Annals of Religious Extremism

A group called American Atheists has filed suit to prevent a giant steel cross from being included in the 9/11 memorial museum at the World Trade Center. The two intersecting beams were found in the wreckage of the WTC, and because they happen to physically resemble a cross, Christian extremists and apologists for Christian extremists want to pretend that the “steel remnant [is] a symbol of spiritual comfort for the thousands of recovery workers who toiled at ground zero, as well as for people around the world.” What a “symbol” of one particular religion has to do with the destruction of what was New York City’s leading symbol of U.S.-led global commercialism and the murder of almost 3,000 people, many of whom were Muslim, Jewish, and no religion at all, goes unexplained.

In McKinney, Texas, a Planned Parenthood clinic that “provides women’s health and reproductive services, but does not perform abortions,” was set on fire with a container of gasoline. Fortunately, the incendiary device exploded outside the clinic, so the inside was not damaged.

When it comes to regulating women’s bodies, the Christian right is just fine with big government intruding into private family decisions.

I doubt that the blogger who runs Weasel Zippers would have any problem with Mayor Bloomberg, who is Jewish, greeting worshippers at a Rosh Hashanah service with “Shalom.” But it becomes “pandering gone horribly wrong” when the same mayor — who, by the way is, officially at least, mayor of the entire city of New York, not just the portion that is Christian or Jewish — greets a group of Muslim worshippers at a Ramadan observance with the same word in Arabic: “Salaam.” Or when he tries to, at least. Being Jewish and thus much more familiar with the Hebrew form of that word, “shalom,” he said “shalom alaikum” — which means he used Hebrew for the first word and Arabic for the second. The fact that the correct Arabic phrase, salaam aleikum, has exactly (literally, *exactly*) the same meaning as the corresponding Hebrew phrase, shalom aleichem — namely, “peace be upon you” — should not, as I pointed out above, cause you to miss the opportunity to mock this obvious example of “pandering gone horribly wrong.”

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6 Comments

Filed under Breaking News, Politics, Religion, Society

6 responses to “Annals of Religious Extremism

  1. YourFriend

    The Planned Parenthood story says nothing of the religion of the arsonist. In an earlier blog post, did you not criticize people for wrongly ascribing the Oslo attack to Muslims. Have you decided to abandon a wait-and-see approach for a knee-jerk accusation with no factual basis?

    • You have a point. I changed post title from Christian to Religious.

      • YourFriend

        The news story aforementioned says nothing of religious motivation. Are there not atheist prolifers or agnostic prolifers? There is no evidence that the person was even prolife. Could it not be motivated for reasons other than the abortion issue?

  2. Could it not be motivated for reasons other than the abortion issue?

    Come on. Come on, now. Like what?

    • YourFriend

      With 17,000+/- terrorist attacks worldwide perpetrated by Muslims since 9/11, was it not reasonable to think the Oslo attack was perpetrated by Muslims as well?

      The tables have turned and you are making the same kind of assumptions as the people you criticized about the Oslo attacks.

      I’m not saying it wasn’t religiously motivated. It very well could be. I’m just holding you to the same standard to which you hold others.

      • I could argue that the overwhelming majority of clinic bombings, threats against and harassment of clinic workers, and actual murders of doctors who provide abortions are committed by people with extreme, fanatical Christian beliefs. Someone who is personally opposed to abortion but also believes it should be legally available is not likely to bomb a clinic that provides abortions (or that they think does), or murder doctors who provide abortions.

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