Semi-logical Explanations Of Random Phenomena

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Duh. Just plain duh.

Have you read this? Not that it comes as a surprise, of course, but still, you'd think this would have made mainstream news at some point!

Synopsis: Woman journalist sees ad in newspaper for concerned parents worried about school violence, etc. She notes that the "discussion" would take place at a local mosque. Hence, she decides to arrive early and see what she can discover.

What she learns: the men are meeting prior to the "discussion". The men speak in Arabic, and encourage mass violence/jihad. They ridicule American women, and plot to cause emotional trauma to innocent, unexpecting American travelers. That "session" ends, followed by Islamic women gently and lovingly explaining how their religion is just the opposite. Some of the same men participate in both.

Well, this confirms in most minds what most people suspect: the Islamic religion encourages violence and protest against Jews/Christians, etc. Duh. Double Duh. I guess I need to make a note here (since recent journalists etc aren't known for truthfulness) that the story is only as good as your trust in the author.

So here's my first question this week: How long exactly will we pretend to not understand that not all religions/religious sects are the same? (not the question you expected, but oh well) Second question: What, if anything, can and will we do about it?

First Issue: Are you scared of Buddhists? I'm not. They're known for avoiding causing any harm to anyone, correct? They don't step on bugs for pete's sake. C'mon. They mind their own business, peacefully gliding from display to display in Garden Ridge, all dressed in their red robes. My kids thought it was a bunch of mimes at first. (Apparently we don't get out enough). Point is though, no one runs from them. They don't have a history of chaos.

Jewish people (Whom I will point blank say, are God's Chosen. I believe God blesses this country because we protect them. Why do I believe this? Because the Bible says so. and unlike my mom saying that, I believe God!). Are you scared of Jewish people? I'm not. They have a nice community center here, an amazing nursing home (open to Christians too) and in general just mind their own business. They do the occasional festival/etc, which like the Greek orthodox church, generally has really neat food/dance/traditions. No complaints. Am I aware that some Jewish people overseas are not so "calm"? Duh. Show me an average American anybody who would allow people to take their home, desecrate their daddy's and momma's graves, and blow up their church- I dare you. Nobody here would stand for it either. You'd have turf wars that makes LA look like Sunny Acres petting zoo.

Catholics: Are you scared of Catholics? If you say yes I'm gonna laugh. I know nuns are very fierce teachers, but please watch Sound of Music. Where else can you go where they serve wine in church? Yeah. I thought so. How uptight could they possibly be? When's the last time you heard of Catholics going on a rampage? The only risk you have of violence is if you ate the infamous Virgin Mary grilled cheese sandwich.

Amish: Ever had your house broken into by the Amish? Been run off the road by a horse and buggy? Ever been cussed out at a farmer's market. Duh. Not gonna happen. They live and let live. Even if you try to take their pictures (which I haven't personally) they simply go inside and leave you alone. Ever come home from work to see that the Amish have tried to take over your neighborhood? Duh. Not part of their religion.

But some religions are a little more, how shall we say it, VIOLENT. Retaliatory. Aggressive.

In previous centuries, some religions stoned dissidents. Others burned them at the stake. Sacrifices were common. I even remember in the Bible some fights over a well, right? But does that happen today? Not often.

In the world we live in, with global communication, equal rights, and often even freedom, those things have become largely obsolete. Words fix a lot more than fists, typically. But certain religions, still mired in another century in terms of freedom, rights, and progress, still function in more violent and primitive ways. Tragic but true.

But in each religion, people may vary in what they do. We're all human. I don't believe all Scientologists are wacky, just because one sofa-jumping, baby-scanning, don't-believe-in-marriage-anymore one is. Same with any religion- typically the less orthodox practitioners are more worldly, more "westernized", less fanatical. The extremists (which can often be the majority) are just the opposite. So how do you know what lives two doors down? You don't.

Second Issue: What can we do about it? Very little without radical change. If you don't know who you can trust, what do you do? Some people propose death to all not just like us. (including the terrorists themselves-how many times do we need to hear the "death to america/infidels" crud?? We know you hate us, we're just not clear why) Is mass genocide the solution? Not unles you're Hitler. Killing those just like ourselves is the thought process of the stupid. The short-tempered, don't think before speaking group. It shows hopelessness and failure in their own abilities and beliefs and in their own god. (Notice I didn't capitalize that- my God doesn't advocate me taking judgement on anyone)

Again: Killing people who aren't just like you is stupid. 'Nuff said.

Another popular theory- we can stop terrorism by exporting all immigrants. Well that's just genius. Define immigrant. The religion of Islam is followed by black/white/arab/asian. Just how are you planning on determining the terrorists? If you exported all immigrants, it would drastically impact our economy. Our housing. Our financial infrastructure (lost tax dollars). Our medical system (doctors). Our secondary education (math/science professors).

And what would you do for all of the children of immigrants? They're American citizens, but they may or may not believe like their parents. (Chances are, they do. At least in some ways). If you didn't have terrorism before, imagine the anger and horrible results that will come from sending parents away from adult children, or exiling American born children to 3rd world countries. If they weren't planning to bomb the USA, they would be then!

Another popular option: Concentrating them like the Japanese were during the war. Again, just brilliant. Haven't we determined the worst thing you can do to a group of people is strip them of all belongings and dignity, herd them together in sub-human conditions like farm animals and rob them of the right to life? Duh.

Then there's the thought that if you imprison/kill the leaders of the chaos, then you'll stop the whole movement. Wow, that's been so not successful. Did the Nazis go away when Hitler died? Did the Crips stop existing when their leader was jailed? Did Christians stop believing when Jesus was crucified? Did African-Americans stop fighting for justice when MLK Jr

Dead/imprisoned leaders become martyrs. As in "energizing the cause". Period.

So why do we keep pretending that we're all getting along? Why pretend that we believe that most Muslims don't have animosity? Why pretend most Christians are loving and forgiving? Face reality.


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