Politeness, No More

Time is Running Out

Thou shalt not criticize another person’s beliefs and thou shalt be tolerant of all are two of the bedrock tenets of being a liberal. I’m done with that and I feel liberated, like a mighty weight has been lifted from my shoulders. In the past I minced words but no more.

Can I get a shout out for intolerance. I’m sick and tired of understanding, patience, empathy and sensitivity. I am not Buddha, I am not Gandhi, I am not Mother Theresa and I am not the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

(Photo/Magda Ehlers)

If you believe abortion is wrong under any circumstances, you are wrong. If you believe LGBTQ people are poisoning the land, you are wrong. If you believe there are two genders and two genders only, you are wrong. If you believe that people of color are inferior, you are wrong. If you believe the country would be a better place without so many immigrants, you are wrong.

If you think that this is a Christian country, you are wrong. If you think that everyone has a right to own as many guns as they want and any kinds of guns, you are wrong. You who believe that Trump won the election, wrong. If you believe that you should not be vaccinated against COVID-19, you are wrong. If you morons who descended on the capitol thought you were taking back the country in the name of God, you are so wrong.

If you say you have personally spoken with God or that God has personally with you, you are wrong. If you think that a would-be demagogue is the right leader for our nation, you are wrong. If you don’t believe in climate change, you are wrong. And if you think critical race theory is just left wing propaganda, then you, my friend, are dumber than a doorknob. Your “Great Awakening in America,” the one that is based in Texas, is the worst kind of malarkey, bunkum, bologna and folderol.

You are unhinged with your wacky belief in dominionism and that God commands Christians to rule over family, religion, education, economy, arts, media and government. Nobody speaks in tongues, nobody was ever raised from the dead and nobody has ever had a face to face with God and please, please do not try to save me unless it is from drowning and you know CPR.

Lunatics of all stripes, whether you are the daffy looking, unclean dull-eyed guy cloaked in the American flag, the evangelical who finds it comforting to be with 5,000 other lunatics, or the right wing Republican who claims the Democrats are the devil, beware, you will find no understanding and patience with me. I have tried and all it has gotten me is a country on the brink of collapse because of the effects of the religious radical right,

I don’t believe in God, at least not the standard God as explained in the old and new testaments, the one who’s an old man watching over us, who decides what is good and what is bad, who allows a miracle every now and then and is the decider on who gets to heaven and who goes to that other place, Mar-a-Lago. (I couldn’t resist). I don’t believe in that kind of God but I do believe in an overarching reason for the universe and everything else and you can call that God, if you’d like, I would leave it as a belief about something that has never been and may never be proven.

I don’t believe in miracles unless you consider the 1969 Mets. I believe the Red Sea parted for the Israelites not because of God and Moses but because of shifting tectonic plates and a huge tidal wave that was created by a massive, volcanic eruption on the nearby, Greek island of Santorini. I cannot give credence to the Biblical story that Abraham was 100 and Sarah was 90 when she had their baby, Isaac. More likely it was a Biblical typo. And walking on water, maybe in the wintertime when the water was less liquid, as in ice.

I don’t begrudge any person for their beliefs, whether it is Jesus Christ or Mohammad or Moses and I won’t argue if you believe in an afterlife, a heaven and a hell, the power of speaking in tongues or maybe an Armageddon that ushers in the second coming.

My problem is when you insist that your beliefs are fact and mine, if they differ, are simply wrong. That’s where I draw the line because your belief is no better than mine and as a matter of fact, your beliefs may be flat wrong, there I said it, take away my liberal ID card. I will no longer show mercy as I feel authorized to curse your stupid beliefs.

I have a particular level of enmity for those evangelical Christians who flock by the tens of thousands to the mega churches where they sit, stand, pray, mumble on command like so many automatons. You who demonize me for not falling in lock step behind your beliefs, which you have the audacity to claim were handed down directly to you from God and you who bellow out that only the believers, as you define them, will be granted entry into the kingdom of heaven and I don’t even believe there is such a kingdom.

I’m sorry if I hurt anybody’s feelings, really.

Editor's note: Phil Garber has been a Journalist for 40 years and has won the journalist of the year award twice from the New Jersey Press Association. He may be reached at garbertoo@gmail.com.

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This piece first appeared in Medium. (Photo/Suzi Kim) Send tips, coverage, feedback, interest to become a WNJ guest contributor, and correction requests, to us via our contact form.

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