Friday, February 27, 2009

The Contradiction

The way Gloria Watson (bell hooks is Gloria Watson’s pen name and I refuse to refer to her in as bell hooks; capitalize the letters, it’s grammar, not oppression) perceives the world is a way that I hope that I never see. She sees every action as a part of the problem. I would hate to be the one who has to break it to her that the world that she believes is so racist, she actively participates in. She works for an upstanding university in Kentucky, but the thing is that she probably buys wares and services from companies that have oppressed some social, ethnic, economic class in history.

It seems that she only cares about the color black. Now call me a racist if you think I am, but only one color matters to me: green. Money makes the world go round. She advocates a total removal of the current system, but I KNOW that the current system is the best way to do things, because millions of people would be killed and harmed in the transition. Anarchy leads to Despotism.

Friday, February 13, 2009

The Alternative

I have really strong opinions about some things. I just happen to be very passionate about what I believe, and I consider that passion to be a source of great strength for me. But at times it can get in my way. While my group was trying to select a topic for our presentation I kept hammering for a specific discrimination that I have been the target of in my life, but the topic isn’t really one that could easily be accomplished for this project. So I thought that I would talk about it here in my blog for this week.

When I was eighteen I had a real crisis of faith. I thought that I had found a profession that I would enjoy a great deal. I was going to be helping people as an EMT. But about halfway through the training, I was on a ride along with the city’s Emergency Services and the ambulance responded to a multiple vehicle car crash. The driver of an SUV had tried to avoid an accident on the express way by swerving into the median, but that had just flipped her car right over and into oncoming traffic. Six cars were involved and seeing how we were the first ambulance on the scene, it became the jobs of the EMTs and I to evaluate the severity of the injuries of the people that were involved, called triage.

The first person that I came up to was a nine year old girl had been hit in the head. Her hair was once blond but because of the blood, it was now a dark crimson color. Because she had not been in a car seat, she had been thrown around the vehicle like a rag doll. Blood was everywhere. The girl wasn’t breathing, she had no pulse; she was dead and I had to put a black tag on her forehead, to indicate that she was dead. I started throwing up and I don’t really remember anything else about that day.

I went to see my pastor the next day. I explained what had happened and asked her, “Why would God do such a terrible thing to her, and her family? What higher purpose would this little girl’s death serve? What did she do to deserve such a painful death?” The answer that I got from my pastor was one that made me cringe. She told me that everything that god does have a purpose, but that we may not be able to know it. I asked for help with dealing with what I had seen, but all she wanted to do was pray. I told her I needed an explanation but she didn’t have one for me.

This chain of event is what lead to my religious conversion to Atheism.

I like being an atheist. I have a view of the world that suits me. But when people learn that I am an atheist, they then tend to feel that it is their responsibility to convert me back to Christianity. I tell people that my philosophy on god is that in a world where god allows children to die when murderers live, I would much rather believe that there is no god. But I have never met someone who lets me live with my philosophy.

The devout religious just can’t deal with the fact that I don’t believe in god any more. They take it as a personal attack on their faith. I don’t really care what religion someone is, but when they take it upon themselves to attack my beliefs, I take it personally. I attack back with some of the more obvious contradictions within the Bible. Then I get called godless and immoral. But I end up being the bad guy? Is that how atheists got such a bad reputation? By arguing against faith with logic?

I see signs and religious symbols and icons advertized everywhere, but if I were to buy a billboard and put up some sort of pro-atheism message on it, there would be an up cry by the religious community. I would be forced to take the sign down, and I would probably not be able to find a job. I never tell the people that I work with that I am an atheist. I am too afraid of what they would try to do to me.

I feel that these two clips (the first is from the Paula Zahn show, the second is a personal testimonial of a Christian) the hatred that the mainstream media has for atheists.

It just makes me feel… alone.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Condemning Fundamental Evil

Ok, am I the only one who had a hard time with class on Monday Friday? When Erin was talking about how we should try to understand and rationalize with the people who think that it is a good idea to cut men’s penises off, I just felt like she was rationalizing fundamentalism and, by proxy, terrorism. Am I the only person who still thinks that violence is NEVER justified until all other options are exhausted? I really don’t think that rationalizing with someone who wants to cut my dick off is going to change their minds, or mine for that matter. They hate who I am at a level that I can’t change. No matter what I do, they will still hate me. That’s discrimination and sexism. Isn’t that what they are fighting? My definition of a hero is someone who fights evil without succumbing to it. And while they are fighting for women’s rights, they started doing the same things as those they hated. They started thinking the same way as those who were trying to oppress them.

The women of the Society for Cutting Up Men (SCUM) are trying to motivate change by making men afraid of them. They hope that policies and opinions will be changed by men because of the threat of losing a part of their bodies. I will never allow myself to believe that the means justify the end (which is what terrorism is fundamentally about).

If that is the kind of person that Susan Douglas is, then I am going to just stop reading this book. I have a real problem with the justification of violence. I don’t know if Douglas is this overly radical, but it was insinuated in class. I think that Douglas is just an angry idealist, but that is where the process of fundamentalism starts.

Ingrid Newkirk, the founder of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, began her organization with great intentions, but when radical idealist got wind of her ideology, other groups with less virtuous members started their own political action groups. Such groups are the Animal Liberation Front (ALF). This group firebombs animal testing faculties. They go into classrooms and teach kids how to make incendiary bombs. Their most notable public figure is former member Rodney Coronado, who was convicted of arson when he burned an animal testing facility at the University of Michigan to the ground. Douglas should, in her book, condone this type of activism. She should also be wary of people who don’t have such a moderate view who get a hold of her book. They could be motivated by her words (as confusing as they are) and commit an act of terrible violence towards men.

I’m not saying that Douglas’ book should be banned. What I am saying is that she should take proactive measures to keep her distance from violent feminists. Everyone has every right to say whatever they want, and let the free market place of ideas run its course and determine what is correct. But if she is not careful, she will be seen as a radical feminist who sees the road of change lined with blood.

Hating someone for a belief is a terrible thing to do. I mean, I don’t really like people who are overly religious, but you don’t see me trying to hurt them or burn down churches, mosques, and temples. And I don’t hate them; I hate the idea that they believe in, not them. Hate should be specific (if at all). Hate someone for something that they do, like “I hate Jim because he abuses kittens.”

This radical feminist ideology is something that I will never allow myself to rationalize, or sympathize with. The end never, ever justifies the means!