Thursday, September 30, 2010

George Galloway vs. Stephen Harper

Now things might get interesting for Stephen Harper...

Canada's Federal Court ruled earlier this week in the case of ex-Scottish MP George Galloway, whom the Harper government banned from entering Canada a year and a half ago, for supposedly supporting a terrorist organization. While the appeal itself (on Galloway's behalf) was thrown out, because Galloway never formally challenged the ban, the ruling also made it abundantly clear that the government was out of line and banned him solely for political reasons (ie. criticizing Israel). Almost immediately, Galloway was announced to be coming to Canada for a speaking engagement this weekend.

Honestly, I'd love to see Harper's cronies try to pull something this time. The whole reason that the "terrorist organization" bullshit didn't work was because all that Galloway did was donate food, medicine and diapers to the Palestinian people (albeit through Hamas). Frankly, even if Hamas were inclined to hold on to those goods, they'd be pretty hard-pressed to find ways to conduct terrorism with them. Then again, this is using logic on Zionist sociopaths who think that trying to bring wheelchairs to Gaza warrants storming a passenger ship in international waters, and shooting civilians armed with sticks (at best).

Besides, if Galloway's actions really did count as supporting terrorism, he would definitely have been arrested by now, and he never has been. That tells me pretty clearly that HarperCons are talking out of their asses.

Furthermore, I find it very rich that the same people demanding that Galloway be silenced -- er, I mean "kept from our country" -- rolled out the red carpet for Ann Coulter, who not only made what can be called direct threats against Canada, but is a genuine Anti-Semite and terrorist sympathizer (look up her remarks on Timothy McVeigh if you think I pulled that one out of my ass). Galloway's critics keep playing the Jew Hater and Terrorist cards, so let's see them get serious.

It's for reasons like this that any claim the right wing has, to be the true heroes of free speech, goes up in smoke pathetically easily.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Atheists are NOT NAZIS, Your Holiness

If you haven't heard, Pope Benedict mentioned in a speech to Queen Elizabeth that he felt the Church was threatened by "secular extremists" and thought that atheists are no better than Nazis.

(we'll just get this out of the way now: what was Benedict's summer job, again? Oh right, the Hitler Youth... And what faith were most Nazis, including Hitler? Roman Catholic... And what did the Catholic Church do during Hitler's reign? Oh yeah, pray for its success...)

Now look, I might as well say what's been on my mind for some time: GODWIN'S LAW IS OVERRATED. It's well intended, but the fact is that if you've been out in the real world you know that there are a lot of people out there who think that everyone who isn't the same nationality, skin colour, religion, or sexual orientation as themselves should be wiped out. That's not an exaggeration or "liberal bias", it's the truth -- ever heard of the Aryan Brotherhood (or anything coming out of Ann Coulter's mouth)? Heck, if you've seen my video or blog on the Qu'ran burning campaign started in the United States, you'd know that there's some disturbing parallels to the Third Reich becoming more and more common in American conservatives.

Anyway, to directly address The Pope's point... There are definitely extremists in every belief system -- and for all intents and purposes, that includes Atheism -- but to say that every Atheist is an extremist is utterly untrue and disingenuous (great, another clergyman who can't follow Jesus' teachings to save his life...). In my experience, most Atheists just want organized religion to butt out of the government, and to leave them alone personally.

If anyone in any belief system deserves to be compared the Nazis, it's the fanatics (and possibly the fundamentalists) that appear in nearly EVERY religion (the most obvious evidence of that are groups like Al Qaeda and the Westboro Baptist Church). Then again, acknowledging that would need The Pope to acknowledge that Mother Church is fallible (which goes against ecumenical policy), and it would arguably require saying that The Pope's most devoted followers could be a problem. So yeah, I'm not holding my breath.

Look, is it really too much to ask that the leader of the largest religion in the world, actually try to teach his followers to be PEACEFUL instead of thinking everyone's out to get them? With an attitude like that, it's only going to be a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Why Burning the Quran is Stupid

So here we are, nine years after the September 11th terrorist attacks. Sadly, many in the West -- especially in America -- haven't learned a thing. There are people like Reverend Terry Jones, who staged a supposed international burning of the Quran. This is being internationally condemned, by people of all faiths, and political stripes (though in Emperor Harper's case it's probably with his fingers crossed behind his back). While I have some faith that the majority of Americans and Christians still have enough decency to be revolted by this, the sad truth is that this lunatic's supporters are vocal and have no intention of backing down.

The irony and hypocrisy of this is nothing short of astonishing. We all know how Christian fundamentalists -- like their Muslim counterparts -- have the little habit of totally ignoring what their own holy books say, but this takes the cake. Jesus clearly said, among other things, to forgive and love your enemies -- not piss them off even further. Speaking of which, I guess the right wing doesn't really support the troops and homeland as much as they insist the rest of us do, because it doesn't take a genius to see that this is going to give Al Qaeda and the Taliban even more reason to kill Westerners. If the more fanatical Muslims out there got so mad over a racist cartoon of Muhammed (or putting him in a bear suit on South Park), how do you figure they're going to react to some gun-toting hick in Florida wanting to burn their holy book? Or let me put that another way: how would these same righteous Christians react, if anyone called for an International Burn the Bible Day? I know this is a hard concept for these xenophobic douchebags to get, but Christianity is not the only faith in the universe, and it is very likely not the one true faith.

Which leads me to the real scope of this problem. Mr. Jones -- yet another minister I will refuse to call by title -- may only have 50 parishoners, but there are definitely a lot of other vocal and influential conservatives out there who agree with him (and not just because this guy is a supporter of Fred Phelps). Between this and the so-called Ground Zero Mosque, tons of conservative pundits are calling for everything from the expulsion of Muslims, to actually attacking this community centre if it ever gets built (by the way I'd just like to remind everyone that in the real world, this centre is about as much of a mosque, as a YMCA is a church). It's sadly getting very common in the States for innocent people to be beaten up, stabbed, and left for dead, just for being Muslim. It's even very easy to find remarks on Facebook, YouTube, and God only knows how many blogs, to the effect that every last Muslim should be wiped out, just because they have the nerve to breathe the same air as the righteous Christian folk.

Hey wait a second, where have we heard all of this before? A certain race is expendable, even spawned of the devil; we must take back the land from the minorities and unbelievers; we must smash their homes, businesses and places of worship; we must burn their books; we must destroy the whole people; only we are the master race... Geez, does anyone else remember when it really was silly to compare the Christian Right to the Nazis?

Here's the final reason this is not only ironic and hypocritical, but just plain stupid: all of this is being done on the anniversary of 9/11, to supposedly defend the honour of the people who were killed that day. Far be it for me to presume what the dead thinks, but doesn't it seem a bit dumb, to "defend" victims of religious intolerance and violence, with even more religious intolerance and violence? What exactly makes it so horrible for Osama bin Laden to call for a holy war, but so acceptable for Terry Jones and his ilk to do the same thing? If Jesus does exist, and there is any truth whatsoever to The Gospel, I can guarantee that He is weeping for what is being done in His name, yet again.