HuffPoster Diana Butler Bass, writing about the “South Park” imbroglio, ably disproves her point.
I can’t and won’t defend the Revolutionmuslim website. But violence against those who depict the Divine is not just an Islamic problem. It is worth pointing out that Christianity has a long history of violence against visual depictions of Jesus, the saints, and God. In 1987, Serrano’s Piss Christ provoked death threats and violence from Christian fundamentalists and conservative Catholics across the U.S. and Europe and caused political outrage on two continents. In the 19th century, American Catholics were regularly targeted by Protestant mobs for “worshiping” statues while Protestant ministers lost their positions if they placed visual depictions of the crucifixion, Mary, or the saints in their churches. Two hundred years before that, Oliver Cromwell and his Puritan army smashed religious artwork in English parish churches. During the 16th century Protestant Reformation, followers of Luther and Calvin looted cathedrals and convents carting off valuable paintings and statues to burn them in public squares.
While I don’t dispute that some assorted fanatics threatened Serrano’s life, such a response was not sanctioned. And there was no recent precedent, like the brutal murder of Theo van Gogh (referenced by Revolutionmuslim).
Bass notes a “religious-moral superiority” by Western culture, and what’s wrong with that? Western culture doesn’t condemn women to life under a burka, or execute gays using a method of hanging designed to cause a slower, more painful death by strangulation. That’s the past. In countries like Iran, it’s the present.
I detect a whiff of religious-moral equivalence in Bass’ thesis.
COPENHAGEN – Danish cartoonist Kurt Westergaard, who has been attacked and repeatedly threatened over a drawing of Prophet Mohammed, has been placed on indefinite leave by his newspaper “for security reasons,” he told AFP Thursday.
“It is forced vacation but it looks a lot like I’m being retired,” the 75-year-old cartoonist said, adding that he himself still had an “insatiable desire” to work.
We all lose when Dark Ages preservationists get their way.
Mark it down: May 20. My stick figure will be appropriately blasphemous.
"I feel pretty. Oh so pretty. I feel pretty and witty and gay/"
Is there a verse in the Koran that requires adherents to be humorless, intolerant, cowardly AND irrationally violent?
On Sunday, Revolutionmuslim.com posted an entry that included a warning to South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone that they risk violent retribution – after the 200th episode last week included a satirical discussion about whether an image of the prophet could be shown. In the end, he is portrayed disguised in a bear suit.The posting on Revolutionmuslim.com says: “We have to warn Matt and Trey that what they are doing is stupid and they will probably wind up like Theo Van Gogh for airing this show. This is not a threat, but a warning of the reality of what will likely happen to them.”
Theo van Gogh was a Dutch filmmaker who was murdered by an Islamic extremist in 2004 after making a short documentary on violence against women in some Islamic societies. The posting on Revolutionmuslim.com features a graphic photograph of Van Gogh with his throat cut and a dagger in his chest.
Don’t you love it when wannabe theocrats hide behind the legal loopholes of a democracy?
The religious right keeps gets crazier:
If the counsel of the Judeo-Christian tradition had been followed, Tillikum would have been put out of everyone’s misery back in 1991 and would not have had the opportunity to claim two more human lives.
Says the ancient civil code of Israel, “When an ox gores a man or woman to death, the ox shall be stoned, and its flesh shall not be eaten, but the owner shall not be liable.” (Exodus 21:28)
So, your animal kills somebody, your moral responsibility is to put that animal to death. You have no moral culpability in the death, because you didn’t know the animal was going to go postal on somebody.
But, the Scripture soberly warns, if one of your animals kills a second time because you didn’t kill it after it claimed its first human victim, this time you die right along with your animal. To use the example from Exodus, if your ox kills a second time, “the ox shall be stoned, and its owner also shall be put to death.” (Exodus 21:29)
Is he saying that Sea World’s CEO be stoned to death?
Excerpted from an interview of Peter Sprigg of the Family Research Council:
Matthews: Do you think we should outlaw gay behavior?
Sprigg: Well, I think certainly it’s defensible.
Matthews: I’m just asking you: Should we outlaw gay behavior?
Sprigg: I think that the Supreme Court decision in Lawrence v. Texas which overturned, uh, the sodomy laws in this country was wrongly decided. I think there would be a place for criminal sanctions against homosexual behavior.
Matthews: So we should outlaw gay behavior.
Sprigg: Uh, yes! [laughs]
Founded by James Dobson, the Family Research Council is the leading voice of Christian conservatives. While their opinions belong on the fringe, the FRC is not. What do you want to bet the national GOP follows their lead and makes repeal of DADT a big issue in the 2010 elections.
Homosexual acts would be criminalized:
If you believe that what drug abusers need is to go into an effective detox program, then we should likewise put active homosexuals through an effective reparative therapy program. …
The bottom line here is that, biblically, those “who practice homosexuality” should come under the purview of the law just as much as those who take people captive in order to sell them into slavery.
You express a belief in the Scriptures, and I trust your confidence in Scripture is not selective. If you believe all Scripture is inspired, then you are compelled to accept that legal sanctions may appropriately be applied to those who engage in homosexual behavior.
(via Andrew Sullivan)
“Something happened a long time ago in Haiti, and people might not want to talk about it,” Robertson said on his Christian Broadcasting Network show. “They were under the heel of the French … and they got together and swore a pact to the devil. They said, ‘We will serve you if you’ll get us free from the French.’
“True story. And the devil said, ‘OK, it’s a deal,’ ” Robertson said. “Ever since, they have been cursed by one thing after another.”
Robertson knows all about bargaining with the devil. He was an outspoken defender of Liberian warlord Charles Taylor, who forced cannibalism on his soliders to intimidate his enemies.
Taylor gave Robertson (who also had business dealings with dictator Mobutu Sese Seko of Zaire) the rights to mine for diamonds in Liberia’s mineral-rich countryside. According to two Operation Blessing pilots who reported this incident to the Commonwealth of Virginia for investigation in 1994, Robertson used his Operation Blessing planes to haul diamond-mining equipment to Robertson’s mines in Liberia, despite the fact that Robertson was telling his 700 Club viewers that the planes were sending relief supplies to the victims of the genocide in Rwanda. The subsequent investigation by the Commonwealth of Virginia concluded that Robertson diverted his ministry’s donations to the Liberian diamond-mining operation, but Attorney General of Virginia Mark Earley blocked any potential prosecution against Robertson, as the relief supplies were also sent.
A commenter suggested that Michele Bachmann is “hated because she is effective.” I guess that makes her another of those conservative victims, a la Palin, Limbaugh and Hannity.
Let’s review the record:
On gay marriage: In support of a constitutional amendment she proposed to ban same-sex marriage, Bachmann said that the gay community was specifically targeting children and that “our children…are the prize for this community.”
On fiscal policy: She wrote that education laws passed by [a Republican] Congress in 2001, including “School To Work” and “Goals 2000″, created a new national school curriculum that embraced “a socialist, globalist worldview; loyalty to all government and not America.” In 2003, Bachmann said that the “Tax Free Zones” economic initiatives of Republican Governor Tim Pawlenty were based on the Marxist principle of “from each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs.”
On education: Bachmann supports the teaching of intelligent design in public school science classes. In October 2006, Bachmann told a debate audience in St. Cloud, Minnesota, that “there is a controversy among scientists about whether evolution is a fact or not…. There are hundreds and hundreds of scientists, many of them holding Nobel Prizes, who believe in intelligent design.”
On McCarthy-ism: When asked by Matthews “How many people in the Congress of the United States do you suspect as being anti-American?” she replied “What I would say is that the news media should do a penetrating expose and take a look. I wish they would. I wish the American media would take a great look at the views of the people in Congress and find out, are they pro-America or anti-America? I think people would love to see an expose like that.”
On the census: In a June 17, 2009, interview with The Washington Times, Bachmann expressed concern that the questions on the 2010 United States Census had become “very intricate, very personal” and that ACORN, a community organizing group that had come under fire the previous year, might be part of the Census Bureau’s door-to-door information collection efforts. She stated, “I know for my family the only question we will be answering is how many people are in our home, we won’t be answering any information beyond that, because the Constitution doesn’t require any information beyond that.”
On light bulbs: Bachmann introduced the Light Bulb Freedom of Choice Act, to repeal the nationwide, government-mandated phase-out of conventional light bulbs in favor of compact fluorescent light bulbs. She argued that the government has no business telling consumers what kind of light bulbs they can buy.
A trio of Republicans, including shrieking fanatic Michelle Bachmann, will attend a “prayercast” against health care reform sponsored by James Dobson. It’s fine if you oppose reform, but at least offer an alternative — that is, if you care about the uninsured and under-insured. But the Dobson-ites have traditionally shown little interest in the poor.
Sarah Palin makes a cameo in the recently released children’s book, “Help! Mom! Radicals Are Ruining My Country!”
In the book written by Katharine DeBrecht, “Governor Sarah” (a character based on Palin) attempts to help two young boys hold onto their dream of a swing-set business which is struggling as a result of high taxes, heavy regulations and 246 czars.
“I am trying to let all Americans know that these radicals are killing the American Dream and I want to stop them from hurting people that produce products and provide jobs,” the Palin character consoles the frustrated boys after their business is destroyed by “Marxus Obunduf” who is based on President Obama.
Marxus Obunduf — now that’s clever.
Progressive Realist Robert Wright’s absurd rationalization receives a well-deserved smackdown from Christopher Hitchens:
There isn’t a day goes by without the brutal slaughter of Muslims in both countries by al-Qaida or the Taliban. And that’s not just because most (though not all) civilians in both countries happen to be of the Islamic faith. The terrorists do not pause before deliberately blowing up the mosques and religious processions of those whose Muslim beliefs they deem insufficiently devout. Most of those now being tortured and raped and executed by the Islamic Republic of Iran are Muslim. All the women being scarred with acid and threatened with murder for the crime of going to school in Pakistan are Muslim. Many of those killed in London, Madrid, and New York were Muslim, and almost all the victims callously destroyed in similar atrocities in Istanbul, Cairo, Casablanca, and Algiers in the recent past were Muslim, too. It takes a true intellectual to survey this appalling picture and to say, as Wright does, that we invite attacks on our off-duty soldiers because “the hawkish war-on-terrorism strategy—a global anti-jihad that creates nonstop imagery of Americans killing Muslims—is so dubious.” Dubious? The only thing dubious here is his command of language. When did the U.S. Army ever do what the jihadists do every day: deliberately murder Muslim civilians and brag on video about the fact? For shame. The slippery slope—actually the slimy slope—is the one down which Wright is skidding.
Deranged killer or terrorist assassin? I doubt the families of those slaughtered by Nidal Malik Hassan are concerned with such parsing, though it’s a debate certain to dominate cable news and talk radio.
Never mind that Hassan is most likely mentally unstable AND a radical Islamist. Early accounts indicate that he thought of himself as a victim, and like most narcissists he probably obsessed over imaginary enemies.
It’s also logical to assume that an educated man like Hassan would seek a loophole for his revenge fantasies, and Islamic extremism provided it. Murdering innocents is hard to rationalize; killing infidels — not so much.
Every major religion has, at one time or another, facilitated and/or enabled the killing of non-believers. We should be honest about that, and peaceful Muslims can’t ignore the corruption of their faith. Islamic fundamentalists have given sanctuary to murderous cowards, whether they dwell in caves, serve in the U.S. military or rule countries where homosexuals are lynched for sport and women are enslaved in the name of Allah. This cannot be denied.
It’s also undeniable that a significant majority of Western Muslims savor their freedoms and pose no threat to our secular traditions. Those who suggest otherwise do nothing but encourage the radicals. Truth should be paramount, and facts rarely follow tidy ideological constructs.
Neither do cold-blooded killers like Nidal Hassan.
An outrageous whitewash from Obama’s adviser on Muslim affairs:
“The majority of women around the world associate gender justice, or justice for women, with sharia compliance,” said Dalia Mogahed, appearing on a British talk show hosted by a member of the extremist Hizb ut Tahrir party.
FYI: Not a peep about this on NOW’s website.