It finally stopped snowing. I had an easy day today. It allowed me to wrestle with religion internally for most of the day. I mentioned I’m failing as an atheist, so I decided to try a different approach. Since I’m indoctrinated as a Christian, I’m guilty of overlooking the rituals and doctrine of any other religions. It’s because I never felt interested in other faiths. In fact, I was conditioned to avoid learning about other religions. I suspect this is true with non-Christians, too. It’s practically taboo. (I love that word.) Unfortunately, it’s no excuse since I’m American. We’re people of all faiths and none. I realized it makes me an asshole not to lift a finger to educate myself about what is paramount to so many Americans. My bad.
I’ll be studying Islam first. I want to understand because it’s the shortest path to love. I lived with a Muslim family for a year in Saudi, but my focus was on language. I was also unable to be present when I socialized at that time. When I’m on auto-pilot, I remember what goes on around me like it’s a dream. Sometimes I can easily recall, and other times it’s just out of reach. It was something I did unconsciously whenever my anxiety surged. I’m better at controlling my anxiety in social situations now. There’s still room for improvement, however. Part of what I’m calling an improvement is my ability to dodge social situations when I’m not in the mood. Recognizing I was allowed to say no was all that was holding me back. (Embarrassing)
I looked into purchasing a gun earlier. The laws are shockingly lax in South Dakota. I discovered I can legally own an M-16 A2 (semi-automatic assault rifle!) without the hassle of a permit. That’s the first weapon I ever fired. I went from crying because it scared the shit out of me to acquiring sharpshooter status in a week. Being afraid helped me aim well. I never allowed my myself to overthink the ethical issues of killing as a soldier. I wasn’t a conscientious objector exactly… I just decided if I found myself in a kill or be killed situation, it was game over for me. It was too abstract to ponder much. When I saw the racist senator from Iowa call for ethnic cleansing, I started thinking maybe a gun would be nice. Then I lost my fury while researching options and reading an article about a bill to legalize silencers. Are you fucking kidding me? So… Yeah. Fuck it. If a racist piece of shit wants to shoot me, come at me. Then rot in a cage, beast.