The Geek w/ A .45's series on his trip to Budapest takes a turn from the celebratory to the horrific. All the same, this piece deserves to be read.
I discovered sometime last week that a pair of journalists (FOX News) had been missing and presumed captive in Palestine.
Things looked much better when news came out they'd been released unharmed in Gaza after two weeks of captivity. That was not the expected outcome of the captivity, which made this result unexpected.
However, things go from unexpected to strange when I read about the reason for the release: as recounted by FOX news, they had converted to Islam. (A tip of the hat to Rev. Donald Sensing on this story.)
My first thought was of a sarcastic cartoon I saw years ago. The cartoon featured a Crusader on horse holding a spear at the throat of a Muslim soldier. The Muslim was saying, "I'm very interested in this faith of yours. Why don't you tell me more?"
The point of that cartoon was apparently that the Crusaders weren't likely to meet such people on the battlefield, or convert them. It was modern Western thought laughing at something that was totally foreign to its worldview.
The concept is funny when we think of our distant ancestors doing it. It is less than funny--it is frightening--when we realize that there are men alive today who would do the same to us. Disturbingly, forced conversion is now an example of how to avoid death while in captivity to these men.
As Rev. Sensing comments, avoidance of religious coercion in modern America has reached the level of arguing whether a cross on a city monument is a government agency establishing religion. At times, it seems that certain forces in public life seem bent on removing religion from the public sphere.
And now we learn that some religious men will hold a gun to a man's head as a method of proselytization.
Perhaps we should, as a nation, gladly invite religion into the public sphere. As long as the believers understand that coercion of religious belief is out-of-bounds.
There's a lot more to be said about conversions to Islam, forced conversion, and Western culture--but Rev. Sensing seems to have covered most of it. I'll refrain from repeating what he said.
Geek with a .45 is just back from Budapest. Don't miss his writeup on the statuary of the city, with the help of his guide:
Is statue of liberty. You know, gift of liberty from soviets. Soviets set us free from ourselves. Gee, thanks, soviets. For nothing. Bah. Assholes!What is a "clean E," anyway?
Some of you will recall that I recently moved. Longtime readers may recall the adventures of Captain Moonshine near the previous residence. Ah, the good old days. He was, at least, over the hill and down the road.
So today I go out to move my tools out of the rain, when all of a sudden I find myself laying in the yard I was clearing of overgrowth from the time when the log house lay unoccupied. "That was a gunshot," I think to myself, putting together why I'm laying down in a field in the rain. It was indeed. Not sixty yards away, someone had fired what was either a small-caliber rifle or a large-caliber handgun -- if a rifle, smaller than .30 caliber, and if a handgun, larger.
They fired again, and I realized that, while they were not shooting at me, they weren't shooting that far away from me either. I heard a scurrying in the bush, where some deer were vacating the area.
All this was right up by the house, where a small bit of tree and bush separates the clearing in which the house is located from a guy's driveway. The guy, my neighbor whom I've yet to meet, had decided to shoot at the deer -- without taking into account the little problem of the house being a few feet from his line of fire. With a ricochet, the bullet could easily be in the house, particulary if it hit a window instead of a log wall.
I haven't met this neighbor as yet. I did, however, speak to a deputy sheriff who came out to investigate the reports of gunfire. He assured me, based on my description, that it was perfectly legal given that the guy has enough property and was shooting on his own.
"That's fine," I said, "as I hadn't intended to press charges if it were illegal. I don't care if he carries a gun. I don't care if he wants to shoot his gun. But would you mind asking him not to shoot his gun at my house?"
The deputy said he'd be glad to mention it, although, as noted, there's nothing in the law to stop the fellow from doing so.
I don't much like people, and so I have perhaps been remiss in arranging to meet the neighbors. I shall have to have a talk with this one soon. No doubt we will come to a common understanding on the subject.