Science vs. Religion
There has recently been a resurgence of the argument between those of a Religious bent…
He who controls the past controls the future. He who controls the present controls the past.
George Orwell“Somber and Vindictive September 11th.”
Sooner or later the hate and fear mongers will figure out a way to get Hallmark to create cards for their newest day of justification.
Some of you just got angry, some are about to explode and some are getting the point. I look forward to all of the above. As much as this day can and should be a remembrance of those who died, the historical causes of the event and the “why” are quickly becoming part of the popular fantasy we, laughingly, call history on the mainstream media.
There is a certain side of the populace that doesn’t get religion by nature. There is another group that sees all the things done in the name of religion and how religion has been used to justify terrible and atrocious things and want nothing to do with it, who can blame them. Bill Maher and his film “Religulous” addressed these issues quite well, if albeit a bit tongue in cheek (He also was fired from “Politically Incorrect” for asking these same questions).
I think if most people will get beyond the headlines and the easy scapegoating of the media, and look beyond the surface, they will find that in many ways Human Nature is the issue and Religion has been the vehicle through which it has been presented. Why not, if you can get the idea of God behind your opinion, what justification do you need to perform whatever action of atrocity? Why go to the trouble of thinking it out and attempting to create an actual logical reason when there is a much easier way to validate it for you; sheesh, he controls everything, if he agrees who can stand against me.
To an major degree, I think this covers nearly the entire war on terror, by putting the blame and motivation in the wrong place. Yes, the people who did this may have done it under the delusion that God wanted them to. The question becomes, do you honestly think their anger that was funneled through religion wouldn’t exist without that venue? Would the “why” of the event never have happened if they couldn’t justify it through religion?
Religion and God can be manipulated to justify anything you want, guess what, so can just about anything else we hold in esteem and many we don’t. There is a lot of anger and resentment for many actions of the west in the Middle-East ever since the end of the Ottoman Empire and the forced divisions into it’s current shape at the end of WWII.
For the last 14 years we have seen our actions, or lack thereof, in Afghanistan play out with the Taliban. I always thought President Ronald Reagan’s financing the Taliban, then called Mujahideen, was suspect at best, but they were fighting the USSR. When the USSR pulled out, we left them with nothing and what filled the vacuum, Osama bin Laden, became the training space for the day we remember today.
We also see our actions in Iran coming to fruition. The West created a country that had never existed, they seemed to be headed in the right direction, but then the democratically elected leaders did the wrong thing, they decided to nationalize a major asset that the west wanted, oil. The West, in particular America and the UK, backed a coup d’état that deposed the Prime Minister, Mohammad Mosaddegh, bringing back foreign oil firms, and imposing the Shah. The Religious regime those decisions brought to power are still running strong.
The actions of the West and American in particular, are still playing out in Iraq. Those who originally supported those actions have basically announced they want to Double-Down and repeat them in Iran, maybe it will work this time.
Those who control the present are the keepers of the history and its presentation, the media and the politicians have shown they have no issues whatsoever with using the common narrative to advance their goals and then add their puppet-masters, the Corporations and mega-rich who are like crack-addicts, they just cannot get enough money and power and make Marie Antoinette look like a saint by comparison.
Today, we will hear the stories of heroism and loss, and so they should be told, but they will be spun into the stream of us vs them and why “they” are so terrible. What raised their anger and hatred to such a fevered pitch will not be heard from, for the most part, and certain segments will continue to play that pain for personal and financial gain. Like Orwell said, “He who controls the past controls the future. He who controls the present controls the past.”
A friend thought it would probably be a good idea to give a particular example of the manipulation of history, I thought of an example that shows just how quickly “owning the past” can change it; Bill Maher’s termination on “Politically Incorrect”.
I thought Bill would be appropriate since I had mentioned him previously and most know who he is.
On the show, they were talking about the 9/11 attacks, this was just a week or so after the events, and Bill was questioning, then President, George W Bush’s comments that the terrorists were “cowards” and questioned if the actions of America may have at least partially precipitated the response.
So the firestorm had been ignited, and the rightwing spin machine kicked into high gear. An edited clip was repeated everywhere with no context at all to prove Maher’s un-Americanism and even some, like Dennis Prager, actually supported the question, to a degree, Bill became the official poster child of the Anti-American Left of America and Islamic Terrorism. The truth was never to be heard again in those circles.
As much as the revisionist history has always been an issue I am disgusted by, I always found this particular example to be even more egregious in that the loudest proclaimers of “Freedom” once again proved the freedom they were espousing was the freedom to agree with them.