“I am not your father,” said Redwine. “Rather call me brother. But I am not your brother. Rather call me son. But I am not your son. Rather call me a dog. But I am not your dog. Rather call me a flea on your dog. But I am not a flea. Rather call me a germ on a flea on your dog. As a germ on a flea on your dog, I am eager to serve you in any way I can, just as you are willing to serve God Almighty, Creator of the Universe.”
“O Lord Most High, Creator of the Cosmos, Spinner of Galaxies, Soul of Electromagnetic Waves, Inhaler and Exhaler of Inconceivable Volumes of Vacuum, Spitter of Fire and Rock, Trifler with Millennia – what could we do for Thee that Thou couldst not do for Thyself one octillion times better? Nothing. What could we do or say that could possibly interest Thee? Nothing.”
“Oh, Mankind, rejoice in the apathy of our Creator, for it makes us free and truthful and dignified at last. No longer can a fool like Malachi Constant point to a ridiculous accident of good luck and say, ‘Somebody up there likes me.’ And no longer can a tyrant say, ‘God wants this or that to happen, and anybody who doesn’t help this or that to happen is against God.’ O Lord Most High, what a glorious weapon is Thy Apathy, for we have unsheathed it, have thrust and slashed mightily with it, and the claptrap that has so often enslaved us or driven us into the madhouse lies slain!”- THE REVEREND C. HORNER REDWINE
Kurt Vonnegut, The Sirens of Titan
By now, anybody who’d be interested in reading this blog probably has heard of the death of author Kurt Vonnegut. I was not a huge fan, and I’m sure that others have written – or will be writing – more eloquent soliloquies than I, a casual reader.
I was just out of high school when a college friend gave me a copy of The Sirens of Titan. I read it. And again. And again. I must have read that book five times, each time gleaning a little more, and each time wondering if I were missing some hidden meaning. It took me all that time before I really noticed the “quote” from Rev. C. Horner Redwine, about 2/3 of the way through the book, and my eighteen year old mind nearly exploded. It was, to me, a fantastic concept, somewhere between religion and atheism. A God that doesn’t need men to do His work? Amazing!
Why do I bring this up? Because there is a synchronicity (not to be confused with a Chrono-Synclastic Infundibulum) in that one of my Masonic brothers has a discussion going on in which he quotes yet another esteemed author from the Sci-Fi genre, Robert Heinlein, and introduces a concept not unlike the one that prefaces this blog article.
“The most preposterous notion that H. sapiens have ever dreamed up is that the Lord God of Creation, Shaper and Ruler of all the Universes, wants the saccharine adoration of His creatures, can be swayed by their prayers, and becomes petulant if He does not receive this flattery. Yet this absurd fantasy, without a shred of evidence to bolster it, pays all the expenses of the oldest, largest, and least productive industry in all history.” — Robert A. Heinlein in Time Enough for Love.
Widow’s Son replied with this because of a recent spate of posts from religious fundamentalists (all of them seeming to be of some brand of the Christian faith) who for some unknown reason believe that the best place to make their views known about Masonry would be on a blog authored by a Mason. Actually, I’m writing all of them, but it’s quite possible that it’s the same person. Some of those opposed to the fraternity seem to believe that they should use any means possible, even morally wrong ones, to achieve their goal of promoting goodness.
Perhaps a sign of my own naivete, I’m always taken aback when somebody suggests that my belonging to an organization that promotes tolerance for those of different faiths is not only misguided, but is actually making me a tool of evil.
I don’t know what the anonymous commentators who feel the need to prevaricate about Freemasonry are trying to accomplish. Scaring me? Spreading the Good Word by showing me their virtue and morality? Leading me to the path of righteousness by demonstrating their ethical behavior?
I never know quite what to say to accusations that some demon hijacks my prayers, as if it were as easy to steal as cable tv. But now, thanks to Rev. Redwine, I know how to respond to those who believe that only their own particular, narrow-minded interpretation of ancient scriptures.
For that, God Bless You, Mr. Vonnegut.