The Tacet Underground

What if He didn't exist? At all. What if long ago, visiting ETs decided that the easiest way to keep these creatures (us) complacent was to chisel out some stony rules and promise a heaven and a hell, much like a kindergarten teacher promises stickers for good behavior and time out for bad behavior? Sure - it's crazy. But just for a minute, what if?

What if the bible is not the 'word of God' as it is so flippantly called while held up and venerated? What if you discover that it is a collection of stories jotted down by the fallible and earthly predecessors of Aesop and the Brothers Grimm, later bastardized and edited and tilted to meet the selfish needs of a corrupt church hierarchy?

What if you woke up tomorrow and none of it made sense anymore? 'Why would an all-seeing and all-knowing god be vengeful?' 'Why revere a book that promotes misogyny, revenge, slavery and killing?' 'Am I a thinking person, or was I indoctrinated before I had a chance to make a choice?' What if it all seems so remote and unbelievable that when someone brings it up, your brain has to click into gear: "Oh yeah! - I forgot that people still believe in that!"

Imagine how truly looney it would then seem if you heard the DOJ's very own Imp of Darkness justifying the cruel and inhumane treatment of emigrating children by quoting a bible verse. Imagine how genuinely frightening it would be to hear former White House aide Omorosa Manigault Newman report that Vice President Pence thinks Jesus tells him to say things. For the almost one out of four Americans that do not believe in God, it is chilling.

The Founders were very clear about the need for separation of church and state:

"The purpose of separation of church and state is to keep forever from these shores the ceaseless strife that has soaked the soil of Europe in blood for centuries."

In this, one of the most fatherly-feeling quotes from our Founders, James Madison and the other framers are looking out for us in the way that parents try to impart hard-learned wisdom upon their children. How many times have we wished our kids would listen to us?

There is a musical term, tacet. This tells the musician to do nothing - still pay attention to what's going on, but do nothing. To make a sweeping and reckless generalization, atheists know how to tacet. It is simply easier to nod and smile and say nothing than it is to get into it. Sure, there are atheists at every turn that have no problem declaring their non-belief, but they didn't get there without also learning how to deal with feelings of disenfranchisement, ostracization and condemnation.

It isn't always easy to say, "I don't believe in god" when those around you do and when the indoctrination you've received makes you feel many emotions - but primarily guilt - just for entertaining the idea. Even for the loud proclaimers, it is usually easier, quicker and less trouble to tacet.

The approximately 25% of Americans that make up this Tacet Underground form a much larger subset of the population than the 1% that are Muslim, the 2% that are Jewish, the 2% that are Mormon, the 4% that are either LGBT or Q, the 12% that are Black or the 19% that are Hispanics/Latino, yet these other groups are constantly protesting, demanding and making themselves the news while atheists are mostly content to tacet and pay attention.

In 1795 John Adams said, "The government of the United States is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion."  Atheists take this seriously and are deeply offended when ignorant people like Donald Trump pretend that it is.

The Vice President's proclamation that he is a Christian first, a conservative second and a Republican third is deeply offensive to the (at least) eighty-some million Americans that do not believe in his god and consider that statement alone to be grounds for him to be removed from office. On the other hand, even nonbelievers may sometimes hope that hell exists, comforted by visions of Jeff Sessions roasting marshmallows with Beelzebub.

As has happened over a long period of years with the LGBTQ community, 'coming out' as an atheist carries less of a social stigma with each passing day, although small town folk and conservative communities may still find a way to disparage anything out of the norm. Time passes and the number of people that distinguish themselves as atheist will increase as the stigma lessens and the dark side of religion is continually revealed by people like Jeff Sessions, Dana Rohrabacher and Donald Trump who insist on evoking the Bible and Jesus for evil.

By 2020 the Tacet Underground could include not one in four citizens as it does now, but one in three. That would be over a hundred million Americans that don't want to hear religious dribble or quotes from the bible, but instead want logical and well thought-through plans based on research, testing and evaluation. At some point our politicians are going to have to grapple with the fact that one out of three Americans think the bible-thumpers and scripture-quoters and evil-doers are more than a little nutty and start giving us more than the incessant stale rhetoric about abortion, guns, gays and God.

A Beautiful Sight

It's easy to complain … seems like I've been doing it nonstop since November '16. Determined to write something positive today, I asked myself, "What is the most beautiful thing I have seen lately?"

The answer was there waiting for me before I could finish the question: those students in Florida. The way they marched to Tallahassee determined to make a difference. The way they tempered their anger and pain with their intellect and handled themselves in a manner we can all be proud of. The way they were filled with, and inspired hope; beautiful, human hope.

If I was in a complainy mood, I might mention that by and large the Florida elected representatives blew the young people off, and how sad it is to see their hopes get dashed. But I know all too well that although I'd bet that our leaders will give gun control measures lip service for another couple weeks before letting it drop and hitting up the NRA for another donation, I hope to God I'm wrong. Even I still have hope, which gives me hope! And I know in my heart that those brave students did not have their hope dashed, their determination lessened or their ideals diminished.

Perhaps hope is our greatest attribute; the never-dying idea that no matter how good or bad things are, they can be better. Hope is what keeps us going, striving to reach higher. Hope is why we seek and accomplish and love and dare to take risks; hope that we can give our children more and our spouse a happy life and ourselves a feeling of accomplishment. Hope that we can still make a difference and hope that this is a nation in which children and teachers are not scared to go to school.

After a fashion, even complaining is hoping - if you didn't think things could be better you wouldn't take the time to complain! Hope always seems to be there, nudging us along. Maybe if we all hope together our leaders will finally put lives ahead of dollars, kids and teachers ahead of campaign promises and the spirit of the Second Amendment ahead of misinformation and put some restrictions in place.

Ready? 1 2 3 hope!



A graduate of Portland State University, Steve (Reeno) Kloser is the author of Beginning Band - A Guide to Success and Let's Make Music - Classroom Recorder Course. He is also an accomplished teacher, conductor and composer, having penned numerous pieces including La Vida and Fly With Me.

Teacher, cook, Packers fan and proud American, Reeno's usually slanted outlook often presents an unlikely perspective on issues old and new.

Reeno currently lives in Portland, OR.


Follow Reeno on Twitter

Some Will Go To College - All Will Go Through Life complete as a .pdf
School is for Winning
as a .pdf

All Hail the Chancellor
posted Jun 15, 18

Trump and the Big Leagues
posted Jun 11, 18

Bogus Commission on School Safety
posted Jun 08, 18

To Insure Promptness in the Age of Entitlement
posted May 31, 18

LBGTQ Housing
posted May 27, 18

Timeless Trump
posted May 24, 18

Being Mean to Kids!
posted May 22, 18

R.E.S.P.E.C.T. for Professors and Teachers
posted May 20, 18

School is for Winning
posted May 16, 18

The League You Need
posted May 12, 18

Just Login
posted May 09, 18

Seven Words
posted May 04, 18

Some Go To College - All Go Through Life pt1
posted Apr 20, 18

Some Go To College - All Go Through Life pt2
posted Apr 19, 18

Some Go To College - All Go Through Life pt3
posted Apr 18, 18

Zombie Pedestrians
posted Apr 18, 18

Leaders in School
posted Apr 04, 18

Opiates - Hey Doc! A Little Help Please
posted Mar 19, 18

The Grass is NOT Always Greener
posted Mar 14, 18

Teachers and the Sun
posted Mar 13, 18

Can Social Media Contribute to Mental Health Issues?
posted Mar 08, 18

All You Need is Love … and enough money
posted Feb 24, 18

Teachers and Guns
posted Feb 22, 18

NEA or NRA?
posted Feb 21, 18

I don't (k)NO(w)
posted Feb 20, 18

Dear ESPN
posted Feb 18, 18

Helmet to Helmet HIts Must Go
posted Feb 06, 18

Software Abuse
posted Jan 15, 18
Alphabetical Listing

All material posted within this website ©2017 - 2018.
Unauthorized duplication or reproduction is forbidden.
Please with questions or comments.

For reliable information about marijuana, click to TruthAboutPot.org

Image of the moon by Central Meridian Photography