Saturday, February 28, 2015

You Are What You Think You Are

The other day I kind of came out of the theocracy closet and admitted that I am an atheist. And while that is technically true, it also implies a certain level of emotional and/or psychological commitment to atheism that I don't really feel. That's why I prefer to think of myself as a "non-theist". While, as I say, it's technically true that I am atheist, the fact that I don't believe in god doesn't really enter in to my own perceptions of the "me" that I am, or my "world view".

This is clear to me but surprisingly hard to convey. The atheists I know who proudly and loudly proclaim that fact seem to be committed to an almost missionary zeal about it, and I just don't feel that way. This lack of belief of mine is beyond agnostic ("wishy-washy-can't-committer") but it isn't "other-directed". It's just as aspect of my character, like having a sense of humor or having thinning dark curly hair or brown eyes or believing that all Republicans are evil or being an outrageous flirt.

A very good friend of mine is a Christian...but she is on the branch of Christianity that you never hear about in the media, the Religious Left. She takes seriously the Jesus of the Bible who was all about loving your neighbor, healing the sick, feeding the hungry, visiting those in prison. She does all those things. The people on the Religious Right, as far as I know, absolutely do not. do these actions. Instead they hate their neighbors (the ones who don't look like them), cut food stamp and welfare payments and the only prisons they think about are the ones they can still all the "criminal lawbreakers" in. As Gandhi said, "I like your Christ; your Christians...uh, not so much"

You are the sum of your parts, in this case your beliefs, and I am solidly Liberal in my thoughts and deeds. But even I am not perfect. With all of the leftwing beliefs that I have, I am perfectly comfortable owning several guns. I don't think there's anything wrong with responsible gun owners having firearms. The problem, though, is all of the irresponsible people who also have them. You know, like pretty much everyone in the NRA, and those who believe that the solution to school shootings is to arm all the teachers. It's like Archie Bunker once said on All in the Family, when interviewed about a skyjacking: "Arm all the passengers. Some guy jumps up wit' a gun, he got 50 pointing back at him. Problem solved."

If you are like me and own guns in what some try to paint as a hypocritical defiance of your beliefs and your liberal ideals, you don't have to feel bad, feel guilty, or hide your guns away from being seen. Don't want to give up your guns for politics? You don't have to. There's an organization calling itself Democratic Gun Owners Association of America which is aimed at Democrats who own guns responsibly and works against the stupid excesses of the NRA.