Sunday, December 17, 2006
Tuesday, December 12, 2006
-Thomas Paine, Age of Reason, Part One.
I'm sure Christopher Columbus exemplified the morality of the Christian faith as he enslaved and tortured the natives of Hispaniola. I'm sure the many other Christians following his lead in the genocide of the Native people of the Americas were also only following the venerable moral code of their religion. They, of course, had and have the Christian God on their side and relegated those who did not, to lower forms of humanity, not deserving of decent and equal treatment or recognition. Find me a supposed Christian, who thinks my service, is undeserving of recognition though I am ready to make the ultimate sacrifice for a country that I thought stood for freedom for all, to take my place. Those zealots who would block the display of the pentacle or any other religious symbol in a national cemetery, especially for those that have died protecting the supposed land of the free, are only a small step away from those zealots I fight here in Iraq. People who kill their fellow countrymen without flinching; people who kill their own because they believe differently, and because they believe differently they are less than human, and not deserving of life, respect, or recognition as a human being. Find me that Christian to take my place here in the military, find a Christian to take the place of all of us who fight and don't wave the banner of Christianity. We will give you your dominionist army so that you may carry out your fantasy of a non-secular society. Soon you will flush all of the minority religions out of the armed forces and be able to use your Christmilitialtia to round up all of those who believe differently than you. Who will be your Moqtada Al Sadr? Your utopia is obviously what we are fighting here in Iraq, just with a different name and a paler face. How long before we start finding the bullet riddled bodies of Atheists, Wiccans, Hindus, and others on Main Street in America just the same as we find them everyday in Baghdad? This thinking is not a bridge too far, but is the progressive step of a plurality out of control. If my service to my country is any less honorable because of my religious beliefs, or lack thereof, please find one of yhomogeneousnous own to take mine and my wife's place. When you protest the display of that religious symbol, you reenact the very intolerance and persecution that forced our forefather's father's from their home, and inflames the violence in Iraq today. How long before my family is rounded up by masked men in the night drug out to the street and shot because of our religion? How could you in good conscience as an American deny a soldier who died defending the very freedoms for which he fought? It's wholly fascist and completely un-American. Remember as you say your prayer tonight, and go to the church of your choice on your day of worship: you're denying someone who died protecting that freedom the very same freedom you enjoy openly and without persecution. And you are using the laws of the very country they died defending to disenfranchise them and make their service seem less than honorable. I am an atheist who has been shot at and had vehicles blown up around me, and to this day I hold onto my convictions as tightly as I did the day I deployed. If there is one thing the religious have taught me, it is that there is, indeed, no God. If there is another thing I have learned is that there is no difference between the zealots of all the religions. They seem to work towards the same homogeneous hegemony through endless war based on ignorant xenophobia.
No one will deny or dispute the power of the Almighty to make such a communication if he pleases. But admitting, for the sake of a case, that something has been revealed to a certain person, and not revealed to any other person, it is revelation to that person only. When he tells it to a second person, the second to a third, a third to a fourth, and so on, it ceases to be revelation to all those persons. It is revelation to the first person only, and heresay to every other; consequently they are not obliged to believe it.
-Thomas Paine referring to religious texts and dogma in Age of Reason, Part One.
This controversy over the disbanding of the Christmas trees in Sea-Tac is such a false controversy in more ways than one. First of all Christmas, as a celebration of the birth of Jesus, would more accurately be celebrated in March or April. Religious scholars and historians agree that Jesus was actually born around that time. The Christmas Tree and Yule log are actually Pagan traditions started before the Roman invasion of the Barbarian lands. So, the Rabbi suing to put a Menorah next to a “Chrisitian” Christmas tree, which isn’t really Christian except in the confused minds over-commercialized populous who have been told it and believe it is so. Just like they were told Jesus was born in December and believe that is so also, when facts point out it is not. I’ve noticed facts don’t matter much to the religious though. All that matters is belief, and beliefs and dogmas inside of organized religion, are as easily misconstrued as the original message at the end of the child’s game of “telephone.”
Does it really matter if a Christmas tree is displayed? Even if we assume that Jesus really was born in December on the Gregorian calendar, and that the tree is really now, and always has been a Christian tradition, is that still what it really means? Aren’t the original enemies of Christmas profiteerism and commercialization? Weren’t they the ones that transformed it into a meaningless Holiday enabled by the Christian majority in our capitalist society? It wasn’t the SP’s as Bill O’Reilly likes to call them in his ridiculous war on Christmas. So maybe Mr. O’Reilly should first ask for the Christian capitalists to restore the religious meaning to their own holiday, then, maybe it might lend credibility to the cause against SP’s railing against this holiday that really has lost all its religious meaning. After all, I am a very cynical atheist and I celebrate Christmas as a joyous holiday family and giving. I guess I celebrate the American watered-down version.