Sunday, March 8, 2015

History's Demise

Reading in the NY Times about the widespread destruction of antiquities by the ISIL hordes in Iraq struck a chord with me. 

If people do not have to be confronted with their history, then they are free to believe anything they want. People seem to be afraid of history when it clashes with their belief system.

I have read and heard it before. For example:

In 2001, the Taliban destroyed Budda statues that was the country's most famous tourist attraction. 

There are those who deny the holocaust ever happened.

Those who want to believe that theirs is the only civilization that ever existed.

Those who rewrite history to make their more prominent or more important.

Those who strike words from speeches and books which are contrary to their beliefs.

Those who ban books, like Tom Sawyer and The Wonderful Wizard of Oz from school libraries because they contain values contrary to their narrow beliefs. 

Some people operate on the principle of: Don't confuse me with the facts.

I must strive not to impose my narrow beliefs upon the world and eradicate things that do not conform to how I believe. The world is too big and my mind is too small appreciate the diversity that is set before me and as I grapple with making sense of everything, it is too easy to eradicate those things that disagree with my beliefs--so that I don't have to deal with them.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD
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