Heretics of the World Unite!….well maybe not, but can we at least get rollerblades?

I have called myself a heretic for quite some time, but even I find my gift for gab challenged when it comes to articulating this in a calm, rational, non-insulting manner. I have often said that I just have problems with everyone. And that might be true too, but I don’t actually think that I’m the irrational banshee I hear screaming in my head when I hear people speak in their imperialistic, condescending, fearful, ignorant manners about things that are not just important to me, but should be important to all of us.
I get angry when religious folks attack philosophy, or George Carlin; and I get angry when intellectuals attack the faithful. Neither camp seems to really know anything about the other. They base their opinions on a limited number of experiences and refuse to see the larger picture. I find that I can’t talk to either of them.

This beautifully written article might not say it all for me, but it certainly says most of it, and all of the important stuff.

http://www.religiondispatches.org/archive/atheologies/5941/coming_out_as_a_heretic

Be Prepared! (please sing that in the voice of Jeremy Irons as Scar from the Lion King)

When I get back I’m going to be ranting about entertainment, gender roles, relationships, alternative lifestyles and why this world sucks.

A few warnings ahead of time:

1. I am not necessarily against pornography, though I have a rather complicated view of it with an awful lot of qualifications.

2. I am a reluctant feminist and, as usual, I blame the masses for my being so. Seneca Falls would have little to do, I think, with the agendas of those labeled so often as “feminazis.”

3. I am sick of the the “criticism=censorship” mentality.

4. I am not politically correct (in case you missed this).

5. I have recently decided that while I may not necessarily judge people on their choices and ideas that are different from mine, I do choose to judge people by what they venerate. Judging in this case does not have to do with whether a person is bad or good, going to heaven or hell, but whether or not they are a problem in the betterment of our world. (I realize that “betterment” is also subjective, but I think there are enough things upon which most of us can agree: decreases in animal, child, mental, physical and sexual abuse, violent crime, shifts in cultural values away from this entitlement crap, empowering people instead of teaching them to be good little victims….etc etc etc).

6. I will be discussing those problems. I am not going to get into bad or good, though I do believe that those are only sometimes subjective, but there are things of which I approve and disapprove. Perpetuation of stereotypes, romanticizing of abuse and rape culture, misrepresentation of cultures for entertainment purposes, unexamined lives….I disapprove of these.

7. None of us lives in a vacuum; we are not islands (no matter how much we may want to be). I believe, especially in a market economy like ours, that what you buy and what you encourage others to buy is not a right, but a responsibility. This means that things as simple as our choices in entertainment are demonstrations of power. We like to blame Hollywood and publishers for things that are out there, saying that if “they” didn’t sell then “we” wouldn’t buy them. But not only do we shell out our ten to twenty bucks for things, we say it’s okay, it’s just entertainment when those things are either symptomatic of a increasingly ignorant and depraved mass consumer culture, or worse we say that they have every right to be that way. WRONG. We have a responsibility to each other, to future generations, and when we encourage them to fill their heads with crap, we get exactly what we’re seeing in the rising generations.

8. Entertainment is a big deal. It shouldn’t be. But in a culture increasingly defined by leisure activities and one in which children are being educated primarily through entertainment, we cannot expect those children to “know better.” They look at things like Twilight and think that the relationships portrayed are the way things should be. They watch televisions shows like Gossip Girl and Pretty Little Liars and think that such behavior is NORMAL, because they are not being shown a better way at home, at school, or in their churches. Children now do not distinguish between fiction and reality because they have not been taught to do so. They are not looking at these things as escapism, but as a pattern for being.

9. I’ve recently realized that I’m not sorry for who I am.

10. I’ve also realized that I’m a crusader.

Christmas Musings: aka why do I always end up sounding like a villain Gabriel? (a re-post to get you through)

Everyone wants a heartwarming story. Even the cynics who try to tell you that there isn’t one. We can hate humanity, loathe the darkest secrets, the falsities, the banality. We can stare down our noses in deepest disdain, but all we want is someone to prove us wrong. We spend our lives clinging to illusions, those rare moments in our childhood or the even rarer occasions in our adult lives when people, for but an instant, don’t seem so bad. Christmas treasures, family gatherings, images that grow more vibrant as time fades those around us and sharpens our longings for what we thought existed once.

Eventually we become angry at the phantoms. We blame our innocence and our naïveté until our past lies in ashes and all we can do is carefully excavate from the rubble the remnants of ourselves that we know to be true. Then we walk like relics across the landscape, hoping desperately to encounter some other crumbling, rumbling fossil and only finding the living.

We hate them most of the time. We begrudge them their humanity, or we make endless excuses for them, but deep down we hate them because our hope lies in them.

Every Christmas I wonder about it. I have what might be termed a messianic complex at worst, a narcissistic complex at best, but truly, most days and especially at Christmas and Easter, I find it to be more of an intense sense of empathy. I don’t actually care if Christ was divine or not. I don’t feel the need to argue with the supposed religious or intellectual. The labels too often to me are a contradiction in terms. But I can understand sacrifice and I know historically or intuitively, that over the past two hundred thousand years of our species’ existence there have been at least a handful of individuals who thought us worth dying for on some level much grander than taking a bullet for a buddy, or leaping onto a grenade.

This is the part that boggles me. These people have not traditionally been ignorant. No small town kid stuck in a happy family with a rosy tinted view of the world that needs saving. I try to imagine what would persuade someone not from here (and for those of you with trouble following the mad rantings, I mean earth) someone not from this stupid little human-infested planet, to come here. To live with them, to see humans in all their imagined glory and still decide at the end of it all that they’re worth dying for…worth living for.

The scholar in me knows that it could be as simple as myth. A story humans tell themselves to help them sleep at night, that of course they’re worthy, somehow, someway, they deserve saving. It’s easy enough to see in the increasingly commercialized incarnation of Christianity currently bleeding across the globe like one of Capra’s war maps. Between it and Political Islam…ick. Just ick.

I try to remember the people that I like. The few that I admire. The ones I love. The humans that I think are actually good people. That’s capital G-Good. But I keep thinking, man…sometimes there’s just collateral damage. I’ve always believed that while surely hypothetical, my choice was important. At the end of it all, would I die for them? Would I suffer for them? And maybe it isn’t important to anyone but me. Who knows? But there was a time when the answer was a great deal clearer.

Maybe we just need a good war.