Political Rants · Uncategorized

No, I don’t have to love you.

Love your neighbor who doesn't: look like you, think like you, love like you, speak like you, pray like you, vote like you. Love your neighbor. No exceptions.Today I saw a sign being shared that was originally from an Episcopal church. People commented on it about how great it was, how it was all about love, and how this is what Jesus meant.

I call bullshit.

A massive, steaming pile of fresh, fly-attracting bullshit.

A field full of massive, steaming piles of fresh, fly-attracting bullshit.

Because, no.

I don’t love you.

I don’t have to love you.

Love is like respect.

You try to love and respect people when you meet them.

You try to assume the best in them.

You try to believe that the love and respect will be reciprocated, that there is a level of parity that is reached, and that there will be a mutual response.

When that doesn’t happen – when that person makes it clear that they want to oppress you, deny you your rights, imprison you, and, yes, even kill you simply because of who you are at your fundamental core…

Then, no.

I do not have to love that person.

You do not have to love that person.

Loving that person is allowing them to continue with their messages of hatred.

Loving that person is being complicit in their hate and anger and behavior.

Loving that person is agreeing that it is okay to discriminate

They do not desire your love.

They do not respect your love.

They will use your love against you.

Do not love that person.

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Misinformation 101

Calm! by Pennywise http://morguefile.com/archive/display/178142
Calm! by Pennywise
http://morguefile.com/archive/display/178142

Reading through the paper, I came across an article that I just had to take issue with.  My issue is that it spends the first three paragraphs seeming to imply that those with mental disorders or disabilities (including such “diagnoses” as being “socially awkward” and having anxiety”) are more likely to snap and go on a school shooting spree.

The title is that there is “no simple formula to identify dangerous people,” but then the first three paragraphs review three people and incidents.  Scary! Scary! “Those” people are dangerous!

Except…except that in the fifth paragraph, the article says – for those who have bothered reading that far – that “attempts at profiling run the risk of misidentifying individuals who may only be suffering from depression or a behavioral disorder.”  In fact, the article went on to say, “only a third of the attackers had received a mental health evaluation” and “most of the shooters – whose ages ranged from 11 to 21 – came from two-parent families, socialized with mainstream students, had no history of violent or criminal behavior, and had never or rarely been in trouble at school.”  Basically, there is no way to predict that those people would commit those atrocities.

So why the seeming subterfuge?  Why spend the beginning – the part that’s most likely to be read – giving the idea that there is something “at fault” with these people?

Well, I hate to keep harping on it (no, I don’t), but once again, it’s that need to separate ourselves.  The need to make sure that anyone capable of such acts isn’t “one of us.”  As was repeated over and over in an episode of Life:  “There’s us.  And there’s them.  Us.  Them.  Us.  Them.”

We like that division.  But it isn’t real.

I remember one evening about 20 years ago, around 6 p.m., my at-the-time-boyfriend-and-now-husband and I were going out on a date.  We were driving down the main drag of my town, over by the train station that everyone commuting to New York rode out of and into daily, and this guy, carrying a briefcase and wearing a suit, was walking down the road, obviously one of the previously mentioned commuters.  Then, he stumbled a little and started to jog.  Then run. All the while pulling at his tie, shedding his jacket, and first muttering then yelling, “I just can’t take it anymore!”

And it scared me.  Because it hit me: we’re all on that edge of not taking it anymore.

Don’t get me wrong – I’m not saying that I feel myself on that edge now.  I don’t think I’m going to run down the street, stripping off my clothes and screaming.  It’s just that I accept that it could happen.  And for some people, it does happen.  And we should know that and accept that and be less judgmental of those who seek help to fix their problems and try to find help for those who need help and don’t know it.

 

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Imagine a world…where we all took personal responsibility and didn’t enjoy blaming others…

So this morning in the car, I was listening to “Imagine.”  And first off, it was kind of funny to think that the guy singing about “imagine there’s no greed” and “no possession” was, at the time, extremely rich and had plenty of possessions.  But that’s not actually my point.  It was after that when I took it further in my mind and made some new connections.

Lennon was shot and killed by a man (whose name I won’t mention – why glorify a killer who wants to be glorified?), and said killer was found at the scene, reading a copy of “Catcher in the Rye.”  The killer said that the book was his statement.  It caused a lot of blame – it was obviously Salinger’s fault for writing the book.

Reagan was shot by a man who wanted to impress Jodi Foster because of his love for her, and his need to get her attention and respect.  Did anyone blame Jodi for the shooting?  No, her existence wasn’t at fault.  But Salinger’s book was…even though the book did nothing more than Jodi Foster did.  It existed.  Someone used it for a bad thing, but that didn’t make it bad, any more than what Jodi Foster did made her bad.

Then, recently, we had an arrest in Katy, Texas.  A 19-year-old man who had posted multiples pages and questions about how he wanted to go out by killing a group of elementary school students, noted how long police response would take, and asked how to videotape it.  Sounded pretty serious, but he claimed it was just a joke.  What *made* him think about it?  And would we blame the elementary school students who were killed?  Or would we find something else to blame?  Because, of course, there has to be blame assigned, right?

Why do we have to blame something – or someone – when something bad happens?  I have nothing against blaming the person who committed the act.  It’s their fault.

Does this relate to our concept of victims?

We like to blame them, too.

We put out signs in parking lots, telling us not to put our stuff out because then someone might be tempted to steal it.  We tell women not to wear clothing that’s too “skimpy” or “attractive” because then someone might be tempted to rape them.

Why don’t we work on stopping bad people instead of training good ones? Last night, I watched the second episode of “The Mindy Project,” and one of the characters had a tattoo on his stomach that said “No More Stealing Cars.”  He reversed the blame game – instead of making up a sign to tell other people to stop tempting him, he made up a sign to stop from being tempted.  Now, I’m not saying that’s always possible, but maybe he had the right idea…