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Old 02-19-2008, 09:54 AM
 
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Originally Posted by saganista View Post
Among the revealed religions, there is none that has any rightful claim to being called a religion of peace. All have been characterized by bloody histories of hatred and brutal exploitation of others. Slaughter and enslavement, torture and subjugation...these are the tools that all of them have turned to in defending and propagating the faith. If Islam is judged to fall short of being a religion of peace, then Christianity and Judaism fall equally with it. From the rubble of shattered pretensions, perhaps find a way to work from here toward peace. A commitment to that task will be far more important than devotion to any sacred scripture or tradition...
I think there's a fundamental flaw in your argument.

Viewing the historical record of Islam, Christianity, and Judaism, you would be well within your rights to say that no faiths has behaved perfectly.

That being said, in the New Testament, there are absolutely no verses that encourage violence. In fact, Christ was a peaceful, nonviolent man in the face of outrages committed against him. This is an absolute departure from both Islam and Judaism, both of which have definite martial strains about them. The fault with Christians lies in their inability to live up to Christianity's principles, not the principles themselves.
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Old 02-19-2008, 10:09 AM
 
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Originally Posted by mhouse2001 View Post
Reading the OP's post, I was struck by how similar the description was of Christianity. All I have to do is exaggerate Fred Phelps into a Pope to see the similarities. I know, most view him as insane, but who's to say that the right amount of hatred coming out of the right mouth won't brainwash millions more? I have no doubt that if Christianity had absolute political power, it would be just as totalitarian as Islam is perceived to be.

Despite all the last century of increased global communication, we are all still afraid of each other and for the most part ignorant of what makes the other one tick. Finding fault with each other only leads down the path to ruin. Haven't we done that enough times?
I haven't read the whole thread, but your post intrigues me--I agree with you--BUT.

There is NO DOUBT whatsoever "we" have done terrible things in the past (I'm a Catholic). Nobody, I don't think, would tell you life in a Christian theocracy would be 'nice'. We ALL know it wouldn't.

The POINT, though, is the Western world has largely moved beyond that 'stage', and Islam has NOT. There really ARE no more "Christian theocracies" as far as I know. Almost ALL "christian" societies are now secular, and encourage all sorts of religious freedoms-even for MUSLIMS (!)...and even for atheists. There is no such thing today as a place that "requires" Christianity. THere is NO government, or ANY respectable Wesrern organization, run by a "Fred Phelps"...he's a JOKE, in his own society.
There are no groups of 'screwballs' running around blowing people up, for "The Glory of Christ"...it just doesn't happen. The few western "nut cases", like Timothy McVeigh, aren't motivated by religion--and they die in ignomious disgrace. We do NOT give them a million-dollar "martyr's funeral"..

Sadly, the same CANNOT be said of Islam. There are several outright thoecracies, and the whole region, even the secular parts, live in very REAL and well-founded fear of their own "Fred Phelps's" These guys have MILLIONS of very fervent followers, who have a very profound effect upon their governments, and are VERY intimidating to those who may disagree. Those who blow themselves up while killing "infidels" are given what practically amounts to 'state funerals', and thousands of well-wishers turn out to carry their bodies to a martyr's tomb.

I DO think there is a part of the "forgiving" message of Christ that is lacking in the message of Islam, and to THAT extent, I'd say Christianity was 'easier to get along with", period. There is absolutely ZERO place in Christianity for 'suicide bombers', and those who do succeed, end up in HELL...they don't get "72 Virgins". BIG difference.

But it's true, much evil and 'nastiness' HAS been committed in the name of religion, all over. The BIG difference is "we" have largely STOPPED, long ago...while "they" are still 'at it'. It's like the difference between a violent, abusive alcoholic. and an "ex"-alcoholic....both have 'sinned', but one is still doing so, while the other has stopped.
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Old 02-19-2008, 10:27 AM
 
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You can be a good secular person, a good citizen, a good American as well as a good Christian at the same time. However, you cannot be all these things and a good Muslim at the same time. Having Arabic or Muslim heritage doesn't disqualify you from being a good person or a good American, but if you want to try to follow the tentants laid out in the Koran and try to follow the example of the founder of Islam, it does pretty much rule out being a productive member of American society.

That's the difference.
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Old 02-19-2008, 10:42 AM
 
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Back to the original post, you are right in that anything/anyone who tells you NOT to question is doing a disservice. You NEED to question.

My read is that Islam is a peaceful religion, judging from the Turks, Syrians, and Kuwaitis I've met. They are "regular folk," especially when they are Westernized by birth. I think those kids love the US more than the lands their parents came from.

It's the radical factions that have caused the problems in the world and the intertwining of religion/state, as is the case in many countires, makes this a bigger problem. Literal interpretations of old documents (Bible, Quran, etc.) have done nothing but create factions and cause dissent. Radical Islamic fundamentalists adhere to the literal interpretations, evidently. C'mon, folks, use your gray matter and interpret these things in context. They can take the core aspects of the Quran and adapt it to living as productive American citizens in this millenium...and I'm sure many have made the decision to do so.
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Old 02-19-2008, 11:03 AM
 
8,973 posts, read 14,621,702 times
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Originally Posted by dunkel25 View Post
You can be a good secular person, a good citizen, a good American as well as a good Christian at the same time. However, you cannot be all these things and a good Muslim at the same time. Having Arabic or Muslim heritage doesn't disqualify you from being a good person or a good American, but if you want to try to follow the tentants laid out in the Koran and try to follow the example of the founder of Islam, it does pretty much rule out being a productive member of American society.

That's the difference.
Speaking of "Arabs" there IS a certain strain of long-standing Arabic population in America. Well-loved philanthropist Danny Thomas (Marlo's dad) was one. So was Vic Tayback ("Mel's Diner"), West Virginia congressman Nick Rahall, Actor Jamie Farr (Klinger on "MASH"), and many, MANY other people in prominent places in American life. Many Americans don't even realize these folks are "Arabic" at all.

MOST of these Arab-Americans, though, were Christians (or practiced NO religion). So the fact remains that while Arabs are well-established in America, the Muslim religion is relatively new and unfamiliar to many here. And the way things are, it's not making a very good "first impression"...
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Old 02-20-2008, 03:36 AM
 
Location: Assisi, Italy
1,845 posts, read 3,826,180 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by macmeal View Post
Speaking of "Arabs" there IS a certain strain of long-standing Arabic population in America. Well-loved philanthropist Danny Thomas (Marlo's dad) was one. So was Vic Tayback ("Mel's Diner"), West Virginia congressman Nick Rahall, Actor Jamie Farr (Klinger on "MASH"), and many, MANY other people in prominent places in American life. Many Americans don't even realize these folks are "Arabic" at all.

MOST of these Arab-Americans, though, were Christians (or practiced NO religion). So the fact remains that while Arabs are well-established in America, the Muslim religion is relatively new and unfamiliar to many here. And the way things are, it's not making a very good "first impression"...
Rather than images of Klinger and Danny Thomas, I remember the video images of middle eastern women jubilantly dancing in the streets in Michigan after seeing the towers fall on 9/11. It is hard to believe that we should ignore the mindset that leads to such joy.

I will not condemn all muslims, but I would be foolish to think their is no threat. I agree, the Arab world is not making a good debut. The Arab world is trying to "reclaim" the dominance it lost after the humiliating fall of the Ottoman Empire just 200 years ago according to Prof Lewis of Princeton. Likewise, Mussolini attempted to "reclaim" Italy's Roman Empire in WWII. Many Arabs are very happy and proud of the gains the Arab world has made in the last few years by way of acts of terror. Scary.

Now go ahead and flame me.

Last edited by Bob The Builder; 02-20-2008 at 04:03 AM..
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