A couple of friends of mine have noted a "negative tone" when I write on certain topics (particularly climate models, recycling, energy conservation, and organic foods). While I have not written on them, other things that will generate a negative tone in conversations with me (this list is not all inclusive):
- 9/11 conspiracy theories
- Moon landing deniers, Area 51 fanatics, and Roswell Incident theorists
- Conspiracy theories involving the Freemasons, the Tri-Lateral Commission, the Council on Foreign Relations, the Bilderberg Group, the Bohemian Grove, the Federal Reserve Bank, and the Order of Skull & Bones
- The phrases: (1) War never solved anything. (2) Give peace a chance. (3) Bush is a Nazi. and (4) Cheney is a war criminal.
- Christian fads like "The Purpose Driven Life", "The Prayer of Jabez", and "The Passion of the Christ"
The conspiracy theories are topics that at least entertain me with their creativity. I loved the X-Files and all the conspiracy theories that went with it. I followed the show closely until Scully said, "I yearn for you, Mulder" sometime in season 6 or 7. That was the end of my avid viewing days. In any case, most conspiracy theorists are looking for ways to explain world changing events with secret answers. I believe in the Occam's Razor approach for these types of things (i.e., the simpliest explanation is probably the best explanation). In the cases of 9/11, the JFK assassination, or events and activities surrounding Area 51, I believe that the government has concealed things (probably with good reasons) and this concealment caused people to fill in the blanks with sinister motives and connections that are really not there.
The phrases really set off my pet peave meter because they reveal either a unrealistic naivite or a complete misunderstanding of the English words that make up the sentences. For instance, what solved the problem of Fascism in Europe and Japan? If your answer was diplomacy, then your history books tell a much different tale than mine. I believe in Reagan's attitude of "Peace through strength," but that is not generally the meaning intended by those chanting for us to give peace a chance. The Nazis placed Jews, gypsies, and other "undesirables" into concentration camps, convinced the guards and the population that they were less than human, and executed over 6 million people in a systematic way. War criminals are those that ordered these things or carried them out without question. How can anyone make a serious comparison of those two things with the current occupants of the U.S. executive offices? The idiocy of that blows my mind.
It is possible to disagree with someone without the other person being a Nazi or war criminal. It is possible that both President Bush and Vice President Cheney believed that Saddam Hussein had WMD. The WORLD knows that he had them at one time because he used them against the Kurds. It is also possible that President Bush wanted to liberate Iraq and place a democracy in the Middle East as a future ally.
Finally, the Christian fad thing kind of drives me a little batty. There is nothing wrong with churches being "seeker-friendly" as long as that does not interfere with the worship, fellowship, and teaching that should be the basis for gathering as Christians. These fads are generated by slick marketing campaigns and advertising. I feel like I am being sold something (toothpaste, deodorant, etc.) rather than being fed as a Christian.
Since this post was a response to a comment on my attitude toward recycling and energy conservation, I will summarize why I feel the way I do toward these kind of things. As I have said in other places, I believe that we are stewards of all that we are given. I don't believe in wasting energy or polluting the planet. However, we have been sold a bill of goods that tells us that recycling and "negawatts" can get us out of our current energy crisis. If the U.S. is going to have economic growth, we must have affordable energy. The surest way to recession is put the cost of energy out of reach for the industries that need it. So, the negative attitude is not directed at those who reduce, reuse, and recycle. It is reserved for those policymakers and environmental activists who believe that we can save our way to economic growth and prosperity.