If we went to church every Sunday, immersing ourselves in the capitalist culture that demands the pursuit of monetary wealth, and subscribed to the dogma that there is only one God, one way, and one ideal that encompasses everyone, everywhere, we might live out our days in blissful ignorance. But we are not ignorant of the biases, inconsistencies, and hypocrisies that are prevalent in our society, and we suspect that few people are.
Some people choose to feign ignorance by ignoring bias; some choose to capitalize on the inconsistencies by offering just enough to help get by. Others choose to shroud hypocrisy behind a symbol, whether the symbol is a flag or a book. Of these three points, we are guilty of at least one: ignoring, either because we are too busy, too tired, or too scared. But we are too angry to remain silent.
This country’s leaders, regardless of political persuasion, have insulated themselves from the reality and the needs of the people they represent, spending their time protecting their own interests and wealth at the expense of those who are least likely to be able to defend themselves: the aged, the disabled, the poor, and the marginalized of society.
It is enough to make sense of ourselves and our singular existence without the intrusion of social pressures and dogmatic blindness. No one person can say what is best for his or her neighbor. No one group has the answers to life that will satisfy everyone. Each person must live by a code that promotes his or her individuality without impeding the existence of another.
The scales of justice in the United States are unbalanced when a citizen’s religion, lifestyle, or belief structure deviates from the established “white Anglo-Saxon protestant” norm. Nonetheless, we strive to instill in our children ideals that celebrate individuality and tolerance, and strive to achieve the same in our daily lives. In theory, this philosophy is laudable. In practice, specifically in the United States, the practice of such a philosophy encounters many hurdles, disapproving glances, and harsh judgments.
America was founded on the principles of freedom and equality, and those who formed this country fled here to avoid being persecuted for their religious beliefs. Now, it is our own country in the role of moral judge, legislating morality to ensure a subdued and homogenous population.
We vehemently disagree with a government that pushes more people into poverty while continuing to spend money we don’t have remaking the world in a warped image of democracy. We promote the idea of an ethical (not violent) revolution, believing that patriotism does not mean religious persecution, war, or neglecting the marginalized.