The Reality Of The Las Vegas Aftermath

The Reality Of The Las Vegas Aftermath

Let’s work together to figure out how to stop it. We already know how cruel the world can be.
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Many of us woke up this morning alive and well in the world. Our loved ones are safe—we are grateful to be alive another day.

But that’s not the case for victims of the recent Las Vegas shooting whose families will suffer for a lifetime to come.

Disgustingly enough, this is not new to us. We’re already past the point of asking for reasoning. Why does this continue to happen? How could someone be so evil? Why is the world so cruel? What is truly the purpose?

And most importantly, how is this even possible?

We’ve already determined the cause and effect of mental illness and gun violence.

We can’t change the epidemic of mental health or the access to illegal weapons.

We can’t take away the Second Amendment or monitor gun supply to the average person.

What we can do is stop saying there’s nothing we can do.

What we can do is stop influencing society to be evil. Stop humanizing inhumane beings. Stop reporting on the background of the killer and start focusing on the victims and heroes.

Why do all the major news headlines state how the massacre is some kind of historical event? Why are there long-form, in-depth stories about this sorry excuse for a human and his personal life? Who gives a sh*t about why the shooter was mentally ill and decided to end innocent lives before taking his own worthless one?

The first articles to hit the internet were about the gunman’s life story and background. I knew more about him before I knew how many people were even murdered. Major news outlets like The New York Times, People Magazine and The New York Post all immediately published articles about the gunman’s criminal father and personal life.

The day after it happened, The Chicago Tribune published an article that discussed his love for gambling and country music, which was shared and circulated through multiple news sites. The New York Times published an article that gave a full-blown history of the bank-robbing father’s past. Why is this important? Yes, some elements of the story are important to know, but our prioritization of informative facts seems to be off. Why are these types of stories the first to circulate? Why do we glorify heinous crimes?

We don’t know how a crime of this capability was even possible for one sole person. We don’t know if the FBI is even telling us the complete truth—or if they even have it all figured out. And that’s what we should want to know. Not the reason that evil people suck. We are searching for all the wrong answers.

What we do know is, if a mentally ill person feels as though they have nothing to live for—they will do whatever they can to take out a mass of innocent people before taking their own life. We must stop and think about why that may be.

If you have nothing to live for—you would rather die a villain than to die as nothing at all.

Public figures like Stephen Colbert, Trevor Noah and Jimmy Kimmel all spoke out with the same ideas: as a nation, we must stop saying there’s nothing we can do and start doing something. This should be at the top of the priority list.

“The bar is so low right now that congress can be heroes by literally doing anything,” Stephen Colbert said in his segment on The Late Show that aired the day after the tragedy.

“Universal background checks—or come up with a better answer. Enforce Obama’s executive order that denied mentally ill gun purchases—or—a better answer. Reinstate the assault weapons ban—or come up with a better answer. Anything but nothing,” he said.

“Doing nothing is cowardice, doing something will take courage. But you know what… it took courage for the people at that concert last night to help each other as bullets flew.”

Realistic or not—his words speak volume. It was a nationwide cry for help and desperate need for unity.

Let’s work together to figure out how to stop it. We already know how cruel the world can be.


*A few ways you can help:

-Donate water, canned goods, or non-perishable items to organizations like Three Square and Catholic Charities

-Donate blood to centers throughout the U.S like America's Blood Center and The American Red Cross

-Donate to the GoFundMe page

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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Islam Is Not A Religion Of Peace, But Neither Is Christianity

Let's have in honest converation about the relgious doctrine of Islam

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Islam is not a religion of peace.

Christianity is also not a religion of peace.

But, most people in both religions are generally peaceful.

More specifically, bringing up the doctrine of Christianity is a terrible rebuttal to justify the doctrine of Islam.

That is like saying, "Fascism is not a good political ideology. Well, Communism isn't any good either. So, Fascism is not that bad after all."

One evil does not justify another evil. Christianity's sins do not justify Islam's.

The reason why this article is focused on Islam and not Christianity is the modern prevalence of religious violence in the Islamic world. Christianity is not without its evil but there is far less international terrorist attacks and mass killing perpetrated by Christians today than by those of Islam.

First, let's define "religious killings," which is much more specific than a practicer of a religion committing a murder.

A religious killings are directly correlated with the doctrines of the faith. That is different a human acting on some type of natural impulse killing someone.

For example, an Islamic father honor killing his daughter who was raped is a religious killing. But an Islamic man who catches his wife cheating and kills her on the spot is a murder, not a religious killing. The second man may be Islamic but the doctrine of Islam cannot be rationally held at fault for that killing. Many men with many different religions or experience would make the same heinous mistake of taking a life.

Second, criticizing a doctrine or a religion is not a criticism of everyone that practices the religion.

It is not even a criticism of everyone who make mistake while inspired by the religions. Human are willing to do heinous things when governed by a bad cause. Not every World War 2 Nazis was a homicidal maniac but human nature tells them to act this way in order to survive in their environment. It is hard to fault a person from traits that comes from evolutionary biology and natural selection.

However, commenting on a philosophy, ideology or a religion is not off limits. Every doctrine that inspires human action should be open for review. The religion may be part of a person's identity and it holds a special place in its heart but that does not mean it should be immune to criticism.

Finally, before going into a deconstruction of the myth that Islam is a religion of peace, there needs to be a note about the silencing of talking about Islam.

There is a notion in Western Society that if a person criticizes Islam, then that person hates all Muslims and the person suffers from Islamophobia. That is not the case, a person to criticize religion without becoming Donald Trump. In Western Society criticizing fundamental Christians is never seen as an attack on all Christians because there is a lot of bad ideas in the Bible that Christians act on. Therefore, criticizing Islam should have the same benefit of the doubt because the Quran has many bad ideas in it.

The Quran advocates for war on unbelievers a multitude of times. No these verses are not a misreading or bad interpretation the text. Here are two explicit verses from the Quran that directly tell Followers to engage in violence:

Quran 2: 191-193:

"And kill them wherever you find them, and turn them out from where they have turned you out. And Al-Fitnah (disbelief or unrest) is worse than killing... but if they desist, then lo! Allah is forgiving and merciful. And fight them until there is no more Fitnah (disbelief and worshipping of others along with Allah) and worship is for Allah alone. But if they cease, let there be no transgression except against Az-Zalimun (the polytheists and wrong-doers)"

Quran 2: 216:

"Fighting is prescribed for you, and ye dislike it. But it is possible that ye dislike a thing which is good for you, and that ye love a thing which is bad for you. But Allah knoweth, and ye know not."

There is no rational way to interrupt these passages in a peaceful way. The whole premise of both passages is to inspire followers that war against the unbeliever is justified.

The first verse advocates for genocide against non-believers for the mere transgression that a society worships a different god or worships another god along with Allah.

The second passage is arguable more dangerous because the first passage just advocate that fighting may be a necessity, while the second passage encourages it. The second passage claims that war on the unbeliever is a good thing under the eyes of Allah.

The reason why these passages are dangerous is because they directly incite religious violence. For most followers of Allah, these passages are ignored or they convince themselves the passages means something they do not. However, for a large numbers of followers that view the text of the Quran as the unedited words of Allah, these texts become extremely dangerous. These passages become all the rational they need to wage war on non-believers.

This is dangerous because there are millions of followers of Islam worldwide that believe every statement in the Quran is true.

Therefore, the Quran becomes a direct motivation and cause for its followers to attack non-followers. Rationally one can understand where the Islam follower comes from, if a person truly believes that Allah or God himself wrote these words then why would you not comply.

Especially when there is verses in the Quran that says the Follower who does not fight the infidel is not as worthy of a Follower that does wage war against the non-believer (Quran 4:95). Finally, when male Followers are told that their martyrdom fighting for the faith will be rewarded with an eternity in paradise with 72 virgins for personal pleasure. If a Follower truly believes all of this is the spoken word of Allah then there is more rational why a person would commit these atrocities then why they would not.

Men and women are radicalized by these passages on a daily basis.

No, it is not just the poor kid in Iraq that lost his family to an American bombing run that indiscriminately kills civilians but also the middle classed Saudi Arabian child or some Western white kid that finds the Quran appealing. If radicalization were just poor people, then society would not have much to be worried about. However, Heads of States, college educated people and wealthy Islamic Followers are all being radicalized and the common dominator is the doctrine of Islam.

Osama Bin Laden, one of the most infamous terrorist in history, was not a poor lad that was screwed by the United States military industrial complex. Bin Laden was the son of a billionaire, that received an education through college from great schools. There is no other just cause for Bin Laden to orchestrate such grievous attacks on humanity besides religious inspirations. A person can rationally tie Islam Followers gravitation towards terrorism to a specific verse. Quran 3: 51 tells readers,

"Soon shall we cast terror into the hearts of the Unbelievers."

Any rational person can tie Islamic passages like this directly to terrorism. It is not a complicated correlation to like Nazism and Jewish persecution to Christianity. The Holy Book of Islam directly encourages the Followers of Islam to inflict terrorism unto the non-believer.

So why do some many people deny these obvious truths about Islam and violence?

Political Correctness and the want to not be viewed as a bigot. The correlations here are as direct as the terrors of the Spanish Inquisitions and Catholicism and no one is afraid to retrospect and say, "Yes Christianity caused the direct murder of thousands of people". A person would not even be controversial if one stated that both World Wars has significant religious undertones. However if anyone states that terrorism and violence has a direct link with Islam then there is an outcry.

Even President Obama refused to use the terms Islam and Muslim when publicly talking about the War on Terrorism. I am a hypocrite also because I used the term Islamic Follower instead of Muslim in an attempt to sound more political correct.

That is a problem when society refuse to use terms that are correct in an attempt to not offend anyone. Imagine if scientist could not report their findings because the underlying politics. Society needs to be able to have open dialogue about this problem or else it will never heal. Society needs to throw away the worrisome about being politically correct and focus on identifying the problems and solving them.

The world of Islam needs to open themselves up to this criticism.

There can no longer be a closing of dialogue where the West cannot speak on the doctrines of Islam because they are not partakers (That applies to all organized religion too, especially the Catholic Church). People who draw Muhammed must no longer be threatened with attacks on their life.

When Islamic women and men speak up about the sins of Islam, they must stop being silenced. If humanity is going to take steps into the future with better technology and more dangerous weaponry, then we need to solve this problem with Islam and gradually to organized religion at all.

If not it will doom us way before we get there…

Thank you for reading and if you enjoyed this article follow my podcast on Twitter @MccrayMassMedia for more likewise discussions.

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Maria Takes the Robes out

An encounter with a ninety-year-old woman and her scissors.

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The topic of immigration for the United States of America began in 1607, and despite any conclusion, we come to today- the topic will remain the hottest button on America's three-piece suit. The conversation of policy and platform is more than likely a negative conversation at any restaurant or bar, though the American immigration policy was and never is entirely bad. It gave us Maria.

She greets the front door strangers like there is no one in the world too bad to be let in, and asks "how are you?" assuming the role of the German mother you never had. She is a seamstress, a tailor. If you've come for alterations, which was the most common reason to visit, she would lead you to her dainty workspace, made up of old wood and it smelled like baby powder. She treated it like fine china. It was what she had, it was what she loved. She made a living by this trade, however, she found her life in the visitors. She got to meet, greet, and replete. She wielded her scissors and cut the bottom of my dress, like she was wrapping a present, and began telling her stories in a subtle daze.

I asked Maria what she does when she is not cutting dresses and sewing patches, and she explained her love for baking. Maria seemed like a woman of many trades, and I was right. She was known for her rum cake. She told us she bakes for her Priest at church, though she had to cut back. "Cut back on rum cake? Why would you do that??" I thought to myself, but before I could even start to ask she says in the light accent- "I have to cut back because the priest was getting too far from them. He asked me to take his robes out an inch or two, and of course, I did it. It was all my cake." Maria reminded herself how funny she is, and she laughed.

I never thought about a bishops weight gain and how he would have to accommodate, or who is there to help him. Maria's story was not only about the humor in life, it was about all the things that went unnoticed too. Later, we found out that Maria used to alter wedding dresses- to which she was once asked, "Do you ever get scared of altering something so important?" Maria said, "No, I just do it." She was a woman of many words.

German seamstress Maria did what she had to make her way in the United States, and she is successful. She is successful not only in her career but also at being an addition to our community. She knows the meaning of sacrifice and sensible. Without Maria in the states, my dress would be three inches long, the priest would be three inches skinnier, and there would be three million fewer stories in the world to laugh about.

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