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Passions in Poetry

to protect religions from insults

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Huan Yi
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0 posted 01-31-2006 12:42 AM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/4664408.stm


“Meanwhile pan-Arab organisations have begun efforts to reach a UN resolution, backed by possible sanctions, to protect religions from insults. “

Would you support such a move?

Ringo
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1 posted 01-31-2006 08:17 AM       View Profile for Ringo   Email Ringo   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Ringo

Let's see... you are asking if we will support a move to limit people's freedom of thought, free speech (they are not advocating the over throw of any government), freedom of the Press, and to sanction anyone who decides to avail themselves of that right? Is that the basic question?

Sure, why not. People have too many freedoms as it is. In order for George Orwell to be right, we need to take such steps. It is, after all, more than 20 years since this was all supposed to have happened, anyhow.


To be merciful to the cruel is to be cruel to the merciful.
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RSWells
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2 posted 01-31-2006 01:12 PM       View Profile for RSWells   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for RSWells

How many wars can you name that didn't start with some human concocted religion's being slighted/insulted or territorially challenged?

It is the ultimate insult to human intellectual evolution that we yet suffer the effects of such primative, tribalistic phantasmagoria, the origins of which were in man's fear of dying and intimidation of nature's unexplained phenomena.

Anyone walking around in the year 2006 that espouses blind allegiance to any of the 'main' religions, (often born from individual hallucinations) while ignoring said religions' having been built in prejudices and arrogance, must eventually stumble on moral incongruity. For that individual to ignore the facts of evolution and (for example) openly state that they 'believe' the fable of Adam and Eve as man's beginnings, is to knowingly remain stuck in a primitive place (and that must produce a tortured psyche).

The only visible proof I see that argues against man's evolving is fundamentalism.

This pride that replaces the piety, sold to 'newbies' (often innocent children) sets itself up for the thin skinned "us against them" paranoia and inevitable "insult" that leads to more violence and a "circling of the wagons" mentality that assures further divisiveness.

There are professors in Europe in jail because they dared challenge the numbers of jewish victims in WWII. The moslems would have absolutely no criticism of their warlike founder, in verse (Rushdie) or caricature (Denmark), lest the author's death be called for (and their god, who presumably authorized the hit, would surely have a reward for them in the great beyond), and Bush's early call for a "crusade" was not a slip of the tongue. It was simply a calculating cynical power's ancient understanding of the power of voodoo (were you upset at the fictitious "war against christmas"?).

Don't for one minute allow yourself to believe that those atop the, increasingly grotesquely contorted pyramid (recent news blurbs regarding the growing disparity between the haves and have-nots feigned shock while only displaying the income gaps between the top 20% and the bottom 20%. In fact the top 5% have more wealth than the remaining 95% collectively, "the bottom 20 percent basically have zero wealth. They either have no assets, or their debt equals or exceeds their assets"), believe in the same gods sold to the masses, those gods who would have us succor the poor, turn the other cheek, comfort the incarcerated, or let the meek inherit any damn thing (They've probably manufactured huge needles by now, with plenty of room in the eye for a whole caravan of camels).

There are recent examples of people killing their children because "god told them to." These people are recognized as nut-cases, and rightfully so. But flip the calendar back 2 or 5 thousand years and they are prophets. What would Jesus think of these sprawling mega-plex churches, these pompous and wealthy church leaders, the caddy's and lincolns in the church lot across the street every Sunday? If that great man were to visit us now, who can deny that his truth to power would end the same way?

As long as a measurable amount of the population clings to the old "carrot and the stick" routine, we will be treated to hypocritical assertions made by mere men who are addicted to the covetousness warned about repeatedly in the purest tenets of these faiths.

Somehow, people one would think more astute, have allowed their carnivorous leaders to merge in their minds with their gods in an unquestioning devotion that, rest assured, will culminate in a self-fulfilling "End Times. The shame is we, who know better, have no where to hide from this madness.

If these 3 "major" religions continue to make the claim that theirs' and theirs' alone is the "true religion" then ask why it is they have all broken off into contentious sects (christians must have over a thousand sects alone!)?

"You say you're supposed to be nice to the Episcopalians and the Presbyterians and the Methodists and this, that and the other thing. Nonesense. I don't have to be nice to the spirit of the Antichrist. I can love the people who hold false opinions but I don't have to be nice to them."
-Pat Robertson, The 700 Club, Jan. 14, 1991

What the hell ever happened to the seperation of church and state?

"I don't know that atheists should be considered citizens, nor should they be considered patriots. This is one nation under god."
-George Bush

Have you heard god's voice?

Why are we such poor students of History?

"The people can always be brought back to the bidding of the leaders....All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism."
--Hermann Goering, Nazi Gestapo    

"When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross."
-Sinclair Lewis

Frankly, I can't insult religion enough. I'm not seeing folks like my late grandmother, Bessie O'Leary, or my recently departed friend, Elmo Watts, (both humble and kind devotees of two different christian sects, catholicism and primitive baptist, both of whom one was instantly transported to a kinder place when in their presence) being held up as examples of what the religions claim should represent their beliefs. Instead we are treated to xenophobic screeds by fat wealthy men whose profit centers go untaxed (like the rich and corporations) while they lord over their cowed constituents and dare to tell them what to think and who to vote for.

Religions are an insult to humans.



  
Midnitesun
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3 posted 01-31-2006 01:59 PM       View Profile for Midnitesun   Email Midnitesun   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Midnitesun

Any religion should stand up on its own merits.
It shouldn't need protecting.
Ringo
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4 posted 01-31-2006 03:12 PM       View Profile for Ringo   Email Ringo   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Ringo

I will apologize to everyone for jumping off thread for a second, however there is a statement that needs to be dealt with quickly

quote:
How many wars can you name that didn't start with some human concocted religion's being slighted/insulted or territorially challenged?


Well, let's see....
The Hundred Years War
The Seven Years War
The Soviet-Afghan War
The Iraq-Iran War
The American Revolutionary War
(well, let's include every war on American soil here)
The Spanish Civil War
The Korean War
The Vietnamese War
Gulf War I
Gulf War II
WWI
WWII

There are plenty of others, however I think we can stop here. If this is a discussion you wish to contimue, then please start another thread and give me the facts that can prove me wrong.

Now, you mention the college professors in prison because they questioned the number of Jewish deaths in the camps. Is that a fight against the religion, or the facts of the war? Perhaps as one of those who is "fundamentally" Christian, I see it wrong, howwever it seems that these professors are not fighting against the rights of the Jews of the world to have their religion. It seems that they are simply questioning the accuracy of the reports of numbers. It is an historical, and not a religious question that is being fought by these professor.

quote:
Anyone walking around in the year 2006 that espouses blind allegiance to any of the 'main' religions, (often born from individual hallucinations) while ignoring said religions' having been built in prejudices and arrogance, must eventually stumble on moral incongruity


Well, ket's see... the main tenents of Christianity as it was started is love, peace, Do unto others, and being a good person.
Judiasm teaches 10 very specific laws (or Commandments if I may) that, oddly enough, all Christian religions also teach. G-d's Top Ten lists such predjudicial and arrogant laws as "Honor they Mother and Father." or "Thou Shalt Not Steal" or even "Thou shalt not kill". I can see where you would think that these laws espouse moral incongruity.

quote:
The moslems would have absolutely no criticism of their warlike founder...lest the author's death be called for...


Well, let's see... Since you don't know every member of the planet who worships accoprding to the Kuran, I will see this simply as you not knowing anyone of that faith in general. admitedly, I do not know many, however the ones I do know are peace loving, and have no more in common with the extremists who follow a very violent and very specific version of Islam than you do. These people (the majority) do not support the war-like thoughts and actions of their bretheren any more than you do. Saying that all muslims believe this way is the same as saying that all Catholics believe the same way as Mel Gibson, who- admittedly- follows a very strict, and very different version of Roman Catholicism than the rest of the world (one that is followed by a very, very small fraction of the Catholics of the world). Making statements like this is stereotypical and not at all in keeping with the general feeling of acceptance to other's thinking that this site tends to espouse.

quote:
Don't for one minute allow yourself to believe that those atop the, increasingly grotesquely contorted pyramid...believe in the same gods sold to the masses, those gods who would have us succor the poor, turn the other cheek, comfort the incarcerated, or let the meek inherit any damn thing


Here we go again with the stereotypical thinking and speech. By stating your views the way you have, you absolutely discount people like: Oprah, Rosie O'Donnell, Ted Turner, The Cipko Brothers (local heroes), Tom Cruise, Shirley Temple Black (RIP), Alyssa Milano, Stanley Burrell, Gary Senise, Montel Williams, Jimmy Carter, Angelina Jolie, and many others who have (or had) more cash and assetts than they will ever need, yet they continually "give back" to the communities and the world as a whole.
Oprah uses her show and her wealth to shout at the top of her lungs about doing the right thing for others for the right reasons with her Angel Network, and who gives vast amounts of her time and resources to help those who have been forgotten by society.
Ted Turner gave a BILLION dollars to the UN to be used by their various programs. Yeah, he had it, and he got a HUGE tax break froom it, but ask yourself this... Who else did it?
The Cipko Brothers (local heroes) have more money than they will ever spend, and yet they don't have fancy cars or houses (they drive a 1986 Buick Skylark); they don't buy up companies to make themselves richer; they give their money to the local schools to buy new computers and to build a computer lab so the kids can get the skills they need to compete with the rest of the world. They give money to the local volunteer fire companies (even in towns they don't live in) to upgrade their equipment. They give away more money per year than most of us will likely make in 10 years.
Gary Senise used his wealth and fame to get school supplies for the kids in the Persian Gulf so they could learn, and be better prepared to enter the worl that was being opened for them.
Stanley Burrell (MC Hammer) gave jobs to the broke familes of Oakland to the point where he went bankrupt himself, and lost all of his fancy things.
Shirley Temple Black, Alyssa Milano, and Angelina Jolie are (were) special envoys of the United Nations to these non-industrialized nations and spend their non-working time attempting to make life better for them. mrs. Black sis it as a job, the other two do it for free.
Rosie O'Donnell and Angelina Jolie have both adopted children born to mothers of no means. Rosie adopted here in the States, Angelina adopted from Cambodia. Other stars have used surrogacy as a way of conceiving... these ladies did not. They made the lives of a couple of children better than they would have normally been.

So, you see, You are making statements that have no teeth. While it is entirely possible that the majority of those with the wealth are such as you say, you cannot lump them all together and expect tobe taken seriously.

quote:
What would Jesus think of these sprawling mega-plex churches, these pompous and wealthy church leaders, the caddy's and lincolns in the church lot across the street every Sunday? If that great man were to visit us now, who can deny that his truth to power would end the same way?


Gee... even back in His day, the temple elders were making the huge bucks. Remember the story of the church sellers, and of the great power that the corrupted leaders weilded? Ad yet that great man (as you called him) remained true to his beliefs and to the people he was sent here to save. Who are you to deny that he would not be the same were he to return? This statement has no validity because it is making suppositions about an instance of which we have absolutely no way of proving or disproving. It is akin to saying that "were Thomas Jefferson alive today he would protest against the war". Who in the name of Thor's Hoily Hammer knows, and who among us would be able to speak for the framer of the Constitution, or for a Diety?

At the end of your post, you use various statements by famous people, and by people in power to show your viewpoint, yet at the same time, you are making statements to show you are not as far removed from them as you believe. You say you can't find people like those you mentioned. My friend, I think you need to open your eyes a little and see the real world around you. The Cipko Brothers are in services every single Sunday, and when they were once asked why they were giving all of this money to the community, they made a statement basically mimicking Matthew 25:40.
Naturally Jim (a local celebrity and internationally known magician, AND former Met opera singer) goes to Mass every Sunday and all holy days, and 4 times a year gives a dinner to raise money to help out the needy of the surrounding area. And if you tell him you would like to go, however you cannot afford the tickets, he hands them to you because he truly loves his spiritual brothers as G-d has said we are supposed to.
John Weaver is a nationally recognized psychiatrist who has written the Bible of Disaster psychology. If there is a disaster on the Eastern half of the Mississippi River, then he is one of the first people that gets sent to be part of the disaster relief team. He could very easily say that he doesn't have the time because he happens to have a very active client roster in his personal psychiatric office, and makes "house calls" to foster agencies. Yet, somehow, he always seems to show up at places like Ground Zero, New Orleans, etc.
The faithful and G-d-like people are there. The "true" spiritual are there. I feel trhat you are allowing your personal anger to over-shadow your vision.


To be merciful to the cruel is to be cruel to the merciful.
www.impressionsintime.net

Christopher
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5 posted 01-31-2006 04:23 PM       View Profile for Christopher   Email Christopher   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Christopher

Ringo - your list of wars doesn't support your purported arguement - it can easily be argued, and likely proven, that every one of those listed fits the mold of wars started under the statement refuted.

At the root of nearly all grand scale conflicts is a disagreement of religion - whether it be directly "god" related or a way of life [capitalism vs. communism for example].
Ringo
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6 posted 01-31-2006 04:38 PM       View Profile for Ringo   Email Ringo   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Ringo

Yes, they do have, at their root, the "way of life" causes. EVERY war has the "way of life" cause; however, the callenge made was to name a war that was not caused by religion. None of the ones I listed have, at it's root, a religious principal being defended, or were started by people who's religious beliefs or practices were being infringed.


To be merciful to the cruel is to be cruel to the merciful.
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Huan Yi
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7 posted 01-31-2006 05:20 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi


Yet aren't there already forms of media self-censorship here
when it comes to Islam out of a political correctness that
pretty much leaves Christianity about the only religion
that can be criticized let alone lampooned without someone
then threatening to sue or accusing the media of some “ism”.

Christopher
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8 posted 01-31-2006 06:07 PM       View Profile for Christopher   Email Christopher   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Christopher

Ringo - here are the four definitions of "Religion" that I found at Dictionary.com:
quote:

    • Belief in and reverence for a supernatural power or powers regarded as creator and governor of the universe.

    • A personal or institutionalized system grounded in such belief and worship.

  1. The life or condition of a person in a religious order.

  2. A set of beliefs, values, and practices based on the teachings of a spiritual leader.
  3. A cause, principle, or activity pursued with zeal or conscientious devotion.

Seems to me that the initiation of every one of those wars was based on religion in some way or another. I guess my point is, is that religion doesn't have to mean "God" or "gods" or even Buddha, etc. - at the root, any set of beliefs is a religion, whether personal or shared.
Huan Yi
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9 posted 01-31-2006 06:44 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi


"A cause, principle, or activity pursued with zeal or conscientious devotion."


Which is a long version of "other".

Christopher
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10 posted 01-31-2006 07:03 PM       View Profile for Christopher   Email Christopher   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Christopher

is it any less valid, John, to adhere to a non-publicized set of beliefs as opposed to one that has numerous adherents?
Huan Yi
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11 posted 01-31-2006 07:08 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi


Christopher,

4 steers into so general a definition
as to cover everything including breathing;
an ambiguity convenient to argument
but not much use to the topic at hand.

RSWells
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12 posted 02-01-2006 12:18 AM       View Profile for RSWells   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for RSWells

I post here my response to your palpable ire and attempt to keep the response whole (not spread out over several threads) as well as in the order of your concerns. And please refrain from such false addresses as “my friend” in the future.  First as to religions’ contribution to wars; even in those cases where I don’t address each conflict is there any doubt in anyone’s mind that religion is used as a bludgeon or worse, an inspiration for the carnage that such high calling always seems to precede?

The Hundred Years War (1337-1453)

   Would you truly expect anyone who’s read history to believe that the Roman Catholic Church was not involved in any dispute on the European continent from well before the Crusades to well after the Reformation? The first steps towards the breakdown of the power of the Roman Catholic Church were in fact taken in England, through a series of laws issued in that country from 1279 to 1352, preventing the church from overriding the local authorities by taking land and allocating it to the Church. The right of the Church clergy to act as judges in criminal and civil matters was also removed by these laws. In 1338 The Diet in Frankfort, in the Holy Roman Empire, decrees that the empire's emperor may be chosen without papal participation, and that Imperial authority derives from God, not from the Pope.  A belief that the bible alone has divine authority emerged as a heresy in England at this time. The church was in desperate straights, starting to lose its iron grasp (certainly in England) and eventually this era would usher in the Reformation.  
  This was an age where the popes were of French extraction (seven in a row, from Pope Clement V, in 1305, to Pope Gregory XI in 1378) and the French kings were able to tap enormous resources, as well as have popes authorize taxes in their behalfs. How big a stretch is it to assume that Philip VI had the blessing and encouragement of Rome before he confiscated Aquitane, an act which he surely knew would anger Rome’s loudest critic, Edward II, and lead to war?
  
The Seven Years War (1756–1763)

The causes for this war involved two major factors, colonial rivalry between France and Britain, and the struggle for supremacy in German between the Holy Roman Emperor in Austria and the kingdom of Prussia. In January 1757 the Holy Roman Empire, led by Maria Theresa of Habsburg, empress of Austria (her husband Francis I was Holy Roman Emperor), declared war on Prussia. This was the first world war and would spread to the colonies where it was called the “French and Indian War.”  While this seems a stretch to your point, it still brings religion into a cause for war. After Francis I there was no Rome crowned Holy Roman Emperors, and the Empire itself was ended by Napoleon I.

The Soviet-Afghan War

Soon after seizing power, Nur Mohammad Taraki promoted the establishment of full women's rights and the implementation of land reform. The reforms threatened Afghan cultural traditions (read ,Islamic), and widespread resistance to them began in the summer of 1978. The Soviets were called in when anarchy spread due to fundamentalist agitation and the covert support they received from BIG OIL/CIA (same animal).
The Soviet-Afghan war attracted Islamic militants. The same controlling cynics who now use religious overtones against these same religious fanatics once supported them.

The Iraq-Iran War

One major cause of most Mideast conflicts are disputes over the rightful
successor to Mohammed after his death in 632 A.D. For all intents and purposes, both sides had declared this war to be a "holy" one.  President Hussein made the declaration on November 9, 1980 saying that the purpose of the war was to "defend the ideals of the
message of Islam".  Although the Iranians have not apparently made an
outright declaration that a holy war is in effect, there were numerous
references to the Iraqis as being infidels.  Thus, it would seem that the
Iraqis are not considered by the Iranians to be the "people of the Book",
and that the struggle to spread the true Islamic faith should be taken into
Iraq…..it’s that Sunni-Shiite thing. Khomeini was in Iraq at this time, plotting his “Islamic Revolution” for Iran and doubtless both were being used by Iraq as a weapon against its neighbor.

The American Civil War

There were stormy debates from pulpits North and South for at least 4 decades before the Civil War, both finding justification for war in the same book’s teachings. How could this not have shaped what was to come?
Wasn’t god’s “Curse on Ham” the biblical justification for slave owning? The “Bible Belt” is concentrated in those states once considered below the Mason-Dixon Line, slave owning states, and here is the birth of America’s “Christian fundamentalism,” which grew with slavery, the church fortifying the belief that the slave owners deserved the fruits of slave labor.

“The North had Henry Ward Beecher, the most influential pulpit in the land.

"I charge the whole guilt of this war upon the ambitious, educated, plotting leaders of the South. … A day will come when God will reveal judgment and arraign these mighty miscreants. … And then these guiltiest and most remorseless traitors. … shall be whirled aloft and plunged downward forever and ever in an endless retribution."

In the South, Robert Lewis Dabney was almost as prominent as Beecher in the North.

The Rev. Benjamin Palmer declared that Dabney held to his belief that scripture sanctioned slavery "to the day of his death." Dabney believed and preached that slavery was "the best possible social relation between white and black Americans." In contrast to Dabney's sometimes bucolic description of Christian slaveholding in the abstract, his personal relationship to slaves seems to confirm Frederick Douglass' assertion that Christians were among the most brutal slaveholders. A recurring phrase in the Confederate lexicon was "baptism of blood." During the war Dabney served on the staff of General Stonewall Jackson”
The Spanish Civil War

The Republic symbolized change and modernization (modernization or progressiveness will always be a threat to religions, born as they are in ancient myths) where the Monarchy was always associated with the Catholic Church. Its bishops feared the secularization of Spain and a loss of their own power and influence. A headline blared in the Catholic newspaper El Debate “Religion, Fatherland, Order, Family and Property” in an attempt to “capture the flag” of loyalties.  Between the incautious haste of the Republic for change and the stubborn hesitancy of the clergy lay the roots of this war and the lines drawn between the godless and those of god.  

As to the unchallenged fact that there are Europeans in jail for questioning the holocaust, you miss the point. Whatever it is they were questioning they are in jail because of religion. That it is someone else’s religion doesn’t matter. The point is religion and its humorless and imperial sensibilities were offended and some unbeliever had to be punished. Where else in the “Free World” do you see people in jail for venturing an opinion that runs counter to a religion?

Your sarcasm was misplaced when suggesting I attacked those simplest of religious tenets, the commandments. I’ve said before I don’t give a damn if you sit in a corner and pray to your Cooperstown Hall of Fame Keychain/catcher’s mitt, as long as you do it peacefully. If those who hold these faiths dear actually followed these commandments we wouldn’t be having this discussion, would we?  The commandments are common sense, nothing more. They could have been assembled by any good hearted person (and probably were, over and over again long before the Moses story, since all other biblical stories seem to be “borrowed” from ancient cultures and myths).

Stereotypical this, do you think gods’ hand directed your long list of Hollywood idols to the good deeds you itemize? Other than Carter, an actual Christian run out of office by the Religious Right, where are the movers and shakers to whom I was referring? It isn’t difficult to compile a list of wealthy women and minorities or even a few, more progressive men, who know through the collective unconscious that giving to less fortunate is the right thing to do. I’d have been far more impressed with a list of folks barely scraping by yet sharing what they have with the even less fortunate. Where lie the beliefs of the people who actually control your world?

And in your haste to ”quickly” deal with this, did you read even half of what I wrote or did religious chauvinism get the better of you? If you had, you’d read the questioning of a present day Jesus’ reaction to the vulgar wealth openly displayed by religions using his name (and the suggestion was that he would upturn their tables as he did in the temple) and the almost certain fact that he would have been no more respected by the present church or state authorities than he was then, perhaps even meeting an ugly end.

It’s an old trick, trying to put words in other’s mouths, but I do indeed have teeth and can even snarl when my words are misrepresented. Since you admit to knowing few adherents to Islam why could I not ask you how you come by your assumptions? Sure seems like an angry, warlike and vengeful belief from here no? How these people (or Mel Gibson or anyone else you want to toss in here) believe becomes my concern when they tread on others, or worse, convince gullible others, to do their bidding and it escalates to a war capable of world wide conflagration. These fundamentalists of all persuasions are a far cry from the helpless unsophisticated worshiper piously seeking solace in a quiet place or the well meaning, well-heeled hollywooders you so quickly rushed in to defend from my mean words.

What we can agree on is the recognition of my anger. I had quite an awakening when tax free pulpit bullies browbeat their congregations to vote for war, wealth hoarding, the death penalty, the abandoning of the poor, looting of the treasury and social security, disdain of the elderly regarding health care and medicine costs, disregard for meaningful education and educators, scorn for the environment, while promoting hate for gays, fear of Blacks, disrespect for even a two-party system.      
Huan Yi
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13 posted 02-01-2006 09:05 AM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/4669360.stm

RSWells
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14 posted 02-01-2006 12:48 PM       View Profile for RSWells   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for RSWells

Thanks for the link Huan Yi. It's a hopeful sign that France, in spite of the danger in Paris' streets, reposted the "offensive" cartoon.

The staunch adherents to the more severe beliefs of fundamentalism have shown absolutely no tolerence for anyone who isn't a member of their browbeaten, wild eyed flocks. Be they zionists, islamic jihadists or christian fundamentalists they dare to attempt to seize a moral highground (perhaps having learned this tactic from the republican party, which has since revealed itself as the most corrupt entity in american history) and from that lofty and arrogant perch they silence any other interpretation of their claimed shared beliefs (the truly pious adherents not the types to argue, they go along or refrain from the discussion).

It's bullying. It's intimidating. It's repression.

Since we, as Americans, are incapable of open discussions on Race or our violent history and inclinations we can expect no honest, high level and cerebral discourse on the danger of clinging to ancient myths and prejudices. That leaves only humor.

I attended the Summer Jam concert in Watkins Glen N. Y., July 28, 1973 (along with 600,000 other people, and still recall the awesome and nearly religious look to 10 to 12 people abreast walking over the hills for miles to attend). At a break between acts, while everyone was pretty much maintaining their spot, partying, there was an incident below me in the vast crowd. Apparently a bike gang had been offended by a small group of people behind them and they rose, colors, black and denim, chains, the whole deal, enough to intimidate nearly any unarmed person. It didn't look good for the, now surrounded by at least 20 bikers, group. Suddenly, from the immense crowd, broke out laughter, in seconds there were 10's of thousands of peace loving people laughing and pointing at the bikers. It took less than a minute for the bikers to melt back down to their seats and to my knowledge, there was no violence in that day's second largest city in N. Y.

While my point is that it was humor (this case laughter) that solved that situation, it also occurs to me now that should any of these end-timers be sent back in time and dropped into that crowd they'd be horrified. Unclean, dirty hippies (there was no way to take a shower and the concert lasted a few days), smoking weed, drinking and listening to that devil music (not to mention the occasional nude), doubtless they'd feel morally superior while they held their noses and sought the exit. But I'd sooner worship the moon with one of those concert goers than feel comfortable living on the same street with any fundy.
  
Ron
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15 posted 02-01-2006 02:56 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

You're last post, Richard, about the power of humor, explains a lot, I think.

For a while there, I thought you actually expected to be taken seriously. That would be extremely hard to do, of course, if you really thought people would buy into such convoluted attempts to turn the Civil War, among others, into a holy war. At first, I thought calling the Republican party the "most corrupt entity in American history" was stretching hyperbole to a snapping point, and only later realized you were actively shooting for farce. I didn't know, until you told me, that you were trying to be funny.

Regretfully, Richard, I don't think your joke is working. While I'm no comedian, nor an expert on what makes parody funny, I have to suspect you've gone a bit overboard with the mock anger and hostility. Most people, I think, recognize that "high level and cerebral discourse" might occasionally result in indignation but never in real anger or hostility. Emotions of that depth aren't intellectual, after all. They stem, instead, from bad personal experiences, from trauma, from fear, and very often from failure. If you can pull off more of an Archie Bunker slant, Richard, the anger and hyperbole might yet be funny, but right now, the fake intellectualism is just sending mixed signals. I really can't imagine Archie every saying "cerebral discourse." Then again, I guess I can't imagine William Buckley or any other political satirists saying it, either.

You've got outrageousness down pat, Richard. Kudos on that. You just need to change your presentation a bit, I think, if you want to make people laugh with you instead of at you. Humor is, indeed, a powerful tool. It takes a lot of work, however, to avoid turning hate and hostility into a sick joke.

Good luck with that, though.


RSWells
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since 06-17-2001
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16 posted 02-01-2006 05:43 PM       View Profile for RSWells   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for RSWells

Well Ron, there must have been considerable whining in the back room to bring your attention to this matter and prompt an uncharacteristic long (and terse) response. But slavery was the reason for the Civil War, and both its virtues and culpability were extolled for decades preceding the hostilities from pulpits North and South. How could/why would there be differences between moral and religious arguments on the subject?

As far as the Republican Party goes, there may be arguments that Grant’s administration presided over more corruption http://www.u-s-history.com/pages/h234.html
Or Harding’s (the Tea Pot Dome Scandal), than again, the Nixon administration should be considered. Reagan must be placed in the top 5 or so (The Iran-Contra scandal, Savings & Loan Bail-out, The Pentagon procurement scandal etc.). Note these are all Republican Administrations. I could fill several pages with the sins we so far know of the current regime! Somewhat telling that this was one of only two points you chose to follow up on.

Since the subject is (sorta) religion I wonder how many of the political faithful realize that this Republican machine forced one public servant who lives a life closest to the teachings of Christianity out of office with underhanded and, dare I say, traitorous and nefarious clandestine agreements with sworn enemies? I speak of Jimmy Carter who, while running for President had G.H.W. Bush sneak off to meet the Islamic Revolutionaries who were holding Americans hostage, and cut a deal to continue to confine the hostages until he and Reagan could take office?
  
So, on one hand, we have Jimmy Carter, founder of the Carter Center and famous for the Habitat For Humanity, as well as his deep involvement in stopping AIDS in Africa (who, in his current bestseller, “Our Endangered Values,” has chapters with such titles as; “My Traditional Christian Faith, The Entwining of Church and State, Fundamentalism in Government, Worshipping the Prince of Peace, or Preemptive War?”) and because he’s a Democrat and (god forbid!) somewhat “Liberal,” the Religious Right helped the Neocons run him off.

To be replaced by Ronald Reagan;
"Virtually every major move and decision the Reagan’s made during my time as White House Chief of Staff was cleared in advance with a woman in San Francisco who drew up horoscopes to make certain that the planets were in a favorable alignment for the enterprise."
--Donald Regan (Reagan's former chief of staff), For the Record: From Wall Street to Washington

Since you wouldn’t know me if fell out of the sky on you this minute, I’ll try and not take too seriously the virulent implications of such acerbic claims as “Emotions of that depth aren't intellectual, after all. They stem, instead, from bad personal experiences, from trauma, from fear, and very often from failure,” as well as “fake intellectualism.” Let’s simply attribute those as amateur dabblings in pop- psychology.

As far as humor goes, I’ll admit to being voted “most funniest” in my graduating class, as well as a prediction that I’d be a stand-up comedian.  One could go back to anywhere I worked or played and the first thing ex-coworkers or long lost friends would say was how funny I was. But there really isn’t much to laugh at these days is there? Perpetual War, new “evil empire” lists, constantly updated, division not seen here since the Civil War, and all the rest that I mention at the end of my second post on this thread. Thanks for the advice on humor but I’m afraid I need to see your credentials.

While I’m fairly certain I broke no rules in these posts (vulgarity, sexually explicit, suicide, personal attacks) I suppose you could exercise the authority of site owner to ban me, though this is The Alley and in America one may still voice an opinion may they not? To do so however would speak volumes.
Huan Yi
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since 10-12-2004
Posts 6334
Waukegan


17 posted 02-01-2006 07:09 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi


Question: what paper in the United States has published
the cartoons that has so many Moslem countries and peoples upset?

Let’s say Rolling Stone or National Review published the cartoons
and the Moslem nations responded with an oil embargo to continue
until that magazine published an apology with a further assurance
of in the future being more sensitive to its readership, (no more
such cartoons).  How high a price would you have the nation pay
before insisting pressure was brought to exact that apology and assurance?

Perhaps the two questions have already,
(in some way), been asked and answered.

[This message has been edited by Huan Yi (02-01-2006 07:50 PM).]

Ron
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18 posted 02-01-2006 07:23 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
Well Ron, there must have been considerable whining in the back room to bring your attention to this matter ...

Richard, there isn't a thread in any of the Discussion forums I don't follow fairly closely. No, there hasn't been any whining in the backroom, nor any laughter either. Nary a peep (or a pip).

quote:
But slavery was the reason for the Civil War, and both its virtues and culpability were extolled for decades preceding the hostilities from pulpits North and South.

There were hostilities from pulpits? Ignoring the nested prepositional phrases, Richard, I think I know what you meant. But I'm sure you don't believe everything you hear, even from the pulpits, and probably recognize that excuses aren't the same as causes. There may have existed religious justifications, but the root of slavery was always economics. Moreover, slavery itself was just a justification for war in 1861, not the cause.

"How many wars can you name that didn't start with some human concocted religion's being slighted/insulted or territorially challenged?"

Your original implication, Richard, was a rhetorical misstep. Not a big deal, because hey, we all make them occasionally. If you ever get to be President, you get to make them a LOT. It would have been easier, though, and in my opinion more convincing, to just admit your implication was wrong. Not all wars or conflicts have been rooted in religion. I'm not even sure we could say that most have been.

That doesn't change the fact, however, that many have been, and com'on -- that's bad enough. Why try to make it worse than it is? Especially when the cost is inevitably going to be your credibility.

Calling the Republican party "the most corrupt entity in American history" was just more of the same. Not satisfied with merely corrupt, you had to go for the superlative. It's a little hard to take you seriously, Richard, when you insist a political party tops your list above Al Capone, the Manson family and Enron. Not to even mention those yokels who bought Manhattan Island for beads, buttons and trinkets. Or are you now going to try to convince us those were all Republicans?

Organized religion has problems. I don't trust too many Republicans, either (or Democrats, for that matter). In short, Richard, I haven't disagreed with your points, but rather with the way you've made them. The vitriol is disrespectful and unnecessary, especially in a forum of your peers (since you don't want to be friends). On most web sites, it would be considered trolling, especially when accompanied by exaggerations so blatant and silly as to have no other obvious purpose than to incite others.

It was a lot easier to just conclude you were intentionally trying to be funny.


Huan Yi
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since 10-12-2004
Posts 6334
Waukegan


19 posted 02-01-2006 08:27 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/4670370.stm

Now this is getting interesting . . .
Please keep in mind that “Islam”
literally means “Submission”.


‘French theologian Sohaib Bencheikh spoke out against the pictures in a column in France Soir accompanying them Wednesday.

"One must find the borders between freedom of expression and freedom to protect the sacred," he wrote. "Unfortunately, the West has lost its sense of the sacred."’

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,183464,00.html


[This message has been edited by Huan Yi (02-02-2006 05:08 AM).]

RSWells
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since 06-17-2001
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20 posted 02-01-2006 09:34 PM       View Profile for RSWells   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for RSWells

“quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
But slavery was the reason for the Civil War, and both its virtues and culpability were extolled for decades preceding the hostilities from pulpits North and South.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
There were hostilities from pulpits? Ignoring the nested prepositional phrases, Richard, I think I know what you meant.”
Gee Ron, where’s the vaunted magnanimity that would place a comma after the word “hostilities?”  After all, did I point out your errors, one in your first post “You’re,” when I knew you meant “your,” or the non-existent “com’on” when I knew you meant C’mon, or the fragmented sentence that warns me of my credibility? What, exactly, does this grammatical nit-picking substitute for?

That slavery was not the cause for war is an opinion. That economics were involved is true. But economics (oil) are involved now aren’t they (because Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11)? And what government can expect the hoi-polloi/cannon fodder to take up arms and indulge in bloodshed and the risk of life and limb for rich men’s desires or conflicts? Religion has to be employed and the heat of its rhetoric ratcheted up until the desired effect.

While you probably think you have my wrist turned and my hand nearly touching the table with your last post I’ll only slightly alter it from;
“How many wars can you name that didn't start with some human concocted religion's being slighted/insulted or territorially challenged?”
To;
How many wars can you name that didn’t start without the active complicity of some human concocted religion or without its being slighted/insulted or territorially challenged?

Of course using a word other than “entity” would have denied your ridiculous addition of Al Capone et al, into the discussion (how ‘bout “government?”). Though I’ll have to wait a year or so before I would completely withdraw that statement, after all, the juries haven’t even been picked yet on the increasing number of rascals being indicted.

I would have you know however, that the tribe that “sold” Manhattan Island, the Canarsie Indians of Long Island, just happened to be passing through when the generous offer was made. The tribe that actually lived there had nothing to do with the transaction (Native Americans were often very territorial about their hunting grounds but none of them believed it possible to “own” land). The Raritans of Staten Island, sold it six times to foolish white men.

“quote:

“(since you don't want to be friends)”
Nice try, but read back and you’ll see I was referred to as “my friend” in the same manner one calls an annoying stranger “pal.”

“quote:

“On most web sites, it would be considered trolling, especially when accompanied by exaggerations so blatant and silly as to have no other obvious purpose than to incite others.”

No, “trolls” are anonymous, my name is known and perhaps if sensibilities are offended you should consider barring politics and religion (sex, already covered here) from discussion. I know how much it disturbs those good “patriotic” citizens when a “Liberal” isn’t of limp wrist. Or cowed, like true Christians, into silence.  

Huan Yi
Member Ascendant
since 10-12-2004
Posts 6334
Waukegan


21 posted 02-01-2006 09:39 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi


"without the active complicity of some human concocted religion"

There's the rub; confusing the dog
with the tail.
Ron
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since 05-19-99
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22 posted 02-01-2006 10:31 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
... perhaps if sensibilities are offended you should consider barring politics and religion (sex, already covered here) from discussion.

I don't think we've ever barred a particular topic from discussion around here, Richard. It's generally easier, and certainly more productive, to bar the few who don't know how to discuss topics rationally and with respect for others.
LeeJ
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since 06-19-2003
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SE PA


23 posted 02-02-2006 11:19 AM       View Profile for LeeJ   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for LeeJ

quite frankly its time people of the world get over it and lighten up...yanno?  Religion is an opinion of its followers rules...for instance

1. beliefs and worship: people's beliefs and opinions concerning the existence, nature, and worship of a deity or deities, and divine involvement in the universe and human life


2. system: an institutionalized or personal system of beliefs and practices relating to the divine


3. personal beliefs or values: a set of strongly-held beliefs, values, and attitudes that somebody lives by


4. obsession: an object, practice, cause, or activity that somebody is completely devoted to or obsessed by
The danger is that you start to make fitness a religion.


5. christianity monk's or nun's life: life as a monk or a nun, especially in the Roman Catholic Church


[12th century. Via French < Latin religion- "obligation, reverence"]

so looking at these definitions realistically, every human being is looking for something...even me   and lucky you, I won't get into my beliefs...but...fact of the matter is...it is up to the individual who or what they choose to believe is their God, both for the fundamentalists and for those who are none believers...its merely choice

As far as the cartoons, I say, whatever religion, lighten up...I mean think about it...to actually take it personal or a personal attack is between the maker of that cartoon and their God.  No one has the right to dictate what we have to believe...which is just as ironious as someone stating the lefts are the most corrupt, or the rights are the most corrupt...both sides are corrupt and bear they're own skeletons.  

You don't have to believe in the cartoon, you don't have to condone it, you can disagree if you like, but to carry on as such, simply proves to me, that no matter how intellectual we might think we are, on any subject, it is strickly "our" own opinion...we can back any statement with history, names of authors, newspaper articles, but we must keep in mind, again, these writings are opinions...even history is not totally correct, depending on whose opinion you read?  

God, and I'm saying this seriously with worry, of all the "religions" in the world, adding, even in our country, to make a statement and acutally believe that one religion is the absolute one, is absolutely ludicrist...so what if someone drew a cartoon?  So what if someone laughs and says my beliefs are not accurate, so what if someone is a right or left, so what whose religion is whose?  Point of this entire fiasco is...lighten up and don't take it so personal...the human being is really way to wanting to control people, money, power, etc. and back their theory with books and newspaper clippings and of course they're Bibles...but, in fact, and I don't mean any insult to anyone here, the truth is, every thought, everything written in the world, is an opinion.  

So, what do I think about all of this...John, its time the world lighten up, but of course, there is no chance of that happening is there...people are killing each other over land, over religions, over beliefs...all to gain control, power and the beat goes on and have been doing just that since the beginning of time...since the first Bible was released to the public for reading, by the priests...and I for one, wonder, just which version was released, doctored up...etc..but that's another story, forum, isn't it. Point being, how in the world can they're be so many religions, and each one being "The Truth"  "The True World" and yet, followers so do believe, don't they?  So much so, that they would kill a man or men, to get their point across.  I wonder whose going to make road rage a religion?

I'm not trying to insult anyone here, just trying to make a point on how silly it is to argue, take personal, or kill over beliefs, articles, history,...I mean it, it really really scares me...
it scares me that the extremests go to the extreme...

if you ask me, and nobody has, I know, but mankind is it's own wart on the butt of humanity...yanno?


Thank you John for bringing this article to our attention...makes me want to just slink off and live by myself, no human interaction what-so-ever.  hehe



Ron
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24 posted 02-02-2006 01:37 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

Yea, Lee, but isn't your opinion that everything is an opinion then just as insignificant as everyone else's? If you took your own advice to "lighten up," I doubt you would have taken so much time to write your post and I sincerely hope you would have avoided labels like "ludicrist" (sic), "fiasco," and "silly" when describing people who simply have different opinions from you.

Instead of a resolution to protect religions from insults, we should perhaps be looking for a way to protect people from insults. If it's going to be okay to insult a group based only on their religion, it should be just as okay to insult a group because they're all women, all black, or all poor and uneducated. There's no point in complaining, Ladies, when construction workers yell obscenities at you or men on the street make lewd and suggestive gestures, because after all, they're just expressing an opinion and your feelings about being a sex object are no more important to anyone else than the way a Muslim might feel when you mock their religion. When you get to the door after an otherwise pleasant evening and discover a man's expectations are in direct proportion to how much he just spent on dinner, don't get insulted or feel bad about his opinion of you. Lighten up!

Sigh.

It's entirely too easy, I think, to trivialize the feelings of others. We do it all the time with kids and teenagers because, after all, their feelings are immature and won't likely last past puberty. Getting so worked up over a boy/girlfriend you won't eventually marry is just ludicrous and silly to most adults. We forget that the transience of human emotion is a poor indicator of intensity. We forget that pain doesn't always follow a logical course, not for teens and not for adults, either. It doesn't matter why they surface or what motivates them, feelings are always real to the person experiencing them. You don't have to understand them, but you damn well better respect them, at least if you want your own always illogical, always transient feelings to be respected in return.

In my opinion, no one should have to justify their emotions in order to be respected. No one should be told, directly or indirectly, that their feelings don't count. Regretfully, I suspect it will take a lot more than a U.N. resolution to teach this world respect and tolerance.


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