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Nov 02 2010

Conservative bloggers call for Campbell soup boycott fearing Islamic terrorism

What would you do if you saw someone homeless, legless, begging for help or at least understanding? Obviously your human compassion would kick in and you’d go to that person’s aid.

Not me – I’d plant a swift kick and walk away laughing.

Well… not really, but sometimes it feels like that.

Conservative bloggers in the United States — the same ones behind opposition to the Islamic centre near Ground Zero in New York — are calling for a boycott of Campbell’s Canadian-made soups, alleging Islamic terrorists are linked to both. Pamela Geller, who runs a widely read anti-Muslim site called Atlas Shrugs, is calling for a boycott of some 15 soups made by the Canadian subsidiary of New Jersey-based Campbell Soup Co.

This story is just too delicious (or should I say ‘Mmm, mmm, good’) to pass by without mocking. It has all the ingredients for a hilarious level of crapitalism: conservatism, Ayn Rand worship, completely ridiculous accusations of terror links, religion, and underlying the whole thing is soup. To conservatives: when you complain that the “elitist liberals” think that you’re all a bunch of troglodyte morons, this is why we think that. Every time you see a clownish buffoon rail against supposed connections between international terror and a friggin’ soup company, or something equally ludicrous, it’s some “family values” or “small government” nutbag right-wing group.

By the way, for those of you who didn’t read the story – the reason they think Campbell’s is connected to terror isn’t based on any deals with shady companies or foreign sources of funding. No no no, nothing so superficially reasonable:

Sold in Canada, the soups are certified by the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), which has been certifying halal foods since 1988. But Geller claims ISNA has ties to terrorist groups, including Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood.

The other children on the playground are right to make fun of you, Ms. Geller – you’re a moron.

But my mean-spirited mockery doesn’t stop there; oh no, not even close:

“The Simpsons” just got a blessing from the Vatican. The official Vatican newspaper has declared that beer-swilling, doughnut-loving Homer Simpson and son Bart are Catholics — and what’s more, it says that parents should not be afraid to let their children watch “the adventures of the little guys in yellow.” “Few people know it, and he does everything to hide it. But it’s true: Homer J. Simpson is Catholic”, the Osservatore Romano newspaper said in an article on Sunday headlined “Homer and Bart are Catholics.”

The evidence for the assertion: prayer before meals, believing in God.

The evidence against the assertion: regular attendance at a “Presbylutheran” church, complete lack of Catholic doctrine, open mockery of Catholicism.

Ah yes, I keep forgetting. Using evidence with the Catholic Church is like trying to stop a buffalo stampede with road signs – they don’t understand it, and will completely ignore it. The Osservatore Romano based this on an analysis of a Simpsons episode in which God is discussed, the conclusion of which is that The Simpsons is the only kid’s show that discusses Christian faith and religion. Of course The Simpsons isn’t a kid’s show, it’s a cartoon sitcom for adults. Peter Griffin from Family Guy actually is Catholic, and is another popular cartoon sitcom that discusses Christian faith and religion on a regular basis, but almost never in a positive light. Hmm, wonder how they missed that? It’s the good old fashioned religious way of reasoning – come up with your conclusion first, then back-fill your explanation. Convenient!

Of course these are funny and light-hearted instances of when religious stupidity runs rampant. Sometimes it’s not a joke:

Sikh groups have urged US President Barack Obama not to avoid visiting the Golden Temple in Amritsar during his India trip next month, amid reports he is now unlikely to go there. A US official told the BBC there were “logistical” issues. Mr Obama would need to cover his head to enter the temple and there are reported concerns opponents would use this to show he is a closet Muslim.

It’s a sad reflection on all of us when we let the actions of idiots influence foreign policy. I mean, it’s bad enough that we play ‘accommodationist’ with these idiots, elevating their idiocy to the level of reasoned debate in some misguided attempt to appease people who have been left behind by the last century, but to allow people who can’t tell the difference between Sikhism and Islam, or even the difference between showing respect for another culture’s traditions and being a secret member of that culture… to allow these kinds of people to derail diplomacy with a potentially huge trading partner is an unbelievable tragedy.

So yes, I kick the homeless amputee, and walk away laughing. Religion deserves nothing but mockery when it pretentiously draws itself up and masquerades as something deserving of respect. Doing otherwise is to falsely pretend that it has some sort of merit and is above criticism.

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