In recent weeks I have been running across a lot of posts- on subjects from climate change, to alternative energy v fossil fuels, to endangered species to… promoting the “christian” belief that god gave us dominion over this earth to do with as we please. Some have even used these ideas to say that we have no reason to worry about our childrens childresn generation, as it may never come to pass. (I guess these are the ones who think the end times are nigh, so why not rape, pillage and plunder).
Which got me thinking to one of my favorite beatitudes from Mathew in relation to the sermon on the mount: blessed (or happy or fortunate) are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
And I can’t help think of the irony of this god supposedly offering the earth as a prize to have his supposed followers make it a curse and not a blessing.
So I went to look up the full list of beatitudes of mathew and the beatitudes/woes of luke.
The eight beatitudes in Matthew 5:3–12 during the Sermon on the Mount stated as Blessed/Happy/Fortunate are:
•the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (5:3)
•those who mourn: for they will be comforted. (5:4)
•the meek: for they shall inherit the earth. (5:5)
•they who hunger and thirst for righteousness: for they will be satisfied. (5:6)
•the merciful: for they will be shown mercy. (5:7)
•the pure in heart: for they shall see God. (5:8)
•the peacemakers: for they shall be called children of God. (5:9)
•those who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (5:10)
The four beatitudes in Luke 6:20–22 during the Sermon on the Plain are stated as Blessed are you:
•the poor: for yours is the kingdom of God.
•that hunger now: for ye shall be filled.
•that weep now: for ye shall laugh.
•when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man’s sake.
The four woes that follow these in Luke 6:24–26 are as stated as Woe unto you:
•that are rich! for ye have received your consolation.
•that are full now! for ye shall hunger.
•that laugh now! for ye shall mourn and weep.
•when all men shall speak well of you! for in the same manner did their fathers to the false prophets.
I myself am not religious per se. And I know many people, of many faiths for who religion makes them a better person. And the opposite is true as well. And I can say the same for those that follow any leader or thinker. Whether a politician. A philosopher. The constiution.
The sucesses and failures are all ours. Humans. As we try and distill a very complex reality down to something easier to digest. Failing as oft as suceeding.
And whether we are talking great works of religion, of politics, or philosophy, it seems to me the dichotomy always break down along pretty simple lines.
Whether we follow love. respect. understanding. selflessness. or whether we follow hate, fear, mistrust, and slefishness.
And today we are seeing the rise of the latter. The ultimate deluded selfishness of Ayn Rand. The fear and hatred of people not like us. And the arrogance that they are right- under god, under the constitution…
I don’t know. I’ll leave you with a line from Jim Morrison of the Doors at a concert (in fl? Maybe on “an american prayer”?… “I don’ know what’s going to happen man…but I want to have my kicks before the whole shithouse goes up in flames”
America is smoldering. And it looks more and more every day that we are on course to become the shortest lived major nation in the history of the world. Do we have the love and the strength left to save it? Or will we let this evil fear and hate destroy us.
John Dickinson put it sucinctly in his 1768 song “The Liberty Song” – united we stand, divided we fall. And truth be told- we have been divided since well before the civil war- with the maps of beliefs and ideologies changing little in all these years. Improvements yes- but enough?