Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Defending Hate

Why is culture one of those things that some people always assume needs to be preserved and protected, no matter how evil it is? In my Caribbean history class yesterday, a student compared the Spanish attacks on the Indians to the West’s attacks on some Muslim sects—we hate their culture. I would have loved to challenge her that us hating a culture built around bloodlust, hatred and intolerance but it was a class on the history, not current events.

Thank God for blogs.

Let me tell you a little something. I hate many aspects of some Muslim cultures and any person who cared about humanity would agree with me. I hate any sect that stones women because they weren’t a virgin before marriage. I hate any culture that beheads men for being gay. I hate any society that fanatically demonizes any other society and thoughtlessly tries to kill it. Don’t give me any of that “it’s just their religion” crap. Our war against religious extremists is nothing compared to the Spanish’s war against the Indians. Not all cultures are created equal--some are worse than others.

PS. Granted, I’m no expert on the cultures of the Caribbean (hence the class) but my professor said that sacrifices, for example, were a position of honor for the sacrificed. (After a battle, the greatest hero of the losing side would be sacrificed to the gods—a compliment because of the religious undertones and the implicit recognition that you are the number one warrior.)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I have one objection to David's post -

Hating other cultures because they are based on what we see as "bloodlust, hatred, and intolerance" often has unintended consequences. During the 20th century feminists became concerned about the practice of female circumcision in some Middle Eastern and African countries. International agencies such as the World Health Organization and the United Nations mounted massive campaigns to stop the practice. The result - the rate of females circumcised actually increased. Why? No one is certain but some analysts have argued that international condemnation made female circumcision a symbol of Middle Eastern culture - people were practicing it precisely because the West had condemned it.

I am not saying that we should condone the stoning of women who are not virgins or the beheading of gay men. But we should seriously think about ALL possible consequences before we support policies designed to curtail those activities.