Stiff upper lips all around |

Stiff upper lips all around

Whether the death toll is 50 or 3,050, they were just as innocent but just as dead, and all died in London last week like thousands before them in the last few years because of ancient fatalistic belief systems that the entire planet would be much better off without.Paint me with a thick brush of anti-theist doublespeak for discussing a taboo subject, but it no longer makes a difference. Threaten me and my entire family with all of the curses of Deuteronomy 28, as one particularly proud “Christian” individual did just a month ago, and I will still say if you want to call a spade a spade, look in your vanity mirror. Religion, aka, a strong belief (based upon no empirical evidence whatsoever) in a supernatural power or powers that control human destiny, in combination with the basic human desire for survival where only the strongest can do so (thus negating “destiny”), is bottom line responsible for the vast majority of what ails our species.Condemning the cowards responsible for these despicable acts as religious extremists while hiding behind a thin veil of some other religion, claiming your cultish beliefs will prevail over theirs simply because somebody has repeatedly said so, makes no more sense than the average everyday environmentally-friendly anarchist throwing gasoline-powered fire bombs at the G-8 conference and screaming, “Down with all authority!” even though they burned fossil fuels on tax-funded highways to get there while wearing dead animal skins for shoes and belts and cute-phrased T-shirts made in Pakistan by children making 10 cents a day.If you still insist on arguing over whether your mythical being can whoop their mythical being, then you are part of the problem, not the solution.Either way, how many of you, seriously, had as your very first thought after watching the horror unfold last Thursday morning, “At least it wasn’t here,” meaning in the United States of America?Was that wrong? Is it somehow “evil” to have such a thought?Of course not. Nobody with a conscious wants terrorism to occur anywhere in the world, but especially not in their own back yard, so don’t waste another second being concerned about that aspect.However, be very concerned – but not too surprised – that it occurred at all. Last Thursday, according to a hasty report on FOX News, it had been 1,395 days since a major terrorists attack in a major city. This would be fine, but only if you do not consider:– 191 killed in Madrid (March 2004).– 39 in Moscow (February 2004).– 33 in Casablanca (May 2003).– 34 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia (May 2003) and 18 in November.– 51 in Istanbul (November 2003).– 202 in Bali (October 2003).– 12 in Jakarta, Indonesia (August 2003).– 16 in Mombassa, Kenya (November 2002).– 14 in Karachi, Pakistan (May 2002) and 12 the following month.– 21 in Tunisia (April 2002).– And, of course, the murder of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl in January of 2002.That is just a short list of those killed to honor the mythical deity of one particular religion (Islam) since Sept. 11, 2001. Think how many tens of thousands of others have perished in the same time frame to benefit other so-called sacred faiths.Buddhists and Hindus slaughter each other with the regularity of sunset. African tribal warlords hide behind veils of religion to massacre millions while collecting billions in aid from around the world. Even here in the United States, religious nuts like Eric Rudolph promise vengeful bloodbaths for abortionists and is cheered by thousands in the name of a good deity (Jehovah), while recent child murderers like Joseph Duncan and John Couey conveniently blame a bad deity (Satan) for their “mistakes.”I wonder if anyone down in Guantanamo cheered upon hearing the news from London? If so, I hope some Marlboro-chewing female private with a spiked dog collar and a dripping wet Koran showed up at their cell door around the same time.The English deserve our help and assistance right now more than they have in over 60 years, and I am sure they are going to receive it tenfold. The Brits I know are laughing in terrorism’s face and making some of the blackest humor ever concocted by modern man. As a nation, they have been through more horrifying attacks than we Americans have ever envisioned, and nobody, absolutely nobody, can ride through a storm better. Look up the definition of “steely resolve” and you’ll find a picture of Winston Churchill, with a footnote to ask the Germans if further clarification is needed.There is as much chance of English troops pulling out of Iraq due to this bombing as Howard Dean becoming the head of the Republican National Committee.While some will certainly attempt to blame President Bush or Tony Blair directly for the deaths, most will continue to support the eradication of these religious freaks, so even though they drive on the wrong side of the road, we are all still headed in the same direction, each of us today with stiff upper lips.Richard Carnes of Edwards writes a weekly column for the Daily. He can be reached at

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