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Which Came First?


Pop quiz:

Robert is a 20 year-old black man who was raised in the ghettos of Chicago’s South Side by a single mother.  He has committed a violent crime.  The reason he committed the crime is:

A.  He is black

B.  He is a young male

C.  He comes from a single-parent home

D.  His economic situation (poverty)

E.  Insufficient data

I would hope that everyone picked “E” as the correct answer, because we simply don’t have enough information to answer the question.  Although “A” is obviously wrong, not that many years ago it was believed that blacks were predisposed to commit violent crimes.  Answers “B,” “C,” and “D” are all considered by social scientists to be factors that contribute to violent crime.

Let’s try another:

Ali is a 20 year-old Iraqi man who was raised in the Anbar Province by a single mother.  He has detonated a car bomb.  The reason he detonated the bomb is:

A.  He is a Muslim

B.  He is a Muslim

C.  He is a Muslim

D.  He is a Muslim

E.  He is a Muslim

Whenever the subject of violence committed by a member of the Islamic faith comes up, it is assumed (unless proven otherwise) that the violence was motivated by religion.  The same assumption of religious motives is made of things like so-called “honor killings” and female genital mutilation.  But is that assumption accurate?

From Wikipedia:

Islam is a monotheistic, Abrahamic religion originating with the teachings of the Islamic prophet Muhammad, a 7th century Arab religious and political figure. The word Islam means “submission”, or the total surrender of oneself to God (Arabic: الله‎, Allāh).[1] An adherent of Islam is known as a Muslim, meaning “one who submits [to God]”. The word Muslim is the participle of the same verb of which Islām is the infinitive. There are between 1 billion and 1.8 billion Muslims, making Islam the second-largest religion in the world, after Christianity.

Islam is a religion of peace.


Islam is the predominant religion in much of Africa and the Middle East, as well as in major parts of Asia.  Large communities are also found in China, the Balkan Peninsula in Eastern Europe and Russia. There are also large Muslim immigrant communities in other parts of the world, such as Western Europe. About 20% of Muslims live in Arab countries, 30% in the Indian subcontinent and 15.6% in Indonesia, the largest Muslim country by population.

If you look at a map of all the countries where Islam is the majority religion, what do they have in common?  They are all Third-World or emerging economic powers.  Most or all of them are former colonies of the United States and/or European nations.  And most or all of them are patriarchal cultures.

When we see violence and the oppression of women in Central and South America, we don’t blame Catholicism, we blame poverty, colonialism, totalitarianism and the sexism of the culture.  Nor do we blame Buddhism for the violence and sexism that occurs in Asia.  But we blame religion for everything we don’t like in the Islamic part of the world.

Female Genital Mutilation is a barbaric cultural practice that is most common in Africa.  It is not part of the Islamic religion and its practice predates Islam.  The minority of Muslims that practice FGM are from cultures that practiced it before they converted.  However, because most of the cultures that practice FGM are now Islamic, we commonly see all of Islam blamed for the practice. 

Christianity is the world’s largest religion, and Jesus Christ is often called the “Prince of Peace.”  Yet millions of people around the world were murdered and oppressed in the name of Jesus, far more than by any other religion.  Was that Jesus’ fault, or was it the violent and imperialist European culture that claimed to act in His name?

The violence that takes place in and around the Islamic world has many causes, including economics, tribalism and nationalism.  That doesn’t mean that religion isn’t involved, but the Arab-Israeli conflict is not merely a religious war, nor is the dispute between Pakistan and India over Kashmir.

If every Muslim on Earth were to suddenly convert to Christianity would the violence stop?  Would they suddenly give up their cultural practices?  Would they denounce all violence, cast aside the patriarchy and give women full equality? 

Have we?

264 Responses

  1. Great post, myiq!

  2. Oooooh, you’re in for it now, myiq! Don your flame-retardant suit!

    For what it’s worth, I agree with you completely.

    If every Muslim on Earth were to suddenly convert to Christianity would the violence stop? Would they suddenly give up their cultural practices? Would they denounce all violence, cast aside the patriarchy and give women full equality?

    Have we?

    You mean Ann Coulter’s suggestion wouldn’t work?

    We should invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity. We weren’t punctilious about locating and punishing only Hitler and his top officers. We carpet-bombed German cities; we killed civilians. That’s war. And this is war.

  3. myiq2xu …excellent post

  4. Surely you jest. 😯

    As Gabriel Garcia Marquez suggests, maybe it’s time we give women a chance to manage the world since “…male dominance has squandered an opportunity of 10,000 years…”

  5. Great post by the way – but I thin Madamab is right – don those flame retardent duds!

  6. I got my asbestos boxers on and plenty of beer.

    Bring ’em on!

  7. I think religion is one of the touchiest subjects we can discuss because the impulse to connect with our spirituality is overpowering in so many. We are invested in believing that our religion is perfect and pure, often to the exclusion of other religions.

    Ann Coulter again:

    …Later in the discussion, Deutsch said to her: “[Y]ou said we should throw Judaism away and we should all be Christians,” and Coulter again replied, “Yes.” When pressed by Deutsch regarding whether she wanted to be like “the head of Iran” and “wipe Israel off the Earth,” Coulter stated: “No, we just want Jews to be perfected, as they say. … That’s what Christianity is. We believe the Old Testament, but ours is more like Federal Express. You have to obey laws.”

    After a commercial break, Deutsch said that “Ann said she wanted to explain her last comment,” and asked her, “So you don’t think that was offensive?” Coulter responded: “No. I’m sorry. It is not intended to be. I don’t think you should take it that way, but that is what Christians consider themselves: perfected Jews. We believe the Old Testament. As you know from the Old Testament, God was constantly getting fed up with humans for not being able to live up to all the laws. What Christians believe — this is just a statement of what the New Testament is — is that that’s why Christ came and died for our sins. Christians believe the Old Testament. You don’t believe our testament.” Coulter later said: “We consider ourselves perfected Christians. For me to say that for you to become a Christian is to become a perfected Christian is not offensive at all.”

  8. Protecting the parts that count, myiq? (the boxers)

    Very good post that puts things in their places.

    I have said it before: my favorite bumper sticker I saw in Texas said, “This world is big enough for more than one God.”

    The nail on the head is probably the patriarchy.

  9. Ann Coulter, she’s a riot! The part about invading countries, killing its leaders, and converting everyone to Christianity must have been in one of the Gospels that were left out of the New Testament.

  10. myiq, you really should read the Koran before you write any more of this stuff. It borders on hagiography. I’m not saying you should be like Daniel Pipes (he does write the truth, but only part of the truth, and deceptively) but channeling Juan Cole isn’t any better. I would also recommend Maxime Rodinson’s biography Muhammad. There is also quite a bit of evidence that the “idols” The Prophet (PBUH) threw out of the Kaaba were goddesses and the main worship there in pre-Islamic times was to three major goddesses who had their own temples overlooking the Kaaba. Some even say from linguistic evidence The Prophet’s mother might have been a temple priestess and Mohammed got his Koranic cadences from the goddesses’ rituals; certainly their tribe was matrilocal.

  11. Madamab:

    I studied the history of religion in college (my BA is in History) and on the first day of class the instructor said “It is difficult for a believer to study religion”

    When you begin from the assumption that your religion is the one and only true religion, it affects your perceptions.

  12. DYB – Ya know, it sounded an awful lot like Coulter was declaring jihad on Muslims and Jews there.

  13. Madamb,
    Its funny because most religions teach humility and human fallibility. My favorite story from the christian bible is The Good Samaritan because it deals directly with people believing they are better than others despite their actions. The lesson can be applied in non religious situations as well.

  14. Nijma – Why do you assume that Myiq has never read the Koran?

    On what evidence do you base this assumption?

  15. Nijma:

    What is your religion?

  16. Does anyone take Coulter seriously? She used to make more measured statements, but there’s no money in that. Outrageous comments have made her famous–she won’t stop now.

  17. Coulter – yeesh – IMHO – that woman has a few loose screws and comes from a place of torment – certainly not one I’d reference for valid info or even her opinion

  18. sheesh, myiq, you didn’t read it ion yesterday’s thread?

  19. Every religion requires faith – the belief in things that cannot be proven.

  20. I was raised fundamentalist Christian.

    I can tell you what is “wrong” with every other religion, including atheism

  21. “Every religion requires faith – the belief in things that cannot be proven.”

    Kind of like Obama!…but I digress.

  22. When you begin from the assumption that your religion is the one and only true religion, it affects your perceptions.
    That’s why I recommended the Rodinson book. He was once a True Believer (in Communism) sop he understands the phenomenon, but he also became disillusioned, so he has a feel for the truth that goes beyond mere facts. Plus the book was banned in Cairo, and I’m partial to banned books.

  23. These are my thoughts.

    My sister in law is Muslim. Aisha (that’s right myiq) married a Catholic (my brother in law) and he converted b/c he was not allowed to marry her unless he did. Her family lives in Singapore, although both of her parents are Pakistani. My BIL went to Singapore and traveled with the family to Pakistan for a family wedding. All women were wearing head coverings and obeying all posted signs, etc. At one point, the family was stopped (not at a checkpoint) and two armed individuals tried to prevent my BIL from traveling further because he was “not safe.” At gunpoint, they tried to force him out of his car into their vehicle to “transport him to safety” but would not tell SIL’s family where. After the family paid off the militia guys in a panic (SIL’s parents are loaded and not stupid), they continued on to their destination.

    They did this to my BIL (a Muslim) because:

    1. He is white.
    2. He married a Muslim woman.
    3. He is Western.
    4. The guards were greedy.
    5. My brother in law is insane.

    Bottom line is, if he were driving through Italy with Aisha, to go to a Catholic wedding ceremony with my husband’s family, the Italian army wouldn’t pull them over, try to take Aisha to “safety” and extort money out of them based on a legitimate fear of her being killed because:

    1. She is olive.
    2. She married a non-Muslim.
    3. She is of Middle-Eastern descent.

    I don’t know. We can bash religion till we are blue in the face and get nowhere fast. Fundamentalists scare me in general, but fundamentalists who are hell bent on killing me in the name of Allah scare the SHIT out of me. And I agree with some of the posters on the other post yesterday about this that we have to deal with what is going on today and not say, b/c Christians did XYZ hundreds of years ago, people get a pass today for getting their own back. Or, Christians can’t say aspects of Islam taken to the extreme are scary or horrific, b/c that would make a Christian a hypocrite. I think fuzzy said it on the other post that the other major religions have evolved to a certain extent, and although not perfect by any sense of the imagination, are not going to take up their swords and get some crusades on any time soon. And someone else mentioned that the Koran is the direct word of Mohammed, whereas the Bible (including the Torah, obviously), were divinely *inspired* and therefore subject to interpretation, whereas the Koran is not. I think there is a difference between reading something that talks about war in a historical context and reading something that is an outright call to arms.

    Just my thoughts. Please don’t hurt me.

  24. If you honestly believe Catholocism and Christianity in general are never blamed for the oppression of women, you sure haven’t read some of the books and been in on some of the discussions I have.

  25. Cougter doesn’t come from a place of torment, she comes from a place of greed and is laughing all the way to the bank. I’m not going to feed it by even reading her.

  26. Father of Mumbai gunman, Azam Amir Kasab, ‘paid by terrorists to hand him over’


    it’s not certain – but you wouldn’t know that by reading the headlines .. my point – money & powerlessness – huge factors – NOT religion in terrorism .. just as you wrote .. Myiq..

    “But we blame religion for everything we don’t like in the Islamic part of the world.” by Myiq2xu

    Now what come first ..??? … Religion causes the lack of money and powerlessness .. or …???

  27. gq – I agree. I think there are many positive lessons to be gleaned from the major religions.

    However, you can cherry-pick any religion to death and say it means whatever you want.

    For example, the Old Testament is rife with horrific misogyny. The story of Sodom and Gomorrah includes a passage where Lot offers his two virgin daughters to be gang-raped by a mob. He was considered virtuous for doing what he did and was spared the wrath of Yahweh.

    Does this mean all Jews believe this, or that Jews are inherently misogynistic? No. In fact, the temple at which I sing is a reform temple, where most of the clergy is female.

    In the end, we are all responsible for our own actions. Who knows why people decide to murder innocents? As myiq says, there is insufficient data.

    But acting like Islam is an evil religion, when Judaism and Christianity are based on many of the same elements, seems rather unfair and biased to me. Maybe it’s because I’m not a believer myself.

  28. “Every religion requires faith – the belief in things that cannot be proven.”

    But it’s possible to have faith without religion.

  29. nice post, myiq! LOL! ..guess yesterday’s “debates” didn’t satisfy 🙂

    “Answers “B,” “C,” and “D” are all considered by social scientists to be factors that contribute to violent crime.”

    Similarly, regarding your Anbar example, could Islam be a factor? How much of a factor? The idea that it is all Islam’s “fault” seems as extreme as saying Islam has no culpability whatsoever.

  30. Nijma:

    You didn’t answer my question

  31. jvsp:

    Where did I say it has “no culpability?”

  32. Sister of ye:

    I never said never

  33. BTW : My multiple choice was meant to be in the form of a question, not statements of fact. Etc. 🙂

  34. Micki – I am so sorry that your family had that experience.

    However, authoritarianism is not necessarily based on religion. Just look at Stalin, who banned religion from Russia. He was one of the bloodiest dictators ever.

    I do agree that you have a point about Islam and reform. Christianity and Judaism have gone through some radical reform movements, whereas Islam has not yet. Unfortunately, our beloved Bush declared Iran, a place where moderate Islam was taking hold, to be a part of the Axis of Evil. After that, they kicked out the moderate Khatami and elected Amadinnerjacket.

    Islamic terrorism has increased sixfold since the invasion of Iraq. Is that because they are more religious now, or is it because they are reacting to our invasion and occupation of two Islamic nations that did not attack us?

  35. Micki:

    Did your BIL have “Catholic” tattooed on his forehead?

    Or did those Pakistanis single him out based on something else?

  36. You have to look at what the religion (Islam) actually says about war. The Prophet did wage war himself and also led armies, which miyiq would know if he read Koran, whereas Jesus lived under military occupation and would not even let his disciples defend him with the sword when he was arrested, which myiq would know if he read…okay, maybe he’s forgot his Bible, I’ll try to be charitable here, since I’m rather fond of myiq.

    I would challenge the neutrality of that “religion of peace” thing in Wiki–not to mention it’s used sarcastically by the right wing. Look at when the Prophet’s followers attacked Muta, now in Jordan, and lost the battle. The reason was not that war was not okay , but that this particular war had not been blessed by the Prophet. Christianity has a body of thinking about “just wars” but it’s not particularity biblical, and I’ve only seen it trotted out in order to disagree with a particular war.

  37. myiq: No, but you can’t hide being white, can you.

  38. Not to speak for myiq but my take on his post is that the patriarchal domination is probably more to blame than religion.

    Just a note on poor John Kerry to make us feel better (I know, I’m evil that way).


  39. And blue eyed.

  40. Most religions use dogma to gain power.
    I was raised catholic and in catholic foster homes and say more hypocrisy then most.
    My friend was raised in a protestant religion and saw much of the same.
    Do we both believe in God yes, do we expect much of organized religion no.
    More harm is done by man in God’s name then any other excuse.
    The real reason is still power no matter what you call it.



  41. So, my assessment is, that is why they were pulled over. But I do not discount the greed of the militia, at all.

  42. This is the same for Reincarnation and Buddhism. People assume Buddhism includes the belief in reincarnation when actually it is a cultural artifact that predates the religion.

  43. See that yesterday’s thread wasn’t enough for you myiq! LOL (I agree with you btw).

    FYI — for those who keep harping that the “Christians killing heathens days” are long gone & therefore irrelevant: there are fundamentalist “Christians” today who are killing abortion doctors in the name of God to name ONE instance where those days are not in the distant path as we like to believe in the Judeo-Christian West.

  44. Nijma – That’s not evidence. It’s not particularly convincing to base one’s argument on whether or not someone you have never met has done something.

    In any case, the leaders of the ancient Hebrews waged war on their enemies and took their foreskins. Does that mean Judaism is a religion of war? Or do we prefer the more peaceful portions of the Torah?

    “You shall beat your swords into plowshares, and study war no more.”

  45. Nijma:

    What does the Koran say about war?

    What does the Bible say?

  46. MAWM!!!


  47. I guess my point is (I’m thinking slowly), that there was a legitimate fear that my BIL would be killed, even though he was a Muslim traveling with a Muslim family in Pakistan. I’m saying that we don’t generally have that in the Western world TODAY. Probably the closest comparison in recent memory is blacks and whites marrying, and the consequences of that.

  48. Can I just say that I am cutting back on my caffeine and I feel like I’m going to die?

    We now return you to your regularly-scheduled program.

  49. Micki:

    If I (blue-eyed white man) travelled through parts of Christian Central and South America I would be a target of robbery, kidnapping and/or murder.

  50. Ha, myiq, got you going, didn’t I!

    Oh, to answer your question, I’m Methodist, but take spiritual vitamins from other traditions:


  51. I was just marking out the extremem position. I would gather you would assert we have insufficient data, yes?

    If so, when would we have a sufficient amount of data to make a reasonable “judgment”? And by what means are we to determine whether or not it is sufficient.

    Btw, what data is applicable in evaluating an idea like Islam? The behavior of it’s adherents? The actions or lack thereof of the clergy? ….

  52. myiq: I hope you’re wearing a cup beneath those boxers. If not go here:


  53. hi, madamab

  54. jvsp:

    The question is whether Islam is inherently violent and sexist of whether the violence and sexism that we currently see in the Islamic world has other causes.

  55. you are confusing crime with war.

    the only thing violent crime and war have in common is that both are violent.

    It is precisely because we DONT know why the kid from the ghetto commits violent crime at such high rates that we invented social science to look into the reasons and come up with answers — variable, often contradictory, and sometimes flat-out WRONG answers (like race, as you pointed out).

    Soldiers, terrorists, insurgents, heck pirates even, KNOW why they are fighting and killing. Or at least they know to repeat what their trainers/leaders tell them are the reasons. They TELL us why they blow themselves up.

    Why are you refusing to believe them when they tell us they are killing, torturing, and enslaving women in the name of Allah? For the eventual Caliphate? Against the dirty Jew?

    A better first example with which to set us up would have been:

    Harry is a soldier in the US Army in 1943 who was raised by a single mother. He shoots and kills a German soldier. Why did he kill the German?

    a. because he was raised without a father
    b. because he is a Christian
    c. because he is a testosterone-poisoned man
    d. because he is a soldier in the US Army
    e. all of the above

    The only thing terrorists from Chechnya, Somalia, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Indonesia, and Syria have in common is their religion. In fact that is the KEY motivating factor that urges them to detonate car bombs and blow up schools.

    Muslims chose to ally themselves across national borders with each other, to join in an international terrorist campaign against Westerners and Jews, and against women and christians in their own countries.

    Why do you deny these terrorists agency? Is it first-world, white, educated condescension? They TELL us why they kill. Why do you insist on changing their statements?

  56. Hi Mawm!

  57. Who here has actually read the Koran?

    I got through the first couple chapters, and the very first one is pretty militant.

  58. Murphy:

    Is religion the ONLY thing they have in common?

  59. I, too, read a little bit of the Koran, mawm. Just like reading the bible, it was a struggle.

    murphy – good point about them TELLING us why they do it but there are underlying factors beyond religion that probably explain the violence, including the teaching of domination over women, rather than respect.

  60. murphy – No, they have a lot of other things in common. Like poverty and perceived social injustice.

    Of all the terrorist groups you mention, only Al Qaeda is specifically anti-U.S. The others are fighting local battles. The terrorists in India, who targeted Jews and Westerners, may very well turn out to be linked to OBL, since Pakistan is where he is presumed to be hiding.

  61. myiq–sorry, I was writing something and changed my mind.

    I concede your point re: Central and South America, and I also suggested the greed of the militia. I guess we will never know if they would have stopped the car withOUT my BIL in it. Which I think one of the points of your post, if I’m not mistaken.

    angienc: if you were talking to me, I didn’t say it isn’t happening today. What I meant was, it should be OK and legitimate to call out Muslim extremism AND Christian extremism, without being a racist or a religious nut job.

  62. myiq–sorry, I was writing something and changed my mind.

    I concede your point re: Central and South America, and I also suggested the greed of the militia. I guess we will never know if they would have stopped the car withOUT my BIL in it. Which I think one of the points of your post, if I’m not mistaken.

    angienc: if you were talking to me, I didn’t say it isn’t happening today. What I meant was, it should be OK and legitimate to call out Muslim extremism AND Christian extremism, without being a r@cist or a religious nut job.

    There is another copy of this in moderation–please delete. Forgot a trigger word.

  63. All right, I’ve put it off long enough. Time to go food shopping.

    Later, all!

  64. Hi Mawm! Missed you

  65. Bye madamab! Oh how I miss grocery stores in the U.S. – all the different OPTIONS! 🙂

  66. Hi Mawm! Missed you

  67. Hi Mawm! Missed your input here

  68. wow, how’d that happen????

  69. Murphy is right, of course, but it’s only part of the story. Not all Moslems are like that, and the religion is not a monolith where all interpret the same parts of the Koran in the same way. I would also say follow the money. Just like our “culture wars” where political extremists try to use religion (the latest one is “America is a Christian nation”– HA!) to further their political goals. It’s a shell game to rob the U.S. Treasury blind on behalf of all their little political friends.

    Do you ever see those wealthy Emirs out there in front blowing themselves up with bombs strapped to their own bodies in the name of Allah? No. They get someone else to do that.

  70. Yes, I’ve read the Koran…and the Bible.

  71. If Islam itself is the cause of violence and sexism, then what is the answer?

    The forced conversion or killing of all Muslims?

  72. myiq – “The question is whether Islam is inherently violent and sexist of whether the violence and sexism that we currently see in the Islamic world has other causes.””

    By what means do we determine the answer? Sincerely.

  73. Nijma: What is correct? Moslems or Muslims? Are they both ok? Just curious.

  74. jvsp:

    Simple – are all Muslims violent and/or sexist?

  75. The Koran is somewhat like the Bible in that if someone is looking for a passage to back up their pet theory, they will probably be able to find something likely. Was it Shakespeare who said “the devil can cite scripture for his own purpose”.

  76. HI Mawm!

    I’ve read the Koran — I’ve read the Bible too. I admit I’m not trained in the religion of Islam (heck, I’m not trained in the religion of Christianity, but I do have first hand experience going to Catholic schools & church which gives me a bit more insight into Christianity) but I don’t find the Koran any more “war like” then the Bible. The Bible has several passages (as I noted in the thread yesterday) advocate killing the ‘enemy” — and while somebody tried to say that the “enemy” isn’t the same as “non-Muslims” (as the Koran says), the “enemy” is clearly those who do not believe in the one true God (i.e., the God of the Jews & Christians).

  77. Micki:

    Both, because they are translations from different alphabets as well as different languages

  78. Micki — I’ve seen it both ways — “o” and “u” – I think it is just stylistic — like “color” or “colour”

  79. angie – is Catholicism the basis of the Greek Orthodox religion or is it something else? Just curious, is all.

  80. Miq2xu — yup. it is the only thing they all have in common.

    madamab — buddhist and hindu countries are also very poor. As are many Catholic and Christian countries in South America. Poverty is not the key. And social injustice is something that a couple billion or more people experience. Also not the key.

    Certainly there are contexts and nuances and details, how could there not be? But does the monetary policy of Weimar, the “perceived injustice” of Versailles, and the insecurity of the average German REALLY explain Auschwitz?

  81. I know this is not the actual comparison here, but it strikes me as interesting that both Islam and Christianity have a strong conversion component, or some could argue, coercive component. Depending on your predilection, such as preferring the gospel of Paul (not) to that of John, conversion can be seen as a major raison d’etre of both of these religions. Sometimes, that is where I sense the violence and effort at control. As a contrast, there is no such conversion aspect to Judaism or Buddhism, at least not to my knowledge.

  82. Nijma — yes, Shakespeare’s character Shylock in the Merchant of Venice says that line.

  83. Angie:

    The Bible says that Yaweh told the Hebrews to kill or drive out the Canaanites, not convert them.

    That sounds pretty militaristic to me.

  84. Christian Right’s Emerging Deadly Worldview: Kill Muslims to Purify the Earth

    By Chris Hedges, Truthdig


    “The public denigration of Islam, and by implication all religious belief systems outside Christianity, is part of the triumphalism that has distorted the country since the 9/11 attacks. It makes dialogue with those outside our “Christian” culture impossible. It implicitly condemns all who do not think as we think and believe as we believe as, at best, inferior and usually morally depraved. It blinds us to our own failings. It makes self-reflection and self-criticism a form of treason. It reduces the world to a cartoonish vision of us and them, good and evil. It turns us into children with bombs.”

    Extremism sux no matter where it is found/practised .

  85. In Ireland it was the young Catholic priests, who encouraged the young to go harm the heathen English.
    And it was Ted Kennedy who until 2005
    continued to receive Gerry Adams Sinn Fein and other I.R.A. reps. (and to countenance money for arms).

    I remember being in London in the early 70s, when the I.R.A. were leaving bombs at every train station they could.
    One bomb was left at the international booking line at one station and killed 11 foreign tourists. The funny thing was that that same week an unknown man managed to get inside Buckingham Palace and as far as the Queen’s bedroom. She woke up to find him there and had a little chat with him b4 calling the guards.

    What I mean, is that if terrorists wanted to, they could attack the centers of Power, but they prefer to take the easy way and call blowing up a few foreign nationals standing in line at a train station, “an attack on the British tourist industry”.

    What I also mean, is that very often there is some sort of religious fanaticism behind terrorist acts. Those who do them are reassured that they will go to heaven.

  86. Moslems or Muslims?
    Miki, we had a long multi cultural discussion about this on a linguistics thread and finally decided they are the same. “Muslims” is slightly preferred over the other spelling. Being form Chicago I prefer to use “Moslems” for the Middle Eastern variety and “Muslims” for the Farrakhan variety–“black Muslims”, just to differentiate the two groups. (which have been growing closer together–for instance, the AA Muslims now use Koran instead of Bible.)

  87. The issue is fundamentalism. If anyone were to adhere strictly to the Torah or the Koran, they would have to kill people for perceived transgressions.

  88. The problem really isn’t religion, it’s fundamentalism. Fundamentalists take the bible literally hence people like Eric Rudolph’s brother cutting off his hand. The problem with Islam as I see it, is that the fundamentalists are mostly running things. Look no further than Turkey to see where Muslims can reject terrrorism and live in peace with others. Turkey is also NOT fundamentalist.

  89. scrubs — yes Greek Orthodox split off from the Roman church after being separate trends for hundreds of years (400-1000 AD). The separation culminated in 1204 when western catholics raided and sacked Constantinople. for religious reasons. although there were contextualizing other factors.

  90. I’m an atheist. And I have not read any religion’s bible all the way through. What I have read are accounts of atrocities committed by many who claim to follow these religions. Since I believe all “bibles” are the words of men, not god, then I must come to the conclusion that it is men, not religion or god(s), who are responsible for these acts. And IMO it’s a distraction when we are dragged into discussions about biblical texts and interpretations of religious texts to explain the violence. The violence explains itself. No one needs a book to figure it out. The book is yet another man-made device. How it is used depends on the person.

  91. Mawm,
    Great minds think alike!

    I’m glad to you’re here! We were worried.

  92. Those who do them are reassured that they will go to heaven.

    What God/Allah hath ordained . . .

  93. What or who, I wonder, would be blamed for all the violence, misogyny, and general fear and hatred of that which differs if all the world’s people were atheists?

  94. But we hardly ever see any strictly fundamentalist female leaders. I argue that it is more the patriarchal attitude than fundamentalism – or actually the combination – that induces the violence.

    So there we go back to our 30% solution.

  95. lililam, Judaism the religion is not easily separated from the cultural identity, Jewish.

  96. Thanks murphy.

    I’ll check this thread later as I find it very interesting. Gotta go shower for work.

  97. Simple – are all Muslims violent and/or sexist?

    Suppose not all Muslims are violent/sexist (which of course is true LOL!). Is this due to Islam not being inherently violent/sexist or because there is another intervening factor that muddies the water?

  98. I’m not thinking atheists have cornered the market on tolerance…

    There would be differences of some other sort to point to. Oh and of course, there would be endless comparisons of the true non-believers -vs- the non-believers of convience…

  99. The wars of the 19th century were unrelated to religion. In fact, the wars of the French revolution were undertaken in the name of republicanism and secularism.

  100. Mawm, it’s so good to see you again!

  101. Right, Mawm, therein the difficulty in conversion! But it could be argued that if Judaism had a conversion ethos, the race or cultural identity would have broadened.

  102. Myiq: if you change your question a little to: “have all Muslims *always* been violent and/or sexist?,” that helps with the issue, too. Goes back to my evolution of religion question–and madamab’s point about Islam not evolving. It even seems to have evolved backwards (but I’m no expert, OBVIOUSLY). But: didn’t someone do a post (I think it was RD) on women wearing mini skirts in the middle east? Something serious happened since then. I mean, obviously there were reasons certain Muslims became extremists. And why they use religion to justify their actions, by taking text out of context, etc. This is fascinating. I would love to take a course on the history of the different religions. I think the Teaching Company has one. ANYWAY:

    There was some back and forth debate on the other thread re: who was the aggressor during the Crusades. I guess its man’s nature to react violently to threats of annihilation (of culture, or of actual life). I truly do not understand why this is so.

  103. gxm17, on December 2nd, 2008 at 4:24 pm Said:

    Since I believe all “bibles” are the words of men, not god, then I must come to the conclusion that it is men, not religion or god(s), who are responsible for these acts.

    I would tend to agree with you.

  104. Wait, that sounded stupid. I understand self-preservation.

  105. Just not, I have to kill you ALL so ALL of us over here can live.

  106. jvsp- have you ever read William James’ The Varieties of Religious Experience? He discusses how some people have inherent traits of certain religions and some are members of certain churches that are in opposition to their own propensities of temperament. It is pretty outdated, but interesting.

  107. Miq2xu — well said.

    Education solves many things — but this is the era of the big dumb down, that way. Unforch.

    too many agendas on all sides for my tastes —-
    could we just roll back the clock to 1978? That was a fairly good year for women…

    Ugh. I hope Hill is going to be ok in that job.

  108. Was the conflict in Northern Ireland (where everyone is white) a religious war between Catholics and Protestants or something else?

  109. My problem with Religion is that if you are not going to be fundamentalist, it takes a lot of rationalization to maintain your religious identity. You have to pick and choose which rules to adhere to and justify why other rules can be forgotten.
    That is why I like Buddhism. There is only the smallest thread of Dogma.

    1. Life is suffering
    2. Suffering is caused by attachment
    3. You can stop being attached
    4. The path to letting go of attachment is Meditation

  110. gxm17, on December 2nd, 2008 at 4:24 pm Said:

    and ainnj-Iagree with you too.

    Gotta remember the arms dealers, and those in power who condone, because they think their own positions may be reinforced by it…

  111. Thanks everyone. Good to see everyone again.

  112. jjmtacoma, on December 2nd, 2008 at 4:28 pm Said:
    I’m not thinking atheists have cornered the market on tolerance…

    absolutely not, far from it. Humans are violent, have always been violent. If we were all atheists wars would continue, violence would continue, acts of inhumanity would continue. The only difference is that it wouldn’t be committed in the name of religion or due to religious intolerance. Humans fight for their needs (or wants) of land, power, money, food, shelter. None of that goes away even if no one on earth believed in higher deities.

  113. Mawm:


  114. IIRC, the conflict in Northern Ireland also had to do with the protestants stealing the Catholic’s land and/or the tenancies, where the Catholics worked the land of the landowner and paid rent and generally lived in abject squalor and in perpetual fear of being booted off their land.

    The IRA was still bombing when I lived in London, but not frequently. They generally alerted people before hand. Everyone said it was to disrupt and not to kill. I think they toned down a bit by the time I got over there.

  115. lililam -no, I have not read it, but it seems I have another book to add to the “to read” list. Thanks!

  116. Micki:

    So was the conflict religious?

  117. myiq, If I died everytime someone wanted me too, I wouldn’t have time to get anything done.

  118. scrubs — the Greek Orthodox Church (aka Eastern Orthodox Church) is the catholic church (little “c”) — there was one church founded by St. Peter after Jesus died & Christ rose again according to our faith. From the beginning Christians referred to their Church as the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. While today, a number of other Churches also lay claim to this title (The Roman Catholic Church, the Anglican Communion, the Assyrian Church, the Oriental Orthodox Church, and others), the Eastern Orthodox Church sees these other Churches as break-away groups, with the Assyrians and Orientals breaking away from the Church after the first few centuries and the Roman Catholics in the 11th century (during what is called the East-West Schism or Great Schism in 1054). The cause of the schism had theological roots (such as the filioque controversy — does the Holy Spirit proceed from the Father & the Son — as the Roman Catholics say — or from the Father alone — as the Creed was originally written & as the Eastern Catholics say?) but mainly the split had to do with money & power — the Bishop of Rome (the Pope) whom the Eastern Church views as the “first among equals” with all other bishops wanted the power of infallability & to be able to change Church dogma unilaterally — the other bishops balked. That is what caused the split. Up until that point the Churches have identical theology, beliefs, etc. In fact, the Easter Church is still in communion with the Roman Church. The Eastern Church is also sometimes called as the “Orthodox Catholic Church”to enforce its claim as being the original Church, but this is not in widespread general use due to possible confusion with the Roman Catholic Church. “Orthodox” in Greek means “correctly believing” (lol) — and the Orthodox church does view the Roman Catholics as the “first protestant church.” Some of the modern day differences between the Roman & Orthodox church include (beside the filioque in the Creed):

    *There is no one bishop (like the Pope) that heads the entire Church. Only Christ heads the Church. The individual “parishes” of the Church are headed by a Bishop (or Patriarch) whose job it is to preserve the traditions & teaching of the Church, but who can only make changes to the dogma of the Church in accord with the other Bishops (and that includes the Bishop of Rome who is considered the “First among equals”);
    * Priests are allowed (and actually expected) to marry;
    * Services themselves are much more innate — none of the “casual” services quite common in the Roman Catholic church these days;
    *More serious fasting in preparation of receiving communion.

    The rest of the beliefs — the transubstantiation, the resurrection of the dead, the trinity — are the same — all of which is laid out in the Nicene Creed:

    We believe in one God,
    the Father, the Almighty,
    maker of heaven and earth,
    of all that is, seen and unseen.

    We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
    the only Son of God,
    eternally begotten of the Father,
    God from God, light from light,
    true God from true God,
    begotten, not made,
    of one Being with the Father;
    through him all things were made.
    For us and for our salvation
    he came down from heaven,
    was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary
    and became truly human.
    For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate;
    he suffered death and was buried.
    On the third day he rose again
    in accordance with the Scriptures;
    he ascended into heaven
    and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
    He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead,
    and his kingdom will have no end.

    We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,
    who proceeds from the Father **
    who with the Father and the Son is worshiped and glorified,
    who has spoken through the prophets.
    We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.
    We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.
    We look for the resurrection of the dead,
    and the life of the world to come. Amen.

    ** here is where the Roman Catholics have added the words “and the Son” that is the root of the filioque controversy. Other then that, the Creed is the same.

  119. Reposting from previous terror threat: I just saw the picture of that little boy at his parents funeral and I cannot stop crying.

  120. Nijma was on to something:

    Do you ever see those wealthy Emirs out there in front blowing themselves up with bombs strapped to their own bodies in the name of Allah? No. They get someone else to do that.

    Who is winding them up and setting them off? What do they gain by the violence they enourage?

  121. “The channel 4 dispatches proves that the west has a natural tendency to hate and demonise others they have done it to all groups during the colonial period, to Catholics, Jews, Blacks and now Muslims. Nearly all of the newspapers, primarily the tabloid ones, have had a hand in fuelling and perpetuating myths, hatred about minorities.

    The “Islamic threat” has to imply that it is a concerted effort, so where is this great Islamic union? Saudi with the Iranians or the Iraqis with the Syrians, the Arabs can’t even get along with each other, yet alone with other parts of the Muslim world. Their so many ideological interpretative divisions on Quranic texts, tribes and traditions its hard for a union or concerted effort to be in force. Not one regime or Muslim nation other than Saudi and Afghanistan supported Al Qaeda and also that ‘all so innocent’ country America. Al Qaeda commits an attack for God knows who, it seems the US benefits from the 9/11 attack than any single Muslim country. The other question these western strategists fail to answer is why would Muslims want to take over the west, when they really haven’t even managed to take over their own backyards?”

    many more comments available here – 7 pages, so far..

  122. It took on the guise of religion, but it started in a land grab.

  123. Uh, terror threaD

  124. “Judaism the religion is not easily separated from the cultural identity, Jewish.”

    This is quite true. I’m an atheist, born and raised for part of my life in the USSR, and have spent my entire adult life in the US. And when asked I say I’m Jewish. Which is technically true. But why? I don’t keep kosher, I don’t celebrate any of the holidays, I don’t observe the Sabbath, I’ve not been anatomically altered (too much information? Sorry!), I have tattoos. So why am I Jewish? Because it’s impossible for me to separate Judaism the religion with the cultural identity of my family. In the Soviet Union Jews were not seen as a religious block, but as a race. In schools people’s nationalities were noted in the registrar: Russian, Ukrainian, Jew.

    As far as the 30% solution curing the world of religious intolerance…I’m not convinced. I think women have as much right to screw things up for the world as men have, but I don’t expect that a world ruled by women would be that much different from the current world we live in. Joe Cannon accused riverdaughter and Confluence of hating men on his blog. While the premise of his argument is ludicrous and a lot of what he wrote in that post is pure drivel, his list of female world leaders who have not made the world a better place can’t really be argued. From Cleopatra to Bloody Mary to Elizabeth I to Catherine the Great to Golda Meir to Margaret Thatcher – not exactly warm and fuzzy world altering improvements to where the men left off.

  125. murphy — one correction — it is the Roman church that split with the Orthodox church, not the other way around. Please see my post above.

  126. Myiq: i have insufficient information to answer that question.

    I can’t remember if the English (Protestants) justified their behavior because of anti-papist rationale. I took the class almost 20 years ago (egad).

    Mawm: Adapting these slightly, they are tenants of Christianity as well:

    1. Life is suffering.
    2. Suffering is caused by attachment to material things and worldliness, i.e., separation from God.
    3. You can stop being attached by putting your faith in God to meet your basic needs.
    4. The path to letting go of attachment is prayer and self-denial.

  127. I think it’s about power and control over other humans.

  128. just an aside:

    Doesn’t anyone wonder where this discussion is taking place in the world of Islam? Why are the clerics, those of whom moral rectitude is demanded, etc., not more vocal about sexism, violence when it comes to the non-believer?

    Tacit approval.

  129. Myiq-originally a battle for Home Rule from roughly the1870s, became a War for Independence 1919-21 in Eire, which degenerated into hard line Cath-Prot in N.Ireland-home to many Scottish presbyterians who had moved to Northern Ireland in the 17th century.

  130. jvsp:

    It does take place in the world of Islam.

    We just don’t hear about it.

  131. Laurie:

    IOW – It isn’t strictly a religious conflict.

  132. Laurie: Yes, it is coming back. Ulster.

  133. Great post Myiq2xu. You touched on a subject that most people usually forget – Culture. I remember the posts about why most AA voted against proposition 8. Most people said it was because they were Evangelicals. I don’t believe all the 90 percent of AAs that voted were all evangelicals but I do know that they come from a culture that is not very pro-gay. While religion is blamed for everything some do tend forget to think about the kind of communities and cultures people are come from.

  134. Downticket:

    Does the culture make the religion or the religion make the culture?

    Which came first, the chicken or the egg?

  135. yes, unequivocally, the conflict in Northern Ireland was religious. The catholics hated the protestants and the protestants hated the catholics. Leaders on both sides were inextricably linked to their respective religions.

    This is like asking whether the genocide in Rwanda was based on tribal differences. YES. it was.

  136. DYB, on December 2nd, 2008 at 4:47 pm

    Joe’s list is still too small. There more men than women that have destroyed this world. Women deserve more equal opportunity to destroy it too.

  137. Another traditional form of terrorism in Europe has been the Basque conflict in Spain, which is winding down now.

    And in Italy for much of the 70s-80s, there were the red brigades. Those were in many ways very like the Weathermen (i.e. sons of wealthy parents wanting to break the sytem). (who often ended up teaching in Universities stuff like social sciences, if they had the right connections, or in prison/house arrest otherwise).

  138. Okay, I have finals to work on, but I wanted to introduce another variable- what psychologists call the Locus of Control. Some people inherently have an internal locus of control, meaning they feel that they are responsible for their circumstances and for their actions. Some have an external locus of control- these people believe that fate or God or pure dumb luck have the greatest impact on their actions and circumstances. It’s a spectrum, and you can sit in the middle. I’d like to point out that fundamentalists of all kinds appear to have highly external loci of control, meaning that they seem to have fewer qualms about doing terrible things or oppressing others- after all, its God’s will. More liberal adherents to any faith tend to believe in a less hands-on God, one who wants them to make their own decisions and face those consequences themselves. How does this play into the conversation?

  139. Myiq2xu,

    Thank you for this brilliant post. When you get silly, you get very very silly, but when you get serious, you are brilliant!

  140. All human societies try to find some way to contain and direct the natural tendency to violence in adolescent males. Most ritualize and tribalize the experience, as does ours. From military service, to organized sports to street gangs, all are comprised of young men seeking direction from older, wiser males. Patriarchies and corporate/military societies exploit those youthful energies under many guises, religious duty, familial pride, neighborhood protection, solidarity, whatever. Let’s face it, most war and other organized conflict is motivated by greed and perpetrated by youths being exploited by trusted elders. Religion, national/racial/territorial pride and the like are just excuses.
    And, it can be argued all major world religions co-opted and adapted earlier Goddess worship, i.e, Isis/Horus – Mary/Jesus.

  141. myiq – If we don’t hear about it, how do we know it is taking place? 😉

    Anyway, thanks for the post and be sure to keep your asbestos boxers on!

  142. Downticket — since you brought the Prop. 8 vote up — I am amazed at the fact that people are arguing that the AA community is not homophobic but that the vote was a result of the fact that “most AAs go to church.” Yet, these same defenders of the AA community have no problem turning around & saying the Mormons & the EVs are homophobic. It is my understanding that most Mormons & EVs go to church too — why is it not homophobia but “church” in one case, but it is homophobia and not “church” in the other?

    (and btw — “church” is a pretext to hide one’s homophobia, not the other way around).

  143. Murphy:

    The Protestants in NI are descended from Scottish Protestants who were sent into Ireland and who had higher status/privileges.

    So was it a religious conflict or a conflict where religion defined the sides?

    Is the Shia/Sunni schism in Islam defined merely by ideology or something else?

  144. “When we see violence and the oppression of women in Central and South America, we don’t blame Catholicism, ” — actually, I do. That is I blame patriarchal cultures for the oppression of women and the values of patriarchal cultures which result in the oppression and abuse of women are enshrined in patriarchal religions such as Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Patriarchal oppression occurs in other societies which are not infused with Abrahamic beliefs, but the Abrahamic religions are very powerful shapers of cultural consciousness and have a lot to answer for where the treatment of women is concerned.

  145. Downticket> I agree with you; I wrote that women deserve the chance to screw things up as badly as the men have. But I’m personally under no illusion that the world will become a vastly better place if if it is ruled by women.

  146. As far as I can remember the FLQ crisis was a bunch of Catholic Francophones blowing up and killing other Catholic Francophones. I’m not sure terrorism has to stem from cultural or religious difference.

  147. murphy, couldn’t it also be explained by the English dominance over Ireland, and their historical persecution of catholics who were loyal to the pope.

  148. jvsp:

    The media only tells us about the fundamentalist madrassas, but if you don’t depend on the media for information . . .

  149. Word, ElleR. Agreed.

  150. Terrorism is a tactic used by the group with fewer resources in an Assymetric conflict.

  151. “All human societies try to find some way to contain and direct the natural tendency to violence in adolescent males. Most ritualize and tribalize the experience, as does ours. From military service, to organized sports to street gangs, all are comprised of young men seeking direction from older, wiser males.”

    There are female gangs and they are just as brutal. And if I recall there were prominently featured women in the Abu Ghraib photos. There are also female suicide bombers.

  152. ElleR:

    You are looking cross-cultural at patriarchies and oppression of women.

    That isn’t the standard way of viewing the world.

  153. myiq2xu, on December 2nd, 2008 at 4:57 pm

    Culture comes first. Some tend to adjust(for lack of a bette word) their religion to their culture. I have seen this in the way Islam is practised by some people in Africa and those from the Middle East.

    I have also wondered about the egg and the chicken.

  154. The terrorists know they can’t win an all out war, but they can weaken the will of their opponent through incessant small actions.

  155. Terrorism is a tactic used by the group with fewer resources in an Assymetric conflict.

    When the group in power (with more resources) use the same tactics it is called “shock and awe” or “criminal justice”

  156. This may provide respite from the serious discussion you are all having: {I posted it at the Cosmic thread but you’re all here!}

    A beautiful picture of the Taj Hotel Dome with the triply play from Jupiter, Venus and the moon.

  157. pm317: that is a beautiful shot.

  158. When a province rebelled against the Romans, they would march a legion in, line up all the adult males, and stick a sword in every tenth one (hence the term “decimate”)

    When the Romans fought an opponent, they would try to kill as many of their enemy as possible, including killing any wounded left on the battlefield.

    That was terrorism.

  159. ooh myiq! cool story behind the word “decimate” — I love finding out the history behind the development of a word (even one that has a “grotesque” back story)

  160. KB or BB:

    Trolls on old threads!

  161. Angie:

    The Romans wanted to instill fear in their subjects. Terror even.

  162. btw — I knew “decimate” meant removal of a tenth — I just didn’t realize it came from a Roman military punishment/practice.

  163. I haven’t finished reading all the comments, but as someone who was raised as a Catholic, I think the Catholic Church is extremely misogynistic.

    When I was growing up, women had to cover their heads in church and were not allowed inside the altar unless they were cleaning or getting married. We couldn’t be priests or even serve at mass like the boys (no females inside the sacristy!). We had to sit through sermons about how the man is the head of the household, and the woman must submit to his authority.

    The Catholic Church still opposes birth control, abortion, and divorce. I guess it’s a slight improvement from when the church used to burn women as witches.

  164. “So was it a religious conflict or a conflict where religion defined the sides?”

    Was Apartheid a racist system or a system in which race defined the system?

    Mawm, absolutely. There is always a context, a history, and contributing variables. The Nazis had a context, a history, and contributing variables. So did the Afrikaans.

    Catholics killed Protestants simply for being Protestants. Protestants discriminated against and brought the power of the state to bear on Catholics simply for being Catholic. The fact that each side had “reasons” for their bigoted or terrorists acts doesnt make them less bigoted or terrible.

    The Catholics were the terrorists and the Protestants were the power abusing State. The reason ALL catholics can’t be called terrorists is because the Catholics in Spain, Brazil, the US (with exceptions) etc. did NOT join the fray. If Catholic Italians had started detonating themselves on Protestant tour buses in Florence and this pattern of Catholics from many countries engaging in terrorism against Brits, Protestants, or Brit allies had continued and grown for 25 years and had killed ten thousand or so Protestants and British civilians simply for being Protestant or British well then we’d have started calling Catholics terrorists and would have been idiots not to.

  165. Which comes first religion or culture? I would say that it depends a great deal on the religion. Islam tends to be a bit more culturally monolithic than Christianity or Buddhism. One cannot even properly study the Koran or say prayer in Islam except in Arabic. Christianity tends to be much more adaptive to whatever cultural context is already present.

    As for whether the oppression of women is encouraged by the Abrahamic religions, I think one would be hard pressed to find more oppressive patriarchy than that found in Confucian and Hindu societies. Of the 3 major Abrahamic faiths, Islam is by far the most oppressive to women.

  166. BB:

    This past year our enlightened nation was ready to burn women as bitches.

  167. myiq: Was the conflict in Northern Ireland (where everyone is white) a religious war between Catholics and Protestants or something else?

    This is the classic argument Moslems in the Middle East use to “prove” that that are not violent (by “proving” some one else is?)

    But the way I understand Ireland is there are a lot of other crosscurrents. The landowning class from England v. the workers of the industrial revolution in Ireland who provided the factory labor. Also a rural /urban split with the urban group being protestant/British and the rural group being Irish/catholic. So what part is due to religion? My vote is for class trumping religion.

  168. Each religion has its zealots. I do think that some of the dogma is problematic though. For example, the number of people who die or live in abject poverty because the Catholic church insists that condom use or practicing birth control is wrong.

  169. DYB, organized female tribal gangs/armies are not the norm. Yes, there are tales of Amazon warriors and women are perfectly capable of violence, however, I would argue that maternity mitigates against ritualized exploitation of those feminine tendencies on anywhere near the scale of the male hunter/warrior ethic.

  170. myiq said “I can tell you what is ‘wrong’ with every other religion, including atheism.” Atheism is not a religion, but the absence of religion.

  171. bb — the Roman Catholic church opposes birth control & divorce, but the Orthodox Catholic church allows both (bc only when you are married, tho’ — no premarital sex allowed).

    Abortion is a no-go too — but they aren’t as loud about it — more like “prevent unwanted pregnancies” then “abortion is murder.”

  172. myiq2xu, on December 2nd, 2008 at 5:25 pm Said:


    The Romans wanted to instill fear in their subjects. Terror even.

    But, but, but . . .how can that be? The Romans weren’t Muslims. /s

  173. that was terrible and terrifying miq, but it wasnt terrorism. And no trained warrior from that time would have defined at as such.

    the barbarians were terrorists in the Roman imagination because they had no honor in the Roman sense of the word. Their actions were not governed by the Roman sense of right and wrong.

  174. myiq2xu, on December 2nd, 2008 at 5:14 pm Said:

    Terrorism is a tactic used by the group with fewer resources in an Assymetric conflict.

    When the group in power (with more resources) use the same tactics it is called “shock and awe” or “criminal justice”

    This is an overly simplistic view and I myself have used it. But the group in power was elected by millions of people somewhere. Even for spectacular shock and awe terrorism in the way 9/11 or Mumbai happened the terrorists must have some subtle state sponsorships in the way they are encouraged and financed. The shock and awe you’re alluding to directly from a state can still not happen without much provocation — let us discount Bush’s shock and awe in Iraq as more of an anomaly. The irony is that the day Pakistan and India signed an anti-terrorism pact, that same night Mumbai horror happened. What does it say of the terrorists? Are they for eliminating conflict and resolving dispute or pure chaos all the time because it has in some way become an industry for some? I saw Albright refer to Pakistan as an international migraine. I agree with her — they were the supporters of Taliban (and perhaps AQ) on the one side and Lashkar and others on the Indian side. I think I am trying to say that these terrorists are not completely without state sponsorships in the way of money and other things.

  175. Kerry not getting a cabinet post seems so just.

  176. Nijma:

    This is a way of proving that Islam is not teh evil in an otherwise peaceful world.

  177. When the group in power (with more resources) use the same tactics it is called “shock and awe” or “criminal justice”

    This is an overly simplistic view and I myself have used it. But the group in power was elected by millions of people somewhere. Even for spectacular shock and awe terrorism in the way 9/11 or Mumbai happened the terrorists must have some subtle state sponsorships in the way they are encouraged and financed. The shock and awe you’re alluding to directly from a state can still not happen without much provocation — let us discount Bush’s shock and awe in Iraq as more of an anomaly. The irony is that the day Pakistan and India signed an anti-terrorism pact, that same night Mumbai horror happened. What does it say of the terrorists? Are they for eliminating conflict and resolving dispute or pure chaos all the time because it has in some way become an industry for some? I saw Albright refer to Pakistan as an international migraine. I agree with her — they were the supporters of Taliban (and perhaps AQ) on the one side and Lashkar and others on the Indian side. I think I am trying to say that these terrorists are not completely without state sponsorships in the way of money and other things.

  178. Can I just say that I’m so happy to see Mawm here? If you’re still here, Mawm, it’s good to see you. I hope you are doing well.

  179. Murphy:

    Is religion an unchangeable characteristic like race?

  180. sorry for the double post — I thought it lied when it said duplicate because I didn’t see it posted. 😦

  181. If Islam itself is the cause of violence and sexism, then what is the answer?

    The forced conversion or killing of all Muslims?

    if they can’t reform themselves then conversion is not a bad idea. Forced or not, conversion (religious and otherwise) is the way the world has evolved since the beginning of time.

  182. MyIQ can you send me the usernames? katiebird@gmail.com

  183. It’s great that God has given me and others like me free will, it’s just to gosh darn bad that so many others insist that they know better then me and should be able to inflict their will upon mine. In particular, in manners such as choosing a partner or planning a family. We have our own little version of the Taliban in this country and our own culture.

  184. Murphy:

    I was referring to subject populations (like the Jews) within the Roman Empire.

  185. If religion is unchangeable then why isn’t our country full of Puritans?

  186. KB:

    It was in a REALLY old post – some weird name.

    Scroll recent comments in the dashboard and you should find it in the first page or tw,

  187. if they can’t reform themselves then conversion is not a bad idea. Forced or not, conversion (religious and otherwise) is the way the world has evolved since the beginning of time.

    badtothebone has just endorsed our forced conversion to Islam if they ever become the dominant religion.

  188. If we converted the zealots of Islam to Christianity, we’d end up with a bunch of people blowing up abortion clinics. The problem is the belief in a strict adherance to dogma IMO.

  189. I have to go, so after a while crocodiles!

  190. MyIQ, BB or RD must have gotten it because I’ve been through 5 pages several times….

  191. Islam tends to be a bit more culturally monolithic than Christianity or Buddhism.
    I wouldn’t say so. For one thing, although there are probably about four major branches of Islamic thought, there is no organized theological training like seminaries.

    Second, there is little individual study of Koran by the general population. When someone in a family needs to know something about Koran, for instance, how much time do they have to wait before remarrying, there is someone in their family they go to.

    For those who do read the Koran for themselves, even for those whose first language is Arabic, the classical Arabic of the Koran is difficult to understand as the language has changed so much over the centuries.

  192. What’s this I keep reading about “Islam is oppressive to women”?? It’s almost as if people think if they repeat it enough times without explaining it, that will make it true.

    Then we find out the writer is actually talking about genital mutilation, which isn’t Islamic at all but is an African practice.

  193. Angie- The Greek and Roman churches split, which is the ‘heir’ to the mantle of catholic is in the eyes of the beholder. I saw the wiki article you reference, but many others state that the Greek church split because they got mad at the pope. It kinda reminds me of Delaware claiming to be the ‘First State’. How is one the first ‘united states’?? Yes, I understand that they signed first, but until two signed there can be no ‘united states’.

  194. hello everyone-I am sure you all know how I feel on this in America and Europe if you dont go to church or you eat meat on friday during lent (for Catholics) or choose to date someone of the same sex your parents may spank you or ground you (if you have not attained majority) but the state does not get involved.

    In Iran, Saudi Arabia, and many non-secular muslim countries not keeping the states interpretation of the Holy Koran gods direct revelation to the Prophet Mohammed (bless their holy names) the state is totally involved (along with the parents) you can be put to death and imprisoned for this.

    If you dont believe me the look up Egypt and Queen Boat in g**gle or Yah** and see what happens to people who for get tha inven in “moderate” islamic country when people forget they live in a theocracy.

    Watch “Death of a Princess” and you get my drift.

    Vietnam and Iraq and Afganistan are not wars in the name of god….nor was WWI nor WWII…if you have to go back to the crusades and Colombus to or the 100 years war to find the blood on christian hands thats fine but it does not apply to the 20th century which the Muslims must learn once and for all they live in.

    Look The MaSS Bay Colony flirted with theocracy at its foundation but the Salem Witch Trials put that to bed here.

    Lets talk about this century please I have learned from history and so have many world leaders but still doesnt seem to keep them from repeating it….Christian countries just dont do it in the name of god any more. Its easier to sell safety and greed to get a war financed.

  195. http://www.neopagan.net/ReligiousReich.html

    I like what Isaac Bonewits has to say about fundamentalism . He is a Druid , and he looks Druish 😉

    What bothers me about so many religions , is that they are based on ancient and often cryptic texts of tribal peoples dealing with equally ancient cultures and world views , but are applied with pre-programmed , automatic regularity to circumstances of completely changed modern cultures.

    Most organised religions, based on interpretations of the “ancient sacred texts” seem to me to be self perpetuating, and self aggrandising organisations of power, willing to sacrifice “true believers “, but never the power brokers .
    When the dead sea scrolls were discovered , in 1947 , and some since then , great pains were taken to protect the content and not release the information to the general public , until they could be properly interpreted by scholars. The greatest cause of concern , and fear, stemmed from their being references to an ancient Goddess, Yahweh’s mate Asherah . The fear at that time was that Judaism and Christianity would be revealed as not having been eternally monotheistic , and by being discredited, the faithful would rebel or leave, or somehow become disengaged from those two churches . Eventually the scholars found a way to re -interpret and re- represent the past in such a way that the main body of believers would not be upset that a Goddess came first . The powers that were , were happy . The true meaning of the texts and references were less important than the outcome of preserving the organisations .

    I take a more numinous path myself . I believe all of life is sacred . I think religion or spirituality is an inside job.

    I think violence , whether individual or with wars, stems from multiple sources and is an all of the above answer… How to prevent violence is probably a multiple answer as well. Exploring the cause is a great beginning , origins are important , Darwin thought so too 🙂
    great post !!!

  196. ohh fooey am in moderation 😦

  197. I think I got them all, Katiebird.

  198. “A Modest Proposal” for the 20th century…..

    Now if we wanted to end I$lam in this world you must knock down one or all of the five pillars of the faith the easiest to know over is the Hadj the once in a life time trip to mecca@ that all good mu$lims make….

    Drop a nice dirty nuclear weapon on Mecc@ and Medin@….then sow the soil with plutonium making it uninhabitable for about 12,000 years….it will totally destroy that important pillar or it would certianlly end the lives of all the mu$lims who continued to make the hadj every year…if they are willing to strap on a bomb for Rhamad@n then dying of radition poisoning for Allah (bless his holy name)….would solve “the I$lamic Question”

    If you dont think this will work look at Cartherage Rome distroyed the city and sowed the soil with salt so nothing would grow there after the 3rd Punic War…..you do not see any carthragenians walking around today…

    I would like to thank the author of “A Modest Proposal” Jonathan Switf for the inspiration of the above…

  199. For those who want to end Catholism in all its forms…rounding up all the cardinals and bishops of the eastern and western Catholic churches and shooting them would also put those religions to bed as Apostolic Succession must endure (and it rests with the bishops) if these churches are to survive….no bishops to ordain priest no priest in 1 generations the sacrements stop being dispenced becaus e no priest are left to dispense them….the faith ends when the practice of the mass ends which it would after the last priest drew his breath!

  200. One of my favorite lines from the memorable and quite moving death of John Paul II was when he died on of the news casters said…

    “With the death of John Paul we will now see all the Cardinals Flock to Rome”

  201. where did everybody go?

  202. I confess; I went to craigslist for a while 😉

  203. OT –

    The Enforcer
    Obama’s most important national-security pick isn’t Hillary—it’s Gen. Jim Jones.

    To those who worry that Hillary Clinton will turn Foggy Bottom into a fiefdom devoted to her own agenda and ambition, I have two reassuring words: James Jones.

    Everything that President-elect Barack Obama has said and done these past few weeks indicates that this is going to be an administration run from the White House. His selection of Jones as national-security adviser signals that this will very much be the case in foreign and military policy.


    Hillary took this job with her eyes wide open. She can’t say she didn’t know what type of person Obama is. I knew she shouldn’t have left the senate.

  204. Sorry fuzzy, I went to Hillbuzz. There is an incredible story about the opening of the new visitors’ center at the Capitol. It seems that Harry Reid praised the opening of the center by noting that ‘in the summer because of the heat and high humidity, you could literally smell the tourists coming into the Capitol.” Does this man not know how offensive this is?? Those ‘tourists’ are American citizens and it it there Capitol as much as it it Reids. Where is the Democratic party that I remember, the one that actually cared about the American people. http://hillbuzz.wordpress.com/

  205. What I think most people are getting at is that is not all Muslims who are killing people. However, as Murphy stated, the one thing these individuals have in common is their religion, and not because it was drummed up by propaganda, but because they told us.

    Some have said that poverty and invasion are also culpable. I could agree- to a point. However, this constant relativism does nothing to solve the situation, and drives me insane. If anything it comes under the radar of lets excuse these people because they are poor and they the US is evil. I say no. The underlying factor in all of this is religious extremism. It is not poverty and it’s not Iraq. How do I know? Many of those countries terrorists originate from are oil rich. Now if poverty was the problem why not take it up with your own local government? Why is the US/Europe involved at all? Would they not have a better chance of resolving their issues, if they pressured their own governments? I know we are not the only countries with trade ties to those areas. How is it our fault because your government screwed you over? And as far as Iraq goes, I can concede the point that it made things worse, but last time I checked these groups have hated us for quite some time (and despite the election of Obama- still do). How many US/UN buildings were blown up during the 90s? I was young at the time, but it almost felt like every other month.

    Now I can understand your point that all of these things play into the psych of the person. However, the driving motivation to kill yourself and kill other people isn’t just because you are poor. The driving force is indoctrinated religious extremism. Otherwise why do it? Why kill yourself? Why kill other people? Why kill other poor people? The only people, who commit acts such as those, acts without some other driving force, are insane. And compared to the rest of us, there are very few insane people in this world. Besides the insane, the only way you can stand in the middle of street and spray people down indiscriminately or blow up a building is because it’s been drummed into you. For some people it’s just easier to believe if god has ordained it and will reward you for it.

    Someone said it earlier, constantly trying to equate what is happening now with examples of religious/non-religious battles in the past, is to ignore what is happening now. Everything has shades of grey, but you have to filter things out in order to understand what is happening. And the truth is that, currently, they are using their religion as a method to accomplish these terrible acts. And as I said last night, the only way to combat this is if moderate Muslims/Non Muslims took a more active stance against the extremists. Religion does play a part in the problem and the solution.

  206. OT, but this is unbelievable. Let’s see if I have this right: the economic crisis was largely caused by a gross lack of oversight. Now, the same people who created the problem are in charge of handing over billions of dollars, and they are not implementing any oversight re: WHERE the frickin’ money is going or imposing any conditions on how it is spent?! How can anyone support this–it’s insane. From the WSJ:

    WASHINGTON — The Treasury Department has failed to address a number of critical issues while implementing the $700 billion financial rescue plan, including how to ensure its efforts are successful, the Government Accountability Office said Tuesday.

    The report, which was required by the legislation authorizing the rescue plan, said Treasury has yet to figure out how to make sure financial firms receiving billions of dollars of federal funds comply with limits on executive compensation and dividend payments. (Read the full report.)

    On a more basic level, the Treasury’s efforts to establish “an effective management structure and an essential system of internal control” are incomplete, the report said.

    “Without a strong oversight and monitoring function, Treasury’s ability to help ensure an appropriate level of accountability and transparency will be limited,” the report said.

    The report also noted that the Treasury has yet to fully staff its Office of Financial Stability, which is implementing the Troubled Asset Relief Program. The office will eventually need as many as 200 full-time employees, the GAO said, but as of Nov. 21 only 48 employees were assigned to the TARP program. Increasing that number in the near term could prove difficult, the report said, because of the many permutations to the program since it was passed by Congress and the transition to the next administration in the White House.

    These hiring issues, the report said, could limit the Treasury’s ability to keep key leadership positions filled, “potentially creating uncertainty about the direction of the program and impeding efforts to effectively implement TARP.”

    The report also noted that the Treasury has yet to announce whether it will require firms that receive capital injections to report on the use of the funds. Doing so, the report said, “would enable Treasury to monitor, to some extent, how the infusions were being used.”

  207. bttb,
    That’s a pretty weird view of Islam, can you document even one bit of it? And Sharia Law? That’s like saying eeeevil Christian practices are upheld by Canon Law.

    As far as “forcing women to cover themselves” I invite you to sunbathe nude in front of my place and see what happens.

  208. Honora,

    I guess that’s why they call us “the great unwashed.” Let’s face it, these people in DC are hopeless elitists. The hard part is understanding why they think they are superior to us. To me, most of them seem really stupid. Maybe for them it’s not about intellect at all, just money.

  209. The constant among the variables is man. I’m inclined to believe that the violence is part of our nature.

    I’m drawn to the Pascal Boyer’s work and have long noted the similarity between OCD behavior and religion. IMO religion is a by-product of our animal instinct. We’ve simply dressed it up with words and stories, which we pretty much do with everything.

    Boyer’s writing can be pretty dry but he has some very interesting ideas. Here’s a link to his website for anyone unfamiliar with his work who wants to check him out.


  210. Nijma, neither a man nor a woman can sunbathe nude in front of my place. The only exception in our culture is that men can walk around shirtless although even that has limitations. And the fashions these days allow women to go practically shirtless. There are also nudist resorts for people, male or female, who want to walk around naked.

  211. honora — if you are still here (sorry missed you before, I was on my way home from work). I don’t care what other people say about the schism — it is a fact that Rome split from the Church — Rome is the one that decided to add the filioque to the original creed; Rome is the one that decided that priests were not allowed to marry ; Rome is the one that decided that the Bishop of Rome was not “the first among equals” but superior to all the other Bishops. All of these practices were in direct contradiction to the the first 1000 years of the way the church operated. Sure, the other Bishops didn’t agree with these changes the Pope was making on his own & without their input but that doesn’t equate to the Orthodox church “splitting” from the Roman church. Your analogy with the states would be more apt if the other states decided to throw out the First Amendment to the US Constitution but still want to consider themselves the USA. What happened with the Church was the same as when the South seceded from the Union — which part was the US? The North or the South (and in this scenario, Rome is the “south”).

    Nonetheless, as I stated, the Orthodox church & the Roman Catholic church are still in communion with each other despite the split — they each recognize the rites of the other etc. The Roman Church is the same as the Orthodox Church, However, I (as do all my fellow Orthodox Catholics) do NOT believe that the Pope is the “head” of the Church, nor do I believe he is infalliable. Furthermore, I(and my fellow Orthodox Catholics) believe the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father, not from the Father the Son.

  212. xax — you have a point about the driving force behind suicide missions in the Muslim world is indoctrination of religious extremism but so what? The misuse of religion may be more apparent to our Western eyes in the Muslim world but that doesn’t make Islamin and of itself the problem — if it wasn’t religion being misused by the “higher ups” to manipulate the masses, it would be something else. In WW2 it was an honor for a Japanese pilot to be a Kamikazi. That wasn’t the misuse of religion but a misuse of nationalism, for just one example.

  213. Fuzzy:

    Have you ever heard of “Manifest Destiny?”

    As in it is “God’s Will” that the white man shall conquer on rule North America from coast to coast?

  214. myiq — don’t forget it was also “God’s Will” for the white man to “save” those brown skinned savages.

  215. Nijma, on December 2nd, 2008 at 6:54 pm

    I believe it is in Saudi Arabia where women are forced to cover themselves up. It happens but it isn’t like that everywhere like some people think.

    2-3 years ago, I saw this documentary of a girl in Kansas (I think) who had converted to Islam and was told she couldn’t wear makeup. Man, was I in shock. The muslim women I knew wore makeup. Not too much but enough.

    It is also the same with Cat Stevens. His story is actually sad. When he converted to Islam he stopped playing music because he thought muslims didn’t play music. Sometimes, I think before people convert to Islam they really should do some research. Not all rules are as strict as people think.

    There are also people who take everything they read literally as those that stoned the young girl in Somalia or the woman in Nigeria or the other woman in Iran. Islam like all religions has its negatives and positives.

    – Why would anyone want to end Catholism? I don’t think it is that bad either. What’s up with the anti-religion views on this blog? I have this one Catholic prayer I really like – “the hail Mary”.

  216. I warned badtothebone not to compare me or this blog to dkos.


  217. The Bible calls for adulterers to be stoned to death – and children who disrespect their parents.

  218. myiq — badtothebone wasn’t worth your breath. He obviously came in to cause trouble — what he fails to understand is that he & the religious extremists he complains of have one important thing in common: a closed, narrow mind. That is the real culprit of terrorism, not Islam.

  219. Deuteronomy:

    22:23 If a damsel that is a virgin be betrothed unto an husband, and a man find her in the city, and lie with her;
    22:24 Then ye shall bring them both out unto the gate of that city, and ye shall stone them with stones that they die; the damsel, because she cried not, being in the city; and the man, because he hath humbled his neighbour’s wife: so thou shalt put away evil from among you.

  220. Heck you are supposed to be stoned to death if you curse God according to Leviticus 24:10-16. Better watch those “G. Damn Americas” y’all.

  221. btw, I repudiate & reject basically all of Leviticus — that is the worst book in the bible imo.

  222. angie – We ought to ask some Clerics in Saudi Arabia what they think of the contents of Leviticus. It would be telling, don’t ya think? 🙂

  223. We still use the phrase “shotgun wedding” to refer to nuptials where they tie the knot because the bride is pregnant. (“Formal” redneck wedding – her daddy has a white shotgun)

    And it wasn’t that long ago that it was considered “justifiable homicide” if a married man caught his wife with a lover and murdered them both.

  224. jvsp — Leviticus — the common ground between Jews, Christians & Muslims! Oy! 🙂

  225. Georgia election update: I heard yesterday that the Dems were in big trouble, because the AA population was critical to Martin’s chances, and analysts thought the turn out was based on Obama and Obama alone, and it would be hard to GOTV for the Senate race. Well, what a surprise:

    U.S. Senate Election Results
    Georgia – U.S. Senate
    Candidate Votes
    Saxby Chambliss (Incumbent) 148,234 64%
    Jim Martin 82,380 36%

    Updated Dec-02-2008 08:03 PM 10% reporting (342 of 3303 precincts)

  226. myiq — when I went to college in Texas is was still justifiable homicide if a man shot his wife after catching her in bed with another man (but not if he shot the man) — I’m not sure if that is still the case. And no, I’m not telling how long ago that was.

  227. “Adultery” was one of the limited grounds for divorce in California until the 1970’s. (Mental cruelty being the other)

    Spousal rape wasn’t removed from the books until my lifetime in this country, and we still discriminate against LGBT’s for religious reasons.

  228. How many years ago did SCOTUS strike down laws against consensual “sodomy?”

  229. Here in NC they actually allow lawsuits for alienation of affection — i.e., the “wronged spouse” can sue the cheating spouse’s lover for “breaking up the marriage” — Lord have mercy, I thought Louisiana was backwards! LOL

  230. How many US evangelicals support Israel because they want to see Biblical prophecy fulfilled so that Jesus will return?

    (and send all those Jews to Hell)

  231. myiq — 2003 — Lawrence v. Texas.

  232. angienc, on December 2nd, 2008 at 8:11 pm Said:
    jvsp — Leviticus — the common ground between Jews, Christians & Muslims! Oy!

    …just hand out a copy of the book and a questionnaire.

    “in order to determine whether or not your religion is in need of reforming, please read the accompanying book and fill out the questionnaire…. What do you think of getting stoned…”

    hee hee

  233. Angie & Myiq – I agree with you both . Your reasoning logical conslusions ..

    In my lifetime in Ca. – it was legal to beat & rape your wife … not your neigbors .. but your own – it wasn’t a crime .. this changed .. sometime in the 60s…

    And Yeah … lots of those folks working for end times..

  234. myiq — is that why the EVs support Israel? I thought it was because of biblical verse to the effect that God will protect those who protect Israel & destroy those who seek to harm Israel.

  235. Briana — thanks! I love being affirmed! LOL

  236. Angie:

    Beliefs vary, but the church I was raised in believes that when Jeebus returns the Jews will get one last chance to accept him as their savior and those that don’t won’t be entering the Pearly Gates.

  237. Interesting news, fif. And Palin was campaigning for Chambliss. We’ll have to see how this one plays out.

  238. myiq — oh, ok — I’ve heard of that too — the tribulation thingy — btw, I have to say as tolerant as I am of the religious beliefs of others (’cause Lord knows I believe in what must look like to others some serious f*cked up sh!t like transubstantiation) but that whole belief by EVs in them going up to heaven “pre-tribulation” while the rest of us (i.e., not “born again”) have to go through, literally, hell on earth, is no better then believing in Xenu (i.e. Scientology) — something made up by that guy who writes the “Left Behind” books. I mean, really, the stuff I believe in may be made up too, but at least my stuff was made up 2000 years ago. lol

  239. AND .. BOR is kicking up his yearly war against the “We are against Xmas” .. bs again. .. some things never change .. lol

  240. New thread up!

  241. OK Lets get this correct.

    All organized Religions are false idols. The ONE TRUE GOD is inside of you. The love you feel inside of you in the one true god. you simply need to relax and allow the love to get very very strong and then you will know the truth.

    Everything external to you is false idols. Close your eyes and there find out that your life force is God. You are the One Son of God.

    you can read the book by Jesus called A Course in Miracles for more information.

  242. Open your eyes and look out upon the world. everything you see is an illusion of the mind of god. It is all temporary and therefore not eternal. god is eternal. That which is eternal must be real. therefore that which is not eternal must not be real. therefore the world is not real. it is a projection of your mind. remember you have the shared mind of the One Son of God that is all powerful and can imagine this world is real. But it is not eternal and therefore not real.

    Now close your eyes and feel love. You have entered into eternity. God exists in the Eternal NOW Moment. which you enter when you drop all ideas of the world and enter love the world of the spirit LOVE.

  243. Gabrielle:

    When do we get to the part where I get to kill my neighbors in God’s name?

  244. Remember when you look out upon the world everything is not real. this means the external religions are not real. looking for a god in heaven must be not real. remember the only one true god is inside of you. and inside of you is the entire universe. for everything is an idea in your mind.

    There is no separation in Gods world. There are not billionsof separate people. there is only ONE. We are all ONE.

    You are ONE with God and all that is.

    Well you did say God is everything. Therefore you must be a part of God. And being a part of god means you are god. There is God the creator God and there is you the created god the One Son of God.

    What is eternal is god loving you and you loving god. That is eternal and real. Love is eternal.

  245. When I first moved to Boston in the late ’60s, birth control was illegal for nonmarried people. Cohabitation was illegal. Abortion was illegal. The Catholic Church had official lobbying offices in the State House. We had blue laws. MA still doesn’t have Common Law marriage as far as I know.

  246. myiq2xu

    Oh my you worry about when you can kill people in gods name. Well all that is an illusion. There is no death. You are eternal and therefore can not die.

    You are the Immaculate Conception. Created by god before time began and still immaculate. So is everyone else. There is no sin. Your question is meaningless except that you can imagine death and wars and killing and sickness and whatever you choose to believe as a victim. But in reality you are not a victim. You are really god.

    Read the book


    It will transform your life. good thing you are high IQ. the book will appeal to you. Do not be put off. The book begins by showing you that you do not think correctly. The thoughts you think you think are not real.

    The real goal is to break down your intellectual thought system. TO get you to understand that your thought system is the EGO and is the problem. You will come to see that your intellectual brain always gives you the wrong answers. Love gives the correct answers. It will probably take a while for full transformation from the world to the spiritual truth.

  247. Teh “Taken up” books? Ha! What does the Bible say Jesus wants you to do? Sell all your posessions and give everything to the poor. Feed the hungry, clothe the naked, visit the sick and imprisoned.

    So those “Taken Up” authors have sold everything in anticipation of the Rapture?—NOT. They don’t even believe that stuff themselves. They’re laughing all the way to the bank.

  248. BB:

    This thread’s dead, let the angel have her fun

  249. OH MAN A course in miracles.. the bible paraphrased .

    proseltyzing is against my religion

  250. the book:

    What’s this? The CIA funded parts of it through Project MKULTRA. Wowie, zowie. You can even read a great deal of it online at the wikiquote link.

    But, oh, dear, read it at your own peril because:

    some ACIM students he knew had become “far more separate and egocentric,” while others had even lost “the ability to carry on a simple conversation”.

  251. Gabrielle, you appear to have come to be preachy and irritating and to pimp your cult/book. It isn’t my thread, so I can’t do much. But unless you feel like recognizing that you’re not the universal arbiter of truth, I don’t think many people are likely to listen to message from on high.

  252. When I see that somebody wearing a dynamite and ball bearing vest has walked into a crowded market and detonated it, in South America, I’ll buy into your Islam is a religion of peace fantasy.

  253. MrMike:

    How about those God-fearing, peace-loving Christian white boys Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols?

  254. Or all those peacefully Christian “bomb the fuckers into the stone-age” types? What about those overwhelmingly Christian abortion doctor killers/clinic bombers? Or the Front de Liberation Quebecois? Or the white, culturally Christian school-shooters? And who exactly is it who commits the bulk of the murders of trans folk in North American society? I’m pretty sure those weren’t murders committed by Muslims.

  255. I rather like the angel. She comes on here and zeros in on the jaded and cynical myiq, who for some reason she instinctively likes, and makes him feel good without sex. And the book is not hers, you can read it for free online.

  256. For years I have made that argument: religion is subservient to old culture, not the other way around. That’s why there are great differences between Catholics in the Americas and Catholics in Europe. Catholics in the Americas combined Catholic beliefs with native American beliefs. Irish combined pre-Christian (Celt) beliefs with Catholic beliefs.

  257. first was a chicken 🙂 Check out movie — Zeitgeist: Addendum, many questions will disappear

  258. This is a very interesting discussion, however I see that honor killings was merely mentioned and not expanded upon (FGM, yes, but honor killings, no).

    Honor killings happen primarily in Islam. And not just fundie Islam. (“Suicides to preserve honor” (like in Japan or Turkey) don’t count, because that’s not taking someone else’s life, it’s taking your own.) I just watched a show on ID Discovery about honor killings, where the reporter was interviewing a man who was told by his family that he must kill his sister because she brought dishonor upon the family, and he had done so. he expressed no remorse whatsoever for the taking of her life, saying that had she lived the family would’ve had to hang its head in shame daily. He was not prosecuted for this CRIME (he lived in some Islamic country). He wasn’t “rich”, either; just your regular Joe Islam.

    So what does it say about Islam when a man kills his female family members for merely having boyfriends (that happened here in the U.S., BTW, and make a special note as to the keywords under the photos: “Subject(s):
    Muslim culture, Egyptian culture, Islam, Yaser Said, honor killings”)?

    The prevailing “culture”/religion that still accepts honor killings is Muslim/Islamic. Sicilians/Italians have for the most part, evolved beyond that crap. So has most of the world that has advanced beyond the concept that women are expendable. Islam has not evolved that far, and without any huge changes and this continual acceptance that it’s a ‘peaceful religion”, it will not; just ask Ayaan Hirsi Ali. She is who I look for thoughts about Islam when the topic comes up, because she experienced it. So…sorry, but I can’t agree about the Islam thing…not until it shows that it has fundamentally changed its treatment of women beyond property and sources of shame.

  259. PUMA John, I once saw a man interviewed who had murdered his sister in an honor killing. His reasoning: If a glass is broken, do you not throw it out? (It may have even been from the same show you watched.) A culture, a religion, a community, ANY group of humans who believe that their mothers, wives and daughters are no more than tableware is seriously sick. JMHO of course.

  260. Well, let me add my take on this whole topic. I can go to the DEEP SOUTH, in the middle of a Baptist community and scream “Jesus sucks,” and expect to live… (Yes, I would be happy to try the experiment: just give me the plane fare).

    I would NOT go into central Baghdad and yell out (in Arabic, mind you) “Allah sucks,” and expect to live.

    That is the difference between Islam and other religions.

    BTW, I was raised as a Lutheran, but am now agnostic (at best!) and have absolutely no use for ANY organized religion.


  261. Park Slope Voter:

    What if you tried your experiement in Indonesia or Turkey instead of Baghdad?

  262. “Honor killings happen primarily in Islam”

    I guess you missed the report that says 5000 women are “honor” killed annually in India.

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