Could someone explain

Discussion in 'The Study' started by Big Don, Feb 4, 2012.

  1. Big Don

    Big Don Sr. Grandmaster

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    Could someone explain exactly why bigotry against the religious, perhaps especially Christians is acceptable when every other conceivable bigotry is forbidden?
    Why is it OK to hate Christians, and WRONG to criticize a small percentage of Muslims who do such wonderful things as execute homosexuals, stone women and literally EXPLODE at the slightest provocation?
    Why are jokes about Priests molesting boys ubiquitous, but even a cartoon depiction of Mohammed is labeled a hate crime?
    I have never, and will never identify my religious beliefs here, but, the anti-Christian bigotry is more than a little offensive, just as offensive as racism, but, somehow, acceptable in what passes for polite society.
     
  2. jedtx88

    jedtx88 Yellow Belt

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    I live in Texas where bigotry runs rampid. Especially towards radical muslims. The bashing of Christianity is probably just left over teenage angst. The driving need to rebel against the norm. The norm in the bible belt being church on sunday and having very little fun. I do not feel it is wise to openly mock someone's religion. They may have never heard to turn the other cheek, or have conveniently forgotten. At most if in a theological discussion present your differing opinions in a respectful manner.
     
  3. Sukerkin

    Sukerkin Have the courage to speak softly

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    The simplest answer, Don, is that it isn't okay if such a circumstance as you describe exists.

    In my head, such a distinction does not appertain, for as you know, my view is that we would be better off without all such fear-based-social-control-power-structure hangovers from our pasts. They were fine when we didn't know what caused the lightning or before we saw the real extent of the universe but they have no place being treated with any more seriousness than any other groundless belief. They are mythology given a false patina of respectability because of social inertia and localised indoctrination. In such countries as America and Iran, this indoctrination continues to have false credence because the ruling classes use it as an easy hook to hang their power on.

    As to why you might encounter more criticism of the religion given most lip-service in any given area, well that is the one that people or that region, theoretically at least, know the best. In my own case, for example, Bible based Christianity is the one that it is easiest for me to point to the more obvious 'wrong' bits because I was brought up with it.

    In the end, if religions are not open to criticism and are allowed to deploy a sensitivity to mockery as a shield, then getting rid of them will take all the longer ... maybe longer than we have as a species.
     
  4. jedtx88

    jedtx88 Yellow Belt

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    I am grateful that Christianity endorsed monogamy, otherwise everyone might have crabs.
     
  5. Big Don

    Big Don Sr. Grandmaster

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    Mark, you have to have seen the kid glove treatment Islam has been given lately, i.e., scrubbing Muslim antagonists from movies, such as The Sum of all Fears, protecting the Ka'aba from devastation in the movie 2012, the repeated mantra of "Islam is a religion of peace" from all and sundry, when Islam's history is anything but, peaceful...
    I agree, everything and everyone should have a thicker skin, but, why is there such a tacit approval of deriding Christianity in popular culture? Why is it less worrying than the (you bet your *** I'm going there) Nazi's persecution of the Jews during WWII?
     
  6. Tez3

    Tez3 Sr. Grandmaster

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    I think certain sects in Christianity set themselves up for criticism because of the way they have treated non Christians or Christians of other denominations in the past and to a certain extent still do.There are things that people in some churches have done that are causing so much pain that people cannot look at Christianity as a whole without hurt. We still have elderly adults coming to the UK looking for their families because as children they were sent to Australia ostensibly to be adopted although they weren't orphans nor had their parents put them up for adoption, many instead wokred form an early age at backbreaking jobs. It's hard for them to grant forgiveness for what was done to them likewise those who were abused by priests though I think for them it's it's as much that the church didn't take their pain as being anything to consider and sheltered the guilty priests. While not all priests are involved it's a shocking story that will have people criticising the churches concerned. I don't think bigotry is why they are criticising, bitterness perhaps, hurt and horror most likely. It will also always come up when those churches criticise others, there's many who will see a double standard.


    The Muslims are criticised because they are seen like the Christians to be 'all the same', Muslims are rarely referred to as citizens of the country they come from but always by their religion. A lot of Middle East countries have reasons not to be friendly to say the least towards the west and will use terrorism but instead of saying Iranian terrorists it's 'Muslim' terrorists regardless of whether the reason they are committing these acts is for patriotic or religious reasons. There are different groups and sects in Islam yet as usual people lump everyone in together.

    Jews are criticised because they are Jews, everyone's favourite scapegoats. Unlike the other religions we have people hate us for no other reason that they hate us, we are the conspiracy theorists favourite 'take over the world' candidates, I really don't know why, you'd never get enough Jews together who could agree on anything let alone take over the world. However for that reason, we all argue, I'd say we are hardly a fear based, social control mechanism, we're far too opinionated, curious and generally individual for that, we don't do what Rabbis (teachers btw not priests) say, most communities actually employ them, ask any Rabbi about his audition... erm interview to be a communities Rabbi! We do stick together basically because everyone has it in for us...



    The 'left', now they are subject to more abuse, bigotry, mythology and falsehoods on MT than any of the religions. So much has been attributed to them they must be evil incarnate. It seems acceptable however to slag them off and generally blame them for all the world's misfortunes.
     
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  7. granfire

    granfire Sr. Grandmaster

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    The mechanisms are the same, both sides of the medal:
    Those who have the lowest tolerance for others scream the loudest when being picked on. Unless you live in China or Saudi Arabia or their about, your rights as a christian are safe.
    likewise, unless you moved to Murfreesboro, your rights as a muslim are probably relatively safe.
     
  8. Jenna

    Jenna Senior Master

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    I would see things from a slightly different angle.

    The Cold-War era West was largely responsible for radicalising Islam as an expedient weapon of war against the USSR in much the same way as zionism is currently and lethally being deployed to radicalise otherwise peaceable Jewish peoples in Israel against Iran (and Islam more widely).

    To date in the post WWII era here has never been any need to radicalise Christianity and thus Christians are currently free to interpret the Bible's plentiful exhortations to violence literally or as metaphor.

    Were there any mandate to reanimate Christian anger it would be no more difficult that it was to incite radicalism in Islam.

    The discrimination and violations of religious freedoms suffered by the Coptic Christians in Egypt I should think would be the ideal place for the powers that be to begin.

    The acceptability of the bigotry that you outline is simply a natural inherent bigotry that each of us have towards other kinds only in proportion to the perceived threat from those we may speak out openly against.

    For me there is one God not many. God is peace. God is tolerance. And the intolerant have no place to call themselves devout.
     
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  9. elder999

    elder999 El Oso de Dios!

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  10. Bill Mattocks

    Bill Mattocks Sr. Grandmaster

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    I think there is a lot of human nature buried here, and it occasionally comes to the surface with ugly results.

    Human have historically been religious; atheism or agnosticism are relatively new; at least in public. And religions have historically been in opposition to each other. At relatively few times in history have religions been able to live at peace with those of other faiths. The majority tends to persecute the minority; borders create areas of conflict; state and religious goals and power struggles coincide, overlap, and compete with each other at various times and places.

    Add to that the very human tendency to see any group which one is not a member of as a monolithic whole. Christians, while understanding that all Christians are not alike, tend to see all Muslims or Jews as the same. Those groups do likewise to Christians. Nations do it to each other. As different as individual Americans are, we tend to see all Germans as believing the same things or acting the same way; as they tend to do us. We understand the innate differences in our own group because we cannot avoid seeing it; we tend to presume that other groups are indeed 'the other' and therefore not possessing the same complexity, differences, and variations as we do. We can tell you what 'those Democrats believe' while accepting that not all Republicans believe the same things; and vice-versa.

    Another human tendency is to attempt to place people into categories and assign them values that reflect our own prejudices about those categories. If a person defines themselves as 'conservative', then they are anti-abortion. If they say they are 'liberal', then they are for national socialized health care. In truth, we all know that our own political and religious beliefs tend to be unique, individual, and both grossly and subtly different from those of the party or religion to which we belong. We understand that about ourselves; we tend not to believe it about others. "We" are subtle. "They" are a stereotype we have created for them to belong to.

    I suspect that we do this because it makes the world easier to comprehend. Things are the way they are because people behave in predictable ways, according to the gross set of beliefs to which we want them to adhere. Our economy is going to hell because we have a Democrat President, and he hates free enterprise and wants to socialize everything. Our economy is going to hell because we have a Republican President, and he loves war and wants to destroy cherished liberal freedoms. This is far easier to believe for many of us than the truths, which may be complex or even unknowable.

    In the end, any definition to attempt us to understand groups qua groups is bound to fail. What do Catholics believe? What do Muslims believe? What do Christians believe? What do Republicans believe? The answers can only be given is the most basic, simple, and unsatisfying manner; unless one has a predisposition towards or against a given group anyway. If we're Christian, we tend to general statements about Muslims that fit with our world-view. If we're Muslims, it's the same about Christians.

    In addition, we have the media added to this stew. The media does not make friends or sell advertising by pointing out to the people who like reading, listening, or watching them the many ways in which they are wrong, the many ways in which they fail to make distinctions between groups of people or jump to the wrong conclusions. A news group that has an audience comprised mainly of a group that distrusts Muslims, for example, won't be pleasantly regarded if they insist on noting the distinctions between various Muslim groups, or between those who favor militant action and those who do not. A news group whose audience is comprised mainly of those who distrust large corporations is not going to find favor with that audience by pointing out good news relating to deregulation.

    Then we have political correctness. This is a relatively new phenomena. This is the force that drives some parts of modern societies to be 'progressive' and attempt to see beyond the basic labels and assumptions. It can be a force for good; changing the way we think and behave towards each other regarding such things as physical and mental disabilities, minority religions and others seen as oppressed or marginalized in society. It can also be a force for ill, when it gets out of control, imposing serious penalties for petty offenses or terrorizing citizens to eschew uses of words, phrases, or ways of thinking that are a set of moving goals, as well as being arbitrary based on the current zeitgeist. One is 'handicapped,' then 'disabled', then 'differently-abled', which distorts the language in a well-meant attempt to not show a person with a physical infirmity as 'less than', but becoming so shrill, militant, and at times, flat-out idiotic, that it draws both blowback and ridicule from those kicked in the *** repeatedly about using such terms.

    Political correctness attempts to address the issues I mentioned previously also in that it understands that our grasp of the differences and subtleties of other societies, religions, and races is imperfect, biased, and wrong. However, it attempts to apply a correction without comprehending that those to whom the correction is being applied will not instantly understand the subtleties involved. In addition, it tends to go too far. If a generalization that 'all Muslims are bad' is incorrect, the PC response can take the form of 'no Muslims are bad,' which is equally incorrect, even if somewhat closer to the truth; while risking outright rejection from the group that PC pressure is attempting to 'correct'.

    And because such things tend to be applied to the minority by the self-appointed enlightened, any denigration of what is seen to be the majority is perfectly acceptable. Thus, one cannot insult or otherwise impugn Muslims; but Christians can be maligned without fear of offense by the enlightened in a society where Christianity is ubiquitous and not seen as an oppressed minority.

    All this to say that it's perfectly natural. Obese people can be joked about and insulted; because so many of us are obese. It would be considered wrong to make fun of anorexics. One cannot tell jokes about Pollacks anymore in polite society; but one can make jokes about GOP members or Democrats. One cannot insult Muslims, but Christians are fair game.

    And the fundamental mistake that all groups makes is assuming that the other groups want to be corrected.
     
  11. Cryozombie

    Cryozombie Grandmaster

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    I don't know that I agree here. There is a large misconception I see thrown around a lot that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof" to mean that everyone is "Free from being exposed to Religion". It has led to groups trying to remove tele-evangelism, trying to force locations to remove religious icons even from non-governmental locations, etc.

    Do I see most of these thing succeeding any time soon? No. BUT I take what has happened to the second amendment to heart and understand that you can't ignore it just cuz it's not likely to happen, or pretty soon that "Right that shall not be infringed" is something you no longer have and have to continually fight in court to retain because someone else doesn't agree with your right to have it.

    In short... I don't believe at all that our rights are safe unless we secure them. Someone always seems to want to take them out of fear or ignorance.
     
  12. granfire

    granfire Sr. Grandmaster

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    It's not related to the problem you posted though.

    Again, Americans are under the misconception that all those things are 'rights', just because some guys 2oo years ago said so. it's a myth. There are no rights, only privileges you have to carve out by means of determination, force and blood.

    However: The people who cry foul by way of religious persecution are usually the same ones who will not extend the same tolerance to people of other faiths.
    When somebody objects to the overprevelance of crosses and fishes, they are mean anti Christians.
    If somebody mocks the religion based violence perpetrated by members of that other big religious group, well, they are non-believers and subject to sever punishment.

    All while we find the pretty same people - if not in person so in spirit - commit the exact same offenses in the other direction. You may not wear a crucifix in Saudi Arabia or pass out bibles, or you find the good christian people clogging up the courts in the attempt for another religious group to build their own facility.

    I grant you one is publicly sponsored, the other private, but it hinges on people. It is such a bummer that when you strip it down to the bare bones, both groups are essentially identical.
     
  13. Monroe

    Monroe Purple Belt

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    Around 70% of Americans are Christian. 83% identify with a religious demonimation. It's highly unlikely that anyone would manage to live in the US and not have friends and family that are Christian. A tiny percentage of non-Christians are going to actually hate Christianity and their friends and family. I may not have been raised in a Christian home but I do have friends and family who are Christians. I don't know any Atheists or anyone from any other religion that hates Christians.

    Extremely few Westerners hate Christians or are bigoted. I think you're confusing push back against a religion controlling politics and communities with hatred.
     
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  14. Bill Mattocks

    Bill Mattocks Sr. Grandmaster

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    This goes along with some presumed 'rights' that many people seem to think they have these days. Freedom from being offended, and freedom from being made to feel uncomfortable. Neither of these are rights.

    Add to this the group (and it's a small group, but I feel very vocal) who believe that religion in general is detrimental to society, and you have a group who believe that since religion offends them and it is 'dangerous' to society, they have the right to never be exposed to it, as well as the right to attempt to force it underground by law.

    Church and state walk a difficult tightrope with regard to each other. As you noted, our 1st Amendment prevents Congress from creating a state-approved religion, as well as from regulating or restricting religion to the extent possible. That doesn't mean religion is not regulated; some religions have been restricted from the free practice of their religion when it conflicts with certain laws; others have been restricted and then unrestricted with regard to certain practices, or licensed; some have been stripped of tax-exempt status, which has certainly affected their practice as a religion. It does, however, mean that the state cannot say what a 'legitimate' religion is or is not; a person can start their own religion and they are a cleric if they say they are; there is no state license required to be a priest or minister or rabbi.

    However, historically religion played a large part in the public square, religion affects politics and society, and vice-versa. This continues to be the case. Religion will not disappear from public view; and no secularization of society can purge itself of religion, any more than religion can purge itself of secular society. We are, for good or ill, linked; and we will continue to be so.
     
  15. Cryozombie

    Cryozombie Grandmaster

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    Maybe, and it's probably a discussion for another thread... I could derail the hell outta this one discussing it... But I take the "fact" (in quotes because the piece of paper says it, despite how it is treated) that the Rights outlined by some guys 200 years ago are the Basis for our nation, and it doesn't exist without them. Without these rights, You need to Shut up, Elder can't vote, Bill can't be A Catholic, and I need to be a victim... who the **** would wanna live like that?
     
  16. Bill Mattocks

    Bill Mattocks Sr. Grandmaster

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    I don't disagree with what you say above, but I'd like to add a few things.

    First, the 'rights' of which you speak were laid out as they were in the the core US documents to emphasize a point; and an important one (to us). That is that the 'rights' we say were given us by our Creator were NOT given us by the government. Anything given by a government can be taken away. Or core documents say that the government itself is powerless to remove those rights we claim as our core rights. This is really key.

    Second, the religious us-versus-them argument you note is also true of those who do not claim a religious belief, or who claim atheism. Furthermore, even those tend not to see non-mainstream religions with the same eyes as they do the mainstream religions. It is correctly noted by conservative groups that many atheists choose not to note the intolerance of certain non-Christian groups towards women or homosexuals, for example. Quick to point the finger at corrupt or criminal Christian organizations, they complain about stereotypical statements against Muslims, for example, while ignoring the record of women's rights or the rights of homosexuals in countries where Islam is the majority religion. Such hypocrisy is noted; and it is correct to point it out. The moral high-ground is not held by such atheists.
     
  17. Tez3

    Tez3 Sr. Grandmaster

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    Jenna, much as I hate to disagree with you, that's not what Zionism is about and as for radicalising people it's unlikely. there are various movements in Judaism, some of which are radical, some are more vocal than others but I wouldn't put this down to Zionism which has a long history. The anti-Semitic groups like to blame 'Zionism' and call it a terrorist movement. I would say rather that the hawks are looking to take action against Iran backed by the Americans, that Iran poses a big threat to Israel isn't in doubt, what can be done to negate that threat is something that is debated strongly.

    http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Zionism/wzo.html
     
  18. Bill Mattocks

    Bill Mattocks Sr. Grandmaster

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    I don't know any atheists who hate Christians, but many who hate Christianity. Of course not all atheists are this way; perhaps not even a majority; but it's also not that uncommon. The 'push-back' you describe can also be quite angry and bitter; it is not hard to confuse this for hatred. There are plenty of atheists who have no trouble with a Christmas tree in the public square; but the ones that do, are the ones one hears about.

    I knew Madelyn Murray O'Hair's granddaughter slightly (sadly, she was murdered with her grandmother). While the granddaughter was a nice person, it was hard to conceive of someone more hateful and angry than her grandmother. She was less atheist than anti-Christian, and that position exists today in some atheists.
     
  19. Jenna

    Jenna Senior Master

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    Without wanting to sidetrack this above discussion, I appreciate exactly what you are saying Tez regarding zionism and wholly acknowledge your beliefs.

    In my opinion -and that is all it is - zionism (as has been the case with Islam) is a rightthinking body that has been the object of exploitation by those who could care less for what the body believes provided their own nefarious ends are achieved. However Tez, I am in no position, and of no mind to argue, as all I have is my own opinion which is not worth arguing over and certainly is worth far less than any friendship and I hope you would forgive me if I extricated myself from the question :) Janna x

    I will say though that war with Iran - whilst it will not be the will of the peaceable and rightthinking Jewish peoples in Israel - will nonetheless be made to appear as though it has come from Israel. This is exactly the vehicle by which other aggressor nations (as you have suggested) will invite theirselves into the conflict.

    Or I could be wrong. I hope so :)

    Apologies for the digression.
     
  20. Tez3

    Tez3 Sr. Grandmaster

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    Oh dear. I really can't agree with anything you've said but as the tenet of this thread is about something else I'd best let it slide but I will say that people commonly think they know what the Jewish people and Isrealis are about and that they 'understand' the Middle East but very rarely do.123
     

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