Friday, August 7, 2009

Jesus— The Pathetic Communicator

Whenever I venture out into foreign nations, particularly those third-world countries with non-Christian religions, I am always struck by one supremely evident reality. When describing the Christian God, He or She or It, or whatever the hell the father figure is supposed to be, is without doubt a perfectly terrible communicator. If we accept the basic belief of Christianity— that one can attain everlasting life in Heaven only by accepting Jesus Christ as a Savior, then that belief (if true) would be the most important single fact in the life of every human being on the planet. One would think that a loving and fair God would make sure that every human had access to the complete information about the importance of this fact so that every person would be on a level playing field when it came time to save their soul. Alas, such is not the case.

The majority of earth’s people have never heard of the Bible’s teachings, and they think of the Scripture itself (if they think of it at all) as just another famous book— like Moby Dick. Christian fundamentalists still think that their missionaries are getting the word out, but the truth is that most Christian missionaries went out of business when the British Empire went out of business back in the late 1940s. At that time, the global population was less than 2 billion. Since then, the population has increased to nearly 7 billion with almost all of the 5 billion new humans being born into Islamic, Buddhist, and Hindu cultures. These are the people who could care less what the Gospels have to say, if they bother to care at all, because they’ve been ignored and condemned to hell by lousy communication from a small-time Savior who doesn’t know how to conduct salvation on a scale as large as five billion people.

You’d think that if God is so almighty that he could create the heavens and the earth, he might be able to accomplish what the most basic public relations professional does every day. He might be able to communicate effectively with a wide audience on a topic of great individual importance. Instead, this supposedly almighty God communicates his all-important game plan with a single parochial publication and a relatively small staff of self-anointed prophets and imperfect teachers, thus insuring that most of his flock will remain ignorant about their own eternal fate until the day they die and it’s too late. My personal belief is that Christian evangelical fundamentalists absolutely like it this way. This little system makes them feel special in their belief that they will be saved, while almost everyone else goes to hell. It’s really all about feeling special.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

When Civil War Breaks Out, the Conservatives Will Triumph

Readers who had been following “The Stonecypher” are aware that nothing new has been published for several months now. My wife and I have been cavorting through the jungles of some third-world Asian rainforest slums, but we are home now and I am back to my blog.

Our travels brought us into the company of a British couple, a retired university economics professor and his wife, a retired French teacher. After a week or so, when we had all established our mutual intellectual credentials to the extent that our opinions were valued within the group, he asked me what I predicted In America’s future. I replied that I could see a full-fledged civil war in the U.S.A. within fifty years, and probably much sooner than that. He asked if I meant a war with white against black, and I assured him, “Absolutely not. The racial differences have been, more or less, settled and Barack Obama’s presidency is the proof of that. The civil war,” I explained, “Will be between the liberals and the conservatives.” He asked, “Who will win?” I told him without hesitation, “The conservatives will win. They have all the guns.”

Our once-united nation is, I believe, irreversibly bifurcated and polarized. The conservatives now know that democratic, freely-held elections are not a reliable way to gain power and advance their cause, and it’s only a matter of time until they bring out their considerable firepower to have their own way. If a conservative pro-lifer can kill an abortion doctor, it’s a small step from one murder to multiple murders. If a liberal shoots back, the fight will be on.

While we were away from America, a new term entered our nation lexicon, the “birther” movement. “Birthers” are the conservatives who fervently believe that Obama was born in Kenya, and a good many of them also believe that his mother was a goat and his father was Lucifer, making Barack the Antichrist. These “birthers” have strong convictions about their ability to see through the spin and propaganda coming from the Left. They see themselves as truth-finders, able to find the hidden facts behind conspiracies and uncover answers to questions like, “Where does the sun REALLY go at night?”

In revolutions and civil wars, the first to die are always the “intelligentsia”— rounded up and eliminated before their ideas can contaminate the masses. One doesn’t need to be a student of history to see that the conservatives, armed to the teeth and free from the constraints of intellect, will eventually get whatever they want without the need to go through the ballot box process.