[lit-ideas] Re: More on Bigoted Muslim Cab Drivers

  • From: "Lawrence Helm" <lawrencehelm@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sat, 27 Nov 2010 18:02:27 -0800

A small number of CF whackos kill abortionists without the blessings of the
Church.  As to McVeigh, I don't recall that he was a CF.  He was politically
paranoid.  In the case of the MF the religions commands its followers to:
kill the infidel if you really want to go to paradise.  You've got to
differentiate between actions the CF condemns and actions the MF approves.
From: lit-ideas-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:lit-ideas-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx]
On Behalf Of Veronica Caley
Sent: Saturday, November 27, 2010 5:17 PM
To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [lit-ideas] Re: More on Bigoted Muslim Cab Drivers
Regarding CF and Lawrence's preference for them over Muslim extremists:
Or, they will set off bombs at the Olympics in Atlanta.  Or, kill
gynecologists who perform abortions, legally, and sometimes on ten year
olds.  Or blow up the abortion clinics and kill and maim employees.  Or they
will blow up the federal building in Oklahoma City.  Or, verbally attack and
incite against a moderate Protestant fundamentalist who urges caring for the
unfortunate among us.  On TV, of course, for maximum impact.  Or the
Catholic Conference of Bishops inserting themselves into government policy
re reproductive rights of non-Catholic women.  I am not sure weighing
degrees of evil is a good way to think about these things.  Which of course
is best judged by the victims.
Veronica Caley
Milford, MI
----- Original Message ----- 
From: Lawrence Helm <mailto:lawrencehelm@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>  
To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx 
Sent: Saturday, November 27, 2010 6:56 PM
Subject: [lit-ideas] Re: More on Bigoted Muslim Cab Drivers
I am largely in sympathy with what you say.  I have spent hundreds of
infuriated hours arguing with Christian Fundamentalists.  However there are
important differences between Christian and Muslim Fundamentalists.  CF
(Christian Fundamentalists) may believe the rest of us are going to hell.
MF (Muslim Fundamentalists) will try to kill us to send us there.  CF
believe that the genuine Christians are a remnant, small in number, who will
be raptured into heaven in the last days.  MF believe that they will conquer
the entire world through a Jihad that was begun by Mohammad.  CF witness to
nonbelievers.  MF kill them.
Yes, if CF get a chance to influence laws they may close the local bowling
alley if they can, but the MF will throw acid in the face of women
improperly dressed.  They will kill young girls who don't marry the men
chosen for them.  They will stone women (if not men) caught in adultery.
They will cut off the hands of thieves.  As annoying as they are, I prefer
the CF.
From: lit-ideas-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:lit-ideas-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx]
On Behalf Of John Wager
Sent: Saturday, November 27, 2010 3:36 PM
To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [lit-ideas] Re: More on Bigoted Muslim Cab Drivers
Lawrence Helm wrote: 
The concept of tolerance permits us to practice any sort of belief we like
as long as it doesn't infringe on the rights of anyone else.  When a
Buddhist immigrates into the U.S., he is not going to have a problem with
this concept.  But a Fundamentalist Muslim will.  He is going to immigrate
knowing full well that he is going to violate the concept of toleration.  He
is going to infringe on the rights of others and he knows it.
Bear in mind that we are talking about "Fundamentalist" Muslims. 

I suspect that the most important word in the above is not "Muslim" but
"fundamentalist."  My personal experience with fundamentalism came from the
local Baptists, not the local Muslims, but it was probably very similar.
Any position that requires non-believers (or believers in another tradition)
being bound by the revealed truths of the "fundamentalist" believers is
basically the same, whether it's Muslims asking for sharia mediators or
Baptists closing the local bowling alley because people under 21 were caught
playing pool there.  (The laws of Starke, Florida, were mostly written by
the 3,000 or so Baptists in the town of 3,200.)  
Karen Armstrong's book The Battle for God: Fundamentalism in Judaism,
Christianity and Islam  does a good job of identifying the common threads of
fundamentalism in Judaism, Christianity and Islam.  She's not trying to make
a political point in her analysis, really, so it's a good starting point at
understanding beyond polemics.
On a more political point, the main problem with all kinds of
"fundamentalisms" is that they seem to require everyone to subscribe to a
system of beliefs that everyone in fact do not subscribe to.  If 100% of a
population believed in Islam, it might be quite democratic to make law
entirely based on the Qu'ran.  But if even a few citizens do not subscribe
to that system of beliefs, until they do, the foundation for law should be
some system that does not require their buying into that religion.  Take
your pick here: contract theory, or human nature, or some other
justification for government, but the result is the same: There should
always be a provision in law so that non-believers in a system of belief are
not required by law to act as if they do.
Buddhism isn't very conducive to fundamentalism, but the three traditions of
Islam, Christianity and Judaism all seem to be much more prone to succumbing
to the false inclusiveness of law over belief.  This is really a very
astounding position, when you think about it, because the whole idea of
"revealed" truth present in these three traditions says that God has
revealed in a special way to only some people certain fundamental truths or
duties.  If fundamentalists really took revelation seriously, they would not
want those to whom God has not (yet) revealed these truths to be held
accountable for them, yet time and again these fundamentalists violate their
own concept of "revelation" rather than practice the tolerance that such a
conception of revelation would require.


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