Thom Hartmann recently quoted some Pastafarian (those who believe in the Flying Spaghetti Monster) beliefs on XM radio. His point was obvious; to show that the recent absurd “Supreme” Court decision on Hobby Lobby has potentially serious consequences... But the very first comment call he got was somebody trying to shut him up – not about the “Supreme” Court decision – but about even mentioning the Flying Spaghetti Monster.
All I can say about this offended caller is that he really needs to study history and current events about what supposedly good Christians have done – and are still supporting – before he goes off about playful criticism.
I get Thom's point. If Hobby Lobby doesn't have to pay for womens' health care because it's against their religious viewpoint, that opens a huge can of worms on other religious viewpoints.
But that was of no concern to this caller. Though it was obvious that Thom picked Pastafarian beliefs as an absurd example of how far this could go, all the caller cared about was that Thom Hartmann dared to talk about the Flying Spaghetti Monster in the same paragraph as Christianity.
The caller was incensed that Thom would even mention what is blatantly a made up religion along side his authentic religion. This caller tried to convince us that somehow, Thom Hartmann said something horribly insensitive and politically incorrect.
Now wait a minute...
First; if somebody out there wants to start a religion just to point out how silly it is to believe in something without any proof, maybe they have a point. And if they do have a relevant point, it is repression to keep the Pastafarians from making it – not the other way around. I'm sick and tired of hearing religious zealots claiming they are being oppressed by being prevented from essentially oppressing others. And that's exactly what this guy was trying to do. He didn't want anybody to even know there might be alternative viewpoints to his. And I bet I know where he learned his tactic. The Christians learned it from the Jews.
For decades now, anybody who says anything negative about Israel is immediately branded an anti-Semite – thus inferring they are a Nazi. The tactic has worked time and time again – no matter what Israel has done.
Now; before you brand me an anti-Semite, allow me to say this. There are good and evil people who are Jewish, just like everybody else. Some Jews have a heart of gold. Some Jews have a heart of stone. And the Jews who misuse the anti-Semite accusation just to shut people up are evil. And borrowing this tactic to shut up free thinkers is just as evil.
Second; this “offended” Christian has no sense of history. My ancestry is Native American. Christians crushed my Native culture. My grandparents were both (legally) kidnapped and forced to attend Indian Schools – run by “good” Christians. My grandmother once told me that if they spoke their Native language, they would be beaten. In fact, if they were caught holding onto any of their Native culture, they would be beaten. By any reasonable standards, if this were to happen to adults; this kind of treatment would be considered systematic torture and brainwashing. But they were heathen children, so it was OK – even commendable. My culture was stolen from us by Christians – who used ridicule and abuse (not humor) to force my people to assimilate to their way of thinking. And moreover, no Christian church has ever spoke out against this kind of hideous behavior while it was happening. The silly acts of Pastafarians are in no way even close to injustices Christians have committed.
Third; what does this type of offended behavior actually represent? Was it an attempted act of repression? I would surmise what this caller was trying to tell us is: “Don't even think about questioning my perception of reality.” I guess I can see that point. Everyone has the same vantage point – through our own eyes. We're all only human. Maybe we don't have a right to question each others' perception of reality. But what if one of us were wrong, and the other saw that? Don't we have a duty to help each other? Don't we have a duty to help each other find the truth. If I worded this comment as a strategy for spreading his religion, the offended Christian would likely agree with me fully. But if I worded this as a strategy for changing his religion, the offended Christian might literally be willing to go to war with me. What does that tell us?
It sounds like this offended Christian has been brainwashed to me. (Let's face it, Christians use a milder form of the same manipulative techniques that they used in Indian Schools – on their own children.) And what shows me that he might be brainwashed? His anger at those who would question his perception of reality – which almost blatantly obviously is a psychological defense mechanism to keep him from even considering any alternative world view.
If someone made a point that challenged my personal beliefs, I would consider the point's merits and adjust my beliefs if necessary.
Yet, if someone were brainwashed; one would expect them to be programed to resist all efforts at reason. In that way, the brainwashing will hold.
But it isn't the churches I'm afraid of. For the most part, they really do want you to do good. But what if someone saw the power of the churches and decided to use fundamentalist religious manipulative techniques for political aims?
I'm suspicious that the powers that be (the oligarchy) saw that the religious fundamentalists were easy to manipulate, so they decided to create a political party based upon fundamentalist religion manipulation techniques. It wouldn't be necessary to start a political party from scratch (the oligarchy is inherently lazy and corrupt). So, they just took over a party. You know, like the Tea Party.
I'm suspicious that this offended Christian is a product of political manipulations that have driven him to outrage over anything that doesn't fit into his handlers' (the oligarchy's) political agenda (getting even richer – at the expense of everyone and everything else). This offended caller sounded so committed to his beliefs that it would be easy to consider the possibility that rather than question his own faith, he might kill anyone who did. I'm not exaggerating. There are plenty of examples of violent behavior at the hands of Christians.
My ex-wife once told me of her grandfather, who was an outspoken atheist. They found his dead body hanging upside down with a cross carved in his back.
Religion does not always manifest itself as sanity.
...Or as Hunter S. Thompson used to say; “When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro.”
Was this offended caller sane? We don't know. All we know is that he was willing to go on a nationally syndicated radio talk show and claim that an injustice was made by the reading of an article about a silly religion (not his own). Just the implied comparison to his own religion was enough to send him on a rant. Could he be a homicidal maniac? Thom Hartmann sure backed off quick.
Now before you go and call me a communist (the Christian propaganda equivalent to anti-Semite), remember; what we should be after is the truth.
I don't care what religion you are.
As long as your religious acts don't detrimentally effect me.
Be Pastafarian. Be Christian. Be Jewish. Be Muslim. I don't care.
Just don't mess up my life.
But the fanatics are never satisfied with that.
For the fanatics, like those in the Tea Party; it's either they rule or they tear down the walls. It's either they rule, or they shut down the country. It's either they rule, or those who do run things are the Antichrist – even if they're Christian too.
Finally, getting back to Thom Hartmann's point; a number of religions have religious beliefs that don't coincide with America's policies. No religions believe in unjust wars. Some religions don't believe in war at all. But let's just talk about one war for now.
There is a “war” going on in Palestine and Israel now. A very one-sided war.
America, for decades, has been giving Israel billions of dollars in military aid. And the Palestinians are no match for the military might of Israel. As a Native American, I see this occupation of lands in Palestine as a similar situation to what America did to Native Americans in the 1800s. The Palestinians were living in Palestine, bothering no one. Suddenly, some foreign country claimed that their land was now the property of Jewish settlers. The Palestinians didn't like it. So they were forced onto what looks a lot like Indian Reservations or even Nazi Concentration Camps. They didn't like it. So now they're being forced into the sea.
As a Native American, it is a fundamental conviction (call it religious if you want) that I not support the military invasion of an indigenous people by an aggressive culture. As the Jews once said; “NEVER AGAIN!” The repetition of the pain of what happened to my ancestors goes deeply against my personal beliefs. I can't think of any American foreign policy that would offend me more.
I suspect that many Native Americans find it repugnant that their tax dollars are going to support the violent oppression of a Native people in the Middle East.
Native Americans should not have to pay taxes to support the oppression of the Palestinian people. In a way, it is a further oppression of us – by forcing us to pay for the oppression of others. In time, I hope that some Native American religious organization will challenge this outrage, this oppression, this sacrilege; by utilizing the Hobby Lobby decision.
...And I bet this “war” would end in a heartbeat if America threatened to cut off our military “aid” to Israel.