I am now 32 years old and not sure how I gained so many years so quickly. If I look back I can divide the last eight years into locations: Japan, Vietnam and San Francisco. Japan was the first step and on the road to excitement after my school years had ended. Vietnam was to break out of the English teaching environment and gain business experience and San Francisco has been to further the business experience.
Since September 11th and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq there has been an enormous surge of interest in the Muslim world from America. The ordinary American knowing nothing of this ancient culture will pick up bits and pieces from various sources including academic books, hateful right wing talk radio, American soldiers experiences or extreme propaganda dispensed by the Bush administration. These tidbits of information start to form an overall image of Islam of which a minority stress the majority moderate side of Islam, yet this is drowned out by the extremist fringe which is more reported on by the media as it generates sales.
As usual I haven’t written in a long time. This is party due to the culture of America and we are constantly busy and must schedule our time to get anything accomplished. But finally, the pent up thoughts are bursting free as I could no longer hold them back being subjected to one ridiculous notion, societal change or world event after another.
Let me begin with my thoughts on San Francisco aimed at my international friends.
Reading CNN today I found that Pat Robertson has again pissed off a large mass of people. Apparently he called the major stroke suffered by Ariel Sharon an act of “divine retribution” for dividing the holy land.
Such nonsense could be expected from zealots of any religion but traveling back to America I was struck by just how much of this there was in my home country and the hypocrisy associated with it.
Much of America is fixated on the radical Muslim clerics as dangerous, idiotic, backward people who are against progress and prefer to impose on other their superstitious beliefs.
It baffles me to see what is going on with the Religious Right in the United States at the moment. More specifically, the inclusion of “Intelligent Design” in the High School classrooms. This is a direct affront to science and reason. It is almost as if the United States is sinking into a new “Dark Age,” where superstition and magic take the place of logic and reason. From a historical standpoint, it seems Religion has done enough to impede the progress of humanity. Was it not the Church who punished Gallileo for his idea that the Earth was not the center of the universe? Do hardcore Christians not claim that the earth and the universe began 5,000 years ago? Some even more extreme fundamentialists say that Dinosaur bones were put there by the devil!