Royally Kranked

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

I haven't kept up with the stories of Muslim riots over the inflammatory cartoons that are so antagonizing them, and one reason is that I don't know enough about Islam to speak authoritatively about it


But this is one of those exceptions

There's no way to put this gently

No peaceful religion is worth killing for

No cartoons are worth killing for

No cartoons are worth damaging property & rioting over


And there's an absolute first rate posting about it that deserves to be read by as many people as possible, preferably those whose faiths are being smeared and given black eyes here by the most extreme of their adherents

Laugh Riot

In addition to killing people, the demonstrators also expressed their reverence for Allah by burning down a KFC, a couple of movie theatres, and a bus station run by a South Korean company, and trashing a couple of cell phone companies’ offices. An excellent rebuttal to the message implied by the now-famous but largely unseen Mohammed-bomb drawing, that Muslims are violent.

Of course, the common perception that these raging throngs and their poorly translated banners represent most Muslims is false. It looks like a lot of people on TV, but 99 times as many Muslims are at home scratching their heads. Despite the drumbeat rhetoric of nearly every conservative this week, the large majority of Muslims are just trying to get along like anyone else. They observe their religion, like a lot of Christians, in a somewhat half-assed manner. They don’t want to kill anyone, and think, like the rest of us, that these guys running around burning effigies of Danish politicians are just nuts.

And that's one of the things riling me up about this, the fact there will be so many in this country who push the whole religion of Islam as one that won't advance peacefully, but requires blood from heretics & unbelievers to fuel it's rapacious expansion

Islam is no more or less bloodthisty than Christianity at it's base, and neither are more pacifistic as practiced by their pilgrims than the other

But really, there's no excuse for killing in the name of one's supposedly "peace loving faith"

I respect any person’s right to think insane thoughts, but not to commit insane acts. Fantasize about shooting up your workplace all you want, but if you bring a Glock to work, here’s hoping the security guard takes you down first. The people burning embassies, and those offering money for the murder of cartoonists, deserve no respect at all.

Not a single bit of respect in the least

And part of a superbly written finish-hard edged, but I agree with every single word written here

Freedom of speech is not a guideline or a suggestion. It is not the freedom to say things that don’t upset people—there’s no need for a constitutional amendment ensuring that. It is nothing less than the freedom to be arrogant, disrespectful assholes, or it isn’t anything at all. Suggesting that the press shares blame in this is self-castrating cowardice, or at best a reflexive reaction to the Right’s sudden embrace of the first amendment. To make the obvious comparison yet again, if Pat Robertson’s followers were destroying property and advocating the assassination of cartoonists over some similar disparagement of Jesus, I doubt that the Nation’s editors would be so understanding.

We don’t need to be more sensitive to their culture, not this time. Freedom of expression is so clearly a better value than faith-based murder that there’s no debate to be had about it. There are legitimate responses to the offense—peaceful demonstrations, for instance, or boycotts. When Tom Toles ran a great cartoon a couple of weeks ago involving a limbless vet in a hospital being attended by "Dr. Rumsfeld," he offended the Joint Chiefs of Staff. They wrote a letter. And yes, even the holocaust cartoon contest the Iranian paper Hamshahri is running is an acceptable form of protest. But for crying out loud, you can’t excuse encouraging murder. Asinine religious crap is asinine religious crap, no matter which culture excretes it. Murderous fanatics are to be ridiculed, shamed and subdued—not consoled.

Scorn, mockery & ridicule are, indeed, the ONLY appropriate responses to those who kill, riot & destroy in the name of their peaceful religion, be they Jew, Muslim or Christian

But there's also a flip side to this issue, the side that doesn't get reported as often as possible, those whose religious faith & beliefs-atheistic or secular-push them to work tirelessly to truly relieve suffering in the world

I wrote about this at one of my favorite playgrounds, the CTV forums, and it fits in perfectly here

While I bash the extremist's that I feel are calling the shots at the national level for the GOP, and that will NOT stop, I don't praise or mention those whose faith leads them to try and make the world a truly better place anywhere near enough

I've even posted this type of message before, and I have to take to heart my own statement that

"The worst do NOT speak for the rest or even a majority when it comes to religion"

It's so easy to forget that point when opinions get heated over politics & religion

Perfect example here

The Catholic Church scandals

As far as I'm concerned-and I speak as someone who did the readings at my church on Saturday Night mass for years-it's absolutely unconscionable to not only allow pedophile priests to serve mass, but it's even more appalling when the leadership then tries to cover it up by reassigning these priests to other dioceses without a clear "heads up" about who's coming their way

I think the Church has earned every bit of scorn for how it's handled this scandal, and how it's pushing a very extreme agenda-especially in terms of vilifying homosexuals

That said however

There's no getting around the fact that the Catholic Church is also the LARGEST Non-Governmental agency in terms of social services for the poor, and the people they help are growing in number

And the fact that donations have dropped to the worthwhile aspects of the Catholic Church is truly sad at a time when more people than ever need their services

Yet another aspect of the Church that could DEFINITELY use all the help it can get is The Covenant House, a group dedicated to helping out children living on the streets with no questions asked or judgements rendered

I know about this group personally as I tried to join them way back in 1986

I saw myself just how hard those people work to serve some of the neediest people around, and since the great majority of those helpers do it with no paycheck in return, it's obvious their hearts move them to try and bring about positive changes in the lives of those at the very bottom of our society

When Father Bruce Ritter-the founder of CH-was found to have embezzled CH money and, even worse, preyed upon the very children he said he wanted to help, it was a crushing blow-I was angry at being duped, and was even angrier at what such transgressions would do to a GREAT cause & group of people, both the helpers & the helped

Thankfully, CH weathered the storm and is now stronger than ever

It would have been so easy for the rank & file of the CH to give up and go home

But they didn't

Their faiths, their beliefs required them to keep up the good fight for those who had no one else to turn to

It's this faith, this belief, that we in general-and myself in particular-either take for granted or refuse to acknowledge as the positive social force it really is

And that zeal to do good for those who need it the most is constant, with far more adherents & believers trying to make the world a truly better place than there are trying to set an extreme, power-driven agenda that enriches themselves materially & politically

It's these people who should get MUCH more praise & publicity, those whose beliefs require them to push for a greater good society where there's as little poverty or misery as possible

So, while I will continue to bash away on those I feel are completely antithetical to their stated beliefs-and I will continue to bash HARD-I'll try to make more of an effort to point out the good that so often goes overlooked at the real-life level


  • Why can't you be the crankking of all media? If all news had the passion and perception that you'd do, I dare say that Dubya wouldn't have won a second term and there'd be a whole lot less death in the world......

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:42 AM  

  • I am SO blushing right now

    Thank You indeed for the VERY kind words

    By Blogger KingCranky II, at 5:57 PM  

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