Photo via flickr
A few weeks ago, I was taken to task over Twitter by a reader – well, not really a reader as much as a reactionary-er – for seemingly being too hard on one religion over another. His gripe was that I was picking on Christianity too much, when I should be doling out harsher statements for other religions, like Islam. Now, maybe he has a point – seeing as I was raised Catholic, there's certainly plenty more baggage when it comes to the dealings of The Jesus – but Christians have also just been in the fucking news a lot lately, with the election of The Pope. Which is to say, I like to think of myself as an equal-opportunity offender, that all religions are just different sides of the same million-or-so-headed coin to me. The specifics of what ancient person has what magic power according to whatever secret text is simply a distraction. Dogma, in general, is the real problem.
For evidence, we turn to Nigeria. Over the past few years, the country's been overrun with terror attacks instituted by the Islamist militant sect Boko Harem. Estimates are that more than 1,000 have died because of them, which is horrific and unnecessary. And this week, to put an end to them, a new group has entered the mix: the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta, or cutely abbreviated, MEND. They announced they're going to fight the Islamic terrorists by... terrorising Islamists! Their spokesman said, "The bombings of mosques, hajj camps, Islamic institutions, large congregations in Islamic events and assassinations of clerics that propagate doctrines of hate will form the core mission of this crusade." Or, in other words, crazy fighting the crazy.
Now, who's to say this won't work? Maybe one religious entity going up another religious entity is a solution. The odds are certainly stacked against it – when two sides claim the backing of a higher power, forcing neither side to back down because they'd then be letting down said higher power, odds are not in the favor of peace.
Onto the roundup!
- Oklahoma State Representative Dennis Johnson thought a debate about a whether or not retailers should sell their items for less than six percent above cost was the correct place to throw around the phrase “Jew me down.”
- Two days after the Boston Marathon bombing, a US drone strike killed at least five people in South Waziristan.
- Justin Bieber went to the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam and noted in the museum's guestbook that he thinks Anne would have “been a Belieber,” the shitty moniker people call his fans.
- One of these days, folks, Pat Robertson's going to die. Seeing as he's 83 years old, that day is probably not far away. And when that happens, while we may be glad his hate-mongering ways are over, it's still going to suck not having him around to fart out rants about how the demonic Dungeons & Dragons game has “literally destroyed people's lives.”
- In Bangalore, India, a motorcycle bomb went off, injuring 16. No one has yet to claim responsibility for it. Also, it was revealed that the Indian government's going after the death penalty for people connected to the 2002 Naroda Patiya massacre, which was a riotous bru-ha-ha that resulted in 97 Muslims being killed by a mob of about 5,000 Hindus.
- India also continues to be, as this horrific report from the BBC points out, one of the worst places in the world for women's rights, especially in regards to their dying from having to undergo unsafe abortions.
- Pope Francis guaranteed that he will continue trying to dismantle the “radical feminism” that's going on with some nuns in America. Radical, in this case, means simply taking a soft stance on birth control and homosexual rights. The Vatican also made news by moving a long-deceased German nun one step closer to sainthood by proclaiming she performed a miracle in 1999 by curing a Colorado Springs teenager of diarrhea.
- In Iraq, a suicide bomber blew himself up in a Baghdad cafe, killing at least 27 people, including two children. On the same day, the Iraq military took out five al Qaeda-linked folks during a police raid. Speaking of al Qaeda, the United Arab Emirates claims they arrested seven members of a known “terrorist cell.”
- In Pakistan, a female suicide bomber blew herself up outside of a hospital and killed at least three.
- One Million Moms is now angry at Kmart for rhyming “ship” and “shit”. One Million Moms have no sense of humour.
- Here: read this op-ed in the New York Times from a prisoner who's on a hunger strike in Guantanamo Bay.
- While this may not seem directly linked to religion, hear me out. North Carolina, a known religion-heavy state, as evidenced by their recent passing of insane antiabortion legislature, introduced a “Back to Basics” bill that would force schools to, once again, teach cursive. Now something like that isn't only worthless in this day and age of computers and texting, but also indicative of the religious right's mindset of always attempting to turn back the clock to a more ideal, less sinful era. But now, because of that mindset, they're also wasting children's time.
- When America finally pulled out of Afghanistan, we apparently left behind a bunch of interpreters who helped us out and are now left without protection in a country that certainly doesn't appreciate what they did.
- Here's a fascinating read about what it was like to live in David Koresh's Branch Davidian cult in Waco.
- And Our People of the Week: The folks behind Navigators USA, a gay-friendly scouting organisation that's offering an alternative to the not-so-gay-friendly Boy Scouts of America. Not only is it refreshing to see an organisation that doesn't discriminate, but it's also a smart business decision, seeing as the group's membership has doubled in just one year. See? Hate doesn't pay!