Tuesday, September 14, 2010

My Head is Spinning...No More

Waffling.  It is a common word in politics.  Often used to chastise a politician for changing his/her mind on something.  Most of the time, the waffling is insincere and strictly to pander for votes given which way the electorate winds blow.  I would like to think that there are those rare times where a politician, upon learning more about a particular issue, would change there mind based on facts and evidence rather than hold onto an old, tired, and incorrect position, as to appear not to be waffling.

This whole Dove World Outreach/Koran burning thing has kept my head spinning for weeks now.  I have been waffling.  First, I absolutely, positively jumped on it as a horrible thing to do.  Then I wondered why my reaction was that severe given my position on other acts of blasphemy.  I so wanted to condemn it (the public winds) that I searched and searched for a reason.  I grabbed onto the idea of book burning coupled with this burning being an act to incite hatred, fear, and intimidation.

I have read several other bloggers who have expressed opinions on the matter, and I am learning.  The more I read and the more I think about it, the more I could care less about whether Terry Jones went through with it or not.  I think Jones saw the publicity was enough and did a Palin.  Enamored by the celebrity he created for himself.  He got is 15 minutes of fame and I'm sure his website got a lot of hits and plenty of sympathy and I'm sure more than a few donations for him to continue to pursue his disgusting causes.

First, on the concept of book burning.  I am backing off my moral objection to this.  I think it is sign of ignorance on the part of the book burner, but books are just pieces of paper that have an idea expressed within them.  Burning the book does not eliminate the idea.  In this day and age of mass publication, e-readers such as Kindle, or even iPad's, and internet content, what does burning a book really mean?  The idea will not die, even if all the books are turned to ash.

Also, what does it say about a religion such as Islam, that wishes to condemn the burning of its Holy book, but actively engages in the burning of the U.S. Flag or straw men in effigy?  They commit similar acts of blasphemy and disrespect against symbols of the United States to condemn an idiot from Florida for committing an act of disrespect for their Koran.  They fail to see the similarities.  Not unlike many of our country's own religious right zealots and their objections to freedom of religion for Islam.  In the end, Jones did not hurt anyone, even if he had burned the books.  The Islamic protests ended up killing a dozen or more of their own in the act of solidarity.  Martyr each and every one of them I presume.  Muslims are constantly killing each other.  We see this in Iraq and Pakistan on a regular basis with suicide bombers.  I feel no remorse.

The true enemy here is religion.  9/11 was about religion.  Most acts of terrorism are about religion.  Our stubborn refusal to see it as an extremist issue rather than a religious issue is blinding us to continue the cycle.  The religious moderates refuse to speak out, or fallback on the "No True Scotsman" fallacy of their faith.

I will defend the freedom of religion as guaranteed by our Constitution.  I will defend the right of Jones to burn a book, any book.  I will defend the right of Muslims to build their Cultural Center near Ground Zero.  I will mock religion and laugh at the idiotic zealotry they display.  I will feel no remorse for those that kill themselves for their religion.

I am comfortable with my decision.

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