October 3, 2017
By: Thomas Belskie

I keep seeing a lot of reactions to the horrible, horrible mass shooting event that occurred in Las Vegas and I see a lot of prayers going out, a lot of people calling on God or Jesus. They’re nice sentiments, but I think we need to wake up to what’s actually true.

Praying won’t do anything. The world has needed Jesus and/or God for a long time and let me tell you something, they ain’t coming. That much is clear. If they exist at all, they’ve been asleep at the wheel for quite some time. No diety is coming to save us from ourselves. I understand the impulse, but no one is coming to the rescue. It’s just us.

It’s pretty horrific and uncomfortable to confront the fact that life is so mercilessly random. To think that someone has a plan, that someone is in control and that everything happens for a reason provides a refuge from that discomfort. So like I said, I can understand the impulse to tell ourselves stories to make sense of it all. But we need to stop. We need to realize that we’re the only ones who can fix this.

I try to subsist on a low-information diet as much as I can. I bury my head in the sand because if I don’t do that I fear I’ll fall into a deep pit of despair. But eventually, I need to breathe and so I take my head out of the sand. And every time I come up for air, things seem to get worse. I’m a relentlessly positive person, for the most part, I believe in human beings capacity for change and transformation. So I always have hope. But lately, I can’t seem to escape this sinking feeling that eventually, human intelligence will indeed prove to be a “deadly mutation.”

For a few seconds just contemplate the fact that we have a very large amount of people in this country who passionately and with great enthusiasm, lobby for the right to produce and carry weapons that were designed for war, or put another way, weapons that were designed for the explicit purpose of killing humans. In fact, in their fantasy we would have more guns on the streets, more individuals armed and carrying concealed weapons. I don’t want to mince words, you’d have to be mentally deranged and/or totally f***ing stupid to think that scenario makes us safer.

Also, contemplate that we know climate change is happening. We know it’s not good. But here, in this country, we celebrate and promote ignorance and a disdain for intellect along with a brazen disrespect for science. We’re not going to do anything about it, and we’re going to break our arms as we pat ourselves on the back celebrating American exceptionalism.

Lastly, contemplate the thousands of nuclear weapons spread out across the globe. Yes, thousands. A handful would surely bring the planet to its knees and yet we have nearly fifteen thousand throughout the world. When I look at all this along with the sharp divide, not just at home, but all over the planet, when I see the roots of discontent taking such a strong hold everywhere and I think about these things rising to a fever pitch…it’s hard to believe in any god.

This is on us. We’re the only ones who can provide the solutions we so desperately need.

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