Having opinions is good. But it's when the opinion becomes belief systems that they really begin to stink.
The one thing I miss about having beliefs was being part of a set community. Wherever I went, I could get a free meal for Sabbath. I could walk into a group of 9-or-more adult males and pray together with them, no questions asked. I felt like I was part of something good, something big.
Politically, I am like Cain in the land of Nod. Over the years I have become more liberal. But I am not a liberal. Over the years I've come to appreciate Marx. But I am not a Marxist. Over the years I still cannot understand the appeal of libertarianism (except legalizing everything). Even though I call myself an Atheist, I can't stand many Atheists I meet. And it's not just the stigma that gets attached with Atheism. When did Atheism become such an ugly word anyway?
When I was young, I hoped for the messiah. Now, I say that even if there was a messiah, if he came he'd probably leave shaking his head. People would spend too much time arguing, and it would really piss him off.
I used to believe in America. I still love America. America, like a mercurial borderline-personality spouse I love, even though I know she's bad for me. America has so much good in her; yet she's also done so much wrong. I can't stand when people talk smack about America, not even when they are in the right.
I used to believe in Israel. The liberal in me is not allowed to like Israel. The Jewish blood in me is not allowed to hate Israel. I can criticize her, that's what my people do best. Any opinion I have on Israel, no matter how milquetoast, is likely to piss someone off. So for now, Israel is like that eccentric alcoholic uncle who the kids all loved, the adults all hated, used to be real cool, got crazy when he got older, and most probably was an abuser, but I still have fond memories of him.
I never really believed in Palestine. The humanist in me wants to. The pragmatist in me can't see a reason why. I wish I understood Palestine. As a kid I was told there was nothing to understand. As an adult, I realized that I didn't understand jack squat. Tautologous? Naturally. I get pissed off when people say there's no such thing as Palestine. I get pissed off when people say Israel doesn't have the right to exist. I ask myself at what cost Israel needs to defend itself?
I believe in the power of love. I believe in the power of rock and roll. I've seen firsthand music soothing the savage animus. There is almost nothing that can't be cured by a good Dead show, Floyd album, or even an etude or two. I still believe that a bad concert is better than a good day at work.
I do not believe for one second that the US Government did not know where Osama bin Laden was hiding out all of these years. I'm sorry, but that just doesn't make any sense.
I do not believe in an omnipotent, omniscient, benevolent being in the sky. I am willing to consider a higher power. Perhaps energy. But if God can microwave a burrito so hot that He can't eat it, he could show his face to us once in a while; and it wouldn't make us all die.
I never really believed in Karma. Never really made sense to me. Karma is also one of the most misused loan words in the English language. It doesn't just mean "you get what you deserve." There's a lot more to Karma than that.
I do believe there are consequences to our actions, sometimes not plainly obvious. But if they can't be replicated in a lab or somehow reproduced, what good are they?
I hate arguments based on semantical disagreements. But I still get into them quite often.
I especially loathe heteronormativity. I believe that everyone is somewhere in the middle, but few are actually at one extreme or the other. Yes, that includes me. That includes you too. No, I have not done the research.
Some opinions should not be made public. I have many that may never see the light of day.