The church, the state and the military are the three most powerful constructs in the world and, like a three-legged beast, they teeter on the slope of a crumbling economic decline.
Of the three, the church is the most powerful. The patriarchal Gods of the three dominant religions are proof of this power. Without the vast numbers of ignorant followers there would be fewer wars. These are the rank and files who die in the battles their Gods create. On the one hand Gods preach love and peace, on the other they preach hate and war. The peace message of Their Holy Books is cherry picked to lure the credulous into the fold. Then, when it suits Them, God flips a page.
Almost everyone remembers, “They shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning-hooks, ” Isaiah 2:4; but flip a page, read Joel 3:10, “You can beat your plowshares into swords, and your prune hooks into spears.”
As for Christ, in Mathew 10:34 He said
“I come not to bring peace, but to bring a sword.”
To obey these contradictions, and they are multitude, would drive a sane human up a wall. They keep true believers busy beating plowshares and pruning hooks into spears and swords.
Selling spears and swords is a profitable proposition. War is good for the pocket book. Make hoards of innocent humans miserable and millions, armed with spear and a sword, march off to fight for God and country.
We’re living it. Kauai is a microcosm of this alliance, a resort-coated, church-attending fortress. Count the houses of worship and in front of none of these, except at Christmas, does the banner of peace wave. One of Kauai’s largest employers is now the Pacific Missile Range Facility. PMRF is big on the Westside.
Today America is at the center of the mess, a power player in a world gone mad and, in many ways, we’re responsible. We’ve spent much of our time feeding the slouching beast, it’s a moneymaker and we’ve down little if anything to slow it down. We had voices, why didn’t we use them?
Many of us did and hopefully our numbers are growing. Growing because religion, and its warrior Gods, has dug itself into a pit from which there is no escape. Fewer worshippers every day can swallow the hate spewing from the mouths of bigots; nor would they consider being part of the multitudes who flock to their call. God’s mindless followers are not only a secular anathema, they are a malignant mass growing on the face of faith itself.
Reasoning minds know that most of this assembly joined the ranks because their lives are so miserable they have nowhere else to go. In the Christian neck of these dark woods, they’ll buy anything, Armageddon, Rapture, because death is the answer to their prayers: God will destroy the world in order to save it.
Introduce Muslims fanatics and you’ve got a death cult run amok. The blood curdling commands of their peace loving God send reasoning Muslims running for cover; and their neighbor, the Jewish warfare state, has a God so fierce He rattles his nukes.
But who, the sanest voice amongst them, dare point a finger?
Where the Islamic religion has taken hold in foreign countries, they frequently carry banners KILL THE INFIDEL in the street.
In many of these civilized societies religious differences are not to be tampered with and signs like these are tolerated.
The Muslim fundamentalist believes martyrs, who die for their Gods, are awarded with 72 virgins. Think of the Islamic furor created when a Danish cartoonist dared to depict the Muslim guardian in the sky proclaiming that so many martyrs had died Paradise had run out of virgins. There were death threats over that one and the presses stopped in many of the most civilized countries.
Does freedom of religion trump freedom of the press?
In our neck of this dense wood we have an almost sacred secular document, our Bill of Rights. The First Amendment, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of religion is our birthright and we set religious freedom on a high rock. So how do the sanest voices in American get around that?
Joseph Campbell said, “When Gods die there’s hell to pay.”
A bottom line problem, as I see it, is that one is not born religious. One is born human. Then, with a sprinkling of water, a dunking, a whisper in the ear, and the passage of a holy scroll one’s faith is defined and a beautiful young mind is crippled. Soon the concept of sin is introduced. Hell and damnation and Satan are boogies that hide in the dark and there is no school in this neck of the tangled woods where a child is told there is no Santa. One can spend a lifetime trapped in the myth. A few fight their way out of this dark place, which can be as painful for the adult as it was for the child, but many never escape. They slump to another house of worship. Dyed in the cradle believers. To dare speak the truth on any subject, if it displeases their God, is a perilous endeavor.
What kind of mind believes pandas sprang full blown ten thousand years ago? We are not subjected here to the bleating of the sheep, they who proclaim themselves men of science presented these beliefs in court. Creative men with a grand design vomited gibberish, jabberwocky and gobbledygook in an American courtroom, were called down on it by the judge, but left the room with their beast drawn carts filled with true believers. In many ways we have not evolved since the Scopes trial.
So let us now dare say it: to hold staunchly to a story one’s reasoning mind tells you is a lie is an emotional disease. Belief thinking is the most dangerous force in the world today. With our voices we must break the back of this rough beast. Shove the creature off the cliff and let the voice of reason ring out loud and clear.