This is part of a conversation I had today with a friend who lives in DC...it's badly written and rambles all over the place, but I'm so upset I can't think any more
I once got caught up in a traffic jam near Universal Studios when hundreds of xian fundies were staging a huge protest about a movie they thought was disrespectful of their fictional friend. ("The Last Temptation..." I think it was.) BUT nobody was killed, or even hurt; nothing was set on fire, or damaged, as far as I can remember. Just a lot of self-righteous noise.
Same thing with "The Life of Brian." They picketed and shouted outside movie theaters, but didn't go inside and attack anybody, or rip up the screens. IIRC
If whichever god they are enslaved by objected to a book, movie, cartoon, song parody, wouldn't she/he/it be powerful enough to take care of it him/her self? I don't get it.
They MUST have insecurities and fears about the true worth of their beliefs if they get so violently worked up that they freak out completely. (As Spider Robinson has said many times, "Anger/rage/hate is always, always fear in drag.") So, as I said, what are they really afraid of?
It seems to be only the male gods who need their worshippers to do their dirty work for them, starting with the northern tribes that invaded Anatolia in about 6,000 BCE, and continuing with the Hebrews' constant wars with the original inhabitants of "The Promised Land." And it's still going on.
I'm angry at all the stupidity, and it's frustrating that I can't do anything about my anger/fear, except rant. But that's ALL I'm going to do; I'm certainly not going to go attack our Pakistani across-the-street neighbors. They've lived here 35 years or more, and they're nice people.
OMNerves! I just remembered that their house was broken into and trashed last Sunday.... I wonder if the vandals knew they are Muslim. (Their family name just happens to be "Hussein," but that's about as common as "Smith" or "Johnson" is in the English-speaking world.) We have rarely had break-ins in this neighborhood in the almost 70 years I've lived here...
From a memetics perspective, perhaps memeplexes which induce their hosts to make life or death violent responses to the most minor "assaults" on the memeplex have a survival advantage. Like a hive of Africanized bees which attack harmless animals passing a few feet from their hive, some religions thrive through hyperactive threat response.
It's possible for someone with serious insecurity to be emotionally fragile and hyper aggressive at the same time. Consider a dysfunctional macho man who is so threatened by his wife glancing in the direction of an attractive man that he lashes out at her. When I interviewed a lawyer about divorcing my first husband, he reacted to a minor request I'd made of my husband with, "Are you trying to cut off his balls!!!" He wasn't the lawyer for me. Any man whose "balls" are so delicately attached that the gentlest breeze detaches them, and unmans him, is incomprehensibly fragile. So too, it seems, some religions react as if unmanned by a single YouTube movie trailer. While leaders of other religions would find that too trivial to legitimize with a rebuttal.
But is their macho god so insecure of his powers that he needs mobs of followers to do his killing for him? Or is she/he/it not so powerful (or merciful) after all?
That tells me that she/he/it (say that three times real fast) isn't worth worhipping at all...and the worshippers are foolishly wasting their time, money and energy. They certainly give the lie to "Islam is a religion of peace."
Hitch was right: "Religion Poisons everything."
LOL: Jay Leno just asked where the hell are all those Egyptian and Tunisian protesters getting all the American flags they are burning so merrily? Good question.
Rethinking my response, the over reaction to the video may only be a trigger. Ray McGovern makes the case that the underlying rage is over US foreign policy, especially our support of Israel's oppression of Palestinians.
You're probably right. I knew when the Berlin Wall and the fell USSR collapsed that "Certain People" would have to invent new "causes" to keep our military busy buying their weapons and ill-designed vehicles.
"W" was especially easy to manipulate...he desperately needed to out-macho his father, for one thing. (I'm currently rereading Frank Rich's The Greatest Story Ever Sold. The gullibility of the American electorate is appalling. Start an unnecessary war, wave the flag, get re-elected. *sigh*)
Thanks for sharing your conversation with us.
Thank YOU for putting up with my rants. I just needed to ask questions, and get some stuff off my sagging chest. (One of the more embarrassing things about getting old...)