Saturday, March 20, 2010

What Jesus Wouldn't Do

I know I'm an atheist, so I might be way off base here, but I'm going to go ahead and make the assumption that the Teabaggers in this video, like every other Teabagger I've met or heard of, are God-loving Christians.

Jesus said "Blessed are the meek," not "Blessed are the red-faced and screaming." Jesus healed the sick and infirm, he didn't threaten and humiliate them. Jesus said the best way to get into the kingdom of heaven was to sell all of your possessions and give the money to the poor, not to greedily hang on to every last dime while people are dying around you for lack of what you take for granted.

I seriously recommend these people go home and read about Jesus for awhile.

People, often these same Teabagger people, usually say, "We are a Christian nation, with Christian values," but either I'm confused as to the true nature of Christian values or these people are acting in a seriously fucking un-American way. (Or, at least, what should be an un-American way, but you know, despite everything I somehow manage to retain a mild patriotism about my country.)

Or, who knows, I shouldn't assume, maybe they're another religion. In which case I'm pretty sure they should also go home and study for awhile, because I'm not familiar with any religion that advocates behavior of this nature.

Maybe they're atheists like me. In which case they should seriously shut the fuck up because they're making me look bad.

Although bully for the guy wearing the baby.

The guy in the video has a pretty eloquent response.

This health reform bill is a universe away from perfect, or even good. It's not even really health-care reform but health-insurance reform, and a pretty weak attempt at that, even. It's a step, though. At least it would show that we're willing to take some action. I hope it passes, and that the result is as Bob in the video says, more families crying with happiness at good outcomes than crying out of sadness and worry.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Flying while Muslim and forgetful

I just had to share this story because I laughed so hard I almost peed when I heard it. I just hope I tell the story as good as my dad did.

My father is Muslim, not conservative or anything, but fairly observant. He wears identifiably Islamic dress. Being black, he more often gets "read" as "friendly African" than "scary Muslim" by those inclined to do such "reading." That is, until the whole Nigerian underwear bomb thing happened.

He is, incidentally, also a scientist and as such is a bit of a gadget tech nerd geek kind of person. He also does a lot of business travel.

Naturally he has an iPhone. Naturally he also has a "call to prayer" app for his iPhone. And, being a bit on the daffy forgetful side and oddly inept with technology for a techie guy (I get a lot of pocket calls from this same iPhone), naturally he also forgot to turn off his iPhone before getting on a plane during his last business trip.

Literally, my poor father took one step onto the crowded plane and his call to prayer app went off, turned all the way up, blasting "Alllaaaaahhhhu Akbar, Allllaaaaaahuuuu Akbar!" in front of all the passengers and crew.

Everyone gasped, turned to look at him, eyes wide. The lower lip of the flight attendant standing next to him started to quiver. With the strains of the adhan filling the cabin and images of getting tackled by some Soldier of Fortune-reading Teabagger Militiaman running through his head, my dad slowly took the iPhone out of his pocket and silenced it, saying, "Sorry, it's just my phone!"

Hearing his New York accent must have relaxed everyone and they all audibly exhaled at once. A Hispanic man in front of him started cracking up laughing. Oh, just a regular American dude, no worries.

I wish I could have seen their faces! I would have cracked jokes the entire flight.

"You thought he had a bomb! My dad! The Star Trek nerd! You almost peed yourself in fear because a phone made a noise you heard once in a movie!"