Hello, Muslims! Let Us Help With Your Land and Religion!

Not actually me. But close enough.

Hello there, Muslims! My name is John Shore. I live in San Diego, California. In case you’re not American (what with the web being so world-wide, and all), San Diego is very far down in Southern California, almost where it meets Mexico. Please forgive this geographical detail if you already knew it. As an American myself, I naturally assume that nobody else in the world knows anything about geography, either.

Ha, ha, ha. That is a joke at the expense of me and my fellow countrypersons. We Americans are a very funny people. But it’s also true that most of us aren’t exactly nicknamed Rand-McNally. It’s not that we’re not interested in world geography. We are! It’s just that studying geography means spending a lot of time staring at maps and globes, which don’t move very much. They just sit there, making you do all the work. And if there’s one thing we Americans like, it’s things that move. Look at all the movies we make! If anyone ever figures out how to turn geography lessons into a TV show starring Charlie Sheen, a beautiful woman in a bikini, and maybe a cute little monkey who rides a skateboard and/or smokes a cigar, then I’m sure that before long we Americans would be able to instantly find on a map the Strait of Magellan, or the Sea of Marmara, just like we were native Magellaneos or Marmararians.

But enough about geography. Let’s talk about what really matters in this world: People. We’re all one race. So why don’t you give your land to the part of our race that’s us? We’ll take great care of it, we promise. It’s better to give than receive, right? But don’t take just my word for it! Find out for yourself, by giving us your land. Afterward, you’ll feel great!

Of course, we understand what a big step it might be for you to simply give away your land. We’ve given up land before, and we still sometimes wish Canada would return to us the parts of its country that aren’t cold or habitated by people who speak French. So what you should do, then, is take the first baby step toward giving. Start from the bottom up, and give us what’s beneath your land! You can keep the part on the top—the part with all that fun sand. But, out of our desire to be good neighbors and see you enjoy the benefits of giving, we are willing to take off your hands all that nasty, thick black gunk that’s beneath your land. What’s that stuff called, again? Broyle? Roil? Tar? Well, whatever it is, we’ll take it. And we know how glad you’ll be to get rid of it, too! Have you ever tried to get gloil out of your clothes? It’s just about impossible. You should just pass that problem along to us. We here in America have very good laundry detergents. We can handle it.

But enough about stubborn stain removal. Because clothes don’t make the man, do they? What makes a man is his heart. And what’s at the heart of most men? Religion. So let’s talk about religion, shall we? I can’t foresee any problems talking about religion with you, can you? No? Great!

Like most Americans, I am very sensitive to the religions of others. I understand that when it comes to talking to people about their religion, one must tread with the kind of great culture sensitivity and general conversational delicateness for which we Americans are so universally known.

Now, the way I see it, the main problem with your religion is its confusing names. You believe in Allah; your main personage is Mohammed (PBUH!); you’re Muslim; and your religion is Islam. See? That’s a little confusing, isn’t it? I thought so, too.

Now, as you may be aware, many Americans—including myself, actually—are Christian. And look how we do it: We believe in Christ; our main personage is Christ; we’re Christian; our religion is Christianity; we celebrate Christs’ birthday on Christmas. See? Much easier!

Ahh, economy of effort. If there’s one thing we Americans cherish, it’s that.

The point is, you Muslims might want to consider streamlining some of the main features of your religion. Nothing too big—just change some of the key names. And please, don’t bother to thank me. That’s what we Americans are here for: to help others change the way they do things for the better. As you may be aware, world improvement is one of America’s top exports!

Also humor. We Americans produce a lot of humor. Being funny is what we Americans do. We used to produce things like washing machines and cars that didn’t fall apart in the rain, but now we mostly produce and export humor. Jim Carrey! Will Ferrell! Jerry Seinfeld! George W. Bush! Dick Cheney! Saturday Night Live! Riotous, all, wouldn’t you agree?

So please remember that: humor. It’s all about the humor. We’re a funny people. I’m considered one of the funnier bloggers, for instance.

Please, please remember that.

Your good and true friend from across the aisle,

John

******

Come join me/us on my Facebook fan page!

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About John Shore

John Shore (who, fwiw, is straight) is the author of UNFAIR: Christians and the LGBT Question, and three other great books. He is founder of Unfundamentalist Christians (on Facebook here), and executive editor of the Unfundamentalist Christians group blog.  (In total John's two blogs receive some 250,000 views per month.) John is also co-founder of The NALT Christians Project, which was written about by TIME,  The Washington Post, and others. His website is JohnShore.com. John is a pastor ordained by The Progressive Christian Alliance. You're invited to like John's Facebook page. And don't forget to sign up for his mucho awesome monthly newsletter.

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    (Note to self: Many Muslims in US. Even in CA. Don't need geography lesson. B. Shields very serious guy.)

  • http://kenreads.wordpress.com wken

    John, I'm considering starting a jihad now!

    This is really a speech by our previous President, isn't it? His Ramadan address to show how culturally aware he is or something?

    It's … ummm … almost perfect.

    You should probably mention bacon, though. Everything is better with bacon, but it's off-limits to Muslims. I've always thought that that was the real problem in the Middle East — neither Jews nor Muslims eat bacon. Therefore, they're really cranky.

    (This comment written while I'm eating leftover pulled pork from Sunday.)

    • Diana A.

      Too funny!

  • http://richhefty.wordpress.com Rich Hefty

    great piece…just one point: Jim Carrey was born in Canada–making him a comedy import. If we export an imported commodity, is there some sort of comedic tarrif we're responsible for? Maybe THIS is why we resent Canada?

  • http://megaloi.blogspot.com Redlefty

    Of course Jim Carrey's a furriner. As are many of the top-notch people in their respective industries. But eventually they all move to America, even if they weren't born here, because of the detergent and bacon stuff mentioned previously. Oh and the weather's nice too, especially in John's location in Southern California, because it's halfway between the equator and the pole. This causes it to spin at just the right speed.

    My question about Islam is when I see people in Houston opening their car door and spitting onto the road, while sitting at a stoplight. These people are sometimes wearing turbans. Is it a strict Ramadan follower who won't swallow their own saliva? Or has the crazy Texas culture started to poison them?

  • ShyAsrai

    phhhht. i'm a 'Murrican and I'm offended.

  • Christine

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA…..still wiping the tears from eyes. You have become my daily pickup with these posts Johnny (and what is with people taking you seriously?? I mean if I did that you would have a hit man out on you already)

    (Note to self: cancel hit man on John)

  • onemansbeliefs

    Our reader from the deep south has spoken…

  • MEL

    I'm now wearing a wry grin. Thank you, John.

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    I'm wearing a guy wren. I'm thinking you're having more fun.

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    (Red: TOTALLY FUNNY!)

  • Tammy Lubbers

    I'm so glad I'm not the only one who giggles when they hear "pulled-pork"…

  • http://ricbooth.wordpress.com ric booth

    A few more like this and you'll be invited to appear on the 700 Club.

    Of course, they'd probably want you to put in the Brian Shields edit first.

  • http://kenreads.wordpress.com wken

    And Ric scores!

    On "The 700 Club," they probably wouldn't get that this isn't purely serious. Wow …

    As for issues regarding my lunch … sigh …

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    pork pull

  • http://www.myspace.com/whitenoisemetalpodcast Brian Shields

    Is this for Muslims in some faraway land? Because a lot of Muslims live right here in the United States, even in California and don’t really need the geography lesson.

  • http://heckledtrio.wordpress.com HK

    @Brian: LOL, I think that was the whole point– Americans, no matter what race or religion, don’t know squat about geography, even (especially??) if they live in California.

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    (Note to self: Muslims love bacon jokes. What is “pulled pork”? Duh. Perv alert! Jim Carrey Canadian. Rethink career in international relations.)

  • mm

    Hysterical. Hopefully they’ll realize the sarcasm faster than 90% your current readers do sometimes. Maybe?

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    I can only hope/pray/move.

  • http://susanne430.blogspot.com/ susanne430

    Where I live we usually skip the whole "pulled pork" thing and just call it barbeque. There's even the nearby Lexington Barbeque Festival held each year.

    http://theeatenpath.com/2009/10/27/2009-lexington

    :)

    Cute post!

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    All right, you two. Get a …. oh, never mind.

  • http://kenreads.wordpress.com wken

    Susanne, you’re from NC?

    My family comes from there. I live in NH now, but my father was actually born in Lexington, my mother in Charlotte. When we go to visit my grandmother in Charlotte, we HAVE to stop in Lexington.

  • http://susanne430.blogspot.com/ susanne430

    wken, I live in Alamance County which is not far east of Lexington. I was born in SC, but my dad’s family is from NC and I’ve lived here most of my life so I consider it home. :)

  • http://susanne430.blogspot.com/ susanne430

    Hey, John…sorry I didn’t mean to ignore you. ;)

    • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

      No, no: I’ve been enjoying all this. (And my father, actually, lives in Wilmington, NC.)

  • Susan

    In Michigan we use our hand as a geography map.

  • Xena

    Somewhere between 'cars that didn’t fall apart in the rain' and 'hope/pray/move' – I had my daily dose of 'crack me up'. TY J.Shore for waking me up this morning!


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