The nature of the universe intrigues me. As do theories related to the same. It interests me that most religions are based upon theories of the universe which predate modern science. Which leads me to question whether there would even be such a concept as religion had the knowledge which is available to to us now been available to those who initiated religious theories to explain the unknown way back then. I am even further intrigued by the limits of our knowledge today even in light of the advances of modern science. It seems to me that nobody knows for certain the limits of either space or time. Which perhaps intrigues me the most.
These times we are living in seem so promising so far as concerns tolerance and maturity in certain regards. When I started public schools in the late 60’s, mine was somewhat of a pioneer generation unawares. We all went to school together. Blacks, Whites, Latinos. There was no distinction, at least in terms of the right to be present. And we were somewhat unaware of the greatness of the moment. Since we were all together from the beginning, there was never any question of who belonged. We all belonged. That was just the way it was. As it always should have been. I am certain that our parents, Black and Whites alike were amazed and bewildered. I am certain most would not have imagined, even 15-20 years before, that the day would come that everyone would be allowed in public schools, with the sole distinction being age and location of residency, rather than race and ethnicity.
At the risk of breaking my arm by patting myself on the back, I am proud to be a product of the education system of the late 60’s-late 70’s. We were a pioneer generation, and I am proud of that. We were the “NAACP-ism” generation (Never Again Allow Childish Practices). The generation that concerned ourselves with the plight of the underdog and the rights of the downtrodden. We were the generation attempting to right ancestral wrongs by making things right for everybody. And in so many ways, we have made and continue to make great strides towards even more profound social maturity and toleration.
As hard as it is to imagine, even during my lifetime “mixed” marriages were illegal. Today, the president of these United States is “mixed”. Is that not beautiful? And yet the strides and accomplishments of what I term the “NAACP-ism” generation does not limit itself to progress in terms of race relations. For just as there was a time not so long ago when black children and white children were not allowed the joys of public education side by side, likewise there was a time when true love by same gender partners were denied the recognized social status enjoyed by traditional “husband and wife” sorts. And so it is that even 15 years ago I would not have envisioned living in a society which recognizes the legal status of same gender marriage, yet here we are on the verge of crossing that threshold, so to speak. I am proud to know that during my lifetime society will have matured to the level of recognizing equality in terms of public education, and legal recognition in terms of same gender marriages. I truly believe that within 20 years same gender marriages will be somewhat “the law of the land”, if not on a Federal level at least in most of our 50 states.
And so it seems so odd that during times which indicate maturity and tolerance, that we should be witnessing a reversion to the old days in terms of women, race, and violence. Reproductive health for women has not been so openly challenged on the legal level for 40 years. Under handed efforts to deny a woman the right to reproductive health, social guidance, and the freedom to abort an early term pregnancy are ruling the day in the way of State legislatures who are grossly curbing the availability of proper medical care to women. The dark ages of back alley abortions may one day return, and that without even having to repeal “Roe vs Wade” if these patriarchal State legislatures can seemingly eliminate a woman’s access to proper medical facilities.
And then there is the subject of guns and “kill at will”;er-uhm, I mean “stand your ground” laws. As hard as it is to imagine, the “shoot ‘em up cowboy” generation rides again. Patriarchal pop gun artists rule the day, once again by way of our ever powerful State legislatures. Not only is “the right to bear arms” on the breath of the patriarchal pop gun artist types, now on a state by state basis (generating mostly in my beloved South I might add) the law supports the liberty to kill at will when one “feels threatened” instead of pursuing retreat to safety as the sensible option. Frankly, the “shoot ‘em up cowboy” era of common citizens carrying loaded guns with the liberty to kill instead of retreat era is a radical reversion to days best left to Dime Novels and Sunday afternoon Western marathons. This is real life. These are real bullets. This is real death.
If there is one lesson to be learned from the George Zimmerman “trial”, it is to realize that our society is not mature enough to be entrusted with loaded guns and the right to legally kill. Inasmuch as I provided an idealistic view of race relations in this country based upon a long overdue integrated education system, the fact is that we have a long way to go in regard to our overall racial relations. Frankly, racism still all too often rules the day, and racial profiling is all too often the way of those who carry guns and “protect” the streets. If ever such a day existed, and if ever such a wrong was experienced it was realized in the way of the George Zimmerman acquittal.
There were many guilty parties in the George Zimmerman-Trayvon Martin incident. Trayvon Martin was guilty of being black. George Zimmerman was guilty of being a racist. George Zimmerman was guilty of racial profiling. The legal system was guilty of empowering an armed racist with gunpowder residue and the fresh blood of his victim on his hands to walk away completely free, as though nothing ever happened. And worse yet, the law further empowers this same racist to carry the same gun which ended the life of Trayvon Martin. Whose crime against society which lead to the encounter with Zimmerman was: Being black.
People, these are turbulent times. State legislatures are hindering women from proper health care, while enabling armed racists to patrol the streets. As the father of three young adults in their 20’s, I ask these questions of this generation:
What do you want for your generation? “NAACP-ism” (Never Again Allow Childish Practices)? Or do you want “NRA-ism” (Nuts Regulating Atrocities”)?
What do you want? What is the right thing?
Convenience Stores: Places that sell Skittles, Canned Iced Tea, AND Tampons under the same roof make me feel nervous.
Walking the streets: Gun toting Neighborhood Crime Watch people make me feel nervous.
Walking the streets: Teens armed with Skittles and Canned Iced Tea make me feel nervous.
Churches: People carrying loaded guns make me feel nervous.
Texas: People carrying loaded guns make me feel nervous.
Austin, Texas: Women carrying Tampons make me feel nervous.
Austin, Texas: Governor Good Hair makes me feel nervous.
Texas Rangers baseball games: Governor Good Hair’s mentor makes me feel nervous.
Texas Rangers baseball games: We are in Second Place to the Oakland A’s. That makes me feel nervous.
Colorado: Schizophrenic states make me feel nervous.
Massachusetts: Free thinkers make me feel nervous.
Vermont: Free thinkers make me feel nervous.
Australia: Free thinkers make me feel nervous.
Florida: Florida makes me feel nervous.
Latin American countries: Democracy makes me feel nervous.
Santa Claus: Myths makes me feel nervous.
The Easter Bunny: Myths make me feel nervous.
Iraq: WMD’s makes me feel nervous. NO WAIT! File this under: Myths make me feel nervous.
The USA: WMD’s makes me feel nervous.
In my car: The driving of other people makes me feel nervous.
In my car: My driving makes me feel nervous.
Walmart: Underpaid workers make me feel nervous.
Women: Underpaid workers make me feel nervous.
CEO’s: Overpaid “workers” make me feel nervous.
Heterosexual couples: People in love make me nervous.
Same gender couples: People in love make me feel nervous.
Interracial couples: People in love make me feel nervous.
Republican Conventions: Corporate puppets make me feel nervous.
Democratic Conventions: Corporate puppets make me feel nervous.
The Bible: Fiction makes me feel nervous.
Kurt Vonnegut novels: Truth makes me feel nervous.
Political speeches: Double talk makes me feel nervous.
This post: Double talk makes me feel nervous.
Facebook: People who agree with me make me feel nervous.
Facebook: People who don’t agree with me make me feel nervous.
The News: Being informed makes me feel nervous.
The News: Being misinformed makes me feel nervous.
Ignorance: Not knowing makes me feel nervous.
Apathy: Not caring makes me feel nervous.
Cynicism: I make myself nervous.
Conclusions: Conclusions make me feel nervous.
The End: The End makes me feel nervous.
Goodbyes: Goodbyes makes me feel nervous.
Long drawn out conclusions: Long drawn out conclusions make me feel nervous.
Okay, I am finally finis–: Posts with no actual end makes me feel nervous.
Terrorism and Christianity operate by the same principle.
“Do what I say, or else”.
The “I” in Christianity is God.
The “or else” is be tortured.
Like I said, Terrorism and Christianity operate by the same principle.
Now some might object that Terrorists are bloodthirsty tyrants with no regard for human life.
Those folks need to read the Old Testament.
If Balaam’s ass,
Were alive today.
I wonder what that donkey,
Would have to say.
Would he merely chew straw,
And grunt and bray.
Or would he warn humanity,
That we are headed the wrong way.
If Balaam’s ass,
Were alive today.
I wonder what that donkey,
Would have to say.
The recent acquittal of George Zimmerman has me thinking about trials and free passes. Which naturally got me to thinking: What if Jehovah were put on trial?
The charges? Multiple counts of homicide, attempted genocide, infanticide, animal abuse, sex trafficking, slavery, and torture to name a few.
The witnesses? Well, if you buy the notion that the Bible is “the word of God”, then upon that very premise, do we not have a confession? In case of point, if indeed the Bible is “the word of God”, then every biblical account which records such misdeeds by Jehovah or under his command are in and of themselves true confessions, are they not?
As to the multiple counts of homicide; oh where shall I begin? Well, how about the infamous global flood. Yep, long before there was global warming there was global drowning!! In fact, so as to not bog ourselves down with too much information at once, let’s confine ourselves at this time to this one particular Biblical account, so as to only have to consider the charges of multiple counts of homicide, infanticide, and animal abuse.
Genesis 6-8 gives us the general account of the setting involving the flood. The specifics as to why are a matter of record:
“Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. So the Lord said, “I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth, both man and beast, creeping thing and birds of the air, for I am sorry that I have made them.” But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.” (Genesis 6:5-8)
So, because humanity was so evil that everyone could only think of evil continually, God destroyed everyone except the Noah family. Yeah, I guess those animals must have had nothing but continually evil thoughts as well. And the babies, those beady little eyes peering out of their cribs. No doubt they were just waiting to get on their feet, start talking, and plotting evil against the Lord their God!
There you have it folks. Multiple counts of homicide, infanticide, and animal abuse all in one neatly packaged Bible story. Hell, I will even give Jehovah a pass on the attempted genocide rap. After all, he did spare Mr Noah and family.
Everytime I read that narrative I chuckle as I think back to my church days, which is admittedly not so many years ago. The story of Noah and the flood is a favorite in Bible Classes in the Church of Christ. It seems that almost every Toddler’s Class that I can recall came equipped with toy Arks on wheels that the kiddos could roll around the room while their well meaning Teachers indoctrinated them with accounts of God’s love in sparing Noah’s family and the animals which he gathered into the Ark. The kiddos would place small plastic animals into the Ark, and pull the Ark around the room and sing songs of God’s love and grace. Good times….
But what we never told the kiddos about were “the others”. The other animals. The other people. The other toddlers their very own age who were not lucky enough to be born to Mr and Mrs Noah. (What was her name anyway. Oh yeah, this is the Bible, the names of wives are somewhat insignificant to the overall plot. For example, you know we are told to “Remember Lot’s wife”? Well, how the hell do you remember someone whose name you do not even know? I mean really, come on! You tell me how evil she was in “looking back”, and you tell me that she was instantly transformed into a pillar of salt, you tell me to “remember her”, but you don’t even tell me her name? Oh, come on!! Well, there are lots of details that get left out of Bible Stories, which brings us back to the victims of The Flood.)
Just once, just once, I would like to see the uncut version of the biblical account of The Flood presented in a Toddlers Bible Class. Can’t you just see it? Envision a whirlpool set up in the corner of the classroom. After the children had helped Mr Noah load the wife and kids and all the local pets into the Ark for the world’s first cruise, then they could help Mr Jehovah destroy everyone else by tossing plastic toy babies, animals, trees, and such into the whirlpool, and then fire that baby up! Imagine the looks on their curious little faces as they saw the image of the lifeless little faces just like their own floating and swirling around in the whirlpool while the Bible Class teacher told them about the love and grace of God, and lead them in choruses of “He’s Got The Whole World In His Hand”. It damn near brings a tear to my eye just thinking about it!
Well, that is enough for today. By his own confession as recorded in Genesis 6-8 Jehovah was guilty of multiple counts of homicide, infanticide, and animal abuse. We will get to sex trafficking, slavery, and torture some other time. I am short on time as it is. Its Sunday morning, and I am late for Bible Class.
I look at this younger generation and I wonder, “what have they learned from mine?”:
Have they grasped the vital importance to scrutinize and judge humanity before making efforts to relieve human suffering?
Do they understand that it is more likely that the thousands who are suffering in poverty are lazy shiftless losers, than the remote possibility that the few hundred who live in lavish luxury are greedy exploiters of the globe in general and of humanity specifically?
Do they understand that industry and imperialism merely must be supported by foreign military endeavors, and that the cost of such is the reduction of unnecessary expenses such as education of the young and healthcare for the elderly and disabled?
Do they realize that even though our nation was founded by the brutal, deceptive, and exploitative efforts of undocumented foreigners, that illegal aliens merely must not be accepted into our society but must rather be relegated to the shadows and back alleys of our righteous society?
Do they not understand that even though sharing and caring is the way of kindergarten, that in the adult world such is a socialist plot to undermine and overthrow our very way of life?
Do they not understand how vitally important it is to blindly pledge allegiance to their society for no other reason than they were born on American soil?
Do they not realize that the attempted genocide of the Native Americans was a part of God’s plan for a righteous people much like the attempted genocide of the Canaanites was a part of God’s plan for the Israelites?
Do they not further understand that any seemingly brutal practices of the American military such as waterboarding and torturing individuals or drone strikes that kill civilians are justified because God is on our side?
Finally, and perhaps this is most important:
Do the young people of today not understand how vitally important it is for them to overcome the idealism of their youth as soon as possible so they can become the self serving exploiters of tomorrow?
Listen up young people!:
It is up to you to maintain the American way of life!!!
As a general rule, I refrain from offering my opinions of issues related to women’s health. Frankly, my ignorance as to such simply embarasses me. Even more embarrassing is to hear those of my own gender speak flippantly and with presumptive authority as to matters which quite frankly do not concern we males. Until such time as I suffer the natural physical hardships which burden the female community, I simply do not feel qualified to opine regarding issues so involved. However, I do feel inclined and somewhat obligated to speak out when representatives of my own gender take it upon themselves to share a patriarchal perspective which is critical and judgmental of decisions made by women related specifically to feminine issues. More to the point, I have in mind at the moment Arkansas’ own Public Preacher/Politician/Patriarchal Commentator; Mike Huckabee.
It seems that the good Reverend has decided that when a woman chooses to abort a pregnancy she is thereby “playing God”. Now his private opinion as to such matters is his right, but his public proclamation as to such merely exposes his ignorance and insults the intelligence of free thinkers in general. To coin a southern colloquialism, this is a matter of “the pot calling the kettle black”. It is in fact Mr Huckabee specifically and the religious community in general who “play God”. Whereas I admittedly feel somewhat uncomfortable discussing feminine issues due to my ignorance of such matters, “playing God” is a practice with which I am all too familiar. As one who was for many years a very involved practicing Christian, I know all too well the experiences of “playing God”.
People of all religious types “play God”. Some play “Jehovah God”, some play “Allah God”, while others play “Elohim God”. Some even enhance the experience by playing “Jesus God” and “Holy Spirit God”. Now although I have left the Christian community, and reasoned my way to Secular Humanism, I nonetheless continue to fully support the right of Mr Huckabee and the entire religious community to “play God” as they will; yet in PRIVATE. In a free society, people should and must have the freedom to practice religion as they so choose. Yet whether folks play “Jehovah God”, “Beelshebub God”, “Assher God”, “Ra the Sun God God”, or “Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster God”, regardless any and all such “play God” experiences are exclusively a PRIVATE right, and simply must remain so if we are to legitimately be a free society.
Frankly speaking, there is no place for religious theories in discussions of real world consequences. The stakes of real world issues are simply too high for intelligent beings to be burdened with the introduction of unconfirmed theories and ancient myths into the discussion. The Mike Huckabees of the world are completely entitled to their personal practices and beliefs, yet an intelligent society simply must sift reality from fiction in order to function in accord with natural human intelligence and with respect to actual human rights.
If Mike Huckabee wishes to look to his beloved Jehovah as the source of all life, such is his prerogative. If Mike Huckabee wishes to regard Jehovah as the reason abortion is wrong, in spite of the fact that the Bible alleges that Jehovah drowned innocent children (so much for the “all loving” nature of God) because people did not turn out the way he wanted them to (so much for the “all knowing” nature of God); and in spite of the fact that the Bible alleges that Jehovah promoted the mutilation of innocent babies who were born of a certain lineage (Hosea 13:16 for the curious); then such is his prerogative. But an intelligent and free society simply must distinguish between fact and fairy tale when addressing real world issues.
As to those who are inclined to go the way of the Mike Huckabees of the world, I will ALWAYS defend their right to “play God” in private. Yet, the freedom of religion NEVER gives Religionists the right “play God” in public.
As to men who are inclined to opine regarding a woman’s rights as to her personal health and choices, I recommend that we males enjoy our natural qualities such as facial hair and deep voices, and leave the female gender to deal with their own bodies and choices as they deem reasonable.