Klein: Why we hate

But Seriously

“I wonder whether I need honor these people [Muslim Americans] and pretend they are worthy of the privileges of the First Amendment, which I have, in my gut, the sense that they will abuse.” Here, I quote Martin Peretz, editor-in-chief of the New Republic unjustly — by citing a sentence out-of-context for which he has apologized. Then again, an unusually animated Nick Kristof did worse, calling Peretz’s blog post — and all anti-Park51 activists — “venomous and debased.” On the anniversary of September 11, he asked, “Is this America?”

How did we get here? To levelheaded intellectuals reduced to faux-patriotic one-upmanship? To planned Quran burnings, stabbed Muslim cabbies and a New York City where one-in-three residents think Muslim-Americans are “more sympathetic to terrorists” than the rest of us?

You may already have an answer, an explanation for this sudden Islamophobic convulsion. In a word, Park51: the proposed Muslim community center and mosque less than 600 feet from where the Twin Towers stood, nine years and six days ago. But it has been a long time since supporters and opponents of a political project have so fundamentally misunderstood one another.

For clarity and full disclosure’s sake, here’s my — and I would hope, most other Park51 detractors’ — view on the proposed center. The well-intentioned Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf has every legal right to worship privately on private property.

The question then is one of decorum, or tact. The Park51 controversy centers around respect, not racism. Most Americans, New Yorkers and relatives of 9/11 victims object to building a mega-complex for the religion that inspired the attacks, in a building that was nearly destroyed by them. Just because you can do something, that doesn’t mean you should.

The debate surrounding Park51 is an outlet for a tide of Islamophobia that is far more complicated, more entwined with our leadership, our foreign policy — our president.

Sept. 11, 2001, gave our nation its moment of deepest psychological trauma. A misplaced hatred of Islam — a religion that is far closer to Judeo-Christendom than many will admit — began to grow. But then, President Bush set an agenda, forging a plan and a crucial distinction. Six days later, he compelled us to fight back, to promote the American spirit when it was needed most. “The face of terror is not the true faith of Islam,” he told us. “That’s not what Islam is all about. Islam is peace. These terrorists don’t represent peace.”

We would not take revenge against Islam itself, but embark on a global struggle against terrorism. It would be a distinctly American quest: to free Muslims from despotism, to show the world that Islam and democracy were not incompatible.

And so we did, the best that we could. Over the course of two mismanaged wars, we sublimated our anger into a missionary zeal: Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Enduring Freedom. We saw fingers dipped in ink, tyrants toppled, Iraqis and Afghanis at the polling booth, the movie theater, the police academy — not so different from us, after all. Our aggressive foreign policy and promotion of American values, even by the sword, provided the ideal outlet for our grief. We were flag-wavers instead of flag-burners.

Today, the wars have become quagmires, and while Iraqis and Afghanis yearn for their promised republics, their leaders are too incompetent to grant them. Our current president speaks weakly and timidly on national security, using the ninth anniversary of our greatest tragedy to give a primary teacher’s lesson on tolerance. He sympathizes with Hamas. He gives us nothing to do. The psychological scars remain but now lack the salve of action.

He says he wants to “finish the fight against al Qaeda and the Taliban.” How, Mr. President? Where and when? When we’re dealing with a near-nuclear Iran, a militant Israel, a desecularizing Turkey, a Europe fighting back against Islamofascism? Now is the time to confront, to act. Without a mission, our fear, sadness and anger will fester. Without an outlet, we strike back at the innocent: the taxi driver, the nail-salon owner, the holy text. In March 2002, according to Pew, 33 percent of Americans viewed Islam unfavorably. A week ago, an ABC/Post poll revealed that today, 49 percent of us hold that view.

Meanwhile, liberal commentators deride those who oppose such Park51 as “un-American”: the very same jibe that Republican supporters of the war in Afghanistan used against them. How hypocritical. How weak.

And at home, we must have the courage to tackle assimilation when honor killings and fatwas stretch the limits of our tolerance. And there remains that unavoidable reality: Infinitesimally few Muslims are terrorists, but almost all terrorists, and the nations that support them, are Islamic.

War should never be self-help, even in the wake of a tragedy. But if we continue to confront Islamic fundamentalism with little more than words, we place ourselves in a greater danger. By failing to confront the reasons why we hate, we set the stage for violence of a far worse sort: blood spilled not for lofty affirmations, but for vengeance.

Alex Klein is a junior in Davenport College.

Comments

  • theantiyale

    Mr. Klein asks:
    *How did we get here*?

    We have been here before and may never have left. Consider the following description of behavior in the **United States Senate chamber**.
    Two WOMEN did not do this. Nor did WOMEN lynch hundreds if not thousands of blacks in the Jim Crowe South.Nor have WOMEN attacked Muslims in America since 9/11/01.
    *Hate is decidely a MALE (testosterone) THING in human history.*

    PK

    *Charles Sumner was a U.S. Senator from Massachusetts (1851-74) who was active before and after the Civil War in the movement to abolish slavery and give equal rights to black Americans. In 1856 Sumner read a hot-tempered speech, “The Crime Against Kansas,” in which he condemned his opponents on the issue, including South Carolina’s Senator Andrew P. Butler. Two days later Preston Brooks, Butler’s nephew and a Congressman from South Carolina, entered the Senate chamber and beat Sumner unconscious with a cane. Brooks was a hero to his constituents and was re-elected; Sumner, who took three years to recover from the beating, was a martyr to his contituents and was re-elected. Sumner was one of the most powerful members of the Radical Republicans, whose insistence on immediate equal rights for blacks (and punitive measures against slaveowners) caused him to clash with presidents Abraham Lincoln, Andrew Johnson and Ulysses Grant* (Internet sorce: Sumner beaten)

  • theantiyale

    PS
    I guess I’m wrong.
    Women hate too. They just haven’t had the POWER to RESPOND VIOLENTLY to their hatred.

    Maybe Sarah Palin would have beaten Nancy Pelosi with a cane had they been in the Congress in Abolitionist 1800’s.

    PK
    [link text][1]

    [1]: http://theantiyale.blogspot.com “The Anti-Yale”

  • FailBoat

    Nice column, Mr. Klein.

    I think you’re forgetting a few facts, though. You wonder why Americans think American Muslims are more sympathetic to terrorists. That’s because in the wake of September 11th, only 34 percent of American Muslims blamed Muslim terrorists for the attacks. That’s because at a high level, a great deal of money from prominent “moderate” Islamic charities is going to fund sister organizations of Hamas and Hezbollah – maybe not Al Qaeda, but certainly their brothers and sisters in arms. Imam Rauf – a supposedly moderate Sufi Imam – cannot stomach labeling Hamas as a terrorist organization. If he is the face of moderation (a portrayal that I think is insulting to moderate Muslim Americans), it is no wonder that the West views Islam with suspicion.

    They are prejudices – and perhaps ones that people tend to over-apply. But to suggest that these prejudices are based in wild fear – rather than in what we’re actually seeing on the news – is just plain wrong.

  • dhimmicrat

    again to defeat the big lie, the taxi driver was slashed by a left wing film documentary student.

    again to defeat the big lie, there is more anti-Jewish acts in America (eight times) than anti-Muslim ones. so let’s talk about jewish-phobia in the US.

    again to defeat the big lie, 99% of terrorist acts are done by Muslims in the name of Islam. Christianity and Judaism are the major religions of peace.

    again to defeat the big lie, Muslims have no freer life than that they enjoy in the United States, Europe, and Israel.

    again to defeat the big lie, the biggest threat in the world is Islamofascism.

    again to defeat the big lie, the worst human rights records are found in arab/islamic governments.

  • Arafat

    Mr. Klein yours is a shallow analysis of Islam, of comparative religion and of motivation.

    Mr. Klein, what do you really know about Islam other than the sweet nothings you and your peers were brain-washed with in religious school?

    For instance, did they tell you that in Sahih Muslim 4390 it describes how Mohammed led the beheading of 800 Jewish men and boys?
    Or that in Bukhari 56:369, 4:241 it describes how Mohammed murdered those who insulted him.
    Or in Qur’an 30:4, 3:32, 22:38 it describes how Mohammed hated those who do not accept Islam.
    Or Bukhari 5:268 and Qur’an 33:50 describes how he had 13 wives AND kept sex slaves.
    Or Sahih Muslim 3309, Bukhari 58:236 describe his sleeping with a 9 year old girl.
    Or that the historian Ibn Ishaq describes Mohammed ordering 65 military campaigns and battles in the last 10 years of his life.
    Or Abu Dawood 2150, Qur’a, 4:24 describe him telling his men to rape enslaved women.
    Or Sahih Muslim 3901 describes his owning and trading slaves.

    Did they teach you this in religious school? I have to believe they did not for you to have made the vanilla-like comparisons you did in your article and for you to describe Islam as you have.

    Hate is not a bad thing if it is directed at evil. Islam is an evil religion. That is why we hate it.

    “Let those who love the LORD hate evil.” – Psalms 97:10

  • FailBoat

    The New York Times writes, of the cab-driver-slasher:

    > Mr. Enright is also a volunteer with Intersections International, an initiative of the Collegiate Churches of New York that promotes justice and faith across religions and cultures. The organization, which covered part of Mr. Enright’s travel expenses to Afghanistan, has been a staunch supporter of the Islamic center near ground zero. Mr. Enright volunteered with the group’s veteran-civilian dialogue project.

  • Hitch2

    Alex, I’m glad that at least somebody was willing to be mildly sympathetic to Cordoba Initiative opponents on this page. Brave act. But still, you go way too far out of your way to throw bones to the children in your audience. As an example of “hate,” you cite the fact of”a New York City where one-in-three residents think Muslim-Americans are “more sympathetic to terrorists” than the rest of us?” Um… is this hate, or is this something which–however uncomfortable it may make us to say so–seems to actually be true. It’s insensitive. But I think our political rhetoric would be a bit more sane if we spent less time dwelling on words like ‘sensitive’ and ‘insensitive,’ and more time on words like ‘true’ and ‘false.’ If it were really true that 90% of the Islamic world were aggressively anti-terror, we would not see such predictable acts of violence as we do in response to things like the Danish cartoons, the threats against the everyone-draw-Muhammad-day, etc.

  • nick

    Arafat: Maybe you should also try reading the bible.

  • Madas

    @nick: Christianity is primarily based upon the New Testament. The Old Testament is largely superseded by Jesus’ gospel of love.

    Notice how Jesus lived a life of poverty, turned down political power, and died willingly for others. Muhammad lived a life of luxury, sought political power, willingly killed others for it, and whitewashed the whole thing with a story of divine revelation that borrows heavily from Judaism / Christianity. Now, you may argue that all religion is bunk, but it doesn’t take a genius to say who the better man was and whose motives were exceptional and pure. I’ll stick with Jesus; you do as you like.

  • theantiyale

    @ Madas

    If you read Albert Schweitzer’s *The Quest of the Historical Jesus*, you will realize that your previous post talks about the existence of someone for whom there is ZERO historical evidence: the Jesus of *The New Testament.*

    As a graduate of Yale Divinity School (M.Div. ’80) I am offended at your manipulation of *The New Testament* to put down Muhammed.

    Shame on you.

    PK

  • rbrink135

    @ theantiyale
    If your retort to Madas was meant to undermine his argument, you failed. Rather you confirmed Arafat’s earlier comment. Divinity School obviously taught you very little about faith. Believers NEED zero historical evidence of the existence of Jesus. We believe because God gave us the desire to believe and we are indwelled by the Holy Spirit. As for proof, the martyring of those who witnessed our risen Lord is enough for me. Who would die to protect something they KNOW to be a lie?

    Alex, thank you for a very reasoned statement defending those of us who are hurt by the rude behavior of Imam Rauf.

  • FailBoat

    Mr. Keane,

    Regardless of whether the historical record of Jesus and Mohammed differ, the written text (ie: that which their respective followers believe in) differs greatly in their portrayals of the two religious leaders.

    Jesus, regardless of who he actually was, is portrayed as rejecting politics and living simply. Mohammed, regardless of who he actually was, is portrayed as wading knee-deep into conquest, politics, and luxury.

    It’s not really important who these leaders actually were – it’s who their followers think they were.

  • Jaymin Patel

    @ rbrin135 If your retort to theantiyale was meant to undermine his argument, you failed. Rather you confirmed his earlier comment. Divinity School obviously taught you very little about choosing the CORRECT faith. Believers NEED zero historical evidence of the existence of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. It is he who graces this earth with his divine noodly appendage. We believe because He gave us the desire to believe and we are indwelled by his sauciness. As for proof, the martyring of the noble pirate class who witnessed our risen Lord is enough for me. Who would die to protect something they KNOW to be a lie?

  • theantiyale

    Muhammed is a historical figure. Comparing Muhammed with a non-historical figure such as Jesus, especially in order to DISPARAGE Muhammed, is not only a false analagy, it it also RUDE. I’ll even go further: It is NON-CHRISTIAN.

    I doubt that driving the moneychangers from a the temple was a non-political act.

    Whatever your facts or fictions, using religion to hurt others is immoral if not evil.

    PK
    M. Div. ’80

    [link text][1]

    [1]: http://theantiyale.blogspot.com “The Anti-Yale”

  • rbrink135

    Please allow me to clarify. My intent was not to hurt, but to illustrate that Divinity school obviously didn’t teach you anything about faith. What you “know” about the central figures of these two belief systems could be picked up in any high school history class. Divinity school should have taught you something about the meaning of faith. And it is not rude, nor is it non-Christian to contrast the KNOWN violent nature of Muhammed with the peaceful teachings found in the New Testament, regardless of whether you believe Christ was real or not. On the other hand, rude could be defined as introducing into a discussion a character invented for the express purpose of belittling another’s belief system, as Jaymin Patel did. Immoral is shoving a mosque down the throats of people who clearly don’t want it in their neighborhood. And evil is slaughtering thousands of people in the name of your God, particularly if you believe in doing so you will be rewarded with eternal earthly pleasure. Using terms like rude, immoral, evil, and non-Christian with no grasp of the context or perspective in which you are using them will never further a discussion.

  • theantiyale

    Try the Crusades for slaughtering thousands of people in the name of God. Or the witch-burnings. Or the Reformation.
    As to the “peaceful” teachings in the New Testament, Bertrand Russell says it best: “Any religion which introduced into the world the concept of eternal damnation, is evil.”

    Divinity School at Yale UNIVERSITY is dedicated to scholarship, NOT FAITH WITHOUT SCHOLARSHIP. Denominational seminaries take care of the latter.

    PK,

    M.Div. ’80

    [link text][1]

    [1]: http://theantiyale.blogspot.com “The Anti-Yale”

  • rbrink135

    Crusades – evil. Witch burnings – evil. Not so much the Reformation. Fighting for the right to believe a thing is different from killing to please a capricious God, and while I find some of the actions during the wars evil, I will reserve judgement on the overall concept. Bertrand Russell’s quote is an opinion dressed up as a statement of fact, and I reject it. What does Yale Divinity say about scholarship without faith? And what does it say about throwing your bona fides around like a club? Is that approved behavior at Yale Divinity?

  • theantiyale

    What *bona fides*? M. Div.’80 is my credential for posting on the *Yale Daily News* posting board.
    PERIOD.

    I am sure YDS would gladly disown me and my opinions (which btw I published under the editorial heading *Holy Smoke* when I was at YDS 76-80.) If there are any *bona fides* I am happy to “throw around” they are : Creator of *Holy Smoke* and *The Anti-Yale*. All else, including my degrees, is worldly vanity.

    As for Russell’s “opinion” as you call it, the concept of eternal damnation has disturbed the peace of millions of sincere but unschooled believers. Eternal TORTURE?

    Come now, really!

    PK

    *M.Div ’80*

    M.A., M.Ed.

  • rbrink135

    Perhaps you’re right that millions have been disturbed by the concept. But again, contrasting the two belief systems is important. In one belief system, you have a capricious God who may or may not allow you to earn your way into the kingdom. The only sure way in is to die killing infidels. And if the choice is between a sure-fire entry into the kingdom with eternal earthly pleasures, or perhaps being able to earn your way in peacefully, but risking eternal damnation… Well, that’s not a hard choice. One who believes this might be predisposed to self-detonate in a crowd. On the other hand, the other system teaches that faith in Christ will get you in, and the fruit of that faith will be seen in the acts of mercy you perform: feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, visiting the prisoners, etc. I can see how a person might be troubled if he’s too lazy or hateful to do these things. Otherwise, I’m not seeing the downside.

  • Jaymin Patel

    @rbrink135 Why exactly is “belittling another’s belief system” considered “rude”. Christianity makes humongous claims as to how the world works under the premise that one must have faith. So suddenly, I’m not allowed to attack that premise as insanely unconvincing and flawed?

    In no other field would such nonsensical justification fly. In Biology there is intense international debate over the tiniest things – like the distribution of CD28+ IgG molecules in the B-cell follicles of Lymph Nodes. So why should the much greater factual claims of Christianity be immune from equivalent debate?

    The Flying Spaghetti Monster isn’t merely a piece of comedy; it is in fact a very sophisticated challenge to the notion of “faith”. So no, I’m not being rude. I’m thinking.

  • rbrink135

    Sophisticated? It’s not sophisticated, it’s arrogant. It targets, it doesn’t teach. It insults. There is no belief system to contrast; there is merely condescension. Christians are saddened by the tactic, but it serves no other purpose. You won’t shake our faith by telling us we’re stupid for believing, and that is the essence of the FSM. Do you create fictional characters to debate your colleagues? I doubt it. Yet you feel its okay to use belittling tactics in a debate about faith. My friend, that is the very definition of rude.

    And by the way, I never said you weren’t allowed to do anything. You have a perfect right to be as mean spirited as you want to be. Attack away. I’m just saying you can have a reasoned debate without resorting to condescension. FSM shuts down debate, it doesn’t further it. Perhaps you should re-read the Libresco column you so eloquently defended earlier.

  • theantiyale

    “Christians are saddened . . .”

    Kindly do not speak for ME. Speak for yourself. And, a pseudonymous, (i.e. cowardly) self it is.

    PK

  • Jaymin Patel

    @rbrink135 The FSM is parody, so yes, like all parody, it is abrasive. But I disagree strongly that it fails to teach. It teaches by forcing those of faith to confront some very valid and sophisticated questions. The purpose isn’t to belittle or call anyone stupid (and I’m sorry that you got that impression from my posts), but it is purely to challenge. And, yes this is a very common and reasoned tactic of debate – exposing flawed assumptions by taking them to a logical and often comedic extreme. Jonathan Swift did this brilliantly in “A Modest Proposal” where he took utilitarianism to its baby-eating extreme. Stephen Colbert does this every night on his show.

    Ultimately, FSM indirectly challenges religion, right? So let’s make it less indirect – let’s talk specifically about Christianity and Hinduism, for instance. Followers of one are no less faithful than the followers of the other. Many Christians have personally experienced periods of transformative inspiration attributed to the divine. And so have individual Hindus, as evidenced by the painful self-infliction and extreme fasting many continue to do today. Both also have a rich history filled with tradition, gospel, and moral frameworks.

    But the factual basis of both are contradictory. If one is to be “right” the other must be “wrong”. Either god has come to earth in nine distinct incarnations of Vishnu or has come only once in the form of Jesus (interpret the trinity however you will)- they both can’t be right.

    So FSM asks **When both Hinduism and Christianity offer equal faith-based merit, but can’t both be right, on what basis can we choose to have faith in one over the other?** Right now, it seems that we just end up having faith in the deity of our parents – the correlation is pretty much one to one. If you, rbrink135, were born in India to Hindu parents, I guarantee you would also have been a Hindu with equal conviction. It is kind of disturbing that one’s faith of choice depends almost entirely on the arbitrary and random chance of being born to specific parents in a specific geographic area.

    Enter the Flying Spaghetti Monster: The Pastafarians also have their own gospel and explanations of creation. **On what basis is faith in the Flying Spaghetti Monster somehow less reputable than faith in Christianity and Hinduism?** More importantly, **from the perspective of a Christian, why is belief in a Flying Spaghetti Monster inferior to belief in a elephant headed god named Ganesha? – From your point of view, both are equally wrong, right?** Or do you give more credence to Hinduism because is has a larger following and a longer history? (By that train of logic, slavery would be superior given its millenia-old history compared to abolition).

    These reason-based questions posited by FSM are indeed challenging and raise important awareness as to the arbitrariness of faith. This challenge is purely intellectual and should not be mistaken for “belittling tactics”.

  • theantiyale

    *But the factual basis of both are contradictory. If one is to be “right” the other must be “wrong”. Either god has come to earth in nine distinct incarnations of Vishnu or has come only once in the form of Jesus (interpret the trinity however you will)- they both can’t be right.*

    ***Why couldn’t there be many penultimate and metaphorical paths to Ultimate Reality?***

    PK

  • Jaymin Patel

    @theantiyale I feel like that’s a big cop-out. If you assume that religious texts are metaphorical, doesn’t that put them on equal foot with all philosophical works – from Plato to Camus? At that point, is there even a God involved? And honestly, even if you assume that religious doctrine is a metaphorical framework for divine values and morals, you still don’t achieve consistency. The texts of Christianity, even when taken allegorically, point to Faith and Grace as the path to ultimate virtue, whereas the stories of Hinduism put more emphasis on virtuous action.

    Just as important, what basis precludes the Gospel of the Flying Shaghetti Monster from inclusion among the “penultimate paths to Ultimate Reality”? It also offers its own framework for virtuous living.

  • theantiyale

    *@ Jaymin.*

    **Read Emerson.
    PK**

    [link text][1]

    [1]: http://theantiyale.blogspot.com “The Anti-Yale”

  • Jaymin

    @theantiyale

    I’m not sure how I feel about the Transcendentalists. On one hand, the individualism inherent in finding one’s own virtuous path is inspiring. But the nondescript “Divine Spirit” that supposedly guides us, based largely on vedic texts and german idealism, doesn’t seem to really mean anything. This “non-empirical entity” is described with beautiful metaphors that make for fantastic literature, but at the end of the day, a collection of flowery adjectives don’t prove that something exists beyond the laws of physics.

  • theantiyale

    [link text][1]

    So you want an anthropomorphic deity who invasively evaluates your thoughts and judges you at your death on their alignment with HIS (decidedly HIS) whims?: Such as “kill all of the Caananites and Hittites, EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM” or “Sacrifice Abraham” or to quote your ‘god” of “love”:”If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother…he cannot be my disciple.” (Luke 14:26).]

    Let’s waste an entire lifetime trying to live up to the patriarchal fantasies of an ancient primitive people trying to solidify their tribal superiority, and IMAGINE (or delude ourselves) that we are somehow pleasing an angry god who decided to become a loving god by engaging in human sacrifice (Calvary).

    I prefer Emersonian “flowery adjective” that don’t “seem to really mean anything.”

    BTW what does your obeisance to an anthropomorphic deity mean (aside from the fact that you have never emancipated yourself from your childhood worship of the power in your nuclear family)?

    Man is born free and lives everywhere in chains. (THEOLOGICAL CHAINS, usually self adminisred.)

    PK

    [1]: http://theantiyale.blogspot.com “The Anti-Yale”

  • theantiyale

    PS
    That should read “SACRIFICE ISAAC, ABRAHAM”

    PK

  • theantiyale

    Wrong link

    I meant to include this link to “The Bound and the UnBound: Oedipus , Isaac, and Jesus,” which I wrote for New Testament Tutorial thirty years ago at YDS.

    [link text][1]

    [1]: http://boundandunbound.blogspot.com “Oedipus, Isaac, and Jesus: The Bound and the Unbound”

  • Jaymin

    @theantiyale Yes! I think we’re both now on the same page. Sorry I was ambiguous before – I am not encouraging worship of an anthropomorphic deity. Rather, I see no basis by which be can confidently have faith in one deity over the other. Additionally the sentiment that “all religions are correct” seems to be inconsistent with the facts of each. That leaves us with no singular gospel of guidance, forcing us, as Emerson would say, to forge our own paths; and at point, the factual existence of a god seems rather irrelevant and inconsequential.

    Your link was VERY interesting. Certainly a good read. I’d like to push you on your reading of Genesis 22: 1-19, which seems to underly your comparison to the Kent Massacre. Was Isaac a victim of his father’s relationship with God, as you seem to imply, or was Isaac’s self-sacrifice a personal decision to place god above his own life?

    That’s the frightening aspect of this scene, isn’t it? Both Abraham’s moral intuition against murder and Isaac’s intuition against letting his father commit grave sin were superseded by a higher authority that demands faith without question. Isn’t this exactly how Islamic Terrorists justify their acts. Here, the terrorists are Abraham and the innocent (usually fellow muslim) civilians they kill are Isaac. They personally know that murder is wrong, but their personal judgement is irrelevant compared to the will of God.

  • theantiyale

    *Isaac’s intuition against letting his father commit grave sin were superseded by a higher authority that demands faith without question. Isn’t this exactly how Islamic Terrorists justify their acts.*

    Let’s not single out Muslims: Isn’t this precisely how the RCC acts in forbidding contraception in the midst of an AIDS epidemic?

    Honestly, it’s been a long time since I wrote that paper, which was an excruciatingly personal exercize for me. I can’t defend it now.

    It will have to stand on its own.

    Thanks for reading it though.

    PK

  • theantiyale

    PS

    If you want to read another paper I wrote back then, try this one: SEX AND ABORTION at the following link. You may not like it.

    [link text][1]

    [1]: http://sexandabortion.blogspot.com “SEX AND ABORTION”

  • Madas

    Paul Keane, you should be ashamed, sir. Surely someone as learned as you would understand you are choosing the most unflattering interpretation of that verse and quoting it out of context.

    The whole point of Luke 14:26 is that becoming Jesus’ disciple requires one to give up EVERYTHING. The point of the “hate” verse is to emphasize you’d have to love your family and even yourself less than God/Jesus to be a disciple.

    Anyone who actually cares to see the original verse, unedited in its original context can see it below:

    > **The Cost of Being a Disciple**
    >
    > **25** Large crowds were traveling with
    > Jesus, and turning to them he said:

    >**26** If anyone comes to me and does not
    > hate his father and mother, his wife
    > and children, his brothers and
    > sisters—yes, even his own life—he
    > cannot be my disciple.

    > **27** And anyone
    > who does not carry his cross and
    > follow me cannot be my disciple.

    > **28** “Suppose one of you wants to build a
    > tower. Will he not first sit down and
    > estimate the cost to see if he has
    > enough money to complete it?

    >**29** For if he lays the foundation
    > and is not able
    > to finish it, everyone who sees it
    > will ridicule him, 30saying, ‘This
    > fellow began to build and was not able
    > to finish.’
    >
    > **31** Or suppose a king is about to go
    > to war against another king. Will he
    > not first sit down and consider
    > whether he is able with ten thousand
    > men to oppose the one coming against
    > him with twenty thousand?

    >**32** If he is
    > not able, he will send a delegation
    > while the other is still a long way
    > off and will ask for terms of peace.

    > **33** In the same way, any of you who does
    > not give up everything he has cannot
    > be my disciple.

    Mr. Keane, you knew you were taking that verse out of context and you purposefully cut out the part about haring oneself to bolster your claim that the verse can be taken literally.

    For someone who claims to be a thinker, that’s low. You knew what you were doing.

    Shame on you sir.

  • theantiyale

    @ Madas:

    If you read my paper THE BOUND AND THE UNBOUND: OEDIPUS, ISAAC AND JESUS (which Jaymin did) [link text][1] you will see that I beleive the Bible is not a literary concoction to be analyzed by preachers, but is instead a form of primitive psychiatry. As such the *Luke* passage is actually a form of “separation and individuation from the family of origin” which is necessary for healthy emotional development (the “Salvation” preachers want to be in the Sky and in the Great Bye-and-Bye) i.e., if one is to avoid emotional arrested development. So too is the *Genesis* passage about the Sacrifice of Isaac.

    Your rendering of the passage is tantamount to hermeneutical, even literary. That is fine, but it is a different language than the one I am speaking. If you want to follow what preachers and bibilical scholars do, fine. It is all “dinosaurs talking to other dinosaurs about dinosaur bones” in my opinion. Pettyfogging pedantry.

    I am interested in what the Bible is actually FOR, not what others TELL me it is for. I have one life to lead and I don’t intend to waste it on the worn out paths trodden by idolators (and worshipping a text as sacred is certifiably IDOLATRY.)

    My rendering is psychoanalytical. That to me is the highest value (the “***salvific value***”) of the *Old and New Testament*.

    My purpose in citing the “hate passage”was to irritate someone who seemed to be using Christianity’s text as a form of one-upsmanship. THAT VULGARITY (The Primacy of Christianity) has been its problem from the beginning. It is a country-club elitism and it has fertilized anti-semitism for centuries.

    I swing wide and low at elitism of any kind.

    PK

    [1]: http://boundandunbound.blogspot.com “THE BOUND AND THE UNBOUND: OEDIPUS,ISAAC, AND JESUS

  • gzuckier

    When did Kristof and Peretz become “levelheaded intellectuals”?

  • BoolaHoop

    Alex – Hard to believe YDN continues to employ a columnist with journalistic standards as lax as yours. (As demonstrated on IvyGate. Hopefully yr. editors will at least contemplate a thorough investigation.) Okay, carry on with the religious arguments.

  • theantiyale

    @ Madas
    PS :
    “as learned as you”?

    I don’t claim to be learned. That is something you are projecting on to me, probably because of fantasies about academic degrees.
    Sorry to disappoint. I claim to be opinionated.
    PK

  • Yalie

    The point of the FSM is not based in philosophy, nor really even in religion, but rather in politics. It was created, specifically and deliberately, as “satirical protest against the decision by the Kansas State Board of Education to permit the teaching of intelligent design as an alternative to evolution in public schools.”* It has since been leveraged into an argument against any creator, intelligent or otherwise, and against religion in general. As Jaymin notes, it doesn’t perform any role in that argument not already available through the multiplicity of competing, mutually-exclusive, religions.

    *Wikipedia