I’ll Burn Your Money and Your Flag To Make It Even

Society’s increasing secularity disgusts me because people think that in order to maintain that secular veneer, they need to justify shitting on the other people who actually do treasure the spiritual significances of their traditions.  Through centuries-old colonialist and imperialist genocide, theft, appropriation, and historical manipulation, the beliefs and cultural symbols of marginalized communities are spit upon by self-appointed demagogues in desperate attempts to legitimize undeserved power.  The tradition continues, and I cannot sit on the sidelines any longer and watch people’s beliefs and respect for those beliefs be dismissed as just ink and paper.

The fact of the matter is it’s worse to simply destroy and disgrace an emblem that people value because you can do it.  Our society does it constantly with every commercialized effort it undertakes.   Constant commodification demands that we divorce the sentimental value of a good from our calculations and substitute a dollar amount that makes it easier to access and to manipulate for the accumulation of power and control.  In our personal lives and emotional considerations, we don’t think that way.  

The fact of the matter is treating the Qu’ran as “just ink and paper” while holding fast to a linen-papered greenback and placing your hand over your heart in observance of a waving piece of cloth shows the lack of objectivity and neutrality needed to take such a fuck all; revere none position in understanding cultural significance.  If you plan on using a symbol or an artifact someone treasures to show your displeasure, you’d better have a damned good reason for doing it instead of crouching behind your own socially-constructed set of valuations backed by the barrel of a gun.

It’s not the fault of the Qu’ran that ceremonies have grown empty.  It’s not the fault of the Qu’ran that people spend more time disgracing each other than respecting them.  It’s not the fault of the Qu’ran that people kill and displace each other and crouch behind the text for security.  Just as it is not the fault of the Constitution of the United States.  Or the Bible.  Or any other symbol of people’s deeply held beliefs that are just printed on ink and paper, that are mass produced.  

The fact of the matter is when you start destroying the symbols of those beliefs thoughtlessly, you are not demonstrating your commitment to your own beliefs.  You are demonstrating that belief systems generally are capable of being destroyed to perpetuate your own sick sense of control over another person.  You are hiding behind an entitlement you don’t have to impose upon and dehumanize another person who does not want anything to do with you.  And the more you destroy other people’s symbols, the more that your own symbols will be unable to help you.  

The proper response is respect and work towards peace.  Stop the cultural wars against people’s livelihoods to justify robbing their lands, killing their families, and debasing their cultures.  Work towards recognizing a peaceful solution where people can honor their beliefs and express them without fearing their lives will be taken in retaliation.  Work towards creating a peace where people express their opposition with the expectation of engagement and not eradication.  Work towards creating a peace where resources are shared, not stolen; where exchange is viable and boundaries are recognized.  

Work towards balance and love, not pointless distortion for shallow and hollow victories.

About problem chylde
"In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths." Proverbs 3:6

16 Responses to I’ll Burn Your Money and Your Flag To Make It Even

  1. ilyka says:

    It’s a book. It’s not holy. It was printed on a printing press somewhere. I’ve worked in print shops, they’re not holy places, they’re dirty, messy unholy places.

    Why didn’t he just type “I WILL DECIDE WHAT HAS VALUE AROUND HERE” over and over again. Oh, what an ass.

    Please let me kick him in the balls! They’re just balls. They’re not holy. They were formed in a womb somewhere. I’ve read about wombs. They’re dirty, messy unholy places.

  2. Sylvia/M says:

    So we kick people in the balls while wearing cleats: who cares? Why pretend?

    It’s gross how he pretends to be unbiased while devaluing a whole religion and the people who practice it. Uh, no, asshole.

  3. joankelly6000 says:

    Thanks for this post, Sylvia. It make me think of some discussion I heard on the radio once where one person was saying that it was inarguable that every kind of religion known to humankind has been used to hurt people, and that this proved religion itself was an inherently corrupt thing in humankind, period.

    And for a second I was like, hm, something I can’t pinpoint is not quite making perfect sense here, but as a person who has plenty of anger about plenty of abuses that have been and continue to be perpetrated under the guise of religious beliefs, I also thought, fuck it, maybe he’s right.

    Then this other person spoke, and damn me for really having the worst effing short term memory on the planet, but he said something to the effect of – it’s not religion that is evil, it’s not the belief in God that leads people to hunger for and abuse power over others. It’s basically power over others in any form that causes people to hunger for and abuse power. Only he said it in a much more intelligent and specific and profound way.

    Anyway. It’s everything you said in this great post. I don’t have any religious beliefs whatsoever – nothing in that sense is “holy” to me personally – but what *is* holy to me is taking other people’s hearts into account and – especially when it costs you nothing and isn’t hurting you – simply refraining from doing things that will make their hearts hurt.

  4. joankelly6000 says:

    p.s. I love the title of this post.

  5. Malik says:

    Maybe someone should go to his church and take a dump in the aisle ’cause people walk on it with dirty, grimy shoes all the time. It’s just some wood, from a grubby sawmill, what’s the difference?

  6. Dw3t-Hthr says:


    It’s ‘inarguable’ that every belief ever held by a human has been used to hurt people, so I’d say that religion’s sole failure on that front is not being magically and suspension-of-disbelief-breakingly different.

    If someone wants something and has something to hand that can justify getting it, they will use that thing unless they have sufficient reason not to. There exist people for which no reason is sufficient not to. Thus ….

  7. nezua says:

    great post.

    i heard the qu’ran spoken of more reverently in my youth than the bible. that was my upbringing. just saying.

    if a bible lover wants respect, they ought give some.

  8. joankelly6000 says:

    dw3t-hthr – basically agree.

  9. Caroline says:

    “It’s not the fault of the Qu’ran that ceremonies have grown empty….”
    VERY well said.

  10. Lady S says:

    Brilliant. I have nothing else to say.

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  13. Joanna says:

    Thanks for this, it was great to read. His complete disregard for the symbolic power these ‘mere books’ hold is incredibly disheartening, and it continues to frustrate me the way that religious beliefs (particularly Islam, these days) are disrespected and rejected under guises of secular objectivity, as though post-enlightenment secularism isn’t a direct descendant of Western European Christian traditions and beliefs.

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  15. ejunco says:

    I agree that guy’s a fuckin douche turd, our relationship is not gonna get better with the world community

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