The million dollar quote is: “Peace will defeat war. Faith will defeat fundamentalism and atheism.” [0:30-0:34]
Wow… Just wow… The so-called President of the most “open and free” country in the Arab World just equated filthy religious extremist terrorists who kill our soldiers, to me, and people like me: those who don’t believe in his or any god, or any other regressive, counterproductive fantasy that makes people violent, oppressed and uninformed.
Before we begin, allow me to remind our soon-to-be-retired president of the constitution he swore to protect when we was OK-ed as a weak enough president to not upset any of the warring Lebanese factions.
There is only one absolute clause in our constitution, one that cannot be corrupted by bad ministers and failed parliaments. Just one, and that one clause is in the opening of the legal document we’re all supposed to conform to. Belief, faith, is every person’s absolute right that cannot be robbed from them by tyrants or politicians.
In the preamble, article c, the Lebanese constitution states:
c. Lebanon is a parliamentary democratic republic based on respect for public liberties, especially the freedom of opinion and belief, and respect for social justice and equality of rights and duties among all citizens without discrimination.
If that wasn’t clear enough for our dear leader, here’s Article 9 of the Lebanese Constitution
There shall be absolute freedom of conscience. The state in rendering homage to the Most High shall respect all religions and creeds and guarantees, under its protection, the free exercise of all religious rites provided that public order is not disturbed. It also guarantees that the personal status and religious interests of the population, to whatever religious sect they belong, is respected.
Now, if we look past the fact our constitution refers to the “Most High” (which is embarrassing for a modern country that should rely on logical reasoning and fairness to create laws, not a deity), we see that the constitution is pretty serious on the absolute right of people to believe, and of course, lack-thereof. It doesn’t matter if you’re a minister, a judge, an MP or the president, you have absolutely no right to interfere with my faith.
The sheer disgust this speech invoked in me has rarely ever reared its ugly head, but, for good reason. How could the president suggest that our soldiers knew they were gonna be fighting and risking their lives against “terrorists” and “atheists” yes… I had to rewind several times.
In a country spiraling into the abyss thanks to people being too religious, fighting each other over who has the best god, killing each other in their god’s name, fighting in other countries for the glory of their gods, decapitating and blowing their disgusting selves up to honor their gods, the president has the nerve to call us a threat? Law-abiding, peaceful citizens who happen to not believe in a deity?
And if it’s not the wars and conflicts for gods, it’s god’s men fucking up our lives, with their desperate clinging on to power to prevent women from being protected from rape and murder, their greed in blocking the law to a proper civil marriage and personal status laws, their abhorred protection of child molesters, and the list goes on and on and on and on, and you dare Mr President, tell us that soldiers are supposed to “win” against us? What the flying fuck. These soldiers are dead because men of faith have been allowed to run this country for far too long. In a properly educated, fair secular country, we wouldn’t have terrorists to begin with.
Now, I’m not calling on Lebanon to become atheist. Or suggesting that atheism will solve all our problems. But, to lump atheists with terrorists is more at home in the Dark Ages, where our politicians and priests and sheikhs and laws belong!
The President owes us an apology, and I demand he apologizes for what we’ll consider a slip of the tongue. This bullying and harassment, and outright threat to a fundamental right every tax payer has, is unacceptable. Even the Pope of the Catholic Church is extending a hand to atheists, and here we see the president, one of his followers, burn those bridges here. Even Patriarch Rai acknowledged atheists, and here we have the president threatening us.
Will the president threaten me with jail for speaking up? Let him. But, for him to threaten me and those like me with my country’s own soldiers, well, that can happen when the hell he believes in freezes over :)
I extend my deepest condolences to the soldiers’ families, and I am appalled the President would use such a somber occasion to push his radical thoughts and intolerant hatred towards people who don’t believe the same thing he does.
Oh, and look who followed in our President’s footsteps… The Saudi King! Sad times to be a free-thinking Arab…