Unfortunately, America is Stuck with These Idiots

Last updated on September 14th, 2012 at 08:44 pm

I blame the First Amendment. Don’t get me wrong: I’m not making excuses for bad behavior by Islamic fundamentalists or any other fundamentalists. And the First Amendment is great. It’s my favorite amendment. It’s why I can do what I do here. It’s why I can read what I read and believe what I believe and listen to the music I like.

But doggone if it isn’t too much of a good thing at times. Doggone it if it doesn’t have a negative side too: it lets idiots like a filmmaker risk innocent American lives, damage America’s reputation in the Middle East, and laugh all the way to the bank with Mitt Romney’s smilingapproval.

Bryan Fischer says there should be some public lynching’s and I’m half inclined to agree. We’re just not talking about the same invitees, if you take my meaning.

But where the guys who stormed the American embassy in Libya are concerned, they’re more likely to see the business end of a guided missile than the end of a rope. Obama has shown he doesn’t mess around with or apologize to terrorists. He kills their asses. Dead.

Now granted, there is no excuse for running amok and killing people and damaging property because you don’t like somebody’s opinion of your god or your prophet, but our First Amendment isn’t in force in Egypt. Americans, before they shoot their mouths off, should remember that.

Sure, these conservative clowns, Romney, Fischer, Jones and company, have a right under American law to criticize Islam, though they don’t seem to get that that same right applies to criticisms of Christianity or any other religion, including my own, or atheism or secularism or any other ism. But if you’re going to criticize another religion, couldn’t you be more mature about it and attack it on its merits rather than egregiously insult its prophet?

I mean, 21st century American pedophilia laws, really? We’re talking the seventh century CE, Bryan. Mary was probably pretty young when she married Joseph, too.

Pat Robertson can always be counted on to pour oil on a fire and he does so here with some untimely comments that lead me to suggest he look in the mirror when he talks about defensiveness being related to indefensible religious beliefs:

You wonder what it is in these Muslims that causes them to go crazy when somebody says something about Mohammed, most of which happens to be true.

He accuses Mohammed of being a pedophile.

Why do they riot? Why do they kill people? I mean, what t is it about this religion that makes them so terribly defensive? The reason they are defensive is because they can’t defend some of the stuff they believe and therefore they’re very protective of it.

Interestingly, I’ve said the same thing about fundamentalist fanatics like Robertson. Nobody gets fanatic about the sun rising, after all. Nobody is likely to forget how upset these yokels get about films like The Life of Brian, which didn’t even portray Jesus, or by a tender display of Pagan piety in Gladiator. Drives them crazy.

But Muslims have no right to be insulted, Robertson says. The spirit of Ishmael drives them, says Robertson. Ishmael was “like a wild donkey” and “apparently that spirit has pervaded these people.”

So what’s your excuse, Pat?

It was Bible-burning Florida Pastor Terry Jones who was behind the Mohammed film and it was, Right Wing Watch tells us, “Morris Sadek, an Egyptian-American anti-Muslim activist” who made it known to Muslims in the Middle East. Being on the ball, Right Wing Watch did some investigating and is able to tell us about the mysterious Sadek:

Sadek is a supporter of ACT! for America, which believes that President Obama has embraced the Muslim Brotherhood. The group rallied its supporters last month behind Michelle Bachmann’s anti-Muslim witch hunt against Huma Abedin and others. Here’s Sadek with ACT! For America president Brigitte Gabriel at one of the group’s 2010 events.

Sadek is a man of many interests. He’s a member of these groups, among many others: Islam is of the Devil, Warriors of Christ, and OBAMA IS THE WORST PRESIDENT EVER! Agree?. Sadek is also a fan of the Republican Party, George Bush, Allen West (for president no less!), and number of other Islamophobic, conservative and/or Republican institutions and leaders. Ironically enough, he’s also a fan of the American embassy in Cairo, which was overrun by the protests that he sparked.

I have agree with Right Wing Watch when they defend Sadek’s First Amendment rights but its like pulling teeth when I feel like somebody is abusing them by putting others at risk. It was reckless of Sadek and irresponsible of Jones, who sits in safety while putting others at risk.

So yes, “Sadek has every right to carry out his work, and the violent extremists behind yesterday’s attack bear full responsibility for their actions. But we can and should hold Sadek to account for his own bigoted views and actions, which have poured gasoline on the fire and made it that much more difficult for the United States to achieve its strategic and diplomatic goals.”

I agree. Wholeheartedly.

Just because you can say something doesn’t mean you should. I’m not a Christian obviously, I am not a supporter of Christian doctrine and dogma, particularly when it comes to forcing it down the throats of others, including especially my own. But I’m not going to call Jesus names because I don’t agree with the religion created about him.

It’s easy to do things like that. But it’s also childish and irresponsible. Argue the merits or keep your mouth shut. No, Muslims should not have done what they did when they stormed the American embassy in Egypt. But their actions no more makes all Muslims guilty than all Americans are made guilty by Jones and Sadek.

It’s difficult to understand how Sadek, who claims to be championing the rights of the Coptic minority in Egypt thought he was doing them any favors by popularizing this bigoted and hateful film. It’s difficult to understand what Mitt Romney thinks he is accomplishing by playing politics and slandering the president on 9/11 of all days.

Just because you can say something doesn’t mean you should. Mitt Romney should think deeply on that point before he next opens his mouth. Bad enough he said anything political at all, trying to take advantage on the day Americans died in Libya, but why did he think dishonesty should compound his sin? Who told him it was a good idea to claim that Obama apologized to the attackers?

You’d like some sober reflection from presidential aspirants at least, rather than knee-jerk responses. They guy is supposedly no longer a 13-year-old boy who can’t control his emotions. We tried that before, with Bush. We got stuck with two wars, each as long-lasting as the Trojan War.

There is a lot of blame to be assigned here and though the First Amendment is a right, it carries with it some responsibility to think before you speak; to think before you act, and to consider the feelings and likely reactions of others. There is a difference between arguing the merits of something and hurling infantile insults.

And while I would never advocate this for America, I can see why other countries have laws concerning hate-speech. Because hate speech can get people killed, and not only the person who opens his or her mouth, but others who are closer to the line of fire. And I’d like to think my family doesn’t have to die because some conservative ass-hat feels the need to verbally masturbate to his fantasies of hatred and bigotry.

Let’s go sober and sensible this year, shall we? Voting in a fundamentalist regime in response to other fundamentalism just doesn’t seem like a sustainable idea to me. And if Romney thinks Obama is an embarrassment, wait till the world gets a look at an American president bending over, holding his butt-cheeks and talking out of his ass. Our international reputation will soar.

This whole fiasco is just another example of why religious fundamentalism is incompatible with the principles of a modern liberal democracy, and of why the religiously fundamentalist GOP is unfit to lead. Shame on Sadek, shame on Jones, shame on the Islamic militants, and shame on Mitt Romney, who positively revels in using the First Amendment as an excuse to be stupid, though he’s far from alone.

Hrafnkell Haraldsson, a social liberal with leanings toward centrist politics has degrees in history and philosophy. His interests include, besides history and philosophy, human rights issues, freedom of choice, religion, and the precarious dichotomy of freedom of speech and intolerance. He brings a slightly different perspective to his writing, being that he is neither a follower of an Abrahamic faith nor an atheist but a polytheist, a modern-day Heathen who follows the customs and traditions of his Norse ancestors. He maintains his own blog, A Heathen's Day, which deals with Heathen and Pagan matters, and Mos Maiorum Foundation www.mosmaiorum.org, dedicated to ethnic religion. He has also contributed to NewsJunkiePost, GodsOwnParty and Pagan+Politics.

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