Monday, September 13, 2010

The American Theocrat

I'm an atheist. This means I'm pretty sure there's not a god. Note that I say I'm pretty sure. These are things that can't be known, you know? What I do know is that my life is more rich, more complete and more satisfying if I live it believing that we're in it for each other. I am an optimistic woman and believe that virtue is its own reward. I'm a connoisseur of kindness. I seek it out like your more crackpot Christians look for Jesus in the burnt toast (but find it a lot more often). It breaks my heart a little that the old John Lennon song has now been crusted over with an uncrackable veneer of schmaltz, since what he was imagining was, in fact, pretty fucking radical. I think, in short, (and I'm pretty sure I'm right) that the world would be a better place if we'd all just give up on god.

That said, all that no-god stuff understood, I can't count on two hands the number of people I love who are Christian. I love so so so many people for whom the teachings of Jesus are profoundly important and provide the foundation for their whole system of living.

And what's not at all surprising? These people love me too. We get along gangbusters.

It should be fairly obvious to any adult person with a couple of brain cells knocking around side by side that we can share the world in a rewarding, fulsome way with people whose system of theology differs from our own. Shit, some of my best conversations are with my Christian cousin (and dear, dear friend) just chewing over how we see the world.

This isn't hard.

This is, in fact, the way most of us live.

Which brings me, laboriously, to the new American Islamophobia. And how the people ginning it up are nothing more than bullies. And I can't stand a fucking bully.

These newly emboldened American theocrats have defined American in this narrow, retrograde way. It's not enough to say America is Christian. America is a very particular kind of Christian. And if you disagree, well then, you faggots, you ragheads, you n*****s and dykes - get the hell out, because you're not really American.

I've had the narrow eye of the Newt Palins in the world staring at me because I believe that women should have agency over their own bodies, because I don't believe that professing faith in Jesus automatically makes you a good person. And I've usually been pretty good with a tacit "go fuck yourself" and moving on with my life. But. This. Is. Different.

Now they've extended their mean, narrow worldview out into places that can't get it. They're spewing their poison in places that don't understand freedom and are painting this whole country (which I love) in broad, bloody strokes as a place that hates anyone who isn't Christian (by narrow definition).

And, it pisses me off. I am sick to death of the bullies. I'm sick of the way they've turned the entire media into a high school cafeteria where they flip the trays over anyone who doesn't kowtow to the notion the head Christian cheerleader and the Christian Quarterback count more. And I'm sick of them speaking lies of my country, lies about who we are, lies about what freedom is.

It's time to start talking louder than the theocrat bullies.

I'm an atheist and a feminist and a vegetarian and a better American than anyone who thinks that makes me less of one.