Leaving Islam



The Recipe: A Fable for Our Times

By Kerry-Rebecca Blaine  

Once there was a team of great chefs who invented what they thought was the greatest, most perfect recipe in the world. As they envisioned it, The Recipe would produce the most delightful, tasty food dish ever. People would cry from delight at the sheer ecstasy of tasting the food produced from this fantastic recipe.  

Happy stomachs would make happy people and peace would reign throughout the world because of it, the chefs thought grandly.

One Friday afternoon, the chefs invited a group of villagers to taste the fantastic Recipe. The village square was superbly decorated and all the people gathered about outside picnic tables, excited beyond all description, for their anticipation of tasting The Recipe.  

Then the chefs brought out the food dish cooked from The Recipe with great fanfare. Eagerly, the village residents dived into it.  

One problem: it tasted terrible. In fact, it was the worst-tasting food the villagers had ever experienced. They cried all right – but in tears of disgust, not of joy and ecstasy. It was that terrible.  

“Surely,” said the chefs, “the fault cannot be with The Recipe. It is the most perfect Recipe ever devised by mankind. There must be some other explanation.”  

“The oven wasn’t calibrated correctly,” they announced. A technician was put to work to fix the calibration problem. When it was fixed, the chefs cooked again a dish from The Recipe and invited the villagers to taste the product of their labors.  

It was still terrible. In fact, The Recipe cooked from the correctly calibrated oven tasted even worse than before. The villagers were angry and upset.  

The chefs weren’t fazed by this reaction, however. Nothing was wrong with The Recipe, they insisted. What was truly wrong, they decided, was that the ingredients weren’t fresh.  

The chefs sent messengers far and wide to collect the freshest ingredients possible.  

The Recipe was again cooked and presented to the villagers, but the meal was even worse than before.  

The villagers began to grow restless. “Surely this is NOT the greatest Recipe ever devised by mankind. The chefs are charlatans and fools!” they began to grumble.  

The chefs heard about their discontent and went to the village chief for assistance. They were powerful chefs and the chief was happy to accommodate their demands.  

The chief then passed a law which stated that any person who criticized The Recipe must be put to death. Any person who refused to eat The Recipe must also be put to death. And any person who criticized the powerful chefs must also be put to death.  

After that the villagers showed up grudgingly to eat The Recipe every Friday. They fell all over themselves praising the chefs and their Great Recipe. They all agreed: it was the greatest Recipe ever devised by mankind. The few dissenters were quickly forced out or put to death.  

The years passed. The villagers still gathered every week in the town square to eat the Great Recipe and praise it as the best Recipe in the world.  They had begun to convince themselves that The Recipe, as terrible as it was to eat, actually WAS the greatest Recipe ever devised by mankind. It made their children sick, and it made them miserable and cranky and non-productive in their labors, but they refused to face the bald fact that The Recipe was the source of all their problems.  

Convinced by now that The Recipe was the greatest thing that had ever happened to their village, the villagers invited strangers to come from a few neighboring villages to taste it. They couldn’t wait to share their wonderful discovery with the whole word.  

“We must have worldwide peace! And that can only happen when the whole world is made as happy as we are by eating the Great Recipe!” shouted the villagers.  

Inevitably the strangers were always repulsed by the food produced from The Recipe. But if they voiced any criticism of The Recipe, the villagers would become fanatically angry and threaten to kill the strangers. Sometimes the strangers would try to be polite, and point out that The Recipe could be made to taste better if this or that slight change were made, but this also made the villagers very angry.  

“No one can change The Recipe!” they shouted. “It is perfect as it is! Every word has been carefully preserved and handed down by our ancestors for generations. The preservation of The Recipe over centuries is a great miracle and proof that it is the greatest Recipe ever devised by mankind.”   

 Eventually the strangers stopped accepting invitations from the villagers.  

This made the villagers even angrier. How dare the rest of the world say that their Recipe tasted terrible? It was perfect, and not one instruction or ingredient needed to be changed. In an attempt to lure the strangers back to their village, the villagers wrote them soothing letters that promoted The Recipe.  

“You didn’t taste the REAL Recipe. The chefs had an off-night the night you tasted it. The REAL Recipe is wonderful.”  

“The oven wasn’t calibrated right.”  

“You need to eat The Recipe in just the right environment to be able to truly appreciate it. Eating it in another village besides ours just doesn’t provide the right experience.”  

“Don’t blame The Recipe – blame the people who picked the ingredients. They picked bad ingredients.”  And on and on.  

The strangers in the neighboring villages mostly stayed away. They had their own wonderful, rich food that put The Recipe to shame. They couldn’t understand why the villagers were so fanatically attached to their terrible food.  

The villagers then got so angry, they got up arms and went to the other villages to “convince” their neighbors that their Recipe was the best. They threatened, bullied and killed many of their neighbors.  

Tired of being threatened, bullied and killed, the strangers in some of the neighboring villages agreed to start eating The Recipe. As more and more people began to eat it, the old laws in their villages began to change. In those villages, it also came to pass that

criticizing The Recipe or the chefs who invented it was a capital crime. Those who dissented were forced out or killed. The wonderful, rich food that these neighboring villagers used to eat was forgotten. The Recipe made them sick, but they too, refused to admit it.  

Soon, these neighboring villages began to invite THEIR neighbors to eat The Recipe. The usual disgust was voiced and the usual excuses were proffered. The villagers became angry and threatened their guests with violence for daring to criticize their great Recipe. And so on.  

And so it went, until the whole world was made to eat The Recipe and admit that it was the most perfect Recipe ever devised by mankind. But peace did not reign all over the whole world. All of its people were sickened by The Recipe and became more cranky and less peaceful as they had to eat it week in and week out. They turned on each other then, and the whole world was destroyed.  

The End.





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