Questions from the news:I must say, if the Kurds separate, it will be messy, but they have the right to freedom just like anyone else, and if that is what they must do, we should figure a way to support it. Of course the Turks will squat cows, but as they want to be part of the EU more than they care about ethnic suppression (I hope), it will work out in twenty years or so.
A. Have the Kurds really just forged an independent government? Will they take Kirkuk and the oil area around it? Is this the end of 'one Iraq'? They seem to be the only unified region in the country. Why do they fly the Iraq flag from 1958 rather than the current national flag?
B. What's with the crazy fellow from Iran going off to visit Indonesia? Are they about to strike some kinda deal? Is Iran about to export nuclear technology to Indonesia?
Is he just looking for support? Or is he out to stir up trouble?
C. What's with the DiVinci Code stuff? How come so many nincompoops think it's 'real'? Why do the "Christians" feel so threatened by it?
D. Who cares if Britney is PG again? Gee people, get a life.
Iran (read - 'the cult of the twelfth Imam') is ruled by absolute nutters. And most nutters like to spread their nuttiness. But, Indonesia is a different animal, as they have a population and economic situation that would not survive extremism without severe bloodshed. Most likely they will say, "So glad you came, have a nice trip home."
For item c: most "Christians" do not feel threatened by it, but many "Catholics" do. Now, we can argue about semantics, but here is the basic difference. To be a Christian (whether you are Catholic, Protestant, Non-Denominational, or whatever), the idea is that you personally believe that the acceptable sacrifice for the transgressions of man, communal and singular, was Jesus, the Son of God. Then you enter in to that relationship. Some Catholics (and others in whatever group you want to name), believe that God's modern dispensation is through the offices of the 'Church'. Thus, you could be a Catholic, under this description, and not be a Christian. I refer to this as Cultural Christianity, as that term is not negative and applies equally to the oldest of orders, such as the Eastern Orthodox Church, and the more modern cults, like Jehovah's Witnesses, or Mormons. We can further this point but it strays off topic.
So, why do people feel threatened by the DaVinci Code mumbo jumbo? Principally because the main failure in modern organized religion is in the education of the process of critical thinking as it relates to faith. If it is a matter of community support, basic moral teaching, worship and good works, the modern day believers in this country are very successful. If it is a matter of doctrine, the whole system is unbelievably whacked. I could elaborate, but I am sure you know what I mean. And the Catholics, in this regard, have the most baggage, and hence, the least solid foundation. I believe that is the root of the fear.
My personal shot back at those you lambaste who take the book and movie seriously, is if you are actually going to loose members due to this piece of entertainment, you have already failed at more critical tasks. Even someone with a tenth grade education could debunk the main points in the book in twenty minutes. It's ridiculous, yet points to a real situation in the Church (Catholic). Now I can proceed to really offend my Catholic friends by pointing out that Peter the actual person was not made the head of the Church, the rock is the "principal of the Spirit of God revealing to a man that Jesus is the Christ". That principal of enlightenment is what the Church (all believers) is built upon. In other words, you've been duped. But I have the utmost respect for many individuals who are Catholic, and are Christians by the definition above, all the way up to the current head of the Catholic organization. A man who is extremely intelligent, and insightful.
Yes, for the final point, who does care? It is sad that such a large group of people are concerned with the lives of celebrities, but that is the true pablum for the masses at this point in modern culture. All the news that's fit to print...