Lack of Content Warning

This site is not for children. It contains coarse language and humor and complex social and political analysis. If your child reads this blog, then you have a weird kid. Congratulations. We need more weird kids, our Nation's future depends upon them.

Seriously, do some parenting. It's not my job.

.....................................................................................................Lack of Content Warning.............................................................................................................. I have been tasked with pointing out the blindingly obvious to those readers who have never heard of hyperbole or encountered humor in their day to day lives. The Angry Redneck Liberal is a character. A literary device by which I share my sincere policy views through the persona of a (usually, but not always) loud, profane, extreme and often-times offensive character. No one in their right mind takes his outrageous comments at face value. Rational, intelligent adults accept his schtick as an integral part of what makes him an (occasionally) entertaining read. Sometimes, a shocking statement is necessary to make a point, focus the reader's attention on a preceding point or (more often than not) just to get a cheap laugh. I made the Angry Redneck Liberal for that reason, and he performs his task admirably. I stand by every position I have put forth here. I hope you find it to be both a source of humor and food for thought.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

As We Mourn the Dead in Norway, Let Us Not Seek to Blame the Blameless

          When the terror had ended (and the mourning just begun) in Norway, we were presented with a suspect in this despicable assault.  Police arrested 32-year-old Anders Behring Breivik of Oslo and are expected to charge him with the crime.

          Since Norway had been publicly threatened by Al-Qaeda, the world community's first (and completely understandable) response was to suspect a militant Islamic attack.  As soon as the suspect was apprehended, however, it became apparent that it was a completely different event.

          The suspect has been described as a "Right-Wing Conservative Christian" by the media.  The last two words in that description are misleading.  He may claim to be an adherent of Christianity, but his actions speak otherwise.  We must not allow this act by a delusional madman to lead us into thinking that all Christians are terrorists.  Christianity is a religion of peace and the Christian community is as outraged by this act as is anyone else.

          Did that last sentence sound strange to you?  It shouldn't.  Had the perpetrators of this atrocity been Muslim, we would already be deluged by right-wingers on TV and radio and their adherents on social-networking sites screaming incomprehensibly about "Religion of Peace?! Ha!" and "Global Jihad!!" and "There Are No Moderate Muslims!" and "Glass Parking Lot", etc...  After 9/11, we lost a bit of what makes us Americans.  Because twenty deluded young men (supported by untold scores of other deluded radicals) attacked us in the name of their mis-guided idea of  Islam, we became an Islamophobic nation overnight.  People suddenly distrusted their neighbors of twenty and thirty years simply because they shared a religion (or, in some cases, even just a skin tone) with the attackers.  Al-Qaeda didn't destroy our spirit that day, but they sure wounded our souls and national character.  Those wounds have yet to heal.

          We used to be the Land of Tolerance and Religious Freedom, now we give sidelong glances at people who look "Arabic" to us and wonder if it's safe to get on the plane with them when we are waiting to be violated by the TSA.   It's like we're all a bunch of unintentional racists, pushed in that direction by talking heads in the media and our own inability to fathom a world where the "enemy" is so hard to identify.  In our uncertainty, we embrace false truths.  In our fear, we embrace hate.

          It doesn't have to be this way.  We are better than this.  Those of us on the Left and (especially) those among us of the Islamic faith must guard against using this event as a tool to lash out at those we feel have been so fervent in their condemnation and scapegoating of non-Christians.  When it comes (and it will), we must resist the  urge to say, "See?!  It was a Right-Wing Christian terrorist!  It's just like Timothy McVeigh and Eric Rudolph!  We can't trust Fundamentalist Christians!  They only respect the lives of other Right-Wing Christians! We should keep tabs on them like they want to do with us!  It's self-preservation!  Christianity has killed more people throughout history than anything else!!"  Instead, we should take the opportunity to say to our neighbors, "You see how it feels when someone does horrible things and you get part of the blame for only sharing a belief system with them?"

          To my fellow Christians:  If you do hear these things, please be understanding.  Oftentimes, it has been our own religious leaders and media pundits that have said hateful things about Muslims. Or Jews. Or Hindus. Or Atheists. Or even about other branches of Christianity which differ from our own.  Turn the other cheek and try to understand where this anger may well from.  None of us can claim perfection, but we can make a conscious effort to strive toward it.  Peace be with you.

Tim

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