If it smells like Racism, it probably isn’t a Rose…
There are two words, I think, that should be ever present on the minds of people who dare to call themselves reasonable human beings. The first – EVIDENCE – is quite obvious when one puts any amount of thought into what is occurring in the world at large. Right now, we have a Special Counsel investigation, which relies on evidence, handing down indictments related to Russian meddling during the Great Farce of 2016. And, of course, we now have an addition to the English lexicon - Fake News - that screams volumes about the present need for accurate information in regard to world events. And, to generalize a bit, when we’re trying to fix a leaky faucet, we don’t just bang on it with a hammer. And we don’t do that because there are many, many professionals in the plumbing world who have reams and reams of evidence that inform as to the impossibility of a hammer being an effective tool where leaky faucets are concerned.
Where it pertains to Secularists, though, evidence is a core principle of a mantra we all speak every time we’re confronted with a truth claim about some supernatural notion or idea. Just recently, I was confronted with a not-so-unusual ‘Praise the Lord’ while out stumping for the Secular community at the July Farmer’s Market meet-n-greet put on by Iowa Atheists. Of course, my smart ass response was ‘Which one?’ And before the self-righteous SOB could get a word in edge-wise, I started rattling off a list of mythical deities from all over the world, at which point I’m told the man in question grew a seriously perplexed look on his face before walking off. His failure of reasoning, of course, is that he can’t see past the fallacy that his god is the only god that has ever been and ever will be. There are thousands of gods that have been conjured by the human mind over the hundreds of thousands of years of our existence, and there will likely be many more conjured before we evolve beyond such childish supernatural notions. It’s human nature, after all, to devise simplistic solutions for seemingly unsolvable questions.
Of course, I could have just as easily said “There is no god” and gotten myself wrapped up in yet another bullshit debate about how I can’t possibly be right because he, the christian, can’t possibly be wrong, which is basically what any debate with any religionist on the existence of Jehovah essentially amounts to in the end. Of course, for me to claim there is no Jehovah is no more remarkable than my saying there is no Hanuman, no Shiva, no Ares, no Camulus, no Amaterasu or no Quetzalcoatl. And most evangelicals would agree with these claims on every god but Jehovah without needing qualifying evidence to absolutely prove the claims. Therefore, any demand that I ‘prove’ there is no Jehovah is plain laughable given that it’s not a claim about the existence of a particular god, but rather a commentary on the improbability of there being any gods given the sheer volume of supernatural entities that have existed in the human sphere. No, even if I make such a statement, the burden of proof is still on the god-lover because he is the one making the remarkable claim.
The second word I of which speak – DIGNITY – is very important. In fact, I would reason it is significantly more important than the word ‘rights’ at present. And I say this because there seem to be a multitude of unsophisticated people in the world today screaming and hollering about how they have the right to do or say this, that or the other thing, usually out of some jaded self-interest. Very rarely do we hear these people making claims about the responsibilities they have to their fellow humans. Now, when the Founding Fathers first drafted the document that came to be known as the bill of rights, their intention was not so that some racist, Q-Ball-headed moron could call an innocent black person a nigger with impunity. No, their intention was to correct deficiencies in prior forms of government by emboldening the masses against tyranny. Free speech was devised as an ideal to prevent retribution against those of us, for whom there is no possibility of buying a two-million dollar diamond-encrusted cell phone cover, for speaking out against corruption and abuse of power.
Yes, these things – free speech, free expression, free press, free assembly, free religion – were all devised to empower the masses against the abuse of the wealthy and influential. Sadly, the ‘masses’ initially only meant white landowners but that’s a minor point of contention because the system was designed in such a way to allow for the same redress of grievances by the masses toward the federal government that the colonies handed to the Crown less than two decades prior to the ratification of the Constitution. And, as I am a ‘spirit of the law’ type rather than a ‘rule of law’ absolutist, I’m inclined to make my assessments of current human behavior in relation to these rules by judging them against the spirit in which the rules were devised, as opposed to that which they became over years and years of legal declaration and clarification. I find this the more reasonable way to think given that the system as first put into practice was hardly fair where it concerned women, natives, non-whites and poor people.
That aside, there was at least a recognition on the part of the architects of the Constitution that the dignity of the common man needed affirmation on a level rarely seen before in human history. As we’ve seen in the present, though, few people seem to understand the need to maintain this ideal and simply take it for granted that their ‘rights’ are secure and that there is very little they need to do to uphold the system that guarantees those rights, or, for that matter, that there is very little they need to give back in order to be worthy of the dignity that is conferred by the persistence of said rights. We are a nation that has very little in common with itself apart from the the structures of the government we employ to administrate our infrastructure. We have no common ethnic identity nor a single political philosophy. And we certainly have no common religion to unite us despite the nauseating evangelical mantra that insists these United States are, in fact, a christian nation. Therefore, if we’re to be worthy of the dignity conferred by the Constitution we take for granted day in and day out, then we’d better start setting a better example for the world to see.
We start by affirming our shared humanity, by recognizing that we all have the same potential to make an impact on the reality of human life regardless of any negligible differences that may arise, whether they be skin color or genetic variance or gender identity or even what brand of toothpaste we use. We are all humans first and if the United States, and indeed Western Civilization, were to disappear tomorrow, we would all...still...be...human. So clearly that must be our first priority before we decide to confer respect to notions of national identity or religious identity or racial identity or consumer identity or whatever else there may be in that regard. We are humans first and not one of us is beneath dignity so long as we prove ourselves worthy of it.
Now, that’s not to say that anyone who takes our shared humanity for granted is automatically beneath dignity. No, one is only beneath dignity if they intentionally use their place and position in society to deny dignity to other human beings, as when alt-right racist shit-stains kill reasonable people with cars, or when a useless incel fuckstick calls a woman a cunt for no cause other than she refuses to touch his minuscule micro-penis. There can be no dignity for those who consciously refuse to recognize and affirm the dignity of their fellow human beings. This is why I have no sympathy for current political figures who get denied service at restaurants, or tired hacks from TV’s yesteryear who lose their shows because of racist social media posts, or misogynist conservatives who get booted off of the airwaves because they treat women as property or disposable sex object. I have no problem sticking it to people who have no respect for the dignity of others and I think shame and ridicule are appropriate responses to these kinds of narrow-minded, poisonous cancers to society.
Some will say, quite predictably that such a stern response is not the proper way to answer ignorance but I have to call bullshit on that. ‘Live and let live’ only works if everyone agrees to live and let live. We’re at a stage now where the unreasonable insist we respect their unreasonable ways because of the protections afforded to them in the Constitution; where basic facts about the world on which we live have to be renegotiated ad nauseum because it’s now somehow reasonable to have doubt in the face of irrefutable evidence; where the very right to tear society apart down to it’s very foundations is irrevocable simply because some asshole claims the freedom to do so. It will take more than ‘let us all make nice’ platitudes to counter this level of arrogance and ignorant thinking.
The bible says that the meek shall inherit the earth but that is a load of shit. The meek wont inherit a damned thing until they eliminate anyone who can take it from them. If reasonable people want to preserve the integrity of Western Civilization, then we have to start devising ways to intellectually terminate those modes of thought which would see it destroyed. And simply countering speech with more speech wont cut it any longer. We’re in a stagnant shouting match with childish minds who refuse to listen to reason and something drastic has to happen if we’re to overcome this state of affairs. It’s a cold fact of reality that few wish to acknowledge but we’re going to have to grow up and acknowledge it eventually lest we lose what makes our society worthwhile.