I have a friend who likes to wind me up by sending me right wing bigotry and religious crap. I never know whether he is sincere or not, because I seldom get an opinion out of him. I keep hoping he’s just pulling my chain for the fun of seeing me spin off in a hot lather. Recently he sent me this picture:
Normally I steer clear of stuff that is being covered by everybody else in the blogosphere and all the good folks on FTB. I mean, why bother. I’m not interested in contributing to the echo chamber. We all know right wing Christians are nut jobs and Christian ideology is defective and yada yada yada… But this time I had to comment.
I wrote back: Thanks for sending me this. Every once in a while somebody asks me why I think Christians are such hateful ignorant dumbfucks. I like to be able to show them some product of the Christian mind that illustrates my opinion, and this T-shirt is perfect. Their God is such a candy ass that we can lock him out of schools, but when we do he sulks and throws a snit and allows somebody to kill little kids. Some wonderful loving all powerful deity you have there folks. Well, thanks a fuck of a lot for loving us, God. Now piss off. I don’t associate with fuckheads like You.
This is great. Thanks again.
P.S. You send me this shit just to wind me up, right? Good one, buddy.
If my friend was sincere in sending me the picture, maybe I have offended him. In that case, sorry but get used to it. I push back now.
The annoying part of this is that this never works on a Christian. The reaction I always get is: Oh that is horrible. That is so stupid. I don’t believe for a moment that not having prayer in schools upsets God so that he allows things like this. No real Christian would think that way.
You see, Christians don’t identify with Christianity. They don’t see themselves in this kind of statement. They pull the “no true Scotsman” argument every time. Yet the t-shirts are on sale, and no doubt are selling well. The subject line on the email my friend sent me was: T-shirt of the day. Great answer.
So somebody thinks it’s a great answer. And before the picture of the T-shirt was this message: Before anything else, above all else, beyond everything else, God loves us. God loves us extravagantly, ridiculously, without limit or condition. Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of Newtown, Connecticut……such a tradgedy!
This is a sickening amount of hypocrisy with which to precede the image, and the image does not portray a God of love. That God is a fuckhead egomaniac idiot.
And it’s all so obvious, isn’t it. Nobody actually believes this stuff. At least nobody I know will admit to believing it. But a real honest to God presidential candidate said the same thing in the national media, so it’s hard to ignore the sentiment. What a God they want to worship. What a monster asshole god.
This woman has shown up on my FaceBook page a couple of times now. I don’t think it’s a co-incidence. The Republican propaganda machine is gearing up for 2014. They missed last time, but they will get another crack at that black guy who doesn’t deserve to be in the White House. And their tactics are all too familiar and haven’t changed a bit. Spread fear and misinformation. Get everybody worried.
This is Kitty Werthmann She speaks with great authority and impeccable logic. “I am a witness to history.” she tells her audiences. And this no doubt is true. It’s the interpretation, as always, that causes the problem.
This happened in Austria. It’s now happening in America. Therefore isn’t it obvious that America is heading for Fascism. Superficially it makes sense, until you stop to examine her logic. Then things fall apart. Unfortunately, far too few people seem to be examining her logic. I think it’s time to deconstruct her account.
Kitty starts by telling us that the Germans didn’t come into Austria with tanks and machine guns. The Austrians voted them in with a huge majority.
Austrians voted in Hitler. Americans just voted in Obama. Therefore Obama will give you Fascism. It’s an inescapable conclusion.
Uh, no. There is no causal relationship between winning a popular vote and leading the country into fascism. That’s the implication that Kitty plants, right at the top of her spiel, and it’s only the first of many misleading implications. I find the timing suspicious. It’s like Kitty has been waiting in the wings, just waiting and ready to spin our relief if and when Obama got popular support. Sorry. My relief is not reduced. I don’t think Obama is perfect, but compared to the alternatives the Republicans offered up, America made a damn good choice. But let’s go on. What did those nasty Nazis do when they got into power?
“After the election, German officials were appointed, and like a miracle, we suddenly had law and order. Three or four weeks later, everyone was employed. The government made sure that a lot of work was created through the Public Work Service.”
Again, yikes. Isn’t Obama all for getting people back to work with public works projects and the like? You know, like all those projects that built highways under Ike or facilities in national parks under the New Deal. Those somehow didn’t lead to fascism, but what is happening now sure as hell will. Because… Because Obama.
What next? You might be able to guess by simply thinking about something the Republicans are dead against. That’s it. Equality for women.
“Hitler decided we should have equal rights for women. Before this, it was a custom that married Austrian women did not work outside the home. An able-bodied husband would be looked down on if he couldn’t support his family. Many women in the teaching profession were elated that they could retain the jobs they previously had been required to give up for marriage.”
Ah hah. Wouldn’t you know it? Get those women out of the kitchen and into the work force and you are only one short step from the jack boot and the concentration camp. I’d like to point out that having a baby for Hitler is not exactly a part of humanist philosophy. Hitler didn’t offer women equality. He exploited women for their labour. But something is still missing here. What on earth could it be?
“Then we lost religious education for kids. Our education was nationalized. I attended a very good public school.. The population was predominantly Catholic, so we had religion in our schools. The day we elected Hitler (March 13, 1938), I walked into my schoolroom to find the crucifix replaced by Hitler’s picture hanging next to a Nazi flag. Our teacher, a very devout woman, stood up and told the class we wouldn’t pray or have religion anymore. Instead, we sang ‘Deutschland, Deutschland, Uber Alles,’ and had physical education.”
Oh my Gawd. That was it? Get rid of prayers in school and state sponsored religious education and you are on the slippery slope to fascism. I should have been able to guess. I mean, we all know that the Catholic church was a major force against Hitler. Why they even infiltrated the Hitler Youth so that they could undermine his godless teachings. And the Pope of the day did everything in his power to mitigate the horrors of the Holocaust. Uh… wait. That’s not exactly how it happened, no matter what our “witness to history” might tell you. Remember Gott Mit Ens on the belt buckles? Remember the Catholic church explicitly endorsing Hitler. I’m sorry but you can’t rewrite history to claim that atheists caused the Holocaust and the Catholic church was a fearless opponent of Hitler and staunch defender of freedom. That’s just not true. The problem wasn’t in taking down the crucifix, it was in putting up the portrait of Hitler and the Nazi flags.
She goes on to talk about the horrors that the Nazis perpetrated. The militarizing of the youth. Euthanasia. But one other statement she makes jumps out at me: ““When I go back to Austria to visit my family and friends, most of these women are emotional cripples because they just were not equipped to handle the horrors of combat.” Ah yes, you see. Men are much tougher than woman. Men can handle seeing their buddy’s head blown off in front of their eyes. Men can deal with the horrors of war without any emotional crippling effects, because… well, men. But women are much more delicate. Women do not belong in the armed services, much less in actually combat. Oh the horrors.
Another thing that those nasty Nazis did: They set up twenty-four hour child care. That’s right. Can you imagine being able to work the night shift even if you are a woman? “You could take your children ages four weeks old to school age and leave them there around-the-clock, seven days a week, under the total care of the government.” That’s just not right.
By now you should be ready for this one. The Nazis set up universal health care. Free. For anybody who needed it. But that was not a good thing. Far from it. “The problem was, since it was free, the people were going to the doctors for everything. When the good doctor arrived at his office at 8 a.m., 40 people were already waiting and, at the same time, the hospitals were full. If you needed elective surgery, you had to wait a year or two for your turn. There was no money for research as it was poured into socialized medicine. Research at the medical schools literally stopped, so the best doctors left Austria and emigrated to other countries.” Wow. That sounds just like Canada,eh. Who’da thought that universal health care, which is currently available in just about every developed country except America, would be a harbinger of fascism?
And then there was government interference in everyday life. “Free enterprise was essentially abolished. We had a planning agency specially designed for farmers. The agents would go to the farms, count the live-stock, and then tell the farmers what to produce, and how to produce it.” I don’t know much about government farm programs, but it seems to me they have been set up to help farmers, or what passes for farmers these days, mega-farm conglomerates. Let’s ask the senators from the corn belt whether they want to eliminate farm subsidies, shall we?
And finally, once the state was in control of everything from the shape of your restaurant tables to the products you wanted to buy, once free enterprise was completely dead, the final blow to freedom came down. You guessed it. “Next came gun registration. People were getting injured by guns. Hitler said that the real way to catch criminals (we still had a few) was by matching serial numbers on guns. Most citizens were law abiding and dutifully marched to the police station to register their firearms. Not long afterwards, the police said that it was best for everyone to turn in their guns. The authorities already knew who had them, so it was futile not to comply voluntarily. No more freedom of speech. Anyone who said something against the government was taken away. We knew many people who were arrested, not only Jews, but also priests and ministers who spoke up.”
Whew. Well, we’ve all been warned. What is it that we have to watch for if we are to guard against fascism and preserve our freedoms? What are the warning signs? Let’s review the list.
- giving a huge majority to a popular government. (Too late for this one, America)
- Kicking God out of our schools. (Check. Uh… no. There are still religious schools. We just don’t like the state giving preferential treatment to any one religion.)
- Public works programs that put people to work.
- Letting women into the military, especially in combat roles.
- Women in the work force.
- Government subsidized day care
- Universal health care
- Giving people the right to die with dignity. Talk of euthanasia. (It’s a slippery slope for grandma, you know.)
- Government interference in farming and other production.
- Gun control.
Quite the list. My problem is that there are many countries in this world that do all these things already, have a healthier population than America, a better educated population than America, a population where people don’t live in fear for their lives, yet they don’t seem to be in any other way reminiscent of Hitler’s Austria.
There is no causal relationship between the things on Kitty’s list of warning signs and fascism.
It’s taken me a while to say it, but Kitty’s warning is total bullshit. Once you think about it.
Okay, maybe there are things to worry about. Corporations being declared people. Corporations having undue control of the government. Drones killing civilians in countries where there is no war. An out of control military and the military-industrial-congressional complex. Concentration of media in corporate hands. Wire tapping and invasion of privacy with the Internet. The whole war on drugs and homeland security. Privatization of prisons so that corporations have a vested interest in the amount of crime. But Public works programs? Universal health care? Affordable day care? Women in industry or the military? Gun control for fuck sake? Give your head a shake, Kitty.
Here’s an issue that really puts me on the edge of turning a lot of people off. Bestiality. A young man is in jail in Georgia because he was caught on camera having sex with a female pit bull. Now that’s obviously disgusting. That’s obviously something we must not allow. Right? And that’s when the questions start for me.
I’m pretty sure that nobody can have sex with a female pit bull without the consent of that dog. In this case, the man and the dog “had a relationship”. He’d been hired to clean out the dog’s kennel. Obviously he liked the dog. I can only assume that the dog liked him too. We can probably rule out rape.
So, applying my standard rubric for the righteousness of any law, who was harmed? The dog does not seem to have been damaged. The young man managed to withdraw without having his dick locked in that horrible spasmodic vice that female dogs are known to generate, trapping the male dog’s penis for a considerable length of time. The owner of the dog had no idea a crime had been committed until the police knocked on her door. The police were alerted by a neighbour who taped the dog-man encounter.
Now, I have absolutely no tolerance for cruelty to animals. It’s one of the very few issues that can turn me violent. Even cruelty to something as non-sentient as a starfish or an oyster makes me see red. But maybe this wasn’t cruelty to an animal. What if the dog liked it? That’s a possibility. The dog may have been in heat, and just desperate to get some…ahem…penetration. What if it was a mercy fuck, and the young man was doing the dog a big favor.
I’m sure there are people who will claim that damage was done by this act. Some kind of terrible destructive moral damage. Perhaps the neighbour across the street who taped the encounter will be scarred for life by the images they recorded. Perhaps the police, having seen those images, will go home and do terrible brutal things to the family pet. This all seems like a stretch of the imagination to me. Before we make a law that puts a young man in jail, I want to see some real manifest harm having been done.
Now, I want you all to know that I don’t think animals are appropriate sex partners. I would never fuck a dog myself, though I will admit that back in my excessively horny teens when I’d been celibate for far too long, I did ask a black lab if she was interested. She wasn’t, and I had to resort to the more mundane and manual techniques to relieve my sexual tension. But if she had been interested, would any harm have been done.
Bernard Archer is now in jail, charged with two counts of bestiality, and the reports are calling it rape. One really has to ask, was it “legitimate rape”?
Just so you know:
2010 Georgia Code Title 16 – Crimes and Offenses Chapter 6
O.C.G.A. 16-6-6 (2010)
(a) A person commits the offense of bestiality when he performs or submits to any sexual act with an animal involving the sex organs of the one and the mouth, anus, penis, or vagina of the other.
(b) A person convicted of the offense of bestiality shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than one nor more than five years.
Yikes? One to five for a “crime” that has no victim and causes no harm to anybody.
Recently Stephanie Zvan of “Almost Diamonds” refuted the following ubiquitous meme: “When atheists criticize religion, we alienate the religious. The more harshly we criticize it, the more we alienate.” To paraphrase her argument, while a person may not change their mind during the discussion, they may change it later after they have done some thinking. Even religious fundamentalists can change their mind, as Dan Finke constantly demonstrates. And sometimes being able to present the argument from an atheist helps those who are outraged by their church to criticize the theological establishment. As Stephanie put it, “The point is that my religious friends were free and able to voice their dismay and anger over this because of something I wrote. They could do this because of a harsh criticism of religion, a harsh criticism of the behaviour of religious people, written by an atheist.”
Also recently, PZ on Pharyngula posted a no holds barred rant against Catholic hospitals following the sad story of Savita Halappanavar, the woman who was refused an abortion in Ireland because “this is a catholic country” even though the cluster of pulsating cells that were killing her were doomed. Those cells did kill her, and I can’t figure out why no manslaughter charges can be laid against the doctors who refused to operate to save her life. They killed her as surely as if they had taken a scalpel to her throat. That aside, I resonate with Professor Myers’ anger and sent a link to his rant along to my mother in law, a lifelong Catholic.
Dear _____ This made me feel sick to my stomach.
I know you are attached to your church. And it’s probably cruel of me to keep harping on what an evil organization it is. But I think you will find it hard to disagree with this article.
I look forward to hearing your thoughts.
With love _____________
Here’s the reply I got back:
“You will be happy to know that I forwarded this to the Catholic Bishops of Canada on your behalf. I agree with you, the RC Church has done & is still doing a lot of stupid things that have hurt people. I regularly e-mail them with their stupid words & actions, like training priests to perform exhort-isms, who was qualified to judge who needed to be cleansed? When they should have been spending time & money helping all the people that the abusing priests had harmed. Another time I had just got home from church where they had been asking for money to be bequeathed, so I told them about all the property in BC that the church had had to sell to pay for the Bishops gambling debts. My query was why did they have the property in the first place, why it was not all sold & the money been used to give the poor help. I have not had any answers from them to date. I hope I am giving them another point of view for their dealings with all of us. Thanks for your input. LOVE _____”
PZ pulled no punches with his rant: “Bloody butchers and pious toads who mask their medieval ignorance with a pretence of charity and care; it’s long past time to end the illusion and recognize the barbarism of the church.” So for my mother in law to take his point means something.
So, there is some value to making religious people confront the vile implications of their various dogmas. Those with a heart will pass our views along to their administration. Who knows, maybe things will change. It’s too much to hope that they will give up believing in fantasy beings and stupidity like transubstantiation, but maybe they’ll stop killing women in Catholic hospitals because, in the words of PZ Myers, “a mob of celibate old puppetmasters (who) don’t give a damn about anything other than their theology and will happily sacrifice human beings on the altar of their vile and backward religion” may finally get the message.
I would also like to see Ireland do something about their Catholic churches, like charging doctors with manslaughter when they stand by and allow a young woman to die. Better yet, get the Catholics out of the health care business. They are only in it so they can enforce their idiocy on non-Catholics.
Happy Blasphemy Day, everybody. Curse a non-existing entity of your choice, but do it loudly and publicly. Laws against blasphemy are totally retarded. My choice for today is Thor. He’s a total dickhead, what with that stupid hammer and all. I mean, get with the twenty-first century, dude. Go steal yourself an AK47 or something. I hear there are a few available in Pakistan.
PZ posted this short list of why it’s important to blaspheme on this day. I’m too busy to come up with my own list, but why do that when PZ has done the heavy lifting for me.
… this is serious business. Consider the young Greek man who has been arrested for mocking a cleric; Alexander Aan, arrested in Indonesia for denying the existence of god; Alber Saber, arrested in Egypt for linking to a stupid movie that mocked Mohammed; Rimsah Masih, accused of desecrating the Quran and facing hateful death threats; Asia Bibi, sentenced to death for blasphemy in Pakistan; and too many others to list. Consider that the European Union has just called for “full respect of religion” and “the importance of respecting all prophets” — blasphemy laws are spreading.
Note: I considered labelling this post, and these images, as NSFW and putting everything behind a click through, but if we can do this to an infant it is obviously not something we should be ashamed of. So deal with it, and my apologies if you are squeamish.
I’ve had enough conversations now with people who justify infant male circumcision that I can see the arguments coming at me a mile away, and have a hard time not responding with exasperation. I must constantly keep in mind that, though I’ve refuted these arguments before, many times, the person I’m talking to has not given their argument any real thought, and probably hasn’t had anybody argue against their beliefs. So I must be patient. I must resist the urge to scream.
Aside from the fact that I’ve heard them all so often, another noteworthy thing about these arguments is the evidence of cognitive dissonance. A recent example occurred when I said that “infant male circumcision is barbaric”. Instead of considering whether it is or is not barbaric, the person I was talking to responded with: “Thanks for calling my parents barbarians.” Anger is often the first sign of cognitive dissonance. The emotional part of the brain is reacting before any arguments are even considered.
If I describe a circumcised penis as “mangled” or “mutilated”, the predictable response from a victim is “It isn’t mutilation. My penis is not mangled. It’s just fine, thank you very much.” The very word “victim” calls out for denial and a hostile response.
Even PZ Myers, a staunch opponent of infant male circumcision, can slip into this denial mode, as he did in a post some time ago: “I consider circumcision to be needless cosmetic surgery and a barbaric practice, and I’m not going to condone it, but neither am I going to go off the deep end like that guy and consider my life ruined by it. A majority of American males have been circumcised, and we’re a randy, raunchy, sexed-up lot who don’t seem to be suffering from an epidemic of sexual inadequacy.” As I told him in his comments, this doesn’t serve us. He’s contributing to the “it doesn’t really matter” argument. It’s also denying the importance of an issue that some men find very important, akin to Richard Dawkins belittling Rebecca Watson because he thinks her concerns about potential rape are trivial. One should not trivialize another person’s issues, based solely on the fact that you don’t share the issue.
Cognitive dissonance is a powerful force. The theory predicts that the more a person has invested in a belief or a practice, the more likely they are to reject any evidence or argument against that belief or practice. Consider the cognitive dissonance for stake holders in the circumcision debate:
Jews, Muslims and others from a Circumcision Culture – we are asking them to reject their tradition, their covenant with their God, their belief system that circumcision gives them their identity. Not likely to be well received.
Parents – we are asking parents to say that they did something bad to a child, an infant, in their care. This is not something they will accept without resistance. Typical response is: “Nonsense. It’s good for the child. Doctors say it should be done. Everybody does it. It was automatic at the hospital. etc.” What parent wants to admit to doing irreparable damage to their child?
Doctors – what doctor wants to admit that he or she has done unnecessary surgery that has no medical benefits and is actually harmful? Ignore the fact that all reasons for infant male circumcision have been refuted, and most now seem laughable (such as the hysteria about masturbation and the claim by doctors that masturbation caused everything from curvature of the spine to epileptic fits to heart trouble and bad vision, but that it could be mitigated or prevented by circumcision.) Doctors continue to seek justification for this practice that can’t be justified.
Those who have been circumcised – who wants to think of himself as a victim? Who wants to think that his parents made a mistake and allowed him to be harmed as an infant? Not only allowed it, but asked for it and sought it out? Who wants to think they could be sexually less than they might have been? Who wants to think that the great pleasure they have had in sex might not be as great as they thought?
Given all this, it’s not surprising that I hear the same arguments every time I engage in this discussion. While many are open to information they might not have had, or might not have thought about, most stake holders react with a knee jerk rejection and one or all of the following:
Circumcision is part of my culture and heritage. We Jews/Muslims/other-religious-group consider it a covenant with God. Laws against circumcision interfere with my religion. They go against the separation of church and state.
It makes no difference to a man’s sex life. So it isn’t important.
It’s not worth arguing about.
Being circumcised has benefits. Circumcision is good. My doctor said so.
It makes it easier to keep the penis clean.
I know somebody who had to be circumcised later in life and it was no joke.
It’s been shown to reduce STD’s and AIDS.
A boy should look like his father.
A boy will be ridiculed if he looks different from other boys.
It looks neater.
And at the root of the argument is infant rights. Do parents own their children, or are they just custodians? If I react with outrage at the idea that it is okay to cut off a part of another person’s body with no medical justification, merely for aesthetic or tradition or religious reasons, I can expect to hear the following:
The Parental Authority Argument
Parents make all kinds of decisions for their children, everything from choosing the schools to vaccination to nutrition. That’s what parents do. Many of these decisions are irreversible, and some may result in harm. But that’s what parents do. Are you going to ban parents from giving their child fattening foods, or too much ice cream? Are you going to ban ear piercing?
To say that I find all of these arguments either flawed or absurd is an understatement. If you agree with any one of them, please let me know which and I’ll do my very best to give you some information that might possibly change your mind.
My boys were not circumcised. If they ever tell me they are unhappy about their condition, I can hand them a couple of hundred bucks and send them to a doctor. What will the father say to his son if he allowed the infant to be circumcised, and the adult now resents it? What possible valid argument is there for not leaving the decision to the owner of the penis?
I was circumcised as an infant. I had the great satisfaction of hearing my mother say that she would not make the same decision if she were living her life over. That does nothing to restore my penis to it’s proper condition, but it still was good to hear.
Finally. A court has decided the obvious. Now there’s going to be a fuss from the religious, and from those who think they have the right to cut off part of another person’s body without their permission.
But we will win in the end. It’s a done deal.
Men have no position. We have no position.
If, like me, you are a man, please try to really get this: It isn’t your body. And it isn’t your baby until it’s viable, which means out in the world and breathing air. Until then, it’s in a woman’s body, and no man has any business telling any woman what to do with her body. None.
Please do try to understand this. Your authority ends with your own body. You have no authority over another person’s body, and you shouldn’t encourage the state to take authority over another person’s body unless that person is somehow impinging on you. Otherwise it isn’t your business. It’s not your body. It’s hers.
As an addendum: If you are a woman, and opposed to other women having a choice about what to do with their bodies, it’s not your body either. It’s the body of another woman. You have no authority over that body unless that body is somehow impinging on your life, and I mean in a direct and material way. Please try to recognize the limits to your authority, and stop trying to impose your beliefs on others.
In case you can’t read Arabic, here’s what he said:
“On your birthday, I will say that I have loved the rebel in you, that you’ve always been a source of inspiration to me, and that I do not like the halos of divinity around you. I shall not pray for you,”
“On your birthday, I find you wherever I turn. I will say that I have loved aspects of you, hated others, and could not understand many more,”
“On your birthday, I shall not bow to you. I shall not kiss your hand. Rather, I shall shake it as equals do, and smile at you as you smile at me. I shall speak to you as a friend, no more,”
And that’s it. Most people would think these are pretty mild insults to Islam. Unfortunately people in Saudi Arabia don’t agree. In their view these “insults” should be punishable by death. Yes, that’s right. Death.
Obviously the people of Saudi Arabia, these blood thirsty barbarians, have been raised in some kind of over-protected nursery and have no idea what an insult sounds like. And the worst insult a sailor or dock worker could think up would still not be worthy of the death penalty. Not to us. Not to anybody in the western world. Not to anybody in their right mind.
What is the matter with these people. How can they imagine that hurting their delicate feelings warrant murder. And make no mistake, it is THEIR delicate feelings, not the feelings of their long dead imaginary friend. If they had any faith in their God they’d leave vengeance and retribution up to Him. But of course they don’t have faith in their God. They aren’t thinking about their God. They are thinking about themselves, and the “insult” to their beliefs and culture.
At the best of times I have sympathy for the Muslims. They’ve been fucked over by the western world, the modern world, and even more fucked over by their tyrants and religious leaders. They have suffered and are hurting. Normally I wouldn’t think of insulting them or their beliefs. But when they claim the right to murder somebody for insulting their beliefs, fuck them. If we could only gather them into one spot and exclude the innocents, I’d say nuke ‘em until they glow and shoot ‘em in the dark.
The truly terrifying thing about this affair is that Hamza Kashgari fled his country to Malaysia, on his way to seek asylum in New Zealand, but was arrested by Malaysian authorities at the request of Saudi Arabia. The fact that another country would play along with this madness is the scary part. Of course there are a lot of Muslims in Malaysia, and who knows what story the authorities were given when the request to arrest Kashgari was made. But still…. okay, strike another country off my list of possible tourist destinations. This world gets smaller every day.
I know they’ve got Mecca, which means they are guaranteed millions of Muslim tourists every year. But one has to wonder what the popular sentiment in Saudi Arabia, as expressed by the screams for Kashgari’s blood, is doing to the economy of that country, and what will happen when the oil finally runs out. It’s not going to be pretty, that’s for sure. Not that it’s pretty now.
Update: Hamza Kashgari has been extradited to Saudi Arabia where his tweets carry the death penalty. Think about it. In the year 2012 a young man is under threat of death, not for committing some terrible crime but for saying that Muhammad was merely human. It’s enough to make me turn in my membership card in the human race.
This post doesn’t do justice to the absolute horror and rage I feel at this situation. I’ve censored out the worst of my insults to Mohammad, simply because I don’t think they have any value. But the outrage I feel is…. almost painful.