The bound spirit assumes a position, not for reasons, but out of habit; he is a Christian, for example, not because he had insight into the various religions and chose among them; he is an Englishman not because he decided for England; but rather, Christianity and England were givens, and he…
Jesus unambiguously preached mercy and forgiveness. These are supposed to be cardinal virtues of the Christian faith. And yet Evangelicals are the most supportive of the death penalty, draconian sentencing, punitive punishment over rehabilitation, and the governmental use of torture.
Jesus exhorted humans to be loving, peaceful, and non-violent. And yet Evangelicals are the group of Americans most supportive of easy-access weaponry, little-to-no regulation of handgun and semi-automatic gun ownership, not to mention the violent military invasion of various countries around the world.
Jesus was very clear that the pursuit of wealth was inimical to the Kingdom of God, that the rich are to be condemned, and that to be a follower of Him means to give one’s money to the poor. And yet Evangelicals are the most supportive of corporate greed and capitalistic excess, and they are the most opposed to institutional help for the nation’s poor - especially poor children.
They hate anything that smacks of ‘socialism’, even though that is essentially what their Savior preached. They despise food stamp programs, subsidies for schools, hospitals, job training - anything that might dare to help out those in need. Even though helping out those in need was exactly what Jesus urged humans to do. In short, Evangelicals are that segment of America which is the most pro-militaristic, pro-gun, and pro-corporate, while simultaneously claiming to be most ardent lovers of the of the Prince of Peace.
Of course, conservative Americans have every right to support corporate greed, militarism, gun possession, and the death penalty, and to oppose welfare, food stamps, health care for those in need, etc. - it is just strange and contradictory when they claim these positions as somehow ‘Christian’. They aren’t.
“Print will never die. There’s no substitute for the feel of an actual book. I adore physically turning pages, and being able to underline passages and not worrying about dropping them in the bath or running out of power. I also find print books objects of beauty.”—
“According to the May Nielson ratings, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart beat the entire Fox News network in terms of total viewers. Stewart averaged 2.3 million viewers, while the Fox News prime time and day time line up averaged 1.85 million viewers.”—
'I believe that if the burden gets too great, those who wish should be allowed to be shown the door. In my case, in the fullness of time, I hope it will be in the garden under an English sky. Or, if wet, the library.'
Sir Terry Pratchett, author of the hugely successful Discworld books, was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2007.
He said that no one has a duty to suffer the extremes of terminal illness and set down his admiration for the sick and dying who have travelled to Switzerland to die in legal suicide clinics. They have displayed ’ furious sanity’, he said.
“Archimedes said, “Give me a fulcrum and I will move the Earth”; but there isn’t one. It is like betting on the future of the human race — I might wish to lay a bet that the human race would destroy itself by the year 2000, but there is nowhere to place the bet. On the contrary, I am involved in the world and must try to see that it does not blow itself to pieces. I once had a terrible argument with Margaret Mead. She was holding forth one evening on the absolute horror of the atomic bomb, and how everybody should spring into action and abolish it, but she was getting so furious about it that I said to her: “You scare me because I think you are the kind of person who will push the button in order to get rid of the other people who were going to push it first.” So she told me that I had no love for my future generations, that I had no responsibility for my children, and that I was a phony swami who believed in retreating from facts. But I maintained my position. As Robert Oppenheimer said a short while before he died, “It is perfectly obvious that the whole world is going to hell. The only possible chance that it might not is that we do not attempt to prevent it from doing so.” You see, many of the troubles going on in the world right now are being supervised by people with very good intentions whose attempts are to keep things in order, to clean things up, to forbid this, and to prevent that. The more we try to put everything to rights, the more we make fantastic messes. Maybe that is the way it has got to be. Maybe I should not say anything at all about the folly of trying to put things to right but simply, on the principle of Blake, let the fool persist in his folly so that he will become wise.”—Play to Live : Lectures of Alan Watts (1982)