Tag Archives: religion

Freedom of Speech – unless I don’t agree with you

I was reading an article in Time recently about “Islamophobia” and the public uproar regarding mosques being built in communities across the country.  One key paragraph stood out to me:  “Those railing against new mosques also use arguments of equivalence:  Saudi Arabia doesn’t allow churches and synagogues, so why should the US permit the building of Islamic places of worship?”

My immediate, disturbed, vocal response:  “Um…how about a little thing called freedom of religion?!”

I’ve been somewhat following the debate surrounding the building of Cordoba House, aka “Ground Zero Mosque.”  I say “somewhat,” because I can’t say I know all the ins and outs, who’s said what, and count off facts on the fingers of my hands.  I’ve been more interested in the broader issue.  I love politics and religion, the philosophical theory of each, though not exactly the practice of either.  The practice gets people involved, and it’s the people who spoil it.

Should they build a mosque in Manhattan, just blocks from the World Trade Center?  What if instead of being two blocks away, it was four?  Six?  Would it be okay then?  How far away is okay?  One of the main concerns is that if you go to the memorial, you will know that this Muslim Center isn’t too far away.  Does the fact that your loved one is dead, killed by extremists, become worse, because this center is two blocks away?

Is it insensitive?  Possibly.  You know what else is insensitive?  Blaming an entire group for the actions of a very small few.  I can’t tell you how much this issue is upsetting me.  It is showing how ugly and small-minded people can be.  Islamophobia – bad name for it, IMO.  Islamo-hatred, more like it.

On the other side, you have the Florida minister who intends to burn copies of the Koran on 9/11.

You know, there’s nothing that drives me more insane than hypocritical actions.  It’s hard to preach forgiveness when you can’t forgive.  It’s hard to teach acceptance when you can’t accept.  Turn it around – a mosque in Saudi Arabia is going to burn a bunch of copies of the bible.  Is that okay?  If the answer is no, then why not?

Who’s right and who’s wrong?  They are both wrong, and they are both right.  That’s the beauty of this country. Freedom of Religion and Freedom of Speech are two of the most incredible rights we have as Americans.  Black, White, Asian, Mexican, Buddhist, Muslim, Christian, Jewish, none of that matters.  We are Americans.  The laws of this country do not apply to this group only.  They apply to all of us.

Religion has been the basis of war and fighting and intolerance for thousands of years.  Seems to me it might be easier if we were all Atheist – then what would we fight about?  I’m sure we’d figure something out.

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Postscript:  After writing this post, a friend sent me this article from Slate.  “This is how it feels to be judged by the sins of others who destroy in the name of your faith. You’re no more responsible for 30 Christian extremists in Florida than Muslims are for the 19 hijackers of 9/11.  Yet most of us, when polled, say that no Muslim house of worship should be built near the site of the 9/11 attacks. In saying this, we implicitly hold all Muslims accountable for the crime of those 19 people.”

Bingo.

Post-Postscript – Also after I wrote this post, we have *Breaking News* – The Pastor will not be burning copies of the Koran

What do God, The Robot, and Lindsay Lohan have in common?

Was digging through some emails the other day at work and found this lovely chain between me and a couple of friends. These people seriously keep me sane some days.

(Names changed to genderless names to protect the (not so) innocent. I don’t think there’s anything in this to give anyone away, but if you are Nic, Chris, Taylor, or Terry and don’t want this posted publicly, just email me – I’ll take it down!)

Chris: Saw this church sign on the way to work “He who answers you Controls you.” WTF??

Nic: He who answers you controls you. That is…I’m not sure what that is. So if I answer my boss, does that mean I control her? Ha – that’s humorous.

Chris: My first thought: “So they’re finally admitting that the invention of religion and God is just to control the masses!” Probably not what they had in mind with that…

Taylor: Since I’m answering this e-mail, does that now mean I Control you? I’m concentrating on you doing the robot right now. Let me know if it worked.

Chris: I just got the strangest urge to pop & lock.

Terry: What constitutes an answer? A burning bush?

Chris: What does Lindsay Lohan have to do with any of this?

Terry: NICE! It doesn’t have anything to do with Amy Winehouse either for that matter.

Chris: Hee hee. I’m trying so hard not to giggle that my eyes are watering.

I *heart* my friends

I’ve been in a “book club” for over 4 years now.  I use “quotes” because we stopped reading a book and discussing it a long, long time ago.  We all (well, okay, not all) read quite a bit, and we occasionally discuss the books we’ve read, but we’ve given up picking a book for the month.  Or, if we do pick a book, the majority don’t read it, and it doesn’t get discussed.

Instead, we meet to talk, about our lives, about current events.  We all have mostly the same outlook when it comes to life, religion, politics – all the stuff you’re not supposed to talk about in polite company.  And we are all very intelligent and very outspoken, so our conversations can get quite interesting.

And it’s not just when we meet.  Today, at about 11:15, one of the ladies sent out an email, venting about a friend of a friends political remark that pissed her off.  I instantly stopped working and waded in.  I sent my email and cursed, because I had to run out to the grocery store at lunch.  But I knew that things were about to get very interesting.  I went ahead and went to the store, and was gone for maybe 25 minutes.  I got back to 4 new emails.  By 3pm, my inbox had gone from 30 to 69, and only two of those were work related.  To paraphrase one of the ladies, “Jesus H, I run to the grocery store to get provisions and booze and come back to the stench of sardines and politics!”  (Oh, yeah, someone mentioned her husband opened a can of sardines and it was stinky.)

We went from politics, to welfare, to religion, to euthanasia.  We didn’t always agree, but DAMN it made for a good afternoon.

Love you guys!!!

(And I watched the highlights of Obama at the Republican thing today, and it’s amazing how much “Bolshevik” sounds like “Bullshit.”  I had to rewind it to verify what he said.)

Ah, Memories…

I remembered a funny today.  I was driving with a friend one day, and I was complaining about bad drivers.  I mentioned that it always seemed like the people I bitched about the most tended to pull into churches.  My friends response?

“Well, sure.  When you yell, ‘Jesus Christ, MOVE!’ they look around and go, ‘What, where?  Has our Savior returned?’  Makes it hard to drive.”

Ah, Lobster, you are missed.  🙂

Religious Jewelry

Even though I don’t consider myself a religious person, I love religion-based jewelry.  You have your rosary beads, of course, but here are some others I like:

Tibetan Prayer Wheel Necklace;   Bhagavad Gita Verse Necklace;   “Fearless” Sterling Sanskrit Necklace;   Sterling Om Barrel Necklace;   Sterling Kabbalah Amulet Necklace;   Israeli Sterling Mezuzah Necklace;    I Love You Cartouche Necklace;   Silver & Garnet Prayer Wheel Necklace

Of course, I’ve been dying for some proper japa mala beads, here, here, here, here.  (The third one is my favorite, I think.)

My other dream has been something along the lines of the cartouche or the Bhagavad Gita necklace above – Something meaningful in an ancient language, on a long sterling pendant. 

I think it has something to do with the hope that with something like one of these, I might find some calm, some inner peace, and stop my mind from running in circles.

Think it will work?

I actually have a necklace that I haven’t worn in a while, a water symbol, which is supposed to be calming.  I wore it today, and you know what?  I did have a better day today than the rest of the week.  Whether it’s because of the necklace or not, I don’t care, because it is one of my favorites.

Necklace