Sins of the Father

Society says I’m “white”. I have mostly European ancestors. But my skin is, by no means, white. I’m told the fact that I am “white” causes me to experience favor in many situations. According to http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0882775.html, The average “black man” made 75 cents for every dollar the average “white man” made in 2013.

Society says I am a “man”. I was born with a penis and testicles. As I reached puberty, I began growing hair on my face and on other parts of my body. But there are many attributes like strength, courage, and a lack of emotion tied with this social construct of “man” that would seem to not be dictated by the genitalia a person is born with. Still, I’m told that the fact that I am a “man” causes me to experience favor in many situations. According to http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0882775.html, The average “white woman” made 78 cents for every dollar the average “white man” made in 2013.

In looking for a cause for this imbalance, we may turn to history. Our country was founded by males of European dissent. From the start, people with skin of a similar tone and similarly shaped genitalia to me were in places of power. The Fifteenth Amendment made it illegal to deny a person’s right to vote as a result of his “race” or “color”. This amendment was ratified in 1870. Likewise, the Nineteenth Amendment was only approved by congress in 1919. This amendment made the act of denying a person’s right to vote as a result of her sex illegal. For as long as our country has existed, people of the social constructs that were also placed upon me have been in places of power. Many of these “white men” felt it was good for people who had these social constructs placed upon them to stay in power. That is, it was believed that women and people of African dissent would not be as well equipped to hold a position of authority over others. As evidenced by the earning gaps, there would seem to be many in power who still feel this way.

My question is as follows: Should I be made to feel guilty for a system that favors me? Sure it was and is “white men” who birthed and propitiate this unbalanced system. But I am not one of them. All squares are rectangles, but not all rectangles are squares. When I find myself in a place of authority, I try to treat each person without regard for his or her “race” or gender. This does not mean showing favor to someone because he or she has been historically discriminated against.

I understand that words only have the power we assign them. I understand that offense happens in the mind of the offended. The term “nigger” has historically been used by people of European dissent as means of creating distance between people of European and African dissent. The term was often used as a way of dehumanizing people of African dissent. But the word will only have that power as long as we let it. I’ve suggested the worst thing one can call a United States citizen of European dissent is “racist”. This term, like the term “nigger” would seem to imply a lesser value of the person. As we have developed as a society, a common value among most groups of people has become open-mindedness. In our society the bigot is often viewed as the lowest form of human, a drain on society, a plague on those of us who respect each other, a reason to continue the “race” conversation.

But again, these words only have the power we give them. In spite the fact that our ideas about groups of people have historically been fairly inaccurate, these labels hold an incredible weight. The power of these labels may be observed in the labels we use to identify people of different continental dissent. We call this “race” as if we are different species. One could see how the term “race” could inspire some to cling to the idea that people of a darker skin tone are less than human. We call each other “black” and “white”, never taking a moment to realize most of us have skin of varying shades of brown. These words mean what they mean because we have assigned meaning to them. Not one of us would seem to be confused when someone says something about a “white” or “black” person. And yet, to meet a person with truly white or black skin would seem incredibly rare.

Likewise, discrimination against women and people of African dissent will only continue as long as we recognize these social constructs as valuable to the way we view the world. Sure we are different. But I believe it is time we recognize these differences are not significant when it comes to a person’s value. I don’t suspect we will ever live in a color-blind world or a world absent of gender stereotypes. The goal should not be to ignore our differences, but rather to understand them. We should celebrate our differences, understanding that these differences make our world a truly great place.

I’m not sorry I was born with this skin and this genitalia. I’m not going to let myself feel guilty for the actions of people who look like me. I am going to try to love everyone I meet and hope that, one day, everyone will see the world the way I do.

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Depending on Your Perspective, Some Rather Blasphemous Ideas Follow:

God created all things. Colossians 1:16 “For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him.”

God is all-powerful. Matthew 19:26 “Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

No person is without sin. 1 John 1:8 “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.”

God loves us. Romans 5:8 “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

So God sent his sone to die for us John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

This death “purified” us from sin. 1 John 1:7 “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.”

But only if we believe. John 3:36 “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on them.”

So, recapping: God, the creator of all things, created us in a way that our nature condemns us to an eternity of suffering by the rules he created. But God loves us so He created a loop-hole. God, the all-powerful, sent his son to be tortured and murdered so that we would not have to experience this pain which we, by our nature, deserved. But this loop-hole only works if we believe Jesus died for our sins.

The logic surrounding these actions said to be enacted by God, would not seem unlike a child playing games in the living room of his parent’s home: “I can’t touch the floor. The floor is lava. But I can touch the floor as long as I hold my breath.” But this is different, because the family of the child does not suffer if the child accidentally touches the floor or forgets to hold his breath.

It just doesn’t follow logic. If God is the creator of all things, he, she, it, or they is/are the creator(s) of the world around us and the logic that surrounds this world. If God created us as we are, then our ability to logic is a gift from God. It is my conclusion that God loves us all, no matter what we believe. It is my opinion that the loving God I know would not require his son to be tortured so that guilty people could go without punishment. But it is my opinion that we are not created to be condemned to Hell. We are imperfect. And this makes us exactly who we are supposed to be. God is love and every living thing has this life-force, this energy, this God within it. We have no need to fear, to conform, to be manipulated by various perspectives of God. We are blessed, because we are all parts of God.

And This is What Happens When I Repress the Writing Force in Me as Means to Being An Adult

I want to curl up next to it
Feel it breath, tenderly
Machine gun
Holy light grenade
Antici-pation
Sunshine
Blue sky
Electric veins
And it’s shiny and bright
Not so alone tonight
Mother cries
Baby weeping softly
And we are not alone
We are not alone
Breaking glass
Because we are so alive
It tingles like rain
Flowing through me
Flowing to you
Constantly
Empty and full
Rage and quiet
In my place
Broken legs
Holding on
Fist calm
Breathing serendipity
Eat, drink, sleep, repeat
And the chaos is validity
Stupid perfection
Stumbling with grace
We are not alone
We are not alone
Amen
The beasts
And the bullets
And the fear
And the tears
All perfect necessity
All life in front of me
All creation and sustenance
Perfectly ill
Perfectly well
Of ourselves
We are the
We are, I am, you are
Perfect

A Black Guy, a Homosexual, and a Woman Walk Into a Bar

Generally, any time I make a joke that would seem to disparage a certain race, gender, or sexuality, my intent is satire. The joke is not making fun of the apparent target of the joke, but rather the perspective that would make such claims with sincerity. To be offended by such a joke gives power to the perspective of bigotry the joke attempts to mock. It is absurd to believe these superficial social categories actually determine our value as people. To take any claim to the contrary seriously only works to empower such a claim. Instead of becoming angered by those who look at the evidence and say, “I’m better than you because of the hue of my skin.”, shouldn’t we say, “That’s okay, you ignorant little thing.” and pat them on the head? Bigoted perspectives only have the power we give them. This is why, when I make jokes that would seem incredibly inappropriate, the best thing you can do is laugh with me and trust that I love you no matter what some people who may look like me or have genitalia that is shaped like mine or share a socially defined sexuality with me may think or do. Love is the truth. I think anything else is just kind of stupid. What do you think?

Brainless Parasite or Human

There has been so much noise over the issue of abortion in recent years. You’ll find links to two of the millions of videos on this subject currently hosted on Youtube below.
Pro-life video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OoSYSqs8His
Pro-choice video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sbm2JfYTRSU
The titles of these videos and the titles of movements regarding abortion tell us so much about the argument. Is it an issue of life or choice? The Pro-life side often argues that a fetus becomes a human at the moment of conception. A pro-life friend of mine recently expressed to me the opinion that a fetus is a human because it will eventually turn into us. I then juxtaposed this argument with the process of fertilization when it comes to spermatozoa. I said spermatozoa become us. But an average of 200 million to 500 million spermatozoa are released with every ejaculation and only one of them has the potential to survive. But we don’t consider masturbation mass genocide. The minister in the first video featured here would seem to base his argument on the idea that a fetus is a person at the moment of conception. But, if the fetus, as the pro-choice video suggests, does not exist as a human until it has been growing for 6 weeks, then abortion is certainly not the same as condemning a baby to death. And this is where we are at a stand still. If something is to become something else, is killing the something the same as killing the something else? This next analogy is for all of you Pokemon fans out there: Is killing a Bulbasaur the same as killing a Venusaur? What if the Bulbasaur were, by all scientific accounts, a parasite with no brain activity? The argument in the pro-choice video is fairly noisy. It discusses seperation of church and state and statistics regarding happy healthy babies born out of less-than desirable circumstances. Amongst the noise, the young man in the video asserts that a fetus is not a baby until there are signs of brain function. Who says brain function makes a human? We still consider patients who experience brain-death people.

I would suggest that consciousness makes a person. We may attribute human qualities to those human bodies which were once conscious, but have no potential to regain consciousness. But it is our ability to experience the world around us, even if it is our mother’s womb, that gives us the title of human. At the same time, if a fetus has no brain function, it is effectively a brainless parasite with no right to life. Can we all get behind this and stop arguing?