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Member since: Thu Jul 24, 2008, 05:59 PM
Number of posts: 4,716

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Saying Islam has nothing to do with the Paris attacks...

Or that the terrorists that carried out the attacks are not "true" Muslims, is like saying that institutional racism doesn't exist, or that white privilege isn't real. And it should be treated as such, but it's not, even on DU, because it turns out something called religious privilege exists.

Quite like how right wing conservatives will equate any criticism of our societal structures or real problems as "reverse racism", many on here and certainly around the world equate criticism of Islam automatically with an ethnic or racial attack. Both are deflections from even aknowledging a problem exists.

And both are fed by privilege. The vast majority of the world is religious. No one wants to be associated with people who do bad things they disagree with in the name of their same religion. And, because the vast majority of people want to have their privilege without confronting troublesome issues within their own belief system, the idea that religions are by definition good, and any bad act is by definition not religious, is a wildly popular and accepted idea embraced most everywhere, as it is a great boon to anyone religious, as the vast majority of the world is.

This privilege is so widespread that liberals seem to exhibit almost as much as conservatives, if not more so. Especially as liberals want to believe in a world where everyone gets along, the idea of any "true" religion being inherently good is a tempting one. Religion has such a powerful and protected status, it's much easier to go along with the status quo and not challenge religious ideas, but instead simply redefine religion to fit whatever worldview a person holds.

This idea ignores fundamental problems in religious ideas.

Islam, as described in the Koran and Hadiths, says a lot of things which most here would fervently disagree. Many people define all the bad parts of these books out of their definition of Islam. But that's not how religion works. The bad ideas of Islam must be addressed, because many people do in fact take them to be true, and a lot of these ideas are very mainstream in the world as a result, with no challenge to their foundations, but instead efforts by liberals to redefine the religion rather than challenge the ideas, because of religion's power and privilege.

Few seem willing to question these bad parts because it ultimately leads to questioning the whole thing. And so many people are so scared at the idea of a religion not being true they will jump through as many mental hoops as needed to maintain their belief while discarding all the parts they disagree with. This is where the privilege of religion most stands out.

Religious privilege means being able to identify with a belief system that has a holy text which endorses bigotry, homophobia, genocide, misogyny, etc. and not expect anyone to think you actually subscribe to said beliefs, in fact, to be offended by anyone who would associate your relief system with the horrible proclamations made within your own holy texts. It means being able to flat out state that anyone of your same belief system who acts badly is simply not a "true" whatever.

This is where moderate believers uphold and support religious power and privilege, which only helps religious radicals like ISIS remain relevant elsewhere. After all, ISIS also believes quite a few Muslims aren't true Muslims, as anyone can use that idea to work to their advantage.

If you identify with a religion whose official dogma or text supports bigotry, homophobia, etc., think about why you continue to identify that way. Chances are, the power and privilege of religion will have a lot to do with it. Maybe you like the community or the opportunities provided to help their people. But again, if you continue to identify or even indirectly support a system that you fundamentally disagree with, question whether the privilege you are helping uphold is good for the world. Because I don't think it is.

To close racial gaps, the economic status quo must change...

It's not the only part of the solution, but a necessary part of any solution. We've had a moderately conservative Democratic Party for decades, and the leaders still by and large support the status quo of an economic system that protects and shelters white privilege, and racial gaps still remain as gaping as ever.

Clinton is not only the status quo Democratic nominee, a direct result of privilege and status as an insider for years, but her policies are all more of the same.

If we want greater equality, we can do so much better than Clinton. She will keep the status quo, and she has been very explicit about that. Her big donors are among the greatest benefactors of the privilege this system brings, and we see who they are.

The epitome of religious privilege?

Definitely getting there.

It's just so HARD to be a bigot in today's world! Why doesn't an increasing portion of the U.S. understand religion makes being an asshole OK? I can't help it I worship a homophobic psychopath! If I don't he'll torture me for eternity! Gees, I could use some appreciation here!

Novelist admits she was wrong to oppose Charlie Hebdo award


And an excellent summary of the whole debacle:


American writers misunderstanding French satire. At least one had the courage to own up to the mistake, hopefully more will?

Imagine the Colbert show being attaked, and French artists blaming Colbert because of his racist and bigoted show.

Ex-Muslim calls for more critique of Islam from the left


A bit of a long video, but mirrors a lot of my thoughts on some of the victim blaming and genuflecting on the left when it comes to Islam.

Atheist State Senator Integral in Repeal of Nebraska Death Penalty


Awesome to see one of the few out atheists in our government making such a good impact!

On Respecting Beliefs

Another great video from Theramin Trees. Also points out how a lot of the beliefs in the Abrahamic faiths dehumanise nonbelievers.

Editor of Charlie Hebdo on Islamophobia...


Sorry for lack of text from the article, it's tough to do on the phone.

His thoughts have matched mine on this matter for quite a while, glad they get some exposure after his death.

Why I'm so cynical of the Hillary campaign...

I think Hillary is a moderate conservative on a lot of economic issues. I feel that revolving family political dynasties are not good for democracy. I think she will be the corporate candidate of choice for Democrats. I don't really like Hillary much as a candidate.

And yet I have to vote for her because of our archaic first past the post two party system.

That depresses me. It makes me cynical.

I know there is a difference between the Democratic and Republican parties, and I know she is the lesser of two evils, but I want more choice than two, I want proportional representation and multiple parties. I don't want to vote for the corporate candidate from one of two parties every time that is the least evil.

It's hard for me to understand any enthusiasm for Hillary, it comes across as perverse to me, like being enthusiastic that I get to pull a lever that dumps sewage on me instead of radioactive waste.

The most understandable is that she would be the first woman, but even this seems somewhat hollow given that the first woman will be a former First Lady with corporate connections, which just seems to reinforce the point that the game is rigged.

The second most understandable point for enthusiasm of Hillary is that she's not a Republican candidate. No doubt, the Republicans can make even a candidate I personally dislike seem quite likeable, but this just further depresses me.

I don't get enthused on these two points, I get reminded why the American system of government is fucked. I know there are people with my perspective on here, and I know we come across as Debbie Downers to those who are enthusiastic.

I do think Hillary and Democrats will do well in 2016, as they usually do on presidential election years and will continue to going forward, given demographic shifts, and the only thing I'm even kind of excited about is certain social conservative ideology failing, and seeing the reaction the the right imploding slowly, but that's a very cynical excitement.

So please understand where I and some others are coming from, why the Hillary enthusiasm can turn our stomachs, make us roll our eyes and maybe even
cause us to criticize the likely presumptive nominee. It's not a joyous occasion to us, it's pretty damn somber and depressing.

Once the general election really heats up, we'll be forgotten, and many of us will be suddenly enthused by our hatred for the greater of the two evils, a pretty poor but understandable reason. It will make us try and forget all the cynical stuff for a bit.

But remember come next Presiential primary, if we still have growing wealth inequality, if we still don't have universal health coverage, if we still have too big to fail banks, and if we still have no progressive Presidential candidate that's not corporate sponsored, you'll see our sad somber faces again. In other words, focusing on the root cause of the problem, at all times, may not be fun, but it's the only way these problems will ever get fixed, IMHO, and some other's as well, so please excuse our cynicism.

Seeing Things

A new video out by one of my favorite YouTube channels, they're few and far between but always excellent IMHO, I recommend Theramin Trees as well as Qualia Soup for these kinds of videos.

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