Kinda upset

I get kinda upset when people talk like religious conservatism is some kind of disease. We are apparently more repressed and hateful than the rest of the population. The men especially, are supposed to be more abusive and negative to women.

Look– every ideology, every system, can be abused. And there are abusive power-hungry types who nominally subscribe to all various ideologies. To take one example, and then use it to typecast the motivations of everyone from a group (while ignoring when yours do that) is not accurate. To ascribe causality, where there might not even be correlation.

To be fair, as an uber-conservative undergrad girl at a uber-liberal university getting sexual insults scrawled on my dorm room door on a regular basis (and once loudly talked about while I was in earshot), I did the opposite. I correlated liberalism with abuse of women. So I’ve done the same thing in my own way.

And we are all fallen. We can warp what is fair into a deranged thing, but the answer isn’t to throw away what could have been unwarped and beautiful.

Still. I just feel like crying right now. It seems so unfair. And will cause more harm than good. If the poison is thought to be the medicine, and the medicine the poison, it’s only going to get worse.

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4 thoughts on “Kinda upset

  1. The main problem here, is people failing to separate people from their ideologies. It’s all about identity labelling, and also, about confirming what we already want to believe before carefully weighing the situation.

    That is, if someone is obnoxious or rude or violent, is it what they are initially, or is it the effect of what they believe?
    Is the Baptist convert who struggles with drink, struggle with alcoholism BECAUSE of his Baptistness, or IN SPITE OF IT. Does something about Baptist ideology make him want to drink? Probably not. Did he struggle with drink before he was Baptist?

    A girl that struggles with bulimia. Is it because she is an environmentalist? Probably not. More likely, believing that being fat = UTTER FAILURE, body image stuff, is the culprit.
    It gets trickier, of course, with things like violence and pride, that lie in every human heart.

    The question is, is their worldview/ideology/religion aiding or combating their problems?

    For Hollywood elite, does their beliefs encourage their lavish lifestyles? Beliefs about worth, about status? Probably.

    For ISIS fighters, Believing Allah will reward them for killing/raping/destroying is a clear incentive. The fact that they brag about things that flip the stomach, show a belief-system that is worse than the men it is made of. Sure there are deviants & murderers in every society. But with ISIS, the numbers are far far too high. And such behavior is praised, note censured. Without it, I don’t think these guys would be posing with decapitated heads of their victims.

    With white guys who live in run down trailer parks in the South, does their politics make them more likely to beat women? What about black liberal men in the inner-city of Philadelphia? Is it their politics that make them likely to beat women?
    No. Its the evil in the human heart. (And the breakdown of the family, which some label “poverty,” although poverty is more of a symptom than the root cause.)

    Correlation is not causation. But correlation can indicate causation. It is up to us to see the mechanism, to verify it by CAREFUL observation of the world, to see if there is causation or not, rather than hastily tally up a correlation we already believe to be causation.

    or in math language (of what I remember of it…)
    What often gets overlooked is the “initial constants” of a function. The function may have a positive derivative, but if the initial constants are negative numbers, what you see may be pretty far down in the 3rd or 4th quadrant. You can only judge the function if you watch it over time, and see if numbers become less and less negative, that is, if the function has a positive slope.

  2. I’m sorry if I said anything to offend you, Bekah. : (

    I have had some very unpleasant run-ins with some brands of Christian conservatism, so I do think it has its dangers. But you’re right – all beliefs do. I just wanted to let you know that I don’t think religious conservatism is inherently repressed or hateful, I promise.

    I am really sorry, though, if anything that I said was narrow-minded or inconsiderate.

    1. No–you weren’t at all. You didn’t offend me–and seriously, you have nothing to apologize for: if anything, it’s the other way around. I am much more narrow-minded; and you are one of the most considerate people I know.

      You are right about Christian conservatism having it’s dangers–all sets of beliefs have their particular tendencies, and their own ways of going off the rails. Limiting women to just the reproductive/maternal role is certainly one of the dangers of conservatism.

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