Friday, January 6, 2012

Don't Bite Your Tongue

In following the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science on Twitter I found the following link from noted freelance journalist Abigail Esman, whose latest article at Forbes opines the ill conceived and lugubrious UN resolution 16/18, and its backers, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation.  Were it not for my new year's resolution to become a more engaged and politically aware citizen of not only my state of Utah, but as a citizen of the Republic of the United States of America, I may have skipped this article altogether and navel gazed at the prospect of providing myself another whisky mac.

In his review of Andrew Roberts' book A History of the English-Speaking Peoples Since 1900, Christopher Hitchens quotes Roberts on the failure of the European Union to produce a viable constitution:

Roberts correctly notes that “along with over two centuries of amendments the entire (readable and easily intelligible) U.S. Constitution can be printed out onto twelve pages of A4-sized paper; the (unreadable and impenetrably complicated) proposed European Constitution ran to 265.”

I certainly don't believe in the cliché of 'great minds' thinking alike, but I will be happy to double-down on the fortunate hand dealt and gamble that one can have the same idea or arrive at the same summation as those who have tarried on a subject for far longer and deeper than one has time or perhaps inclination.  Thus, after reading the entirety of Resolution 16/18 --all one-thousand one hundred and sixty-nine words that produce more of an aural din rather than anything remotely resembling ecumenical affirmation-- I found that the prominent thought that kept moving from the the subvocal to words outright was: too much damn ink.

Resolution 16/18, designed to 'combat intolerance' of persons based on religious belief is nearly twenty-six times as long as the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, and is easily twenty-six times as superfluous and nebulous.   In part, it calls for the adoption of 'measures to criminalize incitement to imminent violence based on religious belief.'  If you, my dear reader can make any sense of that statement, then you will be most likely the first and the last to do so.  The syntax of the phrase leaves me to wonder who is to be criminalized, the victim or the perpetrator; it also leaves me wondering which is which.

I live in the state capital of Utah.  Within my neighborhood alone, there are four Mormon churches; within a fifty-mile radius of my house, there are at least five Mormon temples.  From the privacy of my own home --and often on Sunday-- I find time to not too tersely comment about the continued attempts of the LDS church to claim moral superiority in their continued --and vain-- attempts to usurp the Fourteenth Amendment, by asserting that the marriage standard is between one man and one woman and that any deviation from said standard is not only immoral, but should not be made legal.  Never mind their history for a moment of wishing to have more than one mother-in-law concurrently; and certainly never mind the fact that when a minister of any church performs a marriage, they are acting for and in behalf of the state, and not the other way around.  Would my critical and shared meditations of how odious it is for one human to tell another that since they happen to be sexually attracted to and fall in love with someone whom they share the same karyotype be a cause for some self-righteous prig to become so incensed that my words suddenly cause incitement to imminent violence against me?  Could one find oneself incarcerated because one spoke out against Rick Santorum and his unlettered rhetoric on the subject of comparing homosexuality to polygamy; or perhaps pay a fine and perform community service because it is all to easy to find offensive the stance of both Santorum and his church who continue a cretinous fight against the emancipation and education of women?  What, pray, will be one's sentence be in shouting down and actively fighting against the goons of the Christian god?  And one need not be a betting man to affirm that one's atheism is surely to cause incitement to imminent violence upon me by Islamists who live for a dystopian future of a sharia-bound world caliphate.

But, for the time being, my Mormon neighbors go to their church and their temples without constraint; the former Senator from the Keystone State expresses his opinion freely --constrained only perhaps by his political aspirations, which appear staler than lofty; his church can address their grievances to their government; the odious Phelps clan can affirm the grace of the Supreme Court through their gracelessness.   And I look forward to my continued plucking of the thorn of roses and placing them squarely in the sides of those who, in behalf of their fairy-tale fantasy of paradise, demand my silence and estrangement from the following forty-five words:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

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