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May 27

Written by: Greg Runyon
5/27/2010 10:37 AM 

Pakistan has decided to ban Facebook and YouTube and some 450 other websites because they have deemed them offensive to Islam.  Let me say right off the bat here that I am all for religious freedom and that as far as I am concerned you can worship whatever deity you so choose.  If you want to be a Buddhist, Taoist, Muslim, or whatever, it makes no never mind to me.  I don’t care if you choose to worship the dandelion in your front yard.  I don’t care if you wish to worship nothing at all.  None of your choices impacts me or my beliefs unless I choose to allow them to.


That seems to be what these loony-tunes that are religious extremists miss:  What difference does it make what someone else chooses to worship or not worship?  Apparently it makes a big difference, as they want to demand fidelity to whatever worldview they have come up with, and no dissent is to be tolerated.


To be frank, I can’t believe they allow any websites to be viewed at all in countries like this.  All of them run the risk of being anti-Islam, don’t they?  Any shopping site that offers financing goes against Islam’s edict against being a debtor, right?  I suppose will be blocked if it’s not already, now that I have written this blasphemous load of claptrap.  Farewell to my legions of Pakistani readers.  It’s been fun.


Just as there are a number of Christians who pervert an otherwise delightful religion for their own purposes, so it is with Islam.  The primary difference these days is the prominence of Muslim theocracy on a national level.  Christian whackjobs are largely relegated to small little pockets of the world.  We certainly have some here in America, but their influence is tempered by all the other religious and non-religious whackjobs in our government.  In the Muslim theocracies of the world, though, the power of the state is concentrated in the hands of the controllers of the religious apparatus.  This results in a tizzy every time someone draws a picture of Mohammed, which I guess is at the heart of the blocking of these sites.


Listen, I have no problem whatsoever if your religion proscribes its followers from drawing images of its bigwigs.  But to prevent your flock from looking at a website on which, if you were to search for it, you could find such an image is beyond ridiculous.  I’m on Facebook a fair amount, and I never would have known there was a “Let’s Draw Pictures of Mohammed” page (or whatever it’s really called) had these dopes not let me know it existed!  Now I’m going to go look at it just because I can.  Thanks for pointing it out, fellas!  Freaking out over something like this simply reveals the weak nature of your influence.  If your religion cannot sustain itself within the arena of freely-exchanged ideas, then it doesn’t seem to have much of substance in it, does it?


I titled this entry “Religious Freedom” because I believe so strongly in one’s right to freely choose what to (or not to) worship.  The choice is a wonderfully personal one, one which suits each person in their own very particular way.  Obviously, many of those in positions of power in religion have no interest in allowing you your freedom.  Your freedom would diminish their power.  And make no mistake about it, once power is acquired, most who have acquired it are more than a little reluctant to relinquish it.


So what is the point of all this?  I suppose my point is to encourage thinking for oneself, encourage the overthrow of leaders who infringe upon your right to think for yourself.  Though we may not be as oppressed as others, we can each do this in our daily lives.  Question the ideas of those who speak in absolutes, whatever the topic.  The more people that do that, the more free this world will be.



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