• author
    • Alex Weinshilboum

    • December 29, 2016 in Columnists

    I believe in the stupidity of America

    One of my earliest memories is of preschool. I somehow stumbled onto the conversation of God, with my good friend Leland.

    Leland was a stubborn 4-year-old, always looming several inches above the other kids. But he was never mean or judged anyone. Always kindhearted, he shared blocks with other children. But when I told him I didn’t believe in God, he was aghast. His mouth wide open, you could easily see his new teeth coming in, his brows creased and his thick blonde hair frizzled.

    “You have to believe in God, ” he replied.

    I never understood how people could follow something they could never see, something they could never touch, smell. I could never believe in something or someone unless I could see the effects right before my eyes. But looking at one of my best friends, it was apparent that he was without a doubt in full belief that God was real.

    I thought maybe God was tangible to him, maybe he had seen something I hadn’t. I asked my dad later that day, “Does God exist? ” He replied, “Only if you want him to.” This drove my small 4-year-old brain to overload. How could you say that something only exists if I want it to! I want ice cream for breakfast, lunch and dinner, but that doesn’t exist.

    The next day went back to normal, Leland and I went back to playing tag with the other kids. But I could never stop thinking about God.

    Jump 10 years into the future: I’m watching an episode of “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver.” It’s a normal day full of sunshine and unicorns, but this segment yet again demolishes my brain.

    The episode was about greedy priests. The priest ran talk shows or TV shows and talked with the audience. Viewers were told that if they gave the priest money, that God would somehow fix their problems. There’s one quote that gets me: “All you’ve got is a thousand dollars, listen that’s not enough money anyway to buy the house, you tryin’ to get into the apartments, haha, listen you — get to that phone, and you put that seed into the ground and let God work it out. ”

    The televangelist was saying that if you gave him a thousand dollars, that God would somehow return the favor because of your good faith. He and others used loaded words and preached about faith for thousands of hours. And hundreds of thousands of Americans fell for this. There have been priests who have bought private jets from money given to the church. Priests who buy million dollar homes, so that they can better practice their faith.

    I believe in the idiocracy of American citizens. I believe that Leland’s blind faith is representative of this idiocracy.

    Just last month, Americans proved their affinity for blind faith by electing Donald Troglodyte to be the next U.S. president. Donald was just like the scamming televangelists. He framed situations in a false manner, exaggerating if not flat-out lying to his supporters. Electing Donald Trump is like choosing a random person to run our country and just going with it. His tax plan, to tax the rich less, is said to be harmful to the majority of Americans by all major economists.

    He changes his stance on almost every political point, almost as if he is appealing to the crowd he has at the time. On Feb. 13, Donald said, “I do listen to people. I hire experts. I hire top, top people. And I do listen.” March 16: “I’m speaking with myself, Number 1, because I have a very good brain and I’ve said a lot of things. … My primary consultant is myself.”

    Over the span of 26 years, he has changed his stance on abortion five times on record. If you don’t agree with Donald, you are dead to him. Because of blind faith, people accept what he says as fact even though he has been proven time and time again to be a liar. It’s what happened with Boeing and Vanity Fair magazine. Trump threatened to cut off Boeing and caused their stock to plummet. People thought Boeing was unreliable merely because a liar said that it was.

    This blind faith that we as a society have come to accept has led to some of the most atrocious disasters in history. Without blind faith, the Holocaust never would have happened, Most wars and losses of life are because of blind faith. Just a generation ago, it was what allowed us to say that any non-Caucasian race was inferior.

    Blind faith — the unwillingness to see reality.

     



    • Amen.


      • Maya North

      • December 29, 2016 at 2:52 pm
      • Reply

      Oh, this is gorgeous! Cogently and deliciously written, skilfully analyzed — thank mercy you are among those inheriting this earth. I will rest far easier now. Oh, and despite my not being an atheist ( 😉 ), you are dead on the money. People who voted for the Orange Lamprey sold out — turned the burden of independent thought over to a monster and called it good
      Ironically, they will be his first victims.

      Welcome to the tribe. I am honored to call you colleague.



    • Very well written. I love your fathers answer. After all at 4 that answer also was the right one for Santa and the Easter Rabbit and so many other times we go by belief and emotion because we don’t have other answers yet. But that unfortunately can also lead us to fear of that which we do not understand, which then often turns to hate rather than an inquisitive nature of trying to find the truth.

      I too learned of the greed and treachery among many structured religions after having a firm belief like your friend Leland, because I became a young adult in Southern Missouri during the “Moral Majority” time in our country which was full of the same programmed people as those that just voted for our new president, while the leaders led rich, decadent, lives with escorts of both genders, at their religious conventions while the wives spent every penny collected at the revivals on clothes, gowns, spas, etc. Their “sins” were eventually aired before the public and world, but not before many people lost everything they had.

      I am very happy you are so young, yet wide eyed watching and documenting what is happening. I am nearing the other end of life, and have seen many things over my lifetime that have convinced me to believe again. But I agree, we must choose our own ways, and path, and realize more wars, pain and suffering has been inflicted in the “name” of religion, but in truth is always rooted in money, wealth and greed.



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