Saturday, August 15, 2009

The most unforgettable character in my childhood was a famous lawyer of his day, Clarance Darrow. Also he was responsible for an interesting life long quest for knowledge by me. I was about ten years old when Mr. Darrow, as a house guest, joined our family for dinner. My father said a blessing before that meal as he had before every meal we had ever eaten. I don't recall the prayer except it started, "God our heavenly father." Mr. Darrow sitting across the table from my sister and me turned to my father and said and I think these are his actual words, "Leon, why do you continue with that nonsense?"
I was outraged to think that wrinkled faced old man, sharing our depression food would criticize my father who was and still is my hero. My father never said another prayer that I heard. I so expected a prayer I asked Dad why he had stopped. He said Mr. Darrow had his ideas about religion and that he and my mother had decided I should wait until I grew up and then study religions and make up my mind about them. I had done that until it became boring and had come to the conclusion that all the religions I read about were man maid and none were worth my adopting.

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