I went to a private Catholic high school where the only atheists I knew were me and two of the girls I dated. It was not all Catholics, but it was predominantly Christian, with many denominations represented. There’s no way us three were the only atheists, but I only knew they were atheists because we were close enough to talk about it. This shows part of the problem.
Atheism was shunned at my school. No one was beat up over it, but there were altercations and times when things were thrown at me (nothing harmful), solely because I was an atheist or spoke up when I “shouldn’t uv.” Of course, there wasn’t much else about me worth mocking, and it certainly wasn’t a horrible daily routine. I didn’t feel persecuted or oppressed, but it was irritating how intrusive all the religious rituals, prayers, and other garbage could be for those of us who just wanted an education.
And God forbid you question anything. It wasn’t always teachers enforcing this stuff; it was usually students. There was strange Puritanical peer pressure. Let’s put it this way: my school was so conservative, I actually got made fun of once for PDA. Apparently hugging your girlfriend in the hall is inappropriate for 17 year olds. I was stuck living in the fucking 1950’s.
My school required we take a religion class every year. The first year was a comprehensive look at world religions, and the next three years were variously themed kumbayah sessions where we talked about our “spirituality.” This was basically an opportunity for the Christian majority to alienate anyone who didn’t agree with them in discussion. People of other religions spoke up without criticism, which is a good thing, but I was the only atheist out of over twenty kids in every one of the three years I faced this curriculum.
This was where I honed my chops. This is where I learned to stand up to a group of people and tell them point-blank to their face: you’re wrong. It’s really effortless online. I don’t even have to mask my contempt for you people (yeah I fucking said “you people,” you dirty, unwashed masses; go back to your fucking couches and reality shows if you have a fucking problem with it).
And it wasn’t easy. For one thing, I was newly skeptical. I wasn’t agnostic, but I was not completely sure of my atheism. All I knew was that I wasn’t Catholic, I felt nothing for any sort of personal God that my evangelical friends told me about, and Buddhism was for fags. Of course, those are my words then, not my words now… now I would say Buddhism is for “spiritual, but not religious” people (though one of my two Buddhist friends was gay).
What is the proper response when a teacher writes in your required diary entries which they “grade”: “Those who stand for nothing will surely fall for anything.” Nowadays, I would have told that bitch I won’t stand for that shit and that she can go sit and spin. Maybe if she didn’t drink, her son wouldn’t have been the weird kid who mutters to himself in the corner while banging his head against the wall. [True story.]
If you wonder why I’m not civil and polite and patient and kind when speaking on matters of faith, it may have something to do with the fact that I was “Heil Hitler” saluted by another student in an “Ethics” themed class discussion. The topic? Abortion. Apparently supporting a woman’s right to control her own body is tantamount to a fetal Holocaust. Never mind their laughable support of the racially biased genocide they euphemize as “capital punishment,” or the actual defense of the Vietnam War that I heard stuttered through countless ums and likes.
I’ve not only peaked inside the Christian world, I leered at it day after day from across the table. I didn’t have my thumb on the pulse of Conservative America, I had my needle in its vein. I got a real good sample, and I am torn between terror and violent outrage at the extremist douchebags that the conservative right not only harbors, but encourages. The Right makes things personal, and turns out… it worked.
Fuck political correctness. Fuck the Democrats who want to negotiate. The Right is claiming the Democrats are shoving healthcare down our throats. Great! If I were the Dems, I’d not only shove it down their throat, I’d grease them up, stick it in their asses, and I certainly wouldn’t forget to pull their hair.
For fuck’s sake, why do we bother to elect Democrats if they don’t do a damn thing? When these pussies got picked on, they’re the ones who cowered in a corner and told themselves the bullies were just compensating for something. These guys are such bleeding-heart push-overs, they have sympathy for their tormenters. That is way too Jesus-y for me. What you’re supposed to do is kick the bully in the balls, sleep with his girlfriend, and pour sugar in his car’s gas tank. If you don’t want to cook, get the fuck out of the kitchen. You gotta break a few eggs to make a fucking omelet, and maybe some of those eggs were just for fun.
This whole post seems like the situation of my generation. Everything seemed fairly focused, but it really takes a weird turn and now I have no idea what to do. I feel like this might be generation “I’m angry and I don’t know what to do.”