Fulton Files | News | Salt Lake City | Salt Lake City Weekly

Fulton Files 

Weapons of Mass Hypocrisy

Pin It

If there’s one discernable assumption among the American public in our post-Sept. 11 world, it’s this: The Muslims of the world are wild-eyed, fanatical beasts bent on destroying everything we hold dear, while America’s religious life is a beacon of clear-headed reason.

Um, really? During a procession of the cross last Good Friday, some of Salt Lake City’s Catholics and other Christians got a dose of wild-eyed protest by the same lot of evangelical poseurs who protested in front of LDS Church members during last conference. Using the old phraseology of Protestant bigotry from ages past, they expressed a beef or two about “The Whore of Babylon,” i.e., the Roman Catholic Church. Incidentally, that’s the same language the LDS Church directed against Catholics decades ago, until it, too, admitted the error of its ways. Funny how fanaticism makes its rounds.

Where will these evangelical losers strike next? The local mosque? Sounds likely. The local synagogue? In a way, it would be nice to see them try. That way, they will have finally exhausted every last reservoir of sympathy. Don’t blame the ACLU for letting these pathetic figures lay claim to the Church Plaza. Least of all, don’t blame the First Amendment. When people like this have a full, free forum to express their ideas, it exposes a cancer deep in the heart of American religious life we’d all do well to avoid. In a perverse way, they teach by their bad example. A popular tale among Muslims goes something like this: When a man approached the famed eighth-century Muslim cleric Hasan al-Basri for a religious debate, Hasan replied, “I know my religion. If you’ve lost yours, go and look for it.”

& ull; Along the same theme, consider our nation’s own wild-eyed Franklin Graham, son of famed evangelist Billy Graham. Billy obviously ditched history class when he called his ministry a “Crusade.” Among Muslims, that word is even more loaded than “jihad” is to Western ears. Then Billy stepped into a tar pit of his own making after privately confiding to President Richard Nixon that he, too, had a problem with the “Jewish media.” That’s nothing compared to little Franklin who, on one hand, calls Islam a “very wicked and evil religion” and, on the other, uses blessings at the Pentagon to launch missionary work in war-torn Iraq. Forget “shock and awe.” How about “Bomb ’Em and Convert ’Em!”

& ull; Also last week, our Sen. Orrin Hatch equivocated all over the place when answering questions about rampant polygamy in Southern Utah. He couldn’t justify the practice. But even though it’s against state law, he couldn’t condemn it, either. In fact, he knows polygamists “who are very fine people.” Except for the fact that they’re breaking the law, you know.

& ull; Granted, the Muslim world—and the Arab world in particular—has more than its share of fanatics. But a lot of those tendencies have been cultivated by centuries of invasions, colonialism and more than a little American support for the region’s brutal dictators. More often than not, those dictators haven’t been kind to Muslims. We can gloat over jubilant Shiite Iraqis grateful to see Saddam gone, but we turned a blind eye to their sufferings for many long years while Saddam waged war on our bitter Islamist enemies, the Iranians. Give a cloistered plant a little sun and it will return to growth with a vengeance.

But religious fanaticism at home? Wild-eyed preachers howling about the one, true religion? Polygamy and child brides thriving in Utah? We do quite well on our own without interference from others, thank you very much.

Pin It

More by Ben Fulton

Latest in News

  • Ballots Gone Postal

    Whether mailed in, dropped off or cast by machine on Election Day, voting in Utah remains safe and easy.
    • Oct 28, 2020
  • Our Community part 3

    Local stories of adaptability and compassion to lift your cooped-up spirits.
    • Apr 22, 2020
  • Stream Queens

    Due to lack of physical venues, two drag performers assemble an all-star cast for digital show.
    • Apr 1, 2020
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Through the Looking Glass

    Local witches discuss an occult practice related to Latter-day Saint history.
    • Oct 30, 2019
  • Recycling Enforcers

    An inside look at who's trying to help Salt Lake City residents stay up-to-date on the recycling world's changes.
    • Nov 27, 2019

© 2021 Salt Lake City Weekly

Website powered by Foundation