Category Archives: Religion

Who Can Never be President (of the United States)

Well, we’re certainly making progress. If by “progress” you mean “a repeat of racist opinions time and again.” When JFK was running for president back in the late 1950’s the thought of the pope calling the shots with a Catholic in the White House was a huge obstacle to the Kennedy campaign.

I need not say much about President Obama’s ‘first African-American in the White House’ as the racist feedback loop, which started at first mention of his run, continues to this day. Conspiracy idiocy such as the Birther Idiocy and the Secret Muslim Drivel abound. Over a quarter of Americans (the shallow end of the gene pool) believe that one.

Now we have surgeon cum wannabe Evangelical Ruler Ben Carson picking up the stinking turdball of racism and xenophobia and trying to move it along with claims that America can’t have a Muslim president. Because the pope’s rule over America in the early 60’s was such a travesty. And the Black Man made a mess of the White (man’s) House.

Christians of different flavors have always been in the White House. Some, like President Lincoln, were cagey about their beliefs. President Jefferson was famous for his literal cutting and pasting of the bible, removing all references to miracles. And Episcopalians, who hie to the Church of England, are in the ranks of American Presidents (most puzzling, that one!).

The rumblings about possibly having a Jewish President (technically, Bernie Sanders is Jewish) hasn’t hit the airwaves, and I predict that even if he’s nominated to run on the Democratic ticket, it won’t be mentioned in polite company. After all, the American Jewish machine has inoculated American society for a massive immune system response to even the appearance of anti-Semitic slurs.

UntitledWhat we need now is a moderate Muslim political organization, one focused on Muslims in America, separate from the politics of the Middle East. Interfaith organizations have had success in building grass-roots connections, but Muslim leaders and, more importantly, Muslim politicians at all levels, must stand up now, make waves, and present the true, peaceful face of Islam, in a true, centuries-old American context, as Jewish Americans have done with increasing success since the founding of America.

Acceptance of the other, and a rejection of xenophobia brings a more honest peace than all the platitudes and treaties in the world. And in what the media have portrayed as an increasingly fractious American religious landscape, it’s worth non-Muslims helping such an organization to develop. And for American Muslims to accept that help, even if it comes from Jewish sources. (After all, Jewish and Muslims have worked well together many times in the past, including at the height of Muslim expansion and the Moorish Empire — sometimes referred to as the true Caliphate.)

Dealing with the Devil: On Deals, Compromises and Hope

It’s been a couple of weeks since the treaty between… well, between Iran and the Western World. And it’s not a done deal yet, nor well appreciated[1][2] (although what could happen if it falls through is not good[1][2][3]).

Things to consider:

  • Countries make treaties with enemies. That way they can, in the future, just be agreements.
  • Iranians want the same material things the West wants. And with materialism, as the extremists in ALL religions say while gesticulating wildly, come “Western ways.” Which translates to a yearning for the freedom to pursue one’s passion.
  • I daresay that the ramblings of the religious in the United States as well as Iran sound amazingly similar.
  • Ten years is a long time. The Middle East has government-level issues that, by then, will make regional supremacy a different issue. Fighting over water, fresh water, will be critical. Israel’s water supply is already tapped. The Mediterranean Sea is nine times saltier than the Atlantic so it’s not a source. Power will be an issue to compensate for a much larger economy, and fortunately, Iran has all the raw material for making nuclear power plants. Which are far more attractive than nuclear weapons for Iran’s GDP, which, now that there looks to be a deal, will be important to them.

Germanwings, Terrorism and God

The crashing of a commercial jet into a mountain apparently by a pilot apparently suffering from depression is, to all but the most depraved, a tragedy. (My thoughts and sympathies go to the families of the victims, and hope they can find peace in the aftermath of their loss.)

Let’s break that down. The fear experienced by the passengers, doomed over the course of eight minutes to believe their fate, is well-described by the word “terror.” For the pilot, who had more than an inkling of what was happening and when, “terror” would be an understatement. But this is not “terrorism” in the sense we use it today. A Patheos piece goes into this in more detail, but it is worth stating plainly: the pain of a person in dire mental distress, and their fear of staying alive one moment longer, and even their fear of dying as the pilot in this case committed self- and mass-murder, is in no way related to terrorism. (Delusionally believing he’d make a mark in history, but not terrrorism.)

Terrorism is the concept of generating fear in others to attain power. To use fear to control the actions (or words) of others. And terrorists are not above using the events of others, or those of random events in nature, to their advantage. Rabbis have used tragedy like the terror attack in Ma’alot in 1974 to prove the results of irreligiousity (in this example, fairly “centrist” Orthodox Jewish leaders). Christians have often called out events as “signs” that people weren’t towing the line they’d drawn: Hurricane Sandy, local tornadoesheck, ANY wind! . Makes me wonder why the Westies are singled out for their acts of idiocy. Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists… everyone’s got the “believe or god will smite you” groove going.

So… every religion has adherents, not always at the extremes, who are terrorists: scaring people into doing what they want or be smote by god in a random meteorological or criminal event.

Somewhere, there’s a crazed religious ‘enthusiast’ counting the number of victims and going through a dog-eared text of their religious persuasion to “prove” that they died because heathens (or co-religionists — it works either way) did something wrong. And, as terrorists wont, using the fear of further violence or mayhem if the world around them doesn’t bend to their delusional ways.