This is not a to-do list. I have been surviving without them lately, and I’m okay. I do miss my daily writing, however. Somehow, since the election really, daily writing has come to seem like a chore. This is because writing leads to thinking, and thinking leads to me having to consider the real world, the horrible stuff that’s out there that I’ve really just been hiding from for months. I know I will have to face it all – and soon – but I keep saying to myself, “Not yet, not yet….” Not sure how long I can keep up this delusion that everything’s (mostly) all right, but I know it can’t be for much longer. And I feel like that will be soon enough to face everything.
Because really, what it’s come down to, is a battle between my indignation and my laziness. I know that my indignation will win in the end, but I’m letting my laziness have a head start. 😀
I have so many thoughts to share. The beginnings of ideas and arguments that I know I should hash out in writing, here to begin with, and maybe in my other writing spaces when I get more serious. I just keep stuffing them back into my brain whence they escaped. That being said, I am here to say something. Just a little spark of an idea that came to me as I was reading. Increasingly I have become are that my activism has to be pointedly secular; no, not just secular, but FOR secularization. Anti-religious. The way I see it, if we are really going to make progress in this country (and in this world), we need to move beyond religion and credulity. Increasingly, I am noticing the ties between all our problems and the embrace of religion, and I am increasingly driven to learn about how to combat credulity, which brings me to today. I was reading about the radicalization of one of the September 11 terrorists, which made me think about radicalization in general, and it blew my mind to think how common this radicalization is. You take a well-to-do, secularly-raised person, expose him to a radical cell, and way-more frequently than should happen, radicalization occurs. This DEFIES EXPLANATION. I have learned a bit about the Quran (The Scathing Atheist Podcast has dedicated a lot of time to reading and unpacking it for listeners), and I know how ridiculous the ideas presented within it really are. There is no logical reason that any rational person would adopt that religious worldview (obviously the rationale to do so has little to do with logic). This presents an important avenue through which to combat radicalization, in my opinion. Probe the issue where it is weakest! Adopting a religion, and especially a radical approach to that religion, makes literally no logical sense, and I honestly believe that there must therefore be plenty of ways to head off radicalization through discovering what drives people towards it, and helping them. I know I’m not being articulate here, but I’m just hashing this out. There is a small push already, of course, towards initiatives to prevent radicalization, and yet the prevailing methods (especially by the U.S.) to prevent radical terrorism involve bombs, invasions of privacy, and now (fuuuuuuuuuck) a proposed “list.”
This begs the question, “why?” I haven’t researched this at all, but I strongly suspect that one of the reasons we don’t pursue the education/ anti-radicalization path more vehemently is because doing so would expose more than just Islam: it would expose Christianity, and all religion, in fact. Because the line of inquiry that is needed to expose how ridiculous fundamentalist Islam can, and certainly should, also be applied to fundamentalist Christianity. (And honestly, the line between “fundamentalist” and non-fundamentalist religion is imaginary, so really, that line of inquiry poses a “threat” to all religious thinking). But people in this country do not want to see the close parallels between Christianity and Islam (fundamentalist and not). And to try to pursue this path would force people to recognize that similarity.
(To be PERFECTLY CLEAR, by the way, I do not have a problem with people simply for following or “believing in” a religion: I was raised as a devout Catholic, and the majority of my friends and family do ascribe to one religion or another. I would never wish to persecute anyone, or force anyone to undergo any sort of distinguishing treatment, for belonging to any religion. I simply think that religion, as an institution, needs to go extinct. For the improvement of all human societies as well as the preservation of the earth, we are more than ready to move into a post-religious world. But of course, this needs to happen through the personal choice of every person, not through any external forces. This is such an important distinction to make, and lazy people, or people with an agenda, will seek to blur this distinction. I have a feeling that staking out intellectual territory for this distinction will become one of my major activist battles. For example, the inclusion of certain anti-religious activists on the Southern Poverty Law Center’s list is a MAJOR PROBLEM.)
More later. Must go now.