Wednesday, December 20, 2006

When you lie down with dogs, you get up with fleas

Well, the back lash is on as the religious left and the non religious are starting to smack some forced fundamentalist dogma across the nose with a rolled up constitution. Now comes the question, how far will the pendulum swing? My kids and I have discussed this as they are often told by their classmates how they will burn in hell, blah blah blah because we aren’t Christians. There are times when I believe the best way to counter act the religious right is to take advantage of the laws that they have constructed to prove a point, and there are times when I have to admit that acting like an asshole to counteract an asshole leaves people like me surrounded by assholes (Which I seem to encounter a lot…is there such thing as being an ass-magnet?)

The atheists are now attacking the moderately religious for not standing up against the fundamentalists as well as for believing in utter tripe. I suppose the moderately religious are feeling a little stuck in the middle, but at least they are a part of the dialogue. There are reasons why Buddhists aren’t on the front lines flipping everyone else the bird. It is with a slight bemused expression that we realize everyone is bat shit insane, including us. Before you go pointing fingers at everyone else (with the pointer finger, not the middle finger), start by pointing a finger at yourself.

Last weekend the first story on This American Life left me with all of my energy depleted. Please listen to it as I think it should be played in every home/school across America. In short, it is the story of a Muslim family with a Palestinian father, American mother, and elementary aged children here in America. It’s a story of how their children were harassed after 9/11 in the public schools by teachers that announced in class that only believers in Jesus Christ would go to heaven. Oh, and there was also the incident that their text books told the children that all Muslims wanted to kill Christians.

The mom tried to tell her husband that this was an aberration, that America was a melting pot, that we are a nation that includes people. He didn’t buy it and neither do I. People that can give you that song and dance are people that have always been on top. I would assume that the majority of them are white, Christian, and so smugly sanctimonious in their righteousness that they leave no doubt in anyone’s mind: This is my country, not yours.

I have been attacked for not being a Christian and it used to make me angry. Now, it makes me sad for the country that I never really had…but when my kids come home from school and tell me what they go through, then I get pissed. There was a time when I could stand up for the Star Spangled Banner with my hand on my heart and really feel moved. There was a time that I felt that my country was a sincere force for good in the world. I’ve grown up since then and unfortunately, so have my kids.

Still, becoming an asshole to fight the assholes? That’s screwed up.

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