Monday, January 2, 2017
If I Could Live Again, What Would I Do, What Would I Skip?
#1 I would, again, major in Creative Writing at university, moving to the glorious California coast (from frigid Nebraska), attending Long Beach State. That was one of the best decisions I made my first time around the sun on the 3rd planet from Sol.
#2 Would sign up, again, as a conscientious objector against the U.S. immoral, unethical Vietnam War
where the U.S. government first supported France’s attempt to take over by war the country of Vietnam, again, after WW ll.
Then beginning in the 1950’s and 1960’s--even though Vietnam hadn’t attacked the U.S.—the U.S. started and fought a long unjust war
where our military and political leaders dropped more bombs on the little country and Laos and Cambodia, than all of bombs used in WW ll!
So many innocent civilians were slaughtered, at least hundreds of thousands.
There are still 80 million U.S. unexploded bombs buried in Laos!
Every year these U.S. bombs still kill or wound 50 people, 40% of them children.
This time I would spend even more time witnessing against the lethal violence, oppression, nationalism, and misguided idealism of the U.S.
#3 I would, again, spend the summer of 1966 volunteering on the Cheyenne Indian Reservation in Montana, working with teens and children.
(See picture) Me and other mission volunteers (4 girls:-), and missionaries during the Vietnam War, working for the Mennonite Board of Missions in Busby and Lame Deer, Montana on the Cheyenne Indian Reservation in the summer of 1966.
This was before my being drafted and, as a conscientious objector, sent to work in a mental hospital for disturbed teens and children in Trevose, Pennsylvania.
#4 Would, again, become a liberal Friend (with UU leanings) emphasizing the seeking of the Good, the True, and the Beautiful via communal meditation, reason, inclusivism, justice, human rights, compassion, and peacemaking.
#5 Would, again, join Amnesty International and work for human rights, writing many letters to other governments around the world, appealing for the release of "Prisoners of Conscience," especially ones unjustly arrested, incarcerated, and oppressed by Islamic governments such as Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.
#6 And move to Palestine/Israel to work on a kibbutz for at least 7 months as I did back then, though this time, I would stay longer, maybe a couple of years. (An image of AI, and a picture of myself at the Dome of the Rock and the Wailing Wall)
#1 Skip the Christian religion, and thus not have to do verbal battle, again, for 55 years with most Christian leaders who claim that God has foreordained every evil event, every natural disaster, every horrific plague, and foreordained billions of humans to eternal damnation for his own “glory” and “good pleasure”.:-(
And that all infants at conception are “stained” with sin, “sinful,” “in essence evil,” etc.
Not have to drag my wife (and kids) through many years of church doctrinal conflict, Christian delusionary claims.
If only at that central crisis point of my life, on the fall day at Long Beach State, when I was at a 50%-50% decision between leaving Christianity or not, I would have left.
Because of all its failings, pro-war actions, doctrinal incredulities, persecutions, anti-science claims, etc.—if only I had skipped doctrinal Christianity, then my life (and that of my family) would have been so much better and happier.
But I fell into the abyss of life-long struggles with organized religion because at that crisis day, because I realized that Atheism was even worse than religion, so I pulled back into the Christian religion. But that was an either/or fallacy.
There were alternatives to the either/or of Christianity (and other horrific religions such as Islam, Hinduism, etc.)
This time around, I would make a wiser choice.
#2 Skip dropping out of university (at Long Beach State) in January 1967, which led to me not getting my B.A. in Creative Writing until the spring of 1973.
This time, I would stay in college, get my degree Creative Writing in 1969, along with my teaching credential, and get a good job, instead of working for a number of years in minimum wage jobs.
Because of that bad choice, I didn't start my career until 1982!
TO BE CONTINUED—
In the Light,