Friday, April 17, 2009

The Fabric of American and other Life -- Tea Anyone? The latest teabag anti-tax (and many anti other things) mostly right wing inanity was an embarrassment. The threads of anti-government, anti-tax and the indictment of the latest fashionable ethnic group running through the historical fabric of American culture is chilling. The worst patch of the American quilt, in my opinion, is its traditional anti-intellectual assault on reason. THAT is the one I fear the most because through that all other extremist views are sewn. One can see it from the violent scourge of Fundamentalist Islam, Fundamentalist Christianity and, even among my own people, the popularity of Orthodox and Hassidic Judaism the most extreme and uncompromising forms of the faith.

The churches of change such as Unitarians, Congregationalists and other thinking Christian faiths as well as reform Judaism, in modern times, I think, take a hit as people want certainty. The Islamic faith, too, has a few moderate strains but many annihilate the disagreeing other by the most grotesque and bestial methods possible and, within the parameters of my limited knowledge of it, has no popular active liberal reform movement for obvious reasons. I have heard much of moderate Islam but nothing of reform Islam which would obviously encounter great risk to adherents. Dangerous times somehow advance the dangerous agendas of dangerous and often violent people incapable of listening to another side or questioning much of anything.

I hope man's divinely supreme intellect, proclivity for learning, and his love for rational thought ultimately prevail. It USUALLY does but, as history tells us, not always. It is my greatest fear because the stakes of annihilation from a nuclear reality by people who think they possess the ultimate truth is possible and terrifying. I am hoping smarter thought prevails and its attendant art form, compromise, not forgotten.