Friday, October 07, 2005

I have had this thought rolling around in my head over the last day or so. I can't get rid of it. You know the story about "the frog in the kettle?" How if you put a frog in a pot of cool water and then put the water on the stove and bring it to a slow boil the frog will just sit there. I mean, he won't catch on to the fact that he's being boiled alive because the change is so gradual. So here's the deal ...

Who figured that out ... and how?

Is there a guy out there somewhere that tried this? And if there is ... how in the world did it ever enter his mind that we needed this bit of information? Maybe he just needed to boil a frog and did not have time to kill it first and so he just threw the frog in and while he was tossing the salad he happened to notice that the frog made no move to escape?

Which is worse? The fact that somebody decided to run this experiment for experiments sake or the possibility that somebody didn't have time to euthanize a frog before cooking it up for supper? Either way it's pretty sick in my humble opinion.

Yet here is what really bothers me. Nobody bothers to ask the hard question. Nobody even THINKS of the hard question! (In case you didn't catch it, the hard question is "who figured it out ... and how?") We simply allow an anonymous person to give us facts about the death of a frog and we don't even use our brain enough to question the pertinent fact of the story. Somebody boiled a living frog on purpose.

Now, understand that this story about the frog is most often used in a speech geared toward warning you about how society is changing and we don't even notice it. (The old "We are the frog in the kettle" speech.) Or maybe about how we, as Christians, are being unwittingly corrupted by the evil left wing empire. The old "they are not like we are" story. And so the frog finds himself back in the kettle to make the point.

But (big BUT coming...) do you really think we should trust a person who makes his point by boiling frogs alive or, just as alarmingly, picking up lame illustrations from people who do boil frogs alive? How about this for a possibility. Maybe nobody ever boiled a frog at all. Maybe it is all just a story somebody made up to justify their about-to-be-made point. Perhaps all of the frogs slept the night away last night, safely floating on thier lily pads. Could be. We've been scammed before.

I do not expect this little essay to change the speech patterns of preachers, politicians, or doomsday predictors. And I don't really have a frog fetish. I actually think they are rather creepy. I just wanted it noted that just because somebody comes up with a eye popping illustration ... I don't make a habit of taking it at face value. Illustrations are just that. Stories. Parallels. Parables. They do not prove the fact of their message. So stop being so alarmed by them.

I mean, for crying out loud, there are plenty of frogs.