Crazy Is as Crazy Does

not crazy

Ever had the urge to beat the living snot out of someone? How about making up a complete BS story in order to impress another? Have you ever snooped after a partner, because you had the nagging suspicion that he/she might have been lying or cheating? Maybe you stalked the one who dumped you because you were just so obsessed with him/her that you couldn’t help yourself. And then there may have been a situation where you lied through your teeth in order to not face the consequence of the action.

I once asked a psychiatrist how a sociopath could do the things he was doing. I asked how it is possible to not feel regret, remorse, sympathy or empathy at all. His answer was along the lines of “if you would be able to understand it, we’d have a problem. It would make you one of them.” Apparently, all of us have the ability to commit horrible crimes (just think of hate crimes, or what Nazis did in Germany) but what makes the difference is the choices that we make.

Let’s leave chemical imbalance and obvious mental illnesses like schizophrenia out for a moment. Quite often, what makes the difference between sanity and insanity, good or evil, etc. are the actions we take. In other words, the urge by itself does not define you, but the action that you take will.

When people blame circumstances or others for their individual actions, I tend to feel the same amount of astonishment and disbelief I did with the sociopath. I can’t wrap my head around hurting another physically, emotionally, psychologically/mentally or all of the above and claiming that you did what you did due to some exterior force that you had no control over (like being drunk, someone told you so, they started it and so on). At what point do we overwrite common sense, reasoning, logic, decency, morals and ethics and simply move forward with our action? Sure, there are many explanations for why people do what they do, but I still don’t get it.

Sometimes the craziest ideas may overcome us; other times we simply feel so angry or hurt that we can justify whatever means necessary to make that feeling go away, but don’t we also have a responsibility as human beings to not intentionally harm others for our own selfish reason or need?

Most of us don’t want to hurt another or be “bad” people. I have always said that it is impossible for us to always achieve this goal. Sometimes, we hurt others no matter how hard we try not to. But what makes the difference is our intent. Everyone screws up, everyone makes mistakes and some of them will be at someone else’s expense . What always mattered to me is the simple ability to look at myself in the mirror at the end of the day, knowing that I did the best I could, based on the knowledge and information I had at the time.

I think it is good to question oneself. I think it serves us to surround ourselves with those who will question our actions and challenge us in our beliefs and ways of being. If we only spend time with people who agree with us and think alike, we will never grow, which is why I am so weary of “herds” and groups of like minded individuals. Sure, we all want to belong and it is easier to belong with those who think alike or act in ways familiar to us, but therein lies the danger to repeat cycles that continue for generations and for us to never grow past of what we know.

Crazy is as crazy does, and good is as good does. If who we are is defined by our actions and actions are driven by thought, maybe we should all be more mindful of our thoughts and then our actions? Maybe if we questioned more and followed less and sat with being a little uncomfortable in the face of adversity or the unknown, and maybe if we chose our actions less on overthinking and more on the intention to be the best we can be and make a difference, not just for us but also for others, we would feel less crazy, have more control and probably be happier, too. Crazy sometimes is simply a choice; and so is sanity, healthy behavior, love, hate, anger, fear, happy or misery. Happy is as happy does. Think and act on that!


Religion – No Longer a Source of Faith and Community

religion_title

I was raised protestant. Pretty much everyone in Germany is either protestant or catholic; after all, we have to get baptized, even though our parents never set foot into a church. In school, we start having religious studies from 1st grade on, all the way through graduation, including business school. You can’t opt out, unless you are not baptized (the horror!) and therefore are nondenominational. When I was 14 I went through confirmation; the equivalent to communion for the catholics. Of course,  I had to attend bible studies before my confirmation and the test at the end (remind me one day of how I embarrassed myself in church by accidentally naming Hitler instead of Jesus in response to the minister’s question!).

Why am I sharing this information? Well, because I really did spend more than 10 years being indoctrinated in Jesus and the bible. And while I don’t remember most of it, I remember the parts that count. I also have to say that I had an awesome minister who was honest enough to explain the difference between taking the bible literally and understanding the mere metaphors. He assured me that I wasn’t a bad person for not believing in the whole Adam and Eve bit. I remember when he once said to me “you have to remember that the people back then didn’t have scientific explanations for anything. But the Bible is meant as metaphor and guide on how to be a decent person; a blueprint for a good life if you will” This is what I took with me!

Interestingly enough, even though pretty much everyone was baptized and we all had religion in school and went through communion/confirmation, I would still label Germany a predominantly atheist country. There are certain things you do (like baptizing your children) because this is how our society works. But religion is not ever used in politics and does not feature in decisions of what makes you a good or bad person – and this is precisely the difference that I see between how I grew up and what I am seeing here. The lack of religion actually served in becoming a country with a much stronger socioeconomic system. It is expected that the richer help the poorer, the stronger help the weaker and that everyone is ENTITLED to free health care. Yep, all the principles taught in the bible are mostly demonstrated in countries that are predominantly atheist (look this up, if you don’t believe me).

Religion was part of my culture and yet, it was never an invasive, all consuming power like it is here. What is being said and done in the name of religion is shocking and appalling to me. The way people are trying to weasel “god” into government, law and every part of our society is truly disturbing, terrifying and threatening to me. If they would represent the values and teachings of their religion, I might actually understand. But when religion serves as a front to hate, discriminate, belittle and hurt other people, I am going to fight it. If you are telling me you are devout, while screaming to not support the lazy unemployed, screw people who can’t afford healthcare and gripping on to your wealth because people CHOOSE to be poor/are poor due to their own fault and choices, while demonstrating to take rights away from gay people and immigrants, then I’ll just hold on to insisting that I am German, even though I am an American now.

I keep wracking my brain how seemingly intelligent people fall for complete douche baggery. Sure, I understand that religion has long served as a means to build communities and create a sense of belonging. I understand that religion is even necessary for some, because they simply need a book of rules, a guide or moral compass that serves as the blueprint to how to live their lives. I have used my spirituality and beliefs I held in the past as my moral compass. Not because I couldn’t tell right from wrong, but because I wanted to believe that there is something bigger than me and that there is meaning to a life well lived. I understand how our brains are actually hard-wired for spirituality! I simply don’t understand what happens afterwards. At what point do reason, logic and common sense just go bye-bye and we become complete jerks? And being true to myself, I researched this in detail!

The common denominator with almost all religions is the sense of superiority it delivers. It promises salvation and rewards to those who believe the way they are told, which is where the “my god is better than yours” comes in. You play into people’s sense of purpose and feeling special or better than others and quite often, you have them roped in. Ego and religion often go hand in hand. And sadly, those who are in it to simply be better people are getting drowned out by the fanatical nutjobs who make the most noise and hence, give a false representation of what a certain religion is about. These points are very well demonstrated in Christian splinter groups, Scientology and the Islam.

What makes me so sad and what’s so disappointing is that people don’t really live what they preach. These days, all kinds of crimes are being committed in the name of Jesus and Allah. I don’t know what’s worse, the fact that people are hating in the name of god, or the fact that they blatantly misinterpret and abuse scripture that was meant to serve as a guide to help, heal and love. The values that are taught in regards to love, compassion and kindness have been replaced with agendas, power displays, hate and bigotry.

The fact that it seems almost normal and accepted now to force religion into law and schools is seriously worrisome for me. If you want your child to be raised with religious values, send them to a private religious school and pay for it. But don’t force your belief on the rest, claiming you know what is best! I find that so truly offensive! What ever gave you the right to force what YOU believe on the rest of the world?

People! This country is still founded on the freedom of religion AND separation of church and state. There is a reason for this. Maybe, you could “convert” people by demonstrating what an amazingly loving and morally superior person you are. Maybe, if you’d live the values, more people would literally flock to your church, instead of turning away from it. Maybe if you’d stop with the fear mongering, hate speech and attacks on everyone and everything  that isn’t like you, people would be intrigued, instead of disgusted and put off.

When I see gay bashing, funerals being picketed and laws are attempted to being passed that would allow to make some people more equal than others, when I live in the supposed land of the free and equal, when I see that it is accepted and supported that some people are violated in their rights in the name of a supposed god, I just hang my head in shame and stand over on the other side – with the atheists! If being a believer now means being lumped in with a bunch of crazy, mean-spirited jerks and bullies, I’ll rather stick with the science folks!


The Gay Agenda

gay love

 

I want to start out by saying that I am a straight woman. I am as straight as they come. I’ve never experimented with women and I am not confused about my sexuality at all. I have, however, had gay friends for most of my life. There was a time as a teenager when I only partied with gay men and this time was one of the best times of my life!

What I am about to say may sound shocking, but I feel it needs to be said in order to put things in perspective. As a survivor of sexual abuse, and as a woman who knows plenty of other sexual abuse survivors, I have done my homework and can say this with absolute certainty: Over 90% of all child molesters, rapists, abusers, exhibitionists and sadists are heterosexual men!  Yes, go ahead and read this statistic again! You may argue your bullshit, but these are the facts. You can do your own research when it comes to studies done by sociologists and psychologists. In addition, I have yet to meet a single person who was abused by a gay person and this includes the men I have met who were molested or raped! So now that we have the facts, let me move on with a few other “strong opinions” here.

Why is it that gay haters are always talking about the “gay agenda?” What agenda do gay people have? To be treated equally? To not be subjected to discrimination, bigotry and hate? Isn’t that the same agenda all of us have in a free country?

I really love when I hear that some concerned citizens hate on gay people because they fear for the safety of their children. You feel you are “subjecting” your children to homosexuality? And this does what? Make them gay? I have been hanging out with homosexual men and women since I was a teenager and I am still straight as an arrow. Apparently, the gay didn’t rub off on me.
Don’t want gay people to adopt or have children for the same reason? Have you known gay parents? Because I actually know a few and they are better parents then mine could ever hope to be. Oh, I also forgot to mention that their kids didn’t grow up to become gay either. If that would be the case, I wonder why your kid turned out gay, when you are straight! Alas, I digress.

Look, it is part of this beautiful country that you can come up with the most batshit crazy ideas and sell them as fact. You get to sell your craziness as freedom of speech and you get to spew whatever comes to your mind, whenever and wherever you feel like it.
Generally, none of this bothers me – if crazy would just stick to crazy. But no! It is not good enough to have a nutty belief, you now need to force this belief on the rest of the world; and you do it in the name of….are you ready? Of course! You do it in the name of being a Christian. To quote Patton Oswalt “Oh Sky Cake!”

People!!! Please let me share this. I was raised Christian and read the New Testament. Let me tell you something about this guy, Jesus Christ. This was the guy who hung out with lepers, murderers, thieves, prostitutes and other hated folks. This guy loved and healed and never once discriminated or shared a single thought or word of intolerance. There is no douche baggery found in the New Testament! Wanna talk about “men shall not lay with men” crap? That’s in the OLD Testament; you know, the stuff Jewish people follow? But you cannot, absolutely cannot call yourself a Christian while spewing hate, intolerance and discrimination. If you do, you are a wannabe Christian and obviously, never read Christ’s word.

If you want to hate homosexuals based on your own ignorance and fear, at least admit to it. But don’t do it in the name of Christ or to protect children. That just makes me want to hurl. As mean as it may sound, I wish all these better-than-thou jerks would find themselves in the boat where their child comes out as gay. Nothing to cure ignorance and stupidity than being confronted with it in your own family. Obviously, a lot of these super angry people have way too much time on their hands. I have no other explanation for people sticking their noses into the bedrooms of other people and trying to decide who another can and cannot love.

I am fully aware that my words won’t make a difference for those who hate strongly. If words would make a difference, we wouldn’t have racism and discrimination. Alas, maybe someone will take the time to actually read and study the scientific evidence for the things they are talking about and come to the conclusion that they are wrong. You know, “humanum errare est” (to err is human) and I think it would make a lot of people better humans if they could understand how hurtful and misplaced their words and actions are.

I get it! You don’t want to be gay. You don’t want to imagine what gay people do (I don’t want to imagine what some straight people do either) but that doesn’t give you the right to hate, especially not when you are a Christian! No one is asking you to be gay or engage in gay activities. No one is making your children gay and trust me, gay won’t rub off. So, truly for Christ’s sake, have some tolerance, some compassion and love for people, especially when they are different from you. Last time I checked, that’s what Christ taught!