By: Dani Langevin – January, 2012
I recently watched the movie The Help, an outstanding movie.
Good enough to be put on my Christmas list. Like any good movie, it ran the gamut of many emotions and it was a story I revisited for days afterward thinking about its meaning, impact and historical value. I could feel my blood boiling while I watched these prejudiced, ignorant white people of the 1960’s treat human beings like sub-standard creatures. I had no idea that outhouses and special bathrooms were installed in some homes so that ‘the help’ wouldn’t soil the family’s porcelain throne because ‘they carry different diseases’ than we do.
It still baffles me, after inhabiting this earth for over 200,000 years, why the human race is still struggling with the ability to treat all people equally and with simple human decency and kindness. The argument is always the same when trying to justify discrimination: “They’re not like the rest of us,” “They don’t think, feel, act and believe the same things as we do.” And then, sooner or later, usually too much later when lives have been hurt or destroyed people realize, “Well, I guess, they are like us after all.” This is usually preceded by year after painful year of fighting, sit-ins, violent confrontations, petitions, marches and wasteful spending on a law that should have existed in the first place.
I just read an article in Curve magazine about a secret underground lesbian subculture in Palestine. These women have to meet in secret because there are not supposed to be any lesbians in the Muslim world. They have to get their name on a special list to attend and if their name is not on it, they cannot enter. This has been going on for a number of years now. Lesbian Muslims are considered a disgrace. Muslim women who divorce are considered whores. Many Muslim lesbians have lost their families, livelihoods and even their lives when found out. So, they do as the Christians did in ancient Rome, they congregate in hiding. Hopefully there won’t be five million of them buried below the streets of Palestine like the Christians of Rome. But because most, if not all, of Islam’s lesbians are afraid to come out the world will never know how many of them have lost their lives when discovered.
I find it infuriating and frustrating that people hide behind the veils and icons of their faith to tout hatred, discrimination and ignorance. Those people from that Westfield Baptist Church have got to be the worst. “God hates fags” is a favorite sign of theirs. God is incapable of hate. God is the epitome of love and acceptance and it is up to mankind to emulate this in their own lives. Too much blood has been shed for thousands of years in the name of God, Allah or ‘the’ gods, depending upon one’s beliefs. The ancient Aztec, Maya and Inca sacrificed thousands upon thousands of innocents to please their gods.
Muslims have long believed that to fight and die for Islam is a great honor. Their founder Muhammad told them so at the same time he was fighting to promote women’s rights by giving them the right to divorce, inherit land, have their own wealth and given the right to vote. So many seemed to have forgotten that piece. And let us not forget about the Crusades fought in the name of the Christian God. Charlemagne, the Frankish who fought to protect the Italian Pope and Christianity against advancing Germanic tribes believed, “….God’s blessing protected Frankish swords, engaged as they were in a just war against pagans.” How disturbing it is that a loving and just God would protect anyone’s weapon at all? Every one of these ‘holy wars’ were fueled by the dirty words of prejudiced, hatred and fear and they still are.
What happened to thou shall not kill and love they neighbor? How is that murderous behavior justified through the twisting and skewing of religious scripture? Men can be beasts, that’s for sure, but when, if ever will it stop? Will there be a world of true love and compassion? Will there be a constant season of good will toward men? Will the dirty words: prejudice, hatred and fear forever be washed from the mouths of those who try to subjugate those they see as inferior and a threat?