Sunday, July 30, 2006

The Week That Was - July 30, 2006

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Posted by FleshPresser at 1:26 AM /


  • Anonymous ecthompson posted at 5:12 AM  
    Nice collection of cartoons. I love 'em.

  • Blogger Cb posted at 11:45 PM  
    On the first cartoon, where the vulture labeled "religion" is tearing apart the dove of peace, I would just comment that this perpetuates the myth that it is religion that causes violence rather than the truth that violent people (or people who are willing to use violent means to their ends) use religion as an excuse or leverage for their violence.

    For example, it is true that through the ages leaders who were (or claimed) to be Christians have (mis)used elements of Christianity in order to instigate and perpetuate wars. But it would be incorrect to say that the religion of Christianity itself instigated any war. In fact, one "problem" that Christianity has always had is that its founder was essentially a pacifist; he certainly was not a militant expansionist! So justifying a war in the name of Christianity is ipso facto a misrepresentation of Christianity.

  • Blogger FleshPresser posted at 6:30 AM  
    It's funny that you interpret the cartoon and images so narrowly. The image representing "religion" doesn't necessarily represent, in my view, the "pure" religion, be it Christianity, Islam, or anything else.

    The image labeled "religion" serves as the excuse for the violence, and it is continaully seen as such in a wide host of religions.

    It is also stating that religion, and differences BETWEEN the religions are often what spark the violence. Not that a single religion is violent.

  • Blogger Cb posted at 6:33 PM  
    I was not interpreting the cartoon "narrowly" since my interpretation was the same as your described above, but I was perhaps less than clear in my comments. The image is not representing "'pure' religion," as you point out, it is representing simply "religion." As such it was showing "religion" as the source and cause of violence. Not religious people, extreme religious people, or even different people of different religions, but simply religion. I also did not mean to suggest that the cartoon was singling out any one religion; I merely used Christianity and the allusion to the Crusades as an example (it is often the religious equivalent to Godwin's law). And that is my point. The artist does not specify Judaism or Islam or Christianity. It is religion that is destroying peace in his cartoon.

    I readily admit that my reaction comes from my experience of debates with folks like Jonathan Culler, a scholar of literature at Cornell, who views religion (the concept, social movement, etc.) as the source of most if not all violence in the world. Religion is, in his view, always evil and wrong and the world should be rid of it. Douglas Adams espoused the same view and Richard Dawkins continues to do so (see his latest anti-religion films and books). So while my response may seem somewhat funny to those not engaged in these discussions it is not an extreme or narrow interpretation on my part but a likely one.

  • Blogger FleshPresser posted at 8:15 PM  
    Yeah, I think we got our wires crossed on this one, and are essentially saying the same thing.

    My problem with religion has never been the pure religion itself, but the way the Human mind often decides to interpret that religion.

    I would never advocate for the abolishment of Religion, but I do question the motives of many "religious leaders."

    The cartoon, in my eye, was an attempt to step back from the whole "Israeli/Lebanese/Palestinian/Sryian/Iraqi/Iranian/et al" turmoil and the "well they did this first... oh yeah, well we never would have done this if they hadn't done that" reasoning to look at what the real root of the problem is - and that problem is largely religious intolerance.

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