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Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thanksgiving: The Juxtaposition of Church and State

A couple of years ago, I wrote about the Separation of Church and State.

Some people find it surprising that I prefer to keep the mention of religion out of the classroom (as well as formal prayer). But I feel that way because I don't want to have other religions crammed down my throat and I would heartily resent it if someone tried to do that to my child. If you don't want to hear about Christianity, that's fine by me as long as I don't have to hear about Christian Science or the Jehovah's Witnesses.

However, as a country, we're not honoring this. Although Christianity has been gagged, bound, threatened and stifled in many places, we are increasingly seeing cities that allow a raucous Muslim call-to-prayer (known as 'adhan') to be broadcast over loudspeakers from their mosque five times a day. The cities that are being subjected to this include Hamtramck, Michigan; the ancient English city of Oxford; St. Louis, Missouri; Harvard University, Massachusetts; and more. I doubt we'll see this list narrow, either.

If we are to allow adhan to be broadcast in public, then it's time to rescind the laws restricting shows of Christian faith, as well. Let's have a glorious religious free-for-all under the label of "being open-minded" and give everyone a fair and equal chance at this.

No? Do you think we're letting the genie out of the box and it's time to stuff it back in once more?

Believe it or not, the Pilgrims would have agreed with you. But only to a certain extent.

The Pilgrims didn't believe in pure freedom of religion, or the Salem witch trials would never have occurred. They were peculiar people, for the most part, and religious zealots of even their own time. However, they did not forcibly convert the Native Americans. Instead, they attempted to proselytize them and, as we know, shared the First Thanksgiving dinner with them.

The Pilgrims were very black and white in their beliefs. They were literalists when it came to Biblical interpretation. This meant that (in contrast to the Salem witch trials) at times they were also highly charitable, such as when they appropriated abandoned Native American food but paid the Native Americans for it when they finally met them six months later. They also wanted to be allowed to practice what they believed, without interference from the government.

That's why they left England.

So, I believe the Pilgrims would have compromised with other faiths as long as those other faiths left them alone to do as they pleased. What they would not have wanted, however, is any encroachment into the way that they practiced their beliefs. And therefore, the Pilgrims would not have wanted to be located within the sound of adhan.

I find it gloriously strange that we still celebrate Thanksgiving in this country. It was the first holiday ever celebrated here, and it's entirely an American-made holiday. And yet, it is a holiday formed for a very specific purpose: To thank the Biblical God for everything he has given us and done for us. And, to pretend differently is to alter history.

So, as you sit down to your Thanksgiving dinner, ask yourself why we are still allowed time off to celebrate a holiday that is steeped in religious meaning. And then be thankful that we modern Americans haven't messed it up.

Yet.

31 comments:

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

One rule for all.

No matter what your faith, keep it's odd and bizarre ways out of people's faces and in places of worship.

So I agree with you in that sense.

Saur♥Kraut said...

Daniel, We agree in personal freedoms and the right to be left alone. I believe all civilized people do.

The Lazy Iguana said...

How about the church bells a ringing like crazy on Sunday morning?

The call to prayer from the mosques is kind of like the church bells. Only the church bells do not ring several times per day. But they could if they wanted to.

So no, I do not think Christianity is being singled out for anything. Some people in the church however see "inequity" everywhere - while failing to look at other things. Like their church bells. It just so happens that other religions have a tradition that involves someone climbing up a tower and shouting a call to prayer multiple times a day - while other religions don't have that tradition.

And by the way, the Puritans were not tolerant of other views. That is why they got on leaky wooden ships to make a dangerous ocean crossing - only to arrive in a complete wilderness. They were kicked out of England and went to Holland. As is the case today, even back then Holland was known as a "liberal" nation - a place where a lot of things were allowed. It was a port city, so there was a mix of everything there. There were people from all walks of Europe, there were people from the middle east, from the far east, and so on. There was no "state" religion, where many other nations had one.

The Puritans were not exactly kicked out of Holland, but nobody was sad to see them go. They did not approve of any belief except their own, and made that known to everyone else. They were hard core fundamentalists who really did not even like the Quakers (when the Quaker movement started later in America). Or anyone else. This is why they desired to go to a wilderness - where nobody else lived.

So no, they would not want to live next to a mosque. Or a Jewish temple. Or a Catholic church. Or for that matter - any other church that was NOT a Puritan church. If your church is not a Puritan church - they would not want to live around that either! People seen going into non Puritan churches would most likely be declared "witches" or some such thing, and then put on trial where the court allowed "spectral evidence". If the Puritans were to come back today they would be horrified, declare EVERYONE who was not one of them to be wicked, then seek some wilderness area to move to.

Just like they did in the past.

As for Thanksgiving, I do think that was the first and last time that settlers did not shoot at natives. But that is not really the issue - except for some tribes that still have public "funeral" services as a form of protest today.

The idea of "giving thanks" is not exactly limited to Christianity. It is in itself NOT a "religious" holiday - as there is no mention of it in any holy book. Even the newest translations contain no mention of a November Thanksgiving holiday.

It it in effect a very American harvest festival. A time that people give thanks to whatever / whoever they want to. It easily fits into all religions. It is popular today for that very reason. It is all inclusive - no matter who you happen to be.

There is no war on Christianity. There is no war on Christmas. Well except for the malls, who just want the images of the secular side of Christmas on display (so you buy more crap).48814881

Scott said...

My understanding of the separation of church and state is a government issue. As long as the call to prayer is not happening at government buildings or government funded schools then why is it an issue?

Saur♥Kraut said...

Lazy, Let's not be needlessly obtuse, here. A raucous burbling of words 5 times a day hardly compares to melodic bells, and you know it.

And although I love hearing bells, I cannot say that I hear them and think "OH! They're CHRISTIAN bells! Oh NO!" I don't even usually recognize the melody. But at least it's a MELODY and not raucous warbling.

But, I'll willingly give up bells if it saves us from that call to prayer.

And, uh, I specifically SAID Puritans weren't totally tolerant. However, I think (and it's my opinion only) that they wouldn't mind leaving others to their private worship as long as it didn't infringe upon them.

And if you want to make Thanksgiving other than what it is, fine by me. I'm not the religious police. I'm just pointing out that the holiday IS historically religious. After all, Christmas is religious in origin too, but many people hide behind Santa.

Scott, Because the Muslim call to prayer is noise pollution. And that's an infringement on everyone. But really, this was a minor point in what I was trying to say. ...I think. It became a more major point than I intended originally.

The Lazy Iguana said...

If you understood Arabic, or whatever language the chanting is in, you would not find it to be "raucous burbling" or whatever. It is probably somewhat poetic. I imagine that if I could speak the language, the warbling would sound a lot like any of the psalms.

"noise pollution" by the way could include church bells. Assuming that the church bells are audible for more than - what is it? 500 feet? 100 feet?

How about if I think rap music is poetic and sounds great. So I share it with the world from my 5,000 watt car stereo. That is noise pollution.

And it is still noise pollution if I change the NWA CD for a Mozart CD.

As long as the cops can hear the music from a set distance (and I forget what that distance is - it varies by County and even City) I get a ticket.

Churches are exempt from this of course. Traditionally, bells have always been there. 5,000 watt car stereos are new.

But if you want to call one religious chant "noise pollution" that same standard can be applied to church bells too. Just like playing that ass Slim Shady too loud does not mean I can blast Beethoven's 9th symphony.

Or is it just a case were since it is not your religion, you are against it. But if chanting a call to prayer 5 times a day was part of the Christian tradition - it would be fantastic and perfectly acceptable?

From my point of view - I really do not care. There are not any mosques around me. I suspect that there are none around you either. Is your house in the shadow of a minaret? If not - then who cares. You are not being forced to listen to anything.

But if you really want to advocate cutting off those loudspeakers - think about where that logic could be applied to next.

Personally - I would not want to go there. The call to prayer 5 times a day is islamic tradition. It is not like the mosques just invented this yesterday. It is a part of their religious tradition and is therefore protected.

It is not their fault that Christian tradition only calls for ringing bells for a few minutes once or twice a week, or on special occasions like weddings or coronations or important holy days or whatever.

Traditionally Christmas is the birth of Jesus. Now of course the Bible does not mention a specific date so December 25 was somewhat arbitrary - but that does not matter. That is what Christmas is.

Easter was never mentioned by day either - but since the last supper was a Passover feast, there is a much stronger case there.

Thanksgiving however has no connection at all to the Bible. But most, if not all, cultures have a harvest festival. They go back as far as one can trace human history. And all are steeped in religious tradition. It all depends on which deity you are thanking for the harvest.

And that is what Thanksgiving is in the USA. It is a holiday that very easily fits into whatever religion you happen to be part of. Even if you are not part of any religion, it still fits in. The first Thanksgiving was celebrated by the Puritans, but I am not sure that they intended to make it a yearly thing. But even that does not matter. Lets say they did intend to make it a yearly celebration from the start.

There is still no connection to the Bible for it. So trying to make the case that it is reserved only for Christians is not exactly hitting the mark. And you can be thankful for things without involving supernatural forces. If that is what you want to do.

Pagans first celebrated birthdays. So all birthday parties are only for pagans?

Knot said...

I just spent the better part of my morning handing a former co-worker his a$$ because he lit into me on FB for joining a cause that was religiously based. Him being an atheist 1) Had no ground to argue God with me, 2) Had no ground to tell me what I could or couldn't believe in 3) Had no ground to tell me I was intolerant when he himself was intolerant of my beliefs. Save for the few Bible thumpers on Bourbon street, I have never been accosted by people trying to jam religion down my throat. However, I want to be left to worship the way I want. I don't want to jam it down your throat, but if you want to know the reason for my joy, ask and I'll tell you. So I agree, keep it all out of school ALLLLLLL OF IT!!! Take your muslim ad-whatever and play it on your iPod and pray in a quiet place on your own time. If you don't believe in God, fine, when I talk about God, tune me out. But don't tell me I'm intolerant when you are the intolerant one.

And BTW, the home schoolers say there is no God being taught in school and the atheists say leave God out of school, they can't both be right, so they must both be wrong.

Knot

M@ said...

I think it's fair to celebrate Christmas as a secular holiday, which is what it is for so many people. After all, it's a federal holiday celebrated by 94% of Americans.

I don't want to hear the call to prayer in MY city. I don't advocate violence but they deserve something for that....

daveawayfromhome said...

I was going to mention the church bells, but Lazy beat me to it, so I'll riff on this one:

"If the Puritans were to come back today they would be horrified, declare EVERYONE who was not one of them to be wicked, then seek some wilderness area to move to. "

Puritans: the original survivalists.

Saur♥Kraut said...

Lazy, Pretend all you want: You know that it sounds like a cat having it's tail pulled. Repeatedly. Melodic it is not. If you want to give other faiths equal time, let them trade in their bells and start shouting that their God is the only god five times a day and see how much you like it.

And no doubt, many holidays have been secularized. But Thanksgiving is still allowed to be referred to as... Thanksgiving. Christmas is "Happy Holidays" now, for the most part.

Anyway, I'm not griping about that. I'm just happy we still get to celebrate it.

Knot, I agree with most of what you've written. But as for God in schools - if you're a born-again Christian, then you believe God is in schools because he's present in you. And I know a vast number of homeschoolers - some aren't religious at all. Their reasons for homeschooling are actually usually NOT religious.

M@, dittos all the way.

Dave, Not so much survivalists as isolationists.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

Where Lazy is coming from is that the double standards on play are the issue, we live in a time of Islmaophobia, a fear of Islam and that has long also been a cover for a disrespect for Islam, which in turn can lead to bigoted attacks.

You calling the call to prayer a shrill racket has been dealt with by Lazy, basically it's double standards built on prejudice but you've already made your dislike of Islam clear, it's the attempt to hide it behind being balanced and tolerent, both of which on this issue you're not.

And coming at M@ like a pitchfork: I'd like to see you take on some Islamic fundies, they'd kick your ass dude, you're too busy with vag to be fighting fit.

And Knot: nothing you say ever makes sense; "the home schoolers say there is no God being taught in school and the atheists say leave God out of school, they can't both be right, so they must both be wrong."

If that was the case then there would be god in school and out of school. You don't half talk some trash rude boy.

And just cuz someone is an atheist don;t mean they can't talk god with you, in fact, I'd listen up real hard, it's the last chance saloon to save yourself from a life of prayer, selfishness and dreaming of a better place when this...is...it.

And I wear my intolerence badge with pride, religion been holding humanity back far too long, we grew out of Zeus so why not Jesus.

Saur♥Kraut said...

Daniel, Labeling someone intolerant because they do not approve of something is wrong. I am tolerant of many religions (and lack of religion), but let's be clear: Islam is not so much a religion as a fascist government swathed in religious trappings. It's as if Nazism became a religion.

And if you want to argue that the Muslim call to prayer is the most beautiful thing to ever be heard by man, fine, so be it. It's time for a Baptist call to prayer, a Mormon call to prayer, and... well, we could go on and on. It would get to a point where the air would be a-ringing with the cacaphony of it all.

Uncle Joe said...

I think we should be forced to listen to Bon Jovi's Living on a Prayer.
5 times a day.

Saur♥Kraut said...

Uncle Joe, *LOL* We share the same musical tastes, I think. The philosopher Sartre's version of hell for ME would include jello, koolaid, and listening to endless songs by Bon Jovi, Elvis, the Scorpions, and Tiny Tim.

Fred said...

Happy Thanksgiving, Saur. I hope you and your family are having a great holiday. It was a wonderful day here with great weather, and we all had a great time here.

The Lazy Iguana said...

Oh come on. Christmas is still Christmas. Check your calendar. What does it say for December 25? "Holiday"??

Nope. Says "Christmas".

"Happy Holidays" is simply a convenience that covers all the bases. There is more than one faith that has celebrations in the month of December after all.

"Happy Holidays" also includes Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is the kick off holiday for the holiday season.

In other words - it is simply a figure of speech. That is all. And according to people such as my mother, "Happy Holidays" was a common saying back as far as she can remember. Even in the deep south. Nobody thought anything of it. Churches would have "holiday parties" because Christmas was reserved for family time and worship. Parties were either before Christmas or after Christmas. NEVER on the day itself.

At least not church parties.

This crap - and it is crap - about the mythical "war on Christmas" is just around for people can bitch on the TV and sell more books. Please do not fall for it.

As for the "noise" from a mosque, they ARE NOT demanding that PA speakers be placed in the town square, or at City Hall. They call to prayer 5 times a day. It is something that has been going on for a long time. It was not just something invented last year to annoy people.

And I bet that if it were part of Christian tradition to issue a public call to prayer 5 times a day, no loudspeaker would be loud enough. Am I right there?

Of course I am. But if it is not part of your faith then it is easier to say "shut it off".

But if there was a Christian call to prayer 5 times a day and I complained about a nearby church - can you imagine what Fox "News" would say about that?

See that is what the 1st Amendment is all about. It protects all religions. Cutting off the PA for a mosque could very well lead to silencing of church bells later.

I have a feeling that if it were in Christian tradition to chant from a tower 5 times a day, the "noise" would not be an issue.

I am not the one pretending anything here. I never said I though chanting through a crappy PA system sounded great. And you know what? I do not want to hear Gregorian Chants over a PA either. I just said that if I could understand the language the chanting is in it may sound poetic. Translations after all, do not always cut it. But I do not want to hear Robert Frost over a PA either. Poetic or not.

I would not care if all religious building noises were cut off, or at least if the same noise ordinance applied to religious institutions that apply to my truck stereo. But I would not go out and advocate that, or even vote for that - as I think it would be in violation of the 1st Amendment.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

Saur: I'm not calling you intolerant because you don't approve of public calls to prayer, I'm calling you intolorant becuase you're intolerant of Islam.

You prove this as you go onto say: "Islam is not so much a religion as a fascist government swathed in religious trappings."

Which is so offensive and intolerant, it beggers belief, how on earth you can, with a straight face, claim to be tolerant and then abuse a religion like this is beyond me.

Also, look closer to home, the Christian faith is an equally despisable piece of nasty work, making out which organised religion is more anti-human is like saying which genocide is worse.

And stop comparing everything to the Nazis...

Uncle Joe said...

Saur,
I'm looking for leftovers.
Turkey, dressing, cranberry anything.
It's all good!

Saur♥Kraut said...

Fred, Thank you! And to you and yours! It's pretty cold here right now, though it warms up during the day.

Daniel, Not intolerant: Honest and clear-eyed. And if you were a little more impartial, you'd see that. You usually acclaim me to be very objective. Sometimes the truth isn't pretty.

Lazy, OK.

Uncle Joe, Tell me about it! We had a fabulous hash brown casserole that defies description, green bean casserole, sweet potato casserole, turkey, ham, and three kinds of pie. Leftovers? Oh yeah!

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

On this issue, you are intolerant, you cannot read the words back you've printed and not be anything other than intolerant.

What I'm saying is, it is okay to be intolerant of other people's beliefs, because I'm intolerant of anyone who believes in fairies, god or virigns in heaven.

But you can't have your cake and eat it.

M@ said...

Sauer,

David doesn't understand that Islam is more than a religion; it is a life-system, like communism or capitalism (you compared it to Nazism)....

There is nothing wrong with preferring the sound of church bells to the siren-like call to prayer. There is nothing wrong with cultural conservation. It is not intolerance. It's a different perspective lefties cannot understand.

Saur♥Kraut said...

Daniel, By your definition, then, I will agree. But the term 'intolerant' usually means more than a dislike and rejection of something. It usually means an unreasonable dislike and rejection. As long as we agree that our dislikes are preferential and not unreasonable, then I will agree with you.

Notice how cautiously I worded that. You can tell I used to work for politicians!

M@, We agree completely about this. A counter-argument to the statement that it's a "life system" would be to say that ALL religions are life systems, but that's not true.

Islam is sometimes equated to Christianity, but Mulsims are different in that they demand and expect all religions to eventually come under the governance of Islam and Islamic governments. Islamic governments are demanded in the Koran (no religious tolerance there at all, Daniel) and they rule over everyone and dictate such things as:

1. No alcohol for anyone
2. No music
3. No humor

Correct me if I'm wrong, but this just doesn't sound like a party to me. And talk about micromanagement! The witch trials at Salem were a cakewalk compared to living subjugated under Muslim rule.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

M@:

that is a pile of anus and you know it, the only religion that is a life system is being Jewish, becuase it is an ethnic identity as well as a faith, the same cannot be said for any of the other major religions (although one gets the feeling that Christians and Muslims both are rather jealous of this special status, hence why have spent so long persecuting Jews in revenge for being god's chosen ones...)

As for cultural conservation, America is hardly snowed under with Muslims calling to prayer left right and centre and what about the native Amercians cultural conservation?

The idea of cultural conservation is horseshit and you know it, a stick to beat minority groups with so that they shut up or get demonized. This argument was used against people of colour and also againt anyone who didn't want to do things 'the American way'. Drop it before you get horribly exposed as a light weight political thinker with knee jerk reactions to complex issues.

Saur:

On one hand your dislike is unreasonable as it based on prejudiced opinions and lack of first hand data BUT on the other it is VERY reasonable, only in the sense that seeing religion as unreasonable is perfectly correct but ALL religion, not just one you don't subscribe to.

And returning to the 'life system' concept that is being bandied around here...(why use this as a defence I've no idea because then it makes the attacks on the faith bordering on bigotry, whereas if you remove the silly idea that Muslims are somehow unique amongst faith users, then you can attack the religion itself full on with no fear of being called a bigot, but alas, that position is lost becuase you are a person of faith yourself and one religion attacking another is frankly bizarre. You're all as bad as each other!).

All of the faiths would prefer it if you believed only in them, the Christian god is as selfish, as spiteful and as demanding of his subjects as the Muslim god is. Same for the fiath s of the east or the new Christian off shoots that spout all kinds of nonsesne about the end of the world coming.

The bible is a document fo laws also and you'll know that many people follow it as such, it also does not approve of various petty actions involving donkeys, buggery and is also a big beleiver in slaves and violence if provoked. Even Mr. Christ was in favour of vigourous smiting!

And just to be clear, hunour is not banned by the Koran, neither is music, just as wearing clothing of two sorts of fabric is not banned by the bible or touching a woman when on her period.

The point is, BOTH religious texts were written by men, many years ago who quite frankly were idiots and not getting enough sex and were scared fo having a good time, as well as being chauvanists and bigoted hypocrits (nothing has changed there) and if any fool uses these book as verbatim guides to life (which many do in both America, Europe, Africa, Middle East and the Far East) than the problem is not only with them but also our insistence as a species of animals to persist with these myths as a crutch to deal with the wonder that is life.

ROLL ON A WORLD WITH NO HEAVEN OR HELL, NO GODS AT ALL AND JUST HUMAN CENTRED THINKING!

Saur♥Kraut said...

Daniel,

On one hand your dislike is unreasonable as it based on prejudiced opinions and lack of first hand data...

You have no grounds or knowledge enough to say this. In fact, you are very wrong on both counts.

You're all as bad as each other!).

Really? Please fill me in on the news stories I'm missing about the Christian pirates who are hijacking boats to fund their terror campaigns. And I must be missing the bombings and killing of innocents - perhaps I've been misinformed and 9/11 was carried out by rabid Baptists.

All of the faiths would prefer it if you believed only in them, the Christian god is as selfish, as spiteful and as demanding of his subjects as the Muslim god is.

Baloney. Back this up, please. Are you referring to the part where Jesus says "Love your neighbor as yourself"? Or are you referring to the part in the Koran in which Mohammad says to "slay the unbelievers" (9:5, 2:191)?

...also a big beleiver in slaves and violence if provoked. Even Mr. Christ was in favour of vigourous smiting!

You must have missed my article on why the Bible does not condone slavery.

As for 'vigorous smiting', what are you referring to: Jesus' cleasing at the temple as he drove out the merchants? He hardly killed them, it's the only recorded violence of his (and if you read the Bible you'd learn that he healed tons of people and even repaired the lopped-off ear of a soldier who was taking him away to be crucified).

Mohammad's 'smiting' involved torture, rape, beheadings, and more. Hmmm. I think there's a pretty obvious difference there, but tell me if you don't see it.

And just to be clear, hunour is not banned by the Koran, neither is music, just as wearing clothing of two sorts of fabric is not banned by the bible or touching a woman when on her period.

As I said before, the Koran is not the sum-all of the Islamic faith, as it's unintelligable in many places. So, the contemporaries of Mohammad also weighed in, and these documents (which are equivalent to the Koran in the Muslim faith) DO forbid such things.

And the Old Testament law (which applied to the Jewish people only) DID forbid wearing two fabrics together, and also forbade touching a woman while she had her period (and for a time afterwards).

ROLL ON A WORLD WITH NO HEAVEN OR HELL, NO GODS AT ALL AND JUST HUMAN CENTRED THINKING!


How loverly. Now - which human gets to set those human centered rules? How do we agree?

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

First off, apologies if my comments over at Matt's came across as slams, not intended but rather using the reference points that Matt and I have to challenge the post he put on his blog.

You do not live in an Islamic country, you have not spent a long period of time in an islamic country, your views on Islam are shaped by a media and a country that is quite 'against' islam, America being a very religious nation in its own right. My point was and is, how exposed are you to islamic way of life and living, how many people in your close circle are Muslims?

In relation to all as bad as each other, Christians, Buddists, Hindus and Sikhs, as well as Muslims, are killing each other gleefully in the name of god across the world, indeed, the Iraq war was as much a message of god for Bush as it was the bombers of the towers in 11/9.

god is never a good reason to go to war and to kill but it certainly doesn't stop many people around the world from doing it. I'm suggesting that if we get rid of silly gods altogether, people will have less reason to kill and be divisive or be more honest about their motives.

And the news stories you're missing are happening in Africa, where a lot of violence in coming in crusader form of evangelical christianity.

And don't forget the great history of violence that the christian faith has.

It's not baloney, do you really need me to cherry pick the quotes from the bible where Jesus talks about picking up a sword and smiting? Do you need me to remind you that his 'father' was the god that urged his followers to kill all, men women and children mercylessly! The point is, in all the holy books and those without books, they all say stupid things becuase they were written by men who didn't know better. They also say lovely things too but the trouble is people shouldn't live their life by them.

Matthew contains lovely bits on Jesus and his sword, as well approval for the cruelties of the OT and Luke even covers Jesus and the beating of slaves. And here is a quote from the Mo the prophet: "Even as the fingers of the two hands are equal, so are human beings equal to one another. No one has any right, nor any preference to claim over another."

And I didn't miss your article, I just didn't think your scholarship stood up to what is actually written in the bible, you merely cherry picked. We can all do that to good and bad use but the point is the books themselves are flawed and useless.

I find it funny that the OT law doesn't apply to you as a Christian when it is a document that Jesus fully subscribed to? You reject the word of his father? HERESY I SAY!

Or more accurately, cherry picking the bits you don't like and holding on to the bits you do, not so much a holy document as a catalogue of ideas that is thousands of years out fo date as is the bloody koran!

How do we agree? We agree becuase the rules for life are written in our very DNA. We are kind becuase it helps us progress, we are moral becuase to harm others harms us and cuases us pain, we make mistakes that our ours and ours alone and we need no god or silly book written by silly men years ago when the world was thought to be flat and the earth the the centre of the world.

There is no god, either muslim or christian or jewish or hindu or buddist, its all myth and nonsense but unfortunately we're still growing up but one day talk of Mohamed and Jesus and Moses and Brahma and Guru Nanak will have goen the way of Zeus, Apollo, Jupiter and all the other MILLIONS of dead gods that litter humanities past.

Saur♥Kraut said...

Daniel, Please understand that I disagree with a great deal of what you've written, and feel that you are also cherrypicking (a.k.a. taking out of context) many scriptures. But be that as it may be, I can't keep arguing incessantly about the same things.

Thanks for the explanation of the comment at M@'s place.

As for the Muslim faith, I've known many Muslims over at least 20 years as well as scholars on both sides and know of that of which I speak. And don't forget that I've read a great deal from the sources themselves.

I stick to my point, here, and feel that I'm completely correct, just as you do.

Saying that, I'd rather have an atheist by my side (with his eyes wide open and plenty of common sense) than many so-called 'christians'. So we are in agreement that many people who tout their faith don't live it and use it either as a crutch or a club.

But be careful to not assume that of everyone.

As for Christians committing atrocities, please point me to those articles. Thanks!

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

The cherry picking was the point Saur and I made that point, you can take any part of any religion and make it look good/bad because they all contain nasty bits and foolish ideas BECAUSE they were written by silly, foolish men and not god/gods.

That is my problem, many people around the world use these outdated and out moded books as life guides and they should not. No matter what they call their faith. Islam or Mormoms for that matter!

Atheists makes for good allies, in the sense that we take a vigourous stand against all religion BUT only becuase many of us see it as a device to hold back humanity rather than progress it.

But I'll say this again, tolerance is overrated! Being intoerant of bad ideas does not make you a bad person, wear intoerance like a badge. For example, if someone said to you that the earth was flat, you would feel free to be intolerant of that idea. And so you should.

As for Christian atrocities, how about:

Crusades
Witch Burnings and Witch Hunts
Spainish Inquisition
Persecution of the Jews
Rwanda (where Christians helped in the massacre in the name of God)
Christian Missionary Atrocities in a whole raft of places, including Mexico, Phillipines and India
Northern Ireland
Ex-Yugoslavia
Current struggles in Congo

Never mind the huge raft of repression carried out on homosexuals and non-believers in many nations across the world, that utilise the word of god as a weapon to destroy others.

I know many Christians find these things wrong and an abuse of the religion, as I'm sure many Muslims do but that's the point, no relgion is above reproach, all of them are as bad as each other in their methods of repression and control.

Saur♥Kraut said...

Daniel, Fair enough, but:

...know many Christians find these things wrong and an abuse of the religion, as I'm sure many Muslims do but that's the point...

But that's the key issue here. You'll find MANY Christians that will decry extreme behavior such as this. What you won't find are many Muslims that will. It's rare to even find a Muslim that will go on record against the 9/11 attacks, because they know that it's actually sanctioned and encouraged by their faith.

As for Christians, I agree with some of the atrocities but you have to understand that:

1. There were two sides to the Crusades. BOTH sides were equally nasty.

2. The Inquisitions (there were more than just the Spanish one) were carried out by the CATHOLIC church, which is and was very separate from born again Christian believers. Catholics vs. B.A. Christians is kind of like Sunnis vs. Shiites but even more extreme. They're not really of the same faith, as Catholics also worship a female goddess (Mary) and thus believe in more than the Trinity. (To my Catholic friends - just stating facts, not trying to start WW3). Of course modern Catholics are far removed from the savages of that day.

Incidentally, I'm talking about MODERN atrocities, though, and you're not here.

3. Persecution of the Jews: Again, some rogue "Christian" groups. But remember the BIG persecution of the Jews came under fascist governments such as Nazi Germany and Muslim-run governments.

4. Rwanda / Christian MISSIONARY(?) atrocities and the Congo?! You're mistaken here. Please show me the news articles.

5.

Saur♥Kraut said...

Woops! There's no 5. ;o)

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

Saur that is an out an out lie!

The MAJORITY of Muslims are as distressed, depressed and hurt by the attacks as the rest of us are, the MAJORITY, you are quite simply talking not froma factual basis but from one of prejudice. Show me the overwhelming support from the Muslim community for the atrocities in India for example. It is quite simply not there.

And as for 9/11, at the time an endless stream of Muslims spoke out against the 9/11 atrocity and still do, here is a link to the full raft of denoucements.

WILL YOU KNOW CEASE THIS PREJUDICED NONSENSE?

Quite frankly Saur, you sound like a right-wing nutjob.

As for justification of Christian atrocities (do you see how far you're willing to stretch the arguement for your 'own side' but suddenly become a moral absolutist on the matter when it refers to Muslims. Please see this for what it is: prejudiced behaviour)

1. Oh, that's all right then isn't it, two wrongs don't make a right and the fact remains, plenty of Christians engaged in evil acts in the name of god. HURRAH!

2. Oh so you're now splitting hairs regarding the cult you're part of and passing the buck, sorry, don't wash with me, you're part of the Christian faith and the work of the torturers was done in Christ's name, the same Christ you worship. Job done.

3. Again, two wrongs don't go making a right and Christian persecution of Jews is far more extensive and current then that of the Muslims and feeds into the anti-Semitism rife still in modern life and culture. I love how you're willing to split hairs and deflect as much as you can from your own faith but have no patience with the other faith.

4. I'm mistaken? HA HA HA! Good grief you're beyond belief here!!! Rwanda: Christians supported and encouraged and enabled the genocide there, read about it and you'll see. Congo: current conflict is led by evangelicial Christian killing in the name of Christ. The long list of missionary atrocities and repressions is just that, read and learn about twhat happened to 'natives'that didn't swallow the Christ pill.

5. Glad we can agree on withc hunts, Northern ireland and Yugoslavia.

Now, I suggest that you accept you are prejudiced towards Muslims and that your own religious bias does not enable you to have a clear and honest perspective but a subjective one, full of hypocrisy.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

And I'll say this: I will keep commenting here, tit-for-tat, until the prejudice, bias and wild hypocrisy stops on this blog post.

I'm trying to get you to see that far from the voice of reason, you are a voice of extreme right-wing thinking on the issue of Islam. Deeply prejudiced.

Your own faith is not compatable with an objective interrogation of the Islamic faith, it is just not possible I'm afraid.