Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Great Debate on a Social Network

It started out simply enough with me putting a link to the CREDO Mobile story Tell Sarah Palin: Violent threats have consequences on a popular Social Networking site:

We must put a stop to the escalating hate rhetoric of the right and its very specific calls to armed violent action. Lines of decency have been crossed, and Sarah Palin has a special responsibility and opportunity in the wake of the attempted assassination of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.

First response:

Billie: Bullshit

Me: Thank you for the well-reasoned dialog

Her: You're welcome. It describes all this "let's blame the right instead of the shooter" crap perfectly.

2nd Party joins in.

Yousef: yup. things happen in a vacuum. no one is influenced by anything.except holy wars, crusaders, sun tans and right-wingers. lol

Her: The routine use of imagery by both parties in a culture obsessed with "battleground" states is nothing new. A nearly identical map, included in a Democratic Leadership Committee publication in 2004, featured nine bulls-eyes over regions where Republican candidates were considered vulnerable that year, and was accompanied by a caption reading: TARGETING STRATEGY. A smaller caption, beneath the bulls-eyes, read: BEHIND ENEMY LINES. The map illustrated an article on campaign strategy by Will Marshall of the Progressive Policy Institute. SoSarah is not the only one to use this kind of stuff, but I guess only the Democrats get a pass. It's metaphorical for crying out loud as Obama's "if they bring a knife to a fight we'll bring a gun" comment was. There was a rush to judgment by the left almost immediately BEFORE any details were known about anything or anybody. The biggest culprit was the Pima County sheriff who was/is supposed to be conducting an investigation NOT spewing his political opinions. I find his credibility in question anyway since he enforces laws only he thinks he should. It's not his place to decide. His oath demands he enforce all laws, not just those he decides in his infinite wisdom are worthy. He's not a judge.he's a sheriff.

Yousef: Point taken. But Dem's don't lie about using it. At least I don't. But then I don't use weaponry as an analogy or an excuse. If we want to be semantic.bulls eye targets are antiquated. The use of a sniper scopes cross-hair is not. :)

Me: I am not saying that the Dems don't use it, but do two wrongs make a right? You know that I am well-armed liberal, but even I have to gag when I see ALL of the "war" imagery used in political contests. And the right wing uses it more than the Dems by a factor of 10 (or more) to 1. When you couch all your political speeches using the metaphor of war ("Don't retreat, reload!" etc.) it is not conducive to reasoned political discourse. I've actually been to war, unlike the vast majority of Republican politicians, and I take it kind of personally when they appropriate the language from the battlefield to the political field. War is one of the very worst things that a person can endure, and its metaphors should never be used lightly or blithely. Again the Republicans are way out in front on this, and no reasonable thinking person can deny that.

And another thing. Here is a list (http://crooksandliars.com/david-neiwert/terror-arizona-just-another-isolated) of "lone nuts" who were unwitting recipients of Hate Radio's constant drumbeat of war. I challenge anyone to come up with an equivalent list of wackjob liberals who have committed similar crimes, let alone ones who were provoked by, say, Keith Olbermann or Thom Hartmann .

And these incidents are from just in the last two-and-a-half years!

Yousef: Has nothing or had nothing to do with politics in Arizona either. LMAO.

Me: And here's another bunch of examples of rightwing hate speech: http://opovet.blogspot.com/2011/01/just-little-taste.html Again, show me a matching list of liberals who have said similar things

Her: Your first list Farnsworth is chock full of extremists and they certainly do not echo what I believe in or most of us on the "other side".For example, I'm a pro-lifer but would never think of killing a doctor or bombing a clinic. The overwhelming majority of us wouldn't either and condemn the ones who do. Since you mentioned Michelle Malkin check this out on her website..michellemalkin.com." The progressive "climate of hate:" An illustrated primer, 2000-2010.." No, I didn't count the number of hate filled things to compare with your list. There's plenty to see there if you'll look at it.It's enough to say that your side as well as mine has it's nuts. That what this loon was that shot up Tucson..nutty.. Some on blogs and comment sites have even gone so far as to lump the despicable Westboro Baptist Church( I say church loosely) in with us mainstream Christians. Fred Phelps and his "Phreaks" make me sick and I have fought them for years even when they came to protest a young soldier's funeral in our area.Don't want to get in a pissing contest with you Farnsworth, but there's plenty of questionable stuff to go around and to pull back a little and tone it down wouldn't hurt on ALL sides. But to blame this shooting on Conservatives is all wrong. I would have liked to have seen some of this outrage from the left when Major Hassan killed our soldiers at Ft. Hood and wounded 30 or others. Instead for weeks we were "told"(by the left of course) not to jump to conclusions that he had was leaning toward radical Islam.Don't want to offend anyone don't 'cha know. But, within a few short hours these left-wing folks were screaming this Tucson shooting in part was due to Sarah Palin and others vitrolic, speech. Nuts are nuts and we need to realize it and make THEM responsible for their actions, A molestor of children is just that and is responsible for what he/she does. I don't give a damn how bad or good his/her childhood was he/she still had a choice to not harm a child. The responsibility is on them if they do and I have no sympathy for them at all. Same goes with these nuts that do the sort of thing that happened in Tucson, Ft Hood, abortion clinics.schools, work places etc. Put the blame where it belongson the guy that did it.

Yousef: funny thingextremists always look and act like the rest of us. If they didn't we could just point and click them to a holding cell. Extremists are by nature cultural chameleons. But the particular psyche does aggregate in certain ways that shed light on tendencies..

Me: I'm not trying to paint with a broad brush. I embrace reasonable and non-strident socially-conscious conservatives, but you know it's always the extremists who get the focus. Remember after 9-11, when every Muslim in the world was our enemy (and many on the right still feel that way)? The ones who commandeered those planes were extremists, but this country had a problem -- and still does -- accepting that.

Her: Point taken Farnsworth. Peace.

Then a new player, John, joins the discussion:

John: Maybe everyone should read the Koran or Quoran , when Mohamad calls his followers ,whether moderates or extremists ,they are required to KILL the non-beleivers of THEIR god , if you are not a muslim believer YOU are an infidel ;one who does not believe in a particular religion . WHAT part do you not understand ??? And I am NOT a right winger , I believe in JESUS CHRIST , and GOD and COUNTRY .

Me: I agree. The Holy Book of any religion can be misused by its adherents.

Take a look at this list of items, which includes genocide, violence, rape, forced marriages, infanticide, and even cannibalism. opovet.blogspot.com/2010/10/more-scary-stuff-from-quran.html

Her: Line 20 in this with the reference to Allah proves to me it's not my Bible. You're correct though Farnsworth, anyone can take out of context written or spoken words and twist them to suit their own particular purpose(s).

Yousef: @John yes you should. And you should read the Qur'an. As i have read and have a copy of the Red Letter Bible. also read the historical footnotes that put each verse of the Qur'an in context. What all of you would soon understand of is that the Qur'an was primarily revealed to those present. In the context of their particular plight of a historical tale to them. Not as a harbinger of future behavior necessarily. So just using line 20 as a reference is the usual gross ignorance and is typical of people who feel victimized. I am flag waiving American as Farnsworth can attest. But don't gloat on what Fox News passes for your education of the Qur'an or the Middle East or it's inhabitants.

Her: Yousef, What I meant by that reference to line 20 was simply that my religion does not refer to God as Allah. Sorry if I was unclear on that point. I am a member of The Lutheran Church, Missouri Synod which is conservative by many standards, but we are not right-wing nuts. We have folks in our congregation who are Republicans, Democrats, Independents, students from our local university,blue collar working people, professors,small business owners,teachers, doctors and all manner of folks.. ..each of us having our own political views.. The thing that ties us together is our faith and what our creed teaches us. We do not preach politics from the pulpit. We preach the Gospel.

Yousef: Actually it does. The literal translation of 'God' as the omnipotent in Arabic is 'Allah'. All the churches in Nazareth as elsewhere in Arabic speaking countries use that teem as well as the Latin.

John: Yousef , I believe in Jesus Christ , He is my God , I do not believe in allah as being the I AM ; what does your Qur'an tell you that you are to do with me ???

Me: @Billie-- did you read the whole thing? Those are NOT lines from the Qu'ran, but from the Old Testament, my point being that every religion that has a "Holy Book" has crap like this. And exactly WHERE in the Qu'ran is the quote that Muslims must kill all infidels? See http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20080827235128AAY0Asq

Her: Farnsworth, I have to admit I have never heard of this Xian Bible so I looked it up and from what I can see, I'm disturbed by it. It seems as though whoever put it together is very hateful. Did they speak the truth or put stuff in it to suit their own purposes? I'll have to do more reading about it when I find the time to do so and speak with some folks who might be able to shed more light on it for me.Besides, although we still read scripture from the Old Testament, Christians use the New Testament as the basis for their faith.

Me: It's actually shorthand for the "Christian" Bible, Xian being a play on words from the early Christians in hiding in Rome, who left an "X" on walls to show their belief in Christ. The "X" of course representing the Cross. While I applaud you for your concentrating on the New Testament, so many of the Religious Right are fond of quoting the Old Testament in their hatred of, for example, gay people, and their insistence on the Ten Commandments being displayed in the public square. And you are right, you ought to be disturbed by what you read. Is this really who we want to be as a society? The Religious Right thinks

Yousef: If one reads the whole of the Qur'an and understands it's historical context then it tells Muslims to respect as respected. Pretty much the same as any monotheistic religion. I've heard these taunts before. You dint know the Qur'an better than I so any inflammatory Fox news jabs from a misquoted verse isn't going to win you much defensiveness from me. Just a chuckle and recognition that P. T. Barnum was a genius. And I mean that toward both Muslims and Christians. :). The Jews as a people probably know their history and Book better than the rest of us. And the concept of replacing the Trinity by using the single consciousness of Jesus as the only god-conscious is purely an American invention. Anywhere else and still in the Roman Catholic church the trinity still recognizes the prophet (human body) of Jesus. For me the justification of a Trinity is murky at best. Mind you that I've spent many more hours in Catholic school and in Baptist churches than in a mosque. This has been done primarily to separate connection with Aramaic and Arabic. The original languages of the Bible. Besides it's easier for both sides to justify war this way. ;)

John: I asked a very straight forward question , I did not get a straight answer.If a person does not "submit" to Allah ,or accept the Muslim faith ,What does the Qur'an say to do with them??????

Me: What does the Christian Bible say about it? My point is that you can do the "cafeteria plan" on ANY piece of Holy Writ and find something that will allow you to do what you want to do anyway. See the quotations from the Old Testament on the earlier link. And what do we make of these quotations from the Old Testament:

"..devote to destruction all that they have. Do not spare them, but kill both man and woman, child and infant, ox and sheep, camel and donkey. "

"But of the cities of these peoples which God gives you as an inheritance, you shall let nothing that breathes remain alive, but you shall utterly destroy them."

"We took all his cities at that time, and utterly destroyed the men, and the women, and the little ones, of every city, we left none to remain." I have a lot more of these, as you can see at opovet.blogspot.com/2010/08/it-is-will-of-allah.html

John: After Christ died on the cross, christians live under the new covenant of the new testament . Old testament violence is no more .

But Islam has things called Surah and Quran texts 8:12-13 that say pretty much the same thing ; " I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve, therefore strike off their heads and strike off every finger tip of them." I see Yousef did not want to answer . I have another for Yousef ; What does the word "subjugate" mean to you ?????

Surah 9:5 , 2:191-193 ,4:74 ,4:89 ,8:60,8:65 9:29,9:52what do all these verses pertain to ? And there are a few hundred more that tell you to do away with un believers.What I read in my Bible is , my duties are to tell you of GOD'S word ,so you can hear it ,try to bring you to GOD ,if you do not ,He does not tell me to kill you or do away with you . If you do not believe, your punishment is at your own hand and of your own disbelief . My hand will not harm you . You die in your own disbelief .

Me: As I mentioned earlier in this thread, if you truly believe in Jesus Christ and eschew all that God-directed murder in the Old Testament, then I applaud you. But too many of the Religious Right are not really into the Jesus of the New Testament -- too wimpy, I guess, what with all that "love thy neighbor" and "turn the other cheek" stuff -- and more into the hellfire and damnation that you find in the Old Testament. More power to you. You have done your duty to spread the word of God to atheists like me. If I choose to go my own way, then, as you say, that's on me

John: Well I am sorry , but I'm not a rihgt winger and Yousef ,your "moderate" friend still won't answer truthfully as to what his Qur'an says to do with non-believers . I gave you the verses, if I'm reading them wrong , then give me the right answer.

Me: What can I say, dude? Yousef is his own man and if he chooses not to respond, that's his choice And here's how the Christian Bible treats unbelievers:

Anyone arrogant enough to reject the verdict of the judge or of the priest who represents the LORD your God must be put to death. Such evil must be purged from Israel. (Deuteronomy 17:12 NLT)

They entered into a covenant to seek the Lord, the God of their fathers, with all their heart and soul; and everyone who would not seek the Lord, the God of Israel, was to be put to death, whether small or great, whether man or woman. (2 Chronicles 15:12-13 NAB)

Suppose you hear in one of the towns the LORD your God is giving you that some worthless rabble among you have led their fellow citizens astray by encouraging them to worship foreign gods. In such cases, you must examine the facts carefully. If you find it is true and can prove that such a detestable act has occurred among you, you must attack that town and completely destroy all its inhabitants, as well as all the livestock. Then you must pile all the plunder in the middle of the street and burn it. Put the entire town to the torch as a burnt offering to the LORD your God. That town must remain a ruin forever; it may never be rebuilt. Keep none of the plunder that has been set apart for destruction. Then the LORD will turn from his fierce anger and be merciful to you. He will have compassion on you and make you a great nation, just as he solemnly promised your ancestors. "The LORD your God will be merciful only if you obey him and keep all the commands I am giving you today, doing what is pleasing to him." (Deuteronomy 13:13-19 NLT)

1) If your own full brother, or your son or daughter, or your beloved wife, or you intimate friend, entices you secretly to serve other gods, whom you and your fathers have not known, gods of any other nations, near at hand or far away, from one end of the earth to the other.

2) do not yield to him or listen to him, nor look with pity upon him, to spare or shield him, but kill him. Your hand shall be the first raised to slay him; the rest of the people shall join in with you. You shall stone him to death, because he sought to lead you astray from the Lord, your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, that place of slavery. And all Israel, hearing of this, shall fear and never do such evil as this in your midst. (Deuteronomy 13:7-12 NAB)

My point still being that anyone can take bits and pieces out of their own particular Holy Book to justify their own actions. You cannot deny the truth of that statement. So, as Jesus may have said, "don't worry about the speck of dust in your neighbor's eye when you can't see the two by four in your own."

John: You can't get out of the Old Testament can you my friend ,you did not want to hear what I said , but what I have given you about the Qur'an is what they consider their "new" testament , those verses overide all the old ones . Just as I told you of The New Covenant God made with christians . But like you said ya'll hear only what ya want to .GOD BLESS . And good luck.

Yousef: Well I did answer you John. But it was an attempt at speaking with respect to your intellect because I don't know you. Farnsworth thanks for your Deuteronomy citations. I thought you were actually making my point for a sec! Oh wait you did. I mean we did. But you must have been righter-er cuz it was the bible. Oh wait it was the old one so we don't have to listen to the old god just the new one. Cuz he changed his mind n stuff. Lol

Reread it carefully. I called you a sucka' for a cheap fight: P. T. Barnum reference. LOL why would I do that? Just calling the kettle black dude. You don't even know me and yet you are willing to pick a fight over something you don't know jack shit about. Really. Not jack shit.

Anyway, for every 'killum' bad guy verse in the Qur'an they are usually followed quickly by a short verse or stanza that says something similar to "but the best of you will not (do said thing)or [will] know better.." etc.

You may also find it interesting to know that there is actually a verse that admits the "Arabs of the desert are the -worst- amongst you". You will also note that accusation is made without a reference to a religion but addressed to the larger population of 'you'. Meaning ALL Arabs: lumping Arabs of all three religions into a single accusation.

Then Qur'an also directs us to be respectful of any and all holy site of any religion (admittedly except idolaters. Though I choose to include them). Be honorable and respectful in all our relationships and dealings with the non-believer. In this instance 'non-believer' just means a non-Muslim. But you will likely take offense to it. And also allows unto marry anyone of any religion. Which I did. And glad for it.

If you are ever interested I suggest the Muhammad Asad translation. Born an Austrian Jew he traveled the middle east for his journalist job. His translation has the most historically accurate notes on just about every verse and his formal training in the Torah just adds to his understanding.

But that's assuming you even want to understand someone else outside of what Fox and Rush could tell you. Because they are like smart n stuff.

Me: I have only one last comment, and then I'm bailing out of this conversation. If the New Testament superseded and overruled the Old Testament, then are the Ten Commandments no longer in effect?

If they are still in effect, the Old Testament was not overridden by the New, and then we're back to the pick-and-choose cafeteria plan, which was, I believe, my point in the beginning of all this. People take what they can from their particular Holy Book to justify their actions.

The reason I am bailing is that, as much fun as this has been, none of us is going to "win". We all believe -- or disbelieve -- what we want, and we are free to do so.

You know, no matter what you do, someone is just not going to "get it". I could have gone on with this discussion endlessly, asking, for example, why the Old Testament is bound up with the New if it's been superseded, why so many Xians are so clutchy to the Ten Commandments and ignore the 11th, etc etc etc.

But essentially it's a waste of time arguing with these people. They'll never get it.