Sunday, July 31, 2016

Bibliomancy

The City Council of Parkersburg, WV passed an unconstitutional law regarding prophecy and divination and you can read my reactions about it here and here and here.

Today is another Sunday in which all churches within the corporate city-limits of Parkersburg, WV are in direct defiance of the law prohibiting the use of tools of divination. Bibliomancy is rooted in the Bible.

I would be committing an act of bibliomancy today, if I lived within Parkersburg's corporate limits. But I don't so, today, I'm using the New International Version of the Holy Bible. This reading is for the hypocritical members of Parkersburg's City Council.


Ecclesiastes 3:14-16
14 I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it. God does it so that people will fear him. 
15 Whatever is has already been, and what will be has been before; and God will call the past to account. 
16 And I saw something else under the sun: In the place of judgment—wickedness was there, in the place of justice—wickedness was there. 

My finger landed on 3:14 but, when I read onward, 3:16 caught my attention. I think the whole chapter may be relevant to the situation at hand. Draw your own conclusions after reading it: Ecclesiastes 3 - NIV.

I'm not a fan of the Bible, in any of its formats, so I'm committing a second act of bibliomancy with The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer. This reading is for everyone who, like me, doesn't condone Christianity but would likely a daily verse to meditate over. 

I'm borrowing from Harvard's interlinear translations, where you can also see the the Middle English text, provided from Larry D. Benson's The Riverside Chaucer. If you'd like to learn more about The Canterbury Tales, check out librarius.com.



Excerpt from
The Summoner's Tale
                      Lines 2253 through 2286                     

"My lord," said he, "when the weather is fair,
Without wind or disturbance of air,
 Let a cartwheel be brought here into this hall;
 But see that it has all its spokes --
 Twelve spokes has a cartwheel commonly.
And bring me then twelve friars. Know you why?
 For thirteen is a convent, as I believe.
Your confessor here, for his worthiness,
 Shall complete the number of his convent.
Then shall they kneel down, all together,
 And to every spoke's end, in this manner,
 A friar shall very firmly lay his nose.
Your noble confessor -- may God him save! --
 Shall hold his nose upright under the nave.
Then shall this churl, with belly stiff and taut
 As any drum, hither be brought;
  And set him right on the wheel of this cart,
Upon the nave, and make him let a fart.
And you shall see, on peril of my life (I swear),
 By proof which is logical,
 That equally the sound of it will go,
And also the stink, unto the spokes' ends,
 Except that this worthy man, your confessor,
 Because he is a man of greet honor,
  Shall have the first fruit, as is reasonable.
The noble usage of friars yet is this,
The worthy men of them shall first be served;
And certainly he has it well deserved.
He has to-day taught us so much good
With preaching in the pulpit where he stood,
That I can affirm, I say for me,
He had the first smell of three farts;
And so would all his convent certainly (agree),
He bears him so faire and holily."


Feel free to reach out and tell the unconstitutional hypocrites your thoughts as well: City Council of Parkersburg.

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