...not sure what to say... Log Out | Topics | Search
Moderators | Edit Profile

RAMSEY CAMPBELL » Discussion » ...not sure what to say... « Previous Next »

Author Message
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Weber (Weber_gregston)
Username: Weber_gregston

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 194.176.105.55
Posted on Wednesday, September 08, 2010 - 04:30 pm:   

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-10856231
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Weber (Weber_gregston)
Username: Weber_gregston

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 194.176.105.55
Posted on Wednesday, September 08, 2010 - 04:38 pm:   

The fact that people have tried so hard to stop this building, which is a good 10 minute walk away (at obese American speed make that half an hour) in any case is what makes me see red.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Gary Fry (Gary_fry)
Username: Gary_fry

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 78.32.132.24
Posted on Wednesday, September 08, 2010 - 04:40 pm:   

A touch of racism there, Weber? We have American members here.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Weber (Weber_gregston)
Username: Weber_gregston

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 194.176.105.55
Posted on Wednesday, September 08, 2010 - 04:42 pm:   

The type of person making the complaints can most likely be grouped into teh obese american category. I'm not suggesting that all Americans are obese.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Weber (Weber_gregston)
Username: Weber_gregston

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 194.176.105.55
Posted on Wednesday, September 08, 2010 - 04:45 pm:   

Some people deserve to be stereotyped.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Craig (Craig)
Username: Craig

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 75.4.252.61
Posted on Wednesday, September 08, 2010 - 04:55 pm:   

I think it'll blow over eventually; apparently there's no real money anyway to build anything.

It's all a tempest in a teapot. (Calm down now, Brits, that's not a real teapot, it's just an expression.)
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Carolinec (Carolinec)
Username: Carolinec

Registered: 06-2009
Posted From: 82.38.75.85
Posted on Wednesday, September 08, 2010 - 06:02 pm:   

I think stereotyping is the problem here. The idiots who are trying to stop the building of this Islamic cultural centre in a run down area a little distance from Ground Zero are doing the stereotyping by suggesting that ALL Muslims are terrorists. They're not. The vast majority of Muslims condem these acts of terrorism. 9/11 was the responsibility of extremists using some kind of warped view of Islam as an excuse, not true Muslims.

And then there are the Evangelicals who are advocating a "burn a Quran day". Idiots ...
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Ian Alexander Martin (Iam)
Username: Iam

Registered: 10-2009
Posted From: 207.6.255.47
Posted on Wednesday, September 08, 2010 - 06:54 pm:   

The particular building proposed is, as Caroline points out, an Islamic Cultural Centre, akin to a church hall or community 'club house' where everything but an actual, proper worship chamber will be present. There's a gymnasium for instance (which you could use to get all fit and strong to crush the Western Oppressor... maybe). There will be a room for meditation and/or prayer, but that's hardly the same thing.

The building's last use was as the Burlington Coat Factory, so hardly 'sacred ground' (unless you value low-cost outerwear), and is located two blocks from the outer edges of 'Ground Zero' as the crow flies (so three blocks as the human walks)

There is also an actual Muslim worship site (ie: mosque) two more blocks further from 'Ground Zero', so perhaps it's seen a a case of creeping encroachment? 'Soon they'll be on Ground Zero and dancing! It's the thin edge of the wedge!'

Gits.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Chris_morris (Chris_morris)
Username: Chris_morris

Registered: 04-2008
Posted From: 12.165.240.116
Posted on Wednesday, September 08, 2010 - 07:17 pm:   

The "Ground Zero Mosque," as the press often describes it, is a wedge issue American conservatives are using to score cheap political points. They drape themselves in the flag and declare the Constitution holy, but when push comes to shove, they're the first to want to send both into the fire. They disgust me.

It's easy to point out that those opposing the mosque have no legal or moral ground on which to do so -- the Constitution declares Freedom of Religion, after all -- but the same Constitution permits the Freedom of Speech for anyone opposing the mosque to say what they want. These same freedoms, alas, also allow local church congregations to burn copies of the Quran, even when doing so contradicts Christian values and even poses a threat to US soldiers abroad. In America, at least, defending one and denouncing the other is just another form of hypocrisy.

And Weber, I respect your opinion (I even share it to some degree), but I'm afraid stereotyping is stereotyping, and it does a disservice to all.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Joel (Joel)
Username: Joel

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 91.110.144.184
Posted on Wednesday, September 08, 2010 - 08:03 pm:   

Well said, Chris. Identifying obesity with stupidity is simplistic and in very poor taste and indeed, even leaving out that connection, assuming those campaigning against the building to be dumb and ignorant is a dangerous simplification. The campaign has been spun by a lot of clever and manipulative people, with an agenda of undermining Obama's credibility. Out of things like this come the myths that sweep conservatives to power. Let's not feel smug about our own intelligence are we influencing the political decisions of millions?
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Craig (Craig)
Username: Craig

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 75.5.11.79
Posted on Wednesday, September 08, 2010 - 08:12 pm:   

Chris, I gotta correct you on two points.

First, almost 70% of New Yorkers themselves oppose the ground-zero mosque - and New York is hardly a plurality of "conservatives," so to make this a purely conservative-one-side/liberal-the-other issue, is not factual.

Second, what prominent conservatives are "defending" the burning of the Quran? None that I've heard. If anyone IS defending the burning of the Quran, then it's EXACTLY analogous to those defending the building of the mosque - because it is a legal expression of free-speech. But they're not advocating it, and to imply they are, is simply incorrect.

Why do you get to be "disgusted" at what these Christians plan to do, and not be a hypocrite... but the Christians who are burning the Quran, don't, when they oppose the building of the mosque?...

(btw: With General Petraeus, for example, coming out and asking the Church to stop the burning, because it will endanger the troops, etc.... we are entering a gray area, violation of the separation of Church and State... the government better be careful how it proceeds in this matter, disgusting as it is....)
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Carolinec (Carolinec)
Username: Carolinec

Registered: 06-2009
Posted From: 82.38.75.85
Posted on Wednesday, September 08, 2010 - 08:40 pm:   

I think it might have been me who confused the issue by raising the "burn a Quran day", Craig. I only saw it on the BBC news last night - and they were saying it was an "evangelical" group, not conservatives. I don't think Chris said conservatives either? Or are evangelicals and conservatives the same in the States? Sorry, I don't know much about your churches or politics.

I just found both situations obnoxious - ie. the people opposed to the Islamic cultural centre and the people advocating the "burn a Quran" day (I think that was the expression used by the BBC reporter, from my recollection).

Contentious issues, all. As is the suggestion that obese people are stupid. After all, I'm just the wrong side of "clinically obese" according to the medics, yet I have a PhD!
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Craig (Craig)
Username: Craig

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 75.5.11.79
Posted on Wednesday, September 08, 2010 - 08:55 pm:   

I just wonder, Caroline, if the outrage against the church burning the Quran would be the same, if the pyromaniacs were, say, members of the Church of Satan (an atheistic organization), or a Richard Dawkins gathering making a statement against the perniciousness of organized religion....

This coming from a thorough non-Christian, non-religious person, mind. But I'm always wary of outrage - so often, personal prejudices come out, unchecked... not that there's anything illegal about that either... but let's do call them what they are....
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Carolinec (Carolinec)
Username: Carolinec

Registered: 06-2009
Posted From: 82.38.75.85
Posted on Wednesday, September 08, 2010 - 09:12 pm:   

My outrage would be just the same anyway, Craig, no matter who was doing the burning. But then I was also outraged to see Muslims burning Salman Rushdie's "The Satanic Verses" outside Bradford City Hall (my home city). I'm outraged by intolerance in all its forms.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Craig (Craig)
Username: Craig

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 75.5.11.79
Posted on Wednesday, September 08, 2010 - 09:27 pm:   

I believe you, Caroline. I feel the same way.

I just don't believe a lot of people crowing now about the Quran being burned, would care jack sh*t about someone burning the Bible. If it were an artist burning it as an explicit artistic statement, it might even be lauded, in these same circles.

That's how this church can skate free of this controversy. They just announce they're doing it purely as an artistic statement.

Of course, then the decriers would say they're lying - so we'd now have the thought/intention-police to contend with.

I think I'm just in a crappy mood today.... Apologies.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Carolinec (Carolinec)
Username: Carolinec

Registered: 06-2009
Posted From: 82.38.75.85
Posted on Wednesday, September 08, 2010 - 09:46 pm:   

Craig, for you ..

Better now?
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Chris_morris (Chris_morris)
Username: Chris_morris

Registered: 04-2008
Posted From: 12.165.240.116
Posted on Wednesday, September 08, 2010 - 10:21 pm:   

Craig, you might want to read my post again.

>> First, almost 70% of New Yorkers themselves oppose the ground-zero mosque - and New York is hardly a plurality of "conservatives," so to make this a purely conservative-one-side/liberal-the-other issue, is not factual.

I agree that this is a NY issue, and should be resolved that way. The fact that it's become a nationwide wedge issue, however, has solely to do with conservative agendas.

>> Second, what prominent conservatives are "defending" the burning of the Quran? None that I've heard. If anyone IS defending the burning of the Quran, then it's EXACTLY analogous to those defending the building of the mosque - because it is a legal expression of free-speech. But they're not advocating it, and to imply they are, is simply incorrect.

I never said anyone was defending or advocating the burning of the Quran except the Evangelical congregations involved. Conservatives have been conspicuously silent on the issue, however.

>> Why do you get to be "disgusted" at what these Christians plan to do, and not be a hypocrite...

I am disgusted by the way conservatives conveniently disgard their patriotism when it becomes inconvenient. I find burning Qurans in poor taste, but it's a free-speech issue, so I would die, as it were, to defend the right of these morons to display poor taste. And my disgust, on any issue, is itself a matter of free speech. I see no hypocrisy in any of that.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Mark_lynch (Mark_lynch)
Username: Mark_lynch

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 217.171.129.78
Posted on Wednesday, September 08, 2010 - 10:54 pm:   

While of course as President Obama has pointed out, people have the right in the USA to go about worshipping as they see fit, erecting their places of worship to whichever deity they feel drawn to, surely any smart worshipper would question the wisdom of putting up a building they're aware will cause grief to a certain number of people.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Protodroid (Protodroid)
Username: Protodroid

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 109.79.73.79
Posted on Wednesday, September 08, 2010 - 10:56 pm:   

The logical reaction to book-burning is surely indifference. Any other response is to buy into a medieval belief in some sort of sympathetic magic.

I suppose it's going to take a lot to overcome the type of mind that believes that a certain book is "magic" and that whether someone burns a copy of it which they themselves own is of any consequence.

Derren Brown said if you really don't believe in magic, try taking a photograph of someone you love and, with a pair of scissors, pierce the eyes of the photograph. I certainly couldn't do it.

So a belief in sympathetic magic is probably inherent in us, but so is the appendix: a redundant dead-end that too often becomes toxic.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Mark_lynch (Mark_lynch)
Username: Mark_lynch

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 217.171.129.78
Posted on Wednesday, September 08, 2010 - 11:03 pm:   

Who's the biggest most dangerous nutter? The guy who burns the book, knowing it'll stir up aggro, or the people who'll kill because he's burned the book?

And people will die because that book's been burned.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Craig (Craig)
Username: Craig

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 75.5.6.83
Posted on Thursday, September 09, 2010 - 04:27 am:   

Thanks, Caroline! And the answer is: yes.

Chris - I've nothing to argue against your points, I'm actually more on your side than you might think. It's just this one line you wrote....

In America, at least, defending one and denouncing the other is just another form of hypocrisy.

Did I just misunderstand you? Are you like me, standing in equal distance from both? It sounded like you were yourself, "defending one and denouncing the other," but I guess I got that wrong....

Hypocrisy is a particular pet-peeve of mine. I have no problem with rampant sin, vice, mischief, excess, whatever. I just hate hypocrisy. (Not that I'm any saint on that matter either, mind.)

I live in one of the most hypocritical States in the whole United American deck. The new medical marijuana laws, and pornography... just fucking legalize drugs and prostitution already! And no, that was not said facetiously or sarcastically!
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Chris_morris (Chris_morris)
Username: Chris_morris

Registered: 04-2008
Posted From: 98.220.97.79
Posted on Thursday, September 09, 2010 - 06:46 am:   

Craig, I am indeed standing an equal distance from both. I wasn't denouncing the Quran-burners: as I said, what they are doing is distasteful, but that doesn't mean I want to deny them their rights. And, to pick up another point you made, if an American congregation of Jews or Muslims were burning Bibles I would be equally troubled, but our freedoms must be respected. As an atheist I've been attacked on all sides; I can't deny others the rights I enjoy. In my post I was only denouncing the common right-wing hypocrisy of convenient patriotism.

I too have a problem with hypocrisy, but I try to be careful about it. After all, to be anti-hypocrisy is to pretend people can't grow or change opinions over time, and that's ridiculous. (Not that you were doing that, Craig.)
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Craig (Craig)
Username: Craig

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 75.4.255.23
Posted on Thursday, September 09, 2010 - 04:31 pm:   

You are right, about being tolerant towards hypocrisy, and hypocrites, Chris. Everyone is one, after all, on some level. At least at some point in their lives.

Which - not to wax religious, mind - but Jesus did have a few good concepts. There are three ways people can annoy you: when they blatantly screw with you, when they take from you, and when they make you do things or force you into situations you don't want. Slapping, taking coats, walking others a mile.

Instead of reacting immediately in anger, Jesus said to go directly against the animal impulse, do the exact opposite reaction to each stimulus. An exercise, in order to not degrade the human other, and reduce them to the level of an object. Perhaps an object of much deserved retribution, but still.

Because, as you say - people can always "grow or change opinions over time." Tolerance is a struggle.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Frank (Frank)
Username: Frank

Registered: 09-2008
Posted From: 85.222.86.21
Posted on Thursday, September 09, 2010 - 05:45 pm:   

Well said, Craig.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Craig (Craig)
Username: Craig

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 75.4.252.48
Posted on Friday, September 10, 2010 - 05:28 am:   

After some thought, I am now of the opinion that the Quran must be burned.

I know, that sounds radical. But in the light of recent events and reactions, I think it's unavoidable that the burning go on - unless of course this compromise between the Imam building the mosque and this Terry Jones be negotiated, which would be the only other way out. (It's in doubt right now, it looks unclear what might happen.)

Life isn't clean. Neither is society or its laws. Laws are meant to keep many in line. Freedoms are guaranteed, and there are those uncomfortable ones, who will come along, to test them.

In America, free-speech - an extension of greater freedoms - is sacred. And if Terry Jones backs down on burning the Quran, then freedom of speech has been frighteningly savaged. All who hold sacred the concept of free speech, must support Terry Jones, and encourage him to go on and burn this Quran. Hell, invite a Muslim to burn a Bible alongside it, I have no problem with that - but burn, baby, burn.

Because, yes, it's an absurd act - we all get that, no need to belabor the point. But life isn't clean, life doesn't come neatly packaged and bordered and tea-cup dainty like we all want it to be. Sometimes it's messy and ugly and dirty, but that's just what it is. And if you Chamberlain-like ignore reality, you're doomed.

And that's what this burning of said Quran is. It's too late now, it's happened, it's out there, and so it MUST go on (barring the first paragraph's solution).

Everyone's forgetting in the heat of the moment: we're talking about a book! It is pieces of paper glued together, a manuscript that can never be eradicated. No one is being killed - no one is being even tickled. As well, everyone has called out the act as an act of pointless foolishness; even I, who now advocate it.

But the enemies of free-speech, the true lunatics, the insane fucking freaks in the world who would go out and loot and riot and kill and murder and savage the innocent simply because one nutty person here in America chooses to make a purely symbolic gesture I may not agree with...? egged on themselves, by their wicked masters...?

You can't back down on issues of free speech. They rioted over cartoons, over Southpark, put a fatwah out on an author (Rushdie) over a fucking piece of fiction - what's next? This is how you get suppression of expression, and eventually, totalitarianism over expression.

"What untold effects will this have on people?" This is the argument they used to censor my favorite gory movies of the 70's/80's. Enough's enough.

Fear cannot be an issue here. It must burn.

Besides: http://www.ocala.com/article/20100909/ARTICLES/100909743/1412?Title=Westboro-Bap tish-Church-to-burn-Qurans-if-Dove-doesn-t
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Chris_morris (Chris_morris)
Username: Chris_morris

Registered: 04-2008
Posted From: 98.220.97.79
Posted on Friday, September 10, 2010 - 05:53 am:   

Well, free speech in America is sacred, but that doesn't mean it isn't subject to some restrictions. Look up Schenck vs United States, the case in which it was decided that any speech causing a "clear and present danger" (such as, famously, falsely yelling "fire!" in a crowded theater) was prohibited. That Supreme Court decision was later refined, or rather the "test" for determining "clear and present danger" was refined, but the idea more or less still stands. Does this mean Pastor Billy Bob is in violation of this rule? I don't know, but I doubt it. Seems to me he has a right to be an ass in public. I don't think his motive is to incite violence. On the other hand, I don't think his motive is much related to the offense he took to 9/11, either. If that were all he was interested in, he could have easily burned a few Qurans without holding a press conference. I think ol' Billy Bob is looking for a few extra $ in his church's donation plate, don't you?
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Craig (Craig)
Username: Craig

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 75.4.251.103
Posted on Friday, September 10, 2010 - 08:17 am:   

Alas, we can't judge motives. This is the essence of free speech, that we cannot judge the "mind" behind it - barring "clear and present danger," of course, and libel, and other such direct assaults.

But in this particular case, it's just a stack-of-bound-papers burning. If I chose to burn Ramsey Campbell's books, I would look like a fool and a freak, I'd be doing no damage to RC of any kind. Let alone, to the book itself, unless somehow I had the last surviving copy on the planet.

We are forgetting the real culprits: the thugs that threaten others into suppressing their freedoms. We have to at some point stand up for something. If someone's coming at us with a knife because we wrote something... whoever said these rights were going to be easy to sustain? If someone says it's easy for ME to say that, sure - but does that invalidate what I'm saying?

The cow's out of the barn... and so only cowards, at this point, are sighing relief at the Quran not being burned.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Stephen Theaker (Stephen_theaker)
Username: Stephen_theaker

Registered: 12-2009
Posted From: 62.30.117.235
Posted on Friday, September 10, 2010 - 08:37 am:   

The guy planning to burn the Qur'an is an idiot; anyone who would riot or kill because he did it is an idiot as well. But he knows those idiots are out there, and he's burning it with the intention of provoking them into doing something stupid. It's not that he doesn't care if his fellow Americans get hurt as a result: for him, that would be the perfect outcome.

I don't think burning a Bible has the same religious significance as burning a Qur'an. For Muslims each individual copy of the Qur'an is holy, to the extent that you're not even allowed to put it down on the floor (at least, that's what I was taught in school). The Christian god doesn't care if you chuck a Bible in the bin.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Craig (Craig)
Username: Craig

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 75.4.251.103
Posted on Friday, September 10, 2010 - 08:38 am:   

Kinda lowbrow and silly, but... what's to disagree with?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T4XJQO3qol8
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Craig (Craig)
Username: Craig

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 75.4.251.103
Posted on Friday, September 10, 2010 - 08:43 am:   

For Muslims each individual copy of the Qur'an is holy, to the extent that you're not even allowed to put it down on the floor (at least, that's what I was taught in school).

Again, irrelevant. The flag over here in America? We have all sorts of specific laws concerning it - it can never touch the ground, it must be folded in a specific way, it cannot be displayed in a damaged condition, etc. Doesn't preclude idiots from burning it, as a free-speech statement; as various of these same idiots around the world have been doing just recently, in protest of this planned Quran burning.

Um, if the Quran is suddenly being treated with more respect than the American flag? And any other object in existence? There's something wrong, then, right?

(Remember when the lunatic Taliban was bombing ancient Buddhist sites to dust in Afghanistan, because they were pagan? Godalmighty....)
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Stephen Theaker (Stephen_theaker)
Username: Stephen_theaker

Registered: 12-2009
Posted From: 62.30.117.235
Posted on Friday, September 10, 2010 - 08:49 am:   

It's not irrelevant - it explains why this bit...

"Hell, invite a Muslim to burn a Bible alongside it, I have no problem with that - but burn, baby, burn."

... doesn't work, because they aren't equivalent acts.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Craig (Craig)
Username: Craig

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 75.4.251.103
Posted on Friday, September 10, 2010 - 08:57 am:   

"doesn't work"? What is it you're trying to "work"?

Dip a crucifix in urine, burn a picture of Jesus, smash a statue, whatever. The point is to show that such expressions are all equal.

Have someone dress up like Jesus and simulate rape someone who looks like Mary. It's offensive, obscene, horrendous, and tasteless. But if it's done legally (i.e., it's not being done in front of a school, say, or even in public, etc.), then there can be legal protests, sure.

But you don't stop it from happening. That's when you're damaging the sacred freedom of speech, a vital guarantee of human freedom that involves all our other freedoms. It's very important it be as open as is humanly possible. And as the old canard goes, it's only in these horrendous cases that the freedom is there reminding us of HOW freeing it is....

It would be nice if someone had told Terry Jones to not do this at all, quietly, before it ever became AN ISSUE OF freedom of speech. But, alas, now it is. It's too late, as I've said, to go back. And so, one can only go forward now, with it....
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Stephen Theaker (Stephen_theaker)
Username: Stephen_theaker

Registered: 12-2009
Posted From: 62.30.117.235
Posted on Friday, September 10, 2010 - 09:10 am:   

Exactly... How would this Pastor react if someone were to do something that was as offensive to a Christian as the things you list there? Maybe you would support their freedom of speech, but I'm sure he wouldn't. That's why it's relevant.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Craig (Craig)
Username: Craig

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 75.4.251.103
Posted on Friday, September 10, 2010 - 09:17 am:   

But then even that's irrelevant.

All "feelings" of any kind are irrelevant.

There is one middling way to back down though: a statement of understanding that it's offensive, that includes it's not because of intimidation or threats. Sure, it could very well be insincere... but again, "feelings" and motivations aren't important.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Skip (Wolfnoma)
Username: Wolfnoma

Registered: 07-2010
Posted From: 216.54.20.98
Posted on Friday, September 10, 2010 - 03:37 pm:   

I have been trying to avoid this issue but last night it reared its ugly hydra like head in my own home. Needless to say I did not get much sleep, so, I am going to take this opportunity to state my opinion. If I offend anyone please know that it is not intentional.

As an American I support Religous Freedom and I have no issue with anyone wanting to build a Church, Mosque or Temple or pretty much any other place of worship anywhere in the united States. I do however find it in bad form to build on or near a site of a terrorist attack a structure celebrating the religion of the individuals who commited the terrorist attack. And, it makes me wonder if the Muslim nation would allow a Christian to build a Church in one of their countries near a bombed out shell of an act of aggression by a Western Country?

As a bibliophile and an avid reader I find it reprehensible that someone would want to burn any book. (Yes, this goes for the "Twilight" series as well) I find that the "Christian" Pastor is just a bit off base with his methodology in this aspect. That being said if he wants to burn a book, any book including the Bible, that is his right as a Citizen of America. After all, it is not the BOOK that is holy.

So, where does that leave me?

Simple, the Muslims have a right to build their temple, the Pastor has a right to burn a book, the thinking man has a right to get drunk and move to an uninhabited island with his books and watch the world nuke itself back to the stone age.

Just a thought.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Craig (Craig)
Username: Craig

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 75.4.253.200
Posted on Friday, September 10, 2010 - 04:23 pm:   

Alas, Obama indirectly caused this problem, Skip, when he came out and made a prepared statement that the mosque-builders had every right to build there, and we had no right to complain about it as a populace; later, he back-tracked, and (not as a statement, but to a reporter), said he wasn't addressing the "wisdom" of the issue.

But his job as President is to make public statements of the "wisdom" of issues. Because he didn't, this Terry Jones can now push this issue as he does.

It's all a big fudging mess.

Worry not, Skip. You can live on the island as long as you want, but the world won't nuke itself back into the stone age. Nukes don't exist. But we'll leave that aside for now....
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Frank (Frank)
Username: Frank

Registered: 09-2008
Posted From: 85.222.86.21
Posted on Friday, September 10, 2010 - 04:38 pm:   

Yeah, but he's not burning the 'book' because he wants to express his right to free speech.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Jonathan (Jonathan)
Username: Jonathan

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 91.143.178.131
Posted on Friday, September 10, 2010 - 04:38 pm:   

"celebrating the religion of the individuals who commited the terrorist attack"

I do think you have to separate the fundamentalists from the day to day adherents of this faith. This is not a centre to celebrate fundamentalism, instead it's a place where Muslims and those of other faiths can meet to engage in dialogue. Also, it's not actually on Ground Zero, it's several blocks over. I believe that it's actually a ten to fifteen minute walk from actual Ground Zero.

It does bother me when people use the views of fundamentalists and niche groups to tar all those of a certain faith.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Craig (Craig)
Username: Craig

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 75.4.253.200
Posted on Friday, September 10, 2010 - 04:53 pm:   

I do think you have to separate the fundamentalists from the day to day adherents of this faith.

In any other faith - Christianity, Judaism, the protestant religions, etc. - the "fundamentalists" and the "day to day adherents" are the same.

If not - what constitutes "fundamentalism"? What's the difference between that and "day to day"? By "day to day," do you mean those who give a wink-and-nod to various religious maxims? Those who don't really believe in their religion at all, but are lukewarm about it?

Like many religions, the leaders are the fundamentalists - say, Osama bin Ladin - who then send out the less-than-religious dirty-men (the "day to day"-ers), to do their dirty religious deeds.

Has anyone forgotten the perpetrators of 9/11 were mission operators, and not acting independently, according to their own twisted belief system? They were on orders from others. They were enemy agents, of a twisted organization, that bases its ultimate reasons for attacking the U.S. on sick religious interpretations.

... "Sick," of course, is our own take on that. To them, and to countless others, it's not "sick" at all, but perfectly reasonable and rational.

Sometimes, two "perfectly reasonable and rational" moral codes come into conflict. This town's suddenly not big enough for the two of them. And that's when it's beyond morality - there is no higher moral order to arbitrate between them, by definition, right? It boils down then, to a simple concept: us versus them.

And us has to win. Or us has to lose. Two choices.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Jonathan (Jonathan)
Username: Jonathan

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 91.143.178.131
Posted on Friday, September 10, 2010 - 04:59 pm:   

Okay, maybe fanatics would be a better word. But most adherents of faith do not use their own warped rationale and misinterpretation of holy text to go out and kill. The terrorists of 9/11 are not the same as the overwhelmingly peaceful adherents of Islam. Just as most Christians are not at all of the same ilk as those who kill in the name of a Christian god. This Muslim centre is a proposed outreach centre to help foster inter-faith dialogue. That is a good thing. It's not going to churn out people determine to kill and bring down America.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Frank (Frank)
Username: Frank

Registered: 09-2008
Posted From: 85.222.86.21
Posted on Friday, September 10, 2010 - 05:03 pm:   

Craig - that's what certain parties want, 'us versus them.' I don't believe (not refuse to believe), that people of whichever faith want that anymore than you or I do.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Craig (Craig)
Username: Craig

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 75.4.253.200
Posted on Friday, September 10, 2010 - 05:08 pm:   

I agree Jonathan. The only thing I'd say is: why can't he just move it? It's clearly caused so much problems - saying it's not his fault, it's now gone out of control. Islam means "submission," so why not just be the bigger person on the block and move it?

Terry Jones wasn't being that way, and yet he is, oddly, if he decides after all not to burn the book (though I'm opposed to that on free speech grounds now).

If he decides NOT to burn the book, out of compassion for those who are offended, do you realize this Terry Jones will be a "bigger man" than this Imam who won't move the center?

The Imam has all but threatened the world with violence if he moves it now. That's pathetic. He's losing credibility every day he insists on this being there.

Now there are Quran burnings being planned all over the U.S. God knows what tomorrow will be like.

I wish, myself, neither of these had ever come along. It's all so dispiriting.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Chris_morris (Chris_morris)
Username: Chris_morris

Registered: 04-2008
Posted From: 12.165.240.116
Posted on Friday, September 10, 2010 - 05:10 pm:   

Obama's statements about the "mosque":

8/13: ""As a citizen, and as president, I believe that Muslims have the same right to practice their religion as anyone else in this country. That includes the right to build a place of worship and a community center on private property in lower Manhattan in accordance with local laws and ordinances. This is America, and our commitment to religious freedom must be unshakable."

8/14: "I was not commenting and I will not comment on the wisdom of making the decision to put a mosque there. I was commenting very specifically on the right people have that dates back to our founding. That's what our country is about."

On the proposed Quran-burning:

9/9: "I hope [Terry Jones] understands that what he's proposing to do is completely contrary to our values as Americans, that this country has been built on the notions of religious freedom and religious tolerance. And, as a very practical matter, as commander-in-chief of the armed forces of the United States, I just want him to understand that this stunt that he is talking about pulling could greatly endanger our young men and women in uniform who are in Iraq, who are in Afghanistan. ... This is a recruitment bonanza for Al Qaeda. ... I hope he listens to his better angels and realizes that this is a destructive act he's engaged in."


Which of these statements "caused the problem," Craig? I can see an argument that these statements didn't resolve any problem, but not one that they caused one. This is a New York issue, and only got national attention due to the actions of certain conservative groups. I'm sure President Obama is aware that he shouldn't be trying to affect a matter of New York state legislation. As for "wisdom," Obama provided it in his statement about the Quran-burning, but only as "commander-in-chief of the armed forces." I don't see anything wrong with what he's said or how he's handled either situation.

Skip:

>> I do however find it in bad form to build on or near a site of a terrorist attack a structure celebrating the religion of the individuals who commited the terrorist attack.

You're equating Islamism with Islam. This is like equating Jim Jones's Peoples Temple with Catholicism. The "Ground Zero Mosque" has nothing to do with Islamism, or Islamic Fundamentalism. The NY community has many Muslims; it has mosques that are overflowing. What's one more going to hurt? (Not that a "mosque," per se, has been proposed.) Either way, it's a New York issue, and should be resolved by New Yorkers.

>> And, it makes me wonder if the Muslim nation would allow a Christian to build a Church in one of their countries near a bombed out shell of an act of aggression by a Western Country?

I think the idea is that America should offer freedoms other countries don't have.

>> After all, it is not the BOOK that is holy.

For Muslims, actually, the book itself is indeed holy.

>> Simple, the Muslims have a right to build their temple, the Pastor has a right to burn a book, the thinking man has a right to get drunk and move to an uninhabited island with his books and watch the world nuke itself back to the stone age.

The "thinking man," actually, is better off letting his fellow citizens enjoy their rights while enjoying a few of his own. If those freedoms include drinking and/or moving to deserted islands, so be it. Live and let live.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Jonathan (Jonathan)
Username: Jonathan

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 91.143.178.131
Posted on Friday, September 10, 2010 - 05:11 pm:   

He won't move it because it's important not to back down to such idiotic and backward thinking. It's important for Obama and America to be seen as progressive and forward thinking. This very much needed in this post 9/11 era

I've not actually looked into the Imam's comments, so can't comment on them myself.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Jonathan (Jonathan)
Username: Jonathan

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 91.143.178.131
Posted on Friday, September 10, 2010 - 05:16 pm:   

This is what the Imam of the centre said: "We are not going to toy with our religion or any other. Nor are we going to barter. We are here to extend our hands to build peace and harmony."

Doesn't sound like he's threatening violence to me.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Jonathan (Jonathan)
Username: Jonathan

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 91.143.178.131
Posted on Friday, September 10, 2010 - 05:18 pm:   

Well said by the way Chris.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Chris_morris (Chris_morris)
Username: Chris_morris

Registered: 04-2008
Posted From: 12.165.240.116
Posted on Friday, September 10, 2010 - 05:18 pm:   

As I understand it, Imam can't move the center without losing several million dollars his group has invested in the site. That being said, I understand Donald Trump and a few other investors have offered to buy the property at a price that would profit Imam and his group, but Imam has declined.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Chris_morris (Chris_morris)
Username: Chris_morris

Registered: 04-2008
Posted From: 12.165.240.116
Posted on Friday, September 10, 2010 - 05:32 pm:   

>> If not - what constitutes "fundamentalism"? What's the difference between that and "day to day"? By "day to day," do you mean those who give a wink-and-nod to various religious maxims? Those who don't really believe in their religion at all, but are lukewarm about it?

The kids are all raving about this thing called Google. From the web: "The term Fundamentalist has been extensively misused by the media to refer to terrorists who happen to be Muslim, or who are anti-American Muslims. This is not accurate. Fundamentalist Islam is simply the conservative wing of Islam, just as fundamentalist Christianity is the conservative wing of Christianity. The vast majority of Muslmi fundamentalists are pious individuals who strictly follow the teachings of Mohammed, promote regular attendance at mosques, and promote the reading of the Qur'an. Many promote the concept of theocratic government, in which Sharia (Islamic law) becomes the law of the state. Most probably view the West as secular, ungodly, decadent and obsessed with sex.

Most Middle Eastern terrorists are probably fundamentalist Muslims, but they share little with their fellow fundamentalists. They represent an extremist, radical wing of fundamentalist Islam, which is composed of people who believe that the Islamic state must be imposed on the people from above, using violent action if necessary. This movement is fueled by social, religious, and economic stressors in many of the Muslim countries: lack of democracy; autocratic, unelected political leaders; millions of Palestinian refugees, extreme wealth for a minority, and often extreme poverty for most of the public; poor human rights records; high unemployment. Perhaps the greatest stressor of all is the Israeli-Palestinian conflict which has lasted over five decades."

>> And us has to win. Or us has to lose. Two choices.

This is way too simplistic. There is no reasonable definition of "winning" or "losing" here. The Islamic Fundamentalists will never convert the whole world to radical Islam and the west will never entirely eliminate Islamist sentiment. A third, better choice, then, is that "us" has to co-exist: to be aware of the actions and intentions of Islamists, and guard against them.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Jonathan (Jonathan)
Username: Jonathan

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 91.143.178.131
Posted on Friday, September 10, 2010 - 05:39 pm:   

Way more eloquent than I Chris. Thank you for your definitions.

And indeed, why should the Imam move his centre? Like you say, contracts and agreements have already been signed and no doubt it would cost them dearly to back out now. The Imam's intentions seem to be entirely honourable to me.
9/11 was hideous and awful - but it's time to move on, learn through our grieving and open peaceful dialogue on how we can move beyond this event.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Craig (Craig)
Username: Craig

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 75.4.253.200
Posted on Friday, September 10, 2010 - 05:46 pm:   

Chris, sorry, but A third, better choice, then, is that "us" has to co-exist is hopelessly naive. It didn't work with the Nazis during WWII. It's not at that stage yet, but it's sure headed there. The history of the world is the history of people who tried to do exactly what you suggest. And then, a war started, and countless masses died, and we were on to trying it all over again. I specifically said the "us or them" morality enters WHEN these conflicts reach this point. And trying to live with the other guy during this stage of conflict? Might as well cut your own throat. Reason does not rule when two drunk idiots are fist-fighting.

You seemed to neglect that the first statement above, Obama made in a prepared speech. In the second, it was a response to a reporter. As well, compare your second with the third: he says he "won't comment" on the wisdom, but very much so DOES comment on the wisdom in the third. He didn't "cause" it true... but this Obama seems singularly incapable of handling crises well, imho....
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Carolinec (Carolinec)
Username: Carolinec

Registered: 06-2009
Posted From: 82.38.75.85
Posted on Friday, September 10, 2010 - 05:47 pm:   

>>And indeed, why should the Imam move his centre? Like you say, contracts and agreements have already been signed and no doubt it would cost them dearly to back out now. The Imam's intentions seem to be entirely honourable to me.
9/11 was hideous and awful - but it's time to move on, learn through our grieving and open peaceful dialogue on how we can move beyond this event.<<

And that's most eloquent too, Jonathan. The "us and them" mentality is what's gotten us into this mess in the first place. Peaceful co-existence and learning to accept each others' ways is the only answer (and that's on both "sides" of the argument). But, sadly, not all human beings are able to rise above their baser instincts and behave that way. Hence, the knee-jerk reactions of extremists like those who ordered the 9/11 attacks and this pastor chap who seems intent on fueling the fires of hatred.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Craig (Craig)
Username: Craig

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 75.4.253.200
Posted on Friday, September 10, 2010 - 05:51 pm:   

And I'm just going to say this: If it were a proposed Christian center that were being built at ground zero, and was causing so much controversy, I venture to guess - Chris and Jonathan - that both of you would be singing very different tunes: you'd be saying, can't they just move this, be bigger, not cause problems, do they have to to do this, etc.? Sorry, I'm sniffing prejudices.... After all, why can't someone respond in this way to the ground zero mosque? IS responding this way UNREASONABLE, or not?
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Chris_morris (Chris_morris)
Username: Chris_morris

Registered: 04-2008
Posted From: 12.165.240.116
Posted on Friday, September 10, 2010 - 05:54 pm:   

Obama allows a comment on the "wisdom" in the third statement because it falls within his realm to do so as commander-in-chief. It's improper for him to comment on a matter of NY legislation, however.

And my third, better choice isn't hopelessly naive, it's realistic. Islamists are not Nazi Germany. They are not going to invade Russia. You're comparing apples and oranges, as they say. I don't think this is a fight between two drunken idiots, and I don't think America should even be a "drunken idiot." I think we should be smarter and more sober than that, don't you?

For that matter, I'm rather tired of seeing things compared to Nazis. (Not just by you, Craig; by the entire World Wide Web.) I keep thinking: Not everything in history has a parallel to WW2 Germany. Read a history book. You'd be surprised.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Chris_morris (Chris_morris)
Username: Chris_morris

Registered: 04-2008
Posted From: 12.165.240.116
Posted on Friday, September 10, 2010 - 05:59 pm:   

>> Sorry, I'm sniffing prejudices.... After all, why can't someone respond in this way to the ground zero mosque? IS responding this way UNREASONABLE, or not?

I disagree. I'm an atheist. I have no stake in any relgion; I find them all more or less equally off-putting. But as an American I agree that all citizens should have an equal right to pursue these religions without prejudice. I'd defend an equally-abhorrent Christian center. No question.

And your response to the "ground zero mosque" may or not be unreasonable, but you certainly have the right to respond that way. Rock on, dude. Shake your fists. Publish pictures of Mohommed. Do whatever you have to do. However, just remember you live in California and this affects you directly in no way at all, and that your opinion will have no impact on whether the "mosque" goes up in NY.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Jonathan (Jonathan)
Username: Jonathan

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 91.143.178.131
Posted on Friday, September 10, 2010 - 06:05 pm:   

"And I'm just going to say this: If it were a proposed Christian center that were being built at ground zero, and was causing so much controversy, I venture to guess - Chris and Jonathan - that both of you would be singing very different tunes: you'd be saying, can't they just move this, be bigger, not cause problems, do they have to to do this, etc.? Sorry, I'm sniffing prejudices.... After all, why can't someone respond in this way to the ground zero mosque? IS responding this way UNREASONABLE, or not?"

Then you don't know me at all. I am for any opening up of inter-faith dialogue. I am a Christian myself. While the vast majority of my friends are atheists, I do have a lot of friends of different faiths and we learn a great deal from each other. This centre of Islam is a peaceful, inter-faith, cultural centre intended as an outreach. They are not doing it to piss people off, they are doing it to help heal wounds. It's a shame people aren't responding to it in the way it was intended. As I said, it's time to move on.
Chris is right, you can't compare the movement of Islamic terrorist organisations with the Nazis. They are not at all the same thing.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Jonathan (Jonathan)
Username: Jonathan

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 91.109.177.241
Posted on Friday, September 10, 2010 - 08:17 pm:   

Also, sorry, but just to say it one more time... this mosque is NOT at ground zero, nor is it a mosque.

Thank you.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Craig (Craig)
Username: Craig

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 75.5.6.202
Posted on Friday, September 10, 2010 - 08:42 pm:   

Apologies if I've offended anyone.

I wasn't directly comparing the terrorist organizations to the Nazis - I too hate that constant comparison. So scratch that, don't get distracted by it, and let me say this clearer: whenever it's down to a war between X and Y, X and Y have a choice - us, or them. There is no longer room for morality, the "higher morality" now IS the choice, us or them. There is no third choice - surrender, is them; victory, is us. Negotiations, is us AND them. Failure to negotiate? Keep doing the "us or them" until you get victory or surrender.

Jonathan: The builders of the ground zero mosque, called it a mosque THEMSELVES on their website, before the controversy got stirred up, at which point they changed it. So, yes, it is a mosque.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Protodroid (Protodroid)
Username: Protodroid

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 89.19.83.225
Posted on Friday, September 10, 2010 - 09:07 pm:   

"I find it reprehensible that someone would want to burn any book."

Why?
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Chris_morris (Chris_morris)
Username: Chris_morris

Registered: 04-2008
Posted From: 12.165.240.116
Posted on Friday, September 10, 2010 - 09:28 pm:   

>> There is no third choice - surrender, is them; victory, is us. Negotiations, is us AND them. Failure to negotiate? Keep doing the "us or them" until you get victory or surrender.


I think I see what you're getting at, Craig, but things are more complicated than "X and Y." Al Qaeda may have declared war on us, but Bush took us to war with Afghanistan and Iraq, not Al Qaeda.

I think what Bush did was foolish (sort of like declaring war on Arizona and New Mexico after Timothy McVeigh attacked the Oklamoma City Federal building), but now that we're here, what does "victory" mean for any side of any of these battles? Without a clear definition -- I mean clearer than the ridiculous notion of "ridding the world of terrorists forever" -- Americans can't reach victory in Iraq and Afghanistan. Al Qaeda's stated goal is to eliminate foreign influences in Muslim countries, and to institute a "caliphate," or Islam-centered republic to usher in a worldwide adherence to Sharia. How likely do you think "victory" for them is? And because the advancement of US war goals (ie, eliminating terrorism) means influencing Muslim countries (ie, exactly what they're fighting against), then it's impossible to imagine these wars will ever pacify the Al Qaeda extremists. We meddle with them, they get mad and attack us. We get mad and meddle back. Kill a terrorist, grow two more. The concepts of "victory" and "surrender" are meaningless here.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Frank (Frank)
Username: Frank

Registered: 09-2008
Posted From: 85.222.86.21
Posted on Friday, September 10, 2010 - 09:58 pm:   

Well, I, for one, refuse to acknowledge I'm a part of anything so crass as sides.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Jonathan (Jonathan)
Username: Jonathan

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 91.109.177.241
Posted on Friday, September 10, 2010 - 11:48 pm:   

"The builders of the ground zero mosque, called it a mosque THEMSELVES"

Okay, okay. But can we agree on one thing please. It is not at ground zero. It is TWO whole blocks away. In New York that's actually quite a walk.

Add Your Message Here
Post:
Bold text Italics Underline Create a hyperlink Insert a clipart image

Username: Posting Information:
This is a private posting area. Only registered users and moderators may post messages here.
Password:
Options: Enable HTML code in message
Automatically activate URLs in message
Action:

Topics | Last Day | Last Week | Tree View | Search | Help/Instructions | Program Credits Administration