Yesterday, I spent part of New Year's Day watching the documentary, War Made Easy, based on Norman Solomon's book and it is an eye opener which every person in the world should watch because it describes how governments, even in a democracy like the United States, lie to their people to gather popular support for war which gives their leaders power.
And it has gotten me thinking about how stupid Americans are and easily manipulated. It scares me. We could have had leaders of real character like Al Gore, and John Kerry, and itstead we chose two drunks, Bush and Cheney. You got to wonder where the poor judgment comes from.
And it seems to me that it stems from a number of things but the two major items on my list are a basic lack of understanding of ethics, and a lack of critical thinking skills inculcated by a government run public school system.
There is a huge misunderstanding of the nature of religion and ethics. Most religions engage in unethical behavior which is based on their governance models and the manipulative nature of their leadership. Threatening people with hell and rewarding them with heaven is unethical in the extreme and very manipulative and religious leaders do this to a gullible and naive audience all the time. George Bush aligned himself with God, and freedom, with the good and promised, if we followed him and gave him power, to keep us save from evil. This is child's play and an immature population fell for it.
Our school systems increasingly teach to the test and the task of students, on which they are graded, is give "the right answer." I was teaching at a college level and when I asked my students what they wanted to get out of the course, they are said, "An A." At first, I was shocked, just being an adjunct, and then very disenhearted, that this is a nation of sheep which our public school system has created.
Students are socialized into a society wherein success is measured in terms of "giving the right answer" and so the government finds it very easy when people engage in critical thinking and express skepticism to be accused of being unamerican, communist, supportive of terrorism, etc.
Jesus when challenged was clear, "Give unto Caesar, the things that are Caesar's and to God, the things that are God's."
And what does Unitarian Universalism say belongs to God? Is Unitarian Universalism a social club devoted to progressive politics and causes or does it have a theology worth studying and living? It draws from many religious and nonreligious traditions, but you know the old saying about being a "jack of all trades and a master of none."
It there is one thing that applies to this meditation it would be the Unitarian Universalist value of free and responsible search for truth and meaning, something which is sorely lacking in our weary world. If you don't believe me, watch War Made Easy. And then consider how UU could go about encouraging and implementing it's very important value which is sorely lacking in our nation of sheep.