Saturday, March 21, 2015

The words “moderate, enlightened and liberal” do not describe the Church of God International






The words “moderate, enlightened and liberal” do not describe the Church of God International
By
Lonnie C. Hendrix

Among Armstrongites, the CGI has enjoyed a reputation for being more moderate and enlightened in its approach to many of the Worldwide Church of God teachings. I guess such a reputation would have some validity if we were comparing them to the groups led by Flurry, Pack, Thiel and Meredith. However, if we take a closer look at what they preach and publish, we can see that the initial impression gives way to more of the same old stuff.

For example, The International News has been running a series by Bill Watson entitled “Is a Caliphate in the Making.” In Part One, Mr. Watson writes that the United States and its allies:   “refuse to call these Islamic radicals for what they are. Instead, they opt to “shade” it in gray, obfuscating the direct terminology for more politically correct terms that insinuate criminals, lone wolfs, illegal immigrants, gang members, etc.—actually preferring in some cases to categorize obvious terrorist attacks as crimes, or ‘work place violence.’ The result of this kind of abstruseness does nothing for properly characterizing the real dangers, risks, and potential chaos; the destruction, death, and jeopardy these Islamic radicals pose to the open and free lifestyles of Western Civilization—most throughout North America and Europe just DON’T GET IT!”

In other words, the deceived and ignorant folks who are running the Western Democracies simply refuse “to call a spade a spade.” Never mind that ISIS, al Qaeda and Boko Haram would like nothing better than to turn the war against terror into a fight between the West and Middle East – between Islam and Christianity. What Mr. Watson (and many others in the Armstrong Church of God culture) fails to understand is that language matters. If we concede to them the language and begin speaking in terms of a war against Islam or Muslims, we have handed them exactly what they wanted – they win. Fortunately, the leaders of the Western world understand that these terrorists must be marginalized and separated from the majority of the Muslim world. To win this war and defeat this evil, these folks must be recognized by everyone (including the vast majority of people in the Middle East) as aberrant abominations who don’t have any allies in the world at large.

In Part Two of the same series, Mr. Watson writes:  “Many today don’t accept the biblical connection of the United States and the British Commonwealth nations being the result of migrations from the ancient cultures of the “Lost Ten Tribes” of Israel, and consequent recipients of God’s Abrahamic birthright blessings of physical wealth and affluence.” That sure sounds like British Israelism to me! This teaching many not appear in the CGI statement of their beliefs, but it sure looks like it appears here in one of their chief publications by one of their leading ministers.

Need more proof? Look at their series on “The Chronicles of the Early New Testament Church.” Although it is a slick production, it is basically a rehash of the same old dribble about the grand conspiracy to change the day of worship from the Sabbath to Sunday and introduce a surfeit of counterfeit holy days (for which there is not a shred of objective historical evidence). Consider these other recently featured discussions and articles on their web page:  “Passover? Lord’s Supper? Seder? 14th or 15th?” “Exploring the Pagan Roots of Easter” “What Choice Do I Have?” (a negative message about homosexuality).

Same old stuff wrapped in a prettier package!

21 comments:

Black Ops Mikey said...

And here we have 8 -- count them, 8! -- Bible Studies on Biblical Origins of the United States and British Commonwealth!

It would be so much better to read Foundation of Sand over at Ambassador.Report in flipping book format.

Just when is British Israelism going to day, anyway?

Byker Bob said...

Again, once you examine the widely varied mixture of haplotypes amongst the populace of the UK, even Stevie Wonder could see that the British Isles have been just as much of a melting pot as the USA! There is no Biblical connection to the lost tribes that were never lost, just a guess or leap, similar to those made by Alexander Hislop, who was the defacto methodologist for all of the "research" done by HWA/WCG/AC. Hislop's influence gave them the ability to harmonize completely different principles and events, and to organize them into a marginally salable package, which functioned as HWA's "hook".

There is a spectrum involved here, and there are no true moderates amongst the Armstrong family of churches. What you do see ends up being a conflict in terms, a non sequitur, like "moderate radicals", or "moderate fanatics".

BB

Redfox712 said...

>>What Mr. Watson (and many others in the Armstrong Church of God culture) fails to understand is that language matters. If we concede to them the language and begin speaking in terms of a war against Islam or Muslims, we have handed them exactly what they wanted – they win.<<

How true. PCG also fails to understand this aspect of marginalizing the Al Qaeda like murderers.

Evidence of this may be seen in how PCG's Joel Hilliker wrote about the Fort Hood massacre shortly after it happened in November 2009.

>>After evidence has accumulated for several days, you have to stick your head in the sand pretty deep to say the Fort Hood massacre wasn’t a guerrilla attack on America’s military by an Islamist extremist. ...

Is that policy going to change? The general’s comment is pretty solid proof that not even 13 murders are enough to jolt the military into reconsidering its blind devotion to diversity.

The media’s look-the-other-way response shows that they’re going to keep pretending the greatest danger in the war on terror is increased discrimination against peaceful American Muslims.<<

Of course the Al Qaeda like murderers would like nothing better than Americans to hate the Muslims among themselves in order to exploit that for themselves.

Why on Earth should the US government officials blame Islam for what Nidal Hasan did as Hilliker seems to think they should? That is stupid.

That plays into the hands of al Qaeda terrorists and their like minded ilk. It is wise for US officials to point out that the murderer acted on his own.

It is also just and right to say that what he did should not be used to punish innocent people who had nothing to do with his atrocities.

It is astounding that Joel Hilliker does not seem to understand such elemental things.

Minimalist said...

Around when GTA was being kicked out didn't he state in interview disbelief BI theory?

What happened?

Apparently when later running his own spinoff, he found out best not to touch this sacred dogma!

Anonymous said...

"Why on Earth should the US government officials blame Islam for what Nidal Hasan did as Hilliker seems to think they should? That is stupid."

Here's 3 muslims or ex-muslims who disagree with you, or, alternatively, do not understand "such elemental things," the first of which being Nidal Malik Hasan himself:

1) What did Nidal Malik Hasan have to say for himself after killing 13 and wounding over 30 at Fort Hood? Was it merely some private grievance that drove him, or did it have to do with a worldview, a vision, and an ideology?

"...in an American democracy, 'we the people' govern according to what 'we the people' think is right or wrong, even if it specifically goes against what Alnighty God commands." He further explained that separation of Church and State is an unacceptable attempt to get along with unbelievers, because "Islam was brought to prevail over other religions" and not to be equal with or subservient to them."

According to him, it has to do with an ideology that is both islamic and political, and it involves that ideology prevailing over every other ideology on earth.

You can say that Hasan's explanation of his actions is a "stupid" one, or that Hasan didn't know what he was talking about, and that you, or some pundits are more competent to know Hasan's mind that Hasan himself. I'd like to hear the warrant for such an impossible claim.

2) Ayaan Hirsi Ali

On the Charlie Hebdo massacre:

"When you live the way I live you have to ask yourself over and over again, 'Who are these people who want to kill me and what is it that they want from me? What is it that drives them?' And over and over again, I come to the conclusion that this is not some kind of random event. These are not a bunch of deranged thugs. This is a movement. It is an ideology. The people who are doing this have a vision, and they are united around that vision. And it is embedded in a world religion, and a world civilization...The grim truth is that for me to be safe I have to outlive a generation whose minds are polluted, whose minds are contaminated with this ideology...Within Islam is a radical movement that had declared war on us...This is a fight of ideas, this is a fight of visions. We have a movement that is international, that has the resources, that has the convictions and they want to impose their vision of what they believe on the rest of us, and the more we ignore the ideological component of this equation, the more we get ourselves into the situation we are in now...This is embedded in Islam, and the best way to fix this is to acknowledge that. And when you talk about attitudes and mindset, the first thing that comes to my mind is that it is an attitude toward the koran. All of these individulas who are committing this crime, they treat the koran like a driver's manual. They look at the prophet Mohammed as a moral guide for today. And if they looke at the prophet Mohammed as a moral guide on some instances, that would be okay, but in some instances he cannot be a moral guide...If we want to be part of civilized society, we have to say that the prophet Muhammed, especially in his years after Medina, he cannot be a moral guide for good. He was, from our 21st century perspective absolutely immoral."

Anonymous said...

On The Clash of Civilizations:

"Every creed has a core. The core of islam is to submit to the will of allah by observing the rules in the koran and the hadith [shariah law]. Sure, there are Sunni, Shia, and several sects, but they all subscribe to the same core...al Qaeda, al Nostra, the islamic State, Boko Haram, they didn't just jump from [nowhere]. They are an outcome of that grassroots movement. Because of this, it is more accurate to speak of one islam in the context of a clash of civilizations. It's also important to note that we do not clash with all muslims. Those movements who ignore the obligations of intolerance within their core creed are not at war with us. I'll breifly describe these three sets of muslims that I see...The first set fully subscribes to the core creed and challenges other muslims to do so...I think we are at war with them because we are having a clash with them, but most of all, other muslims are having that clash with them. The second set is a set who are trapped in a state of cognitive dissonance between the core creed and their conscience. They have not made up their minds. They wholeheartedly condemn the atrocities committed by the first set...And finally there is the third set, the reformers and dissidents. The reformers are convinced that the core creed can be bent to suit their conscience. They seek to reinterpret the core creed in order to de-legitimize the first set. The dissidents go even futher. They make the chose between what their conscience tells them is right, and the commands in the core creed, and they go with their conscience. Instead of merely submitting to allah, they stand up to him."

Bernard Haykel, Professor of Near Eastern Studies at Princeton:

"People want to absolve Islam. It's this 'Islam is a religion of peace' mantra. As if there is such a thing as 'Islam'! It's what Muslims do, and how they interpret their texts. Those texts are shared by all Sunni Muslims, not just the Islamic State. And these guys have just as much legitimacy as anyone else...Slavery, crucifixion, and beheadings are not something that freakish [jihadists] are cherry-picking from the medieval tradition, [jihadists] are smack in the middle of the medieval tradition and are bringing it wholesale into the present day." (The Atlantic)

"There's no such thing as a religion of peace...ISIS is in a very strange and unique position among Sunnis in its kind of very deliberate and rapid and wanton use of hereticization of other Muslims. In other words, ISIS is constantly saying that Fadel and others are not Muslim, because they don't agree with them. Sunnis don't normally do that. Historically they don't do that...You try to say that they're errant Muslims...that they've strayed from the straight path. Not to put them outside the veil of the religion...I see ISIS as a symptom of a much deeper structural set of problems in the Sunni Arab world...[It has] to do with politics. With education, and the lack thereof. With authoritarianism. With foreign intervention. With the curse of oil...I think that even if ISIS were to disappear, the underlying causes that produce ISIS would not disappear. And those would have to be addressed with decades of policy and reforms and changes — not just by the west, but also by Arab societies as well." (thinkprogress)

Anonymous said...

isn't Lonnie Hendrix the CGI minister that wrote the article in The Journal saying that homosexuality isn't necessarily sinful???

and isn't CGI the group that loves to mix and mingle with other COGs, including the one that now has a woman delivering sermons???

and didn't CGI have a woman deliver a sermonette at the Feast one year???

Anonymous said...

I hope it is Lonnie from The Journal! We need a new voice that goes beyond the exclusionary bullshit of the other splinter cults. I would rather listen to an intelligent woman than the idiots running LCG, UCG, PCG, CCG, COGWA and RCG, I would rather sit in church by a gay person than a whiney grumbling legalist.

Anonymous said...

Me, too. If the gay person were like Patrick on Anger Management, it would be much less annoying to have accidentally seated next to him than to James Malm, or the Kitchen family!

~Miguel de la Rodente

Anonymous said...

British-Israelism = the doctrine that white people have entitlement to have taken and to keep the best natural resources of the world.

When you boil it down, that's what its about, underneath the rhetoric.

"See all this wealth in North America (and South Africa et al)? God gave it to us white people--by divine entitlement. It was not our choice or doing. It was God's choice and God’s material blessing on us (not on you, unless you become one of us or work with us and benefit too). That is why we late-comers own this wealth in your native land, and rightly so, and why you do not.”

Imperial ideology in the name of God, pure and simple.

No different than slave-owners and slave-owner wannabes in slavery days hearing pro-slavery sermons directly out of the Bible. Same thing, an old old story, the more things change the more things are the same …some people claiming xyz reasons why they have rights to other people’s wealth and fruits of their labor and their natural resources and land.
gld

Miller Jones said...

To Anonymous 3/22 at 9:04, Although I delivered many sermons to two different CGI congregations and wrote several articles for the "International News," I was never a licensed or recognized minister of that organization (My speaking license was issued by an Alabama congregation of the 7th Day Baptist Church many years ago). Relative to the CGI stance on homosexuality, you may also wish to listen to Mike Nolen's message "Subjective Abomination" (fair warning: it's hard to listen to this diatribe). Finally, the lady in question no longer attends CGI and the sermon in question was delivered to an unaffiliated congregation of the COG 7th Day.

Redfox712 said...

To Anonymous 9:00 AM,

You have responded to my comment. I will gladly respond to your comment. I thank you for responding. It shows that you care about this topic and that is good.

However I must respectfully disagree with your stance on this matter.

I have no regard for what Nidal Malik Hasan has to say. He is a murderer.

As far as I understand it he became sympathetic to Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (Yemen). They speak for a bunch of murderous terrorists operating in some poor area of Yemen. I would not imagine that they somehow represent all of Islam.

There is no such thing as "Islam united all together". There are a billion Muslims but they do not act as one. Once one looks closer one will discover that they are as varied as any other people. There are numerous disagreements and differences in attitude throughout the Muslim world.

Nidal Malik Hasan may imagine that (his version of) Islam is fated to dominate the world but will all humanity convert to his version of Islam, or rather more accurately the cause of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula? The answer is clearly no. He is speaking nonsense that should be regarding as just Al Qaeda-like crazy talk.

In regards to Ayaan Hirsi Ali she happens to be a part of the Islamophobia Network as identified by the Center for American Progress.

>>Hirsi Ali however is well known for her anti-Islam views. "Violence is inherent in Islam—it’s a destructive, nihilistic cult of death, said Hirsi Ali. "It legitimates murder … the battle against terrorism will ultimately be lost unless we realize that it’s not just with extremist elements within Islam, but the ideology of Islam itself."

In a 2007 interview with Reason magazine, Hirsi Ali said “we are at war with Islam,” called Islam "a violent ideology," claimed "there is no moderate Islam," and advocated for closing all Islamic schools. During the interview, she also called for amending the U. S. Constitution in order to discriminate against Muslim Americans and criticized President George W. Bush for saying that the United States is not at war with Islam.
<<

But I will say though that I have heard about her through the years. I felt very sorry for her after she had to go into hiding following the villainous murder of Theo Van Gogh. That must have been a most frightening ordeal that she and Van Gogh did not deserve.

I will also state that there is no clash of civilizations. Many Muslim majority nations are allied with the United States. Turkey which is a part of NATO. Egypt has a peace treaty with Israel. Saudi Arabia has been closely aligned with America since FDR's day. Qatar, Kuwait and Bahrain all host US military bases.

What's going on here? Are the governments, composed of Muslim individuals, part of "our" civilization and their opponents are part of this "Muslim" civilization?

And as for Bernard Haykel, aside from the two articles you cited, with all due respect to him, I have never heard of him.

But I will note that Haykel states that ISIL is quite bizarre and usual:

In other words, ISIS is constantly saying that Fadel and others are not Muslim, because they don't agree with them. Sunnis don't normally do that. Historically they don't do that.

That fits in with what I said above: politically there is no such thing as "Islam united all together". Rather movements within the Muslim world need to be viewed by themselves, not as part of some non-existent unitary whole.

Although some of these strange Al Qaeda like murderers say they are fighting for Islam they are actually fighting for themselves in order to eventually gain power for themselves. They do not speak for the world's one billion Muslims.

The one billion are perfectly capable of speaking for themselves and the vast majority of them hate the Al Qaeda like murderers.

Anonymous said...

Okay, Let's see...

function() {
RELIGION(Core creed)=DISABLED;
LOGIC(Ad hominem)=ENABLED;
IF Ad hominem="Center for American Progress" THEN value="TRUE";
INPUT {target="https://www.americanprogress.org"};
INPUT {target="https://islamophobianetwork.com"};
IF Ad hominem="murderer" THEN value="FALSE";
IF Ad hominem="islamophobe" THEN value="FALSE";
IF Ad hominem="never heard of him" THEN value="FALSE"
}

I am sure that you will be pleased that I have completed the necessary corrections to my logic circuits. I can give you my complete assurance that my work will be back to normal now.

Redfox712 said...

In response to the 2:06 am comment,

It fails to confront with the ideas I was presenting and does not provide any kind of proper answer to what I said.

>>RELIGION(Core creed)=DISABLED;<<

What "core creed" are you referring to? Only a very few extremists happen to believe they are justified in murdering people in the way Nidal Malik Hasan did.

The vast majority of Muslims hate the Al Qaeda like murderers. That is why the Shiite Iraqis, Kurds in Iraq and Syria, Free Syrians, Iran, the surrounding Arab nations are all fighting ISIL.

Also there are numerous Islamist movements which, while being conservative in how they manage themselves and in what they teach, happen to not participate in politics or use violence instead believing it is better to teach their religion in peace. Times of violence would interfere with peaceful study. But they do not tend to attract much media attention because they do not engage in violence. This point was mentioned in The Atlantic article that was mentioned in the 9:01 am comment.

Extremist organizations that murder people need to be judged in context by themselves without unnecessarily insinuating that innocent Muslims are somehow guilty by association. We need to carefully distinguish between the guilty and the innocent.

>>LOGIC(Ad hominem)=ENABLED;<<

The conclusions are not that simple. For instance I have come to view the idea that there is some sort of "clash of civilizations" in a very negative way because it is simply untrue.

Many Muslim majority and Arab nations are in fact aligned with the US. Most of the countries in which the dramatic events of the Arab Spring occurred in with in countries allied with the US, namely Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen and Bahrain. (One could also mention Libya as relations between the Gaddafi regime and the West had improved in the years immediately before 2011.)

>>IF Ad hominem="Center for American Progress" THEN value="TRUE";
INPUT {target="https://www.americanprogress.org"};
INPUT {target="https://islamophobianetwork.com"};<<

Not true at all. What they said is not merely an ad hominem attack. Back in 2011 they made a report entitled Fear, Inc. What they did was investigate the various organizations infamous for vilifying Muslims by looking at where their money came from, seeing if anyone who working in one anti-Muslim organization worked in another related organization, etc.

Turned out a lot of the vitriol aimed against Muslims in recent years in America are just coming from a few people closely connected with each other (David Horowitz, Robert Spencer, Pamela Geller, Gaffney, Emerson, etc.).

And these few people are largely funded by just seven charities that had donated $42 million to these groups between 2001 and 2009.

It is not ad hominem to note these things.

(Incidentally what you said above is actually an ad hominem attack against these groups because you are implying that what they say is not worth listening to simply because of who they are, instead of dealing with what they are actually saying.)

>>IF Ad hominem="murderer" THEN value="FALSE";<<

It is not ad hominem to note that Nidal Malik Hasan and the terrorists of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula operating in Yemen in actual fact merely speak for themselves, not all Muslims everywhere. It is not ad hominem to note these things.

Redfox712 said...


>>IF Ad hominem="islamophobe" THEN value="FALSE";
IF Ad hominem="never heard of him" THEN value="FALSE"<<

I did not engage in ad hominem against Bernard Haykel at all, but instead I pointed out how some of what he was quoted to have said agrees with what I said as may be seen in my previous comment:

>>But I will note that Haykel states that ISIL is quite bizarre and usual:

In other words, ISIS is constantly saying that Fadel and others are not Muslim, because they don't agree with them. Sunnis don't normally do that. Historically they don't do that.

That fits in with what I said above: politically there is no such thing as "Islam united all together". Rather movements within the Muslim world need to be viewed by themselves, not as part of some non-existent unitary whole.<<

I said I "never heard of him" outside of the two articles cited in the 9:01 am comment.

As far as I can tell the writer of the 9:01 am comment knows as little of Bernard Haykel as myself. If the comment had cited anything else he said I would have known that the commenter knew more about him than I do. But I cannot. I had read both of those articles and the commenter only cited those two very same articles which indicates to me the commenter know about him about as much as I do which is not much.

Anonymous said...

"What "core creed" are you referring to?

I'm referring to what the koran and hadiths actually say.

The exact same thing is true for christianity.

Christianity also has a barbaric core creed, it's just less barbaric, and more incoherent, making it easier (or impossible not to) for people to cherry-pick, reason that this is done away, or that is done away, or this doesn't apply, or that is obsolete and thus justifying myriad and sundry departures from it. But the core creed itself remains unchanged, as a barbaric document, ready at all times to inspire fresh barbarism.

Do you think the American Civil War was fought by Northerner christians versus Southerner infidels? NO! Why? Because slavery is a full-fledged part of the christian core creed! You might not like that, but it's right there in the bible just the same. The southern slave holders were just as good a christians as anybody else because slavery is part of the christian core creed. For the time being, enlightenment philosophy has taken a front seat, and the christian world has all decided to ignore that part of their core creed. But if there were to be some sort of devastating apocalypse and we were to lose sight of enlightenment values, and things were to begin to swing back toward religion again, do you think that slavery would not return along with it? Polygamy? Crusades? Inquisitions? Pogroms? Witch trials? Why would all the barbarism, the "ghost of christianity-past" not return? This is a threatening spectre.

In christianity and in Judaism, we also have the same sets of people, just like what Ayaan Hirsi Ali was describing. Those who pay very close attention to what the text says, like Hasidic Jews. The christian bible is WAY too incoherent for anyone to pay very close attention to all of it, even though folks like James Malm thinks he does, so christian "orthodoxy" is squarely in the second set. But even christians wind up with their Puritans, from whom the Baptists and Adventism are derived, who give it a shot anyway, as well as sects like the Branch Davidians. In Armstrongism, I was a full-fledged, card-carrying member of the second set, trapped in a state of cognitive dissonance between the core creed and my conscience, unable to make up my mind. Then I did, and I left. Then you have the third set, the reformers, the "liberals," the reformed Jews, the christians who openly embrace gay marriage despite the fact their core creed says it's an abomination. They just make no bones about going with their conscience and tearing those pages out of their copy of the core creed, like modern-day Marcions. The problem is, they can't tear those pages out of the everyone's bibles. I wish they could. I wish the christian core creed could be changed, but it's about 1700 years too late for that now. I wish that simply denying it, wishing those core creeds away, which is what you are doing, achieved something.

And then you have ex-christians, ex-muslims, secular Jews, dissidents, and atheists like I am now, who see no need to stick our heads in the sand over the reality of what is etched into those stone tablets, and calling a spade a spade. Those core creeds are the single greatest danger to the future survival of humanity. As long as humanity is using religion as a method of Terror Management, à la Ernest Becker, humanity is still very much "in the woods." Our viability as a species is still up in the air.

Anonymous said...

"Extremist organizations that murder people need to be judged in context by themselves without unnecessarily insinuating that innocent Muslims are somehow guilty by association. We need to carefully distinguish between the guilty and the innocent...vilifying Muslims...vitriol aimed against Muslims..."

Where did I ever insinuate, or quote anyone who insinuated anything REMOTELY EQUIVALENT to "innocent Muslims are somehow guilty by association." PLEASE QUOTE ME CHAPTER AND VERSE!!! No, I think I was as fair as I could be, given that I cannot here write a book, not to make it seem like my sources were un-nuanced, or make it seem like they were saying something over and beyond what they themselves would actually support, being that they are all muslims or ex-muslims.

Something you're failing to notice, is that I am not espousing the denegration or disrespect of any person. I am criticising islam, (and christianity by the same token) and islam is not a person. My talking points are not directed against any human being. My criticisms are against bad ideas, just like what Sam Harris was saying:

"Liberals have really failed on the topic of theocracy. They'll criticise white theocracy. They'll criticize christians. They'll still get agitated over the abortion clinic that happened in 1984. But when you want to talk about the treatment of women and homosexuals and freethinkers and public intellectuals in the muslim world, I would argue that liberals have failed us. The crucial point of confusion is that we have been sold this meme of 'islamophobia' where every criticism of the doctrine of islam gets conflated toward bigotry as muslims as people. That's intellectually ridiculous...We have to be able to criticize bad ideas...islam is the motherlode of bad ideas..."

Now, you and Ben Affleck can sit there and fail to understand that. And fail to understand. And fail to understand. But that cannot be my fault. When I criticize Armstrongism, you don't become so confused. Why not? Why don't you confuse criticism of Armstrongism's bad ideas with "vilifying" rank-and-file tithepayers? Why isn't that "vitriol aimed against christians?" Why doesn't that make me a bigoted Amstrongophobe? But when an ex-muslim criticizes islam, she's an islamophobe? RIDICULOUS!

We have to be able to critcize bad ideas, and whether those bad ideas are Armstrongist or whether they are islamic ought not make a difference.

I do not think that I can emphasize this too much.

Anonymous said...

"The vast majority of Muslims hate the Al Qaeda like murderers...Also there are numerous Islamist movements which, while being conservative in how they manage themselves and in what they teach, happen to not participate in politics or use violence instead believing it is better to teach their religion in peace. Times of violence would interfere with peaceful study. But they do not tend to attract much media attention because they do not engage in violence. This point was mentioned in The Atlantic article that was mentioned in the 9:01 am comment."

And your point is? I mean, is this supposed to be rebutting anything I've written or quoted?

This is exactly like Ayaan Hirsi Ali said:

"It's also important to note that we do not clash with all muslims. Those movements who ignore the obligations of intolerance within their core creed are not at war with us. I'll briefly describe these three sets of muslims that I see...The first set fully subscribes to the core creed and challenges other muslims to do so...I think we are at war with them because we are having a clash with them, but most of all, other muslims are having that clash with them. The second set is a set who are trapped in a state of cognitive dissonance between the core creed and their conscience. They have not made up their minds. They wholeheartedly condemn the atrocities committed by the first set...And finally there is the third set, the reformers and dissidents. The reformers are convinced that the core creed can be bent to suit their conscience. They seek to reinterpret the core creed in order to de-legitimize the first set.

And the reason why is because THOSE muslims, like christians who permit women to give sermons, ignore the obligations of intolerance within their core creed. Not even a religious creed is capable of fooling all the people all the time. And good for them that they have not been fooled as much as some others.

May the gods speed the day when no one necessarily puts any stock in what any of the gods have ever had to say in any of the motherlodes of bad ideas (creeds) that have been written by men but propounded as holy.

Redfox712 said...

In response to Anonymous 10:16 PM,

Thank you for that comment. It shows me that you care about this topic.

>>I'm referring to what the koran and hadiths actually say.<<

But they say lots of things.

It is important to blame the guilty and to not blame the innocent Muslims.

In fact Al Qaeda like terrorists are much more likely to murder other Muslims rather then non-Muslims.

The current phenomenon of Al Qaeda like extremism is a modern thing. While they often appeal to older ideas Al Qaeda like extremism is its own thing.

Al Qaeda like extremism did not arise as a terrorist movement just because they read the Koran and the Hadiths more seriously than anyone else. That is not what happened at all.

Rather they maintained some old ideas and invented some new ideas of their own and combined them all together to create their sick modern day ideology of death.

Many of these Islamists extremists trace their intellectual ancestry not to the Koran or the Hadiths but to one Sayyid Qutb, an Egyptian intellectual who happened to have some ideas about state and society should be "Islamized" in a certain way he preferred.

(Unfortunately for Qutb he was later put on trial and executed by the Nasser regime in 1966 after being found guilty of plotting to assassinate Nasser. Back in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s large parts of the Arab world were quite left wing and secular in regards to their politics.)

Unfortunately various parts of the Arab world (Iraq, Yemen, Syria) are in a very turbulent political situation at the moment. And Al Qaeda like terrorists love it when that happens because it is easier to radicalize people if the life they live does not seem worth living in.

The murderers are to blame for the terrorists acts that have shocked and horrified the world.

There is no clash of civilizations. Rather the "Islamic" terrorists are making a bid for power and influence and trying as hard as they can to influence people to join them and do what they say.

Redfox712 said...

Somehow I saw the 10:16 PM comment and only now have seen the 12:41 AM and 12:48 AM comments.

I will now respond.

>>Something you're failing to notice, is that I am not espousing the denegration or disrespect of any person. I am criticising islam, (and christianity by the same token) and islam is not a person. My talking points are not directed against any human being...<<

I will say again that it is very important to distinguish between the guilty and the innocent.

Saying "Islam" is responsible for a criminal act such as the Fort Hood massacre unfairly impugn the vast majority of Muslims who had nothing to do with that monstrous massacre.

This sort of rhetoric fails to distinguish between the guilty and the innocent. That is what I object to.

This sort of rhetoric also fails to take into account how the extremist movement were able to form themselves. They did not just come from nowhere. They did not just come about just because someone read the Koran and Hadiths too seriously but rather the murderers created their own ideology in order to justify murder to seize power for themselves. Sayyid Qutb was one such formative influence who helped bring the current extremist movements into being.

Redfox712 said...

As for Sam Harris saying:

>>The crucial point of confusion is that we have been sold this meme of 'islamophobia' where every criticism of the doctrine of islam gets conflated toward bigotry as muslims as people. That's intellectually ridiculous...We have to be able to criticize bad ideas...<<

This is untrue. Bigotry against Muslims and choosing not to be a Muslim are not the same thing at all. Sam Harris is wrong on this matter.

(Maybe he was making a rhetoric point in the heat of the moment at the time he said it, but looking at these words at face value it is safe to say he happens to be wrong on this topic.)

The writings about bigotry against Muslims (often called Islamophobia) tend to distinguish between these two different things.

Making paranoid accusations that 80% of mosques in the United States are radical Islamists sympathetic to violent extremism that would be Islamophobic. It is hardened attitudes like that those who talk about bigotry against Muslims tend to talk about.