Let me begin this entry with two ideas. First, the idea that this is not designed to give you, the reader, any conclusion on the topic. I am challenging you all to clearly express your positions and reasonings. Second, I cannot overstress the Stockholm Syndrome
. It is a key principle that gets very overlooked in popular thought today.
To begin, I was contemplating the idea that maybe I am not 'tolerant' enough for American society. So, I am fair. I am not afraid to examine any issue from all sides. Religion in America has become a nearly fanatical conflict with no sides truly clearly defined. Most of the arguments come over the principle of Separation of Church and State
. This principle won't be found in any of the founding documents, nor the Bill of Rights, nor any legislature. It was a promise Jefferson made to a Baptist church in 1802. The reason Jefferson choose the expression "separation of church and state" was because he was addressing a Baptist congregation; a denomination of which he was not a member. Jefferson wanted to remove all fears that the state would make dictates to the church.
Jefferson was promising the Church that her would protect it
from the government, not vice versa. The term and its reach have been well taken out of context and expanded to meet the needs of many an activist. It has mutated into Separation of Church FROM State really. But let's examine it's orthopraxy.
Every year, around Xmas (yes, on purpose), the news is rife with new stories on how someone discovered a 75 year old statue that now signals the impending doom of state-sanctioned christianity. Why? What happened to the freedom afforded us in the Bill of Rights
to practice our religions freely? Why is it just anti-Christian sentiment? When was the last time you heard of someone demanding a Star of David removed, or some New Age symbol of Paganism? Please don't misunderstand, I am not being biased. This is not a statement on the oppressed Christians in America, but America was
founded on Christianity so there are bound to be historical landmarks and sites littering the landscape. There are tons in Europe and no one complains, they call it heritage and culture there.
What makes a religion, and are all religions good / bad? Religion
is at its essence a belief accompanied by practices. So where do we draw the line? In this story, this groups religion
includes practices illegal in all states. So, do we not tolerate religions that violate laws? Do you evaluate it by how heinous the broken law is? I find it interesting also as aside note, that the terms Satanic and Cult are used to describe this group's religion. These two words easily craete a knee-jerk reaction, a negative emotional response before we even think of it rationally. How about this for PC....non-Jesus based small sect.
There was another famous 'cult' in recent hostory called 'Heaven's Gate
' in which all the members peascefully dressed up, killed themselves, and rendezvoused with the comet-following mothership. They broke no laws nor hurt anyone, but met with much disdain and ridicule. Why were they a cult? What is the difference between a cult and religion? Is it subjective? If not, what is the standard?
Some Native Americans practice religions that involve the use of peyote and mushrooms in an effort to commune with the Great Spirit. Because of prevailing drug laws, many of these faithful are forced underground or have their churches destroyed completely.
So what if you had a group that claimed to recognize a supreme being that communicated directly with humans to produce literature. A group that travels to worship a big rock. A group that kills people in the supreme being's name. A group that institutionalized misogyny
. So far, this group sounds much more unbearable than a bunch of computer geeks that put on their new nikes and laid peacefully down under their purple blankets for the ultimate mothership teleport. How many murders have been committed by this group this very day? Just view any news channel, website, or newspaper and you will see the effects of this group of which I speak. I am sure by now you guessed it is Islam.
But I am told they need understanding and compassion rather than rejection and elimination. We Americans couldn't bear the Waco
clan having weapons. That American intolerance was shown in the deadly raid on the compound by the ATF. But when loudly proudly proclaimed-muslims flew jetliners into the Pentagon and World Trade Center, we were initially outraged, though the cries to understand the terrorists came eerily too soon. Not long after, news stories of people demanding tolerance and understanding for muslims and respect for Islam came. We didn't even have all our dead extracted from the rubble when we as a media-fueled nation became concerned with the civil rights of the ilk that perpetrated such unthinkable acta. Stockholm Syndrome.
Why is it that we are told to be tolerant, sensitive, understanding, and compassionate toward a culture and religion that embodies everything Americans have fought for decades to overcome? What are the rights of women in muslim society? What about the notion of equality? Civil rights for homosexuals? How successful are their societies as a whole? Muslim cultures propagate intolerance towards any non-muslim. We are infidels that need converted or destroyed, says the Koran. It is a peaceful religion, we are told, that happens to be in violent bloody conflict with every neighbor it borders, and even within its own confines. Environmentalism isn't even a concept in these cultures. The countryside is frequently covered in rubbish here in Iraq. Factories spew out uncatalyzed sulfur fumes from brick factories nearby. The land is desolate, even in areas where it should be fertile, because of agricultural mismanagement. Muslim culture is decidedly unamerican and we are told to support it through tolerance. Would it be unreasonable for a doctor to ask a patient to tolerate a cancerous tumor on their neck? Ridiculous. Then why should Americans be expected to tolerate the blight of anti-American sentiment and culture on the face of the world? Tolerance has allowed it to spread to civilized countries. Research Sweden's view of the muslim influx it now suffers from. There is a common thread that should not be ignored or tolerated any longer.
I say if we Americans and citizens of the other civilized countries are involved in the reconstruction of the Middle Eeast, we must demand that human rights be safe guarded and cultural changes be made to protect the indigenous. Otherwise, we just strengthen the monster.