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Pat Robertson calls Islam a Religion of Violence.
February 26, 2002 2:11 PM   Subscribe

Pat Robertson calls Islam a Religion of Violence. Citing citing various verses from the Qur'an he concludes "... that militant Islam is dedicated to the destruction of America and the killing of the Jews and Christians around the world. To deny that the Koran promotes violence to many followers would be to deny the truth." Arab response: "We know the word for this. This is called anti-Semitism." Where did that come from?
posted by aaronshaf (102 comments total)

 
Oops. That second link is supposed to be the Washington Post article.
posted by aaronshaf at 2:12 PM on February 26, 2002


Really, Pat? I'm pretty sure that, historically speaking, if comparing the number of innocents slaughtered, Christianity beats Islam, hands down.
posted by Ty Webb at 2:17 PM on February 26, 2002


Note: Arabs are Semites too.
posted by gazingus at 2:17 PM on February 26, 2002


Pretty specious examples on the CBN website, all easily refutable by anyone with even a semester of Islamic history, and most not even from the Qur'an.

The real part of the Qur'an that can be used for justification of violence are not the few in-context verses regarding battles with pagans or Jews or Christians, but one of the overriding themes which is Justice. Unlike other monotheistic books, the Qur'an teaches that justice should be had on earth, and that man should stand up and fight for justice. You can see how someone with a twisted sense of what 'justice' is can use this as justification for evil acts.
posted by cell divide at 2:21 PM on February 26, 2002


Ouch. Didn't he foresee that someone would quote him one of the innumerable violent passages--and passages advocating violence--from the old testament?
posted by Hildago at 2:24 PM on February 26, 2002


Look, I am no Pat R. kind of guy. I think hgis an ass and duplicitous. But I do believe that what he meant was that the Koran is followed to the letter --he may of course be wrong here--and that Christianity has some nasty stuff in its history and even in its texts, but that was then and this is now--but then is still now for Islam, as it is taught. Now I am not defending Pat but rather trying to understand what he is saying. As for Semites , the post is correct: Arabs view themselves as semites and so to be anti-Arab is to be anti-semitic. I know it sounds odd, since one group of semites (Jews) hate and is hated by the other group of semites, Arabs.
posted by Postroad at 2:25 PM on February 26, 2002


Really, Pat? I'm pretty sure that, historically speaking, if comparing the number of innocents slaughtered, Christianity beats Islam, hands down.
Ty Webb


The difference is that Christ condemns it, and Islam condones it.
posted by aaronshaf at 2:25 PM on February 26, 2002


Look. The texts of Judaism, Christianity and Islam all contain passages which, literally, can be construed as elitist and/or calling for the shunning and/or subjugation and/or destruction of non-believers. But the bottom line is, in 2002, who's in control of things; and who's relegated to the lunatic fringe. There are wacky orthodox Jews. There are wacky Christians. But they aren't running any governments.
posted by ParisParamus at 2:29 PM on February 26, 2002


Pat Robertson == TROLL
posted by n9 at 2:33 PM on February 26, 2002


"The texts of Judaism, Christianity and Islam all contain passages which, literally, can be construed as elitist and/or calling for the shunning and/or subjugation and/or destruction of non-believers."

Could you give me one for Christianity, excluding times where God was literally leading the nation of Israel?

Luke 6:27
"But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you..."

Proverbs 3:31
"Do not envy a violent man or choose any of his ways..."
posted by aaronshaf at 2:35 PM on February 26, 2002


The difference is that Christ condemns it, and Islam condones it.

Oversimplification; compare Christ as a prophet with Muhammad as a prophet, and Islam as a faith to Christianity as a faith. However it's spun, Christianity still has the numbers.
posted by Ty Webb at 2:35 PM on February 26, 2002


Makes you wonder if they said that just to confuse people.

Yes, and as gaz says, Arabs are Semites, although I know this I'd only think of it as a technicality. I'm used to the ADL using the word, then again they send me more notices than the average Joe. The Jewish and Islamic people (is mohammedmen improper? I'm afraid to use the term) lived in harmony until relatively recent (1700s ish? earlier maybe) western colonial pressures messed things up. The whole Islamic/Arab opposition is not really religious, and even if it was, there is a historical precedent for them putting it aside and working towards a greater good.

Also, dissing Christianity is really tiring to me. I've noticed a lot of Christians pretending to be victims of anti-christian sentiment. They should be grateful so many people share their faith, and leave the appeal for sympathy for St. Peter (j/k). However, I think it would be more telling to note that people in general have slaughtered many other people, historically speaking, and the majority of the time preserving or imposing the slaughteror's (may be spelled incorrectly, but slaughtoror seems to fit so well) personal beliefs had little to do with it. Most wars are over stuff, the ability to have stuff or wanting other people's stuff.

Also interesting to note is how infrequently we blame slaughter on ourselves as humans. Ty is right though - Xians are probably the winners. And catholic priests seem to molest an awful lot of boys. Which is a pity because the catholic clergy I've met are exceptionally wonderful people, and even armchair agnostics like me could use some of their advice.
posted by Settle at 2:36 PM on February 26, 2002


ParisParamus, I don't want to hijack the thread here, but what would those passages in the texts of Christianity that call for the destruction of unbelievers be?
posted by Wulfgar! at 2:37 PM on February 26, 2002


Oversimplification; compare Christ as a prophet with Muhammad as a prophet, and Islam as a faith to Christianity as a faith. However it's spun, Christianity still has the numbers.

Seems like an oversimplified response to me. Could you be more specific? "Christianity still has the numbers."?
posted by aaronshaf at 2:40 PM on February 26, 2002


Luke 6:27
"But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you..."

You don't see any elitism there? That passage is extremely belittling. It's exactly like Elron telling his preclears to annoy the pants off anyone they meet until they question their sanity enough to join the cult.

Not exactly, fine. Just note also that there God commited 2 commandments to covetousness and not swearing at your parents while never once thinking that ones about slavery and cruelty could save us all a lot of trouble later on.
posted by Settle at 2:40 PM on February 26, 2002


ParisParamus, I don't want to hijack the thread here, but what would those passages in the texts of Christianity that call for the destruction of unbelievers be?

Perhaps others can offer specific examples (or correct me if I'm mistaken).
posted by ParisParamus at 2:41 PM on February 26, 2002


Given the horde of Biblical passages on humility, I seriously doubt this was belittling!

And remember the alternative: "HATE your enemies".
posted by aaronshaf at 2:42 PM on February 26, 2002


There are wacky Christians. But they aren't running any governments.

too easy...
posted by signal at 2:44 PM on February 26, 2002


too easy...

Well, at the very least their wackyness is not overtly religious.
posted by ParisParamus at 2:47 PM on February 26, 2002


<cough>Ashcroft</cough>
posted by NortonDC at 2:49 PM on February 26, 2002


How quickly we forget "faith-based" initiatives...
posted by solistrato at 2:52 PM on February 26, 2002


practically speaking, the passages on humility are ignored by most everyone. Despite what christians are told to be like, many simply act like who they assume are good christians. This is exactly why I'd prefer a protestant world to a catholic one, but that's not the issue. I don't see a lot of humility from religious folk (and I'm not just talking about Pat Robertson) aside from christians in relation to a god they believe could kick their ass any day of the week. Furthermore, the comment "I will pray for you" boils blood. It implies that the speaker has a power, or access to power, or some sort of essential rightness which by no fault of their enemy has been denied them.

Way I see it is this - if god created all men, your enemies are yours and yours alone. And if you're the best christian you can be, you won't even need to worry about enemies. There is nothing more inoffensive than a monk.
posted by Settle at 2:53 PM on February 26, 2002


Love him or loath him, nothing JA has done on the job can be construed as overtly religious (though he does give me the creeps).
posted by ParisParamus at 2:53 PM on February 26, 2002


Could you be more specific? "Christianity still has the numbers."?

just what I wrote above: historically speaking, if comparing the number of innocents slaughtered, Christianity beats Islam, hands down.
posted by Ty Webb at 2:57 PM on February 26, 2002


I don't see a lot of humility from religious folk (and I'm not just talking about Pat Robertson) aside from christians in relation to a god they believe could kick their ass any day of the week.

"Of all bad men religious men are the worst." Despite the failure to practice the precept of humility, the precept remains, and the vast difference between Christ and Islam remains.

Furthermore, the comment "I will pray for you" boils blood. It implies that the speaker has a power, or access to power, or some sort of essential rightness which by no fault of their enemy has been denied them.

It implies that the enemy has by his own volition chosen no to access that power.
posted by aaronshaf at 2:57 PM on February 26, 2002


Furthermore, the comment "I will pray for you" boils blood. It implies that the speaker has a power, or access to power, or some sort of essential rightness which by no fault of their enemy has been denied them.

It implies that the enemy has by his own volition chosen no to access that power.


So can I pray against somebody and cancel out their prayer?
posted by Ty Webb at 3:05 PM on February 26, 2002


Just a side note: I've noticed, while channel surfing, that there is this emergent theme on the Christian networks, post September 11th, not of the 'prophecies' of the Book Of Revelations being fulfilled--always a perennial favorite and now present with a vengeance--but something I hadn't noticed before: one concerning the evangelization and conversion of the Islamic world. So far, it's appearance has been rather coy in my samplings--random testimonials read from former Muslim converts read on air by Hal Lindsey's sidekick, say, or occasional fervent and barely indirect appeals, but it's there. I wonder if this is of a piece.
posted by y2karl at 3:08 PM on February 26, 2002


Geezum crow, aaronshaf- at what point are you going to just start posting Chick pamphlets as FPPs?
posted by hincandenza at 3:08 PM on February 26, 2002


Is evangelizing arrogant or kind?
posted by ParisParamus at 3:09 PM on February 26, 2002


Are we taking votes? Arrogant, in the extreme.
posted by NortonDC at 3:10 PM on February 26, 2002


OK. One vote for arrogant:

l
posted by ParisParamus at 3:12 PM on February 26, 2002


Could you be more specific? "Christianity still has the numbers."?

just what I wrote above: historically speaking, if comparing the number of innocents slaughtered, Christianity beats Islam, hands down.


You know, I see this claim alot, and I'd really like to see the numbers to back it. I'm not saying its wrong, but I think that western sensitivity, colored as it is with protestant outcry against authority, may have made American's and Western Europeans a bit jaded about Christianity. The Crusades - Holy War or Property Scuffle. The Inquisition- Cleansing for Christ or Solidifying political power against enemies? The Holocaust - Social program or Choosing Christ's Aryans against the brown skinned heathens? Just because Christ's name is used for justifying violent avtion does not mean that it is "christian" violence.

Perhaps others can offer specific examples (or correct me if I'm mistaken).

Actually, ParisParamus, I do think you are mistaken, but I mean no insult thereby. The story of Christianity is one of covenents, deals made with God. The covenant that matters is the last one, where God sent his son to suffer the pain of death and the resurrection to eternal life, so that those who follow his teachings of peace would know relief from everlasting punishment. There is no quote from Christ which promotes the destruction of enemies.

Before anybody thinks that I'm here to take Bunnyfire's place, please keep in mind that I am a raging agnostic, but somewhat well educated about the topic.
posted by Wulfgar! at 3:17 PM on February 26, 2002


You can mind your own beeswax and keep those goddamn kids away from my bushes
posted by Settle at 3:18 PM on February 26, 2002


Is evangelizing arrogant or kind?

I vote arrogant, but is it really if you're doing the work of God? (Become you fishers of men, and all that?)
posted by Wulfgar! at 3:19 PM on February 26, 2002


Maybe we should author a collective list of agreed upon truths so as to avoid completely unsurprising and nasty threads. I nominate:

1.) Pat Robertson speaks not for the best of the Christians nor for the best of Americans and it does not surprise us when he says awful things.
posted by n9 at 3:19 PM on February 26, 2002


And as someone somewhat versed in Eary Christian art, if you really want to piss them off tell them that in want of their own religion they stole one from the jews - iconography and all.

Or you could turn the other cheek. And the other one.
posted by Settle at 3:20 PM on February 26, 2002


Is evangelizing arrogant or kind?

I suppose it depends on your definition, but I think any idea worth holding is one that you'd want to share and turn others on to. Some of the most vehement evangelists I've met have been vegetarians.
posted by Ty Webb at 3:21 PM on February 26, 2002


Just because Christ's name is used for justifying violent avtion does not mean that it is "christian" violence.

I completely agree, and apply the same reasoning toward "Islamist" violence.
posted by Ty Webb at 3:23 PM on February 26, 2002


and doesn't evangelizing require a more subtle dialog than 1.) Go find heathens, who are wrong wrong wrong. 2.) Make them x-brand-believers who are right right right? Seems like Christianity did get started growing with this kind of smugness -- I think that it could be argued that anything beyond 'lead by an example of love (and/or happiness) and let others seek to emulate you' is a little tacky when it comes to matters of belief.
posted by n9 at 3:23 PM on February 26, 2002


n9, I'll play.


2.) Pat Robertson, John Ashcroft and other so-called evangelicals are not authorities on Islam and hence should not promote actions based on their own ignorance.
posted by Wulfgar! at 3:25 PM on February 26, 2002


Just because Christ's name is used for justifying violent action does not mean that it is "christian" violence

Good point, Wulfgar!. True for Buddhism, Judaism, and Islam as well. Of course there is genuine religious violence, but all of them are based on what are generally agreed to be twisted versions of the faith.
posted by cell divide at 3:25 PM on February 26, 2002


Don't know why my link didn't work, that's what I get for trying to be cute. Here's Merriam-Webster:

Main Entry: evanĀ·geĀ·lism
Pronunciation: i-'van-j&-"li-z&m
Function: noun
Date: circa 1626
1 : the winning or revival of personal commitments to Christ
2 : militant or crusading zeal
posted by Ty Webb at 3:26 PM on February 26, 2002


So can I pray against somebody and cancel out their prayer?

No, only the will of God can be appealed to in prayer.

hincandenza - Never, I'd rather talk to people.

Arrogant or kind? Well, if there are no real existent ethics and kindness and arrogance don't matter, and all morals are mere manifestations of human emotion, does it really matter?

*sigh*

It is kind. I will never cease to evangelize, whether it be by revelling with my floormates, charity, or discussing issues on Metafilter.
posted by aaronshaf at 3:29 PM on February 26, 2002


I think posting Robertson to the Front Page is as bad as posting Bush because he flubbed a word or phrase. It's ridiculously petty and annoying. Don't get me wrong; I hate Robertson and his public speaking, but MeFi has seen a Robertson/Falwell/Coulter thread at least once a month for a very long time.

This is getting tired, folks. We get it that atheists exist in this world. I agree that extreme religious zealots are bad. But do we really need a "Robertson/Falwell/Coulter said something stupid" thread every fucking month. They are zealots. Say it with me...zealots. MeFi members understand; we don't need monthly reminders.
posted by BlueTrain at 3:30 PM on February 26, 2002


I vote for arrogant. I also vote that bathing your ychildren in more than a limited exposure to religion is coercive and wrong.
posted by ParisParamus at 3:31 PM on February 26, 2002


Wulfgar, aaronshaf, I'm no bible scholar... but this guy has a pretty good list of about 200 examples of the bible inciting violence.

And I'm sure you can just as easily quote 200 verses that "prove" the opposite. (Or just quote the same two over and over again. ;)

My point is that by pulling quotes out of context, you can make any religion look like a bunch of bloodthirsty monsters.
posted by ook at 3:32 PM on February 26, 2002


And as someone somewhat versed in Eary Christian art, if you really want to piss them off tell them that in want of their own religion they stole one from the jews - iconography and all.

Actually, it is the fulfillment of true Judaism. Just check our Jewish prophecy. Isaiah, etc...
posted by aaronshaf at 3:34 PM on February 26, 2002


oy vey.
posted by ParisParamus at 3:36 PM on February 26, 2002


And after reading aaronshaf's BLOG, I have come to the realization that he actually believes what Robertson is saying. Eh crap; I'm left in a quandry. Do I help with the MeFi bashing of Robertson, so do I stand by my principle and keep out of the pettiness? Damn my ethics.

aaronshaf - please use a more credible resource to help further your religion.
posted by BlueTrain at 3:36 PM on February 26, 2002


ook - "...excluding times where God was literally leading the nation of Israel". I'd invite you to actually check out those scriptures in their context.

"My point is that by pulling quotes out of context, you can make any religion look like a bunch of bloodthirsty monsters."

True, true. I guess the difference comes down to this: I believe by reading the context you can prove otherwise with Christian scriptures. I can't say the same for Islam.
posted by aaronshaf at 3:38 PM on February 26, 2002


aaronshaf, doesn't the fact that you want us to leave out a large chunk of the bible when considering your argument kinda weaken your point?

I believe by reading the context you can prove otherwise with Christian scriptures. I can't say the same for Islam.

Is that because you actually know anything about Islam other than what Pat Robertson has told you?
posted by ook at 3:40 PM on February 26, 2002


Oh, never mind, forget I said anything. This is pointless.
posted by ook at 3:41 PM on February 26, 2002


Poor religionists...of every stripe. Only us atheists have the One True Answer.

Wait, is that too militant?
posted by davidmsc at 3:43 PM on February 26, 2002


BlueTrain, ook - sure, take a look:

"Fight and slay the pagans wherever you find them. Seize them. Beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them" (Qur'an, Surah 9:5).

"Fight them. Allah will punish them by your hands and bring them to disgrace" (Qur'an, Surah 9:15).

"O' ye that believe, take not Jews and Christians as your friends and protectors" (Qur'an, Surah 5:54).

"Fight with them until there is no more persecution. Religion should only be for Allah" (Qur'an, Surah 8:39).

"The punishment for those who war against Islam is execution or crucifixion. Cutting off hands and feet from opposite sides" (Qur'an, Surah 5:36).

---

Luke 6:27
"But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you..."

Proverbs 3:31
"Do not envy a violent man or choose any of his ways..."

and many, many more...

---

aaronshaf, doesn't the fact that you want us to leave out a large chunk of the bible when considering your argument kinda weaken your point?

Absolutely not, because I believe that God has the right to kill sinners, because He is just. Ever heard of the term "playing God"?
posted by aaronshaf at 3:43 PM on February 26, 2002


A troll he is, and look, he gets all this attention..

aaronshaf, each of those above passages has a context (usually revealed during/before battle) in which it has to be taken. The Qu'ran exists as a 'textbook' with the life of the Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) acting as a context for this information.

I would go through each one, bringing up the additional info, but all of the above were already covered in post-sept 11th Qu'ran demonising - have a peek in the archives around that time, and until then, trust me ;)

In the end, how many people know their religious books back to front? And how many of the over a billion muslims in the world do you see terrorising people? If it were even 1 in a thousand, that would be a good million or two knocking around.. The problem is not in the religion, but in the people.

posted by Mossy at 3:52 PM on February 26, 2002


So, your god is allowed to be violent, but nobody else's is. Sure, that sounds fair.

I'd invite you to take a look at those Quran verses in context. Islam is big on fighting against those who attack it -- not too surprising for a religion that has crusaders trying to wipe them out from time to time. But it's equally insistent on making peace with your enemies the moment they stop making war against you.

(on preview: what mossy said. And I do realise I'm jsut feeding the troll, and I'm shutting up now, I promise.)
posted by ook at 3:55 PM on February 26, 2002


Damn slow connection - as an addendum, the life of the prophet Mohammad (pbuh) is in the set of books known as the hadith - which are pretty darn reliable for 1500 year old texts - although not as reliable as the Qu'ran of course (in its final form, compiled ~ 100 years after revelation with pronunciation marks - the non pronunciated (is that a word?) version was carefully stored before this).

beddy bye time - peace everyone..
posted by Mossy at 3:56 PM on February 26, 2002


So can I pray against somebody and cancel out their prayer?

No, only the will of God can be appealed to in prayer.


What if it's God's will that their prayer be canceled out?

I believe that God has the right to kill sinners, because He is just. Ever heard of the term "playing God"?

Can God use me as an instrument to kill sinners? Because I think I hear him calling me...

[Evangelism] is kind. I will never cease to evangelize, whether it be by revelling with my floormates, charity, or discussing issues on Metafilter.

aaronshaf,
I was raised in the church, and I'm familiar with all of its contradictions. I would invite you to save yourself (and us) the embarassment.
posted by Ty Webb at 3:56 PM on February 26, 2002


aaronshaf, buddy, at least TRY and pick similar quotes.

deuteronomy 13:

6 If thy brother, the son of thy mother, or thy son, or thy daughter, or the wife of thy bosom, or thy friend, which is as thine own soul, entice thee secretly, saying, Let us go and serve other gods, which thou hast not known, thou, nor thy fathers;
7 Namely, of the gods of the people which are round about you, nigh unto thee, or far off from thee, from the one end of the earth even unto the other end of the earth;
8 Thou shalt not consent unto him, nor hearken unto him; neither shall thine eye pity him, neither shalt thou spare, neither shalt thou conceal him:
9 But thou shalt surely kill him; thine hand shall be first upon him to put him to death, and afterwards the hand of all the people.

and it goes on and on and on! putting people to the sword, even as cattle, etc, etc, etc...
posted by th3ph17 at 3:57 PM on February 26, 2002


aaronschaf -- what Christian faith are you affiliated with?
posted by n9 at 3:59 PM on February 26, 2002


I cannot believe how selective aaronshaf and his bible passages are.

Wait. . .yes I can.

This is a stupid thread started obviously with the sole intent that at one point aaronshaf could crack open his Josh McDowell library and "encourage us to prayer" with him.
posted by crasspastor at 4:01 PM on February 26, 2002


Good point to note the differences between the Bible and the Koran. The caligraphy used in the Koran says more than the words do alone. This cannot be translated of course. The Koran is simple, and it goes backwards from end to beggining I seem to remember.
Not to be an ass, but from the Graphic design standpoint, The Bible is to the Koran as Dianetics is to Wittgenstein's Tractatus.
posted by Settle at 4:06 PM on February 26, 2002


ook, keep me out of the lump. I never suggested that the Bible doesn't deal with violence.

Wulfgar, aaronshaf, I'm no bible scholar... but this guy has a pretty good list of about 200 examples of the bible inciting violence.

I would like to point out that much of that violence is prophesized and/or commited by God himself. Believe what you want, but Christianity doesn't ask anyone to kill for Jesus. I'd appreciate, if one is motivated that way, for anyone to show me where it does.
posted by Wulfgar! at 4:09 PM on February 26, 2002


Pointing to the Old Testament to impeach Christianity is a no-go since the New Testament purports to moderate and improve it. Of course, you could argue, as most scholars and sane religious people do, that the OT was never to be taken literally and can't be understood unless your are schooled in this reality
posted by ParisParamus at 4:11 PM on February 26, 2002


(Brad reaches back to his Southern Baptist upbringing and comes up with the goods)
The New Testament has some good stuff too, folks.

"I say to you that to everyone who has, more shall be given, but from the one who does not have, even what he does have shall be taken away. As for my enemies who do not want me to reign over them, bring them here and kill them in my presence" (Luke 19:26-27).

"Do not think that I have come to send peace on Earth. I did not come to send peace, but a sword.
(Matthew 10:34-35).

Out of context? Maybe. But hey, it works.
posted by bradth27 at 4:21 PM on February 26, 2002


crasspastor, i think you are right. i feel...dirty somehow. I guess i made this mistake:

i always think people making a Pat Robertson post are trying to make fun of him.

so, i was shocked to see that that wasn't the case.
[i love that word combo, "that that"]

mathew 10:34
34 Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.

that out-of-context quote is for you paris, you made a good point.
posted by th3ph17 at 4:23 PM on February 26, 2002


-This is exactly why I'd prefer a protestant world to a catholic one.
I know it wasn't the point like you said, but I am wondering why. It seems all these inflamatory comments made are by Protestants, and not Catholics (yes, i know there are exception, but i'm referring to this post right now). Like Roberston, who we are talking about, I think he's Protestant. Not bashing, but being a Catholic, i am always curious to here specifics of people's views who are outside the faith.
Also, I don't think evangalizing has to be going door-to-door ot being on the 700 club. Rather, it can be something as simple as saying grace at meals or taking parts in threads like this. I personally don't like the TV-type evangalizing or 700-club type crap, but Jesus also did tell us to spread The Word, so it is up to each person's device, i believe.
Paris- This not taking the OT literaly can also be used in reference to the NT. When I did intense study of the NT, a there is a LOT of symbalism, such as a lot of Jesus' parables were not just what WE ought to do, but Jesus was also talking to a lot of people (Jewish Priests, such as the Pharisees) and what they were doing wrong at the time (remember, at the time when the NT was written, many writers thought the Second Coming was right around the corner). I know people who have also learned this concept, and take it and run with it and find the OT to be anti-semitic. But, thats a discussion for another time.
posted by jmd82 at 4:25 PM on February 26, 2002


Yeah, the Catholics are pretty much innocent.
posted by bradth27 at 4:29 PM on February 26, 2002


Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.
From what I have learned, this is also not meant to be taken literaly, but rather means if you have a choice between someting or Jesus, best ought to take Jesus. For this taken to the extreme (not in a bad way, imho), look at the martyrs. To them, they experienced the sword first hand in the name of Jesus.
posted by jmd82 at 4:30 PM on February 26, 2002


I love everyone. I really do. But the whole "that's not supposed to be taken literally" argument really gets to me. I mean, can I use this at work?

(me)"You Bastard!"
(boss) "You're fired!"
(me) "Geez, I didn't mean for you to take that literally, I just meant, you know, I'm a little upset over the coffee machine getting taken out of the breakroom."
(boss) "Well, jeez, why didn't ya say so! Let's go to lunch!"
Call me crazy. I don't think it will work.
posted by bradth27 at 4:35 PM on February 26, 2002


Wulfgar - apologies, you're quite right.
posted by ook at 4:49 PM on February 26, 2002


Actually, [Christianity] is the fulfillment of true Judaism. Just check our Jewish prophecy. Isaiah, etc...

Maybe it goes without saying, but I feel obliged to point out that according to post-Christian Jewish doctrine, the true Jews are the ones who did not accept the divinity of Jesus. A messiah was indeed prophesied, but, so say the Jews, he wasn't it. Of course, according to Christian doctrine, modern Jews have inherited a religion that failed to acknowledge the fulfillment of its own prophecy.

Arrogant or kind? Well, if there are no real existent ethics and kindness and arrogance don't matter, and all morals are mere manifestations of human emotion, does it really matter?

I think this suggests a real refusal to engage the idea that morals don't have to come from God to matter to people. I find prostletyzing annoying and arrogant, and God didn't have to tell me to see it that way.
posted by bingo at 5:12 PM on February 26, 2002


One of my fondest evil memories is watching Jimmy Swaggart walk stridently across a stage and say:
"If one word in this book is untrue, then let's throw the whole thing out". What a threat.

(I have sinned in the eyes of the Lord. I have watched a fornicator perform before me).

heh, hehe, heh.

(if you don't know what I'm talking about, do a little research, 'kay).

I find prostletyzing annoying and arrogant, and God didn't have to tell me to see it that way.

Are you deaf? Or just pontificating? If God is talking to you what are we to glean from your ignorance?
posted by Wulfgar! at 5:27 PM on February 26, 2002


Blessed are the Cheesemakers...:)
jmd: forgive my ignorance, but if the good man Jesus had meant his - partly illiterate - audience to understand something, why not just say it clearly? I know that a lot of stuff was transmitted orally (ie, you heard it/cannot examine it/ hope you got the interpretation right!), so why make so much of the message obscure in parable/symbol/allegory? The bits which say " I am the way, the truth and the light: no-one comes to the father but through me" are clear: Jesus was able to choose his words carefully, he knew that they would be referred to by many for a long time to come (at least, he seems to have wanted this). We don't need to equivocate: either his words are verbatim, or they are not. The latter option may include: he never said it/ he said it differently/ it's been mistranslated/ it's all fiction/ (.......) other..

Aaronshaf, old buddy: I believe that God has the right to kill sinners, because He is just. Ever heard of the term "playing God"? But who is the actor? Can I play g-d & show my disapproval of S-aron Tate in this way? This is unending, and unenlightening, too. Also: "Arrogant or kind? Well, if there are no real existent ethics and kindness and arrogance don't matter, and all morals are mere manifestations of human emotion, does it really matter?
"
We have conversed before on this, and you never seem to answer: I am a humanist, therefore i can be moral and ethical without reference to your supernatural, undiscovered being. You believe/ I don't; how do we get along without domination, where is the common ground?
posted by dash_slot- at 5:34 PM on February 26, 2002


Do Pat Robertson's words change the minds of anyone or influence people beyond his slavishly loyal crowd? I thought not.
posted by owillis at 5:53 PM on February 26, 2002


Absolutely not, because I believe that God has the right to kill sinners, because He is just.

~chuckle~

Great. And everyone from Bin Laden to Bush to Robertson to that mother in Texas who just drowned her five kids thinks they are doing "god's will".

As far as I see, they're all functioning about at the same level.

"God is just?" If so, that fact should cause trembling in every so-called "Christian" (e.g. Robertson) espousing such hatred.
posted by fold_and_mutilate at 6:21 PM on February 26, 2002


I think that it is my duty to post a comment which trumps all others in relevance practicality and significance. Too often these threads go onto a forever with no future, a sort of aimless purgatory where the blind spend an inconcievable eternity boxing with limp wrists. So without further ado:

PAT ROBERTSON??? MORE LIKE FAT ROBERTSON
posted by Settle at 6:50 PM on February 26, 2002


Mind you, Christianity isn't the same beast as Paulism (Saulism). And the latter is actually what's being practiced in the churches...
posted by five fresh fish at 6:51 PM on February 26, 2002


The covenant that matters is the last one, where God sent his son to suffer the pain of death and the resurrection to eternal life, so that those who follow his teachings of peace would know relief from everlasting punishment.

And to me no more needs to be said as to why Christianity, like almost any other religion I've been exposed to, isn't for me. Buying freedom from eternal suffering for one's own sentient creations with the death and suffering of an otherwise nice man? Sounds like some whack shit to me, and if this is the basis of salvation, leave me out, thanks.
posted by holycola at 7:18 PM on February 26, 2002


Absolutely not, because I believe that God has the right to kill sinners, because He is just. Ever heard of the term "playing God"?

Yea, I have heard of that. It smacks of the same unfathomable arroganice behind speaking for God or gods or whatever. It's like telling the world what God's will is, what he wants, what he loves and hates. If you're willing to let God do his own killing, then let him speak for himself too, or show your credentials.
posted by holycola at 7:26 PM on February 26, 2002


people are funny. i can't wait till the next episode of "The Bible" comes out so i can see how it all ends!
posted by ggggarret at 7:44 PM on February 26, 2002


Here's a tip to the other 13,000 people besides aaronshaf: if you have an ax to grind and a point to make with a sledgehammer, don't make a post just to support your ideals then begin arguing with everyone. Threads that are everyone against you and your crazy crackpot scheme get old quick, and I hope we don't see another one like this again.
posted by mathowie at 7:53 PM on February 26, 2002


Jesus seemed to use parables to reach his audience, using things like fishing and planting they could all relate to as it was most of their professions. When Jesus used parables, he oft time made it clear they were as such, going on to say what they meant. Some things, though, we have to figure out.
posted by jmd82 at 8:03 PM on February 26, 2002


Wow. I just saw a really damning (pun intended) collection of quotes from the founding fathers regarding religion on, of all places, Fark. Quite the anitdote to this administrations mealy-mouthed bullshit, even though I think modern history has finally provided a single example of a major Christian religion acting purposefully and effectively on behalf of the oppressed against a totalitarian regime (the Catholic Church in Poland).
posted by NortonDC at 8:06 PM on February 26, 2002


CC: MetaFilter

Dear Matthew,

You know, the interesting thing about all of this is that I would not get any heat for posting this link if I, too, thought it was ludicrous. Many such links (especially with Pat Robertson) have been posted, but with snide remarks. Whether or not I am covertly or overtly "pressing my views" I am no different than any other MetaFilter member who posts links with corresponding remarks. I tried to be neutral with the link's text, and I saved my own personal thoughts for the conversation. This is the sort of news I read, and I thought other folks might honestly be interested in seeing the source which those who claim Islam to be a violent religion use. It's a hot topic, and a current, relevant issue. It is something that I think needs to be discussed, regardless of how contentious things might become.

Just like the Western canon of literature used in school and the media's choice of news and its demeanor, Metafilter discussion topics are by their human nature what anyone can call "propaganda": ideas, facts, or allegations chosen deliberately for a purpose. Whether that is to "educate" the Metafilter community, or to assert a personal belief, it is the same.

Call me a troll or not, I do NOT post to get a fiery response. I have a foundation with credible roots to discuss what I think, and I believe I should have the same privilege as anyone else to post these types of links and follow up with my thoughts.

I will assume that instead of your concern with "advancing my personal views" you are concerned with touchy religious topics? Conversational peace is what you want, right? Fine, I can see that. I will yield and choose topics more suitable for the Metafilter crowd.

Now the following is meant for humor:

I suppose I will have to stick to posting links like those recent, right?

Like...

"Why Sex with Cars?"

"Canadians have a reputation for being whiners..."

"human wrongs. With the downfall of the taliban, maybe restoration of human rights should focus closer to home."

"The Religious Experience of Philip K. Dick"

"It's time to stop racial profiling and start profiling rich white men. So says one man's editorial. I think we can all agree..."

I mean no disrespect, honestly.

Sincerely,

Aaron

-----Original Message-----
From: Matthew Haughey [mailto:matt@haughey.com]
Sent: Tuesday, February 26, 2002 10:57 PM
To: aaron@aarondot.com
Subject: metafilter

Aaron,

I think it's terribly unfair, selfish, and sets a bad precedent when one member makes a post solely to advance their personal views, then begins a wholesale argument and debate against everyone that disagrees. If any of the other 13,000 people did it, it'd make the site unbearable. I hope you can understand the problem with your behavior today.

Matt
posted by aaronshaf at 9:04 PM on February 26, 2002


Just because you're a Christian and feel it your duty to consider MeFi your mission field, doesn't make the post couth. Why? Because MeFi isn't your mission field. Damned 'meffinaries'.
posted by crasspastor at 9:14 PM on February 26, 2002


Arrogant or kind? Well, if there are no real existent ethics and kindness and arrogance don't matter, and all morals are mere manifestations of human emotion, does it really matter?

We have conversed before on this, and you never seem to answer: I am a humanist, therefore I can be moral and ethical without reference to your supernatural, undiscovered being.

I suppose the root of the problem lies in your foundation for humanism. I look at it this way: if all things are mechanistic, how can we really DO anything? And with that, is humanism due to a manifestation of mechanism? Where does the obligation to perform in the interest of humans come from, other than human emotion?

"...how do we get along without domination, where is the common ground?"

I don't understand what you mean by domination?

I suppose we'll have to continue this through e-mail. (Please do!)

Matthew just pointed out that over 20% of the comments in here are mine... sorry guys, I'll back down. Meffinary! Hah.
posted by aaronshaf at 9:24 PM on February 26, 2002


Wulfgar!: Are you deaf? Or just pontificating? If God is talking to you what are we to glean from your ignorance?

I have no idea what you're talking about. Honestly, no sarcasm intended. You are either not responding to what I said at all, or are kidding, or I am really missing something.
posted by bingo at 9:39 PM on February 26, 2002


I just read - God help me - thru this entire thread and I have to say: you guys (and girls) are better than television. My entertainment dollar has never gone so far.
My 2 cents is that Robertson is an idiot, always has been always will be. The man can't open his mouth without defining ignorance. Jesus may have been a man of peace. staying the swords of his followers at Gethsemane, Mohammand may have considered himself a general at points and led military campaigns. As has been pointed out this has made little difference in the history of these religions or behavior of their adherants. From Ausgustinism to Sufism and back, tolerance and intolorence stand permanently together. I've always liked the line (Matthew 11:12) Flannery O'conner used for one of her book titles. "From the days of John the Baptist until now the Kingdom of Heaven suffereth violence, and the violent bear it away".
posted by Akaky at 10:09 PM on February 26, 2002


Does anyone really take that looney toon seriously? Come on people, he is a zealot whose judgment is clouded by his silly mythology. I wouldn't give him the miniscule press of a mefi thread. Him and Falwell can take long walk off a short pier.
posted by McBain at 10:38 PM on February 26, 2002


How is defending your religious beliefs evangelism, exactly? When someone I talk to defends their lack of a belief in the divine, are they evangelizing to me? I don't understand how so many of you can simply write off what he is saying as arrogant. I admit, he has certainly posted quite a bit to this thread, and the whole damn thing has gone way off-topic (what was the topic again?)

How is expressing or defending your beliefs arrogant? Or is it because people are offended by the 'arrogant' contents of the beliefs, not necessarily the presentation (which I did not find offensive, or arrogant in its tone).

People here are WAY too easily offended and oversensitive, but that's not any different from the norm, real life is exactly the same. Should I be offended when someone tells me they are an athiest, when some of the firstfruits of athiesm include such niceties as the bloody French Revolution or the murderous Soviet empire? I'm not offended, because I'm willing to engage ideas on a philosophical level, considering the history, but not letting that history get me indordinately upset.

I would contend that it is arrogant to assume things about the Christian faith, if you have never read the Bible for yourself, or have sought to understand what the message of Christ is. The fact is, there are plenty of bastards, wolves in sheeps clothing, who use the power of religion for their own self-aggrandizement. It's happened in the name of God and religion throughout history, in many different societies. It will probably keep happening. I'm a Christian, but I hardly agree with anything Pat Robertson says, but it seems that here, if you defend your faith, you are automatically called a proselytizing, arrogant bigoted Pat Robertson apologist. This assumption is patently unfair, and incorrect.
posted by insomnyuk at 10:45 PM on February 26, 2002


i can't wait till the next episode of "The Bible" comes out so i can see how it all ends!

ggggarret, didn't you see this thread? Pick out anything you like.
posted by holycola at 10:55 PM on February 26, 2002


Christianity, Islam... If God had had any sense, he would have remained anonymous.
posted by sunsolid at 6:42 AM on February 27, 2002


um, insomnyuk, read this whole thread again pretending to be Islam and then you might see the flip side. Everything you say regarding defending your faith is true and I feel that aaron's assumptive attitude regarding Islam is what catalyzed much of the criticism he has garnered.
posted by n9 at 7:43 AM on February 27, 2002


Sorry, Matt. You invite us into your living room and we spatter the walls with shit.
posted by Holden at 8:50 AM on February 27, 2002


insomnyuk:I would contend that it is arrogant to assume things about the Christian faith, if you have never read the Bible for yourself, or have sought to understand what the message of Christ is

my father was a college religion instructor for 35 years. Grandfather and uncle as well. I Spent 2 years as a missionary. Turned away by choice, not because of a bad habit i couldn't break. Stuck with it for the first 25 years of my life. Do you think atheists just grow on trees?

I've met very very few atheists who haven't read the bible. I've met plenty of christians who haven't read the Entire thing though. Have you read every page?

read the bible. got the message. didn't like it. Don't ever assume that an atheist doesn't know as much about your faith as you do....i found that the atheists and agnostics i know are very serious about religion, too much so to accept everything. That is the problem.

this thread should have only been a few posts long, since the point of aaronshaf seemed to be to point out how stupid some arab was to call pat robertson Anti-semitic, apparently not realizing that arabs are in fact a semitic people. Pat is a complete knee-biter.
posted by th3ph17 at 10:20 AM on February 27, 2002


th3: 99% of people equate anti-semitism with Jews. There are much better reasons to impeach Robertson. So the poster did no more than expose his own ignorance of modern language.
posted by ParisParamus at 11:05 AM on February 27, 2002


it's easy to quote a few verses and pretend you know something about islam. you can do the same for christianity and come up with the same conclusion, that christianity is a bloodthirsty, warlike religion.

"Let the high praises of God be in their throats and two-edged swords in their hands, to wreak vengeance on the nations and chastisement on the peoples, to bind their kings with chains and their nobles with fetters of iron, to execute on them the judgment written! This is glory for all his faithful ones. Praise the LORD!" -Psalm 149

aaronshaf, the point isn't that you shouldn't talk about or defend your religion. the point is that neither you nor pat roberston seem to be particularly well-educated about islam, and perhaps both of you should reserve your judgement until you've actually gotten some feeling for what islam actually teaches.
posted by shylock at 11:09 AM on February 27, 2002


Have you read every page?

No. I've read the entire New Testament at one point or another, and most of the Old Testament (I skipped some of the geneaologies and the really redundant levitical law, and i've only surveyed the minor prophets). Even reading it all doesn't exactly count, I don't remember most of what I read, I remember key themes and ideas. Understanding is the issue, but on the other hand that's murky as hell because people decide to interpret things differently. I respect your position, especially since you have investigated the issue. Many athiests and agnostics I know have spent a lot of time studying religion, granted. But when someone says that, because Christianity is bad because of the way certain regimes have acted, they are engaging the idea not on it's merits, but merely on the historical examples of the abuse of that idea. Of course I'm shooting myself in the foot with that argument, so whatever, looks like I'm confused again.

The only reason I don't think it's correct to call Robertson's anti-islam statements anti-semitic, is because Islam is not dependent on any specific race. The same goes for Christianity and even Judaism. Just being technical.
posted by insomnyuk at 11:55 AM on February 27, 2002


It's heartwarming to see that, once the flamewar ended, the rational people showed up and started having a real, honest discussion. &lt;/cheerleader&gt;
posted by ook at 12:41 PM on February 27, 2002


I think we should have a "worst book in the Bible" contest. say Proverbs, hands down. Agony to get through.
posted by rodii at 2:11 PM on February 27, 2002


thanks for the link, holycola.
posted by ggggarret at 7:51 PM on February 27, 2002


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