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I'm a single Mormon Democrat, an NPR & BBC news junkie, a dog lover, opera buff, bookavore, migraineur, knows just enough about technology to be a danger to myself, fan of James Bond and Godzilla. 

Micah 6:8; D&C 11:20 

"do justly, walk humbly, judge righteously."

Monday, December 29, 2014

There can be no us, without them

This is a concept that seems to be cropping up in my reading lately. I had finished Howard Jacobson's Booker-nominated book J recently. A dystopian novel in the British future after some unnamable and unremembered catastrophe people are renamed, social media is destroyed, and memory is outlawed. (People are only allowed one or two historical items in their homes.) Apparently, this is to stop "what happened, if it happened" from happening again.

Yet, violence still occurs. People are not happy. The Orwellian organization Ofnow decides that maybe people need a "them".

And, now, I am reading the National Book Award longlisted for nonfiction book Nature's God: The Heretical Origins of the American Republic by Matthew Stewart and it has come up again!

In Chapter 2, he explains how the American people, the colonists, are interested in a spiritual cure for "material anxieties". The first was a belief in belief. But, it's the second reason that really struck me.

"The other assumption, usually left unstated, was the one that human beings invariably make about the groups to which they so anxiously wish to belong: that it is only worth being a member of a group if someone else isn't included."

There it is again! Is this a facet of the human condition? Do people NEED to do this? I mean, I have left churches because of this very thing. As it tells us in Galatians:

If this is true, why do so many churches discriminate?

And, as Thomas Jefferson tells us:

Yet, pregnant women have fewer protections from their employers than employees who have been convicted of a DUI (http://www.scotusblog.com/case-files/cases/young-v-united-parcel-service/). And armed white men can walk openly with their guns in Fred Meyer and Starbucks, yet a black man carrying a toy gun can be shot down in a Wal-Mart.

I want to believe that we don't need a "them". I also want to believe that I'm personally better than this. Do you read my blog? Please comment below or on my Facebook page.