I posted this on my blog but I had enough positive feedback from friends that I am adding it to a more public thread. I'm writing a series of modern parables. Please feel free to critique this, add your own, or suggest other topics for parables.
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The Parable of the Navigator

Alex and Pat were in a restaurant having lunch. They agreed to meet later at a park which neither of them had previously visited.

Alex started to drive across town and found the way blocked by a torrent pouring from a broken water main. The park was on the east side of town and the water was flowing down Main street. By driving north, Alex reached a cross-street that was not blocked. Thus Alex reached the park safely.

Pat set the GPS navigator to provide directions to the park. The voice directed him to cross Main street. Pat drove into the flowing water and was drowned.

The moral: Logic and observation are safer than blind faith in an out-dated guide.

Tags: Parable, fable, meme, navigator

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I don't have any but I really like that. You could modify it by someone blindly following Google Maps and winding up in a traffic jam due to new road construction. lol

Yes, that has happened to me.
Kissing Hank's Ass is a classic.
WHOA! Learn something new every day, I suppose. Had never heard of "Kissing Hank's Ass" before today, but that is PREMIUM!
Thanks! I had not seen this before. Another good one is The Watchmaker.

http://www.jhuger.com/watchmaker
Wonderful!! And some of the other stuff, including Questions for Bible-Thumpers, is excellent.
Like this. Looking forward to more.
Love it! I would change GPS to "map of Middle Earth"
that seems a little more reasonable
I have obtained permission from the author, James Huber, to post some of his work here at A/N. Please respect his copyright and give credit and attach a link to the original if you pass on any of his work. In addition, a PDF version of this piece can be downloaded from:
http://www.jhuger.com/pamphlets/kha.pdf

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Kissing Hank's Ass
Republished on Atheist Nexus with the kind permission of the author, James Huber, From:
http://www.jhuger.com/kisshank

This morning there was a knock at my door. When I answered the door I found a well groomed, nicely dressed couple. The man spoke first:
John: "Hi! I'm John, and this is Mary."
Mary: "Hi! We're here to invite you to come kiss Hank's ass with us."
Me: "Pardon me?! What are you talking about? Who's Hank, and why would I want to kiss His ass?"
John: "If you kiss Hank's ass, He'll give you a million dollars; and if you don't, He'll kick the shit out of you."
Me: "What? Is this some sort of bizarre mob shake-down?"
John: "Hank is a billionaire philanthropist. Hank built this town. Hank owns this town. He can do whatever He wants, and what He wants is to give you a million dollars, but He can't until you kiss His ass."
Me: "That doesn't make any sense. Why..."
Mary: "Who are you to question Hank's gift? Don't you want a million dollars? Isn't it worth a little kiss on the ass?"
Me: "Well maybe, if it's legit, but..."
John: "Then come kiss Hank's ass with us."
Me: "Do you kiss Hank's ass often?"
Mary: "Oh yes, all the time..."
Me: "And has He given you a million dollars?"
John: "Well no. You don't actually get the money until you leave town."
Me: "So why don't you just leave town now?"
Mary: "You can't leave until Hank tells you to, or you don't get the money, and He kicks the shit out of you."
Me: "Do you know anyone who kissed Hank's ass, left town, and got the million dollars?"
John: "My mother kissed Hank's ass for years. She left town last year, and I'm sure she got the money."
Me: "Haven't you talked to her since then?"
John: "Of course not, Hank doesn't allow it."
Me: "So what makes you think He'll actually give you the money if you've never talked to anyone who got the money?"
Mary: "Well, He gives you a little bit before you leave. Maybe you'll get a raise, maybe you'll win a small lotto, maybe you'll just find a twenty-dollar bill on the street."
Me: "What's that got to do with Hank?"
John: "Hank has certain 'connections.'"
Me: "I'm sorry, but this sounds like some sort of bizarre con game."
John: "But it's a million dollars, can you really take the chance? And remember, if you don't kiss Hank's ass He'll kick the shit out of you."
Me: "Maybe if I could see Hank, talk to Him, get the details straight from Him..."
Mary: "No one sees Hank, no one talks to Hank."
Me: "Then how do you kiss His ass?"
John: "Sometimes we just blow Him a kiss, and think of His ass. Other times we kiss Karl's ass, and he passes it on."
Me: "Who's Karl?"
Mary: "A friend of ours. He's the one who taught us all about kissing Hank's ass. All we had to do was take him out to dinner a few times."
Me: "And you just took his word for it when he said there was a Hank, that Hank wanted you to kiss His ass, and that Hank would reward you?"
John: "Oh no! Karl has a letter he got from Hank years ago explaining the whole thing. Here's a copy; see for yourself."

From the Desk of Karl
1. Kiss Hank's ass and He'll give you a million dollars when you leave town.
2. Use alcohol in moderation.
3. Kick the shit out of people who aren't like you.
4. Eat right.
5. Hank dictated this list Himself.
6. The moon is made of green cheese.
7. Everything Hank says is right.
8. Wash your hands after going to the bathroom.
9. Don't use alcohol.
10. Eat your wieners on buns, no condiments.
11. Kiss Hank's ass or He'll kick the shit out of you.

Me: "This appears to be written on Karl's letterhead."
Mary: "Hank didn't have any paper."
Me: "I have a hunch that if we checked we'd find this is Karl's handwriting."
John: "Of course, Hank dictated it."
Me: "I thought you said no one gets to see Hank?"
Mary: "Not now, but years ago He would talk to some people."
Me: "I thought you said He was a philanthropist. What sort of philanthropist kicks the shit out of people just because they're different?"
Mary: "It's what Hank wants, and Hank's always right."
Me: "How do you figure that?"
Mary: "Item 7 says 'Everything Hank says is right.' That's good enough for me!"
Me: "Maybe your friend Karl just made the whole thing up."
John: "No way! Item 5 says 'Hank dictated this list himself.' Besides, item 2 says 'Use alcohol in moderation,' Item 4 says 'Eat right,' and item 8 says 'Wash your hands after going to the bathroom.' Everyone knows those things are right, so the rest must be true, too."
Me: "But 9 says 'Don't use alcohol.' which doesn't quite go with item 2, and 6 says 'The moon is made of green cheese,' which is just plain wrong."
John: "There's no contradiction between 9 and 2, 9 just clarifies 2. As far as 6 goes, you've never been to the moon, so you can't say for sure."
Me: "Scientists have pretty firmly established that the moon is made of rock..."
Mary: "But they don't know if the rock came from the Earth, or from out of space, so it could just as easily be green cheese."
Me: "I'm not really an expert, but I think the theory that the Moon was somehow 'captured' by the Earth has been discounted*. Besides, not knowing where the rock came from doesn't make it cheese."
John: "Ha! You just admitted that scientists make mistakes, but we know Hank is always right!"
Me: "We do?"
Mary: "Of course we do, Item 7 says so."
Me: "You're saying Hank's always right because the list says so, the list is right because Hank dictated it, and we know that Hank dictated it because the list says so. That's circular logic, no different than saying 'Hank's right because He says He's right.'"
John: "Now you're getting it! It's so rewarding to see someone come around to Hank's way of thinking."
Me: "But...oh, never mind. What's the deal with wieners?"
Mary: She blushes.
John: "Wieners, in buns, no condiments. It's Hank's way. Anything else is wrong."
Me: "What if I don't have a bun?"
John: "No bun, no wiener. A wiener without a bun is wrong."
Me: "No relish? No Mustard?"
Mary: She looks positively stricken.
John: He's shouting. "There's no need for such language! Condiments of any kind are wrong!"
Me: "So a big pile of sauerkraut with some wieners chopped up in it would be out of the question?"
Mary: Sticks her fingers in her ears."I am not listening to this. La la la, la la, la la la."
John: "That's disgusting. Only some sort of evil deviant would eat that..."
Me: "It's good! I eat it all the time."
Mary: She faints.
John: He catches Mary. "Well, if I'd known you were one of those I wouldn't have wasted my time. When Hank kicks the shit out of you I'll be there, counting my money and laughing. I'll kiss Hank's ass for you, you bunless cut-wienered kraut-eater."

With this, John dragged Mary to their waiting car, and sped off.
As if that wasn't enough fun, Nimys made this script into a short film:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fDp7pkEcJVQ
Once upon a time, there was a herd of wild ponies. They lived happily, enjoying all of the subtle nuances of life. They drank from the cool brook, grazed in the meadow, cared for their young and enjoyed the warm sun.

One day an old man visited the meadow. He had a long white beard and a pointy hat. He told the ponies that he was a wizard. Then he told them about a magic feed corn that was more wonderful than could be expressed in words.

"It will be the most delicious thing you've ever eaten. And, it will make you always feel happy inside," said the wizard.

"How do we get some of this corn?" asked the ponies.

"All you have to do is pretend to eat from this empty trough. Your pretending to eat from the trough will create powerful magic and it is required in order for me to make the magic feed," replied the wizard.

"Come and pretend to eat from it every day until I return with the corn... I'll be watching you," added the wizard.

Most of the ponies immediately started pretending to feed.

"Mmmmm. I can almost taste that magic corn right now," said one of the ponies.

"Me too," cried another pony. "It is so wonderful."

Time passed, but the wizard did not return.

"Maybe we're not trying hard enough at the trough," the ponies thought. So they started spending more and more time at the empty trough. And, pretended to eat more vigorously than ever.

Gradually a change occurred in the ponies. They no longer enjoyed their lives. When they grazed, they couldn't enjoy the grass, because they knew how badly it would pale to the magic feed. When they drank from the brook, they could only think of how dull and tasteless water must be compared to the corn. They no longer enjoyed the sun or tending their children. Those things were just distractions from fantasies of magic corn.

The ponies became so obsessed with pretending to feed at the trough and thinking and talking about the magic feed and the wizards return... that they didn't notice a fence had been built around them. The fence didn't bother them much, because most of them didn't venture far from the empty trough any way. In fact, they decided that ponies deserving of magic corn should live inside the fence.

But... one wise, old pony shook his head and laughed. He then walked right through the fence as if it were made of smoke! The old pony went down to the brook for a cool, delicious drink of water, then grazed on the succulent grasses of the neighboring meadow.

"Fool!" cried the other ponies. "You'll never get to taste the magic corn!"

"Idiots!" the old one thought to himself…. And every so often another pony would leave the heard to live outside the fence with him.
(I posted this in the Atheist Writers group back in July.)

In the Beginning...

A Different Fable On How Man Created God

The scene: Let’s say about 6 or 7 thousand years ago or so somewhere in the Mid-East. There’s Urg, at 39, one of the tribes most senior elders and his inquisitive 5 year old grandson, Um. They are sitting around the fire one night having a discussion that’s going something like this… (conveniently in English)

Um asks his grandfather “What are those twinkling little things grandpa?”
Urg says, “Those are the Night Lights Um.”
“Oh, what are the made of?” Um asks.
“My grandfather told me they were big fireflies in the sky. You see how they all slowly move together around us. Sometimes one shoots across very fast.”
“Who put the fireflies there grandpa?”
“Well son, he told me that the great god of darkness Dim created them so we could see at night.”
Um thought for a moment, “Did he make the big circle one too grandpa that fades in and out every so many days?”
“Very good Um. Yes he did. That’s called the moon. It fades in and out about every 28 days since Dim gets happy as the moon grows and angry as the moon disappears. That’s why we celebrate when it is full and offer animal sacrifices when it is gone to make Dim happy again. It works every time.”
“Grandpa, did Dim put the sun in the sky too?”
“No Um, that was the great god Blaze that created that.”
“What is the sun made of Grandpa?”
“That is a giant burning tree that Blaze sets on fire each morning. He then throws it over us from over there every morning and it lands somewhere over there every evening.”
“Wow Grandpa, he must be very strong.”
“Yes Um, some say he has the strength of 100 men.”
“Cool Grandpa, that Blaze god is awesome!”
“Yes he is, although one day at high sun, many moons ago, the sun was swallowed up and it became very dark. Instead of an animal sacrifice, we offered up your sister as a sacrifice to Blaze. It seemed to work since the sun re-appeared.”
“I had a sister Grandpa?!”
“Yes, she saved us from the wrath of Blaze. Her spirit has gone to the great meadow in the sky.”
“Are you ever going to sacrifice me Grandpa?”
“No, it only works with un-bedded, pubescent girls.”
“Oh good… Grandpa, someone needs to paint these stories on the cave walls so we can pass them down to our children.”
“Well Um, your father Ord is trying to make a new type of writing tablet made from plants or trees or something. It will make it a lot easier to spread the great holy stories throughout the land.”
“That will be swell Grandpa! Something everyone can believe in!”
“Amen Um, Amen.”

The moral of my little fable is the relative ignorance of the people that created all the Stone Age beliefs we’re still stuck with today and how foolish it is to still believe in them. They’re no more or less insane than the ones in this little fable.

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