Needless to say, the dead are not grateful. They don't feel anything. Two reasons not to be among the dead. Better to be among the living.
It is said that suicides are often found with a smile on their face. That's no surprise. If you hated life that much, enough to kill yourself, then death would come as a relief. That's why Christians read the Bible for insight on eternal life. Heaven can be this life if we perfect our countries as the utopians used to dream.
What of the dead? Let the dead bury the dead as Jesus said. I always thought that was rather harsh and apparently so do others. (Matthew 8:22; Luke 9:60)
Read this: http://www.ldolphin.org/deaddead.html
We just read it without knowing the context. In the future, there will be no death. Not quite like Riverworld, one day we might perfect time travel technology and CPR and literally resurrect the dead en masse. In the centuries before that happens, we simply apply our faith and our science and our self-care (exercise, health food, meditation, etc.) and our philosophy and safety engineering the world (and eventually the universe) and other methods.
As the new utopians, we must accept leadership to abolish war and abolish terrorism and abolish pollution and abolish genocide and abolish mind control and abolish privacy invasion and abolish rape exactly as Christians of two centuries ago abolished slavery. Let no one claim that was only one success. The human race has also wiped out certain diseases, passed child labor laws and put kids in school, and given women the vote. There are many more successes I could list from progress in stopping whaling to hygiene. Although the Romans were one of the first to have sewers, it was not until the 20th Century that it became common place in cities around the world. Christians should always show up to lead whenever there is a way to create progress and better lives. It should be a tradition with us.
It would be nice to claim Julian Assange, Edward Snowden, and Bradley Edward Manning as fellow Christians so that we Christians could claim to be leading in the fight for privacy and against privacy invasion by the NSA but I don't know Assange's faith (if any), Snowden is a Buddhist, and Fundies like me don't recognize transgendered like Manning (now Chelsea Elizabeth Manning) and gays as even being able to be Christians but --
- It is Christmas Day and I simply refuse to think negative about anyone.
- The service of Manning in the fight for privacy is indisputable. I refuse to ignore him/her as part of the historical march to abolish privacy invasion by government and business. [I likewise recognize that gays fought in the civil rights movement for American blacks.]
- While the Bible is crystal clear from Genesis to Revelation and everywhere in between on -- let's take the day off from using that word -- a minister informs me that people know the Biblical stand and that we Christians are not to be carping. So no carping.
- Like most of you, I have family members who are gay and I not only talk to them but never bring up the subject to them. They know my stand but they also know that I accept them as family and love them. My children are a different matter. If one ever came out of the closet, tough love. I'd kick them out. Fortunately, I have never had my faith tested in that way. Fingers crossed but not out of superstition.
- Permit me to be a hypocrite on this. Like I said, it is Christmas and I just don't want to dislike anyone or feel negative toward anyone. Anyone is free to hate me. It is good for conversation and sure beats those awkward silences.
Speaking of the Book of James, here are some people who will convince you (by contrast) that I am neither conservative racist nor liberal pervert but a flaming moderate.
The long strange trip referred to in the opening of this blog post is the process of reaching enough consensus so that we Christians can work together to accomplish worthwhile things like abolishing war and abolishing pollution. We should also lead in the fight to abolish genocide and the fight to abolish the new government sin of mind control (since MKULTRA). I call it new sin because technology for mind control did not exist in the past and it is as sinful as it gets. Mind control could theoretically force you to act against your will and commit crimes, insane acts, immoral acts, and sins. Mind control could, theoretically, separate you from God. No Christian and no human of any other faith should tolerate the existence of this technology and, worst of all, in the hands of government. It makes a good case for syndicalism, a form of peaceful organized anarchy or libertarianism where government is replaced by co-ops, volunteers, internet organizations, and other alternatives. Government is roundly hated by both the right wing and the left wing. After the NSA revelations (straight out of the Book of Revelation), the center has come to share the dislike of intrusive government.
If we Christians as leaders cannot tame government, then that leads us to yet another area where Christians should lead -- space migration and space colonization. To get away from the loonies on Earth. The people of Europe and Asia came from the Old World to the New World because they were tired of being persecuted and tired of poverty. Of course, they immediately began slaughtering Native Americans, To this day, whites still slaughter Amazon tribes in South America (just as Arabs slaughter Africans in Sudan and other places). As far as we can detect, we humans are alone in the universe and therefore we might breathe a sigh of relief that no indigenous people will be killed by rapacious humans as we spread out on the Final Frontier.
There still could be other intelligent beings out there and so the long movement to abolish war and get warring and warmongering out of our systems has immediacy. We should out-grow war before we meet other people in space. The mathematical odds are that they exist. SETI just has not found them yet. But SESP (the Search for Extra Solar Planets) has gone from zero to hundreds of discoveries.
If they are less advanced than us technologically like in Avatar, then we had better make their worlds off-limits (Non-Interference, Prime Directive) for two very good reasons. One, we are Christians and therefore we should be ethical and moral. Send missionaries or not send missionaries? Some denominations think they have a mandate to destroy native cultures as "evil" (translate non-European, non-white). Historically this meant sending in the military to kill them as we hypocritically tried to convert them.
Evangelicals spend their time evangelizing and sending out missionaires. Pentecostals spend their time being emotional. Fundamentalists spend their time being right. Unfortunately, this often declines into just being right wing. Last time I checked the Bible does not say God is a Republican or a conservative or white or American or English. Jesus said a lot of things that resonate more with liberals and Democrats and non-whites and Asians and Africans and Hispanics. Things like stewardship (no pollution) and thou shalt not kill (no war). The Ten Commandments do not say: "Thou shalt not kill unless it is fun or profitable. War industries are good investments and might makes right. Void where prohibited. Batteries not included. No returns without a receipt. Drinking the Kool Aid may cause nausea, slight headache and death."
No. It says: Thou shalt not kill.
If extraterrestrials are more advanced than us technologically, say by a few million years, they are watching us right now. Like the NSA but in far more sophisticated ways. If we abuse some tribe on some world saying "they're blue" or "they're green" or "they're orange and so we don't have to respect them or their culture and we can kill them or rape them or sell them into slavery." Guess what will happen to us? So to continue the thought three paragraphs back, we had better make their worlds off-limits for two very good reasons. One, we are Christians and therefore we should be ethical and moral. Two, older civilizations might treat us like fire ants and regard us as something to be exterminated in response to watching us abuse cultures less advanced than ours.
By the way, the Bible says ants are a people. The only species other than humans that it recognizes as a people. When fire ants make a mound in the middle of my lawn or next to the house (prompting fears that they might enter the house), I simply take a shovel and relocate them to a place where I don't mind them being. Some species of ants will protect the tree or bush where they keep their herds of aphids or other "cattle". I am not proposing that we relocate "primitive" alien tribes to un-terraformable worlds or hell-worlds that humans have no use for. That would be repeating the damnable policy settlers forced upon Native Americans. No. Their worlds period. We recognize their claim to their worlds. We leave them where we find them. We should only claim unclaimed worlds and we should only inhabit uninhabited worlds. The Solar System looks like a go or green light. Now if we can only avoid a war in space between the US and China -- both governments are violating treaties that ban militarization of space.
Re-read this blog. Pick an issue. Roll up your sleeves. Get to work. You are a leader whether you like it or not because you are a Christian.