Punished for Believing and Punished for Not Believing

Criticized, discriminated against, butchered, burned, hung.  Animals will attack each other to defend their territory, their kills, or their group.  People will attack each other for wearing certain colors (wrong or at all), for supporting the “wrong” sports team, or for agreeing with the same goal, direction of forward motion but not in all the details on how to achieve said goal or arriving at a desired destination.

For every action, there is a reaction in the same amount of force but in the opposite direction, n’est-ce pas?  And if evenly matched in “strength,” neither budges.  Their energies converge where they meet.  I don’t think that any person (or group) has the right to impose her beliefs onto any other person or group.  At the same time, though, nobody has the right to inflict harm onto anybody or group for having those beliefs.  Why can’t we all just get along?  Because we have lackluster skills in the art of having an opinion and not insisting on being right.

In some ways, we need to be isolationists, archipelagos that are connected to the mainland beneath the surface, every human for herself…but that won’t do, will it?  Humans are like elephants and wolf packs, not tigers and gila monsters who live alone until it’s mating season.  If only people were only capable of supporting or agreeing with any three things at any one time, we could actually self-segregate effectively and only be around like-minded and like-behavioral people.  No, that wouldn’t work. We’d also have to tamp down the inclination to ask why all the time.

Is history finally catching up to itself?  The proliferation of Christendom over the centuries has brought forth such violence against non-Christians and not-Christian-in-the-same-way-as-I.  Or, like many events in a post-internet world, more attention is drawn to more happenings because it is so much easier to distribute news. and gossip. and trivia. Zealously clinging to one’s interpretation of holy texts and practice of one’s religion, no matter what kind, only leads to “everything I am doing is better and if you don’t conform, you won’t live to see whether or not I’m wrong.”

A couple of interesting reads on Christianity and violence (I was curious):
Violence in the Bible
Constantinople Captured

Random conclusion: love for another human and love for one’s god can compel a person to do things one would otherwise never have done.  Do you agree?

And to counter all this thinking about people being atrocious to each other, here is some Alan Watts:

And we need corgis.

Yes, this post was inspired by reading about what has happened in Oregon.

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