“When the gates are all down, and the signal is flashing,
The whistle is screaming in vain,
And you stay on the tracks, ignoring the facts,
Well you can’t blame the wreck on the train.
__ Don McLean
Those lyrics came to mind while reading an account of the Red Pill, Blue Pill controversy currently occupying space in the ongoing left versus right face off. The reference is from the movie “Matrix” where the character Neo, questioning, well, the truth of everything, is given the option of taking one or the other of two pills, one blue and one red. The character, Morpheus, explains that the blue pill will allow the taker to remain in ignorance, accepting whatever life brings and believing whatever he is told. Taking the red pill will bring complete knowledge of how everything actually works. For you movie buffs out there, I mean only to simplify a complex plot line, not alter or diminish it.
Rather than discuss the relative merits of choosing the red or the blue, our left-leaning friends on this side of reality are trying to stake some claim to cultural ownership of the concept and insert gender fluidity as the underlying reason the choice is being offered. In effect this would move the conversation from the sublime to the ridiculous. I would opine that the choice offered Neo is more closely akin to that given Eve in the book of Genesis. God has placed two trees of note in Eden, the Tree of Life and The Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, the first being analogous to the blue pill, the latter to the red. Adam and Eve are permitted to eat the fruit of the Tree of Life but not the other. When the tempter comes onto the scene he encourages Eve to eat the forbidden fruit, she does and the rest is history.
What isn’t explored in the short narrative in Genesis is what would have occurred had she chosen otherwise. While it is not spelled out the logical assumption is that nothing would have changed. Status quo would have meant that Adam and Eve, an immortal couple, would have continued to be the only human beings on the planet, living forever in the Garden of Eden. The fall from grace introduced the couple to mortality and they were exiled from Paradise to face a harsh reality that included pain, suffering, the necessity of earning one’s survival by the sweat of the brow and now that death had come into the equation, the need to procreate in order to continue the species. A tough consequence for the first couple but sort of necessary for the rest of us to even be here.
The red pill, blue pill conundrum from the movie directly corresponds to our current political landscape, down to the coincidental color scheme. Those aligned with the red want a sovereign nation with equal justice, enforced borders and an equality of opportunity not outcome. The red side favors free market capitalism, lower taxes and smaller government. Those opting for the blue are either profiting from the destruction of the country or are oblivious to what is happening around them. Ignorance may be blissful for the ignorant but it wreaks havoc on those who recognize the difference between good and evil.
Due to my biblical references above I feel that a disclaimer is in order; I am not an atheist, I have a profound belief in a Supreme Being controlling the universe and all that is in it. I simply do not believe that I am in a position to second guess a Creator who for his own purposes could construct a limitless universe, include this minor planet of 7.7 billion inhabitants, share his word with those individuals and then allow that word to be open to an unlimited number of interpretations and put it into the hearts of some of “His people” to slaughter others of “His people” in defense of their unique interpretation of that word. To my limited intellect Divine Reasoning is inexplicable, as I suspect it is to many who would have us believe they have a hot line to Heaven.
Many decades ago I took a course in comparative religion and finished with more questions than I had when the course began. Now that politics in our beloved country has taken on many of the aspects of conflicting religious beliefs, a claim to inerrancy, rigid dogma, destruction of non believers and that nagging assertion that “my mind is made up, don’t confuse me with the facts,” I find myself back in the same box, too many conflicting ideologies on the blue side and too little resolve on the red side.
Meanwhile, as we blithely carry on our tea party in the middle of the railroad crossing, augustly debating how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, the train of destiny is barreling down the track, soon to crash our party.