Denying Death

“We cannot rationally deny that we will die, but we think of it more as something that happens to other people.”

So said Yair Dor-Ziderman, a researcher at Bar Ilan University in Israel.

From the moment we recognize we have the ability to look into our own future, we come to the realization that, at some point, we’re going to die.

And there’s nothing we can do about it.

Yet while we inherently recognize it’s an event we cannot avoid, we nevertheless put up numerous defenses to stave off thoughts of our inevitable demise.

In fact, Mr. Dor-Ziderman postulates that the reason we confine sick people to hospitals and elderly people to care homes is because we are “death-phobic.” In other words, we try to hide death from view — even though this may very well result in an even deeper fear of death.

Many people in today’s world avoid thoughts of death by getting on the “escape treadmill.” That is, they focus on hard work, spend more time at the local pub, constantly use their mobile phones, and buy more “stuff.” All in an effort to keep from thinking/worrying about death.

So while we may do our best to avoid thoughts of our life’s end, the unfortunate truth is … there’s really nothing we can do about it.

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Image by OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay

Secularism and Moral Order

In a recent speech at the University of Notre Dame, U.S. Attorney General William Barr warned that “militant secularists” were behind a “campaign to destroy the traditional moral order.”

Militant: Showing a fighting disposition; belligerent, warlike, aggressive

Secularist: Believes that religion should be excluded from government and education

Moral order: A body of unwritten social mores and conventions which serve to maintain societal order

(Yes, Attorney Barr, I’m most definitely a secularist but I would hardly call myself a “militant.” Moreover, I happen to believe we do need social mores — just not those based on religious standards.)

In this same speech, Barr also said that (so-called) secularists are a threat to the freedom that allows people to worship as they please.

(I disagree. Most secularists just don’t want to join in that worship.)

Barr also believes secularists are to blame for drug abuse, violence, and mental illness. And of course society’s lack of Christian values.

According to him, the “campaign” to destroy traditional moral order “has brought with it immense suffering and misery. And yet the forces of secularism, ignoring these tragic results, press on with even greater militancy.”

Interestingly, a Roman Catholic theologian described Barr’s speech as a “dog whistle” to those who have aligned themselves to Donald Trump in a campaign to limit the rights of LGBTQ Americans, immigrants and non-Christians, especially Muslims, and to criminalize almost all abortions. He asserted that Barr is “taking positions that are essentially un-Democratic because they demolish the wall between church and state.”

(AMEN, Brother!)

Further, the president of Catholics for Choice (a group that advocates for Catholics who support a woman’s right to abortion and other reproductive freedoms) said that Barr’s speech should “put the fear of God into anybody who cares about freedom, democracy and the separation of religion and politics.”

This, dear readers, are the basic beliefs of the man currently serving as the Attorney General of the United States. While it’s a given he will attempt to work his personal beliefs and standards into his position of Attorney General, based on the description for his office, he should remain neutral.

The mission of the Office of the Attorney General is to supervise and direct the administration and operation of the Department of Justice, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Drug Enforcement Administration, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Bureau of Prisons, Office of Justice Programs, and the U.S. Attorneys and U.S. Marshals Service, which are all within the Department of Justice.

The principal duties of the Attorney General are to:

  • Represent the United States in legal matters.
  • Supervise and direct the administration and operation of the offices, boards, divisions, and bureaus that comprise the Department.
  • Furnish advice and opinions, formal and informal, on legal matters to the President and the Cabinet and to the heads of the executive departments and agencies of the government, as provided by law.
  • Make recommendations to the President concerning appointments to federal judicial positions and to positions within the Department, including U.S. Attorneys and U.S. Marshals.
  • Represent or supervise the representation of the United States Government in the Supreme Court of the United States and all other courts, foreign and domestic, in which the United States is a party or has an interest as may be deemed appropriate.
  • Perform or supervise the performance of other duties required by statute or Executive Order.

(I don’t see anything in there that discusses religious mores, do you?)

As many of us have noticed, Barr has shown himself to be nothing more than one of Trump’s lackeys … along with several other individuals (both in and out of government). It’s truly a stain on the Constitution of the United States that so many of those serving in the current administration have abandoned the moral high ground in return for pats on the head by a thoroughly corrupt POTUS.

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