Cue Xenophobic Backlash to Free Obsession DVD…

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You'd think that after five years of war, most Americans would be sick and tired of scapegoating random Muslims. But just to prove the rest of us are talking out our asses about Europe and its Muslim-Anglo culture clashes, some idiots in Ohio had to instigate similar havoc:

Baboucarr Njie was preparing for his prayer session Friday night, Sept. 26, when he heard children in the Islamic Society of Greater Dayton coughing. Soon, Njie himself was overcome with fits of coughing and, like the rest of those in the building, headed for the doors.

"I would stay outside for a minute, then go back in, there were a lot of kids," Njie said. "My throat is still itchy, I need to get some milk."

Njie was one of several affected when a suspected chemical irritant was sprayed into the mosque at 26 Josie St., bringing Dayton police, fire and hazardous material personnel to the building at 9:48 p.m.

Someone "sprayed an irritant into the mosque," Dayton fire District Chief Vince Wiley said, noting that fire investigators believe it was a hand-held spray can.

According to fire dispatch communications, a child reported seeing two men with a white can spraying something into a window. That child was brought to the supervising firefighter at the scene.

Wiley would not discuss that report, but said the investigation has been turned over to police. Police were not commenting.

The 300 or so inside were celebrating the last 10 days of Ramadan with dinner and a prayer session, but the prayer session was interrupted so those suffering from tearing, coughing and shortness of breath could receive treatment.

I wonder, from a mediator's standpoint, which is the easier psychotic meme to disspell: xenophobia or fundamentalism? Also, I received a copy of this DVD with a magazine subscription–has any commenter watched it yet?

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  1. Those damn racists in the South . . . oh, this was in Ohio?

    Never mind.

  2. Mike, there’s no link to the DVD in question, but if it’s the same one I got last week I’ve been wondering if ti’s worth watching. It still sits on my TV stand, waiting.

  3. Oh, the blurb on the packaging suggests to me that it’s a piece of crap.

  4. Because I don’t really give a shit about this, I will tell a somewhat related story.

    In high school, I was in Advanced Chemistry and we were working with a cyanide complex one day. It was of course in the hood, but all of a sudden people near the hood, which was near the door to the hall, started coughing and choking. Everyone freaked and we ran outside (every classroom had a door to the outside), thinking whoever was working the hood had fucked up.

    It turned out that a small guy was being bullied just outside out door and maced his bully. Hilarious. The mace got pulled through the ventilation system and got the people near the door.

  5. Spraying chemical irritants into a building is a tactic most commonly used by Operation Rescue types.

  6. Maybe this was just a botched/aborted drug raid?

  7. I don’t understand what DVD’s have to do with this story.

  8. Oh noes, it’s those christo-fascist terrorists!

  9. Spraying chemical irritants into a building is a tactic most commonly used by Operation Rescue types.

    I googled “Operation Rescue” and “irritant” and didn’t find any instances of this, at least no prominent ones. When’s the last time they did it?

    And why were they performing abortions in a mosque anyway? Shouldn’t they do that in a sterile medical office?

  10. Oh noes, it’s those christo-fascist terrorists!

    What a bunch of pikers. No bombs? Not even a molotov cocktail? Just (in all likelihood) a can of Mace?

  11. Will someone please explain the DVD part of this story??

  12. I read the headline and thought, are they talking about Obsession – Radical Islam vs. West; you know, the dvd that lots of people got in the mail or news free and never watched.

  13. The video is “Obsession” an anti-Muslim screed that echoes half truths and lies. Meanwhile, few Christians/Jews parse the book of Joshua which celebrates the rape, plunder and pillaging of a dozen cities. Often all the men, women and children were all killed. Sometimes their gold and animals were looted, other times these were considered unworthy of booty.

    I’ve not found anything as flatly repugnant in the Quran. While there are bad people in all faiths, we should avoid attacking faiths, rather we should ask what guides each member of their faith. Do you support exceptionalism, or do you support the Golden Rule.

    The Golden Rule can be found as an essential element in every faith. Also in every faith we find people who hold to exceptionalism.

    Islam is the least centrally controlled of the three Monotheistic faiths. As such, it is less guilty of these abuses. Finally, we should not confuse cultural practices with practices inherent in the teachings of the faith.

  14. I read the headline and thought, are they talking about Obsession – Radical Islam vs. West; you know, the dvd that lots of people got in the mail or news free and never watched.

    That’s the one I was thinking of. It’s at home and I’d forgotten the name.

    I suspect mine will go the way of all those AOL discs I used to get. I find they’re good practice if you’re into shooting trap or clays.

    Five stand clays here, FWIW.

  15. i didn’t get a dvd… 🙁

    dammit i want some racism in the mail.

  16. “I read the headline and thought, are they talking about Obsession – Radical Islam vs. West; you know, the dvd that lots of people got in the mail or news free and never watched.”

    I saw that. It is actually a very good DVD. They begin by pointing out that most Muslims are good people bla bla bla Most Muslims do not Support terror bla bla bla they are only talking about the radicals etc. etc. etc.. They also end with Muslims speaking out against terror. So, I do not think that it was produced by actual anti-Muslim bigots.”

  17. Hey Riggs, why would you assume the attack wasn’t intercine? Skipped that class in J-School?

  18. btw, got it here in central Pennsylvania, directly mailed to houses here, not even with newspaper subscriptions. I was hoping it wasn’t the result of some ARI or Ron Paul list/group I subscribed to. popped it in watched 30 seconds -> fast-forward a few minutes -> skipped a couple chapters. then I thought to myself, isn’t this just a compilation of Fox News. but really, how offensive can something that is against RADICAL religion really be all that bad. I just don’t like the POLITICAL agenda behind the mailing so I’ll probably have my own screening around November 5th to add to try and suck any objectivity out of it.

  19. Scott, I take it you did not actually watch the film . . . .

  20. I guess I never got the DVD in question.
    I see nothing in this story to indicate the mosque incident is any kind of anti-Muslim “hate crime”, much less that there is any association with a missing hyperlink. Are there instructions for attacking Islamic religous services with chemical irritants on the DVD?

  21. If this is the movie we are talking about here is the URL:
    http://www.obsessionthemovie.com/

  22. “Are there instructions for attacking Islamic religous services with chemical irritants on the DVD?”
    only if you can find the easter egg on the disc

  23. Where are all the moderate Christians to condemn this attack? /snark

  24. While there are bad people in all faiths, we should avoid attacking faiths

    Umm…no. Religion is one of the greatest sources of misery, death, and conflict in the history of mankind. Attacking faiths is the right thing to do.

    “Ladies, I’m a pacifist. I PASS a FIST. Get it?”

  25. I got the DVD since apparently Virginia is a “swing” state now. It makes a great toy for my dog.

  26. Re DVD questions, click here.

    Re J School: By the time Columbia let me off the waiting list, I was having waaay too much fun to leave DC.

    Re moderate Christians: ‘Christian’ isn’t an ethnic group, and as far as I know, this incident wasn’t encouraged by the Pope, the Archbishop of Canterbury, or Joel Osteen.

  27. Mike, I was joking. Ok, where all the moderate Americans?????11one

  28. Some people assume that if you criticize the history of the Catholic Church you are an anti-Catholic bigot and if you criticize the history of Islam you are an anti-Muslim bigot.

  29. Mike Riggs: Here is a clue for you: MUSLIM IS NOT AN ETHNIC GROUP EITHER.

  30. Or “moderate westerners” since the DVD was ISLAM VERSUS THE WEST as if the world can be divided into some kind of cartoonish Popeye vs. Bluto match up.

  31. Where are all the moderate Christians to condemn this attack?

    SSeriously, shut the fuck up.

  32. BDB, it is RADICAL Islam vs. the West. That is a difference. I would also argue that Christian Identity movement stands against Western values.

  33. Spare me the black vs. white cartoonish horseshit, please.

  34. I know you’re probably looking for something to replace the Soviet Union as the Eternal Enemy, but medieval retards in caves are a poor opponent. I’d recommend China as a better substitute.

  35. This humble atheist just shakes his head in sad resignation.

    [Insert rant about the evils done throughout mankinds history in the name of “god” here.]

  36. BDB, in a cartoon you can be blown up and still live for the next episode. Not so in a real car bombing.

  37. Yeah, those damn car bombs going off on my street every day.

  38. I am also an atheist (ignostic really but I save that debate for another day). And i’ll tell you what, I agree that radical Christianity can be as deadly as radical Islam. The difference is that Europe (and thus North America) went through a period known as the Enlightenment. This period had a huge impact on Western theology. If you look at Christianity before the Enlightenment you will see a very brutal and deadly faith. Just as brutal as radical Islam.

  39. Due to your sarcasm I can assume you do not live in Israel.

  40. The worlds most brutal wars happened post-enlightenment. That’s a really horrible over-simplification.

  41. “Due to your sarcasm I can assume you do not live in Israel.”

    No, I don’t. Your point? Should I care about Israel?

  42. “The worlds most brutal wars happened post-enlightenment. That’s a really horrible over-simplification.”

    They were not motivated by religion.

  43. They sure as shit were carried about by “westerners”, though.

  44. Umm…no. Religion is one of the greatest sources of misery, death, and conflict in the history of mankind. Attacking faiths is the right thing to do.

    Sorry, not even close. The greatest source of misery, death and conflict is government. Sometimes governments user religion as an excuse for war, but it is nearly always governments who start them. When a hierarchical church is involved, iEven the Crusades were instigated by political

  45. “They sure as shit were carried about by “westerners”, though.”

    Your point? This is not an issue of cardinal directions.

  46. I wonder, from a mediator’s standpoint, which is the easier psychotic meme to disspell: xenophobia or fundamentalism?

    Speaking as a trained mediator who is increasingly close to an advanced degree in dispute resolution, they’re both a bitch to get rid of. Mostly because both are typically symptomatic of some deeper, structural problem. People turn to them because they don’t feel that they have control over their lives; the beliefs rationalize the lack while providing activities that focus the bigot in question on things they can do rather than things that remind them of their problems. In it’s benign form, that means praying 12 times a day and refusing to deviate in any way from a rigid set of rules. In the less benign form, that means launching attacks on the people perceived as being responsible for the out-of-control situation. The way you fix it is by creating opportunities for the bigot to get gainful and personally enriching employment while replacing his narrative with one that makes his problems his own responsibility rather than the end result of a massive conspiracy.

  47. Most death in the last century had to do with westerners killing other westerners, that’s my point.

    Muslims killing westerners? That’s a drop in the bucket, if that.

  48. Umm…no. Religion is one of the greatest sources of misery, death, and conflict in the history of mankind. Attacking faiths is the right thing to do.

    Sorry, not even close. The greatest source of misery, death and conflict is government. Sometimes governments use religion as an excuse for war, but it is nearly always governments who start them. Of course, sometimes the state is the church (or vice versa), but the multitudes killed by secular governments dwarfs the tiny few killed by non-state religions.

  49. “Most death in the last century had to do with westerners killing other westerners, that’s my point.

    Muslims killing westerners? That’s a drop in the bucket, if that.”

    And? Should not not care about murders by anti-black bigots because black on black crime also exists?

  50. i mean should we not care . . .

  51. Tell me, how many people have died in that all-important, all-consuming Arab-Israeli conflict over a period of sixty years?

  52. We shouldn’t make it the “transcend struggle of our time!!!!oen11”

  53. J sub,

    “humble athiest” seems to be an oxy-moron to me. No sir, I am not trying to ick a fight.

  54. Or Pick a fight

  55. “Tell me, how many people have died in that all-important, all-consuming Arab-Israeli conflict over a period of sixty years?”

    I could not find statistics for that entire period, but I did find statistics for last year, notable because it was lower than normal.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/jan/01/israelandthepalestinians.international

    But, what is your point?

  56. I’ve been an atheist since I was 10, and the b.s. about how Religion is one of the greatest sources of misery, death, and conflict in the history of mankind. Attacking faiths is the right thing to do. is pretty stupid. It’s the kind of shit I thought when I was like 12. Christianity is pretty fucking great, as far as religions go, and it’s central ethical tenets are the foundation of our society, including its secular humanist aspects.

    Islam is the least centrally controlled of the three Monotheistic faiths. As such, it is less guilty of these abuses.

    Hard to tell what this means, since there’s no antecedent for “these abuses”, but if you think Islam is currently the least problematic religion around you’re a fucking dolt.

    If you can’t find unpleasant things in the Koran, perhaps you’re not reading it? Just to cite an obvious example, the Al-Baqra sura calls Jews treacherous, hypocritical apes and pigs who should be slain whenever they’re caught. Nice citation of Old Testament atrocity, though, smarty-pants. Makin you look all learned and shit.

  57. Is it wrong to criticize a single murder and the motivation behind that single murder? Why are you so upset by this DVD? Have you actually watched it? I have.

  58. That there are so many bloody conflicts in this world that kill more people and get much less attention. I wonder why that is?

    Various civil wars in Latin America, for example, have killed many more people and destroyed much more property (and right in our backyard, too) but they don’t tend to get much in the spotlight.

  59. Still waiting for Joe to produce a link supporting the claim in his 9:49 AM post.

    Joe has a history of making “factual” statements, then when challenged to produce evidence backing up those statements to launch into personal attacks on the questioners, accusing them of wanting him to “do their homework for them.”

    LOLz.

  60. As far as conflicts go, the Arab-Israeli one is small potatoes. It’s ridiculous the amount of attention it gets.

  61. Despite the often demented speeches of Hugo Chavez and the Castro Bros., Latin America’s main “threat” is that some illegal agricultural products might be consumed in the United States. It is the very fact that these agricultural products are illegal in the Untied States that is the root cause of many of these problems.

  62. Hey, at least they’re fighting for a semi-rational reason (money).

  63. BDB, you still have not explained what bothers you about this DVD. Have you seen it? I have.

  64. “Hey, at least they’re fighting for a semi-rational reason (money).”

    Exactly!

  65. The blowing up of a “threat” that is border-line non-non-existent, especially compared with China or Russia. You know, actual nations with a scientific, economic, and industrial base along with actual armies, navies, and strategic nuclear weapons that can reach our shores.

    It’s like its 1900 in the UK, and you’re telling me the REAL threat isn’t Imperial Germany, but radical anarchists.

  66. Most death in the last century had to do with westerners killing other westerners, that’s my point.

    Try old age and disease you dumb fuck.
    If you mean violent death the Japs and Chi-coms weren’t exactly slackers.

  67. Christianity is pretty fucking great, as far as religions go, and it’s central ethical tenets are the foundation of our society, including its secular humanist aspects

    Bull-fucking-shit. The central ethical tenets of Christianity came from Western society’s general evolution, with all the Greek and Roman influences that implies.

    Religions are huge gangs. Like all gangs, they fight over turf, members, and money.

  68. If you mean violent death the Japs and Chi-coms weren’t exactly slackers.

    True. They were starting from a bigger population base, though.

    My point is (and you’ll be with me here I think, SIV) the deadliest things to come out of the last century were those post-Enlightenment, 100% western and secular ideologies of Communism and Fascism.

  69. They’re also very, very modern ideologies.

  70. Such fearmongering (and subsequently, warmongering) about Islam, exempli grata Daniel Pipes, Kenneth Timmerman (and that DVD) is so one-sided and slanted it’s not even funny. Sure, a lot of it’s true. But the light in which it’s presented and the lack of counterpoints make it clear that it’s nothing but agenda-driven. Israel is scared of Iran; neo-cons want to bomb Iran back into the stone age. Let’s scare as many Americans as possible into backing war. That’s what it boils down to.

    Most coverage is highly one-sided anyway. In the West, critics of Israel as well as the PC crowd (except some free-speech liberals in Europe) never, ever takes on the excesses of fundamentalist Islam or problems with mass immigration from Muslim countries in the Middle East and North Africa.

    A pox on all they damn houses.

  71. “The blowing up of a “threat” that is border-line non-non-existent, especially compared with China or Russia. You know, actual nations with a scientific, economic, and industrial base along with actual armies, navies, and strategic nuclear weapons that can reach our shores.”

    China and Russia want our money. They are largely earning it via trade. I happen to like my Lenovo Laptop and might even buy one in the future.

    “It’s like its 1900 in the UK, and you’re telling me the REAL threat isn’t Imperial Germany, but radical anarchists.”

    I am a radical anarchist (anarcho-capitalist) and, as far as the state is concerned I may very well be a bigger threat. No, I am not threatening them with violence. But the fact i do not recognize their moral authority.

  72. I was talking more about the left wing, nihilistic, property-destroying/bomb-throwing anarchists, not the intellectual anarcho-capitalists.

    People forget how many terrorist acts the former carried out at the turn of the century (They’re the closest historical parallel to radical Muslims).

    The Russians sent strategic nuclear bombers to Venezuela last week, and conducted joint military exercises with Chavez and promised “restore their position” in Cuba. Want a threat? There it is.

  73. Tonio,

    Here you go.

    http://books.google.com/books?id=1jEP8Ve4zwgC&pg=PA146&lpg=PA146&dq=chemical+irritant+anti-abortion&source=web&ots=g4yVafx9q1&sig=a10rUNiwcGT4JNgCcT6-wAzAsW0&hl=en&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=1&ct=result

    First link to come up when you google “chemical irritant anti-abortion.” You know how to use The Google, right?

    Please, tell us more about my history of making up facts.

  74. Those anarchists never did last as a threat, though, because they didn’t have any real ability to organize–just to destroy. Eventually, they destroyed themselves through in-fighting. The same thing will happen with groups like Al Qaeda.

  75. the “moderates” that dominate all the major religions are carrying the torch for faith against reason as a matter of conformity and tradition, the two worst reasons to do anything. and remember folks, FAITH is belief WITHOUT REASON. now with that said let everyone who wants to believe in invisible bearded men who like to kill their only son or spaghetti monsters or those who ascend to the sky via horseback do so at their own risk. but try and keep your FAITH far away from your stash of reason.

  76. LOLz.

    Do your own homework, dumbass.

  77. “Sure, a lot of it’s true. But the light in which it’s presented and the lack of counterpoints make it clear that it’s nothing but agenda-driven.”

    The “counterpoints” are endlessly made for them in the mainstream media. They don’t need counterpoints because they ARE the counterpoints.

    “In the West, critics of Israel as well as the PC crowd (except some free-speech liberals in Europe) never, ever takes on the excesses of fundamentalist Islam or problems with mass immigration from Muslim countries in the Middle East and North Africa.”

    See, there is balance. The beauty of free speech is that each person can make his or her own case and, unless you happen to be beheaded, you can respond to criticism of your case.

  78. Seriously, how does somebody manage not to know that chemical irritant attacks are a relatively common “direct action” tactic by anti-abortion groups?

  79. “Seriously, how does somebody manage not to know that chemical irritant attacks are a relatively common “direct action” tactic by anti-abortion groups?”

    My guess is he was pulling your chain.

  80. Most death in the last century had to do with westerners killing other westerners, that’s my point.

    If East Asia, particularly China, did not win the crown, it was a least competitive.

    And the soviet union, where most of the westerner deaths occurred, was the frontier of western civilization.

  81. “The Russians sent strategic nuclear bombers to Venezuela last week, and conducted joint military exercises with Chavez and promised “restore their position” in Cuba. Want a threat? There it is.”

    The fact that one threat may exist does not mean that another threat does not exist.

  82. Kolohe–

    The Chinese adopted Communism, a western ideology.

  83. I should add a western ideology very firmly rooted in the Enlightenment.

  84. “The fact that one threat may exist does not mean that another threat does not exist.”

    There’s nothing Russia would like better than for us to go on wild goose chases in the Middle East in the name of Israel for the next twenty y ears.

  85. Bull-fucking-shit. The central ethical tenets of Christianity came from Western society’s general evolution, with all the Greek and Roman influences that implies.

    “Western society’s general evolution”? Flesh this out a bit. Right now this point is either tautological or just pablum.

    I don’t really want to start a big debate about this, because I’m supposed to be getting work done, but there’s an obvious and very significant Hebraic element to Christian ethics that has little to do with Greece and Rome. Do you not think Western society would today be somewhat different if we were all Mithraic (to take an alternative Near Eastern myth system whose Roman and Persian elements lacked a Hebraic ‘covenant’ basis)?

    Religions are huge gangs. Like all gangs, they fight over turf, members, and money.

    Again, you are me at age 12. Religions establish and internalize an ethical system and a social order for their adherents. Sometimes (Christianity) this works out rather well. Sometimes (Islam), not so much. Obviously you can argue that one can keep the ethics and the values without keeping the myth system and the dogma, but I don’t really think humans are structured that way. The myth is what keeps everybody on board.

  86. “The Russians sent strategic nuclear bombers to Venezuela last week, and conducted joint military exercises with Chavez and promised “restore their position” in Cuba. Want a threat? There it is.”

    And as a said last week, this is an act full of sound and fury, signifying nothing. (It is however, not told by an idiot)

  87. Kolohe–

    The fact remains that’s a good deal more scary than the President of Iran running off at the mouth.


  88. The Chinese adopted Communism, a western ideology.

    Fair enough. But they and the Khmers weren’t westerners killing westerners.

  89. The fact remains that’s a good deal more scary than the President of Iran running off at the mouth.

    Concur

  90. “Those anarchists never did last as a threat, though, because they didn’t have any real ability to organize–just to destroy. Eventually, they destroyed themselves through in-fighting. The same thing will happen with groups like Al Qaeda.”

    The difference between a secular ideology and a faith-based ideology is that people who believe in a secular ideology may be persuaded through reason or at least give up based upon threat to life and limb. Not so with a faith. Since there is no way of communicating to loved ones after death they may never find out that the virgins are actually elderly Roman Catholic nuns.

  91. The people at the top don’t believe in the virgin stuff, only the street-level morons that actually carry out the attacks.

    The Iranian clerics had plenty of chances to martyr themselves under the Shah, and they declined to do so.

  92. “There’s nothing Russia would like better than for us to go on wild goose chases in the Middle East in the name of Israel for the next twenty years.”

    In the name of Israel? When did we ever do that?

  93. “The people at the top don’t believe in the virgin stuff, only the street-level morons that actually carry out the attacks.”

    The people at the top may have a more sophisticated theology but it is still a faith-based ideology.

  94. We haven’t, but you suggested I should be worried about car bombs because they go off in Israel occasionally (and even then, not often, at least in Israel proper). Why?

  95. The way you fix it is by creating opportunities for the bigot to get gainful and personally enriching employment while replacing his narrative with one that makes his problems his own responsibility rather than the end result of a massive conspiracy.

    That would all be fine, Shem, except that an awful lot of the Islamist militants, from OBL on down to the highjackers, don’t seem to have come from the downtrodden and oppressed, but rather from the relatively well off and privileged.

    I suspect that, like most forms of activism, Islamist activism is a luxury that you can’t afford if your days are taken up with providing for yourself and your family.

    Obviously, there are many exceptions out there, but just providing good jobs to religious nutbars seems to me to be pretty obviously not the solution.

  96. “That would all be fine, Shem, except that an awful lot of the Islamist militants, from OBL on down to the highjackers, don’t seem to have come from the downtrodden and oppressed, but rather from the relatively well off and privileged.”

    But they feel they are oppressed, by sharing a religion of people that are. You’re being to individualistic there.

  97. It’s the same reason “Ironic” is so concerned about car bombs in Israel even though he’s not an Israeli.

  98. the “moderates” that dominate all the major religions are carrying the torch for faith against reason as a matter of conformity and tradition, the two worst reasons to do anything. and remember folks, FAITH is belief WITHOUT REASON. now with that said let everyone who wants to believe in invisible bearded men who like to kill their only son or spaghetti monsters or those who ascend to the sky via horseback do so at their own risk. but try and keep your FAITH far away from your stash of reason.

    Reason only gets you so far. At some point I think humans have to make a kind of existential choice that virtue should trump reason, a choice that creates religion. Where those virtues come from is obviously important – typically from a culture-religion (and which are effectively the same to all but the theologian) and the virtues of some cultures are better than others.

    Faith isn’t just believing in ghosts and myths because you’re told to – though I know every atheist goes through a stage where they think so – it also involves humbling your desire to reason your way to what you want in the face of the (often unreasonable) demands of what is good. If we have to invent and internalize an All-Seeing Eye to keep in our brains and subrationally keep us in line, that’s no vice, because one can easily reason one’s way to just watching the baby drown rather than get one’s shoes wet. Most of the incredibly good people I’ve met are religious, and I don’t think that’s a coincidence.

    A rather interesting book is Pascal Boyer’s Religion Explained, which has a regrettably pompous title but does a great deal to sort out the cognitive psych and evolutionary benefits of religious tendencies. And I think religion comes out rather well from it, which may not have been the author’s intention.

    OK /defense of religion, as the thread has moved elsewhere.

  99. That would all be fine, Shem, except that an awful lot of the Islamist militants, from OBL on down to the highjackers, don’t seem to have come from the downtrodden and oppressed, but rather from the relatively well off and privileged.

    There will always be a radical frings. The question is whether they will be six guys acting on their own, or command the loyalty of thousands.

  100. Again, you are me at age 12.

    And you are me at age 6. Religion is for childlike minds.

    Religions establish and internalize an ethical system and a social order for their adherents.

    Yes, quite mindlessly.

    Faith isn’t just believing in ghosts and myths because you’re told to – though I know every atheist goes through a stage where they think so – it also involves humbling your desire to reason your way to what you want in the face of the (often unreasonable) demands of what is good

    Why don’t you just link to Kierkegaard and save yourself the typing?

  101. And you are me at age 6. Religion is for childlike minds.

    I’m not religious. Once you go atheist you don’t really go back, at least not in the “childlike” way. But I have a great deal of respect for God.

    mindlessly

    Great deal of human existence is mindless. Really not so bad. Not worth complete sentences.

    Why don’t you just link to Kierkegaard and save yourself the typing?

    Ah, learned fellow. Have you outsmarted Kierkegaard? Is he wrong on this point? It’s true his ‘leap of faith’ is much of what I’m saying, but I think that’s also a lot of common sense. And you’re Nietzsche or something? Forever exasperated with the mindless children and their fairy tales? Please.

  102. And you’re Nietzsche or something?

    More Friedrich than Soren. Just because he put some serious thought into faith doesn’t make him right.

  103. I have watched it.

    I am not a libertarian on foreign policy, but if I were I would be quite appalled at its level of propagandizing. As it is, I think it is a fairly accurate portrayal of jihad. I especially liked the woman whose father is/was involved in terrorist activities, when she was making fun of a typical American (and sometimes libertarian) response to terrorism: Oh, what could WE have done to make them so angry at us?

    The film showed a lot of Iranian propaganda that was interesting. However, toward the end it really laid on the Nazi/Islamofascism connection a little heavy. I do think there are connections and similarities, but the film was a little over-the-top in that regard, especially at the very end.

  104. First link to come up when you google “chemical irritant anti-abortion.” You know how to use The Google, right?

    My point was not that your statements were necessarily or easily falsifiable, but that you cop an attitude whenever anyone asks you for verification. The burden of proof falls on the person making the statement.

    Yes, this time you actually produced a link supporting your statement, which you have not ever done in the past AFAIK.

    Please, tell us more about my history of making up facts.

    I only claimed that you were less than helpful when called to support your statements, which is true.

  105. I didn’t watch it for the same reason I don’t watch Michael Moore “documentaries”, let me put it that way.

  106. Scott’s comments (and others here) are remarkably ignorant. You don’t have to be religious to see that there are certain, significant and powerful groups of Muslims today who believe that it is just and holy to kill kafir (non-Muslims). There are no such Christian and Jewish groups. That is not bigoted, that’s just reality.

    Perhaps your beliefs in this regard are merely manufactured in order to support your worldview. However, you cannot wish radical Islam out of existence through your desire to live in some isolationist fantasy-land.

  107. “We haven’t, but you suggested I should be worried about car bombs because they go off in Israel occasionally (and even then, not often, at least in Israel proper). Why?”

    Because the ideology that leads to this is not nation or even continent specific.

  108. “I didn’t watch it for the same reason I don’t watch Michael Moore “documentaries”, let me put it that way.”

    I certainly think Michael Moore is a piece of scat but if someone mailed me a free copy of Fahrenheit 9/11 I would watch it. At the very least so that I could knowledgably debunk it.

  109. “Because the ideology that leads to this is not nation or even continent specific.”

    Bullshit. Hamas is a nationalist movement. Fatah is nationalist, and secular to boot.

    Try to find anything from either of them that suggests they want to carry out terrorist attacks in the United States.

  110. “Bullshit. Hamas is a nationalist movement. Fatah is nationalist, and secular to boot.

    Try to find anything from either of them that suggests they want to carry out terrorist attacks in the United States.”

    Those are “political parties” not ideologies. Yes, political parties, they ran candidates in an election. Radical Islam is the ideology. Nationaism is also an ideology. The absurd concept of nationalism is, strangely enough, not nation-specific either. There are more than a few Americans who believe in the concept of a benevolent state.

  111. The fact remains Hamas and Fatah are not a threat to the United States. They have no interest in attacking the United States, or even carrying out any operations (except maybe non-violent ones like counterfiting) outside of Israel/Palestine.

  112. I never said anything about Hamas and Fatah until you brought them up. Why are you so “Obsessed” with Hamas and Fatah? I am talking about an ideology that many members happen to share.

  113. You brought up “car bombs in Israel” as a reason I should be scared. Hamas and Fatah are the ones who set off car bombs in Israel.

  114. You also said it doesn’t know a specific country.

    Well, many of the Islamist groups DO only know a specific country, and explicitly confine themselves to one. Al Qaeda is the only truly international one I can think of.

  115. International in ambition, rather. Hamas might launder their money in Switzerland but they won’t blow up buildings there.

  116. I know you’re probably looking for something to replace the Soviet Union as the Eternal Enemy, but medieval retards in caves are a poor opponent. I’d recommend China as a better substitute.

    Can’t do that! Picking a fight with your banker is a no-no!

  117. I hope the police catch the attacker soon.

  118. I got the DVD in question and watched it all the way through. I would call it even-handed, and I would consider myself not politically aligned with the various talking heads and bozos that constantly talk about the threat of “islamofascism” as our number one concern globally.

  119. “You brought up “car bombs in Israel” as a reason I should be scared. Hamas and Fatah are the ones who set off car bombs in Israel.”

    As an example of radical Islamic violence.

  120. “Well, many of the Islamist groups DO only know a specific country, and explicitly confine themselves to one. Al Qaeda is the only truly international one I can think of.”

    My concern is the ideology itself, not specific groups.

  121. The Obsession DVD can only very generously be called garbage.

    It’s a collection of lies, racist generalizations, straight-forward mistranslation of Arabic to fit the agenda of the directors, and a very malicious racist hatred towards anything Muslim, Arab or remotely opposed to the slaughter of children in Palestine.

  122. Hogan 12:23pm:

    I’m not religious. Once you go atheist you don’t really go back, at least not in the “childlike” way. But I have a great deal of respect for God.

    Wow. Just wow. That could be one of the greatest non-sequitors I have had the privelege to see in my lifetime. How can you respect a being you do not believe exists?

    However, I shall not bombast you. I shall gently chide you as I do my 10 yo daughter when she is in full whim-worship mode.

    Virtue cannot trump reason, as there IS no virtue without reason. Religion of any stripe is nothing more than a prime example of argument from authority.

    Christianity is pretty fucking great, as far as religions go, and it’s central ethical tenets are the foundation of our society, including its secular humanist aspects

    Christianity is pretty fucking MILD (now) as far as religions go, and it had to compromise with secular humanism during the Enlightenment
    if it were to exist in ANY form. Rational people were, for the first time in history, noting all the holes in the religion argument. Therefore, Christianity co-opted reason and individualism, as long as it wasn’t taken too far.

  123. Wow. Just wow. That could be one of the greatest non-sequitors I have had the privelege to see in my lifetime. How can you respect a being you do not believe exists?

    There’s a difference between believing in the mythological, universe-creating figure and respecting the Idea of Him that does a great deal to ease interpersonal human relationships by establishing a greater degree of trust between believers.

    Virtue cannot trump reason, as there IS no virtue without reason.

    I’m not convinced of this. Can you defend it somehow? Reason is just the set of tools we’ve evolved to make more reliably accurate predictions about reality. Occam’s Razor and consilience, et al… What it has eventually told us is that we are here to consume energy and fight decay long enough to replicate. Do it however you like, so long as you can get away with it. Or don’t. It’s all the same. Pure Reason (and forgive me if I don’t take the time to flesh this out well enough) can take you to the point where everything is binary code and if you exist it’s a 1 and if you don’t it’s a 0 and the same shit goes for possums and ticks and the AIDS virus. All are just up to the same shit. One is not more morally valuable than another unless you make some kind of existential choice that, say, Sentience Is Good, or Human Life Is Good, or, at the very least, I am good. And that choice is not reasonable. I know that many have tried to establish an ethical code based only on reason, but they all – whether utilitarianism or the categorical imperative – ultimately have to base themselves on an unreason. I know I am skipping over a lot and not doing justice to this argument, but I suspect I am right. Consider the conclusion of Socrates’ attempt to define virtue in the Meno: he reasons his way to the conclusion that knowledge of it is innate (and thus not available for rational scrutiny).

    Lots of things about human existence are subrational. Love, music, aesthetic appreciation, the experience of physical activity, awe, etc… As is becoming fairly clear with love at least, much of these experiences are manifestations of neurochemical feedback loops. Reason itself (or at least its mental parameters) probably are as well. (I recommend Michael Ruse’s Taking Darwin Seriously if you think that’s an interesting line of thinking.) An understanding of virtue and a commitment to a leveling, all-seeing, all-knowing Rule System is another, and it’s not surprising from a sociobiological standpoint that that would emerge in a creature as social as ours. Religion isn’t just an “argument from authority,” it’s Freud’s “Oceanic feeling” and an internalized rule system that is to some degree present in the physiologically normal human brain. It doesn’t emerge from reason, but neither do most of the important things about being a human. And no matter how much you may pride yourself on your Enlightened skepticism, I guarantee there are irrational drives, unexamined assumptions and magical thinking going on in your head too. Just not about the afterlife, perhaps.

    Christianity is pretty fucking MILD (now) as far as religions go, and it had to compromise with secular humanism during the Enlightenment if it were to exist in ANY form. Rational people were, for the first time in history, noting all the holes in the religion argument. Therefore, Christianity co-opted reason and individualism, as long as it wasn’t taken too far.

    Well I think Christianity “co-opted” reason and individualism not during the Enlightenment because “it had to to survive in ANY form,” but to a large extent as a part of the Reformation, which (for theological, not inductive, reasons) encouraged individual relationships with Scripture and doctrine. And I think you’re using “individualism” in a very sloppy way here – much of Scripture is focused on the individual, his essential nature, independence and rights. And to the extent that Christianity has presently absorbed “reason,” it doesn’t do so now to any greater extent than it did during the High Middle Ages under the scholastics. The Enlightenment didn’t create doubt “for the first time in history.”

    I understand that Christianity is pretty MILD now in comparison to some of its historical incarnations. That’s a good thing. The original point of my posting in this thread was to defend Christianity as we know it now from intellectually dishonest comparisons with Islam and, more broadly, the “all religions fucking suck they are all fascist idiot nonsense gangs god i hate them i hate them” argument.

    Basically I’m saying I would take a hypothetical Christian over a hypothetical secular atheist any day (and certainly over a hypothetical Muslim). They’re – in my experience – more trustworthy, selfless and kind (I should say even more – I certainly like my largely non-religious body of friends). Because really that’s the whole point of their God system. It doesn’t prove that their cosmology is true. But it’s ignorant to bash it, and I’m not convinced that the apotheosis of “Reason” can actually offer a better system for interpersonal cooperation and coexistence within the constraints of what human nature is really like.

    I would also submit that the origins of Mormonism are half extremely funny and half extremely sad and obviously nothing about the faith is true, but to a statistically significant extent Mormons are great people so who gives a shit? Seems like they’ve figured the important things out pretty well.

    Whew, sorry if that comes across as incoherent, it’s been a long day. But see how easy it is to discuss something without being unnecessarily condescen- aww shit I almost made it. I know I’m not right about everything I say, and there’s plenty to disagree with here, but if someone responds, please do so with more seriousness than “Reason good, religion bad.”

  124. I think that radicals are just as dangerous, wether it be Islam, Christianity, Atheist or whatever. To have a more peaceful society, all people need to keep open minds. However, I am not foolish, this is just an ideal, and really won’t ever happen.

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