It started some time ago. This idea that there were “right” and “wrong” people. It became a common sound around the world. Some people were “created” better than others, and even avoiding the almost obligatory Godwin that such a statement implies, we can find it in the institutionalized racism still found globally, and locally. We can see it in the patriarchal concepts in which our society runs, and we can see it in the linguistics we use to describe out lives.
From the very genesis of human society, these ideas have persisted. But how many other customs of the Hunter/Gatherer peoples do we hold today, to be true and self evident, like their biases on gender, and race? This is not to say that “racism” in its modern form of white Vs brown Vs black Vs yellow primary school colour bigotry existed 100,000+ years ago. However, as humans evolved, having different groups in the same region, meant a competition for resources. In a single area, there are only so many berries to pick, or so much game to hunt.
These concepts were built into the foundings of religion. Genesis, the first book of sets out the guidelines clearly. Man > Woman > People of Colour (see: the marking of Cain.) As time went on, more and more designations were assigned. People who believed the same as you where “better” than those who disagreed, those who lived the same lifestyle were accepted, and those who didn’t weren’t. Based on biblical morality and law, rapists get a fine, and consensual sex with someone of the same gender is a death sentence.
The reason this is important is because these bronze age scriptures are what carried the ancient prejudice into the new world of today. And this world exists on a dangerous precipice. It is a world where men and women of great reason and intelligence strive to unlock the secrets (and power) of the universe, while at the same time, the ones in control of such power still subscribe to the logic of societies from before humans were able to domesticate the Cow.
Nowhere on earth exemplifies this dichotomy as well as the USA. For in the United States, you find some of the greatest contributions to science, math, literature, astronomy, and logic.
You also find a nation where racism is still rampant, where lawmakers sit on “science” committees, and deny evolution, climate change, or say that “All that stuff I was taught about evolution and embryology and the Big Bang Theory, all that is lies straight from the pit of Hell.” That’s a direct quote. From a Congressman. Who sits on the Congressional Science Committee.
These are the politicians who decide on who to go to war with. Whether to use the most destructive weapons, and what requires them.
The new world in which a civil society can both grow, and not fear self-extinction has to be one in which the Einsteins can work, without wondering how their next discovery will be used to hurt, maim, or destroy their fellow human beings.
The new world requires Atheism. It requires the rejection of religion. It requires the embrace of logic and reason.
Mankind must renounce its millennia long hatreds, prejudices, and biases. And for as long as we, as a people, believe that an invisible being created us, and then wrote a book about it to tell us who it’s ok to hate, and kill, and punish, we’ll never get there.
The only difference between now, and 2000 years ago… is rational scientists have now given religious zealots the ability to create hell, through the use of atomic weapons.
Ending sexism, racism, and bigotry begins with ending the number 1 thing that indoctrinated them into people. Religion. Believing that one can be steeped in these concepts every day from birth till adulthood and NOT be effected is beyond foolish. And to say people can/do move passed it is to say that people as move passed abuse, trauma, and grievous harm. Just because something CAN be done, doesn’t mean it should HAVE to be done.
They say when kids grow up, they put away their imaginary friends.
I say, too many just trade them in for socially acceptable ones, like “Jesus”, “God”, or “Vishnu”.