You may have heard that the Ku Klux Klan had a rally in California that turned violent. Apparently, the Klan members were attacked by protesters as they were exiting their vehicles. It appears the brawl was caught on tape (video at the end of this article), and now the protesters are going to be charged in this crime. That is as it should be. You cannot physically attack someone just because you do not agree with them.
I got a lot of negativity for saying exactly that when this incident first happened. I heard many saying that the police should have shut this rally down or never permitted it in the first place. Truthfully, I never thought I’d find myself defending the Ku Klux Klan of all things, and I’m happy to say I was right about that. I was not defending the Klan and have never defended the Klan. I was defending free speech.
I find the Klan morally repugnant. I think they are idiotic, ignorant, foolish and frankly, I think they are absurd. They are laughable, a human joke. That doesn’t make what happened to them OK. Hearing people call for police intervention, insisting the authorities should have shut this rally down and stopped the Klan from exercising their first amendment rights is troubling. People seem to be perfectly happy with the government violating the rights of those they do not agree with. This is a slippery slope to stand on, folks. If you advocate the violation of others’ rights, you are advocating the eventual violation of your own by setting a precedent. Holding a rally centered around their stupid, hateful belief system is their right as Americans. For “protesters” to show up to that rally and physically attack them is a violation of their rights – period. However, this was not a protest. It was a mob. It was 30 people attacking six.
How is this any better than the Klan themselves? It would seem counter-productive for a group of minorities to attack KKK members – to say the least. How does it discredit the stupid things the Klan says about minorities? They say that minorities are savages and wild animals. How, then, does a group of minorities attacking them essentially without provocation dispute that? Sadly, it doesn’t. It’s just more fodder for the hate machine, and it has only made these Klan members martyrs for their own idiotic cause. They were attacked by those “savages” and “wild animals” they’ve been warning everybody about. This was exactly the wrong thing for people to do, and legality or rights violation isn’t even the half of it.
Perhaps the most troubling aspect of this incident is society’s general reaction to this incident. It’s too much to expect sympathy for the Ku Klux Klan, of course, but for people to be so unabashedly gleeful over this is disheartening, and a little disquieting. Guilt by association is not guilty enough. It’s despicable to be a racist and to be a member of the Klan – but it is not illegal. Holding a rally to promote their separatist, racist views is not illegal. Nothing they did was illegal, and for people to support – even applaud – a gratuitous, senseless “punishment” for what is essentially a thoughtcrime is disturbing.
Seeing and hearing so many supposedly civilized people who would gladly rip somebody apart in the street (or happily watch others do it) over an idea, a belief or an association is ominous. To say they got what they deserved is dangerously close to the type of rhetoric the Klan themselves spouts. People are entitled to how they feel, but to me it’s like saying it’s OK to be like the Klan as long as you’re sure you have a better reason for your behavior than you think they do. Isn’t that exactly how the Klan members feel? Don’t they feel their reasons justify their behavior? I’m not seeing how the same wrong mindset just turned against them is supposed to help anything. I devoutly hope that I myself am more evolved than a bunch of racist, sheet-wearing fools spewing bile and part of being better than that is not being OK with hateful mobs bent on hurting someone – because that is what the Ku Klux Klan is and that is why they are wrong. If we regard them as Neanderthals, as troglodytes trapped in a distant, stagnant past who are refusing to evolve, how does lowering ourselves to that level elevate our own platform? It doesn’t. It demeans and discredits it. It puts us squarely beside and on equal footing with them, whether people want to see that or not.
Is this really what we want? To be on equal moral footing with the Ku Klux Klan? Or is it just another example of the nearly-universal and almost totally unself-conscious narcissism and hypocrisy we see on display in society? “It’s not OK for you to do this, but it’s OK for me because I have a good enough reason and you don’t. I’m right and you’re wrong.” How does this mindset resolve itself? “I’m so tolerant, open-minded and evolved. I love all people equally, regardless of race, color, gender, creed or orientation. I truly believe in the Brotherhood of Man and that all life has value – AND I HATE THE KLAN FOR NOT FOLLOWING THIS! I LAUGH WHEN THEY ARE ATTACKED BY A HATEFUL MOB! HAHAHAHAHAHAHA! KILL THEM ALL!!!” It doesn’t even make any sense.
This whole “intolerant of intolerance” thing is just hypocrisy. It’s “bigotry with good reason,” which is just another way of saying, “I can do this but you can’t.” If your reaction to a hateful mob is to form another hateful mob, you are a hypocrite. Fighting fire with fire won’t put the fire out. It only burns everybody involved. It solves nothing, and has the added consequence of destroying the credibility of all parties.
If we claim to be enlightened, if we claim to be evolved, if we claim to be tolerant, if we claim to be champions of equality and free speech but we draw the line at defending those we find distasteful or we actually advocate violence toward others in these situations, we aren’t really any of these things – and we are certainly no better or even any different than those we are opposing. It’s easy to defend somebody that everybody agrees with. It becomes significantly more difficult when it’s someone that nobody – including ourselves – agrees with. It’s hard to look past ignorance, and it’s not easy to have the courage of our convictions in the face of a hostile majority, but what are we without it? We become just so many hypocrites.
I’m so tired of the whole feminist/chauvinist thing, especially regarding relationships. All you hear all damn day long is “Stop kissing these hoes’ asses!” and “Stop letting these bastards oppress you!” #nomoresimping #yesallwoman everywhere. Well, here is my advice to all of you:
There are many different kinds of people. There are just as many different kinds of relationships. Some you may feel are more equal than others. Here’s the thing about that, though: It’s absolutely none of your business. None. At all. It does not matter what you think the societal implications of such a relationship might be. It doesn’t matter what you think the long-term chances of such a relationship might be. It doesn’t matter what you think of the motives of the parties in the relationship, their feelings or anything else. It. Does. Not. Matter. What consenting adults do is not your concern in any way, shape or form. Your judgement is not needed or welcome. Period.
I cook for my husband. I clean up after him. I bathe him sometimes. I brush his hair, I shave him, I cut his hair. I massage him. I made him French toast at 4 o’clock in the morning the other night. He gets what he wants. In return, I ask for respect, faithfulness and kindness. He doesn’t ask me to do these things, or tell me to. I want to do them. I like doing these things. It’s my personality. I don’t see him as superior to me, or feel I have to do anything for him at all. I just like doing things for people I care about. It makes me happy. I’m (obviously) no shrinking violet; I’m fully capable of standing up for my rights should they be trod upon. But then I have people saying things like, “This ain’t the 1950’s. Come out of the kitchen. He’s oppressing you.” as if it could never be my choice. My answer is always the same thing: “You’re right. This isn’t the 1950’s. It’s the year 2014 and that means I can choose to do whatever I want to do. Stop trying to ‘liberate’ me out of my personal choices.” Liberation and independence are supposed to be about doing what you want to do and making your own choices, not the choices that everyone else agrees with or thinks you should make. On Facebook, someone made a great point about Muslim women, and how Non-Muslim Americans want to “liberate” these women of their head coverings without even sparing a thought to the fact that Muslim women choose to wear them.
People who engage in this type of ridiculous judgment and life-policing are the reason for all of this BS, because they simply cannot keep their noses out of other people’s business. If a man wants to elevate his woman to the status of Empress of the Universe, that’s not your business. If a woman wants to wait on her man hand and foot as if he were God Himself, that’s not your business. As long as everyone involved is a consenting adult, nobody’s marriage or relationship is your business. So instead of worrying about all the other men and women in the world and why they are not doing exactly what YOU think is the right thing, worry about your own partner and your own life.
And shut the fuck up, too.
As I’ve stated in other posts, I have a few problems with the anti-rape culture movement. The purpose of the anti-rape culture movement seems to be to reduce women once again to helpless victims. To me it looks like women who are being groomed to be victims because they are being taught that they have no power here. I stand in staunch opposition to this and always will. Thinking that more education and sensitivity training is going to protect you in this world is a pipe-dream and it’s a dangerous one. You cannot “cure” or educate someone out of being a rapist. It is impossible. Making women put on clothes is not going to change things and women running around naked telling everyone not to look is not going to change things, because these things have nothing to do with why rape occurs. Rape occurs because a person feels powerless and wants to assert control over another human being in order to feel more powerful. No amount of sloganeering or naked protestation is going to change that.
This video is my statement to the anti-rape culture brigade: Enough, already! THIS is why rape occurs: because a person puts (or sees) another person in a vulnerable situation and takes advantage of them. Period.
It has nothing to do with any of the political bullshit that these assholes are talking about. It is not society causing it. It is not because of some lack of education or sensitivity. People don’t need to be “taught not to rape,” because people already know that rape is wrong. They do it anyway because they don’t care.
This video is also a rebellion against being branded as a sex object. Attempts were made to look not sexy but pathetic. The simulated rape and forced servitude shown here is not just the message but the subtext as well; it is symbolic of being forced into a role you do not want to occupy.
It used to be if you wanted to shut down the opposition, you shouted racism, sexism or any other -ism designed to marginalize their words and them as a person. Now instead of simply crying “(Fill-In-The-Blank)ISM!!” whenever someone wants to shut the other person up, there is a smug, smarmy little phrase being uttered all over the place: “Check your privilege.” This means for example, that if you are white you cannot comment on racism, becuse by default you can’t have experienced it and therefore, your input has no value. Allow me to address this “Check your privilege” thing right now. You’ve not seen what I’ve seen or been where I’ve been. You have no idea what my privilege would be. You are making a snap judgment based on what I look like and nothing else. If that’s not bullshit, I just don’t know what is.
I’m white, so I can’t have experienced racism.
I have certain things, so I can’t have experienced poverty.
I’m not a drug addict, so I can’t have experienced addiction.
I’m not overweight, so I can’t have experienced body shaming.
I’m not gay, so I can’t have experienced discrimination because of who I am.
Here’s a newsflash: Every single one of these things is wrong. You have no idea where I come from or what I’ve been through. Check your privilege before you tell me to check mine. Not everyone fits into your prescribed boxes of how “victims” are supposed to act. I mean, I get it. I’m a jerk. I’m opinionated. I say things that most people will not say. I’m brash. I laugh at things that aren’t funny. I make inappropriate jokes that people find offensive. I laugh at other people’s jokes that are offensive. I will laugh at jokes about almost anything if they are funny enough. You know why? Because I’m an asshole and because I’ve been through enough that I think I can laugh at whatever the hell I want to laugh at. If you don’t like it, go find someone who gives a shit and tell them how to run their life. “Check your privilege, honey.” Oh no, sweetheart. Check yours. You labor under the incorrect assumption that you have the privilege of judging me based on what you can see. Well, here’s a little thing you can’t see: You don’t know me like that and I will make you feel stupid. Not that you shouldn’t already, talking some insane, presumptuous shit like that.
Racism, gender inequality, discrimination because of sexuality, rape, domestic violence or anything else that has happened – or will happen – to me doesn’t define me, and it doesn’t have to define YOU.
You know something? I am coining a new phrase. That new phrase is “atheistic dogma.” In debating with atheists, I have found that sadly, many atheists are just as suffocated by dogma as the religious people they want to claim superiority over. I am tired of hearing that if a person believes in a high power, they are religious. If I were religious, I’d say so. I have no reason to lie. Why so rigid with the definitions? Allow me to be rigid with a definition, then:
dog·ma: noun \ˈdȯg-mə, ˈdäg-\ a principle or set of principles laid down by an authority as incontrovertibly true.
If your definition of “religion” is so strict that you refuse to allow anyone to define it or “spirituality” for themselves, or apply it to themselves and their own lives on their terms, or if you use your definition of “religion” to lump everyone who believes in a higher power into the same category because you feel it denotes the same thing in everybody, you are suffering from atheistic dogma. You – just like the so-called religious people you would like to claim such superiority over, or think you are so different from – are a prisoner of your own uncompromising, inflexible and ridiculous ideas.
A few examples (and yes, these conversations actually happened):
1. “If you used to be an atheist and are not now, then you are religious. Religion; – the belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, especially a personal God or gods. From the Oxford English dictionary.”
RELIGION and SPIRITUALITY or simple belief in a high power have almost nothing to do with each other. Religion is a man-made institution used to systematically control and extort money from people. It is bound by rules, governance and laws. Spirituality is a personal belief in something higher than the self and nothing more. They are not interchangeable. They are not the same thing. If you don’t agree with my definition of these things, that sounds like your problem. I don’t have to live my life or structure my philosophies according to your – or anyone’s – definition of ANYTHING. It’s funny how you claim that religion is controlling yet you are unable to allow another person any definition of it or spirituality that falls outside of what you think it is, or allow them to define themselves according to their own spiritual philosophies. Do you perhaps not understand what “controlling” means?
There is ALSO a definition of religion which reads: “a specific fundamental set of beliefs and practices generally agreed upon by a number of persons or sects; an organized system of beliefs, ceremonies, and rules used to worship a god or a group of gods.” I do not possess or practice these things. You and everyone like you all have the same problem: You claim that those who believe in a higher power are all religious and that they all think the same way. You assume knowing about religion means subscribing to that religion. You assume a belief in a higher power or in God means everyone is a Christian (or follows some type of organized religion) or that it denotes the same exact thing in every situation or with every person. This could not be farther from the truth. People like you think of everybody the same way, then turn around and accuse others of being closed-minded. This is the classic “atheistic dogma.” It would be laughable if it were not so disappointing. Aren’t atheists supposed to be the enlightened, free-thinkers here?
2. “Free will my arse. Don’t be so stupid. Does a rape victim have free will? What a ridiculous thing to say. Free will is the stupidest argument ever made for religion.”
Using one extreme situation where a person’s free will has been taken away by ANOTHER person exercising THEIR free will to describe everybody and every situation is a little disingenuous, don’t you agree? Or maybe just kind of pathetic. If you have to use that type of situation to make your point, maybe your point isn’t all that valid.
3. “Religious people make up their own rules.”
So they have to adhere strictly to a code of laws and governance that you claim not to believe in or somehow they are wrong. OK. I’m glad you’ve proven how controlling RELIGION is. Oh wait, it’s YOU who is being dogmatic and inflexible. Oops. Your game is to try and trap religious people in their own rules and point out their perceived hypocrisy to claim some type of moral, ethical or intellectual victory for yourself and your obviously-deficient ego. That’s why you want to convince me – and yourself – of my being religious by YOUR definition. That’s why you refuse to allow me to define myself the way I choose. You can’t “win” without being able to apply your definition of religion to me and then attempting to point out my perceived hypocrisy as defined by your definition of religion. Sorry to disappoint but I am not religious. That’s why it isn’t working. I don’t have any of those rules.
4. “What about babies dying of starvation or AIDS?”
Do you not think PEOPLE have quite a bit to do with that problem? It’s like that thing where the guy says to Jesus, “Why do you allow war, starvation and genocide?” and Jesus says, “Funny, I was going to ask you the same thing.” People want to remove the human element from it altogether and just say, “If God were real, He would stop these things.” I have never understood that logic. Aside from the logical fallacy involved in that argument (which is glaringly blatant and akin to saying crime proves the police don’t exist), we have the ability to stop these things from happening. We do not. Wouldn’t it make more sense to worry about why that is? Nowhere in anything does it say that God would come in and end all terrible things. If people choose to do things that hurt others, God does not stop them. That isn’t how it works. The people who are dying of starvation are doing so because their government is corrupt and despicable. That is a HUMAN problem. People sometimes think of God as like an enforcer or the supernatural police. RELIGION is controlling. God is not. You are supposed to come to God of your own free will. If you do not, then you do not.
5. “That’s the paradox. He can’t prevent it because we have free will, but how can a loving god who says he loves each and everyone of us watch babies die through no fault of their own?”
I look at it like when you have a grown child. You love your child regardless. Even if they were a murderer you would love them, or a pedophile or whatever. But you don’t interfere with their lives. They have to live it themselves. I also wouldn’t say He CAN’T prevent it, but that He won’t. It is a sad fact that exercising your own free will can and often does affect more than just you. I don’t claim to have all the answers or to know the mind of God. That’s just how I see it.
It is the person committing the bad act who is letting children die. That’s what I mean about free will: it affects others, including babies. And from a spiritual standpoint: If God sees us all equally, then we are all His children. Therefore, if that is so, it is no different for anyone to be killed if they are 15 or 150 or 15 months old.
To me it’s different, but I’m not God.
In the end, nearly everyone involved in this type of debate – religious and atheist – is making the leap in logic that science and belief in a higher power must be mutually exclusive. This also could not be further from the truth; most truly intelligent minds realize that spirituality and science CAN co-exist. It seems that you only hear that argument from insecure people who do not truly understand either of these things.
I am not religious but the growing discrimination against Christians and religious people in general is beginning to alarm me. Those who I’ve debated with don’t seem to really be offended on behalf of gays or women or other hot button issues. Not really. They seem to have actually been offended by the mere mention of religion. For many, it seems to be a platform for them to express their own bigoted and discriminatory views — against Christians and/or religion in general. I’m no expert but it would seem that the answer to perceived bigotry and discrimination can hardly be more bigotry and discrimination.
I find it sad and a shame that people who claim they are all about equality and fair treatment for all just ignore this, or worse – they participate in it. Discrimination against anybody should alarm everybody. But it doesn’t, and that alarms me. I really feel that if, say, religious people were all rounded up to be shot simply for being religious, many of the people in this country would not protest or even care. I find that terrifying. “First they came for the Communists” and all that.
What I don’t get is, do they not realize how easily that actually could be them? Do they really think that could never happen? What about when it’s me? What about when it’s you? I tell myself every day not to give in to my ego or superego or whichever it is; that people cannot possibly be as stupid as I sometimes think they are. But every day I hear things like that (“Oh, it’s OK if it’s them, because it’ll never be me!”) and it gets harder and harder to believe that. I think they really do believe that. It’s frightening.
But what can you say about a society where scientific studies are done and psychiatric illnesses are dreamed up solely for the reason of giving people an excuse to escape personal responsibility? Not much, I guess.
As I talked about in my blog on Modern Pioneer Magazine, “Why Working From Home Could Be The Best Way To Go Green,” working from home may be one of the biggest things you can do to go green this year. No commute. No traffic. No gas. No emissions. No rush. No being forced to eat garbage food from fast food restaurants. Less stress, less hassle, less worry about daycare. It’s all around a better gig than the daily grind for sure. You make your own hours, you’re your own boss and you still get paid.
I’ve had some conflicts over it though. I am very against the digitalization of modern society, yet I do inbound customer service for a huge wireless company. It’s pretty ironic when you think about it. My job is to promote and propagate one of the things I hate the most. It makes for interesting internal conflicts, especially considering the fact that I actually like my job. I like problem-solving, I like the challenge and I like the interaction. I hate the product. I hate what it stands for. I hate that it seems to control people’s lives.
How do I rationalize that? I don’t. I don’t justify it either. It is what it is. I earn money contributing to what I believe is a cancer upon society. There is no denying it. I guess in some way, most of us do the same thing. But the money I earn goes toward creating a(n eventually) self-sufficient lifestyle. It goes to help fund small businesses and struggling artists. It goes to help animals in need. It supports small farms. It funds a message I strongly believe in. It’s not a perfect situation but what is?
I guess in the end, all we can do is find a way to live with ourselves for the concessions we have to make.
It is a shame when people cannot see past their own hatred and bias. I posted a picture of Jesus on Facebook with a story attached that gave reasons why things the person thought were bad (losing car keys) were actually good (kept him from being in an accident). I stated that even if you don’t believe in God, the sentiment of the story was wonderful because we should always remember that things we think are bad could be – and often are – a blessing in disguise.
Someone commented that they thought the story was terrifying because people who believe God is controlling their lives are “mentally deranged.” No matter how many times this person was told that the point of the post had nothing to do with God or religion but rather, had to do with the fact that many negatives often turn out to be positives with the fullness of time, he could not seem to understand and continued to rant about religion and the craziness of people who have faith. It was as if this person was having a completely different conversation from the rest of us.
It was funny at first but then it became sad and actually scary that someone could be so blinded by hatred like that. I’ve never seen anything like it. That’s saying a lot because I have lived and worked with people who have mental illness and developmental disorders for over 10 years and I have absolutely never had such a hard time explaining to someone that they’ve misunderstood. No, I gotta say: I’ve never seen anything like that.
If the mere mention of the word “God” – or any word, for that matter – can make you that blind, you need to examine yourself and your motives, because if you cannot look past your bias to see the bigger picture, you are the one with the handicap.
The blatant bias and hatred that were on display are really sad. When you cannot look past a fucking word or a concept to see the bigger picture, you are the one with the handicap. When you are having a conversation that is completely different from the one everyone else is having but cannot even see that, you are the one who looks mentally deranged. When you attack everything that is even tangentially related to the subject just because it’s sort of, kind of, a little related, you are the one who looks hateful. When you make blanket statements regarding everybody in a certain group, you are the one that looks intolerant. And when you are so carried away by your own self-righteous buffoonery that you cannot even see that you’ve misunderstood – let alone accept it – you are the one who looks stupid.