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Five Pillars of Islam
April 3, 2002 2:22 PM   Subscribe

Five Pillars of Islam Bradley County, one of several Tennessee counties to vote recently to post the Ten Commandments, has been asked to extend its endorsement of religious documents in public places to include the Five Pillars of Islam. Smith (the commission chairman) said he respects Cate's beliefs but believes that, particularly since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks that have been blamed on extreme factions of Islam, it would be inappropriate to post the Five Pillars. Would it be appropriate to post if there had been no 9-11 or is it just inappropriate.
posted by onegoodmove (42 comments total)

 
Posting both is inappropriate; unless they want to post a copy of every religious text, including ones I completely make up.
posted by skyline at 2:29 PM on April 3, 2002


(by both, I mean either)
posted by skyline at 2:30 PM on April 3, 2002


My knee-jerk reaction is to say, "oh shit, the more things change, the more they stay the same, and why are Tennesseans so backward?" But then I remember that this request was put in by a local female high school student, something that would never have happened 30 years ago. In 30 years, when the likes of Rachel Cate are in charge, what will Tennessee look like? Patience, I think, is the Miracle-Gro of progress.
posted by risenc at 2:31 PM on April 3, 2002


What are the pillars?
posted by ParisParamus at 2:36 PM on April 3, 2002


Feudin', Fishin', Freakin', Froggin', and Funk!

Wait, those are the five pillars of Tennessee. Sorry.
posted by UncleFes at 2:38 PM on April 3, 2002


More here, including a description of the pillars. Link via Fark, oddly enough.
posted by yhbc at 2:41 PM on April 3, 2002


Hey! Those are MY five pillars, Unc!
posted by black8 at 2:41 PM on April 3, 2002


I think Christians have perpetrated some pretty awful acts of terror and violence as well.

What are the Five Pillars of Islam?
posted by daveadams at 2:42 PM on April 3, 2002


Those are MY five pillars

Their obvious attractions are universal, hence the wide-ranging influence of fundamental Tennesseeism.
posted by UncleFes at 2:43 PM on April 3, 2002


Well, I have no objection to the Ten Commandments, but even if I did, only the first of the Pillars is anywhere sufficiently universal (it's one of the Commandments), so [buzzer sound].
posted by ParisParamus at 2:45 PM on April 3, 2002


The Five Pillars of Metafilter: Double Posting; Trolling; Error Occurred While Processing Request; Take it to Metatalk; and Thou Shall Not Be Allowed To Become a Member.
posted by ParisParamus at 2:48 PM on April 3, 2002


I think this is an awesome story and clearly illustrates the prejudice and hypocrisy of the "God Bless America" crowd... sure they will tack up the 10 commandments in every public space given the chance and they will also whine about "equal time" for stuff like creation science - but when the roles are shifted even slightly they become objectors to religious expression when it's not their own.
posted by wfrgms at 2:49 PM on April 3, 2002


I say let'em go up. Last I checked, there's no official religion in America, so if one religion's paraphernalia is allowed, so should others'.
posted by me3dia at 2:57 PM on April 3, 2002


I think it’s inappropriate to discriminate (don’t you?), of which this is clear case. When people learn that hate is not an American value?

True, it would impossible to display all religious texts from all religions. However, if one group of a community is allowed to post their important religious texts, would it not be sensible to allow other members of that same community, who happen to be of differing faith, to post their own important religious texts upon request? Gosh, that seems to make too much sense. Would not a such a regime be totally consistent with the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment? And be fair to all? Seems like it to me.
posted by Bag Man at 3:00 PM on April 3, 2002


I agree -- I'd just as soon no religious claptrap were quasi-officiated in such a manner, but if we're gonna slap the Commandments up there we might as well have a free-for-all and erect some Pillars too.
posted by donkeyschlong at 3:02 PM on April 3, 2002


Someone needs to design a poster with every religious belief's major statements on goodness and morality-- anything that has more than 2.5 million adherents in America. A dizzying array of morality would make any child's head spin!
posted by cell divide at 3:04 PM on April 3, 2002


Here's the latest in a lawsuit brought by the Freethought Society of Greater Philadelphia to remove the Ten Commandments from the county courthouse in Chester County, Pa. A federal judge has ruled in favor of the plaintiff, represented by the ACLU, but the county wants to keep the plaque up pending appeal.
posted by barkingmoose at 3:07 PM on April 3, 2002


"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion" pretty much says it all, I should think. And even those who believe that the commandments are universally accepted anyway would have a hard time getting "You shall have no other gods before me" across to a non-believer.
posted by aaronetc at 3:08 PM on April 3, 2002


Let them put up the First Pillar with an option for another to be named later.
posted by ParisParamus at 3:08 PM on April 3, 2002


Speaking as a Muslim, I think the five pillars are pretty much meaningless to anyone who doesn't practice Islam.

On another note - can I have them put up the Ferengi Rules of Acquisition?
posted by laz-e-boy at 3:22 PM on April 3, 2002


"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion"

And guess what... Congress didn't. The powers not specifically delegated to the congress were reserved to the states... what does Tennessee's state constitution have to say, I wonder?
posted by dissent at 3:29 PM on April 3, 2002


I want the Four noble truths of Buddhism placed up there also.

(This could become ridiculous)

(oh... It already is)
posted by MaddCutty at 3:34 PM on April 3, 2002


The Ferngi Rules of Aquisition are cool Laz-e-boy. There are too many of them to be posted on the wall of a school or a courthouse.
posted by MaddCutty at 3:41 PM on April 3, 2002


The Ten Commandments are interesting in a courtroom because they are a concise and (mostly) secular attempt to describe how how individuals should behave within the community. Don't lie, don't steal, don't kill, don't commit adultery, don't bear false witness: these are probably the minimum standards to which the Hebrews held all people, even strangers. The rules are kept separate from the myriad of rules about how to be a good Jew; they're more basic than that.

In that sense they actually look like the (imperfect, unintentional) beginnings of a separation of church and state. In fact, given that Muslims, Jews and Christians believe in the same God, how does the presence of the Ten Commandments offend a person from any of those religions? The commandments don't seem to be any less compatible with Islam than they are with Christianity.

By contrast, the Five Pillars of Islam -- worthy though they are in a religious context -- are concerned almost exclusively with how to be a good Muslim, and are in many ways incompatible with the other faiths.
posted by coelecanth at 3:44 PM on April 3, 2002


yes- ALL or nothing- this is, of course, up to the voters of that individual state...my opinion, however, remove all religious references, especially in Fed buildings...we should all be equal under the law- religion only leads to discrimination one way or the other. Do what you believe on your own dime.
posted by ayukna at 3:47 PM on April 3, 2002


these are probably the minimum standards to which the Hebrews held all people, even strangers.

No. That would be the Seven Commandments of Noah:

1. Thou shalt not engage in idol worship.
2. Thou shalt not blaspheme God.
3. Thou shalt not shed innocent blood of any human being nor fetus nor ailing person who has a limited time to live.
4. Thou shalt not engage in bestiality, incestuous, adulterous or homosexual relations nor commit the act of rape.
5. Thou shalt not steal.
6. Thou shalt establish laws and courts of law to administer these laws, including the death penalty for those who kill, administered only if there is one testifying eye witness.
7. Thou shalt not be cruel to animals. 
posted by ParisParamus at 3:51 PM on April 3, 2002


Well, there you go. I never saw these before. Compared to the Ten Commandments they look like a half-season of "Cops". Still, I think I'm on the right track.
posted by coelecanth at 4:06 PM on April 3, 2002


If you post one you have to post them all.
posted by revbrian at 4:15 PM on April 3, 2002


But since I approve of idol worship and don't think there is anything wrong with cursing god then these rules shouldn't be included. I am not going to hell if I say god damn (even on mefi).
posted by MaddCutty at 4:22 PM on April 3, 2002


Paris Paramus: What do you mean by 'universal', exactly? Do you mean merely what is common to the three Abrahamic religions? Because Commandments 1-4, at least, don't seem to apply to any other religion, or any generally applicable ethical system. Even if we put our only-monotheism-counts goggles on, Commandments 3 and 4 are not recognized by Islam, whose adherents speak the name of God all the time, and do not observe a Sabbath day.
posted by skoosh at 4:33 PM on April 3, 2002


dissent: the Supreme Court has held that the first amendment does apply to the states, although you are quite correct that the language of the amendment suggests the opposite.

Damn those activist judges!
posted by boltman at 6:01 PM on April 3, 2002


The only universal 'religious' belief might be the belief that there is "something(s)" beyond physical reality. Whether that is monotheistic, polytheistic, or metaphysical (which just means 'beyond physical'). "Put no other gods before me" doesn't mean squat unless you believe in only one god. "Thou shalt not covet thy neighbors' wife..." seems essentially to be about thought control, and that's the LAST thing that laws ought to be meddling in - laws should govern physical actions, not beliefs. And is there an atheistic set of guidelines - something about freedom FROM religion that could also go next to all of these proclamations? Plaster the walls with 'em! *grin* Show the diversity side by side - might do well to pop some of the illusions of unity/society based on 'sameness'. Blah blah blah. *grin*
posted by thunder at 6:08 PM on April 3, 2002


...the wide-ranging influence of fundamental Tennesseeism

You mean worship of this guy? Count me in. Although we shouldn't forget his pal, Chumley.
posted by jonmc at 7:50 PM on April 3, 2002


This thread is pretty funny. I wonder how many death fatwahs have been issued since it began.
posted by ParisParamus at 7:58 PM on April 3, 2002


At this point, we have our agendas full, and there's no point in the immediate future to address that,'' Commission Chairman Mike Smith told Cate.

this is making it to my quote of the year list. agendas full, indeed.
posted by lescour at 9:12 PM on April 3, 2002


So if they allow the Ten Commandments to stand, are they saying the actions of the KKK, a fanatical Christian organization, are "OK?"
posted by Mach3avelli at 11:15 PM on April 3, 2002


I wonder how many death fatwahs have been issued since it began.

That's pretty funny, Paris. Say, how about every time you make a crack like that, I make an anti-Semitic remark and we call it even?
posted by laz-e-boy at 11:21 PM on April 3, 2002


No offense intended, laz-e-boy. I mean only to offend those who think Islam sanctioned Osama Bin Laden to orchestrate what he has. And the suicide bombers. And Salman Rushdie's pursuers, et al. Also, I don't think my remark was inconsistent with referencing Star Trek in this thread.
posted by ParisParamus at 4:19 AM on April 4, 2002


how does the presence of the Ten Commandments offend a person from any of those religions?

It may or may not, but you know, there are other religions around.
posted by daveadams at 6:24 AM on April 4, 2002


I think the bottom line is that posting the Ten Commandments, or any religious-based text is wrong. Even if you agree with The Ten (or Seven), and obviously, not everyone does, the appearance of favoritism, of privileging some creeds over others is improper. And alienating.
posted by ParisParamus at 6:43 AM on April 4, 2002


Paris: S'ok. Seemed out of context at the time.
posted by laz-e-boy at 8:24 AM on April 4, 2002


I am so over this. Situated slightly south of Tennessee, us folks here in Alabama just put the feller who hung the Ten Suggestions in his courtroom on our state supreme court. This is the same guy who opposes teaching evolution and sex ed, of course (can't have our first cousins f*cking monkeys, it spoils the wedding night).

< start rant>
I concede. Fine. Post the whole g*ddamn Old Testament for all that I care. "For I am a jealous God, so f*ck all you sinners." Turn the whole state into a snake-handlin' bouffant-hairdoed Christian freak show. There are people in the South STARVING and ILLITERATE but our sense of "Christian" compassion would rather make sure they bear their unwanted children without health insurance or access to adequate child care because thou shalt not commit adultery see it sez so right here over Judge Roy Moore's dead body.

It's disgusting, it's hypocrisy, it's the Bible Belt. You know, it's a damn shame too because I've lived and traveled all over the Deep South and most people are honest hardworking good people who have been LIED TO and SHIT UPON by their elected officials and employers for so many generations that FEUDALISM best describes their condition.

But by all means, let's be Christian about it. Jeez.

< end rant>

(OK, so I should probably move, right?)
posted by BitterOldPunk at 2:42 PM on April 4, 2002


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