Posted November 18, 2015on:
In the immediate aftermath of 9/11, Aaron Sorkin rewrote the season premier of The West Wing. Sorkin surreptitiously caused brains usually in neutral to engage by asking this question: Islamic extremism is to Islam as __blank__ is to Christianity.
The answer was the Ku Klux Klan. It is an apt analogy. The KKK has as its basis a perversion of the Bible while its founders claimed validation through various southern Christian churches. Therefore, if we are to tar the whole of Islam with the actions of jihadi, why should we not tar Christianity with the actions of avowed racists?
If the title “racist Christianity” made you angry — good, it was meant to. Now imagine you are a Muslim and for the past fifteen years the first reaction to any act of violence in the world is a question as to whether or not your sisters and brothers in faith were responsible? No matter how it is rationalized, such smug nativism is execrable.
The political shorthand of labeling jihadists as the face of Islam is once again leading the shameful bigotry parade. It does little good to point out it was Dubya who first refused to stain one of the world’s great religions with a provocative tag serving no purpose other than to anger.
Across the country, at least thirty Republican governors have declared their states to be Syrian-free zones going forward. By so doing they might as well have put out their bigotry welcome mats. Since 9/11 we have assimilated three-quarters of a million refugees – not one has been charged in a terrorism incident. But now that we have reawakened to the scary nature of “otherness”, it is the Everest of irony to consider those on the terrorist no-fly list can and do buy guns without a hint of background checks.
Now that Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, and the rest of thick-headed know-nothing crowd have taken their eyes off Mexicans for the moment, they are now camouflaging their intolerance as a fear of refugees. They have learned all too well that while religion might be the “opiate of the masses,” it is fear that drives the addiction.
This political season is going to be particularly ugly if there is a domestic attack. The Sorkinesque dilemma is this: Will we have the strength to resist the lure of the jihadists’ savagery?
Fortunately, we have someone deemed peerless in credentials, knowledge, and experience to guide us through these times and that person just happens to be a woman. As for those turning their backs on refugees by hiding behind fear draped in gossamer religiosity, I have two words – get frocked.
Have a great Wednesday and take this conversation in any direction you might want.
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