Tag Archives: america

أمة واحدة تحت الله

Pop quiz: What is the official language of the United States?

If you answered English, you would be wrong. The United States has no official national language, for we live in the great melting pot of the world.

The United States is composed of people of all nationalities, ethnic groups, faiths and ideologies. Growing up, I was taught that America’s diversity was something of which we were to be proud, something that made us different. So when a high-school student organization is formed for the purpose of “destroy[ing] the barriers, embrac[ing] the cultures” of a diverse student body, you might expect that organization to receive full support in its efforts.

Embracing diversity, it turns out, is a scary thing to put into practice when it involves those scary Arabs. At Rocky Mountain High School in Fort Collins, Colo., a group of students known as the Cultural Arms Club is under fire for reciting the Pledge of Allegiance in Arabic. What should, in an ideal world, be a non-story lit up the Internet today. While many people have voiced support for the youngsters taking this initiative, some dissenters are downright angry about the audacity of reciting the Pledge in a language other than English – especially the language of the terrorists!

One of the greatest points of contention is derived from the fact that the word “Allah” was used in the recitation in place of the word “God.” Though “Allah” literally translates to “God,” some people are very upset that students would dare utter that word during the sacred oath to our country.

The group has garnered complaints for the practice of reciting the Pledge in another language in the past once before, when they used Spanish.

Fortunately the kids in the group seem to have their heads on straight. In fact, most seem absolutely baffled that there has been an outcry at all. After all, the point of the organization is to promote and embrace diversity, and now they are under fire for doing just that.

In the end, Arabic is just another language. It is not exclusive to Islam, and we should be ecstatic that students are taking the initiative to familiarize their classmates with other cultures. I applaud the students for their boldness, as well as Principal Lopez of RMHS for standing up for the students. U.S. citizens of all languages and backgrounds should feel free to recite the Pledge in their own way, and anyone who wants to deter that needs to rethink values.

I do have to wonder how much of this chaos could be avoided if the line “under God” was simply stricken from the Pledge altogether…

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Filed under Politics

God and Sports

It looks like God is a betting man. At least, this is the logical conclusion one might come to based on a recent survey that revealed how many Americans actually believe the almighty plays a role in the outcome of sporting events…

Asked if they believe God plays a role in who wins, 27% of Americans said yes.

And here I was worrying about the number who believe in creationism. These are people who literally believe some all-powerful being, master and creator of the universe, gives a very serious shit about which team wins a game on a spec of dust floating through the universe. It’s not just infuriating; it’s really telling about why this country has such a god problem.

I would really love (and by love I mean hate) to have a conversation with these people. I’d ask questions like: How does your lord pick a side? Why does he hate other teams? Why does he keep changing his mind? Is he a bandwagoner? Are you crazy?

Listen, I get it: if your god is omnipotent, obviously he has control over even the minutest of details, including whether the rather shady Ray Lewis gets a trophy in his final season.

And sure, a lot of Christians believe in a very personal god, one who interacts with and/or controls their petty lives. So perhaps this survey isn’t that revealing. But come on! Isn’t it just a bit silly to believe in any of that? Doesn’t it make more sense that the outcomes of games are determined not by some sky monster pulling strings but by some athletes outperforming others?

Finally, if this sports-loving god does exist, shouldn’t there be some outrage on behalf of the folks who have been swindled into worshipping him? If Kurt Warner’s success has somehow trumped the needs of the world’s desolate and despondent, shouldn’t believers be really pissed off at his priorities.

I don’t believe in any sort of entity that is responsible for the joy and despair of humans; but if I did, I’d be mad as hell.

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Filed under Atheism/Religion

Why wasn’t this movie up for Best Picture?

A friend alerted me to this gem of a motion picture today. It’s called “Last Ounce of Courage,” and it’s a good ol’ fashioned ‘Merican movie. My hopes aren’t high – it’s got the production value of a porno and it features Bill O’Reilly as himself at some point. Still, I’m going to try to find it and watch it, but I doubt I can find it at any popular retail outlets. Maybe I should check my local Bible Superstore?

And, because I know you were wondering – yes, it is endorsed by Chuck Norris.

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Filed under Politics