Not Real Islam?

“Civilization will not attain to its perfection until the last stone from the last church falls on the last priest.” – Émile Zola

Religion commonly produces sects – splinter groups with a slightly different theological interpretation of some bit of nonsense: the Trinity, the Immaculate Conception, confession, communion; Reform and Orthodox Jews; various strains of Baptist – no one would ever suggest that these are not all religions. Despite the Protestant conviction that Catholics are doomed (and vice versa), the claim that one or the other of these gangs of theists is somehow not a religion is nothing that should be taken seriously.
Yet some Muslims (and Liberals) point to a group of other Muslims – all of them adamant about their faith and their motives – and say, “We refuse to take these people at their word. We find their actions abhorrent and so, therefore, they are not real Muslims.”
It seems the main qualifying feature of being a “real religion” is that it doesn’t provoke bad acts. This view demands a rather shocking degree of willful blindness with regard to the history of religion, the contemporary practices of those who proudly invoke the name of God, along with complete ignorance of the allegedly inerrant word of the one true God. I invite anyone who doubts this to simply open a newspaper and to spend some time actually reading the Bible or the Quran because it appears certain they have not done either.
ISIS stones people to death – an act specifically demanded for any number of offenses in the Christian Bible – and the choir responds with even greater certainty: “That’s not REAL religion!”
The stunningly hypocritical contradiction passes by them without so much as a nod or a wink: when people do exactly that which God specifically demands for reasons plainly enumerated in their inerrant, divinely revealed book, THAT’S not religion.

The members of ISIS are Muslims – you may take them at their word.
It is a fundamentally Islamic organization and Islam is either the proximate cause of the evil they do or an accelerant. They are not pretending, and have made very clear that anyone who doesn’t agree with their particular understanding of God deserves to die.

Similarly, gentle Jesus, meek and mild, is the proximate cause for people who shout epithets at women attempting to enter medical clinics, just as He was for those who burned innocent women at the stake after falsely accusing them of witchcraft.
Let’s not dodge the facts by refusing to admit that these monsters were Christians and largely motivated by righteous certainty in divine warrant. It is simply dishonest to assert otherwise.
On its face, it seems to me such an egregious evasion that it calls into question the motives of anyone who points to these people and casually asserts they are not REAL Christians, or that their foundational scripture does not fairly support and demand such things on a plain reading.
The Catholic church still takes very seriously the idea of demonic possession and the necessity for exorcism. That they have not burned anyone at the stake recently does not exonerate their dangerous and superstitious theological certainty.

As for ISIS not conforming to “Islamic orthodoxy” (the definition of which apparently cannot be left to Shi’ite and Sunnis to sort out), the actions of ISIS conform perfectly with the demands specifically made in the Quran regarding infidels, blasphemers, apostates, adulterers and homosexuals.
That the vast majority of people are rightly horrified by those actions renders neither the motives nor the terrorists themselves, “Not really Muslim,” no matter how sincere the desire to avoid offending all those reasonable Muslims who decry the murderous attacks in Paris, the burning alive of a caged man, or to comfort some misplaced Liberal need to elevate tolerance beyond reason.
The depth and breath of cognitive dissonance required to play this level of No True Scotsman is, in my view, a very serious obstacle. We cannot begin to address any serious problem with multiple causes, of which religion is plainly a very significant one, by defining that factor out of the equation because it suits some relexive desire not to offend someone’s make believe friend.

Hitchens was right. Religion poisons everything. Pretending it doesn’t – that in some small measure it’s a good thing – is whistling past the graveyard.

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16 Responses

  1. (As an aside, you better update your Hitchen’s link, it no longer takes you to the unfortunately dead Atheist, but to an unfortunately alive corporation that has hijacked his name to peddle their bullshit. Oh, the sacrilege!)

    Perhaps as a way of drawing you into visiting your own blog more frequently….I disagree! To a certain extent, I think you actually CAN distinguish between Real Muslims, Real Christians or Real Jews 😉 and those that aren’t.

    The problem lies in defining what actually constitutes a Real ReligionX. To do that, you must strip away the religious aspects from the religion in question. You know, the bullshit so-called followers tack onto ReligionX that may be completely irrelevant, but quickly become a Holy Sacrament (ie a “celibate”, but kiddie diddling, priesthood)

    For example, strip “Christianity” away from Christianity and concentrate on Christ and his espoused philosophy. The often mocked “What Would Jesus Do?” actually is appropriate. Go back to the documentation, the source material. What did Jesus himself say about Topic X? If he didn’t say something about something, or something very easy to extrapolate, then fuck that bullshit coming out of that preacher’s mouth!

    I don’t seem to recall Jesus saying anything about gays or abortion. But I sure as hell know he prattled on endlessly about The Poors, social outcasts and the corruption & wrongdoings of the powerful. “Camel through the eye of the needle” & such. That was at least 75% of what came out that dude’s mouth. Yet, how much time & resources do supposed “Christians” allocate to any of that? Not much and most of it’s phony & self-serving. Take Christmas. With all the greed, excess and money changers in that temple, Christmas is nothing more than a collective pissing on The Holy Saviour’s (empty?) tomb! No Real Christian can possibly condone what we mockingly call “Christmas”. Christmas is virtually Christ-free & Mass-free.

    And the “Thou shall not kill” thing couldn’t be more clear cut. Immediate self-defence aside, any Jew or Christian who kills anybody for ANY reason not specifically supported by documentation is not a Real Christian or Jew. So any motherfucker who drone-strikes a wedding party in Idontgiveafuckistan (nor anybody who supports it) is NOT a Real Christian or Jew. I doubt that fat bastard, Buddha, would be on board. But I’m less sure what Mo would say about it. I don’t know much about Mo, other than the brilliant comedy shorts he made with his friends back in the day.

    When added to Christ’s “turn the other cheek” approach, the entire War on Terra becomes activities of the Anti-Christ, both literally and figuratively. So anyone participating in it on any substantial level ain’t Real Christians. Can’t say much about whether the guys on the receiving end of this Holy Crusade are Real Muslims, or not, but I’m 100% sure there are PLENTY of Muslims who wouldn’t qualify as Real Muslims.

    At the end of the day, irregardless of their religion, people around the world are all the same. They are phony, self-righteous, hypocrites with selective memories and are willing to do whatever mental gymnastics required to pin medals on their own chests. They are greedy, power mad, corrupt, lazy and worthless sacks of shit who -if there was a Hell- would certainly have 1st Class tickets waiting for them.

    • Cherry picking effort to save god claims from taking proper responsibility for the evil such things produce.

      • Took me a few minutes to get what you were saying (At least I think I finally got it.)

        Cherry picking is what the elites that control religions do in order to solidify control of their “flock” (aka their power). They justify whatever they want to do by finding a quote, misquoting or reinterpreting” text. All that matters is power. Secular authorities do the same. How often do American leaders use faith and religious terminology to get what they want? Damn near every day.

        In a way, any religious follower who is not a historically accurate literalist is Not A Real Religion X. But if you’re going to take something literally, you better damn well be 100% sure on everything. You better stick to EVERY word of that text, no more & no less. And if there’s contradictions, or lack of clarity, you’ll just have to drop it altogether. Galileo is a great example of something completely “off-book” & irrelevant becoming an offence punishable by death.

        And you better give it equal weight. One fairly well known example is an often quoted anti-gay text sitting nearby ultra-strict & specific farming rules and a harsh condemnation of football. (handling skin of pigs) Another example is these fucking New Age Mennonites who live in subdivisions, drive around in cars, watch TV, but still think they get to beat their kids with wooden rods. I can’t stand them. You want respect? Pick a motherfucking century and stay there! Electricity is still a sin, so get off the Interwebs. Get back on the farm and grow me some of that yummy organic produce!

        Truth is, the overwhelming majority of the “followers” of ALL these religions are just fucking sheep (and some are actually fucking sheep.) They’ll follow -or at least pretend to follow- whatever the fuck they’re told by the dominant authorities, even if they don’t believe it. Or even if they are defacto atheists. For example:

        “Chop off her head for showing some ankle? I know there ain’t no Allah but, as long as it ain’t my head, have fun! Kill unarmed Americans? Yeah, as if ANY American isn’t packing! Of course they have it coming.”

        (Note to CSIS & RCMP: The above was written & published well BEFORE Herr Harper’s impending “anti-terror” law that will make writing such things a criminal act with an indefinite sentence. http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2015/01/30/terror-bill-dramatically-increases-police-power.html It was also written in jest, even though I realize “context” is well beyond your intellectual grasps. You imbeciles don’t even know what to do with REAL evidence in a REAL terrorist investigation https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Air_India_Flight_182#cite_note-Canadian_officials_dropped_ball_before_Air_India_bombing.2C_inquiry_finds-126 Yeah I feel REAL safe giving these clusterfuckers even more unchecked power!)

        All you gotta do is look at how so-called Christians (etc) act on a daily basis to see how the vast majority of them are really just agnostics or outright atheists, trying to hedge their bets or just trying to “blend in”. As if that would actually fool an all powerful, all knowing, God anyway.

        • I don’t care about the degree to which any individual or group of alleged adherents follow or depart from the strict letter of any particular interpretation of their book of myths. The problem is the philosophy itself – holding ANY interpretation of religious faith (or scripture or practice) up as offering sound advice on how to construct a fair and just society; an accurate representation of human origins; a basis for proper government or the source of an objective moral code results in harm.
          From honour killings to protests outside of abortion clinics; from suicide bombers to preaching from the pulpit against equal rights for gays, god claims are a problem. Period. The theology itself is patently offensive even on its most charitable and benign face and we’d be better off dismissing the opinions of anyone who insists on such claims being given anything but the contempt they deserve.

        • “I don’t care about the degree to which any individual or group of alleged adherents follow or depart from the strict letter of any particular interpretation of their book of myths” Cousinavi

          I do care. I think of it like watching a movie. Yes, movies are complete fictions and wastes of time. However, fiction or not, they must still live within the parameters of the fictitious world in which they exist.

          Star Wars wasn’t real. But the Cantina Scene in the original Star Wars was a fantastic scene full of Muppety brilliance that inspired millions. But if fellow Muppet, Oscar The Grouch, had charged in and shot Han Solo dead with a Nerf Gun before Solo shot Greedo (Solo fired first!)…no theatre would have run that movie for a year. It probably wouldn’t have lasted a week. There wouldn’t have been The Empire Strikes Back. (But on the plus side, that also means that Shmoo talking, CGI, Jar-Jar Motherfucker wouldn’t have fouled the screen in those shitty prequels either.)

          But I digress. My main objection to the hypocrisy of religious adherents is largely my objection to hypocrisy itself. You can’t break the rules and keep pretending you live by them. You need to either live by them, or disavow them altogether.

          As a truly brilliant web philosopher once said “Everybody’s gotta have a code”. https://cousinavi.wordpress.com/2010/07/25/no-code/
          Even it that code, likeStar Wars, is based on silly mythology. Because once that code becomes breakable or ignorable, the trap door opens up and the very worst comes out of the humans that once lived by it. Just look at what happened to the Republicans once their code was broken. Saint Reagan would be drawn & quartered as a socialist if he were alive today. That’s how batshit crazy things have become since Republicans stopped believing in their own bullshit. Only the Jim Jones-es and the Cool Aid drinkers still believe. The rest are purely in it for themselves and don’t care who gets hurt.

          When widely held philosophies become riddled with hypocrisy, when leaders & practitioners can break their own codes without any consequence, then all of that society’s rules are up for grabs. As Maggie Thatcher said, “Society does not exist”. Laws become jokes. Individual gain justifies any means. People become mere opponents in a vicious game, if not outright enemies in a civil war. It quickly becomes “every chimp for himself” in a dung throwing apocalypse of Biblical scale. (At this point Sedate Me slips into Bill Murray impression) Human sacrifices, dogs & cats living together, mass hysteria! In short, take a look around and that’s what the world turns into when people stop living by their codes.

          We’re trapped in a world where people no longer follow their own philosophical codes, but still pretend they to. In an era where governments, corporations and even individuals can wreak more havoc than entire nations could a couple centuries ago, that’s ultimately more dangerous than people mindlessly following their religious leaders into battle/genocide/etc. At some point, either the losing side’s leadership’s self preservation kicked in, or only the winning side survived. When 7 billion people can justify whatever they do in the pursuit of what they want…you’re going to have a lot of genocides, big & small. You may even wind up with only one person left.

          I know this sounds a lot like historical arguments made against Atheism. I see some merit in the argument. Not because God exists or because Atheism is wrong or inherently evil. But because people are wrong and inherently evil. They’re also incredibly stupid and (more than ever) obscenely self-obsessed. They are stupid teenagers who need rules and would burn the house down 15 minutes after their parents go away for the weekend.

          Make no mistake. I’m an Atheist who thinks religion is ridicule worthy, total bullshit that’s been historically proven to produce great negatives. For the most part, religions have been about controlling people. Despite the amount of evil that’s resulted, I can no longer say with any great certainty that less evil would have been done without religions ever existing. Some people behave better using the opium of Religion. Some people’s brains are worse on religion. Some people behave better because they think their Skydaddy is watching. Unfortunately, not too many people are capable of behaving themselves without carrots and/or lightning bolts. Most people really ARE that weak minded that they need these silly myths. They need The Force to be with them. One thing for sure; everybody needs a code.

          If it gets them through the day and it helps them to be a better person, then I don’t really if they pray to Joe Pesci every night before bedtime. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O3ZOKDmorj0 He’s starred in some pretty frickin’ amazing, thought provoking, films and -as Carlin said- he get’s shit done no matter what. That’s a lot better record than most gods, and he may even be less violent than the average god.

          The real danger lies in, not the silly myths themselves, but the rationalizations that people conjure up using the myths to support them. That’s why I brought up the contrast between the few passages mentioning homosexuality and the chapters referencing poverty. The mental selectivity is awe inspiring. But that same distorted mind would combine the scientific facts of evolution and space being a vacuum to excuse the “improving the species” by shoving people out of the pod-bay door.

          As the aforementioned web philosopher once said, “You just can’t fix stupid.” So the best approach is to try to render the stupid as harmless as possible. For the sake of argument, 😉 religion might be just as capable of doing that as it is of doing evil with them.

        • You miss the point – it’s not the actions of this adherent or that adherent that determines whether the underlying philosophy is made of good or bad ideas.
          Azlan and his ilk love to point at “Good” Muslims and say, “See, just because SOME people do those bad things doesn’t make ISLAM bad…if Islam were bad, then there would be no “Good” Muslims! The existence of good Muslims exonerates the religion from responsibility for those bad acts.”
          I don’t care that there are some Muslims who don’t do exactly what Allah demands as regards adulterers, infidels, blasphemers and apostates. I don’t care that there are Catholics who use condoms.
          The underlying theology is a load of crap, and it is the proximate cause of very specific evil acts that BUT FOR RELIGION would never happen. There are no atheists cutting off anyone’s head for apostasy.
          The danger ABSOLUTELY lies in the goddamned inerrant words of god – in the myths themselves.

        • Oh, I saw your point. I just ignored it, so I could poke you in the ribs until you woke up from your extended hibernation. (Which is great to see, by the way.) I also slap sleeping grizzlies in the face with salmon.

          Of course the underlying foundation of all religion is bullshit. I didn’t mention it because it goes without saying! It’s obvious to anyone with more than a few functioning brain cells that there’s NO all powerful, all knowing, Sky-Daddy who loves us all. If God actually exists, He’s a clueless/powerless/apathetic motherfucker who (if He even notices us) probably gets off on watching us suffer. I know I sure would!

          He will not reward good, nor punish bad. Not on Earth, nor in a post death cloud-condo crammed full of horny virgins. As wheelchair bound bad ass, Stephen Hawking, says “God is irrelevant.”

          I agree. God is irrelevant, even to religions. He’s about as irrelevant as Justin Bieber is to Beliebers. These losers need something to Belieb in to make their pathetic lives worth living and/or justify their craziness. As the old saying goes, “If Bieber didn’t exist, they’d have to invent him.” (Full disclosure: I bumped into Bieber a few times in Stratford. Unlike God, Bieber actually DOES exist.)

          Yes, the foundation of religions are ridiculous. But, to address your point, it doesn’t make them inherently dangerous . You can be utterly stupid and yet completely benign. Are all these Comicon fools running around dressed like Jedi Knights dangerous because they worship supernatural Muppets? Maybe if they started chopping off the heads of Trekies with their Light Sabres because “Yoda told us to.” But Yoda would have to tell them to do it and I doubt George Lucas would ever let that happen. Lucas has more control of his religious followers than God does.

          As the saying goes, foolish men build their house upon the sand, but wise men build their house upon the rock…the rock of the church. Religious philosophies are just that, rocks. Rocks are inanimate objects that sit there motionless, just like my pet rock did…until I threw it at my brother. Only then was it dangerous. (Oh, the metaphors keep on coming!)

          Philosophies are Muppets without the Muppeteer’s hand up their asses. What matters is not the Muppet itself, but what the hand up his ass makes him say to the audience. For example,

          A) Kermit: Someday we’ll find it, the Rainbow Connection; the lovers, the dreamers and me.

          B) Kermit: God hates fags! Biggup to Rev Phelps and the Westboro Baptist Crew!

          It’s not really the philosophy itself, but what those in positions of power do with that philosophy, or when people lack the brainpower & self-control to reject their actions. Or when insane people out to hurt others go searching for green-lights in chicken entrails.

          “See, just because SOME people do those bad things doesn’t make ISLAM bad…if Islam were bad, then there would be no “Good” Muslims! The existence of good Muslims exonerates the religion from responsibility for those bad acts.” -Cousinavi paraphrasing some Asian guy

          That’s just a faulty premise all around. The existence of Good doesn’t disprove the existence of Bad any more than the existence of Bad disproves the existence of Good. Pour some salt and pepper in a bowl, mix it up and Ta-da! An ink blot test.

          While there are Good Adherents to Islam (aka what I called Real Muslims) and Muslims who ignore the “more negative” aspects of the philosophy (aka Good Muslims), none of that actually matters. Nor does it matter that there are Bad Muslims chopping off heads for Allah. If they had to, they’d quote passages from My Little Pony to attempt to justify their actions, if only to themselves.

          This Just in: Neither Allah, nor My Little Pony, actually exist! Film at 11.

          At the end of the day, the “Just following orders” excuse is just a way of avoiding personal responsibility for their own actions. Just like torturers, they do it because they WANT to but just need a bit of “moral cover”. Only the most psychotic folks out there don’t try to make themselves into the Good Guy. But those folks don’t need religion or gods. They just need victims.

          Nor does it really matter that some Bad Catholic Adherents use condoms, yet still consider themselves Good Adherents to Catholicism. Just because they made one smart decision doesn’t make them smart enough to realize Catholicism is full of shit. It just makes them hypocrites and Bad Catholic Adherents.

          Being stupid and wrong about things does not, in itself, make you Bad or inherently dangerous. Actually doing bad makes you Bad. Likewise, a stupid & wrong philosophy or religion isn’t inherently dangerous

          “Religions don’t kill people, people firing religions kill people.”

          Granted, such Good vs Bad declarations can be a matter of personal opinion. For example, if a dying cancer patient sells meth to support his otherwise helpless family. Does the sum of his actions break Good, or break Bad? Could he get away with killing drug dealers, killers, or even just peddling a drug that ruins lives, and still claim to be Good? It’s certainly a question worth watching.

        • In the absence of guns, the nut who is still moved to violence cannot manage to kill 37 people.
          In the absence of the stupid fucking theology, NO ONE gets their head cut off FOR APOSTASY.
          No honour killings, massive reduction in FGM, no killing of infidels and blasphemers.
          Guns may not CAUSE violence, but they give violent people the ability to do more harm.
          Religion DOES cause some specific acts of violence. Without religion, the noted hideous acts would never happen.
          Yes, doing bad things makes you bad. And believing in bad ideas MAKES you do bad things.
          Stop being obtuse.

        • “They’d quote My Little Pony…”
          You either don’t understand or refuse to acknowledge what it means to accept the inerrant word of the Almighty creator who determines the eternal fate of your fucking soul. They don’t ACCURATELY quote the words of Allah in order to justify actions they know are evil. Those actions are GOOD…BECAUSE Allah commands them; MUST be done…BECAUSE Allah commands.
          You want to portray them as bad people who are looking for an excuse. They are PIOUS people who accept the commands of their god as specifically and literally revealed in divine scripture. Are some of them bad anyway? Very likely…no doubt. Are they all evil people simply looking for an excuse? Don’t be silly. They are BELIEVERS…doing god’s will on earth.
          You can piss about with Muslims who don’t do those things…there are Catholics that use condoms. That doesn’t change the FACT that the policy of the goddamned Vatican is the proximate cause of disease and death in Africa BECAUSE they refuse to let their followers use fucking rubbers. “Not all Catholics are opposed to rubbers” does not exonerate the fucking theology, or the harm that results from people BELIEVING IT and acting accordingly.

        • And IF people HONESTLY believed that My Little Pony was the omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent creator of everything…and controlled your eternal fate…AND gave very specific commands about killing anyone who worships Barney the Fucking Dinosaur…AND some Poniests took that fucking seriously and started cutting off heads (or shouting epithets at people trying to enter a doctor’s office), THEN I would have a fucking problem with the book AND anyone who followed it.
          The Bible and the Quran are very, very clear about what is to be done with adulterers. Don’t tell me that the word of god does not CAUSE those who believe it IS the word of god to do bad things.

        • Ok, I admit I was a tad high when I wrote that rambling piece…and still am! But I’m sticking to the basic premise.

          Don’t tell me that the word of god does not CAUSE those who believe it IS the word of god to do bad things.<

          (Sedate Me inadvisabley slaps the awakening grizzly in the face with a salmon)

          Damn right I will! Because.my god dog told me to and I do whatever he tells me to. He loves me and wants to protect me. So, I don’t ask questions, use my Free Will, or my brain. I just obey. And, if you don’t like it, blame my dog.

          “You either don’t understand or refuse to acknowledge what it means to accept the inerrant word of the Almighty creator who determines the eternal fate of your fucking soul.”

          You’re right. I don’t. Because I give silly myths the respect they deserve, which is none. The most I do is appreciate/critique the script writer’s abilities.

          God does NOT exist, therefore God CANNOT speak. Therefore, there is NO word of God. His rewards, his punishments and all of his commands do NOT exist either. I don’t have a soul either. Just ask one of my exes.

          None of it is real, so none of it carries any more weight than any other myth humans choose to fetishisize. The Word of God is a human construct that is only be more important than other human constructs such as The Word Of My Little Pony if God actually exists. (In which case, I am SO fucked!) With that in mind, the people who do Bad, or even Good, based upon God’s Word:

          A) are hearing voices in their head. So, it’s safe to assume they’re mentally ill. At which point, it doesn’t matter if it was God, Allah or Barney telling them to these Bad things. They may as well be quoting the “holy scripture” written in the Bay of Fundy sand by the 3 eyed talking trout living in the Annapolis River.

          The Word Of My Trout: Chapter 6, Verse 2: “All men are harpoonists and hookers of fish. Overturn the boats and become the fishers of men. Thou shalt nibble their flesh to the bone, or be cast into the netting of Hell, from which there is no escape.”

          Sure, just like movies, some myths are more compelling than others. But no semi-rational mind will commit evil because Jesus, or The Annapolis Trout, told them to. It’s like shooting Reagan because you worship Marty Scorsese and think Jodi Foster told you to do it in a scene from Taxi Driver.

          B) are under the spell of the religion’s Muppeteers. Religions are man made myths controlled by religious and/or societal elites. They can turn God’s Word into whatever the fuck they want, even without any backup from their own mythological texts.

          God doesn’t exist. So, people doing something based upon what they think is The Word of God is really just the result of a Jedi Mind Trick. Jedi Mind Tricks worked best on the stupid. The stupider they were, the more you could get them to do. Religion works best on the stupid. With the right Muppeteer, you can Mind Trick a stupid follower into doing all kind of stupid, evil, bullshit. For example:

          – loping off the head of idiots who travel to a war zone.
          – taking a knife to the foreskins of helpless babies.
          – drinking “holy water” straight out of the Halifax Harbour.

          On the whole, people are mindless sheep who’d rather do what they’re told than hurt their brains with any amount of thinking. They’ll buy whatever they’re sold and kill whoever they’re told. They do what they want now and look for excuses later. We live on a planet where nobody has functioning pre-frontal cortex.

          At the end of the day, this is largely a chicken-egg argument. You think the egg of religion causes/encourages chickens to be Bad. I think most chickens are either inherently Bad, or just too fucking stupid to comprehend that fucking like rabbits results in popping out eggs predestined to become chickens who make Bad choices.

          Oh, I just made a really obtuse Easter egg joke only I will laugh at. Time to stop writing and pick up my bong again.

        • No…I can blame both you AND your dog…presuming your dog actually makes those commands, you actually believe that the fate of your immortal soul depends on following those commands, and anyone who cares to fucking looks can also hear your dog making those commands.
          Don’t play sleazy and cheap with me like that. The Bible and the Quran are not the manifestations of a delusional mind like some talking fucking dog (okay…maybe they are but no one is being locked up in the mental ward for expressing unwavering certainty in the inerrant word of god as expressed in scripture). They contain express calls for murder and violence to be committed for certain offences against god – moral offences.
          I am not forced to choose between blaming the people who do the bad act and the motivation for that bad act. I indict them BOTH. The fact remains that BUT FOR the divine commands, no one gets their head cut off for blasphemy.

          The “God isn’t real” argument doesn’t hold a fucking molecule of water. The book says he does, the books says what he wants, AND THEY BELIEVE IT…LITERALLY.
          Their motives aren’t, “I want to do evil things…I guess I better go find the imaginary friend who lets me do bad things.”
          You’re just being obtuse. Billions of people on this rock believe it…but you insist on absolving this delusional belief as being the proximate cause of the evil act.
          Your own fucking cheap ass analogy rips you to shreds: IF you believe that your dog is telling you to kill, then THAT BELIEF is part of the fucking problem, even if it’s delusional.

          The objective truth of god claims doesn’t matter. What matters is that those beliefs are the proximate cause of evil acts.

        • “No…I can blame both you AND your dog…presuming your dog actually makes those commands, you actually believe that the fate of your immortal soul depends on following those commands, and anyone…can also hear your dog making those commands.”

          My dog is an all seeing, all knowing, all loving and all powerful force. You speak ill of Him again and I will have to defend Him by murdering your entire family -and all who “follow” you- by suffocating them in piles of dogshit. The carvings on His Almighty Squeak-toy command me to, so, I have NO choice. If I don’t, I’ll be put in the Burning Kennel for all eternity. (Note: this completely empty threat of violence will soon be criminalized speech in Canuckistan, so I’m doing it as often as I can, while I still can. Sorry.)

          God doesn’t exist, therefore He can’t command anything. But my Dog exists. He’s sitting on my lap and talking to me right now. Just like Canadian PM, Mackenzie King’s dog did. I don’t care if anyone else can hear it. My Dog and I have a very special personal relationship. Kind of like God & the Pope. But others have occasionally heard Him speak and have expressed a desire for me to counsel them in His ways. I hope to achieve tax-free status for our religious group in 10-20 years.

          “Don’t play sleazy and cheap with me like that.”

          Thou doth protest too much! I don’t know about cheap, but I’m sure you’re as sleazy as I am. I should ask the all-knowing Annapolis Trout what He has on you. Almost as much as the NSA does, I’ll bet.

          “The Bible and the Quran are not the manifestations of a delusional mind like some talking fucking dog (okay…maybe they are but no one is being locked up in the mental ward for expressing unwavering certainty in the inerrant word of god…) They contain express calls for murder and violence to be committed…”

          But they should be committed… to The Mental! The biggest difference between those religions and the Temple Of The Dog https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VUb450Alpps is the cultural traction they have. You want “calls to violence”? Just wait until you read the holy book, Love The Leash, that I’m writing for The Temple Of The Dog. Motherfuckers be getting taken out more often than Arab teens in drone strikes! Mail carriers beware. If Stephen Herpes doesn’t take you out first http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/ottawa/canada-post-to-phase-out-urban-home-mail-delivery-1.2459618 The Temple Of The Dog definitely will.

          Cultural traction dictates so much. Be it religious, political or even just a cultural philosophy, the more clout your cult can wield in a society, the more likely it will be used to oppress, suppress, incite genocide and wage war without repercussion. And the more likely completely unrelated bullshit (ie unmarried priests, the Sun orbiting Earth, etc) will become articles of faith meriting severe punishment. Power enables.

          If you want a case study, take a look at Scientology. It’s completely made up bullshit written by a science-fiction writer who invented a religion in order to get rich. While completely ludicrous, his books are also violent as fuck. I don’t know if there’s some secret “violence protocol” hidden in the Scientology bunker where only members of their secret police, The Sea Org, can read them. But I do know they’ve infiltrated the US government (Operation Snow White), routinely imprison their disobedient followers, hack websites, sue like crazy and have even murdered for their cult. Yet many jurisdictions are giving their crazy bullshit religious status because enough well known and well placed people have their backs.

          Or consider Rome. They mercilessly crucified the small cabal of followers of some table-tossing, water-walking, Jew they killed. But then one Emperor makes it the state religion and look how fast they piled up the corpses in its name. It’s about getting your bullshit philosophies into minds of the deciders. Then it’s Open Season on your enemies.

          If those nuts can do it, why not me and the Temple Of The Dog?

          The objective truth of god claims doesn’t matter. What matters is that those beliefs are the proximate cause of evil acts.

          That’s kind of my point, only yours is a more soberer-ish version. But “proximate cause” is such a fucking lawyer-weasel word. I much prefer tales of Muppets, talking Dogs, Bieber cults and bales of weed.

          Anybody who literally believes this “kill for God” bullshit willliterally believe ANYTHING, especially if it washes away the sins they commit in its name. They probably also believe “Your call is important to us.” Fuck, they’ll even continue to have blind faith in Trickle Down Economics decades after its proven itself to be completely without merit and making the problem worse.

          They’ll also see shit that ain’t even in the text, just as sure as the more mainstream elements will ignore what’s plainly in the text. It’s the whole Good Adherent vs Good X thing. So much of this is about Group Dynamics and what qualifies/disqualifies one from a group, splinter group, or party of one. That and what qualifies as insanity in an insane world.

          But all that matters is that they are insane and murders. Separating one from the other is as tough as separating a Priest from an Altar Boy…and just as messy. Just move that debate to another parish and “problem solved”.

          I honestly think the entire Real Muslim debate is far nuttier than most of the shit I’ve been writing here…while high! It’s why I’m dripping with contempt for the very debate itself. All followers of religions are nuts. Some are crazier than others. Some are so barking mad, even the nuts will run from them. Some are just psychopaths grabbing whatever banner will let them keep doing what they’re doing. (See: groups pledging loyalty to ISIS) Some people just get off on the leading suicide cults and the publicity they receive.

          But then there’s the Good Citizens and Rational World Leaders like Canada’s Stevie Herpes who use these Muslim uber-nuts to excuse the killing of all Muslims in a bombing bukkake. They spy on everyone and take away our rights in order to protect the Church of America from…infidels zooming across deserts in Datsun pickups. How fucking crazy is that? But they have plenty of mindless followers too.

          Give me a world dominated by the Temple of The Dog any day. Far less insane. I’m reserving a spot on the Wolf Pack of Cardinals just for you, Cousinavi. You just gotta believe and we can fuck this pooch to the top!

        • I’m not having the “Real Islam” debate. Islam is a set of beliefs that is laid out in its pure form in the Quran and the Hadith. If one accepts the principles elucidated therein, one is then entitled to call oneself a Muslim.
          Analogously, if one accepts the risen Christ and asserts that salvation of one’s eternal soul rests on accepting that mythological figure, then one is a Christian. I don’t give a rat’s ass to what degree any of them actually DO what the ethos demands – the set of command and beliefs contained in “the inerrant word of god” is ugly, immoral and corrupt ON ITS FACE.

          You can brush all religion off as foolish bullshit if you like. That’s simply refusing to engage the issue of the harm caused by these fuckers – the theocratic version of smug political “Both Sides” arguments. It doesn’t matter. The believers are causing problems on the ground and telling them (and their victims) that the things those people believe aren’t really true doesn’t reattach anyone’s fucking head.

          The fact remains that the proximate cause of a long list of specific evil acts is religious faith – the commands that are contained in these books, and the belief that these books represent the wishes of the omnipotent creator. That it’s all a fantastic fable DOES. NOT. FUCKING. MATTER.

        • I’m not having the “Real Islam” debate.

          Dude, you might want to check out the headline of your own story. (aka..”Not Real Islam?”)

          Jesus, and I thought I was high!

          What’s that my Dog? Another hit from the bong? Who am I to question the commands of my Dog? I have complete faith in Him and live to serve His needs!

        • Once again, you seem to want to favour snark over substance.
          I’m NOT having the “Real Islam” debate. Those who want to paint shades of grey over everything; to distinguish between the “good” Muslims who don’t chop off people’s heads and the “bad” Muslims who murder their wives for talking to a stranger.
          As far as I’M concerned, the problem is ISLAM, and I don’t give a rat’s ass whether or not Reza Aslan wants to play good/bad Muslim, or Real/Not Real Islam.
          The title of the fucking post doesn’t give you an excuse to be stubbornly obtuse…not that you need one.

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