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The Drunken Horseman
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The Drunken Horseman

Well, it ain't quite paradise, but I can't complain. I'm comfortable, I'm well-fed, I own a house and a car and we have a premium cable package, HBO, SHO, MAX, Hi-speed internet I/O, and Phone ID that displays on the TV when the phone rings. I have it better than 95% of the rest of humanity and while I'm not in the One Percent, I think I fall comfortably within the Five--by which I mean that I'm probably better off financially than the average American. (Who can congratulate himself or herself on being among the Ten--even our homeless live better than most of the third world!)

But even a spoiled, paunchy, lazy, blazed, middle-aged guy like me can find things to complain about, if I try. Thus, I never try. If most of the world is suffering from hunger, homelessness or persecution, I'd rather not be one of those people who have no conception of how lucky they are. (The US Population is less than 4.5% percent of Global Population--the average annual income for most third world citizens, converted to US-$s, is in the single digits!)

But there is more to US citizenship than wealth or quality of life--I'm an atheist, but I don't keep it a secret--anyone asks me why I don't belong to the church, I roll up my sleeves and argue it out with them. I don't have to be careful of what I say--I can say whatever the hell I want. In fact, to do any less would be un-American.

There are requirements to being a good American, in my view. You have to vote. You have to try to get along with your neighbors and co-workers and even strangers that you meet, being especially careful not to pre-judge people based on the favorite conflicts of older countries: gender, race, creed, or sex-orientation. The women's liberation movement can be very proud of their efforts over the last forty years or so--and the LGBT community, while more recently released from the dungeon of disapproval, has made great strides through great sacrifices. That there are people who wish to reverse all this social progress is unfortunate. I consider these people to be a cancer on the American spirit--that they put their religious dogmas and zealotry above their love of America is shameful--if they want to politicize their faith, let them go to Israel or Saudi Arabia where people are comfortable with that sort of behavior.

There is an old saying that Humanity, like a drunken horseman, will redress his fall off a horse by climbing back up and falling off the other side. This is what America is doing with this prejudice against Islam and over-zealousness of Christianity.

Here in the USA, we just want to bask in the knowledge that the military's DADT policy for LGBTs is cancelled, that the states are, one by one, accepting the LGBT couples' equal rights under law to be married couples. We want to allow ourselves a self-satisfied smile when we think of the explosion of women being employed across the entire workforce, and their right to maternity leave without sanctions, and (at least the 'ideal' of) equal pay. Women in combat, women in space, women in boardrooms--'glass ceilings' be damned--men can still pretend, amongst themselves, that they are in charge, but no American man in a real relationship would jeopardize it by condescending to his woman—especially since, in this 'great recession', many home incomes are being earned solely by the wife, while the husband stays home.

And we are proud of that. As Americans, we glory in liberty and equality. We believe that no one should be denied their dreams based on the idea of people staying (or being kept) in separate groups. These folks that want to trash all these last 240-some years of struggle--the people who want to impose the Bible on our Constitution--are traitors, pure and simple. If ‘Tail-Gunner’ Joe McCarthy were alive today, he'd have a real job of running the House Un-American Activities Committee and sending all the Republicans to prison (or at least blacklisting them).

Separation of Church and State is not a suggestion--it is the most American of human rights. People used to know the difference between the dirtiness of the Politician and the total psychopath that is the Evangelist. This desire to overthrow society based on the fits, visions and demagoguery of the fundamentalists is as un-patriotic as Fascism and just as amoral. These people are willing to make all of us suffer in the name of spiritual sanctity! The United States of America doesn't recognize 'spiritual sanctity' any more than it welcomes suicidal extremists--and the GOP ought to be made to feel that.

So, I am not at all unhappy about the turmoil in the Grand Old Party--they signed up to get the votes of these inbred mouth-breathers, and if you lie down with dogs you get up with fleas. If you have the gall to get on TV and tell the whole country that you want to be president, but you don't believe in science, especially the 'evolution' and 'family planning' parts--well, you should not be surprised if the majority of we citizens fail to vote for you. If your celebrities want the mass media to record and broadcast their hate speech and ignorance, they should understand that most of America will despise them as malevolent idiots.

I think at some point, the red-necks decided that the ‘War On Terror’ and ‘Islam’ were the same thing--and therefore construed that ‘Christian Fundamentalism’ was the same as ‘Patriotism’. But that's the trouble with being ignorant--you don't have a clear understanding of what is happening. Religious extremism, whether Muslim, Christian, or Zoroastrianism, is where terrorism comes from—the free, equal pluralism of liberty is its enemy, because Pluralism is Fundamentalism’s kryptonite.

Your preacher can insist that you attend church on Sunday, but he can’t get you arrested for staying home with a hangover. That is religious freedom. Judging people for being female, or gay, or unreligious is fundamentalism. Letting those people live their own lives is religious freedom. It isn’t the Devil at work, it isn’t the Apocalypse, and it is really nobody else’s business—it’s Religious Freedom. Deal with it. Or, to quote the sixties: “USA - Love it or Leave it.”


Street Talk

Chris a round of applause for being completely honest in a rhetorical sense. I enjoyed reading this one my friend. If you were running for President I would vote ya in!

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

Thanks, Joan--thank goodness I'm not running--have you seen Obama recently? Man, that job ages a person!

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

As usual, Christopher, well written and worth reading.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago
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