And Why He Punishes Us
By Badri Raina
Say: ‘Unbelievers, I do not serve what you worship,
nor do you serve what I worship. I shall never serve
what you worship, nor will you ever serve what I
worship. You have your own religion, and I have mine.’
(The Koran, Penguin Classics, trans., N.J.Dawood, 1956; p. 401)
It used to be said that patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel; for sometime now, it is the first.
Strikingly, the more it trumpets itself, the more suspect it becomes. Not unsurprisingly, therefore, a fascist construction of patriotism that at bottom reflects the violence-ridden impatience of global capital to gobble up the earth requires a medieval recall for longer life. And what more medieval than the idea of the crusade. Ruling classes everywhere engaged in the most irreligious of brutalities thus project themselves as the chief patrons of religion. And there are those who innocently buy the idea.
I am looking at an article posted on alternet.org titled “The Religious Right’s New Tactics for Invading Public Schools.”
In the month of August, ’07, the Governor of Texas signed a legislation designated “Religious Viewpoints Antidiscrimination Act.” This law “requires every public school in the state to adopt a policy guaranteeing student’s right to religious expression. It mandates that schools create ‘limited public forums’ for religious and other types of speech.”
That this new law is not as catholic or innocuous as it sounds is obvious enough to the best of practising Christians, not to speak of adherents of other faiths. Kathy Miller, President of the Texas Freedom Network has this to say: “The law is fundamentally at odds with the principle of religious freedom.” And more explicitly, “It will force public school students to participate in. . .proselytising.”