Condoning Religious Extremism

An acquaintance on social media posted the following: “If you believe your religion is worth killing for I’d like to suggest you start with yourself!
How many bombings, be-headings and shootings do we have to put up with to realize religious extremism is really the problem? And No I’m not just talking about one particular religion, I’m talking about all religions.”

The argument I always hear about this is “those are just radicals, extremists”. My answer to this comment is that as a supporter of your religion, you are guilty of condoning these actions simply by belonging to this same religion. And of course, your ‘good book’ tells you how to subjugate women, beat your kids and slaves, and kill your enemies. So, if your book tells you how to do this, you’re not a ‘better’ person just because you decide to ignore your book.

Listen to us please

The tragedy in Manchester yesterday was a strategy explicitly targeting an audience filled with girls. Disenfranchised young men enabled by misogyny and toxic masculinity are being recruited by radical extremists who see it as their calling to rein in females and put us in our place. It’s also pertinent to note that the entertainer (Grande) has a large gay following. There is little doubt that misogyny and homophobia were two of the reasons behind this attack. The talking heads seem to be missing this.

Attempts to address the threats represented by all kinds of extremist violence, including white-christian-male-supremacist violence in the US, fall on deaf ears. Just like our outrage about pussy-grabbing, we are dismissed as being overly sensitive and alarmist in our concerns.

 

The internet is full of people offering prayers (the least effective thing one can do) and posting memes. To these people, only their religion matters, and they are blind to the fact that not everyone shares their views. Personally, I reply to their posts that the people affected by this shocking act of violence are in my thoughts and their fate weighs heavy on my heart. I end my comments by saying that our leaders must be vigilant in bringing these extremists to justice, and we must not be distracted by anyone attempting to call on a deity that believers insist can intervene after the fact, yet did nothing to prevent it.

When the privileged feel threatened

I submitted this letter to the editor yesterday (once I calmed down enough to write it).

My response to the letter “Christians are stopped from serving the Lord”.

Dear Editor,
I read this letter today and immediately knew I had to respond. I am human, so please understand when I tell you this hurt me. Deeply. Let’s get something straight. Christians are not being “stopped from serving the lord” as they please. I think what the writer actually means is that she feels threatened.
For much of our history America has been dominated by Christianity. Everywhere you turn there are symbols of the Christian faith. Christian churches are in every community in America. Hospitals funded by Christian organizations provide health care in every state. Schools and Universities named for Christian leaders teach America’s youth. Americans are free to wear symbols of their faith on chains around their necks and on their clothing. They can read religious books in public, and say grace openly in restaurants.
I never hear my Jewish and Muslim friends complain that they are unable to worship as they please in our country. I wonder why that is, especially since throughout history they have been victimized, tortured and killed (by Christians) for merely existing, much less practicing their faith.
Because others are using their voice to assert themselves in our culture, Christians are feeling offended. I think they have confused the rights of others with their own. In America, you can have an abortion or marry a same-sex partner if you want to, because it is legal to do so. If you don’t believe in abortion, then don’t have one. If you don’t want to marry someone of the same sex, you don’t have to. No one is forcing Christians to have abortions or get ‘gay married’. But, you do not have the right to tell others they cannot.
What happens when privilege is threatened? Remember what the wealthy plantation owners did when they faced losing all that free slave labor? Remember what kings and queens throughout history did to people who opposed them? Remember lynching in the south during the Jim Crow era? These kinds of things occurred because a class of privileged people felt threatened.
Since today is Sunday I assume many of you are worshiping in the church of your choosing, praying to the god you believe in, wearing the clothing you selected from your closet which I assume you bought with your hard-earned money. That is your right. But you don’t get to tell the rest of us that we must do the same, because hooray, we’re in America.

Oh ye that deny them an education

biblequran

Patty Kinkead pulled her kid out of the Bristol Tennessee school system, and now she is organizing a rally protesting some history of Islam that is being taught as part of a world history class. Mrs. Kinkead, you have no dog in this hunt. Shit stirrers, lick your spoons.

Denying students – ALL students, not just the ones with Christian mommies or daddies, the right to an unbiased yet factual education is just wrong. This form of Christian idiocy is dangerous in its ignorance. Don’t we all want our kids to have more, be more, than ourselves? Why do these people think that eliminating a part of world history (or science, literature and art) is in a child’s best interest? In reality this sets their little darlings up for tremendous failure once they reach the “real world”.  I understand this all too well, because I lived it.

As a child growing up in the seventies and early eighties, the importance of an education was never discussed. There were no conversations about what I wanted to be when I grew up and left to seek my own way in the world. Frankly, I don’t believe my parents thought I would ever venture too far from them.  In blissfully ignorant fashion, I had no thoughts or experiences beyond the edge of my yard, the boundaries of our church doors. Had emphasis and encouragement been placed on education my life’s path would have been very different. But I did not know that at the time. What I did know was my religion.

Now by way of a woefully lacking, piecemeal, take what knowledge and experience you can from any source you can self-education, I recognize that same dogma as it rears its bigoted head on an almost daily basis. It tries to let out a roar, but thankfully it comes across as more of a mewing sound, not quite faint enough to be ignored completely but still loud enough to be annoying. And it is. To those of us who might be labeled as progressives but instead simply see ourselves as part of the human family, we try to shrug off this uncomfortably binding shroud of ignorance and intolerance, for we know that unless we do, we will not survive as a species.

The Christian attitude that they are the only ones who matter is just one of the many reasons I have no use for organized religions. I can be a stupid bigot without giving God the credit, or the blame, for it. I just have chosen not to.

Students to learn about Islam in Tennessee

“This is the radical transformation of our lives and language.”

The quote in the title (above) is by a woman named Julie West, who has two children at the University Tennessee – where apparently “they are willing to sacrifice anything for the sake of gender inclusivity”. It’s because of this Franklin Graham has his tightie-whities in a wad.

According to the University of Tennessee – Knoxville’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion, educators are concerned that students might be offended by the usage of traditional pronouns like she, he, him and hers. “There are dozens of gender-neutral pronouns,” said Donna Braquet, Director of the university’s Pride Center. She suggests using a variety of gender neutral pronouns instead of traditional pronouns.

Here is what makes people like Old Franklin so dangerous. He writes that “secularists and progressives are pushing their godless agenda into our education system and corporate America”. As opposed to what Mr. Graham? Biblical teachings? We have a little thing called Separation of Church and State, so unless you own this university and fund it privately, I’d suggest you stop talking. Oh and yes, there is a gender neutral word for idiot. The word is “intolerant”.

I have a suggestion for you Mr. Graham. Why don’t you spend your time and energy feeding the hungry children or housing the homeless in Tennessee, instead of blithering away on a topic about which you are ill-informed? Your bigotry shines through, as always. Do something productive or, just sit quietly while the rest of the world seeks progress and inclusion.

pronouns

source

The Anointed One?

Think about this – if god had wanted this man to be president, wouldn’t he have been born in America? Cruz is not eligible to be president because he was not born here. Unlike all those “anchor babies” the repubs are foaming at the mouth to deport. And maybe Adar/Jalaal/Mustapha feel that THEIR god wants them to be president too.

  • Adar/Addar~ M-Syrian = prince, ruler, H = noble, exalted
  • Jalaal (jah-lahl)~ M = grandeur, greatness, eminence, glory, majesty
  • Mustapha/Mustafa~ M = chosen one, selected one
  • Ted ~ In French the meaning of the name Ted is: Prosperous protector. English name Eadmund, meaning rich or happy, and protection. In American the meaning of the name Ted is: Prosperous protector. In English the meaning of the name Ted is: Wealthy guardian. Also a diminutive of Edgar: Fortunate and powerful. People with this name have a deep inner desire for travel and adventure, and want to set their own pace in life without being governed by tradition. People with this name tend to be idealistic, highly imaginative, intuitive, and spiritual. They seek after spiritual truth and often find it. They tend to be visionary and may inspire others. If they fail to develop their potential, they may become dreamers, or misuse power.

Speak to me?

How is it that I, as a non-believer, can have good things happen in my life without believing in a higher power? Should this be enough for a believer to realize that he/she is not special/blessed/privileged/chosen? Bad things happen to good people – Christian, Jew, Hindu and Muslim. Likewise good things will happen to those same people. Life is chance, happenstance. No divine being required.

Why is it that god only speaks to believers? I can hear the answers ringing in my head as I type this. “We are his chosen. Why would he speak to someone who doesn’t believe he even exists”?

What about those people who claim god speaks through them? Wow. Really? Full of yourself much? I would think that if a deity had a message for all of mankind, then he/she/it would commandeer the radio waves and Fox News. Move over Megyn Kelly, god needs to speak to his/her/its target audience. No burning bush in this century! Hmmm, what’s that? Right…the internet group Anonymous and those pesky hackers from China can do that. No, a supreme being needs something big – BIGGER!

Wait, I’ve got it! I know what he/she/it can use to speak to the world.

A book.