Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Religious nutjobs abound

Just in case anyone thinks that only Muslims, Christians, Jews, Hindus, and Sikhs have religious nutjobs intent on using religion as a weapon of oppression, we can now add Buddhists. Well, that pretty much covers the entire planet, doesn’t it?

The video above, by Al Jazeera English, was part of their online story, though they didn’t actually publish the flier in question so people could judge for themselves whether it really “insulted religion”. However, a Google search told me that NBC News published a detail from the flyer as part of a story on the controversy earlier this year.

It appears that Myanmar/Burma’s ruling military junta may be stoking religious discord as a way of exerting control over the country, it providing both an excuse for repression and a way of keeping people divided and distracted so they don’t agitate for freedom from military rule. Even if that really is the true situation, the country clearly has religious nutjobs who embrace this sort of oppression. The larger truth is that oppression in the name of religion is still oppression and is just as wrong as political oppression without religious trappings or excuse making.

And that’s all I’ll say about this topic right now, except to note that this is yet another example of why I want nothing to do with organised religion of any kind.


rogerogreen said...

Ah, the video is not available in my country, alas.

Arthur Schenck (AmeriNZ) said...

A Flash version is on their website—though the print story has the details.

rogerogreen said...

And, as though this needed to be said, this is not true Buddhism. I think Ma Ba Tha and like groups don't represent true Buddhism, only this odd state-run religion.

Arthur Schenck (AmeriNZ) said...

Oh, I agree. But the larger point here is that the nutjobs push to the front and demand to be taken as the only "true" adherents and then insist on imposing their particular belief structure onto everyone else. This happens with, apparently, every religion on the planet, although so far secular Western democracies have MOSTLY resisted demands to criminalise "insulting" religion or mocking it. That's the silver lining in all this—for those of us lucky enough to live in Western democracies, that is.