Now You've Got Something to Die For

"We'll never get out of this hole
until we've dug our own grave
And drug the rest down with us,
the burning home of the brave"[1]

Two Peas in a Pod

There are two ideas that men seem all too eager to fight, kill, and die for. One of those ideas is religion, as I'm sure you're quite aware of. The other idea is nationalism and it's every bit as insidious as religion. The thing is though, these two ideas are really just two peas in a pod. In fact, if we look back through history the two are so intrinsically tied together one could say that religion simply gave birth to nationalism and has been nurturing it ever since.

But maybe you don't see it so clearly. Maybe you have no religious ties but still feel a compulsory obligation to your nation of origin or even some notion of ancestral nationalism. After all, I meet atheists daily who subscribe to nationalist loyalty. But all that really means is that you've traded one dogma for another. And you'd be a fool not to see that the vast majority of nations use religious ties to promote nationalism.

The US is not a Christian nation, yet soldiers march off to war every day chided forward by the notion of one nation under god. Who's god? Why white Jesus of course and his big papa in another dimension. But the idea of this white man's god leading us on a path is much older than that little saying. Maybe you don't recall a little thing called manifest destiny. Maybe you aren't aware that this nation has used the idea that a god gave this land to us and it was our god-given right to remove all the godless heathens to claim it in the name of their god. That idea still persists amongst the religious right in this nation and they'll not be content until they've claimed all lands under the guise of spreading freedom and democracy. You can take it to the bank that these men believe they're doing their god's work.

Gunpoint Indoctrination

Treason is just another word for blasphemy. If one opposes the state it is tantamount to heresy. Just as those who once were put to death for standing opposed to religion, so too are people still imprisoned or put to death for standing opposed to the state. It happens almost daily although we hear very little of it and when we do hear about it those men and women are automatically vilified as radicals who are subversive to the state.

One godhead simply takes the place of another and we are indoctrinated all our lives to believe that fealty to our nation is a condition of citizenship. We are asked to pledge our allegiance to the state regardless of how right or wrong the state is in their actions. In the same way, religion asks for fealty to a god regardless of whether that god is portrayed as a truly just being or not.

Perpetuating the Myth

The question I would ask you is this; Are you willing to die for an imaginary line in the dirt? Is that line worth killing for? Is your fealty to humanity or some idiotic notion of national allegiance or ancestral homeland? For my part I stand as a heretic, both in terms of religion and nationalism. I am not an American. I am a human being. I put humanity above all else, especially these imaginary lines in the dirt. I value human life above dirt or a flag. I am opposed to all these ideologies that serve only to divide us against ourselves. You can't just trade one religion for another and claim to be enlightened.

If you need this point driven home with real force I ask you to look at Israel and Palestine. On each side of this imaginary line are people who claim to have let go of religion yet support state regimes that are built on religious ideology and who have both dug their heels in so far that they are willing to try to wipe each other off the face of the earth. Every bit of it revolving around lines in the dirt and a notion that some dirt is superior to other dirt, presumably because the mythical characters of their religions once lived on that dirt. Each of them willing to murder women and children for that dirt.

If we ever hope to be free of religion we must also relinquish all the other nonsense that has been born from it. There are no races of humans. There are only humans. There are no states. There are only men who wish to divide us against each other for their own ends. There are no borders but the ones we build in our own minds and those bring us nothing but death and destruction. I don't care if you're religious or not. If you stand on the side of humanity above all else then we are on the same side. We must be willing to tear down these barriers and come together. To stand as one and say that regardless of our disagreements our first duty is to each other.

[1] Lamb Of God - Now You've Got Something To Die For…

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