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Wolfman

All this over a stupid Teddy Bear...

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Del ...

To argue the superiority of Christianity right now is to divide those of us (including you) who want to denounce Islamic Fundamentalism.

It's counterproductive to this thread .... and the cause.

But ... flame on ... if that is what is most important to you....

I think you missed my point, or maybe I didn't make myself clear enough. And my intention was not to post a 'flame job' in this instance. I was only responding to a point made that suggested Islam's problem was with it's 'one path' theology. And that an evolution of consciousness beyond that type of theology might solve the problem. And maybe I misread the point being made to which I was responding.

But let me try again...

I don't think an evolution of consciesness from a 'one path' theology to a 'many paths' theology is the problem. Judiasim and Christianity are both also 'one path theologies' however they are not caught up in a physical fight against all other 'paths' despite not having perfect histories in that regard themselves. So my question is -- what is it about Islamic Fundamentalism that is causing it to be this way? And I contend that it is because of a perversion of the 'one path' theology that it stemmed from, and in spite of that theology. Islam's brand of "wrong path" (in my opinion) is a threat to everyone else no matter what 'path' the rest of us are on... and free to choose.

It is a fact that Christians and Jews also believe they are on the one true path too. But we don't see Christians and Jews involved in brands of Fundamentalism that are threatening other religions, their neigbors, or their own populations the same way that we see with Islam. On this I believe that we are in agreement.

I realize that your personal religious beliefs incorporate a 'many paths' theology. Even if I don't agree with that it doesn't mean that I feel threatened by it in such a way as to advocate violence against it, and neither do you with mine. I guess that is my point. We may be divided philosophically, but we aren't divided in our humanity. I fear that the same cannot be said about Fundamentalist Islam however.

I hope that was more clear. If not please let me know?

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I think you missed my point, or maybe I didn't make myself clear enough. And my intention was not to post a 'flame job' in this instance. I was only responding to a point made that suggested Islam's problem was with it's 'one path' theology. And that an evolution of consciousness beyond that type of theology might solve the problem. And maybe I misread the point being made to which I was responding.

But let me try again...

I don't think an evolution of consciesness from a 'one path' theology to a 'many paths' theology is the problem. Judiasim and Christianity are both also 'one path theologies' however they are not caught up in a physical fight against all other 'paths' despite not having perfect histories in that regard themselves. So my question is -- what is it about Islamic Fundamentalism that is causing it to be this way? And I contend that it is because of a perversion of the 'one path' theology that it stemmed from, and in spite of that theology. Islam's brand of "wrong path" (in my opinion) is a threat to everyone else no matter what 'path' the rest of us are on... and free to choose.

It is a fact that Christians and Jews also believe they are on the one true path too. But we don't see Christians and Jews involved in brands of Fundamentalism that are threatening other religions, their neigbors, or their own populations the same way that we see with Islam. On this I believe that we are in agreement.

I realize that your personal religious beliefs incorporate a 'many paths' theology. Even if I don't agree with that it doesn't mean that I feel threatened by it in such a way as to advocate violence against it, and neither do you with mine. I guess that is my point. We may be divided philosophically, but we aren't divided in our humanity. I fear that the same cannot be said about Fundamentalist Islam however.

I hope that was more clear. If not please let me know?

Perfectly clear.

Thanks.

We have only to hear from our resident Buddhist.

~666

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What do you need to "learn" about Islam in order to take a position on whether or not you support the Islamic response of imprisoning and then deporting a woman for nothing more than naming her teddy bear "Mohammed"?

I only need to appreciate that if she had received a harsher sentence, she could have suffered too much and Britain would have taken further action on her part.

Or, had she received no sentence at all, the Sudanese government may have suffered a coup by extremists, and she may have been killed by an angry mob.

Apparently, the Sudanese government is trying to keep her safe from the people who it understands and must somehow govern, and is trying to stay fairly neutral and gracious through the ordeal, as they should.

I hope for her safety and well-being, and a mutually satisfactory resolution to this conflict.

Leaders of the protest said they wanted to show that British Muslims supported Mrs Gibbons. Some arrived with their own teddy bears.

The protest followed angry scenes in Khartoum on Friday in which knife-wielding fundamentalists called for the execution of Mrs Gibbons.

www.guardian.co.uk

Hopes were rising last night that the British teacher jailed for 15 days in Sudan for insulting Islam's prophet could be released today. Lord Nazir Ahmed and Baroness Sayeeda Warsi, both British Muslim peers, said last night they would delay their return to the UK, amid signs of progress in reaching a resolution, after a day of difficult meetings with Sudanese government officials.

The peers had been due to return home today, but will now stay for a third day of talks. After meeting officials yesterday, they said they were confident that a presidential pardon for Gillian Gibbons was imminent. They are due to meet President Omar al-Bashir this morning, the president's aides said yesterday, clearing the way for Gibbons to fly home.

"We think that there's a very good chance of this initiative succeeding," said Omar Daair, a spokesman for the British embassy in Khartoum.

Gibbons, 54, of Liverpool, is being held at an undisclosed location in the capital, Khartoum, for security reasons, after protests on Friday by more than a thousand Muslim men, many of whom called for her to be executed. The British ambassador to Sudan, Rosalind Marsden, met her for an hour yesterday morning and the consul saw her in the afternoon. The Foreign Office said she spoke of being treated well "in a comfortable and secure environment".

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I only need to appreciate that if she had received a harsher sentence, she could have suffered too much and Britain would have taken further action on her part.

Or, had she received no sentence at all, the Sudanese government may have suffered a coup by extremists, and she may have been killed by an angry mob.

Apparently, the Sudanese government is trying to keep her safe from the people who it understands and must somehow govern, and is trying to stay fairly neutral and gracious through the ordeal, as they should.

I hope for her safety and well-being, and a mutually satisfactory resolution to this conflict.

I don't think the British or Americans should take action on the part of citizens who are silly enough to put themselves in those kind of situations. Sudan is not a place where any westerner should be going in my opinion. I would expect my country to take action on my behalf if I were being maltreated in Japan, Canada, Poland or Spain. But unless I am a soldier or a member of the State dept., and I am in a screwed up backward hell hole like the Sudan, Syria or Pakistan, then all bets are off.

What the hell was this woman thinking anyway?

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I only need to appreciate that if she had received a harsher sentence, she could have suffered too much and Britain would have taken further action on her part.

Or, had she received no sentence at all, the Sudanese government may have suffered a coup by extremists, and she may have been killed by an angry mob.

Apparently, the Sudanese government is trying to keep her safe from the people who it understands and must somehow govern, and is trying to stay fairly neutral and gracious through the ordeal, as they should.

I hope for her safety and well-being, and a mutually satisfactory resolution to this conflict.

You're still avoiding taking a personal position on the underlying issue,.. and once again you've opted not to address the other issues I've asked you if you support: regarding stoning, jihad, etc. I'm finding your arguments to be rather milquetoast. I think I shall have to refer to you from now on as "eternal lightweight".

What else am I to do, eh? huh.gif

^_^

:hippy:

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My answer to this is that a distinction is made between a life that is found to be guilty of the worst possible crimes (murder, rape, child molesting) or those lives which we must all agree are innocent. Children, babies, people with diminished capacities. And since Christians (although not all agree with capital punishment) believe that there is a moral government in the universe (i.e. God and his laws) that for those worst offenders in the universe, there needs to be punishment for wrong deeds in accordance with the severity of those deeds.

What makes your "God's law" any more valid than the "God's law" espoused by Muslims?

Who declared your God the one true God?

..a sacred book? ..a prophet? ..a burning bush?

You Christians and your Muslim counterparts have a lot in common with regard to thinking

that your God is the one true God and your God's laws the most righteous laws, don't you?

:whistling:

Granted, Christians no longer advocate the wholesale slaughter of those who don't share their religious beliefs, and in that regard present day Christianity and fundamentalist Islam are quite different. Christianity has "evolved" in that regard. You can hang your Christian pride hat on that hook if you want, but that doesn't mean your "God's law" rationale is any more rational than the "God's law" rationale that's the basis for Sharia law.

I find it ironic that you pass judgment on Islam for it's lack of "humanity" and yet you're quite willing to find your own religion-based justifications for the premeditated taking of a human life via capital punishment. I thought Christians (Jesus anyway) held a deep regard for the human potential for redemption. Who are you to decree that any one person, no matter how heinous his/her crimes may have been, is beyond redemption? Where's the humanity in that?

Revenge is not justice, Delberto.

Humarbi's code of 'justice' is antiquated and uncivilized.

Before you go casting stones at the barbarism of Sharia law, perhaps you ought to

face the reality of the barbarism of your own sense of religious values based justice.

Take the next step and "evolve" beyond Hamurabi's code, Del. B)

Jesus was a humanist.

:beer:

It seems to me that this teddy bear issue highlights the absurdity of

the very notion of "God's law".. be it Christian or Muslim or.. Martian.

As a being with the ability to cognate, I don't need "laws" from some "God" "out there" for me to value basic human rights; for me to value practicing compassion and kindness toward others; for me to value freedom;.. for me to develop my own sense of right and wrong. I won't abdicate my personal moral responsibility by citing passages in a book as a justification for practices that fail to recognize the humanity of every human being. Yes, every human being, without exception. Personally I think its rather immature to have to rely on some outside source to tell one what's right and wrong. But I guess when it comes to justifying one's own anger and thirst for revenge, its nice to be able to cite some source outside oneself as being the justification for, and as granting permission to, exact revenge on another human being.

..in the name of God.

..go figure. :rolleyes:

SPEAK UP FOR WOMEN'S RIGHTS.

SPEAK OUT AGAINST SHARIA LAW.

SPEAK UP FOR THE HUMANITY OF EVERY PERSON.

SPEAK OUT AGAINST CAPITAL PUNISHMENT.

:hippy:

[edited for typos]

Edited by Hermit

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I find it ironic that you pass judgment on Islam for it's lack of "humanity" and yet you're quite willing to find your own religion-based justifications for the premeditated taking of a human life via capital punishment. I thought Christians (Jesus anyway) held a deep regard for the the human potential for redemption. Who are you to decree that any one person, no matter how heinous his/her crimes may have been, is beyond redemption? Where's the humanity in that?

For the upteenth time the Scriptures (New Testament included) whole-heartedly supports capital punishment, so honestly Hermit you can argue until your typing fingers bleed (as you well know you and I have done so on this topic in the past) and you will never, ever, ever sway me one bit on this issue since I take to heart far more what the Scriptures clearly teach over your opinion.

And you've brought this up in the past that a death sentence somehow renders one beyond redemption and I have no idea where you get that from. The criminal on death row can repent all that God allows as much as anyone else can. No denying them one bit in serving punishment for their crime.

Of course Hermit, I whole-heartedly support you to hold the view that you do and I won't try to change it nary a bit because I know I would never succeed in your case, so I wish you well.

:beer:

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:lol:

I knew that post would draw you into the conversation, String! :D

welcome aboard, bud! :beer:

[ok,.. now I'll go back and read your post.]

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I don't think the British or Americans should take action on the part of citizens who are silly enough to put themselves in those kind of situations. Sudan is not a place where any westerner should be going in my opinion. I would expect my country to take action on my behalf if I were being maltreated in Japan, Canada, Poland or Spain. But unless I am a soldier or a member of the State dept., and I am in a screwed up backward hell hole like the Sudan, Syria or Pakistan, then all bets are off.

What the hell was this woman thinking anyway?

Whether they should take action or not, they probably would if they thought her rights were substantially abridged. It would be in the interest of any other citizens travelling to the Sudan as well. There's always someone out there who dizzily buzzes into a political hot spot in the world blissfully unaware of the hornet's nest they have chosen to merrily explore. You gotta love em.

By the way, she wants to stay there.

In her first public comment since she was jailed last Thursday, Ms. Gibbons sought to defuse the row saying that, if allowed, she would like to stay on in Sudan.

She also said that she wanted people to know that she was being well-treated and especially that I am being well-fed.

I've been given so many apples that I feel I could set up my own stall. The guards are constantly asking if I have everything I need, she said in a statement released through her lawyer.

Praising the Sudanese people as pleasant and very generous, Ms. Gibbons said: I'm really sad to leave and if I could go back to work tomorrow, then I would.

www.hindu.com

Edited by eternal light

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You're still avoiding taking a personal position on the underlying issue,.. and once again you've opted not to address the other issues I've asked you if you support: regarding stoning, jihad, etc. I'm finding your arguments to be rather milquetoast. I think I shall have to refer to you from now on as "eternal lightweight".

What else am I to do, eh? huh.gif

^_^

:hippy:

Chill.

Now that I have a moment to comment, I would like to see an end to the stoning. If it is any consolation, the destroyer can only take your body, he can not take your soul that you have placed in God's hands. That is why the Father sent His only Son, Jesus Christ, the redeemer, to gather His lost sheep.

Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. Early in the morning he came again to the temple; all the people came to him, and he sat down and taught them. The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery, and placing her in the midst they said to him, "Teacher, this woman has been caught in the act of adultery. Now in the law Moses commanded us to stone such. What do you say about her?" This they said to test him, that they might have some charge to bring against him. Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground. And as they continued to ask him, he stood up and said to them, "Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her." And once more he bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground. But when they heard it, they went away, one by one, beginning with the eldest, and Jesus was left alone with the woman standing before him. Jesus looked up and said to her, "Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?" She said, "No one, Lord." And Jesus said, "Neither do I condemn you; go, and do not sin again."

Gospel: John 8:1-11

As for jihad, or "striving in the way of God" there is a difference between the will of men and the will of God, that is the heart of God is pure, and the heart of men is not always so pure. God is without guile, and men are usually not without guile. Choose your leader carefully, that is, choose the one with the least guile and purest of hearts, so your striving will be acceptable in the eyes of God, because there is one other than men to whom you must account.

Jihad (Arabic: جهاد IPA: [ ʤi'haːd]), meaning "to strive" or "to struggle", in Arabic, is an Islamic term and a duty for Muslims. It appears frequently in the Qur'an and common usage as the idiomatic expression "striving in the way of God (al-jihad fi sabil Allah)". A person engaged in jihad is called a mujahid, the plural is mujahideen.

Consider the following text in Matthew 9:9-13, "And as Jesus passed on from there, He saw a man, called Matthew, sitting in the tax office; and He said to him, 'Follow Me!' And he rose, and followed Him. And it happened that as He was reclining at the table in the house, behold many tax-gatherers and sinners came and were dining with Jesus and His disciples. And when the Pharisees saw this, they said to His disciples, 'Why is your Teacher eating with the tax-gatherers and sinners?' But when He heard this, He said, 'It is not those who are healthy who need a physician, but those who are sick. But go and learn what this means, "I desire compassion, and not sacrifice," for I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners.'"
Edited by eternal light

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For the upteenth time the Scriptures (New Testament included) whole-heartedly supports capital punishment, so honestly Hermit you can argue until your typing fingers bleed (as you well know you and I have done so on this topic in the past) and you will never, ever, ever sway me one bit on this issue since I take to heart far more what the Scriptures clearly teach over your opinion.

Exactly.

You cite your sacred scripture as the unquestionable source/basis of your morality, and

Muslims cite their sacred scripture as the unquestionable source/basis of their morality.

you're kindred spirits in that way. B)

And you've brought this up in the past that a death sentence somehow renders one beyond redemption and I have no idea where you get that from. The criminal on death row can repent all that God allows as much as anyone else can. No denying them one bit in serving punishment for their crime.

some people may be capable of repenting under a.. deadline.. but for others it may take time.. perhaps even most of a natural lifetime. Why not allow them that lifetime.. a lifetime spent behind bars.. if a lifetime is what it takes.. and thereby give them every possible opportunity to develop genuine regret and remorse and to truly find redemption in their own hearts?

Whats your hurry? How does it affect you one way or another? :rolleyes:

Do you consider your 'exact a speedy revenge' mentality to be a religiously-spiritually evolved approach.. an approach that recognizes the humanity of all people? Maybe it merely serves to soothe your own fight or flight limbic impulse for self preservation ..humanity be damned.. eh?

:whistling:

Of course Hermit, I whole-heartedly support you to hold the view that you do and I won't try to change it nary a bit because I know I would never succeed in your case, so I wish you well.

:beer:

I don't have an agenda to change anyone's mind. I enjoy the debate, and if it provokes anyone, myself included, to look deeper into their own beliefs, then the discussion is worthwhile. I'm not attached to any particular outcome, String. If your only goal is to change minds then you're not really wanting to discuss or debate,.. you'd preferring to preach.. to minister.. to convert. Converting the infidels (heathens.. pagans.. nonbelievers.. whatever) may be your goal, but its not mine, bro.

To each his/her own, String.

:hippy:

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What makes your "God's law" any more valid than the "God's law" espoused by Muslims?

Who declared your God the one true God?

..a sacred book? ..a prophet? ..a burning bush?

You Christians and your Muslim counterparts have a lot in common with regard to thinking

that your God is the one true God and your God's laws the most righteous laws, don't you?

It is not important to me or anyone else who's 'god' 'goddess' or whatever they believe to be correct. What should however be important is wether or not that other belief translates into getting one's head chopped off for disagreeing with it. Which is the point of this discussion.

Granted, Christians no longer advocate the wholesale slaughter of those who don't share their religious beliefs, and in that regard present day Christianity and fundamentalist Islam are quite different. Christianity has "evolved" in that regard.

Christianity as it was revealed to it's followers never advocated the slaughter of anyone despite themselves being wholesale slaughtered first by the leaders of the Jewish temple and then the Romans. Christianity never needed to 'evolve' it only needed to be adhered to. I don't think Islam has the same history. But I challenge you to find anything in the Christian scriptures that advocates the slaughter of anyone for not converting?

You can hang your Christian pride hat on that hook if you want, but that doesn't mean your "God's law" rationale is any more rational than the "God's law" rationale that's the basis for Sharia law.

I am pretty confident that anyone who vocally attempts to challenge the 'rationale' of Mohammed's laws in a country that practices Sharia will find themselves wishing that they had opted to challenge the 'rationale' of Christian beliefs in a country that practices Chrisitanity instead. Otherwise they won't be needing any hook to hang any hat on if you know what I mean.

I hope you appreciate the not so subtle difference in that?

I find it ironic that you pass judgment on Islam for it's lack of "humanity" and yet you're quite willing to find your own religion-based justifications for the premeditated taking of a human life via capital punishment. I thought Christians (Jesus anyway) held a deep regard for the human potential for redemption. Who are you to decree that any one person, no matter how heinous his/her crimes may have been, is beyond redemption? Where's the humanity in that?

Revenge is not justice, Delberto.

Humarbi's code of 'justice' is antiquated and uncivilized.

Well, this is off the topic of this thread, and maybe you should start a "capital punishment thread"?

But I will answer this:

Redemption is not something that can be given or taken away by man. When Christ spoke of redemption, he was talking about the redemption of the spirit as brought about by a change in a man's heart/thinking (man's acceptence by God). Christ himself told one of the theives being cruxified along with him that he would be redeemed (be with him in paradise), but he did not promise him that he would not be killed for his crimes.

So when you asked, "why is it up to me to decree that anyone is beyond redemption". My answer is that I never claimed that. I leave it up to God to judge a man's soul. That's his job. But our job/responsibilty is to possibly judge a man's actions. Wether it is for stealing a car, raping a woman or commiting murder. If we are not charged with making judgements on ALL criminal acts, then we could never imprison anyone for ANY criminal acts based on your premise of who are we to decree or judge?

And capital punishment is not revenge either. It is strictly a punitive action based on a factual judgement of guilt upon an accused, within the confines of laws. If it were just 'revenge' then the state would permit the familes of the victims to perform the punishment. In fact, the families have very little say in the decisions to either bring an accused to trial, or what happens to him after that.

Before you go casting stones at the barbarism of Sharia law, perhaps you ought to

face the reality of the barbarism of your own sense of religious values based justice.

Under Sharia law a girl can be put to death for not being a virgin... even if she was raped but cannot prove it.

Under our laws we only execute murders, and in some jurisdiction rapists (but I may be wrong on the second one). And we only execute those murders after an exaustive legal trial and many appeals.

I really don't think you can call our system barbarism... or at least not within the context of Sharia laws and the discussion we are currently having.

Seems to me that this teddy bear issue highlights the absurdity of

the very notion of "God's law".. be it Christian or Muslim or.. Martian.

As a being with the ability to cognate, I don't need "laws" from some "God" "out there" for me to value basic human rights; for me to value practicing compassion and kindness toward others; for me to value freedom;.. for me to develop my own sense of right and wrong. I won't abdicate my personal moral responsibility by citing passages in a book as a justification for practices that fail to recognize the humanity of every human being. Yes, every human being, without exception. Personally I think its rather immature to have to rely on some outside source to tell one what's right and wrong. But I guess when it comes to justifying one's own anger and thirst for revenge, its nice to be able to cite some source outside oneself as being the justification for, and as granting permission to, exact revenge on another human being.

..in the name of God.

..go figure. :rolleyes:

I have no problem with your opinion on the need or lack of need to attribute moral laws to a higher source. But I still think you are misapplying the execution of punishment (be it capital or otherwise) to anger and revenge. Couldn't it just be about 'justice'? If the state puts a man into prison for five years for stealing another person's life savings is it about "anger and revenge" or is it about justice? The punishment deserved for such a crime.

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some people may be capable of repenting under a.. deadline.. but for others it may take time.. perhaps even most of a natural lifetime. Why not allow them that lifetime.. a lifetime spent behind bars.. if a lifetime is what it takes.. and thereby give them every possible opportunity to develop genuine regret and remorse and to truly find redemption in their own hearts?

Whats your hurry? How does it affect you one way or another?

I have not seen a captial punishment case carried out 'in a hurry' in my lifetime. Executing a convited murderer takes a long time. They have plenty of time to repent if they ever have any intention of doing that. But since repentence/redemption is not the job of the state in a capital crime, it's a moot point.

But in terms of the difference between knowing that one is going to eventually be executed for their crime or spend the rest of their natural life in prison. It is a huge difference. Just ask anyone on death row. Unfortunate as it may be, for many criminals it takes the contemplation of their own imminent death to appreciate what the life meant to their victim and their family.

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How can you all say that all Muslims are like that?...do you personally know every Muslim in the world?

I feel bad for Muslims who are not violent, who are not hateful and who don't treat other human beings like this because the less educated of the population will lump them in with the bad seeds and paint them all with the same brush. A girl I went to H.S. with was Muslim and had stuff shoved in her locker, got pushed around in the hallways and all I could think was, "this is how a Christian behaves? This isn't very Christ-like." Then again, if Christ was alive now, most uber-fanatical Christians would want nothing to do with him, what with his hippie demeanor and "love your neighbor" mantra.

Thanks. :)

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I'm getting tired of it. I think I said somewhere that I'm all for respecting other cultures....I've given it some more thought and I've come to the conclusion that I'm not for respecting just any culture or religion - and certainly not one that's not going to return the favor. I'm happy to treat every Muslim as an individual based on their behavior - just like I'll treat every human being - and I can't help but despise those people who preach and practice hatred....even more so when they try to hide behind their religion. We've come to the point where you can't citicize nutters and zealots without being called intolerant. What a joke.

[/rant]

How can you all say that all Muslims are like that?...do you personally know every Muslim in the world?

Proof positive.

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from TheSun.co.uk today ......

Teddy Teacher is released ......

......... BUT MOHAMMED THE BEAR FACES LIFE SENTENCE

The cuddly bear that sparked the storm in Sudan was locked away in a khartoum vault last night - facing a much longer sentence than Gillian (Gibbons).

Authorities anxious to draw a line under the controversy admitted the 2 foot bear named Mohammed would never see the light of day again. He is being held at the Ministry of Interior in Khartoum.

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Yes, that is very good news, and she should not of been locked up in the first place,it is nice she is coming home to be with her family at christmas time.

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It is not important to me or anyone else who's 'god' 'goddess' or whatever they believe to be correct. What should however be important is wether or not that other belief translates into getting one's head chopped off for disagreeing with it. Which is the point of this discussion.

Christianity as it was revealed to it's followers never advocated the slaughter of anyone despite themselves being wholesale slaughtered first by the leaders of the Jewish temple and then the Romans. Christianity never needed to 'evolve' it only needed to be adhered to. I don't think Islam has the same history. But I challenge you to find anything in the Christian scriptures that advocates the slaughter of anyone for not converting?

I don't disagree that Islam is a religion that seems to condone.. if not actually demand.. violence against those whom Muslims consider to be infidels, and its a religion whose followers are required to abide a set of "laws" that Muslims believe to be "God's laws", ie laws handed down by God. This set of laws, Sharia law, is clearly misogynistic and is seen by us westerners for the uncivilized and barbaric set of laws that it is. But to Muslims Sharia law is taken as a set of unquestionable laws because, they believe, these laws have been handed down by the one true God.

That "one true God's laws" mentality is dangerous and it leads to such injustices as a woman being imprisoned for naming her teddy bear "Mohammed", and it leads to injustices that are abhorrent beyond description, such as the stoning to death of rape victims, the chopping off of hands and arms of thieves, etc.

Because Muslims believe Sharia law is "God's law", and because they believe that their God is the one true God, they are not open to any other perspective; their belief in Sharia law is unquestioning. Even seemingly moderate Muslims,.. those who claim to value peace, love, freedom, and gender equality,.. don't seem to be able to bring themselves to acknowledge the barbarism of Sharia law. I don't know if that's due to fear of retribution, or if its a matter of willful self-delusion, but I think is reasonable to presume that its related to some degree to their deep-seated belief that their God is the one true God and that he is infallible, and therefore they find themselves unable and/or unwilling to question Sharia law. To do so, perhaps, might lead one to the conclusion that to reject Sharia law would be to reject Islam, and abandoning one's familial (and/or regional) religion is not an easy thing to do.. especially not for someone raised in a fundamentalist religion because blind faith is instilled by religious leaders and it becomes a strong mental habit, and because the social ramifications of questioning (let alone rejecting) the religion may be quite harsh. Those are two very big obstacles to overcome.

I think we're probably in agreement thus far, yes? :)

The point of my previous post was that although Christians no longer advocate the wholesale slaughter of non-believers as they did during the crusades, Christianity does share with Islam the similarity of holding a deathlike grip on the belief that their God is the one true God, that he is infallible, and that his laws are the one true set of laws. They both summarily dismiss the validity of the other and unquestioningly hold onto their own belief system. Ask them to question their beliefs and they refuse; ask them to support their belief system with reason, logic, conscience, and personal experience.. and they cite sacred scripture.

From a Muslim you might hear something like "according to the Koran, Allah.. the one true God.. who is infallible.. said it's so, therefore it is so. Sharia law is God's law. Period. End of story. You will never, ever convince me otherwise."

From fundamentalist Christians you might hear something like "For the upteenth time the Scriptures whole-heartedly supports capital punishment, so honestly you can argue until your typing fingers bleed and you will never, ever, ever sway me one bit on this issue since I take to heart far more what the Scriptures clearly teach over your opinion."

As you can plainly see, adherence to a belief system that is based on the root belief that 'my God is the one true infallible God and his law is the one true law' is a characteristic shared in common by fundamentalists of both Islam and Christianity. And like many Muslims refuse to acknowledge the barbarism of Sharia law, choosing instead to cite Sharia law as the religious justification for that barbarism, so too do many Christians refuse to acknowledge the barbarism of capital punishment, choosing instead to cite scripture as the justification for such barbarism.

I find it rather ironic that in casting stones at Islam many Christians fail to recognize the fundamental (as in 'root') similarity the two religions have in common.. a similarity that is made obviously apparent when we're discussing the barbarism of Sharia law and a Christian is asked to justify his support for capital punishment and the rationale for that support is essentially the same root rationale that a Muslim would use to justify a stoning to death of a 19 year old rape victim.. "according to God's laws as set forth in our sacred scripture...blah, blah, blah..".

I appreciate that you did not deny the similarities of the two religions in this regard,.. but I find your (paraphrased) "Christianity doesn't advocate the killing of non-believers like Islam does, so lets keep our attention on Islam" response to be a bit of a side-stepper. While you don't deny the similarities of the two religions, neither do you acknowledge the similarities I've pointed out.

:whistling:

I am pretty confident that anyone who vocally attempts to challenge the 'rationale' of Mohammed's laws in a country that practices Sharia will find themselves wishing that they had opted to challenge the 'rationale' of Christian beliefs in a country that practices Chrisitanity instead. Otherwise they won't be needing any hook to hang any hat on if you know what I mean.

I hope you appreciate the not so subtle difference in that?

Of course I appreciate the point you're getting at... that its far preferable to live in a country that guarantees freedom of religious practice rather than living in a nation in which you can be killed for challenging the rationale of the national, or regional, religion. Not a "subtle" difference at all. ..smartass. :P:D

However, I'm not aware of any "countries that practice Christianity" as a matter of national policy (other than the Vatican, of course) or national law, and if it was the case that practicing Christianity was a matter of national law then its quite likely that anyone bucking that system.. violating the law.. by practicing another religion, would face harsh penalties. So its not "the practice of Christianity" itself that enables people freedom of religious practice, its the law of the nation that allows freedom of religious practice. Ergo, your point is somewhat skewed.

Furthermore, your point doesn't address the point I was making about the root similarity shared by Christianity and Islam.. a similarity in thinking that closes the "true believer" off to considering any perspective other than that which is supported by the religious belief system. Both religions are based on a system of thinking that is circular and closed.. a closed loop of reinforcement.. in which the belief system itself is cited as being the most basic validation of the belief system. There is no critical analysis that takes into account factors that might challenge the rationale of that belief system.

That way of thinking, my friend,.. a way of thinking that is shared in common by both fundamentalist Christians and fundamentalist Muslims.. is not a very "evolved" way of thinking.

..imho. ;)

:hippy:

[/ 1 of 2]

Edited by Hermit

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jihad-bear.jpg

Jihad Bear - Jihad Bear is at the front lines killing filthy Zionist Bears everywhere. Peace be upon him!

sharia-bear.jpg

Sharia Bear - Sharia Bear is properly clothed, otherwise she will be stoned to death.

dhimmi-bear.jpg

Dhimmi Bear - Dhimmi Bear gets to pay Jizya to his respective Islamic Government. Historically in the U.S., we know Jizya as “protection money” paid to the Siclilian Sharia.

[comment by Jay - "You need a Christian Dhimmi bear, too! (Actually, it should be first.) Otherwise, people might think only Jews are dhimmi, while actually the vast majority of current Americans would be, were Sharia enacted here."]

mohammed-bear.jpg

Mohammed Bear - Mohammed Bear fools all the other Bears (except Dhimmi Bear who is forced) into believing he is Holy. His followers go on to continually divide and harass the world while claiming to be victims. What a tricksey Bear he is!

The Rude News

~666

Edited by Scratch

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I bet Jesus bear would kick Muhammed bears bony....

I don't know Da - LO.

He didn't fair too well against Santa on South Park ....

haha.

WHERE'S THE RAGE?

~666

PS - I hate to admit it ... but Christians get ridiculed an awful lot in pop culture. And their venerated icons general get shit or pissed on (literally) most everywhere in liberal society.

And who doesn't laugh at Creed and Christian Rock music? Christians are the butt of jokes across the board.

Not that Christian rock doesn't completely suck. But you get what I mean.

Edited by Scratch

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PS - I hate to admit it ... but Christians get ridiculed an awful lot in pop culture. And their venerated icons general get shit or pissed on (literally) most everywhere in liberal society.

And who doesn't laugh at Creed and Christian Rock music? Christians are the butt of jokes across the board.

Not that Christian rock doesn't completely suck. But you get what I mean.

Yes,.. and to their credit they don't go calling for the heads of those who ridicule them.. be that ridicule well-deserved (as it is surely is in some cases.. Christian rock, case in point).. or not deserved (as it surely isn't in some cases,.. umm,.. gimme a chance to come up with an example. ..it may take a while. hehe! j/k, Christies. *wink*).

To Christians,.. for being such good sports! :beer:

:cheer:

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[2 of 2]

Well, this is off the topic of this thread, and maybe you should start a "capital punishment thread"?

But I will answer this:

Redemption is not something that can be given or taken away by man. When Christ spoke of redemption, he was talking about the redemption of the spirit as brought about by a change in a man's heart/thinking (man's acceptence by God). Christ himself told one of the theives being cruxified along with him that he would be redeemed (be with him in paradise), but he did not promise him that he would not be killed for his crimes.

So when you asked, "why is it up to me to decree that anyone is beyond redemption". My answer is that I never claimed that. I leave it up to God to judge a man's soul. That's his job. But our job/responsibilty is to possibly judge a man's actions. Wether it is for stealing a car, raping a woman or commiting murder. If we are not charged with making judgements on ALL criminal acts, then we could never imprison anyone for ANY criminal acts based on your premise of who are we to decree or judge?

It seems you're saying that you believe that even criminal convicted of the most heinous of crimes are capable of being redeemed.. and may even be capable of genuinely repenting in their hearts. It also seems you're saying that as a Christian you see no moral value in.. nor do you feel any moral obligation to.. allowing a convicted criminal as much time behind bars as it might take.. perhaps even most of the duration of a natural lifetime.. time to arrive at true repentance.

Also Del,.. it bears pointing out that there is the religious "redemption" which you refer to,.. the taking of Christ into one's heart.. a concept meaningful only to those who believe in the Christian belief system,.. and "redemption in the eyes of God".. a concept that is only meaningful to those who believe in a God "out there" who ultimately passes judgment on people. However, there is also redemption as a human being that doesn't necessarily have anything at all to do with "God".. or religion. People can do heinous things and then discover the error of their ways, they can develop a genuine sense of empathy for those they have harmed, they can develop a genuine sense of regret and remorse, they can genuinely repent (in a non-religious sense), and they can dedicate themselves to being a better person.. even if being a better person is something they will be limited to putting into practice while in prison for the remainder of their natural life. That is redemption too, and it need not be a religion-based redemption.

To acknowledge the basic humanity of every person is to recognize every human being's potential for redemption.. in a non-religious sense. But once again, rather than taking this humanistic point of view (that could be wrapped in a humanistic religious context), you instead use religion as the basis for your non-humanistic justification and rationalization for capital punishment. That's a pretty twisted take on JC's teachings, doncha think?.. given that..

Jesus was a humanist.

Jesus was a liberal.

Jesus was progressive.

Jesus taught compassion and forgiveness.

:whistling:

B)

"Passing judgment on" and "executing" are two different things. "Passing judgment on" results in someone being deemed innocent or guilty. The sentence for a crime is not a matter of judgment, its a matter of punishment based on the judgment that someone is guilty.

Of course I support "passing judgment on" people who are accused of having committed crimes. Where we disagree is with regard to the punishment handed down. You cite religion as the basis for your belief in capital punishment; my point of view is rooted not in religion but in the recognition that "life for a life" mentality.. ie, a mindset of justice that is akin to Hamurabi's code.. is archaic and uncivilized and fails to recognize the basic humanity of even the most heinous criminals.

One has to have evolved (mentally, spiritually-religiously, conscientiously) a bit beyond a life-for-life mentality in order to be able to recognize the basic humanity of even the most heinous criminals, Del.

Again,.. the underlying point is that what is similar (in the context of this discussion) between Sharia law and some Christians' support for capital punishment is the religious justifications and rationalizations cited by each in support of their own sense of "justice".

btw,. I'm aware that not all Christians support capital punishment, and that there are many Christians who oppose capital punishment. Apparently they're evolved enough in their thinking and morality that they don't exclude criminals from their belief in the sanctity of human life.

B)

And capital punishment is not revenge either. It is strictly a punitive action based on a factual judgement of guilt upon an accused, within the confines of laws. If it were just 'revenge' then the state would permit the familes of the victims to perform the punishment. In fact, the families have very little say in the decisions to either bring an accused to trial, or what happens to him after that.

Under Sharia law a girl can be put to death for not being a virgin... even if she was raped but cannot prove it.

Under our laws we only execute murders, and in some jurisdiction rapists (but I may be wrong on the second one). And we only execute those murders after an exaustive legal trial and many appeals.

I really don't think you can call our system barbarism... or at least not within the context of Sharia laws and the discussion we are currently having.

I'm not calling our system of criminal justice barbaric, Del,.. I'm calling capital punishment barbaric.. uncivilized.. unevolved. Capital punishment is but one of many flaws in our criminal justice system, and yet flawed though our system is, the system itself is not barbaric imho, and I never claimed it was. On the other hand, Sharia law as a system of criminal justice is, imho, barbaric.

Rationalize all you want about capital punishment, but the fact remains that executing a convicted criminal accomplishes absolutely nothing that a life sentence without parole wouldn't accomplish.. other than save the taxpayers money and provide the victim's loved ones.. and those in society who take such crimes personally in some way.. a sense of revenge.

fwiw.. Albert Pierrepoint, Britain's most prolific and efficient executioner (something he took pride in).. who, between 1932 and 1956 executed over 400 people via hanging (including nazi war criminals).. claimed after having retired and having contemplated his actions and capital punishment in general, came out against capital punishment, claiming that capital punishment serves no purpose but revenge.

""I have come to the conclusion that executions solve nothing, and are only an antiquated relic of a primitive desire for revenge which takes the easy way and hands over the responsibility for revenge to other people.."

~ Albert Pierrepoint, 1974

I have no problem with your opinion on the need or lack of need to attribute moral laws to a higher source. But I still think you are misapplying the execution of punishment (be it capital or otherwise) to anger and revenge. Couldn't it just be about 'justice'? If the state puts a man into prison for five years for stealing another person's life savings is it about "anger and revenge" or is it about justice? The punishment deserved for such a crime.

Being sentenced to time in prison is not revenge, it's paying one's debt to society by forfeiting one's civil freedom for a designated amount of time. That is the administration of justice. For heinous crimes the debt to society is the forfeiture of one's civil freedom for the duration of one's natural life, with the possibility of parole (the possibility of getting one's freedom back); and for the most heinous crimes the debt to society is the forfeiture of one's civil freedom for the duration of one's natural life, without the possibility of parole. That is the administering of justice. It is not exacting revenge; it is not, as a sentence, exacting physical harm on the convicted in retribution for the crime they committed.

Capital punishment exacts physical harm on the convicted.. it takes their life away in accordance with a life-for-life revenge-based mentality. It's no more an administration of "justice" than the "legal" "justice" administered via stoning someone to death under Sharia "law". The barbarism of stoning someone to death is merely more obvious, and the barbarism of Sharia law in general is made all the more obvious when its a rape victim who is stoned to death. But be it by stoning to death, beheading, electrocution, hanging, or lethal injection.. execution as a form of "justice" is archaic, uncivilized, unevolved, and (in varying degrees) barbaric.

Although we clearly disagree on some of these matters, I do

appreciate you sharing and discussing your perspective, bro.

cheers.

:beer:

SPEAK UP FOR WOMEN'S RIGHTS.

SPEAK OUT AGAINST SHARIA LAW.

SPEAK UP FOR THE HUMANITY OF EVERY PERSON.

SPEAK OUT AGAINST CAPITAL PUNISHMENT.

:hippy:

Edited by Hermit

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