The Temptations of Babylon

Caution: This Sex Story contains strong sexual content, including Ma/Fa, Fa/Fa, Mult, Teenagers, Romantic, Anal Sex,

Desc: Sex Story: Prelude - A young man finds the Temptations in the big city, or maybe the Temptations have found him. A story of a young man finding himself.

I was just a country guy from a small town in the Central Valley of California, hot, dry, dusty, and mostly redneck farmers. My first day at Stanford was a culture shock. I was in a daze and quickly started wondering if I was going to make it at Stanford. Everyone seemed so sophisticated and they all seemed to know what they were doing. I wandered around campus like a little lost lamb. There were more people in my freshman English class than had been in my high school. I got a call from my Uncle Jack, someone I had never met before. He lived in San Francisco and took me under his wing those first few months at Stanford. If it wasn't for him, I don't think I would have made the adjustment. Uncle Jack had that fine art of puncturing fatuousness which I was confusing with sophistication. He kept me grounded in reality and reminded me I just needed to do the work and I'd be okay.

Uncle Jack was a crotchety cuss, but we got along fine. I had begun to develop a non-conformist streak myself and Jack brought it out. Really he nurtured it, encouraged it. Because of him I wound up majoring in political and economic theory with a minor in art history. We had some dillies of arguments as I went through my sophomore phase. You know, the 'wise fool.'

Jack was the black sheep of our family. All of the rest of the family had stayed home, raised their families and attended our fundamentalist church regularly. We were a bunch of rock solid conservative Bible believin' Christians. Jack had gone off and lived in that heathen Mecca, Babylon by the Bay, otherwise known as San Francisco. It was widely thought in the family, and quietly commented on among the elders, that Uncle Jack had lost sight of God and needed to be born again in Christ.

Over the time I was at Stanford, Jack let drop during our arguments some hints and clues about the family's history. One time, Uncle Jack talked about his Mother and how she put the fear of God into the kids every day. As Jack said, she was a God fearing woman and he suspected the fear was mutual. Wistfully, he commented that none of his brothers or sisters had managed to shake that fear.

I remember one time sitting at the outdoor café at SF-MOMA. Jack liked the non-figurative minimalist art of people like Ellsworth Kelly. I loathed it. 'No heart, ' I'd say. I'd argue for people like Wyeth being the 'true' artists of the century. He loved the Blaue Reiter painters, Kandinsky and Franz Marc, and I admitted that I liked some of Marc's stuff. Uncle Jack smiled and said, "Boy, I think there's hope for you yet." Occasionally, I'd even get Uncle Jack to agree with me. Those were real triumphs because I had to have done my homework to win an argument with Uncle Jack.

I think what really tied us together finally was a rejection of the church. Not God, Jack believed in God, but he hated the Church, "Nothing but a political entity set up to skin decent folks of their hard earned money," he'd say. Uncle Jack's God was the God of the philosophers. He was the creator, set up the game and then left us the hell alone to work out our own salvation or damnation here on Earth. If there was evil it was because free will allowed people to do evil things. Uncle Jack believed in complete responsibility and freedom, "You can't have one without the other," I heard him say many times. That isn't an easy philosophy, being completely responsible for your failures as well as your successes.

From an early age I had trouble fitting into our church. It offended my sense of rightness. All those sermons of hell fire and damnation just didn't fit with a loving omnipotent God. Some of the Bible stories made me sick. Whole cites being killed by God's word, babies having their brains dashed out on rocks and women being torn apart. That's pretty gruesome behavior for a 'loving' God. I remember one day we read the story about God sending 42 she bears to rip apart a bunch of kids teasing an old man. I went home looking over my shoulder and wondering when God was going to send bears to rip me and my siblings to bits. I kept thinking about how we made fun of Mr. Scanlon the old bald janitor at school. God was surely going to cause us to be ripped to bits. I do remember being physically ill after that Bible class. Childhood was a tough time for me.

As I got older, I started to see through things when they offended common sense. I remember in Freshman Economic Theory we were reading Marx. Right at the basis of his entire critique of Capitalism were assumptions that history has shown to be completely off base. Marx's entire critique was built on error because his basic assumptions were wrong. Instead of studying Marxism as an example of how wrong headed something could be all these professors were acting like it was valid. One day I was sitting in class and shaking my head at the Professor when I saw, clear as day, that it was the same as Fundamentalism. The basic assumptions were just wrong and yet people went on acting like it made sense. The Earth isn't flat and it wasn't created 6,000 years ago. The Bible is chock full of completely erroneous clap trap. The Bible says it's okay to sell your daughter into slavery. Okay, I can think of a few tattoo-encrusted, green-haired, everything-pierced 'little darlings' who should be sold down the river, but still? That's the Eternal Unchanging Word of God? Why the hell were people pretending something so wrong was right?

When I was young, I could tell innately something was wrong with these ideas but everyone else seemed to agree. They seemed to be saying that something was wrong with me. When I met Uncle Jack, I was confused. I knew what was right but it seemed everyone else disagreed. When you're young it's hard to be the only one.

Jack had followed the same path and he knew what I was going through. He recognized it and guided me to the light of knowledge, responsibility and truth. Knowledge that the church desperately didn't want me to have because I started to ask questions they didn't want to answer. I remember once, sitting in a pub in Palo Alto. After a beer, Jack asked me how many Divine Creators there were. One, I said. Well then, everyone in the world has to be worshipping the same Creator since there is only one. I agreed that logically anyone who worships God has to be worshipping the same God if there is only one. Names don't matter. How can The Creator even have a name? It's ludicrous. If you are praying to God you are praying to God. So, he said, why are there so many different churches when there is, logically, only one Creator? He rubbed his fingers together in the age old sign of greed.

Jack gave me a book with all of the Gospels, not just the ones the Roman Bishops imposed on the Church as the 'right' ones. Can't let those Egyptians have a say; all of the Coptic Gospels are out. And the Syrians want a piece of the action, make those Manicheans out as heretics, their Gospels go. The Brits want some of the action, Pelagius is a heretic. Only the Romans get a piece of this pie. There were an awful lot of Gospels thrown out to make sure the Roman Church had the whole pie. Even the Gospel of Jesus' brother was thrown out since it didn't agree with what the Roman bishops were trying to put over. If anybody should have known the 'truth, ' whatever that is, it should have been Jesus' brother.

The Gospels that made it into the present Bible weren't written by anyone who was there. All of the Gospels of the Jewish Christians at Qumran, the direct followers of Jesus, were tossed out by the Roman Christians. These other Gospels were written at the same time except they tell a very different story about this person, Jesus. These Gospels don't make the claim of Jesus being God. He is the Righteous Teacher. Anybody who was 'Righteous' was called a son of God. The Gospel of Q which was written before these other gospels told that Jesus was a man, a teacher. It wasn't until later that Paul, and following him the Roman Christians changed the meaning so that only Jesus was the Son of God. In some of the Gospels he never is nailed to a cross or crucified. Luckily for Mel Gibson, people don't much know about that or he'd be a half a billion dollars poorer. I guess that was a religious experience for Mel, getting a half a billion and not even having to pretend you are doing good works with it like a preacher would have to. He could air-condition his dog's house and no one would complain.

One of the things that surprised me was a letter calling Paul; yes the Paul of the Bible, The Deceiver, The Spreader of Lies. Wow. Turns out that Paul completely misunderstood and changed the real teachings of the Righteous Teacher, Jesus. Jesus' brother and the other Jews who actually knew Jesus were in a fight with this outsider Paul. But as a gentile, Paul was able to spread his version to Rome. Can you imagine how different the Bible would be without Paul? Paul, the misogynist. The 'better married than burning in Hell' Paul. We probably wouldn't have celibate, child-molesting priests without Paul's influence. These other Gospels were calling him The Deceiver, The Spreader of Lies. Pretty strong stuff and I think they were probably right about Paul.

Uncle Jack maintained that all the religious divisions are just to get control of people's money. I came to believe that he was right. It did make me a pariah at home when I visited in the summer and broached the subject. Even my numerous cousins shied away from me for being a heretic. I found out that it wasn't easy being a rational thinker in a world seeking belief instead of knowledge - certainty instead of questions. It's a lot more comfortable to have some Authority give you the answers, even if they are wrong, than having to accept living with questions that require thought and maybe can't be answered. Jack became my family and my visits home came less frequently.

I graduated and went to work in Babylon by the Bay as a management trainee. Jack and I still got together for lunch and arguments. For Uncle Jack, the arguments were an exercise in Socratic philosophy. He said a few times that the thing he enjoyed most was stretching his mind, making it work along unfamiliar paths. It was a good deal for me since Uncle Jack picked up the tab and he liked to eat at actual sit down restaurants.

I was relatively happy and enjoying the sights and experiences of a wild place like San Francisco when one afternoon I got a call at work from an attorney. Uncle Jack had passed away. I was stunned. I felt cold. I felt alone in the world. The voice continued. His funeral is tomorrow and his will is to be read on Sunday at 10 a.m. per his wishes. The attorney really emphasized my Uncle's wishes that I be present at the reading of his will. She asked me several times to make sure I was going to be present even offering to send a car for me. I declined the car promising to be there.

I went to the funeral. It was well attended but there was not one person I recognized. No one from the family showed up. From our conversations, I had the impression that Uncle Jack didn't have a large circle of friends. But he certainly must have known quite a few people because a lot of folks turned out for his funeral.

That night my father called. He made it clear that Jack had passed away at a bad time. I'm sure Jack would have been more considerate if he knew it was putting the family in a bind I almost said. But I held back as Dad continued. And further, it was just like Jack to have his will read on a Sunday when all good people were in church. He asked that I attend to represent the family, because I could still attend church services that day and be at the reading. I didn't have the stomach for the fight so I didn't tell him I no longer attended church. I agreed to attend the reading of the will for the family.

This explains why I was standing in front of a fancy building near Post and Market early on a Sunday morning.

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