According to a Fox News report I read this morning, “The older people get, the more likely they are to suffer cognitive decline. Roughly 14% of people over 71 have some level of dementia, according to the National Institutes of Health. For those in their 90s, the rate rises to 37.4%.”
As I am now 72 years old, it’s possible that my observations are no longer trustworthy. Of course, my wife has felt this has been the case for many years now. Be that as it may, it led me to think about the many religious leaders around the world who may be verging on senility. Seyed Ali Khamenei, the Supreme Leader of Iran is almost exactly one year older than myself. Pope Benedict XVI is 85 years old, and Bartholomew I of the Eastern Orthodox Christian Church is just a few months younger than myself. The Dalai Lama, Supreme Leader of Tibetan Buddhists is 77, however, the nominal leaders of Hindus and Judaism are about ten years younger. Nonetheless, I could go on and on here, but you get my drift.
In contrast, the Prophet Mohammed of Islam was 50 years old when he had his first vision, Moses was about 40, and the Mormon Prophet, Joseph Smith was only 14 years old when he had his first vision! Confucius, Master Kong to the Chinese, started teaching when he was only 32. Was God skeptical of an old man’s ability to deliver his message unvarnished and in its pure form?
When I see what is happening in Persia (Iran) and Mesopotamia (Iraq) today, I could weep. They gave us the beginnings of civilization. From the development of civil government to writing, mathematics, and organized religion, this is where we began our separation from the rest of the animal kingdom. Now look at them. The only things they lead in is hatred, fear, repression, and loathing of their fellow (non-Islamic) man.
In the centuries since the birth of Christ, who began his teaching when he was 30, we have seen nothing but privation, torture, self-flagellation, internecine warfare on a massive scale, and wholesale destruction of so-called ‘Primitive societies’ by religious enthusiasts led by guess what? OLD MEN.
. Jack Weinberg, the proto-hippy who famously uttered the phrase, ”Never trust anyone over thirty.” when he was 24 is now 72, and probably can’t be trusted. But then, neither can I.