Seeing as the biggest religious-based story this week is the mess in Afghanistan, wherein U.S. soldiers burned a bunch of Korans, and the subsequent fallout, which has so far resulted in 30 deaths and 200 injuries during protests, I thought it best to put together a little Q&A/FAQ thingy about the current brouhaha. Let's begin, shall we?
So, how do you spell Koran anyway?
Who knows? Koran and Quran are the most popular, but Wikipedia's telling me Coran, Alcoran, and Kuran are also legit. Qur'an, meanwhile, only seems to be used by Star Trek geeks and people trying to sound smart. My suggestion is to pick one of the first two and stick with it.
Morally, who's in the right here? The Afghani protestors or the Americans?
That's kind of shifted a bit since the whole "people dying" aspect has been introduced.
The Americans were really, really wrong about burning the Korans. Not necessarily from a "good vs. evil" standpoint, just a logistical one. We spend a lot of time talking about how silly fundamentalists are, and how little courtesy we should show them, but there's a big difference between taking a moral stand and inciting religious-fueled rage just for the hell of it.
But they said it was an accident.
It kind of doesn't matter. We're over there to supposedly "nation-build," trying to make the country less anti-American in the process. Rule number one should be going out of one's way to not burn the most sacred document of said country. Those kinds of details, you want to keep an eye on.
But doesn't that contradict your now seemingly over-simplistic "pocket guide to morality"?
Not really. The American military, if they're being truthful about it being an accident, shouldn't have been made “happy” from the burning, which makes the rest of the chart moot. That said, I should probably add an extra disclaimer: “If what makes you happy incites rage from a group of people who will then want to kill you, maybe don't do it?” More directly: “Try not piss off crazy people with guns.”
OK then, smart guy. Where did the moral shift occur?
Once the first person was killed during the protests. After the Koran burning, if people want to respond by burning flags or creepy Obama dolls in effigy, have at it. It's silly, but from a morality perspective, it's mostly harmless and a good way to get your anger out, like a spiritual stress ball. But once a single life was lost in the following melee, it crossed the moral line. The Afghani protestors are now in the wrong.
Was Obama right to apologize then? Or does Rick Santorum have a point that it makes him look weak?
Of course Obama should have apologized. The Americans, culturally, stepped in a big pile of dung when they burned the Korans. Santorum's just using the moment to bait the religious right, who see the overseas wars as a "Christianity vs. Islam" battle. We should respond to this as we respond to all things Santorum: By alternately ignoring him and making jokes about him.
All right then. Hope that was informative. Onto the other ways that religious just plain killed it (in a bad way) this week!
- It was revealed this week the Arizona sheriff who was "the face" of border security threatened his former gay Mexican lover with deportation if he ever came out about their relationship. While this may seem like a stretch to include in a religious roundup, all the hypocrisy parallels are present.
- Dana Loesch, a CNN contributor and blogger for ass-clown Andrew Breitbart, chimed in on the whole "Virginia ultrasound" debate by basically saying being forced to get probed by a doctor is the same thing as sex. Which could be a horrifying glimpse into the sex lives of religious conservatives.
- Tibet cancelled their seemingly kick-ass New Years celebration this year because too many Tibetan monks have been self-immolating themselves to death.
- Things certainly are heating up in that whole Iran/Israeli spat with Iran's Revolutionary Guard and Hezbollah apparently teaming up to form a Voltron-like super terrorist cell.
- In Florida (of course, always in Florida), a church decided to handle the pedophiliac tendencies of one pastor by doing the only logical thing: Banning children from the services.
- In London, a woman finally made good on that stand-by jokey threat to sue your boss for making you work on the Sabbath, and obviously lost her lawsuit.
- A Portland-Houston flight was forced to turn around after a Saudi Arabian man got angry with the flight attendants and started going on a crazy "Bin Laden: Good/Women: Bad" rant for the ages.
- If you're got the time, read this extremely long and well-researched account by Slate on how Mitt Romney's opinion on abortion has shifted over the years. If you don't have the time, this handy chart will suffice.
- Well, this website's all sorts of awesome: Know that amazing Mormon ritual of baptizing the dead, thereby counting them among their side when the Great Religious Zombie War happens or something? FamousDeadMormons.com has been keeping track of which dead people are now Mormon.
- A 64-year-old rabbi in Jersey was busted for diddling kids. "Amateur hour," presumably thought a Newfoundland Roman Catholic priest, after he was busted for diddling another 24 kids.
- Representative Bob Morris of Indiana refused to sign one of those symbolic congressional resolutions celebrating 100 years of the Girl Scouts because the group supports abortion and the "homosexual lifestyle."
- Speeches that Rick Santorum gave in 2008 are, somehow, causing controversy because he mentions his belief that Satan is attacking "the great institutions of America." Which, um, isn't that really the least controversial opinion he has?
- Religion may cause Manny Pacquiao to retire before fighting Floyd Mayweather Jr. Stupid religion.
- And finally, our Hero of the Week goes to: Antonio Darden, a gay stylist in Georgia who regularly cuts the hair of Governor Susana Martinez. After it was made known Martinez is one of those "marriage is between a man and woman" believers, Darden cut her (har, har) from his clients list. Well done, sir!
Previously - Abortion a-Go-Go
Please send religious-based tips and/or hate mail to rickpaulas at gmail dot com.
Rivals: The First Ever Derby
English football's newest rivals meet at last.
VICE on HBO Outtakes: Kicking Heroin with an Ibogaine Ceremony
Many swear it's the most effective way to kick heroin addiction.
Ground Zero: Syria - Snipers of Aleppo
Picking off the enemy, one by one, day by day.
Turkey's Weekend of Street War, Jubilation and Joyridden Bulldozers
Social unrest has gripped the country, from Istanbul to Ankara.
Dogmageddon: Sacrificing Virgins
What religion fucked up this week.