Rss

Archives for : Commentary

Manly Men are B*tches

Good DaddyI’m a girl. I’m a lady. I am a woman. I am strong and delicate, fierce and gentle. I get to be both. Unfortunately, the world demands that men… that our boys choose a side. What it means to be manly… just one more thing I don’t have any business really speaking on. There’s a lot out there about the messages we send to little girls, and make no mistake, that’s important, but not what this here is about. I need to talk about men, how we raise men, how we program boys, and how important it is that we make some real changes if we’re going to make moves in the right direction for all of our futures.

Sometimes I don’t know what’s more damaging: I understand the importance of teaching boys to be Suck it Upstrong, but for some reason, it’s like they’re not allowed to be balanced. Why are any displays of non-aggressive emotion considered weak? I’d ask why Any indication of weakness is automatically considered feminine, but that’s not what this is about. We raise boys to hold everything in, hide their true feelings, and show only a supposedly manly variety of strength, but expect men to be honest, caring, and sensitive as lovers, compliant, subservient, and malleable as employees, and then be tender, gentle, and patient as fathers… all while maintaining an impermeable armor of masculine strength. Then we wonder why they die younger, are more susceptible to violent outbursts, and more likely to go on killing sprees that end in their own death.

Pink OnsieThe pressure to be manly men starts when they’re born. The suggestion the dressing a baby boy in supposedly girly colors–colors they haven’t even learned to recognize–will somehow make him gay. The assertion that letting a boy play with girls weakens him. The idea that boys have to “toughen up” and can’t cry. In my conversations with guys and gals about what makes a man manly often has more to do with what he does than who he is. Does he work? Does he spend time with his family? Does he act like a man? I honestly don’t really know what that means: “act like a man.” As a matter of fact, it doesn’t seem like most other people really know what it means either. How is it then, that we expect our boys to grow into strong men when we can’t even come up with a definitive answer for what it means to be one?

I think the idea of manliness that we’ve been shoving down our boys throats is Abuseactually feeding a bitch-made mentality. When I say bitch, I don’t mean anything feminine. I mean that we have been raising boys hoping for men, and instead ending up with bitches. They’re over sensitive, homophobic, and moody. Unfortunately, because they’ve been conditioned to hold all of their emotions in, they’re prone to spontaneous combustion. They have a tendency to interpret everything as attacks against their manhood. Of course these are very general statements, and I know that #notallmen are like this. Unfortunately, we’re living in a social climate where everything is taken personally and indifferently at the same time. Every conversation is an opportunity to get defensive or accuse someone of being oversensitive. Even when trying to address and fix these kinds of social problems, we run into this–as the kids would say–bitch-made mentality that makes it impossible to make progress. Here’s my attempt…

A man’s manhood cannot be measured by how many women he beds, hours worked, or dollars spent on material things. Manhood cannot be challenged by anything, if the man in question is truly a man. A an who knows his position, knows his worth, and is fully secure in his manhood does not allow trivialities to diminish his manly swag. A man is honorable, kind, and diligent in all of his undertakings. He keeps his word and is sure to mirror his words with his deeds. He knows his strengths, and does not allow his weaknesses to define him. He understands the importance of partnerships, team work, and family. He works hard, and plays hard. He is balanced. He most certainly strives to Do More & Require Better.

Decorum Deficiency Disorder: Respect. Respeck. R-E-S-P-E-C-T – Have Some

Respect. I have no idea what happened to make Birdman demand “respeck” on his name and I’m not going to go looking to find out. I honestly don’t care. What I do care about is that someone requiring others to show them respect has been made into a joke. I imagine it’s because of the way he said it, or maybe because of who he is. In either case, I think it’s about time someone said something constructive.

I Require Respect. I demand Respect. I command respect. Not because I’ve earned it, because how would anyone who doesn’t know me know what I’ve earned? Not because of my age; because I look young as fuck. Not because of my degrees; because I required respect before I had them. Not because I’m a “strong Black woman;” because Blackness nor womanhood are prerequisites for deserving respect. No; I require respect specifically because you don’t know me, don’t know my struggle, and if you did, you’d know I earned it and I wouldn’t have to explain anyway. When Aretha Franklin sang the song, I imagine she was thinking about some dude who tried to dull her shine with his dick in his hand and oral diarrhea so he was talking out the side of his neck. In my experience, people test people’s limits. Sometimes you can just look at someone and know exactly how far you can’t push them. Apparently, I’m the kind of person who you assume has a short limit, get to know and find the limit isn’t where you thought it was, then have to spend the rest of your relationship with me trying to figure out the limits of my Equalizer of Tolerance. For some reason, even when I am clear about what I will and will not tolerate, people still feel the need to test me. I imagine Aretha and Birdman were being tested, and had to remind people to put some respeck on it.

I don’t think disrespect is a laughing matter. Where I come from, disrespect is grounds for consequences and repercussions of the violent variety. Even at home, any form of disrespect was met with harsh unpleasantness. My last ass whoppin was random and unprovoked because my mother wanted to make sure I knew “which side of my bread was buttered.” It was a preemptive strike just in case I was thinking about disrespecting her. My very literal brain still can’t figure out what buttered bread was supposed to symbolize, but I knew better than to question her about it, in case she’d feel the need to reiterate her point. I know for a fact that most people from my generation and cultural background know exactly what respect is all about, and why a man demanding it is probably not something that should be laughed at.

Yesterday, someone implied that I wasn’t an actual person. He didn’t have a damn thing to say after I corrected him. I don’t expect he’ll have anything to say to me for a very long time. A few weeks ago, a former friend made several statements against my character while defining me as a demon after I explained why she was no longer worthy of my friendship. I might add that moniker to my title so people can have an idea of who they might meet if they catch me on a bad day, or worse, are the catalyst of one. I was commenting on a thread a few days ago that instead of telling little girls that the boys are mean because they like her, we should be teaching little boys how to be respectful and teaching little girls to command respect in turn. People disagreed saying that it shouldn’t be on the little girl at all. No, this isn’t a story time, this is just me providing examples to prove the importance I place on respect. So when I don’t laugh at Birdman’s demanding his name be sprinkled with respeck with everyone else, understand that it isn’t because I don’t have a sense of humor, it’s because I think people have forgotten how this shit is supposed to work.

Today’s atmosphere of thumb thugging, and the imaginary shield that the internet provides has people forgetting that there are limits and levels to this, and that crossing these lines–much like changing lanes out of turn–may cause death. Don’t think that kindness or patience are mandatory. If you receive either, consider yourself blessed, and act accordingly. Don’t take it for granted. Don’t think the the nice person won’t change clothes and get fist-ical. Just because someone knows that violence isn’t the answer, doesn’t mean it isn’t one of the multiple choice options.

Respect.

Do More. Require Better.

Mom

Random church pic with Mom. Sometimes you dont need a special occasion.

Random church pic with Mom. Sometimes you don’t need a special occasion.

If you’re reading this. It is the future. I’m writing to you from the past. Who knows how long I’ll be on the shelf with this illness, but I wanted to get this written down in time to go up on Mother’s Day just in case.

She loved coming to Florida for this. Still doesn't want to move there though.

She loved coming to Florida for this. Still doesn’t want to move there though.

Mother’s Day

People often have a opinion of the holiday that is steeped in one of two things. An unabashed love of it and their Mother, or a deep avoidance of it because of their Mother. I fall oddly enough in both categories. Some of you know why more than others. When people naturally assume I’m talking about the woman in all the photos of my childhood, adolescence, and adulthood constantly referred to as my Mom, they wonder how I can have ill feelings towards her. Like every child, at some point I got mad about not being allowed to do or get something (usually my way), but I assure you that is not what I’m talking about here. I’m in both categories because as is the case for kids like me, I know the fundamental difference between me and most of you. As many people constantly post the sonograms of their upcoming children, the poems about their mothers and how they were carried 9 months and all that, and inevitably the “she knew me before I knew myself” based reflections, I get angry.

Let me explain.

I get angry because I know, sort of, the woman who did that. I know her in my features, my skin tone, my likely genetically passed along diseases (thanks for the diabetes). I don’t know her face other than what exists in my own. I don’t know her voice other than what markers her and my father passed along to me. And that makes me angry every year at this time. Right along side knowing that I was easy to cast aside. But another anger rises in me. I am angry for the woman who has loved, cared for, scolded, taught, cried over and with, cheered on, and supported me from the moment she saw my face. Because she had to find me. Because she and my Dad had to look for me. Because I wasn’t theirs to begin with.

If you thought she was happy when I got my JD, imagine her watching me get sworn in by a Judge I've known since I was 13, at the second coolest courthouse in Kansas City, with nothing but friends and family around.

If you thought she was happy when I got my JD, imagine her watching me get sworn in by a Judge I’ve known since I was 13, at the second coolest courthouse in Kansas City, with nothing but friends and family around.

In movies, because well I always relate things to something easy, you often find a character who is secretly someone else entirely has odd differences in their mannerisms, looks and the like from their family and finding out why is some deep secret from the family’s pandora’s box. I’ve always known why. I’m adopted. I could say it is easier to handle sticking out when you know why, but I’d be lying. Knowing your extreme light complexion black parents are not passing it on to you so you look darker in every photo? I know the reason. Knowing your siblings from your father’s past relationships are all substantially taller than you, and you’ll probably never get there? I know the reason. And those are the superficial issues. The hard stuff is much darker. I won’t get you too deep in that existential nightmare, but hold the rails as I dip your toes in.

Wondering if your parents really love you or if they might send you away because you aren’t really their kid they just chose to have you around? I know the reason for that fear and it started at age 5.

Get out of that pool folks it only gets darker from there.

So while some of my anger is from not being wanted by the woman who gave birth to me, a lot of it is from not being born my Mom’s son. Knowing that somewhere deep in her mind just like in mine we hurt for the same reason, that we had to find each other. That her and my Dad had to go through paperwork, lawyers, judges, an apparently heartbroken foster mom, and state agencies as well as everyone who represented my birth mother’s family just to get me into their lives so I could have the beautiful dream ending that you seriously only hear about in movies. You might wonder why that inspires anger and not joy, happiness, or many other positives emotions. Well it does. But I started with anger so you’d get why the highs are so high.

I said at the top I’m in both categories. The flame of my anger has, admittedly, dimmed a bit, as I just stopped caring about all but the fact that my parents are the ones who love and raised me. Who were there for all the tiny moments and the towering ones. But the anger category was never so powerful as to overshadow the joy. Better said the anger fueled even more joy. How so? Let’s dream out the other side of that dark pool from earlier for a moment shall we? I don’t wonder did my parents want to have me around. I know they did because of all that to get me here. I have verifiable, legally documented, state stamped proof that by the sheer force of will of my parents I became Matthew Elisha Williams (My name is, in the end, rather telling). I take pride in my name and the meaning of my name. Not because it is so American that eagles should come flying out from behind me while Jimi Hendrix plays the Star Spangled Banner every time it is said or I walk into a room. But because, quite literally, it is the story of how I came to be.

Not the same as when we had season tickets for the Chiefs, but we both loved being back to Arrowhead for some football. GO LINCOLN!

Not the same as when we had season tickets for the Chiefs, but we both loved being back to Arrowhead for some football. GO LINCOLN!

So when I look at my Mother, now enjoying retirement, reading books, but sadly dealing with the complications of having MS effecting one of her legs I have a towering joy. That woman chose me. Every child that was available for adoption in 1982 was available. Every single one, and instead of all of them, me. That’s a powerful thing to know. That’s a powerful memory to hold in your heart and mind when things get bad. I know, because I have. I let her pick what we do with Mother’s day every year. Some years I didn’t have the money to buy her gifts so I wrote for her. Some years the gift doesn’t arrive on time. No matter what though, I give thanks for her. I take a moment every chance I get to remind her I love her, to say thank you, and on days like Mother’s Day additionally make sure she knows I care. Because, as I often say, my parents are my favorite super heroes, always have been, always will be. So I make sure to honor the one I still get to see whenever I want. The cliché ending would be “take a moment and talk to your Mom, think about your Mom, or go see your Mom.” I wouldn’t dare presume that you only have the bright side of the journey I just took you on. Instead I’ll end by saying no matter what your situation, no matter your relationship with your Mother, take a moment for yourself. Reflect on who you are. If that reflection leads you to a positive place about your Mother, take some time for and or with her. If that reflection leads you to a negative place about your Mother, take some time to honor who you became in spite of that relationship. I could say more, but Words Don’t Do Mom Justice!

Happy Mother’s Day!

11935022_10100494761172109_2325945561290195190_n

Way back when Mom at my side, and my uncle standing in where my father would have if he had still been alive.

 –  THE Ruthless Wonder

 

P.S. shoutout to the soon to be Moms that are also big time WDDIJ Superfans Jessica Thomas and Danielle Baron-Anders(or Anders nee Baron, Luv ya but I have no idea what you decided on last name)

Story Time: The Price of Being Conscious

It’s a strange thing being “conscious.” I don’t generally consider myself conscious becauseof the connotation. For example, I was trying to decide whether I was going to address the Trans Allyanti trans issue or the Lemonade mini movie–which I still haven’t seen. Initially, I decided on the trans issue because going out of my way to give any performer my attention… it just isn’t that important. The trans issue, on the other hand, I haven’t addressed beyond my disgust over the new Miss Jenner’s claiming the woman of the year award. Yesterday, I had an epiphany: the trans issue doesn’t need my voice. Of course the issue is important, I simply feel like especially because I have that bias as it pertains to one having been born a woman and having to suffer the several indignities that come with going through puberty as an adolescent girl, I feel like speaking from my perspective isn’t where it should be. I remember a little over a year ago when the Geek Street Radio crew were preparing to do an episode addressing LGBTQ* issues. We didn’t have enough representation and I felt uncomfortable being listed as a primary speaker. It’s like when white people speak on the Black experience. Even as allies, they’re speaking from a place of privilege and haven’t had to deal with the indignities that come with being Black. The same reason Black people are often offended by White people who appoint themselves champions of the Black community. I didn’t want to be one of those… and I still don’t.

Here’s what I will say: The issue is important. Trans gendered people deserve the same dignities and rights as cisgengered people.Trans No One Cared Creating legislation that makes it easy for ignorant people to discriminate against transgender men and women is in direct opposition to the values that are supposed to be dear to the hearts and minds of all Americans. It’s unconstitutional and shouldn’t be allowed to stand. Once upon a time Black people were legally considered less than human. We’re still fighting for our equal rights, so what’s adding one more set of people to the list of communities requiring equal recognition under the law? How I… how any of us feels about people who diverge from the accepted norm is irrelevant.

In separate but related news…

I imagine that people who don’t care about anything are that kind of happy that everyone is hoping to acquire. The more I learn, the longer I live, the more I experience stuff, the further from happiness I feel myself getting. I honestly don’t understand how people manage to see other people’s struggle. I can’t see people dealing with injustice without at least wanting to join the protest. I want to be one of those people who can just live life completely unaffected by the suffering of others. I guess some things simply weren’t meant to be. I’ll just be one of those caring people who gets angry and impassioned on other’s behalf. It’s why I Do More & Require Better.

Story Time: Hood Mentality

It’s been a long time since I lived in the hood. Even when I lived in the hood, it wasn’t theG.Ma's House kind of hood that I had to look around and feel some kind of way about. I lived in an area of Brooklyn with mostly Caribbean home owners. They took pride in what was theirs; swept the sidewalks in front of their stoops, picked up litter and trash, made sure the block was clean after the garbage truck passed. The area I went to school in on the other hand was a different story. The common theme–the mentality–was “no one cares.” It’s the hood. It’s supposed to be dirty. People occasionally complained about how infrequently the garbage was collected or how the so-called street sweepers only wished the dirt around, but they never seemed to care enough to not drop trash on the ground in the first place.

I wish this was going to be one of those simple pieces where I point my finger at an issue, give a brief history lesson, and provide a clean solution. Unfortunately, this is one of those times where the issue goes so much deeper than simply “clean it up.” There’s something about the hood mentality that makes everything about being from the hood the kind of struggle that even hood people don’t really understand. It’s goes Aristotle and Kant deep. It’s knowing that the hood is set up to keep people down, thinking you’re beating the system because you’re “living well” in the hood, then seeing how people live outside the hood and having one of those #awkwardmomentwhen. It’s trying to describe how deep it is only to find that Words Don’t Do It Justice. Let’s see if I can put this into perspective.

ChevronI stopped for gas at a Chevron the other night. I knew I was in the hood, and as such I was appropriately cautious and carefully observed my surroundings. I was with friends, one of whom is an equally–if not more so–hood smart young man. He pumped the gas, I surveilled. There was a woman begging at the door to the convenience store and one or two other gas station patrons. What was I most bothered by? That all but 2 pumps were fully functional. It’s the hood. There are supposed to be poor people, drug addicts, and cantankerous arguing patrons. What I don’t accept is that a multi million dollar corporation would allow it’s gas pumps to remain in disrepair or be left empty for more than a few hours. East Point, GA is no less worthy of services than Buckhead. Corporations shouldn’t be allowed to treat their patrons differently just because of a zip code. I’ll go deeper.

When I mentioned that I was irritated, my friend assumed that it was because of the Homeless at Chevronbeggar by the door asking him for change repeatedly. I don’t think I explained then, but I’m not generally bothered by people begging. A closed mouth won’t get fed, whether what the body needs is a meal, a roof, or their favorite chemical alterant. I’d rather her be begging than out stealing or hurting herself for what she needs. I don’t know what circumstances lead her–or any other person–to that position, but it probably wasn’t part of their life’s plan. I have a hard time believing that anyone grows up striving to be homeless, a drug addict, or mentally ill. It happens, but I highly doubt that it was planned. I also wasn’t bothered by being in the hood. I come from a hood that probably isn’t very different from the hoods of Georgia, or any other hood for that matter. When I did explain that I was upset about the state of the gas station, his first reaction was to remind me that the hood mentality dictates that the people who live there don’t consider themselves to be worthy of “nice things.”

So here’s the thing: it’s hard to believe that you’re deserving of things like a fully functioning gas station when everything in the social construct tells you that because you didn’t get the good job you were told you’d get after college or after serving in whichever branch of the Armed Forces… because the job you did get barely pays enough to keep a roof over your head which also means your income is low and thus a you’re in a low tax bracket. Less tax contribution–by means of property taxes, not income–means less service (i.e. road maintenance, garbage collection, public school funding, etc.) The lesser services means the hood children don’t have access to the same standard of education that other children in more affluent neighborhoods do; larger class sizes taught by underpaid, stressed out, inattentive teachers… and even if the children get into college, the cycle often continues. But wait! There’s more. What happens to the kids who don’t make it into college? What happens to a child who has one or two working parents who are too busy trying to make ends meet and keep the utilities on? What happens to the kids who basically have to raise themselves because the adults in their lives are absent? What happens to the kid who only gets attention when they act out? What happens to the kid who gets convinced that his life isn’t valuable? What happens?

No one cares.

Do More. Require Better.

Happy 4/20! Yay Chemical Dependency

Happy 4/20!!! Let’s talk about drugs. It’s kind of hard for me to really talk about drugs from a fully informed point of view because I’ve never used them… not the illegal kinds anyway. So with that in mind, let’s put all the drugs in the same category: chemical alterants.D n' A We’ll define them as compounds or substances used to cause a change of state. By this definition, I hope you’ll understand that I mean to include liquor, antibiotics, and everything else we have become accustomed to using for good and bad purposes.

I want to be clear that I’m one of those crazy people that believe that all chemical alterants should be legal. There will be those who decide to try stuff, and they’ll probably be the same people who’d try them even now while they’re illegal. I think they should be taxed and used to generate productive revenue, as opposed to being used to criminalize people who are often participating in the economy the only way this system allows them to excel in. I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again: the so-called “War on Drugs” has done more damage to this countries than allowing natural selection take its course ever could have. And since I’ve already told you all about how wonderful legalizing chemical alterants would be for the nation, I want to talk about the kinds of drugs I wish we would start moderating.

US of PharmaWhy is it that GMO foods don’t have to be labeled? Shouldn’t I get to decide if I want to eat chicken that has been injected and tampered with? Shouldn’t I get to decide if I want to eat apples that have been modified to be less attractive to insects? Why do corporations get to decide that I’m not intelligent enough to make my own decisions about what I eat and most important to them, what I spend my money on? I was having a conversation with a friend many months ago about how people would feel differently about GMO foods if they had a better grasp of science, how chemicals work, and how many of them actually occur in nature. My response: “Arsenic occurs naturally… as does lactose. I prefer to limit my intake of both.” Of course I said more, but this is the result of that conversation:
[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/242947106?secret_token=s-KwYZz” params=”auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=false&show_user=true&show_reposts=false&visual=true” width=”100%” height=”100″ iframe=”true” /]

So if you listened to my mini rant/argument against GMOs, you’ll understand that I think our use of chemical alterants are diminishing our ability to evolve in a positive direction. Imagine how many more people would have died from polio if we hadn’t come up with the vaccine. Add to that the fact that  it has been argued that people are now being born immune to polio. How much longer would it have taken for us to evolve into polio immunity? How about the flu: how many different strains of the flu have there been? Is it just me or do they seem to be getting more resilient? Why do people still bother getting flu shots when there’s supposedly “no way” to tell if it’ll actually work against whichever flu virus is being spread this week, month, year? How many people run out and get an antibiotic every time they get sick and find themselves sick again after a few weeks of “getting over” a cold?

We’ve become a chemically dependent lot. Not just on pills that have loose bowels, cerebral hemorrhage, and death as side-effects, but on the antibiotics they put intoModified Corn our vegetables without telling us, the hormones they feed cows before they grind them into hamburger meat, and the high fructose corn syrup they think should be included in everything. Why would anyone want to take an antidepressant that will cause suicidal thoughts? Counterproductive much? People seem content believing that all they have to do is “say no to drugs” to stay chemically safe, but have become completely complacent about medicating their ADHD afflicted children into oblivious zombies. Jailing people for marijuana possession has become big business, meanwhile Wal-Mart has its own liquor store… but more people have died at the hands of drunk people and from alcohol poisoning than I’ve ever heard of dying from smoking a joint.

No War on DrugsI’m not the only one who sees it. There are meme’s all over the internet about the disparities. I’m just saying that on this 4/20, we should make sure they know that we’re paying attention. Well, we should actually start paying attention. Not just to the legalization of weed, but to the decriminalization of marijuana selling AND to the release of the people who have been imprisoned for possession and intent to sell/distribute. We should be paying attention to their willingness to medicate us into compliant obedience.

We should care that there are more medications that mask symptoms out there than there are cures for what plagues us. These things are important. Its not just about being a liberal animal loving tree hugger. This one is about wanting to make sure that we’re fighting for the right things for the right reasons. There’s a reason why they added the word “medical” on to marijuana. I’ve heard it described as medical grade marijuana as a selling point. Is it really stronger? Do they add extra stuff to it to make it safer? Or is it just so they can continue criminalizing all the street corner pharmacists? Why aren’t we more concerned about doctors who’d rather write a prescription than actually treat a patient; like really listen then properly diagnose and possibly cure whatever is ailing their patient? Why aren’t we criminalizing Pfizer, Norco, or Purdue for manufacturing, marketing, and selling chemical alterants that are addictive and actually cause death? Why do they get to pay a fine and keep doing business as usual? I’m sure some of you are out there looking at your pill bottles and medicine cabinets; feeling like you need to take another puff to save you from the anxiety attack that the thought of your favorite pill’s not being available to you will cause. Last time I checked marijuana grows everywhere. You can drink it, smoke it, put it in some brownie mix and bake it… I read somewhere that there are weed gummies. People have told me that they focus better with marijuana in their system. I can honestly say I’d rather give a kid with ADHD some gummies than a chemical cocktail that dulls their shine, their senses, and their creativity, and has the potential of delayed growth, sleep problems, and tics among other things… but that’s just me.

We don’t have to be chemical dependents. Our fruits, vegetables, meats and grains were good without chemical alteration. It has been argued that GMO foods could help end starvation in places where they have issues accessing food. If that’s want they’re striving for, why are the corporations Flicked jointhoarding the seeds? Why aren’t they letting starving nations with fertile farm land grow the food themselves? They gave some of the food away for free? Was that when people started getting sick and dropping dead of “unknown” causes? It’s like my mother says; “Piss on my head and tell me it’s raining.” Believe what you want folks, but *takes drag from imaginary joint* I’m not buying it. Don’t get me wrong, I have benefited from pharmaceuticals throughout my life. On the other hand, I have to acknowledge that there are some things that we shouldn’t be chemically altering. And until someone starts a company that can be trusted to put #AllLives ahead of profits, I’m going to keep shaking my fist and raising my voice on behalf of my personal interests…

… because #DoMoreRequireBetter

The Letter Series: Religious Bullies, Keep Your Jesus.

Let me start by saying that I do not claim any particular religious faith as my own, nor to I particularly approve of any organized religion. I wouldn’t consider myself to be an atheist, as even that requires an acceptance of theism that I am not willing to participate in. I don’t have anything against folks who have accepted a deity or follow a specific religious doctrine, Like Jesus Bull Shitit simply isn’t for me. Now that we have that out of the way, you’ll understand a little better why I’m particularly annoyed by folks who are religious insisting that scrolling passed a picture of Jesus will guarantee my seat in hell, or that clicking “Like” on a post will bring blessings unfathomable.

People, the last time I checked, Blessings, come from God, not clicks. Your daring me to scroll isn’t helping to improve my perspective as far as your religion is concerned. Neither is your challenging my love for Jesus. Guess what: while I think that if he existed he was a good man, I don’t accept him or any other man as my “Lord and Savior.” I don’t think my dressing a certain way will please or displease Allah, because if he’s as omnipotent as you want me to believe, he even sees me naked in the shower. There’s nothing about me, my thoughts, my feelings, and most importantly my beliefs that he doesn’t know without me having to anything. Thus, if he is omnipotent, I can scroll passed with Jesus as my savior, or click as a blaspheming sinner and be fine either way. That click, comment, or share isn’t about Jesus, it’s about you; its about making you and others like you feel better about your faith.

Dear Religious Bullies,

Here’s a thought: if your faith was as strong as you want people on social media to believe it is, you wouldn’t need support from social media… the same way I think God doesn’t need our support… wait, let me explain.

I believe that if the Gods (yes, all of them) do exist, their power waxes and wanes with the strength of the faith of their believers. So of course, if I am being honest, God doesn’t require our support, God requires believers. I imagine it’s like they’re all singing that song…

They need us to need them… because Gods forbid we find our way through this life… andTo Hell with Them apparently through social media without them. Gods forbid we learn to have faith in ourselves and each other. I grew up hearing “Si Dios quiere” from my elders at the end of almost every sentence. “I’ll see you tomorrow… if God allows.” “If God allows, you’ll have a good day.” God doesn’t like ugly. As if an omniscient being really sits around plotting, planning, and paying attention to our petty human Facebook posts. Or who we’re friends with. Or who we share our beds with. Or who we sell flowers to… who’s bathroom we use. There are people starving, wars being fought, and you religious types think using your twisted understanding of a book written by men to treat God’s other children with scorn. But I guess you only have to follow the teachings you like right? “Love thy neighbor” came with a footnote that explained all the times you didn’t have to love thy neighbor. Somewhere in The Book it says “If you don’t click Like and share, you’ll go to hell.”

You’re all bullies. You need to take the time to learn the teachings of your so-called Savior. Maybe then I’ll take your religions seriously… because you followers, you make me laugh with your feigned piety. Keep your Jesus. I think the “real” one would take issue with his name being used in vain… or something along those lines. In short

Do More. Require Better.

Indignantly defiant,

Reign