Friday, September 10, 2010

All Quiet on the Blogger Front

9/11 is almost here again and it hasn't gotten much easier for me to deal with due to the permanent ramifications it had on my life. There's been so much to comment about. From the Park51/Cordoba House/etc project that some call the "Ground Zero Mosque." The other being some Christian fanatic threatening to burn Korans to spite Islamic extremists and get his otherwise unknown and irrelevant opinion on Islam being generally bad to an international audience.

Both situations are due to the actions of religious people and the reactions, some reasonable, some extreme themselves have generally been other religious people or arguments coming from other religious views.

What's an atheist to do? I support religious liberty here and freedom of speech/expression... though that doesn't mean I have to agree with every religious idea or speech/expression that allows.

Generally speaking I have no metaphysical faith that would fit with Islam or Christianity... let alone any real desire to see extremists of either rile people up to violence here or elsewhere. Moderate interpretations certainly are more tolerable to me than the extremist, fringe, or militant religious groups... though my own views clash even with moderate metaphysical ideologies to varying degrees.

So again, what to do?

I certainly frown upon the hysterical disinformation campaigns to rile people up with rumors, conspiracy theories, emotive rhetoric, etc that may help in the polls, but could have the nasty side effect of whipping some nutters, drunks, etc towards targeted violence and intimidation... very antithetical to liberty.

Extremists trying to get a rise out of other extremists with little regard for national security concerns are pretty low on my list... very close to those extremists who'd respond with rhetoric geared towards response by violence over the symbolic act that is ultimately harmless to them.

The Park51 mosque is a messier situation than opponents and even some supports like to make it out to be. Opponents arguments have generally been along the lines of regurgitated rumors, conspiracy theories, out of context quotes, etc passed along by irresponsible media pundits. There are certainly some valid criticisms of even a moderate Muslim (as an atheist, I probably have more than the average bear), but the depictions of him as some sort of terrorist sympathizer generally fall flat when the full light is shown upon the facts and context.

The timing of the outrage is fairly suspect as well with important mid-terms coming up... suddenly this and mosques across the country and Islam generally is getting on everybody's shit list... even though the building in NY has been used as a mosque for quite some time with a fairly large congregation without issue until recently. The mosques and their congregations being protested elsewhere (or threatened, or bricked, or arson incidents, etc) generally aren't new to the communities in question.

The timing is particularly odd in that both Bush and Obama have continually pushed the public to respect each other's religious liberty and gone out of their way to point out how Islam generally has little to do with these fringe Qtub extremists and their unpopular interpretations. It's not as if Christians would be for guilt by association with the Westboro Baptist Church, nor would more liberal congregations want to be held responsible for more repressive sects, or those who push views they vehemently disagree with. Nobody likes that. Even atheists hate it when their disbelief in god is used to link them to other atheists who happened to be authoritarian, brutal, etc... as if disbelief in god provides guilt by association for all the atheists out there who are libertarians, liberal, conservative, etc. All this seemed to have been covered and we had generally moved on...

But now 9 years later there is a sudden resurgence in the sensitivities, antagonisms, and violence that we haven't seen at these levels since the original attacks? The timing is just odd. Whether one blames media sensationalism and/or political divisiveness being used to justify undoing all that progress to sell ad revenue or win votes... we have a big problem. A problem that could get a lot worse over time if it works for those who are using the tactics. We need to nip it in the bud.

1 comment:

Coyote said...

This'll cheer you up you heartless-god hating-emo boy.