Those who know me, will tell you, I’m often ruled by my passions. Being a passionate man, I have a number of pet peeves. I discussed my linguistic peeves back in a February piece. However, things, other than the misuse of language, annoy the crap out of me too.
Let me start by saying, I’m a liberal agnostic. This means, I have no idea what to call God, but I believe you get to call God whatever you want: Yahweh, Jehovah, Christ, Allāh, etc… So, it irks me to see “Muslim” being used as a dirty word. These days, to turn the masses against someone, all you have to do is accuse them of being a Muslim. Somehow, it’s become equivalent to calling someone a terrorist or Nazi. Now this trend has extended to labeling the building of a Muslim community center in New York as being un-American.
It is a little gratifying to see the protesters calling the place a Mosque, proving beyond a shadow of a doubt they don’t know what they’re actually protesting. Even if it was a Mosque though, when has the concept of religious freedom been an un-American value?
Keep in mind, “Muslims” didn’t bring The Twin Towers down, Al-Qaeda did. Al-Qaeda is to Islam what Nazis are to Christianity, an extreme faction which perverts scripture in order to justify a distorted world view. Protesting a, perceived, Mosque over 9/11 makes about as much sense as picketing a Lutheran Church over the genocidal misdeeds at Auschwitz.
Moving on, harassment over sexual orientation has lead to five suicides over the last three weeks. Excuse me? How has 21st century America not evolved beyond persecuting people for being different? Whether you believe being gay is an affront to scripture, or not, you have to believe emotional terrorism violates the spirit of ANY well-founded moral code. The idea that we all need to be the same to be accepted, stands in direct opposition to what it means to be American, or humane for that matter.
Now that I am writing this, I realize these first two aren’t separate pet peeves, but are products of the single pet peeve I have for intolerance.
I have other peeves which irk me though.
*The protesting of certain foods, when the realities of modern production have eliminated the problem being protested,
*The idea that banning gay marriage is any less immoral than banning interracial marriage, or African Americans from lunch counters,
*Hollywood using the same basic story, and changing names and locations to churn out cookie cutter movies,
*Parents letting children scream in restaurants instead of taking them out,
*Dishonest political commercials (OK, I’m sick of all political adds at this point, but the ones that lie and assume viewers are too stupid to look up public records on the internet are especially irksome.),