Religion is the Answer
Don't worry, Mr. Cranky hasn't found Jesus... yet. Religion is the answer for me to a question that will surprise and anger most people. That question is this: what lies at the root of most problems in the world today?
One can quibble over semantics, but the argument of this essay is that religion is, by its very nature, a destructive force in the world. Effectively, it is evil. Virtually every bad thing that's happening in the world today is the result of somebody's bastardization of religious principles. Now, that may be the fault of the moron or it may be the fault of the enabling idea. I just happen to think that, in most cases, religion enables people to be irrational and hateful toward their fellow human beings. And in its power to be destructive, the blame on religion is non-discriminatory. There isn't a religion that shouldn't be despised and all share equal blame.
The most noteworthy current situation - the conflict between Israel and Hezbollah and generally the conflict between Israel and much of the Arab world - emanates from their religious differences. I won't even get into what those differences are, but it all boils down to the Jews believing they have a right to a certain piece of land and the Arabs believing they have a right to the same piece of land. Some Arabs want the destruction of the Jewish state and believe that their religion provides the basis for that belief. Some Jews believe they have the right to exploit Arabs based on religious principles. I therefore conclude that both religions, which claim to be peaceful, are insane in the membrane.
President Bush, a born-again Christian, ordered the invasion of Iraq, a military operation that has resulted in the deaths of tens of thousands of innocent Iraqis and opened up the country to a terrorist invasion. As far as I can tell, the only beneficiaries of this operation have been military contractors and their stockholders who have reaped the rewards of federal funds (our tax dollars) used to pay for that war. It has been theorized that Bush's actions are the result of his belief in an eventual apocalypse and that he, as an agent of God, has been mandated to cause a level of chaos in the world that will eventually lead to the Second Coming (if I understand his warped views correctly, which I honestly may not). Based on what I understand though, I conclude that his religion is loco in the cabeza.
Bush's position on two hot political topics is also largely explained by his religious beliefs. He recently vetoed a bill on stem cell research, preventing federal tax dollars from being used for research on stem cells that would otherwise be destroyed citing some kind of "sanctity of life" concern. Given that these stem cells are being destroyed and will continue to be destroyed, any rational person should conclude that it would be better to use them for constructive purposes, but because President Bush is blinded by his religious beliefs, he's unable to apply any logic to the situation. That makes his religious beliefs stupid.
Bush has also taken a hard-line position on same sex marriage. Allowing one homosexual person to marry another homosexual person will not affect the marriage of two heterosexual people in any way nor will it ever. This issue is strictly about religious people wanting to prevent a group of people they don't like from having rights that they have. Allowing them to have that right will not affect their rights in any way. It's purely discriminatory and it's based on religion. I therefore conclude their religion to be screwed in the head.
Immigration has also been in the news lately. Supposedly, this is a Christian nation, operating on the principles of Jesus Christ. By and large, immigrants come to this country because it's the greatest country in the world and they want to improve their lives. In many cases, their lives are so bad in their home countries that they reason that coming to America is the only choice for not just a better life, but life at all. Yet, a huge number of religious people want to round these people up and ship them back to wherever they came from, effectively sentencing them to, at best, misery, and at worst, death. Jesus would open his arms to these people without condition. Unfortunately, people are so wont to pervert their religion that they turn it into a method for hatred. Their religion is disturbed.
And why, partially, is the immigration problem so bad? Insofar as Mexican immigrants are concerned, the Catholic Church has proclaimed birth control to be a bad thing. Thus, many of those illegal immigrant parents have more children then they could possibly afford, burdening both them and this country, all because the Church tells them to keep reproducing like bunnies. The immigration problem would be a whole lot less serious if there weren't so many poor children around. In fact, poverty would be a whole lot less of a problem (along with AIDS) if the Church actively and aggressively promoted condom use. But they don't. I therefore conclude their religion to be fucked.
Finally, there's the most perplexing and horrifying world situation today - Mel Gibson's drunken anti-Semitic rant after being pulled over by police on the Pacific Coast Highway for speeding. I mean, isn't this the man who made "The Passion of the Christ"? The man who reveres Jesus above all others? How could this man have so much hatred in his heart? How could a little alcohol turn him into a wretched, vulgar, Jew-bashing moron?
That's the question. You know the answer.