Sunday, February 26, 2012

The Baby Jesus and the End of Your Nose

After a few weeks on Facebook, I'm reminded why I decided to leave in the first place.

I can cut most people a bit of slack when it comes to their global perspective, but I admit that oftentimes I struggle with keeping myself from confronting the most outlandish, ill-informed, thoughtless, childish, and self absorbed posts/replies that show up in my news feed.  Then again, I should be grateful to the various people in my news feed, simply because they are as absurdly informative as they are depressing.  I find that after just a few minutes of reading what people think is funny, what people believe the government should control, and what people believe is factual, I can't decide if I'm uncommonly charmed, or simply surrounded by racists and bigots, or both.  If I were religious, I might just think I was being tested.

I recognize that as I age, most people choose not to educate themselves beyond their immediate interests.  Most people only care about that which affects them directly.  I admit, on most days and during most controversies I, too, ask myself how this affects my life.  Then I read.  I take the time to put myself in the shoes of others, attempting to do so without bias and without judgment.  In doing so, my perspective changes; I realize why we are extraordinarily lucky that there are people that have focused so much effort and so many hours of their lives to keep other people informed.  Of course, the tragedy occurs when, in most cases, people stop at the, "Why do I care?" and don't take the time to find out why you SHOULD care.

I'll give you some examples.

There's the current controversy surrounding contraception and why the Catholic Church deserves a special exemption from the law.  As I'm sure everyone is aware, this controversy quickly spilled over into the current Republican Presidential primaries where men like Rick Santorum latched onto the controversy and began to expose himself as an unimaginable misogynist.  One would think our society would immediately lash out and Santorum would be another victim of his own rhetoric, but instead he surges in popularity.  Why?  We've lost our ability to see beyond the ends of our noses.

This recent controversy segues directly into the reproductive rights of women, and more indirectly into the business of men and women having sex purely for fun.  Take this article for example, where the perspective of a modern, naturally sexual woman is put plainly and succinctly.  After I read her article, I was mesmerized by my own ignorance when it comes to women and what they must endure day after day.  (I won't quote her directly because I think it's your responsibility to follow my link to that blog and soak in her words; because her article is far more important than this one.)  But then again, I've had a run in myself, actually, where a Catholic priest informed me that I deserved better because when my wife and I enjoy each other, we no longer do so with the possibility of creating an unwanted pregnancy.  How dare a celibate man try to reduce my bond, my life and my love to simply an act of procreation!  I've never wanted to hit a man so much in my life.

Then there's this post on Reddit, where a teen is abducted from his home at the order of his own parents because he proclaimed himself to be an atheist.  Reading what he experienced during his abduction and subsequent internment sent me into an immediate depression.  I cannot imagine how a parent could consider these people as a viable solution.  But then again, his parents are religious; and for reasons that make me ashamed and nauseous, I'm not at all shocked that these places exist.  You see, in his parent's brainwashed minds, they had but one solution - send their sick and twisted atheist son to one of the World Wide Association of Specialty Programs and Schools to be rehabilitated.  The particular "academy" that this young man was subjected to is located in Nevada, where they also offer an "escort service" to transport teens to their campus to attend a minimum of 12 months of what they call therapy.  And by escort they mean authorized abduction.  And by therapy they mean torture.

I say we take this guy's advice and start teaching people what's really in the book they claim is the word of god.  My hunch is that most modern religious people don't realize how horrible that book really is.  Let them finally get some perspective of what it is they are asking for.  And maybe, just maybe, they can compare this perspective to other countries around the world that are doing exactly what they are suggesting - taking an ancient, brutal, bloody, and immoral book as a means to govern.

But don't worry, I think I'll stay on Facebook.  Sometimes, all the crazy makes me giggle.

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