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Baghdadee بغدادي

JCHFleetguy

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Posts posted by JCHFleetguy


  1. The problem for the Lebanese government is that the effectively made Hezbollah the semi-official Army of Southern Lebanon - when the peace treaty that created the new government said that all armed militias were to be disarmed. Hezbollah fighters should have been inducted into the Lebanese Army under central government control if they wanted to pack weapons around and defend southern Lebanon from the Israelis.

     

    The same is true in Iraq. If the various militias are not disarmed, or inducted into the Iraqi military under central government control, then Iraq will never know peace and security.

     

    Factions like Hezbollah, and Al-Sadr's Mehdi Army, must put primary allegiance not to their sect or political view - but to the national unity of their country. Otherwise, no truly unifed government will arise in either Lebanon or Iraq.

     

    Back to Lebanon: some outside force was going to have to push Hezbollah away from the Israeli border. This could either have been:

    1. the Lebanese army that had no will or ability
    2. the Israeli army which is the worst possible player
    3. the UN peacekeepers that have done squat
    4. the upcoming multi-national force - which will hopefully do better than the UN
    This still leaves the Lebanese government (as the Iraqis) with the task of removing armed militias from the zone of their control - or they will never truly have control.

  2. Obviously, in the United States our understanding of the situation in Iraq comes from the source of our news: we can see the "light at the end of the tunnel" as the establishment of a stable government with security for its citizens - or a train with impending doom and chaos for all.

     

    So, I am looking for comments on this unidentified Iraqi womens take on the current situation in Iraq:

    Dear Dena [Merriam, convener of the Global Peace Initiative of Women], Joan [brown-Campbell, chairperson], and Joan [Chittister, co-chair]:

     

    I finally called [one of the delegates to the GPIW] today, as we had not heard from her for a while. She was due to join us [for an upcoming event] but is now afraid to leave her family.

     

    She has lost her uncle and nephew recently in a bombing and so there is tremendous grief in her family. They have decided to try to leave Iraq for another Arabic speaking country as they say it is much worse now than ever before.

     

    Women cannot wear slacks now. They cannot drive. They must be veiled and the bombings and shootings have increased manyfold.

     

    She said when they were here in the United States during the meeting things were so much better. But now it is impossible to live there. There is hardly electricity. There is talk of turning off cell phones and even the Internet for a month or two. She has been unable to access her e-mail for many days. And when she walks to her work each morning she now fears for her life.

     

    She said that there is not one family in Iraq that has not faced a tragedy.

     

    I am sorry to convey such sad news from Iraq.”

    and I would like comment on the rest of Sister Chittiser's article

  3. All Things Conservative: Reform for Islam:

    Over at Frontpage Magazine I found this interview with Prof. Abdul Hadi Palazzi, the so-called "anti-terror, pro-Israel" Sheik.  He condemns suicide bombings:

     

    As a scholar of Islamic Law, I believe that Islam permits wars under certain conditions (i.e., it permits some soldiers to fight against other soldiers when ordered to do so by the State), but strictly forbids taking military initiatives by individuals, groups or factions (which is referred as "fitnah", i.e., sedition), strictly forbids targeting civilians and strictly forbids committing suicide.  Consequently, as a Muslim scholar, I must necessarily condemn suicide bombing as a matter of principle, irrespective of who the victims are. I am obliged to say that a suicide bomber is by no means a martyr of Islam, but a criminal who dies while committing acts which Islam views as capital crimes.

     

    And in an act sure to shorten his own life, he believes that the Qur'an blesses the existence of Israel:

     

    I find in the Qur'an that God granted the Land of Israel to the Children of Israel and ordered them to settle therein (Qur'an, Sura 5:21) and that before the Last Day He will bring the Children of Israel to retake possession of their Land, gathering them from different countries and nations (Qu'ran, Sura 17:104). Consequently, as a Muslim who abides by the Qur'an, I believe that opposing the existence of the State of Israel means opposing a Divine decree
    .
    He also quotes from: Lesson One for the modern Muslim: remember, this is not the 8th century

  4. Actually I said the reverse: "Not that that kept Christianity under control over time". Also, there was the comment about the 50 baptists perhaps killing each other (that was a joke - but with some element of truth).

     

    Thanks for the information about Islam's unified theology - I certainly wouldn't have guessed that from the outside. From the view out here there seems to be deep divisions between Sunni and Shia; and between those who take up a peaceful interaction with other religions and those who call for aggression against non-believers.

     

    It seems all religions have the problem of educating those outside their own world on their beliefs. Perhaps that is because the media that is relied on to transmit that information filters badly.


  5. I think it is incredibly important that there is cross-cultural communication between east and west; and between the two largest religions on the planet. Hope this thread adds to that discussion.

     

    Lisa Renee Ward wrote this: [Does] Islam equal terror and Christianity equal love [?]:

     

    Islam equals terror, Christianity equals love

    Or so many seem to believe. Not just here on Watch Blog, but on a regular basis we are told how Islam is the religion of blodshed, jihad and murder while Christianity is the religion of peace, forgiveness and love. Only problem with that? The Koran and the Bible are very similar.

     

    I'm not going to try to explain how the Prophet Muhummad created the Koran given many claim he was illiterate. There are several schools of thought on that which would be a huge thread on it's own. What I am going to do is point out some similarities between the Bible and the Koran.

     

    Since it deals with In the Beginning let's start with one part of Genesis most of us even those who are not religious have heard. Adam and Eve and the Tree of Knowledge.

     

    Now, in the garden there is a snake, who is craftier than all the other animals. The snake asks the woman if God really forbade the fruit from the tree in the middle of the garden. The woman replies that this is correct: if they do eat it then they will die. The snake replies that she will not die if she eats the fruit, but that her 'eyes will be opened' and she will be like God, knowing good and evil. The woman then sees that the fruit looks good, and that it will give her wisdom. She eats some of it and gives some to Adam. They both realize that they're naked and they sew fig-leaves to cover themselves.

     

    Allah tells them to eat of whatever they desire in the garden, except for one certain fruiting tree (not actually named). He also warns them of the lure of Iblis, and that they should not follow him as he is their enemy. Iblis nevertheless manages to whisper suggestions to the pair. He tells them that Allah only forbade the tree because if they eat of it then they shall become like angels and live forever. Encouraged by Iblis' lure, Adam and his wife both eat of the tree. As soon they do so, they become self aware, find themselves naked and make an effort to find coverings of leaves for themselves.

     

    Is this the only one? No. Noah of the bible, Nuh in the Koran. Destruction? We have it in both, Sodom and Gomorrah with Lot in the Bible and Lut in the Koran. Violence, sex and lusting after virgins? Take your pick you will find it in both.

     

    Women? Obey those husbands...in both.

     

    The Bible contains laws that very few of us today would follow, I for one admit I often partake of the evil shrimp. I am a religious person, I am a Catholic. However I have taken the time to read not only several versions of the Bible but the Koran as well. If you are seeking violence you can find it in both the Bible and the Koran. If you are seeking love? Again it can be found in both. While the Koran includes more warnings concerning those who are Jews than the Bible contains regarding those who are unbelievers, anyone who has read both understands that is almost the same type of behavior Martin Luther exhibited. Muhummad wrote the Koran as a basis of the religion he was trying to form. Martin Luther took parts of the Bible he felt were appropriate and discarded what he disagreed with.

     

    The problem is not Islam or the Koran. The problem is the same problem we have had in our own history of Christianity. Those who selectively use small portions of a religious text to promote their extreme agenda. The main difference is Christianity is an older religion, back when the wars happened that Christianity was the factor wars were fought differently. There were no suicide bombers, there were no IED's, for most of these wars there were not even guns or bullets. The fact that one of the main tenants of the Koran which is it is not acceptable to kill other muslims demonstrates those that claim this is about religion are incorrect.

     

    Please don't take my word for it. Read the Koran, there are several online sources as well as print sources. Read the Bible as well, it doesn't matter which translation you prefer, there are several online sources for the Bible as well. Then make an educated decision for yourself. I used several sources to write this thread, I am including two here for those of you who desire to read more.

     

    Wikipedia: Similarities between the Bible and the Qur'an

     

    Is the Holy Qur'an Copied from the Bible?

     

    I, as a Catholic am not proud of many moments in my religion's history. As I am sure many who follow the religion of Islam are not in agreement with some who are claiming Islam is the basis of their actions.

    This elicited some responses (all can be viewed at link above, where you can also participate if you like) some of which I will copy here (in my view they add to the debate):

     

    Stephanie: Know that you have at least two people (me and my husband) who support your statements and spread a similiar message as often as we can. We have both read the Koran, as well as other informative works that teach about the Islamic faith and its followers. Not to mention, our contact with actual Muslims (who BTW do speak out against terrorists who call themselves Muslims). We have also read the Bible in various forms, the Book of Mormon, the Gita, the Tao Te Ching and other religious works. While there are many things in the Koran that I don't agree with, I'm also prepared to take into account what the living conditions surrounding Mohammed were BEFORE his experience. There are many similiarities between these two religions, as there are significant differences. Blaming terrorism on Islam seems quite absurd if you are familiar with the religion.

     

    Terrorism is not an act of Islam. Terrorism is not universal within Islam. Nor is terrorism exclusive to Islam. The use of terrorizing tactics pre-dates Islam.

     

    If you have any doubts about this, please do as Lisa Renee suggested and read the book, study the culture, talk to the people. Judging the many by the actions of the few is an ugly, ugly habit that destroys your crediblity with those who know better.

    The Professor:Once you stop smoking what ever it is you are smoking then maybe you can read the Koran again. I live in a country with a VERY large Muslum population. I wake up at 5:15 am to the call to prayer. For some ignorant fool in the U.S. to propose to me that Islam is a religion of peace is idiotic, and totally uninformed. Unless you are living in a closet in California you might like to know that Islam has been killing people in the name of Allah since A.D. 622. The more orthodox a Christian becomes the more he would seek to emulate the Prince of Peace. The more orthodox a Muslum becomes the more infidels he will want to kill. Oh, by the way, unless you are a Muslum you are an infidel.
    Stephanie: 1) Christians and Muslims can and do co-exist peaceably and work together for common goals, because they are more similiar than the extremists from either religion would have us believe.

     

    2) Islam = Terrorism is a fallacy

     

    Whether Christianity is true, or whether Islam is true, is irrelevant and merely a matter of opinion (for the sake of debate). The fact that people in general can give others so little room to have a differing opinion on the matter of God is what the problem is, not which faith you follow. If the Islamic Jihadists could honestly believe that everyone had the right (given by God, not by government) to choose their own religion, then they wouldn't feel the need to try and force their twisted brand of Islam down the throats of all the infidels (i.e. anyone who is not directly a part of their cause regardless of their religious affiliations).

    Stephanie: There is something you don't seem to understand. Islam according to the Koran and Islam-in-practice can be two very different things. Muslims today don't just have the Koran to determine what their religion means. There have been hundreds of years with many different religious leaders that have changed the tenets of the religion to reflect A) the differing needs of the people and/or B) their own personal ambitions.

     

    That is why Islam is so fractured and is at war with its own as often (or nearly so) as it is at war with people of other faiths.

     

    Christianity has had the same type of influence, as has Judaism.

     

    For example: Neither Judaism, Christianity nor Islam was prepared at their foundations for the prevalence of pornography in the contemporary world. Religious leaders of each of these faiths have studied their different texts and come to the conclusion that, as per the teachings of their faiths, pornography is evil and should be avoided. Yet, in none of the originals texts could you possibly find the statement

    "Pornography is evil and should be avoided."

     

    Most people of these different faiths feel that their religions really do exclude the use of pornography as a proper sexual stimulant (which doesn't mean they don't use pornography). This is considered by most adherents of these faiths to be a proper use of religious authority.

     

    However, people being what they are, not all uses of religious authority are going to be good. People will involve themselves with religious organizations to gain power for themselves (not out of love for their God) and will pervert the religion to their own benefit should they gain the power to do so. Does that mean the religion itself is bad?

     

    I don't believe so, because that would exclude every religion. For those of you who are atheists or agnostics, it would also exclude every other belief system including political parties and science. Human nature being what it is, everything we can believe in would be invalidated because anything can be corrupted.

    Julia: The issue at hand is what cultural issues cause violence, correct? Does one religion, compared to the other, incite more violence? Or does violence have more to do with the society than the religion?

     

    All I know is to make the constant America. In America, we have a variety of individuals, some more violent than others. Of individuals wee consider truly "americanized", the religion most used to justify violence has been christianity (abortion center bombings, killing of gay people, the KKK and its bible thumping, etc.) I know of quite a few Christian militant churches here, but not any organized Jewish or Muslim militant synagogues or mosques. And when I was on campus, it was always the raving Christian preachers who were chasing down girls in short skirts and demanding they submit to the will of God or burn in the eternal fires of damnation.

     

    I think, however, that this is due to the fact that the majority of the American population is Christian, and so, when someone becomes a moral militant, they are more likely to use the Christian religion to justify their actions. (Not because I think Christianity is more or less prone to violence than Juadiasm or Islam.)

     

    I think it is more likely that you will find a disenfranchised group of Christians here who feel that their personal values are under persecution, and that they will fight their disenfranchisement through the manipulation of the word of God. Before 9/11, I would say that the individuals who felt that their beliefs and morality were most persecuted in the United States were Christians. I think that Muslim and Jewish americans certainly felt persecuted culturally, but I'm not so certain that they felt that their morality was being attacked (as strongly as some Christians do).

     

    For instance, I think there are individuals who feel strongly that they are being persecuted because the ten commandments are being banned from the courthouse, and because abortion doctors commit abortions. The institution of American "has it out for them." Whereas the average Muslim or Jewish person doesn't feel like their religious beliefs are being targeted on the political or institutional stage. I would think their persecution worries would focus on whether or not their indvidual neighbors are bigots.

     

    In Pakistan, I believe the opposite is true. The moral militants are Muslim, and they feel their government is "out to get them." Why can't they impose Sharia law? Shari'a law is being denied them! The Christians and the Jews (and Hindus), who are in the minority, are more worried about their nieghbors killing them, than religious persecution by the state.

     

    At least, if I was in Pakistan, that's how I would feel.

     

    Of course, there are plenty of examples of the minority becoming morally militant. But I think you often see that when it IS the state that is actively persecuting their religious morality.

     

    Anyway, it's just to say that, when I look at the example of America, it makes me think it has more to do with the structure of society, than which religious book a person ascribes to.


  6. Aldoctor,

     

    I agree with you in almost all you say. I think the masses must read (if they are able) a scripture they are to live by - but they must be, as I am and it seems you are, very hesitant to think their personal interpretation (or the interpretation of their favorite teacher) is the only interpretation

     

    But (you knew that was coming): With the nature of scripture usage by Muslim religious teachers today to justify such a wide range of views on what the scripture means - and a wide range of actions based on that view - doesn't Islam almost have to have its own "Council of Nicea" to nail down its theology.

     

    Not that that kept Christianity under control over time - but for a while there was some concensus over what the Bible was to be. Of course, if you took 50 Baptist (leaving out the other denominations) theologians and asked them to embark on this project today it might take them 50 years to complete it (and only if they didn't kill each other in the process :blink: )

     

    Don't you have to try to find some theological unity within Islam?


  7. Aldoctor

     

    You are right - I do try to do that. And you are right, that is a form of training wheels.

     

    When we learn new knowledge we must attach it to old knowledge in order to organize and understand it. Obviously, there are going to be cultural, political, and religious lines crossed where any relationship to my normal world ends.

     

    I trust you brothers to help me out then. However, I do have a very interesting experience set so I may not get lost to fast. We will see.

     

    Is the Qu'ran that complicated? I understand from my struggles with Biblical interpretation how hard this is; and I am not uneducated - but do you really think the Qu'ran is out of reach from the masses of Muslims?

     

    Certainly this was the position of the Catholic Church (there I go again) for centuries - and the arguments over Biblical interpretation in the US may indicate they were right; but it strikes me as harsh.


  8. Pride was the sin of Satan. Is the Garden in the Koran? Pride was the sin of Adam and Eve (ye shall be as Gods?) - the cause of the fall and our separation from God.

     

    I tend to have enough respect for folks of a different religion not to prostletize; but an apologist for Christianity I love is C.S. Lewis. You can read what he said here on "The Great Sin".

     

    The actions of the faith in general you mention are perhaps the worst corporate (group) sins - but I was talking about individual sin more than what we have done wrong as a religion. I might argue that the sin of "crusades, the spanish inquisition, and the conquistadors" was the Pride of Christianity in thinking that they could be as God and kill those unwilling to follow. Certainly God has that right - certainly we do not. I would view the primary cause of killing in God's name as Pride ("you shall be as God") in believing we could be spiritual judge, jury and executioner in God's place.

     

    The two greatest commandments in Christianity are "you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your mind, all of your soul; and all of your might" (probably in the wrong order); and " Love your neighbor as yourself". Pride certainly blocks the second; and probably the first as well.

     

    All of the things you mention are certainly terrible sin. And I tend to be an "all sins are created equally terrible" kind of person - so I will not argue much over ranking.

     

    I am a non-denominational evangelical Christian in the United States.


  9. Salim,

     

    There IS a right interpretation - God does have an opinion, and a plan, and we can have an opinion that reflects God's (at least in some degree). The problem is that we can never really KNOW whether our opinion is the right one; and we can never know ALL of what God thinks.

     

    The greatest sin in Christianity's view is Pride. It was the problem in the garden - Eve was convinced she could "be like God". It was Satan's sin - he too wished to assume God's throne.

     

    The difficulty for me is to try to understand God's scripture, and will, to the best of my power (while trying to put Him in charge of my understanding); and then when I think "I've got it" to put that into practice WITHOUT BECOMING SELF-RIGHTEOUS AND PRIDEFUL.

     

    So those who seek God's leading for their life try to understand that His will, and live it out; but cannot be so Prideful we think everyone else is simply wrong. It is a tough line to walk. And over the centuries, religious people, leaders, and movements have fallen off this line often. We are just human.


  10. Yes, I believe I have it.

     

    So, in the Shia - Sunni difference we have some reflection of the Protestant - Catholic difference in Christianity. The reason for the Catholic Church to have such authority was I believed linked with European feudalism and the same kind of desire for control of the masses by the political powers through the church.

     

    I do not think it was a coincidence that the rise of Protestantism spelled the downfall of the divine right of kings - and eventually feudalism. Certainly, the Catholic church has a more feudal structure now; with the Protestant churches being more in tune with capitalism. That is my own particular view - it certainly isn't Biblical.

     

    Of course, both Protestants and Catholics in the US are likely to come down on either side of the issue of the separation of church and state and the involvement of religion in politics.

     

    Back to the issue of interpretation, I posted this on the issue of Biblical interpretation - which might have some bearing on this thread.


  11. Aldoctor,

     

    An interesting version of Christianity's splintering - but one I do not recognize in my own experience as a Christian. Perhaps I am not understanding you correctly.

     

    Salim has talked about the differences between the Shia, with each Muslim responsible to God and the mosque providing teachers who are not able to order types of belief and/or action; and the Sunni, with the clerics able to direct the believer to act and/or believe in certain ways.

     

    This is also the source of the fundamental split in Christianity. Do individual Christians have a responsibility to read and understand scripture under God's tutelage; or are we required to follow the direction of the religious leaders of our particular sect in understanding God's Word?

     

    Hence, the Catholics believe the Pope infallible when it comes to directions on the faith; and his edicts require following even if they sound wrong to the individual Catholic - and Catholics can be removed from the church for not doing so. The Catholic Church deemed lay people unable to understand the Bible and discouraged them reading it until Vatican II. Luther translated the Bible into German which angered the Catholic Chruch.

     

    Myself, I do not believe the "Nuremburg Defense" (I was only following orders) saves me in God's eyes from violating His revealed will. I am responsible to know what God has revealed in His word; and follow that (even against my religious teacher's belief) under the direction of God to my spirit.


  12. This was a criticism by a Christian theologian of a tendency of political conservatives in the United States to attempt to legislate God's will. It is a Biblical, not Quranic, criticism - but it might be of some help. It is part of one of two companion articles:

    moralism: "According to this notion God's grace needs the help of the state; . . . moralism wants to make politics a tool of faith; . . .

    Now I am not going to complain that moralism "imposes" a faith on people who do not share it. In the sense at issue, even secularists impose a faith on others-they merely impose a different faith. Every law reflects some moral idea, every moral idea reflects some fundamental commitment, and every fundamental commitment is religious-it proposes a god. Everything in the universe comes to a point. For moralism, therefore, the important distinction is not between religion and secularism, but between faiths that do and faiths that do not demand the civil enforcement of all their moral precepts.

     

    To the question "Should the civil law enforce the precepts of the faith?" the biblical answer is, "Some yes, but some no; which ones do you mean?" The New Testament contains literally hundreds of precepts. However, Christianity is not a legislative religion. While the Bible recognizes the Torah as a divinely revealed code for the ruling of Israel before the coming of Messiah, it does not include a divinely revealed code for the ruling of the gentiles afterward. To be sure, the Bible limits the kinds of laws that Christians can accept from their governments, for "we must obey God rather than men" (Acts 5:29). However, it does not prescribe specific laws that they must demand from them.

     

    It is not even true that all of God's commands limit the kinds of laws that Christians can accept. To see this, contrast two such precepts: (1) I am prohibited from deliberately shedding innocent blood; (2) I am prohibited from divorcing a faithful spouse. Both precepts are absolute in their application to me, but that is not the issue. If we are speaking of governmental enforcement, then we are speaking of their application to others. The former precept should require very little watering down in the public square, for even nonbelievers are expected to understand the wrong of murder. That is why I may be confident in condemning the legalization of abortion. But the latter precept requires a good deal of watering down in the public square, for before the coming of Christ not even believers were expected to understand the true nature of marriage. "Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard," said Jesus, "but it was not this way from the beginning" (Matthew 19:8). No doubt the Pharisees to whom He was speaking were scandalized by the idea that their civil law did not reflect God's standards fully. They must have been even more offended by the suggestion that it was not intended to. Among religious conservatives this suggestion is still a scandal, but it does not come from liberals; it comes from the Master.

     

    Christians, then, may certainly commend a law as good or condemn it as evil. They may declare it consistent or inconsistent with the faith. But not even a good law may be simply identified with the faith"

      -- The Problem with Conservatism
    The companian piece is The Problem With Liberalism

  13. The MSM in the United States, by focusing only on car bombings and US troop deaths, have made any appearence of progress disappear. It is beginning to "look like Vietnam all over". Juan Butthead has said the insurgency has won - even breaks in the fighting are explained by the "normal ebb and flow of guerrilla warfare"

     

    Second, a majority American people believe the Bush administration, and President Bush, lied to the American people about the reasons to enter Iraq.

     

    Next, the years and years of anti-terrorist (and really anti-Arab) propaganda leave this feeling that these are hopeless century-old religious and political conflicts; and that Arabs would rather kill each other (and us) over them than have peace and democracy. Racism is a horrible thing.

     

    The Democratic Party hates President Bush and wants his failure; and while they would not say it - really does not want a good result to come out of his "bad actions" in Iraq - they will be happier if Iraq degenerates into open civil war and the US is forced to leave as in Lebanon and Somalia. They can make miles of political hay out of the midterm elections in 2006 and the Presidentals in 2008 if they can show we "destabilized" Iraq due to our aggressive actions.

     

    The Constitution must get written soon; and the elections occur in December; and the Sunni take part. Further, the Iraqi's should ask for control of all Iraqi prisoners (demand it from the US if need be to show independence and non-puppet status) from the US.

     

    It would help immensely if the Sunni would declare a cease-fire for their part while the constitutional process plays out. If it became obvious that the fighting was all by foreign jihadists that would be good.

     

    Obvious, and impossible to ignore, politcal progress is needed soon.


  14. Moron99

     

    This is scary to me. I am not arguing it is undoable; or even right - just scary. Look at the sectarian violence in Lebanon; and the way the Syrians, Iranians, and Israelis were able to wield one or another militia in their interests. I believe at some point you are flirting with a two- or three-way civil war in the future.

     

    The fracture of Yugoslavia is another.

     

    If the job is done right - the only non-sectarian controlled body will be the central government - shouldn't it control the miliary?


  15. Ok this is large but I cannot link something on my computer. Heres my outline of Jefferson:

     

    Whereas:

    1) Almighty God has created the mind free;

     

    2) that all attempts to influence it by earthly punishments or burdens:

    a ) tend only to cause habits of hypocrisy and malice,

    b ) are a departure from the plan of the God, who chose not to spread His plan by coercions on mind or body, as it was in his Almighty power to do;

     

    3) that legislators and rulers (civil as well as clerical), in sinful presumption (being themselves but fallible and uninspired men):,

    a ) have assumed power over the faith of others,

    b ) set up their own opinions and modes of thinking as the only true and infallible, and as such endeavoring to impose them on others,

    c ) have established and maintained false religions over the greatest part of the world, and through all time;

     

    4 ) that to compel a man to furnish money for the spread of opinions which he disbelieves, is sinful and tyrannical;

     

    5) that even forcing him to support this or that teacher of his own creed:,

    a ) is depriving him of the right of giving his aid to a particular teacher,

    i ) whose morals he would make his pattern, and

    ii )whose instruction he feels most influential to virtue, and

    b ) withdraws from his favored teacher the aid that would be an added stimulus to the teacher’s instruction of mankind;

     

    6) that our civil rights have no dependence on our religious opinions, any more than our opinions in physics or geometry;

     

    7) that therefore making any citizen unable to assume public office unless he profess or renounce this or that religious opinion, is depriving him of those privileges and advantages to which he has a natural right;

     

    8) that it tends only to corrupt the principles of that religion it is meant to encourage, by bribing with a monopoly of worldly honors those who will externally profess and conform to it;

     

    9) that though indeed these are criminal who do not withstand such temptation [to falsely profess and conform], yet neither are those innocent who tempt them to do this;

     

    10) that to allow the judge to impinge his powers into the field of opinion, and to control the profession or spread of principles on belief in their incorrectness, is a dangerous myth, which at once destroys all religious liberty, because:

    a ) the judge will make his opinions the rule, and

    b ) approve or condemn the sentiments of others only as they agree or disagree with his own;

     

    11) that it is time enough for the purposes of civil government, for its officers to interfere when those principles lead to overt acts against peace and good order; and finally,

     

    12) that:

    a ) Truth is great and will prevail if left alone

    b ) Truth is the proper and ample opponent to error, and

    c ) Truth has nothing to fear from the conflict, unless humans remove truth’s natural weapons: free argument and debate, (since errors cease to be dangerous when they are freely contradicted):

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