The Dogma of Demonstration (1999)
by John Patrick Michael Murphy
Over 30 years ago, in between torts and contracts and tending bar, I ground my own mirror to make a telescope. With my scope and a star chart I would work my way around the heavens in those velvety black Wyoming skies. My little porthole into space gave me the staggers. I kept trying to visualize the size of everything - the speed of everything - and the space between everything. Think how fast we are moving! Here in Colorado, from the 37th to the 41st lines of latitude we are moving eastward at about 550 miles per hour. Down on the equator, folks are moving around at 1,000 miles per hour making sure our earth's girth gets back to where it started every 24 hours. Up North, the Inuit are traveling along at freeway speeds, and a fellow at the Pole would barely be moving at all, as the earth revolves around itself.
That is just the beginning. The Earth has to move, in revolution around the Sun, at about 69,000 mph at all times to keep the Sun from sucking us to cinders. That's not the end of it either. The Sun has even more speed - it carries itself, and our whole solar system of planets, comets, asteroids, moons and meteors around the Milky Way galaxy, at about 633,000 mph. Even at that speed it takes it 225,000 years to make just one revolution, or tour, of our own galaxy. If our solar system is 5 billion years old, we are on our 22,222nd revolution. It staggered me to realize everything one sees in the night sky is the Milky Way galaxy, except for five faint smudges that are our neighbor galaxies. In the Milky Way there are about 1,000,000,000,000 stars, all searing their way around it, with our Sun. The whole galaxy is tearing around through all that space we call space. There are about 1,000,000,000,000 galaxies in the universe, each with 1,000,000,000,000 stars which means there are about 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000, 000 stars out there.
Now, keeping that thought, we are asked to believe that out of the trillions of stars, in billions of galaxies - we were selected by the Lord God of the Whole Shebang, for experimentation.
We are asked to believe that this god, who made all this, perhaps 15,000,000,000 years ago, waited 14,999,994,000 years to try some experiments. First, he tried Adam and Eve, and they were a big flop. He drowned all of their descendants except for a family of eight. Next, god tried Kings and they screwed it up beyond recognition. Then Judges tried to make humans please the god who created them and they failed worse than Kings. So he tried Prophets and Howlers for a while, but they irritated him almost as bad as the Judges. Finally, about 3500 years ago, he tried the Jews. He did ungodly things to them like sticking them in the desert, and making them push around a deadly contraption, year, after year. Then, about 2,000 years ago, we are asked to believe, he gave up on the old deal he made and tried a new covenant. Now his plan is to save the few and endlessly torture the many. The horror all this mytheology has caused has been catalogued and indexed and ignored even as we enter the third millennium of the common era.
If church leaders would just admit their religions are of human origin, that they know nothing about gods and angels and devils and imps, and openly state they want to help folks in this world, that they want to be useful - then I'd find the best of them and join. I trust the dogma of demonstration to that of revelation.
"The Dogma of Demonstration" is copyright © 1999 by John Patrick Michael Murphy.
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