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« A Veiled Threat | Main | Is Religion On An Equal Footing With Race? »

October 10, 2006


Their vindictive actions are such a classic sign of cowardice. If they had any confidence at all in their policies, this sort of childish retribution wouldn't be necessary. However, they clearly grasp how thin their arguments are, just a frail little house of cards, a fault they seem determined to take out on others. Playground bullies act out of insecurity and Bush is spineless in a similar way. His belligerance is textbook over-compensation. Have I mentioned that I dislike Bush? Maybe I should break out the thesauraus and work in a few more adjectives.

Don't you sometimes get the feeling that the Bush-Cheney mafia would prefer to deal with its critics in this manner? No wonder that Bush had claimed to have looked into Putin's eyes and seen his soul.

This is why I am not down with the modern concept of "respect". When someone says they deserve "respect", what they are really saying is: "don't criticize me. Ignore the consequences of my beliefs." Every group, mob and idealogy attempts to innoculate itself from criticism by utilizing a victim mentality of this sort, a perfect example being the so-called "War on Christmas". That Christians can perceive a threat during a holiday where their religion is openly and widely celebrated is bizarre, to say the least, but it is an effective stance. It gives Christians a club with which to beat back a tiny, miniscule quantity of criticism. And certain Muslim commentators are doing that now as well. Like many groups, Muslims do face very real discrimination, but the idea that they should be free from tough questions and criticism is absurd. Not when their beliefs can entail treating women as property (women aren't even allowed to drive cars in Saudi Arabia!) and beheading homosexuals (a practice that occurrs regularly in places like Egypt and Saudi Arabia).
Anyway. Respect can mean a lot of things, but it should never mean turning a blind eye to abuse and hypocrisy.

I suppose the big problem is that when you criticize an extremist (be they Christian or Muslim), non-extremists of the same religion feel threatened. My attitude is: tough; be thick-skinned enough to handle nuanced differentiations. When a religious group (or any group) responds to an extremist who shares their religion by circling the wagons and demanding "respect" (i.e. immunity from criticism), they only demean their own beliefs. Bush is the perfect example. Christians should have been the loudest voice oppossing him, not the left. Muslims, it seems, can be guilty of the same selective amnesia.

Anyway, I really appreciate your point of view on this Ruchira, it's a direction that too many people aren't willing to go. You rock.

I accidentally put this in the wrong post. That's what you get for creating such a great blog, Ruchira. I re-read many posts and lose my place quite easily.

I will probably cut-and-paste this into the post above, sorry for the repetition. My head is such a jumble, it frequently skews me about like this. Hoo.

Unfortunately however, I notice your own avoidance of the most blatant example of the technique you speak of, that being of course the Israeli treatment of Arabs whose land and lives paid for Israel. Unless you can still believe in divine deities that grant other peoples land "in perpetuity", then modernity dictates they live up to the principal accord they agreed to sign before..and as the very basis upon which they were granted..... the land now called "Israel". Where once stood the "Palestinian Mandate", return for their unchallenged acceptance of a Palestinian state, signed away Arab land in a fit of guilt-driven altruism, trying to make amends for Auschwitz. So "Israel" stands once again on the bones of the people who tilled the land for generations before them. And again, a religious invention enables them to avoid their conscience being harmed by such indelicate subjects as their apparent use of mass murder in Hazor (for one) as a method of seizing land where they are unwelcome. This "God gave it" method of establishing land-title may have been excusable 3000 years ago, but now?

And isn't Zionism really just simple nationalism with a deeply ingrained religious twist? Religious nationalism! It's hard to imagine a more emotionally charged method of whipping the peasants into a murderous frenzy; back then and still now, a fact we witnessed taking place under names like "Lebensraum", "Manifest Destiny", or even the Serb/Croat revival of a war fought and lost almost 500 years ago by the Serbs, leading to a culture guessed it!!! *victimization* leading to ethnic justification for acts of brutality and murder.

But mere mention of the incredible level of hypocrisy due their abuse at Nazi turn around and place their Arab brothers* (whose DNA happens to show that Pali, Druze, Syrian Arabs are more closely related to their Kohanim - (Cohen/priestly class) than most US Jews -Ripley's best!) in camps of torment only decades later (the Serbs at least had time to forget the reality of the suffering their revenge will inflict).
My statement of fact will surely bring howls of "But we're the victims, remember?!!? You /must/ be an anti-semite to not believe that our suffering gives us the right to do anything it takes...even the use of our old 'foundation' mythology... as a modern justification for not only our past, but present treachery too!"

Gods Children....Indeed.

G. Williams

( Name gives me the very same justification the Zionists have, so will try same on GB for a Welsh "right of return". I'll keep you posted as to how that goes over )

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