Saturday, June 25, 2016

A letter to a dear friend. From a Conservative to a Liberal, seeking authentic understanding.

Dearest friend,

     Hello. Some things are pressing on me emotionally and spiritually and I believe the time has come for me to share. I enjoy our visits and I enjoy your company. I think both you and your husband are excellent hosts to me and you have shown friendship. I realize we feel differently on many subjects and for that reason, I try to keep my thoughts to myself so as not to make anyone feel inflamed. After yesterday’s visit I feel that I must say a few things so that in our future work together, we can be relaxed and understanding. 

     There are two subjects that I would like to bring up; Christianity and America. When you mention one or both, I can hear the acid dripping from your tongue in hatred. This disturbs me in a few ways but I would like to get into some detail with you on how it makes ME feel. Let’s start with the Christianity thing. I am not a church going Christian. I was raised as one. I didn’t care for our church but when I think back on it as an adult, many of those people were genuinely caring, loving and concerned people who had loving families, good support structures and they lived the values that they believed. Yes, I have negative memories of that time. However I also have memories of bonding with other children, feeling loved and feeling those moments of a light heart and I believed at the time that I was feeling connected to God. As an adult, I can recognize that my mother had major issues and that a lot of shame that I acquired was from her and not ALL from my experience in religion. There are good and bad experiences in every path of life and in every group of people. We are human and there is no amount of force that will ever change that. 

     The majority of my clients are conservative Christians. Not one of them is a hateful person. When they speak about their concerns, love is underlying their words. There is also fear. I don’t agree with everything they say. I do agree with a LOT of what they say. 

     I am currently in a spiritual crisis. I will be totally honest and bare my soul before you so that you can fully understand where I am coming from. As a young lady who was out of her mind, I rebelled against church and my parents and school. I didn’t want to do what anyone told me. Lucky for me, my parents had so tirelessly instilled their values in me that no matter what, my core values were there, if at different levels of watered down. Anyway, to keep on task, I had a lot of fear in me that came from church. I don’t know if you remember but when we were kids, Geraldo Rivera did a special on satanic kids and murders for rituals. Then it was like a craze swept the nation. There were a few people in our church that became obsessed with this stuff, unfortunately for me, one of them taught youth classes. So I had this big paranoia of good and evil and the apocalypse. So I started searching for another answer. I found quantum physics. I love science and I find it fascinating. It was great therapy for my fear and paranoia. I have also always been interested in the pagan practices. In my mind, using quantum physics principles, I could understand how belief and ritual, prayer and meditation could influence your brain and your environment. Belief affects your choices and their outcomes. Once I saw it that way, my prejudices relaxed toward religion somewhat and I was able to feel peace and continue my search for inner peace with whatever might work for me. So, I guess you could say that my entire life has been a spiritual study and you could really say that about anybody. It is all about growth. 

     So here is my crisis. As I have aged, I have seen many similarities in my studies. I see in the bible where it is clearly talking about aliens. I see where it is clearly referencing quantum ideas. There is a lot of bullshit in it but the core principles are very good. They promote peace and understanding. Thomas Jefferson once had a bible written that only had Jesus’ words in it. All the other stuff discarded. It is really great stuff. And why should that be surprising? There are prophets in every age. I digress. Here is the crisis. The more I study and the more I look and the deeper and deeper I go, my studies keep bringing me back around to God. And the older I get and the more I deeply embrace the great responsibility I have to my children, the more I am pulled back to the core values I was taught as a child that really do make for a quality life. Don’t lie, don’t cheat, don’t steal, don’t kill, honor your mother and father, don’t covet your neighbors stuff, and the rest. Those are important lessons of life. Those keep a person out of trouble. I walked into the church my egg lady is the pastor of and I had never seen such a beautiful room. It is a small, itty bitty church but in the congregation room, there is this big window of all different colors of glass and it shown onto this small gathering room of a few pews and I felt something. I felt something big being pulled from my chest. I wanted to go into that room and sit and cry. It was over in an instant because she led me to the back where the eggs were but for that instant, I recalled the feeling of connection to God and I wanted nothing more than to surrender. In fact, I am crying as I type this to you because I am having a major realization. So many obstacles in my life: letting go in a holotropic breathwork, letting go to be able to dance, letting go to trust a companion or friend; all I have wanted in life is the freedom to surrender safely. That is so huge. I gotta go smoke on the porch and process this then I will come back to the letter. That was big. 

     Okay. Back to it. My growing experience is that Christianity is not a bad thing. There are bad people who make mistakes in every group or organization. That will always be the case. When I hear you speak with outright prejudice against Christians, I have to wonder what they are doing specifically to you that make you so vehement. Is it your childhood experience with it? And if it is, would it be more correct to say that your negative experience was due to humans that you encountered in that experience and the human things that turned your stomach were judgment, condemnation, shame and control issues. Did it have anything to do with the actual message? 

     When I think of the atrocities that have been committed in history due to religious zealotry, I have to think of the facts. The Catholic church is not the Christian church. In fact, when there was a movement to reform religion, there was a lot of death. Christians have been persecuted for centuries. The Romans used Christians to entertain the masses by being ripped apart by tigers, raped by horses and so on. When Christians wanted to reform the church, they were killed in huge numbers. It’s easy to say that Christians have been committing atrocities for centuries but that is simply not a fact. A corrupt super power that had enmeshed itself so tightly in the governments of the day, were so absolutely powerful that they were absolutely corrupted and many people died. Christians wanted the freedom to practice their faith and to grow spiritually in the way they wanted that they left Europe and came to the new world. 

     This is where the subject of America comes in. The last two visits to your house, you have said the word America with utter disgust. That deeply disturbed me but I kept it to myself. What I hear from the context clues I have gathered from the time we met, I feel that you have bought completely into the deconstructionist education system that has been in place since the 1960’s. Has America done everything perfectly right since its beginning? No, of course not. Has America done some truly amazing things since its beginning? Yes it certainly has. People like to say that we came over here and massacred the Indians and America is built on the blood of the natives. That is a gross generalization and history speaks differently. When we first came here, we had good relationships with the natives. We purchased land from them and more often than not, in court disputes over land, judges ruled in favor of the Indians. Britain, as we were still British citizens, made alliances with the Indians and we had working relationships. Then the French got involved and they made alliances with other tribes who in the French and Indian war would murder and scalp colonials in a battle that was between France and Britain. Britain and France were at odds in somewhat of a cold war. In war, alliances are made and people pick sides and fight. To try and paint a picture where the Indians were a purely peaceful lot is just false. Humans interacted with other humans and sometimes the interaction was peaceful and at other times it was not. When people really did the Indians unjustly was during the gold rush and our government did not spearhead that movement. Those were individuals who acted against the government and went into the black hills anyway. At first when the Sioux alerted our government that Americans were invading their holy lands, our Army was set up to turn them back. But after the Civil War, the economy was in such a terrible state, people were poor and starving and there was gold in those hills. Our Army eventually gave up because they could not stem the flow. Also, the fact that there was no law whatsoever attracted the worst sort of people. The fact is, when the first people encroached on land expressly denied by the Indians, the majority of those people were lawless, psychopathic criminals who were going to do what they wanted to do. Once many mining towns were set up and it was obvious that people were getting rich, France’s interest in the territory was renewed as well as Mexican interests. (I never hear the Left talk about what the Spanish did to the Aztecs, Incas and Mayans. I wonder why? There would be no Mexicans today if the Spanish had not taken over with mass slaughter and then breeding with the natives. No one talks about that.)

     What I am getting around to here is that yes, bad things happened but some really amazing things also happened. For example, in our history books that we learn from in school, we behave as if black history consisted of slavery and then the civil rights movement. There is SO much more than that. Black Americans had major roles in the founding of this country. There are books about the bravery of black soldiers fighting alongside us in the Revolutionary war. One black man was the first ever American spy and double agent and because of his actions alone, cut the war short by months and saved hundreds of lives. There were black theologians, scientists and some even held public office in those very times. We aren’t taught about that. Why? When you look at the signers of our Declaration of Independence, out of 56 men, only three had slaves. The rest were strict abolitionists. By the time we had the Revolutionary War, many states had already outlawed slavery and the import of slaves. Once again, the focus is on the minority of negative but ignoring the overwhelming majority of positive.
During the Salem witch trials, 30 people were killed. Maybe 27, it’s close. What people don’t know is it was 2 Christian priests who came to the court in Salem and told them, this goes against our Constitution. You must stop this killing. Yes, Christians stopped the witch trials in America when in Europe, the Catholic church and bad courts killed what some say was 60,000 people and other historians say 9 million people were tortured and killed. Again, focusing on a small minority, stretching it out to hang over the Christians and ignoring that it was the court’s decision, thwarted in the end, by Christians. At least in America. 

     Now, yesterday when I was talking to you about this great book I was reading, I was saying how she did a random survey and then specifically interviewed Christian men. I could feel you stiffen and it was like I could hear the construction begin on the walls in your mind against whatever might come out of my mouth. At least that is how I perceived it. Before I could even say what I was going to say that I found fascinating, you bring up the Christian dominance in our society as if it were a bad thing. I would like to share with you some facts about the Christian beginnings of our country. Of the 56 men who signed our Declaration of Independence, 33 men held seminary degrees. The majority of them were Christians. In the 1960’s professors decided to teach that our founding fathers were Deists, but that is false. When you read history books where they print entire speeches without removing words, they were Christians who believed in God. We have the freedoms we now have because of the Christian beginnings of our Nation. They said that people had certain unalienable rights to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. In our Declaration, it recognizes that there is a Creator. 

     If you and I had had the extreme misfortune to be born someplace else, we would not have the amazing lives we have now. There are many places we could have been born where our genitals would have been mutilated. We could be somewhere where we are not allowed to speak to men, or to show our face; where if we are raped or even accused of being raped, we would be put to death. We could live where it is legal for our husbands to beat us. We could live where we are not allowed to protect ourselves and if harm came to us, we would be unprotected by our government. We may have money troubles now but to other people in the world, you and I are living very richly. Women have it better in America than any other country. We enjoy more freedom and power here than anywhere else. Honestly, when I hear you bash Christians yet stand up for Muslims who oppress their women, I have to wonder if you are thinking clearly. Christians are not killing people. They are not cutting the heads off of children. They are not raping young boys, young women, children and old ladies to death. Christians are not going into gay clubs and killing them. Muslims are. Why? Because in Islam, they believe it is compassionate. They believe the only way to save the homosexual is to kill them. There was an Imam from Afghanistan in Orlando right around the time of the shooting that was giving a talk about it at a Mosque. I am not making this up. There is video footage of this respected Muslim teacher saying, “There is no need to be embarrassed. For homosexuals, we must show compassion. To care for them, we must get rid of them now. Death is the sentence.” Muslims raped a 5 year old girl in Idaho last week and they people of that city are outraged because the city council said that white supremacy caused the rape. Where is the accountability? Where are the consequences? I told you that rape was going unpunished in other countries due to people shouting ‘Islamaphobia’ and that I was worried it would happen here. Do you remember me saying that? 

     I guess the point I am getting at here is this. I really like you and I am afraid you are buying into prejudices because you identify with the Left. I would encourage you to dig a little deeper into world events and into actual, very detailed history to find where your prejudices are coming from. Am I prejudiced against Muslims? Yes I am. I am because I have taken the time to study their religion. I have taken the time and effort to study their scriptures and I am aware of the truth of what I have read, and from what I have sought out in their own media. I also have the experience of working with Veterans. You know, no one wants to go to war. But when you stand up for Muslims saying they are pissed because we have gone over there and killed a bunch, you don’t know all the facts. I have read countless books on the origins of war in that area and it goes back long before America existed. We didn’t help things and we have made mistakes, I won’t argue there. But let me offer some perspective. Vietnam Veterans don’t hate the Vietnamese. They hate the hippies that spit on them and treated them so horribly when they came home from a war they were drafted to and had no choice but to fight in. They don’t hate the Vietnamese. Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans HATE Muslims. Do you know why? Because they have lived there and they see how they live. They see how horrible they treat their women, the see their women put up with it and encourage it because their salvation is at stake. They see terrorist regimes that are not connected to government, just terrorists, come into a village and throw their infants on a fire and they listen to the screams of babies dying yet can’t get the order to stop it. One brave soldier was dishonorably discharged because his commanding officer said whatever you hear, do NOT get involved. Stay in this tent. And he heard a man raping a young boy. He heard the boy screaming and the mother crying and he lost it. He went out, stopped it and beat the shit out of the man and was immediately sent home. He did the right thing. Our military hate Muslims because they see that they live by a system of terror. You really want to talk about systemic abuse and prejudice? Look at the nation of Islam. It is horrible and disgusting and every time I see a Feminist rant on Islamaphobia, it makes the entire feminist movement look like hypocrites for standing up for the abuse of women and children, yet they cry about Christians and the conservative movement that is solely responsible for the amazing and free lives they enjoy today. 

     So after all this, I guess the roundabout thing I am getting to is this. I have kept my mouth mostly shut when it comes to politics and religion when we converse. I don’t want to feel stressed out when we visit. However, I want you to know that I am open to having these conversations with you. I am sure they would be lively and there would be an exchange of ideas which is always welcome. I can’t relax when there is prejudice against things I love. I am not saying I love Christianity as a whole. I believe there are a lot of great ideas and I recognize its role in the formation of the greatest country on earth. I will say that I LOVE America. I really do. Am I happy with the way our government has usurped control of a lot of our freedoms? No. Am I happy with our foreign policy? No. But I can recognize that We The People voted those assholes there by not voting our values and I commit to voting my values from here on out. I love what America is supposed to be. I love the original dream. I love that we are free women. I love that people’s individual choices can either take them far into the heights of accomplishment or sink them into the depths. That is true freedom. I love America. If there is something you don’t like, you have the freedom to attempt to change it as long as you are not stepping on the rights of others. So know that when you speak badly of my home, where I am free to pursue my happiness, I experience anger. I have really been studying the Constitution, the Revolutionary War and our Founding Fathers these last few weeks and I have decided it will be my major focus of study until school starts. The more I study what happened, what they went through, how they struggled to achieve what they did, my love and loyalty grow. I am willing to die to protect my freedom and the freedom of my children. I love America enough that I will not sit idly by and watch it be destroyed. I love what this country means, what it is supposed to stand for and I will lay down my life to defend it. So please know that when you want to speak badly about America, I am not the one to do it to. I will no longer bite my tongue. I will respond.
I appreciate you taking the time to read this. Like I said, I enjoy your company. I look at you and your husband as friends. You are my most liberal friends, haha! I respect your feelings and I respect your house. I am thankful you enjoy my bread. I thoroughly enjoy our non political or religious conversations and I look forward to many more. I will look forward to debate if you choose to debate me.
Have an excellent day. I hope you are feeling better. 

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