Paranoia, Fear, Prejudice…what are they?  They are very simply, negative EMOTIONAL states.  The rational mind is frozen, led by the nose by the “instinctive run or be eaten” part of our primal brain that our very distant ancestors needed for survival. 

For a moment, for years, or for a lifetime, it can rack the minds of its owner and worst yet, collectively, a whole population (ie., the mob mentality).  The ‘us vs. them’ mindset is the perfect atmosphere for charlatans and ego-centric politicians to whip up supporters, with sound bytes as rallying cries.  I’ve already talked about the tea partiers in another post, so we won’t go there.  But this mind pollution has tentacles.

In Arizona, they’re pulling people over who look Hispanic, just in case they might be illegal immigrants  (which is absolutely nuts as there is an overwhelming population of Hispanic Americans residing in that state).  The same people who are screaming about our taxes are now cheering as we pay law enforcement big bucks to play “Big Brother” to fight against the illegal “aliens”.  And they don’t find this shoveling “you know what” against the tide? Us vs. them will not work.   

Osama Bin Laden must be gleeful.  The politicians and other pundits have gotten us riled about over the Islamic Center in Manhattan.  He planted the seeds of terror and we ourselves are watering them.  He doesn’t even have to tend the horrifically evil garden he planted.

It was our founding fathers’ explicit wish and was thoughtfully constructed in our Constitution, by the likes of Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and Ben Franklin, that our nation would be a place where everyone (Christians, Jews, and Muhammadans (as John Adams refered to them) could have houses of worship and practice as their conscience dictates (never mind community centers).  Us vs. them will not work.

We moderates better be careful.   When we sat by and thought the lunatic temperance movement would pass, we got Prohibition (There would have been no wine for Nun Tuck) . Over the years, paranoia has gotten us McCarthyism, interned Japanese Americans, racism, classicism, sexism and every other ism. 

I’d like to close this frustrated rant with two excerpts from a RATIONAL editorial by John Buchanan in the Christian Century (Sept. 21) :

“In his New York Times column (August 22), Nicholas Kristof wrote about the controversy over the proposal to build an Islamic community center in lower Manhattan: “For much of American history, demagogues have manipulated irrational fears toward people of minority religious beliefs, particularly Catholics and Jews…Today’s crusaders against the Islamic Community Center are promoting a similar paranoid intolerance, and one day we will be ashamed of it.”…”The most tragic dimension of that irrational fear is the way it is exploited by politicians.  I cannot comprehend how otherwise sane and thoughtful people can conclude that an Islamic community center two blocks away from Ground Zero is inappropriate-not to mention dangerous.  It’s not a mosque and it’s not on the site of the World Trade Center twin towers, but even if it were, the right of all Americans to pray and worship how and who and where they choose is one of the most important rights and values of our nation.  It is not negotiable.”    

Who are we REALLY…as a people, as a nation?


3 thoughts on “MIND POLLUTION

  1. Hi Nun Tuck!

    Osama’s garden has many people tending to its horrific blooms. But our garden is bestest and his is an anomaly. A glitch in the matrix. The fruit of madness feeding upon the soil of ignorance and stupidity.

    Do you know that the character of the 51 Park project has become and intrinsically American brand of public debate? And that the voices of the project supporters are an intrinsically American voice of Islam? I doubt that we would find such an open debate elsewhere, and in that context, I think that Muslim Americans should be (and still) should be proud to be an American.

    God bless you and drop by my blog. I have a series of sketchverse on the whirling dervishes. Hope u will like it!

    Pax Taufica.

    • Hello Taufiq,

      Your whirling dervishes series are lovely ( the progression made me smile), as are your musings on Rumi himself. But I especially like your post concerning your quick-witted son, you know the phrase, “out of the mouth of babes”?! Your writings have wisdom, humor, and humility…a winning combination.

      Also, I am wondering if you could be my “guest blogger”…I would like to post your Oct. 4 and Oct. 8th posts on my blog. Do not feel obliged to say yes :), but you may collect some more American fans!

      It is ironic that I decided to ask you this before I gratefully saw your post with the lovely picture book illustration of Friar Tuck and Robin Hood crossing the river. I say this truly, as Nun Tuck has many vices, but lying doesn’t tend to be one of them.

      Salaam for now, Nunsense

  2. Dear Nunsense(or should it be CoNun the Theologian?),

    Forgive my pun of your pen name. I am incorrigible that way.

    If I had 5% of the humour, wisdom and humility that I suggest i have in my writings, I would already be seeing the sweet chariot, swinging low coming to carry me home. You are just too kind!

    Of course you need not ask permission, but I appreciate your netiquette in asking. Of course, you may. I am touched. No one has ever asked me to guest blog anything. You have a taste for the strange and quirky, no doubt.

    Oh, I suspected already that you are hopeless at lying. I am quite good at it, I am afraid. Just a good sinner ought to be! Hehehe. Maybe you should practice (just kidding).

    On a final note, I have long harboured the suspicion that Mikhail although ostensibly 6 years old, is in fact 16. His generous sprinkling of ‘who cares, so what, big deal’ and the irritating ‘what…everrr…’ in his conversation proves the point. He is already even talking about marriage. I asked him which girl he would be marrying. ‘Oh, the popular girls’, he replied without batting an eye.

    Oh dear.

    Hehehe. On that politically incorrect note, i bid you adieu, Katherine.

    Take care then,


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