On marijuana and the Islamic religion
Nicholas Delpopolo, a U.S. judo athlete was kicked out of the Olympics for testing positive for marijuana. First of all, marijuana is not a performance enhancing drug. It's not like steroids. It does not give an advantage, other than at maybe a Doritos eating contest. Two, it is legal in a few nations. There is no logical reason that it is banned by the Olympics other than drug war hysteria. Alcohol is illegal by some Olympic nations, specifically Middle East Muslim theocracies. Should they get the power to ban alcohol? About 1/2 of people in the U.S. have used marijuana, and some of the rest are lying. Michael Phelps has the most Olympic gold medals ever, and he smoked marijuana. Our national obsession with punitive action against users, is well, stupid.
On a different subject, do you know about Ramadan, it is an Islamic month where they fast or don't consume food or even water during the day between sunrise and sunset. First of all, I think not being able to consume water during the day in Saudi Arabia when the temperature hits 130 in the shade, is just idiotic. Anyway, those who aren't religious or even atheists are forced to participate. An atheist in Malaysia is considered under the law (if born to a family of Muslims) a Muslim.
If caught breaking the fast, he faces up to a year in prison and a several hundred dollar fine. This is what happens when religion becomes dominant, theocrats impose their beliefs on everyone else. Of course in the U.S. we have theocrats who want to impose their religious practices on others. That is why in states like Wisconsin, you can't buy cars on a Sunday or in some places, alcohol on Sundays. Of course it was worse 100 years ago when religion was even more powerful.
Also, why is it that you are considered a Muslim even when you hold none of the beliefs of Islam? Indeed, Christian right-wingers stated that President Obama must be a Muslim because Muslims (or at least certain ones) would consider him one no matter what his beliefs might be on religion. See, they agree with Islam that once you are born into a religion (though Obama's childhood is more complicated then that) than that is what you are forever.
My maternal great, great, great (how many greats grandmother) was Jewish. Supposedly that makes me Jewish. The very idea is of course absurd. I hold no Jewish beliefs, I speak no Hebrew and I never was raised in anyway, Jewish. Neither was my mother, her mother or her mother. In fact, my mother is an atheist who is even more critical of religion, than I am.
Religions are beliefs, and to some extent, culture. They aren't inherent. Nobody has a Christian or Jewish gene, though they might have a gene or genes to make them more likely to be religious. Religion is not the same as race, sex or sexual orientation. It should not be free from criticism. In the U.S, we enjoy this right, in Malaysia, unfortunately not.