Thursday, July 28, 2005

History QUIZ

Too frequently for comfort, my cousin's wife Doris, a fundamentalist Christian, treats me to aggravating little emails. (When I think of Doris, I think of sand that annoys for days after you leave the beach.)

Today Doris sent a cutesy little quiz revealing how often Muslims have been behind numerous nasty things that have happened recently to Americans (see quiz below). As if she and Muslims aren't the same thing!

So I wrote her back...

"... Dear Doris,

"Don't get me started!

"You Christians and Muslims are identical monsters born outa the same egg -- Yahweh!

"You both strap women on their backs and breed them like flies!

"You both send dead people to vast underground torture chambers!

"Your 'holy' books are almost identical!

"You both murder those who don't bow & scrape!

"You Christians murdered Indians, Hawaiians, Gypsies, homosexuals, Jews, and so forth. And now? America's only fundamentalist Christian president steals into a Muslim country and murders thousands of Muslims.

"You Christians and Muslims both shiver in fear of Armageddon. 'The world's coming to an end!' you moan. And you therefore don't give a fig about trashing my earth!

"You're both bloody warmongers, and if you blow the Western World to bits, at least we might be rid of you both!"

Here's the precipitating piece of email:

Please pause a moment, reflect back, and take the following multiple choice test. The events are actual.
Events from history. They actually happened.
Do you remember?

1. 1968 Bobby Kennedy was shot and killed by
a. Superman
b. Jay Leno
c. Harry Potter
d. A Muslim male extremist between the ages of 17 and 40.

2. In 1972 at the Munich Olympics, athletes were kidnapped and massacred by:
a. Olga Korbut
b. Sitting Bull
c. Arnold Schwarzenegger
d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40.

3. In l979, the US Embassy in Iran was taken over by:
a. Lost Norwegians
b. Elvis
c. A tour bus full of 80-year-old women
d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

4. During the l980's a number of Americans were kidnapped in Lebanon by:
a. John Dillinger
b. The King of Sweden
c. The Boy Scouts
d Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40.

5. In l983, the US Marine barracks in Beirut was blown up by:
a. A pizza delivery boy
b. Pee Wee Herman
c. Geraldo Rivera
d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40.

6. In l985, the cruise ship Achille Lauro was hijacked and a 70 yr. old American
passenger was murdered and thrown overboard in his wheelchair by:
a. The smurfs
b. Davy Jones
c. The Little Mermaid
d. Muslim extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40.

7. In l985, TWA flight 847 was hijacked at Athens, and a US Navy diver, trying
to rescue passengers was murdered by:
a. Captain Kidd
b. Charles Lindberg
c. Mother Teresa
d. Muslim extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40.

8. in 1988, Pan Am flight 103 was bombed by:
a. Scooby Doo
b. The Tooth Fairy
c. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

9. In 1993, the World Trade Center was bombed the first time by:
a. Richard Simmons
b. Grandma Moses
c. Michael Jordan
d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

10. In 1998, the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania were bombed by:
a. Mr. Rogers
b. Hillary Clinton, to distract atention from Wild Bill's women problems
c. The World Wrestling Federation
d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40.

11. On 9/ll/01, four airliners were hijacked; two were used as missiles to take out the
World Trade Centers and of the remaining two, one crashed into the US Pentagon and
the other was diverted and crashed by the passengers. Thousands of people were
killed by:
a. Bugs Bunny, Wiley E. Coyote, Daffy Duck and Elmer Fudd
b. The supreme court of Florida
c. Mr. Bean
d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

12. In 2002, the United States fought a was in Afghanistan against:
a. Enron
b. The Lutheran Church
c. The NFL
d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

13. In 2002, reporter Daniel Pearl was kidnapped and murdered by:
a. Bonnie and Clyde
b Captain Kangaroo
c. Billy Graham
d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40


Inanna said...

A truly offensive "quiz"! However, I doubt your response will help Doris rethink her prejudices. Indeed, you reinforce her prejudices against Muslims and add that Christians like her are "just as bad." Why not instead say how offended you are by the "quiz," and that you don't want her sending you any more prejudiced email messages against Muslims or any other group? Why not say that as a Pagan, or a follower of the Goddess, that your path is one of love, not fear? You could even say that horrible acts have been perpetrated in the name of all religions, and that no one religion should be singled out, and that the people who perpetrate these horrible acts are acting against the tenets of their religion. In sum, why not respond in a way that encourages dialogue rather than reinforces negative claims about Muslims and puts Doris on the defensive?

Lisa said...

Ugh, I truly hate this stuff... This is all cyclical, Judaism based most of it's holy days and such on it's ancient genocide, Christianity from Constantine to the Crusades, and Islam is now "coming of age."

Yes, I am being sarcastic and irreverent. I wonder how many centuries before us Goddess worshippers get so frustrated with "patriarchy" that we become obsessive psuedo-Athena/Diana huntresses or something.

What would a Goddess-worshipper holy war/crusade be like?

Athana said...

Inanna, you are absolutely right on one count: It would be overwhelmingly silly to respond to most anyone the way I did Doris. Not to mention a miserable display of manners. However, I gave up long ago trying to convert Doris -- and she me. During the time Doris and I were still trying to convert each other, though, maybe 300 or more emails flew back and forth between us like two frenzied flocks of mad birds fighting dubya-dubya three. Now we've calmed down some and just bat at each other occasionally. My only email to her yesterday was "First of all, how's your mother?" (Her mother's been sick).

But the rest of your comment needs some taking to task. "Radical Goddess Thealogy" really is "radical" in the sense that it turns conventional thinking upside down. For example, I was not offended by the quiz, as you suggest I should be. Muslims, like Christians and all other God-the-Father peoples are to be grossly feared.

Second, you are incorrect when you say that "horrible acts have been perpetrated in the name of all religions"! Before Father Gods were pushed onto us, the archaeological and historical evidence shows not only no "horrible acts," but no war, very little violence of any kind, very little poverty, and little hierarchy, and lots of fun, art, adventure, and great times.

You are dangerously incorrect when you say that "no one religion should be singled out." The God Father religions have eaten us alive. I think they're finally about to push us under. They need to be banished from the earth -- immediately.

You are so, so grossly wrong when you say "people who perpetrate these horrible acts are acting against the tenets of their religion..." No, no, no! Get it through your head: God the Father religions like Islam and Christianity are not harmless little entities sitting on people's heads. They are lethal weapons. They EXHORT their people to kill, maim and destroy. Why do you think for the past 5000 years the Western World has had at least one war going on in every single year ?!? We have all been brainwashed so that we cannot see this, really take it in. It's right in front of our faces, but we just can't see it. There was a time when the God Fathers did not exist, and the human species was gorgeous!!!

Inanna, you really, really need to read some of the others posts in this blog. We need good people like you to be aware of the true nature of our predicament. To me, this weblog is one of great hope. It identifies a major cause of the horrors humanity is living with on this planet. Now all we have to do it to clip out that cause.

Morgaine said...

The very advent of patriarchy was violent, and it values violence above all else. Look at our defense budget some time. 96 cents out of every tax dollar goes to the military-industrial complex. Only a fraction of a penny goes to anything that might benefit a woman and her children.

Yahweh is an angry, violent deity. They had a chance to outgrow that in the teachings of Jesus (whether he was real or not) but they just don't get it. They're too hateful and judgemental, and the scripture itself if designed to perpetuate war against the Goddess and her followers.

It's time for this reign of terror to end.

Athana said...

Amen, Morgaine!

Inanna said...

Athana - I respectfully disagree with much of what you say in response to my comment, and I appreciate the discussion. It's one thing to argue that Islam, like other monotheistic, "Father-God" religions, is intrinsically and irrevocably harmful. (I wouldn't argue that, but I think that's what you're arguing. Am I right?) It's another thing to perpetuate the fallacy that some Muslims are bad people, hence all Muslims are bad people (or, similarly, that some Christians are bad people, so all Christians are bad people). I think this quiz perpetuates that fallacy.

Further, I think the purpose of this quiz is to perpetrate hate and mistrust of Muslims, and I think that's immoral. "Quizzes" like these are simple-minded, and their only purpose is to spread fear and hate.

The only "Father-God" religion I know well is Christianity, the religion in which I was raised. I admit that I go back and forth about whether I think Christianity is intrinsically harmful. Right now I'm inclined to think that it's not. I think that if someone truly and humbly follows the teachings of Christ, then that's got to be a good thing. Just because wars have been waged in Christ's name doesn't mean that Christ (whether we think him human or divine or both) would endorse those wars. I'm willing to extend the same benefit of the doubt to Islam and Judaism; I don't think that followers of these religions are to be grossly feared. I don't believe - and here you and I have a serious disagreement - that these religions are the source of war, violence, poverty, misogyny, and so on. I think that human beings can put their religious beliefs to very ill ends, and that is what happens when holy wars are waged, or when civil liberties are severely curtailed, etc.

That said, I will look around your blog and read more of your posts. This blog is new to me, and I read only the posts appearing on the front page.

Good luck with that diss of yours; I'm writing one in philosophy and feminist ethics.

Vanadis said...

You're fucking insane. You should be taken out and shot.