Sunday, September 24, 2006

Roles, beliefs, faith

In marriage we all assume certain roles.
What I would like to know is when did my role include being the person that has to clean up after pet "accidents"? No, really. I have no aptitude for this. I am sure I never tested so high on this skill I had to be the person that cleaned up cat vomit, dog vomit and small half eaten animals left as gifts.
My husband does the fake retch and wails he will throw up. I fall for it every time because along with pet mishaps I am responsible for cleaning up family mishaps...I really don't want to have clean up cat vomit and husband vomit.

I had a cat that I thought if human would have been a serial killer with a fetish for positioning his victims. I saw rabbits arranged to maximize outrage and horror. Why? He was a very nice kitty, well mannered and loving but at least once a day some small animal would be attacked from behind, dragged into a dark place and......violated. Then all their bits inside and out would be artfully displayed on the back step. I know this cat thought it was an important gift to present to his family but why in a million little pieces?

Yes, I had to clean them up too.

My husband had his awful chores too, he has to clean the, the pain, the smell..Yeah, right. He also does the dishes. I hate putting my hands into a pool of warm water filled with the unknown world of floating bits of half chewed food.

I watched a documentary this evening called Religion, the root of all evil. Wow, the hate was a living thing. Good thing all those religious people read their respective bibles that tell them to love their neighbour right? The hypocrisy was everywhere. Every religion practiced the exact same form of it except for the Muslims. They were completely honest. They( to paraphrase) said the only true religion is Islam and the Islamic soldiers will take over the world soon enough so you might as well convert now before we kill you. They weren't bullshitting and strangely I felt that was refreshing, scary as hell but still refreshing.

I agreed somewhat with the thesis of the documentary but I don't think religion in and of itself creates fanatics. I think religion is a haven for a fanatical mind. If your father wasn't quite right in the head and he was forced to go to church from a very young age he may interpret the church teachings a little differently from someone whose brain is normal. He may then get married and have children. He will then raise his children in the church of his mind, his distorted version. If this happens enough you will have a generation raised in a radical interpretation of the "bible".
David Koresh was attempting this. The polygamist outcasts in Utah do this. A lot of fundamentalist Muslims have been raised this way.
So, it wasn't the religion that created the evil, it was how some people with distorted thinking interpreted the religion they were raised in.
I note this because none of these people use the whole book , the bible, the Koran whatever. They cherry pick what they like and they ignore the rest. When asked about this practice they have these amazingly convoluted and increasing bizarre rationales. They lose the ability to apply logic to any argument and devolve into "you are calling me names and that makes you an evil person" whine. It is quite amusing to watch grown men use less logic than your average five year old to explain why they do one thing God tells them to but not another.
What was also funny and sad to watch was fat, white Christian church leaders whining about how persecuted they were in a room full of Jewish rabbis and African American evangelicals.
Hell, there was a Muslim Imam sitting there looking more than a little bemused.

I have to say my favorite part of the documentary took place in Jerusalem where this man was giving a tour of the "church" that purports to be built right over the very place Jesus was crucified and the narrator asks him "You don't really believe any of this do you?" and the guy just completely ignores the question. You understood immediately that this was this guys job, his employment, believing or not believing didn't enter the equation. The priest whose job it was to "guard" this sacred area was busy on his cell phone complaining that "he wasn't going to work tomorrow because he had four days off and they better find someone because he wasn't coming in." There was no spirituality there, only commerce.That was Christianity.
The Jews and Muslims were hardcore. I honestly believe if it was your job to guard something with those two and you got caught on your cell phone bitching about your schedule they would find a frontline for you somewhere and hand you a gun.
Jews and Muslims don't screw around with religion in the holy city. They may be polarized and hate each other but they share a common radicalism that the Christians will never reach.

I think religion is just a tool for crazy people with charm to find other crazy people to boss around.
It's all about a polarizing belief. All our most famous fanatical mass murderers had an unwavering belief, a faith in something that made it seem to them perfectly righteous to murder. Their belief was so strong, so damn unwavering and scary it persuaded millions to fall in line.

Think about it a little like the twenty million Americans that watched Greys Anatomy last week. Those people believed that it was better than CSI. Then there is the twenty million who watched CSI last week and said it was better. They were on at the same time so a choice had to be made.
We can safely assume that out of that 40 million people 39.95 million of them watched either show for amusement and if both shows disappeared it wouldn't affect their lives in any meaningful way.
But for that last fifty thousand? They would be upset. They would write letters, they would complain. It would change their lives. A television show.
So what if a few of these people were crazy and they created a group, had meetings, made plans. Charles Manson, the man who murdered John Lennon, the stalkers that break into peoples homes.Each one had faith, a polarizing belief. They were crazy but they believed. What if they found a few thousand followers? What damage could they do?
Now try a few billion who all just love that bible story they read, a million crazy people to lead them. What damage could they do?
People are sheep, groupthink can take over a lot faster than any one of us would like to believe and the end result is fanatical fundamentalism be it George Bush or Osama Bin Laden.

Your belief, your faith is all about where you live and who you live with. It's an accident of birth.
What we call terrorist? They call them soldiers, what we call soldiers? They call terrorists.
Fanatical fundamentalism isn't always religion.
The US has a fanatical, fundamental belief that they are the leader of the free world, the US believes that it's policies, it's beliefs are good and right.
The US imposes this fundamental belief through war. It is so fanatical it is willing to sacrifice the lives of it's own citizens. It is willing to kill women and children. It is willing to torture to meet it's goal. The US is willing to endanger it's own economy, it's own survival.
The US is not pushing religion, it's pushing it's beliefs.

Most of the Middle East does not believe any of the US claims. It does not believe in the US. It does not share the same beliefs.
In fact most of the middle east relies on religion for it's political stands. Their religion created their culture and that culture looks nothing like the US.
They don't want any part of the US belief system. They have a fundamental belief that their culture is right. They believe their religion is right, in fact they refuse to separate one from another. They will also choose war to protect what they believe.
They will sacrifice their people, they will kill women and children, they are willing to torture.
They believe they are the leaders of the free world, they believe their policies, their beliefs are right and true.

So, the moral is anything can be a religion, even CSI or Greys Anatomy if enough people decide that is what they believe.
It's all just stories some one told right? Some of those stories are very,very old and lots and lots of people have heard them and some stories are only a few years old and less have heard them...but if enough people believe those stories they may decide to kill you if you watched Dateline instead.


At 5:14 PM, Blogger BBC said...

Boy, I'm glad I checked your site today. I had forgotten that. Thanks so much for this post.

"Religion, the root of all evil."


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