foolsguinea: (sun)
My mom showed me this link, { } and asked if I would write a letter, because she doesn't like to write. And I thought about it, and here's what I got:

I'm sending this to an ambassador in a country not my own because my own country poisoned its relations with Iran long ago.

I don't think anything I say does a bit of good.

But for Muslims and Christians to kill each other only serves the pagan god of war. You kill a Christian for being Christian, and Christians and Jews in my country turn more against Muslims, and things get more hostile, and we get even more noxious behavior from governments.

Can we hang up the old wars of the Crusade finally?

Sunni, Shi'i, Sufi, Ahmadi, and so forth; Baha'i, Zoroastrian, Christian, Mandaean, Jew, Sikh--should these traditions be at war with each other? Could they instead be cooperating to diminish lawlessness and godlessness?

There was an English scholar who once said that two men who believe in God but disagree on religion are closer together than a theist and an atheist. All of us have imperfect knowledge of the divine. The lines between sects are as the lines between opinions in the same congregation.

Would you kill a fellow Muslim, who prays next to you, because he imagines Paradise differently, or skips prayers once in a while? Is your own knowledge so perfect? Is even an Ayatollah's?

So why kill People of the Book? However rude, however misguided, they are merely your brothers in the worship of one true God, but in imperfection--as we all are imperfect.
foolsguinea: (zayra)
I've seen a lot of arguments from conservatives about how they're not heartless for wanting to kill social programs and withhold tax money, etc.; they would rather just give their money to charity directly, rather than have it go through government.

This is such epic bullshit.

What they really mean when they say that is one of two things:

1. I'm a sack of crap liar and would never voluntarily give my money away to anyone.

2. I don't want my money going to people for whom I have contempt: AKA single parents, people of color, people who were too lazy to not be born rich...

Consider this:
Various studies show American Christians as a whole give away a miserly 3% or so of their income to the church or charity.,0,3621871.story

It is through coercion that Jesus's idea of charity was to work. "Eat, drink, & be merry, rich man, for tomorrow you die." "No rich man shall enter my kingdom." "If you would be saved, sell everything you own & give the proceeds to the poor." The torment of Dives in Tartarus.

Too many Christians want to equate modern, Christic social democracy with the Roman kleptocracy, & claim that Jesus was really just a tax protester like them.

And they think that if they're making more money, they're justified in giving a smaller percentage of it, because there's more to give, right? But since that's more of the economy in their hands, more lost opportunity to others, it's actually better on a macroeconomic level to have them give a greater proportion up than to have them give a lesser proportion. If you're now making more money relative to the mean, that's more of the economy you're pulling to yourself. More that isn't in someone else's hands. Less that's going to someone else's needs. The least you should pay is the standard. (Also, technically a tithe of 10% was to be a "flat tax" for the religious authorities; alms were additional.)

Some will argue that we don't need taxes, tithes, nor alms. That these are primitive ideas from ancient times, & that instead the free market will cover all needs. But this is not some perfect economic utopia where that might work; the real world still demands charity.

I'm a hypocrite, of course. I've never tithed regularly in my life. But I accept that taxes are a good way of dealing with the fact that people don't voluntarily do the right thing. I don't, you probably don't either.


foolsguinea: (Default)

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