Sunday, February 19, 2006
Our hands are not clean on this issue
What is it about fundamentalists that make them so charismatic? What is it that makes them the loudest voices in religion today? If aliens from a distant galaxy came to the Middle East, they would think that all Muslims were suicide bombers and terrorists. If they came to America, they would think that our Christians support death and destruction, killing abortion-providers and bombing abortion clinics. It's not good for the reputation of religion which can bring people together as a community when its loudest voices are calling for mass death and assassinations of political leaders they do not support.
When Eric Rudolph committed acts of terrorism against abortion clinics, where were the leaders of the Religious Right? Did you hear them widely condemn him as someone who has committed acts of MURDER that they condemn Muslims for? Where was Ann Coulter who would later dismiss Islam as a car-burning cult? In North Carolina where many pro-lifers live, he became an icon, a folk hero defending the rights of the unborn against murderers in the pro-choice movement. In fact, many leaders of the Religious Right expressed their concern for his victims not by condemning him for murder but expressing the fear that he would discredit their movement. Pro-life indeed!
And you know why he bombed the abortion clinic? He believes that the white people are eventually going to be a minority instead of a majority. He believes that you should reproduce and be true to your race. He thought white women should marry white men and black people should marry black people.
He would say we are all going to be one color — and God doesn't want us all one color. He'd be so upset! You know, he's fighting for what he believed in.
What makes him worse is that his concerns about abortion do not stem primarily from the act itself, but his former in-law reveals that it was more from the fear that whites would become a permanent minority. In other words, he's among the hypocrites who say they're against abortion but would have no problems with people with the "right" color skin getting one. In fact that is to be encouraged! Their opposition is limited to whites getting an abortion. I truly wonder what the leaders of the Religious Right would say to that. This resonated well with the White Supremacists of such boards as Stormfront including one who also justified Rudolph's actions with this classic line, ""slaughter of the truly innocent demands a response." Truly, he must have considered himself pro-life which brings me to another point about the movement which seems to condone the death penalty as a way of punishing murder and such.
Now I'm not saying that religion is pure as the snow on the ground but I'm saying that it's easy to look at these fanatical protesters and Christian terrorists in our own country and say that they represent the mainstream here. It does not help when our so-called liberal media calls these voices like Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson mainstream CHRISTIANS when they represent a far-right fringe. It's easy when the media gives them hype to see that they are the face of Christianity or Islam. The quietest voices never get heard, although the media thankfully covers the Reverend Barry Lynn when he's pointing out the dangers of the theocracy-minded Religious Right. Even though, if you ask someone in America today, it'll be like ten times more likely they'll know the Religious Right leaders than someone like Lynn or Jim Wallis.
Religion and politics do not mix as one requires absolute truth and the other compromise. Religion hardly ever compromises its own values in pursuit of an agenda. Can you imagine the fundamentalists compromising on their pet issue, gay marriage? Could you imagine them supporting a compromise that requires the government to sanction gay marriages but also forbids them from imposing them on the churches? Can you imagine religious leaders coming forth with gay-rights activists to advance this idea? Of course not. Religion requires it all, which is why the Dominionist movement is so dangerous today.
The Dominionist movement would love nothing better to see a theocracy take hold of this country. Their leaders would also be the leaders of this government as they would be the elites that would make the rules which everyone else no matter what his or her religion is would be mandated to follow them. Would they be subject to those same rules? Perhaps, but more likely, they'll find ways to skirt them. Can you imagine an America whose Constitution is stripped bare of the Enlightenment ideals and replaced with amendments based on the Old Testament? Can you imagine the same oppression Muslim women face today happening here? Can you imagine being stoned for adultery or homosexuality? Can you imagine parents stoning their kids to death because they showed disrespect and talked back? Can you imagine an America where the Bible is used to justify racial discrimination (not completely out of the picture as it is even done so today)?
There is the same problem with Islam today. The same martyr complex, the victimization complex runs through its veins today, although in some ways, there is more justification than the Religious Right's martyr game. There has been much anger at the United States as they see it proclaiming democracy and human rights as if they were America's gift to the world. Problem is they see the U.S. talk the talk but not walk the walk as it supports dictators such as Saddam Hussein, monarchs such as the Saudi royal family and corrupt presidents like Hosni Mubarak. They listen to us portray ourselves as champions of human rights but do not hear because the graphic photos of corpses at Abu Ghirab speak volumes, drowning out our useless attempts to market ourselves as a beacon of democracy.
The "they hate us for our freedoms" line is a simplistic answer that does not even bother to answer the question, yet Bush uses it because it appeals to the masses who do not care for dissertations and theses on why they hate us. They want simple, one sentence answers that reassure them. The Muslim world does not hate us for our freedoms. Quite to the contrary, they would enjoy our freedoms but they see us denying them the same freedoms we supposedly hold dear. It does not help when Hamas wins a democratic election and then the U.S. turns around and questions its legitimacy and is supposedly trying to oust it. We can make all the denials we want, but the Muslim world won't listen because our word means nothing. (I'm NOT defending Hamas here nor do I see this as a positive turn of events as I am skeptical and wary of them, but rather, I am defending the principle of democracy.) It is easy to see why Muslims distrust us when we talk about democraticizing the Middle East when we pull something like this. It is easy to see why the Middle East distrusts its leaders as either despots or puppets of the Great Satan (us). It is easy to see how they see us as hypocrites who pout when we don't like the results of a democratic election.
What needs to be condemned is the way extremists of both religions lash out at the so-called oppressor whether it's stirring up the masses to violently rise up in arms or calling for Hugo Chavez to be assassinated. It's one thing to express your frustrations but another to take them out on others using violence. These people who blow themselves up or blow up abortion clinics and gay bars need to be exposed for what they truly are: abominations who kill in the name of God or Allah. It is not enough to condemn those who commit the acts but those who silently and passively observe, thus making these actions possible. Lincoln said it best asking a revelent question, "Must I shoot a simpleminded soldier boy who deserts, while I must not touch a hair of the wily agitator who induces him to desert?" We must take the same attitude here, condemning those who agitate the populace into committing violent acts whether they are mullahs or our own American Taliban who incite hatred against gays and lesbians.
Allow me to demonstrate...
"Thou shalt not kill
- Exodus 20:13"
"Thus saith the Lord God of Israel, Put every man his sword by his
side... and slay every man his brother...
- Exodus 32:27"
See what I mean....
"The Lord is good to all.
- Psalm 145:6"
"I make peace and create evil. I the Lord do all these things.
- Isaiah 45:7"
Its no wonder why these people are so messed up with their rationale...their basing it on a book which isnt rationale to begin with and even more funny..they see no contradiction whatsoever....
Talk about youre classic case of denial