Lately the world has been reminding more and more of the Dr. Seuss book about the plain bellied Sneetches and the star bellied Sneetches. This book should become required reading for children and adults alike worldwide. It’s a simple story about how we focus too much on our differences and forget how alike we actually are.
Everywhere I look there’s a fight going on. Liberals vs. Conservatives. Women vs. Men. Straights vs. Gays (and the whole LBGT community). Whites vs. Blacks (and Hispanics, Asians, Indigenous Peoples etc.) Theists vs. Atheists. Rich vs. Poor. The list goes on and on to the point where there is fighting between sub-groups of each group.
When are we going to collectively wake up and realize that we all share this planet and these petty arguments only serve to distract us from moving forward in life. I identify myself as a feminist, an atheist and a Canadian, but first and foremost I am a human being, a life form on this planet. I respect all other life forms who share space on earth with me. Yes, I like to state my opinions, and invariably those opinions will be opposing to those of others, even to the point where they may offend others. My intention is merely to bring my viewpoint into the collective fray of opinion that we have created as a global online community.
While I identify myself as a Canadian, I am hardly patriotic. I see no sense in patriotism. Something as random as where you were born shouldn’t give you a sense of pride. You didn’t build the place. I can understand a feeling of nostalgia for your home town/country, but patriotism is just another way to separate ourselves from others and to incite anger. At its worst, patriotism is used to brainwash young men and women into dying for their country. In reality these soldiers are not dying for their country, or even for the beliefs of their country (a mass of land can have no beliefs… the people in any given country will have a widely varied belief system). They fight in wars created by smaller groups of men who can’t get past the whole might makes right theory of winning an argument. (I am aware that I am simplifying here.) Patriotism is simply my Dad is better than your Dad.
Religion is very much the same thing. My God is better than your God. Wars are fought, blood is shed and for what? In the end, there is no end. I mentioned that I identify as an atheist. You won’t see me on a religious battleground. Atheists don’t believe in God, yours or anyone else’s. This, for some reason gets religious folks all riled up, to the point where they wish us harm. I wonder if they are angry at atheists because we found a way out of church on Sunday and burning in hell for acting like humans act every day. In the eyes of theists, atheists have no shame, so what stops them from committing heinous acts of atrocity? Interesting viewpoint. I could ask the same of religious people. It seems your God is simply there as an excuse for the atrocities you commit. Atheists may not have some invisible Santa Clause watching over us and making a naughty and nice list, but we do have a conscience, same as you, that tells us when we are crossing our own moral line. Without going any further into argument territory, honestly, I don’t care what you believe in or don’t believe in. Religion is just another way we have of separating ourselves from others and inciting anger.
A while ago I wrote a blog entitled ‘What Do Women Want’ about feminism and what it really boils down to. In it, I state, “Women want the same freedoms, rights and privileges that are afforded to men, no more, no less.” It’s unfortunate that we still don’t have this. It’s unfortunate that we have to fight for this, but, unlike patriotism and religion, it’s a cause worth fighting for. However, like patriotism and religion, the fight for women’s rights stems from the idea that there exists a group of people who are superior to another group of people. This simply isn’t the case. Just as no one country is the BEST country on earth and no one religion is the one TRUE religion, no one sex is the GREATER sex. As Shakespeare said, “If you prick us do we not bleed? If you tickle us do we not laugh? If you poison us do we not die? And if you wrong us, shall we not revenge?”
Whether we have stars on our bellies or plain bellies, we are all Sneetches.
Unless, of course the conspiracy theorists are right, and this is happening…