81 Comments

  1. There are times that I wonder about the political cluelessness of bureaucrats. One would think that people working in Washington would have some idea about the political impacts of what they say and do, but it seems that, almost every day, we see reminders that such people really don’t have a clue.

    Of course, to refer to the Fort Hood massacre as something caused by radical Islam, the Department would be stepping into the minefield of political incorrectness; such might be seen as calling into question the loyalty of American Muslims. And we surely cannot do that!

  2. Editor says:
    December 8, 2011 at 19:10

    There are times that I wonder about the political cluelessness of bureaucrats. One would think that people working in Washington would have some idea about the political impacts of what they say and do, but it seems that, almost every day, we see reminders that such people really don’t have a clue.

    The first knee jerk reaction of the political correctness crowd is never offend the offender. But what this does is offends everyone else. Just yesterday, the most offensive cop killer/celebrity finally had his sentence reduced to Life. A victory for him, a slap in the face of his family, and a loss for every sane person. This Angel Falls downgrade (Here are some other amazing facts about Angel Falls: The height of the longest uninterrupted drop is 2,640 feet ) of an act of terrorism to a workplace incident, is a slap in the face of all rational people.

  3. “Of course, to refer to the Fort Hood massacre as something caused by radical Islam, the Department would be stepping into the minefield of political incorrectness; such might be seen as calling into question the loyalty of American Muslims. And we surely cannot do that!”

    There are those of our fellow countrymen who do do exactly that, question the loyalty of American Muslims based on their religious choice; thus we have the usual bigotry practiced by tiny minds, unfortunately.

    One might then similarly question the loyalty of fundamentalist Christians who place loyalty to their mythical god above that to country, just like the Muslims do.

    If we insist upon behaving like bigots, let us do so equally against all religions! :(

    The problem is, of course, that religions are by definition made up of irrefutable absolutisms which are subject to neither interrogation nor doubt, and certainly not to compromise.

    What has happened to the American right wing of today is that they perceive their ideology as if it were a religion. At least their unwillingness to compromise strongly suggests this.

    Needless to say, we see this uncompromising right wing ideology/religion in full bloom on this blog on a daily basis, and it isn’t very pretty in my view!

  4. Wagonwheel personifies the very essence of this post — we should treat all religious extremists equally, even though they all do not BEHAVE equally.

    This is, certainly, complete and utter nonsense, which the far-left radicals exercise in abundance.

  5. Thank you, Koolo, for confirming my point. All religious extremists do behave equally in terms of their absolutist pronouncements, which cannot be questioned (Can you question the Pope?), and which then lead to violence, like ethnic cleansing. Both fundamentalist Christians and fundamentalist Muslims fall into this category. Must I cite a sampling of the many historical and current examples of behavior which demonstrate this fact?

  6. History is just that — history. We’re dealing with the here and now, and the fact of the matter is that there is ONE radical aspect of ONE religion that seeks to terrorize the planet if people do not do as they wish. And that is radical ISLAM.

    To deny this is to deny reality. Far-left radicals like yourself like to do that. A lot.

  7. At the risk of being smacked down, once again, by Wagonwheel I must say I’m a fundamentalist, extreme Lutheran. I believe the Lord Jesus Christ is my Saviour and that “who believes in Him shall not perish”. And He has taught me to Love my Neighbor, to hate the Sin but Love the Sinner, to forgive those who tresspass against me, but never has Christ taught me to harm those who are not saved by His Grace. I was once chastised in Vietnam by a chaplin when he heard me say “kill a commie for Christ”. He pulled me aside and read me the riot act and explained that Christ loves eveyone, even “commies” even if they don’t love Him. Of course I went on to kill many more commies, but I did it for my fellow soldiers and my country, not for Christ. But as far as “fundamentalist extremists” are concerned, none are more extreme than fundamentalist athiests. They tolerate no belief in anything but no belief and have no time for those of us who choose to believe in a higher power than government.

  8. What I believe Koolo was trying to point out to you Wagonwheel is that unlike Christianity, Islam is NOT just a religion. It’s a social concept, a structure of opression, and a government. Kinda like athieism. Kinda like communism. They are all about oppression and control whereas Christ is Liberating, Forgiving and wants the Best fo us.

    (sorry about the spelling and such but I lost my glasses and I won’t see the optomitrist till Monday. So the once sharp-eyed sniper is almost seeing double and the dyslexia ain’t helpin’) Note to our Editor: feel free to correct my spelling and grammar at any time.

  9. Wagonwheel says:
    December 9, 2011 at 10:16 (Edit)

    Thank you, Koolo, for confirming my point. All religious extremists do behave equally in terms of their absolutist pronouncements, which cannot be questioned (Can you question the Pope?), and which then lead to violence, like ethnic cleansing. Both fundamentalist Christians and fundamentalist Muslims fall into this category. Must I cite a sampling of the many historical and current examples of behavior which demonstrate this fact?

    Alright, let’s break this down.

    All religious extremists do behave equally in terms of their absolutist pronouncements, which cannot be questioned[.]

    Perry is defining “extremists” as anyone who has absolutes. By Perry’s definition, even Perry is an extremist as evidenced by his multitudinous declarations of absolutes.

    Can you question the Pope?

    Yes. Absolutely yes. Let’s start with the obvious: Baptist, Grace Brethren (of which I am), Lutheran, Mennonite, Quaker, Shaker, Wesleyan, Lutheran, Amish, Church of England, etc, etc, etc. All Protestants “question the Pope”. In fact to me, the Pope is an absolute nobody.

    Now to the less than obvious for the likes of Perry: Nancy Pelosi, all other “Catholic” Democrat politicians in high office, “Catholic” members of the Mafia, all “Pro-Choice” “Catholics”. The Pope — I don’t care which one in recent history you choose — has declared absolutely that abortion is immoral. And all the supposedly Catholic Democrat politicians have fought for greater availability of that which their Pope declared immoral.

    So can you question the Pope? Absolutely without a doubt, it is done every single day by Protestants and “Catholics” alike. Beyond that, if the Pope were to make a declaration in absolute direct violation of Providence’s Law, a great many true Catholics would be up in arms about that declaration. Even to Catholics, the Pope isn’t some deity.

    Both fundamentalist Christians and fundamentalist Muslims fall into this category.

    That is absolutely a false statement, unsupportable by any measure of facts whatsoever.

    Must I cite a sampling of the many historical and current examples of behavior which demonstrate this fact?

    Yes you must. Cite all the non-anecdotal examples of both Christians and Mohammedans and their supposed parity from 1940 onward. That’s 71 years. Yes you must provide those citations of non-anecdotal examples. And yes you must explain how they arrive at parity, because you have declare they do.

    Are you up to the challenge you yourself broached? Or will you renege on your very heavily implied offer? Your implied offer suggests you have a multitude of non-outlier examples of Christians behaving exactly like Mohammedans. Put up the proof of your accusations! Your questioning argument said you have that proof. Now, put up or shut up, Perry.

  10. John Hitchcock is correct. I do not know the religious faith of Wagonwheel (Perry) if he has one. But he does place a lot of “faith” in government.

    And Wagonwheel, if you do come up with a Christian acting like a moslem, it has to be because his religion teaches him to act that way. I’ve read the koran many, many times. Have you Wagonwheel? Try sura’s 5 & 9 to begin with then tell me what’s what.

  11. Mr. Hitchcock: I believe the Spanish Inquisition is a historical example of Christians behaving like Moslems. However, that was around 500 YEARS AGO. Christianity (and other major religions) have PROgressed, while Islam has REgressed. In other words, Islam TODAY is a lot like what Christianity USED to be, lo many eons ago.

  12. This is Sura 9:5, just for Wagonwheel.

    5. Then when the Sacred Months (the Ist, 7th, 11th, and 12th months of the Islamic calendar) have passed, then kill the Mushrikun (see V.2:105) wherever you find them, and capture them and besiege them, and prepare for them each and every ambush. But if they repent and perform As-Salat (Iqamat-as-Salat), and give Zakat, then leave their way free. Verily, Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.

    Just so you know Perry, the Mushrikun are ALL non-believers in Islam (except apostates, they’re delt with differently) . That means you too. Especially you. Which is why MY ancestors wore a white tunic with a big Red Cross on it, so they’d know we were coming. That’s why today for the umpteenth generation I’m a Mason and a Knight Templar.

  13. Just so you know Wagonwheel, As-Salat (Iqamat-as-Salat) is renouncing one’s faith and Zakat is monetary tribute. So allah Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful can be “bought off”.

    Try buying off Christ.

  14. The difference between Christianity and islam is like day and night. Christ preached “turn the other cheek”, Mohammad preached “kill your enemies”. Christ taught us that The Father loves us and wants us to be happy. Mohammad teaches the subjugation of women, homosexuals, non-believers and the accepance of slavery. Great religion, ain’t it?

    Yeah, religions all the same, NOT!

  15. Koolo says:
    December 9, 2011 at 09:29

    Wagonwheel personifies the very essence of this post — we should treat all religious extremists equally, even though they all do not BEHAVE equally.

    Welcome aboard. And speaking of behaving equally, look at the runaway Amish Sect in Ohio running around cutting off beards of the other “main stream” Amish.

  16. Mr. Hitchcock: I believe the Spanish Inquisition is a historical example of Christians behaving like Moslems. However, that was around 500 YEARS AGO. Christianity (and other major religions) have PROgressed, while Islam has REgressed. In other words, Islam TODAY is a lot like what Christianity USED to be, lo many eons ago.

    Koolo, your statement brings up a cogent point. The Spanish Inquisition was Catholic. It occurred during a time when Catholics ruled the known world with an iron fist and Protestants were just getting revved up. And that brings up a major point: Protestantism started by questioning Catholicism directly and the Pope pointedly. Power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely. The Catholic Church was absolutely corrupt, which caused the Protestant denominations to spring up. Many of the original Protestants (Martin Luther for one) wanted to reform the Catholic Church and purge it of corruption, but got booted out.

    Over time, the Protestant Churches took root, causing the Catholic Church to root out much of its corruption. Needless to say, from the beginning of the Protestant movement until today and beyond, until the Millenial reign of Jesus Christ (who is God, the only Son of God), millions upon millions of declared Christians will reject the Catholic Pope.

    But even during the Spanish Inquisition, many Christians were very outspoken in their rejection of what Spain demanded. That outspokennes, that drivenness cannot be found among the Mohammedan billions. But, as Hoagie rightly showed, the Quran very clearly advocates — no, demands — the killing of Christians, Jews, and others who refuse to kow-tow to the Mohammedic Allah. The New Testament of the Bible does not have that at all. So, Mohammedans who slaughter Jews, Christians, Hindus, atheists like Perry are indeed acting according to their unholy scriptures while Christians who do likewise are acting in contravention of the Bible.

  17. WW wrote:

    “Of course, to refer to the Fort Hood massacre as something caused by radical Islam, the Department would be stepping into the minefield of political incorrectness; such might be seen as calling into question the loyalty of American Muslims. And we surely cannot do that!”

    There are those of our fellow countrymen who do do exactly that, question the loyalty of American Muslims based on their religious choice; thus we have the usual bigotry practiced by tiny minds, unfortunately.

    One might then similarly question the loyalty of fundamentalist Christians who place loyalty to their mythical god above that to country, just like the Muslims do.

    Even if we regard your statement as exactly true, there is a significant difference: even if there are “fundamentalist Christians who place loyalty to their mythical god above that to country,” said fundamentalist Christians wouldn’t be working with our country’s foreign enemies on earth. There is no Christian version of al Qaeda or the Taliban or the Muslim Brotherhood or Hamas.

    You wrote just the other day saying that homosexual rights are human rights, yet here in the United States, while there are certainly people, some of whom are Christians, who find homosexual activity disgusting and the homosexual lifestyle repugnant, but there is no (serious) call to criminalize homosexual activity or prohibit homosexuals from meeting; in Egypt, even before the fall of Hosni Mubarak, homosexuals could go to jail, while in Iran people caught in homosexual relationships have been executed, hanged, hoisted by construction cranes to slowly strangle to death, not as mob action, but as government-sanctioned legal penalties.

    In the United States, you can write things like “fundamentalist Christians who place loyalty to their mythical god,” and perhaps suffer the great punishment of mockery or disrespect for your views, but you aren’t compelled to go to church and there is no punishment for converting away from Christianity to some other faith, or no faith at all, which would, I believe, describe you. In some of the Islamic countries, apostasy and converting away from Islam, if you were born into a Muslim house, is punishable by death.

    What you have attempted top portray as some sort of essential equivalence in not equivalent at all.

  18. WW wrote:

    Thank you, Koolo, for confirming my point. All religious extremists do behave equally in terms of their absolutist pronouncements, which cannot be questioned (Can you question the Pope?),

    Of course you can, and many have. Even those few papal statements made ex cathedra, the ones carrying the imprimatur of infallibility, can be, and are, questioned by many, even by some Catholics. If someone denies a particular papal teaching, does the law come down on him and throw him in prison?

    and which then lead to violence, like ethnic cleansing. Both fundamentalist Christians and fundamentalist Muslims fall into this category. Must I cite a sampling of the many historical and current examples of behavior which demonstrate this fact?

    Really? The only ethnic cleansing operations which were attempted by supposed Christians in anything more recent than centuries ago was the actions taken by the Serbians against the Muslim Bosnians. The result of those attempts were that NATO used military power against the Serbs, and Serbian leaders like Slobodan Milosevic, Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic were charged with war crimes. And even acknowledging their actions, those were motivated by a desire for political power and control, and very little, if any, over religion.

    The Nazis attempts at genocide were aimed (primarily) at Jews, but it was not for some sort of Christian reasons; it was for a crackpot racial theory.

  19. Turns out the Hollywood shooter was yelling Allahu Akbar as he went about his personal jihad. But, of course, MSM hasn’t reported the Islamic motivation.

    After all, what could his religion have to do with his bloodthirsty rampage? It’s a completely inexplicable event, totally random, and surely unrelated to the fact that Nidal Hasan was also yelling Allahu Akbar while he was engaged in an episode of workplace violence at Fort Hood.

  20. “The Nazis attempts at genocide were aimed (primarily) at Jews, but it was not for some sort of Christian reasons; it was for a crackpot racial theory.”

    In response to Mr. Editor and ropelight: Could not the same rationalization/explanation be used for the behavior of Nidal Hasan?

    We also have use rationalizations for our, a so-called Christian nation’s preemptive attack on Iraq, which turned out to be based on mostly false information. Consider the collateral damage we inflicted upon innocent people and their possessions and infrastructure.

    I think a broader reflection on our own actions over time are in order. But our radicals on this blog don’t want to hear anything about these behaviors of ours!

  21. “In the United States, you can write things like “fundamentalist Christians who place loyalty to their mythical god,” and perhaps suffer the great punishment of mockery or disrespect for your views, ….”

    Are you denying, Mr. Editor, that any claim of any god, independent of the origin, is a myth?

    You have no tangible proof for such a claim, nor does anyone else making similar claims about the Christian god, or the Jewish god, or the god of Islam. How is it that we have so many concepts of various gods, I ask? Simple answer: All these concepts of gods are myths.

    I mean no disrespect, because I also understand that religions serve an important purpose for many individuals world wide.

    Why pray tell would you consider it disrespectful to point out the fact that the concept of god is just one myth of many?

    I think the answer goes to the thinking of those attracted to absolutism, which we often discussed on the old blog. As I said then, I view absolutism (e.g. the concept of god), to be self-contained in the mind of the believer, who is unable to then demonstrate a proof of his/her belief, rather the individual is reduced to making only an unprovable claim. Thus, this belief is a personal reality, in contrast to the observable realities which surround us in the physical world in which we live.

    PS: Repeating this I also, I am an agnostic, not an atheist, as someone on here is wont to claim in an accusatory and self-righteous tone.

  22. “All these concepts of gods are myths.”

    Then so is love, hate, joy, sadness and anything else one can’t show “proof” of. There are more things in Heaven and earth my dear Wagonwheel, than you have drempt of in your philosophy. It must be very lonely and empty in there, believing there is nothing more, nothing deeper than oneself.

    “I think the answer goes to the thinking of those attracted to absolutism”

    And you are not “attracted to absolutism”? Almost every statement you make is absolutist. The belief that there is a God, a beginning and an end, an alpha and omega may not be proovable, but it is logical. Stuff just “don’t happen”. At least not in the ‘real” world. There is always a cause and effect.

    “Repeating this I also, I am an agnostic, not an atheist, as someone on here is wont to claim in an accusatory and self-righteous tone.”

    What exactly is an agnostic? And why would you say those of us who believe in The Lord are accusatory and self righteous? Rather than what you may see as “accusatory” I would say we pity those who don’t recognize The Lord. And rather than self righteous we are saddened by the emptyness within those who have eyes but cannot see.

  23. I’m beginning to see a pattern here. Those who won’t see the Grace of God seem to be the “liberals”. They place their faith on the power of the government rather than the Will of God. Even if there is no god, I’d rather trust in the myth than your government. After all, a myth can’t steal your property, throw you in prison or murder you.

  24. WW wrote:

    “The Nazis attempts at genocide were aimed (primarily) at Jews, but it was not for some sort of Christian reasons; it was for a crackpot racial theory.”

    In response to Mr. Editor and ropelight: Could not the same rationalization/explanation be used for the behavior of Nidal Hasan?

    No. The Islamist movement is fundamentally intertwined with Islam, and major Hasan was motivated by an Islamic religious leader preaching an Islamist jihad.

    Moreover, Major Hasan was upset that he was going to be deployed to Iraq, and that he would be part of the war against fellow Muslims. He was of Lebanese descent, which is ethnically similar but not identical to the Arabic populations further east in Iraq. It’s not as though he was being asked to fight his own people, ethnically. The Islamists have been using a pan-Islamic message far more than a pan-Arab one, if for no other reason than Islam claims far more adherents than there are just Arabs.

  25. WW wrote:

    “In the United States, you can write things like “fundamentalist Christians who place loyalty to their mythical god,” and perhaps suffer the great punishment of mockery or disrespect for your views, ….”

    Are you denying, Mr. Editor, that any claim of any god, independent of the origin, is a myth?

    You have no tangible proof for such a claim, nor does anyone else making similar claims about the Christian god, or the Jewish god, or the god of Islam. How is it that we have so many concepts of various gods, I ask? Simple answer: All these concepts of gods are myths.

    I mean no disrespect, because I also understand that religions serve an important purpose for many individuals world wide.

    Why pray tell would you consider it disrespectful to point out the fact that the concept of god is just one myth of many?

    Obviously, as a Catholic, I disagree with your notion that all concepts of God are myths. However, you have completely misunderstood the quote of mine you addressed. In stating that you might “suffer the great punishment of mockery or disrespect for your views,” I have made no statement at all concerning the reality or unreality of God; I have made a statement about the reaction many people would have to your statements. Surely you do not disagree that many of your views and statements have been met with mockery and disrespect? Whether you believe your views to be the correct ones — and I’m sure that you do — does not mean that others must agree.

  26. Here’s what I disagree with: Those who claim all variants of a god are mythological cannot, in truth or logic, claim to be agnostic. Those who claim all variants of a god are mythological are indeed showing a textbook example of atheism. And to label a thing what that thing is, is not derision but truth and accuracy. If all variants of a god are mythological, how is the term “atheist” — a belief there is no real god — derisive?

  27. “Then so is love, hate, joy, sadness and anything else one can’t show “proof” of. There are more things in Heaven and earth my dear Wagonwheel, than you have drempt of in your philosophy. It must be very lonely and empty in there, believing there is nothing more, nothing deeper than oneself.”

    Love, hate, joy, …, these are emotions. God is an imagined deity. I make a differentiation here. Moreover, my “emptiness” is in your mind, Hoagie, not in mine. Because I don’t believe in your concept of god, then I am empty. In effect, that is exactly what you are saying. This is not correct, Hoagie. You’ve met me, so you have some impression based on personal interaction.

    “Almost every statement you make is absolutist.”

    Hoagie, if you think about it, everyone on here makes statements that sound absolutist. Actually, they are nothing more than opinion statements. I distinguish these statements from those which state that if I do not accept someone’s god them I am condemned to an eternity in hell. Hoagie, this is all myth. If some folks choose to accept these myths, that is their choice. I respect that, but it is not mine.

    “There is always a cause and effect.”

    True, but this does not necessarily imply the existence of a superhuman entity, a god, which defines me as an agnostic: I am saying that I do not know, nor do you, Hoagie. You have made a conscious decision to accept the presence/existence of a god, your god, whom you call God. I respect that, as long as you do not insist that I accept your God else face your condemnation. Unfortunately, this latter is the attitude of fundamentalists of all religious persuasions. I reject that absolutist attitude.

  28. PS: Repeating this I also, I am an agnostic, not an atheist, as someone on here is wont to claim in an accusatory and self-righteous tone.

    The agnostic prayer: Oh god, if there is a god, save my soul, if I have a soul.

  29. “Here’s what I disagree with: Those who claim all variants of a god are mythological cannot, in truth or logic, claim to be agnostic. Those who claim all variants of a god are mythological are indeed showing a textbook example of atheism. And to label a thing what that thing is, is not derision but truth and accuracy. If all variants of a god are mythological, how is the term “atheist” — a belief there is no real god — derisive?”

    First of all, I did not use the term “derisive”, I said: “… in an accusatory and self-righteous tone.” That is the sense that I got from your comment and the context in which it was made. If you say I got it wrong, Mr. Hitchcock, I accept that.

    I claim that “all variants of a god are mythological” because they are stories made up by man. There is no proof offered, nor can there be. Likewise, I cannot claim that there is no god, because I don’t know, and, proving a negative is logically impossible. This then defines an agnostic, which is what I am on the issue of god. An atheist is one who absolutely denies the existence of god, which by the way is just one other absolutism which I reject.

    This is like a physicist who would state absolutely that light cannot travel faster than the measured speed of light. This statement is actually an hypothesis, where this hypothesis and all hypotheses are subject to further study, i.e, the scientific method. In fact, a recent research team has claimed to have measured light travelling faster than the accepted speed of light. This claim is now being further studied.

    Another example: There was a time when scientists thought that the smallest particle of matter to be the atom. We all know now that this was not true.

    You know what I am saying! In my view, one can hypothesize that God is real, and then prove within oneself that this hypothesis is true. However, there is no way you can demonstrate the your individually held truth, the way the existence of sub atomic particles was demonstrated. You can claim, but you cannot demonstrate. Thus the difference between individually held beliefs, your God, and observable reality, sub atomic particles.

  30. “No. The Islamist movement is fundamentally intertwined with Islam, and major Hasan was motivated by an Islamic religious leader preaching an Islamist jihad.”

    I can likewise say: The fundamentalist Christian evangelical movement is fundamentally intertwined with Christianity, and Dr. John Britton and James Barrett, a clinic escort, were both shot to death outside another facility in Pensacola. Rev. Paul Jennings Hill was charged with the killings.

    So you see, Mr. Editor, anyone can disparage any religion by anecdotally choosing an extremist member of said religion to make the point, which is what you are doing here!

  31. “Surely you do not disagree that many of your views and statements have been met with mockery and disrespect? Whether you believe your views to be the correct ones — and I’m sure that you do — does not mean that others must agree.”

    Interesting that some would mock and disrespect me for my views on god, like Yorkshire just did, whereas I have stated repeatedly that I respect the beliefs of others. But this mocking and derision is the way some absolutists behave, because they believe they simply cannot be wrong. Moreover, I have never insisted that others must agree with my views. Obviously, and understandably, you have difficulty in dealing with discussions of your God without constantly resorting to your absolutist attitudes on the subject. I claim that this is exactly why religious leaders strive to get hold of the heads of children at as early an age as possible. This is a form of brainwashing, the effect of which is extremely difficult to ever escape. I’ve been through it. We raised our daughters differently, so they could make their choices based on their own experiences and needs at a more mature mental state of mind.

  32. Wagonwheel says:
    December 10, 2011 at 13:01

    “Surely you do not disagree that many of your views and statements have been met with mockery and disrespect? Whether you believe your views to be the correct ones — and I’m sure that you do — does not mean that others must agree.”

    Interesting that some would mock and disrespect me for my views on god, like Yorkshire just did, whereas I have stated repeatedly that I respect the beliefs of others.

    Look up Agnostic Prayer on Google and you get about the same. This one I learned in 9th grade Religion Class. If you are offended, none was intended and see if it is in you to forgive me.

  33. “all gods are myths”
    “I have stated I respect the beliefs of those who believe in the Christian god (funny how that is not capitalized).”

    These two statements are mutually exclusive. In other words, those who declare as absolute that the Christian God is a myth cannot at all respect the position of Christians. Furthermore, those who declare as absolute that Providence is a myth cannot at all understand what it means to be Christian.

  34. They are mutually exclusive in your mind, Mr. Hitchcock, but not in mine. What I am saying is that I do not accept your myth for myself, but I respect your right to believe as you please.

  35. Getting back to the topic piece:

    “She [Senator Susan Collins] criticized the Obama administration for failing to identify the threat as radical Islam.”

    Here is where words can be chosen to condemn a religion rather than to condemn the individual alleged perpetrator. Thus, a more accurate statement would be: We have here the threat (or attack) by a radical Islamist. In this manner, we are not indicting over a billion Islamists due to the actions of one adherent. There are those among us who would like to purposely indict over 100 billion Islamists by the actions of one or a few extremists. Let us not forget, the we have a small number of radical Christian extremists here too.

  36. No, Perry, you cannot claim all “gods” are myths and simultaneously claim to be agnostic. Neither can you make that absolute claim and still claim to respect the beliefs of Christians and Jews. You will invariably call Christians and Jews “extremists” and “absolutists” which is wholly disrespectful of their beliefs, since you in your absolutist thinking, consider “absolutists” to be a pejorative; your passive-aggressive attitude notwithstanding.

  37. To the contrary, Wagonwheel — in your quote above it says “radical Islam.” Just like yourself, a “radical” leftist. There is no condemnation of an entire religion — it is a condemnation of its radical sect.

    Just keep covering your ears and eyes, though. People in the real world will recognize the threats and keep you wannabes safe and sound … just like we always have.

  38. “FWIW, anyone aware of the important role of myth in ancient and in traditional societies wouldn’t be so quick to abuse the term.”

    Ropelight, don’t you think we need to go by the dictionary before making accusations about “abusing the term”?

    1a : a usually traditional story of ostensibly historical events that serves to unfold part of the world view of a people or explain a practice, belief, or natural phenomenon
    b : parable, allegory

    2a : a popular belief or tradition that has grown up around something or someone; especially : one embodying the ideals and institutions of a society or segment of society
    b : an unfounded or false notion

    3: a person or thing having only an imaginary or unverifiable existence”

    Now do you still accuse me of abusing the term, ropelight?

  39. Mr. Hitchcock is correct. The very definition of “agnostic” is as follows: “a person who holds that the existence of the ultimate cause, as God, and the essential nature of things are unknown and unknowable, or that human knowledge is limited to experience.” So, if these are “unknown,” then Wagonwheel cannot logically state that “all gods are myths.”

    Then again, no one seriously claims that radical leftists are logical.

  40. “No, Perry, you cannot claim all “gods” are myths and simultaneously claim to be agnostic. Neither can you make that absolute claim and still claim to respect the beliefs of Christians and Jews. You will invariably call Christians and Jews “extremists” and “absolutists” which is wholly disrespectful of their beliefs, since you in your absolutist thinking, consider “absolutists” to be a pejorative; your passive-aggressive attitude notwithstanding.”

    Sorry Mr. Hitchcock, but I speak only for myself, therefore my views are presented as absolutist only for myself. I also have not called all Christians and Jews extremists, except when one of them, like yourself, tells me that your belief is the absolute truth which, if I don’t accept it, I am condemned.

    Again, I have stated that I respect you for your choice of beliefs. Now, do you respect me for mine?

  41. Flamingo Kid, check the dictionary definition of “myth”, as per my previous post, as I think you misunderstand it.

    It is my belief that all gods are myths. I am not stating that as an absolute that you must accept.

    Regarding the term “radical Islam”, that is a comment regarding the all those who practice Islam. As I said before, to speak against the acts of an individual Islamist, the term “a radical Islamist” accurately conveys that comment attributed to the behavior of one person.

    With respect, I think you are not paying attention to exact language being used.

  42. I quoted the definition of “agnostic,” not “myth.” Go back and read my comment and Mr. Hitchcock’s if you are confused — which you most obviously are.

    And no — “radical Islam” is *not* a term for all those who practice Islam — as moderate Muslims and countless others tell us. “Radical Islam” is a term for … radical Islam. Are you purposely evading the issue here for some reason? Yes, I believe you are. It’s all nonsense, of course, but if trying to make sense out of nonsense is what you like to do, go for it.

  43. “Then again, no one seriously claims that radical leftists are logical.”

    Flamingo Kid, obviously your intent is not to discuss, but to flame. I refuse to take your bait.

    The definition you gave for “agnostic” describes my position exactly. Thank you for the clarification.

    And again, my statement that all gods are myths, is a statement of only my own beliefs. Apparently you don’t agree. That’s fine!

  44. I will agree that the term “radical Islam” can be taken both ways: Either condemning all believers, or referring only to the radical element of Islam. I still think that referring to the Ft Hood shooter as a radical Islamist is an accurate term to use.

  45. “A statement claiming respect combined with multiple statements declaring derision and calling the Christian God a myth are mutually exclusive; therefore, your statement of respect is a falsehood.”

    That’s true in your mind, Mr. Hitchcock, not mine. I’ll just leave it there, thanks!

  46. If it is my intent to flame, then this must also be yours, as well, Wagonwheel, considering your constant invocation of people like Rush Linmbaugh, Fox News, and the like. Do try to be consistent if you want to reprimand others.

    Again: The very definition of agnostic precludes a definitive statement that “all gods are myths” because an agnostic “holds that the existence of the ultimate cause, as God, and the essential nature of things are unknown and unknowable.”

  47. How can “radical Islam” be taken as referencing ALL believers of Islam? Do you make things up as you along, Wagonwheel? Just like how you are making up the term “agnostic?”

  48. It is telling that you would interpret Rush Limbaugh and Fox News as flaming, because that is exactly what those two entities are all about. The cartoon which generated my response reminded me of what I hear from Fox News and Rush et al on a daily basis. If you take that as flaming, so be it.

    On my “all gods are myths” statement, I have tried to clarify this by stating that I meant for that statement to apply only to my own beliefs. I am not stating it as an absolutist statement applicable to others; therefore my statement does not conflict with my acceptance as it applies to me, of the definition of “agnostic” which you presented.

  49. As I said, please try to be consistent. If I make a tongue-in-cheek comment about leftists, I’m “all about flaming.” If you use terms like “wingnut” and say Fox News is only interested in flaming, this makes you … “interested in discussion?” Hardly.

    If your belief about gods applies only to you, it makes no difference — you are not an agnostic. As someone said earlier, it makes you an *atheist.* The definition is atheist is “a person who denies or disbelieves the existence of a supreme being or beings.” This is *precisely* what you claim.

    You can state your position as often as you’d like. It doesn’t make your terminology correct just because you insist upon it.

  50. “The definition is atheist is “a person who denies or disbelieves the existence of a supreme being or beings.” This is *precisely* what you claim.”

    This us precisely what I do NOT claim, Flamingo Kid. What do I need to say so that you will understand? I stated clearly that the term “agnostic” applies to me. I do not know whether or not there is a supreme being; call it whatever you would like. However, I do think that the various gods of different religions are myths. That is my personal belief, and it is consistent with my claim to agnosticism. I am leaving my mind open to new discoveries, so to speak. It seems that you have a mental block on this issue.

  51. No, Perry, it seems you wish to redefine everything in your passive-aggressive pursuit of … not much in particular. By definition, and according to your various and sundry absolutist proclamations, you are the definition of an atheist. That is not a defamatory, derogatory, dismissive, whatever you want to label it, statement. That is a fact, based solely on your own proclamations. You in no way fit the definition of agnostic and in every way fit the definition of atheist, and a militant atheist at that.

  52. You personify the definition of “cognitive dissonance,” Wagonwheel. You state,

    “I stated clearly that the term “agnostic” applies to me. I do not know whether or not there is a supreme being; call it whatever you would like. However, I do think that the various gods of different religions are myths.”

    Yes, you *stated* clearly that “agnostic” applies to you; however, the textbook definition does *not.* How can you at the same time claim that you “do not know whether or not there is a supreme being,” but “think that the various gods of different religions are myths”? Are you an “agnostic atheist,” maybe?

  53. The cognitive dissonance belongs to you, Flamingo Kid. You need to expand your mind!

    Let me try to penetrate. The fact that I dismiss the gods of various religions does not preclude the possibility of a supreme being. I just don’t know. I do not state that there is not a supreme being. This is a statement characteristic of an agnostic, according to the definition you provided yourself.

    In addition, let me make this observation: The gods we humans have created are personified. Could it be possible that there is a supreme being not personified according to our earthly perceptions, you know, like some sort of an alien whose appearance and attributes are the substance of myths, where a myth is: “a traditional or legendary story, usually concerning some being or hero or event, with or without a determinable basis of fact or a natural explanation, especially one that is concerned with deities or demigods and explains some practice, rite, or phenomenon of nature”?

    Therefore, by definition, all gods are myths conceived by human beings. To state such does not preclude the possibility of the as yet undetected or not understood existence of some other kind of a being. Therefore, I am correctly characteristized as an agnostic.

    You have not yet removed your blinders, Flamingo Kid!

    Hopefully this will help you overcome your confusion.

  54. You still fail, Wagonwheel. A true agnostic *acknowledges* the very possibility of even [the major religions'] gods to be possible because they just do not know. You have stated outright that these gods are myths.

    It is heartening to see you believe in the possibility of a supreme being; however, as I said you’re either an “agnostic atheist” or a “selective agnostic,” but you’re not an agnostic based on the definition.

    But keep trying!

  55. WW wrote:

    Hoagie, if you think about it, everyone on here makes statements that sound absolutist. Actually, they are nothing more than opinion statements. I distinguish these statements from those which state that if I do not accept someone’s god them I am condemned to an eternity in hell. Hoagie, this is all myth. If some folks choose to accept these myths, that is their choice. I respect that, but it is not mine.

    I have to wonder: do you truly respect that? The reason I say that is your choice of a single word. Had you said, “If some folks choose to accept these beliefs, that is their choice,” the statement would be neutral, and could convey respect, but by using the word “myths,” which means a fiction, it seems to me that an (unconscious?) dig was made.

  56. WW wrote:

    I claim that “all variants of a god are mythological” because they are stories made up by man. There is no proof offered, nor can there be. Likewise, I cannot claim that there is no god, because I don’t know, and, proving a negative is logically impossible. This then defines an agnostic, which is what I am on the issue of god. An atheist is one who absolutely denies the existence of god, which by the way is just one other absolutism which I reject.

    This is a claim which conveys more than the typical definition of “agnostic” would convey. You get the second part correct, “I cannot claim that there is no god, because I don’t know,” but the first part, “I claim that “all variants of a god are mythological” because they are stories made up by man” claims an actual knowledge, that all religions on earth are false, and is, in fact, an absolute statement; the agnostic could not make the claim you have.

  57. Our friends on the left have a real problem
    They seem to think that they must lift the quill
    Even if it means writing pure pablum
    They can’t stand the thought of fighting evil

    They can’t even stand to honor the dead
    If ‘twould support those who are on the right
    The memo’s been sent and it has been read
    ‘Tis Republicans that they have to fight!

    They would support Islamists who hate them
    Rather than anything c’nected to Bush.
    Freedom? They scoff as they write with the pen
    Though it proves that their brains are just plain mush.

    But even for them, our soldiers are one,
    They’ll fight for what’s right until we have won!

  58. There may be another reason why the Administration sees the Fort Hood Massacre as simply a bad case or “workplace violence.” From Paragraph 2-8, Army Regulation 600-8-22 (Military Awards), 25 February 1995: Purple Heart:

    The Purple Heart is awarded in the name of the President of the United States to any member of an Armed Force or any civilian national of the United States who, while serving under competent authority in any capacity with one of the U.S. Armed Services after 5 April 1917, has been wounded or killed, or who has died or may hereafter die after being wounded-

    1. In any action against an enemy of the United States.
    2. In any action with an opposing armed force of a foreign country in which the Armed Forces of the United States are or have been engaged.
    3. While serving with friendly foreign forces engaged in an armed conflict against an opposing armed force in which the United States is not a belligerent party.
    4. As a result of an act of any such enemy of opposing armed forces.
    5. As the result of an act of any hostile foreign force
    6. After 28 March 1973, as a result of an international terrorist attack against the United States or a foreign nation friendly to the United States, recognized as such an attack by the Secretary of the Army, or jointly by the Secretaries of the separate armed services concerned if persons from more than one service are wounded in the attack.
    7. After 28 March 1973, as a result of military operations while serving outside the territory of the United States as part of a peacekeeping force.

    The victims of the Fort Hood massacre are not eligible for the Purple Heart, because the attack is not considered to have been made by the enemy. The Department of Defense does not want to consider Major Hasan as acting as part of the enemy, because that would bring all Muslim soldiers under suspicion of being considered the enemy.

    Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) has introduced S. 316, the Fort Hood Victims and Families Benefits Protection Act, a companion bill to H.R. 625, introduced by Rep John R Carter (R-TX 31), “To ensure that the victims and victims’ families of the November 5, 2009, attack at Fort Hood, Texas, receive the same treatment, benefits, and honors as those Americans who have been killed or wounded in a combat zone overseas and their families.”

    The bill notes that, “In the wake of the brutal September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States, the Federal Government set a historical precedent when it awarded the victims of those attacks who were members of the Armed Forces with the Purple Heart medal and the victims of those attacks who were civilian employees of the Department of Defense with the Secretary of Defense Medal for the Defense of Freedom.” But, thus far, the Department of Defense has not classified the Fort Hood massacre as enemy action which would qualify the dead and wounded for the Purple Heart. (maybe they’re still trying to figure out if Major Hasan, who was wounded by security personnel, is eligible.)

    Both the Senate and House bills were referred to the Armed Services Committees, where they have languished since last February.

    Your editor would not have thought that such action would be controversial in the least. The bills are short and uncomplicated, and can be read, in their entireties, in just a couple of minutes. This should be a voice vote bill, but neither the Republican-controlled House nor the Democrat-controlled Senate has taken any action to report the bills out of committee. Is it simple laziness holding itp, or is there some other consideration?

  59. Looks like “some other consideration” is responsible. (BTW, do you know of anyone named Hussein who isn’t a Muslim?)

    Congress or at the very least the House of Representatives should take up H.R. 625. Call or write Speaker Boehner and your local Rep.
    Howard ‘Buck’ McKenon is chairman, and Allen West is a GOP member.

    Pennsylvania has 4 members: Bill Shuster, Todd Platts, Mark Critz, and Bob Brady.

  60. Just out of curiosity, ropelight, what is wrong in your mind if a person happens to choose to be Muslim. And please note, Barack Hussein Obama is not one who has made such a choice, as he has chosen to be a Christian. Apparently it is necessary to point out the obvious to you!

  61. Pingback: The Fort Hood massacre victims: no Purple Hearts for them! « THE FIRST STREET JOURNAL.

  62. Pingback: The Fort Hood Massacre victims: no Purple Hearts for them! « Truth Before Dishonor

  63. In response to Perry’s question, I have a problem with Muslims who choose to kill Americans. Muslims may be conscientiously following the fundamental percepts of their bloodthirsty religion, but civilization has advanced beyond the barbaric practices of Islamic aggression. Perry, you may disagree, but religion doesn’t justify murder.

    Now, Barack Obama makes lots of false claims and as we came to find out it was hate and bigotry that Reverend Wright was preaching while Obama sat in his so-called church for 20 years, or isn’t that obvious to you yet?

  64. “This is a claim which conveys more than the typical definition of “agnostic” would convey. You get the second part correct, “I cannot claim that there is no god, because I don’t know,” but the first part, “I claim that “all variants of a god are mythological” because they are stories made up by man” claims an actual knowledge, that all religions on earth are false, and is, in fact, an absolute statement; the agnostic could not make the claim you have.”

    First of all, Mr. Editor, I have not said “that all religions are false”. I did say that the idea of god is a myth. Look again at the definition of “myth”. This is not an insult, yet when I said that I respect those who have chosen religion to be a part of their lives, I get the sense of a cynical response from you folks, as though one cannot say simultaneously that god is a myth and that those who chose to believe deserve respect. So that cynicism is on you, not on me. I also reject your narrow use of the word agnostic which reflects the aforementioned cynicism.

    You might say I am making a mountain out of a mole hill, but I don’t think so, because this attitude reflects a narrow thinking, rigid mindset which is characteristic of a typical Conservative, in my view. Their absolutist approach is one outcome from this type of individual. This is quite evident on this blog, as well as in our national politics, where we have a do-nothing party unwilling or unable to govern by compromise.

    This uncompromising approach can well lead toward an oligarchy, which I believe would obtain should the current crop of Republican candidates get full power in all three branches of government. You Conservatives on here ought to take a second look at what is going on in your party regarding both the leadership and the Presidential candidates whom you are evaluating by their performance in the debates.

  65. “In response to Perry’s question, I have a problem with Muslims who choose to kill Americans. Muslims may be conscientiously following the fundamental percepts of their bloodthirsty religion, but civilization has advanced beyond the barbaric practices of Islamic aggression. Perry, you may disagree, but religion doesn’t justify murder.

    Now, Barack Obama makes lots of false claims and as we came to find out it was hate and bigotry that Reverend Wright was preaching while Obama sat in his so-called church for 20 years, or isn’t that obvious to you yet?”

    And ropelight, in my view you represent the type of Conservative I just discussed in my last post.

    On the influence of Reverend Wright, have you observed Obama using the same rhetoric? I haven’t!

    Regarding Muslims who choose to kill Americans, have you observed Americans who choose to kill Muslims?

    Your anti-Muslim and anti-Obama biases are showing, ropelight.

    Let us make peace, not war!

  66. WW wrote:

    Regarding Muslims who choose to kill Americans, have you observed Americans who choose to kill Muslims?

    If we take that back seventy years, and change it to, “Regarding Japanese who choose to kill Americans, have you observed Americans who choose to kill Japanese?” you’d understand the lack of symmetry your supposed symmetry has. It wasn’t Americans who chose to kill Muslims who launched the September 11th attacks, but the other way around; it wasn’t Americans who started a war against the Islamists, but the other way around.

  67. Wagonwheel says:
    December 11, 2011 at 17:52 (Edit)

    Thanks, Mr. Editor, for making the case against Cheney/Bush for their attack on the sovereign nation of Iraq. There we had Americans shooting Muslims. How quickly you forgot!!!

    I guess you forgot during the opening stages of the war, a Battalion had entered a holy city or shrine type place. The local high ranking cleric came out. The Col. in charge of the Battalion had all the soldiers kneel on one leg and weapons pointing up out of respect. The cleric and col. spoke for a short while, and we left.

  68. What bugs me is selective hearing and selective history. The second Iraq war was the finishing of the first Iraq War. If anyone can remember it was Iraq invading Kuwait that prompted action by the UN to kick So-Damn Insane out of Kuwait and really got his ass kicked on that one. It was Iraq who signed a treaty after that war that they never meant to keep.

    We had a no fly zone over Iraq, befriended the Kurds, and went on an inspection of WMD’s which Iraq had used a few years before that. In the 10 year that followed IW1, the Sanctions that were placed on Iraq were slowly being eroded by our allies like France. Hussein got weapons, sold more oil than they were allowed, used the oil for food program, Hussein fed his Army. What Hussein also did in those 10 years was play a chess game on WMD’s. He knew he could fool Clinton who occasionally threw a few ineffective bombs in Iraq, but Hussein knew it was a game.

    If you do remember, Hussein threw the Inspectors out under Clinton and started a stealth campaign to make us, but in reality Iran to think he started his WMD program again. It did fool Clinton. In the meantime, the sanctions were losing their grip on containing Iraq and Clinton wasn’t going to do a damn thing. Our alleged allies, especially France and the UN were getting kickbacks from Hussein to look the other way. After Bush 43 came in, he tried to pick up on the sanctions and apply them. Hussein judged him like he judged Clinton, but Bush was not Clinton. It was this misjudgement, Hussein’s chess game on the WMD’s that predated Iraq War 2. By this time, our alleged allies were bought off and we went at it alone. Our allies were making too much money from ignoring the sanctions to help. And Hussein regretted treating Bush like he did Clinton, knowing Clinton didn’t have the balls to attack as witnessed by Clinton’s many times of Radical Islamic attacks with wobbly knee response.

    And if you look where Iraq and Afghanastan are located, it kept Iran in the middle. And we were building bases north of Iran in the Stans for the same reason. (added moments later) (see below – added an hour+ later)

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