Monday, August 16, 2010

People Are Funny

Imagine if a group of Christians wanted to build a church.

The church is going to built in backwoods Mississippi adjacent to a plantation slave cemetery. The church, largely attended by white folks, would worship God in the traditional way.

Would that be wrong?

How about if there was a plan to build a church in a black ghetto? Would that church, again populated by white folks, be out of place, or insensitive? Would it be a slap in the face to black people?

After all, Christianity was used to justify slavery. Slave owners and their apologists used the Bible to prove that God supported slavery, and wanted slaves to be meek, docile and obedient. Later, during Jim Crow, the white church defended segregation and discrimination as the will of God; the human manifestation of the genetic segregation God ordained when he gave some folks more melanin than others.

Was not slavery a grave and terrible injustice done in the name of religion? Was not Jim Crow the same? Were these injustices less terrible and deadly than the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center? How about the horrors suffered by Native Americans in the name of God and Manifest Destiny? Do they count?

Why do some religions have to respect their surroundings, while others get to act with impunity? Have Christians opened churches and missions and organizations in areas where they are not welcome, or where the church has failed to do its mission in the past? How is opening a mosque, which practices Islam as it was meant to be practiced, disrespectful? Isn't it only disrespectful if you assume that being a Muslim means you support terrorism practiced by other Muslims? If that's your mindset, do you apply the same logic to Christians as a whole?

Are you willing to have your rights restricted based on the actions of others who claim the mantle of Christianity, but do very little to practice its tenets? Do you deserve to be lumped in with the hate groups that wrap themselves in the Christian flag and quote extensively from the Bible? How about the prosperity preacher pimps who use God to fleece the flocks and enrich their lives? Is this who people should compare you to, and the examples they should be use when making decisions?

It's funny that people can't see this very obvious comparison. It's hilarious, in a very sad way, that people are so blind to the ways they would restrict the freedoms of others, all while clamoring for their own "rights." Hypocrisy is ugly in all its shapes and forms, and so is discrimination.

People are funny that way.



CNu said...

there you go...,

trying to limit the mans' supremacy by the manipulative exercise of radical autonomy...,

Joanna said...

i have been saying the same thing!! "The Bible", the SO CALLED "Word of God" has been used to justify more death, destruction and oppression that ANYTHING ELSE IN THE WORLD!!! Even the KKK claims to be a "Christian" organization!
By the way, there is a great book, edited by Christian Leedom about so called "Christianity" and what impact organized religion has had on the world. It is called "The book your church doesnt want you to read"

Thordaddy said...

Yeah Joanna,

And people like you think that stud in your face is "progressive." But where the heck are you "progressives" leading us? I'd say right to where a Christian can morally destroy you. Self-annihilators deserve no tolerance especially when they spread their evil.

Wonder if the two "Christians" will take offense to your ignorance of Christianity? Prolly not cuz you're a good lil white girl that doesn't like white men.

Joanna said...

Thor - It is possible to be a Christian and NOT believe in the concept of "organized religion" Organized religion often perverts the tenets of faith.

I do not have a problem with Christians. Rather, I have a problem with "Christians", those who shout from the rooftops that they are "Christians" and use their faith to justify all sorts of oppression. I have a problem with people who believe that it is their job to use "Christianity" to guide public policy. I have a problem with people who live in a country founded with the value of freedom of religion yet protest against anyone who does not live their life by "Biblical" law.

And how on earth do my piercings have ANYTHING to do with my political leanings?

Sabina E. said...

it amazes me how racist, ignorant, and xenophobic some White American Christians are. they think their faith is right and everyone else wrong.

First of all, the so-called "Ground Zero Mosque" is not even a mosque-- it's a community center that's about 2 blocks away from Ground Zero and it would include a gym and swimming pool and workshop that promote interfaith dialogue between all major religions. Ooops, I guess these fake "Christians" are threatened by interfaith dialogue... LMAO!!!

Tit for Tat said...

I think your post makes a point of why we should limit the outreach of ALL religions. Afterall, at their core its all about limiting freedom not embracing it. The challenge with Islam presently is that it hasnt grown far enough past the 13th century. Another unfortunate fact is that most "Moderate, peaceful" Muslims dont speak out against RADICAL Islam and SHARIAH law. I understand that its a little intimidating when you do, especially if they issue a Fatwa concerning death against the ones who do. Dont worry though, Im sure once most americans figure out that their constitution is being used to support such things, they may rise up against it. Lets hope at that point its not too late.

CNu said...

Only a true, literalist bibtard could be moronic and myopic enough to describe another fairy-tale, afterlife-believing, Abrahamic religion as medieval.

Talk about a knuckle-dragging pot casting aspersions on a knuckle-dragging kettle.....,

Tit for Tat said...

LMAO, nice comment. Who is the literalist?

Joanna said...

Tit for Tat- YOu claim that most moderate Muslims do not speak out against the extremist. Many do. Most Catholics do not speak out about pedophiles in the ranks of priests. They do not speak out about the oppression of women within the church. But many do. Most Jews do not speak out against the daily acts of violence perpetuated by Right wing Israelis upon the Palestinians. Many do. So, EVERY religion has people within it who accept the fringe. What is your point?

CNu said...

echoing Joanna, Dalrymple gets it just about right;

The problem with such claims goes far beyond the fate of a mosque in downtown Manhattan. They show a dangerously inadequate understanding of the many divisions, complexities and nuances within the Islamic world — a failure that hugely hampers Western efforts to fight violent Islamic extremism and to reconcile Americans with peaceful adherents of the world’s second-largest religion.

Most of us are perfectly capable of making distinctions within the Christian world. The fact that someone is a Boston Roman Catholic doesn’t mean he’s in league with Irish Republican Army bomb makers, just as not all Orthodox Christians have ties to Serbian war criminals or Southern Baptists to the murderers of abortion doctors.

Yet many of our leaders have a tendency to see the Islamic world as a single, terrifying monolith. Had the George W. Bush administration been more aware of the irreconcilable differences between the Salafist jihadists of Al Qaeda and the secular Baathists of Saddam Hussein’s Iraq, the United States might never have blundered into a disastrous war, and instead kept its focus on rebuilding post-Taliban Afghanistan while the hearts and minds of the Afghans were still open to persuasion.

Big Man said...


I have no problem with organized religion. The "organization" isn't the problem, it's the people within it.

All problems in the world are the result of people. It's not about "religion" or "class" or politics or any of the other buzzwords people like to throw around. It's about People. We screw things up, regardless of how noble the ideals may sound. We are human, and thus we behave like humans. Religion is a scapegoat for many of the problems that would exist no matter what.

That said, CNu is right in that the thinking exposed in the current attitude towards the mosque is a serious problem. I didn't dwell on this in the piece, but what this is an example of is the human tendency to "other" people and decide they don't deserve the same rights that other humans enjoy. It's the tendency to assume all "others" think the same, believe the same things and want the same things, that causes so many problems.

All Muslims do not believe that violence against innocents is an accepted way to solve problems any more than all Americans believe that bombing children in Afghanistan is an acceptable side effect of this country's war there.

Some agree, some disgree. Some don't think about it at all.

Saying that the September 11th attacks were done in the name of "Islam" ignores the various sects within the religion and ignores that only a very small minority of Muslims supported what happened in New York.

Not only is this rampant hypocrisy because most Christians would not care to be held accountable for all the actions done by even the most fringe "Christians" it also makes it impossible to have an intelligent conversation about Islam and what it means to other people.

I am a Christian, I believe in Jesus Christ as the risen son of God, yet I can respect and care about others who do not. Just because they don't agree with me doesn't mean they lack value, or are worthy of death and destruction. It doesn't make them a threat to my well-being.

The fact that the people driving this policy debate think that way is very, VERY problematic because it only encourages those folks with different religions to feel the same way about so-called "Christian" nations like the United States and that invites more violence. If we blame all of them for the actions of a few and see them all as a threat, then they will be perfectly justified in doing the same thing to us and we will never, ever reach a peaceful outcome, which should be the goal, in my opinion.

lifelearner said...

very nice RBL! You know how to break it down at a moments notice!

LisaMJ said...

Testify, Big Man. Everything you say is 100% spot-on. Frankly, this whole thing and all of these crazy flare-ups we keep having in this country are giving me a serious headache. I was on vacation last week and on a minimum news diet and it was so nice. I might need to do that b/c my headache is coming back full force quick and in a hurry.

T.A.N. Man said...

Nice post, better comment.

Deacon Blue said...

Too many folks in the U.S. believe that every Muslim institutional structure...whether mosque or community there for no other purpose than to promote terrorism.

I've actually seen people advocate that no new mosques should be allowed anywhere in the country because of that "fact."

I seem to recall that there is also a church a couple blocks from Ground Zero and a couple strip clubs...though I've only heard that and don't have any geographical personal knowledge to back that up. But I'm sure there are a lot of things antithetical to "traditional American values" (whatever the right-wing thinks those are) that are very close to where the towers went down.

Tit for Tat said...

Ok, if the funding came from the Saudis, who follow Sharia Law, would that make a difference?

Big Man said...

Which Sharia law? There are apparently four different kinds with very different aims.

And are you saying groups that receive funding from organizations with viewpoints that differ from the American norm should be prevented from building in certain areas?

Tit for Tat said...

Yep, you betcha. Especially if they support stoning and cutting off hands.

Big Man said...

And you don't see the inevitable problem with that scenario?

If you don't, that's a shame.

Mammyman said...

Its not a question about christianity but rather one of race. You see when a White Christian decides to take matters in his own hands and kills a abortion Dr. or sets off a bomb in Olympic Park, or decides to shoot it out at Waco, White amurikkka demands that white people are judged individually. But when something happens from a person of color (being non-white) then get ready to get all lumped in together.

All Muslims are automatically branded as terrorists. We all know that people of our community are all drug dealers and prostitutes. And all hispanics snuck over the border, at least that what white amurikkka keep telling us.

Raving Black Lunatic