Chaos: A born-again god

Ed Raymond

I pledge to maintain a good constitution as I pray to liberal gods and goddesses
I suggested as a former member of the Fargo School Board that, as Homo Sapiens have been around for 300,000 years, we have pledged allegiance to thousands of gods. Why not name a different god for each daily pledge? In five minutes of Googling I discovered thousands of gods created by Homo sapiens during that short span of time. World history teachers could establish a comprehensive list to be used for each day – and teach a lot of history in accomplishing the task.

In that we are living in a chaotic period, we should start our pledge list with Chaos, the Roman god in mythology who created the Earth and the Heavens. (Gee, I wonder where the Christians got their idea?)
The Romans and Greeks pray to a lot of gods and goddesses. Aphrodite is a beautiful Roman chick while Venus fills that role for the Greeks. Mars is the Roman god of War while Ares is the Greek Secretary of Offense and Defense. The Romans significant gods and goddesses are familiar names to history buffs: Diana, Minerva, Ceres, Pluto, Vulcan, Juno, Mercury, Vesta, Saturn, Neptune and Jupiter. I wonder if Extreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett, who was raised in a Catholic cult that placed females under males all the time, is ever jealous of Venus, Minerva, Diana, Aphrodite and other Roman goddesses who often lead men.

The most famous Greek gods are Apollo, Areas, Dionysus, Hades, Hermes, Zeus and Poseidon. I see scientists have estimated the oceans will rise a foot soon because the Greenland icecap is melting. I bet Poseidon is checking on that critical fact right now.
Here are a few more gods and
goddesses from powerhouse societies
We have a great grandson named Odin after one of the 15 greatest Norse gods. Surt created the earth and is named as the destroyer of Earth when that happens (soon?). Norse gods are powerful and don’t screw around. Thor is the god of war. How many wars has Norway lost?
Among the 15 are Freya, Loki, Balder, Tyr and Frigg, just to name a few. Remember when Freya the walrus was killed because she might hurt somebody when she sunbathed in a harbor by climbing into boats? At about 1,300 pounds she damaged some boats and was later killed by environmental agents. The Norwegian populace was unanimously pissed about her untimely death.

Egyptians have been recording their gods on tombs and monuments since 3000 B.C. The sun god Re controls the sky. The god Atum keeps Egypt from chaos. Egypt has 15 major gods and goddesses – and hundreds of minor ones.
The African continent is loaded with gods of war. Has there ever been a period in 300,000 years when African tribes were at peace? The god Ogun defends the Yoruba tribe. He wears armor and has red eyes.
Kibuka is the Buganda god of war who becomes a cloud in the sky, killing opponents by raining spears and arrows. The war Goddess Menhit leads Egyptian armies into battle and kills with fiery arrows. Apedemak is a Nubian warrior god with head of a lion. Africans are blessed by hundreds of gods.
The Hindu religion based in India has many thousands of gods who accept prayers. The three most important are Brahma the Creator, Vishnu the Preserver, and Shiva the Destroyer. Hindus have eight other major gods: Ganesha, Krishna, Rama, Hanuman, Lakshmi, Durga, Kali and Saraswati who form a rich “tapestry” of Hindi beliefs.

Aztecs believe religion, science and the arts mesh into their beliefs, and it requires about 200 major gods and goddesses to fulfill their lives. The Aztec religion focuses on the heavens, fertility, and agriculture. Tlaloc, the god of thunderstorms and rain, takes care of Heaven while goddess Tialtechhuti controls Earth. Ten other deities maintain aspects of Aztec culture.

More than two dozen Celtic deities represent worshippers residing in England, Wales, Ireland, Scotland, France and Germany. The horned fertility god Cernunnos is a major god. (Is this where we get the idea that being horny means we’re sexy?) Everyone studies the Celtic Druids and Stonehenge in English history and literature.

The Mayan society predates the Aztec. Six major gods and goddesses create the Earth and its inhabitants when they lie in primordial waters. Later they assist from wars to childbirth, and establish feast days and monthly celebrations in the calendar.
The Chinese have given the world three major religions: Confucianism, Buddhism and Taoism, each loaded with hundreds of major and minor gods and goddesses. Major gods include “Eight Immortals,” “Two Heavenly Bureaucrats” and “Two Mother Goddesses.” No wonder the Chinese are known for their inscrutability.

Japan is not as complicated as China when it comes to gods and goddesses. Japan has the seven Shinto gods of Good Fortune, two major gods known as Izanami and Izanagi and hundreds of minor ones. Remember that Emperor Hirohito was considered a god when he announced Japan’s surrender to American General Douglas MacArthur in 1945. Dugout Doug also thought he was a god.

The U.S. government has recognized more than 550 Native American tribes, so I will describe the gods and goddesses of the Lakota tribe because they occupy reservations in Minnesota and the Dakotas. Anpo has two faces and is the spirit of the dawn. Kssa is the spirit of knowledge and wisdom who invents language, stories, games and built the first lodge in which fire was placed in the center. Hanjwi is the spirit of the Moon, and as goddess is the spirit of motherhood, constancy, kinship and feminine things.

Babylonian gods ruled the most ancient of cultures on Earth, and because of age developed thousands of gods to assist them. Early Christians latched themselves to many of the thousands of minor gods before they accepted the biggest and strongest God of all – the one we capitalize in respect of his creations in the Garden of Eden. The Bible is filled with references to both major and minor gods. (At least, that’s what some Bible experts say.) Older civilizations have creation myths trying to explain the world was created from chaos. There’s no doubt the Roman God Chaos is still alive. He may be destroying the Earth.

It could be a fascinating history lesson to have god and goddesses from different countries in that pledge spot, “under _ _ _,” for thousands of days and meetings. If you believe in the power of prayer and you have hemorrhoids, pray to the 7th Century Roman Catholic Saint Fiacre.

Should we teach hard history or soft history in public schools?
First, let’s answer the question: Why do we have public schools? We must have a system to develop educated, productive adults out of our young people so America gets better and better. As an example, we must learn why median White households have $188,200 in wealth while Black households have only $24,100. The average wealth of White households is $983,400 while Black households average $142,500. The difference is based on the fact Whites have the richest households. Whites who compose 60% of the population own 84% ($64 trillion) of the total household wealth, while Blacks who compose 13.4% hold just 4% ($4.6 trillion) of household wealth. We must recognize that critical race facts can tell us why. We must study all facts in “hard” history courses in order to get the answer.

Trumplicans do not like the correct answer because they would lose power to maintain the status quo. They don’t want their children to know the facts. Legislatures in 36 states have proposed bills that would severely limit teaching about race, gender, and American history. Nineteen censorship bills have passed in the last two years. White nationalists, fundamentalist and evangelical Christians and conservative Roman Catholics are attempting to create a whole generation ill-equipped to participate in our multiracial democracy. “Soft” history classes lead to autocracy because of ignorance. “Hard” history classes lead to democracy because voters have learned the correct answer.

From buckshot fired by the Ku Klux Klan to arrests made for watering flowers
In our retirement years we have spent many days camping from Destin, Fla., to Key West because my oldest brother retired to Gainesville and Ocala. We have tracked the Gulf Coast and the Atlantic Coast, and even spent time in The Villages, that haven for Trumplicans. We have spent a lot of time in St. Augustine because it is the oldest continuously inhabited city in the U.S. Also, being at our advanced ages, we wanted to drink from Ponce de Leon’s Fountain of Youth. We visited the Slave Market, old Spanish forts and other historic places. At one time it was the most violent segregated city in the country.

Washington Post reporter Martin Dobrow on Aug. 28 published an article about two 99-year-olds and one 96-year-old who are deeply involved in the struggle for civil rights in St. Augustine. The title is “The Hatred these Black Women Can’t Forget as they Near 100 Years Old.” In that the average life expectancy for Blacks is now 65 as compared to the Whites of 77 years, it’s amazing they have lived this long.

Cora Tyson helped shelter Dr. Martin Luther King when he led protests in the city. He sipped her sweet tea on her porch until the black cars flying black skeleton flags with the white-robed KKK threatening to kill him approached the house. She often went down to the old Slave Market and joined White and Black teenagers wounding each other. Her house is now on the tourist list.

Janie Young Price at 96 has been very angry since she came out of a segregated hospital at the end of her shift and discovered her car was on its back in the parking lot. Recently she experienced hate again at a Howard Johnson when a White woman sitting near her shouted: “Ew, it stinks in here! Someone must have left the sewer open.” King used to hide in her house when he preached at St. Augustine churches.

Barbara Vickers remembers crouching in a small house on Scott Street when the KKK peppered her house with buckshot from pickup trucks and killed a dog in the house of her neighbor who was one of the civil rights leaders in the city. She still recalls being shouldered off the sidewalk by White girls when she was eight years old.

These three women lived “hard” history. They lived through hundreds of critical race facts that need to be taught to fully understand the growth of a democratic society.
A man in Alabama was just arrested for watering flowers. He was a Black man at a White man’s house. He was a Black pastor who was asked by his White neighbor to please water the flowers while he was gone for a week. Some White called the police. Look it up. Read about it. Then read critical fact history books.