As of this posting, author Salman Rushdie is reportedly still in critical condition following an attack on Aug. 12 at the Chautauqua Institution. Rushdie was stabbed allegedly by Hadi Matar, 24, of Fairview, N.J., and has been charged with attempted second-degree murder and second-degree assault.
Matar was just a baby when Rushdie finally starting making public appearances after being in hiding for most of the 1990s. His 1988 book The Satanic Verses angered many people of the Islamic faith to the point that in 1989 Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the former leader of Iran, issued a fatwa for his death. Ironically, Khomeini would die on June 3. Regardless, Rushdie remained in hiding for many years.
He later recalled finding out about the fatwa through a phone call from a reporter. And he said, he put the phone receiver down and went to make sure all the doors in his home were locked. But things change and by the end of 1990s, he came out of hiding. Khomeini had been deceased for 10 years. While many people didn’t like him (and I knew someone in high school of Islamic faith who didn’t), would many probably follow up on the fatwa for many years?
Mobster Henry Hill went into hiding throughout most of the 1980s and 1990s before coming out publicly. Maybe the reason no other mobsters touched him was due to the success of the book Wiseguy and the movie, Goodfellas, adapted from it. There’s too much heat it would’ve brought down if something happened to Hill and mobsters don’t want that. Hill would later pass away from complications of heart disease at the age of 69 in 2012.
A lot of American politicians such as Congresswomen Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) and Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) talk about how America should be a Christian Nationalism country but we’d see things like what we’re seeing in other countries. I also anticipate more people will try to attack, assault and even kill writers, musicians, actors or filmmakers they don’t see fit the idea of Christian morals in America.
The attack on Rushdie came one day after Ricky Shiffer was fatally shot after trying to storm the FBI office in Cincinnati with a firearm. Obviously, Shiffer, a military veteran, was believed to be upset over the FBI serving a search warrant at the Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida. And of course, his social media posts saying he was “proposing war.” That’s what they want, a civil and holy war where they see themselves as the rightful and righteous ones.
There’s nothing more dangerous than someone who thinks they are doing the right thing in the name of God. And there’s nothing so far to suggest what Shiffer’s religious preferences were, but a lot of far-right people seem to think they are doing what they’re doing in the name of God. In June, Dillon Awes, who is the pastor of the Steadfast Baptist Church in Watuaga, Texas led a sermon in which he called for all those in the LGBTQIA community to be killed as he thinks the Bible recommends it.
Christian Nationalism would allow politicians to cherry pick articles from the Bible to put into government law. And a lot of stuff in the Bible has been written by men. I don’t doubt for one minute, people changed things up to suit whatever the pastors wanted people to believe. The concept of the Rapture wasn’t found in written texts until 1788 and didn’t even make popularity in mainstream Christianity until the 1970s. But yet, it would be taught in all schools.
Part of the main problem with the far-right conservative Christians is they believe in the Rapture and End of Days/End Times so much that they refuse to do anything to make things better around them. Waiting around for something to happen usually means it mostly like won’t happen. Rev. Jerry Falwell said the Rapture would happen in his life time. Well, he passed away in 2007 and it hasn’t happened.
With the election of President Barack Obama, some people saw that as the sign of End Times. But it didn’t happen. Under Christian Nationalism, we would have never elected Obama for two main reasons – he’s not white and he doesn’t have a white-sounding name. I mean, Christian Nationalism is something that the white supremacists embrace because they use Christianity to justify centuries of enslaving black people, decades of Jim Crow laws as well as justificiation for domestic abuse, child abuse, child sexual abuse, rape, incest, and so many more things that only benefit certain white men.
And this begs the most important question of why would Greene and Boebert embrace it so much when all it would do would remove them from office and silence them. Or would they think they can be like Phyllis Schlafly. As long as they say the right thing, they can remain in the public eye.
Whatever the reason, I feel that it’s going to get a lot worse before it gets better. Following a 33-year-old fatwa on Rushdie, who is 75, isn’t something many Muslims are embracing. Some are condemning it and rightfully so because it portrays their religion in a bad light. Others have remained silent which is saying more than not saying anything. And since the person who allegedly did it is three times younger that Rushdie, it’s basically attacking an elderly man.
What’s to stop people in America who think Trey Parker and Matt Stone, of South Park, need to be killed for their portrayal of Jesus Christ. Or how about Martin Scorsese or Willem Dafoe being attacked for making the movie The Last Temptation of Christ. They have faced some backlash and a theater in Paris showing Temptation was firebombed. But under Christian Nationalism, people will feel the need to use violence to spread their faith. It’s always puzzled me the people who claim to be Christians also have a huge artillery of firearms, believe in spankings, support military involvements in foreign wars and turn a blind eye to police brutality.
Well, that’s if law enforcement go after the people on the left and BIPOC. They apparently don’t like the FBI now following the Mar-a-Lago raid.
Fortunately, in America, it’s reported less than half of the popular follow any religious affiliation and as church officials continue to drive a divide, it’s likely that the Baby Boomer Generation will take Moral Majority and Evangelicalism to their graves. Even people in the “Bible Belt” are turning away. I previously posted about how the Catholic Church spent about $4 million on an abortion amendment vote to the Kansas state constitution and lost as voters shut it down, it’s a sign of the times that people have had enough.
If anything else, it’s a reminder of how important elections are and how dangerous it is to allow someone like Donald Trump to ascend to the Presidency. Because the next time, I don’t doubt the person will also see themselves as a true servant of God. Trump doesn’t believe in religion and only did it because the religious figures put their attention toward him. Imagine how dangerous it will be if the person does believe in religion.
What do you think? Please comment.