A Religious War

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War is very complicated. Often tensions are are already prevalent in a particular region, due to religious or ethnic differences, and then they suddenly boil over.

Background of Nigeria’s Civil War:

  • Side A- Armed Forces of the Nigerian Government
  • Side B- Northern Nigera Islamic fundamentalists
  • Goal of Side A- keep the country unified
  • Goal of Side B- establish a separate country in northern Nigeria where the sharia legal system is the law

When former president Musa Yar’adua, a Muslim from the North, died in office in 2010 and Vice President Goodluck Jonathan, a Christian from the South, finished the term, northern Muslims were not happy.

They were especially not happy when their candidate, Muhammadu Buhari, lost to Jonathan in the 2011 presidential election. They promised to make the country “ungovernable” for him.

They are very organized, operating as an army and wreaking havoc across Nigeria, killing hundreds of civilians. It is apparent that they have the upper hand, and the government is failing to protect its’ citizens.

Their primary goal is to instill the Muslim religion in Nigeria.

Something that I find interesting is that they say they are killing for their god, Allah.

He recounted and attributed the many victories his group has had over the Nigerian Armed Forces to Allah’s help. He described how the bodies of Nigerian soldiers and civilians were strewn everywhere on the ground after his group’s Bama military barrack’s attack. He said; “Had Allah allowed us to eat them we would have eaten them . . . As for killing, we will kill (for) Allah, if he says we should decapitate, we should amputate the limbs, we should mutilate.”

It is unfortunate that something that means so much to people (religion) could be used to cause so much misfortune. Words of the Bible, the Quran, or any other religious book are twisted to fit the ideologies of the different parties. Religion is supposed to unify, but instead it divides. Hate shouldn’t spring from something meant to show people how to love. “Religious war” should be an oxymoron, but the Islamic fundamentalists proudly say that this war has nothing to do with poverty, corruption, or leadership- it is strictly religious.

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Race to the Deathbed

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Nine out of ten doctors prefer Camel cigarettes. Doesn’t it sound idiotic to say that today?

“GM crops are probably safer than conventional plants, according to the Environment Secretary.”

I can only guess how stupid we will sound 20 years from now.

Owen Paterson, environment secretary for Europe, touts the health benefits of GM crops, also noting that the rest of the world is accepting GM crops with open arms and Europe risks being left behind. 

He really shouldn’t cite the U.S. for reference on healthy ingredients, since we allow aspartame in our diet soft drinks and azodicarbonamide in our Subway bread.

Paterson said that GM crops are safer than conventional plants and food and that there is no case of any adverse affect on human health.

Let’s take into account the fact that GM crops really just made their debut. The fact of the matter is, there has not been enough time to allow for long-term studies on the effects of genetically modified crops.

Back to reality, shall we?

GM crops require expensive chemicals and machines, they will make poor farmers even more poor, they add pollution to soil and water, and will create stronger bugs and weeds resistant to their internal toxins.

In addition, they will kill bees and butterflies (which could lead to a collapse in the food supply), reduce biodiversity, and if we finally do decide to stop growing them, they would have already affected the normal crops.

Most of all, however, there is no extensive study telling us whether or not they are safe to eat.

It is also important to note that an oligopoly dominates the GM crop industry, so you can’t trust all the information that is being put out. Remember, at one point in time cigarettes were cure-alls. 

Let’s not trust people with our health who stand to make a profit.

No equality for you!

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It looks like someone in an authority seat is finally taking a stand against the injustices that gay-rights activists have to face. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has decided that he will not march in the annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

For some background knowledge, the parade is kind of a big deal. It is the world’s oldest and largest parade.

De Blasio said he disagrees with the exclusion of certain individuals in his city. Specifically, he is referring to the LGBT community.

The organizers of the parade do not allow gay-rights groups or marchers with gay-pride signs to participate. Apparently, doing so would contradict the colonial, Roman Catholic heritage of the event. 

The Roman Catholic church opposes marriage equality and views homosexual acts as a sin.

In essence, the religion is excluding people, even though it touts love, forgiveness, and acceptance.

Reuters choose to cover this topic by giving a quick summary of the events, not delving too much into either side, while the New York Times gave more insight into the history of the parade, including former mayors’ actions in the parade, criticism of  de Blasio’s decisions, and quotes from both sides of the issue. This may be because the issue is closer to home for the New York Times, so its readers may want more information.

Regardless of where the information is obtained from, the fact remains that an organization continually excludes members of its community from participating in a long-standing tradition. It makes them have to hide who they really are.

De Blasio is the first New York mayor in 20 years that will not walk in the parade.

The Catholic Church may preach love, but they teach hate.