I always wanted to be the radio Dee-jay (Chris) on Northern Exposure. Sometimes I think about how my blog could function like a radio program and I could dispense daily philosophical sound-bites about the lives around me. Every day I think I’m going to start doing that but then I get mired in the heavy and the dark because that’s what’s going on in the world and lives around me.
Also, I’m not that wisdomous.
In the shower yesterday I had a whole conversation in my head (though, theoretically I was having it with you) about how annoying I find it when Christians mention God’s “unconditional” love but then proceed to tell you all you have to do is “believe” and pray and not sin and if you sin you have to ask forgiveness. God’s forgiveness is only given if you ask for it. His son died so you could beg and maybe receive forgiveness, apparently. And in some Christian sects you have to “do penance”.
Those are a lot of conditions.
Fealty isn’t love. Worship isn’t love.
Then I was answering those Christians who want to know why I feel it’s okay to question their faith and pick it apart. This is the price of evangelism. All my life I’ve had Christians of one kind or another come to the door of my own home to try and convince me that their faith is the only way to be a good person. That without their faith I will perish in a pit of fire. Trying to convince me that God loves all his children equally, except for all the ones that don’t obey his rules.
All my life Christians have been shoving their religion into laws that effect everyone. They’ve infiltrated politics to a toxic degree. To a degree where a lot of people seem to think it’s a requirement for the president of the United States to be a practicing Christian.
If someone’s religious beliefs are brought to the door of my home and if their religion directs the laws that rule my daily life then I have every right to examine it, to question it, to pick it apart. If someone tells me that their belief is the ONLY way to live a righteous life, to be a good and moral person, I’m going to hold them to the standard they claim they live by, and that they claim makes them superior. Even though I know, as a rational person, that all humans are fallible.
Shove your shit in my face and I guarantee you it isn’t going to smell better than anyone else’s.
I’ve never once felt the need to question or pick apart Hinduism. I’ve never once had a person of the Hindu faith try to convince me they’re more moral than atheists or people of other faiths. I’ve never once had a group of Hindus knock on the door of my home and tell me that my way is the wrong way and that I can’t be a good person unless I worship as they do. I’ve never once had my freedom of choice threatened by the Hindu agenda. There is no Hindu agenda.
I know not all Christians are evangelists. All I can say is that the pushy members of your faith are ruining a lot of shit for the rest of you.
In the same way some asshole atheists certainly make the rest of us look like jerks too. I had no idea there are atheists out there trying to convince others to be atheists and being assholes about it. A friend told me she’s been treated to some of their shit and I said “But atheism isn’t a faith. It isn’t something you believe in. It isn’t something you convert to. There are no rules. There’s no congregation. It’s simply the word for a person who doesn’t believe in deities.” But I guess humans like to turn everything into a religion. Humans like rules and they like groups.
If all Christians tucked their faith up in their hearts and concerned themselves solely with their own life choices, their own relationship with God, and let it be the private thing religion should be – I’d never stand in the shower wondering why God, in his “infinite” love and care of his children, allows so many 5 year old’s to be raped? Why does he allow wars to happen? Why does he allow the children of faithful Christian followers to die horrible deaths from cancer?
If that’s what infinite love looks like, I don’t need any part of that.
This is why I’m not a light radio philosopher. I can’t keep things light. I can’t keep them down to digestible sound bites.
I’ve been thinking so much about racism in my country too but I haven’t written about it much because it’s too huge, too epic, and I don’t even know where to begin. It’s important, it may be one of the most important things this country needs to address and fix and even harder than religion to sort out and heal from. I’ve been doing a whole lot of listening to what people of color are saying, talking about, and hearing their stories.
I read Frank Rich’s incredible interview with Chris Rock and this is the most brilliant explanation of race relations I’ve heard. Rock says:
“When we talk about race relations in America or racial progress, it’s all nonsense. There are no race relations. White people were crazy. Now they’re not as crazy. To say that black people have made progress would be to say they deserve what happened to them before.”
Because it IS crazy to own other human beings and abuse them and work them to death and take and sell their children and to rape them. It’s not just crazy, it’s fucking evil. And that slavery is what our country was founded on. Not morality, not Christian values, but a barbaric system of human ownership. And there are a lot of white people who never got over the civil war and never got over the civil rights movement.
“To say Obama is progress is saying that he’s the first black person that is qualified to be president. That’s not black progress. That’s white progress. There’s been black people qualified to be president for hundreds of years.”
So I haven’t been talking a lot about racism but I’ve been soaking up all the stories that are happening right now, the awful miscarriages of justice, the shooting of unarmed black people, the conversations around it all, the white people feeling defensive and trying so hard to fight against our own inevitable march towards progress.
Change happens to all of us whether we are ready or not. Whether we willingly change or wait until circumstances force us to. Boiling points are being reached in this country and one way or another, change is coming.
I’m not on vacation even though Philip and Max are. I’ve spent most of today playing with Geronimo, the semi-feral foster kitten, and writing this post. I work tomorrow. Time just slips the fuck away from me.