Thursday, September 20, 2012

The Fine Line Between Creativity and Blasphemy

The violence against Americans and Western cultures in the Middle East has arose to a frightening level  this past week. This violence was brought on by the release of an independent film called "Innocence of Muslims" where the filmmaker has depicted the prophet Mohammad as a womanizer, a pedophile, and a degenerate. Innocent Americans as well as innocent Muslims have been slain due to this film being released and it is a scary thought. It is a scary thought that the artistic expression of an "infidel" can invoke such hatred among the extreme.

Religion has long been the source of battle, not just Islam... the Christians, Catholics, Protestants, Sunnis, Shiites, and Jews have also waged war over religion to defend their god(s) and any perceived threat to their own religious freedom. The part that strikes me as odd is that most of these religions teach love... the unfortunate part, is that many of the books for these religions have a lot of open room for interpretation due to vastly differing times as compared to when they were written, so all it takes is one person to interpret the teachings in a negative way and all hell breaks loose once they gain a following because men are sheep. As a whole, the human race is a population of sheep that is waiting for a Shepard to lead them. It is why there are so many leadership courses taught, and why CEO's are paid the big bucks... because a good leader (Shepard) is hard to find. Unfortunately, not all who are good leaders have good teachings.

As an agnostic person who is bordering on atheism 50% of the time, all this does is make me angry. I live in this world too and I don't believe in any major religion, yet I am subjected to the violence that erupts from it. I get angry at the people who burn the Qu'ran in front of Muslim inmates, because it is an ignorant, dick-move. I don't care if you believe in the Qu'ran or not, this is extremely offensive to a Muslim so why would someone do it? It is a direct violation to Rule Number 1.

I am all for the freedom of speech and the freedom of expression, but there seems to be this fine line between creativity and blasphemy to certain religions... Scientology being one of them. It is a very hypocritical fine line at that... as in, we can pick on your religion, but do not pick on ours. 

I laugh at ALL the comedies that pick on religion. I absolutely loved Bill Maher's documentary "Religulous," and I laughed my ass off at Sacha Baron Cohen in "Bruno" when he turned the garb of Orthodox Jews into a sexy-time outfit and was nearly stoned to death for it. I laughed hysterically at South Park when they made fun of Scientology, and I'm sure I will laugh at "Innocence of Muslims" as well... because they are funny to me. Religion is funny to me because in my opinion, religion over the centuries has done more harm than good. It is meant to be good, and yet it has been poisoned by human nature and has become a form of control. During the days of the IRA, and the Catholic/Protestant fighting in Ireland this was seen perfectly. The Irish Catholics held majority of the land, and control of the country... as compared to the Protestants who were poor, and were the ones that suffered from the decisions made by the ruling Catholics. It was a class war in reality hiding under the veil of religion.

As the late, great Mahatma Gandhi said "I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ." You can insert any religion in this statement, not just Christians. Christ taught love and acceptance, yet many "Christians" do not practice this. They judge harshly, they accept no one who is not like them, and their love is conditional. The Qu'ran teaches that Allah "Loveth Not" but it does not call for violence against the things that Allah "loveth not." The room for interpretation in religion has spawned multiple denominations of the same sect of a religion, and in the self-righteous way that humans have about us... we reject everything else that is different, or we try to change what is different from us.

It is ironic to me that Mahatma Gandhi preached love, acceptance, tolerance, and non-violence and he was assassinated. It is incredibly ironic and sad to me because the extreme Muslims who are going to extreme lengths to avenge Allah's honor, are doing harm to the millions of peaceful Muslims who promote peace, love, and tolerance. These Muslims are the ones who are going to end up suffering the most during these troubled times, just as Gandhi did.

America is a super power, we have a huge military, nuclear weapons, and the ability to wipe out nations just by stopping our foreign aid to them. America is going to be alright in the end. A few more might die during these protests, but overall we will be ok... non-extreme Muslims are going to be the ones who end up being persecuted because as we all know, racism is alive and thriving in the United States still. It has gone from racism against African Americans to racism against Japanese Americans, to racism against Latino Americans, and now on to Muslim Americans.

It is a sad world we live in. An incredibly ignorant and sad world indeed.

1 comment:

  1. Amanda, I agree that people can be ignorant. As a Christian it always saddens me when people use religion as an excuse for their actions. Personally, I’d like to see all religions thrown out the door and just focus on our faith, which seems to be (with a few exceptions) believing in the same God. Religions give people excuses to do whatever they want to do (“My religion says it’s ok”) and also helps us “judge” others (“My religion says that person shouldn’t be doing that, so I’m a better person than they are”). Strangely, the Bible teaches us NOT to be that way and that we shouldn’t get wrapped up in theology, but the basics, which is to love one another and love your neighbor. The way I see it, we are flawed people and have been since Day 1. Some people need power and authority (it doesn’t matter if they have “religion” or not) and will exploit whatever is needed to accomplish their goal. When they do it in the name of some religion, however, they give religion a bad name. I prefer to think of myself as a person of faith, not a particular religion (though I am) for just that reason. And you know, it seems so simple…treat others as you would want to be treated. Believer or not, there’s no excuse for anyone not to follow that simple philosophy. Ok, now I’ve carried on….sorry…..(I love your blogs and I love learning more about you – Thanks!)