This might be acceptable in humans were it only to occur in those rare instances when life truly is in the balance, but alas, we kill each other for any and all reasons and have done so it seems for a very long time–like for most of our stellar existence on this planet.
This is a continuation of the rant from yesterday. Sorry, but this thing won’t go away and I’m still trying to work through it. I am a bit calmer however, and so suicidal thoughts are regressing a bit. (Just kidding–suicide is not a thing to take lightly, and I use it for comedic effect only.)
I seriously am having trouble figuring this out. Logic is the scourge of all intelligent people it seems and I am (modesty aside) a victim. So please bear with me and help me understand if you can.
Let me give you an example of what I am talking about. Our very aggressive A dog, Bear is the king of his domain. Few raccoons or other such scrabble stand a chance against him. He has trophies galore. Many a coyote has scurried away, tail tucked tightly and with ruffled fur after tangling with the border collie with attitude. But let it thunder, and the fierce one is firmly lodged against the leg of the nearest human. And he stays there. Brandy on the other hand, ignores it all, sleeps on the porch, and much be called in before she is swept away with a flood of rain.
Now, among dogs, Bear might be tagged by others of his species as a bit of an anomaly. His condition might be termed frightfully embarrassing and something to be scorned by his brothers and sisters of the dogdom world. Yet, it doesn’t seem that Brandy for instance treats him as lesser. Dogs, and I assume other animal species seem to accept difference with a shrug and life goes on kinda attitude.
Now that I have thoroughly confused you, I’ll explain where my problem lies. I have always been taught that each of us is but the sum total of all our experiences, coupled with a stray genetic propensity here and there. Thus, you and I can observe the same event and we will come away with slightly different takes on what transpired. It is not likely we will be dramatically different in most cases, but depending on location and various variables, our versions could be quite in disagreement.
I get that. It is something drummed into me when I was in graduate school studying theology and other biblical studies. “Always identify who you are” I was told. Let the reader know that you are Catholic, favor the liberation theology paradigm, and so on. We all view the world through our own lens. Got it.
The second thing is a bit more tricky for me. It looks okay on paper and I can say it. And animals seem to do it easily, but I can’t put it into practice. It is this. Setting aside those who are deliberate liars, most people, even when they disagree with me fundamentally, believe they are right to the same degree that I believe I am right. Sounds good right? But, then two seconds after saying it, I retort, “But how can any thinking, walking, talking, human being who has a functioning brain and has lived past the age of 10 believe that?” I mean really, I am finding it so very hard to put myself in their place. Really. Seriously.
Fundamentalists are people who avoid reality, from my point of view. They are scared to admit that a good deal that is important is simply unknowable, and maybe always will be. Fundamentalists need to know for sure, because life is just too uncomfortable otherwise. So they cling to a book as if it were a God, instead of God, who prefers to remain somewhat mysterious. I know God prefers being mysterious because I have spend a lot of hours trying to figure out the Omniscient, Omnipotent One, and I have only figured out that so far. I figure since he is running the show, he gets to be like that if he wants to, and I let it be, and just try my darnedest to do what he would like me to do.
Since I don’t exactly trust the “book” to be infallible on that point, I figure it’s pretty close to loving Him as best I can, and trying like heck to love my neighbor as myself. See how we get back to that sticky point? I’m having trouble loving my danged neighbor when my neighbor seems, well, to put it simply, NUTS.
So the fundamentalist creates this world in which the Bible answers all questions necessary to life and everything. That would be well and good, but that we know that the book is a poor excuse for things like science for instance. The Bible, if taken in literalness runs smack dab into evolution, which contrary to popular thought is not a maybe kind of thing. Theory does not mean in science what it means in general conversation.
So to my mind, the fundamentalist starts drawing all kinds of walls around his perfect world in an attempt to construct a world in which the Bible is perfectly reflective of reality. And here is the rub for me. Doesn’t the fundie know he/she is doing so? I mean, contorting the world to conform to some singular limited explanation that doesn’t conflict with a book written by dozens of people over a thousand years is mighty hard I would say. Dinosaurs have to be recreated as “leviathans” and time has to be telescoped, or not at various points. Explanations of why tens of thousands of scientists are engaged in such nefarious lying, across multiple disciplines, is met with a shrug of the shoulders. So, I come down to this: They dare not really examine what they believe, because they intuitively know it is a bunch of hooey, and they think that, and immediately beg God’s forgiveness, and stuff their stubby fingers back in their ears, close their eyes more tightly, and trance on “I believe that God created all in six days, I believe that God created all in six days,” until the questions go away.
Well, kiddo the same can be said about our intrepid voter it seems. I don’t know what motivates people to think and speak that Sarah Palin is remotely qualified to be President of the US of A. We can discuss of course whether Obama is, but that is another question. She is NOT, period, end of discussion. It is as obvious as the nose on your face. I don’t know what motivates people who were not going to vote for McCain, to suddenly decide to because they “like” Sarah. Anyone with a IQ above 83, knows she will play NO part in any important issue of the day, but will be relegated to being a “good will ambassador” or working on “special needs kids” legislation.
Anyone who knows John McCain, knows he is a man’s man. He’s a good old boy if there ever was one, well known for making demeaning jokes about women and girls, and known as well for saying rather nasty little things about his own wife, to her, in front of others. John will not make Sarah any partner in decision making. She’ll be patted on the head and told to return to her office, while aides will be told to funnel a bunch of “environmental” crap her way, marked “top secret” to make her think she’s in the know.
So what exactly is it that makes people who go to work, shop, and can make change, people who can drive a car without killing other cars, people, or animals daily, can handle knives, dispense medicine at proper dosage, and a plethora of other mundane things, become ravingly stupid, saliva dripping moronic simpletons when it comes to common sense? Why is politics thought to be a realm in which common sense, logic and history don’t count? How do we get to “I was for Obama, but I love Sarah and will now vote for McCain?” How? Please tell me. How did the current jump the synapse of the great divide that way? I mean I really really want to understand.
Because I don’t understand, plain and simple. I cannot believe that a person can believe that this makes any kind of sense at all. I cannot believe that people who are losing the race to stay even in today’s work environment, happily votes for the party that promises tax cuts for their wealthy friends and smiles at the worker and says, “this trickle down economics will work in the next 100 years, we are sure of it. Just be patient.” I can’t believe they believe it. I simply can’t.
So, I invite the explainer among you to explain this to me. I want to love my neighbor I truly do. More important, almost, I want to respect my neighbor. And I can tell you, I don’t now. I’m feeling very much a minority right now, and I really wonder how we survive being this stupid over all. So explain away. I’m waiting.
**Photo from First People.