Ladies and gentlemen, today’s Daily Links are dedicated to an important theme: fear. Without it, we wouldn’t be human. “But just what should I be afraid of?” you may be asking. Don’t worry – The Revealer has combed the Internet so you can skip that pesky “research” step and get straight to your own fear-mongering. Know in advance that your thanks are unnecessary.
First up, from the good folks at the Conservative HQ blog, Taliban pirates! I mean LOOK at that eyepatch. How can President Obama expect to “reach out” to someone who has no idea how far away he’s standing?! (Get it? I’ve never been able to make a geography/politics/depth perception hybrid joke before). But in all seriousness, I thank the writers at HQ; I had previously thought the Taliban had only existed for some 20 years, but now I learn that we are embroiled in a “7th century war against Western values” I hadn’t even known I needed to be scared about.
While we’re sailing the high seas in the name of Democracy and Freedom, let’s make a stop at the port city of Haifa and hop a train to Jerusalem. From US Representative Trent Starks (R-AZ): “If Iran gains a nuclear weapon, we would need a new calendar in the world.” Or would we just use an astrolabe*, Trent? For more of the congressman’s unconventional ravings from his meeting with Christian Zionists in the Holy City, check out the Times of Israel’s story.
No need to leave Israel just yet. Now that we’ve established we’re afraid of people from different cultures, what about people who are and aren’t the same as us? Confused? Me, too. And, unfortunately, so is Israel’s Russian immigrant population. While Netenyahu claims that the Russian Jews who emerged from behind the Iron Curtain in the early ‘90’s reinvigorated the country, it seems both orthodox communities and the Russians themselves are still caught up in a struggle concerning their Jewish/Ethnic identity. Paul Iddon has the story at Digital Journal.
Speaking of Russia, the recent ban of “the Innocence of Muslims” has led to what free speech advocates call a terrifying bill proposed in the lower house of Parliament, one that would attempt to “prevent actions that would insult religious believers.” More alarming, perhaps, is the fact that the film had been banned in several regions in Russia at the behest of religious groups prior to the government ruling. Apparently Russia doesn’t have the same rules about political statements and tax affiliation. And apparently Russia’s not the only place with this type of problem, as Ethiopian Jemal Kedir discovered recently.
Actually, it seems that having rules about 501c3s and their political statements makes little difference. An editorial in the Jewish Daily Forward points to Pulpit Freedom Sunday, an event taking place this weekend. Last year’s event saw 539 pastors in the United States intentionally publicly violate the law by endorsing particular political candidates and engaging in overtly partisan speech. What’s more, the editorial points to the fact that the IRS has done nothing in the way of evaluating the involved churches’ tax status to discourage the event.
So, there’s reason to be scared of governments bullying the people and pastors bullying the government, but it seems each depends on your particular political leanings. What about kids bullying each other, though? That’s not an issue up for debate, is it? Nobody likes a bully. Well…Focus on the Family has news for you. Check out Americans United’s coverage of the Religious Right’s quest to secure “religious exemptions” for school-aged bullies…particularly if the rules in place were developed by “homosexual activist groups.”
Fred Clark at Patheos has another reason the Religious Right should scare you. Read his take on the frightening consequences of the apocalyptic rhetoric employed by the Right, culminating with the tragic murder committed by Albert Peterson, here.
Still not feeling frightened? Would bringing up Hell do the trick? Jerry Falwell is getting ready to unveil the 40th Anniversary of his “Scaremare” Hell House event. And with it comes this new trailer promoting the event.
So there you have it; Regardless of political, religious, geographical, or sexual orientation, there’s a reason to keep yourself up at night pondering the ills of the world. But we at The Revealer are nothing if not sympathetic to your plight. Take a look at these two articles seeking to capture the voices of under-represented populations (black Christians who belong to non-traditional denominations and Catholic women, respectively), and rest assured that there are still people doing good in the world.
Or you could come see The Revealer’s own Ann Neumann, along with the likes of Elizabeth Castelli and Ann Pellegrini, discuss “Religious Exemptions, Sexual Freedom, and the biopolitics of US healthcare” tomorrow afternoon and feel better about yourself, at least.