BY DON NELSON
Oklahoma is now facing a crisis in government. It is whether to allow a satanic group permission to place a statue on the grounds of the state Capitol. It is the second great crisis of this nature to be brought before the astute lawmakers of the state. The first was a monument representing the Ten Commandments.
Oklahoma is rapidly becoming the State of Irrelevance when it comes to governance. The T-Publican majority seeks not to govern the people but to control and suppress them. It is time for this type of obscene behavior to be called into the light of critical evaluation and exposed for the fascist-minded lunacy it is.
With all of the banter regarding the request for a bearded horned goat statue to be placed at the state Capitol along with a representation of what some literalists believe the tablets of the Commandments 10 were, I am amused – and not so amused. The absurdity of placing anything remotely religious or anti-religious on the grounds of “governance” for the whole state is obscenely apparent.
There once was a wise man who wrote of the dangers of the Tyranny of the Majority. That social phenomenon in which those in the majority see fit to ignore and abolish all minorities.
I disagree with the proposition that everything included in the Bible was nefariously conjured, a position held by many of atheistic persuasion. I understand it differently – though more critically.
To be critical is to know the subject matter and be able to step back from it and dissect and elucidate it from a literary perspective. Archaic – absolutely. The evil intent many attribute to the words are the result of the corruptive influence of years of evangelical fervor and literalism.
I stand with “life in its goodness.” My journey is not one of blind faith or, as some would claim, no faith. I have reached a place in life where I am at peace with my understanding of my purpose. It is my lot in life to seek to be merciful, just and compassionate toward my fellow human beings. I no longer crave an external medium or authority in order to go about my daily existence.
The impact of the “Jesus Event” opened a door to a journey that few have understood or for that matter will ever understand. It set me free to be a “human being.” I no longer find it necessary to have my faith reinforced externally. The confidence I experience comes from within. My strength comes from within. You see, it is how we should all be guided – from within. That is how life as a human being must be lived. It is the only way to be secure in who and what we are.
Reliance on external sources leaves us vulnerable, insecure and grasping for every straw of reassurance we see or hear.
Albert Einstein has been credited with saying: “The foundation of morality should not be made dependent on myth nor tied to any authority lest doubt about the myth or about the legitimacy of the authority imperil the foundation of sound judgment and action.”
Many consider Einstein to be an atheist. Nothing could be further from the truth. His was a reverent relationship with what he called the marvels of creation. It was not his “belief” that set him apart but the conceptualization of it.
As a scientist and curious intellect he had the ability to look beyond the simplistic literalism of religious pronouncements and see the core importance. He remarked:
“If one were to take that goal out of its religious form and look merely at its purely human side, one might state it perhaps thus: free and responsible development of the individual, so that he may place his powers freely and gladly in the service of all mankind.”
Finally, the most clearly stated understanding of the connectedness of human experience Einstein made:
“How strange is the lot of us mortals! Each of us is here for a brief sojourn; for what purpose he knows not, though he senses it. But without deeper reflection one knows from daily life that one exists for other people.”
My reason for using Einstein is that here is a human being of manifestly superior intellect – using that intellect to reason his way to a statement of faith – not to deny it or suppress it. His inner strength sustained him.
Back to the issue of “religious statuary” – it is laughable and irrelevant. Much as are all that the current governing personages that meander the halls of the grounds of governance. They do not seek to govern – they seek to control, to proclaim what is acceptable and what is not.
Yeah – this is the land of the free – or so it is thought.
– Don Nelson lives in Lawton, OK and is a frequent contributor to The Oklahoma Observer