Thursday, September 16, 2004


A recent poll reveals that Catholics, by and large, don’t share their bishops’ priorities when it comes to how they’ll vote or who they’ll vote for. Further, “a majority of 83 percent believe that politicians have no religious obligation to vote according to a bishop’s recommendation.” (The Humanist Magazine, Sept./Oct., 2004, p. 45.)

Hurrah for the spirit of American democracy which continues to triumph over religion’s attempts to force dogma on us. Though many Protestant Christians say they are Christians first and Americans second, maybe Catholics are not so blind as to know what’s important if American liberty is to continue to grow in the world. Maybe Catholics remember how Protestants made them pay for their own schools all these years until, now, the Protestants want to hog on to federal dollars themselves. Think how much that says about the strength of the Catholic faith as compared to the Protestant faith. The Catholics were willing to sacrifice to put their kids into Christian schools, but Protestants show little interest in it and want my atheistic federal dollars. Funny how the worm turns, ain't it?


Not only do we find evidence that Kierkegaard, the Christian existentialist, didn’t approve of “voting” for the average man, I also see that he is not clearly an existentialist. Sometimes he’s a Platonic idealist. Listen to how he speaks of Christianity:

“Christianity exists before any Christian exists.... it contains the determinant by which one may test whether one has become a Christian, it maintains its objective subsistence apart from all believers.... Though Christianity comes into the heart of never so many believers, every believer is conscious that it has not arisen in his heart....”

How can an ideal exist without being in human brains, like a virus of some kind? Without human nonsense, no religion could exist. The idea of god wouldn't exist.

I’d say that Kaufmann is wrong in calling Kierkegaard the first existentialist, at least as witnessed by the forgoing passage. Events historical supposedly happened to an individual named Jesus. Other people supposedly witnessed these events. These activities were written down and passed on long after this Jesus guy died. The incidents came to reside in other minds. Christianity arose by its presence in individuals, by its being passed on from individual to individual. If Christianity did not exist in any minds, then Christianity would cease to exist in the world outside the brain. Neither did Christianity exist until some early follower of the fad called someone a Christian and those like him were grouped under the heading of Christianity.

The real Christianity is the sum total of all the individual minds which think they are Christians. Christianity has never had an existence separate from the individuals who bought the myth of the crucified Christ, and we are not sure whether or not that the crucifixion happened to a real person to be witnessed by anyone. My own knowledge of history convinces me that Christianity is only one name, arising out of Judaism, from a continuous series of religious practices as far back into time as the first consciousness tried to make sense of its surroundings. Ain’t everything a lot less mysterious when its boiled down into real existentialism and the evolutionary facts which led to the rise of consciousness?


Yesterday’s Spokesman contained a small story about a Guantanamo, Cuba (or Gitmo as we called it when I was a gob) detainee. Found to have absolutely no connection to the Taliban after three long years, this poor Moslem was finally released. I cast my swift eye over the story, barely reading and stopped short of finishing. Who really cared about the story, about the foreigner in American keeping? Except as a comment on the absurdity of the aftermath of 9/11 who cares that some poor Moslem youth got caught up in the big world picture? He’s not us, he’s not me, he’s a foreigner to boot. No, only if it were me or if you were in his boots, would it really matter.

Most likely, even those who do care and who think about what went on for that poor kid, still fucked their spouse that night or had a good dinner or drove to work, thinking about the son’s soccer practice or daughter’s basketball game as more important than three years torn out of an innocent man’s life, never to be returned to him. We do the same sort of thing with our awareness that innocent men die all the time in the gas chamber or under the executioner’s needle. So what if one innocent guy dies by mistake? Who really cares, eh, among the mass of men?

"Anyone who thinks there's safety in numbers hasn't looked at the stock market pages."
—Irene Peter

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