I have enough of an ego that I think I've come up with a new, better name to call this big ole War on Terror of ours. It's (drum roll, please) the Tolerance War.
Why? Well, maybe because that's what got me thinking about why I think so many of my fellow Democrats are wrong to be so derisive and dismissive of the importance of fighting Al Qaeda. I'm not talking about the loons who think it was all an evil conspiracy planned by Bush from the beginning, and that the Twin Towers had been quietly wired up with explosives day in and day out for the 30-odd months prior to 9/11/2001 without anyone ever noticing.
No, I'm talking about my fellow Democrats who call the Christian rightists in this country the "American Taliban," or the Midwest "Jesusland," while confidently asserting that being in Iraq has only created more terrorists and besides we all brought it on ourselves anyway. If we'd just stop annoying those Muslim extremists by, say, supporting the continued existence of Israel we'd all be better off.
To which I say, "you know, there are startlingly inexpensive and pain-free medical procedures available these days by which you can have your head removed from your posterior! No, really!"
Some points, in no particular order of importance:
* I have never seen American conservatives, religious or otherwise, drop brick walls on gays in the hopes of executing them thereby. Nor have I seen them stone people to death, ever. I HAVE seen Muslim extremists from the Sunni Taliban to the Shi'ite Iranian extremist government do so, just because the victim was alleged to be gay and/or sexually promiscuous heterosexually.
* Even though this is a majority Christian country, new immigrants from India and Pakistan and Saudi Arabia easily and freely are able to build their Hindu temples or Buddhist temples or Muslim mosques here, and then freely and generally without harassment worship as they please. This is NOT the case in Saudi Arabia where, with the exception of the western enclaves for oil workers, there is no religious freedom allowed. And the situation isn't much better in the rest of Osama's proposed Caliphate.
* Compare the foreign enemies list: for the U.S., it comes down to one thing: if you stop just talking about it and actually kill Americans, well then we will do our level best to kill you back, and then some. For Islamic extremists like Al Qaeda or Hezbollah or Hamas, the kill list is as follows:
1. Americans and/or Jooz! (if they're both, all the better)
2. Israeli Jooz
4. The other side of the Hamas/Fatah divide
5. The other side of the Sunni/Shi'ite divide
6. Infidel Westernized Muslims who dig, oh, freedom of conscience, especially women!
7. Infidel Hindus
8. Infidel Buddhists
9. Infidel Chinese
10. Infidel Russians
11. and so on... ad infinitum, ad nauseum
So, I have a lot of crunchy granola and/or New Age and/or self-described pagan friends, and invariably they will get around to how oppressed they are in this country because they don't fit the dominant Christian worldview, and I have to laugh! They can live, work and play as they please, they just might get the occasional odd looks and that's more because they're tattooed and pierced as all get out. But oppressed? Come on! Try telling an Iranian Ba'hai you're oppressed, my friends. Then duck.
The U.S. is the most tolerant nation in a Western civilization of tolerant nations, and it is for that reason among many others why we're number one on the Islamic extremist to-be-killed list.
We're winning the Tolerance War over Al Qaeda and its admirers, and God/Allah/Buddha/Krishna/insert-Supreme-Being-here bless us all! The final surrender of our enemies in this war will not occur with a formal written surrender, but rather when churches are built in downtown Riyadh and gays and uppity women in the Muslim world no longer fear for their lives.
I'm looking forward to that day. In the meantime, I have no fear of right-wing Christian conservatives sawing off my head.