On Society and Government

“I have heard that the heads of states or noble families do not worry over poverty but instead over equal distribution of wealth; they do not fret over underpopulation, but whether the people are insecure. Now, if there is equality in distribution there will be no poverty; if there is harmony in society there will be no underpopulation, and if there is security, there will be no subversion” (Analects 16.10 Muller; http://www.acmuller.net/con-dao/analects.html#div-17)

My thoughts:

It is my opinion that the responsibility of government is derived from the rudiments of the concept of society. It is further my thought that the concept of society is derived from the most basic of all human instincts.

Human beings seem to have an innate moral sense founded upon a natural aversion to suffering. Subsequently from an early age most everyone cannot bear the sound of one suffering, even before the suffering being can be identified. Hence, by nature we extend our natural aversion to discomfort of any degree to others somewhat indiscriminately, thus spontaneously feeling for the suffering of even a remote sentient being.

From these natural and instinctive human qualities are derived the primary objective of a society and the practical function of government.

Based upon our natural aversion to suffering which serves as the foundation for our innate moral sense, I conclude that the primary objective of a society is to shield every single person from undue suffering. In fact, the responsibility of any collective is to provide for the common good . It then follows that the practical function of government would be to administer a system to meet that end.

Although written by men who were inconsistent in the execution of their own documented principles, even the US Constitution obliges the Congress to provide for the common defense and the general welfare (The Preamble and Article 1 Section 8). The reality then of poverty in our land of plenty reveals that as a society we not only fail a natural collective obligation, but we even fail to execute the primary principles of our own constitution.

For the primary objective of a society and the practical function of government is to alleviate undue suffering by providing for the common good and for the general welfare. In circumstances when such is not the case, then the society should repent and the government should be revised accordingly.

Only then will the natural way of government be established, balance be restored, and harmony ultimately ensue.

Such as they are these are my thoughts as to the objective of a society and the function of government.

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On Suffering as the Measure of Ethics and the Existence of God

The question regarding the existence of a personal god must be discussed critically in the light of the ever present reality of suffering before the validity of the theory may be established. For since there is the evident reality of suffering; then the matter of whether a supernatural being exists would have to be critically examined within the context of such. Furthermore, the reality of suffering being self evident and all too easily established, then it seems only reasonable to begin by studying the matter of suffering, and then to measure the theory of the existence of God against such findings.

From the moment we are born, discomfort is our nemesis and comfort is our need. With each breath we take, from the moment of our birth, until the moment we pass away, each thought is to instinctively seek comfort and to avoid any degree whatsoever of discomfort. We cried on the day of our birth due to the discomfort of the pain of hunger, due to the discomfort of thirst, due to the discomfort of being cold, and due to the discomfort of our own soiled diapers. As adults, we adjust the thermostat in the morning when we wake up, and dress ourselves in attire suitable to avoid discomfort relative to the daily temperature. We do so because, like a dog who seeks shade in the Summer heat, we likewise have a natural aversion to discomfort of any given degree.

And so it is, that just as suffering is a natural reality, our most basic instinct is that of a natural aversion to discomfort of any given degree.

In fact, the depths of our aversion to suffering are by no means limited to negative reactions regarding merely our own personal discomfort. Are we not likewise distressed at the sight of or by the sounds of the suffering of even a stray animal who is screaming out in pain? (Note: Would not an exception to such be so extreme as to confirm the observation?) Granted, the question as to whether such reactions are a matter of an inherent or a conditioned response has of course long been a matter of philosophical debate. However; our distress in such scenarios nonetheless manifests a natural aversion to the suffering of others, just as we have an instinctive aversion to our own discomforts and pains.

The universal aversion of humanity to suffering then is a natural moral compass by which to measure “right” from “wrong”.

Every culture to my knowledge; whether secular or spiritually based, maintains laws relative to physical assault of a variety of degrees (Note: As with the individual, so with collective, communal humankind. For if there is a culture which would prove an exception in this regard, then such would likewise be so out of the ordinary as to establish the point at hand). These seemingly universal restraints against physical abuse then would seem to be founded upon and rooted in our natural aversion to discomfort and suffering. And so it is that societies are generally known to utilize the concept of suffering as a natural and therefore reasonable moral compass by which to measure “right” from “wrong”; at least in terms of physical actions.

Hence, the basic understanding of humanity as a whole is that in general:

It is wrong to hurt someone, in any shape, form, or fashion; and .
It is wrong to allow someone to suffer when we have the means to adequately address such suffering.

These common understandings then form a natural basis for each person’s moral code. Now, as with most everything in life, the principles so stated must be governed by common sense relative to each specific situation. In that regard, there are of course exceptions to the first principle, but each such exception is nonetheless still based upon a natural aversion to suffering. For example, the doctor who performs surgery inflicts pain in the process, and furthermore knows that the person will have a degree of pain during the recovery period. Yet, the reason the doctor performs the surgery is in an effort to prevent suffering of a greater degree, or to even save the person’s life. Thus, although there is pain in the process, such is inflicted systematically in order to prevent further pain. Or the person who hurts someone while restraining them from inflicting injury upon another does so with the intent and purpose to prevent further pain and suffering. In fact, in such instances, the person inflicting the pain actually does so as a means to comply with the second principle as so stated. For in the case of the doctor, the means at her disposal to adequately address a person’s ongoing or potential pain is to perform surgery, even though that process naturally entails a degree of pain of its own. Or in the case of the person defending the person under assault, the means at his disposal is to restrain the person carrying out the assault, even though that act in and of itself may hurt the assailant in the process. Yet the suffering so inflicted under such circumstances, is clearly inflicted in order to prevent further pain.

Having established then undue suffering as the measure of “right” and “wrong”; we now turn our attention to the role of the Universe with regard to such. For the reality of suffering being ever evident; the role of the Universe in the process is key to understanding the nature of all things.

For I would suggest that the Universe is both an active party in afflicting humanity with all forms of undue suffering, and that the Universe nonetheless remains ever indifferent as to the effects so inflicted, regardless of how so extreme. As to the former, a mere newspaper or world news television should prove the point. Tsunamis, diseases, tornados, floods, droughts, fires, and any other number of “natural disasters” (aka in certain circles as “Acts of God”) manifest the active role that the Universe exercises in the affliction of humanity and all sentient beings with undue suffering. The fact that the tree that falls in the direction of the helpless child will do so without swerving to avoid inflicting the toddler with bodily harm, or that the body of water into which the small child falls will not transform to a state of buoyancy but will rather envelope the child and fill the toddler’s lungs to the point of a traumatic and painful death, or that the tornado will not divert its trek in order to avoid killing men, women, and children indiscriminately are but a few of several examples that the Universe is absolutely indifferent as to the effect of the suffering and the misery so inflicted.

The Universe then is indiscriminate suffering with indifference as to effect.

The fact that the Universe remains indifferent as to its effect upon sentient beings one way or the other, leads to one of two seemingly inescapable conclusions regarding the nature of the Universe:

The Universe is an impersonal reality; and thus unable to feel for the misery of sentient beings; or
The Universe is a malevolent personal being (or the agent thereof); and thus is
insensitive to the misery so inflicted.

The fact that Nature is seemingly devoid of any qualities of personality would seem to invalidate any theories of a personal deity of any given nature, malevolent or otherwise. The former theory however; makes sense in the light of the daily reality of indiscriminate suffering in an indifferent Universe.

And so, in the light of the daily reality of indiscriminate suffering in an indifferent Universe, I conclude that an indifferent Universe encompasses all reality, and hence there is no personal God.

Now, as I said from the outset, to me the logical course to pursue in ascertaining whether there is a god is to evaluate the theory in the consideration of the reality of suffering. Such is what I have done, hence in my mind the matter has been sufficiently investigated and the case has been adequately made that in the light of the daily reality of indiscriminate suffering in an indifferent Universe, there simply is no evidence whatsoever of the existence of a personal God.

Yet for the sake of social convention, I will consider briefly the Judeo-Christian theory that the Universe was created and is maintained by a benevolent god, as per the Hebrew Bible book of Genesis. As the theory is so commonly accepted in our society, I am compelled to address the teachings in the context of the current discussion. However; the same course of study will be pursued: The theory of a personal Creationist God by the name of Jehovah must be evaluated in the light of the evident reality of indiscriminate suffering in an indifferent Universe. Only then can we maintain the integrity of a sound discussion based upon fact and reality.

As I have already reasoned, since the Universe exhibits no qualities of personality, then there is simply no evidence to support the theory that a personal God exists and maintains or regulates such. Hence, I would suggest that the theory of Jehovah has already been sufficiently discredited on those merits. Yet a consideration of the Creation account of Genesis 1; assessed in the light of indiscriminate suffering in an indifferent Universe, even further tends to discredit the theory of Jehovah.

The Creation account of Genesis 1 and the reality of indiscriminate suffering in an indifferent Universe are seemingly irreconcilable concepts.

The reason being is, that if there is an omniscient God who created the Universe, then that God would have known in advance what would come to pass as a subsequent result of that act. Jehovah would have had to have known about every moment of suffering that would have naturally been experienced since the moment that he made the decision to create the Universe. To be clear on the matter: The decision would have been his to make. No one would have forced God to follow through with that decision. God then would have willingly and with complete foreknowledge of the suffering that would come to pass made the decision to create the world, thus having created the circumstances that serve as the context for any and all suffering.

The questions that must then be asked:

What did Jehovah know?
When did Jehovah know it?

If in fact, Jehovah is an omniscient and omnipotent God, and if the record of Genesis 1 be true, then it is the case that He Himself is responsible for the premeditated act of creating the context of all suffering which would ever come to pass. Such being the case, I myself simply cannot reconcile the concept of a deity being benevolent, and at the same time having been responsible for knowingly creating the context of all suffering which would ever come to pass. Under such circumstances, then God could have prevented all suffering that ever would have come to pass by simply not creating the Universe in the first place. But by choosing to do so, then God becomes responsible for the inevitable suffering which only He Himself could have foreknown, and only He Himself could have prevented. Thus, by the premeditated act of creating the context of all suffering which would ever come to pass, then God instead manifests himself to be a malevolent being, rather than the benevolent God of the Judeo-Christian tradition (Incidentally, such is the very reasoning for the Christian Gnostic and Marcionite Christian teachings that Jehovah was indeed a malevolent being, and not the Father God of the New Testament. Although I do not adhere to such, the logic behind the theory is consistent in the light of indiscriminate suffering in a Universe which is indifferent to such misery).

In the light then of a Universe of indiscriminate suffering and indifference as to effect; then the words: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” would actually be an indictment of the most irresponsible and insensitive act ever recorded in history.

In conclusion, the ever present reality of indiscriminate suffering in a Universe which is clearly indifferent to such seems to encompass all reality. Furthermore, there seems to be no evidence to support the theory of a personal deity. Hence I personally do not believe in the existence of any personal God whatsoever. I believe the Genesis Creation story to be the Hebrew myth in a time when such myths were common to many cultures of antiquity. Finally, it seems to me that the best a person or a society can do is to seek comfort for self and others, and insofar as it is possible, to refrain from hurting anyone in any way.

Such as they are then, these are my thoughts on the matter of suffering, ethics, and the question of the existence of God.

Dave Henderson
Denison, Texas

On The Quality of One’s Character

The notion that a person’s character is assessed by religious beliefs or non-beliefs, or by sexual preferences or domestic living arrangements, or by the color of one’s skin, or by whether one is living in poverty, or by whether a person is in debt, or by one’s political sympathies, or by one’s degree of patriotism, or by a number of other trivial social situations and philosophies; are all notions which are based upon ignorant and antiquated thinking.

There is but one standard by which the character of a person is determined. That standard being how a person treats others.

For seemingly all other factors notwithstanding, the individual who turns her or his back on the suffering of a sentient being, or who is responsible for the suffering of any sentient being, or who would hinder the welfare of another who is suffering and in need, or who exploits people, animals, or the planet; or who engages in the maltreatment of human, animal, or the environment; any such person’s morals are lacking and that person is wanting in character, regardless of any other seemingly redeemable qualities of that individual’s being.

Religion As A Response To An Existential Reality

Religion which develops as a response to the human predicament of an existential reality; supplements mere existence with purpose while attaching meaning to life, and is utilized as a means to cope and connect midst despair and disconnect.

For on its own terms, reality is chaos and an absurdity.

Chaos because we have no control over our being. At least in terms of our having come to be. Granted, within the bounds of situation, skills, circumstance, and opportunity we have limited control over our essence; that is what we as a person become. But the notion that “we are in control” is perhaps the most profound of all paradoxes. If Nature is a personal being, then surely Mother Nature mocks us at every turn.

We live, we love, we seek, we aspire, we find, we accomplish, we decay, and then we die.

Just as we have absolutely no control whatsoever over our having come into existence, we are generally limited even as to when we expire.

In the view of our immanent decay and demise we struggle to connect. Ever in search of a comfort zone, the quest for connection is a continuum. A continuum of unpredictable uncertainty at each turn. We never know when we might get deathly ill; we never know when we might wake up with a sore throat and be down with a cold for several days. We never know when we might slip and fall, or just happen to be on the bus that is involved in a wreck. We never know when we might suffer any mishap of any given degree. We never know when our loved ones might suffer any mishap of any degree. Life is a continuum which oscillates between desirable distractions from the reality of our mortality; these desirable distraction being known as “good times”, and the grim reality that life is the predicament of a natural and therefore temporary existence wherein we are subject to conditions of the continuum which are unpredictable and oftentimes beyond our control.

The absurdity of it all is that in spite of no odds for survival, nonetheless we press on. We mostly shelter ourselves from reality by simply not thinking of the inevitable; opting rather to make a life for ourselves which will as surely corrode and crumble as the fact that we most assuredly do exist. We choose to endure and persevere as though we have a choice, yet the truth is that the only alternative is to lay down and die. Yet again herein is the absurdity: Whether we choose to endure and persevere or whether we choose to lay down and die; nonetheless eventually: We decay and we die. The truth be told, we have no control and we will lose our fight for living regardless of all efforts to the contrary.

Reality then on its own terms is chaos and an absurdity.

And so humanity, seemingly in an effort to cope with the chaos, has developed an alternative to reality whereby meaning may be attached to the absurdity of the human predicament. This alternative is religion. Religion then is, for all practical purposes, an alternative to reality.

Religion offers as an alternative to the chaos of reality: Hope to survive this life by living in another, an inherent purpose for our being, and an ultimate meaning to it all. Reality on its own terms does not offer hope as such, for reality is merely existence, such as it is. Reality on its own terms does not involve purpose as such, for existence is merely a random state of being, a natural development from other natural developments if you will. And reality on its own terms does not have meaning as such, for reality is merely being, and being is all that there is.

For many, the brutal reality that there is no hope to survive this life nor promise that we might live in another is simply too much to accept. Furthermore, many cannot abide the thought that their life has no inherent meaning or ultimate purpose. And so in order to cope with a reality which on its own terms lacks hope, meaning, or purpose, many turn to religion to offer an alternative to reality. For these folk, the solace and consolation that they find lacking in life, is fundamental to and is in fact the fabric of the alternative to reality which is known as religion.

Thus, for those who want more to life than life itself, there is an alternative to reality which promises life in the great beyond. And for those who seek answers which existential being by its very nature simply cannot supply, those answers are found via the medium of the alternative to reality which is known as religion. Thus, in this alternative to reality there is the hope, the purpose, and the meaning which is lacking in existential reality.

Religion then which develops in response to the human predicament is a means by which some “folk can cope” with the evident emptiness of an existential reality. Ironically, in so doing, believers actually do as most folk do by distracting themselves from the inevitable and pressing on in spite of their own mortality. Yet, rather than merely ignoring the inevitable reality that no one will survive this experience known as life, religionists supplement that predicament with an alternative to that reality which in fact satisfies their yearning for hope and for answers. In this fashion, believers experience the consolation which they find lacking in reality, by imagining that that they are somehow in control and are able to overcome the inevitable reality of decay and eventual death.

In conclusion, it is my personal opinion that religion which develops in response to the human predicament of an existential reality, is a natural development and is on its own terms a good thing. Now, that might sound strange coming from an Atheist. But to me “good” is anything that eases pain or offers consolation. Thus, so long as one’s religion helps them cope with life, and does so without moving them to condemn or control the life of others, then speaking for myself, I would deem such a religion to be a good thing.

Furthermore, having lived in that alternative to reality known as religion even into my 40’s, I understand the concept of being consoled when a loved one passes away by imagining them “in a better place”. Admittedly, now a days I console myself when I lose a loved one by acknowledging the more evident reality that they “are no longer suffering”. But so long as the effect enables a person to cope, then let the details be damned.

It’s like John Lennon sang:

“Whatever gets you through the night,
‘salright, ‘salright”

Dave Henderson
Denison, Texas

A Moral Code Based Upon The Bible

When a society bases its moral code on the Bible, that society utilizes the moral code of the Hebrews of some two to three thousand years ago as its standard for right and wrong attitudes and activity. The Hebrew culture of some two to three thousand years ago was sexist and homophobic; and its national way of life was based upon imperialism, militarism, and institutionalized slavery. It would seem then that any culture which bases its moral code on the Bible would surely be destined to become a society which is sexist and homophobic; which would invade and control other cultures, and whose economy would be based upon the exploitation of human servitude.

All Suffering Is Our Own Fault

Six days of Creation,
So the human tragedy commenced.
All suffering is our own fault,
So we have been convinced.

God soon came to realize,
That creating humanity was a mistake.
So he murdered all the bad people,
In order for a new humanity to make.

There were many innocents who suffered,
God drowned children, and all the babies.
But all suffering is our own fault,
No ifs, ands, buts, or maybes.

The perverts of Sodom,
At the door they came a knockin’.
Hey Lot, send out those two men,
And let’s get this party a rockin’.

But righteous Lot, he was a cool one,
He did not for a moment lose his head.
Said, please do not do this terrible thing,
Here, rape my two daughters instead.

But God would not allow these two virgins,
To lose their virginity at this time.
So the overzealous perverts,
Right then and there went blind.

Then God told righteous Lot,
And Lot’s wife, ole what’s her name,
To get the hell out of that place,
Said I’m serious son, this ain’t no game.

Gonna torch this sinful city,
Rain down fire and brimstone.
Don’t even look back,
Time to just BE GONE!!

But ole what’s her name,
You know, righteous Lot’s wife.
That sinful woman looked back!
So, God took her life.

Made an example of her,
Turned her into a pillar of salt.
We don’t know her name,
But “Remember Lot’s wife” we ought.

All the people of 60 cities,
Were killed, not a single person survived,
This pleased God you know,
Call it righteous genocide.

Besides, you cannot blame God,
When children and babies are murdered.
All suffering is our own fault,
No need to rationalize further.

Just like when Joshua’s men,
Killed children and babies with the sword.
All suffering is our own fault,
This we know from God’s word.

And those Midianite virgins,
Who Moses allowed to be taken as sex slaves.
Their parents and brothers Moses had murdered,
Because God did not like how they behaved.

But you cannot blame God,
When virgins are raped and sinners are murdered.
All suffering is our own fault,
No need to rationalize further.

Phineas understood how God grieves,
When a mixed marriage takes place.
So he murdered them both with a spear,
To keep pure their religion and their race.

Its a bummer when bad things happen,
Babies drowned and slaughtered and .killed.
But all suffering is our own fault,
Even when it’s in accord with God’s will.

Six days of Creation,
So the human tragedy commenced.
All suffering is our own fault,
So we have been convinced.

Dave Henderson

On Offensive Mascots

As of late, the topic of “offensive mascots” in sports has resurfaced, specifically with reference to the Washington Redskins. Although this topic oftentimes circulates, there seems to be very little action taken towards changing the name of questionable mascots. Yet the controversy abounds, as evidenced by the recent Native American demonstration outside the nationally televised Dallas-Washington Monday night football game in Texas.

Invariably, (and predictably) people tend to opine quite passionately on each side of this issue when the topic arises. The arguments vary from allusions to tradition and history by those who wish to maintain the “status quo”, to accusations of bigotry and racism by those who are calling for changes to be made. The “maintain status quo” crowd claims the groups calling for mascot name changes are being overly sensitive. The “make name changes” crowd claims that those who cling to questionable mascots are being insensitive.

Who is right?
Who is wrong?

Let us consider the perspective of “the maintain status quo” crowd.

I can well recall my perspective when I first became aware that there even was an issue relative to team mascots. I thought the whole debate was simply ridiculous. I had grown up a baseball fan, and in particularly was taken with Hank Aaron, the great Atlanta Braves slugger who eventually broke Babe Ruth’s career home run record. As Hammerin’ Hank neared the record, the role of the longtime Braves’ mascot Chief Noc-A-Homa took on a more than significant meaning to baseball fans of the early ‘70s. In fact, during the period of time en route to Aaron’s eventual overtaking of The Babe on the All Time Home Run list, Chief Noc-A-Homa was perhaps the best known and most beloved of all baseball mascots.

I had likewise attended Texas Rangers baseball games in my home community of DFW, and more than once I had the opportunity to watch them compete against the Cleveland Indians. It never occurred to me when I saw the Chief Wahoo caricature on the opposition’s caps that such was somehow insensitive or offensive. I merely wanted my Rangers to beat the visiting Cleveland club. The image of the Native American with the silly looking grin on his face was of no concern to me one way or the other.

Such is the perspective of the unaffected and the historically biased with regards to racial insensitivity. Unfortunately, such is the perspective of conditioned ignorance which can lead to selective insensitivity.

I myself unwittingly maintained a historic bias with regards to racially insensitive mascots and logos.

My historical bias was of course that of a sports fan. My perspective was to view mascots such as Atlanta’s Chief Noc-A-Homa and Cleveland’s Chief Wahoo as merely an aspect of the sports fan experience. I never would have thought to associate Chief Noc-A-Homa’s Tee Pee in the stands as making fun of or insensitive towards the Native American people. Nor would I have thought of the silly grin on Chief Wahoo’s face as somehow disrespectful towards or demeaning of Native American persons. But the reason for my clueless perspective was that I was viewing such through the prism of a sports fan with no depth of thought as to unintended effect.

But my thinking on the matter was likewise clouded by yet another historical bias. For my historical bias as to offensive mascots was not only that of a sports fan, but likewise my historical bias was that of being the product of a less racially sensitive time than even now.

Granted, the ‘60s and ‘70s (my school years) were times of growth, maturity, and progress with reference to race relations. Yet, those were likewise times of awkwardness, frustration, and insensitivity towards minorities as caucasians and minorities alike adjusted to the concept of social equality. Now in some ways these were mere “growing pains”, yet there was an undercurrent of a more problematic nature which made the transition uncomfortable and in some cases unbearable for minorities in general. There were doubtless positive strides made towards social equality, but looking back I think we were more slow to be SENSITIVE to the feelings of minorities in the process than we likely realized. Frankly, there was a sense of condescension as minorities were allowed to “come on board” so to speak, that left an impression that we caucasians were doing some sort of favor for African Americans and others by accepting them onto the same side of the street, into the same public schools, and yes; even into the same public restrooms. Consequently, there was undoubtedly an intensified frustration for minorities who were being “allowed” into a mainstream public, when that public included restaurants with names like Sambos and where influential city personnel and public officials had lawn ornaments of little black boys with white hats and silly grins.

The transition of race relations in the ‘60s and ‘70s was frankly slow and tedious, and our thinking was unfortunately still clouded by an assumed superiority and a sometimes unintentional yet nonetheless ever hurtful insensitivity to people who had been subjugated and separated for no fault of their own save the ignorance and arrogance of our own forefathers.

But that was then, and this is now.

Frankly, the times of unintentional insensitivity are times of the past. As lame as the excuses were then, there simply are no longer viable excuses for vile conduct. We caucasians have had plenty of time to finally grow up and get over our assumed superiority over the minorities of our society.

It is time that we stop telling others what is and is not offensive, and time for us to LISTEN to others as they ENLIGHTEN US as to the realities of insensitivity and inappropriateness.

It is time for us to accept that ours is not to assume that we know what is and is not acceptable, and time for us to LISTEN to others as they ENLIGHTEN US as to what is and what is not appropriate.

I am convinced that the burden of responsibility is upon society to listen to AND to defer as a matter of respect to minorities with reference to any and all mascots that they deem offensive, and make the necessary adjustments post haste. If that means that the name Redskins needs to go the way of the name of Sambo’s, then so be it. If that means Chief Wahoo needs to go the way of racist lawn ornaments then so be it. If that even means that mascots such as Chiefs (my favorite NFL team as it were), Braves, and Warriors need to go by the wayside as well, then so be it.

The responsibility is not for minorities to “grow up by giving in” to the will of the caucasian driven society, but rather the time is come for society to be sensitive to and willingly defer to the feelings of all people.

The place is not society’s to dictate to minorities what should and should not be offensive to them. Rather the time has come for society to be sensitive towards the feelings of all people and acquiesce to those who request change as a matter of respect for their heritage and their culture.

Frankly, the time has come for a culture which claims to be founded upon Christian values to practice what their principles preach. It is time to “do unto others as we would have them do unto us”.

It is time to stop hiding behind lame excuses of pure intent, and time to make respectful changes necessary to demonstrate pure intent.

It is time to be sensitive towards the feelings of others.

It is time to actually care about the effect that our social actions have on others.

It is time for our society to grow up and do the right thing.

Dave Henderson
Denison, Texas

On The Need For Resistance

Generally and historically speaking, those who benefit from social injustice in this country have not been known to make the changes necessary in order to transition a morally deficient system or practice into that of fairness and equal rights, without being absolutely forced to do so.

Slavery in this country did not end due to the proactive remorse of those who were benefiting from the degradation and exploitation of their fellow being.

Slavery ended because those who were benefiting from a moral wrong were forced to do the right thing, and against their will at that.

Child labor in this country did not end due to the soft hearts of those who were working 9 and 10 year old children full 10 hours and more shifts for their own personal profit.

Child labor ended because those who were benefiting from an immoral wrong were forced to do the right thing, and against their will at that.

Women in this country did not gain the right to vote because misogynistic and patriarchal men suddenly saw the error of their ways, thus proactively and voluntarily allowing women the right to become a part of the political process.

The patriarchs and misogynists who had prevented women the right to vote in this country were forced to do the right thing, and against their will at that.

African Americans in this country did not gain the right to equal education and equal public rights as most every other race because the white public suddenly felt remorse for centuries of social oppression of the black community.

African Americans in this country secured the right to equal education and equal public rights because racists and bigots were forced to the the right thing, and against their will at that.

Our national history is such that moral progress comes about because and when those who are benefiting from social injustice are forced to do the right thing.

Furthermore, (and perhaps most importantly) social progress and just amends have almost always been precipitated by pressure from the oppressed upon those who benefit from social injustice.

When and only when the oppressed speak out and resist being the victims of social injustice, then and only then has there tended to be necessary social change towards realized social justice.

Our nation’s history being a matter of record and reality, there is no reason to assume that those of our society who benefit from social injustice will ever voluntarily and willingly give way to a system of social and economic justice, unless they are absolutely forced to do so.

And on the same premise, we would be naive and foolish to assume that social and economic injustices will ever be set right unless and until the victims of social and economic justice continue to speak out and collectively resist those who exploit lives and daily labor for their own benefit.

We must continue to speak out.
We must continue to write.
We must continue to protest.

Those of our country who benefit from a system of social and economic injustice simply have to be forced to do the right thing, even if it is against their will to do so.

Don’t ever give up, and don’t ever give in.

A Call to Harm

The right to pray for the successful extraction of pertinent information from the enemy by our enhanced interrogation personnel (aka: Torturers); and the right to pray for the steady aim of our snipers as they cut unsuspecting people down dead in their tracks, and the right to pray for the success of our trained assassins in the execution of their sworn duty, and the right to pray for a direct strike by our drones as they eliminate overpopulation in rural villages by killing men, women, and children alike; and the general right to pray for “our side” to prevail with blood on our hands and praise for God on our lips; must ever remain the sacred right of all peaceful and spiritual peoples; from coast to coast.

Amen.