Mosul is falling to Iraqi insurgents


#401

Why yes, that’s exactly what people were saying.


#402

If that were true, you’d be right. However, I haven’t mentioned anything that happened before the 1970’s in my posts about Christian extremism, which is when I started paying attention to politics. Thus you can safely ignore some 4000 years of religious history.


#403

It’s not you, Dave. It’s the topic. In every forum, ever.


#404

Good thing you brought it up in the middle of a discussion on the topic here, then.


#405

Depends. Are you criticising Islam as a whole, or extreme movements like Islamism?


#406

Frankly, if you actually removed the desire to be PC about things, and Christianity embraced the same ideals that are held by even MODERATE Islam, I suspect that Dave would almost instantly condemn them as evil.

That’s the thing that’s kind of weird here… Somehow, Islam gets a pass on fairly barbaric beliefs, because… reasons? Even moderate Islam has pretty terrible beliefs regarding things like how women should be treated.

And we’re not talking about crazy terrorist groups’ version of Islam… we’re talking about the kind of Islam that is effectively the widespread interpretation seen in many countries around the globe.

I’m not sure what creates the hesitation to condemn such beliefs… Like I said, if Christians presented the same ideas, there would be no hesitation to condemn them for it.


#407

Who’s hesitating or giving passes? I condemn it. I also condemn the Catholic stance on birth control because it perpetuates the cycle of poverty in an overcrowded world that needs fewer humans, not more, while forbidding women to control their own fertility. I likewise deplore evangelical Protestants’ belief in Biblical inerrancy and the science denialism that results from it. The effects of these religious positions (and many more) are enormous and impact billions. Which is worst? Which does the most damage? Only history will be able to judge for sure. In the meantime, I’ll happily throw stones at all of them.


#408

Which one results in automatic bible deflection? I’m more critical of being cast as a Christian apologist than I am of Islam as a whole, so I’ll go with “Islamism” in this test scenario.


#409

Well, then what are you worried about?

The problem is when people refuse to see the difference, afaik. In which case then absolutely I’m going to make them defend 2000 years of Christianity!
(I assume you have a problem with, say, the christian cult nuts in the US)

Timex - So, what belief held by, say, moderate Muslims in the UK or US do you condemn? And how does it differ from the ©hristian view?


#410

I tend to think that Islam’s views towards women are fairly barbaric, as they are clearly not considered equals.

Yes, yes… I know… they are being treated like precious jewels or something, because Islam respects them EVEN MORE… but whatever, that’s bull.

Mainstream christians in the west have largely abandoned this kind of overt misogyny.


#411

…I said UK or US.

And actually, Judaism is very arguably more guilty of that on purely textual grounds, but you probably don’t realise that.

(Christianity is hardly blameless, either)


#412

I always say that Islam is about 500 years behind Christianity, atrocity wise.


#413

Ignoring the religious generalisations in the last page, why are most of you guys assuming that ISIS want the US to stop their offensive? If they actually wanted the airstrikes to stop, they would release their hostages, craft publicity videos about all of the innocent life lost from US airstrikes, and find a way to paint themselves as the poor misunderstood freedom fighters to the American public (they are very intelligent at PR these terrorists). The Iraq war was fantastic for Al-Qaeda, and part of the reason ISIS exists in the first place (in more than one way. The power vacuum, yes, but also the radicalisation of a proportion of the youth or bereaved relatives of dead innocents). The beheading was meant to piss the US off (and probably also a way to get revenge as they apparently hated the fact that foley’s brother was in the air force) and get them to ramp it up. Preferably with troops on the ground.

Of course Australia is using it as an excuse for more invasive surveillance laws. It’s 2001 all over again, just on a much smaller scale. So keep raging guys, perhaps violence won’t beget violence this time.


#414

Hey Dave FWIW I was raised Catholic but my mom made me miss the Super Bowl where Joe Montana lead the 49ers in a 4th quarter comeback against the Bengals, to go to Sunday school and I have never forgiven her or the religion. I am definitely partial to christianity over islam but I am not a practicing catholic. Religion is mythology evolved and man’s attempt to explain the unexplainable. I am an atheist. But all religions are not created equal. Islam is particularly malevolent.

I know I should save my breath and that no one wins an argument on the internet but somehow…I can’t resist. Mentioning anti-abortion violence to equate the sins of christianity to those of islam is a joke. Islam has probably killed more people in the time it took me to write this post than everyone that has died in America due to anti-abortion violence. Ever.

Everything that is mentioned against christianity pales in comparison to the atrocities committed in the name of islam on a daily basis. Calling out shit from the dark ages, or even the 70s, is just a smoke screen. We are talking about today. The now. What is at threat to us. Shit that happened in the 70s? Nope. Do you want to debate Betamax vs VHS? What is the point?


#415

Here we go again ;-). olaf, you’re fixated on abortion bombings and killings. I threw that out as one example among many of modern murder in the name of the Christian God, along with violence against gays, the Bosnian genocide, the LRA, Catholics vs. Protestants in Ireland, and so on. It’s there to illustrate a point, the point being that radical Christians in modern times have been murderous. Tens of thousands have died at their hands in the last few decades even if you omit all Iraqi casualties during the second Gulf War and occupation. Personally, I feel that religion played a large role in our foreign policy during the Bush II administration, but to simplify this discussion, leave Iraqi dead out of it.

Violence is not my main point, however. My main point is one you’ve missed over and over again. Climate change denial and an anti-science stance are a VASTLY greater threat to you, me, and everyone on Earth than all the Islamic extremists who’ve ever lived, combined. If we push our environment past the tipping point, there may be no way back. To use your own words, I am “talking about today. The now. What is a threat to us.” Islamists wish they had that kind of power. Global catastrophe is what I fear, and that’s why I see the anti-science stance of the highly motivated religious right voting bloc in the US as wildly dangerous. Catholicism makes things worse by opposing birth control for its members. The last thing our overburdened planet needs is more people consuming more resources and generating more pollution, but the Catholic Church hierarchy stands by its dogma to the detriment of all. I can remember a world with 3 billion people. Now we’re over 7 billion and climbing, a 2.5 x increase just in my lifetime. Overpopulation and the destruction of our environment are my fears, not low tech whackos on the other side of the world. The first can destroy everything I care about. The second might blow some stuff up. Whoopee.


#416

ISIS exists because we didn’t intervene. And if we’d not done it before…well, not nearly as clear-cut as you’d have it.


#417

Seems about right. They used to be more enlightened, then they weren’t, it’s almost like a cycle.

As far as ISIS, I guess they don’t have youtube and can’t look up things like Apache or AC130 gun camera footage. Watch a little bit of that and you’d think “Holy shit I never want to be on the other end of this camera.”


#418

1258 probably had more than a little to do with that.


#419

Oh, hey, guy who doesn’t know anything about how stuff works in the Arab/Muslim world (you don’t if you think that ISIS wants the US to stop their offensive/beat them), who thinks that the Iraq War was “fantastic” for Al-Qaeda (it wasn’t), or that it radicalized young Muslims more than seeming weak or inaction (it didn’t). Killing Foley was more about projecting strength than inviting a real U.S. reprisal, against which they would probably fold as quickly as any one of the other Arab/Muslim combatants in the last decade-plus have. Ask what happens to anyone considered “strong” who loses stature or seems weak (i.e. Arafat or Saddam Hussein. It isn’t pretty).


#420

God damn Mongolians

And I guess if you compare it to say the Fall of Rome or whatever, they still have some time left on the clock for recovering.