One of my worst habits, is my obsession with the news and world events. It wouldn't be so bad, if as my father used to say, it made me money. Nor would it be so bad, if it didn't drive me crazy. So bothered am I by the news and the people in the news that I go through phases where all I do is read online publications. And while this habit has not made me rich (it's actually kind of costly) and I have been known to bore people to tears with my analysis, I'm proud to say I have learned a few things. One of the most important lessons is, that humans as a race are insane.
Yes, there are some exceptions out there, the smart, the sane, the occasionally brilliant types (you know who you are) who just don't understand the rest of the madness, but for the most part, we are $!@$# crazy.
A few clarifications: I believe in God. I was raised in a Muslim family and culture, but do not practice in any decipherable way. I have an ongoing fascination with all religions--Satanism and Scientology being the possible exceptions. It is the hobby of reading about religions that led me to believe that Judaism and Islam have a lot more in common than Christianity does with either religion. Our rituals and dietary laws are similar, Hebrew and Arabic actually have a lot in common, we look alike and so on. With the exception of the problem going on in the Middle East, we're like long lost cousins if you ask me. And now, I have further proof of this theory.
Apparently, some Hasidim do not consider computers or the internet to be kosher. According to the article, there was a battle of sorts against televisions, but that has been won. The next evil is computers and the internet.
Frankly, I think they are behind the times, because in Iran, there is a crazy mullah who suddenly developed a fan base outside of Iran. Ayatollah Hassani would famously speak at Friday prayers (theoretically a station reserved for those who at least act sane in public) in Azarbaijan, uttering such ridiculous things, that people started traveling to Tabriz from Tehran with the express intention of recording his rants and posting them on the internet. Anyway, it is in one of these recordings (available in Farsi, sorry) that Hassani declared computers and the internet frivolous and a distraction from virtue. He then went on a tirade yelling at people (during a prayer sermon) for demanding electricity which could be used for computers, which in turn could find 'immoral' things.
Why do these people not just get along? They have so much in common!
To summarize, a) people are crazy b) people can be crazy in any religion c) the internet is not kosher/halal.
I will at some point in the near future defend the concept of religion, and this story cannot be used against me in that argument.