Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Renounce Your Religion

I'm not sure what I am. Atheist, agnostic, Jewish, deist, something. Sometimes I want to be a Calvinist or a Lutheran, just because I love how foolish it must be to believe in a religion named after a real-life person. "People, we're going to celebrate Christ. But we'll name ourselves after me. And if you don't like it, join the Jonesians."

I believe in things, though. I believe that the natural beauty and perfect randomness of the world means there's something out there that's bigger than us. I believe in my own brand of instant karma, and relatedly, I believe strongly in the good samaritan. But do I believe in one almighty being that controls the universe? Shit, I'd believe Andy Richter controls the universe before I agree there's one singular God with a divine plan for each of us.

There are far too many negative aspects of humanity and nature to truly believe in a solitary almighty. One absolute being would never let the atrocities committed in His name occur. Allah would never let 19 hijackers kill 3,000 innocent civilians to please Him, right? And surely God would never let The Crusaders slaughter the infidels for His ultimate exultancy.

The KKK operates in good Christian faith, just as radical Muslim extremist groups carry out their terrorist charades in good Islamic faith. So when these major events happen, and when these organizations kill and spread hate, why doesn't it shake everyone's faith in God and religion as much as it does mine?

I know I'm preaching to a mostly irreligious audience, but I bring this up because there's an escalating Holy War in progress, and one of Iran's leading newspapers is about to add some serious fuel to the fire. Hamshahri, a daily newspaper upset about the depiction of the prophet Mohammad in some Western publications, "has launched a competition to find the best cartoon about the Holocaust."

That's right, the Iranian editors at this paper are signing onto the Turnabout is Fair Play Treaty, and who knows where it'll eventually lead. But it definitely makes sense: a Danish paper publishes some cartoons it shouldn't have, thousands of Muslims respond (months later) by firebombing its embassy and threatening its citizens, then this paper announces it's calling all comers to take its best shot at a religion that had nothing to do with the original gripe.

There's an easy solution here: Abandon your need for a societal and therapeutic crutch and renounce your silly faith in whatever you believe. The world will be a much better place, and it surely won't be on the brink of destruction.

*This post brought to you by The Heathens. For another man's take on this issue (with a hilarious conclusion), check out The Daily Dump.

Slack Link of the Day: If there's anyone in these United States I'd rather not be -- anyone at all -- I think it might be this guy. Just doesn't get much worse than this guy's current circumstances.

Slack Video of the Day: In my foolish attempt to get more people into soccer, here's a collection of some seriously awesome moves. If you'd like to see more, check out this cool video of the unbelievable Ronaldinho and the balding Zidane. And this goal may surprise you.

Slack Song of the Day: Unlike our president, Bluegrass is a uniter, not a divider. It seems bluegrass is the one genre people always enjoy posted on here. With that in mind, here's the somewhat well-known Leftover Salmon on Reuben's Train, Little Maggie, She Caught the Katy and Bend in the River from 9/15/01 in Lubbock, Texas.

And some bonus music news: "MMW and John Scofield have teamed up again. The guys recently completed recording at MMW's Shacklyn Studios in Brooklyn, NY. This quartet last recorded together on John Scofield's A Go Go (Verve) in 1998. The album is slated to be the first release on MMW's new self-owned independent record label. More details coming soon - look for this release in the Fall."


At 12:02 PM, Blogger Trix said...

Amen, brother.

At 12:10 PM, Blogger Russell Kahn said...

I just don't understand organized religion.

How can Central Americans be Christian when their ancestors were murdered and/or forced to accept the religion or die? What kind of message is that?

I'm not making a sweeping generalization, just a personal perspective here: Most of the highly religious people I've known in my life were the most judgmental and selfish. Why?

A few years ago the Church finally apologized to Galileo Galilei and his descendants for that whole "guilty of heresy" thing. The world is round, indeed, and it's not the center of the universe, they admitted.

God damn it, just believe what you want to believe. Just be good.

At 12:49 PM, Blogger MDS said...

"a Danish paper publishes some cartoons it shouldn't have"

Why shouldn't the paper have published the cartoons?

At 1:15 PM, Blogger Ace Cowboy said...

Agreed, Russ. You're righbt on point, as usual.

MDS, don't get me wrong, I think the Danish paper had the right to publish the picture, as long as it wasn't libel/slander, which it wasn't. And I could have couched it by saying "probably" before the "shouldn't have."

But just because you CAN publish something doesn't you should. I'm pretty sure it's against Islamic law to depict Mohammed AT ALL, that even well-intentioned depictions could show disrespect for a figure of perfection.

I'm not saying because it's against one religion that they shouldn't have printed it at all, but they should have probably known what was gonna happen after Muslims saw that he wasn't only depicted in the first place, but that he was drawn with a freakin' bomb in his turban.

And I'm not a fan of self-censorship, but in this instance, if I were the editor, I'm not so sure I would have printed the cartoon. Could they have by law? By morals? By all accounts, yes. I just wish they thought about what would occur when they printed it, and I doubt they did.

So, to answer your question after that disjointed string of sentences above, I think they probably shouldn't have printed it, but absolutely could have by law.

At 1:59 PM, Anonymous JMoney said...

The Scofield/MMW news proves that there is a god and she does listen to us. I wonder if that's going to be an MMW w/Scofield or Scofield w/MMW release.

At 2:11 PM, Blogger ethan said...

what are the odds that a hit will go out on the editor of that paper? if i recall that sort of thing has happened multiple times before...

At 2:16 PM, Blogger MDS said...

I understand what you're saying, Ace. I kinda like newspapers that have the guts to do things that will piss people off, but you're right that they probably didn't carefully consider the extent of the outcry they would cause.

I'm neither Christian nor Muslim, but here's the basic reason I like Christianity better than Islam: When fundamentalist Christians are offended by a newspaper, they urge people not to buy the newspaper. When fundamentalist Muslims are offended by a newspaper, they urge people to kill the employees of the newspaper.

At 2:52 PM, Blogger hoobs said...

Or, MDS, when Christian fundamentalists are offended by the media, they will denounce it as a work of Satan, then convince the whole country that this is the case so that a moronic douchebottle will become president, who in turn will help topple American's civil liberties and bomb the Shiite out of the Muslim world.

Salaam Maleka

At 7:25 PM, Blogger Ace Cowboy said...

Word up, Hoobs.

JMoney, good to know these musical tidbits don't always go unnoticed. I'd bet even money it's a Scofield w/ MMW kind of thing, but the item did say it was MMW's studio. So who really knows. Either way, I'm pretty psyched...we used to listen to A Go Go fairly regularly in college.


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