Monday, August 08, 2011

According to people who think they know me better than I know myself...

... I am
A 'feral heathen'
A liar
A bitch
A racist
A radical
Angry Atheist

These labels and insults have been thrown at me, in public, by 'friends' of the "flesh and blood" type.
  • Because I question anything that doesn't come with a reasonable amount of logic and proof;
  • because I think that professionals, who have spent years becoming educated, who do their jobs because they like their work and are committed to their clients and patients, should not be insulted with the implication that they can't or won't do their jobs without the go-ahead from an invisible man;
  • because I am proud to be Canadian and because I think Canadians should not only understand their country's constitution and Bill of Rights but they should whole-heartedly support them - and each other;
  • because the colour of a person's body organs - no matter what that colour is - should never, ever be used as a weapon or a defence against reasonable, rational questions;
  • because I am willing to cause an uproar rather than be false or to placate;
  • because if one makes a statement, they must be willing and able to back up that statement, provide support for the statement and be prepared to defend the statement; and they must be willing to add to their knowledge, change their opinion and abandon their 'beliefs' when they are shown to be untrue: resorting to insults rather than understanding, supporting and defending statements is an abdication first and and admission the person slinging insults does not have any grip on their subject matter.
Because she was a much more intelligent person than people ever gave her credit for being and because this quantifies me too, I quote Marilyn Monroe:

"I'm selfish, impatient and a little insecure. I make mistakes, I am out of control and at times hard to handle. But if you can't handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don't deserve me at my best."

I add this too: "Well-behaved women never make history."

I don't presume to make history and I won't be "well-behaved," which really amounts to not saying things and  to compromising myself in order that people who choose not to understand things outside their own paradigms are not moved to discomfort. I refuse to be false and fake in order to assuage the sensitivities of people who presume to know me and tell me who I am and what I believe.

So, in response to the insults lobbed at me:

Yes, I am occasionally self-righteous; I come to that as a result of being a voracious reader, from having an insatiable curiosity, to owing a large, large dose of skepticism and from being endlessly amazed by human behaviour; and to a confidence in my own intelligence.

Yes, I am, like all humans, occasionally self-absorbed. If there is one among you who is, in this area, 'sinless' let ye cast the first stone. Self-absorption is the basis of insecurity.

Yes, I am a feral heathen. I have returned to a wild, undomesticated state where it concerns fantastical beliefs because I question everything - myself included - on a daily basis. I am proud of my flexible mind and I defend my - and everyone's - right to question. I encourage you to click and read the definition of "feral."

Yes, I occasionally lie - as does everyone. This is true of all of us and more true of some of us - see 'religious leaders' and politicians for reference. Also remember the last time you lied to someone because telling the truth would have ripped out their heart....

Yes, I can be a bitch. I am particularly bitchy when people call me names and tell me I'm a lesser human because I don't think or believe as they do. I am bitchy when people tell me I have beliefs but won't define what they mean by that; I am bitchy when people diminish the commitment and skill of those around them; I'm bitchy when I'm too hot or too cold; and bitchy when I'm hungry and tired. I know those things make me completely different than all other humans....

I, like all humans, have my moments of arrogance. I, also like most humans, temper those moments with many more moments of insecurity.

I am not a racist. There is no such thing as 'race.' This would take me 20 pages to explain so I shall direct you to anything written or spoken by Nina Jablonsky, who is an expert in this field and who is a passionate defender of HUMANS, regardless of biological adaptations (Click link for Jablonsky's TED talk).

I will agree there is 'racism' which is the name humans give to the practice of hating and killing each other based on the colour of a large body organ.  I do not care if a person is sixty ways from rainbow on the outside; I do care very much about the shades of their character. (added) Apparently, Morgan Freeman agrees with me.

Yes, I am a radical, which is the apt and correct term for anyone who does not immediately accept everything fed to them and who will challenge things that don't make sense or are outright fabrications; and it is an apt term for people - female people - who don't always behave as some people think they should. Dr. Martin Luther King was a radical; John A. MacDonald was a radical; Marie Currie was a radical; Joan of Arc was a radical; Queen Elisabeth I was a radical; Rosa Parks was a radical; Mandela is a radical; my grade 11 English teacher, Mrs. McLean, who was the only university-educated person in her Irish Catholic family, was a radical; Einstein was a radical; Copernicus and Socrates were radicals. Dr. Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, Sam Harris and St Augustine are radicals (were, in the last case). Here are definitions of radical:

I am an atheist. That state does not make me angry. Being reminded every day of my young life that I was a sinner made me angry; people 'praying' while their children die makes me angry; people hating other people for what goes on in their private lives makes me angry; people shooting/bombing/kidnapping other people because of fantastical beliefs makes me angry; the refusal of so many to scrutinize what they think they believe; to put their belief system to the test; to consider other possibilities and people who lack the ability to say "yes, I was wrong," make me angry.(CLICK THAT LINK!)

Yes, I am angered when people do not know what they're talking about, don't know what they believe, don't understand where their beliefs come from and won't make any move to put their beliefs to the test, opting instead for calling me angry, self-absorbed, arrogant, a bitch. I can hear those insults reverberating off the walls that make the corners into which those who insult me - rather than really understanding what they believe - have backed themselves into....

In addition to all these things, I am a compassionate person. I love my children, am proud of them and fascinated by the wonderful humans they are, by their endless abilities to form friendships, by their love and by their humour.

I am a curious and interested person.

I love my friends regardless of their foibles and their failings but for their humanity and their love. I am unsatisfied but that is my motivation and inspiration to learn.

I will end a relationship when it is a appropriate. I will be sad about doing so but I will not regret it.

I am loving and kind and flawed.

I am human.

I am me.