2. I want my religion back. My problem is not with Christianity, or with any of the religions that influence our daily lives. In general, they do individuals a lot of good — and have some positive impact on the societies and cultures where they are. My problem is with the people who hijack religion for their own agenda. Capitalism hijacked fundamentalist Christianity to gain the carte blanche support of well-meaning people who default to trust over skepticism. What they got, in addition to that trust, was the power of the pulpit. “What is said from the pulpit is as inspired by God as the Bible is…” is both faulty reasoning based on no Biblical claims, but it is also one more nail in the coffin of free will and personal responsibility. Those who give up their right and ability to think for themselves, probably deserve what they get.
I, on the other hand, am not willing to accept the directives from the pulpit concerning public policy, but I am also not willing to accept that the cornerstone of faith is is ignorance and blind submission to any man or woman who takes the microphone in a building that is distinguished only by a sign on the curb claiminng to be “God’s House.” Regardless of which God the sign professes to represent — it was still hammered into the ground by a man or woman.
And as far as I know, it is only men and women who have ever tried to make blind, uninformed, and unquestioning faith a tenant of religion. And I want people of all faiths to stay out of the “I know what God wants you to do” and “I know who God favors” business.
3. I want my money back. I want all that money the US Govt. spent on private contractors, Haliburton, and tribal pay-offs back. I want all the money funneled into the bank accounts of Republican cronies and pork to go back into the US coffers. I want all the money spent so that politicians could “look busy”, “appear hardworking” or take a cushy trip around the world returned to my own personal account.
4. I want conversation without irony back. Just that. Not a big request, really. Just plain, straight talk. Words with no manipulation behind them. Compliments without agenda. Truth, without a joke to mask our low expectations.
5. I want community back. Everyone is so caught up in the quest to get ahead (a personal quest), to show a profit (a personal quest), to present the desired image (a personal quest), and to “play smart” (a personal quest), that neighbors have slipped out of focus. We are persuaded to strive to be our own personal best. To fulfill our own potential.
And self sacrifice, being our brother’s keeper, giving more than we take (or even as much as we take) have all fallen into disuse and then atrophy. This is not to say that we aren’t all equally to blame for this phenomenon. The temptation is to say “this is my time — don’t ask for it” and “this is my future I’m giving up if I stop to help you.” Those are sentiments that the time and place where we are living have worked very hard to vanish. “This is my money you’re asking for.” “These are my emotions you are asking me to invest.” Mine. Nobody else’s.
I want what is ours back. It’s a pendulum. I know. This has happened before in history. I just want it back.