Thursday, October 11, 2012

Something Pleasant This Way Comes

And now, for a bit of positivity. Which is rare for me when blogging, because there's so very much crap on this earth that has me reaching for the handgun I won't allow myself to carry. Y'all have no idea how often my right hand spends clenching and unclenching just over my right hip/thigh, where the holster would sit. No freaking idea.

But the other day, I was zipping along on my way to work, when I heard an NPR story that nearly made me pull over to applaud better. For some reason, I can't find the actual radio story, but here's the Associated Press version.

NEW YORK (AP) — Advertisements preaching religious tolerance and an end to bigotry are going up in Manhattan subway stations.

A court decision forced the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to accept ads implying that enemies of Israel are "savages" and urging subway riders to "support the civilized man" and "Defeat Jihad."

Now the MTA has sold additional space to groups that disagree with the message of those ads.

Ads by a rabbis' group were to go up Monday. They proclaim: "Help stop bigotry against our Muslim neighbors."

The Christian group Sojourners is paying for ads, also going up Monday, that say: "Love your Muslim neighbors."

Critics say the anti-jihad ads equate all Muslims or Palestinians with savages. But ad sponsor Pamela Geller has insisted the term applies only to people who support violence against Israel.

Whooo! Now that's what I'm freaking talking about! That's how religion is supposed to work, damnit. A faith system is supposed to be about caring for your fellow man, supporting those in need, working for the betterment of mankind regardless of race, creed, gender, sexual orientation, physical ability, etc,. That's the freaking point. No one gets left out in the cold.

I get so worn out reading about religion as an excuse for bigotry. I read stories every day about religion being used as an excuse to ignore women's rights; how religious leaders use spiritual threats and bullying to force their congregations into line politically.

Religion should not be an argument for anything but religion. Faith should not be a temporal weapon, wielded to force victory for your "side." And if only by saying "it's God's will" can you support your stance, then keep your stance away from my politicians. Because I have enough trouble knowing some of them are bigots without watching spiritual leaders climb up on the stump with them.

It's nice to see that some spiritual leaders actually understand what "spiritual leadership" means. So for you, awesome rabbis and Christian activists, here's 20 or so seconds of celebratory Tiny Dance:

You've freaking earned it. Keep up the good work!