Sunday, October 4, 2009

How to Shoot Yourself in the Foot

I'm supposed to be packing for a trip to the inlaws' house, so I decided to goof off at the computer instead. Don't get me wrong, I love my mother and father-in-law, but my father-in-law has alzheimers as did my father for the last few years of his life. These men were 2 of the best examples, for me, of what Christians should be; moral, loving, generous men who gave a great deal of time to their churches and communities. They got one hell of a reward for years of faithful service.

An even more graphic example, from my wife's family, is what happened when her maternal grandfather died, survived by a maternal grandmother with alzheimers. Grandma, who lived with them, would, at least once a day, ask where her husband was, and my wife's mom had to explain that he had died, forcing both of them to grieve over his death again and again.

Most Christians, and people of all religions, dedicate great big chunks of their lives to trying to follow the rules in hopes of a reward and fear of punishment, but way too many end up spending their final years in agony. Meanwhile, at least in the US, their efforts to follow the rules of their religion include hamstringing any efforts to solve the problems they face. Organized efforts, especially in the name of Christianity, try to suppress and subvert education, science, and their applications.

Until we can convince these folks that education and scientific research are not biased against them, they'll keep protesting against misunderstood facts being taught in school, they'll continue to view scientific research only as potential for immoral acts, and they'll continue to elect representatives that can't understand that funding fruit fly research IS funding cancer research.

The dogma of religious groups, seem to make them their own worst enemies, and maybe it wouldn't bother me as much if they were only shooting themselves in the feet. They however keep bringing out the blunderbusses and insisting that everyone have a share in the bullet wounds. They can rationalize this by saying, "sure I've got massive trauma in my lower limbs, but my reward's in heaven.", but, to belabor the analogy, they're mostly going around with bandages and crutches for fear that something worse than cancer and alzheimers is awaiting them if they don't subject themselves and everyone around them to unnecessary suffering in this life. You could say Hieronymus Bosch's paintings of hell are why cancer hasn't been cured.

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