Once, in Uruapan, State of Michoacan, in Mexico, I got up early one morning and took a local bus to the northeast edge of town, where I knew I could get a good, cheap breakfast at an hour when most downtown eateries are closed.  It was an old trick I'd learned when traveling in my home away from home.  The restaurants in the guide books usually do not open before 9 or 10, when Mexicans have breakfast, if any, and it was 7 or 8.  It was one of the rattly rickety second class buses that stopped on almost every corner and at one point picked up a passenger I will never forget, a boy of indeterminate age (early teens if memory serves) who had the curious habit of making the sign of the cross at every intersection we passed, sometimes more than once.  He did this in a rote way, and I should imagine he'd forgotten why he started doing it and was not fully conscious of doing it even now.

My first thought was, how pathetic it must be to go through life chained to such silly superstition.  Did he think that this meaningless gesture would prevent his suffering the fate of young Frida Kahlo, that he might become victim of an errant streetcar hurling him against a steel beam, crushing his spine in so many places he'd spend the rest of his life in casts, in bed, in corsets, in pain.  He must have believed at one time that if he gave the sign often enough, he would be protected against such inevitabilities just as Mina Harker could avoid the vampire's kiss by hanging garlic around her bed.  Where did he learn this nonsense if not from a priest or his parents or both?  And what did they promise for his adoption of the habit?  It's to be presumed he thought that the more he made the sign, the greater the protection; after all, when he confessed to his sins, he was made to say more Hail, Mary's for them on some sliding scale that made one sin worse than another.

To be honest, I never thought much about these things in any depth until I encountered Laura Ingraham on Fox "News."  They eyes lies said what a pretty woman, but familiarity breeds contempt and I have never been able to see anyone as beautiful when they are, like Ms. Ingraham, mean inside.  She never appears as a guest on, say, the Bill O'Really Factor program, that she does not have, prominently placed outside her blouse, a cross.  The gospel it represents is supposed to be one of compassion, forgiveness, and understanding.  Yet Ms. Ingraham's method is to interview people and to attack them verbally in such a snarky manner one begins to wonder if she really is a Christian at all.  Perhaps, like the boy on the Uruapan bus, she merely puts on the cross for reasons she may have forgotten.  Or she wears it as a kind of talisman for protection against those dastardly liberals who, as we all know, yank pretty blonde women off the streets and into alley ways, then rape them and murder them, leaving them for dead, cross or not.

Then it dawned on me what the cross really is.  It is a security blanket.  It is Ms. Ingraham's grown-up teddy bear.  How sad that she masquerades as an intelligent person but allows myth to replace reason; superstition to replace rationality.  A cross.  Yes, I know she is Catholic, but that only makes matters worse.  Believing as she does in a three-part deity (why not, some Hindu gods have six arms), she took the bait, hook line and sinker.  God the daddy, God the sun, and God the Holy Coultergeist.  The last part comes in because all of these blonde conservatives model their patter after the Great Ann.  But no one can touch Ann for sheer meanness.  Not even Ms. Ingraham.  To her, I can only say, "Go on trying.  But you ain't no Christian, so you may as well take off that silly jewelry."

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Some Catholics think there are spooks in inanimate objects such as crosses, statues and anything that has been blessed by a priest when he makes a sign of the cross at it. Some kind of good angel will then protect them from the devil who is lurking about and whom they might see occasionally.

I don't know anything about Laura Ingraham but she could not lawfully wear her cross in the course of her employment if she were in England and probably other parts of Europe. She looks like a truck driver or something anyway.

If she is an arse-hole then she probably is a christian as well. I don't see your point there.

I actually initially thought Ingraham was very attractive.  Then I saw how mean she can be, particularly to people who believe as I do.  I am a HUGE believer in the old homily that beauty is only skin deep.  She is a dud to me now.

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