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I met a guy last night who had grown up here in Sonoma County but had been enticed to move to Amarillo, Texas by economic incentives for his business (by the government). Very smart guy, not a religious bigot at all, and good company. Late in our conversation, however, he worried abut the fact that Islam was “not a religion,” and wanted to impose “Shariah Law” on the rest of us. Muslims in general were a suspicious lot that meant us no good.
All the vicious right wing Christian hate points pulled together in a package and believed by a man to all evidence good hearted, decent, and honest. Unlike those who he believed.
I told him that this was false, that most Muslims were like most other people and that while there were a few vicious nutcases, the same could easily be said for Christians and, if we ever became numerous enough, there would be hideous Pagans as well even if as a religion Pagans have a far better record of tolerance than the monopolistic monotheisms.
I wrote down the title of a book that had taught me a lot about Islam (and slightly messed up the title, Reza Aslan’s No god but God. The bigots of course will not read it because facts to them are like kryptonite to Superman. But hopefully he will because he was not obviously allergic to truth and logic.
But he did say coming back to visit Sonoma County was like visiting a different planet compared to Amarillo.
This is what happens when corporate and right wing forces control the media, combined with Ronald Reagan’s greatest blow against the US, eliminating the fairness doctrine from the radio so that hate filled gasbags and the stations that support them could dominate the airwaves across large portions of our country almost as thoroughly as state propaganda pervades Iran.
Right wing liars claimed, and still claim, the doctrine prevented discussion of controversial issues. Actually no, it prevented one sided monopolization of how controversial issues were discussed by those with lots of money and a dislike of free speech and an informed citizenry.