Creating people's geographies
Just a quick musing with recent links for now, rather than a post with more developed thoughts. Religion may always have been used as a political instrument as it became more institutionalised, but I don’t know that at any previous time in history that it has been so comprehensively wielded on such a large and unprecedented scale as a weapon and legitimating tool for unconscionable crimes, including war crimes, that so obviously go against the founding precepts of the major religious traditions.
Two recent articles on the appropriation for political purposes and neocon cover of Judaism and Christianity, and call for a reclamation of these faiths:
* Khalid Amayreh, The Pesach Schizophrenia, Peoples Voice, 10 April 2007
* Charles Sullivan, The Apostles of Deception, Peoples Voice, 14 April 2007
which is made possible by a lack of religious knowledge (religious literacy that necessarily underpins faith):
* Cathy Lynn Grossman, Americans get an ‘F’ in religion, USA Today,
* Susan Jacoby, review of Blind Faith: Americans believe in religion — but know little about it, Washington Post, 4 March 2007
and in which legitimate and much needed dissent is unduly dismissed by this kind of false charge:
* Michael Boldin, The America-Haters Strike Again, Peoples Voice, 5 April 2007
We have seen the branding of those who love democracy by being dissenters as “haters”, whether it be in the US, UK or elsewhere. It seems to me that those who call for the restoration of civilised norms, human rights, true religiosity and compassion are not the haters, which has become another weasel word, along with ‘terrorism’. It seems to me that the latter group are not the ones subverting democracy and criminalising dissent, which would be closer to “hating” the healthy dissent of the democratic tradition. As President Eisenhower states (quoted in the latter article): “May we never confuse honest dissent with disloyal subversion.”
Long live dissent, the lifeblood of democracy. And may the great religious traditions be employed to spread love, greater knowledge and compassion for all, rather than the fear and ignorance upon which the warmongers depend.