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Yeah, I like you, Oberyn. Don't let me get on your bad side.

People are the ones who misinterpret it, ...

Unfortunately, much of the religion-based evil occurs because people interpret religion correctly.

The Old Testament - the book[s] on which the religions, Christianity, Judaism, and Islam are based - has rules on how to purchase slaves and how to treat slaves, so slave traders and buyers felt justified perpetuating slavery during the dark ages of the American colonies.
The Old Testament says that a woman (not man, mind you) who commits adultery should be stoned to death, so Muslims routinely do.
The Old Testament says that someone who tries to convert you to a different religion should be immediately killed, so this was also going on in Judaism, then Christianity, and still happens in Islam.

more here: http://www.evilbible.com
and here: http://skepticsannotatedbible.com/

Sure there are people who pick and choose only those religious laws that are embraced by popular progressive morality, but if you're going to mold religion to fit your existing ethics, what the hell do you need religion for in the first place?

I prefer free and independent thinkers, and religion is often antithetical to this.

Sorry, Hare, what? Reprimand? For what? What did they do? What about the artists that drew the stuff, should they be punished?

I think I can answer this question with a press release I found:

[i]DANISH PAPER REFUSED "OFFENSIVE" JESUS CARTOONS
By James Kilner

COPENHAGEN (Reuters) - The Danish newspaper that first published caricatures of the Prophet Mohammad infuriating Muslims worldwide previously turned down cartoons of Jesus as too offensive, a cartoonist said on Wednesday.

Twelve cartoons of the Prophet published last September by Jyllands-Posten newspaper have outraged Muslims, provoking violent protests in the Middle East, Africa and Asia.
"My cartoon, which certainly did not offend any Christians I showed it to, was rejected because the editor felt it would be considered offensive to readers -- readers in general, not necessarily Christians," cartoonist Christoffer Zieler said in an email he sent to Reuters on Wednesday.

Jens Kaiser, the former editor of Jyllands-Posten's Sunday edition who turned down the cartoons three years ago, said he had done so because they were no good.

"Having seen the cartoons, I found that they were not very good. I failed to see the purportedly provocative nature," he said in a statement.

"My fault is that I didn't tell him what I really meant: The cartoons were bad." Kaiser said he told Zieler he had not used the cartoons because they were offensive to some readers.

Zieler's five colored cartoons portrayed Jesus jumping out of holes in floors and walls during his resurrection. In one, gnomes rated Jesus for style, another entitled "Saviour-cam" showed Jesus with a camera on his head staring at his feet.

"I do think the cartoons would offend some readers, but only because they were silly," Kaiser said.

Unlike Muslims, who consider depictions of the Prophet to be deeply offensive, many Christians adorn churches with images and sculptures of Jesus. However, some Christian congregations have protested at portrayals they perceive as blasphemous, especially in the cinema.

The editor of Jyllands-Posten has apologized for offending Muslims by printing cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad, including one of the founder of Islam holding a bomb in his turban, but defended his right to do so in the interests of free speech.

Dozens of newspapers in Europe and elsewhere have reproduced them with the same justification.

"Perhaps explaining my story of three years ago in its proper context at least won't make matters any worse," Zieler said.
[/i]

So, these same Danish newspaper editors who had no problems publishing slanderous depictions of Mohammed felt that slanderous pictures of Jesus would offend people? It is clear from these actions that these people don't consider Islam a true religion compared to Christianity. It's this sort of narrow-minded bigotry that lead Arabs to form the Nation of Islam in the first place. While I don't condone the explosively violent protests Arabs are waging on anything Danish right now, I do empathize with them.
I think maybe the best way to end all this bloodshed would be to fire these editors (not the cartoonists though because it was the editors that commisioned these cartoons from them, all the artists did was follow orders) but then tell the protesters that they have been decapitated. This way everyone's happy except for the assholes responsible who now must live in exile for abusing their right to freedom of the press. :mad:

Order my book Jesus Needs Help on Amazon or download on Kindle.

You can also read the first 18 pages of my next book for free at this link: The Hap Hap Happy Happenstance of Fanny Punongtiti

I've stated that religions can be damaging, but I didn't offer many contemporary examples; so here are some.
[b]
bigotry[/b]
Without religion, this country would not be so anti-gay. In Islamic countries, the state just executes gay people, as the Christian countries did back in the Middle Ages.
In this country (America), gay people are regularly attacked and killed, and are denied the same rights as straight people.

spread of disease and unwanted pregnancy
Because of religion, condoms aren't distributed as widely as they could be, so there is an AIDS epidemic and population explosion in Africa, and a spread of VD and pregnancy in this country which could otherwise be curtailed.

against medical advancement
Stem cell research is prevented in this country because of religious belief, so people who are sick and dying are denied potential cures.

pro-stupidity
Religions have been effective at keeping scientific theories about the origins of the universe and mankind out of the classroom, in preference of creation mythology. They want children to be less intelligent.

I'm not sure the point of this. Should I post the benefits now or all the examples of religious leaders and groups standing up against these problems? I can if you want. We all realize these are some of the bad things religion has and continues to do, but not all religious sects hold to some or even any of these beliefs. All of the religious people I know are pro-evolution, pro-birth control (not just abstinence), are comfortable enough in their faith to not be afraid of science, etc. These are examples from extremists and portions of the whole, not the whole. The news focuses on these groups (thus giving them more power) because it's more interesting than, "Today in the news, a reasonable Christian said, 'Stem cell research and gays are ok with him'."

Pointing out that groups do horrible things is obvious. You get two or more people together and their going to try and keep the 'others' out. It's instinct. If public leaders weren't using religion for this, they'd be using something else (and have in the past). There will always be people who fear change and those who are different, and it doesn't take religion to make it so. It's no excuse for it, but it's in our nature and the sudden abscence of religion wouldn't solve it, something else would just take it's place.

We're talking in circles now. You keep saying that religion does bad things. I keep agreeing but pointing out that it doesn't represent the whole, and you come back and point out that religions do bad things. Repeat.

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I think I can answer this question with a press release I found:

[i]DANISH PAPER REFUSED "OFFENSIVE" JESUS CARTOONS
By James Kilner

COPENHAGEN (Reuters) - The Danish newspaper that first published caricatures of the Prophet Mohammad infuriating Muslims worldwide previously turned down cartoons of Jesus as too offensive, a cartoonist said on Wednesday.

Twelve cartoons of the Prophet published last September by Jyllands-Posten newspaper have outraged Muslims, provoking violent protests in the Middle East, Africa and Asia.
"My cartoon, which certainly did not offend any Christians I showed it to, was rejected because the editor felt it would be considered offensive to readers -- readers in general, not necessarily Christians," cartoonist Christoffer Zieler said in an email he sent to Reuters on Wednesday.

Jens Kaiser, the former editor of Jyllands-Posten's Sunday edition who turned down the cartoons three years ago, said he had done so because they were no good.

"Having seen the cartoons, I found that they were not very good. I failed to see the purportedly provocative nature," he said in a statement.

"My fault is that I didn't tell him what I really meant: The cartoons were bad." Kaiser said he told Zieler he had not used the cartoons because they were offensive to some readers.

Zieler's five colored cartoons portrayed Jesus jumping out of holes in floors and walls during his resurrection. In one, gnomes rated Jesus for style, another entitled "Saviour-cam" showed Jesus with a camera on his head staring at his feet.

"I do think the cartoons would offend some readers, but only because they were silly," Kaiser said.

Unlike Muslims, who consider depictions of the Prophet to be deeply offensive, many Christians adorn churches with images and sculptures of Jesus. However, some Christian congregations have protested at portrayals they perceive as blasphemous, especially in the cinema.

The editor of Jyllands-Posten has apologized for offending Muslims by printing cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad, including one of the founder of Islam holding a bomb in his turban, but defended his right to do so in the interests of free speech.

Dozens of newspapers in Europe and elsewhere have reproduced them with the same justification.

"Perhaps explaining my story of three years ago in its proper context at least won't make matters any worse," Zieler said.
[/i]

So, these same Danish newspaper editors who had no problems publishing slanderous depictions of Mohammed felt that slanderous pictures of Jesus would offend people? It is clear from these actions that these people don't consider Islam a true religion compared to Christianity. It's this sort of narrow-minded bigotry that lead Arabs to form the Nation of Islam in the first place. While I don't condone the explosively violent protests Arabs are waging on anything Danish right now, I do empathize with them.
I think maybe the best way to end all this bloodshed would be to fire these editors (not the cartoonists though because it was the editors that commisioned these cartoons from them, all the artists did was follow orders) but then tell the protesters that they have been decapitated. This way everyone's happy except for the assholes responsible who now must live in exile for abusing their right to freedom of the press. :mad:

actually i think they should be free to be bigots and racists, because its better to have this out in the open then hidden.

also you take the good with the bad. you have the power of the press but then you have to have the responsibility as well. You abuse your power then you should face the consequences.

Europe is burning because of this,

question is was it worth it ?

i think shaking up the establishment is good, but if you are fighting the good fight..

the more i read of this the more i gather that this was completely the wrong way of going about things.

Aren't your beliefs a form of religion, even if it isn't formally institutionallized, ...

... sorry about the delay of response to this. At first I thought it was too silly to respond to, but I keep thinking about it so here goes.

You can stretch the definition of religion by saying that it's any enthusiastic belief: "I love cartoons, therefore I'm religious."

However, we're obviously talking about the type of religion that is founded on the belief in the spiritual and supernatural.
It deals with things that are presented as fact although there is no direct physical evidence of their existence. Usually there is a deity involved in the type of religion we're discussing, although sometimes it's flying saucers or environmental spirits/ghosts.

... and as such, you're putting of your beliefs on others just as insulting as them putting their beliefs on you?

The difference is that I'm not demanding that others conform to my beliefs. I'm not jailing or killing people who don't believe what I do.

I'm not sure the point of this.

but I didn't offer many contemporary examples

That was not my direct response to you. I was expanding on things I'd said earlier to everybody.

We're talking in circles now.

Not exactly. I wanted to use examples that are close to home so it didn't seen that I was singling out Islam and foreign countries, or that Christian oppression only existed in the Middle Ages.
I wanted to point out that religion effects not just religious people, but the entire society. Because of religious belief, this entire country has to suffer.

Using just one of those examples, religion has been stifling medical research not only recently, but for hundreds of years.
Imagine how much more advanced science and medicine would be today if not for religion.

I'm sorry if you're taking this discussion personally, Kdiddy.
If you feel you're repeating yourself, know that you're not required to respond to anything I have to say.

No one has really answered my question. How did the masses of agitated muslims know this cartoon was about Mohammed? Did some cleric hold it up and point at it? I've been trying to see it on the internet, and maybe I have. I am not sure because the weenie newsstations here in the states are withholding it.

Which I think is an infringement on my freedom of the press. Should I murder and pillage because of that. No I just thinks it shows how we are continuing to be manipulated.

What I've seen look like any picture of my grandfather in a turban. How is that inflamatory. Sure one picture the turban looks like a bomb, hey my grandfather might have worn one of those.

Get real folks, who is really responsible? Whoever is continuing to agitate this situation, and folks stupid enough to get caught up in it.

Do you really think anyone can buy themselves a place in heaven by shedding the blood of others. Whatever you vision of heaven is. And over a cartoon, aren't there more important things for you to consider like feeding your family and creating something the world might remember with joy.

Pat Hacker, Visit Scooter's World.

No one has really answered my question. How did the masses of agitated muslims know this cartoon was about Mohammed? Did some cleric hold it up and point at it? I've been trying to see it on the internet, and maybe I have. I am not sure because the weenie newsstations here in the states are withholding it.

Which I think is an infringement on my freedom of the press. Should I murder and pillage because of that. No I just thinks it shows how we are continuing to be manipulated.

What I've seen look like any picture of my grandfather in a turban. How is that inflamatory. Sure one picture the turban looks like a bomb, hey my grandfather might have worn one of those.

Get real folks, who is really responsible? Whoever is continuing to agitate this situation, and folks stupid enough to get caught up in it.

Do you really think anyone can buy themselves a place in heaven by shedding the blood of others. Whatever you vision of heaven is. And over a cartoon, aren't there more important things for you to consider like feeding your family and creating something the world might remember with joy.

word gets around. it would be the same if it were Jesus cartoons, news people would pick it up, print would take over, word of mouth, then the politicians get together and then the aspirants.

funny thing is you never know how much of this is real and how much news hype.

i mean India has 300+million muslims and there has been ZERO peep or reaction to this.

also a friend said something funny to me (one born into christianity no less)

if heaven is such a great place how the f*** is getting crucified such a sacrifice.

im not trying to be offensive so i hope no one takes any.

Excuse my ignorance what's an imam, and why did they feel responsible to do this?

I looked it up:

The Shia believe that The Imam is someone that is able to lead mankind in all aspects of life. In addition they believe that an Imam is a perfect example in everything. According to Shia, an Imam is a leader that must be followed since he is appointed by Allah (GOD).

The catholic's think the same thing about priests, but I don't listen to them without first listening to my own conscience.

Pat Hacker, Visit Scooter's World.

Excuse my ignorance what's an iman, and why did they feel responsible to do this?

google is your friend phacker :)

Imam is the guy who gives the call to prayer and is like a religious head of the mosque i believe.

Yeah, I looked it up after I posted Skinny. And revised my post. I still say I would never murder and pillage just on the word of my priest or president. I've known some really funky ones. Both priests and presidents. My life is something I own, and have to face. They aren't going to use me for their own little political reasons. When I die I die alone and face whatever it is by myself, and have to explain why. I've never been one to pass the buck and say so and so told me to.

Besides when you pass that way, who knows which names are going to be important. I don't think "Bush" is going to be high on the list. And JC and the big M may be right down on the bottom with him.

Pat Hacker, Visit Scooter's World.

when is bloodshed necessary?

When a good cause is apparent, don't give me that, if it wasn't for bloodshed, america would not be free...please I don't want to start a history lesson.
But in light of all this, it is wrong to poke fun at religion, mainly because...it is so diverse, it is what forms the basis of one's beliefs, degrade, discriminate or humor this, and you can instantly start a riot....believe me, I know.
Think of it this way...it's like you're watching the superbowl on tv and the winning touchdown is about to be made, your heart is racing your palms are sweating you're ready to scream...AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH, THEN...
a commercial of the news appears....NOOOOOOOOOOOO, see, instant riot.

He who seeks the truth, must first empty his heart of a false pursuit.

Diemeras Dark Angel

I don't think anyone is behaving responsibly, least of all you Imam. They are using you. Get wise.

Pat Hacker, Visit Scooter's World.

Are they out there with the mob killing and burning or are they just stirring the waters and letting the loyal followers take responsibility and loss?

Pat Hacker, Visit Scooter's World.

Are they out there with the mob killing and burning or are they just stirring the waters and letting the loyal followers take responsibility and loss?

Mostly just stirring the waters. They're as much politcal figures as religious, like priests in some countries (or centuries ago).

The whole situation sucks, I think we all agree.

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If my priest was lying bleeding and leading a valiant fight against something I could also see as evil, yes then I might uplift a staff to continue battle. But to base it just on something he voices while he stands behind a safe podium...NO! To me he is just a man, certainly one that has studied, but not one that will take my place for me when the time comes to be held accountable. I only will face my maker, whoever that might be. And I will be held accountable, if only to myself.

Pat Hacker, Visit Scooter's World.

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That was not my direct response to you. I was expanding on things I'd said earlier to everybody.
Not exactly. I wanted to use examples that are close to home so it didn't seen that I was singling out Islam and foreign countries, or that Christian oppression only existed in the Middle Ages.
I wanted to point out that religion effects not just religious people, but the entire society. Because of religious belief, this entire country has to suffer.

Using just one of those examples, religion has been stifling medical research not only recently, but for hundreds of years.
Imagine how much more advanced science and medicine would be today if not for religion.

I'm sorry if you're taking this discussion personally, Kdiddy.
If you feel you're repeating yourself, know that you're not required to respond to anything I have to say.

We're all repeating ourselves. All of these things have been said in one form or another. Nice try with the "taking it personally" insult. Your style of debating, trying to bate people with veiled insults is, well, insulting. There's nothing new in either of these posts, except a new insult.

There's a common denominator in all of this, ignorance. The examples you quoted, specifically ones that have unfortunately become the rallying points for the Republican party, are all based around ignorance and intolerance. But more importantly they are focused on a portion of the population that typically has little education beyond high school, and of that it generally isn't the best available (there's not much denying that America's education system isn't up to snuff when compared with the rest of the industrial world). As if to prove it, the portions of the population that typically voted 'red' read like a map of under funded schools in the country. Religion happened to work with them. It was easier than saying, "sorry your job was outsourced, so hate Asia." But it didn't work with the portions of the country with higher education, even if they were religious. Education doesn't negate the ability to believe in religion, but it does tend to negate the ability to be controlled by religion or any other means. The same goes towards those using Islam to similar ends. It isn't working in populations where people have actually finished a high school education, but it's working like gang busters in areas where education is almost unheard of.

Ignorance and lack of education tends to breed contempt towards those with education. It can also leave people feeling disillusioned, angry at their status in life, upset at the 'haves'. This leaves them ripe for someone to come along and say, "You know who you can blame.... and here's the best part, it isn't you." It's always worked. Sometimes they use religion. Sometimes they use skin color. Sometimes they use gender. Sometimes they use geography. But the point is they prey on a people's dissatisfaction and give them a common enemy based on fear.

If you want to really blame someone, blame school administrations that cut art programs so they can give the football team new jerseys every year, blame the beauarcracy that has twice as many administrators than actual teachers, blame a society that puts a higher premium on being able to afford cheap DVD players and disposible electronics over paying taxes towards better education. Blame ignorance. Blame the leaders that foster this ignorance and then use it to their advantage. Then get upset at them using religion as a tool for bending ignorance towards their will. Without religion there would still be (and is) people killing gays because they're gay, people scared of technology because it's 'magic' to them and they don't understand it, people killing others because they're different, people acting like animals because they're angry and want to blame someone that they don't identify with.

If it weren't for religion, the Republican party and militant Islamic groups would have been able to rile their core constituancy up the same way they did by using religion, simply by saying, "They're different and it's their fault." They wanted a common enemy, religion was just an easy way in for them. But it isn't for everyone.

Again, would you like me to quote all of the ways that relgious organizations have gone against each of your 'religion is bad' items and have benefitted all of society? I can. And they would be contemporary examples, as if that undoes the bad, just as if the bad undoes the good.

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I think that's the magic of the way the US was formed. Certainly people banded together in a way to accomplish the seperation from England. But once that seperation was accomplished. Our founding fathers stood back and set up a constitution and bill of rights with checks and balances so no one interest could overpower the others and wrest total control. But the times they are a changing, and maybe their good intentions and foundation for a democratic republic will soon be a thing of the past. In other parts of the world they've never experienced that kind of freedom, and have only acted on the part of their leaders for whatever reasons, maybe they promised them security. But still there is the individual and their conscience.

Pat Hacker, Visit Scooter's World.

Publishers act on a commercial motivation. What they did they thought would generate news, and it certainly did. What religious radicals are doing just fuels their commerical fires.

In the past here in the states there have been many depictions of the KKK, and obnoxious things. It's left up to the public to deem what is important, and what they want to ignore or respond to, in the seventies there was a push toward being what was considered "politically correct"...what the hell is that? Most of us our here in the country just continued with our lives. Now there is a push to move to the right. Well some of us favour our rights, but that's actually a push to the left! But that's political speak. Most of us just want to live our lives and get on with things. But if you let them "the people in power " will try to use you.

Hold the things that are dear to you close, and tell those you love that you love them! Time on earth is short, don't be redirected by others that will use you.

Pat Hacker, Visit Scooter's World.

i think some of you dont have much personal experience with Muslims, they are generally (not always) quite conservative or quite liberal, not much middle ground there.
the ones who are conservative take their religion very seriously, when they feel they are being attacked, they fight back, Islam as a faith isnt very tolerant of criticism nor very conducive to change.
im not going to comment on what is apt or imp, but ill say that these are things that are known and the newspapers basically 'entrapped' the funadmentalists in this row. Im not sure anymore for what, its weird, i support their right to do what they did but its hard to defend it with the same ferocity.

also if they really wanted to prove something like this they should have just asked for caricatures of Jesus, Buddha, Shiva & The prophet, maybe then we could have judged how it would have gone.

thing with an action like this is that it dosent educate anyone but it prejudices everyone.

What I see is a discussion where one side is saying, "religions trying to impose their beliefs and laws on others is wrong," and another side that's saying "not all religions are violent." We're not even really discussing the same thing.

I whole heartedly agree. That's probably the smartest thing that has been said since we left the original topic of free speech, actually, since the whole thread began.

Let me also offer my apologies. I never said bigotted (I don't think I did anyway), but I did my share of name calling. I was just responding to the tone of some posts, and due to the lack of tone on a forum like this seem to have read into them (as much as you may have read into mine). I apologize for my accusations, I hope that we can all walk away from this with a better understanding of tolerance towards other people's views.

The funniest thing is that no one here has disagreed that some pretty awful things have been done in the name of religion and no matter how you cut it, that sucks. And everyone has agreed that not all of religion does this. And yet we've continued to argue in circles about it, agreeing the entire time with the loud angry voices of people who are disagreeing.

I agree, I can't stand religions (or those without religion) impossing their beliefs on anyone. It's foolish and shows a fundamental lack of faith if they can't handle that someone doesn't believe what they do. Realizing that, I'll leave it at that and go back to the animation board and talk about animation. I think I'm going to take my son to see Curious George tomorrow.

Thank you Saj, I sincerely appreciate your voice of reason.

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I don't think they are that much different then we are here in the States. Since 9/11 everyone has had to be very careful of what they say. There are certain things that are acceptable and some that aren't. I for one have gotten tired of trying to placate the simple minded that just want someone to protect them. These folks just want one certain direction as long as it it guarranttees them safety, nothing can do that. Life will never be a totally safe place, that's the nature of it.

Pat Hacker, Visit Scooter's World.

Well if his graven image is considered blasphemous, and it's never been seen, then only the great holy "amin" who should be directing their flocks in a harmonious manner are the ones that pointed him out and caused the hoopla. My question is why, what's in it for them? I bet someone has some money in their pocket these days, and it's not the irrate mob, or little guy.

I don't care if you wear a turban and beard, or cowboy boots, money rules. And the little guy usually gets used and discarded as a commodity. Time the Muslim world learned the rules of the global economy. I think it's a push to force the US into war with Iran, and it just may work work for PNAC. Those guys seem to be able to pull strings on all political and religious fronts for their specific purposes, and the rest of us just get caught up in it. And Haliburton and the rest just get richer. They have a plan and they aren't going to be held up. Unless those of us little guys that make their plan work wise up and say do it yourself, by yourself.

Pat Hacker, Visit Scooter's World.

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I'm sorry if you're taking this discussion personally, Kdiddy.

Nice try with the "taking it personally" insult. Your style of debating, trying to bate people with veiled insults is, well, insulting. There's nothing new in either of these posts, except a new insult.

Oh my God, that was not intended as an insult or a bait.
It's just that, if you are taking it personally, I would be sorry if you felt like you were being attacked.

If anyone deserves to feel insulted, it's me, after being called "intolerant" and a "fanatic" by you, Kdiddy.

If it weren't for religion, the Republican party and militant Islamic groups would have been able to rile their core constituancy up the same way they did by using religion, simply by saying, "They're different and it's their fault."

You keep saying that if religion didn't exist, we'd still have these problems; but there is no basis for believing this since the problems I listed above stem directly from religious dogma.

I don't think Arabs would be rioting in the streets if someone drew an insulting cartoon of one of their political figures.

We can look at our European counterparts, where there is greater social justice than in U.S.A., to see what a Western government that is not significantly run by religious fundamentalists looks like.

I haven't seen a picture of the comic in question, but I have a question of my own:

If these devout muslims have never seen an image of their prophet how do they know this depiction is of him? Is it labeled? Or are they all being drawn into some mass hysteria spurred on by a power that is using their unfounded outrage.

Devout Jews avoid using the term god or any specific name that may be connected with it, but they don't usually create havoc when they hear a non believer use it.

Just moving this. It was in the wrong thread.

...we must all face a choice, between what is right... and what is easy."

You keep saying that if religion didn't exist, we'd still have these problems; but there is no basis for believing this since the problems I listed above stem directly from religious dogma.

I'm sorry but I'm going to call bullshit on that one. With the exception of stem cell research, everyone of those items is not the sole responsibility of religion. Grown men who have no care in the world for religion, beat up and kill gay men simply because they're gay and it makes them uncomfortable. To blame it on religion is absurd.

I know of plenty of blue collar workers who hold anyone with a degree higher than high school with a certain degree of disdain, football players in high school constantly harass the math squad and artists encouraging continued ignorance and stupidity without the help of religion.

The male dominated society that doesn't want to use a rubber is as much if not more to blame for the spread of aids and unwanted pregnancies in much of the world, it was a problem before religion even got involved. Religion, however misguided, is trying to stop the spread, in the way they think will work. Misguided, yes, but to blame a problem that existed before religion was involved is silly.

People are afraid of clones and cloning for no other reason than having seen too many science fiction films. People fear the unknown, always have and always will, if it wasn't stem cells and religion people would be upset about something else. Some technologies come in easy, others don't. Give it time and people will get used to it, just like they did nuclear power, computers, the internet, photographs, telephones, and soon robots.

I don't think Arabs would be rioting in the streets if someone drew an insulting cartoon of one of their political figures.

Possibly not. At least not likely in another country. But people have rioted because their sports team won or lost. People will riot when conditions are bad enough and they're given a reason to believe that it's someone else's fault. Sometimes it's because of religion, sometimes it's because of unions, somtimes it's because someone of a different color would dare enter your building, sometimes it's because of The Bulls winning/loosing. But it isn't the sole domain of religion.

We can look at our European counterparts, where there is greater social justice than in U.S.A., to see what a Western government that is not significantly run by religious fundamentalists looks like.

Again what's your point? I have not said once that fundamentalists are good in any form, I have agreed over and over again that fundamentalists are bad news, our own government is a perfect example, and yet that seems to be your only argument. No one here has disagreed that fundamentalists are bad, and yet whenever the argument comes around to your side, you again say, "See the fundamentalists are bad." Duh, we've all been saying that. If you're trying to make a point other than you dislike religion due to anything other than the fundamentalists you aren't making it.

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Today a Muslim mob burned down the Danish consulate in Beirut because of some doodles in a newspaper.
I'm sure the mob sees that as a righteous and intelligent act. You're welcome to share their opinion.
I call it stupidity.

I disagree. Their fanaticism is stupid. Religion, as a whole or in parts, is not.

Religion has done more to curtail violence and spread peace and compassion than it has the reverse. Sadly, it's the reverse that gets the press.

How many more people have been fed, clothed, housed or received medical treatment today in the name of God than have been killed in the same name?

What a tricky subject. I'm all for freedom of speech. I'm also all for taking responsibility for that freedom. I don't think that those cartoons were good or bad, just opinions. Unfortunately, there are people who will not be able to take criticism in any form, no matter the justification of it.

On the other hand, freedom of speech doesn't mean freedom from responsibility. Just because it can be said, doesn't mean it needs to be said.

Tricky. There's not likely to be a black or white answer for this one...

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more here: http://www.evilbible.com
and here: http://skepticsannotatedbible.com/

I prefer free and independent thinkers, and religion is often antithetical to this.

Interesting stuff Harvey, thx for links. :) Yes, religion tends to close minds that would be open to so many other cultures and worldviews.

All the more reason for wise-ass cartoonists to blast it with funny, methinks.

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I was wondering if this topic was going to make it on here.
It's not an animation topic, but whatever.
Political topics are usually frowned on here.

This news item has nothing to do with the imagined power of animators or illustrators. It's about the power of the press, and the stupidity of religion.

I agree with Harvey Human entirely on the issue of religion.

Genesis 19:8
Behold now, I have two daughters which have not known man; let me, I pray you, bring them out unto you, and do ye to them as is good in your eyes: only unto these men do nothing; for therefore came they under the shadow of my roof.

It's better to let a village of rapists have their way with your only daughters than turn out two strange men you just met that day? And this comes from the "Sodom Episode" of the Bible that the religious right uses to condemn homosexuals. Really upstanding morals in that book, there, the Bible. Today, we have Muslims blowing themselves (and others) up in Asia over the Koran, rioting in the streets because of political cartoons. Religion IS people. Well put, Harvey. I don't understand how the mainstream acts like fundamentalist Christians and Muslims are blowing religion out of proportion when, as "fundamentalists", they take it more seriously than anything else and follow it strictly. Quit picking and choosing the parts of your religion as you see fit and either follow it or realize it's just mass political mind-control.

So telling what happened makes the Bible bad? If the New York Times says that a guy killed another guy by slitting his throat, is that the same thing as saying that the NYT endorses murder, and more specifically, endorses murder in that manner? No. It's reporting it, not approving it.

The Bible reports that people had slaves. It even tells the rules they had for having slaves. That does not make it a statement that it's okay to have slaves. It makes it simply a reporting that people did and that was HOW they did. Leviticus and Deuteronomy detail laws and punishments of the time. There are two things to learn from those books. How we should pattern our behavior and how people did it back then. Stated Truth #1: Remain faithful; don't commit adultery. Stated Truth #2: You would be killed for infidelity back then. Inferred Truth #3: There is nothing good to be gained by being unfaithful. Erroneously Inferred Truth #4: If somebody is unfaithful today, we should kill them. #4 is what happens if you take things out of context or don't study the bigger picture. This is where 90% of the religion haters are, because they haven't seen enough of the big picture to "get it."

I also am ofended at ther use of the term "fundmenalist." You know why John Wooden is the greatest basketball coach ever? Because he taught the fundamentals. You know why Billy Graham is the greatest Christian speaker in 2,000 years? Because he doesn't get distracted by the minutia. He preaches the fundamentals. The fact that people use the term as an insult is what's most insulting. You.. you.. cartoonist, you. It's a non-offensive term that, when used as an insult, just makes people look silly.

Not me! I've been giving the fundamentalists the same respect as the mainstreamers. I tried to point out that while you can disagree with fundies when they harrass or kill you (indeed), you can't say that their flavor of religion is "wrong" or isn't the "true" religion because all that is in the eye of the beholder.

If fundamentalist Islamic law calls for death upon those who mocketh the prophet (for example only, I don't know if that's true or not), then I guess that's the way it's gotta be... for the fundamentalist muslims. The death sentence doesn't apply for non-muslims because we don't subscribe to the religion.

The only religion I have a problem with is the one that decides to include me in it whether I like it or not. Many fundamentalist religions, including fundie-Islam and fundie-Christianity, have indeed decided to include me against my wishes and for that reason they deserve to be mocked, scorned and savagely ridiculed, obliterated if possible.

I live in a country that calls intelligent design "science" and all I got was this lousy T-shirt and a bunch of dumb-ass kids.

Yup. Fundamentalists are bad news, and I'd rather they didn't involve the rest of us either.

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www.galaxy12.com

Now with more doodling!
www.galaxy12.com/latenight

.....
Political topics are usually frowned on here.

..... the stupidity of religion.

Political topics are usually frowned on because blanket comments like these usually make the political debates less debate and more from the hip name calling.

Producing solidily ok animation since 2001.
www.galaxy12.com

Now with more doodling!
www.galaxy12.com/latenight

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I guess it's always been used by those in power trying to manipulate the masses to their ends, but when did personal responsibility take a back seat to a a forced mass mentality. Funny how the left here in the states always cite personal responsibility when they cut charitable programs for the poor or allow invasions into your personal life, so that businesses can check your credit rating and perform testing on you before they hire you, but they want us to act as some mindless unit when it comes to their goals.

You all need to reason out what it is that you are being faithful to...I have things I hold dear and would protect, but not necessarily if it lead to the death of another.

Pat Hacker, Visit Scooter's World.

I'm sorry but I'm going to call bullshit on that one. With the exception of stem cell research, everyone of those items is not the sole responsibility of religion. ... To blame it on religion is absurd.

First you admit that religion is partly responsible ("not the sole responsiblity" means they're partially responsible), then you say it's absurd to blame them. Which is it?

Yes, individuals can do stupid or evil things without religion. So can whales and monkeys, but I'm not talking about them. I'm specifically talking about the stupid things that are caused by religious belief, which is what this thread is about, after all.

If I said, "Well, horror movies scare people," would you object, "What's your point!? Spiders scared people before movies even existed! To blame horror movies for scaring people is absurd!"

to blame a problem that existed before religion was involved is silly..

Your latest point is that it's silly and pointless to blame religion for causing problems because other things cause those problems as well.
And naturally you realize how ludicrous that sounds.

Also, when was this mythical time you speak of when religion wasn't involved in the sociopolitical processes? If you go back in history, there is more religious control of government and communities, not less.

it is a toughy yes.

but Topics like Religion and Racism ALWAYS are difficult,no matter how much you sugar coat your opinion some one will always get offended.

I can't really answer the question,its too hard..reminds me algerbra.

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I think I can answer this question with a press release I found:

DANISH PAPER REFUSED "OFFENSIVE" JESUS CARTOONS
By James Kilner

COPENHAGEN (Reuters) - The Danish newspaper that first published caricatures of the Prophet Mohammad infuriating Muslims worldwide previously turned down cartoons of Jesus as too offensive, a cartoonist said on Wednesday.

Twelve cartoons of the Prophet published last September by Jyllands-Posten newspaper have outraged Muslims, provoking violent protests in the Middle East, Africa and Asia.
"My cartoon, which certainly did not offend any Christians I showed it to, was rejected because the editor felt it would be considered offensive to readers -- readers in general, not necessarily Christians," cartoonist Christoffer Zieler said in an email he sent to Reuters on Wednesday.

Jens Kaiser, the former editor of Jyllands-Posten's Sunday edition who turned down the cartoons three years ago, said he had done so because they were no good.

"Having seen the cartoons, I found that they were not very good. I failed to see the purportedly provocative nature," he said in a statement.

"My fault is that I didn't tell him what I really meant: The cartoons were bad." Kaiser said he told Zieler he had not used the cartoons because they were offensive to some readers.

Zieler's five colored cartoons portrayed Jesus jumping out of holes in floors and walls during his resurrection. In one, gnomes rated Jesus for style, another entitled "Saviour-cam" showed Jesus with a camera on his head staring at his feet.

"I do think the cartoons would offend some readers, but only because they were silly," Kaiser said.

Unlike Muslims, who consider depictions of the Prophet to be deeply offensive, many Christians adorn churches with images and sculptures of Jesus. However, some Christian congregations have protested at portrayals they perceive as blasphemous, especially in the cinema.

The editor of Jyllands-Posten has apologized for offending Muslims by printing cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad, including one of the founder of Islam holding a bomb in his turban, but defended his right to do so in the interests of free speech.

Dozens of newspapers in Europe and elsewhere have reproduced them with the same justification.

"Perhaps explaining my story of three years ago in its proper context at least won't make matters any worse," Zieler said.

So, these same Danish newspaper editors who had no problems publishing slanderous depictions of Mohammed felt that slanderous pictures of Jesus would offend people? It is clear from these actions that these people don't consider Islam a true religion compared to Christianity. It's this sort of narrow-minded bigotry that lead Arabs to form the Nation of Islam in the first place. While I don't condone the explosively violent protests Arabs are waging on anything Danish right now, I do empathize with them.
I think maybe the best way to end all this bloodshed would be to fire these editors (not the cartoonists though because it was the editors that commisioned these cartoons from them, all the artists did was follow orders) but then tell the protesters that they have been decapitated. This way everyone's happy except for the assholes responsible who now must live in exile for abusing their right to freedom of the press. :mad:

Did you read the points in bold? Try it. What he told the artist was an attempt at not hurting his feelings, not a statement of editorial content. His real reason for rejecting the cartoons was because they just weren't any good.

Never mind the fact that that guy was a completely different editor than the one who approved the recent offensive cartoons.

Read the description of the "Savior-Cam." I'm not offended, except by the fact that somebody thought there was something to say or that it was funny. It's not funny, and it's really not saying anything. It should have been rejected. Jesus coming out of the tomb on the third day, praying for a Starbucks would be funny. Most Christian youth groups have shown Monty Python's The Holy Grail at a youth meeting. I would think that if they were easily offended or didn't have a sense of humor, that wouldn't be likely to have happened.

Not me! I've been giving the fundamentalists the same respect as the mainstreamers. I tried to point out that while you can disagree with fundies when they harrass or kill you (indeed), you can't say that their flavor of religion is "wrong" or isn't the "true" religion because all that is in the eye of the beholder.

If fundamentalist Islamic law calls for death upon those who mocketh the prophet (for example only, I don't know if that's true or not), then I guess that's the way it's gotta be... for the fundamentalist muslims. The death sentence doesn't apply for non-muslims because we don't subscribe to the religion.

I'll weigh in on these comments with my opinion (for what little that's worth at this point). Mostly that's a theological question for people with in the religion to struggle with. I have an orthodox jew for a friend who takes a great deal of joy in debating and discussing the absurdities based on chemistry (his words, not mine) in his religion and where true faith falls (all while holding to the very absurdities he talks of). It's actually quite interesting to hear his perspective on his faith.

As long as one people's beliefs don't branch out to effect people not involved, they can obviously believe whatever they want. As soon as it branches out to effect me or others who don't wish to be involved, then I'm going to take issue with it. I don't expect people to believe or not believe in my beliefs, and I expect them to respect the same of me.

Producing solidily ok animation since 2001.
www.galaxy12.com

Now with more doodling!
www.galaxy12.com/latenight

Political topics are usually frowned on because blanket comments like these usually make the political debates less debate and more from the hip name calling.

Today a Muslim mob burned down the Danish consulate in Beirut because of some doodles in a newspaper.
I'm sure the mob sees that as a righteous and intelligent act. You're welcome to share their opinion.
I call it stupidity.

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First you admit that religion is partly responsible ("not the sole responsiblity" means they're partially responsible), then you say it's absurd to blame them. Which is it?

You keep saying that if religion didn't exist, we'd still have these problems; but there is no basis for believing this since the problems I listed above stem directly from religious dogma.

Not actually what I meant, and I'm fairly certain you know that as the rest of my post illustrated what I was talking about. But to clarify since I may apparently used an incorrect word (hey, it happends), what I meant was that all of these (in particular the ones you claimed to "stem directly from religious dogma") problems are around even without religion. And yet your post seemed to claim that they are ONLY because of religion. So which is it? Is religion entirely to blame? Or does it have it's part in it along with all the other reasons people have come up with for ignorance and hatred? You're sending mixed messages, Harv.

Yes, individuals can do stupid or evil things without religion. So can whales and monkeys, but I'm not talking about them. I'm specifically talking about the stupid things that are caused by religious belief, which is what this thread is about, after all.

If I said, "Well, horror movies scare people," would you object, "What's your point!? Spiders scared people before movies even existed! To blame horror movies for scaring people is absurd!"

Your latest point is that it's silly and pointless to blame religion for causing problems because other things cause those problems as well.
And naturally you realize how ludicrous that sounds.

From my perspective, you sound ludicrous. You said that all of the problems you listed stem from religous dogma. I was merely countering your point that they were the only ones involved in the cause of this behavior with my point that no, religion isn't necessary for this behavior and they aren't the only ones involved. My point is that you DID claim that those specific problems stemmed from religion, not were a part of it but were caused by it. I never claimed that religion doesn't take a role in these problems. I haven't absolved them of all blame, we've all agreed repeatedly that bad things have been done in the name of religion, over and over in every post, but you don't seem to be listening. I've agreed with you repeatedly that religion has done bad things, and pointed out that it isn't all their fault (again, it's human nature to hate the other tribe, monkeys kill each other for smelling different, we aren't much different apparently), and all you hear from me is, "I think religion is without blame because other people did it too." I never said that.

Producing solidily ok animation since 2001.
www.galaxy12.com

Now with more doodling!
www.galaxy12.com/latenight

Today a Muslim mob burned down the Danish consulate in Beirut because of some doodles in a newspaper.
I'm sure the mob sees that as a righteous and intelligent act. You're welcome to share their opinion.
I call it stupidity.

I disagree.

You disagree that it's stupid to burn down buildings and kill people because of one's religious beliefs?

Their fanaticism is stupid. Religion, as a whole or in parts, is not.
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Their fanaticism is a part of their religion. How can that part of their religion be simultaneously stupid and not stupid?

I'm sorry, Space. You've said many ridiculous things in your last few posts, but I only have time to respond to your first few sentences. If I responded to each ridiculous thing you've typed today, I'd be at this keyboard all day.

Well if his graven image is considered blasphemous, and it's never been seen, then only the great holy "amin" who should be directing their flocks in a harmonious manner are the ones that pointed him out and caused the hoopla. My question is why, what's in it for them? I bet someone has some money in their pocket these days, and it's not the irrate mob, or little guy.

I don't care if you wear a turban and beard, or cowboy boots, money rules. And the little guy usually gets used and discarded as a commodity. Time the Muslim world learned the rules of the global economy. I think it's a push to force the US into war with Iran, and it just may work work for PNAC. Those guys seem to be able to pull strings on all political and religious fronts for their specific purposes, and the rest of us just get caught up in it. And Haliburton and the rest just get richer. They have a plan and they aren't going to be held up. Unless those of us little guys that make their plan work wise up and say do it yourself, by yourself.

Phacker, im afraid with the global economy so far entrenched in the natural resources of the muslim world it would end up us having to learn their rules.

i think the Dane running the paper should have learnt about the relationship of power and responsibility.

he is allowed his provocation but there is going to be fallout, some people are passive and some people are quite invested in their religion and it is a big part of their lives just like freedom is for some.

what they arent doing is def not right but then what the newspaper did isnt right either.

Us vs Them is guranteed to blow up in everyones face.

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