Tag Archives: religion-faith

Why Most Americans Support Terrorism

I went to a restaurant the other day where about half the employees were wearing shirts that said, “God is good, all the time”. I immediately thought, well gee, what about the 9-11 terrorist attacks–that was certainly done in the name of God, so was that good? Are they saying they support that kind of thing?

(I also thought, well, what about Isaac Zamora, who murdered a woman in the name of Jesus on the front lawn of the house where I grew up; what about that lady who drowned her four children in the bathtub to save them from going to hell about ten years ago; what about the religious cults that hold themselves up with their stock of guns; what about my friend who jumped off a bridge because Jesus told him he could fly; what about Ted Bundy’s father, who taught him the ways of violence and caused his family to regularly fear for their lives and happened to be the deacon of their church and a highly respected religious figure? I thought about all these things and more, but for the convenience of this entry, I’ll just talk about 9-11.)

So was 9-11 a good thing, according to the people who believe that “God is good, all the time?

I think, deep down inside, the answer is yes. Sure if I were to ask one of these people directly they would make up excuses and say things like “that’s not really God” or “that’s the devil who does stuff like that”, but it doesn’t change the fact that the people who crashed those planes on 9-11 truly and deeply believed in God and were truly doing it for Him. Ultimately, most people who truly believe in God and think religion is a positive thing would rather live in a world of terrorists than one filled with atheists. Even after all these horrible things that happen in the name of God, atheists are still seen as the bad guys.

The reason for that, I think, is simple. Atheists are freaking boring.

Think about watching the movie Saw, where the bad guy was raised in a good home and taught love and respect and never grew up to kidnap and torture people. That would have been one boring movie. Think about all the times you’ve seen an accident on the side of the road and slowed down to gawk and gotten that little rush inside, that sense that something truly interesting and exciting had just happened? Those things make us… I’d say happy, but it’s not happiness exactly. It’s a sense of excitement, a sense of being alive.

When we watch a horror movie, we are disgusted, horrified, we think, gee whoever made that is truly sick and twisted, but we rarely say, “I wish that movie had never been made.” We’ll still say “That was a good movie; that was fun.”

The same is true for things like 9-11. People talk about how evil the terrorists are and how they deserve to go to hell and how we need to go to war with them, and all sorts of other nasty things about them, but the one thing I’ve not heard a single person say in the last ten years is, “I wish 9-11 never happened.”

The only real difference between 9-11 and a good horror movie is that we have such a hard time admitting that we enjoyed it. Admitting that would put a damper on our drive for vengeance. It would dilute our anger and take away that evil enemy that we love to hate. It would confuse our motivations and cause us to question our own actions. So instead we hide it away at the same time that we are feeling it so intensely.

The sad truth about human nature is that war and death is fun and exciting. To me this is most evident in our television advertisements for the US Military. They show us all these fancy weapons, and say “this isn’t science fiction” and make it look like you’re in this hot action flick. They don’t talk about it as being a necessary evil that must be done to keep the peace. They portray it as being fun.

I personally believe this is the root of most of our wars, military and criminal justice. People don’t go into the military or become police officers because they want to make the world a better place. That may be what they say out loud, but it’s not the true reason. Deep down, they either love their jobs, or they slowly become “bleeding heart liberals” like myself and realize what they are doing is wrong.

But that is only a percentage of the population, maybe %60, maybe more, maybe less. I think part of the problem is that many of us “bleeding heart liberals” don’t understand that lust for blood, action and excitement and never recognize it as being a driving factor in our decisions. We have this ignorant belief that everyone wants world peace because we can’t imagine wanting anything else. The fact is that a huge proportion of the population does not want peace because it’s boring.

I think God is a huge contributing factor to this blood lust. If God exists, why would He possibly want us to be peaceful? What interest could that hold for Him?

So when a person wears a t-shirt saying “God is good, all the time” they might as well be wearing a shirt that says, “I support 9-11, Ted Bundy and Isaac Zamora.” It’s not much different on an emotional level than wearing a Nightmare on Elm Street t-shirt. I just wish we could admit it.

Faith in Government and Law

The other day I was telling a story about a time when I was going to lunch with a bunch of co-workers and we tried to cram too many people into an elevator. As everyone was trying to jam in, I tried to tell them that we were over the weight limit, but everyone insisted it wouldn’t be a problem. When we finally got everyone wedged in, we found that the doors wouldn’t close. This as an example of blind faith as we all felt that just because there’s regulations and inspectors, elevators must be foolproof, therefore we didn’t really need to take personal responsibility for their appropriate use.

Then the person I was telling this to mentioned that someone we both know believes that cigarettes don’t cause cancer. This is based on his theory that the government wouldn’t allow them to be sold if they were actually harmful. This is what you would call blind faith and this phenomenon is one of the core reasons I’m an anarchist. Many people don’t recognize the dangers this kind of faith represents in the long term.

This faith in government constantly shapes our culture in ways that can quickly get out of control. Laws in a democracy are written based on public opinion, not on facts or science. A huge proportion of our society then bases their opinions on law, and also largely ignores facts and science. This creates a reciprocal effect that sends our society down a path that has nothing to do with logic and opens up opportunities for shady businesses and special interest groups to manipulate the process to their own benefit.

This type of thing can be seen in many other areas. Global warming obviously is affected because people believe that if we were really headed toward massive environmental disaster, the government would be doing something about it. People believe that obesity is not a serious health concern because no one is thrown in jail for being fat. People who support the drug war and want marijuana smokers to be put in prison are no doubt people who have never known a marijuana smoker nor studied the actual effects of the drug or how legalization has worked in other parts of the world. They simply have blind faith that their government would not create cruel and unfair laws.

People in our society tend to base their opinions on the laws, and the laws are based mostly on their opinions. As we allow this cycle to continue, we will move further away from a safe and logical organization and closer to increasingly dangerous and volatile social situations. Just one more reason to be an anarchist.

My experience near death

The nooksack river where I had my experience near death
The Nooksack river

Yesterday I posted a new true story called The River (my near death experience). Well… I actually wrote this back in 1996 or ’97 for creative writing class, but for some reason had forgotten to include it on KalinBooks.com for the last eight years or so.

My experience near death, as I word it to test my SEO strategies was one of the most powerful seven seconds of my life, and there’s a few things I find interesting about it.

First is the fact that the thought of God never even occurred to me until ten years later when a Jehovah’s Witness told me that there’s no such thing as an atheist in a foxhole. I’d never heard that before so I couldn’t call him on it, but found out later that there are numerous cases of people coming face-to-face with death without God or prayer ever crossing their mind, such as the classic survival story Touching The Void. Perhaps what they mean is that atheists don’t like going to war.

This is certainly not to say that my experience near death wasn’t deeply spiritual.

Another thing I think about regarding this is the strangeness of fearing death. Before this I had always worried about death, I suppose the way normal people do. It sits in the back of your mind, reminding you it could happen at any time.

However, when I was actually there and accepting that I would never take another breath, I realized it wasn’t so awful. The world would go on. The trees would still be green, the water would still be fresh and clean, people would still live and love and have amazing adventures. I would still be a part of all that, somehow, even if just as a memory. Even in that moment I didn’t have a shred of regret about taking risks that day.

The third thing I find interesting is just how similar this experience was to a mushroom trip. Someone once told me that acid and mushrooms affect the same parts of the brain that fire when a person is in sudden, tremendous danger. I haven’t researched this, but it would make sense, explaining why in this experience and my mushroom trips, colors seem more vibrant and it feels like I can see and hear in far more detail and my thoughts seem to get far more focused on my physical surroundings. Also the uncontrollable laughter, deep spiritual connection with the universe and the sense of the moment are all similarities between shrooms and near death experiences.