I live in the Bible Belt. I imagine it to be a real fancy and outlandish belt, like one worn by a princess whose job it is to look pretty and be agreeable, always glistening like cut glass in tar.
I have been around Christian people my whole life; my grandmother was an Eastern Star woman, who wore a dove pin on her shoulder and open heart on her sleeve. She was a true example of a good Christian woman, leaving judgment in the hands of her creator and extending love to all, no matter their religion, sexual orientation, or alternate belief systems. The main lesson I learned from Grandma Rae was to refrain from judging others and to remain compassionate, no matter the situation. She has said to me more than once, “What would Jesus do?”
These are hard lessons, and maintaining compassion in the face of hatred is something I will probably never master, but I try. I am a hedonist, after all, as well as a buddhist, taoist, pagan, and agnostic, all at the same time and sometimes none of them at all. Mostly, I believe that every being deserves respect and dignity. However, I am finding it extremely difficult to extend this compassion and non-judgement to my closed-minded, Bible thumping brothers and sisters who are praising a system that wants to rid the world of anyone not like them.
Jesus IS just all right, but the present day Crusades our moronic administration is conducting has suddenly turned our Christian country into a swarm of obedient and mindless consumers of hate. And proud of it. I see stickers on more than half of the bumpers parked in every church lot from here to Charleston. Please explain to me the idea of war (an unjustified one, at that) in the name of Christianity. I know, I know…they have been married for thousands of years, but it is high time for a divorce.
I have always looked upon this Bible Belt from afar, like a mischievous gypsy observing those faraway lands in her crystal ball. Now, I am IN the crystal ball, and I want to help change the course of the future from hate to at least compassion. For EVERYBODY, including gay, Muslim, Jewish, and even unmarried fornicators like me.
With that said, I keep this quote in mind, by C.P. Snow, an English novelist and scientist:
“When you think of the long and gloomy history of man, you will find more hideous crimes have been committed in the name of obedience than have ever been committed in the name of rebellion.”