The Lower Quote, As If You Didn't Know, Is By Richard Dawkins, Son.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Irshad Manji Rocks - Religion Still Silly

I'm reading a great book at the moment. It's called The Trouble With Islam Today by Irshad Manji, the former host of Queer TV. She's pretty much the woman a lot of hard-core Muslims hate - an outspoken, smart, lesbian Muslim. She is willing to stand up amongst the throngs and allow her head to stick above, questioning the base tenents of their faith. Many admire her, flocks hate her, but you can't ignore the questions she asks. Well, actually, if you are a person of faith, you certainly can ignore them because ignoring inquiry is bred into you from the time you are a blastocyst.

I am really enjoying this book. That said though, I have to say that it's difficult for me to keep my objectivity. Allow me to explain: I am obviously an atheist and I have been away from any type of organized religion for more than a decade now. Being apart from religion and reading science books and trying to learn about the world around me has taken up a large amount of my free time to the point where I don't pay attention to any religious goings-on. Not a trace of "faith" remains in me.

What that leads to, at least in my case, is that when I now hear about religions and their creation myths...they just sound fuckin' retarded. I mean, really silly. It's as if you are a newcomer to a neighborhood and at the "welcome party", everyone tells you about the Green Fairy that comes into your room at night and either punches you in the face or leaves you a shiny quarter, depending on her evaluation of your performance that day.

Of course, there are the "we all deserve a punch in the face" Green Fairy folks who are quite militant and if the Fairy doesn't give out the punch, they'll do it for her (because you have obviously done something worthy of a punch). Then there are the "quarters for everyone" Fairy people who just thoroughly enjoy the nice aspects of the Fairy's behavior and can't understand the "puncher's" rationale for focusing on the negative parts of their faith.

Ms. Manji, rational as she is and as necessary to her faith group as she is, still to me sounds like the person who says, "Ok, well let's examine the books about our beloved Green Fairy and see what it precisely says about quarters and punching. Then we'll be able to give equal rights to all people and get past all this societal backwardness."

Do you see the problem I have? Debating on the worthiness of an entirely silly subject makes me crazy. It's having a serious debate about the number of twists in a unicorn's horn. There are no unicorns and no answer will have any basis in reality, so can we just stop it please? To paraphrase an old quote, "Arguing about religion is like competing in the Special Olympics - even if you win, you're still a retard."

I highly recommend the book (apart from all my whining) for anyone who wants a great, objective look at Islam.

4 Barbaric Yawps:

At 17/3/06 10:46 am, Blogger beepbeepitsme said...

I have added you to my blogroll, hope you don't mind :)

At 17/3/06 12:38 pm, Blogger BigHeathenMike said...

Not even a bit! Thanks for reading and adding me and have yourself a great Friday (green beer or not).

At 18/3/06 5:31 pm, Blogger Why Palestinians Usually Get It Wrong said...

Irshad Manji Got it Right Today in the New York Times

Irshad Manji got it right today in her New York Times opinion piece titled “How I Learned to Love the Wall.” Ms. Manji writes, “this barrier, although built by Mr. Sharon, was birthed by "shaheeds," suicide bombers whom Palestinian leaders have glorified as martyrs. Qassam missiles [launched at Israel] can kill two or three people at a time. Suicide bombers lay waste to many more. Since the barrier went up, suicide attacks have plunged, which means innocent Arab lives have been spared along with Jewish ones. Does a concrete effort to save civilian lives justify the hardship posed by this structure? The humanitarian in me bristles, but ultimately answers yes.”

At 13/7/06 1:01 pm, Anonymous Scenedesmeriffic said...

I am SO enjoying your blog! Reading through the archives now, obviously. :)

What you said about the creation myths of all religions just sounding silly is actually a good bit of what finally made me decide I'm an atheist! When my child was about 18 months old, I was starting to try to tell him about the tenets of our faith, and it just sounded so completely hollow, like any other fairy tale I read to him at bedtime! When faced with the realization that I was responsible for teaching this new little person the facts about the world he lives in, I just couldn't bring myself to tell him myths as if they were fact. It feels so much better, so much more honest, to be raising him to be a critical thinker.


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