I got up this morning with every intention of going to a memorial at YSU’s Planetarium for Rick Perko. The arthritis in my back, knee and bursitus in my hip had other plans for me. By afternoon I was able to try and speed limp out to the mailbox. I was rewarded with my monthly invite to join AARP and a free copy of, “Arthritis Today.” Nothing like kicking a guy when he’s down and adding insult to injury.
Since I didn’t make it to YSU I’d like to say this about Rick:
I got to know Rick Perko as a fellow member of the Valley Co-alition of Peace and Justice. I enjoyed talking to Rick while we held signs at Friday afternoon protests against the Iraq war. I remember reading a Letter to the Editor of the Jambar Rick had written. I discussed it with him while protesting telling him how much I liked what he had written.
This to YSU’s Jambar 2/10/05: Jambar letter
Digging up that letter I note how Rick was sure right about where the Bush economy was headed. I laughed aloud when I read, “I hoard my Canadian Quarters.”
I’m Rick’s age and only wish that I had been able to accomplish half as mush at Rick did in his lifetime.
Being a religious skeptic like Rick and hearing the story of him removing bibles from hotel rooms I’m posting this poem (posted here as an article to save space) I wrote some time ago. I hope he would have liked it:
Of Holy Books
Christians are portraying Moslems who follow their holy book, the Koran as intolerant murderers, criminals and terrorists. Some Christians are saying, atrocities such as the attack on 9/11 can easily be attributed to the prophet Mohammed and the god, Allah. They point out Koran verses that preach hate like the following: “Don’t associate with those of other faiths.” “Don’t receive them into you home or even exchange greetings with them.” Others who don’t share your beliefs have an “evil heart.”
It gets even more intolerant when you read; “God destroys those who don’t believe in him.” When the god in this supposed “Holy Book” isn’t killing someone, which he seems to do on many pages, he is ordering his followers to kill any friends or family that worships a god different than him. He says to kill them in their very own church. He orders, “Kill all inhabitants of any city where people worship different than you.” There are holy verses that call for the elimination of entire ethnic groups including women, children, animals and even trees. He tells his followers to, hide along the road wait for women and then kidnap, rape and marry them. This god tells his followers you are “of God” and everyone else is wicked.
You best believe there’s a lot to fear from this faith when you read, “Everyone will have to worship the prophet—whether they want to or not.” They place themselves above all laws by the verse, “A follower cannot be accused of any wrongdoing.” I’ve only scratched the surface of the hate and evil deeds in this so called, “Holy Book.”
Knowing that their faith could crumble if it were to under go any free and critical thinking, this prophet tells his followers to avoid philosophy. That just proves that ignorance is bliss.
Surely this hate-filled book should never be in a library. It should also never be allowed in a school. Banning it is just not enough. All copies of it need to be immediately burned. If I were a politician who espoused “family values,” I’d strike the first match. Clerics of every religion should be calling for a funeral pyre of this unholy book. It’s little wonder that its followers’ fight constant wars and justify them.
I did extensive research that buried my desk in a pyramid of paper to write this poem. Gathering so much info can get confusing. That’s my excuse because I have just realized, oops, my bad, the aforementioned verses are really from the Bible’s Old and New Testaments, instead of the Koran. All holy books tend to have some type of the hate filled quotes from above in them. Such statements taint any good that can be found in these books. We need to know what’s in our own back yard before we ask our neighbors to clean their back yard. Building fences between our neighbors is surely no way to build a better neighborhood.
Peace to you Rick.