Soon after our President was born with a silver spoon under his nose, there was a program on television called "What's My Line?" (a question now most often heard around Kate Moss's mirrored coffee table). Contrary to what you might imagine from the title, the program, unlike the President, had nothing to do with taking lusty snorts of cocaine. Instead, a panel of otherwise discarded entertainers guessed what an even less well known person "was" by asking him what he actually did.
Such a game, of course, wouldn't fly nowadays, as people are wont simply to announce up front what they are (e.g., "journalist" or "Christian") and grow peevishly snappish when asked for verifiable specifics to support such alleged descriptions. Consequently, our now-grown President can declare himself a "Compassionate Conservative" when he is neither (in the same sense that Jessica Simpson can declare herself a "popular singer"), a "Decider" when he makes no useful decisions, a "War President" when he is incapable of winning one, and a "Protector" when he fails at every turn to provide any protection. (That is, of course, except for the the type of protection the Mafia made famous to the gang at ExxonMobil, et al., who are now rich enough to return the favor by modulating their profits from staggeringly obscene to merely wildly obscene in time for the midterm elections.)
This mislabeling is not limited to our shores. As we saw this week, Muslims are fond of claiming Islam is a religion of peace. Regrettably, it appears to be an analogue of peace that stops well shy of actual peacefulness. Of course, perfunctory hosannas for peace exclaimed though the smoke of just discharged ammo are hardly proprietary to Islam.
Otherwise, America wouldn't have a self-styled "War President" who claims his orders to kill come from a guy who calls Himself the Prince of Peace.
And everyone's disparate heavens help all who call anyone on any of these mendacious labels. Observant people who question President Bush's claims receive death threats from Ann Coulter. And observant Christians who question Islam receive another type of death threat altogether: the variety not uttered solely to provoke some cheap publicity.
This week, the Allah-worshipping crazies are angry at the Mary-worshipping crazies for making the outrageous suggestion that the Allah-worshipping crazies are somehow prone to fits of violence. The only thing surprising about making the observation that Islam is full of violent nutjobs is that the Pope finally said something that happened to be true.
Naturally, to show how wildly inaccurate such a slanderous suggestion is, Muslims, of course, bombed churches, made death threats and killed a nun. Enchanté! And so very self-aware, don't you think?
While I don't disagree with the Pope for connecting the contiguous dots between Islam and violence, he must have been rather relieved that the Muslims didn't think to call him out on his brazen hypocrisy by simply sneering: "People in glass Vaticans shouldn't engage in stonings." After all, it is rather quaint that a Nazi Youth drag queen in Rome thinks that he speaks with even passable moral authority -- or has any historical right to point a bony, bejeweled finger at anyone. This Prada-wearing, chiffon-flouncing flibbertigibbet Pope waves his magic aspergillum from the balcony of an organization that started the violence of the Crusades, the torture of the Inquisition, the indifference of the Holocaust and the molestation of enough children to makes Michael Jackson and John Mark Karr all atwitter with indolent envy.
Frankly, after the massacres by domestic aircraft at the World Trade Center, followed by the massacres by military aircraft in Iraq, claiming "Middle East Islam is a religion of peace" is as hollow as saying "American Christianity is a religion of peace." As long as people ignore the words of their supposed prophets, they should be honest and admit that they are acting in their own names, not His. As such, since Muslims pay no heed to their own teachings, Islam is a religion of violence -- just as American Christianity is a religion of saber rattling, killing, judging others, slapping the other cheek and getting rich by selling clothes to the poor.
Whatever Allah or Jesus may or may not have said seems wholly incidental at this point in gauging what to expect from someone who claims to be either a Muslim or a Christian. Not to be persnickety, but if you're not being peaceful -- don't claim to be devoted to peace. If you're not following Christ, don't claim to be a Christian. And don't get in a snit if people call you on it. If your religion allows you to indulge in every selfish, feral impulse, your "faith" is simply vanity, not the emulation of divine expectations. Your Allah and your Christ are your WMDs -- just an excuse to follow your fears to your needs.
And that's my line.