Sunday, April 05, 2009

Why I care

There was an argument (flame war) after I posted some things about Christianity and other religions. And then I was asked why I cared enough to post the stuff that I said. I was also accused of saying hate-speak. I don't want to post the whole email here because I agreed to take that discussion offline. It is. It will be. The person who emailed me is highly intelligent and a good person. No doubt about that. I am sure I offended several people. I, in no way want to personally insult anyone, without just cause and having a face to face.
I want to answer the question for the rest of you that were not privy to the offline conversation. Why do I care about what is going on in the rest of the world? Why do I care about AIDS in Africa. I care because most people actually don't. It's horrible when we see it on TV and we may wring our hands for a few minutes, but we forget after the next commercial. I want to be a brutally honest about this. I am as guilty of it as anyone else is. Africa and it's citizens are the lowest class of people on this planet. They are barely above the animals. In some cases they are not. That is the viewpoint. It's real.
I care because they are real people. I care because that is where we all most likely came from. If we can stop AIDS in Africa then the rest of the problem would be incredibly tiny. I care because the citizens are not Internet savvy, they are not well educated and when someone on a gold throne tells them something then they are going to believe it. No matter how inane it may be. If a rumor that raping a virgin will cause an outbreak there, what do you think a lie from the pope will do? I care most importantly because the one thing that I hate the most on this planet is apathy.
Have you seen apathy lately? I know I have. We have not seen apathy like this since the late 30's and the rise of a little group of Germans that was tolerated by their own country and then the rest of the world, until it became a problem. I was told that it may be better if I do something to help the people in Africa instead of criticising the church. Well, I could quit my job and go over there to hand out condoms and maybe someday I will. It's a lifelong dream of mine to walk across that continent. I can't quit my job and I can't spend a lot of money to send condoms to Africa (I will send some). What I can do is scream. I can call people out if I see something that I think is wrong.
I asked a co-worker who is a christian, but not catholic what she thought about the dogma of sex vs. people lives. She hemmed and hawed around the subject explaining to me the dangers of having sex outside of marriage for a good 10 minutes before I cornered her and asked her what was most important: "Life" vs. "What the church says." Her answer blew me away. I was not anticipating that she would finally be blunt about it and say that it is more important to do what the church says. WOW. just WOW.
This is what I feel like needs to be fought. Blindness and apathy. That is apathy. That is not caring what is going to happen as long as someone higher than you says it's okay. Where did that get us in the last 8 years? How many of your civil liberties are gone now because of apathy? If a system is broken and you still promote and support it, who is to blame? The system only has power that we give to it. Is it Christianities fault that AIDS happened? No. Is it Catholicisms fault? No. I understand what the pope was trying to say, let me paraphrase it for you: "If you don't have sex then you won't catch AIDS. Problem solved, no condoms needed."
That sounds wonderful, except the fact that all humans like to have sex. Bad things happen when you don't. It's human nature. I think we have proven over the last 10,000 years what happens when you make human nature taboo. You give it power and people want it more and in more dangerous ways.
So what can I do. I can get on my soapbox and rant. If the pen is indeed mightier than the sword then we should all get on our soapboxes and rant. I can only hope that word will spread and the system will get fixed. We own the system, can't we fix it. Whether it be religion, politics or just a social pecking order. We all decide what it is going to be either by action (being progressive and making a decision) or by inaction (being apathetic about it or choosing not to make a decision). I might be crazy, I might be filled with anger right now, but I won't be apathetic. I have been. If I step on some toes and piss people off because I tell them that their system sucks and is broken, then so be it. I hope that I at least got them to think about it.
I try not to quote people to often because I think it is a sign of pseudo intelligence and stagnates critical thinking...:) but Goethe once said "Thinking is easy, acting is difficult, and to put one's thoughts into action is the most difficult thing in the world."

One more quote just for shits and giggles. "When the missionaries came to Africa they had the Bible and we had the land. They said "Let us pray." We closed our eyes. When we opened them we had the Bible and they had the land." Desmond TuTu

Why do I care? We fucked up Africa, maybe we should fix it.

More to come...


  1. Well Done. Good Points. But there is a point where you say what you mean and then take it back...

    To preface: We have a problem. It is our problem. The problem will never be fixed but that doesn't mean we have any less than a moral responsibility to do something about it.

    Now having said that. Let me take it back... ;)

    By your own argument about apathy the reason AIDs is running rampant is because of apathy. In a black and white world, a concern about the sanctity of marriage and some self control and it is conceivable that aid would have died out some time ago. Somehow it got out. Sex is the primary vehicle so it had to break the barrier of marriage.

    Apathy caused the problem and now apathy is perpetuating the problem.

    It doesn't matter what we like. Action-Consequence. I don't like being fat but I won't diet or exercise. If I don't want to be fat then I need to get off the couch and do something about it. The issue for me is self-control.

    The issue isn't about what we like. It isn't even about religion. The issue is a lack of self control. If you know that this disease is running rampant then why are you putting yourself in danger?

    The problem isn't as simple as sending condoms or pronouncing that celibacy is the answer. It is going to take a cultural change. Somehow the culture must change away from apathy.

  2. Well put. That was not my intention. I agree it is going to take a great amount of social responsibility. More importantly, to me at least, is it is going to take a great deal of open and honest education with only one goal. The eradication of this virus.
    A big problem with what we are seeing now is ulterior motives clouding the education that will lead to social change.
    We do have a moral responsibility to fix this issue. Having said that we cannot change human nature, but we can educate people how to be safe when they give in to that nature.
    Great comment.

  3. Anonymous6/4/09 16:40

    I've read a few of your posts and I have a question that I believe needs answering before I can take you seriously at all:

    Why religion?

    It has been shown though human nature that we want to believe ourselves to be superior to everything and everyone... why wouldn't that stretch to religion? Why not go on your rants about the obstruction of truth though political propoganda, or the lies that Science has forced upon us to sell more drugs?
    I don't really mind stepping on toes here... but honestly your dedication to "showing people the truth about religion" only causes you to look naive.