I was watching Ken Ham brainwashing a mass of children on Youtube an hour ago and I was overcome by feelings of hysterical contempt. I can’t stand religious jibber jabber. As far as I’m concerned, I am the god of my own existence – I am the ultimate authority on all matters pertaining to my own experience of life, the dictator of my own moral principles, and I am responsible for my actions, beliefs and decisions.
Being a god demands the continuous absorption and integration of new information, especially information that conflicts with my perspective. Everything must be taken into account, everything must find a place in the whole, every commentator gets a seat at the table. When one is personally responsible for the quality of one’s own brief, beautiful and improbable experience of awareness, failing to contemplate multiple perspectives is malpractice of the highest degree. It fractures the mind. It sends vital aspects of human psychology scurrying into dark corners to escape the wrath of dominant, fixed ideas – from whence they take the reins of emotion and wreak holy havoc in complete anonymity.
I have learned that I can find the shadowy places where rejected perspectives lurk and expose them to the light by being on the lookout for an exaggerated emotional response to an abstract concept. Like, for example, my hysterical loathing of Ken Ham for what he’s doing to those kids. I honestly think the world would be a better place with all the young earth creationists removed – in fact, if I didn’t think the concept was a pitiable load of fanciful rubbish, I’d be as excited about the End of Days as they are!
My love has pointed out that the damage Ken Ham is doing to those kids is insignificant compared to the damage done by having parents that would send you to that type of event, and I agree – but I still hate Ken Ham. If I met him I would be tempted to spit directly into his face.
I’m sure this is justifiable – I have a mass of clear-headed, rational justifications for my contempt – but lately I can’t silence this niggling voice in my head that keeps pointing out I must be feeling exactly what fundamentalists feel when they think about people like me. I believe in liberty, social justice, ecological integrity, the precautionary principle, moral relativism, evolution, education, critical thinking, unrestrained sensuality and intoxicants and my very existence is a living testimony to these beliefs. I don’t believe in submission to authority of any kind, whether natural or supernatural. How evil I must seem to them – an icon of everything that is wrong in the world from a fundamentalist perspective; an independent, free-thinking, educated, child-free, intelligent, morally aperspectival, drug using, multi-lingual, globe-trotting, sexually active unmarried female anarchist who hates cooking and hair dryers and loves power tools and diversity. And my social circle is mostly made up of homosexuals, recovering drug addicts and foreigners.
So do religious fundamentalists hate me in exactly the same way as I hate them – as the negative image of my ideal world – or is there some kind of difference?