Alien Ant Farm

After watching this video, I had some thoughts on what the overall message could possibly be.  I was slightly confused, mainly from the portrayal of the “god” and why he hoped he could connect with the ants.  Was the message a “the popular concept of a caring god is wrong because we can’t understand it and it can’t understand us” or more of “your basic understanding of life and living can piss off your ‘creator’ if you don’t pay amends”?

Whatever the point was, I was drawn to it. I felt as though I could understand the feelings the “supplier” had when he realized his ants depended on him, I felt pity for him when he couldn’t communicate with them and I felt regret and remorse for the ants when they were being punished for not making their gratification, if there was any at all, known to the one that is supposed to care for them.

I found it funny that I would want to associate my own thoughts with such a disturbed notion of a god like this one, but soon realized that it wasn’t that I was trying to find common ground with it, but more that I wanted to understand why it wanted to be understood by the ants.  The god character is shown as loving, caring and, honestly, lonely.  The god character in America is shown as loving, caring, compassionate, and content.  It isn’t said that “God was bored one sunny afternoon and set up a farm in his apartment,” but, if you read the texts, that’s pretty much what happened.  The concept Christians and Muslims and Jews have of their god is a lonely god that NEEDED comfort.  So he created what he thought would give him just that, only, things went horribly wrong.

As in the video, the idea of Gods hand in our lives is just as improbable.  If there is Great Landlord watching our every move, what could it possibly hope to gain from it?  We do what we need to do to survive, to make our short lives as enjoyable as we can before we die and the game is over.  This is exactly what the ants are doing, except that we can’t tell that they’re enjoying anything about it.  They don’t know they have a god, the god doesn’t know that they don’t know they have a god, and because of it, one side is left wondering what it did wrong, even after all the provisions and care and love it showed for the other.

Growing up, I had my own ideas on what God was and did.  I was afraid to ask the questions I wanted answered for fear of being told the simple, “Because God is perfect.”  I HATED that answer.  If God was perfect, what need did he have of us?  Perfection means nothing more can be added to that thing to make it better and nothing can be taken away.  It is absolute.  Creating the world and the cosmos and the little tiny insignificant carbon-based creatures that run around and fuck and yell and murder and destroy and cry and love and hate and invade and appreciate and convert and build and and and… there’s no need for any of this if God is perfect.  So my mind started to shift.  I started to think, maybe, if there is a god, what if it’s a pathetic, lonely, miserable thing that just NEEDS and desires companionship? Why is it that humans have created a god that dictates that WE need IT?  We have so much going for us, so much that we accomplished all on our own.  Natural selection brought us to what we are by weeding out those that couldn’t contribute to the human species.  We domesticated animals for food and when that wasn’t enough, we learned how to farm.  We learned how to build towns and cities and infrastructure around those farms.  We harnessed fire, we made alcohol, we learned how to save men from death by way of medicine.  We no longer fear night and the predators it brings because we’ve moved inside, discovered electricity, heat, warmth.  We no longer die when the earth moves away from the sun just enough to freeze our plants because we’ve learned how not to.  Everything that we’ve gained from learning about the world and what goes on around us we’ve done on our own, with no help from an external source.  So, why do we adhere to an imaginary all-powerful being that could have, but didn’t help us out?

Going back to the video, I think the “god” touches on this, but in a different way.  He sees that the ants are perfectly capable of doing so much without his help, but he gets mad that they’re not saying thank you when he believes himself to be the source of their lives.  He’s not understanding that they won’t ever see him.  He’s simply too big for them to conceptualize in a way that both him and the ants can benefit from. What does he do with this anger?  Hurts and maims and tortures the ants.  He chooses the ones that are doing what he feels is evil, or sin and destroys them.  But that isn’t enough.  He has to send them to Hell.  To really make them see the error of their ways.  Yet… nothing works.  There is no tangible communication going on.  He can’t talk to the ants and they can’t talk to him.  He simply does not exist.

At the end of the video, he sees himself in a reflection as he loads another tray into his ant oven.  It’s as though he can visualize how demonic he’s behaving, but feels that he’s in the right because of all he has given them.

This video was a shock to me because of how brutally honest it was, even though it was no doubt a work of fiction.  It made me think about what my concept of a god was, about what my country’s concept of a god was and why we as a population feel we need it so badly as to inject it into our daily lives.  I wondered why we have the endless urge to devote ourselves to such a negative image of something that may not exist at all, but we’ve convinced ourselves it does, because, like the god in the video, we don’t like being alone.

But then the bigger question came up, how would we move away from this, if it’s even possible to do so?  The implications we shove into our societies stemming from a beastly god cause so much hate and anger, yet we cover it up with ancient message of peace and love, and my question is why?

Well?

The Reason Rally

The rally was, all in all, pretty damn kickass.  TONS of people had already shown up by the time I got there and it almost doubled when it started raining, which was comforting that so many people were dedicated to making a point to our country that the nonreligious are ready to make the changes necessary.  just like the sexual revolution 50 years ago, we as a country are at the point of another revolution (and as so many politicians are pandering to their constituents that have the money, also known as the ones with the most batshit-crazy ideas on how the eternal world works), but this time over something that should have NEVER reached the frenzy that it’s at today.

Our Founding Fathers had no intention of creating a country that was/is ruled by the Church, any equivalent of the Church or people who used religious teachings in a governing way, but rather one that allowed all people to have their private beliefs AND govern in a logical, reasonable way, free of mythological teachings, most of which were based almost 1800 years before the American Revolution.

Unfortunately, that’s where we’re at, and have been at for a long time. Long enough that our own history has been morphed into what the popular crowd thinks is true.  Many Americans firmly believe that those brave men who founded our country were strict Christians and began a Christian nation.  “Separation of Church and State” means nothing to these people, which is very sad for many reasons.  We are not, and never have been a religious nation.  Yes, we are a country with many religions, but so is every country on this planet.  Thing is, we have the beautiful freedom to admit, to EVERYONE, that a large portion of us are atheistic, agnostic, or simply living as Americans who support that incredibly important necessity of secular division.

The time has finally come where those of us who are happy to tell the world of our godlessness, or in my case, my happiness with my own concept of my own god and the absolute denial of your bigoted and hate-filled teachings of the outdated religion you adhere to so firmly.  Like it was said many times today, “We’re here, we’re godless, get used to it!”  We ARE here, dammit.  Now, treat us like we’re your fellow Americans.  We’re not going to protest your Sunday gatherings.  We’re not going to laugh during your funerals.  We’re just like you, except that we truly are about equality.  We don’t care if you’re gay, straight, black, Asian, Christian, Buddhist, Islamic or Jewish.  We don’t care if you don’t agree with us.  All that’s going to happen is we’re coming out of the woodworks, letting our leaders know we’re here and we’re paying attention.

This country has consistently elected Christian leaders to office, ignoring anyone who isn’t a member of that faith.  Those leaders then sign bills and mandates and rules and edicts that reflect the ideals of that religion, poisoning the very way many Americans live their lives.  What I want is real, true leaders.  Those who are a reflection of the individual states and counties, elected for what they can do for all their constituents, NOT solely the faithful constituents.  Those who will stand up and openly admit that yes, the religious will not be allowed to stick their greedy hands in the Capital Building, White House and Pentagon.  They’ll be sure to make it a point that state governments will be for the STATE and not the oppression of places like abortion clinics because, goddammit, that’s fucking murder.

What I learned today is how pissed off I am at my fellow Americans.  You guys.  Me.  Everyone that calls this country a home, everyone that claims they’re a TRUE American.  They support freedom.  But only on the surface.   Inside our minds, our actions, we just go with the flow.  We don’t stop buying from out of country to show support for our own economy that still isn’t very strong.  We don’t stop complaining about Right vs. Left, when it should be Idea vs. Idea.  Which idea is better for everyone and how we need to get to the point where it can be implemented.  We don’t stop bitching and complaining and throwing tantrums and crying and pointing fingers and just… being dicks.  We don’t do things that take effort to change the flow of the rivers.  We don’t do what fucking needs to be done to get the ball rolling in a direction that will help every single damn American citizen lead a better and more fulfilling life.  What we do do though, is make it difficult to get along with each other.  We are seemingly happy treating others like dirt.  We thrive on dramatic murder cases, we get hate-boners when someone does something negative and disruptive.

This Reason Rally is the first step, and it was a great first step.  It felt amazing being with so many people from my own country who believed and behaved and trusted and reached out in the ways I’ve wanted to for so long, and have helped give me strength to do so.  It was an awe-inspiring event, and I’m very glad I was a part of such a historic moment.  The thing is, will we make another step forward, or just sway back and forth with that first step down, not sure where to plant the other foot?  Is this the end, or is this the beginning of an awesome and hope-fulfilling journey towards what should have been set in stone 235 years ago?

I sure hope it’s the latter.