I generally keep my opinions on religion and politics to myself, as I am aware that they will be unpopular with the vast majority of the people I know. I often avoid offending others at the cost of expressing my own ideas. Well, I’ve had enough. Today, I’m breaking my general rule, and for those who don’t agree with, or like what I’m about to say, that’s fine, you’re entitled to your own opinions, as I am to mine.
I’ve had it with politicians and right-wing crazies comparing anything and everything in the US with Hitler and the Holocaust. Each and every time it happens, it trivializes one of civilization’s darkest moments, relegating it to a sound byte designed to capture the minds of the uneducated, ignorant faithful and bring out the worst in them—the selfish, mean-spirited, hateful, bigoted, fearful feelings that are destroying the fabric of our society as surely as any cancer.
I’ve had it with that whole ridiculous debacle of Kim Davis, the horrid, hateful woman in Kentucky, claiming religious persecution, which represents anything but. What it represents is a group of fanatics who believe that the rest of us must bow to their so-called Christian beliefs. See, that’s the thing. They are beliefs (not facts), and no matter how sincere or misguided they are, they also hold the belief that anyone who disagrees with them, or is uncomfortable with them, is persecuting them.
Just so we understand each our terms:
THIS is religious persecution:
THIS is not religious persecution:
If you are reading this and you are offended, I suggest you look deep inside yourself and examine those “sincerely held personal beliefs” that cause you to hate and fear “the other”—anyone who is different. (You might also want to remember that what other people do and say is all about them, not you, so don’t take anything personally.)
I’ve had it with the current wave of hatred- and fear-based anti-Syrian refugee sentiment. When I hear our politicians and Christian clergy issuing statements like this one: “There is no such thing as a good Muslim,” my skin crawls. Sounds just like the
illegal immigrants settlers who came to America used to say: “The only good Indian is a dead Indian.” It’s the kind of dangerous rhetoric, specifically used to convince whole groups of people that it’s OK to persecute millions of innocent “others” because “beliefs”, and it’s how you trivialize genocide. Congratulations, you’ve given ISIS exactly what they want. The denial of sanctuary to refugees fleeing ISIS atrocities is a death sentence for many thousand “others” and another dark moment in the history of civilization.
The idea that only Christians should be welcomed to the US is pure xenophobia.* What makes our politicians (and their followers) think that Christians are intrinsically more worthy as human beings? While Christianity may be the most prevalent religion in the US, it is no “better” or “truer” than anyone else’s religion is to them. (As a non-Christian, I’ve been subjected, since childhood, to the same bigoted “sincerely held personal beliefs” that have come into play in the wake of the present refugee crisis. And here’s a little reminder: The KKK (that curiously American, white bunch who lynch black people and burn crosses in minority people’s yards) also claims to be Christian; the cowards who bomb black churches and murder doctors who perform abortions also claim to be Christian.
On a practical level, what I’d like to know is how immigration officers will ascertain that any given refugee is really, truly Christian, as opposed to a jihadist hiding in Christian clothing—you know, the old wolf-in-sheep’s-clothing gimmick?
*This gives the term American “EXCEPTionalism” a whole new meaning: No one EXCEPT Christians allowed. How very Christian of them.