A year or so ago, we went to one of the smaller theaters and saw The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged).* The play is very funny and takes the concept of “out of context” to new heights
Until you read the daily news.
No matter the religion, it has become the practice of far too many people to choose one from column A and two from column B that match their personal druthers. It doesn’t matter if you’re speaking of the Bible (and my version/translation is right, and yours wrong), the Q’ran, the Torah, the Sutras, the Orange Catechism, Dianetics, or Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Mechanics. The outcome is the same.
“I like chapter 1, verse 9¾, and the footnote on page 672. I’m going to judge all other people in relation to these sections of my sacred scripture!”
Sorry, folks. It doesn’t work like that.
- We don’t understand other humans, much less any deity. For example, in college, an instructor might ask, “What did Plato mean when he said, ‘Love is a serious mental disease’?” The answer is, “No one knows for sure except Plato. The rest of us, including you, professor, are guessing.”
- The words of deities tend to be handed down orally for centuries before anyone takes the time to write it down. Now, as one who makes notes to myself, then can’t decipher what I wrote an hour later, my confidence in the accuracy of recording a 300-year-old quote is minimal.
- As the words get transcribed, errors creep in. Translations? Some languages just don’t have words to express certain thoughts.
- Given that we believe that deities are far beyond our comprehension, how can we also believe that each of us can speak with authority on our god’s behalf?
So, we hold up our sacred documents, pick the 3% of the text that agrees with us and with righteous indignation, expect the rest of the world to fall in line.
Maybe we should make this into a comedy performed by only three actors.
Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) (also known as The Compleat Wrks of Wllm Shkspr (Abridged)) is a play written by Adam Long, Daniel Singer, and Jess Winfield that parodies the plays of William Shakespeare with all of them being performed (in comically shortened or merged form) by only three actors.