What's That Smell?

I found this picture on Facebook at just the right time. I have no idea who came up with this picture, or the quote. Ever since I saw it, it's become an important mantra for me. I actually turned it into my desktop wallpaper.

I went to visit my husband's aunt and uncle recently. They are in their 80's. If asked, Aunt Ellie and Uncle George will tell you the reason there are no dinosaurs is because of God's flood. They will say this with a straight face, as if no other thought has ever occurred to them.

They believe the Bible is 100% true and don't question anything in it. Everything that happens is part of God's plan. This is their worldview.

This uncritical, unquestioning acceptance of Biblical truth, has turned them into living stereotypes. They watch Fox News and believe without question that Fox is the only source of fair and balanced news. They believe that President Obama was born in Kenya. They live in an alternate reality. Usually, I approach them with the attitude of a cultural anthropologist. I just watch in amazement as they apply circular reasoning and thought-terminating clich├ęs to make sense of the world. Unfortunately, Aunt Ellie opened her mouth once too many times, and I couldn't help myself. I challenged her beliefs. She responded by digging deeper into the crazy.

When I came home from dinner with Uncle George and Aunt Ellie, I was upset. I want to challenge them, explain things to them, teach them the beauty of reality. But, they aren't interested. I wrestle with this. How can you not want to know the truth? The emperor has no clothes. Look! Jesus was not born while Herod The Great was ruler and Quirinius was governor of Syria. Herod was already dead 10 years when Quirinius was governor. Were you born in 1933 when Roosevelt was president and while Truman was president? They cannot both be true.

Except, they live in a reality where both are true at the same time. It made me want to tear my hair out. I was so frustrated after I came home from dinner with my husband's family. Then I saw this picture on Facebook. Talking to Uncle George and Aunt Ellie is like trying to smell the color 9. That explains everything.

Next time we are together, I will keep this phrase in mind. Instead of getting frustrated by their wacky ideas, I'll make a record of them and share them here on my blog. That way we can all get a laugh and I can save my sanity.

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