Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Carrots and Sticks

I have taken it for granted that the world my father introduced to me was, while unique, not something outside the centrality of our civilization. That he was raised on a small farm, his father an immigrant from Sweden, his mother an immigrant from Wales, and attended a one room school house and ended up a scientist with a graduate degree from Caltech seemed special but not abnormal. The rationality that clothed me was part of the essence of our modern world, and it felt comforting in a way that did not require constant presentation and defense. There were fair and approachable ways to confront the mystery of life, and if the people around me weren't too freaked out then I didn't need to freak out. It was a world of carrots. You got fed according to your abilities to master the codes of knowledge. It wasn't always fair but it was fair enough. I was a well-fed kid.

The other day I took a runner at a born-again who was trying to defend Ann Coulter and Intelligent design. I guess Ann takes some shots at evolution, and he thought she made hay. I sent him an article from the Nation and he went apoplectic. This issue isn't light for him. Evolution threatens him to his very core so he chooses to attack it and pretend the half bright attacks against the nuances of a theory he abhors prove something big and worth fight over. He is angry, pissed to his core. I believe that he, like our president, comes from the world of sticks. Hell exists and anyone who can't abide this or the magic wands of biblical rationality is the enemy. Hit them. They will only understand when they feel the real pain of God's sublime wrath. We need more sticks he is saying. Sticks that will break godless one's bones.

I stopped fighting this unwinnable fight a while back, not caring to give these clubby haters words to push up against. It was wise, you can't churn shit into butter. But I wanted to move past my own anger at the irrationality and negativity of the half-assed believers because I really don't have any bones to pick against belief, its the anger that causes damage I am coming to believe. I don't want to have confrontations, I want to find some dialogue. Pie in the sky? I know that it would be easier to discount this hate, say its coming from some childhood hurt, but it seems to be a deeply rooted phenomenon. I know plenty who love Jesus but don't judge those like myself who need to be far away from the human institution of religion. But there is this other animal lurking. They want to live in a world of sticks. They may get their wish.

1 comment:

ibfamous said...

christianity has done wonders for me... i do have to set hobos on fire to get an erection, but besides that i'm doing just fine. can i give you my witness?