Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Disloyal opposition: A curmudgeon's manifesto

Is America a great country? Yawn. Who cares? The scourge of nationalism is just as bad and stupid as the scourge of religion. Everyone is so sure their country is the greatest, their religion is the only true one. They are all just identity groups, the ones used to make us all feel exceptional. The rules don't apply to us because we are the light of the world. We are the:
When will we grow the f__k up? Excuse my language. I am at the end of my rope with this tolerance business. I went through a stage in my activist youth when I was very angry at my own people, white people. Then I was irked with all people as I became more of an environmentalist. Then, as I picked up a few college degrees and began to really appreciate humankind's astonishing capacity for wisdom, reflection, farsighted planning and imagineering, I began to love my own species again, probably becoming a loyalist in my human identity group. Now, however, as I enter my fifth decade of activism for peace and nonviolence and my seventh decade of life on Earth, I have days when I come full circle and seem to start over again. Sheesh.

Glen Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Bill O'Reilly, Sarah Palin and the Tea Party boneheads who hysterically accuse Barack Obama of being born outside the US and being a Muslim--not realizing that these are absolutely irrelevant to someone's capacity for competent problem-solving in an era when problems are looming--these people now have me quite annoyed with white people again.

Muslims who rejoice at killing Israeli civilians or who believe that terrorism is a justified response to the American military Crusade to recapture the Holy Oil Reserves no matter where they are, or who would stone a woman for having an affair, or who believe that a murderous suicide bombing in London or Glasgow is some kind of legitimate attack on--what, Tony Blair?, repulse me. Christians who are violent or who condone violence should stop calling themselves Christian. They are not. Jesus carried no sword and would not allow himself to be defended by one, get it? Buddhists who yammer on about compassion and then butcher each other in Thailand or Burma or Vietnam make me want to cry. Jews who think slaughtering Arabs is fine because they, the Jews, are the Chosen People are as arrogant as they are ignorant. Nigerians and others across too much of Africa set themselves into religious categories and tribal categories and murder each other simply for being born into the other identity group. Grow up!

Damn religion. Too late. If there is a God, She has already seen to that. If I'm cross about the disgusting misuse of religion, imagine a holy wrath about these clever little justifiers. Just War. Justifiable homicide. Just desserts. The Creator, if there is one, must be thinking about ending this little experiment. Mother Nature certainly is. Try shooting your big guns at the environmental problems and see how far that goes.

And to hell with nation-states. The idea that someone's country is some sort of sacrosanct unit is silly and lethal. Israel: listen to Helen Thomas. No one in your neighborhood likes you. Arabs in general and Palestinians in particular: Israel has badly mistreated you and has never done anything remotely approaching what happened to them in Germany and German-occupied Europe. You toss around comparisons and you have no credibility. Hitler and his Nazis are incomparable. Stop trying to equate anything to them. They warped everything after them, including Jews and including you. Wake up. Pakistanis, when you stone women who elope, and when you take $billions in US aid every year, are you surprised when average folks don't send money to help you recover from the flood? We have no faith that grassroots people who don't cut off hands will ever get the aid.

And everyone from every nation needs to get nonviolently militant about protecting this Earth. It is our one chance at redemption. Use robust nonviolence to save Creation and perhaps the Creator will get over it. Perhaps even Mother Nature will forgive us. I think some major stumbling blocks are preventing us from doing this, including religion and nationalism. I pray that we see this and change our ways. I'd like to finish my years proud of my species instead of the misanthropy that gets me up in the middle of the night.

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