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This Isn't About You

Although if you feel like it is, then maybe it should be.

That's my disclaimer. Now, here's the post.

I'm starting to dislike social media more and more, especially Facebook. It's not because Facebook is, in itself, horrible...but because the level of pure, unadulterated hypocrisy I see on it daily is turning my stomach to the nth degree.

Mostly, it's just that I'm tired of 80% of my FL exhorting their readers to "Stop the Hate", particularly in reference to the proposed mosque near Ground Zero, when they themselves have nothing but hateful, horrible, vitriolic things to say about every individual or group of people who doesn't agree with them.

Here's a newsflash: I don't agree with you. 9 times out of 10 we don't see eye-to-eye...at least, not when it comes to group philosophy. But then, I think that all collective minds are guilty at some level, of something. There is not one single innocent religious organization in the entire world. Not one. The top 3 (Christianity, Judaism, Islam) are the most guilty of the most heinous crimes, but that's only by dint and virtue of size and numbers. And frankly, I count aetheists in this mix of arrogance and egregious behavior too. They may not believe in any deity, but as a group, their dogma and often times rabid self-affirmation in not believing is reminiscent of any fundamental orthodoxy out there in the clerical sense.

There isn't a single, intelligent political party in this country. Not as a group. Each party has some great, even stunning minds - Democrats, Republicans, Tea Party, Green Party, even the Rainbow Party (if they still exist) and all of the others that fall in between. But collectively? They're all dumb as a bag of hammers. Neither head nor heart is in the right place most of the time.

But here's the thing...I align my affiliations with the church/belief system and the party that generally speaks to me most. Politically, I am Independent. There are no issues that can be pigeonholed in to a party line. Spiritually, I'm a newly confirmed and already lapsed Catholic (in keeping with a fine, Irish-American traidition), but there's beauty and virtue in nearly every religion I've taken the time to learn about - and none of them, in my mind, are "wrong".

What I won't do is single a person or group of persons out simply because I disagree with them and call them names to further my own cause and rally others to my side. It's a bully tactic that usually just drives people on the fence away from falling off on to your camp and it's also a tactic recognized long ago by the military forces across the world - dehumanization. Dehumanize your enemy/opponent and it makes it easier to kill. Dehumanize your perceived enemy and it's easy to claim that you're not a purveyor of hate but a bearer of the sword of truth and light instead.

That, frankly, is rubbish.

I don't like ANY group. I don't believe for one moment that there aren't outstanding people within each and every one of those groups though. And I do believe that the less time spent calling each other "liberal moonbats" and "tea baggers" and far, far worse that I've seen lately, the more time we can talk to each other (not AT each other), the more common ground we'll find and the more we'll actually accomplish, even though it'll mean compromise for everyone.

Shit. It happens everytime I'm out one on one with a friend. We actually have more in common than not. That's why it's so distressing when I see such arrogant awfulness from so many of them these days. It's like...that's not you. That's silly. And if it IS you, you lied to holy hell to me.

I don't care what my friends believe or don't. I do care when they start tearing other people, including myself (unknowingly, which makes it worse) down for something they do believe - without so much as even formulating a decent argument to do so. Or worse, what I'm seeing more, is not coming close to trying to understand why someone else thinks the way that they do.

That's what's really making me ill, I guess. The unthinking stupidity that comes from hiding behind a keyboard and falling prey to group-think.

ETA: Champion Snarker though I may be, I will single out personal behavior and direct it to the individual - and I never say anything online I wouldn't to their face. Just wanted to make that point clear here, in light of the tenor of this post.

Comments

bombardiette
Aug. 31st, 2010 10:46 pm (UTC)
I have no doubt, Ron, that if you look within the close quarters of those religions, you'll find that human evil the larger, powerful ones turn outward into the world, are actually turned inward on one another.

In fact, it's fairly documented within the Quaker sect.

I won't speak on Baha'i, but I would guarantee that plenty of ill has been done unto other practitioners by their fellow believers. It's the way humans are wired.

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bombardiette
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