The Italian makers of an online video game called Faith Fighter, which features gods from various religions fighting each other, have come under fire from an Islamic group.
According to the Associated Press, the game features “caricatures of Jesus, the Prophet Muhammad, Buddha, God and the Hindu god Ganesh that fight each other against a backdrop of burning buildings. God attacks with bolts of lighting and pillars of fire while the turbaned Muhammad can summon a burning black meteorite.
“The Saudi-based Organization of the Islamic Conference, which represents most Muslim countries, said it should be removed from the Internet. ‘The computer game was incendiary in its content and offensive to Muslims and Christians…. The game would serve no other purpose than to incite intolerance,’ an OIC statement said.”
The game features a version which allows the user to black out the face of Muhammed, who, according to some Muslims, is not allowed to be physically represented.
The game makers, Molleindustria, said on their website, “Its aim is to push the gamers to reflect on how the religious and sacred representations are often instrumentally used to fuel or justify conflicts between nations and people.”
Now I played this game when I first heard about it a year ago. It kept me amused for about 40 minutes — I mostly played Ganesh, the Hindu elephant god — but I seriously doubt the makers had any such serious intentions.
I think a more accurate description is probably another statement on the website: “Give vent to your intolerance! Religious hate has never been so much fun.”
The makers also produce online games called Operation: Pedopriest and Queer Power, which I never could get the hang of, but which allows you to fuck both men and women, while the bodies and genders of all characters constantly morph back and forth.
As gay marriage slowly spreads across the US, religious conservatives are retreating to a fallback position. That position — the same one that’s still repeatedly heard in Canada — is that their sincerely held beliefs have to be respected.
The most prominent recent example came from Carrie Prejean, Miss California, who lost out on the Miss USA crown after being asked about gay marriage by Perez Hilton, one of the judges — which, along with the fact that the whole event is owned by Donald Trump, tells you all need to know about it.
Prejean’s response was, “You know what, in my country, in my family, I think that I believe that a marriage should be between a man and a woman. No offence to anybody out there, but that’s how I was raised and that’s how I think it should be — between a man and a woman.”
Prejean finished second and some observers — apparently, there are still some for beauty pageants — blamed her answer. Prejean has gone on to appear in ads for an American anti-gay marriage group, and says the whole experience was to test her faith.
“These attacks on me and others who speak in defence of traditional marriage are intolerant and offensive,” said Prejean. “While we may not agree on every issue, we should show respect for others’ opinions and not try to silence them through vicious and mean-spirited attacks…. Think about how much better our society would be if we could just agree to disagree and show respect.”
Well, here’s the thing. I believe that those who oppose same-sex marriage are bigots undeserving of my respect. Marriage is a civil right and anybody who tries to deny it to a group merely on the basis of their sexual orientation — just as with their race, nationality or religion — is a bigot (and that includes Barack Obama).
Now, given the importance of the Miss USA pageant to a modern and democratic society, it’s crucial that the winner be willing to represent all her subjects. So I pledge to you right now that I would sooner die than acknowledge as legitimate a Miss USA — or Miss Canada, if we still have such a thing — who does not support gay marriage.
A recent American survey showed that religious believers were far more likely to support the use of torture than those unaffiliated with any religion.
According to CNN, “White evangelical Protestants were the religious group most likely to say torture is often or sometimes justified — more than six in 10 supported it. People unaffiliated with any religious organization were least likely to back it. Only four in 10 of them did.
“The analysis is based on a Pew Research Center survey of 742 American adults conducted Apr 14-21. It did not include analysis of groups other than white evangelicals, white non-Hispanic Catholics, white mainline Protestants and the religiously unaffiliated, because the sample size was too small.”
Now, I’m not exactly wildly encouraged that 40 percent of the group into which I would fall — religiously unaffiliated — would support torture. But I’m not surprised that more religious believers, and especially evangelicals, would support torture.
Given the many countries in the world in which gays and lesbians are still subject to torture, I’m curious as to how many queers in North America — religious or otherwise — would think that torture can sometimes be justified.
As an aside, my new favourite show is Deadliest Warrior, on Spike TV, of all places. The show (Tuesdays at 9 and 10pm) compares warriors from different eras, using historians, weapons and forensics experts, trauma doctors and computer programs, along with dummies, gel-covered skeletons and reenactments which test the power of various weapons. So far, among others, the show has determined that a samurai would beat a Viking, the mafia would beat the Yakuza and a Spartan would beat a ninja.
Now I mention this because an upcoming show will feature the IRA versus the Taliban, or if you want to stretch a point, Catholicism versus Islam. Finally, a concrete way to measure whose terrorists are the most powerful: Christianity’s or Islam’s.