Thursday, February 09, 2006

Cartoon Jihad

Cartoon Jihad: Rotten Judgment in the State of Denmark - International - SPIEGEL ONLINE - News:
When I did my interviews with European Muslims, many religious leaders told me that in their view the central problem was a general lack of respect for religions. They reported that in day-to-day politics they found it easier to work with the local rabbis, pastors or priests than with the politicians.
What does it say about religions, each claiming title to different and incompatible absolute truths, that one of them finds it easier to work with the others than with the secular state?

I think it says something about a shared propensity to acquire and retain power on the basis of authority claimed from thin air.


jj mollo said...

I think you are right about the authority claims. Priesthood in the general sense has always been a scam to establish some authority and control, not to mention employment. The first dude who figured out how to predict the floods of the Nile knew he had a good thing going. Sometimes they can be helpful. They provide alternative power centers to ameliorate the grip of kleptocracies. They certainly provide wonderful pastoral services in the U.S., certain recent scandals notwithstanding. Usually though, I think they are self-serving leeches on society. Do we really need a Crystal Cathedral? Or a bunch of "healers" stealing money from the poor and sick.

I have a Protestant bias, but it seems to me that people who worship honestly do it directly.

This article you linked to is very depressing to me. Some people think that pretty talk and nice manners can solve everything. They seem to be oblivious to the culture war already going on. Jyllands-Posten was absolutely right to note that publishers are being intimidated -- that everyone in the house is skirting around the peculiar issues that trigger our crazy cousin's episodes of madness.

It is better to get these issues out now. The sooner the better. Why do we have to wait for the Mahdiot in Iran to nuke somebody?

Steve said...

> it seems to me that people who
> worship honestly do it directly.

I would think so, too. My devout Grandmother's prayer, though she did attend church, was always a private conversation with her God, from Whom she received great benefit throughout her life. I think she was suspicious of conspicuous displays of piety, though. I know I am.