September 23, 2006
I honestly think I could live on minimum wage. Heck, we don't even try and we only spend half my husband's paycheck, and I spend $400 a month at the grocery store on gourmet mushrooms and cheeses. If we really tried, like going to Aldi and having my husband ride his bike three times a day to work instead of just one, we could cut that down to next to nothing. And we sure as heck wouldn't be 1) going to the movie or 2) buying outrageous Junior Mints there. If we were so inclined (and we might not be, since I love cooking and cable TV), we could spend very little money. To be honest, all we could think about while watching Spurlock on Oprah is how hard it would be for us to stay on minimum wage. If for some reason we both had to start from the bottom again, we'd race each other back to the top. Night school, adult education, something so that we'd make more money. And we wouldn't spend a dime more than we had to. Spurlock just sat around his apartment and complained about how much better his old life was and how hard it was to be poor.
Actually, the real experiment we missed out on came as a tardy inspiration. I should've gotten a job at Walmart when we moved here and seen how I was treated for the six months. That would've been interesting blogging.
September 19, 2006
I also ran across this horrifying account of a mother watching her seven year old son get felt up by airport screeners (via RWN). She's right: is it really making us safer for someone to thoroughly check her kid's underroos? Sad.
September 18, 2006
Anyway, whoever this guy was, he gave the usual speech that Islam is being corrupted by a small minority of people who are attacking the Pope. Naturally, that's not mainstream Islam. OK.
It's easy to cherrypick certain ayat to show how messed up Islam is. Of importance now are the sword verses, those that say
to "fight and slay the pagan (idolaters) wherever you find them" (sura 9:5); or "strike off their heads in battle" (sura 47:5); or "make war on the unbeliever in Allah, until they pay tribute" (sura 9:29); or "Fight then... until the religion be all of it Allah's" (sura 8:39); or "a grievous penalty against those who reject faith" (sura 9:3).
These are certainly troubling passages, but there's plenty of troubling stuff in the Bible as well. In my opinion, the texts are not nearly as important as what followers do with the information.
I've never been 100% convinced that the Bible explicitly comes out against homosexuality. But I don't deny the fact that most Christians read the verses as admonishment and on the whole have adopted the worldview that homosexuality is wrong. No matter what the actual words of the translation of the Bible say, or no matter how I think they could be interpreted, it is a fact that most Christians aren't thrilled with homosexuality. It's the actions that matter, not the words that were written down 2000 years ago.
So when Raswan Masmoudi says that these Koran ayat are being taken out of context and abused by Osama bin Laden and a "minority" of angry Muslims, I call b.s. on him. It doesn't matter how he and his friends at the Center want to interpret the verses; what matters is that real live actual journalists were threatened with their lives if they didn't convert.
I can try to convince Christians that the verses against homosexuality are just as outdated as the slavery or "unclean during your period" verses until I'm blue in the face, but that doesn't make Christianity as a whole keen on homosexuality. Similarly, these folks can keep saying that Islam is a religion of peace and that jihad is a personal struggle, but that doesn't mean that it's going to bear out in reality. In reality, Muslims are threatening to assassinate the Pope.
You can't change the actions of a religion by claiming that verses of the holy book have been taken out of context. What matters is the actions.
MORE TO GROK:
Amritas makes a good point: A big difference between Islam and Christianity is that the words matter so much more in Islam. I remember accidentally starting a fight in my linguistics class because I asked how Allah could dictate the Koran but Mohammad wrote it down with no vowels. The vowels are what matter in Arabic! How could we be absolutely sure what Allah was saying without the vowels? It seemed like a completely illogical system. My teacher got really mad at me and asked how I dared call Allah illogical. And she was a Jew, go figure.
September 13, 2006
And my husband noticed this article that Kevin Costner doesn't approve of the new movie where President Bush gets assassinated. The fact that not thinking the President should be shot is newsworthy and controversial really says something about Hollywood these days.
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