What with the Mormon Church, prompting the Utah State Legislature, to pass laws “protecting religion” – in the wake of their proposed endorsement of laws protecting the LGBT community against discrimination. And news of other states trying to prevent the teaching of in-depth facts, concerning those more unsavory bits of US History – that mainly occurred within our own borders. Then add in ISIS, marching twenty-one Libyan Christians to their deaths, on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea, and I’ve been caught up in a whirl of apparently divergent thoughts, that seem to coalesce around a common center. Who’s center seems to be nowhere – and everywhere at once.
I’ll begin by taking up the threads to a few individual topics, and attempt to show where they weave themselves together.
If you desire to be good, begin by believing that you are wicked.
First off, I share the perplexity of many, over this current situation with ISIS. And, while President Obama has bent over backwards, in declaring our national position as anything but a religious war against Islam, the truth of the situation must be acknowledged: As they titled the video of their latest atrocity “A MESSAGE – SIGNED IN BLOOD – TO THE NATION OF THE CROSS,” ISIS has declared this a holy war. And not just against Christian and other non-Muslim faiths. The forces of ISIS have carried out reprehensible war crimes against their fellow Islamic Muslims, as well. The driving ideology behind ISIS is tantamount to having declared themselves masters of the entire world. A position obviously delusional, but requiring some sort of military intervention, to assure its demise, as well. After all, we can’t, in good conscience, continue to sit on our hands, while the forces of ISIS indiscriminately round-up and slaughter thousands of innocent men, women, and children, in wholesale acts of ethnic and religious cleansing, not seen since the Nazi Holocaust.
Leaving that, for just a moment, the second thread I’d like to pick up on, has more to do with the superstitious, religious underpinnings – held by large numbers of those admittedly “more normal folks” – that none the less impact negatively on the rest of civilized society. Particularly where it presents as a backlash against rational, scientific thinking and discoveries. Scientific findings and discoveries, that have shown the ability to completely outstrip the limits of religiously based, superstitious understanding, of folks still looking to some God they can barely agree on, for guidance. And that, while obstinately digging in their heals, or acting out as overt obstructionists, in refusing to accept many modern scientific procedures and protocols. Especially where it comes to healthcare and physician interventions. Which said believers typically decry as ‘interfering in God’s plan.’ (Lord help us all.)
Capitalism has destroyed our belief in any effective power but that of self-interest backed by force. – George Bernard Shaw
It can be easily seen – if not completely understood – how these subjects have been made objects of political pandering. With scientific facts, new discoveries, and civil liberties, increasingly taking ‘hits’ from self-righteous religious communities, in their self-serving attempts to set themselves up as arbitrators between their mythical God, and man. (There, but for a secular government and a few more abortion clinic shootings, goes the American Taliban.) And, while rational thinking is degraded anytime it is forced to shoehorn itself into the mold of someone’s arbitrary religious belief, the world has yet to arrive at the most logical conclusion: That religious reach – that extends anywhere beyond a person’s inner most comforting superstition – has become an anachronism in the modern world. Certainly in those areas where they fail to not only grasp scientific findings, but refuse to acknowledge any higher, scientific understanding. For apparent conundrums that are clearly beyond their personal levels of education – and religious indoctrination – to grasp.
Lastly, I’d like to point to education – or rather, the lack of education – that has caused these social afflictions to fester and become septic. Not only in those particularly troubled areas of the world – like the mid east, and ISIS – but which continue to fester and infect the more judicious operations of societies everywhere. With disruptive subjects that, again, have been politicized to levels far beyond their rational place of importance, in the modern world.
Nothing is more surprising than the easiness with which the many are governed by the few. – David Hume
It’s important to recognize that, to really politicize an issue – anything from abortion to climate change – requires the action of some interested party or parties. Whether it be a religious oligarchy, attempting to maintain control over the hearts and minds of a religiously superstitious community – even if they can’t sway the Republic – or those Industrialists who would fund political opposition, and continue to politically undercut social support, while working to derail Climate Change initiatives and anything to do with regulating their industries. These are the real Devils In The Details, that need to be exposed and turned out to the disinfecting light of day.
But returning to politics and religion, once again, It’s time we recognized that religious institutions are overwhelmingly political institutions, as well. And as such, make up a religious-political slime coat, that would make ownership of oppressive government edicts, their own. While both are equally opposed to educating the masses – and not just the children – as well.
Hypocrisy is a sort of homage that vice pays to virtue.
– Francis Duc De Rochefoucauld
Contrary to any smooth lip service received, both groups – independently and conspired – wish to keep the largest parts of humanity in the dark, when it comes to understanding the world they live in. And who the powers that be, really are. And what better way to stunt their education, than by miss-educating them about some of the most important aspects of life. Then there is that other great assurance to achieving low social involvement – real social involvement. And it amounts to the overwhelming number of distractions available. Electronics, and all kinds of boy-toys – and let’s not leave out sex – to distract and misdirect the minds of men and women everywhere. Particularly the young men and women.
This subject has been taken up by any number of more knowledgeable folks than myself. But to reiterate, what better way for the 1% to continue picking your pockets – and stealing your government right out from under your noses – than getting you to focus on this years new Monster Truck, the latest iteration of an AR-15. Hype gun control rhetoric, or get you looking forward to the new iPad, due out in the fall …
Or how about getting you to put your noses in other people’s business? That’s an old favorite that plays into the religious power broker’s hands. Protesting gay marriage, gay adoptions, legalized abortion, sex education, and any new means of birth control, or protection from STDs. And for the really tough crowd, how about dangling legalized marijuana before your equally interested appetites? That’s sure to get you focused on just about anything else.
The terrible thing about the quest for truth, is that you find it.
– Remy de Gourmont
But to digress: War in the middle east is no special concern for Big Military – and the Military – Industrial Complex. There’s always been fighting going on over there somewhere – right!? And those bombs and planes aren’t going to build themselves now, are they? So don’t go expecting those defense contracts to just go begging …
You see what I mean. That’s why we need education – real education. And learn how to ignore the least of these concerns, red herrings, and full-time distractions. Especially the ones brought to us courtesy of Rabid Religion and Red-Meat Radio. And hawked just a bit more subtly, by our own smarmy career politicians. Here at home – and in Washington, DC.
So, where does it all come together? What is the common center around which all these actual forces of evil coalesce? Possibly just the realization that we’re all being lied to. That religion is just one more divisive means to set tribe against tribe. That, because religious politics are ubiquitous, all wars are religious wars – fought against ignorance and brutality. And that – yes – we’re engaged in a religious war against ISIS. Not in the sense of the Crusades, for hell’s sake, but in the sense of fighting against some grandiose religious delusion, that would present itself as a political ideology. Political, indeed. Religion remains the main quasi-political smoke screen, for every manner of unsavory conduct, discrimination, and conflict, in the world today. (Better make sure we protect it!)