Friday, July 23, 2010

Dancing and Breasts

Don't go dancing in St. Louis, or something:

I could go launch into a rant at this point, as per normal, but really all the things I have to say are either obvious to anyone with a shred of sense or already mentioned in that article. So uh, yeah. That.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Welcome to America

So, I don't know if I mentioned this anywhere, but I am a citizen of the United States. Sometimes, living here makes me weep. I don't hate my country. Quite the contrary. Though things could be better, overall it's taken good care of me. It's not my country that makes me cry. It is the people. Sometimes, my fellow Americans shatter my faith in humanity. Not all of them, just people like:

So for those who haven't been following the news, in an effort to bridge the cultural gap and promote awareness of what sane, rational Muslims are about, a group wishes to build a Mosque (actually it's a 13 story cultural center that contains a Mosque, but the Mosque is the part people are getting worked up over) in New York, a few blocks from the site of the WTC disaster. Some people have reacted . . . poorly. Like Sarah Palin:

I did, I regret to admit, cave and briefly join that Facebook group, in an attempt to engage the members in intelligent debate. I failed. Miserably. I was accused of being a horrible, freedom hating asshole (ironic, since, well, religious freedom is exactly what they were protesting) for daring to disagree, so I quickly left, waited for the notifications to stop, then decided to do something even MORE fruitless: rant about it on my blog.

Specifically, I want to address a few of the most common and most glaringly wrong points that were brought up, both in the description and wall. (This isn't just about that Facebook group, but rather the idea it embodies.The group just lends me a real rather than hypothetical straw man target. I'm not making these arguments up. People actually said them.)

""How can you build a shrine to the very ideology that brought down the World Trade Center?" asked Geller, whose group is planning a June 6 rally to protest the project."

I want to say I'm surprised that people think this, but honestly, I'm not. I really can believe people are that, for lack of less harsh word, ignorant. They are NOT the same ideology. Radical Muslims who want to fly airplanes into buildings are a tiny minority, and do not at all reflect the beliefs of the majority of the other 1.82 billion Muslims in the world any more than Fred Phelps and his psycho followers reflect the beliefs of the majority of Christians. The people building this mosque have no affiliation with the people who committed the atrocity of September 11th, 2001.

"The Qu'ran tells Muslims to kill non believers."

That's a rough paraphrase, because it was said by a dozen different people a dozen different ways. Well, let's see what the Qu'ran does have to say, shall we?

He who takes a single innocent life is as though he had killed all mankind (Qu'ran 5:32)

Yeah. It sure is telling them to kill those dirty non-believers. The prophet Mohammed, like many prophets, actually preached a message of peace and acceptance, quite similar to the message of Jesus, though fanatic Christian anti-Muslims seem to cringe at this idea and rebuke it like a 10th level cleric rebuking ghouls.

I admit I haven't read the entire book cover to cover, so it's possible there are some violent passages in it, but if there are, I'm sure rational, sane Muslims are capable of overlooking them or interpreting them metaphorically rather than literally, just like rational Christians know better than to take word for word things like:

And the LORD our God delivered him before us; and we smote him, and his sons, and all his people. And we took all his cities at that time, and utterly destroyed the men, and the women, and the little ones, of every city, we left none to remain. (Deuteronomy 2:33-34) (That's right, the Bible condones genocide.)

If thou buy an Hebrew servant, six years he shall serve: and in the seventh he shall go out free for nothing. If he came in by himself, he shall go out by himself: if he were married, then his wife shall go out with him. If his master have given him a wife, and she have born him sons or daughters; the wife and her children shall be her master's, and he shall go out by himself. (Exodus 21:1-4) (And slavery too.)

"Not all Muslims are terrorists, but all terrorists are Muslims."

So Timothy McVeigh isn't a terrorist anymore? Not to mention the plethora of non-Muslim insurgent groups around the world. It's not hard to find lists of them, but who can be bothered with such trivial things as "research" and "facts" when you're on a righteous crusade?

Now I sit back and wait for the hate mail and death threats.