So last night I was sitting at a kitchen table at a friend's house letting the dog get some fresh air and compiling tuneage for the show this morning, thinking about the transpiring of the past few days, of revolutions borne out of hope and frustration only to see more of the same, of self-styled holy warriors who kill children and blow things up, of nations too busy bickering over partisan lines than actually dealing with actual problems, preferring to snipe about the mannerisms of one's spouse or what someone's wearing.
Sometimes the fuckedupness of it all gets a bit overwhelming and I find myself returning to Job and the Psalms to use the words of others to simultaneously express wonder at the Divine and the beauty of the world and to be furious at the grievous and incomprehensible wrongs that we inflict upon each other.
I don't believe that everyone who professes what I believe is going to end up where they think they're going, or that they're right or justified. Since Glenn Beck is an adherent of a religion that bears as much resemblance to my Christianity as Farrakhan's does to classical Islam, I don't take him seriously but to imply that it's somehow their fault they got shot makes me sick. So does Pat Buchanan who's always been afraid of the coming days when the world won't be so crackertastic. You know what, all these other people have souls too. God made them just as much as he made you.
Buchanan applauds the guy's grasp of history, but being a bit of a history geek, I also don't understand this conflation of Christianity and xenophobia evident here, and also stateside, especially considering that a substantial amount of early converts were not of Nordic, or even European stock and came from areas that we now lump into the general category of "the Arab World." Augustine, Perpetua, Simon of Cyrene hailed from Roman Africa, which is now modern-day Tunisia, Algeria, Libya... most of the churches in the book of Revelation are in modern-day Turkey. So, yeah, I know nobody cares about stuff like that except for me, but I somehow feel like it's relevant to point out that while the pre-Islamic world was converting to various forms of Christianity, my ancestors to the north (Celtic and Slav) were still doing that whole human sacrifice thing. Norway was still pagan for about a thousand years after. Just sayin'.
And yeah, European thought and religion have dominated the world through colonization, globalization, and mass media, so for a lot of people the West is equated with at least a cultural framework that has some basis in Judeo-Christian thought. And talk about bloody political conflicts. It wasn't all peace and love under Ferdinand and Isabella, or in the Balkans where everyone's been doing nasty things to each other for centuries, or the Crusades, or England and Ireland. It was brutal and barbaric too and like now I'd guess that the fanaticism was more of a bloodlust and lust for power wrapped up in a moralistic guise rather than any deep religious faith or understanding.
And I don't know if there's anyone who makes my blood boil than those who kill in the name of whatever religion or ideology they espouse because they have it out for whoever. I don't care what it is. It's sick and wrong. And just because someone else did something bad doesn't mean you have to do it worse. The Neo-Nazi types who think they're somehow superior because they're more likely to get sunburned are some of the hardest people for me to even try to understand or interact with, and the ones who'd say that the Hitleristas are reprehensible but more or less espouse the same garbage.
I've heard people talk about the perceived menace of Islam and can't help but think that it seems there seems to be this hard-wired human need to have an enemy, an abstract group of people to fight against. In my parents' years, it was the communists, and Hitler before that, and before that, whatever interethnic conflict which led to people immigrating here in the first place. For my lefty friends, it's those damn wingnuts, for the righties, it's the secular humanists or the perceived elite.
And sure there's wackjobs with violent tendencies in every camp who like to blow shit up and put their ideology over whatever human collateral stands in their way. And it seems more and more like we as a country focus on the talking heads and what their acolytes might do while our tax dollars are used to blow the heck out of othfer places halfway around the world and do all sorts of shady stuff and don't even pretend it's not happening anymore. I was born halfway through the Reagan years and can't remember when we weren't blowing something up halfway around the world... arming shady dictators in Latin America, going into the Balkans, Sudan, Granada, Somalia, Kuwait, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Yemen, Pakistan. But those last ones, it's not really war, just some sophisticated technology that kills people from far away, so you don't have to look in that person's eyes.
I don't buy this whole "oh they're ruthless and can't be dealt with like normal human beings" because it's not like Al-Qaeda was the first or only group to use suicide bombers or there weren't people brainwashed with ideology.
But maybe it's just my own weird perspective of God-so-loved-the-world and not God-loves-my-country-best-because-I'm-cracker. I just don't understand hating someone else's guts because they practice a different religion or don't look like you or do the same things. And there are things that other cultures do that I'm really glad I don't have to deal with, especially being female. I like being able to get an education, live on my own and hang out with whoever and not have to deal with the lady parts getting cut off because heaven forbid that I experience pleasure during intercourse. I don't hate other people because they do those things even if I think it's messed up. We do things in our country that are horrible too but it's always easy to point the finger at someone else.
I should note here that I almost didn't post this, in part because I found myself so angry and frustrated at my lack of powerlessness but upon hearing the tonedeafness of the punditry, I felt like I had to tip the balance the other way somehow.
I should also note here that the above song was playing during the penning of said rant, and said song is awesome in that totally apocalyptic way.