The other day I removed my statues of Mary and St. Francis from out in the yard.
It bothered me to do that a little, but my Fundamentalist friend across the street explained to me very plainly that we aren’t supposed to make graven images.
“It’s right there in The Bible,” he said.
“Yeah. Statues of Mary, the saints. That’s all idolatry.”
“Oh gosh, well I sure don’t want to be an idolater.” As I turned to leave, though, I noticed the statues of Mickey and Minnie Mouse in his wife’s flower garden. “Joe,” I said, pointing at the two mice. “I don’t mean to be critical, but aren’t you afraid God will strike you dead for idolatry?”
“Oh gosh, no,” he said with a smile. “God’s okay with those fellas.”
“God’s okay with cartoon rodents, but not the Virgin Mother or saints?”
“Oh, you poor Catholics. You just don’t know The Bible that well, do you?”
“No, Joe, we sure don’t.” I remembered what he had explained to me last week about how, after the King James Bible dropped out of Heaven into Jesus’s hands, the Catholic Church did everything it could to hide it, from locking it up to burning people at the stake for reading it.
“You see,” he explained, taking a seat on his porch swing, “in 1 Samuel, chapter 6, when the Philistines stole the Ark of the Lord, God gave them a plague of mice and a bad case of the hemorrhoids.”
“You’re not kidding, ‘ouch’. Anyway, long story short, those Philistines had to give the Ark back, but they also had to make little golden mice and hemorrhoids so all their problems would go away.”
“Oh,” I said as everything clicked into place. “So we can have statues of mice and hemorrhoids –”
“And snakes,” he cut in.
“Of course, snakes,” I said. “Just not the men and women who selflessly gave their lives to Christ?”
“And definitely not Mary.”
I left with a good feeling in my heart now that Joe had set everything straight. So, I’ll let St. Francis and the immaculately conceived, ever-virgin Mother of God collect dust in my garage. After all, I found two strange shaped rocks in the woods behind my house. Spray-painted gold, they’ll make for a couple of well-formed hemorrhoids.
And they’ll look just perfect by the rose bushes out front.