Died on 2 September 490 BCE – Pheidippides, who, though he is likely a legendary figure, was the Athenian herald who purportedly ran the approximately 26 miles from the Plain of Marathon to Athens in order to announce that the Persians had been defeated.
Today, the heirs of Athens, those who value reason, science, and fact, need more victories in their war with the current “invaders” from the East, who in this case are the most relentlessly theocratic members of “the faithful” among the children of Jerusalem, the true believers who threaten our Republic and the world with irrationality, superstition, and bigotry-laden fantasy. And before someone chides me about this posting, please know that what at least one major church group still calls “The Age of Faith” is better known to history as “The Dark Ages” – and for very good reasons. Remember that fact the next time you hear some deranged politician talk about either unconstitutional “faith-based initiatives” or scripture-based opposition to gay marriage (as their equally ignorant and hate-filled predecessors once found solid scriptural support for slavery).
Athens has won against long odds before; those of us who treasure that city’s cultural bounty, who treasure the better expressions of Western Civilization, can do it again. But we should not be deceived; if there is the possibility of moving forward, there is also the possibility of moving backward. If there is enlightenment, there must, perforce, also be endarkenment. Read, study, and think critically: In that manner we both affirm our Athenian heritage and best arm ourselves against the contemporary barbarians with their hatred of things factual, truthful, and reasonable.