Theocracy in America

Should we be more worried about radical Islamists or Christian fundamentalists?

America faces the clear and present danger of a takeover by theocrats who want to impose their religion on everyone else. The only problem is, we don’t know which religion.

If you get your news from conservative sources, then it’s pretty clear the threat is Islamic. Conservatives point with alarm to indices such as the case of Safoorah Khan—a Berkeley, Ill., math teacher whose request to take three weeks off so she could make a pilgrimage to Mecca was denied. The Obama Justice Department is now suing the school district on her behalf.

Activists on the right also are exercised by a recent ruling from Florida Circuit Judge Richard Nielsen in which he said part of a dispute should be settled by Islamic law. As the St. Petersburg Times reported, "Nielsen said he will decide in a lawsuit against a local mosque, the Islamic Education Center of Tampa, whether the parties in the litigation properly followed the teachings of the Koran in obtaining an arbitration decision from an Islamic scholar."

"Ruling Boosts Support for Sharia Law," reported One News Now, a division of the American Family Association, which notes that the decision has prompted Florida lawmakers to propose legislation preventing the use of Shariah law in state courts. The news story quoted "Robert Spencer, director of Jihad Watch, [who] says Nielsen’s ruling sets a very dangerous precedent."

The Florida lawmakers are jumping on an increasingly crowded bandwagon. Measures forbidding the use of Shariah law also have been introduced in South Carolina, Texas, Wyoming, Georgia, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Missouri, and Alabama.

To many liberals and progressives, such measures—and the recent congressional hearings by Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) on Islamic radicalism—amount to rank bigotry by slack-jawed, knuckle-dragging yahoos. It is absolutely ridiculous, say progressives, to think there is some kind of movement afoot seeking to impose religious fascism in America.

At least by Muslims. When it comes to Christians, progressives don’t feel quite so sanguine. Among other things, they view with alarm the recent spate of proposed abortion restrictions. They also take exception to a recent opinion piece by Bryan Fischer, issues analyst for the American Family Association (yes, the very same), in which he declared that "the First Amendment was written by the Founders to protect the free exercise of Christianity. Islam has no fundamental First Amendment claims. . . . Islam is entitled only to the religious liberty we extend to it out of courtesy."

This isn’t the first time Fischer has raised hackles. Several months ago he expressed the view that "permits should not be granted to build even one more mosque in the United States of America." That was shortly after he announced that "gay sex is a form of domestic terrorism."

Lots of people write lots of crazy things, and Fischer’s views might not be worth calling attention to except for the fact that many people put considerable stock in them. The AFA boasts 200 radio stations and 180,000 subscribers to the AFA Journal. The same day Fischer declared that the First Amendment doesn’t apply to Muslims, he devoted part of his radio program to an interview with Tea Party fave Michele Bachmann—who, also the same day, announced the formation of a presidential exploratory committee.

Bachmann doesn’t have a snowball’s chance. But former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty does—and he too has curried Fischer’s favor, appearing on Fischer’s program to declare his firm belief in traditional marriage, his firm opposition to abortion, and his strong conviction that gays should not serve in the military. In a recent interview with Christianity Today he says he used to think faith and public law are separate, but “they really aren’t.”

Fischer and the AFA aren’t the only ones to worry liberals, however. Last week progressives gasped over comments by Don Haase, nominated by Alaska Gov. Sean Parnell to the state's judicial council, which oversees appointments to the bench. Asked whether extramarital sex should be a crime, Haase allowed as how it probably should. For every Islamic incursion into the public sphere, it seems, there is an equal and opposite incursion by the Christian right.
Just look at the Chicago area, where Safoorah Khan’s case is counterbalanced by that of Beau Schaefer, a science teacher at Libertyville High who provoked controversy by—but drew no sanctions for—teaching creationism. For those keeping score at home, it looks like the public schools in Illinois let a Christian get away with proselytizing his faith in the classroom, but won’t let a Muslim even exercise hers.

One doesn’t want to overextend this line of argument. It’s possible to take parallels and equivalencies too far. Christians haven't carried out any stonings lately, for instance. But conservative Christians and conservative Muslims share enough values on enough social issues that it can be jarring to watch how the debate over faith in America unfolds. For persons of deep religious conviction, it matters deeply whether injunctions against homosexuality, fornication, abortion, and so on are rooted in this sacred text or that one. For everyone else, the doctrinal basis someone cites for a theocratic state matters far less than the fact that he wants to impose one in the first place.

A. Barton Hinkle is a columnist at the Richmond Times-Dispatch. This article originally appeared at the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

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  • Corporate Drone||

    conservative Christians and conservative Muslims share enough values on enough social issues...

    What you did there. I see it.

  • Gregory Smith||

    "A cartoonist is in hiding after a tongue-in-cheek “Everybody Draw Mohammed Day” promotion earned her a fatwa death order for violating a Shariah edict banning drawing the Muslim prophet’s image."

    See? Christians and Muslims are not the same.

    More evidence?

    "The Christian Science Monitor reported a California elementary school made accommodations when it absorbed Muslim students from a shuttered charter school, including revising its instructional schedule to add a 15-minute “recess” after lunch to allow Muslim students to pray in a separate room."

    Think public schools would make that exception for Christians? Think again.

    "The University of Michigan-Dearborn, where about 10 percent of students are Muslim, spent $25,000 to install two foot-washing stations on campus to accommodate ablutions before Islamic daily prayers."

    ---Will they spend $25,000 to build a giant cross? Nope! But Muslims must get their pedicures to pray.

    "Four Christian evangelists attending a July Muslim cultural festival in Dearborn, Mich., were arrested for “disorderly conduct to ensure they did not provoke violence from others attending,”"

    ---You know what conservative Christians do when your message upsets them? They tell you that Jesus loves you.

    So please, I know it's politically incorrect, but stop comparing Christians to Muslims, they are NOT the same!

    Is your community too white? The feds want to paint it black, brown, and yellow.
    http://libertarians4freedom.bl.....-want.html

  • Fluffy||

    All public schools everywhere in America are already closed all day Sunday out of deference to the religious practices of Christians.

    If the schools can give Christians a whole fucking day, they can give Muslims 15 minutes after recess.

  • ||

    Christmas, Easter...

  • ||

    "Winter break" and "Spring break" have replaced the terms out of deference to people of other (or no) faiths.

    And, yes, Sundays off and offices closed started from religious practice...about 4 centuries ago. The practice has been adopted in nations from the US to China, which is anything but a Christian nation.

    You guys have better arguments to make than this one.

  • Fluffy||

    So basically what you're saying is that public schools don't have to make reasonable accomodation to students with various religious beliefs, because the existing completely unreasonable accomodation made to Christianity is of such ancient vintage that everybody just accepts it as normal now, so we shouldn't see it as a big deal?

    Wow. Assholes like you are going to force me to believe that "institutional discrimination" isn't just something the lefties made up.

  • ||

    So, we should require 7 day school and work weeks? The same schools are closed on Saturday. And of course, that great Christian holiday - Summer. I'm a deist/agnostic, but I don't see Torquemada hiding behind every easter bunny. SHEEESH!!

  • ||

    so you're telling us that you wish you had 7-day weeks for school and work? Should we rename the days of the week? After all, they were named in honor of pagan deities. Such an uppity, sensitive attitude for someone on a libertarian website.

  • crossofcrimson||

    "Such an uppity, sensitive attitude for someone on a libertarian website."

    Actually his/her whole point was that the people haranguing about special accommodations for Muslims (or whatever) are the ones being "uppity"...as there are clearly accommodations that have been made throughout society on a religious/cultural basis. The point wasn't to take all this crap and throw it away. You've flipped it upside down completely. The point was that, in light of the myriad of things which have been shaped by religious institutions, to suddenly have a fit over deference to another religion is a little hypocritical if not pedantic.

  • ||

    You completely miss my point, Fluffy. I was saying that you guys have better arguments than the "Sundays off" argument. I never said it wasn't valid, just weaker than other arguments that you could have made.

    Oh, and schools have Saturday off as well...the Jewish and Muslim day of worship. How do you explain that?

  • ||

    Muslims have nothing to do with Saturday. You are probably thinking of Friday.

  • A Serious Man||

    Friday, friday, got get down on Friday.

  • ZEN||

    I see four day work weeks in everyone's future.

  • ||

    "...the existing completely unreasonable accomodation made to Christianity...".

    And what would that be, exactly??

  • ||

    Fluffy,
    Go to school on Sunday if it makes you feel more separation between church and state.
    A calendar habit is hardly the same thing as a malicious practice such as, hmmmmm, just to pick one off the top of my head,,,,, female circumcision.
    The best thing we could do with Muslims is politely ask them to go away and to take the 15th century with them when they leave.

  • Gregory Smith||

    ""Winter break" and "Spring break" have replaced the terms out of deference to people of other (or no) faiths."

    ---Gee, so should we stop serving meat in the cafeteria in deference of vegetarians? Should we stop asking people whether they're male or female in deference of intersexuals (people both with both a penis and a vagina)? Some decisions are based on the majority? For example, Jews who don't mind their kids eating pork send their kids to public schools or tell them not to eat the pork, and if that's not good enough, they send them to a PRIVATE Jewish school were everything is kosher. See? Jews don't demand special accommodation by the majority, so why should we tolerate Muslims that go to secular universities and demand shariah law?

    For example, if Muslim women can't swim in a pool with men, why not go to an all women's college or why not start a Muslim university? See what I mean? Muslims are demanding special rights!!!!

  • Anonymous Coward||

    Christmas, Easter...

    I have yet to run into any supremely principled person who works on Christmas or Easter at their own expense in protest.

  • Gregory Smith||

    Well, Christians ARE the majority, or should school be open 7 days a week?

    If Muslims need 15 minutes of recess they can go to a private Muslim school.

    And by the way, Christmas is a FEDERAL holiday! Ok? So your argument is moot.

  • GRRR||

    Why would you attempt to use the "majority" argument on a bunch of libertarians?

  • ||

    When Latinos make up a "majority" of Southwestern states, will you support Spanish becoming the official language?

  • Gregory Smith||

    No, this is America, they should speak English, in fact, we should declare English our official language to prevent any further problems.

  • ||

    You are one dense motherfucker.

  • ||

    Boy, that's a great argument.

  • Ahmedinajad||

    No, this is Iran, they should follow Sharia Law. In fact, we should declare fundamentalist Islam as our official religion to prevent any further problems.

  • ||

    So, Congress shall pass no law abridging freedom of speech is meaningless to you? English is obviously the de facto official language of the US because the overwhelming majority speaks it and the government uses it, but encoding this into law would be very different. Two immigrants choose to speak only Esperanto, should they be punished/denied citizenship because of their non-speech of English, which one would think falls under "freedom of speech"? Can babies of legal immigrants be denied citizenship since they can't speak English yet?

  • Gregory Smith||

    Don't be stupid, almost every country in the world has an official language, in Mexico is Spanish, in France is French. Now, if I go to France and choose to speak English, will I be arrested? Of course not, I might be given a hard time unless I'm in a touristy area, and good luck getting a job in France without speaking French.

  • ||

    No, but if you go to Montreal and "speak" English, you will...

  • ||

    Of course you won't get "arrested". You will just get denied immigration, which still seems like a violation of the First Amendment, dictating how one must speak in order to be a citizen.

  • botoxporcupine||

    Why, Gregory Smith, are you on a libertarian-leaning website? Shouldn't you be tracking down all those horrible people whose lifestyles differ from yours?

    Also, its funny that we should declare English "our official language." I could see the logic if this were, say, England--but its not.

    Finally, I don't see much of a difference between Muslims and Christians. They're both oh-so-wrong and when they perpetuate their ideas they both drive the world back to the Dark Ages.

  • ||

    Greg Smith: an Official Language? Along with Language Police? Sacre bleu!
    As for Christians and Muslims being the same, publish a cartoon of Jesus and one of Mohamed and take notes.

  • ||

    Greg Smith: an Official Language? Along with Language Police? Sacre bleu!
    As for Christians and Muslims being the same, publish a cartoon of Jesus and one of Mohamed and take notes.

  • ||

    YOu can't see a difference between Mooslims and Christians?
    How many hundreds of years has it been since a fundamentalist Christian stoned a women for having an affair? Circumcized their daughter? Murdered a cartoonist for drawing a picture of their imaginary fairy godfather in the sky? Murdered a film-maker for criticizing Protestantism?
    Get real.
    Christianity has its dark past. Islam is still stuck in about 1165.

  • 87||

    Christians have committed acts of terrorism and murder in more recent years as well. Pro-Lifers murdering abortion doctiors is just one example.

  • The Gobbler||

    What a fucking canard. I was told that teachers not working weekend was something for which they should be thanking unions.

    Fucking moron.

  • DLM||

    All public schools everywhere in America are already closed all day Sunday out of deference to the religious practices of Christians.

    Damn straight. We should be forced to work 7 days a week.

  • Predicador||

    In Soviet Union, too, schools were closed on Sundays.

  • Maire||

    "In Soviet Union, too, schools were closed on Sundays."

    Yeah, because prior to the Revolution, Russian Orthodoxy was the official religion, and no revolution is going to do away with every little thing of the old order. If it's convenient, if it can be utilized by the new order, it will stay. Kind of like how the Commies left St. Basil's in one piece but converted its use.

  • ||

    The ony thing fluffy here is you mind. Schools are also closed on Saturday you damn fool.

    get a clue asshole

  • ||

    Wow.

    What a complete piece of trash. So a few Christian goofballs who want Christianity in the public sphere equals www.sharia4america.com ???

    What about David Barton and the great work he's been doing over the past 15 yrs or so trying to point out how backwards our laws are in ripping faith and religion out of public life - when there was and should be absolutely no constitutional justification to do so??

  • Fluffy||

    Actually, I would say there are probably far more Christians in the US who would replace the existing social order with "biblical law" than there are Muslims who would topple our system and replace it with sharia.

    The numbers of both groups are actually very small. But considering the fact that www.sharia4america.com represents a few Muslim goofballs, that makes it entirely appropriate to say that it's "equal" to "a few Christian goofballs".

  • KMA||

    "Actually, I would say there are probably far more Christians in the US who would replace the existing social order with "biblical law" than there are Muslims who would topple our system and replace it with sharia."

    Not as a percentage of their repective populations.

    Score: Math. Fail.

  • Trespassers W||

    Why would I care about the percentage of their respective populations?

    If 100% of Rosicrucians want to replace the existing social order with "cosmic law", and there are a hundred of them, while 1% of Eckanckarites want to replace the existing social order with "soul law", and there are a million of them, you're saying I'm supposed to be more concerned about the Rosicrucians?

  • Tacos mmm...||

    I also chose the Rosicrucians, without even reading your post.

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    Ah, that clears it up. It's a question of which side has the greater percentage of individuals who want to rule society. So as long as the one side is worse, then it's ok if the other side does it.

    Point. You. Missing it.

  • ||

    Well ditto to Trespassers and BSR, but I'd also like some proof that the Muslim percentage is greater.

    Oops, you made it up.

  • Fluffy||

    I am more concerned about actual numbers, frankly.

    As per Trespassers W's point.

  • Tacos mmm...||

    Not as a percentage of their repective populations.

    Score: Math. Fail.

    How about as a percentage of the VOTING population?

    I could give fuck-all if 100% of the Rosicrucians in this country want to impose a mystical theocracy, because there aren't enough of them around to fit in a greyhound bus. But 5% of 250 million or so Christians is a lot of people.

  • Trespassers W||

    I hope I just started a meme that the Rosicrucians in this country want to impose a mystical theocracy... because, you know, screw those guys.

  • cynical||

    Even if the percentage of Muslim theocrats is two or three times higher, that still puts their actual numbers much lower since there are far more Christians than Muslims.

  • DLM||

    Even if the percentage of Muslim theocrats is two or three times higher, that still puts their actual numbers much lower since there are far more Christians than Muslims.

    It's not just the numbers, it's the sincerity and intensity of the desire and what they are willing to do to achieve the stated goals. I'd rather have 100 peaceful protesters than 1 crazed homocidal nutball. Of course, that nutball won't survive long.

  • ||

    Do you know how many Western leaders would have to be assassinated by Christians in order to catch up to the amount in the middle east that have been killed for not being "Muslim enough" for Muslims?

    Hint: It's a lot. They're not exactly in the habit of voting with a ballot or their feet like we are.

  • ||

    There is no such thing as Biblical law. Check your premises.

  • ||

    Agreed - this is utter nonsense.

    A "fundamentalist" desires to live as closely to his holy book as possible. It is simply impossible to read the New Testament and think it was Christ's desire that Christianity be spread by force (the sword or politics).

    It's also impossible to read the Koran or Hadith and not believe Allah and the Prophet did not want Islam spread by force.

    There is simply no comparison.

  • ||

    +1

  • DD||

    You are making too much sense... not enough bitterness nor cynicism. Please leave.

  • ||

    Sorry - cynicism and snark are my typical operating modes.

    Here are some of my favorite scriptures from the religion of peace.
    http://www.thereligionofpeace......olence.htm

  • Fluffy||

    This really isn't true.

    ANY belief system that promises eternal reward or punishment based on action or belief within that system contains within itself the logical necessity for violence and totalitarianism.

    If it is, in fact, true that believers in Christ will be saved at the Last Judgment and nonbelievers will be damned, every earthbound value is of utter insignificance compared to that fact, including any value anyone anywhere places on freedom.

    There is no way to believe the New Testament is literally true and to not believe that burning heretics is a righteous and necessary act.

  • Fluffy||

    In a very real sense one could say that there really aren't any Christian fundamentalists any more and that true Christian fundamentalism is nearly extinct.

    I can tell this from the lack of burning heretics out there. Don't smell smoke? Then Christianity is dead.

  • Peenchy||

    I forget where Jesus commanded the burning of the heretics...

    Was that in Matthew? Or Paul's letter to the Ephesians?

    Who hurt you? I'm here for a hug.

  • crossofcrimson||

    I guess if we disregard half of the Bible we could probably ensue with the sarcasm. But pending that...

  • wjv||

    I thought I'd drop these here for perspective. Perhaps these might instigate violence against apostates or athiests:

    John 3:36 "...but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God's wrath remains on him."

    John 15:6 "If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned."

    Jesus supposedly said that second one, crazy deathly huh?

  • CatoTheElder||

    There is literally no way that you know what you're talking about.

  • Fluffy||

    Nice rebuttal, cunt.

    If being misled by heretics can lead innocent Christians into eternal damnation, there is no earthly value that can ever mean anything relative to that possibility.

    It's just a matter of scale.

    Freedom can't be important compared to it. Hell, even acute and perpetual earthly suffering can't mean anything compared to it. I could torture you for the next fifty years, and it would mean absolutely nothing next to the possibility of an eternity in hell.

    The Christians didn't just start burning heretics because they were dicks. They did it because it's embedded inextricably into their entire cosmology and value system. There's no way to ever get it out. We were only saved by the fact that they stopped actually believing it.

  • mr simple||

    Wow, you really have no idea what's in the bible, do you? I know many terrible things have been done in the name of Christianity, but they were not done out of a strict adherence to biblical teachings. The message of Jesus is one of peace. He says things like love thy neighbor and do unto others as you would have them do unto you and as you judge so shall you be judged and the measure you give to others shall be the measure given to you and if someone strikes you on the cheek give them the other and those who live by the sword will die by the sword and let he who is without sin cast the first stone, among other things. You offer no example of your thesis based on biblical teachings, only assertions. Your hatred has blinded you.

    And I'm not interested in arguing about the mystical or afterlife bullshit ideas from this or any other religion, as I am not an adherent. I have just long been interested in all religions from a more philosophical view.

  • Trespassers W||

    Wow, you really have no idea what's in the bible, do you?

    Have you ever checked out the first half of it?

  • ||

    You mean the part that has been superseded?

  • crossofcrimson||

    "You mean the part that has been superseded?"

    I'm sorry, is your understanding of the "fulfillment of the Covenant" that when Jesus came it just magically would wipe away the religious history or teachings of the old Canon altogether? Maybe there are some Christian denominations that completely disregard the Old Testament, but I'm not aware of any. I'm pretty sure both Christ and early Christians didn't give the impression that people were to just toss it out. But if that unearned piece of Biblical comprehension is supposed to stand as a defense for both what God did and commanded his followers to do, it still stands as a pretty virulent self-condemnation by our own moral standards; even if we were just supposed to ignore it after Jesus - which clearly isn't the case.

  • ||

    I really didn't want to debate the Bible on this site, but okay.

    Please quote me chapter and verse (not Fluffy’s vagaries) from the Old Testament:

    * Open-ended (not specific circumstances) encouragement for violence from God or his prophets

    * Commands to spread Judaism by force

    * Commands to impose Hebrew laws on other peoples

  • DLM||

    Have you ever checked out the first half of it?

    You mean the OLD Testament as opposed to the NEW Testament. Do you know what a "testament" is in this context? Do you know what "old" and "new" mean?

  • brian||

    Exodus 22:18 - "Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live"

    You didn't think the Church murdered hundreds of thousands (millions?) of people over the course of a few centuries because they were taking that "metaphor" literally did you?

    Mr. Simple. Your moniker is apt.

    Why don't you try just reading the Bible like a book instead of interpreting it? Because then you'd know what a load of shit it is that's why.

  • brian||

    Exodus 22:18 - "Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live"

    You didn't think the Church murdered hundreds of thousands (millions?) of people over the course of a few centuries because they were taking that "metaphor" literally did you?

    Mr. Simple. Your moniker is apt.

    Why don't you try just reading the Bible like a book instead of interpreting it? Because then you'd know what a load of shit it is that's why.

  • ||

    Fluffy,
    Check a calendar, man.
    Mine says 2010.
    If you've got "witch burning" pencilled in for the weekend, I think yours must says "1615."

  • DDavis||

    "There is no way to believe the New Testament is literally true and to not believe that burning heretics is a righteous and necessary act."

    Your argument is based on consequentialist logic that Christians need not share.

    In a sense, given the contradictions in the Bible, there is not way to believe that the NT is literally true, as it contradicts itself.

    But a reasonable and honest reading of the NT can prohibit burning heretics. Burning heretics would take away the heretics chance to come to God. A Christian should leave it to God to take the heretic's life in his own time.

  • Sudden||

    Forgive me for not being a biblical scholar, but my understanding of the whole scripture thing was if someone doesn't accept Jeebus, they'll burn in hell (and that is a NT thing), but it doesn't say let's kill em in order to expedite the process. I believe the whole idea is to preach the word of God and compel them to find God by virtue of "teh truth."

    As much as I find laws imposing Christian values unsettling and worthy of contempt, its a bit of a stretch to say I'm worried about being burned as a heretic.

  • Tacos mmm...||

    It's also impossible to read the Koran or Hadith and not believe Allah and the Prophet did not want Islam spread by force.

    It's also impossible to read the Torah without coming to the conclusion that good, oberservant Jews should be sacrificing in a temple.

  • Matrix||

    There is a small movement in Israel that is trying to rebuild the Temple for that purpose. I'm sure PETA will be all for it.

  • Tacos mmm...||

    This in no way mitigates the fact that Judaism has changed markedly over the millenia, to the point where a completely objective observer may justifiably think that modern practices compose a distinctly different religion, or even several distinctly different religions.

    In any case, Judaism is a good example of how attempting to derive a religions practices and beliefs solely from their holy texts, even for very text-based religions, leaves one woefully short of reality.

  • ||

    Your point would be valid IF groups such as the Whabbis and the Muslim Brotherhood did not have the stated goals of crating a society that lived in strict accordance with the Koran.

  • brian||

    OS, you seem to be a lucid and cogent person so please don't use the MB as some example. The truth is they really have no sway over Egyptians or the ME for that matter. You sound like a Fox News ass hat when you talk about them.
    As for the Wahhabi's, who gives a shit what they do in there own countries? Did you have plans to move to Saudi Arabia?

  • ||

    Speaking of asshats, it's not what they do in their own countries. They have a distrubing tendancy to export their asinine, violent religion to the rest of the world. Remember the fatwa against the Danish cartoonist?

  • ||

    But the point is that Jews DON"T sacrifice sheep or goats in the temple. And Christians don't burn heretics.
    But Mooslims murder film-makers, put fatwahs on novelists, suppress free speech when they don't like certain cartoons, circumcize women, blow themselves up in crowded marketplaces, etc, etc, fkn retard, etc.
    Fk the various collection of fairy tales all the religions follow.
    How about ACTIONS!

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    It is simply impossible to read the New Testament and think it was Christ's desire that Christianity be spread by force (the sword or politics).

    The facts would indicate you are mistaken in this assertion.

  • ||

    Try READING the New Testament - Jesus said "I bring a sword" the entire book of revelation is about establishing a theocracy that involves a batttle where a horse will be able to swim in the blood.

  • cynical||

    "A "fundamentalist" desires to live as closely to his holy book as possible. It is simply impossible to read the New Testament and think it was Christ's desire that Christianity be spread by force (the sword or politics)."

    The Christian holy book isn't the New Testament. In fact, there isn't a definitive Christian holy book; a Bible is a collection of independent works from a variety of eras, locations, and authors (none of who was Jesus, notably). As a result, the meaning of "fundamentalist" Christian is highly variable -- it depends heavily on which specific books loom large in their thinking.

  • Michael Ejercito||

    A "fundamentalist" desires to live as closely to his holy book as possible. It is simply impossible to read the New Testament and think it was Christ's desire that Christianity be spread by force (the sword or politics).


    Ever heard of Clovis?

    Or Charlemagne?

  • ||

    Charlamagne.
    Good reference.
    What, Pope Pius I wasn't good enough?
    Jeebus.
    If you have to reach back a millenium to find a boogerman, you have well and truly lost the thread.
    Moral relativists. Blind as bat sh!t.

  • ||

    I agree with you on the intent of Christ vs the intent of the prophet, but I'd be a bit more generous and say that most Muslims have better morals than Muhammad considering most don't feel the need to kill someone just for disagreeing with them.

  • The Derider||

    I feel like the Crusades came AFTER the new testament. If only you could go back in time and tell the pope he's misreading the bible!

  • Barry Loberfeld||

  • ||

    Sharia is civil law to settle disputes like divorces and business dealings within the community. It would not replace criminal laws and they would still be subject to regular civil law if they interact with the rest of us.

    Oh and Jews have had the same kind of thing pretty much since the country was founded.

  • ||

    Those guys seem to know what they are talking about. Wow.

    www.privacy-online.it.tc

  • ||

    Yep, they sure do. Hey, speaking of, could you lend me 5 bucks, I need to get a coffee?

  • sarcasmic||

    "Should we be more worried about radical Islamists or Christian fundamentalists?"

    Neither. It's the Statists who have implicitly declared government to be god (and by extension themselves since they are fond of saying "We are government") that we should be most worried about.

  • ||

    True, but I've noticed the real reason many of the anti-religious crowd wet their pants over supposed imminent ChristoFacism in Amerikkka is because they are closet Statists who are simply jealous that someone is worshipping an entity other than the Government.

  • ||

    The reason I would wet my pants over ChristoFacism in America is because of the Statist fucks who have given so much power over to government. The idea of any religious nutjobs (Christian, Muslim, Environmental)getting their hands on the levers is actually quite terrifying

  • DJF||

    Yep, the “We Are From The Government And We Know How To Run Your Life Party”

  • Mr. FIFY||

    That party has two main factions, and their initials are (D) and (R).

    But they basically worship in the same building.

  • Tony||

    Just because you think government is Satan doesn't mean normal people think it is God.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Normal people don't worship government, Tony.

  • ||

    Tony isn't normal people, and based on a lot of his liberal comments, I would say he does worship government

  • MNG||

    +1 Tony

    Ironically such black/white, Manichean ways of seeing the world are typical of...fundamentalists!

  • Vermont Gun Owner||

    Or the Sith.

  • Mensan||

    "Or the Sith"

    In Episode III, Obi Wan Kenobi says, "Only a Sith deals in absolutes." In Episode V, Yoda says, "Do or do not. There is no try." That sure sounds like an absolute to me. So, wouldn't that make Yoda a Sith?

  • Amateur Sociologist||

    Yeah-never mind that "Only a Sith deals in absolutes" is, you know, an absolute.

  • ||

    You and Tony are the ones who assumed sarcasmic was referring to everyone who isn't a libertarian. Projecting much?

  • fish||

    Just because government is your god doesn't mean that normal people don't recognize it as Satan.

    Really Tony, you should be a little less "Sunstein" like in your devotion....it's getting embarrassing!

  • Pastor Tony||

    Let us read from the Book of Ayers, Chapter 5, Verse Nine...

  • ||

    And Lo, didst Frank get brought before the Priests of the Department of the Interior. And the High Priest did say, "Why art thou drilling holes in thine own ground for profit? As it is the people's land and they shall trample over your mineral reserves for the sake of animal viewing and weekend camping. You shall be smote down by the divine law of immenent domain and have your lands torn from your bosom." And Frank was sad and his family hungry for the recompense was not at market value. And, yea, did the people rejoice at the feet of their god, the government and it's infinite wisdom in the application of environmental rules and regulation of industry.

  • ||

    Full power to the engines!!!

  • sarcasmic||

    Normal people do not believe that violence (aka government) is the answer to every problem.

  • Tony||

    Correct. Some of us think it is the solution to some problems, though.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Tony, name ten things you can do that are neither taxed, regulated, or outright forbidden.

    Now... think of twenty more.

  • Tony||

    fap, fap, fap...

  • sarcasmic||

    Thank you for finally admitting it in so many words.

  • sarcasmic||

    Name a problem that you do not feel should be solved by violence (aka government)?

    Just one and I might believe you.

  • Tony||

    Erectile dysfunction?

  • ||

    OK, fine. As soon as your pill gets through the FDA approval process, you can solve it on your own.

    Try again.

  • Tony||

    Nobody's forcing you to take a pill. If you choose to, wouldn't you prefer to know it's been through a rigorous process to determine that it won't kill you?

  • sarcasmic||

    wouldn't you prefer to know it's been through a rigorous process to determine that it won't kill you?

    Your premise is that if government does not do the testing that no testing will be done.

    I do not accept your premise.

  • Tony||

    Your premise is that if government does not do the testing that no testing will be done.

    I do not accept your premise.

    And your implied premise that profit motive alone is enough to motivate sufficiently rigorous testing is absurd on its face.

  • R||

    Since under present law no ED drugs (or any other drugs) will be marketed without FDA approval, your example of ED as something that will be solved without government involvement is mistaken, and now you're just trying to disguise your mistake by shifting the goalposts by talking about what's beneficial about government regulation.

  • sarcasmic||

    And your implied premise that profit motive alone is enough to motivate sufficiently rigorous testing is absurd on its face.

    No. Not at all. Because the FDA approves all the testing the company is held to a different liability standard than if they did it themselves or contracted it out.
    They are shielded.
    The FDA ensures their profits while insulating them from loss.
    How can the company be held responsible? The FDA gave them the go.

    If all they had was profit motive, without protection from loss, they might do a better job of testing.

  • ||

    Yeah, because an ineffective or dangerous drug gains so much profit. All these dead people with boners! (evil laugh) Damn, I guess no repeat customers. (evil muttering)

  • R||

    Negative side effects aren't necessarily deadly. And a negative effect can't necessarily be traced to one single drug, or other factor. Someone who is taking Viagra may very well be on other prescription medications.

  • Ray Pew||

    And your implied premise that profit motive alone is enough to motivate sufficiently rigorous testing is absurd on its face.

    It is absurd on its face, because you contrived it as absurd. The belief that profit is the only motivation of individuals IS absurd, but it does illuminate your perception of reality.

    History is filled with the creation of associations and organizations concerned with the improvement of business practices. United States Pharmacopiea, American Society for Testing and Materials, Underwriter's Laboratories, ASHRAE, etc.

    It is ridiculous to think that businessmen don't care about the quality of their home construction or safety of their medicine and food. They too must buy goods to survive.

  • crossofcrimson||

    "And your implied premise that profit motive alone is enough to motivate sufficiently rigorous testing is absurd on its face."

    If people people refuse to buy untested (possibly by third parties) products or services then it won't matter what personal motivations they have...they won't do any business.

  • Doc S||

    "wouldn't you prefer to know it's been through a rigorous process to determine that it won't kill you?

    Your premise is that if government does not do the testing that no testing will be done.

    I do not accept your premise."

    Good thing no one's ever tried to sell snakeskin oil as a cure all for everything..

  • sarcasmic||

    Doc S - We have access to a lot more information now than in in the days of patent medicine.
    Besides, I would trust a third party like Consumer Reports before I would trust the government when it comes to evaluating a product.

  • Doc S||

    I agree about the use of third party evaluations and actually highly support their use especially in thinks like the emerging green building and sustainability markets where there is currently a lot of "snake oil" third party certifications.
    However, all you have to do is look at the incredibly profitable and unregulated health supplements market. Even with all the information consumers have at their fingers people still pay billions a year for nothing more than placebos and snake oil (and yes consumer reports even evaluated a lot of the protein supplements finding arsenic, cyanide, and other heavy metals).
    The FDA isn't great at what it does, and it definately lulls people into a sense of false security, but I would rather have it than not.

  • Ray Pew||

    However, all you have to do is look at the incredibly profitable and unregulated health supplements market.

    The supplement industry IS regulated, just not to the degree that pharmaceuticals or medical devices are. And rightfully so. I'm glad I can buy 1000mg vitamin C tablets for a few bucks, when prior to DSHEA, you couldn't.

    It is a myth that the supplement industry is "unregulated".

    Even with all the information consumers have at their fingers people still pay billions a year for nothing more than placebos and snake oil (and yes consumer reports even evaluated a lot of the protein supplements finding arsenic, cyanide, and other heavy metals).

    Your assertion that the billions the supplement industry generates is all due to "placebos and snake oil" is unsupported. Undoubtedly there are products that have little efficacy (this occurs in pharmaceuticals as well - phenylephrine in cold medicines), but this does not mean that ALL or even the majority of this industry is comprised of such goods. The majority of this industry is still vitamins and minerals and their combinations. Hardly snake oil.

    The Consumer Reports article is bad science. Today's testing capabilities for metals is highly sensitive, so the detection of heavy metals is not cause for alarm. The vast majority of foods contain heavy metals in some level.

  • Ray Pew||

    Since the supplement industry was brought up as an "unregulated" industry, it is ironic that relatively little harm has occured from this lack of "regulation".

  • Doc S||

    Sugarpills aren't going to cause much harm to anyone that isn't a diabetic. I take a few supplements myself (dailyvitamin, glucosamine, procomplex) but that doesnt mean i don't think that the 90 other supplements my roommate takes aren't complete fakes - and due to the lack of a need for testing or validating claims there's little reason for me to think otherwise.

  • Ray Pew||

    Sugarpills aren't going to cause much harm to anyone that isn't a diabetic. I take a few supplements myself (dailyvitamin, glucosamine, procomplex) but that doesnt mean i don't think that the 90 other supplements my roommate takes aren't complete fakes - and due to the lack of a need for testing or validating claims there's little reason for me to think otherwise.

    Your logic is wanting. Because YOU haven't looked at the research on the various products your roommate takes, this somehow translates into "complete fakes"?

  • Doc S||

    "Your logic is wanting. Because YOU haven't looked at the research on the various products your roommate takes, this somehow translates into "complete fakes'"?

    The funny thing is I'm the one that has done the research on the ingredients list of those products and hence am not the idiot that buys them.

  • Ray Pew||

    The funny thing is I'm the one that has done the research on the ingredients list of those products and hence am not the idiot that buys them.

    I can only take you for your word, but you actually support sarcasmic's argument. The information regarding such products is available and you used it to your advantage. The fact that you don't like the fact that others haven't or aren't convinced is irrelevant.

    The market is satisfying the values of those who wish to buy such products and also those who wish not to be scammed.

  • ||

    It also presumes that the pill will be safe.
    100,000 Americans who died last year from prescription meds beg to differ.

  • sarcasmic||

    What sloopy said - try again.

  • ||

    Erectile dysfunction?

    Bzzt! Wrong. Minge has intimated to us that he cannot get an erection without the aid of images of bad men with black boots and big guns enforcing unenforceable laws.

    ----------------------------

    Religion threads are full of win, for sure. Everybody gets nasty-evil when debating and defending their skyman and arbitrary moral system.

    My god is loki, he looms...

  • sarcasmic||

    Everybody gets nasty-evil when debating and defending their skyman and arbitrary moral system.

    Ironically the most civil debate regarding religion was in a Conan the Barbarian movie.

    "What gods to you pray to?"

    "I pray to the Four Winds. And you?"

    "To Krom. But I seldom pray to him. He doesn't listen."

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    I like when Conan tells Krom that if he doesn't help him in his upcoming battle, "then to HELL with you!"

  • Crom||

    "then to HELL with you!"

    Right back atcha.

  • ||

    Viagra is covered by Government Employee health plans.

  • botoxporcupine||

    "The State is a gang of criminals writ large."

    Murray Rothbard

  • CatoTheElder||

    And it is the Statists who actually kill people by the millions.

  • GroundTruth||

    Statists and religious nuts all smell about the same to me... they want to tell me how to live my life. I'm just as dead from a bullet from Stalin/Hilter/Mao as a bomb from Osamma or being burned as a heretic.

  • seguin||

    +1000

    Doesn't matter what flavor they start with, it all boils down to this.

  • cynical||

    I think there should definitely be a discussion about the meaning of freedom of conscience/religion now that ideology competes very heavily with religion (and has successfully displaced it in much of the West) in terms of social/ethical worldview and historical narrative. (Science and philosophy tend to be the main competitors in the realm of natural law and metaphysics, respectively).

    I feel like limiting our protection to only those structures of belief which exhibit mystical or theistic tendencies is actually harmful to the cause of liberty, as those tendencies per se were never the main threat to address -- the greater issue was avoiding using state power to compel people to undertake actions they viewed as evil (as opposed to merely undesirable).

    If secular ethicality is given the same restriction on establishment as religion, that would completely cripple public education, but I see that as a vindication rather than a problem -- an acknowledgement that all schools are religous schools, but some religions are more secular than others (but that's even true in the more straightforward sense -- compare Hinduism to Confucianism, for example). It would also tend to restrict government speech to the objective, for the most part (politicians will presumably get the same leeway that they already have with invoking God in their speeches).

  • DLM||

    I feel like limiting our protection to only those structures of belief which exhibit mystical or theistic tendencies is actually harmful to the cause of liberty, as those tendencies per se were never the main threat to address...

    +10

  • ||

    I agree with DLM +10

  • ||

    Neither, the radical governmentalists, the ones that want every aspect in life to be ultimately regulated by government. So while the Christian radicals would like people to stop watching porn and the Muslims would like people to stop drinking alcohol, they do not for example believe in restricting lemonade stands. The governmentalists believe that every single aspect in life needs oversight.

  • ||

    Christians haven't carried out any stonings lately, for instance

    But they carried out shootings at abortion clinics

  • R||

    The most recent shooting at an abortion clinic killed one person (George Tiller). The most recent act of Islamic terrorism in the U.S., the Fort Hood shooting, killed 15 people.

    The deadliest act of Islamic terrorists killed over 3000 people. The total amount of abortion clinic employees or volunteers killed in the U.S. has been 8 since RVW.

    Most of the people who try this line of argument just haven't thought it through or seriously looked at the numbers. Because in terms of the hard record, anti-abortion terrorism (or any terrorism influenced by Christian beliefs) doesn't even come close to Islamic terrorism.

    If you are concerned about religiously-based legislation like restriction on alcohol, BC, pornography, and so on, there is some basis in fact for that. But to treat Christian terrorism as an equal or greater concern than Islamic terrorism is illogical.

  • R||

    Correction: George Tiller was killed while attending church, not while on the job. I missed that in proofreading.

  • ||

    Http://wikipedia.org/wiki/Srebrenica_massacre

    Sabra and shatila just to name a couple of massacres where the perpetrators are Christians and the victims are muslims. But hey keep on believing that Christians are non-violent.

  • ||

    Right, except he wasn't talking globally, he was talking about here in America.

  • Whalio||

    "If you are concerned about religiously-based legislation like restriction on alcohol, BC, pornography, and so on, there is some basis in fact for that."

    Are you fucking delusional? No religion is based on fact, that's why it's called faith and not the aforementioned fact.

  • R||

    No, you misread me.

    What I meant to say by that comment is that while there is a lot of precedent of Christians passing laws inspired by their beliefs, the scale of actual terrorism committed by Christians does not even come close to that which is carried out by Muslims.

  • Tacos mmm...||

    There's a massive amount of terrorism carried out by Christians; it's just that when Christians do it, they do it for political reasons, whereas muslims do it for religious ones, right?

  • ||

    Reading comprehension fail.

  • ||

    The important difference isn't the scale - it is the reaction from Christians. Real Christians are disgusted by violence in their name and say so loudly.

    Muslims at best are silent on that topic. In places like Palestine, they dance in the streets when Christians or Jews are murdered.

  • Tacos mmm...||

    And you know this, how? You live in places like Palestine? You talk to muslims all the time?

    Or do you live in a coccoon, where you only see muslims on TV, and believe everthing the tube tells you to, like a good little peon?

  • ||

    I talk to Muslims sometimes. I have lived in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Iraq. I attend a Christian church.

    I have a TV and saw the Palestinian reaction to 911.

  • MWG||

    "I have a TV and saw the Palestinian reaction to 911."

    Are you suggesting 9/11 was an attack on Christianity? Perhaps they were celebrating an attack on the US... you know? The largest supporters of Israel.

  • ||

    Fill in the blanks:

    911 was an attack on the U.S. by __ in the name of ___. The Arabs who happen to live in Palestine are ruled a radical ___ group.

  • MWG||

    It's always nice to avoid a simple question with a simplistic explanation.

    The Palistinians are divided amongst two territories, ruled by two different groups. One secular and the other (Hamas) inspired by religion (Though not religion alone).

    Hamas has been trying to impose Sharia on the Palestinians they rule by banning smoking, drinking, etc. They've received a lot of backlash from Palestinians under their rule precisely because they are generally secular.

    Palestinians are NOT religious zealots the way members of al Queda are. They are, however, generally anti-Jewish (Gee, one wonders why) and anti-American (Gee, one wonders why).

    I go back to my original questions:

    Are you suggesting 9/11 was an attack on Christianity?

  • ||

    Okay - the simple answer is that 911 was an attack on the West. That includes western religions (the mainstream Christian and Jewish religions generally practiced here), and western society that allows freedoms of religion and expression - even those considered blasphemy to Muslims.

    The Arab “Palestinians” are just pawns whose suffering is used by other Arabs to score political points against Israel. After the next war, Israel should either boot them all out (like the Soviets did to the Prussians after WWII) or force Jordan and Egypt to take back the territory.

  • crossofcrimson||

    " the simple answer is that 911 was an attack on the West. That includes western religions"

    Oh, let me try!

    911 was an attack on the West. That includes Western cinematography.

  • Cytotoxic||

    I favor the second option...if Israel leaves any survivors.

    @MNG: the reason they hate the Jews is because the Palestinians and Arabs are culturally retarded and have been for about 2000 years, during which anti-semitism was the rule. And this bullshit about Palestinians being secular is just that. Fatah is rife with militantism and the WB is pretty mixed. The Gaza strip is not secular at all the Hijab is very popular.

  • MWG||

    "the reason they hate the Jews is because the Palestinians and Arabs are culturally retarded and have been for about 2000 years, during which anti-semitism was the rule..."

    Yes, and it has absolutely nothing to do with Israel, right?

    "And this bullshit about Palestinians being secular is just that. Fatah is rife with militantism..."

    militantism != religious fanaticism

    It's a little like arguing that people from the US are Christian fanatics because they oppose occupation by Canadians.

    "The Gaza strip is not secular at all the Hijab is very popular."

    Oooh... look at all these religious fanatics. Scary!

    http://www.google.com/images?h.....68&bih=635

  • MWG||

    "he simple answer is that 911 was an attack on the West. That includes western religions (the mainstream Christian and Jewish religions generally practiced here), and western society that allows freedoms of religion and expression - even those considered blasphemy to Muslims."

    So they attacked us on 9/11 because they 'hate our way of life'.

    This is Bin Laden's declaration of war on the US:

    http://www.pbs.org/newshour/te....._1996.html

    You'll find nothing in there regarding his disgust of US freedoms or even values. You'll find a helluva lot regarding US policy in the Middle East, particularly as it relates to Saudi Arabia and the Israeli/Palestinian conflict.

  • crossofcrimson||

    "911 was an attack on the U.S. by __ in the name of ___. "

    Assuming the person behind it is the person we think it is...

    Did you ever take the time to read through transcripts of the things he's said - the reasoning behind his actions? I'll give you a hint...his beef wasn't against a peaceful isolated Christian country because he had some beef with your God.

  • GroundTruth||

    Damn! You and MWG actually understood what the fucker was saying! I will not condone bin Laden ( I think he has taught me that some people truly do commit actions worth of death) but I do understand him. So, after his execution, perhaps we should tell the Saudis to pound sand and take care of themselves!... and the fucking Israelis too!

  • DLM||

    The largest supporters of Israel.

    Ah. So it was actually an attack on Jews. You know, the guys who secretly rule the world.

  • MWG||

    Bin Laden and Al Queda attacked us because of our support for the Saudi's ruling dictator and stationing troops there. He also cited our support for Israel.

    Palestinians cheered b/c the US is the biggest supporter of Israeli. You know, the people they see as occupiers and oppressors.

    It's pretty simple really. I don't believe in any great Jewish conspiracy to rule the world, and if you read the link I posted to Bin Laden's own reason for waging war on the US, either does he apparently.

  • The Gobbler||

    Get yer sweets here. Candy too!

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    Real Christians are disgusted by violence in their name and say so loudly.

    As have "real" Muslims.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Few and far between.

  • ||

    +1

  • MWG||

    Palestinians are actually quite secular compared to other Islamic countries. They "dance in the streets when Christians or Jews are murdered" not because of their religion, but because of the Israeli occupation and the heavy support from 'Christian countries' like the US.

  • Cytotoxic||

    They also killed and murdered Jews before Israel. Apparently Israel is so bad it broke the law of 'cause precedes effect'!

  • MWG||

    Who did? Palestinians?

  • ||

    Are you that stupid? More than 15% of Palestinians are Christian.

  • Tacos mmm...||

    Because in terms of the hard record, anti-abortion terrorism (or any terrorism influenced by Christian beliefs) doesn't even come close to Islamic terrorism.

    Roughly 3,500 people died during the Troubles in Northern Ireland, and over 47,000 were injured. What? You say that was a political conflict first and a religious conflict second? Now you're beginning to understand.

  • R||

    My comment was referring to the United States. I thought that was clear, but apparently not. If you want to expand this to discuss Islam vs. Christianity globally, I'm game.

    And as for the incidents I referred to? There is no more reasonable doubt about the motivations of the Fort Hood shooter than there is about George Tiller's assassin.

  • Tacos mmm...||

    The United States is a poor example, because most terrorism arises from political instability. If you want to really see terrorism in the US, you need to look at another time period, such as the American Civil War/Reconstruction when you had John Brown and his raid on Harper's Ferry, confederate night riders or the Ku Klux Klan. For more contemporary examples, you can look at the South American civil wars of the 1970's through 1990's, Sri Lanka (where suicide bombing was invented by the Hindu Tamil Tigers), and Palestine.

    As terrorism arises from political instability, it's actually surprising that the middle east isn't MORE violent.

  • ||

    Sorry, John Brown's raid was starkly different from KKK terrorism. One was fight slavery by attacking the government, another was using terror to attack various races and religions. Revolutionaries and terrorists are different in my view based upon whom they are targeting (the government vs. innocent civilians).

  • ||

    Are you also including acts by the crazy moms who thought Jesus instructed them to drown their newborns? If we're counting actions by religious schizophrenics like the Ft. Hood shooter...

  • ||

    ---"Because in terms of the hard record, anti-abortion terrorism (or any terrorism influenced by Christian beliefs) doesn't even come close to Islamic terrorism"---

    So, the decimation of the native populations in North America, driven in large part by the Church to spread Christianity, doesn't count as terrorism? I suppose it is more likely classified as genocide, which is a different thing.

  • R||

    The most recent shooting at an abortion clinic killed one person (George Tiller). The most recent act of Islamic terrorism in the U.S., the Fort Hood shooting, killed 15 people.

    The deadliest act of Islamic terrorists killed over 3000 people. The total amount of abortion clinic employees or volunteers killed in the U.S. has been 8 since RVW.

    Most of the people who try this line of argument just haven't thought it through or seriously looked at the numbers. Because in terms of the hard record, anti-abortion terrorism (or any terrorism influenced by Christian beliefs) doesn't even come close to Islamic terrorism.

    If you are concerned about religiously-based legislation like restriction on alcohol, BC, pornography, and so on, there is some basis in fact for that. But to treat Christian terrorism as an equal or greater concern than Islamic terrorism is illogical.

  • ||

    Extremely religious people aren't rational (since religion is not based upon reason but upon immersing oneself in an orthodoxy of faith).

    Irrational people tend to do irrational things.

  • DLM||

    Irrational people tend to do irrational things.

    Like donating everything to the poor.

  • ||

    -1. No mention of Ayaan Hirsi Ali.

  • ||

    But, but... TERROR! 9/11! 9/11!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    The Florida case is hardly an imposition of Sharia law upon unwilling parties to the litigation. It seems to me to basically be a simple choice of law issue.

    Two parties entering a contract can choose the law under which the contract will be interpreted in the event of a dispute. Contracts commonly contain such choice of law provisions. So, for example, two parties in Florida could agree that in the event a dispute, the law of the state of New York will apply and govern the dispute. This kind of concern is why so many corporations are incorporated in Delaware.

    Contracts also commonly have arbitration clauses, which require the parties to submit their claims to binding arbitration rather than litigation. If the case ends up in litigation, the question often is whether one party or the other violated the arbitration clause, such that the court should not hear the case

    In the Florida case, evidently the question at issue turned on whether whether the parties had properly followed the teachings of the Koran in obtaining an arbitration decision from an Islamic scholar. If both the plaintiff and the defendant were observant Muslims and had agreed that their dispute would be resolved by binding arbitration overseen by an Islamic scholar, the judge would have to determine whether the parties complied with the arbitration clause.

    Which is all to say that, based on what I've read about it, it doesn't seem to me to be such an outrageous decision; nor does it seem to be a use of "Sharia law" to decide something that should have been decided under traditional American common law.

  • Fluffy||

    Everything you say is true, but irrelevant to the Christians who are up in arms here.

    For them, it's intolerable that private individuals might, in fact, have written a contract calling for a sharia arbitrator. The mere existence of such a contract is offensive to them, because Muzlimz iz evil.

    So if your question to them is "Shouldn't parties to a contract be able to specify in that contract how a dispute arising under it should be arbitrated?" their answer is, "Not if they be heathenz."

  • ||

    The proposed Florida law in response to this, I guess in an attempt to make it seem constitutional, actually bans any use of foreign law in Florida courts. So if you wanted to enter into a contract with say, a Brazilian company, and you wanted the contract to specify that the contract is governed by Brazilian law, Florida courts would not be able to enforce that.

    (this is one of those cutting off the nose to spite the face things)

  • Michael Ejercito||

    The proposed Florida law in response to this, I guess in an attempt to make it seem constitutional, actually bans any use of foreign law in Florida courts. So if you wanted to enter into a contract with say, a Brazilian company, and you wanted the contract to specify that the contract is governed by Brazilian law, Florida courts would not be able to enforce that.


    Since international trade is involved, would not disputes arise in federal court?

  • Dave||

    It may not be relevant to the Florida case but yes, by nature Islam is evil. It uniformly advocates the oppression of women and non-Muslims. That is evil.

  • Fluffy||

    Judaism and Christianity are also by nature evil, so I guess there's plenty of evil to go around.

  • Dave||

    Yes, all organized religion is typically by nature evil, but to varying degrees.

  • KMA||

    "Everything you say is true, but irrelevant to the Christians who are up in arms here."

    WTF? What Christians are "up in arms"?

  • Fluffy||

    Gregory Smith, for example.

    Everyone upset in Florida, for example.

  • Gregory Smith||

    Ha! I'm not a fundamentalist Christian, far from it. I'm just not crazy about Islamists threatening South Park's creators with death for offending their religion.

  • The Gobbler||

    "Everyone upset in Florida, for example."

    Everyone upset in Florida is a Christian? You're one funny guy!

  • Fluffy||

    Hey, fine.

    It would be better grammatically to say "There are Christians in Florida who are up in arms, for example."

    Or are you disputing the obvious fact that there are Christians up in arms due to sharia law being used in arbitration cases in Florida?

  • ||

    A more important question should arise from the Florida situation: If two parties agree to binding arbitration, how can the state interfere on the terms (in this case Sharia Law) the two parties agree to? Sounds like the state (God's replacement to progressives and supplement to NeoCon jackasses)exerting his dominion over man.

  • DLM||

    WTF? What Christians are "up in arms"?

    You know. Them. The, uh, guys with the arms. Because. Um.

  • ||

    All true. Just to add to the mix, the organized churches in America have their own "canon law", and all kinds of intramural disputes are resolved according to it.

    And these disputes can be huge. The Episcopal Church is currently disintegrating over gay marriage, and the rival factions are fighting over who gets the considerable assets of their dioceses. I believe this will be determined by reference to internal church rules.

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    Indeed; some of that litigation is taking place here in Richmond, VA - and I recall seeing stories in the local newspaper about the courts having to interpret Episcopal canon law. Which struck me as odd at the time; but then again, I didn't take the time to really read the articles - just noticed the statement that the courts were interpreting the church's law to determine which party had the greater right to the property at issue.

  • mgd||

    My understanding is that US courts are constitutionally prohibited from interpreting ecclesiastical law. I might have misunderstood the gist of that tract, however, a link to which will be included in my response to Carol below.

  • Carol||

    The mosque in this case has said that the contract between the mosque and the four former trustees was drawn up according to Florida law and that Florida law should decide the case. There is no arbitration clause between the mosque and the former trustees. Had both sides agreed to settle the case under sharia law the judge would have never been involved to begin with. The judge is siding against the mosque for reasons that escape me.

  • mgd||

    The Volokh Conspiracy has a post that discusses this case. While the author disagrees with the court's ruling, "[d]ecisional case law both in Florida and the United States Supreme Court tells us that ecclesiastical law controls certain relations between members of a religious organization, whether a church, synagogue, temple or mosque..."

    So the issue is not whether ecclesiastical law can be considered as binding by US courts--it can, and at times must be held as controlling for First Amendment reasons--but whether the court was correct in using ecclesiastical law to evaluate the validity of the arbitration.

    http://volokh.com/2011/03/25/t.....-and-gets/

  • ||

    "To many liberals and progressives, such measures—and the recent congressional hearings by Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) on Islamic radicalism—amount to rank bigotry by slack-jawed, knuckle-dragging yahoos"

    Of course, such a hypocritical over-generalization of opposition will be condoned by the left. Pots and kettles and whatnot.

  • Fluffy||

    Not a member of the left, but allow me to answer:

    It's not hypocritical at all.

    My definition of a stupid person is anyone who thinks anything stupid.

    Therefore, as soon as I identify a thought as stupid, it is not in the least hypocritical for me to further identify anyone who thinks it as a stupid person.

    Saying that my opposition is made up of slack-jawed, knuckle-dragging yahoos is like saying "anyone who fails this math test I'm holding here is not good at math". It's a tautology.

  • ||

    My definition of a stupid person is anyone who thinks anything stupid.

    One stupid thought makes you stupid? Everyone holds at least a few stupid ideas. Otherwise they would have committed suicide or gone full sociopath by now.

  • Fluffy||

    Yep.

    The same applies to me, too, of course.

  • ||

    "anyone who fails this math test I'm holding here is not good at math". It's a tautology.

    The idea that failing a math test is equivalent to being bad at math is pretty stupid. You know what that means?

  • Fluffy||

    You'd have the opportunity to demonstrate later that your failure at the test was an aberration - but if the only data point we have is that you failed that test, I get to draw a preliminary and provisional conclusion from that.

  • KMA||

    You know who else sucked at math?

  • ||

    A dyslexic?

  • ||

    Yes, but FERPA prevents me from giving the names.

  • ||

    "My definition of a stupid person is anyone who thinks anything stupid."

    Which is fine, but they never indicated 'stupid'. I'm sure that's what they think of when they say "knuckle-dragging" and "slack-jawed", but I don't think he's making a good point about 'tolerance' in using this language.

  • ||

    I prefer to approach this from the other direction:

    People are intelligent to the degree that they agree with me.

  • DLM||

    People are intelligent to the degree that they agree with me.

    +1 for honesty

  • Tony||

    Muslim theocracy in this country is an absurd paranoid fantasy. Christian theocracy in this country is almost reality. In every state that made big Republican gains the last go around, mine included, the Republicans promptly began ignoring the economic issues they were elected on and decided to start imposing their religion on every policy they can get their hands on.

  • ||

    imposing their religion on every policy they can get their hands on.

    Such as?

  • Doc S||

    Rather then aiming at cutting all government spending, targeting only certain programs that make up an incredibly small chunk of actual spending (such as planned parent hood) would probably be a good example.

    I voted for them and as soon as they entered they all went for their pet projects rather than doing something logical like a 10% cut across the board.

  • MNG||

    Well, a lot of them got right to work on increasing regulation of abortion providers...

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    Ah, so you've been to Virginia.

    They just passed a law subjecting abortion providers to essentially the same regulatory standards as hospitals.

    There was some interesting debate in the General Assembly over that.

  • R||

    If it is proper for government to regulate medical providers (not that the readers of this site would necessarily grant that premise), then it follows that abortion clinics should be regulated according to the same criteria that govern other outpatient surgical procedures.

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    Well, R, interesting you should say that. Because there have been no proposals to regulate any other outpatient surgical providers in that way. There does not appear to have been any problem going on at abortion providers that this legislation was designed to address. There was no running history of events occurring at these abortion providers indicating that they should be regulated as if they are hospitals.

    No, instead, legislators just decided that they needed to increase the level of regulation imposed upon the existing facilities - which, by the way, already were regulated - just not at the same level as hospitals.

    Which leaves various types of facilities performing various types of outpatient surgical procedures - some of them equally as invasive as abortion - NOT regulated as hospitals.

    So, "if it is proper for government to regulate medical providers" and yes, it likely is, then why choose to subject ONLY abortion providers to these increased requirements, while leaving many other types of "surgical" facilities not similarly regulated?

  • ||

    I just wonder how they get the consent forms up the vagoo for the unborn person to sign away their rights to life.

  • ||

    Mr. Vagoo

    A myopic older gentleman stumbles into an all-girls dorm, naked pillow fights and sexiness ensue.

    ---cinemax 2a est

  • A. Minute Beforebirth||

    I'm a minor. My mommy signed away my right to life. It appears the law allows her to do that before me exits this here vagoo. Just wait! Wait! I'll have all the rights in 60 seconds! Wait!

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    It appears the law allows her to do that before me exits this here vagoo.

    Um, no.

  • The Gobbler||

    "There does not appear to have been any problem going on at abortion providers that this legislation was designed to address."

    In a state just two doors down...

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/23/us/23doctor.html

  • mgd||

  • Tony||

    Well our national legislative body has taken time away from its busy job-creating schedule to encourage putting "In God We Trust" on public buildings, including schools.

    My state has passed laws restricting abortion and forbidding the use of "foreign" law (read: sharia), with the presumption that "Judeo-Christian" law should guide policy. And lest we forget Texas, king of the states, wants to remove biology from school textbooks and replace it with something about Adam and Eve and their pet dinosaurs.

  • seguin||

    No, Texas doesn't. Quit lying, Tony. Read the damn school textbook guidelines before you make yourself look even more retarded.

    I don't know why I bother. You're such a dishonest dumbass that you'll never escape lloking that way.

  • seguin||

    *looking

    The Foot-in-Mouth Typo rears its ugly head.

  • Tony||

    What is it about teaching the "controversy"? Same thing?

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Yes, Tony, the resurgence of social conservativism is a bad thing... just as bad as liberals trying to mold society according to Their Teachings.

    Piss on social engineering, ALL Of it. We have more than enough laws and regulations right this fucking minute; we don't need to add more to the pile.

  • Tony||

    If only life were so simple. There is a difference between policy based on religious fantasy and policy based on achieving practical, defined results. Maybe there are too many laws and regulations in specific instances. I can think of many where there aren't enough. The financial and oil industries come to mind.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    "Maybe"?

  • sarcasmic||

    "and policy based on achieving practical, defined results"

    The Road to Hell is paved with good intentions.

  • Tony||

    Would you prefer bad intentions?

  • R||

    Sometimes, yes.

    "Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience."

    (C.S. Lewis)

  • Mr. FIFY||

    I'd bet five bucks there's at least one person with power in this country, who would love to have the ability to take every bit of C.S. Lewis' work off the shelves and have it mulched, just for that quote above.

  • Tony||

    CS Lewis has turned many a good mind to mush.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    "John Maynard Keynes has turned many a good mind to mush."

    FIFY'd.

  • R||

    CS Lewis has turned many a good mind to mush.

    I don't think he's as insightful as a lot of people think he is, and his nonfiction writings should be read with a grain of salt. But nonetheless, he does get some things right.

  • Tony||

    Maybe, but I do think there are alternatives to tyranny, be it the form of moral busybodies or capitalist overlords. Seems like we can avoid both by just not voting Republican.

  • R||

    Um, no. There are plenty of moral busybodies among the Democrats, starting with Barack and Michelle Obama.

  • Tony||

    Michelle Obama isn't going to take your cheetos away.

  • Michelle Obama ||

    Oh yes I am.

  • ||

    Michelle Obama isn't going to take your cheetos away.

    She would if she could. And no Republican is ever going to be in a position to forbid your particular disapproved activities either, Tony.

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    Michelle Obama isn't going to take your cheetos away.

    No, a federal agency will handle that, empowered by legislation created in response to her "initiatives".

  • Tony||

    So fucking typical American. "We're all morbidly obese and diabetic, and our children will be twice as much, but the first lady better not so much as say eat your veggies! We like being fat and disgusting and it's none of her goddang business!"

  • The Ingenious Hidalgo||

    So now you're saying she is going to take the cheetos away, and you're okay with that? So were you just lying in your previous post? And it is none of her goddang business. Do you maybe want to go have another read of the C S Lewis quote?

  • Tony||

    She's not taking anything away or advocating policy that takes anything away. At most there might be healthier options in schools, the ones currently crammed with diabetics-in-waiting. That's not less choice. It's better choice.

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    "We're all morbidly obese and diabetic, and our children will be twice as much, but the first lady better not so much as say eat your veggies! We like being fat and disgusting and it's none of her goddang business!"

    Right, because that's exactly what we're saying.

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    but I do think there are alternatives to tyranny, be it the form of moral busybodies or capitalist overlords. Seems like we can avoid both by just not voting Republican.

    Oh yeah, because the fucking Dems are so much better. Jees-us, if you believe that, you need serious help.

  • CJ||

    Tony|3.29.11 @ 12:02PM|#

    Maybe, but I do think there are alternatives to tyranny, be it the form of moral busybodies or capitalist overlords. Seems like we can avoid both by just not voting Republican.

    Ignorance at best, self-deception or willful delusion more likely. You usually do much better than waving away the entire history of the Democratic party.

    Thanks for reminding us of the largest and most relevant threat in politics, though, since there are billions more statists like you across the world. The worst part is that they're already in power and working on ruining life every day.

  • sarcasmic||

    I would prefer evaluating policy based upon results, not intentions, and accepting that if, after iteration after iteration, policy does not achieve the intended result (and has unintended consequences to boot), that it should be abandoned completely.

  • ||

    Way too logical.
    Sounds an awful lot like SIANCE!
    Q. Are we not men?

  • KMA||

    ROADS!!!!!11111!

  • ||

    There is a difference between policy based on religious fantasy and policy based on achieving practical, defined results.

    Even if those results are never actually achieved after decades of the aforementioned policies.

  • sarcasmic||

    You can't criticize results. Any criticism of results is considered criticism of intentions. Have faith. Government can fix anything. If policy doesn't get the intended results than it just needs some tweaking, or some different people in charge. But really, policy works. Just look at the wars on drugs and poverty. See? Nobody does drugs and poverty has been eliminated. The Departments of Energy has succeeded in ridding us of our dependence on foreign oil and since the creation of the Department of Education our children are the best educated in the world. The FDA has allowed not a single bad drug to reach market.

    Policy can do anything. It's magic, just like the incantations of old.
    Write it down and it will be done, for government is god.

  • ||

    Only Tony knows when there are too many laws and when are aren't enough.
    The lack of self-awareness would be hilarious if it weren't so prevalent in our nanny state.

  • ||

    When making wild blanket statements, multiple examples are appropriate. As you supplied none, your comment is nothing but a rant.

  • DLM||

    Christian theocracy in this country is almost reality.

    Because more and more people are becoming more fundamentalist Christian every day; even moreso than 50 year ago. You are so delusional.

  • Dave||

    Trying to draw parallels between modern Islam and modern Christianity is ridiculous. Christianity had it's Reformation while Islam did not - Islam is still stuck in the dark ages. So, Islam is the far greater threat to human rights and peace in the world. Organized religion of any kind, since it is in direct conflict with reason, will always be a threat to rational public policy and individual freedoms.

  • ||

    Christianity's Reformation was followed by Protestants engaging in black slavery and witch/heresy burnings, among other atrocities. Let's stop conflating the Reformation with the Enlightenment.

    Christianity only started playing nice after it lost most of its influence over the secular Western society.

  • Dave||

    True but this does not negate the larger point that modern Christianity is far more evolved in humanistic terms than modern Islam. They are far different animals and attempts to equate them are ridiculous.

    If organized religion were weapons, Islam would be equivalent to WMD's and Christianity would be equivalent to dirty bombs - both dangerous but on different levels.

  • ||

    Christianity has been tamed by the need to cling to adherents in the midst of a wealthy, educated secular society.

    Look at medieval history if you want to see how Christianity behaves in the sort of society that exists now in most of the Muslim world (thanks in large part to US meddling to keep oil exporters dependent on us).

  • ||

    All those things predated the Reformation, so why blame Christianity for them?

    And yes, Christianity did start "playing nice." Too bad Islam never has, and there are doctrinal reasons (e.g. no church/state separation) why it never can.

  • R||

    All those things predated the Reformation, so why blame Christianity for them?

    Christianity didn't exist before the Reformation?

  • ||

    Christians were already committing murder in the name of religion before Mohammed was even born, so I guess you can't fault any Muslims who do so either.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Tulpa, your not really engaging the argument, but rather just admitting that Dave and others are right without actually admitting it. You may disagree as to why and how Christianity became gentler, but that is is in fact gentler today is the main point and you seem unable to argue against it.

  • ||

    WRONG!

    The Protestant Reformation was based on a return to following Biblical texts rather than the Catholic Church - so was the Islamic Reformation.

    The reformed Islamic sects - Whabbis, Hamas, Taliban, Muslim Brotherhood, and the Iranian Revolutionaries - follow the Koran more closely than mainstream Muslims. Careful what you wish for.

  • ||

    The Protestant Reformation was based on a return to following Biblical texts rather than the Catholic Church

    ...except where it wasn't. Luther threw out whole swaths of the Old Testament that didn't agree with his new theology, and denounced the Epistle of James for flatly contradicting sola fide. And of course sola scriptura itself is completely un-Biblical.

  • ||

    Jesus Christ and his Apostles through out whole swaths of the Old Testament too - so what? That is a conflict that dates back to the earliest Christian churches.

  • ||

    False choice, Bart. I'm concerned about religious fanatics of all sorts. Particularly concerned when these formerly antagonistic groups find common ground on social issues - as did the catholics and fundamental protestants did on abortion.

  • ||

    Christian radicals tend to go hole up in a commune somewhere and prepare for the end of the world, while generally avoiding interaction with others.

    Muslim radicals go and blow things up... sorry but you really can't compare the two.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Draw a cartoon of Jesus, and you get nasty letters to the local paper, and MAYBE a boycott or a street protest.

    Draw a cartoon of Mohammed, and shit gets set on fire and people might get killed.

  • ||

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/new.....girls.html

    Four men launched a horrific attack on a teacher in which they slashed his face and left him with a fractured skull because they did not approve of him teaching religion to Muslim girls.

    Akmol Hussein, 26, Sheikh Rashid, 27, Azad Hussain, 25, and Simon Alam, 19, attacked Gary Smith with a Stanley knife, an iron rod and a block of cement.

    Mr Smith, who is head of religious education at Central Foundation Girls' School in Bow, east London, also suffered a fractured skull.

    The four now face a jail sentence.

    Detectives made secret recordings of the gang's plot to attack Mr Smith prior to the brutal assault.

    The covert audio probe captured the gang condemning Mr Smith for 'teaching other religions to our sisters', the court heard.

    Pissing off Christian fundamentalists results in nasty letters to the editor.

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    Detectives made secret recordings of the gang's plot to attack Mr Smith prior to the brutal assault.

    Excuse me, what? And you did diddly shit to fucking prevent or stop it?

    Fucking a.

  • ||

    Yeah, another big win for the London Met ...

    "Jesus H. Christ!"

  • Progressive||

    Christian Fundamentalist!!1!1!1!!!!

    oh and ISLAMOPHOBE!!!1!!11!!!!!

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Yeah, Eric was a nasty critter, but a) how long ago did he do is misdeeds, and b) how often do people like him do shit like he did?

  • Tonio||

    How very convenient of you to forget about Eric Rudolf.

  • Tonio||

    Spelling correction: Eric Rudolph

  • ||

    Please tell me about any mainstream Christian church celebrating Mr. Rudolph's crimes. At this point even Rudolph denies his crimes had anything to do with Christianity.

  • Jim||

    Oh please. Christian churches have just learned better PR and spin control. I hear them all the time in conversations (full disclosure: I purposefully provoke religious conversations at work because it amuses me) say they secretly don't mind if abortion doctors are killed, because it's justifiable homicide. I'm talking normal, mainstream, white, blond-haired, cubicle workers, and I've heard that sentiment more than once.

  • ||

    People you know secretly don't mind?

    Wow, they have really been radicalized! As soon as they get control of the government, we will all be dressed like Pilgrims and buring witches!

  • Whalio||

    Nice work detectives. I hope if a group of men decide to fracture my skull and get the plan on tape beforehand that the cops in my area aren't dumb enough to let them go through with it.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Should we be worried about radical Islamists AND Christian fundamentalists?

    Yes.

  • Tim||

    People scared of Christians will pay money to people who promise to fight them.

    People scared of Moslems will pay money to people who promise to fight them.

    People scared of Global Warming will pay money to people who promise to fight it.

    People scared of Gays will pay money to people who promise to fight them.

    People scared of Marijuana will pay money to people who promise to fight it.

    We will always have people spreading fear because fear is profitable.

  • Team Red||

    But, Tim... we HAVE to do these things. It's for your own good.

  • Team Blue||

    But, Tim... we HAVE to do these things. It's for your own good.

  • Doc S||

    Christian extremists are to Glenn Beck as muslim extremists are to Osama. We could honestly do with out both groups of blindly irrational hate filled people supposedly interested in the public good.

    Unfortunately you can likely say the same for the followers of pretty much any political talk show host.

    sheep leading sheep! Bleeping bleep.

  • Doc S||

    I guess I should clarify... Extremists of any type are dangerous due to the inherent mental instability or irrationality that allowed them to get to the point of being an extremist.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    When Loughner opened fire a few months back, both Teams were scrambling to blame each other for his violent outburst.

    The REAL problem is when anyone lets their internal safeguards down and commits violence... they can't use what they read/what someone else said as an excuse.

    That goes for white-power thugs and the Earth Liberation Front, just as equally, to give two examples.

  • ||

    When Loughner opened fire a few months back, both Teams were scrambling to blame each other for his violent outburst.

    I only recall one team scrambling to blame the other. I'm sure the vast preponderance of scrambling was colored blue, in any event.

  • Michael Ejercito||

    I only recall one team scrambling to blame the other. I'm sure the vast preponderance of scrambling was colored blue, in any event.


    So true.

  • Dave||

    Wow, equating Glenn Beck and Osama. One promotes mainly libertarian ideas and the other promotes mass murder. Yeah, they're basically clones - hard to tell apart.

  • Doc S||

    actually they both promote ignorance and intolerance. Asking the first muslim senator to prove that he's not an enemy, because he and the rest of america are thinking that? If thats not intolerant I'm not sure what is.

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    Except that I have to say the meme that Glenn Beck is a hate-filled religious monster is pretty much wearing thin. I have listened to him on and off for several years, and yeah, he's mostly right-wing and yeah, he invokes god often, but I have never heard him say anything hateful towards a race or religion, and in fact, quite to the contrary, he often calls for people to behave peacefully and not to resort to violence. I don't agree with everything that spews out of his mouth, and some of it seems a bit nutty, but I disagree that he's done or said anything that would indicate he's "blindly irrational" or "hate-filled".

    Not sure I can say the same for Al Franken or Rachel Maddow, though. Or, for that matter, Anthony D. Weiner (D - NY). That guy must have spent most of his childhood with a "kick me" sign taped to his back, and now he wants to wreak his revenge upon society.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Weiner is the kind of guy who got his head swirled in a toilet in grade, middle, high school, and college.

    And maybe even in a Congressional bathroom stall. I know *I* would.

  • Doc S||

    Glen Beck quotes promoting both bigoted ideas and murder... (granted the murder was about micheal moore so I can forgive that one.)
    http://politicalhumor.about.co.....quotes.htm
    He's not an idiot, because he knows how to tell people what they want to hear to make money, but he sure is an asshole

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    Glen Beck quotes promoting both bigoted ideas and murder... (granted the murder was about micheal moore so I can forgive that one.)
    http://politicalhumor.about.co.....quotes.htm

    Um, yeah... and if you were to listen to the actual broadcasts of most of those, rather than reading the words typed coldly on a web page, in isolation and without the context in which they were spoken, you'd find that in just about every case, I'd wager you'd find he was being sarcastic and joking. He does that a lot. Which makes it easy for critics to selectively and disingenuosly lift the quotes and make it appear he was seriously advocating killing people.

    Look, I'm not a Glenn Beck sycophant, so I don't like feeling like I have to defend the guy, but I'm just sick of the disingenuous bullshit meme about how racist he is and how he advocates violence all the time. I've listened to him enough to know that is pure bullshit spread thickly by those on the left who don't like his socio-political positions. And it also completely denies the provable fact that plenty of lefties actually have expressly advocated violence and hatred.

  • Doc S||

    I also particularly enjoy this one of his:
    ''The most used phrase in my administration if I were to be President would be 'What the hell you mean we're out of missiles?''' —Jan. 2009

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    Yeah, again - he also tends to hyperbole. You've never actually listened to his show, have you. You've evidently developed your negative impression of him based on what Rachel Maddow, Keith Olbermann and various websites have said about him.

  • Doc S||

    Never watched Maddow or olberman, but watch beck everyday at the gym for entertainment value. Burn a few extra calories laughing at the stupidity

  • fish||

    That guy must have spent most of his childhood with a "kick me" sign taped to his back, and now he wants to wreak his revenge upon society.

    Yes...another tragic case of Charles Schumer syndrome.

  • Tim||

    That ain't working, that's the way to do it. Let me tell you, them guys ain't dumb...

  • Pip||

    "sheep leading sheep!"

    Paging Joel Pile. Mr. Joel Pile.

  • ||

    Christians haven't carried out any stonings lately, for instance.

    Except for that one incident in PA earlier this month.

  • KMA||

    "Days before Seidman’s body was found on Jan. 12, Thomas allegedly beat Seidman to death with a sock full of rocks."

    Despite the headline, and the killer's undelying motivation, that wasn't a stoning.

  • ||

    Thanks for clearing that up. I'm sure that fact was of great comfort to Mr. Seidman as he was killed.

  • WWE||

    It was the Rock and Sock Connection.

    If ya smeeeeeeeeeeeellllllll....

  • ||

    That was Murder. A stoning is when the court declares you guilty of a crime deserving of death and orders/lets you neighbors do the honors.

  • ||

    So an extrajudicial stoning is impossible?

    Since no court was involved, I guess that means Mike Vick's dogs weren't electrocuted and the victims of Auschwitz weren't gassed.

  • ||

    Stonings are also an action performed by a crowd.

    This is intentional, so that no member of the crowd will bear individual responsibility for the death.

  • Amateur Sociologist||

    "Let he who is without sin..."

    Something-I can never remember how the rest of that goes or who said it, but I seem to recall that he was much more important to one of the groups the author discusses here.

  • ||

    Um...yeah, that was a clear case of a christian religious stoning for breaking the old testament law.....or...um....not....

    "Though the relationship is still unknown, Thomas was the sole executor of Seidman's will and knew how much money was in Seidman's bank accounts, police say. "

    Yeah, he wasn't trying to make excuses or anything.......

  • ||

    Come on, we all know that the only real threat of theocracy in this country comes from the Jews.

  • The Gobbler||

    ^^THIS^^

    I keed, I keed.

  • DLM||

    Come on, we all know that the only real threat of theocracy in this country comes from the Jews.

    Well, yeah. They don't even have a new testament to soften the impact of all those laws about sacrificing goats and such.

  • Jew||

    Well, what'd ya expect?!?! They were gonna charge me for that second book, so I said fugget it, I'll be fine with first one.

    /poor attempt and NY jew accent

  • ||

    Moregov neooibtikalrinoliphant "Aristokracie$" following American survivors going to WHAT TEAPARTIES HAVE DONE TO PROTECT THE REPVBLIC: "TEAPARTY's Helmsdeep"... but... hidden in "the political dialog/policies/adversaries/"negotiation$"/few trillion$+/(forget acorn/bho's ring$/the enemy CUBA AND CARTER III (the II part was CUBA's WOMD "cuba hasn't and is no "danger" to the USA RE PV BLIC things/etc$"...
    Teahorse stops...
    What is it?, what you "see"?:
    (((((((WARG$))))))
    the warg$ of I$engov!!...
    All Tea ridders to THE HEAD OF THE COLUMN!!...
    (bho's C$arumen's anthoms... (horns): tadada... dadada...(drums)...
    tum tum tum

  • Michelle Obama ||

    "Teahorse stops..."

    Why I'm so hungry I could eat a teahorse!

  • Really?||

    Hercule's younger brother is here, everybody.

  • ||

    Clearly someone has discovered the answer to grammer control.

  • ||

    I think that Mr. Hinkle is confused by a couple of concepts, i.e., fundamentalism and theocracy. Fundamentalism in Islam is what is causing the modern day jihadism. Muslim "extremists" are actually following the Koran faithfully. Christian fundamentalism has been wrongly associated with extreme doctrines of christian identity groups and others. Bible believing Christians worked to end slavery, Jim Crow, child exploitation, and advance women's right, build universities and hospitals.
    Similarly, theocracy in Islam and in Christianity are poles apart. When is the last time that a homosexual was executed in America? I still have the image of teenage boys in Iran with nooses around their necks. Even in early colonial Plymouth, whose laws on such matters were lifted verbatim from Leviticus, you won't find any such execution. Homosexual activity did exist, according to colonial records, but the charges always seemed to be reduced to "lascivious carriage," and a fine and/or whipping penalty was imposed.
    I find it puzzling that so many are trying to equate Islam and Christianity in this manner. There seems to be an irrational terror regarding politicians who may consult their Christian faith when making decisions, yet remain mute when others incorporate Marxist or other destructive doctrines for theirs.

  • ||

    Even in early colonial Plymouth, whose laws on such matters were lifted verbatim from Leviticus, you won't find any such execution.

    Well, except for Benjamin Goad, of course.

    I pity you in your desperation.

  • ||

    I am well aware of this case. Bestiality not homosexuality. The judges in the case were horrfied that not only did he not deny guilt, he also provided them with details and pointed out the animals and told about the other boy who taught him how to do it. He would have otherwise beaten the rap. So they had no choice but to hang him and kill the animals.

  • ||

    Leviticus condemns both homosexuality (sodomy) and bestiality, yet in your 12:10 post you made it sound like the puritans were all soft on sexcrime.

    Not actually lying, but a very lawyerly sort of twisting the truth.

  • ||

    Late entry:
    The Puritans, or more accurately, the Plimouth Colony Pilgrims, were not soft on any crime, but were pragmatic enough to value a productive pair of hands more than slavish adherence to the law. Every person in the colony was required by law to be employed and productive.

  • ||

    By the way, I get my info straight from the records of the Plimouth Colony court records. Fascinating read if you can find it. I am (un)fortunate enough to live in MA and many libraries have copies. Gives one a good picture of colonial justice.

  • ||

    You'll find little love for statist politicians in these parts.

  • ||

    oops...: not neooibtikals, I'm sorry, I'M PURSUED BY NEOLIBTIKAL&RINOLIPHANT;'s terror preffered (instead of Bush, palin, tea,etc) logi$tik$... and they have a few trillion$ MORE...
    but also... WE have...
    NormanBra(ve)man King (who) stands on arms...
    ("just" me, Tealeave): (Braman) not alone... ((((((Conservatives!)))))))
    ((((((((to the Kiiiiiiing))))))))))

  • ||

    I've found that vitamin B complex is good for this...

  • The Gobbler||

    At this stage, maybe a hospice is best.

  • ||

    I've been in situations where you'd get the shit beat out of you if you expressed anti-Christian sentiments.

  • The Gobbler||

    Really?

  • ||

    Yep. Small-town drunkholes where rowdy rednecks whip themselves into a frenzy over an event, say the Fort Hood shootings, and proclaim Christianity as a fact.

    They're not in the mind for a debate, more than likely -- just looking for an excuse to thrash someone.

  • Coeus||

    I've been in situations where you'd get the shit beat out of you if you expressed anti-Christian sentiments.


    Ditto.

  • ||

    I just want to know how those sneaky Muslims got laws passed restricting Sunday sales of liquor.

  • Doc S||

    I wish I could "like" this. well played!

  • ||

    Sunday liquor sales are a fact, even in Puritan Mass. I buy my Bourbon after church.

  • ||

    Yeah, Massachusetts is really Puritan at this point. Try it in Utah or even Pennsylvania.

  • ||

    Kentucky banned all package sales until a few years ago. And we have dozens of dry counties. All due to those darn Muslims.

  • Holy Cow||

    Anyone who equates Christian fundamentalism with Muslim fundamentalists is either....

    A) A fucking idiot

    or...

    B) A writer for a political trade mag that brands itself as neither left or right, thus often has to come up with lame story ideas.

    Ebenezer above is right on.

  • Doc S||

    c) expressing commonalities and the dangers of extremism.

  • ||

    *cough* Nigeria *cough*

  • ||

    *cough*Muslim violence*cough*

  • MWG||

    *cough*Actually Nigeria is evenly split between Muslims and Christians and the violence goes both ways*cough*

  • Holy Cow||

    Oh, no, banning liquor sales! It's a repressive theocracy I tell ya! Why, them damn Christians!

    Is that the best you guys got? Sheesh. Fucking lame.

  • ||

    Jesus told them to ban liquor sales so they wouldn't compete with his brand of crappy, watered down wine.

  • Holy Cow||

    One more thing:

    Not every anti-Libertine (I spelled it right!) law is a result of Christians. Sometimes people without religious beliefs have beliefs that intersect with those who possess religiosity-- SEE CA PROP 19 for more info.

  • ||

    It must be very nice and sun-shiny in that smug little world you inhabit.

  • Holy Cow||

    "Fischer and the AFA aren’t the only ones to worry liberals, however. Last week progressives gasped over comments by Don Haase, nominated by Alaska Gov. Sean Parnell to the state's judicial council, which oversees appointments to the bench. Asked whether extramarital sex should be a crime, Haase allowed as how it probably should. For every Islamic incursion into the public sphere, it seems, there is an equal and opposite incursion by the Christian right"

    WOW! Yes, some unknown guy with no political power who's not even going to push his little pet peeve into law,
    AND IF HE TRIES: it'll get voted down hugely by both Dems, Reps and True Libertarians.

    This is the best you can come up with?
    You equate this with topdown authoritarian Islamic fundamentalism?

    Boooo! Now run off and change your underwear.

    Idiot.

  • Gilbert Martin||

    "America faces the clear and present danger of a takeover by theocrats who want to impose their religion on everyone else. The only problem is, we don’t know which religion"

    Sure we do.

    It is the earth worshipping religion practiced by the environmental wackos.

  • ||

    Yeah, remember the Earth Day Inquisition?

  • ||

    There is a difference between Muslims and Christians: Muslims have balls, and the courage of their convictions.

    Like was said above, if you talk shit on Jesus some old bitty will organize a boycott, but talk some shit on Muhammed and you'd better hide out, man.

    The Christians let 9 old dudes in robes take any and all mention of their religion out of the public sphere despite having over 80% of the population.

    Torquamada had stones man, Pat Robertson, not so much.

    At least Buddhist monks know kung fu.

    Fucking forgiveness, how does it work?

    -----------

    As interpreted by capitol l, recieved from loki.

  • Tank||

    I don't understand that. Ask me something simple.

  • ||

    Any group of people large enough has crazies in it. I don't see the point in trying to measure what group has the craziest crazies, especially when the percentage of crazies within that group of people is going to be so small that it makes trying to infer what within the organization makes them crazy has no chance of bearing any confidence level worth worrying about.

  • ||

    Nice context-free analysis. Both groups have histories of violence against non-believers or wrong-believers. Both groups do or have sought to elevate their belief systems above the rights of individuals.

  • ||

    And one has reformed itself, the other is reverting.

  • Stupid Girl||

    this is like the worse chatroom ever lol

  • Doc S||

    hey QT? A/s/l? 14/f/cali teehee

    and next on Chris Hansons to catch a predator!

  • Old Mexican||

    I refuse to take seriously the words of a man who signs his pieces under a name like A. Barton Hinkle!

  • ||

    Yeah, I've told him to drop the pretentious first initial, but he don't listen. Plus "Bart" is way cooler than "Barton".

  • ||

    Hey!

  • J. Edgar Hoover||

    Yeah, hey!

  • Old Mexican||

    But conservative Christians and conservative Muslims share enough values on enough social issues that it can be jarring to watch how the debate over faith in America unfolds.


    Indeed. For instance, Fundamentalist Christians want gays to repent and not marry. Fundamentalist Muslims want to rape them and then stone them to death. The parallels are striking!

  • ||

  • Carol||

    Yeah, my Dad was pretty pissed when I married poorly but at least he didn't resort to an honor killing. I also might have sewed far fewer oats had my family practiced genital mutilation which I'm told makes fornication much less enjoyable. All in all, I'll stick with the Christians.

  • ||

    God says "kill fags."

  • ||

    Some fundamentalist Christians want to drag gays to repent and not marry to death from the back of their pickup trucks. Some fundamentalist Muslims want to rape them and then stone them to death.

    FIFY

  • ||

    Do you run from the the guy shouting about judgement day on some street corner you pass, or do you smirk?

    And what do you do when you hear someone shouting 'allahu akbar'?

    Case closed.

  • ||

    Exactly!

    I have heard Christians say that legal abortion means that millions of babies are being murdered every year, so what do they do?

    ...watch out Dr. AbortionMan MD they're going to hold some signs up and say nasty things about you, tsk tsk, baby murderer...HA!

  • ||

    Somehow you're conveniently forgetting the abortion clinic bombings and assassinations of abortion providers.

  • R||

    Somehow you're conveniently forgetting that the Fort Hood shooter alone killed almost twice as many people as were killed at abortion clinics in the entire period after RVW.

  • ||

    Not one bit, R. Please see my 11:07 AM posting above where I state that I'm concerned about religious fanatics of all sorts. I just have no tolerance for christian apologists lying about how they're the True Religion of Peace(tm), then when called on their bullshit it then becomes an exercise in body counts.

    Thanks for playing and enjoy your year's supply of santorum as a consolation prize.

  • kArupt||

    You guys kill less people than those guys? that's your arguement? LMFAO!

  • kArupt||

    ... directed at "R"...

  • ||

    Sorry you're such a pants-wetting wuss, Azzy. Personally, I ignore both.

  • MWG||

    "And what do you do when you hear someone shouting 'allahu akbar'?"

    I dunno... I guess it depends on the context. If you follow current events in the middle east, it means the end to brutal dictators.

  • mgd||

    "I dunno... I guess it depends on the context. If you follow current events in the middle east, it means the end to an intermission between brutal dictators."

    FIFY

  • Barry Loberfeld||

    What about the threat of atheocracy from the Anti-Religious Left?

  • ||

    Fuck, all I have to do is look out my office window to see someone's religion in the fucking public sphere.
    Fucking whinning fucking baby...
    Oh! No! My religion is not on top any more, boo hoo.

  • ||

    People who complain theocracy is around the corner because somebody wants to ban alcohol on Sunday and then openly support banning smoking, banning fast food, banning what people are allowed to say, banning what milk one can drink etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. Look up the word hypocrite in the dictionary.

  • Huston||

    "Should we be more worried about radical Islamists or Christian fundamentalists?"

    Neither. The greatest religious threat to American freedom is what I term "liberal theological fascism." Liberals often invoke absolutes, social justice, and moral imperatives in their rhetoric, as assumed axioms meant to stifle debate and coerce obedience. It's a dangerous cult that does not tolerate heresy well.

    http://gentlyhewstone.wordpres.....and-right/

  • Tony||

    Unlike the broad-minded, dissent-tolerating conservative movement in this country.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Tony,

    Unlike the broad-minded, dissent-tolerating conservative movement in this country.


    "Dissent" intolerance does not equate to what the left proclaims is good: Thievery.

  • Tony||

    Don't you have a vapid right-wing conspiracy theory to peddle?

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Tony,

    Don't you have a vapid right-wing conspiracy theory to peddle?


    Nice comeback, almost like Laurie Foreman's: "Well..... You have nice hair!"

  • ||

    Unlike the broad-minded, dissent-tolerating conservative CHRISTIANS in this country.

    fify

  • ||

    Thank you for a dispassionate article.

  • kArupt||

    funny how a lot of you are anti-statist unless it's your faith/religion/cult that the state is pushing...

    Organiged religion = the world's first communists

    "boot-licking tastes good if taste's like sacrament!"

    posers

    nice article btw

    fyi: also funny is how concerned you seem about poor disenfranchised christians, while not addressing any of the examples of christian theo-facsism present in the article...

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/It_Can't_Happen_Here

  • kArupt||

  • kArupt||

    ...wrapped in the american flag, carrying a cross...

  • ||

    The article isn't equating Christians and Muslims on issues of violence. The article is equating Christians and Muslims on the issue of endorsing theocracy.

    All of the commenters who are pointing out that Muslims today are more prone to religious violence are missing the point.

    Based entirely on my own purely anecdotal experience, the Muslims I know are the children of immigrants from Muslim countries. They came here to get out from under oppressive theocracies. They have a deep personal understanding of why theocracy is a bad idea.

    On the other hand, Christians tend to view the idea of a Christian government as a totally benign, unobjectionable concept. Most of the Christians I know are willing to admit it: they believe it's the one true faith, it is eminently just and the source of all morality; therefore, nothing coud be better than a Christian government.

    I definitely don't have any fear of Sharia law in the U.S. And, ultimately, I'm not particularly worried about a Christian theocracy either. But to suggest that because the Muslim religion is responsible for more violence today that we should turn a blind eye to attempts to use the government as a tool of Christianity in the US is to conflate two separate issues. The article was only addressing the latter.

  • ||

    What theocracy, and who has advocated "theocracy?" We have a democratic republic per the Constitution, and that document would have to be destroyed to make it otherwise. Please define "theocracy" as it is understood on your planet. Do you mean a government where the legislators are free to consider their own consciences on issues, within the confines of the Constitution, or some other system?

  • ||

    "a government where legislators are free to consider their own consciences on issues, within the confines of the Constitution"

    Almost every time a legislator votes their own consciences based upon systems of morality like religions, they end up assuming powers that the Constitution does not grant government (be it banning lightbulbs, gas guzzling cars, obscure financial instruments and high interest loans or be it banning liquor, hiring of illegal immigrants, prostitution, gambling, homosexuality, private inter-Islamic arbitration procedures, etc.) Politicians should not vote their consciences if voting their consciences means violating the explicit limits on government laid out in the Constitution. If you believe the Constitution is open-ended enough to ban things that violate your personal moral code, you are a hypocrite for bashing the other side for engaging in the same thing.

  • ||

    Maybe you need to reread the article. And my post. The article is saying that when people get worked up about Sharia law in the U.S., they often fail to recognize that Christianity is given much greater legal and political play than Sharia law.

    I was making the point that, observing that Muslims are more prone to violence, doesn't really have anything to do with the point the author is making. It has to do with other valid issues, it just isn't what the article is about.

    Perhaps you forgot that I wrote this sentence: "I'm not particularly worried about a Christian theocracy either." In other words, I don't think one exists or that one will exist in the U.S.

    On my planet, we don't fight straw men.

  • ||

    What you are failing to see is that the American secular system was a result of churches not wanting to be ruled by the government, and not wanting the government ruled by any *particular* church. This ideal is 100% incompatible with Islam. Oh, they are generally well-behaved now, but let their numbers get up near 5% and it will be a different world.

  • ||

    Stupid argument.
    Neither fundamentalist Christians not fundamentalist Muslims stands a miniscule chance of establishing religious law in the US.

    However, I'm not worried about them establishing religious law. I'm worried about them killing people in the process of trying. And the islamists are doing a much better job of killing people.

  • ||

    Hmm, I guess faith based initiatives and various religion-based bans on alcohol, prostitution, heresy, gambling, drugs, adultery and homosexual sodomy don't or didn't ever exist?

  • ||

    What's a stupid argument? I said they are two separate issues, not that one was less important than the other. I guess you didn't notice the part where I said I'm not worried about theocracy in the U.S.

  • ||

    And just to clarify, because Hobo Chang Ba is making valid points, the reason I'm not worried is because the youth aren't going for it anymore. The only issue on which the younger generations are arguably getting more conservative is on abortion. And it has nothing to do with religion and everything to do with ultrasound technology.

  • DLM||

    Christians haven't carried out any stonings lately, for instance.

    You know it's just a matter of time. Those eeeevil Christians have been plotting for almost two thousand years to get revenge for that little misunderstanding with the lions.

  • ||

    I'm afraid I do not have the time for a more in-depth critique, however:
    "Christians haven't carried out any stonings lately, for instance."

    Are you really that unaware? It makes me skeptical of the entire article. I just googled "Christians stone gays" and found this article from March 18th, just ten days previous. I didn't know the article was there, but I would've bet $20 bucks that I would have found something similar from the past month.
    http://onkneesforjesus.blogspo.....stone.html

  • ||

    Yeah, except this was talked about up thread. Miraculously, the idiot that did this was to be the executor of the poor guys estate.

    And using a stone to bash someone's head in is not stoning someone to death any more than smoking pot literally gets you stoned. Ah the nuances of the English language.

  • Just another observer||

    Islam is not in America to be equal, but to become dominant. The Qu'ran the Muslim book of scripture, should be the highest authority in America and Islam the only accepted religion on earth.
    Omar Ahmad (CAIR)

    We must implement Islam as a totality, in which Allah controls every place, the home, the classroom, the science lab, the halls of Congress
    Amir Abdul Malik Ali (Oakland California Imam)

    The first principle is that terrorism, and terrorism alone, is the path to liberation. The second principle is that settlement is decided by the sword.
    Fawaz Darma (former Cleveland Oh. Imam)

    You have learned the way, that you have known that the Jihad way is the way to liberate your land.
    Dr. Esam Omeish (Muslim American Society.)

    In time this so called Democracy will crumble and there will be nothing, and the only thing left will be Islam.
    Siraj Wahhaj (Brooklyn, NY Imam)

    I do not believe in religious dialog
    Feisal Abdul Rauf (Imam ground zero mosque)

    If you dont give us justice, if you dont give us equality, if you don't give us our share of America. If you don't stay out of our way and leave us alone, we're going to Burn America down.
    Abdul Alim Musa (Washington DC Imam)

    We have been watching intifada in Palestine, we have an uprising in Iraq, the question is what are we doing? How come we don't have an intifada in this country?
    Hatem Bazian (UC Berkeley lecturer)

    Allah's rules have to be established in all lands.
    Muzammil Siddiqi (Islamic Society of North America, Islamic Society of Orange County)

    I wouldn't want to create the impression that I would want the Government of the United States to be Islamic sometime in the future.
    Ibrahim Hooper (CAIR)

    Enough said. These are not backwater Muslims, these are the voices the speak for the main stream.

  • Coeus||

    Despite all this, I reluctantly see religion as necessary. Kind of a vaccination against statism. Most people have to believe in something. Look at all the unwavaringly statist athiests. Invisible dude in a robe trumps totalitarian dude with a flag pin any day of the week.
    The notable exception, of course, is when they're the same dude. So the religion to worry about is whichever one has the most people advocating for that dual role. In the US, I think that's currently christianity.

    But islam is growing much faster, so it won't stay that way for long.

  • ||

    For everyone observing how benign Christianity is compared to Islam: As you would no doubt concede, Christianity has a bloody past. When was it most bloody? When it was backed by government. Where is Islam most dangerous today? In countries where Islam is the government. Both Islam and Christianity are non-problematic in the U.S. precisely because as a country we have rejected theocracy, because we have secular government.

    You can find violent passages in either Holy Book. You can find instances of organized violence in any theocracy, regardless of what religion it is. You can find religious nuts, perpetrating violence, in any group.

    There is a reason the Western world has collectively required rejected theocracy. It doesn't matter how benign a religion you start out with. Give it the government as a tool and it never ends well.

  • ||

    You can find violent passages in either Holy Book.

    Yeah, but in the Bible, they are history, in the Koran, they are eternal truth and commandments. Show me where in the Bible it says to kill unbelievers.

  • aerikson||

    All passages from the New International Version.

    Do not allow a sorceress to live.
    Exodus 22:18

    But those enemies of mine who did not want me to be king over them--bring them here and kill them in front of me.
    Luke 19:27

    When the Lord your God brings you into the land you are entering to possess and drives out before you may nations...then you must destroy them totally. Make no treaty with them and show them no mercy.
    Deuteronomy 7:1-2

    Pour out your wrath on the nations that do not acknowledge you, on the kingdoms that do not call on your name
    Psalms 79:6

    If your very own brother, or your son or daughter, or the wife you love, or your closest friend secretly entices you, saying, “Let us go and worship other gods” (gods that neither you nor your ancestors have known, gods of the peoples around you, whether near or far, from one end of the land to the other), do not yield to them or listen to them. Show them no pity. Do not spare them or shield them. You must certainly put them to death. Your hand must be the first in putting them to death, and then the hands of all the people. Stone them to death, because they tried to turn you away from the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.
    Deuteronomy 13:6-10 (Sounds like honor killing. Must run in the blood)

    Honestly, as an atheist, this argument means nothing to me in the end. Both religions are based on heinously outdated tribal customs that civilized society, philosophy, and science have long since passed. The Bible is just as ass-backwards as the Quran (and Talmud and Book of Mormon and Vedas etc. etc.) is.

  • ||

    1. Old Testament, not for Christians, Israel has no death penalty except for Nazis.
    2. Words of someone in a parable spoken by Jesus. Come on now...
    3. Same as 1. A one time action long since completed, not an open-ended command.
    4. David's words in a Psalm, not a commandment.
    5. Same as 1.

    At least you seem to have read some Bible. (You did, right? This is not stuff from some atheist handbook?) Few people, including many self identified Christians have read the Bible.

  • Just another observer||

    Look at countries in recent history where Islam has spread. Indonesia is a classic example. As Islam has grown as a percentage of population the violence has spread. In spite of religious tolerance and freedom Sharia has become common practice and unless a victim of religious violence is Muslim the authorities have a tendency to look the other way.

    For all purposes Indonesia is now a an Islamic Government and in some areas strict enforcement of Islamic law is routine.

    Islam in the initial phase is peaceful but as it spreads it becomes agitated and demands special exceptions like extra time off even without time in service for religious activities or state expenditures on foots baths at Universities. Eventually the demands for separate courts for civil matters then special cultural consideration for criminal trials and eventually full blown violence.

    History does have a nasty habit of repeating itself and no amount of good will or wishing will change that. Islam is not a religion in the standard compartmentalized western view. It is a political structure, a governing body of law, and a religion where unlike Christianity and Judaism the word of Muhammad is accepted as the infallible divine word of God to be taken literally.

    And as an added bonus if you are Islamic and you criticize another Muslim in public the penalty is death. It does keep the ranks pretty well cowed because no one knows who in the crowd might be willing to act on that.

    Just a few days ago a Muslim cleric declared a fatwa (religious ruling)
    from:

    http://nymag.com/daily/intel/2.....lared.html

    An influential Muslim cleric named Yusuf al-Qaradawi issued a fatwa yesterday through Al Jazeera saying, "Whoever in the Libyan army is able to shoot a bullet at Mr. Qaddafi should do so." Qaradawi, the spiritual leader of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood, also urged Libyan soldiers "not to obey orders to strike at your own people," and urged Libyan ambassadors to disassociate themselves from Qaddafi.

    The court as ruling legal body sentenced Gadafi to death. The court was Islam and the trial was held in absentia.

    So I will tolerate the religion of Islam but I will not tolerate any part of political Islam or legal Islam. And as it stands now most of the leaders of Islam in the US do not see Islam as just a religion and their goals are incompatible with a Constitutional Republic.

  • Realist||

    All religion is the opiate of the ignorant.

  • Sudden||

    Dude, what I wouldn't give for a fucking Taoist theocracy. All Lao Tze libertopia and shit. It'd be fucking epic.

  • Colonel_Angus||

    I didn't read the fucking article or any of these four hundred comments. Probably a piss fest involving lone whackoff types.

  • Just another observer||

    It is a good thing that this argument means nothing to you. You really should read things in context before quoting them.

    1) With the exception of luke all of your quotes are old testament. Since Christians believe Jesus taught them to be set free from the old testament law they do not apply.

    2) The quote from Luke is the words of the parable of the ten minas, a story of a hated King and not a commandment from God.

    You may or may not be a spiritual type but you certainly do not know much about the teachings of Judaism or Christianity.

    If religion is your friend or your enemy and you either intend to invoke it for kind or unkind reasons you should at least know it well enough to invoke it correctly.

  • time||

    I find it a little ironic that every time someone brings up violence from the old testament Christians always say "Jesus totally overwrote all that stuff we don't agree with today," but as soon as a couple of dudes want to get married its all fire, brimstone, and Leviticus.

    Anyway, I'm pretty sure Martin Luther killed Christianity when pointed out that people could basically make their god say whatever the hell they want him to.

  • Michael Ejercito||

    I find it a little ironic that every time someone brings up violence from the old testament Christians always say "Jesus totally overwrote all that stuff we don't agree with today," but as soon as a couple of dudes want to get married its all fire, brimstone, and Leviticus.


    I do not say that.

    If was perfectly fine for Saul to slay Amalek, including its unborn. In fact, it would have been wrong for Saul to not slay Amalek. (1 Samuel 15)

  • Just another observer||

    time|3.30.11 @ 12:02PM|#
    I find it a little ironic that every time someone brings up violence from the old testament Christians always say "Jesus totally overwrote all that stuff we don't agree with today," but as soon as a couple of dudes want to get married its all fire, brimstone, and Leviticus.
    *********

    Sure thing and all gays dress up in bondage gear and copulate on top of floats in the gay parade. Or beat up old ladies when they protest against them.

    Some people believe anything the media feeds them. The media presents the most shocking images and people to sell ad space. Sometimes Howard Stern seems absolutely subdued when compared to the Mainstream media.

    I suppose you believe congress has to pass a bill before you can read it, and we all fell in love with it when we finally read it.

    Perhaps we really are involved in a kinetic military action for purely humanitarian reasons.

    And TEA party members are just a bunch of Astroturf, racist, neo-nazi robots paid by the Koch brothers.

    A little skepticism is a good thing when getting your news of the world and a little reasoned thought will cut through 80% of the spin.

    But it does prevent issues from being solved and thus ensuring another news cycle of spin and ad time.

  • ||

    I think we have the most to fear from a secular-humanist theocracy, as this man (or state)worshiping religion has more blood on its hands than ALL the other religions on the planet put together.

  • Maire||

    Amen!

  • ||

    I agree. The only people I see getting away with imposing their morality by force of law are the progressives.

  • Michael Ejercito||

    So true.

  • ||

    As far as I'm concerned, I find both ideologies equally loathsome.

  • Michael Ejercito||

    Not all religions have a god.

    Socialist fundamentalists are a greater threat than Christian fundamentalists.

  • Maire||

    This is the kind of hackneyed propagandistic trash I expect to see hawked about on the HuffPo or Salon. I thought Reason was better than that, but it's probably my fault for being too optimistic. Theocratic state? Because of one man's inflammatory and--coincidentally--politically untenable views? You clearly don't know the first meaning of the word. Oh, but thanks for the stoning reference at the end. So Christian Neanderthals are still better than Muslim ones. How charitable.

  • pzm0729||

    2011-3-31 15:12:09
    It sound great~,i think this article is pretty good~lol, but there is more awesome in here:http://www.topbagclub.com

  • ||

    I'm reminded of a quote from the movie "Kingdom of Heaven":
    "I put no stock in Religion.
    Under the word religion I've seen the lunacy of fanatics of every denomiation called the word of god.
    Holiness, Spirituality, is in right action,
    and courage on behalf of those that cannot defend themselves,
    and goodness.
    What god desires of us in in our heads,
    and in our hearts,
    and by what we decide to do every day
    we'll either be good people,
    or not."
    This, in my opinion, is wisdom. "Religion" is not required for Spirituality, and only serves as social controls.

  • ||

    America faces the clear and present danger of a takeover by theocrats who want to impose their religion on everyone else. The only problem is, we don’t know which religion.>>>

    Since when did Christians want to force people into Christianity?

    Let's establish the States as Christian States, which is what the Founding Fathers did, and call us a Christian Nation again:

    "If the public homage of a people can ever be worthy the favorable regard of the Holy and Omniscient Being to whom it is addressed, it must be that in which those who join in it are guided only by their free choice, by the impulse of their hearts and the dictates of their consciences; and such a spectacle must be interesting to all Christian nations as proving that religion, that gift of Heaven for the good of man, freed from all coercive edicts, from that unhallowed connection with the powers of this world which corrupts religion into an instrument or an usurper of the policy of the state...Upon these principles and with these views the good people of the United States are invited, in conformity with the resolution aforesaid, to dedicate the day above named to the religious solemnities therein recommended."
    --Given at Washington, this 23d day of July, A. D. 1813.[seal.] JAMES MADISON

    Note, Madison--the Orthodox Christian--like all his references about religion early in life, refers to religion as only Christianity.

    Here is John Adams claiming we are a Christian people:

    [T]hat they may consider what further measures the honor and interest of the Government and its constituents demand; if a resolution to do justice as far as may depend upon me, at all times and to all nations, and maintain peace, friendship, and benevolence with all the world; if an unshaken confidence in the honor, spirit, and resources of the American people, on which I have so often hazarded my all and never been deceived; if elevated ideas of the high destinies of this country and of my own duties toward it, founded on a knowledge of the moral principles and intellectual improvements of the people deeply engraven on my mind in early life, and not obscured but exalted by experience and age; and, with humble reverence, I feel it to be my duty to add, if a veneration for the religion of a people who profess and call themselves Christians, and a fixed resolution to consider a decent respect for Christianity among the best recommendations for the public service, can enable me in any degree to comply with your wishes, it shall be my strenuous endeavor that this sagacious injunction of the two Houses shall not be without effect."
    --Inaugural Address, In the City of Philadelphia, Saturday, March 4, 1797.

  • ClassicLib||

    Well original poster... I think we can all agree you were mistaken in thinking this a neo-con website. Try not to misspell Fascism.com so badly next time.

  • ||

    "But conservative Christians and conservative Muslims share enough values on enough social issues that it can be jarring to watch how the debate over faith in America unfolds."

    No it isn't, not jarring at all. It will be fun fun fun to watch. Let the cage match begin!

  • mbt discount||

    good

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