Friday, April 29, 2005

Are We Jesus-Blogging Now? Just kidding. Most people who know my beliefs think that nothing could be greater hell for me than sitting around listening to people talk about their "faith." To the contrary, since I don't understand it, I am all the more interested in it. I once left a brace of Mormons quite nonplussed when I invited them in, served them drinks (club soda for them, Old Grand Dad for me), and listened to their spiel. (They fumbled my questions on race and Mormonism, and at the time I was living with a black guy who had gone to BYU, so I just had to hoist them.) I've listened to testimony from Jews for Jesus, folks who dig crystals, Ayurvedic practicioners, Taoists, Sikhs, and trustifarian Sufis (who typically know as little about actual Islam as Elijah Mohammed's spaceship-Islam followers).

That said, I start collecting the glasses and waving folks toward the door when it becomes a sales pitch. I'm glad to hear about your beliefs, Winter Morning Wolf Breath, but when you start hitting me up for the cause, I'll dangle. Anyone who says he knows the answer, but won't part with it without a little do-re-mi, doesn't really know the answer. Think Deepak Chopra and other "life" salesmen. And this "Goal Driven Life" (shouldn't that be hyphenated?) thingummy sounds, as you said, sales driven. Discussion groups are a nice innovation, too: Used to be, if you dug the book you passed it to a friend. Instead, let's get lots of people to buy copies so that they can talk about it!

More: I'm the same way with mysteries. I love conspiracy theories, hoaxes, puzzles -- the odder the better. I've confessed before on this blog to my brief flings with the likes of the Kennedy assassination and the Apollo hoax. I also had a brief if torrid Black Dahlia phase. I hasten to add that I am a proud subscriber to Skeptical Inquirer, and a skeptic in all these matters. But SI, while a valuable debunker in the cases of scams, cheats, and for-profit gurus, does tend to suck all the fun out of harmless cranks, like the moon landing skeptics, and fun hoaxes, such as the Kensington Stone.

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