So why is it that one religious group can hate and fear another group so badly? It isn't a new phenomenon. The Romans persecuted the Jews. Christians conducted the Crusades.
So the claim that Muslims are out to destroy Christians is just a continuation of a very old story.
It is said that the most horrific acts in history have been done in the name of "God".
I just don't get it. Well I do really; because none of this " God" fiction is real, so it makes humans that believe that God is real, crazy.
If you follow my blog you know that I don't believe in a "God" – at least the “god” that is talked about among most major organized religions. I just have too many questions for which there are no good answers. First and foremost, why would an all powerful being inflict so much pain and suffering on his people, especially the poor and downtrodden? Perhaps there is a larger force at work. I admit I do not have the answers but it seems to me that the stories of "Jesus" are really no different than those of Mercury, Venus or Zues.
I am in wonder of the majesty of nature and our universe. I also agree with the Dalai Lama:
"I believe that the very purpose of our life is to seek happiness. That is clear. Whether one believes in religion or not, whether one believes in this religion or that religion, we all are seeking something better in life. So, I think, the very motion of our life is towards happiness...."
While I have my own issues with organized religions, I believe strongly that everyone should be entitled to practice whatever religion they choose. Religion can be good. It provides comfort to millions. And the basic ideals of sacrifice and humility are valuable lessons for us all. So I just get so confused at the amount of time one religious group spends in seeking to defame and destroy another.
It seems straight forward to me - this country was founded on Freedom of Religion. The pilgrims fled Europe because they were being persecuted for the way they worship-- and now here we are doing the same to other Americans. Either we are a country that believes in Freedom of Religion and Freedom of Speech or we are not. If we live up to what we proclaim, then there are no grounds to deny the building of a Muslim Community Center anywhere in this country.
It must be an election year because Republicans are once again rolling out September 11 as a wedge issue. You know, because they care about honoring the fallen - when it helps them politically.
If we take Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck and Newt Gingrich at their word, their objection to the proposed community center two blocks north of Ground Zero is that the entire area is hallowed ground, and a Muslim facility so close to the site is an insult to the victims and heroes of September 11.
Of course this is entirely about stirring up anti-Muslim fear and demagoguery to score political points. It is a cheap and obvious exploitation of the widespread American prejudice that anyone who happens to be a Muslim is equally as guilty and offensive as the terrorists who hijacked and crashed two airplanes into the World Trade Center towers. Timothy McVeigh was raised as a Christian ... why not ban all Churches in Oklahoma City then? Or should we outlaw Catholic churches in light of all the sex abuse cases of priests molesting choir boys?
This theocratic mindset is dangerous. What this theocratic mindset illustrates is how actions are perceived depending on who is doing them. When a Conservative has extra-marital sex, they are a good person doing a bad thing. When a liberal is faithful to their spouse, they are a bad person doing a good thing. The default is that Christians are fundamentally good, but they sometimes do bad things, like murder gay people. Non-Christians are fundamentally bad, but they sometimes do good things, like allow Christians to discriminate against Muslims. Theocrats always know who the evil doers are - the ones for whom laws are made for - everyone except themselves.
This all comes down to persecution. One religious group persecuting another and if you don't practice a religion, they all persecute you. Ultimately if you are in a religion it is as if you are in a gang and your allegiance is with that gang and its rules. You must join the “gang” or be persecuted. Once you are a member of a religion (the gang) your allegiance is with that gang and its rules. Worse still, when the rules of the gang contradict the rules of the government - like it does here- you are asked to choose the rules of the gang or else.
There should be no question what to do but laws are blatantly ignored. That has been the problem throughout history – it is what religion has always done – and is why religion has no place in our government.
What are others saying?
- Ted Olson, former George W. Bush solicitor general, attorney behind the case against California's gay marriage ban, and husband of a woman who died aboard the plane that crashed into the Pentagon on 9/11, said Wednesday that President Obama was right about his analysis of the "Ground Zero Mosque" as a constitutional right protected by the First Amendment.
- Peter Beinart writes: "Yesterday, I wrote about what the "Ground Zero" mosque disaster reveals about the Republican Party. In short, it reveals that the Bush administration was a false dawn. Bush, for all his flaws, believed that the GOP should be a universalistic party based on traditional values, a big tent for “faith-based" conservatives of all races and creeds: Muslims, Hispanics, Mormons, African-Americans, whatever. Now it is clear that the post-Bush GOP is a far nastier creature: A party seething with hatred towards vulnerable religious and ethnic groups."
- Robert Creamer writes: "Every time a Republican 'leader' attacks the notion that a mosque be built two blocks from Ground Zero, they legitimate the claims of Bin Laden to young impressionable Muslims across the world.
- Donna Marsh O'Connor writes: "Why would we support a mosque at Ground Zero, particularly when there are many families who say it pains them? And, too, because we know it really does. We are all, 9/11 families in pain. We do it because it's American."
- Carla Seaquist writes: "Let's face the fact: What does it mean to assert that a mosque "desecrates" hallowed ground? It means that the desecrating being done is by people who are evil, unclean. And that is wrong, wrong, wrong."
- A group of conservative GOP Muslim and Arab American officials: In a letter to Republican leaders, the group of authors criticized members of the party for abandoning the principle of tolerance that has defined the GOP from Lincoln to Bush. In the process, the authors -- who include former Bush administration official Randa Fahmy Hudome and former Reagan administration official and prominent D.C.-based lawyer George Salem, as well as David Ramadan, who worked on both of George W. Bush's campaigns -- make similar philosophical and substantive arguments as other defenders of the proposed Cordoba House.
Next month, Fischer will be going big-time: He is listed as a "confirmed speaker" at the Family Research Council’s Values Voter Summit (the AFA is an event sponsor), which is scheduled for September 17-19 at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, D.C. Other confirmed speakers include Mitt Romney, Michele Bachmann, Rep. Mike Pence, and Mike Huckabee. It will be interesting to see what kind of reception he gets from the crowd if he goes full-bore Islamophobic. My guess is somewhere between shock and awe.
So let’s look into that idea that Christianity is a “better” religion.
We don't actually know what Jesus preached about anything (or even if there was an actual Jesus who bore any similarity to the legendary one). I'm not saying he didn't exist, but there certainly are no historical records proving his existence. And the words he supposedly said were not written down until 150 to 400 years after his supposed death, meaning multiple generations lived and died before Jesus' words transitioned from oral tradition to written gospels.
And, for what it's worth, the Koran is an often self-contradictory document, much like our Bible. You can find what you want in it. For every avocation of murder of the unbelievers (we have similar passages in the Bible) there are appeals for peace and tolerance. It's no more right to cherry pick the Koran that to cherry pick from Biblical passages.
So let's look at some "peaceful" Bible passages:
"'If anyone curses his father or mother, he must be put to death. He has cursed his father or his mother, and his blood will be on his own head."
Whoever sacrifices to any god other than the LORD must be destroyed.
“If thy brother, the son of thy mother, or thy son, or thy daughter, or the wife of thy bosom, or thy friend, which is of thine own soul, entice thee secretly, saying, Let us go and serve other gods, which thou hast not known, thou, nor thy fathers; Thou shalt not consent unto him, nor hearken unto him; neither shall thine eye pity him, neither shalt thou spare, neither shalt thou conceal him: But thou shalt surely kill him; thine hand shall be first upon him to put him to death, and afterwards the hand of all the people. Thou shalt stone him with stones, that he die; because he hath sought to thrust thee away from the Lord thy God.
"Anyone who blasphemes the name of the LORD must be put to death. The entire assembly must stone him. Whether an alien or native-born, when he blasphemes the Name, he must be put to death."
"And it shall come to pass, that every soul, which will not hear the prophet, shall be destroyed."
All who would not seek the LORD, the God of Israel, were to be put to death, whether small or great, man or woman.I don't believe that most Christians are bad or evil. Nor do I believe that these passages were meant to promote hate and fear. But why are so many so quick to condemn Muslims?
Hate and fear are divisive. The politics of using divisive issues to whip up your base is like smoking around a powder keg. We are all at risk!
Robert Creamer sums it up nicely.
It is also obvious that this is yet one more in a string of attempts by mainstream Republican leaders to win elections by dividing Americans against each other. The attack on Democrats who support the right of Muslim Americans to build a place of worship two blocks from Ground Zero in New York lies squarely in the tradition of the Republican "southern strategy" that fanned the fires of racial resentment and scapegoated black "welfare queens." And of course it's hot on the heels of Republican attempts to whip up fear of gay Americans and their right to marry, or depicting Latino Americans as encouraging pregnant Hispanic mothers to sneak across the border in order to "drop anchor babies" to guarantee American citizenship.
One big difference: All Muslims did not attack the United States that September day. A small group of radical Muslim terrorists attacked the United States. And they attacked all Americans -- including Muslim Americans -- many of whom died at Ground Zero. Chicago's Irish-American Mayor Daley was infuriated when a bunch of young "patriots" marched on a Chicago-area mosque after 9/11. He put it clearly when he said, does it make everyone who is Irish a terrorists because of the IRA?America was founded on the concept of Freedom of Religion. If you are a Christian you should stand up for the rights of religious Muslims to build their own house of worship. Freedom only works if we are all free. Don't let hate and fear win out.