Saturday, May 8, 2010

Why I support Draw Muhammad Day

Thanks to my big mouth and general misanthropy, I am forever compelled to explain my attitude toward Muslims. I don't hate them any more than I hate anyone else. What I hate is their ridiculous warlike religion. But Nathaniel, you counter, Christianity is just as... I'm going to stop you right there. Yes, Christianity is terrible and if you've read any of my blog you'll see that I don't care for that religion either. In fact, I am pretty much against any religion that compels adherents to 'spread the word.' More specifically, I am against the evangelical aspects of religion, and these days Islam is particularly brutish about it. What with the bombing and beheading and other such violence. Of course these things (generally) don't take place in America and I have been told that American Muslims are just as shocked by these activities as American Christians and American atheists. But just because they take place in a foreign land does not mean that these acts are not dictated by a certain understanding of their holy book and thus are a byproduct (if not a direct product) of their religion.

May 20th is Draw Muhammad Day. No, I won't be drawing a picture of Muhammad, mainly because I can't draw and also because I have no platform to display it. I recognize that it is nothing but offensive, but there is a bigger reason. It will help (I think) to establish a precedent for non-Muslims to be able to freely do what they want to do. Just as eating cheeseburgers is a right that non-Jews and non-Hindus have, working on the Sabbath is a right that non-Christians have, drawing pictures of Muhammad is a right that all non-Muslims have and we should be free to exercise that right without fear of retribution. If Draw Muhammad Day accomplishes anything, it will cause Righteous Indignation Fatigue in Muslims and they'll move past it.

I promise that I'm not really out to offend different cultures. That isn't my goal in life. I don't go around with profanity-strewn tee shirts just for the sake of proving that I don't care what anyone thinks. As vocally anti-religious as I may be on my blog, I do not approach Christians and start arguments. I don't mention my atheism unless asked directly and even then I am not combative. I am certainly not ashamed of it, but I really don't enjoy conflict when it is unnecessary. My complaint is not against Muslims. I do think that their religion warps their social mind a bit - perhaps in the treatment of women and animals - but unless their religion interferes with my ability to live my life without their religion, I don't care what they believe.

I am sorry that Draw Muhammad Day will cause offense to millions of humans. But they should realize that it doesn't matter. Like it or not, we all have to live together, so the rules we govern our society by can not bother itself with the dictates of religion. This is what makes America so great and why it is factually wrong to say that America is a Christian Nation. If it truly were a Christian Nation then homosexuality would be illegal, women would not vote, much less rule, divorce would be illegal but spousal abuse would not, children would be killed for being rude and women would be killed for any number of minor offenses. Since we live in a secular society, if someone disagrees with these ideas, they are free to do so. I may not like the fact that certain Christian denominations do not allow women to be ministers or do not allow homosexuals to participate, but it is their option to make those rules. It doesn't matter what I want or think about their religion, and it doesn't matter what they think about my ideas. We have to construct laws that allow all of us to coexist and forbidding certain drawings because they offend some people - and even if they offended most people - is just ridiculous.

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