about "The Best Comic Strip Ever!"

The characters in my strip, set in Africa's Western Rift Valley, are: the Foolish Pride of lions (Leon, the haughty and lethargic King of Beasts; his queen, Leona; and their cub Lionel, an unpromising heir to the throne); Secretary Bird, a liason between the Royal Court and the rest of the animals; cerebral, man-imitating Ape, a reader of the Substandard; peevish Rhinoceros; harmless but senseless Ostrich; Crocodile, resident of the much-frequented Watering Hole, and his dentist, Crocodile Bird; Honey Badger (alias Ratel), the "Meanest Animal in the World", and his one associate, Honeyguide; Mumbo the elephant, a descendant of Jumbo and a butt of jokes about his weight and the size of his ears and nose; Duncan the dung beetle; ill-favored and unwashed Warthog; the craven, henpecked male and shrewish female hyaenas, both of them foul-smelling and perpetually at war vs. the lions; the mistaken-identity-plagued zebras; slow and superannuated Tortoise; Oxpecker, a companion of large herbivores; Hugh the chamaeleon; and walled-up Mrs. Hornbill.

The Best Comic Strip Ever!

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31 March 2017

Uncommon Commentary #532: This UC Is No Joke, and So I'm Not Posting it Tomorrow

We're accustomed to thinking of patriotism as a virtue, but, really, the world would be a better place if there were no patriots.  Adverse effects of nationalist feeling include:
⦁ Motivation for belligerency.  Most wars have been fought for the sake of national aggrandizement. (Don't misunderstand me: It nearly always speaks well of a volunteer soldier that he is willing to die for his countrymen.  It would speak far better of him, though, if he were willing to die for his fellow man no matter where that fellow man lives.)
⦁ Bigotry and xenophobia toward actual foreigners and toward persons perceived as foreign.  The existence in history of the Ku Klux Klan, National Socialists ("Nazis"), and a legion of similar groups provides abundant evidence of this.
⦁ Politicization of international athletic competitions.  Why should we root against someone from Botswana or Cambodia or Surinam, just because he's not "American" or whatever?  Why should a Russian judge pressure a French one into awarding an Olympic gold medal to the Russian entry rather than to more-deserving Canadians?
⦁ Chauvinism and chauvinistic delusions.  One of the multitude of instances occurs in a 1914 book by German physicist Philipp Lenard, who therein accused all British scientists of having plagiarized the work of German scientists!
(The above does not mean, of course, that all patriots are warmongers, perpetrators of hate crimes, chauvinists, &c.; but there certainly would be far less evil of these sorts if people would stop taking their earthly nationalities so damned seriously.)
Most insidiously, national ideologies can cause us to believe things that are incompatible with, or even antithetical to, the faith that we profess.  The secular conceits of countries where Christians compose the majority often are contradicted by Christian belief; certainly this is true in the land of my earthly sojourn, the USA, despite its reputation among well-meaning wishful-thinkers for having been "founded on Christian principles" by those Deists and Freemasons whom we call the Founding Fathers. (The central theme of US ideology is "fighting for your rights", which is the opposite of the Christian virtue meekness.  If you want a more specific example: try to reconcile the Declaration of Independence's assertion that sovereignty resides in the People, who therefore have a right to resist a government that endangers the People's liberty, with Romans 13:1-2, which tells us that authority to rule comes from God and that anyone who resists the ruler resists what God has established, making himself liable to damnation!) Because of what I call the "God-and-country attitude", viz., the tendency of someone who is patriotic to also be religious and of someone who is religious to also be patriotic, Christians don't realize that nationalism is a form of worldliness, and, as such, is something that they ought to try to avoid feeling.  (Said attitude may be a subconscious cultural relic or legacy from the days when, prior to the rise of supra-national faiths like Buddhism and Christianity, religion was very closely identified with nationality; even YHWH, who now has billions of worshipers all over the globe, originally was regarded merely as the tutelary deity of the Hebrews.)  Where the beliefs of our country conflict with those of our religion, we must always choose the latter.