On September 14th, 2015, in the thralls of the presidential primaries for the 2016 election, Vermont senator and then-candidate Bernie Sanders delivered a speech at the private, right-wing Evangelical Liberty University. Seated about half-way up the bleachers of the arena, I and my questioning mind were rapt, clinging onto every brash syllable.
“We are living in a time — and I warn all of you if you would, put this in the context of the Bible, not me, in the context of the Bible — we are living in a time where a handful of people have wealth beyond comprehension……
“Nothing is easier than to give Christian asceticism a Socialist tinge. Has not Christianity declaimed against private property, against marriage, against the State? Has it not preached in place of these, charity and poverty, celibacy and mortification of the flesh, monastic life and Mother Church? Christian Socialism is but the holy water with which the priest consecrates the heart-burnings of the aristocrat.” -Karl Marx & Friedrich Engels, The Communist Manifesto, pp. 246–247
Following a series of democratizing reforms and the failed August Coup, as if a gift to Ronald Reagan himself, the Soviet Union dissolved just one day after Christmas…
“…man, sub-creator, the refracted light
through whom is splintered from a single White
to many hues, and endlessly combined
in living shapes that move from mind to mind.”
-Mythopoeia, J.R.R. Tolkien
For Americans living in the 21st century, especially for those born in or just prior to it, it has become increasingly difficult to disentangle the idea of Christianity from the bastions of its Evangelical, Catholic, and even Orthodox proponents, from whom it has borne too much hypocrisy for many to reconcile with their personal moral systems.
So far this year, at least at the time of my writing this, the United States has suffered 255 mass shootings, incidents in which at least four individuals, excluding the perpetrator, are shot. It is inevitable whenever one of these horrific incidents occurs that, in several forms, distractions arise to dissuade us from resolution and into acquiescence.
These distractions typically manifest through two main arguments:
1) The shooter was mentally unwell or even completely insane,
2) The families of the victims (and the community as a whole) are in the process of grieving, and thus it would be disrespectful…
Greetings from Asphodel