Monday, July 24, 2006

You are bad, bad, bad.

I make no apologies for demanding of reasonable men that we act as filibusters in a pursuit of universal human rights and morality. I argue often, with predictable commentaries in reaction, for school teachers with gun who will stand in front of their pupils and shoot the parents who would destroy the children we would teach Humanness. Yes, take over other people's countries, shoot the locals and kill them, and then marry the women and raise up the kids to be our own in an America of the mind. I argue that that is what is to be done.

Here is one who disagrees. He's nearly perfect except for a few flaws in his mind and personality and social skill and so on. But other than that he's OK, I think....

Christianity promotes hate, hypocrisy

I, as a born gay man, have chosen atheism and live happy in my choice. I love my fellow human beings and do not stand in judgment of them. I feel nothing but pity for those of you who feel such hate that you need to write letters proving it. You, my friends, are hypocrites and must live such unhappy lives I only can imagine your hearts barely beating. Hold on tight; your Jesus will surely come in the form of a heart attack caused by the great stress of your hate.

In response to the rash of hate letters, all showing complete disregard for their fellow man and woman, I would like to show what Christianity is doing for the modern world: in the name of God.

We start wars with Muslims over nothing, kill thousands of innocent people, call it democracy, tell them it's all for their good, in the name of God.

We rape, then kill entire families, go home American heroes, [until] someone finds out, then maybe we are prosecuted, but it will be covered up, all in the name of God.

We use a book of fables, lies and tales to brainwash and bully society, then call it a free country, as long as you are a Christian, in the name of God.

We rape innocent children, family members and parishioners then pay them off because we all know that money and religion are one and the same, cover it up like it never happened, forget the people and monsters we created and hide them, in the name of God.

We stand in judgment over anyone we choose because our book of fables tells us we can grow hate and bigotry, because we are empowered by this same book of hate and call it love, all in the name of God.

We lie, cheat, steal, abuse, kill, judge, hate and do everything that our so-called good book says not to do because it also says since we are Christians, we will be forgiven for doing it, but only us and no one else since we are so special, in the name of God.

Throughout history we have been the cause of many wars, mass deaths and unneeded human suffering and never have we admitted to anything because as Christians we are the ultimate in human beings and no one else deserves to live on this earth but us, in the name of God.

We are waiting for the day when we will be taken from this earth aboard a big space ship with Jesus and rescued from the mess we created, leaving behind everyone who ever disagreed with us, hoping of course that the world will explode as we leave because no one else deserves to live on but us, we are so special, you know, and so filled with hate for anyone else but us, in the name of God.

We go to nude stripper bars [and] triple-X bookstores during the week then church on Sunday and pretend we are better than everyone else, [with] no concern for the women we are exploiting, but complain relentlessly about a silent community that merely wants to have the same and equal rights as every human in this country, in the name of God.

We mourn the passing of a local hero who made his money from exploiting innocent women, but we seem to think nothing of it since he made himself out to be a good Christian who loves his mom, we love him and his money too, in the name of God.

The one fact that remains here is that religion is always a matter of choice. You choose to be brainwashed and force-fed the lies and fears of religion and live the false life of Christianity. You have a choice to join in the hate and bigotry or to distance yourself and realize that there is a world without religion called reality.

The writer lives in Conway.

I guess he showed you. Thank God I'm an atheist. Otherwise I'd stumble upon him someday and punch his lights out, cause I'm all the bad things he thinks others are. Oh well, he's not too bright. But it ain't his fault, man, he's a victim. I forgot about that part. Uh-oh, I'm forgetting it again....

Yeah, I'm thinking about the kids in Afganhistan and the rest of the world. I remember.


truepeers said...

Dag, I thought you had found the ultimate anti-Christian loser (def.: one who is thrice as self-righteous as the people he condemns) until I read this.
Here's a guy who has spend almost two decades trying to get rid of a cross on a hill put up by some vets as a war memorial.

Why can atheists and gnostics go so crazy if they are in any way resentful or vain? Because their own position is dependent on what they reject, and so they remain tied to, addicted to, their resentment: conceptually, there is no atheism without first the experience or anthropology of faith in a superior Being.

We do not just need school teachers with guns; we need a superior faith to export, one that can be grasped by Afghan peasants.

dag said...

Peers, I'm pondering a number of your points above. One that we cannot be atheists without loss of faith in a diety, as it were, might be slightly less than logic but I suspect that in the real world it is entirely true.

Anyone who ties up his life on illogic as the weirdo above is pathetic beyond Dickensian description. And yet we wallow in the celebrity lives of such creatures, not just his, others as horrible and disturbing, the likes of movie stars and ciminals and the like. We fasten onto the weid as a way of -- what, Peers? I'm stumped. The man, the movie stars, the losers of all-sorts, what is the attraction? Why do we pay attention to them? What does it say about our culture? Our personal lives that we should listen to and pay to listen to Cindy Sheehan?

The clinging to ones evil heart is a theme I like to write about, usually opening my statements by using the poem from Stephan Crane,"In the desert I met a man." I think people understand the concept quite well but don't think it through in any depth, not to the point that they see it in themselves, which is the worth of the exercise.

I am wondering just how many people understand things, concepts, the like, but at such a superficial level that it's really meaningless. I ask that because I'm sitting here wondering aobut what you'vbe written, and it's going to take me some time to weigh it all and figure out the details in my own laborious fashion. I can't just nod, smile, agree, repeat in paraphrase, and feel that now I know. I want to incorporate you thoughts into my worldview to see if they fit and why. That does take time. So, I'm leeft wondering how many and how often people actually think through what they read and learn. My experience is that I'm pretty selective about how I spend my "think time." Others must be similar. It brings back a line from Charles discussion that one needs hear a radio ad 500 times before it sinks in.

And the Covenant for Man? There you have me. It must be as simple as metaphors like time and money. No, not just school teachers with guns. We need morals as simple and true as the metaphors of math. The authority of math requires not a bit of outside authority. Kant didn't quite make it, in my inexpert opinion, so we have to keep trying. We, perhaps not so smart as he, are at least still alive. We can do what we can do. All the geniuses of history are helpless now. It's up to us.

truepeers said...

Dag, what I meant was that atheism cannot exist without there first being theism. According to the Generative Anthropological hypothesis, what was original to humanity was a first experience of symbolic consciousness that made it seem as if (whether there is or not) a divine Being that somehow guarantees the evident and transcendent power of the linguistic sign and its referent that the new human beings came to hold sacred.

Put another way, even if one day we are all professed atheists, we will not be able to forget the idea of God since the idea of God is original to our humanity - it was there, however (mis)understood, at the birth of humanity in language. And since a sense of divine being is original to human being, it cannot be forgotten: every experience of language will henceforth remind us, on some level, of the idea of God. And the curious will always ask why.

Thus the atheist is in the difficult position of rejecting something in which many people retain interest or faith. It is this difficulty, when not handled well, that leads to the kind of personality you quoted.

Shifting gears, GA's theory on the appeal of celebrities is that they help make us, in our anonymity, feel closer to what is signficant (or sacred) and hence closer to what is important, especially in comparison with our neighbors and colleagues. If I can tell you who a certain actress is dating, and you don't know yet, I gain a step up some status ladder at your expense (or, if you are a more refined sort of snob, you can look down at me for caring about actresses' love lives). If I can identify with Cindy Sheehan, I can show myself more compassionate than you who can't spare a moment to feel her pain (or, you can show your superiority by knowing about but not caring about CIndy...)

As for the man wedded to his resentment or anger, this is a quintessentially modern figure and as such we modernists cannot dismiss him out of hand. Hamlet is the archetype of the modern man of resentment (Hitler is perhaps the apex of the form... though maybe the OBL's and the Ward CHurchills have something yet to say bout it). The man of resentment is wedded to his resentment; he holds on to it as long as he can, deferring like Hamlet the desire to take immediate revenge, to clean the slate because in continually deferring, he gives life to his own personal story, his identity as a modern individual. Resentment (rather than giving up or taking the risk of just letting go and hoping to find something new around which to centre your life) helps hold together one's meaningful identity over many years. You and I define ourselves, for example, by our long resentment of the left. We can justify this resentment rationally to some extent, but we no doubt delude ourselves at times because of our relative dependence on this resentment for centering our identities.

The problematic man of resentment is one who continually deludes himself beyond all reason, like the Muslim who thinks the Jews and Americans only exist to ruin his life.

The man of resentment can turn his resentment to productive or destructive ends. He can be a Hitler vainly trying to transcend his resentment by eliminating its object (this can never work because his identity is so fundamentally defined by his resentment, he can only transcend it thorugh a truly re-creative act) , or he can be (through Hamlet) a Shakespeare who learns to transcend his resentment in creative acts or works of love exploring our shared humanity.

So, in condemning destructive resentmetns, let's not pretend that the love of the creative and productive is innocent or pure: it is forged in purgatory and in battle with a resentful and sinful heart. Resentment is not necessarily a bad or a good thing; it just is, a fundamental aspect of our humanity.

No doubt everyone understands these things on some level; knowledge is like an onion: we can keep peeling back more layers in search of a deeper understanding, or we can stick to what we know and save the time. People are only really pushed to pursue further self-understanding when their lives are in crisis, for whatever reasons. But since the human condition is one that inevitably produces crises, history forces some of us on a learning curve that will never end for our species: the more we know the more complex and free we can make our socities and the more self-understanding we need to overcome the resulting crises when obstacles appear. This ever-increasing demand for learning may be part of the reason why many today seemingly fail to do much creative with their resentments and turn to Gnostic heresies: a scary thought. On the other hand, no doubt this learning has to become decentralized and so we see it in non-traditional places or learning like the blogosphere and the sophisticated consumer marketplace: the wheel of pogress is turning in some quarters.

In any case, we must help create a new and deeper faith in our humanity, or we may all die in face of the dead-end resentemnt of Jihadists and kindred spirits.