Ok, it’s almost Massive-Food-Intake-Day, so what better time to dive back into the murky world of organized religion, and the sometimes difficult/impossible aspects of these cultures, that make individuals from said establishments nigh-intolerable to communicate with.
There is a particular one-two punch of non-tolerance/exclusionarianism that I find particularly difficult to stomach – and that is the “My true/correct/right ideology is not only the most right, but it flat out destroys your sad theories” followed up by “Whoever you are, regardless of your beliefs or life, you need to acknowledge the importance and necessity of my Very Correct Truth, and let it rule your personal life” (aka moral legislation and/or cultural imperialism)
On the first point, I do understand there are times when moral relativism does not jive with a particular belief system (or parts of it) There may in fact be times when believing ‘x’ necessitates that ‘y’ is incorrect. That, in and of itself, is not problematic to me…but quite often what accompanies that stance are the following two behaviors: a) no longer listening, because the ‘right’ answer has already made itself known, therefore there is no reason to listen to anyone else’s viewpoints – and, b) a sense of superiority (often hand-in-hand with a disgustingly mis-formed false modesty) that just radiates and oozes into many different conversational and day-to-day aspects of life.
On the second point, the need to forcefully ensure that others are doing precisely what you think is right or wrong, is one of the deadliest non-virus related issues that humankind has ever dealt with. (You might think this hyperbole, but a quick stroll down the sweet memory trail of wars and persecution will more than speak for my assertion). If you believe that homosexuality is a sin, and that others who engage in such activity are literally, and actively, causing irreparable harm to you and your loved ones – you are not only a fucking moron, in the broadest sense of the word – I might also guess you wouldn’t really be able to back up your stance on said issues, beyond quoting out of context/culture passages of scripture, or catchphrases that your religion packages for your use in the ‘war against values’ or whatever utterly useless and damaging rhetoric is the most recent iteration of ‘words to put in peoples’ mouths, to ensure that power hierarchies don’t become any LESS relevant.
I’m not saying that all things are acceptable, but I do believe that cultures, people, and the way in which we live and express ourselves, are all constantly evolving processes – and we need to actively engage with each other, ESPECIALLY when we have different thoughts on what is right and wrong – so that as a community, we can collectively come to understandings of a basic outline of what is acceptable, and what is truly dangerous.
[editor’s note: after re-reading, I see that the following mini-rant is kind of a mess…but I’m going to leave it unedited, just to convey my emotional meaning…even if it’s a tiny bit of a nightmare-paragraph…enjoy?] Steering just slightly away from religion (but not too far, really) – I can say that it is laughable that some individuals have been so brainwashed to believe all liberals want to take away the guns of hard-working, trustworthy, god-fearing individuals…but I also acknowledge that history certainly points towards different governments and empires, ESPECIALLY when they are on the verge of crumbling in various ways, seek to squash their thumb on the populace, removing all types of freedoms… and the very concept of mildly paranoid militias is not the CRAZIEST thing I’ve ever heard… But when you get past the hard-edged gun vs. no-gun arguments and hatred and name-calling… and you look at the many various flavors of mass shootings over just the last decade – I personally am outraged that 90% of our country isn’t telling our representatives that they need to get their act together and find a way to have a meaningful discussion on how to improve the life and safety of individuals in our country, REGARDLESS of how much money the NRA and other lobbyist groups dump in their lap.
Oops – did I stray away into a different topic? Yeah, that happens sometimes. I guess I see too many similarities in too many ways, when it comes to the duality of our current Western mindsets. Everything is us vs. them… 2 stories, one is right, and one is wrong. It doesn’t matter if it’s religion, politics, sports-team-loving, dress code policies, tax codes, honey distribution methods, etc. If it’s possible to have an opinion about something, someone else nearby will embrace the opposite, whatever that might be, and seek ways to categorically adopt said standpoint into an ‘all or nothing’ acceptance of what is fundamentally Right.
I don’t have the answers, but I do think I am pretty high above the curve when it comes to listening to multiple sides to a story, before determining what I think is best (and then always retaining the right to re-engage, consider new information, and keep an evolving mindset, on all things) Anyone who ever tells me their religion, dance group, book club, etc requires that I accept something as absolute, and never wonder or question it again – I will shut you down firmly and authoritatively (in my own head, at least)
Let us be open to arguments that are constructive. Let’s challenge each other by NOT labeling and throwing out names and hate. Let us all look around and genuinely believe there is enough goodness in humanity, that we are all capable of determining aspects of the BIG THINGS, without an institution telling us our instincts are invariably wrong, and we need to stop rebelling, and just do what we are told.
I’m the sensical turtle, and I just want better, for/from all of us.