Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Is Donald Drumpf the Anti-Christ?

Many right wing Christians believe we are currently living in the end times foretold in the book of Revelation. And they may be right:

"Scientists estimate that 150-200 species of plant, insect, bird and mammal become extinct every 24 hours. This is nearly 1,000 times the “natural” or “background” rate and, say many biologists, is greater than anything the world has experienced since the vanishing of the dinosaurs nearly 65m years ago."

Given this fact, the fear of such Christians makes this election particularly interesting in light of the prophecies foretold in the book of Revelation (which I actually think of not as prophecy, but history,  for it tells us what will happen in the future by simply describing how it has happened - over and over again - in the past. Earth is purgatory, in other words, which plays in an infinite loop; until we wise up at least.)

Hence, if we are in fact living in the last days, then as "the Bible tells us so," the Anti Christ would emerge from the most powerful country in the world to bring about world peace, and fix all of our problems. And everyone would be so amazed that they would worship him almost as much as he worships himself. (Now THAT sounds like the Drumpf-ster!)

And if Christians really believe that the Drump-ster can deliver on even half of his empty promises, while also believing in the Bible and that the Book of Revelations is in fact coming true, than that only suggests that our dear Donold Drumpf-ster is in fact the devil!

Good thing I'm an atheist.

Ta Hell With Hope in Religion!

People always talk about the great deal of HOPE that religion gives them. But it gives just as many people – if not far more – a great deal of fear as well. Fear of eternal damnation, for example. Dying is scary enough, without having to add to that experience the specter of possibly roasting for all eternity in hell, and all for the sin of being human. 

My father took comfort in his religion his whole life. And by doing so, it made him accepting of a life he struggled to be happy with. This was not the fault of religion, of course, as his myriad issues came from too many sources to count. Religion simply provided a means by which to put all of the crap he had experienced his entire life, into some framework that made some sense. He could “live with it all,” in other words, by know that justice would be meted out in the in, as long as he “believed.”

But when he finally reached the end of his life, he was terrified of dying. I do not honestly know what terrified him. Perhaps it was just the process of letting go of life itself, and everyone he knew and loved. Or maybe it was just the physical and psychological experience of dying, of which I can hardly even imagine. Or perhaps, along with all of this and more, he was also scared to death of having failed to ultimately understand what it was his “religion” required of him, and therefore trembled at the thought of spending all of eternity in hell, for just being human, and making a mistake.

Either way, I don’t have much use for a philosophy that purports to lull people into a sense of euphoric adoration of a “being” that may or may not exist, who may or may not love us, and even if “it” does, “it” may or may not send us to an eternal hell anyway – because we earned it! The only sane response to such a philosophy is – to hell with that!

Monday, August 29, 2016

Colin Kaepernick & The Inalienable Right of Dissent

When the quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers chose to remain seated during the playing of the National Anthem last week, in solidarity with BLM and as a protest against the systemic racism and police brutality that has gone on in this country for far too long, he was probably well aware of the fact that he was putting himself in hot water. But he did it anyway.

Soon after, he was attacked for doing so. On Facebook, posts abounded with claims that it was hypocritical for a black man who makes $19 million a year to claim that "blacks are oppressed" in America. Many of the people casting such stones, ironically enough, are supporters of billionaire Donald Trump (or Drumpf, to be more accurate). It apparently fails to occur to all of them that if a black man cannot claim that "blacks are oppressed in America," simply because he happens to be a millionaire, then a white man cannot claim that the entire country is broken, corrupt, and conspiring against him, when it was in just such a country that that white man happen to become a billionaire.

This is to suggest that anyone who happens to succeed in this country is automatically disqualified from complaining about the problems in this country. Yet many of the same people who denounce Kaepernick for doing so because of his success, support a man who made billions in the very country he denounces with virtually every breath; one man chose to follow in the footsteps of Rosa Parks and sit down, and the other puts Morton Downy Jr to shame, and won't shut up. In fact, accusations by Tomi Lahren that Kaepernick  is a "whinny, indulgent, attention seeking, cry baby," are even more applicable to Drumpf.

As Lahren so glibly states in her rant, hey Drumpf, "if this country disgusts you so much - leave!"And as she drolls on and on, hey Drumpf, if this country that you do nothing but complain about is so bad, how was it so easy for you to make and run so many successful businesses? If the country really is so horrible, in other words, and if all the chips really are stacked against the Donald, as he repeated points out, how was he able to get so rich? 

Instead, the focus everywhere is shifted to say that it was disrespectful of the American Flag to fail to stand, for it is that flag, and all of the brave women and men who sacrifice so much to defend it, that afford Kaepernick the ability to sit during the national anthem. What those who attack Kaepernick likewise fail to consider is that freedom of expression can only be exercised most by defending those expressions that we like the least. 

Indeed, soldiers do not fight and die for people to stand for a flag, which any two-bit dictator can require of all those they chose to subjugate, but for the "freedoms" that allow a person to exercise their "inalienable right" of dissent.  For without that right, the heroic sacrifices of our soldiers count for nothing at all. But worst of all, those who attack Kaeperneick for exercising that right, only contribute all the more to making peaceful revolution impossible, as JFK put it, so they can make violent revolution inevitable.  Maybe that's why so many of them have been stockpiling weapons for so long.  

Religion is a disease masquerading as it’s own cure.