The Philosophy of Humor
My Meeting Notes: Week of May 9, 2024

Who Wants the Same Religion as Fred Flintstone? What Happens When You Subject Faith to Theological Scrutiny.

Babylon invades Jerusalem, exiles its residents, razes its temple, and a long-held Jewish paradigm is destroyed: that God will fight for his people.

Theologian Peter Berger (1929-2017) cites this as an example of a gnomos, a coherent system of understanding the world. People must have one of those if they are to stay sane. The Jewish system of understanding the world being destroyed, it had need of emergency repair. What would it consist of, according to Berger?

He tips his hand. Wasn’t there some ancient contract that stipulated the Israelites were to behave if they expected God to back them? Wasn’t there a clause in that contract that if they didn’t behave, neither would he—in fact, he would abandon them to enemies? Yes, there was! And so, that must have been what happened! God could have protected them, but he chose not to. Gnomos restored! Too bad for them, but gnomos restored.

Save us from the world of critical thinking theologians. It is as though someone runs a stop sign and a horrific accident results. Thereafter, survivors are desperate to impart meaning to the event, to understand how such a horrible thing could happen. Whereupon, one of them recalls a long-ago contract that you are supposed to stop when you see one of those things, as though no prior connection had ever been imagined before.

Why not just say we ran a stop sign and got creamed? Why not just say we reneged on God and, as a consequence, he reneged on us? He even said that was going to happen. Just like, in the U.S, you can’t come across a stop sign that is not preceded by a ‘stop sign coming up’ sign emblazoned with the shape and color of that sign. So, that, if you run a stop sign, having also run the stop sign coming up sign, it’s a little lame to pretend you don’t know what is going on. So it is, in ancient Israel, there were plenty of prophets running around with ‘Babylon coming up’ signs. Why do theologians not make that obvious connection, instead spinning it that the Babylon coming up signs, maybe even the stop sign contract itself, was concocted after the tragedy to preserve gnomos?

Don’t flock to religious leaders if you learn they have theological degrees appended to their name—for fear they will engage their flock like George Bush engaged the terrorists upon landing on that aircraft carrier: ‘Bring them on!’ For all their so-called weapons—bring them on! So it is that these theologically-trained leaders are likely to view you, with your weapons of faith: ‘Bring them on! We’ll fizzle all their weapons! Are there warnings in the scriptures? We’ll convince them they were written after the fact! That way, religion can grow! Do any of them think they’re doing things the first-century way? Forget that! Religion must evolve. Who wants to have the same primitive religion as Fred Flintstone?’


******  The bookstore

Defending Jehovah’s Witnesses with style from attacks... in Russia, with the book ‘I Don’t Know Why We Persecute Jehovah’s Witnesses—Searching for the Why’ (free).... and in the West, with the book, 'In the Last of the Last Days: Faith in the Age of Dysfunction'


Bea Nix

I think you shojld give me, um three brain cells. I do!

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