Friday, July 8, 2016
Violence, Hate and Sickness in America: The Religious Answer
From time to time I go to the religion section of the Huffington Post to see what the religiously impaired are up to. Given the horror of the assassination of police in Dallas, and the brutal killings of African American civilians by police in the past few days, the religious leader take on the issue and what needs to be done about it took center stage. You can read the article here, albeit, it's hardly enlightening.
This one comment from a pastor caught my eye:
"Dear Lord today please protect black men who are driving, selling, walking, riding bikes, working or just breathing,” "
Naturally it really tweaked my hump to read that. Appeal to the Lord to protect black men, because if you don't beg god it doesn't know what to do? Because it has the power to do that, but was too busy over the past few days, months, years, helping some balls players win some games to intervene and stop an innocent passenger from being blown away in cold blood at 18 inches? Why not just do the old "our thoughts and prayers are with the victims" nonsense that they all spew as easily as saying "God bless you" after a sneeze and leave it at that as though that platitudinous religio-gibberish means anything.
The fact is we are a sick society. Racism, white privilege, political extremism, xenophobia, a culture that sees guns and violence as the answer, the means to an end, for everything - this is our nation's prevailing mentality. We have become the example of what civilization should never become; the obscenity that every other industrialized nation points to in horror.
So naturally I'll be asked "That's all well and good...but what do we do about it?" I haven't the foggiest idea. I'm not sure it's even fixable anymore, our ills having been either ignored or embraced for so long they may now be terminal. But what I do know is two things:
1) that spewing religious platitudes, praying to a make believe sky daddy , or imploring people to "hold on a little longer", as though there is a fix afoot is patently inane and less than useless. And...
2) Pogo was right: "We have met the enemy, and he is us."