I’ve been relatively quite for a while, the verboseness of my twenties being replaced with a crippling fear about how I’ll be perceived if I start actually speaking up for what I believe in. Will my friends and family still love me when they find out how differently I view the world than how I was raised? How many more conversations do I have to endure in which it is hinted that people who think like me will be responsible for the ultimate downfall of society? Where people are less interested in the content of what I’m saying and more interested in proving their staunchly-held beliefs that if we could just get everyone back in line with the will of God then everything would be okay.
Let’s remember that it is in the name of this same God that some of the worst atrocities in human history have been carried out, all focused around the idea that a group of humans knew God’s will and saw it as their destiny to carry it out. Murdering millions of native americans as part of “manifest destiny” or the attempted establishment of the true kingdom of god through the violence of the crusades are just two historic examples. The most recent example can be seen in the images of ISIL destroying ancient artifacts and launching attacks on “infidels” in their own attempt to create heaven on earth.
I’m tired of living in a world in which the only problems that exist are those of our own creation. I’m tired of belonging to a race that can turn on itself so easily and inflict such terrible suffering and violence on its own kind…what other species on this entire planet exhibits that same self-destructive behavior? I’m tired of watching people run around in anxiety to create some sort of meaning out of their existence, all too often at the expense of other’s well-being.
But more than tired, I’m downright pissed off. I’m angry that we have numerous elected officials who, in the last round of campaigning, publicly talked about things like “legitimate rape”, and a woman not getting pregnant by rape if it wasn’t God’s will, and still got elected. I’m pissed off that some of the most loving people I know in my friends and family have been so hateful in their speech toward our current president and toward members of the LGBTQ community. I’m angry that scientific advancements are consistently ignored and shunned in favor of ancient religious texts that have gone through countless interpretations and are often misinterpreted. I’m angry that people seem to get so comfortable in their thinking they are not even willing to listen to anything that may disconfirm their assumptions.
But here’s what I’m most angry about: this ill-conceived belief that seems to exist that the United States is supposed to be a “Christian” nation. Bullshit. This country existed long before my people ever came here, and it was inhabited by a sustainable and spiritual existence based on the earth. elements, and seasons. Then a group of people fleeing the religious tyranny of another nation landed on these shores in an attempt to set up a state in which all were free to worship the god of their choosing. This same group then proceeded to expand westward, killing and claiming land as they saw fit for their new nation, referred to by some as the “new Jerusalem”. Now, centuries, later, far from actually having religious freedom, the religious right has infiltrated the Republican party and attempted to establish its own form of a moral kingdom on earth, free from all those pesky social evils like falling in love and having a family with a person of the same sex.
A lot of my friends and family right now are scared of where the country is headed because of all the liberal progress that’s been made on social moral issues over the last few years. I’m scared as well, but not because of the progress. I’m scared at how people are responding to the progress with such hate and vitriol that it makes me want to cry. After I hit things repeatedly in a fit of rage.
What the hell are we doing to each other?