Saturday, December 22, 2007

Kidding?


I know, I know. They say you should never discuss religion or politics. I'll never learn, will I?

A fellow blogger (thanks H!) posted a link to an article about a devout muslim guy in Canada who killed his daughter because she didn't want to wear her hijab (head scarf). Of course we can all agree that this is a pretty extreme case, and that most folks wouldn't react this way. It's turbo-fundamentalism, and just plain insane, right?

The Quran and the Bible are chock full of passages that, to our 21st century western minds, seem absurdly violent and misogynistic. From the Quran:

4:34- Men are in charge of women, because Allah hath made the one of them to
excel the other, and because they spend of their property (for the support of
women). So good women are the obedient, guarding in secret that which Allah hath guarded. As for those from whom ye fear rebellion, admonish them and banish them to beds apart, and scourge [whip] them.


From the Bible:

Leviticus 21:9- And the daughter of any priest, if she profane herself by playing the whore, she profaneth her father: she shall be burnt with fire.

And those quotes don't even begin to scratch the surface of all the violent, bizarre, cruel, stuff you'll find in there (mixed in with the good stuff, of course). So, faced with that, what are we to think? Only the most devout, hardcore fanatic would do exactly as their holy book commands (and they would probably be jailed for doing it) right???

Well... Yeah, probably.

So, most religious people in the west practice a more moderate and relaxed version of their faith. I mean, does anyone actually avoid shellfish because they are "abominations?" Do you kill your kids when they "curseth" you? Do you murder people whose beliefs differ from your own? Do you ladies go into exile when menstruating? The books say you should...

But, what I want to know is, if these holy books are the WORD OF GOD, is it OK for us mere mortals to pick and choose which parts we want to follow and which we would rather ignore? That doesn't seem like a very good idea. I would think that it's an either/or kind of deal: either you do exactly as He says, or don't get to be in the club. Am I wrong in thinking that?

14 comments:

david gemmill said...

most religions are cultural interpretations of a divine force or whatever else. all sects of religion are based out of culture, and probably also have an influence of a conjunctive governing power so that both are aligned as far as lawmaking and rules go. Why apply hebrew or muslim history to modern day capitalist america? why are people scientologists? who knows. people are weak insecure and unsure of themselves and need someone to tell them what to do and how to live. But when you take all the basic fundamentals of most all religions with the specifics aside, they all seem to say the same thing. the golden rule, moderation, etc. its not "the word of god", its just common sense.

but i dont know what i'm talking about. ha. i just want to make funny cartoons.

oh yeah. happy holidaze....

Anonymous said...

You know I couldn't pass this up. As the guy who puts the mental in fundamental, I've wrestled with this question myself. From the logical point of view, if man gets to decide what to God's word or not then isn't he putting himself at the level of God? Didn't man already do that when he decided what would be in the Bible or not? Then what do you do with all the silly, sometimes cruel, and sometimes deadly things that are described in religious books? As an aside, my knowledge is mostly of the Bible so I can't speak coherently on other religions. If you're a Mormon, the leader of the church is called the Prophet and he is still considering to be prophesying. He can make announcements and adjustments to the written word of God. So, God, in essence, can make alterations to the Word to keep in line with the current times. For people like me, not a Mormon, we have to justify the Old vs New Testament. It essentially comes down to Jesus. The nearly 700 laws in the Old Testament were there to demonstrate that people can not be "holy" on their own and needed the grace of Jesus. So, we get around the question by saying Jesus provides "new" way of following God. Of course, that doesn't answer historical question like 1. How old is the earth/universe? 2. How can a loving God destroy whole groups of people including women and children? 3. How can God destroy everyone/thing except for Noah and his family and the animals they brought on board? Those are questions for a different blog. Lastly,, Christians like all people are sinners, liars etc. Some people also put on the sheep's clothing and are really wolves. And finally, people can become confused and commit atrocities in the name of religion (the inquisition). Fortunately we live in a great country and people can choose to practice Wicca, Islam, Christianity, Janism, or nothing.

That's all for now, I am sure I will reply to someone else's reply

Peace,

Matt

Sharon Spotbottom said...

A human wrote those books.

Dominic said...

He always was and always will be kidding.

Anonymous said...

The better question to ask is not whether to follow the words exactly, but why do we as westerners tolerate such intolerance on the part of anybody? If any Christian group strictly followed the more absurd rules of the Old Testament they would be subject to no end of scorn and obloquy. The same is not true for Islam. In the UK, nurses at the National Health Service have been ordered to turn patient’s beds towards Mecca five times daily and women are being given hymen restoration operations at the taxpayers’s expense so they won’t be subject to honor killings in their arranged marriages.

Even worse we allow traditional western values such as free speech to be subordinate to all encompassing multiculturalism, moral equivalence and hypertolerance. Here in the US idiots like Tim Robbins rattle on about “a chill wind” stifling dissent in this country while speaking he is speaking in front of the National Press Club in Washington while Theo Van Gogh is murdered in Amsterdam for making a film critical of Islam.

Right now Mark Steyn and Maclean’s magazine have been brought up in front of the Canadian Human Rights Commission and the British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal at the behest of the Canadian Islamic Congress for merely publishing excerpts from Steyn’s book America Alone for, among other things, stating the following: “A Muslim continent! The number of Muslims is expanding like mosquitoes”! The CIC ignores that Steyn is merely accurately quoting Mullah Krekar—a jihadist currently residing in Norway. All criticism of Islam must be quashed under the catch-all grievance of promoting Islamiphobia.

Just a few days ago liberal pundit Larry O’Donnell was savaging Mormons as a being part of a “ridiculous religion”. He then made the following admission on the Hugh Hewitt show:
HH: Would you say the same things about Mohammed as you just said about Joseph Smith?
LO’D: Oh, well, I’m afraid of what the…that’s where I’m really afraid. I would like to criticize Islam much more than I do publicly, but I’m afraid for my life if I do.
HH: Well, that’s candid.
LO’D: Mormons are the nicest people in the world. They’re not going to ever…
HH: So you can be bigoted towards Mormons, because they’ll just send you a strudel.
LO’D: They’ll never take a shot at me. Those other people, I’m not going to say a word about them.
HH: They’ll send you a strudel. The Mormons will bake you a cake and be nice to you.
LO’D: I agree.
HH: Lawrence O’Donnell, I appreciate your candor.

Suggested reading on this topic: Mark Steyn’s America Alone, Bruce Bawer’s While Europe Slept and Melanie Phillips’ Londinistan.

Kenny P. said...

Amen, brother! Preach on!

Kowtowing to religious zealots is going to be the ruin of western civilization (and probably the whole world-- that is, if Mother Nature doesn't find a way to do it first). But, hey, it gets votes for the republicans, so why not? What's the harm, right?

(I get bonus points for working politics into this.)

Ms. Kelley-Lossada said...

You go Kenny! :)

I have always thought the written words of the big three (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam) were just control tactics for the time in which they were written and cannot completely apply to the modern era.

And I have always wondered why no one ever considers the positive passages of those texts (especially the Koran) in which women are allowed to own property (yes, WAY back in the 700s) and get divorced from their husbands. This was unheard of in any civilization up to the late 19th century. Instead we get to hear about the extreme misogyny which likely only happens in 1/10th of 1% of so-called believer's homes.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately the multiculturalism that erodes these values of western society is very much a product of the left.

Kenny P. said...

But, the republican party selling out to the religious right for a few votes is good 'n healthy for western civilization, isn't it? Nothing like a little armageddon-lust in the pentagon, eh?

Anonymous said...

What does selling out to the religious right entail? Am I required to attend services?

Here are a couple sell outs:

The Democrats sell out every child in this nation by supporting the corrupt teachers’ unions—that’s why our public schools are abysmal and the poor have no choice but to leave their kids in failed schools.

The Democrats will not address the cost of health care (they want to address the PRICE--by just making someone else pay for it) through broad federal tort reform and malpractice caps because of their fealty to the trial lawyers.

The Democrats are currently proposing $2.1 trillion in tax hikes between 2008 and 2017. In your opinion does that lead to enhanced economic growth?

As a conservative I am no fan of the religious right, but I pick more realistic devils to resist.

not anonymous said...

And what have the Republicans in Congress done to improve anything since 1994?

NOTHING.

Then again they believe that "the government is best which governs least" blah blah blah... then complains when nothing is working in government.

Holley T said...

matt-the mental in fundamental??? I giggled, I admit it :)

david also makes a great point:But when you take all the basic fundamentals of most all religions with the specifics aside, they all seem to say the same thing. the golden rule, moderation, etc. its not "the word of god", its just common sense.

the comment I've liked the most so far....Sharon's: A human wrote those books.

I feel somewhat like a broken record when I say, again, I don't like fundamentalism of any flavor. Doesn't matter. Following blindly, whether in a car or a pew, makes you a dangerous person.

Anonymous said...

Not anonymous:

You are quite wrong. The Republicans since 1994 have done a few very good things--welfare reform (which Clinton threatened to veto and has since been and astounding success), lowering of the capital gains rate which triggered a great deal of wealth producing economic activity and lowering of taxes and the eventual elimination of the estate tax.

Past that they started acting like the Democrats they replaced and deserved to lose in 2006.

Naturally the Democrats will take all that back and you can just enjoy lower economic growth and more nanny statism.

not anonymous said...

So when Republicans do bad things, they're a acting like Democrats?!

Just like Bush - acting like a liberal, right?

Oh, please. You're delusional.