I have been thinking much about the idea (by no means original) that much of Western culture, and particularly American culture, has turned us into walking advertisements. Perhaps “turned” is not the appropriate word as it seems to convey the idea of a forced or necessary metamorphosis, but in any case it has occurred. It should be noted that I am by no means immune from this effect. Indeed, I am very much defined by who I wish others to perceive me as.
While I am not sure what factors have facilitated this almost universal aspect of our psyche, I would say they are in large part materialism, poorly chosen priorities, improperly bolstered self esteem, and other features of low character. These things, and others like them, drive our desire to be connected with certain brands, activities, and even the communities we choose to associated with.
The forms in which we present our advertisements are almost as numerous as the brands themselves. We wear t-shirts, hats, and all manner of clothing (down to our underwear) that are chosen not only for the unique brands and ideology they present to our observers, but even for the specific brand of clothing we are willing to be “caught dead in”. It has become important to us that those around us know that we prefer Pepsi over Coke, that we listen to NPR, that we are inspired by Che Guevara (without knowing what he did or his impetus for doing it), and that we think marijuana use should be legal.
I would suggest as a follower of Christ that we should strive to obliterate this idolatry from our lives. I would further suggest that eliminating idolatry (of this variety as well as all others) will be the result of a more robust dedication to obedience to The Great Commandment (Matthew 22:35-40), and an equally robust pursuit of The Great Commision (Matthew 28:18-20). As we focus on loving God with every aspect of who we are, we will begin to supplant our desire not only to be concerned with what others think of us, but also with what we think of ourselves. Likewise, if we focus on going, baptizing, making, and teaching we will be less inclined to be concerned about what we look like when doing it, as well as when, where, and with who we are seen doing it.
A post from Slashdot mentioned research which seems to indicate that the older a man is when he fathers a child, the higher are the chances that his offspring will inherit detrimental genetic code. This makes me wonder if it is not our moral obligation to father children only at a young age. Perhaps men should be sterilized at a given age as mandated (and payed for no doubt) by the government? After all, if genetically engineered babies are societie's moral obligation, surely fathers of appropriate genetic superiority and age are as well.
According to an article from the Telegraph as referenced on Slashdot, Professor Julian Savulescu suggests genetic engineering of our children is a “moral obligation”. To be clear, ending the lives of babies that are not genetically “superior” will raise the balance in the moral checkbook of humanity? I am not against genetic “engineering” that does not involve the destruction of “sub-par” humans, but destroying those individuals we deem as less suitable for living in our society is the diametrical opposite of moral. Our moral obligation should be to preserve human life, not destroy it.
What is on your wish list? Mine will take me several years to fill, if ever. In addition, I will have to learn to hunt, but it on my bucket list.
Ruger 10/22 TD — I want to get back into reloading as soon as possible, but I also want to get my hands on a good rifle for a “zombie appocalypse” situation, and to teach my kids (and myself) how to shoot a rifle…for cheap.
H&R Buffalo Classic — I have considered a lot of options for my first big boy gun, and after doing my research, and with help from my friend r1kk1 on the AmmoSmith forum, I have decided on the 45-70. This gun is affordable, and good looking.
Glock — I will use this for everyday carry…in my house and garage. There is no CCW in the horrible state of Illinoguns.
Ruger SP 101 — For CCW in every other state in the Union but mine.
I would like a shotgun for clays and/or hunting, but I have not decided on a particular model. I would love to have a Browning “Sweet Sixteen”, but my Father-In-Law has one and I am hoping he remembers me, uh, I mean his daughter, in his will. A nice over/under scatter gun would be nice as well, but a nice over/under will cost more than I am willing to spend.
I would like a bolt action in one of the 22 caliber chambering for varmint hunting. I have not picked a specific round or model, but it will be one of the rifles manufactured by Savage Arms.
I would like a “black gun” for home defense and fun. Again, I do not have a specific model in mind, or even a make, but there are LOTS of choices. Ruger (my favorite firearm manufacturer, as you can tell) makes a black gun, the Ruger SR 556, but I am not crazy about it. Smith & Wesson also has a line of ARs, but there are also several makers that specialize in these weapon systems such as DPMS. Possibly I will build my own.
I would like to own a black powder muzzle loader just for fun, and to learn more about firearm history. I have not researched this category of firearm yet, but a quick Google search yields many options including Veteran Arms, LLC.