Crows and Those on Patios

by TerryWalstrom 11 Replies latest jw experiences

  • TerryWalstrom

    Crows and Those on Patios

    Location Exterior : The patio of Starbucks
    Time: 11 am
    Lou : Media / News analyst, religious fundamentalist
    Terry: Gadfly, writer /Crow apologist, big mouth know-it-all
    Edgar: Spawn of Satan

    Our scene begins with two men at separate tables working at their laptops.
    Lou is a man of about 60. He recently moved from New York to Texas to start his own Videography business.
    He is shooing flies away from his laptop screen with a disgusted expression.
    A few feet away, Terry begins waving his arms and scowling.


    Terry: Thanks. They all came over to me now!

    Lou: Oh, Sorry. Starbucks needs to provide flyswatters for people who sit out here.

    Terry: You’re obviously not a Republican Conservative!

    Lou: Um what? Actually--I am. Why do you say that?

    Terry: I’m being facetious. Conservatives preach personal responsibility rather than getting others to provide for them.

    Lou: Ahhh, I see. I see. That’s funny. Are you a Republican?

    Terry: You don’t want to know. Trust me.

    Lou: What--why not?

    Terry: It’s like asking Jack Nicholson to tell the truth on the witness stand.

    Lou: I’m sorry--I don’t understand.

    Terry: What did Nicholson answer when Tom Cruise asked him to tell the truth?

    Lou: (Blank expression)

    Terry: (Quoting Colonel Jessup in A Few Good Men) “You want the truth? You want the truth? You can’t handle the truth!

    Lou: (Face brightening. He ‘gets it’) Okaaay. Okaaay. Why though? I’m serious. Are you Liberal, then?

    Terry: There are two things civilized people don’t discuss. One is Politics and the other is --”

    Lou: (Jumping in) Religion! Haha, okay sorry. I understand. It’s just that I produce many religious videos and I’m a Website owner who provides commentary on news events with a biblical and Christian viewpoint.

    Terry: I’m sorry to hear that. That means it’s impossible for us to have a civilized conversation.

    Lou: You’re a pretty funny guy. What do you do?

    Terry: I write. Among the things I write are analyses debunking religious fundamentalism.

    Lou: Sure. Sure. No really. Do you write books or what?

    Terry: Books, blog essays, CD liner notes, Short stories, poems, bathroom graffiti.

    Lou: I don’t know when to take you seriously.

    Terry: Welcome to my ex-wives’ world!

    From offstage a crow flaps down onto the patio and begins foraging near the two characters. Terry opens his backpack and removes a bag of corn chips. He proceeds to toss them at the Edgar the crow with deadly accuracy.

    Lou: You two know each other?

    Terry: Let’s just say there is an interpersonal dynamic at play here. If I don’t feed him, there are consequences.

    Lou: Sounds like the Mafia!

    Terry: (Looking furtively left and right, raising his index finger to his lips) Sh-h-h-h. OMERTA!

    Lou: Haha. What kind of consequences?

    Terry: (Relates two blood-curdling tales of Crow payback.)

    Lou: Are you being serious?

    Terry: Keyser Soze with feathers--that’s what we’re dealing with here.

    Lou: (Clueless) I’m sorry?

    Terry: (Quoting Verbal Kint in the Usual Suspects) The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn't exist.

    Lou: I have performed actual exorcisms on people!

    Terry: Of course.

    Lou: You can hear another person’s voice coming out of the possessed. And when you finally liberate them, their voice changes and a great relief comes over their body.

    Terry: (Knows it’s time to go off the cliff) Is the voice coming from the person’s vocal chords or someplace else in the room?

    Lou: It’s the person’s vocal chords--but a foreign voice. Very frightening unless the power of Jesus Christ is there to protect you.

    Terry: (Sighing) I have a question about Demons.

    Lou: Sure, go ahead.

    Terry: How big are they? I mean--I’m guessing they must be fairly tiny for a bunch of them to fit inside a human. I’m thinking of the one in the book of Luke called LEGION.

    Lou: Beg your pardon?

    Terry: A Roman Legion was from three thousand to five thousand plus soldiers. That’s a lot of Demons to cram into a person!

    Lou: Uh--well. . . Nobody ever asked that before. You do realize they are Spirits, right?

    Terry: If I say the word “Chair” you know what I mean--but--you can’t point to “chair” you can only point to a particular instance of a chair. Right?

    Lou: Well. Um. There are spirits. God is a Spirit. They are real but. . .
    Terry: If something is real it exist with magnitude, number, dimension, size--or else--why give it a name identity and number? I’m just asking what the point in possessing a person is--getting inside them? Why cram inside like clowns in a Volkswagon?

    Lou: (Lost) Uh. Well.

    Terry: The difference between Science and Religion is the difference of thousands of years of Stages in human knowledge development. Right?

    1. Ignorance and Superstitions
    2. Religious myths
    3. Philosophy
    4. Scientific method
    5. Technology and modernity

    Demons are a part of mankind’s first efforts to understand phenomena without Science or the scientific method of testing and measuring. We now know a thing cannot actually exist if it is not measurable, quantifiable, and testable.

    Lou: You must believe in Evolution then, rather than the Bible.

    Terry: Belief is what you have when there are no facts or evidence available.

    Lou: Well, no--I wouldn’t say that. Where’d you get that idea?

    Terry: I used to read the Dictionary a lot. People have opinions they think are correct and if there are no facts or evidence--they are said to BELIEVE those opinions.

    Lou: I’m not talking about human opinions. I’m talking about God’s--in the Bible.

    Terry: Okay. I just have difficulty in the use of language when it is used chaotically.

    Lou: Who’s doing that?

    Terry: The Bible. Religious people. Words are important to me because I’m a writer.

    Lou: The Bible isn’t chaotic at all. The Holy Spirit helps us to understand. Without Holy Spirit, it does seem chaotic.

    Terry: There are about forty thousand Christian denominations praying for the Holy Spirit to teach them a non-chaotic truth. Which of those forty-thousand actually has that non-chaotic truth. I mean--I’m asking because they do not agree with each other about the specifics.

    Lou: God is in charge. He is teaching them through his Spirit.

    Terry: You know much more about this than I do. To my untutored mind, all those denominations disagreeing as they do gives the appearance of contradiction. But, how big did you say a Demon is?

    Lou: (Trying to figure out where he’s going) I--uh--well. Oh, I was saying: demons are Spirits and um---(lost in thought). . .

    Terry: Demons are Spirits and you’ve chosen to believe they are actual persons without any size who can fit inside a human--but it is necessary to extract them from doing so by a ritual of exorcism.

    Lou: Yes. I have performed exorcisms.

    Terry: Single occupancy or multiple occupancies?

    Lou: (Wheels turning) I. Guess. You. Well.

    Terry: Nevermind. It’s a belief and non-testable in any scientific sense.

    Lou: Well--you can measure the effects. You can prove Spirits by their effects.

    Terry: That’s like me saying to a Comedian--I’m not laughing, so you aren’t a Comedian.

    Lou: (Suddenly chuckling) That is funny. You are a funny guy.

    Terry: You see my point, then?

    Lou: Well, let me think about it.

    Terry: Is a Comedian funny if nobody laughs? It is a Philosophical question--not an existential one. The so-called ‘Effects” of Spirits is post-Hoc and not propter-Hoc.

    Lou: You’ve lost me. Post what?

    Terry: When I studied Debate in High School we were given a list of Logical Fallacies to learn. I remember the one called Post hoc ergo propter hoc .
    It doesn’t mean the AFTER was because of the thing BEFORE. I was describing your argument in terms of that Logical Fallacy.

    Lou: Whew! You are hard work to talk to!

    Terry: Colonel Jessup would agree with you.

    Lou: Um, haha, okay--okay.

    Terry: Let me tell you a little story about a cowpoke who was known throughout the Badlands as the most accurate shooter in all the land. Okay?

    Lou: I’m all ears.

    Terry: This fellow was called DeadEye Dick. He spent all day practicing shooting. At the end of the day, folks would come out of hiding. They saw targets--very tiny chalk circles barely larger than the bullet hole--hundreds of them and NO MISSES!
    That’s how DeadEye Dick got his legendary status.

    Lou: That’s pretty good shooting. But, so what?

    Terry: I’m getting to that. One day the town Blacksmith sneaks over to watch DeadEye shooting at the barn. Suddenly he smacks himself on the side of the head and exclaims “Awww Noooooo.” In town, that evening, he tells all the men in the Saloon what he saw.

    “We’ve been wrong all this time!”
    “Why is that, Smithy?”
    “He shoots a hole in the barn FIRST and draws the circle AFTERward.”

    Lou: (Thinking. Thinking.) Oh. OH, hahaha, that’s good. That’s good.

    Terry: If you assume a causal relationship when there isn’t one--your error is the result of being too literal about Cause and Effect and making connections which aren’t there.

    Edgar Crow appears again. This time, closer to Lou.

    Lou: I guess I better not feed him or I’ll incur a debt and end up like you.

    Terry: If only. If only.

    Lou: So, do you believe those Crow stories or not?

    Terry: I believe what I’ve seen. The other stuff is opinion, scuttlebutt, and hearsay.

    Lou: Do you believe in Evolution?

    Terry: We are going in a circle, you realize?

    Lou: I guess I missed your answer.

    Terry: I accept the evidence of Science to the exclusion of the opinions of Genesis.

    Lou: The Bible is an infallible source of truth.

    Terry: Did God create Eve by taking Adam’s rib from his side or is that a legend?

    Lou: Fact.

    Terry: Then it was really Adam’s actual rib?

    Lou: That’s what the Bible says. Yes. It is a fact.

    Terry: That would mean Eve was created by cloning and was, in fact, a duplicate Clone of Adam--and therefore, a man!

    Lou: Wuh-wuh-wait a minute--no it doesn’t?

    Terry: That’s okay. If the story is just a made up story you can’t expect ancient writers and storytellers to know about DNA. But--if it is the infallible word of God--you’ve got a problem!

    Lou: Eve was a Woman--not a man. That’s proof she wasn’t a Clone.

    Terry: Which came first, the rib or the woman?

    Lou: The rib--but what--?

    Terry: Adam was a male. His rib contained his chromosomes and DNA. If they didn’t, Adam was a woman too.

    Lou: I--I, that’s. . .God could miraculously change Adam’s DNA into female DNA.

    Terry: The Bible is literally correct?

    Lou: Infallibly correct. Yes.

    Terry: How many animals does the Bible say Noah placed on the Ark?

    Lou: Two of each kind.

    Terry: It also says Seven pairs of each clean animal and one pair of each unclean animal. Which statement is factually true?

    Lou: Oh. Well. That’s--it’s a matter of perspective.

    Terry: If you’re renting out a one bedroom apartment and 14 people show up instead of two--is it a matter of perspective or room capacity?

    Lou: Hahaha. You’re pretty funny. I enjoy talking to you. I have to go now--I’ve got an appointment. Here’s my business card. I’m sure I’ll see you around.

    Terry: My pleasure. Oh--don’t forget your crow!


    End Scene

  • truth_b_known

    That's pretty awesome and quite an accurate portrayal. I had an experience very similar. Only it was the Great Flood and no crows.

  • TerryWalstrom

    This guy Lou gave me his business card and I've been watching his videos.
    There is something so naive and smug about people in his capacity who are ignorant of so many facts and yet so certain the KNOW.

  • Listener

    He kept saying you were a funny guy. I get the feeling that this was just an attempt in his own mind to not take you seriously or to consider that what you were saying were just amusing tales.

    I like Lou, he was prepared to ask questions.

  • TerryWalstrom

    Lou is his own worst enemy. Being uninformed is killing his intellectual capacity to live in the real world. From the time he was in grade school he's been fighting against science.
    On the dark side of things, he's actively engaged in disseminating religious bullshit using media effectively.

    That idea--Lucifer created the dinosaurs--Wow!

  • truth_b_known

    That line of thinking has been heard in the evil empire - Satan and his demons created dinosaur bones to make humans question the Bible's timeline.

    That would mean Jehovah let them do it. He won't let them re-materialize like prior to the flood, but make all the fossils you want.

  • OnTheWayOut

    Terry, you are basically being just like a Jehovah's Witness in this conversation.
    You are focused on one-upping so fast that he can't keep up. It is more important to you to show him up than to actually help him see your point of view.

    To each his own.

  • TerryWalstrom

    On the way out: You are focused on one-upping so fast that he can't keep up. It is more important to you to show him up than to actually help him see your point of view.


    I omitted most of the chat we had about Evolution.
    When I told him Humans didn't evolve from apes he insisted I was being dishonest. He was sure he knew exactly what Evolution is and I tried to tell him he had been misinformed because he only read Creation apologists.It was at the point in the conversation when he said he felt sorry for me. (Meaning he "knew" I was lying about what Evolution really teaches but didn't want to admit it.) Right then and there, I decided I'd not waste my time reasoning with him patiently.

    I got progressively dismissive as we went along. I wish I could say I'm sorry I did--but he was not interested in a neutral examination of ideas.

    I've watched some "interviews" with him. He thinks (or says) God spoke to him when he was young and has been "informing" him sort of like Pastor Russell, as a "mouthpiece."
    I guess I'm not cut out for a meek, mild-tempered discussion with him any more than he is able to talk to the sort of person I am.

    I e-mailed him a short video on Misconceptions about Evolution earlier today.
    I'll bet he doesn't watch it. I also bet I'll get a long, long set of links giving me the lowdown on his "revealed" truth.

    Such is life at Starbucks :)

  • TerryWalstrom

    As a follow-up to the the text, here is the latest.

    I wrote the following e-mail to Lou.


    ubject: ATTENTION: Lou Comunale

    Hey Lou--

    I'm probably wasting my time and yours sending this to you--but, on the outside chance you'd like a visual and audio
    explanation of why I said the things I said at Starbucks the other day--here it is.
    A quick 9-minute explanation of misconceptions.

    Religious people get their "Evolution" information from the wrong sources (other religious people.)

    Do a quick Google search on "Did man evolve from Apes?" you'll quickly see how scientists do NOT say or teach this--only religious people who misunderstand and misrepresent the facts.

    Anyway, like I said to you--I've never met a Creationist interested in the facts direct from Scientists, but you might well be the intellectually honest guy who does.

    This short video (above) explains those charts, too.



    Today I received this reply:


    Hi Terry,

    Thanks for the video, which I watched entirely. I would say that the video simply points out the changing positions of evolutionists and is not at all a reflection of a creationist's viewpoint of evolution.

    Creationists never came up with the evolutionary chart, but proponents of evolution have.

    And if evolutionists decide to change their viewpoints, they are debating among themselves. It has nothing to do with Creationists.

    I enjoyed our little chat the other day. Be blessed.

  • BluesBrother

    A good read, as ever Terry. An interesting thought about Adam's rib... Hmmm.

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