Every day, I encounter dozens of people who have been victimized by religious abuse. Having been in their shoes at one time, I now do my best to offer them my understanding and information about how they can be set free from the snares of abusive, religious rhetoric.
Imagine with me a very different world from the one we now live in. Not an impossible fantasy, but a world that is quite possible, once enough of us put our minds and hands toward making it happen. Here is a list of what we could, and should do, first so we can even have a future and, then, a bright one, for every human being:
We could and should, for example, have a nation with no poverty...if we did away with Capitalism, the system that allows a small group of owners to lay claim to wealth they did not work for. Instead, we could insist that all who work get to keep all the wealth they create. Then, we could easily afford to all chip in to help those who cannot work, so their needs are met.
We could and should save our environment by insisting on quickly ending the use of fossil fuels and replace all carbon-releasing energy with green energy.
We could and should vigorously pursue an international agreement to prohibit the use of nuclear weapons and safely destroy all current nuclear weapons, as well as any factory where they might be produced. In addition, the US Government should join in similar agreements banning the use of armed drones ("killer robots"), land and underwater mines and the militarization of outer space.
We could and should have a federally-funded universal jobs department, so everyone who can work could have a job that pays a living wage.
We could and should end violent policing by banning the use of lethal weapons and unsafe methods of engaging with criminal suspects.
We could and should end the Gun Violence Epidemic by banning all lethal weapons, especially after a major national effort (similar to the 1960s commitment to land on the moon) to develop a safe, effective, temporary and non-lethal immobilization tool that could be used for personal protection instead of weapons that kill.
We could and should codify the equal rights of women, of all ages, to have absolute control over their own bodies, as they pertain to reproductive choices or any other right men have.
We could and should end criminal court punishments that are meant to inflict pain and suffering, and require only humane reform measures be ordered a convicted suspect to fulfill.
We could and should begin a 10-year economic transition away from employer-employee model to all worker-owned and worker-governed businesses. In the meantime, the minimum wage for all workers should be increased to at least $15 an hour, and annually adjusted upward for inflation.
We could and should increase Social Security payments to a minimum equaling a living wage of at least $15 an hour, with no deductions for
We could and should replace all police departments with true Peace departments that protect all persons, both suspected perpetrators, as well as suspected victims of crime. In the meantime, strict measures should be immediately enacted to prohibit police officers from lying, to anyone, at any time, concealing or destroying exculpatory evidence, planting inculpatory evidence, and soliciting confessions. Easily accessible means of submitting complaints about police misconduct to independent prosecutors should be created without any need to first complain to police internal affairs departments.
We could and should end the practice of the recreational killing of animals, and strictly enforce the humane and painless killing of animals which are used as food.
We could and should end the Drug War, and offer treatment for all who are addicted to illegal drugs and provide far less damaging alternatives in the meantime.
We could and should have a federally-funded, universal health care insurance program, available to every American, that covers all medical, vision and dental care, at 100% of the cost with no deductibles or co-pays.
We could and should do away with all prisons, private- and government-run and, in their place, remand only violent convicts to safe, humane institutions for their rehabilitation, along with ending the death penalty and all other sentencing for purposes of retribution.
We could and should insist that all schools for underage children, both public and private, teach real science and accurate history.
We could and should insist that all food providers stop making processed foods that are designed to take advantage of primal craving for too much salt, sugar and fat as a step toward ending obesity and other health risks from poor diets.
We could and should do away with tax exemptions for religious organizations that perform no actual charitable work.
We could and should end the practice of private funding of political campaigns and use only federal funds for political advertising that are dispersed only 3 months in advance of any and all elections. Elections for all offices--federal, state and local--should be held only once every two years, on the same day, which shall become a national, paid holiday.
We could and should end the sale and marketing of children's toys and games that mimic lethal weapons.
We could and should end government licensure, regulation and court oversight of all adult, mutually consensual, sexual relationships.
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