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Wednesday, February 11, 2015
Oh, My Dog
Barack just can't catch a break.
(ask Mrs. Tillman)
Again with the Faux Persecutory fantasizing.(please see Matthew 7:3-5, which is what the President said, in a nutshell)
The Right has this terribly annoying habit of Projecting their own secret desires onto whomever the Mothership has identified as the Enemy Du Jour.
The heart of the First Amendment is that they have the Right to believe in whatever kookery they like, but not that they can force the rest of us into their feverish terrorworld.
I once joked that the Eleventh Commandment is “Thou shalt not criticize Israel”.
Perhaps we should add a twelfth:”Thou shall not criticize Christianity(as defined and practiced by the Back to the Cave Crowd)”....because Christianity is so obviously on the ropes in America...I mean in spite of the church on every other corner(at one time, we counted 23 in this tiny town alone, although that number fluctuates, and is currently down to historical mean)...in spite of the gigantic crosses on hill tops(the one in Kerrville, Texas, is almost frightening...looming over the former artsy fartsy enclave of Hippies(http://www.thecrossatkerrville.org/))...and in spite of being forever confronted by people randomly praying( at bookstores, no less). Yup...the lions must be right around the corner.
But we let them do this.
I'm throwing into my virtual cauldron the recent report by my kids: a lot of people say “Oh, My God!”, or “Oh, My Gosh!”, or “OMG!” when surprised or even mildly shocked.
There are, apparently, several kids at school(one is a Preacher's son) who have taken it upon themselves to attempt to police such exclamations.
“You must not take the Lord's name in vain!”
That is, of course, their Right, to hold such views...and even to express them.
However, it is also the Right of whomever is standing nearby, whether the target of such outbursts or not, to challenge the Scolds.
They can exclamate all they want(within reason), but they cannot disrupt...any more than I could do, hollering about the Goddess...
Of course, such Humanistic and thoroughly American things don't happen.
The Scolds are tacitly obeyed.(think what would ensue, if I directed my kids to spread the Good News of...say...Karl Marx...or Bill Moyers...to their friends and classmates.)
This is part of a larger trend in America.
I recently read an article...(http://www.salon.com/2015/02/05/conservatives_are_such_crybabies_whether_fox_news_or_angry_police_exaggerated_whining_is_always_the_first_move/) ...about the Righty penchant for throwing Hissy Fits. The article goes on at length about the effects of these Hissy Fits in stifling Free Expression and the Promulgation of Ideas that the Right doesn't like.
It's like being chained to a bully.
It is a form of Ad Hominem...mixed with Shunning, Shaming and Punitive Alienation....as well as a generous proportion of simply shouting one's opponents down.
I cannot stress enough how Unamerican this is, in my studied and considered view.
It puts the decision of large and important issues that effect all of us into the sole possession of one faction of the Demos, and one faction ONLY!
The Righty Fantasy of a Unified America...made manifest(Maranatha!) by simply Excluding all those who don't adhere to the prescribed Narrow World View. (“They ain't “REAL” Amercuns!”.)...
This should be the topic of conversation and outrage in every home and coffeehouse and beerjoint in the land, that isn't already a part of this Totalitarian tendency—this frikking cult!
TINA-- that whole my-way-or-the-highway,end-of-history,tendency to Universalise the Norms of Literalism-- went from Religion to Economics to Politics and is now making sorties on Society, itself.
Under the cover of “Christian”, they are infiltrating nearly every sector of Our Civilisation.
(if I were a Christian, I'd be pissed at such a usurpation)
We are NOT...and have NEVER BEEN...a “Christian Nation”.
There is simply no...ZERO....Evidence to back that up.
We are, instead, a nation that includes a lot of Christians...who are Equal to Everyone Else.
Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus in all their variety,Atheists, Agnostics and Pagans, and a hundred Other admixtures and inflorations of the above and all other manner of varieties of systems for comprehending the divine and the awesome, and our place within, or along side, it.
Our governments are wisely forbidden from weighing in on such issues...perhaps not enough so.
It does not diminish me, that the falling-down church on the corner has their own form of worship.
Instead, it enriches me...until, and unless, they attempt to impose their Faith upon me and mine.
Then, I will holler at them...and about them.
This is not “hating Christianity”...nor is it in any way, shape or form, “Persecuting” Christians.
It is simply a reminder that I, too, am a part of this world....and that the world does not belong exclusively to them.
What the President said was entirely factual, and it was entirely relevant to the world, today.
The shameful malapropisms and allusions to a new Crusade on the Right since 9-11...the broad brush of “terrist” and “a violent religion” directed at Islam as a whole...the ignorant spectacles of Koran burning and crazy obstruction of Mosque-building...all of the hysteria, and traveling panels of “experts on Islam”(even here, in the wilderness), the whole industry of Islamaphobia...
all of it should be beneath us.
But there it is...
But let a President inform us of the obvious fact that Islam has no monopoly on violent extremism, and the nutters erupt in frothing outrage.
And, again, we let them erupt, all but unchallenged.
There are, of course, plenty of rebuttals and refutations, all over the web; I doubt that the same can be said of the coffee shop, the beer joint, or the feedstore.
Either from an aversion to often pointless conflict, or from simple fear of bullies, this leaves only one worldview to be represented.
This is how Dark Ages happen.