Monday, July 25, 2005

A Rose by Any Other Name...

...would smell just as fucking bugshit.
“…We call you to be a people of manners, principles, honor, and purity; to reject the immoral acts of fornication, homosexuality, intoxicants, gambling… You separate religion from your policies, contradicting the pure nature which affirms Absolute Authority to the Lord and your Creator… You are a nation that permits acts of immorality, and you consider them to be pillars of personal freedom…”

The above sounds like it could be a stern chastising from the “Family Resource Center”, the “American Family Association” or some other conservative Christian website doesn’t it? In actuality it is an excerpt from a “Letter to the American People”. It was penned by Osama Bin Laden.

I find it sadly amusing that the Bushie’s core “support group” the Religious Right and their biggest bugbear Islamist Terrorists, are at the deepest level about as different as night and later that night. When you get right down to the crux of the biscuit as Frank Zappa once said, the only real deal breaker between these two camps is that they each worship a different Invisible Father Figure in the Sky. (Hereafter referred to as IFFS)

I can already feel any Christians who might happen upon this post cringing. How dare I equate those murderous heathen bastards with honest, IFFS-fearin’ folk here in the good ol’ U.S. of A.? I would retort with a question of my own: How can you not see the similarity? Extremism is extremism.

You both yearn for a theocracy. In this country the movement is much more subtle and insidious; rather than Bin Laden’s outright demand for such, we have the Dominionists and calls for an amendment to the Constitution to define marriage in a biblical way. The Founding Fathers may in fact have based the American system of law and justice “on the Judeo-Christian ethic”, but they also knew that in a truly free society religion and politics simply can’t mix. You take the logical, broad generalizations (Hmm, right to exist… yeah that makes sense… let’s say murder is illegal) and make them into laws. You leave the subjective, the outdated, and the just plain silly (Hey, that whole thing about not suffering witches to live… if we regulate them then we have to regulate werewolves, vampires and the boogey man) right where it belongs… between you and your IFFS.

You just can’t legislate morality. It is by its very nature your personal sense of right and wrong. As such it won’t work for everyone. Saying that it is wrong to kill someone seems like it should be common sense and really has nothing to do with religion. Trying to make it patently illegal for two consenting adults to marry one another has everything to do with religion, and has no place in law. Legalizing murder could definitely affect you personally. Gay marriage won’t.

Speaking of killing, that’s where you Christian fundamentalists think you have me. We didn’t fly those planes into the World Trade Center you say. We aren’t murderers. Tell that to the victims of the Oklahoma City bombing. Timothy McVeigh considered himself a Catholic. A lapsed Catholic to be sure, and I know born again Christians think of Catholicism as the retarded uncle you hope doesn’t come to Sunday dinner, but you both worship the same IFFS. You both arrogantly believe that you’ve cornered the market on the will of the One True God and that those who don’t believe as you do are damned. Tell it to the doctors who have been murdered for performing legal abortions. Tell them that your God is the God of love.

If the situation were reversed, if we were a third-world Christian dictatorship and there was an Islamic economic superpower that we felt were debauched, corrupt and bent on world domination, how long do you really think it would be before a radical minority declared a Jesus-had against the Muslim infidels and started blowing shit up? True, we probably wouldn’t go the suicide bomber route, as our IFFS says that’s a sin. But so is killing, and humans have never had a problem with the hypocrisy of killing in the name of God.

Just so we’re clear, I am in no way trying to justify acts of terrorism. I’m not saying I sympathize with Al Qaeda or understand their motives. What I am saying is that trying to run this insane science fair project we call the earth based on any book, or any God just isn’t going to work. It’s ignorant and arrogant to think differently. As the cliché goes, more people have died in the name of God than for any other reason. If the governments of the world really care about people and value human life, maybe they should declare a War on Religion.


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