Archive for the ‘crusades’ tag
Along with the Salem Witch Trials, slavery, the Crusades, hysterical quarrels in the Middle East, 9/11 and many others, we can add yet another episode to the violent and unethical path that religion has dug since its invention.
We know you’re gay. And God hates gays. You won’t be raping anybody in the county and God’s going to make sure that you burn in hell.
This gay advocate site found it poignant to note that the message made a reference to rape, as if to paint gay people as vile fornicators who will hit anything that moves. This is a disgusting notion, of course. As the site says:
Note the reference to raping. Registered christian hate groups use the discredited lie that Gay men rape children to incite violence against our community. These same hate groups claimed that black men were raping white women to stir violence against the African American community half a century ago.
Of course, black people could be accused of almost anything because they had few, if any, rights prior to the 1960s. Here’s one case from Wikipedia:
In Duluth, Minnesota, on June 15, 1920, three young African American travelers were lynched after having been jailed and accused of having raped a white woman. The alleged “motive” and action by a mob were consistent with the “community policing” model. A book titled The Lynchings in Duluth documented the events.((1))
In the 1930s, communist organizations, including a legal defense organization called the International Labor Defense (ILD), organized support to stop lynching. (see The Communist Party USA and African-Americans). The ILD defended the Scottsboro Boys, as well as three black men accused of rape in Tuscaloosa in 1933. In the Tuscaloosa case, two defendants were lynched under circumstances that suggested police complicity. The ILD lawyers themselves narrowly escaped lynching. The ILD lawyers aroused passionate hatred among many Southerners because they were considered to be interfering with local affairs. In a remark to an investigator, a white Tuscaloosan was quoted, “For New York Jews to butt in and spread communistic ideas is too much.”((2))
Here’s more on the anti-gay record of the religious in America. The fact that there are, or ever have been, hate groups specific to any religion says something about religion itself: that when a person thinks that they have God or Allah or the Bible or the Koran on their side, what we might normally call immoral actions now become sacrosanct with a full accedence from heaven. This, of course, stands in direct opposition to Dostoevksy’s much-trumpeted point about atheism, that without God, everything is permitted.
I don’t know of any modern thinker who has yet to articulate it thusly, but we can say it without compunction: with God, anything, absolutely anything, is permitted.
What is the war on terror?
What defines it and at what point might we be able to declare “victory?”
One could suggest these questions might have been more relevant six or seven years ago when this debacle began after 9/11, but as we are still in a two-front war, still being affected globally by terrorism (See: Mumbai) and still hobbled under George W. Bush’s all-encompassing declaration of war on enemies both seen (mostly unseen), it’s still relevant today.
Frankly, I still don’t know what the war on terror means. I understand it’s an active roundup of people who seek to do harm on an international scale to innocents (For the record, the “Allied” forces have killed an estimated 90,000-97,000 civilian Iraqis since 2003.) and to catch those regimes who seek to intimidate and bully governments with which they don’t agree, but terrorism has existed since the Earth cooled (Possibly, but only possibly, is this an overstatement).
A few of many examples include:
- The Crusades
- The slaughter/scattering of the Native Americans
- John Brown, the Sons of Liberty, the Ku Klux Klan, the Irish Republican Army and numerous examples from the Cold War
Thus, terrorism is not a new thing. It wasn’t created on 9/11. And most importantly, it’s not a thing we can wrap our minds, our hands or our guns around. It’s a ubiquitous thing. Like the war on drugs, it’s so ubiquitous that we can’t even imagine it’s eventual victory. Acts of terror have pervaded for centuries. The fact that we are just now in the 21st century declaring a “war” on it precludes nothing from its history.
What does “victory” look like? What would that mean?
One supposes that it means eradicating those in the world who seek to do us (Us, meaning not only Americans, but innocents around the world) harm. But how does one carry this out to its end? To declare war presupposes that said war predicates an enemy and the possibility of victory over that enemy.
But we don’t have a clearly defined enemy. We have a group of erratic, ever-shifting, ever-evolving group of networks. They have no defined “nation” and no defined “allegiance.” Unless that allegiance is said to be to Allah. And if that’s the case, we are waging a war, ultimately, against a mythical god. One can see, then, how the war on terror, taken to its extreme, can appear wholly absurd, and not only ubiquitous, but otherworldly. For, if the god supposedly served by radical Islamic terrorists orders its subjects to kill infidels (or to kill anyone) in its holy text is not worthy to be served, praised or even acknowledged.
Moreover, the War on Terror is like a giant, never-ending escape clause, excusing us from the guilt of all kinds of atrocities that otherwise would not be put up with. When will this mythical war end? What defines its victory? What does victory even mean? It’s not a war against Iraq or a war against Afghanistan. It’s a war against an ideal, an intangible. At this point, we can not predict its end. And if we somehow knew what victory would mean, we shudder at its far-reaching, centuries-long consequences.