An Exaggerated Truth

One of the ways you know that emotionality has seeped too far into your head is when you find yourself exaggerating. Often, when we’re lashing out, we take a small version of the truth and stretch it ridiculously. If we don’t have such a truth to work with, we either invent one or attribute a motive that we have no way of knowing. We villainize.

All of us hear dozens of vicious encounters in our daily lives, wherein people jab, snark, and exaggerate about the people they are currently upset with. That’s not going to end as long as humans are walking around.

For example, I’ve always had a real problem with fundamentalists or extremists, especially religious ones. Regardless of where I was on the spectrum about the existence of god or the futility of interventionist prayer, I’ve had a stable attitude about the foundation of people’s beliefs.

Any dogma, doctrine, commandment, or rule can be created out of whole cloth. It often is. It’s part of the reason no two religions or denominations agree on everything. Often, the divergence is massive, leaving no recognizable overlap.

My derision has always fallen on those who would demand adherence or obedience to the imposition of their chosen religious beliefs.

I distrust rigid authoritarians about religion; they can’t be trusted to honor the line of observance.

But, in anger or exaggeration, I’ve been accused of having a horrible attitude toward Christians as a category. That’s ridiculous. As with most religions and denominations, the individual observing it has massive leeway in how they treat others against the backdrop of spirituality. Many use it compassionately and intelligently; others would burn the world to get agreement. It is the latter that pisses me off.

It’s a small thing, but one which, if repeated unfairly, can grow to discolor the true nature of how I look at Christians and others.

Over the last few weeks, I’ve noticed this sort of exaggeration in anger more frequently. It’s no great revelation, of course.

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