“Theology Lesson” / A Memorable Fancy #146

Once upon a time there were long and passionate arguments over whether the stones the holy men had set up were images of the gods, or were gods themselves. Two groups gradually formed, the Image-ists and the Themselv-ists.

Image-ists were implacably opposed to Themselv-ists, and vice versa. Contests were held in which priests of both sides prayed to the stones and waited to see if the stones would favor their group or the despised others.

The stones, however, perhaps wisely, revealed no preference, not striking down Image-ists as Themselv-ists had prayed, but also disappointing Themselv-ists by not destroying the Image-ists. As both sets of adherents carried knives and spears, each saw its followers dwindle in number.

Finally, one Saturn’s Day there appeared a scoffer, who said that the stones were just stones, neither images of the gods nor gods themselves. “A lump of dung,” the scoffer scoffed, “has as much claim to be god as a rock does.”

This is how the Scoff-ists came about, and why we worship shit to this day.

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