TO: Militant Loonies on the “Christian Right”
FR: ACME Calendar Company
RE: Incorrect Calendars
CC: Family First Foundation; Dr. James Dobson; the Republican Party; Rev. Jerry Falwell; etc.
In a review of our files, we discovered that due to an oversight on our part, you were recently sent calendars that indicated the incorrect date. It is not 1305 A.D., but rather 2005 A.D. Please forgive our mistake.
In case this has caused some confusion on your part, please allow me to bring you up to date on the changes that have occurred over the last 700 years. My hope is that this information will be of use to you:
1. There was a major intellectual movement called “The Reformation” that began c. 1517. This movement, led by a German monk named Martin Luther, sought to make a person’s religious beliefs a private matter. It was a very successful movement.
2. In the 17th and 18th Centuries, another intellectual movement swept the educated classes in both Europe and America (North America was at that time colonized by Great Britain and France). This movement has come to be known as the “Enlightenment.” Great figures of this movement, like Voltaire, Montesquieue, Kant, D’Alembert, and others, advanced the theory that religion had no place in the public life of the state. A radical notion, I admit, but one that found popularity with many intelligent people. These people further argued that the rights and responsibilities of a nation’s citizens came from a written constitution based on reason and logic, and not The Bible. [Shocking, I know!]
3. There were two (yes, two!) revolutions that broke out in the wake of the Enlightenment, and were in fact guided by Enlightenment principles: the American Revolution (1775-1783), and the French Revolution (1789-1799; 1830; 1848). The leaders of these revolutions made the (scary!) decision to separate Church and State. I know this will come as news to you, but I hope that you are able to come to grips with this as soon as possible. What this meant was the citizens of the United States and France were allowed to believe in any religion – or NO religion! — that they saw fit. These revolutionaries believed that human beings had the right to decide for themselves the nature of “God”. A stunning change, but — trust me on this — an important one.
4. One other significant scientific advance that appeared in the 19th century was something called “evolution.” Now, this might sound crazy, but this well-supported theory argues that life on earth developed over millions of years. The Earth is not, as you might believe, 6,000 years old. It is far older. Although never mentioned in The Bible, there were in fact very large creatures called dinosaurs that once roamed the Earth. Unfortunately, they did not survive. The good news is that creatures called mammals did, and all signs point to the fact that human beings evolved from early mammals. Oh, and it seems that a lot of The Bible is, in fact, allegorical and not literal. Sorry. I think it even won a fiction award once, although I’ll have to check on that.
5. There is a growing body of evidence that homosexuality is biological and not a “choice made by sinners.” Just FYI.
I hope that this letter has cleared up any confusion brought on by our company sending you incorrect calendars. The Middle Ages have in fact ended. I hope that you are able to forgive our oversight on this matter.
With warmest regards for a very happy 21st Century,
The ACME Calendar Company.
P.S. Please shut the fuck up and stop bothering us with your radical, retro agenda! Thanks!