There are TWO critically important things we have to change, that are the sources of major alienation, and that are consistently leading to more and more mass violence in our contemporary society.
The first is our very selfish and unethical, ultra-corrupt ,’anti-community’ culture that is causing an intense amount of human alienation from one another to a degree we’ve never seen before. The second is the upside down, completely wrong and fraudulent way that ‘The Church’ has traditionally used man-made organized religion to ‘control’ society, ostensibly because they provide the panacea to the problem of an unethical, immoral culture.
Ironically, the truth is these two wrong things TOGETHER are to blame for the growing amount of anger and violence in our culture. Together they are the root cause and source of the intense alienation and subsequent angry, mass violence we are seeing BOTH from lone wolf mass shooters not affiliated with radical terrorism, and radical religious terrorists. Alienation is always at the core of both of their hate that motivates them.
We have to begin having a national if not universal conversation, politically incorrect and/or offensive as it may be…about the divisive, elitist, alienating,”we’re the only true religion”, fraudulent way we have been wrongly led to understand ‘things spiritual’ by organized religion. The problem is not limited to Islam’s teachings.
I can’t tell you how many times as a kid growing up as a Christian, that I would hear pastors, youth leaders, Sunday school teachers, and/or my mom or other close relatives, speaking in ways that involved very PROUD ALIENATION of ourselves as Christians from the rest of the “unsaved” world.
Looking back now, and even listening to Christians I regularly engage with today, I am amazed at how much their insecure ‘faith’ depends on their belief that they are a chosen special ‘few’, alienated from the vast majority of the rest of the world, whom they view as evil due to their assessment of their having ‘rejected’ Christianity, etc.
But it isn’t amazing AT ALL when you take the time to read the overwhelming number of scriptures in the Bible, much like the Koran, that teaches this alienation as being what it means to ‘take up your cross and follow Jesus’, etc.
The Bible teaches the EXACT same message of alienation as does the Koran, that being if you become a Christian, you will be alienated from the rest of a horribly persecuting world, but that it will be worth it for you in the afterlife, as they will all be tormented in Hell forever while you will receive your wealth in heaven for eternity, etc., etc. Organized religion CREATES an ‘alienation complex’ in its “believers”. This is the glaring evidence of it being man-made and fraudulent. True spirituality doesn’t teach alienation WHATSOEVER! True spirituality has NO element of condemnation or damnation as a result for ‘non-believers’.
True spirituality blesses, heals, loves and forgives all UNCONDITIONALLY. Organized religion…Islam, Judaism, Christianity, all have man-made conditions that arise from their ‘elitist’ and divisive beliefs that theirs is the only way to being ‘children of God’. This is fraudulent, bigoted, entirely man-made, outdated to say the least, and it is the biggest root cause of the hate and alienation in the world.
I make this point to help my readers better understand the critical truth that the biggest problem we face today is the absolutely WRONG, UPSIDE DOWN universal concept of religion, which is THE FUNDAMENTAL cause of the growing ‘alienation’ in our global society that leads not just to hateful violence, but wars in general. We have to begin a movement to turn religion ‘right side up’.
I want to state again that angry alienation is the main ingredient of angry mass violent acts, and that alienation can be caused by more than one source, our false concept of religion being but one of the main sources.
Don’t make the popular mistake of thinking that you can draw a major distinction between a radical terrorist mass shooting like the most recent one in San Bernardino, and one involving an alienated young male adult like we often see in either school mass shootings or workplace mass shootings.
After all, what is interesting about this San Bernardino shooting is that while they had been apparently planning a terrorist act and stockpiling weapons and explosives, it appears they were angered and ‘triggered’ emotionally by how they felt they were wrongly treated and spoken to by their co-workers. OF COURSE that is no excuse as we all know, but this shows the major element of ‘alienation’ at the root of their violent hate and planning.
Remember the radical Muslim U.S. military member that went on the mass shooting rampage on the U. S. military base a few years back? Same thing…He committed an act of terrorism, but he did so largely from of an overwhelming ‘alienation complex’ that led to his wanting to become violent in response.
Here’s the very important thing to keep in mind…Such beliefs need not EVER involve physical killing of others to be monstrous and terribly harmful in a long lasting way. The horrible damage caused to individuals and families in our society and the world in general by such false concepts of “God” comes much more often simply in a psychological and emotional form. It grows and rises from the elitism and alienating way organized religion leads its followers to treat others of diverse beliefs as lost or condemned. This couldn’t be more contrary to the Golden Rule.
In closing, when you add to this fact all the other ingredients in our unethical cultural ‘stew’ in America in absolute contrast with the Golden Rule, and that so often contribute to feelings of alienation, lack of community and hurtful isolation, then the tendency toward violence is much further amplified. In short, we have completely lost our sense of COMMUNITY in America. People treat their neighbors in a school zone like members of a WARRING TRIBE!
We are constantly on our smart phones surfing online even when we are out with family or friends who would like our attention in social settings. Being ‘connected’ online has ZERO to do with being connected in the real sense of community. The ugly way people treat each other online when they don’t have to interact face to face, especially when they have anonymity, is extremely disturbing. Children and teenagers watch, learn and copy this behavior from us, which is the cause of our related ‘bullying’ issue nationwide…which again involves alienation.
The level of selfishness constantly displayed everywhere you look is astounding today. You put your blinker on to ask to change lanes, and the cars in the lane next to you instinctively speed up to KEEP you from getting over. I slowed down at a normal speed to just turn into a plaza in Sacramento one day, and the guy behind me laid on his horn excessively just because he had to slow down slightly behind me to allow me to make the turn.
When I raised my hands and looked at him incredulously as he drove by blowing his horn, he doubled back into the parking lot and threw a half full Big Gulp beverage at my vehicle. The lack of community in our culture is an understatement… You smile at someone to say “Hi” in passing on the street, and you get glared at because few people care about anyone else in the community around them.
People are fake, pretentious and shallow to a degree never seen before, obsessed with acting and creating a personna that isn’t even really who they are or what they really look like under all the makeup and/or plastic surgery…
They are obsessed with materialism and recreational drugs to a degree never seen before… addicted to violent porn and grief porn videos online and in the media to a degree never seen before, and it all has a lot to do with people losing their love of each other and community in our current culture.
This leads to feelings of CHRONIC ALIENATION for EVERYONE. No man is an island, as the saying goes. And of course this alienation will tend to be harder for those to handle who are on the outer edges for various reasons.
To begin healing our country and this world, we have to wake up on more than one front: First, we must wake up to this truth about the false concept of “God” and religion that is taught not just by Islam and the Koran, but also by Christians and the Bible in the same elitist, alienating fashion…And we also have to wake up on the front of addressing these other elements of the unethical culture we have that have kicked COMMUNITY, BROTHERLY LOVE, UNIVERSAL ACCEPTANCE and DIVERSITY to the curb in favor of pretentious selfishness and greed.
Whether it is a radical terrorist or a lone white male mass shooter, HATEFUL ANGRY ALIENATION is ALWAYS at the root of their action.
(Connie Bryan is a writer in Sacramento, CA…See all of her material on her blog and website at www.conniebryan.com)