Arose….. by any other name

The third day he rose from the dead and the world had a new category to lump people into. Christians. Oh vey, it wasn’t enough to have Jews Hindis, Buddhists, Taoists, Pagans, Friend, Romans, and Countrymen. Religion is like Jell-O, there’s always room for more. And damn man, did they ever torture that dude. The stuck a sticker bush full of pricks (not to mention the pricks that whipped him first) on his head, handed him the 200 pound lumber they would nail him to and said “carry THIS J-Man!” So he had to carry his death instrument down the street while people yelled hit at him like, Go back to Nazareth carpenter boy, and Who da king now bitches” No doubt some real asshole prolly yelled “Bring your own nails woodworker!” Treated the dude like total shit, then nailed him angled at southern exposure so the sun would burn slower. Rude Roman sadists! Anyway, they took hiss dead carcass an stuck it in a cave. Three days later, GONE! Did Mary sneak the body out? One of the dirty dozed? Coulda been a grave robber. Or……or he really did rise from the dead. Either way, Christianity was born.
What is with people and their damn categories anyway? Just yesterday a friend of mine said to me, “Oh, you’re an existentialist? Does that mean you’re an Atheist?” Just the question itself made me chuckle. As usual I attempted to explain.” Well Existentialism is a philosophy that excludes the necessity of God from my life. What I mean is whether he or she does or doesn’t exist has no effect on my life so I don’t give it much thought. For my part though, I don’t believe in God the way in which you do, so I guess by your definition I would be an Atheist.“ His next question magically transformed my chuckle into a laugh, “So then, that means you’re not a practicing Atheist, right?” WTF??? How exactly does one practice to not believe in something. Did I become a practicing Anti-Santatite when I stopped believing in Santa Claus? Athletes practice. Musicians practice. Lawyers and doctors practice. (I know right? I don’t want a doctor that still has to practice either, but just go with it) Atheist pretty much have it mastered by the time they say no I don’t believe in God. No practice necessary. I don’t need to attend service and sing songs about not praising anyone, I don’t need to go through any ritualistic behavior like snake handling, or ganja smoking like Rastafarians. I admit the ganja ritual sounds cool, but I don’t need to practice that either. I had that all figured out in the early 70’s. I once practiced playing the piano until I figured out how badly I suck at it. Then I stopped practicing. So I guess I’m still a pianist, just not a practicing one.
I get it, certain categories give you an insight into the person. But it can be misleading. I have been called a hippie. Originally meant to lump me into a group. Long dirty hair, smelly and unbathed body, pot smoking environmentally aware peace lover , communist, socialist, and so on. You dig it, I know you have been lumped into some sort of category. There are o friggen many of them. Its kinda like the zodiac. Every person will find some character traits in their prospective sign. Why? Cause they make generalizations. That’s what categorizing does, it sticks you in box of generalizations. Many people place others in boxes in a lame attempt to make themselves somehow superior. A good example in America is the “Gay marriage” debate. And here’s some of those Christians again, shouting how god called homosexuality an aberration. They call themselves Christians so they can feel like the superior religion, the one making decisions for everything. Turn your cheeks guys, its not gay marriage its marriage. Its about love not sex. I don’t have gay friends, I have friends who happen to be gay. I don’t introduce anyone as my hetero sexual friend so why should I introduce anyone as my gay friend?
Point is too many of us pre-judge based on beliefs or looks. Okay I confess, every date I have ever been on (while fully conscious) was at first based on attraction. Something about the person attracted me, either esthetically or sexually. I chose to pursue them based on looks. But any long term relation hip was based on mutual interest’s and content of integrity as it pertained to how they viewed me. It’s hard sometimes, some of our pre-conceptions are so deeply ingrained in us its almost impossible to disregard them. They have been hammered into our minds since birth. Boys don’t cry or play with dolls. Fat kids are just pigs that eat too much. Girls should look for husbands when they grow up, and learn how to take care of the home. We are put on overload of generalizations and prejudices from our parents and other authority figures. Hopefully we become intelligent enough to regurgitate the really mean and hurtful ones and not pass them on to our kids. Not easy. I grew my Moms finger pointer and I raised my voice like my Dad more often than I would have hoped, but I gave my best attempt to instill a sense of individuality and integrity in my kids. It wasn’t easy when my son stood up to me after heated disagreements, but didn’t harbor anger. I turned away and smiled and thought, “My boy is growing up.”
If anything, make a consorted effort to not judge. It may not be easy, but this world is getting crazy. Over-crowed, high tech, fast paced and more dangerous every day. Every hour. Give the next generation a fighting chance by teaching with patience and tolerence. Let them grow. If we can’t figure out a way to appreciate each other free of preconceived notions our warring angry attitudes will end our reign as the most intelligent species on earth.………Peace

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