Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Mission Accomplished

Bizarro is brought to you today by Religious Obedience.

Readers of this blog know I'm no fan of religion, especially the big three middle eastern ones: Xtianity, Islam, and Jewishism. Private versions of these don't bother me, but I get nervous around the fundamentalist versions of any of them. I'm not saying I don't like any of the people who practice these things, most everyone I know or am related to is a member of one of the big three, so don't get all "you prejudiced!" on me. And I don't think all religious people are dangerous, far from it. Nor do I think atheists are more likely to be "good" people, although they are certainly not more likely to be "bad" people, as many religious types believe.

I'm just saying that without religion there wouldn't be suicide bombers, stupid or otherwise. Maybe one or two lunatics willing to blow themselves up every century, but nothing like the ample supply the world now enjoys.

Of course, there also wouldn't be jokes that start, "A priest, a rabbi, and an ayatollah walk into a bar..." so maybe the trade off is worth it.

I wasn't sure this cartoon would fly (pun intended) so soon after 9/11, but it published and I didn't hear a peep. The fact that it is making fun of our perceived enemy and not "us" is one likely reason.

Until next time, may the blessings of the magic thing(s) you believe in fill your pockets with good fortune, and may your umbrella be sturdy.


HeatherC. said...

I always think it's odd when people say they are fine with the *people* who practice the religions, just not religions per se. But religion is intangible--the people who practice it *are* the religion, right? I am an active member of my faith and I have had people tell me that they like all the people they have met from my church, just not the church itself. Huh? You must have a different perspective than I do. (You don't need to publish this comment...I'm just thinking, I mean typing, out loud.)
I really enjoy your blog--glad you're doing it.

Pagani said...

Oh, Dan, you just can't resist poking the bear with a stick. :)

I've often wondered what you could offer to an atheist to make him blow himself up. I mean, suicide bombers are all hyper-religious for an obvious reason: they're the only ones who really think that they'll get a prize after they are dead.

Waldo said...

Since you have deviated on this topic this week, I will join in...

Every time I meet a client, vendor, whatever in their office, I immediately scan the room to see what is adorning their desk and walls. The more the religious paraphernalia displayed, the more I have to prepare for them to attempt to screw me over. And if they have a "Promise Keepers" certificate on the wall, then I know that I have to document everything and ensure that everything is in writing with no ambiguity. It is like a "going to try to screw you" badge of honor. EVERY TIME!!!!

Also, if a plumber has a cross with their yellow page ad... I will avoid them like the plague.

Why is it that the more people display their beliefs, the more they will try to screw anyone in the business world?

Tegin said...

I absolutely want those shoes that bring good news! maybe those good news are that since now everybody is free to think what they want and it's not forced to believe and respect things that should be considered bullshit.

I. Khider said...

Hello Dan,

Religion is making people blow themselves up...hmmm...are you sure? There is no other reason for them to blow themselves up...? "Because Allah told me to?" Allah said, 'Blow thine self up like a Roman candle?'

In that case examining underlying conditions that facilitate these sorts of actions would be no use. I guess it has nothing to do with Western foreign policy's involvement with the mud races. That the mud races do not have the means to defend themselves and their resources--that the West must always have unfettered access to. That the implementation of an apartheid regime against a savage, untamed, violent people who will not buckle down to theft of homeland, imprisonment of minors, extra-judicial killings, damage of property, mass imprisonment, torture--and just about every violation in the human rights book.

The Iranian regime has nothing to do with the fact the US/UK overthrew a democratcically elected prime minister--who nationalised oil--during the 50's and implemented the Shah--who , made sure America/US had all the oil the West wanted. And when the people instituted an Ayatollah, the West funded Saddam to attack Iran--with chemical weapons--because mud races killing mud races is okay.

I mean, the suicide bombers in Iraq are all religion's fault and have nothing to do with foreign occupiers taking resources. Like, when the shit in Rwanada and Liberia went down--America was there first. So in Iraq, America is just helping liberate a people from a dictator--no other reason. Or had nothing to do with the West or the Soviets for that matter invading and trying to take control of their autonomy. Or Chechnya--nothing to do with Russians wanting oil in the Caucasus, the damn infernal moslems just got religion, that's all.

And 9/11? It is EXACTLY like Bush said, because the fundamentalist cowards are jealous of America's freedom and has NOTHING to do with US foreign policy.

Well I guess Chomsky's book, Fateful Triangle is full of shit. I guess Wrteched of the Earth by Franz Fanon is pretty much out.

Man, I hate religion. Thanks for setting me straight Dan!

Piraro said...

I an like a person but think their beliefs are nonsense. That can be true of politics or religion or what movies they think are good. Lots of things.

You make excellent points and I agree with you. I did not mean to say that terrorists would not cause trouble if they were not religious, I meant specifically that the tactic of suicide bombing would not exist in any large way. It would be virtually impossible to find enough non-religious people to take over those planes on 9/11, knowing they would die in the effort. You have to believe you'll be rewarded later, atheists don't fall for that.

But you'll hear no vindication of Western policy in the Middle East from me. Anyone could have (and many did) see this coming.

I. Khider said...

Shee-yit Dan!

You do have balls for allowing dissenting view points. I bless your vegan farts.

Okay, the other thing about secular suicide missions (Pagani--this is for you)--did you know that is actually part of military practice? ANY military--American, Viatenamese, Russian, Japanese, Chinese, Israeli, Iranian, Swiss (even though they're neutral)--when in war--a few soldiers are deployed (sacrificed) by strategists to allow a larger troop movement to pass through. In chess you sacrifice a few pieces to get to the objective. Soldiers deployed on these missions do so willingly because they know they are there to save their fellow troops.

So in Suicide missions--there are objectives. That civilians are targeted--be it by a smart bomb (like Rumsefeldt said during 'Shock and Awe'--the humane ethics that went into those 'surgical strikes'--I think he actually said 'humanity') delivery system or human bomb delivery system is equally obscene when civilians are targeted. But second and third world countries don't have the press and budget to document their afflictions by larger powers as well.

Whether the objective is to avenge/protect family/comrades/countries--or to acquire resources--or in some rare cases--to stop a larger evil--there are always underlying reasons to consider.

I'm bracing for some backlash too, Dan. I'm totally against your 'religion is the culprit' assertion. There is a lot more to it--like foreign policy by the world's largest and most powerful militaries and a populace that does not question what they consume and whose backs it is off of. I call it class war. None of these suicide bombers are rich--and the Mullah's never send their sons/daughters strapped with fireworks out to meet their oppressors.

Thanks for letting me have my say--you are going by the Lenny Bruce maxim--if you take away the right to say 'Fuck' you take away my right to say 'fuck the government'. Fuck yeah.

Anonymous said...

"It would be virtually impossible to find enough non-religious people to take over those planes on 9/11, knowing they would die in the effort. You have to believe you'll be rewarded later, atheists don't fall for that." Have you considered the "I'll kill someone else that you love dearly and are willing to die for if you don't die instead" angle? Because that could totally get enough people for it too. They wouldn't have really been happy to do it, but so many people would on that chance that the promise would be kept. Promises to give money to someone else you love dearly would work too.

For all the stupid things we do, humans are actually pretty smart. If there wasn't religion, we'd just find other ways to motivate people. Religion is simply our tool of choice.

In any case, this definitely makes my "favorite comics" list. I laughed hard.

jeff said...

I tend to think that it's fundamentalist thinking in general that can lead to trouble. Once somebody believes they have an iron-clad hold on truth-with-a-capital-T, a door to violence is opened. This is probably the case for fascists (in this case, a kind of political fundamentalist) as much as it is for religious fundamentalists.

@HeatherC: I think Dan's response it apt, but I also wanted to say that your phrasing made me think of the religious folks who say things like, "I don't hate gay people, I just hate what they do," or "hate the sin, not the sinner"...I guess I'd have to say tht I doubt I could *like* religious fundamentalists, because what they do causes so much harm in the world, even as I strive to keep in mind that they, too, are human beings, and not "the other".

Yet Another Steve said...

@I. Khider:

Is "mud races" now an acceptable term? Or is it only acceptable if used by "shit heads"?

Ah well. Guess we can't blame religion for suicide bombers any more than we can blame it for the Inquisition, Northern Ireland, Bloody Mary, Sunni/Shiite clashes or the ongoing white-hot hatred of Israel by the Arab world. It's all just dyspepsia, or something.