The born-agains at my school keep going on about this "intelligent design" stuff, and they get in these long arguments with our biology teacher, Mr. Melton. The poor old geezer nearly has an aneurysm every time it happens. I guess the point is, they think Darwin was a punk and Jesus made our DNA. Or something. If it wasn't so f-ing boring, I'd think it was funny. Anyway, what I noticed is that these are the same Bible-types who look like someone farted anytime we run into them in the park after school and offer them a joint. Hey, if every living thing was so intelligently designed, what'd God have in mind when he made ganja?
Very interesting question, Ethan. But remember what the Bible tells us: "The woman was given the two wings of the great eagle that she might fly from the serpent into the wilderness, to the place where she is to be nourished for a time, and times, and half a time." In other words, historians say there's little doubt that the people who wrote the Bible were high as a kite more often than not. And anything that was good enough for a bunch of strung-out desert philosophers ought to be good enough for your science-challenged friends. Tell 'em to spark that hooter, for God's sake.
Got a moral quandary? E-mail Jimmy at email@example.com.
God Help Us
Evangelical Christians today seem awfully eager to feel persecuted -- so eager, in fact, that they'll just make up shit.
One lie hitting the e-mail boxes of paranoid Christians asserts that witnesses in Jackson County courtrooms do not swear to God.
The author of this Internet hoax claims to be the daughter of a slain Raytown couple. Called to testify in court, the daughter says the bailiff neglected to say "so help me God" when she administered the oath. According to the account, when the daughter asked what happened to God, the bailiff merely said, "Do you?"
The story continues: "I replied yes, but I was perplexed. Then the judge said, 'You can say that if you want to.' I stopped, raised my right hand and finished with 'So help me God!' I told my son and daughter that when it came time for them to testify, they should do the same."
The writer of the story then says she wishes she had thought to exclaim, "Taking God out of the courtroom is only going to result in more criminals and more murderers like him being in there! I don't know what can be done about it, but it's time we stepped up and did something."
Well, put down your pitchfork, Jedidiah. God has not been kicked out of the courtroom.
Like all great lies, the story is grounded in truth, and in this case, it's a sad truth. John and Mildred Caylor, who owned a Christian bookstore in Raytown, were murdered last October, their throats cut in an apparent botched robbery. Using DNA testing, the police later linked the crime to a suspect, ex-con Kellen McKinney, who faces two counts of first-degree murder.
The Internet tale does not mention the Caylors by name; however, it is credited to the daughter of a murdered couple in Raytown who owned a Bible store on 63rd Street. The Caylors' shop was on East 63rd Street.
But according to press reports, the Caylors had three sons -- no daughter is mentioned.
And McKinney's trial has not been scheduled, let alone conducted.
Moreover, witnesses in Jackson County do swear to God, according to 16th Judicial Circuit spokeswoman Kelley Carpenter. "I have heard the urban legend, too," Carpenter says. "It isn't true."
The myth debunkers at snopes.com postulate that whoever wrote the bogus account presumed that if the crime were real, the exchange between the witness and the bailiff would be easier to believe.
Pretty sick way to make a point about American godlessness, don't you think?
Shot in the Bacchus
Three killer DJs. A First Friday scene to leach off. Great weather. The May 6 Bacchus Block Party had the potential to start the summer right and give the charitably minded nonprofit an event to rival its sweet Halloween party.
Instead, the party was crushed by an agent of the state liquor-control division, who showed up an hour before the 7 p.m. start time. The agent told organizers that they risked citation if they poured even one glass of wine inside the fenced-off parking lot at 20th Street and Walnut.
At first blush, we figured the state was trying to kill Kansas City's buzz. The state liquor-control folks have been portrayed as the heavies in an ongoing debate about how to deal with open containers and the like during the growing monthly party in the Crossroads District.
Bacchus Foundation President Mike Smoots didn't change our impression much, suggesting that the city had been "responsive" and that the state had implied consent before arriving to shut down the party. "Colorable," he called the state's permission, using a fancy legal term that must mean "we hoped no one would notice."
Turns out, if the state guy hadn't closed it down, the city would have. Judy Hadley, manager of liquor control for the city, said Bacchus organizers asked for a permit too late, and then didn't bother to come downtown to figure something out.
To their credit, Bacchus bigwigs scrambled. They got the Hereford House to open its banquet room. They gave away the beer and wine for free. They refunded all $6,000 or so worth of tickets sold in advance by Internet. And once organizers relocated the DJ setup from the parking lot to the banquet room, the party was legitimately packed with well-groomed 20-somethings for a couple of hours.
But the event that was expected to help raise $30,000 to buy a collapsible metal stage for the Heart of America Shakespeare Festival instead became a big money loser.
Also losing on the night was Rod Anderson's Hereford House, which may be cited for the three Bacchus partygoers who left the building toting their free drinks.
Now it can be revealed: Edgerton's Chris Croan won the Pitch's contest to count up all the apes in our special Kansas Monkey Trial issue of May 5. She'll receive Kansas City Zoo passes for two adults and two children. And the best part is, her kids can witness evolution up close.