Religion and Politics

Since I first put up this page, three people I love have died. In the first instance, it was my mother; all of us were gathered about and it was profound, a mystery. In the second instance it was expected but unexpected at the same time and only two weeks removed from the first death. It just sort of washed over me and left me baffled. The third time it was sudden, utterly unexpected and it broke my heart. To this day I still bear the scar and I know I will carry it all my life. I still feel as if the blame were partly mine, even though one cannot be vigilant one hundred percent of the time and the act was one of random violence, perpetrated by neighbors I thought callous, but uncapable of such an act.

Nowadays it's trendy to have beliefs and it's downright dangerous if they conflict with what is "politically correct". As for my compliance with this doctrine and dogma, I respectfully decline.

I have heard it said that faith is surrendering oneself to the possibility of hope. That sounds to me like as good a definition as any and in that spirit I must say that occasionally, but only that, I have felt the possibility of hope. Would that it could be a full-time belief, but... well, there it is; I thank whomever for what small beliefs I occasionally hold. What matters, in this earthly existence to which I (most of the time) believe I am bound is motivation and action and I strive to keep both uncorrupted.

I first heard the story below some years ago. I have a copy of it thumbtacked to the wall above my bed: it sums up all that I do believe without reservation, rather well.

The Samurai and The Monk

A big, tough samurai once went to see a little monk. "Monk," he said, in a voice accustomed to instant obedience, "teach me about heaven and hell!"

The monk looked up at this mighty warrior and replied with utter disdain, "Teach you about heaven and hell? I couldn't teach you about anything, You're dirty. You smell. Your blade is rusty. You're a disgrace, an embarassment to the samurai class. Get out of my sight. I can't stand you."

The samurai was furious. He shook, got all red in the face, was speechless with rage. He pulled out his sword and raised it above him, preparing to slay the monk.

"That," said the monk softly, "is hell."

The samurai was overwhelmed, The compassion and surrender of this little man who had offered his life to give this teaching to show him hell! He slowly put down his sword, filled with gratitude, and suddenly peaceful.

"And that," said the monk softly, "is heaven."

As for politics

The notion that "we the people" have one voice that is considered and respected by politicians is laughable. I believe that "the will of the people" is perverted by the opinions of slick spokespersons for well-financed mobs with one or another pet cause. Those in power understand the old adage: life is like a shit sandwich: the more bread you have, the less shit you have to eat.

Elected officials are in the bread-and-shit business: they collect our bread and exchange it for shit. I try to avoid contact with politicians whenever possible.

When I must deal with politics or politicians, I first make certain I understand the pay scale, to ensure that my bribes will be most effective. I believe the old saying is true: "America has the finest politicians money can buy".

Politics is a dead end. You can't
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