So I’ve a rant to share. It’s Memorial Day in the States today. I’m sure glad that I can even write something like this. In some places I couldn’t. There’s just how the US works things, so I suppose it is good. Then again…I also despise certain parts of this holiday. No, I’ll rephrase that, I dislike certain people on holidays like this. And I think I have a good reason to as well.
I’m not your normal American citizen.
That’s pretty obvious alone for my religious/spiritual beliefs. Being a witch and pagan is not “normal”, no matter how far we’ve come in accepting non mainstream religious beliefs. I’m still a freak where I live. I’ve gotten used to that. I don’t like it, but there are far worse things that I could have happening, so I suppose I make do the best I can. After all, I can at least chat away and say my opinions, so at least I have that much normality in my life.
But…then you add in that I’m a feminist. I don’t mean the man-hating type, nor do I mean the type of feminist who thinks women should rule the earth. No, I want full equality, as in men and women are equal. In jobs, in pay, in family, in life…I want equality. Either gender having a superiority is a problem, in my opinion. But as soon as I say I’m a feminist, that means automatically everyone assumes I mean the stereotypical “radical feminism” where all men are pigs and I think they should be underneath women. Not my beliefs at all.
But then…we come to holidays like today.
I won’t say I’ve been persecuted against to the point of physical injury, that would be a lie. Sure, I’ve been spat at, cursed at, people ‘bless’ things behind my back. It’s all annoying, but I’ve never been touched for my religious beliefs. I’m grateful for that. I’m luckier than some, but I just don’t take it into account. I do know though that I’ve had trouble for my beliefs that others wouldn’t have. For today’s purposes, I’m talking Christians, because it’s from some Christian friends of mine that today’s whole rant comes. They have no trouble whatsoever in the US, not with jobs, friends, nothing. Everyone accepts these friends of mine without qualms. Now, people accept me, and for the most part, my religious beliefs are just a quirk. But every so often I have the people who freak out on finding out that I’m pagan. Suddenly, because I’m not Christian, I’m a problem. Suddenly, because I’m not a Christian, and their assumptions that I’m either just a quiet Christian or I’m just not attending church are ruined, I’m a problem to them. This is not the majority of my experience, but it is a part of it.
So when these same Christian friends of mine post on Facebook about how they’re proud to be in the land “without judgment”, the country “free of all prejudice”, I get a bit annoyed. Yes, the States have done a pretty good job at eradicating most prejudices and judgments. It is not free of them though, and lying and saying that it is is annoying to me. They crow from the rooftops about how wonderfully free the country is, without knowing what it’s like to not be in the majority. So today I’ve already had these same friends post this one image 20 times, all within 1 hour of each other. Given time differences, I’m sure it will show up at least 20 more times before I go to sleep.
Now. This annoys me. For multiple reasons. But when it gets paired with religious commentary on Memorial Day, vis-a-vis my friends, I kind of need to vent. See, most of them were posting things like “My Christian Nation doesn’t need you a**holes here”, and other such things like that. Which a)has nothing to do with the photo, and b)is extremely inflammatory and rude. And, to me, posting crap like that merely serves to make me feel ashamed of where I come from. My country was founded on the idea or religious freedom, not on the idea that anyone who doesn’t conform to your small “X-denomination of Christianity is the only right one” bull crap. So when my friends post things like this, I do admit, I begin to see red.
Besides, I’m allowed to hate what my country has done in the past. My government has done atrocious things in wartime and in peacetime, things that at the time they thought justified. Whether it was or wasn’t doesn’t matter. That government has done awful things, like every other government that has ever existed. I’m allowed to be offended for those things that have happened. And…I believe my government is involved in things now that I find distasteful. I’m allowed to be offended by those things too. I do not need toleave just because I don’t agree with my government 100% of the time. One benefit to being a US citizen is that I have the right to criticize, whether one likes it or not. And there’s something to this whole “Onemust not criticize the government, ever, especially near one of our holidays” thing that annoys me. I know, we can criticize the government. But it seems like, once we get near to a holiday it becomes even more touchy.
I suppose I’m just annoyed because when my friends post stuff like this, they’re insensitive. They think that it’s all true, but they don’t understand what it’s like to be on the outside. For someone not of the majority, stuff like this rings. Because I’ve been told as much, to just “get the f*** out, if you don’t like Christianity”. I’m not opposed to Christianity, but because I’ve pointed out how Christians have a huge privilege in our culture I’ve been told to leave. It’s like a lot of Americans are under the belief that even pointing out the fact that there are problems is me saying I hate it. This goes beyond religion too.
It’s just the religious commentary attached to that photo that infuriates me. Supposedly, these friends of mine are all for the “equality, freedom and liberty” of our country. But then they spout that intolerant crap about how anyone who isn’t Christian isn’t welcome. It’s just frustrating. I’m sure I’m better now. Venting helps. It’s just…I can’t really share this with anyone in real life, because I’m an “anti-American” brat for thinking that the country isn’t perfect. And to even dare suggest that they’re wrong in their intolerant comments attached to that stupid photo…well that would be WWIII waiting to happen. I suppose I just have to vent in a safe space. After all, this is my little sanctuary. My little place where I can protest the intolerance of their stupid little addendum to a photo that’s just annoying anyway.∗