The recent attacks in the Middle East upon our various foreign outposts by a bunch of hotheads who were upset about how one of their religious figures was portrayed in some movie—a movie that I dare say not one percent of Americans have seen, and probably not ten percent of the lunatics who then set about killing people in response to it have seen--were a tragedy of epic proportion. At some point, it seems like we must come to grips with the fact that we are dealing with people, in people like these, who have access to a lot of 21st century technology and are dealing with it with the elegance of 6th century marauders.
It’s not that I don’t understand being grossly offended by a movie, one that insults the values you hold dear. Have you seen Showgirls? It was out in the mid-90s, and was about girls working in a strip club. I hold naked women very dear, and the fact that a movie awash in naked women was otherwise so unbelievably awful that I turned it off before it was even over is an affront to me and those who share my values.
What was my response to this outrage? Did I kill someone? Break a bunch of things that didn’t belong to me? Vow to find the filmmaker and destroy him? No, I went to bed. Certainly shaken for having seen such an atrocity, a bit morose perhaps over the utter lack of titillation I was forced to endure, but it wasn’t anything a good night’s sleep couldn’t cure. Maybe our pals on the other side of the globe could just use a good nap.
Or maybe they could use some impulse control. This isn’t the first time they’ve gone all bonkers over a movie, or a book, or a comic strip. I simply don’t understand how one can get so upset about someone else’s ideas. That film changed nothing tangible in anyone’s life here on Earth, until the people over there lost their marbles. Now, people are dead, for no valid reason whatsoever.
Quite frankly, they ought to throw parties for us when “we” make films and write books and comics that offend their diety-figures. If they believe that retribution will be meted out by their God against those who offend “him”, then they must believe that we’re in a heap-o’-trouble over here. Isn’t that just fine with them? Let us keep offending your prophet. Surely it’ll catch up with us, and we’ll get ours, and they’ll be in happy-land. So, why all the anger?
I don’t pretend to understand all religions and their traditions and what the defined position their God is supposed to occupy. Seems to me though that most religions distance their God or Gods from mere mortal men, put them in a position that we here on Earth cannot and indeed are not supposed to understand their conduct all of the time, for instance, the “how could God allow (insert tragedy)” question.
So the people who rioted, attacked American installations, and killed a man who was trying to help the Libyan people in the wake of the political and governmental turmoil there are not truly angry at us. They are angry at their very own God for not smiting us publicly, bringing a plague down upon us, or whatever else they think is in order. Had they true faith in their belief system, they would believe that we would indeed face retribution from their God in due time, because that is what is called for, and he is all-seeing and all-knowing and is just the feller to dish out that sweet justice. But they are impatient, unwilling to wait for the God to which they profess such allegiance to take action. Seems like the religious failing is on their end, to me.