Wednesday, July 01, 2015

Flags, Marriages, and True Believers

The Confederate flag represented many Southern white mens' desires in 1850 to exploit and enslave people of color, to institutionalize slavery, to revolt and kill, and to separate from the United States of America.  In 2015, flying the Confederate flag over governmental buildings in these United States of American is inappropriate, since most people today do not support the Confederate ideology.  Numerous Federal Constitutional Amendments and many federal and state laws attempt to reduce discrimination and reduce racism.  Most people consider the Confederate flag a symbol of racism and destructive rebellion.  Such a flag has a place in a history museum, but not flying over a U.S., state capitol building, courthouse, or a university.

I was pleased by the recent United States Supreme Court decision to remove restrictions on marriages imposed by various States.  Marriage between adults of different races, different religions, or of the same sex seems to me a private matter and personal preference.  I am comfortable with letting adults chose the person they wish to love and marry.  Of course, you can be sure that States like Louisiana and Texas, ones that still fly the Confederate flag, and have statues of Confederate rebels everywhere, will still refuse to grant marriage licenses to those persons that authoritarian politicians and religious bigots arbitrarily chose to disrespect and harass.  

It is interesting to see the current GOP candidates, scurrying to gain the favor of the religious conservatives, waffle on the fundamental issues of liberty, and support the need for "State's Rights."  Do these candidates mean to say they would have no problem if the majority of the citizens of say Louisiana voted to ban and criminalize same sex marriages, interracial marriage, and abortion; established Southern Baptist Christianity as the State religion to be taught and prayed about in public schools, allowed persons to carry handguns and rifles into churches and supermarkets, flew the Confederate flag over all governmental buildings, did not pay taxes to the Federal Government, used Federal land for private purposes, encouraged alcohol and tobacco usage, built a wall around their State to keep Mexicans and other undesirables out of their State, did not allow women or dark skinned people to vote, etc.  These GOP political candidates don't have the courage to defend a position in defense of liberty and individual rights, and shuffle the issue off onto the plates of local or "State" issues.  I used to be a Republican until the religious fundamentalist Moral Majority stunk up the scene. 

I favor a government where the laws are generally consistent and uniform between all the States of these United States of America.  I favor a government that encourages liberty and justice for all.

I do understand that disagreements between State governments and the Federal government in the U.S.A. are complex, difficult, and ongoing.

I don't find the Bible or Koran very useful for information for living a good life, their 'histories' are boring and uninstructive, and their rules and social customs often irrelevant to current world circumstances and diversity. Also, believers and preachers of these two creeds have a long and bloody history of forcing others to obey their arbitrary rules and convert to their religions.  They do not believe in individual freedom and liberty, and are opposed to and want to oppress others favoring modern values, and often are at odds with a scientific and pragmatic world view.  

"True Believers," in Eric Hoffer's sense, are dangerous to civil peace and prosperity.  Whether they be Christians massacring Native-Americans and enslaving Africans, Islamic Jihadists massacring tourists in Tunisa or mosque-goers in Iraq, or dumb drug addled white supremacists waving a Confederate flag and then murdering nine black people in a church in South Carolina, black rioters in Los Angeles, Nazis, KKKers, or the Timothy McVeighs or Jim Jones's of the world ... all were true believers in theivery or murder or terrorism "justified" by religious or ideological dogmas or anger/revenge.  

A Portrait of another sullen True Believer, Dylann Roof:

"Oh, I wish I was in the land of cotton,
Old times there are not forgotten."