Posts Tagged God

The Men From Outer Space

view from the moon

“King Christ,this world is all aleak;
and lifepreservers there are none:”  -ee cummings

 

There is no Overman…only an Outerman.

We are The Outerman. They are The Innerman. Made from the same material. Subject to the same illusion. The two share nothing in common beyond circumstance.

The Outerman does not stand above the world of The Innerman, rather we are mired in it. We watch its absurdities not from a distance, but from a terrible proximity.

We bare the scars of The Innerman’s creations. We live in the demented cesspool of their need for acceptance. Adoration that will never come from the other Innermen. They are blind. Each alone in the company of Others. Each pantomiming human form. Each actors on a stage that stretches from dawn till death.

Both The Innerman and The Outerman are prisoners of the same sickening carnival, the only difference between the two is The Outerman recognizes it to be what it is. No superstition can save him. No machine can revive him. He walks to his fate with the dignity and honor of a man who will not accept the debasement of delusion.

The Outerman looks in the mirror and sees a product of alienation. An alien in a world of aliens. A jigsaw piece that does not fit. Awake among dreamers. There is no Hollywood ending for him or anyone else. There is only decay.

The Innerman looks in the mirror and hopes somehow to mold his face to the reflect the blank stare of the other Innermen. He can never get it right no matter how hard he tries. Never fast enough, never strong enough, never smart enough. Everyday he hopes he’ll see a different image in front of him. If he could just find the formula. The Man With The Answer. But there is no Man and there is No Answer.

The Innerman’s world is one of violence. Violence not in the sense of harm towards others (although some choose that path), but a violent ignorance that turns a blind eye to the suffering in their midst. The Cause portion of the equation forgotten. The Effect always a mystery.

“Why do they hate us?” they wonder aloud, never seeing the answer apparent to anyone not forever trapped in fantasy. Violence is the righteousness of the provincial and the tyranny of the obvious. The world of the Innerman is a dream inside of a dream inside of a dream, with a waking nightmare always somewhere in the corner of his eye.

The Innerman is doomed. Even God won’t save him. Why would He bother? He is too busy poisoning children with cancer, creating horrors like ebola and teaching his followers to hate that which makes them human.

He is the God of letting good things happen to bad people and bad things happen to good people. He is not The God of Love, He is The God of Pestilence. The best thing God could be is a fantasy. For if he is not, He is a sadist.

Both The Outerman and The Innerman are bound together. They walk to the same gallows, suffocated by the same rope. The Outerman calls it a hanging. The Innerman calls it salvation.

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God: “I Did What I Had To In Order To Prevent ‘Lulu Two’”

God Angrily Dismissing Questions From Reporters About "Lulugate"

God Angrily Dismissing Questions From Reporters About “Lulugate”

In a press conference outside his home in Valdosta, Georgia, God today admitted responsibility for committing “several crimes against humanity” including “ravaging Lou Reed’s body with disease” in order to stop Metallica from collaborating on a second album.

“Look, I know I created a world where many horrible things happen.  War, famine, earthquakes, tornados, babies born without heads, I can live with all that.  However, James Hetfield again declaring himself to be a piece of furniture is where I draw the line,” pronounced God moments before he ascended into the clouds for an afternoon meeting with rap legend Eazy-E.

God is no stranger to controversy.  While he has been responsible for many of the greatest miracles ever to take place, he has also gained a reputation as a vengeful, jealous God and, by some estimates, has been responsible for the deaths of over 107 billion people throughout the course of human history.  Some critics have gone as far as accusing God of the manufacture and use of several biological weapons including the bubonic plague, cancer and the Ebola virus.

Some of God’s critics claim his treatment of humans is excessive and even bizarre.  Lot Markowitz, a traveling salesman from Gomorrah, Pennsylvania, remembers God’s behavior as being extremely erratic.

“He destroys two cities completely, kills everyone, but lets my family go, right? Then, all of a sudden, my wife turns around and she’s a pillar of salt.  What sort of weird, sick creature would do that?!?!”

God also has been known to play the occasional inappropriate practical joke.  He once told his faithful servant Abraham to climb up to the top of Mount Moriah and kill his beloved son Isaac.  Only moments before the murder of this small child, God, hardly able to keep a straight face, stopped Abraham and boomed out “Just Kidding!!!”

Metallica-Lou-Reed-go-on-a-genre-bender-6THQF4U-x-large

In spite of his recent indiscretions, many believed God’s ending of the Cold War and introduction of additional cable television channels had signaled a “kinder, gentler God”.

However, according to several confirmed sources, God not only smote Lou Reed but also threatened to cover each member of Metallica from head to toe in boils and send a flood to destroy the city of Cleveland, Ohio if they released anything else they had written in tandem with the rock legend.

Many bloggers had speculated that God took retribution on Metallica skinsman Lars Ulrich by robbing him of his ability to play drums as punishment for his work on the first “Lulu” album.  However, those charges have been brushed aside by many in the metal community who have listened to Ulrich’s drumming since “…And Justice For All” and are well aware that he was stripped of those powers back in 1988, well before the dreaded 2011 release.

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Glen Benton: Activist or Anti-Christ?

Glen Benton Christmas Sweater

Some of the people we view as great Americans have spent the better part of their lives being derided and defamed, only to later be discovered as incredible human beings.  Harry Truman was a wildly unpopular President who was viewed as incompetent by many in the press.  Today, he is viewed as one of the great Presidents of the modern era.  Muhammad Ali was once believed to be a draft dodging, loud mouth braggart who was disgracing the sport of boxing and America itself. When the “Sportsman of The Century” lit the Olympic torch in 1996 in Atlanta, there was almost no mention of that.

There are some people just like this in our world today.  One such man inhabits the world of heavy metal.  This local hero, defender of humanity, and social activist has sat quietly in the face of persecution for many years. That man is Deicide vocalist Glen Benton.

Most of Glen’s early works, much like those of Henry David Thoreau, focus on the abuses committed by the dominant religious system in America.  In a world racked by grief and suffering, Benton posed questions like “How can you call yourself a God?”  He also passionately revealed the mistreatment of God’s followers in his work with potent lines like “God is the reason we live in dismay, it is his will that this world is suffering”. After this intense period of anti-religious activism, Benton was directed by his own ethical compass inward to a more gentle period of his life.

Benton, Bunnies and Babies
Thus began his “furry adoption phase”. He began by adopting a few baby bunnies. The more bunnies he adopted, the bigger his heart swelled. At one time, the Benton house was home to over 300 baby bunnies.  He adopted many other animals included wounded llamas, lemurs and aardvarks, but it was the bunnies that he forged the deepest connection with.  This led to the most musically awkward phase of Benton’s career.

In 1994, Deicide tried to release the album “Cute Little Bugs” which was rejected by the record label and later re-recorded the next year with different lyrics as “Once Upon The Cross”.  The looming threat of commercial failure in the midst of soaring rabbit food costs was a wake-up call to Benton. He got back on the anti-God musical bandwagon in order to continue to support the incredible collection of animals who relied on him for sustenance.

The next major event in Benton’s life is still shocking to many. On a gloomy late December morning, he received a knock on his door.   When he opened it he found a young orphan left in a basket on his doorstep with a note that read simply “Jesus”. Benton, who could have easily eaten or sold the baby, instead committed the next years of his life to raising him, feeding him out of a bottle, and even going so far as to suckle him from his own teat. As he grew older, Jesus began eating sugary cereal, watching cartoons, and collecting Pokemon cards. In those days they were one big happy family- Benton, Jesus, and all 300 of the cuddly bunnies. He recalls that Jesus was just like any other normal kid, and that he often left crayons in his pockets which would melt in the wash.

Benton and Jesus
The mixing of Jesus and the bunnies under one roof is how our modern Easter tradition came about. We can all thank Glen Benton for that. However, when Mary and God, the child’s rightful parents, returned to claim him, Benton lost a bitter custody battle and had to say good-bye to young Jesus.

Years later, Jesus was arrested and crucified by the Roman authorities for shoplifting.  He still blames God for allowing the death of his young friend.  Had young Jesus stayed in Benton’s care, the two would still be happily sitting on a couch watching episodes of Yo Gabba Gabba.  Things turned out far differently.  Still haunted by those terrible memories, Benton has spent much of the latter part of his career singing about Jesus’ unfortunate death.

This was a dark and distressing period for Benton. He sought to make a strong statement about the injustices God had committed against his once foster son. He burned an upside-down cross into his forehead as a constant reminder of the grave injustice that had been committed. This act, while viewed as completely insane by some, has earned him the occasional comparison to the Buddhist monks who set themselves in fire in protest of the South Vietnamese government in the 1960s by those who understand Benton’s commitment to social justice.

Since that time, Benton has been busy teaching a young generation not to die on crosses or listen to their idiot parents, even if they are God. He has constantly been portrayed in as negative light by the media, having been called the everything from a terrible influence on America’s youth to the Antichrist. The truth is, Benton an activist in the mold of Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela and Sean Penn.  More than anything, Glen needs our love and understanding. Compassion for The Caco-Daemon is a non-profit group that has been started to collect letters of support and affection for Glen and his important cause.  They are currently accepting handwritten cards (preferably in crayon) to encourage Benton to continue his fight.

Cards can be mailed to:

Compassion For The Caco-Daemon
PO Box 2204
Gresham, OR 97030

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2014 In Review: Year of The Metal Subgenre

69_photoA near tsunami of new metal bands came to the forefront of the American music scene in 2014.  After Obama signed the controversial law in 2013 that outlawed country music, boy bands and songs by coke addicted former Mouseketeers, metal began to take off as the most popular form of musical expression in the land.

A wave of new bands brought in a flood of popular subgenres.  After all, how can you possibly catch the attention of an audience numbed into a near coma by a never-ending stream of cute kitten pictures on their computer without some sort of hook?

Years back, a number of metal bands figured out that by coming up with new subgenres you can effectively con the audience into the belief that they are experiencing something totally state-of-the-art.  This was a brilliant assessment, because truthfully, there are only so many ways you can cook an egg.  If you take the story out of metal, it’s mostly just a bunch of sweaty, badly dressed people making loud noises for a bunch of sweaty, badly dressed people who are apoplectically staring into The Nothing.

Honestly, how different is one three and a half minute thrash song from another?  Is technical death metal really all that unique in comparison to, say, regular old garden-variety death metal?  Thus, God created the subgenre and gave us a way to turn tiny, obscure distinctions into whole schools of thought and belief.  One man’s doom is another man’s sludge, as the old saying goes.  Or something.

When the next civilization digs through the rubble a thousand years from now and finds all the 2014 issues of Metal Maniacs it will be clear, this was The Year of The Metal Subgenre.  So, it is with great pleasure that I present to you the best new subgenres created in 2014 along with the band that best represents that style.

New Wave of Soviet Socialist Metal (NWOSSM or NWOCCCP)

When I think about 1980’s power metal, my mind often drifts to the Soviets.  Many people would argue that very little great creativity came out of Russia and its satellite states in the 80’s.  Clearly those people haven’t heard some of the early albums by Lenin’s Tomb or Khrushchev’s Shoe.  As young Russians look back on the glorious days of bureaucratic inefficiency that marked the end of the Soviet Empire, many of them have started playing the music that dominated that era.

Best Band:  Iron Curtain

Unblackened Yachtcore

This quirky fusion between the raw, earthy tones of Christian black metal and 1970 and 80’s soft rock caught fire in 2014.  Many music aficionados were looking for a way to reconcile their passion for the music of Michael McDonald and the songs of Darkthrone.  This cutting edge subgenre gave them the perfect combination.  Lyrically, it blends elegant prose from the New Testament with poignant stories about the dreams and inner longings of Yuppies.

Best Band:  Captain Trips and Tenille

Proto Originalist Doom

Who would have believed that doom metal could possibly be blended with the text of Supreme Court decisions written by Antonin Scalia in order to create a new style of music?  Dark, heavy, Sabbath inspired guitar riffs are used here to celebrate the spirit of unbridled judicial restraint and the idea that just about every thought that was formulated after 1787 is entirely worthless.

Best Band:  Woe vs. Wade

Post-Marxist Extremely Technical Progressive Rawlsian Eco Thrash (PMETPRET)

More of a social movement than a style of music, PMETPRET bands have attempted to use technical death metal as a tool of creating social justice and encouraging recycling.

Best Band: Fates Warming

Anatomical Glam Grindslam

Grindcore was a dying subgenre until it caught an infusion of hair metal earlier this year.  Something about the idea of putting together the catchy, party rock stylings of bands like Poison and Cinderella with the fierce brutality of early Carcass and The County Medical Examiners struck a chord with the American public.

Best Band:  Twisted Blister  

New York City Viking Hardcore (NYHVC)As most Americans know, a Viking gang crime wave hit New York City in early 2014.  Alienated young teens joined Viking gangs in droves and pillaged many of the stores and homes that were not guarded by people with assault rifles and high capacity magazines.  NYHVC has become a way of expressing their rage at our dysfunctional social order.

Best Band:  Freyahazard

Heideggerian Ontological Powerviolence (HOP) 

If you are like most Americans, you feel deeply offended that you grew up in a culture that has been thoroughly shaped by Cartesian Dualism.   You also probably wonder how you can best disclose being-in-the-world as a whole.  And you probably own at least the first four Spazz albums (the ones they did before they sold out).  It is not a coincidence that HOP music caught on overnight and became the top selling subgenre in metal in 2014.

Best Band:  Being-Toward-Death-Angel

Old School Hebraic Nu-Metal

The most surprising comeback in 2014 was the resurgence of Nu-Metal, only this time instead of “borrowing” style and imagery associated with African American culture these musicians began stealing traditional Jewish themes.

Best Band:  Limp Brizkit

Symphonic Free Market Hayekia’N’Roll

In an attempt to connect with younger, hipper Americans, The Heritage Foundation, in conjunction with the Koch Brothers, have spent over 30 billion dollars creating melodic death metal records in order to spread the message of free market intellectual titans like Milton Friedman and the guy who invented the chicken sandwich.

Best Band:  Children of Serfdom

 

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Thus Spoke BlaK Dan

(translated from the original grunts and pig noises by Walter Kaufmann)

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I.

When BlaK Dan had turned 37, he put down his autographed Burzum album collection and left the comfort of his basement and went into the mountains.  He was alone.  He waited for the one pure note to emerge from his body, uncontaminated with the essence of those creatures he had survived being around all these years.  He did not tire of the solitude, for it is all he had ever wished for.  But, at last, a change came over his heart, and one morning he rose with the dawn, stepped before the sun, and spoke to it thus:

“You great star, what would your happiness be if you realized you had to shine on all those who rest below you?  If you realized that your light was illuminating the way for others, would you not extinguish yourself in a lake of tears?”

“Behold, I am weary of my own purity.  These chumps at the bottom of the mountain, they spend their time waxing poetic about how much weight Snooki lost and what Jessie James Dupree will do for an encore.  Even the ones that try to be pure of the world end up owning Metallica’s Reload on vinyl.”

“Bless the cup that wants to overflow and drown those at the bottom of this mountain with the righteous torrent of nothingness.  For I am BlaK Dan and I am full of emptiness!”

II.

BlaK Dan descended down the mountain and came upon and old man.  The old man was wearing a Dio shirt.  Blak Dan sneered.

“It has been a long time since you passed this way, BlaK Dan.  The last time I saw you, you were carrying the ashes of the church burned by Samoth.  Do you fear that arsonists do not get all the girls?”

“Out of my way, you old fool.  I have no time for your false metal jokes or your tales of pits gone by.  I have no time for women.  Nor men for that matter.  I have a world to cleanse of humanity.  For I am BlaK Dan, and I have come to philosophize with the blastbeat.”

III.

When BlaK Dan arrived at the next town, he found many people gathered together in the market place; for it had been promised that Black Sabbath would be performing a cover of N’Sync’s “Tearin’ Up My Heart”.  And BlaK Dan spoke thus to the people:

“I teach you the Overman! For you people are something that is to be overcome! Ten years, ten long years, I sat in that cave at the top of the mountain pondering how to escape you forever.  For even ten years of solitude couldn’t cure me of the memories of watching you simple-minded beasts jump from trend to trend in the name of impressing other people with your metalness.  Well, I am here to tell you that I am the most metal.  And I know this, because I am the most empty.”

“Behold, I cannot stomach any of you anymore, so I teach you the Overman.  This one time I will tell you how to live correctly.  Because I am bored.  You will probably ignore it, because you are animals.  But, at least at the end of your sorry, pitful existences, I can proudly tower over your coffin, telling anyone who will listen “I told you so!”  But they will not listen either.  Because they too are morons.”

“A polluted stream is metal and you donkeys lap it up as if it were the best thing you’ve ever tasted.  One must be completely empty of all moisture to truly be metal.  And I know, because I have emptied myself of all that is moist.  All that is caring.  All that is kind.  I spit in the face of all that come to me seeking solace.  I turn my back on humanity.  I have emptied myself of melody.  Of harmony.  Of style.  Of substance. I am the Overman, because I am Post-Everything!”

IV.

“And you say, ‘But what of God?’  And I say “God is dead!  There is only me.”  And you say, ‘But what of the joy music brings?’  And I say, ‘But what of the mud a pig wallows in.  If the pig is happy, is that mud, in fact, holy?’”

“Once the sin against God was the greatest sin; but God died and now you’re stuck trying to piece together who you are from a bunch of copies of Slayer records.  And so you replace your old God with Slayer and perform the same old silly rituals, only this time with the knowledge that you are a unique and clever fellow.  You jump up and down and repeat evil words and think you are something special.  You are no different than the idiots who came before you.  The only difference is you buy more stuff.”

“You ask me what meaning has life.  It is a contest that is already over.  I got there first.  You lose.  Sucker.  For you are still winding your way through Megadeth’s early discography and I am on Z.  I have heard it all.  I have done it all.  That which I haven’t done isn’t worth doing anyway.  I have come to the end of the road.  You are a bunch of pimply-faced kids trying out your death stare on old people in the mall.  I am the end point of history.”

V.

Then, something happened that made every mouth gape open and every finger point.  A cute puppy wandered into the center of the courtyard.  The adorable animal jumped up and startled an infant.  The infant giggled wildly.  People pulled out their phones in order to record what was left of this magic moment and send it to thousands of different people all over the world.  Finally, after all the commotion had died down they turned back to BlaK Dan.  They all had forgotten what he was saying.

VI.

BlaK Dan left the town muttering under his breath.  He found an uncomfortable place to sleep and lay down for what seemed like a thousand hours.  At last, however, his eyes opened and gazed into the distance.  He rose quickly, like a drunkard whose CD player had begun skipping, and announced to no one in particular that he had discovered a new truth.

“An insight has come to me:  ‘People are perishable!’  Sure, everything about them disgusts me.  They always want to play you the songs they like and use your mini-refrigerator to store food.  They ramble on and on about useless ideas.  They make funny noises.  They smack their food when the chew.  They fall asleep during the best part of Headbanger’s Ball.  Will it not be better when they are all dead?”

“But I did not pay attention in Biology class, so I know not how to create a plague to wipe them all away.  And I have neither the training nor the patience to seek out members of terrorist cells.  And I have not the time nor the funding to buy weapons grade uranium.  But I know this one thing.  Eventually, they will all die.  Sure, I too will die, and that will be a sad day, but I can take comfort in the thought that the rest of them will experience a fate at least as bad as my own, in some cases worse.”

“Some may outlive me, yes, but they too will eventually yield to their own mortality.  Everyone on this earth will be dead at some point.  Maybe even soon.  As I ascend back to the top of the mountain to look down upon this tainted world, I can finally rest in the knowledge that no one ever gets what they want from life and it all ends brutally.”

“Life is a curse of which I hope they are soon cured.  But, until then, they can have their dumb little lives.  Let them bounce from one dumb crisis to another.  Let them anxiously wait by their computers for news on who will be playing drums on the next Doro Pesch record.  Let them get worked up over what Dave Mustaine thinks about the customer service at Men’s Warehouse.  I am cured.  It no longer matters.  They are dead to me.”

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Satan Suspended Indefinitely For “Soul Bounties”; Cronos Named Interim Devil

On Wednesday, God suspended Satan indefinitely from his role as Devil for promising demons as much as 10,000 dollars for each soul they lured into temptation.  Satan’s two head assistants, a gargoyle named Thoth and former American President Ronald Reagan, received slightly lighter suspensions of up to 5000 years, but may be reinstated earlier if they successfully complete anger management classes.

While it was well within Satan’s purview to try to encourage poor behavior on the part of human beings, offering cash incentives for their souls was going a step to far.  Yesterday, the Lord released a statement highlighting examples of the many violations and stating that this sort of “encouragement towards lawlessness and immorality is outside of the bounds of what we call fair play.”

When confronted with this statement, Satan didn’t hesitate to fire back.  “Wait, so I’m getting scolded about morality by the guy was responsible for the extinction of nearly the entire populations of Sodom and Gomorrah.  This is the same God who, on a bet, let me destroy the life of one of his most committed servants, Job. You’ll excuse me; I have to go throw up,” sneered Satan as he spat upon the ground.

In Satan’s absence, Venom frontman Cronos has been named Interim Dark Lord until Satan’s reinstatement. Cronos is a veteran of the dark arts having served in Satan’s Army since 1981.  Cronos even had brief experience running Hell back in 1986 when Satan broke five of his legs in a terrible water skiing accident.

Cronos has many exciting new plans he has considered for Hell including an open mic night, the addition of all-you-can sin brothels and building a stadium in an attempt to lure the Buffalo Bills to Hell, giving the Underworld its first pro sports team since the 1976 Oakland Raiders.

Experts believe that Cronos is a good fit for the position and could bring untold glory to Hell.  However, many fans were disappointed when their first choice, former Giants and Jets coach Bill Parcells, turned the job down.  While Parcells was a flashier name, those around the game respect Cronos for his undying commitment to poisoning the human race with heavy metal and believe that he will be the perfect choice to get Hell back on track.

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Dissecting CARCASS’ “Heartwork” – Fifth Incision…Embodiment

This is the fifth in a series of articles analyzing the lyrics from the 1993 Carcass album “Heartwork”.

Embodiment

I bow down your precious icon, deity of self-suppression

This effigy of flesh, corporeal christi, nailed

In submission to this false idol, seeking deliverance

From this spiritual hierarchy, downward spiraling, a corrupt throne

Of repression and guilt

Our will be done

Thy kingdom burn

On my knees, before this tormented flesh, in irreverence

In communion with this parasitic host of virtuous divinity

This imperious creed bears testament to the failures of our morality

Righteous durance is our cross we bear in stations

In stations of the lost

Our will be done

Thy kingdom burn – thy kingdom burn

Our will be done

From your knees arise

By your own hand, your god you scribe

The earth shall inherit the meek

Your god is dead

Bound down, in God we’re trussed, foul stature

Icons embodied in flesh, we nail

In servitude to deities fashioned in our self image

Shadows of eternal strife cast by those who serve

Serve a crown of pawns

If up until this point you weren’t sure how the band Carcass feels about religion, Embodiment states it completely and in no uncertain terms. The song is an outright renunciation of organized religion, Christianity in particular.  The lyrics bubble with hatred and scorn for the self-annihilating principles that they believe mark the Christian outlook.  I don’t share the disdain that the band feels for Christianity, but the force of the language used in their argument is highly compelling.

The song’s central argument is that Christianity is an advanced form of slavery.  They make the case by dismissing the existence of any fathomable God and assuming that the goals of religion are to allow those who are in power to continue an unfettered hegemony over the practice of free will.  Where some people see peace and comfort, Carcass perceives control and subjugation.  Certainly, some of their argument is legitimate.  There are plenty of historical examples of the misuse of religion to advance the selfish ends of a tyrannical elite.  However, the song fails to address much of the comfort and solace that it has brought people for over 2000 years.  Further, it would be facile minded to simply assume that the self-abnegation at the core of Christian thought is completely a bad thing.  The giving up of one’s desires to benefit the community is on many occasions, inside or outside of a religious context, beneficial towards the human race as a whole.

In spite of the problems the argument presents, the language with which the case is made is striking.  The core belief in the song is contained in the beautifully efficient and devastating pun “In God we’re trussed”.  By taking an expression found on American money and perverting its message, Carcass is able to make several critical points.  First, the use of a religious phrase in an economic context effectively links the agenda of today’s Christianity with the pursuit of financial gain.  Then, they take the phrase and change trust (an act of faith) into trussed (to be tightly bound or in this case completely controlled).   Essentially, they argue here that while you may choose to subvert your needs for the Church it will not extend you the same courtesy and, worse, it will take your belief and use it to hoodwink you into giving up your possessions and your liberty.  In their eyes, it is the greatest hustle in human history.

What is truly lost for believers is contained in the heart-wrenching expression “the earth shall inherit the meek.”  The original phrase “the meek shall inherit the earth” is an appeal to the Job-like masses that give so tirelessly but ask for little in return.  They suffer in silence, but at the end of the day, they will be rewarded…or so the story goes.  The good and humble people will come to control the earth and the wicked will be cast from it.  The subversion of this expression contains allows for a very troubling message to be presented.  If you suffer in silence and do the right thing your reward will be the grave.  Death awaits us all and those who are pious and righteous are rewarded with the same eternal darkness that await those who pillage the world blind.  There are no rewards in this life or any other for those who follow the words contained in the Bible.  The meek will be buried right alongside those who engage in a Dionysian life of personal excess and unabated greed.  The ground cannot tell the two apart.

If this argument is legitimate, it presents us with chilling questions about how we should live our lives that goes beyond religion.  If there are truly no consequences for our actions, why not do whatever we want?  Those with the most material, at the end of the day, are those who have benefitted most from a purely material world.  If all that is promised to us for a good life is an eventual death, what is the motivation in living a justly?

I believe that the truth or untruth of God’s existence need not bear on whether someone acts morally.  If every word of the Bible is true and God’s existence is exactly as portrayed in Christianity, we should act with as much kindness, patience and love to those around us as we are capable.  If every word of the Bible is false and Christianity is an unholy scam perpetrated by on the masses by ruthless power mongers, we should act with as much kindness, patience and love to those around us as we are capable.  The reward of living a just life is simply getting to live a just life.  That’s all.  The earth may inherit the meek, but at least the meek can lessen the suffering of those around them.  Nothing else is promised and nothing else is certain.  TS Eliot eloquently summarizes this principle in his poem “Choruses From The Rock”…..

All men are ready to invest their money

But most expect dividends

I say to you: Make perfect your will.

I say: take no thought of the harvest,

But only of proper sowing

It is our station to care for one another to the best of our abilities regardless what the truth of the universe is.  To love without condition is the greatest gift we could bestow on our world no matter what the terms of our existence are.  Any philosophy that brings us closer to that ability, be it religious or atheistic, is worthy of our respect and consideration.

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