The Prudence of “Islamophobia”

Leading up to and including this weekend there will be no shortage of opinions on both sides of the “Islamophobia” discussion.  There are many people still harbor strong emotions against the ideology that is responsible for nearly 3,000 deaths which rekindle every year on the anniversary of September 11th.  Many people believe (understood: feel) this animosity is misplaced.  ‘An otherwise peaceful religion has been corrupted by terrorists’ they say.  ‘There is no need to single out a single religion, anyone can be a terrorist.’  But are they right?  Is it irrational to fear the self-described Religion of Peace?

Last year I read this article from The American Thinker, It’s Logical To Be Islamophobic Here’s an excerpt:

According to the ISAF, in 2009, there were 61 unprovoked shark attacks worldwide, resulting in five deaths and 56 injured.  Lightning is more dangerous than sharks. According to NOAA, in 2009, 34 Americans died from lightning strikes. Worldwide, the estimate is about a thousand deaths and five thousand injuries annually.

But radical Islamic terrorism is even more dangerous. According to the U.S. State Department report on terrorist attacks in 2009, “about one half” of the 10,999 identified terrorist attacks worldwide were associated with Sunni Islamists. That’s the high end of the scale. By contrast, another list showing only attacks involving Islamic radicals indicates that they were only responsible for about 1,900 world-wide attacks in 2009. Still, those resulted in more than nine thousand deaths and 18,500 injuries.

The average person is thirty times more likely to be attacked by a Muslim than a shark, and hundreds of times more likely to be killed by one. But it’s not wrong to be “Sharkophobic,” even though the risk is infinitely small. There are good reasons to fear sharks.

1) Predatory – Sharks are dangerous predators that attack when we are vulnerable. Their attacks are sudden, unexpected, and very hard to defend against.
2) Single-minded – Sharks are single-minded and pursue their own objectives. This predatory behavior is controlled by instincts and criteria that I don’t understand.
3) Uncaring – Sharks don’t care about me or my concerns. I cannot get a shark to accept me as a person of value worthy of life.
4) Fear – The shark’s reputation as a cold-blooded killer causes the mere appearance of one to produce fear.

Unfortunately, the reality is that there are also some Muslims who fit the same basic criteria.

1) Predatory – Radical Muslims are also dangerous predators who attack when we are vulnerable. Their attacks are sudden, unexpected, and very hard to defend against.
2) Single-minded – Radicalized Muslims are single-minded and pursue only their own objectives. This predatory behavior is controlled by a worldview and a set of criteria that few of us understand. (Further, those who do understand it make it clear that we could not accept it as normative without massively disruptive changes to our lives.)
3) Uncaring – Radicalized Muslims do not care about me or my concerns. In fact, they do not value anyone who doesn’t precisely share their own specific interpretations of Islam. (As a result, the vast majority of their victims are also Muslim.)
4) Fear – It is the intent of these radicals to produce fear — that’s why we call them “terrorists.” Terror is part of the method they employ to get compliance to their demands. It should not surprise us when they succeed in generating fear that greatly contributes to “Islamophobia.”
5) Announced Intent — There is a fifth dangerous element unique to these people. They have repeatedly “declared war” on us, our religion, our political system, and our way of life. As proof of their intent, they have conducted violent attacks inside our country, using attackers who live among us and hide their malicious intent until it is too late. Their deception involves extensive lying and efforts to appear “normal” so that they can attack without warning.
Who would have thought that a mild-mannered Saudi national, who was college-educated in Germany and who had been in this country for more than a year learning to fly commercial jets, would have led the most vicious attack against civilians in U.S. history?
Who would have thought that a U.S.-born practicing psychiatrist, an Army officer, sent through medical school by the Army, would have unexpectedly attacked random soldiers in his own workplace, killing thirteen and wounding thirty?

Therefore, it is logical to be fearful of Muslims because a tiny percentage of them, who deliberately deceive everyone about their intentions, might be extremely dangerous.

Unfortunately, this is bad for the rest of the Islamic faith. We can’t tell them apart — until it is too late. It seems to me that this logical fear will cause the Muslim faith as a whole to suffer growing isolation. Since I fear sharks, I do not go into the water when they are around, and I get out if they show up. The same withdrawal reaction is rational when dealing with Islamic radicals.

The Department of Homeland Security has been promoting their “If you see something, say something” program in an effort to combat terrorism.  But with political correctness taking priority, DHS has made the face of terrorism well dressed upper-class looking Caucasians.

The truth is, the vast majority of terrorist events are perpetrated by Middle Eastern Muslim men in their 20s and 30s.  Ordinarily, political correctness is something to be mocked.  It is invoked only when speaking about people groups who get upset or embarrassed about the truth of a matter.  However, when applied in this situation, it can be dangerous.  Of course not every Muslim is a terrorist, far from it.  But unfortunately, nearly every terrorist is Muslim.

Comments

  1. Those commercials are false when it comes to showing who terrorists are, and they are an insult to Americans. Islam is the danger, and has been since the 7th century. So-called “radical” Islam, and all the other politically-correct jingo to play up to them – is the Islam which truly follows the faith outlined in the Qur’an and the Hadith. Until this country gets over the politically-correct idea that “profiling” is “hurtful” or “offensive,” we will never be safe. Check out how the Israeli’s do their airline security – and that’s how we should do ours. They don’t mess around.

  2. Sounds like something else I read from a Norwegian who saw some trends in Islam that he feared. I’m worried you may make the same argument. I think you should be clear about how you intend to carry out this “rational Islamophobia.” Is it a new Christian Crusade against Muslims, or maybe general racial profiling for harassment by law enforcement, or is it equal rights to be innocent until proven guilty? Which general area best fits your view of how to visit the extremism of some Muslims on others? You’re a bit vague in your post. For me, I would prefer not to sacrifice liberty for safety* and I would prefer not to punish innocents for someone else’s crimes.

    http://www.examiner.com/atheism-in-national/the-fundamentalist-christian-ideology-of-terrorist-anders-breivic

    * They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety. – Ben Franklin

    • I don’t think we need to sacrifice liberty at all. And not all profiling is a bad thing. After all, the entire point to DHS’s campaign is to profile certain behaviors. And Israel has in place a profiling system which has prevented attacks on aircraft for decades. And they are surrounded by nations who seek their obliteration. Are we to ignore the the fact that the vast majority of terrorists are young male Middle Eastern Muslims and treat little old ladies as though they have strapped themselves with explosives? No. Thats nonsense. Additionally, this has nothing to do with Christianity. Rather the security of the country. It is not a “Christian” response, it is an American response to an ideology that has explicitly stated goals in bringing as much harm to westerners as possible..in the name of their religion.

      • “We” don’t need to sacrifice liberty under your plan. Only brown people need to sacrifice liberty. It’s their fault for looking like some terrorists look. They don’t look like Timothy McVeigh, the shoe bomber, or the unabomber, or Irish Catholic terrorists, or Irish Protestant terrorists, Abortion clinic bombers, the VT shooter, white supremacists…

        http://www.loonwatch.com/2010/01/not-all-terrorists-are-muslims/

        I’m not saying there aren’t good arguments for racial profiling as part of good law enforcement. I just think those arguments are not as good as arguments in support of equal rights, due process, and cultural understanding. I would add that your exemplar of racial profiling, Israel, has a dismal track record of equal rights, due process, and cultural understanding.

        • If “Timothy McVeigh, the shoe bomber, or the unabomber, or Irish Catholic terrorists, or Irish Protestant terrorists, Abortion clinic bombers, the VT shooter, white supremacists” occured on as regular a basis as Middle Eastern young Muslim men committing acts of terror, they’d be on a watch list and should be profiled too. Hopefully, you or anyone you care for is **not** a victim due to the inaction of political correctness. And I mean that honestly.

          UPDATE: I had inadvertantly omitted the word “not” in the original comment. I do not wish harm on Jason or his loved ones, and I am very sorry for my error.

      • It’s not just screening – Air Israel planes do not have any access from the passenger area to the cockpits – they are self contained by design. Makes hijacking impossible. Blowing up the plane remains possible, but not hijacking.

        but if we allow terrorists to change the way that we live and worse, by putting limits on any people in our society – then terrorism and religious extremism wins, since they are attacking and attempting to undermine our way of life – our open way of life – with their violent attacks.

        They are wanting us to become smaller and more modest people who live in fear of them and their god.

        Which is why living openly, in plain sight, in the sun – living well is the best revenge and the best countermeasure.

        Increasing the security at all possible points of violence and conflict is just turning our society into a mass prison with the police state as the jail guards – except that we all pretend that it’s not jail, it’s just necessary security in a world where religious violence is allowed to set limits on our freedom of expression, movements and our very lives.

  3. The grammar was a bit off, so I hope you’ll take a moment to rescind that last bit of wishing violence on me and mine.
    Did you not even read the link I included? US terrorism is done by hispanics and whites, not by middle easterners. (I’d say Muslims, but you don’t really mean Muslims. You mean anyone who looks Arab.) So explain again why there should be restrictions against middle easterners in the US if the frequency and likelihoods are lower for those racial groups.
    What you call political correctness is called civil rights by those who have to undergo harassment and unwarranted searches.

    • Youre right, I left out the word “not”. I’ll fix that right away for you, I am very sorry for that. I do honestly and truly hope you or anyone you care for is not a victim of an incident that could have been prevented if it were not for political correctness.

      Those incidents are isolated. What I mean by that is those people you cited were mentally ill, they sought revenge. They had problems. Muslims kill nonMuslims because they are “supposed to”.

      So even though “Latinos” comprised 40%, there is nothing about being Latino that drives one to perform acts of terror. Same with the others, save for the KKK.. But unlike the others listed, Islam prescribes terrorism, encourages it, embraces it, and frowns upon not participating in it. The ideology is the problem, not the brownness of their skin.

      • Thanks for the clarification. I thought it might have been an oversight. See how nicely we argue? :-)

        First, the brownness of their skin is what people are focused on for profiling, unless you mean the clothes they wear. The practical implementation of this must be either by clothes or skin color. Or do you suggest a “known Muslim” registry?

        As you stand on the outside of Islam and say it promotes murder of non-Muslims, how would you respond to Muslims who promote peace? Lots do. They say that those violent Muslims are just disturbed minorities. Just as you ignore the bad parts of the Bible, or call the “holistic” view of “all” the Bible and see peace, so many Muslims look take the “holistic” view of the Qu’ran and call it peaceful. When I quoted you parts of the Bible, you said I was “doin’ it wrong” so you can’t consistently pull individual verses from the Qu’ran to prove Islam is inherently violent.

        The fact is that people are people and thoughts can’t be controlled in a free society. The minute you call Islam inherently a violent religion and start to rescind freedoms, you are instituting McCarthyism for Islam rather than communism. Is that what you want?

        And do you denounce Christian violence — abortion clinic bombers in the US, school bombers in the UK, mobs in Nigeria, the conquest of the New World and Africa, and the Crusades? Christianity has frequently shown itself to be violent, especially when faced with indigenous peoples who couldn’t properly defend themselves. You should first denounce Christian violence before denouncing Muslims violence (which was a main point I made in the Breivic article).

        • The majority of the world’s Muslims are “secular” Muslims who have no idea what their faith is about. But those who follow the teachings of Mohammed are indeed 100% for the idea of world subjugation. The older passages in the Qur’an which speak of getting along and peace are when Mohammed was trying to get Jews and others to accept him as a prophet of God. As they refused the later “violence” passages came about, and still stand today. True Muslims who follow their faith have to be of the mindset of destroying Israel, destroying Judaism and eradicating any objection to their socio-religious system. They will compel people to convert or die.

          True Christians, on the other hand, reject all forms of violence for conversion, let alone inquisitions, witch trials, murder, etc.

          The crusades, by the way, were perpetrated by the Romanist organization, which does not represent true Christianity. However, that being said, if it wasn’t for the crusades all of Europe would be Islamic now.

          And I have NEVER seen violence by so-called “Christians” not being condemned.

        • Glenn born in the Middle East wrote:
          “The majority of the world’s Christians are “secular” Christians who have no idea what their faith is about. But those who follow the teachings of Jesus are indeed 100% for the idea of world subjugation. The newer passages in the Bible which speak of getting along and peace are when Jesus was trying to get Jews and others to accept him as a prophet of God. As they refused the later “violence” (revelation / conversion / crusader) passages came about, and still stand today. True Christians who follow their faith have to be of the mindset of destroying Israel (to bring about end times), destroying Judaism and Islam and eradicating any objection to their socio-religious system. They will compel people to convert or die.

          True Muslims, on the other hand, reject all forms of violence for conversion, let alone violent Jihad, genital mutliation, murder, etc.

          The crusades, by the way, were perpetrated by the Romanist organization, which does not represent true Islam. However, that being said, if it wasn’t for the crusades all of the Middle East would be Christian now.

          And I have NEVER seen violence by so-called “Muslims” not being condemned.

  4. Jason, the problem with your little paraphrase is that it is a bald-faced lie.

  5. I think religionophobia is the most reasonable position – it’s not like Christianity has a shiny and blood free past.

    • I know as a skeptic, you dont differentiate between the differences between religions, and sects within the same religion. Blanket statements about religion doesnt take into account the differences, which really do matter.

      About “Christianity’s” past, there really is a world of difference between the Roman Catholic Church (both now and then) and the Christian Church. This is one of those differences that you dont take into account, and those difference are night and day.

  6. The richest muslim country Saudi Arabia is an ally of the US. The third largest nation in the world is Indonesia. Indonesia is not at war with anyone or trying to conquer any non muslim lands. The most powerfull country in christendom is the US. US troops are occupying dozens of countries and has troops at war of agression in a couple of islamic countries. Most western coutries have send their troops to join the US in their campaingns. The campaingns are obviously about the controlling resources and geopolitical ground. These are the facts.

    How anyone interpretes the Bible or the Koran is their individual choise. The fundamentalists of either religion seem to find reason enough to back up any violence they engage from these books.

    • The USA is NOT a Christian nation by a long shot. We may have started primarily with that idea, we may have had the Christian ethic until early last century, but this is a secular-humanist run nation, which is why we have our troops all over the world trying to be the world’s police force. However Islam is occupying most of the world, refusing to assimilate in the countries in which they live as they demand the use of Sharia law. I think you should have listened to Geert Wilders.

      It may be “individual choice” as to how people read their holy book, but the Bible and Koran have intrinsic meanings intended by the authors. Following those meanings, Islam can only be a political-religious system (Christianity is not a political system) which seeks subjugation of the world and the total eradication of Jews. Following those meanings, Christianity seeks only to spread the gospel of salvation through Christ – and only by teaching it, not by force.

      • Glenn E. Chatfield, would you agree that the US has not allways acted morally? What do you mean Islam is occupying most of the world? What on earth are you meaning by that islam is occupying most of the world? Nobody told me. Who is Geert Wilders?

        What you present here is your interpretation of these religions. Does it hold in unison whith what history tells us of their adherents? Or how most of their adherents interpret them today. I think not. If christianity would have been spread only by means of teaching, it would propably be just one minor cult if it even existed anymore.

        • I fully agree that the US has not always acted morally. Neither has any other country – so what’s the point?
          Islam is taking over the world by immigration. Look around at how many countries are being overrun by Islam and Sharia law – France is inundated. Even in the US we have “Dearbornistan.” Geert WIlders is a Dutch politician who had the audacity to warn his country of the danger of Islam, and for that was put on trial for hate speech. Fortunately he was acquitted. I suggest you read up on what he had to say in court.

          Christianity spread rapidly the first few centuries before it was corrupted and began to be forced by the likes of Romanism. It never used violence to teach the gospel. Some organizations claiming to be Christian did not obey the faith, but you can’t blame the faith for their behavior.

          It isn’t “MY” interpretation – it is the facts!

        • LOL, not only is it consistent with what we know the history to be, its consistent with the Muslim account of Islam’s violent history.

  7. Oh, and by the way communist terrorists of Germany, the Bader Meinhof group, had this absurd idea that using terror bombs would somehow turn the society into a police state and that would bring about revolution. You know what, that is exatly what happened in Russia in the early 20th century.

    Israel is a coutry of racial and religious bigotry. They build security walls and people are constantly mistreated because of their ethnic backround, never mind if the palestinian is a muslim or christian. Yet, with all their security systems they are not safe from the terrorists. It is a status quo of terror. The palestinians shoot rockets and the israelis mow down a couple of homes. Everybody lives in fear. Nobody wins exept the very richest of course, because they always find use for the desperation of poor people. The state of Israel uses the collective punishment almost as actively as the nazis. Their political leadership holds power, by the fear of their constituants. The fear of terror and of their neighbouring states. The fundamentalist jews think their holy scriptures tell that peace on earth is achieved when they the chosen nation of their god rules all the other nations. Interresting eh?

    • Wait a minute…Israel is as bad as the Nazis? Sorry, I liked you up until this comment. Israel is surrounded by muslims who are perpetually launching missiles and explosives into their country. Then they get the horrible idea to defend themselves, and Israel is the bad guy. Sorry, Muslims have said Israel doesnt have a right to exist, and have publicly declared the goal is to wipe Israel off the face of the map.

      You’re damn right, the Palestinians shoot a couple rockets in (and you somehow dont see that as the bad thing in need of condemnation) and yes, mow down a few houses. How about not shooting rockets into Israel? Is that not an option. I hope Israel lays waste to its enemies. Jews have been a target for Muslims since the 7th century. Israel would be in their rights to strike first on any nation that threatens it.
      \
      Yes, there will be peace on earth when the God of Israel rules all. But it is never commanded for the Jews to conquer all. Thats the difference. The Jews are waiting for the Messiah of God to do it, they arent trying to do it themselves, like the Muslims, who think its their individual job.

      • John Barron Jr, I am sorry you have not been very well informed about the situation in the Near-East. It is not the question of wether or not Israel has the right to defend itself, but rather how they choose to do it. Do not close your eyes on what is happening. Every country has the right to defend themselves. No, no country has the right to strike first. No country has the right to opress their own citizens or any other people, like the state of Israel is oppressing the palestinians. Until there is an actual state of Palestine, there will be no peace nor will the terror end. The israelis are slowly driving themselves into a gage of false security. Closed behind their walls and restricted by their apartheid policy. It is a great human tragedy how one of the most oppressed people (by christians and muslims) has now become the oppressor.

        Do you really think you can see the hearts of men? Would you really like to join the Taleban on their interpretation of the holy book of muslims? Most people who call themselves muslims would not. Is that not obvious? Most people wether muslims, christians or what ever would like to live in peace. They would like to choose the interpretation of each and every religion, that promotes that. Islam is not some weird conspiracy. There are those who find excuses for violence from every religion. Would you really like to join in giving support to such interpretations of any religion? There are those who find it equally from the Bible as those who find it from the Koran. Lets not join them.

    • Talk about your liberal revisionist history!!! Israel is not now nor has ever been a “country of racial and religious bigotry.” Look at the full rights and privileges for Muslims in Israel vs the total lack of rights for Jews in Muslim nations. Islam says Israel should be eradicated and you chastise Israel for defending itself.

      • Now,Glenn E. Chatfield, who is being revisionist? There is obvious division in Israel to citizens and non-citizens. Citizenship is achieved by ethnic and religious backround. There are millions of Palestinians, who have no state, and the state of Israel continuously brakes their human rights and violates their property. Palestinians are born in refugee camps. Where are they refugees from? No wonder some of them are trying to fight back, though with little success. It is the David and Goliath all over again, but this time over David is the big guy whith all the armour and Goliath is the kid throwing stones. The government of Israel is playing in the same team as the terrorist organisations such as Hamas. They both benefit from fear it causes in all the people there, but as long as it is good for the both of them, there will be no solution or peace. Religions are just means to rule people is such circumstances. They do not represent the truth because the truths of religions are all so ambiguous, they can be streched to defend any sort of violence. Or why would you otherwise defend an obviously fascistic and apartheidist government?

        Do you know who is the most active group in Europe to spread the claims you made about islam conquering countries by immigration and countries being overrun by Sharia law? The Neo-nazis. Not a very reliable source of information there. Rest assured, no such thing is happening. Yes, I know there are such religious zealots in the islamic world who claim this is some sort of great victory to islam, and an intentional tactic, but it is not. They do expect their foretelling to be self fulfilling, but most people who leave islamic countries do not move away from there as a result of some plan to conquer land for islam. On the contrary they often move to western secular countries to escape narrow minded religious regimes. Most of them simply come to seek for an opportunity to pursue happines. Just like people coming from other developing countries. Or do you think the Vatican has a secret plan to conquer the US by latinos moving into your country?

        I am happy you can accept the fact that the US has not allways acted morally, as that gives me hope. Because so often people whith extreme attitudes are not at all ready to accept anything bad about their own people.

        Islam has a bloody history, but so do most great religions in the world. Especially the monotheistic ones. It is in the nature of monotheism not to be tolerant towards other religions. Or what would you call pogroms? Strange thing about monotheistic religions is also the constant wars against people who hold basicly the same faith, but are deemed heretics. What nation has turned into christianity not by force? Name one. What you call romanism was what christianity was all about for over a thousand years (exept for the koptis in Egypt). There were no other groups unless you mean the celtic church, the albigenses, hussites or adamites and you know what happened to them? For over a thousand years christianity, or romanism, as you would prefer, was spread around the world by violence. Then during the renneissance the western roman church was broken once again and a new bloody age of violence erupted. The new churches born in that violent era were just as eager to destroy “heretics” and “witches” as the roman churches before them. And spread the gospel by violence. Hence colonialism was born. What has changed since, is the emergence of secular state in the western countries, that no longer is in the leash of religious bigots to be used as a weapon against other people.

        It is about your interpretetation. You see every theologian claims they have the facts about a religion. But whose interpretation is correct? Who has the actual right to claim their interpretation is more accurate than the others in religious matters? Everyone I suppose. This may have never accurred to you, but those you would call “heretics” of your own religion hold just as strong faith in their interpretation as you do to yours. Same applies to all the other religions. Facts have nothing to do whith the hole matter. Faith defies facts and logic.

        • You’ve been fed revisionist “nice-guy” history about Israel and “Palestine.” The so-called Palestinians are refugees because of the Arab countries who told them to leave Israel in 1948 so that the Arab countries could invade. Israel told them they could stay. Then after Israel whooped the Muslims around them, the Arab nations wouldn’t take in any “Palestinians” while Israel took in all the Jews from all those nations. The “camps” were kept there by the Arab nations to foment discontent.

          Islam, as noted, was born of violence and remains violent as a worldview. It is not just claims of Nazis – it is the truth and the claims of the Muslims themselves. You want to pretend otherwise, stick your head in the sand. That’s your prerogative.

          Your claims about “Christian” history are about organizations claiming to be Christian. Again, claiming to be something yet not following its teachings, doesn’t make you what you claim, nor is it the fault of the teachings. Christians, real Christians, would have nothing to do with any of that. It was the Christian worldview which advanced society while Islam and other pagan religions did nothing.

          What you fail to understand is that there is indeed an objective truth!

  8. Glenn E. Chatfield, your interpretation of history is not objective. You have chosen a very subjective view as a result of willingnes to believe something concrete. That christianity represents the truth and good and islam represents evil. But that is a preset mindset. Yes, there are ideologies created with evil intent, like the fascism and capitalism, for example. And most religions have interpretations of them with evil intent. One of the most evil of intents is to segragate people. It is not very objective to claim that islam is only representative through the intent of terrorist organisations, when most people who recognize islam are not terrorists. Nor is it very objective to claim most christians are not christian, as they only follow their own interpretations of your religion.

    I hold respect your view of christianity as a non-violent religion and hope it will eventually become that. Christianity, islam and hinduism have bloody backround, yet Martin Luther King, Abdul Ghaffar Khan and Mahatma Gandhi found the ethics from within these religions. Let us rather respect their view as objective than the view of the Taliban or the Neo-nazies.

    • Rautakyy, my “interpretation” of history is indeed objective, based on the facts. Again, there is such thing as objective truth, truth that the Christian faith has been abused to make it seem to be the source of the things it gets blamed for, and the truth that Islam is NOT abused when terrorists follow it. Real Muslims, those who follow their faith, may not be terrorists themselves by they give wholehearted approval to those who are.

  9. As for Israel I base my view on the national radio broadcasters YLE news here in Finland and on the first hand stories of my friends who have served in the UN peace keeping force in the area. These are virtually unbiased sources. What do you base your view on? Where does your information come from? You would believe the Neo-nazies are actually right about who has evil intent? Have you ever heard what else those guys are saying?

    Yes, many states in the area are to be blamed for the situation of the palestinians, like for example the US allies (puppets) Saudi Arabia and Kuwait have benefited from cheap palestinian labour. Or rather the corporations acting there have. Yes, the state of Israel has historical reasons to act as it has done and continues to do. But neither fact releases them from the responsibility of what has been done and what continues to be done to the palestinian people. There is no higher morals deriving from any gods or scriptures, that can act as an excuse for the suffering of an entire nation.

    Glenn E. Chatfield, all the other christians, who you would claim are not, or have not been christians at all, also believe they are acting according to what they think are the teachings of christianity. They derive those teachings from the same holy book as yourself. Who are we, you or I, to judge them not to be christians?

    • I judge people to be or not to be Christians by the Bible and what it actually says in context and not by being twisted by false teachers and cults. As for Israel, believe what you want to believe from “unbiased” sources; you wouldn’t be convinced if God himself told you differently.

      • Well, I would need some way to verify it actually is a god, that tells me these things, if something like that actually happened. But it really does not happen very often, does it? Alltough it should, if there actually existed a god. God telling us how things are, would be a moral responsibility of an omnipotent god (at least), if such a god actually existed. Yet, even then we should be able to verify if said god lied to us or not. Has god told you how the politics in Israel and the Near-East work? Or was it a religious demagogue?

        You like to judge people to be christians or not by your interpretation of the Bible.

        • It isn’t MY interpretation – it is THE interpretation. There is only one meaning given by the author of any written work. I practice exegesis, not eisegesis. Cults and false teachers practice eisegesis.

          There is a way to verify that there actually is a God, but you’d have to really be interested, and accepting there is a God would require you to be accountable to him.

          I have studied the history and watch current events in Israel, etc. But my sources are probably “biased,” while I’m sure yours aren’t.

        • Well, Rautakyy, when you say:

          “You like to judge people to be christians or not by your interpretation of the Bible”

          Is his interpretation wrong? Can you please point me to th eplaces in the BIble that lay out the criteria for what makes someone a Christian or not, and interpret them for me? You have said in the past that the Bible is too complex for you, Rautakyy, to understand. How then can you honestly offer this objection? Or is this challenge just intended to shut down the discussion?

          I await either Biblical citations with your interpretation, or an admission that this was a spurious and useless objection.

  10. John Barron Jr, the Bible is too complex for me to understand in the way you guys understand it. To me it is just a nother fairy tale and a history of an ancient and lost culture, though a magnificent epic at that. That is my interpretation of it. I think my interpretation is fairly objective, though the book might have some other meanings also. Many people believe it does. By far most of those people are Roman catholics or orthodox christians. Now, you have the right to claim you have the truth about it, but to me as an outsider your intrpretations of it are just as valid as any other interpretations based on faith. And faith does defy logic and reason. You should understand that your interpretation does not hold any special power outside your group. You claim the crimes done in the name of christianity were done by “heretics”, but in a way one of those crimes is to call people “heretics” or “fake christians”. Many of those people have as deep faith as yours. Do you have the right to deny these people their identity? If someone is asking for objective truth and then claims he has the absolute truth about something as contraversial as the Bible or religion in general, it shows some form inhumility towards the subject, does it not? It is one thing to confess faith than to claim you have the absolute truth.

    What our different views on Israel prove, is how religion can be used for evil. It is your faith that makes you defend such an abomination as the Israeli palestinian politics, though that issue itself has nothing to do with religion. It is just the same as with the terrorists who are compelled to act by their faith, not by their reason. Like the way you are showing readiness to fear all islamic people. Religions are once again simply showing up as a means to achieve political goals.

    If the Bible was truly the word of a god, it should not be so cryptic, that even though I have read it, I have not found any plausible salvation or explanation of a god from it. The word of a god should be something accessible to all people, even the illiterate and the stoopid, like me. It is not my fault I do not believe in your god. I just can´t. It is not believable to me. Or is it your fault you do not believe in Santa Claus? Or do you?

  11. Oh, and if I tried to shut down the discussion, would it not be much more easier for me to not participate it anymore? The intent of the many writers of the Bible could be found from the many different interpretations of it, but what their intent was, is not however the absolute truth. It is just about how those particular people in the antiquity interpreted the world around them. For all I know you might have interpreted this verse right and that one wrong. The Roman catholics may have interpreted this verse wrong and that one right. Who can tell? A fact is that their interpretation is representative for what christianity has stood for most of its history, so you can not simply wipe all that historical and cultural weight out of existance. A very small minority of islamic people think terror or violence is what islam is about. You can not accept segragation based on that interpretation of their religion ethically. To most christians ever and even today Roman catholisim is what christianity is all about. Christianity is based on the Bible, but it is such a complex book, that it would be extremely naive to think it represented some one particular absolute truth. Most people in this world have no time or even a chance to compare different religions or their true forms or meanings, and yet you would accept it moral that they shall burn forever in Hell and pain as a direct result of that?

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