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Thomas Jefferson: Father of Religious Freedom

Thomas Jefferson may be the father of our country and the father of religious freedom. This does not mean that his descendants in our generation believe in religious freedom. Too many of them do not. And if we, in America, don’t set an example of how to treat people who are devoted to non-Christian religions, such as Islam, how can we influence Arabs in the Middle East to adopt religious tolerance (as I have suggested yesterday)?

Representative Virgil Goode, who calls himself a conservative, blasted newly-elected Representative Keith Ellison for saying that he would use the Koran in a private swearing-in ceremony. Ellison tried to answer cordially. Goode, however stuck to his guns. Now, Think Progress reports that Ellison will use the Koran previously owned by George Washington:

Jefferson’s copy is an English translation by George Sale published in the 1750s; it survived the 1851 fire that destroyed most of Jefferson’s collection and has his customary initialing on the pages. This isn’t the first historic book used for swearing-in ceremonies — the Library [of Congress] has allowed VIPs to use rare Bibles for inaugurations and other special occasions.

Then the article gives the language of Jefferson's 1777 Draft of a Bill for Religious Freedom:

…that our civil rights have no dependance on our religious opinions, any more than our opinions in physics or geometry; that therefore the proscribing any citizen as unworthy the public confidence by laying upon him an incapacity of being called to offices of trust and emolument, unless he profess or renounce this or that religious opinion, is depriving him injuriously of those privileges and advantages to which, in common with his fellow citizens, he has a natural right.

Pretty neat and pretty clear. But not to other conservatives, as you can see from the following commentary at The Corner:

By all means let Keith Ellison swear in using Jefferson's Koran, maybe afterwards he can look up the passages that discuss smiting the infidels at the neck and make great slaughter among them. Probably underlined.

Is this what conservatism has come to? Repudiation of Thomas Jefferson? Repudiation of freedom of religion? Repudiation of civil discourse?

I sure hope not. Freedom of religion has kept America afloat and attracted people to America from every corner of the earth. By carrying the banner of freedom of religion, we can help people of the Middle East and other regions of the world get along with each other - and stop the growth of terrorism.

Let's make it so that Thomas Jefferson is honored all over the Globe because of his advocacy of religious freedom for all.

Posted by Paul Siegel at January 3, 2007 7:04 PM
Comments
Comment #201406

We cannot influence Arabs in the middle east to adopt religious tolerance no matter what we do. It’s forbidden by their holy scripture.
The problem with using the religious tolerance argument regarding a Congressman swearing in on a Koran is that he is using a book that forbids religious tolerance and is in fact the scripture for a religion that declares that religion is the state. Islam is more than a religion. It is a totalitarian ideology.
As a Muslim, Ellison is an adherent of an ideology that is hostile to the very foundations of America.

Posted by: traveller, at January 4, 2007 12:32 AM
Comment #201410

Paul,

Most American’s just don’t get it and they never will. I guess I shouldn’t be as broad as to say, “Americans”. I can however say that most Kansan’s simply blame Arabs and and any follower of Islam.

70% to 80% of the people I speak to think we should just nuke the whole Middle East. When I tell them that Islam has spread much further than that they generally respond with, “well, nuke them f***ers too”.

Ellison’s “one of them”! You know “them”.

We forget that McVeigh and Nichols were not “them”. They were “us”.

Posted by: KansasDem at January 4, 2007 1:33 AM
Comment #201411
As a Muslim, Ellison is an adherent of an ideology that is hostile to the very foundations of America.

That’s just ridiculous. Yes, they’re hostile to American policy in the Middle East, but no Muslim I ever met has been hostile to “the very foundations of America.”

There are several Muslim liberal democracies. Malaysia and Indonesia are prime examples.

Posted by: American Pundit at January 4, 2007 1:53 AM
Comment #201417

Paul Siegel,

Its people like Goode that make me sad to be a conservative and loathe to call myself a Republican. While I very highly doubt that his swearing in on a Koran will have any effect on Middle Eastern attitudes about the US, it is a very nice gesture on his part of accommodating his own religious views with American traditions.

Posted by: 1LT B at January 4, 2007 3:35 AM
Comment #201428

AP,
Try studying Islam without your PC blinders on.

Posted by: traveller at January 4, 2007 8:14 AM
Comment #201431

traveller,

Do you really think that your comment 201428 is useful or convincing? I understand that you disagree with AP, but if the only argument you can dredge up is that he has “blinders on”, then you’ve made a pretty convincing demonstration that you don’t actually have an argument you can support.

Malaysia and Indonesia are actually democracies (although Malaysia is also a bizarre constitutional monarchy). That’s a fact, not PC blindness.

Posted by: LawnBoy at January 4, 2007 9:04 AM
Comment #201440

here, here, 1 LT B

Posted by: Rob at January 4, 2007 10:32 AM
Comment #201447

My worthy namesake,

The problem with using the religious tolerance argument regarding a Congressman swearing in on a Koran is that he is using a book that forbids religious tolerance and is in fact the scripture for a religion that declares that religion is the state.

I’m not sure that’s a problem for a congressman. He represents a district, not his religion. If his constituents don’t feel represented, he will be voted out.

Islam is more than a religion. It is a totalitarian ideology.

So are Liberalism and Conservatism. Maybe he’ll turn out to be a breath of fresh air.

As a Muslim, Ellison is an adherent of an ideology that is hostile to the very foundations of America.

So basically, you are being religiously intolerent of them because some of them are religiously intolerant?

Posted by: TheTraveler at January 4, 2007 11:15 AM
Comment #201448

KansasDem,

70% to 80% of the people I speak to think we should just nuke the whole Middle East. When I tell them that Islam has spread much further than that they generally respond with, “well, nuke them f***ers too”.

You hang out with some weird people…
70-80%? Why do I have a feeling you made this one up?

Posted by: TheTraveler at January 4, 2007 11:19 AM
Comment #201453

LawnBoy,

“That’s just ridiculous. Yes, they’re hostile to American policy in the Middle East, but no Muslim I ever met has been hostile to “the very foundations of America.””

Very PC. Maybe the Muslims he knows don’t express hostility to America but if you study Islamic ideology honestly and objectively the hostility to American democratic principles quickly becomes glaringly apparent.

The Traveler,

“I’m not sure that’s a problem for a congressman. He represents a district, not his religion.”

His religion demands otherwise.

Liberalism and conservatism totalitarian ideologies? In what manner?

“So basically, you are being religiously intolerent of them because some of them are religiously intolerant?”

No, I’m merely pointing out the hypocrisy and irony of demanding tolerance for an ideology that has as one of its core precepts the destruction of all religions, ideologies, cultures and civilizations other than itself, and whose followers are engaged in a global jihad to do just that.

Posted by: traveller at January 4, 2007 11:49 AM
Comment #201455
As a Muslim, Ellison is an adherent of an ideology that is hostile to the very foundations of America.

traveller,

Please name one thing that Ellison has done that is hostile to the very foundations of America? Practice his freedom of religion? The only ones I have seen be hostile to the very foundations of America are wingnuts like Virgil Goode.

Posted by: JayJay at January 4, 2007 11:58 AM
Comment #201456

traveller,

Do you really believe that all Muslims adhere to the same ideology? Do all Christians adhere to the same ideology? The United Church of Christ adheres to a very liberal ideology, while the Westboro Baptist Church adheres to an extremist wacko ideology. You wouldn’t want all Christians judged based upon the ideology of the Westboro Baptist Church, so why are you judging all Muslims based on the ideology of their extremists?

Posted by: JayJay at January 4, 2007 12:06 PM
Comment #201460

traveller,

His religion demands otherwise.

So you know his exact personal beliefs? I didn’t think so.

Liberalism and conservatism totalitarian ideologies? In what manner?

Oh, I don’t know… Let’s see…

Signing statements

Referring to private property as public property under the law in order to ban smoking

Banning trans fat, foi gras, etc.

Any government that thinks it can regulate what food I can eat is totalitarian in my book.

I’m not even scratching the surface. We literally have laws regulating anything and everything. These laws come from both sides.

No, I’m merely pointing out the hypocrisy and irony of demanding tolerance for an ideology that has as one of its core precepts the destruction of all religions, ideologies, cultures and civilizations other than itself, and whose followers are engaged in a global jihad to do just that.

Not Islam, just certain people who practice it.
Now, unless you know something specific about Congressman Ellison that the rest of us don’t, I suggest you stop insulting him and his religion. Like I said, you don’t even know hat his personal beliefs are.

Posted by: TheTraveler at January 4, 2007 12:42 PM
Comment #201463

traveller,

So, AP’s actual experience with actual people is PC blindness? Keep in mind that AP lives (or lived) in Singapore, right in the middle of a part of the world that is heavily Muslim. In fact, the majority of the world’s muslims live in SE Asia, with a worldview very different than the one you assume based on the minority in the Middle East.

I’m sorry that you equate facts and first-hand knowledge with PC blindness. It would be nice if you could get past your limited impressions to see that the facts are more complicated that you would like to believe.

His religion demands otherwise.

And, as JayJay notes, there are Christians that believe that Christianity demands the same as well.

Posted by: LawnBoy at January 4, 2007 12:47 PM
Comment #201479

Traveller:

“As a Muslim, Ellison is an adherent of an ideology that is hostile to the very foundations of America.”

Pretty sweeping statement. You found a statement or two in the Koran that leads you to say such a thing. How do you square this with many peace-loving Muslims around the world and here in the U.S.?

According to you, ALL Muslims are enemies of America. Do you really believe this? If you do, you should be in favor of declaring war against the 1.3 billion Muslims in the world. Are you?

You know very well this is a ridiculous position.

Posted by: Paul Siegel at January 4, 2007 2:27 PM
Comment #201485

I haven’t accused Mr. Ellison of doing anything. I wrote about Islamic ideology and the respondents have twisted my words to fit their own politically correct fantasies.
You try to equate Islam and Christianity by pointing out the supposed evils of the latter.
This isn’t a valid comparison because those who commit evil in the name of Christianity are violating the words and example of Jesus. Those who commit evil in the name of Islam are obeying and following the words and example of Muhammad.
And yes, The Traveler, it IS Islam that demands the destruction of all religions, ideologies, cultures and civilizations that are not Islam. The Koran DOES demand that its followers work for the subjugation of any land that is not governed by sharia.
My assertions about Islam are not based on 1 or 2 passages. There are hundreds.
Don’t take my word for it. Do like I did. Four years ago I was as ignorant of Islam as many of you appear to be. I had heard conflicting claims about it and sought the answer to a simple question. “What is the truth?”
I sought the answer from many sources, starting with the Koran. I’ve read books and articles, both pro and con and examined its history and the statements and writings of scholars and clerics.
Islam itself lead me to the conclusion that it is the greatest evil mankind has ever faced. It is more like Nazism than anything else.
If you want to believe I’m ignorant or bigoted that’s not my problem. I know different. Take off your PC blinders and stand in the harsh light of reality if you can stand it.

Posted by: traveller at January 4, 2007 3:04 PM
Comment #201495

Regarding “peace loving” Muslims I would love to see how these peace lovers would treat you if they were in the majority and you elected to practise a different religion. I guess we can look to the Sudan for the answer to that question.
As for taking an oath on the Koran what are you going to do if a Satanist gets elected and says he will take his oath on the Satanic bible or an aetheist decides to take his oath on The origin of species? As much as many people may dislike it our country was founded by Christian men who had Christian views and values. Had our founding fathers been Muslims things would be quite different today. American women would today be walking around covering their faces, other religions would be outlawed and we wouldn’t have anything close to a democratic form of government. So if a congressman takes his oath on the Koran please forgive me if it makes me more than a bit uncomfortable.

Posted by: Carnak at January 4, 2007 4:15 PM
Comment #201496
As for taking an oath on the Koran what are you going to do if a Satanist gets elected and says he will take his oath on the Satanic bible or an aetheist decides to take his oath on The origin of species?

A couple responses. First, I wouldn’t do anything. Since the lack of religious test for being elected is enshrined in the Constitution, there’s nothing to respond to. Further, they don’t actually swear on the Bible during the swearing in; the religious texts are used only in unofficial photo ops later; we’re arguing over something that has absolutely no importance.

Also, an atheist swearing on “The Origin of the Species” as a religious text would be an awfully strange thing. That’s a scientific book, not a religious book, not matter how much anti-evolutionists try to confuse the issue.

American women would today be walking around covering their faces, other religions would be outlawed and we wouldn’t have anything close to a democratic form of government.

If only the counter examples of Malaysia and Indonesia didn’t exist, you might have something here. However, reality doesn’t support your claims.

So if a congressman takes his oath on the Koran please forgive me if it makes me more than a bit uncomfortable.

I guess I’ll forgive you, but you’re getting uncomfortable over a prop in photo op (that many people don’t use anyway). I’m glad my personal comfort isn’t on such shaky ground.

It’s odd that the focus is on the prop, as though it has any meaning. I can only figure that people presenting this view know that trying to protest the election of believers in other faiths is both unconstitutional and unpopular, so they use symbolism to create a wedge to hide their bigotry. Fortunately, everyone sees through it.

Posted by: LawnBoy at January 4, 2007 4:28 PM
Comment #201497

traveller,

Just out of curiosity, how do you propose we treat all the Muslims who live here in the US?

Obviously, given what’s going on in the world, much evil is and has been committed in the name of Islam.

However, most Muslims (including all the Muslims I’ve ever met) are not part of “the greatest evil mankind has ever faced.”

If they were, wouldn’t I be dead right now? wouldn’t every American troop in Iraq and Afghanistan be dead by now?

Or are you trying to tell us that the majority of Muslims in the world are disobeying their own religion? If that’s what you are saying, you still have a lot to learn about Islam and how it is practiced.

Posted by: TheTraveler at January 4, 2007 4:45 PM
Comment #201505

The Traveller,
I propose treating Muslims in the US as we always have-we respect their right to believe according to their consciences.
If someone is a Muslim they ARE part of “the greatest evil mankind has ever faced” (follow the logic) and we should pray that they will someday realize that they’ve been deceived.

“Or are you trying to tell us that the majority of Muslims in the world are disobeying their own religion? If that’s what you are saying, you still have a lot to learn about Islam and how it is practiced.”

No, I’m not. Islam and how it is practiced is what I’ve been studying and observing.
Look at the “cartoon riots”, Darfur, beheadings, stonings, amputations, honor killings, subjugation of women and other barbaric practices in Islamic countries and you will see how Islam is practiced.
Watch Europe. What is about to happen there is our future if we don’t wake up.

Posted by: traveller at January 4, 2007 5:41 PM
Comment #201518

Middle East vs USA. Don’t walk around in the Middle East carrying a Bible. Ok to walk around the USA carrying The Koran.

Posted by: KAP at January 4, 2007 6:37 PM
Comment #201531

traveller,

“Look at the “cartoon riots”, Darfur, beheadings, stonings, amputations, honor killings, subjugation of women and other barbaric practices in Islamic countries and you will see how Islam is practiced.”

To are taking incidents that are happening amongst what are for the most part, very poor very dogmatic people and applying that to the whole of Islam.
How many beheadings took place in Malaysia or Indonesia?

Do you follow the Old Testament word for word?
Have you stoned an adulterous woman lately, or taken any slaves from those you conquered?
The Old Testament is also a very violent book.

You conservatives like to take out your big brush and paint everyone that doesn’t agree with you with it.

Posted by: Rocky at January 4, 2007 7:40 PM
Comment #201542

If someone is a Muslim they ARE part of “the greatest evil mankind has ever faced” (follow the logic) and we should pray that they will someday realize that they’ve been deceived.

Have you considered that maybe they have? Could that be why only a minority of Muslims act the way you seem to expect them too?

Even in Iraq, the terrorists make up a very small percentage of the population. They are literally minorities within the sects, which is why I disagree that Iraq is in a civil war.

Most of Islam wants to live in peace. I know this because they are living in peace. What part of this are you having a hard time understanding?

Posted by: TheTraveler at January 4, 2007 8:59 PM
Comment #201543

Rocky,

I agree with your post, but see if you can spot the irony in the last line…

Posted by: TheTraveler at January 4, 2007 9:01 PM
Comment #201550

YA think?

Posted by: Rocky at January 4, 2007 9:22 PM
Comment #201552

The Traveller,

Perhaps I was a bit too broad in my characterization.

I apologize.

The dust of the parochial point he is flogging no longer even resembles a dead horse.

Virtually no one, who has any concept what so ever, of what the rest of world (you know, the one outside of America), is like, could possibly subscribe to that view.

Posted by: Rocky at January 4, 2007 10:05 PM
Comment #201561

Rocky,

“Do you follow the Old Testament word for word?”

I’m a Christian. Do you have any idea how that relates to the OT? Based on your question I’m guessing you don’t.

There is nothing parochial about my point. I’ve been discussing core precepts and practices of an ideology practiced around the world. The truth is plain to see for anyone who will discard preconceived notions of how they wish things to be and take an objective look.

The Traveler,

Islam is at peace only in those places where Islam is dominant (Dar al-Islam) and the non-muslim population lives in dhimmitude.(one of the barbaric practices I alluded to earlier) Any place where Islam is not dominant is Dar al-Harb; Land of War. Islam is a very oppressive, intolerant, totalitarian ideology. You’d have a hard time convincing the Timorese or Malaysian Christians that Indonesia or Malaysia are liberal democracies. Or for that matter, any non-muslim anywhere that Islam is dominant. What part of this are you having a hard time understanding?

Posted by: traveller at January 4, 2007 11:10 PM
Comment #201567

traveller,

“I’m a Christian. Do you have any idea how that relates to the OT? Based on your question I’m guessing you don’t.”

You didn’t answer the question.

If you don’t follow all of the Bible, why do you expect other people of other faiths to follow every word of their books as well?

You can’t have it both ways.

“The truth is plain to see for anyone who will discard preconceived notions of how they wish things to be and take an objective look.”

Let’s talk about preconceived notions for a moment.

Have you ever been outside the United States?

I’m guessing not.

I have, and people everywhere I’ve been are pretty much the same as they are here.
They want a warm place for their family to sleep, they want enough food to feed their family, they want to worship their God the way they wish, and they want respect.

Not much to ask for, is it?

99.975% of the people in the world just want to be left alone. They don’t want to take over the world any more than you do.

Again, not much to ask for, is it?

Posted by: Rocky at January 4, 2007 11:33 PM
Comment #201579

Islam is at peace only in those places where Islam is dominant (Dar al-Islam) and the non-muslim population lives in dhimmitude.

That’s an odd thing to say. There are plenty of Muslims here in the US and most of them are content not to take over the country.

Wait a minute… Now I get it! You think that one Muslim running for congress constitutes a Muslim plot to take control of the country!

So basically, you are paranoid as well as racist.
In fact, you may be the first truly racist person I’ve ever met.

Posted by: TheTraveler at January 5, 2007 12:34 AM
Comment #201580

I’m sorry if that last post was a critique of the messenger. It’s still true, though.

Posted by: TheTraveler at January 5, 2007 12:38 AM
Comment #201581

I have one more thing to say about this:

Islam is at peace only in those places where Islam is dominant

There are many people who say the same thing about Christianity. The truth is, the statement does not apply to either religion as a whole. It only applies to a number of their practitioners, and a small number at that.

Yes, traveller, there are number of Islamic terrorists but they are a minority within their culture. Even in the Iraqi war zone they are a minority. The ironic thing is, you show the same condescension and lack of understanding they do.

Posted by: TheTraveler at January 5, 2007 12:49 AM
Comment #201599

Rocky,

I did answer the question. It went over your head and my guess was right.

Whether I’ve been outside the US is irrelevent. (I have) What does the rest of your post have to do with a discussion of ideology?
In any group it is a tiny minority that actually does anything. When mobs of ordinary Muslims dance in the streets celebrating spectacular terrorist atrocities like 9/11, (that happened right here in America where I live, except they didn’t dance in the streets, they partied in a Stuckey’s) or demand the beheading of all who insult Islam (remember the cartoon riots?) it’s a safe bet that they support the terrorists and approve of their actions. It’s also a safe bet that they understand their religion better than either of us.

The Traveler,

I haven’t made a single racist comment. I am criticizing an ideological system, not condemning a race. You owe me an apology.

“That’s an odd thing to say. There are plenty of Muslims here in the US and most of them are content not to take over the country.”

You should read what the Islamic holy books have to say about that.

“Islam is at peace only in those places where Islam is dominant”

You should read what the Islamic holy books have to say about that.

Posted by: traveller, at January 5, 2007 9:51 AM
Comment #201604

You should read what the Islamic holy books have to say about that.

It doesn’t matter what they have to say. What matters is how people act. Like guns, religion does not kill people. People kill people.

You may know (some of) what Islamic beliefs are based on, but you do not have the first clue about what most Muslims actually believe. You also refuse to learn why they live the way they do.
You seem to be under the delusion that most Muslims in the world are going against their own religion. That just proves to the rest of us that you have no idea what their beliefs really are.

I haven’t made a single racist comment. I am criticizing an ideological system, not condemning a race. You owe me an apology.

Ok, so Islam isn’t a race. You’re a religionist. What’s the difference?
The problem is this: your opinions of people are based on what you think their beliefs are. You should base your opinions on how people actually live.

Posted by: TheTraveler at January 5, 2007 11:05 AM
Comment #201605

TheTraveler
“You should base your opinions on how people actually live”

Maybe people are basing their opinions on that. Could it be that Muslims are responsible for their own reputation?
America is hurt, thousands of Muslims celebrate.
Somebody draws a silly cartoon, thousands of Muslims riot and people die.
Got a problem? Strap on a bomb and kill civilians.

Maybe its not only the actions of Muslim terrorists, but also the actions, or inactions, of the entire Muslim world, which leads to negative judgments.

If Islam is a religion of peace, shouldn’t they act like it is?

Posted by: kctim at January 5, 2007 11:39 AM
Comment #201615
If Islam is a religion of peace, shouldn’t they act like it is?

kctim,

Yes they should. And if Christianity is a religion of love, compassion, and forgiveness then shouldn’t they act like it is?

Posted by: JayJay at January 5, 2007 12:53 PM
Comment #201616
You should read what the Islamic holy books have to say about that.

traveller,

    “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if someone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.” (Matthew 5:38-42, NIV)

How many Christians are willing to follow Jesus’ words in the current situation? Apparently, not many. Yet it is written in the Christian holy texts. Just because it is written, doesn’t mean that the adherents of that religion are willing to follow it.

Posted by: JayJay at January 5, 2007 1:03 PM
Comment #201618
You should read what the Islamic holy books have to say about that.

traveller,

    “But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you,”

    “Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you. And unto him that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the other; and him that taketh away thy cloke forbid not to take thy coat also. Give to every man that asketh of thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again. And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.” (Luke 6:28-31. King James Version)

This little dandy is written twice in the Christian holy books!! That must mean that it is extra important. Yet Christians ignore it in favor of vendetta.

Posted by: JayJay at January 5, 2007 1:15 PM
Comment #201626

kctim,

Could it be that Muslims are responsible for their own reputation?
America is hurt, thousands of Muslims celebrate.
Somebody draws a silly cartoon, thousands of Muslims riot and people die.
Got a problem? Strap on a bomb and kill civilians.

Thousands out of how many? There are thousands of murderers here in America as well.

Maybe its not only the actions of Muslim terrorists, but also the actions, or inactions, of the entire Muslim world, which leads to negative judgments.

People get murderd here in the US all the time. The only thing different is the reasoning. And guess what? We as a people do very little about it.

The Islamic world is a bit more violent, but not that much. Even Iraq is not much more violent than the rest of the world. And to refute traveller’s point that Islam is world domination, they are fighting each other more than anyone else.
I’m not saying that the terrorists should be ignored or that we should not fight them, just that they are a small percentage of the Islamic population and we shouldn’t blame the rest of Islam for them.

Posted by: TheTraveler at January 5, 2007 1:59 PM
Comment #201631

traveller,

“In any group it is a tiny minority that actually does anything. When mobs of ordinary Muslims dance in the streets celebrating spectacular terrorist atrocities like 9/11, (that happened right here in America where I live, except they didn’t dance in the streets, they partied in a Stuckey’s) or demand the beheading of all who insult Islam (remember the cartoon riots?) it’s a safe bet that they support the terrorists and approve of their actions. It’s also a safe bet that they understand their religion better than either of us.”

So if I follow your logic…..

The next time a Christian blows up an abortion clinic, all of Christianity is to blame because they did nothing to stop it.

That makes sense, doesn’t it?

Posted by: Rocky at January 5, 2007 2:40 PM
Comment #201640

JayJay
“Yes they should. And if Christianity is a religion of love, compassion, and forgiveness then shouldn’t they act like it is?”

Oh for sure JJ, but which is good or which is bad is not what I’m talking about. I’m just curious about why Muslims don’t activily work to better their reputation.

TheTraveler
“Thousands out of how many? There are thousands of murderers here in America as well.”

Very true, but crimes which target specific groups are dealt with and crimes in which the criminal says he has done in the name of whatever, are usually condemned by that group.

“People get murderd here in the US all the time. The only thing different is the reasoning. And guess what? We as a people do very little about it.”

I disagree, to a point.
Take McVeigh. Even the militia’s openly denounced and seperated themselves from him.

“I’m not saying that the terrorists should be ignored or that we should not fight them, just that they are a small percentage of the Islamic population and we shouldn’t blame the rest of Islam for them”

I agree with you. I just find it a little odd that they don’t openly object, in huge masses, to the actions of Muslim terrorists.

Posted by: kctim at January 5, 2007 3:33 PM
Comment #201649

The Traveler,

“You should read what the Islamic holy books have to say about that.

It doesn’t matter what they have to say. What matters is how people act. Like guns, religion does not kill people. People kill people.”

It matters greatly what they say. You may not take religious texts seriously but believers do. They determine how people act and why they do or do not kill people.

“Ok, so Islam isn’t a race. You’re a religionist. What’s the difference?”

There’s a big difference. You called me a racist. I’m still waiting for the apology you don’t seem to have the guts to deliver.

“The problem is this: your opinions of people are based on what you think their beliefs are. You should base your opinions on how people actually live.”

My view of Islam is based on the study of its belief system, using its own holy writ, scholarship and history, and observing how it is practiced.
I initiated this study with an open mind and based my conclusions on what I learned.
Can you truthfully say the same?


Rocky,

“So if I follow your logic…..”

You don’t.


“The next time a Christian blows up an abortion clinic, all of Christianity is to blame because they did nothing to stop it.”

Mobs of Christians don’t dance in the street in celebration when that happens. We loudly condemn the act and act swiftly to punish the perpetrator.

“That makes sense, doesn’t it?”

No, none whatsoever.

Posted by: traveller at January 5, 2007 4:29 PM
Comment #201652

traveller,

“We loudly condemn the act and act swiftly to punish the perpetrator.”

We as in America swiftly punish the perpetrator.

Christianity does not punish, nor does it widely condemn the act.

I am not blind, nor am I stupid.

The BS you’re shoveling shows you to believe that all of Islam needs to be eliminated, or dare I say, converted.
It is, after all an evil, violent, religion.

You have painted 1 billion people with a pretty broad brush, when less than .1% (1 million) are probably the bad actors.

Posted by: Rocky at January 5, 2007 5:08 PM
Comment #201668

The BS you’re shoveling shows you to believe that all of Islam needs to be eliminated, or dare I say, converted.
It is, after all an evil, violent, religion.
You have painted 1 billion people with a pretty broad brush, when less than .1% (1 million) are probably the bad actors.

Good answer Rocky. that about says it all.
You see, traveller, your argument would only hold water if the whole of Islam were on a perpetual jihad, which they aren’t.

You called me a racist. I’m still waiting for the apology you don’t seem to have the guts to deliver.

The thing is, you condescend to a group of people and act to them the way a racist would, only you’re applying it to a religion instead of a race. Since “religionist” (the word I tried to use above) means something else, “racist” is the closest word in the English language to what you are. Since you know exactly what I mean, I don’t see the need to apologize.

Why don’t you try asking some Muslims what they believe? It’s amazing what you can learn about people just by talking to them. Of course, since you were the one believes, “Any place where Islam is not dominant is Dar al-Harb; Land of War,” I assume you’d probably be scared to talk to a Muslim here in the US…

Posted by: TheTraveler at January 5, 2007 6:48 PM
Comment #201672

My view of Islam is based on the study of its belief system, using its own holy writ, scholarship and history, and observing how it is practiced.
I initiated this study with an open mind and based my conclusions on what I learned.

I believe you except for the “observing how it is practiced” part. Your conclusions are obviously based on history. You don’t know how most Muslims alive now believe or act. You don’t know what makes them tick, so to speak. That’s why you try to apply the actions of a select few to the entire group.

Can you truthfully say the same?

I know something of Islamic belief and history, but I don’t claim to be an expert. I’ve known quite a few Muslims over the years and they don’t think or act the way you think they should.
Oh, and by the way… The fact that none of them tried to kill or convert me pretty much debunks your entire argument.

Posted by: TheTraveler at January 5, 2007 7:12 PM
Comment #201681

Rocky,

“We as in America swiftly punish the perpetrator.

Christianity does not punish, nor does it widely condemn the act.”

That doesn’t make any sense.

The Traveler,

“Why don’t you try asking some Muslims what they believe?”

I’ve had some long discussions with Muslims about Islam.

It is Islam that divides the world into Dar al-Islam (House of Submission) and Dar al-Harb (House of War), not me. The fact that I live in Dar al-Harb is the only reason I can voice my beliefs without fear of being brutally murdered.

“The thing is, you condescend to a group of people and act to them the way a racist would”

You’re wrong. I haven’t done that at all. I’ve voiced opposition to a belief system. I’ve neither condescended to nor condemned its followers. I haven’t advocated violence or hateful actions of any kind. Your use of the racist label is an emotional hook that exposes the weakness of your argument.

“I believe you except for the “observing how it is practiced” part. Your conclusions are obviously based on history.”

Very recent history-current events.

“Oh, and by the way… The fact that none of them tried to kill or convert me pretty much debunks your entire argument.”

It doesn’t affect it in any way.
In any group it is only a tiny minority that actually does anything.
Waging war is a good example. America has less than 2 million men at arms and only a fraction of them are actually at war, out of a population of 300 million. Some people support the war, some oppose it and some try not to think about it. Except for some rare exceptions it has been that way in all societies and is no different today.


Posted by: traveller at January 5, 2007 8:45 PM
Comment #201694

Despite what many people think, Islam really is a religion of peace. Islam is the second largest religion in the world and so many people, including Keith Ellison, willingly convert to it. They’ve done their research because joining a religion is a big commitment and it’s a big decision, so I doubt they would join without knowing what it’s about. When these people read the Qur’an, when they are told of the actual teachings of Islam, they wouldn’t join if it said that Islam wants you to be violent, and kill, etc. So maybe Islam isn’t so evil after all. Do the research yourself.

Posted by: Oracle at January 5, 2007 11:00 PM
Comment #201726

traveller,

It appears obvious that, to you, other people’s experiences are irrelevant. That no one, except you of course, knows anything about Islam.

It also appears that, while you do not practice every tenant, word for word, that is written in your Bible, you believe that all Muslims are more dogmatic than you are, and thus, because it is written in the Koran, every Muslim’s main goal in life is world domination.

Your opinion is gospel, no one else’s opinion, or experience, is even relevant, that, is the basis for my “parochial” comment.

Even though after Sept. 11th, virtually every country on the planet, Christian, Muslim, Hindu, or whatever, expressed condolences, you seem more interested in the few morons that danced in the streets, because, as you say, they made your case against Islam.

Why do you bother to debate us PC plebeians, when you, and you alone, are correct in your assessment of Islam?

Posted by: Rocky at January 6, 2007 10:51 AM
Comment #201782

Rocky,

You do like to make assumptions and leaps of logic, don’t you? I can’t get much past you, except what went over your head.(most of my arguments)
I stated my position and defended it in the face of arguments from emotion and ad hominem.
I’ve never claimed to know everything about Islam and will, in fact, state categorically that I do not.
The opinions and experiences of others, as well as my own experiences, have been major considerations in the formulation of my assessment of Islam.
You’re so caught up in (self)righteous indignation that you can’t follow a line of reasoning that differs from your opinion.
Your apparent knowledge of Islam is as impressive as your logical argumentation.

Posted by: traveller at January 6, 2007 6:14 PM
Comment #201796

traveller,

“is in fact the scripture for a religion that declares that religion is the state.”

Where exactly does the Koran state this? Cite the source.

“Try studying Islam without your PC blinders on.”

Does that mean literally, as in the Old Testament (stoning and keeping of slaves), or is there some special interpretation you wish me to apply”

“Dar al-Islam” and “Dar al-Harb”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dar_al-Islam#Dar_al-Islam

Neither of these terms appear in either the Koran, or the Hadith.

“You’d have a hard time convincing the Timorese or Malaysian Christians that Indonesia or Malaysia are liberal democracies.”

The Indonesian Constitution guarantees religious freedom for all in Indonesia, though the government officially recognizes only 6 religions.

In Malaysia, religious freedom is a state to state proposition, between Sharia law and a Parliamentary system.

“If someone is a Muslim they ARE part of “the greatest evil mankind has ever faced”

Curiously, the most orthodox of the Muslims feel the same about us.

“Your apparent knowledge of Islam is as impressive as your logical argumentation.”

As is the depth of the fount of your kindness, and humility toward those that disagree with your opinion.

Posted by: Rocky at January 6, 2007 8:13 PM
Comment #201801

traveller,

“Whether I’ve been outside the US is irrelevant. (I have) What does the rest of your post have to do with a discussion of ideology?

Having spent the better part of two years in Asia, including Indonesia, I have had the opportunity to talk to common people and mostly common laborers, of all the religions in the area.
I ate lunch every day with all, and drank beer with some, and to a man they all saw America as a place of opportunity, a place they wanted to come to, a place they wanted to live.
You get to know people when you work with them day in and day out, and they didn’t act as if they had some secret jihad of world domination, or that they wanted to behead me.

They wanted a better place to raise their families. That was the driving force behind their wish to come to America.

Posted by: Rocky at January 6, 2007 8:57 PM
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