I've been enjoying this dialogue, from the comments to this posting.
The standard talking points are useful to review here, and might get some people thinking:
Anonymous said...My first reply:
It's a shame you're so racist and can't see the difference between anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism. But then again, what else can one expect from someone who equates one of the world's three major religion with Satan-worship and holds another up as the model of justice and tolerance...I suppose bigotry and hatred come easy to people like you. Pity.
11:01 AM, September 13, 2007
RDS said...Anonymous came back with the predictable litany, which I will respond to piecemeal:
Typical leftist tactic, to begin with charges of racism when nothing I've ever said has anything at all to do with race!
It's always the 'progressives' who are hyper race-conscious.
The differences between anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism pale in comparison to their similarities, being motivated mainly by an irrational dislike of Jews.
Yes, hatred comes easily to me for things that are objectively evil; what's wrong with you that you excuse it?
You think it's ok to laud as the most perfect of all men a pedophile and rapist of a 9 year old girl (Aisha), who was "surprised" that the "prophet" came to her bed when she was "still with her dolls"? I don't care what society you're talking about, never at any time has it been "normal" to rape pre-pubescent girls -- unless your moon-god says it's ok.
You like pedophiles and their followers?
Shall we get into mohammed's banditry and multiple murders? How about torture -- real torture, not panties on the head? How about using his moon-god to justify breaking apart his family so he could have incestuous sex with his daughter in law?
I don't care what bad things anyone has done in spite of their religion, I care what they do because of it: really follow the words of Jesus and you get lives dedicated to helping the sick and the poor of all races and creeds.
But follow the words of mohammed and you get rape, slavery, and war against the infidel.
So yeah, hatred of that comes easily to me.
Why doesn't it for you?
Can't tell right from wrong? Too scared of being called a racist or bigot to speak the truth? Pity.
8:41 PM, September 13, 2007
Anonymous said...Where to begin!
Oh right, I forgot that the ethnic cleansing, genocide, and other assorted atrocities during the Inquisition, Crusades, and Holocaust were all unfortunate side-effects of the benevolent alms-giving of your Christ-living brethren.
First, this ignores my point entirely, that a priori, the mere fat that people who happen to be nominally Christian, or muslim, or Hindu, or white, or purple, or whatever, do bad things, for whatever claimed reason, is entirely uninteresting because we know that from time immemorial man's capacity for evil is unlimited.
What, the world lived in peace and harmony until Christianity came along?
Now, even an atheist should concede that even if religion is hooey, it affects how people think and thus how they act and so religious beliefs have real world consequences. And the question is then: does any particular relgion, on balance, tend to dampen or amplify our worst impulses? And do they tend to encourage, or discourage, our better nature?
Whether or not religion exists at all, people would still find stupid ways to divide the world into "Us" versus "Them", so it's not very useful to simply point the finger at religion (throwing the baby out with the bathwater) and feel morally superior.
That ignores the impact, for example, Christianity had on reducing human sacrifice (more common than most people believe), since God's sacrifice of His own divine Son made all future human sacrifice unnecessary.
It's simple-minded to just assume that all religions are equally useless. Indeed, wouldn't that be highly improbable?
Furthermore, one must ignore that godless, atheistic, rational communism has 100 million corpses on its hands.
Yeah, you don't need religion to find excuses to oppress.
And one relgion encourages slavery, for example, and the other discourages it by preaching universal brotherhood -- whether or not fallible humans always adhere to the message. The most fervent abolitionists were Christians. Muslim arabs ran much of the bulk of the slave trade. Doesn't that make a difference?
One religion teaches we are all dearly beloved children of God, the other that we are allah's slaves. The word islam means "submission" for a reason. The name "Abd'allah" (Abdullah), meaning "slave of allah", is highly popular for a reason.
President John Quincy Adams noted that, of Jesus,
"THE ESSENCE OF THIS DOCTRINE IS, TO EXALT THE SPIRITUAL OVER THE BRUTAL PART OF HIS NATURE." (Adam's capital letters)But of mohammed,
"THE ESSENCE OF HIS DOCTRINE WAS VIOLENCE AND LUST: TO EXALT THE BRUTAL OVER THE SPIRITUAL PART OF HUMAN NATURE (Adam's capital letters)….None of that matters?
Between these two religions, thus contrasted in their characters, a war of twelve hundred years has already raged. The war is yet flagrant…While the merciless and dissolute dogmas of the false prophet shall furnish motives to human action, there can never be peace upon earth, and good will towards men.”
But to specifics, the Inquisition, though at times abused, actually was a reform that by injecting judicial proceedings actually exonerated many people from baseless charges of witchcraft and thus saved them from irrational mob justice!
...the inquisition was always more lenient than secular authorities and less likely to impose the death penalty. To common people this rather lessened the attraction of reporting neighbours for vindictive reasons. Also, the inquisition had higher standards of evidence which tended to disregard the confessions of witches incriminating each other and inquisitors were markedly sceptical about some of the more fantastic stories of broomsticks and devils. The most famous case involved the release of 1,500 alleged witches held by the Spanish inquisition after an investigation by an inquisitor uncovered massive flaws and inconsistencies in the evidence.The Crusades? A useful counterjihad gone awry, with nothing particularly surprising about it in the context of the times.
(Sources: pages 260 – 1, Rodney Stark For the Glory of God Princeton 2003; page 113, Peters; see also: Gustav Henningsen The Witches' Advocate: Basque Witchcraft and the Spanish Inquisition (1609-1614), 1980 and Brian P Levack The Witch-hunt in Early Modern Europe Harlow 1995)
And the Holocaust? That old "Hitler was a Christian!" claim? Nazism had elements of pagan Teutonic mysticism, and Hitler rejected his family's Catholicism; indeed, he admired islam!
There are negative statements about Christianity reported by Hitler's intimates, Goebbels, Speer, and Bormann. Joseph Goebbels, for example, notes in a diary entry in 1939: "The Führer is deeply religious, but deeply anti-Christian. He regards Christianity as a symptom of decay." Albert Speer reports a similar statement: “You see, it’s been our misfortune to have the wrong religion. Why didn’t we have the religion of the Japanese, who regard sacrifice for the Fatherland as the highest good? The Mohammedan religion too would have been much more compatible to us [Nazis] than Christianity. Why did it have to be Christianity with its meekness and flabbiness?" ... He was reported to say that religion should die on its own accord.I love how Anonymous has to retreat to know-nothingness all of a sudden in the face of uncomfortable revelations about islam:
Anonymous said...Such attempts at mockery would be more effective perhaps if I were a churchgoer.
I'm not really going to debate the attributes of Islam over any other religion because, well, I'm not a Muslim, and because religion as a whole is very dangerous to open-mindedness and hope, since it emphasizes fear and blind devotion to nonsense in the name of maintaining an insular, homogenous, and altogether irrational lifestyle. But it's good that you think Jesus loves you - congrats on that.
And really, isn't that a simpleminded, strawman view of what religion is all about? Through a bigoted double standard, Anonymous found it easy to criticize Christianity specifically, but then refuses to look islam in the eye.
As for islam, by comparison with these terrible sins oddly attributed by Anonymous to Christianity rather than human nature,
More people are killed by Islamists [following the jihad demanded by their god and prophet] each year than in all 350 years of the Spanish Inquisition combined.Jesus loves even you too, by the way; but that must rankle!
Islamic terrorists murder more people every day than the Ku Klux Klan has in the last 50 years.
More civilians were killed by Muslim extremists in two hours on September 11th than in the 36 years of sectarian conflict in Northern Ireland.
But now it's all about Israel and Iraq!
Anonymous said...Lies? I present my honest understanding of the facts. If my facts are in error I'm happy to consider corrections. Evidence?
The lies you promote with regard to the political situation in Palestine are what really bother me - but it's really a waste of my time to try to educate a war-mongering facist like you who supports apartheid, racial supremacy, and the U.S.-aided slaughter of tnes of thousands of innocent people.
US-aided slaughter of tens of thousands? Please. The Lancet "study" is thoroughly discredited. What, nobody was slaughtered under kind old Uncle Saddam?
As a physicist I tell you that doctors are notoriously bad at statistical analysis. Indeed,
the Lancet authors “cannot reject the null hypothesis that mortality in Iraq is unchanged.”And now, let's complete the standard "let's hate Western civ" story by bringing in the Native Americans!
Anonymous said...Oh, that's funny! Yes, they did indeed "have it coming", but not because they didn't believe in Jesus! I'm perfectly willing to accept in the spirit of ecumenicalism that the Great Spirit reflects some aspect or facet of Jehovah. In fact, the beatified Native American, the Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha, is one step away from becoming a Catholic Saint.
But I assume that an Ann Coulter-loving "patriot" like yourself probably thinks that the Native Americans had it coming to them, too. I mean, hey, they didn't believe in Jesus either. Idiots.
6:43 PM, September 16, 2007
But the pagan moon-idol known as allah, in spite of deliberate lies to the contrary, is a completely different entity anthropologically, theologically, and psychohistorically.
But I digress.
No, the Native Americans had it coming to them because they were vicious cannibalistic stone-age savages; Thomas Jefferson himself wrote the following, enshrined in the Declaration of Independence, as one of the colonial grievances against King George:
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.You know better than such an eyewitness?
[REMEMBER: please see here for followup and rebuttal to the further comments left below by Anonymous!]