Monthly Archives: September 2011
Star Wars holds a special place in my life. It was the first movie from my childhood to truly transport me to another world. There was a time when I believed Luke Skywalker existed, and Darth Vader was a threat. I watched the trilogy over and over again without growing weary. If anything, I grew fonder of the characters and the story gifted to me by a man I knew nothing about. I believed that only a great man could create something as wonderful as Star Wars. Before I knew him, I worshipped George Lucas.
Back then I had the original trilogy on VHS. It came with a three part interview between Lucas, and critic Leonard Maltin. They spoke about the early days of the film, when Star Wars was just an idea. Lucas, soft-spoken and terrifically mysterious, presented his account of the creation with great humility. Maltin acknowledged the invaluable contribution that Lucas had given to our culture, and wished me well as the light faded and that wonderful LUCASFILM logo appeared to welcome me back to that galaxy far far away.
Lucas decided to rework his trilogy in the mid-nineties, and what we got was the Special Edition. At the time, I loved it. I had heard from many adults that Star Wars was meant to be watched on the big screen, so here was my chance. Plus it had been updated with newer special effects, and that can only make a good thing greater, right? Right? At the time, I thought so. Well, I was a little turned off by that lame Jabba the Hutt scene they added in A New Hope.
Then came word of a new trilogy. Lucas was going back to the story of Anakin Skywalker and how he became Darth Vader. Finally, we were going to see Obi-Wan as a young Jedi. We would see Luke and Leia’s mother. It would be revealed how the Empire came to power and where Darth got that black suit. I waited with the utmost excitement for the May release of The Phantom Menace. Finally, my generation’s Star Wars was here. It was the movie going event of the decade…or millennium. As the LUCASFILM logo flashed on the big screen, I experienced film nirvana. Could it get any better than this?
Two hours later, George Lucas became a mere mortal.
The trial of David Lavallee v. the Stinging Insects of the United States occurred on the afternoon of September 14, 2008 inside of a large hollowed out tree in the town of Amherst, Massachusetts. The transcript from that trial had been locked away for three years, as is bee custom, but is now available to the public. Representing Mr. Lavallee was world renowned bumblebee lawyer, Buzz E. Salamone*. Representing the Stinging Insects of the United States was a young wasp named Mitch “the Hurricane” McAllister.
Mr. Lavallee was the first human to ask for a legally binding contract which would guarantee him safety from any and all insect related stings. He believed that his past peaceful actions toward even the most sting-happy insects deserved recognition within the insect community at large. Here is the transcript from that trial.
(Judge Thorax enters.)
Officer: All rise for the honorable Judge Winston Thorax IV.
Judge: Mr. Lavallee, you are excused from rising as your large human frame will not allow it.
Lavallee: Thank you…
Judge: Silence, meat bag!
(Defendant Buzz consoles Mr. Lavallee)
Judge: We are here to determine if a one Mr. Lavallee should be allowed his desired contract which would prevent all stinging insects from harming him. Jury, you will now listen to the opening statements. (The jury is comprised entirely of female honeybees) Mr. Salamone, please begin.
Buzz: Bees of the jury, I stand before you, a simple bumblebee lawyer. Long have bees and wasps and hornets and all stinging insects faced the wrath of mankind. Long have we been sprayed out of our homes and crushed into the pavement. Long has our great enemy been humanity. Yes, who can argue this? I cannot. But that is the truth in general. In general, I say! Yes, but not the truth in every single case. No! I submit that my client, Mr. David Lavallee has proven himself to be a friend of our kind. He has not only refrained from mass murder like so many of his kind, but he has also gone out of his way to save us. Shouldn’t we honor such an individual? Shouldn’t we protect one who protects us, even if he is one of the humans? I hope you will see past any natural prejudices that you may carry against men, and look at the truth of my client’s innocence. Thank you.
Judge: Mr. McAllister, you may begin.
Mitch: Fellow insects. Brothers and sisters. I am amazed that it has come to this. Our great enemy is attempting to gain our good graces simply after a few kind deeds. But let me ask you this, what will he do when he finds a stinging insect building a hive in his house? What will he do when his children are playing near a swarm of wasps? Will he keep his promise to not kill us then? I submit that this human is just like the rest and does not deserve any special treatment. Humans are freaks of the natural order! A mistake of evolution! We are not friends. Today, listen to reason and the warning of your hearts! Thank you.
(The courtroom buzzes)
Judge: Order! Order! Now, Mr. Salamone, you may call your first witness.
Buzz: Your honor, I call Sting to the stand!
Judge: I’m afraid Sting could not join us. He is at an opening ceremony for an Arby’s in Nebraska.
Buzz: Darnit! Ok, well then I call Captain Alan Q. Wing to the stand.
(An old yellow jacket, Captain Wing hobbles forward with a cane made out of a toothpick.)
Officer: (Holding a copy of Bee Movie) Do you swear to honor the Great Queen Bee by telling the truth?
Captain: Yes. Yes I do.
Buzz: Captain, can you please tell the jury who you are?
Captain: I am Captain Alan Quint Wing of the First Class Stingers.
Buzz: And who are the First Class Stingers?
Captain: We are the most effective and deadly stinging task force on the entire planet. We carry out critical missions for the Great Queen Bee.
Buzz: Thank you. Now, can you tell me how you met Mr. Lavallee?
Captain: Yes, I remember it clearly. The Stingers were on our way to attack a group of teenagers who had recently wiped out a large wasp nest near a basketball court. As I was flying past Mr. Lavallee, I noticed that he was bent over a dying bumblebee. Assuming the worst, I veered off course to attack him. I touched down on his nose and stung him there.
Buzz: Then what happened?
Captain: Well, it’s embarrassing. I don’t like to talk about it. Well, you see, I got stuck.
Buzz: It’s ok Captain. Please, tell us what then happened?
Captain: I saw Mr. Lavallee raise his hand as if to strike me. And then something miraculous occurred. You see, we saw eye to eye. I don’t know how it happened, and I don’t think it’s ever happened before.
Mitch: Objection! We are not here to decide the existence of miraculous events.
Judge: Sustained! I will allow this. Proceed.
Buzz: You saw eye to eye? And Mr. Lavallee didn’t swat you?
Captain: No, he didn’t. It’s like he saw that I was scared, and so he tried to help me. He gently pulled my stinger out and then let go. I fell to the ground in shock and landed next to the fallen bumblebee.
Buzz: And what did the bee say?
Captain: He said, “Not all peoples is bads peoples.” Then he died.
Buzz: No further questions.
Mitch: Captain, why are you a liar?
Judge: Overruled! Watch yourself Mitch.
Mitch: Captain, you said this human raised his hand to swat you and then stopped to help you out. Ok, well what if he did that for his own benefit? What if he was more concerned with getting the stinger out than with your wellbeing?
Captain: I never thought of that.
Mitch: Of course not. And did you know that the bumblebee was a communist?
Captain: What? No!
Mitch: What else don’t you know, Captain?
Captain: I don’t know!
Mitch: No further questions.
(After a short recess, the trial concluded with closing remarks.)
Judge: We will now hear closing remarks.
Mitch: Honeybees, you’ve seen all that you need to see. We have an old delusional man who doesn’t know his stinger from his armpit. We have a dying communist bumblebee spouting off some commie rhetoric. And we have a human trying desperately to protect himself from us. Why? Why does he need protection? Because he is afraid of us. He is afraid of you! And he should be. He should be. Listen to reason today, and don’t give him anything.
Buzz: The truth of this man’s character has been shouting out to you, hasn’t it? He means you no harm, and he wishes for peace between us. Decide to believe in peace today. Too many lives have been lost due to fear and division. Make peace with your own conscience, and with this worthy human, today.
(The honeybee jury deliberates for three minutes. Then they return.)
Judge: What have you decided.
Head Juror: We have decided that Mr. Lavallee, though he is a human, is deserving of the contract that he so desires. We have chosen the side of peace.
(The court erupts with applause)
Mitch: Fools! All of you!
Judge: Officer, get him out of here! (Mitch, in a moment of desperation moves in to attack Mr. Lavallee. Just as he is about to sting him in the eye, Buzz moves into the path of the stinger and is impaled. Gasps are heard. Officer Honeydew tackles Mitch to the floor and cuffs him.)
Lavallee: Buzz, No!
Buzz: It’s ok. This is the start of a new age. I’m honored (cough) to be called your…lawyer… and friend.
Judge: Call an ambeelance! Get that man some nectar!
(Mr. Lavallee leans in)
Buzz: Beeeeeee well, my…friend. Beeeeeee…well.
(He gasps his last breath and dies.)
Judge: This is a terrible thing. Yet I must issue my final decree. I hereby declare that Mr. David Lavallee will be legally protected from all stinging insects. If he harms any insect maliciously, or unprovoked, the contract is void. If any stinging insect breaks the contract, that insect shall be put to death. To assure him that the contract is still valid, a dragonfly will land on him once a year during the month of August. So let it be written. So let it be done.
Bees and I have an understanding.
*Buzz E. Salamone is not affiliated with Mark. E. Salamone, nor is he affiliated with Salamone & Salamone, and is especially not affiliated with Bee Von Stung Salamone of Lancaster County.
“Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil.” Hebrews 2:14
“The greatest trick the devil ever played was convincing the world that he didn’t exist.”- The Usual Suspects
Thomas Jefferson had his own version of the Bible. He didn’t much care for the supernatural stuff, so he took all of it out. So, for instance, that part in Mark 1 where Jesus casts out an impure spirit and it shrieks, “What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us?”(v. 24) didn’t make the cut. Also, that business about Jesus coming back to life and ascending to Heaven had to go. To Jefferson, Jesus of Nazareth was a great teacher, but he was not a God-man. He wasn’t God.
Jefferson was pretty darn arrogant. It’s one thing to reject what the Bible says. It’s another to think you know better and have the unique ability to discern which parts are legitimate and which are false. Though Jefferson took it to the extreme, there are many Christians who do the same thing today. They look at the strange supernatural spiritual stuff and they dismiss it as either irrelevant, or simply untrue. Chances are they have seen little or no evidence that there is a spiritual realm, and they don’t care to think about it. Talking about demons makes you sound crazy, so better to pull a Jefferson and stay away from such things. I mean, we live in the 21st century after all.
It’s interesting that we hear many stories about spiritual warfare outside of the United States. I have spoken to an African missionary who reported that witch doctors in a village had the power to curse people and turn them into “zombies”. He even told of an encounter where two witch doctors called down lightning on him and the other Christians and they were both struck down by a bolt. Also, he told me that certain people in the village saw a white light surrounding the Christians. That was one man’s account.
I have also heard reports of various exorcisms (casting out demons) from trustworthy sources (Christians I know). Demons throwing people to the ground and then making a commotion. These all took place in poor foreign countries.
I recently read an article from one of my favorite writers, J. Lee Grady. He writes about a Peruvian man who once dealt heavily in the occult, and had the power to curse people to their deaths. He pledged his allegiance to Satan until he encountered the living God, and was transformed by God’s Spirit. Read the article “Unraveling the Power of Witchcraft” here.
On our own soil I have heard accounts of more “New Age” spiritual things. Things like Spirit Guides. These, as far as I can tell, are visions that people get when they attempt to contact a spiritual being. The being is supposed to be helpful and benevolent, but I have read accounts in which a person attempts to disconnect and the being becomes angry and terrifying.
Chances are you are rolling your eyes more than a bowling ball on track for a strike. I understand. But I really don’t think the possibility of a spiritual realm should be completely dismissed. The world is more than we know and perceive. It’s one thing to doubt, but it’s another to be certain that all of reality is physical.
Satan probably has no problem with many Christians doubting his existence. He also probably has no problem with other people worshiping him and using them to harm God’s creation. To be ignorant of the devil and all matters spiritual should play well to the dark side. What the devil doesn’t want is people filled with God’s Spirit who have the power to crush him. “The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet.” Romans 16:20
American Christians are dangerously ignorant of spiritual realities. I am included in this. We are completely dependent on God’s Holy Spirit to do anything of any worth for the Kingdom of Heaven. How can we live in the spirit (the way we are supposed to live) when we don’t even believe in spiritual things?
I’m tired of argumentation.
I’m tired of just thinking about Godly things.
I want to experience the undeniable, unquenchable, unstoppable Holy Spirit of God, and I want the truth, and life-giving message of Jesus Christ to come out of my hands and my face and my words and my actions. I’m powerless to do anything, so here is my public request to my Father in Heaven to pour out His spirit on me and my whole world.
Here I am.