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This week’s Islamic Insult
Posted by: McQ on Monday, October 09, 2006

This week, more cartoons from Denmark:
The Danish prime minister has denounced the drawing of new cartoons mocking the Prophet Muhammad by members of an anti-immigration party's youth wing.

Anders Fogh Rasmussen intervened in an apparent effort to prevent a repeat of the widespread protests over similar cartoons a year ago.

Danish People's Party activists were shown on TV drawing the images, which were condemned in the Muslim world.

Iran and Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood said the new cartoons insulted Islam.

Iran protested to the Danish government on Sunday, saying it was "deplorable that the extremist elements in Danish society have attempted to sabotage Denmark's relations with the Islamic countries once again".
You know, I'd actually care about this if Iran and Egypt were also saying they found it "deplorable that the extremist elements in" Islamic society "have attempted to sabotage" Islam's "relations with" western countries.

Nope, not a chance.

Instead a pattern has emerged.

In short, each week holds a new insult to Islam which finds its way into the press. That spurs the on-call outrage along with the obligatory condemnations from the usual suspects on one side while on the other the predictable hand-wringing and backtracking begins at the first hint of said outrage. And the cycle continues until it is overcome by the next week's insult.

It's getting boring.
 
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Previous Comments to this Post 

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These continued insults are nothing more than shock tactics by extremists. I equate them to the defamatory and insulting imagery or stereotyping aimed at Christians by Hollywood or the Arts. While it’s true that so-called Muslim extremists are going to wail and gnash their teeth over this, along with, I daresay, some bomb threats, neither side really accomplishes anything. The cartoon kids get to rejoice that they kicked over Grumpy Old Man Islam’s trashcan. The Muslim Brotherhood types get to rejoice that they have further evidence of the lack of morals and respect for religion that the West has. It’s all a big game. Yeah, eventually somebody might get hurt, but both sides will continue to play.

As for it being a worldwide Muslim thing? Please. Remember that during the Piss Christ and elephant dung Madonna incidents several years ago, Muslims protested right alongside Christians. We also protested The Last Temptation of Christ and The Passion of the Christ. Muslims have frequently been on the side of Christians when it comes to opposing insults to common holy individuals. If someone were to defame Moses or David, I suspect that you would find Muslims lined up to support Jews in opposing such insults. Let’s not forget that despite the efforts to portray Muslims as very particular in what we do or do not take offence to (Muslim issues only), we have been remarkably consistent (and supportive of our brother Abrahamic religions).
 
Written By: The Poet Omar
URL: http://www.asecondhandconjecture.com
As a side note, I agree that the authorities of Iran and Egypt definitely should look in the mirror sometime.
 
Written By: The Poet Omar
URL: http://www.asecondhandconjecture.com
Yes, I’ve noted all the good boys lining up with their faces covered, holding up signs saying "Behead those who insult Lutheranism".

Yeahp.
 
Written By: Phil Smith
URL: http://
One of these days these lunatics are going to get the war they want. The sad thing is how many innocent Muslims are going be collateral damage, which is of course also what they want.

It’s a tough spot for a peace loving civilized society to be in when someone keeps begging you to anhihilate them.

 
Written By: CaptinSarcastic
URL: http://
Sure, these rowdy Muslims will also protest alongside christians when Jesus is slandered, but once those Christians profess that "Isa" was a divine being, they become "decievers and hypocrites," polytheists, descendants of Apes and Pigs ect...
 
Written By: Jimmy the Dhimmi
URL: www.warning1938alert.ytmnd.com
It’s getting boring.

"Boring" is closer to my gut reaction on the subject then some who like to paint said events as "The impending permanent silence of Western traditions of critical thought at the hands of jihadism". "Lame", is another.

You missed another part of the equation - the alarmist right-wing blogs that make a living sounding the trumpets everytime anyone apologizes for any insult to Islam, attempting to prove a case of global intimidation and impending servitude to the Koran.

Fake crises manipulated by extremists to paint false pictures of extremist paradigms. On all sides.

————————————————
Now, on a realistic, not-the-end-of-the-world-either-way sort of level, you have to wonder whether having insults to Islam in the media every week, Arab and Western alike, is a good way to set the background for the hearts-and-minds component of either Iraq or the GWOT.

Well, they have their idiots and will probably have to put up with ours, to counterpoint myself.


 
Written By: glasnost
URL: http://
you have to wonder whether having insults to Islam in the media every week, Arab and Western alike, is a good way to set the background for the hearts-and-minds component of either Iraq or the GWOT.
Well, over 150 deaths due to rioting over the Danish cartoons, polls that say over 40% of British Muslims want Islamic law in that country, calls for the elimination of israel by the ’Pope’ of Shiite Islam, Calls for the assassination of the Catholic Pope, over 1 million christians massacred in Sudan over the past 20 years, not to mention the 6000+ terrorist attacks since 9/11/2001, doesn’t seem to have the effect of winning my heart and mind over to the idea that Islam is a religion of peace.
 
Written By: Jimmy the Dhimmi
URL: www.warning1938alert.ytmnd.com
Jimmy, must we agree on evert point of theology in order to acknowledge that we are two different aspects of the same religion? Do I have make the sign of the cross, put up a Christmas tree, and witness that Jesus (PBUH) is my lord and saviour on Sunday in order to be invited to protests against Christian-bashing? When did they start carding at Christian functions?

This is exactly the sort of thing that I try to point out to people only to be shouted down or ridiculed. Muslims (including myself) have tried and continue to try to reach out and support our Christian brothers. We have tried to dialogue and reach for common ecumenical ground. Pope John Paul II went so far as to kiss the Quaran and declare it a holy book. It just doesn’t get any better than that. Why are some on the right (especially the anti-Muslim right) trying to destroy the progress that has been made on inter-faith relations? That’s about as self-defeating as you can possibly get, which is a great point raised by Glasnost in his comment.

Speaking of which, I agree with him that this sort of "fake crises" only benefits those who play the game (i.e. extremists on both sides).

 
Written By: The Poet Omar
URL: http://www.asecondhandconjecture.com
The antagonistic children should be held somewhat responsible, imo, to any damages that occur due to their immature stunt. And I am NO islamo-apologist. However, if I know that clapping loudly in my dog’s ears will cause it to run in circles urinating on the floor and I still do it, I am definitely responsible for the ensuing mess. These kids are agitating the idiots, by being idiots themselves. The truly moderate Muslims will see it for what it is, as Omar seems to be doing. The crazy jihadists, well, they will do what crazy jihadists seem to do and unfortunately some truly innocent people will get hurt.

Omar, that is wonderful that you do what it is that you do in regards to your outreach efforts. However, I think what would be even more welcome is for the moderate Muslims to get a handle on the crazed loons that seem to be inhabiting every corner of the earth. I am NOT blaming you for their behavior (of course they OWN that), but am wishing I saw a much more aggressive outreach program from the Muslims that seem to be getting it to their lunatic bretheren.
 
Written By: HappyInTheMiddle
URL: http://
Why are some on the right (especially the anti-Muslim right) trying to destroy the progress that has been made on inter-faith relations? That’s about as self-defeating as you can possibly get, which is a great point raised by Glasnost in his comment.
Well, it seems to me you and Jimmy are talking past each other here; he probably didn’t break a sweat coming up with his list of reasons we might not want to assume Islam is inherently peaceful.

Glasnost seems more interested in making sure that we say things that don’t upset Muslims than in really analyzing this issue. The alarmist right wing blogs like LGF seem to hit lots of home runs. As facts amount, it sometimes makes sense to reanalyze one’s position.

It not "trying to destroy the progress that has been made on inter-faith relations", but I’m trying to figure out how real that progress is.
Now, on a realistic, not-the-end-of-the-world-either-way sort of level, you have to wonder whether having insults to Islam in the media every week, Arab and Western alike, is a good way to set the background for the hearts-and-minds component of either Iraq or the GWOT.
Glasnost,

For the most part the media has not insulted Islam. LGF and others have shown where the media downplays Islamic ties to terror, riots, etc. For the most part, the US media didn’t show the feared cartoons but they don’t have problems showing Dung Marry and Piss Jesus (and Omar, I know lots of Muslims sided with Christians on this).

The other point, Glasnost, is that I am really interested in the threat we face, and it’s motivations. I’m inclined to write here with the truth in mind, not with a goal of tayloring it to make things sound warm & fuzzy when the are not.
 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
Hang tough Jimmie. Islam is an aberration, abomination, of Christianity and Judaism. It’s got some old time Baal mixed in. It isn’t the same God despite their claims. The unity in the Old and New Testaments of God is a different God than the one the illiterate Mohammed had folks write into the Koran. How could the same God call for the killing of the believers of the same God - especially that part at the end times where trees will speak and call out that a Jew is hiding and come kill him?

Muslims keep saying it, but it isn’t true.

Jews and Christians disagree of the timing of the Messiah. Muslims dispute the divinity of the Messiah, etc. etc. etc.
 
Written By: James Atticus Bowden
URL: http://www.americancivilization.net
It is actually quite evident that in terms of insults Mohammedans react like five year old getting their hands slapped for not sharing. Mohammedans insult the Western World, Christianity and Judaism constantly. Mohammedans are trained to hate Jews and Christians (particularly in the Middle East) from childhood (those lucky enough to have an education) in school and in mosque.

Please, the West needs to be a bit more assertive and a little less caring about oil black mail from an otherwise irrelevant region.
 
Written By: Theway2k
URL: http://slantedright.blogspot.com/
The antagonistic children should be held somewhat responsible, imo, to any damages that occur due to their immature stunt.
Well, Danish Imams brought the cartoons to the Islamic world, along with several worse ones they added. Are those the "antagonistic children" of which you speak?

 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
Happy, I appreciate your support. I agree with your opinion of the situation and, further, I acknowledge that the burden of showing the true Islam and denouncing the terrorists is on moderate Muslims because it is our religion that has been hijacked. Many, many of us have been trying to openly speak out against terror. Over at ASHC and on more than a few comments sections here, I have listed numerous sites from moderates not only condemning terror, but deconstructing the religious arguments used by terrorists. We have to remember to look at terror mainly as a political, not religious issue. The VAST majority of "Islamic" terrorists are nothing more than political hacks using religion as a facade to cloak their actual goals and ideology. OBL is a perfect example as he is nothing more than an anti-colonialist, pan-Arab nationalist fascist.
 
Written By: The Poet Omar
URL: http://www.asecondhandconjecture.com
We have tried to dialogue and reach for common ecumenical ground.
This is not even necessary. Peaceful Muslims should instead focus attention on expunging the radicals from their ranks. I don’t think that the Koran is a holy book, and Muslims don’t need to believe that Jesus was the son of God. We can let God Himself sort that one out.

We don’t need the Pope to kiss the Koran and we don’t need the Ayatolla to kiss the cross. Enough "reaching out" or "interfaith dialogue" already. Every rational, sane person can see whats going on in the world today.

What we need is for people to look inward and realize that criticism of religion is acceptable in modern society, and that violence or state censorship is never the right way to respond. So far Christians, Jews, and just about every other religion in the world seems to have realized this by now, Muslims haven’t caught up for some reason. Maybe its that whole, you know, Mohammad assassinating his critics and all.
 
Written By: Jimmy the Dhimmi
URL: www.warning1938alert.ytmnd.com
As an interesting antidote that kinda presents both sides:

Michael Durant, who’s Blackhawk was shot down in Somolia, had a Bible which may have helped him survive. His Muslim guard was impressed with how religious Durant was, and that may have improved his treatment (IIRC, he was saved when a Somoli tried to kill him). Durant was in fact using the Bible to write a log.

 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
Jimmy, you are a failure as a Dhimmi.

 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
Over at ASHC and on more than a few comments sections here, I have listed numerous sites from moderates not only condemning terror, but deconstructing the religious arguments used by terrorists.
That’s interesting. How about some cross-posting with the ’enemy’ (Pipes, Spencer et al — the enemy who doesn’t agree with your interpretation but who doesn’t behead people). Perhaps a critque of some of their arguments.

As an aside, you have an inherent problem. Antadotal evidence favors those who have the juicy story line (which isn’t the line that Muslims are non-violent), and discussions of theory and religious principles leaves most asleep.

At this point, two observations seem clear: 1) there is a problem in the Muslim world 2) a reasonable argument suggests it comes from the inherent nature of the religion itself (at least in part: I understand you point about those who "using religion as a facade", but why do so many choose that particular religion?
 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
Every rational, sane person can see whats going on in the world today.
Perhaps you can explain it to me, Jimmy.

Interfaith dialogue is one of the keys to future world harmony (notice I didn’t say peace, there will always be some nation somewhere that feels that war will produce better gains than peace). The three great Abrahamic religions have so much more in common than they do differences. We have a lot of common ground on which to start our dialogue. Why must we look at differences and the things that divide us, instead? Why do we always play this game of tit for tat? You name one of my fundamentalist idiots; I name one of yours and so forth and so on.

I agree that criticism of religion is going to happen. I don’t by any stretch of the imagination believe that it is acceptable. At the same time, I agree that censorship by a government agency is not the answer. Rather, I would agree with the Vatican’s position, that critics of religion can criticize specific policies or beliefs without resorting to shock tactics and insults of holy persons or scriptures. It’s kind of like the issue of Israel-bashing or Bush-bashing. It is not objectionable to criticize specific policies, but to just launch ad hominems or withering barrages of personal insults makes the one criticizing look like more of a fool than his intended victim.
 
Written By: The Poet Omar
URL: http://www.asecondhandconjecture.com
Omar,
We have to remember to look at terror mainly as a political, not religious issue. The VAST majority of "Islamic" terrorists are nothing more than political hacks using religion as a facade to cloak their actual goals and ideology. OBL is a perfect example as he is nothing more than an anti-colonialist, pan-Arab nationalist fascist.
Come on man, I don’t deny that the abortion clinic bomber was motivated by his interpretation of Christianity, its just silly that you would project secularism as the motivation for OBL and his followers. Do you say the same thing about the Grand Ayatolla who is like the ’pope’ of Shia’t Islam when he wants to wipe Israel off the Map?

The problem is that terrorists, as well as the Grand Muftis, Imams, Ayatollas (not to mention Mohammad himself) ect... see no difference between ’nationalist fascism’ and religion. Islamic law is civil law according to them (as it was to the Madhabs that wrote them); mosque is state.

I know that you don’t believe that stuff, but why is it necessary to believe that traditional Islam must always have been tolerant and just throughout history? That Islam was normally peaceful but has been recently hijacked by extremists? Can’t you say that Mohammad was a prophet because he simply brought monotheism to the lands of the east, but he was also a flawed sinner who f**’d up the message with this Jihad crap? He was just a man, afterall. Must Muslims have this almost nationalistic pride towards the Umma and the prophet?

Its almost as if Muslims are jealous of how flawless Jesus’ life was, and therefore either re-write history about Mohammad or move back the goal-posts on the definition of "flawless" in order to accomidate Mohammad’s words and deeds.
 
Written By: Jimmy the Dhimmi
URL: www.warning1938alert.ytmnd.com
Don that’s a good point and I probably should start either deconstructing some of the arguments used by Pipes, Spencer, etc. or at least linking to those who have. I appreciate that suggestion and it is definitely something that I have overlooked.
I understand you point about those who "using religion as a facade", but why do so many choose that particular religion?
I don’t understand your question. Can you clarify a bit?
 
Written By: The Poet Omar
URL: http://www.asecondhandconjecture.com
Interfaith dialogue is one of the keys to future world harmony
Fine, but your not getting my point. What is going on in the world today is that the modern world has recognized that you must tolerate criticism without responding with violence. You don’t need interfaith dialogue to establish that principle. It is self evident and universal. If Muslims can’t realize this without interfaith dialogue, then it is a poor reflection on Islamic thought in general.
 
Written By: Jimmy the Dhimmi
URL: www.warning1938alert.ytmnd.com
Must Muslims have this almost nationalistic pride towards the Umma and the prophet?

Its almost as if Muslims are jealous of how flawless Jesus’ life was, and therefore either re-write history about Mohammad or move back the goal-posts on the definition of "flawless" in order to accomidate Mohammad’s words and deeds.
Not so. I, and pretty much every Muslim I know, freely admits that Muhammad (SAW) was a man, an ordinary, sinning human being chosen by God for a specific purpose. I am not at all jealous of the fact that Jesus (PBUH) was sinless. He was born of a virgin and chosen by God for a specific mission. That is what makes prophets special, they are chosen for specific mission by God.

I can’t answer for the Grand Ayatollah’s ideas, motivations, intentions, etc. anymore than I can answer for any other human being. I can only answer for mine. I have some familiarity with Shia doctrines and beliefs, but I am not qualified to explain them as I’m Sunni (well Sufi-influenced Sunni to be exact). You might as well ask a Presbyterian to explain Eastern Orthodox Christian doctrine.
Islamic law is civil law according to them (as it was to the Madhabs that wrote them); mosque is state
In Iran, Syria, Saudi Arabia, etc. I would absolutely agree. What about Malaysia or Indonesia or Turkey, however? Turkey, in particular, has an extremely secular government. Sharia absolutely takes a backseat to the demands of secular law.

 
Written By: The Poet Omar
URL: http://www.asecondhandconjecture.com
Jimmy, we may be making the same point from different angles, as we frequently seem to do.
...you must tolerate criticism without responding with violence. You don’t need interfaith dialogue to establish that principle.
I agree, but where do we draw the line? Are religions (Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Taoism, etc.) simply supposed to be punching bags? Much of the criticism and stereotyping that I see against Christians, Jews, and Muslims is merely inflammatory. It isn’t constructive criticism of specific beliefs or actions. It’s along the lines of the vulgar (piss Christ), the racist (look at some of the garbage spewed by daily Egyptian newspapers about Israel and the Jewish people), or the deliberately inflammatory (some of the posts or comments about Muslims on, among other sites, LGF). I acknowledge that violence achieves nothing but proving your enemy’s points, but what recourse should the devoutly religious seek?
 
Written By: The Poet Omar
URL: http://www.asecondhandconjecture.com
What about Malaysia or Indonesia or Turkey, however?
Turkey wasn’t naturally secular, afterall it was the last center of the Islamic caliphate. Attaturk hated religion and had to actively, and many historians would argue, draconianly, combat Islamist forces after WWI. Perhaps it was a result of his devotion to secularism or a Bohemian sense of "the end of all wars" at the time. As for Malasia and Indonesia...just wait.
I agree, but where do we draw the line? Are religions (Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Taoism, etc.) simply supposed to be punching bags?
Of course not. Go ahead and criticize the critics! Look at the DiVinci Code; it was the largest grossing film last year, and the biggest selling book of all time next to the Bible!. Catholics used it as an opportunity to educate people about the truth of the church. It was suprisingly civilized dialogue considering it came out around the same time as the ’Dreaded Cartoons of Blasphemy’.

Now imagine if someone made a hollywood-budget film starring Omar Sharif about the satanic verses. I can’t even bear to think about it!! It would be worse than if Bush bombed Tehran!
 
Written By: Jimmy the Dhimmi
URL: www.warning1938alert.ytmnd.com
It’s noteworthy that almost no Western medium provides a way to react to the muslim related news.
Scared, maybe, sissies?

 
Written By: DIRK
URL: http://
It’s noteworthy that almost no Western medium provides a way to react to the muslim related news.
Scared, maybe, sissies?
Eh? I’m not sure I understand your meaning. Are you arguing that Western mediums are afraid to post anti-Muslim stories in reaction to such incidents as the cartoon thing? Or are you arguing that Western mediums do not offer Muslims a fair opportunity to respond to such scandals? Or am I completely wrong on both counts and you meant something else entirely?
 
Written By: The Poet Omar
URL: http://www.asecondhandconjecture.com
Of course not. Go ahead and criticize the critics!
Look at the DiVinci Code; Catholics used it as an opportunity to educate people about the truth of the church.
A very good example. Please also note that Muslims joined with Christians, and especially Catholics, in protesting this movie, as well. Take a look at what happened to Catholic sources who criticized the DaVinci Code and past Catholic-Media spats. The Church gets called a bunch of hysterical, reactionary bigots who aren’t open to dialogue or criticism. Given the underlying anti-Catholic biases still operating in many areas of the US, it’s not surprising to me that this kind of anti-Catholic screed was a best-seller. I’m also not surprised that more people came out of the movie (or the book) believing Dan Brown’s hypothesis (or at least elements of it) than believing the Church’s multi-prong counterattack. When it comes to spats between the media or society as a whole and religion, the religious start with a serious handicap. Secularism is, after all, the rule these days, not the exception (amongst the media, anyway).
 
Written By: The Poet Omar
URL: http://www.asecondhandconjecture.com
It’s getting boring.
And that’s how it’s going to end for the west....not with a bang, but with a whimper.

 
Written By: Shark
URL: http://
When I see and hear a moderate Islamic majority in the world I will join those who call on LGF and other such blogs to simmer down. Until that time, I will agree with their warnings. Certainly, not every member of Islam is a blood-thirsty murderer, or enters into a rage at even a hint of criticism. However, the face of Islam throughout the world is that of the extremist which commits to rioting and arson when another nation/culture offers criticism of it through cartoons.

I am skeptical that a moderate Islamic majority will come to exist, what with the so-called extremists having control of religious training in so many nations, and with leaders in Islamic nations either being themselves extremist, or allowing the extremists to have their way so frequently. And let us not forget that within Islam are the teachings of Muhammad that, for an impartial observer, instigate the actions of the extremists. When a religion’s leader makes comments about not befriending certain groups there will be bigotry because of it. When that leader speaks of spreading said faith by the sword we should expect it to happen, at least by some. When that leader teaches that the religion’s ultimate goal is to pervade the earth we shouldn’t be surprised to see the followers attempting to do just that. We can debate whether the moderates or extremists are following what Muhammad taught, but as long as the extremists have the majority control, Islam will continue to give cause for alarm to Charles Johnson and others who see what is taking place and are dismayed by it. And I am numbered with the dismayed.
 
Written By: Joab
URL: http://joabsblog.blogspot.com
The Poet Omar,
I agree, but where do we draw the line? Are religions (Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Taoism, etc.) simply supposed to be punching bags?
To the insulting party, sure. To the believer, not at all. True faith should not be shaken by insults delivered by fools. God doesn’t need anyone to take up arms in His defense. In what other arena is it ever acceptable to respond to insult with violence?
I acknowledge that violence achieves nothing but proving your enemy’s points, but what recourse should the devoutly religious seek?
Strength, divine guidance, enlightenment for the offender. These are things a devout Christian would be seeking.
 
Written By: Pablo
URL: http://
I acknowledge that violence achieves nothing but proving your enemy’s points, but what recourse should the devoutly religious seek?

"But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you,"
"Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you. And unto him that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the other; and him that taketh away thy cloke forbid not to take thy coat also. Give to every man that asketh of thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again. And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise."

Oops, wait... that’s from the other religion of peace.
 
Written By: Fyro
URL: http://
But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you,"
"Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you. And unto him that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the other; and him that taketh away thy cloke forbid not to take thy coat also. Give to every man that asketh of thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again. And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise."
Quoting Gospel, guys? Luke 6:27-30 [King James version, unless I miss my guess]. While I appreciate the, uh, advice, may I ask a simple question in return (or actually a few)?

1. So, after 9/11, our Christian nation stopped, buried our dead, turned the other cheek, then prayed for our enemies in Afghanistan? That whole invasion thing was a figment of our collective imagination?

2. Remind me again what happened in 1990-91 in Kuwait? Were the forces of Christian nations who weren’t actually attacked by Iraq rushing to Kuwait to pray for the Iraqis or demolish them?

3. When Greek Orthodox Christian pilgrims were harassed in Jerusalem and in the Holy Lands in the 11th century, did the Christian nations of the world simply console them, turn the other cheek, and then pray for the inhabitants of the Middle East? Or was there a call to arms by Pope Urban II and Byzantine Emperor Alexius Comnenus?

If Christians want to be taken seriously on the whole turn the other cheek issue, then they will all have to adopt the pacifism of the Quakers or Mennonites. Otherwise, this is simple hypocrisy.

Look, I’m not promoting violence; quite the opposite. I am asking for legitimate suggestions as to how the religiously devout, be they Christian, Jewish, Muslim, etc. can counterattack non-constructive criticism in a way that isn’t considered fundamentalist fanaticism. Praying is an excellent start, however it isn’t enough. Christians in the US and the rest of the West do not fight back enough and, as a result, are being completely overrun by secular humanists. Jews and Muslims don’t want the same thing to happen to us as is happening to the Christians. When someone jumps on Jews, they respond quickly and with decisive force (I don’t mean physical violence). Why can’t Muslims? Or for that matter, why can’t Christians? Unless Christianity starts a serious counteroffensive for the minds and hearts of its adherents, it’s going to become a massive irrelevancy. A (fairly large) footnote to history. If you believe this to be simple alarmism, take a look at church attendance rates and the actual adherence to religious principles from, say 1900-present.
 
Written By: The Poet Omar
URL: http://www.asecondhandconjecture.com
Turning the other cheek means to stand up to those who persecute you, and to show them the fullness of humanity in order to challenge theirs. The enemy should see in the Christian the heart and soul of a good man who is no threat to them and therefore reconcile, upon which the Christian forgives the enemy for past transgressions.

It doesn’t mean roll over and die. We only persecute terrorists to prevent them from killing us. We are not persecuting them for who they are or what they believe in. We have offered them quarter and we are willing to forvive anyone who lays down their arms against us. We have turned the other cheek by the mere proselytizing of a desire for human liberty and tolerance for all people. Unfortunaltely, OBL and the Islamist fascists have no humanity left to appeal to.
 
Written By: Jimmy the Dhimmi
URL: http://moorejack.ytmnd.com/
1. So, after 9/11, our Christian nation stopped, buried our dead, turned the other cheek, then prayed for our enemies in Afghanistan? That whole invasion thing was a figment of our collective imagination?

2. Remind me again what happened in 1990-91 in Kuwait? Were the forces of Christian nations who weren’t actually attacked by Iraq rushing to Kuwait to pray for the Iraqis or demolish them?

3. When Greek Orthodox Christian pilgrims were harassed in Jerusalem and in the Holy Lands in the 11th century, did the Christian nations of the world simply console them, turn the other cheek, and then pray for the inhabitants of the Middle East? Or was there a call to arms by Pope Urban II and Byzantine Emperor Alexius Comnenus?


The context of this conversation regards the appropriate recourse of the "devoutly religious" (to use your terms) to things such as blasphemous cartoons. Your response asserts that acts of aggression and murder, such as 9-11, are equivalent to publishing a cartoon depiction of Muhammed or exhibiting the "piss Christ". Blowing up the World Trade Center ≠ publishing a cartoon.
 
Written By: Fyro
URL: http://
Turning the other cheek means to stand up to those who persecute you...It doesn’t mean roll over and die.
That is your interpretation. A Quaker or Mennonite would disagree with you. What you are proposing is essentially the Catholic Augustinian doctrine of "Just War," which has absolutely no basis in the New Testament. The early Christians were matyrs, ready to die for their beliefs rather than defend themselves with violence (remember the Garden of Gethsemene and Peter’s raising of the sword in Jesus (PBUH)’s defense?).

We’ve lost the point of this post, however and are now delving into theological discussions which, though I enjoy, aren’t really on topic here. My question still stands. What you are proposing has failed miserably most likely since the dawn of the 20th century and certainly since 1962. Secular humanism is triumphant in the West. Christian efforts to stop it are half-hearted at best and the few times a significant counteroffensive has been mounted, it is demolished by the media as reactionary fundamentalism. Some in the Muslim (and Jewish) world are watching this debate play out with great interest (with not always good intentions). If the secularists defeat Christianity, which is at least a reasonable possibility at this point, then OBL and company win. Secularists have no hope of opposing militant pan-Arab nationalism fueled by religious fundamentalism (no matter how wrong the actual theology and religious dogma being preached is). The only hope for the West is a Christian resurgence, aided by moderate Muslims and Jews (since you have no other allies). Ecumenical harmony is essential to this as a coalition of the Abrahamic religions is vital to the defeat of secularism. Western (and especially American) Christians need to learn that you cannot fight a war on twenty fronts. Attempting to convert Muslims and Jews to Chrisitianity or imposing your vision of Islam and Judaism on their adherents is not going to work. Rather, you should work WITH the other two Abrahamic religions against secularism. It’s the only hope you have of taking back your culture and the only hope moderate Muslims have of taking back our religion.
 
Written By: The Poet Omar
URL: http://www.asecondhandconjecture.com
Fyro, I wasn’t playing the moral equivalency card. I was simply pointing out the flaw in the idea that Christians are pacifists. To quote the turn the other cheek verse, you must actually demonstrate that that is the dominant practice of worldwide Christianity. I provided examples that clearly show that turning the other cheek is anything but the accepted belief.
 
Written By: The Poet Omar
URL: http://www.asecondhandconjecture.com
If the secularists defeat Christianity, which is at least a reasonable possibility at this point, then OBL and company win. Secularists have no hope of opposing militant pan-Arab nationalism fueled by religious fundamentalism (no matter how wrong the actual theology and religious dogma being preached is). The only hope for the West is a Christian resurgence, aided by moderate Muslims and Jews (since you have no other allies). Ecumenical harmony

Omar... let’s put this politely... this is absurd.

You’ve shocked me.

You sound like a Christian fundamentalist. You know who the supgroup that hates and demonizes Muslims with the least interest in fact and differentiation, and the most blatant, messianic rheotric? Christian fundamentalists.


Rather, you should work WITH the other two Abrahamic religions against secularism.

Contary to this delusional baloney, it’s the most religious people on all sides who want nothing more than to gut each other like fish and the secularists on all sides who show some interest in working out practical solutions.

This is unhinged, Omar. It’s a massive attack of substituting one’s personal visions and fears for reality. Secularism follows modernization like ducks chasing their mama. The very idea of going "to war against secularism" shows a profound misunderstanding of secularism itself - which doesn’t preclude religious belief - not to mention a certain degree of xenophobia.

Secularists have no hope of opposing militant pan-Arab nationalism fueled by religious fundamentalism

Actually, the Christian fundamentalists of the Crusades got their butts kicked in the long run. Western Culture didn’t start kicking islamic tail until the enlightenment and the advent of secularism. You’re almost completely backwards.
militancy eats itself.


 
Written By: glasnost
URL: http://
You’ve shocked me. You sound like a Christian fundamentalist.
I don’t think that this should be such a major shock, Glasnost. While I certainly deplore fundamentalism of any stripe (Muslim, Christian, etc.), I’m also no big fan of secular humanism. Yes, I accept that some people are going to be agnostics or atheists. There is nothing that any religion can offer them. I don’t view this as a triumph, though, but a failure. As an essentially ecumenical person, my hope is that everyone finds peace in a religion, not necessarily just my religion. I take not the slightest offense if someone chooses Judaism or Taoism or any other religion over mine as their belief system. As long as they have chosen A religion, then, as a rule, I’m happy for them.

As for religious fanatics being more dangerous and violent than secularists, we could have this debate all day. You could throw out the Thirty Years’ War and the Crusades, I can throw out World War 2 and the Russian Revolution and attached Soviet wars. My heartfelt belief is that the world would benefit from more devoutly religious people, not less. Secularism solves nothing and creates a whole new host of problems unique to itself.

I disagree about modernity following secularism; examples can be found in both Western and non-Western cultures of highly religious societies modernizing and still retaining their religious nature.

The Crusades fell apart for numerous reasons, most of them having to do with politics, not religion. They provide an excellent lesson for the West, however. When confronted by a group of fundamentalists intent on violence, a divided house will always fall. The Middle East of the Crusading years was a mess of different Arab and non-Arab Muslim factions fighting amongst each other. They were very vulnerable to an outside invasion. The Muslim world in the Middle East only stabilized and fought back against the Crusaders when they were united by Salah al Din (Saladin).

The biggest threat to Christianity at this moment isn’t fundamentalist Islam; it’s the idea of being lost and forgotten due to the ever-growing secularist movement. Church attendance and religious devotion are down all over the West (most heavily in Europe, but also in the US). Many Americans cannot even explain the basic tenets of their own, self-identified religion. How can they hope to offer reasonable counterarguments to secular humanists? Until the Christians get their house in order and unite with Jews and Muslims, they have no chance of survival, long-term. Christianity in the West will be abandoned and forgotten. And it deserves a better fate than that.

Regarding secularism standing up to the militant fundamentalist terrorists, hah. Take a look at Western Europe to see how strongly secularists are willing to fight. That’s a laugh. Who are they going to choose as their champions? France? Germany? Holland?
 
Written By: The Poet Omar
URL: http://www.asecondhandconjecture.com
Fyro, I wasn’t playing the moral equivalency card. I was simply pointing out the flaw in the idea that Christians are pacifists. To quote the turn the other cheek verse, you must actually demonstrate that that is the dominant practice of worldwide Christianity. I provided examples that clearly show that turning the other cheek is anything but the accepted belief.

You did compare apples to oranges. The original question you posed was how do those who are devoutly religious express their irritation at, essentially, verbal insults — cartoons and provocative exhibitions of art and such. I responded by saying the appropriate response is the Christian one — turn the other cheek, pray for those who insult you, demonstrate your magnanimity. After all, sticks and stones (and airplanes) will break your bones, but words will never hurt you.

Your response was essentially: "But Christians aren’t pacifists!" Which makes no sense in this context of discussing cartoons and insulting speech. I never said Christians were pacifists.

Your response expanded the context to include terrorist attacks and military campaigns — essentially changing the question from "How should devoutly religious people respond to verbal insults?" to "how should devoutly religious people respond to physical/military attacks initiated upon them?"

Those are two different questions. The former, I answered. The latter question makes no sense in this context — cartoons and verbal insults are not missiles, bombs, bullets or armies.
 
Written By: Fyro
URL: http://
To quote the turn the other cheek verse, you must actually demonstrate that that is the dominant practice of worldwide Christianity.
Does it follow then that to discuss true Islam one must demonstrate the dominant practices worldwide?

I thought we were talking about the devout, not the majority.
 
Written By: Pablo
URL: http://
Militant islam is a form of humanism, in my opinion, complete with its corporeal afterlife sex-fantasy. Islamists like OBL worship an anthropomorphisized god who speaks Arabic and commands people directly (vocally, via the Koran) to do unreasonable things and demands unquestioned obedience. I like how the commenter above refers to them as "Mohammedans" because it is almost as if they worship Mohammad (Propellor Beanie Upon Him), not God. If one worshipped the True God, one would come to the inevitable conclusion that Mohammad was wrong most of the time.

I am confident that religious piety as some form of Enlightened Christianity will win out in the long run here in America. Europe is demographically doomed in that regard, but it will likely be replaced by some form of Islamism in the next 50 years. Considering my above definition of Militant Islam/humanism, it isn’t going to be an improvement.

The reason why so many Islamic countries forbid apostasy is because everyone would leave Islam! How many women would choose to be treated as 1/2 the value af a man? It does not appear to me that an enlightened, empirical, rational form of Islam is developing at this time; rather, the vitriolic, nationalistic "us-vs them" humanist-style Islam is growing. I notice this when I see polls that show 40% of British Muslims want the government to enforce Sharia law, or that 80% of Pakistani Muslims believe 9/11 was caused by Jews.
 
Written By: Jimmy the Dhimmi
URL: http://moorejack.ytmnd.com/
Fyro: The gospel quote and the underlying belief, that when attacked either verbally or physically a Christian may not respond other than in the approved pacifist manner, is where I assumed you were going with this. Regarding physical violence, I think I’ve shown that the majority of Christians reject the "turn the other cheek" formula in favor of Augustinian Just War Theory.

If we are discussing only verbal abuse or media insults, then yes I acknowledge that the preferred Christian option does indeed seem to be turning the other cheek. That is not producing the desired effect, in my opinion. Rather than having your enemies see how wonderful a people you are, then are even more emboldened and even some of your own flock are deserting you for secular humanism. Christianity is not actively defending itself most of the time and on the rare occasions that its various sects bother to confront the media, they get creamed. This does not bode well for the future. Since this formula seems not to be working for Christians, why should Muslims embrace it? Again, I’m not saying that physcial violence is the answer, but rather I am looking for other solutions.
 
Written By: The Poet Omar
URL: http://www.asecondhandconjecture.com
So Pablo, are you making the claim that the vast majority of Christians(outside of Quakers, Mennonites, and a very few others) aren’t devout?
 
Written By: The Poet Omar
URL: http://www.asecondhandconjecture.com
Jimmy, you can continue to believe fantasy, strawman constructs about Islam. OBL does the same thing, and it seems to work for him, so why not?

Three Abrahamic faiths. One God. It’s really that simple. The absolute largest difference is over the person of Jesus (PBUH). Remove that stumbling block and everything else is cosmetic (613 Mitzvots v. 10 Commandments v. 5 Pillars).

"Mohammedan" is an inaccurate orientalist term. Muslims no more worship Mohammad (SAW) than Jews worship Moses.
I am confident that religious piety as some form of Enlightened Christianity will win out in the long run here in America
I’m glad that helps you to sleep at night, but I am nowhere near as confident at you are. On the occasions that I have been honored as a guest speaker at Catholic or Eastern Orthodox churches in the past, the crowds were less than overwhelming. Heck, most American Catholics are cafeteria Catholics. They pick what they want here and there and ignore the rest. They don’t even seem to know the underlying theological arguments behind why they believe what they believe. Evangelical services seemed more like three-ring circuses with more entertainment than hardcore religion. If that’s what they need to do to pack people in, that’s fine, but it falsely inflates their numbers of church goers. In fact, I believe that this has been somewhat of a debate amongst the more serious Evangelical leaders for some time. Liberal Protestants seem a little more honest in their church attendance, but too often, I find that they let politics influence their religious beliefs instead of vice-versa.
The reason why so many Islamic countries forbid apostasy is because everyone would leave Islam
Oh, Jimmy come on! You can do better than this. Look at the numbers of converts to Islam in Western nations (most of whom are women). Islam is growing faster than Christianity not just because of birth rates, but also because of the conversion aspect. Sorry, this argument sinks like a lead balloon.
I notice this when I see polls that show 40% of British Muslims want the government to enforce Sharia law, or that 80% of Pakistani Muslims believe 9/11 was caused by Jews.
Well I can’t help you if you are so blind as to put faith in polls. I mean, if we believe what our media tells us, the vast majority of Americans are now against the war in Iraq and think Bush is the next best thing to Satan. Oh, and John Kerry won the 2004 election, or so said the polls.
 
Written By: The Poet Omar
URL: http://www.asecondhandconjecture.com
So Pablo, are you making the claim that the vast majority of Christians(outside of Quakers, Mennonites, and a very few others) aren’t devout?
I wasn’t claiming it, but I doubt it’s too far off the mark. How many Europeans don’t "do" church, but would identify as Christian? Hell, I don’t "do" church, but if I had to give you a label, it would be "Christian".

But again, we were talking about what a devout person’s proper response is to having one’s religion insulted, in the current day. A devout Christian would be inclined to pray for your soul, damned to hell as it may be by your insolent tongue. I cannot identify a non-nutball Christian sect that suggests blasphemy should be punished by death. Granted, there were times when that was the norm, but Christianity seems to have evolved out of that mindset.

What do you think the outer limit of a person’s reaction should ever be over an insult to his faith? What does Islam say a good Muslim should do?
 
Written By: Pablo
URL: http://
That Mohammadean explanation was a reference to OBL and his kinship. I am not implying that all Muslims belong to that group, Just the extremists everyone is discussing on this thread. They are the Mohammadeans, not you.

How can anyone really know how popular Islam is if noone is alowed to leave? Sharia law and every ecumenical tradition of Islam includes this valve. It is completely unfair to judge the appeal of Islam by noting conversions without recognizing that people are prevented from leaving. From Egypt to Pakistan it is actually illegal to convert out of Islam, not to mention the threat of violence from the community. Think about how women are treated in Islamic countries. How many would keep their faith if they were confident and enabled to leave in security and without shame?

You mention western converts are mostly women. I would guarantee you that it is mostly because the conversion is required to marry their Muslim boyfriend, or at least because it is demanded of them in order to keep the relationship, not because of any spiritual fulfillment Islam offers. How many Muslim men would convert out of Islam in order to marry their girlfreinds?
 
Written By: Jimmy the Dhimmi
URL: www.warning1938alert.ytmnd.com
So, after 9/11, our Christian nation stopped, buried our dead, turned the other cheek, then prayed for our enemies in Afghanistan? That whole invasion thing was a figment of our collective imagination?
Jesus taught us individually to turn the other cheek to those who sin against us. However, in chapter 13 or Romans Paul stated that God has empowered the state with the sword. This is usually used in defense of the state’s right to enact capital punishment, but it could apply to war as well. Jesus taught us to soften our hearts, but He never taught us to sit with hands folded as a nation while our enemies do their best to destroy us all. Israel was never expected to do so and neither are we.
 
Written By: Joab
URL: http://joabsblog.blogspot.com
I rarely would take the point of saying that anyone should denigrate another persons religion. But in this case I hope these kids keep it up and are even more outspoken.
The reason is that someone has got to shock the Europeans out of their self deception before they are totally destroyed.

You don’t think that can happen? In twenty years, mostly unassimilated Muslims
(and it is too much to hope that most of them are as sweet as Poet Omar) will be near 40% of the population in most European nations. While the original population will be much, much, older.

Historically, at that point they will simply try to take over, not that there will be much left of the original culture by that time if this multicultural suicide continues.
 
Written By: kyle N
URL: http://impudent.blognation.us/blog
We’re probably branching into ideas that we need a different forum for, but Pablo I am saddened by the lack of devotion shown by Christians to their faith. Christianity has a 2,000 year history of amazing accomplishments and, on the whole, has brought more that is positive to the world than negative. It’s taken on some really monstrous issues and triumphed (Soviet Communism comes to mind). I can’t explain this lack of faith other than the weakening effect of secular humanism (of course, I’m not Christian so my opinion is probably not the most informed).

As a rule, Muslims are most assuredly allowed to engage in debate with those who question or ridicule our faith. The question is how far can this be taken? Where does debate and personal example end and physical action begin? I suspect that this is going to be a key issue for Western-Muslim relations for the near future. Many Muslims, myself included, will say that violence solves nothing. The only result of violence is conversion of opponents from their religion to yours. As Islam does not allow compulsion in religion, this makes violent debate over religious issues or insults impossible. Others (Salafis, fundamentalist Shiites, and pan-Arab nationalist fascists) will use the old tried and true fight them in the streets rhetoric, ignoring Quaranic injunctions against religious compulsion.

Muslims, Christians, and Jews need to take more action against those that defame and insult our religions. Obviously violence isn’t the answer, but continuing to "turn the other cheek," just isn’t working either. I confess to not knowing the answer here other than continued vigorous dialogue and some type of massive media counteroffensive, taking what form I don’t know. Certainly, I am open to suggestions.
 
Written By: The Poet Omar
URL: http://www.asecondhandconjecture.com
Actually, Jimmy there is much debate over the apostasy issue. Mentioning Pakistan, in particular, please see these this great jurist who is working very hard to end the apostasy=death concept (which isn’t Quaranic, btw but a later manmade idea which comes to us from the hadiths [many of which aren’t verified]).
I would guarantee you that it is mostly because the conversion is required to marry their Muslim boyfriend
Not true. Muslim men may marry a Muslim, Jewish, or Christian woman. No conversion is required. A woman marrying a Muslim man knows his religion; if she knows that he will insist that she convert [although it certainly isn’t necessary], then she need not marry him. Arranged marriages, while certainly still popular amongst Hindus, are not a Muslim idea. Men and women marry whom they choose.
 
Written By: The Poet Omar
URL: http://www.asecondhandconjecture.com
Joab, while your quoting of later Pauline epistles may be correct, it is at variance with what Jesus (PBUH) directly said. Do you accept the direct, quoted word of Jesus (PBUH) or that of a man who never actually met him? Unless of course you use the Catholic dodge and cite Augustinian and later philosophy which sort of, but not really supercedes the Gospels.
Israel was never expected to do so and neither are we.
By Israel, I assume you mean the Jewish people as a whole. That is certainly true, but nowhere in the Torah, Talmud, or (for the Orthodox) Shulchan Aruch does it say that they have to be pacifists or not defend themselves. On the contrary, certain Talmudic quotes actually inveigh Jews to defend themselves. Don’t forget that Christians have a different basis for their theology than do Jews (Gospel v. Torah).

 
Written By: The Poet Omar
URL: http://www.asecondhandconjecture.com
Kyle, I find the actions of the Danish cartoon kids to be counterproductive as I’ve detailed above. Europe isn’t going to be radically altered by this or any other shock tactic. For those involved, it’s all a big game. They tweak our noses and then we tweak their noses. Nothing gets solved other than further infuriating already angry fanatics. Now both sides get to have a big, "See, I told you so."

I don’t necessarily believe the doom and gloom predictions about Europe. Yes, there is the neverending demographic argument, but there is more to life and to an entire civilization than just demographics. Also, rememeber that we are dealing with several different immigrant populations in Europe. In Germany, the Muslim immigrants are mostly Turkish who came there during the 1970’s looking for work (they were cheap labor). Turkey has been secular since the end of the First World War. Why would Turkish immigrants want to impose Sharia to replace secular, civil law in Germany, as it is an alien concept for them?

In France, on the other hand, the immigrants are mostly Algerian, Syrian, and Morrocan. Those are much more fanatical types and they would certainly consider the imposition of Sharia to be perfectly logical. I suspect the same is true of Britain’s Muslim population which to me appears to be mainly Pakistani and Indian.
 
Written By: The Poet Omar
URL: http://www.asecondhandconjecture.com
Omar:
Regarding secularism standing up to the militant fundamentalist terrorists, hah. Take a look at Western Europe to see how strongly secularists are willing to fight. That’s a laugh. Who are they going to choose as their champions? France? Germany? Holland?

This is a terrible strawman. Not only that, but in the previous paragraph, you’re attempting to argue that secularists are at least as violent as religious fanatics throughout history, and in the next, you’re arguing - and it angers me - that secular humanism equates to an eagerness to roll over and die. Which one of these is true, please? Don’t they seem mutually exclusive? Or are we making shameful and convenient generalizations?

Europe’s personal attitude toward the GWOT is shaped by all kinds of factors, including the fact that the Muslims in their countries vote, but also their military dependency on the US, their integration movement stemming from their killing of sixty million (those weak-kneed secularists!) in WWII, the fragmentation that precipitated the integration movement itself, and so on.

Russia, the most athestic nation in the world today, sure as heck has been anything but pacifistic regarding the Chechen war, huh? I don’t know if they’re humanist, but they’re quite secular. Yet they continue to suck up to Iran. I guess life in no way fits into these little boxes, huh?

Religious revivalism in the United States, Omar - and you can take this to the bank - will not result in anything whatsoever like "Muslims and Christians getting together to fight (what? fight how?) the dreaded encroaching secularism". Secularists and Christians aren’t detonating car bombs on each other over their differing lifestyles. Muslim violence has mostly resulted in Christians and secularists forming their own distinct varieties of anti-Muslim grudge.

Need examples? Look at this dude:
Turning the other cheek means to stand up to those who persecute you...It doesn’t mean roll over and die.
Christianity indisputably trends more peaceful, even at the extreme ends, than Islam at the moment - although that’s probably only because Christian cultures dominate the globe - but it’s full of fools like this, who can’t recognize glaring logical contradictions with the core statement of their own perceived @deity. No, turning the other cheek does *not* mean "standing up to people who persecute you", but deliberately offering your possessions, physical safety, and if need be life in the name of love and non-resistance. It could hardly be any possibly clearer than that, but if you need clarity, "If a man wants to sue you for your shirt, let him have your coat as well." Matthew 5:38-42, immediately following the cheek quote.
 
Written By: glasnost
URL: http://
glasnost, you forgot to read what was in the "..." Don’t you think that turning the other cheek is a clever means to fight an injustice, or did Jesus in actuallity want us to validate evil?

Hey if all OBL wanted was a shirt, I’d gladly give one to him.
 
Written By: Jimmy the Dhimmi
URL: www.warning1938alert.ytmnd.com
Glasnost, secular humanists seem not to have inherent militant tendencies when not animated by a particular militarist or expansionist ideology. During World War 2, the ideology that dominated secularists was fascism (in Italy) and Nazism (in Germany). Prior to and after the Second World War, Soviet Communism was the animating force for secularists. Post-1949, the East Asian variant turned ordinary, peaceful, religious (although they don’t necessarily consider themselves "religious") Chinese peasants into anti-religious communist thugs. In short, without a dominant ideology, secularism is very much a movement without backbone. From what secularist belief does a man draw courage from? Secularism without some type of supporting ideology (nationalism, communism, marxism, etc.) is a house without a frame. I would suggest that anyone seeking a Christian resurgence in the US and Europe need only remember this fact.

I disagree on your assesment of Russia. Since the fall of Soviet communism, the Russian people are returning to their religious roots : Russian Orthodox Christianity. They aren’t a naturally secularist culture. Over a thousand years of religion is ingrained into the Russian; he’s not going to abandon it just because of a 75 year aberration.

My hope is that people of all religions will come together in some kind of ecumenical harmony. The Abrahamic religions have the most in common with each other, thus this is the logical first step for most in the West. Although I’m not so naive as to believe that we are all going to be singing kumbayah around the fire, we can at least end the violence between us and come to some kind of reasonable level of mutual respect. Islam is not driving Christians away from churches. Islam isn’t making more than 50% of American Catholics "lapsed." Islam isn’t turning the nations of Europe into the least religious people in the western world (Sweden, btw is the West’s most atheist nation, not Russia). When Christians look out across the world to find out who is actually doing the most damage to their religion, reasonable observers should conclude that it isn’t Islam (or any other religion for that matter), it’s secular humanism. Despite the differences, Islam, Judaism, and Christianity have much in the way of common ground and can prove to be a powerful alliance against secularists who want nothing more than the end of "primitive, barbarous" religion.
 
Written By: The Poet Omar
URL: http://www.asecondhandconjecture.com
Omar,
I appreciate that this is a conversation, not an argument. I also appreciate that it is intellectual and not emotional. Your decency is noted.
Joab, while your quoting of later Pauline epistles may be correct, it is at variance with what Jesus (PBUH) directly said. Do you accept the direct, quoted word of Jesus (PBUH) or that of a man who never actually met him? Unless of course you use the Catholic dodge and cite Augustinian and later philosophy which sort of, but not really supercedes the Gospels.
Actually, Paul did meet Christ twice: on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:3-5ff) and again in the "third heaven" (2 Cor. 12:1-4). Furthermore, as an apostle of Jesus we believe that Paul spoke on His behalf. Thus, what the apostles wrote that is within the biblical canon is considered to have been the inspired word of God, and therefore accepted as the word of God. That is why I specified that Jesus taught us to forgive individually, but that Paul taught that the nation state has been given authority to bear the sword.
By Israel, I assume you mean the Jewish people as a whole. That is certainly true, but nowhere in the Torah, Talmud, or (for the Orthodox) Shulchan Aruch does it say that they have to be pacifists or not defend themselves. On the contrary, certain Talmudic quotes actually inveigh Jews to defend themselves. Don’t forget that Christians have a different basis for their theology than do Jews (Gospel v. Torah).
Yes, I meant the nation Israel, and I was saying that it was not under any obligations to not defend itself and neither are we. As for the differing theology between Christianity and Judaism...I do not necessarily agree with that statement as a whole. Yes, Jews would likely agree with that position, but Christians believe that Jesus was the Christ, the promised Messiah. Further, Jesus fulfilled the Mosaic law, which therefore melds the Torah and the gospel together quite nicely.

Of course, I’m representing my Christian beliefs, which are different from those of some other Christians. And on that point we find a great deal of struggles amongst all religions. There are divergences within Islam, Christianity, Judaism, etc. We are not able to agree amongst ourselves and, in some cases, resort to intra-faith warring (i.e. Sunni and Shia, Protestants and Catholics), and yet as we are all unable to get our own houses in order we are simultaneously telling other religions what they are doing wrong. This is not a good recipe for harmony among nations and religions. But then, I’m a Calvinist so I expect as much ;)
 
Written By: Joab
URL: http://joabsblog.blogspot.com
Don’t you think that turning the other cheek is a clever means to fight an injustice,

No.

or did Jesus in actuallity want us to validate evil?

No. Jesus intended for his followers to avoid personal sin - including the sin of aggression, antithetical to love, and the sin of the attempt to defend one’s wordly interests of any kind . That’s why he allowed himself to be crucified rather then raise a hand against those who sought to exterminate him. It’s called an example. A very, very, very, very, very, very obvious example.

Hey if all OBL wanted was a shirt, I’d gladly give one to him.

It’s.... a... parable.... about... the inherent invalidity of worldly self-defense - not just defense of secular things but any form of self-defense in the secular world. And here we are again at "turn the other cheek". Not about shirts.
 
Written By: glasnost
URL: http://
No, turning the other cheek does *not* mean "standing up to people who persecute you", but deliberately offering your possessions, physical safety, and if need be life in the name of love and non-resistance. It could hardly be any possibly clearer than that, but if you need clarity, "If a man wants to sue you for your shirt, let him have your coat as well." Matthew 5:38-42, immediately following the cheek quote.

That’s not what it means. Jesus specifies the "right cheek". Most people are right-handed. To be hit on the right cheek you’d have to be hit from behind or by a left-handed person. This is a Jewish idiom that refers to being slapped by the back of the hand, meaning an insult. If someone insults you, don’t insult them back — which is the very context in which Omar’s original question was posed. If someone takes advantage of you, let them. This is does not mean that Jesus advocates suicide via inaction for his followers who face adversaries bent on killing them.

The Old and New Testaments reaffirm the right and duty of the state to employ violence.

And, we have a record of Jesus meeting a Roman centurion—an army officer who most likely achieved his rank because he was skilled at battle. After talking with this soldier for a few minutes, Jesus did not tell him to put down his sword, nor did he tell him to retire from the military. Instead, he praised the man’s faith, saying that he had more faith than anyone He had met (Matthew 8:5-13).

And there’s the whole throwing the money-lenders out of the temple thing. There’s no indication that Jesus killed anyone, but he certainly employed violence.
 
Written By: Fyro
URL: http://
{both quotes by glasnost}
No. Jesus intended for his followers to avoid personal sin..
I agree with what is quoted above. If you trace the sins of man they most often end up rooted in pride. It is terribly difficult for us to receive an insult or assault and not respond in kind, or at least harbor hatred in our heart for the action committed against us. Jesus was telling us to not respond to sin with another sin. The meek shall inherit the earth because they are just and righteous, not because they are pacifists.
That’s why he allowed himself to be crucified rather then raise a hand against those who sought to exterminate him. It’s called an example.
I disagree with this quote. Jesus allowed Himself to be crucified (and He did say Himself that He was giving Himself up and allowing it to happen—He had the power to stop it) because He was the sole means by which a perfect atoning sacrifice could be paid for man’s sin. No other perfect sacrifice had come, was present or would come in the future.

When Jesus said that no greater love existed than for a man to lay down his life for a friend he wasn’t talking about a soldier diving onto a grenade to spare his buddies (though that is amazingly noble). He spoke of His own sacrifice. Thus, God created man and mankind sinned against their Creator. Rather than write us off and justly eliminate us all, God took on the nature of his creation so that He could save said creation. What an amazingly awesome thing that is! Truly, we cannot comprehend the depth of it.

Having said that, I am aware that those within Judaism and Islam do not consider Jesus to have been deity, nor would other non-Christians. I can, however, only properly speak of my own position, so that is what I have to offer with my posts here. I must say that I am stimulated by the continued conversation.
 
Written By: Joab
URL: http://joabsblog.blogspot.com
Islam is not driving Christians away from churches. Islam isn’t making more than 50% of American Catholics "lapsed." Islam isn’t turning the nations of Europe into the least religious people in the western world (Sweden, btw is the West’s most atheist nation, not Russia). When Christians look out across the world to find out who is actually doing the most damage to their religion, reasonable observers should conclude that it isn’t Islam (or any other religion for that matter), it’s secular humanism.
I agree with Omar. However, I offer a caveat: Islam is not doing Christianity any favors either, and in many Islamic nations there are open hostilities toward Christianity. In how many Islamic nations may Christians prostelyze? Still, it is secular humanism that is the greatest enemy of Christianity. It has infiltrated some Christian sects and denominations, and the result is watered-down beliefs. I decline to name names here because I don’t want to stir emotions, but more than one Christian Church has vacated its traditional beliefs and neutered them so that they can appeal to a wider spectrum of people. If a religion or Church has always held to a belief that can be termed liberal then they at least maintain their integrity by staying the course. When Churches flow with the times and the fashions I call into question just how firm their spiritual beliefs truly are, and in changing to accept nearly anyone Churches fall prey to secular humanism. After all, the humanist will tell you that either God is dead or that He never existed, and that mankind is capable of elevating to a higher plane and solving his own problems. Eventually, apparently. Nothing in mankind’s history gives evidence that we can do this, which seems evidence enough for me to reject humanism.

Just my $.02 worth.
 
Written By: Joab
URL: http://joabsblog.blogspot.com
Jesus intended for his followers to avoid personal sin - including the sin of aggression, antithetical to love, and the sin of the attempt to defend one’s wordly interests of any kind .
Huh? Since when is it a sin to defend one’s interests? I don’t recall Jesus saying that, and it certainly isn’t Old Testament. It does explain a lot about your worldview, though. Do you think Jesus wanted people to stand back and watch if their families were being murdered?
That’s why he allowed himself to be crucified rather then raise a hand against those who sought to exterminate him. It’s called an example. A very, very, very, very, very, very obvious example.
No, it’s a very, very, very, very, very misinterpreted example in your hands. Joab already addressed the obvious, so I’ll just point you to His nearly last words: "Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?" or "My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?".
 
Written By: Pablo
URL: http://
Luke 22:36: [Jesus] said to them, "But now the one who has a purse must take it, and likewise a bag; and the one who has no sword must sell his cloak and buy one."

Seems clear Jesus approved the use of arms for defense. However, he never suggested the agressive violence:

Sura 8:12 Your [Muhammad’s] Lord revealed to the angels: "I am with you: give the believers firmness; I shall put terror into the hearts of the disbelievers. Strike above their necks and strike their fingertips."

(revealed after the defeat of a Meccan army).

Also, Jesus, unlike Mohammed, was never a warrior.

 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
My queation: "I understand you point about those who "using religion as a facade", but why do so many choose that particular religion?"
I don’t understand your question. Can you clarify a bit?
My point is that in the world today, it is Muslims who are responsable for a considerable amount of violence. If it was just Israel and Palestine, or India and Pakistan, etc., you might be able to argue that both sides are culpable. It just seems that everywhere Islam exists with strength, conflicts arise. English Hindus haven’t blown up trains in London, for example, but Muslims have. If this wasn’t true, we wouldn’t be having these discussions.

Perhaps you are right that people are using Islam as a facade for violence, but why Islam? Why is Christian, Hindu, Buddist violence so much less common?

 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
the sin of the attempt to defend one’s wordly interests of any kind
Glasnost,

Where is that a sin in the Bible? Luke 22:36 seems to contradict it. Did you find an internal contradiction in the Bible, or did you make up that "sin"?
 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
Also, Jesus, unlike Mohammed, was never a warrior.
Irrelevant. Moses (PBUH), Joshua (PBUH), Saul (PBUH), David (PBUH), Solomon (PBUH) were all warriors. Does this fact force them to abnegate claims to prophethood or holiness?
Perhaps you are right that people are using Islam as a facade for violence, but why Islam? Why is Christian, Hindu, Buddist violence so much less common?
There is a two-fold answer to this question. The first is that most of the people using Islam as a facade happen to be of nationalities that are predominantly Muslim. For them to claim to be Taoists or Jews, etc. would upset the narrative that they are proposing to the world. Remember this is the fight between the poor, put upon primitive little brown people against the evil might of white, Judeo-Christian imperialists. Or so goes the story that they present to the media, the UN, etc. Most of them were also conveniently raised Muslims or at least born to Muslim parents. Why would they bother to learn another set of scriptures and theology when they already have a native one?

The second part of the answer here is that there is a great deal of non-Islamic violence. Until fairly recently, Irish and British Protestants were essentially involved in a civil war with Irish Catholics. Serbian Orthodox Christians were slaughtering Muslims in the former Yugoslavia. Russian Orthodox Christians were doing the same in Chechnya and Afghanistan. Hindus have slaughtered Sikhs and Muslims on more than one occasion and managed to assasinate the father of modern India (Mohandas Gandhi) in the name of religion. The Chinese (be they Taoist, Confucian, Buddhist, etc.) have slaughtered and enslaved Tibetan Buddhists. Violence for political gain hasn’t been restricted to Islam alone by any means.
 
Written By: The Poet Omar
URL: http://www.asecondhandconjecture.com
Islamists can not defend their pseudo-religion by logic and argument
Good thing I’m not an Islamist.
In many ways Islam is akin to Stalinism
Oh, come on. We deserve at least one good comparison to Nazism. Jeez, give us a little credit, would ya?
Muhammad happens to be a violent warlord who personally raped several women including 9 years old child (Aisha). He also oversaw cold-blooded murder of some 700-900 unarmed Jews who surrendered to him. After the mass-murder, his men raped all the women, and Muhammad took the prettiest one of them, the 17 years old Safiah as his “wife”.
Ray, you forgot to mention that we’re in league with the Devil, too. Oh, and we drink blood too and control the IMF and World Bank. Not to mention the fact that the black helicopters with crescents on them will be hovering over your neighborhood very soon.

Love and kisses,

Omar

PS The link to the website in your URL is busted. Just thought I’d be neighborly and mention that to ya.
 
Written By: The Poet Omar
URL: http://www.asecondhandconjecture.com

 
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