Posted by Jack
One of our commenters, Dewey, prompted the title question with this question, “Why is all the focus on Muslims? There are good and bad Christians. There are are good and bad in every religion.” Thus stating there is a moral equivalency…and that part calls for further examination.
Why the focus? Well, Dewey that’s a very good question and its often asked. I have a pretty darn good answer for you, however it may not be to your satisfaction if you support the side that is determined to be the most violent aggressor, from day one until today. Then it will only generate more excuses, scorn, deflection and denial. However, for those of us who have a rational, open mind, you will probably love the authors conclusion. I did.
I omitted the answer to our question in the title just to delay the suspense a bit longer. . . until you’ve prepared yourself! Ready? Here goes:
Why (blank religion) Is More Violent Than (blank religion): An Atheist’s Guide, by Robert Tracinski
The Charlie Hebdo massacre once again has politicians and the media dancing around the question of whether there might be something a little bit special about this one particular religion, Islam, that causes its adherents to go around killing people.
It is not considered acceptable in polite company to entertain this possibility. Instead, it is necessary to insist, as a New York Times article does, that “Islam is no more inherently violent than other religions.” This, mind you, was in an article on how Muslims in the Middle East are agonizing over the violent legacy of their religion.
It is obviously true that all major religions have had violent periods, or periods in which the religion has coexisted with violence. Even those mellow pacifist Buddhists. These days, especially the Buddhists, who are currently fomenting a pogrom against a Muslim minority in Burma.
But in today’s context, it’s absurd to equate Islam and Christianity. Pointing to the Spanish Inquisition tends to undermine the point rather than confirm it: if you have to look back three hundred years to find atrocities, it’s because there are so few of them today. The mass crimes committed under the name of Islam, by contrast, are fresh and openly boasted about.
As an atheist, I have no god in this fight, so to speak. I don’t think the differences between religions make one more valid than another. But as the Charlie Hedbo attack reminds us, there is a big practical difference between them. In fact, the best argument against the equivalence of Christianity and Islam is that no one acts even remotely as if this were true. We feel free to criticize and offend Christians without a second thought—thanks, guys, for being so cool about that—but antagonizing Muslims takes courage. More courage than a lot of secular types in the West can usually muster.
So it’s a matter of some practical urgency to figure out: what is the difference? What are its root causes?
As I see it, the main danger posed by any religion to its dissenters and unbelievers lies in the rejection of reason, which cuts off the possibility of discussion and debate, leaving coercion as an acceptable substitute. I’m with Voltaire on that one: “If we believe absurdities, we will commit atrocities.” But all religions are different and have different doctrines which are shaped over their history—and as we shall see, that includes different views on precisely such core issues as the role of reason and persuasion.
I should preface this by saying that I am no expert on theology, particularly Muslim theology. Yet there are a number of big, widely documented differences between Christianity and Islam that can be seen in the traditions established by their history and in the actual content of their religious doctrines.
The life of Christ versus the life of Mohammed.
Mohammed was a conqueror who gained worldly political power in his lifetime and used it to persecute opponents and impose his religion. He also fully enjoyed the worldly perks of being a tyrant, including multiple wives. Jesus, by contrast, was basically a pacifist whose whole purpose on earth was to allow himself to be tortured to death.
He even explicitly forbade his followers to use force to defend him. Here’s John, Chapter 18: “Then Simon Peter having a sword drew it, and smote the high priest’s servant, and cut off his right ear…. Then said Jesus unto Peter, Put up thy sword into the sheath: the cup which my Father hath given me, shall I not drink it?”
This does not imply that all Christians ought to be pacifists. But it certainly sets a tone for the religion. The life of the founder of a religion is held up to his followers as a model for how they should live their own lives. The life of Mohammed tells the Muslim that he should expect to rule, whereas the life of Christ tells the Christian he should expect to sacrifice and serve. Which leads us to a deeper doctrinal difference.
“What you do to the least of these, you do to me.”
In Matthew, Chapter 25, Christ tells his followers what will happen during the final judgment, when he separates the righteous from the wicked.
Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?
And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
Similarly, there is an episode during the Last Supper when the apostles are squabbling about which of them is greatest. Christ intervenes and tells them that the greatest is he who serves others the most.
And he said unto them, The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and they that exercise authority upon them are called benefactors. But ye shall not be so: but he that is greatest among you, let him be as the younger; and he that is chief, as he that doth serve.
This is a very profound idea that goes against the grain of most of human history. I’m a big fan of the Classical world, but the pagans still regarded it as normal, right, and natural that the physically strong set the terms for everyone else. Thucydides famously summed it up in the Melian Dialogue: “The strong do as they can and the weak suffer what they must.” Thucydides was clearly critical of that view, but the Classical world didn’t have a clear alternative. As far as I know, Christ was the first to insist that even the lowest, least significant person has value and that we will be judged by how we treat him.
The distinctive idea here is not a belief in self-sacrifice—Islam, with its emphasis on the glory of dying in battle, has that idea in abundance. Nor is it the idea of a duty to serve others—Communist regimes were built on the idea that the individual exists only to serve the collective. Instead, it is the idea that each individual has a supreme and sacred value. Even Ayn Rand declared this to be the idea from Christianity that most impressed her.
Islam has no corresponding idea. The news is constantly bringing us a story of some imam somewhere declaring it consistent with Islam for a man to beat his wife, and the rise of the Islamic State in Syria has provided us current examples of Islam sanctioning slavery, including the capture and systematic rape of sex slaves. This is a religion that is still very much in the “rights of the conqueror” mode, in which the strong do what they can and the weak suffer what they must.
Again, this goes back to the beginning. Consider the story, from one of the earliest Arab biographies of Mohammed, of Asma bint Marwan, an Arab poet in Medinah who spoke out against the rise of Mohammed. According to legend, he asked his followers, “Who will rid me of the daughter of Marwan?” (His version of Henry II’s “Will no one rid me of this meddlesome priest?”) One of them took it on himself to sneak into her house and murder her in her sleep. There are questions about the authenticity of the story, but the fact that it was widely believed and reported indicates the example Mohammed set.
To be sure, this brutal attitude is partly because of the backwardness of some of the quasi-feudal societies that are majority-Muslim, where divisions of tribe and caste still dominate. But then again, Islam hasn’t done much to elevate those societies, despite having more than a thousand years to do so.
The early history of Christianity vs. Islam
Christians started as a persecuted minority in a pagan society, so that gives them a certain comfort with being powerless. Those who find themselves out of step with the sinful modern world regard this as more or less the normal state of things.
The early history of Islam, by contrast, was further conquest and dominance, as Muslim invaders marched out into Persia and across North Africa. That’s why Muslims tend to look at the modern situation, in which other creeds and political systems are wealthier and wield greater military power, as an aberration that is not to be tolerated.
This history is connected to a specific doctrinal issue.
The kingdom of god vs. the kingdom of man.
When you’re a persecuted minority, it’s more natural to say that the ultimate reward and total justice have to be found in another world, because you know you’re not going to get them in the decadent Roman Empire. In Christianity, this produced a distinction between the kingdom of God and the kingdom of man. When Pilate asks him if he is a king, Jesus responds, “My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence.”
This idea is extensively developed in Christian theology and is widely accepted among religious conservatives today as the main explanation for the failure of Communism and other utopian schemes: they were arrogant, misguided attempts to achieve heaven on earth. Or if you are inclined to the use of unnecessarily long and obscure words, this is referred to as trying to “immanentize the eschaton.”
I can answer Dewey in one sentence: Dude, no one can accuse you of being very bright.
Here is a challenge for Dewey: Demonstrate the equivalence. No, do not go back several centuries. Demonstrate how Christianity is currently and daily as violent a threat as Islam.
Put up or shut up.
Ditto to Pie’s comment. There is absolutely no moral equivalence here…none.
Even a brief review of the overwhelming evidence easily found on the internet, newspapers, magazines, books, should convince any person that is at least somewhat rational, at least moderately intelligent, which side is the most violent faith! It’s one of the most obvious answers in our lifetimes.
To reach any other conclusion except Islam is a violent religion, one must be a (1 ) devout believer of the Muslim faith, in which case they are not allowed to think on their own or question anything about their religion. If they try to escape their religion the penalty is death. Name a Christian religion that does that? You can’t because they don’t, so right there is your proof.
Or (2) one must fit into one or more of the following categories: Flaming liberal-partisan idiot, crazy, high on drugs, extremely drunk, oxygen deprived, or severely brain damaged.
I don’t think Islam is more violent than Christianity. I do think Muslims, in general are more violent than Christians, in general. But ideologies are nothing but what people make them. I don’t think the problems we are seeing today are fundamental to Islam. I think they are fundamental to many cultural and socioeconomic factors we see in the Middle East today. This is not an excuse, any more than the religion is an excuse. But I think it’s more complicated than simply saying Islam is inherently violent.
Chris after reading this article that lays it out quite well, how could you reach the conclusion Islam is no more violent than Christianity? lol That’s an absurd position in light of all the evidence to the contrary. There’s really no question about it, unless you are in severe denial or kidding. Care to explain how you reached your wrong conclusion in more detail?
Re #2 Chris : “I don’t think Islam is more violent than Christianity.”
Oh, for crying out loud. These kids are complete idiots.
I can answer Chris (the other Dewey) in one sentence: Dude, no one can accuse you of being very bright.
Here is a challenge for Chris (the other Dewey): Demonstrate the equivalence. No, do not go back several centuries. Demonstrate how Christianity is currently and daily as violent a threat as Islam.
Better yet, demonstrate how Christianity is currently and daily as violent as Islam.
Put up or shut up.
Dear Polly Progressive: Last week a Jehovah Witness left a leaflet on my screen door. About the same time I read about a hostage beheaded by rebel Muslims in Chechnya. Question, should I consider these offenses both morally equal? Signed confused Lib-tard.
Dear Confused Lib, yes you should!
Even though these are different types of events, remember that Christians were killing Muslims in 1095 and now they are getting their come uppins in 2015. Violence begets violence!
Next, I see no difference between Muslim freedom-fighters in Chechnya beheading an infidel than a Jehovah Witness spreading their terror through leaflets on front doors. How dare they! Talk about offensive! However, I can forgive the Muslim freedom-fighters because they’ve never bothered me personally, unlike those pesky Jehovah Witnesses.
Re #4: “Or (2) one must fit into one or more of the following categories: Flaming liberal-partisan idiot, crazy, high on drugs, extremely drunk, oxygen deprived, or severely brain damaged.”
BINGO! All probably.
You guys sure don’t mind talking about no win subjects! i can agree with chris that arab people might be more violent. and i can agree that there are many reasons for the violence. it has been there general sort of culture to be violent when their honor is offended or there religion.
To me it does look like mohammed set the example for his followers and he was not a peaceful person like Jesus.to me it also looks like his violent side was do to his arab culture and not god telling him to be violent.
In my way of thinking which isnt all that smart but the muslim religion is encouraging its members to be violent for a number of reasons. i disagree with chris on this part cause he does not think the religion is violent only the culture.
Maybe the terrorists are misreading the Quran? but they seem to think they know what they are reading and they beleive it says to kill people under certain conditions and this includes a lot of children and women. i cant hold with that.
i learned a lot from this article. it was good reading but real touchy subject! would like you to have more on history or science. i get upset reading this other.
I think “ideologies are nothing but what people make them” covered it, Jack.
“I think “ideologies are nothing but what people make them” covered it, Jack.” Isn’t almost everything in society what people make them to be? That’s way too broad. Lets hear some specifics.
Pie, did you miss the part where I said “Muslims in general are more violent than Christians in general?” Or did you just choose to ignore it?
Jack nice to actually converse. These ancient books written are interpreted from ancient languages. That said they are constantly rewritten to suit those in power.
I took a look at the International Bible lately and was appalled they had taken passages and then reinterpreted it to their needs. Especially when it came to young girls and their place in society.
As far as my opinion Chris said it first so excuse me Chris for repeating but :I think “ideologies are nothing but what people make them”
WHat I do see is the AIPAC Lobby using major Media and Politicians to create a religious divide in conjunction with Israel. Christians against Muslim.
Religious Wars in History tell the danger. Christians have killed millions in history themselves.
As soon as Christianity was legal (315), more and more pagan temples were destroyed by Christian mob. Pagan priests were killed.
List of Christian Killing : http://www.truthbeknown.com/victims.htm
I’ll stop there because the point is All Religions came into power by violence and to control a population.
Humans have had gods since recorded history. I believe that any peaceful person practicing a religion should be tolerated under our freedom of religion.
But what we have brewing is an extreme Christian hate fueled by politicians and media. Jack that is dangerous.
We have the Westboro Church. Now we have groups popping up all over Texas? What was accomplished last night by armed people showing up with F Islam Tee shirts on for Friday Prayer?
We ended up with a counter protest group gathering to buffer.
What was the difference between the 2 groups of protestors? One side was armed with loaded weapons.
All it takes is one unstable person to show up and people die. The Christian side was the armed side.
Of course there were probably some Christians in the counter protestor group, but they were peaceful minded and unarmed. The armed side was ran by a Marine. Post war anger. A disgrace for our military. He needs help. Those wars destroy us as well.
Politicians and these extremists use the Old Testament to fit their needs. Written before Jesus walked the earth. All in all in is just a history book. People trying to control a population.
The book of Mormon? It is legally a religion. Just over 200 years old. 1000 years from now they will have people believing it as a real ancient religion? fighting for it? It is a cult and shows us just how these religions are formed.
Another thing is out here where the Amish and Mennonites are I have found out there is a very dark side to those cults. I thought it was all bogus made up stuff when the Amish Mafia show came out.
Well I know a young lady who was adopted by the Amish. Lived in Lancaster. That’s another story but let me say from rape to crime there is a group of thugs hiding in that religious group as well. The Bishop is the king.
We do not need to start Religious wars in the United States nor Join Israel in theirs.
AIPAC owns and controls many US Politicians. Ethnic Cleansing is not OK, Not religious, nor has ever been a pretty part of history.
Bottom Line I love the people of Israel. I do not support Bibi or his ethnic cleansing. I still want to know how many false flags were by Israel. What is the full story on the USS Liberty? What were the 5 dancing Israelis doing in New Jersey on 911? Ya know the ones celebrating?
Be careful what you believe. Our founders did not create us as a Christian Nation. In the end they realized religious wars tore up nations and their danger. We have a separation of Church and State to clarify that.
It is a Nanny state when Christians in this country are trying to write law to suppress everybody into their belief system, their end of the world scenarios, and the radical tyranny of control by any religion.
There ya have it 2 different opinions I guess. Thanks for the conversation. We will agree to disagree.
Pie Grow up….. BUMP
When jabberin’ with this Chris person, best keep this in mind…. A fella will chase what runs, and run from what chases him.
Cause’sum fellas is a bit more worm than they is apple….
In a past life I think Southern Comfort was Plato.
Jack, I simply think the original question was misframed. When people say “Islam is inherently violent” that seems to imply to me that there’s no way for it to improve, it just needs to be abandoned. And that just isn’t going to happen. I think reformists need to focus on finding the good in Islam. Religions change and evolve and while Islam has been way too late to the party I think it can happen.
Had you asked, “Are Christians today equally violent to Muslims?” I would have answered, unambiguously, “No.” So on that we agree. I also agree with you that bringing up Christianity’s historical sins, or focusing on a few isolated incidences today, in order to act like there is an equivalence is wrong and stupid. Islamic terror poses a unique threat to the world and is far more organized and prevalent now than violence from other religious groups. I’ve made that clear many times.
Chris, what we are up against is the lack of reform within Islam and this surge towards fundamentalism. Islam in America is no where close to Islam in the Middle East – because we won’t tolerate that kind of criminal behavior.
The root problem that encourages fanaticism and fundamentalism (almost the same thing) is one of construction. The literal Koran provides cover for today’s terrorist. This literal interpretation by Imams must change before we can have peace. It won’t be easy, but the Bible changed and so can the Koran. Look at the violence in the Old Testament v the New Testament. We can’t change it for them, only Muslims can do it and we need to encourage them however we can. They are becoming persona non grata as their current trajectory results in countless deaths and barbaric atrocities. They (fundamentalist radicals) may not care about dying or killing, but we care and they need a mindset change. They need their morality to get up to speed with the rest of the world. This is going to take a long time and the costs are going to be great, but do we have any other choice? The spread of radicalized Islam is every bit as bad as the spread of Nazism or Fascism, perhaps worse because the latter at least allowed for scientific progress and education.
I agree with everything you said in that last comment, Jack.
To paraphrase Dewey, “Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. Whatever I say about religion is what religion is.”
I would like to thank Dewey and Chris both for so well demonstrating the basic prerequisites to be a leftist — abject stupidity followed by studied ignorance.
Re #11 Chris : “Pie, did you miss the part where I said “Muslims in general are more violent than Christians in general?” Or did you just choose to ignore it?”
Yes, I did read your asinine, meaningless, weasel worded second sentence. It was as stupid as the first sentence. An bizarre and idiotic attempt to disavow your foolish narrow minded bigotry about Christians and Christianity.
I have posted many times about how Islam is not merely a religion. I won’t post again. Either left wing idiots like Chris and Dewey educate themselves or they do not. I no longer suffer fools.
There is no doubt in my mind that the left wing idiot twins ever bothered to read the entirety of what Jack posted,
Why is it that every single poster here, other than one, is able to disagree passionately with one another without calling names in every single comment? Pie offers no counter-argument to anyone he disagrees with, only personal insults.
Ref#21 Ask and I offer my opinion, in the beginning it was you that started the insults and the berating of others and their opinions.
So what Pie is serving you is a creation of your own making.
You have dished it out,now it yours to swallow…
Jack, are you really an atheist?
Jade, why would you ask that? Is it because I used an atheist as my neutral party to make a judgment call?
Re #21 Chris: Idiocy is idiocy and is best identified for what it is, idiocy. The moment you cease from being a bigoted idiot I will cease from calling you one.
The only reasonable “counter-argument” to your idiotic assertions that Christianity and Islam are equally violent is to point out that such a statement is absolutely idiotic.
I have challenged you and your idiot twin to demonstrate how both religions are supposedly equally violent *in our modern era*. Of course, you and your idiot twin have ignored that challenge.
Put up or shut up you idiots.
I think Jack said it best in post #4.
“To reach any other conclusion except Islam is a violent religion, one must be a (1 ) devout believer of the Muslim faith, in which case they are not allowed to think on their own or question anything about their religion. If they try to escape their religion the penalty is death. Name a Christian religion that does that? You can’t because they don’t, so right there is your proof.
“Or (2) one must fit into one or more of the following categories: Flaming liberal-partisan idiot, crazy, high on drugs, extremely drunk, oxygen deprived, or severely brain damaged.”
His second option covers the idiot twins Chris and Dewey quite succinctly.
Now here is the chance for the idiot twins to explain how they come to their idiotic conclusion that Christianity and Islam are equally violent. And I mean here and now, you morons, NOT in centuries past.
But neither of the idiot twins will because their assertion that there is an equivalence is an idiotic equivocation and completely unsupported by the facts and evidence.
Don’t go away mad, Chris, just go away you flaming libtard jackass. You will not explain and support your idiotic assertion with a preponderance of evidence BECAUSE THERE IS NONE. You got nothing on which to base your idiotic bigotry.
One more thing : Chris whines because I insult him by calling him what he is — an idiot. Yet he has no problem insulting all Christians with his idiotic, anti-Christian bigotry.
Cry me a river, Chris, you bigoted anti-Christian jackass. And by all means, keep sucking up to Islam as has long been your habit, fool.
I did NOT say that Chrisianity and Islam are “equally violent.”
I said that religions themselves are not violent; people are.
I also said that Muslims today are generally more violent than Christians today. That you could read that and then accuse me of “anti-Christian bigotry” shows how pointless it is to speak to you.
Harold, I’m amazed that you could draw an equivalence between my comments and Pie’s. There is such a wide chasm between my writing here and Pie’s, it’s unbelievable to me that you could say he’s simply responding to me in kind.
Maybe if I start going around calling you a “negro burner” (truly one of the most disgusting slurs I’ve ever heard) then you will have a point. But I would never do that.
Re #28 Chris “I did NOT say that Chrisianity (sic) and Islam are “equally violent.”
You, sir, are not only an idiot, you are a liar. You cannot lie your way out of your idiotic statement “I don’t think Islam is more violent than Christianity.”
If that is not a statement of equivalency, then what the hell is it? And you claim to be an English Major???? Obviously you slept your way through college and was awarded the English Major booby prize for being a warm body.
This jackass actually thinks he can lie his way out of that idiotic and ridiculous statement and deny what it plainly says.
Chris could try to back up that moronic assertion but he won’t. He can’t. He is an idiot who thinks he can weasel his way out of it by lying and specious quibbling over what he plainly states.
Drop dead you vile fool. You insult all Christians and then try to dance around it.
Clearly Chris has never read The New Testament or the Koran. He is an ignorant fool. The Koran is packed with blood lust, violence, slavery, and child abuse. Yet this bigoted idiot flatly states “I don’t think Islam is more violent than Christianity.”
Harold, the n-b has a very selective memory. His is a memory of convenience. Convenient to him. I only take it up a notch and am honest about it.
No doubt this turd tossing — thinks all the slurs and scorn he has heaped on Post Scripts is acceptable, reasonable, and justified.
OK, enough of the “English Major” fool and his tool Dewey.
I highly recommend this related video from CSPAN. Please note that Islam has NEVER produced a republic or a democracy. It is by nature, totalitarian.
Religious Freedom in Early America
Panelists talked about how Christianity and other religious traditions, such as those of the Native Americans and Mormons, clashed in early America, and how Christian principles shaped the Constitution and political landscape.
Pie: For the fourth time, I don’t believe any religion is inherently violent. Not Islam, and not Christianity. You are, of course, free to disagree with that argument. Instead, you have chosen to argue against something I have never actually said.
Please explain why.
I was going to say ,its not always about just you, but in this case it is.
You asked the general question, if you didn’t want my honest answer, please don’t ask in the future.
Simply put, when you started posting here you quickly earned a reputation as being very rude and berating.
Oh and for the record,(and will you ever stop putting your inferences and twists into others comments)I in no way was even referring to the “Negro Burner”, what ever you said that escalated Pie into using it I do not know.
But I think it would be best for the board in general for you two to resolve it(some how in private, not here) and put those comments behind you.
Harold: “in no way was even referring to the “N-B”, what ever you said that escalated Pie into using it”
The party of personal responsibility, ladies and gentlemen.
“I don’t believe any religion is inherently violent.” Oh brother, yet another completely idiotic statement from the idiot!
What religion prescribes amputation for thievery, often in the from of the cross amputation of a hand and a foot?
What religion condemns people who “insult” it to 1000 lashes and decades of imprisonment?
What religion prescribes the death penalty for homosexuality and apostasy?
I could go on and on, but why bother?
What religion uses these laws, which are based directly on the Koran and hadith, to implement these brutal, barbaric, vicious and VIOLENT punishments?
I think I’ll just stay out of the way and let this idiot weasel blather on with his ridiculous, ignorant and twisted nonsense. Ugly may be only skin deep but stupid goes all the way to the bone.
And thanks again, Chris, for demonstrating that the basic prerequisites for being a liberal are abject stupidity and studied ignorance.
Re #35 Harold: I read your admonishment after posting #37. That could have used some editing but it is too late now. For a short period of time Post Scripts allowed the editing of posted comments. I’d like to see that again.
Anyway, I would be happy to bury the axe with Chris. In his head. I shall forever be completely disgusted with him and his treatment of the blog owners and others in this forum. He shows no respect and deserves no respect.
However, I shall endeavor to tone it down in consideration of others. I am no Christian. I do not turn the other cheek. I slap back and slap hard. Lord knows that this arrogant, hypocritical, abusive, consistently rude, harping, berating, and self-aggrandizing fool needs a good and repeated slapping.
Re #36 Chris : Standard snot tossing from the snot nosed kid.
Did Harold or anyone else really expect any less? Chris will forever be a specious jerk. The king of jerks.
Pie Guevara: “What religion prescribes amputation for thievery, often in the from of the cross amputation of a hand and a foot?
What religion condemns people who “insult” it to 1000 lashes and decades of imprisonment?
What religion prescribes the death penalty for homosexuality and apostasy?”
It depends on how you define religion.
If you define a religion based on what it says in that religon’s holy books, than Christianity, Islam and Judaism ALL proscribe the punishments you’ve just described at some point (or similar punishments). The death penalty for homosexuality is right there in the Old Testament. Some (few, but some) Christian pastors still preach it.
If you define a religion by what a majority of that religion’s members actually practice, than I’m not sure any of those religions proscribe such things, since I’m not sure a majority of Muslims practice any of those–although such proscriptions are obviously more common among adherents of Islam than those of any other modern day religion.
I am not drawing an equivalence here. Again, modern practitioners of Islam are generally more violent than modern practitioners of Christianity. Again, the terrorist threat of Islamofascism is much greater than the terrorist threat of any other group of religious adherents. I cannot make that any more clear.
My original point was that saying a “religion” is inherently violent is counter-productive, because that implies that there is something inherent in the religion that makes it that way, and that it cannot change.
Now I can think of many possible counter-arguments to what I’ve just said, but you haven’t made any of them, because as usual you’re more interested in pulling out as many insults as possible (“idiotic,” “idiot,” “weasel,” “blather,” “ridiculous,” “ignorant,” “twisted nonsense,” “Ugly, “stupid,” “abject stupidity,” “ignorance”–and all eleven of those phrases are just from Comment #36 alone) than in actually challenging ideas you find disagreeable.
“Anyway, I would be happy to bury the axe with Chris. In his head.”
Death threats. Classy.
Chris, “If you define a religion based on what it says in that religon’s holy books, than Christianity, Islam and Judaism ALL proscribe the punishments you’ve just described at some point (or similar punishments). The death penalty for homosexuality is right there in the Old Testament. Some (few, but some) Christian pastors still preach it.”
What’s the old saying about sticks and stones… Practicing is the highest form of religious participation. A few, obscure, nobodies in the Christian religion say dumb stuff, mostly out of the old Testament and very few listen to them. But, I’ve never heard of anyone who actually acted on that crap that wasn’t arrested and charged with a criminal offense! That’s our side! On the other side, well, you know about the other side as well as I do. You’ve got entire countries going radical. So why are you posing this as a rebuttal argument? Why?
I think I know, you are trying to mess with certain people because you have been slighted and you’re looking to jerk their chain and its getting boring, its never ending.
Chris you have said things in the past that have made people very angry with you, even mild mannered, sweet Tina was pushed into anger. However, I know some of your core values, they are good values and they are nothing close to this devils advocate position you generally take to work people over. I wish you would write what you really feel in your heart and not try to needle people to the point of anger.
Pie, After the BS Chris pulled in “Obamas greatest speech”, where he was soliciting support of his contributions verse yours in Post Scripts, I also have reached the conclusion, his cause is hopeless.
Dan the Man, not sure if you’re still around but I’d like to thank you for disagreeing with me without resorting to insults or hysterics. Your Comment #7 is a model of respectful disagreement.
I think it would be funny to repost all of Pie’s comments minus the insults and ad hominems, just to see what is left. An example:
Comment #19, A Found Poem
“Yes, I did read your second sentence. It was as as the first sentence. An and attempt to disavow your about Christians and Christianity.
I have posted many times about how Islam is not merely a religion. I won’t post again. Either like Chris and Dewey educate themselves or they do not. I no longer suffer”
Presenting, Pie Without Filling: A Collection of Found Poems
“One more thing: Chris because I insult him by. Yet he has no problem with his.
Chris, you. And by all means, keep Islam”
“Harold, the has a very selective memory. His is a memory of convenience. Convenient to him. I only take it up a notch and am honest about it.
No doubt he is acceptable, reasonable, and justified.”
“Anyway, I would be happy to bury the axe with Chris. I shall forever be completely with him
However, I shall endeavor to tone it down in consideration of others. I am no Christian. I do not turn the other cheek. I slap back and slap hard. Lord knows that this needs a good and repeated”
“Standard from the
Did Harold or anyone else really expect any less? Chris will forever be The king”
Well done Chris. It speaks for itself.
Jack, I wasn’t trying to play devil’s advocate or make anyone mad. I think I defended my point and my intentions rationally:
“My original point was that saying a “religion” is inherently violent is counter-productive, because that implies that there is something inherent in the religion that makes it that way, and that it cannot change.”
Now again, I have no problem with people disagreeing with this. Both you and Dan the Man brought up some good points. Perhaps I was nitpicking a little. In fairness, I did point out that I agreed with the main point that Muslims are currently more violent than Christians, and that it is wrong for liberals to draw equivalences between the two. I don’t see anything in my first few comments that warranted the stream of insults that followed, and while I appreciate that you didn’t join in, I’m a little miffed that I’m the one getting scolded for the whole exchange.
I’d add that other people’s anger problems are just that–their own. We are all responsible for our own words and actions. Everyone here has been able to control their temper and debate rationally. Everyone here, but one. Do you think no one here has ever said anything that made me mad? And yet I have never responded as Pie does. Putting the onus of responsibility on me not to “anger” people, when only one poster here has a rage problem, is unfair.
Chris, the quintessential flaming libtard jackass. He hems, he has, he twists, he turns, he wriggles like a worm and barks at the moon.
“It depends on how you define religion.”
Notice the hilarious similarity that absolutely moronic statement has to a famous quote from another jackass —
“It depends on what the meaning of the word ‘is’ is.”
Harold, this is like shooting fish in a barrel. In a twisted way, it is sort of amusing. Well it would be if it were not so disgustingly idiotic.
Yay Chris! Jacks has you nailed down tight. “Flaming liberal-partisan idiot, crazy, high on drugs, extremely drunk, oxygen deprived, or severely brain damaged.” You fit them all.
Yes, you’re absolutey right of course. The word religion is just as unambiguous and simple as the word “is!”
Comment #35, without insults:
Chris, the quintessential he, he has, he, he, he like a and at the moon.
Notice the hilarious similarity that absolutely has to a famous quote from another
Harold, this is like, it is sort of amusing. Well it would be if it were not so
Yay Chris! Jacks has you.”
Seriously, where is the substance? Do you have any? Are you capable of more than this?
Maybe one can also laugh at the fact the topic here is religion and violence. Then there is a person who is spewing out hate to others on this very post.
I usually do not feed the trolls but I will will give a modern example of killing Christians. For one the KKK uses the Bible in their mantra. They kill.
It’s funny this white supremacist christian group calls it’s rule book the Kloran. Pretty funny.
Also the Christians who kill abortion doctors.
There are several several Christian Hate groups. The Hate and violence using a religion is not something from the middle east.
For some I guess ignorance and hate are bliss.
The GOP politicians try to use the old testament to control people. The old testament was before their Savior walked the earth and taught. They use it to control population.
Now we have a woman in one of the Carolina’s trying to make a law that it is mandatory to go to Church on Sunday? Church of your choice?
Lol lol that Of course that is an insult to all on many levels. Also not all religions operate on Sunday.
Not the first time a GOP nutcase has tried to force a state religion. Simply put law derived from 1 mans religion is population control. That 1 man never follows the religion just his slaves.
Separation of Church and State is mandatory for a free society. Hate is a taught ignorance and not religious in any country. It is the abuse of religion.
BTW in the English language the definition of Religion is:
: the belief in a god or in a group of gods
: an organized system of beliefs, ceremonies, and rules used to worship a god or a group of gods
: an interest, a belief, or an activity that is very important to a person or group
Webster Dictionary. Religion is a choice. Morality and ethics are expected. No religion necessary.
How about a bit of respect. It would be ignorant for any 1 person to think they know all.
reading Chris post 48 I reckon’that he should be a heeding folks wiser words than his cause hes jes piddlin with his own.
Best to let a cow chip dry out fer a spell before ya toss em cause no telln’ how long the stink will stay with you,
Re #51 Southern Comfort :
Chris is jut trying to divert attention away from his multiple asinine statements. He twists, he turns, he wriggles, he contorts, but he owns them.
As for Dewey, well what can one say? He lives in Dewey’s world, a fantasy land just like Chris lives in his own bizarre fantasy world.
Ode To Dewey
Ooey Dewey was a worm
A mighty worm was he
He crawled along a railroad track
A train he did not see
By the way, Ooey Dewey’s attempt to slur all Christians by associating them with teeny, tiny fringe groups that 99.99999999999% of Christians abhor and are shocked by is laughable. And then for him to completely ignore the brutal violence of mainstream Islam and suggest some sort of equivalence between it and Christianity is absolutely pathetic.
Dewey is a lunatic. So is Chris. The real shame is that these pathetic lunatics are allowed to vote.
Pie at #52, minus insults:
“Chris is jut trying to divert attention away from his. He, he, he, he, but he owns them.
As for Dewey, well what can one say? He lives in,
Ode To Dewey
A mighty was he
Pie at #53
“By the way, Ooey Dewey’s attempt to slur all Christians”
I don’t agree with the implications of Dewey’s last comment, but he made no “attempt to slur all Christians.” There is no reasonable interpretation of his comment in which one can read an “attempt to slur all Christians.” You made it up, because you look for excuses to hate people.
And you will continue doing it as long as no one whose opinion you care about tells you how awful your behavior is.
Re: I don’t agree with the implications of Dewey’s last comment, but he made no “attempt to slur all Christians.” There is no reasonable interpretation of his comment in which one can read an “attempt to slur all Christians.” You made it up, because you look for excuses to hate people.
That is just plain deliberately stupid, Chris’ forte.
Evidently both NB Chris and Ooey Dewey are trying to pass as comedians. Do they not realize that they have already established themselves as amateurish clowns? (With apologies to professional clowns who are skilled, athletic, and adept artisans.)
Chris chides me about my “awful behavior” and then play’s English major psycho-analyst. Chris, the QUINTESSENTIAL, ARROGANT, LEFT-WING CLOWN.
Remove the log from your own eye, you oblivious cretin, before you attempt to remove a mote from mine.
Harold has your behavior nailed. So does Jack and anyone else who has ever paid any attention to you, you pathetic clown.
The above should have read “So do Jack and Tina and anyone else who has ever paid any attention to you, you pathetic clown.
Dewey at #49: “Not the first time a GOP nutcase has tried to force a state religion.”
And failed miserably!!!
However, the radical left has been quite successful at imposing a state religion, complete with taxes, regulation, and shunning for non-belief/non-compliance. The religion they impose is based in a belief that human activity is endangering their god, Gaia (Gaya).
Islamic terrorists are given aid and comfort when comparisons to Christianity or Judaism are made. There is no equivalency!
The inability/unwillingness to truthfully acknowledge the significance of the threat we face from Islamic terrorists is both immature and dangerous.
Pie–show me, with evidence, where exactly in Dewey’s post he says anything that can be construed as an “attempt to slur all Christians.” Quote him doing so. Prove your claims. Use your big boy words.
Or, just keep jumping up and down and screaming, foaming at the mouth, in love and in lust with your own incoherent rage.
“Evidently both NB Chris and Ooey Dewey are trying to pass as comedians.”
I’m sorry that not all of us think calling people “n b” is the pinnacle of satire.
Tax money going to help the environment–which is a real, tangible thing that everyone agrees exists–is in no way similar to enforcing a “state religion” to appease a goddes that most people in favor of protecting the environment do not believe exists.
I agree with you that there is no equivalence between the rate of violence motivated by Christian extremism and violence motivated by Islamic extremism. But you undercut that point when you go on to make ridiculous comparisons yourself.
Re #60 Chris : By the context of my challenge and his answer in that context. Figure it out for yourself, English major.
I once thought Chris played a a stupid and wholly juvenile game of being deliberately obtuse, but I see now it is no game.
Addenda to the above on #60 : Now I would like Chris to explain something to me. How did you become such an ignorant and stupid jerk with the attention span of about three seconds?
Lastly, in reference to #60 from Chris, also in context TO THE TITLE Of this blog post, not just my challenge to the twin idiots to put up or shut up.
Both have failed miserably to demonstrate how, IN ANY MODERN CONTEXT, THAT CHRISTIANITY IS AS VIOLENT AS ISLAM OR THAT MAINSTREAM ISLAM — AS IS PRACTICED IN THE MAJORITY OF ISLAMIC NATIONS — IS NO MORE VIOLENT THAN CHRISTIANITY.
All these two obtuse weasel worded clowns can do is demonstrate their abject left wing lunacy, bigotry, and ignorance. They are utterly absurd.
It does take one’s breath away to see such stupidity on display. These are the sort of rabid morons informed and reasonable people are up against.
Chris: “Tax money going to help the environment–which is a real, tangible thing that everyone agrees exists–is in no way similar to enforcing a ‘state religion’.”
The radical environmental movement is a religion. The religion has been spread worldwide.
definition of religion:
Al Gore acted as spiritual guide jetting around the world to convince others that humans are the significant cause “warming.” This is a belief. it is not a fact. His books and movie served as text. Others joined to write articles advancing the religion. The UN became a universal spiritual governing body (As Rome is to Catholics). Taxes and regulations have been imposed and anyone who disagrees with the religion is shunned as a denier.
There’s a big difference between tax monies going to preserve our environment and the extreme tax and regulation that has occurred due to junk science and the religious fervor of environmental extremists and activists.
You may think “everyone agrees” but that position is at the very least delusional and likely slightly narcissistic.
Chris you are not automatically right on this issue and you demonstrate an incredible insistence for dismissing the views of others which indicates your view is somewhat religious in nature.
Re #62: Chris chiding Tina for making “ridiculous comparisons.” Now that is too funny. I nearly spit up my coffee.
When I studied anthropology I took a class in “Myths, Magic, and Witchcraft”. The class title was a clever hook and was actually about how anthropologists study all forms of religion and the anthropological tools used to examine the religion and its role in societies and cultures across the globe.
At this time I was introduced to an absolutely brilliant student paper who applied all these tools to vegetarianism. Her field work was with vegetarians in and about CSUC and Chico. It fit the anthropological models for religion precisely!
In any case, liberalism and the left are in many ways a religion. A cult, if you will. Theirs is a religion that insists upon installing itself into government. Tina, your point is well taken. That Chris completely misses it is no surprise. He is the fellow who made the totally ridiculous statements —
I don’t think Islam is more violent than Christianity.
I did NOT say that Christianity and Islam are “equally violent.” I said that religions themselves are not violent; people are.
I could say to Chris, “Um, er, Chris, dear, religions are human constructs, and involve people, they are intimately associated with people and cannot be disintegrated by foolish blather like yours.” But trying to give Chris a clue is a waste of time. It would like be trying to teach a dog contract law. His statements are completely absurd and have no basis in reality or even simple logic. His “reasoning” is anti-reason. Left wing liberals are so cute when they try to pretend to be erudite with witless distinctions. Centuries ago Christianity was packed with brutality, violence and superstition. The inquisition didn’t just disappear, people changed it and those practices were abandoned onto the ash heap of history. It can be said that evil is sometimes done in “the name of religion”, and that is a reasonable and valid distinction. But to assert that “religions themselves are not violent; people are” is ridiculous, trivially false, and absurd.
Dewey uses the word “cult” as a pejorative to denigrate Mormons. It does not bother me that Dewey makes a complete a** of himself by doing so. Dewey is just doing what comes naturally to most left wing twits in general — to denigrate others in an attempt to bestow upon themselves a sense of moral authority.
To a vast majority of uneducated lay persons at large, cults are generally considered to be potentially dangerous, unorthodox, extremist groups by the dominant religious organizations in a society. In Dewey’s case, his “dominant religion” is left-wing liberalism. To anthropologists cults are something quite different and the term cult is not used in a pejorative sense whatsoever.
I’ll leave it up to anyone interested to pursue details on the Anthropology Of Religion. Here is a pretty good glossary of terms —
Comment #63 without insults:
“By the context of my challenge and his answer in that context. Figure it out for yourself, English major.
I once thought Chris played a”
Comment #64 without insults:
“Addenda to the above on #60 : Now I would like Chris to explain something to me. How did you become such an”
Pie: “Both have failed miserably to demonstrate how, IN ANY MODERN CONTEXT, THAT CHRISTIANITY IS AS VIOLENT AS ISLAM OR THAT MAINSTREAM ISLAM — AS IS PRACTICED IN THE MAJORITY OF ISLAMIC NATIONS — IS NO MORE VIOLENT THAN CHRISTIANITY.”
I haven’t failed to demonstrate that Christianity is as violent as Islam, because I haven’t tried to demonstrate that Christianity is as violent as Islam. My intent was never to show that Christianity is more violent than Islam. I rejected those terms entirely, as I didn’t think they were useful. I’ve also said that Muslims, especially those in Islamic nations, are generally more violent than Christians today.
I’ve explained this many, many times, in a far more patient tone than you have deserved.
I can’t speak for Dewey’s intent.
Tina: “The radical environmental movement is a religion.”
This is a goofy, extreme thing to say, and merely repeating it doesn’t make it any less goofy or extreme.
Your own definitions do nothing to support your statement:
“definition of religion:
1. The belief in and reverence for a supernatural power or powers, regarded as creating and governing the universe. respect for religion.”
There is absolutely nothing “supernatural” about the theory of AGW. It rests entirely on natural, scientific premises. There are no gods, goddesses or magic required for this theory to make sense.
“3. A set of beliefs, values, and practices based on the teachings of a spiritual leader.”
Similarly, there is no “spiritual” leader in the theory of AGW. The leaders are climate scientists, not mystics.
Note that I am not trying to convince you that AGW is correct. You don’t have to believe in AGW to understand that it does not meet the criteria of a religion.
“Al Gore acted as spiritual guide”
The truth or falsity of AGW does not rest on Al Gore. That so many global warming skeptics focus in on him like a laser, ignoring the vast body of actual scientific work that has been done on the issue, really demonstrates the weakness of your position.
“This is a belief. it is not a fact.”
It is a belief based on significant scientific evidence. Yes, this evidence has been challenged, but the majority of the counter-arguments have been severely lacking in rigor and seriousness.
“The UN became a universal spiritual governing body (As Rome is to Catholics).”
No. Just because you call something “spiritual” does not make it so.
“Taxes and regulations have been imposed and anyone who disagrees with the religion is shunned as a denier.”
You are right that the term “denier” is overly harsh, and I will try to stop using it out of respect.
“You may think “everyone agrees” but that position is at the very least delusional and likely slightly narcissistic.”
Of course I don’t think everyone agrees. That would be delusional. I do think most informed people agree that AGW is real.
“Chris you are not automatically right on this issue”
I have never claimed to be “automatically right.” I have posted plenty of evidence in the past that the majority of scientific evidence points to the existence of AGW. You have posted counter-evidence, but most of it has been wanting in significant ways. When I have brought up the flaws in your evidence, you have typically refused to engage with the meat of the rebuttals.
“and you demonstrate an incredible insistence for dismissing the views of others which indicates your view is somewhat religious in nature.”
That doesn’t follow. Dismissing others’ views does not make a viewpoint “religious in nature.”
Dewey uses the word “cult” as a pejorative to denigrate Mormons. It does not bother me that Dewey makes a complete a** of himself by doing so. Dewey is just doing what comes naturally to most left wing twits in general — to denigrate others in an attempt to bestow upon themselves a sense of moral authority.
Pie back at ya buddy.
Explain to me how the Mormon so called religion is not a cult.
noun, often attributive \ˈkəlt\
: formal religious veneration : worship
: a system of religious beliefs and ritual; also : its body of adherents
: a religion regarded as unorthodox or spurious; also : its body of adherents
: a system for the cure of disease based on dogma set forth by its promulgator
a : great devotion to a person, idea, object, movement, or work (as a film or book); especially : such devotion regarded as a literary or intellectual fad
b : the object of such devotion
c : a usually small group of people characterized by such devotion
Bottom line Joseph Smith rewrote religion.
Jesus did not go to Missouri
We do not go to the planet kolob after death
I have a cousin in salt lake who married a mormon, she now hides from the church…you have no idea it seems what goes on in that church. I have heard many a story. it is a cult.
Furthermore I suggest preconceived ideas of what I believe are a sign of well ……… I’ll leave the snark out
And again that is why we have freedom of religion and separation of church and state. I never deny any person to peacefully worship whatever they want. I do deny any law be written to force one religion on the citizens.
Pie: “I could say to Chris, “Um, er, Chris, dear, religions are human constructs, and involve people, they are intimately associated with people”
Had you simply stopped here, I think we could have had an actual dialogue, and you might have even changed my mind. Dan the Man’s comment and Jack’s at #10 made some good points, and had me reconsidering my position. Perhaps I was drawing a distinction without a difference.
But since, unlike them, you never actually addressed my argument–and since, unlike them, you did nothing but insult me in increasingly personal and nasty ways–here we are 60 comments later, and you have done nothing but waste your time typing language you would probably never use face to face with another human being.
Re #66 Tina : Not only has “environmentalism” been turned into a religion, it has been usurped, as you well know, by Marxism and other “deep green” lunacy as well as opportunist lawyers seeking to increase their personal wealth FROM THE GET GO. This state of affairs in the environmentalist movement may seem contradictory. They are not. How can a movement be a religion and Marxist and dominated by capitalist lawyers seeking riches? Easy, conflate them all, pretend it is “environmentalism” and dance like hell claiming you are “saving the planet.”
I have considered myself an “environmentalist” since 1969. I spent many hours in filth and grime in high school on the first general consumer containers recycling center in California. It was funded by a Coors grant. Stupid me.
The Marxist lunatics soon usurped Green Peace from the conservatives who created it and left wing hacks and lawyers took over. The working the system, pocket lining lawyers, soon to be fat cats, took over the Sierra Club along with assorted “Marxists” to increase their personal wealth. The first Sierra Club event I ever attended was at Acalanes High School in 1970 (?). I packed six of us dumb kids into a tiny Opel station wagon that got 40 mpg. When we got there, the parking lot was packed with gas hog Lincolns, Cadillacs, Mercedes sedans, BMWs, and high powered Porches. We had to park in a vacant dirt lot down the street. The panel was packed with fat cat lawyers out to make some serious dough. They did.
The goals of environmentalism once made sense to me. Some still do.
Tina, you have already seen this, but it bears a repeat —