I am partnering up with Brian on this here blog, a grand little adventure! I still think of it primarily as HIS blog, however, mainly because I would never have named my blog "incertus."

Imperatrix, now that's what I'd have named it. Grrrowl.

Now that there's two of us, it really should be "incerti," but this doesn't improve the pun in English, "insert us." (So next time I tell someone to shove it up a crevasse, such a one has a ready reply.)

Last night, at about 4am, I lay in bed waiting for the vicodin, ibuprofin, and ice to resolve into a sleep-permitting cure for my INSANE wisdom-tooth-related pain (PAIN) -- when my mind wandered onto the subject of the human body's various flaws and the (previously quoted here) theory of UNintelligent design (or was it "idiotic design"? I can't recall): the observation that our bodies are so prone to failure, flaw, and pain, that to thrust the responsibility for this mess onto a creator does no favors to that creator's reputation.

My nephew passed away two weeks ago, and I strangely found myself, as though brutally transported, in the front pew of a Catholic cemetery chapel, listening to a Deacon whose own child of 8 had died 22 years ago, meaning that she would have been, had she lived, a woman of my age now. The Deacon implied that it was the loss of his child that brought him to a life of faith, into the Church. Again and again he emphasized, "Payton is not gone; only his body has died, but he was not his body; you will be reunited in Heaven, where he has surely gone, as he died young and was unsullied by sin."

The Deacon doth protest too much, methinks.

I think this Deacon was blowing smoke up our collective asses: My understanding of Catholic dogma is that unbaptized babes do not get a free pass to "Heaven." More than that, though, I am not Catholic, and I don't buy this life-after-death stuff at all. Sure, it would be convenient if there were some afterlife to sap the anxiety from the most anxiety-producing fact of being alive. A little TOO convenient.

Never has religious rhetoric been so blatantly empty and offensive to my ear. I just want to love and remember my nephew. But NEVER has religous rhetoric been so empty and offensive to my ear.

Payton was born with two copies of a flaw in his genes. I carry ONE copy. He had TWO. You can "blah-blah" about creation and afterlife all you want, but that's the truth: I carry one, he carried two, and so he couldn't move or smile or talk or eat for his 5 short years of life. He got 5 years from chance: my sister noticed the second he stopped breathing. Had he been napping in his crib when it happened, Payton would have been just another SIDS baby, gone at three months old. Chance. Einstein said, "God doesn't play dice." From where I'm sitting I don't think "He" does a damn thing.

But here's the thing: Chance can be beautiful. Chaos can be lively. Randomness breeds novelty and novelty is neat. What makes a sun-rise special is that it does not last. What makes a clear day joyful is the memory of pain. Without the bad in life, without the END of life, we'd never know happiness or love or the ecstasy of LIVING. What gives our lives MEANING are the dangers and time-limits.

These religious believers sap the soul from us. Their eternity is un-being. I'd rather LIVE briefly than forever "be alive." Nothing incertus about that, my friend. On this, I am positive.

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