Chapter Ten: Our Legacy: “The Clock’s Running”
I’ll end this book with a few words from Frank Sinatra that appeared in Playboy Magazine in 1963. He first stated:
“I believe in you and me. I’m like Albert Schweitzer and Bertrand Russell and Albert Einstein in that I have a respect for life — in any form. I believe in nature, in the birds, the sea, the sky, in everything I can see or that there is real evidence for. If these things are what you mean by God, then I believe in God. . . Now don’t get me wrong. I’m for decency — period. I’m for anything and everything that bodes love and consideration for my fellow man. . . I’ve got no quarrel with men of decency at any level. But I can’t believe that decency stems only from religion.”
Then he went on to say:
“Have you thought of the chance I’m taking by speaking out this way? Can you imagine the deluge of crank letters, curses, threats and obscenities I’ll receive after these remarks gain general circulation? Worse, the boycott of my records, my films, maybe a picket line at my opening at the Sands. Why? Because I’ve dared to say that love and decency are not necessarily concomitants of religious fervor.”
The interviewer from Playboy said, “If you think you’re stepping over the line, offending your public or perhaps risking economic suicide, shall we cut this off now, erase the tape and start over along more antiseptic lines?” Sinatra responded: “No, let’s let it run. I’ve thought this way for years, ached to say these things. Whom have I harmed by what I’ve said? What moral defection have I suggested? No, I don’t want to chicken out now. Come on, pal, the clock’s running.”
The clock’s running. Darlison wrote that, like Jesus, we are all crucified between two thieves, those thieves being our past and our present.
“What do these bandits steal? They steal our life. They are the past and the future, the twin thieves of everyone’s life. . . The past consumes us with regret, remorse, revenge, nostalgia, habit; the future eats away at our life with anxiety, uncertainty, procrastination, fear. . . We enter into the life of promise today. Now. It’s now or never. By destroying, or transforming, those twin thieves of our lives we enter into a whole new way of being, resurrected life, when the tomb which held us fast is broken open . . . This is the consistent message of the world’s spiritual traditions. This is the perennial philosophy.”
As I said earlier, it wasn’t the wizard who brought Dorothy Gayle back home; but the truth is, it really wasn’t the kind and pretty Glinda either. It was Dorothy herself who had the power to transform her life. She didn’t need to follow the Yellow Brick Road to the Emerald City to find a powerful being to grant her wish. She could make it home on her own. And she was happier in her own little house with her family and friends in good old Kansas. Dorothy finally realized that the life she was given was enough for her; likewise, our current earthly lives should be enough for us. Let’s not ignore our vital present in order to weep over our sinful past and dream of a future castle in the sky in a city of gold. Despite what we may have been told, this is not a dress rehearsal; this is the main event. My friend John Marra wrote, “Since this is the only life any of us can actually be certain of, let’s try to fill it with all the love, joy, and happiness we possibly can because it’s so precious.”
The clock’s running! If there is more after this life, great; but destroying one another in search of an ideal that may never come to fruition cannot be the right way to live. All religions, including Christianity, separate humans from one another when even the biblical scriptures urge unity. I hope it won’t take much more time before we realize that when we leave here we may go the way of every monkey, squirrel, and cockroach; therefore, our time, money, and energies should be used to help one another live a better life now (here, on Earth, in Kansas or wherever we may be), because we don’t know what is beyond the grave. Even if we exist after this life, it may not be as the people we are now (or as people at all). The only legacy we may have is whatever we create in the here and now. Let’s make the only life we know we have one of acceptance of all people, regardless of their religious views or way of life that may be different from ours. As my friend Dale Stanford said, any god who might be out there watching us will surely honor that behavior.
This book could be my undoing in the eyes of many—the last straw for some or the final nail in my coffin; and my friends and loved ones will no doubt wonder why I don’t pretend I still believe in Yahweh and Jesus rather than bringing disrespect upon myself and creating shock waves in my personal environment. The answer is the same as it would be if I had been worshiping Baal, Mithra, Chrishna, or Hercules, and I suddenly discovered that my god wasn’t real. Would I keep quiet then and feign belief in a pagan god just because the crowd was worshiping him? No, I wouldn’t. I can’t profess to worship a god I consider to be pagan (no matter how many others believe in him), nor can I worship a human being (Jesus, if he was truly a historical figure). I also can’t, and in my opinion shouldn’t, keep quiet. I must raise my voice along with the voices of others who are breaking the shackles of superstition and paganism. So my readers can feel sorry for me, they can pray for me, they can even turn me over to Satan. But let’s let it run.
Tina Rae Collins
My goal is to share my book The Judaeo-Christian Myth one article at a time. If you find these articles interesting or you don’t think I’ll reach my goal (always a possibility, I suppose), and/or you just can’t wait, you can purchase the book by clicking on the picture above or the title in this paragraph. Thanks for reading!
 “Frank Sinatra’s views on organized religion were decades ahead of his time,” deadstate.org, 29 Aug. 2014, web, 8 Nov. 2014.  “Frank Sinatra’s views on organized religion were decades ahead of his time.”  “Frank Sinatra’s views on organized religion were decades ahead of his time.”  “Frank Sinatra’s views on organized religion were decades ahead of his time.”  Darlison, “Two Thieves.”  John Marra, facebook.com, 24 June 2015, web, 24 June 2015.