Tuesday, November 17, 2015

72 Virgins?

It's been a few days since the Paris attacks, with much still unknown. So this is not a definitive commentary. It's more stray thoughts.

To all you terrorists and wannabes out there, extremists everywhere who think there will be afterlife rewards for spreading earthly hate and terror: I cannot comprehend a philosophy/religion that teaches such. Oh yes, I can put the words together and get the concept. But as Heinlein would say, I just can't grok it. How disaffected must one be, how angry, how self-entitled, how insane, and how evil must one be to consider the concept, much less spread it?

Steve showed me a posting on Facebook with a pair of soldiers, captioned (I don't pretend my memory yields a direct quote) "72 virgins? Let's go get these guys laid!" That sentiment, the retaliatory rage, I grok. I merely hope it is properly channeled, narrowly aimed at the terrorists and not at just any "other" that may be deemed similar and therefore, with most of the perpetrators already dead from their actions and immune from us, suitable targets to vent our fear and frustration on. Let's not turn ourselves into them. And let's not escalate their justifications for their rage, for recruiting more to their philosophy by our own bad actions in the face of theirs.

At lease one of the terrorists is believed to have entered France as a Syrian refugee. My immediate reaction to that news is fear that most of the world would now react by closing borders to the masses of real refugees, people genuinely without options for survival beyond fleeing the horrors of home. Being a refugee is so awful and risky, imagine how much worse it  must be to remain behind with absolutely no hope. Let's please not react that way. Give us your tired, your poor, your huddled masses... without the religious tests that Jeb! would have us institute: Christians, fine. All others, not so much. Because no Christian has ever been violent, crazy, evil.... Right? Not during the crusades. Not during WWII. Not in Ireland. Not at the Federal Building in Oklahoma City. Not at Waco. Not in any of the militia groups springing up. Not in street gangs or prisons. Not in domestic disputes anywhere. Not a one.

Nor have any Jews, Buddhists, Taoists, Hindus, Humanists, Atheists. Never. Nuh-uh. No sirree. And no religion ever has spawned extremists of any kind. Nope. Never happens. So let's not isolate Muslims for retaliation under the illusion that we are doing something to make the world our better, safer place. Let's properly target the individuals responsible, understanding that they are  indeed individuals and not typical representatives of whatever their religion may be.

And let's understand that there is no safe place, no guarantee in this world. Nor can we make it a safe place. We can only make it a more loving place, and that is on each individual one of us, not our group, not our government, not our military. Just each of us, alone.

And as for your 72 virgins, you martyred, vicious, violent extremists, may they all be old, ugly, crabby, insane and diseased!

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