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To Be Treated With the Utmost Disdain Until Proven Otherwise

'religious leaders'

This is Dark Cloud on Wednesday, February 22, 1989.

There are those of us who cringe when some individual is introduced as a religious leader, only partially because it’s usually a self-declared title. More to the point, the vast majorities of religious leaders have proven, through history, to be uninformed, ignorant rabble rousers, about as qualified and deserving of respect as John Wayne Gacey.

Case in point: the arch-yahoo of Iran orders a hit on an otherwise obscure Indian author because his new book offends the pompous ignorance of Islam’s intellectually disenfranchised. If this doesn't disqualify Shiism from the ranks of intelligent discourse, nothing will. Fully in the tradition of the band of thugs during the crusades who tooted up on hashish before setting out on murdering sprees, the Ayatollah Khomeini aspires to goals no higher than Mafia Dons. If his god is offended, cares about or even reads Satanic Verses, we can only conclude Allah is of the same strata as the Goober god of Jimmy Swaggert. How can you make Allah more ridiculous than the Ayatollah, a man who sends children to war, already has? Let’s rewrite the social conventions from now on. Let religious leaders be treated with the utmost disdain until proven otherwise.

Second, please listen carefully; you can hear the local white supremacists cackling aloud about Black History Week here in Boulder. Two major incidents marred gatherings, both fights, and nothing could play worse for the small and defensive local black citizens. If one thought about it, it might seem blacks are violent and fight a lot even among themselves. Anyone who feels that is simply an idiot. Any gathering of all white fraternity types produces as many fights, usually for the same reasons. But these are covered in the media, if the police get called at all, as a 'local ruckus.' Nowhere does it say: white youths in drunken brawl, as it should.

A friend of mine, black, is getting increasingly uneasy about the number of local black college athletes caught or charged with violent assaults of one kind or another. I tell him, I tell you, it is not a racial issue. You could take the best white athlete we have, remove his support system of friends, feed him on steroids in unsupervised circumstances, give him almost unlimited money and power for an eighteen year old, and you'd have the same thing. Or Oklahoma, anyway.

Even the most cursory glance at these incidents removes any racial stigma. If the black community is embarrassed, don't be. It you're a religious leader, though, practice blushing. God loves humility.