A lot has changed since I began writing for Camp Campaign. The largest leak of classified military information in the history of the United States occurred, Osama bin Laden met his demise at the hands of U.S. Navy Seals, we rallied against Internet censorship, and the President of the United States answered questions on a website that was once labeled a haven for child pornographers.
On the other hand, a lot has stayed the same. Republicans are still the lapdogs of their millionaire masters, the 4th Amendment still means absolutely nothing, we’re still using the legislature to protect oversensitive religious types instead of protecting the rights of our people, and we still can’t seem to focus on things that really matter.
And through all of this, I still don’t know my neighbors. I couldn’t tell you if the young couple across the hall had to get an abortion, or if they had the presence of mind to use contraception. I can’t say if the two guys living together upstairs smoke joints and eat Cheetos, or spend every night having gay sex. I’d be a liar if I said that I cared.
After all, they’re not affecting me. I still have a job, and I still catch the train. I still get paid on time, and I make my payments on time. I still see countless Americans going about their daily lives; never meeting them, never knowing them. And that’s okay.
The reality is that most people don’t know most people. Our individual lives are less affected by the ebb and flow of the political world than we think and we, as a people, are more collectively harmed by the evils that men do. When the hijackings of 9/11 occurred, everyone except for the victims and their families lost more collectively than we did individually. Our economy took a hit. Prices went up. We became obsessed with security and terrorism, and foamed at the mouth for some sort of vengeance. Everyone, including yours truly, was looking for a reason as to why this could have happened.
I was recently called out on my atheism (notice that it’s not capitalized). Apparently not believing in a deity somehow makes me less of a person – I’m subhuman. There have been thousands of gods worshipped throughout human history. Islam, Judaism, and Christianity each worship one. What if they picked the wrong one? The more likely explanation, of course, is that there simply is no God and we’re just primates who can’t see the forest for the trees.
But then how would we know where to get our morals? Well, we’ve got these things called brains, which we use to think. And human beings can distinguish quite easily between right and wrong. Science has proven that, even as infants, we can observe fairness. I think we might do just fine on the morals front.
Imagine, as I do, that if religion ceased to exist at this very moment, that the world would not fall apart. I still wouldn’t know or care what my neighbors are up to. I’d be doing just fine. And you would, too.
The attempt by religious institutions to force their beliefs on a free and peaceful people is an idea as old as mankind. It used to be accomplished by crusades, and missionaries. Now it’s done through government. I have a theory as to why there are only three main religions – it’s because they were ruthless enough to wipe out people who didn’t agree. Isn’t that funny? It’s natural selection.
Here’s the thing, folks. It’s not a religious person’s beliefs that bother me. It’s their actions, that seem to interrupt the flow of my day. You can believe all you want, that there is an invisible man in the sky who wrote a book that glorifies murder, rape, and slavery. Believe, if you will, that you’ll get 40 virgins if you become a martyr. Believe that your people are somehow chosen and special.
I don’t care.
The minute I’m affected by your stupidity, however, we’re going to have words.
It has been three years, five months, and five days since Sean Hannity volunteered to be waterboarded for charity.