I feel that this posting needs to start off with a few things before we get into the “dirt” of it…
First, I’m not religious. By any means. For the longest time, just to get my paternal grandfather riled up, I’d say I was “anti organized religion”. Eventually, I just became a “non practicing Catholic”. Which was most true, since I, as a baby, wearing one of those god awful white dress things, had a Catholic priest dump water on my head, in a Catholic church — making me in the ultimate end, Catholic. But, I never went to church (except that one time when I was five, or that other time I went to a wedding and probably sprouted horns because I was sitting there sans the skivvies), and I never did that confirmation/Catechism/whatever the heck it’s called like everyone else on my mom’s side of the family did.
Second, I’m not political party aligned. I’m not right or left. Conservative or liberal. I’m that pain in the ass that sits right in the middle. Annoying the crap out of those officially affiliated with a specific party. I can see both sides, and whether or not I agree, well, that depends where my opinion lies.
Okay… and here we go…
I fear for my child. I fear for his future. His beliefs. I am fearful.
We like to tout that society has come so far in being open and accepting. That one religion isn’t crucified because of the actions of only a small number in that religion. Or that an entire race won’t suffer the same fate.
Racism is dead. Freedom of religion is alive. Everyone has the right to express their opinion via the long standing Freedom of Speech.
I could go on. But I’ll stop right there. I’d just be wasting my breath. Because it’s all wrong.
I always valued the fact that I am hungry for knowledge. I love to learn. I love to expand my horizons. I feel that despite being very well rounded in all things, I can always be more. It’s something in myself that I have always wanted to instill upon any children I may have. I want them to know. I want them to learn.
I also want them to be like me. Along with educated, I want them to be unjudging. Open minded. Compassionate. Accepting… and more.
All things that people claim to be today, and most, sadly, are not. I know a woman who is a lesbian, but is anti-homosexual. How that is even remotely possible? I don’t know. She doesn’t believe in equal rights or marriage for anyone in the LGTB community. Anyone.
A friend who is deeply religious has set out on a warpath to exterminate (his words, not mine), the entire Islamic religion based on what only some in that religion have done. Whatever happened to love thy neighbor? Or to just love, period? How can he crucify the whole for what part have done? Maybe it’s because I’m not religious that I do not understand.
A former college classmate, who claimed to be the least racist person she ever knew, yet called every white person she knew a “honkey”, made reference to her black friends as “her niggaz”, and even called her own race, spics and wetbacks.
The times I’ve heard men criticize the men of the middle east for their treatment of women, then turn around and treat the women around them as beneath them.
The women who are abused, who, until realizing that it’s not right or okay (which is a different story in itself), plead the case of their boyfriend/fiance/husband saying “But he’s a good (insert religion here) man”, as if it justifies what it being done to her.
The times I, myself, have been told in political discussions that my words or opinions do not matter because I’m not a Republican or Democrat. I’m just an Independent. I’m an atrocity to this country.
Or the times that I have been told in religious discussions (much like one unfolding on my social media feed currently about the “need to exterminate” Islamic people), that I just need to leave the conversation. I’m not a religious or God fearing person. I have no say.
It doesn’t take away my education. It doesn’t take away that I have read the “books” of many, many religions (I say books because we could be here all day if I got down to specifics for each religion I have educated myself on). It doesn’t take away from the fact that I pay attention to politics, I know what is going on, I know what it means for me as a citizen of this country.
I have fought hard to stay true to myself and who I am despite witness this going on around me. At 31 years old, I can still say that I have not given an inch of who I am.
I want desperately for my unborn son to be able to stand tall and be true to himself. I fear the pressure that society puts on people who don’t “mold” to one or the other. I fear society itself and how it can quiet him potentially. How it can possibly stifle him.
I am fearful.