June 28, 2008

Fading hopes as darkness descends

A long, long time ago, I worked hard in my local community and helped get Ronald Reagan elected to the presidency. There were two reasons for this: he promised to decrease the size and power of the Federal government and he promised to either dramatically restrict the power of the United Nations or withdraw from it entirely.

Ronald Reagan made a lot of mistakes, and near the end, he went a little senile. But you know, that's okay. Under his presidency the United Nations was forced to backtrack on many of their intended goals while dozens of attempts to curtail the freedoms promised by the U.S. Constitution were either blocked or sidetracked. At one point, he even reduced the amount of American tax dollars that went into supporting the United Nations.

Neither Barack Obama nor John McCain has promised to do the same.

Don't get me wrong. I fully support the creation of a Global Government. Yes, I am 100% behind the creation of a One-World Government, One-World Economy, and One-World Culture. However, I want that Global Society to be a place where the rights of the individual are protected, government exists to serve the public, and the only special interests with any influence are those backed by millions of voting adults.

I don't believe that is the direction we are headed. I believe that this time, for perhaps the first time in history, the conspiracy theorists are right. The Global Government that will exist within the next five years will be a facist, or perhaps a socialist democracy, ruled not by popular vote, but by the dictates and media-based influence of a select group of very rich families whose sole concern is their own comfort and survival.

It's been a nice experiment, but unless the next American president and his congress stands up to the monolithic United Nations, democracy in our world will be dead by 2012.

June 03, 2008

For the greater good?

The Washington Post reports that FLDS children taken into protective custody by the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services are finally going home: Polygamous Sect's Children Begin to Return to Parents. The article relates a couple of very important additional details. For starters, Willie Jessop, one of the Church Elders, has stated flat out that underage girls will no longer be forced to marry older men. Keep in mind, no one has yet proven decisively that the group actually practiced forced marriage, only that from time to time younger women did indeed marry older men under the guidance of either the Elders or their "prophet", Warren Jeffs. Secondly, and much more importantly to my thinking, during their time away from the group's adults these kids not only organized themselves into daily prayer groups, they "excommunicated" a pair of rowdy 5 year-old boys.

It is easy to look at this group and label them a "cult". It is even easier to create wild headlines about the group's fondness for polygamy and the many marriages between older men and younger women. I think it is important to keep in mind, however, that these people have been living in a manner they themselves have chosen and hold to be sacred. It is arrogant in the extreme to assume that because their religion has led them to adopt social customs not found in mainstream America those customs are automatically evil or degrading of the members.

No one, or at least no one sane, will remain in a relationship that does not bring them some degree of benefit. Obviously, some members have left the group. They have even written books about their lives inside the group and the reasons they left. So it is naive in the extreme to assume that Warren Jeffs, the Church Elders, or anyone else has somehow "brainwashed" the members, forcing them to stay against their will.

In the future, more members will no doubt leave. Now that they have been exposed to the outside world, probably some of the children will grow up and leave as well. That should not be construed to mean that the people who remain in the group are somehow lessened by their choice. Their continued participation in the group will bring them a kind of satisfaction that the modern world cannot provide. This inability of the modern world to speak to the spiritual and emotional needs of sane, mature, intelligent adults is a very real problem that needs to be addressed by all of us.

Options, choices, freedom of lifestyle are all supposed to be highly valued attributes of the modern world. Homosexuality, transgenderism, even vampirism have all been embraced as acceptable modern lifestyles. If we can accept vampires and transgendered seven year-olds, why can we not accept the polygamist practices of a group of adults who only wish to be left alone and allowed to follow their chosen lifestyle?

The end of the world as we know it?

Late breaking update: 2012 = end of the internet?


My sister recently sent me this: Vedette.

That page contains a long list of links from a variety of sources which she assembled and passed to the person who maintains the site. Many of the links are alarmist, and some are paranoid, but they all point to one thing: politically and spiritually the world is changing.

It so happened that I received her links a few hours after my own research had stumbled into a long list of videos on YouTube related to the year 2012. Apparently, the "Mayan Long Calendar" ends on December 21, 2012 (or perhaps the 24th, depending on how you calculate it). Further search using that year as a keyword revealed this: 2012 at Wikipedia. It seems that during my two decades and change living in Japan, the English-speaking world has become once again unsettled by eschatological foreboding.

Personally, I think this is just dandy. In case no one noticed, our world is a bloody mess! If the United Nations wants to gain control of the whole planet, rewrite the education system, practice a combination of eugenics and genocide until the global population falls to a more manageable level, and then run things from Brussels (or Beijing, or Boston, or even Berlin), then I have no complaint. Well, very little.

Granted, there is every possibility I will not survive the change to a One World Government. I have no reason to assume that I or anyone in my family will be found fit enough for acceptance into this marvelous New World Order of drones and dictators. Excellent! If it goes as badly as the opponents expect it to, then I don't want to live long enough to be included. I'd rather be dead than have some politician dictating how I should feel, what I should think, where I should work, what kind of clothes I should wear, and all the rest.

I am American. I was born American. I will die American. I believe in life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness, and one nation under God. True, there are times in my life when I have had strong doubts. For the past decade I have been uncertain if the values I grew up with are worth maintaining in my old age. Until a week ago, I had not cracked the cover on a Bible in over a decade. Nonetheless, through all my years of doubt and confusion, one thing has remained constant: a firm belief that each individual has the inherent right to live life according to their personal values, no matter what those values may be. If we have finally reached the point in history where those who believe in conformity to a single value system outnumber those who believe in the right of each individual to define their own values, then the time has come for me to exit stage right and be glad of my passing.

Paradise is not paradise if everyone is expected to be the same. Utopia is not utopia if the only people who live there are robotic imitations of the human animal. We are not machines. God help us all if we ever reach a point where we are all assumed to be identical.

That truly would be the end of life as we know it.