Day 65: Disengagement

Though it’s only adjacent to the topic of today’s blog, it’s worth mentioning that during the meeting with Angela Merkel, Trump allegedly handed her a physical invoice for $300 billion dollars, claiming that is what Germany owed NATO.

This kindergarten level stunt, if it happened, is so crazy and embarrassing, it’s hard to know where to begin in breaking it down. But it’s not quite as nutty as something that went down in Virginia politics that I intended to write about earlier before…stuff…with Russia hit the fan.

Mark Herring is the Attorney General in Virginia. He’s a Democrat and during his AG tenure, he’s done some pretty progressive things like: not defending gay marriage bans, defending immigrants from xenophobia and attempting to tighten gun regulations.

He took the time last week to visit a large mosque in Falls Church, Virginia, a part of Fairfax County, Virginia that is home to many Muslims. The Republican Party of Virginia took the opportunity to apply an offensive stereotype about Muslims to the mosque and attempt to justify it as a reason that Herring shouldn’t engage with the Muslim community.

Their reasoning for the statement wasn’t only racist and anti-Islamic, it wasn’t based in reason at all.

They ripped the Council on American Islamic Relations for being “linked to Hamas” when in fact there has never been anything of the sort.

Though individual terrorists have worshipped at the mosque, the mosque itself is not a sponsor of terrorism and the FBI has visited several times to talk to the worshippers about threats against them and how the law enforcement agency can assist.

I highly doubt the GOP would apply the same standards to say

Religion is often an unfortunate coping mechanism. Because people can read into God however they chose, it is a way for sexual abusers, violent extremists and other disturbed individuals can justify their behavior.

It’s for this reason that I feel a secular, objective education is essential to human development and progress. When I say secular, I mean mindfulness, acceptance and a prolonged exposure to diversity in a positive environment. I mean not teaching about what God does from a religious perspective, but teaching about what people believe about God and how that has evolved and changed over time.

A lack of exposure to other perspectives likely leads to a desire to either remain in a bubble or eradicate those other perspectives. In the case of the Virginia Republican Party, perhaps they would benefit from a visit to the mosque.

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