Thoughtful (If Snarky) Answers to Thoughtless Questions


One of the things that stood out like a red coat on a soldier during the whole cracker debacle was the sheer quantity of snivelling. In a thousand permutations, the charming and concerned Christians raised the cry: “Why don’t you desecrate the Koran? Why are you always picking on Christianity? Wah!”

Religious fuckwits being religious fuckwits (and mind, we’re not talking about the Christians here at the cantina who responded with rationality, restraint, and no little amount of hysterical laughter over the antics of their “brethren”), they decided the answer must be: “PZ’s afraid of the scary Mooslims!!1!!!11!”

In a word, no. And he proved that. The Koran ended up nailed to The God Delusion and the cracker, and all ended up in the trash, a vile act of desecration the Muslims have yet to start sending death threats over. To an atheist, no religion’s paraphenalia is sacred. And it’s not fear that keeps us from bashing Islam with the same abandon with which we bash fundamentalist Christianity.

It’s prevalence.

That simple.

You may have noticed that I don’t spend a vast amount of time around here unleashing the Smack-o-Matic 3000 upon the Animal Liberation Front, Harlequin Romances, white supremacists, or any one of ten thousand other ridiculous groups or detriments to culture. I might reach over and give any one of them a sharp rap on the knuckles from time to time, but I won’t dedicate multiple posts to them.

They have no power.

They don’t have the numbers, the organization, or the importance to be any great threat to my way of life, and there’s only so much stupid I can handle in a day. They’re not a priority.

Now, I know what the outraged little rabid Christians are going to scream: “But it was Islamofascists who attacked America!”

Yes, indeed, ’twas. And it was the born-again fuckwit in office who allowed them to succeed. It’s the cons in power who used that one terrible day to push through their religious and political agenda.

I know who the greater threat is, thanks ever so much. A handful of fanatics trickling in from overseas have got nothing on the native-born God brigade here.

Muslims haven’t achieved the kind of political power in this country that threatens the Constitution, no more than ALF has. They don’t have the kind of numbers to try to impose their religious fuckery by legislative fiat on this society. I don’t see Muslims getting themselves elected to school boards so they can sneak Intelligent Design and God into the classroom. I don’t see Muslims in high office doing everything they possibly can to create a theocracy. Until they have political and social power, fundamentalist Muslims just don’t matter much to me on a day-to-day basis.

They pop up their heads, I’ll be happy to use the Smack-o-Matic to play whack-a-mole before they get out of hand. Until then, I’m frantically busy with our own batshit insane theocons, thanks ever so much.

And there’s another important component here. They’ve never had power in this country. They’re a minority. They’ve got all they can handle trying to keep the old, established, have-to-make-up-persecutions-because-they’re-not-actually-persecuted Christians from destroying them.

Do you hear of Christians getting racially profiled at airports? No.

Christian phones being tapped without warrants simply because, as Christians, they’re assumed to be terrorists? No.

Is it Christians being tortured in Guantanamo Bay? No.

Is Monkey Boy George a fundamentalist Muslim? No.

Are Muslim universities turning out droves of right-wing asshats who then go on to infest every level of our government and come up with creative explanations as to why torture is perfectly legal? No.

Christians, on the other hand, have had vast power in this country from the bloody beginning, and they keep demanding more. So, while I might find Islam just as ridiculous as Christianity, and I despise fundamentalism of all stripes, I’m more inclined to give the few fundamentalist Muslims in this country a wee bit o’ a pass. So what if they want to impose Sharia law and all manner of other fuckery on us? It’s not even vaguely possible for them to do so at the moment, and in the meantime, they’re suffering really real persecution for being brown and calling God by the wrong name. My morals tell me you don’t apply the spiked boots to the bloke bleeding on the floor.

When the fucker gets up is a whole other matter. We’re not there yet.

You won’t see me being gentle on terrorists. You won’t see me indulging overwhelming religious stupidity just because the perpetrators happen to be a minority – if we have even a hint of what Denmark faced with the outrageous reaction to a few tasteless cartoons, you can bet the Smack-o-Matic’s coming out. But I’m not going to go out of my way searching out examples of fundamentalist Islamic stupidity out of some misguided attempt at balance.

Do I fear the reaction if I piss off the Islamic fundamentalists, who have at times demonstrated a rather distressing tendency to respond to ridicule with violence? No.

Listen. All a Muslim fanatic has the power to do right now is kill me. A Christian fanatic, on the other hand, has the power to destroy everything in my life that made it worth living.

You tell me what I should fear more.

Comments

  1. says

    A good essay, even though what you’re saying ought to be obvious. It’s sadly inobvious to the fools who think that just because they don’t always get things their own way that they’re being persecuted.I”ve invited such people to spend some time living as a real minority to see how it goes. So far, I don’t see many embracing that idea, nor am I holding my breath.

  2. says

    Oh, it’s wonderful hypocrisy … “ooh, ooh, you can’t mocl religion, that’s baad; and by the way, why don’t you diss the Muslims?” – which means they’re not objecting to mocking of religion at all – just their religion. Mocking other religions is apparently just dandy, as long as theirs is priveleged. Hey, cujo, nice post – I made a related point (though perhaps much less eloquently) in my challenge to “persecuted” christians.

  3. says

    You picked some good examples in that essay, Efrique. The Christians who complain about being discriminated against would probably be the last to try any of those things, unfortunately. I honestly don’t think they want to try walking in someone else’s shoes.