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Politics, Abortion, Birth Control, Suffering, Destitution, Mediocrity: Thanks a Lot, Religion!

In bEYonD ScREwED! on March 19, 2012 at 7:01 am
we say KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON never gets old

we say KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON never gets old (Photo credit: typebalance)

Incongruities abound, the most obvious of which is “separation of church and state.”  If it belongs anywhere, religion belongs within the four walls of the church/temple/mosque/etc.; allowing religious ideology of any kind to seep from these walls and into our political-social system has the same effect on society as does smoking cigarettes has on the body:  a slow but eminent decay.

 

If we are to evolve collectively, as a society, we must ratify this issue, once-and-for-all, by understanding and practicing that mantra, “separation of church and state.”  To allow the Catholic Church to decide what laws it will and will not follow (i.e. insurance providing birth-control) opens up the possibility of any group that calls itself “religious” to litigate the circumvention of any law.

The argument over abortion is particularly striking.  To argue that abortion is murder is the same as saying that a pregnant woman who knowingly engages in behavior that ultimately causes the death of her fetus is guilty of murder.  And what if she unknowingly harms or kills her fetus (i.e. she falls)?  Does this mean she may be guilty of manslaughter?  If you view abortion as murder, your next step is to divine the Pregnancy Police.  And would it be part of the State Police or the FBI?  Perhaps part of Parks and Recreation?  Animal Control?

To use as the thesis for the argument against abortion that it is the taking of a human life fails in light of our very own mores.  Millions of deaths occur each and every day based on the decisions that we make.  For example, to withhold an organ because the recipient doesn’t fit a particular profile (say, he smokes or is too old or leads a life of – Heaven forbid! – debauchery) is, by the logic of the argument, likewise murder.  So, too, is anyone who sells or manufacture cigarettes, alcohol, or food loaded with trans-fats.  Those waiters and waitresses…gotta watch em!

Families struggle, our neighbor’s house is in foreclosure, those on the streets are starving, he just got fired from his job which sends his family into financial ruin, her parents can’t afford a quality nursing home so they’re at the mercy of the state which takes everyone’s life’s savings.  Our diet is killing us, and yet McDonald’s is worshiped.  The economy is terrible, yet the iPad and the iPhone has become a cultural phenom.  Our public education system shackles our teachers to the foolish ideology of the most ignorant and yet completely withholds academic freedom.  Charities and other non-profits cease to exist but we give trillions of dollars in the form of so-called bailouts to the banks and the car companies.  Corruption in our government is so insidious and we know this, yet we elect he (or she?) with the most money and actually believe, actually cheer when they speak such rhetoric as, “I believe in each and every American,” “I believe in education,” “We must be accountable….”.

And yet, throughout our history, we give more money to the church than to any other cause, issue, or social project.

And yet, we each spend thousands of dollars on sporting events, worship our athletes, buy the products they tell us to and adopt a particular attitude because they say it’s cool to act “this way” when you’re wearing “this baseball cap,” when we can’t at all afford a better life for ourselves and our families.

And yet, we lose ourselves in the world of television and dutifully loyal to “the brand.”

And yet, we laugh at the intellectual, celebrate the anti-intellectual, and, with big grins and nodding heads, relate oh-so-well to the mediocre.

And we get upset because we can’t afford the next Big Thing.

And we wonder why our children have autism.

And we wonder why it has to be just so hard.

And we believe that we’re in control.

And we believe that we’re “doing the right thing.”

And we believe that we’re smart, savvy, capable.

Because we buy the Next Big thing (but have nothing in our saving’s accounts).

Because our children today live in an environmentally unsafe world (but condone the horrible conditions in other countries so that we can afford to buy that Next Big Thing).

Because we have to pay our dues, because no one gets “somethin’ for nothin’” (“They should just get a job!”).

Because each one of us is unique and worthy and our country is based on freedom of every individual (unless you’re gay).

Because we’re horrified when we see on the news the latest murdered child (and avoid, with everything we have, searching for a solution).

Because our clothes, our cars, our jobs, our gadgets, our busy schedules, Apple, BestBuy, Walmart, Target, McDonald’s, Budweiser, our she’s-not-driving-fast-enough-so-I’m-going-to-ride-her-bumper-until-I-can-cut-her-off, our I’m-speeding-up-so-she-can’t-take-a-left, our she-just-dropped-that-slip-of-paper-but-I’m-not-going-to-pick-it-up-for-her, our those-kids-are-going-to-get-hurt-but-I’m-not-getting-involved, our I want, our I need, our I deserve, our he’s bad, our she’s good, our they’re gay, our they’re straight say so! 

The Catholic Church is very concerned with senseless deaths and degradation of the innocents.  It provides us a place to pray, gives us our moral standards, and is very, very charitable.  Right?

Do you have any idea the lavishness afforded to the church hierarchy?  Make no mistake, the higher in ranks you rise, the more lavish your lifestyle becomes.  Even the lowly nuns enjoy superb accommodations.  The fact that the Church, throughout history, has lived exceedingly well, demonizes certain groups of people, participates in scandalous activities, and holds ultimate power over its people because they believe that it’s the intermediary between them and the creator of the universe (who, Himself, oddly possesses human characteristics) is as great a contradiction as it is a tragedy.

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Newborn dies, mother found dead in crawl space; woman charged – CNN.com

In bEYonD ScREwED! on June 7, 2009 at 9:30 am

I’m not one who enjoys being the harbinger of bad news nor do I relish in the morose, but I just had to respond to this story that I read on CNN.com.  I feel so badly for the mother and baby.  People will ask, What kind of monsters would do this?  Ascribing as the answer to that question some sort of mental illness, I caution people to understand that there is actual evil living here in flesh-and-bones, and this has nothing to do with mental illness.  These two monsters who murdered the mother and child are not necessarily mentally ill; before we jump to that conclusion—and, after a complete psychological work-up on these two, that may, indeed, be the case—we must acknowledge that evil is real, that it does exist.  My reason for making this claim is to assert the position that a society need not justify everything before it acts.  While I’m not in favor of adopting the Puritan ways where credible evidence was subordinate to the divine powers of the prosecutors, we must rethink our stance on allowing groups such as the KKK to exist in our country.  Here’s one instance where we can have it both ways:  freedom of speech and a society that draws a moral line in the sand.

Believe me, I’m neither a moralist nor a believer in religion (pardon the pun).  I am, however, a cautious pragmatist, and giving credibility to acts of pure evil in the form of the psycho-social ideological term “insane” because we have no other explanation for such acts only serves to perpetuate evil in our society.  I realize that that I needn’t worry too much:  these two monsters will most definitely be found guilty by reasons of the evidence already gleaned.  No; I’m advocating caution in branding them as “mentally ill.”  While either of them may have legitimate mental issues (depression, social anxiety—who knows and who cares?), I do not believe that mental illness is what caused Korena Roberts and Boyfriend to commit this act.  (The term “insanity” is simply a label upon which to slap our inability to reach a clinical diagnosis of an explicably heinous act committed by either an individual or a group.)  Think for a moment about the most evil man in our history:  Adolph Hitler.  Hitler wasn’t insane; he was a genius.  He was able to convince most of the world that his evil ideology was right and just…and sane.  One out of three is, I believe, true:  sane.  Here’s a prime example of where you had highly educated people—Hitler and his “henchmen”—who were public officials sitting around a conference table and discussing domestic and international policy about ways to exterminate millions of people who failed to fit into their vision (Hitler’s vision) of the ideal human being.  Insanity?  No; if they were insane, none of them would have ever reached the threshold to a university let alone climb the very competitive ladder of success.  Evil, however?  Yes.

A truly insane person has little or no grasp of that which constitutes the fundamental laws of existence.  For example, a truly insane person may see, hear, or feel something that exists neither presently nor in the past and it has no possibility of existing in the future.  What separates the truly insane person from the products of a genius mind whose time is yet to come is that the truly insane individual may follow a legitimate path of logic but, unlike the “eccentric genius,” he creates a trajectory where the system of logic is held together only by his own beliefs in the impossible, that which defies natural law, that which is purely ego driven, and that which subverts past and present truths as necessary in order to make this new “insane system of logic” able to function.  Hitler, et al, were quite sane and sober.  Their system of logic was…logical in that they were able to bond to an accepted ideology (religious, moral, political, etc.) their own subverted belief system.  So, am I postulating that evil is 50% insanity and 50% intelligence?  Well, no.  It’s more like 20/80.  And the majority always wins.

Newborn dies, mother found dead in crawl space; woman charged – CNN.com