13 May 2005

Of Specks and Boulders, Beams and Splinters

I know, I'm late.
I owe you lot a dialogue on abortion.
All of my sheduled 8-hour shifts grew to 12-hour shifts, so perhaps you'll understand that I simply don't have time at the moment to lay awake pondering the existence of Dog.

However, in anticipation of that dialogue - no, thats wrong, at best it is a soliloquy - here is a follow-up thought on the soul and yet more about what I believe.

I was talking about how unscrutable the soul is. If there is re-incarnation of the soul, how many souls are there total? There are 6 billion people on the face of the earth at this moment, so at present there are at least that many souls, right? Thats quite a large number of souls. What were they all doing before there were 6 billion corporeal entities to inhabit? Hanging out at a Nirvanic laundromat?

As part of research for my attempts at writing fiction, I have been trying to learn something about Hinduism. I was digesting this heady work when I came across this statement:

"Let the wise man, having examined the world and perceived the motives and the results of actions, realize that as from a blazing fire sparks proceed, living souls originate from the indestructible Brahman and return to Him. All doubts disappear and the attachment to work subsides when the Supreme Being is cognized."

A quaint little bit of circumspection with some interesting ramifications. Not only does this outlook make a tidy explanation for re-incarnation, but at the same time, it identifies God as greater than the sum of many parts. A gestalt of souls, if you will.

And now for something completely different.

The Quakers among the original colonists came here seeking freedom from religious persecution. That specific freedom, of all those freedoms that we enjoy, was the specific impetus that formed this nation. The other freedoms followed as a matter of course. Unfortunately, freedom of religion appears to have evolved into "freedom to practice conservative christianity," even at the expense of other freedoms.

Separation of Church and State is an important principle of American Government, and must remain so in the interest of religious freedom. It is not separation of the Christian Church from the State, but the divesture of all religions from government apparatus. For freedom of religion to be maintained, there must be balance, not bias. Murder is a crime not because it is specifically mentioned in the Ten Commandments, but because murder is contrary to the interests of social order.

If abortion is a political football, it should not be so. As I mentioned before, I believe abortion should be regulated better. Pregnant women should have the benefits of all the counseling or guidance that they could ever want. Anyone that doesn't like what happens in those places should chastize their randy male children instead of perpetrating social disorder. That book with all the thump-marks on it contains a word that's been overlooked far too often. The word is forgiveness; it starts at home and is not supposed to end, ever.

The so-called "Pro Life" movement consists largely of conservative Christians, and they desire that abortion be banned because it is against the laws of their God. I say that they are suburbanites with too much time on their hands and a burning case of "Not In My Backyard."

They claim that all life is precious, but I don't remember hearing much of a fuss from them about ethnic cleansing in Darfur, or Rwanda, or Yugoslavia. One would think that a greater hue and cry would be raised over such atrocities. This leads me to believe that some lives must be more precious than others. It would seem that the exchange rate for sentient beings has grown out of proportion, making foriegn lives worthless compared to domestics. If that is the case, perhaps Congress can regulate it due to their authority in matters of commerce. Perhaps this imbalance is an application of the 'new math.' They'll have to explain it to me someday.

These groups are only some of those that intend to affect the U.S. government by installing pro-life judges so as to bias the judiciary in the same way that the legislature and the executive branches have already been affected. The only possible result from this is an end to religious freedom. Speech will be the next casualty (it is already being affected) and assembly is sure to follow.

Once again our very way of life is imperiled by religious extremists: our very own conservative Christians.

May God help us all.

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