Monday, September 18, 2006

I...kind of got no dog here

O, not the whole "the West is doomed, we shall run rampant through your land whilst spilling blood and alcohol and cackling maniacally" bit, fun as that always is.

no, Pope R. vs. the Flying Fundamentalist Foamers, Moslem division.

I mean: how frigging hard is it to at least offer a proper apology? Papal duties can't be THAT taxing, can they?

Well, he -sounds- like a garden-variety bigoted asshole, but he's God's own asshole, I expect; hence, This Means War. cool! now the Catholics are in for it as well, not that a lot of them probably weren't already covered with the whole "death to the entire West deal;" but, oooohh, revenge! revenge for the Crusades at last! the original ones, that is. Yay! FREE FOR ALL


z said...

I like how he's sorry he offended people, not that he said what he said. Oh, and I also like that when he said prayers he was surrounded by sharpshooters. Nice.

belledame222 said...

> I like how he's sorry he offended people, not that he said what he said.>

I know, classic, isn't it?

spotted elephant said...

Silly you! He's infallible.

Being infallible means never having to say you're sorry.

Rootietoot said...

Ok, even if I don't agree with what he quoted from 600 years ago, funny how the words were immediately validated by the reaction of the Muslim world.

(prepared to duck all kinds of rocks,eggs, and arrows)

Dan L-K said...

Despite the poor wording of the article, it's not "the Muslim world" (inasmuch as there really is such a thing).

And it really conflates two different reactions: the rabid nastiness of the Islamist fundamentalists (who can be counted on for that kind of response with the same precision as the US Religous Right can be counted on to rise up in righteous defiance every time there's a positive gay character on Network TV), and the large numbers of just-folks Muslims saying, "Yanno, that wasn't either true or nice." (And who are right on both counts.)

belledame222 said...

What Dan said.

belledame222 said...

...i mean. we are talking about, how many, what. Millions? BILLION people, here?

belledame222 said...

that said: well yes, as with last time and the time before, there is a certain irony to (the wackjobs) responding specifically to the charge of "say, y'all are kind of violent" with "VIOLENT?!?!?! WE'RE NOT FUCKING VIOLENT!!! WE'LL ****KILL**** YOUUUUU!!..."

...or, well, ? i dunno. fundamentalist zealots of all stripes do my head in.

Alon Levy said...

Generally, the accepted figure is that 1% of all Muslims, i.e. 12 million people, are radical Islamists. Political Islamists are more ubiquitous, but they're no different from Evangelicals in the US, so rushing to celebrate Christian superiority because of their existence is misplaced.

Rootietoot said...

I must respond.
How many people have fundamentalist christian bigots blown up? maybe 10? weren't they prosecuted?
We haven't committed stuff like that since the Crusades and the Spanish Inquisition.

Please don't compare us to the radical muslim faction.

belledame222 said...

Okay. When you say "us:" are you identifying with: fundamentalists, or Christians? Not bigots, surely.

as for how many people have killed people in the -name- of Christianity: I'm afraid rather a lot more than 10 do some seriously awful things, if not actually "suicide bomb" per se. part of me wants to go provide a laundry list, and part of me just really, REALLY does not want to go there. I just did it with someone i don't like or respect; I'm sort of not up for it right now.

also consider this, maybe:

isn't the message of Jesus, or one of them, something about having committed the sin in one's heart also being a problem? What about the hideous, HATFUL things the really popular televangelists -say?- About, well, gay people, for starters. Do you really think this has no real-world effect? I can tell you that it does. Even indirectly. People I know who have grown up in houses that feel like war zones; people who have been cast out of their family; the kids who end up on the street...

"Spiritual abuse" is a real concept, I think. I see an awful lot of it. And while its effects might not be as immediately obvious or spectacular as people walking into a crowded bus station and blowing themselves up,

(well--what was Oklahoma City? how was the guy raised? not Moslem, at any rate)

...but I truly believe that it is just as damaging in many ways. Can be. It's not the doctrine that's the difference. It's the abuse of it; and abuse is rampant even in this country. If a major Depression were to happen again? If we were as -constantly- under attack as the people Over There? You think we'd collectively be behaving better? I wonder. Lord knows there's plenty of evidence that "we" are no angels on the battlefield right now.

and, you know: while there are a number of reasons why we are in the current Iraq quagmire, I do believe, with good reason, I think

yeah, no, i'm not gonna do "How Many People Do More Awful Things in the Name Of Which Religion More Often;" I don't think it's a useful contest; I don't know what anyone wins.

If the point is to defend Christianity per se: look. I know there is a lot of generalized anti-religious and anti-Christian sentiment on the loosely defined left. I actually think it sucks. I think there are reasons for this, but I still think the effect is that it sucks and isn't helpful. One of these days I'm gonna post about that more.

But as you notice from my blogroll, I have plenty of religious folk in there from all traditions, including a number of Christians.

I have no beef with Christians. I have no beef with the guy in the sandals. I LIKE the guy in the sandals.

Zealots, I have a problem with. Bigtime.

And yes, I know that plenty of people who go under the official name of even fundamentalism are kind and decent and hell maybe even in some cases far more open-minded than I'm willing to give credit for. I learned that generalizing lesson the hard way with "radical feminists."

What's in a name.

Let's say "zealots," then, okay.

And simply by dint of the fact that 1) there are far more Christians than Moslems in this country and 2) there are an awful lot of zealots of all stripes, possibly inevitably, although it -feels- sometimes like--well, anyway, but: I consider the recent brouhaha with those people who were doing and saying awful shit in the name of feminism to be about zealotry. In some of those cases I'd call THEM fundamentalists, feminist fundamentalists, in that they take the tenets absolutely literally and are absolutely rigid and unhearing about any suggestion that those "fundaments" might not be quite as they think they are. and, well, black and white worldview, and lots of externalizing battles against enemies with little introspection, and...

and the reason I protest them so much is because i believe that -even though they may not be committing anywhere NEAR the amount of real-world damage as the people that are their sworn enemies--

--which is obviously true, for numeric reasons alone, among other things--

as they say: sometimes? "It's the thought that counts."

belledame222 said...

...and I see now after having written all that the response was directly to alon, above.


I'm gonna just step in here and be pre-emptive.

It's not that I don't think we can talk about this. Like I said, I want to do a post or maybe a series specifically addressing religion in general sometime soon.

But I do know that you, rootietoot, are coming from a particular perspective, and that you, alon, are coming from another that might be rather, well, radically opposed in some ways, and, yeah, i'm already seeing this unfold, mentally, and i'd really rather not do this here, because i like you both.

Not meaning to shut down, just...maybe, put that on ice for now.

Thanks, I'd appreciate it.

and no, alon, I don't see anything wrong with your post either; it's just, yeah, being pre-emptive. Very very very different perspectives here, from what I know of you both, and a lot invested in this on either side.

belledame222 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
JackGoff said...

Zealots are the real problem. However, when the normal everyday believers hear of a zealot's ideas being attacked, it tends to polarize them against the attacker as opposed to the zealot. That's the problem with belief. It can be molded, shaped, into something of dire proportions.

That, and Ratzi-nazi makes this former Catholic want to puke. We had an ok pope in JP2 (albeit still bigotted), but now, we get Emperor Palpatine, in word and deed. Ugh. (No offense to catholics out there, but have you listened to some of this SHIT this guys has been saying?! Makes me almost as nervous as the Islamic fundamentalists.)

belledame222 said...

well, one thing, and then i really do want to put this on hold:

>Political Islamists are more ubiquitous, but they're no different from Evangelicals in the US,

I'd started to write something to the effect of there being a difference between Evangelical and Fundamentalist (Christian); there's a lot of overlap, but they are not, as I understand it, synonymous. and i think i have a few very left-wing evangelical Christians in the 'roll, along with more moderate folks and/or other denominations. also some Moslems who have no great love for foaming clerics, believe me.

but I realized i wasn't entirely sure what you meant by "Political Islamists;" and, well...anyway. If the point was that there are plenty of people who feel very strongly about their religion, maybe even are (did you mean fundamentalists?) without being actual, you know, mudererers, on both sides, then, well, yes, that, clearly. Whether they're in equal numbers or whether it makes sense to say they're roughly equivalent, I...well, frankly, I'd be speaking out of my ass, especially when it comes to Islam.

belledame222 said...

slip, and yeah, gotta go with Jack on pretty much all of that. What is it right now with leaders who seem DETERMINED to alienate as many people as possible?

belledame222 said...

re-reading. maybe I'm misreading again and the response -wasn't- directly to alon after all but to all the preceding, in which case, sorry to have put you on the spot, alon. I realize -I'm- getting uncomfortable. I'll just own it, then.

but yeah, going meta for a sec: i think this was actually a good sort of mini-expression of what happened on the larger scale, as Jack pointed out. Someone makes a sweeping pronouncement about a group you identify with, perhaps focusing on the extremists; and although you don't identify with the extremists you feel implicated and thus end up rallying to the defense of your, well, people, for lack of a better, extremists and all, sure.

So in this case of course you get the foaming nutjobs doing what they do best (surprise); and then people who were already inclined to see pretty much all Moslems as foaming murderous nutjobs go, well, if they're not then why don't they denounce the foaming nutjobs? and of course the answer is: because someone from a hostile (and very powerful, in the Pope's case) camp who from our POV is pretty well acting like or represents foaming murderous nutjobs himself is implicating ALL of us; and, well, we don't like our nutjobs either, but dammit, they're OUR nutjobs, and, well, first things first.

I seem to recall that there is an Arabic (? not that this would be synonymous with "Moslem," obviously; maybe it -is- from Islam somehow somewhere? i hate talking out of my ass, BUT, istr) something like:

"My brother and I against my cousin; my cousin and I against our neighbor; our neighbor and I against the person in the next city..."

i have to track that down.

Wherever it's actually from, though, i think the sentiment's pretty close to universal, really, although it may be more firmly codified in some places than others.

belledame222 said...

um. and I realize that i said

"hideous, HATFUL things"

which, heh, maybe the world would be a better place..

Dan L-K said...

My objection, I think, is to the heads-I-win-tails-you-lose setup: You People are a bunch of backward psychopaths, and if my saying that makes you mad, well, I rest my case. Wasn't that one of HH Twisty's tactics too? In either case - nuts to that.

And it is most definitely not a contest. Nobody's hands are clean. I worship a god with an elephant's head, infinite in compassion and mercy; but it's not like plenty of His fans haven't done and said perfectly stupid and hateful and awful things.

Kristin said...

As a Catlick girl, I want to say excuse the fuck out of me. Much like our President, we didn't vote for him. He is an embarrassment and a disservice to the planet. (Catlick - Catholic without the Papacy, a la carte quasi-Christianity.)

belledame222 said...


and yeah, i've said enough about that bit that i already come off as a raving crank to a lot of people, i know, but...

one of these ALSO remind me to write about Lifton's criteria for cults/totalitarian groups. one thing he's very clear on: it's NOT about the ideology. it can literally be anything: political, religious, esoteric, club. U-Name-It. But there are still ways to separate out the sheep from the goats there, as it were. It's about, again, behavior, and...patterns.

Dan L-K said...

In this case, it's Her Holiness.

Sorry. Lame joke.

(I suppose "HH Twisty I" might've read better.)

belledame222 said...

ah, ok. i was thinking "HotHead?
do not diss the HotHead so!"

even if her creator did turn out to be sadly disappointing viz the transphobic thing, as piny and others have noted since my last loving ode.

still: HotHead Roolz.

and Chicken, too.

Anna in Portland (was Cairo) said...

the proverb you are referring to does exist. My brother and I against my cousin; my cousin and I against the world. Justl ike in English there is a proverb "blood is thicker than water." The fact is that there are proverbs in practicaly every language that say the exact same thing. It's kind of pointless to use them as markers of a culture or as harbingers of actual attitudes.

belledame222 said...

Yes, that was sort of what I was saying right afterward, with

>Wherever it's actually from, though, i think the sentiment's pretty close to universal, really>

Just associating, really.

Anyway, thank you for stopping in and posting; hope you stick around.

belledame222 said...

...hey, Anna, your blog looks great. Put you in the 'roll; hope that's okay.

Yeah, I need to really sit down with some of the Chomsky books, even booklets, gathering dust on my shelves and try to, you know, like READ them. I'm impressed with anyone who does. I, you know, yeah, writing style isn't everything, but: godDAM i find him dry as a bone. maybe it's just me.

belledame222 said...

off-topic, but btw, Alon? You're absolutely right about Jessica and Feministing. Where have I been all their life? mea culpa.

belledame222 said...

...oh, and that post you responded to last night, Alon (and tuffy, if you're reading this): took it down, decided i didn't want to go there.

main point of it being: yah, I sense a certain, ummm, country-club gatekeeping mentality emanating from Ann and a lot of those posters, put it that way. Flies under the radar, maybe, especially compared to all the more egregious shit, but...yeah, i suspect it's there.

Anna in Portland (was Cairo) said...

Thanks! I have not posted because I broke up an 18 year marriage and fled Egypt with my sons to the US. Reality just keeps me from trying to do my bit to populate cyberspace these days. I really should start posting again. Sigh. If you read Chomsky be sure to blog your reactions.

belledame222 said...

Oh right, i hadn't noticed the date on your last entry. Well, glad you've been posting around the 'sphere, anyway. and thanks, i will. i have: how many books i need to actually read? or finish reading? ...a: lot.

fastlad said...

Ah sod it. I'm off to the shed to inject crack into my eyeballs