The Holy Fear

Dec 03 2015 Kelly Norton

As texts for sharing useful guidance and wisdom, religious texts are pretty much the worst. Visit the front page of any news site right now and there is a decent chance that much of the reported violence is rationalized by the teachings of one of these texts. Meanwhile, my Facebook feed is an absurd mix of age-old intolerance and cherry-picked biblical texts about peace and understanding. It saddens me that much of the world still pays deference to the non-sense writings of lunatics, but I have to admit the absurdity is absolutely fascinating. A few weeks ago I was telling a friend of mine that an algorithmically generated Bible of nonsense would probably still produce the same base beliefs as it really needed to be abstract and meandering enough to rationalize any action. The idea stuck with me and I eventually concluded that there was a need for a new religious text that explicitly addressed more modern vices, like out of control drug use and hotel room destruction.

So I went ahead and remixed my own religious text using what I might call Markov Chain guided Mad Libbing with two source texts: The King James version of the Holy Bible and Hunter S. Thompson’s Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. Unsurprising, the resulting text is just as arbitrary and probably a bit more entertaining. Consider:

“Happy shall he be, that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones.” Psalms 137:9

Oh sorry, that’s from the original King James Bible. That’s real guidance and wisdom. My religious text, The Holy Fear, is almost 900 pages of pure wisdom and debauchery woven together with such bullshit that it rewards the most imaginative interpreters.

“But it shall be, when l cometh on, he shall wash himself with rage: and when the maid is very, he shall come into the rear again.” Riderunners 23:11

As usual, the programming associated with this blogpost is in my github. In keeping with religious tradition, I have not read my own religious text completely so if you find inspiring passages, please do point them out to me on Twitter.

The Holy Fear

The sacred union of the King James Version of The Holy Bible and Hunter S. Thompson's Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
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