Thursday, December 27, 2012

On Hostility

        On blogs all over the world, and of late, the US blogs as well, people are complaining that others have "gone crazy". Some have noticed that some people making physicians appointments are rude and demanding.  They have noticed that people in shops have been not only hostile to shopowners, but also to others who are also shopping in the same store. What I notice most of all, since I live so far from civilization, is that drivers are not only discourteous, but show a wanton disregard for their own safety, and for mine as well.  This is always doubly amazing to me when I see children in their car !  I report my share of dangerous drivers to law enforcement, and they catch a few, but most seem to get away.  One of my sons was recently hit in his car by a woman he says must have hit him deliberately.  She made eye contact and then still continued forward and hit his car. (She has since paid dearly when her insurance company couldn't get her to communicate with them afterward, and so they paid for my son's repairs and dropped her insurance afterward.)
              Although I do carry a weapon, this doesn't mean that it's okay to allow situations with rude people to accelerate into shouting matches or hostility.  Whenever we can, we should let hostile or disturbed people go ahead and get out of our way. We don't need to win all our arguments, and we don't even need to launch them with people we will likely never see again, and don't really care about anyway.
               I don't pretend to have answers as to why "the world has gone mad".  I think some of my friends would equate this with End Times Prophecy, but I don't know.  Seems to me that the "End Times" related to us from a heavenly perspective could last quite a long time from our own. Perhaps it that people are more pressured by having "nowhere to hide". Wherever we are, cellphones, landlines, televisions, and news bludgeons us with their sensationalized versions of the days news and sometimes we have had enough.  The ever shrinking world economy and predictions for the same don't help. I actually live very simply and so I feel a measure of protection from some of this. However, even I have grave concerns as to how my children will do in a world in which there are very few jobs that would support a family.
               Sadly, the president touted as the person who would repair the last remaining racial disagreements in the United States has proven to be a divisive figure himself.  I don't care at all about his ethnicity, but I think he is incompetent and inexperienced. This draws me fire in some circles where they think any criticism of "their savior" is tantamount to racism.   Some groups think Obama's presidency means they will get everything they wish. Others believe that it could spell the death knell for our nation and its Constitution as we know it.  Al Jazeera News yesterday had a very interesting discussion on the Obama administrations monitoring and potential imprisoning of American citizens for an indefinite period without trial. Apparently, this has been possible for the last year, yet conventional US news outlets have failed to mention it.
              The electronic and information age has created a lot of hullabaloo and discomfort for a lot of people. It has also taken people from reading newspapers and really understanding some of the issues in our world, to being a sound byte generation.  Many people know very, very little of the workings of their nation, or the truth of any political or national issue.  I think the same is coming soon to other nations, also slaves to the electronic age.
             All over the world, there is open hostility for those who practice another faith.  In the words of someone whose family used to own the land I am sitting on,

" But it does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no God. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg."
-Thomas Jefferson, Notes on Virginia, 1782

            So long as extremist Muslims don't plan to behead me, why would I care that they worship a God they call by a different name than I call mine ?

               I think all we can do, is keep reading.  Try to balance a certain amount of reading from a variety of sources.  I will keep listening to the admittedly biased Russia Today and BBC. I will listen to the Israeli News when I can get them, NHK News, and Al Jazeera, which has become quite good.   I will listen to less and less of the biased and inaccurate Good Morning America, and other newslets designed for the terminally ADHD adult.  Take care of yourselves out there.


Matt said...

"So long as extremist Muslims don't plan to behead me, why would I care that they worship a God they call by a different name than I call mine ?"

Well, Jane, that's pretty much their goal. It's in their Koran, I've seen it before. If you won't convert they will kill you. Just because they haven't done it yet, here in the USA, doesn't mean they won't try. They have done mercy killings here and of course we all remember 9/11... I hope. And in Lagos, Nigeria, this past Sunday they did kill 12 (or maybe 20) Christians trying to worship there. And this is a reoccurring event there. Fox is the only "big" news that will report it, sadly.SO most don't know it's happening.

I was in the airport there in Lagos, one time, and we could only leave the plane itself under armed guard just to go in to the airport itself to use the restrooms, the ones on the plane had broken thus causing the delay. It was a very unnerving concept.

Regarding the founding fathers, they did in fact write regarding the Muslims... I'm not sure if it was Jefferson or not, but I remember Glenn Beck discussing it one day. They were definitely not in favor of that bunch of political militants.

While we have a "live and let live" attitude towards these folks, their attitude towards us is "live and let die."

Matt said...

Here are some links regarding this topic and Jefferson, sorry for the length.

From a freedom of religion aspect, it was welcome in this country in the early days.

However it WAS recognized by many even them as a religion that was spread "at the point of a sword".

Also Jefferson himself realized this:


"What Jefferson found most disturbing about the Qur'an was the Islamic
claims to its infallibility. By the time he acquired his copy in 1765, he had
already developed a rigorous habit of checking and cross-checking many
different sources on the same subject as a means of validating the ideas he
encountered. To Jefferson's mind, no written text could claim such absolute
authority as Islam attributed to the Qur'an. As he later recommended to
Peter Carr, "Question with boldness even the existence of a god; because, if
there be one, he must approve of the homage of reason, than that of blind-
folded fear" (Papers12:15). Reading the Qur'an as his formal legal training
was coming to a close, Jefferson had already developed the critical ability
to recognize it for what it was-and for what it was not. On his library
shelves and in his mind it remained at a halfway point between paganism
and Christianity.

Dani said...

I agree - a sad, sad state of the world exists today - and not only on the religious intolerance side. Coveting of another's possessions / family / jobs, greed and impatience rule the roost. Corruption is far to high on the scale for 99% of politicians - and they should be leading by example.

A sense of "me and mine" pervades EVERYTHING, which should be "us and ours" - meaning mankind as a whole - not as individuals.

Guess all we can do is teach, and lead by example, within our own families - it's better than doing nothing...

JaneofVirginia said...

I understand some measure of the "me and mine" insofar as the reason I need this farm is to create a safe place for for my family to work, live and grow. We do our best, but it is disconcerting.

JaneofVirginia said...

That's true. Jefferson himself tried to communicate with the Muslims and eventually withdrew stating that they were bordering insane and were simply savages. I was differentiating between extremist Muslims in my posts, and the Muslim physicians and professors I know. I have been fortunate to know Muslims who were not extremists since I was a child and my father was in the Middle Eastern Studies Dept in Princeton.

JaneofVirginia said...

Yes, I didn't agree with everything Jefferson thought or felt, but in a great deal he was very very sharp. I heard recently that he was also the inventor of the swivel chair !

russell1200 said...

It is a state state of affairs when Aljazeera is one of the better independent news sources. I think they would do better if they changed their name. It is my understanding that Aljazeera English language reporting is much different than their Arabic language reporting - but I have no real way of verifying that.

Different Muslims pick and choose their texts within a large body of work much the way Christians do. Both groups can find warlike admonitions if they so choose. They can also find peaceful-cooperative admonitions as well. It is unfortunate that so many diffirent Islamic groups have taken a (fairly recent) hostile stance to the rest of the world.

Sandy said...

I agree with all of you, it's not going to get better any time soon.

JaneofVirginia said...

Yes, it certainly is because just a few years ago, their propaganda was far worse than CBS, NBC and ABC. Now, this is not so.

JaneofVirginia said...

No, it isn't. I find this hard because although I will only be on Earth for twenty or thirty years at most, I still have much "skin in the game" with four children, and someday perhaps grandchildren. The world being left here is no longer a good one.

Dani said...

Jane - Meant that there are people who are ONLY concerned for their well being, and who don't give a toss about others. You're a shining example of "us and ours" - the information you so willingly share is a credit to your parents and upbringing.

Thank you :)

JaneofVirginia said...

Dani, I did understand what you meant. I was simply taking a long hard look at myself. I can't very well criticize others if I am not willing to take a long hard look at myself, and what motivates me.
Thanks for caring enough to clarify your points, my friend.

lotta joy said...

I can probably count my remaining years on one hand. (the other hand is causing me intense arthritic pain so I will soon be unable to fire my gun) arghhhhh.

I don't want to leave this world, but if I had to choose, I'd rather leave it on my own terms than the terms of people filled with hate and not afraid to use it against others.

JaneofVirginia said...

Lotta Joy, I was being overly optimistic when I stated the maximum possible time I would still be here on Earth. The reality is, with Obamacare coming in, many of us are heading home sooner than we had planned. I think I'll go and update my will.