Christmas Letter 12/25/07
For weeks, I have been intellectually hibernating. But this morning, instead of watching crappy Christmas programs on TV, I watched a Bill Moyers program which I had taped several months ago in which he interviewed Maxine Hong Kingston about her group of writers and poets and their writings about their experiences in past and present wars, and it got me thinking again.
Rather than writing a few pleasantries about the Yuletide season, I have chosen to write about the world I see from the comfortable home I presently live in and am fairly well confined to now (though I also choose to be here and find great joy with my pets.)
Starting with the Democrats, our main concerns are:
The environment, which will either save or end all life on earth.
Growing population, which cannot be controlled with fences, only with humane and intelligent control.
Religious freedom, which was promised in our Constitution and applies to all forms of spiritual thought.
And War, which applies to all of the above and can only be controlled by the most humane and universal values of human beings as a whole.
Republican concerns, on the other hand, tend to be largely negative, in that they seek to control the values of others:
I received a voter’s guide from the League of Conservation Voters the other day regarding the Environment, and while all the Democrats supported a strong environmental policy, the Republicans either gave very weak support to such a policy or did not even articulate a position on it.
With regard to over-population, the Republican solution is to “protect” us by walling off the rest of the world, while at the same time feeling free to travel the world whenever and wherever we please. This has produced a steadily growing animosity between us and our neighbors.
Religious freedom has become an enormous cancer on the souls of human beings. President Bush and his advisers craftily took advantage of the Christian religion, particularly the evangelical Christians, most of whom are indoctrinated in their beliefs in very early childhood, to build their political party. And their most sacred belief is that they, and only they, know the true God. This, in turn, has led to an “us” against “them” separation both among Americans and between Americans and the rest of the world.
As for War, isn’t it odd that Pres. Bush, the devout Christian should be leading a crusade that may eventually end all life on Earth? His Christians value human beings (only some human beings) over all other life on the Earth, the Earth that their God created. And about the war, isn’t it also odd that most of those who have laid their lives down for his war are people with little education or future, while most of his true believers have chosen to stay home? And many more of the “others” have been killed, guilty “terrorists” as well as innocents.
Which brings me back to Kingman, and the story one of her group wrote about the war he was in. He said that the worst memory of all his terrible memories was of a comrade being burned alive, and that he, the survivor, actually salivated at the smell of his friend’s burning flesh.
An odd way to end a Christmas letter, I’ll admit, but this is the way I see the world from here. By the way, a Christian friend here was surprised that I said Merry Christmas to him. Not only did I mean it, but I am happy to have it said back to me.
Merry Christmas from Anne, the atheist and socialist.
Christmas Letter 12/25/07