Apparently passing Lisbon is one of the signs of the end times. Well, at least a sign that we are reviving the Empire that Daniel prophecied -
"Major #endtime #prophecy fulfilled today? Lisbon Treaty makes European Superstate, Daniel's revived Roman Empire? http://tinyurl.com/yap6fz5"
- or so says twitter.com/elizabethprata. I have to say, the concept of our vote heralding the end times wasn't crossing my mind on friday when I ticked "Yes". Maybe I would have cast it differently?.... No, no I wouldn't, because the end times just aren't coming. Actually, the rational side of me is screaming at that. Let's rephrase - on balance of evidence and human experience, I feel that the end times of revelations etc being on route is significantly less likely than an asteroid striking me before I hit the "Publish Post" button below.
The religious form a problem for me, not because of their beliefs. I'm an Atheist, but I'm also a Libertarian (although all these words are so debased as to be meaningless). I think that people should be free to believe and say anything they like. Granted, sometimes that leads to them indulging in very ineffecient behaviour that costs them time, money and happiness. But that's up to them. It's when their behaviour affects others that I have a problem. Leave other people alone, that's my motto. They're probably relatively happy doing whatever it is they're doing. Or trading their happiness for some other incentive. Who knows what. I know there's many, many exceptions to this and all kinds of logical errors people fall for and dead ends that they think down, but I like to address the world in generalities, and people must be generally happy. My evidence for this is that they still mostly walk around doing things as opposed to lying in the street in an exsistential angst.
So what's the problem? I don't even think that there's anything particularly wrong in indoctrinating your kids into your religion or creed as long as you don't impress upon them a need to bother/convert/kill/poke at other people who don't think the way you do. If you don't believe in those things being an essential part of your faith, then fuck it, your kids will probably be fine, even if they do miss out on approaching the world in a more rational fashion. If you're not scared of other ideas and want to convert or destroy them out of exsistance, then your kids will most likely rub shoulders with the outside world at some point and get to make a choice for themselves.
I guess the problem is politics. I'm naturally inclined to conservatism. Now, that's partially because of being roughly Libertarian, as I said earlier, and partially because I don't think that politics have a place in peoples private lives. So seeing as "conservative" is read as "economically liberal, socially conservative" since the 80's or even before, but I personally knock off the "socially conservative" bit and just think - "I'm conservative/right-wing. Politically, I'm economically liberal. Social ideas have no place in politics. If you ask me on a personal level, I'm socially liberal too, but i feel that this is irrelevant."
This should be the thrust of all right wing politics. Capitalist society, everything else is allowed as long as you don't impinge on someone else's freedom. I thought that was the idea behind it. When I dumped socialism as even a viable concept when I got out of my teens and realised there was a real world where contravening market laws were like trying to contravene the laws of gravity, it was like a breath of fresh air. Seriously. And leaving people alone in their private lives? Magical. Seperation of Church and State? Brilliant. Democracy, the rule of law and freedom for all? Perfect.
But somehow (well, I understand how but its a long and frustrating thought route to get there) "Right Wing" and "religious" are conflated in people's heads. It's part of the broadening of the meanings of these political terms until they are meaningless and bleeding their definition over everything in broad swathes, and partially the confusion unleashed by the conflation of "Right Wing" and "Facist". Read Jonah Goldberg's excellent destruction of that myth in Liberal Facism. Good book.
But "religious" shouldn't be conflating with the Left either. For one thing, the left have their own problems. For another, I think that if you make a political decision for religious reasons, you shouldn't be thought of as either "wing". You should be labelled "religious". You can't decide modern polity on a myth. People lie and die in the real world based on political decisions, and that brings me back to my "bellieve what you like but don't bother anyone else" paradigm.
I'm running out of rant space because I'm tired. 2:20 am is either the very best or the very worst time to be ranting. :) Anyone in Ireland who wants a postcard to join Maurice's campaign against the new blasphemous libel bill here should email me with their address - donalfall (at) gmail.com. Or else go to facebook and join his group - search for "good enough for jehovah" and he has links there to a print ready version of the document. Please help out if you can - this law is ridiculous. Let's seperate the concerns of the church from the concerns of our state and move beyond our ridiculous civil war obsessions with the past and the church and all those other millstones about our neck.