Saturday, 15 December 2012

op/ed-slaughter of the innocents.

We are all familiar with the Christmas Story,right?You know,the one fromThe Second Chapter Of Luke.The one that begins with Caesar Augustus declaring that all the World should be taxed,then proceeding to reveal the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem.Even if you are just a nominal Christian,or perhaps not a Christian at all,you could likely repeat that story from memory,right?

The problem with the Christmas Story is that it is just too trite.Don't misunderstand me,it's not trite coming from the mouth of God.In that way it carries all the weight that it ever did.The problem is that,because we've chosen to live in a certain type of society,with certain values of our own construction,the story doesn't quite ring true.You see,every year it seems,there are things added to this story that really don't belong there.Things like planes being blown up and children being shot.So the Christmas Story can seem to make so little sense at times.

But if we follow the story beyond the birth of Christ,beyond the shepherds in the field,and beyond the Magi,we can see that the story doesn't have a happy ending.Actually the happily ever after part of this story has just been somewhat delayed,but no matter,the Christmas story has a rather gruesome ending.It's called The Slaughter Of The Innocents,though a lot of people prefer not to read that far.It rather ruins your appetite for turkey and plum pudding,you see.

Let me briefly summarize The Slaughter Of The Innocents.When King Herod heard of the birth of Christ,he intended to kill Him.So,he demanded that the Magi tell him where the Christ Child was.The Magi were warned in a dream not to return to Herod,and when Herod found out that they had fooled him,being the narcissistic megalomaniac that he was,he demanded that all male children under two years of age in and around Bethlehem be put to death.To make a long story short,for want of murdering one specific child,Herod murdered many children.And it was all driven by the fact that Herod only recognized one god.Himself.

Yesterday morning,just when the tragic news in Connecticut was breaking,one of the first images that surfaced on my Facebook page was of Lady Liberty covering her eyes with her hands and asking,"What has this country come to?"Actually,any study of the recent history of America,and of the recent philosophies of it's people makes manifest even to the relatively uneducated what this country has come to.The question is,what are we going to do about it?

I think it's time to do some collective soul searching.We need to ask some very hard questions.In fact,let's make it just one really hard question.And I know I will offend some by asking it this way,but I'm not going to back away from it.Are all of the Godless beliefs that  our finest thinkers have developed over the past century and a half, serving us well?Are we to settle for the status quo as being the voice of orthodoxy?Here is the really hard question:Have we constructed our world in such a way that we've ended up engaging in our own slaughter of the innocents for the sake of removing a particular child from our moral thinking?Have we not become Herod,collectively,complete with all of his megalomania?

The school room of just forty years ago was different than it is today.You could speak the Name Of God out loud,read the Bible,be taught the Ten Commandments and The Golden Rule.You learned about Christian gratitude,and to respect others as having been made in God's image.We had a Christmas concert each year,not a winter celebration.We even began each day with a prayer.God still mattered.But somewhere along the line He got replaced with the idea that we should never offend anyone.He,God that is had His name changed to Political Correctness.And for at least the last quarter century,that is the only god that is allowed access to the school house.Is that serving us well?

Can we all set aside some significant religious differences long enough to admit that our children being gunned down in school is an affront to all creatures who are made in the image of God?Because there are hardly any,Christian,Muslim,Jew,Sikh,that don't grieve when something like this happens.And I refuse to accept that, if you don't believe in God that you are not overcome by cognitive dissonance in the face of such an event.

The reality is that we were made in God's image.That is a really big concept.I'm not certain as to what all that implies,but I am convinced that it's a line of thought worth thinking about.In part,what it seems to mean is that we have some of the attributes of God,that we are capable of responding to Him.Not only are we capable,but if we do not respond to Him,as a matter of choice,we are characteristically unhealthy,both as individuals and as societies.

Over the past two hundred or so years we've come to believe many things that contradict the idea that we were made in God's image.The contradiction in most cases is rather obvious.It's really not difficult to see,as I name these philosophies one by one,how they lead us down a path to putting ever less value on human life.An irreverent attitude toward our fellow humans has it's roots as an irreverent attitude toward God,a belief that He is somehow no longer relevant to us.

Darwinism teaches us that we've evolved from nothing,for no discernible reason,and without Holy guidance.We are,we are told,sophisticated apes.Secular Humanism and Atheistic Humanism tell us that man is the measure,that we have the answer to all of our own problems.Subjective Morality tells us that there is no real morality,no social contract with other human beings.And political correctness declaws the cat by making the greatest wrong offending others.Each of these thought systems is is a rationalization for denying that we are all children of God.Is there any wonder that there is no peace on Earth?

Examining ourselves is never easy.It wasn't intended to be.But let me ask,what are we going to do about all of these acts of unspeakable hatred?First,recognize what is happening here.Recognize that guns,drugs,or any other thing you want to blame is not the problem.The problem is in the hearts of men,just as it has always been.

We need to start making connections here.We need to see our way through to being able to draw the conclusions that we can draw by virtue of being made in God's image.We have no trouble knowing that the physical health of our children is affected by obesity.Why,then do we miss the fact that their spiritual health is affected the absence of spiritual nutrition?

It's time we had prayer in school again.The Lord tells us to be continually in prayer.I've tried it and it works.Years ago,when I was having panic attacks I was taught that the behavior of deep breathing is inconsistent with panic.In the same manner,I discovered,prayer is inconsistent with wanting to harm others.The prayer circles were formed so fast on the social media sites yesterday,so it would seem to be an indigenous concept to a lot of humans.But what shocked me is the sudden realization that nobody seemed to be praying for the children before this tragedy happened.Prayer in School?Its time to give the issue serious debate again,starting now.

Another thing we need to do is free our children from the present bondage placed upon them.We need to evaluate those godless ideas that have become the voice of orthodox belief in our society.We need to give our children permission to seek God while respecting that others have different beliefs.We need to realize that even if we choose to live a life of religious and moral non-belief or even ignorance,we must not dogmatically commit our children to the same beliefs.If they wish to try to rise above those things,they should be free to do so with our blessings.It all comes down to teaching them how to think,not what to think.Teach them how to honestly evaluate Darwinism,Humanism,Political Correctness,Atheism Nhilism and Subjective Morality.Teach them to do the same with Theism,Christianity,The Golden Rule,The Ten Commandments and all those things we used to believe.

We've lived as godless creatures for decades now,because we've been told we should.But have we forgotten that it is not the only way to live?If we choose not to see our innocents slaughtered,are there some things that we need to unlearn?Isn't it time to give up on our collective megalomania as represented by our current thought systems?Because really,Godless morality can be,and must be made obsolete.

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