A Gay Response to More Terror News

You could call me an atheist, or call me agnostic —
I certainly don’t “believe in” or “follow”
any so-called “religion”
that has sacred texts, holy days, rites & laws,
ordained priests, preceptors or  interpreters
who tell “believers” what’s right & what’s wrong
& how to treat themselves & others
& what they should teach their children

Yet I can respect all who do so in the spirit of
the goodness or lovingkindness
that I believe we’re all born with & into
(tho regrettably it’s so soon suppressed in so many)
& I can see this spirit too written, sometimes
so poetically & wisely, pithily or memorably
or symbolized lovingly in the sanctified scriptures
& prescribed practices of all these text-based religions.

I’m a translator, by profession, by practice, by love
of language as such & of a few particular languages,
Hebrew among them, the language in which the first
of the sacred texts sanctified by all the three great
monotheistic religions in our divided world was written,
& I know for a fact that there can be no true or trustworthy
accurate translation into any language ancient or modern
of the original “meaning” of any word or phrasing in any text.

& this is my response to a news item I read this morning
that now Austria is calling for “standardised German-language
translations” of the Koran, a sacred book I believe many
radical “Islamists” misinterpret in the original Arabic,
just as many “religious” “ultra” or not Jews misinterpret
the Hebrew of their Tanach, the so-called “Old Testament”
& as many Christians, “fundamentalist” or not, misread
their various translations of their “Holy Bible”.

I see this as yet another double triumph,  both
for the fearmongers who gain more power & profit
from laws that restrict freedoms & civil rights
& legitimize intolerance, to justify the growth of
policing & armament industries, & for the radical
Islamists too,  for such a law will surely radicalize
many more Muslims, & not only in Austria
if the rest of the world accepts this & stays silent.

There can be no true “war on terror” or on “terrorism”,
(as Gore Vidal once wrote) : the only true & just “war”
(or jihad) we humans can “wage” is on our own terror
of the terror that the “anti-terror” lawmakers,
powerbrokers & mediashakers, even more than
all the “terrorists” in the world, are spreading among us.
“All things fall and are built again,” wrote Yeats,”
“And those that build them again are gay.”


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