“May have been the losing side. Still not convinced it was the wrong one.”


"This report is maybe 12-years-old. Parliament buried it, and it stayed buried till River dug it up. This is what they feared she knew. And they were right to fear because there's a whole universe of folk who are gonna know it, too. They're gonna see it. Somebody has to speak for these people. You all got on this boat for different reasons, but you all come to the same place. So now I'm asking more of you than I have before. Maybe all. Sure as I know anything I know this, they will try again. Maybe on another world, maybe on this very ground swept clean. A year from now, 10, they'll swing back to the belief that they can make people . . . better. And I do not hold to that. So no more running. I aim to misbehave." ~ Captain Malcom Reynolds

Monday, January 25, 2010

Short rant

Since I haven't pissed anyone off in a couple of days, here's one...

Apparently a number of folks out there have themselves in a bit of a kerfluffle because the new-ish Afghan constitution has an article in there about Islam being the state religion etc... Asking what we're doing sending folks to die for this, how we can support such a thing and all manner of religious hissy-fitting. What I really find ironic is a lot of these folks are the same ones who got spun up when various rulings said you couldn't post the Judeo-Christian Ten Commandments in our courts and public buildings...

Well, here's my opinion in a few notes.

#1 - last I recall, being a bit involved in things at the time, we didn't send troops over to Afghanistan to magically impose a duplicate of the United States, Constitution, Republic and all. We did it because Al Qaeda and their Taliban allies/protectors had attacked this country and had refused to discontinue their terrorist acts. As a side effect of this we toppled the Taliban government, and ever since have been working to help the Afghan people become a stable society with a self-supporting, non-hostile government. Nowhere in the mission plan was "Clone the U.S. System" listed.

#2 - The American system of no state-sponsored church, and relative freedom of religion is a relatively new thing as far as societies go. For a great majority of the world their generally has been, and tends to continue to be, a form of worship which is if not directly sponsored by the government at least on the "most approved list." Most places make it work just fine too - sure, some have varying degrees of freedom of religion, but overall I think most Americans would be surprised at how well this is managed in a lot of places. Note - I am not advocating this system, and I am a big fan of the separation of church and state - but other places have chosen differently.

Which brings me to point #3, the big one. Folks - it's THEIR choice. If the overwhelming majority of the populace of Afghanistan tomorrow chose to live under Islam, or Vishnu, a monarchy run by the first guy they choose from the marketplace, or government by last week's winning lotto numbers, it's not our position to dictate otherwise. Provided that said government chooses to play nice by the accepted rules of big boy society, doesn't play "hide-the-bad-guy" too blatantly, and doesn't practice nasty habits like genocide of their own folks it's not really our choice to push otherwise.

Now trust me - the last thing I'm a fan of is militant Islam and jihadists. But that doesn't mean I condemn all Muslims out of hand. I'm not a fan of the KKK either, but I don't hate every white guy I meet; and the Inquisition did some nasty stuff throughout the years but I don't blame all Catholics. Seemingly though far too many people these days feel like singling out one religion as the bad guy in the world, and are mortified that any group of people may choose to find their solace therein, or feel it's appropriate to live under those rules.

Right now the U.S. is the big boy on the block; and with that we as a world and a society have come to expect us to play a certain role in helping guide and shape the world around us. It is a difficult role to be in, sometimes thankless, and I sincerely hope that we are able to help make the world a better place through some of our choices. But we are not Rome; we are not the British Empire of 250 years ago "Making the World England" - and in our efforts to help others we need to remember that this help does not necessarily mean turning them into ourselves.

7 comments:

Sigboy said...

I have never understand what gives our Government the right to force our form of society on the rest of the world. Let's face it, if we are a true Republic, shouldn't they have the right to choose for themselves?

Meadowlark said...

Well, you didn't piss ME off.

And Sigboy, you and I both know... we don't REALLY want them to choose for themselves, we want them to choose what we want them to choose so they can do stuff for us. We'll turn on them when they're no longer necessary. ;)

Erin said...

Dude. Yes.

Front Porch Society said...

I think you hit this one right on the nail. Well said. What another country decides to do for declaring a state-run religion is their business, not ours. We are not out there making little americas.

DouginSalcha said...

Alright, time to 'stir up the hornets' a little...

Question for any or all of the above (as well as anyone who follows).

I concur with the stated premise that it should be their business whether they wish to establish a 'Religious Republic'. Let's say however, that one of their erstwhile 'citizens in good religious standing' decides he (won't even get into the gender aspect of this) wants to convert to Christianity?

I'm not asking about the 'missionaries' who will probably be 'rounded up' in the shuffle; they knew the risks (or should have).

What about the 'former Muslim' who decides he no longer wants to follow the way of 'Submission to Allah, the All Merciful, the All Beneficent, the... Yada, yada, yada'? Are we really all right with killing him?

Sean said...

Do I support it? Of course not. Is it my business to step in at that point? No as well. The same as we don't expect Germany, the U.N. or countless others to tell us to abolish the death penalty with any seriousness; nor that we can tell the Netherlands to quit allowing open drug abuse leading to crime and death.

It's Turtles All the Way Down said...

Kudos, bro.