No Other God Watch

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The interruption of Rajan Zed's Hindu invocation of the Senate was caught by C-Span cameras and the folks at Josh Marshall's empire grabbed a video. (Insult to injury: the man introducing Zed is Sen. Bob Casey, the slayer of Rick Santorum in 2006.)

Related: Avi Lewis' remarkably dunderheaded interview with Ayan Hirsi Ali. "They shoot abortion doctors in the United States of America!"

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  1. They shoot abortion doctors in the United States of America!

    and horses, John Lennon, presidents, drug dealers, and old ladies with pistolas who are roused from a troubled sleep by the cops breaking down the door.

  2. I love how some Canadians think the United States is full of violent imbeciles, when they are probably closest to us culturally–at least in the Anglo provinces–of any country in the world with the possible exception of Australia.

  3. OMIGOD! That was horrifying. Why the Christian extremists dragged that poor guy off the podium and set him on fire.

    I’m glad you posted that though because one video is worth a thousand printed words and I honestly thought this was something of much greater significance than it actually turned out to be.

  4. I love how the articles by the fundies were entirely devoid of details. Because they knew that if they wrote “We interrupted the Senate’s opening prayer because a Hindu priest was giving it” they’d look like the idiots they are.

  5. If Judeo-Christian church leaders wore beautiful silk robes the color of flowers, perhaps they would win more converts.

  6. What a bunch of a-holes.

    If three Muslims interrupted a rabbi, it would lead on CNN.

  7. Yeah I’d have to say that was pretty minor, as far as religious fundamentalism goes these days. Sure, those people were jackasses, but the Capitol is still standing and the Hindu priest still has a head on his shoulders. I’m betting Christian fundamentalists will not launch suicide attacks on Hindu temples around the United States in response.

  8. You just gotta laugh . . . but then again these are the types who are keeping the religious right at all relevent politically. So, it’s more sad than funny.

    You know it wouldn’t be but a few years after they got their “Christian Nation” dream that they’d be just as hysterically fighting over which denomination, which version of the 10 commandments, etc.

    Those who do not learn from history . . .

  9. I’m betting that Christian fundamentalists would most certainly launch suicide attacks if suicide didn’t send them straight to hell. They’re stupid as shit is all I’m saying, and even that’s an insult to some charming turds.

  10. Somebody, anybody, name an American suicide bomber for me.

    I didn’t think so. There have been spiteful and offensive disruptions of mosques and Muslim religious practices all over the country, such as the asshats in Florida who decided to have pig races on the property next to the new mosque on Friday evenings. Dave, care to remind me of the death toll from the suicide bombings that followed that?

    I’m sick and tired of people slandering Muslims in America as terrorists and fanatics because of their religion. These people are Americans, and respond with exactly the same outrage, sadness, and litigation as any other group of Americans when people screw with their religion.

    God Bless America.

  11. Joe, who said anything about Muslims on this thread? Are you talking about the interview with Ayan Hirsi Ali?

  12. Somebody, anybody, name an American suicide bomber for me.

    How about that guy who blew himself up so his wife could collect the insurance money in the first Airport movie?

  13. Or the guy with impotence in Airplane?

    Oh shoot, shouldn’t have mentioned that.

  14. That was Sony Bono wasn’t it?

  15. er, Sonny Bono

  16. Yes, but it was actually Airplaine II: The Sequel.

  17. FingFangFoom,

    I didn’t think Dave’s reference to suicide bombings was all that opaque.

  18. Joe-

    Randy Quaid in “Independence Day”

  19. Errol Flynn in the Flying Tigers.

    Joe,

    I’m still not sure what the deal is there. I didn’t think Dave was suggesting that we were undergoing wave after wave of assault from American Muslim suicide bombers.

  20. Joe again-

    A couple weeks ago, several attempted bombings and suicide attacks were carried out because the author Salman Rushdie was honored by the British govt. Does the fact that it occured in the UK and not here have some important impact on the idea that Muslims are being painted as fanatics because of their religion? Personally, I thought that I was suggesting that Muslim fanatics are more prone to engage in that sort of extreme violence than Christian fundies. Turn on CNN and you can be pretty sure there will be some solid evidence of that at least every 24 hours or so.

  21. Does Green Leader from Return of the Jedi count?

  22. The interviewer in that Ayan Hirsi Ali clip is a smug prick who thinks he’s so sophisticated, yet has a pathetic understanding of America.

  23. From the interview I take away that he’s a Canadian O’Reilly.

  24. FingFangFoom,

    See?

    And for a second there, you had me thinking I was imagining things.

    I gotta trust my instincts more.

    Dave,

    Go sell your bigotry at RedState.

  25. Well, we have named plenty of American suicide bombers.

  26. Whats the obsession with suicide bombing? If the Muslim fanatics simply bombed innocent people without killing themselves, would it make them anymore moral?

  27. That you have, FFF. I gotta give you that.

  28. no Cesar, it would not make them more moral. I think what makes for the obsession with suicide bombing is just that. It is morbidly fascination that anyone would plan for and deliberately kill themselves just to take revenge on some innocent beings in the name of the Almighty.

    But you knew that I suppose.

  29. Well, I just said that because if you just say, have there been any Americans that have bombed innocent people, I can name plenty. Timothy McVeigh and the Unabomber for starters.

  30. Cesar,

    There’s a great line in Don Delillo’s new book. A woman is looking at her former-radical German lover, and thinks, “Maybe he was a terrorist, but he’s one of ours. White, godless, educated…” Something like that.

    The IRA, Baader-Meinhoff, Eric Rudolph – none of those terrorists did suicide bombings. That’s something those people do.

    Yeah, the obsession with the only aspect of the terrorism that marks it as Muslim is pretty telling.

  31. I’m also wondering why the ACLU hasn’t filed suit to stop these ridiculous prayers in the US Senate that are clearly in violation of the modern day interpretation of the first amendment.

  32. People have filed cases to ban the opening prayer, TWC. They lost.

    “Ceremonial Deism,” dontcha know. No actual religious expression, just the use of a religious ceremony like so much crepe paper, to class the joint up. Obviously, for a 99% Christian organization like Congress to have Hindus and whatnot offering the prayer, it shows that a genuine communication with the divine is not what they’re going for.

    Personally, that sounds an lot like taking the Lord’s name in vain to this Christian.

  33. I don’t know if there is anything particularly strange about the morbid interest/horror at suicide bombings. Martyrdom is a totally weird thing.

  34. “Dave,

    Go sell your bigotry at RedState.”

    I’ll assume that RedState is a website. Haven’t seen it.
    Bigotry!? HAHAHAHA! Ok Joe, guess it’s not Muslims doing all those suicide bombings, and if I wasn’t such a racist I’d see that.
    Are you for real? Are you telling me the suicide bombings, beheadings, arsons, etc. against the unfaithful are NOT being done by Muslims? Pray tell, who is it then?

    I can’t speak for everyone, but my “obsession” with suicide bombers as opposed to the IRA and Baader-Meinhoff might be that I don’t wake up every morning to see that Baader Meinhoff has killed 100 people in a marketplace, 20 in a medical clinic, 40 in a school, etc. Muslim fundamentalists on the other hand….

  35. Dave-

    There are plenty of bombings (even suicide bombings!) in non-Muslim countries. In fact Sri Lanka is #1 in the world for suicide bombings, they perfected it before it was exported to the Middle East.

    And who was doing it? A Hindu-Nationalist group, the Tamil Tigers. In the entire history of the Middle East up until 1982, guess how many suicide bombings there were in the Middle East? Zero.

    Until 1993, guess how many there were in the Palestinian territories/Israel? Zero.

    It is a very recent phenomenon in the Muslim world.

  36. Cesar-

    That’s great. So when I wake up every morning to hear about attempted or committed suicide attacks, who is it?


  37. That’s great. So when I wake up every morning to hear about attempted or committed suicide attacks, who is it?

    Statistically its most likely to be the Tamil Tigers. But our media generally doesn’t focus on Sri Lanka.

  38. Cesar-

    While I appreciate the history lesson, that’s like saying the guy at VA Tech didn’t invent guns. And the point is?

  39. The point is suicide bombing is not native to the Middle East, nor to Islam. I guess you were to dense to get that.

  40. No, Dave, if you weren’t such a racist, you wouldn’t stereotype American Muslims based on what you see happening on the other side of the planet on the teevee news.

    You know what I notice about the terrorists in other countries that I see on the news? They’re all gun owners, as anti-gun people are so quick to point out. They’re all religious believers, as atheists with an agenda are quick to point out.

    You aren’t fooling anyone, bigot.

  41. TWC, Cesar, FingFangFoom,

    I suppose it’s plausible that people could focus on the suicide aspect for various reasons.

    Can we acknowledge that I got Dave’s motive for doing so dead-to-rights?

  42. Cat got your tongue, Cesar?

  43. What makes the interrupters really look foolish is the prayer itself:

    “We meditate on the transcendental glory of the deity supreme”

    Sounds like a strange translation of the opening to any Christian prayer. The rest is equally sufficiently vague. I didn’t realize the meaning of a prayer was dependent on the person reciting the prayer aloud instead of the heart of the person praying.

    So if someone is leading a prayer in a Christian church, and secretly in his heart is intending the Muslim God instead of the Christian God when he says “God”, could he secretly get a Christian congregation to pray to Allah?

  44. I remember on September 10, 2001, my then-girlfriend and I went to see a lecture by Salman Rushdie at a downtown theatre. There was a huge line to get in, and there was also a huge Muslim protest outside. They were chanting things like “Die die Salman Rushdie!” and the like.

    There were entire families of protestors, from greybeards down to tiny children, but you could tell it was the older men that were the angriest, by far. You could practically see the spittle flying from their lips. It was fascinating. We picked up one of their leaflets explaining why Salman Rushdie had to die for his crimes.

    We couldn’t get in, but the show outside made it worth it anyway. It was also an incredibly bizarre prologue to the events of the next morning.

  45. Can we acknowledge that I got Dave’s motive for doing so dead-to-rights?

    Yes, he does so because its the only thing that makes it foreign.

    Whats weird is, if some Arab came on here and said “Whenever I turn on the TV and hear about innocent children being killed or suffering in Palestine, guess who is doing it? THE JEW!” He would rightly condemn such a statement as anti-semitic.

    (on the above post, I clicked “submit” by accident).

  46. Sure.

  47. dead elvis,

    Did you ever see a dog who marks a tree, but only a little, because his bladder was empty?

    It’s not the substance of what gets spouted off that matters, it’s WHICH DOG OWNS THAT TREE.

    Let there be no confusion anymore – when these people try to get religious actions and messages inserted into government activities, they’re doing so to markt the government as their turf, for everyone to see.

    What a disgusting perversion of prayer!

  48. “These people” meaning right-wing, theocratic Christians, like those who disrupted the prayer.

  49. joe,

    What did you think of the exchange between Ali and Lewis?

  50. I think my computer wouldn’t play it, Gro.

    Was there a transcript link I missed?

  51. Wow, Avi Lewis is an ass. I’m glad she put him in his place at the end.

  52. “There are no Christians who want the Bible to replace the Constitution”

    You can tell she works for the AEI. I don’t think Islam is necessarily any more barbaric than Christianity or any other religion. They just don’t bother to hide it. Also I think poverty has a lot to do with it. Hindu fundamentalists in India can be just as bad.

  53. joe,

    Not that I can see.

  54. There are no Christians who want the Bible to replace the Constitution

    No, just a major party that claims to have a monopoly on the political opinions of authentic Christians, which asserts that the Constitution was framed for the purpose of imposing the Law of the Bible on the country.

  55. I’d be curious to see which statements by either Ali or Lewis that folks here agree with.

  56. I’d be curious to see the statements made by Ali or Lewis!

  57. No, just a major party that claims to have a monopoly on the political opinions of authentic Christians, which asserts that the Constitution was framed for the purpose of imposing the Law of the Bible on the country.

    Forgive my cynicism, joe, but you are the only libertarian Christian I know about. You could argue that Christian fascists aren’t really Christians, and I would agree with you, but it doesn’t change the fact that there is a sizable population of biblical fanatics in the United States.

  58. Wow, thats the first time I’ve seen joe called a libertarian!

  59. Wow, Avi Lewis is an ass. I’m glad she put him in his place at the end.
    Yes he is..I dont know why canadians would watch this show.. Never been to canada.. but most candians live within a earshot of US..they know whats happening here…

  60. Here is a link to said interview on YouTube.

  61. tros: Although he is one of the better posters on H&R, joe is definitely not a libertarian.

    If you’re looking for self-described christian libertarians, I believe thoreau fits that bill, among a few others here.

  62. tros,

    I’m not a libertarian. I’m a liberal.

    Good lord, where did you get that idea?

    For the record, I think there are a lot of Christian fascists, and fascist Christians, in the US. Hence my previous comments.

    I’m just saying, they are not the only Christians.

  63. Wow, thats the first time I’ve seen joe called a libertarian!

    Oh, I just assumed, since he was posting here. Perhaps I shouldn’t. What do you think about the war on drugs, joe? That’s the best litmus test for Christian fascism I can think of. If a conservative Christian can accept a free market in drugs I think that makes them libertarian.

    I’d be curious to see which statements by either Ali or Lewis that folks here agree with.

    “America is the best place to be”

    Assuming we don’t have a coup in 2008 I would tend to agree.

    “America has the best Democracy”

    I think this is a crock of shit. I would be much happier with a Parliamentary system. Has Ali heard of the electoral college?

  64. Sorry. Maybe I am confusing you with a different “joe”?


  65. I think this is a crock of shit. I would be much happier with a Parliamentary system. Has Ali heard of the electoral college?

    The Electoral College sucks.

    However, Parliamentary systems usually suck harder. Would you really want people with the views of Pat Buchanan or Ralph Nader to be able to hold the federal government hostage because they won 10 seats in Congress?

    One thing that are system is very, very good at is holding far-right and far-left extremists in check.

    Look at Europe were Communists and hard-right racists regularly win seats in their Parliaments.

  66. Cesar,

    Yes, they do win a few seats but never anything close to a majority of seats and they are as a general rule not often part of even a coalition and even if they are they lack a strong voice in such.

  67. tros,

    WoD? I’m agin it. We should have learned from prohibition.

    It’s me. RU OK?

  68. Booing a Hindu invocation to the divine is also, by extension, booing an oppressive caste system that makes the Jim Crow south look like libertopia.

  69. Yes, they do win a few seats but never anything close to a majority of seats and they are as a general rule not often part of even a coalition and even if they are they lack a strong voice in such.

    In Austria and Denmark far-right parties dominate the coalitions in Parliament.

    In Belgium only an agreement between the classical liberal and socialist parties (!) keeps the far-right nationalists from being members of the ruling coalition. And as you can imagine, such a coalition is not very stable!

    Somehow the UK and Canada ended up with a “2 1/2” party and 4 party system respectively, and avoids having 500 different parties and governments breaking up every year.

  70. I love how far this has gotten from the original article, and how quickly it went to “terrorist bombing”, “Muslims are teh suxxor” and “are not, rascist” (Muslims not a race, BTW, can’t be racist against a non-race). It would be better to say that all religious fundamentalism and violence is bad.

  71. Another good thing about a Presidential-Congressional system from a libertarian standpoint is that it slows government down. Divided government, in a Parliamentary system, is impossible.

    The party or coalition that holds the most seats gets whatever it wants, period. Parties vote in blocks, and do what the P.M. wants, knowing if they don’t the government will fall.

  72. Christian libertarians? Try lewrockwell.com.

    There are Christians who want the Bible to replace the Constitution, or who think the Constitution is actually a document purporting to create an Old Testament government. They’re called Reconstructionists. There aren’t many of them, though.

  73. Avi Lewis did not impress me. He just acted lame and got detoured into arguing about America with a platitude-spouting Ali, instead of asking her about what she had to say.

    Which was pretty shaky in spots. First, she used a lot of the ‘no true Scotsman’ fallacy. When Avi asks her if she realized that there were Muslims that her denunciations didn’t apply to, she starting bringing up “Muslims who mean it” and “unreformed, unmediated Muslims.” Um, OK, good answer. But that raises some flags for her broad-brush denuciation theme.

    Second, her denial that Islamophobia didn’t exist was just semantic. She doesn’t want a belief system confused with immutable characteristics, yeah, that’s great. Problem is, Islamophobia is prejudice and antagonism towards people for being Muslim (or thought to be Muslim, which happens in a depressing number of the religious-based hate crimes you see). Is she saying this is ok because it’s based on a belief system? I don’t think this is a logical statement she’s thought through; I think it’s a deliberate obfuscation for political purposes that demonstrates a huge hole in the political progam she’s working for.

  74. It’s me. RU OK?

    I SWEAR there is someone else who posts here w/ the name Joe. Or I could be crazy.

  75. Capital-J Joe is one of the many fake handles of our favorite H&R troll, Dan T. Lower-case j joe is Massachusetts liberal joe.

  76. Booing a Hindu invocation to the divine is also, by extension, booing an oppressive caste system that makes the Jim Crow south look like libertopia.

    Huh. Hadn’t even gone there. I don’t suppose that was the motiviation of these particular protestors, however.

  77. Booing a Hindu invocation to the divine is also, by extension, booing an oppressive caste system that makes the Jim Crow south look like libertopia.

    Yeah, why don’t we blame the non-fascist Hindus for the apes that appropriate their spiritual tradition. Did you miss the entire conversation?

  78. Muslims not a race, BTW, can’t be racist against a non-race

    Sure you can, Ramsey. You can be a dumbass.

    People who single out others for discrimination or abuse based on their physical characteristics are engaging in racism. If they are doing this by doing it to people who “look Muslim,” that’s racism. If they do it because they think that Muslims represent a foreign culture or nation, that’s racism as well. The mistake in conflating race and religion on the part of the racist doesn’t make him less racist.

    You can absolutely be a racist and a dumbass at the same time.

  79. You can absolutely be a racist and a dumbass at the same time.

    Or you can be either/or, like you.

  80. Yeah, why don’t we blame the non-fascist Hindus for the apes that appropriate their spiritual tradition.

    Yeah, why don’t we blame the non-fascist Christians for the apes that appropriate their spiritual tradition.

  81. BTW, Avi Lewis is the husband of “No Logo” author Naomi Klein.

    https://www.reason.com/news/show/28915.html

  82. I’m not a libertarian. I’m a liberal.

    Good lord, where did you get that idea?

    Maybe it’s ’cause you sound so much like a libertarian, especially when you’re right.

    …I think the libertarian tent’s big enough to include you, joe. I know I couldn’t drag you in kicking and screaming, but if a “libertarian” is somebody who’s concerned with ensuring the rights and liberties of everybody, then I don’t think there’s anything about joe that couldn’t fit under the label “libertarian”.

  83. “Booing a Hindu invocation to the divine is also, by extension, booing an oppressive caste system that makes the Jim Crow south look like libertopia.”

    nonono! didn’t you play Civ4?! Those are two different things:

    The Caste System is one of the Labor Civics, requires the Code of Laws technology, and allows unlimited conversion of spare citizens into merchants, scientists and artists.

    Hinduism falls under the Religon category and it is automatically adopted and spread by the first to discover Polytheism.

    Caste System doesn’t even affect religions; those which do are:
    Paganism
    Organized Religion
    Theocracy
    Pacifism
    and Free Religion

    Get it right!

  84. As far as Christian libertarians go, take a gander over at lewrockwell.com . They’ve got a ton of em…

  85. Don’t forget the Racist Redneck Asshats who would mockingly advertise steaks or burgers in the same town as a Hindu Temple- White america is the REAL TERRORIST.

  86. Some of the bullshit that gets posted at me is just so juvenile.

    “Yeah, like you!” What are you, kidding me?

  87. I know I’m not the only non-atheist here. Just in case anyone cares, Westerners are reportedly mistaken when they describe Hindus as polytheists. They’re actually monotheists.

  88. Lewis’ “American clich?s” are basically true (with a few important and unfortunate qualifications, of course).

    At the same time, Hirsi Ali fails to distinguish Islam from Islamism (like Christianity versus Christianism). I think she’s still running away from Islam, just as I think George Carlin is still running away from his Catholic upbringing by doing his embittered atheist shtick. In both cases, the bitterness is understandable in context. But it can distort civic reasoning.

  89. Anybody see Jesus Camp?

    LOL.

  90. Sam-hec,

    Yeah, but if you go to theocracy before you’ve even converted to a religion it’s pretty weak.

  91. Joe,

    Honestly, if you can’t judge a person by the faith they profess, by what CAN you judge them?

  92. Bee | July 14, 2007, 4:22pm | #
    Booing a Hindu invocation to the divine is also, by extension, booing an oppressive caste system that makes the Jim Crow south look like libertopia.

    Huh. Hadn’t even gone there. I don’t suppose that was the motiviation of these particular protestors, however.

    Of course it wasn’t their intent, but it wasn’t coincidence that Hindus didn’t stop pushing their widows onto funeral pyres until the Christians arrived.

  93. “A British district officer, coming upon a scene of suttee, was told by the locals that in Hindu culture it was the custom to cremate a widow on her husband’s funeral pyre. He replied that in British culture it was the custom to hang chaps who did that sort of thing. There are many great things about India-curry, pyjamas, sitars, software engineers-but suttee was not one of them.”-Mark Steyn

  94. Hindus may have stopped pushing widows on funeral pyres, but things aren’t much better now. What a civilizing influence we’ve had!

  95. Christian Libertarians!

    Get yours here!

  96. What I don’t understand is why they’re still doing opening prayers at the beginning of a Senate session. The government is a secular institution that functions properly on rational decision-making, so there’s no reason why they need or should have any religious invocations in the building at all, even if their sole reason is to appease religionists. (The same goes for any religious displays on or inside government property)

  97. joe | July 14, 2007, 5:05pm | #
    Muslims not a race, BTW, can’t be racist against a non-race

    Sure you can, Ramsey. You can be a dumbass.

    People who single out others for discrimination or abuse based on their physical characteristics are engaging in racism. If they are doing this by doing it to people who “look Muslim,” that’s racism. If they do it because they think that Muslims represent a foreign culture or nation, that’s racism as well. The mistake in conflating race and religion on the part of the racist doesn’t make him less racist.

    You can absolutely be a racist and a dumbass at the same time.

    Now, alongside your childish name calling, there are so many things wrong with this statement that I barely know where to begin

    A North African Muslim does not look like an Asian Muslim, who does not look like a White Muslim, who does not look like an Eastern European Muslim. I realize this is some complicated shit, so you might need to reread that. The rest of us can wait for you to finish, I realize you have problems seeing through the angry spittle you splattered on your mom’s computer screen.

    The point of the above is that Muslim=/Arab dude with a beard.

    Now, try to keep up here, cause this is a little tricky. If a person is discriminated against because he looks Arabic, that is racist. If he is discriminated against because he chooses to pray to the east 5 times a day and does not worship the same sky-friend as you, then that is not racist. That is another thing entirely. Yes it as bad as racism, but that does not make the person reflecting the view racist.

    Now, I hope that you took your meds, joe, and managed to stay focused this long, cause I really want to help. Calling people a dumbass because they do not agree with your made-up definition of a word is insulting behavior. It is almost as insulting as insinuating that they behave in certain manners because of the racial characteristics handed them by their ancestors. It is in fact the behavior of a mouth-breathing crotch stain that should have been swallowed by its mother. I wouldn’t expect a microcephaly sufferer like yourself to understand without being told, but insulting people over the internet is not a great way to make friends, and just might get some insults passed back your way. In fact, if I wasn’t such a nice guy I might find myself insinuating that your lackluster intellect and casual disregard for rational thinking was the product of some genetic disorder, perhaps caused be incest or other inbreeding, rather than a general lack of manners. I am sure if you keep your discourse slightly more civil you will find that others will return the favor. Just something to keep in mind.

  98. I would just like to say that i had just put together a damned good post on subtlety and that in the striving for certainty in all things so much is lost and that when i tried to post it vanished into the ether…

    FUCK IT.

  99. Who exactly were the churlish hecklers? Were they in the visitors gallery, or were they congresscrittes?

    -jcr

  100. Interesting how little it takes for one to be a racist these days. This all started off by my thinking that as far as religious fundamentalist reactions go these days, what happened in the Capitol was very tame. Very lame, but very tame.
    This stands, of course, in comparison to what those OTHER religious fundamentalists (who won’t be named because apparently that is racist, and really they could be anybody in general why are you singling them out in particular just because it is virutally always them) are up to every day in a very big very public way. I mean, why would I even think about that? Must be racism. Because I’m totally cool with white religious fundamentalists who do that sort of thing. Founding member of the Eric Rudolph fan club right here.
    Oh, and I’m totally a racist for thinking that Muslim fundamentalists sure get up to a lot of bombings in Iraq, Lebanon, Israel, Thailand, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Europe, etc. Because Tamils do it too, in Sri Lanka (and by the way, Tamils have brown skin so Cesar must be a racist for mentioning that they suicide bomb). And maybe some other people even did it before the Muslims. So that again somehow makes me a racist for noticing that pretty much every day Muslims use suicide attacks to intentionally target people whose major crime seems to be trying to live a normal life. Or drawing a picture they don’t like. Or writing some words they don’t like. We have to pretend that doesn’t happen, or we are racists.
    Joe, when Donahue, Roberston, and company protest things like the Last Temptation of Christ, do you support them? If not, does that make you an anti-white anti-Christian racist? If instead of marching around with signs, they stabbed their note of protest through Scorsese’s heart ala Theo Van Gogh, is that something you’d feel honor bound not to ever mention, in the name of sensitivity? If instead of trying to get theatres not to run the film, they committed suicide bombings at showings of Last Temptation, does the fact that suicide bombings have been done before by others mean that this somehow doesn’t count, or shouldn’t be thought of as something they do? Now imagine they did this constantly. For decades. With almost no Christian voices opposing them, and most either silent or making excuses about how Christianity is so put-upon that some feel they must react this way. You’re going to tell me you wouldn’t think about that culture’s reaction to something which they could potentially dislike? Is that really something you’d feel is off limits to mention? Or is it something you’d bring up every time some christian fundies started to make threats over, say, the teaching of evolution? Because I’ll tell you what: if christian extremists start blowing up schools that teach evolution, I’m going to start saying “Shit, watch out for those christian extremists”. And I won’t feel bad about it. That’s all we’re talking about here.

    One more thing. This is my original post:

    “Yeah I’d have to say that was pretty minor, as far as religious fundamentalism goes these days. Sure, those people were jackasses, but the Capitol is still standing and the Hindu priest still has a head on his shoulders. I’m betting Christian fundamentalists will not launch suicide attacks on Hindu temples around the United States in response.”

    To that, you responded that you are “Sick and tired of people slandering Muslims”. I’m looking real hard, and I don’t see slander against Muslims anywhere in that post. I did mention that Christian fundies probably won’t do any suicide attacks. Wait, did you see suicide attacks and immediately think of Muslims, because Muslims are committing a hell of a lot of suicide attacks? RACIST!

  101. If he is discriminated against because he chooses to pray to the east 5 times a day and does not worship the same sky-friend as you, then that is not racist.

    Semantics. It’s certainly bigotry. Are you saying it can somehow be more easily justified than ‘genetically’ oriented bigotry? You dont really make that next step.

    I for one will not be satisfied until they let the Uni?o do Vegetal give all of congress whopping doses of DHT and open their third eye to the oneness of all things. Or at least fuck them up so hard that they actually say what they mean for one day, rather than what they think people want to hear.

  102. to be clear(er), I was not joining in any chorus of racism-accusation, just pointing that a particular defence being offered was kind of thin

    blaming islam for suicide bombings is sorta tenuous. The fact that such brutal and callous means are used by islamist fanatics is certainly unique, but it’s not so much a product of islam as the nature of the assymetrical conflicts these fanatical elements have with their perceived opposition. Most suicide bombings over the last few years have killed more muslims than anyone else, so it’s hard to pin the tactic on some religious difference between whole religions, per se, versus ‘fanatics against pluralism’ in general, especially within their own (muslim) communities

    see recent issues in pakistan
    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/07/15/world/asia/15attack.html

  103. are the server squirrels up yet?

  104. must have been the content of my post.

  105. Blaming a philosophy for the repeated actions of it’s adherents who commit atrocities in it’s name based on the plain reading of that philosophy is not bigotry, and it certainly is not racist as many leftists like to accuse.

    It is rational judgment of what people say and do, regardless of whatever else they may be, based on empirical evidence.

    This is true in the case of fascism/fascist.
    This is true in the case of communism/communist.
    This is true in the case of racism/racist.

    Why should it be anything else just because the ‘ism/ist’ in question has been labeled a religion?

    islamism/islamist or christianism/christianist.

    Same Old Stuff, Different Deity.

    If the plain text of your philosophy compels you to commit atrocities, kill innocents, enslave others or even yourself, whether your god is a political god like hitler, marx, stalin, mao, or a scientific god like galton, or a mythical god, like allah, ganesh, gaia, kokopelli, yahweh, noweh or weh, then condemnation of your philosophy is not bigotry.

    It is rational truth.

  106. change one little word…

  107. Tom,

    if the plain text of your philosophy compels you to commit atrocities…

    Of course. But the plain text of the Koran has been around for quite a while, and the percentage of atrocities commited in islams name hasnt over history been particularly different compared to other religions. It’s a product of recent history and the unique situation of the middle east.

    This is not apologism for suicide bombing. Its a call to at least try to provide clarity between the broad practice of islam, contrasted to the actions of a psychotic few who are in truth insurgent political activists, not characteristic of the religion in general.

    If you want to point fingers at isms, secular ‘baathism’ was pretty fucking brutal as well. The nature of the beast has more to do with political issues than theology.

  108. one last thing,

    its a rational truth

    Do you mean a rational argument?

    I thought truth was the stuff that requires ‘faith’. Saying your logical approach is unassailable because it is self evidently true is anti-rational. There are many entirely rational ways to reach totally different conclusions. They are superior to each other based less on their element of pure reason than they are the actual usefulness of application

  109. tomWright,

    When it comes to the Qu’ran (as for the Bible) one can find exactly what one wants to find there. Now I’m not saying that it is impossible to understand the text as it was generally understood by folks in the 7th century, but that is not generally the way that adherants of any religious text deal with the text itself.

  110. I would just like to say that i had just put together a damned good post on subtlety…

    Yeah, the whole problem about criticising someone for their lack of subtlety, as I was telling a colleague from Scotland who whined about what he thought of as naive American crudity, is that you can’t deliver it with the proper je ne sais quoi.

    Nobody gets my jokes.

  111. coincidence that Hindus didn’t stop pushing their widows onto funeral pyres

    They stopped? When?

  112. I personally feel that all of this enmity between religions/creeds/breeds etc, is the fault of the Negro presence in America.

  113. If the Christian viewpoint is so self evident and true, why on Earth do they have to shut other viewpoints down?

  114. Playing “find horrors done in the name of religion” is a fun game that can be played by all, but it doesn’t really do us any good. Humanity is a crazy, messed up group of animals that will find almost any reason to impose their will on each other. Personally, I think we’d all be better off without religion, but I have a sneaking suspicion that we’d find some other reason to kill each other (cf. Communism).

  115. Saying your logical approach is unassailable because it is self evidently true is anti-rational. There are many entirely rational ways to reach totally different conclusions. They are superior to each other based less on their element of pure reason than they are the actual usefulness of application

    Spoken like a true Chicago School adherent!

  116. So, since I guess this is the weekend open thread? some good news and bad news.

    Dr. Hurwitz was found guilty, BUT instead of the maximum of life, or the 25 years originally, his new sentence is “only” 57 months (4 years and 3 months), and according to http://stopthedrugwar.org/chronicle_blog/2007/jul/14/hurwitz_receives_lesser_sentence he could be out in 17 mo.

    Yeah, it sucks, but coulda been a hellofalot worse.

  117. Dave, please go read Dying to Win by Robert Pape. It discusses the reasons why various groups engage in suicide bombing, be they Muslim or not.

  118. Gilmore, I am wondering if you read the sentence immediately after the one quoted in which I stated that religious bigotry is equally as bad as racial bigotry? GFT “Yes, it is as bad as racism.”

    I think that we are arguing the same side here, and you stopped reading a mite too early.

  119. Heres an excerpt from Pape’s book

    Beneath the religious rhetoric with which [such terror] is perpetrated, it occurs largely in the service of secular aims. Suicide terrorism is mainly a response to foreign occupation rather than a product of Islamic fundamentalism.

  120. And I would like to hear Joe answer my question. Muslims were not mentioned in my original post. The potential of Christian fundamentalists to suicide bomb was. Yet somehow joe linked suicide bombing to Muslims. In fact, I think he was the first in the thread to make that connection. How does he explain his racism?

  121. “Suicide terrorism is mainly a response to foreign occupation rather than a product of Islamic fundamentalism.”

    Just like those Pakistanis who blew up those …uh…Pakistanis. Foreign occupation or religious fundamentalism?

  122. Pape did a study of all suicide bombings from 1983 to 2003, and 95% of the time the bombing was done in order to compel modern democracies to withdraw occupying forces from their territory.

  123. Well I think you’re on to something there. But as we get farther along, it looks like suicide bombings are not so much about thwarting foreign democracies as about thwarting deomocracy period. Take Lebanon, Pakistan, and Iraq as examples.

  124. Pakistan is not a democracy, its an authoritarian military dictatorship.

  125. “about thwarting foreign democracies as about thwarting deomocracy period. Take Lebanon, Pakistan, and Iraq as examples.”

    There may be a point in there, but including Pakistan doesn’t fit the argument.

  126. I amend that comment with regards to Pakistan. Let’s just say they’re trying to thwart anything short of a Taliban state.

  127. Dave–

    I would venture to guess the vast majority of the other 5% of suicide bombings between 1983 and 2003 had to do with sectarian politics in confessional states. Lebanon is a good example of that, as is Pakistan.

    India, a truly secular country and a real democracy has one of the largest Muslim populations in the world. Yet, there have been few suicide bombings among them.

  128. I took my family to Ruby Tuesday’s last nite and we parked near a car covered with Notre Dame stickers. It also had a sticker that read “One Nation Under God, as the Founders Wanted” that pictured Old Glory beside the Virgin Mary. It struck me that these folks had no knowledge that several early states had anti-Catholic laws on the books. I wonder if they would want to go back to “how the Founders wanted” it on those grounds…

  129. Fundies for the most part are truly ignorant or completely misled about the founding of the USA.

    Wish we could set the record straight but they wont listen and dont want to know.

    Our founders were of many differing opinions from atheism to christian evangelism, and lots in between.

    They quite wisely decided the best way to deal with that was to keep matters of religion with the people and not the government.

  130. Cesar

    The problems you are referring to are not problems inherent in “parliamentary” systems but rather a result of “Party List” Proportional Representation systems which are widespread in continental Europe. Britain, Canada and Australia, among others, do not have these problems.

    The problem with parliamentary systems in those countries is that a relatively small faction of the ruling party or coalition can ram legislation through with little opposition.

    Also witness the fact that Tony Blair was able to claim a “mandate” in spite of having only about 37 percent of the popular vote. Part of that is a result of multi-party elections with a “first-past-the-post” counting method. With this MPs can get seats with quite small pluralities. The Australians handle this with Preferential or “instant runoff” voting for the Federal House of Representatives.

    If FDR had been a PM in a parliamentary system we would have gotten the New Deal a lot harder and deeper than we did. While that thought might make New Deal nostalgics happy It is well to remember what GWB would be capable of with Prime Ministerial powers.

  131. As a Christian, that display just embarrasses me. The proper response for the Christian is to witness personally to the Hindu, because that is the most effective way of changing the Hindu’s mind. This kind of emotional, public display is purely for self-aggrandizement, which is not typically one of Jesus’ teachings–“the meek shall inherit the Earth; oh, and also the bigmouthed crybabies, they’ll get a piece as well”.

    That Hindu accepts the supernatural–that puts them way ahead of, say, Christopher Hitchens. I bet Shouting Christian Man isn’t going to go interrupt a Hitchens speech to decry his neocon propaganda as heresy.

  132. you stopped reading a mite too early.

    Yeah. That happens.

    But there was also some vituperative fat on there worth overlooking. 🙂

  133. When it comes to the Qu’ran (as for the Bible) one can find exactly what one wants to find there. Now I’m not saying that it is impossible to understand the text as it was generally understood by folks in the 7th century, but that is not generally the way that adherants of any religious text deal with the text itself.

    It’s interesting- I’m in the middle of reading “Discovery of Freedom” by Rose Wilder Lane. She speaks very well of Mohammed and older Islamic civilization. It’s amusing to read in light of recent history, as you don’t often hear libertarian praise for Islam.

    Her basic premise regarding religion was that the God of Judaism, Jesus, and Mohammed all “taught the truth, that men are free,” but people have ignored this, perverted it, and insisted, with only rare exceptions, on being ruled by “the false pagan God of Authority.”

  134. All racism is bigotry, but not all bigotry is racism. (You’d think that would be self-evident, but apparently not.)

  135. That Hindu accepts the supernatural–that puts them way ahead of, say, Christopher Hitchens.

    But ultimately, God is going to send them both to everlasting torture, isn’t he?

  136. But ultimately, God is going to send them both to everlasting torture, isn’t he?

    Not if they REPENT! REPENT! REPENT! I’m just suggesting you’ve got a shorter row to hoe with a damned pagan Hindu than you do with a mouthy, know-it-all British atheist.

    (Sorry, ex-British.)

  137. It actually doesn’t matter AT ALL what religions the Founders believed in. Can you guess why?

    That’s right! Because we have the Constitution! Now, what does the Constitution say about religion…hmmm…not much…oh wait!

    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof..

    Wait, that’s it? Huh.. ok, well, that doesn’t tell us much at all. Fucking Founders.

  138. That Hindu accepts the supernatural–that puts them way ahead of, say, Christopher Hitchens.

    That’s not fair. Believing in the supernatural and Christopher Hitchens are BOTH stupid.

  139. So where’s that Ali/Frazier interview, then?

  140. Her basic premise regarding religion was that the God of Judaism, Jesus, and Mohammed all “taught the truth, that men are free,”

    She obviously didn’t bother to actually READ the Bible or the Qu’ran.

  141. She obviously didn’t bother to actually READ the Bible or the Qu’ran.

    It did cross my mind as I was reading that she was cherry picking. What I do like about it is that she lays out a good case for a very libertarian Christianity (or Islam). She might be cherry picking, but then again so does anyone else. It’s just refreshing to see it done in the service of good instead of evil.

  142. God damned Sri Lankans.

    I’ve had it with Malaria. It is time to declare war on Malaria.

    We need to send in the Green Berets, Force Recon, 2nd Marine Division, and a whole pile of close air support.

    Those god damn Malarians have gone too fargin’ far this time.

    [shakes fist and stomps out of the room]

  143. Ramsey – joe, I don’t think anyway, was not calling you a dumbass. He was just saying that one could be a racist and a dumbass.

    As to whether Hinduism is mono- or poly-theistic: there is a question as to whether Christianity is mono- or poly-theistic, considering that Christians believe in this God-Jesus-Holy Spirit thing. The orthodox Christians (like the Byzantines) did not agree with this polytheistic vision.

  144. there is a question as to whether Christianity is mono- or poly-theistic, considering that Christians believe in this God-Jesus-Holy Spirit thing.

    Actually, the the saints in Catholicism serve pretty much the same role that the multiple gods do in Hinduism.

  145. If they do it because they think that Muslims represent a foreign culture or nation, that’s racism as well.

    By this standard, the anti-Christians here at H&R are racists.

  146. JKP,

    Honestly, if you can’t judge a person by the faith they profess, by what CAN you judge them?

    Their behavior? The entirety of the beliefs they profess, rather than just the theology?

    Anyway, making judgements about a person’s character and decency based on their religious tradition and its scriptures seems unwise. Am I to judge Russ Feingold based on Leviticus?

  147. Ramsey,

    Don’t ever lecture me on being smart enough to follow your juvenile thought process. It’s really just a self-stroking bit of ego-boosting at the best of times, but when you’re employ on someone who quite obviously hasn’t missed any point, it just looks like you’re trying too hard.

    What part of “you can be a dumbass” are you misunderstanding? Yes, assuming that you can tell someone’s religion by their appearance is dumb. Do you know what sort of person would do that? Here’s a hint – I referred to that type of person in this very paragraphy.

    Really, how much time did you just use explaining to me that the people I called dumbasses are using faulty reasoning?

    If he is discriminated against because he chooses to pray to the east 5 times a day and does not worship the same sky-friend as you, then that is not racist. That is another thing entirely. Yes it as bad as racism, but that does not make the person reflecting the view racist.

    I’m really not terribly interested in a semantic argument designed to make bigots feel that their bigotry is a of a more elevated sort.

    As for losing your friendship, I think I’ll get over it; it’s not as though you bring a great deal to the table anyway.

  148. She obviously didn’t bother to actually READ the Bible or the Qu’ran.

    A basic pillar of the whole Judeo-Christian world view is that humans have free will. Probably the source of the concept of liberty that you hear so much about around here. No cherry picking required. Aquinas and then Milton both emphasized the free will theme, putting it in the forefront for the Christian thinkers around the time the US was being conceived.

  149. No, Dave, once again, and I hope you can get it this time:

    You are not a racist for condemning Muslim fanatics for committing acts of violence in far-off countries. You are a racist for assuming things about American Muslims because of the acts committed by very different people in far-off countries.

    Yeah, you keep dodging that point. Yeah, it’s really obvious that you’re doing so.

    Joe, when Donahue, Roberston, and company protest things like the Last Temptation of Christ, do you support them? If not, does that make you an anti-white anti-Christian racist?

    Nope. And, once again, in the hope that you won’t decide to use your agonizing gymnastics to miss the point: that wouldn’t make me a racist. However, if I began accusing ordinary people on my block of being movie-protesting, theocratic cretins because they go to Christian churches, because of what I’ve seen Pat Robertson and his band of merry lunatics do, that would make me a bigot.

  150. Oh please, Dave. The “you’re a racist for noticing my racism” card is something the defeated throw over their shoulder as they retreat.

    You pretty effectively outed yourself as a Muslim-bashing racist in your subsequent posts. Your meaning was perfectly clear, and you later explicated on exactly what you meant with your raving about Muslims being suicide bombers.

    pwned, bee-atch. Like I said, go sell your bigotry as RedState.

  151. All racism is bigotry, but not all bigotry is racism. (You’d think that would be self-evident, but apparently not.)

    So “racist bigot” is not pleonastic, but “bigoted racist” is?

    And here I thought they were both tautological.

    Race = arbitrary grouping of people based on subjective criteria.

    Religion can serve as a criteria for grouping people into a racial category (c.f., antisemitism). When this is done, anti-religious bigotry can properly be called “racism.”

    To distinguish meaningfully between racism and other forms of bigotry requires that you believe race categories have more objective reality than they do, imho.

    http://raceandgenomics.ssrc.org/

  152. “So if someone is leading a prayer in a Christian church, and secretly in his heart is intending the Muslim God instead of the Christian God when he says “God”, could he secretly get a Christian congregation to pray to Allah?”

    There isn’t a choice between a Muslim God and a Christian God — it’s not a marketplace. We all have the same God — the squabbling is about which denomination has the least faulty view of His (or Her) nature.

  153. Wow joe, way to dodge every argument thrown your way. You were in fact the first one to bring any Muslim at all into this debate, just like Dave stated, if you look up there is a written record of it. In fact, this whole thread, up until your angry ranting began, was about a group of Christians booing a Hindi.

    Now, I realize that I may have come across a little harshly earlier (vituperative fat is a good description), but your subsequent posts do very little to dispel the image of anger and poor manners that your earlier postings formed. I need to search for the blocking functionality to ignore your future posts. You immediately resort to name calling and circular logic, and dismiss any correction as “semantics.” This is not the work of an intelligent person or a skilled debater. Semantics are important, since words are how we communicate ideas, so try to use the right words. Trotting out the racist card every time you mean bigot demeans the word racist.

  154. All of your arguments were based on the flawed proposition I already pwned.

    And no, you were the first person to bring up Muslims – as you confimed the clear meaning of your “suicide bombers” comment in subsquent comments – and your attempts to crawfish away from it now are just pathetic.

    Here’s a hint for next time – if you want people to believe that you weren’t referring to Muslims when you talked about religions groups engaging in suicide bombings, don’t follow it up with a half dozens posts about how Muslims are the ones engaged in all the suicide bombings.

    Anyways, I could give damn about your feelings about me. It’s been nice pwning you.

  155. Sorry, no Dave here, I am another cat entirely. I am the one that said can’t be racist against a religion. Try to pay attention, please?

  156. http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?artid=1275602

    A nice review of genetics and race in science.

    http://www.geocities.com/ru00ru00/racismhistory/18thcent.html

    A nice set of historical quotes.
    From George Washington,

    -1779 George Washington (1732-1799) first American president; soldier, surveyor, farmer.

    “They (the Jews) work more effectively against us than the enemy’s armies. They are a hundred times more dangerous to our liberties and the great cause we are engaged in. It is much to be lamented that each state, long ago, has not hunted them down as pests to society and the greatest enemies we have to the happiness of America.” [Maxims of George Washington by A.A. Appleton & Co. ]

    Is this a racist statement?

  157. re: George “the joos” Washington

    Yes. But altogether unsurprising given the world these guys lived in. Nobody liked financiers. Still dont. There are a few on here that think israel is still the puppetmaster of the world. I think they’re mostly hoist in their own petard to be honest.

  158. Well, as retarded as it may be to continue this:

    “Here’s a hint for next time – if you want people to believe that you weren’t referring to Muslims when you talked about religions groups engaging in suicide bombings, don’t follow it up with a half dozens posts about how Muslims are the ones engaged in all the suicide bombings.

    Anyways, I could give damn about your feelings about me. It’s been nice pwning you”

    My original post said that as far as RELIGIOUS FUNDAMENTALISM (that would be anybody’s religion) goes these days, ten seconds of shouting was really tame. I also suggested that there wouldn’t be any bombings or beheadings, which was one of those things that made it a lot tamer than what the aforementioned RELIGIOUS FUNDAMENTALISM gets up to these days. I never said shit about “American Muslims”, who you keep bringing up over and over. You find the post where I talk about American Muslims doing anything. You were the first to introduce Islam specifically into the thread, because when you heard acts of religious extremism being discussed (especially suicide bombings and beheadings), your mind went to Islam. Which, considering day to day reality, it probably should. You didn’t think of them because you’re a racist, you thought of them because they’re the ones who carry out those acts. I mean, who else would you realistically think of? Which pretty much proves your own mind stands on the other side of the argument you’re making. You then lashed out at the rest of us for thinking the same way.
    Well, most of the recent suicide bombings and beheadings I (and anyone reading this) can think of were done by Muslims. If saying that is racist, then it’s racist to say water is wet, the sky is blue, and grass is green. Noticing that Islamic extremists are violent is racist. That’s your argument. Ok, joe, I guess they’re not.

  159. Let me re-write my post, making the same point, in this way, and we’ll see if you still have a problem with it:

    What a bunch of losers. I really, really don’t like Christian fundamentalists trying to interfere with our government. But if this shouting incident were as bad as religious fundamentalism got in the world today, things would be much better. Things which are much worse than shouting are being done in the name of religious fundamentalism every day.

    I mean, you can’t argue with that, right?

  160. “They (the Jews) work more effectively against us than the enemy’s armies. They are a hundred times more dangerous to our liberties and the great cause we are engaged in. It is much to be lamented that each state, long ago, has not hunted them down as pests to society and the greatest enemies we have to the happiness of America.”

    According to Snopes, Washington didn’t say anything of the sort. Here’s the actual quote from Maxims of George Washington (which someone later bastardized into the above statement):

    This tribe of black gentry work more effectually against us, than the enemy’s arms. They are a hundred times more dangerous to our liberties, and the great cause we are engaged in. It is much to be lamented that each State, long ere this, has not hunted them down as pests to society, and the greatest enemies we have to the happiness of America.

    The kicker? Washington was talking about currency speculators, trying to take advantage of the conditions of the Revolutionary War.

    Snopes goes on to quote Washington when he really was talking about the Jews:

    The Citizens of the United States of America have a right to applaud themselves for giving to Mankind examples of an enlarged and liberal policy: a policy worthy of imitation. All possess alike liberty of conscience and immunities of citizenship. It is now no more that toleration is spoken of, as if it was by the indulgence of one class of people that another enjoyed the exercise of their inherent natural rights. For happily the Government of the United States, which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance, requires only that they who live under its protection, should demean themselves as good citizens.

    [ . . .]

    May the Children of the Stock of Abraham, who dwell in this land, continue to merit and enjoy the good will of the other Inhabitants; while every one shall sit under his own vine and fig tree, and there shall be none to make him afraid.

    I highly recommend checking Snopes whenever encountering shocking quotes purportedly uttered by famous people.

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