Other Religions are Dumb, Wrong, Bad, and Strange: YouTube Inspires Reinstatement of Spanish Inquisition — by NormanB ("Deviations from the Norm")
Unfortunately, I’m not kidding in the title: A legislator saw YouTube videos of people allegedly in distress, allegedly while on Salvia Divinorum, and based on those videos, he introduced a bill to ban the herb. A religious Sacrament, Salvia was banned by the Inquisition in 1508, along with Marijuana, Colorines, and 200 other plant Sacraments then used in Mexico.
This article’s genesis was yesterday’s article, about bigotry against Arabs, Muslims, people with beards, and people in other religions and cultures. I’m now typing at full speed, and thinking even faster. To catch up on where this conversation begins, please read my short Diary from yesterday, and its few short respondent comments.
An fdl Seminal Diary yesterday about the Alaska Republican Primary Election titled In Alaska, Lisa Murkowski Concedes to Teabagger – End of the 30-Year Murkowski Family Reign reported on the state of the Election. The gist of that posting was that the Primary’s winner, Tea Party conservative Joe Williams, may be easier for Democrat Scott McAdams to defeat in November than notorious Republican Oil Puppet Murkowski. Near the end of the Diary, however, the writer made a cruel bigoted slur against one of the candidates. You can go there if you want, but I’ll repeat my response below, so you won’t need to click away again:
Good riddance to the murky Murkowski Oil Dynasty.
I vehemently oppose the Right-wing politics of Joe Williams.
That said, I also vehemently oppose the poster’s apparent hateful Right-wing bigotry evidenced in the post, about “this teabagger who looks and thinks a lot more like the unibomber …”
Nominally liberal Rachel Maddow also suffers from this affliction, since nearly every time she shows a photo of a man with a beard she exhibits contempt or hatred and mentions his facial hair.
But doesn’t Scott McAdams also sport a partial beard? Is he a “unibomber” too? Maybe they’re both Arabs or Muslims or Sikhs or Coptics or Amish or Jews or Hippies or Eastern Orthodox.
Millions of people follow Pope Shenouda in Egypt or Pope Benedict in the Vatican, based on the idea that each holds a tradition passed down from one of Jesus’s Disciples. Are Coptics and/or Catholics wrong? And, if so, should they be stopped? And what about tiny minority religions?
In the 19th Century, the US declared the Mormon War, but was unsuccessful in banning the religion. In the 20th Century, the US tried to obliterate the Ethiopian Zion Coptic Orthodox Church in Florida. The most visible members were imprisoned. Yet still, the "Florida Coptics" exist.
Rather than anthropomorphizing a Diety, many people today consider Nature, Scientific Truth, and the Universe to be the same as G-d.
In the late 19th Century, the Rationalist School of the Norwegian Evangelical Lutheran Church adopted such thought. Here’s how it was passed down to me:
1. Be good.
2. Studying primary Biblical themes enriches one with knowledge and understanding of our roots, history, culture, morals, humanity, human nature, et cetera. However, …
3. … there is no G-d, no devil, no Heaven, no Hell, no afterlife.
4. Humans evolved from earlier primates.
5. Jesus was a good man and a great teacher.
6. We ain’t Catholic.
7. Shut up and eat your peas.
The Sikhs began with the premise that the religions of both the Muslims and the Hindus surrounding them are equally good and correct, and that both deserve of respect. Later Sikh Gurus asserted that the religions of Christians, Jews, Buddhists, New Agers, and others deserve the same respect. The Baha’i Faith takes a similar tack. Strangely, Sikhs believe they shouldn’t cut their hair, while Baha’is believe that they should.
The Florida Coptics, the Rainbow Family, adherents of Rastafari, and the Church of the Tree of Life can be classified this way. Some people say "Politics should play no role in religions." Others say "Who are you to tell me what belongs in my religion?" Still others say "No one should be able to dictate another’s religion." Yet others say "All religions are ridiculous and wrong."
Quakers (Friends) and Unitarians may be considered Political Religions. Both started as Christian sects, but are liberal enough to now welcome and include some who don’t consider themselves Christian. Of course, when one starts with such a liberal ideology as Quakerism, he may come to consider himself not a member of any organized religion, as Benjamin Franklin and Abraham Lincoln did. When asked to officially declare his religion after becoming President, Lincoln wrote "Liberal."
An important Political Religion is the Universal Life Church. A formerly conservative Protestant Minister, Kirby Hensley, started it in California in 1959. From the backwoods and uneducated, Kirby had a revelation that no one should be doubted in their own religion, and therefore he began ordaining everyone who wanted to be a Minister. More than a million have taken him up on it. All four of the Beatles did. Many Americans got religious waivers keeping them out of the Vietnam War because of their affiliation with the ULC. The First Church of Bob was a congregation of the ULC.
That last title makes fun of the Bab, founder of the Baha’i Faith. In fact, its larger manifestation, the Church of the Subgenius, makes fun of every religion and spiritual concept its members know about. Pagans and Atheists also have ULC congregations.
When President Ulysses S. Grant endorsed grammar school education for all Americans of school age, Catholic schools were already proliferating in this country. Some reactionary Protestants pushed Pres. Grant to ensure that his program would teach Protestantism to America’s pupils. Grant was the leader of the Radical Republicans (not anything like today’s group called that). When the Liberal Republicans and The Nation magazine had advocated not letting newly freed slaves vote until they could read, Grant had pushed back insisting that Blacks in the South would be allowed to vote. That was called "Reconstruction." Throughout the South, Blacks were elected to political office. That ended when Grant left office. As for religious schooling, he stated that the United States must never promote the beliefs of, nor discriminate against "Sectarians, Pagans, or Atheists." Grant had a beard.
In the interest of complete openness: In 1980, I joined the ULC, the Church of the Tree of Life, and the Ethiopian Zion Coptic Orthodox Church. I now work for the First Universal Tree Of Life Church, which has been since last millennium been a congregation of the ULC.