Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Universalist Truth

The Racine Post has a little article centered around a statement issued by Racine's Olympia Brown Unitarian Universalist Church. Read the article here. The church issued the following statement:

“We, the undersigned members and friends of the Olympia Brown Unitarian Universalist Church, along with Unitarian Universalists throughout the country, stand in solidarity with our Muslim brothers and sisters and their right to the free exercise of their religion in these United States. We deplore the senseless destruction of their places of worship and we denounce all acts of intolerance against Islam and other religions. We support the right of Muslims and those of all religions, as affirmed in the U.S. Constitution, to worship in their faith tradition.”

Should read:

We, the undersigned members and friends of the Olympia Brown Universalist Church, along with Unitarian Universalists throughout the country, stand in solidarity with our Muslim brothers and sisters and their right to the free exercise of their religion in these United States. We will continue to pretend as though there are serious efforts to curtail the free exercise of religion by Muslims in this country. We will continue to actively ignore the real issue at hand, that is, whether it is highly insensitive of Muslims to build an enormous mosque so near to the former World Trade Center grounds and the national tragedy inflicted upon us by radical Muslims. In taking this difficult and courageous stand, we will demonstrate once again our moral superiority to the unenlightened masses.


Nemo said...

I am reminded of my favorite quote:

"Tolerance becomes a crime when applied to evil"

~~Thomas Mann

Sean Cranley said...

Denis, the Constitution provides you no right to not be offended. There have been a rash of anti-muslim and anti mosque acts across the country. Perhaps you weren't aware of that because it's filtered out of the Fux Snooze.

Nemo, are you suggesting that all Muslims are evil or just the ones that want to build an islamic center on the private property that they own?

Shhh - Christians build churches on the sites of their conquest.

Denis Navratil said...

Can I call you Straw Manley?

Nemo said...

sean, I am implying that those Islamics that fly planes into buildings and those that directly support them, condone or otherwise explain away their actions are evil IMHO. I can understand why some might be attracted to Islam. By keeping women uneducated, it creates a large pool of Democratic voters.

Anonymous said...

I assume that Seany still doesn't write anything worth reading, but thanks for keeping him entertained. Wearing stupidity like a badge -

Sean Cranley said...

Nuthin straw bout it Deny. BTW what is it about UU statement bothers you, why do you even care?

Nemo, I agree with your first sentence. However it is not all pertinent to the subject at hand.

Your second statement is wrong on two counts. I have no idea if American muslims have a marked partisan voting tendancy one way or the other. But Muslim American women are second only to Jewish Americans in terms of educational attainment.

And of course it's well documented that liberals are not only better educated on average, but they also have somewhat higher IQ's. Which is easy to believe with the amazing downward skewing of your side by the likes of brother Anon here.

Nemo said...

Not pertinent to the subject at hand?

From the UU,"...we denounce all acts of intolerance against Islam and other religions"

Many in Islam believe in "Honor Killing" and generally treating woman like cattle. It sickens me that you and others seem to feel that this type of religious tradition is just another celebration of diversity and to be tolerated. Evil should not be tolerated.

Denis Navratil said...

Hey Straw Manley, when have I ever asserted a constitutional right not to be offended? If such a right existed, you wouldn't.

Anonymous said...

Straw asks what it is about the UU statement that bothers me. Well straw, the UU offers up a bogus argument by suggesting there is an effort afoot to prevent Muslims from their constitutional right to worship. They also ignore the real issue. And finally, IMHO, they do both so that they can demonstrate their moral superiority. Straw, you ought to join the UU's. Denis.

Sean Cranley said...

Nemo, honor killing is a tribal practice that predates Islam by millenia. It is practiced in isolated areas within the Islamic world and has survived in these very conservative societies.

Last time I checked it wasn't a practice among American Muslims, which is the subject at hand. It's disgusting like a lot of practices around world, female circumcision for example.

It's worth educating yourself so you know a bit more than the surface veneer about a topic before you start making pronouncements and passing broad judgments.

You folks are engaging in rank bigotry against billions of people based on the actions of a few. Your picking on the group du jour (oh sorry, french!) that you deem it's O.K. to pick on. Just like you ilk has picked on various groups before when it was "O.K."

You're feeding into the cycle of hate that this community center might actually help to assuage. Statements like yours will be pointed to to show "See they really are Islamophobic!" And if the extremist like you on both side prevail we could get ourselves a nice "holy" war yet.

But then where would the "conservative" movement be today without small-minded ignorance, fear and hate? Shame be on you!

Denis Navratil said...

It is interesting to observe the things that get your goat Sean. You are willing to look the other way when it comes to "honor killings" and the deplorable treatment of women, but you become incensed when they are mentioned as evils not to be celebrated. It seems that you believe the mere mention of objectionable aspects of some practitioners of Islam will be used to spark a holy war. Perhaps, but if that is all it takes to spark a holy war, then I submit that the hypothetical war was inevitable anyway, just waiting for the pretense/spark.

It is fascinating to me that you characterize Nemo's defense of innocents and women as war inducing hate speech. Nemo's initial quote has been thoroughly validated. Thank you Sean.

Nemo said...

sean, "Last time I checked it wasn't a practice among American Muslims, which is the subject at hand. "

uh sean, Irving, Texas is part of America. Did you even read the attachment? Are you having trouble locating Texas on the globe?

Sean Cranley said...

Look the other way? Excellent mischaracterization of my statements Denis! But then that's what you do, isn't it? Pathetic really.

You should work at you reading comprehension skills, they're lacking.

Which part of "It's disgusting like a lot of practices around world, female circumcision for example." didn't you understand?

For that matter, what part of understand don't you know?

Is Tex Ali among those proposing to build the community center in Manhatten? One instance eh? who's the strawman now Nemo?

Nemo said...

One instance sean? Some day I'll teach you how to use a search engine. Until then, enjoy your ignorance while hiding under your burka.

Anonymous said...

Careful - Seany is already a geologist. He asked his mommy for cheap binoculars and a weather vane to put on the house, so he will soon be an astrophysicist and climatologist too.

Sean Cranley said...

Wow Strawboss! Looks like one honor killing every few years so in the U.S. Huge problem. Those diabolically evil bastards!

Here in our advanced christian purity we give it a more clinical term "domestic violence". Fortunately, the number of women killed in this way here in Merica is vanishingly small, right?

You guys kill me.

I still can't fathom why Denis even care about the Unitarians statement. There must be some reason.

Denis Navratil said...

OK Straw, you can see right through me. A few years back I attended a service at the UU church. After the service I was milling about, eating donuts, enjoying light conversation about the virtues of collectivism. I was lured into the basement of the church by some radical Muslims who kidnapped me. Over the next two weeks I was forced to stuff envelopes and complete thousands of absentee ballots for various Democratic candidates. Now do you understand?

Sean Cranley said...


Nemo said...

sean, don't scamper away yet. We have only covered one facet of the fruits of tolerating evil. Just when you thought that worshiping tolerance only required the deaths of a few women (hell, you probably never met them so who cares, eah?) along comes the destruction of your first amendment rights. Bummer.

Sean Cranley said...

Thank you for bringing up the subject of fundamentalist religious zeal and the dangers it poses, it's a subject I've given much thought to.

But first let me address the fact the your statement; "Just when you thought that worshiping tolerance only required the deaths of a few women (hell, you probably never met them so who cares, eah?)" is a nasty LIE plain and simple.

I know that the disingenuous twisting of words and intent is your only defense. But I suppose I'll have to continually point it out and demonstrate just how weak your positions are that you need to resort to the tactics of demonstrable dishonesty.

I had to point this out in a post above when Denis tried this weak tactic too. I said "Which part of "It's disgusting like a lot of practices around world, female circumcision for example." didn't you understand?"

So with that discredit yourselves properly addressed, I'll move on. I guess this stupid provocateur succeeded in her quest. If there was another purpose to her repeated actions but to senselessly insult and inflame, I can't imagine what it is. Just as stupid as the whacko's proposed pupblicity stunt in FLA, not that either deserve to die for their idiocy.

There is no reasonable comparison between those who want to construct something positive in Manhatten and these two stunt artists and their seeking to tear apart and destroy things.

Religious fundamentalism is and always has been one of the most dangerous forces on the planet, rivaled only by greed in the swath of atrocities, death and destruction committed thought out history and down to our time, by the fundy whackos that pervert the meaning of every religion out there through their vain quest for dogmatic purity and mind control. Mix in some tribalism (American tribalism, Arabic tribalism, etc.) and you've all the makings of a disaster.

The crimes or threats of the whackos from any group cannot be tolerated. But to paint an entire religion and all the people who are adherants with the same brush we use for the nut jobs is bigotry, pure and simple and that's exactly what you are doing.

You want to talk about about religiously inspired atrocities? The list is as long as all our arms put together and growing and represented in every major "Faith" system out there, including recent terrorist act committed in the U.S. by fundy freaks calling themselves "Christian".

Fundamentalist zeal is culprit, not any one specific religion. Your simplistic world view ensures that you only see the trees. But I see the forest.

So how many of you guys are going to DC on October 30th for the Keep Fear Alive Rally!

Nemo said...

I think you're close to an epiphany sean. The UU statement voiced tolerance for "all religions". All. This universal qualifier would include those that embrace "fundy whackos". It would include tolerance for evil. See my first post.

While conclusions derived from the application of logic and reason may upset you, those determinations are, by definition, not disingenuous.

Sean Cranley said...

Yes, ALL "religions" Nemo. That does not include those who claim membership but pervert those religions to evil purposes.

You said "It would include tolerance for evil." You call THAT logic? That's a load of simple-minded crap. That's not what the UU people meant and YOU know it (or you're dumber than I thought). You're being deceitful again. YOU LOSE!

Denis Navratil said...

Sean, your de facto definition of "religion" precludes the possibility that a religion could contain elements of evil since any evil acts could be written off as perversions of said religion. This presents some problems. A few examples. The homicidal Muslims who destroyed the World Trade Center certainly believed they were acting in accordance with their religion. And while I am by no means a Muslim scholar, I believe that one of the beliefs in Islam is that we mere mortals can not know Gods will. In other words, we can't judge whether the WTC destruction was God's will or not. Thus, how can we judge this to be a perversion of Islam?

Let's take a look at the issue of homosexuality and Christianity. There is no agreement among the various Christian religions on the subject. Certainly some would suggest that calling homosexuality a sin is harmful and against God's will. Others believe that the tolerance of what they consider sin to be against God's will. Which side is perverting Christianity and who decides? Let me guess, Sean Cranley decides.

Nemo said...

sean, so you're saying that radical Islam is not a religion? Please enlighten us. If it's not a religion, what is it? A car? A boat? A breakfast cereal?

If the UU people had not meant to say "all religions", they should not have said "all religions".

It's been nice pwning you.

40.45 Days :)

Sean Cranley said...

Denis, I believe that one of the beliefs in Christianity is that we mere mortals can not know God's will. The rest of your fisrt paragraph is pretzel logic as well.

We all make those judgments and we arrive at a general consesus on the big issues. It's called civilization. Clearly threatening or inflicting phyical harm crosses the line of reasonable people in all cultures.

Clearly the UU people were expressing solidairy with the vast majority of muslims who are peaceful people and not the strawman exceptions that you're using to underpin your bigotry. Which why your original post is really just senseless and baseless criticizm. Unless that is you have some other purpose and reason for the post that I've yet fathom besides your fanciful abduction story.

Sean Cranley said...

Yeah Nemo, the UU folks were expressing solidarity with terrorists. Because that just goes along SO well with their other beliefs. You're being a literalist moron. You know, a fundamentalist.

Enough of your stupity, dishonesty and bigotry. Catch ya later.

Denis Navratil said...

Actually Sean, I believe there is a significant difference between Christianity and Islam on the issue of knowing God's will. Of course Christians would not maintain a perfect knowledge of God's will but God's will is a heck of a lot murkier with Islam. This makes sense insofar as Christians believe that the Bible is inspired by God and that Jesus is God and in both cases we are left with a greater, if imperfect, understanding of God's will. I am well over my pay grade here so I will try to get a more knowledgeable Christian to weigh in here.

Nemo said...

Strictly speaking sean, the UU folks were expressing solidarity with religious terrorists.


40.41 Days :)

Preachrboy said...
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Preachrboy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Preachrboy said...

Sean, Denis, Nemo...

Didn't realize you were still discussing this one. My initial comment on the UU statement was, "in other news, the sky is blue". It would be like the Journal Times running a story, "This Sunday, Local Christians Confess Jesus is Lord!"


Now, here's my thumbnail take on Islam. The "true Islam", the one founded by Mohammed, the one found in the Koran, is really quite a disturbing religion which teaches Jihad, subjugates women, and seeks to dominate the globe by any means necessary including sword and deceit. Sharia law, yada yada.

True Christianity also seeks to "convert the world", but by baptizing and teaching - the power of persuasion, you might say.

Many will point to times in history when Christians conquered and forced conversions, inquisitions, crusades, etc... But we would say they were NOT acting in accord with Christianity.

Today, "moderate Muslims" are the ones out of step with Islam's true teachings. What American Liberals call "fundamentalists" and "extremists" in Islam are actually much more the true adherents of the religion.

Anyone who has studied the life of Mohammed can attest to this as well - a life which stands in stark contrast to that of Jesus Christ.

So, am I, a conservative Christian (fundie in some people's book), glad that most Muslims are peaceful? Sure. Does that make Islam any less disturbing? No.

Preachrboy said...

As far as God's will goes - Christians make a distinction between God's revealed and hidden will. Some things he tells us (i.e. the Bible). Some things he doesn't (why does he allow evil?). We even have a Latin phrase for this, "Deus Absconditus", the "Hidden God". Can we know God's revealed will? Absolutely. He tells us. That's why we regard the Bible so highly. Beyond what he tells us - shaky ground, that.

I'm not aware if Islam makes such a clear distinction. I suppose it would regard the Koran much the same as we regard the Bible, at least in terms of authoritative on God's will - as far as it goes. However, there is a sense of fatalism in Islam different from that of Christianity. Allah is painted as far more fickle than the Triune God, again from my non-expert reading of it.

One of the difficulties many of us have in understanding Islam is the language barrier, as a good Muslim reads and memorizes his Koran in Arabic only. That's why I think it's important to listen to the voices of former Muslims who can paint a clear picture of it for us.

Some good sources are: the son of the founder of Hamas, Mosab Hassan Yousef, or the guy who runs the website, "Jihad Watch", Robert Spencer.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Tom. Denis.

Nemo said...

Always look forward to reading your comments Preachrboy.

Sean Cranley said...

Deuteronomy 20:10-18 (New International Version)

10 When you march up to attack a city, make its people an offer of peace. 11 If they accept and open their gates, all the people in it shall be subject to forced labor and shall work for you. 12 If they refuse to make peace and they engage you in battle, lay siege to that city. 13 When the LORD your God delivers it into your hand, put to the sword all the men in it. 14 As for the women, the children, the livestock and everything else in the city, you may take these as plunder for yourselves. And you may use the plunder the LORD your God gives you from your enemies. 15 This is how you are to treat all the cities that are at a distance from you and do not belong to the nations nearby.

16 However, in the cities of the nations the LORD your God is giving you as an inheritance, do not leave alive anything that breathes. 17 Completely destroy [a] them—the Hittites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites—as the LORD your God has commanded you. 18 Otherwise, they will teach you to follow all the detestable things they do in worshiping their gods, and you will sin against the LORD your God.

Joshua 6

2 Then the LORD said to Joshua, "See, I have delivered Jericho into your hands, along with its king and its fighting men.

19 All the silver and gold and the articles of bronze and iron are sacred to the LORD and must go into his treasury."

20 When the trumpets sounded, the people shouted, and at the sound of the trumpet, when the people gave a loud shout, the wall collapsed; so every man charged straight in, and they took the city. 21 They devoted the city to the LORD and destroyed with the sword every living thing in it—men and women, young and old, cattle, sheep and donkeys.

24 Then they burned the whole city and everything in it, but they put the silver and gold and the articles of bronze and iron into the treasury of the LORD's house.

"The Propagandist's pupose is to make one set of people forget that the other set is human. By robbing them of their personality, he puts them outside the pale of moral obligation" - Aldous Huxley.

As always this religious justification is done for gold, silver and bronze and for the political power that is of course the divine right of kings in all human cultures. Same as it ever was.

Preachrboy said...

The peoples God commanded to be destroyed in the Old Testament were extremely wicked, even performing child sacrifices to their pagan gods.

God used the Israelites to bring his own judgment upon them. Admittedly, it's not easy to explain to someone who is a non-believer and tries to use these kinds of passages to embarrass Christians or make a point.

Still, these are unusual events in Scripture where God commands violence, and God has NOT since commanded his people to act in such a way.

In fact, Christians are told to love our enemies, pray for those who curse us, etc... Jesus told Peter that those who live by the sword will die by the sword.

The difference between Christianity and Islam on this matter is vast - as the Koran is replete with ongoing instruction for Muslims to enact violence. It's not the exception but the norm. It's not a particular time in Islam's history (like Mohammed's violent life), but an ongoing prescription. In The Koran and the Hadith....

I'm glad many Muslims seem to ignore the teaching of their religion.

Here's another article:

Sean Cranley said...

Yeah "God" told them to kill the other tribe's men, rape their women and steal their gold, silver and of course their land.

Whenever an atrocity like this is committed by anyone is ALWAYS in the name of "God" who is "on our side". It's just a rationalization as an excuse for murder and a bunch of boloney. It's Jewish oral history written down with God added as justification.

Here's a another little atrocity no doubt done in "God's name" by Christians to muslims who are members of the same ethnic/lingustic group, leaving only religion and men's evil brains to blame: