Well, it is about a year away from the 2016 elections, and the political machine is in full swing. I am now "middle aged", and I can say that I weary of the absurdist political theater that the election cycle has become. I'm tired of the demonizing. I'm tired of the lack of solutions. I'm tired of the feeling that the entire thing is a distraction from the real issues at stake.
As an example: Recently, someone close to me sent me the following (somewhat) funny warning about a disease he calls "PIST AWF". As he describes it in his cut-and-pasted email:
Recently one of my ex-students contacted me about Satanism. This student has never been a big fan of "organized religion", but enjoys reading widely in philosophy and religion. They are now in college, and have found out about Anton Levey's Non-Theistic Satanism, and its philosophy of hedonism and self-fulfillment, and they wanted to know what I thought. So, here is what I shared with them:
Tonight, as the media was broadcasting the terrible news of today's terror attacks in Paris, one of my students emailed me this question:
"As I come back home from a long day... [I am] watching the news about the shootings and bombings in Paris. NPR, the TV, and all my social media are swarming with the news. Everywhere I am seeing #PrayforParis, and it makes me wonder, does it really matter if we pray for these things? Prayer alone will not mobilize action, and although it is a nice gesture, what is the purpose? Is this because it is more convenient or commonplace for us to pray about something than to go and send money, or take reactive measures? Surely many more people will know about this news than the amount of people that will do something to actually help the situation."
And so I replied, summarizing some points I made in some previous essays on prayer here and here: