Friday, 14 October 2016
A Three Way Rant About Donald Trump, Religion, and Autism Service Provision
Note: This post was meant to be about walking along a canal in Manchester, just as Blob Thing wrote about it this morning. It turned into a three pronged rant about Donald Trump, religion, and the lack of help available for autistic people. So it's not about the walk at all. It just keeps mentioning the walk. Like this:
Blob Thing blogged about this already today. He did a good job in describing the walk although I was a bit astounded at the way he managed to complain about Donald Trump so much when describing his day. Trump was not a participant in our day and he does not have a tower in Greater Manchester. I didn't know that a small soft toy could have such strong views about an American politician. John Pavlovitz this morning noted that Trump was prophetic about himself when he said that his followers would still follow him even if he was to murder someone in broad daylight. Someone could write a fascinating psychological study into his followers and how they are similar to fundamentalist religious believers. Many of them are such believers.
In both cases, evidence does not knock the belief. They believe Donald Trump is wonderful and they want him to rule them. No evidence seems to knock their evangelical fundamentalist Trumpist faith. And no evidence knocks the fundamentalist religious either, of whatever variety. Science and reason keep knocking blocks off fundamentalist religion and keep showing why it's (almost certainly) nonsense. A rational person either gives up the religion totally or finds ways to adjust the beliefs so that their God fits in with human knowledge and slides into the cracks where we lack full knowledge. A fundamentalist ignores the evidence or creates words and arguments that attempt to show why evidence is wrong.
So whether it's evolution, a young earth, the existence of Satan, the inerrancy of the Bible or Koran or Gita or whatever other scripture, or the glories of Donald Trump, the fundamentalist will not be budged. They are not rational. They cannot reason about their faith. I don't condemn them. It's just a sad thing when someone falls into such a system in their own heads.
I know. Because I fell into it myself. We are sorting part of the house at the moment and I found the sheets of paper on which I wrote brief notes before starting to write my life story. It was to be my spiritual story and contained all the wrong turns I made and how I discovered the truth of the Catholic Church - the "best" version of Christianity and the "only" one to be truly and completely one, holy, catholic, apostolic and sacramental. I was writing all this. How I now KNEW the truth. How I praised God for showing me the best way. And how I was convinced that now I knew the truth I would remain a faithful Catholic for ever and ever and ever. Well we all know how that plan turned out! I read it now and I am a little embarrassed - and I am even more thankful that I moved on. It's not that I hate the God of my past or think anyone with a similar God has lost a grip on reason. There are some very reasonable believers out there, ones who accept doubt and accept that faith sometimes has to change in the face of evidence.
It's a hard road away from fundamentalism and the certainty of a religious system. It might be just as hard for people to turn away from Donald Trump when they have pinned so many hopes and dreams on the man. Especially when some of those people share many of Trump's despicable attitudes and beliefs. As was said the other day by a Christian pastor, "Better a pussy grabber than a pussy in the White House." Yep. I don't want to call a human being a little piece of shit. But. His views are big pieces of shit. And they arise from an antiquated, horribly patriarchal religious system that may once have had a place but has now gone rotten and putrid and smells worse than a big piece of shit. Plenty of churches teach it though - a woman should not have authority over a man. They say that God said it. In his book. Which is infallible and God breathed. Some churches are explicit in that. So Trump might be a disgusting sex criminal but to have a woman? No. Nay! Never! That's banned in the Bible. They're right too. It IS banned in the Bible. It's quite explicit. A woman isn't even allowed to speak in church and if they have questions have to wait until they get home before asking their husband. As for authority, well man is head of the woman. The Bible says so. To go against that is to go against God - at least according to some believers. But even to others to go against it is just one part of noticing that the Bible is wrong about God. And once a believer reaches that point they have a lot of soul searching to do regarding what value both their holy book and their faith have. There are multiple answers to that soul searching. Some lead to atheism. Some to a form of progressive or liberal Christianity. Some to hiding one's head in the sand and holding on to a form of faith that a believer cannot bear to allow to die.
I'm not going to talk much at all about the walk. I've talked enough already. It was a walk along a canal. Simple.
In any case. I just that moment had a phone call. Not my favourite thing. This was to tell me - and I had to chase people to find this out - that the NHS people I was referred to for help with my mental health problems cannot help me because I am autistic. Basically because I have a neurological difference the NHS tells me to fuck off whenever I ask for help. Great isn't it? No. It's another big piece of shit and at this moment I feel pretty bloody bad about it all.
I am autistic.
I need MORE help. Not less. More. I've been fighting over and over again for the past year and yet again another service waves me away with an "Oh yes you need help for your mental health but all of us people who spent years training in mental health can't deal with you because you are autistic."
Aaaargh. If I had severe learning difficulties - if I was "low functioning" - there would be lots of services almost falling over themselves for me. But I am "high functioning" - which means that I function very well, in certain areas, some of the time and I have a nice high IQ (I am officially a genius). And that means there is no help. None. Fuck all. And even the help anyone else with a nice high IQ could get is stolen away from me because of my diagnosis.
I am bloody glad to have my diagnosis. It helps. And self understanding helps greatly. But right now it stinks.
Anyway. The photos. Nice aren't they?! I'm not going to talk about them at all. Not today. My head isn't up to it now.
Oh well. Life goes on. I'm out tonight with some of those progressive Christians. They're very nice but still a little too much into the old old story for me as if they still need psychologically to grasp onto a tale that they know doesn't make that much sense. That might be unfair. But they know the Bible is just the record of a bunch of people trying and often failing to find the divine and that much of the Old Testament contains a lot of nationalist propaganda. They look to Jesus for their guide which is fine. But even there they have to be very selective or interpret in a way that surely the gospel writers didn't mean or else they have to cope with all the things he said about unbelievers and Hell. So in effect they love the nice bits of Jesus and leave the rest because those bits aren't right. I don't know exactly what's left that is worth basing a 21st century life on. But maybe the speaker tonight will enlighten me and leave me wanting to read all his books - of which I own five, four of them bought in the last year.
The photos. Because life contains incredibly wonderful days with or without an autism diagnosis and with or without help from an NHS with funding and training and service provision gaps.
Maybe I will just have to sort myself out, as I would if the NHS didn't exist - and who knows, under our caring sharing Tory government its future isn't safe. I've done a lot of self work. It's just that a bit of help wouldn't go amiss.
You know what? The photos can wait until the next post. They are too good to be combined with my woes or musings about people believing beyond the point of rationality. Just one photo. Because life is good. Life is a wonderful thing.