This is another personal post. I am not doing this for attention or self-indulgence. Please read this carefully before commenting if you’d like to comment. Warning: this post is graphic.
I hate the fact that my sister’s memorial was in a Church. It has nothing to do with the specific Church or any of the reverends there. They’re all nice people. But they if I had had it my way they wouldn’t have said anything. They got to define the narrative at that service, and some of them used the tragedy in an attempt to strengthen people’s faith in God, as is often done. The book of Job was mentioned as being somehow relevant. In it God makes a deal with Satan to test the faith of Job by having his entire family killed. I was very angry when I heard this story mentioned there. I expressed to my parents long before I did not want her memorial to be in a Church because it makes no sense. Her death, if anything, adds to the already mountainous evidence showing God does not exist, at least no benevolent, omnipotent God. But my mother got it the way she wanted.
My dad and I do not believe in God. We have different beliefs, but we share that one. I don’t know how anyone still has faith in God, unless God means to you, humanity or love or something else, and not a benevolent, omnipotent power. If it means the latter for you, why not instead put your faith in people you can see on Earth? (That is not rhetorical. Please write a response.) Endless, senseless cycles of tragedy and violence exist. The only thing we can do is try to stop them, not pretend they don’t exist. Our minds ought to be treated with the utmost respect. It doesn’t matter if you’re five or ninety-five, able-bodied or disabled, your mind is your most powerful weapon. Our minds collectively define our world. If we take for granted anything (like religious myth or dogma) we will be forever ruled. Faith in an omnipotent, benevolent God is not a benign comfort. It can be extremely dangerous, because you have to chalk every crazy thing happens up to “God’s will.”
My sister dying was the last straw for me. I have been writing about senseless tragedy nearly all my life and her death was like the ultimate of twisted ironies, the ultimate, poetic “fuck you” to me. I have felt so much pain and guilt about her death. I told her I would always look out for her, but I let her go. I didn’t stay in contact with her because of an argument. First, her death made me very motivated to be the best person I possibly can be. But she was like the last person I expected to go. In a world where she’s gone, nothing is certain. I’m not going to tell anyone that there’s light at the end of the tunnel or that world peace will come. I don’t think anyone is in a position to say whether or not that will happen. Some people believe in hope, even if it’s false. I do not. I am never going to write placating things just to cheer people up, because then I wouldn’t be taking what I do seriously. How I feel and what I do is probably too dependent on how much the world progresses towards peace and equity. I know it’s not reasonable to have my ups and downs be determined by that. But in some ways, it makes sense that it does, even though it really puts me in a tenuous position, because that way I’m not just pushing a narrative. I am shaping it based on real world events involving human rights.
All order and disorder stem from scientific physical laws and from people. God, governments, and any authority don’t determine them alone. We make decisions every day about who we want to be. A good guy who “wears a white hat” can easily put on a black one and that person will if pushed and provoked enough. No one is incorruptible, and “power corrupts absolutely.” You can say you are a freedom fighter, patriot, anarchist, a peace-lover or some mix of those today until the day you die, but everyone can change. Nothing is certain, except that the physical laws that govern our universe will be the same tomorrow as they were yesterday. The sun will rise and set, and billionaires everywhere will try to make themselves not look like the enemies, so we common people will keep fighting each other and they can “justify” hoarding their enormous wealth. Every one values something over themselves, even billionaires. For me, it is the world as a whole. It was also Kate, but she’s gone. She’s just ashes now. (Warning: graphic description) She was found about a week after she died. Most of her skull was empty, and her face was torn up. Animals had started eating her already, as the process of life and death goes. No divine reason for any of that.
I think the biggest misconceptions in the world are that things happen for a reason and people do not change. Inherent evil and good I think is one of the most dangerous ideas imaginable. Believing in an omnipotent, benevolent God is to believe in inherent good and evil. Identity (who we are) is fluid. You may look at yourself in the mirror one day and be surprised by your reflection. The person you revere today might be your worst enemy tomorrow and vice versa. We change. The media changes. The zeitgeist changes, and some people, especially those with (religious, political, economic) authority, lie about who they really are to undermine positive change. Many authorities who say they are in power to keep order and security really just help undermine them because their paycheck depends on it.
Nothing is certain, and no one has really proved to me that human progress is an exception. It seems just as likely some stupid person in power will launch a missile they’re not supposed to, and trigger end times or we will just end up in another Ice Age because of global warming, corporate propaganda about global warming, and the rich pricks who will still scream “Global climate change is a hoax,” even as they drown in the waters from the melting polar ice caps. There may always be profiteers of war and suffering and that means there will always be people crying for war and destructive behavior, regardless of the presence or absence of threats. The world is still dominated by chaos and violence. It doesn’t reflect our beliefs. The powers that be want us to just be hopeful or pray it will all work out. But nothing is guaranteed.
We have to remember even as progress is being made, there are people thinking about how to reverse that progress for their own selfish benefit. There are just about as many people working for the opposite of what humanitarians and environmentalists work for. Those who want destruction are also much better organized, and the humanists suffer from not wanting power. The people who work against us must be persuaded what they are doing is wrong. We can’t let billionaires, their media or puppets call Occupy or Anonymous or other progressive movements that stand for economic equality “class warfare.” Billionaries aren’t a “class.” They are greedy psychopaths. They wage class warfare everyday with their money. But they cannot hoard their billions and call themselves philanthropists. Most of them are invested in war and/or socially or environmentally destructive companies and practices. This can change. But only if we organize as effectively as people who organize for war, and we give up our false hope and ideas of “fate.” Peace and equality are only possible with tireless effort, and when we face our hardest times if we can still soldier on, we will have a much better chance of sucess.