Thursday, July 27, 2006

Ask Katie 7.27.06

Dear Doctor McQuery,

Many years ago--vanity prevents me from saying how many--I inadvertently created a religious movement which has become rather popular in the western world. My ministry was essentially one of love, peace, and forgiveness, but when I look at certain nations in the 21st century I see that my ideas have been twisted and perverted by hateful, narrow-minded people into a tool of persecution. I really don't want to judge anyone. In fact I once told my followers that they should only cast the first stone if they were without sin. On other occasions I told them to turn the other cheek. But the people who have twisted my ideas show no signs of forgiveness, compassion, or mercy. They wallow in sin on a regular basis and yet they insist on throwing the first stone. I don't mean to brag, but I quite literally have the power to deal with these people in the wink of an eye. Given the hypothetical situation that I have tremendous power and can do whatever I want to anyone, how would you suggest that I handle these apostates?

Yours truly,
An important prophet

Dear Prophet,

(Prophet? Really? Ok—whatever…)

Ok, let me get this straight: we’ve established up-front that you’re vain. (I mean, a prophet? Really?) You claim to have some sort of self-importance with a large group of “followers” and that your ideas are “popular,” and in fact, borderline “religious.” You assert that those who disagree with you are “hateful, narrow-minded people,” simply because they don’t submit to your personal form of mind-control. It’s a little on the extreme side, if you ask me, but I just wanted to be clear on what we’re starting with.

Now, you say you don’t want to judge. Yet, you deem those who don’t act as your little minions as some sort of heretics. You also say that these heretics use their disagreeing beliefs to persecute others but you also declare that you can “deal with these people in the wink of an eye.” Wow, yeah, I can totally see where you don’t come off as a hypocrite.

That said, it’s always a good idea to promote peace, love and forgiveness. Whatever your personal faults, you’re on the right track. Maybe take your own advice and show some of that peaceful, lovin’ goodness to the people? Fire and brimstone never really got anyone very far and as they say, “Kill ‘em with kindness.” I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt and say that you’re dealing with a bunch of bigoted, egotistical, myopic jackasses. They’re throwing stones like it’s going out of fashion, but…isn’t that what you told them to do? I mean, don’t underestimate a bigoted, egotistical myopic jackass. Generally, their hearing is just as bad as their flickering lightbulbs and so, they probably just heard “Throw really big rocks at people who aren’t like you.” In a sense, they’re doing exactly what you said. So, here’s what I suggest. Call a press conference, disassociate yourselves from these morally bankrupt preaching-pushers and make sure the real message gets across: make love, not war, baby. And, if nothing else, I guess obliterating them off the face of the earth in a mass-judgment wouldn’t be so bad, either. Good luck!

(And honestly? A prophet? That’s all you’ve got?)

Dr. Katie McQuery is a licensed psychiatrist with degrees from Harvard, Yale, Brown, Princeton, Stanford, Columbia and Maui Community College. She has practiced psychiatry for over twenty years and published forty-seven books on the topic of professional advice-giving. Her newest book, Professional Advice-Giving for Even Stupider Dummies (a sequel to the smash hit Professional Advice-Giving for Dummies), will be out later next month.

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