In Manhattan’s Union Square Park in the 1950s you could hoist a flag, stand on a soapbox, and harangue to your heart’s content. Haranguers ranged from scruffy wild-eyed communists trying to save the world, to wild-eyed preachers in clerical collars trying to save your soul. All were so utterly convinced of their rightness it brought to mind a wise observation: “Those most certain of their convictions are the least likely to have any logical foundation for them,” It’s a comfort since I'm seldom that certain of mine.
On a recent blog, The Brute Within, I noted that the U.S. had outlawed “racism, sexism, and homophobia,” which elicited “...gays and lesbians are barred from federal marriage rights... that’s both segregation and homophobia. People of color and poor people are still herded into substandard neighborhoods... that’s both segregation and racism. As for sexism, it's so entrenched in our systems as to be all but invisible..” To that, I can only say, Amen.
Other readers disagree in ways I can’t affirm, but to all I say, thank you for your disagreements. I will never delete them. When I find myself uncomfortably certain that I am right, a small voice asks, “What makes you so sure?” Actually, I’m not.
I try to find positions that rise from love, not hate, but in WW2, when bombing a hated enemy, I felt hate’s icy power and can feel it still.
As a life form, I feel committed to life. I admire Albert Schweitzer’s “Reverence for Life,” but deplore so-called “right to lifers” some of whom condone murder of those who disagree. Yet both of our belief systems are riddled with internal contradictions.
I believe in non-violence but am outclassed by the Jain religion which rejects even violent thoughts.
I don’t like being an omnivore, yet remain one.
People are starving in the Horn of Africa while I shop in horn-of-plenty super markets.
Republicans vie to be presidential candidates in what looks like a vicious Punch and Judy puppet show. Are these malicious clowns completely out of touch with reality? Or am I?
I have many other doubts, which may be why I don’t trust those who have none. My doubts allow me to hope that those without any are more likely to be wrong than I.