Thursday, January 3, 2008

The Wisdom of Emo Phillips

While driving in to work this morning I was listening to the XM comedy channel. Emo Phillips came on and he was talking about god working in mysterious ways. He said:

"When I was a little boy I prayed to god for a new bicycle. I prayed every night but never got that new bike. So I changed tactics. I stole a bike and prayed for forgiveness."

Interesting approach, no?



Well I would say you would be more likely to get exactly the bike you want by stealing instead of relying on an old fart dressed in red to get it right. This should not be contrued, though, as condoning stealing or as an affront to the "spirit" of Santa Claus(maybe one of the best parts of the holiday season). And for your benefit, derf, this is all tongue-in-cheek and I detest the commericalism of the season as well(of which the "physical" Santa is a part).

csm said...

I think the legend of Santa Claus helps to keep the legend of Jesus/God going. To the mind of a youngster the evidence for Santa is great. The cookies get eaten and the toys show up!

And the parallels between Santa and god are numerous, too:
- omniscience
- rewards for good behavior
- punishment for bad behavior
- miracles (flying deer)

So if there is this guy named Santa Claus then it becomes easier to accept this nebulous ghost named god or Jesus.

Anyway, I want to share a "funny" little story from my youth. My brother and I are about a year apart in age. Now I don't remember exactly how old we were, but we both were doubting the reality of Santa Claus. We sat down and discussed it and came to the conclusion that he must be real. When my dad asked us why we thought that we told him "Because you and Mom aren't that nice to give us all those presents!"

He got quite a chuckle out of that. RIP Dad!

No one is truly completely dead as long as someone remembers them!



I guess it is a good thing most of us grow up and become adults. I guess I owe my parents more than I thought. I can see where you are coming from on the parallels between Santa and Christ, but I must say my parents always told us(my brother and I, he is about a year younger than myself also)they could care less how we believed and left us to make our own decisions on the matter. Kinda lucky, I guess.

csm said...

Oh, I didn't tell that story to rail against my parents. They were actually quite cool. My dad never believed in religion while my mom was a catholic and raised us catholic. She is not really a devoted Catholic any more and she knows my opinion on religion and accepts it. My Dad died in 1998 - right around christmas time. Later in life I discovered that he never really liked christmas but he always made it nice for my brother and me.


I may have posted this before, but my parents were a mixed lot. My mother was raised Catholic and my father Mormon. Neither of them ever picked up any religious tome as far as I can remember, almost never went to a religious establishment(the exception was one Midnight Mass when I was very small and that was just with my mother)and only used the name "Jesus Christ" when they were seeing red. I went to church(Baptist and Church of the Nazarene) a couple of times with childhood friends(my parents really didn't care how I formed my belief system), but I couldn't see it happening for me; and for that I am extremely grateful.

csm said...

Yikes! Nazarenes!

I actually went to a Nazarene service this christmas to watch one of my nieces sing. No way I'd go for any other reason.

Ceroill said...

Well, this is, of course based on the old principle of it being easier to beg forgiveness than ask permission, but given a twist.

I've long been an Emo fan. I think my two favorite bits from his older stuff are: "When I was 12 my parents moved to California; When I was 14 I found them..." And: "I went to Jerusalem to visit the Wailing Wall; And I felt really silly standing there with my harpoon..."

csm said...

Saw Gilbert Gottfried's Dirty Jokes special on Showtime this weekend and I can recommend it, too. Of course, ya gotta enjoy filth and ridiculousness. Here's an example:

A family sat down to breakfast, a mom, a dad, and their two sons. The mom asks the first son "What would you like for breakfast?" and he says "I'd like some fucking pancakes." The mother explodes shouting "what?" and slaps him and the dad takes off his belt and beats him. The mother turns to the other son and asks "what would you like for breakfast?" And he says "I sure as hell don't want the fucking pancakes!"

Of course, it loses something not being told by Gilbert...

Ceroill said...

I grew up in a Unitarian-Universalist church, and I have to say that I'm rather glad in some ways. When I was 13 our church school class went to various other kinds of church services over the course of the year, including a Roman Catholic Easter High Mass.
I was SOOOOOO bored! It was interesting in some ways, but the droning on and on and on in Latin was horribly sleep inducing for a young teen like me.

csm said...

I must be younger than you Bob. The Latin part of catholic mass was gone by the time I started attending services as a youth (late 60's). But let me tell ya, translating the Latin into English doesn't make it any less boring!

Ceroill said...

csm, this was the 70's and was an exception because it was Easter High Mass. This was the biggest Roman Catholic church in town, and I think twice a year, Christmas and Easter, they do the full old fashioned panoply with the procession of altar boys with crosses and incense thuribles, text read in Latin, the whole deal. A couple of years later I did take Latin in 9th and 10th grades, but at that time I was just BORED with it.