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.

What is theology?


A deist believes in a creator who set the universe in motion and walked away. His laws are immutable and he does not respond to supplication. There would be no purpose to studying such a deity, as nothing could come of it.

A theist, however, believes in a creator who set the universe in motion and stuck around to tweak mistakes (the flood, etc.) and respond to supplications (daily bread, etc).

Theology is the study of the latter god, not the former.

The historical purpose of theology is to discover and refine certain rituals that will avert earthquakes, disease, famine, war, personal misery, etc, and/or grant an afterlife to the theologian, by pleasing this deity.

Such rituals are prescribed by some theologians five times a day, and by others, once a week. They both have the same success rate.

Theology is similar to the study of a broken clock, and declaring it to be correct twice each day, because certain rituals were performed in advance to make it happen. Except in the case of averting earthquakes, disease, famine, war, personal misery, etc., the results are not as predictable as a broken clock’s. Ergo, God works in mysterious ways. 

Psychologists studying chicken behavior taught chickens to peck a button for a food pellet reward. Then they taught a second group of chickens to peck a button for a reward that only arrived once every third peck. And finally, they taught a third group of chickens to peck a button for a reward that only arrived randomly.

Then they stopped delivering the rewards.

The chickens who were used to receiving a reward for every peck gave up first. The chickens who received a reward every third peck gave up next. The ones who received rewards at random kept pecking, and pecking, and pecking….

God works in mysterious ways….

It always amazes me how people with life threatening illnesses can go through MRIs, CAT scans, radiation, complex surgical procedures, and IV drips of scientifically designed drugs, and then say Jesus cured them.

Where was Jesus when their grandparents were sick?

(It is also interesting to note that a deity which does not respond to supplication also does not ask for money. Apparently that deity is financially stable.)