War and Fights in the Classroom

During the Fall semester of 2012, I was fulfilling some of my core curriculum at the University of Idaho.  It was an Integrated Seminar (Isem) class which is the kind of thing that is supposed “broaden” your mind and knowledge of your world; the purpose was to give you another accomplishment to make you more interesting and less bigoted.  As I was looking at the list of Isem classes, I came across one that was title “Tribal Cultures and Histories”.  Naturally, since I am a History major I figured this would be sufficiently promising class for I had thought that it would cover tribes all over our globe, ancient and modern.  I would have recommended it cover everywhere from the bushmen of Africa to the revered middle eastern tribes.  I was sadly mistaken as I showed up to my first day of class and discovered that this class was to cover only Native American tribes and what the white man had done to them.

It was not the type of environment that was supposed to make you feel guilty, although a lot of guilt was then pandered to, and the lesson plans were accusatory.  Our teacher was a nice lady whose main goal was for us to be educated about the “real” history of the founding and creation of America as a nation, and also to be prepared adequately for the likely event that we socialize and work with Native Americans.  These were things that I had no problem with other than the guilt tripping, but what I discovered as the class progressed was unnerving.

Our culture has become naïve.  They are not naïve about the history of man, but rather about the nature of man.  When some of the students read or hear about the war that was waged on the “peaceful” Indians by the colonists, they were utterly shocked.  They could not imagine that men could act in such a fashion to kill millions of people for no other reason than their personal gain.  This led me to believe that they had never opened a history book in their lives.  They had a keen distaste for these actions and felt it necessary to inform others of the atrocities committed by our white ancestors.

The absolute brain washing of the culture that has taken place in these students is done pretty well if they never notice how evil and wicked man is.  In Judeo-Christian tradition it is pretty clear that man is wicked and we should not be surprised of his actions when he is.  The Bible is full of lists that describe the condition of man and one that is popular is right out of Romans 1 which goes as such: “They were filled with all manner of wickedness, evil, covetousness, malice, full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malignity, they are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventers of evil, disobedient to parents, foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless.”  Pretty good and direct list this is, and it has proven true in the centuries before and after it.  And no better evidence is there than our present day where we see mass shootings almost as a regular expectation.  But the shock of these students over what is simply war is proof of the slow loss of Judeo-Christian sensibilities.  Our kids are being raised with dump trucks full of self-esteem that could knock out any curmudgeonly old man.  They are told that toleration is important and the only way this can be argued is if the premise that people are generally good prevails upon them.  So they walk around in the defined mental utopia where they are a gift to the human race and no one would ever say otherwise because they are pretty decent people themselves.  This is a folly that has nothing but pain and suffering ahead of it.  As these self esteem sponges begin to function in society they slowly realize that their initial opinion they had of themselves was not wholly accurate.  And it does not stop there.  They begin to see others who are undeniably better people than they are.  They will rationalize that these betters are not actually better even though the proof of their lives is a complete testament to the opposite persuasion.  If they accept that there are some people are going to be better human beings this is a first step to repentance of down right depression.  But the inconsistencies do not stop there.  They also deal with people who are worse than they are; then their emotions are conjured up to the indignant or an unhealthy amount of pride.  All the while the questions remain un-answered.  They cannot account for the wickedness that they experience in the fallen.  Things cease to make sense and they are left to nothing other than a life full of confusion, bitterness, and resent.

These fools have become popular images and have inserted this type of thinking into our media, penal system, military, and politics.  Philosophies like humanism, communism, and modern Buddhism are the refined versions of this elementary grade of thought.  Luckily, reality has a way of catching up with bad philosophy.  Before I had only mentioned that some of the students in this class were shocked at the “news”.  Others I had discovered later were of a more realistic persuasion.  They knew that everybody in every culture has had a bad day.  No one is exempt from suffering.  I said, perhaps some what insensitively, “So what?  This sort of stuff didn’t just happen to the Indians, but most every other culture who gets dominated.”  So, this was refreshing for me, as a dinosaur, that these freshmen were a bit smarter than their culture bargained for.  They weren’t acting as bigots who want to always maintain the upper hand for the white race (they were white kids).  Instead they had a cold blood towards the matter.  They wouldn’t mind seeing an evil man sent to the electric chair, because they believe in morality, so they believe in good and evil, so they see these truths to be self evident.  Some men deserve it.

“Gunn, you are a psychopath!  Isn’t it clear to you that the Native American Indians didn’t deserve what happened?”  No.  Just because they had cutsie nature philosophy does not convince me that these inhabitants weren’t also out for blood.  Some of them were nice to the white man and the white man with his ultimate knowledge of commanding and conquering pulled a double cross on the Indians after a series of unfortunate events.  My point is simple: Indians as individuals and nations were equally evil with the white man; the white man was just better and more efficient at it.  And now we have the great nation America where the prejudice is mild and the hate for one another is nicely regulated in the court system.

The Judeo-Christian tradition is under a lot of fire.  Certain moments in the Old Testament are “intolerant, bigoted, sexist, racist and unenlightened” according to the modern age.  We have grown past that and now we know that problems can be solved through dialogue.  We distinguish ourselves from the Neanderthal by not waging war.  Of course, I am speaking in a sarcastic voice.  By no means!  There is not a single legitimate argument that I can find that defends Enlightenment philosophy.  So, most of the children of enlightenment philosophy believe in it because it strokes their own egos in one way or another.  But then I should ask, “What was the argument that convinced you that Judeo-Christian morals were wrong?”  They may have not done their due diligence in finding a new belief, but what about the old?  You will find that most people have not even done this.  They have no argument other than it was too hard for them.  Might war be the default of man?  Is it possible that the natural state of man is one of war, battle and killing.  Is war bad?  They will automatically say “no!” but they would be more than willing to fight in a war to defend tolerance.  They partake of the sweet, savory aspect of war and they have just temporarily justified it.

All that we do is war against each other.  And we do this especially in a free society.  If a man stands next to another and he is of different culture, he will be resented, hated and eventually killed.  The utopia where nobody fights is an ultimately childish endeavor.  All that I should like to see in my generation is a bit of reality and hardness.  As David said to Solomon on his death bed, “Be strong and show yourself a man.”  Taking offense and demanding reparations is one the least manly things you can do.  As a Christian I recommend forgiveness.  If you are not a man of the law all one can do is pray to his God to deliver him.  Love is patient.  Love is kind.

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