newprotest.org: THE POPE MUST DIE?

THE POPE MUST DIE?

September 18, 2006
by: jovial_cynic
An article from This Is London, a London entertainment guide, states that a "notorious" Muslim extremist has declared that those who insulted Islam would be "subject to capital punishment".

He meant, specifically, that the Pope should be executed.

Keep in mind that the article is an entertainment guide. It may or may not represent the attitudes of Muslims across London.

The article is kind of interesting. People in most western cultures believe that such charged statements are backwards in nature, and that anyone that proposes such an idea is likely a menace to society and should be arrested immediately. As one commenter on the site stated:

Incitement to commit murder is a serious offence. I hope this man is arrested forthwith.

Forthwith. haha... I love the English.

But we tend to agree with the commenter -- we think that somebody that says, or even believes such a thing is certainly a problem to the surrounding non-Muslim population.

The Christian Right, as a whole, likely agrees with the commenter as well. That being the case, it finds itself in an interesting position. The Christian Right is interested in enforcing Christian ethics on the society around it by infiltrating the political scene and getting laws established that are in alignment with those ethics. Abortion rights? Homosexuality? These are the current big-issues with the Christian Right.

Is there a difference between a Muslim's cry for the execution of someone who "insults Islam" and the Christian who wants the US government to establish biblical laws? The scale is different -- Christians today are generally not calling for the assassination of leaders... with the exception of Pat Robertson, of course. The Christian Right today is focused intently on the sexual lives of Americans, perhaps thinking that if they win America on the battle of sex, they've effectively won the war. But where does it end? Does the Christian Right have its eyes on forcing Americans to take the Sabbath day off work in the future? How long does it take to transition from where we are now to stoning people for blaspheming the name of God?
np category: religion
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COMMENTS for THE POPE MUST DIE?


Steve said:
It would be a stretch to believe that stoning or any other form of physical harm would be inflicted in the modern day for blasphemy in the Christian community in any circumstance. Stern condemnation most assuredly, but I believe 99.8% of Christians are far from that reality.

There definately is a similarity in scale when the Christian Right atempts to insert its nose in the private affairs of Americans in several areas and when the Federal Government tries legislating things like whether to allow cell phone usage in a moving auto for example. Each is an intrusion in my view, of similar scale, but not extreme in nature.

With that said, I can not think of any other group in the world, political or religious, that has such a harsh reaction to, or percentage of its people that agree with or follow through with such extremes. You could inject the leaders of dictatorial regimes in this category, but usually they do not have the support of the masses in their calls, except to say that the fear of opposition and reprisal may add to the appearance that the masses agree.

On the other hand, the Muslim community will come out in a far greater percentage to stand behind the call for execution or assassination by an extremist in their faith. I would agree that some small percentage of the faith comes out in fear or just sheer curiosity, but in my view, not to the extent that it would add significantly to the protests.

This call to action against someone who does as little as quote a centuries old scholar or draws a cartoon in an humorous attempt of political satire will usually end up in the death of innocents. So if you so happen to follow the offenders faith or agree with the satirist, you are a legitimate target in their eyes. That is psychotic in nature.

And this is from "the religion of peace".

Again, it definately would be a stretch of major proportions to see Christians en masse, calling for assassinations or following through with such calls in modern society. While Christiians definately have beliefs and morals that they try to force upon society, it most certainly is not in such a violent form.

The "religion of peace" has definately been hijacked by the extremists of Islam. But then again, hijacking is just another tool used in the attempt to convert others, honor their faith and be with their God.

September 18, 2006


jovial_cynic said:
Well, that's today's Christianity. But surely you know that yesterday's Christianity was as violent as today's Islam, right? The crusades were the demonstration of the type of manipulation that political leaders hungry for power and land could push onto followers. The men willing to kill and die by the sword in the name of God were convinced that they'd receive paradise when they died as well. This from the religion of the "good news," right?

Do you suppose that nations and religion undergo a cultural evolution, such that today's western Christianity could never revert to that sort of behavior? I don't know. But I fear that it may not be the case.

September 18, 2006


Steve said:
A reversion in Christianity to the crusades of the past is highly unlikely. I am one not to say never, however I'm sure its safe to say it will not.

In the case of Islam, I guess that is a fight the world will have to fight to bring them into the modern era just as Christianity evolved to be less violent.

September 18, 2006


Mark Glesne said:
Let us not forget that Robertson apologized for his comment only two days after his asinine statement.

I highly doubt Mr. Choudary will be recanting his words any time soon.

But one can always hope...

September 19, 2006


jovial_cynic said:
Do you suppose that christianity was more violent during the time of the crusades or during the age of the inquisitions, in which the theocracy hunted down folks that dissented? That's the kind of cultural throw-back that concerns me more, because that sort of culture blends in well with modern government. Did you know that in Alabama, it's illegal to possess and use "sex toys," even in your own house? And this kind of legislation is promoted by the Right and signed into law.
September 19, 2006


jovial_cynic said:
Mark -- yes, yes, I know. But I wasn't really suggesting that the Christian Right is currently promoting the wholesale assassination of opposition leaders. I just threw that in for fun. ;)
September 19, 2006


jarhead john said:
The comparison of Christian Conservatives to the cult known as Islam is way off the mark. Not wanting things such as abortion as a form of birth control, or homosexuality to be preached as normal is nothing close to what Muslims would like to see happen.

There's a difference between a society that was founded on, and is mostly based on Christian VALUES, and the beliefs of Muslims. Those beliefs are not compatible with freedom, or western society in general.

September 19, 2006


jovial_cynic said:
John, I think you're missing the point. The point is that once upon a time, christianity (as a whole and as a culture; I'm not speaking of individuals) ruled by theocracy, and it ruled by the sword. At the onset of the creation of America, we saw people fleeing from that very theocracy. Freedom from persecution, freedom from tyranny, and freedom from religion. Ultimately, the same religion you feel America was founded upon.

There are many folks in christian leadership who are keenly interested in "bringing the kingdom to earth," as it were, and in doing so, they're suggesting that laws in America reflect particular Christian values. But which Christian values? What if two Christians disagree on the issue of health care reform? Capital gains taxes? Laws protecting homosexuals from hate crimes? Which christian leaders are going to gain the most influence in government? What about the powerful and influencial Westborough Baptist Church? Sure, they don't represent mainstream Christianity, but they're influencial, and they're growing.

You say that it's "nothing close" to what Muslims would like to see happen. I think that Christianity today is well on its way to American theocracy.

September 19, 2006


Kristen said:
Hey, just wanted you to know, there are a few articles on Slate.com about this whole situation.
September 19, 2006


jovial_cynic said:
Which article in particular, Kristen?
September 19, 2006


BZ said:
Great post. Does the fact that the US is one of the only countires to still murder people in its jails say anything about the compassion of the Christain Right? Is the gas chamber any different than stoning?
September 21, 2006


jovial_cynic said:
Interesting point, BZ.

I'm not sure that the US death-penalty is tied to the Christian Right, though. That's been in place for a while longer than the rise of the Christian Right, which has only been in place for the last 20 to 30 years.

That men should die after committing murder isn't tied directly into any particular religion; I believe the Babylonian law code (oldest known to man) contained similar punishment for murder... so one might make an argument for an antiquated legal system, but not for the connection between the Christian Right and the US death penalty.

September 21, 2006


BZ said:
I was just pointing out that while we look at the “backwards” Middle East, we tend to forget that in the very bastion of progress and freedom, people are still being killed by the state.



September 21, 2006


jovial_cynic said:
Fair enough. That's a well-connected argument.
September 22, 2006


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