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DISASTER, MURDERING THUGS AND RELIGION

December 3, 2015

DISASTER, MURDERING THUGS AND RELIGION

 I wrote the following to followers and others earlier today and decided (after light editing) to blog it out in the ether, the text of which follows.

 I enjoy the vicarious pleasure of having a daughter who was the federal response coordinator to an outbreak in AIDs in Southeast Indiana not so long ago (as she was in coordinating the federal response to the states affected by the BP blowout of an oil platform in the Gulf of Mexico earlier). She was invited to a celebration of control of the AIDs epidemic in Austin, Indiana, some days ago, but could not attend due to press of other duties at her post in suburban Washington, D.C. She forwarded a picture and text to me about the celebration and says she knows most of the people in the picture.

 There was and remains a very human dimension to her service there involving the dead and dying, just as there was such a dimension when several workers were killed on BP’s oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico (though the primary rationale for governmental interest in the oil spill was accountability and environmental since nothing could be done for the dead workers). She worked with the state disaster people in the five states whose shores were drenched with oil from the blowout occasioned by the negligence of BP and its subcontractors.

 I don’t think I would do well as the disaster expert she has become. She was at Oklahoma City for the federal building blowup and Katrina in New Orleans for the big blow and flooding, too, among other such catastrophes. I joke with her that I was in a war but that she has seen more dead people than I have (if wars and disasters can ever be the target of humor). There were more people killed in Oklahoma City than in Paris, and they were killed by a non-Muslim, a blue-eyed, blond haired Catholic Christian and even a veteran, which substantiates my thesis that religion has nothing to do with terrorism but is rather a cover for murdering thugs who may be Muslims, Christians, Jews, atheists et al.

I am not against Muslims; I am against murdering thugs wherever they go to church, temple, mosque, or whether stay at home agnostics or atheists, and think it important that we keep that distinction in mind when we are under stress from the horrors of Paris, San Bernardino, Beirut and other such blood-soaked venues that politicians and neocons and defense contractors who are beating the war drums are now telling us require armed intervention. We should have found out in Iraq and Afghanistan that soldiers can’t kill an idea and that wars don’t end with military victory since one must win the peace as well (which we have clearly lost in those two countries), so I think we should go after the thugs, to be sure, but meanwhile work with friendly Muslim countries in going after wrong-headed ideas, a long term project. 

 It’s hard to be serene when one’s fellow humans are being slaughtered. Perhaps we should ask why we have NRA-sponsored terrorism and politicians who won’t do anything about if for fear of losing votes and campaign contributions in this country where an average of 88 people are killed by guns each day, which means that we have more people killed in just two days than were killed in Paris recently. Why aren’t the newspapers headlining the deaths of 88 people a day – every day – as a result of this domestic terrorism in which the NRA insists that we arm the psychotic?  

 Perhaps all of us whether Democrats or Republicans should tell our candidates for office that we will not vote for them if they back NRA initiatives which result in aiding and abetting mass homicide of our fellow Americans. So is one’s vote to depend upon a “single issue” of one among many? The answer is yes, where our fellow citizens are subject to mass execution by guns daily, and history will not be kind to those of us who ignore the moral imperative of saving those human lives when it is within our power to do so with our vote. I think it is long since time to end this phony NRA-sponsored charade soaked in propaganda and legalism, so let’s get on with it.  GERALD   E

 

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One Comment
  1. Niel Johnson permalink

    Jerry – I say amen! to what you have said, except to deny to Timothy McVey the label of a Catholic Christian, for verily, “By their fruits you shall know them.”  In the same fashion, those Germans who followed their Nazi leader might say they were Lutheran or Catholic, because they were designated that at birth, but we know their ultimate loyalty was to der Fuehrer who ridiculed the Catholicism (except for its hierarchical structure) that he was labeled with at birth.  As you know, I theorize that the predatory, reptilian instinct that homo sapiens have inherited represents a kind of “original sin,” but even the reptile does not have the will to do the kind of evil that the couple committed in San Bernardino.  More and more American Muslims are proclaiming, “Not in my name,” in reaction to the atrocities being committed by murderers who act under the banner of Islam, but the Muslim community will have to do more, such as organizing  marches and demonstrations that condemn the homicidal jihadists, and expose any they see veering in that direction.   I have said before, and repeat my belief that bad religion will not be defeated by no religion.  It can be defeated only by good religion, or an ideology that proclaims a God or creator of love, mercy, and justice.  That is the good religion that Christians, Jews, and others of the higher religions are supposed to believe in.  Justice is a part of this trinity, and one can hope that would-be jihadists will understand beforehand that they will receive severe punishment for transgression, and they, or at least some of them, will be deterred.  Drawing from the history of the Nazis and the Stalinists, we learn the lesson that atheism created a vacuum of values, that was filled by a set of values that promoted hatred and a drive for power that justified the murder of millions of innocents.  When tyrants think of themselves as idols or gods on earth, and gain substantial followings, the rest of humanity must respond accordingly.  One can only think of the horror for all of us had the fascists of Germany, Japan, and Italy prevailed in the 1940s.  Or if Germany and Russia had divided Europe between them and Japan had subdued the rest of Asia.  It would have been hell on earth.  And now ISIS is determined to take up where they left off.  They envision a world-wide Caliphate which animates their evil behavior.  Unfortunately, brute force against them is necessary, but in fighting the enemy there is the danger we will become too much like them.  I would say that electing Donald Trump, or some others on his side, would be a step in that direction.  I expect that he and most of those on that side of the political divide will get a boost in their poll numbers.  We know that gun sales, including of the AR-15, have taken a jump in the wake of the atrocity in San Bernardino.  The trends are unnerving, but we must keep our feelings under rational, and–can I say it–spiritual control. Enough of my rambling  for the moment.  Keep your commentaries of wit and wisdom coming.   Niel  

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