Riding Life!

Riding Life!
Life is like a wild horse--Unless you ride it, it will ride you! (from the movie: "Princess of Thieves.")

Saturday, September 22, 2012

C: Getting Political and Politically Incorrect

riot 4 Okay, I got special permission from V to veer from our usual path…

I tend to avoid commenting on politics or world affairs too much.  This is partly because I have a lot in my own little world to contend with, and this absorbs most of my energies.  It’s been a while since I have had the luxury of being impassioned about politics or world affairs. It must be added that the cynicism that pervades my philosophies in general applies here, too.  I have a suspicion of politicians of all stripes and I doubt very much that my thoughts, one way or the other, will change the world.

But lately the riots against the US in the Middle East riot 2and throughout Muslim communities worldwide  have captured some of my attention.  The images scattered throughout this post are from those events.

I have listened with growing chagrin about the murder of one of our ambassadors and the disrespect being shown to us by the riots outside our embassies throughout the world. 

It was not pleasant for me to see our embassy invaded, our flag taken down and replaced with some kind of flag bearing muslim flag an Islamic message. 

While I think that the Benghazi, Libya attack has now been shown to be an organized act of terrorism coming in under the cloak of mass uprising, it seems that much of the rioting (such as in Cairo) is, indeed, populist expression.

The impetus, it is said, is a film that people of the Islamic faith find offensive.


Rioting because someone makes a film insulting your religion?

Who acts this way?

I happen to be a Christian.  When folks make fun of or insult my religion or those important to its tenets, such as Jesus, it really does not matter much to me.

Water off a duck’s back.

I don’t understand why an insulting film would make thousands riot and, generally, act like animals. 

When comedienne Kathy Griffin said some pretty insulting things about Jesus in her stand-up routine, making headlines, my back was a watershed.  It did not make me want to picket her home or her performances.  It did not riot 3 make me hate her or think she is destined for Hell (not my business—that would God’s business).  I may choose to avoid her or not listen to her drivel, but it had no effect, whatsoever, on me.   What she says about my religion just does not matter much to me.

I don’t get offended much by the beliefs of others (or their non-belief).  And I think I am following in Jesus’ steps by being that way—He seemed to me to be the least offendable person who has walked the earth.

And, no, I do not feel it is my duty to defend God, Jesus or my faith by rioting or force of any kind.  We tried that in the Crusades and, as I recall, the process did not bring out the best of Christian virtue.  Let’s never go back to that. 

I read one article that said that the Islamists involved are upset because we (America) don’t force the film off the internet.  First of all, how do you do that?  I think that once on the internet, it’s pretty much a genie out of the bottle that can’t be put back in.  (Just ask those who,whoops, had a sex tape published that they wish had not seen the light of day).  But, then, I err in applying any logic to this situation.

bill of rights The larger issue is that we Americans have the First Amendment.  If some dough-headed Christian group wants to say something nasty about another religion, well, they get to do that….we don’t “take down” those expressions—that would be the style of those oppressive countries who are involved in these riots.

And, by the way, the riots began on September 11, the anniversary of an event that most Americans consider a cause for deep hurt and sadness.  Did we riot because they rioted against us on that particular day?  Not that I noticed…

Now, here’s where I get really politically incorrect:  When our former President George W. Bush would say of our operations in Afghanistan and Iraq, “We’re bringing democracy to the Middle East,” I used to shake my head. 



In an area where they want to stifle free speech, where they oppress women crushingly, where torture chambers are standard? 

The riots prove my point. Democracy has worked well for us.  We need to understand, however, that not everyone wants democracy, and not every society can sustain it.

Especially societies who riot over expression of opinion; or

Whose usual style to effect change is mass rioting.

I know that we are supposed to feel (and say) that all cultures are equal in value and yadayadayada.  Perhaps, however, those societies involved in this mess are societies which we should leave to stew in their own non-democratic juices.  Not all societies want or can sustain democracy, and we need to accept that. Not all societies are on equal footing…

Thanks for giving me my politically-incorrect moment.  C.

PS – please understand that I am NOT saying that we should not voice our beliefs, vote our consciences, etc.  (quite the opposite—we should relish and exercise our freedoms)

What I AM saying, however, is that we should be respectful and civil about doing so…to-wit: don’t riot and pillage over ideas…


Vee said...

Agreed. Some countries are not yet ready for Democracy because they are run by... oh so tempting but I'm not going to say it... men who are greedy for power.

It does make me sad to see countries fall to Sharia law and go back to the dark ages after they have once tasted freedom. What a deplorable state of affairs for the women who must suffer that. It should make every woman in the Western World stand against it. Yet, we hear not a peep from women's groups on these issues. And, now, I've taken your post somewhere else entirely. Sorry!

Anonymous said...

I think you have hit the nail on the head. We need to stop saying we're trying to "give democracy" to people whose leaders won't let them have it---and happen to want huge amounts of our money. That money doesn't get into the hands of the needy---it stays in the hands of the greedy. What the world is coming to is frightening---I'm glad you spoke up!

Cowgirl V said...

Great post C! You are so right--these people from the Middle East do not "get" democracy and could not handle it. I love George W, but I agree with what you said! I remember my dad saying pretty much the same thing over 20 years ago when we were under the Carter administration and dealing with the Ayatollah Khomeini. I do know that the only thing these people understand is brute strength and resolve. I still want to know WHY our embassies were so vulnerable and not properly protected!

Suzanne said...

Here's my two cents. We keep hearing about all the peaceful muslims, that they are in the majority. Where ARE they in all this? Where are their voices of outrage over how their religion is being represented or misrepresented??

Where are the voices of the clerics? They should be all over this, making sure that the world knows that the extremists do not represent them? Or do they?

I agree with Vee....where are all the angry feminists? Do you think I give a tinker's damn whether the "glass ceiling" has been broken in the U.S., when these women in these countries are suffering?

Again, I will mention the documentary, "Our Times". It's a chilling look at what women in the mideast deal with. It still haunts me and I wonder what ever happened to the woman who was featured.

P.S. I'm sick to death of political correctness.

Vivianne said...

I think the thing that is being missed out, that the media re not mentioning, is that hardly any of these 'rioters' have actually seen any of the film at all; most of these places do not have the internet connections that we do, many of the people are not educated. Yet they 'riot' because of a film. Who is agitating ? Who is stirring things up, telling these everyday Joe Muslims to go out and 'riot'? And now a Pakistani Member of Government is offering cash to the person who murders the film-maker. What would happen if a Cabinet member of a Western government did something like this ??

KathyB. said...

I just posted this blog-post on my Facebook. I agree with you. What more can I say? Thank-you. I am quietly restraining myself from further comment because my anger & frustration over the current admin. mid-handling of (our country) world affairs would cause me to seem dis-respectful.

KathyB. said...

I meant, current admin. MIS-HANDLING.

Thistle Cove Farm said...

Not only was Mr. Stevens murdered, he was sodomized and beaten before being murdered AND after requesting increased security for weeks and months. And a short while later, Hillary Clinton was hosting a party; it's disgraceful how elected officials have not appropriately responded to this outrage.
Democracy belongs only to those who fight for it and cherish it.

teri said...

Very well said, and an excellent point. Democracy cannot be imposed. It must be attained.

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