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Forum Post: Akin for the Truth: How Are US Religious Fundamentalists Any Different Than Middle Eastern Ones?

Posted 4 years ago on Aug. 25, 2012, 10:53 p.m. EST by LeoYo (5909)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

Akin for the Truth: How Are US Religious Fundamentalists Any Different Than Middle Eastern Ones?

Saturday, 25 August 2012 00:00 By Shirin Sadeghi, Truthout | Op-Ed


In the American media, the news from Iran, Pakistan, Egypt, Afghanistan and elsewhere generally runs along the same themes: scary, violent and religious nutsos. But isn't it time the US media and the American public agreed that America isn't much different? America has just as many religious fundamentalists and nut jobs, and they are making public statements just as often - if not more often - than the religious fundies elsewhere.

Are we to believe that a fundamentalist in a suit is less scary than a fundamentalist in a beard, even if both are spouting hatred against women?

Missouri Republican Congressman Todd Akin's recent comments about how women can't become pregnant from what he called "legitimate rape" was just the latest in a long line of pronouncements from American leaders with strong religious backgrounds who believe they are an authority on women's needs and health. Akin is no different than the numerous Iranian clerics who've said such ridiculous things as women who have extramarital sex "cause earthquakes," or the Egyptian cleric who first said that a husband and wife cannot be completely naked while having sex. (This was then modified by scholars, and it was agreed that the most important thing is that no one look at the vagina at the scene of the sex act.) Or the fatwa after fatwa about men and women working together, schooling together and all the rest (sounds a lot like segregation, doesn't it America?).

In the early days of the Taliban, before they began their habit of bombing girls' schools, they too, started out with making ridiculous comments about women and sexuality. It's only just escalated to the violence we've become familiar with.

The truth is, Akin and his fellow religious fundamentalist men the world over are very much the same when it comes to women: they know more about women than women do. In their minds, of course. Because none of them know what it's like to have a period or to give birth or to suffer the tragic and deeply disturbing decision to abort a baby. (Many women don't even know what it's like to suffer through a decision about an unwanted baby.) Further, no man knows what it's like to live in a world where women are second-class citizens - although that is a fact even in the most "civilized" and modern countries. None of them know what it's like to work just as hard as a man and not get the job, or not get the promotion, or, certainly, not get the same amount of pay.

Sure, there are a lot of female fundamentalists, too. It is deeply troubling when women take views against women, but at least we cannot accuse them of speaking out of turn, and you'll be hard-pressed to find any woman - even the most conservative and devoutly religious - who shares all the views of a biased man when it comes to women's rights, health care and needs. She would, after all, be speaking against herself.

But no man knows what it is like to be a woman, even though too many of them think they do. And too many of them attain public positions that give them a platform to spout their sexism. It is extraordinary that we don't hear female politicians make the same blanket statements about men, yet it makes a great deal of sense: in the patriarchy of world gender dynamics, a woman should focus on her area of expertise and leave the rest to the men.

Akin, a graduate of the Covenant Theological Seminary in St. Louis, Missouri - he has a master of divinity - has gathered along the way, largely due to societal cues, that he is an authority on things that he is not, because he is a man. Like Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who recently spoke on behalf of all the women in the Republican Party when he said that his female colleagues "don't see any evidence" of a war on women, it never struck Akin that he is not qualified to speak for women, particularly when he is attacking their rights.

And he is not the first. It was just this year that Wisconsin state senator Glenn Grothman said that, "money is more important for men," as he argued against a Wisconsin state equal pay act. In his view of the matter, there is no pay discrimination because women simply don't want to be paid as much as men do, particularly when they are married and more focused on raising kids (as he duly noted). Grothman, a devout Christian, also made headlines this year when he said that "unwanted and mistimed pregnancies" are "a choice" that women make and are not actually accidents.

Incidentally, Grothman has never been married and does not have kids.

Or what about Idaho state senator Chuck Winder, who just this year said that women may not actually know the difference between rape and the normal course of sexual relations in marriage (something Winder believes involves a woman being obligated to have sexual relations with her husband even when she does not want to): "I would hope that when a woman goes into a physician, with a rape issue, that that physician will indeed ask her about perhaps her marriage. Was this pregnancy caused by normal relations in a marriage, or was it truly caused by a rape?" He went on to imply that many women are using rape as an excuse for abortion.

And then there is the totality of what many people are simply referring to as the war on women in America: the attitudes, statements, media bias and campaign platforms that together work to denigrate women and take away their rights simply because of the physical realities of their bodies. The war on women refers, primarily, to the Republican Party - a party largely consisting of devout men whose understanding of religion provides them the context and confidence to make statements and decisions about women's body parts, sexual relations and reproduction, in addition to women's role in society (and in the home), and their right to equality in employment and pay.

A great many of these male politicians allow themselves to address these issues because of their religious qualifications: either they are, in fact, ordained ministers and divinity school graduates, or they are so devout in their religion that they are above reproach when it comes to being pious.

All of the petty statements by these sexist men would amount to just words in the air, except that in America's male-dominated Congress (women hold less than 20 percent of seats in Congress, and state legislatures don't look much more equal either) - just as in the governments of those Middle Eastern and South Asian nations that are vilified in the US media - bill after bill, law after law has been presented, passed and signed that depletes women's rights. American women need just as much protection from their religious fundamentalist men as women anywhere else do - the problem is, not enough of them know it.

Copyright, Truthout.








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[-] 2 points by GirlFriday (17435) 3 years ago

They aren't any different. This is why we call them the American Taliban.

[-] 2 points by beautifulworld (22558) 4 years ago

The gist of the article, though it is a little desultory, is that, yes, Christian fundamentalists are similar to Islamic fundamentalists with regard to views that women are somehow second-class citizens.

[-] 1 points by dreamingforward (394) from Tacoma, WA 4 years ago

Question: why don't woman/female go find the (i.e. her own) Truth about G-d so that they can match the fundamentalists without simply negating them? (Evolution is a story by men, not women, so that's a copout.)

By which I mean not something that they've simply made up, nor a priest's idea that they're rebelling against -- their actual own Truth? Then they can be truly radical, eh... :)

[-] 2 points by VQkag2 (16478) 3 years ago

Religion is just bronze age philosophy written by men, for men, and misused to oppress one group after another.

Time to put it aside as the fairytale it is! As "the Newsroom" stated last week, the religious right in the US is the "American Taliban".

"Imagine no religion" JL

[-] 0 points by dreamingforward (394) from Tacoma, WA 3 years ago

Sorry, your analysis is biased. For people who there and still remember, it is not a matter of theory, nor mere belief. Civil Democracy is more of a fairy tale in some ways, would you give up on it so easily?

Both religion and democracy have been misused, exploited for personal gain,etc.... So what?

[-] 2 points by VQkag2 (16478) 3 years ago

So what?"? So some of us think misuse is bad, and should be stopped. You ok with misuse?

[-] 1 points by dreamingforward (394) from Tacoma, WA 3 years ago

Or course, lol, but that's been something happening for, like, oh... 4000 years, eh? Did you find a solution to that?

[-] 1 points by VQkag2 (16478) 3 years ago

I am one man. We will not find a solution if we dismiss misuse with "So what?"

I think misuse has been dealt with for as long as it has existed. Of course solutions have been found. Misuse has not been eliminated but it has been addressed.

When people misuse/abuse power we arrest them. discredit them. It is time we do that with religious misuse.

Are you against this approach because we are talking about religion?. We might take action if a religion was used to kill women who are raped, or punish people for listening to music, or maybe if it is misused to justify slavery or discrimination. Maybe we should punish people who misuse it against LGBT people, or against womens right to an abortion.

Maybe we should just tell people. This is not real.! Men made it up to explain what they did not understand, and to control other people! It is fake.! A fairytale.!

I mean aren't we evolved enough to handle that reality? Y'know the enlightenment is centuries old now. We can handle it.

Let's take away this tool the right wing has used to control so many decent people. It's horrible what they've done. They should be arrested for that misuse!

[-] 1 points by dreamingforward (394) from Tacoma, WA 3 years ago

Yes, misuse (of power), for example, was addressed by the Founding Fathers when formulated the United States Constitution. But before you start going against the notion of religion as a whole, you might want to be clear on your concept of G-d which has been heavily distorted in the Americas because of what aftermath of the Conquest.

As for LGBT, I sympathize, but also know it is a something you really don't understand within the Hebrew calendar in which you are living. There is only one world where homosexuality was/is was normal and that world has gotten entangled within the United States in the 20th Century because of the error of the Christians. This is very complicated stuff, and also very real. You can't just go by a commonsense view of the world to guide you, because it is that view which made the mess.

[-] 1 points by VQkag2 (16478) 3 years ago

Huh? Are you against LGBT people? Is that what you said?

Maybe we should just tell people. Religion is not real.! Men made it up to explain what they did not understand, and to control other people! It is fake.! A fairytale.!

I mean aren't we evolved enough to handle that reality? Y'know the enlightenment is centuries old now. We can handle it.

Let's take away this tool the right wing has used to control so many decent people. It's horrible what they've done. They should be arrested for that misuse!

[-] 1 points by beautifulworld (22558) 4 years ago

Well women have to live and function in society, maybe that is why. I certainly have my own Truth about god.

[-] 1 points by dreamingforward (394) from Tacoma, WA 4 years ago

Do not men have to live and function in society? In any case, I would like to hear what it is. Not combatively, but I just wonder why a woman's truth doesn't knock down the one's that dominate from men. It seems like it wouldn't take much, it's just that it doesn't seem to have been attempted in the past century.

[-] 1 points by beautifulworld (22558) 4 years ago

That would be a long discussion, I think. No one easy answer for that.

[-] 1 points by dreamingforward (394) from Tacoma, WA 4 years ago

Really? Are you sure that's not just a copout? When you have the Truth, it is easy, that's what makes some of the fundamentalist so powerful. The problem is that they have different pieces of it, and they get goaded into combating each other.

[-] 1 points by beautifulworld (22558) 4 years ago

I'm not bold enough to say that I know the truth for everyone. I have my own truth and it's quite personal and complicated. That's the problem with this world, everyone thinks they know The Truth when all they really know is their own truth.

[-] 1 points by dreamingforward (394) from Tacoma, WA 4 years ago

But do you not realize to take on a cause, is to take on a truth?

When you have a truth, you can be bold. To achieve true peace you must synthesis the dualities into a greater truth that creates a harmonious whole.

In whatever case, where should one take on a fight to ensure that one's love/truth does not get annihilated? Does not your body take on a lethal fight to ensure the truth for the (i.e. your) whole against antagonists which would take it all and leave you for dead without a second thought?

[-] 1 points by richardkentgates (3269) 4 years ago

I used to know a guy like you. His name as we knew it was Larry. Conversation with him was never about communication. It was a manipulation of social order, the manipulation of the other person's direction in the conversation. High minded and philosophical to the point of absurdity at times. These were ultimately conversations that sounded very smart but had no real meaning or substance. What must it be like to fill time with words that have no meaning. To be so smart as to be useless.

[-] 1 points by beautifulworld (22558) 4 years ago

Geesh. My love will not get annihilated because my love lives in the ether of the universe. Got it?

[-] 1 points by dreamingforward (394) from Tacoma, WA 4 years ago

I'm sorry. I was just hoping for the embodiment of that love.

(b c u e, i n e a e u a )

[-] 1 points by beautifulworld (22558) 4 years ago

Love is ethereal.

[-] 1 points by dreamingforward (394) from Tacoma, WA 4 years ago

Not to people who believe in Jesus (aka Yeshua ben Josef). But that's besides the point. If you want peace (and not just an etherial love that comes and goes) you have to fight for it, because other forces will easily take the nectar of love and the wheel of the generations will continue to go 'round and 'round.

But this isn't a point I can [easily] defend, only offer a counterpoint.

[-] 0 points by funkytown (-374) 4 years ago

While I think this is decidedly less true of the Roman Catholic church, in Protestant churches of virtually all US denominations, it's the women who actually form the foundation of the congregation. It's not the men leading the social charge, but the women.

[-] 1 points by dreamingforward (394) from Tacoma, WA 4 years ago

Yet they answer to the Bible of the Catholic Church -- also a product of men.

[-] -1 points by funkytown (-374) 4 years ago

Mmm.. I beg to differ; in the Catholic church the Magisterium by tradition occupies a position superior to the Bible; the Pope decides the words of Jesus. This deference to Papal authority is what divides and defines the two Churches... Thou shalt have none other Gods before me... this one clause empowered those of the Reformed church to seek an individual personal exegesis, and in the process cast off all corrupt authority, as if to say, sorry, but I can't do that - I must answer to a higher authority, the higher power.

This one verse formed the basis of all American freedoms... it is the very reason you can sit here today to freely express an opinion. While this great grandmother is no longer with us, the children still remain, and while we are decidedly more secular, those same structural tenets as core beliefs are still with us. There is very little of current cultural belief that has not been greatly influenced by the Reformed church; as the descendant of the Roman Catholic - we are Christian, whether one actually believes is somewhat irrelevant.

[-] 1 points by DebtNEUTRALITYpetition (647) 4 years ago

Except that it has been the democrat led mainstream media that have ridiculed the three main women that have run for president or vice-president, Hillary Clinton, Sarah Palin, Michelle Bachman.

[-] 2 points by VQkag2 (16478) 3 years ago

R's use religion against people!

[-] 2 points by ogoj11 (263) 4 years ago

I'm not stumping for the dems, but your comment seems wrong to me. If you want to measure sexism by watching the treatment of women pols (there are other, better ways), the right's treatment of Nancy Pelosi deserves mention.

But I'm intrigued by how the right seems to generally stay away from attacking Michele Obama. Why?

[-] 1 points by DebtNEUTRALITYpetition (647) 4 years ago

Nancy Pelosi has destroyed the democrat party. She got elected by an even bigger margin the last time out, only a handful of democrats to accomplish that feat, even as the democrats were losing the house majority.

Pelosi had a hand in gaming the 2008 democrat nomination rules to make sure that Obama got past Hillary Clinton. Basically, any state that moved up their voting date that was for Hillary Clinton had their delegates disqualified. A state that moved up their voting date that was for Obama, was not.

States that did not move up but wanted to, and were for Obama, got bonus delegates. Then there were the caucus fraud states.

Pelosi was getting VISA IPO's in 2007 while Obama was accepting pre-paid credit cards with fraudulent names and addresses on them.

Why do you think it's ok for the mainstream media to go after Hillary Clinton, Sarah Palin, and Michelle Bachman?

[-] 1 points by ogoj11 (263) 4 years ago

I don't really disagree with your comments on Pelosi, a classic party hack, machine type politician so far as I can see. But I thought we were talking about the level of unfair hate spewed by the media. Pelosi is too ordinary to deserve the treatment she gets.

Palin and Bachman are different from Clinton, but I'm guessing the first two a touch too common, the last too buttoned up snooty. But what about Michele Obama?

[-] 1 points by DebtNEUTRALITYpetition (647) 4 years ago

I don't know how much she is attacked, frankly. I have read that her private jet is extremely well stocked with liquor. Congress actually passed the Pelosi rule, which prevents congress people from buying IPO's from companies that have legislation pending.

She helped Obama get by Clinton in 2008 when she just should have stayed neutral giving her prominence in the democrat party.

[-] 1 points by VQkag2 (16478) 4 years ago

What about Michele Obama?

[-] -1 points by funkytown (-374) 4 years ago

Because to do so, in light of her virtually impeccable public presence would be fundamentally wrong; that's one of the fundamental ideological differences between Dem and Rep... the desire to humble oneself to the greater "right." To put this another way, we simply don't believe that we should attack one's character but rather their public policy.

[-] 1 points by bensdad (8977) 4 years ago

and the democrats made sure the easter bunny disappeared.
and the democrats made Venus spin the wrong way.

[-] 2 points by DebtNEUTRALITYpetition (647) 4 years ago

not really bensdad. I'm talking how a few democrat progressives performed a coup over the democrat party, and there is a LOT of discord in the democrat party that goes unreported because of it.

[-] 0 points by bensdad (8977) 4 years ago

TROLL ALERT - there is no "democrat party" - this is the easiest troll "tell"

[-] 1 points by PandoraK (1678) 4 years ago

It wasn't democratic led mainstream media ridiculing Hillary Clinton, Sarah Palin and Michele Bachman, it was simply media...these things are expected by those who run for office, it's part of the 'game', and the one upmanship.

Hillary was a serious contender, an intelligent woman who knew how the 'game' is played.

Sarah and Michele on the other hand didn't need media to ridicule them, they did fine all on their own...sound bites, excerpts from speeches and interviews even when NOT taken out of context still sounded just over the line toward crazy.

In twenty years anyone looking at political history will be wondering why anyone let Sarah or Michele any where near a microphone...

[-] 2 points by DebtNEUTRALITYpetition (647) 4 years ago

Hillary Clinton's media beatdown was probably funded by George Soros. MSNBC and Huffington Post led the way. I did a lot of research about this back in 2008. I went from being neutral between Obama and Clinton to being very much for Hillary Clinton once I realized what an amazing job Hillary Clinton did with the media backing Obama so early and so hard.

[-] 0 points by Lucky1 (-125) from Wray, CO 3 years ago

What Christians are killing thousands of Muslims in the name of their god? Do fundamentalist Christians push schoolgirls back into a burning building because the girls hair isn't covered? When was the last time you heard about a Christian slaughtering their own children because they date outside their religion? Get a grip on reality..

[-] 0 points by bensdad (8977) 3 years ago

In the last 200 years - the number of people dead by American Christian Fundamentalists is greater than the number of people dead by American Muslim Fundamentalists

[-] 2 points by hchc (3297) from Tampa, FL 3 years ago

And yet you still endorse voting for the war mongering Bush/Bama regime.

Your selfish actions will eventually lead to the wars coming here, to our soil. Hopefully when that happens, you have the decency to get on the front lines.

[-] 0 points by bensdad (8977) 4 years ago

it is much easier to teach a 4 year old - NEVER go into the street
than it is to explain the mechanism of a car or the biology of an injury

it much easier to teach a lemming that God created everything 6000 years ago
than it is to explain millions of years of evolution

it is much easier to teach the lemmings that you destroy the people different from you
than it is to teach the lemmings to co-exist

To quote Ms. Jean Brody: "Give me a girl in her tender years - and she's mine for life"

Could have been said from any ayatollah or pope or david duke or jerry falwall

I call this my black&white&gray concept

Too many people ( especially Americans )
see things the way they have been TRAINED as lemmings to believe - in black&white
We desperately need to learn ( and teach ) that almost everything


drugs may not be "good" - but they don't need to be illegal
war is "bad " - but we did have to stop hitler
I believe God exists - and if you don't - I don't care

simply - live and let live is better than cloning

[-] 0 points by Lucky1 (-125) from Wray, CO 4 years ago

Interesting. You may be right. But perhaps a closer view of females in these different cultures is in order.

[-] -1 points by funkytown (-374) 4 years ago

I don't know of any Christian fundamentalist in America today that would be willing to stone a woman to death or decapitate a male... so I think your analysis is "fundamentally" flawed.

What's even sadder is that in America one is vehemently attacked for free expression; such ideals are far more "fundamental" than the Reformed Christian has ever been willing to admit.

[-] 1 points by bensdad (8977) 3 years ago

Ask Dr. Gunn about non-violent fundamentalists

[-] -1 points by Lucky1 (-125) from Wray, CO 3 years ago

Comparing that to Muslim fundamentalists is stupid. But coming from you it's no surprise.

[-] 1 points by bensdad (8977) 3 years ago

both worship a book and m urder people who dont agree with them
another comparison-
radical muslim fundamentalists today & catholic church 1000 years ago


[-] 1 points by Evergreen38 (14) 3 years ago

Islam is practiced in many different ways depending on the region, and country. And most Muslims that imigrate here, have a higher average income, and are real assets to our society. I have Muslim friends who I would much rather be with than some of the Christian nuts in this country, who preach morals, but have none themselves.

[-] 0 points by funkytown (-374) 3 years ago

True, but since Christianity does not mandate jihad our fundamentalists tend to be dismissed, not celebrated. And overall, the appear decidedly less inclined to violence.

[-] 1 points by bensdad (8977) 3 years ago

back to the original
God created man
man created religion

[-] 0 points by Evergreen38 (14) 3 years ago

I've slept over-night at my Muslim friend's home. I was kissed good morning by one of his beautiful daughters who is attending a CUNY school, and eventually wants to become a pediatrition. Her cousin told her she should become a model. She replied something to the effect that she wanted to 'make a difference'. His other daughter is attending John Jay School of Criminal Justice. You take it from there.

Christianity stands silently by as we reign terror on the world in our quest to hold onto, and/or expand Empire. You may be able to ignore this, but I can not. Our hypocrisy is monumental.

[-] 0 points by funkytown (-374) 3 years ago

We haven't rained any terror on the world that was not invited. There is a huge difference, in many cases, between those born into Christianity as an American Muslim and what we label as the fundamentalist.

[-] 0 points by Evergreen38 (14) 3 years ago

My friend was not born here, and the whole family abides by the tenets of Islam.

You don't think that we have been supporting despotic leaders in the Mid-East, and northern Africa for decades?

You don't believe that we are on a quest to expand Empire, and that, that requires brutal force?

Open your eyes.

[-] 0 points by funkytown (-374) 3 years ago

I think our foreign policy world wide is rather messed up, don't you? And I see it largely as corporate; we have no need for example of imported oil. I don't know... there is a quest for command of resources, not because we need them at present but because we don't want to fall victim to others in the future. There's a fine line between national interest and corporate interest (?). I just don't know. I'm undecided on this line of reasoning; perhaps it should be decided on a case by case basis? I just don't know. But I would definitely prefer a more isolationist position.

[-] 0 points by Evergreen38 (14) 3 years ago

Yes i agree that control of resources, more than our need for them is the driving force behind our immoral foreign policy. Still though, should our "national interests" which are based on corporate interests trump our morality? Not just the oppressed want another world, but so do the oppressers.

[-] 1 points by VQkag2 (16478) 3 years ago

God is dead, or on life support?

[-] -1 points by funkytown (-374) 4 years ago

We know it doesn't exist because it has not occurred.

[-] 1 points by LeoYo (5909) 4 years ago

Are you referring to stoning and decapitation specifically or to that and the acts revealed at the links?

[-] -1 points by funkytown (-374) 4 years ago

Acts of random violence, and in particular domestic violence, are rampant in our society - they are not confined to those religious. And as someone who has Mormon friends, I can tell you that they are definitely not the fundamentalists you imagine them to me; in fact, many are highly educated and very successful parents and business people.

You can't compare America's relgionists to Islamic "fundamentalists'; on the level of violence there is no comparison.

[-] 1 points by LeoYo (5909) 3 years ago

A mere difference in violence levels doesn't invalidate the comparison nor does referring to random acts of violence when direct relationships between fundamentalist perspectives and violence are clearly shown. The more influence fundamentalist perspectives have among a country's politicians, the more fundamentalist violence tends to be sanctioned. Politically empowered religious perspectives enable the exercise of violence required to maintain religious-based authority. In America, fundamentalist influence doesn't have political dominance, nevertheless, that influence does result in both domestic and civil violence.





[-] -1 points by funkytown (-374) 3 years ago

Yea... I agree. Politically empowered religious perspectives have no place in our American government. I disagree in that I feel today's Christianity is far more pluralistic and less possessed of the violence that currently appears integral to Islam.

[-] 1 points by LeoYo (5909) 3 years ago

The only reason Christianity is more pluralistic and less possessed of violence is due to the Protestant Reformation that resulted in centuries of religious warfare leading to the primacy of the secular state to supress the violence of religious differences. Religious violence is also supressed in secular Islamic states, only to erupt once the power of the secular state is disrupted or removed.

[-] -1 points by funkytown (-374) 3 years ago

That's a pretty bizarre statement. When speaking of plurality I was speaking in terms of current religious relations; of the three religions capable of reaching mass mind in this world, only Christianity is truly pluralistic. Secular primacy suppressed religious violence? That's a really bizarre historical statement.

[-] 2 points by LeoYo (5909) 3 years ago

What are the three religions capable of reaching mass mind in this world?

What is your perspective of what ended the inter-religious violence among Protestants?

[-] 1 points by funkytown (-374) 3 years ago

Of the 29,000+ religions in the world only three are capable of achieving mass mind: Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. Of these three only Christianity is truly pluralistic.

What inter-religious Protestant violence are you speaking of?

[-] 1 points by LeoYo (5909) 3 years ago

And by 'mass mind' what exactly do you mean?

As for the inter-religious violence among Protestants, do you not remember my mention of the Protestant Reformation?

[-] 0 points by funkytown (-374) 3 years ago

Mass mind is what we attempt to attain here - through the process of debate we attempt to persuade others, while simultaneously we grow our base, in the hope that we will eventually gain sufficient influence to command change in not only all of the US but the entire world. The goal of mankind has always been one of mass mind - a world in which everyone agrees on everything. It serves two purposes: resource acquisition and the extension of one's own safe boundaries.

There are other religions that have been highly successful but for various reasons they have proven incapable of attaining mass mind. As you know both Christianity and Islam are now aggressively pursuing, but Christianity, whether we are speaking of the Roman Catholic or the Protestant evangelical no longer employs violent means. They are also the only religion, of these three, willing to admit others on a more or less equal standing despite ethnic or cultural diversity or even differences of opinion.

The most significant violence of the Protestant Reformation occurred in Germany during the Peasant Wars of the early 1500s. And believe it or not it was directed at what was perceived to be the feudal oppressor with the intent of creating a commonwealth of absolute equality through wealth redistribution and an equally shared community of goods. Most of the wars that followed throughout Western Europe were directed at the Roman Catholic oppressor of the Holy Roman Empire.

The American cultural mindset though arrives by way of a particular line of descent through one specific sect that was to complete its development through a process of intellectual debate over several decades in the US, but as such, it is wholly unrelated to those events above, intellectually or otherwise.

[-] 1 points by LeoYo (5909) 3 years ago

By your explanation of mass mind, neither Christianity nor any religion is more successful or pluralistic than another. The largest religions have all benefited from a history of political support that includes both militaristic and economic support. None have grown through debate and persuasion. To this day, western missionaries utilize the wealth of the west (derived from worldwide sources) to aid the targeted impoverished peoples they seek to convert while the US military continues to promote Christianity through its wars http://www.democracynow.org/2009/5/6/the_crusade_for_a_christian_military .

The religious violence of the Protestant Reformation was far more widespread in its significance than the early 1500s in Germany. There was

the German Peasants' War (1524–1525),

the battle of Kappel in Switzerland (1531),

the Schmalkaldic War (1546–1547) in the Holy Roman Empire,

the Eighty Years' War (1568–1648) in the Low Countries,

the French Wars of Religion (1562–1598),

the Thirty Years War (1618–1648), affecting the Holy Roman Empire including Habsburg Austria and Bohemia, France, Denmark and Sweden,

and the Wars of the Three Kingdoms (1639–1651), affecting England, Scotland and Ireland.

While most of western Europe engaged in religious wars, freedom of religion had early recognition in

Transylvania (1568),

Poland (1573),

and the Northern Netherlands (1579).

In the US, the colony of Maryland stands out as a place of off and on again freedom of religion that eventually inspired Thomas Jefferson to adopt it for Virginia and ultimately the First Amendment of the US Constitution.

[-] -1 points by funkytown (-374) 3 years ago

Religion is not merely the means of defining a collective spirituality; what it actually is are the "rules" of society - it incorporates all as cohesive bond into one articulated belief system.

You used the phrase "violence amongst Protestants" - I am merely saying that the violence was not "amongst" but actually directed against the feudal lord, the Roman Catholic, the Holy Roman Empire, etc. as the oppressor. It was not "amongst Protestants." When we consider further that we are not the cultural descendants of Luther, all is mute anyway.

Do you really believe that freedom of conscience, as freedom of opinion expressed... of freedom of speech... landed in Jefferson's head the result of events in Maryland? Have you studied Jefferson, Virginia, or these events of Maryland?

[-] 1 points by beautifulworld (22558) 3 years ago

Are you kidding?

[-] 0 points by funkytown (-374) 3 years ago

No... what inter-religious Protestant violence are you speaking of?

[-] 2 points by LeoYo (5909) 3 years ago

There was plenty of "violence amongst Protestants".


Religion is a devotion to a spirit-based worldview for preventing some perceived misfortune (be it the common misfortunes of life, permanent death, or rebirths). The rules of a religion are a consequential derivative of the worldview it advocates.

Maryland Act of Toleration

"...no person or persons whatsoever within this Province, or the islands, ports, harbors, creekes, or havens thereunto belonging professing to beleive in Jesus Christ, shall from henceforth be any waies troubled, molested or discountenanced for or in respect of his or her religion nor in the free exercise thereof within this Province or the islands thereunto belonging nor any way compelled to the beleif or exercise of any other religion against his or her consent, so as they be not unfaithfull to the Lord Proprietary, or molest or conspire against the civil governement established or to be established in this Province under him or his heires."

Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom

"[N]o man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship, place, or ministry whatsoever, nor shall be enforced, restrained, molested, or burthened in his body or goods, nor shall otherwise suffer, on account of his religious opinions or belief; but that all men shall be free to profess, and by argument to maintain, their opinions in matters of religion, and that the same shall in no wise diminish, enlarge, or affect their civil capacities."

Do you really believe Jefferson's basis for the freedom of religion had been inspired from someplace other than Maryland?

[-] -1 points by funkytown (-374) 3 years ago

Jefferson's basis was the result of a state mandated Anglicanism; as Anglican the ministers were appointed by the English and all were mandated to its support whether members of not, whether they attended or not. The Virginian Anglican church ultimately defied the Church of England, appointing its own ministers, and was essentially Puritan by tradition. But this forced tithing was the basis of Jefferson's freedom of religion.

Maryland's Act of Toleration is not as tolerant as it appears - it sentences all to death who deny the Trinity; the Puritan denied the Trinity as an invention of the Roman Catholic, therefore Anglican, or Anglican as Episcopal church. The Puritans never adopted the Nicene Creed, nor utilized the Book of Common Prayer. In fact, interpretation of the Trinity was at the very center of the Hutchinson debate. And if we follow what was to be labeled as "Congregationalist" it appears many by the early 1800s, including even those Puritan churches that later opted to join the Presbytery, as "Presbyterian," had adopted Unitarianism.

I am a descendant of Charlemagne, and also King Edgar on the English side, through ancestors that settled in Calvert County. Interesting since some of their descendents opted within a generation for Puritan communities.

[-] 1 points by LeoYo (5909) 3 years ago


Nope, it's never happened. Religions simply don't form that way.


[-] 1 points by LeoYo (5909) 3 years ago


If the children, assuming they speak the same language, don't already have some notion of a spirit-based worldview from wherever they're taken from, no religion will develop in three generations. Only social rules.

[-] 0 points by funkytown (-374) 3 years ago

Yup, and that's where you're wrong. It's happened over and over again throughout the history of mankind.

[-] 1 points by LeoYo (5909) 3 years ago


No religion is born in a vacuum. Every religion is born in a society that pre-exists the religion and therefore is already governed by rules that pre-exist that religion. There's no getting around that fact.

There is no such thing as a religion based simply upon adherence to social rules. That's simply a society. Without a spirit-based worldview, social rules are just social rules, not a religion.

[-] 0 points by funkytown (-374) 3 years ago

I don't believe I ever said those things; keep trying. Let's attempt example:

If I were to drop two uninformed, "uneducated" children on an uninhabited island anywhere in the world, within three generations they would create a religion. And that religion would incorporate not only their opinions or view of the spiritual but all knowledge of the natural world gained during the course of it's development. "Don't fish on First Moon Day because the sharks fish on Firstmoonday." Ultimately what religion is is but one half of a two headed political power authority and it occupies, when empowered, a central position. It is an evolutionary tool which serves on multiple levels; but the organized religion itself, as articulated, is but the "rules" that govern all, including the parameters of spirituality which serve, among other things, to humble.

[-] 1 points by LeoYo (5909) 3 years ago


Never said Maryland was more tolerant, only that the literary basis of Jefferson's inspiration was derived from that Act.

A religion incorporates social rules pre-existent to the creation of the religion. The basis of the religion itself is a spirit-based worldview, not the rules of a society. And that basis has no purpose without the goal of avoiding some perceived misfortune. Even the rules of society have the purpose of avoiding and alleviating misfortune.

[-] -1 points by funkytown (-374) 3 years ago

The second and third sentences of the above are absolutely false. Your view is far too superficial. And time does not permit the essay that would afford the explanation.

[-] 1 points by LeoYo (5909) 3 years ago


The conditions facilitating Jefferson's writing of the statute doesn't change the literary inspiration for it nor does the reality behind it just as the conditions facilitating the writing of constitutions by other governments in no way detracts from their inspiration from the US constitution despite not sharing the same legislative reality of the US.

[-] -1 points by funkytown (-374) 3 years ago

I might have to concede this one because I don't honestly remember. But I don't agree with your first paragraph in the above at all. There is a lot more to the "spirit-based worldview" than simply the desire to avoid misfortune. And the rules of religion are not a consequential derivative of that spirit based view, quite the opposite - the rules of society are actually incorporated in the early development of all religions. Although there is a centralized spiritual view, what organized religion actually is, is the behavioral rules of society. And it is so heavily intertwined in the cultural mindset that the two - spiritual and civil - become not only virtually inseparable but also indiscernible.

If it is your intent to present Maryland as more tolerant, again I would disagree. It prohibited the non-Anglican and non-Roman on pain of death (or heavy fines).

[-] -2 points by brudlo (-454) 3 years ago

islam is not a religion, calling it one doesnt make it so. www.therelgionofpeace.com/

[-] 0 points by funkytown (-374) 3 years ago

It has all the characteristics of a religion.

[-] -1 points by brudlo (-454) 3 years ago

yes, you should. you can learn about the so called religion of peace. its all documented.by choosing not to read about it, you 're wallowing in ingnorance.

[-] -1 points by brudlo (-454) 3 years ago

did you go to the site and read about what the members of so called " relgion of peace" do on a daily basis?

[-] -1 points by funkytown (-374) 3 years ago

Uhhh, no, should I?

[-] 0 points by funkytown (-374) 3 years ago

Yes, I agree, 100%.

[-] -2 points by Lucky1 (-125) from Wray, CO 3 years ago

I think the real question is why does the left kiss Muslim ass?

[-] 1 points by Builder (4202) 3 years ago

Hmmm, it was the Bush dynasty who were financially tied to the Bin Ladens.

[-] -1 points by Lucky1 (-125) from Wray, CO 3 years ago

Hmmm...and that has to do with my question....?

[-] 1 points by Builder (4202) 3 years ago

Hmmm, if you don't get that the Bin Ladens are Muslims, and the Bush dynasty are right wingers, I'm not sure how else I can get the point across.