A Catholic priest, a rabbi and two Lutheran ministers walk into a bar…
If they’re friends, and at ease with each other, you’re almost certainly in America. Or in a country so far gone into atheist socialism, that it doesn’t matter what religion you have, you’re an enemy of the state.
Years ago, when the kids were little, our priest was a gentleman who was a weekend “biker” (and computer programmer) before he got his calling. Half of his sermons were about how our soul was like this problem he’d had with his motorcycle where he had to fix it with spit and bailing wire, or something.
So– At some kind of city inter-faith charity he met a rabbi and two ministers (one was Lutheran, the other, I THINK Presbyterian) who were similarly obsessed.
They started meeting for riding their bikes and for fun and became fast friends. I never figured out how that worked with weekends being different and with their duties, but I do know some friend gave them leather jackets with white wings and the words Heaven’s Riders picked out in sparkles.
And I remember going up to Denver (we lived in the Springs) at the highly unusual time (for us) of Sunday afternoon (we normally — meaning 4 times a year — went up for the weekend, and left Friday nigh) the kiddies got very excited in the back seat, yelling “Look, it’s them.” And thee, riding down the road were four middle aged men with “Heaven’s Riders” on their jacket.
Yes, incidentally, the four of them would make a great urban fantasy series. And when I told the story to some friends years ago they tried to organize an antho. The problem, as I found a couple of years ago, while doing Deep Pink, is that it’s hellishly difficult to write “won’t offend the heck out of people” let alone “they will like it” fantasy that TOUCHES religion. So that was a mine field.
Anyway, this is literally an “only in America.” Maybe — very maybe — England. But at this point I don’t know enough to say that confidently.
However, in the history of the world: how many gallons of shed blood, how much hatred and enmity tied humanity for centuries over religious differences. But in America, it doesn’t matter, unless you make it a point of hating x or y. And those people are rare. Our adopted-late-in-life son, (with duct tape, if you must ask) is Presbyterian and when we’re talking religion, he affectionately calls us “frigging Papists” and rolls his eyes. My friends so close they’re family are Jewish, Catholic, all flavors of Protestantism, slightly more exotic Mormons, and of course pagan and Asatru (more exotic flavor of pagan). I might think their religion is a belly laugh (I often think that of my own) but I’m certainly not going to try to kill them or even separate myself from them.
And as religion goes, so goes ethnicity, the two being linked throughout history. (Duct-tape-adopted son is Scotts and Welsh and Scandinavian. Um…. husband has a lot of Welsh for sure just from his family coming from that border.) In the US if a nice Italian boy brings home a half Swedish, half English, with more alien sprinkles bride, the likely response is “She’s blonde and so pretty.” And honestly, these days the same is true for race. (Which is why people fake racist incidents. The demand outstrips supply.) With very few exceptions, your family might hate your different colored bride/groom and give the race excuse, but almost for sure the problem is something else. (Like politics.)
This ability to co-exist is almost bizarrely rare elsewhere and elsewhen.
But hey, “progressives” want to throw it all away, in the name of imagined race wars that will give them power, and in favor of “safe spaces.”
Various colleges have segregated graduations, so students “of color” are safe from the “white gaze” (even though, let’s face it, guys, it’s America. we’re all mixes. Even some new arrivals. (Grins.)) which is so powerful it can stop their success with a look. And they have benes and goodies for only certain races. And they’re doing their best to bring back Hitler’s dreams of “such the race, such your personality.”
They haven’t started in on religion (yet) only because they don’t believe in religion. I don’t mean they’re atheist. They actually don’t believe religion exists, as such. Because they don’t have any, and everyone is like them.
The amazing thing is that they call themselves “progressives.” As though dragging us kicking and screaming to mankind’s stupid past hatreds were progress. As though us, people who tan needed their help, and needed “white” people removed so we can succeed.
Their program isn’t as successful as they’d like. None of this is, on account they don’t understand people-not-themselves. But it’s been too successful for my taste. As Heinlein said “it’s easier to teach people to hate.”
And that worries me, because it will backfire on the left who seems to think that because they declared it so, white people are already a minority. (Heck, guys, blond Amerindians might put whatever they want in their tax forms, but…)
And that rows back decades of just learning to live together and ignoring what’s not relevant to building and living and having a functional society.
We’ll come back, of course. We’re Americans and America in an era of fast travel falls apart if we try to magnify all differences and atomize.
But it’s going to cause trouble. By which I mean famine, misery and a huge butcher’s bill. Or in other words, those not-so-heavenly riders of the at least temporary apocalypse.
It would be much easier if we told the regressives to put a sock in it. And did it loudly enough to stick.
Can we do it? I don’t know. But despair is a sin, and might not be needed.
Shoulders up. Be not afraid. Don’t give the regressives an inch. Refuse the hate they call ‘love.’