My blog is a dismal failure of late. I have not had time to commit to much writing, nor perhaps have I had the inclination. Sometimes one fatigues of writing out against or for issues of importance. The world seems to chug along inevitably towards environmental disaster, increased focusing of wealth and power by fewer and fewer, and more and more corruption by governments. Sometimes you have to just think: "What's the point anymore?" However, I am compelled to write a bit partly because of a noticeable void on the blogosphere. Mr. Bruce Gerencser, perhaps Ohio's most infamous atheist, has disappeared from the web. This is a pity, as he is a fabulous writer and, with his extensive and lengthy career as a minister, he provides valuable insight to those who have left religion (or those considering such a move). Bruce has run a blog called Moving Forward in which he wrote extensively about his experience as a pastor, his leaving the church, and his other thoughts on living as a former Christian in a very Christian environment. Bruce, if you are out there, come back!
In the meantime, a few of us lesser mortals should pick up the flag and soldier on.
What is on my mind of late? Well, as usual the crazy world of the religious. I recently heard a radio interview with a local Muslim cleric who was fairly outraged that a foiled terrorist plot against a government building here in Canada had been smeared with the Islamic terrorism brand, even though it was to be committed by those seeming unconnected to traditional Islamic terrorism. I am not trying to be politically incorrect here, but the whole argument put forth that Islam is a peaceful religion is almost laughable. Sure, there are many peaceful Muslims, and there are possibly even some Muslims who are more peaceful than they would be if they did not have their religion. But, to me this argument is the same as the one that claims Christianity is a religion about loving your neighbour and treating them like you would yourself. That might be one small portion of what Christianity is about, but to say that that is only what it is about skips over some monstrous evils in the religion. Same with Islam. Why oh why do humans need religion to think they will be peaceful? Can we not just understand and accept that violence typically stems from a feeling of not being recognized in one's proper place in the human hierarchy? People who are confident in their place in the world don't typically feel the need to go out and kill others. Only those who feel slighted in some way, often because they have a falsely grandiose sense of self, feel the need to show others they are right by force.
This brings me to politics. I hate politics and I am on the verge of becoming apolitical. I have typically voted in the past because I feel that it is my duty, but it really is getting unappealing. I can't think of a single politician that I would have the option of voting for, for whom I would feel comfortable voting. I think I can honestly say that every single vote I have ever cast since I came of age has been a choice made against a candidate rather than for the one I ended up voting for. Is that really how democracy is supposed to work?
Well, for those, like myself, who think that politicians are all liars and cheats, the past few months have been an astounding reinforcement. The federal government in Canada is facing some significant scandals. The biggest of these (I mean apart from the scandal that they cheated in an election, twice) is that a senator by the name of Mike Duffy (senators are unelected and appointed basically for life in Canada - until they reach an antiquated forced retirement age) spend a shitload of money flying around the country and then claimed reimbursement from the tax-payers by breaking the rules on his official province of residence. He represents the province of Prince Edward Island in the senate, but he has lived in Ottawa for so long that he is technically a resident of Ottawa. In any case, he ended up owing the Canadian tax-payers $90,000, as sum that for some reason he couldn't afford to pay back (how could you not afford to pay it back when you've just claimed it illegally to begin with?), so the Prime Minister's Chief of Staff, Nigel Wright, cut him a personal cheque for $90,000 to help him out. Nigel Wright and Mike Duffy are not buddies, but they are of the same political party. Smell a fish? Yes, so did the media and the opposition parties. In the end Nigel Wright was forced to resign (why, if he did nothing wrong?) and the Prime Minister claims, unbelievably for a known control freak, to have had no knowledge of this payment. (The actual language released in a statement from the Prime Minister's Office was very sneaky and left a window open for someone to see how he could have known about it). What's the point of my rant? Well, it's just one more example of the kind of low-life power-hungry unethical scumbags that always seem to end up at the top of the heap in politics. Power ruins everything. The Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, one should note, gained most of his votes from conservative minded religious folks. Mr. Harper gained a majority government (after having his previous minority government defeated on a vote of no confidence based in being in contempt of parliament for cheating on the previous election) largely by campaigning on a promise of more transparency and accountability in government. Sheesh. Where do political parties find these people?
Apologies for a scattered blog post. It was my first in while.