Saturday 25 Jun 2016

Stupid Superstitions
AJ Robinson

Gandhi had a saying that helped him through many of his tough times. He said that anytime he despaired, he reminded himself that throughout history the ways of truth and love have always won. There were tyrants and murderers, and for a time they seemed invincible, but they always fell. Those words have always been a comfort for me too, but lately a new problem has surfaced that does cause me to despair.


Those words are stupidity and superstition.

Some years ago, I saw the movie “The Wicker Man,” which starred Christopher Lee and Edward Woodward. The underlying concept of the story was an island inhabited by contemporary pagans had a poor harvest one year and decided to return to their ancient ritual of human sacrifice. The key element was that word: contemporary. The people were modern in every way, and thus the idea of them performing a human sacrifice was quite scary. Yet, it made a sort of sense, as for them, there was a direct cause and effect in their lives: the harvest failed after years of being bountiful, and thus it followed that they had strayed from their core beliefs.

To be honest, looking back over the story, the concept was weak. After all, think about how that discussion would have gone done at the city council meeting. We’ve had one bad year of crops! Oh, I know what to do: let’s kill someone. Yeah, right, get the nets and tranquilizers, folks; this fellow has gone nuts.

Wouldn’t the island folks first try a bunch of modern things: crop rotation, fertilizers and other farming techniques to improve their yield? Then, only after years of continuing failure, would they think about such a drastic step as human sacrifice?


The movie is a classic.

The point I’m making is that, for the island’s inhabitants, there was a direct connection between their problem and the solution. The problem with some conservatives these days is that they see connections between things that make absolutely no sense. Blame for the terrorism of 9/11 went to everything from feminism to homosexuality. Blame for host of mass shootings goes to the victims or gun laws being too restrictive. For me, the biggie, the one that truly gets my eyes rolling is this: The California drought, now in its fourth year, is due to the state allowing abortions.

Yeah, it’s true; a conservative politician is actually claiming that is the cause of the drought. So, let’s look at one of the wildest acts of stupidity I’ve heard in a long time. According to the historical records, abortion has been legal in California since the late 1960s, and the drought has been going on since about 2010. So, let’s do some math, shall we? It would appear that God waited about fifty years before smiting the state to teach its citizens a lesson. I don’t you about you, but I feel that’s a bit of a long time. Granted, even centuries are but a blink of an eye to the Almighty; let’s be reasonable here, if He or She wanted to make a point, to insure that we got the point of His swift and certain wrath, it seems to me that She or He would have carried out that “smiting” stuff in a little more timely fashion.

I’m just saying.

Call me silly, but it seems to me, if you’re looking for a significant factor for the cause of the drought, maybe we should be looking elsewhere. After all, even the Pope thinks Climate Change is at fault. If he, God’s Bishop, is willing to go with science on this issue, I think maybe we should too.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Combining the gimlet-eye, of Philip Roth, with the precisive mind of Lionel Trilling, AJ Robinson writes about what goes bump in the mind, of 21st century adults. Raised in Boston, with summers on Martha's Vineyard, AJ now lives in Florida. Most of the time he writes, but sometimes he works at Disney World to renew his fantasies and get a few dollars more. AJ writes, with insight and passion, about his family and his dog. His liberal, note the small "l," sensibilities often lead to bouts of righteous indignation, well focused and true.

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