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  • Writer's pictureJose Arrieta

On Updating My Values: A Blasphemous, Offensive, and Endless Torture

Updated: Feb 24, 2022

Just as heads up. This is an offensive post. I'd recommend that you do not read it. Yet, if you want to go ahead. Please read it fully. Please note that the words do not matter, I aim however miserably to transmit and exorcise my pain.

Like many around the planet, I grew up believing in the God of Abraham. Most of us know of Abe, he tried to kill his son after being in a ransom from his God. The extortionist then changed his mind and so started Abe's Stockholm Syndrom. After the extortion and attempted filicide, multiple religions sprout.

Somehow we are unclear about whom Abe wanted to kill. But more than half the world believes in the main elements of the story I just told. One thing is certain though. The way I told Abe's tale is an act of pure blasphemy. Blasphemy as any form of hatred hides a deep appreciation. I do care about Abe's extortionist.

I grew up Christian. Being a Christian is a privilege in this world. Among many, it allowed me to move continents and even attend mass in languages I hardly understood. To share mass with new people and feel accepted. The religion that grew around the extortion of Abraham has been magnificent and meretricious. So are the values it teaches.

We are all grown-ups here. As Voltaire once said: "There is no God, but don’t tell that to my servant, lest he murders me at night.". And as Seneca explained: "Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful". Like capitalism, science, and football, every religion is a form of controlling the development of our social order.

Yet, few manage to control social forces as the extortionist filicidal God does. And even while I write phrases that might incite the rulers of the least convicted rape club on Earth to excommunicate me, I can't say I don't believe in the God of the Golden Rule. The God who saved the Jews in Egypt. The God who loved Mary Magdalene. The God with whom I grew up.

In my life, I have prayed thousands of Rosaries. I prayed one every morning during all my University years. Thousands of hours thinking about God while fighting traffic. It was me and the guy who boasted of his genocides and how he obliterated Sodom and Gomorrah because men loved each other. And that is the problem.

I was born two months before AZT gained approval for fighting AIDS. In the decade prior, people had experienced Abe's God version of a miracle. An act incomprehensible to our scientific understanding full of vengeance and hatred meant to ingrain the god righteousness values of hating men who love other men. I get it, as Weber, would explain the state has the monopoly on violence, and I guess the church hoped to monopolize gay sex. Competition is not allowed, neither in Sodom nor in our post-Summer of Love world.

It is the weaponization of these values I hate. The armored protection of being humane while using Orwellian doublespeak and talking about "do[ing] unto others as you would have them do unto you". Fuck that noise. This God of neighborly action led the English to allow the Irish starve due to their belief that if someone dies is because the filicidal God wants it. It allowed 19 out of twenty of my ancestors to die while the miracle of measles open our lands to their rut. The survivor of the twenty was raped, pillaged, and denigrated, made to love their tragedy, and just like me learn to love the superiority of the necrophilic God. One third of my blood carries the legacy and tragedy of my continent becoming Christian.

How long will we accept these values? The surrender of humanness and empathy in the face of trials and tribulations? We let children die on the coast of Greece as their parents try to escape the umpteenth Christian crusade. We learn of hundreds of thousands of French children abused during decades and our response is not an ex-communication of the Vatican from international law. Why? How? Who are we? How can we call ourselves humans?

The worst thing is that I know the answer. I live with it. Something deep down in me is rotten. Where my values should be, lays the doublespeak of the genocidal God of love. I was indoctrinated into it. I remember how as a child I learned to accept how women who were hit by their husbands up to an inch of their lives should stay with their aggressor. I accepted is just as why it is wrong to out ones shoulders in the table while eating. It was shared as a value at home as the way society works. Is it best to be almost killed and them go to heaven, or get divorced and get the hatred of the God of Love? Deep down, my value say stay, follow Abe and go to heaven.

There is something in me that accepts this intrinsic transgression of what it means to be human. I have a deep planted defect that accepts that religion is above the rest. With posts like this, I try to extricate this filth from within myself. I am a recovering Catholic who was socialized into an imperialist white-supremacist capitalist patriarchy. I am ashamed of this past. And the only thing I can do is to acknowledge whence I come from while at the same time use all my strength to run away from that wretch.

PS: In writing this, I kept in mind the idea of: How would it have felt when...?

  • How would it have felt when bigoted Christian saw gay people die in droves in the 80s? How big they felt as they denied them health insurance in their own inhuman crusade?

  • How would it have felt when a condescending English King saw the Irish starve to death under God's will?

  • How would it have felt when a Spanish conqueror, observed a new continent open up to their picking, without a fight?

  • How would it have felt when we killed all the other Homo X species (Neanderthal, Denisovans, etc.) to extinction?

It clearly felt like a miracle. How other way would these humans sever their empathy and not realize the atrocities committed? Bureaucracy was not invented so early on. That was for Eichman to find comfort.

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