Wednesday, July 08, 2009

All fundies are assholes, period

It simply doesn't matter which branch of religion they're from – Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, or in this case, Judaism. Fundamentalists will be loud, irrational, and in many cases, dangerous, as ABC's Middle East correspondent Anne Barker found out to her terror when a mob of furious rioting Jews in Jerusalem suddenly turned on her and damn near drowned her in spit.

That's right – spit.

I was aware that earlier protests had erupted into violence on previous weekends - Orthodox Jews throwing rocks at police, or setting rubbish bins alight, even throwing dirty nappies or rotting rubbish at anyone they perceive to be desecrating the Shabbat.

But I never expected their anger would be directed at me.

I was mindful I would need to dress conservatively and keep out of harm's way. But I made my mistake when I parked the car and started walking towards the protest, not fully sure which street was which.

By the time I realised I'd come up the wrong street it was too late.

I suddenly found myself in the thick of the protest - in the midst of hundreds of ultra-Orthodox Jews in their long coats and sable-fur hats.

They might be supremely religious, but their behaviour - to me - was far from charitable or benevolent.

As the protest became noisier and the crowd began yelling, I took my recorder and microphone out of my bag to record the sound.

And that was her (damn-near-) fatal mistake.

Suddenly the crowd turned on me, screaming in my face. Dozens of angry men began spitting on me.

Spit like rain

I found myself herded against a brick wall as they kept on spitting - on my face, my hair, my clothes, my arms.

It was like rain, coming at me from all directions - hitting my recorder, my bag, my shoes, even my glasses.

Big gobs of spit landed on me like heavy raindrops. I could even smell it as it fell on my face.

Somewhere behind me - I didn't see him - a man on a stairway either kicked me in the head or knocked something heavy against me.

I wasn't even sure why the mob was angry with me. Was it because I was a journalist? Or a woman? Because I wasn't Jewish in an Orthodox area? Was I not dressed conservatively enough?

In fact, I was later told, it was because using a tape-recorder is itself a desecration of the Shabbat even though I'm not Jewish and don't observe the Sabbath.

It was lucky that I don't speak Yiddish. At least I was spared the knowledge of whatever filth they were screaming at me.

All because she pulled out a fucking audio recorder.

Thankfully she managed to find the police cordon (equally angry towards the violent zealots) and scrambled her way back to safety before breaking down in tears. I don't think I would've fared much better.

But what set off this violent reaction towards her in the first place? Why were all these maniacs protesting in the streets? The answer is, predictably, ridiculous:

This particular protest has been going on for weeks.

Orthodox Jews are angry at the local council's decision to open a municipal carpark on Saturdays - or Shabbat, the day of rest for Jews.

It's a day when Jews are not supposed to do anything resembling work, which can include something as simple as flicking a switch, turning on a light or driving.

So even opening a simple carpark to accommodate the increasing number of tourists visiting Jerusalem's Old City is highly offensive to Orthodox Jews because it's seen as a desecration of the Shabbat, by encouraging people to drive.

Right. Because strangers who aren't a part of your fucking religion and therefore have no obligation to follow your archaic and ridiculous rules and customs exercise their obvious rights to build a frickin' carpark, that somehow gives all these delinquents the right to storm them and turn the streets into a war zone for a few weeks.

This is perhaps the single largest problem I have with fundies, and religious folks in general: their goddamned self-righteousness. I can tolerate their stupidity. I can tolerate their ideology. I can tolerate (barely) their intolerance and bigotry. But one thing that I don't even wanna hear about, is about fundies trying to impose their faith and its dogma, rules and doctrines on others who don't want any part of it. To put it quite simply, it really fucking pisses me off. How dare they.

It's the same as you receiving visitors in your house vs. being visitors in someone else's house. When folks are in your house, you have a right (to a limit) to ask certain compromises and actions from them that you'd like them to do, such as removing their shoes, or not to use foul language, or to smoke on the porch rather than indoors, and so forth. It's your house, and it's your right. They can either obey, or they can leave.

But when you are the guests in someone else's home, the roles reverse. You have no right to impose your beliefs and rules on them in their own home; you can ask some favors or permissions, sure, and perhaps they'll accept, but demand them? Fuck no.

Exact same deal here. Fundies need to realize (if they're even able to) that it's an open and free world out there, and they cannot expect others to follow their rules and laws as they would see fit. People will do whatever the fuck they want, and any fundies who don't like it can jump off a cliff for all I care. Meddling pests.

(via Forever in Hell)


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