TOXIC THOUGHT SYNDROME
"See, the problem is that nobody buys that. They get all lost in the details. They're like lawyers, those slavering dogs of corruption who exist only to weaken the spirit of the rule by finding the exception. When you focus on the details you start to find areas where someone said something that just didn't fit in, or maybe there's a conflict here, or maybe the concepts feel a little old fashioned. People fight wars over the details. Put another way, people die over the details."
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Jesus was an anarchist.
I can actually hear the teeth clenching in the jaw of the good rev'rund Jerry Falwell when I say that. This guy makes me giggle. I saw him a few weeks ago on Politically Incorrect with Bill "It's Cool To Toe The Line" Maher, and the first segment saw him rallying the troops against the EEeevils of birth control as a form of state sponsored murder, and then the second segment saw him pledging his undying devotion to George W. Bush Jr. in support of his slaughter of the Afghan hordes. I guess in Jerry's World, murder only counts if it's a pure god damn American Fetus.
My last episode of Toxic Thought Syndrome made a reference to the importance of personal responsibility to anarchism. I want to elaborate on that now, and to talk about something that I've been thinking about for a long time.
I was raised in the typical western Judeo-Christian environment. My parents took me to church, let me run loose in Sunday School, and talked about God a lot. As I grew older, they encouraged me to question the beliefs I held, and to ensure that I continued to grow not necessarily as a Christian, but as a person.
I'm not the same kid with the same beliefs now. Like most of the people in my generation, religion and God don't offer the same things or play the same roles as they did to my parents. I don't buy into the details of the Bible, but I've read it and a lot of similar books from a lot of other religions, and what occurs to me is that every school of faith, every perspective on politics, and the spirit behind every law is based on some fundamental things:
That's it. That's what it's all about. Forget all the searching and sitting on mountain tops eating nothing but cactus needles, that's the whole key to life. Bang. And it only took 10000 years or human evolution. YAY! We did it!
See, the problem is that nobody buys that. They get all lost in the details. They're like lawyers, those slavering dogs of corruption who exist only to weaken the spirit of the rule by finding the exception. When you focus on the details you start to find areas where someone said something that just didn't fit in, or maybe there's a conflict here, or maybe the concepts feel a little old fashioned. People fight wars over the details. Put another way, people die over the details.
All the bible really says is that there was a guy who had a few good concepts. He taught you to think about your actions and try to make sure that you weren't hurting anyone, or that you were acting in a good fashion. I don't know if there's a heavenly kingdom or if there's life after death, but one thing I'll definitely give in on is that this life feels a lot better when you do right by it.
Jesus advocated free thought tempered by responsibility. Do unto others as you would have others do unto you. What is that? That is a statement intended to open your eyes to the fact that your deeds will always have an impact on others, and you have the responsibility to make sure that you understand that impact and do your best to make sure that what happens to them as a result of your actions is in line with what you would want if they were in the same spot.
Imagine if we lived like that. Would you need government? Nope. Would you need squadrons of flak-jacketed police beating protestors? Nope.
Yeah, I know. It's an ideal. Ideals don't work. Ideals fail to accept the fact that most people are totally greedy and self-motivated. People don't really want to think about other people because dagnabbit you have to fight your way through this life.
Well, I don't want to live like that. I like the way I live my life. I try not to fuck around. I try not to stress. I try to be nice to people whenever I can, and I try to have a little faith. Maybe my faith isn't in the God of my parents, and maybe it isn't in the governmental Gods, but it's there and it's something.
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