Total Drek

Or, the thoughts of several frustrated intellectuals on Sociology, Gaming, Science, Politics, Science Fiction, Religion, and whatever the hell else strikes their fancy. There is absolutely no reason why you should read this blog. None. Seriously. Go hit your back button. It's up in the upper left-hand corner of your browser... it says "Back." Don't say we didn't warn you.

Saturday, December 18, 2004

Disturbing News from Cornell

From a Cornell University press release, which received extensive worldwide coverage:

In a study to determine how much the public fears terrorism, almost half of respondents polled nationally said they believe the U.S. government should -- in some way -- curtail civil liberties for Muslim Americans, according to a new survey released today (Dec. 17) by Cornell University.

About 27 percent of respondents said that all Muslim Americans should be required to register their location with the federal government, and 26 percent said they think that mosques should be closely monitored by U.S. law enforcement agencies. Twenty-nine percent agreed that undercover law enforcement agents should infiltrate Muslim civic and volunteer organizations, in order to keep tabs on their activities and fund raising. About 22 percent said the federal government should profile citizens as potential threats based on the fact that they are Muslim or have Middle Eastern heritage. In all, about 44 percent said they believe that some curtailment of civil liberties is necessary for Muslim Americans.

The slightly encouraging news is that, while 44% of respondents believed that Muslim Americans should have their civil liberties curtailed, 48% believed that there should be no such restrictions. So at least there are more Americans who believe that America should remain the land of the free.

The disturbing news, beyond the obvious, is twofold. First, 29% of respondents think that "undercover law enforcement agents should infiltrate Muslim civic and volunteer organizations" - 29% of Americans want a secret police force, here in the U.S. Second, the study found a correlation between self-reported religiosity and support for restricting civil liberties. In other words, the more religious respondents were, the more likely they were to support restricting other people's freedom based on religion.


Blogger Drek said...

...the more religious respondents were, the more likely they were to support restricting other people's freedom based on religion.But of course, Slag! When you have an entire population trained from birth to take seriously the semi-insane dictates of an invisible being that lives beyond the clouds, it isn't much of a stretch to get them to swallow the dictates of a temporal authority whose presence is very apparent. This is even moreso when the "threat" is concrete and obvious, as opposed to some merely theoretical danger like "damnation."

This is not to condemn all religion, or all religious people. It's to condemn the f-ing morons who think that they can let other people, be they secular OR religious authorities, make their decisions for them. This is also to condemn those in positions of authority, both temporal and religious, who encourage such a notion out of some sort of paternalistic belief that they know best how to run people's lives.

Well... and this stems from my constant bitterness at the prevalent, yet misguided, notion that religion does more good than bad. I have yet to see convincing proof of that. It does do a lot of good, but it also does a helluva lot of bad.

Okay, I'll go off somewhere and whack myself in the face with a hammer til I calm down. Don't mind me...

Sunday, December 19, 2004 10:24:00 PM  

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