The Agents of Outrage

It was some internal debate in my head that placed this in my Politics category, rather than religion. It could have gone either way, but my musings on the Danish cartoons were placed here, and I do try for some semblance of consistency.

My take on the situation remains pretty much the same, but the worry that I expressed then that the crazy would spread to the perpetrator's monotheist buddies here in the US seems to get closer every day. Just read some of the political rhetoric being tossed about, not to mention the spate of recent mosque controversies. And while no Christian group has attacked a newspaper here (yet), abortion clinics are none too safe from their depredations. More and more I'm coming to believe that it's just a matter of time before we will face the threat of a world wide religious war. As a Heathen and polytheist, I feel completely caught by this - not only do I not have a dog in this fight, I (and other heathens/pagans/polytheists) are the dogs in the middle - liable to catch fire from all monotheist combatants.

I've sometimes referred to the monotheist faiths as Highlander religions - "There can be only one!". And by definition, that's the real recipe for intolerance and violence. It's been somewhat muted in the West after centuries of intra-Christian religious wars, and in the Islamic world by centuries of decline and colonization. But the core (fundamental) belief in One Way Only has remained intact on both sides of the divide, and the monotheist chickens are coming home to roost. As they always will, until and unless people understand that the pathways to the divine (or simply through life) are many and varied, and start treating each other as humans beings, rather than as heretics, apostates, unbelievers and devils.

For the sake of the planet, I hope we learn this pretty quickly, because rather than swords and stakes, these modern chickens have nukes, chemicals, biological agents and drones.

The violence looked spontaneous; it was anything but. Instead it was the product of a sequence of provocations, some mysterious, some obvious. It seemed to start in the U.S., then became magnified in Egypt and was brought to a deadly and sorrowful climax in Libya—all on the 11th anniversary of 9/11. The cast of characters in this tragedy included a shadowy filmmaker, a sinister pastor in Florida, an Egyptian-American Islamophobe, an Egyptian TV host, politically powerful Islamist extremist groups and, just possibly, an al-Qaeda affiliate in Libya. The instigators and executors didn’t work in concert; they probably didn’t even know they were in cahoots. Indeed, some of them would sooner die than knowingly help the others’ causes. Nonetheless, the death of Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans at the U.S. consulate in Benghazi was the result of a collective effort, with grievous consequences.

(link) [TIME]

11:37 /Politics | 0 comments | permanent link