Antichrist with the devil, from the Deeds of t...

Antichrist with the devil, from the Deeds of the Antichrist (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Hello, y’all. Sorry I have been away for a few days. I got into a pattern of mine of obsessing about things I cannot change and I was completely consumed to the point of not sleeping, forgetting to eat and to take my medications. I am past that now mainly because I recognize that I have no control over people, places or things. The only thing that I can control are my own reactions or rather actions. Instead of boring you all over again with that situation, which I have addressed ad infinitum in other posts, I want to talk about how not being in control can actually be a good thing.  It helps us to remember that we need to rely on God, rather than on ourselves and/or others. It is an unfortunate fact that even your best friend is likely to let you down once in a while.

I have been thinking a great deal about this issue and how I see it playing out in the political arena. I want to warn people that I am a liberal after many years of indecision between the two parties and I have always just voted for who I thought was the best candidate. However my mind has changed primarily because of what I feel are religious extremists trying to control the Republican party. What I have to say is not an attack on Christianity in general, nor do I think all Republicans are like this. Furthermore, I realize that my positions on certain things could offend others. However, I want to make things clear from the outset that I am only stating my opinions and that others are free to disagree as long as they are not abusive about it.

I wrote this passage on a blog forum and I want to share this with my readers. Again I am talking about a certain subset of the religious right, the ones who want to spread fear and paranoia:

I see a lot of truth in what you say. While there is a danger in stereotyping the conservative Christians, there is the fact that a lot of them behave just as you say [ being self-righteous and trying to impose their ideas on everyone else] Of course, it is usually the loudest and most obnoxious ones that get our attention. The fact is that there is a culture of paranoia among these people, and I have to wonder if it has to do with ultimately wanting to control the uncontrollable. The world is a scary place and it helps some people to believe that if they do X,Y and Z then they will be spared the evils of the world. Ultimately I believe that this is why there is such hysteria regarding gay marriage. While it may be true that some people simply disagree with it purely on principle, there are many that do hate and fear these people for no rational reason at all. This is why this is so disturbing.and why I feel I must oppose this point of view. Even with those who are against it with no malice in their hearts, I still think that they really could look at the issue with a little more understanding and compassion than they do. There is no good reason to keep people who love each other apart.

I read an article online about the psychology of prejudice and they talked about how certain people are uncomfortable with the idea of ambiguity. They see everything as black and white because the idea of having a gray area cannot  be tolerated. it generates fear. I  wonder if this might have been an adaptive response when mankind lived in tribal societies. They certainly may have had a good reason to not automatically trust strangers from other tribes, especially if they were competing for the same resources. The problem is that the world is much smaller now and we are constantly bumping into people who are different. It is easy to demonize people who are not like us.

Ultimately we have to consider that when normally rational people become hysterical over the supposed ‘threat” of the other, that it simply has to do with the fear of losing control. The boundaries that we considered that kept us safe are crumbling, and we don’t know what to do with it. It is especially hard when we consider that there are real threats in the world. We can’t control a hurricane, and to a certain extent we can’t control terrorist attacks either. Evil abounds and we keep our guns near. I think it is especially scary for people because mankind used to be isolated in their own unique territories and we weren’t always aware of every bad thing that was happening in the rest of the world. Now we have news running 24/7 telling us in excruciating detail about every bad thing that is happening worldwide. When it seems like things are getting worse in the world, and that the end-times seem near, it is often simply because we are more aware of what is going on everywhere. The unreasonable hysteria of the religious right that gun control equals taking their guns away entirely, can be traced to the fear that without guns, social order will simply fall apart. This is fueled by racism and the very legitimate fear of terrorism. But ultimately the religious right has very simplistic solution to the problems in the world and this is why ultimately knee-jerk fear reactions will fail. We simply can’t always be in control and as long as we try to be in control then there is the very real possibility that we will become the ones out of control, jumping at every shadow and attacking others without cause as with the whole “kill (or deport) all the Muslims” philosophy dictates. We have to make peace with the fact that we can’t control every bad thing in the world. We can make ourselves as safe as we can be and often we are safer than we think we are anyway. Despite everything we are in much safer part of the world than many other places.

I hope you enjoyed reading this. Again if you want to comment, do so civilly. Do not call me a muslim, marxist, socialist, communist or minion of the Antichrist. No hate speech against gays or muslims. Also no profanity. Anyone engaging in this behavior will find that their comments will not be posted and they will be banned from posting on this site. Thank you for your consideration.

One more thing, I do realize that there are those who are having trouble processing what happened in Boston. There is free help available, see here. 

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