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Weekly Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Opinion

Friday, January 14, 2005

Smokey Briggs

Sage Views

By Smokey Briggs

Puritans - holy rolling
thugs that live on today

I am afraid we will never escape our Puritanical heritage. Regularly I read newspapers and listen to the news and promptly lament the religious background of the Mayflower invaders that began the process of taking this land from the native inhabitants who had taken it from the previous native inhabitants.

While the inconsistency and hypocrisy of many of our current modes of self-flagellation make me wince, what really makes me cry is the amount of time people waste trying to make sure that not only they live a pure life but that they cram their version of a pure life down my throat as well. The Mayflower gang of holy-rolling Christian thugs started this trend and it just will not go away, no matter how many reasonable immigrants we import.

Now, donít get me wrong. I have no problem with the extermination of the native inhabitants who occupied these lands after taking it from some other native inhabitants going back at least 10,000 years according to the last book about manís adventures in North America that I read.

Men taking land and stuff from other men is the part of the natural order of things. Yeah, we like to talk about civilization but what we forget is that civilization is nothing but a survival mechanism that makes us more capable of defending against such incursions - and mounting them ourselves.

Western manís version of civilization has proven superior to all others in our ability to wage war and take what we want, and I am quite proud of my ancestorsí accomplishments.

The Greeks stopping the Persians at Marathon and later Salamais. The Romans final victory over Carthage and Hannibal. Western Europeís subjugation of Africa, China, Indo-China, and North and South America - those are honest accomplishments. What I have a problem with is the individual self-hate, your-going-to-hell-if-you-donít-think-like-me, actually-enjoying-life-is-evil, hypocrisy the Puritans and their descendents seem to worship.

And, it is not even the individual beliefs or the constant campaign to enforce their beliefs on the rest of us that really gets me. What really gets me is the amount of time they waste in the process - theirs and mine.

Time that could be spent on something meaningful.

Instead we have constant cultural warfare regarding everything from drinking beer to cock fighting to tobacco to whether I wear a helmet when I ride a motorcycle.

How many millions of man-hours have been flushed down the toilette that could have been spent actually doing something worthwhile that did not involve a would-be Puritanís pet peeve.

Time that could have been spent doing something decent for a loved one or friend, or reading to a child, or building something worthwhile that other men and women would use and enjoy, or maybe just contemplating the goodness of God and beauty of this world that we inhabit.

Instead, we spend hour after hour, and week after week, trying to make sure that the rest of our neighbors donít commit the petty sin of the hour.

How many hours have we spent trying to outlaw chicken fighting?

Really, who cares. These are chickens. Roosters have a brain the size of a pea and are capable of thinking three thoughts - eat, fight,Ö Iíll the leave that last one to your imagination.

Tobacco? Ooooh, it is evil. Smoked, chewed, dipped or sniffed if you listen to the crusaders the stuff is worse than heroin.

Is it good for you?

No.

Is it any of your business?

No.

Alcohol?

Same answer. Suicide?

Same answer.

If I want to be a fat slob and eat Double Chubby Cheese Burgers three meals a day?

Same answer.

Motorcycle helmet laws and seatbelt laws? Same answer.

Those are personal choices - and free people make those choices for themselves for better or worse.

This is stupid stuff folks. It is a waste of time.

And, it appears to be getting worse - to the point that now we are taking our Puritanical leanings and trying to inflict them on the rest of the world.

Today we crow as much about women not having to wear a mask in Afghanistan as we do about our supposed victory over terrorists there.

Whether or not the Afghaniís or the Iraqiís or anybody else treats their women folk the way we think they ought to, or the type of government they erect, is none of our business.

If they create something that poses a danger to our country - kill them.

That is fine.

But imposing our cultural values on them? That is a waste of time - and morally wrong.

It is none of our business.

And, just from reading the rest of the news - we have more pressing problems to deal with here at home.

Like a failing educational system, ever increasing governmental intrusion in our daily lives, taxes that continually rise, and generations of children that are hooked to television sets like life support, growing pollution etcÖ.

Somehow, whether Juan and Bubba chew tobacco and drink a beer while they watch their chickens fight just does not measure up.

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