We the People…

Gary, Davis, Charleston, America, IndividualismThe Charleston murders last night are reflective of an America that has fallen deeply into the abyss of the rights of the individual to shape the core beliefs & common respect due us all. “We the people…, in order to form a more perfect union.” Has degenerated into “I will assert my rights, my values, my individual dominance, and my anger against anyone I chose…, screw you.”

 Following World War II (1945) America was so tired of war we simply withdrew from Korea and allowed the country to divide. (1952) We know how well that worked out. Through our war in Vietnam (‘60s-70s) we grew weary and skeptical that any war was worth entering. Then came the Gulf War followed by the War in Iraq, and finally our world-wide war against Terrorists and ISIS. According to my son-in-law, a military strategist, that is a Stage 1 war that can never be won, and will never be over.

The effect of this history has been that American individualism has focused on our own individual rights and a return to isolationism. We don’t want to get involved.

 It took almost 100 years following our Civil War for African Americans to be recognized as decent human beings. Our LGBTQ Americans fared much better in a mere 40 year struggle to gain national recognition.

 Why should we be surprised that a white supremacist attends a Wednesday Bible Study and murders nine African-Americans!?! His goal? “To reignite the race wars.” American individualism has supplanted any core value with the values of whatever fringe activist group seeks to assert over the common good. This is wrong on any moral, civil, and human decency level you can find throughout history.

 Which groups will face eradication next? My guess is any semblance of the Judean-Christian religious tradition. Religious types are a threat because they believe in an external reference point on which all human dignity and morality is based. They threaten those fringe philosophies that challenge the common core’s right to exist. Judaism, Christianity, Islam, are a threat to our nation and must be kept in check. There is no common decency, there is no moral code, there is no respect for “WE the people.. .”. There is only I.

 Thus, the murders in Charleston last night.

 And yes, I am mad that we have come to this.

 Dr. Gary Davis

tax day

April 15th. The Day of Reckoning. This is the day, in the United States, that government taxes are due on the last calendar year’s earnings. Of course, the real Day of Reckoning is Tax Freedom Day, the day when everything you earn is actually yours. Up until that day, everything you earn has actually been given (taken?) to the IRS. This year, that date is April 18thThree days after your taxes are due. There now, doesn’t that make you feel better?!?

In most ways taxes are good, sorta. They pave roads and build hospitals; they organize our national defense system (Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, the Avengers). They pass judgment on what is good and right for our society and what is not good or wrong. They provide an infrastructure so our various peoples can get on with the business of their own individual, professional and family lives. And because of our belief in the basic nature of people, our government has even built in its own system of checks & balances with its Judicial, Legislative, and Executive branches, to restrain the spread of evil. Ergo…, we pay taxes.

This “Day of Reckoning” concept has been around since the dawn of time. The idea is that one day we will all have to give an account of what we have done with our time during our life-span on this earth. A societal reflection of this is seen in our laws; which are, supposedly, encoded with a higher moral code. In our present day there is little agreement on the source or nature of this “higher” moral encoding. But there remains a wide-spread corporate sense that one day, we will be held accountable for our actions, even by those who are not-sure of an afterlife or of a deity. Odd.

Personally, I prefer to err on the intentionality side-  living my life as if there actually were an afterlife and deity. Not that I am looking forward to any kind of reward for the life I have led; but I would sure like to avoid, at all costs, any kind of retribution for my actions.

I am under no illusion that I will simply run out my days on earth and that is that. Nothing more. That would be a serious, and erroneous, presupposition. Nonetheless, neither do I presume that I am somehow special and will be rewarded for my good life. That is up to God! Rather, I choose to prepare for this Day of Reckoning through a simple, action oriented maxim-

Honor God, honor people…, make a difference.

            Through this simple threefold imperative, I hope that I will bequeath to this world, my society, and my family, a better place to live.

For now, I’ve got to focus my attention on getting in my taxes and staying out of jail.

Have a nice week,