1 year ago
A place for me to vent only slightly less pointless than in the comment sections of other blogs.
I'm tired of being called a "lickspittle liberal" or an Islamic apologist because I oppose the war in Iraq. I'm tired of being called a Soviet-style Communist because I think we do have some positive obligations to our fellow human beings. I'm tired of being called an apologist for torture because I loathe Islam. I'm tired of being called intolerant, racist and sexist because I criticize authoritarianism, exceptionalism and irrationality in anyone, male or female, left or right, black or white, gay or straight, Western or Middle-eastern, religious or atheist.
The game is inspired by Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins' bestselling pulp fiction series about a blood-soaked Battle of Armageddon pitting born-again Christians against anybody who does not adhere to their particular theology. In LaHaye's and Jenkins' books, the non-believers are ultimately condemned to "everlasting punishment" while the evangelicals are "raptured" up to heaven.
The Left Behind videogame is a real-time strategy game that makes players commanders of a virtual evangelical army in a post-apocalyptic landscape that looks strikingly like New York City after 9/11. With tanks, helicopters and a fearsome arsenal of automatic weapons at their disposal, Left Behind players wage a violent war against United Nations-like peacekeepers who, according to LaHaye's interpretation of Revelation, represent the armies of the Antichrist. Each time a Left Behind player kills a UN soldier, their virtual character exclaims, "Praise the Lord!" To win the game, players must kill or convert all the non-believers left behind after the rapture.
(Ed's Comments: Brilliant thinking. Exactly the message we want to send to the Muslim world, that we're on a crusade and that God is on our side in the battle. But
wait, it actually gets worse:)
What's more, OSU's "Freedom Packages" include a copy of evangelical pastor Jonathan McDowell's More Than A Carpenter -- a book advertised as "one of the most powerful evangelism tools worldwide" -- that is double-published in Arabic. Considering that only a handful of American troops speak Arabic, the book is ostensibly intended for proselytizing efforts among Iraqi civilians.
(Ed's Comments: Unbelievable. )
The overwhelming majority of people are not consciously racist. but there
are multiple layers of racism. There’s the “Send the darkies back to
africa” layer, which has more than you would probably guess right off, but still
very very few.there’s the layer of deliberate acts, that are possibly, maybe
probably but not necessarily consciously racist. This is the source of illegal
traffic stops, clerks following people in stores, and educational double
standards. much more common. utterly mundane, even. It’s banal.Then there’s the
layer of simply operating without interaction. Suburban flight is racist, but
the overwhelming majority of participants would never think of it in terms of
race.Then there’s one last kind of racism, which is basically “not noticing that
the cops never pull you over for speeding, or the teacher gives you a better
grade than the black kids, etc etc.”
point is: Racists are people who
actively believe in a philosophy of racial supremacy. Racism, on the other hand,
is a systemic problem that can manifest in people who are perfectly nice people,
and who actually genuinely believe in racial equality.
* * *
being racist, and suffering from racism are not the same thing.a white
person who drives 10 miles over the speed limit and never gets pulled over who
has any awareness of racial profiling (like knowing the phrase is enough) who
doesn’t reflect on that privilege is benefiting from, and exhibiting racism.that
entire category is “ignoring your own privilege,” which is racism.
still treating racism like it’s inherently conscious and evil. it CAN be. it’s a
behavior pattern, to be sure, but if often develops unconsciously. accusations
of racism are NOT invective. They’re statements of perception of your behavior.
“You’re racist” for the most part, and certainly within the context I’m talking
about, is no more an ad hominem than “You’re mispronouncing (word X).” The
proper response is to consider why the accusation was made, and amend behavior