There has been a substantial number of official reports and articles, on the subject of mental health, most especially, depressive disorder, notably, affecting a significant number of society’s youth. The consensus, seems, empirically, to ascribe a large percentage of the etiology, to the, still festering, covid pandemic. The latter, for prophylactic purposes, necessitated a draconian proscription against social contact at places of public assembly, including, schools and colleges, thus, effecting a harsh and egregious stunting of young individuals’ natural proclivity to socialize. The additional mandate as to the universal wearing of masks in public, reduced societal recognition, and further altered social behavior.

In an earlier essay, we expressed our consistent, view that the advent and universal use, of the “smartphone” as the exclusive mode of interpersonal conversation, the latter, completely, lacking in humanistic features, such as voice recognition, spontaneity and emotive interaction, amounts to an apt recipe for feelings of loneliness and insecure insularity. It was, and is, our view that it is far more rewarding, and, psychologically, much healthier, for people to actually, speak to each other (personally, or by telephone) in contrast to a non –responsive, handheld, metal, mechanical appliance. It was our view that the use of the smartphone for social interaction, encouraged the feeling of lonely insularity, and constituted a (second) contributing cause to the burgeoning, cases of youthful depression.

The intended theme of this essay, however, is the declaration, for the reader’s thoughtful consideration, a proposed third, fundamental, cause of the reported, unprecedented rise in the occurrence of depression, among young Americans. We, as possible, will essay to minimize our political observations since we have previously, and on several occasions, expressed ourselves on the subject.

Our proposed, “ third” theory of causation, initially, requires reference to the relevant and extremely harmful, impact of our miscreant former President Donald Trump, by his neurotic promotion of gross distortions of accepted reality, remarkably, resulting in the questioning of societal and political norms.

Any cursory inquiry into the subject of the adolescent or, “teen,” years will declare it to be, a difficult and complex, stage of development. It portends the initial awakening to a new and confusing reality; unlike the earliest stages of life, which were less challenging and merely, exemplified by a personal need for food, security and parental love. Adolescence is termed, by psychiatrists and psychologists, the “Sturm and Drang period, (Ger.” Storm and Stress”) to emphasize the substantial discomfort and personal insecurity, experienced during the years of the hard work, and pain, involved in the subject discovery of oneself in rational relation to the world. It is not easy work to, initially, acquire knowledge of one’s personal singularity and perceived, persona, socially, morally, sexually and intellectually, as well as to develop, as vital, to the process, a creditable, consistent and confident, self-image, in dynamic relation to, and interaction with, family and community.

Recalling, as best as possible, the difficult, and sometimes, painfully embarrassing, transitional years of our own adolescence, we are, unhappily, constrained, “ to perceive an even more stressful and bewildering contemporaneous experience.

Like lost hikers, albeit, in the densest of woods, we, at such developmental period, had the assistance of a previously, learned, set of rules and assumptions to be used, metaphorically, as “roadmaps” or, more currently, a driver’s, GPS, to serve as a general, all-purpose guide, or field manual. Ultimate, and difficult choices, had the elective opportunity of following the previously taught and ingrained, parental and societally acceptable GPS or roadside signals, concerning, values of truthfulness, familial and National loyalty, trustworthiness, honesty, personal responsibility and duty, the vital importance of the moral compass, fairness and justice. Such communally adopted standards of action and rectitude were universally, taught, to the young, by responsible parents and relatives, teachers, neighbors and societal representatives, secular and religious. These early ingrained, guidelines and standards,(depending upon the individual, youthful persona), constituted an available and readily accessible, guide, (like a GPS) to the destination of societally approved, thought and behavior.

In recent years, especially since (or because of) the anomalous Presidency of Donald Trump, the developmental difficulties of adolescence have been, significantly, exacerbated, in sync with the startling statistics concerning the rise in youthful depression. Trump’s disparagement of “truth,” in favor of subjective, “alternate facts,” along with his chronic mendacity, his disparagement and abusive treatment of women, attacks on, and violation of, the societal moral compass, and his nationally broadcasted egocentrism and reductive ignorance, skewed the previously, accepted moral character of traditional America, and contrariwise, had the effect of, championing selfish, deceitful and immoral behavior, to the point of clinical sociopathy. Perhaps more shocking and disappointing, is the fact that millions of Americans, especially, those with inadequate education, continue, cult-like, to praise him in a laudatory, manner, irrespective of his pathologic personality and myriad acts of autocratic immorality. [See earlier writings]

When, long ago, during our throes of the difficult adolescent stage, when beset by doubt or personal confusion, we, and others at such time, similarly, involved in the adolescent developmental, stage of life, at minimum, had the early- instilled, lessons from our parents and others, to motivate us in the right direction, like an inner GPS. Regrettably, and directly attributable, to the bizarrely, ubiquitous, unhealthy influence, of the past President on the traditional, societal standards, such helpful, roadmaps or computerized direction finders, has been no longer of present accessibility.

Consequently, the developing young are essentially, left rudderless, abandoned and perplexed, thus, exacerbating the complex, challenge of adolescent adjustment to the multi-faceted and complex reality of the adult world. (“Left upstream without a paddle.”) Such insecurity and consequent frustration are likely involved in the copious reports of incidents of their reported depression.

It may be a chilling and ominous, ratification of the accuracy of our proposed theory, that in the vast number of egregious deadly public shootings, the empirical stereotype of the offender, was, as reported, are young men, approximately, age 18.


Post # 851 (poesie) AUTUMNAL EXODUS: Reprise

Moist ethereal breezes intimately whisper
Cooling balm to sunbaked foliage.
Trees, now attired in military raiment,
In styles bespeaking revolutionary riot,
Proclaiming in eye-sparkling manifesto,
The swift advent of seasonal overthrow.
-There’s no time to lose!

Boughs strain heavy with seasonal fruitage.
The bounty, tho’, forsaken by large mammals,
In search for safer havens
Alas, no time for juicy gorging,
Time’s to be spent for seasonal survival.
Smaller ones, storing food, burrowing deep.
Instinct warns, dalliance spells disaster!
-We must not tarry!

Winged creatures depart aloft
Huge flocks with little hesitation,
Escaping to safer geography.
Could one but hear beneath the forest floor,
The excited chatter of woodland critters,
Anxiously nose-wrinkling rodent reconnaissance
-Is there yet time?

Darkening clouds bespeak woodland calamity
Soon, winter gales, storms, sheets of ice,
Snow, that covers safe niches and hide-outs,
Cold that delights in shivering death.
All must forsake the Fall magic.
– And again, we will be ready!

(Leonard N. Shapiro, Sept. 2018)

Post # 850    THE “MOLLUSK” EFFECT

To declare that the American Nation at present is highly divisive, is to, uselessly, state the obvious. Among the many divisive and contentious issues, are, abortion rights, Trump’s election “Big Lie,” immigration, gun rights, gay marriage, various Church/ State matters and educational curricula relating to the “dark” periods in the Nation’s history, viz., slavery and the wrongful displacement of indigenous Americans. Nevertheless, we have noted a unique phenomenon, concerning the associative configuration of all such contested views, which we have termed, “The Mollusk Effect,” due to our recent perception of its bizarre, bifurcated nature.

The bi-valve mollusk, characterized by two distinctly, separate but identical shells, (valves), attached at a small, bottom hinge can be visualized, as a contextual metaphor, for the empirically, conglomerate nature of apparently, two diverse groups of the American public; the members of each such opposing group, respectively, of common mind, on the various disputed issues.  Said structurally conglomerated, duality of National divisiveness, is such that, notwithstanding the plethora of contested issues, one can, discern another’s individual stance, on any issue, merely, by the awareness of his particular shell.   

For clarification, we would refer to a contrasting, but equally perverse, instance of a voting pattern, castigated by us, in an early essay. The latter, demonstrably, is the obverse of the subject, “mollusk” syndrome, a practice, which we termed, “one issue- voting.” We observed that there are a considerable number of people, who, as informed, would vote for a particular candidate, solely, and myopically, based on his position on their personally, premier, issue, viz., guns, abortion, Israel, capital punishment, or the like. Such mode of voting ignores the professed positions of the candidate on other issues, thus, skewing the resultant vote on those (other) issues, and presumably, distorting the voters’ demonstrated, will.  We, of course, recommended that voters cast their ballots, based upon their appraisal of the totality of the candidate’s platform, so that his acceptability may be properly and fully, considered.  

The “mollusk” syndrome apparently functions with a virtually, opposite (composite) dynamic but like the “one issue,” thoughtless practice, is equally capable of distorting the expressed will of the voters and, effectively, frustrating the foundational purpose of elections.

The “Mollusk Effect,” is exemplified  by voting that is in consistent manner with the others, mutually included, in one of the two ideological halves of the typical clamshell, each of which halves encompasses a separate, competing, conglomeration of identically, shared opinions, on the outstanding issues.

This faulty, and misleading, mode of selecting candidates, by contrast, is not characterized, by a mono-focused, myopic dedication to one selected issue, as criticized, above, but rather, on a thoughtless and neurotic, groupthink or “herd mentality,” acting in neurotic mutual replication, of the others, within their applicable group (“shell”). Moreover, the social expression of such common need for group acceptance is such, that  anyone’s point of view, on any issue, can be accurately, comprehended, merely by the awareness of any one of  his views ( or, those of his shell)  on another albeit, unrelated, issues.

The current state of the Nation’s divisiveness, thus, has morphed into a bifurcated, (i.e., clam- like) state, viz., two competing sections, mutually, evincing fixed political and social opinion, associated, in one or the other half shell. Thus, by illustration, if an individual is against abortion rights, it can be safely, assumed that he opposes liberal policies of immigration. If one opposes reasonable gun regulation, it is, empirically, reasonable to assume that he opposes the teaching of the “dark periods of American history (e.g., slavery, and the displacement of the indigenous Americans). An ardent opponent of censorship and book burning, can confidently, be expected, to favor legalizing abortion.  An individual, who thinks that Trump’s “big lie,” is tactically, contrived would predictably, favor governmental safety regulations and equitable tax reform.  

The identification of the associative dynamics of our proposed, “Mollusk Effect,” does little, if anything, to enhance needed reason or advance morality. Nevertheless, the pragmatic awareness of which half   of the clamshell, with which one may be confronted can save valuable time and possibly, some angst.  


Blogpost # 849                              “ABIDIN” WITH JOSEPH BIDEN (political editorial)

The relief of return to normalcy, engendered by the election of Joseph (“Joe”) Biden, to the American Presidency, following the bizarre, and shameful, four-year train wreck, of the twice- impeached, Donald J. Trump, was anticipated with celebratory relief, by most mainstream American citizens.

One recalls the admirable and responsible, “take charge,” stance of Biden, regarding the pandemic, immediately following his inauguration; in his forthright and empathic promotion of the advice of the Nation’s medical experts, regarding vaccination, “masking” and mandatory limitations in interactive socialization. Biden’s Presidential encouragement helped prevent considerable infection and saved an untold number of human lives. The same can be contrasted, memorably, with his predecessor’s ignorance and intended, populist-reductionist approval, by the downplaying of the deadly epidemic, together with his bizarre, recommendation of cure by the salubrious ingestion of common household cleaning fluids. Reportedly, a great many of Trump supporters loyally refrained from taking the medically approved vaccine, and, instead, self-administered a popular horse wormer; the ingestion of which, no doubt, added great profits to the relevant veterinary medicine companies while being irrelevant to the virus. The previous reductive ignorance and irresponsibility of Trump caused a great increase in unnecessary infection and consequent mortality.

Prior to our review of the many (additional) accomplishments in the relatively short period, of the Biden Administration to date, we would choose to explain our motivation for writing this political essay. We have taken note of the somewhat, modest standing, in the media-reported polls concerning President Biden. The explanation, universally given is, in reality, entirely and frustratingly, preposterous. The common media attribution of a less than desirable, poll standing of Biden, is inflation (i.e., cost of goods and services). We would withhold specific reference to our response of frustration and disappointment at said uninformed and reductionist understanding. The Nation’s President is as responsible for inflation and consequent higher prices, as a forest ranger is responsible for the planetary danger of global warming.

The empirically accurate causes of the Nation’s current inflation should be evident to any thoughtful citizen who reads a newspaper or attends to the objective news programs. A major causative factor was (and remains) the extended period of the covid-19 pandemic, proximately, responsible for the interruption of the normal supply chain, manufacturing, transportation and distribution of goods. Factories stopped producing and manufacturing inventory changed, as people altered their buying habits, based upon the supply chain shortages. The consequential shortage of goods and means of production and delivery led to the unfavorably higher prices. The causative factors in such a situational problem are unrelated to the performance of any sitting President, in this case, Joseph Biden.

A second, but significant, contributing cause of the current inflation, similarly, and understandably, not within the control of the American President, has been the high cost of assistance to the democratic Nation of Ukraine in its existential resistance to Putin’s unconscionable war.

By contrast, In any fair evaluation of the President, the thoughtful citizen should consider the following, full cornucopia, of legislated benefits, championed and delivered by President Biden for the benefit of the American Nation and its citizens. The “Bipartisan Infrastructure Law,” contains such an abundance of National, State and citizen benefits, that makes necessary their mere listing, in order to accommodate the short essay form. They are, happily, as follows:  Elimination of unhealthy lead pipes and clean drinking water provisions, high-speed internet services, improved roads and bridges, increase in public transit, improvement in passenger railways, airports, waterways and ports, upgrading power structures, environmental benefits, including procedures regarding the amelioration of global warming, upgrading and increase of electric power stations for the newly developed automobiles. The Biden Administration is also, to be credited, with the Appointment of a capable, Indigenous American, legislator to the Cabinet, as Secretary of The Interior, and has initiated programs to ameliorate the historically, unjust treatment by the Federal Government of America’s First Nations. The Biden Administration has seen to the accomplishment of many other humanistic actions, not the least of which was, the life-enhancing, elimination of student debt.

In any fair and empirically, logical, evaluation of the current President, the undesirable factor, of the current inflation, the existence of which, is completely outside of his purview, should, relevantly, be excluded, as irrelevant, and attention given to the plethora of his many positive accomplishments, concerning matters which, by contrast, are included therein.



From a purely, simplified and functional point of view, “eating,” is merely the ingestion of food for supplying energy or for growth. We have not been apprised of any living organism on the Planet that does not eat or imbibe something, from roast goose to plankton to sunlight and water. The first priority of most living organisms, empirically, is the existential search for nutritional sustenance. Regarding, Humankind, however, eating, has, yet, an additional, implicit and situationally, relevant, rhetoric.

[Dining with others, a societal statement] In parts of the world when food is readily available, eating in the company of others, takes on additional significance by implicitly, or symbolically, communicating various positive social assurances. Holidays, religious and secular, among other traditional or historical, observances, ordinarily feature a celebratory meal. [Signifying, unity and commonality.] Birthdays, anniversary and graduation dinners, are social occasions, often yielding a sizeable guest list. [Expressing the experience of familiar and shared lives.] Exceptionally intimate, pleasant dinners are later, recalled, in the context of nostalgic, social milestones. [Life can indeed, be pleasant] Picnics are primarily, purposed as outdoor social gatherings to further promote close relationship, [we are a uniquely tight community in any venue] similarly, dining out with others at a restaurant, viz., “breaking bread” together, [our lives are shared in friendly communality] develops and cements friendly relationships. Some studies have indicated that, mutually, eating the same food actually solidifies friendship and trust. [We share the same reality]. There are also basic foods, usually eaten in childhood days, viz., chicken soup, hot cereal, scrambled eggs, French toast, called, “comfort foods,” which are eaten in times of stress. The nature of the [implicit] message, required, will vary, with the context of the occasion.

[Societal preoccupation with Food has made it, descriptively, adjectival]. Food is so much, “top of mind,” that it has become part of our spoken lexicon, with especial reference to judgmental and adjectival (analogous) speech, viz., “sour grapes,” ”it was a bitter pill,” ”a bread and butter issue,” “the bitter end,”” sweet smell of success,” “his new car turned out to be a lemon,” food for thought,” “sour grapes,” “take it with a grain of salt,” don’t cry over spilt milk,” “ it was a piece of cake,” “ let’s break bread together,” “on it, like white on rice,” “they found themselves in a difficult stew,” and many other, choice, “caloric” expressions; the culinary arts have provided an expressive tool in verbal interaction.

[Food and mood] Choice of food, at times, may be an expression of transitory mood, i.e., “It’s too late for a heavy meal,” “It’s a good afternoon for Chinese” (food), “I don’t have much time, let’s do pizza, “ “It’s so cold, I want soup,” “ I am not really hungry, let’s just order a salad,” “ I always hated the aggressive sight of lobster,” “ Not her tuna noodle casserole, again!,” “I can’t eat Mexican (food) it is too hot,” “But we had roast beef yesterday,” “she absolutely hates deli’s,” “Let’s not eat out tonight.” Unless a member of the dinner party is actually, allergic, to a proposed style of cuisine, the final decision should  fairly be determined  by majority vote, absent political, claims of voter intimidation or fraud.

[Food as an empathic route to World peace] Among our earliest mini-essays was one entitled, “THE OATMEAL SOLUTION,” which was, and still is, an expression of our premier choice of peacekeeping solutions, which exists, as well, an expression of moral empathy with the food-challenged portions of the globe. Following the Second World War, our being driven along the Henry Hudson Parkway, would reveal, a vast “Armada,” of “mothballed” veteran Navy Vessels, stationary and inactively, parked afloat, in New York’s Hudson River. We are advised that the veteran Navy ships have, since, been transferred to Virginia, where they, as previously, engaged, continue to listlessly, and uselessly, bob up and down, in inactive, retirement.

To repeat, there appears to exist many discrete venues on the planet, where human beings are eternally food challenged, such as: Haiti, Yemen, Ethiopia, and many others; and as well, other areas, severely, challenged by devastating storms and  other meteorological misfortune, attributable to, or augmented by global warming. We have always been of the view that the Federal government might recondition and sanitize such mothballed, Navy Vessels, so that they be fit to transport large quantities of needed, healthful, food, (for example, cooked Oatmeal) to the many food -challenged peoples.

In addition to the latter, being a morally, satisfying, empathic act, such a program would, predictably, contribute to our longtime aspirations to the invaluable goal of World Peace.

 * Sincere apologies regarding the title, to Marshal McLuhan, author of “The Medium is the Message”


Post # 848 RELENTLESS DEMOCRACY: Editorial

Concomitant with the bizarre ascendency to the Oval Office, of Donald J. Trump, mainstream Americans, astoundingly, witnessed the dynamic, public emergence of America’s considerable, reservoir of (previously, passive), ill informed, and inadequately educated, citizens. Said population, has elected to subscribe to any and all Trump policies and actions; such pre- determined loyalty, appropriate, in a fascistic autocracy, is antithetical to our continued maintenance of a Democratic Republic.

Mainstream, traditional, America has, appallingly, experienced: an unprecedented rejection, by Trump and his large, supportive, cult, of the (verified) results of a fair election, based on his tactically, groundless, assertion of election “manipulation” (the classic, autocratic, “Big Lie”), and  illegal and unconstitutional, manoeuvers, to skew the results of the next election, by championing State voting legislation, favorable to America’s right wing, i.e., limiting the votes of minorities, and, reconfiguring SCOTUS,  thereby enabling  politically, partisan and religious interests (forbidden by precedent and Statute) to be accommodated. The distressed citizen has also, shockingly, witnessed an unprecedented, violent, anti-Washington insurrection, the ominous rise of Nazi-style, White Christian militias, an increase in police brutality against people of color, a rise in anti-Semitism, a popular desire for  guns, including military semi-automatic instruments of mass destruction, mass shootings at schools, parks and houses of worship, a hostile divisiveness, the continuance of female abuse, notably, to include the religiously, influenced overturning of Roe v. Wade, the fundamental deprecation of empirical truth, in favor of “alternate facts” and paranoid conspiracy ideation, the selfishly cruel opposition to immigration,( by a Nation, itself, composed of 100% immigrants and their progeny), the continued “second class” citizen status of women in  business, and, ominously, the populist decline in the status of liberal education.

It is reassuring and emotionally, comforting, to note that Congress and the Justice Department have actively, been involved in the process of taking appropriate action to investigate and legally respond to the horrific event of the 1/6 insurrection, as well as tactical programs and actions, deemed antithetical to the existence and functioning of our democracy. We have noted that, in the interest of plain justice, publicly accessed, fact-finding investigations, such as are presently, in progress, will be properly, precedential, to any judicial response to the respective, charges of wrongdoing,

We are morally and philosophically, relieved and pleased, that the process, albeit, responsive to the anti-democratic and empirically described, fascistic, misbehavior, has been conducted in accordance with our universal and regular, American juristic procedure, rather than, responsively, and self- destructively, in the same anti-democratic mode as the investigated, miscreants. With regard to this significant subject, we would make a brief interruption in this essay, for contextual clarity.  

We have consistently, declared, that aphoristic advice is eternally, useless, or harmful, in lacking, flexibility and specification regarding its intended, pseudo-wise, application. In a recent essay (# 844, “APHORISTIC CALAMITY”), we declared that, undisputedly, the worst and most harmful, aphorism is, “The ends justify the means.” We stated therein, that no wrongful, means can be ever converted to a virtuous one, by “good ends, (whatever, “good ends,” subjectively, may, arguably, entail) and, further, that evil or violent means, have, ineluctably, led to violent or evil ends. In historical reality, the quality and nature of the means, eternally, has, empirically, defined the quality and nature of the ends.

It was a significant affirmation, of mainstream America’s faith in the intrinsic value of democracy, and democratic philosophy, to take note of the government’s election to counter the onslaught of the fascist-style tactics by the radical right wing, by democratic, universally, established and precedential, rules and appropriate institutional means. The fascistic style of prevarication and “alternate facts,” propaganda, slander, bigotry, threats and intimidation, illegal and unconstitutional behavior, not to forget an unprecedented, insurrection against Washington, deemed typical of the anti-democratic, reprehensible behavior, wisely were not responded to, in kind, by analogous, anti-democratic tactics.

 Action in accordance with, yet another, reprehensible aphorism, “Fight fire with fire,” would, among other undesirable results, have effectively, resulted, in the ultimate weakening or termination, of the standards and ideals of American democracy. Like other accused, wrongdoers, the subjects are being properly, adjudicated, in accordance with democracy’s ubiquitously, fair and fundamental tenets. The quality of reasonable patience, prudently, outweighs the understandable, demand for immediate justice, in matters where the continued preservation of our unique Republican Democracy is in play.



Regular followers of this blogspace are doubtlessly, aware that we have, in various contexts, summoned up the folkloric image of the stork, as the proverbial delivery agent for newborn Homo sapiens. We have highly praised the stork as an impartial delivery agent, who, miraculously, and without benefit of GPS, is flawlessly, accurate and, irrefutably, impartial, in its delivery of newborn, respectively, to their intended recipients, with no regard to their pre-assigned, racial, and ethnic attributes.

We confirm the societal necessity to advise the child, during his early years, of his inherited, and identifying, cultural and ethnic character, but have too often, seen the same done in a rather thoughtless, and ultimately, harmful manner, and a precursor of bias. We have in past writings, recommended that childhood lessons, relative to the specific features of his individual identity should never be framed in exclusive terms of “we” and “they;” the latter is a  recipe, for incipient bias, but, rather, in inclusive terms of “us,” viz., as a member of one of many diverse groups, comprising Mankind.

The subject of this essay, relates to the ultra- sensitive, subject of religious faith, randomly, assigned as stated, by the accident of birth, concomitant with the other enumerated, inherited features,  Religious belief and related observance is, customarily, installed very early in life, by a parent or close family member, and, later reinforced by the confirming, influence of mainstream, members of society. It has been traditionally, perceived, as synonymous with societal engagement, acceptability and recognized virtue. The salient point is that the belief in religion, viz., a “higher power” is, commonly, a product of early teaching, later ratified by other, like, believers. However, religious faith should be qualitatively, contrasted with empirical knowledge, the latter, being rationally founded in objective life experience.

We have, often, referenced the English philosopher, John Locke, who, famously, championed the empirical theory of knowledge, i.e., that man’s knowledge is exclusively, acquired by his life experience. If this theory is valid, it, ineluctably, follows that religious belief is simply, and admittedly, a matter of subjective “faith,” (assumption) viz., independent of any factual or objective, redeeming confirmation. In fact, the principle that religious belief is, exclusively, a matter of faith is universally, uncontroverted and empirically, incontrovertible. The salient issue for present contextual examination is, has a religious belief, proved to be of use, or harmful, to the beneficial advancement of humankind?

For some time, it been our view that irrational belief in an unprovable, higher power, has coarsened and divided Mankind and has significantly, retarded its Natural, (evolutional) destiny towards wisdom, universal, empathic morality and maturity of perception. The arrival at the latter conclusion, in our case, was not the product of some dramatic epiphany, rather, the mature and invaluable enlightenment, gradually, evolved over decades of reading and serious thought.

In the interest of even-handedness, we would affirm certain positive, anecdotal, features of religion in historical experience. No one could rationally, ignore the existential spiritual and moral support of the Black Church in the lives and destiny of our communities of color. Beginning or about, the 19th of June 1699, until relatively modern times, the lives of our black community were hopelessly, exemplified by cruel, involuntary servitude, encompassing untold suffering and unbearable misery. The” living death” of enslavement was, generally, sanctioned, by the larger, presumably, moral, American society, and, notably, by its religious and ubiquitous, Field Manual, the St, James Bible. At all times, and during the worst privations, institutionally, imposed on the black community, the institution of the traditional Black Church was a vital resource, keeping life and hope alive.  Additionally, religious ideation can, as well, provide a measure of soothing balm concerning man’s disturbing, innate awareness of his inevitable, mortality, it can provide needed, hope, at times of serious illness and tragedy, and lastly, with regard to individuals of equivocal morality, it can often provide a deterrence to intended, wrongful action.

Having conceded various positive attributes to religious belief, we would, at this juncture, state our thematic conclusion, derived from personal, decades-long, incisive, deliberations on the subject; that atavistic homage to any superstitious or mythical, ”higher power,” has (a) significantly, retarded the progress of evolution’s gift to Mankind of an advanced brain, while, (b) being proximately, responsible for an unfathomable, record, of tragic and unmerited, human suffering, misery and injustice.

Since the appearance of Early Man, devotion to a higher supernatural being has been virtually, universal, and has, to date, eternally, persisted, despite its historically, demonstrated, malevolent impact upon humankind; specifically, in its unnatural and unhealthy, assault against human reason. We have concluded that such successful past record is attributable to its evolved and institutionally supported, network of religious sycophants and their arrogated franchise, acquired acumen and tactical penchant, for the dissemination to Man of comprehensive, primitive and existential, fear.

Through our research, we have learned that Early Man, fearfully, did homage to the natural phenomena such as the Sun and the Moon, Thunder, Rain and Lightning, based upon his ignorance and fear of incurring the displeasure of the presumed Deities associated with such respective phenomena. Tribal Medicine Men, Shamans, Witch Doctors and other notables, believed, ubiquitously, capable of communing with the relevant Gods, or Spirits, were professionally, charged with inspiring the respective Deities to furnish more rain, less snow, new life, better crops, success in the hunt, ample water, food or protection from earthly danger and non-earthly, magical spirits.

The Sun God, an early common Deity, was perceived as dying, during Autumn, as perceived by the declining state of vegetation, the dearth of animal life, the death of trees (except the “magical” evergreen), the changes in temperature and light. However, it was empirically, observed, that celebration of religious observances, involving the magic evergreen trees, predictably, and consistently, brought about the perennial return to life of the Sun God, as evidenced by the renewed greenery, reappearance of critters like the bunny and the increased sunlight (precursor of the concept of “death and resurrection”).

It may be that the nuance of each society’s, traditionally, communal style of placating its imperious higher being, was perceived, as threatened, by skeptics and non-believers. Whatever the motivation may be, it has eternally, been the case, that believers in a discrete religious dogma, have striven to oblige (by agonizing torture, etc.) other humans to believe exactly, as they do. Countless religious wars have blighted man’s history, such as the several Crusader Wars, the European, “30 Years War,” and the conflict between Northern Ireland (Protestant) and South Ireland (Catholic). Our history books contain a never-ending plethora of all-out bloody wars between cultures, based on divergent religious beliefs, or even, religious practices. An extreme, but instructive, example is seen in Islam’s continuous (sixteen Centuries, long) war between the Shiites and the Sunnis, in the Middle East. The sole motivation for such everlasting and continuing religious warfare is founded in a 7th Century dispute between one group and the other, as to whether the Prophet Mohammad’s proper succession, is to be by a blood relative or by determination in free election. Differences in irrational and culturally created religious belief have historically resulted in bloody, National warfare. At times, it seems difficult to draw a convincingly accurate distinction between ethnic and religious war (ex. India-Pakistan) because religion, far from having, allegedly, been acquired by otherworldly, “inspiration,” has, in reality, emanated from sociological and cultural creativity.

In our view, the transcendent, salient, harm to humankind, indeed, beyond the cruel horrors of religious inquisition, torture, live burning at the cross, irrationally based, warfare, unjust executions, imprisonment and the like, from an anthropological and evolutionary standpoint, has been religion’s mandatory, imposition of strong and excessively, durable, shackles on the human development of reason, and its evolutionary destiny. In our opinion, in the still, ongoing process of evolution, man has not, yet, fully, attained his ultimate, natural potential, for knowledge and wisdom.

Humanity’s advancement and its empirical progress in understanding and perception, has, eternally, been hampered, or indeed, prevented, by the tactical, maintenance and enforcement of irrational religious dogma, the latter, as stated, being the diametrical arch-enemy of reason. There are uncountable, numerous instances of demonstrative travesties, including, that of Socrates, who was put to death by the civic authorities, for wavering in his teaching from  State propaganda, the prosecution of Copernicus, the Polish philosopher, who was chastised for his declaration, that the Earth rotates around the Sun (the heliocentric theory), because it was in conflict with established religious dogma, that Man, as alleged, is at the center of the Universe. From Galileo, put to death, for his( earlier), heliocentric theory of the Solar System, to the contemporary, Church treatment of LGBTQ, the Church’s position on stem cell research and the religiously based cruel and thoughtless denial of a Woman’s natural right to abortion, religion has arrested human reason and, thereby, held humanity, securely in the restrictive chains of its perpetuated threats of non-existent, atavistic and primitive fear  (Hell, Sin, God’s Wrath, Armageddon, Satan and his emissaries, Repudiation, Excommunication, Death)  and thereby, from progress, in its evolutionary, journey for his full potential advancement of wisdom.

The practical dynamics of popular religious belief tends to strip Mankind, of its sense of significant personal agency, and encourage it to think in the fictitious, tactical terms of religion’s, self- invested interest, of “Heaven and Hell;” as superseding Mankind’s, healthful responsibility to look, objectively, into his inner self, for rational improvement, and, as well, to the inhabited Earth and environment. Religious homage tends to strip the individual of the confidence in personal agency and completely eliminates, the mathematics of chance. The healthy, secular mind, by sheer contrast, operates in accordance with personally developed, internal standards, rather than suffering reliance upon external direction. We would dare to speculate that Indulgence in prayer might, signify, in an appropriate setting, an abdication of personal responsibility.

In passing, we are, reluctant but responsibly, obliged, to observe that organized Religion, in reality, is far more “this-worldly” than its professed representations (”a rich man’s chance of admission to Heaven is like a camel’s chance to pass through the eye of a needle”). Its classically, institutional reverence for the” Holy Vow of Poverty,” has the bizarre effect of making the public sight of pure gold leaf on  entire steeples, ornamental decorations, gilt iconostases and the theatrically, rich décor and artistic masterpieces of Cathedrals and holy places, a bit confusing.


s Blogpost # 845                                       MILITANT IGNORANCE

We have always noted that ignorance and fear have been the conjoined twins of bigotry, both features being quintessential to such anti-societal depravity. In a recent essay, “Barbarians at the Gate,” we lamented reductionism and pseudo- fantasy, in lieu of preferable, enlightened reason and empiricism, practiced by many of the Nation’s citizenry. It is among such specific population that the atavistic, perception of extant mortal threat by the mere perception of difference, notably in external appearance, underlies the mutually, harmful and exclusionary response. As previously observed, the omission, of a substantial part of our Nation, to seek requisite enlightenment, has historically, led to the failure of personal advancement and the consequential, persistence of primitive ignorance.

The Nation has, concernedly, experienced a notable rise of right-wing affiliated groups, such as the White Christian Nationalists; the latter, a part of a pernicious and substantial, network of neo-Nazi, anti-Semitic and anti-black groups, seeking to transform the democratic context of the American Nation. The 1/6 insurrection has frighteningly, revealed how close the 2020 election came to be violently, overturned. Additionally, SCOTUS, has, unprecedently and improperly, become political, and has irresponsibly, lurched to the right. In so doing, it has stricken down the Constitutional right of abortion, issued right-wing, inspired, decisions on immigration, environmental regulations and issues concerning the separation of church and State. These, improper, SCOTUS (because, political, and responsive to private interest) decisions may be seen as a part of a wide cultural, religious and political philosophy based upon a flawed, “Christian” reading of American history, avidly, subscribed to by the aforesaid, White Christian Militia groups.

The Founders of our Nation, who were non-religionists (Deists) or complete atheists, clearly, expressed their uniform intention, that the new Nation be secular, and not suffer an established or preferred religion; as it, presently, does not. It was Madison, who, in drafting the U.S. Constitution, stated, “If we put “God” in the Constitution, it leaves man out.” Thus, the word, “God,” is nowhere to be found in the United States Constitution, nor was this Nation, intentionally, created to be anything other than a secular State. What, indeed, was, relevantly and significantly, provided, in the Constitution, was the express provision, famously, known as the “Establishment Clause,” “Congress shall make no law, respecting the establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” The Founders, bearing in mind the misery and injustice of the long history of European established religions, wisely, wanted none of it.

It is undeniably, clear that this Nation was, emphatically, created, by its Founders, to be secular, and not, as the fervently, ignorant, Christian White Supremacists, would like to maintain, viz., a “Christian Nation,” nor anything other than sociologically, and religiously, secular. So much for the word “Christian” in the Militia’s Title.

Regarding the other motivational word in the despicable and undemocratic organization’s proud title, “White,” (viz., “Christian White Supremacists), the words, “Christian White,” in their militant militia’s name, is likewise, nonsensical. Upon the assumption that the apocryphal Jesus, actually existed, as he is portrayed in the “Holy Book,” it is similarly, incontrovertible, that the religiously, revered Savior was not “white;” being born  in the Middle East, it would, empirically, follow that he was light or dark, brown colored skinned, but certainly, not “White.”  Moreover, being born to a Hebrew mother, he would, ineluctably, be ethnically, Jewish. So much for militant, “antisemitism.”

Should some half- literate person, by chance, happen to suggest, that the widely publicized, title, “White Christian Nationalists,” is, ignorant and brainless jabberwocky, we might find ourselves in mutual agreement.