The notion that a radical is one who hates his country is naive and usually idiotic. He is, more likely, one who loves his country more than the rest of us, and is thus more disturbed than the rest of us when he sees it debauched. He is not a bad citizen turning to crime; he is a good citizen driven to despair.
I have made some edits to my original post.
Religion in one form or another is sweeping across the surface of the Earth, shoving everything non-human and everyone human but non-religious before it. The only force that can meet it with any weapons capable of defense are those nonreligious humans who have thought alot about the subject.
Using myself as the example to speak for agnostics and atheists, I will speak of those matters which count most to me and govern my life. I can’t speak for those who have never considered such matters, as my mind boggles at the thought of anyone with a working mind who is in that category.
On the other hand, I am not a very good example. First of all, I was born into a very wealthy family, and I still have enough money, even with a serious, longstanding illness, to get along very comfortably and pass on something to my two children. However, I only know what I know about poor and impoverished people from observation. And I have, through one means or another, observed.
Many of the world’s peoples and nations believe that their lives are rewarded or punished by some form of deity. And they seek succor, through some form of worship, for their needs and wants. Often, this succor involves happiness and/or wealth. (By the way, wealth, especially great wealth, is not always the best answer to prayer.
Agnostics (I will use that title for all nonbelievers because it’s just easier) find that their solutions (and there may be many more than one solution) are best worked out in their own individual minds. It may come as a surprise to many religious people that many, if not all true agnostics are extremely honest, and the news tells us that honesty cannot always be learned in church.
I have been listening this morning to a debate on C-Span which is similar to the usual fare for weekends. The subject is United States history, highlighting the most important events in recent years as discussed among well-known scholars and authors. The subject this morning is American differences with other nations on various events.
Religion is seldom discussed, though it seems to me that religion is at the very core of almost every national belief, worthy to some of giving one’s life to protect and perpetuate. It is overpopulation and misappropriation of both wealth and education, however, which will bring this world down, and seldom, if ever, is the subject brought up on the media.
Overpopulation and someone else’s religion are the ingredients for the End of the World bomb. The world can no longer feed all the humans and other animals already here. How is it possible to continue with the doctrine that all life is precious, that babies or adults, mentally or physically deformed, or living in agonzing pain, must be kept alive? How can women be encouraged to continue to produce more babies, who will produce even more babies, who will continue to produce more babies, who...................?
How can someone who attends church hunt for pleasure? If killing for fun doesn’t stop him, how about the fact that so many animals are now becoming extinct ? I’m going to throw up.
Unfortunately, though we live in one of the most fortunate nations, we have gone from belief in equality to belief in the right to accrue as much as we want or can. Many of us are lucky enough to have been born rich and/or more intelligent than the average. Many so described have chosen to follow the road which leads to greater wealth. Many others, however, have chosen to follow the road which can lead to consequential improvement in the lives of those less fortunate. These include people who contribute both money and time to those who need them, as well as explorers who venture into places like jungles and the frozen North in the search for what humans have done to non-humans, as well as for what discoveries may help the world as a whole.
The pleasures that Americans used to seek included the ability to work hard and live comfortably, provide for your family, to pay your employees fairly, and to share with others. For thousands of Americans now, the richer they can get is how rich they want to be. In the present world, USING the entire world as their playpen has become the purpose of their lives, almost always at the expense and service of the poor. (I went to Mexico many years ago, and was so embarrassed that I have never gone on another vacation.
Oh, and another thing: If wars are so damned important to this nation, why haven’t we been having a draft from the very beginning.? Or enlistments by the masses? I am sick of seeing so many civilians singing the National Anthem and waving the flag. I wish the President would institute a draft.
To finish my harangue, I want to say that I am not entirely anti anyone who goes to church. President Obama is the best we have gotten in all my 87 years. He has a wonderful sense of humor, mostly at himself, and very reassuring manner toward people the world over. He seems to be having unexpected trouble in Afghanistan, but I am not privy to everything going on there, and I will hang in there with him unless and until I find that he has gone power crazy. This is not the best time to offer a minor criticism, but here goes. I wish that the president would not usher other rulers off of their own stages when he is the guest and they are the hosts. On the other hand, he has been criticized for bowing before an Eastern ruler on being introduced. (Can’t remember who, but you’ll forget when you’re 87 too.) The bow was courteous, and the President was paying respect, not obeisance.
Thoughts Worth Delving Into
Leafing into my old files, here are some notes I have made which deserve holding onto and eventually expanding. Some of them are old, but all deserve further thought:
Some people, including many Republicans, have claimed that they are the party of peace and opportunity, yet we are hisorically a country at war.
The two subjects of most importance to Republicans and also other Americans are abortion and homosexuality—two subjects which should be determined by the people to whom they apply. Abortion is the linchpin of hope for any solution to the most important problem in the world—overpopulation. And homosexuality is a condition applying to many people from birth. There is nothing intrinsically evil or harmful about it to the rest of humanity. Leave them alone!
I have heard a number of Republicans say that they don’t want any of their money to go to immigrants—a really gracious spiritual thought. On the other hand, if you are so poor you cannot share any of your money with anyone even needier than you are, you may be eligible to receive someone else’s money—possibly from an immigrant.
The right to vote should not hinge on turning 21, or knowing some distant names and dates, but on some questions that test your mental acuity A citizen running for office should not be elected solely because of his origin or because he is good looking.
In spite of claims to the contrary, the news is beginning to reveal racial and religious discord on both sides in the armed forces.
Does the economy increase because more citizens are making more money? Does it decrease because more people are making less money? If the economy increases, does it share its wealth with the needy? In other words, does it change because of more money for everyone, or does it change solely because of increasing population?
As an ex-librarian, and a finicky one at that, it is with shame that I admonish everyone to DATE YOUR NOTES.
Human beings who practice almost any religion assiduously often cross the line into an area where they cannot accept the rest of the world without forcing their faith on others.
This is true of Christians of many sects, especially the Catholics.
Catholic belief has forced its way into many laws which govern all, or at least some Americans. Two of those laws truly amaze me. The first is the law against allowing gays to marry. If a pastor refuses to marry them, that I can understand as his right, but that is not the compassion and acceptance that I would expect from a man of the cloth.
Nor is that what I would expect from his congregation.
The second is having an abortion, and that, I agree with many others, is the right of the woman. If the baby has come to term and is not obviously suffering from some malformation, tthe child should come first. But if obviously malformed, the woman should make the decision.
One of the most intrusive things I have ever heard of is pharmacists who refuse to sell birth control prescriptions or devices to women. Pharmacists should not be in the business of deciding morality or health based on their own religion.
Oddly, the armed forces are full of people who espouse religious faith but who do not confuse that with killing other people. A truly religious man who serves in the armed forces, however, is a man of serious thought and unbearable dilemma.
Most people on earth, even we atheists, believe that the world was created by some sort of Force. Most all of us love it, including us atheists. Thus, the most mysterious thing of all is the fact that so many religious people, especially Catholics, cannot see what is ahead with the uncontrollable spread of human beings over the earth, smothering its plants, its animals, and all of the beauty that the Force left for us. If the earth as it is becoming is the best the Force could do, then we atheists wish the Force would either improve us somehow, or just create another animal that really is the best in town.
There are many things that you can do for wildlife during the winter months, snow or no snow.
You can plant plants with berries or nuts that they like and will remember and come back to. Everyone, everwhere, can help birds by having and sustaining a bird bath that is clean and full the year around.
If you have a yard enjoyed by wildlife, you can plant your old Christmas tree in the yard, where small animals and birds may find shelter as long as it lasts.
And you can make compost out of old Christmas trees and plants. Be sure to clean off any decorative material which might harm the animals, and that the plants themselves are also safe for animals.
The massacre yesterday at Fort Hood is fairly unusual. (Or it was until Orlando suffered something similar today.) But Fort Hood, at least, is due to a man who could no longer bear the strain he was under.
Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan is a soldier of high standing, with a profession, psychiatry, also of high standing. He was born in Washington. At the same time, he is a Muslim, whose faith is based on Islam. The people who know him say that he is much disturbed by the wars in Iraq and Iran and that area of the world. It seems odd and insensitive that he should be selected to serve duty in that part of the world when there are other countries to which he could have been sent.
To be asked to serve against people of his own faith in the area from which that faith arose, and to be frequently ribbed about his origin and his faith by other soldiers, especially when he is an American, born in America, is not what a man in his position should receive in return for his service.
When I was in the 7th grade, I was chased around the school yard on a daily basis by a pack of boys shouting “Tub of Guts.” I was at a very sensitive age, and I have never forgotten their taunts. The crime of Maj. Hasan is severe beyond redemption. But the habit of many Americans to ridicule others is also a very severe crime which has led to the ruin of other lives. I hope that people who like to make fun of others will either grow out of it or pay for it by remembering what they did, as do their victims.
At last, I’m Back!
Having been away for several weeks with Old Lady Fades, I have now returned in full force. I’ve missed all of you, especially those who have let me know that you are still here too.
One very important thing I have come to realize is the fact that many of my friends are all suffering bouts of Old Lady (or Man) Fades too. Kind of knocks you down from surprise when you first get the Fades, doesn’t it?
I’ve been lucky to find myself covered so far by almost adequate insurance. I have helpers come for three hours, twice a day, seven days a week. Two of them are particularly helpful, and are in my mind and heart as true friends.
The only problems with my Fades are worried cats, and that is my greatest problem. My son has come from Kauai for a visit, and he is my hope for their future.
Well, that about covers it from here. Love to you all, Anne