Category: Religion

Whose blasphemy?

Muslims think depictions of Mohammed are blasphemous. I understand that. They are outraged over the Danish cartoons containing pictures of Mohammed. I understand that.

But Muslims didn’t draw or publish the cartoons. Nor is Denmark a Muslim country. Muslims did not blaspheme. Nevertheless, thousands of Muslims in the Middle East are rioting, burning, even killing according to one report, because of the cartoons. That I don’t understand.

The rioters appear to be opportunists using the cartoons as an excuse to run amok. Not unlike other rioters in other times and places. Violence against one’s neighbors over something that happened abroad? What does that prove? That the cartoon showing an angry Mohammed with a bomb for a turban was right on?

The true blasphemy here is the violence being committed in the name of a peaceful prophet.

Robertson says take him out

Pat Robertson, the conservative every liberal loves to hate, is at it again. Shovel firmly in hand, he continues to deepen that hole he lives in. This time he is advocating the assassination of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.

Such a simple solution to such a complex international problem. Why struggle endlessly with troublesome nations around the world when all we have to do is order hits on offending heads of state? So quick, so simple, so economical. Why didn’t we think of it before?

Why I’m voting for Kerry

I’m voting for John Kerry. Why? I’ll try to keep it simple.

I have several issues that usually decide elections for me: the environment and women’s rights (pro-choice, not pro-abortion). For me those issues have never been negotiable.

I almost voted for Bush the first time. He seemed moderate enough, although not particularly qualified to be president, and Gore was very hard to like. But Gore had the experience and the record I wanted to see in my president, so I voted for him, reluctantly.

This from a previously lifetime registered, increasingly moderate Republican. In recent years though, I’d really waffled as Republicans seemed to be moving farther and farther away from defending women’s rights and the environment. Additionally, as my own life circumstances evolved, I slowly stopped thinking of myself as one of the Republican “haves” and more of a “have not.”

Then came 9/11. And the day I watched a church service at the National Cathedral and heard righteously angry voices swell to the strains of “Onward, Christian Soldiers.” I distinctly remember thinking, “My God, he’s going to make this a holy war!” And so he has.

I don’t believe in imposing ones’s religious beliefs on others. I don’t believe in making war in the name of religion. I believe in freedom of and from religion. I believe in science and the intellect and peace. To me spiritualism, or the lack of it, is a very private, personal thing and should remain so.