At the Pillar of TrVth - 8/7/2007
Home Up The Black Hole Literary Review Wm. E. Allendorf, Prop.

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#1606943 - 08/14/07 09:04 PM The shaman and Pooh at the Pillar of TrVth

Oh,” said Pooh. “There you are.”

“I suppose you’re correct.” said the shaman. “But then you always are with those sorts of assessments.”

“Thank you.” Said Pooh. “What are you doing?”

“Cleaning up from the fishfry. “said the shaman. “They had quite a wingding here.” The shaman was cleaning up the area around the Pillar of TrVth.

“I was wondering what that was in the air,” said Pooh. “I’m sorry I missed it.”

“Yep!” said the shaman. “It was quite a show. Some Fish-dude decided to get up on the pillar once too often. The pillar fried him big time. . . excuse me.” The shaman swept a charred copy of the New Testament for Dummies close to Pooh’s foot into his dust pan and deposited it in the refuse can.”

“Not a problem. “ said Pooh. “I’m sorry to hear that.”

“I’m not. “said the shaman.

“That’s rather uncharitable.” Said Pooh.

“No.” said the shaman. “Not at all. It’s just that Christianity thrives on that sort of thing. Somebody gets up and starts causing a fuss and then the authorities have to make a decision on what to do and no matter what—somebody gets nailed up or fried. It’s been going on for thousands of years.”

“Yes, but. . .”

“But nothing, Pooh!” said the shaman. You see, this is all part of the plan. It’s all programmed that way. Somebody has to be the prophet. Someone has to be the heavy. Somebody washes their hands and somebody gets nailed up. Spit-Spot! Bring on the next set of martyrs.”

“What’s the point of it?” said Pooh.

“Point?” said the shaman. “The point is that after some point being a Christian, in whatever way you might conceive of it, is going to get you fed to the lions. This guy seemed to think that being a Christian was to spew hate at Catholics. That’s his bag, and he’s welcome to do it. However, in this case, he spewed enough of it long enough that he irked the great powers that be around here, and he got fried. It didn’t help any that the great power that be around here is Catholic. But then it didn’t help Jesus case when he ran around the temple knocking over the tables. I’m sure all those money changers were happy when he was out of the way.”

“Spewing hate about Catholics doesn’t sound very Christian.” Said Pooh.

“Yeah well,” said the shaman. “I’m sure he thought he was being very Christian when he said it. The point is that folks don’t realize the lesson.”

“What’s that?” Asked Pooh.

“If you take it all too seriously,” said the shaman. “You’re spoiling for getting yourself nailed up. What Jesus was teaching wasn’t the kind of stuff that you go to Meeting every Sunday and then forget about. He talked about giving up all your worldly possessions and going out and stirring up some serious trouble. Once you’ve done that, you’re on everyone s . . . special list. ”

“So what your saying is this Fish-dude was being a good Christian?” asked Pooh.

“Well, HE thought he was.” Said the shaman. “But if you take it all too seriously, that’s where it’s going to get you.”

“So to be a good Christian is going to get you in trouble?” said Pooh

“Smart bear!” said the shaman. “Take it far enough, and it will. Christianity isn’t about necessarily being a good citizen or a good taxpayer or a even a good kid who knows how to stay on his side of the sandbox. Take it really far, and you’ll end up a martyr.”

“That doesn’t sound like a really good religion.” Said Pooh. “How did it get to be so popular?”

“Oh,” said the shaman. “That’s the trick. You don’t HAVE to be a martyr. You don’t HAVE to cause trouble. All you have to do is have Faith and believe. The trouble just seems to follow. What makes it such a good religion is that you’re going to have trouble anyway—why not believe in something that makes all the trouble seem worthwhile?”

“I’m not really sure I buy that.” Said Pooh. “But then I’m a bear of little brain, and I tend to cause very little trouble. Does that make me un-Christian?”

“No,” said the shaman. “Causing the trouble is a by-product of being Christian. The problems arise when your idea of being a Christian conflicts with others. If you stand on the street corner and preach that the Good Lord has revealed to you that all truck drivers are buggerers, eventually you’ll find a truck driver that takes umbrage and gives you a bloody nose. Honk off enough truck drivers, and they’ll nail you up. It's your choice. If your read the scriptures and you decide that it's telling you that truck drivers are into that sort of thing. . . well, it's your choice what you're going to do about it.”

“But I thought the Fish-dude got fried.” Said Pooh.

“Yes, “ said the shaman. “He got up on the Pillar of TrVth and started preaching. That seems to always draw the bolt of lighting. There’s something about that pillar that just doesn’t seem to like that sort of thing. I was talking to the repairman the other day. He said it was in the voice recognition circuitry. When it detects hubris, it tends to pour on the voltage.”


“In this case, the belief that what you’re spouting comes directly from the mind of the Almighty.” Said the shaman. “The repairman said the pillar is real touchy on that. Shame too. Otherwise the pillar seems to be working out really good around here.”

"I don't like fried fish." said Pooh. "It gives me the winds something fierce."

"I'm sure the fish-dude will agree with you." said the shaman. "Nobody asked him to cause the trouble he did-- 'cept maybe his own Lord and Savior. That point is debatable. I'm sure he wasn't expecting to be fried like that. That's kind of the fine print that they don't mention in the instruction manual." The shaman pointed to the charred copy of The New Testament for Dummies smoldering in the bin.

"Warning:" read the Shaman from the small print on the back cover. "Following these instructions too closely may lead to loss of friends you value and standing in your community. It may also lead to martyrdom with continued use. Use carefully."


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