<img src="http://www.theologyonline.com/TOL_beginning.gif" alt="TOL" border="0">On this, the tenth anniversary of TOL, and after numerous requests from faithful TOL alumni over the last decade, I have finally decided to reveal the true story of how it all began.
In the beginning…
No no no, not how matter, energy, and life began, but rather how TOL began. It isn’t as dramatic or grand a story as the creation of the universe, but it is a little strange, maybe even scary. In any case I think it is a story whose time has come to tell.
I was a fairly new Christian, having joined the faith just a few years before, as well as a husband and father of three. I worked as a Information Handling supervisor for U.S. West (which is a fancy way of saying that I oversaw the handling and preparation of special data), having worked my way up from the mail room.
The job was enjoyable (usually), but I did butt heads a few times with other supervisors during certain mandatory classes we (meaning my staff and I) were required to attend.
It was one of these classes, as well as the events that followed, which ignited the spark that would become TOL.
The class was titled “Cultural Diversity in the Vocation Spot” (it had originally been titled “Cultural Diversity in the Work Force” but someone complained the word “Work” denigrated the unemployed, and that “Force” was a violent word, usually associated with overbearing male figures who enjoy beating women. They tried replacing the word “Force” with “Place” but a complaint was lodged stating that “Place” was just another word for “House”, as in “dude, come on over to my place”, and as such was highly offensive to those who are residentially challenged in our society. And so the word “Spot” was finally, and after much debate, adopted).
The class was taught by a six foot seven, three hundred and ninety pound transsexual with a heavy lisp, too much makeup, and seven teeth. The teacher was dressed in a mini-skirt, stiletto heels, nylons (unshaved legs), and no bra. Although the lack of a bra was understandable after he…er…she…it? explained how she had decided to have her right breast surgically removed as a symbolic, sympathetic statement in support of breast cancer research.
As the class droned on into its third hour, having just finished with the topic “Why White Men Hate Women, Children and Puppies” (she pronounced it “Why Withe Men Hathe Women, Children and Puppiethe”), and was starting in on the new topic “Little Boys are Future Rapists”, I found my mind drifting to my current weekend project which was helping my brother Mitch rebuild the engine on his Midget race car. We were having a heck of a time maximizing piston compression and I was sure the problem had something to do with the gas to alcohol ratio for the fuel, combined with the length of the exhaust system.
Suddenly, I was jolted awake from a near comatose state by a bolt of inspiration. I had solved the compression problem. I quickly jotted a few notes on the class handout.
“A-hem!” said the giant transsexual teacher standing over me. I looked up, seeing a stubbled chin and bright purple lips. Her nametag, pinned to the deflated side of her chest, read “Stacy”.
I looked around; the rest of the class was staring at me with wide round eyes.
I smiled. “Yes?”
“Writing notes are we?” asked Stacy from above. “Care to share with the rest of the class?”
Weirdly, I felt like I was back in grade school, caught passing notes about the teacher to a friend. “No, I’m just…”
Stacy snatched the paper from my fingers. By reflex action alone I started to grab for it, but then I noticed the massively hairy forearm attached to her pudgy wrist. I felt a little queasy, my stomach lurching around a bit, and let my hand fall back to my lap.
She read out loud the words I had scribbled in the margin of the handout, her lisp spraying spit with each word. “Increase engine output.” She looked down at me over thick glasses that magnified her false eyelashes and gaudy blue eye shadow. Stacy read on. “Shorten the pipes.” She looked down at me again, and now her lips were starting to tremble, her voice sliding up an octave. “More alcohol.” And now she looked furious. Her face had gone a mean shade of red and her seven, nicotine stained, teeth were clenched tightly and bared. “How dare you?” she cried, stamping a foot. The action caused her one heavy breast to swing beneath the loose fitting, nearly see-through silk of her shirt like a pendulum. “Your kind, make me sick!”
“What are you talking about?” I asked, totally perplexed, and more than a little frightened by the giant pendulum swaying from one side to the other. It was gross but somehow almost hypnotic.
“Oh, I’ve dealt with your kind long enough to see through your silly little insults. You can’t fool me.” She shoved the handout up over her head for all the class to see. “Increase Injun output? Shorten the pipes? More alcohol?” She stamped her foot again, (I so wished she would not do that). She flapped the paper in her hand. “Code, I say, code! The white, heterosexual, Christian male’s last bastion of racist defense.”
I looked around for support. Obviously the…Stacy…thing…had gone off the deep end. But everyone had carefully pushed their chairs to a safe distance and were looking away as though they didn’t know me.
Stacy pointed a chubby finger, tipped with a long, jewel encrusted acrylic nail at me. “They are not Injuns, Mr. Big Bad White Man Slave Owner, they are the proud progeny of the once great tribes of Indigenous Native American peoples that roamed freely the hills and meadows, living in perfect harmony with nature and each other, until the white man came, slaughtering trillions of them, using germ warfare and playing on their trusting innocent naiveté.”
I started to laugh…a bad move on my part.
“You think it’s funny?” Stacy screamed. “Shorten their pipes? More alcohol? Don’t think I don’t know about that. Code for Shorten their peace pipes, so they get more wacky-tobaccy smoke into their lungs, and more alcohol so they get drunk faster—all to make them easier to control and get more work out of them with less complaints! In other words, or better yet in your words, to Increase Injun output!”
I shook my head and held up my hands. “No, you have it all wrong. I was talking about a midget engine, not…”
“THEY ARE CALLED LITTLE PEOPLE, SIR!” she bellowed into my face. “LITTLE INDIGENOUS NATIVE AMERICAN PEOPLE!”
Her lisp turned the short speech into a shower. I wiped my sopping face and stood up. “Now you just knock this off here. I’ve had about enough of…”
“Don’t you hit me, you brute,” she cried, jumping back and covering her face with both hands, an action which made the toxic pendulum start swinging again. My stomach gurgled in response. “Violence! Your kind’s answer for everything.” She cowered away from me, even though she was at least seven inches taller and outweighed me by a good hundred and twenty pounds.
“I don’t hit women,” I said through clenched teeth.
My eyes narrowed. “But then again you’re not really a woman, are you?”
I took a step closer to her. “I may be a homophobe but you’re a big, fat, mutilated, homo, woman-wanna-be, with bad makeup.”
She stuck out one of her chins, her nostrils flaring. “I’m not fat—I’m diet challenged and exercise impaired.” She suddenly stopped as though I had slapped her. “Bad makeup?” Her eyes blazed fury. She pointed a hairy finger at me. “You—you—conservative!”
That stopped me.
“I knew it,” she screamed, a huge smile squirming itself across her lipstick smeared lips. “A conservative! And probably a right-wing, heterosexual, CHRISTIAN, conservative!”
I took another step. “And is there something wrong with that?”
“Oh, nothing,” she mocked, “except that you’re judgmental, white, and want to burn people, who don’t agree with you, at the stake.”
“Judgmental?” I laughed. “Look who’s talking? You’re the one who judged that an innocent note I was writing was a dissertation on bigotry. And then you tried to embarrass me in front of my employees and peers, for something I didn’t even do.”
“You deserved to be embarrassed,” she hissed, her eyes narrowed slits of accusation. “You are a bad role model. How are these people supposed to learn about tolerance and acceptance from someone like you? I know your kind. A man, married to a woman who he keeps enslaved bearing children, cooking and cleaning. Going to a church that preaches intolerance and passes judgment on people culturally superior to themselves.” She shook her head roughly, sending her matted, greasy hair flopping limply. “Well I’m not going to let you get away with it. I’m going over your head and let the people upstairs know what you did to me.”
Now she was really starting to get me mad. “You’re crazy, I didn’t do a thing to you.”
“Mentally challenged,” she yelled at me, “and you did too do something. And you’re still doing it.” She covered her one flapping breast with her arms, and crossed her legs as though she were naked. “Ever since I walked into this room you have been undressing me with your eyes.”
“What?” The thought of it was almost enough to make me puke.
“Sexual harassment in the vocational spot is not tolerated here at U.S. West. And there will be repercussions. Oh yes, there will be!” She turned and ran from the room, still hiding her nakedness from my x-ray vision.
I looked around at my employees and at the other supervisors in the room. Most of the women covered their bodies just as Stacy had, as though I were leering at them. The men just looked away, well some of them, a couple of the others winked at me, which made me feel very yucky.
I went back to my office, the events going round and round in my mind. Something had to be done. Political correctness had gone too far. If this was what society had been morphed into, it was time to take a stand.
Opening the Macintosh computer on my desktop I punched in the first streams of data that would start it all.
In the beginning, the world was void of goodness and the darkness of political correctness was in the minds of the people.
Let there be light!
And thus TOL was created.