As I get older I find it harder and harder to not be bigoted or prejudiced towards beliefs that I disagree with. I like to think of myself as an idealist rather than a racist or sexist because I find myself judging people on their ideas rather than their race or gender. I still judge people on how they look (as I think we all do to some degree) just not for something that they were born with or had no control over. For instance, I would judge an adult wearing a Hijab for the same reason I would judge someone for wearing Hasidic clothing for they are both dress-choices generally encouraged by beliefs and therefore give some pretty clear clues to what they believe. From nerd and feminist shirts to hip-hop hoodies, it is easy to see how people’s clothing correspond with their ideas and ideals. So to a point, because what people wear can hint at what people believe, I think we should judge people on what they look like and I’d expect the rest of the world to do the same for me.
Keeping this in mind, it’s only logical to think that people wearing these clothes are silly if you believe that the ideas leading those people to wearing them are silly. And this is the heart of the matter. These ideas, when acted upon through any means, including fashion, can lead to an idealist like me diving head first into the tricky labyrinth that is religious bigotry. Key words that come to mind are Anti-semitism, Islamaphobia and the hilariously named ‘War on Christmas’. Each of these are red herrings, using some emotion or another through their social or historical connotations to distract from the main issue that there are benefits to being critical of religion. Mainly that, besides war and conquering, it is the key trigger of religious reformation throughout history, and, if you haven’t noticed, some specific extremist sects in particular are REALLY in need of this.
Let’s break down some of these terms. Anti-semetism, basically being against ‘policy or predisposition favorable to Jews’. Considering I don’t think religion should have anything to do with policy and try to have as little religious predispositions as possible, I might be considered one of these. But because of the historical connotations, having this rational belief could easily lead you to being labeled a Nazi, or worst, an Egyptian (What? They did it first). Islamaphobia must be the most used oxymoron I’ve ever heard. Firstly, a phobia is an ‘irrational’ belief and, if you’ve read the Quran, Islam is one scary fucking religion and those who follow it to the word are terrifying as well. A more accurate denunciation would be Muslimaphobia because not all Muslims believe in everything to do with Islam, I could actually get behind that. Lastly, in the War on Christmas all I can say is you better stop fat shaming Santa Claus atheists! Delivering all those presents isn’t workout enough for you?
There’s a reason why sayings like ‘holier than thou’ have gained negative connotations. Beliefs pulled from abstract verses that can be analysed metaphorically to the point that they lose all meaning is about as useful as gaining your beliefs from abstract art painted by some schizophrenic that hears voices in his head, which ironically, most of the people who believe these things freely admit to. However, to act on these beliefs contrary to the world around you is comparable to undressing and painting a sign on your naked body saying that you affiliate yourself with such a wide group of people that other idiots might automatically associate you with the worst of the bunch. Who knows maybe they to will act on these beliefs as well and the two sides of idiocy will clash, thus making your idiocy public to idealists like me that will laugh at you because your actions have clearly portrayed both of your beliefs to be a cause of violence.
In the end my point is this, the majority of people are lazy and are going to judge you on what little information they can pick up in the short amount of time that they may encounter you. And whether it is what you wear or what you say, if you have a belief or ideals that are religious, there’s a good chance that someone is going to disagree with you, AND THAT’S FINE! However, a small portion of those people will act on those disagreements in ways that I would also call idiotic, and that’s when you need to start asking yourself why. Because they are deviant? Yes, but also because they are reacting to you associating yourself to what they consider a deviant religion through your clothing or words. This goes for associating all Catholic priests with pedophiles, or all Muslims with terrorists, or all Aztecs with human sacrifices… though admittedly that was a long time ago, I think we can let that one go, Aztecs. Just no more human sacrifices, okay?