Posts Tagged ‘Pat Robertson’

“Religious-eers”

March 1, 2010

I can perceive religion as a force of good. At the same time,  anyone who reads history can see why it can be a source of destruction. In fact, anyone who has been living on this planet recently can see that as well.

I am not surprised at all  that World Vision leads all secular organizations in relief efforts worldwide. Well-intentioned ,  religious people probably muster a lot of passion. They can tap into deep resources of  moral traditions.

At the same time, they can be manipulated by  profiteering institutions,  religious oligarchy,  and  hypocritical leadership that benefit from the status quo. They can be bullied by radical elements that fear openness and recoil from exchange of ideas.

Take the evangelical-based organizations in the U. S. A., for instance. Recently, they have been engaged in commendable relief efforts worldwide. Haiti, Congo, Rwanda are all but few examples. One  may question their motives but not their effectiveness.

What makes me question their motives is simple.  Absent from  the picture is their clear and unequivocal stance against the support for the seemingly never-ending wars this country engages in.  Their leaders such as Graham, Robertson, Dobson, Farwell, all support wars. They never see a war they dislike. The ones who don’t, opt to play it safe and keep quiet. (See this web site  for documented evangelical support for wars.) They fuse wars, nationalism, and patriotism as good as any demagogue.

War is unquestionably  the most egregious violation of the ethics they purport to champion. Isn’t it all supposed to be about “saving” humans and bettering the conditions of living? Isn’t it why, supposedly, they engage in all those relief efforts across the globe? Yet war after war, they’re either avid supporters of that killing enterprise or silent at best. “Often in the Bible, God sanctions and even encourages war and invasion”, claims one of them.

They are like the rock stars and the Hollywood fakes they much despise. They look for “safe”, trendy,  issues to engage in. But they predictably cower from substantive issues that require courage. Issues that may cost its advocates their careers, reputation, and their life of luxury.

It is a sad state of affairs that this religious energy that can be used to do much good and spread meaningful peace around the world, is diverted to support personal ambitions,  wealth and fame agendas of such hypocritical leaders.

ekwaysan

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Culture vultures?

January 18, 2010

Why do we keep producing people like the CEO’s of Goldman Sacks, J. C. Morgan-Chase, and AIG that have brought the global economy down on its knees and robbed millions of their jobs, lifetime savings, and homes without showing the slightest hint of  any remorse or empathy? Before them, there were the Enron CEO’s , and the S and L scandal people before that.

This doesn’t start and stop at our financial institutions. America keeps producing individuals like president Truman who committed the greatest act of terrorism of all time by nuking  the civilian population in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Robert McNamara who ordered carpet-bombing of a massive peasant population, and Henry Kissinger who was heavily involved in the massacres in Latin America in the seventies.

You may be thinking this is happening within the political and financial spheres. And this is a crule, and cut-throat culture. Think again. It doesn’t get any better when we venture into the American religious arena . It is an amalgam of superstition, ignorance, hatred, and personal status that override the moral high ground. Just listen to comment from  Pat Robertson, Franklin Graham,  Jerry Falwell, and  Jimmy Swaggart about Mohamed, or other people they don’t like.  

These people are not on the fringe of our society. And certainly they are not an aberration. For the most part, they were educated in America’s elite institutions and not in Madrasas in remote Afghani caves. People like that are considered successful models of what the best in our culture can produce.

 Have we ever stopped to look in the mirror? Have we even remotely asked ourselves why every president since WWII has waged a war for one reason or another (except for Jimmy Carter who armed the brutal ruling junta in Burma to the hilt so they could crush the domestic democracy movement)? All that with the full support of our élite media pundits and religious leaders.

One, conceivably,  can mount a defense for a counter argument.  One can even list plenty of individuals that  have been educated in Ivy league schools and have opposed all the atrocities I have mentioned ( people like Ralph Nader and Chris  Hedges). But then the question can be rephrased.  Why aren’t these people at the helm running America? Why do they systematically fail to make much of a dent in public attitude let alone public policy?

If the élite institutions in America produce people who  arguably commit crimes against humanity, and if  “democracy at its best”, as we’re told, can produce such individuals, then the flaw lies deeper than we may like to admit.

This should get any caring person deeply worried.

ekwaysan