Sunday, January 15, 2012

What are Your 2012 Christmas Plans? (or "How to Handle the End of Days")

Every three or four years some nit-wit starts waving their arms and running through the street shouting that the sky is falling.

It never does though.

Personally I think the whole 2012 hysteria is a bunch of idiotic nonsense, but if you really believe it here's what I recommend...

  • Quit Your Job: I guess getting ahead is pretty much pointless and you don't want to spend the last year of your life working, do you?
  • Liquidate All Your Assets: Remortgage your house, sell off your 401k, and cash in the kids college fund.
  • Lose The Dead Weight: Unless you're blissfully happy get rid of the wife and kids. Go out wenching and don't bother with protection. You won't live long enough for it to matter.
  • Party Your Ass Off: There's no point in trying to leave behind a legacy or make a difference. Just party party party! Live for the moment because tomorrow will not come at all!
Oh... and if the world doesn't end expect a few awkward moments. I for one, when I see you destitute and wandering the streets alone, unloved, and in the throes of addiction and the early stages of penicillin resistant syphilis, am going to LOL. And don't come looking for help. I'm just going to tell you to "kiss my ***" if you come around begging for change.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The Root of All Evil is Evil

I was on the general forum today when one of the posters made a declaration that I hear a lot.

The original poster was referring to a statement by the pope that gay marriage is a threat to the survival of humanity.

"Religion," said one of the respondents, "Is the root of all evil."

Another poster almost immediately agreed with an equally tired cliche, "Indeed my friend. Indeed. How many thousands of innocents have been slaughtered in the name of 'God' in the past?"

That's crap. It's a common mantra of secularists trying to hold themselves above or apart from the atrocities of their heritage.

Greed is the root of all evil, and greed is a vice shared by secular society just as prevalently as it is among the faithful. Perhaps even more so as all the major religions condemn the excesses of greed while certain pockets of secular society accept greed as a necessary engine to drive progress if not an outright virtue.

In every case of "religious" warfare, oppression, or persecution greed (money/resources/land/power/whatever) was the reason. The Crusades, the Inquisition, the witch hunts, the churches support of the slaughter of indigenous peoples around the world were all driven by greed. Religion was just the excuse. Were religion not there to blame some other excuse would have happily sufficed. The reason these abominations occur is not the presence of religion. Rather it is a failure on the part of the faithful to heed the spirit of their faith. It is nothing less than a surrender of the faithful to their secular nature and a failure, I believe, in the eyes of God.

A more fundamental universal religious standard, by the way, is simply "Thou shalt not kill". While I believe a man has the right, indeed a duty, to defend himself if threatened (a basic tenant of the Jewish faith from which Christianity was born) larger arguments of a Just War are catholic Constructs driven by philosophy, not scripture. I'm not saying that it's without merit, but it's a secular social moray that happened to come from the church rather than a true reflection of faith or scripture. While the old testament contains many examples of war in the name of God the Bible is devoid of guidance as to when a war is acceptable barring the Word of God itself. No modern war is or can be fought in the name of God. War is a product of man. Period.

Don't blame God for the weaknesses and failures of His churches. Churches are human institutions and are just as prone to greed and fear as any other. The misdeeds of a church are simply a wholly predictable sum of human frailties. The formula is the same for religious and secular atrocities alike. The flaws, the greed and fear, of men who lead combine with the cowardice and ignorance of men that follow.

Yes religious intolerance has often aggravated personal violence. Men who consider themselves Christian have beaten and murdered Jews and Muslims, but these men are defying the basic tenants of their faith. These attacks trace more to fear than to greed, but again... cowardice is not restricted to men of religious conviction. Secularists have struck out at the religious in equal measure and from the same position of fear, just as they have struck out at other minorities. Not all gay-bashers or racists are men of faith.

Larger conflicts however, invariably come down to greed. A misguided man might be convinced to send his son to war for religious reasons, but no King would pay for such an expedition without some profit to return on his investment. If you remove religion from the equation the war will be fought in the name of king and country instead. Secular society has proven over and over they are capable of atrocities the equal of any Church without religious dogma driving them on. The Holocaust springs to mind... Stalin's purges... the killing fields of Cambodia... the genocide of the Native American Nations...

Trying to lay evil on Religion is an arrogance equal to any other fundamentalist dogma. Greed and fear are basic elements of human nature that religion at least strives to condemn and control. Secular society has no moral high ground where evil is concerned.

Since we're all here I'd also like to throw my two cents in on the issue of gay marriage...

I don't see why the state has anything to do with marriage. Marriage is a religious institution and it doesn't make any sense to me that it's under the control of secular authority. It seems to me what the government calls "marriage" is really nothing more than a secular contract anyway. I don't see why they don't just call it all "civil union" and leave the marriage ceremonies where they belong... under the authority of the various churches/temples/mosques.

That said... while I'm not a big fan of gay marriage the assertion that it threatens the existence of man is just stupid. There are too many bloody people already. If anything couples that can't breed marginally improve the survivability of the species.

Of course in the interests of full disclosure I'm not a big fan of the Catholic Church either.