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.
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.
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 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.
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…