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The Chalk

(Perhaps more amusing after reading this)

This really happened to a friend of mine. He had this professor who was a died-in-the-wool, old-fashioned, evangelical Christian. The guy was always trying to push his beliefs on his students. My friend thought that was pretty funny since it was an Ivy League school and the class was Psychology - you wouldn't expect that sort of thing there.

Anyway, one day the Professor was going on and on about how there had to be only one God and that God was the Christian God. My friend raised all the usual arguments. What about the Holocaust? What about babies who die? What about people like Gandhi who are good, spiritual people but are not Christians? The professor had all sorts of pithy stories that weren't really good answers but they were clever enough that they distracted the class from the fact that he wasn't really answering their questions.

My friend became increasingly frustrated, but she kept her cool. Calmly, after each of the professor's answers, she would stand up and say; "But who's ULTIMATELY responsible for all those people who go to Hell? Isn't it God?"

He always answered with something like "No, God gave them free will!" or "We can't question God!"

Finally, my friend said, "You're a psychologist. What are the two things that shape how we behave?"

"Our DNA and our environment," the professor responded reflexively

"Who made those?"


"Then who's responsible?"

The professor looked genuinely stumped. He didn't have an answer, and he could tell that my friend was winning the argument. Glancing furtively around the room, his expression changed to one of desperate hopefulness as he snatched up a piece of chalk. "Oh yeah," he said petulantly, "watch this. When I drop this piece of chalk, instead of obeying the laws of gravity which God wrote and which in no way contradict the book of Genesis, by the way... What was I saying again? Oh yeah, when I drop this piece of chalk, instead of falling to the floor and breaking, it will careen madly around the room like a golf ball in a Rube Goldberg cartoon and will remain intact the entire time."

Waving the chalk over his head like a magic talisman, the professor threw it toward the floor with all of his might. Being chalk, it shattered into tiny fragments and small clouds of dust.

After a minute of tense silence, the Professor ran out of the classroom.

My friend moved to the front of the class and lectured for an hour and a half about how, if there is one God who created us all that God is responsible for who we are. Even if that God gives us free choice; if that God is really God then God knows what we are going to do with the free choice given to us. Only a cruel God would create us in such a way that some of us, even the good but ignorant people, are condemned to eternal torment and pain. That was what the professor had failed to point out in his cute little anecdotes. That if God is really God, then it is God who is ultimately responsible. Period.


This has been sent to you by someone who loves you and believes that a mind is a terrible thing to waste. You must send it to all those whom you love, whether you think they need it or not. Even if their mailboxes are overflowing with all of those fake stories and urban legends, you must send them this true story to balance all of that out. I would like to tell you that something evil or really, really bad, or at least mildly unpleasant would happen to you if you didn't forward this story; but we all know that's silly (especially if you actually read the story).