This one’s just a quickie because it weighs heavily on my mind right now. No thrills, frills or Lady CaCa (she’s so fabulous, though, I have to begrudgingly admit) videos. I’m thinking about friendship, even the insubstantial ones that occur on line. Here it is: I recently got dumped on Facebook by several friends. Why?
Yes, it’s just that simple. You see, there’s an ugly phenomenon in this country right now where people attack Muslims for no reasons. Mosques have been burned, groups burn copies of the Q’uran, and thousands are protesting the NOT AT ALL a mosque being built NOWHERE NEAR THE WTC SITE. Really, it’s not. I lived in NYC. You can’t see the site of the future community center from the WTC site. What you can see, however, is a “gentleman’s club” (aka titty bar), a McDonald’s, a site where they shot a reality TV show and dozens of souvenir stands. Hallowed ground my aching ass.
Back to the point. Every day during Ramadan I posted the daily Dura as my status. I did this in solidarity for my Muslim friends, the Muslim community and even total strangers who don’t deserve to have their mosque burned down by a bunch of ignorant assholes. No, I’m NOT a Muslim. I don’t believe in much besides gravity, the Flying Spaghetti Monster and the little lavender men in the sugar bowl.
People in this country spew off about how they have freedom of speech and can say whatever they want. That’s technically not true, but I’m not arguing Constitutional law today. I don’t have the energy. What is important is that the same people who go on and on about freedom of speech seem to sincerely believe that it also implies freedom from being offended or listening to somebody else’s ideas, opinions, religious views, etc. We’re all granted with freedom of speech in as much as it agrees with what they have to say. Even if what they say is a pile of steaming bullshit.
In a phrase: Everyone is entitled to MY opinion. Everyone else can face discrimination, hatred, verbal abuse or violence. After all, you have the right to defend your opinion, right? Right? Here’s another photograph. Sadly, it’s the world right before the venom spitting minority in the government decided that those bad people from the other religion were wrong, bad, dirty, foreign and too much of the “other” to be allowed to live among the “good” people.
Lest we forget.
They came first for the Communists,
and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist.
Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew.
Then they came for me
and by that time no one was left to speak up.
- Friedrich Gustav Emil Martin Niemöller
I’ve been to Dachau. I won’t forget. I won’t back down. I won’t fail to speak. I won’t stop standing in solidarity with those of us who really do know what the Constitution says, and really do want to defend it.
I hate conditional friendships. I wish I could get full disclosure from those people. “I’m a good, holy fundamentalist who’ll be your friend as long as you toe the line and don’t disagree with my warped interpretation of a religious text.” That would be a good start, then I could steer clear in the first place.
“I’m a good, holy, God-fearing Christian that believes God loves all men just so long as they are Christians who agree with my narrow-minded literal translation of mythology.” That could work too.
“Everyone’s entitled to my opinion.” That is self-evident.
I’m a scientist who has read the Bible, the Torah, the Vedas, the Q’uran, the Eightfold Path, the writings of Stephen Hawking and even some of the I Ching. That disturbs traditional fundamentalists. I can’t tell you what the truth is, I can only say that don’t even tell me you have an open mind if you don’t. In the mean time, we only have one more issue to address, and it’s a doozy.