Saturday, November 12, 2016

First election post and Last political post.

Okay. As I've told a lot of people, I ignored the election, I ignored the race. I know next to nothing about Trump and only know about Hillary  because she's f___ing Hillary, she's been in politics for ages.

But... the reaction to the election.

I  had been trying to avoid it. Mostly succeeding. But I just noticed something:


Everyone on FB is either trying to explain why Trump won or trying to justify it

Everyone on Tumblr is deathly afraid.


Now Tumblr for the unawares is a social media platform that can be called Blogger meets Instagram. People have blogs and post text articles, videos, or photos; you have a feed of people you follow to scroll through and can like the post or leave short comments. It's a cool sight.

It's a site predominately populated by teenagers though.

And everyone reaction's on Tumblr? Fear.

Tumblr is something of a safe haven for LGBT or minorities or feminists or basically is an anti-FB. Obviously Trump winning made them unhappy. I did see a lot of salty/you gave got to be kidding me/America you're stupid style posts, but.

I saw a lot more of people legitimately freaking out.

I'm talking people mentioning that they would kill themselves people of this election, because they anticipated so much persecution because of what Trump stands for: no compassion, no care for others, no sanctity of life.

The LBGT kids especially were freaking out. Were they going to be rounded out and send to prison; kicked out of schools/jobs; forced into conversion therapy (aka rape to make em straight), etc. There were so many posts either of people freaking out because of this or others trying to comfort/calm down the people freaking out.

All day, people spammed resources for depression or anxiety and just tried to keep the kids who thought their lives weren't worth living/were having massive panic attacks from doing something they'd regret. Tried to reassure them that it won't be that bad.

A lot of posts saying to be kind, to create, to do good things. That love would prevail, that the fight wasn't over. To stay strong. Not to hate. Not to riot. Not to do any of that BS, but just to keep hoping.


The freaking out bugged me but only because of how ignorant it was- Trump isn't capable of doing half of what they were afraid of. And I personally was really, really, REALLY annoyed that no one cared about how America's government system was screwed royally already. But whatever.



And it just struck me. That no one on Facebook, no one on this site, would give a damn.


Conservatives don't care about stuff like persecution (of anyone besides themselves) or mental/emotional problems or really anything except their power and their money. That's always defined them and always will define them.

They'd laugh at the tumblr kids, or say that their generation deserves to rot in Hell; or at the very least should be shot so they stop wasting resources. They wouldn't care about the fear they cause, the panic or the pain; all they care about is their own damn selves.


On the flipside, most liberals (especially the kids) have zero freakin sense and pretty much no morals. They fight for their own causes- gay rights, feminism, etc;- with no regard for the opinions of others. They'd probably rant at any conservatives that tried to argue with them, not listen to their arguments.


But.


The difference in reactions. On Tumblr, fear to be sure, but a lot of "don't fight, don't cause problems, even if they disagree with you don't hate on them. Go out, do good things, love others."  The goal seemed to be a collective 'prove that love wins in the end, not hate.' Which while annoying at times was certainly different from what I've seen from the conservatives.


At best I see the (always sounding condescending) 'pray for them' but usually a rant about how kids like that don't deserve to live, don't deserve help, should just be left behind and forgotten like they always were in the past.


And honestly I'm just sick of it.

I'm sick of both sides. I'm sick of conservatives being heartless and I'm sick of liberals being idiots.
I'm sick of being a really legal person and having decent morals but also caring about people being persecuted and not having a camp to join.

I cannot be a liberal, because they support immoral practices and their policies are too optimistic/short-sighted/manipulated-by-greedy-politicians. But I cannot be a conservative, because they do not care about anyone besides themselves and all their policies center around helping themselves and no one else.


The election hardly started this sentiment, this one's two years in the making. And no, not college, but a certain law course at PHC that turned me away from my conservative roots.

But the election showcased a lot of the flaws of both sides and why exactly I hate everyone.

Especially since it came down to Trump and Hillary- a prejudiced corrupt executive or a lying corrupt politician. What a choice.

I didn't vote. I literally didn't like Trump or Hillary better, I hated them quite equally. I actually thought Hillary would win tbh since Trump has had nothing but hatred thrown at him all race. But anyways.


I'm just... done. I hate everyone. I hate the conservatives, I hate the liberals.

Know what party I'd like? One that stood for morals and values AND was for helping your neighbor and common man. Ya know, a party about making the world actually better,  not for you but for others.

That's what the liberals were suppose to be but obviously aren't; that's what the conversations claim to be but obviously aren't. Both sides care too much about advancing their own goals at the expense of others to ever make ANYTHING better.


And if I sound bitter as hell, I am. I called this blog Medieval Girl for a reason-:

Because I considered myself a medieval person. Not the literal definition, the Arthurian one. A time when (if it ever existed), the strong defended the weak; the good battled the evil; and even if the good were at times misguided they always tried and never let go of what they believed.

I'm not a good person, more and more I'm becoming convinced of that. I'm a coward, morally grey at best. Part of that is personal weakness. Part of it is because I have nothing to believe in.

In tales of old, the knights always knew what was right, what to do. The rules of chivalry, the simple code of human law that everyone seemed to know. It was simple, in a way. Even when presented with a grey decision, one where right and wrong seemed useless, they could figure something out.



But that's all those tales were: tales. Real life is... no, it's not more complicated. It's just bleaker.

There aren't heroes. There aren't knights or wizards or plucky youths ready to save others. There's just a lot of selfish people fighting for themselves and maybe others in order to feel better about themselves, but that's it. Everyone's a villain.


And nowhere, nowhere, is that more blindingly obvious than politics.

That's why I gave it up. What little spark of optimism, of wide-eyed idealism got crushed. Save the world? Make it better? You know, my goal since I was a kid? Pointless. Rubbish. The world can't be saved, not because it's impossible, but because no one can agree on what saving it means. One man's right is another man's wrong, after all.



And maybe I'm just a coward. No, I know I'm just a coward. But it just seems so pointless.


So ya. I abandoned politics. I abandoned law. I abandoned this blog or the very idea of being a medieval girl.


I'll still try to make things better, maybe, but I have no hope that the world will ever be "saved." Doomed, yes. But it was doomed, I think, a long, long time ago.


This is Wildstar, signing out.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Uneducated professionals are a good thing?

To refute a common liberal gripe, I ask a simple question: Do you want an average joe to perform surgery on you?

Defend you in court?

Teach you physics? Create your electrons?

Would you want any guy off the street to do that?

I'm guessing the answer is: no.

Then, why do you want an average joe to have complete control over your life and country?

Expertise is necessary for every job. Everyone must pass basic training for work. Complicated jobs, with chance for massive disasters, require special training we call college.

If a surgeon fails, you die. If a lawyer fails, the guilty live to kill again and the innocent rot in jail. If a lawmaker fails? He causes damage that could take generations to fix.

Thus, shouldn't lawmakers have SOME training? Some knowledge of what they are doing?

A working knowledge of the Constitution and the law would be helpful. Some experience in economics and science couldn't hurt. An idea of how to communicate and haggle with others is always good.

All those skills are learned one of two ways: 1) Spend decades in government, probably as a lowly position like an aide, and work your way up the ladder. 2) Get a masters at bare minimum, preferably a doctorate, and jump-start that ladder by 20-ish years. Then work up for a decade or so.

Or, of course, get elected by people just as ignorant as the politician.

Government work ain't easy. It requires quite a few skills and knowledge of a wide variety of subjects. Law is absolutely necessary, since that is the job- making, enforcing and ruling on the law. Law is also complicated. Law schools don't exist just to take money- they exist to teach people how to swim through 200 years of legalese.

Economics and sciences are needed because laws are made about them. How can someone with no knowledge of basic science create, or run, the EPA? The Treasury? The many, many Departments? The government runs every area of life, so they should have a working knowledge of how each of those areas function.

And people skills? Sounds simple. Really isn't. Trying to get a few hundred people to agree on anything is nearly impossible. Just try and get three people to agree on the movie they saw last night! People are naturally subjective, emotional, irrational and have bad memories. Get a large group, add in a huge amount of ego and messiah complex, and you get a recipe for disaster. Now, you have to work with this group of idiots, and try to get SOMETHING done. Preferably, something your electors want.

Trying to do any governing job without those skills is like trying to climb a mountain without hands. It is technically possible but really won't work out well, at all.


And yet. And YET. Liberally constantly complain that government people are these things: old, and college-educated (which they call rich).

Well...

DUH!

They have the experience! The training! The ability to govern! Nah, they ain't "one of us," but think about it this way: say you're walking around a city, and you randomly bump into someone. That person now can tell you what to say, eat, learn- basically, what you are allowed to do.

Does that sound like a good idea?

Or how about this: go to your local high school. Run into a random student. He now can make all the rules you have to follow, for the rest of your life.

Still like you're non-old, non-educated strategy?

I'm not saying electing the old guard is necessarily a good idea. But criticism of a person should be deeper than "he's old" or "he's rich."

Why is that the case? Is he old because he's done this for 40 years and knows his stuff? Is he rich because he worked his butt off, or his parents did? (Or did he scam it, in which case, avoid him like the plague).

Personally, I'm more worried when I see someone with zero experience running. I wouldn't trust my peers to run this country- sorry, but they aren't smart enough. I'M not smart enough, and I am a government junkie.Yes, the old rich can be corrupt- heaven knows trust fund babies are- but that really shouldn't be the basis for criticizing them.

If you want a fresh face, a homeboy, to be your governor, you really should have set up a simpler government. It used to be possible. Abe was a farmboy, but life was simpler then. Law was simpler. The federal government was hella alot simpler. You didn't have this Department and that Agency and hundreds of thousands of laws that somehow must all be followed.

You cannot have your cake and eat it to. Pick one: a small, simple government with boy-next-door governors; or a massive, regulating government with PhD's running it.

Personally, I like the first one myself, What about you?

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Rational

No, not doing a political post. Mostly because I am already dead sick of this election, even though I've been mostly out of the internet/news.

This is a simple query of "why."

Why can't people be rational?

Not just in politics, but in every area, the majority of people are anything but rational. They're petty and emotional and pack-followers, but never seem to think anything through.

They follow the position handed down to them from their authorities, unquestioning. If raised Christian, they are dogmatically Christian- even while being ignorant of basic doctrine (of their faith, denomination, or other religions). I often hear this when talking to fellow Protestants "Catholics worship the saints/Mary." Actually, they don't. And it takes two minutes to verify this by talking with a Catholic.

I often play Devil's Advocate, simply to initiate a thoughtful conversation. Take, for example, homosexuals (any sub-field). My friends often condemn them, not trying to see it from their side. Like, the argument about them being born this way is so stupid; how can they think this is normal, etc. I, who am semi-versed in the topic, often point out how people always think they are normal. To them, it IS natural, something they've had for long enough to accept it. Or, they bully others to accept them because they have (like most of us) a deep-seated desire to be validated in our beliefs. That sort of thing.

In most debates (when I am rational), I argue basic logic and human behavior. Not facts and figures (of which I never remember) but just how people work or the world does. And I find so many easy flaws in their arguments. So many things they simply never considered.

Why do people do this? What motivates them? What are the reasons behind their decisions and actions? Do they have a good, if misguided, reason for thinking this? What are the end results of this philosophy?

Take another argument, popular among the Right: throw out all Muslims in our country. Eh hem. Few issues:
One, not all of them are violent, and it is hard to read a man's mind to see if he is. Two, this country does support all religions- and one being banned opens a wwiiiddeee door to ban all others (including Christians). Three, its been done before to disastrous results (*cough*Spanish Inquisition*cough*).
Four, the violent ones are excellent liars and will simply say they are not Muslim, resulting in  either a failed policy or a policy a la the Inquisition.

Simply, simply logic arguments. Am I right? Probably not, But I do think of these things. My friends would rather rant. I get that, it is completely human to get angry and rant- but does no one think about these things when NOT angry?

I have a small reputation for being a good debater. I am a terrible communicator, though, and struggle with basic small talk and tact. The only reason I think anyone admires me is because, when I debate, I know my topic. I've thought it out well in advance, If I don't know what I'm talking about, chances are I won't speak about it in the first place (barring getting emotional- which I do a lot, granted).


Rationality seems to be a dying trait, much to our detriment. When we make decisions in the heat of anger, we often make grave errors. The emotional decision is rarely correct and often must be tempered with hard logic, lest unforseen consequences pop up.


What may be the best example of balanced decisions may be Star Trek. The original series has the trio of Spock, Kirk and Bones- representing the Superego, Ego and Id respectively.

Spock and Bones, being logic and emotion, next to never agree on anything. Their solutions to the problem-of-the-day were rarely good by themselves. Spock usually would take logic to the extreme of complete disregard for human life or morality, while Bones would suggest something impossible or with devastating consequences. Kirk, of course, had to tell both of them to shut up and figure out which one to listen to. Often, he took a position between the two of them- moral but practical.

People seem to have lost the ability to do that. Most are purely emotional, with no *real* concern for practicality or the long-term results; or even considering all the options. Very few are purely logical, uncaring about morality or anyone besides themselves. Nearly no-one finds a balance and thinks a matter all the way through.

We should not be deciding anything by reason of "it/he sounds good" or "I was taught that." We should decide things by weighing all sides of the argument to find one that seems reasonable.

Or at the very least, avoid obvious logic fallacies!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Why?

Bit of an inflammatory question here, but I genuinely am curious. 

In conservatism, especially those to the extreme end, I have seen a certain characteristic many times. An unpleasant one.  
Conservatives, and conservatism, often has one particular viewpoint on an issue, and range from slightly to incredibly intolerant of any opposing viewpoint. Common views and topics:
Religion. They often say that everyone- or everyone of a particular position- MUST be a Christian, and often a specific denomination of Christian (ie Catholic, Protestant-traditional, Protestant-liberal). If you are a different religion- especially Muslim- you must not be allowed in the schools, government, country, etc.
Morality. Though in this I mean the more quasi-morality subjects like abortion, domestic relations, parenting, substance abuse, etc.
What we are and are not allowed to do and be. This really covers a few issues, such as Constitutional Rights, character qualifications (for office or not), science and it's actions, and anything remotely relating to emotional/neurological issues.

 We mock the left for it's cry for tolerance, we demean those who differ from us, we mock those who have different views.

Yet, we get offended about being called intolerant? Close-minded? Ivory-tower sitters?
And we wonder why everyone hates us? And nobody is willing to listen? Why everyone calls us hypocrites?

Frankly, I do not understand it. And I grew up as a fundamentalist. Presbyterian, hard-right, father worked for Nixon, Reagan; on the Reagan/Bush campaigns. I know conservatism. 

And yet I cannot understand a simple paradox. 

We preach Christianity, yet condemn non-Christians. We preach freedom and rights for all, yet condemn any right we personally do not like. We preach a nation open to any who want to be safe and free, and yet we persecute anyone not fitting our narrow definition of "correct."

My question is simple. Why?
Or, another: Why would anyone support a group so condemning?

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Scrooges?

A typical argument among the left is that the rich, the upperclass, the 1% (they keep on switching between those words. "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.") hoard wealth, that wealth is concentrated among them. And this is bad because the little guy doesn't get any.

This shows, to me, a profound lack of knowledge in how people work. The rich do not hoard wealth away like squirrels. Not every rich man is Scrooge, nor a Scrooge Mcduck (for anyone on the web young enough to get that reference). They do not keep their money in a massive vault to admire and swim in.

Most rich people spend their money, on anything and everything. This liberals roundly criticize- the rich only spend money on stuff for them, they're so selfish, etc. Selfish or not, it does have a good effect in a roundabout way.

Take private ships. Many a rich man owns his own yacht or cruise liner. These things go for the millions of dollars, especially since they often have to be hand-made, not factory made. An entire industry in yacht making now exists, specifically to cater to the upper class who wants to waste money. This industry provides employment- no clue how much, granted, but employment, from designers to ship makers to caterers. If not for rich people, this industry wouldn't exist (the private, small ones I mean.)

But even a normal cruise is seen as upper-middle class activity. Each ship has between 500 to 2000 crew, each getting paid between 1500 to 8000 a month. Considering they get room and board free, it's not too shabby a deal. All these people get an opportunity to see the world and have a job- and all on the upper middle classes dime.

Or let's go back to the past. Many older artists would not have painted if not for rich, vain families who employed them. From the court to the Medici, art patrons (as they were known) were all rich people with more wealth than the needed, a desire for fine art, and at least a little recognition of talent. Artists depends on these people to buy bread, for only the rich could buy art. We would be a sorry world without them and their achievements.

Wealth is not bad per say, nor are rich people. Even selfish rich people create work around them- work they refuse to do themselves. They want fancy toys, often expensive, hand-made fancy toys. These toys need toymakers, who otherwise wouldn't have *that* job. They may have another job, but not that one.

And that's ignoring the simple fact that all rich people make money working (or some ancestor of theirs did)-and nowadays, usually by running a company. For them to make money, others around them had to as well. If they own and run a company, they really do only make money as long as the company does (they cannot and do not take EVERY penny a company makes). And that means all the employees get a salary. And since this is not a state-controlled market, people can chose to go to another company... (theoretically at least).


And one last thing. Most people, I think, have a majority of their money in stocks (and some in a bank). It isn't in a vault somewhere, it's money that technically they own. It's money that is also doing something. Stocks help companies, banks need cash to give out loans. More money a rich person "has", more everyone else can use. It isn't like all that wealth is stagnant.


Now, should rich people have it in the first place? Not arguing that here. I'm just arguing that the idea that the rich "hoard" wealth is nonsense. Maybe a few do- but stagnant money is, well, stagnant. Most people want more money from their existing stock, and will grow it. Or just want fancy toys that others make to show off to everyone. And in doing so, they generate more money- for themselves and others.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Is America a Christian Nation?

The question of "is America Christian?" is pertinent in our day in age. Truthfully, though, it is not why I write this. As is often with me when reading textbooks, I end up disagreeing with them.

Recently, for American History, I have been charged to read some of the Anti-Federalist Papers and particularly an essay entitled "Religious Objections to the Constitution."

The essay made the argument that not only is America not-Christian, but it is anti-Christian in it's makeup and setup, and that all the Founder's were trying to purposefully undermined Christianity- not being Christians but merely filthy deists.

Does it have a point? Well... yes and no.

America is not a Christian nation per say, and never was. We never had a rule that all leaders must be Christians, like many early states did (as the essay points out). It overlooked the fact that those leaders were also denomination-based, one state constitution even specifically saying Protestant Christians. No Catholics here thankyouverymuch!

The reason for this was obvious then. Many states were founded by religious refugees, fleeing mostly from the Anglican Church, if not other denominations. The Puritans, the Quakers, the sacrilegious Methodists (and IIRC, the Baptists or their ancestors), and even Catholics in the case of the Irish. They all saw in Europe exactly why religion and politics didn't mix too well. Or at the very least, I doubt anyone could AGREE on a denomination to make everyone. The First Amendment pretty much exists for that reason- no forced denomination. While the Anglican Virginians may have been happy with England's church, I doubt the Puritans were likely to agree.

And from the perspective of today, we can look back and see a long history of failure in institutionalized religion. From the "Holy" "Roman" "Empire," to England, to our own Puritans, state religions or forced religions have failed. Badly. The clearest marker is still this: Europe's churches are empty, while our's are packed. Even Catholics have acknowledged this- the American tradition of allowing men to chose their religion has led to the flowering of Christianity in our country, while set-in-stone Europe has crumbled. I saw this clearly when visiting Paris- Notre Dame and the many, many churches of that city were visited only by tourists, not worshipers. Talking to Parisians, you quickly learn that religion is, and has been, dead in that country- a country that at one point was the seat of the Catholic Universities and hard-line as they get.

Whether it was that reason, or the deism, that led our founders to ensure no religious preference, I do not know. I am certain they were trying to prevent a state religion of any kind, though. And frankly, to ensure that all men in government must be of a religion IS to set up a state religion.

History proved this a wise move, not only in seeing the state of Christianity in USA vs. Europe, but in our old friends the Puritans. They  mixed politics and religion to a deadly result. Hawthorn, our illustrious axe-grinder, showed clearly the faults of Puritan society. Taking a page from the Spanish Inquisition, the Puritan church used secular punishment for religions sins, mixing the law enforcement of the state with the dictation of the church. The result was disastrous. Not only for the individual hell's that Hesters faced, but also the fiasco of the Salem witch trials. The trials were held in the secular way, charging people of (ridiculous) religious sins. Of course, the secular world is woefully unprepared to deal with matters of the soul and heart, and the ways of a jury can never judge a man's soul. The mixture led to the deaths and imprisonments of many, as well as the eternal mocking of the secular world.


So was America founded to be a Christian nation? No. If it was, it would have enforced that all leaders be Christian. However, was this a bad thing? I argue that it isn't. Every attempted theocracy has ended miserably, usually with everyone being corrupted to the point where claims of devotion to religion fall flat. The only example of this working is with the Muslim nations- and even then, they in-fight like all Hell, and their religion was set up with government (conquering at least) in mind. Christianity wasn't. For whatever reasons our Founders chose, they wisely chose not to copy their mother nation England and set up a state religion.



But the other charge, that of anti-Christian. Given our society today, it would be easy to claim that America is anti-Christian. I would say no.

America was set up on one principle: freedom. Oddly, many Christians detest the very word. They see it as sacrilegious, man deciding to play God. Only perfect *slavery* devotion to the church of their birth is correct. Many claim that allowing men freedom in this country makes it anti-Christian. Only full-on state enforcement of morals and religion is correct, for God is our King.

They forget one vital thing in their claims: free will. Much like freedom, free will is seen by all as an evil word. It means, to them, disobedience. Any free will is evil! Men must follow orders. I saw this clearly at Awana, a Bible-study/devotion/youth group organization. They are non-denomination. Ironical for the NAME, they come down incredibly hard on free will. In all their minds (books, teachers, students), they see free will as man's corrupt human nature, his ability to do wrong, his disobedience manifested and overall a Very Bad Thing.

Coming from the intellectual-based Presbyterians, I was a bit shocked. I grew up with a much different definition. Free will is what differentiates man from beast- it is his ability to determine his life, as apposed to being a animal that lives by instinct. It is his ability to find out what is right and wrong, to seek the truth, and act on it. It is ultimately his ability to follow his conscious instead of the world, to do what he thinks is God's will instead of the world's.

Free will often does mean rebellion- but ultimately, it simply means man's ability to chose. And many Christians would call this evil. Man must chose nothing! He must simply follow orders.

They forget one fundamental thing: man must CHOSE to follow orders. He must chose to do what is right. In a way, he must chose what is right- for unfortunately, absolute truth is elusive to everyone. He must chose to seek it himself or accept someone else's definition of it. But it is still a choice. You cannot force a man to chose something or another- well, you can. But in doing so, you risk committing a far greater sin than rebellion: playing God.

God controls men and orders them around as He sees fit. This is to some large-or-small degree accepted by everyone. The ability to control humans, to determine right and wrong, is ultimately God's ability. The ability is somewhat delegated to men, in certain situations. A husband is supposed to guide his wife, a parent controls his child. A pastor is a father to his patrons, a King must order his subjects. Of course, all those leaders have to report directly to God for their order. Nobody gets by without reporting to God at some point.

But to take that power upon oneself, when it is not his to bear, is to play God. It is to say that his will and decisions are infallible, that he knows best how to rule man's life. He also says, in doing this, that he knows what God's will is for another's life- a dangerous claim at best. Perhaps the man is doing what he is meant to do? To superimpose one's will on other's is to be God in their life- for only God has the power to control men.

Yet, many men would play God in this way- by forcing all men to be Christians, removing man's ability to chose to become a believer or not. State religion ultimately *tries to* forces a man to become a follower against his will, and regardless of his ability to chose. A man must decide to follow, he cannot be forced. Hell, the attempt of this is why the phrase "Cradle Catholics" exist. Catholicism states that a father needs to force his child to be Catholic. As such, many Catholics grow up claiming they are Catholic, because they followed all the rules and rituals. Yet when talking to them it is obvious they are nothing by atheists.

The Founders avoided this problem. They stated that no religion may be forced on any man, for any reason. They trusted to man's ability to chose correctly how to live his life. They may have banked on the fact that nearly all early Americans were Christian. We were a nation of Christians, even if we weren't a Christian nation per say. As Christians, we created our laws with a Judo-Christian moral foundation. Though never stated anywhere, it is obvious that the respect for human life and God-given rights is Christian in origin. In comparison, look to the East for the "rights" of non-Christian nations. They all lag behind, some substantially- and no one valued human life more than the West.



We are not an anti-Christian nation, we are a freedom nation, a free-will nation. We decided that man best knew how to direct his own life- and trusted that he would see that the best way is to follow God's will for his life. The premise was that, left to his own devices, that man would seek and find truth. It banked on the fact that men accept what they learn for themselves far faster than something imposed on them. Sacrilegious? I think not. It is seeing that all men are ultimately created by God, and thus have wills and minds of their own, and a divine ability to choose for themselves. And that, in the end, seems far more Christian to me than forcing men to do my own will, as though I had some divine ability to know all things.


The charge that America is anti-Christian just falls flat. The reasoning at the end that the Washington (they picked on him) was not a "true" Christian strikes me as being far more anti-Christian than anything else. So just because them man did not follow what Sonlight thinks is acceptable Christian behavior, that means the man was not a true believer? Last I checked, judgmental behavior is about as far away from Christian as you get. And in a way, the entire essay was like this. Because the Constitution is not as Christian as they desired (ie not enforcing only-religious-leaders), it must be anti-Christian.

They do raise one good point near the end, though. That people cannot make laws about their religion- Christian or otherwise. And that they cannot OBJECT to laws because they are Christian. A very good, and pertinent, point. This is the reason you could call American today anti-Christian.

In reality, it never was a Christian nation (for how even could a nation have a religion, as though it was a person?). It was always a nation of Christians. Founded by Christians (mostly) and for them (presumably, atheists and the like didn't exist as much in the 1700's), this country allowed every man to be a Christian, with the idea that only Christians would be running it- for who else was there? Indeed, this did hold true- every single President has been a Christian (excluding Mr. Whoevenknows Obama). We didn't NEED a clause to tell us to only elect Christians. We elected our own kind, as we were always the majority.

Well, in the past. One thing the Founders couldn't have had the clairvoyance to see was the rise of atheism and Eastern religion. Those two have been at odds with Christianity since they ever met. They disagree on morals (or lack there of), how to live one's life, or even the sacredness of life. Unfortunately, the combined power now overwhelms the Christians, and our nation reflects. Instead of being a Nation of Christians, we are a Nation of Atheists.

But perhaps, even this flaw was seen, somewhat. Back in the 1700's, anyone who disagreed with the mother church was seen as a heretic. The arguments between denominations were almost as fierce as the arguments between religions in this day. The accusations are the same. "You are a heretic. You do not follow God. I DO. I and my church are correct, you and yours are wrong." That cry has somewhat died down among Christians (Catholic vs. Protestant aside). But now it springs up between every religion under the sun.

Our Founders would have, I think, been familiar with this argument. And would have know the impossibility of settling it. It has raged, in one form or another, since the dawn of time. "This way is correct!" "No, THIS way!" "No-" and on and on. And through time, a group of people trying to enforce their version of right on everyone else has ended miserably- hello, Pharisees. A group absolutely certain they were correct and knew God's will and enforced it on everyone else. We all know how THAT ended.

What went wrong? Humans are corrupt. This is a universal fact. They become no less corrupt when ordering other people around. And the ordering only puffs up pride in themselves, till they can no longer see truth if it bit them in the face. The best solution seems to be to simply teach a man what is the truth, then let him decide for himself if he will accept it and act upon it.

And that is exactly what our Constitution allows.

The issue is we seemed to have had a critical failure, somewhere, of teaching man what is correct. In the 60's clearly (in earlier ages somewhat), men decided that they ultimately know best and need not consult stuffy adults or old books. Men embraced free will... and forgot the truth-seeking part of it. Or learning from your elders and betters. To this, we see the extreme response from the Church that all-free-will-is-evil. Both movements lack a vital half to make them successful. Instead of, like our early days, men seeking what is right and acting upon it, we either have people saying "screw it, I'm doing it MY way," or "screw you, you are doing it MY way." Neither is particularly effective or correct.

In the end, is American a Christian Nation? No. But it was and can be again, a Nation of Christians, and a nation founded on Christian ideals. And most important of those ideals was believing that man can- and indeed must- chose to follow God himself. The rest of the nation was simply structured to "get out of the way" of him doing that.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Evil is Mental Illness, or is it?

Recently, when I was on vactation with a relative of mine (relative is the only word I will use to protect the innocent), I asked for help with a villain I was writing. The villain is Eosphoros- Greek for Lucifer. This is intentional, as I plan on making him a 'Big Bad' on level with characters like Sauron (LotR),  Voldemort, etc. Primal evil characters have been done in fiction often- normally pattered after Lucifer. For a reason.

Anyways, my question was simply if the 'Destroy the entire world' plan for a villain was too overdone- Eos is still a raw character and needs a plan. My relative was utterly confused by everything I said- what is a 'Big Bad,' villain motivation, Destroy the World (Gaias style, as I said). I had to go through and explain as best I could in layman's terms, not in fiction writing terms. But all the relative could focus on was 'what was the reason for the villain to be evil.'

I simply replied there wasn't a 'reason,' per say. The villain was simply evil (Like Sauron, who the relative had not heard of. Keep in mind, this person is much older than me and not a fan of fiction in general). Eos was simply power hungry and evil. Seemed simple enough to me. Well...

My relative would have none of it. 'There has to be a reason.' I argued that some people truly are just evil, just want to 'see the world burn' (Joker quote), and for no REAL reason. I mean, their background does influence them- for Eos, it is (for now, I am working on it) that he sought a secret no mortal (or immortal) was allowed to know, and thus was banished to being a mortal. Unoriginal, and I do need to revise it. But the basic idea. But what makes a man seek power, or seek to destroy everything, isn't always explainable.

But my relative would have none of it. Basically, she ended up saying , 'They have to be mentally ill to want to destroy the world, or be evil at all.'

Now, I had a beef with that. For two reasons. One, I am so sick of the mentally ill being used as a scapegoat for all the world's problems. This has existed since Antiquity and is one of the main reasons the mentally ill have been mistreated for centuries. They have been all painted with one brush, and thus the sins of one have led to the punishment of all. This despite the fact that most mentally ill are utterly harmless, or as harmful as a 'normal' person. Being someone who was thought to be ill myself, I take it a little personally.

But there is a second reason. I am more sick of the idea that evil does not exist. If we truly say that all evil men are mentally ill, then that means that mental illness is the issue, not evil. It means that evil is a symptom, instead of a disease. And this, I think, is fundamentally WRONG.

I think all men are evil, for all men are fallen. They all have a nature telling them to do evil, to kill, to destroy, to lie and manipulate. Most people choose to ignore that nature. For myself, that nature has always been particularly strong. Especially when I get angry, all I want to do is kill. I restrain myself, though only because I have logical issues with the idea (nor moral, logical. If I were to be a murderer life would be too difficult, and thus it isn't worth it). I would not call myself evil, and I am not mentally ill. But I come close to just wanting to see the entire world burn, like any normal villain.

And why? Because I'm angry. I have a reason. But the reason is NOT mental illness. Are the mentally ill more susceptible to their inward evil? Well, yes. The reason most people don't kill is either because a) it isn't worth it (logical) or b) they have morals (conscious). Mentally ill are normally lacking on the first one. Psychopaths are lacking in the second. But MANY psychopaths live perfectly normal lives. Actually, many go into some branch of law or politics, whether a police officer, lawyer judge, or statesmen. This should surprise no one- all those jobs require a bit of moral aloofness in order to work properly. A defense lawyer can't have a conscious! A judge can't be affected by emotional pleas. A statesmen has to be pure logic, like all leaders, at times.

And many mentally ill are perfectly normal. Yes, we have horror stories- and in this country, MANY horror stories. I blame that more on this country being an idiot about mental health than anything else. Especially since all these guys were OBVIOUSLY ill way before they went postal. It was easily preventable. It wasn't. But anyways.

Then we get other guys I dare you to call mentally ill. Terrorists is the easy one here. They are not all insane- many are actually 'normal.' They have zero consciousness, but this is learned, not born. You can dampen your conscious until it no longer bugs me- trust me, I know. This is how soldiers work- they are made conscious-less in order to shoot the other guy without having a complete breakdown. I dare you to call every soldier 'mentally ill.' Nor are they evil, per say, they follow orders. But still. They can kill others, when most people really find it hard to even imagine pulling the trigger on another human being.

Evil is in everyone, though only a few choose to follow it ('few' is relative here). For many reasons. Yes, maybe mental illness (recent shooters). But also anger (every single female serial killer started for emotional reasons, and they were fine beforehand. Seriously. All, or pretty near ALL of them were anger-based and revenge-based). Revenge is also common. Religious dogma/being immune to a conscious certainly helps nothing (without a conscious, you have to rely on logic to prevent you from killing, and that is not always effective.) Being raised to hate another person/group can be the reason, even if you are perfectly moral in every other area. (Anger is becoming a theme. Makes sense. Hatred eats at you like a worm, and eventually destroys the heart. No heart makes killing really easy).

All of these lead to the shooters, serial killers, regular murderers, etc, etc, etc. But there are many reasons. I actually grew up watching crime documentaries- 48 hour mystery, Dateline, Dr. G (coroner/medical examiner, nearly all murder cases); and many smaller shows about different topics (serial killers, small-town killers, vacation murders, forensics, etc). All real-life. All within the last 50-ish years. I also watched fictional shows (Law and Order, Bones), but mostly I stuck to the documentaries.  And let me tell you, all the killers were NOT mentally ill, or had really anything obviously wrong with them. Mostly, they were cases of revenge, or money based. The killers were evil, to be sure. But ill? No. Maybe two or three, out of three years of watching those shows every night (I caught at least two a night).

So, I kinda do know a bit about real criminals, at least, more than the average layman. Its why I want to go into criminal law- the topic fascinates me. But I will never believe all evil men are mentally ill. Some really are just 'normal' people who for some reason or another gave into their evil nature. As for Eos, his reason is partially revenge, partially power-hungry. I didn't even mention power-hunger, though that is another big reasons, though more for villains than real-life people. Well, now. Back in the days of kings, that was much more common!

Unless we want to classify all men without a strong conscious mentally ill, we cannot say mental illness is the root of all evil, and evil is its symptom. Evil is the disease, and all men are sick with it. Some more so than others. But for many reasons, not one. We cannot blame evil on something else- to do so is to deny its existence. And in this modern age, most people do deny evil. They say morals are relative, not absolute. Evil is simply what people do not like, and thus subjective. Call me Medieval, but I say that right and wrong are absolutes, and evil is very present and very concrete.

-Wildstar

(PS, for those curious, the relative is a Christian. This only boggles my mind more, as Christianity does teach the existence of evil, at least at my church it does!)