Too Much Is Never Enough

Friday 4 September 2009

You know, I love the Americans who read here. But I am sick of hearing about your bloody country. This is a rant about certain things that are infuriating me, so if you are sensitive in this area, probably best to stop reading now, okay? If you wonder who the hell am I to have an opinion, if you find it difficult to read anything that does not have a right-wing focus, if you continue to believe what an amazing fair eagle your country is, then stop reading now. Because this is my blog, and I get to rant, and I am not ranting against you people here personally that I love, but I am going to rant anyway. So really, go away if you don't want to read it. But I get to say it.

I am sick to death of hearing about America and the evil antichrist Obama. So many people the world over are dying, and all we hear about are the eroding freedoms under the great evil socialist. (Which is not to say that your freedoms perhaps are not being eroded, or that Obama isn't in fact a socialist or even that he is not the antichrist. But I'm not sure what I think about all three of those words, freedom, socialism, antichrist. And my focus isn't so much on what might be actually happening - of which obviously I know very little apart from what I am told - but my focus is more on what America seems to be encouraged to believe about herself, and what she is therefore discouraged to believe about herself. That's the part that interests me.)

I am sure many believe Obama is the antichrist. There is no end to the fear available to fuel end-times scenarios, is there? And there is so much extra fear around these days, surely there must be multiple more end-times scenarios. Such an easy way to divide the wheat from the tares. And anyway, we all know the book of Revelation is about America, right? She's gotta be in there, that great eagle? That has to be America, surely. America, America. The land of the free, and the home of the brave. The country that had one attack perpetrated on it (a mighty, amazing, Hollywood-sized attack) that was awful and horrible, and the retribution that came afterwards was 100 times fiercer. But that's okay. You have to protect yourselves after all, don't you.

You're not free and you're not brave, you know. You're rich and fat and greedy and lazy like all of us rich, fat, greedy, lazy Western people are. How many of you continue to believe you are the great benevolent eagle spreading freedom all over the world? Does it surprise and baffle you that the rest of the world sees you quite differently? The world, unfortunately, cannot be rebadged by Disney to make it something nice and palatable for you to feel better about yourselves being the great spreader of Christ and democracy. Because you are not. Did you really think you would get away with being rich and powerful and it not somehow affecting everyone else? Affecting yourselves? As if the deceitfulness of riches was hyperbole? As if you haven't been imprisoned inside your own wealth like the rest of us?

It amazes me how the more people wilfully refuse to ask the hard questions and want everything to be "nice" cannot see the predators in their own midst. It happens on a psyche level and it happens on a national one too. Some people go on about Obama turning America into a socialist state, as if socialism sits somewhere directly to the left of middle right on the political spectrum. They insist on maintaining their freedoms to the extent that they will allow predators like the media and advertising to continue to gobble them up and they don't seem to be able to readily see the paradox. They won't put limits on anything because that is curtailing their freedom.

But what is freedom, exactly? Is it freedom to do what is right, or freedom to do whatever you want?

Perhaps freedom has become the American god. Believe me, past foreign policy makes it pretty evident to the rest of the world that America will insist on her right to keep what she has, even if it involves suppressing those who do not have. This is what rich countries do. The deeper the wealth the deeper the moat. Not that I imagine foreign policy and its effects is something that FOX News has regular in-depth analysis about. There are two sides to every story. If you read every story with the desire to see yourselves as the heroes, then you won't be asking and reading and listening with discernment, asking why stuff is packaged to you in the way that it is. It's easier to watch cable news. It can just simply reinforce your prejudices about all those evil socialist Latin American countries lurking and trying to take away your freedoms from you. When you are the hero in the storybook, you do not readily wish to see what your past governments have done to other countries in the name of keeping YOUR freedoms intact - the richest country the world has ever seen, and you have run in fear for the past 50 years that it is going to be taken away from you. Perhaps this is partly what Jesus was talking about with the deceitfulness of riches. It doesn't feel like a particularly safe space to occupy, to me. How about you?

I'm sick of hearing political stories about people's freedoms being taken away all the time. So much focus, so much fearmongering by the media, and some drink it down whenever it is on offer, without discernment. A country full of Christians who are told not to fear. You've got a tap full of clean, running water whenever you damn well want it. Maybe turn off FOX and drink that one down instead. The kingdom of heaven is still near, still sitting outside of what is happening in our individual countries, the third way. Maybe the world would be safer if we Christians turn our focus there.


  1. Sue, there is a lot waking up and owning up that needs to take place. I just don't know if it is going to happen. The attitudes run deep and it seems most people have become so afraid of everything other than what they personally believe to be "right" and "good". Most often all else is "wrong" and "evil". It's how everything has been framed.

  2. From one of our finer American voices.

    "The normalization of the doctrine of limitlessness has produced a sort of moral minimalism: the desire to be efficient at any cost, to be unencumbered by complexity. The minimization of neighborliness, respect, reverence, responsibility, accountability, and self-subordination—this is the culture of which our present leaders and heroes are the spoiled children." Wendell Berry

  3. Whoo-hoo...whatever did you read, dearie? :)

    SO much truth in your words...I was reading recently about a group of Muslim women who are speaking out about the hijab, about how they love wearing it and don't find it oppressive at all. How it is a symbol of femininity and their faith.

    Yet the western world continues to insist that the hijab is a symbol of sexism and oppression. I'm sure to some women it is, it depends on context and life experiences. However, there is no one generalization we can make about it.

    We all want life to be free of conflict and the best way to do that would seem for everything to be just like us. Of course that's not true or possible, but it's human nature. Conformity creates peace, right? ;)

  4. Kent - Mr Berry hits the nail on the head again. I am just sick of hearing people - and from the way they respond it seems to me to be Christians informed by end-times scenarios - overreacting to everything going on in your bloody government.

    Your first comment there was just so "tree of the knowldge of good and evil" isn't it?

    Erin - oh, I was reading this which sort of got me started :) That is fascinating the comment you make. I saw something on television several weeks ago about exactly this same thing, the hijab and how liberating it is for women. I had never really thought about it before but it really made sense to me. I understood how liberating that would be.

    Yeah conformity creates peace :) A nice peace with big things sticking under the carpet, haha :) Life is just so messy, it's MEANT to be messy, it CAN'T be the way we want it to be, the way Mr Berry describes in Kent's quote above. It pisses me off that Christians seem so easily to have succumbed to it. Am I wrong in my appraisal? I don't live in it so I don't know.

  5. Erin, and also this blog post here: which further confuses things because I totally agree with him and yet don't feel quite as hardline about it as he does.

    And yet now I have gone and written a post which feels as hardline as his was in some respects, haha. I am thinking too hard now and switching off my brain and going to work :)

  6. Ok so I see why your hackles are up...and how much do you want to BET that these same families would absolutely welcome George Bush to speak at school without any question of the content of his speech.

    I mean seriously, you're going to make the President of the US's speech be screened by the board of education? For REAL?

    "I don’t want our schools turned over to some socialist movement."

    And Rush Limbaugh says he's trying to create a cult of personality, comparing him to Kim Jong?

    I think you are calling it pretty well...although it really depends on the segment of America you're talking about. This article said the opposition was primarily in Texas, notoriously conservative. If it was Portland the opposite would be true. Around here people would pay good money to hear Obama speak at a school. He's America's hero.

  7. Sorry, my comment was directed at your first response...I haven't had time to read that Free Believers article yet.

  8. Sh*t-disturber! This is just a ploy to increase traffic, isn't it??

    No, but really I hear what it is you're saying. So much print and TV news media coming out of the States is self-perpetuating fodder for further reportage that the content eventually doesn't even matter any more.

    Picture me with index fingers stuck in ears and singing, 'la,la,la,la', ad infinitum'. I have to be really selective where it comes to what I watch and read else I'd go nuts.

    I am slowly going crazy,
    crazy I am slowly going.

  9. That's okay. I'm asking you to work a bit hard, aren't I, flinging out links instead of just telling you what I read :)

    I feel like I'm actually talking about two different things here at the moment, maybe bringing the politics into it has done less to state my case than if I left it out, seeing any talk of politics just turns people into magnets who flow to the left or to the right and then take potshots from there. I'm just sick of hearing all about these damn culture wars, that's all, when most of the world does not have clean drinking water.

  10. Not making me work...that FB article was already open in my Firefox, I just haven't read it yet. Now I delve into wedding frenzy for the next 48 hours, so I may not get back to this right away.

  11. Erin - that whole comparing him to Kim Jong Il *makes* me ill. To say something so patently stupid about a dictator of another country ... it just makes me wonder how many people have had headectomies over there? The Republican side of thigns seems to be going a bit nuts. How much of THAT is because Obama ties in with their ideas about the book of Revelation? I think I need to write a post about this. It doesn't get talked about, but the underlying assumptios that come out of the general reading of Revelation just totally affects everything.

    I also disagree that Obama is a hero. Why must be flip flop backwards and forwards so? :)

    Whose wedding?

    Norm - I guess I am adding to it by talking about it really, aren't I :) Haha. I'm sorry to hear you've gone insane. I hope it is a pleasant experience for you (some insanity is pleasant, after all)

    It's funny, I watched the news here the other night and because I dont' watch it often, the fearmongering and the pathetic way they delivered the news - it was so hand-smacking. Just tell me what fucking happened, okay? I don't need you to nanny me about it all.

    The whole media can go to hell as far as I'm concerned. It's pathetic, never thought it would get so pathetic but there you have it.

  12. My only sister's wedding is on Saturday. I'll check back in with you when I can to respond to the rest. For now, it's bedtime...

  13. So sorry Suzie Q. I shouldn't play with your brain cells when mine are so scrambled, should I?

    The blessed media could aim SO much higher. Argh, shouldn't paint them all with one brush either I suppose. There is a good lot of good but the mongerers seem to outweigh that with all their crap.

  14. You speak the truth, girl.

    One piece of advice: don't watch FOX. The rest of the media is bad enough, but FOX is not worth a second of your precious life.

  15. I don't know if "septic" is the common term used in Oz for yanks, but it seemed to bethe one my aussie traveling friends used years ago. Go ahead have your say. I think I've experienced a lifetime of full-blown American big life and over the top patriotism in the 3.5 years I lived in Texas (yes, that is past tense- we made it back to California). And you are right about us.

    BUT, like Kent points out, a lot of people are waking up. There's a dream within us that runs much deeper than the "American dream". :)

  16. Norm - well, scrambled brain cells love company, I guess. You'll find it here :) Yes, the media is just into the bottom line like everybody else. This is what we get when we worship mammon, I s'pose. Flattened out everything. It's so baseline.

    Barbara - I find FOX is aptly named, really :) It's so bad, it amazes me how some people fall into it without questioning.

    Cheryl Marie - Haha, septics, yeah :) That term still gets used on rare occasions. And yeah, you are right, a lot of people ARE waking up. And it's not like it's SURPRISING or anything that elements of Christendom are so fear-based seeing that's what gets taught from the pulpits a great deal, and its all tied up in patriotism and culture and there's probably a whole stack of people calling themselves Christians to claim the "get out of hell free" card, you know? The myth of a Christian nation and all that.

  17. Thank you, Beth :) I must say, every time I see someone has left a comment on this post I approach it with fear and trembling, thinking that someone is going to yell at me, haha!! :)


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