Thursday, August 24, 2006

Leave it to the Onion to put things into perspective.

"Religion is the one thing that has never let us down," Taheri added over the low rumble of AK-47 fire emanating from the nearby home of a radical Israeli rabbi.

Taheri is not alone. In a time of seemingly unending conflict between Israelis and Arabs, a growing number of Middle Easterners are fervently embracing the unshakeable wisdom of Judaism and Islam.

Palestinian Omar Abdel-Malik, a resident of the Gaza Strip town of Khan Younis, credits his Islamic beliefs for preserving his sanity.

"The Israelis have fired missile upon missile on my neighborhood, but it has only made my trust in Allah that much stronger," Abdel-Malik said. "I cringe to think where the people of the Middle East would be right now if it weren't for our steadfast belief in one true, merciful, and loving Supreme Being."

It's amazing to me how many people don't grasp the obvious point the Onion is making here. I recently found myself in a comment section debate on this very subject. Most of the commenters seemed to be under the impression that Islam was this crazy religion that can't be reasoned with. I think they are largely right on that point. But what's crazy is that they believe almost the same things themselves. How can a person see the irrationality of Islam and not see the same irrationality in Christianity?

Friday, August 11, 2006

A few interesting items I'd like to share:

First, We're screwed.

A recent survey shows that we are dumber than every country except Turkey. See the graph on the link. Gulp.

In other, more positive news, a Wisconsin family is has thrown it's hat into the ring to fight the good fight.

Nearly 200 bishops were named in a civil lawsuit Tuesday by the family of Dan O'Connell, one of two men shot to death at his family's Hudson funeral home in 2002.
The family filed the unprecedented lawsuit, which asks for the names and locations of some 5,000 clergy accused of molesting children, so they can publicize the list. They say the list is known only to the church.

The litigation is unique because of its scope and because others may join to make it a national class-action lawsuit against the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, said Jeff Anderson, the attorney for Dan O'Connell's family,

"The bishops and the USCCB have established a policy of harboring and protecting suspected child molesting agents, thereby endangering numerous children throughout the United States," the complaint said.

Maybe the courts and the media will quit giving this organization a pass for once. But it's not likely. "Religion made me do it" is a pretty surefire defense when it comes to conspiracy, child molestation and murder.

Finally, my garrulous old pal Steve has, based on my comments on another of his posts, asked where my morality comes from absent god. I always find this question to be insulting and obvious at the same time. Yet it is often asked. I posted a brief response there, but I haven't had time to fully answer it yet. Steve hasn't answered me, or the other commenters yet. He is completely dodging the question of whether he would still find murder to be morally wrong if god told him it was morally right.

Update: Steve has still not responded. I'd like to think that maybe it's because he's seen the error of his ways and has decided that morality has nothing to do with belief in illogical fairy tales. But I doubt it.