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Must white Christians be to blame for all the world’s ills?

You’ve got to wonder at our mainstream media, eager to report the shenanigans of a crackpot preacher with a congregation of about 50 families.  Had the media not made an international celebrity out of Terry Jones, few people outside of the neighborhood surrounding his “Dove World Outreach Center” in Gainesville, Florida would have known this publicity-hungry former hotel manager was going to burn a Koran.

And now that he has carried out this juvenile stunt, we’ve seen murder and mayhem in Afghanistan:

Stirred up by a trio of angry mullahs who urged them to avenge the burning of a Koran at Florida church [sic], thousands of protesters overran the compound of the United Nations in this northern Afghan city, killing at least 12 people, Afghan and United Nations officials said…

Unable to find Americans on whom to vent their anger, the mob turned instead on the next-best symbol of Western intrusion — the nearby United Nations headquarters. “Some of our colleagues were just hunted down,” said a spokesman for the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, Kieran Dwyer, confirming that the attack.

Via Daily Caller via Instapundit.)  And “Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.)” has told “CBS’s Bob Schieffer . . . that some members of Congress were considering some kind of action in response to the Florida Quran burning that  sparked a murderous riot at a United Nations complex in Afghanistan and other mayhem.”

“People,” Doug Powers quips, “were murdered in Afghanistan and members of Congress are pondering how to clamp down on somebody who burned a book in Florida. Now that’sproblem solving, DC-style.

What is it about our political and cultural “elite” that they have to pin the blame for a murderous rampage on the antics of self-promoting Christian rogue. It’s as if, they believe, that the worlds ills stem from the actions and attitudes of white Christian males, the very aspects of their culture rejected by the politically correct.

American Christians must be to blame; the foreign other is always blameless.

Look, I won’t defend the actions of Mr. Jones.  But, if you’re going to blame him, you should also blame the news media which gave him a platform.

But, one should also inquire into the “oikophobia” of those like Mr. Reid who focus their ire on the preacher with a miniscule congregation.  Last August, James Taranto explained the concept:

The British philosopher Roger Scruton has coined a term to describe this attitude: oikophobia. Xenophobia is fear of the alien; oikophobia is fear of the familiar: “the disposition, in any conflict, to side with ‘them’ against ‘us’, and the felt need to denigrate the customs, culture and institutions that are identifiably ‘ours.’ ”

UPDATE: RIght after posting this, I caught Ann Althouse’s take on the Nevada Democrat’s comments: “Zero attention is paid to freedom of speech or religious freedom. Neither Schieffer nor Reid gives a damn (or dares to say he gives a damn). Pathetic.” Said diva also offers a link to the transcript of the program.

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201 Comments

  1. How is what he did any different than bible burnings in the 1980′s and pisschrist?

    Comment by RJLigier — April 4, 2011 @ 4:14 am - April 4, 2011

  2. How is what he did any different than bible burnings in the 1980′s and pisschrist?

    Because Christians didn’t rampage and riot because of pisschrist. And yet, somehow, we’re considered worse than the Mohammedans.

    Comment by V the K — April 4, 2011 @ 5:38 am - April 4, 2011

  3. It is totally ridiculous to blame the horrible murders of the UN people by the Afghans on the burning of a book. They should be deploring the actions of this mob instead. We should get out of the Middle East and stop letting American lives be lost. There is a growing holocaust of Christians across the Middle East and Africa for no reason other than they are Christians yet the media says nothing, nothing! Murder, rape, arson, everything – against Christians, and the world again remains silent.

    Comment by Krystal — April 4, 2011 @ 7:36 am - April 4, 2011

  4. V the K got it.

    You can’t stop barbarians from being barbarians, so better to shut up civilized people, so they don’t commit the cardnial sin of ‘offending’.

    Comment by The_Livewire — April 4, 2011 @ 7:46 am - April 4, 2011

  5. How is what he did any different than bible burnings in the 1980′s and pisschrist?

    Those things didn’t offend any Designated Victim Groups.

    Comment by Jim Treacher — April 4, 2011 @ 8:14 am - April 4, 2011

  6. What is it about our political and cultural “elite” that they have to pin the blame for a murderous rampage on the antics of self-promoting Christian rogue. It’s as if, they believe, that the worlds ills stem from the actions and attitudes of white Christian males, the very aspects of their culture rejected by the politically correct.

    There is a pretty direct line of responsibility that can be drawn from the attack in Afghanistan to the burning of the book. It’s certainly true that the reaction of the mob was completely unreasonable and not justified, but that doesn’t mean that Jones gets off the hook for being deliberately provocative. I don’t see how it’s possible to say that Jones doesn’t have blood on his hands. He has every right to burn whatever book he wants, of course, but that doesn’t mean he’s excused from responsibility for the consequences of his behavior.

    I don’t really understand this post. Why shouldn’t the media be reporting this story? I’d say that an international incident triggered by some random American asshole meets the threshold of newsworthy, and yes, this particular American asshole happens to be a bizarre Christian fundamentalist. As for giving him a platform – Jones originally cancelled his plans after a great deal of pressure was put on him by the initial media coverage. I consider the media to be one of the most corrosive forces in our decaying society – but in this particular instance, it’s pretty clear that the heavy media coverage prevented him from burning the Koran, at least initially.

    But, one should also inquire into the “oikophobia” of those like Mr. Reid who focus their ire on the preacher with a miniscule congregation. Last August, James Taranto explained the concept:

    The British philosopher Roger Scruton has coined a term to describe this attitude: oikophobia. Xenophobia is fear of the alien; oikophobia is fear of the familiar: “the disposition, in any conflict, to side with ‘them’ against ‘us’, and the felt need to denigrate the customs, culture and institutions that are identifiably ‘ours.’ ”

    It’s only in the fevered minds of conservative radicals that liberals are siding with ‘them.’ I’m sure I’ll be accused of this regardless of what I say, but it’s no more true than it was during the Iraq war. Killing people because they burned your favorite book is idiotic and criminal, and Saddam was a terrible dictator who killed thousands of his people. But that’s the easy part – you also have to recognize our own role in these events, that Christian fundamentalists are growing increasingly anti-Muslim in this country, which complicates our mission in the Middle East for obvious reasons. You have to recognize that Saddam was our guy in the 80′s – that we gave him weapons and support and turned a blind eye for a long time.

    Acknowledging these facts isn’t to say that we’re causing all of the world’s problems, it’s looking at the issues honestly to find better solutions. The conservative alternative; that ‘we’ are pure good and that ‘they’ are pure evil, is a naive and dangerous outlook straight out of a Disney movie. If it’s impossible for you to imagine how a Muslim in the Afghanistan or Iraq might be pissed off at the United States, then you are less than useless.
    Accusing liberals of treason is simply too tempting for conservatives, who literally have no other arguments.

    Comment by Levi — April 4, 2011 @ 8:53 am - April 4, 2011

  7. Is anyone surprised that Levi is all for making his act criminal? He burned his own Koran Levi, he’s not responsible for a bunch of people rioting.

    If you understood the Constitution, you’d get that.

    “you also have to recognize our own role in these events, that Christian fundamentalists are growing increasingly anti-Muslim in this country”

    Source please? Oh wait, this is Levi. He can’t provide sources, just his bloviations.

    Comment by The_Livewire — April 4, 2011 @ 9:08 am - April 4, 2011

  8. So, because there’s a war on, which is payback to show them that we’re not Dhimmi, we need to act Dhimmi? Sure makes sense to me!

    Seriously, I thought we were over there to forcefully remind them that their right to use their fists ended once it bloodied our nose (9/11), and that we pack a long reach and a hard punch. Furthermore, we aren’t going to be intimidated into submitting to a faith that hasn’t made it out of the 9th century, and we want to make sure they can’t hit us again.

    If doing so successfully means we have to give up rights we’re defending, methinks we’ve lost the plot.

    Comment by Doug in SD — April 4, 2011 @ 9:31 am - April 4, 2011

  9. Do you cons actually know anything about Terry Jones and his “NO HOMO MAYOR” so-called “Christian” church?

    Are you aware that the whole Qur’an burning would have gone largely unnoticed had Hamid Karzai not shot his mouth off, condemned the book burning and called for the arrest of that inbred retard from Gainesville?

    Jones immediately started pumping out his ‘Don’t Blame Me for Being a Dick” press releases to get the maximum amount of media attention possible.

    Sorry, but you cons don’t get to pin this on ‘the liberals’ blaming white xtians. Most liberals are white xtians in case you haven’t noticed. It’s not even actual liberals you want to pin this on; it’s the narrow stereotypes that trash-talking morons like Malkin, Reynolds and your pantheon of right pundits try to depict as the unthinking “liberal” opposition.

    The blame for these murders should be equally shared by the Dove World theofascists who are out to provoke a global holy war, the radical Islamofascist crybabies who are continually in jihad mode, and the Islamist (that’s like Taliban-Lite) Karzai administration that was put in place and propped up by Cheney and Bush II.

    Comment by Auntie Dogma — April 4, 2011 @ 9:43 am - April 4, 2011

  10. The protests have nothing to do with the koran burning, those people in those villages didn’t know anything about Terry Jones, they were protesting Obama for bombing in Libya, which is why they were burning him in effegy. Karzai, Obama and the MSM are the ones are trying to blame it on Jones, as another means to blame anyone but themselves and to attack Christianity and ALL our rights. Or perhaps you’ll wait until Obama and the media are saying that gays have to lose their rights so as not to offend his dear Islamist friends? Because, whether you believe it or not, that will happen. Cast your gaze back to Germany in the middle of the last century, first they came for the Jews, then they came for the Christians, then gays, then anyone else who they decided they needed to get rid of.

    Comment by jenny — April 4, 2011 @ 9:55 am - April 4, 2011

  11. And, in a bit of irony, another fact free rant by Granny Goodness.

    Comment by The_Livewire — April 4, 2011 @ 9:57 am - April 4, 2011

  12. Auntie, Rev. Jones may have a slogan “no homo mayor”, but the wackos in Afghanistan want to kill gays. Just a wee bit of a difference, no?

    Comment by Jim Michaud — April 4, 2011 @ 9:57 am - April 4, 2011

  13. Let’s not forget that the average Afghan would not have known about this Quran burning if (Puppet) President Karzai hadn’t gone on nation-wide media to condemning it. Rather than calming matters, he deliberately poured gasoline on a smoking-ember and turned it into a deadly conflagration. He knew Westerners would die…and he did it anyway. …This is an ally??

    Why do we insist on rapidly-installing native governmental regimes when it would be better in the long-run in have installed US-citizen Satrap-Governors as Proconsuls for an extended-term of grass-roots incremental democratization rather than installing corrupt Presidents-for-Life and his crony-kleptocrat relatives and allies.

    Comment by Ted B. (Charging Rhino) — April 4, 2011 @ 10:22 am - April 4, 2011

  14. “A mob of deranged ululating blood-lusting head-hackers slaughter Norwegian female aid-workers and Nepalese guards — and we’re the ones with the problem?” – Mark Steyn

    Comment by V the K — April 4, 2011 @ 10:35 am - April 4, 2011

  15. Sorry, but you cons don’t get to pin this on ‘the liberals’ blaming white xtians. Most liberals are white xtians in case you haven’t noticed.

    Actually, the vast majority of liberals and Obama Party members espouse the gay and lesbian community’s view, as expressed by Evan Hurst, Director of Social Media and spokesperson for the organization Truth Wins Out:

    Actually, Bob, most “reasonable” people, if we’re using the word with a respect for its root word, “reason,” agree that there is no evidence for God’s existence, and thus no rational REASON to believe that any god or gods have determined ANYTHING, much less morality.
    Comment by Evan Hurst — May 27, 2010 @ 7:13 pm

    Hahahahaha, um. Dude. Seriously? No one in the history of the universe has ever been able to prove that the idea of “gods,” which have always been used to control populations, ever existed. It’s a ridiculous idea, created by uneducated nomads from thousands of years ago.
    GROW UP>
    Comment by Evan Hurst — May 29, 2010 @ 4:13 am

    They all rank “10″ because they’re all retarded and none of them can be proven by any human who’s ever lived.
    God, your questions are really stupid.
    Comment by Evan Hurst — May 29, 2010 @ 4:29 am

    Bob. That means your god is a weak minded little bitch who changes his mind and is definitely NOT eternal or omnipotent. He’s merely a reflection of humanity’s most disgusting instincts.
    Grow the hell up.
    Comment by Evan Hurst — May 31, 2010 @ 4:20 am

    Of COURSE, their idea of god is as a serial rapist. Fundamentalist religious people ARE essentially battered wives. They just act it out on a grander scale without such visible bruises. The really screwed up thing is that their abuser is an imaginary friend.
    But it’s a rapist just the same.
    Comment by Evan Hurst — May 31, 2010 @ 4:22 am

    Ben, everything you said was spot on. Bob’s idea of “god” is a moral reprobate, and a child at that. I wouldn’t worship a sniveling ass like that if you paid me.
    Comment by Evan Hurst — May 31, 2010 @ 4:25 am

    Only a fool would try to argue that white liberals are Christians when, as Evan Hurst shows, the vast majority of white liberals, including the gay and lesbian community, hate Christianity and support the killing and execution of Christians, as happened in Afghanistan.

    Notice how Dogma and Levi refuse to hold Islamists responsible for murdering Christians. Isn’t that interesting? Why do they support the murder of Christians, just like they do when their pets in Hamas or other terrorist organizations do it? We understand why they support the murder of Jews, but why do they hate Christians so much?

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — April 4, 2011 @ 10:46 am - April 4, 2011

  16. “A mob of deranged ululating blood-lusting head-hackers slaughter Norwegian female aid-workers and Nepalese guards — and we’re the ones with the problem?” – Mark Steyn

    That’s a terrible statement because no one is framing it as ‘we’re the ones with the problem.’ It’s one idiot acting on his own and assigning him at least partial responsibility is perfectly appropriate. For you to pretend like that is the same as BLAMING ALL CHRISTIANS FOR EVERY GLOBAL PROBLEM is patently absurd. The Christian persecution complex has run amok.

    Comment by Levi — April 4, 2011 @ 10:46 am - April 4, 2011

  17. The psychopath’s argument: Free Speech Kills People.

    qQuran burnings do not kill. They do not trample people to death and they do not chop off their heads. Only people do such things.

    Comment by OccamsrazorX — April 4, 2011 @ 10:48 am - April 4, 2011

  18. I read something on Pajamas Media that sums this all up.

    http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/the-cause-of-all-discrimination-me/

    Comment by MV — April 4, 2011 @ 10:49 am - April 4, 2011

  19. The Psychopath’s Argument: Free Speech Kills People

    Quran burnings do not kill. They do not trample people to death and they do not chop their heads off. Only people do such things.

    Comment by OccamsrazorX — April 4, 2011 @ 10:50 am - April 4, 2011

  20. The Left & RINO’s like Lindsey Graham are looking for straw men rather than dealing with the actual issue; it’s a disgusting way of playing political football by giving the illusion of “doing something.” The MSM picks up on this & runs with it as well.

    Comment by Sebastian Shaw — April 4, 2011 @ 11:06 am - April 4, 2011

  21. So, Levi, I guess you agree that Rushdie and his publisher should never have produced The Satanic Verses.

    Wow! You come up with this:

    That’s a terrible statement because no one is framing it as ‘we’re the ones with the problem.’

    Crazed Islamists murder people in the heat of passion. The catalyst for the murders is a report of one man in the US burning a Koran out of spite. Ergo: one spitefully burned Koran foments and equals multiple murders. Now, get ready …… and we’re the ones with the problem?”

    No one is saying that the quaint minister in Florida and his chosen action is the cause of the murders by extreme Islamists gone mad? Really, Levi? Then what does this mean:

    And “Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.)” has told “CBS’s Bob Schieffer . . . that some members of Congress were considering some kind of action in response to the Florida Quran burning that sparked a murderous riot at a United Nations complex in Afghanistan and other mayhem.”

    Comment by Heliotrope — April 4, 2011 @ 11:14 am - April 4, 2011

  22. Looks like Levi is desperately trying to spin out of Mark Steyn’s direct hit on Levi and his fellow moral relativists.

    For you to pretend like that is the same as BLAMING ALL CHRISTIANS FOR EVERY GLOBAL PROBLEM is patently absurd.

    Except that Levi already blamed all Christians for every global problem. Remember?

    But that’s the easy part – you also have to recognize our own role in these events, that Christian fundamentalists are growing increasingly anti-Muslim in this country, which complicates our mission in the Middle East for obvious reasons.

    Levi can’t condemn the behavior of Muslims, so he attacks Christians instead and blames them for all the world’s problems. The problem here is that moral relativist Levi has to explain why Christians have to be denied their civil rights, especially hilarious when Levi insists that they as taxpayers should be forced to pay for the profaning of their own sacred books and objects, but Muslims should be allowed to rape, torture, and murder in the name of Islam with the full support of Levi and his Obama Party.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — April 4, 2011 @ 11:17 am - April 4, 2011

  23. That’s a terrible statement because no one is framing it as ‘we’re the ones with the problem.’

    Actually, you are, Levi. Remember this? Again?

    But that’s the easy part – you also have to recognize our own role in these events, that Christian fundamentalists are growing increasingly anti-Muslim in this country, which complicates our mission in the Middle East for obvious reasons.

    You are already blaming Christians and the United States. You already stated it. You are just flat-out spinning, demonstrating how incoherent, bigoted, and anti-American you and your fellow liberals are.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — April 4, 2011 @ 11:20 am - April 4, 2011

  24. So, in other words, Heliotrope, no one except the Democrat Majority Leader of the United States Senate is blaming the Koran burner for the actions of Mohammedan barbarians.

    Comment by V the K — April 4, 2011 @ 11:33 am - April 4, 2011

  25. “you also have to recognize our own role in these events, that Christian fundamentalists are growing increasingly anti-Muslim in this country”

    “That’s a terrible statement because no one is framing it as ‘we’re the ones with the problem.’”

    Except apparently Levi, or at least one of the voices in his head.

    Comment by The_Livewire — April 4, 2011 @ 11:42 am - April 4, 2011

  26. Awww, Livewire, we have to get less efficient. How can we have any fun when we send Levi scurrying away from these threads so quickly, desperate to hide how those religious people he views as his intellectual inferiors made a fool out of him by simply quoting back his own words?

    Meanwhile, I am of the mind that, if Harry Reid is dumb enough to go forward with this (which he and Lindsey Graham are, I am sure), then let a thousand Koran barbecues ignite — and a shower of applications for them to be funded by taxpayers as examples of “performance art”.

    If Harry Reid wants so desperately to fund cowboy poets, I am thinking that we find a few who are willing to burn a Koran and recite poetry around its bonfire. Then let’s watch how fast Harry runs into a wall.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — April 4, 2011 @ 11:54 am - April 4, 2011

  27. Um, Miss Dogma, did you even bother to read the post? I called Terry Jones a “crackpot.” And yup, I acknowledged that he was a publicity hound, but Karzai would never have heard of the fellow had our media never given him the attention he craved.

    You might have known that had you read the post. . . .

    Shooting fishing in barrels . . . .

    Comment by B. Daniel Blatt — April 4, 2011 @ 12:14 pm - April 4, 2011

  28. Question: If Harry Reid and Lindsey Graham succeed in condemning a citizen for burning a Koran, does that not come perilously close to establishing Islam as the state religion? Considering no other faith has its sacred texts so protected?

    Comment by V the K — April 4, 2011 @ 1:22 pm - April 4, 2011

  29. It is tragic what happened in Afganistan. What I can´t understand is why islamists go ballistic over the burning of a book. True it is their scripture, but it´s not like it is the only one in existence. Where was the outrage from supposed christian leaders when The Church of the Resurrection in Jersualem was occupied for about 40 days by muslims, who cooked their meals on the several altars and tore pages from the altar missal and Bible to wipe their asses. Let´s not forget the attack on Coptic Orthodox Christians in Egypt on Christmas Day. Maybe we should stop loving our enemies and give them tit for tat. Let them know that we take our sacred objects and temples as seriously as they do. Maybe Pastor Jones took the first step in that direction.

    Comment by Roberto — April 4, 2011 @ 1:28 pm - April 4, 2011

  30. The primary purpose of any government is first and foremost the protection of its citizens from enemies both foreign and domestic. The primary duty of all citizens is to support the government in its defense. The US is currently engaged in a counterinsurgency where the human terrain is considered the decisive terrain. Winning over the Afghan population requires building trust between two vastly different cultures. By burning the Koran in order to receive publicity Mr. Jones has failed to meet his duty in supporting his government in achieving its security goals. He has added even more danger to the lives of those who are willing to put their lives on the lines for their beliefs, by creating even more negative opinions of the US and its people. I would have much more respect for him if he’d done his Koran burning over here in Afghanistan where he’d be at just as much risk as the Soldiers and civilians currently supporting their government’s security goals. If he wants to burn Korans, wait until the mission is complete and he’s not creating difficulties for his country and fellow citizens.

    Comment by Deployed and annoyed — April 4, 2011 @ 1:40 pm - April 4, 2011

  31. Roberto, in one sense, you may be right.

    Liberals like Levi and Barack Obama are bratty, childish thugs, incapable of controlling themselves or adhering to any type of moral or legal principle. They only know that they want what they want and that anyone or anything that keeps them from getting it must be wrong.

    It is impossible to reason with moral relativists like Levi, Barack Obama, and the overwhelming majority of liberals. They only respect force, as is shown in their contempt for those who do not attack them physically, like Christians and businesses, and their groveling towards those who do, like the New Black Panthers, Islamist radicals, and unions.

    What is the answer at this point? We are a nation of laws. For over two hundred years, what has held this country together is our mutual respect for and willingness to abide by laws. Now we have a whole generation of brats like Levi and Barack Obama who hold civilized law in complete contempt and respect only thugocracy and rule by the violent.

    This is what we have to realize. Levi and Barack Obama will murder babies in cold contempt, leaving them to die in broom closets or snipping their spinal cords, all for their sin of being born with the wrong skin color or at an inconvenient time for their parents who chose to carry out the act that produced them in the first place, and consider themselves righteous for doing so. Then they will spin endlessly about how murder of innocent adults is justified when Islamic jihadists feel inconvenienced or offended, and how it is necessary for our country to crack down on and suppress anyone with whom Levi or Barack Obama disagree.

    At what point do we say stop — in the only manner that liberals understand and respect?

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — April 4, 2011 @ 1:46 pm - April 4, 2011

  32. Hi,
    “The psychopath’s argument: Free Speech Kills People.”

    Actually it can. As Justice Goldberg (phrasing an earlier Justice Jackson comment) said : “for while the Constitution protects against invasions of individual rights, it is not a suicide pact.”

    SCOTUS has carved out exceptions for “free speech.” Thus, treason is not allowed; calling “fire” in a crowded theatre is also not OK; also “fighting words.” This is a useful document to help get ahead of the issues: http://www.fas.org/irp/crs/95-815.pdf

    Also, Dan, as for the core argument of your post, would this be it?
    “What is it about our political and cultural “elite” that they have to pin the blame for a murderous rampage on the antics of self-promoting Christian rogue. It’s as if, they believe, that the worlds ills stem from the actions and attitudes of white Christian males, the very aspects of their culture rejected by the politically correct.”

    If so, for others, Levi isn’t arguing this–he thinks that there is a shared responsibility for this mess on the part of the Afghan crowd and the pastor who provoked it–what degree of culpability is open to debate.

    I am not even sure if the issue is one of constitutionality here, since no US citizens were killed; but could it become so, if actions like this have, as one result, the death of an American? In any case, it appears to have helped damage US interests in Afghanistan. I don’t know what the LEGAL responsibility would be in this situation–it would make for one very interesting case to go before SCOTUS.

    As for myself–I think the pastor definitely wears some of the MORAL blame for this mess. If you are told before hand that your action will lead to a blow-up, you then do the action, and then it does blow up, I don’t think you can hide behind the claim that the other person is totally responsible for their own action. Sure they are. But then, the other party is responsible for initiating the provocation, which in this case was used by others unfriendly to the US mission to help whip up a crowd’s fury.

    Comment by Cas — April 4, 2011 @ 1:54 pm - April 4, 2011

  33. Cas,

    I’m going to home in on one part of your post.

    “I am not even sure if the issue is one of constitutionality here, since no US citizens were killed; but could it become so, if actions like this have, as one result, the death of an American?”

    If we’re going to honestly talk about banning actions because of how people *might* react to them, then by all means, stop posting, because someone might read one of your posts, cling to their guns and religion and go out on a shooting spree.

    There’s a difference between yelling fire in a crowded theater, and destruction of ones own property to make a political statement. The court has upheld flag burning as a protected right. Why would burning a Koran be any different?

    Comment by The_Livewire — April 4, 2011 @ 2:21 pm - April 4, 2011

  34. Why would burning a Koran be any different?

    Apparently, the only difference to liberal fascists is that Christians and Patriots don’t rampage, riot, and kill when you insult them.

    Thus, we are apparently supposed to kowtow to thugs in the name of political correctness.

    But this is of a piece, isn’t it? Look at the way leftists trashed the Wisconsin State Capitol when they didn’t they get their way, and threatened Republican politicians with death, and threatened businesses with vandalism. Look at the Mormon churches that were vandalized, the Christians who were assaulted, and the people who lost their jobs and were threatened with loss of their livelihoods because they didn’t vote the right way on Prop 8.

    For both progressive and Islamic fascists, it’s all about the ends justifying the means, isn’t it?

    Comment by V the K — April 4, 2011 @ 2:34 pm - April 4, 2011

  35. And I’m going to home in on another part.

    But then, the other party is responsible for initiating the provocation, which in this case was used by others unfriendly to the US mission to help whip up a crowd’s fury.

    So even if someone abuses something I did to incite a murder, I am now responsible for the murder?

    F’ing pathetic, Cas, even for you. But it does nicely show to what length desperate liberal fascists like yourself will go to shut Christians up.

    The thing that makes it completely hypocritical, Cas, is that you and your fellow liberals like Barack Obama, Jeremiah Wright, Al Sharpton, and Jesse Jackson are going around demonizing Jews, insisting that they are responsible for the problems of the world and so forth. If you truly believed the bullsh*t you are spouting, you would be holding hearings and threatening to do something about them, because that language could be abused to justify the murder of Jews — and given examples like Daniel Pearl and the family just killed, there’s plenty of parallels.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — April 4, 2011 @ 2:44 pm - April 4, 2011

  36. I wonder if any of the “Save the Koran” types think that the makers of rap music, violent movies, and highly sexualized entertainment should be penalized when their “art” inspires people to commit acts of violence and rape.

    Meanwhile, as the senate frets over how to stop people from insulting Islam, tax dollars subsidize insults to Christianity.

    Comment by V the K — April 4, 2011 @ 2:58 pm - April 4, 2011

  37. Hi TL,
    Thanks for the thoughtful reply.

    “There’s a difference between yelling fire in a crowded theater, and destruction of ones own property to make a political statement. The court has upheld flag burning as a protected right. Why would burning a Koran be any different?”

    I agree, that is why I said that I didn’t know if it was constitutional or not, for exactly the flag burning reason. But would the court have ruled that way, if when you burn the flag, it always caused a riot, even if other third agents helped set the riot crowd alight? Might the Court find this to be an example of “fighting words” in the form of symbols?

    A key issue is the EFFECT that doing something has. If I scream “fire” in a crowded theatre, or threaten to kill someone, and no one in the theatre ever, when doing this gets upset or hurt, or put out, it is hard to make a case that real harm has been done (I just made a fool of myself).

    But the reason we have the “fighting words” exception is because “fighting words” might be “reasonably” lead to bad outcomes. And it is in nutting out what “reasonably” means here which is a key issue. I don’t know the subtleties of law, so I say, I don’t know.

    “Chaplinsky v. New Hampshire (1942), the U.S. Supreme Court established the doctrine and held that “insulting or ‘fighting words,’ those that by their very utterance inflict injury or tend to incite an immediate breach of the peace” are among the “well-defined and narrowly limited classes of speech [that] the prevention and punishment of…have never been thought to raise any constitutional problem.”" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fighting_words

    So how the Supreme Court would handle this, I don’t know. I think they would take the case though.

    “If we’re going to honestly talk about banning actions because of how people *might* react to them, then by all means, stop posting, because someone might read one of your posts, cling to their guns and religion and go out on a shooting spree.”

    Yes, I have wondered about that at times on this site! :)

    I come back to whether one could “reasonably” expect a Muslim crowd to behave this way–i.e., what was the expected effect of such a provocative action? The fact that just about every horse and his donkey begged this pastor not to do this because they predicted this type of possibility (splashed dramatically across the media), suggests that the pastor has a higher bar to cross than I do, on this. I think context matters. There is a proud and storied heritage of free speech in this country, that translates in part onto this site, and a healthy debate concerning religion. its efficacy and its grounding in knowledge is part of this country’s heritage. The Muslim world does not have such a deep grounding in freedom of speech and in the consideration of religion. Getting upset with me on a website in this country is different than getting upset over blasphemy (punishable by death) in Afghanistan. What do you think?

    Comment by Cas — April 4, 2011 @ 3:40 pm - April 4, 2011

  38. Hi NDT,
    If you want to take a part: “Pastor has SOME moral responsibility” and blow it up to a universal: “I am now responsible for the murder;” which I read to mean “bears ALL moral (and legal?) responsibility” feel free to do so. But that is not what I said.

    It is not clear to me that you carefully read my posts, NDT.

    “you … are going around demonizing Jews …”
    Really? Vulcan mind meld? Evidence? Totalizing statement designed to disparage, willy nilly?

    Comment by Cas — April 4, 2011 @ 3:49 pm - April 4, 2011

  39. TL,
    “its efficacy and its grounding in knowledge is part of this country’s heritage.”
    Sorry, a fragment from an unfinished thought…

    Comment by Cas — April 4, 2011 @ 3:51 pm - April 4, 2011

  40. If you want to take a part: “Pastor has SOME moral responsibility” and blow it up to a universal: “I am now responsible for the murder;” which I read to mean “bears ALL moral (and legal?) responsibility” feel free to do so. But that is not what I said.

    That is exactly what you said, Cas. You refuse to hold the people who actually incited the riot responsible. You refuse to hold the rioters responsible. Instead you sit here and whine and cry about how someone else is responsible instead of the people who actually did the inciting and killing.

    This is just your typical game-playing, Cass; you’re an anti-Christian bigot, so you spin and spin and spin and try to shift blame away from the people who incited the riot and the people who did the killing so that you can bash Christians, conservatives, and Americans.

    “you … are going around demonizing Jews …”
    Really? Vulcan mind meld? Evidence? Totalizing statement designed to disparage, willy nilly?

    Sure, Cas. Look at the Obama Party and how you support and endorse those who bash and demonize Jews, such as Jeremiah Wright, Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, Louis Farrakhan, and Barack Obama himself.

    What’s the matter, Cas? Don’t want to hold any of them “morally responsible”? Can we state that that’s because you don’t have a “moral problem” with killing Jews?

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — April 4, 2011 @ 4:39 pm - April 4, 2011

  41. Hi! Cas,

    You would make a wonderful “fighting words” czar for the political correctness police. I wonder if there isn’t also a form of “inviting words” involved when a horny Muslim trots down a nude beach. He is, after all, being mercilessly provoked, would you not say? (The United States is the Great Satan because we commit constant and unspeakable sins of temptation.) So, let’s get our Constitutional law and English Common Law in line with Shari’a, OK? Perhaps we could work out a comprehensive list of what offends Muslims of the violent jihad bent and rework our concepts of free speech to comply, accede and reach across the religious divide and acquiesce to brutal, fatal superiority. Right? Clearly, the Koran instructs that when the infidel does not agree to slavery, he is “consenting” to be killed. Of course, if there is a divide among Muslims on that message, perhaps we should have differing standards for dealing with differing Muslims. (?)

    What effect does a gay pride parade have on a fundamental Islamist? If a mini-skirted tart with a “Screw Mohammed” tramp-stamp tattoo minces through an Islamist street fair in Dearborn, is it OK to “honor kill” her?

    Didn’t Daniel Pearl deserve what he got? After all he was a Jew who knew the rules. He was where he should not have been and got brutally murdered for being a Jew. Hello? “Fighting words” if ever there were any, right?

    You seem to have a perverse sense of curiosity which stretches the sense of absolution on the one hand while cracking down on free speech with the other. Are you going to lump all Muslims together? If one Muslim kills over a purposely torched Koran, why shouldn’t the other Muslims be suspected of quietly plotting to murder? Ergo, if a Koran is burned, all Muslims should be profiled for acts of revenge. Right?

    I don’t know about all this citing of Supreme Court cases in search of examples of moral relativity. You just might want to study up on Shari’a and try to plot out the level of moral relativity built into that system. You might be especially excited about the latitude it accords females, which is not a backhanded way of suggesting that you are a male chauvinist pig.

    Comment by Heliotrope — April 4, 2011 @ 4:53 pm - April 4, 2011

  42. Hi HT,
    As far as I can tell, you respond to my points raised with TL by telling me about moral equivalencies, “inviting words”, Sharia Law, and slavery. I do not get how this fits in with what I am saying, to be honest.

    “horny Muslim trots down a nude beach.”
    Why would a devout Muslim be doing this? In this country? Or in Afghanistan?

    “and rework our concepts of free speech to comply, accede and reach across the religious divide and acquiesce to brutal, fatal superiority. Right?”
    Out of curiosity, do you believe that there are exceptions to the First Amendment? Because, this claim seems to ignore the ground that I laid concerning this.

    “Didn’t Daniel Pearl deserve what he got?” No; that was horrible. Being Jewish is not a basis for “fighting words.”

    “If a mini-skirted tart with a “Screw Mohammed” tramp-stamp tattoo minces through an Islamist street fair in Dearborn, is it OK to “honor kill” her?” No. Out of curiosity, if this same individual did this in a “Islamist” street fair in Kabul, what do you think would happen?

    I do not absolve the Muslims who killed people. They bear responsibility for the acts they commit. Where in my comments do you see me saying this? I doubt you will find it, though NDT might well see it, somewhere.

    “I don’t know about all this citing of Supreme Court cases in search of examples of moral relativity.”
    Again, do you believe in exceptions to the First Amendment. If you don’t then I guess I appear to be a moral relativist to your moral absoluteness of the freedom of speech.

    Question for you: I guess you think that the pastor bears no moral responsibility for what happened? Is that true? What do you make of the fact that he was pleaded with not to do this (over fears that something like this could happen), and did it anyway, with the feared result? It appears that this plays no role in your thinking on this issue. Why? Does the principle of “free speech” trump everything else?

    Comment by Cas — April 4, 2011 @ 5:43 pm - April 4, 2011

  43. NDT,
    “Sure, Cas. Look at the Obama Party and how you support and endorse those who bash and demonize Jews”
    Ah, “guilt by association”! What a demonizing move!

    “That is exactly what you said, Cas. You refuse to hold the people who actually incited the riot responsible.”
    Really, I don’t think so. Go back and re-read it. For you, NDT, I will say that I hold those who incited and those who committed the acts blameworthy. And this is consistent with what I said above.

    What seems to bug you NDT, is that you cannot accept that others can believe that responsibility is owed not just by those in Afghanistan, but by some in this country–I call it at least a moral blameworthiness (and this pastor bears some of it, based on what he did).

    Comment by Cas — April 4, 2011 @ 5:54 pm - April 4, 2011

  44. As far as I can tell, you respond to my points raised with TL by telling me about moral equivalencies, “inviting words”, Sharia Law, and slavery. I do not get how this fits in with what I am saying, to be honest.

    Of course you don’t, Cas.

    You see, what everyone except you realizes is that you are trying to use this as an excuse to bash Christians and Christianity and make excuses for why freedom of speech and religious expression of the type that you don’t like should be suppressed.

    Hence you have to trump up the pastor’s deed to make it equivalent to those who actually incited the riot and killed the people. If you had to acknowledge that the people who incited the riot and the people who did the killing were the ones primarily responsible for both, then people would question why you were spending so much time and pixels on the pastor — and that would veer into the unfortunate territory (for you) of your particular biases and bigotry.

    What this boils down to, Cas, is that you are quite obviously having to trump up and inflate what Pastor Jones did to avoid having to deal with what those you support and endorse in Afghanistan did. You are screaming about free-speech violations here because you don’t have the balls to condemn those who incite violence and kill people.

    And that’s what I brought up. You support and endorse those who demonize Jews and profane Christian symbols; indeed, as V the K pointed out, liberals like yourself blaspheme against Christ on a regular basis and demand taxpayer dollars to do it. You quite clearly don’t believe a single word you say, and indeed support and endorse those who profane religious symbols to antagonize others.

    The sole difference is that Christians and Jews don’t go around rioting killing unrelated people for insults to their religion. Islamist radicals do. Hence you treat Christians and Jews with contempt and grovel before Islamist radicals, even going so far as to insist that Christians and Jews should suppress their own beliefs and actions to avoid antagonizing Islamist radicals.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — April 4, 2011 @ 6:16 pm - April 4, 2011

  45. Really, I don’t think so. Go back and re-read it. For you, NDT, I will say that I hold those who incited and those who committed the acts blameworthy.

    Notice that weasel wording, “blameworthy”. Not “responsible”.

    And hence my point, Cas; you refuse to hold those who actually incited the riot and those who actually did the killing responsible. The only thing you are interested in doing is attacking Christians. The only people you hold responsible are Christians. You refuse, utterly refuse, to hold those who actually did the incitement and actually did the killing responsible.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — April 4, 2011 @ 6:20 pm - April 4, 2011

  46. A good commentary by psychologist Dr. Nicolai Sennels:

    “But she’s asking for it! She knows I’ll beat her if she says things like that. And still she says it — it’s like she’s begging me to hit her!”

    This is the typical psychopathic husband’s explanation for domestic violence, and as an experienced psychologist I can smell this kind of sick logic from miles away. Unfortunately, far too often this is also the explanation given by the media, politicians, and not least violent Muslims when they explain the Islamists’ aggressive reactions to cartoons and Quran-burnings. We are even responsible when Muslims run amok and commit terror after we create art or satire based on their prophet and religion. Either we cease to tease and criticize, or we must accept the consequences.

    Jyllands-Posten and Kurt Westergaard have been held responsible for more than a hundred deaths — often trampled by their fellow Muslims — in the wake of the publication of the famous Mohammed cartoons. The same accusations now hit Terry Jones and his minister colleague Wayne Sapp, as eleven UN staff in Afghanistan were killed by Muslims in response to Jones’ and Sapp’s Quran-burning event. Several of the UN staff were beheaded.

    Jyllands-Posten, Westergaard, Jones and Sapp are not mass-murderers — and not in any indirect way, either. No artist or non-violent activist should be ashamed or feel guilty about the violent actions that others take in response to their peaceful actions. Those who believe otherwise can go and talk to the psychopathic wife beater, because they have something in common. Socialist analysis especially often victimizes dysfunctional people, and categorizes their aggressive behavior as natural and automatic reactions — and thereby supports the psychopath’s argument.

    A rewrite of the U.S. National Riffle Association’s famous slogan would read: “Free speech doesn’t kill people. People kill people.”

    Comment by OccamsrazorX — April 4, 2011 @ 6:24 pm - April 4, 2011

  47. Again, why is the focus on whether the pastor was “morally responsible” for burning the Koran, and not on what a bunch of savages the Mohammedans are for reacting as they did?

    It more or less makes Dan’s point for him. Why is it always about *us* and never about *them?*

    Comment by V the K — April 4, 2011 @ 6:25 pm - April 4, 2011

  48. So, Levi, I guess you agree that Rushdie and his publisher should never have produced The Satanic Verses.

    Wow! You come up with this:

    That’s a terrible statement because no one is framing it as ‘we’re the ones with the problem.’

    Crazed Islamists murder people in the heat of passion. The catalyst for the murders is a report of one man in the US burning a Koran out of spite. Ergo: one spitefully burned Koran foments and equals multiple murders. Now, get ready …… and we’re the ones with the problem?”

    No one is saying that the quaint minister in Florida and his chosen action is the cause of the murders by extreme Islamists gone mad? Really, Levi? Then what does this mean:

    And “Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.)” has told “CBS’s Bob Schieffer . . . that some members of Congress were considering some kind of action in response to the Florida Quran burning that sparked a murderous riot at a United Nations complex in Afghanistan and other mayhem.”

    That’s a dirty trick. I disagree with Steyn’s statement, which was an incredulous ‘we’re the ones with the problem?’, and you turn around and misrepresent my position as being ‘no one is blaming the pastor,’ which you disprove by quoting Senator Reid. You turn ‘we’ to ‘pastor.’ Do you know what the strawman fallacy is?

    To reiterate, I think it is perfectly acceptable to assign some measure of responsibility to Pastor Jones. That doesn’t mean that I blame all Christians, just this one particular Christian. If you think that blaming Jones is the same as blaming all Christians – I’m not surprised. Christians are about as highly strung and hyper-defensive as they get. But it’s a figment of your imagination.

    Comment by Levi — April 4, 2011 @ 6:53 pm - April 4, 2011

  49. Jones may well strange but he’s done nothing worse than the Dutch cartoonist, the South Park guys, Burger King (ice cream swirls) and all the others who’ve managed to offend prickly Muslim sensitivities (intentionally or not).

    I seem to recall a similar incident a few years ago touched off by a FALSE report in Newsweek of someone giving the Koran a dirty look or something (flushing it, maybe). So we should’ve shut down Newseek?

    As far as Lindsey Graham – what Mark Steyn said. I’m going to start saving some money to send to whoever runs against him.

    Comment by SoCalRobert — April 4, 2011 @ 6:55 pm - April 4, 2011

  50. NDT,
    For you-yes, blameworthy has at its core, an issue of responsibility. Yes the Muslims who incited and committed the crimes are legally and morally responsible. The pastor has a share (a part) in the moral responsibility for what happened.

    So now, what say you about exceptions to “free speech’? Do you agree there are some, or none? If there are, what exceptions do you think are legitimate?

    Do you think the pastor bears any of the moral responsibility–is morally blameworthy to some degree–for his action? Why?

    Comment by Cas — April 4, 2011 @ 7:44 pm - April 4, 2011

  51. If Pastor Jones is morally responsible for Mohammedans behaving like savages, then Jodie Foster is morally responsible for Ronald Reagan being shot. Also, Al Gore is morally responsible for the Unabomber.

    And, of course, the USA is morally responsible for 9-11, because we knew OBL was pissed at us and yet we refused to leave Saudi Arabia.

    Comment by V the K — April 4, 2011 @ 8:06 pm - April 4, 2011

  52. Prediction:

    Within six months after the U.A and allied forces withdraw from Afghanistan, President Karzai will be deposed and the Taliban will retake that nation. The blood letting and burning American Flags shows that we have lost the war to change the hearts and minds of the Afghans. They still have that seventh century mentality.

    Comment by Roberto — April 4, 2011 @ 8:25 pm - April 4, 2011

  53. Yes the Muslims who incited and committed the crimes are legally and morally responsible.

    And all you’ve done is whine, cry, and blame the pastor.

    That shows your bigoted agenda right there. Not a word, not a condemnation, but lots and lots of whining about “moral responsibility”, even as you refuse to hold responsible those who actually ARE.

    And then, of course, you have to spin and try to divert.

    So now, what say you about exceptions to “free speech’? Do you agree there are some, or none? If there are, what exceptions do you think are legitimate?

    Again, Cas, you’re equating burning a Koran to people who you have admitted incited murder and actually murdered.

    Why do you consider exercise of free speech identical in responsibility to inciting murder and actually murdering someone, Cas? Do you also endorse identical penalties for burning a Koran versus directly telling people to murder and actually murdering?

    Do you think the pastor bears any of the moral responsibility–is morally blameworthy to some degree–for his action? Why?

    Why do you consider exercise of free speech identical in responsibility to inciting murder and actually murdering someone, Cas? Do you also endorse identical penalties for burning a Koran versus directly telling people to murder and actually murdering?

    This is the game you are playing, Cas. You are insisting that burning a Koran is exactly identical and equally “blameworthy” to directly inciting murder and actually murdering someone. You are getting called on it.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — April 4, 2011 @ 8:38 pm - April 4, 2011

  54. That’s a dirty trick. I disagree with Steyn’s statement, which was an incredulous ‘we’re the ones with the problem?’, and you turn around and misrepresent my position as being ‘no one is blaming the pastor,’ which you disprove by quoting Senator Reid. You turn ‘we’ to ‘pastor.’ Do you know what the strawman fallacy is?

    Hilarious, when you consider what Levi previously stated.

    But that’s the easy part – you also have to recognize our own role in these events, that Christian fundamentalists are growing increasingly anti-Muslim in this country, which complicates our mission in the Middle East for obvious reasons.

    You yourself stated that “we” were responsible, Levi, and that “Christians” were responsible.

    Heliotrope called you on it, and like you invariably do, you tried to lie and spin your way out of it.

    Now you’re caught. And now you’re humiliated once again. Your intellectual betters have shoved your face into the dirt, Levi. Now shut up and let us drag you kicking and screaming into the future, since you’ve proven you have no intelligence or moral values.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — April 4, 2011 @ 8:42 pm - April 4, 2011

  55. Correcting typo: s/b U.S. and allied . . .not U.A

    Comment by Roberto — April 4, 2011 @ 8:42 pm - April 4, 2011

  56. Hi! Cas,

    For what it is worth, Pastor Jones is a nut case in my book. But, I see no difference between him and a pothead who uses the Koran page by page to wrap his weed and smoke it.

    Does Pastor Jones have any moral responsibility for his acts? Of course. His intent was evil. There is no “good” I can find in the act. Understand that I am speaking of pure St. Augustine “good and evil” here. Therefore, my judgement on Pastor Jones’ moral standing is theological, not societal.

    From a societal standpoint, is Pastor Jones guilty of anything other than stupidity? Not that I can see under the Constitution or English Common Law. Is he guilty under Islamic Shari’a? You betcha.

    How you manipulate your moral relativity is not anything I can speak to since moral relativity is nothing more than trying to carry eels while attempting to ride a greased pig.

    Is all speech free? Yes. Can you be punished for your speech. Yes, but you may still have a field day being stupid in the process.

    The Supreme Court has had to deal with limits on speech since 1789 and some decisions have stayed put and others have been overturned.

    Levi comes here and writes obnoxious and petty things about Christians. He has the right to do so. However, if Levi had any modicum of courage, he might spend time bitch slapping Muslims over their views on women and homosexuality. However, Levi knows that he would be hunted down, found and “convinced” to change his ways. Ergo, Levi cowardly goes after the group that is taught to turn the other cheek. Bullies were ever thus. Speech always has consequences. Ask Keith Olbermann. Many liberals tend to try to curb speech via censorship, rules of “fairness” and demonization. Harry Reid wants to find a way to “punish” Pastor Jones. He wants to trump up some sort of convoluted charges to shut him up. Fine. Smarmy politics is his forte. But, what, pray tell, did Pastor Jones do besides being offensive to some few? Would you be upset if he burned L. Ron Hubbard stuff and irritated a coven of Scientologists?

    So, Hi! Cas, we have come to the heart of this Pastor Jones conundrum. He has insulted a violent group of Islamists who will not reason. This is a theological response, which, in the US is “off limits.”

    If you understand anything about the Calipahate Islamists, you would know that their Shari’a is above all other law, temporal or religious.

    However, you prefer to discuss the issue only in terms of temporal law. It is like declaring jokers wild in a game where your opponent is sticking a loaded Colt 45 in your mouth.

    Comment by Heliotrope — April 4, 2011 @ 8:50 pm - April 4, 2011

  57. “No. Out of curiosity, if this same individual did this in a “Islamist” street fair in Kabul, what do you think would happen?”

    I don’t really care. But does this mean you excuse the hanging of gays in Iran? “What did he expect would happen, being gay in Iran?”

    We’re talking about Americans. With inalienable rights. For the government to say “You can’t do that, because someone somewhere would be offended.” is *wrong*

    It is the ‘soft bigotry of low expectations’ to say that the maniacs in Afghanistan can’t control themselves. It’s the same school of thought that leads Levi to believe that Arabians can’t comprehend democracy.

    I’ve yet to read anyone blaming Tiller for provoking his murderer to kill him, this despite that basically being the man’s defense on court. But we’re to blame the pastor because some savages went on a killing spree?

    Levi I expect to contradict himself. He doesn’t believe in anything besides his own superiority, no matter how much evidence is provided to the contrary. I expect better from you, Cas.

    Comment by The_Livewire — April 4, 2011 @ 9:21 pm - April 4, 2011

  58. Heliotrope,

    One of the most honest comments about the double standard went to Kevin Smith.
    “Scary thing is this: the film would have to touch on Islam. And unlike the Catholic League, when those cats don’t like what you do, they issue a death warrant on yer ass. And now that I’ve got a family, I’m not as free to stir the shit-pot as I was when I was single, back when I made ‘Dogma’. I mean, now I’ve gotta think about more than my own safety and well-being.”

    Comment by The_Livewire — April 4, 2011 @ 9:24 pm - April 4, 2011

  59. The_Livewire,

    Whew! I read the link and I am afraid that this effort (Dogma) at “enlightenment” has totally overwhelmed my reasoning capacity.

    However, I agree that Kevin Smith has suffered an epiphany. Nothing like being blind-sided by reality to help cool your jets.

    Comment by Heliotrope — April 4, 2011 @ 10:15 pm - April 4, 2011

  60. NDT,
    Time to nut up or shut up, as the film character said. I ask reasonable questions and you decide to dodge the issue by throwing them back in my face–that is not cricket, old bean. One would say that you are uncomfortable answering them; why, who knows. Fine; but don’t expect me to take you seriously on this issue when all you do is hang out in the trees and toss excrement on people from on high. Get off your perch, and engage with the issue. It may shock you to know that I am genuinely interested in what you might think. Right now, you avoid doing so. So zero rational conversation possible. They are simple questions–what are your views?

    Comment by Cas — April 4, 2011 @ 11:41 pm - April 4, 2011

  61. Hi HT,
    Thank you for your thoughtful reply.

    “Does Pastor Jones have any moral responsibility for his acts? Of course. His intent was evil. There is no “good” I can find in the act. Understand that I am speaking of pure St. Augustine “good and evil” here. Therefore, my judgement on Pastor Jones’ moral standing is theological, not societal.”

    I understand. Here we have a difference of assumption. Morality can be based on theological underpinnings, but it doesn’t have to be. Morality can be based on societal understandings (Kantian, Utilitarian, et).

    “From a societal standpoint, is Pastor Jones guilty of anything other than stupidity? Not that I can see under the Constitution or English Common Law. Is he guilty under Islamic Shari’a? You betcha.”
    This is a good distinction, as far as it goes. I also think that there is some “secular” moral blameworthiness attached to his action. I think this is a crucial difference between us. I still struggle with whether or not there is a legal issue here (a constitutional issue) but I am unsure, given SCOTUS’ interpretation of the First Amendment.

    “Is all speech free? Yes. Can you be punished for your speech. Yes, but you may still have a field day being stupid in the process.”
    Again, I disagree. If one can be punished for one’s speech, it isn’t free. One is paying a cost to exercise it. With this in mind, SCOTUS carves out exceptions to free speech. It may well be that you have a different understanding of “free” here–No one can stop me from doing it, if I choose to do it. I pay the price later. So, we are working off two different senses of “free”, does this sound right?

    “we have come to the heart of this Pastor Jones conundrum. He has insulted a violent group of Islamists who will not reason. This is a theological response, which, in the US is “off limits.””
    This is interesting, and something I will chew on for a bit. For right now, I will add that because it is a tribal Islamic society, it is also a societal response. I do not say this with the aim of saying it is right and wrong, but to me, this is the tricky issue. We have two different societies who view the same action differently.

    Comment by Cas — April 5, 2011 @ 12:04 am - April 5, 2011

  62. but that doesn’t mean he’s excused from responsibility for the consequences of his behavior.

    Fifteen people died during riots in Afghanistan and other countries after Newsweak ran a story about a Koran being flushed at Club Gitmo. Was similarly held responsible for their actions?

    And by your logic, couldn’t one blame Jodi Foster for not paying any attention to Hinckley?

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — April 5, 2011 @ 12:30 am - April 5, 2011

  63. Hi TL,
    Thanks for the thoughtful reply.
    “But does this mean you excuse the hanging of gays in Iran? “What did he expect would happen, being gay in Iran?””
    No. But then, I expect that being gay in Tehran is a something that one hides, because of the punishment that would be dished out. The earlier example referred to, is something that someone can do in this country, publicly, because we have laws that prohibit assault of someone in this situation. That isn’t the case in Kabul.

    Also, is there something to be said for the manner in which one advocates for some unpopular idea? I cannot help but wonder that if the the pastor had just left it at words, that there would have been far less fallout from the process. The symbolism of the act (along with its place in Muslim culture) was designed for maximum negative effect. I struggle with this idea (it is not well-formed).

    “We’re talking about Americans. With inalienable rights. For the government to say “You can’t do that, because someone somewhere would be offended.” is *wrong*”
    How about if your government said, not “offended” but “likely killed” in a specific region, where Americans are in harm’s way? Would you still protect that speech, or ask the “speaker” to cool their jets?

    “I’ve yet to read anyone blaming Tiller for provoking his murderer to kill him, this despite that basically being the man’s defense on court. But we’re to blame the pastor because some savages went on a killing spree?”
    This may or may not count for you, but try:
    http://www.christiannewswire.com/news/8967610531.html

    I am sorry I disappoint you, TL. But I do think there are times when one should put a limit limit on what one wants to say (or perhaps the manner one wants to say it). Sometimes the cost paid by others is not worth the personal freedom to say something.

    Comment by Cas — April 5, 2011 @ 12:31 am - April 5, 2011

  64. Cas isn’t a moral relativist. He’s just saying he needs to “chew on it for a bit” because it’s a very “tricky issue” and he wouldn’t want to say that the “societal response” of the “tribal Islamic society” is either “right” or “wrong” because “we have two different societies who view the same action differently.”

    Comment by Sean A — April 5, 2011 @ 12:42 am - April 5, 2011

  65. Hi Sean A,
    Sometimes it is better to think on things. It is called being respectful to the argument. I don’t shoot from the hip like some. Sorry that disappoints you.

    Comment by Cas — April 5, 2011 @ 1:12 am - April 5, 2011

  66. Cas,
    People like you who are incapable of “shooting from the hip” on matters like the murders in Afghanistan are not, in fact, “thinking on things” to be more prudent or “being respectful to the argument” (whatever that means). It means you have lost the ability to distinguish between objective right and wrong. Consequently, that makes you a moral relativist. You’re not complicated in the least and neither are the murders in Afghanistan. In fact, it’s your insufferable, boring, pseudo-intellectual efforts to complicate these matters that reveal you to be such a useless, blathering simpleton.

    Comment by Sean A — April 5, 2011 @ 1:35 am - April 5, 2011

  67. Are you aware that the whole Qur’an burning would have gone largely unnoticed had Hamid Karzai not shot his mouth off, condemned the book burning and called for the arrest of that inbred retard from Gainesville?

    Are you aware that Karzai might not have known about it or said anything if Pock-eeeeeeeee-stahn wasn’t stirring shit up?

    http://tinyurl.com/3eefumx

    Talk about retards, pot meet kettle.

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — April 5, 2011 @ 2:08 am - April 5, 2011

  68. I ask reasonable questions and you decide to dodge the issue by throwing them back in my face–that is not cricket, old bean.

    Yes, Cas, I’m well aware that Alinsky brats like yourself hate not being able to dominate the conversation. I’m also aware that you throw screaming insult fits when you can’t, just like this one, trying to cow people into playing along and trying to exploit their sense of fairness when you have none.

    The problem here, Alinsky brat, is that you’ve just been called out on the fact that you are insisting that burning a Koran is exactly identical and equally “blameworthy” to directly inciting murder and actually murdering someone. You don’t have the balls to acknowledge that, so you spin and dodge; when that doesn’t work, you whine and cry about how awful everyone is for making you actually provide reasonable and rational arguments. Tantrums always made Mommy stop, so you assume they work for everyone else, too.

    Like Sean says, Cas, there’s nothing intelligent about your argument; you’re an anti-Christian bigot who is trying to attack Christians and was stupid enough to actually claim that burning a Koran equaled actually inciting and committing murder. Now that you have been called out on that fact, you’re trying to spin, sidestep, dodge, and whine to get out of it.

    We know what you are, Cas. You are a supporter of Islamist murderers and an anti-Christian bigot. You are so desperate to attack Christians that you will equivocate for people who incite and commit murder in order to blame Christians.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — April 5, 2011 @ 2:17 am - April 5, 2011

  69. SA,
    I see you like to shoot from the hip.

    Comment by Cas — April 5, 2011 @ 2:20 am - April 5, 2011

  70. NDT,
    More excrement coming from the trees…

    Comment by Cas — April 5, 2011 @ 2:20 am - April 5, 2011

  71. Cas,
    When the target is as tall and wide as a liberal like you warbling the usual stale and transparent equivocations while attempting to pass it off as an authentic intellectual pursuit, I can shoot over my shoulder while looking in a hand-mirror.

    Comment by Sean A — April 5, 2011 @ 2:55 am - April 5, 2011

  72. People like you who are incapable of “shooting from the hip” on matters like the murders in Afghanistan are not, in fact, “thinking on things” to be more prudent or “being respectful to the argument” (whatever that means). It means you have lost the ability to distinguish between objective right and wrong. Consequently, that makes you a moral relativist. You’re not complicated in the least and neither are the murders in Afghanistan.

    Agreed.

    I may have to burn a Koran just to make the point. Burning a Koran should be no different than burning the American flag. That is: PERMITTED, however distasteful it may be. And done periodically, in order to prove it is permitted.

    Yes, it is called Free Speech. Yes, if people riot and/or murder because they oppose it, then THEY, the people rioting and/or murdering, are morally out of line. No, they have not been provoked. And no, the people saying we need to “think on [such] things” are not being thoughtful: being so misguided, they evince a lack of actual thought.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — April 5, 2011 @ 3:24 am - April 5, 2011

  73. On Broadway, the creators of the “South Park” TV show have put together an irreverent musical called “The Book of Mormon.” The show depicts clueless missionaries trying to spread their faith in Africa, along with interludes depicting Mormon prophet Joseph Smith as a con man.

    The LDS church didn’t boycott or denounce the show, and the press reported on reported on faithful Mormons who traveled far to see it. Muslims would react very differently to a satirical Broadway show called “The Koran.” A tiny gesture of disrespect in Florida led Islamic mobs to murder UN workers in Afghanistan. The contrast between Mormon and Islamic responses to provocation shows the difference between people who are secure and confident in their faith, and those who treat even the slightest disrespect as potentially lethal to an ancient but troubled religion.

    Medved

    Comment by V the K (Assistant to the Regional Manager) — April 5, 2011 @ 6:00 am - April 5, 2011

  74. Ok, working in chucks, so bear with me.

    “Also, is there something to be said for the manner in which one advocates for some unpopular idea? I cannot help but wonder that if the the pastor had just left it at words, that there would have been far less fallout from the process. The symbolism of the act (along with its place in Muslim culture) was designed for maximum negative effect. I struggle with this idea (it is not well-formed).”

    No, it wouldn’t matter. We’ve seen riots over movies (Van Gough) cartoons, and false stories in Newsweek. Newsweek specifically is ‘just words’. The animals will riot and worry about provocation after words.

    As to your link. Even Randal Terry’s comments don’t justify/rationalize the killer’s actions. At most, he agrees with the killer that Tiller was/is a mass murderer, but laments that his death doesn’t allow him to seek absolution.

    “I am sorry I disappoint you, TL. But I do think there are times when one should put a limit limit on what one wants to say (or perhaps the manner one wants to say it). Sometimes the cost paid by others is not worth the personal freedom to say something.”

    That limit should be at the discression of the person. Not a senator investigating, not for fear of ‘inciting’ those animals who want us dead. The ‘cure’ for free speech is more free speech.

    Comment by The_Livewire — April 5, 2011 @ 8:32 am - April 5, 2011

  75. So according to Cas, it appears that you should now no longer practice your religious beliefs because doing so offends Cas’s favorite Islamists and causes them to kill people.

    Of course, the people who supported practicing these religious beliefs bear the “moral responsibility” for the deaths. They had been warned not to do what they were doing, that it pissed off Islamic radicals, and so forth. That makes them and anyone who would support them “morally responsible” for “provoking” the Islamic radicals. Indeed, the United States government should immediately condemn anyone who would do such a thing, since obviously people need to have their speech and practices limited because the “cost” for not doing so is too high.

    Now, Cas, that is completely and totally consistent with what you have espoused. The instant you try to spin and back away from it, you’re revealed to have a double standard.

    The problem is, Cas, that you are an anti-Christian bigot. And unfortunately for you, you’re a really stupid anti-Christian bigot who was so desperate to attack Christians and demand that Christians be silenced that you sided with Islamist murderers.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — April 5, 2011 @ 11:40 am - April 5, 2011

  76. Hi HT,
    I thought about it some.

    The issue is what role is there for free speech. Can it be constrained? Plenty of commentators I converse with argue, that though reprehensible, this is free speech, and the onus is on those in other countries like Afghanistan to just “suck it and deal with it.” After all, people poke fun at religions in this country all the time, and we don’t riot. That is true, we don’t usually riot over things like that.

    So, does that absolve Mr. Jones?

    I don’t think so. The intuition I have is based on a simple question. Do you believe that there are limits to the practice of free speech? Many of the commentators I speak with are coy on this topic. If the answer is “No” then it makes perfect sense to argue that the responsibility for the dealing with the fallout of free speech should fall on those who hear it. They are responsible for how they deal with provocative nature of what they hear, not the person who utters it. If they go bananas, it is on them, not the originator of the speech. Many will go further and call this unfettered use of speech a universal human right, applicable to all.

    However, if you believe that there are limits to free speech because you believe that speech can provoke reasonable people beyond their limits to act in ways that are hurtful and destructive to themselves, others, or society in general, then this is a murkier picture. Our country enshrined the concept of the freedom of speech in the Constitution. The Founding Fathers meant this to apply universally, though more narrowly focused than what many think today. “The Free Speech Clause of the Constitution was drafted to protect such political dissenters from a similar fate (i.e., punishments that included whipping, branding, fines, imprisonment, banishment, and death) in the newly founded United States.” In this regard, subsequent SCOTUS also allowed that there could be exceptions to its use. “The Constitution is not a suicide pact” said Justice Goldberg. One way to apply this idea is to say that there are limits in what one can say. SCOTUS has delineated a pretty clear set of guidelines, that may have evolved, but the underlying basis for which has not changed: that there are limits to the exercise of free speech, and those limits revolve around what a “reasonable” person might expect to happen as a consequence of the exercise of that speech. Thus, SCOTUS carves out exceptions to free speech. “[T]he U.S. Supreme Court has afforded dissident political speech unparalleled constitutional protection. However, all speech is not equal under the First Amendment. The high court has identified five areas of expression that the government may legitimately restrict under certain circumstances. These areas are speech that incites illegal activity and subversive speech, fighting words, obscenity and pornography, commercial speech, and symbolic expression.”

    If one can be punished for one’s speech, it isn’t free. One is paying a cost to exercise it. One may alternatively believe that speech is free if no one can stop me from doing it, if I choose to do it, no matter what. I pay the price later. In this case, calling Stalin an A—hole in Red Square in 1937 is an exercise in free speech. Except that you permanently disappear. That doesn’t sit well with me as an intuition for supporting the notion of “free speech.” I think that speech in that setting is not free.

    To the point. Commentators, both liberal and conservative have defended this incident as a sanctioned expression of free speech in this instance. I think they are wrong, if not legally, then definitely morally.

    With regards to political speech there is extraordinarily wide latitude, in this country. Even so, freedom of speech is circumscribed, in this country. Bottom line–freedom of speech is not universally applied. Consider another country, Afghanistan that has no cultural heritage of freedom of speech in this context. It is a culture in which the religious and the political are inextricably intertwined. It is a country, where blasphemy is not just a religious issue (outside the purview of the State, but also a legal and social issue: “Blasphemy laws in both Pakistan and Afghanistan carry a maximum sentence of death…” There is no doubt that these violate the norms of what we consider freedom of expression. I wouldn’t want to live there, thank you very much. However, they are the law of the land, and norms by which people in these countries live their lives. Thus, when Mr. Jones burns his Qu’ran, subjecting it to fire (God’s chosen instrument of destruction), it is unsurprising, that when this information is publicly broadcast by Karzai (no friend of the US), that things might get a little “hot.”

    If this was all there was, then Mr. Jones’ symbolic act would be of less interest to me, because what Afghans do in their country in reaction to what a pastor does here has little or no impact on us or me. However, that is not the case. We have been at war in Afghanistan for close on ten years. We have over 100,000 troops in Afghanistan at the moment. There are western NGO’s, UN, and other relief agencies active in Afghanistan. We are in their country.

    Commentators feel that it is reasonable to expect that these people our troops live amongst, ought to realize that our view of free speech is sacrosanct. On what basis this should be so, is not at all clear to me, and no one seems in a hurry to explain this, given the historical conditioning of Afghanistan. Why should these people be more like us, in this regard? Even if we can accept that they would be better off with this right, they certainly do not have it now. The basic argument in support of Mr. Jones’ right to do as he did is that the locals ought to control themselves–after all “reasonable people do not act like this,” presupposes social, cultural, and historical conditions that do not currently exist in Afghanistan.

    Though one liberal commentator expresses his discomfort with generals and politicians asking Mr. Jones from refraining from his actions, I do not. The last thing our troops need is for us to give more ammunition to those who oppose us to fight harder or recruit more easily, or for the populace to distrust us more, as agents of disrespect for their religion, which is woven into their lives in a manner which is completely alien to many of us here in the West. I would have more sympathy for those who support Mr. Jones if they would also acknowledge that his action has caused harm to our forces in Afghanistan, and made our mission harder. An interesting thought experiment in this regard is to consider what people would have said and felt, had Mr. Jones’ action been linked to the death of 20 US personnel? It is unlikely to happen, I grant, because our troops are well defended. That is why, I suspect, 20 UN workers got the brunt, instead. The people who support Mr. Jones’ exercise of his First Amendment Rights are our troops and other NGOs in Afghanistan. They shouldn’t have been asked to do that. For doing this, Mr. Jones bears some of the moral responsibility, at the very least.

    Comment by Cas — April 5, 2011 @ 1:19 pm - April 5, 2011

  77. Hi TL,
    Some of my answer to your queries is encapsulated in my reply above.

    The only thing I think I don’t cover is this:
    “As to your link. Even Randal Terry’s comments don’t justify/rationalize the killer’s actions. At most, he agrees with the killer that Tiller was/is a mass murderer, but laments that his death doesn’t allow him to seek absolution.”

    Yes, I grant what you say, but an observation back at you: If you have someone who is a mass-murderer loose, and they kill and kill again, and the authorities are unwilling or unable to do anything about it, is there room for vigilante justice? Can we find someone who can put two and two together, and do as Henry II said (paraphrasing) of Beckett: “Will no one rid us of this turbulent abortionist?” So, I make an inference here. Do you think it is a reasonable one?

    Comment by Cas — April 5, 2011 @ 1:34 pm - April 5, 2011

  78. NDT,
    More flinging from the trees…

    Comment by Cas — April 5, 2011 @ 1:34 pm - April 5, 2011

  79. The GayPatriots are setting the site record for willful stupidity in this thread.

    Jesus.

    Comment by Levi — April 5, 2011 @ 2:12 pm - April 5, 2011

  80. Longer Levi,

    I can’t refute any of your points, and my butt hurts from all the times I get spanked here.

    Cas,

    For better or worse (I’d say better) What is ‘legal’ isn’t always right. I think Abortion is wrong, (though in Levi’s case, I’d make an exception) but it doesn’t give me the ‘right’ to be judge, jury, and executioner. Groups like Live Action do their best, in the confines of the law, to expose the horrors of Planned Parenthood and others have talked about the horrors of abortion clinics. Did the guy who killed Tiller commit wrong? Hells yes. But we have methods both in the legislative branch (passing laws) and in the courts (Jury nullification for one) to deal with men like him. The only people we don’t extend rights to are those who haven’t crossed the cervical ‘finish line’. (Though the President is on record not even caring if they get that far).

    If the Jury had nullified the law by finding him not-guilty. would you say he was less of a murderer? I’d say no. The law however would see him as innocent as his victim.

    As to the limits on free speech you address above, the classic ‘fire in a crowded theater’ is kind of a false flag. Yelling ‘Fire’ in a crowded theater that is on fire isn’t illegal. It is false speech that is being challenged. Why yell ‘Fire’ in a crowded (non burning) Theater? Unless you’re yelling at the guy on the stage to shoot the president, it’s clearly to incite panic.

    The burning Koran was to a) get some publicity and b) To reafirm the rights that we as Americans celebrate. That some savages used it as an excuse to engage in a riot is not his fault, anymore than it was the fault of the Chicago Bulls for the riots that happened in the 90′s when they won a championship.

    Should the Judge in the trial where the cops who arrested Rodney King were found innocent (a decision I found correct) have thrown out the verdict (and their due process rights) because people in LA would riot? It’s the same thing.

    Comment by The_Livewire — April 5, 2011 @ 2:24 pm - April 5, 2011

  81. Hi TL,
    Thanks for your thoughtful reply. I would point out that I agree with your analysis in so far as the rule of law. My interest is in what led the assassin to target Mr. Tiller. The assassin’s defence comes right out the rhetoric that others have used, and that he used to portray as a case of “justifiable homicide.”

    I am not certain if it is its falseness that is being challenged, but its effect. Falseness is challenged in court-perjury, yes; but politicians of every strip lie as a matter of course. We do not challenge them when they do that, except to offer more speech in return. If shouting “fire” leads to a stampede, or could be reasonably expected to lead to one, is this is the key issue? On the other hand, if someone yells, and there is a fire, and there is a stampede, we don’t prosecute the one who started the panic, since they are doing their civic duty. I guess we would have to go back to the court case to check out the thinking. What do you think?

    Also leading on from that last question, why do you think that yelling “Fire” is the most appropriate type of exception here to describe what is going on? Why do you think it is more valid than say, “fighting words”?

    Comment by Cas — April 5, 2011 @ 3:00 pm - April 5, 2011

  82. Cas,

    Re: Fighting words. I don’t like the thought of condenming speech as ‘hateful’. To use our favourite whack-a-mole for example, Levi’s said that he wants to round up his self proclaimed inferiors and drag them ‘kicking and screaming into the future’. That’s ‘fighting words’ to me. He’s advocating taking people and making them accept his future whether they like it or not. They don’t get a say in the matter, because Levi’s declared them inferior. (aside: I believe that’s why he hates Sarah Palin. She’s smarter and more successful than he, so if he actually applied his standards fairly he’d shut up and let her drag him into her future.)

    The answer isn’t to shut him up. The answer is to expose his words to anyone who might take him seriously. The same for ‘fighting words’ IF Robert Byrd, or any other Klanner, wants to incite violence against blacks, then the answer isn’t to declare ‘fighting words’ and shut him up, it’s to expose the bigotry he preaches to the sunlight.

    Dearbourn Michigan is sometimes called ‘Dearbournistan’ because of the militant Muslims in there. They have open parades promoting Hamas and Hezbolla. That should be exposed.

    Now war is different (which is why it’s spelled out in the constitution). When war is declared, then speech can cross from ‘fighting words’ to ‘aid and comfort.’ if we declared war on Libya (or Iraq or Afghanistan) then in our society we could debate on if the US should be involved, and even have political figures campaign on why we shouldn’t be there. But when someone crosses the line from ‘free speech’ to ‘aid and comfort’ that’s when speech is no longer free.

    Arguing we shouldn’t be bombing Libya – fine.
    Arguing we should be bombing the rebels – fine.
    Giving money to Qudaffy – wrong.
    Encouraging our troops to disobey or attack their leaders (“We love the troops when they kill their officers”) – wrong.
    Going to Libya and making speeches at pro-Qudaffy rallies – wrong.

    Now the problem with the modern world is because the government hasn’t declared war, the rights of the people trump. All the things I listed as ‘wrong’ above are legal right now. They might not be morally correct, but they’re legal under our rights of free speech.

    (aside: How is ‘We love the troops when they kill their officers’ *not* ‘fighting words’)

    Damn that was long.

    Comment by The_Livewire — April 5, 2011 @ 3:18 pm - April 5, 2011

  83. I should specify.

    The ‘problem’ with not declaring war isn’t that the people’s rights should be subsumed to the state. The problem is that the Government can’t not declair war, then complain about giving ‘aid and comfort’ to the enemy. In either case, the Koran torching doesn’t rise to the level of giving aid and comfort. The savages already want to kill us. There was no prohibition on burning the Nazi flag in WW II because the Germans might be mad.

    Comment by The_Livewire — April 5, 2011 @ 3:22 pm - April 5, 2011

  84. The last thing our troops need is for us to give more ammunition to those who oppose us to fight harder or recruit more easily, or for the populace to distrust us more, as agents of disrespect for their religion, which is woven into their lives in a manner which is completely alien to many of us here in the West.

    Then Cas, in the name of “protecting the troops”, you should ban public mention or display of homosexuality, especially gay marriage, since homosexuality is an abomination punishable by death under Islamic law.

    You should also certainly ban any homosexual soldiers from any type of fighting or activity in any Islamic-majority country, since their very presence, under Islamic law, profanes and defiles the area and is an affront to Islam.

    Finally, you should ban any criticism whatsoever of Islam in the United States, since it can all be considered “blasphemy” and may be used by Islamic radicals to provide excuses to riot and commit murder.

    The inanity of your arguments becomes almost hilarious, Cas, a prime example of what liberals THINK conservatives believe based on liberals’ own prejudices.

    And the reason why is simple. You want us to consider Pastor Jones as legally and morally culpable for inciting a riot that he didn’t incite and committing murders that he didn’t commit — and to use both as an excuse for cracking down on Christianity. Hence your utterly ludicrous spinning to rationalize what is a blatant example of antireligious bigotry and hypocrisy.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — April 5, 2011 @ 3:33 pm - April 5, 2011

  85. And Then Bill O’ speaks. . .

    Bill O’Reilly ripped into the Koran-burning Florida pastor who sparked deadly riots in Afghanistan, calling him an “insane Christian” who has “blood on his hands.”

    The conservative Fox News host said Monday night that Terry Jones “had to know fanatical Muslims would go crazy” when he oversaw the burning of the Islamic holy book on March 20.

    The act ignited violent protests in Afghanistan, where an angry mob overran a United Nations mission in the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif on Friday. The death toll on Tuesday climbed to at least 24, including seven U.N. workers, with more than 80 wounded.

    “Everyone involved in this story is disgusting,” O’Reilly added, including the killers and Afghan President Hamid Karzai, who called for Jones arrest knowing it would whip up “dangerous feelings.”

    “This Terry Jones idiot has blood on his hands,” declared the news host.

    Comment by rusty — April 5, 2011 @ 4:07 pm - April 5, 2011

  86. Western civilization – and for that matter, human freedom – is incompatible with traditional Islam. Period. The Islamists know that. We *are* their enemy. There is no getting around it. We cannot win, by watering ourselves down in a futile effort to make them not go on the rioting, murderous rampages that they are already prone to and already want to go on.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — April 5, 2011 @ 4:19 pm - April 5, 2011

  87. Hi! Cas,

    You are “troubled” by a problem of your own making. You choose the “secular” route to common sense and common decency. Your leaders are Kant and Marx and Hegal and Bentham and Mill and whoever else strikes your fancy.

    2000 years ago, Jesus walked a tiny, limited area of the earth and created a revolution in human thinking and understanding that has ruled Western Civilization ever since. The Judeo-Christian ethic was best laid out by Saint Augustine and the theological understandings of “good” and “evil” have underpinned our Constitution, English Common Law and spread throughout the civilized world via the British Empire ever since.

    So, you have chosen to create a “secular” set of “rules” that bypass God, Allah, Yahweh, Jesus, Hinduism, Taoism, Shintoism, and every other “ism” that smacks of “unenlightened” hocus pocus. You are welcome to your world.

    Pastor Jones committed Augustinian evil and now he owns it. The fact that he and Phelps have fellow travelers is no different than Ayers and the Weathermen. Demagogues come in all shapes and sizes. They all have their own brand of truth and enlightenment.

    You want thinking, pondering, enlightened, secular men and women to come to a unified conclusion about Pastor Jones and his antics of “free speech.” Meanwhile, the Judeo-Christian ethic had it figured out by 400 A.D.

    Your shadow-boxing with “free speech” is rather touching. The Judeo-Christian ethic calls for personal responsibility and common decency by “doing unto others what you would have them do unto you.” Pastor Jones is hardly unaware of the consequences of his “free speech.” Now we have to see if he requires federal protection from death threats. (Think Salman Rushdie.)

    Why do you want to punish him? Does society need to take revenge on him? Do you wish to “rehabilitate” him? (Re-education camp?) Do you want to muzzle him?

    As much as you do not want to deal with it, the Founding Fathers had a deep understanding of and commitment to the Judeo-Christian ethic. The Constitution and English Common Law are based on the Augustinian presumptions of decency. The Federalist Papers rely on the Augustinian presumptions. (I do NOT mean “assumptions” because ethics does not provide for that type of latitude. However, moral relativism is all about assumptions and shifting expectations.)

    The Supreme Court has entered into rare determinations regarding “free speech.” The presumption is that speech is in fact free. Pornography, libel, slander, sedition, clear and present danger, and other considerations have defied clear definition. That is why the Supreme Court relies on standards such as a compelling state interest to approach any curbing of the freedom of speech.

    Most literalists and moral relativists fall into thinking that everything can be measured and codified. That was the theme behind HAL in 2001. There is a reason that Brave New World, 1984, Lord of the Flies, Atlas Shrugged, Animal Farm, etc. garner so much attention. Moral relativity always creates a mare’s nest.

    You and I live in two entirely different worlds. I hate the sin but love the sinner. You want to have a heart to heart about what “hate” means and how judgmental “sin” it. You see things “on the other hand” to the point that being an octopus wouldn’t accommodate your ruminations.

    Unfortunately, when one keeps wriggling around with semantics and possible exclusions, it become evident that escape hatches are far more valued than principled stands.

    The media did not have to look up Pastor Jones and make him famous. He could have burned his Koran with his strange flock standing around bleating. If Jones caused deaths, he did it by a willingly engaged and enthusiastic media. When moral relativists cry for “fairness” in the media do they care about the salacious aspects of reporting nuts and sluts news? Maybe. So, explain how state censorship and oversight trumps good judgment and common decency. And also explain how the Judeo-Christian code of common decency is outdated and where one goes to get the morally relevant modern ethic.

    Comment by Heliotrope — April 5, 2011 @ 4:21 pm - April 5, 2011

  88. The conservative Fox News host said Monday night that Terry Jones “had to know fanatical Muslims would go crazy”

    And so what if he did? He still isn’t responsible. No blood on his hands. If anything, we should all burn a lot more Korans, to tire out the Islamist mobs – i.e., to make it a “routine” thing.

    No O’Reilly fan here – he is often wrong.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — April 5, 2011 @ 4:22 pm - April 5, 2011

  89. NDT,
    You still fling refuse from the trees. You do not engage the argument at all; and you risk nothing in this conversation, being completely unwilling to express what you yourself think when asked to (at least by me, who is probably the only person to have actually bothered to find out what you believe, I suspect). Nut up, dude.

    Comment by Cas — April 5, 2011 @ 4:54 pm - April 5, 2011

  90. +1 to ILC.

    Comment by The_Livewire — April 5, 2011 @ 4:56 pm - April 5, 2011

  91. Yes ILC. . . No O’Reilly fan here – he is often wrong.

    but then,

    Last week Bill O’ and Beck on At your Beck and Call on Donald Trump

    Beck concluded, “The last thing the country needs is a showboat…I would hope we could get serious candidates who could shake things up by not saying provocative things, just by stating the truth of what’s going on.”

    But then you and I would be off the air,” O’Reilly said. “Because we’re provocateurs. We do that every day.”

    Comment by rusty — April 5, 2011 @ 4:59 pm - April 5, 2011

  92. 2000 years ago, Jesus walked a tiny, limited area of the earth and created a revolution in human thinking and understanding that has ruled Western Civilization ever since. The Judeo-Christian ethic was best laid out by Saint Augustine and the theological understandings of “good” and “evil” have underpinned our Constitution, English Common Law and spread throughout the civilized world via the British Empire ever since.

    I love this line of thinking. Christians can’t really take credit for anything, so you go ahead and take credit for everything. Stuff like freedom of the press and protection against warrant-less search and seizure? Oh yeah, that was definitely in the Bible.

    Morality and civilization is this great thing that human beings have been working at for thousands of years before Jesus. Christians would have us believe that they’re solely responsible for it, when at best, they’ve been occasional contributors and frequent barriers to its progress.

    Comment by Levi — April 5, 2011 @ 5:02 pm - April 5, 2011

  93. rusty, I am not particularly a Beck fan either.

    Having said that: I have noticed that often, merely to state a truth is to be “provocative” to some people. Merely to exercise a freedom (such as flag-burning, Bible-burning or Koran-burning) is “provocative” to some people. Scare quotes on “provocative” because I go by the Sticks-n-Stones theory: the theory that a thing which is merely said, or which is done as a symbolic gesture, no matter how stupid or offensive it may be, its offensiveness is nothing to the far greater offense of physical violence and can never justify a physically violent response.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — April 5, 2011 @ 5:09 pm - April 5, 2011

  94. Don’t worry, Levi; the Romans legalized and promoted abortion and infanticide long before you did, with similar consequences.

    Your “morality” is that human beings exist for your convenience and pleasure. If they are “unwanted” or “inconvenient”, you kill them — either by snipping their spinal cords at birth, or by threatening to kill them and their families for being of the wrong political affiliation, or by setting bombs in their place of business.

    Humanity has indeed tried that for thousands of years. These newfangled Christians, with their beliefs against abortion, against lying, cheating, and stealing, and in favor of honoring and assisting your fellow man, run exactly counter to the ethos produced by “civilized” individuals like yourself, who see Christians as a roadblock to you murdering, lying, cheating, and taking everyone else’s property for your own uses.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — April 5, 2011 @ 5:26 pm - April 5, 2011

  95. Rusty,

    I semi-abide Bill O’Reilly. I am not fond of superiority complexes. I admire sound logic and educated debate and I would prefer he depended more on them than resorting to bluster.

    I, too, believe Pastor Jones along with the media have blood on their hands.* It is apparent to me that Pastor Jones wants religious war and that the media wants to help him along at kicking away at the hornet’s nest.

    ILC offers a viable alternative. Perhaps if we all started burning Korans, the radical Islamists would go into hyper-drive and tear themselves apart. Who knows?

    Perhaps I do not know what being a “provocateur” means. Glenn Beck has taken on exposing how radicals are organized and what they are saying and how they are tied together. People say he is a liar. What has escaped my attention is exactly what lies he has told. Sort of like why the red phone never rings. Is he lying that it is active and connected?

    Is what he is saying “provocative” and has he built an empire on it? Yes. So where is the “state socialism” counterpart who trumpets moral relativism, socialism and revolution? Or, doesn’t it resonate so well?

    Unlike some others, I believe Glenn Beck is totally sincere. If the suits at FOX News can him for being too hot to handle, I fully expect to find him on his own network continuing his work.

    I also agree that Donald Trump is a showboat. Not much different from John F’n Kerry or Chuckie Schumer. (Although I applaud his needling about Obama’s real history vs. the scripted history.)

    Bottom line: FOX News is not the monolith the leftists try to paint.

    [ * The blood on their hands is from a theological perspective. I am comfortable with that judgment.]

    Comment by Heliotrope — April 5, 2011 @ 5:29 pm - April 5, 2011

  96. Hi HT,
    Funny, I always thought that the Founding Fathers were deeply influenced by secular Enlightenment thinking–that is what Jefferson’s library suggests at least. They can also be deeply influenced by Augustinian/common law thinking as well; neither excludes the other from consideration. And if we do consider these two sides together, I do not make as much of the divide you as you wish to make of it. I can believe that people are essentially flawed, that doesn’t have to make me Augustinian or Christian. One can be a Hobbesian for that (another text the Founding Ftahers were very familiar with). What the Founders did was to put in place a rational framework to help deal with the passions and the interests that humans have; I can grant the influence of Judeo-Christian ethics. But what of the role of Enlightenment reason. Would you also grant that as well? 1784 was when Kant’s “What is Enlightenment?” was published. My guess is that the Founding Fathers knew it very well, especially its dictum: “Argue as much as you want and about what you want, but obey!”

    Punishment is a separate issue that I have not even raised. I find it interesting that you have–why? There may be legal issues, but I have made clear that I do not know–I am not up on the subtleties of First Amendment Rights issues; hence why I made my claim about moral rather than legal blameworthiness.

    “The Supreme Court has entered into rare determinations regarding “free speech.” The presumption is that speech is in fact free. Pornography, libel, slander, sedition, clear and present danger, and other considerations have defied clear definition. That is why the Supreme Court relies on standards such as a compelling state interest to approach any curbing of the freedom of speech.”
    I’d appreciate some evidence to read concerning this claim that you make. They don’t seem to be that rare to me: http://www.anarchytv.com/speech/cases.html
    Apparently, from what I read, it is clear enough that we have a reasonably settled body of law concerning them–political speech broadly protected (clear principle), other aspects of free expression less so, depending on perceived harm (clear principle). Nobody (apart from pedophiles) argues that child pornography is protected speech; clearly it is harmful and in the state’s compelling interest to ban.

    “Unfortunately, when one keeps wriggling around with semantics and possible exclusions, it become evident that escape hatches are far more valued than principled stands.”
    I have no idea what this vague generalization refers to, sorry.

    “The media did not have to look up Pastor Jones and make him famous.”
    On this, you and I agree. Apparently, when he did burn it, there was very little media attention. It was Karzai who made it well-known to the Afghan people. I am not sure the “media” is to blame for this, at least in this country, in this instance. If you have evidence that it was more widespread than what I have read, please I would ask you to share this with us.

    “So, explain how state censorship and oversight trumps good judgment and common decency. And also explain how the Judeo-Christian code of common decency is outdated and where one goes to get the morally relevant modern ethic.”
    I do not think it is outdated. It is one vision of how to lead one’s life. There is much to commend it.
    As for state censorship, that is a good question. I don’t have an answer for you. Are we in a war where the equivalent of “loose lips, sinks ships”? Or a different kind, where what is at stakes are “hearts and minds”? And if so, where does Mr. Jones fit in

    And what of you HT? Has Mr. Jones’ actions made our task in Afghanistan harder? I would like to know what you think.

    Comment by Cas — April 5, 2011 @ 5:33 pm - April 5, 2011

  97. You still fling refuse from the trees. You do not engage the argument at all; and you risk nothing in this conversation, being completely unwilling to express what you yourself think when asked to (at least by me, who is probably the only person to have actually bothered to find out what you believe, I suspect). Nut up, dude.

    Actually, Cas, I have engaged the argument; unfortunately for you, I have taken it through to its logical conclusion and called out the end results.

    The problem here is that you’re not used to having to argue logically or consistently, or to actually reconcile your stated goals with the clear outcomes of your demands. You are extremely talented at blathering and spinning, but seem utterly helpless when faced with actual facts and conclusions. Hence you resort to whining about how mistreated you are and insults — childish tantrums from a child who is not used to having to defend their own behaviors and statements.

    I repeat myself, Cas. You want us to consider Pastor Jones as legally and morally culpable for inciting a riot that he didn’t incite and committing murders that he didn’t commit — and to use both as an excuse for cracking down on Christianity AND freedom of speech. Hence your utterly ludicrous spinning to rationalize what is a blatant example of antireligious bigotry and hypocrisy, as well as an attempt to shut up those who you dislike.

    You are childish and bigoted. You are also being humiliated here by people who are far smarter than you are and recognize you as the idiotic moral relativist you are who will say and do anything to rationalize stripping people who you dislike of their Constitutional rights.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — April 5, 2011 @ 5:34 pm - April 5, 2011

  98. It is apparent to me that Pastor Jones wants religious war

    And to be clear, I am not in a strong position to contradict that. Jones had struck “me, too” as a publicity-seeking nutcake, in the 30 seconds when I saw him talk on TV. Not to be nuanced about this ;-) – I am only saying, “that’s freedom.”

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — April 5, 2011 @ 5:39 pm - April 5, 2011

  99. I love this line of thinking. Christians can’t really take credit for anything, so you go ahead and take credit for everything. Stuff like freedom of the press and protection against warrant-less search and seizure? Oh yeah, that was definitely in the Bible.

    Huh? You can take the Judeo-Christian ethic out of the last 2,000 years and end up with an ethic?

    You have zero understanding of history, the forces of history, the growth of philosophy, the basis of the university system, the early libraries and how books were transcribed, and on and on and on.

    And by the by, the Bill of Rights has a deep and rich history bound up in a thousand ways by the Judeo-Christian ethic.

    Levi, you stand naked in full view.

    You saw my reference to Jesus and all the other spiritual leaders and you just had to start your motor mouth up, didn’t you. You are so total in your bigotry that a little reference to religion and you start throwing hand grenades.

    Well, show us your secular sources for unified ethics. I will keep the light on.

    Comment by Heliotrope — April 5, 2011 @ 5:41 pm - April 5, 2011

  100. As for state censorship, that is a good question. I don’t have an answer for you.

    Unfortunately, Cas, you already stated that you support censorship.

    Though one liberal commentator expresses his discomfort with generals and politicians asking Mr. Jones from refraining from his actions, I do not. The last thing our troops need is for us to give more ammunition to those who oppose us to fight harder or recruit more easily, or for the populace to distrust us more, as agents of disrespect for their religion, which is woven into their lives in a manner which is completely alien to many of us here in the West. I would have more sympathy for those who support Mr. Jones if they would also acknowledge that his action has caused harm to our forces in Afghanistan, and made our mission harder.

    Own up to your own words, Cas. You called for censorship. Now justify it. Better yet, justify why you call for censorship of Christians and religious people, but refuse to call for censorship of those whose behaviors are offensive to Islam, such as gays and lesbians.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — April 5, 2011 @ 5:48 pm - April 5, 2011

  101. Hi NDT,
    I think in Mr Jones case, “shame” would be a good word. Shaming. Do you consider that censorship, NDT?
    Has Mr. Jones’ actions made our task in Afghanistan harder? I would like to know what you think.

    Comment by Cas — April 5, 2011 @ 6:07 pm - April 5, 2011

  102. Hi! Cas,

    The discussion of “good” and “evil” is age old. You can follow it through myriad sources and philosophies. If you are subject to Western civilization, what you can not do is isolate either the Bible or Saint Augustine from the study. Western society was built on both.

    The “enlightenment” ushered in the epistemological problem of the indeterminacy. This is really not much different from the poor Kelvinist who determined how many angels could dance on the head of a pin. Undisciplined philosophical musing often leads to such exercises in “solving” underdetermination in science and what guides the human creature. Descartes, Hume, Rousseau, blah, blah, blah, all tried their best at the epistemological problem of the indeterminacy. However, no philosopher has managed to “solve” the problem and make it stick.

    The Bible and Saint Augustine, however, have served as excellent unifying ethical and societal roadmaps and guardrails.

    I have faith. The Bible and Saint Augustine can be read by people who do not have faith. They can learn and gain, but they feed their skepticism and deny their faith. So, where does that leave them? With no roadmap and no guardrails, since each skeptic picks and chooses what he wishes and discards what is inconvenient or about which he is ambivalent. In other words, the skeptic picks and chooses according to his preferences as gauged by his personally constructed moral code.

    Even at the lectern, I avoid terms such as “epistemological problem of the indeterminacy.” It is a snotty way of telling the little people that they are unprepared to discuss big boy stuff. That is exactly why Descartes, Marx, Hume, Rousseau, Hegal and the rest have never succeeded. They require that you have faith in their individual minds in order to understand your fellow man. Yet, they can not find a way to make common sense open and accessible.

    Ethics as a study neither makes the learner more “ethical” nor even “ethical.” Anyone who has ever studied Saint Augustine understands that this great man troubled out a lot of near obvious “little” stuff and put it in perspective. For example, Saint Augustine did a great job laying out the sin of lying by omission. When you couple this with “Thou shall not lie” it reveals how easy it is to sin. We all do it, but if we were more informed and dedicated to truth we could easily learn to avoid it. To do that, we respond better to faith and the community of believers than to depend on altruistic personal ego gratification. If we all worked at overcoming lying by omission, society as a whole would be better off.

    So, yes we are in two different worlds. You are on your own and basically alone. I am joined by millions and millions of sinners past and present who have struggled at varying degrees of trying to do better.

    I will take my team over your lonely isolation any day. (But, you really don’t have too much of a problem, because my Judeo-Christian team did all the heavy lifting and continues to set the rules and guardrails. So, that makes you an ethical saprophyte who likes to act out a bit. However, the door is open and you are cordially invited join with us believers and faithful whenever you see the light.)

    Comment by Heliotrope — April 5, 2011 @ 9:33 pm - April 5, 2011

  103. Hi HT,
    “The “enlightenment” ushered in the epistemological problem of the indeterminacy. ”
    OK, what exactly is the problem of indeterminacy that you refer to here, as a problem of the Enlightenment? I haven’t heard that term before, so I want to be sure I understand what you mean when you use it. I will hold off commenting till I have a better idea of what you mean, by this.

    As for “ethical saprophyte”–to one degree or another, I think that applies to us all. Perhaps the term is ethical saprophage? Remember, without it/them, we wouldn’t get humus, I think…

    Comment by Cas — April 5, 2011 @ 10:00 pm - April 5, 2011

  104. OK, what exactly is the problem of indeterminacy that you refer to here, as a problem of the Enlightenment?

    Not a soul in the world knows. It is the realm of liberals who get all hopped up on ambiguity. I suggest you google it and get a taste of how far and deep into graduate school you can get playing epistemological games.

    Comment by Heliotrope — April 5, 2011 @ 10:36 pm - April 5, 2011

  105. Hi HT,
    I looked on-line. It appears that Google refers to “indeterminacy” to what I would call “the Crisis of the Modern.” Yet, what I think you refer to is that Enlightenment thinkers were happy with the the construction of the self that they had found–a self-contained locus of action–the Modern Subject. Descartes used this to displace God from the epistemological centre–human subjectivity guaranteed what was true, not God. A “ground” if you will. He used the human consciousness as a ‘ground.” Hegel would use it in a different way, as part of his dialectic to sweep human consciousness up into his sweeping path of history, to the end point where human consciousness recognized the divinity over-against itself that had first been torn apart when God had emptied itself in the creation of the universe. The aim was the reunion.
    OK, now I am with you. If I understand you correctly, you want to hold onto the “ground” of your Christian faith as an antidote to the emergence of the Modern Subject in the 16th-18th Century and its disintegration of that self that the “crisis of the Modern” created (late 19th Century and ongoing). That Modern Self took Reason over Faith as its abiding North Star. Let me go back and read what you say now, with this in mind….

    “Western society was built on both.”
    I can see that, but then would you not grant that Christianity draws its inspiration not only from the Torah, but also from philosophies before and after the Christ? Zoroasterism, Manicheanism, Neo-Platonism, Platonism–as these were influences on Augustine, as we both know. As for Western society, I think it would be fair to include the Greeks and their philosophical ideas as a further foundational support to the very notion of Western Civilization (including, thank goodness, Aristotle). What say you?

    “The Bible and Saint Augustine, however, have served as excellent unifying ethical and societal roadmaps and guardrails.”
    I agree. I’d include St. Thomas Aquinas as well. But so has the belief in reason and truth/ science and uncertainty. These too have served us well. And sadly, at various times, they have not done so well.
    I guess what I am saying is that I do not reject either side of this equation. Both seem to be within the purview of human experience. One does not have to believe in a Christian God to have faith.Christianity is not the only religious and/or philosophical system that has a set of moral precepts. Every religion has some version of the Golden Rule (even the philosophical thought of Confucianism)–it is not special to Christianity. http://www.religioustolerance.org/reciproc2.htm

    “Ethics as a study neither makes the learner more “ethical” nor even “ethical.””
    I agree-studying it does not necessarily make one more ethical or even ethical. However, by corollary, studying religion doesn’t necessarily make one more religious/spiritual/ethical or even religious/spiritual/ethical. I think that is in the hands of each of us and our personal conscience. We may call on others to help us, but again, this community does not necessarily have to be one’s religious community. I grant it cam; but other alternatives exist–one’s philosophical community. I grant that philosophical communities can split based on ideas, but then, so to can religion–as the Reformation, and the indefinitely multiplying sects of Christianity attest to…

    “We all do it, but if we were more informed and dedicated to truth we could easily learn to avoid it.” Can we? If one is Protestant, this is a tall order, given the hopeless cesspools of sin that we are. As a Catholic, I can see this argument, for free will plays an important role here. But why someone of a philosophical bent cannot come to the same conclusions is not clear to me. A Spinozist would speak of the “intellectual love of God.” It is not Christianity, but it can still be a deeply carnal understanding of the Divine.

    Why divide us according to the many believers in community, and those who seek their idea of what is divine in philosophical endeavours? One does not have to be a Christian to experience the Divine, HT. When one does, one is never alone.

    “because my Judeo-Christian team did all the heavy lifting and continues to set the rules and guardrails.”
    As my comments have made clear, the Abrahmic religious traditions owe a lot to the heavy lifting that happened before during and after the birth of Christ by other religions and philosophies. The Judeao-Christian ethic/religion cannot stand alone from what went before and what came after; just as the Modern Subject cannot stand as its own ground alone (on that, I agree with you).

    Thank you for a stimulating conversation.

    Comment by Cas — April 6, 2011 @ 12:26 am - April 6, 2011

  106. Huh? You can take the Judeo-Christian ethic out of the last 2,000 years and end up with an ethic?

    You have zero understanding of history, the forces of history, the growth of philosophy, the basis of the university system, the early libraries and how books were transcribed, and on and on and on.

    And by the by, the Bill of Rights has a deep and rich history bound up in a thousand ways by the Judeo-Christian ethic.

    Levi, you stand naked in full view.

    You saw my reference to Jesus and all the other spiritual leaders and you just had to start your motor mouth up, didn’t you. You are so total in your bigotry that a little reference to religion and you start throwing hand grenades.

    Well, show us your secular sources for unified ethics. I will keep the light on.

    What is ‘unified ethics?’ Shall I assume it’s the same as ‘objective morality?’ The religious idea that human beings need God to make the rules that we live by?

    It’s a false premise that we need either. Morality and ethics are outgrowths of human social behavior, which has been evolving for millions of years. Humans thrive in cohesive groups, and cohesion develops by individuals cooperating and treating each other well. It feels good to do things for people because our endocrine system is wired to release endorphins for something as simple as seeing a pretty girl smile. Inevitably, it all comes back around to random mutation and natural selection. These mechanisms were in place for millions of years before Christianity came along. Sorry Helio, but there’s just no room for your God here.

    And suppose there was such a thing as unified ethics or an objective morality – a lot of good it does me if God refuses to share it with anybody. How am I supposed to be able to make the right moral and ethical choices if God fails to reveal either himself or his secret moral codes? The Bible is full of contradictions – God kills people throughout the book and then tells us not to, although he tells some people that it’s okay to kill other people, even women and children, which is something that I find abhorrent. Huh? What? I’m supposed to be able to find an objective moral code in this thing? I’m being judged at this very instance against a code I have no way of knowing anything about? This makes sense to you?

    Look, if you insist on declaring that you wouldn’t know how to behave without a bunch of ancient fairy tales or without an imaginary friend reading your mind all the time, don’t let me stop you. I actually think you would know how to behave, which puts me in the unexpected position of having more faith in your ability to be a decent human being, all on your own, than you have in yourself. Come on buddy. Religion is Santa Claus for grown-ups. How is that not obvious?

    Comment by Levi — April 6, 2011 @ 2:25 am - April 6, 2011

  107. Hi Levi,
    “Sorry Helio, but there’s just no room for your God here. ”
    Out of curiosity, is there room for the personal experience of the divine in your world-view? Or is this just endo-bio-chemical reactions? Further, would it be fair to categorize one aspect of your beliefs as being one in which human consciousness can be reduced soley to such types of endo-bio-chemical reactions?

    Comment by Cas — April 6, 2011 @ 3:00 am - April 6, 2011

  108. I have faith. The Bible and Saint Augustine can be read by people who do not have faith. They can learn and gain, but they feed their skepticism and deny their faith. So, where does that leave them? With no roadmap and no guardrails, since each skeptic picks and chooses what he wishes and discards what is inconvenient or about which he is ambivalent. In other words, the skeptic picks and chooses according to his preferences as gauged by his personally constructed moral code.

    What a bunch of horseshit. I don’t have a roadmap because I don’t believe in your imaginary friend? I pick and choose my moral code? Like I checked boxes on a form one day? Pfffft. You’re just trying to dehumanize your opposition because, once again, you have absolutely no evidence for any of your claims.

    A few years ago, a girl I went to high school with was randomly murdered by someone, with a knife, in a convenience store. She was just an acquaintance, I did not know her practically at all, but I took the news hard. It was literally gut-wrenching, and for weeks, I could keep myself awake at night, going over it in my head and thinking about her family and what she must have been thinking about in her final moments. I wasn’t affected by my grandfathers’ deaths nearly as much as I was hers, probably because she was so young, because of the brutality of it all. I still think about her a lot, despite only ever having had maybe 2 or 3 twenty second conversations with her in school. Occasionally I give money to the Christian school that she worked at, they set up a scholarship fund in her honor.

    Now maybe you can tell me, because I don’t remember – when exactly did I pick and choose to feel this way about an almost total stranger? When I got that sinking feeling in my chest when I would read or watch the news about Japan, was that also something that I picked? If I were picking and choosing, why wouldn’t I pick to be completely indifferent to any and all human suffering? If skeptics are just making up their own moral codes as they go, why aren’t the newspapers filled with stories about atheists wreaking havoc?

    For all the exotic details and fine particulars, the human experience is pretty consistent across cultures and throughout time. Generally, people don’t kill one another. They don’t steal from one another. They have friends. And if you want to explain that consistency with religion, you just can’t, because yours isn’t the only religion. Maybe Buddha is the one true God? There are plenty of Buddhists. Maybe Allah? Why should it be Jesus Christ?

    Or, you could go with the more simple, satisfying explanation that human morality is derived from our evolutionary history. But let’s get real – you’re not actually looking for truth, are you? You’re just out to dehumanize the people who disagree with you, and what better way to dehumanize someone than to say they don’t give a shit about anything or anyone? Pretty pathetic pal.

    So, yes we are in two different worlds. You are on your own and basically alone. I am joined by millions and millions of sinners past and present who have struggled at varying degrees of trying to do better.

    Wait, what? Atheists can’t have family and friends?

    And what good are the millions of other Christians on your team if Christianity turns out to not be true?

    I will take my team over your lonely isolation any day. (But, you really don’t have too much of a problem, because my Judeo-Christian team did all the heavy lifting and continues to set the rules and guardrails. So, that makes you an ethical saprophyte who likes to act out a bit. However, the door is open and you are cordially invited join with us believers and faithful whenever you see the light.)

    I simply can’t word it any better, so I’ll repeat myself; religion can take credit for nothing, so it goes and ahead and takes credit for everything. The defining trend in human history has been of people shrugging off superstition and crawling out from under religious tyranny to invent science and medicine and technology. Whatever usefulness it ever served for our species is long since gone, and the world would be a better place overnight if everyone stopped believing it.

    When we were slaughtering the Native Americans, was that the Juedeo-Christian ethic? When we were shipping slaves from Africa, was that the Judeo-Christian ethic? Have we become history’s greatest superpower because of some kind of divine favor, or because we’ve happened upon advantageous economic opportunities that we could easily access (the New World) and used ruthlessly efficient economic systems (slavery) to rapidly build wealth?

    Comment by Levi — April 6, 2011 @ 3:23 am - April 6, 2011

  109. Out of curiosity, is there room for the personal experience of the divine in your world-view? Or is this just endo-bio-chemical reactions?

    No. Not until some evidence comes along. Everyone would assume that my pet cat is just endo-bio-chemical reactions, if we could agree that she doesn’t personally experience the divine, then why should we assume that humans can?

    Further, would it be fair to categorize one aspect of your beliefs as being one in which human consciousness can be reduced soley to such types of endo-bio-chemical reactions?

    Yes. Sam Harris makes a really good point about this. When people experience head trauma and suffer brain damage, they change. They will forget words or faces or details of their life, they will become more aggressive or ill-tempered, something along those lines. The physical brain has been damaged, and something in the mind becomes lost. Your consciousness is altered. And the more physical damage you do to the brain, the more the mind suffers. It is only logical to conclude that if you damage the brain completely, the mind is extinguished. If the reactions stop, then so do you.

    Until we have some evidence that is possible to preserve the consciousness without the brain, I’m going to assume that’s how it works. Plenty of people have died on this planet, and yet there isn’t a sliver of reliable evidence indicating that any of their consciousnesses have been moved to somewhere else.

    Comment by Levi — April 6, 2011 @ 3:44 am - April 6, 2011

  110. Cas,

    Levi believes in Dark Matter, the undetectable, unknowable mystery component that just happens to have all of the properties needed to unify astrophysical theories.

    With his belief in this, he doesn’t feel a need to believe in the Divine.

    So he can mock my ‘imaginary friend’ but bitterly cling to his imaginary pet rock.

    I also gave ‘fighting words’ a bit more thought last night. I still find the concept wrong. Speech should be defended *especially* when it’s unpopular. It doesn’t matter how much rage one puts in their words, it’s the fault of the people who act on them.

    Comment by The_Livewire — April 6, 2011 @ 7:45 am - April 6, 2011

  111. Livewire, not only is the evidence for dark matter precisely the same as the evidence for unicorn farts, another key component of Big Bang Cosmology turns out to be likely something scienticians just made up to fill the gaps.

    Comment by V the K — April 6, 2011 @ 9:57 am - April 6, 2011

  112. Livewire, not only is the evidence for dark matter precisely the same as the evidence for unicorn farts, another key component of Big Bang Cosmology turns out to be likely something scienticians just made up to fill the gaps.

    What do you want? These are scientific theories. Inflation, the Big Bang, dark matter – the math is there to support these hypotheses. It’s impossible for human beings to know exactly what happened 14 million years ago, millions of light years away, but we can measure what we observe and make best guesses. Dark matter is a best guess. String theory is a best guess. They’re being continually refined. If you don’t like this stuff because it doesn’t provide absolute certainty, that’s fine, but making up a nice story and insisting that it does provide absolute certainty is hardly a preferable option.

    Comment by Levi — April 6, 2011 @ 10:43 am - April 6, 2011

  113. Again, Levi’s too much of a coward to respond to the original post.

    What’s wrong Levi, all thse big facts scaring you?

    V the K, I’d not read about ‘hyperacceleration’ before. Yeah, that’s a pretty big hole that is being filled with Unicorn farts.

    Levi can play with his imaginary pet rocks all he wants and call them science. It doesn’t make it any more valid than my belief in the Divine.

    Comment by The_Livewire — April 6, 2011 @ 11:26 am - April 6, 2011

  114. When we were slaughtering the Native Americans, was that the Juedeo-Christian ethic? When we were shipping slaves from Africa, was that the Judeo-Christian ethic?

    No, Levi, because that was the Founding Fathers — who you have claimed were atheists and didn’t believe in the Judeo-Christian ethic. Furthermore, it was based on US law, which you have shrieked and screamed had nothing to do with Judeo-Christian belief.

    That’s what makes you so obviously a bigot, Levi; you scream one minute that the Founding Fathers were not Christian, then rattle off a litany of their crimes as proof of how bad Christianity is. You don’t have any coherence or intellectual thought involved; as Heliotrope pointed out, you see the word Jesus and your mouth takes off.

    And here’s the best example of your bigotry and hypocrisy, Levi:

    It’s impossible for human beings to know exactly what happened 14 million years ago, millions of light years away, but we can measure what we observe and make best guesses.

    And yet, you were screaming before and demanding absolute, empirical, observable proof of God’s existence, with no “best guesses” allowed. Indeed, you shrieked that “best guesses” were nothing more than human prejudice and were made up.

    Practice what you preach, Levi. Or are you not capable of doing that?

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — April 6, 2011 @ 11:29 am - April 6, 2011

  115. A few years ago, a girl I went to high school with was randomly murdered by someone, with a knife, in a convenience store. She was just an acquaintance, I did not know her practically at all, but I took the news hard. It was literally gut-wrenching, and for weeks, I could keep myself awake at night, going over it in my head and thinking about her family and what she must have been thinking about in her final moments.

    And yet you support raping and murdering young girls when their last name is Palin or their parents are Republicans.

    And furthermore, Levi, your “morality” involves snipping the spinal cords of babies that you deem “inconvenient” or “unwanted” because of their skin color.

    Kermit Gosnell shows what liberal morality and ethics looks like. He was allowed to do as he pleased and given Federal funding to do so, all the time protected from inspection or any type of oversight thanks to the Obama Party, to which he generously donated, and “progressives” like you, Levi, who considered the fact that he was murdering and chopping up babies a good and moral thing for society.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — April 6, 2011 @ 11:34 am - April 6, 2011

  116. If I were picking and choosing, why wouldn’t I pick to be completely indifferent to any and all human suffering?

    Ah, but you do, Levi.

    For example, you choose to be completely indifferent tlo those who annually kill over one million babies, including those like Kermit Gosnell, who snip their spinal cords to do it, and those like Barack Obama, who advocate leaving them in broom closets to struggle to death.

    And you also choose to be completely indifferent to those who are imprisoned, maimed, tortured, and killed by people like Saddam Hussein, mainly because he paid bribes to leftists like you and was also anti-American like you are.

    Finally, you support and endorse those who make death threats against Sarah Palin, her family, and Republican legislators and their families.

    Sociopaths like yourself are not incapable of feeling emotion, Levi. You simply don’t register it the way normal people do, given that you support and endorse the wholesale murder and killing of inconvenient black babies, brown-skinned “Arabics” who you think are inferior beings, and Republicans and conservatives.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — April 6, 2011 @ 11:43 am - April 6, 2011

  117. Slightly OT, but anyone remember’s Levi’s crazy worship of Global Warming.?

    oops… HT National Review.

    Comment by The_Livewire — April 6, 2011 @ 11:46 am - April 6, 2011

  118. I think in Mr Jones case, “shame” would be a good word. Shaming. Do you consider that censorship, NDT? Has Mr. Jones’ actions made our task in Afghanistan harder? I would like to know what you think.

    Correction, Cas; you have no interest whatsoever in what I think. You DO, however, have an interest in steering the conversation away from your being held accountable for the logical outgrowth of what you have already demanded, as I pointed out above:

    Then Cas, in the name of “protecting the troops”, you should ban public mention or display of homosexuality, especially gay marriage, since homosexuality is an abomination punishable by death under Islamic law.

    You should also certainly ban any homosexual soldiers from any type of fighting or activity in any Islamic-majority country, since their very presence, under Islamic law, profanes and defiles the area and is an affront to Islam.

    Finally, you should ban any criticism whatsoever of Islam in the United States, since it can all be considered “blasphemy” and may be used by Islamic radicals to provide excuses to riot and commit murder.

    In short, if you really care about “making the task harder” for our troops, then you should ban homosexuals from serving, since their mere presence is an affront to Islam and could lead to rioting. You should also suppress gay and lesbian pride parades and public activity, since public displays of homosexuality are considered blasphemy and an affront to Islam.

    Now, Cas, let’s be clear here.

    - You demand “shaming” for anyone who engages in behavior that you claim COULD provoke or or be used to incite Muslims — but you refuse to shame gays and lesbians who engage in behavior that could provoke and be used to incite Muslims.

    - You complain about how behavior that could provoke or be used to incite Muslims makes it harder for our troops and thus should be suppressed — but refuse to suppress gay and lesbian behavior that could provoke and be used to incite Muslims.

    - You insist that supporting our military mission is paramount and that we must avoid any behavior that would be offensive to, provoke, or could be used to incite Muslims — but refuse to bar homosexual troops from serving, despite the fact that homosexuality is an abomination and blasphemy under Muslim law, and that openly homosexual troops could be offensive to, provoke, or be used to incite Muslims.

    So yes, what you’re demanding is censorship of beliefs you don’t like, Cas. That is because you are wholly and completely inconsistent in your logic and reasoning. Furthermore, your attempt to complain that Mr. Jones’s actions have made our task more difficult is nothing but sheer hypocrisy when one considers your own unwillingness to censor or block such behavior.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — April 6, 2011 @ 12:06 pm - April 6, 2011

  119. I am, well, tired. I do not deny Levi his humanity. God gave him the power of sympathy, empathy, and love and the human brain to interact with his fellow men. What Levi lacks is the humility of a grain of mustard seed, he would be willing to have the faith as a grain of mustard seed.

    Go along, Levi, and do it all without faith and rely entirely upon the clevernesses of the human mind. It is a magnificent machine and you should do just fine.

    But why are you so frustrated by those of faith? What interference do they cause in your enlightened life? Have you read the Commandments and studied the virtues and vices and found them lacking, harmful, bigoted, unjust? What “sin” do you want expunged from the books? What virtue do you wish added?

    Hi! Cas,

    In no way did the Judeo-Christian ethic form in isolation from the world it experienced and the world that proceeded it. However, are you supposing that the Judeo-Christian ethic did not have significant force in forming the world which experienced it?

    I will not play pseudo-intellectual games which revolve around arcane terms of philosophy. I do not quote Bible verses. I do not appeal to authority. If faith, humility, ethics, logic, brotherhood, love, understanding, honor, trust, justice, truth, spirituality, decency, integrity, friendship, sympathy, communication, etc. depend on reading deep into philosophy, memorizing the Bible, learning the myriad terms and applications for fallacious thinking, taking advanced courses in ethics and so forth then we are doomed to slavery with academics as our masters.

    I baited a hook with “epistemological problem of the indeterminacy” and you grabbed it and ran with it. You see, you are engaged in playing the “intellectual” game of breaking everything down to its constituent components. OK. Let me dump oil, hairs, wood, canvas, and pigments on the floor and inform you that what you see is the Mona Lisa. What you actually see, of course, are components for creating the Mona Lisa. That is what deconstruction yields.

    Thornton Wilder wrote The Bridge at San Luis Rey as a wonderful example of how deconstruction can be enlightening. But he cheated. He deconstructed a cold fact in a moment in time. Deconstructing a society over the course of and event is far different.

    We either go into the event with our faith and ethic in tact or we shatter into individual parts and pieces and deconstruct what happened afterwards. Why did the firemen and police charge up the burning twin towers? Because they wanted to see what it would be like?

    I can not drag Levi or Cas into the comfort of faith and the Judeo-Christian ethic. I can not push Obama into outlining the fundamental transformation of America he is pushing. That is because he has no idea what he is going to find; he only thinks he knows what he wants to destroy.

    All of nature depends on continuity and change. Neither continuity without change or change without continuity is healthy. Stagnation v calamity is not a workable pair. Faith and a firm ethic help accommodate the change through the strength of understanding the change and blending it in with the continuity. It is called growth and maturation and casting off the worn out and accepting the new.

    I am finished

    Comment by Heliotrope — April 6, 2011 @ 12:14 pm - April 6, 2011

  120. Darn! I’m not finished….. I messed up. I meant to write: What Levi lacks is the humility of a grain of mustard seed, which he would have if he would be willing to have the faith as a grain of mustard seed.

    Comment by Heliotrope — April 6, 2011 @ 12:24 pm - April 6, 2011

  121. - You demand “shaming” for anyone who engages in behavior that you claim COULD provoke or or be used to incite Muslims — but you refuse to shame gays and lesbians who engage in behavior that could provoke and be used to incite Muslims.

    - You complain about how behavior that could provoke or be used to incite Muslims makes it harder for our troops and thus should be suppressed — but refuse to suppress gay and lesbian behavior that could provoke and be used to incite Muslims.

    - You insist that supporting our military mission is paramount and that we must avoid any behavior that would be offensive to, provoke, or could be used to incite Muslims — but refuse to bar homosexual troops from serving, despite the fact that homosexuality is an abomination and blasphemy under Muslim law, and that openly homosexual troops could be offensive to, provoke, or be used to incite Muslims.

    Excellent underlying idea. If “Let’s not provoke teh Muslims” is to be a behavioral standard… then where would it stop? On what grounds could one preserve homosexuality, alcohol consumption, women’s rights, capitalism, democracy, and many other accoutrements of human freedom that offend traditional Islam?

    My position is more consistent: To live in freedom, is to offend traditional Islam. They are right to perceive us (people living in freedom) as a mortal cultural threat. Let’s get real about that. Let’s not change ourselves for them. Let’s expect them to change (i.e. to grow up or, at the least, to swear off jihad on us).

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — April 6, 2011 @ 1:04 pm - April 6, 2011

  122. You see, you are engaged in playing the “intellectual” game of breaking everything down to its constituent components. OK. Let me dump oil, hairs, wood, canvas, and pigments on the floor and inform you that what you see is the Mona Lisa. What you actually see, of course, are components for creating the Mona Lisa. That is what deconstruction yields.

    And the reason for that deconstruction on the part of Cas and other liberals, Heliotrope, is that they can then argue that one must treat the Mona Lisa as one would oil, or hairs, or wood, or canvas, or pigments, depending on whichever is more convenient to their rationalization of the day for the treatment they wish to give.

    Conversely, as we see with Cas, they avoid at all costs putting the pieces back together — mainly because they recognize that their wood-centric solution of applying a thick coat of varnish would look utterly inane when applied to the other constituent components. Instead, they accuse you of not arguing in good faith because you insist that they keep the whole portrait in mind instead of giving up and accepting their solution for everything as final.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — April 6, 2011 @ 1:16 pm - April 6, 2011

  123. NDT,
    “you have no interest whatsoever in what I think. You DO, however, have an interest in steering the conversation away from your being held accountable”

    That is a good one. So, you decide the best way to answer my question is to avoid it. I answered yo what form of censure for Mr Jones should take, and you AVOID the issue. Does NDT think that shame is an appropriate tool or not, in this case? Does Mr. Jones’ actions make our mission in Afghanistan harder? Inquiring minds want to know! He won’t say. How brave. It is directly relevant to the discussion, and you instead get an attack of the rhetoricals. The only person not interested in finding out what you think is–YOU.

    “In short, if you really care about “making the task harder” for our troops, then you should ban homosexuals from serving, since their mere presence is an affront to Islam and could lead to rioting.”
    By your rhetoric, women should be banned from the military as well. Well there are limits to cultural sensitivity. The mission requires our forces as duly constituted. The point is not to rub their faces in what they see as our “immorality.”

    In answer to your questions about gays in the military: it might have escaped you, but there are rules about “fraternization” in the military. I am sure that the military have told their personnel about Afghan society’s views on openly homosexual and heterosexual displays of affection, and told their troops to not give fodder for the kinds of prejudice that exist out there, based on what Afghan society understands the manner in which men and women should behave. Unless I walk around with a big stamp on my forehead that says: “Gay” or “Lesbian”, how would an Afghan know what my sexual orientation was, unless I disobeyed orders? After all, during DADT, plenty of gay and lesbian soldiers served with distinction by not making their sexual orientation a big public symbol. That a soldier may no longer be dismissed for sexual orientation does not translate into walking around having an army Gay Pride march in the streets of Kabul in Afghanistan. However, burning the core symbol of a religion’s text, publicly, deliberately, is an entirely different kettle of fish.

    As for gay Pride marches–ditto-that is what we do with ourselves here; there is little interest over there–it just confirms their prejudices. You introduce a Qu’ran and its destruction, then you are doing something that is coming after what they consider part of “theirs.” That is what touches the raw nerve.

    It is about making a rational distinction, NDT. If you want to make them the same, NDT, go for it–but explain rationally why you think my thinking is wrong. But that is my answer to your questions. You like asking questions, that is good. Be willing to answer them as well. That is what a conversation is about.

    Comment by Cas — April 6, 2011 @ 2:36 pm - April 6, 2011

  124. HT,
    You have to be kidding me!
    “I baited a hook with “epistemological problem of the indeterminacy” and you grabbed it and ran with it.”
    When I ask you to explain what you mean by indeterminacy, you advise me you cannot (because of complexity, I assume), and when I do the research as asked, and share with you what I understand to be what you talk about, you go: “Gotcha!”. OK. Whatever. Though I don’t think you got a lot out of that.

    As for Mona Lisa’s, a belief in a Christian God is not the only way to get a conception of a capital T level Truth, where all the disparate bits make sense. And that is my point.

    As for: “If faith, … depend on reading deep into philosophy, memorizing the Bible, learning the myriad terms and applications for fallacious thinking, taking advanced courses in ethics and so forth then we are doomed to slavery with academics as our masters.”
    No, I never said that. You made the claim that you preferred your path to mine for a couple of reasons. I addressed those reasons–namely the importance of philosophy etc in helping you with your path. I can acknowledge that Christianity helped inform the path of philosophy after the Greeks. That is a good point (Hegel, Kierkegaard, etc). My point is that your path is not the only legitimate path.. There are others. Would you agree with that?

    Comment by Cas — April 6, 2011 @ 2:51 pm - April 6, 2011

  125. Oh, and HT,
    I would like to get you back to the conversation of the thread–what say you to the questions I raised about freedom of expression and whether or not Mr. Jones’ actions have made our mission in Afghanistan harder to fulfill?

    Comment by Cas — April 6, 2011 @ 2:52 pm - April 6, 2011

  126. I am, well, tired. I do not deny Levi his humanity. God gave him the power of sympathy, empathy, and love and the human brain to interact with his fellow men. What Levi lacks is the humility of a grain of mustard seed, he would be willing to have the faith as a grain of mustard seed.

    First, you saying that God gave me those qualities does not make it so.

    Second, you are telling me that I lack humility? You’re making the claim that there is an omnipotent, eternal force in the universe with whom you have a special relationship and who has a highly detailed plan for your life that will never end – and I’m the arrogant and egotistical one? Do you know what the word humility even means?

    But why are you so frustrated by those of faith? What interference do they cause in your enlightened life? Have you read the Commandments and studied the virtues and vices and found them lacking, harmful, bigoted, unjust? What “sin” do you want expunged from the books? What virtue do you wish added?

    The impetus for the original post was a news story about a mob murdering some people because somebody half a world away burned a book. Faith is frustrating (and dangerous, clearly) because it makes people do stupid things. I know there’s also the soup kitchens and the hospitals and the charities, but that stuff is possible without all the silly religious trappings that the lunatics will invariably latch onto in order to justify mindless slaughter. Religion has also grown increasingly contradictory throughout the centuries, and that’s lead to all kinds of logical fallacies and corrupted arguments that inevitably creep into other issues. If you get used to not requiring evidence in one part of your life, why bother with evidence in the others?

    If I had to pick one thing to expunge? The indoctrination of children. It is a terrible thing to make a choice for a child that will affect them their whole life because it makes you feel better, or because that’s what was done to you, or because your church tells you to do it. Kids end up dealing with the consequences of a path that was chosen for them. People should be afforded the opportunity to make their own decisions about what religion they are, if any. Kids as young as 3 and 4 simply don’t have the intellectual equipment to handle such a momentous decision, and they shouldn’t be coerced by their parents into believing it as a substitute.

    Comment by Levi — April 6, 2011 @ 4:48 pm - April 6, 2011

  127. It’s impossible for human beings to know exactly what happened 14 million years ago, millions of light years away, but we can measure what we observe and make best guesses.

    And yet, you were screaming before and demanding absolute, empirical, observable proof of God’s existence, with no “best guesses” allowed. Indeed, you shrieked that “best guesses” were nothing more than human prejudice and were made up.

    Practice what you preach, Levi. Or are you not capable of doing that?

    I’m not demanding absolute proof, I’m asking for any proof at all. A sliver of proof? A smudge of proof?

    Anything?

    I’ll start worrying about absolute certainty when it your claims are based on something more than your imagination. Based on the evidence, my theory that the universe is floating in a jar of barbicide in a leprechaun’s hair salon is just as valid as your theory that the Christian God is a real thing.

    Comment by Levi — April 6, 2011 @ 5:05 pm - April 6, 2011

  128. Cas, I enjoyed reading your posts about the topic of the thread, even though I disagree with some of your points, as well as your thoughts on faith. It’s nice to see someone who isn’t one extreme or the other regarding religious beliefs and the influence of major religions in Western Civilization.

    I also liked the way you handled a poster who a) argues points that you didn’t make; b) goes rabid while doing so; c) refuses to correct his errors and blames it on some logic that even a two-year old wouldn’t subscribe to; and d) uses the same type of logic to refuse to answer your question. I get the same many times with this poster.

    With regard to the topic at hand, I do think that the actual murderers deserve at least 99% of the blame and responsibility for their hideous acts. For all we know, the persons butchered besides being innocent bystanders, may also believe that the Koran and other holy books should not be burned and may have been offended themselves. Who knows? They’re dead.

    But you do pose some interesting questions. Should someone restrict themselves of their rights granted by God and the Bill of Rights, because a group of scummy, sub-mammalian fanatics will end up killing people?

    This reminds me of the controversy that surrounded a censored South Park episode and draw Mohammed day (which I think were related and happened around the same time. I don’t know how familiar you are with South Park, but they have satirized and poked fun, many times in a vulgar and/or offensive fashion, regarding religions (among other things). This includes Catholicism, Judaism, Mormonism, and Scientology. But yet none of the adherents to these religions (while possibly offended) issued death threats and/or carry them out. Yeah, maybe a clown like William Donohue (or others) opened and closed his trap about it, but that’s about it. So I wanted to see these episodes regarding Mohammed, but the episodes were heavily censored when I saw it, and Comedy Central refuses to show these. Yet, they still show the episode where a statue of the Virgin Mary bleeds “out of her @$$” on Pope Benedict XVI, or the one that mocks the Mormon testament.

    So how much should we accommodate those who will be offended and/or commit murder of innocents because of the freedoms we should and normally take for granted? And why should persons who are not adherents to a religion have to abide by the rules of that religion (heck, why should persons who are adherents to a religion be forced to abide by the rules of that religion). Should Christians commit murder because someone doesn’t regard Jesus as the Son of God. Okay, maybe that garbage used to happen, but it’s 2011 now. God can handle any affronts Himself, and it is not necessary to commit murder to alleged offenses to God.

    On the other hand, I understand the distinction that you are making regarding doing things going about our lives with no intent to offend anyone vs. making a point to offend others. But we all have different beliefs about what should be and/or is offensive to others.

    With respect to this reverend, he sounds like a nutcase. So now people decided to butcher others based on this person’s decision to burn a book, the media’s decision to publicize this, Karzai’s decision to make a big deal out of it.

    At some point we have to defend our freedom, and not be hamstrung by nuts that base their lives solely on books that were written 1000+ years ago.

    So now, what happens if these Islamic nuts decide to start killing people specifically until gay persons stop coupling up and/or having sex?

    Our Western culture and heritage is being attacked by these scum, and at some point something real has to be done about it.

    Comment by Pat — April 6, 2011 @ 5:20 pm - April 6, 2011

  129. There is just as much proof for Levi’s pet rock as there is for my imaginary friend. Yet Levi clings to the pet rock with a fever matched only by the Islamofascist.

    Pat. I don’t hold the pastor responsible for anything other than being an ass. I’ve thought on it, and remembered that no one has a ‘right’ to be not be offended.

    I’d also like to apologize for ‘my side’ for NDT. His ‘broad brush’ approach does work quite effectively, but like most broad strokes, it has collateral damage. While you are a ‘hippy dippy tree hugging liberal’ ;) you most definitely are *not* of the same caliber as Levi, Granny, Dooms or any of our ‘regular trolls’.

    Comment by The_Livewire — April 6, 2011 @ 5:41 pm - April 6, 2011

  130. Hi Pat,
    “I also liked the way you handled a poster who a) argues points that you didn’t make; b) goes rabid while doing so; c) refuses to correct his errors and blames it on some logic that even a two-year old wouldn’t subscribe to; and d) uses the same type of logic to refuse to answer your question. I get the same many times with this poster.”
    I wish I had your eloquence. I should just cut and paste this as needed! :)

    Also, a question for you: Does the fact that exercising freedom of speech while we are actively engaged in Afghanistan likely hinder the mission there? Should this enter the calculus of decision? Or does the absolute value of free speech as a right trump all. I acknowledge that I do not think we have an absolute right to free speech–that there are limits. What do you think?

    Comment by Cas — April 6, 2011 @ 6:21 pm - April 6, 2011

  131. Hi Cas, again, if “Let’s not provoke teh Muslims” is to be a behavioral standard… then where would it stop? On what grounds could one preserve homosexuality, alcohol consumption, women’s rights, capitalism, democracy, and many other accoutrements of human freedom that offend traditional Islam?

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — April 6, 2011 @ 6:36 pm - April 6, 2011

  132. Hi TL,
    Sorry, lost your post in a flurry of recent postings–seems calm now.

    “So he can mock my ‘imaginary friend’ but bitterly cling to his imaginary pet rock.”

    I don’t know if “bitterness” is the right word. The way I read Levi’s position, after asking him about it, is that he has a passionate commitment to his view. I don’t think you have to go “Full Metal” about it, but HT can be a tad provocative at times. These are both similar positions, in my opinion. Why? Because they are both based on faith–faith in a deity on the one hand; faith in the scientific method and materiality on the other (and a reluctance to think of any form of causality other than the scientifically tractable transitive kind). To be an atheist, in my opinion, has to be an act of faith. One states–there is no God. OK, how do you know? Well, because I see no evidence for it. A lack of evidence does not disprove a hypothesis–one hasn’t found the right experiment yet. A belief in God or a non-belief in God are unfalsifiable (i.e., untestable) propositions, as far as I can tell. That is, propositions based on faith.

    “I also gave ‘fighting words’ a bit more thought last night. I still find the concept wrong. Speech should be defended *especially* when it’s unpopular. It doesn’t matter how much rage one puts in their words, it’s the fault of the people who act on them.”

    Thanks for chewing on what I said some more. I think the issue with fighting words is whether or not a reasonable person would be expected to take the threat seriously (“I m going to kick your a****.”). Rage helps to make it more likely that the person verbally abused will reasonably believe that they will be hurt if they do nothing. Self defence is an allowable defence–it depends on the state of mind; could one be expected to have that state of mind when confronted with speech like that?

    Comment by Cas — April 6, 2011 @ 6:36 pm - April 6, 2011

  133. Hi ILC,
    “On what grounds could one preserve homosexuality, alcohol consumption, women’s rights, capitalism, democracy, and many other accoutrements of human freedom that offend traditional Islam?”
    I think the principles I outlined above serve as the basis for my thinking. In the US, one can preserve this as part of our culture, which is not Islamic culture–we are in the realm of chaos or war (dar al harb). The problem comes when we try to impose our norms on others. The issue we dealt with is tricky: It was done here, but affected them over-there–where our troops are (in dar al Islam). That is one issue. And the second issue is that we used a symbol which followers of Islam do not think belongs to us–since we are part of dar-al harb, and not part of the dar-al Islam. The fact that we act in immoral ways (as they see it) amongst ourselves is questionable, but not likely to incite issue; acting that way in dar al Islam, is another story. Unfortunately, the burning of the Qu’ran is a problem, because the Qu’ran is seen as a part of the dar-al Islam (by these folks–and whether that is true or not is not the issue, they still believe it).

    Comment by Cas — April 6, 2011 @ 6:45 pm - April 6, 2011

  134. The problem comes when we try to impose our norms on others.

    In context of this discussion, that is a deeply misguided statement. It reverses reality, exactly. The problem, in reality, comes when traditional Muslims (sometimes called Islamists) try to impose their norms on us. They call it “jihad” and “Sharia”.

    We should not change for them. And we should most certainly impose certain of our norms on them: not all our norms to be sure – for example, not alcohol or South Park – but at least the norm that *they do not get to kill people, or mount jihad or Sharia on us, or blow up buildings, when Islam tells them to not like something in our culture*.

    That norm, please recall, is why we had to go into Afghanistan to begin with (a.k.a. responding to 9-11). Traditional Muslims who riot and murder when a cartoon is printed – or when a Koran is burned – are objectively no better than savages. We have both the moral right and the moral duty to teach them, at the least, that it would be strongly in their interest to not do so, at least not in places or times when it could affect us.

    The issue we dealt with is tricky: It was done here, but affected them… in dar al Islam

    Not in any objective sense, no it didn’t. Of course, a big part of the difference between the civilized human and the savage’s is the latter’s inability to reason effectively, i.e. to distinguish the objective from the subjective (his or her feelings).

    The fact that we act in immoral ways (as they see it) amongst ourselves is questionable, but not likely to incite issue

    Wrong again. Islam commands them to bring the entire world, ultimately, within dar al Islam. *Anything* we do, is to them an incitement to jihad. We need to teach them the lesson that they had better not try it.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — April 6, 2011 @ 7:06 pm - April 6, 2011

  135. In short, I don’t think your answer to my question is a strong one. You are saying in essence that because we are dar al harb, they understand we are hopeless sinners and will kindly leave us alone with all our freedoms, if we will just kindly refrain from Koran-burning (or Mohammed cartoons). Nuh-uh. They won’t. Leaving us alone is not what the Koran tells them, and anyway they didn’t on 9-11 and many other occasions, going back to the year 632.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — April 6, 2011 @ 7:25 pm - April 6, 2011

  136. Pat. I don’t hold the pastor responsible for anything other than being an ass. I’ve thought on it, and remembered that no one has a ‘right’ to be not be offended.

    Livewire, that’s fine. As I mentioned above (with a little arithmetic), I wouldn’t give any more than 1% of the blame on to the pastor, and more than inclined to the 0% figure.

    When things like this happen, I put myself in the person’s shoes. It’s not that I would burn a Koran, or any book for that matter. But what if I decided to participate in a Draw Mohammed Day and what if I knew that such an act would lead to murder of innocents, would I still do it? Probably not. Yes, it sucks that I would sacrifice one of my principles, but I would have a hard time dealing with the death of people who would still be alive if I didn’t draw Mohammed. No, I wouldn’t believe I was the one responsible for the murder, but I would still feel awful that people are dead. Maybe that’s the tree-hugging liberal in me. :-)

    This is increasingly becoming more of an issue. And it may be something that we, as a nation, are going to have to come with a real solution to deal with this. Right now, we are only putting bandaids on this, just like the way I would deal with the hypothetical situation that I described above. And many of us, persons and institutions, are sacrificing principles to accommodate the radicals, to decrease a likelihood of murder here or abroad.

    I’d also like to apologize for ‘my side’ for NDT. His ‘broad brush’ approach does work quite effectively, but like most broad strokes, it has collateral damage. While you are a ‘hippy dippy tree hugging liberal’ you most definitely are *not* of the same caliber as Levi, Granny, Dooms or any of our ‘regular trolls’.

    Livewire, I appreciate that, but please don’t feel that you have to apologize for others’ posts. I hold the poster 100% responsible for what they right. No one else. What’s a shame is that I do believe NDT is really intelligent, and blows it by some of his angry, and often unnecessary rhetoric. I don’t have a problem with having differences of opinion, and I try my best to come to some sort of common ground, because many times I find that the differences of opinion are much less than it really seems.

    Comment by Pat — April 6, 2011 @ 7:48 pm - April 6, 2011

  137. Also, a question for you: Does the fact that exercising freedom of speech while we are actively engaged in Afghanistan likely hinder the mission there? Should this enter the calculus of decision? Or does the absolute value of free speech as a right trump all. I acknowledge that I do not think we have an absolute right to free speech–that there are limits. What do you think?

    Cas, tough questions, and I don’t think I can give definitive answers, but will try.

    1. I think that we, as a nation, have to think long and hard about entering any military mission in which abandoning our principals and freedoms undermines the actions of the military. Who’s going to harm the military? Is it the enemy? Is it the people we are trying to help? We’ve been in Afghanistan for almost 10 years, and they won’t even respect something basic as this? I mean, did Karzai really help incite this? I think we really have to question what we are doing there and why.

    But we are in Afghanistan with the mission that we have there, and clearly, exercise of free speech here is an issue there. And if we want to abridge certain speech, how is that going to be done? By legislation? By policing ourselves? If it’s the latter, how are we going to prevent a loose cannon like this pastor? And if it’s the former, I don’t know. That’s pretty scary.

    2. It should enter the decision as to how we proceed with a military mission. If Plan A results in our freedom undermining our troops, then try Plan B, C, D, etc., until we can find a way that doesn’t undermine our troops and our nation’s principals and freedom. If that’s impossible, then we shouldn’t seriously consider not entering such a military action.

    3. Like you, I don’t believe in an absolute right to free speech. Examples: shouting “fire” in a crowded theatre. As a side note, I also don’t tie speech into money and objects. For example, I don’t think a person who steals a flag to make a point that America is naughty is entitled to use free speech as an excuse (I think this happened once a long time ago when somebody stole a flag from a McDonald’s flagpole.) or to burn the flag in an area where it is normally considered illegal to burn objects.

    So the question is, who determines what free speech limits we should have? Do we let submammalian scum from the other side of the Earth determine this?

    I also have another question.

    The problem comes when we try to impose our norms on others.

    I’m not sure what you mean by this. I don’t believe we are asking the Afghan or other Muslim people to have the free speech that we have (they should do it on their own, but that’s another story). But yet, they are imposing their “norms” on us. Frankly, I am offending that some Muslim countries have laws that imprison persons for naming a teddy bear Mohammed. Am I suppose to kill ten Muslims unless they repeal such laws. Would they even care that innocents might be killed by actions that offend us?

    Comment by Pat — April 6, 2011 @ 8:39 pm - April 6, 2011

  138. Oh My, NDT aka Miss Rita Beads, does like to have her say. . .

    one of my favorite comments from another site JMG

    “My favorite “Gay Patriot” is “North Dallas Thirty,” a regular commenter who loves to accuse his opponents of “shrieking.” it’s all-shriek all the time with that particular wingnut.

    Do a Google search on his name and the word, “shriek” and you’ll see what I mean. What is it with wingnut homos and the “shriek” word?”

    Comment by rusty — April 6, 2011 @ 8:40 pm - April 6, 2011

  139. It is about making a rational distinction, NDT.

    Actually, it’s not, Cas.

    We have a bigger problem than Pastor Jones in this country, Cas, which is childish bigots like you, Pat, and Levi who are so hellbent on condemning Christians and conservatives that you side with Islamist radicals and murderers.

    You have been in complete opposition to any type of “rational distinction” throughout this thread, mainly out of your bigotry and hatred for Christianity. Once you were actually forced to face the consequences of what you were advocating and apply them to your own pet issues, all of a sudden you “discovered” it.

    It’s about people having to use your own hypocrisy to shame you into what for most people, not struggling with a hatred and bias towards Christianity, figured out on the first pass: Pastor Jones is not “guilty” of these peoples’ murders, nor is he responsible for the riot. The Muslim leaders who incited the riot and the people who rioted and who committed the murders are responsible. Period. It is your own bigotry and hatred of Christians that leads you to try to link those events.

    Now, once that link is broken, do I think Pastor Jones should be ashamed of what he did? Yes. Do I think he’s an attention-grabbing media whore? Yes. Do I think what he did qualifies as Christian? No. Does he have the right to do it? Yes.

    But there is no way in hell you, or Pat, or Levi is going to use this to spout anti-Christian bigotry. Indeed, take a lesson; if you, Levi, and Pat could learn to hold people accountable who are of the same -ism or -ity as you are, you’d fix about nine-tenths of the problem with liberalism and the gay and lesbian community.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — April 6, 2011 @ 9:14 pm - April 6, 2011

  140. and Miss Beads leaves the room with hands on hips.

    Comment by rusty — April 6, 2011 @ 9:20 pm - April 6, 2011

  141. I also liked the way you handled a poster who a) argues points that you didn’t make; b) goes rabid while doing so; c) refuses to correct his errors and blames it on some logic that even a two-year old wouldn’t subscribe to; and d) uses the same type of logic to refuse to answer your question. I get the same many times with this poster.

    That’s not surprising, Pat; both you and Cas share the same quality of bloviating instead of acting. And you both get really pissed when you’re asked to put your money where your mouth is.

    Perhaps one of these days you’ll actually man up enough to confront someone by name. The fact that you can’t even do it to someone you dislike is a new low of cowardice.

    Oh, and think on this, Pat: how do you think the gay community would be set today, if you and yours had had the balls to tell people to stop having bareback sex, stop preying on children, stop using their sexual orientation as an excuse for antireligious bigotry, and stop making idiots out of themselves at Folsom, Pride Parades, and so forth, instead of just shutting up and trying to stay liked.

    But then again, we’re talking about a community full of people like rusty who will wring their hands over the suffering of AIDS patients while quoting people like Joe Jervis who glorified and practiced the very behaviors that produced so many of them. Supporting stupid behavior in order to be liked is apparently woven somewhere into their DNA.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — April 6, 2011 @ 9:30 pm - April 6, 2011

  142. bloviating instead of shreiking. . .nice change Miss Beads.

    and is this the Jervis quote. . .?

    It’s been almost 30 years and despite challenges from thousands of hilarious contenders, Rita Beads remains my all time favorite drag name. Rita was a hairy chested, butch mustached, roller-skating, pregnant nun sort of drag queen, back in late 70′s Orlando.

    The reason Rita Beads is such a funny name is probably sadly lost to most of you, but the threat to “read your beads” was a common expression back in the day, one homo to another. Reading someone’s beads meant to tell them off, to give them what-for, to put them in the their place, in the sort of high-drama that only can come from a place of great creativity and style. And cuntiness.

    “Don’t make me read your beads, bitch!”

    Comment by rusty — April 6, 2011 @ 9:47 pm - April 6, 2011

  143. Hi Pat,
    “And if we want to abridge certain speech, how is that going to be done? By legislation? By policing ourselves? If it’s the latter, how are we going to prevent a loose cannon like this pastor? And if it’s the former, I don’t know. That’s pretty scary. ”
    I agree. I struggle with this question as well. When chewing on it, I wonder if societal norms rather than legislation can be used–but that takes a social consensus that I don’t really see in this (to me) increasingly fragmented country. That is one reason why I looked at “shaming.” It might seem quaint, but this isn’t a legal recourse, but a social one. I think the idea of legislation is a blunt instrument. Additionally, your suggestion is also worth considering. Being aware that one’s exercise of free speech may have really horrific consequences, might also give people pause before doing something that gets associated with a bad act of violence. Other considerations: How important is it to make a certain speech act–I can see an argument that some things are so important to say, that the risk of a backlash has to be accepted, so that such things can be said. The weighing–that is a tough one…

    “So the question is, who determines what free speech limits we should have?”
    That has to be a society wide conversation, I think; which is a polite way of saying I do not know, apart from using previously carved out exceptions as a guide of some kind.

    “I’m not sure what you mean by this.”
    It would be imposing our norms on them to have them be OK with public displays of affection, in a culture where this is deeply frowned upon. Additionally, you say that: “I don’t believe we are asking the Afghan or other Muslim people to have the free speech that we have.” And yet, isn’t that the implication of us thinking that they are seriously misguided and irrational to not accept Mr. Jones’ action as just a statement of free speech, and not a mortal insult (which is the way they did take it)? What is a norm for us is not a norm for them, yet we criticize them for not conforming to our norm of what is “right response.” I am sure they are equally as annoyed that we won’t conform to their norm, and we are not very likely to do so.

    I enjoyed your thoughts on how to balance military commitments with our values. I will chew on them some more.

    Comment by Cas — April 6, 2011 @ 9:48 pm - April 6, 2011

  144. Actually, rusty, I was thinking more along the lines of what you and yours say about Bruce, Dan, and the other regular commenters here.

    And please, go ahead and link to that JoeMyGod thread. It’s rather entertaining to see what you support and endorse them saying about Bruce, Dan, and the other commenters as well.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — April 6, 2011 @ 10:09 pm - April 6, 2011

  145. NDT,
    “We have a bigger problem than Pastor Jones in this country, Cas, which is childish bigots like you, Pat, and Levi who are so hellbent on condemning Christians and conservatives that you side with Islamist radicals and murderers.”

    Don’t forgot to add that we desire to eat little Christian children as well, whilst donning our Satanist robes, on the Harvest Moon–don’t forget that!

    “do I think Pastor Jones should be ashamed of what he did? Yes.”
    Close. I asked:
    “what form of censure for Mr Jones should take… Does NDT think that shame is an appropriate tool or not, in this case? Does Mr. Jones’ actions make our mission in Afghanistan harder?”
    In other words-should there be an effort to shame Mr. Jones, not just wondering if he should feel ashamed (because he doesn’t)?
    Also, an answer for that second question would be appreciated.

    Comment by Cas — April 6, 2011 @ 10:18 pm - April 6, 2011

  146. Hey NDT,
    “I also liked the way you handled a poster who a) argues points that you didn’t make; b) goes rabid while doing so; c) refuses to correct his errors and blames it on some logic that even a two-year old wouldn’t subscribe to; and d) uses the same type of logic to refuse to answer your question. I get the same many times with this poster.

    Perhaps one of these days you’ll actually man up enough to confront someone by name. The fact that you can’t even do it to someone you dislike is a new low of cowardice.”

    Why do you assume that Pat meant you?

    Comment by Cas — April 6, 2011 @ 10:23 pm - April 6, 2011

  147. Hi ILC,
    “You are saying in essence that because we are dar al harb, they understand we are hopeless sinners and will kindly leave us alone with all our freedoms,”

    I don’t think so. I said that they are less likely to go crazy because this is behaviour we do in what they consider the dar al harb, in which the law of Islam does not apply. Whether they want to over-run us and turn us into the dar al Islam is another issue entirely.

    Also, “*Anything* we do, is to them an incitement to jihad. ”
    Actually, it is not what we do outside in the dar al harb that brings jihad; it is the fact that it is the dar al harb. If dar al Islam is not strong enough to confront the dar al harb, it can strategically make treaties, waiting for the time when it can launch an OFFENSIVE jihad. The rules of war apply in such a jihad. If the jihad is DEFENSIVE, it is because dar al Islam has been invaded–the normal rules of war do not apply in this type of jihad–it is an emergency jihad in defence of Islam.

    Comment by Cas — April 6, 2011 @ 10:31 pm - April 6, 2011

  148. NDT, thanks for posting the SN link. I’d never seen it, it’s a hoot!

    I like how they knocked me (sort of) for supposedly “talking about how the nation’s current economic problems are — brace yourself — a result of the abandonment of the gold standard”, when in the thread, I had specifically said to sonicfrog several times that:

    First, I didn’t call for a gold standard… maybe there are better answers.
    [...]
    I know of no reason why [sound money] has to be a gold standard…
    [...]
    I don’t know if a gold standard is a mandatory part of ‘the answer’…

    In other words, I guess reading comprehension isn’t SN’s strong suit. ;-) And of course, in the comments section Bruce just cuts them to ribbons.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — April 7, 2011 @ 12:09 am - April 7, 2011

  149. I said that they are less likely to go crazy because this is behaviour we do in what they consider the dar al harb

    I fail to see how that’s different from my summary, except perhaps in some subtle shade of degree. The basic direction or tendency is as I represented it: that, in your view, because we are dar al harb, they understand we are hopeless and will kindly leave us alone to most of our freedoms.

    Whether they want to over-run us and turn us into the dar al Islam is another issue entirely.

    More word games. Whether they want to over-run us and turn us into the dar al Islam is **central** to what we’re discussing; whether or not you want to call it “another issue entirely” in some technical sense.

    I give up. It’s impossible, Cas, to have a rational conversation with you.

    Actually, it is not what we do outside in the dar al harb that brings jihad; it is the fact that it is the dar al harb.

    Which was my point. Which means, you did not understand my point (since you thought you needed to correct me).

    And apparently, the implication of it still escapes you, that the very “fact that [we are] the dar al harb” means that to be good Muslims, they *must* aspire to conquer us (however they may be permitted to lay low in times when we seem to be stronger, as you pointed out).

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — April 7, 2011 @ 12:18 am - April 7, 2011

  150. Don’t forgot to add that we desire to eat little Christian children as well, whilst donning our Satanist robes, on the Harvest Moon–don’t forget that!

    Don’t worry. You’ve already endorsed slitting childrens’ throats, so there’s very little else you could do that would surprise people.

    And do you know why those throat-slitters feel so free to operate with impunity, Cas?

    Because they know where your focus is: right here.

    In other words-should there be an effort to shame Mr. Jones, not just wondering if he should feel ashamed (because he doesn’t)?

    And that is why I say no, there should not be.

    Because all it would be from you, Cas, is a smokescreen for your bigotry.

    You refuse to shame the people who actually incited the riot and killed the people. You refuse to condemn their behavior. You refuse to hold them accountable.

    You’re a coward, Cas. Bigots invariably are. You won’t man up and shame the Muslims who actually incited the riot and did the killing. Indeed, you have spent this entire thread making excuses for them while trying to find any excuse whatsoever for attacking Jones.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — April 7, 2011 @ 12:51 am - April 7, 2011

  151. This is the GP thread that SN had linked, and that I also tried to link a few comments up: http://www.gaypatriot.net/2009/02/19/from-whence-we-came/

    Even then, over 2 years ago, I was warning about the dangers of unsound (fiat) money. Gold then was $950 (not far from an all-time high), oil $53. Today we have gold $1450, oil $108. Corn, cotton, others have also doubled to inconceivable all-time highs, in the last 2 years. More to come, in future years.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — April 7, 2011 @ 1:00 am - April 7, 2011

  152. NDT.
    You are dodging the issue of whether Mr. Jones’ actions have made our task in Afghanistan harder or not.
    Second, why do you assume Pat speaks about you when you made your little diatribe?
    Third–about baby slitting–That is pretty low, even for you! Cue Dead Kennedy’s “I Kiill Children…” please

    Comment by Cas — April 7, 2011 @ 1:01 am - April 7, 2011

  153. ILC–Sound money? that is relevant to the thread?

    Comment by Cas — April 7, 2011 @ 1:02 am - April 7, 2011

  154. You are dodging the issue of whether Mr. Jones’ actions have made our task in Afghanistan harder or not.

    Actually, Cas, what I am doing is pointing out the obvious.

    I can show you exactly in this case the individuals who are making our task in Afghanistan harder. Right there, on the ground, actually in Afghanistan, in front of the mob, they are inciting violence against and trying to murder our troops — and when they cannot succeed, they are turning on and murdering others.

    But are you calling for them to be shamed? Are you calling for them to be punished? Are you demanding that action be taken against them to protect our troops and assist our mission?

    Oh no. You’re sitting here whining about Jones and insisting that their actions are justified because they are acting “in defence of Islam”.

    And that leads us to this:

    Third–about baby slitting–That is pretty low, even for you!

    How so, Cas?

    They were Jews in what Islamist radicals consider Islamic territory. Their mere presence, not to mention their practice of Judaism, was blasphemy and an affront to Islam. Dar al Islam had been invaded; therefore, as you state above, jihad, slitting their throats and killing them, was completely justified.

    Why then would it be low? You should congratulate yourself on your multiculturalism and diversity. Not everyone would advocate the killing of a Jewish family to show their support for Muslims, but you are indeed a rare bird in that regard. Take pride in your support of violent jihad in defense of Islam.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — April 7, 2011 @ 1:22 am - April 7, 2011

  155. Cas-Your criticizing people’s musings? that is relevant to the thread?

    Good night.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — April 7, 2011 @ 1:24 am - April 7, 2011

  156. Second, why do you assume Pat speaks about you when you made your little diatribe?

    Easy; Pat has a pattern of making passive-aggressive accusations against people who call him out, and I had just finished doing so. These accusations are not necessarily truthful, but that doesn’t stop him from making them.

    You seem to be pushing the meme of guilt being proven by response, rather than by what was actually stated. That’s a game Alinsky puppets like you like to play, Cas; you try to set up conditions in which someone’s making a response, or not making a response, is “proof” of your predetermined conclusions, regardless of what is actually said. V the K called you out on it, I called you out on it, and Heliotrope has called you out on it.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — April 7, 2011 @ 1:27 am - April 7, 2011

  157. (FTR and to be clear: I couldn’t care less if people’s comments are on-topic. But, for those of you pompous guardians who care: y’all never quite catch on, do you, how very off-topic are your own comments on the matter.)

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — April 7, 2011 @ 1:33 am - April 7, 2011

  158. NDT,
    “You seem to be pushing the meme ”
    No. Just asking you to clarify the assumption set you used. But, I like the use of “seem” by you. That is the first time where just a smidgen of greyness enters what has been up to now, pretty much a black and white approach from you. So, I like that. As for “making our mission harder–you avoid answering the question. That is OK. I do get it. I get that you want to cast it onto those in Afghanistan. I agree–they make things harder–I wouldn’t talk about “shame” with them, though–they killed people; I think shame is a pretty tepid and weak response in this case. Mr. Jones is not those folks. But the question remains–what about Mr. Jones? Did his actions make our task harder in Afghanistan. If you do or don’t think so, OK. I just want to know why you think as you do. I sense you think it feels like a trap of some kind–a “Gotcha” moment in the making. No. I just want to know where you stand on the question I raised, NDT.

    Comment by Cas — April 7, 2011 @ 2:25 am - April 7, 2011

  159. That’s not surprising, Pat; both you and Cas share the same quality of bloviating instead of acting. And you both get really pissed when you’re asked to put your money where your mouth is.

    NDT, you’re projecting big time now.

    Perhaps one of these days you’ll actually man up enough to confront someone by name. The fact that you can’t even do it to someone you dislike is a new low of cowardice.

    NDT, it obviously wasn’t necessary, because those comments described you to a tee. All the posters here know it, that you are guilty of it, continue to do so, and without apologizing about it. And I will say that you took the shoe, and it fit you perfectly. Great job. Cowardice wouldn’t even begin to describe your bigoted, irrational behavior that you are increasingly exhibiting.

    Of course I was talking about you. You knew it, because you recognize your own behavior. And then you continue to exhibit it. You’re a real piece of work.

    Oh, and think on this, Pat: how do you think the gay community would be set today, if you and yours had had the balls to tell people to stop having bareback sex, stop preying on children, stop using their sexual orientation as an excuse for antireligious bigotry, and stop making idiots out of themselves at Folsom, Pride Parades, and so forth, instead of just shutting up and trying to stay liked.

    Again, what the heck are you talking about. I do that all the time. For example, I didn’t mince words about what I think about FSF. To remind you, I think it is absolutely disgusting and reprehensible that parents would dress up a child and bring them to FSF. And I made it clear that if such a thing happened in the city that I lived I would do everything possible to have it stopped. And unlike you, I’ve never been to FSF. So stop lying agin. Thank you.

    We have a bigger problem than Pastor Jones in this country, Cas, which is childish bigots like you, Pat, and Levi who are so hellbent on condemning Christians and conservatives that you side with Islamist radicals and murderers.

    Did you read my posts, NDT. Do you think that I would side with persons that I called submammalian scum? Or are you projecting again.

    Now, once that link is broken, do I think Pastor Jones should be ashamed of what he did? Yes. Do I think he’s an attention-grabbing media whore? Yes. Do I think what he did qualifies as Christian? No. Does he have the right to do it? Yes.

    But there is no way in hell you, or Pat, or Levi is going to use this to spout anti-Christian bigotry. Indeed, take a lesson; if you, Levi, and Pat could learn to hold people accountable who are of the same -ism or -ity as you are, you’d fix about nine-tenths of the problem with liberalism and the gay and lesbian community.

    NDT, what are you talking about? Because I, and just about every other poster called Pastor Jones a nutcase or an ass, or some other non-endearing term? Where is the anti-Christian bigotry that you are selectively criticizing me for?

    Easy; Pat has a pattern of making passive-aggressive accusations against people who call him out, and I had just finished doing so.

    Okay, NDT. Fair enough. I will call you out specifically for what you are. Or better yet, if your irrational, childish behavior continues, I will simply ignore you.

    These accusations are not necessarily truthful, but that doesn’t stop him from making them.

    But yet you recognized your own behavior. And continue to deny it, while exhibiting it. Amazing!

    Comment by Pat — April 7, 2011 @ 7:20 am - April 7, 2011

  160. The paragraph beginning “Now, once that link is broken…” was inserted by mistake.

    Comment by Pat — April 7, 2011 @ 7:22 am - April 7, 2011

  161. Forgot this gem.

    Cas; you try to set up conditions in which someone’s making a response, or not making a response, is “proof” of your predetermined conclusions, regardless of what is actually said.

    Projecting again, NDT.

    Comment by Pat — April 7, 2011 @ 7:24 am - April 7, 2011

  162. Cas, thanks for your response. I just think we need to focus more on the actions we take elsewhere so that we don’t even need to have a discussion about why should give up our freedoms to accommodate others half a world away and to not undermine our military. If we need to use our military, we should figure out how to do this while not abandoning our principles and freedom. It’s ironic to use our military to defend our freedoms, when we can’t defend our freedoms by doing so. And if we can’t, then we really need to see if such military action is really necessary. I don’t think such is the case in Afghanistan anymore.

    It would be imposing our norms on them to have them be OK with public displays of affection, in a culture where this is deeply frowned upon. Additionally, you say that: “I don’t believe we are asking the Afghan or other Muslim people to have the free speech that we have.” And yet, isn’t that the implication of us thinking that they are seriously misguided and irrational to not accept Mr. Jones’ action as just a statement of free speech, and not a mortal insult (which is the way they did take it)? What is a norm for us is not a norm for them, yet we criticize them for not conforming to our norm of what is “right response.” I am sure they are equally as annoyed that we won’t conform to their norm, and we are not very likely to do so.

    I wouldn’t want to impose something like PDAs in their land. I don’t them imposing their views on PDAs in my land. Same with freedom of speech.

    I realize that we have to deal with what we have now. And I don’t want to see more innocent persons killed. So I am willing to consider short-term bandaids. But we’ve worked too hard to have to regress here on freedom of speech in this country in the long term.

    And yet, isn’t that the implication of us thinking that they are seriously misguided and irrational to not accept Mr. Jones’ action as just a statement of free speech, and not a mortal insult (which is the way they did take it)?

    Maybe so. We’re all going to have differences of opinion. But that doesn’t mean that one should murder innocents because of that. If the Western world and the Muslim world can’t even get on board with that, then ultimately, one of us is going to have to go. And I don’t want it to be us.

    What is a norm for us is not a norm for them, yet we criticize them for not conforming to our norm of what is “right response.” I am sure they are equally as annoyed that we won’t conform to their norm, and we are not very likely to do so.

    They are free to criticize our freedoms, principles, and values. Heck I am annoyed, offended, and disturbed that women and gay persons are treated no better than a piece of dirt in many Muslim countries. I just don’t see how my murdering innocent Muslims in this country will help.

    Don’t forgot to add that we desire to eat little Christian children as well, whilst donning our Satanist robes, on the Harvest Moon–don’t forget that!

    See, I do worse. I sometimes criticize Christian persons, like the pastor, and I believe I called William Donohue a clown above, instead of licking their boots (yes, NDT, I had you in mind, okay?). However, what’s lost on NDT and others sometimes is I don’t blame Christianity for the pastor’s, or Donohue’s or LaBarbera’s behavior. I blame them for their hateful choices they’ve made.

    Comment by Pat — April 7, 2011 @ 8:08 am - April 7, 2011

  163. Cas,

    I think bitterness is the right term. I myself am a Henotheist. I accept the (possible) existance of other powers, I just choose to worship one.

    I’ll even accept and read superstring theory, dark matter etc. I’ve also read parts of the Koran, the Book of Mormon and even some Hindu texts. We proved elsewhere that Levi knows little about science (and government, and law, and freedom, but we’re getting off topic) and less about religion. His positions come from ignorance, masquerading as science.

    It’s been my experience that Athiests get rather testy when you call their beliefs ‘faith’ (or even ‘beliefs’ for that matter). Kind of like how my fellow Christians get a bit upset when I refer to Christian beleifs as ‘mythology’ and point out how prayers and spells are the same thing.

    Levi’s easy to mock, because he gives such bile towards people of faith though his faith is more blind than the most devout Christian I know.

    As to fighting words…

    There’s a difference between “Dem are keeping all the money for demselves, are you gonna let them?” (ala Michael Moore and Al Sharpton) and “I’m going to kill you.” The first is general inciteful speech. Al and Michael aren’t going directly going to harm anyone (well unless they’re between Al Sharpton and a camera, or Michael Moore and a buffet.) The actions of the sheep who listen to them who do so, are responsible for their actions. You can point to Mikey and Al as ‘inciting’ and publicly shame them, but not charge them in a government sense.

    Now for the ‘I’m going to kill you.” threat, that’s a direct attempt to intimidate, and threaten violence. in The Livewire’s Utopia, what Mal said is true. “Someone ever tries to kill you, you try to kill ‘em right back! Wife or no, you are no one’s property to be tossed aside. You got the right same as anyone to live and try to kill people. ”

    If you say “I’m going to kill you,” and show up on my doorstep, then I should be well within my rights to kill you right back. It doesn’t matter if that flower box contains flowers or a shotgun (ala Terminator 2) I am defending myself.

    Harsh? Maybe.

    (aside: I also believe in disproportionate response. I’m not a fighter. I wasn’t in school, I’m not now. So it doesn’t matter if you come at me intending to just bloody my nose. I’m going for vital organs and joints. Pull a knife, and I’ll have a sword. And that’s only if I can’t get my gun out of the gun safe fast enough.)

    Comment by The_Livewire — April 7, 2011 @ 8:35 am - April 7, 2011

  164. Did you read my posts, NDT. Do you think that I would side with persons that I called submammalian scum?

    Of course I do, Pat. That would be why I pointed out how you are obsessing over punishing and shaming Christians rather than the “submammalian scum”.

    In short, you and Cas are sitting here whining and spinning about the need to take steps to prevent something that you admit was less than 1% responsible for an outcome.

    All you’re doing is trying to rationalize bigotry. You hate Jones and Christians so much that you’re sitting here with your buddy Cas spinning yourself into a tizzy trying to demand his public pillorying for something that even you admit you are, quote, “more than inclined to the 0% figure” for his responsibility.

    Why do you believe in punishing Christians for something for which you admit they’re not responsible, Pat?

    Why do you insist that we need to put on “band-aids” to “prevent” Christians from doing things that you acknowledge are unrelated to the actions you’re trying to “prevent” by taking those steps?

    You don’t understand the basic problem here because you are blinded by your bigotry. The basic problem is that the “submammalian scum” acted in a fashion that liberals like yourself have enabled for decades because they know you will punish someone else, not them, for their behavior.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — April 7, 2011 @ 12:42 pm - April 7, 2011

  165. Hi TL,
    “Henotheist”
    Thanks for the thoughtful reply.
    How cool. I didn’t know about that term before, thanks for that. The term I am most familiar with is “monolatrism.” (is the recognition of the existence of many gods, but with the consistent worship of only one deity.) The early books of the Torah show that the Jews held this viewpoint (hence why there is a “jealous” God). Jewish thinking changed over time by the time they got to 2nd Isiah, it was full blown monotheism.

    “There’s a difference between “Dem are keeping all the money for demselves, are you gonna let them?” (ala Michael Moore and Al Sharpton) and “I’m going to kill you.” The first is general inciteful speech.”

    Agreed. In terms of Mr. Jones–the part I can’t wrap my head around is whether (in a fundamentalist Islamic sense) it crosses the line. From my Western, rights oriented view, this is akin to flag burning. It is just a symbol. Killing people because of it is legally & morally wrong. I do not have the experience (thankfully) of a fundamentalist, tribalist society, such as what we face in Afghanistan. Would a reasonable Afghan individual see the actions of Mr. Jones as “fighting words” or just as incitement. That is the part I don’t know.

    “If you say “I’m going to kill you,” and show up on my doorstep, then I should be well within my rights to kill you right back. It doesn’t matter if that flower box contains flowers or a shotgun (ala Terminator 2) I am defending myself.”
    Can’t say I disagree with you. But an alternative, if possible (and it might not be), is to lock the door, and call 9-11.

    Thought you might like this one: River: “People don’t like to be meddled with. We tell them what to do, what to think, don’t run, don’t walk. We’re in their homes and in their heads and we haven’t the right. We’re meddlesome.”

    Comment by Cas — April 7, 2011 @ 1:12 pm - April 7, 2011

  166. Hi NDT,
    I think that this is a good example of what Pat is talking about:
    “That would be why I pointed out how you are obsessing over punishing and shaming Christians”
    “you’re sitting here with your buddy Cas spinning yourself into a tizzy trying to demand his public pillorying”
    “Why do you believe in punishing Christians for something for which you admit they’re not responsible, Pat?”

    According to you Pat and I want the same thing. I think Pat has been pretty clear she dislikes what Jones did–just as you do. She hasn’t talked about “pillorying” him. Or “punishing” him.
    Feel free to show where she does, I am happy to be corrected.

    I, on the other hand, do wonder about shaming Mr. Jones’ actions, as a possible response. That can be seen as a form of possible “pillorying.” You have been annoyed with me.

    So, to my eyes, you appear to see a collegial conversation between Pat and I as evidence that we agree to something that you don’t like. It is pretty clear that Pat and I do not agree on several things, one of which is the degree of culpability that Mr. Jones has for this incident and what should be done about it. But this doesn’t seem to register with you. It is almost as if since Pat and I talk to each other respectfully, it must be because we have no disagreements and believe the same thing! And if there are no disagreements and we believe the same thing, well, we must both want to pillor Mr. Jones’ action. I don’t think so. It might be the case that since Pat doesn’t forcefully say–”You are wrong, Cas, how dare you consider the idea of shaming or punishing Mr. Jones’ actions!!!!” you take this to mean that she agrees with me. If so, again, that would be wrong. There are many more possible positions than “either you are for my idea, or against my idea” (to paraphrase an old saying).

    I think it is possible to disagree with people in a respectful way. It doesn’t always happen, but I strive for that goal.

    Comment by Cas — April 7, 2011 @ 1:47 pm - April 7, 2011

  167. To be blunt about if it’s ‘Afghan fighting words’… I don’t care. For these people, Dan being gay, my being 1/4 Jewish, my mother being an educated woman… All of those are ‘fighting words’. I don’t have to judge my actions and values by those of someone stuck in the 9th century. it is no more ‘incitement’ than burning a flag or (gasp!) ‘piss Christ*’ It may be offensive and dumb, but we all have a right to do stupid things (look at all the people who voted for Obama ;-) )

    (aside about Henothesim, my sister has her masters in Theology and she goes crazy with my belief system. “Matt, there aren’t any other gods?” “Then what about the first commandment.” “That referred to material possessions, like money!” “Yes, because the Jews had to worry about ATMs in the desert…”)

    As to ‘locking the door and calling 911. I had my truck stolen recently, and the crackhead called my roommate and made death threats. I calmly went upstairs (while she called 911) and got my gun and loaded it. When the police arrived, I informed them I had a loaded firearm. I will call the cops, but if he’d shown up in the interim, he’d have died of lead poisoning. It’s the fine lien between being civilized, and being dead.

    As to River’s quote, that’s ironic in a way since she’s the result of the State feeling it was right to experiment on her. Also remember the Reavers came from the state deciding that they were smarter than the people and trying to drag Miranda into the future. Browncoats forever!

    *My issue with ‘piss Christ’ wasn’t that it was offensive. Heck I’ve a Nerf Mjolnier on my desk at work that I’m sure someone verneating the Norse pantheon would find offensive. My issue is that government money funded it. I paid for my hammer out of my own pocket.

    Comment by The_Livewire — April 7, 2011 @ 1:51 pm - April 7, 2011

  168. Hi Pat,
    Thanks for the thoughtful reply. This struck a cord with me:
    “I just think we need to focus more on the actions we take elsewhere so that we don’t even need to have a discussion about why should give up our freedoms to accommodate others half a world away and to not undermine our military.”

    And also our social mores and our sense as a people, I would add.

    I can’t help but feel that Thucydides made an absolutely spot on assessment:

    ““And revolution brought upon the cities of Hellas many terrible calamities, such as have been and always will be while human nature remains the same, but which are more or less aggravated and differ in character with every new combination of circumstances. In peace and prosperity, states and individuals have better sentiments, because they do not find themselves suddenly confronted with imperious necessities; but war takes away the easy supply of daily wants, and so proves a [violent teacher], that brings most men’s characters to a level with their fortunes.”
    Thucydides, Book III, 82, Pelponessian War”

    Comment by Cas — April 7, 2011 @ 2:02 pm - April 7, 2011

  169. Hi TL,
    “As to River’s quote, that’s ironic in a way since she’s the result of the State feeling it was right to experiment on her. Also remember the Reavers came from the state deciding that they were smarter than the people and trying to drag Miranda into the future. Browncoats forever!”

    That is why I thought you might like it. :)

    Comment by Cas — April 7, 2011 @ 2:04 pm - April 7, 2011

  170. TL,
    “I paid for my hammer out of my own pocket.”
    Is this a Nietzchean vibe, or am I reading more into this…?

    Comment by Cas — April 7, 2011 @ 2:08 pm - April 7, 2011

  171. So, to my eyes, you appear to see a collegial conversation between Pat and I as evidence that we agree to something that you don’t like.

    No, I happen to see another case of you trying to divert and deflect because you don’t want to take responsibility for your statements, just as you ran away last night when you were asked why you endorse and support Islamist radicals slitting the throats of Jewish families whose presence offends them.

    The basic problem here, Cas, is that you are an anti-Christian bigot who has made multiple posts trying to spin a reason to punish Christians while categorically ignoring and denying any fault or responsibility for the people who actually incited and actually performed the murdering.

    Why won’t you support punishing the people who actually incited and carried out the murders, Cas? Why have you only demanded punishing the Christian who, according to your syncophants like Pat, is not even responsible for the action?

    Can you reconcile your belief that a Christian who is not responsible for an action should be punished for it, while those who are responsible should not be?

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — April 7, 2011 @ 3:21 pm - April 7, 2011

  172. “I paid for my hammer out of my own pocket.”
    Is this a Nietzchean vibe, or am I reading more into this…?

    Nope, I have a nerf Mjolnier (from the upcoming Thor movie) at my desk. Paid for it with my own money. As opposed to geting a NEA grant like Maplethorp.

    As an aside, the Thor movie has already gotten an earful from the Stormfront crowd about Hemidal being black. Um, I’ve had G_d played by Morgan Freeman, Alanis Morresste, George Burns and lots of other people. You don’t like it, don’t watch it.

    Comment by The_Livewire — April 7, 2011 @ 3:48 pm - April 7, 2011

  173. I prefer my Thunderstrike mace very much, thank you. :)

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — April 7, 2011 @ 4:47 pm - April 7, 2011

  174. NDT, I don’t think Pat is anyone’s sycophant. Having said that, with a slight re-phrasing for directness, you ask a fair question (and a topical, for the people who care about that sort of thing, har har):

    [Will] you support punishing the people who actually incited and carried out the murders, Cas?

    Or as Dan put it:

    Must white Christians be to blame for all the world’s ills?

    I may not like Pastor Jones especially, but Pat got it right when he said that Jones’ share of moral responsibility (and ours) is something approaching 0%. No restraints on speech needed, thank you – or for that matter on any of Koran-burning, Bible-burning or flag-burning – and if you support restraints, kindly stick them up your arse.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — April 7, 2011 @ 4:47 pm - April 7, 2011

  175. Hi NDT,
    I notice that you don’t acknowledge or engage with my speculation concerning what I see as your conflation of Pat’s and my positions.

    As for this:
    “you ran away last night when you were asked why you endorse and support Islamist radicals slitting the throats of Jewish families whose presence offends them.”
    I chose to ignore a vile, and as far as I can tell, bigoted and hurtful comment meant only to inflame.

    “Can you reconcile your belief that a Christian who is not responsible for an action should be punished for it, while those who are responsible should not be?” It is based on the same kind of approach as a lawyer, who asks a witness–”So, how many times do you beat your spouse?”

    Ah, putting your words into someone else’s mouth. Do you really want to hold on to this as your guiding star, NDT? Your claim is not what I said. Sorry. You feel that an absence of an expressed affirmation of your viewpoint means that your interlocutor must support the extreme opposite of what you believe. That is an illogical conclusion to draw. For example, just because you are silent on whether or not Mr. Jones has helped make our task in Afghanistan harder (I think it has), doesn’t then give me the logical right to conclude that you think it doesn’t, and thus further conclude you want to see our mission in Afghanistan fail, with the subsequent blood of thousand directly laid at your feet. That would be a convenient and demonizing thing for me to conclude, wouldn’t it? I can’t conclude this because first, I really don’t know what you think; and second, the last part is just a bat-crap insane extrapolation. On the other hand, YOU KNOW, when someone doesn’t address the issue the way you want, that they must be against your position; and from this point, it is OK to accuse them of the most extreme and vile views. How? I have no idea. Maybe because, as far as I can tell NDT, you feel yourself to be always right! You never get anything wrong–ever! You may not think I acknowledge getting things wrong (or make a mistake), dude, but, really, I do so more often than you have (since I have been on this site). And, no surprise, I don’t think it is because you are perfect! From my perspective, you cannot acknowledge when you overstep your mark, or that you actively use the language of bigotry even as you proclaim to see and comment on it in others. We can all lose our temper, jump to conclusions, and sometimes say intemperate things–I know I have. We are all human.

    From my admittedly limited interactions with you on this site, the difference is that in dealing with people whose worldview does not accord with your own, you appear to almost always lose your temper, and almost always say intemperate things, and almost always jump to extreme conclusions, with or without provocation. And, you are never, ever, wrong.

    Comment by Cas — April 7, 2011 @ 5:25 pm - April 7, 2011

  176. I notice that you don’t acknowledge or engage with my speculation concerning what I see as your conflation of Pat’s and my positions.

    But, how off-topic it would be, Hi Cas! The topic is, “Must white Christians be to blame for all the world’s ills? ” ;-)

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — April 7, 2011 @ 5:29 pm - April 7, 2011

  177. HI ILC,
    Then I guess NDT is off topic as well, because it is his claims that required my reply. :)

    Comment by Cas — April 7, 2011 @ 5:48 pm - April 7, 2011

  178. Oh but Hi Cas, I’m not the one of us who actually cares. ;-)

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — April 7, 2011 @ 5:54 pm - April 7, 2011

  179. For example, just because you are silent on whether or not Mr. Jones has helped make our task in Afghanistan harder (I think it has), doesn’t then give me the logical right to conclude that you think it doesn’t, and thus further conclude you want to see our mission in Afghanistan fail, with the subsequent blood of thousand directly laid at your feet. That would be a convenient and demonizing thing for me to conclude, wouldn’t it?

    Actually, Cas, what I am doing is pointing out the obvious.

    I can show you exactly in this case the individuals who are making our task in Afghanistan harder. Right there, on the ground, actually in Afghanistan, in front of the mob, they are inciting violence against and trying to murder our troops — and when they cannot succeed, they are turning on and murdering others.

    But are you calling for them to be shamed? Are you calling for them to be punished? Are you demanding that action be taken against them to protect our troops and assist our mission?

    Oh no. You’re sitting here whining about Jones and insisting that their actions are justified because they are acting “in defence of Islam”. You are equivocating for their inciting a riot and murdering UN personnel because our troops are allegedly “invading Islam”.

    Do you get that, Cas? You cannot claim to care about the troops at the same time you defend and support the actions of the people who incite riots and try to murder them. You are flatly ignoring the actual source of the problem while demanding attacks against an unrelated target.

    And that’s what makes this funny.

    From my admittedly limited interactions with you on this site, the difference is that in dealing with people whose worldview does not accord with your own, you appear to almost always lose your temper, and almost always say intemperate things, and almost always jump to extreme conclusions, with or without provocation. And, you are never, ever, wrong.

    Your problem, Cas, is that you think everyone else agrees with you that Christians are to blame for all the world’s problems. All the rest of us, except for Pat, who shares your bigoted worldview, see very clearly the types of behavior you will excuse in order to attack Christians.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — April 7, 2011 @ 6:02 pm - April 7, 2011

  180. Then I guess NDT is off topic as well, because it is his claims that required my reply.

    Is it?

    I notice that you don’t acknowledge or engage with my speculation concerning what I see as your conflation of Pat’s and my positions.

    So by not responding to his “speculations”, Cas claims I have knocked the thread “off topic”.

    How can one be attacked for not responding and then be blamed for knocking the thread off topic?

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — April 7, 2011 @ 6:06 pm - April 7, 2011

  181. Ah ILC
    “Oh but Hi Cas, I’m not the one of us who actually cares.”
    You care enough …

    Comment by Cas — April 7, 2011 @ 6:27 pm - April 7, 2011

  182. No, not really, sorry! Just having fun! :-)

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — April 7, 2011 @ 6:28 pm - April 7, 2011

  183. Hi NDt,
    “So by not responding to his “speculations”, Cas claims I have knocked the thread “off topic”.”
    Go blame ILC, dude… he is the one who apparently thinks your efforts are off-topic :)

    Comment by Cas — April 7, 2011 @ 6:29 pm - April 7, 2011

  184. Good to see, ILC :)

    Comment by Cas — April 7, 2011 @ 6:29 pm - April 7, 2011

  185. Of course I do, Pat. That would be why I pointed out how you are obsessing over punishing and shaming Christians rather than the “submammalian scum”.

    NDT, you’ve got to be kidding me. I’m obsessing? Have you read some of the vile trash in some of your posts. Your shtick now is to graphically describe abortions in many of your posts. Talk about sick and disgusting. What’s next? Graphic descriptions of sex between adults and children. When my “obsession” approaches 10% of your obsessions of people who disagree with you, then we’ll talk.

    In short, you and Cas are sitting here whining and spinning about the need to take steps to prevent something that you admit was less than 1% responsible for an outcome.

    Close, but not quite. I don’t think I made this point clearly. You could be a civilized adult and asked me to clarify or explain my position. I don’t believe that the pastor is criminally responsible for these murders. Unfortunately, despite this, these murders still occurred, and it appears that if he did not burn the Koran these persons would still be alive. This absolutely, positively, in no way absolves the people that actually committed the murders.

    It is unfortunate that an act, such as burning a holy book, which while offensive, does not directly hurt anyone. And yet, people are dead. And I feel bad that people are dead. Don’t you?

    All you’re doing is trying to rationalize bigotry. You hate Jones and Christians so much that you’re sitting here with your buddy Cas spinning yourself into a tizzy trying to demand his public pillorying for something that even you admit you are, quote, “more than inclined to the 0% figure” for his responsibility.

    I’m afraid I do not hate Christians in general. There are some Christian scumbags out there, and you are now trying to compete with them. I also stated that I don’t blame Christianity for their immoral behaviors. Further, it’s 2011 and in this nation, Christianity is a choice. Again, you just make stuff up. And no, I don’t blame Christianity on your lying, bigotry, and outright hate.

    Why do you believe in punishing Christians for something for which you admit they’re not responsible, Pat?

    Again, where do you make this stuff up?

    Why do you insist that we need to put on “band-aids” to “prevent” Christians from doing things that you acknowledge are unrelated to the actions you’re trying to “prevent” by taking those steps?

    Oops. A little logical fallacy here. I never said these events were unrelated.

    You don’t understand the basic problem here because you are blinded by your bigotry. The basic problem is that the “submammalian scum” acted in a fashion that liberals like yourself have enabled for decades because they know you will punish someone else, not them, for their behavior.

    I challenge you to find anywhere I stated that these thugs should not be punished for their behavior. I oppose the death penalty in general, but these persons deserve death, plain and simple. Is that clear, or are you going to make stuff up again?


    I notice that you don’t acknowledge or engage with my speculation concerning what I see as your conflation of Pat’s and my positions.

    Cas and I have some disagreements on this topic, but he hasn’t conflated my arguments. In fact, I don’t see anyone else conflating anyone’s position but you.

    Comment by Pat — April 7, 2011 @ 6:33 pm - April 7, 2011

  186. Hi NDT,
    Here is where the rubber meets the road:
    “Are you calling for them to be punished? Are you demanding that action be taken against them to protect our troops and assist our mission?”
    Yes. They should be punished. they should be punished by Afghan authorities to the full extent of the law, since they committed murder.

    Now, we have that positive statement out of the way (and something I believe, even if I did not say it so clearly in the past, and yet, strangely, is still consistent with my stated position, fancy that), what now? All we are left with is this:
    “you think everyone else agrees with you that Christians are to blame for all the world’s problems”
    Again, you derive this claim through the process I mentioned above. Extreme and logically unsupported claims, NDT.

    Comment by Cas — April 7, 2011 @ 6:34 pm - April 7, 2011

  187. And also our social mores and our sense as a people, I would add.

    Cas, I agree. But it should be us that ultimately dictate it. Not murderers half-way across the world. I’m willing to consider short term bandaids to help prevent more murders. But long term, we have to do better. I just don’t believe that we should be hamstrung by these fanatics.

    I’ll also say that if these fanatics engaged in 10% of the introspection we are doing now, these acts would not occur.

    I will say you hit the nail on the head with your post in 175.

    174.NDT, I don’t think Pat is anyone’s sycophant. Having said that, with a slight re-phrasing for directness, you ask a fair question (and a topical, for the people who care about that sort of thing, har har):

    Thanks, ILC. The two questions you cited are fair. And my answers are:

    1. Yes, absolutely.
    2. Absolutely not.


    No restraints on speech needed, thank you – or for that matter on any of Koran-burning, Bible-burning or flag-burning – and if you support restraints, kindly stick them up your arse.

    And this is where my quandary is. I don’t want any further restraints on free speech. But I don’t want any more people being murdered when someone burns a Koran either. I would like to find a way where both would occur.

    Comment by Pat — April 7, 2011 @ 6:47 pm - April 7, 2011

  188. NDT,

    I’d at least maim for a good copy of the Thunderstrike. I was kind of hoping we’d see versions of Thunderstrike, Storm Breaker and the Ultimate Mjolnier in addition to Mjolnier

    i like Eric. i even chased down the Thunderstrike Heroclix.

    Comment by The_Livewire — April 7, 2011 @ 6:49 pm - April 7, 2011

  189. And NDT,
    “I can show you exactly in this case the individuals who are making our task in Afghanistan harder. Right there, on the ground, actually in Afghanistan, in front of the mob, they are inciting violence against and trying to murder our troops — and when they cannot succeed, they are turning on and murdering others.”
    Cool, you have made that clear before. Afghan reactions to Mr. Jones’ actions have made our mission harder. I get that. Does that mean that you think that Mr. Jones’ actions have not made our mission harder? Or have made it harder? I ask, because your reply as stated did not address the question I asked, so I am still unclear as to what you think concerning that point.

    Comment by Cas — April 7, 2011 @ 7:43 pm - April 7, 2011

  190. Your shtick now is to graphically describe abortions in many of your posts. Talk about sick and disgusting.

    Oh, I’m sorry, Pat. I should have realized that, while you support, endorse, and demand Federal funding for abortions, you don’t want to be reminded of what’s actually involved in one. Brings up all sorts of difficult questions, doesn’t it?

    Unfortunately, despite this, these murders still occurred, and it appears that if he did not burn the Koran these persons would still be alive.

    So you are directly blaming him for the riot and murder.

    That’s the whole problem here, Pat. You simply can’t stop blaming Christians for all the world’s problems, can you?

    The reason why is very simple. Christians, unlike liberal gays and lesbians, don’t support violence and death threats as a means of getting what you want. You attack Christians instead of Muslims because you know they won’t hit back. And frankly, you’re downright ecstatic over the Islamist radicals doing you a favor, because you now have a whole new pile of bodies that you can blame on Christians and use to shut them up. Just like you love it when teens commit suicide so you can blame it on Christians.

    This is what makes the whole thing hilariously hypocritical. Gay and lesbian community leaders like Evan Hurst, Dan Savage, and others profane and insult Christians every day. Yet you and they piss your pants and scream about “hate crimes” if a Christian even dares to criticize a gay person, much less incite a riot against them, hunt them down, and murder them. You certainly don’t go into this whole hand-wringing charade about how, gee, you don’t want to forcibly shut people up and abridge freedom of speech and religious expression, but if you don’t, people might get hurt — and there is no credible way you could claim that you would be going after and publicly shaming the gay person for their “moral responsibility” in causing the harm.

    You want to fix the problem, Pat? How about holding Islamist radicals responsible at the same level you do Christians? You are insisting that Jones is guilty of inciting a riot and causing the death of UN employees, both in Afghanistan, for his burning a Koran ten days earlier halfway around the world in Florida, and demanding that his behavior be used to justify restrictions on free speech.

    Are you even aware of what happened before when he DIDN’T burn a Koran, but just THREATENED to do so?

    On Friday, September 10 in the northern Afghan city of Fayzabad, thousands took part in a protest against the planned Koran-burning following Eid ul-Fitr prayers. Violent demonstrators threw stones at a German-controlled NATO base. Initial reports said troops inside opened fire, killing up to three people and injuring several others, but a local police official said that only local police, not the NATO troops, were involved in the shooting.[58][59] According to the acting police chief of Badakshan the protesters broke down the first perimeter gate surrounding the base and beat Afghan security guards and police on duty with sticks. Before opening fire police allegedly fired warning shots and were also fired upon from the direction of the demonstrators, said the police official.[58] A local police chief talking to the BBC gave his estimates of the number of protesters to around 1,500 but said that the incident that led to the shooting was a separate one with 150 people participating.

    Anyone who was looking at this rationally would realize that this is completely and totally irrational behavior. These were attacks taking place on UN personnel BEFORE any Koran had even been burned.

    These are the people that you want controlling our behavior, Pat. These are the people that, because you and Cas need your Christian scalps, that you will sign over our freedoms to and give veto power over all our decisions.

    And you know what? It’s totally unnecessary. If you read what I just quoted, you’ll see that Jones was getting publicly called out by everyone through and including Sarah Palin. But you had to ignore that and start calling for free-speech restrictions because we just need to shut them Christians up, right?

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — April 7, 2011 @ 7:43 pm - April 7, 2011

  191. Afghan reactions to Mr. Jones’ actions have made our mission harder. I get that.

    No,you don’t get that, Cas, which is why you went right into this one:

    Does that mean that you think that Mr. Jones’ actions have not made our mission harder? Or have made it harder?

    As I pointed out above, “Afghan reactions” were taking place BEFORE Mr. Jones actually even did anything, even when he was just speaking about doing something.

    But of course, you don’t care about that, because you’re not operating out of any sort of logical assignment of blame or responsibility; instead, you have decided that Jones is guilty, and thus are simply rearranging and ignoring the facts as necessary to suit your predetermined conclusion.

    Why on earth you would support and endorse punishing someone for exercising their right of free speech and religious expression against a mob of irrational bigots, I have no idea — unless one factors in the fact that you yourself are an irrational bigot against that particular someone’s beliefs.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — April 7, 2011 @ 8:01 pm - April 7, 2011

  192. Oh, I’m sorry, Pat. I should have realized that, while you support, endorse, and demand Federal funding for abortions, you don’t want to be reminded of what’s actually involved in one.

    NDT, good luck trying to find proof anywhere where I support, endorse, or demand federal funding for abortions. I know exactly what is involved in abortion. But feel free spewing your filth.

    Brings up all sorts of difficult questions, doesn’t it?

    Sure, why you have become so bitter and hateful lately?

    So you are directly blaming him for the riot and murder.

    Still failing reading comprehension 101 I see. Okay let me explain it this way.

    Here’s a similar situation. A young woman walks to work everyday, and the quickest path is through a dangerous neighborhood. She is advised to walk a different route that is longer and otherwise more inconvenient. One day she takes the dangerous route, and is raped. Can we agree that she is 0% responsible for the crime? Can we also agree that if she didn’t take the dangerous route, she most likely would not have gotten raped, and yet I still hold the rapist 100% guilty, and not the victim. I’m guessing she would be advised to go back to the longer, safer route, even though her freedoms are abridged that she can’t go the quicker route, and it sucks big time that has to be the case. Do I need to spell out further, or are you going to deliberately twist my position again?

    That’s the whole problem here, Pat. You simply can’t stop blaming Christians for all the world’s problems, can you?

    Reread my answer to that question above.

    The reason why is very simple. Christians, unlike liberal gays and lesbians, don’t support violence and death threats as a means of getting what you want.

    That’s good. Thanks for the ringing endorsement of Christians. So you are saying that Christians are at least somewhat civilized humans. My opinion of Christians is actually much higher than yours.

    You attack Christians instead of Muslims because you know they won’t hit back.

    Okay, now you can’t even read at the two-year-old level. Or you are a pathological liar? Which is it?

    And frankly, you’re downright ecstatic over the Islamist radicals doing you a favor, because you now have a whole new pile of bodies that you can blame on Christians and use to shut them up. Just like you love it when teens commit suicide so you can blame it on Christians.

    Classic. Your next paragraph is filled with even more crap.

    You want to fix the problem, Pat?

    Okay, how?

    How about holding Islamist radicals responsible at the same level you do Christians?

    Nope. Because I hold Islamist radicals more in contempt. I suggested death as a fair punishment for these radicals. I suggested zero punishment for the pastor.

    You are insisting that Jones is guilty of inciting a riot and causing the death of UN employees, both in Afghanistan, for his burning a Koran ten days earlier halfway around the world in Florida, and demanding that his behavior be used to justify restrictions on free speech.

    Demand? You’ve failed reading comprehension again.

    These are the people that you want controlling our behavior, Pat.

    Reread my posts. This is the EXACT OPPOSITE of what I said.
    And you know what? It’s totally unnecessary. If you read what I just quoted, you’ll see that Jones was getting publicly called out by everyone through and including Sarah Palin.

    So Sarah Palin and I are on the same page here? What’s the problem?

    NDT, this discussion will go a lot better if you argue points that I made, and not points that I didn’t make. If you think something I said is contradictory, ask for a clarification in a civil manner. I promise to respond in kind.

    Comment by Pat — April 7, 2011 @ 8:25 pm - April 7, 2011

  193. NDT,
    “Does that mean that you think that Mr. Jones’ actions have not made our mission harder? Or have made it harder?

    As I pointed out above, “Afghan reactions” were taking place BEFORE Mr. Jones actually even did anything, even when he was just speaking about doing something.”

    So, this is how you answer me–with a “I don’t have to! It is a simple question–yes or no. You are doing what you accused me of doing! Except I am not insulting you; and not drawing super extreme conclusions from your silence. What can be so hard about answering the question straightforwardly? So coy. If no or yes, a brief explanation. Come on NDT, you can do it! Why you want to avoid answering is beyond me.

    Oh, and by the way, it wasn’t that the AFghan crows wigged out for no reason–that would support your claim, I think–irrational and all. You have a correlation of wigging out with Mr. Jones “saying” or “threatening” to do this act. “Boy, them Muslims are sure sensitive–just a thought of that AMerican pastor doing this sets them off!” So, pretty sensitive, yep.
    SO, no, your answer doesn’t address my question, still.

    Comment by Cas — April 7, 2011 @ 10:09 pm - April 7, 2011

  194. Come back to the sandbox ……. I am begging you.

    Comment by Heliotrope — April 8, 2011 @ 10:40 am - April 8, 2011

  195. Oh, and by the way, it wasn’t that the AFghan crows wigged out for no reason

    So again, Cas, you are stating that rioting and murdering people over even a threat to defile a religious object is a rational decision. You are justifying the riot and murders based on the religious defilement. You are stating that violence is a justified and rational response to such behavior, and that you support rioting and violence as valid in such instances.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — April 8, 2011 @ 11:46 am - April 8, 2011

  196. You continue to use those craptacularly irrational techniques of argument of yours, as I made clear at #175. Its OK NDT, I am reconciled to you not answering simple questions.

    Comment by Cas — April 8, 2011 @ 9:31 pm - April 8, 2011

  197. That’s all right, Cas, no one really cares.

    You do provide amusement value as everyone watches you contradict yourself, spin yourself into a corner, and then insist that everyone else is wrong, but we all understand it’s because you simply don’t have the mental or intellectual capacity to get beyond basic bigotry. It’s like letting a spoiled three-year-old beat you at Scrabble; the only person who thinks you’re diminished is the three-year-old.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — April 9, 2011 @ 5:00 am - April 9, 2011

  198. You do provide amusement value as everyone watches you contradict yourself, spin yourself into a corner, and then insist that everyone else is wrong, but we all understand it’s because you simply don’t have the mental or intellectual capacity to get beyond basic bigotry. It’s like letting a spoiled three-year-old beat you at Scrabble; the only person who thinks you’re diminished is the three-year-old.

    Wow, NDT. You described yourself to a tee! Better than the rest of us could. Nothing further needs to be said.

    Comment by Pat — April 9, 2011 @ 7:37 am - April 9, 2011

  199. NDT, good luck trying to find proof anywhere where I support, endorse, or demand federal funding for abortions. I know exactly what is involved in abortion.

    Really? You’re going to state that you have never supported or endorsed abortions? You’re going to state that you have never endorsed the Obama Party or an Obama Party politician who supports Federal funding for abortions?

    Can we agree that she is 0% responsible for the crime? Can we also agree that if she didn’t take the dangerous route, she most likely would not have gotten raped, and yet I still hold the rapist 100% guilty, and not the victim.

    Which is, of course, why you support and endorse Cas, who is screaming for publicly shaming the woman for taking the dangerous route while insisting that the rapist was justified since the woman was invading his space.

    My opinion of Christians is actually much higher than yours.

    Which is, of course, why you’re supporting your buddy Cas’s demanding they be publicly shamed and punished for acts they didn’t do.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — April 11, 2011 @ 1:21 pm - April 11, 2011

  200. Really?

    Really.

    I’ll await your apology, NDT.

    You’re going to state that you have never supported or endorsed abortions? You’re going to state that you have never endorsed the Obama Party or an Obama Party politician who supports Federal funding for abortions?

    Not necessarily. These are different questions, and may have different answers. If you really want to know my position on abortion, I’ll discuss it with you, if you promise to do it in an intelligent, rational manner. One of the reasons I usually don’t discuss abortion, is because, all too often, proponents on both sides get spastic and irrational when discussing it. And, frankly, I’ve seen you get bent regarding it.

    It’s not the time or place now, but I’ll give you a short answer. Like you, I am not completely pro-life. However, my position is less restrictive than yours, while being more restrictive than some of the conservatives on this site.

    Which is, of course, why you support and endorse Cas, who is screaming for publicly shaming the woman for taking the dangerous route while insisting that the rapist was justified since the woman was invading his space.

    I don’t recall Cas shaming this hypothetical woman. Also, it was my analogy. For all I know, he might not even find it analagous. Anyway, as was mentioned a couple of times already, Cas and I disagree on this issue. My ability to disagree in an adult, civil manner should not be construed as supporting or an endorsing the other person’s position. And I have the ability to respect someone I disagree with.

    What’s really weird is that my position is closer to yours than his, yet you misrepresent my position, and demonize it. What gives?

    Which is, of course, why you’re supporting your buddy Cas’s demanding they be publicly shamed and punished for acts they didn’t do.

    Maybe I made a typo somewhere. Where on Earth did I write anything like this?

    Getting back to this…

    You’re going to state that you have never endorsed the Obama Party

    When you pull this canard, I usually ignore it, because usually another diatribe follows. As such, I’m not really sure what the Obama Party is. Is it the Democratic Party? If so, I have supported and voted for Democrats.

    I’m pretty sure it’s not a term of endearment for Obama. So now, following your logic, I should conclude that you are bigoted towards Black persons. Why? When I criticize a person who happens to be Christian, you automatically assume I am bigoted towards Christians and Christianity.

    To be clear, my feelings for this pastor have nothing to do with his religion. His religion could be Jewish, Moslem, Hindu, or he could be an atheist. My feeling, like many others here, is that he is a nutcase. My criticism of people like Donohue and LaBarbera because of their anti-gay bile has nothing to do with their religion. I do not blame their hate on Christianity. In fact, we both know it is possible for Christians to be supportive of gay persons. You’re consider yourself a good Christian, right? So are you wrong for being supportive of homosexuals and their right to have a responsible relationship with a person of the same sex?

    My opinion of Christians is actually much higher than yours.

    Which is, of course, why you’re supporting your buddy Cas’s demanding they be publicly shamed and punished for acts they didn’t do.

    Comment by Pat — April 11, 2011 @ 6:26 pm - April 11, 2011

  201. Oops. Last two sentences forgot to make the cutting room floor.

    Comment by Pat — April 12, 2011 @ 6:22 am - April 12, 2011

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