20 Dec 14

“‘One, with God, is always a majority,’ or, so goes the platitude, but many have been burned at the stake- while votes were still being counted!”

TB Reed

Religion and Personal Preparedness:

(Be patient. It will take me a moment to get to the point!)

At my Training Sessions, I try hard not to give students the impression that I’m trying to sell them on a particular brand of pistol, rifle, ammunition, nor any other product, nor accessory. Of course, I have personal preferences. I like certain products and services and freely recommend them, but I don’t “endorse” any, because that conveys the notion that I’ve been paid to say nice things about them. I’m not, nor have I ever been! So, I’m free to say terrible things about any product or service, and do!

Same with my Quips. I have strong opinions, as any reader of my Quips can testify, and I do my best to be persuasive. Even so, I try not to sound like a salesman for anything in particular, save honor, dignity, freedom, and personal preparedness.

My students don’t come to me in order to listen to ads, and I make certain they don’t.

Likewise, there is scant discussion of religious faith and partisan politics on the range, nor in the classroom. Again, my students don’t come my Class to be evangelized, religiously nor politically. To be sure, no subject is “off limits,” but my students are there for a particular purpose, and I won’t allow their valuable time to be squandered.

However, some overlap is unavoidable, particularly when the discussion turns to the use of lethal force in personal protection.

The foregoing brings me to this example:

In my Quip of 16 Dec 14, I admonished readers to always be working toward personal self-sufficiency, never allowing themselves be become dependant upon handouts, government or otherwise. Chronic dependancy upon any false hope is debilitating and dangerous.

One subscriber in particular responded with a great deal of anger, accusing me of denigrating Christian beliefs, especially with my comments on “guardian angles.” He went on to say that such a strong “hope” is necessary in this world.

The problem is, “hope” is not a strategy!

All of Jesus’ disciples (with the possible exception of John) were homicide victims! God declined to divinely “protect” them. They lived out their lives, and died, just like the rest of us. They weren’t divinely wafted-off into heaven and thus spared conventional death.

But, we foolishly think we will be? We seriously believe God, seeing that we are in a jam, will lean out of heaven, nonchalantly point a finger, and part the sea?

God, in His infinite wisdom, may perform miracles now and then. But, for any of us to vainly imagine that we have the right, let alone the ability, to demand that He divinely protect us from harm at any particular moment, especially when we’ve made no provisions thereto ourselves, is, in my opinion, the height of arrogance and self-deception!

The “hope” mentioned above is scheduled to be realized in the next age. Neither Christians, nor subscribers to any other religion, get a “free pass” during this one! And, Christians (and anyone else) who are unwilling to work, plan, and build, but who rather sit idle, waiting for a convenient miracle to come along at precisely the right moment necessary to bail their sorry asses out of a self-imposed jam are, yes, foolishly and dangerously delusional!

They are exactly like incessantly-whining, career, welfare-recipients, who are perpetually idle, who never step-up to the plate, and are content to wait for “the government” to do for them what they ought to be doing for themselves.

We all live on a brutally disinterested planet! Neither gravity, nor bacteria, nor lightening are “respecters of persons.” They ruthlessly attack both saints and child-molesters alike, with the same casual indifference. None care a whit which religion, if any, you adhere to.

In addition, bad people do harm to others, for reasons apparently sufficient for them, but that we may not understand. Again, they mostly don’t care whom you are. No individual, nor any group, can count on “divine protection,” and only fools do!

Little we can do change any of that. What we can do is strive to be good and decent people, and accomplish much during our brief lives. We can be honorable, respectable, industrious, caring, realistic, courageous, and dangerous. And, who knows? God may directly intervene in our lives and make us all millionaires, or he may inflict us with terrible challenges, or something in between. But, that is His choice, not ours, nor is it our place to presume to advise Him in that regard, much less make demands!

“It is not the critic who counts; not the one who points out where the strong man stumbled, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes-up short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows, in the end. the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, when he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat”