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Wake Up, America



brilliant, just fantastic. if this doesn't convince people that atheists and, indeed, anyone who supports freedom of speech and concience should be allied with the jews and, indeed, the hated israelis themselves, i don't know what will.

the unhrc is the same body that commisioned the goldstone report villifying israel for defending itself. it is controlled by the arab states and their lackeys, the impoverished nations of the 3rd world.

just as they create a false unity among arabs and muslims based on hatred of israel, they want to create the same kind of unity with the slinking, apologetic european governments based on their demands for respect of THEIR religion, clothed in a demand for respect of ALL religion.

this kind of "unity" we need like a hole in the head.

wake up america, indeed.

In Switzerland at the end of November we'll have a vote on introducing a constitutional ban on minarets.

Every time I open a right-wing newspaper I'm outraged. I, an atheist. And you know why? Because if I just play the game of changing the word "Islam" with the word "jews" I can actually pretend I'm reading a newspaper from the 1930s.

Europe is secular. Its States have the obligation to respect all religions while keeping them out of the 'res publica'. Banning Islam is not part of our culture.

i have a lot of respect for the european "live and let live" approach, in spite of the fact that it follws historically millenia of bloodshed and imperialism in which the european states consolidated their current borders from which they now criticize others whose positions are less solidified. but you have to draw the line somewhere. the muslims, both in europe and the middle east, do not and will not ever subscribe to your "live and let live" policies.

do not and will not ever subscribe to your "live and let live" policies.

Ever, that's a long time, right?

you better believe it, bub. it's built into the system. as an atheist, you aren't really interested in the details of that sysetem. so you'll have to take my word for it, since you don't seem to have a single muslim, among all your international readers, who is willing to stand up and debate me on this point.

Oh you mean it's built into the system the same way the jews and "their land" is built into the system.

Pox on both their houses.

i hear that, bruth-uh.

it's built into the system

Intolerance is "built into" every major religion (and many belief systems in general). For example, I believe Christianity, Judaism and Islam all have some pretty directly worded variants of "kill the nonbelievers" in their holy texts. And yet, a vast majority of believers ignore (or are unaware of) such directives, and a good many of them do not integrate any such bigoted inclinations into their personal philosophies.

It is true, however, we are going to have serious problems so long as most religions regard their original scriptures to have any relevance beyond the historical. And there is a sizable minority from each religion that, if it had its way, would establish a horrifying theocracy (and in a few countries, they have). But the situation is complex, and that complexity must be acknowledged if we are going to get anywhere.

what i mean by this is that the skyline-altering effects of minarets are very far from the worst of the dangers facing europe by their accomodation of whole religious, ethnic and cultural groups who do NOT subscribe to said "live and let live-ism."

When it comes to religion interfering with politics, with all the respect I have for the US, I sincerely don't think they have anything to teach Europe.

In Switzerland we actually have multireligious associations made of christians, jews and muslims. It's all about integration. If they start to demand too much, the balance will be broken. Until then, they have to be treated as any other religion.

umm, Interfaith alliances do exist in America. I don't know anything about their relative numbers, but I have known most cites I have worked in to have one.

There are also those crazy Unitarians around that even allow the occasional humanist in.

Not that I think we have a much to teach europe

I believe Christianity, Judaism and Islam all have some pretty directly worded variants of "kill the nonbelievers"

oh you "believe" that, do you? how am i supposed to even talk to you? go and fight these weird bloodthirsty "minorities" you're talking about. who has time for this bullshit?

whoa, that was way harsh. first thought not necessarily best thought. reset.

so, you want to be nice, do you? that's nice.

So you are saying they don't have that? or are you trying to make some sort of point with your fact-less backlash?

i'm sorry that was totally snarky too. what am i supposed to do? frenetic, i've known you over the years here at 1gm to be much brighter than that. you drinkin' beerz? c'mon, you can tell me.

lemme get this right: you think religious people should take their scriptural directives to kill, maim, destroy, etc., more seriously and literally so you can- what- more easily figure out who the assholes are?

people should take their scriptural directives to kill, maim, destroy, etc., more seriously and literally

Ironically, I think you are getting straight to the heart of matter.

Yes, people should read and understand and take seriously what is said in their holy books before they say that we should all take them as the literal word of god and demand their respect in the development of public policy.

I think If you put stoneing all those that work/collect firewood on Fri Sat or sun probably wouldn't pass as a ballot initiative.

On the other hand it would help draw a real distinction between those that believe truly extremist things and those that take a more metaphorical view of their religion.

Forgive me if I'm a bit rusty here, but doesn't the book of Numbers end with a Yaweh-sanctioned genocide of the Canaanites?

Compared to the Koran, the book of Numbers is a children's bedtime story, but it still contains a few nasty passages of its own.

I have to give full credit to Mr. Becker. As I read the Torah, the message is clear- take the land of Israel by any means necessary. I don't think that's any sort of valid legal defense, but at the very least, its ideologically consistent.

I think you misunderstood my point, Jonathan. The main thing I was trying to get across was just that religious people are not all the same (including Moslems, whose religion is not unique when it comes to intolerance) and thus they should not be approached as such. To do so would be counterproductive.

I got ya.

Sometimes I am guilty of commenting on a subject before reading the entire linked story. In this case Becker seems to just be skimming the first few sentences of comments.

All the back-and-forth argument here should make one thing perfectly clear:

That no one can agree on matters of faith, often even those who consider themselves mambers of the same faith. Which is exactly why religion has NO PLACE in the government or laws of a secular nation. Because it will ALWAYS place someone at odds with the law or the government on the basis of their faith.

No semblance of religion should be adopted or supported by government, but neither should they be banned or renounced, except where they might conflict with the law. Otherwise the two spheres should remain entirely separate.

People in government who find themselves unable to maintain separation between these two spheres, or who cannot in good conscience make a governmental or legal decision which would otherwise be required of them due to personal religious convictions, should recuse themselves from the decision-making process on that issue. Or take up another line of work which does not require them to violate tenets of their faith.

just popped in to read the last comment here and wound up reviewing the entire thread.

i apologize for the hijacking. the issue is really legislating "respect" for religion, which is obviously a ridiculous thing. since it is muslims who are currently trying to do this in the unhrc, i tried to make this about muslim craziness specifically. this was unfair of me.

i don't have a drinking problem. i drink. i get drunk. i post stupid shit on blogs. no problem.

sorry again.

We should have a weekly drunken post and only allow people to post while intoxicated.

It would be ugly but fun.


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