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Mississippi is Burning ) Still

The Original Theocratic Gangsta...

Killing in the name of…

“The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum – even encourage the more critical and dissident views. That gives people the sense that there’s free thinking going on, while all the time the presuppositions of the system are being reinforced by the limits put on the range of the debate.”  –Noam Chomsky

Mississippi just ratified the 13th amendment.  You did not just wake up on the business end of a time-warp where-in society is 140 years-ish slow to the party but you still have internet access.  No, that explanation would make more sense than the fact that the great state of Mississippi just got around to ratifying one of our country’s most important amendments last month.  I imagine the scenario played itself out thusly:  One of Mississippi’s more progressive state legislators walks into a movie theater to watch the film Lincoln (we know he’s a progressive because he goes into the theater rather than standing out front protesting the film as a Zionist propaganda tirade–because, you know, Hollywood).  While in the throes of discovering an historical event that didn’t get a lot of press in his neck of the woods, he thinks to himself, “Why does it feel like I’ve forgotten to do something?  I turned off the stove, and unplugged the iron.  I set the alarm, and locked the door of my house before I left.  I put my credit-card and wallet away after buying popcorn and soda-pop” (I think they say soda-pop; I really don’t know).  “I said ‘Please and Thank You’ to the lady at the counte…Ah Shit!  I forgot to make slavery illegal!”.  Next thing you know an emergency meeting is called and when said progressive takes the floor to address his fellow legislators he begins with: “You guys are never going to believe what we forgot to do”.

This story got me thinking about how we as a society have defined the terms “polite society” and, inversely, “subversives” historically, how those definitions inform our attitudes about those terms today, and to what extent our views of these terms have done violence to our fellow person.  The fear of being seen as a “subversive” and the longing to be a part of “polite society” is not a uniquely American phenomenon.  History is rife with societies and the participants there-in choosing to treat their fellow citizens poorly because it was easier–because they feared the retribution of the majority.  Christianity has long called this fear “the fear of man”, and it is not known as being particularly virtuous.  At least, in word it isn’t.

There were three (3) types of Christians who observed the Crusades.  There were those who agreed with the status-quo.  There were those who were indifferent to the status-quo.  And there were those who fought against the status-quo.  Only one of those groups were viewed as subversives…

There were three (3) types of Christians in Hitler’s Germany.  There were those who agreed with the status-quo.  There were those who were indifferent to the status-quo.  And there were those who fought against the status-quo.  Only one of those groups were viewed as subversives…

There were three (3) types of Christians who endured the internment of Japanese-Americans during the 2nd World War.  There were those who agreed with the status-quo.  There were those who were indifferent to the status-quo.  And there were those who fought against the status-quo.  Only one of those groups were viewed as subversives…

There were three (3) types of Christians who witnessed the entirety of Imperialism.  There were those who agreed with the status-quo.  There were those who were indifferent to the status-quo.  And there were those who fought against the status-quo.  Only one of those groups were viewed as subversives…

There were three (3) types of Christians who observed the Civil Rights’ Movement.  There were those who agreed with the status-quo.  There were those who were indifferent to the status-quo.  And there were those who fought against the status-quo.  Only one of those groups were viewed as subversives…

The list of terrible things which Christians have been and continue to be involved, indifferent, or actively against is a long one.  And, of course, Christians are not the only people-group who have made poor decisions in the midst of the suffering of humankind.  Maybe one day I’ll write one about people involved with Judaism, or maybe folks devoted to Islam…CPAC 2013 just happened so YouTube is full of videos featuring crazy people decrying the evils of Islam, so I’m confident I’ve plenty of material from which to draw…Donald Trump was one of the speakers, so I’m confident it could be a funny post…we’ll see.

There were three (3) types of Christians who sat on the Mississippi legislature for the last 140 plus years.  Actually, there seems to have been only two (2).  None of them were viewed as subversives…

As an American Christian, it pains me to see my fellow sisters and brothers in Christ making choices that perpetuate the suffering of humanity because it aligns itself more comfortably with some type of traditional nationalist ideology.  I know that’s a vague statement that could cover any number of choices people make every day.  I want it to be vague.  If I point to a specific issue, the focus will be shifted to said issue exclusively.  Instead, I think it’s more important to think broadly about our responsibility for the treatment of people as charged by Christ when he said that we should love our neighbors.  “Who is our neighbor?”, came the question from the disciples.  The subtext then being: “Please, anyone but those filthy Samaritans.”  Nearly two-thousand years later, the subtext has changed but the sentiment has not.

I recently heard a lady tell a joke on Netflix’s original series, House of Cards.  A girl from Connecticut and a girl from Georgia were set to be room-mates in the same college and it came to pass that when the  girl from Georgia entered the dorm-room, the girl from Connecticut was already inside hanging drapes with her friends.  “Where y’all from?”, asked the girl from Georgia.  “We’re from a place where one doesn’t end her sentences with prepositions”, replied the girl from Connecticut.  “Where y’all from, cunts?”, came the girl from Georgia’s response.  I know; it’s a crass joke…

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About pats0

Pats0 is a writer who is informed by a punk-rock ethos, and a hatred for group-think. He is the founding member of The Pirate-Clown Guild of Free-Thinkers, an aegis from under which he soils the internet with his thoughts. Welcome.

2 responses to “Mississippi is Burning ) Still

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