by Cheryl Wolfe on Saturday, May 26, 2012
If one uses religion to feel "part of" something, or one with the universe, that seems a nice and pleasant thing, as long as it’s not insisting everyone be a part of the same thing. But it’s sad when it is based on making people feel they are small or bad or ignorant or never good enough or complacent with Patriarchy ☨ (we must bring back that word to identify this conditioning we’re still receiving all the time.)
But (in my not so humble opinion)
**It’s not normal or healthy to love everyone. And many religions teach you should strive to love everybody and try to be like Christ, who gave his life, a blood sacrifice, to cleanse everyone of their original sin, or badness, they were born with. So it is teaching people they *should* feel something that is 1. unattainable and 2. not normal or healthy. (I’ll not get started on the problems with Buddhism and the like in this post.) I think love is not only a word but something you DO. To me love is a powerful and deep feeling and way of acting. Sharing unique and priceless gifts. To me love is offering my finite amount of lifeTIME. To me, love is loyal and stays true, no matter what, unconditional. To me, love includes sacrifice, to put someone else’s needs ahead of mine. It’s not possible to have this powerful and deep LOVE for "everyone" and it’s not something anyone can do outside of mythology, and it wouldn’t be healthy or beneficial to extend that to everyone a person meets. Would I offer Hitler the shirt off my back? No — I don’t love him and I judge I need my shirt more. Would I give Osama bin Laden a trial? Yes–I don’t love him but justice includes due process and does not include murder. This notion of love that the dominant religion pushes on people does not extend to ACTIONS, you’re supposed to "love everybody" but homicide is perfectly at home within that circle of "love." In personal life I feel I have quite an open mind and try to understand the journey each person has come through–but I *do* judge people, as we all must, and want my children to learn how to judge people -hopefully with fairness and eyes looking deeply past the superficial masks on the outside. I can attempt to learn from everyone, but I don’t have to love or spend time with people who are not kind, and I would not leave my child in the care of people I judge to be unsafe. To live in this world, the real world in which we exist, it is necessary to judge and it is necessary to NOT love everybody.
**Compassion and understanding are things to strive for. I think we are better people, and we feel better, ☻ if we can have compassion and understanding. And understanding can help us learn how to alleviate and/or prevent or avoid some of the evils and suffering in the world.
**Justice and fairness are required. Must be insisted upon-demanded-fought for. In our daily actions but even more so in our law and institutional systems. Fairness requires we base these things on equality and rational measures and *universal human rights*–not subjective emotions that are in fact unfair. For example, from day one, persons in our society "love" white people just a little bit more (the doll studies show that fact clearly, as do all measurements of our criminal justice system and other measures) We also "love" men just a little bit more (this is proven in every measurement too) In my observations people seem to "love" people with money quite a bit more too. I’m certain that could be proven if we did a study. In all of these situations–it’s wrong. We must demand and insist on fairness and justice, not love. Everyone has value and worth as a human being, we must protect the equality and human dignity of each person. I am not saying justice is so much clearer or easier than love-but we should fight for justice, throughout our entire lives, love or not. In fact it is very hard. But determining the *right* thing to *do* is important and absolutely necessary. More important and more necessary than trying to love everybody.
Our country is the most powerful in the world– if we could choose to strive for human rights we could make the world an immensely better place. We could elevate the condition of billions and relieve the suffering of humanity worldwide. Praying that we can love everybody has a number of problems which makes it mostly useless.
Instead of church, my plan is to take regular time to study and learn what human rights include http://www.youthforhumanrights.org/what-are-human-rights.html and how it needs to be done http://www.justiceharvard.org/