Monday, July 06, 2015

Dog Gone Dogma or is Religion a Scapegoat?

So part of the US anti muslim narrative is that the Qu’ran is a book full of hate that preaches jihad, war, intolerance, yada, yada. Another part says that Muslims are just barbaric like Christians were a few hundred years ago and they just need time to mature a bit. Muslim apologist say that radicals are a small part of the muslim world. Statistics say muslim extremist are less than 1% of all muslims.  According to a 2010 study and released January 2011, Islam has 1.5 billion adherents, making up over 22% of the world population.  If my math is correct, 15 million muslim fall in to the category radical or extremist, and therefore are potential terrorist. According to the Pew Research Center in 2015 there were 50 Muslim-majority countries. 

In June of 2015 Pastor Rick Scarborough threaten to go up in flames if Gay marriage was rendered legal in the US.

He later, recanted his statement saying it was a metaphor from an old spiritual. He said, “I made that comment to paraphrase a spiritual song, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in which the three were given a choice—to bow to the image of Nebuchadnezzar or burn in a furnace,” said Scarborough.”‘We will burn’ means that we will accept any sanction from the government for resisting [Friday's] Supreme Court decision. We do not support any violence or physical harm.” Maybe some of you see an easy parallel but it is over my head, extremely premature at the very least. I guess he is anticipating a law that makes it illegal for churches against Gay marriage to opt out of performing them.

In a debate between ex British prime minister Tony Blair and atheist and journalist Christopher Hitchens, Hitchens argues, “Religion forces nice people to do unkind things, and also makes intelligent people say stupid things” your thoughts? Sadly, June 23 retired pastor Charles Moore sets himself on fire in protest of racism. The Tyler Morning Telegraph obtained a copy of the suicide note from Grand Saline police. In it, Moore lamented past racism in Grand Saline and beyond. He called on the community to repent and said he was “giving my body to be burned, with love in my heart” for those who were lynched in his hometown as well as for those who did the lynching, hoping to address lingering racism. “Giving my body to be burned with love in my heart,” is straight out of the new testament, 1 Corinthians 13 King James Version (KJV) 13.... 3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing. I doubt pastor Moore can be called a radical, fundamentalist Christian but I know little about him. 

I’m more inclined to think that there was unfinished business in his life, sometime when, in his own mind, he should have acted and didn’t and it got to him. He could have been a religious person like he was or an atheist or agnostic and had the same end. Timothy McVeigh was raised Catholic but hadn’t practiced for a long time and at the time of his execution considered himself agnostic.

 Is Hitchens correct that religion makes good people do bad things? Does the good that comes out of religion, any religion, eclipse or even balance out the wrong doing? We’ve had the Inquisition, witch hunts, sex scandal cover up in the catholic church, the Ku Klux Klan, a religious organization vs., the Salvation Army, Abolitions, ecstatic, spiritual experiences in all religions and pissing matches: My God is the real thing, yours is fake and it says so right in the book. Is religion the culprit or the scapegoat? Less than one percent doesn’t sound too bad does it? If one percent of Islam is radical, fringe, and a potential hotbed of terrorism that is 16 million people. If one percent of Christianity worldwide is radical, fringe, and a potential hotbed of terrorism that is 22.3 million people.

 The way it’s painted there is a line in the sand and never the twain shall meet, terrorist on one side and people who frown on terrorism on the other side. However after watching terrorism in the US just since the turn of the 20th century through today it seems to me there are a lot of terrorist sympathizers who systemically support terrorism against People of Color, our LGBT brothers and sisters, filling the gap between terrorists on one side of the line and their antithesis. They have posh jobs in the media. Six churches have been set on fire since Dylan Roof, I think they are terrorist attacks because of the number and the timing to the 9 South Carolina deaths and because they are black churches, but the media is showing an unusual amount of restraint calling this arson,: “The Southern Poverty Law Center's Hatewatch blog reports that as of Friday, "a string of nighttime fires have damaged or destroyed at least six predominately black churches in four southern states in the past week." Investigators have determined at least three of the fires were set by arsonists.” “ One Tweet Nails The Hypocrisy of Media Coverage as Black Churches Burn Across the South”