Wednesday, March 14, 2012


Historically, Christianity is based on charity and love ... or anyway that's how I understand it: Help those in need, lift up the down-trodden, feed the hungry ... altruism writ large and with a "God" component.

Eeeee-haw morality
-- Alabama and Mississippi held political primaries yesterday for those who want to become the Republican nominee to run against current president and Democrat Barack Obama in November. Mississippi is the nation's poorest state. And I read somewhere that something more than 50% in one state and something slightly less than 50% in the other believe that Barack Obama is a Muslim. No where in the Republican campaign, each of whose candidates hopes to woo a South woven with "Christianity" and "morality," did I hear anyone propose an educational system for those so poorly informed... even just a quick-hit course on the Bible, the book most praised by putative Christians. Those trapped in poverty have a long tradition of turning to what is 'free' -- sex and religion. Those trapped in politics have a long tradition of wily and sometimes unkind manipulation. Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, and former Georgia Senator Newt Gingrich -- all of them laying claim to one sort of morality or another -- won in that order. Putting morality in a politician's hands is like handing a .357 Magnum to a five-year-old... idiotic at best; fatal at worst... there is a severe conflict of interest, not to mention an eradication of common sense. And it's not as if Christianity were alone in such machinations.

-- Bowing to the winds of change, Encyclopedia Britannica, once a towering go-to source of reliable information, will no longer employ printed books. Instead, since 85% of their revenue comes from online offerings, Britannica will rely on the electricity without which the Internet would collapse. Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia with very dubious credentials (anyone can contribute information), has speed, if not reliability, on its side ... and the more people rely on Wikipedia, the less reliable they become. It's not always as bad as imagining that Barack Obama is a Muslim, and it is fast, but Wikipedia provides reliable and well-vetted information at about the same level that Facebook provides honest "social connection."

-- Sometimes I wonder if becoming a curmudgeon is just a function of aging. Given the amount of trouble that my own ignorance has gotten me into, I hope others will not be so conveniently convinced ... and when I look at the facts, it seems to me that convenient conventions are in evidence ... and I get crabby. Who died and left me in charge? Pick your ignorance ... I guess that's more like a generalization worth heeding.

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