Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Z is for Zealotry

Well, here we are at the very end of this year’s A to Z Challenge. We made it, folks! Look at me, making commitments and seeing them through! What do you know! Maybe I’ll even keep blogging more often in the future, since it hasn’t killed me yet. I probably won’t do another A to Z Challenge though, since the God Squad had an aneurysm about my “use of language” and then re-categorized my blog as Adult Content when I insisted on being “contentious.” Of course I don’t need to now, because I’ve inspired a new blogging challenge, the ABCs of Swearing, hosted by The Insomniac’s Dream, and the last time I checked, there were 15 people besides me signed up!

But I’m getting ahead of myself. I still have one more post before I can call this thing finished. It’s funny that all that stuff happened, because the kind of religious zealotry that wants to enforce its ideals on everyone whether they like it or not is the exact kind that I can’t freakin’ stand. I think this sort of thing bothers me more than it does most people, because I grew up in one of those families where “people who are going to hell and why” was a fairly common topic of conversation.

Shocking, I know.

It seems to me that zealotry – defined by Dictionary.com as “undue or excessive zeal; fanaticism” – is at the root of all the world’s problems, or if not, at least most of the world’s problems. I’m sure some of the world’s problems can be chalked up to natural disasters, intestinal parasites, medical malpractice, incurable diseases, curable diseases, and sheer stupidity. The rest of the world’s problems go back to some dude, or lady, being entirely too devoted to his or her own religion, race, culture, country, political party, book club, or what have you. No matter how great your thing is, it’s always possible to get too excited about it.

How do you know if you’re getting too excited about your thing? If one or more (especially more) of these statements describes you, you may be a dickpickle:

  • In your free time, you like to hold a picket sign and scream at strangers.
  • Neither work, nor sleep, nor meals, nor your dying mother is more important to you than having the last word when someone is wrong on the Internet.
  • You think starting a war to solve one or more of society’s problems is a great idea.
  • You’re secretly (or not so secretly) sure that some people are inherently better or more valuable than others.
  • You are right, and anyone who doesn’t agree with you is wrong.
  • Your religion is the one true religion, and everyone else is going to Hell, assuming you believe in that.
  • You are constantly ready to drop everything and deliver a long-winded, enthusiastic speech about why the person you’re talking to is bad, wrong, inferior and going to hell.

I could go on, but I think you get my point. Now let’s all take a deep breath, and get ready for the ABCs of Swearing next month.