Author: Jimmy Pete

The Dixie Drive-In Movie Theater in Vinton, Virginia


I remember sneaking into the back of the Dixie one night when I was around 14 years old. A few of us boys slept out in sleeping bags in the back yard and snuck away in the dead of night (probably around 10 p.m.) a few minutes after our parents turned out the lights. There was a double feature playing, and we knew the second movie was rated R, which meant nudity. The movie starred Richard Thomas, the dude who played John Boy Walton on tv, which was really weird, because John Boy was such a pure and innocent lad. It was an absolutely horrible movie, but we were determined to sweat it out. We sat back in the bushes, hiding from the old dude that owned the drive-in. He would patrol the perimeter and raise hell when he found kids sneaking in. It took forever for the scene that made the movie into an R to show up, but finally near the end, there were about three seconds of titty projected on that old screen in the climactic scene. Actually I don’t remember if it was the dramatic climax, but it was the visual climax for sure. 

Dawkins Scale

dawkins scale

If Richard Dawkins made this, then I’ve just lost some confidence in his logic.

Theism and its opposite — atheism — have little to do with a belief about whether there is a god or not.

Theism is not simply the belief that there is a god. Theism is the belief that there is a god who can be influenced by his human believers. (What good is a god who doesn’t change stuff anyway? Can’t make any money on that kind of god, can we?) 

Atheism, on the other hand, is not by definition the belief that there is no god. Atheism is only the belief that no matter how much you sing, dance, grovel on your knees, cry, weep, scream, shout, mutter under your breath, or swing incense, there ain’t no god who is giving a single shit about it.

So, that doesn’t mean that atheists must believe there is no god. It just means that if there is a god, atheists believe he’s not listening to you. He doesn’t give a shit about you or your prayers. He doesn’t engage in do-overs. He doesn’t come to your rescue. He doesn’t give you your daily bread, or cure your illnesses, or decide who wins your goddamn football games.

To an atheist, the likelihood of the existence of, for instance, the God of Abraham, is approximately equal to the likelihood of a giant tortoise carrying the earth on its back, or the Flying Spaghetti Monster, or Zeus, or Apollo, or any other of the thousands of deities we’ve created, or any other random explanation made up of whole cloth from zero evidence by illiterates sitting around a campfire.

But whether such a disinterested deity exists or not doesn’t actually matter. An uncaring, unresponsive god has absolutely zero effect on the laws of physics, and thus, it has zero effect on our lives. 

So an atheist does not have to believe there is no god. An atheist only has to believe that there is no god who is subject to influence by human believers.


in facie ecclesiae

Weddings were a pagan invention. The church deemed weddings to be sinful, because they inevitably led to sexual intercourse between consenting partners.

But when pagans started showing up at churches to ask the priests bless their new pagan marriage, the priests would do it for a fee “in facie ecclesiae” – literally, at the front doorstep of the church.

A blessing of a pagan ceremony could not be done inside the church, lest it contaminate the holy space.

But eventually, the church realized that weddings would be a revenue boon, so they appropriated the pagan ceremony, just like God appropriated the pagan week when He created the universe. (The week has seven days named after the seven special celestial objects visible to the naked eye – Sun, Moon, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus and Saturn.)

Today, “in facie ecclesiae” is still used in wedding ceremonies, but it is mistranslated to supposedly mean “in front of the congregation.”

George Washington’s Initials at Natural Bridge Virginia

All of us who grew up in southwest Virginia were at one time or another taken to Natural Bridge on school field trips. In case you haven’t been there, it’s a gigantic granite bridge that was left intact as a stream eroded the limestone around it over many thousands of years. It is a priceless geologic wonder that we have been ruining since we paved Route 11 over it back in the early 1900s.
Thirty years ago, when a rock fell off it due to the decades of truck traffic, it hit a tourist on the head and killed him (or her, I can’t remember but you can google it). In response, we relocated Route 11 so it would not continue to ruin this national treasure. I’m kidding! Ha-ha! That would cost too much! Naw, we lined the underside of that rock bridge with chain link fencing, to catch the falling rocks before they killed someone else, and then painted it the same color as the rocks to disguise it. Problem solved!
Anyhow, there is (or was) a large rock in the side of the cliff underneath the bridge, about 25 feet above the stream bed, in which were carved the initials “GW.” Our elementary school teachers taught us that this was carved into the rock by George Washington when he surveyed the area as a young man.
The obvious question everyone has when seeing the location of this rock, is, how did he get so far up the side of the cliff to carve his initials? And the answer, we were taught, was that 200 years before, when George Washington carved his initials, the stream bed was up at that level, because it hadn’t yet eroded down to its current level. So George simply carved his initials at eye level!
Since George Washington’s time in the mid 1700s, until I was around 10 years old in the mid 1900s, they told us, the stream had cut another 20 feet down.
Even at the age of 10 I thought that was geological bullshit.
Okay, so now I’m 60. It’s been 50 years after they told me that story, and I would like to report that the stream has NOT eroded another five feet lower since then. (Do the math – one foot per decade is what they told us.) I know this conflicts with the Bible, but if streams eroded one foot per decade, then the James River would be the goddamn Grand Canyon.
So, I would finally like to set the record straight, by relating a scenario which I believe to be a more likely explanation for the placement of those initials.
I figure George Washington wanted his initials to be carved in a prominent place underneath Natural Bridge, way high up so everyone who came there would see “GW” and be in awe. So he stood there and looked around until he spotted the exact rock he wanted his initials to be carved on. Then he turned to one of his slaves, pointed to the rock, and said, “Go carve my initials on that there rock.” To which the slave most likely replied, “How am I supposed to get so far up that rock cliff to do it? We don’t even have a ladder.” To which George Washington probably said, “I don’t give a shit how you do it, just get it done.”
So let’s give credit where credit is due. A black man climbed up that cliff and carved George Washington’s initials.