The Parable of the Leprechaun Test

10 TRAITS OF THE LEPRECHAUN

If you read through this list and find that most or all of these traits parallel your own, then there is a good chance that you (or at the very least: your ancestors) may be an honest to god Leprechaun.  May the Luck of the Emerald Isle be with ye.

  1. Leprechauns have a propensity towards all things golden.  If someone handed you a golden coin, told you to keep it and you experience feelings of happiness because of their golden gift…then you may be a leprechaun.

 

  1. Leprechauns are fond of the color green.  Look around you now.  Can you see the color green, if you can then you may have been drawn to that location by the alluring tendrils of that object’s emerald aura, and …you might be a leprechaun.

 

  1. Leprechauns wear a wide range of clothing during their lifespan (favoring naturally the color green, but their wardrobe is not exclusive.)  Thinking back over your life, consider whether the type, color or size of your clothing has ever changed over the years.  More especially try to identify if at any point you may have worn clothing that could now be considered “tiny.”  If you can…then you may be a leprechaun.

 

  1. Leprechauns are drawn inexplicably to rainbows, and all things refracted.  If you have ever looked up to the skies and seen a rainbow without it being pointed out to you…then you might be a leprechaun.

 

  1. Leprechauns become increasingly protective of their stash of gold the larger it becomes, often hiding it in holes, hollow trees, and vaults.  If you have ever stored your money for safe keeping ( say for example in a bank or a sock drawer)…then you may be a leprechaun.

 

  1. Leprechauns come out of the womb with little bowler hats on their newly born heads.  They are crazy about hats.  If you have ever worn a hot, noticed other people wearing hats, or even thought about hats (particularly bowler hats)…then you might be a leprechaun.

 

7. Leprechauns favor beef and mead not only at feast time, but also during lunch and supper.  Less well known, however, is their love of bread.  Ever had a sandwich?  A roll?  Pizza, tortilla, mini loaf, pita, flat bread? A hamburger, breadstick, a  cinnamon roll?  Ever had a piece of toast?  Chances are…you may be a leprechaun.

 

  1. Leprechauns are constantly aware of their surroundings, they vigilantly observe all of the sights and sounds around them, wary to be caught .  If you have eyes or ears, or have ever played a game of tag…then you might be a leprechaun.

 

  1. Leprechauns, when properly trained, can be powerful wielders of magical and arcane powers.  If you have ever hoped in, waited for gifts from, or told your children stories about magical creatures, people or objects…then you may be a leprechaun.

 

And the final and greatest measure of whether you may be a Leprechaun:

 

10.  Leprechauns are real.  If you are real…then, hot damn, you might be a leprechaun.

 

I hope this list helps all those of you who may have gone through life up until now uncertain of your mystical heritage.  And to all of my new Leprechaun kin I say:  “Heya!  What’s the craic?  And Welcome to the clan!”

The Math of Creation Doesn’t Compute

The bible says God took 6 days to make the earth. Now for the believer reading this before you start polishing up your metaphorical sword1  to do battle on the topic, hold on a sec ’cause the Fridge already knows what you’re thinking.

A day isn’t really a day right? It is some sort of span of time, could mean years, thousands of years or even millennia of millennia. Your argument is a day is just a period relative to God’s point of view. 2 We aren’t really sure how long it is because we don’t measure time the same way God does. The beauty of this metaphor is that the person that it helps the scientifically minded still believe, you know the type, happy with the fact science gave us things like computers, medicine and Facebook. They like to think of God as the kind of guy that uses the physical reality to accomplish his whims, only resorting to magical God power when no one can actually measure it. You know, to keep faith relevant and all that. 3 But I digress.

Let’s say a God day is whatever length you want it to be. You decide. Because no matter how long you make it, the math of the creation story doesn’t make any sense. Let me explain why.

In the bible God took 3 days to make the earth and only one day to make the stars. 3 days for this little old rock we all live on was 3 times as long as he spent working on all the rest of creation. And there are a lot of stars out there.  About 10^24 of them, that is 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 stars, a septillion and that is the low side estimate based on what we can actually see with telescopes these days.

Even if you don’t count the fact we are discovering planets around all those starts out there4 it’s still a lot of stuff!

Lets make it into a story problem, yeah I know you probably hated story problems, but trust me this is fun.

First the basic facts:

  • Time to make earth = 3x (or eons if you will)
  • Time to make the stars = 1x
  • Mass of earth relative to the sun 1/333,000 solar masses.

 

That means just in stars alone there is (330,000 * 10,000,000,000,000,000,000,000) or 330,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 times as much stuff as there is in the earth… and it still took 3 times longer to make the earth?

It is not only illogical, it’s stupidly illogical.

It is like saying it takes you 3 times longer to individually place 1 grain of sand than to individually place all the grains of sand on the entire planet…times 5.

My point is if you do the algebra it doesn’t matter how long the creation periods are, it still doesn’t make sense. It would absurd to insist otherwise.

Maybe I can spill forth the light of the Fridge in another way. Lets assume for a minute that the universe is as old as science currently says. Call it 13.8 billion years. We divide that by 6 (because there were 6 periods of construction) that means each ‘day’ would be 2.3 billion years long. Now if God were making all the stars in one ‘day’ as the bible said, God was making 5 billion stars every second of every day for 2.3 billion years. 

Now sure you can say God is really good at making stuff, he is God after all. But then you have to ask the question, if God can make 5 billion stars every second, then why did he need 6.9 billion years to make the earth?

Still think it makes sense? The Fridge inspired me to do a little more math to help you grasp the concept.

Lets assume all the stars are much, much tinier that our sun. For a moment say you could hold one in your hand. If every star was a 1 inch marble in size, all of them piled together would be about 100 times larger than the earth. Even if all the stars in the visible universe 5 were the size of a shooter marble it would take 1 day to make something 100 times bigger that the thing that took 3 days to make. Even when you do something as absurd as shrinking the size of stars down to marbles, it still doesn’t make sense. Not even remotely.

Here is the thing though, to the shepherds and priests and old guys looking up at the stars without a Hubble telescope the stars were just tiny dots. They looked pinholes in a curtain that they had named heaven. They didn’t have things like GPS and astronomy or even a crappie telescope when they were writing the bible  so you can’t really fault them. They were just trying to make sense of the world with the best tools they had at their disposal in their day and age, plus they liked telling stories around the campfire.

The roots of religion are about discovering truth, human nature however has a tendency to twist ideas into dogma over time. Science has picked up the bastar math memenner of truth discovery that religion started and taken it much, much farther. It does this by finding ways to get past our natural tendency to create dogma from something that sounds plausible and figure out ways to prove it is right. In both cases our desire is truth, it is only the method that changes.

 

And just because a little math might actually disrupt some of our deepest convictions, doesn’t mean we can’t still enjoy telling a good story around the campfire.

 

camp truth

 

  1. if you like double entendre as much as I, please share this post to further the work of spreading irony and gospel of to all that will perchance hear and stare into their own Fridges in search of truth
  2. Ole Holy Joe Smith told us in the PoGP that each God day was 1000 years, which puts Adam and Eve 2000 years before noah and making all sorts of cool numerological assumptions implying the earth would end 6000 years after creation and fit in nicely with a Sunday coming up on the weekend for that 1000 years of millennial peace.
  3. Metaphorical interpretation of the bible helps you to keep the metaphorical shelf up! Ironic, isn’t it 🙂
  4. Really you want me to add that in the calculation? I’m be a math nerd but even for me too much math only gives you headaches, so lets just say this is a low side estimate and agree any additional material only enhances my point. So we will just toss out the fact the universe is probably 3 times larger than what we observe as well as all the planets and non star stuff
  5. Remember the estimated known universe is still at least three times larger in volume than the visible universe, which because it is volume would make it 9 times as many stars on average

Knowledge is a Sin

Knowledge is a sin, an unforgivable one at that. Think about it for a minute, what was Eve’s sin? She ate of the fruit of knowledge. She learned something. For that unauthorized learning she was condemned to the pain of childbirth and made subservient to man.

It was such a big screw up that in some religions we all were saddled with it forever, others just kept the woman subservient to man part. Either way both Eve and Adam were condemned to die and kicked out of their happy place because they had gained knowledge.
Fast forward to today’s religions, for the most part none of them want you learning the dirty secrets of their pasts, if you do you are told to shut up, don’t talk about that, if you do talk about it you are just another angry apostate. Funny thing about being an apostate, it means you were once a believer, as a believer you had knowledge that your church was true, that much knowing is just fine! Go further though and discover more light and knowledge that the rousing spiritual experiences that gave you that confirmation of truth feel exactly the same as an MLM rally, well that’s too much knowledge again. Deny your previous assertion that you had a witness and call it false, that is the worst knowledge you can have.

You see, the worst thing you can ever know is that your were fooled. If you discover that knowledge there is no going back. One you’ve seen behind the curtain and you know Oz is just a man you can’t un-know it. You can repent of any other mistake in the book, you can feel real guilt and shame and beg for forgiveness for adultery and for stealing, even killing and for lying. But how do you feel guilt for discovering they were lying to you? How do you repent for catching Oz in the act of pulling the levers and pretending to be the wizard?

Maybe that is exactly why knowledge is a sin, the ultimate sin, for it causes heaven and hell to cease to exist. It makes the magic evaporate and the wonder disappear. That magic and wonder is so precious that people are willing to lie to preserve it. They are willing to justify horrible deeds and actions in examples of logical spaghetti that would impress even the FSM.1

The knowledge that the moral authority in your life really doesn’t have a leg to stand on is unforgivable by that authority. It really is. Because once you know it is a fraud, once you deny the truth you once knew as an illusion, you also dispel the illusion that the religious authority that had the ability to forgive you never really had that right at all. That institution ceases to have any hold over you, and thus any attempt by it to grant you forgiveness is pointless.

 

Is too much knowledge a sin? Sure is. Because the greatest sin you can commit in any religion is the sin of disbelief.

athiest
  1. The Flying Spaghetti Monster, the Fridge’s biggest competition for followers 🙂

Mom’s Hand

 

Mom’s Hand

 

baby_hand

Your hand held a tiny hand as I began my life on earth.
Little did I know then, what your guidance would be worth.

You lead me from that very moment, taking me by the hand.
Here I list the things you taught me to be man I am.

How to laugh, how to cry,
How to talk, how to read,
How to run, how to jump, how to play.

How to dare to do right.
How to repent when wrong.
How to live, how to study, how to pray

How to be tough when it hurt so badly.
How to cheer someone up who is sad.
How to deal with Dad, when he was mad.

How to clean my room (it took 30 years)
How to make a mess (took no time at all)
How to help, how to care, how to love.

How to win with compassion,
How to lose, gracefully.
How to listen, how to learn, how to live.

How to stand up for what I believe in,
How to tolerate others beliefs.
How to question, how to trust, how to teach.

First how to follow, then how to lead.

Mother, you have given me so much that I can never repay you.
But I soon realized, there is at least, one small thing I can do.

My hand holds a tiny little hand as your grandson starts his turn on earth,
And I begin to teach my child every thing I learned from you. 1

 

 

  1. Written two decades ago on the eve of mothers day just a few months after the birth of my own son, I decided to share it with a significantly wider audience than it has seen until now and hope it helps you appreciate the mom’s in your life as much as I appreciate those in mine.

Leaving Gilligan’s Island

People do not knowingly join “cults” that will ultimately destroy and kill them. People join self-help groups, churches, political movements, college campus dinner socials, and the like, in an effort to be a part of something larger than themselves. It is mostly the innocent and naive who find themselves entrapped. In their openhearted endeavor to find meaning in their lives, they walk blindly into the promise of ultimate answers and a higher purpose. It is usually only gradually that a group turns into or reveals itself as a cult, becomes malignant, but by then it is often too late. When your own thoughts are forbidden, when your questions are not allowed and our doubts are punished, when contacts with friendships outside of the organization are censored, we are being abused, for the ends never justify the means.

When our heart aches knowing we have made friendships and secret attachments that will be forever forbidden if we leave, we are in danger. When we consider staying in a group because we cannot bear the loss, disappointment and sorrow our leaving will cause for ourselves and those we have come to love, we are in a cult… If there is any lesson to be learned it is that an ideal can never be brought about by fear, abuse, and the threat of retribution. When family and friends are used as a weapon in order to force us to stay in an organization, something has gone terribly wrong. “― Deborah Layton, Seductive Poison: A Jonestown Survivor’s Story of Life and Death in the People’s Temple

Some of the 912 dead in Jonestown Guyana

Family Reunions seem to send me into a tailspin every year and then I have some recovery months where I almost forget the nauseating pain that inevitably comes with trying to interact appropriately with my LDS family. When I leave any LDS gathering  I get the impression of leaving the Twilight Zone with the music of Deliverance in the background and the cast of Gilligan’s Island, all fading into the 1960s.

When I was a young girl we did not own a working television for most of my youth. I had heard a lot of hub bub about the television series Gilligan’s Island, but hadn’t yet seen it. So in second grade I determined to do what it took to see the show. I pretended to fancy the perpetual nose miner kid from up the road and eventually he invited me over after school. Sure enough Gilligan’s Island was on, only by this time it was in re-runs. I saw an episode where Gilligan tries to fly off the island with some palm tree fronds and the Skipper ends up swatting him with his hat. The other characters play their typical lines and roles and it was funny, the first time. A week or so later I decided to see it again and after working my feminine wiles on the nose miner he invited me over again. Sure enough, it was a re-run of the re-run that I’d already seen but I didn’t know about re-runs so thought that that one episode was what the whole show was, day after day, week after week, year after year. Even in second grade I could deduce that the fans of Gilligan’s Island were complete idiots and that Gilligan and friends would never possess the collective intellect to escape the island.

Gilligans_island_small

By the time I was thirteen I’d been to the LDS church enough that it was obvious every episode was a re-run of a re-run and I knew that the funky band of buffoons would never get off the island. If there was anything that didn’t fit or make the island look like paradise they would put it under a big smelly rug and place a table and lamp on top and we’d all pretend there was nothing nasty to smell or see oozing out from underneath the rug. It became an exercise in survival and I found some solace in the silliness of the characters and foolish simplistic plots. It got weirder when I became an adult and got roped into the temple experience and then a lifetime of mindless busy work while my kids were little kept me from really examining the plotless writing, the shallow characters, the trite lines and predictable scenarios year after year. I just went along and when I’d find some garbage I’d tuck it under the rug with the other refuse and skeletons and wretched shameful detritus of the islanders.

By the time I was in my 30’s I had outgrown the church and was feeling the suffocation of going along, saying the same lines, wearing the Mary Ann costume, baking pies, never having good sex, and pretending the Professor was interesting or powerful. Besides, Gilligan and The Skipper were always bungling things up and that damn Ginger was always getting all the attention with her bodacious ta tas. The Howells were completely useless.

I tried to convince my family that there was something far off in the mist away from the island that looked really promising and if we could just brave the unknown a bit we could see if there was more to life than an artificial desolate island with very limited intellectual food. I wanted a better show but everyone around me, including my own children liked Gilligan’s Island and if I was going to leave the island it would have to be without them. I knew I would miss them terribly but I wanted to see what was on the horizon much more than the deadening security I felt by remaining on the island.

The only stuff I had to craft a raft from was a bunch of crappy wire hang-ups that were constantly getting all bunched up together and poking me in the ribs. So sadly waving goodbye to them I pushed off on my own. Sure enough, waves of poverty, loneliness, and fear washed over me and threatened to drown me but eventually I hit calm waters and began to paddle my way through the doldrums with the jawbone of a thesaurus I’d found floating nearby. I paddled and paddled and eventually the misty shadow on the horizon became more defined and interesting.

CastAway_raft_small

I could see that it was a huge colorful rich and wonderful world, but there would be perils and danger and cruelty and unpredictable things if I decided to land on those wide shores. I missed my family and what I’d known but the promise of the rest of the world and what it offered seemed so much more interesting and a place where I could truly become a whole new character. I took off the Mary Ann apron and found the costume of a liberal bohemian, complete with Birkenstocks, an oily paintbrush and gardening shears.

I tiptoed onto the big mainland, tepid, and afraid, and completely inexperienced with what it offered. I floundered and failed and made all the mistakes the characters on GI told me I would if I left the island. I was a cautionary tale for sure. But then I started to learn, to grow, to blossom and eventually to find that the mainland was actually a wonderful and continually fascinating place that could give me everything I’d ever imagined and more. I found true love. I found art, and history, and literature, and creativity around every corner. I found interesting people and beautiful architecture and places to go that I’d always been told were bad, scary and evil, but really were quite wonderful. I ate new food, saw new movies, listened to new music, met new friends and learned many new things.

Metropolitan museum of art

I still missed my family so much. I wanted them to know all the amazing things that abound on the mainland so I loaded my pockets with trinkets and images and got back on my raft of hang-ups and took my jawbone of a thesaurus and paddled way back across the doldrums and wild waves and through the mine laden island coast and came back to Gilligan’s Island. I showed all my trinkets and images and tried to regale my family with the wonders of what I’d seen and learned.

They shunned me, chastised me, marginalized me. They denied that my trinkets were evidence of a wonderful world outside the island. They chastised me for wanting to know more, for wondering, for questioning, for seeking. My mothering instincts and gifts became suspect. They pulled my children away from my influence and warned them of the evils of my trinkets and knowledge. Eventually they told me that if I wanted to stay on Gilligan’s Island I would have to pretend that I’d never seen anything new, learned anything, or been anywhere but on the island. If I couldn’t praise the island and the Professor and various silly characters and say my lines, wear my Mary Ann costume and just bake pies then I would have to leave.

I had to escape the island and go back to the mainland and again I found even more amazing trinkets and knowledge. I thought surely these would be enough to prove that there was more in the world and so after some time I rowed back to the island. This time they saw me coming and built a wall, laced the perimeter with hair trigger land mines and placed guards at the top of the wall. I could look through the gate and see my children and grandchildren and they could come to the gate and touch my fingers, but I could not embrace them without the guards shoving a sharp spear between us. I was not allowed to give them any of the gifts I’d brought. Eventually after days of trying different ways of presenting the gifts I knew that I had to leave again. I shoved off this time, sad that they would never leave the island and eventually they would be eaten by cannibals.

Easter Island

Maybe soon I can swim and make it without the raft of old rusty twisted hang-ups. I will keep the jawbone of a thesaurus. It’s served me well.

Magnify Your Boobs

Every now and again a piece of information I pick up connects with another bit of info in my brain and I have an epiphany. Honestly I have no idea if it is a real insight or just a bit of personal confirmation bias, but it does inspire me to write and even draw conclusions that may be correct or mean nothing at all. Either way I figure it might or might not help those that ponder the mysteries of the Fridge and at least occasionally enjoy the bacon kept fresh by the power of freon. Fortunately for me the goal of this church isn’t new converts or even to prove a particular vision is the right thing for humanity. The only goal if there is one other than the commandment to BE NICE is to cause you to ponder, maybe to reconsider how you have looked at things up till now. Shine a new light on an old idea, cast a different shadow, and think about your own process of thinking. In an effort to do just that, this Sunday’s sermon is about boobs.

Yep you heard me right, I want you to think about boobs. What do they represent? I think boobs preoccupy quite a bit of our lives, both for males and females. But why is that? An eighteen year old looks at a nice pair and thinks ‘wow, she’s hot!’ A one year old sees the same thing and thinks, ‘lunch!’ Of course media gives us all sorts of perfect visions and teaches us that size does apparently matter. Any mom will tell you by child number five that those poor things have taken a real beating as they were sacrificed to nourish their kids. It’s no wonder that breasts are both a symbol of sexuality and motherhood.

Enter this bit of info to cross my newsfeed. http://www.totalbeauty.com/content/blog/mormon-plastic-surgery It is an article dedicated a statistic that I hadn’t heard before. Mormon women get a lot of boob jobs. The thesis of the post is that it is a doctrine of perfection that is taught to young women in the church leads them to an outward effort to be pretty. I don’t think it is that simple. (in case you are wondering, this is where the epiphany occurred) I pondered this a bit in light of other thoughts I have had on women and the church, such as the concept that church makes you fat, and the idea the this religion steals female self confidence and ransoms it back for unquestioning obedience. Thoughts about the Ordain Women movement congealed with teachings of magnifying your priesthood and the idea that motherhood equals priesthood. See if you can follow along and share my insight.

Women are taught in the church that there are important male and female roles to play. This is where the your-a-mom-and-can-make-babies that equals the power-of-god-to-make-and-command-universes comes from. Consider what one of the 12 apostles of the church, M Russell Ballard has to say about it, quoted in this article from last April:

“Men and women, though spiritually equal, are entrusted with different but equally significant roles. … Men are given stewardship over the sacred ordinances of the priesthood. To women, God gives stewardship over bestowing and nurturing mortal life, including providing physical bodies for God’s spirit children and guiding those children toward a knowledge of gospel truths.1

Clearly the most important stewardship that a female carries in the church is that of mother. It is literally her God given calling in life. This is such an awesome thing that even in the temple God needs these girls to reign it in as this member pontificates is the whole point of women hearkening to men in the temple instead of God. I hadn’t really thought of this whole hearkening thing all that much2 until recently a female friend pointed out that in the Mormon church God has sons and daughters-in-law, because actual daughters would hearken directly to him. But I digress.

Does it really matter that the church spends so much time teaching the girls how important it is to honor the priesthood and not give equal lesson time to the boys about female power? In terms of this sermon, not so much. What does matter is that even the lessons on priesthood reinforce the importance of motherhood as their calling in life to the young women. As Audra declares this idea in this crowd sourced Mormon FAQ saying:

“As a young girl I remember asking my Mom out of simple curiosity why Women didn’t have the Priesthood. She told me an answer I have never forgotten. She immediately asked me why Men don’t have babies?”

Does it matter that the church teaches motherhood is a calling that is equal to any priesthood calling that the boys will ever get? I think so because all good mormons are supposed to magnify their callings. You heard me right, the girls are supposed to MAGNIFY their calling as mothers.

Is it any wonder why they would get a boob job now?

boobs meme

 

  1. “The Sacred Responsibilities of Parenthood,”Ensign, Mar. 2006, 29–30.
  2. probably because God blessed me with priesthood instead of boobs in my life