Thursday, September 14, 2006

To Hate or Not to Hate: Hate is simply an awful emotion. It is blood pressure pumping, heart pounding, adrenaline producing, anxiety provoking and an uncomfortable emotion to endure. Yet, as much as I try to overrule it I feel it.

Our military decided not to kill one hundred Taliban who were congregating at a cemetery. The Taliban treasure were sitting ducks for our marksmen. Our military refrained from shooting because the Taliban were at a cemetery. The question I and others have is whether our military, who had them in their crosshairs, should have killed them despite the fact that the Taliban were at a cemetery. Surely those Taliban will disperse and many will live to kill us another day.

I loath killing. Despite that fact my overriding feeling was that our military should have killed them and an intense anger that they did not. What is the source of my feeling? Why in this instance could I not put myself in their shoes as human beings, allow the better angels of my nature to prevail, and be glad that our military did not shoot? I could not because I hate the Taliban. I do not even know them individually, of course, but I hate them nonetheless. This bothers me. Why do I hate them? Obviously, the attack on our country on 9/11 has much to do with it. It is, though, I think, even more than that.

I loath ignorance. I loath fundamentalist religions which spring from ignorance and promote it. In my view, it imprisons one’s brain, crushes it and prevents the expansion of thought and cultural advancement. Worse, it wants -- no it demands -- I do that as well. The Taliban are representatives of that. Human beings who have the capacity to question and reason but do not because of religious dogma are an anathema to me. I hate the Taliban for their extreme religious fanaticism which wants to join hands with whatever power structure they can manage to employ and ultimately, like a tornado, control everyone and everything in their path. I loath them because they want to squash my free thought and everyone’s thought who does not believe as they. I progressed from there.

I, admittedly, loath nearly all religious power structures no matter what religion they are most especially if they are of the unquestioning fundamentalist variety. These religions have the dubious distinction of either historically converting people against their will, torturing and eliminating them or imprisoning those who stand in their way for a belief system often steeped in supernatural superstition which is completely arbitrary and scientifically unprovable and rationally absurd in its nature.

By extension, our President, many of his supporters and certainly the Christian fundamentalists he relies on for his support are cut from the same mind numbing cloth. Christian fundamentalism along with other orthodoxies in this country, in my opinion, have been responsible for the closing of the American mind, putting a regressive administration in office, squashing science and employing a crusade-like mentality catapulting us and the world into perpetual war. Religious fundamentalism, I believe, has always kept humanity from seeking and achieving its greatest potential, kept man quagmired in superstition and has been responsible for more deaths than the lives it professes to save.

I fear unbridled religion. The Taliban are surely representatives of that but so is the administration's fundamentalist minions we live under. I wish I could turn the proverbial other cheek but I am scared. Disturbingly the hatred of fanaticism and violence it begets is there. Robert Oppenheimer, the father of the nuclear bomb quoted from the Hindu Bhagavad Gita when he said "Now I am become death, destroyer of worlds." Surely, I do not want to become as those I abhor. Hatred, all hatred and its offspring death springs from fear. They fear me and I fear them. It’s that simple.