Saturday, October 6, 2007
Perhaps the last of the God Blog...
...at least until something else shows-up.
Of course religious extremism is alive and well all over the world, but with the release of 19 South Korean missionaries this past month, after two others had been released and two others murdered by the Taliban who were holding them hostage in Afghanistan - the country that these Korean Christians thought they would visit in good will, carting a flag of Christianity before them - I have been wondering even more so than I had been before, why exactly people feel the need to impose any religion upon others - whether through threat of conversion or death, or through imperialistic notions that Christians can somehow peacefully introduce their belief system to a raw and open sore of a region of the world where people are not ready to let go of violence for the sake of their God. If you read the news, you would know that apparently, neither have we. In a war of continuing global dominance and control of oil, we still somehow flaunt the name of God on our side, or theirs.
I feel for those who went with good intention, and nothing can justify the cruel loss of life. It is reported though denied by both the Taliban and the South Korean Government, that a $20 million ransom was paid.
Why Christian groups would travel to a Jihadist area of the world as opposed to leaving the work to secular groups is well beyond my understanding.
I have also read that the stories of these people will be collected and shared through a Christian organization called VOM - or Voices of Martyrs. Martyrs for their faith. Sounds familiar, doesn't it?
John Lennon truly said it best, though conservatives of the world would still somehow argue that religion is worth the lives lost and blood shed in its various names. But, yeah - Lennon said it best. And I'll let Bill Maher say a little more, simply because he is a tad more biting than I could ever be on the subject.
"New Rule: If you want to bring Jesus to the unbelievers, you can't be surprised if you get the same reception he did. This past weekend, the Taliban in Afghanistan finally released 19 South Korean missionaries after weeks of negotiations, a $20 million ransom and several warnings to "buy something or get out!" Now, here's a little tip for missionaries: if you want to get people to believe in your god, make sure he can do something really impressive like not let you get kidnapped! Because, Muslim extremists are generally a) Muslim, and b) extremists!
No matter how many times you ask a Jihadi, "What would Jesus do," his answer is always, "Convert."
And why are there still Christian missionaries anyway? I'm pretty sure everyone has at least heard about Jesus by now. So it comes down to arrogance. Walking into Taliban country with a smile and a cross is like crashing a party at Jay-Z's house and popping on a Kenny Chesney CD. "Oh, once they hear this, they'll change their mind about what good music is. Come on, it's the 'Ches-NUT!'"
And it's that kind of naive certainty that led a certain current U.S. president to also stumble blindly into the Middle East with good intentions and no prayer of success. Bush didn't need to check with experts or historians. He knew he was right, a point confirmed in the new book about him, appropriately titled, Dead Certain, the first attempt at burnishing the Bush legacy, or as it used to be called, "polishing a turd."
In the book, President Bush goes on and on about how his certainty about Iraq is not just for show. "Oh, I'm not pretendin' to have my head up my ass. It's really up there!" And the message you hear from Bush apologists these days is, "Oh, sure, short-term Bush may have f@#ked everything up, but he's thinking long-term, 100 years into the future."
Well, thank you, George W. Nostradamus. America's first science fiction president. I'm sure when Americans are all flying around in jet packs and eating Soylent Green, they'll be building statues in your honor. You know, it must feel good to be dead certain about everything. But it's not a virtue. Especially when you're ALWAYS WRONG!
Bertrand Russell said, "The trouble with the world is the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent full of doubt." And then rewrote that quote 56 more times. Doubt, for lack of a better word, is good. It suits human nature. Doubt is what makes you careful. Doubt is what makes you open to change."