I am a Christian but do not interpret the Bible literally. And, while I only attend church services sporadically, I try to live my religion every day. I believe that the bible, especially the new testament, is one of the greatest sources of inspiration, morality, and principled behavior that ever was. I may not interpret it as literally as some do, but that doesn’t make it any less important for me as a guide to living a proper and just life.
I also don’t think human kind is ‘special’. We humans can be just as vicious as any predator. We can be as selfish as the male lion that kills the cubs of its rivals. We can easily be disloyal, dishonorable, cheat , steal, and kill our children. It happens all the time.
The one thing that makes us different, is a high enough functional intelligence to develop and follow principles that inhibit our worst tendencies. We can choose to follow the principles of life laid out in the Bible, as i do, or for non-believers, pick your own. Your principles are yours no matter where you get them from, and if you don’t have any, well, you aren’t any different from the lowest beast, are you?
You might wonder where this is going, right? I awoke today to a story of a wonderful man from Atlanta, a former fire department chief. He was fired for writing a book (on his own time) about his religious beliefs; a story about how the bible has shaped his life. The government says he didn’t follow procedures for off duty employment; a crock if I’ve ever heard one. He was fired by cowards with no principles who took a disliking to such a highly placed public figure wearing his religion on his sleeve. He was fired as an act of appeasement to the secular mob that wants us to remove all evidence of religion from public view.
Here’s another act of cowardice. A few days ago a fire crew was suspended because they brought a child in distress to the emergency room, saving her life. They committed the crime of ‘transport’ in a vehicle (the fire truck) not authorized for same. these are stories of principled men being punished by clowns with none.
The best indicator of a man’s character is what he does when nobody is watching him. The mob, in its unprincipled haste, sees religion, and the religious I suppose, as competition for the laws they love to put in place to command behavior that they deem worthy. Sure enough, as you force religion into dark alleys, they discover the inherent evil that can exist in men and try to restrain it with laws and micro-regulation that were never needed, not so long ago, in a nation of principled men who lived out their lives fearing a God that they assumed was always watching.
Another story in the news today was about a young couple who overdosed on heroin in their newborn’s hospital room. Presumably there was no law to be found about shooting up at an infant’s bedside. I’m sure some daft politician could write a law ‘preventing’ this sort of thing. How come this never happened before the war on drugs? Could it be that people didn’t need near as many laws when their lives were principled?
I’ll leave you with a final thought on principle. I always figure that when I’m struggling with a decision it’s not because I’m indecisive. it’s because I know the right thing to do and just don’t want to do it. It’s my principles bumping up against my passions that makes for procrastination.
The latest of these struggles, for me, is how to deal with the orange raccoon that is Donald Trump. I can’t support the man because he demonstrably has no principles. I’m conservative so I am well aware that not supporting him (if enough other people feel likewise) means there will be no conservative in the white house in 2017.
At first, my hesitation with respect to supporting him had to do with policy pronouncements and the fact that he is not conservative. Yet in the past I’ve easily held my nose for ‘imperfect’ candidates, rationalizing that half a loaf was better than a crust. This time is different.
It would violate my principles to vote for such a man; a man who not only lacks discernible principles, but exploits our litigious society to engage it as an ally in casting all principle aside. It does not matter at all where he is on a particular policy pronouncement. Even if I was 100% percent in agreement with everything he wants to do I can’t approve of him as the vessel to get us there.
I guess I’m with the Pope on this one. You can’t be a Christian in your heart if you live like a pagan. I would rather chance an election loss than to cast my lot and be a part of his lynch mob. You can’t unravel things once you start the fire, and when the flames die out you have to decide who to rebuild with. It can be the tyranny of the raccoon or the principles of Jesus. You choose.