A few years ago I started my own religion.
I called it the Church of the Enlightened Mind, because that was what I felt it should be called and it was my religion, after all. It had a number of rules and suppositions, like most churches, but it had only one overriding Commandment:
Don’t be so damned stupid.
As the sole prophet and representative deity-like figure of the Church of the Enlightened Mind, I would of course be the one who determined what crossed that line. I’ve had a lifetime of experience dealing with people who have crossed that line – who have crossed and recrossed that line until it is but a memory in the mud and the best you can hope for is that they will either find something intelligent to do out of pure random chance or they will suffer the inevitable fate of those who play in traffic for longer than the odds allow and thus remove themselves from consideration. I figured I could make that call well enough. And then they'd have to stop doing it. Because I said so.
I can see why people start their own religions.
Until that point comes, however, I find myself saying – generally to myself but sometimes out loud and directly to their faces – “Don’t be so damned stupid.” This is almost always utterly without effect. They persist in their stupidity and there you have it. Many of them go on to elected office.
You can extend the One Commandment in any number of ways, but when you get right down to it it's pretty much all you need to live a good and productive life. If we could get the majority of people to live according to it, this world would be a much happier place.
Unfortunately there seems to be a lot of rampant stupidity being foisted off on the American public these days, often in the name of religion, ironically enough.
It is my contention that such things do not apply to me. And the right-wing fanatics currently masquerading as the once-proud GOP have provided me with exactly the legal justification I need to ignore their ignorant prattling and un-American attempts at subversion. It’s religious freedom! MINE!
When right-wingers gather together to discuss religious freedom that they are not talking about my religious freedom. That what they really mean is that other people should have the freedom to shut up and do as they are told by right-wingers in the name of their version of God - a truculent figure something of a cross between Dick Cheney and Anthony Comstock except with less of a sense of humor. They don't actually mean for other people to have freedom of any other kind, let alone religious freedom of any other kind. Certainly not.
My sincerely held religious beliefs do not allow me to acknowledge or obey such rank and feeble stupidity.
Plus the God of the Church of the Enlightened Mind definitely has a sense of humor.
Pretty much everything being pushed by the above-mentioned right-wing fanatics currently masquerading as the once-proud GOP falls into the category of damned stupidity these days and can legally be ignored by Church of the Enlightened Mind members in good standing. Supply-side economics? Not for us. Voter ID laws? We don’t think so. Laws refusing to recognize the human rights of gays, women, blacks, poor people, and basically anyone who isn’t a Southern white rural male with more guns than brains? Don’t apply to us, that’s for damned sure. Don’t apply to anyone with a lick of sense, and by definition that’s us.
So they can do yammer all they want, and all I have to say to them is, “Don’t be so damned stupid,” and their own ass-backward laws end up working to my benefit. I am citing the One Commandment, after all.