My family has gone mad. Not that they weren’t a bit odd to start with. I found out this week that my brother, besides being a religious fundamentalist (Which he’s been for years) is now an extreme right winger. Not nice, especially in South Africa.
Last time I was visiting mum, it was to find that she has turned creationist – fully creationist. The world was made in seven days and isn’t more than a few thousand years old, any evidence to the contrary. She’s also started believing in hell as the spiritual destination of anyone who doesn’t believe in Jesus. Its difficult having a conversation with her sometimes.
My dad went dilly first, dumping my step mum (who I never liked anyway) and running off with his childhood sweetheart aged seventy. I thought it was kind of cute, actually.
Now my dad might be a septenergarian Lothario and my mum might declare the earth to be flat tomorrow and I can live with that, but my brother has always been hard to stomach and will be worse now. Religious fanaticism coupled with extreme political orientations has always been a dangerous combination, and now my brother’s one of them. I wonder how he’s rationalizing the idea that God loves everyone except black people.
I know I grew up in this family, but goodness knows, I ain’t one of them. I had that feeling when I was in my teens, but that’s normal for teenagers. Everyone knows that no-one understands them, least of all their families. Now I’m forty and I’ve got that feeling all over again. Mid life crisis? But then I’m not the one who’s suddenly taken up extreme religious and political philosophies.
Could be I’m a bit like my dad on the surface, but then Dad has always been a rabid rightwinger and a dreadful religious conservative in matters that don’t apply directly to him.
At least one thing is proven to my satisfaction – political and religious proclivities are not genetic, nor can irrational behaviors become so ingrained that they seem rational. I should know. I’ve been marinated in such notions since birth it would seem, and I still think them nutty.
The funny thing about all this, is that I’m the black sheep of the family. Go figure.