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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » Oh! Those darned radical Islamist Atheists! (Page 2)

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Author Topic: Oh! Those darned radical Islamist Atheists!
Rakeesh
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quote:
Maybe this is part of why I find this conversation alien. I would have thought that the incident would be captured on cell phone video and she'd be cheered. *shrug*
Oh, it would be-depending on the audience. On the other hand, I remember working in places when I was younger when the reaction would've been quite different.

And, heck, even in this situation the reaction is different than cheering: touch for touch, unacceptable; insult for insult, it's offensive and rude. That's kind of what I was getting at.

--------

quote:
Respond colorfully, but to the person who made the comments, and not with a bash on theists in general. Nobody at Hatrack merited the sarcasm this time.
Was anyone at Hatrack bashed? Anymore than when a person on Hatrack says, "I belong to such and such religion that feels this it is the only correct religion?" I don't follow HR as much as I used to, but I remember a time when those sorts of discussions weren't uncommon, and I know for a fact that there are many people here who believe exactly along those lines about their given religious ideas. So I guess I don't grant that it was inherently a bash, unless we're going to say that it's also a bash anytime someone belonging to an exclusive religion makes a statement of their beliefs too.
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BlackBlade
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Rakeesh: The inital statement that Armoth took issue with was not, "My name is Achilles Heel and I don't believe in God."

It's stupid to me that when somebody like Newt Gingrich makes an asinine comment, we all have to play the "I'm offended that you were offended" game. Then we all get to talk about how oppressed we are in our respective societies/neighborhoods, and try to present our martyr credentials so that somebody comes out on top, and is therefore permitted to act surly. We've had this conversation before, you don't get to act like a jerk (not that AH was trying to act like a jerk, or even succeeding in my book) because a group you belong to is oppressed. Those debts are never paid, and the ledgers kept are suspect at best.

So how about the next time Richard Dawkins says, "Let's stop being so damned respectful" I'll pretend he is speaking for himself, and that there are those who agree with him, but so long as nobody has chimed in with a "Darn right" after quoting him, that nobody *here* actually said that, and I don't need to respond as if they did.

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kmbboots
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Originally posted by Armoth:
quote:
]I don't mean to take away from the unfairness and pain involved in your situation. But that doesn't mean that I don't have it hard either.

I live in a very liberal state, and don't get me wrong, I love NY, but in class, people say plenty of offensive stuff about religious people, and it's not exactly fun times.

If the offensive things are false then I say so. If the offensive things are true, then I have a problem.
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advice for robots
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In context, it's perfectly fine to state your opinions, be they theistic or atheistic. If provoked directly, I'd say you're warranted to return with some sarcasm, if that's what floats your boat. In this case, it came off as a bit of a cheap shot.

I certainly don't think it's a bash when someone says they don't believe in God. I hope nobody does when I say I do. I don't take offense when someone expresses skepticism about the existence of a god. I try not to express my belief in God in a way that will offend those who don't share that belief.

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Rakeesh
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The thing is, though, is that I suspect that's a much more compelling outlook when one is in the majority than when one is in the minority. It's easy to say, "It's silly to keep records, and it's not right to be rude when someone is rude to you first."

I mean don't get me wrong, you're right, it is silly. But do you see why it might be a bit more important for the majority in any given population to support that kind of thinking than it would be for the minority? After all, who benefits most from that outlook? Ideally if everyone held to it, everyone would benefit equally, but of course that's not going to happen: even if we assume an exactly equal proportion of, shall we say, proselytizing rude atheists as we did proselytizing rude theists, there are still tons more theists and thus the atheists are going to be offended upon first much more often.

Put another way, those debts are often never paid, you're right. But they can very often be eased if instead of saying to the member of a minority who responds to some bunch of offensive intolerance, "Your response was rude and it offended me!" saying something like, "Hey, listen-I agree the guy was a jackass, and he speaks only for himself. But listen, what you said in response could also address more than just him as well, you know." It doesn't seem fair to hold the person first insulted to the same standards of civility as the one doing the insulting. Or rather, to ignore the one and address the other because 'his statement was offensive too'.

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Teshi
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It took me ages to figure out what about the initial rude comment was rude until advice for robots highlighted the "favourite fictional characters" bit.

Given that Newt Gringich thinks that atheists are radically destroying the universe, I think that the barbed response was appropriate... to him. It was a private comment intended for the justifiably insulted atheist community that was spoken in a public forum.

But then, while I think while the individual rights of people to be religious should be respected provided no mental or physical injury is being inflicted in its name, religion as a concept should not be more (or, I suppose, less) respected than other ideas.

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BlackBlade
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Rakeesh: Define majority? In some senses I am the majority culture, for example those who believe in God vastly outnumber those who do not. I am heterosexual, I and my heteros vastly outnumber those who are of an alternate persuasion. I'm also a Mormon, so that's more than 97% of the country that is Non-Mormon. I'm a registered Democrat in Utah County, the redest county in the state that is often called the redest in the union. I'm American, but I grew up overseas, so for many people I'm "out of touch" with what it means to be an American. I'm certain if I ran for president that issue would be brought up, just as it was for Pres. Obama.

I've said this before, when people lash out because they are smarting at being oppressed for being a minority, I sympathize, but I also tell them, "Man, I'm your friend, you need to check your fire and not take shots at me along with everyone who happens to have the same identifying characteristic." We're not actually all in the same boat.

There isn't a single theist here who approves of what Newt Gingrich said, so why do we have to take his lashings?

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Rakeesh
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quote:
There isn't a single theist here who approves of what Newt Gingrich said, so why do we have to take his lashings?
We don't. I, for example, thought to myself - and this is exactly how my thought process went, I'm not trying to snark here - "What's he responding to? He's responding to Newt here. If I were an atheist, and I were smarting from that kind of rhetoric, who would I be talking to? Theists in general, or radical far-right Christian theists who despise atheists and Islamists in particular? Probably the latter." Now granted there are a few factors that went into that thought process: AH seems like a nice guy, so I suspect I wanted to believe nicely of him, there's a bias. I really just can't stand the hell out of Newt, and that's much more likely to be a bigger bias.

quote:

I've said this before, when people lash out because they are smarting at being oppressed for being a minority, I sympathize, but I also tell them, "Man, I'm your friend, you need to check your fire and not take shots at me along with everyone who happens to have the same identifying characteristic." We're not actually all in the same boat.

I agree. I just think a more effective way to sympathize would be to say, "You're right, Joe Schmo is a jackass, and I understand why you feel that way," rather than progressing to shades of 'rude is rude'.
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advice for robots
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The initial comment was a molehill, and a small one. Now, here on page 2, I'm getting increasingly more sorry for making a mountain out of it.

But this sort of thing does happen fairly often here. I'm certainly not saying that the atheist camp is the only one doing it. The theists don't get a special pass. That's fine. But face it, religion gets discussed frequently at Hatrack. Many good community members have left Hatrack over discussions on religion that got increasingly disrespectful. If there's one topic where we should be especially sensitive and respectful, this is it.

I think Newt is a piece of work too, btw.

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AchillesHeel
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I monumentally regret my attempt at admittedly unsophisticated humor.
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Duly noted.
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Armoth
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quote:
Originally posted by advice for robots:
But face it, religion gets discussed frequently at Hatrack. Many good community members have left Hatrack over discussions on religion that got increasingly disrespectful. If there's one topic where we should be especially sensitive and respectful, this is it.

QFT. And directed at Rakeesh, not AchillesHeel.
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rivka
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quote:
Originally posted by Armoth:
quote:
Originally posted by advice for robots:
But face it, religion gets discussed frequently at Hatrack. Many good community members have left Hatrack over discussions on religion that got increasingly disrespectful. If there's one topic where we should be especially sensitive and respectful, this is it.

QFT. And directed at Rakeesh, not AchillesHeel.
Indeed.
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Rakeesh
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I agree we should be respectful-I think, no surprise (it's a subjective thing of course) that we're defining respectful differently.

To me, treating someone who's been wrongfully and with prejudice insulted and themselves replied badly, the way to treat them with respect is to express regret that they were insulted AND that they handled it badly-to try to help, in other words.

That's not what happened here to start this discussion. Instead a bigot spouted bigotry and someone replied with what *might* be considered a shot at everyone religious (though not actually different than most monotheists believe). And was told *he* was being offensive.

That's the dynamic I was commenting on, that people, when 'their' group is picked on (they think), will jump to defense even if a worse transgression prompted the picking on.

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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
So I'd say there's some slight rudeness, but extremely understandable rudeness. Understandable to the extent of wondering why a guy would wander up and criticize the guy responding to the insult, rather than the one insulting.

I'm fascinated by it all right now.
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Mucus
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quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
And, heck, even in this situation the reaction is different than cheering: touch for touch, unacceptable; insult for insult, it's offensive and rude. That's kind of what I was getting at.

Oh, I know what you're getting at and I totally agree. I just found that situation (and this situation), well, alien.
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BlackBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
I agree we should be respectful-I think, no surprise (it's a subjective thing of course) that we're defining respectful differently.

To me, treating someone who's been wrongfully and with prejudice insulted and themselves replied badly, the way to treat them with respect is to express regret that they were insulted AND that they handled it badly-to try to help, in other words.

That's not what happened here to start this discussion. Instead a bigot spouted bigotry and someone replied with what *might* be considered a shot at everyone religious (though not actually different than most monotheists believe). And was told *he* was being offensive.

That's the dynamic I was commenting on, that people, when 'their' group is picked on (they think), will jump to defense even if a worse transgression prompted the picking on.

Or could it be that we genuinely expect more out of AchillesHeel than we do Newt Gingrich? I know I certainly have a higher opinion of the former than I do the later.
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Rakeesh
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I do too. But is a person allowed to get angry when a former House Speaker starts making bigoted slurs against them? That is to say, are we not to make allowances for someone who responds with anger to hateful invective? I'm really having a hard time understanding this. I'm not saying, "Don't criticize what AchillesHeel said at all." I'm saying there's a context, and it doesn't seem reasonable to me to act as though any given statement exists in a vaccuum.

Thus, acknowledge the context which when talking to AH about it would be to first talk about what Newt said, and then how he handled it. Furthermore, this difference in expectation seems pretty unreasonable too-even if Newt weren't a former House Speaker. If he were just some random theist, why does he get a pass on spewing hateful invective? Just because that's what he's known for? That seems a strange standard to me.

I know he's not here, but it seems pretty clear to me that Newt and people like him are who AH was talking to. Dude said as much, he was reacting to the idea that atheists are noxious in and of themselves to society as a whole. What it comes down to is that I don't understand why it's important to chastise someone for reacting because they might have been insulting the majority as a whole, but not commiserate with them over the undeniably bit of insulting invective that went before. With behaving as though the one never happened. In effect, if not intent, it treats it as though it's acceptable.

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Wingracer
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Look people, it has been made obvious that AH meant no harm by his statement. And even if he did, he has apologized for it (which on a side note, I don't think he needed to do, but respect the doing) so can we get back to the topic and figure out what the heck NG was talking about? Is the guy just nuts or was there some kernel of truth buried in the lost context?
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AchillesHeel
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While I am mostly bewildered at how much attention has been given to something I only gave half a thought to, I beleive this is still more productive than giving Gingrich the time of day.
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Rakeesh
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I (obviously) find the thread drift interesting, and think it's a topic worth discussing in and of itself-how people in general and we in particular respond to people who respond to rudeness with rudeness (or even perceived rudeness), under what circumstances. *shrug* It's a discussion I'm enjoying, and as for Newt, if anyone actually thinks there's anything of value to be mined from his remarks, of course they're welcome to chime in anytime.
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advice for robots
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It's like a discussion about the meta discussion I was trying to start.

I should have responded directly to AH about the comment and been clear from the start why I was objecting to his wording. Sorry, AH. Even while saying we should be more sensitive in threads like this, I was not. I will try to keep perspective and be more respectful myself in the future.

I do still think my point is valid, though, if I can say that without sending this off on another tangent.

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Rakeesh
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I should add that looking back, I may have been coming off as very irritated or even angry, what with the use of italics and word choice. I wanted to make clear that I never rose above passionately frustrated, but enjoyably frustrated, y'know? Not, well, disrespectfully, contemptuously frustrated. Re-reading I think I communicated tone badly, and I'm sorry about that.

I think your point is valid too, or rather the multiple points you were making. I just feel like a bit of the picture was missing in the focus on what the rude-responder said to the exclusion of what the rude-instigator said. (This sets aside, for the sake of argument, questions of whether the response was itself rude or not.)

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AchillesHeel
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I dont make a habit of begrudging strangers on a discussion board that I choose to venture to, and I understand the confusion and brisk responses. So dont worry about it one bit.
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Darth_Mauve
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Lets get circular.

Newt said, "Islamic Atheists are out to get us poor Christians."

The whole idea that you can be a fundamentalist Muslim and an atheist at the same time is ignorance beyond sanity. Yet I've seen the same argument made by Beck, and on some Christian Radio I've listened to.

One of Mr. Gringich's points about the evil of Islam is that when one of their fanatics does something bad the rest of the Islamic community does not complain nearly as loud as they complain when non-Muslims respond harshly. The fanatics blow up some buildings--the Muslims don't say much--but if we attack the country that supported them, they scream very loud. This, he states, is proof that all Muslims are really as evil as the fanatics.

This discussion of Newt's foolish comments has been derailed by a few moderate Christians. They are not screaming about Newt's terrible logic, but about the attack non-Christians made against that logic, and by extension, against Christianity itself.

If we follow Mr. Gringrich's logic, then all Christianity must be as evil, or as foolish, as Newt himself. If we follow that logic--moderate Christians don't exist any more than moderate Muslims.

Moderate atheists do exist because they have spoken up in this thread saying the first comment was a bit rude. They have yet to speak up condemning those who responded negatively to that comment.

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Wingracer
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quote:
Originally posted by Darth_Mauve:
Lets get circular.

Newt said, "Islamic Atheists are out to get us poor Christians."

But, that is NOT what he said. Here is the most complete quote I have seen:

"I have two grandchildren — Maggie is 11, Robert is 9," Gingrich said at Cornerstone Church here. "I am convinced that if we do not decisively win the struggle over the nature of America, by the time they're my age they will be in a secular atheist country, potentially one dominated by radical Islamists and with no understanding of what it once meant to be an American."


To me, it sounds like he is speaking of two different threats. Secular atheists within this country AND Islamic fundamentalists from outside.

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advice for robots
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As one of the Christian moderates/extremists in question (I think), let me defend myself.

First, an apology. I shouldn't have called the snippet I highlighted in AH's initial post a bash on theists in general. That was a poor choice of words that did just what I was objecting to. I am sorry for that. The snippet in question wasn't intended to be a bash anyway, as AH later said.

It did stick out to me like a cheap shot when I read it, however, and the whole purpose of my comments was to point out that shots like that can sour the tone of a Hatrack discussion quickly (in the which I helped derail the thread).

Now, I was certainly not screaming about non-Christians attacking Newt's logic and therefore all of Christianity. Heck, I don't think AH was even talking about the Christian deity when he mentioned the fictional characters.

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Darth_Mauve
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Wing, it still sounds ridiculous to me. If any country is dominated by radical Islamists, it can no longer be a Secular Atheist country--since the main goal of radical Islamists is to create Islamic States. The first rule of an Islamic state is to believe in God as described by the Koran.

He is speaking in a Christian church, and is conjuring up all the fiends he can to scare the good Christian people.

There are two ways in which people imagine they can be good Christians. One is hard--you live a Christ-like life. One is easy--you fight Satan.

If there is no Satan with in reach, you create a Satan-out of Muslims, Abortion Providers, Liberals, Atheists, or Homosexuals--who ever is handy, can be made to seem threatening, and can't really fight back. (Muslims can fight back, and Muslim terrorists do fight back, but they aren't that big a threat to anyone is middle-America).

Communists, Jews, Catholics and Racial Integrators are the old Satans that are no longer viable. President Obama is currently the Satan of choice.

Mr. Gringrich has led a very, very un-Christ-like life. He's going for the simple "Satan Fighter" path. It is the wrong path.

But that wasn't my point. My point is that Mr. Newt Grigich's fear mongering and sad logic are an insult to Atheists and Muslims, and make Christians of all flavors look very bad. Instead of complaining about his lack of logic, taste, or Christian virtues, instead of saying "He doesn't represent true Christian virtues" you defend him.

Do you believe that an "Radical Islamist dominated Secular Atheist" takeover is on its way to the US?

On a side note, would that be so much worse than a "Radical Christian dominated Evangelical Theocracy called the United States" which is the flip side of his argument?

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aspectre
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Oh suuure... Mock the Newt all ya want.
Jes don't complain when radical Islamist atheists start sacrificing baby chickens in your backyard.

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Wingracer
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Look, I agree it is ridiculous. I just want you all to respond to what he ACTUALLY said, not what most seem to be thinking he said. You posted this:

Newt said, "Islamic Atheists are out to get us poor Christians."

as if it were a direct quote. That is NOT what he said. If you are going to quote him, quote his actual words. Many people on here like to blast Fox for skewing quotes, taking things out of context, etc. Hold yourself to the same standard.

As for an atheist country being dominated by Islam, it could happen. And no, I am not saying he is right, just speaking hypothetically. If an Atheist country were to be conquered by an Islamic one, the people don't instantly become Muslims. You now have an atheist country (the majority of the people) dominated by Muslims (the government and military).

I'm not trying to defend Newt here, I just want a little integrity in the discussion. Get it right.

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Mucus
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I don't think a foreign conquest makes sense in context. He's talking about a "struggle over the nature of America" not a struggle over America itself. And if America was to be conquered by a Muslim state, I don't think an important worry would be whether they understood "what it once meant to be an American."

I think a more probable interpretation is he's pandering to his base which is worried that they'll lose the culture war to secular atheists who would put in power, not foreign Muslims, but American "Muslims" like Obama.

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Rakeesh
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quote:

As for an atheist country being dominated by Islam, it could happen. And no, I am not saying he is right, just speaking hypothetically. If an Atheist country were to be conquered by an Islamic one, the people don't instantly become Muslims. You now have an atheist country (the majority of the people) dominated by Muslims (the government and military).

Certainly an atheist country could be dominated by Islam. The question, and the one where Newt's incredible dishonesty comes into play, is how does it happen? He clearly wasn't talking about some foreign violent conquest of America, first of all, because he was talking about struggling over the 'nature of America' and 'what it means to be an American'. Not repelling invaders at the border, though he's a far right demagogue so that sort of rhetoric probably won't be long in coming in any campaign he's features in.

quote:
I'm not trying to defend Newt here, I just want a little integrity in the discussion. Get it right.
I believe you're seeking integrity in the discussion, but I don't believe you've examined what Newt said very critically, and considered your own chastisement of the responses of others in light of his remarks. He did very clearly suggest that secular atheists are bad, unAmerican threats as well as radical Islamists-and then he went on to link the two together very specifically at some nebulous point in the future. I suppose that might have been an accident of language, but it seems pretty darn unlikely to me.

You really have to squint and look sideways at his remarks to see much else than blatant rabble-rousing and base-pandering, Wingracer. What it looks like to me is less that you're upset about dishonesty among those criticizing him than that he's been caught being so blatantly dishonest himself, and people get to say gotcha so gleefully.

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Chris Bridges
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I took it to mean that when the atheists take over, we will no longer have God on our side to defend against the radical Islamists.

Mainly I think he is yelling out the buzzwords that fire up his base, and logic or consistency is not necessary there.

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Wingracer
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quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
[QUOTE]
What it looks like to me is less that you're upset about dishonesty among those criticizing him than that he's been caught being so blatantly dishonest himself, and people get to say gotcha so gleefully.

Not the case at all. I have said at least twice now that I think he is nuts. Whoever it is that said he was just pandering to his base is probably spot on.
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Wingracer
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quote:
Originally posted by Chris Bridges:
I took it to mean that when the atheists take over, we will no longer have God on our side to defend against the radical Islamists.

Mainly I think he is yelling out the buzzwords that fire up his base, and logic or consistency is not necessary there.

Bingo, we have a winner. That is exactly what I was trying to get at but first had to shoot down everything else.
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Wingracer
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quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
[QUOTE]
Certainly an atheist country could be dominated by Islam. The question, and the one where Newt's incredible dishonesty comes into play, is how does it happen? He clearly wasn't talking about some foreign violent conquest of America, first of all, because he was talking about struggling over the 'nature of America' and 'what it means to be an American'. Not repelling invaders at the border, though he's a far right demagogue so that sort of rhetoric probably won't be long in coming in any campaign he's features in.

My use of military conquest was just an attempt to show a simple example of how it could happen, not that I thought it would happen or that it was even what he was talking about.

What I think is that people like Newt have this belief that secular atheist government would be too tolerant of Islam. Radical Islam could then gain more and more power and influence within the U.S. government. Either directly by gaining office or more indirectly by being allowed to get away with more and more of their agenda. They like to paint liberals as both atheist and too nice, so this was an attempt to bad mouth them on two fronts.

What Newt and his ilk fails to realize is that you don't have to be a Christian to see the evils of radical Islam, and they certainly do NOT have a monopoly on decisive action.

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Rakeesh
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*shrug* Your example of military conquest was in response to a bunch of people explaining why Newt's words were dishonest, not just because he said 'atheist Muslims'. That's just the silliest, most overtly stupid thing he said. It was fundamentally dishonest on many other levels as well...but for you decided to equate critics with Fox News and suggest people were criticizing Newt unfairly.

And no, what politicians like Newt like to do isn't paint liberals as 'too nice'. That is emphatically not the rhetoric that comes out of the various far-right political camps in the current climate, much less when they start talking about secular atheist liberals.

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Wingracer
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quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
*shrug* Your example of military conquest was in response to a bunch of people explaining why Newt's words were dishonest, not just because he said 'atheist Muslims'. That's just the silliest, most overtly stupid thing he said.

And once again, he NEVER said that. As far as I can tell, the words "atheist" and "Muslim" NEVER appear side by side. Do you have a different transcript?
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Wingracer
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quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
*shrug* Your example of military conquest was in response to a bunch of people explaining why Newt's words were dishonest,

And no, my example was in response to this statement from Darth Mauve:

"Wing, it still sounds ridiculous to me. If any country is dominated by radical Islamists, it can no longer be a Secular Atheist country--since the main goal of radical Islamists is to create Islamic States. The first rule of an Islamic state is to believe in God as described by the Koran."

It was the simplest hypothetical I could think of at the time to explain how it might happen, though admittedly, highly unlikely.

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theamazeeaz
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quote:
Originally posted by Darth_Mauve:
Lets get circular.

Newt said, "Islamic Atheists are out to get us poor Christians."

The whole idea that you can be a fundamentalist Muslim and an atheist at the same time is ignorance beyond sanity. Yet I've seen the same argument made by Beck, and on some Christian Radio I've listened to.

One of Mr. Gringich's points about the evil of Islam is that when one of their fanatics does something bad the rest of the Islamic community does not complain nearly as loud as they complain when non-Muslims respond harshly. The fanatics blow up some buildings--the Muslims don't say much--but if we attack the country that supported them, they scream very loud. This, he states, is proof that all Muslims are really as evil as the fanatics.

This discussion of Newt's foolish comments has been derailed by a few moderate Christians. They are not screaming about Newt's terrible logic, but about the attack non-Christians made against that logic, and by extension, against Christianity itself.

If we follow Mr. Gringrich's logic, then all Christianity must be as evil, or as foolish, as Newt himself. If we follow that logic--moderate Christians don't exist any more than moderate Muslims.

Moderate atheists do exist because they have spoken up in this thread saying the first comment was a bit rude. They have yet to speak up condemning those who responded negatively to that comment.

As atheist who hasn't participated at all, a couple of things.

1. I VERY rarely tell people I'm an atheist in real life. I am not in the closet about it, but unless it comes up, I don't go out of my way to say something.
2. You use the comments in this thread as an example of moderate atheism existing. Well of course moderate atheists exist! It's the flapping of the extremists present everywhere that drown out the fact that there are moderates present everywhere.
3. Given what's said about Muslims by politicians, I think Muslims have to put up with enough crap by simply being Muslim where they probably are sick of arguing about it after nearly a decade.* I don't blame them if no one aggressively stands up all the time. I think most people are just trying to get by without being harassed.
4. I've seen plenty of news stories about Muslims who died in September 11 etc, etc, as well as pieces that point out that the people who turned in the guys with bombs in their shoes and underwear were both relatives of the perpetrators and Muslims. But it doesn't get a lot of press because those stories fall in the "good news" category.
5. There are a lot of Muslims and a lot of diverse sets of beliefs and interest and goals. People treat Islam like a monolith, when there's a lot of X group doesn't like Y group or Z group are actually a mostly Muslim country that people don't think about because everything is fine. The fact that our politicians can't tell a very diverse group of a billion people apart is really really worrisome. Take Iran. Women have been treated like crap since the revolution, but unlike, say Afghanistan, they still get college-level educations in numbers comparable to men.
6. Islamaphobia and anti-Islamaphobia and the ignorance with respect to #5 are rather distracting issues. As an atheist and a liberal, I very very strongly believe in the freedom of religion, and I am highly annoyed at the link between Islam and terrorism and "the American way of life" crap because Newt Gingrich is suggesting that people like me are unAmerican! It is very important to me that these people aren't the target of hate they don't deserve.
7. At the same time as #6, Islam has some serious issue that I am not comfortable with (misogyny and human rights issues). I have issues with Judaism and Christianity as well, and I feel like I can discuss those as issues with the religions themselves without that additional baggage that gets tossed in with Islam.

So I think it's hard sometimes, but that's why all this stuff gets mixed up. It's also why, paradoxically, a lot of liberals are against banning veils and all that.


*When I was in Alaska in February, my companion and I got into a discussion with a crazy woman who lives in little house on the side of the road along Seward Highway about the "ground zero mosque" (she brought it up). Once we told her that we weren't concerned, she pretty much told us we were brainwashed, and all with muslims had a covert plan to infiltrate the country all with a big stupid grin on her face. Repeatedly, like a broken record. Never mind that my friend has actually read the Koran, and lived in Egypt for a summer (and majored in Middle Eastern Studies, but she didn't want to say it). Never mind that I told her I had an Iranian woman as a roommate for a year! This woman never stopped and said- "whoa, you know something I don't- what are these people really like, do they ever let their secret sinister plans slip?", she told us we needed to "educate ourselves about the truth". Both families I actually stayed with were completely not like this at all.

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theamazeeaz
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quote:
Originally posted by Wingracer:
quote:
Originally posted by Darth_Mauve:
Lets get circular.

Newt said, "Islamic Atheists are out to get us poor Christians."

But, that is NOT what he said. Here is the most complete quote I have seen:

"I have two grandchildren — Maggie is 11, Robert is 9," Gingrich said at Cornerstone Church here. "I am convinced that if we do not decisively win the struggle over the nature of America, by the time they're my age they will be in a secular atheist country, potentially one dominated by radical Islamists and with no understanding of what it once meant to be an American."


To me, it sounds like he is speaking of two different threats. Secular atheists within this country AND Islamic fundamentalists from outside.

No. The problem is that he is speaking of THREE different threats and believes that 1 & 2 are a problem and cause 3.

1. Secular atheists.
2. Islamic fundamentalists
3. My grandchildren will be growing up in a different culture than the one that I grew up in.

If anything will cause #3 it will be our culture's increasing obsession with material consumption and pleasure over the needs of a people, an increase in selfishness, and cultural collapse due to economic issues exacerbated by the preferential treatment of bankers, oil and big business, the eventual collapse of ecosystems, and the inability of a large group of people to afford shelter, food and health care which is related to the above.

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Samprimary
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I agree with the idea that he's just gunning for buzzword bingo on this one. The conservative core is effortlessly riled up and made pliable by appeals to fear* involving buttons like 'secular,' 'atheist,' 'muslims,' 'islamic,' 'terror,' and the Death of Real American Culture and all that, so he's just stringing them together in a baldly utilitarian manipulation.

*sorry boys, it's true

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Wingracer
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No need to apologize Samp, you are dead on right except I might change the word "baldly" to "badly".

theamazeeaz, good points.

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Rakeesh
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Yup, pretty transparent fear-mongering.

One method of which was to link secular atheists and radical Muslims, two of the 'worst' things in the eyes of far-right social and religious conservatives. I suppose they could've thrown in homosexual socialist as well.

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Samprimary
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They might — might — just have been clued in on the fact that continuing the No Homo war was alienating them to the great majority of voters who aren't old, and might be the second greatest way to lose tomorrow's elections behind only alienating Hispanics.
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Wingracer
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quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
They might — might — just have been clued in on the fact that continuing the No Homo war was alienating them to the great majority of voters who aren't old, and might be the second greatest way to lose tomorrow's elections behind only alienating Hispanics.

I don't know. There is still plenty of gay bashing going on. I wouldn't be at all surprised to hear Newt chime in on that subject again. And of course he will probably throw in Muslims and atheists again as well.
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Rawrain
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911 was a conspiracy, I lose some sanity points for saying it, but if you look at all the proof, it stops looking like an attack and it starts to look really intentional....

For instance many of the 'terrorists' who were supposedly responsible for the 911 crashes, were still alive http://911research.wtc7.net/disinfo/deceptions/identities.html ... that's the sum of them, if you google them you can find news articles..

Another piece to the pie is building 7, one of the buildings near the towers when they collapsed... If you watch video's you can see building 7 explode from the inside and colapse as the towers are too.

Even more so, the jet that 'crashed' into the pentagon, was entirely vaporized, just a blackish crater... compare that to a normal plane crash and a lot of it doesn't make sense..
---
It's all was just a dynamic plot to invade the middle east, and alienate people about other religions.
---
Great post theamazeeaz...
---
Isn't islamic athiest and oxymoron?

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Rakeesh
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So how's that week off from Hatrack going
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Samprimary
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...
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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by Rawrain:
Another piece to the pie is building 7, one of the buildings near the towers when they collapsed... If you watch video's you can see building 7 explode from the inside and colapse as the towers are too.

Even more so, the jet that 'crashed' into the pentagon, was entirely vaporized, just a blackish crater... compare that to a normal plane crash and a lot of it doesn't make sense..

asafkdljgsdf.

1. Aluminum is a readily oxidizable metal in the same chemical family as magnesium. In extreme heat, aluminum can begin to burn (similarly to magnesium), and can even burn under water by stealing the oxygen from water, and in particularly calamitous crashes, large portions of a plane can simply be burnt to black slag. Well before 9/11 I remember seeing a picture of a more typical plane crash where pretty much nothing 'plane-like' was left but the tail, which had snapped off and fallen away from the conflagration. Everything else was just a black pit. You could just as easily have pointed to it and said 'WHERE IS THE PLANE? CONSPIRACY?'

2. Most planes don't crash in the manner that the pentagon plane did. It hammered itself straight into a building. Momentum alone is going to cause the plane's relatively soft body to mush itself up into the building. What's supposed to be recognizable, minus perhaps the engines?

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