I finally finished The Case for God. I must admit, slogging through 80 percent of the book to get the history does indeed pay off in the end when the case for God is finally laid before you.
History is a fascinating thing. I remember my mother telling me how lucky I was to have been born in the United States. (Personally, I think I might have been born in Germany, where my first memories are, and my parents expected me to run for the Presidency someday. But, hey, maybe that copy of the birth certificate is correct.) The possibilty of being born in a place where children were starving was always at the dinner table. I of course didn't stop there though. I wondered what it would have been like if I had been born an African-American. How would my life be different? Sometimes I would wonder what it would have been like if I had been born at a different time. How would I have existed without television, or a VCR?
Throughout my life I have done this. I know we have all asked ourselves what it would be like to be a famous movie star or have wealth. The odd thing is now I wonder what it would have been like to have been born in a different time when religion was presented to me in a different way. Some of the historical ideas come closer to my view of God than do the beliefs of many today. Another odd thought is in asking myself why now I am not a conservative. I am currently a fervant believer in the status quo. That to me was the definition of "conservative" when I was younger. I wanted things to change, to be better. Now, as I get older I still have most of the same ethical values, but instead of wanting things to change, I just want to stop bad things from happening to an imperfect but tolerable status quo.
I voted for the first 4 years of Reagan. It is a blot on my otherwise perfect voting behavior. The reason? I saw a person who said they were going to cut taxes and cut spending. Half of the equation really didn't make the cut. :) Cutting taxes and increasing spending (with the borrowing necessary to do that) wasn't logical but the electorate continued voting for anyone that would do this. But it was a tribute to my inner conservatism that I did vote the way I did, the first time I believed a politician would do what he said he would do.
Why as age enters the equation, am I not a conservative? Ask me instead why I am not a Republican. I am conservative. Mess with my status quo? I will not surrender. Yet, all of a sudden, Standard and Poor's rates the way things are, and they aren't kidding. I wish people would stop catching up to me claiming victory long after I have concluded the race and am in the cooling down walking period. Leave me alone. Reganomics, tax cuts, Iraq War, more tax cuts where millionaires get vast amounts of the pie, making medicare a giveaway program to the drug companies, renewals of the tax cuts. Your race is over. Leave me my medicare, as it is, as it was promised to me.