Tom is a veteran of the United States Marine Corps, single father, and long time resident of Oak Creek, who writes regularly about human interaction and perception as it relates to social issues, value fulfillment, and introspection. Tom encourages and challenges the reader to engage new perspectives; believing that through open and honest evaluation of all sides of a debate, conflicting parties can communicate with greater efficacy and more productive outcomes.
I have made a decided turn from finding efficacy to finding basic logic, because it would seem without the ability to understand logical thought any debate or circumstance that defies reason is just a waste of time.
I was set off by a recent community blog that I’ll reference in a bit, basically suggesting that people like myself are dysfuntional and unproductive members of society. Worth less as human beings, if you will.
And then the following happened to my daughter yesterday at school:
My daughter is afraid of Halloween now; a holiday she has adored since she can remember her first tiny “Care Bear” costume.
But she’s now worried people won’t like her if she participates in Halloween, because a classmate told her she's evil if she celebrates that holiday; because that's the devil's Holiday. Her "friend" proceeded to tell her that she was a better person than my daughter because she's a Christian and my daughter is not, and because of that, she will likely go to hell.
Such a fine "Christian" example of tolerance this kid's idiot parents are teaching them.
Let’s agree on one thing: This child didn't wake up one day and decide that dressing like a princess and knocking on doors for free candy was evil and a first class ticket to the ring of fire. Her ignorant parents did the brainwashing equivalent of a pile driver on her head, time and time again.
Make no mistake; this dogma was a case of bullying no different than any other. Just as bullying a child based on them being of a different culture or having a particular disability, a deliberate attack on the mind and emotions of a compassionate and free-thinking child because she likes to get dressed up once a year and go knocking on doors for free candy was sickening; and quite honestly, enraging.
I’m sure in classic hypocrisy the same parents who forbid Halloween and teach their young daughter to oppress others who celebrate it have no problem with Santa Claus visiting their house come December, despite the fact that this biblical website would seem to concur that he has no place in true Christianity.
This is where the torch-carrying mob will raise the “interpretation and context” flags. You’re not supposed to cite the bible when trying to make a point with them. I have to wonder why that is.
Perhaps because many of them, like the parents of this young girl, like to use the same book that is suppose to teach them to be loving and tolerant and not live in judgment of anyone to all at once justify their right to hate people. I think Matthew had something to say about this.
(It's possible to both have a substantial, independent thought AND provide links).
Many forget the edits of the Emperor Constantine and the Council of Nicaea. They forget that the unqualified judgment that they place on their neighbors and in the minds of little girls, comes from a text that is not holy at all. It was created by man, edited hundreds of times over hundreds of years, as a means to control man.
(I sometimes hate the need to even quote these texts, because it becomes too circular for the counter-point to contain anything but even more tangential religious hatred. The fact is, though, that many non-believers actually know more about a religion's base than the majority of its flock. This is usually because the flock only familiarizes themselves with the defense principles of their religion; the ones that define them as loving; pardon them when they’ve done wrong; and justify them when they hate.)
The type of religious bullying that victimized my daughter has to stop.
To the parents of that child I say this: Just as you and your child are protected by the First Amendment to believe in a nimbus wizard and his antithetical hellfire lifeguard if you chose, that same First Amendment protects my daughter’s right not to believe in the same, or to have her made a lesser human being because she applies her constitutional right to another perspective; especially in a government-funded public establishment.
Friends of mine will argue that I should ignore this, that people who practice this way aren’t true Christians. That confuses me because I’d actually assert that according to the origins of their religion in Genesis, Leviticus, Judges and Deuteronomy (just a few, that you’re not supposed to reference), they are behaving just as perfectly hateful as taught in these texts.
And, I refuse to ignore it, because it’s dangerous.
You don’t have to look far to see that it’s not only leaders of the church who preach such ignorance, like this priest who blames victims as seducers; but it’s also members of our community; blogs written by loving “stay at home moms” who hate basically everyone. And in typical dogmatic hypocrisy, nauseate us by prefacing their hatred for just about everyone with some disgusting self-assuring disclaimer of not being a bigot. I’m not sure I’ve ever read something so narcissistic and disturbing in my life.
And then, rather than taking a moment to retract such ridiculous statements, in true Todd Akin-like fashion tries to bring further justification to them.
Gross, hateful, uneducated and ignorantly self-righteous.
I’m a proud single (divorced) father, and I consider my life and that of my daughter's to be very relevant and “normal.” In fact, I consider our values of a diverse society to be far more productive to the human race than those of one twisted group of individuals in a neighboring community.
You made your points public; the same First Amendment affords me the right to do the same in editorial response.
It saddens me that we are not even two months removed from a hate crime in the community of Oak Creek that gained world attention, and seemed to bring an entire community together to respect differences; yet, here some have already forgotten how to behave as responsible human beings, and how to pass those values onto their children who have been born with the beautiful gift of free and logical thought.
Fundamental extremism exists in all religions, and this child has now become a tow-behind sycophant of sanctimonious dogma, just like her parents. Just one more American with a future vote of hate against another’s freedoms.
Educate your children on diversity, don’t command them into judgment of their peers.
If nothing else, keep your "peacefully tolerant and non-judgmental" religious principals in your private schools. Don't bully the kids in our public schools with your mystical delusions and self righteous hatred.
My prefacing apology; I'm sorry if you believe me to be intolerant for not tolerating your intolerance. Ok, so maybe that's not a preface. But I'm not really sorry for anything I've said, either.