Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Answering some questions with my opinions

 These questions all came from a commenter to my blog. Rather than try to answer them in comments, way too lengthy, I decided to put them here with my take on the answers.

Would it be all right to build a memorial to Hitler at Auschwitz?
No, it would also not be okay to build one to bin Laden anywhere in the United States either. Islam is not what did 9/11. It was a terrorist group within Islam, and they are who we should hunt and take out and which we have not totally done, not even gotten their leader. Why did Bush say when he turned away from getting bin Laden at Tora Bora that it wasn't that big a deal to get him, that he was nothing in the big picture? What was the big picture really about for him and those who wanted to go to war in Iraq to protect.. yeah, you got it, Muslims, the one who are all out to get us according to the reasoning of some today in our country.

Doesn't it sound a little schizophrenic for some Americans to claim we are going to war to protect... Muslims... when Muslims are not ever moderates and they all want sharia law in the United States and secretly want to take us over??? [Someone didn't like the word protect here for our goals in these wars. Well, once we took out Saddam, we justified staying to bring them stability (not likely we will), freedom and democracy (which means right to choose their own religion and government). Since most of them choose to be Muslims, what I said still goes.]

Can the Roman Catholic Church build a church in Mecca?
A non-Muslim cannot enter Mecca which obviously means no churches of any other religion. Could someone build a Baptist church on Vatican ground? Not likely.

Do you know what Taqqiya is?
Yes, I do and have answered that question more extensively elsewhere in the earlier blog. To believe Obama has spent his life pretending to be non-Muslim so he could someday be elected president, while he stupidly joined a church that didn't exactly preach love of this country, requires a stretch of the imagination beyond mine. And if the question pertains to the imam who has been writing all the books about the importance of a loving view not one of hate and trying to moderate Islam to make it work for today, well he's not pretending to be a non-Muslim. It also only permits it under perilous conditions, like say capture by an enemy who would kill you if you admitted your true faith. 

Before anybody brings up hoodna, which means ceasefire and can be pretending to have one, I don't see it applies either because it's not some uniquely Muslim trick. Don't we all know about those who use dishonest tactics to win wars. Ask the Native Americans about some of that.

Can a follower of Islam leave the religion to become a Christian?
Anybody can leave any church if they live in the United States. If you live in a Muslim controlled country, it's a killing offense to become Christian whether you were Muslim first or not. Recently some doctors were murdered in northern Afghanistan just because the Taliban 'thought' they were preaching Christianity when they were not.

In any community, sometimes we pay a price if we leave a particular religion. I know about that given having left two myself. You lose friends. The churches say you are going to hell. I guess I'll know about that after I die... maybe.

Do you know that it is the DUTY of all Muslims to see that Sharia law is the law of the land everywhere?
Where did you read this, from Breitbart and his ilk? It's in all the right wing sites but the Muslims I have known have no desire to live under the kinds of laws they have in rigid Muslim countries. Read 'Reading Lolita in Tehran' about a moderate Muslim woman in Iran before Khomeni came back and how she lived, what she wanted. She didn't like the Shah and like so many welcomed Khomeni then getting the shock of her life what that meant to her, to education (she was a teacher) and to her country. Not all Muslims want any one thing anymore than all Christians. You know within Christianity there is a wide span of beliefs including some to keep the hair of women covered. It doesn't make it true of all Christians.

Do you know that they are now calling it the Cordoba House for a reason? Research Cordoba Spain to understand why.
I wrote about this in that earlier blog and won't repeat it all again. Cordoba was taken by the Arabs and became a cultural highpoint for a number of years with a great library and a lot more importance on culture and education than many in Europe at that time. It went under bad leadership and eventually was lost to Spain when the territory was reconquered. [If you read much about Goya's history, you learn a lot about what Spain has gone through culturally until very recent times.]

I don't know but guess they wanted to call it that hoping it would be that for their people; and maybe since at that time period Spain was also occupied by Catholics and Jews; so a very diverse place culturally, they thought it could do that again for that neighborhood. It's what their plan laid out... But hey what the heck, since they have 6 floors that nobody knows what they'd be used for, Breitbart has 'proof' it is really about forcing Sharia law onto everybody in the United States. Amazing what that man 'knows'... Even more amazing why people believe him with no proof. It will now be called Park 51, I think, given the flak over daring to name a Muslim building for a high point in Muslim culture.

And finally:

Why do we have to be tolerant of a religion that is anything but tolerant toward every other religion on the face of the earth?
Mainly this is because we have believed in freedom of religion in this country. It is in our Constitution where many other countries have not had any such idea. It was about freedom of worship and that didn't mean between just Baptist or Catholic even back then. We are not Saudi Arabia or a nation that has believed one religion should be in control. It sounds like a certain percentage of Americans would like to change that. I hope if they do, that they remember that Christianity has its own tradition of misusing power historically.

The answers to all of these questions are important to any discussion about the Ground Zero mosque.
Yes, they are mainly because this is about something a lot bigger than where one building is put.

Do the earlier verses of the Qu'ran have the same meaning as the newer versions? Or do the newer ones replace the older ones? Any idea why that's an important question?
Most religions have changes in the texts from their earliest translations. Sometimes that is because culturally the country that reads them has changed and they want the text to slant that direction. A good example in our Christian Bible is the Old Testament and the only text in the Scriptures that refers to abortion. The earliest translations, King James, is very different than the later ones. I would guess (and have seen articles indicating it) that the Qu'ran is the same. I have also heard that it differs in translations from one country to another or probably from Sunni to Shiite.  If you want to find violent texts in scriptures, the Bible has plenty to satisfy the needs. I am also guessing your question has some context in a right wing blogger who is saying that today's translations of the Qu-ran are purposely toned down to fool the world. Sounds pretty dishonest and hard to prove but since there are many current translations of any sacred scripture, who knows for sure or can prove it. We believe what we want to believe.

How about the honor killings that have taken place in this country? Including the one where the 'moderate Muslim' killed his wife in, I believe, Philly?
Yeah he stabbed her to death when she left him and wanted to divorce him. Not just religious men do that kind of thing. How about the same thing with the Hindus killing their daughters if they didn't agree to marry who they wanted, buried one alive as punishment, paid for murders over in India from US Hindus as part of saving the family honor? How about the Christians who have used their Christianity to deny their children medical care like say if they are diabetic, leading to the death of the children? Catholic Church covering up the rape of children by their priests? How about the Mormons who took Joseph Smith at his word and decided to murder the wife of one of them because they decided god had ordered it? Or even more so, Mountain Meadows Massacre. If you want to look at abuses of religion, I don't think you will find any exceptions.

Or how about 'moderate Muslim' raped his wife and kept her a virtual prisoner... and an idiotic judge said it was okay because he was living by Sharia law?
First of all for both these questions, how did you hear these guys were moderates? What defines being a moderate in your eyes?

And that judge might find his decision overturned. I have seen some pretty horrendous decisions even from our Supreme Court (like that a corporation is the same as a citizen). I don't defend any judges in this country as they can all do good or bad and it just depends. But Sharia law is NOT the law of our land and if someone breaks our laws, I think, like the parents who denied their child insulin, that they should pay a criminal price. Incidentally, those parents got off with probation for the one parent and not much more time for the other on religious grounds. Horrible decision in my opinion.

If you don't want to answer my questions about Islam, how about answering the first question I asked instead of going off on a tangent about Obama and the Bushes?
It was NOT a tangent. It was directly replying to the question of having permission to pretend to be a Christian. If that was not about Obama, who was it about? And the story about Bush wanting 9/11 to happen is out there and believed by many as part of his plan to get to attack Iraq which he has been said to be planning since the day he took office. When you talk wild conspiracies, they can go left or right.

Would it be all right to build a memorial to Hitler at Auschwitz? Or, how about a Japanese 'cultural center' at Pearl Harbor?
You are basically saying that you do believe all Islamic people are responsible for 9/11 or all Japanese anywhere responsible for Pearl Harbor. People who thought like you put the Japanese living on the West Coast at that time into concentration camps, confiscated their property. Is this where you are heading with your rhetoric?

Here is the thing about freedom of religion. It applies to all or eventually to none. Every single religion has things it has had done in its name that are evil. The people, like me, who do not like religion, could easily say, if we gained enough numbers, we want no more tax deductions for donations to churches, no more free taxes on their structures, and we could go beyond it someday and say no churches as they take up valuable ground. You folks can meet in your homes. We could decide that the Christian religion does bad things. They bomb abortion clinics, kill doctors sometimes, let their leaders rape children, don't give their own children medical care. After all, it is all of them if it's a few, right?

If anybody else is interested in tackling these questions, I am open to hearing your opinion.  People need to think long and hard on where they want this country to go and these are important things to debate. They are about a lot more than one building. It doesn't take much sometimes to get people stirred up into mob levels. One more attack by al Qaeda could easily push it over the edge, and we all know one more attack is possible. Our country turning on all the Muslims living here would suit somebody just fine and you know who I mean...


Bumps Stump said...

Hi Rain . . . Great blog. Don't know how you keep up. Such terrific writing. Smart. Consice. Amazing.

I tried to answer your questions on my blog rather than your comments section.

Sorry to be so long winded, but you sure have a lot of questions.

Please try this link.

Bumps Stump said...

Hi Rain . . . I printed your blog in black and white. Your purple and green came out black. Sorry it skewed my comments. I read the blog off the paper and not the computer.

Another matter. I think I've gone too far in blaming ALL Islam because the terrorists have not been ACTIVELY OPPOSED by more reasonable Muslims. I've sinse found that my blanket condemnation does not describe the situation very well.

I definitely have a problem considering Islam to be a religion. When SHARIA is advocated in any way, Islam becomes a POLITICAL movement.

When the gross penalties for illegal conduct are required by Sharia Law, the result is revolting and often inhuman.

When women are so badly abused in a Islamic social group, it is wrong and certainly does not indicate the more common liberation and equal status of women in the modern world.

But I am gradually learning that there are substantial numbers of moderate Muslims who are seeking to join our century. They really are trying to condemn the old ways and begin the new. They need help.

My next chore will be to find out why this movement to catch up and practice civilized behavior has not made more and faster progress.

Put your feet in the stream and enjoy the summer.


Anonymous said...

Here is a question: What followers of a single religion are fomenting a lot of death and destruction around the world It isn't Christianity or Judaism. Care to guess?

Rain said...

Religions can be distorted and misused. What religion killed those accused of being witches-- estimated 50,000 killed? This still incidentally happens today in some countries where superstition rules. A woman (and they mostly were women) maybe helps birth or knows about herbs and when anything goes wrong in a village, she was targeted. Sometimes it was for property that someone else wanted (Salem witches).

So yes, today Islam is being misused by some to encourage people to blow themselves up or to start wars. Those in that religion, who do not agree, should call it out for what it is as should those in any religion that misuses its power...

I have said it before and likely will again that religion has been much misused and it's hard to say how many humans have been murdered in holy wars through mankind's history, how many were destroyed like the Jews during the Holocaust and all in the name of some religion. It's not my only reason for disliking religion but it certainly is one that made the founders of this country leery of religious power and why they made such a point of freedom of religion. They had seen its abuse.

Kay Dennison said...

Your answers are excellent!!!!

And don't forget that 6 million Jews died at the behest of a mad man who was ostensibly a Christian.

Anonymous said...

Let's put this in the nicest way possible:
That's demonstrably not true Kay.
Please, let's start trying to unite this country, rather than deceitfully trying to divide it.

Rain said...

What Kay said is demonstrably true, anonymous, and it's why people worry about those like Glenn Beck today. Hear me out on this. What starts out one way, talking one way, ends up often being another which is true of many religions and certainly of Hitler's history where he used Christianity in the beginning to convince people of his good intentions, then when it was too late and when people can see through his other quotes that he thought very differently, he revealed another side. Adolf Hilter's religious views and along with many other sites, you can follow how he changed what he said. The quotes you used are from his later time and when anybody could know he was not a Christian but he might still have used the view some had that the Jews had killed Jesus (something true Christians do not believe and know that it was the Romans because the Jewish leaders had no such power).

My concern when you talk about uniting the country is under what banner? Believing what? Will it take the rest of us accepting the tea party mantra to find unity? Or can the tea party look at history and see that religiosity is not what they want either? Whenever I hear things like Beck's recent talk, I wonder what the real aim is. I do not trust religion and politics together. I don't like it that some are voting for candidates based on their 'religious' talk. And it makes me uneasy because of people like Hitler.

Rain said...

cj, your comment here didn't make the grade either due to the insults of me personally but the imam is not pretending to be of any religion other than what he is. It doesn't fit the word at all.

Since you get all of your information from right wing sites (at least it's what you parrot back as I read them too), it's impossible to talk to you and I agree you are wasting your time. You just can't talk about the issues without slamming someone here and in your case that's been me. I don't need it. You have plenty of places to go where they all see the world through the same prism as you do. I just hope it's not enough to turn this country into a right wing nightmare that benefits only the rich, but who knows. I never overestimate voters.

Ingineer66 said...

Trying to say that Christianity is as dangerous as Islam right now doesn't hold water. Not unless the Pope or Rowen Williams or Franklin Graham start sending off soldiers to murder people in the name of the cross. But Iman's are issuing Fatwahs calling for the death of people they do not agree with. And other Muslim leaders are killing in the name of Allah.
Just because Timothy McVeigh or Adolf Hitler said they were Christians does not mean they were killing in the name of Christ.

And Kay, Hitler also killed another 6 million Gypsies, Homosexuals and handicapped people. That is often forgotten about the Holocaust, Jews were not the only ones rounded up and exterminated.
Hitler was an evil freak that should not be associated with any religion except maybe hero-worship before he was proven to be one of the worst humans that ever lived.

Rain said...

The issue is not that Christianity is today as dangerous. It's that it has been and if it had power,it would be again. Look at its historic record and tell me that's not so. Religion is the problem when it gains political power which is why our founders were so concerned that it not do that.

Nobody, least of all Kay, is suggesting that Islam is not a concern today but the issue is any religion can be when it has too much power.

Rain said...

And the concern many have is that Hitler used fascism to gain power which is religion and patriotism