Teddy Bears and Food Chains

Could someone out there tell me what is wrong with people who have their heads so wrapped up in their religious identities that they can’t behave in a civilized fashion?  It would certainly help me at least begin to try to understand them. Or pretend to try and understand them.  Okay, so maybe not.

I’m not one to judge what people believe and why.  Really.  I notice and move on.  I may question it, think about it, maybe even worry about it or roll my eyes a few times. But that’s all. I completely understand that my purpose on this earth is to be a constructive human, and to raise productive humans.  I don’t point fingers, or get too caught up in others’ day-to-day drama. Blogging doesn’t count.

But once in a while, I wonder why there are people who are so consumed with their beliefs they aren’t satisfied until those beliefs are plastered everywhere forcing everyone else to see and know what they stand for — religiously.  I’m not talking about tree huggers here, okay?

I have trouble understanding when said people consumed with their religious beliefs (read men in Sudan and other places, but especially Sudan for this particular point) that they take to the streets calling for the execution of a woman who allowed her child to name a toy.

Surely this warrants an eye for an eye.  (I’m trying to understand here, okay?)

Surely, they have absolutely nothing better to do with their time after they’ve just finished worshiping than to crowd together acting like complete barbarians for the sake of a man who, if alive, would most likely be horrified to know that what he stood for has been so completely distorted.

When events such as this happen, I try to put myself in the position of the one so rudely offended.  I try to find a similar situation where I (or another as noble and understanding as myself, of course) might be equally offended.  Now the first example that comes to mind is the fact that many families from Spain (or countries that were invaded by Spain when it was obsessed with its religious beliefs and killing those who didn’t agree…) traditionally name their male offspring “Jesus.”  Say “Hay-soos” and you’ve got it.  I have heard someone question whether this is “okay” since fair-skinned individuals who are avid believers in Christianity would never name their male children Jesus.  Never.  But that’s a weak example, isn’t it?  Hmmmm…?  Okay, everyone…to the streets!  Such heinous disrespect!

Do they TRULY believe the British teacher should have to face imprisonment, 40 lashes, deportation, or as the learned masses demand — execution?  Really?  Why might the children not understand that this isn’t appropriate?  Might the families be falling down on their religious responsibilities to educate their children about all the truly important dogma they must adhere to in order to become crazed zealots by the time they’re old enough to join a crowd in the streets to call for revenge by violent means?

You know.

To even the score.

Sure.  That should take care of it.

I know somewhere, there’s a connection to the food chain.  Everything has a place on it.  I’m wondering what religious zealots’ place on the chain is.  What their purpose in life is.  Why entire countries and their governments have gotten it all so horribly wrong.

They must not have enough to read.  Not enough to stimulate their intellectual capacity.  Enough to encourage individuality and creativity.  Constructive inspiration.  Freedom.

It’s challenging for me to not acknowledge my intense reaction when I read about events such as this, or watch segments on the news.  My distaste is extreme, and familiar ability to tolerate missing.

I don’t want to understand their reaction.

I don’t feel like I should have to try.

I’m not comfortable with their actions…

…or them.

They’re dangerous.






13 responses to “Teddy Bears and Food Chains”

  1. religious zealots are dangerous… regardless of denomination or homeland… anyone that is granted license by their god to do things that the laws of common decency disallow is a menace….anyone that considers themselves above reproach due to their “imaginary relationship” with their god should be dealt with in much the same way we deal with the rest of the population that maintains an “imaginary relationship” with unseen entities not lucky enough to be called “god”….

  2. Wasn’t it the children who named the bear? Are they being slated for execution as well?


  3. Ahhh, but are we sure Muhammad didn’t intend for this to happen some day? I mean, to have a stuffed toy named after him! He who may not be depicted in any manner. He who may have no image, lest his message be diminished.

    These people are zealots, yes. Unfortunately it can be considered a crime against Islam simply to be of another religion in an Islamic country, and yet we are told time and again that Islam is a religion of peace.
    Of course it is. Anyone who has broken a law in their society is dead or marked for life.

  4. Excellent post, thanks for stopping by my blog and poitning me here. Its just a sad thing no matter how you look at it. I’m sure there are Muslims that feel really embarrassed by this, the ones that try to follow the teachings about love without letting all the man mad stuff get in the way. Same with Jesus. I will not refer to myself as a Christian anymore because most people don’t stop to think about what kind of person Christ was – they think of the idiotic hypocritical @holes running around calling themselves by his name doing stuff he would never do. Its pathetic.

    Love your blog!

  5. I fall firmly on they are dangerous…theme..extremists of any kind usually are..

  6. Don’t even get me started on religious zealots and their place in the food chain… I’ve been down this road so many times…
    Paisley has been enormously helpful on this topic but I still have so many questions and I’ll never understand it.
    Can you tell I come from the ‘born again’ zealots??? crap… what a way to grow up.

  7. paisley, you’ve stated this far more eloquently than I could have in far fewer words. Baa-daa-bing. “Granted license, indeed.”

    Scott — Yes, actually, and no, thankfully. But goodness. Give those caught up in the throes of their misguided passion time. One never knows.

    Jerry, I’m one of those who question exactly “what” the word of certain deities is. At any point, man has had the opportunity to put his own desire for power and control over anything that intended to be good, thereby destroying its intent.

    Barbara — Ditto, and you’ve brought me back to something I do know and consider — that not all individuals believe as one, as much as the zealots might want them to. And I was referring to the “man” as opposed to the prophet. They were people who had philosophies. Interpretation is the problem, as always.

    Robert — yes, they are. And history is full of tales of the effect they have on civilization. Why does it keep happening?

    Dawn, does it help that I was catholicized by a step parent, and then was best friends with what you’ve described? I was “done” a very long time ago. With all of it.

  8. It does seem all a bit absurd doesn’t it? You’ve captured the reaction that many feel who believe in freedom of religion and freedom in general for that matter. Very well spoken. Having deep religious devotion is one thing and coercion is another. The wonderful thing about being in a free country is the difference is clear. Not just in the realm of religion but across the spectrum we have the freedom to respect and disagree with each others way of thinking.

  9. Amen sister! I grew up in a fundamentalist family and know what people are able to do when their heads have been brainwashed to the point where “a” god is the only reason to live. It is dangerous, it is real for them and (sadly) it is everywhere. When I look at some Christian groups protesting at military funerals I wonder what those people would do if the law didn’t restrain them. Extremists are not different from each other.

    Great blog!

  10. Thanks, Phil. And coersion is a perfect word here. I am always in wonder the extent to which some will force everything to bend to their will against all else. What must it feel like to want that, to need that, and to have only blind, unthinking followers. What’s left in the end?

    Hi Ben. Although there was no fundamentalism (scary!) in our house, the whole follow all the rules or else you’ll end up in the fires of hell thing did quell one’s spirit. Especially when those who wielded the dogma didn’t follow the rules. Oh wait. They still don’t, do they? Funny how that works, hmmm? And thanks! I like my blog, too. 🙂

  11. Scott makes an EXCELLENT point. All I know is I hope no one ever sends me over there!!!

  12. Earlene

    Wow! I feel the same way. Angry and frustrated that crap like this is happening all over the world and try as we may cannot do anything about it except be a better person and continue to speak out against such behavior. I am proud of you.

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