Over the course of the last two weeks or so I have found myself growing increasingly appalled at much of what I have seen on the news and elsewhere. The truth, for those who wish to see it, is that our country is drifting toward a form of fascism (an authoritarian, nationalistic movement espousing a right-wing system of government and social organization), yet many fail to realize this and those who do will scarcely acknowledge the reality of it.
Now, it is true that I am personally neither conservative nor liberal. And I really don’t want to be too political in my blogs. But I do have to register my sincere concern about what I am seeing. It is not important to name certain politicians here because anyone can watch the news or look these things up on the internet. So they will not be named specifically here. But when you have a series of politicians on one side of the aisle; one stating that he does not believe that a Muslim should be allowed to serve as President of the United States while claiming that such would be against our supposed Judeo-Christian values; another stating that we should only take in Christian refugees from the Middle East; another stating that he would be in favor of surveillance of “some mosques” while also suggesting that Muslims in this country should have to wear some kind of symbol so that they could be recognized by everyone else; another stating that we should have some sort of Judeo-Christian task force that would, in part, blast Christian propaganda to those in the Middle East in an effort to somehow instill them with our values; all seemingly in favor of some kind of religious litmus-test for those who seek to enter this country as refugees; and none of them wanting to allow Syrian refugees into this country even though they would be vetted multiple times before they would be allowed to enter.
All of this greatly saddens me. This is certainly not what I served my country proudly for! I never expected to see this here even in my wildest dreams! But, somehow, that is perhaps exactly the problem. See, if we were observing on the news that this was happening in some other country I am sure that most Americans would be up in arms about it and would be completely outraged, calling the governments in such countries exactly what they would be – fascist regimes. But I, for one, do get tired of the comparisons to the Nazis during WWII. Why? Because, knowing history as I do, I understand that that was really not the first and only instance of this kind of thing in all of history. But our politicians and our news media seem to fall into one of two categories, from what I have observed. They are either people who know their religion but who know little or nothing about history, especially religious history. Or they are people who know history, including religious history, but seem to have no depth of knowledge where religion and religious issues are concerned. If this were not the case the politicians would not spout the idiocy they do and the news media would not ask the absurd questions that they ask. After all, when you have one politician comparing our Supreme Court to “philosopher-kings” and another one stating that we need “more welders and less philosophers” (and one has to wonder about the latter’s command of the English language), you quickly have to realize that neither of these guys has ever studied philosophy or, if they did, they assuredly did not make very high grades in the subject. This coupled with one intelligence official who, quite early on, as an answer to why people turn to terrorism stated “Something goes astray”. “Really? Is that your answer?”, I thought.
Recently I posted the following to Facebook: “There is so much bothering me right now it is hard to put into words. We are presently hurtling toward perhaps the darkest time in all of human history. Those who are willing to listen to reason already know. Those who don’t want to listen to reason prefer to dwell in their own ignorance thinking that some god is going to bail them out and end the world. I have, frankly, about given up trying to get through to people. The ignorant will have their way, it seems, no matter what. It is truly hard for me to believe that so much intransigent ignorance exists in a so-called modern, highly-educated society. Let me at least say this, the way to fight ignorance is not with even more ignorance. It is with knowledge.”
And this comment along with the above leaves us with one burning question, which many still haven’t figured out: “How is this happening in THIS country?” After all, the First Amendment to the US Constitution states, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances”.
One would think that this would be enough, that it would be so straight-forward that no one could miss it. But, sadly, that is not the case. See, in recent times people have begun to see this as stating that Christians and maybe also Jews have the right to religious freedom, but others may be excluded from this. I have debated people who thought exactly that way and it is sickening.
By the same token, I used to think almost that way myself, long ago. So I know how they think and I understand where they are coming from and they are simply unable to see that they are WRONG. They don’t understand enough about either religion or history to see any other point of view, no matter how smart they may be. Of course, with preachers every Sunday feeding them with misconceptions about the horrible Romans persecuting the poor, inoffensive, defenseless Christians and ignoring that the European Dark Ages ever even happened, how can they know any better unless they study history for themselves? Yes, they are fed all of this mumbo-jumbo and led to believe that Christians were the only people in all of history who have been persecuted to any extent and that our founding fathers came here so that Christians could have freedom of religion and get away from all others in other parts of the world. Then when a certain VA hospital bans Christmas trees until a backlash ensues – well, that just feeds right into what they already believe. Never mind that the Christmas tree has absolutely NOTHING whatsoever to do with Christianity…. Frankly, every year Pagans laugh at the fact that Christians have such consternation over the Christmas tree and manger scenes and the like, all of which come directly from ancient Paganism just like, by the way, their supposed “Judeo-Christian” democracy itself does.
But the greater point to this blog post is that, whatever one may think, it really can get uglier than this, even here in the US. What we are all witnessing is only a step or two at the most away from the institution of a fascist regime right here! Those who think it can’t happen here are fooling themselves just as all others in the past have done. No one in any country ever wants to believe that it can happen in their country.
But, again, I am not going to point to Germany or Italy or Japan as an example from history because, for me, that has simply been done so many times that I doubt that many people really pay attention to it anymore, sad as that statement may be. Let me first state something that few know, but something that is easily checked. It was during the fourth century CE that both the New Testament (in the Roman Empire) and the Zoroastrian Avesta (in the Sassanid Empire) were finally codified. In both cases this codification took place under the watch and supervision of tyrannical, fascist, repressive regimes. Why did this take place? Because the leaders of these separate and competing regimes wanted a means by which they could solidify the masses in support of their pogroms. And in the west, in the Roman Empire, the people who first suffered the most because of this were the Hellenes (Greeks) and the Jews. If you don’t believe me, just read the Theodosian laws. It was an age during which people were routinely dragged from their homes and families and sent to mines or, yes, even a death camp and during which some of the greatest architectural treasures of the ancient world were destroyed by the order of the emperor. It was an age during which people were tortured to death for their religious beliefs and when children could be forcibly taken away from Pagan or Jewish parents and re-educated according to the dictates of the regime! But your preacher will never tell you anything about this and the church has never acknowledged that it even happened.
Oh, but Christianity hasn’t done anything like this in 400 years, they will say! Apparently they think that this absolves Christianity of the things done in its name. No, the Greeks just lapped up Christianity like it was going out of style! After all, the apostle Paul converted them according to the book of Acts, didn’t he? Actually, NO. Very few converted until they were forced to do so in the fourth century. That is simply a fact. Oh, but didn’t the Roman Empire become Christian easily due to the persuasion and preaching of the apostles and saints? Actually, NO. That really didn’t happen until our Germanic ancestors were converted to Christianity and persuaded by monks that it was their duty to invade and take over the Roman Empire in the name of Christianity. So these monks turned our ancestors into terrorists and this was all sanctioned by the beloved St. Augustine in his “The City of God Against the Pagans”. Read it!
Finally, the news media keep questioning why it could be that Muslims who are not particularly observant of their religion could turn to terrorism and commit such heinous acts as those seen in several places in the world over the past couple of weeks. The answer is so very simple for one who knows religion, philosophy and history intimately. It is because someone has convinced them that if they perpetrate such acts their holy book states that they will become martyrs and be absolved of all of their sins. Terrorists are created by those with sinister motives. That is borne out by history. Fascist regimes, on the other hand, are created by those who will stand back and do or say nothing against them.