I try to not get too political on here. I try to not discuss religion, but every so often it eeks in.
After listening to a number of jokes coming across the Skype airways yesterday, then receiving an email this morning which I consider vile, then considering the supposed "spirit" of the season, I want to discuss these things a bit here today.
In my email box this morning:
"To ALL those whining, panty-waisted, pathetic Maggots, it's time for a little refresher course on exactly why we Americans occasionally have to fight wars. See if you can tear yourself away from your "reality" TV and Starbucks for a minute, pull your head out of your flabby ass -- and LISTEN UP!! Abu Ghraib is not "torture" or an "atrocity". This is the kind of thing frat boys, sorority girls, and academy cadets do to newcomers . A little fun at someone else's expense. Certainly no reason to wring your hands or get your panties in a wad. Islam a peaceful religion??? My Ass!Millions of these sons-of-bitches are plotting, as we speak, to destroy our country and our way of life any way they can. Some of them are here among us now. They don't want to convert you and don't want to rule you. You are a vile infestation of Allah's paradise. They don't give a shit how "progressive" you are, how peace-loving you are, or how much you sympathize with their cause. They want your ass dead , and they think it is God's will for them to do it. Some think if we give them a hug or listen to them, then they'll like us... and if you agree? Then you are a pathetic dumb ass! If they manage to get their hands on a nuke, chemical agents, or even some anthrax -- you will wish to God we had hunted them down and killed THEM while we had the chance.
George Patton said: Only two defining forces have ever offered to die for you, Jesus Christ and the American Soldier One died for your soul; the other for your freedom."
Is is just me or...
...Does this carry the same emotional mindset that was rampant in 1942 and which ended up with millions of innocent, peace loving Japanese sent to internment camps?
...Does this come from the same sort of dehumanizing energy that made slavery ultimately OK in this country?
...Does this puss-filled hateful energy remind anyone of the base mindset that bulldozed, killed, maimed and mutilated the Native American population?
Part of my conversion from a man-hating feminist was a spiritual epiphany I had while walking one day many years ago.
I was filled with rage at all the injustice in the world. I believed that all of it was perpetrated by men and their Judeo-Christian heritage (and for those who aren't aware: Islam is the latest chapter in that family of religions, which all stem from Abraham). All this crapola could be traced back to the logical mind and its egoic dominance over everything that was love, softness and nature. Wars, environmental degradation, child abuse, rape, subjugation of women...all of it and more, stemmed from the hierarchical bullshit mindset that began thousands of years ago and was reaching it's peak now with the end of the Kali Yuga. I was a warrior in that battle.
One day while on, yet another, morning walk spent in mental anguish about the world's pain and this whole cosmic drama...all of a sudden my eyes were opened. Pieces and parts of stuff I was aware of came together in a new way in my mind, forming a new gestalt of understanding. The realizations came thunkthunkthunk as the pieces fell in place in my brain.
The kid in the school yard who is the biggest bully, who needs the world to be just like him to feel safe, who will do anything to get his way is the one in the most pain. The bigger the pain and the more the person is afraid to confront it, the more they project out and wreak havoc on the rest of the world to make themselves "right" to safe, once again. This was the dynamic at work here- not evil. All this "power over" behavior came from weakness and fear. There was no true strength here. Only pain.
Simultaneously, I saw every place where I was that which I railed against: I hated the hateful. I had no tolerance for the intolerant. I was a total hypocrite, hating the hypocrites; had no compassion for those who had no compassion.
With this body awareness I was gifted with a fwoosh of healing. I saw that "the they" weren't other and outside me...we were the same.
I was no longer an angry feminist. It was just...gone. I wasn't angry at men, no longer had my issues with Christianity. Such is the power of learning first hand that the antidote is truly in the poison. I am who I am and I take myself wherever I go. If I have tweaks about people/places/things, they are about me...nothing on the outside of me.
As lovely as that all was, and as much as it changed me, it's not always easy for me to remember the gifts of this awakening. And while it doesn't take long for me to regain balance, I lose my cool and compassion when my buttons are pushed. Often.
I'm having a difficult time remembering these healings when I am confronted with the bigotry and (what I perceive as) blindness that is around me at times. This blind hatred is being spewed at a huge percentage of the world which merely follows a different religion than is the dominant one in this country.
Some statistics site Islam as the fastest growing religion, due to Western conversions and birth rates. Yes, Christians still out number them, but only if you count the Catholics (which, I might add, many flavors of Christianity in their loving benevolence would reject). If Islam wasn't a religion of peace, we would be dead already because they could easily beat us out if they truly wanted us all dead.
The battle between the two religions goes back over a thousand years. If Christians think Muslims are "terrorists" I will invite them to look to their own history. Christians have historically and spontaneously attacked those of the Muslim faith on a regular basis. They have raped, pillaged, killed children, razed towns, and tried to obliterate the culture. Christians have been terrorists as much as Muslims. And, unlike the West, they live long term and remember history, even if we don't.
Christians haven't confined their terrorist activities to Islam. They killed, maimed and tortured millions of people in the Burning Times/Inquisition, just because they wouldn't acknowledge the Bible..or if they were herbalists, Jews, Pagans, midwives, gypsies. I will remind all of us that Hitler was a Christian, as was most of Germany at the time of the Holocaust. So was the rest of the world which watched. So is the rest of the world now as we watch atrocities and terror in countries that have no voice. I'm not saying Islam is without its dark side. Not at all. But Christian history isn't pretty, either.
I love our remaining rights here and have no illusion about wanting to live in any other environment. We all have a right to say anything we want. I want that to remain and I know the price of that is that sometimes people get to send me spamshit in my email box they somehow forget will nauseate me. No, I don't want to live in a Burka or even wear a veil. Yes, I enjoy unPC jokes- they're sick and funny and appeal to my morbid sense of humor. But at the end of the day, I pray we remember our history which reminds us that we can become numb to hatred in its insidious forms. Dehumanization begins to creep in when we become too comfortable with seeing people unlike us as only "Other."
I'm afraid of someone who thinks that Abu Ghraib is the same as a college hazing. I'm afraid that someone would call torture and activities carried out there "fun." I can't even imagine inhabiting a brain that applauds hazing, much less torture in the name of entertainment.
How is it that people come to a place that they can actually believe that a whole group is defined by the hate filled radical actions of a small percentage of its members?
Does the original writer of the email I received really think that all Muslims should be killed because a few of them want to kill us? And why is this being passed around the internet? It blows me away and scares the shit out of me. And how, exactly, is this different than any radical Muslim?
My prayer is that both Muslim and Christian extremists get their shit together before the small percentage that is the vocal, hate spewing faction on each side blows it for the rest of us. I'm thinking they all just need to drink some egg nog, eat some goat (it's the Muslim Eid Al-Adha celebration tonight until tomorrow- a time of feasting), sing a few songs together and get laid.