A young German, Diren D., an 18-year-old exchange student from Hamburg, Germany, was fired upon with a shotgun and killed while entering an open garage in Missoula, Montana: yet another death that can be traced back directly to the NRA and its Republican and conservative Democratic backers.

This death seals America’s reputation overseas as an irrational, gun-toting, free-wheeling country unrestrained by education, the rule of law, ethics, morality, or religion. It is becoming, and in large part already is, the land—not of opportunity as it once was (corporations in America who run all things have dealt a death blow to that once-heralded idea) but a land of right-wing fanatics, without culture, commonsense, education,  or any genuine spiritual formation.

Take a Nazi; subtract his Germanness; add a lethal dose of Christian Fundamentalism; invest him with extreme anti-rational individualism; subtract all traces of the humanizing effects of Western Culture and of a Liberal Arts education, and you have the new right-wing, Tea Party Republican fanaticism that is the equal of al-Qaeda in its antipathy towards our modern, Christian, constitutional, tolerant, and humane way of life.

This anti-government movement is not a simple return to the frontier-life of the Old West, as the notorious cattle baron Clive Bundy and his ad hoc group of assault-weapon-wielding thugs would have us believe, but rather a return to the Dark Ages, when chaos ruled, and reason, like Oedidpus, was by emotion self-blinded, and everywhere life was without the humanizing effects of culture that alone make us rise above our mere animal nature.

The mind cannot sustain itself by its naked self alone. Subtract 4000 years of culture embedded in a liberal arts education; reduce Christianity to either  strict literalism or convenient liberalism; and this is what prevails—man’s merely instinctual, irrational nature.  God’s once-proud creation has been tragically humbled by excess, greed, sensualism, unreason, and the paucity of true culture, logic, and authentic  spirituality.

Let no one underestimate the power of culture and of a genuine liberal arts education in humanizing our rough animal nature. Spirituality alone is insufficient. For we must always make choices, and choices depend upon reason, logic, culture, education, and commonsense.

We are now becoming more and more bereft of these all-important humanizing qualities. And as a consequence we are now entering our own Dark Ages, with its chaos, lack of respect for human life, fearful insecurity, obsessive greed, sensualism run amock, self-satisfied blind ignorance, and a titanic narcissism.

The Age of the Enlightenment, whatever ameliorative effects it once ushered in, has long been over. Darkness and Chaos increasingly exert their baleful influence on our once-praised and emulated American way of life.

Len Sive Jr


“At every crossway on the road that leads to the future, each progressive spirit is opposed by a thousand men appointed to guard the past.” (Maeterlinck)

      “Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.” (Voltaire)

It is absolutely stunning that in the 21st century we have people who hold great power, many of whom also aspire to the highest office in the land, who are themselves intellectual, spiritual and moral throwbacks to the Wooly Mammoths and Neanderthals. To use another image, they are “flat-earthers;” and no amount of science is able to get them to see the earth as a “sphere rushing through space around the sun.” For them the earth is flat, the sun travels around the earth, and the earth is 5000 years old—and nothing, least of all science, can change a “flat-earther’s” mind!

Armed with an amendment sponsored by Republican Rep. Max Teeters, the Wyoming Republican Governor Matt Mead has just signed into law  a bill that prohibits state funding for the Next Generation of Science Standards (NGSS)—an attempt by states to have uniform science standards nation-wide—because it accepts as facts both human-induced global warming and evolution. Does one weep—or laugh hysterically? Or perhaps both: first laughter at such insanity, then tears over such implacable, ideological ignorance as not even a lunatic would rejoice in. It is shameful beyond all reckoning, and shows just how ignorant and benighted are Republicans who hold political office.

Opposition to human-induced climate change has come from ( inter alia) the coal, auto, and oil industries, which have given hundreds of millions of dollars to fight controls on greenhouse gas emissions by secretly funneling money (for example) through (Republican) Think Tanks and other conservative organizations so as to give, deceptively, the appearance of intellectual inquiry, rigor, and debate on this issue. But it is all an elaborate charade. Yet again we witness how the wealthy and corporations diabolically influence public opinion in order to further their single-minded goal of unlimited profit and power—and the public weal, indeed the entire globe—be damned.

The NRA wrote and lobbied for and pushed through, thanks to overwhelming support by Republicans, a bill allowing guns on college campuses in Colorado. Never mind that unanimous opposition exists among police chiefs, professors, college presidents, and others directly affected by this bill. The NRA made sure that the bill, in the House, would pass over any and all objections. That’s what deep-pockets buy—unhindered influence. And that why lobbying as a source of influence, and the NRA, which uses lobbying to push it narrow objectives while ignoring the larger issue of public safety, are together America’s Public Enemy No. One.

The Right-wing speaks of “big government” and how it is taking over control of our lives. But the truth is, it’s big corporations, and organizations like the NRA, The (Right-wing) Enterprise Institute, and other ideological, conservative groups, that increasingly threaten the safety, health, and welfare of both our individual and communal lives—whose sole purpose is to increase corporate wealth and power.

Corporations far outstrip the government in reach and power, and thus are the real threat to our constitutional way of life—indeed, the danger of big government, by comparison, pales into insignificance. When year after year, now, the weather has become more bizarre and fantastically dangerous, not just in the US, either, but around the globe; and every credible scientific community unanimously cites human-caused greenhouse gases as the culprit—the super-rich and corporations still refuse to acknowledge the evidence because it would mean added costs on their part to lower such human-caused greenhouse gases. Forget what’s good for America or for the world; money is all their god—which is exactly why they are so dangerous.

If America is to move forward—and not backward; if it is to enter the 20th century (let alone the 21st) and provide affordable, and multiple, mass transportation systems for the whole nation (as ALL other industrialized nations have); if it is to stop human-caused greenhouse gases, and instead develop safe, renewable and sustainable sources of energy (and to hell with the auto/oil/gas/coal industries self-interested opposition); if  we are to have sane gun laws that make our nation safer rather than more dangerous (and to hell with the devilish NRA); if we are to focus once again on family, church, local (well-paying) jobs, education, and a rich and varied local communal life where small is decidedly better (and to hell with globalization, and bigness, and “made in China”—if we are to do these commonsensical things, then our great nation may once again thrive; but if we do not, it will surely die—slowly, painfully, and tragically.

Len Sive Jr.


The NRA (The National Rifle Association), after close council with Mephistophiles, and after rejecting out of hand Gabriel’s prudential warnings on behalf of the Lord, has lobbied the House to pass legislation allowing guns on college campuses. A more sinister, godless, diabolical bill could hardly be imagined. To allow 18 year olds the right to carry weapons, let alone on college campuses, is beyond all sane imaginings and is further proof, if ever one needed it, that the NRA is the devil’s own progeny and seeks to work his will of injury, terror, suffering, chaos, sorrow, and death whenever and wherever possible.

The NRA has long been the handmaid of the devil; it’s just that conservative Christians think about the devil only in ways suited to extend their narrow theological/political agenda; and liberal Christians don’t much believe in ontological evil. But evil surely exists. The NRA is proof, had we needed any.

The NRA—and its devilish supporters, including weapons manufacturers (like Remington Arms)—wants you to think of these issues of carrying weapons in political terms that obscure the larger religious dimension involved. What else would we expect from the Father of Lies? Under pretence of the 2nd Amendment, Satan hisses out his defense of weapons, which only cause 50,000 deaths a year (!); and when the NRA sees England’s negligible number of deaths each year due to strict gun control laws, the devil bristles and spews out irrelevant, sinister arguments. (Why is it that there is no general outrage over the huge number of gun-related deaths—in ten years 500,000 deaths! That’s the carnage of 10 Vietnam wars! But where is the outrage? Where?)

It is Dante’s Inferno, however, which brings home the fruit of the NRA’s satanic actions. For who in their right mind would give a weapon to an adolescent who may, and probably will at some point, abuse drugs and/or alcohol? Truly only Satan himself could conceive of something so diabolical, so sure to cost precious young lives on the threshold of adulthood. The Inferno would surely be the appropriate punishment for sowing so great a societal evil. Violence is not the path to the Kingdom of God. Christians are adjured to turn swords into ploughshares as the one true path to God. Weapons disbursed societally among our young, immature, often reckless youth is indeed Satan’s own plan to increase sorrow and the pain of shattered lives and families.

Profit über Alles again proves the surest path to Hell.

Len Sive Jr.