Tragedy, religion, and real solutions.

Pray for Paris.

There are so many things wrong with that statement I do not know where to begin.

So, let’s start with : who are you going to pray to? The god who let it happen or the god who caused it to happen? What exactly are you going to pray for? The dead? The wounded? The lives affected? The lives unaffected?

I get it. “I will pray for _________” is the catch phrase the religious fall back on when they don’t know what else to do. It makes a person feel as though they are doing something. It is akin to saying: “I am sorry for your loss.” or “Our thoughts are with you.” It shows solidarity. Like imposing a French flag over your Facebook profile picture.

Which is a new can of worms.

So, why the French flag? There were at least half a dozen more countries attacked that day by the same group. Those countries not white enough for you?

Showing solidarity for one country’s tragedy is still showing solidarity for a tragedy. It should not diminish the fact that other countries were attacked on the same day.

Speaking of white: Donald Trump

Yes, it has to be said. Donald Trump spewed enough anti-immigration venom that some of it turned out to be on the mark. So we all need to close down our borders and shut out all those terrorists coming to our country, right?

Terrorists are – literally – one in a million. IF you let a single terrorist through your borders you have helped a million more in return. If you are not a jerk to the ones you have helped, maybe you can keep others from becoming terrorists.

Which brings us to religion. You knew it was bound to happen. I am The God Fearing Atheist after all.

“Islam is the problem!” says the Christian.

So you think more religion is going to solve issues caused by religion? There are plenty of examples of terrorism done by white Christians. Grab a world history book and you will see something called the “Crusades” where the Christians were the terrorists.

“Religion is the problem!” says the Atheist.

So you think that people need a religious excuse to be jerks to one another? These guys are filled with hate for anyone not like themselves. Religion is the catalyst. People hate what they fear and they fear what they do not understand. Assuming that is true, an education is what they need.

Why don’t you do something meaningful?

What, like donate to the Red Cross? A group that is demonized when there isn’t a tragedy for its high CEO pay, questionable business practices, and ineffective relief efforts?

Ok, smart guy.  Exactly what can we do for the victims?

STOP.

STOP looking for a simple answer to a complex problem.
STOP being a jerk to those who are as powerless as you are during times of tragedy.
STOP being racist and Islamaphobic.
STOP electing those who pander to racists and Islamaphobes.
STOP pretending like what little you are doing is better than the little anyone else is doing.
STOP contributing to anti-intellectualism.
STOP using tragedy to further your own agenda.

Do what you can and don’t judge.

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