The Author at Manoa Campus
18 December 1998
by David Arthur Walters HAWAII CORRESPONDENTS
Honolulu—I feel the profound faith, yet when I hear the word “God” being vehemently hurled from the preacher’s throne like a punitive thunderbolt, so emphatically pronounced with its vowel extended in a U-shaped lilt by a frantic minister jabbing at some moral point in empty space with his stiffened right index finger while waving his clenched left fist, I feel that a misdemeanor is being committed, a crime that could, unless the case in point is adjudicated by the justice of the peace in accordance with good reason and common sense, lead to felonious misdeeds under the dubious cloak of spurious religion.
Too much blood has already been shed under that baleful disguise, and it continues to abundantly flow at some distance east of here almost on a daily basis. It is as if the earth has an unquenchable thirst for blood in that exotic realm where fine moral distinctions, invisible to us, are to them matters worth killing for. We can see the masks covering the nostrils of those who search the carnage for their relatives, but the ghastly smell of that death is thoroughly masked for us by our antiseptic media. We feel immune to the artificial causes of that premature decay even when our own self-elected moral authorities come out of the shadows where they lurk in bitter resentment and insidious envy, and proceed to seize the opportunity to drag us ever so hatefully, yet with beatific smiles on their faces, through the dirt of those interpretations that they attribute by projection to their manufactured idol in order to save themselves from personal responsibility. Such is the path to the graveyard of desire.
It is ironic how many fighting men have died for quiddities with promises of resurrections to Paradise made to them under solemn oath still ringing in their ears, an oath fervently sworn to as an absolute truth by the very same men who are quick to condemn perjury as a sure route to Hell!
In view of that blood-drenched, exotic ground where men murder each other over obscure niceties, it would be apt for us to elevate the aforementioned misdemeanor to the status of a high misdemeanor; that is: an act expressing criminal contempt for supreme authority, committed by a person who claims high office. May we join in impeaching the sanctimonious man who, with reference to the word “God”, proudly elevates himself above the law of the land, and upon survey of the dirty details necessarily beneath any universal ideal, self-righteously pronounces and denounces the sins and prescribes retributions? Fortunately he, whether he be a fraud or merely negligent, cannot fill his pious prescriptions; however, his influence, in the absence of reason and the virtues of the very religion he unwittingly defames, can be most pernicious, as I have indicated without reliance on or reference to any authority superior to my naked personal opinion.
And that is the point, that honest and informed opinions must be our guide, and not some hateful neurotic ideology erected as a wretched defense against the anxiety of our contradictory existence. The more freely those opinions are expressed, the more informed they shall become under the influence of our self-critical modifications of the public criticism. Only when we have been disillusioned of the fraudulent appeals to a contrived ultimate authority shall we be free to live in the most satisfactory ways and look to the future with hopes not poisoned by the ill-conceived and truly blasphemous condemnations in the name of “God.”
Finally, for any one of us to name the ineffable, and to place the ineffable into a nominative case with nouns, is merely absurd, but to profess to judge others with the authority of the ineffable is certainly an impeachable offense, and those who fail to make the charge may themselves be impeached for the imprision of a high misdemeanor.
David Arthur Walters