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Religion and Nationalism or Spirituality and Patriotism? Think for Yourself.

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I have been called a "Tool of the Muslims" in two right wing blogs. I'm not going to mention them because I don't want to give them any publicity, but if you want to check for yourself, just Google me. These comments tell me two things. The first is that they are reading OpEdNews, and that they are afraid of anyone that disagrees with them, or contradicts anything that comes out of "their" administration. What they took exception too was my article on Caliphates. If you read it, you will remember that I was trying to find out what the word meant and why they are considered by the right to be such a threat I took the definition from Wikipedia and from another article on Caliphates. The article mentioned that during the Spanish Inquisition, when the 'Christians" were killing and torturing anyone that they didn't happen to agree with, and burning books while destroying universities and basically setting back western civilization hundreds of years, the Muslims gave the Jews and the intellectuals shelter. They also managed to save many books and other things from Western civilization. I also mentioned that they called non-Muslims Dhimmidi, and Mohammed himself said that anyone who harms a non-Muslim harmed him. I thought it was an enlightened view back then, as we in the west were killing anyone that looked different, let alone someone that wasn't Roman Catholic.

Well, the far right didn't like it. So now I am a "Tool of the Muslims". I guess that I can be declared a "terrorist" by the "Decider" and thrown in Guantanimo Bay, and "waterboarded". What a great world we have built here in America, the land of the free and the home of the brave. This is how I am rewarded for my 21 years in the Army, along with the cancer I contracted from unshielded ionized radiation from radioactive tubes the Army said wouldn't hurt me. I had to put my face inches away while making adjustments on my radar. I have gone from a proud veteran that volunteered to fight in Afghanistan after 9/11 (I was born and raised in New York), to a "Muslim tool".

This got me to thinking (which for a NY, Italian-American guy can be dangerous). Why is it that the nastiest people in history have always wrapped themselves in God and the Flag? Religion and nationalism. There is a big difference between religion and nationalism and spirituality and patriotism. I have been a student of history since I scored 99% on my NY Regents exam in world history. I love it, it fascinates me. I have the History channel on in my house about 60% of the time. One thing I have noticed about history is that more people in this world have been killed in the name of God, than any other reason. Religion has been used since the beginnings of civilization to control people, and gain power for the people that control religion. It doesn't matter what religion it is either. From Baal to Jesus, we have been killing each other in their name since we leaned how to communicate with each other. The thing that kills me is that Jesus was the last person in the world that would condone killing anyone in his name. It's not the fault of Jesus that Christians seem to be the bloodiest religion in history. That falls on humanities shoulders. It seems that the Muslim religion, not to be outdone by the Christians, is desperately trying to catch up on the body count. Let's make one thing perfectly clear so that people know where I'm coming from on this, religion begets power, and power begets war. It's been shown over and over throughout the span of civilization.

Nationalism runs a close second. The other great way to control people is to set them apart from the rest of the human race and tell them that they are better than everyone else and that God has picked them to lead the people of the world to glory. (Whatever "glory" is, I haven't quite figured that one out). When I thought I was dying from cancer, believe me, the last thing that I was thinking of was how I could make America "Glorious". These are just words designed to stir people up to get them to do the bidding of the one speaking these words. The terrible thing about this is that it works. It has always worked. It will work again. Bush is using the same tactics that despots have been using for millennia, and so is Osama Bin Laden. The part that is so sickening is that they can find so many people that will take them at their word and run out to kill people that they don't know anything about.

It has always been like this. We might be able to cure types of cancer, transplant organs, go into space and find out about anything we want to know about by getting on the Internet, but we can't stop killing each other and falling for the same old tricks that power hungry zealots have been using for centuries. The same things work over and over and over again. The sad part of it is that the humans that mankind knows the most about, are the humans that have killed the most humans, and had the most power. We know so much about Genghis Khan, and Adolph Hitler, and Napoleon and Caesar and all the other killers in history, but we hardly know anything about all the people that tried to stop them. That is the human condition, and it is diseased. If you want to get yourself really disgusted, go on some of these Far Right websites. I saw about 200 sites that want to make Islam a terrorist organization. I worked for a Muslim man that spent four years in the Army as a medic. He was born here. His family had emigrated from Kenya and he was of Indian descent. He went out of business after 9/11 because nobody would come to a place where the owner's name was Azim. He was a nice man, with a beautiful family. They were Americans, just like these far right people that want to make his religion a terrorist organization. It never stops. How would they feel if people wanted to make Christians a terrorist organization? Hate begets hate. These people read the bible and the Koran and the people that preach hate don't seem to get anything out of these books. I don't care much for religion. I don't care much for nationalism. Spirituality and patriotism are different. When people are going to know the difference, is something that won't happen in my lifetime. That much I have already figured out. The Christians can call me a Muslim tool, and the Muslims can call me a Christian tool. I don't care what they call me. I just don't care. They don't know me; this is what I'm talking about.

History will continue to repeat itself until people start to think for themselves; instead of the people they think have all the answers. As I get older, I realize that people I used to look up too, are not that much different than any other people. Just because they have a title, or a degree, doesn't mean that they can't be wrong. Just because you see something in print, does not mean that it is true. I have come to realize that people are just too lazy to think for themselves. They might make a mistake and someone might laugh at them. That is the truth as I see it. They are fearful of thinking for themselves. If I could pass one thing on to humanity, it would be this; you are not as stupid as you think you are. People that you look up too, don't know as much as you believe they do. Just look around at the world and see the shape it's in. Doesn't that speak volumes?
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Tim Gatto is Ret. US Army and has been writing against the Duopoly for the last decade. He has two books on Amazon, Kimchee Days or Stoned Colds Warriors and Complicity to Contempt.

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