More News From The Religion of Peace

Islam sure knows how to spread the love and every minute, of every day citizens of Islamic countires can feel just how much god loves them. Let’s see, the first person in the long line of people god loves especially and who got to personally experience both the Prophet Muhammad’s and also god’s love is Soheil Arabi, an Iranian man who has been sentenced to death for saying disparaging things about Muhammad.

Branch 75 of Tehran’s Criminal Court found Mr Arabi guilty of insulting the Prophet, or “sabb al-nabi”, on 30 August.

Article 262 of the Islamic Penal Code states insulting the Prophet carries a punishment of death, however, article 264 of the Penal Code says if a suspect claims to have said the insulting words in anger, in quoting someone, or by mistake, his death sentence will be converted to 74 lashes.

The anonymous source claims: “Unfortunately, despite this Article and the explanations provided, the judges issued the death sentence.

Just like Muhammed would do. And i don’t mean that tongue-in-cheek because Muhammad really did kill people for insulting him and god whose message he was carrying.

The second person at the receiving end of god’s oh so endless love as said in the Koran is a British-Iranian woman, who has been imprisoned in Iran for nearly three months, after attending a men’s volleyball match.

Ghoncheh Ghavami

Ghoncheh Ghavami: law student, charity worker, activist – imprisoned indefinitely for attending a men’s volleyball game.

Ghoncheh Ghavami has been held in Tehran’s notoriously tough Evin Prison since June 30 with no idea when she will be released.

After approximately 50 days in solitary, during which the family spoke to her just three times, they were allowed to see Miss Ghavami, once she was finally moved in with another cell mate. They have visited her four times in the last 80 days.

The infamous Evin prison, in North Tehran, known for detaining political prisoners and journalists, is one of the “most intimidating places” in the country according to Mr Ghavami.

The prison is notorious. Ghoncheh is in the worst part of it and has been interrogated repeatedly [without a lawyer being present]. It’s the worst place you can be. It’s like something you see in the movies. The psychological conditions are awful. I’ve only seen one photo of it but my parents visited her yesterday [Wednesday] and they are at breaking point,” Mr Ghavami said. “My mother had to leave the visitor’s room and vomited so many times outside that she nearly passed out […] My sister is very distressed as she has gained the impression from her interrogators that she may have to stay for a long time.

And finally, a group of six Iranians has been sentenced to six months in prison and 91 lashes for releasing a music video in which they dance along to Pharrell Williams’ hit song “Happy.”

The group became famous in May when their music video for the hit song circulated on YouTube, racking up more than 150,000 views before attracting the attention of Iranian authorities. It featured three men and three unveiled women singing and dancing along to the four minute song in the street and rooftops of Tehran, mimicking the style of Pharrell’s official video.

Authorities arrested the group for contravening Iran’s strict vulgarity laws, which prohibit public displays of dancing, and paraded the six on state television, forcing them to express remorse for their behavior.

The Islamic Republic condemned the video as a “vulgar clip which hurt public chastity” and in a trial on Wednesday sentenced the participants to a suspended sentence of six months in prison.

Pharrell Williams responded to Iran’s actions on his Twitter account in May, saying: “It’s beyond sad these kids were arrested for trying to spread happiness.”

But. let us all walk around pretending Islam is the religion of peace, misunderstood and that the horrible things that take place as a direct results of the things written in the Koran are not really true and happening but merely confined to a few lunatics on the fringe and extremists. This is apparently not Islam. ISIS is not Islam. All the horrible things happening in the name of Islam and by Muslims are not Islam and it is everyone else’s fault for misunderstanding and misrepresenting such a beautiful and peaceful religion. Even our President went on live TV saying “ISIS is not Islam.”

Collective denial of the horror that is Islam is only going to hurt people. This is a barbaric faith and an uncivilized religion. Executing non believers and those who insult a prophet? Beheading infidels like swine at a slaughter?

The instances here are about Iran and the reason I have chosen Iran today is because Iran is not an Arab nation, thus dispelling the myth that Islamic extremism is is something confined to Arabs and Arabic countires and because the kind of atrocities that take place in Iran do not get much, if any, international attention. Let’s face it, if it does not affect the US and our war mongering efforts, we couldn’t give a shit.

Secondly, people rarely think of Iran when they think Islamic extremism.

In reality. Iran is just as bad not because of extremists but because of Islam. Period. This is not the works of extremists, this is the reality of Islam. Iran is an Islamic country and this is what you get when you have an Islamic country.

The sad truth is that what we see here and what does make the news every now and then is only a tiny glimpse of what the young people of Iran have been experiencing since the Revolution of 1979, when Iran became an Islamic Republic Shithole. The Iranian government has so much blood on its hands that the atrocities committed by known genocidal regimes, such as Rwanda, pales in comparison to it. Iran has been committing internal genocide for decades, but they have not done on a mass scale, so it is just considered internal turmoil.

Over the past 35 years, millions of young people  – mostly women, especially anyone perceived as exhibiting any kind of Western likes and traits, including Western pop music and culture – have found a torturous demise in Iran’s prisons and “judicial” system, and I use the word judicial system here quite loosely as a kangaroo court where you are guilty until proven innocent isn’t much of a judicial system at all. It is more like a tribunal the likes of which one can expect to find in any totalitarian dictatorship.

All this is a result of Islam, and Islam only. Before the so-called Revolution (more like a Devolution) Iran, while having its problems, was still a country where existence was bearable; where you wouldn’t expect execution and indefinite imprisonment and lashes for dancing or talking to a man who wasn’t a relative.  Women could get an education, a real education, and did not have to wear the hijab. Whatever it was, however imperfect it was, it wasn’t the unbearable soul crushing cesspool it is today.

When I look at these young people who have been sentenced to receive a horrible punishment for dancing happily on the streets, I not only feel sadness but also revulsion. Revulsion at a religion that tells its followers that doing such things violates god’s laws. A system that condones the murder of a man because he insulted someone.

Sure, everyone should be free to believe what they want but I would say in this case the price is too high. Islam is truly evil and it needs to be done away with. No more excuses for it, no more apologies.

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  1. #1 by nikeyo on September 22, 2014 - 9:50 PM

    I don’t personally believe in eradication of any perspective. Only in removing its right to affect another human being. Believe what you will, but keep your hands to yourself. It’s a fairly elementary concept.

    As much as I despise religious perspectives, I can not take their minds from them. They are their own alone. I do wish they would engage humanity in mutual discourse and forward motion though.

    • #2 by popreflection on September 22, 2014 - 11:41 PM

      Would you say that racism is a problem? A bad thing? Would you agree that it is harmful? If so (and as a decent human being I would hope you do think so), then why do you think it should be any different with Islam and religion in general?

      I have written a lot on here about why an important part of atheist activism and movement atheism is and should be fighting and exposing religion. Religious people feel persecuted and their apologizers may say that they are being persecuted, but that is not persecuting them, it is calling them out on it. It is exposing religion for what it is the same way civil rights activists have exposed racism for what it was and continues to be. That full eradication may never be fully achieved is irrelevant with respect to whether we should strive toward that goal or not.

      The sad thing about religion is that it is not confined to peoples’ personal realm and four walls. That is especially the case when someone’s religion requires one to go out there and make faithful followers of the rest of the world and preach the word of their god. Religion is not a personal matter. I really don’t understand why people do not comprehend this. A religious person is going to have a hard time trying to keep their beliefs to themselves. That is just the reality of religion.

      While I do not advocate that we punish people or go after people for wanting to believe what they want, I think it is important to diligently call religion out on what it is, the harm it does, expose such harms and do everything we can to make sure it does not get to inject its dirty, little tendrils into every aspects of peoples’ lives. We need to do away with religion in the public sphere and on the political sphere – in schools, universities, hospitals, work places – everywhere – as well as take away the tax exempt status of religious organizations. No longer legislation and rules lobbied for and co drafted with religious people in mind.

      A humanist perspective requires that religion and religious people are no longer given any kind of special consideration and accommodation and standing – be it for something seemingly mundane such as printing In God We Trust on currency to actual real laws drafted as a direct result of religious doctrine. otherwise we will continue to remain a slave to the harm and superstitions coming from religion, That is especially the case with Islam that is an especially vile, violent and intolerable religion and a insult to the face of humanity and human beings everywhere.

      • #3 by nikeyo on September 22, 2014 - 11:54 PM

        I agree with everything you said.

        Removing voice, influence, status, violence, etc is different than eradication. Particularly, if harmless to none but themselves. It is that later that I would fight for, no matter how absurd the belief. Likewise, generalizations of people groups are neither healthy. Even if 75% are bat shit crazy and violent, that still leaves the 25%. Same with any percentage. Individuals are who we should deal with, as well as specific practices or issues. People groups, no. It only serves to marginalize those who do not fit the pattern and do no harm.

        • #4 by popreflection on September 23, 2014 - 12:58 AM

          When I said eradication, I meant eradicating from any kind of consideration and granting of certain privileges, exemptions and/or rights protecting their faith and the exercise thereof anywhere but in heir own minds and 4 walls. Islam is harmful, not just in theory or as practiced by “a few” or as interpreted, but just flat out based on the the things said in the Koran. Again, Islam and the Koran are not misunderstood.

          That there are people who aren’t doing bad things despite calling that faith their religion, is first of all irrelevant because those are not the people we are talking about then, are they? And secondly, those people are such not because there is anything good in Islam, but because they are not taking their religion seriously. I dont care if Islam and its followers are marginalized. They are hamrful and deserve to be. And i certainly do not care if religious people are marginalized. No one owes them and their garbage harmful and idiotic beliefs consideration. You wanna believe in the Easter Bunny as your personal messiah? Go for it, but do not ask that you be given special public accommodation.

          it is amazing how it is always religious people who fuck it up for everyone else – they have for thousands of years – and yet it is always those who want to substantially curtail their religious “rights” and who call them out on it who are being asked to be tolerant and accommodating. I am against religion because it is against me; because it is against decency and all the things a decent human being who is worth anything should care for. Religious people are not owed consideration anymore than members of a racist organization are. And i frankly find discussions that point out that “not everyone is like that” distracting and beside the point, because, well, if they are not, then we aint talking about them then. They can go sit still in a corner and worship their invisible friend while we work on those who do take it seriously.

          • #5 by nikeyo on September 23, 2014 - 2:09 PM

            All texts are interpretable. It’s their holy text and theirs to interpret. The Bible is likewise absolutely horrid, but the majority of Christians do not follow it’s suit. Even the literal bible bashers twist and contort it to fit their beliefs.

            There is nothing right in special public accommodations, but there is also nothing right in hatred and marginalization to extreme degrees despite the individual. Hatred is the same, whether it is towards a race, a sexual orientation, or a religion.

            I can see you are seething in a way that can not see reason at the moment. Been there. It’s not worth it, nor is it fair to good people. I’ll bow out from this discussion for now. But you are a good blogger and I do share your perspective, just not to the same degree.

        • #6 by popreflection on September 23, 2014 - 3:42 PM

          I am not angry and seething, I am contemptuous and, frankly, there is a lot of reasons to be contemptuous of religion and the intolerance, bigotry, hate and ignorance it spreads.

          Also, no one talked about hating religious people. I do not hate religious people. I have contempt for the ones who want to impose their beliefs on others and take away a person’s rights or not grant it to them because they do not adhere to what their religion states they ought to be (i.e. same sex marriage), but I do not hate them.

          And I feel kinda sorry for the rest – you know, the ones who worship a genocidal murderer and narcissistic sociopath as a loving god (remember, Christianity, Islam and Judaism all have their origiinas in the Old Testatment and, in fact, share those beliefs in their respective religions) and who walk around with a chastity belt of the mind thinking the universe was created for them and that some invisible sky god has a plan for them and that jesus works in their lives in many a splendid ways. That is kinda pathetic actually.

          But that is not hatred. I do not want those people hurt or shipped off to an island of their own. I dont want them harmed or their rights and choices taken away from them. I still respect their humanity and human dignity. Crtisizign someone’s religion does not mean you hate people.

          Again, I want to point out the example of the racist: would you call people who are anti KKK and Jim Crow laws and segregation, haters? Do you go out there and call their calls for justice and equality “hating” on people? hating on white supremacists? If not, then again, why do you make that exception with religious people? I believe this is now the third time i am drawing this analogy for you in order to help you understand just how out of line your proposition that one ought to respect religious people is.

          Lastly, I have never said anything positive about Christianity either. Just that these past few entries have focused on Islam. And more importantly, yes, that “It’s their holy text and theirs to interpret” is PRECISELY the issue. You cannot possibly argue that someone’s religious text is not up for criticism or scrutiny because it is their and can be interpreted as they want. That is absurd. If the way they interpet it causes harm, then I have every right to step in and say “you are full of shit”. For you to say such a thing tells me that you are not really aware of the garbage as written in the bible, koran and torrah. You make it sound like the things written in there weren’t explicit, and they are. Please educate yourself and actually try reading the Koran and Bible and the passages. there is no way to interpret them but the way they were written.

          The fact that you call criticism of the Bible, “Bible bashers” tell me that you have not truly understood their criticism. They are not bashers and haters and persecuters, they call it out on what it is. And even if they were bashing it, the Bible deserves nothing less.

          Again, I urge you to read the texts you so defend as merely misunderstood and misinterpreted by a few. Someone once told me that the best way to become an atheist is to read the Bible.

          Accusing someone who refuses to make room for things that are harmful as haters who are unreasonable is the typical retort of people who have nothing viable to offer. Frankly, at this point, I am not really sure what you expect out of me. What you think I need to say or do.

          • #7 by nikeyo on September 23, 2014 - 4:45 PM

            Not caring that people are marginalized is apathy at best. No, criticizing is not hating, everyone has that freedom. Telling someone what they believe because of your interpretation is wrong and taking away from the individual. They have a right to interpret and follow as they wish and not be told they are wrong, and actually still bigots or what have you.

            Since you keep returning to it: racisim is a perfect example. Legislate against their ability to cause harm. Not against their humanity. I make no exceptions, everyone deserves equality under the same banner of morality that considers the individual.

            I’m a Theology and Philosophy major. I know the ins and outs of holy texts as well as their various interpretations. I’ve read them in their original languages, cross preferences with surrounding religious texts and contexts. They are explicit, but there are worlds of ways to interpret. Obviously, I interpret one way or I would not have left Christianity. As much as I argue against some perspectives consistency, if they are living a good life it does no affect me.

            I sense this is just a huge misunderstanding. Cause I pretty much agree with you. I only caution against grouping and generalizations because it leads to marginalizing and ostracizing good people. I do it as well, not always clarifying that when I write I am addressing some sects, not all. Even if implied, it is easy for an argument to begin, like this, off of a lack of clarification. Too much vitriol gains nothing. We can fight for separation of church and state with more level headed paths. We can likewise fight cults and extremists without also attacking the good people who carry the same broad religious identity.

          • #8 by nikeyo on September 23, 2014 - 4:50 PM

            Stop by my blog sometime, we aren’t that different.

            I truly think this is just a huge hangup on semantics. I tend to get in the same arguments with people when I am arguing angrily over a religious issue. In the end, we agree, I would just be so disgusted that I start going off on people who are just trying to keep my aware that my arguments are ad hominem and addressing a specific issue, not the whole.

    • #9 by popreflection on September 23, 2014 - 6:41 PM

      Ok so this is gonna be long, so bear with me or read with breaks, whatever 🙂

      You said “Telling someone what they believe because of your interpretation is wrong and taking away from the individual. They have a right to interpret and follow as they wish and not be told they are wrong, and actually still bigots or what have you.”

      –> I disagree. And this is not how free speech (which I am sensing is what you are eluding to, works). yes, people have the right to believe and say whatever they want without being persecuted by the powers that be (in this case government) for having uttered their beliefs. But that is where it ends.

      I personally, for example, do not like what Westboro has to say. But the thing about free speech is that it goes both ways and that even bigots get to say what they want. In other words, I may not like what you say, but I will defend your right to say it. Now that does not mean what you say is then automatically barred from criticism, but you should still be able to say it without being fined or persecuted in any way.

      That is the essence of freedom of speech and that is just about where it ends for me in terms of respecting religious people. Beyond that, I have no moral obligation to NOT tell them they are wrong or in any shape criticize their faith, their beliefs and interpretation thereof. And doing so does not diminish their humanity.

      Secondly, I dont understand what arguments such as “not all religious people do this” are going to accomplish other than just derail conversation and work to minimize the entire topic. So even IF there are people who dont use religion to do and endorse bad things, there is still an overwhelming problem with the people who do; a vast majority who do. Reminding everyone that *some* people are totally innocent takes focus away from the people who were and are guilty of doing horrible things, who do play an active role in determining public policy and other peoples’ lives and futures based on their garbage beliefs.

      While it’s fair enough to say that not all Christians, for example, are child molesters and not all priests have abused children, that isnt really the point of the debate. No one is talking every single Catholic ever when they post an article or meme about a particular problem. It bothers me to no end to post an opinion on something I find problematic about religion only to have someone chime in that oh no, not all christians believe that. If they don’t believe that then I’m not talking about them, am I?

      That said, when it comes to issues like homosexuality, the Christian Bible is pretty clear on it. I mean, people can believe whatever they want to believe, but if they claim the “Good” Book as their source material for their religion, they are going to have to admit that they disagree with it, instead of denying it says that altogrther. I would be overjoyed if all Christians were supportive of the LGBT community and marriage equality. But it’s embedded in plenty of faiths that this is a sin and not acceptable behavior. So even if not all Christians are homophobic, the ones that founded their religion clearly were.

      After all, how DO you interpret something like this “I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Therefore strike off their heads and strike off every fingertip of them”” Koran 8-12

      Or “And the Jews say: Ezra is the son of Allah; and the Christians say: The Messiah is the son of Allah; these are the words of their mouths; they imitate the saying of those who disbelieved before; may Allah destroy them; how they are turned away!””- Koran 9:30

      Or “O Prophet! strive hard against the unbelievers and the hypocrites and be unyielding to them; and their abode is hell, and evil is the destination.” – Koran 9:73.

      I think it is plain what those things mean. So how can you NOT draw conclusions about something, anything – you dont even have to call it Islam, based on what you are reading? That is total denial. It is pretty obvious what those things are and mean and what they demand of their followers, so to say it isnt so but up for interpretation is simply not true. That is like 2+2 is up for debate. No it isnt.

      Every incarnation and translation of the bible most certainly makes genocide ok, slavery ok and homosexuality a moral sin. The bible is very clear about what it endorses. The god of the old testament engages in genocide himself. How is that a matter of interpretation or subject to MISinterpetation?

      “You can sell your daughter into slavery and allow her master to rape her” Exodus 21-7-10

      “You can rape your female slave and be forgiven. But the slave must be punished.” 19-20-22

      “You can rape a virgin, but you must marry her and pay her father a dowry of virgin” Excodus 22-16-17

      “If your woman is lewd, confined her until death “Koran 4/15

      “women are yours to do what you please with” – Koran 11/223

      Another example: the fact that there are some people who, for example, identify as Christian and don’t molest children doesn’t matter when we talk about child abuse in the catholic church. Not molesting a child is not a difficult thing to do. No one deserves a medal for it. Sexually abusing someone in your care is so detestable that no one should stop and consider how nice someone is just because they’ve never done it before. If you want to be any kind of a decent human being, you don’t fuck kids. It’s not complicated.

      That people choose to cherry pick what they like is a different story but dont be saying those books dont say the shitty things they say. And it doesnt matter that a few church goers arent haters of gays; you dont get accolades for exhibiting basic human decency.

      Some of the most tired arguments against atheism and atheists is that atheists are “too harsh”, “not accommodating enough”. “You sound bitter”, “you sound angry” , “you sound like an asshole”, “I feel sorry for you”, “you seem to have no love in your life” blah blah yawn are the common retorts of religious folks and their apologizers.

      If you (and I dont mean you personally) have to ask me why I am contemptuous of religion, mock it, speak out against it, advocate against it, write about it and critique it as much as I do, then you simply have not understood why religion is a problem in the first place.

      Instead of asking about all the people who are hurt and killed, discriminated against, dehumanized, their Human Right’s trampled on and otherwise harmed by religious people and their “feelings” every day, the victim in this scenario suddenly becomes the religious person and their feelings, thus the very entity doing all the killing, discriminating, dehumanizing, harming and subjugating. Now that *some* religious people dont actively do that and are nice, docile folks only indirectly supporting the sinister actions of their religious leaders, doesn’t fucking matter. They are in the minority in comparison.

      Also something to keep in mind: if you are someone who, for example, pays tithe, teaches Catholicism or whatever faith you subscribe to at the moment to school children or talks about your faith etc, someone who goes to church, patronizes it in any conceivable way and supports it, then you are part of the problem. To seriously think that simply because you (and i dont mean you personally, but the religious person in question here) are not personally picketing against, say, gay people getting married, or molesting school children or hating on gays and lesbians, that means you are off the hook and just separate from the movement you are choosing to endorse, is beyond ridiculous and dishonest.

      I think it was Tom Petty who said that if he was in some club and fond out that there had been generations of people abusing children and that that club was covering it up, he would quit the club instead of giving them more money. If you do, then you are part of the problem. Own it.

      Finally, I like to close my post by quoting a rather succinct point made by Patton Oswalt here on the idea of respecting believers: ” [They say] ‘You’ve gotta respect everyone’s beliefs.’ No, you don’t. That’s what gets us in trouble. Look, you have to acknowledge everyone’s beliefs, and then you have to reserve the right to go: “That is fucking stupid. Are you kidding me?” I acknowledge that you believe that, that’s great, but I’m not going to respect it. I have an uncle that believes he saw Sasquatch. We do not believe him, nor do we respect him!””

      • #10 by nikeyo on September 23, 2014 - 7:58 PM

        I’m going to mostly reply to what I disagree on. The rest, I agree with.

        —> ” …takes the focus away from the people who….”

        It can. It can also prevent things like the mass hysteria against Muslims after 9/11, or towards the Japanese after Pearl Harbor. People tend to believe the bad much quicker than the good. At times, it is necessary to remind that not all are like that.

        It can detract from the issue, for sure though.

        —> “Homosexuality, the Bible is pretty clear….”

        In it’s bastardized English form in the hands of laymen, yes. But this is a great travesty to ancient textual studies. It is not at all saying what ignorant literal Bible Touters claim it means. Plus, there are many (educated) Christians who see their god as progressively working with mankind, gently guiding them into a better morality. Or, Christians who see the Bible as men writing in their fallible ways what they think god says. Anyway you look at that one. But ultimately, no it’s actually very clearly not talking about homosexuality as we know it being an abomination.

        Koran… Sadly is not my expertise. I listen to Muslims, or my religious studies colleagues for that insight. Muslims will argue tat English bastardizes the true meaning of the words. And, as always, context. Basically, it’s their book and their language. I criticize people on their actions based on their interpretations. The text is a tool, it is how one chooses to use it.

        You can not compare mathematical concepts to language. Language has no objective meaning in itself. It’s a method of communication. We interpret them on a daily basis based on its context, vocal inflections, and the like. No matter how you spin it, 2 +2 will always be 4. “Love,” for example, will not always mean the same thing, or even be true when spoken. A rapist could say it to their victim, but no one argues that because they were said they must be true.

        —>”How is that a matter of interpretation” It has been interpreted for millennia. Books and encyclopedias have been written on how to properly exegete texts. Jews have been midrash-ing since the words were written. It is certain Christians who have destroyed the text with their English nonsensical renderings.

        Yeah, most Christians do cherry pick. But then again many people are also either illiterate or void of common sense. Give such numbskulls religion and you have a world of idiots. Spoon feed them your rendition of a book, and watch the neurons commit suicide. There is a reason, as you said, those who read the Bible become Atheists. More so those who apply basic philosophical concepts. Or, like me, who study Theology and find the inconsistencies in god-belief or messiah-jesus balogna. Most get hung up over the basic violence issues I suppose though.

        —->”Simply do not understand why religion is a problem…”

        Nah. I do the same criticizing. I just see the other side of the coin. I rage as much as any Atheist. I’m just also highly educated in Bible matters and don’t agree with all their/our arguments.

        —-> “now that *some…”

        Some? Indirectly supporting….? How many religious people do you know? It’s not even the slightest majority doing such things or endorsing. I don’t see many Christians stoning gays or supporting sodomy in the church.

        The later paragraph is a huge stretch and kind of a cognitive dissonance. The cultish movement is just that, a cultish movement. Terrorist are extremists. The movement is a movement. They aren’t even close to endorsing it.

        Covering it up, yeah, that’s wrong. And yeah, it happens within religion. But that’s not the norm.

        You don’t have to respect their beliefs, no. But respect their right to have them. A closed mind cannot be opened without their allowance. If someone believes they ARE a Sasquatch, fuck it, do you bro. Just don’t eat any children or some crazy shit.

        • #11 by popreflection on September 24, 2014 - 12:39 AM

          Look, I just feel like we are going in circles and I will end up repeating myself over and over again. I really do not have the time to spend another 12 paragraphs to say something just to have to you come back with the same old retorts.

          In a nutshell, religion is harmful, the things we see in religious texts are harmful and they are clear in what they are and what they demand out of their subjects and followers. Hiding behind semantics – literally – and stating that the horrible things advocated by a sociopathic deity as seen in the Bible is a translation error is, quite frankly, very intellectually dishonest and factually wrong. You are engaging in pure sophistry at this point.

          And to say that people draw their morality from such a truly heinous and immoral source such as the Bible is breathtakingly ignorant. At this point, I really doubt you have read the Bible or if you have, I wonder whether you have truly actually understood a word it says as you seem to clearly carry a bias for it. I mean, what, do you come from a family of religious peoples or something? Have a soft spot for it?

          I am not obliged to respect anyone;s fantasies or beliefs in fairy tales and the harm that comes from them and the issue is not even about respecting their right to have them. I never said they cannot believe what they want. Speaking of repeating oneself: I have already stated numerous times that I could not give a rat’s ass if someone wants to believe in any number of fictional characters as their personal messiah to make it through life. It becomes a problem when those believers start to interject their beliefs into everyone else’s life and they DO – look no further than Hobby Lobby or the closure of abortion clinics in Southern states that have spread like wildfire, as just two of the myriad of examples. And no I am sorry I am not going to respect that someone can believe what they want if what they want to believe is harmful. Again, for the 12th time, I want to invoke the example of racism: I am not obliged to give credence to a racist and take into account their point of view. Yes, I can let them say racist shit but the moment they incite violence or demand laws be made to accommodate their racism, that is where the “allowing” ends.

          It is clear form this conversation that you not only not truly understand the issue with religion but that you seem to be under the – erroneous may I add – assumption that religion was this beautiful, wonderful, heart warming, amazing thing that teaches people so many beautiful, wonderful, heart warming, amazing thing that are then, sadly, misunderstood and misinterpreted by a few fringe lunatics and extremists as a result of errors in translation. And, of course, you do not find anything strange about religion having been somehow “misunderstood” for thousands of years by millions of people independently of each other.

          You also seem to think that the bad things that come out of it are mostly the doing of a few in the minority and marginal. And anyone who dares to point it out is apparently some angry, misguided hater who just doesnt understand how wonderful religion is and just wants to send them all to internment camps.

          Well, you are wrong for all the reasons mentioned in this blog.

          I, for one, am glad that our immigration laws differ from those in European countires that are currently dealing with a serious influx (or more like infestation) of Muslims organizing and calling for Sharia law and the execution of gays etc (see an earlier post of mine on this). And i should know as my family is originally from the middle east. This is not the kind of society I want to live in and you are damn right, I am glad we do not give such a platform to Islam and its followers. ISIS IS Islam. Sharia law IS Islam. Beheading infidels IS Islam. Read the damn Koran. That there are Muslims in this country that do not do such things is mostly a function of a) them not really taking their religion seriously and b) this country and its laws, not of Islam. Islam is not misunderstood, just as Christianity is not misunderstood. Imagine what a better world we would have (better, not perfect) if it werent for religion. That doesnt make me a close-minded hater, that makes me someone who is enlightened about religion. I did not arrive at these conclusions overnight. It has taken years of study, introspection and research.

          Good luck in your life long endeavor in desperately trying to find something redeeming and wonderful in religion. I can already give you a heads up and let you know that you will be wasting your time, but hey, it is yours to waste.

          • #12 by nikeyo on September 24, 2014 - 1:14 PM

            You are repeating you self also. 😉 You are also ignoring my agreements.

            Ah well, you will see me again. Hopefully the next discourse will prove more profitable.

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