Yesterday I heard somebody start a statement, "If everybody would (fill in the blank), the world would be a better place." In another context, I saw a meme on facebook that asked for comments on what I'd like to see change in the world. That one threw me. Like nothing is changing? Change is the nature of existence. What would I like to see changed? Racism was the first word that came to mind, but it's changing. Years ago, before I quit talking with anonymous phone calls telling me what to buy, one asked for anything I'd like to change about the evening news. I said that would take going all the way back to the beginning of humanity, too much for me to cover. I can't change it and I wouldn't change it. I think of Jesus saying love one another. Or even liking one another will do. Or even treating each other right . That was 2,100+ years ago, and his zealous fundamentalist devotees are practicing hate, preaching hate, parroting hate. And that was Jesus "commanding" we love one another. His voice has more authority than mine, and his fervent fundamentalist followers have turned to hate. Among his followers love is a four-letter word. It means fornication. Sin. Besides, love is wimpy. Real men don't do that shit. Like the saying, "Real men don't eat quiche," it can be added that real men don't love. My experience throughout childhood and youth in a Southern Baptist (fundamentalist) church in Kansas, the word love was only used in quoting verses, not meaning it. Mention the absence of love as a value, and the answer comes back: Of course we love. What's wrong with you? Supposed-to equals doing it: Of course we love. We're s'posed-to. God commanded us to love one another.
A preacher I asked about loving everybody assured me it didn't mean everybody in the world, only "the brothers and sisters in the church." To hear them talk about each other, they didn't even like each other. The thought of loving somebody who does wrong, or loving somebody with more pigment in their skin is unthinkable. We see it in our politics now that the Teabaggers turn out to be American fundamentalism gone political. Their belief system, formerly kept to themselves, except for missionarizing, looks mighty ignorant out in the open. They threaten the rest of us with their venal attitude toward anybody not themselves, their racism, their absolutism. Like Jesus said of the preachers in his time, You make the people twofold more children for hell than you yourselves. They can only live up to it by denial, denying they do not adhere personally to their own absolutist belief system. They call it being imperfect. And they want to hold the rest of us to their folk religion beliefs that have little to nothing to do with love. Now that the republican party is the fundamentalist party, we have police state. I never dreamed American fundamentalism could take over a major political party. The republican party's appeal for ignorance has given us fundamentalism to back up the police state with such a long string of stupid people running for public office that it's unimaginable there are so many people in the country as dumb as they are. I guess stupid people follow party line unquestioning. Fundamentalists don't question. Doubt is a sin.
I've said before that the best definition of evil I've come upon is ignorance. Going by this as the case, the republican party is quick to point the finger at evil. Three fingers point back at themselves. What they are doing consciously with purpose is dismantling American democracy to make police state, which they have already done. The Reagan Revolution was indeed a revolution. They called it that themselves, and to this day few see it. Because it's more interesting to see commercials about things you want, like a new car, new shampoo, new toilet paper, new mouthwash, stuff for the septic tank, stuff for the landfill. I have seen it evolve in this direction over my lifetime, but somehow didn't believe the American people would go all the way to having no values at all but in relation to money. Now it's here. The people who preach moral values do so in relation to money. Politicians can't turn their backs on their corporate owners over something as dumb as principles or ethics. Ethics is a ridiculous word in their world. It's never used. Nobody in that world knows what an ethic is. Also throughout my lifetime I've seen anti-intellectualism go all the way to anti-paying attention. Our educational system cannot work in a society where ignorance is held as the ideal. You think it's not? Take a look around.
Several years ago, when I heard somebody make the remark that the world would be a better place if everybody would.... For the first time, it struck me there is nothing that everybody is going to do but the obvious, ingest, evacuate and die. If everybody would love one another. That is out of the question. If everybody would quit smoking. It came to me that my world would improve if I attempted whatever it is I believe the world would be a better place if everybody would do. Even television can't make everybody alike, though it's made a valiant effort. If everybody would treat other people right. Aint gonna happen. However, I can treat other people right. I can function without expressions of racism. It would be a better place if everybody would quit judging each other. LOL. No way. But, I can give non-judgment a go in my own life. The spiritual path is not about making other people toe the line.. It is about finding one's own way a step at a time. That's the only thing it's about. Other people will do whatever they do. I have no control over anyone else, not a great deal of control over myself. Someone I know asked me recently, Why do I want to turn everybody in the world on to what I like? My answer: You're a missionary, a living commercial. It had more to do with his nature than philosophy. After a lifetime of television, he's a commercial for whatever comes up. He spends his life frustrated he can't get other people to be him. You gotta see this tv show, you'll love it! No I won't. You don't know, you haven't seen it. I do know myself well enough to know I will not enjoy a tv show about a serial killer, the good kind, only kills bad guys. Even JFK couldn't make everybody do according to his idea of what was right.