A Philosopher's Blog

The Myth of Christian Persecution

Posted in Politics, Religion by Michael LaBossiere on May 16, 2011
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It is true that Christians were once subject to persecution. However, the Christian faith that the Romans had suppressed eventually became the dominant faith of the Empire. It collapsed in the West (the Empire that is), but the Eastern Empire endured. Christianity survived the collapse of the Western Empire and spread throughout Europe and eventually became the dominant faith in North America.

Oddly enough, some people claim that Christians are being persecuted in America today. Odder still, the folks who make this claim often also claim that America is a Christian nation. To use one example from a reply on this blog:

America is SO OBVIOUSLY a Christian nation. Christians now, who are psycho- persecuted by far left wingers and atheist “Jews” cannot even worship freely without “Chrislam” now invading into their doctrine, as well as left wing and even atheist Jews DEMANDING that they call it a “JUDEO-Christian” nation.

This quote nicely sums up this dual position. First, America is claimed to be  Christian nation. Supporters of this view point to the number of churches and selectively quote (thus often committing the Fallacy of Accent) the writings of the founders as “evidence” for their view. It is also typically claimed that Christians are the majority and, of course, most politicians profess a Christian faith. One problem with settling this matter is that there is not an established account of what is meant by “Christian nation.” I will be writing more about this in another post.

Second, it is claimed that Christians are persecuted. As evidence, proponents of this view claim that Christians are denied the right to pray, that states forbid the display of Christian symbols (like the nativity scene), that there is a war on Christmas and so on. However, these claims are often unfounded (such as is the case with the alleged war on Christmas) or exaggerated. In any case, this is a factual matter and can be settled by empirical research.

On the face of it, these two views seem to be at odds. If America is a Christian nation that is awash in churches, then it seems odd that a minority of non-Christians would be able to persecute the Christians. Of course, it is not impossible. After all, South Africa’s majority black population was cruelly oppressed by the minority white population. However, we do not see a powerless Christian majority in America that is being subdued by a powerful minority of non-Christians. Powerful and influential leaders, from the President on down, claim to be Christians. Churches with great wealth and influence abound. Christian business people, academics, scientists, lawyers, police, soldiers and other professionals abound. If all these Christians are being persecuted, they do not seem to show signs of this persecution and to allow it to happen in the face of their power, influence and wealth would show an amazing ineptitude on their part.

This is not to say that some Christians do not feel persecuted. However, this often seems to be caused by a distorted perception of reality (like the war on Christmas) or by the belief that a failure to get what they want (such as prayer in schools) is a form of persecution.

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65 Responses

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  1. T. J. Babson said, on May 16, 2011 at 7:56 am

    On the other hand, Christians are being persecuted in the Islamic world on an unprecedented scale. Soon there won’t be any Christians left in dar al-Islam.

    Mob attacks Christian protest in Egypt

    CAIRO (AP) — An angry mob attacked a
    group of mainly Christian protesters
    demanding drastic measures to heal
    religious tension amid a spike in violence,
    leaving 65 people injured, officials said
    Sunday.

    The Christian protesters have been holding
    their sit-in outside the state television
    building in Cairo for nearly a week following
    deadly Christian-Muslim clashes that left a
    church burned and 15 people dead.

    More than 100 people rushed into the sit-in
    area, lobbing rocks and fire bombs from an
    overpass and charging toward the few
    hundred protesters sleeping in the area.
    Vehicles were set on fire and fires burned in
    the middle of the street.

    http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/2011-05-15-egypt-protest_n.htm#

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on May 16, 2011 at 12:58 pm

      An excellent point. Christians do face the risk of persecution in some parts of the world. But not in America.

      • magus71 said, on June 12, 2011 at 7:02 am

        Muslims are more persecuted in Muslim countries than Muslims are in Christian countries, no?

  2. rambleandrant said, on May 16, 2011 at 12:10 pm

    What’s with the ‘atheist “Jews”‘ reference? Seems like a red herring, frankly.

    • FRE said, on May 16, 2011 at 4:22 pm

      Not necessarily.

      Some people define themselves as cultural Jews who do not believe in God, i.e., their sense of values is determined by their Jewish heritage, but they reject the existence of God. However, not all people who define themselves as cultural Jews are atheists; some are deists, and some are Christians.

      My sister, who is probably actually a deist, defines herself as a cultural Christian.

  3. magus71 said, on May 21, 2011 at 11:10 am

    “Christians do face the risk of persecution in some parts of the world. But not in America.”

    Now, Mike, write the same type of article concerning blacks, Muslims, Hispanics, and atheists. Christians are hardly the loudest or most common voice when it comes to accusations of persecution.

    • FRE said, on May 21, 2011 at 3:59 pm

      Quite true. It’s only a minority of Christians who claim to be persecuted. Usually it’s the ones who are attempting to impose their views on others. Of course, given that we have free speech here in the U.S., they have a right to state their views, but unfortunately, some go well beyond that thereby causing a negative reaction which they claim to be persecution.

      • magus71 said, on May 22, 2011 at 1:18 am

        Persecution is too strong a word. I would say that I’m better off keeping my faith to myself in most company. It’s really the one thing that I cannot talk openly about without snide remarks of some sort, or hyperbolic statements about how right-wing Christians have ruined America.

        • FRE said, on May 22, 2011 at 2:33 am

          I can understand that.

          Even though I am a Christian, when someone tells me that he is a Christian, I often have a negative reaction; I wonder what is coming next. Often they express some narrow doctrinal viewpoint and assume that it is impossible to be a Christian without agreeing with them and that anyone who disagrees with them will be condemned to be everlastingly tormented in hell fires. For example, they may insist that the Bible is, in its entirety, 100% the word of God, that there are no errors or inconsistencies in it, and that anyone who doesn’t accept that is not a Christian. Or, they may insist that the earth was created in six days and that anyone who disagrees is not a Christian. Or, they may insist that gay persons cannot be Christians. They may insist that everyone should be able to state the exact time and date on which he was saved. Many of them are unable to accept that people who disagrees with them can still be Christians.

          A few years ago, someone actually attempted to interrogate me, and I am not exaggerating. I was having dinner at a restaurant with a friend and someone from the Gideon Society that my friend knew. When the Gideon asked me if I was a member of the Gideons, I told him that, because I took a less literal view of the Bible than the Gideons required, I was not eligible. Then, the interrogation began, and in an extremely abrasive and aggressive manner!! Being polite didn’t work. I ended up bluntly telling him that he was attempting to interrogate me and that that was entirely inappropriate, after which he didn’t speak to me again during the entire meal.

          It is because of the above that I am often uneasy when someone tells me that he is a Christian. It should be possible to discuss differences in opinion amicably, but unfortunately, it is not.

        • Michael LaBossiere said, on May 23, 2011 at 2:49 pm

          Since most Americans profess to be Christians, it seems odd that snide remarks about the faith would be very common.

          • FRE said, on May 23, 2011 at 8:10 pm

            Christianity is not monolithic. There are differences of opinion among the plentitude of denominations and also within denominations. Unfortunately, these differences in opinion, instead of leading to amicable discussions, sometimes lead to snide remarks or even worse. Too often we see the spectacle of groups of Christians mutually excommunicating and anathematizing each other. In earlier times, some Christians would have other Christians burned alive at the stake because of differences in opinion.

            • frk said, on May 23, 2011 at 9:17 pm

              It is not uncommon for a difference in interpretation of a single Biblical verse to lead to a schism within a congregation. A schism often leads to the creation of a new church bearing a “new” (often the old name with the word “Free” or “Evangelical” or “Holy” or “New” tacked on to describe the perceived difference).

            • FRE said, on May 24, 2011 at 2:10 am

              It would make more sense for people to learn to respect differences in opinion; some have, but obviously many have not. That’s one reason we have so many denominations.

              No doubt we are all wrong on a few points. If we had to be right on everything, we’d all be in serious trouble.

              Many people seem not to understand the difficulty of interpreting ancient texts. Often scholars don’t know the meaning of words in the original language. And, after translation is done, sometimes the definition of words changes in the new language. For example, the word “prevent” used to mean “to go before.” The word “fabulous” comes from the word “fable” and something that was said to be fabulous was considered to be a fable. The changed definition of English words is a real problem with the King James version of the Bible.

              Then too, probably many things in the Bible were not intended to be taken literally at the time they were written. The two creation stories in Genesis probably came from oral tradition which was centuries old, and greatly elaborated upon, before they were finally written down. Not all of the parables are necessarily true; they were intended to illustrate moral truths so whether they actually occurred is irrelevant. Perhaps future historians will think that we believed the Paul Bunyan stories.

              Part of the Bible is the history of the Hebrew people. All people, when they write their history, try to make themselves look as good as possible. Thus, it shouldn’t be surprising if the ancient Hebrews did the same thing to rationalize genocide and other behavior which we find unacceptable.

              Some of the laws in the Bible no doubt reflect ancient culture; there are many such laws which few people now would see as binding. For example, surely we would not advocate putting a disobedient child to death or stoning a woman who committed adultery.

              People who really believe that the entire Bible is the literal word of God and totally accurate surely have a right to believe that, but they have no right to insist that everyone believe as they do. And, even if they really believe that, there are still arguments about interpretation, and that causes divisions even among the literalists.

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on May 23, 2011 at 2:31 pm

      Persecution, in the the very strict sense of the term, is generally not practiced as a national policy against anyone. Defined more liberally, however, people can argue for the persecution for all sorts of groups.

  4. Aaron said, on May 21, 2011 at 5:33 pm

    It might be helpful if you: (1) defined what you mean by “Christian persecution”; and (2) give quotes from recognizable Christians about Christian persecution in America and not just a reply on your blog.

    • FRE said, on May 21, 2011 at 6:11 pm

      That’s a good question; it’s too bad that no one asked it before.

      Some Christians seem to see it as persecution when they are unable to lead students in group prayers or pray before a group of students. They insist that prayer in schools has been made illegal even though individuals can still pray privately in silence; perhaps they think that God requires a certain number of decibels to hear. Others seem to see it as persecution when schools refuse to treat “creation science” as science and include it in science classes. Others seem to see it as persecution when they are unable to keep evolution from being taught in schools.

      I’m a Christian, but I don’t feel persecuted.

      It really would be interesting if others stated clearly and exactly what they mean by “Christian persecution.”

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on May 23, 2011 at 2:47 pm

      Good point. “Persecution” does need a proper definition. I have just been winging it and resting on the general usage of the term.

      • magus71 said, on May 24, 2011 at 5:25 am

        I would say that there is an anti-Christian bias in many places.

        • FRE said, on May 24, 2011 at 1:34 pm

          Yes, and it’s often the result of the overly aggressive and heavy-handed behavior of some Christians.

          • magus71 said, on May 26, 2011 at 5:43 am

            Merely saying I’m a Christian is enough to justify bias? Apply your thinking to black people or women. Doesn’t sound so good, does it?

        • Michael LaBossiere said, on May 24, 2011 at 1:52 pm

          Sure. Just as there are anti-atheist biases in certain places.

          • magus71 said, on May 26, 2011 at 5:44 am

            Mike,

            This is a similar argument you use when defending Islam: It’s all equal everywhere. But it’s not. Which is more acceptable in today’s America? Criticizing Christians, or criticizing blacks and women?

            • Michael LaBossiere said, on May 26, 2011 at 3:00 pm

              I’ve never argued that Islam is equal everywhere. I distinguish between the various sects and, of course, I distinguish between the types of behaviors various Muslims engage in. So, for example, I do not consider Joe the Muslim as equal to Bin Laden.

              Your question needs to be narrowed down a bit. If you mean criticizing women or blacks solely because they are women or black, then that is clearly not acceptable. Likewise criticizing a person solely for being Christian and not based on any specific action would also be unacceptable. If you mean criticizing people who also happen to be women or black or Christian because of some action that can be legitimately criticized, then that is fine.

              After all, “you are wrong because you are a Christian/Black/Woman” would be an ad homimem. But, “you are wrong because of legitimate reason R” is fine.

  5. FRE said, on May 22, 2011 at 3:29 pm

    Here’s a post that I found on another website. It’s somewhat off-color, so feel free to delete it if you feel that it’s too inappropriate:

    *I find that religion is like a dick.
    *It’s fine to have one.
    * It’s fine to be proud of it.
    *But please don`t whip it out in public and start waving it around.
    *Also, please don’t try to shove it down childrens throats.

    • T. J. Babson said, on May 22, 2011 at 3:59 pm

      So catechesis is like molesting a child? Isn’t that a bit extreme?

      • FRE said, on May 22, 2011 at 4:13 pm

        Yes, it is extreme. It wasn’t my idea, but I thought it might be useful to post the opinion of someone else even though its appropriateness is at least questionable. It’s good to know how some other people think even if it’s somewhat beyond the pale.

        • magus71 said, on May 23, 2011 at 12:52 am

          So it’s ok to be offensive in this manner, but please don’t talk to me about being a Christian?

          • frk said, on May 23, 2011 at 5:09 pm

            Why not? Some people take their specific religion less or more seriously than others. It follows that for some such a statement would be more or less offensive than for others.

            Also, believe it or not, some people are non- believers. They don’t appreciate Christian proselytizers any more than Christians would appreciate atheist proselytizers. They would likely find it particularly distasteful and/ or disturbingly ironic coming from members of the Catholic Church, given the Church’s handling of child-molesting priests.

    • frk said, on May 22, 2011 at 10:03 pm

      The religion/dick simile works, and even though the last sentence may be unacceptable for those of a more sensitive ilk, that sentence fits nicely into the simile as a whole.*

      * A simple modification should eliminate most objections: “Also, please don’t try to shove it down the throats of others.”

      • FRE said, on May 23, 2011 at 2:17 am

        I find it unacceptable too, but I’m not the one who said it. I simply copied it from another web site to show what some people think. It is rather extreme but I think that we should be aware of the attitudes of others.

      • magus71 said, on May 23, 2011 at 5:19 am

        Well, I’ll take my Christian ethic over the ethics of the person who conjured up that garbage.

        • FRE said, on May 23, 2011 at 2:39 pm

          I agree with Christian ethics. What I oppose is trying to force one’s belief system onto others except to the extent required for social justice.

  6. FRE said, on May 24, 2011 at 4:35 pm

    Here’s a link to an article that shows what some Christian schools are teaching:

    http://www.alternet.org/teaparty/151046/the_%27christian%27_dogma_pushed_by_religious_schools_that_are_supported_by_your_tax_dollars/?page=1

    The article perhaps implies that ALL Christian schools are behaving as described, but that is an exaggeration. Not all Christian schools teach bad science and distort history, but apparently doing so is common.

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on May 25, 2011 at 4:01 pm

      Do the Jesuits know about this? They have some excellent scientists.

      • FRE said, on May 25, 2011 at 10:48 pm

        I’m sure that the Jesuits do know about the rewriting of history and teaching bad science. However, I’m not accusing them of doing it. It’s my guess that they would be good science teachers, but I don’t know whether or not they are teaching history objectively.

      • magus71 said, on May 26, 2011 at 5:51 am

        FRE: Well again, define Christians schools here. You’re cherry-picking info just like a good liberal. Last time I checked, Notre Dame had pretty high academic standards as does BYU (unless you’re a person who doesn’t consider Mormonism Christianity; in any event–the students are high quality as is the teaching); the most respected school ,academically speaking, in the area that the Mike and I grew up in was John Bapst, a private high school. I’m being anecdotal, but it seems off the top of my head, that private christian schools do much better than most.

        • FRE said, on May 26, 2011 at 2:15 pm

          Magnus: Here is what I wrote in an earlier post: “The article perhaps implies that ALL Christian schools are behaving as described, but that is an exaggeration. Not all Christian schools teach bad science and distort history, but apparently doing so is common.”

          I assume that somehow you missed that post and would not have accused me of stating that ALL Christian schools teach bad science if you had read it. I also suggest that you check out the link that I posted.

          Not also that I myself pointed out that the article, to which I posted the link, tended to lump all Christian schools together. If I myself lumped all Christian schools together, I would not have pointed out that the article did so.

          Also, I do not appreciate you making assumptions about my political viewpoint. A person can have just about any possible political viewpoint and still recognize the fact that some Christian schools teach bad science and distort history. Please carefully note that I did not state that ALL Christian schools do that. Again, pay extremely careful attention to what I have written; I am not painting all Christian schools with the same brush.

          I have concluded that it is totally impossible to write anything carefully enough to avoid having it twisted and misinterpreted, either intentionally or unintentionally, to mean something considerably different from what is intended.

          • magus71 said, on May 27, 2011 at 2:11 am

            Well, with all your qualifying and caveats, why did you post it at all?

          • frk said, on June 11, 2011 at 9:22 pm

            FRE: You fail to comprehend that you simply cannot make a comment a few Christian schools without being accused of indiscriminately attacking all of Christianity. By the same token, you should be willing to accept “cherry-picked” sections of the Quran or any flimsy critique of a fringe militant group of Islam like Al-Queda as valid criticism of the entire religion.

            I’ve accepted that and simply step back to the role of observer.

            • FRE said, on June 11, 2011 at 9:41 pm

              I DO NOT fail to comprehend that I will from time to time be falsely accused of saying something which I clearly did not say. I fully comprehend that no matter what I say or write, people will twist and distort the message. It is impossible to prevent them from doing that. It is the responsibility of readers and listeners to read and listen carefully and to refrain from twisting the message for the purpose of attacking the messenger. If something is ACTUALLY unclear, they can ask questions for clarification.

              I’m sure that people, either through carelessness or malice, have been distorting messages for thousands of years.

              In that message, I did not address the Koran and see no reason to do so now. Probably doing so would lead to more accusations.

            • frk said, on June 11, 2011 at 9:47 pm

              I”m pleased you accepted my comment in the ironic sense it was intended. :)

        • Michael LaBossiere said, on May 26, 2011 at 3:01 pm

          But Dean and I crushed John Bapst in debate. Of course, Dean was a Lutherian, so perhaps that was the secret of our success. That and my awesome clip on polyester tie.

  7. Nick said, on June 11, 2011 at 4:09 pm

    I would bring your attention to a recent debate held in Westminster Hall, in which David Simpson MP outlined for the record ‘a record of blood, a trail of suffering and a denial of basic humanity to many tens of thousands of people.’ That is to say, Christians. You may view the debate here:

    http://www.parliamentlive.tv/Main/Player.aspx?meetingId=8446&st=14:30:21

    • FRE said, on June 11, 2011 at 5:26 pm

      Unfortunately, it seems that there is something required by the link that I don’t have loaded onto my computer.

  8. FRE said, on June 11, 2011 at 5:30 pm

    Recently a TV program covered the case of about six Muslims in our armed forces who were treated as terrorists even though there was no reason to believe that they were terrorists. They were eventually released, without apology, from custody. Now, because that is on their records, they are experiencing serious employment problems. There have been a number of cases indicating that Muslims are being persecuted here in the U.S. I know of no cases in which Christians have had their freedom thus restricted for religious reasons.

    • T. J. Babson said, on June 11, 2011 at 5:47 pm

      FRE, can you supply a link? Exactly what was on their records? Did they not receive honorable discharges?

    • magus71 said, on June 12, 2011 at 6:54 am

      Oh–you mean Major Hassan? Before or after he was talking to al-Qaeda?

      I can attest truly that I’ve seen many injustices in the Army–but NONE of them have been based on religion. Not once. The military is essentially as non-religious an entity as I’ve ever worked in. We are bombarded with training on the proper treatment of both sexes and all religions. At basic training, people were provided mosques to pray in.

      When I first deployed to Afghanistan, a Defence Intelligence contractor I worked with (of Pakistani decent) had to go pray 5 times a day during Ramadan while I held his M-4 carbine. He fasted all day and couldn’t smoke during that time–all the while we were hunting for traces of al-Qaeda and that Taliban in Sayedabad District.

      There is no evident religious discrimination in the military. Not against Christians or Muslims or atheits. The military has lots of problems–that’s not one of them.

  9. FRE said, on June 11, 2011 at 9:11 pm

    I wish I could provide a link, but I cannot. It was a TV program, 60 minutes if I correctly recall. The accusations apparently appear on their records which, according to one of them, caused him to lose his job and is creating serious problems for him.

    I did a google search on “Muslim military discriminate” and found a few hits, but not directly related to the TV program. Try doing similar searches; you fill find that there is a real problem.

  10. frk said, on June 11, 2011 at 10:25 pm

    I Googled ” American military discriminates against muslims” and found this incredibly wtf!! site at the top of the page:

    http://www.militaryreligiousfreedom.org/…/mrffs-mikey-weinstein-interviewed-by-the-washington-post-on-religious-discrimination/

    Other than that I’ve found nothing about six Muslims suspected for terrorism and Sixty Minutes .

    • FRE said, on June 11, 2011 at 11:22 pm

      I also found those two items. The comments were especially disturbing. It’s unfortunate that we were unable to find a link to the TV item.

      “Christians” who discriminate against Muslims have no right to complain when Christians are discriminated against in countries which are predominately Muslim. That’s something which they apparently fail to understand.

      I’ve met a number of Muslims and all the ones I’ve met seemed to be reasonable people. Unfortunately, as we know, there are Muslims who are not reasonable, but one can find unreasonable people in any religion.

  11. magus71 said, on June 12, 2011 at 7:07 am

    “Unfortunately, as we know, there are Muslims who are not reasonable, but one can find unreasonable people in any religion.”

    Ahh–the sweet smell of relativism. Have all religions throughout history had the same effects on thier respective civilizations? Surely you’re not saying that if you placed 1 million Muslims on a large island, and 1 million Christians on another, in 100 years they’d reach the same level of accomplishment?

    • frk said, on June 12, 2011 at 10:36 am

      Interesting figures here (esp. in terms of rel. pop. growing and dropping). :

      http://www.religioustolerance.org/worldrel.htm

      What I’d really like to see is a complete, objective survey of the number of killings ( and maimings as well) that can be directly attributed to each religion over a randomly chosen time span. From 10AD to 2000 AD. Or from 400AD to 900AD. Etc. Is there any relationship between the growth or decrease in the size of the religion and of the increase or decrease in the number of deaths ?
      Perhaps this way we’d have a better chance of knowing whether FRE’s statement has “the sweet smell of relativism” about it. Is it like the smell of napalm in the morning?

      • magus71 said, on June 12, 2011 at 11:19 am

        Oh you’ll never hear me say that the Christian West is not a better killer than the Islamic East. If we weren’t we wouldn’t exist as we now do.

        It’s just as most police officers are better pistol shots than criminals.

        • frk said, on June 12, 2011 at 12:15 pm

          You’re confusing me here. Is the US military killing in the name of Christ or is it killing to protect the United States of America? Is Al Queda killing in the name of Islam, or is it a diverse band of hoodlums killing in the name of different purposes depending on its location of choice at the time. I’m always hearing that the difficulty with dealing with Al Queda is that it is NOT a country (but rather, you know, a fringe movement of a religion–kind of like a widespread intelligent version of the KKK. Didn’t the KKK carry Bibles to its ceremonies?).

          So the reality is that the most successful religion will be the religion that kills best. . . If it’s more sophisticated than that, please expound.

          • magus71 said, on June 13, 2011 at 2:25 am

            You’re comparing the KKK to al-Qaeda? Next we’ll be talking about the Salem Witch Trials, too. The KKK is so passe’. Just ask most Democrats over 80 years old.

            The difficulty in dealing with al-Qaeda is not only that it’s transnational–it’s that they don’t play by rules are are very brutal. Brutality works. And death is a promotion to many in al-Qaeda.

            “You’re confusing me here. Is the US military killing in the name of Christ or is it killing to protect the United States of America?”

            We do most of our killing in the name of self defense. Athens and Sparta were better at killing than the Persians were (Thermopylae, Battle of Marathon), the Romans throughout most of their history were better killers than the surrounding barbarian tribes and finally crushed Hannibal and Carthage. It’s a terrible truth that powerful nations must do a fair amount of killing to maintain their way of life.

            You should travel more; you’d REALLY want to protect your way of life if you saw the other options. Christianity forms a solid base for a powerful and strong culture. It’s not very romantic out there.

            Again, read Max Weber’s The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism. Weber was not a believing Christian by the way. A powerful economy quite naturally enables a strong military. Islamic countries basically only provide oil for the world and not much else. And actually, most of the Islamic countries do not even provide oil.

            Al-Qaeda is not the only problem we face from Islamism. Fortunately, most of those problems pale in comparison to the dangers presented by the Soviet Union. Islam’s ability to build great nations seems even smaller than communism’s….

            • frk said, on June 13, 2011 at 8:36 am

              I believe terrorists are terrorists are terrorists. By any other name, they’re terrorists. KKK. Mafia. the Medieval Church. Al Queda. And I guess brutality is relative. Is cutting off a human head worse than the head vice used in the Inquisition? (Was that self defense?)
              And where does dragging a human being behind a truck going 60 mph down a dirt road stand on the list? Being very brutal seems to be a requirement of successful terrorists.

              “You should travel more; you’d REALLY want to protect your way of life if you saw the other options.”

              I’ve been to more places than some and fewer than many. China. France. Morocco. Italy. Britain. Mexico, and all over the US. I hope to travel more. I’ve taken two lessons away from my travels: 1/ I prefer and want to protect my way of life 2/ Human beings of real worth live all across the globe and come in many colors, sizes, shapes, and religions.

      • T. J. Babson said, on June 12, 2011 at 2:49 pm

        Smells like BS to me. Who the Hell are the Ontario Consultants for Religious Tolerance?

        • frk said, on June 12, 2011 at 8:26 pm

          The following would seem to get us about as close as we can get to who the Heck the Ontario Consultants for Religious Tolerance” are.
          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ontario_Consultants_on_Religious_Tolerance
          Also, Mike has an “About Me” section; Religious Tolerance.org has an “About Us” section. Right there on the left side of the page.
          http://www.religioustolerance.org/aboutus.htm
          Whatever—- the information about the size of religious groups mirrors the info at Wiki on Major Religious Groups.

          Which still leaves us with my obvious point unaddressed:
          “What I’d really like to see is a complete, objective survey of the number of killings ( and maimings as well) that can be directly attributed to each religion over a randomly chosen time span. From 10AD to 2000 AD. Or from 400AD to 900AD. Etc. Is there any relationship between the growth or decrease in the size of the religion and of the increase or decrease in the number of deaths ?”

          • magus71 said, on June 13, 2011 at 8:48 am

            “I believe terrorists are terrorists are terrorists. By any other name, they’re terrorists. KKK. Mafia. the Medieval Church.”

            Unsurprisingly, you left out the Black Panthers.

            • magus71 said, on June 13, 2011 at 8:52 am

              And it didn’t take the military force of 50+ countries to defeat the KKK as it did al-Qaeda in Iraq. YOu and Mike amaze me with your ability to deceive yourselves when it comes to measuring intensities. And the KKK is pretty much a thing of the past. Important, but not nearly as important as right now.

            • frk said, on June 13, 2011 at 9:11 am

              My bad. The Black Panthers. Black September. Red Brigade. White supremacists. Etc. Etc.
              Please don’t allow my ignorant omission to mask the remainder of my statement. Esp:” 2/ Human beings of real worth live all across the globe and come in many colors, sizes, shapes, and religions.” You omitted that from your 6/13 2:25 am. (Unsurprisingly?)

              I offered two options 1″in the name of Christ” 2/protect the United States of America” You responded
              “We do most of our killing in the name of self defense.”

              http://usmilitary.about.com/od/joiningthemilitary/a/oathofenlist.htm

            • frk said, on June 13, 2011 at 9:19 am

              Again, my bad. I have difficulties with measuring intensities. Squeezing a person’s head ’til he’s dead, seems like some pretty intense shit to me. :(

  12. magus71 said, on June 12, 2011 at 7:11 am

    One of the best essays ever written on the truth about Islam: Professor Bernard Lewis, Princeton University, writing:

    http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/1990/09/the-roots-of-muslim-rage/4643/

    • FRE said, on June 12, 2011 at 12:28 pm

      I read the ENTIRE article and found it very interesting. Part of it probably explains the behavior of some Christians who feel the need to impose their will on others since, in some respects, their thinking is not unlike the thinking of Muslim fundamentalists who see the U.S. as their enemy. An example is the widespread support of California’s proposition 8 which amends the CA constitution to prohibit same-sex marriage. Some denominations of Christians even raised funds in other state to support proposition 8. These same Christian groups have also opposed the repeal of “Don’t ask, don’t tell.”


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