October 09, 2007

 

The FEAR

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I received a blanket e-mail via my company's mailroom address with the subject line, "RE: CHRISTMAS STAMP What The Heck is The Matter with this Country??" Here is the message (verbatim):


I would guess that the 'Postal Chief 'must be Muslim too. I won't buy his stamp either....."And have a very 'MERRY CHRISTMAS"

Infuriating. It is true, I checked snopes.com.

CHRISTMAS STAMP

How ironic is this??!! They don't even believe in Christ and they're getting their own Christmas stamp, but don't dream of posting the ten commandments on federal property?



This one is impossible to believe. Scroll down for the text.

If there is only one thing you forward today.....let it be this!

REMEMBER the MUSLIM bombing of Pan Am Flight 103!

REMEMBER the MUSLIM bombing of the World Trade Center in 1993!

REMEMBER the MUSLIM bombing of the Marine Barracks in Lebanon!

REMEMBER the MUSLIM bombing of the military Barracks in Saudi Arabia!

REMEMBER the MUSLIM bombing of the American Embassies in Africa!

REMEMBER the MUSLIM bombing of the USS COLE!

REMEMBER the MUSLIM attack on 9/11/2001!

REMEMBER all the AMERICAN lives that were lost in those vicious MUSLIM attacks!

Now the United States Postal Service REMEMBERS and HONORS the EID MUSLIM holiday season with a commemorative first class
Holiday postage stamp. Bull!

REMEMBER to adamantly and vocally BOYCOTT this stamp
When purchasing your stamps at the post office. To use this stamp would be a slap in the face to all those AMERICANS who died at the hands of those whom this stamp honors.

REMEMBER to pass this along to every patriotic AMERICAN you know!!!

The myriad wrongness here is astounding. Just taking on the most obvious point, one of our editors was enterprising enough to "Reply to All" with this clarification: "This is NOT a Christmas stamp. It marks the end of Ramadan, a Muslim holiday."

To which I, being much less of a neck sticker-outer, replied only to him: "Thank you sincerely for clarifying that for everyone that got spammed by this, Ralph [not his real name - I don't stick other people's necks out either - ed]. Perhaps there is a need to also clarify (or determine) company policy regarding unsolicited e-mails, no?"

To which Ralph [ibid] replied, this time just to me, "You wouldn't believe some of the stupid emails I got in response."

ME: "I probably would, but if you are of a mind to paraphrase, I give you my ear (eyes)."

I will update this post should Ralph forward any of the aforementioned stupidity upon me. And to bring all my readers up to speed, here be further clarification from amaana.org, a personal Shia Muslim's website (which appropriately points out in its disclaimer, "Allah says in the Quran 'Do not revile the faith of others as they may revile Allah in return"):
For the last 1400 years, over one billion Muslims throughout the world pay special attention to the esoteric (batin) matters by practising the exoteric (zaher) fasting by refraining from dishonesty, stealing, unethical actions, and other activities that would lead one astray. A Momin's (believer's) life is a journey to become one with the Essence and her daily life is a mirror of her spiritual beauty.

During Ramadan, Muslims fast from sun-up to sun-down daily, not having anything to eat, drink, smoke or indulging in sexual relations. A special feast is prepared for the breaking of the fast, where everyone present is invited to partake of the dinner after the all-day fast.

The month ends with special festivities on the Eid al-Fitr (Day of Feasting) celebration when families and friends truly rejoice for having completed the commandment of Allah by successful abstinence and by zikr (remembrance of Allah) at all times.

So now let's talk about The FEAR. The FEAR has been around a looong time, as evidenced by the ostensibly holy scripture commonly known as The Old Testament and the first book therein (paraphrased here):
Abraham said, "The fear of God ain't in this place, and they would be a-slayin' me most fersuredly."
The FEAR is no mere emotion, as is often assumed, nor are her siblings The DOGMA, The HATE, The IGNORANCE, The SCHADENFREUDE, The XENOPHOBIA and Anorexia (who has pretty much split out on her own because she is so not into the encumbrances of a definite article and all caps). The FEAR is well known among historians and especially sociologists who have researched the use of verbal influences on mental collectives. The FEAR camps near every pulpit nearly every sabbath, imbuing her self-righteous Way To Be upon the malleable masses who come to love her "enlightenment."

America is rife with The FEAR, and in recent years she has strengthened her grip outside the traditional religious territory. She's there in the media ("We now go to Ted in the newsroom, who has a report about something totally new that can screw up your life, and will just leave it at that") and of course politics, never more evident than this campaign season, where the Republicans are hot on the twisted version of FDR's adage, "We have nothing to lose but fear itself."

Yes, The FEAR has power. The FEAR is a master of divide and conquer. The FEAR got George W. Bush elected in 2004. In a vicious circle of voting block influence, The FEAR has Congress paralyzed from protecting civil liberties (oh how The FEAR hates civil liberties) and doing the decidedly un-fearful majority voter's bidding.

And now The FEAR, in a genius move that reveals the depth of her bag of tricks, has folks worrying about postage stamps. As a strong believer in Thomas Jefferson's apocryphal Wall of Separation, I can't say I'm all tickled about any religious stamp being produced in government-run facilities. But the USPS is it's own strange gig in the bureaucratic U.S. of A., and I guess if they can sponsor a bike team then they have sort of grandfathered in their right to do whatever the hell they please. Like any retail business, the bulk of their profits comes during the winter Saturnalia frenzy, so I wish them gods peed luck <-- derived from Lucifer, BTW <-- in their endeavors to prosper.

What's bothering me is this endless parade of The FEAR among people who supposedly have an all-powerful savior who, through some sanguineous transubstantiation, is supposed to have their back. C'mon, Christians! Jesus Up for Christ's sake! If you don't want to vote for a Muslim, fine. But don't characterize ONE man's victory to the House of Representatives as some pre-apocalyptic abomination that justifies questioning his qualifications. Along the same lines, it's a fucking postage stamp, OK? You (nor I, for that matter) are compelled to buy it because it doesn't appeal or apply to us. End of story, not beginning of boycott. And ohmylord the Postal Chief [sic] is a Muslim? That's gotta be one of the seals cracking open, surely.

"What The Heck is The Matter with this Country?"

Indeed.
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Comments:
Being Jewish gives me a monster edge in evaluating situations like these. I just tally up the body counts of my forebears and assign responsibility. Muslims=100,000 Jewish deaths since recorded history. Christians=50,000,000.

So, I'll either remember 9/11 or I won't but I'm not going to get too upset about a postage stamp.
 
You know, Kelso.... there's another Jewish guy in Blogovia that could really benefit from seeing those numbers! I could really benefit from watching him react to them, too. :-)

Excellent point, O'Tim. This is the first I've heard of it. I need stamps soon, so maybe I'll REQUEST those. I can use them for my Christmas cards. Besides, this isn't the first religious stamp they've produced. They also had the thin and fat Jesus stamps.

Oops, I mean Elvis. I tend to mix those two up like that, reasoning that Ann-Margaret's shimmying was an Act of God.

I thought this was a war on terror, not on Islam. I guess some folks have forgotten what McChimpy's been feeding them.
 
Religion is stupid. There I said it. I don't think the USPS should be issuing any stamps alluding to ANY religious holiday. I thought the gov't was supposed to keep the fuck out of that shit? I don't want Santas stenciled on the P.O. windows, menorahs in the public schools, Thor's hammer on the courtroom desk, whatever. Oh, it's hopeless!
 
You know, this here Eid stamp has been around for a while now - at least several years, because I've been using that (and the Channukah & Kwanzaa stamps) to send out my xmas/holiday cards.

Personally, I kinda dig it. It has an understated subtlety missing in the more ostentatious xmas stamps. Plus I like the combo of blue & gold.

The FEAR of this stamp is dismaying, but not surprising.

Ook ook
 
i'm with miz uv. totally.
it's ruining everything... this blind faith in bullshit scare tactics. all courtesy of someone that "loves us?"
i think not. grrrrrrrrr.
nice post!
 
"there's another Jewish guy in Blogovia that could really benefit from seeing those numbers!"

Now Joe, you http://knockinonthegoldendoor.mu.nu wouldn't really want to do that to Kelso, would you?
 
That other guy in Blogovia would alter the comment and direct kelso's link to a beastality site or something.
We have to lick the back of the Queens head here when we want to post a letter but my point was going to be that the War on terror and Islam seems to have become inseparably linked in many minds, as this shows.
 
I wonder if this has caused any sort of kerfuffle like anti-choice pharmacists refusing to fill scrips for BC and morning after pills. I can just see some bun-haired clerk (more likely in this redneck of the woods) telling me with a scowl that they don't offer those hate stamps here.
 
My own view is that printing stamps with any kind of religious meaning on them is a reasonably benign, harmless thing to do. I'd be staggered if they changed anyone's mind about the origins of the universe or anything like that...

In New Zealand (where I grew up) Christmas stamps were so ubiquitous that it seemed like half the stamps you'd buy - almost year round - had some kind of Christmassy theme.

I'm not a Christian but I accepted that some people are, so I had no problem with it. It doesn't have to be meaningful to me personally to have validity. And I would take the same position if I saw stamps commemorating Ramadan or Hanukkah too.

(And I say this as someone who, if I could snap my fingers and abolish all organise religion, would do so in a heartbeat. It's not a perfect world and I accept that).

On the other hand, I appreciate that some Americans (particularly) will be more wary of the religious presence in public life, particularly in view of current administration extending religion's reach (as in one religion's) into the bureaucracy and other areas of public life which the drafters of the Constitution specifically tried to prevent.

Obviously, none of this should detract from the fact that the author of that spam is clearly a one-eyed racist sicko :)
 
It doesn't have to be meaningful to me personally to have validity.

More good sense from across the pond.
 
Dammit! I left a great comment yesterday! Where is it? Shit. I said something about religion being a big part of our country's heritage, just as Humphrey Bogart, Star Wars and Hank Aaron are, so I have no problem with the USPS putting out postage stamps that commemorate religious holidays or celebrations. I absolutely respect the views of atheists or agnostics, but I don't agree with Miz UV that religion is stupid. I believe there are a shitload of stupid people who give religion a bad name, but that tends to be the case for lots of organized groups. O'Tim hit it on the head talking about The FEAR, and all these yellow chicken-shit right-wing scardy cats disgust me. I am no more afraid of Islam as I am Christianity or Judaism or Buddhism. Makes me want to recite to them the Dan Aykroyd scene in the Twilight Zone movie: "You wanna see something really scary?" Then turn into a monster and eat their throats out.
 
C'mon, Christians! Jesus Up for Christ's sake!

Lordy! I damn near pissed myself guffawing over that line!

Great post, by the way, even without the yucks.
 
Yah, I was in a bad mood when I wrote that. There are many positive aspects to religion (the majors anyway -- I don't know much about the other ones) bla de bla bla bla. As I poasted today, I'm not a militant atheist and don't really care about God in the pledge and Christmas deco at the malls, but it would be nice if people didn't have to act like I'm SO WEIRD for not believing in a godthing at all.
 
"but it would be nice if people didn't have to act like I'm SO WEIRD for not believing in a godthing at all."

People act like you're SO WEIRD because you're SO WEIRD!

;-)
 
Barftastic.

I mean, you're a terrorist if you don't agree with that email.
 
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