When I was 5 years old, my sister took me to see "The Thing". You never really got a clear picture of "The Thing", but you knew it was a deadly enemy that was killing humans and using their blood to grow more things. I was terrified in that theater. That too influenced who I am.
Catholic morality was a matter of black and white. There were no grey areas. Something was either wrong, a sin, or right. If you died in sin, you could go to Hell for all eternity. If you ate meat on a Friday you could end up in Hell. What was right or wrong was proscribed in Catholic dogma. The Pope was the ultimate authority.
When I was a kid, movies were filmed in black and white. Black and white was particularly appropriate for horror movies. "The Thing" and "Invasion Of The Body Snatchers" were science fiction horror movies. The monsters came from outer space.
The monster in "Frankenstein" was man made. The monsters in "Dracula" and "The Wolfman" became monsters after being bit by either a vampire or a werewolf.
In the Frankenstein, Dracula and the Wolfman movies, science could be either beneficial or harmful. Dr. Frankenstein's ambition created the monster. Doctors in Dracula and the Wolfman movies were often looking for a cure.
I no longer believe in the God I was raised with. I believe in life and that's enough of a mystery to me. I believe that I have responsibility for everything I choose to do. I don't believe I have a right to harm any living creature or any of the various biosystems that support life.
War is the antithesis to just about everything I believe in. Thankfully, I have no first hand experience of battle. I worked for decades with people who suffered from emotional trauma. A large number of them were veterans.
Wars are only possible when people let other people tell them what is right and wrong. Wars are only possible when we choose to blindly follow a leader.
There are many kinds of leaders and there are many kinds of wars. Unfortunately, we are all veterans in one form of "ideological war" or another. Civil rights are not universally respected. Economic freedom is not guaranteed. Freedom of expression and freedom of religion are not always accepted.
There are secular prophets among us. They continue to lead us into conflicts among ourselves. They would supplant traditional religious dogmas with their own personal dogmas that they insist are based upon religious or economic teachings.
Communism has been the enemy of Capitalism for over a century. Russia leaders have been the traditional face of Communism in our world. Russia has been our enemy ever since 1917. Russia was even our enemy when it was our ally during World War II.
There is much happening today that would be inconceivable when I was a child. Russia has interfered with our 2016 elections. We have an Administrative Branch of our government that has colluded with Russia and there are individuals associated with that branch that appear to have committed treason.
Russia has poured millions, if not billions, of dollars illegally into our economy. By investing in crime and propaganda, Russia has contaminated our society and capitalized on our own political, economic, religious and social divisions.
An investigation has been underway for months into all this. Robert Muller is leading that investigation. So far 3 individuals have been indicted and one has plead guilty. Paul Manafort, Trump's former campaign manager, was one of the 3 indicted and one of the dozen felony charges against him include conspiracy against the United States.
The GOP has rallied behind Trump. In recent years, the GOP has allowed itself to be taken over by extremists of all persuasions. White supremacy is tolerated within today's GOP.
Roy Moore is currently running as the Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate in Alabama. He is the president of the Foundation for Moral Law. The other day, several women came forward saying that he sexually abused them when they were teenagers and he was a grown man in his 30s. The youngest of them was 14 at the time.
So here we are on Veteran's Day 2017 and our headlines include: "Trump says he believes Putin's election meddling denials" (CNN). Yes, the United States President is at a world conference in Asia saying that he believes Vladimir Putin over our entire intelligence and justice community. Yep, Putin trumps a total of 17 of our agencies including the FBI, the CIA, the NSA.
Another story quotes Alabama State Auditor Jim Zeigler. “Take the Bible. Zachariah and Elizabeth for instance. Zachariah was extremely old to marry Elizabeth and they became the parents of John the Baptist,” and “Also take Joseph and Mary. Mary was a teenager and Joseph was an adult carpenter. They became parents of Jesus.” Yep, someone is actually using the births of John the Baptist and Jesus as a defense against child molestation.
Bibb County Republican Chairman Jerry Pow said he
he would vote for Moore regardless of the allegations rather than vote for Democratic candidate Doug Jones.
Yep, Doug Jones, the man who successfully prosecuted two KKK members for the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in 1963, a bombing in which 4 African American girls were killed, is less acceptable a candidate for the U.S. Senate than a man who was both twice removed from his position on Alabama's Supreme Court and who is accused of sexually molesting teenage girls.
The thing is it's Veteran's Day and we seem to have reached a point in our history when the very things our veterans have fought and died for have been discarded and replaced by the corruption of our country on every level.
The man I have evolved into over 71 years has gone through a lot of changes. I'm more sophisticated than I was at 5. I don't believe in Hell. I don't belong to any organized religion. Things are much more nuanced, but I believe it is wrong to lie and steal and cheat and hurt others. I believe treason is wrong.
Problems abound. Solutions are much more complicated, but "The Thing" is still right there in glorious black and white just staring us in the face and draining us of everything worthwhile in pursuit of its own corrupt agenda.