A Facebook friend shared a poster out of eastern Ukraine, recently, that purported Jews were being required to register their passports and records of property at a makeshift government headquarters in the rebel area of the country. As the language was foreign, I had no idea whether the report was true or not, but Yahoo.news later confirmed the story.
Though dismayed by this confirmation, I shouldn’t have been surprised. A fringe element exists in all societies. In this case, the turmoil in the region had allowed some fool access to a government building and the offending posters were being churned out in large numbers.
After World War II, after the genocides in Rwanda, the Congo, Kosovo, Cambodia and Syria, the excesses of racial, ethnic and religious profiling should be fresh in our memories. Yet the old hatreds persist as if history had nothing to teach us. Is it inevitable, I wondered, that each new generation is destined to be as stupid as the last.
A part of me fears that ignorance has a resiliency not easily defeated. Witness the church billboard I saw recently: “The more educated we become, the farther we move away from God.”
I shook my head in despair, just as I had done about the report of anti-Semitism in eastern Ukraine. Did the pastor of that church really believe ignorance was a tool for good?
I shook my head a third time when I came across words scrawled upon the pavement as I took my afternoon walk. The sentiment expressed was counter to the one on the church billboard but depressing in its own way. “Don’t think what you believe,” it said.
Perhaps I am out of step with my fellow beings, but does no one see that evil flourishes when reason and spirit are disconnected? Without the use of both halves of our brains, without the ability to think as well as feel, there can be no moral conscience and without moral conscience, we are less than beasts of the field.
I offer one last story to illustrate the lunacy of this disconnect: To celebrate the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution, the Highview Baptist Church in Kentucky offered free guns to men who attended their service on a particular Sunday and made a profession of faith. 500 showed up to collect their firearms and listen to a sermon by Reverend Joe Phelp. The title of the lesson was, “Put Away the Sword.” (“In the News,” Free Thought Today, April 2014 pg. 10.)
(Courtesy of www.patheos.com)