It is 3:45 AM and I’m feeling a little grumpy. I did not want to feel grumpy, I wanted to be in a holiday mood! So perhaps this post will let me release a bit of grumpiness and then perhaps if I concentrate I can switch my mood.
The reason I’m a bit sour is I opened up my phone and clicked on the NextDoor app. One of the first posts was a neighbor – we’ll call him Frank – wishing everyone a happy Winter Solstice. There were a few nice replies but then one from the old man down the road who insists on keeping a really junky spray painted sign that reads “Jesus is Lord.” He tells his neighbors this:
Merry Christmas to all of my neighbors. And please remember the birth of Jesus is why we celebrate this blessed season. Happy new year also! I’m so glade we got a brand new president not made of the same old cloath.
Pacifica is known for its characters who have lived here their entire lives and perhaps never ventured any farther than Lodi and this guy is certainly one of them. But on the overall Pacifica is a very liberal place and there was an excellent response from another longtime Pacifican.
OK. Let’s talk about this “taking the christ out of christmas” harrassment. Most of our late december festivities, including red peaked hats, gildedtrees, feasting, and the exchange of gifts come directly from both paganism and the roman saturnalia. Jesus was theoretically born most likely in summer.
Now, just as with marriage (which existed before the age of christ), christians are more than welcome to adopt the solstice festival and adapt it to their own beliefs. This is marvelous, actually. But as with marriage, there seems to be this desire to translate “adaptation” into a “mandate.” The solstice at the peak of winter has been celebrated by many cultures in many ways since the dawn of civilization. People should be allowed to recognize (or not) and celebrate in their own way. If one culture adopts the practices of another, how can they then turn around and tell everyone else that their new version is the only version, and scoff and complain and feel oppressed by any other practice?
The post wasn’t what made me grumpy. What made me grumpy is the realization that a very large portion of Americans think the same way as Frank and these people have just elected Donald Trump. Facts and logic do not matter for these people; Science is suspect and for the most part are fed a distorted view of reality from one single ‘news’ channel.
But they can be forgiven because Hillary was very unlikable and the Democratic party completely corrupted as was shown by Wikileaks.
What is worse than a President Trump is religion which has distorted humanities view of reality for millennia! Christianity is what I’m most familiar with having grown up in it and it took a long time of traveling, reading, and thinking to realize that it isn’t true. Religion on the whole are fairy tales made up for humanity to try and explain his existence, the universe which surrounds him and to comfort him from the extreme terror of not knowing.
As I have traveled, read, and thought even more as I grow older I’ve become completely astounded at how billions of people can believe these fairy tales and how strongly it holds them it its grasp. Having grown up in a Catholic household I’ve come to understand that they believe it because it is what they’ve been taught their entire lives; it is what their neighbors believe and it is their heritage. This is the same case for other religions as well as the bulk of adherents were taught to believe since birth. It is rare for a believer of one faith to switch to another without some extreme reason for doing so.
I guess one of the reasons it really shocks me is because I had always believed in common knowledge, that truth will always prevail and that mainstream thinking would always remain on a true and correct course grounded in science, logic and reason.
Well, with the election of Trump I and the rest of the world have been jolted into the realization that humanity will not always adhere to reason and may not follow the logical, well thought out path. For me, the election of Trump is exciting in the fact that there will be some real change; it just might be absolutely terrible change but there is also the alternative that it might actually be good. The world isn’t looking great right now and I’ve grown tired of all this ‘hope’ talk from the Obamas.
*Side tangent – I saw Michelle Obama speaking with Oprah about how we all need to have hope and frankly many do not have hope right now. Well, my thought is we elected President Obama on the premise of hope and they had eight years to turn hope into reality. Well, they failed pretty badly as we now have Trump and a Supreme Court that will veer America to the right for decades to come. I would call that a massive failure. But no, the media is giving them tearful goodbyes and saying how wonderful they were. A successful coach not only does well in one season but lays the groundwork for another successful season to follow. The Democrats have failed terribly in one of their main responsibilities which are to have further successful seasons. What do you do with a coach who has a mediocre eight years and then never wins a game for the next four? I’m firing the Democrats and going elsewhere.
But politics isn’t my main target for this rant, it is religion. Aside from putting blinders on the majority of humanity for almost as long as humans have been around I wouldn’t say I’m anti-religious. Like I said I grew up in the Catholic faith and appreciate the quiet calm of an empty church or cathedral. I like to walk in and take a seat on the creaky wooden bench which briefly breaks the silence and recognize the smell of incense burnt weeks ago. Through the church’s stone walls pass currents of many life experiences: birth, marriage and joy, death and sorrow are all experienced here day after day, year after year through the generations and in an ever changing world. If you sit and quiet the ruckus that is going on in your own mind you can feel traces of emotions, the energy of the souls who have experienced important, life changing events within the church’s walls.
Religion is quite useful in getting people to be still, reflect and pray. Unfortunately I believe that ‘prayer’ as far as Christianity is concerned at least, has also been corrupted in that instead of turning inward towards your own divine nature it is aimed at the external, at God and at a human turned idol which is Jesus. Modern prayer is always asking for this and that, give me this or that, do this or that for me. In fact, even though I had gone to church thousands of times in my life it wasn’t until I attended after having been away for a decade that I was able to hear what the priest was saying with new ears.
The priest was telling God what to do, and to please do this and that and the congregation always repeats what they are to believe with the Nicene Creed and then the priest tells God/Jesus to do some more things. Instead of just accepting all of this as I had been taught to do as a child I heard the mass with a rational, logical mind. Through my extensive travels and studies and all that I had learned over the past two decades this mass no longer made any sense to me. Yes, I agree that there is much that humans cannot understand with our very limited brains but there is also much we can understand and I understand Christianity to be based on falsehood.
Christianity is based on one major pillar and that is the divinity of Christ. If that is not true then all of Christianity falls down. I have come to think of Christianity as one enormous cult. Christians today now scoff at the cult of Jupiter or Osiris little knowing that they themselves are now in a cult created from very similar cloth; humans thousands of years from now will regard Christianity as a religion for primitive humanity, a time in which many professed to believe in peace and justice yet waged war and destroyed the planet. Religions of peace and love fought and killed the other religions of peace and love. Their school children will read about this in the history books and become quite confused. In fact, they may become quite sad that they are descended from those who professed peace on Sunday yet advocated war on Monday and every other day of the week.
Well look at that, I’m now in a better mood! It is 5:22 AM and I feel the need for another hour or so of sleep before the day begins. I can get in the holiday spirit, I know I can!