I was making my way through the various news stories on Yahoo, and reading the various postings that the Yahoo-fans post as comments to stories. In my ramblings, I came across the linked comment from a user that stated:
“BTW….REAL Texans CAN’T STAND BUSH!”
Amazingly, we seem to again define ourselves as a “real” something, by adherence to a strict dogma.
So, being a “Real Texan” is not a function of citizenship? Then I suppose being a “real American” means something more than being a “citizen of the USA?”
I thought it was the liberals that were angry that the republicans supposedly accused them of not being “real” Americans because they didn’t support the President in everything. At what point can we at least agree that being a “real” something has to do with the attributes that make one “that thing?”
For instance, in many discussions I have had with people from various (nominally) Christian denominations, I am told that an adherence to the teachings of Jesus, in general terms, are important (but not necessary) but that any belief that he is “Christ” (Messiah, Chosen One, God) are not necessary, and in fact, only cause harm. This has led me to conclude that people with these views are not “Real Christians” but rather are “Real -ians.” When one chooses to remove Christ from His Church, then one should have the decency to remove Christ from the name, wouldn’t you think? And yet, these same people get a certain sense of “righteous indignation” when you question whether they actually are “Christians” or just “-ians.”
For me, membership in something, and thus being a “Real” anything, is a function of meeting the requirements of that group. If you choose to deny the teachings of your Church, then you should no longer be able to describe yourself as a member of that Church. If you do not accept the divinity of Christ, and the concept of a Sacrificial atonement, then you are not a Christian–simple enough. If you do, but you cannot accept the authority of the Pope over the Church, and believe that you have the right to decide what is right and wrong for you separate from the authority of the Church, then perhaps you are not a “Real Catholic.”
It really comes down to another shift in societal thinking. I wrote previously about the common urge to dispel with rules when they become inconvenient. If the situation seems important enough, let’s just set that rule of law aside, for now. We can always enforce it later, right?
Apparently this thinking extends to our inate desire to belong to a group, but an unwillingness to accept the responsibilities that go along with membership. Even worse, it has been twisted to allow us to not only redefine the definition of membership in a way that distorts the meaning of the organization, but then we use this new, twisted meaning, to attempt to exclude others. In an attempt to be inclusive, we become exclusive, seeking to denegrate those who are “different.”
Amazing isn’t it. Tolerance, and acceptance, have been twisted by those who espouse it to allow intolerance and exclusion.
Perhaps nothing really has changed after all. It still is about the selfish qualities of human nature.