“You have your way. I have my way. As for the right way, the correct way, and the only way, it does not exist.” Fredric Nietzsche (image from losanjealous.com)
I'm not sure where to begin purging all the ideas, thoughts and feelings I've had over the last week or so. In fact, this blog is only going to touch the surface of what I’ve been feeling; a feeling I wasn’t able to isolate until the other day when I posted a well thought out “status update” on Facebook and received flippant replies. Yeah, I know, it’s freakin’ Facebook, so get over it. It's not like I was blogging on Open Salon. And my friends aren’t mind readers so they didn't know I wasn't being light-hearted. The replies didn’t upset me as much as it pushed in my face something that has been bothering me a lot lately. The malaise this country operates under. It’s a malaise of cynicism and bitterness. A malaise I am prone to suffering. And I know it’s all chic and hip to be morose and gloomy and malevolent and snaky but really? Enough! The political left bitterly blames the right for the ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan (ok, then all you folks on the left, stop driving your cars, riding trains, planes or buses and buying manufactured good because then we won’t need so much petroleum for products and gasoline.). The political right blames the left for the out of control debt and plague of terrors called health care (alright then all you folks on the right you can stop driving on the public highways and while you’re at it, if you’re 66 or older can we have all that money we put into Medicare back?) Yeah, the country--if not the world--is in a big mess and yeah, religious zealots and greed and capitalism is to blame. So don’t participate, go find a cave and be bitter and angry and cynical there. BUT YOU CAN’T TAKE ANY OF YOUR STUFF WITH YOU.
Some of my friends will call this a crisis of faith (I heartily agree, and will click the “like” button) but other friends might say it’s because we are at the “end times and Jesus is coming” (I would have to push the “meh” button on that one because we won’t know when the end is because that’s just how God rolls) And then I would have friends who would snark at me because I’m ignorant enough and unsophisticated enough to even believe in God much less the idea of Jesus.(the dislike and ignore function would be activated) And you know what? That kind of snark is just sad. I’m sick of snark. I’m sick of defending my faith to my acquaintances who are atheists. Fortunately, I have been vocal enough that most of my friends who happen to be agnostic or atheists just leave me alone and let me have my “Invisible Sky Friend” Actually, I love this moniker for God, and it makes me giggle and feel warm and cozy all over. Probably not Keith’s intent when he was sneering about evangelical Christians and let that lovely gem drop.
I’m guilty of sneering at evangelical Christians. But the one’s I sneer at are the judgy media whores and the judgy gay bashers who get caught with male escorts and their pants around their ankles. But then I’ll sneer at anyone who queer bashes because chances are they are and it’s too scary to contend with so they pour on the hate. I also sneer at people who refer to themselves as “Christians” when they protest at Veteran’s funerals with ugly, hateful signs claiming God hated their loved one for serving in the military because God hates fags so that’s why we were attacked on 9/11. Just thinking about Fred Phelps and his church makes my blood boil and my heart sad all at once. Because in some very small liberal minds Phelps is your typical Christian. Uh huh, just like the Palestinian who blow up cafes is your typical Muslim and the dumb mo’ fo Israeli who thought it would be an excellent strategy to take Muslims hostage in a Temple so the PLO would force everyone to start shooting--and the Jews could call foul--is your typical Jew.
One of my favorite people I get to share this Earth with is a very devout born again Christian. God only knows what she thinks of my foul mouth and my lifestyle and my ribald sense of humor but she loves me anyway and I know she prays for me because that’s what Jesus would do. How lucky am I to have a friend like that. Anyhow, K went to Israel a few years ago, with the intent to convert Jews to Christianity. I bristled when she told me she was going to do that but I told her I hoped she would have a safe and meaningful trip and I was (truly) looking forward to hearing her stories when she returned. K was supposed to travel with another woman but it feel through and she ended up alone and depending on a network of strangers, some Christian, some Jewish and some Muslim. Her daughter had a friend in Israel and they had friends and so on and so on and everyone, no matter what flavor of God they worshiped, welcomed K into their homes and hearts. She never got a chance to witness to them because they witnessed to her through their actions. She came home transformed and even more Christ like. My guess is K transformed their lives in ways she will never know because she is just that sort of person. K had a front row seat and experienced the futility of war and told me everyone she met just wants it to stop and feel the governments--all of the--are the driving force feeding the crazy on either side.
Our national past time of Beating Down Those People We Don’t Understand Or Agree With feeds the crazy here, too. It also feeds the malaise of fear and the malaise of anger and the malaise of anxiety we are suffering globally. But with our information explosion, it’s hard to turn away from the train wreck. At least, I’m having a hard time turning away. But I must turn away because I strongly believe my psychic vibration can affect my life for better or worse. God gave me this force but it is I who must tap into it and create my positive existence. But I can’t do it if I’m a partake in the Train Wreck Slide Show. In short, The Net is harshing my mellow. So what am I doing to stop--what feels like madness--in my plain? There are snaky blogs I’ve stopped following and sites specializing in doom and gloom and blatant scare tactic journalism. I have left a community I’ve been a member of for many years because I was sick to death of defending my spirituality which is accessorized in believing that Christ is my particular religion’s son of God. (Dude, it’s all God. Flying Spaghetti Monster, Loki, Allah, whatever) All I know and care about is my belief in God’s limitless and boundless grace is what gets me through most days. I was also sick to death of the malevolence directed towards any member of a particular political party. Finally, I had had enough of the smug, self-serving tone most of the participants had and their predilection to thinking they were the smartest, wittiest people on the planet. I beg to differ, they are actually some of the most mean-spirited and culturally bigoted people I’ve ever run across but it took me about ten years to figure it out. (Some of these people I love and will continue to keep in contact but that’s a handful) As an effort to take the high road, and walk the way of peace talk, I’m not mentioning the name of the community. Rather than fight it any longer because I’m not as well educated as the most vocal and erudite in the community, I’m pushing away from the table and declaring the relationship over. But it wasn’t without getting angry about it a few weeks ago. I was letting my anger seethe and boil but I gave it one more go yesterday and all my lurking prompted was my status update someplace else who’s ill timed and not thought out responses further flamed the fire of a marvelous egomaniacal fantasy.
Yesterday, I imagined shouting loudly enough so even earthlings whom were asleep would awaken, those who were fighting in wars would hear over the chaos of death and those who were working would listen:
“ stopSTopSTOSTOP bickering and just live and let live!!”
“Use the next five minutes to breath deeply and think about whatever it is that makes you the happiest, be it Jesus, Zeus, your dog or gold or opium crops. Just stop whatever it is your doing and take five minutes to contemplate what makes your heart soar.”
And the erudite left is not the only guilty party in this game. Another place I frequent has a mix of ideologies; one of the members--in the middle of a discussion of the Fort Hood shootings--had the audacity to blame Obama for them. Whatever, dude. Sheesh crazy is as crazy does. But this is typical of the hysteria coming from the right. I can’t whine too much about the right because I pointedly avoid most US news outlets because of the fear mongering. (I have enough fear conjured up in my head, thanks, I don’t need any flavor of wing nut telling me what to fear or think.) And frankly, I am more left leaning so I don’t know of many right leaning publications. But the crap The Huffington Post spews out could tip me over to the other side. No wonder the right hates the left. We act like a bunch of know-it-all-assholes because they act like Holier-than-thou-demagogues who hate everyone else in one breath but tell us we need to all be more like Jesus who didn‘t hate anyone and probably would be happy to have dinner with just about anyone who would have him.
But isn’t that the beauty of the human condition, this duality, this flawed-ness. We are all so deeply and beautifully flawed. The Girl blames Adam and Eve but I think it was all part of God’s divine plan and he would have found a reason to kick us out of the garden anyhow. Because God was like that in the beginning, pretty much impossible to please and quick to anger. It wasn’t until he calmed down somewhere after Jacob and started thinking about giving Earth Jesus who could be his mouthpiece for peace since he hadn’t done such a bang up job before then.
So if you name yourself a liberal, shake right-winger’s hand. And if you are right wing, shake a bleeding heart liberal’s hand and after that, don’t forget to breathe and let your heart soar for a minute cuz it’s a great feeling.