February Post for Peace

forpeace6I’m getting better at posting monthly posts for peace.  I believe in peace, though I’m not sure peace will ever be possible until the end of organized religions.  Reading another blog recently I read a discussion between an Atheist and a Christian.  While the Atheist spoke in scientific terms, the Christian used the Bible as his source of ‘proof’ of his various (erroneous) theories regarding abortion, homosexuality and the subjugation of women.  (You could easily replace ‘Christian’ with ‘Muslim,’ or Hasidic Jew) And I’m not talking your run of the mill believer, but those who hide behind their religious text to dictate what others should also believe.

How can you possibly reason with someone who believes the Bible (or Quran or Talmud) is ‘proof’ of anything?  A scientific treatise is just that, it doesn’t prove anything, the science behind the treatise is the proof.  There is no scientific basis to religious texts.  How can you have a logical discussion with someone quoting their bible as proof of the veracity of their claims about god and Jesus?  How do you talk to someone who can’t concede even slightly that they might be wrong?  happyCan you convince a Jihadist that the Christians are right?  Can you convince the Christians that Allah is the one true god?  What about the Protestants?  They don’t believe the way Catholics do, though the difference to me is insubstantial.  And what about the Jews?  They don’t believe in god the way Christians do?  Who is right?  Because surely, someone must be right, right?  They all contend that their god is the only true god and the others are imposters, based on their particular religious book.  Similarities between the teachings of Buddha, Mohammed and Jesus are disregarded.  When all three propose PEACE as their main idea.  To treat each other kindly.  They only wanted their followers to be happy, and to be happy, you have to let other people find their happiness as well.  You cannot convince someone that your way to happiness is the only way.

religionAnd so we have wars, not peace.  We have angry words between the pro-lifers and the pro-choicers.  We have entities like the Westboro Baptist Church whose followers insist that their way is the right way.  The only way to happiness (heaven).  I don’t understand why some people feel that they have the right to dictate what others do.  Whether Christian or Muslim, the believers must convince the non believers they are right.

It reminds me very much of False Memory Syndrome (FMS).  My sister has FMS and believes the most horrific things happened to her growing up.  She believes our parents were part of a satanic cult.  She believes they forced her to abort my father’s child.  She believes there were child sacrifices in the yard.  If some of you are old enough, you may recall this phenomenon hit the mainstream awareness in the late 80s and early 90s. It was discovered that those individuals who claimed to have recovered repressed memories were all already under psychiatric care when the memories came up.  No one began therapy with memories, only after some time under the care of a therapist did the memories begin to surface.  Because the therapists’ methods were flawed.  Just like police interrogation techniques can cause a false confession, these therapists asked leading questions, planting the seeds of ‘repressed memories.’John Lennon

I recall a case where a girl sent her father to prison for life after “remembering” that her father killed her friend 25 years prior.  The girl’s friend was indeed killed, but as was later proven, the girl’s father was not the murderer.  Yet the girl was sure the memories she had were real and accurate.  The key thing behind those who suffer with FMS is that they must convince others to believe in these memories as well.  I know.  My sister could not deal with the fact that I would refuse to discuss the potential untruth of her 35 years of ‘memories’.  She has created a false reality about her past that no one can change, and requires that anyone around her must believe likewise.  There is a huge swath of people who believe like my sister and despite any evidence to the contrary are convinced in the veracity of these ‘memories’ and a separate ‘sect’ of therapists which perpetuate the myth.   I liken these therapists to people like priests, and imams, and rabbis, who believe the unbelievable despite any evidence. soldiers

Just as I will never be able to have a relationship with my sister because of her bizarre memories, we will never have peace.  You cannot change what one person believes.  Their truth is the only truth.  And the problem arises when one group must convince the other which truth they can believe.

I Have a Role Model

Six months ago I had barely heard of Rob Dyrdek.  Then I retired and have watched his shows on television for the first time.  I discovered he is the most inspirational entrepreneur.  He seems caring and concerned, has a charity that builds skate parks for kids.  He decided he wanted to drive a race car.  So he did.  He decided he wanted to train to be a jockey.  He won his race.  It seems he can’t fail.  He’s inspired me to step outside my comfort zone and I’ve gathered info on all the nearby comedy clubs.  My problem is the nearest comedy club is 35 miles away.  I know it’s enough to stop me.

So how does Dyrdek do it?  He doesn’t take No for an answer, for starters.  He talks his staff members into doing some of the most ridiculous things, just for the laughs.  He has his hands in several different businesses and I have trouble imagining him in a suit at a board meeting.  But he apparently knows his stuff.  He inspires me to try harder, to push myself a little more, and get out of my comfort zone.

How can I be so impressed by some guy I’ve never met and only known for a few months from his reality shows?  Did I need a hero in my life right now?  Is “hero” too big a title for a man to carry?  Even a man with the energy and drive of Dyrdek.  Kids involved in Make a Wish want to meet him.  That impresses me.

He’s like a loud Buddhist.  He likes fast cars, loud music, and faster skateboards.  He has a wild circle of friends and seems aware of living in the moment.  He’s having fun in his life and he’s showing me how it can be done…if you have money and a name to back it up.  Still, I am becoming more determined to step out of my routine and shake things up, maybe not Dyrdek style, but in my own unique style.

Do we need heroes and idols and role models?  It seems we do, they hold Jesus up as a role model for Christian kids.  And what do we do to our role models when they digress?  We watch the media rip them apart and defile their very memory.  We burn their records and their books.  We promise to never watch his movies again.

What would’ve happened to Jesus if he had made a mistake along the way?  Say, he stole a mule or a slingshot or something.  He was only 12 and really needed that sling shot, he couldn’t seem to make himself one.  If Christ did something would the people rise against him?  I mean, he was supposedly at least half human, it seems logical he’d get himself into a little trouble.

I’m not putting Dyrdek on the same step with Jesus, I’m just pondering our need for heroes and role models.  And who’s more of a role model than Christ?  We apparently need someone to look up to to grow into a better human being, but we hate it when our role models turn out to be human.  It makes us angry, because we want to be that person or be like that person, and when they show us their human side we despise them for destroying our dream and our excuse to continue living vicariously through them.  Because that would imply that you could also fall from grace.  Something most of us won’t even consider.  Dyrdek among them, it seems.  Never say no, can equate into, failure is not an option.