Catholic Admin is Blind, Oblivious, or Lying

taumTwo news items reveal how intransigent the Catholic church is in dealing with its abuse issues. The first follows the development of an investigative panel on the abuse of children in Ireland. The initial report was on buried children at Taum.

Church leaders in Galway, western Ireland, have said they had no idea so many children who died at the orphanage had been buried there, and have pledged to support local efforts to mark the spot with a plaque listing all 796 children.

County Galway death records showed that the children, mostly babies and toddlers, had died, often of sickness or disease, during the 35 years the home operated from 1926 to 1961, according to Corless’s research. The building, which had previously been a workhouse for homeless adults, was torn down decades ago to make way for houses.

A 1944 government inspection recorded evidence of malnutrition among some of the 271 children then living in the Tuam orphanage alongside 61 unwed mothers. The death records cited sicknesses, diseases, deformities and premature births as causes. In the first half of the 20th century Ireland had one of the worst infant mortality rates in Europe, with tuberculosis rife.

It was happening all over Ireland. The quote says apparently but it was rampant. Ireland had been destitute with high infant mortality at least since the potato famine of 1845.

The staggering mortality rate of “The Home” was apparently replicated elsewhere in Ireland.

It would seem it’s just disease. Because of long term poverty, lack of cleanliness, and a belief that it was their lot in life.

According to death records, the little ones were fragile, pot-bellied, emaciated and died as late as 1961 from malnutrition and infectious diseases such as measles and TB.

But it was not that there was just insufficient food available. No they were starved, abused, and ostracized.

Special kinds of neglect and abuse were reserved for the Home Babies, as locals call them. Many in surrounding communities remember them. They remember how they were segregated to the fringes of classrooms, and how the local nuns accentuated the differences between them and the others. They remember how, as one local told the Irish Central, they were “usually gone by school age — either adopted or dead.”

According to Irish Central, a 1944 local health board report described the children living at the Home as “emaciated,” “pot-bellied,” “fragile” and with “flesh hanging loosely on limbs.”

How would anyone not know of this happening? How is this startling? With an incredibly long history of poverty and religious wars the only news was when there was a resurgence of wealth followed by a crash, which then made it even more impossible for people to afford to live there.

Unfortunately the over 350,800 children suspected to be in Catholic child mass graves sites in three countries paled in number to Catholic Priest sex abuse victims across the globe. As of November 2013 over ten million Catholic Priest child sex abuse cases have been documented as shown here. These 10,077,574 cases represented a mere fraction of total crimes committed. Only an estimated 10% of sex abuse victims were thought to speak out about their sex abuse and just 10% of those cases saw the inside of a court room.

Having a child out of wedlock was considered evil, beyond  redemptive sin.

Since there was simply no question of the birth mothers keeping their children – the shame was thought too ruinous – they lost all future claim to them. Their punishment was to work without wages for two or three years in atonement for their sins. In the homes they wore uniforms at all times, they had their names changed and they had their letters censored.

Erasure. The living dead without identity.

“When daughters became pregnant, they were ostracized completely,” Corless said. “Families would be afraid of neighbors finding out, because to get pregnant out of marriage was the worst thing on Earth. It was the worst crime a woman could commit, even though a lot of the time it had been because of a rape.”

Children were used for vaccination trials in duplicity. This may seem unimportant since diphtheria in 1930 was the third largest cause of death in children but these tests were done in secret. At the time it was not known whether vaccines were dangerous or not. Desperate measures to counter disease.

‘The fact that no record of these trials can be found in the files relating to the Department of Local Government and Public Health, the Municipal Health Reports relating to Cork and Dublin, or the Wellcome Archives in London, suggests that vaccine trials would not have been acceptable to government, municipal authorities, or the general public.

‘However, the fact that reports of these trials were published in the most prestigious medical journals suggests that this type of human experimentation was largely accepted by medical practitioners and facilitated by authorities in charge of children’s residential institutions.’

Now there is going to be an investigation.

“This was Ireland of the (19)20s to the ’60s — an Ireland that might be portrayed as a glorious and brilliant past, but in its shadows contained all of these personal cases, where people felt ashamed, felt different, were suppressed, dominated,” he said. “And obviously the question of the treatment in the mother and babies homes is a central part of that.”

The inquiry will seek to determine what occurred, rather than try to apportion blame. It will look at the high mortality rates at the homes, the burial practices at these residences, illegal adoptions and whether vaccine trials were conducted on the children.

While this is a good thing I don’t see how it is a surprise to anyone. It’s a bit like wondering if there was slavery in the states and just how much by whom. These “ruinous” events were common. I come from an Irish background on my maternal side. When my great aunt had a child out of wedlock she was forced to live on the farm in shame and never married or had other children. When my aunt had a child out of wedlock, she too was shamed and marriage was forced and she never had another child. When my mother had a child out of wedlock she was told by her parents she could either go back to the farm and stay there forever or leave the country. She left for Switzerland and would have stayed there permanently if she could have but came back 12 years later. Though I was not a bastard child I was always considered different because my mother later married a Jew who left because his family would not tolerate his marrying a gentile.

Religion has been destroying families since its inception. Anyone of age or who has been paying the slightest attention knows how horrible women were treated generally and worse when they had children our of wedlock. The joke “shotgun” marriage is so common as to be a caricature of the disgrace and shame wrought to women who were at first told they couldn’t use birth control and then when they had children were shamed for life.

It’s easy to blame this on the harsh conditions of the world where they were born, somehow traveling like a defect, along genetic lines but it is cultural. The mideast has long had issues with climate and resource shortages. But in Ireland that was not the case. St Patrick’s day is celebrated because he brought Catholicism to England. Did these genes just pass along through the existing population? Was it really the Roman’s fault and then capitalized on by missionaries?

A patriarchal culture invested in misogyny exacerbated the geoeconomic conditions that left men unemployed, depressed, and drunk with women picking up the pieces. Rather than celebrating St Patrick either as veneration or an excuse to party he should be an example of the horrors wrought by missionaries. It would have been far better for the people of Ireland to never have seen a missionary with his platitudes of big families, women are servants, and god saves.

The potato famine wouldn’t have been such an issue if the land wasn’t already so overpopulated they desperately planted potatoes everywhere, abandoning grass farming with its lessor output. The land is best suited to grow grass not carbohydrate heavy crops. It was an ideology of breeding that set them up for failure..

robert carlsonThe second case is the statement by bishop Robert Carlson, previously of St Paul, that he wasn’t aware that it was illegal to sexually abuse children.

In a video released by the St. Paul law firm Jeff Anderson & Associates, the Catholic archbishop is asked whether he had known it was a crime for an adult to engage in sex with a child.

“I’m not sure whether I knew it was a crime or not,” Carlson responded. “I understand today it’s a crime.”

When asked when he first realized it was a crime for an adult — including priests — to have sex with a child, Carlson, 69, shook his head.

“I don’t remember,” he testified.

But he did know.

Yet according to documents released Monday by the law firm Jeff Anderson & Associates in St. Paul, Carlson showed clear knowledge that sexual abuse was a crime when discussing incidents with church officials during his time in Minnesota.

In a 1984 document, for example, Carlson wrote to the then archbishop of St. Paul and Minneapolis, John R. Roach, about one victim of sexual abuse and mentioned that the statute of limitations for filing a claim would not expire for more than two years. He also wrote that the parents of the victim were considering reporting the incident to the police.

Today still they cover their pernicious evils. Over and over again the church fights court orders to provide information and names showing they knew of abuse, they kept the abusers employed and their crimes hidden.

What the news of these investigation across the world does reveal is the Catholic church’s success in hiding their abuse of so many for so long that even after so many cases of pedophilia and abuse have been revealed people are sill surprised to learn more. It has never been just the priests and the boys, women have been treated much worse for much longer.

Catholicism wishes to bury the past so they do not continue to lose its members. Progressive Catholicism is praised but the church still silences those who disagree within the church.

But a recent incident illustrates that the institutional church doesn’t extend that same freedom of religious expression to the many of its followers who dissent from its official position on abortion. The National Catholic Reporter, which is by far the most liberal of the semi-official Catholic publications, refused an ad for my book, Good Catholics: The Battle over Abortion in the Catholic Church, which charts the clashes between pro-choice Catholics and the Catholic hierarchy over whether “good Catholics” can support abortion rights or vote for pro-choice politicians. A spokesperson said the publication couldn’t “respect arguments that try to say that abortion can be a good thing” and likened giving space to abortion dissenters to promoting polygamy.

I’m not sure the person delivering that message grasped the irony of censoring an ad about a book that’s largely about attempts to suppress abortion dissent. The episode is emblematic of how any discussion of abortion has been completely suppressed within the church — even to the point of trying to deny history. Legitimate questions about how to comport Catholic doctrine with competing demands for women’s autonomy and access to health care and the rights of others in pluralistic society have been reduced to aspersions that pro-choice Catholics think abortion is “a good thing.”

If the Catholic church provides moral direction they need a new compass.

Jim Newman, bright and well

Apostasy IS Punishable by Death in Islam

sudan apostasyThe world is shocked that a pregnant Christian woman, Meriam Ibrahim, was sentenced to death in Sudan one of the most “corrupt” countries in the world. Abandoned by her Muslim husband we all cry for her justice, secular justice. What Sudan well points out is the backlash against westernism, in this case a divided christian-islam geography, means a return to the law, Sharia, and that law is not pretty or just.

“We gave you three days to recant but you insist on not returning to Islam. I sentence you to be hanged,” Judge Abbas Mohammed Al-Khalifa told the woman, addressing her by her father’s Muslim name, Adraf Al-Hadi Mohammed Abdullah.

Interesting to think of moderate reaction saying “convert,” better Muslim than dead and then leave the country. Hmm.

“I am a Christian,” Ibrahim fired back, “and I will remain a Christian.”

The court considers her Muslim. Bet FOX News loves this as proof of Christian persecution. Yet, in the US you still better be Christian or some Abrahamic or you fail in politics, work, life unless a zillionaire business person.

While moderates often detail how the Koran says nothing about apostasy and its punishment by death, the hadith is very specific that it is necessary and law. But first let’s look at the Koran as it does have a way out to allow any sort of punishment for apostasy.

But if they repent and establish worship and pay the poor-due, then are they your brethren in religion. We detail our revelations for a people who have knowledge. And if they break their pledges after their treaty (hath been made with you) and assail your religion, then fight the heads of disbelief — Lo! they have no binding oaths in order that they may desist. (9:11,12)[1]

If you repent and worship as a Muslim it is considered a treaty. If you break that treaty then no binding oaths remain and you can punish in any manor so choosen. Whatever it takes to make them stop not following moral behavior.

In the following Koran verse ostracism is legitimized.

“Why are ye two parties about the hypocrites, when God hath overturned them for what they earned? Do ye wish to guide those whom God hath led astray? Whoso God hath led astray ye shall not surely find for him a path. They would fain that ye misbelieve as they misbelieve, that ye might be alike; take ye not patrons from among them until they too fight in God’s way; but if they turn their backs, then seize them wheresoever ye and them, and take from them neither patron nor help” (IV. 90, 91). “O ye who believe! Whoso is turned away from his religion-God will bring (instead) a people whom He loves and who love Him, lowly to. believers, lofty to unbelievers, strenuous in the way of God, fearing not the blame of him who blames” (V.59).

This third verse of the Koran shows that unbelievers will receive the wrath of god. No peace here. No acceptance. For them is  mighty woe. The verse doesn’t explicitly state the people may punish but it does make clear they will feel the wrath of god. If you consider yourself to be the hand of god, god guides you in all things, it is not  a far leap to act in god’s will. To commit the wrath as the acting hand of god.

“Whoso disbelieves in God after having believed, unless it be one who is forced and whose heart is quiet in the faith, – but whoso expands his breast to misbelieve, – on them is wrath from God, and for them is mighty woe! That is because they preferred the love of this world’s life to the next; but verily God guides not the unbelieving people.”

You see this elsewhere as in India’s Zakir Naik, a Muslim teleevangelist on Peace TV, who over and over again talks about how there is peace for all unless they are corrupt in which case all things are allowed. You don’t have to believe you just have to follow, that is the only latitude. Here’s a video of him and how he works. Followed by another video detailing some his mistakes of fact that make him seem smart to those unable to follow his fast talk. Notice how “unless corrupt” sneaks in as a legal loophole.

This cancellation of all legal rights and religious protection too often excuses all manor of wrong. It’s why a western woman who is considered promiscuous or a whore can be raped with impunity–a corrupt person has no rights.

The hadith is a record of what the prophet said and is also considered law. Here there are many supports of death to apostates.

“All the deeds of the apostate become null and void in this world and the next. He must be killed. His wife must be separated from him and he has no claims on any inheritance” (page 155, vol. I, Cairo edition). Ath Tha’alibi (788 A.H.), in his commentary on Sura II, verse 214, leaves no doubt that the verse in question, whatever the grammatical construction may be, demands the death of the apostate. (Cf. vol. i, p.167, Algiers edition, 1323).

For the Sunni, Bhukari is the most sacred text next to the Koran.

Bukhari, volume 9, #17

“Narrated Abdullah: Allah’s Messenger said, “The blood of a Muslim who confesses that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah and that I am His Messenger, cannot be shed except in three cases: in Qisas (equality in punishment) for murder, a married person who commits illegal sexual intercourse and the one who reverts from Islam (Apostate) and leaves the Muslims.”

Bukhari, volume 9, #57

Narrated Ikrima, “Some atheists were brought to Ali and he burnt them. The news of this event, reached Ibn Abbas who said, “If I had been in his place, I would not have burnt them, as Allah’s messenger forbade it, saying, “Do not punish anybody with Allah’s punishment (fire).” I would have killed them according to the statement of Allah’s Messenger, “Whoever changed his Islamic religion, then kill him.”

Bukhari, volume 9, #58

Narrated Abu Burda, “Abu Musa said…..Behold there was a fettered man beside Abu Musa. Muadh asked, “Who is this (man)?” Abu Musa said, “He was a Jew and became a Muslim and then reverted back to Judaism.” Then Abu Musa requested Muadh to sit down but Muadh said, “I will not sit down till he has been killed. This is the judgment of Allah and his messenger,” and repeated it thrice. Then Abu Musa ordered that the man be killed, and he was killed. Abu Musa added, “Then we discussed the night prayers …..

Over and over again both in history and hadith apostasy has been punishable by death. The entire point in Islam was world conversion, domination. Unbelievers were allowed to live side by side only as long as they practiced the religion. Love of education was religious education. Moderate interpreters might sneak in secular education as understanding but not support. So, yes in more enlightened medieval Islamic communities you could for example be a Jew in Islam but you had to follow Islamic custom. The arguments used against the death penalty often rely on only Mohammed’s ability to kill as punishment. Yet, Mohammed’s words and actions are law in Islam. This Catch-22 is unavoidable.

The texts must change or be abandoned for there to be peace and that seems unlikely. The immutability of eternal religious law is at question here.

Hitchens in debate noted that moderate Christians and reformed Jews avoid their heinous written laws by contextualizing them yet castigate secularists for being moral relativists or situationalists. Christians don’t do condoned slavery any more, nor eye for eye, yet their laws are permanent? This is an Abrahamic problem involving all three of the great religions. As an outsider I have to say fundamental Islam is being the most true to itself if that is the point.

If for no other reason this is just cause for apostasy in all Abrahamics. The laws must change!

“‘Adultery’ and ‘apostasy’ are acts which should not be considered crimes at all, let alone meet the international standard of ‘most serious crimes’ in relation to the death penalty. It is a flagrant breach of international human rights law,” the researcher said.

Jim Newman, bright and well

Christians, Not Atheists, are Thin Skinned

thin skinned christianDallas News posts opinion that it is Christians that are hypersensitive to contrary views.

Will, in his article about public prayer and thin skins, seems to make the assumption that it is the atheists who have the thin skins and who need to get over being so “prickly.” His assumption does not totally match with reality. Should Mr. Will care to look at some history, he would find that when prayers other than Christian are given, many times it is the Christians who yelp in protest.

A prominent example of this was when, in 2007, a Hindu gave the opening prayer for the U.S. House, over the sound of hecklers from the gallery and over the protest of a prominent Christian group. Another such example occurred in Arizona when an atheist Arizona representative gave the opening prayer for the 2013 session of Arizona’s Legislature. Two days later, a group of Christian Arizona representatives gathered together to offer up prayers of repentance.

While this does not always happen, time after time, those walking out of prayers by non-Christians or protesting such prayers are Christians, not atheists. I think that Mr. Will has a blind spot generated by his being part of the majority religion.

A commentor reminds of what the bible says about prayer.

“When you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.” -Matthew 6:5-6

Aside from the futility of musing the bible to convince non biblical people to behave a certain way… This passage is sometimes interpreted as Christians having to pray out of sight because of persecution. But it’s more about sincerity, humility, and a personal relationship with god.

1 Then said Jesus to the crowds and to his disciples, 2 “The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses’ seat; 3 so practice and observe whatever they tell you, but not what they do; for they preach, but do not practice. 4 They bind heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with their finger. 5 They do all their deeds to be seen by men; for they make their phylacteries broad and their fringes long, 6 and they love the place of honor at feasts and the best seats in the synagogues, 7 and salutations in the market places, and being called rabbi by men. 8 But you are not to be called rabbi, for you have one teacher, and you are all brethren. 9 And call no man your father on earth, for you have one Father, who is in heaven. 10 Neither be called masters, for you have one master, the Christ. 11 He who is greatest among you shall be your servant; 12 whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.

The transition of christianity from a people’s religion to a state religion meant making  a big, mandatory show and spectacle. Combine that with evangelicalism’s need to convert the world and all humility and fact checking is lost. Religion can’t be private if everyone is to be “saved.” Religion must be magical to make it powerful in a time of magic where mystery is under every rock. All that’s left is perceived offense.

Mathew creates much confusion in the church as he seems both accommodating to Judaism and gentiles, tradition and innovation, legalism and individualism, apocalypse or not. Whatever you seek you will find in Mathew. It’s  a terrible book with which to govern people’s belief, indicative of the kind of cloudy thinking meant to convert but confounds.

What is clear is the common christian desire to be insulated from criticism because they are certain they have the truth, the only truth. Not surprising when you consider it used to be law and democracy is antithetical to theocracy. Democracy only works in christian religion if everyone already agrees.

Richard Carrier (SMOA 013) discusses this in his book “Not the Impossible Faith.”

Jim Newman, bright and well

Pope Francis Pees on Nuns

pope and nunsOnce again proving our new pope puppy Francis acts friendly but pees on you when picked up Maureen Dowd sees the “malice towards nuns” within.

The cool pope suddenly doesn’t seem so cool, allowing Rome’s grand inquisitors to torque up the derogation this Mother’s Day of the American sisters who have mothered so many — even as an endless parade of ghoulish priests were shielded as they defiled vulnerable kids in their care.

Pope Benedict’s Vatican was determined to rein in American nuns inspired by Vatican II, accusing them of pushing “radical feminist themes” and caring for the sick instead of parroting church teaching opposing contraception, gay relationships and the ordination of women.

Yep, those nuns just don’t get it. They keep working on social justice issues, helping people, making even Buddhism look like a narcissistic belly-gazing boys club. Clearly, these women aren’t Christian. Clearly Vatican II really was a mistaken liberalization of women.

On Monday, we learned that German Cardinal Gerhard Müller, the Vatican orthodoxy watchdog, upbraided the officers of the largest group of American nuns, the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, which has already been investigated and reprimanded by Rome. He objected to their plan to honor Sister Elizabeth Johnson, a Fordham theology professor who has written that women are uncomfortable with “the dominant images of God as father, lord, and king” and would prefer “non-authoritarian” female language for God.

Last year Pope Francis said he would let the Vatican’s coercive reform of the nuns’ group continue. And this past week, he was silent following Müller’s mauling of the nuns.

The pope is proving true the adage that sexism is the last frontier of human rights–don’t even dream of animal rights much less planetary rights. Whether the male rights activist block in the atheists or the Catholics or the Protestants or the Buddhists or the Hindi or the Muslim it’s certain the women are still being bashed around with astounding consistency and breadth.

“This latest slapdown raises a big question about Pope Francis’s character,” said Kenneth Briggs, the author of “Double Crossed: Uncovering the Catholic Church’s Betrayal of American Nuns.” “Is he content projecting a Mr. Nice Guy image while giving the green light to the Vatican big boys to pursue a hard line? Is he the butterfly who delights everybody, or is he also the strong arm?”

Although the 77-year-old pope has said that women could gain greater power in the church, other comments have been typically atavistic. While praising women for their “sensitivity,” “intuition” and mothering skills, he said flatly that women’s ordination to the priesthood “is not a question open to discussion.”

The pope does send ambiguous messages but which is the real one?

Vallely told me that the pope is “intent on sending ambiguous signals in certain areas.”

He did not contradict Cardinal Müller “because that would be sending out a liberal message rather than an inclusive message,” the biographer said. But in June, the pope reportedly told a group of nuns and priests from Latin America not to worry if they heard from the orthodoxy enforcers because “this will pass!”

Vallely said that the pope was allowing the liberal German Cardinal Walter Kasper to make speeches on changing the rules to allow divorced Catholics to take Communion at the same time he’s allowing conservatives to oppose the same thing. He chose a liberal pope for sainthood to balance the conservative, pedophile-shielding pope.

“The thing he really hates is the way the papacy used to work like a medieval monarchy,” Vallely said. “He wants the church to reach decisions slowly, by conversations within the church. He wants to hear all the different voices. He’s letting a thousand flowers bloom.

At the end of the day the pope still represents and foments the authoritarian, patriarchal, female hating church that bred him.

Or not. Women, gays and dissident Catholics who had fresh hope are going to have to face the reality that while this pope is a huge improvement on the last, the intolerance is still there.

We are still going to be discriminated against, but with a smile instead of a frown.

Hmm, I am  not sure he’s an improvement. At least with the last pope I knew better than to pick him up and hold him close. This one just pees on everyone when they least expect it and the stains just don’t come off.

Jim Newman, bright and well

Moderate Abrahamics Bluster but do Nothing

talk is cheapThe news is full of moderate Muslims and Christians, as well as backtracking radicals, deploring the assignment of harm by Boko Haram to Islam. “That’s not Islam. That’s not my Islam.”  That would be fine but what is Islam? They insist they know yet whenever any attribute is assigned to Islam some group somewhere says that’s not Islam. I’d really like to know what we’re talking about when we talk about Islam. Otherwise it’s just a ramshackle collection of sects and cults that just do as they please and call it Islam–Islam cannot even define itself other than banal and incoherent generalities meaning anything to anyone.

How many people, sects and countries, have to avow their abusive acts as religiously-based righteousness before moderates accept their religion is a problem, too easy to distort?

Catholicism isn’t much better as even the Vatican has said they have such loose control over their leaders and members they couldn’t have possibly done much better dealing with their flagrant sexual abuse issues, much less the many other abuses that no doubt occur, which we don’t even hear about since pedophilia is such sensational news and such caustic abuse. I mean laundering funds, pyramid schemes of donations, and just banal casual abuse typical from those having too much power. The new pope apologizes but also says he has no real power. How can he apologize unless he had some say in it? Just more hand wringing, pointless prayer, and verbal appeal.

These moderates of all abrahamic religious ilk and most others bluster but do little. They will send a few people, make a few threats, and go on with their own business. There’s no money in Nigeria, no one really cares. The  best thing that will come of it will be a good movie like the genocide in Rwanda inspired. Christian evangelicals will flock to Nigeria hoping to convert many sure that their religion is superior to Islam replacing outright abuse with hidden abuse as Christians are so want to do.

If the moderates deplore the extremists and fundamentalists so greatly why do they not control their members?

Seems like the point of a religion is to make people and the world better. From what I can see, what is evidenced, it allows renegades and petty dictators free reign under an umbrella of goodness and spiritual law. It has no means of policing itself. God or Allah certainly hasn’t shown up to help.

What will the moderate Islamics and Muslims do to stop the violence of their self-avowed members?

They can’t ostracize them as everyone must be a Muslim. Apostasy is worse than the worst infraction–death before apostasy. And leaving the group means there is no control whatsoever. They can’t seem to fight this as they fall all over themselves accommodating them thinking that tolerance of their abuse is righteous because peace is what they want and peace means ignoring violence but for exhortations. All of these religions need a new modern prophet, a new modern bible or koran, a new word of law that actually does good, is coherent. A canon of sacred text that isn’t so damned contradictory and vile that one can do anything and find literal and figurative support.

They have no interest in policing others because then they wold have to police themselves and that would be a criticism of Islam, other Muslims without authority–Christianity, the same. While the Hadith and local law are certainly used to allow near any deviation they are not used to stop near any deviation. The koran will be battered about in translation errors. The violence will continue. The moderates will pray and talk to the media  and like pissing into the wind it will only make them look more stupid and ineffectual.

Jim Newman, bright and well

Related articles.

Why Islam is the Issue when Discussing Islam

moderate_muslimIt’s getting so popular now for moderate (?) Muslims to say “not like us,” or “they aren’t good Muslims.” Just what is a good Muslim? Hell, what is a good Christian? What is a good atheist? I am not even sure “what is a good tractor mechanic?” Huh, really? A good tractor mechanic is one who can do their job–fix the tractor, do it when promised, and charge a fair price.

Why is it so hard to evaluate religious mechanics?

What are the means of evaluating a religion, a religious person? It seems obvious what we do with a tractor mechanic. Why is it so hard to evaluate the religious?

The have no standards of excellence. They have no spec sheet that is clear, concise, and able to be revised. There are no standards of a good religion by which to compare and evaluate.

It’s all in the mind and can have no evaluation because there’s nothing there to evaluate but one’s own perception, regardless of how reckless or wild? No, in spite of god or a revelation if such beliefs made us better we would adopt such phantasms. Or at least make recommendations allowing for variance due to personal freedom, so long as harm to others is absent.

5 Facts Islamophobia Deniers Just Don’t Get”

1. No, Islam is not above criticism — it never was and never will be — and neither are Islamophobia deniers

Really? Islam is like all other religions that insist they are true regardless? Only if one denies the religion can it be criticized. That there is a Vatican that attenuates the pope doesn’t mean the canon-bible can be criticized. Just because some parts of a sacred text allows doubting doesn’t deny that other parts don’t. Let’s just evaluate the texts openly by all and see the free for all. Hell, whether the prophet comes from one brother or another incites insane violence.

Since Islam does allow local courts and rules it does by tolerance allow blasphemy laws and all the rest. If you want some sort of local rights should they be able to disavow the most important and basic tenants of the big religion. What you’re saying here is Islam is so renegade it can’t modify local deviance even at its most immoral.

2. The ones denying Islamophobia are often the ones creating it most.

Prove that fear of Islam is unnecessary. Show us how people who follow Islam are better able to live in peace. Show us that it is at least a bit more successful than not having a religion in making people better. Let’s just study it and do the math. If it is shown to be the best at morality then maybe I’ll join or at least praise. Until then it’s just another renegade religion running havoc over the world.

3. We get it. Some Muslims over use the Islamophobia label.

I don’t so much care if an oppressed people make random remarks against their oppressor. I do care when bullies say they are oppressed. Civility is appropriate while addressing greater concerns. Mocking may be necessary but again in the right arena. I write a mean word but I insist on politeness in public.

4. There’s a right way and wrong way to point out something isn’t Islamophobia.

The wrong way is to deny its existence? I definitely think there is Islamophobia. Usually by wing nut right wingers who haven’t a clue what Islam or the Koran are but just hate others. By studying a religion, its tenants, practices, and results one can evaluate a religion, any religion. At that pojnt recommendations may be made. One can say smoking is bad for you because the Book of Mormon says so or one can do studies that show smoking causes cancer. The first is nonsense and the second is legitimate. Why? Smoking was being castigated by Mormons before they even knew whether it had health benefits of not–it was a call to Protestant deprivation and had nothing to do with health.

I know we’re all just people. But isn’t the point that religion is a tool to make us better people, which can be evaluated.

5. Islamophobia deniers are just as skewed as those who overuse the term.

Yep we’re all biased. So lets get a crew of our best minds out there evaluating religions and their effects on society. Whatever they decide we’ll take as best practice. Are you willing to change your mind? Or is the only real possibility isolation, separatism, and competition on the wrong level?

Jim Newman, bright and well