir Francis Darwin, one of the Doctor's sons, was made a Mason in Tyrian Lodge, No. 253, at Derby, in 1807 or 1808. His son Reginald was made a Mason in Tyrian Lodge in 1804. The name of Charles Darwin does not appear on the rolls of the Lodge but it is very possible that he, like Francis, was a Mason.
Whether Charles Darwin was a Mason or not, The Burning Taper wishes him a happy 200th birthday.

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