Crazy In The Name of God & Country – “American Family Association” Edition

In 21st America, one would expect ignorance and bigotry to be nearly extinct. Sadly, this is not the case; Bigotry, ignorance, hate and hypocrisy are still alive and kicking from “purple mountains majesty” to “the fruited plains.”

Don’t misunderstand me: America is exceptional. Our constitution enshrines freedom, liberty and equality and our people have always overcome adversity and pushed through to better ways of life. We have the freedom to choose our own destinies and express our views publicly.

Freedom of Speech is one of the greatest American values. However, like anything, this value is abused. People and groups use their constitutionally protected freedom to spread hate, lies and venomous insults to other people and groups. This is the definition of “hate group.”

According to the FBI, a hate group is defined as any group whose “primary purpose is to promote animosity, hostility, and malice against persons belonging to a race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, or ethnicity/national origin which differs from that of the members of the organization.” The American Family Association (AFA) fits this definition like hand in glove.

Don’t be fooled by the words “American” and “Family.” The AFA has made it their goal to stigmatize and bully homosexuals, feminists, Muslims, the irreligious, and essentially anyone else who isn’t a White Anglo-Saxon Protestant, all in the name of God and Country. Their vitriol and hate is only outdone by the lunatics of Westboro Baptist Church.

I could put down in words some of their craziest, hateful statements. However, in the Age of the Internet, I think it would be much more productive and beneficial for you, the reader, to see and hear what the AFA has said.

 

The AFA thinks Muslims are stupid, inbred morons….

 

Last year (2010) during the controversy surrounding the so-called “Ground Zero Mosque,” misinformation ran rampant after a Muslim group wanted to open a Muslim community center blocks away from Ground Zero in New York. Many said that it was all a part of a conspiratorial plot by Muslims to destroy America…..seriously. The AFA had plenty to say…

 

The AFA’s hatred of Muslims goes furthur…they don’t want any Muslims in the military OR coming in to the country…

 

The AFA thinks homosexuals are Nazis…

 

The AFA thinks that gays are responsible for the Holocaust (even though he says that’s not what he thinks). Just follow his warped logic and outright lies…

 

The AFA says that liberal gays and Muslims have joined together in a plot to take down Western Civilization…

 

You can’t make this garbage up.

 

American Family Association logo

 

Blacklist: 2010 Edition

I’m so sick of hearing about the “controversy” surrounding the so-called “Ground Zero Mosque.”

For the record, it’s not only a mosque – which has been there for over a year in an abandoned retail space – but a community center that is not even on the Ground Zero site itself but rather blocks away. “Park 51” or “The Cordoba House” is the proposed name for the facility by Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf.

Of course, all sorts of people have come out of the woodwork to protest the project. Halting construction of all mosques in the US and carrying offensive signs has become all the rage with these xenophobic fringe groups.

Pat Robertson has declared that all Muslims intend to take over the nation and there’s even a fundamentalist pastor in Gainesville, Florida who is planning an annual “Burn a Koran Day” on the ninth anniversary of the attacks.

Playing on prejudice and extremely negative stereotypes, men like Robertson and the Gainesville pastor are helping create a toxic atmosphere where equality and reason are not present.

This kind of bigotry and intolerance represent a common theme that has remained throughout American history: scapegoating an entire group of people when times are turbulent.

Jews, Catholics, Blacks, communists, socialists and gays are just a few of the more notable groups to be stigmatized and bullied in American history. Now, Muslims have joined the blacklist.

The United States is the best country on the planet. We should all take pride in the fact that our democratic republic is the longest-surviving in history. With over 300 million citizens, we’re a melting pot of tradition, art, religion and language. We’ve sent men to the moon and cured diseases that once devastated countless lives.

We don’t always agree with each other and that’s one of the most beautiful things about this country: We’re free to disagree and protest amongst ourselves and our government.

However, when irrationality and bigotry cloud one’s judgement, the end result is ugly. Instead of peaceably having an enlightened discussion, some resort to name-calling and prejudice and while we do have the freedom to protest this way, it doesn’t change the fact that behaving in such a manner is an embarrassment to the nation.

While many are using fear and an “us vs. them” argument, my hope is that those who have remained silent during this controversy will speak up. Together, let’s drown out the ignorance.

How can I ask for peace without sounding cliché?

I know that everybody – well, the sane – wants world peace. Regional conflicts, global wars, mass genocide, extremism, terrorism…is there any hope for our insane world? Can global peace be achieved?

As I wrote in the previous post, I strongly believe that extremism and fundamentalism in all religions threatens progress and humanity’s survival. The violent indoctrination that self-proclaimed “prophets” and other religious leaders instill into their manipulated followers is one of the biggest tragedies in the world today. To think that the people who blow up schools and behead journalists do so because they are promised a special fast-track to an afterlife in paradise is horrific and revolting.

I’m not asking for those who earnestly and peaceably follow their faiths to abandon them. Rather, I am hoping that we can reach a point where coexistence is a global reality…a world where religious violence is a horrible thing of the past. No matter what you believe or who you are, we are all deserving of respect and kindness.

Here’s a beautiful video by the amazing Madonna. Performed at her 2006 “Confessions Tour” stop in London, Madonna turned her song “Forbidden Love” into a prayer for peace. Enjoy and think…