The Family (Or most of them)

The Family (Or most of them)
The Family

September 17, 2006


My daughter is now 18 and in her first year of university. My son is now 14 and about to become the lead singer in a band.

Today, I'm going to go out and buy a birthday gift for another little guy whose birthday party I've been invited to this afternoon, and who will turn 5 tomorrow.

He calls me uncle, even though we're not related.

And as he turns 5, he's completely oblivious to the stark and stupid reality that two of the world's biggest religions are fighting a war of words that is at the heart of all that's wrong on the planet.

On a global scale, the new pope of Christianity has infuriated and offended all of Islam with some stupid remarks he supposedly dredged up from centuries ago.

He's being burned in effigy in India and Muslims in every corner of the planet, predictably, are outraged. There have now been threats made that suicide bombers will invade the Vatican.

Benedict initially responded with press releases quoting him as being very sorry for any offence, but stopped short of an unqualified apology.

Muslims in Turkey, Indonesia, Pakistan -- everywhere -- are incensed.

Later, he appeared before pilgrims outside a palace in Rome and said he was deeply sorry, but added that the words he quoted from the Byzantine era were not something he personally believed.

Then why the hell did he quote them?

Meantime, the so-called War on Terror being fought under false pretenses and initiated by George Bush rages on in Iraq and Afghanistan, with Iran possibly next...all Islamic states.

And back in my little burg, one of the main stories in our paper today shows how an Islamic mosque was defaced this weekend, spray-painted with swastikas and other things in what is being called a hate crime.

We continue to exchange barbs in an ideological battle of one-upmanship that seems to have as its only aim the immature childhood argument of my dad's better than your dad.

My teenagers -- who have among their friends Chinese, Koreans, Pakistanis, Indians and many from the Middle East -- are watching all this crap and saying "What the heck are they doing?"

"Why can't they just leave each other alone?"

Thankfully, the little guy who will turn 5 tomorrow doesn't have a clue about all this. He'll be walking back to school, happy to be with his friends again and learning his ABC's and how to socialize.

And revelling in the birthday booty he gets today.

But what's in store for any of these unknowing kids tomorrow?