It’s not that the dis­ease of extreme bat­shit religio-​​thuggery is spread­ing; it’s just that the meme has found new hosts, and they aren’t being shamed into the silence they should right­fully hold in the pres­ence of their bet­ters — that is, most of the rest of us.

For starters the goons at the Pentagon have decided it’s okay to com­pletely ignore 200+ years of American jurispru­dence; they’re allow­ing hearsay evi­dence and tes­ti­mony obtained under tor­ture to be used in Guantanamo Bay detainee trials.

So what? So read this graf.

The Pentagon has drafted a man­ual for upcom­ing detainee tri­als that would allow sus­pected ter­ror­ists to be con­victed on hearsay evi­dence and coerced tes­ti­mony and impris­oned or put to death.

Read it again after the final con­di­tional conjunction.

Put to death. Right, killed. Killed by the United States … on hearsay evidence.

Look, if some­one so obvi­ous as OJ can walk, how can we pos­si­bly jus­tify let­ting our gov­ern­ment kill peo­ple on the ques­tion­able word of oth­ers’ mouths — or, worse, on con­fes­sions gained under tor­ture? Hearsay and torture-​​derived evi­dence are more com­monly asso­ci­ated with accu­sa­tions of witch­craft, not terrorism.

But hey, unlike witches, ter­ror­ists are real, right? And they’re every­where, sneak­ing around, secretly plot­ting to kill good folk in the name of some dark force or entity or other.

Nothing like witches* at all.

And speak­ing of dis­sim­i­lar mad­nesses, we have this from an Australian Muslim cleric, in a DVD given to Muslim youth:

We want to have chil­dren and offer them as sol­diers defend­ing Islam,” said [Sheik Feiz Mohammed] in the video, reported Sydney’s Daily Telegraph newspaper.

Teach them this: There is noth­ing more beloved to me than want­ing to die as a mujahid. Put in their soft, ten­der hearts the zeal of jihad and a love of mar­tyr­dom,” he said.

Contrast the fore­go­ing with this com­men­tary about a “Bible camp” attended by American kids.

I want to see them as rad­i­cally lay­ing down their lives for the gospel as they are in Palestine, Pakistan and all those dif­fer­ent places,” [Pastor Becky Fisher] said. “Because, excuse me, we have the truth.”

A lot of peo­ple die for God,” one camper said, “and they’re not afraid.”

We’re kinda being trained to be war­riors,” said another, “only in a fun­ner way.”

Fundamentalist reli­gion, like witch panic, is com­mu­ni­ca­ble, and is a world-​​girding dis­ease. Those who suf­fer from it are sim­ply wrong. They do not hold opin­ions that are wor­thy of respect. They are not to be cod­dled or treated kindly, as though they are merely express­ing a pref­er­ence for choco­late rather than vanilla.

They are dis­eased, and they aim to infect oth­ers, and they aim to infest this planet like the filth-​​ridden cock­roaches they are. They’re pre­pared to kill to do it, and they’re pre­pared to die, and they’re pre­pared to send chil­dren into death to achieve their ends. This is their declared agenda.

There’s noth­ing harm­less about any of this. Whether claim­ing Islam or Christianity as the foun­da­tion, this behav­ior is sim­ply insane, and is not to be tol­er­ated on a civ­i­lized planet. And with any luck at all, we’re begin­ning to real­ize it.

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* More accu­rately, the 17th-​​century idea of what witches did.

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