And now, intolerance!

On the cusp of hearing the very good news about gay marriage being permitted in California, I read this article about severe douche baggery perpetrated by morons. Far be it for someone from the state of Florida to do something so mind-bendingly stupid (I’m looking at you, electoral returns officers…okay, that’s not fair. When the Bush family whines loud enough, you recount in their favour just to make them go away).

But hey, listen, if you’ve already a hate-on for Catholics, family planning, Jews, and fags, then why not just add Moose-limbs to that list? I mean, you wouldn’t want to leave anyone out, right? And everyone knows that nothing brings together a community like a book burnin’. Particularly when the books in question are religious in nature! It’d be like that time when y’all burnt witches! If you *burn it*, it can’t hurt you!

Ohhh…riiiight. In that article, there is nothing saying that this church or group of churches actually does hate Jews and Catholics. I’m reading the *subtext* here.

Anyone who thinks that Islam is a religion that promotes hatred, intolerance, and violence and then demonstrates this belief by burning the Qu’ran on the anniversary of a terrorist attack clearly doesn’t understand irony. And irony is wasted on them anyway. You want to know what’s really effed up? The following:

Jones emphasizes that his church does not just speak out about Islam, but also [speaks out about] homosexuality, same-sex marriage [which is somehow magically different from homosexuality?], and abortion. To Christian critics who say the Quran burning event is not the way to show Christian love to Muslims, Jones’ response is they should stop criticizing and find another way to raise awareness about Islam..

What is there to raise awareness about? That those dirty Moose-limbs will break into your house and eat your babies because they’re all a bunch of religious lunatics who hide their faces behind veils and who hate us because we’re not Moose-limb like they are? Do they realise how ridiculous they sound?

Never mind that folks who think like this choose to conveniently forget the Crusades, during which time, it was the Christians murdering infidels because the Bible tells them to (it does!). I wonder how many of the 42 percent of Protestant pastors the article cites who “believe Islam “promotes violence”” actually know their history. Or perhaps it’s okay for Christians to kill infidels because that was a “different time” and it was the “actions of a few corrupt people who started the Crusades”, but somehow, it’s mystically different when the *most recent* infidel-killers are targetting anyone but themselves (which is kind of the natural path of religious/cultural intolerance, you see?). It’s okay to hate an entire body of people because you’ve heard about a couple of lines from a religious text that talks all fire and brimstone? But it’s okay for that to be in YOUR OWN RELIGIOUS TEXT!!??

Seriously, you’re making it more and more difficult for me to have faith in anything: God, humanity, rainbows, double rainbows, karma, freedom of expression…anything. You just don’t get how hypocritical you are. (I don’t mean you; I mean THOSE asshats.)

And I’m not even talking from a Christian/religious standpoint here. I’m not even going to talk about charity, or acceptance, or love for your fellow humans (though those are all Good Things). I’m talking from the standpoint of someone who is able to understand that saying : “I hate intolerant behaviour” and then acting like an intolerant prick are kind of mutually exclusive, if you want to be taken seriously. And I’m talking from the standpoint of someone who thinks that trying to destroy ideas, even symbolically, is not only pointless, but it’s heinous.

I realise I will never be able to talk sense into people who prove, through their actions, they are just as ridiculous, fanatical, and intolerant as the people they “raise awareness about” [read: persecute]. And do you know what? This has NOTHING TO DO WITH RELIGION. I mean, it has everything to do with religion, but for everyone who’s going to say “Christianity is bad because it does this stuff ALL THE TIME”, you’ve completely missed the point. And for people who’re going to say “organised religion is wrong because this kind of thing happens ALL THE TIME”, you’ve also missed the point.

All the idiots need is an excuse to hate. How sad is that? Seriously. Think about that for a minute. If it we hadn’t any organised religion to blame it on, we’d be back to skin colour (like that’s ever left our parlance). And once we get rid of hatred and intolerance based on skin colour, we’d go to eye colour, or geography of heritage, or income level, or education, or gender, or…for Chrissakes, pick what you want to hate people for.

You don’t like that Aboriginals get “special privileges”? Why not burn a bunch of Aboriginal art and then tell people that if they really want to be part of the solution instead of part of the problem, they should go door-to-door distributing literature that talks about acceptance and respect.

You don’t like that people with University educations tend to get higher-paying jobs than high-school dropouts? You should probably burn a bunch of University degrees and then tell people they should go door-to-door and talk about how education is undermining our society, and how we should do away with higher thought and knowledge.

Sick of women having a “leg up” in modern society?  Maybe you should burn the legislation that provides women an equal standing and encourage people who don’t like your methods to go door-to-door to explain to women why they shouldn’t aspire to such lofty goals as education and employment.

I mean, why stop there? Children and animals probably don’t deserve tolerance – why not go door-to-door and offer to beat other people’s children and torture their animals so that you can advance some of your own interests at their expense?

What is it you’re so afraid of? What threatens you *so much* about Islam that you need to make an utter fool of yourself over and over again just to vilify it? What scares you so much you need to embrace that kind of …is it fascism? What is it? I can’t imagine ANYTHING threatening me so much that I needed to burn the books/effigy of those people.

cenobyte
cenobyte is a writer, editor, blogger, and super genius from Saskatchewan, Canada.

31 Comments

  1. What is it they’re afraid of? I might make an educated guess.

    Islam, last I heard, is the only faith that actively recruits, outside of Christianity. If Muslims are not horrific monsters, they might be right about some things. And if they might be right about some things, some one who has chosen Christianity might be wrong about some things. But God has clearly revealed these things to be true! And God can not be wrong. And God can not be misinterpreted by orthodox believers who have received the revealed truth, which has allowed them to become True Believers and set them on the Right Path to their divine destiny. No, no. Everyone else must be wrong. And because the revealed truth is obvious, those who are wrong must choose to be so, and thus are evil. Some might be moved by just a bit more information, if their eyes have been closed by evil people, but the rest need to know that their evil will not be tolerated, and will one day be punished for eternity.

    Of course, I’m just guessing.

    1. Actually, the Baha’i faith actively recruits…but. That being said, *both* faiths (all three, in fact) aside from ‘recruiting’, all have the same message, so nobody has to be wrong about anything. And it’s all the same God. But. Tenets of faith aside, point taken about fundamentalism.

      However, that doesn’t negate the ‘don’t they realise how foolish they are?’ question.

      1. Huh; the Baha’i do actively recruit. I’m interested at seeing how they’ll be demonized as they grow larger and more successful.

        The god may be the same god, but are the messages really the same? I hang out on the occasional ex-Christian support site, and am often entertained by the Christian fundamentalists who come a-preaching, but can’t agree with each other regarding what the message really is. I can imagine some Christians agreeing with some Muslims, but if the faithful can’t agree within the various religions, how are they to agree cross-religionly?

        What do you think the one message they agree on is, anyway?

        1. I think the message that they agree on, even though they don’t agree that they agree, is that there is Something Bigger than They Are; that there *is* Something Out There.

          The Baha’i have already begun to be vilified as cultists in the west, and as heretics in the Holy Land.

          1. Well, I suppose you can get most people, including atheists and antitheists, to agree to the first half of that message. But the message in most Holy Books seems to continue, “and we can introduce you!”

            Too bad about the villifying. I wish I was surprised. Speaking of those put down as cults in the west, I went to a LDS Sacrament Meeting this last Sunday. There was quite a bit for me to learn– it was a lot of fun.

  2. Ceno, if you ever do understand it, can you explain it to me? I’m a “expert” on the subject, and I don’t get it either. No one does.

    Hatred of the other is seemingly, and confusingly, ingrained in some segments of society. Sociologists, psychologists, biologists, historians, anthropologists, zoologists… they all have theories. None of them answer the fundamental “why” though.

    Tolerance is a word that I dislike, ditto acceptance, as they both imply that there is something inferior in the thing or person you are tolerating or accepting. I like “respect”… it applies amoung equals, in superior-inferior relationships. Why can’t we all respect one another, and one another’s beliefs??? Let me know if you ever find that answer. I’d love to be out of work.

    1. Oh, I fully expect you’ll never be out of a job. There’s more than enough stupid to keep you gainfully employed for the next several decades. Probably centuries. By the time you’re seven hundred and four, you’ll still have too much work.

      OOOH, but disagreement!
      But it’s small.
      Respect, IMO, is something that must be earned. There is a certain respect that we extend (or *ought to* extend) to one another, but that also implies trust. And most people (see above comment about too much stupid) don’t trust each other (see previous post about an atmosphere of fear…an atmosfear, if you will).

      To me, “tolerance” and “acceptance” are less intensive. You can tolerate something that you don’t like (I don’t have the same view that tolerance and acceptance are connotative of inferiority), but it’s much more difficult to respect something you don’t like. F’rinstance, I don’t respect the idea that Muslims are evil and trying to undermine society. I tolerate it because I *do* respect the notion of freedom of expression.

      Which is another thing – I’m not saying these douche bags don’t get to burn whatever books they want. All I’m trying to do is point out what buttclowns they are for doing so.

      1. I’ll be the first to agree that respect has to be earned… with the caveat that earning the first tiny bit of respect was earned by being born as a human being.

        Note that it is very easy to lose that mote of respect (see the above noted Koran burning asshats for perfect examples of behaviour that would cost them that respect) but equally easy to add to that, gaining more and more respect in the process.

        I have long held the belief that all people, and their beliefs, are deserving of basic respect – so long as those people do not attempt to force others to hold their beliefs, or attempt to infringe upon the freedoms of others who do not have that belief. For example, I strongly disagree with the Roman Catholic Church’s stance on homosexuality – but I respect their right to have that belief. Just so long as they don’t try to force that belief on others.

        There are literally thousands of beliefs that I disagree with, but can still respect the individual or group’s right to hold that belief. But when they attempt to act upon that belief, its at that point that they must be prepared to defend it, or face the inevitable consequences. :)

        1. Who said I disagreed with you? Except about the whole “throwing out religion with the bathwater” thing. I *do* think that is necessary. And yes, I realize that makes me a hypocrite. Does it help that I hate all religion equally?

          1. (you agreed with Stark Raving Dad about the whole ‘tolerance/respect’ thing. Disagreement will not be tolerated.)

            I don’t know that it matters that you hate all religion equally, as long as you’re willing to chuck paganism, magic/k, and nature worship in there as well.

  3. Your rampant and growing intolerence of clowns gives the lie to all your fancy talk of tolerence and acceptance. I live for the day you say “Send in the clowns.”

    I’m more of a “by their actions shall you know them” type. It’s a struggle to at all times remain human and not fear and either flee or attack those not of your tribe (and even sometimes those in your tribe). If an acceptance of some trans-human reality in the universe, whether it be “nature”, or “calculus” or be anthropomorphized into the humanoid figure of god/s and/or goddesses allows you to be a more peaceful, helpful creative participant in the trans-tribal human community known as civilization, then it’s good. If it seperates you from others, from responsibility for your actions, then it ought not exist.

    So, are there systemic evils, capable of turning otherwise “good” people to the dark side, or at least dark acts? Or are there those who would find a way to justify their mayhemic natures no matter what ism they washed up in? The answer is — yes and no.

    We each of us have Lassie and Cujo in our souls. Which one will be dominant? The one we feed and/or allow to be fed. Give it whatever ecclesiastical nomenclature works for you.

    1. Well, fair enough. We *are* all animals.

      But it still grinds my gears when people don’t recognise their own stupidity.

      And clowns ought not be given any leeway. They will suck the aqueous and vitreous humours from your eyeballs before you can offer them sanctuary.

  4. The human behavioral profile contains a healthy dose of Xenophobia. It manifests as hate, distrust, etc. Evolutionarily it allows intra-species competition between social groups. Social groups were really at one point fairly close (genetically speaking) human packs ie. a group of say 3 extended families all sharing a certain pack territory. There would be familial relationships and the benefit to protecting the group as a whole would be a benefit to our genes (spread throughout the greater group) that are passed on (remember we are all just a mechanism for gene transfer however complex and self aware…).

    Xenophobia comes in when two groups come into competition for resources, so we evolve mechanisms for determining differences (physically) and pack behaviors to promote the benefit of our own pack over another (socially).

    This all occurred in the caveman (cave person… sorry) days before we limited the effect that natural selection had on humanity. Fast forward to a time when we have larger groups and have spread across the globe. This basic human trait has not gone anywhere because you need to select against a trait for it to recede (and there is very little that actively prevents people from reproducing in this age). This trait is at the roots of the social phenomena known as discrimination (in all forms).

    Realistically, we are all still cave-persons, just in fancy cloths and nuclear bombs…

    Or for you religious die-hards out there… God built us this way 12,000 years ago and we got these flaws when we became knowledgeable by eating an apple. Which makes WAY more sense.

      1. No. You are not permitted to agree with anyone but me. You may only agree with this comment if I agree with this comment. And since it’s not all that disagreeable to begin with, you must remain *unsure* until I decide whether or not the comment is correct.

        1. BUT this comment is exactly what I think but can’t seem to ever articulate, THUS making said commenter my new hero. Not that you aren’t my hero anymore, you will always be my hero…but I seem to collect them.

          Now I will be a little more quiet before Mrgod2u takes out a restraining order.

          1. No need for a restraining order, as anyone who knows me will tell you… “I love to talk and pontificate”. Stroking the ego just increases the verbal flow. Thanks for the kind words, as you agree with me, I’m sure we will be fast friends.

    1. Any science that attempts to explain human behaviour is ultimately questionable. Yes, attempts to protect one’s family and territory are / were ingrained in human behaviour a million years ago. But this completely fails to explain why current behaviour. If it is biological, then everyone would be racist.

      Studies have shown over and over again that racism and xenophobia are learned behaviours, not ingrained. Children do not automatically hate and fear other children that are different from them. If it was biological or neurological, that would not be the case.

      Dennis Leary said “Racism isn’t born, folks, it’s taught. I have a two-year-old son. You know what he hates? Naps! End of list.” And despite the tongue-in-cheekiness of the comment, he’s 100% accurate.

      If a behaviour has to be taught in order to express, there is very little support for it being a product of evolution.

      1. Any attempt to state that human behavior is beyond scientific understanding is hubris.

        Racism may be taught, but the fact that it exists defies your argument. If it can only be taught, then how did it occur? Unless we are to believe that the evil Racism fairy waved her wand (or the devil, or pandora’s box).

        BTW those two kids (one black and one white) growing up together may just enlist in the army together and as “American soldiers” hate the “ragheads” together.

        Children are usually not racist and xenophobic because that too had a survival benefit. Being able to fit in to a group (as an orphan or as part of pack mixing) evokes the opposing force to xenophobia. Which is altruism. This tendency is what leads us into acts of kindness and heroics at the risk to our own lives. Again this is part of protecting the greater group with whom we share genes (see above). This is, incidentally, the reason why there is genetic benefit to their being homosexual people in a community as well (extra caregivers that will not have their own children but that help every child in the group survive). This is why there is roughly 10% of the human population that is homosexual, it is a natural and normal human phenotype.

        Anywho, society is a tool that humans evolved to allow us to pass knowledge on beyond our genetic abilities. Anything that society creates still has a genetic root. It is as much as anything a reflection on our various human tendencies only magnified by having structures built around it that allow those tendencies to express themselves (be it in good or bad ways).

        Regardless, saying that science can’t explain the unexplained just means that science hasn’t yet. At one point all discoveries were unimagined, or at best wild fiction.

        1. “Any attempt to state that human behavior is beyond scientific understanding is hubris.”

          Not sure who you are responding too there, but it wasn’t me. Read what I wrote, not what you think you saw. :)

          As for the black and white soldier who love each other, but hate “the ragheads”… soldiers are always taught to hate the enemy. Its part of the basic conditioning that the military has used for thousands of years to transform otherwise decent and moral people into soldier who will kill other humans on command. So not sure what your point there is.

          Science should always be questioned. That’s the point of science after all – to find answers. You don’t find the right answer if you don’t keep questioning things. Show me a scientist that disagrees with that premise, I’ll show you one that works for the Conservative government. :)

          1. I read somewhere that the science community is pretty peevish with the Conservative government because even the thinkers and science guys the guvviment has on staff are being ignored at best, and at worst, fired. Seems the Conservatives don’t want dissenting opinions out there. Not that that should be surprising to anyone, just rather disconcerting. Really disconcerting. Shameful, really.

    1. How is that video supposed to help with any understanding, unless you meant that it helps reasonable people understand why extremists (Western extremist Koran burners) automatically hate Muslims? Yes, if you accept that people are using the information portrayed in that video as fact, sure, that would be scary.

      The truth is that extremism on both sides of the Christian / Muslim situation is abhorrent to the vast majority of believers – on both sides. Islam, like Christianity, is a religion of peace. Yes, there are phrases in the Koran which, if interpreted a certain way, demonstrate violent tendencies. The same is true of the Christian Bible. The same is true of the teachings of Lao Tzu, Confuscious and the Jewish Torah. Its all in the interpretation. Hell, you could probably twist some Buddhist teachings to preach war as well (including the theory that Zen Buddhism was used as a method for warfare in Japan circa 1940ish).

      People have, throughout history, used religion as a tool to further their political and economic ends. That is all that is happening here as well. Factions in the east, frustrated and enraged (perhaps rightly so) by generations of disempowerment, hostility and aggression by factions in the west, have begun a war of terrorist actions. They have used religion, just as people have done since the dawn of time, as the vehicle for that war. At the end of the day though, religion is only a tool or a weapon in that war – it is neither the cause nor the end desired.

      If all Muslims, such as are portrayed in the video (which I had to skim through, it was too painful to watch end to end) are jihadists out to destroy/subjugate the rest of the world, why aren’t they? Because the characterization of Islam as a hateful and violent religion is inaccurate and abhorrent. Plain and simple.

  5. Hey, read my statement however you like. Given which interpretation you spent the most time responding to, I know which one you had decided I meant.

    That aside, I guess I have free reign to reply to your incorrect guess. No, that video doesn’t really hold much for me, because it’s just a bunch of talking heads who have translated what they will how they want to. Events that have taken place during my relatively short time on Earth (not to say I’m young, merely that one person’s time on Earth is not significantly long when in comes to history) paint a very depressing picture of the ‘peaceful’ nature of Islam.

    You show me a country where people are executed for thought-crimes (execution of apostates in post-Taliban Afghanistan); where ordering and condoning mass killings carries a smaller penalty than having marijuana in your luggage (the sentencing of the mastermind of 2002 Bali bombings which killed 202 people to two and a half years of jail versus the sentencing to death of Australian tourists caught with weed at the airport); where women are afforded the same rights as men; where religious leaders incite their flocks to riot and kill (the bombings after the 2008 Danish cartoon controversy); where children’s television isn’t a systemic form of instilling racial hatred (Hamas produces a television program aimed at instilling fear of Jews by having Mickey Mouse and other characters killed onscreen by cartoonish Jewish thugs); (I could go on) and I’ll show you a country that does not have a Theocratic regime enforcing medieval Islamic ‘law’.

    I could totally back your play if the extremes of reprehensible behaviour in Islam were confined to tiny splinter sects of jihadists, but we’re talking institutionalised evil across all levels of government and within the church itself. Pull your head out of your ass, mister ‘the characterization of Islam as a hateful and violent religion is inaccurate and abhorrent’. Or would you prefer your daughter stoned to death by the neighbourhood folk for being caught alone with a man from outside her family?

    There comes a point at which tolerance must be replaced with a ‘Seriously, dudes, fix up this childish shit, because the rest of us are all quite sick of you blowing up people because of what some dude told you to believe a thousand years ago’.

    1. Aaaaand my reply to that is that we see the same thing in other institutions – institutional evil across all levels government and within the church itself – in non-Muslim countries too. And I accept (but may not agree with) your opinion which may be : “this is the fault of religion, period, not of any specific religion”

      Because really, there are still ‘Christians’ who beat their daughters for being caught along with a man from outside her family.

i make squee noises when you tell me stuff.

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