Episode 4: The Lies We Were Told in Church and the Public Fool System
I perched on the top of the slide, my eyes scanning the park incessantly, determined that this time I would see him approach. It was a vigil I’d been keeping since morning with only a few short breaks where I’d raced to the stone building with the universal signs depicting male and female above the doors. Once I had finished my business I’d peeked outside half-expecting him to be standing there. The anticipation had my heart racing and even knowing he could be outside waiting would not have stopped the startled thump in my breast had I spotted him.
There was no sign of him however, and the sun had reached its peak in the sky causing sweat to break out on my forehead. Earlier there had been a nice breeze but it had died down to nothing in the past hour and the water bottle I had last filled in the fountain nearly matched the temperature of the air, so not particularly refreshing.
“Where are you?” I thought, feeling slightly put-out. Maybe it was a mistake to watch for him like this, maybe not seeing him approach was one of the conditions of him making an appearance, like sleeping was a condition for Santa Claus. My lip twitched at the comparison, and I realized that the days I saw him were a bit like Christmas. I never knew exactly what I would get, but I knew I wanted what he had to give, and since I had last seen him six days ago, as was our pattern, last night I could hardly sleep with anticipation of the arrival of morning.
As I’d tossed and turned I’d thought about a vast array of ideas, but one in particular. Definitions. Since he’d told me about law books I’d decided to do a little research of my own and was startled by what I’d found, particularly when I landed on the word “must”. Now all of my life I’d thought this word was synonymous with “Have to”, since that’s what I’d been taught it meant…well not according to Black’s Law. Nope, apparently the word actually means may or may not. Talk about upside and down and backwards, I was beginning to question everything that came out of my mouth. I mean, if a whole population believes that a word means a certain thing then I guess for all intents and purposes it does, at least in regular conversation. But if I was understanding the whole thing correctly than if I were to go to court I would suddenly be in a foreign land where a foreign language was being spoken. I wanted to get the word out to people that they needed to bring a law dictionary with them, the same way I’d bring a Spanish/English dictionary when visiting Mexico.
I dropped down on the edge of the silvery slope of metal and sat poised as if to begin the slide as my mind turned these things over. I was completely lost in thought causing me to once again be taken off guard by my sneaky friend. My inadvertent shriek as his arms wrapped around me from behind and propelled me forward caused him to laugh in my ear as we shot to the bottom and dropped onto the sand. He grabbed one of my hands and hauled me to my feet as I swiped sand off my knees with the other, and when I looked up I gave him the most menacing glare I could muster…which must not have been all that intimidating since his laughter persisted as he tugged me over to a patch of grass and sat us down. He was still grinning and looked so happy with himself I had to give in and grin back.
“So what were you thinking about so intently?” He asked after a moment.
I told him and his lips curved in such a way I had the distinct impression he was pleased with his “student” and inwardly beamed. “But why do they change the language?” I asked him. “Is it so they can arrive at any outcome they feel like?”
His lips twisted into something that was distinctly displeased as he answered. “I’ve said before that fear is their ultimate weapon…imagine what would happen if people stopped being afraid. Would there be anarchy without the threat of prison hanging over our heads? How many people out there would actually go on killing sprees if this threat no longer existed? They want you to believe Most Everyone, but just think about all of the people you’ve met in your lifetime, how many are truly bad? How about in your current personal scope?” He shook his head slightly before continuing.
“They create criminals by making people feel helpless, hopeless, and powerless, through various forms of government and religion. God made me this way, only He can change me.” A look of irritation flashed across his face, “This mentality, this victim mentality, is at the root of most of our problems as a species. No one takes personal responsibility for anything. They lie to themselves, or at the very least they avoid facing the truth. And it’s encouraged by the powers that be, because a victim mentality is a slave mentality.”
He grew quiet and I chewed on my lip as I thought it over, “But because of the victim mentality there would be anarchy, wouldn’t there?” I asked tentatively.
He sighed. “Since the brainwashing goes so deep, the belief in their artificial system so engrained, if the rules suddenly disappeared there would be a period of lawlessness, yes. Those who have been made victims would lash out, such as prisoners going after guards and cops in retaliation, but give it time and I guarantee when the dust settled the majority would find peace, a true balance not the false one they’ve created with their laws and their guns and their cells.”
I frowned, “But what about the minority? What about the opportunists who would say “No consequences? Sweet! Then take a gun and rob a bank? What about them?”
He glanced at me with a look of such profound sadness I wanted to take it back. He stared off across the field and said softly, “And so the cycle begins again, with the few controlling the many through fear. Maybe this is why they portray Christ-the proclaimed prince of peace-as returning with a fiery sword.”
I stared into the field with him, both of us quiet for a moment. It was frustrating, so frustrating that he was right, that most people would likely want to live peacefully, but that I was also right and the few who didn’t would end up causing mayhem and dragging us all down with them. “I would think the Creator of all of this would wonder where he went wrong when he looked down at the incorrigibles.”
“Where did I go wrong?” He said softly and I looked at him sharply. He smiled. “If we are all a part of the creator, then as co-creator I would have to take responsibility wouldn’t I?”
My brows furrowed. Co-Creator. That rang true and I nodded slowly. “Me too then. But what do we do about it? If anything in the bible is true than two thousand years ago Christ chose example as his action…except the church has….distorted that too.” It was a sudden realization so I thought about it for a moment. “They’ve led people to believe that his example is in being a good citizen. Pay your debts, pay your taxes, obey your leaders because God put them there.” I shook my head, “There’s this chapter in Romans from the New Living translation of the bible where they take Paul’s words and change them… chapter thirteen I think…anyway when my dad read it during morning devotionals I thought, “Well that’s strange, that’s not what I thought it meant when I heard the King James version of it.” I didn’t say anything though, my parents are of the mind that the bible can’t be altered so every version must be true. Crazy huh?”
He shook his head, “No, not crazy, they’ve been told this by people they trust, pastors who are supposed to be Men of God. “Don’t question anything” is such a large part of the Christian faith and yet it was Christ himself who said “Be as a child”, and what do children do? Why? How?What if?, I mean come on, just spend two hours with any child and you’ll be bombarded by questions, at least until the Public Fool System beats it out of them…or drugs it out of them these days.”
“We don’t want critical thinkers, we want non-critically thinking taxpayers.” I reiterated words he’d spoken on the day we first met and he smiled at me, the sadness fading from his expression.
He stood up and held his hand out to help me up. He kept a hold of my hand and I felt a flush crawl up my neck from our close proximity coupled with the intent way he was looking at me. “Sometimes it all seems pointless,” he cocked his head to the side slightly, “but just when I begin to believe that, something gives me hope.”
He let go of my hand and tucked a lock of hair behind my ear, then leaned towards me slightly, “You’re biting your lip again.”
My face heated and he laughed before pivoting and walking towards the woods. I hurried after him, “Are you leaving?”
He glanced over, “Do you want to come with me?”
“Yes!” I said immediately then flushed again at how eager I’d sounded. He stopped and seemed to be debating something internally.
When he finally looked at me I knew by his expression what decision he’d come to and felt deflated. “Someday,” he said, “the timing just isn’t right.”
I nodded, trying not to look as disappointed as I felt. He leaned forward and kissed my forehead lightly, the heat from his mouth making me gasp.
He smiled once more before turning and I watched him stride off. I brought my hand to the spot where he’d pressed his lips and I could have sworn it still felt hot. Like a brand. Branded with a kiss, I thought. I laughed feeling both foolish and elated as I pivoted my own body and strode back across the playground to the slide.