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Brandeis University can do what they hell they like but some of the background to Ayaan Hirisi comments justify them, if anyone should have the right to speak out it is her

Ali was raised in a strict Muslim family, but after surviving a civil war, genital mutilation, beatings and an arranged marriage, she renounced the faith in her 30s. She declined to comment this week to the Associated Press.
She has not become an evangelist of another religion her disgust lead her to become an atheist. For those of us that have seen the results of the religion in Africa her story is hardly surprising and for that matter her anger completely justified.

Sometimes it does feel as if we are at war with religious fundamentalists whatever their particular god happens to be, oppression is still oppression. The reason I mistrust religious organizations  is not because of their faith it is because of what they do [or cover up] in the name of their faith.

Where I differ is that I believe it is all religions and the reason whereas Ayaan targets one is because she suffered in its name, I am quite willing to lump fundamentalist Christians in the same boat. To my mind there is no difference in the end.

There comes a point in this circle of violence and oppression imposed upon women when being nice, forgiving and politically correct ends, and yes it can be termed as a war, a war of ideas.

The lord said though shalt not kill yet the old testament drips with blood spilt in his name. Saying one religion is more peaceful than another forgets the millions that have died both in their name and opposition.

Many religions preach peace and tolerance but from their fundamentalist believers there is little of either, just listen to the hate filled ravings and rantings of our homegrown talibangelicals.

Religious fundamentalism is a cancer and yes we should be at war with it, I'm tired of tiptoeing around this issue in case I might offend.

Religious intolerance is rife, violence and oppression of women by and in the name of many religions equally widespread, it is long past time to confront the reality.

Originally posted to LaFeminista on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 08:23 AM PDT.

Also republished by Progressive Atheists.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar: I would also argue that it is long (112+ / 0-)

    past time for religious organization to confront the damage done in their names throughout their histories.

    •  Religious organizations DO confront the (12+ / 0-)

      damage done in their names -- unfortunately, it's about as effective as confronting the damage done in the name of the United States. I can't tell you how often the TV news satellite trucks mob the entrance to my church, our regional and national presbytery convocations, etc. Wait... yes I can tell you... we don't bleed so we don't lead.

      Fight them to the end, until the children of the poor eat better than the dogs of the rich.

      by raincrow on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 08:56:08 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Some of them do damage in their own name (10+ / 0-)

        breed until you are spent since every sperm is sacred and never mind the reality of the transmission of diseases.

        One hope is that the new Pope even though he has reversed nothing, stops preaching the standard Catholic memes.

        •  whatever is being preached by whomever (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          raincrow

          North America and Europe are no longer reproducing to replacement levels.

          I'm not complaining. I think there are a few billion too many people on the planet right now.

          But I can't deny that we don't have an instruction manual for sustainable population decrease for our society nor that the fall off won't involve hardship and suffering for many people.

          The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don't have any. -Alice Walker

          by LibrErica on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 10:06:51 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I'm not getting into yet another population (0+ / 0-)

            argument.

            •  I was responding to your complaint about (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              LaFeminista, raincrow, Shawn87

              encouraging procreation.

              Whoever is encouraging it, North Americans and Europeans are not listening.

              Therefore, you can be happy? Or no?

              The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don't have any. -Alice Walker

              by LibrErica on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 10:13:50 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Usually happy, tend to be my ground state (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                LibrErica

                unless I'm angry

              •  Not listening isnt the same as having absolute (9+ / 0-)

                reproductive self determination.

                A woman should not be tried for fornication by a church, especially if she is not a member.

                And yet--what happens? Their laws are put upon us as if we give a flying fart in the wind what they believe outside of their church and home.

                Defunding of Planned Parenthood
                Laws that attempt or succeed in removing informed consent of female patients.
                Conscience clauses that allow individuals to refuse to fill perscriptions, or administer treatments,

                State Sanctioned stalking and harassment of doctors and nurses and  sometimes patients at family planning clinics.

                Did you miss that whole thing on Equal Pay?

                The alienation myth has created deep fissures in female society, damaging every aspect of our lives.

                They talk about their rights while we still have to argue that we are human and deserving of rights.

                "It were a thousand times better for the land if all Witches, but especially the blessing Witch, might suffer death." qtd by Ehrenreich & English. For Her Own Good, Two Centuries of Expert's Advice to Women pp 40

                by GreenMother on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 11:20:54 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I don't think I suggested that (0+ / 0-)

                  because the birth rate is below replacement level on two continents, that therefore women have now achieved full equality. I made no such statement.  

                  I was pointing out how little anyone pays attention to what the pope advises, or what Catholic doctrine is, and I said it because I was responding quite specifically to a discrete statement about the pope encouraging procreation.

                  But if you'd like to discuss other topics related to family planning, reproductive choice, equal protection under the law or etc., that is swell by me.

                  The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don't have any. -Alice Walker

                  by LibrErica on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 12:37:03 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  you minimized a very large and very serious (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    LaFeminista

                    set of issues (Women's Equal-Human Rights) by flippantly suggesting that a low birth rate was proof that their crap wasn't working and therefor, we (women) are not being affected.

                    Women are being affected.

                    "It were a thousand times better for the land if all Witches, but especially the blessing Witch, might suffer death." qtd by Ehrenreich & English. For Her Own Good, Two Centuries of Expert's Advice to Women pp 40

                    by GreenMother on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 03:25:02 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  I pointed out that the Pope's encouragement (0+ / 0-)

                      about procreation has minimal to no effect on a macro scale in North America and Europe.

                      If you read it as anything more than that, I can't help you.

                      I think it's a fairly pointless thing to complain about when the people it's historically been directed at are ignoring it completely, based on the evidence of the birth rate. AND when there are plenty of other things that have a real effect on women that could be complained about.

                      In order to communicate effectively, you have to take what people say at face value, especially in a medium like this.

                      But if you don't want to communicate effectively (ie. actually understand what other people are saying and respond to it meaningfully), if you just want to use whatever opportunity you find to jump on your soapbox and respond however you wish, no one can stop you.

                      It's not a great way to achieve anything except a fleeting feeling of superiority, when you and I have the same goals (I assume) of equality for all, not that you would know this, since you choose to respond to thoughts in your head instead of things that I have said.

                      The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don't have any. -Alice Walker

                      by LibrErica on Fri Apr 11, 2014 at 07:02:38 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  The pope's policies regarding procreation have a (0+ / 0-)

                        direct effect on Catholic hospital policy here in the US with regards to emergency contraception, abortion and birth control, and it can negatively affect treatment options for gravid women with high risk pregnancies, and rape survivors.

                        The pope's policy also trickles down to individual doctors, and can and has emboldened anti-choice crackpots to follow suit.

                        Religion might not be monolithic, but the Catholic Church sure is. And we in the states are dealing directly with push back from that Sect on a daily basis with regards to women's reproductive self determination.

                        Women might not listen, but that doesn't mean they have full access for any number of reasons, many of which can be traced directly back to religious extremists blocking access to comprehensive medical care for a woman at every stage of her life, but most especially during her child bearing years.

                        "It were a thousand times better for the land if all Witches, but especially the blessing Witch, might suffer death." qtd by Ehrenreich & English. For Her Own Good, Two Centuries of Expert's Advice to Women pp 40

                        by GreenMother on Fri Apr 11, 2014 at 10:32:30 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

            •  Don't worry i did the math and there are enough... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              LaFeminista

              people to feed the world.

              What? :p

              When the Republicans are in power they get what they want and when the Democrats are in power they still get what they want. At what point do people finally see it is just theater? ~ Me

              by fToRrEeEsSt on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 10:26:16 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  Yes, humans continue to behave like humans (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Shawn87

          Jerks, saints, psychopaths, lovers, tyrants, teachers, healers, butchers, and they breed like rats for the most part. A troublesome species.

          Fight them to the end, until the children of the poor eat better than the dogs of the rich.

          by raincrow on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 10:15:15 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  You are always allowed . . . (14+ / 0-)

      . . .  to criticize faiths. Why should irrational, nonsensical beliefs be immune from criticism? All religion is, by definition, ridiculous.

      There.

    •  The problem (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Fishtroller01

      that I have with this:

      Religious fundamentalism is a cancer and yes we should be at war with it...
      is this: where does the line get drawn between "fundamentalism" and the rest?  Any such boundary will be arbitrary and subjective by nature of the subject.  As an atheist, that's the problem that I keep coming to.  How do you single out fundamentalists and more importantly, why should they be singled out?  Religious moderation still enables fundamentalism.  I don't think it is possible to single out fundamentalism in any way that is intellectually honest without throwing out all of religion.  And to me, that's the logical conclusion, to throw out all religion.

      Arrrr, the laws of science be a harsh mistress. -Bender B. Rodriguez

      by democracy inaction on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 10:22:33 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I dont think you can get rid of faith, its been (5+ / 0-)

        tried what you can do is ensure that religious organizations have less power and faith in god is no excuse for not paying taxes etc.

        •  That makes eradicating... (6+ / 0-)

          ... the 'office of faith-based initiatives' mandatory (besides which, it's unconstitutional and illegal).  It gives religions a toe in the door to mandating a government-sponsored religion, and gives them a direct connection to the Congress Critters and/or chief executive (since it's run through the office of the president) and influences laws - especially laws taking away women's reproductive choices.

          Well, I've advocated its abolishment for that for years....

          James Madison had it right, and what he's talking about was 'recent history' for the Founding Fathers.

          The purpose of separation of church and state is to keep forever from these shores the ceaseless strife that has soaked the soil of Europe with blood for centuries.
               — James Madison, 4th President of the US, and one of the principal architects of the US Constitution

          I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

          by NonnyO on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 11:03:06 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Not saying "get rid of" religion (0+ / 0-)

          But I am saying that if a line is going to be drawn between fundamentalist religions and non-fundamentalist religions, that line is going to be entirely arbitrary by the very nature of religion.  So is the point of isolating "fundamentalism" to "get rid of" fundamentalism?  If not, then what is the point?  To deprive fundamentalists of their government tax breaks and any official government recognition?  Then why draw a line at all?  Why not include all religions?

          That's my point, I'm not nearly delusional enough to think that we could literally "get rid of" all religion but I also know it is an exercise in futility to try to segregate religions between fundamentalism and non-fundamentalism.  Just include them all for any sanction that you think should be applied only to fundamentalists.

          Arrrr, the laws of science be a harsh mistress. -Bender B. Rodriguez

          by democracy inaction on Fri Apr 11, 2014 at 03:43:32 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  That's easy. If your religion decides to make (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        nosleep4u, OldDragon

        another group of human beings a scape goat, or if your religion decides to deprive another group of human beings of their human and civil rights, then that makes that group a dangerous, deviant group. Most of which will practice some form of fundamentalism.

        "It were a thousand times better for the land if all Witches, but especially the blessing Witch, might suffer death." qtd by Ehrenreich & English. For Her Own Good, Two Centuries of Expert's Advice to Women pp 40

        by GreenMother on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 11:25:32 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  This implies the religion is monalithic (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Shawn87, democracy inaction

          Which no religion is. Historically, it never has been.

          http://jasonluthor.jelabeaux.com/

          by DAISHI on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 11:29:49 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  REally? That's all you got out of it? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            jfromga

            Go back and read the (general) statement.

            "It were a thousand times better for the land if all Witches, but especially the blessing Witch, might suffer death." qtd by Ehrenreich & English. For Her Own Good, Two Centuries of Expert's Advice to Women pp 40

            by GreenMother on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 11:36:02 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Religions (0+ / 0-)

          don't make decisions.  People that practice religions make decisions.  If a bunch of people of a specific faith decide to "deprive another group of human beings of their human and civil rights" in the name of their religion, that doesn't make the religion itself dangerous or deviant.  So while your statement seems reasonable, reality is more complicated.  That's my point.

          Arrrr, the laws of science be a harsh mistress. -Bender B. Rodriguez

          by democracy inaction on Fri Apr 11, 2014 at 03:35:14 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Thats pretty lame (0+ / 0-)

            The term religion has to be general, otherwise I would be implying that only certain religions are capable of spawning deviant or dangerous movements, or that only some or certain religions are capable of labeling scapegoats or persecuting other members of society.

            And that would be a false statement, not to mention an insulting one, to which ever religion out there, I chose to blame for all our social ills.

            Schisms are as natural to religion as swimming is to a frog. And when you have schisms, you obviously have splits, disagreements about dogma or doctrine. And sometimes those disagreements are over very important things like if a group should adhere to the law, or be non-violent, or how they treat women or or sinners, or new members or who they decide is demonic or evil.

            "It were a thousand times better for the land if all Witches, but especially the blessing Witch, might suffer death." qtd by Ehrenreich & English. For Her Own Good, Two Centuries of Expert's Advice to Women pp 40

            by GreenMother on Fri Apr 11, 2014 at 04:49:14 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I don't understand (0+ / 0-)

              what you're saying:

              The term religion has to be general, otherwise I would be implying that only certain religions are capable of spawning deviant or dangerous movements, or that only some or certain religions are capable of labeling scapegoats or persecuting other members of society.

              And that would be a false statement, not to mention an insulting one, to which ever religion out there, I chose to blame for all our social ills.

              I think I agree with the first part inasmuch as you are saying that one religion can't be separated from another as being "good" or "bad."  I don't understand the second part, are you saying that you do blame a certain religion for "all our societal ills?"
              Schisms are as natural to religion as swimming is to a frog. And when you have schisms, you obviously have splits, disagreements about dogma or doctrine.
              So why are "schisms" so "natural" to religion?  It is because there is no objective authority on religion, because there can't be.  Religion is entirely subjective from one religion to another and from one religious person to another, that's by the very nature of religion, which relies entirely on the concept of "faith," i.e. the belief in something that isn't supported by evidence.  When beliefs are shaped by myth and fantasy rather than evidence and reason, there can be no objective authority to say who is right and who is wrong and that is the problem.  That is my point.

              There is no way to objectively draw a line through all of religion and say that everything one this side is acceptable and everything on that side is not.  There is no way to get consensus or agreement on where that line should fall because there is no objective authority to consult.  If a line is to be drawn, it should be drawn in a circle to include all of religion or it should not be drawn at all.

              And sometimes those disagreements are over very important things like if a group should adhere to the law, or be non-violent, or how they treat women or or sinners, or new members or who they decide is demonic or evil.
              Again, who is the authority that says this disagreement is important and this one is not?  Who is the arbiter?  That is exactly why there are so many religions and so many schisms within them, because it is not possible to arrive at an objective answer, it's all one person's or group's interpretation against another.

              Arrrr, the laws of science be a harsh mistress. -Bender B. Rodriguez

              by democracy inaction on Sat Apr 12, 2014 at 12:53:06 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Religion is a general term (0+ / 0-)

                It is not a term that denotes a specific sect or tradition.

                All Catholics are religious, but not all religions are Catholic.
                All Hindus are religious, but not all religions are Hindu.

                See what I am saying about general?

                And when one uses the word "Religion" and uses it in a possessive term, then one is speaking of the rules and policies of that group, enacted by the people therein.

                Their behavior is dictated not only by what we understand as human behavior from a psychological standpoint, but also a religious perspective contextualized by the group's unique worldview.

                For example (and keep in mind I

                So if a religious group, a religion (note general) decides that (another group) doesn't deserve the same rights as other people, because they are immoral and demonic--and then justify this stance with their own scripture or traditional wisdom, then we know that group sees a problem, but scapegoats those (Other) people for that problem.  (see Othering)

                If the religious group in question decide to beat people up who are suspected of being (of that other group) or who are known to be (of that other group), that makes them a violent group.

                If the religious group in question actively attempts to deny suspected or actual members of that (other) group, their human or civil rights by twisting or ignoring the general, secular laws of the land, then that too is scapegoating and could quickly escalate to violence at some point. (so still a deviant, dangerous group)

                If the religious group in question originally split from a mainstream (parent) group that doesn't espouse violence, and  then decide to emphasize other teachings as their core vision-especially teachings that glorify violence or cleansing society, then that makes them deviant as well as dangerous.

                There are examples of this right now and have been in the past. However, I use the general term religion, because any group of people are capable of mob violence, any group can descend into this kind of darkness, not because religion in itself is bad, but simply because people are prone to falling prey to all manner of beliefs that can allow evil acts to flourish passively, or cause evil directly.

                This can depend upon religious interpretations of hard times--war, famine, disease, poverty, or other resources denied or in shortage that can cause people to not only look for a religious answer to their troubles, but who seek a variable they need to eliminate to bring the world back into balance as per their unique sectarian world view

                "It were a thousand times better for the land if all Witches, but especially the blessing Witch, might suffer death." qtd by Ehrenreich & English. For Her Own Good, Two Centuries of Expert's Advice to Women pp 40

                by GreenMother on Sat Apr 12, 2014 at 02:27:22 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

      •  How doe we define any extreme? (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        LaFeminista, jfromga, Shawn87

        There are extremists in politics, and medicine and other areas besides religion. We seem to be able to draw boundaries that define an acceptable (to most people) range.

        “Texas is a so-called red state, but you’ve got 10 million Democrats here in Texas. And …, there are a whole lot of people here in Texas who need us, and who need us to fight for them.” President Obama

        by Catte Nappe on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 11:41:24 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  There seem to be many books behind a (0+ / 0-)

          friends desk dealing with just that, she is a lawyer  [booooo]

        •  That's my point (0+ / 0-)

          That is not a line that can be drawn with any intellectual honesty.  That has to do with the very nature of religion, which is arbitrary in and of itself, therefore any line drawn must also be arbitrary.

          And what do we do with the religions that we would define as extreme or fundamentalist?  Would we deport all the people that practice it or lock them all up in prison?  Obviously not.  Would we take away their tax breaks?  Maybe, but otherwise, there's not much else that could be done.  So whatever prescription you and/or the diarist would have for the extremists, why not simply apply it to all religions so you're no longer in the futile business of trying to determine which religions' extremeness crosses that arbitrary line?

          Arrrr, the laws of science be a harsh mistress. -Bender B. Rodriguez

          by democracy inaction on Fri Apr 11, 2014 at 03:52:25 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  When you justify (0+ / 0-)

          beheadings of innocent people in the name of your religion I;d say that's a pretty good definition wouldn't you?

      •  I'd say when it comes to (0+ / 0-)

        justifying beheading for religious criticism might be a place to start the definition? Rather than say, words? There is certainly a difference.

    •  Criticizing faiths is all well (0+ / 0-)

      good as long as your own is excluded. With that in mind, I cannot overlook your implied assertion that atheism is not a faith.

      She has not become an evangelist of another religion her disgust lead her to become an atheist.

      Here's my take on it - the revolution will not be blogged, it has to be slogged. - Deoliver47

      by OIL GUY on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 12:31:51 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Atheism is not a faith since one is not required (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        WisePiper

        to prove the belief of another that a mythological being exists is wrong, show me your god and I will probably change my mind. Please bear in mind just saying that belief is enough because of faith, that is just a get out clause

        •  Merriam-Webster difines Atheism thusly: (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Shawn87

          a:  a disbelief in the existence of deity.

          b: the doctrine that there is no deity.

          I don't mean to challenge your belief system. But it atheism makes a judgement that there is no deity. I was an atheist in my teens, but I became an agnostic when I realized I was in no position to have any knowledge either way. To positively assert that there is, or is not, a supreme being is an act of faith as there is no real evidence to support either belief.

          I further came to the conclusion that religious discussions of this sort don't lead anywhere, and who am I to say what people believe anyway. Like you I am appalled by the sway of religious fundamentalism withing the United States and around the world. Religious tolerance has  lead to great evil in the world.

          I have also lived among religious people much of my life, from Catholics to Unitarians. I have seen religious people who feed the poor, comfort the sick and risk their lives to promote democracy and worker's rights. A few of them actually gave their lives for this cause.

          I have also seen people of different faiths and cultures come together motivated in part by their religious beliefs, but more so by their decency as human beings I do hope you read my comment beyond the first couple of paragraphs.

          Here's my take on it - the revolution will not be blogged, it has to be slogged. - Deoliver47

          by OIL GUY on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 02:11:58 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Hey, my origial comment got chopped. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Shawn87

            Somehow I lost the last thousand words or so. I can't very well ask you to read what isn't there. I don't have time to reproduce them right now and they probably deserve a diary of their own.

            Here's my take on it - the revolution will not be blogged, it has to be slogged. - Deoliver47

            by OIL GUY on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 02:20:12 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  You dont have to have religion to do good (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Prinny Squad

            its actually more common than some religions give humanity credit for.

            That atheism is a faith is an argument used by people that have faith that states even if you say its nonsense you have to believe that it is the case. Nonsense.

            •  I agree with that entirely. (0+ / 0-)

              Hell I don't think my agnosticism makes me a bad person and I know countless atheists who do much good. Even within religious organizations, I find the do-gooders to be less focused on the religion itself and more focused on its mission in the world.

              I do feel that all too often, religious people are treated as though they were a monolithic group. In most cases they are not. Religions are gigantic organizations. There are billions of Moslems or Catholics in the world. They are not all looking at their religious affiliation in the same way. Many of the members of these religions may be doing evil in the world - the Catholic Church's stand on women's rights or LGBT rights is appalling. So is the cover-up of pedophile priests. But there are professed Catholics who are feeding the hungry and housing the homeless. The same kind of thing is true for Moslems. It is too easy to condemn every adherent of a religious organization.

              Here's my take on it - the revolution will not be blogged, it has to be slogged. - Deoliver47

              by OIL GUY on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 05:16:24 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  Is not beiving in fairies... (0+ / 0-)

            also a faith?  What about not believing that Star Wars is a true story?

      •  Curiously (0+ / 0-)

        The notion that atheism is "a faith" (singular since we all agree with each other) seems to start and end with the notion that we're equally fallible to the traditionally religious.

        It doesn't extend to the suggestion that atheism should be given respect as a philosophical tradition and probably shouldn't be discussed unless you're fluent in the key ideas, developments, and debates which is a complaint commonly raised regarding attempts to analyze theistic religion.

        Nor does it extend to the suggestion that our celebrants and interfaith workers are a part of interfaith work. Or that we shouldn't be discriminated against in the military, BSA, or other organizations. Or that we shouldn't be openly insulted on the house floor as part of political debate in the United States.

    •  I'm surprised you wrote this (5+ / 0-)

      I assume it's because you haven't read some of the stuff she's said. It's one thing to criticize religion, or even to fairly criticize one religion, but to blast Islam as uniquely evil is not only to be bigoted; it's to ignore the blood on the hands of those who espouse other faiths.

      This interview provides a good primer:

      Hirsi Ali: Only if Islam is defeated. Because right now, the political side of Islam, the power-hungry expansionist side of Islam, has become superior to the Sufis and the Ismailis and the peace-seeking Muslims.

      Reason: Don’t you mean defeating radical Islam?

      Hirsi Ali: No. Islam, period. Once it’s defeated, it can mutate into something peaceful. It’s very difficult to even talk about peace now. They’re not interested in peace.

      Reason: We have to crush the world’s 1.5 billion Muslims under our boot? In concrete terms, what does that mean, “defeat Islam”?

      Hirsi Ali: I think that we are at war with Islam. And there’s no middle ground in wars. Islam can be defeated in many ways. For starters, you stop the spread of the ideology itself; at present, there are native Westerners converting to Islam, and they’re the most fanatical sometimes. There is infiltration of Islam in the schools and universities of the West. You stop that. You stop the symbol burning and the effigy burning, and you look them in the eye and flex your muscles and you say, “This is a warning. We won’t accept this anymore.” There comes a moment when you crush your enemy.

      Reason: Militarily?

      Hirsi Ali: In all forms, and if you don’t do that, then you have to live with the consequence of being crushed.

      She think Islam should be crushed by force as well as other means. The fact that she was invited in the first place, and maintains a relatively good name, shows that anti-Islam sentiment remains acceptable in a way that anti Jewish and Christian sentiment isn't.

      Oh by the way she's also defended Anders Breivekand
       blamed Islam for Israel's subjugation of Palestinians.

    •  Agreed (0+ / 0-)

      In fact, not simply "Must be allowed to" - To go forward, we must make a concentrated effort to.

      Drips with blood? You are too kind. It swims in an ocean of it!

  •  Jimmy Carter's new book is about this issue. (13+ / 0-)

    "The poor can never be made to suffer enough." Jimmy Breslin

    by merrywidow on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 08:28:48 AM PDT

  •  Religious sects are in practice (17+ / 0-)

    a means of promoting a xenophobic herd instinct. They make very convenient instruments of political manipulation. It is a serious rational error to equate a respect for the right to practice a religion that does not violate general public laws with some sort of duty to treat the beliefs and precepts of all religious systems with some sort of reverential respect.  

    •  They should put their own houses in order (6+ / 0-)

      and the cover ups and excuses have run out

    •  Gosh. I guess my sect had better knock (12+ / 0-)

      off the "just immigration" shit and get down to our God-mandated xenophobia and political manipulation! Thanks for setting me straight on this.

      Fight them to the end, until the children of the poor eat better than the dogs of the rich.

      by raincrow on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 08:57:54 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  My sect too (8+ / 0-)

        Actually, in my town, we have an interfaith alliance of sects, Christians, Muslims, Jews, and even non-believers, working for acceptance of immigrants, visiting detained youth in jails, funding DACA scholarships, providing ESL classes to migrants, summer school to migrant children, support for youth mariachi bands, soccer leagues for migrant youth etc.  I guess I should send them the xenophobia memo.  Maybe we haven't seen that yet.

        •  Fabulous! (6+ / 0-)

          Sounds like you have the same subversive, atavistic social agenda as my town's cooperative ministries association. ;)

          Fight them to the end, until the children of the poor eat better than the dogs of the rich.

          by raincrow on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 10:09:13 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Thats soo cool you get to pat yourselves on the (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            LaFeminista

            back being so awesome, and when someone out there, on the outside of a religious group says HEY__THESE PEOPLE ARE DOING BAD THINGS TO ME AND OTHERS IN THE NAME OF RELIGION

            your first act is to defend yourself as if she called you out personally.

            So basically you are defending bad people who do bad things, so that you don't feel labeled "guilty by association"

            And this serves your cause HOW? It doesn't look like you are addressing the real problem here. It's not LaFeminista.

            So from the outside it looks as if ALL CHRISTIANS stick together, and defend and cover for each other, no matter what.

            Is that your goal?

            Did she name your church specifically or even your denomination? Isn't Christianity as very very big religion full of all sorts of different sects?

            So an outsider being consistently and constantly wronged by people who claim Christianity as their faith and their justification, named by a woman who lacked the vocabulary to split sectarian hairs, gets it between the eyes, because that's just easier than addressing the fact that like every family, every religion has some asshole uncle that does bad things.

            The place where you put your energy now is far more disturbing than La Feminista's anger, especially seeing how we women are losing the War on Women, because we have run into a wall crosses, some in the Beltway, some funding the Beltway, and many on television and radio or in the pulpit, taking our rights away in the name of THEIR RELIGIOUS FREEDOM.

            And you defend that.

            The Interfaith Alliance must be so proud

            "It were a thousand times better for the land if all Witches, but especially the blessing Witch, might suffer death." qtd by Ehrenreich & English. For Her Own Good, Two Centuries of Expert's Advice to Women pp 40

            by GreenMother on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 11:33:51 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Wow. What are you talking about? (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Shawn87

              Fight them to the end, until the children of the poor eat better than the dogs of the rich.

              by raincrow on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 01:56:30 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Your messed up responses to this diary (0+ / 0-)

                You are taking this personally, without acknowledging the very real hurt that is being perpetrated upon women in the name of not just religion, but religion being pushed by the what feels like the unstoppable cart of National and State level politics.

                Real Women are being hurt by these antics, by groups that hide behind The Robe and Crown. And you act surprised that we are pissed.

                Really?

                "It were a thousand times better for the land if all Witches, but especially the blessing Witch, might suffer death." qtd by Ehrenreich & English. For Her Own Good, Two Centuries of Expert's Advice to Women pp 40

                by GreenMother on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 03:22:11 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Perhaps you're the one who is taking this (0+ / 0-)

                  personally. Someone made a blanket statement that is outright false, I poked at its falsity, someone else and I mused about said falsity based on our own experiences and associations. The problems in our country and the wider world don't get solved by embracing broad brush bullshit, no matter the nature of the bullshit. Nor are they solved by magical thinking, starting with the notion that liberal Christians are collectively responsible for and can somehow force a change in the thinking, lack of thinking, political power, funding, media access, beliefs, and behavior of RWNJ Christians. If we had that power, fucking well believe me this planet would long ago have been on its way to transcending poverty, tyranny, slavery, rape culture, war, and environmental devastation.

                  Peace out.

                  Fight them to the end, until the children of the poor eat better than the dogs of the rich.

                  by raincrow on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 04:20:46 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Damn straight I am taking this personally (0+ / 0-)

                    I am female--I am a woman, with female relatives and friends, and I have DIRECTLY been affected by this mentality as both a civilian and as someone in the American military, by would be "Missionaries" hell bent on MAKING me adhere to their beliefs by any means necessary.

                    DAMNIT--WAKE UP!

                    Do you think I like it this way? Do you think that I am not uncomfortable having to even say the words at all, to bring it up?

                    Part of the reason it pisses me off to such a degree, beyond my personal stake in this whole mess, is the profound feeling of disappointment.

                    Christians assume, that because I am not one of them, that I don't know how things work. That I have never been to church or read the bible. So because they have convinced themselves that someone like me doesn't know the rules, that they can play the fool and I and others will be none-the-wiser.

                    I need you.

                    I need people like you to help me preserve Everyone's rights. I don't want to hate anyone or take anyone's rights away, but I am sick to death of being blamed for the social ills that plague every civilization.

                    I am not standing up to these other Christians just to be a bitch. I am not angry for no good reason.

                    Controlling my sex life and reproductive cycles isn't going to solve those problems.

                    Making everyone pretend to be Christian isn't going to solve those problems.

                    Making everyone pretend to not be GAY is not going to solve those problems.

                    Blaming Atheists or Agnostics or religious minorities isn't going to make these problems go away.

                    Shunning non-Christians isn't going to make our problems stop or disappear.

                    Punishing and Shaming the poor isn't going to solve any problems but it will make more

                    The only way to solve the problems that this country and the world face is to practice compassion, and forward thinking, And that cannot happen if you and I allow certain sects to keep harming minorities, the poor, and the environment.

                    I am fighting every way I can, while adhering to the laws and trying to maintain some kind of moral and ethical center about it all.

                    But there are not enough of people like me in this country, that holds a dominant cultural paradigm of Christianity, if people like you don't step forward and speak out as well. If you and people like you don't support the general freedoms of us all, then I should give up and buy a passport.

                    That's why I am pissed off. I am not Anti-Christian--I just don't understand why anyone would make excuses for sectarian violence and religio-political hegemony that adheres to the likes of Pat Robertson with his diamond Mine, or John Haggee, or the late Jerry Falwell, or Phyllis Schafely or the old Coral Ridge Ministries, or that insane Name it and Claim it movement in their unholy alliance to the Dominionists.

                    Why would any decent Christian stoop to protecting the likes of that, especially when we know what they would like to do to our Democratic Republic?

                    "It were a thousand times better for the land if all Witches, but especially the blessing Witch, might suffer death." qtd by Ehrenreich & English. For Her Own Good, Two Centuries of Expert's Advice to Women pp 40

                    by GreenMother on Fri Apr 11, 2014 at 04:43:11 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

            •  GreenMother (0+ / 0-)

              I don't know you, and I don't know how you are constantly wronged by religion.  Maybe, judging by your tag line, you are Wiccan.  That that would make sense and I can imagine some Christians, probably most, having a problem with that.  I don't.  

              I do know Wicca is a religion, so when Richard, at the top of this thread, says that "Religious sects are in practice a means of promoting a xenophobic herd instinct," I think he's talking about your sect and faith too.  Maybe your willing to have your faith swept up in that generality because it fit's your experiences with other faiths.  I'm not.

              You say "from the outside it looks as if ALL CHRISTIANS stick together, and defend and cover for each other, no matter what."  I guess the same can be said of white people, or black people, or native Americans, etc. That is probably more true than members of each of those collections of people care to admit.  On the other hand, its also false.  As to whether Christians stick together, I think Christians should aspire to stick together, show love to one another and to the larger world, but I also think in general they fall miserably short of that goal.  I don't know that aspiration, loving one another, would rank high on the list of things many Christians think they need to do.   What can I say?  Those who feel that way are wrong.  On the other hand, there are a lot of good religious people out there.  I see them every day.

              I even as a Christian, I can't say that I can distinguish between the good christian faiths and the bad ones.  I try to avoid the exercise. I think one's time is better spent getting to know individuals, whether they have faith or not, and living out one's own faith to the best of one's ability.  For me, that faith involves living a life that expresses love for God's creation, seeking justice for the inhabitants of that creation and teaching that faith in a way that is true to one's own belief.

              So on behalf of Christians I would like to apologize for how you are treated.  I hope that those who hurt you see the light and treat you with love and respect.  As a christian, I aspire to that.

  •  Fundamentalism Is the Same Basic Practice (18+ / 0-)

    no matter which ostensible religion. In particular it's very imperialistic and therefore is totally legitimate to criticize and to fight.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 08:33:00 AM PDT

    •  It's usually one group of fundamentalists (8+ / 0-)

      railing against another about whose religious laws are the bestest

      •  an old joke but... (6+ / 0-)

        ...still accurate.

        Do I contradict myself? Very well then I contradict myself, (I am large, I contain multitudes.)

        by Arilca Mockingbird on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 09:48:44 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I am a Chistian. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        denise b

        I respect those who choose not to be. I respect and understand other's resentments towards "organized religion" because I share many of the same peeves. I've written elsewhere that I have atheist friends who I stand with as we serve the underprivileged and downtrodden in OUR community. These are some of the finest people I've ever met and they are truly a blessing in mine and my family's life. We have mutual respect because of our actions and shared interests. I also know some who consider themselves devout who (IMHO)
         aren't worth a bucket of warm piss. I'm not into defending religion, organized or otherwise, because I've never been so egotistical as to believe that I could. Or that my faith could be effectively defended. It is mine and no one else's. Enlightenment, the process of becoming more connected to, and considerate of those around us, has many paths. Never mattered to me, and I don't think it should to anyone, how people get there. So long as we shuffle down that path as best we can. Anyone who knew me would never think that I would want to control anyone else's actions or help to pass laws that would do so. My faith is mine alone. I do not EVER push it on others. I hope this doesn't come across as me attempting to do so. I'm only trying to encourage people to take a chance on knowing someone whom you vehemently disagree with on the subject of your choice. I never thought I'd love a "non believer" and THEY were shocked that we were fellow travelers on the same journey. This post is too long...

        "Because we are all connected...."

        by Shawn87 on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 03:50:09 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  THIS (0+ / 0-)

      Fight them to the end, until the children of the poor eat better than the dogs of the rich.

      by raincrow on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 09:21:18 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  This statement from Brandeis irks me the most (4+ / 0-)

    "Ali is welcome to join us on campus in the future to engage in a dialogue about these important issues"

    Its just so typically weasely and cowardly of the Ivy League.
    I can just picture the admin hiding under their collective (well-padded) desks.
    They all love 'dialogue'. As opposed to taking  a stand. Not if someone might, like, get mad at them and stuff.
    Its almost as bold as the Obama admin offering to 'help' the Ukranian army by donating some leftover MREs.

  •  Pretty sure that everyone agrees with your (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LaFeminista, just another vet, sfbob

    title the way it is written,  in fact * especially * those that the diary is most about . .. .

    As long as the "faiths" doesn't happen to include their own.

  •  only sometimes? (13+ / 0-)

    at this point in human history, organized religion is an existential threat. pollution?  climate change?  who cares, because rapture!  

    and sadly, it doesn't matter how good a christian any person of whatever particular faith is.  surveys don't make distinctions between "fundaloon christian" and, say, "unitarian universalist."  all surveys show is that X% (unfortunately, a majority) of the u.s. population is christian.

    and that gives the fundie assholes the ammo they need to keep trying to turn this country into a theocracy.  

    ergo, religion needs to be marginalized tout de suite.  this is not to say no one should seek spiritual fulfillment; it's just that organized religion has little to do with that.

    beyond that, i am soooooo sick and tired of people complaining about religion-bashing.  keep it to yourself, and there'd be nothing for anyone to bash.  but wear it on your sleeve and/or try to impose it on others, and people are free to bash away.

    Please don't dominate the rap, Jack, if you got nothin' new to say - Grateful Dead

    by Cedwyn on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 08:40:42 AM PDT

    •  I was being nice (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Cedwyn, OldDragon

      ;-)

    •  Good point. You don't see many people bashing (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Cedwyn, Nattiq

      Buddhists.  I wonder why.

      Ted Cruz president? Pardon my Vietnamese, but Ngo Pho King Way.

      by ZedMont on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 09:00:35 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  That's an inaccurate generalization. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      hayden, Shawn87, newinfluence
      this is not to say no one should seek spiritual fulfillment; it's just that organized religion has little to do with that.
      That's a bit of a generalization—and, in my opinion, a rather inaccurate one. I know many people who have found spiritual fulfillment through engagement in organized religion, and many more whose spiritual life has been enriched by organized religion.

      To suggest that the two categories must necessarily be largely separate is to negate those people's experiences.

      "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." --Dom Helder Camara, archbishop of Recife

      by JamesGG on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 09:16:57 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  they found it there (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        OldDragon, Shawn87, TrueBlueMajority

        but that was not -- is not -- the only place to find it.  one does not need organized religion to have a rich spiritual life.  

        divinity is everywhere.  thou art god.  

        peace

        Please don't dominate the rap, Jack, if you got nothin' new to say - Grateful Dead

        by Cedwyn on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 10:33:58 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  That's one viewpoint... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Shawn87, newinfluence
          one does not need organized religion to have a rich spiritual life.  

          divinity is everywhere.  thou art god.  

          ...but it's certainly not the only one.

          Some people do need organized religion to have a rich spiritual life. They find spiritual value in the organization itself, in the structure and coherence that organized religion has at its best, in traditions that stretch back for generations, in rituals that they find deeply meaningful and beautiful.

          That doesn't make those people in any way inferior to those who have rich spiritual lives without organized religion. It's just a different way of doing spirituality.

          It is no less an act of imposition, no less an act of oppression, to tell someone that their spirituality is wrong because they require organized religion as its outlet, than it is to tell someone that their spirituality is wrong because it's not connected to organized religion.

          Please be more open to those with viewpoints other than your own.

          "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." --Dom Helder Camara, archbishop of Recife

          by JamesGG on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 11:34:52 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Nobody generalizes quite as often as religious (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Fishtroller01, OldDragon

        organizations, whole genders, populations and other religions have been subjected to gross generalization when required.

        •  So that makes generalization okay? (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          hayden, Catte Nappe, Shawn87, Cedwyn

          My religion teaches me that two wrongs don't make a right—and my particular branch of that religion, the Episcopal Church, is one of the religious organizations at the forefront of the struggle against the use of religion to oppress others.

          "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." --Dom Helder Camara, archbishop of Recife

          by JamesGG on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 11:37:58 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  JamesGG- it would be nice (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        OldDragon, WisePiper, Shawn87, denise b

        if organized religion would stop depending the government and over 200 tax breaks (that I end subsidizing) in order to have their "spiritual fulfillment".  Ben Franklin said that religions should only depend on the support of their members and their god, and if they needed the help of civil powers to stay open, they were "bad" religions.

    •  So a person shouldn't be proud of their faiths? (0+ / 0-)

      Keep your religion to yourself.
      Don't push your homosexuality in our faces.
      Those types of people can go to their own bathrooms.

      Language is dangerous.

      http://jasonluthor.jelabeaux.com/

      by DAISHI on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 11:31:52 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  religion is not equal to those things (0+ / 0-)

        nobody chooses the color of his/her skin, or being gay or straight.

        but religion is absolutely a choice.

        Please don't dominate the rap, Jack, if you got nothin' new to say - Grateful Dead

        by Cedwyn on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 08:29:50 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I don't care (0+ / 0-)

        if people talk about their religion. I don't even care if they try to proselytize. We live in a free society. We all have the right to try to sell our ideas to others.

        What bothers me is the way religious beliefs and practices are accorded special immunity against criticism and debate, unlike all other sorts of beliefs. I understand the desire for tolerance and social harmony that has put religious ideas off-limits for attack, and I understand that there's a thin line between attacking ideas and fomenting hatred against the people who hold them.

        But in the end they are still just beliefs and ideas, and beliefs and ideas should all be up for discussion.

    •  huh? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ivorybill, Shawn87
      surveys don't make distinctions between "fundaloon christian" and, say, "unitarian universalist."  all surveys show is that X% (unfortunately, a majority) of the u.s. population is christian.

      and that gives the fundie assholes the ammo they need to keep trying to turn this country into a theocracy.

      The first part of this is, as stated, false. Many surveys do distinguish among kinds of Christians — not necessarily between fundaloons and Unitarians, but in a variety of ways.

      As for the argument that the percentage of Americans who self-identify as Christian gives fundies "the ammo they need"... evidence? Fundies can try to win arguments by appealing indiscriminately to the percentage of the population that is Christian, but why would it work?

      "Democracy is a political system for people who are not sure they are right." —E. E. Schattschneider

      by HudsonValleyMark on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 02:20:50 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The resurgence of faith in America (3+ / 0-)

    (take a look at the history of the Freethinker movement and once nationally renowned agnostic orator Robert Green Ingersoll to see what I mean) on both sides of the ideological divide fuels the Age of Unenlightenment.

    Clearly it's a tragic mistake at the dawn of Climate Change.

    Trust, but verify. - Reagan
    Vote, but Occupy. - commonmass

    When the rich have tripled their share of the income and wealth yet again, Republicans will still blame the poor and 3rd Way Democrats will still negotiate.

    by Words In Action on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 08:45:29 AM PDT

  •  Two beautiful young women (12+ / 0-)

    came down my driveway in Hawaii , they had on beautiful dresses . They had come to share the word , induce me to join their church , etc etc .
    By the time they left I think I almost had them convinced .
    What really got them was when I asked why they would be a member of any organization that would exclude them from the leadership positions because they were female .

    "please love deeply...openly and genuinely." A. M. H.

    by indycam on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 08:48:33 AM PDT

  •  Sinclair Lewis warned us they would bear a cross.. (9+ / 0-)

    a drape a flag (pin).

    Voltaire: "Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities"

    Does Jesus on a Dinosaur count?

    Well then on that note, these rubes are primed for just about anything then. They scare me more than the lizard cold conservatives who at least tend to be very aware of what they do.

    Millions of uneducated (sorry home schooled my bad) hateful rubes with a love for guns is as scary as it gets.

    When the Republicans are in power they get what they want and when the Democrats are in power they still get what they want. At what point do people finally see it is just theater? ~ Me

    by fToRrEeEsSt on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 08:52:54 AM PDT

  •  The inevitable collision (4+ / 0-)

    of multiculturalism and universal human rights.

    You can't argue in absolute favor of one, and at the same time, argue in absolute favor of the other. There are cultural (and/or religious) practices that are evil. Pure and simple.

    I don't know what Ayaan Hirisi's comments were to which Brandeis objected. But if they were directly related to her own history, they are not simply anti-Muslim, they are pro-human rights. It is not dissimilar to the war being waged against women and gays in this country in the name of religious freedom. Evil, in the name of "Religious freedom".  

    •  I would say it is one and the same war (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Kane in CA, Fishtroller01

      Yes she attacks Islam directly and with a broad brush, but she has reasonable cause on her side.

    •  The biggest complaint about Ayaan Hirsi Ali (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Shawn87

      is that she believes the West and Islam are at war, and that Islam needs to be "defeated" in order for it to reform itself.  Her husband is a particularly awful historian, Niall Ferguson, known for his Protestant chauvanism and his willingness to bend the truth in his arguments. See the controversy over falsehoods in a Newsweek article entitled "Hit the Road Barack" and the rebuttal which calls into question his basic honesty:

      http://dish.andrewsullivan.com/...

      So Ayaan is a damaged individual who feels that Islam needs to be defeated, and her husband is an unethical historian known for continuing to use falsehoods even after being called out on them, and for pimping "the seven killer aps" of Western Protestantism as an explanation for the way the world is, and a justification for the 1%.  Both of them are exceedingly unpleasant individuals.  (And I'm an atheist, by the way - I do not believe even slightly in Islam, but I don't want a "war" on Islam).

      That said, she has a right to her opinion, as does Ferguson.   Braideis was wrong to invite her without doing at least a little due diligence first.  There could be a healthy debate - I actually agree with a lot of what she says and thinks, minus the demand that Islam be "defeated", whatever that means.  Her choice in men is arguably worse than her critique of Islam.  

      I don't think the left should shut them up.  With respect to Ferguson, I think the left should call him on inaccuracies and deliberately deceitful writing, and go after his theories of history with hard fact.  (For example, his theories of European colonial superiority fail to take into consideration differences between temperate zone agricultural surplus and the nature of tropical agriculture and soils, and he refuses to consider disease, physical environment or cultural ecology in his ideologically biased and unsophisticated analysis).   He is an idiot, and should be exposed as such in the public sphere.

      Ayaan Hirsi Ali is a person who has suffered a great deal, and Somali refugees from radical Islam share an attitude with Oklahoman refugees with Southern Baptist upbringings.  Both run as far and as hard as possible from religious tradition.  That's fine.  That comes with a great deal of anger and some blinders.  Let her say her piece, but present alternatives.

      “If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin.” Charles Darwin

      by ivorybill on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 01:00:06 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Brandeis invited (0+ / 0-)

        her to speak, so it's not a matter of silencing. The shame is that she's denied an award while white male neocons who basically share her views but who choose their words more carefully continued to be considered respectable.

  •  I agree, and I would include faith-based, (4+ / 0-)

         theo-classical economics i.e. market fundamentalism.

    The free market is not the solution, the free market is the problem.

    by Azazello on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 09:02:24 AM PDT

    •  Say "Amen" somebody! "The Reluctant (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Azazello

      Fundamentalist" did a decent job with that idea. I'll say though it carries none of the emotional weight in the individual compared to religious fundamentalism.

      Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree. -Martin Luther

      by the fan man on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 10:42:14 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Somehow demonizing one and letting another (5+ / 0-)

    off the hook isn't a good approach. The left seems to deflect on anything suffered by adherents of  religions other than Christianity while the right sees anything other than Christianity (and grudgingly conservative Judaism) as the problem in its entirety. (Reminds me of the left's blindness to atrocities in the communist USSR and China because the US was a greater evil.)

    Religion, in the end, is a way to organize people. Ways that harm should be criticized even if it means offending. Usually, over time, religious practice is changed to accommodate the the larger social order, while the larger social order flexes to accommodate religious practices.

    I'm not a proponent of religious freedom trumping other freedoms and rights. I often wonder if I'd be happier in a country like France rather than the US.

    Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree. -Martin Luther

    by the fan man on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 09:12:00 AM PDT

  •  If you ever want to see hardcore criticism (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Catte Nappe, hayden, catwho, Shawn87

    of religious belief, both thoughtful, penetrating skewering and raging, knee-jerk polemic, go to the annual national congress for almost any mainline Christian denomination. Pretty much nobody criticizes Christian belief and practice more rigorously and energetically than Christians.  

    Fight them to the end, until the children of the poor eat better than the dogs of the rich.

    by raincrow on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 09:20:34 AM PDT

  •  I guess they raised the bar when Whoopi Goldberg (0+ / 0-)

    was their graduation speaker.  Brandeis has standards, you know.  [sniff]

    If you get confused, listen to the music play - R. Hunter

    by SpamNunn on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 09:25:35 AM PDT

  •  Why Did Christians Stand By And Watch Their (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LaFeminista

    brethren church turn this girl into a Nazi at such a young age and nary a whisper of protest.

    They are still silent.

    And continue to be silent.

    Do they not believe in principles of love?

    Christians are for show and control.

    I have come to be suspicious of them when I am around them.

    They are truly icky and deceptive.

    To me this girl is the face of Christians.

    http://www.youtube.com/...

    "I think that gay marriage is something that should be between a man and a woman.” - Arnold Schwarzenegger 2003

    by kerplunk on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 09:27:19 AM PDT

  •  If a higher power gave us anything... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LaFeminista, Catte Nappe, OldDragon

    ...it is our ability to think.  Homo sapiens lived on the ground so unlike whales and dolphins it found thumbs useful.  That combination of brains and thumbs gave us the competitive advantage in solid ground.

    Fundamentalist Christians are in their own category by rejecting evolution and most of other science.  Science is the ultimate framework for the use of our brains (theoretical science) and thumbs (experimental science).  Regular Christians have evolved (since Galileo and lately Darwin) to accept science.

    Fundamentalists of other religions are equally deficient in their comprehension of creation. To the degree that they cannot evolve their thinking they will limit their potential.

    And they will continue to be easy hunting ground for despots of the religious type who will take advantage of their inability to use their brains.

    So faith is not intrinsically bad unless it is a faith that limits your thinking and learning abilities.

    Daily Kos an oasis of truth. Truth that leads to action.

    by Shockwave on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 09:29:36 AM PDT

    •  Organised religion is often a cross border (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Shockwave, hayden

      political organization seeking power. All the fancy robes and incense were just for show, it was all to do with power.

    •  Fundamentalism is different from Biblical (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Shockwave, Catte Nappe

      literalism. Many fundamentalists have no problem with the theory of evolution or with the idea that the earth is billions of years old.
         The problem is, there is a sort of folk religion that has some fairly weird beliefs, including rejection of evolution. Often these folks attend or are members of churches which have quite different official doctrines.

  •  Organized religion, Organized crime. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LaFeminista, OldDragon

    Very similar beasts as far as I am concerned. Anyone who claims the he or she alone understands the will of the Almighty (insert your deity of choice here) is a con artist and nothing less. A persons relationship with the spiritual is their own. You do not need anyone to interpret for you. That is your job. As to the existence of the God(s)/Goddess(es) no human living can know for certain. Personally I think the divine has better things to do than to keep us informed of it's wishes.
    In this case I judge the "messengers". All of them are lacking in the proof department. Lastly it is my impression that those who shout, yell, scream, invoke, and preach the loudest are the biggest cons of all. Its when they don't get what they want, influence, money, recognition, power, money, dominion, money, authority, money, exemptions, money, leadership, and finally, money, that they get violent. Almost La Cosa Nostra like, but they cloak it under the banner of "Religion". From Tribal shamans to the Roman Catholic Church to every thing in between. I've come to the conclusion that cowards hide behind the banner of "religion". I t hides what they are on the inside, both from themselves, and the people around them. Or so they seem to think.

    Give blood. Play hockey.

    by flycaster on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 09:31:02 AM PDT

  •  Religion bashing isn't going to cut it as far as (8+ / 0-)

    winning public support.
       When you go on about the "sky fairy" or the 6000 year age of the earth, people just assume that you're an ignorant bigot.
       There are religious traditions that are oppressive to women, and there are traditions that liberate women.
        The very moral framework from which we view the world - that there is something wrong with war and violence, for example, or that slavery is immoral - are viewpoints that were not widely held until the spread of Christianity.
        Blaming religion - rather than tribalism or dynastic ambitions - for the world's wars is a serious misunderstanding of history.
       I'm not a believer but I know a lot of decent people who are. The idea that those folks should be demonized because of ignorant generalizations about religion as a whole is repugnant.

    •  The "decent" people far too often keep quiet (4+ / 0-)

      and many knew about the abuse scandals well before they came out

    •  Why it is repugnant? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Fishtroller01, LaFeminista, OldDragon

      a sincere question. I agree with your suggestion that what you call "tribalism or dynastic ambitions" is the core issue -- i.e., basic human nature, which drives us to band together into social groups, identify us versus them and fight together against other groups, while struggling for power and status within the group -- this dynamic is across human cultures. And is often though not always manifested in the form of organized religions. Religions are an effect, not the cause. All that is true.

      This part of your comment I also find interesting, and wonder if it's true... not that I'm doubting you but I've just not heard this one before:

      The very moral framework from which we view the world - that there is something wrong with war and violence, for example, or that slavery is immoral - are viewpoints that were not widely held until the spread of Christianity.
      Most of what I know about history of christian influence is things like the Inquisition, Crusades, Witch Burnings, stamping out other religions with vicious campaigns that can only be called wars. And psychological violence against the members of the religions with intense guilt, shame of our "animal" nature, sexuality in particular as well as dancing, music, how you dress... the repression of anything fun, or that might lead to sex, oh noes. And fear of Hell - eternal torture. never did see how people find comfort in these beliefs. I find it hard not to just see it as child abuse, to teach young minds such awful things and call it the 'truth'. I find that repugnant. I can't help it, I do. I don't often say so, because it's 'wrong' to criticize people's religious beliefs and practices.

      So this is where I have trouble...

        I'm not a believer but I know a lot of decent people who are. The idea that those folks should be demonized because of ignorant generalizations about religion as a whole is repugnant.
      I know good people who are religious as well. And I know good people who are republicans, who don't believe in climate change, who don't believe in government intervention for the common good. These people love animals and bake cookies for their neighbors too. We don't insist it is "repugnant" to criticize their beliefs -- and the effects of those beliefs -- in other areas, so why are their religious beliefs immune from critique? I honestly don't get this.

      In another diary not too long ago there was a discussion (on another topic) about the concept that "silence = assent" or whether we are morally obligated to speak out against what we believe are wrongs, in the words, deeds, and ramifications of what other people are thinking and doing. I argued against that, saying sometimes it is right to speak out, other times right to let others do as they will and keep out of it, that does not mean you approve or agree with their actions.

      But to have silence demanded at all times, to be forbidden to criticize, that is another thing -- and to go along with that, well that does feel like assent. It bothers me. I do think that people are free, obviously, to hold whatever beliefs they want, but other people should also be free to criticize those beliefs.

      •  While Christians, in particular, have participated (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Catte Nappe, Shawn87, OrganicChemist

        in warfare, you have to realize that the faith came into being in a milieu in which war was not only a fact of life, but was the means of social advancement. In the ancient world, wars were openly conducted for purposes of theft and capturing slaves.
           Torture was often admired. Public killings were conducted for entertainment.
           The ancient world was a very bloody place long before Christianity came along.
           If you do your research, you'll find that the early Christians refused to participate in war. As part of the trade-off involved in  establishing Christianity, though, the church leadership agreed that Christians could serve in the Roman military, as long as clergy were exempt.
           Likewise with slavery. Although the Bible doesn't condemn slavery, the practice of Christian slaves worshipping with Christian masters undermined the institution and it faded after the fall of the Empire. The first condemnation of slavery was a 1431 Papal Bull issued by Eugene IV banning the enslavement of newly converted natives in the Canary islands.
           The anti-slaver movement in 18th-19th Century England and the US was led by clergymen and lay Christians. The US civil rights movement was largely a religious movement.
            What is repugnant to me is the demonization of all Christians because of offenses committed by a handful.
            The net effect of Christianity, Islam, and Judaism is that things that were considered part of everyday life in earlier times - massacre, unjust warfare, torture, rape are now regarded as evils.
           That religion hasn't eradicated these ills from the world isn't a criticism of religion, it's a criticism of the world.

    •  This is historically so wrong... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LaFeminista, OldDragon, CS in AZ

      " The very moral framework from which we view the world - that there is something wrong with war and violence, for example, or that slavery is immoral - are viewpoints that were not widely held until the spread of Christianity."

      How in the world do you think Christianity spread throughout the western world (and beyond)?  It was through violence, mass murder, cultural destruction, theft... you name it.  Christianity did not become a big movement because it was all about "Good News".  It carried one of the biggest sticks in the history of mankind.

      •  Actually, Christianity became the dominant (0+ / 0-)

        religion in the Roman Empire because of better organization and fervor during the time that it was illegal. When Christianity had spread so far that it was the most common religion in the Empire, all it took was for Constantine to make it the official religion. After that, its future as the religion of Europe was assured.
           The ascension of Christianity in the Empire was largely non-violent.

    •  Don't agree with bashing religion... (0+ / 0-)

      And I think we had better all learn to get along and focus on politics around here, rather than trying to create divisions between non-believers and believers.  

      So we're in agreement on the important point.

      But you are wrong about this:

      The very moral framework from which we view the world - that there is something wrong with war and violence, for example, or that slavery is immoral - are viewpoints that were not widely held until the spread of Christianity.
      Christianity itself is a pretty malleable and changing religion over time, and I don't think that opposition to war or violence is a Christian invention. Even at the time of Jesus, the Romans had a Temple of Janus and it was considered reason for celebration when the doors were closed - meaning that there were no wars anywhere in the known world.  Every religion, including many of the cults co-existing with early Christianity, opposed violence.

      And resistance to slavery coming out of the Christian tradition?  Not even remotely.  Christianity has always supported slavery as much as it opposed it. The South in the US appealed to religion, specifically Christianity, as a defense of slavery.  Feudalism and the Middle Ages?  No relationship to Christianity?  Nope, not buying it. The gospels cut both ways and slavery is as easily justified by the Abrahamic religions as opposed. Of course, Christians were prominent abolitionists, it's true.  But as Abraham Lincoln once observed, both sides in the US were praying to the same God.  

      If there was one universal with respect to opposition to slavery... it might be hunter-gatherer societies, who didn't use slaves in the first place. The idea of slavery being immoral is pretty much standard for any hunter-gatherer society.  The morality or immorality of slavery has little to do with Christianity as practiced or understood during nearly all of its history.

      “If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin.” Charles Darwin

      by ivorybill on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 12:38:58 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  You could say the same thing about Republicans. (0+ / 0-)

      Wouldn't do as well around here, though.

  •  I honestly don't mind religion. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LaFeminista, ivorybill

    After all, if a group of people have developed enough similarities in belief, then it seems natural that they would want to socialize with one another.

    It's the fundamentalism and proselytizing that gets to me.

    But if a certain belief works for YOU, go for it.

    But don't assume that it will work for me.

    and LF is right, unfortunately, a lot of organized religion winds up being little more and little less than power grabs.

  •  Always (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Fishtroller01

    The title is oddly phrased in my mind because it seems to me that "we" are always allowed to criticize faith in the same way that "we" are always allowed to criticize any thought or opinion at all.  

    Faith is a belief.  I have always felt that one of the oddest things about religious debates is the sense held by many on the religious side of the debate that,  somehow,  their beliefs are meant to be immune from criticism.  That it is somehow offensive to even question the foundation of their belief in whatever.  That is,  truly,  truly bizarre to me.

    I have a lot of opinions about a lot of things.  I have spent a lot of time in my life arguing and defending the things I believe and often,  those debates have been quite heated.  But it has to my knowledge never,  ever crossed my mind that any context can or should exist that exempts me from having to defend anything that I believe if I somehow believe them strongly enough.

    I don't see any value in the notion that people's beliefs are ever sacred or somehow sacrosanct.  

  •  It's one thing to criticize a faith (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LaFeminista, poco, angry marmot, Shawn87

    Whether it be certain aspects of a faith, or a defined group of practitioners of a faith. It is another thing to broad brush condemn the entire faith and all its believers, including asserting that the faith must be defeated and destroyed entirely. I can see why her statements are controversial. She is widely embraced on the right for giving them justification to hate all Muslims, and to stress out over the potential for some US city or state to come under Sharia law, and other extremist idiocy. I can see why that would make her a controversial figure, as well.

    “Texas is a so-called red state, but you’ve got 10 million Democrats here in Texas. And …, there are a whole lot of people here in Texas who need us, and who need us to fight for them.” President Obama

    by Catte Nappe on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 10:13:55 AM PDT

    •  However it is easy to see why, and she is far (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Fishtroller01, OldDragon

      from being alone in suffering such abuse in Africa,

      Where I differ from the right is I believe in secular laws rather than religious ones are the way to resolve the problem. When they scream about Sharia Law it is from jealousy of not being able to impose their own brand.

    •  So the students at Brandeis are to be (0+ / 0-)

      "protected" from hearing her ideas?  

       I for one hope that "faith" and "religious beliefs" diminish in this world until they are nothing more than quaint stories in a book on the shelf next to all the other mythologies and beliefs and religious practices that we have already relegated to that shelf.  If we can do it with Zeus and Thor, we can do it with Allah, God, Jesus, Mohammad, Buddha, Yahweh and every other currently fashionable deity and its associated systems of tenets.

      •  They aren't silencing her voice (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        LaFeminista, angry marmot, Shawn87

        They said they would welcome her for a dialogue. What they have retracted is an honorary degree. Apparently a decent number of students and faculty felt strongly that her controversial views were offensive enough to some to preclude her being "honored" for them.

        “Texas is a so-called red state, but you’ve got 10 million Democrats here in Texas. And …, there are a whole lot of people here in Texas who need us, and who need us to fight for them.” President Obama

        by Catte Nappe on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 11:34:17 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Which views? The religious ones (0+ / 0-)

          or the feminist ones?

          •  The religious ones, of course (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Shawn87
            On Tuesday, a student newspaper, The Justice, reported on the controversy, and the Council on American-Islamic Relations sent a letter to Dr. Lawrence, referring to Ms. Hirsi Ali as a “notorious Islamophobe.”

            “She is one of the worst of the worst of the Islam haters in America, not only in America but worldwide,” Ibrahim Hooper, a spokesman for the group, said in an interview on Tuesday. “I don’t assign any ill will to Brandeis. I think they just kind of got fooled a little bit.”

            In its statement, Brandeis said, “For all concerned, we regret that we were not aware of” Ms. Hirsi Ali’s record of anti-Islam statements, though those comments have been fairly widely publicized.

            http://www.nytimes.com/...

            “Texas is a so-called red state, but you’ve got 10 million Democrats here in Texas. And …, there are a whole lot of people here in Texas who need us, and who need us to fight for them.” President Obama

            by Catte Nappe on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 12:13:27 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Ms. Hirsi Ali was on the receiving end (0+ / 0-)

              of the atrocities of that religion. She has every right to and even a duty to expose it for what it is.  Have you ever read the Koran?  If not, open it up and take the time to see the ugliness of that faith. Almost makes the bible look tame.

              As Sam Harris said, taking a highlighter to that book to emphasize all the hatred towards "infidels" makes the pages solid yellow.

    •  Your limits seem arbitrary. (0+ / 0-)

      I see no reason why anyone should be compelled to find anything redeeming about religion.

  •  You either align with a religious grouping to (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LaFeminista, Fishtroller01, Shawn87

    reflect most of your beliefs (with others) or because you were raised that way, I figure.  There's variations in-between, but the point is that religions are tools used to reinforce one's own values - either purposefully or through habituation/inculcation.

    There's nothing "sacred" about someone's religion, IMHO.  It's just another set of cultural beliefs, and should be respected as such.  Which means that they can be accepted/tolerated to the point of "reasonableness" from afar, but they aren't ever immune from question, critique or even ridicule.  No religion should be accepted as a full-body shield against taking responsibility for one's actions.

    I don't usually go out of my way to insult them specifically, but that doesn't mean I will always avoid doing so.  Right place, right time for such things.

    "So, please stay where you are. Don't move and don't panic. Don't take off your shoes! Jobs is on the way."

    by wader on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 10:21:25 AM PDT

  •  Amazing.... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LaFeminista, Shawn87

    My Muslim Egyptian neighbors and I were just talking about religion and the way women are treated just this afternoon... They are just as appalled as you and I are about it. They are afraid to return to Egypt after the dad's doctorate is achieved because they don't want their daughter treated like a second class (or no class) citizen.

    They detest the fundamentalists of their faith as much as we do of any other faith...be it Christianity or Judaism , Hindu or Pagan.

    Fundamentalism is wrong no matter what faith.... and it is time for us to claim our INTOLRANCE OF INTOLERANCE.

    "Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell." ~ Edward Abbey

    by SaraBeth on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 10:41:34 AM PDT

    •  As long as practitioners of a belief (0+ / 0-)

      system do not take on the fundamentalists within their religious system, they are enabling it.  And if it appears impossible to make that change or take on that task, then one should walk out of that religion.

      The basic problem is with the texts. The texts support the fundamentalist's views, so unless you are willing to disavow the texts, you are also stuck with enabling the fundamentalists.

      •  I beg to differ... (0+ / 0-)
        The basic problem is with the texts. The texts support the fundamentalist's views, so unless you are willing to disavow the texts, you are also stuck with enabling the fundamentalists.
        No, they do not. They have been cherry picked and twisted by the fundamentalist's to fit THEIR views. I am Pagan, and even I know that NOTHING the Theocratic Christians and Moslems do or say is supported by the Bible OR the Koran. In fact, they do the exact opposite of what is taught by those books.

        "Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell." ~ Edward Abbey

        by SaraBeth on Fri Apr 11, 2014 at 03:28:22 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  "Old Testament" is offensive because (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    hayden

    it embodies the Christian theological view that the so-called New Testament supersedes the Hebrew Bible.

    "Drips with blood" is a gross overstatement.

    Shalom v' salaam; peace and wholeness

    by another American on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 10:46:41 AM PDT

      •  I didn't say "no blood." (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Shawn87

        Nor is it a matter of speculating on numbers and adding them up. The text does, or in this case does not, "drip with blood" according to what it actually says. If you read the text, you'll find some blood-dripping passages and many more that don't.

        Shalom v' salaam; peace and wholeness

        by another American on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 11:17:54 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I say a whole lot of blood (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          OldDragon, Prinny Squad

          Most of humanity in one fell swoop.

          so many crimes punishable by death

          the killing of the first born [as if they had any say in the events]

          For a god that says

          Thou shall not kill

          There is an awful lot of killing for not obeying or for merely just getting in the way

          •  No retraction or apology for "Old Testament"? (0+ / 0-)

            Shalom v' salaam; peace and wholeness

            by another American on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 11:33:36 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Why, its common usage (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Prinny Squad

              If I refer to the Torah or Judaism in general I will so state.

              I refer to the one in the bible and its title in the bible as used by Christians.

              •  Precisely my point. "Old Testament" embodies a (0+ / 0-)

                theologically antisemitic message--anti-Judaic, if you prefer--namely that Christianity has superseded Judaism.

                Using "Old Testament" is insensitive and offensive to Jewish feelings. The expression "to Jew down" also is a common usage, at least in some parts of the country, and no less offensive for that fact.

                But perhaps you don't care.

                Shalom v' salaam; peace and wholeness

                by another American on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 11:47:01 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I tend not to bother too much with (0+ / 0-)

                  religious sensibilities as you can probably tell, one I regard them as irrelevant and two, if I took them all into consideration the footnotes would go on for pages

                  If you are insulted I apologize, there was no intent to insult on a personal level.

                •  On the other hand (0+ / 0-)

                  Bashing Christianity here is quite popular - bashing Judaism, not so much. Perhaps this is one of those times when it is a positive, rather than a negative, for the the content to be Christian-centric.

                  “Texas is a so-called red state, but you’ve got 10 million Democrats here in Texas. And …, there are a whole lot of people here in Texas who need us, and who need us to fight for them.” President Obama

                  by Catte Nappe on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 11:58:55 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  From the Christian perspective, the books of the (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Shawn87

                  Jewish Bible are the Old Testament and the New Testament is an addendum. Christians do believe that Christianity has superseded Judaism, in that Christianity has brought the word of God to all of humankind.
                     There is some debate about "replacement theology," the belief that the Christian covenant has replaced the old covenant between God and the Jewish people. Some believe that it has, while some Christians think that the Jewish people still have some sort of "Chosen People" role.

                  •  Which, since LaFeminista professes NOT to be (0+ / 0-)

                    writing "from the Christian perspective" just shows how that paradigm can affect people within the culture without their knowledge. That said, someone not intending to assert the theological point should, if she wants to avoid unintentionally giving offense, avoid the term.

                    Shalom v' salaam; peace and wholeness

                    by another American on Fri Apr 11, 2014 at 10:17:09 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

          •  The text doesn't say "Thou shalt not kill." (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            hayden

            Biblical Hebrew, like modern English, uses different words for killing (harag) and murder (ratzah. The sixth commandment--to use, since we're discussing the Hebrew Bible, the Jewish numbering of the 10 words--thus reads: "You shall not murder."

            Treating the Hebrew Bible as a literary work, it's should be reasonably clear to those without an ax to grind, that, taken as a whole, dripping with blood is not an accurate characterization. Please note that I am not trying to defend the morality of the text, merely trying to understand it.

            Shalom v' salaam; peace and wholeness

            by another American on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 11:43:29 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  the way Christians [and my lot were lapsed (0+ / 0-)

              Lutherans] red the bible is old and new testaments and disregard a few books Luther didn't like much in the new bit.

              Its the way Christians see the bible.

              I'm a Buddhist [non theist variety] but that should not mean anything to anyone but myself.

              I have stopped reading religious texts as I find them of little use.

  •  Personally... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LaFeminista, sfbob, Shawn87
    Religious fundamentalism is a cancer and yes we should be at war with it, I'm tired of tiptoeing around this issue in case I might offend.
    As long as the discussions are clearly focused on fundamentalism, I doubt there is much need for tiptoeing.  There are always a subset of folks that just read badly and would even miss well placed announcements of a diary's intent to focus on that narrow cult and not the healthier expressions of religion.  But that is true of any diary and is just  DK background noise.

    I'm not liberal. I'm actually just anti-evil, OK? - Elon James White

    by Satya1 on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 11:00:48 AM PDT

  •  Agreed! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LaFeminista, Shawn87, Prinny Squad
    Where I differ is that I believe it is all religions and the reason whereas Ayaan targets one is because she suffered in its name, I am quite willing to lump fundamentalist Christians in the same boat. To my mind there is no difference in the end.
    It is Man and men who generally decide upon the tenets of any faith and it is generally women who suffer the consequences.

    We have it within our power to make the world over again ~ Thomas Paine

    by occupystephanie on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 11:01:27 AM PDT

  •  my faith, believing we are all stardust (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LaFeminista, Prinny Squad

    children, hasn't burned anyone at the stake nor stoned anyone, nor tells others anything at all. I just simply go around and when asked about my religious belief say we are all stardust children. We come from the universe and when we die, we die. We all share the same tiny corner of this verse so we should just accept that. I don't get why people don't see that? It's much cooler, and frankly a beautiful idea rather than believing in some deity with a vengeance complex. Who ever created religion(s) was an asshole, imho. All it has done is created an atmosphere of oneupmanship. And that is just plain ugly.  

    Earth: Mostly harmless ~ The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (revised entry)

    by yawnimawke on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 11:02:35 AM PDT

  •  Everything else is subject to criticism. (6+ / 0-)

    I see no reason "faith" or religious organizations should get a pass, particularly as they are often in the forefront of passing judgment on others.

    Marx was an optimist.

    by psnyder on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 11:08:58 AM PDT

  •  There's criticism and then there's bashing (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LaFeminista, Catte Nappe, Shawn87

    I'm all for the former and generally opposed to the latter.

    To my way of thinking, it's highly likely that anyone who claims to be using their "faith" in support of hatred and violence is likely using it instead as cover for their personal insecurities and obsessions.

    Much of theology is relatively abstract. Most modern theology does not understand its creation myths as being more than allegorical in nature. Generally speaking those that insist on literalism are clueless about the fact that their scripture is based on translations of translations of translations of dead languages, all done with a political agenda in mind and originally written in terms whose sense might have been difficult to discern without full knowledge of context, even at the time they were put on paper (or parchment or papyrus).

    The best way to criticize a religion it seems to be is to point out to its followers how they are failing to be consistent with their religion's own tenets. The next step it to note where and how their behavior, where that behavior consists of or results in the abuse of others, stands on misunderstanding, or lack of comprehension of those tenets, and how and where some of the statements the comprise made by their cosmogony and cosmology fly in the face of easily verifiable facts.

    On the other hand, simply insulting people who embrace a particular faith without making any sorts of distinctions is a sure-fire way of getting them to double down on their views. It is not constructive.

    •  I think bashing of an organisation that (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Prinny Squad

      protects [and covers up pedophiles] is justified. I have no problem with that whatsoever.

      Its is more those who seek power and claim a religious justification for so doing [divine rights] and impose their judgements with religious doctrine that I have no patience with, individuals do what they can or cant do

      •  Well here's the thing (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Catte Nappe

        When it comes to organizations, they exist to exert power. There isn't any reason not to bash an organization if it insist on abusing what power they've gleaned or on attempting to assert power over civil authority (now who might I be thinking of here?).

        What I'm talking about is "all members of (religion X) because their religion is stupid." That doesn't serve any purpose other than to make individual members become defensive.

        When it comes right down to it, any groups definition of their deity (just to take an example) is neither here nor there; one accepts it, one rejects it, or one critiques it. So there's no point in slamming people simply on the basis of their theology. When it comes to reasoning from that starting point to codes of conduct, there's more opportunity to be critical. But the best way to criticize is by pointing out logical inconsistencies. In general it seems to me that any religion organization which claims its tenets require it to dislike or disapprove or demonize some other identifiable group or to behave in a particular way towards such a group, ought to open that religious organization up to particularly searching forms of critique. Even in that instance however, it's useless to call out every last member of a particular religion as being "stupid, misinformed, ignorant" or whatever. Once again it is not a useful way to proceed.

  •  All the texts from the Abrahamic (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Prinny Squad

    based traditions drip with blood.  The gods represented are also guilty of the worse kinds of immorality.

  •  Even my religious mother (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LaFeminista, catwho, Shawn87

    who keeps a picture of Jesus on the wall next to her picture of her own mother, and made sure growing up
    that we went to church and Sunday School (she tried); even she warned us from an early age that the most dangerous thing in the world is a religious extremist. And it didn't matter what religion it is.

    Blue is blue and must be that. But yellow is none the worse for it - Edith Sidebottom

    by kenwards on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 11:33:39 AM PDT

  •  All ideologies threaten civilization (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LaFeminista

    It's not so much whether those ideologies have one or many or no gods involved in their rationale. It's that they all erect elaborate texts which they propose are ultimate recipes for life, yet all of which, every single one, leads away from perception, compassion and inspiration.

    The ancient Northern Europeans had writing, but also realized that nothing about what we would call their "religion" could or should be written down, as that would eviscerate it. The ancient Chinese has a similar awareness of what could not be represented in words, and wrote some notes in the margins of that awareness.

    The Abrahamic tradition of placing a text at the center of life is deeply, fundamentally, wrong. If there is a god or gods she, he or they are far beyond text or recipe. The ancient Jews at least knew that it was wrong to write down in full God's name. But their stories about all the other supposed characteristics of God, while fine mythology at its best, equal to Tolkien, if taken literally becomes corrosive, an evil effect on societies.

  •  totally agree (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LaFeminista, Prinny Squad

    especially when religions around the world wield so much power and influence. I absolutely believe the world would be a MUCH better place if we could somehow wipe organized religion from the face of the Earth. People can have it in their lives personally if it does something for them, but it shouldn't go beyond that. Too many use it as a cloak in which to conceal their true (greedy/immoral, etc.) selves, and totally get away with it - See: todays Republican Par-tea. As Cole from True Detective said, in one of my favorite lines in any medium, "If the only thing keeping a person decent is the expectation of divine reward, then brother that person is a piece of shit; and I'd like to get as many of them out in the open as possible". I say rAmen to that!

  •  One can only wonder what could have ... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TrueBlueMajority, LaFeminista

    become of Christianity if Rome hadn't gotten its dirty hands on it.


    I forget your question, but that's my answer.

    by glb3 on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 12:05:01 PM PDT

  •  "Freedom of Religion" in North America has become (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LaFeminista

    "Religious extremism will be protected."

    To thine ownself be true

    by Agathena on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 12:34:48 PM PDT

  •  I don't criticize faith, I criticize actions (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    the fan man, LaFeminista

    By your fruit you shall be judged. And so forth.

    Many fundamentalist strains of religion result in horrible actions, things which we call crimes outside of those religions, and so I do judge them.  Harshly.

    The Cake is a lie. In Pie there is Truth. ~ Fordmandalay

    by catwho on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 12:34:53 PM PDT

  •  I certainly agree with Brandeis admin's (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Catte Nappe, Shawn87

    decision not to award Hirsi Ali an honorary degree, a bestowal that signifies deeper filiation and approval of the totality of the recipient's scholarship, service or contributions to public discourse than would simply hosting a "guest speaker." Hirsi Ali may be right on a few issues but her views in toto (on immigration, on assimilation, on Islam, on culture and civilization, on "Eurabia!!1!") are just fucking nuts.

    Real stupidity beats artificial intelligence every time. (Terry Pratchett)

    by angry marmot on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 01:35:50 PM PDT

  •  Brandeis should be ashamed (0+ / 0-)

    Has her rhetoric been overheated at times? Yes. But her valiant and brave effort to confront the brutal elements of Islam, especially towards women, as well working for the improvement of women's lives globally more than makes up for that. She should be heard, not silenced by intimidation.

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