Thursday, June 28, 2018

Morning Note to Self

Six Faces of Muruga
A Look in the Mirror, at Least for this Morning

1. Trump isn't changing America, he's showing us who we have always been. Rejecting that with "but not me" is also true. Now, look around you. Really look. See?
2. Justice is a shakedown, as we used to say in the neighborhood. That means that the man, the money, and the power will do anything to win and usually does. Know that, get used to it even if you want it to change.
3. When I'm no longer angry, I'll even stop riding my bike. Never. Break my bones. So what. Death will have to stop me. It will. Not today, with any luck.
4. Continue to do the things you love and care about, no matter what other people think or say or do. I plan on playing a lot more piano and writing some books. I've never been particularly good at either. Don't stop.
5. Never underestimate the con you tell yourself either. You'll find out who cares by who shows up when it matters. Be prepared to understand that not everyone who really cares _can_ show up. We never really know another's pain. The Buddha was dead-on right about that one.
6. There's no nirvana.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Religion, Not Merely the "Misuse" of Religion

Who are these people who can incarcerate and traumatize children, debase our society, and claim it the proper interpretation of the law? That it is God's law that gives them authority?

It's important to note that Trump and his sociopaths are deliberately and self-consciously using religion to justify their behaviors. Sessions and Sanders cite the Bible, Kelly Anne Conway declares herself a Catholic in defense of this shameless evil, and they _mean_ it. They are not merely "using" religion, they are _being religious_. This is not (NOT) some "misuse" of religion, as if there were such a thing as "good" or "real" religion. This is their religion. And this one of the most important things religion does for people: it allows them not only to justify their behavior but to claim that it is divine, incontrovertibly authorized, beyond any criticism.

That these people are evil is a real facet of their use of their religion. They are not hypocrites, these are _pious religious people_ for whom religion is their preferred instrument of mendacity, cruelty, and self-superiority. Religion isn't about goodness: it's to whatever purpose people decide and so authorize and claim their power. We should detest their religion, not make excuses for those who claim they are poor representatives. If there are those who claim Christianity as their religion and find _this_ Christianity repulsive I am happy to listen. But let us not fool ourselves: religion can be just as much an instrument of evil as it can be an invitation to goodness.