One of the mistakes people make about me is believing because I'm an Atheist, then I must live in some kind of empty, immoral and inconsequential world. They believe this because religion has created a wall between them and the world beyond things. Unlike those who live behind this wall, I have no problem seeing myself as part of the greater whole that is nature, that is earth and sky, that is me in everything and everything in me.
The believers try and claim this sense of wholeness by calling it "the world god created." To me this is putting oneself in the position of renter on the planet instead of an inseparable part of it. No god created me or any such nonsense. I AM just as a tree is, just as a mountain is.
The advantage to this is huge because it means I can't be disconnected from myself by something as shallow as religion. I can't be led around by prejudices about the world to the point where scientific evidence is dismissed to pacify superstitious nonsense. I can't be swayed by material rewards or pacified by the promise of a life beyond the reality of the present.
That makes me dangerous because if I can't be bought then I am neither for nor against. If I can't give up my ferocious hunger for peace and justice for the lie that my perfect world exists somewhere I have to die to see it, then I become even more dangerous because I am never satisfied with platitudes. I want actions. I want tolerance. I want equality.
Most of the people in this country right now have been fed so much divisive crap they can't even consider anything but their place in the herd. Everything outside it is a threat, complete with color coded fear levels. Everyone who isn't them, who doesn't go to their church, who doesn't believe exactly as they believe, is somehow defective, wrong, or gasp! a socialist leftist terrorist who aspires to nothing more than sitting on a death panel that will get to off grandma.
I don't know if we can ever come together again as a country, as a people, as a nation. Maybe America is still too young. Maybe this country is like a belligerent teenager who has to say no to everything to establish its independence, no matter how much he or she needs what they are rejecting.
We've created these caricatures of human beings in people like Sarah Palin and her Paliban followers. We've scraped the bottom of the human barrel and out came the Becks, the Limbaughs, the Teahadists and their hateful rhetoric fed to them as talking points with no substance to distract them from what their masters want them to believe.
Maybe America is the stupidly materialistic hell where all the dumb people who valued things over anything else, ended up to wallow forever in their misguided ignorance. Maybe we're all dead and this is how it ends, buried in a landfill with all the insignificant crap we were convinced meant true happiness. Maybe hell is that house we over-bought to impress who the hell knows. Maybe hell is everything in that house, in its closets, in its garages that were supposed to buy happiness but failed miserably. Maybe hell is the pile of discarded relationships that lost out to the things mattered more than love. Maybe there really isn't much hope for us as a species. Maybe we're a worthless pile of failed ideology that someday will be studied and used as an example of how not to live a life.
Or maybe we will wake up and realize how badly we've all been manipulated, how efficiently we were taught to hate with no facts to back up the reasons for our hatred. Maybe we'll realize that we allowed ourselves to be led and herded into like-minded groups so we would never become dangerous, never explore outside our comfort zone, never accept anyone different than ourselves, never demand that our leaders lead instead of herd. Maybe one day we will turn off the TV, throw out the hate radio, use the propaganda that passes as newspapers to start a great big bonfire we can dance naked around together and start over as a species.
And maybe, just maybe we'll come to the realization that religion was and always will be the problem. Not god, not spirituality, not dancing naked in the forest, but religion--that evil, dogmatic chain so many willingly strap around themselves. On that day, a whole lot of people will finally understand that the best way to make someone your obedient puppet is to lead them around by their hate, and that religion is what mainlines the hatred directly into the human being. And hopefully the desire to escape, to finally live free and by their own terms, will allow them to throw off the shackles of religion forever and grow that perfect world without having to die first to see it.