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Why mention religion in the first place?
Barry Mitchell Bytes Back

Must admit I didn't know much about Senator Paul Wellstone. Based on endless eulogies and media coverage he seemed like an incredible human being, totally inspirational. Yet another regret. Kind of like when Jerry Garcia died and wished I'd followed the Dead around like countless others back in the '70's.

Wellstone stood up for beliefs no matter what the consequences and voted on conscience irregardless of final tallies. Interest groups and high powered lobbyists didn't seem to have an effect on his decision making process which seems very odd in this politically purchased day and age. Reminded me a lot of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., way in which he continually fought for the underprivileged and downtrodden.
Only facet I found irritating was the mention towards the end of one of the many CNN tributes when they remarked on his being the "son of Jewish immigrants".
I think of a large Jewish population in New York, Philadelphia, Tel Aviv, but St. Paul and Duluth? I could be wrong.

More importantly, why mention religion in the first place? Totally out of context. Obviously it didn't matter to the Minnesotans that elected the Senator two times running. And rightfully so. Seems like we place too much emphasis on religious beliefs and practices.
Maybe I'm being overly paranoid. Philip Roth may I help you?

Keep hearing for instance that Muslims are such a peaceful people. Certainly didn't stop 19 fanatics on 9/11. Now we're hearing again how peaceful Islam is when talking about the alleged beltway sniper John Muhammad. And didn't Muhammad Ali beat the living crap out of people (albeit professionally) for a living? Very peaceful man, until he got in the ring.
I mean do they teach Christians and Jews to be violent? Why aren't they ever considered peaceful religions? For that matter Catholics can sin all week long, confess, and then everything's forgiven. What's that all about? That doesn't sound very peaceful.

Little tired of bringing up the religion trump card to explain every phenomenom these days. Think we need to stay focused on individual behavior rather then stereotypical generalizations. The fact that the alleged sniper is incredibly disturbed on so many levels has to take precedence over any of his religious convictions.

Not to mention all the talk show hosts harping on the so-called fact that John Muhammad was a security guard at Farrakhan's "Million Man March". Is that really relevant to the case? Should we now be suspicious of a million other men and do FBI background checks?
Maybe they have already.

Or maybe it's just another excuse to drudge up continued country club racism that exists in the locker rooms of covert everywhereville? Is it merely part of sensationalized media ratings wars or do many whites still secretly and fervently long for the days of segregation? I don't even know anymore.
Just wish someone would have told the suspected sniper that issues like divorce, custody battles, unemployment and failed business ventures are all part of that forty-something thang called life. That when you're overwhelmed with insurmountable problems and can't deal anymore just look to the neightbor next door who's worse off then you could ever imagine.
"Ridin' high in April, shot down in May". Where's Ole Blue Eyes when ya need him?
On that note...
© Barry Mitchell November 2002

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