Charlie Brown is Insulted
I told myself that I was going to keep this from getting too political, but it is a blog of my thoughts, and right now this is what consumes my thoughts. I have spent a lot of time the last few days desperately trying to think of something (not political) to write about, but there just isn't enough novelty to life in Texas to write about. Much to my wife's chagrin, I've been listening to a lot of talk radio recently. It's not my fault, though! The lousy music scene drove me to it! I was trying to keep my mind from being filled with mush. Nevertheless, I'm terribly sorry to start on this note... maybe I'll get into country music.
I'm not that old, but I am old enough to remember a time when cartoons made us laugh and told stories about amazing heroes who stood for something righteous. What has happened to our world where a comic has brought us to the brink of World War III? Is no one else wondering, "At what point did we go so far astray"? When did outrage (along with everything else in our society) become so perverse?
I wake up each day in a society that offends me- sometimes multiple times- daily. Our government has allowed the murder of thousands of babies annually- but I don't burn down buildings. The media bombards our families with immorality, sexuality, drugs, profanity and selfishness- but I do not incite riots, burn flags and throw rocks at police. Divorce, homosexuality, domestic violence and perverseness are rampant and tearing our families apart- but I do not murder or beat people. Kanye West tastelessly and shamelessly compares himself to my Lord and Savior in a national magazine- but no one declares an international crisis. Shame, in general, is in short supply in our society. All these things "offend" me. I think they are grossly inappropriate, but no one rushes to appease me. So what on earth makes the Muslims believe they have the right to be immune to insults? The real question is- what right do Muslims have to violence? What on earth makes the rest of the world grovel for them in their offended state... and not me? Am I not special? My mom says I am.
So, the world is "up-in-arms" over a comic depicting the Prophet Muhammad. If we are to get outraged- and we should- let's be sure it is about the right things. This is what bothers me most about this issue:
- "Hello, Mr. Kettle. My, you're looking awfully black today..." Muslims have been insulting, humiliating and murdering Jews and Christians (or anyone else they deem "infidels") for hundreds of years, and especially in the last few decades. It's a freakin' cartoon!!! Get over it! Have a taste of your own medicine and try not to choke on it. Hypocrisy is for fools and idiots.
- There is a tiny contingent of Muslims that have cautiously stepped forward to reassure the rest of us that "Islam is a religion of peace and tolerance". Peace and tolerance?!? Who, on earth, is buying that line still? A religion that has words like "fatwa" and "jihad" shouldn't be selling it. This is an insult (Uh-oh! There's that nasty word again!) to the world's, or at least my, intelligence. It seems to me that the Islamic vision for peace means you convert to Islam, live as second-class citizens or die. I've got three words for the "peaceful and tolerant" Muslims of the world: Perception IS reality. If you don't want to be perceived by the world as murderous, evil villains- THEN STOP TOLERATING IT. Don't pee on my back and tell me it's raining... Don't fill my news with stories of Islamic violence and talk about peace and tolerance. Malarkey! The burden of proof is on YOU, not me.
- Why are people falling all over themselves to apologize and appease the angry Muslims? They don't apologize to Jews or Christians. What apology do we owe them... or anyone for that matter? We live in a society that has chosen freedom of speech and press over social tact and people's feelings (not to mention the value of shock over the value of virtue). Kanye and RollingStone magazine certainly aren't going to issue an apology to me anytime soon. Why will papers in the United States publish a cartoon that makes light of the injuries and traumatic events that our soldiers- the defenders of our freedoms- have suffered but they have cowered away from this Danish cartoon out of fear of "offending". Where are all the bleeding-heart liberals that so proudly wave the flags of free speech and free press in our faces now? I say publish the Muhammad cartoon every day of the week and twice on Sunday! We should never let evil dictate our freedoms- the freedoms that we paid for in the blood of our soldiers. Instead, let us bring the nation of Islam out of the dark ages and introduce them to liberty (free speech and free press) and all the rights, responsibilities, privilages and burdens therein.
A major newspaper in Iran has retaliated by sponsoring a Holocaust cartoon contest. Along with many other things, I find this tasteless, grossly inappropriate and, quite frankly, a little childish. Nevertheless, I applaud the non-violent effort to deal with feelings of humiliation. Hmmm... if only all the world's disputes could be resolved through cartoons. Charles Schulz may be rolling over in his grave, but I would be willing to risk offending him if it means saving lives. After all, who is immune to offense?
And that's the news as it happens down here on the range, my home away from home... where all the women are strong, all the men are good looking and all the children are just above average.