Friday, July 20, 2012

Midnite Movies, Massacre and God

My heart goes out to the families and friends, my neighbors in and around Aurora, Colorado who have lost loved ones today.

By now, 12 hours after the opening of the presumed newest summer blockbuster, The Dark Knight Rises, the body count is complete, the wounded are still being counted and tended at the hospitals. The United States, perhaps the world is asking: "Why?"

Why would a young man of only 24 years, a Ph.D candidate in Neuroscience at the University of Colorado, pre-meditate the slaughter of a theatre full of innocent women, men, children?
The news reporters on the television in the next room speculate.
The man's apartment it seems is full of boobie traps and he offered no resistance to police as he stood next to his car in the theatre parking lot after shooting and killing at least ten or twelve, wounding thirty two others. [That was written at 11:30 am. *It is now 4:33 pm and the number of victims who were shot has risen to seventy-one.]

The man's name is James Egan Holmes. He is (from the photo shown on the news program) a smiling, elvish looking man without any of the usual physical traits one imagines or associates with a mass murderer, looking more like Frodo Baggins than Charles Manson. If you haven't heard, he gassed the audience and then opened fire with an AR15 rifle, in a movie theatre a few minutes into the Midnight premier of The Dark Knight Rises, the sold-out movie extravaganza-to-be for this summer.

*Regardless of the reason in Mr. Holmes' mind as to why he did it, one must understand that the act was not one of  controllable circumstances. No one could have predicted it, nor therefore prepare to defend against it. There is no reason to believe that if it had not been Mr. Holmes, at the theatre in Aurora, Colorado with gas cannisters and a gun, that it wouldn't have been Colonel Mustard in the Library of Congress with a bomb. This is just another much needed wake up call. All the prayer in the world is not going to save us or protect us from ourselves. And trying to pretend that this is anything other than what it is, a symptom, a reflection of a problem, and not just an isolated incident, is just an example of the society we have become.

When we finally come to terms with the FACT that there is only us. Only Humans saving the Humans, will we begin to treat each other differently, better. If, by the time we've given up on non-existant deities to decide our future, we still have a future, we might be able to reach the potential that we all know that we have. And I'm pretty sure that future potential doesn't entail falling prostrate in eternal thrall and submission to bask in vapid but nonetheless golden rays of loving bliss.

How many of those dead, said a prayer, perhaps at the evening meal or earlier in the day asking a God that does not exist to watch over and protect them? And how many who survived are thanking that same bogus God for seeing to it personally that they were left alive? Survivors who don't really care WHY this God spared them and not everyone by making the gun jam or some other mundane miracle. They were spared and are content with the knowledge that God has some important task still ahead for their lives. But that is the way our world has become. Each of us believing that we are here on this Earth for a purpose. Worse yet a Divine purpose! If that is truly the case, then what could possibly be James E. Holmes' Divine purpose? What Divine purpose did those deaths fulfill?

Again, my heartfelt sorrow to all those of us, and really that is all of us, who lost someone in the tradgedy last night. NOW, stop uttering useless prayers and do something of positive consequence. "Like what?" you might ask. Well, how about starting with something easy, like just doing something nice for someone you don't know. For those of you already comfortable in your atheism how about being "out" a bit more, and respectfully decline wishes of believers around you when they say things like, "Say a prayer for ..." or "Bless you!" when you sneeze. That is one of my favorites, because of the looks I get when I look horrified and reply, "No thank-you, I'm God Free."

Here's another real popular idea among Americans. Let's give up the guns. After all, if your God protects you and leads you, you don't need a gun, and if someone pulls a gun on you, you can be sure that it is all part of some Divine plan cooked up by your wonderful God. Will that make you feel better when you hear for the last thing ever, the click of the hammer as it strikes? Might be worth making a call to your congressman or woman and requesting that since guns are protected by the Constitution, perhaps we could just outlaw bullets. I don't recall there being anything about bullets being constitutionally protected. Don't quote me on that. There are a lot of silly laws on the books, the right to have a gun one of them. Let's make up another silly law outlawing bullets and saving lives. Gee, wouldn't that be silly? ...?

Technology may someday save us, but Mythology will surely be the death of us all.

Do something positive today, make this a better place for all of us, and for Man's sake, don't wait for Heaven for things to change or they never will.


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