Despite a firm understanding that everyone embraces some sort of self-deceiving nonsense I still find myself amazed when the same people who reject Fundamentalism, that anti-intellectual belief that a supernatural power has revealed unquestionable, unchanging, eternal truths to the world via sacred text or direct manifestation, the self-same people who embrace Science and Empirical Data, none-the-less unabashedly place their faith in Astrology. I mean, really? Holy vaca, what deep kaka!
Do I believe in things unproven, unproveable and impenetrable? You bet! Me and Hughie Lewis, we both believe in the Power of Love, and I have a deep abiding Faith in a miasmic, amorphous, unrevealed Higher Power. My g-o-d may not be the G-o-d of Isaac and Abraham but I have Faith that we’re not here because things “just happen.”
Jabs against Fundamentalism aside, Christians credit Jesu Crista with writing a laundry list of sins Mortal and Venial in the sand. In the parable of Let he who is without sin cast the first stone (#John 8:7) Jesus saved an adulterous (Can one be a minorlous?) woman from being stoned to death when He stopped an angry mob from meting out a painful death to a woman who slipped, fell, and wound up with a square peg in her oval hole. Basically, J.C. is said to have given written permission to whomever was sinless to go ahead and step forth and begin pelting the woman to death. Fortunately for Madame Roundheels, nobody measured up to Jesus’ sin-free stoner prerequisite and she was set free, “To go and sin no more.” (There is no mention of punishment for the man who provided the earlier afore mentioned square peg.) (#Patriarchy)
Now, while I am as far from a believer in Scripture as the literal Word of God (#WOG) as a man can get, I credit that lifesaving sand-script to Jesus. You may think my miniscule faith in J.C. ludicrous but there is no one who walks the Earth that doesn’t have some WTF’s in their belfry. But ASTOLOGY?! OMG!
BTW- this parable is the only thing the Son of God (#SOG) is directly credited with writing. I guess He was too busy turning H2O to vino, cavorting with M&M (#Mary Magdalen) and eventually hanging out in excruciating circumstances.
I was reared in a home steeped in early Twentieth Century Roman Catholicism who believed in Saints, Sacraments, Salvation and…
…pluralism. Not for us children, but for those not privileged to be blessed with the Daro et Sanguis Christi.
Had I disparaged Hindu, Jew, Muslim or other religion I’d have been carted off to confession where I would have asked for absolution and performed the penance of reciting the priestly proscribed number of Our Fathers and Hail Marys in atonement for my sin. but ASTROLOGY? Nuh-uh, I don’t think so!
So it was that I found myself sitting at a bar with my recently made friend Yvette and her friends Mac and his wife Judy, a lovely couple heretofore unbeknownst to me. We’re humming along, sniffing proverbial butt (#SPB) and grooving to the music when dainty Dame Judy asks me, “So, what’s your sign?”
“No!” scream I. “No, no, no! Please, please say it’s not so!”
Mac and Judy look at me, glance toward one another and then again look to me before Judy asks, “I take it you’re not a believer in the arcane arts?” (Okay, okay. Judy chose words that were in no way as absurd as those I just put in her mouth but who’s telling this story?)
“Believe in astrology? Not a whit with any wit. My favorite astrology story involves a psych professor hell-bent on disproving the anti-intellectual star gazing as nothing but confirmation-bias circular soul-searching bunk.
“He had students in a big 100 level class provide him with the date, hour and location of their births and promised each of them a detailed, accurate, personal astrological reading.
“That’s what he promised but he gave everyone the exact same script. The individual reading was total bunkum and hoodoo. Everyone got their reading and they were told not to share their information with other students but to read what was written and compare the attributes listed to themselves.
“When he asked the class how closely they felt the reading reflected the student the positive correlation was incredibly high. On a scale of one to ten the median score the class assigned was a nine. These astrological readings were spot on!
“‘Good,’ the professor said. “’Now I have a confession to make. I did not do as I promised. No one created specific readings for you. You all got the same reading and the astrologer who created the reading was given the date, time and location for serial killer Ted Bundy’s birthday.
“‘Congratulations, you all think that you are either extremely like or exactly like one of the most notorious serial killers in US history.’
“So,” I continued, “instead of me telling you what my sign is and confirming your bias why don’t you tell me what my sign is?” I asked, a smug look on my homely mug.
“Well,” Judy replied after a moment of contemplation, “I’m going to say you’re definitely an Aries.”
To be an Aries one must be born between March 21st and April 19th. There are twelve astrological signs which means random chance gives Judy an 8% chance of guessing my sign correctly. I was born April nineteenth.
As I said, we all embrace some sort of self-deceiving nonsense. Continue reading