Thursday, December 03, 2015

The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, 2015

In the biblical book of Revelation, verses 1 through 8 of Chapter 6 introduce the figures we know today as the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. Only one of them (Death) is actually named; the others are simply described - War, Famine, and Pestilence.

But the Bible was written more than a thousand years ago, and things change. The traditional Four Horsemen certainly are still with us, but I contend that they are slowly being displaced by the updated Four Horsemen - Vanity, Ignorance, Demagoguery, and Denial.

Vanity is exemplified by self-important celebrities and political figures interested only in their own self-aggrandizement. Many televangelists, and rabble-rousing community leaders like Al Sharpton follow the Horseman of Vanity.

Ignorance is exemplified by those who deny evidence and blindly follow their prejudices. Those who choose to ignore common sense, compassion, morality, and established science in favor of blind religious belief follow the Horseman of Ignorance.

Demagoguery represents political blowhards who rage endlessly and irresponsibly, without regard for the consequences of their ravings. Right-wing TV and radio gasbags like Rush Limbaugh, and irresponsible politicians like Donald Trump and Ted Cruz follow the Horseman of Demagoguery.

Denial is the twin brother of Ignorance, and represents those who blindly follow their chosen beliefs, regardless of all evidence to the contrary, refusing to admit or acknowledge objective reality. Climate change deniers and Second Amendment zealots follow the Horseman of Denial.

America is a free country, although there are those who would play upon our basest instincts and fears in an attempt to take those freedoms away. Nobody will ever take away the hundreds of millions of guns now in the hands of people who take counsel of their worst fears, but our other fundamental freedoms - of speech, peaceful assembly, and religion - are on the block*. We are afraid of the wrong things.

Look around you. Think. And if you're going to follow a horseman, do it at the track.

Have a good day. More thoughts tomorrow.


* Look under "p" for Patriot Act.


Elvis Wearing a Bra on His Head said...

These New Four Horsemen are omnipresent now. Great blog post Bilbo!

John Hill said...

"We are afraid of the wrong things."

Indeed, we are.
Good post.

Mike said...

I think the pace of displacement is a little faster than slowly.

Rammer Jammer Yellow Hammer said...

Excellent post!