Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

Everyone, enjoy your day! (And remember the starving pygmies in Mexico).

Sunday, November 22, 2009

We All Worship the Same Schizophrenic

Some congressional Republicans are threatening a filibuster to block confirmation of a federal appeals court nominee because of his religious rulings. But they won't get the support of Indiana GOP Senator, Richard Lugar.

In 2005, Judge David Hamilton ruled that the Indiana House of Representatives could not open its sessions with prayers that mentioned Jesus Christ or used terms like "savior."

Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions noted that Hamilton was willing, however, to allow a Muslim cleric to offer invocations that mention Allah.

But fellow Republican Richard Lugar of Indiana, who supports Hamilton, said the judge was simply allowing use of the Arabic word for God in non-sectarian invocations.

Here's a quick jaunt into history. Before Muhammed, the word "ilah" meant god or divinity. The Pagan Arabs worshipped a pantheon of gods. Each tribe had its own chief god, whom it called "al-ilah," or "the god." Allah is a shortened form of al-ilah, made conventional prior to Muhammed, and surviving into modern parlance.

The moon god, Hubal, was one of the primary gods of the Quraish tribe (Muhammed's tribe) preceding Islam's advent. Evidence exists that Hubal was Lord of the Kaaba, and known as Allah. Muhammed's contribution to the equation was separating Hubal -- or Allah -- from the flock and enthroning him as the one genuine god. This is the god of Islam. Though monotheist, Islam is a religion with pagan polytheistic origins.

Allah isn't just the Arabic word for God. It means different things to different people. To a Christian Arab, Allah is a generic name for the One True God of the Bible, whose nature is Trinitarian, and who reveals Himself and reaches out to us in the person of Jesus Christ. To a Muslim Arab, Allah is the god of the Koran, who tells his people to smite the infidels and slay the idoloters where they find them. He is the god of dhimmitude and destruction.

I see this ruling as discrimination against Christianity, regardless whatever noises to the contrary Lugar and Hamilton make. The attitude they have cultivated is that a Muslim cleric praying to Allah is a non - sectarian event -- an absurdity, on its face -- but a Christian praying to Jesus Christ is somehow partisan. They ignore context, such as the absence of a trinity in Islam. A Muslim invoking Allah is the Islamic equivalent to a Christian invoking Jesus. Yet they find no fault with the first, and decry the latter. This is either anti - Christian bigotry, or gross ignorance of comparative religion.

The implied assumption from these two men is that Muslims and Christians worship the same god. Most informed Christians would disagree; but the burden of proof lies with those making the audacious claim that two wildly divergent personalities are expressions of the same supreme being. That Muslims claim reverence for the same God as Christians is an assertion of which I remain skeptical. Claims require evidence, and the available evidence does not support the contention that Jehovah = Islam's Allah.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Don' Ax Me (Or, Alternately, The Face That Launched a Thousand Ships)

"I don't know where the @#$%!^&* he was born! No one does!

Sunday, November 8, 2009


I bet you never saw this one coming:

Hasan, the sole suspect in the massacre of 13 fellow US soldiers in Texas, attended the controversial Dar al-Hijrah mosque in Great Falls, Virginia, in 2001 at the same time as two of the September 11 terrorists, The Sunday Telegraph has learnt. His mother's funeral was held there in May that year.

Friday, November 6, 2009

The Sacred Other Shows Its Taste for Blood. . .Again

It seems that a Muslim attacked Ft. Hood on November 5, killing 12 and wounding 31, at last count.

Can you imagine how startled I was at this revelation? One of Muhammed's Peaceniks?! Why, I never! After all, Muslims exploding in violence -- both literally and figuratively -- only happens everywhere that Allah's Amiables rub shoulders with dirty, rotten infide -- uh, I mean, non - Muslims. It's a recent development, too, having started just before A.D. 632. That's shy of 1,400 years; by the standards of deep time, we're talking yesterday.

This blindsided me like a mujahid on camelback -- a scimitar - chop to my comfort zone.

Now let's watch the media transform this fellow from a prayer - rug - prostrating, shahada - babbling, goat - amourizing jihadi, into a Tennessee redneck who voted for Reagan, has a gun rack in his pickup, and believes the South will rise again.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Of Pirates, Pin Cushions, and Purple Hearts

I understand why women pierce their ears: tasteful earrings accentuate a woman's natural beauty. I get it.

What I don't get is the infatuation men have with doing the same. No offense, "guys," but I just don't see the allure. Unless you really, really wish you were a "Danica" instead of a "Dan," or "Billie Jean" instead of "William," I can't figure out why you'd enjoy sticking dangly bangly frippery in your earlobes. I suppose a sufferer of Adam-and-Steveism is acting consistently with his perversion when he goes to the mall and gets his ears pierced, but this specimen of hu"man"ity is Not Right, in the first place.

I can think of two exceptions in which a man may retain his masculinity and also adorn himself with aural hula hoops or glittering baubles:

The first is if you are a woad - painted, naked Celt screaming across a fenland with axe raised high enough to split someone from stem to sternum. I won't question your manliness; I'll just duck out of the way. Insert any other barbarian killer, if this one doesn't fit your fancy.

The other is if you are an honest - to - goodness pirate -- and I'm not talking about the namby pamby modern equivalent with machine guns. I'm referencing the cutlass - waving, eyepatch - accessorizing, parrot - befriending, pegleg - hobbling, rum - guzzling, wench - slapping, keelhauling, plank - walking, maiden - despoiling, Jolly Roger - saluting, shark - baiting, Davy Jones' Locker - accomodating, chantey - bellowing, barnacle - chomping, doubloon - filching, tricorn - hatted Port Royalist with an open - throated tunic and hair on your chest thick and gnarly as steel wool.

If you're of the male persuasion, and this description fits you, then you have my blessing. Deck yourself out to your heart's content. If you're female and fit the above characterization, God help you.

Now we've come to the point at which Things Get Worse: I'm talking about the "fellers" who have discovered that a ring in each ear just won't do. Nope. But maybe one through the nipple will satisfy. Or the upper lip. Or the lower. Or the nostril. Or the tongue. Or the eyebrow. Or the eyelid. Or -- for the love of Blackbeard's navel - ring -- through the eyeball. Or all of the above. Yeccch, I'm just making this up as I go.

If you walk through a metal detector, and the thing begins to smoke and scream for help, you just might be a human pin cushion. Ditto if electromagnetic exposure means decapitation, your girlfriend wears ten thimbles when she touches you, or if someone mistakes you for an extra from that disney favorite, Hellraiser.

I once went to a family get - together, and as I spoke to my younger cousin, I noticed an honest - to - goodness silver metal bar about two inches long protruding through the middle portion of his ear.

I asked him if he'd received a Purple Heart.

Puzzled, he said "Huh?" and smiled.

I said, "Well, it appears that you've just come back from the front with an injury, and I believe you're still in need of having that shrapnel extracted from your ear," at which point he laughed me off and acted as if I was a little bit nuts.

Okay, the latter was a fair observation; but if I'm nuts, what about the guy who refused the medic when he offered to remove the shrapnel?

As one of the unpierced, I find myself confused when in the presence of primitives.