I’ve always felt that the basics of moral social responsibilities hark back to the days of the Spanish Inquisition. Between the 15th and 19th centuries, the Catholic church felt that it was each citizen’s responsibility to maintain a strict, dogmatic belief in orthodox Christianity, and it went to some fairly extreme measures to ensure those beliefs were maintained. It was belief compelled through fear. That, in my humble opinion, is exactly where we are in America today.
There are those who unquestionably believe in an old, uncompromising status quo. American values, they call them. And the fear of what possibilities may come from deviating from that belief structure paralyzes those people’s brains to the point of complete idiocy. The racist, prejudice ignorance that has reared its ugly head since Tuesday has been mind-blowing to me. But Tuesday simply acted as a catalyst to give a lot of people a reason to speak up. Some of it was good; a lot of it was stinky bad.
People hold onto their values, however irrational they may be, and sometimes those results are entirely catastrophic. How about that news today? The parents in Albany who let their 12-year-old daughter die from diabetic complications because they weren’t willing to take her to the doctor. They said God would have healed her if it was meant to be. I’m quite sure that plenty of people, including Christians, will condemn their actions as crazy. But they believed they were doing the right thing. So how do you make sense of that?!
Do I care if my kids see some mohawked, banana-hammock wearing, face-pierced, tricycle riding dude while they walk down the street? Only insofar as that an explanation can be made to them that that person is not to be judged for their differences. Perhaps that person could never be understood by logical rationalizing, but that doesn’t mean that we get to say they ought to be burned at the stake, or, more realistically today, mocked and ridiculed. They clearly need help of some kind because their anti-social behavior could be a sign of mental illness. But most people won’t go there. They’d rather judge that person off the cuff and quietly talk shit because that guy doesn’t meet their expectations of social responsibility (e.g., to not go out in public like that and subject people to…whatever that is).
I don’t care if gay people get married. I don’t care if gay married people smoke weed. I don’t care if anybody smokes weed, is gay, or gets married. I care about people who mindlessly judge other people for values that stem from roots of hatred, which have been bred throughout our society for hundreds of years–thousands, if you want to take it back to our European roots.
Which leads to my next tangent: Immigration.
This country was founded by immigrants. Up until the 1970s, there had been a steady influx of immigrants making up the majority of the US populations. That influx wained as certain immigration reforms were implemented, but recently it has picked up again. America has resources out the wazoo that most people can’t get in other countries. But instead of being welcoming, compassionate people (such as many Christians would have you believe they are), we get the “build a bigger fence with razor wire” argument. And I use Christians specifically, and fairly, because many of these arguments come from groups who very proudly pronounce their faith as the basis for their entire philosophical prejudice. Though, not all Christians act this way, any more than all Muslims cut off people’s heads.
But I digress. Sometimes I feel like saying fuck this country. But really, it’s more like, fuck the polarizations. Fuck the minority who think they represent the whole. One-third of registered voters participated in the votes on Tuesday. You expect me to believe that they’re the voice of the people?! What’s truly annoying is how they act so damn self-righteous about the results. As though it all turned out precisely like it should have. Well, we’ll see how those people feel when the GOP is shooting down every climate control bill that heads their way, all the while bogging down the entire system whilst trying to sue the president–who really has a hard enough job as it is.
We’ll see how they feel when it’s hot as balls today and freezing cold tomorrow. We’ll see how they feel when all the fucking drinking water is dried up. The proverbial shit has been hitting the fan on low; I have no doubt that the speed is about to get turned up, and not just because Republicans are in control. Our entire system of government is broken due to infighting and cock measuring bureaucratic horse pucky.
When hate and prejudice beats out understanding and compassion, we all lose. I’m not a Democrat or a Republican. I’m not a Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, or Atheist. I’m not a Socialist, Capitalist, Fascist, Communist, or Anarchist. I don’t need labels to define what I believe. I am me, and I believe in humanity and causing no harm. I believing in doing whatever needs to be done so that you literally disrupt the lives of as few people as you can possibly manage. I believe in minding your own business and taking care of you and your family, or whatever sphere you reside in where care and concern are priorities. I believe in enjoying the little things. And I believe in fighting for the compassion and understanding of others.
I also believe in education. And if you’ve read this far, perhaps you do too. You may not agree with everything I’ve said, but if you can understand where I’m coming from, then you get it. Our social responsibility is to not fuck with other people’s lives. We all don’t need to believe the same things, we just need to respect each others’ beliefs for what they are: Important to each individual person. As long as your beliefs don’t harm other people, we’re all good. Life is more important than all that. Animals, people, insects, nature–we are this planet’s ecosystem. If it dies because we can’t respect everything on it, then we die too.
So, if you haven’t already, stop being part of the problem. The Earth needs you, and so do all of its inhabitants.