Monday, August 27, 2012

Disabled Pakistani Christian girl accused of blasphemy



His Grace has been criticised, rebuked and scorned for having commented upon the crime and punishment of Pussy Riot while remaining silent on the plight of an 11-year-old Down's girl in Pakistan. Apparently, she has burned some pages of the Qur'an, and stands accused of insulting Mohammed. In accordance with Pakistan's laws on blasphemy, she faces the death penalty.

But, this being Pakistan, there's not a lot of time to organise lawyers and arrange some time in a courtroom before a judge. No, the mob is already baying for blood, and the little girl's house in Islamabad is surrounded night and day by hordes of zealots eager to do the will of Allah.

The reason His Grace hasn't yet commented on this (apart from the fact that he is not a rolling news service and his time is constrained) is because the facts are somewhat in contention: some accounts say the girl, identified as Rimsha Masih, is a juvenile - perhaps 11 or 12; some insist that she is 16. Some say she has a mental disability (Down's) and was unable to respond to police questioning; others that she is of normal intelligence and so culpable. Some Muslims from the area claim the girl had burned pages of the Qur'an in defiance of the Islamic religion (she is Christian); others that she was simply burning paper for fuel, which is not uncommon in the area.

Frankly, His Grace cares not whether the girl is 11 or 16, with Downs or not: she is accused of blasphemy because she allegedly burned pieces of paper which are not sacred to her. What on earth happened to there being 'no compulsion in Islam'?

President Asif Ali Zardari has ordered his Interior Minister to launch an investigation into this case because of the attention it is attracting. He'd better get a move on, for the natives are clearly restless, and Allah must be avenged. It isn't unknown for the mob to take the law into their own hands and summarily execute people who are accused of violating the blasphemy laws. Liberal politician Salman Taseer was shot and killed by one of his own guards in January 2011, and in March 2011, armed men assassinated Shahbaz Bhatti, the only Christian minister in Pakistan's cabinet.

Perhaps if the Foreign Secretary were to move towards a more ethical foreign policy... for why should British Overseas Aid be contingent on international gay rights but not on averting the persecution of religious minorities? Is the life of a homosexual man in sexually-repressive Uganda worth more to HM Government than that of a Christian girl in religiously-extremist Pakistan?

Surely President Zardari might be a little more inclined to ensure justice for the girl if it were tied to (say) £650million?

344 Comments:

Blogger David B said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

27 August 2012 at 10:47  
Blogger David B said...

Made a little error in earlier commented, so reposted amended.

This is a very sad case, and similar cases are becoming all too common in some parts of the world.

I would, however, suggest an amendment to HG's final para, along the following lines.

"Perhaps if the Foreign Secretary were to move towards a more ethical foreign policy... for why should British Overseas Aid be contingent on international gay rights but not on averting the persecution of religious minorities, and those of no religion?"

Atheists suffer from persecution, too, especially in some parts of the world controlled by Islamic theocracies.

David B

27 August 2012 at 10:50  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Surely the 'no compulsion in Islam' (a contentious issue in itself) is about being forced to enter Islam? She allegedly blasphemed through her actions, which is something different to heresy. As we know, the religious don't like their various deities to be scorned even by people who don't believe in them. The problem in this horrible story is that the religious have the power and the will to do something vicious about it.

27 August 2012 at 10:51  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...


One hears from the news that the EU is threatening Gambia. Too many condemned criminals being put to death, no less. Of course, the bleeding hearts of liberal compassion are not just confined to ensuring evil men are made comfortable in their incarceration and fed three times a day. It can only be a matter of time before the EU steps in and protects the interests of this poor unfortunate. Let no man say the Inspector is wrong on this one...

27 August 2012 at 10:57  
Blogger Jessica Hoff said...

Your Grace asks:

' Is the life of a homosexual man in sexually-repressive Uganda worth more to HM Government than that of a Christian girl in religiously-extremist Pakistan?'

To which, to judge by actions rather than words, the answer is clearly 'yes', as far as HMG is concerned.

There may have been a less Conservative set of Conservatives than this lot, but it is hard to imagine who they could have been.

27 August 2012 at 11:00  
Blogger Roy said...

DanJ0 said...

As we know, the religious don't like their various deities to be scorned even by people who don't believe in them. The problem in this horrible story is that the religious have the power and the will to do something vicious about it.

There is a world of difference between not liking something someone says or does and wanting to kill them because of what they said or did. You know perfectly well that "the religious" are not a homogenous group. Even within Islam there are big differences and those Moslems who do not follow the same version of Islam as the majority in Pakistan are also periodically subjected to persecution in that benighted country.

You should not try and detract attention away from the plight of that girl in order to give an outlet to your antipathy to religion in general.

27 August 2012 at 11:03  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

DanJ0. If you had any honour about you, you would not tarnish all belief by using ‘religious’ when evil Islam is the subject. To use the distress of a half wit girl and her family to broadcast your underlying agenda is to be frank, nauseating in the extreme...

27 August 2012 at 11:03  
Blogger Youthpasta said...

This is an interesting post to have following on from the previous post, given that we first have Saudi Arabia possibly standing up to the Vatican on behalf of all other Christian denominations and now Muslims in Pakistan seeking to kill someone because they have "offended" Mohammed (though how you offend the dead is beyond me!). Quite the comparison, no?

27 August 2012 at 11:07  
Blogger john in cheshire said...

YG, well said. I would add that Pakistan is our enemy and not our friend and despite the Christian entreaty to love our enemies, I don't interpret that to mean that we should provide them with the means to do us harm; ie. unconditional foreign aid, or allowing our enemies to live amongst us.

27 August 2012 at 11:10  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Inspector: "To use the distress of a half wit girl and her family to broadcast your underlying agenda is to be frank, nauseating in the extreme..."

Oh get over yourself.

27 August 2012 at 11:27  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Roy: "You know perfectly well that "the religious" are not a homogenous group."

Correct. You may like to note that I said the "the power and the will" up there, noting in particular "the will" part of it. There's your differentiator in this.

Of course, Europe went through a period of religious wars too and Christians had the will to do something vicious about stuff like this too. In particular, heresy.

We're all partly products of our environment and culture. We're lucky now to live in a society where the environment and culture is educated, liberal, and democratic. That produces a much nicer [1] person in general.

[1] Anticipating someone shortly, a definition is available on request.

27 August 2012 at 11:34  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Roy: "You should not try and detract attention away from the plight of that girl in order to give an outlet to your antipathy to religion in general."

I'm a liberal, I don't even support the death penalty for child murderers. To threaten her with death for what she has allegedly done is vicious and outrageous. But do you really think you have the power to influence things over it by just wringing your hands in the comments section of a blog?

27 August 2012 at 11:40  
Blogger Berserker said...

Continuing on from the Inspector...

-Of course, the bleeding hearts of liberal compassion are not just confined to ensuring evil men are made comfortable in their incarceration and fed three times a day.

The Scheveningen holding centre of the ICC not only gives three meals a day but supplies computers, fitness areas and so on. The two sentences handed down the Congolese Warlord, Lubanga - only 14 years and probably out in 10 and Charles Taylor, 50 years (that's more like it) but of course the Uk has said it will accept him to spend his prison term in this country. Who pays for this?

The ICC is a joke. Many crimes are excluded by the tribunal and there's a list of OK countries where sentences may be served. Bet Pakinstan is not one of them.

The warlords and criminals who avail themselves of the wonderful Dutch hospitality at Schveningen know they probably have a good few years of luxury and freedom from reprisals before toddling off to a lovely bleedin' heart incarceration.

They must be queuing up!

27 August 2012 at 11:44  
Blogger Roy said...

Youthpasta said...

" ... and now Muslims in Pakistan seeking to kill someone because they have "offended" Mohammed "

The protests in Pakistan are not about Mohammed they are about the Qur'an. Christians should be careful to be accurate and truthful, not cavalier with the facts.

27 August 2012 at 12:01  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

Is the life of a homosexual man in sexually-repressive Uganda worth more to HM Government than that of a Christian girl in religiously-extremist Pakistan?

Provocative? Disingenuous? Mischievous? even Religiously Hypocritical? or just plain crap? I appreciate that this venerable Blog is infected with a viral Troll - but does YG really have to provide the ground-bait for it?

Some of Uganda's pastors have been some of the bill's most outspoken supporters.

"Would you accept that a thief
should be licensed, that a prostitute should be licensed? There is no difference between a thief, a robber, a prostitute and a homosexual," said Pastor Joseph Serwadda, who heads Kampala's 6,000 member-strong Victory Christian Centre Church.


http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/06/29/us-uganda-gays-idUSBRE85R0XR20120629

27 August 2012 at 12:11  
Blogger Youthpasta said...

Roy, if you read around more than just this blog you will find that it is not just the burning of the Koran but also that she has, apparently, offended Mohammed.

27 August 2012 at 12:49  
Blogger Kinderling said...

"Is the life of a homosexual man in sexually-repressive Uganda worth more to HM Government than that of a Christian girl in religiously-extremist Pakistan?"

Yes.

The Bible of the European Convention on Human Rights defines Homosexuality as true whilst religions are interchageably faith-based.

I might argue that both are born out of fear and terror to espouse a life-pursuit towards Greater Love or a Greater Peace than is humanly possible, being more than the mind can bear to remain fully conscious, but the powers-that-be have realized like the landlords before, that sexual repression towards the opposite gender demoralizes that nation to not step out of line. Denigrate females in Islam, denigrate males in Communism or have 'no differences' in being gender neutral in Socialism. No Adam and Eve ever again to rise from the primate shrewdness, but worming animosity between the sexes because of perceived wrongs.

The life of a homosexual man therefore is worth more to HM Government than any Christian girl. He's one of them. It's in their scriptures.

27 August 2012 at 13:33  
Blogger David B said...

There are reports on the BBC today of Talibanistas brutally killing 17 people for playing music in a mixed sex party.

That is something to consider, along with blasphemy and homophobia based on religious zealotry.

I must look into the history of British puritanism, though I suspect that the Taliban excesses are of an order of magnitude greater than those of the English Puritans. Though they did deprive many people of a living, and many more of a part of their culture, by banning the theatre for 18 years.

It is not so long ago that having a drink, or playing in or watching professional sport on a Sunday was banned, pandering to the religious lobby.

Not the same as killing people out of religious zealotry, but awful for all that.

David B

27 August 2012 at 14:11  
Blogger shamim masih said...

Sorry, her name is RIMSHA not Rifta....
shamimpakistan@gmail.com

27 August 2012 at 15:13  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

And what say you, Dodo?

Perhaps you are busy, so allow me to present your stern disciplinarian's position on this girl's case from some very transferable arguments you made to me regarding another case "blasphemy," the recent antics of Pussy Riot. No, no, no need to thank me, it's what friends do for each other and it's really easy, watch.

See, we can take that: These [Pussy Riot] women intruded into that sacred space and also insulted the Mother of God. Try to understand that....You think a quick slap on the wrists sufficient for this outrage in the context of Russia?

...and turn it into this: This [Pakistani Christian] girl defaced sacred writings and also insulted the Prophet Mohammed. Try to understand that...You think a quick slap on the wrists sufficient for this outrage in the context of Pakistan?

I like that context thingie, btw; few seem to understand situational ethics as you do. Perhaps you can lecture your friends here with this:

"You clearly do not understand Pakistani society or its people; neither do you understand the Sunni Muslim view of the relationship between the Mosque and the State. You may also want to research the Hanafi Madhab shariah definition of 'blasphemer'."

All that from your, "You clearly do not understand Russian society or its people; neither do you understand the Russian Christian view of the relationship between the Church and the State. You may also want to research the Russian legal definition of "hooligan".

And, The Pakistani people chose sharia. It's their country. If they want a sense of discipline and decency in their country then who can deny them this right?

That noble admonition was extracted from your: "The Russian people chose Putin. It's their country. If they want a sense of discipline and decency in their country then who can deny them this right?"

Consistency is wonderful, isn't it, Dodo? All you have to do is apply your high-minded and unbending principles to different cases and circumstances. Copy, paste, minor edit...done: One steaming serving of MacEthics for any situation!





27 August 2012 at 15:51  
Blogger Kinderling said...

Avi Barzel, you point out how the human brain, (Dodo's in this instance), is clouded by bias and easily revealed with a little objectivity.

In your opinion is this bias presented due to childhood trauma? The 'Stockholm Syndrome' of the violated, putting Mohammad or St Paul and their messages onto a pedestal to make them into Holy Prophets, annointed and superior to mere mortals, to avoid the dred of excommunication and imaginary fires of Hell and Eternal Damnation? That once made a home in them, their religions became real?

Is this not the same path for a child to sample the bitter taste of homosexuality then to become 'Born Again' and celebrate their new life without conscience in comfort, as long as they are not burned by such as you?

It would be good to know how clear your conscience is.

27 August 2012 at 16:52  
Blogger John Magee said...

As HG ended his article about the the Saudi King coming to the rescue of the use of the word "catholic" on the web being legally monopolized by the vatican:

Allah works in mysterious ways.

Of course the Islamic version of Allah also was used by Arab Christians centuries before Mohammed was even born and still is as the name of the one true God of Abraham , Isaac, and Jacob. The Saudi King's version of "Allah" is the pagan moon God of Medina.

The Allah of Medina's mysteries include honor killings, killing a Muslim who apostates from Islam and becomes a Christian, a Jew, a pagan, or an atheists, killings others in a suicide to advance Jihad and many other "mysteries" of the cult of Islam we in the West would call acts of barbarism.

27 August 2012 at 17:56  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

27 August 2012 at 18:11  
Blogger John Magee said...

Make a cartoon of Mohammed in Sweden or Denmark and see where that gets you. A Swedish cartoomist who did this lives in hiding in fear for his life protected by the police.

Theo Van Gogh, a Dutch film maker, made a short film about the abuse of immigrant women in Muslim communities in The Netherlands and he for tht he was murdered in the streets in Amsterdam in broad daylight by Muslim "youths".

Ask Geert Wilders about the death threats he has received for his short video about the brutality innate in Islam which Wilders shows in his film "Fitna" using only quotes from the Koran and the Hadiths and the words of Muslim's themselves.

Children are sexuallyu abused by gangs of Muslim men in Britain and British welfare workers and police are so scared of being on the wrong side of PCness and the liberal the media as well as the Muslims themselves they did nothing to help the victims.

On and on and on and on these things are done in the name of Allah and condoned by the Koran in our own countries and we close a blind eye to what's going on around us by Muslim immigrants.

This is a terrible story about this poor girl in Pakistan but why does it surprise anyone?

Look around you today. Look at Islam's brutal, vicious, and vengeful history since the time of Mohammed 1,400 years ago.

27 August 2012 at 18:13  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

DanJ0

Well, I wasn't going to, but since you asked ...

That produces a much nicer [1] person in general.

[1] Anticipating someone shortly, a definition is available on request.


I have never said you couldn't produce a definition. I have said that the definition you could produce is equally valid with every other definition that could be produced. Your definition amounts to nothing more than your personal preferences. So your sentence should be read:

That produces a person who in general behaves as I would prefer.

Which is what your arguments always reduce to, once they have been stripped of all the pseudo-objective language. This is the problem I keep pointing out, and you keep avoiding. When I point it out, you talk about how you can live with the "untidiness" of it all. Of course you can. The "untidiness" is external. Your whole system is predicated upon never actually having to experience the consequences of what you believe.

But what will you do when (say) the aliens show up to harvest us for food? Will you demand your autonomy? Will you assert the freedom that is by right yours because you are a human being? Will you beat them about the ears with the philosophy of David Hume? At that point you would be nothing but lunch meat.

Lunch meat doesn't have a right to autonomy. And I don't have to reach for a fantasy about aliens to demonstrate the truth of that statement. I can just turn to human history.

carl

27 August 2012 at 18:16  
Blogger John Magee said...

John in Cheshire

Let's not forget that Pakistan is the only Muslim nation, so far, with nukes and the missiles to deliver them with. The USA and Braitain handle Paksitani relations gingerly.

This is the same nation where Osama bin Laden livied in hiding for apparently the past few years before he was discoverd and killed by a USA Navy SEAL team in his "secret" hideout not far from a Paksitani Army base. Can anyone atcually believe the Pakistani's didn't know Bin Laden was in their country ????

Pakistan will join the Taliban in an instant if they get a chance. Pray that never happens.

27 August 2012 at 18:22  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Avi

Nicely done.

I suspect Dodo will atempt to extract himself by asserting a difference between public space and private space however. He will claim that Pussy Riot violated the Cathedral. But this won't work, because the Pakistani girl would be subject to the same penalty no matter if she had commited the (alleged) acts in public or in private. Dodo would thus be forced for the sake of consistency to accept the punishment of this girl if she had commited her (alleged) acts in a location corresponding to the cathedral.

Which he won't.

Here's hoping that Pussy Riot becomes a Russian version of Rosa Parks.

carl

27 August 2012 at 18:37  
Blogger Edward Spalton said...

Carl Jacob,

If past experience is any guide, this unfortunate girl will be killed, even if the court finds her not guilty.

Some years ago in the Blair/Brown years an acquaintance, a non conformist minister, attended a public constituency meeting at which Charles Clarke was the speaker.

He asked what HMG intended to do about the persecution of Christians. The result was an accusation of racism.

27 August 2012 at 18:49  
Blogger John Magee said...

carl jacobs

Rosa Parks reprsented a whole segment of American society, blacks and mainly in he South, who were discriminated against because of their race. What discrimination can Pussy Riot and their ilk face in Russian society? Did they die by the millions in SOviet Gulags set up by lenin and Stalin after the Russianj revolution? No they did not. They are spoiled brats who live in a very differnet Russia from 20 years ago.

Are Pussy Riot and their kind in Russia sent to the back of a bus, face job dicrimination, have separate rest rooms, denied jobs, etc? I don't think so.

Do you support their feminist, left wing, Gay activist, sisters in the USA and the West who are pro abortion and gay "marriage"?

27 August 2012 at 19:05  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Carl: "This is the problem I keep pointing out, and you keep avoiding."

I thought we're beyond dialogue?

Look, all you're doing is just rolling out Absolute Morality vs Relative Morality 101 each time. Anyone can go and look up what that's all about. Only, I don't actually advocate a morality that is completely ungrounded. As ever, the argument is rather more nuanced but you always prefer the 101 version to argue against.

27 August 2012 at 19:47  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Carl: "But what will you do when (say) the aliens show up to harvest us for food? Will you demand your autonomy? Will you assert the freedom that is by right yours because you are a human being? Will you beat them about the ears with the philosophy of David Hume? At that point you would be nothing but lunch meat."

What do you hope to do with that? It's almost childish. What will you do? Hope you illusory man-god rides down on a bloody cloud to save you?

27 August 2012 at 19:51  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Obviously, Magee, Carl referred to Rosa Parks as an example of a catalyst for major political change. Look up the word.

You seem to know the politics of the Pussy Riot ladies better than anyone. They are pro-abortion? Gay? How do you know? Wait a minute, you wouldn't be the sweaty, porcine-looking chap doggy-styling the pregnant one in their "F***ing for Medvedev" protest act, where they disrobed and energetically copulated for about ten minutes at Moscow's Biology Museum? In your case, stick to publishing your manifestos on HG's blog.

27 August 2012 at 19:52  
Blogger Youthpasta said...

Dan, given your denial of any moral absolutes I have to wonder why you are even in this discussion. After all, the situation is the result of decisions and opinions that are all perfectly valid positions to take in a pluralistic understanding of the world. So surely this is merely the result of letting people live as they want to?

27 August 2012 at 20:09  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Danjo, I think you missed Carl's point. Imagine a species so intellectually advanced or different that they cannot perceive a difference between a fish, a steer, an avocado salad and a human. How will you explain your uniqueness, if you could? Certainly not by pointing to our great intelligence, which to the alien critter will mean as much as IQ differences between a trout and a pig mean to us, i.e., first course and second course to be followed by desert. A totally secular mind will have to accept its new status as lunch meat as being rational and therefore just, albeit unpleasant. A religious mind will point to the promised, unconditional uniqueness of humanity and its role in history and the universe and will fight and protest to the last breath.

27 August 2012 at 20:17  
Blogger Yokel said...

HG wrote: What on earth happened to there being 'no compulsion in Islam'? (A reference to Sura 2:256)

I assume HG asked in jest, for it went up in a puff of Allah changing his mind as Mohammed fled Mecca for Madina. That bit was abrogated (Sura 2:106) and replaced by any or all of: ""fight and slay the pagan (idolaters) wherever you find them" (Sura 9:5); or "strike off their heads in battle" (Sura 47:5); or "make war on the unbeliever in Allah, until they pay tribute" (Sura 9:29); or "Fight then... until the religion be all of it Allah's" (Sura 8:39); or "a grievous penalty against those who reject faith" (Sura 9:3)"

27 August 2012 at 20:35  
Blogger Kinderling said...

"A religious mind will point to the promised, unconditional uniqueness of humanity..."
Gorrilla
Chimpanzee
Homo Erectus
Neandertal
Homo Sapian
"... and its role in history and the universe...
Over 15 billion years of a Universe, hundreds of millions of years of life on earth with five major extinction events, and a couple of hundred thousand years remaining with the introduction of the humanoid form.

...and will fight and protest to the last breath.

Knowing not what you fight and protest about.

27 August 2012 at 20:36  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

27 August 2012 at 21:04  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Avi: "A totally secular mind will have to accept its new status as lunch meat as being rational and therefore just, albeit unpleasant."

Avi, we're essentially in a social contract. Ultimately, it's why animals are excluded from the rights and protections the rest of us try to establish. The basis of a social contract is an appeal to the natures and rational minds of other people.

I dunno if you have some weird views about people with secular minds but I certainly won't go down without a fight. I'll be like a secular Will Smith in Independence Day, you know. You can be like Parson Nathaniel in Jeff Wayne's War of the Worlds. :)

"A religious mind will point to the promised, unconditional uniqueness of humanity and its role in history and the universe and will fight and protest to the last breath."

Or, religion acts as an opiate so that people work on plantations against their will but create great folk music about redemption as a result.

Or, people will stoically accept being fed to lions for the entertainment of others in an amphitheatre because they think they'll get a reward in another reality.

Or, one sect will murder another in hideous ways, such as burning alive, and the people being burned will get through it thinking they're picked the correct variant.

Or, one religion will fight with another, murdering the inhabitants of whole cities because they think their absolute morality and the god hypothesis that holds it in place is actually the true one out of many.

27 August 2012 at 21:04  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Youthpasta: "After all, the situation is the result of decisions and opinions that are all perfectly valid positions to take in a pluralistic understanding of the world."

I'm not that keen on the claims of an external reference point to our reality and its absolute morality by the people in this particular story. Are you? Who are you to claim yours is better? Who are you to claim yours is actually true and theirs is not?

27 August 2012 at 21:08  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Uh, Kinderling, you forgot Homo habilis and I trust you do know that while we're in the same primate family, we don't directly descend from the great apes you've listed. The other stuff you go on about is too deep for me to comprehend, but it's pretty.

27 August 2012 at 21:10  
Blogger Kinderling said...

Hi Avi,

I trust you do know that while we're in the same primate family, we don't directly descend from the great apes you've listed.. so I had read over the shoulders of others to understand this.

My point was: we are not the center of the universe.

You had demonstrated a technique of transposing Dodo's argument with 'Christian' and 'Muslim' to uncover a prejudice and the more fundamental reality of value judgements based upon ego, so I wished to know how much further could see. Whether you had looked at the religions of the world and found their loyalties likewise bound by culture and vanity to their complete fulfilment or complete abstinence.

27 August 2012 at 21:25  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Many years ago, and before the WWW, the Inspector kept on hearing and reading that man and chimp share 98% DNA. The secularists had something to shout about, and my God, were they shouting. Now, problem was, that was it. No other comparator. So, he propelled his hide into WH Smith and searched through the numerous science publications. Bingo ! It was all there in one publication. What the Inspector remembers as most profound is that we share 30%+ DNA with a daffodil, of all things.

The most successful of bouncing is when the victim doesn’t know they are being bounced at all...

Toodle pip !


27 August 2012 at 21:35  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Genome comparisons in percentages. Not as simple as one might think.

27 August 2012 at 21:43  
Blogger John Magee said...


Was this discription posted above by supposed to about be me?:

Magee

"You seem to know the politics of the Pussy Riot ladies better than anyone. They are pro-abortion? Gay? How do you know? Wait a minute, you wouldn't be the sweaty, porcine-looking chap doggy-styling the pregnant one in their "F***ing for Medvedev" protest act, where they disrobed and energetically copulated for about ten minutes at Moscow's Biology Museum? In your case, stick to publishing your manifestos on HG's blog."

I never posted this kind of filth.

It makes you wonder what kind of mind this person has who can pretend to be such an intellectual one minute and then drag up this kind of filthy insult made without any proof the next.

This was another personal attack on me made without one scintilla of evidence.

I demand an apology.

27 August 2012 at 21:45  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Danjo, you said that ...we're essentially in a social contract. Ultimately, it's why animals are excluded from the rights and protections the rest of us try to establish."

That's quite a hop and a skip from a social contract to ultimately arriving at an exclusion of other life forms. You fail to mention that the exclusion has been based on religious precepts.

This is embarrassing, but I haven't seen the films you pointed out. I've been resisting installing a tv in my sleeper, as I could easily use up my mandated rest periods watching flicks rather than studying or bothering His Grace. In any case, it's not that I have "weird views about people with secular minds"; I simply don't think there is such a thing as a genuine secular mind. There is nothing purely secular about seeking a "social contract," appeals to justice or mercy between people, worrying about the welfare of animals that are of little use to us or objecting to the injustices you list. In fact, these are all biblical, or Judeo-Christian ethics you are citing.

Yes, religion can lead to strife and injustice, but from the few samples we've seen so far, pure secularism alwaysleads to a primitive, neo-pagan worship of charismatic strong-men and a long-lasting devaluation of human life and worth.

27 August 2012 at 21:48  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

27 August 2012 at 21:55  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Avi: "That's quite a hop and a skip from a social contract to ultimately arriving at an exclusion of other life forms."

That depends on how much store you put on reciprocity in the construction of a social contract. But hey.

27 August 2012 at 21:59  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

A comparison. Humans at 100% and Chimps at 98%

In the 1960s, it was the fashion for English zoos to host chimp pretend tea parties. The notion so touched the nation’s heart that PG Tips commissioned a long running series of adverts featuring just that. In Dublin Zoo, they went one better, it is alleged...

American tourist: Hey fella, back in England, all their chimps drink tea.

Dublin keeper: Yeah, well, all our chimps smoke.

Tourist: That’s amazing fella, what else can they do.

Keeper: Nothing, it’s taken all our time just to teach them that.

Chimps, for all their 98%, are capable of little more than jack...

27 August 2012 at 22:04  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Avi: "In fact, these are all biblical, or Judeo-Christian ethics you are citing."

Surely you're not claiming that without exposure to Judeo-Christian teaching, people wouldn't be inclined to mercy, or to wouldn't have a sense of justice, or feel empathy?

27 August 2012 at 22:05  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Inspector: "A comparison. Humans at 100% and Chimps at 98%"

Really, it's more complex making comparisons than you appear to think.

27 August 2012 at 22:07  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

You're absolutely right, Magee, I stepped way over the line. My profuse apologies.

In fact, lest anyone accuse me of unfairly slandering you, let me go on record and say that there is no way the chap behind Ms Nadezhda Tolokonnikova's derrière could have been you, as he appeared to have been enjoying his unusual act of political expression.

I hope this paltry gesture of mine helps and I look forward to many more pleasant discourses about the Joos with you in the future.

27 August 2012 at 22:08  
Blogger John Magee said...

Inspector

The Church now teaches that the Holy Spirit has guided evolution since creation.

Before Carles Darwin even the brightest secular minds had no definite theories about exactly how the human race evolved.

My question about evolution is why, if we evolved DIRECTLY (forgetting the DNA missing link) from apes, do we have weaker bodies, soft soles to our feet, almost no body hair, and can talk because our brain has no speech capabilitie and we have a "voice box" and monkeys and apes do not.

In other words why did we elvove into physically weaker beings?

27 August 2012 at 22:09  
Blogger John Magee said...

Avi

That's the 3rd time you've taken a sleazy personal swipe at me. You can attack me for being a stupid gentile and for my posts you don't like but please lay off the personal attacks. OK?

I read you like a book the very first day I saw your posts here.

I recognize your great "genius" and I know you do too.

Have a wonderful day.

Christ be with you.

PAX VOBISM

27 August 2012 at 22:16  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

"Surely you're not claiming that without exposure to Judeo-Christian teaching, people wouldn't be inclined to mercy, or to wouldn't have a sense of justice, or feel empathy?

Ah, we get to the core of the issue, Danjo. It is in fact what I'm claiming. The Bible is possibly the first document to describe, list, interpret and mandate justice. The Hindus and Buddhists have developed and institutionalized ethics as well, but this is not central to their systems. All humans are inclined from time to time, when circumstances allow for it, to feel a "sense" of justice or empathy, but if you look at the myriads of cultures and their beliefs out there, you will find that justice and mercy are concepts which depend on situations, relationships and power arrangements.

27 August 2012 at 22:25  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

O, get over it, Magee, I recognized you as a tricky antisemite who thinks he's far too clever, but never called you a "stupid gentile." That would be Corrigan. If you want to play rough, don't expect the horesplay to go by your rules and sensitivities.

Anyway, I can't help commenting on your question as to why we are weaker. We can stop talking to each other after that: From an evolutionary perspective, our big brains led us to tool and fire use, shelter-building and eventually environmental control, all of which, after quarter of a million years, led to different selection priorties than one based on brawn.

27 August 2012 at 22:40  
Blogger Kinderling said...

John,

http://www.ted.com/talks/elaine_morgan_says_we_evolved_from_aquatic_apes.html

27 August 2012 at 22:47  
Blogger John Magee said...

Inspector General

You sir, are a scholar and a gentleman.

Thank you for the kind and generous words of support.

PAX VOBISCUM !

Frater Ioannes

27 August 2012 at 22:51  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Kinderling, missed your posts with the chaff flying around.

You said, My point was: we are not the center of the universe....You had demonstrated a technique of transposing Dodo's argument with 'Christian' and 'Muslim' to uncover a prejudice and the more fundamental reality of value judgements based upon ego, so I wished to know how much further could see. Whether you had looked at the religions of the world and found their loyalties likewise bound by culture and vanity to their complete fulfilment or complete abstinence.

First of all, my intent was not to expose any prejudices of Dodo's, least of all his preference for Christianity over Islam (which is understandable) but his problematic assumption that modern secular states can address such things as "blasphemy" or "desacration." The case of the Pussy Riot girls shows us that the State can quickly move to suppress dissent by pretending to be defending the sacred or the morals or sensitivities of the people.

We don't have to be the centre of the universe. We don't know if we are, but from my religion's perspective, we are important and valuable. We have missions, duties and are subject to restrictions. I think that applies to all humans and cultures.

27 August 2012 at 22:57  
Blogger David B said...

Kinderling, at one time I looked into the Aquatic Ape hypothesis quite closely, and it has been debunked compellingly.

David B

27 August 2012 at 22:59  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

O, Kinderling, I see you brought up the Aquatic Ape Hypothesis in your link. An enticing theory with a lot of powerful arguments, but with many opponents and plenty of counter-arguments. I have Elaine Morgan's original edition and have read it several times, but physical anthropology debates are beyond my pay grade and I must declare myself agnostic on that issue. It seems to me, though, that the debate can only be settled by clear physical evidence which links proto-humans to the waters of what is now the Olduvai Gorge, something which I think Miss Morgan also aknowledges.

27 August 2012 at 23:13  
Blogger Kinderling said...

David,

Please, link me to a website or book that debunks the theory of an aquatic ancestry of humans.

Avi,

As social animal being compressed into tighter and tigher spaces of land I agree we are finding new "... missions, duties and are subject to restrictions. I think that applies to all humans and cultures."It does not make them in any way sacred such a circumcision, but good practice for around the world who did not regularly wash. The women were relieved they were not going to get infections.

27 August 2012 at 23:18  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

The Inspector thanks you for your kind words John Magee. Avi is not such a bad fellow. The kind of feisty lad who when led into the ring knocks his own second out. {GRINS}

27 August 2012 at 23:22  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

DanJ0

I thought we're beyond dialogue?

I responded to you directly because you got angry the last time I responded to you indirectly, and I try not to offend people. I responded to you at all because you made a direct reference to me, and I always reserve the right to respond to direct references if I consider the subject important enough.

carl

27 August 2012 at 23:23  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Magee

I don't really care what Pussy Riot supports when it comes to this matter. What happened to them was objectively wrong. It had nothing to do with blasphemy or religious 'hooliganism.' It was an act of suppression of political dissent. The Russian Orthodox Church allowed itself to be used to achieve that outcome, or (even worse) was complicit in it.

carl

27 August 2012 at 23:27  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Carl. You must have public nuisance laws in the US. Might be a different matter to you if they pissed on the liberty bell, would it not. You do yourself no favour in supporting those women.

27 August 2012 at 23:34  
Blogger outsider said...

@ DavidB 22:29
References please. It is hard to think of anything that has not been "debunked compellingly" by someone or other.

27 August 2012 at 23:39  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Kinderling, Wiki seems to have a decent article on the Aquatic Ape which lays out the pro and anti arguments. I'm lost in the specifics, but what does make sense to me is that Elaine Morgan's hypothesis lacks physical evidence, is not readily falsifiable, is too simplistic, and is mainly attractive to students and lay persons, who like exciting and simple answers. There are, though, some mainstream scientists who treat aspects of the hypothesis seriously, and you'll find their names at the bottom of the piece.

I'm not sure, about your argument's direction though. Can we offer cultural-materialistic explanations to religious rules? Of course. But because circumcision, which you brought up, has practical medical value, this doesn't mean that it cannot have a sacred facet as a Covenant between G-d and Man. And a good thing, too, that it was a beneficial thing like circumcision; piercing our eardrums, gauging out our eyes or cutting off our heads would have been mean.

27 August 2012 at 23:42  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

OIG

If a member of Pussy Riot had taken the opportunity to relieve herself in public in that Cathedral, then I would be making a much different argument. In fact, the women involved damaged nothing. So make a fair comparison. What should be done if three women stood in front of the Liberty Bell and chanted some idiotic left-wing slogans? The correct answer is "Escort them out." The correct answer is not "Put them in jail for two years on a trumped up charge of 'hooliganism' when all they really did was (perhaps) trespass."

Does it really not bother you at all that Putin is using a church like this? Does it not bother you immensely that a church is allowing itself to be used like this?

carl

27 August 2012 at 23:48  
Blogger David B said...

Kinderling, I know this site does not much like direct links, so please google Aquatic Ape Theory: Sink or Swim

The author of it is no more qualified than Morgan, but according to the wiki entry blogging scientists have recommended it.

This is not the source which led me, years ago, to reluctantly let go of the hypothesis, which at the time I took very seriously, but at short notice it is what I have found.

David B

David

27 August 2012 at 23:59  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...


Carl. What Putin thinks about what happened is neither here nor there. They were tried under Russian law for making a damn nuisance of themselves in a holy place. A particular holy place place that was not killed off by Stalin. At least assure the Inspector that had they received a punitive fine, you would not take the stance you do....



28 August 2012 at 00:01  
Blogger Kinderling said...

Hi Avi,

"But because circumcision, which you brought up, has practical medical value, this doesn't mean that it cannot have a sacred facet as a Covenant between G-d and Man."

You mean like not eating cows too that has that "sacred facet as a Covenant between G-d and Man"?

Which brings us nicely back to the headline subject of killing a child for the only 'human-inspired' blasphemy.

If all there was between you and death due to starvation was a pork chop... would you eat it?

If all there was left in the world was you, your sister and a Muslim African woman who would you breed with?

You answers will define the evolution of the survival of the fittest and the use of religion for the survival of mankind.

28 August 2012 at 00:05  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...

Kinderling:

Avi will answer for himself in due time, but there is a principle known as ye'hareg v'al ya'avor which you might be advised to look up.

28 August 2012 at 00:07  
Blogger Kinderling said...

Thank you David,

I had already googled and found that site. The aquatic theory is challenged because there is so little hard historical evidence of a transition. Dolphins would be amazed too to learn they were related to hippopotamuses except they have the DNA as proof, just as we have proof of of our primate roots. Swim upwards and onwards as they say.

28 August 2012 at 00:11  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

OIG

Yes, a fine commensurate with the level of offense would have been equitable punishment given they actually violated some civil statute. My understanding is that they entered the Cathedral when it was open to the public, they disturbed no one, and damaged nothing. So here is how I would expect it to play out.

1. Pussy Riot enters the cathedral and does their juvenile performance art protest thing.

2. Someone calls the police.

3. The police come and say "You have to leave. If you do this again, you will be arrested for disturbing the peace."

4. Pussy Riot leaves, or they refuse to leave. If they refuse to leave, then they get arrested and become subject to a fine.

That's how it should have played out. If they had violated a worship service or did actual damage to something, then you have a case against them. Then they might be subject to jail time.

carl

28 August 2012 at 00:15  
Blogger Kinderling said...

Thank you AnonymousinBelfast "Let him be killed rather than transgress"

Just hope they have a freezer.

28 August 2012 at 00:17  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...

Carl:

Both your posts and Avi's have been extremely helpful to me on the issue of Pussy Riot. My initial response was a little closer to some of Cranmer's detractors - and I had a complicated response that I thought would have been preferable to the actions of both the church and the state.

However, I have now been convinced that the straight-forward approach you have outlined is the right one, and on re-reading Cranmer's posts, have found more to commend them than my initial reading.

Thanks.

28 August 2012 at 00:19  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...

Avi

If you cannot see the difference between a deliberate and wiful act aimed at insulting the national religion of millions and seeking to provoke a response, and the innocent act of a child with a disability, then God help you.

And if you cannot see the difference between a mob threatening to execute this child, as opposed to the judicial process running its course, well, what can I say?

The situations are just not equivalent.

Carl

Please do not put words in my mouth! I have no need to extract myself. If you live in Pakistan as a citizen you abide by the laws of Pakistan. Yes? No?

I disagree with execution under any circumsytances (I doubt you do) and think the Islamic laws on blasphemy are savage. Hwever, do let's remember where they originate from. This child acts have to be judged as to whether they were the acts of a sane person with capacity or not.

Neither of you, Avi or Carl, for different reasons, appreciate what Pussy Riot's actions represented to Orthodox Russians. Two years in prison? Not much of a comparison with execution, I'd say. They brought in on themselves.

28 August 2012 at 00:31  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...


Carl, your played out scenario leads us neatly back to your own faith. To wit, there cannot be a house of God because God is everywhere. What you are saying is that the girls should have been tried under Calvinsit law. In which case they would have received an apology from the court for wasting their time !

One realises that the US is somewhat insular nowadays in it’s outlook. But don’t be so proud as not to at least appreciate an offence committed in a foreign country and duly punished under their laws...


28 August 2012 at 00:32  
Blogger Kinderling said...

I have to retire now... and push my point one final bit further, and that is the 'sacredness' of human life. There is no animal like us and no relion or socialism has a right to bind any human child's mind or mouth.

That you do not know you don't know was a mission of Jesus that you did know - if you had ears to hear and took that Ox out of the ditch.

ye'hareg v'al ya'avor, my giddy aunt.

28 August 2012 at 00:35  
Blogger seanrobsville said...

Your Grace's communicants may be unaware of the true extent of the problems faced by Christian children under Islam, irrespective of accusations of blasphemy. This Catholic site has a (no doubt incomplete) list:

http://www.fides.org/aree/news/newsdet.php?idnews=32088&lan=eng

28 August 2012 at 00:35  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...

Kinderling:

I'm not sure from that comment whether you have in fact looked up the term, or just its literal meaning.

It provides a rather straight-forward answer to your question:

"If all there was between you and death due to starvation was a pork chop... would you eat it?"

But not one that I think you've understood. Unless your comment about freezers is an attempt at humour.

28 August 2012 at 00:37  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Kinderling. you bring up sacred cows in this conversation? Fine. If Indians had eaten their cattle, they would perish; the value of a cow's milk and traction work far exceeds their benefit as food. Eat your cow and a fortnight from hence you will have nothing left to consume and you can't plow your fields to boot. See Marvin Harris' Cows, Pigs, Wars and Witches.

More questions: Which brings us nicely back to the headline subject of killing a child for the only 'human-inspired' blasphemy. Not sure what you are asking here.

If all there was between you and death due to starvation was a pork chop... would you eat it? Yes, preferably with apple sauce, if there's any to be had. AnonymousInBelfast correctly, but sneakily introduced ye'hareg v'al ya'avor and took off, leaving me to provide the definition. It's the principle of being required to violate any biblical or rabbinic commandment to save a life...except for three: committing idolatry, murder and sexual perversion. The latter which brings us to your third question: If all there was left in the world was you, your sister and a Muslim African woman who would you breed with?

This one is easy, the African Muslim woman would be my mate, of course. Hopefully I'd wean her away from her Mohammedanish nonsense. Mating with a sister is one of the prohibited categories. But why did you specify an African woman? Makes no difference; we don't buy into racialism or eugenics, and except for keeping track of the Cohen and Levi lines, there is no policy of genetic preferences, which is why so many of us marry converts of all colours.

So, have I defined the survival of mankind according to you?


28 August 2012 at 00:42  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...


By the way Archbishop, you of course are not a news service. Only thickos who frequent this site would think that. As for what you are about - Jolly good show that man !
]

28 August 2012 at 00:45  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

O, Dodo, quit with the evasion and posturing:

If you cannot see the difference between a deliberate and wiful act aimed at insulting the national religion of millions and seeking to provoke a response, and the innocent act of a child with a disability, then God help you.

We've covered that. Only you and the crooked judge in Moscow see this as an insult against the "national religion"; everyone else sees it as an insult directed at Putin and his compliant lap-dog, the Patriarch. You've accepted the Soviet omnibus charge of "hooliganism" as good enough and you

You can say plenty. Avoiding the mob is relatively easy, avoiding a legal sentence of death under sharia law is another.

The situations are just not equivalent. Of course they are not equivalent. But they are similar in one respect: A modern state defines what an insult to religion is and applies the law in a crooked, biased way to oppress opposition or a minority.

So now that we covered that, tell me: If a Pakistani court deliberated properly and ruled that the girl is guilty of blasphemy and subject to execution, would you philosophically accept this decision as you accept Russian law?

28 August 2012 at 00:58  
Blogger John Magee said...

Where are all the international organizations like Amnesty International, the UN, artists, politicians, musicians, actors, professional leftist adjitators, feminists,... where is Pussy Riot, and Madonna and all the rest who would be crying if this was 3 brats arrested in a Moscow Cathedral for trespassing and desecration and religious hatred? Why aren't they all clamoring to help this poor girl too?

Because she's a Christian and she doesn't count as worthy of the attention by the left wing media.

She is one of tens of thousands Christians who every day suffer under Islamic law of Sharia and the world, in particular the Western media, says almost nothing.

Until it's their turnn to feel the wrath of Islam in the future.

The Muslim Brotherhood is poised to take over Egypt and the future for the over 9 million Coptic Christians thee looks bleak. I hope they get a story here once in awhile soon when their lives face ral persecution from the rdicals who are taking over Egypt... "The Arab Spring" is nor the Arab winter in Egypt, Lybia, Syria,etc.

28 August 2012 at 01:11  
Blogger Kinderling said...

Avi,
So, have I defined the survival of mankind according to you?

Absolutely, though I am surprised you did not also follow the route of “Come, let us make our father drink wine, and let us lie with him that we may preserve our family through our father.” Genesis 19:31-35 so your childen's children had a wider gene pool to work from. (The freezer was for your body if you died from not eating the pork so they could use your sperm for the future of mankind).

Anyhoo. Goodnite and we'll see in the morning if the religous or the socialists have nailed another law preventing offence on the march towards their totalitarian utopias.

28 August 2012 at 01:13  
Blogger John Magee said...

Dodo

The Russian people see Pussy Riot's cavorting in the Christ the Savior Cathedral a little differently than non Christians here:

Only 6% of the Russian people in the below poll support Pussy Riots antics which I copy and paste so I will not be called a liar.

Public opinion in Russia

The Russian Orthodox Church condemned the Pussy Riot performance as "blasphemy and sacrilege". A series of Levada Center polls showed that, of 1600 Russians surveyed in 45 cities nationwide, 42% also believed Pussy Riot had been arrested for insulting the shrines and beliefs of the Orthodox Church. Meanwhile, 29% saw it as a case of general hooliganism, while only 19% saw it as a political protest against Putin. Overall opinion was for the most part negative or indifferent. Only 6% sympathised with Pussy Riot, while 41% felt antipathy towards them. 44% believed the trial was "fair and impartial", while 17% believed it was not. Of those following the case, 86% favored some form of punishment, ranging from prison to forced labor or fines, while 5% said they should not have been punished at all. A prison sentence of 2 to 7 years was seen as appropriate by 33%, whereas 43% saw two or more years as excessive, and a further 15% said the defendants should not have been prosecuted in court. The conservatism of the public has been criticized by many Russian commentators.

28 August 2012 at 01:28  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

An odd conclusion you draw about Genesis 19:31-35, Kinderling. This is a descriptive, not a proscriptive narrative, and Lot's daughters did not follow a proper "route," nor set an example for one. Preservation of family lineage does not trump prohibition against incest. All the commentaries clearly condemn the daughters' decision. I suspect that like many, you think whatever is in our scriptures is a recommendation or must be justifiable. That is not the case, I assure you.

28 August 2012 at 01:31  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

OIG

To wit, there cannot be a house of God because God is everywhere.

I believe that a man cannot commit blasphemy against a place. Nor does a man defile a place by simply by occupying that place in inoffensive manner. Blasphemy is an offense against God. It exists only in the heart of the man who commits it. It is therefore spatially independent.

What you are saying is that the girls should have been tried under Calvinist law.

This has nothing at all to do with Calvinism. It has to do with sound Theology Proper. As for law, I don't know what Calvinist law is. I know what civil law is, and I haven't yet seen a credible civil statue which Pussy Riot is supposed to have violated. Perhaps that is why they were charged with 'hooliganism.' Sort of like the Old Bolsheviks were once charged with "Wrecking the Revolution." And for much the same purpose.

But don’t be so proud as not to at least appreciate an offence committed in a foreign country and duly punished under their laws...

It's illegal for a Muslim to convert to Christianity under Sharia. The penalty is death. Should I appreciate that law? The fact that a law exists does not make any necessary statement about the legitimate nature of the law. We are commenting here on the nature of the law. The nature of the law in this case is wrong. The fact that Russia has such a law and imposed sentence under it proves only that the law can be used to do evil things.

Look, what's going on here is transparent. Some people think the state should use the law to protect Christian images from contemptuous treatment. It's being dressed up as respect for Russian law, but that respect mysteriously evaporates when Pakistani law is brought into view. This is a clear claim for special privilege.

carl

28 August 2012 at 01:31  
Blogger John Magee said...

Inspector

I can spot a Christophobic intellectual poseur a mile away.

I guess this one got carried away thinking he was in another blog or in a chat room where this sort of personal abuse is the norm.

As you know I never attack anyone here personally or use filthy language as was used in this man's insult's above directed at me.

28 August 2012 at 01:33  
Blogger Kinderling said...

Avi,

"...our scriptures..."?

They belong to you? This is an 'old wine into old wineskins' attitude. A child's inspiration is more than any words in the Bible.

"I suspect that like many, you think whatever is in our scriptures is a recommendation or must be justifiable

Suspect wrong.

28 August 2012 at 01:54  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...

Avi

"A modern state defines what an insult to religion is and applies the law in a crooked, biased way to oppress opposition or a minority."

Is that what the Russians did? Or is it really your dispect for Christianity and the violation of the sacred space and the icons valued in Russia?

"So now that we covered that, tell me: If a Pakistani court deliberated properly and ruled that the girl is guilty of blasphemy and subject to execution, would you philosophically accept this decision as you accept Russian law?"

Of course not! AsI've said already I disagree with the death sentence. I also believe people should be free to believe whatever they choose. This is not the same as insulting the belief of others. However, this child is not currently subject to Pakistani law but,it would appear, the rule of the mob.

Now you tell me, if the Sanhedrin was extant and some person committed such blatant blasphemy and insulted God, would you "philosophically" accept the imposition of Mosaic law?

28 August 2012 at 02:51  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...

Carl said ...

"I believe that a man cannot commit blasphemy against a place. Nor does a man defile a place by simply by occupying that place in inoffensive manner."

Yes, that's what you believe - not the Russian Orthodoc Christians.

"Blasphemy is an offense against God. It exists only in the heart of the man who commits it. It is therefore spatially independent."

Oh really? I guess it's predetermined too. Everyman is his own judge about what offends God? If he doesn't mean to that's okay then?

"I know what civil law is, and I haven't yet seen a credible civil statue which Pussy Riot is supposed to have violated. Perhaps that is why they were charged with 'hooliganism.'"

The law is a Russian law. Not quite up to American standards, but there it is.

"It's illegal for a Muslim to convert to Christianity under Sharia. The penalty is death. Should I appreciate that law?"

No.

"The fact that a law exists does not make any necessary statement about the legitimate nature of the law."

No, except the particular State does have the right to make it law.

"We are commenting here on the nature of the law. The nature of the law in this case is wrong."

Says you.

"The fact that Russia has such a law and imposed sentence under it proves only that the law can be used to do evil things."

Why is it wrong or evil to protect a State from "hoolignism" (as efined in Russian law)?

" ... being dressed up as respect for Russian law, but that respect mysteriously evaporates when Pakistani law is brought into view. This is a clear claim for special privilege."

Er no, it's a question of respect for the beliefs of Christians in Russia and protecting them and their sacred spaces from improper offense.

Pakistani law and how its judicial system handles this particular case has yet to run its course.

The cases are not the same. The Pakistani law is concerned with resticting freedom of belief and its expression. The Russian law is concerned with proper conduct and behaviour.

28 August 2012 at 03:13  
Blogger Kinderling said...

John Magee: "...Christophobic..."

The Dude: "...your dispect for Christianity...."

My apologies Avi, for these are the retorts of Muslims. At least here they have no power of raising a fatwa against you for insulting Christlam, but nothing stops it happening if a dictator gets behind them once again.

They are the remarks of those are attached to 'their scriptures'.

You can only be for-or-against truth. There is no church of belongers.

28 August 2012 at 03:22  
Blogger John Magee said...

Dodo

Thank you for your defense of the Euchrist in regards to the events in the Cathedral of Christ the Savior in Moscow. That is the real issue in this whole story for Orthodox Christians, Roman Catholics, High Church Anglicans and Lutherans isn't it. Desecration of the area in front of the sanctuary in that Cathedral in front of the iconostasis (icon screen) which stands between the people and the altar where the Blessed Sacrament or Eucharist rests is the ultimate insult to the True Presence in the Eucharist. A non Christian, especially one who denies Christ is the Messiah and loaths the concept of the Mass, or Devine Liturgy as it's called by the Eastern Orthodox. This type of person or persons who deny or don't agree with the reality of Christ's physical presence in the Eucharist can't possibly understand why we are so adamantly offended by this desecration. A few of these kinds of people might atcually delight in what the Pussy Riot Crew did. Depending on their religious beliefs.

Catholic and Protestants have been suffering their own version of Calvary under Paksitan's government enforced Islamic blasphemy laws which have been ridgidly enforced for the past the past 30 years since the rise of modern Islamic Jihad, Islamic fundamentalism, and the world's first modern Islamic in Iran in the late 1970's. We see almost weekly on the news stories of churches being burned or attacked in Pakistan and they are always hidden somewhere back on page 21 of the papers or never mentioned in the liberal media new on Cable TV.

Do you remember the very sad story of the Pakistan Roman Catholic Bishop John Joseph in May 1998 who atcually shot himself dead at a blasphemy trial in the courtroom of a Catholic accused of "blasphemy" by an Islamic court and sentenced to death? The Catholic Bishop was so depressed by the harassament of his people and these "blaspehmy" accusations that were all baseless he killed himself. A terrible and unthinkable sin for a Bishop to break the 7th commandment but it was his way of protesting these Islamic "blasphemy" trials going on then... Now we read here the case of this poor Christian girl with Down's Syndrome accused of "blasphemy". The West does not care. Egypt is being taken over by the Muslim Brotherhood and we will see a tsunamie of persecution of the 9 million Coptic Christians there soon. I hope the world cares. The left doesn't. theyw ill make cases like these Pussy Riot brats headlines news instead.

What would happen to Christains if they went to a local mosque in a Pakistani city and protested this girl's likely death sentence and cavorted like Pussy Riot did in that Cathedral in Moscow? They would be instantly killed of course.

Don't forget that Christianity was first brought to what is now Pakistan by the Apostle Thomas on his way east from what is today Iraq on his way to India where he preached and converted Indians to Christianity. he is buried near or underneath the present RC Cathedral San Thome Basilica at Chennai (Madras), India.

28 August 2012 at 03:29  
Blogger John Magee said...

kinderling

A Christophobe is a person who fears, dislikes, or hates Christianity: Christian phobias. Fear or hatred of Christians.

OK?

28 August 2012 at 03:32  
Blogger John Magee said...

carl jacobs

When the "Occupy Wall Street Movement" anarchists and left wingers took over public parks, private buildings, rioted and destroyed private property, fought the police, even stopped the port of Oakland from functioning for days and their other illegal activities for months last year as part of their "protest" against capitalism and the supposed corruption of Wall Street and our society in general did you object to all that nonsense?

Is trespassing with the intention of causing a commotion on private property, even if it's open to the public, illegal?

You must understand the objections those of us who see the cavorting and filth that took place by these brats called "Pussy Riot" in The Christ the Savior Cathedral in Moscow as unlawful trespassing on private property, even though the Cathedral is open to the public. Their deliberate disrespect of the Eucharist (the physical presence of Christ in the wine and the bread after consecration at the Devine Liturgy or Mass) present on the High Altar of that Cathedral was in our eyes blasphemy. They could protest the Patriarch in front of his home, in his car, on TV, even as he entered this Cathedral. But NOT in the presence of the Eucharist in the Cathedral which is sacred to tens of millions of Russian Orthodox Christians and others. You, as a Calvinist, have a different concept of the Lord's Supper from the Orthodox, Roman Catholics, and High Church Anglicans. As a fellow Christian I respect your views. But please try to understand our deep and profound sadness by what these women did in the presence of something that is very sacred to us. A non Christian will see it in a different light unless it's his/her sacred building or books desecrated. They might even take a perverse glee in what these women did and delight in seeing Christians at each others throats over this sort of thing too.

You have to remember that this Cathedral is the Mother Church of the martyrdom of tens of millions(yes MILLIONS) of Russian Orthodox Christians killed during the Soviet era from 1917 to 1991. This a a recent martyrdom during the last 95 years of their people. Not something that happened 1,000 years ago. This Cathedral today was rebuilt on one that was blown up by Stalin in the early 1930's because it was too difficult to destroy by tearing it down.It's not just a sacred place because it is where the Eucharist exists but because of what it symbolizes for over 100 millions Orthodox Christians in Russia today which is why only 6% of them support these Pussy Riots brat's antics.
If you want to read about the martyrdom of the people of the USSR please go to your local library and look for Alexander Solzhenitsyn's trilogy called "The Gulag Archipelago" printed in the 1970's. He was part of that labor death camp sytem himslef for over 10 years after WW II.

Do you think a judge in a courtroom would allow these kind of antics in his presence to "protest" his passing sentence on a person found guilty? A court room is not sacred in and of itself but it physically reprents the legal system and our laws and if you disrespect the meaning of that room with a judge present you might do some time in jail for contempt of court.

28 August 2012 at 04:06  
Blogger Kinderling said...

Hi John,

I admire the teachings of Jesus as an apostate within Judaism who put new wine into new wineskins so that every child should be set free from his religion that lost the spirit of the law by replacing it with sacrifices-for-attonement and walking by the letter. He came soley for these sick in Israel and taught forgiveness, that the truth will set them free.

Yet Roman Christianity supplanted Judaism, attacking the Jews in all their lands, taking it's books from them and proudly calling itself Judaic-Christianity for the convenience of those secularists who paid lipservice to it.

It became a State Religion. The kingdom of god within became the Kingdom of God on their sleeve. Fear and superstion became the norm. Blasphemy the rule of law.

Be very afraid of Christians. They invite the Muslims. Islam may never have suceeded if the Christian King of Abyssinia had not welcomed the Muslim refugees from Makkah. One sleeve-wearer seduced by a greater subterfuge of piety.

""O King! We were ignorant people and we lived like wild animals. The strong among us lived by preying upon the weak. We obeyed no law and we acknowledged no authority save that of brute force. We worshipped idols made of stone or wood, and we knew nothing of human dignity. And then God, in His Mercy, sent to us His Messenger who was himself one of us. We knew about his truthfulness and his integrity. His character was exemplary, and he was the most well-born of the Arabs. He invited us toward the worship of One God, and he forbade us to worship idols. He exhorted us to tell the truth, and to protect the weak, the poor, the humble, the widows and the orphans. He ordered us to show respect to women, and never to slander them. We obeyed him and followed his teachings. Most of the people in our country are still polytheists, and they resented our conversion to the new faith which is called Islam. They began to persecute us and it was in order to escape from persecution by them that we sought and found sanctuary in your kingdom." When Jaaffer concluded his speech, the king asked him to read some verses which were revealed to the Prophet of the Muslims. Jaafer read a few verses from Surah Maryam (Mary), the 19th chapter of Al-Qur’an al-Majid."

19. (The angel) said: "I am only a Messenger from your Lord, (to announce) to you the gift of a righteous son."

20. She said: "How can I have a son, when no man has touched me, nor am I unchaste?"

21. He said: "So (it will be), your Lord said: 'That is easy for Me (Allah): And (We wish) to appoint him as a sign to mankind and a mercy from Us (Allah), and it is a matter (already) decreed, (by Allah).' "

22. So she conceived him, and she withdrew with him to a far place (i.e. Bethlehem valley about 4-6 miles from Jerusalem).

23. And the pains of childbirth drove her to the trunk of a date-palm. She said: "Would that I had died before this, and had been forgotten and out of sight!"

24. Then [the babe 'Iesa (Jesus) or Jibrael (Gabriel)] cried unto her from below her, saying: "Grieve not! Your Lord has provided a water stream under you;

25. "And shake the trunk of date-palm towards you, it will let fall fresh ripe-dates upon you."

26. "So eat and drink and be glad, and if you see any human being, say: 'Verily! I have vowed a fast unto the Most Beneficent (Allah) so I shall not speak to any human being this day.'"

27. Then she brought him (the baby) to her people, carrying him. They said: "O Mary! Indeed you have brought a thing Fariya (an unheard mighty thing).


Be very afraid of Christians because religion has dulled their minds. And of Socialists too - for they are seduced by the tongues of Musselmen and Communists to sit as their head so they can revel in lives for a sense of righteous-dhimmitude if they pay the Jizya to be left alone in peace. Not one voice of sense, so any huckster can walk in.


http://www.al-islam.org/restatement/11.htm

28 August 2012 at 04:27  
Blogger Kinderling said...

Theodoret's Ecclesiastical History records The Epistle of the Emperor Constantine, concerning the matters transacted at the Council, addressed to those Bishops who were not present:

"It was, in the first place, declared improper to follow the custom of the Jews in the celebration of this holy festival, because, their hands having been stained with crime, the minds of these wretched men are necessarily blinded. ... Let us, then, have nothing in common with the Jews, who are our adversaries. ... Let us ... studiously avoiding all contact with that evil way. ... For how can they entertain right views on any point who, after having compassed the death of the Lord, being out of their minds, are guided not by sound reason, but by an unrestrained passion, wherever their innate madness carries them. ... lest your pure minds should appear to share in the customs of a people so utterly depraved. ... Therefore, this irregularity must be corrected, in order that we may no more have any thing in common with those parricides and the murderers of our Lord. ... no single point in common with the perjury of the Jews."[3]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constantine_the_Great_and_Judaism

28 August 2012 at 04:39  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Dodo

You can with consistency do one of two things. You can either:

1. Assert the right of a sovereign country to pass its own laws, and hold citizens to account for those laws.

2. Defend the right of an observer to judge the laws of a sovereign nation according to an objective standard.

What you cannot consistently do is what you are trying to do. You can't tell me to respect the right of Russia to make a law simply because you happen to agree with the law. Your judgment has no influence on my judgment at all.

Yes, that's what you believe - not the Russian Orthodox Christians.

And when did the definition of blasphemy become a fit subject for prosecution under civil law? Because that is the core issue here. If you want to hang this all on "giving offense" then there are lots of potentially-offended Muslims out there who have claim to vindication through law. Salman Rushdie offended many many Muslims, and there was nothing unintentional about it.

If he doesn't mean to that's okay then?

Yes, Dodo, that's exactly right. Blasphemy is an intentional act. It's called a 'guilty mind.'

The law is a Russian law. Not quite up to American standards, but there it is.

The anti-miscegenation laws in Germany were German Laws. You need to give me some reason besides "It was the law" if you want me to defer judgment.

No, except the particular State does have the right to make it law.

Who has denied that? The subject here is "Does this law constitute a good law?'

Says you.

Yes, I do. That's the whole nature of the argument. You can't preempt the argument simply by declaring that "The Russians have the right to make that law, and you must respect that right." No, I don't. The Saudi religious police have the right under law to beat women who go out in public if they are insufficiently covered. I am not going to defer judgment on such conduct merely because Saudi law is sovereign in Saudi Arabia. Your ipse dixit about such laws "being different" is in fact the actual proposition being argued. I think they are different in degree, but not in kind. You see some ontological difference. You can't avoid making your case simply by asserting the sovereignty of nations.

Why is it wrong or evil to protect a State from "hoolignism" (as efined in Russian law)?

That "as defined by Russian law" covers a multitude of sins, doesn't it? One gets the feeling you don't want to look too closely at what actually happened. But where is the 'hooliganism?' What crime did these women actually commit - besides offending people, I mean? Or is that the actual crime for which they are being punished? Did they damage property? No. Did they hurt anyone? No. So why then are they in jail?

Er no, it's a question of respect for the beliefs of Christians in Russia and protecting them and their sacred spaces from improper offense.

Protecting them from what? Who was injured? What was damaged? What is 'improper offense' anyways? And why wouldn't the concept of protecting people and their sacred spaces include (say) protecting people from being offended by the burning of a Koran?

The cases are not the same. The Pakistani law is concerned with resticting freedom of belief and its expression. The Russian law is concerned with proper conduct and behaviour.

So you say. But you haven't demonstrated why Orthodox offense is somehow actionable while Muslim offense isn't. Nor have you demonstrated that this case was about proper conduct when scads of people believe it was about suppression of political dissent.

carl

28 August 2012 at 06:07  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Carl: "I responded to you at all because you made a direct reference to me, and I always reserve the right to respond to direct references if I consider the subject important enough."

I was simply anticipating your striding into the forum like a Roman senator, holding your toga cloak with your chest puffed out, and orating about my comment in the third person. I'm not sure I could face Dodo obsequiously following you around, simpering and thanking you for 'exposing' the potentially subjective nature of "nicer", without chundering.

I should have put a bit more work in earlier as it goes, trying to encourage someone to say that, of the two mutually-exclusive monotheistic religions with an absolute morality and an external reference point, Christianity is "nicer" than Islam and therefore more preferable in the general scheme of things. :)

28 August 2012 at 07:30  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Carl: "And when did the definition of blasphemy become a fit subject for prosecution under civil law?"

Ironically, it's only been a handful of years since we got our blasphemy law removed from the books. Some Christians were trying to use it to punish people right up to its removal too.

28 August 2012 at 07:37  
Blogger David B said...

Blimey, Carl, there is a lot of good stuff in your post of 06.07.

Logical and humane.

One little quibble.

"2. Defend the right of an observer to judge the laws of a sovereign nation according to an objective standard."

I don't see the last five words of that as necessary, and I am far from sure that

a) There is an objective standard

b) That if there is an objective standard, that it is available to individual human beings.

I suppose you could come back at me and say scripture gives an absolute standard, but I don't find that convincing, noting as I do that even among those who believe that some scripture or other is absolutely true different people, and different sects, interpret the scriptures differently.

David B



28 August 2012 at 08:50  
Blogger Youthpasta said...

Dan, your response to me would be my response to you. The only difference being that I never said anything about anything in this case or about my views/beliefs, so your response to me is null and void.

28 August 2012 at 09:02  
Blogger Rambling Steve Appleseed said...

None of us can do anything about the well documented beastliness against kufrs and dhimmis in Pakistan except stop giving Pakistan aid and saying that we disapprove. That would be a start, but our government won't go even that far.

what we CAN do is learn from this dreadful (but far from unique) incident and face up to the issue of free speech erosion here in Britain.

We need a written and inviolable bill of rights which rejects the concept of all forms blasphemy and hate speech (short of incitement to violence). This would need drawing up in such a way as to allow full rights to peacefully criticise any religion or phlosophical position including philosophical positions claiming to be scientific.

Meanwhile, don't burn the Koran-read it. It is a death warrant for Christians, Jews, Hindus, atheists and indeed for western civilisation. We can't say we haven't been warned.



28 August 2012 at 09:51  
Blogger IanCad said...

RSA @ 09:51 wrote:

"what we CAN do is learn from this dreadful (but far from unique) incident and face up to the issue of free speech erosion here in Britain."

I never ever thought that I would have to watch what I say in this country.
You are so right.
How very sad.

28 August 2012 at 10:58  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Youthpasta, you're a Christian and therefore you have an absolute morality as a result of your god hypothesis. You don't actually need to make explicit statements here for me to assess your position.

I find that I don't normally need to justify a position against murder or vigilante justice to most people. It's not the same sort of thing as preferring (say) Monet to Constable despite what some might have you believe.

So, where does that leave the two of us? I appeal to what I think are aspects of human nature and to shared values. You wave a hand at your religious position, thnking it trumps their religious position.

I doubt the justification to act is felt less keenly by each of us. Moreover, each of us is relying on our fellow man to recognise the basis of our justifications. If that doesn't happen then neither of us has an advantage in the real world.

28 August 2012 at 11:12  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...

Avi:

You'll get nowhere with Kinderling. All that happens if you point out an obvious lapse in comprehension is that your own point gets turned back in a pseudo-logic with the claim that "you never understood". Because you see, Kinderling is the only sane one here - and that means Kinderling will just go on diagnosing us all as chumps and deviants whilst appearing to be increasingly paranoid about "Socialism" (which, no, doesn't seem to mean what most of us would think it means - I think it's used as a catch-all term for anyone Kinderling gets spooked by).

Very pretty indeed. Like glass beads.

28 August 2012 at 11:22  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

I should also point out that I accept neither your religious position or theirs. Both are a load of bollocks to me and provide no justification for action.

28 August 2012 at 11:22  
Blogger bluedog said...

Mr Magee @ 04.06, have you actually read the closing statements made by the Pussy Riot girls in court?

Or are you like the Inspector, who refuses to inform himself but continues to pontificate on the topic?

28 August 2012 at 11:35  
Blogger Kinderling said...

Anonymousinbelfast, I was just establishing historically that the fantasy-belief of Christians in the "Virgin Birth" allowed the Muslims to settle in their land; and historically the early Roman Christian had hatred for the Jews as Christ-killers.

Obviously this kind of Kristian is not my kind. None had found "The Way" as they lived by memorizing scripture and their salvation in faith alone. I mentioned socialism as another submission based faith with the doctrine of helping others less fortunate than themselves that leads to Communism. The weak find sainthood thru victimhood - that judgement that makes them appear righteous. By handing power to unscrupulous people they can continually live in the hope for Jesus to come back.
A Christian Theme Park resembles Disneyland. http://www.holylandexperience.com/

28 August 2012 at 12:40  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Order of Service at The Christ the Saviour Cathedral in Moscow for next Sunday

10:00 Devout prayer

11:00 Observance of the Eucharist

11:30 Pussy Riot

12:00 Mass

Due to circumstances beyond their control, Pussy Riot has had to cancel their appearance. The Patriarch would be interested to hear of any other narcissist punk bank who would like to try their boorish luck. Terms are expenses reimbursed plus board and lodging while in Moscow at the Lubyanka.

28 August 2012 at 12:50  
Blogger Youthpasta said...

Dan, what makes your moral stance on the issue any more valid than theirs? I mean this seriously when I ask - justify how your view should be held as more valid than theirs?
Answer that one Mr Moral Ambiguity!

28 August 2012 at 13:07  
Blogger Youthpasta said...

Inspector, do you worship a God who is big enough to take care of Himself? If so, why all this care for whether people have done something to offend Him? If He wants He can smite them where they stand, He could wait for them to cast off their mortal bodies and send them to Hell or He could be waiting for His followers to realise that it is a cry for help and that maybe, just maybe, one of them should go and speak to those who speak but know not what they do.

Just a thought...

28 August 2012 at 13:10  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

...and very much a simple thought at that, Youthpasta. The Inspector considers the offence as the outraging of the faithful. In a similar vein, the ‘faithful’ who attend a league football match would be similarly outraged if at half time, a group of punks made their way to the centre spot and commenced on a picnic. Now, no damage done, but to stop if being a weekly event, one suspects that arrests would be made.

Back to our imaginary order of service. Come the Sunday, the Patriarch informs the assembled that the cathedral was unable to fined another punk band prepared to run riot, and bitterly blames the 2 year stretch given to the last three who tried it...


28 August 2012 at 13:21  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

David B

If there is no objective standard, then all that remains to man is preference and power. How then do you make significant moral distinctions? The brown-shirt with his cudgel becomes morally equivalent to the Jewish shopkeeper bleeding in the broken glass. One man's preference is another man's pain, and all exists to that adjudicates the difference is the power and will of one man to enforce his will on another.

carl

28 August 2012 at 13:30  
Blogger Kinderling said...

"...the outraging of the faithful." John 10:33
http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=John+10%3A33&version=NIV

28 August 2012 at 14:04  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

That's really precious, Dodo, when your circular arguments predictably fail and all you can do is repeat, team up with a histrionic crank and end the discussion with pietistic babble and by turning my criticism of Putin's crooked power plays into a dark and eerie "[disrespect] for Christianity and the violation of the sacred space and the icons valued in Russia."

And so, all discussion about the problems of tyranny in Russia, the nature of liberty and purpose of civil law in the modern democratic state ends with the wagging finger against the perfidious Joos and their wiley schemes. You geniuses win; time for a high-five. No convincing counter-argument possible...apart from a tearful conversion and grovelling for forgiveness in front of the altar, I suppose.

And while I scratch my head in confusion, Kinderling, who says a lot of things I don't understand and some which I don't like, comes along sums up this weird "debate" quite elegantly and brilliantly:

My apologies Avi, for these are the retorts of Muslims [yours and Magee's "anti-Christian" charges]. At least here they have no power of raising a fatwa against you for insulting Christlam, but nothing stops it happening if a dictator gets behind them once again.

Funny and yet quite chilling, no?

28 August 2012 at 14:57  
Blogger John Magee said...

bluedog

Yes. And I don't believe a word they said.

28 August 2012 at 15:00  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Youthpasta, I appeal to aspects of human nature and shared values as I have said. Do you think people who are not-religious are stymied about the immorality or otherwise of theft and murder between ourselves?

How do you resolve the conflict between the dictates of your absolute morality and the dictates of another? Why should advocates of one take notice of another? Answer that, Mr Moral Delusion.

28 August 2012 at 15:16  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

AIB, regarding Kinderling, perhaps so, but after scanning this thread, I'm beginning to suspect that Kinderling is the only sane one aound here. At least he appears to have more fun than anyone else.

Carl, nice try. Really. Great arguments, but to no avail. What to us Americans and Canadians seems like a no-brainer minor case of civil disturbance which should have ended with a warning or at most, a fine and mention in the back pages of the local paper, is an apocalyptic battle between the forces of Good and Evil to some of our Old World cousins. Arguments and musings about totalitarianism, jurisprudence or civil law merely inspire weepy sermons and dark accusations about our supposedly secret motives, suspect religious and idiological loyalties and affiliations and servitude to the forces of social disintegration led by ... a gaggle of young Russian women.

You and I, I think, are unbelievably fortunate in that we live in the last countries of the Free World where churches and synagogues are still full with normal people of all occupations, ages, backgrounds and races, where we and our children know how to commit to the routine challenges of religious and communal life with its regular worship, humdrum board elections and meetings, charity drives, annual budgets...the multitude of practical demands which temper ideological excesses and teach tolerance and respect for proper process. Things are quite different in Europe though; near-empty churches, heavily guarded synagogues, and mosques bursting with intense young men. A suffocating neo-socialist totalitarianism from above, countered only by a shrill and ineffective jingoistic, pietistic and increasingly loony-fringe conservatism, with both sides having long abandoned the ongoing struggle to maintain liberty at all costs. It's eerie and sad, watching Europe's galloping return to its old maladies in real time.

28 August 2012 at 15:26  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

A good point, Bluedog. Here's the closing statement of Pussy Riot member Yekaterina Samutsevich, accessed from boingboing.net:

The fact that Christ the Savior Cathedral had become a significant symbol in the political strategy of our powers that be was already clear to many thinking people when Vladimir Putin’s former [KGB] colleague Kirill Gundyaev took over as head of the Russian Orthodox Church. After this happened, Christ the Savior Cathedral began to be used openly as a flashy setting for the politics of the security services, which are the main source of power [in Russia].

Why did Putin feel the need to exploit the Orthodox religion and its aesthetics? After all, he could have employed his own, far more secular tools of power—for example, national corporations, or his menacing police system, or his own obedient judiciary system. It may be that the tough, failed policies of Putin’s government, the incident with the submarine Kursk, the bombings of civilians in broad daylight, and other unpleasant moments in his political career forced him to ponder the fact that it was high time to resign; otherwise, the citizens of Russia would help him do this. Apparently, it was then that he felt the need for more convincing, transcendental guarantees of his long tenure at the helm. It was here that the need arose to make use of the aesthetics of the Orthodox religion, historically associated with the heyday of Imperial Russia, where power came not from earthly manifestations such as democratic elections and civil society, but from God Himself.
How did he succeed in doing this? After all, we still have a secular state, and shouldn’t any intersection of the religious and political spheres be dealt with severely by our vigilant and critically minded society? Here, apparently, the authorities took advantage of a certain deficit of Orthodox aesthetics in Soviet times, when the Orthodox religion had the aura of a lost history, of something crushed and damaged by the Soviet totalitarian regime, and was thus an opposition culture. The authorities decided to appropriate this historical effect of loss and present their new political project to restore Russia’s lost spiritual values, a project which has little to do with a genuine concern for preservation of Russian Orthodoxy’s history and culture.
It was also fairly logical that the Russian Orthodox Church, which has long had a mystical connection with power, emerged as this project’s principal executor in the media. Moreover, it was also agreed that the Russian Orthodox Church, unlike the Soviet era, when the church opposed, above all, the crudeness of the authorities towards history itself, should also confront all baleful manifestations of contemporary mass culture, with its concept of diversity and tolerance.

28 August 2012 at 15:35  
Blogger David B said...

Carl 13.30

It is a question which requires a longer answer than suits a comment thread like this.

But a few points.

One being to reiterate a point made earlier, that even if there is an absolute morality, God given, Platonic or otherwise, differences in interpretation seem to me to imply that it is not accessible to individual humans, and so we are left with the same problem concerning how to act well.

Another is that if, as I think, morality is an emergent and still emerging part of the extended human phenotype, then morality can develop by descent with modification, and hence become better with the passage of time.

Also, some degree of empathy, and some concept of fairness, seems to me to have developed in some social species, the human species more than most. Some sort of basis for building a morality upon which is part of the evolved human condition.

Improvement seems to me to have happened, to some considerable degree anyway, what with slavery and human sacrifice being consigned to the dustbin of history over much of the world.

Along with, in the civilised parts of the world, with absolute rule by tyrants.

David B



28 August 2012 at 15:46  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

A touching declaration of faith in the "inevitable progress" of our condition and moral development, David B:

...if, as I think, morality is an emergent and still emerging part of the extended human phenotype, then morality can develop by descent with modification, and hence become better with the passage of time.

But you're reaching and stretching, Dave: "Also, some degree of empathy, and some concept of fairness, seems to me to have developed in some social species, the human species more than most. Some sort of basis for building a morality upon which is part of the evolved human condition."

Well, we are mammals with big brains, after all, and we like to coo, suckle, cuddle and such and now how to yak about all that rather convincingly, but turn up the heat a little and this "natural," progressive and seemingly time-directed morality evaporates like the morning mists and we're back to snarling, scratching, butting and eating our own young....with just as convincing words to follow.

28 August 2012 at 16:02  
Blogger John Magee said...



It's so funny. Who ever mentions the word "joos" here. Not me.

Must be the man's paranoia.

How tiresome. Like a broken record.

As a Roman Catholic all I have done in this Pussy Riot controversary here has been to defend the Blessed Sarament or Eucharist in the Christ The Savior Cathedral in Moscow and protest it's desecration by punk rocker feminists. The Eastern Orthodox, RC's, High Church Anglicans, and some Protestants call the consecration of the bread and wine at Mass or their services the Eucharist. To the first three in this group it is the Real Presence of Christ on earth at the moment of the Consecration at Mass which is called the Devine Liturgy in the Eastern Orhtodox Churches and Eastern Churches in union with Rome. These women "protestors" deliberately insulted God in his house. At the very least they were trespassing with the intent to insult believers in the Cathedral.

Their sentence was too harsh. Every reasonable person agrees on that. As I said before. I wish they had been given 6 months emptying bed pans and wiping the rear ends of the dying in hospices or a hospital for the terminally ill. Maybe 6 months facing the reality of life's pain and witnessing first hand the agony of death would have brought these party girl brats down to earth and face some difficult realities about the meaning of life.

The True Presence of Christ in the Eucharist is our Catholic and Eastern Orthodox belief so why can't we claim the right to be "offended" as other minority religions and cults have the right when they believe their sacred books or buildings have been desecrated by similar acts?

The Russian court said it was an act of religious hatred and I agree. Russia is not a member of the EU. Yet the European Union has a whole list of "hate crimes" against religion. Even open criticism of certain cults like Islam in the EU will get you arrested and sent to jail. Denying the Holocaust is a crime in the EU. The Dutch politician Geert Wilders was put on trial by the EU Courts for "hate speech" for his short movie "Fitna" (it can be viewed on Youtube) which exposed the brutality of Islam for the past 1,400 years. He made his documentary using ONLY quotes from the Koran and by Muslim radicals today. He was, thank goodness, found not guilty but he fears for his life from threats by Muslims extremists.

Yet the same people who would support hate speech in the EU, and some of it rightfully so, see nothing wrong with the deliberate desecration of the Presence of the Eucharist in a Russian Orthodox Cathedral in Moscow.

A coming dictatorship in Russia? Possibly. It will be a Nationalist Russia and not a Communist one this time around. That's what is the real story here.

I wonder how many people who defend Pussy Riot today were also defending and protesting the millions of Christians being persecuted and killed back in the old USSR a generation ago?

My guess is ZERO.

28 August 2012 at 16:10  
Blogger John Magee said...

If people are going to judge Putin's conversion to Orthodox Christianity (I think he is a fraud but who knows?) than they should judge the "conversion" to capitalism by former Communist's who saw the "light" when Communism collapsed in 1991 and used foreign money to buy up the former Soviet state run monoplies: coal mines, gold mines, oil fields and refineries, factories, mineral rights, vast reserves of forests, and everything else that was up for grabs for those who had foreign money when the old USSR collapsed. Those who had "friends' in the West with money back in the 1990's in the new Russia are todays Russian billionaires. Some of these new Russian billionaires built the monument to the Red Army outside of Jerusalem which President Vladimir Putin of Russia dedicated this past June...

I didn't see any protests at the dedication of the Red Army memorial outside Jerusalem in June 2012.

My mother remembered clearly as a 27 year old the Red Army "liberating" her town in what was then the German Protektorat of Bohemia and Moravia and today is the Czech Republic: rape, beatings, stealing everything from wrist watched to entire factories dismantled and sent back to the USSR, people arrested and sent to Siberia if they had belonged to pre war Czech Democratic political parties. The police forces fired and literally thugs from prisons took their places.

Red Army in Jerusalem makes me sick.

No such memorial exists for the Allied soldiers who died to free Europe during WW II and liberate concentration camps: Dachau, Bergen Belsen, Buchenwald, Mauthausem, Flossenberg, Natzweiler-Struthof (in Alsace), etc.

28 August 2012 at 16:28  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

My bad, I posted a partial version of Yekaterina Samutsevich's closing statement. Here she concludes by drawing attention to how Putin and his old KGB crony, the current Patriarch, have been pursuing their own "theatre" in front of the altar and the iconostasis:

Implementing this thoroughly interesting political project has required considerable quantities of professional lighting and video equipment, air time on national TV channels for hours-long live broadcasts, and numerous background shoots for morally and ethically edifying news stories, where in fact the Patriarch’s well-constructed speeches would be pronounced, helping the faithful make the right political choice during the election campaign, a difficult time for Putin.

Moreover, all shooting has to take place continuously; the necessary images must sink into the memory and be constantly updated, to create the impression of something natural, constant and compulsory.

Our sudden musical appearance in the Cathedral of Christ the Savior with the song “Mother of God, Drive Putin Out” violated the integrity of this media image, generated and maintained by the authorities for so long, and revealed its falsity. In our performance we dared, without the Patriarch’s blessing, to combine the visual image of Orthodox culture and protest culture, suggesting to smart people that Orthodox culture belongs not only to the Russian Orthodox Church, the Patriarch and Putin, that it might also take the side of civic rebellion and protest in Russia.

Perhaps such an unpleasant large-scale effect from our media intrusion into the cathedral was a surprise to the authorities themselves. First they tried to present our performance as the prank of heartless militant atheists. But they made a huge blunder, since by this time we were already known as an anti-Putin feminist punk band that carried out their media raids on the country’s major political symbols.

In the end, considering all the irreversible political and symbolic losses caused by our innocent creativity, the authorities decided to protect the public from us and our nonconformist thinking. Thus ended our complicated punk adventure in the Cathedral of Christ the Savior.

I now have mixed feelings about this trial. On the one hand, we now expect a guilty verdict. Compared to the judicial machine, we are nobodies, and we have lost. On the other hand, we have won. Now the whole world sees that the criminal case against us has been fabricated. The system cannot conceal the repressive nature of this trial. Once again, Russia looks different in the eyes of the world from the way Putin tries to present it at daily international meetings. All the steps toward a state governed by the rule of law that he promised have obviously not been made. And his statement that the court in our case will be objective and make a fair decision is another deception of the entire country and the international community. That is all. Thank you.


From: olenskae.tumblr.com

28 August 2012 at 16:31  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

If anyone here believes that Pussy Riots’ statements are not the product of their defence team and sympathisers and has precious little input from the girls themselves then they are as cracked as that David B fellow who, despite his maturity, cannot grasp that ‘morality’ is whatever the man with the biggest sword says it is. That’s how it was, and that’s how it will be again one day. We might have the democratic process here right this minute, but so did the Ancient Greeks at one time. Sadly, the fellow is well on the road to Utopia, and unlike Lot’s wife, isn’t looking back, now or at any other time to come. Let’s hope he doesn’t take anyone else with him...



28 August 2012 at 17:03  
Blogger Kinderling said...

Carl J:”If there is no objective standard, then all that remains to man is preference and power.”
David B One being to reiterate a point made earlier, that even if there is an absolute morality, God given, Platonic or otherwise, differences in interpretation seem to me to imply that it is not accessible to individual humans, and so we are left with the same problem concerning how to act well.
And many, with no ‘objective standard’, will do the exact opposite by rejecting a reward on earth; by say, fetishing a dead man to gain preference and power in Heaven.
Carl J”How then do you make significant moral distinctions?”
How do you civilize the ego? Be still and know. Then you will see life is full of hypnosis: Jewish-this and Christianish-that, nothing but what they try to do, copy and emulate. Absurdity.
David B: ”Another is that if, as I think, morality is an emergent and still emerging part of the extended human phenotype, then morality can develop by descent with modification, and hence become better with the passage of time.
Also, some degree of empathy, and some concept of fairness, seems to me to have developed in some social species, the human species more than most. Some sort of basis for building a morality upon which is part of the evolved human condition.”

Humans for thousands of years have had this ability to see with two eyes. The urbanisation and education of children to experience the pain-of-Madrassa however, left a residue of pain in their brains. They were prevented from thinking inside their neurological zones needed for objectivity and so when the violence was removed they remained dysfunctional. This initiation-thru-fear lead to faith like the burned finger placed in cold water became the weekly pilgrimage. The objective standard therefore, is to have a healed mind.
Carl J“One man's preference is another man's pain,… “
Oh, that we all should be led by our preferences as the great writers of the world did so that our will is upon ourselves and not upon others.
Carl J”…and all exists to that adjudicates the difference is the power and will of one man to enforce his will on another.”
To awaken others, is as if you carried a sword. First ‘they will weep and then they will laugh’ when separated from the baggage they thought was life.
John M”The True Presence of Christ in the Eucharist is our Catholic and Eastern Orthodox belief…”
Oops. Quick, bring these little pearls back.

28 August 2012 at 17:20  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Social Liberal Democracy and the morality associated with it is a dead duck in this country what ever happens in the future. Actually destroyed by itself, by allowing the continuing import of vast numbers of muslims to the UK. When the muslim population reaches 20%, expect agitation as their pent up demands start. By 30%, they really will be in the ascendance in this area of north western Europe effectively called by then ‘Anglo-Pakistan’. By then , there will be so much population interchange between the two countries, if it wasn’t for the architecture, you wouldn’t know where you are.

By 35% that will be it. What’s left of the old order here will engage in a desperate struggle to maintain at least a nominal hold over the country’s direction. Social Liberal Democracy will be suspended, never to return. If the muslims win, that’s it then. Muslims will be travelling here from all over Islam to claim their piece of the spoils. If the West wins, really no idea what the future would be, but Social Liberal Democracy will not play a part in it, that’s for sure...


28 August 2012 at 17:37  
Blogger Hannah Kavanagh said...

Wow! What a broad thread this has turned out to be!

re Russia, John Magee. One thing not mentioned is that Russia has never really known democracy until the 1990s, having been an absolute monarchy/theocracy till 1917 and after that one brutal dictatorship was followed by an even worse brutal dictatorship. So a nationalist Russia is hardly going to be a good thing for either Russia or anyone else, is it, although it will have gone- Monarchy, Communist to Nationalist dictatorship in less than a hundred years.

Kinderling, can you explain to me to a clearer way what you are trying to communicate to us, as I really don't understand what you are talking about?

Avi, very witty and urbane as usual.

Re Independence Day- If Danjo wants to be Will Smith, perhaps that means Avi should be Jeff Goldblum?

28 August 2012 at 17:53  
Blogger Hannah Kavanagh said...

I really cannot see what the Pussy band did was a crime. A stupid stunt yes,but that shouldn't have made it a crime.

28 August 2012 at 18:18  
Blogger Kinderling said...

Hannah Kavanagh: "Kinderling, can you explain to me to a clearer way what you are trying to communicate to us, as I really don't understand what you are talking about?"

Random-acts-of-evolution-have-produced-the-first semi-conscious-being-on-the-planet-from-the-battle-of-might-is-right-replaced-by-social-and-mental conditioining-to-this-day-stop-new-paragraph-people-like-Socrates-and-Jesus-represent-the-rebelion-to-their-mass-thought-control-and-as-apostates-or-'whole-thinkers'-were-considered-dangerous-to-the-zeitgeist-stop-the-individual-is-subsumed-by-the-Great-Individual-or-Greater-God-stop-new-line-need-I-go-into-the-neurology-of-left-and-right-brain-functioning-that-dominates-our-perception-and-reasoning-question-mark-new-paragraph-Elijah-did-not-raise-the-dead-and-he-won't-come-back-again-stop

28 August 2012 at 18:21  
Blogger Hannah Kavanagh said...

Hi Kinderling, so you are a new age conspiracy theorist?

28 August 2012 at 18:28  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...

Basically Hannah, Kinderling takes pieces of half-understood psychology and whips them together with an ahistorical, anti-contexualised reading of Jesus and Socrates, to create a fusion that essentially functions to enable the diagnosis of anyone with religious beliefs as psychotic, and of anyone with left-leaning beliefs as tyrannical. Oh and Kinderling really doesn't like gay people, and thinks they're all mentally damaged as well.

You'll have great fun on Kinderling's website - I promise. It even has music from time to time.

28 August 2012 at 18:30  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

John Magee

Re: the "Occupy Wall Street Movement"

Pussy Riot did not take over public parks, private buildings, riot, destroy private property, fight the police, or stop a port from functioning for days. They didn't constitute an illegal assembly. They didn't relieve themselves in public. They didn't intimidate local foot traffic, and damage legitimate busineses. They went into a cathedral at a time when that cathedral was open to the public. They did their silly performance art thing. They left. Five minutes after they departed, you wouldn't have known they were ever there. They didn't interrupt a worship service. They didn't harm anyone. They didn't damage anything. So where is the crime worth two years imprisonment?

I understand that what they did was offensive to you and others. (I'm not sure why it would be more offensive than a Patriarch acting as Putin's lapdog, which I believe was the actual subject of the silly performance art, but let's leave that to the side.) What I don't understand is why you think giving that offense should be actionable under law?

carl

28 August 2012 at 18:34  
Blogger Hannah Kavanagh said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

28 August 2012 at 18:39  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...

You really should take a look you know. It'll open your eyes. It certainly did mine. And my mouth.

28 August 2012 at 18:40  
Blogger Hannah Kavanagh said...

Hi Belfast,

Thanks for that summary and the warning. I don't think I will visit the site. For obvious reasons,I am not really into people who class being gay or religious as a mentally illness.

28 August 2012 at 18:41  
Blogger Hannah Kavanagh said...

Hi Belfast,

Well as you are a learned scholar and have never led me astray before...

28 August 2012 at 18:41  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...

Hannah:

Uh-oh!

28 August 2012 at 18:42  
Blogger Hannah Kavanagh said...

Hi Belfast,

Well, peeking into that blog, was an experience.

28 August 2012 at 18:49  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...

Life will never be the same again, I reckon. :D

28 August 2012 at 18:51  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...


Hannah.I really cannot see what the Pussy band did was a crime. A stupid stunt yes,but that shouldn't have made it a crime

Their conviction was courtesy of something called law and order, you silly thing. It keeps the peace you know.

28 August 2012 at 18:53  
Blogger Hannah Kavanagh said...

Hi Inspector,

Dancing around an Altar in a stupid fashion, whilst wearing masks hardly merits a criminal sentence. In fact all that had to happen here was for the Pussy people to be ejected from the building and be told off in an head master-ish type way. Not carting them off to the nearest prison cell!

28 August 2012 at 18:58  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Avi

Re: OIG's remark: Their conviction was courtesy of something called law and order, you silly thing. It keeps the peace you know.

Ya know. I think you are right. It's futile. They don't even try to engage.

Well, in the meantime. My older daughter used to take baton lessons. Her instructor was Jewish woman who (for reasons I don't remember) invited us to lunch at their Synagogue one afternoon. It was a fund raiser or something. The women in the Congregation cooked tradition Jewish food (including some liver which I am sure we can both agree that liver could be removed from the culinary history of man without any net loss), and I mention this only because I have realized something in retrospect.

No slimey fish and crackers were to be found in the presentation.

No Scotch either - not that I care, since I don't like Scotch. But it is ... curious. I assume this is part of some sort of perfidious plot which I haven't worked out yet, but just to let you know. We are on the trail and the truth will be uncovered.

carl

28 August 2012 at 19:05  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Carl, in fact one considers the sentence somewhat harsh, but the point is they broke the hooligan law. One understands there is a jaywalking law in the US. We don’t have one in the UK. If a UK punk band broke that law, perhaps while demonstrating against Obama’s anti Christian legislation, then do you think this man would be up in arms about it ?

28 August 2012 at 19:21  
Blogger Kinderling said...

Nothing has it Hannah. If you came to me proclaiming you were one thing, tomorrow you'd proclaim me another.

Those that submit to their afflictions seek regular-relief and a received-sense of salvation. The 'Devil made me do it' is easier than going up a mountain and facing why you did it.

This is all I attack: the delusion born of resentment, the "let's raise our children so they are gender-neutral" or "sodomy is a natural and loving act;" and not the child suffering and looking for love in all the wrong places. I do not judge someone ensnared, only those who entice them.

Homosexuality is not normal. I do not know why AnonymousinBelfast promotes it, cetainly St Paul was not enamoured. NARTH.com has done sterling work to help those with dissociation-of-affection disorders.

To shine the light of reality, "see how nature grows" rather than casting the darkness of their reforming priesthood theology.

Protecting children from such as these, is all I am commissioned to do.

Simples.

28 August 2012 at 19:24  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Carl, I'm terribly sorry that you missed out on herring and scotch. You obviously went to a Conservative or Reform synagogue, since large Orthodox shuls don't do potluck, but get everything brought in and served by kosher caterers. Also, absence of alcohol and increasingly, inclusion of healthy, low-sodium, organic, locavore and vegetarian crap are a dead give-away.

Sorry too that I have to disagree yet again with you, this time over liver, of all things. Few people on this Earth know how to cook it without turning the thing into a shoe heel. I actually do know how, but since no one around me likes it straight (with fried sweet Vidalia onions on top and mashed Yukon potatoes on the side), so once in a while I make instead a finely ground, oniony and brandy-soaked home-made liver pate. Served with fresh-from-the-oven diagonally sliced French bread, coarsely ground black pepper, a handful of salty capers to sprinkle on top and and lightly chilled bottles of a smokey Belgian beer. Don't say you din't salivate even a little.

28 August 2012 at 19:46  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...

Never thought I'd see the day when I was accused of promoting homosexuality!

Fair enough you haven't read the many many threads I've commented on on that very issue Kinderling. I take issue with your use of psychological "diagnosis", and the accompanying philosophy (both largely a rhetorical affair), to classify all gay people as psychotic, along with all religious people. The fact that you endlessly blur the two, as if Islam was homosexuality, and vice-versa, or Catholicism sodomy, only cements my bewilderment at just where your mind goes on some of your trips.

On the plus side, you would surely get a job in many humanities departments at universities across the Western world, especially if the position called for a post-positivist or post-modernist (though the latter is a little dated these days)!

28 August 2012 at 19:59  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...

It occurs to me that my phrasing may not have made my intended point clear: I object to both assertions that homosexual people are psychotic and religious people are psychotic, on the grounds that both are demonstrably untrue, independently as well as when they're intertwined.

28 August 2012 at 20:08  
Blogger John Magee said...

What can be more fun than Roman Catholic Catholic weddings? All those wonderful ethnic foods from all over Europe, Latin America, Africa, Asia the women prepare. Happy people drinking and wishing the newly wed couple happiness.

Gosh it's great to be a Catholic and a member of a worldwide universal community of over one billion believers of all races and ethnic groups.

As the English write Hillaire Belloc once wrote:

"wherever the Catholic sun doth shine,
there's always laughter and good red wine.
At least I've always found it so.
Benedicamus Domino!"

It's nice Catholic churches allow bingo for all those nice lonely old ladies to get a chance to socialize one a week isn't it?

28 August 2012 at 20:08  
Blogger John Magee said...

How funny to see those who admonish me for copying and pasting to make my points do the same... even longer...lol

28 August 2012 at 20:12  
Blogger John Magee said...

carl jacobs

The point of the "Occupy Wall Street Movement" was to OCCUPY and they certainly did and without permission! They took over parks, private buildings, banks, the streets, etc. Their antics and riots costs cities billions in overtime for police and the damage they inflicted on private businesses. Do you believe they were just nice people simply protesting? Or as I believe they were and are hardcore revolutionaries and the first wave storm troopers for Obama's hoped for destruiction of the American Republic?

Isn't that exactly what these Pussy Riot punk rockers did, no matter how short their cavorting lasted, was to OCCUPY a church sanctuary without permission and with every intention to hurt believers feelings and get attention by blasphemy and mockery? Their intention was hate and no matter what they said in court during or after their trial that make them seem like sweet little girls pmerely protesting the Russian establishment their intentions were clear: hatred of God's home in that Cathedral.

What will you say if a group of similar minded people some day come to your church during Sunday services and take it over proteting the prolife movement or your church's disapproval of gay "marriage"? That is unless your church supports these things. In that case they will come and sing praise to abortion "rights" and have gay "marriages".

Will you simply have them thrown out or call the police and charge them with trespasing?

That and worse is coming I promise you.

28 August 2012 at 20:30  
Blogger Kinderling said...

AIB "I object to both assertions that homosexual people are psychotic and religious people are psychotic" if these are not psychotic episodes, what are they?

Do dogs worship God? No. Do cats proclaim homosexuality? No.

Only humans do. And if these people drift in and out of theses mind-states, (as they do), and form new allegences and behaviors of identity, what other word can one use but psychotic! They all enter a stage of 'coming out' to their friends and family.

What you get into you have to get out of.

What they all have in common is their death-threats, hate-crimes and blasphemy-laws.

There is no love bar that for themsleves.

28 August 2012 at 20:30  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...

Having gone this way with you once before, I'd prefer to avoid another trip down the rabbit hole if it's all the same.

Succinctly though: psychosis is a specific diagnosis. If a man walked into the office you would like us to think you have*, and started going on about how he killed his granny because Satan made him do it - fair enough, you've got grounds to consider that diagnosis. Simply possessing religious beliefs - or any system of philosophy or politics - is not grounds in and of itself to determine psychosis. We may as well say "Cats don't play the tuba" and lock up brass bands everywhere.

For that matter - true story - dogs don't write blogs.

*The very fact you misuse psychological terms, and appropriate the language without appearing to have a full comprehension leads me to believe that you have no substantial qualifications in that area. If I am in fact wrong, and you are a practicing psychologist, then frankly you are a disservice to your profession.

28 August 2012 at 20:39  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...


One wonders how that poor unfortunate girl and her family are getting on at the hands of those Islamic savages – remember them, the subject of this thread...

28 August 2012 at 20:44  
Blogger Kinderling said...

AIB,

Psychosis refers to an abnormal condition of the mind and is a generic psychiatric term.

Belief in Angels, Virgin Birth, Demons, Jinns, Prayer, God, Sacrificial Attonement, Heaven, Hell, Blessings, Curses, Saints, Miraculous Healing, doing dirty things and calling them good etc. etc.

Stress is known to contribute to and trigger psychotic states.

I have given enough to explain why those who are psychotic, sympathise and support blasphemy laws.

28 August 2012 at 20:51  
Blogger Hannah Kavanagh said...

Hi Kinderling,

You do write some utter tosh, mixed in with a bit pseudo-science.

Hi Belfast,

Well argued as ever.

Hi Inspector,

Quite right.

28 August 2012 at 20:53  
Blogger John Magee said...


Most Jewish foods in North America are in fact variaitions of Christian Eastern European cuisine mainly from the Ukraine, parts of Russia, and Poland which Jews absorbed through centuries of living in that part of Europe. Bagels for example are a traditional Russian bread shaped like donougnuts because they were sold by th bakers on long polls which they lowered and let the bagels slide off into baskets for easy storeage and counting.

True Jewish cuisine is found in places like Yemen, Iran, and the ancient Jewish communities of North Africa. Those cuisines bear no resemblence to what is sold in a New York City Jewish Deli. These meats and other dishes are all Eastern European in origin and adapted to Kosher food preparation rules. They are familiar to anyone who has ever eaten at a restaurant in Warsaw, Kiev, or Moscow or in at a dinner in the home of immigrants from these countries as I have.

Even a stupid uneducated Goy like me knows this.

28 August 2012 at 20:55  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...

But not one to be thrown about without case histories and personal interviews in order to justify your own world view.

Which is why I said that if you are a psychologist - you are a disservice to your profession.

28 August 2012 at 20:55  
Blogger Hannah Kavanagh said...

Hi John Magee,

2 points :

1. The American Republic has survived a war of independence, a civil war, two world wars and the potential for nuclear destruction during the cold war, as well as facing a threat of global terrorism. In historical context, I think that your society can handle a few lefties and tree huggers from the occupy movement, don't you?

2.The comment "every intention to hurt believers feelings and get attention by blasphemy and mockery? Their intention was hate"

Now, I didn't realized that hurting some-one's feelings was a crime in civil society or a blasphemy?

Kinderling is a good example- he/she writes utter tosh from my viewpoint- perhaps even offensive tosh- but it is free cosmos and he/she is quite free to continue to spout whatever bull he/she wants.

It seems to me that these believers have a somewhat weak faith if it is going to be shattered by the Pussy Riot doing an inappropriate (and wrong) gig that wouldn't even pass muster on the opening trials of the X-factor.

28 August 2012 at 21:04  
Blogger John Magee said...

Inspector

Think of the Coptic Christian girls who are kidnapped all the time by Muslims in Egypt and forced to convert to Islam. We never hear of their plight. I can't even imagine what horrors they face and must endure.

Even if the Western media cared about the persecution of minority Christians in the majority Islamic world today, they don't, there are so many cases their revelations would be overwhelming. But still, every one that can be made known MUST be. That's why the story HG posted on his blog about this Christian girl with Down's Syndrome accused of blasphemy in Pakistan is so important. Will it help the plight of Christians in Pakistan? No. Nothing can help them or anyone else in the grasp of Islamic law of Sharia.

Have you ever heard of or read about the Tibhirine Trappist Monks who started a monastery in Algeria when it was a French colony? These good men dedicated their lives for decades to helping the poor Muslims in the region around their monastery and gave them free medical care as well as food. For their years of dedicating themselves to helping the poor Muslims, in March 1996, seven of the nine were captured and beheaded... To their credit the local Muslims were outraged about this act of barbarism against their good friends the monks who never tried to convert them. They helped these Muslim children of GOD at all times. They were eventually killed because of their love for these people.

The Tibhirine Catholic Monks. truly Christian men.

28 August 2012 at 21:14  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

That smart arse Kinderling comes across as a humanities graduate. Big ideas, but lacking the sophistication of putting them over. Always an indication that a chap is following someone else's original thoughts and not his own. Blushing yet, well you should be. Your idea that if you can’t submit an idea to the litmus test means that it isn’t there was thrown out years ago...



28 August 2012 at 21:35  
Blogger bluedog said...

Thank you, Mr Avi @ 16.31.

An entirely sincere statement.

28 August 2012 at 21:41  
Blogger Hannah Kavanagh said...

John Magee,

So you add Jewish food critic to your list of many talents?

There are many different types of Jewish cuisine and food - Ashkenazi & Sephardi/Mizrahi, which has been influenced by and influential to, the areas settled by the Diaspora.

For example, British Fish N' Chips can trace its origins back to Sephardi Jews who came to Britain.

PS- you left out Iraq in your list of places where Jews lived in the middle east.

28 August 2012 at 21:42  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

John, among the many regrets the Inspector has about the unnecessary Vatican II, is the relegation of Satan to that of an idea not a substance. Of course, everyone involved was so bloody clever in the late 1950s that they knew the whole damn lot. One believes Vatican II was another direct result of the being and passing of Hitler. “Let’s join in the revitalisation of Europe by ‘modernising’ the Catholic church”. The damned fools....

The Trappist monks tragedy are yet another example of what happens when Satan appears as the archangel he is, impersonates another Archangel, and inspires a vicious paedophile to launch his blood thirsty quest. All who worship Islam worship Satan...



28 August 2012 at 21:49  
Blogger John Magee said...

hannah

What are you talking about?

Every country, empire, or civilization dies sooner or later either from corruption or being conquered.

Without a doubt the "Occupy Wall Street Movement" was orchestrated from the White House. Part of that "Civilian Defense Force" (greenshirts for the revolution) Obama talked about during his 2008 election campaign.

Republics don't have a long lived history especially when their people would rather have the government take care of them and in the process give up their freedoms. When a government has more people taking from the system than working to support that system it is in serious trouble and most likely will never recover. Look at the Euro Zone. Look at Greece.

If and when the American experiment in freedom dies the world will never be the same again and it won't be for the good. If you find that concept amusing. Don't. Just imagine a world where modern Islamic Jiahd has free reign, China is a super power, and a nationalist Russia, people here are whining about over the Pussy Riot mess, ruled by the UBER nationalist and former Communist Putin threatening Europe while he dreams of his empite from the Atlantic to the Pacific. A Europe without the USA as part of NATO will have to bow to the new Russia's demands.

Have fun Europe.

Israel will not have any more foreign aid if the USA ceases to exist as we know it today.

Guess what? This is the dream of Presidenty Barrack Hussein Obama.

The "Occupy Wall Street Movement" had and has every right to exist. But they had no right to take over public parks, private property, riot, block streets, cost cities literally billions to clean up after their month's long accumulated garbage heaps they left behind in city parks. They did whatever they pleased and get away with it for almost 6 months. Had conservative protest groups, The Tea Party for example, done any of the many illegal activities the Wall Street Occupy anarchists and thugs did every day for months. The tea party people would have been arrestd immediately on the first day.

Of course the Tea Party folks being the responsible people they are in their private lives were peaceful protestors. They got their permits to rally on public land and parks and after their peaceful rallies and when their rallies were over they went home (after they cleaned up after themselves) and got ready to go back to work on Monday.

From all the examples I've seen over the past almost 45 years since the late 1960's it's obvious to me that if the left wing "protests", anything goes as far as riots and violence, and that's fine in heir supporters minds. If conservatives dare protest where their tax money vanishes they are made into ogre's and of course called the usual names: bigots, Nazi's, haters, etc, etc, etc

The conservative protetors against govenment spending of their tax $$$'s rally always on weekends because they, unlike left wingers who somehow have money to finance their month's long "protests" and never have to go to work, have to get up on Monday mornings and atcually go to work and support themselves and their families and pay the taxes that support the welfare state..

Imagine that!

28 August 2012 at 22:13  
Blogger John Magee said...

Inspector

I believe the first Trappist monks of the Tibhirine Community went to Algeria from their Trappist Monastery home in France in the 1920's with genuine concrn for the poor and none of the nonsense of Vatican II had yet to infect their order with 40 or 50 years later. It's been ages since I read about this community before the monks were beheaded in 1996 so I have to do some research.

Inspector

These monks lived a life of prayer, work, and love of their neighbors. Just as the Gospels ask of all of us.

They grew their own food and what they had left over they gave to the poor farmers.

They were warned to leave but refused to because the Muslim poor had no one to help them so the needed the monks. That is true charity isn't it?

All but 2 were easily captured in their small monastery by Jihadists and kept fo 2 months and then each beheaded.

28 August 2012 at 22:24  
Blogger Hannah Kavanagh said...

Hi John,

"what am I talking about?"

Um, giving the US of A a compliment, by suggesting that you have had far bigger issues to grapple with in the past and have come out the other side.

28 August 2012 at 22:24  
Blogger david kavanagh said...

An interesting array of subjects and views here. Not sure where to begin and what mini-thread to address first.

28 August 2012 at 22:39  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

John, we must hope that the white man continues to dominate civilisation as he has done for the last few centuries. For all his errors, he is the best bet we have to avoid returning to an new dark age that could indeed last for the the next thousand years. Fellow whites of the Social Liberal calling. You mean well, but you just don’t grasp the evil that awaits should we fail. You are the weak link in all this, and you yourselves should contemplate your position. Ironically you are your own victims of your own philosophy of understanding...


28 August 2012 at 22:41  
Blogger david kavanagh said...

Hi Hannah,

Don't take any notice of Kinderling, he is quite clearly a distressed individual and perhaps moving in and out of his own state of mind (just observation, as I am not a mental health expert).

28 August 2012 at 23:10  
Blogger Youthpasta said...

Dan, you declare me to be a moral absolutist and yet you declare that just because you share some moral views with a few others that that automatically makes them right. How sanctimonious can you get!!!

28 August 2012 at 23:45  
Blogger John Magee said...

Hannah

What do you mean "coming out on the other side"?

28 August 2012 at 23:49  
Blogger Youthpasta said...

Inspector, if the offence is against people then what were they offended by? Oh, and it doesn't count to be offended on behalf of God.
To my mind we should only take offence if the action taken leads to a financial impact or a significant consumption of time to rectify the situation. If we take offence "on God's behalf" we belittle our maker.

28 August 2012 at 23:49  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

John Magee

The point of the "Occupy Wall Street Movement" was to OCCUPY and they certainly did and without permission!

To 'occupy' is to seize dominion. You don't occupy a park by simply entering it. You occupy a park when you take control of its boundaries and presume to act as an authority within those boundaries.

Do you believe they were just nice people simply protesting?

Actually I thought they were (by and large) neo-hippies who were divorced from reality and would have benefited from a large collective application of soap and fire hose spray. Or perhaps a job, and the willing acquisition of adult responsibility. But what do you expect from someone whose main goal in life is to become a 'social activist?'

Isn't that exactly what these Pussy Riot punk rockers did, no matter how short their cavorting lasted, was to OCCUPY a church sanctuary...

No, they simply entered the sanctuary. They didn't seize control of the sanctuary or try to become an authority within it. They simply filmed their silly stunt and left. In fact, they occupied nothing.

... without permission

They certainly did not have permission to film. I suspect however that a stunt more agreeable to the Patriarch would not have met with this reaction. It was never the entering or the filming that got Pussy Riot in trouble. It was the content.

... and with every intention to hurt believers feelings and get attention by blasphemy and mockery?

No, I am not at all convinced that was their intention. I believe this had much more to do with the relationship between Putin and the church than blasphemy and mockery. I any case, it isn't a crime to hurt someone's feelings by blasphemy or mockery. Again, why isn't the relationship of Putin and this Patriarch offensive? Isn't this reminiscent of the KGB-compromised Orthodox church of old?

Their intention was hate and no matter what they said in court during or after their trial

You need to demonstrate that assertion with evidence. You may believe it, but you haven't proven it. You have not even presented a single fact in support of it.

What will you say if a group of similar minded people some day come to your church during Sunday services and take it over protesting the prolife movement or your church's disapproval of gay "marriage"?

If they had willfully interrupted a worship service, then I would be on your side. That to me is a civil rights violation, and worth a few days in jail. But they didn't do what you just suggested. So this argument is a red herring.

Will you simply have them thrown out or call the police and charge them with trespassing?

For damage to property? For injuring individuals? For violated a worship service? No. Do not pass go. Do not collect $200. For pulling off a stupid stunt in a church? Yes. I saw the video. They didn't doing anything worth one day in jail let alone 2 years.

carl

28 August 2012 at 23:52  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...

Carl

I see your points and do understand them. I'm not sure you're properly considering mine.

"You can with consistency do one of two things. You can either:

1. Assert the right of a sovereign country to pass its own laws, and hold citizens to account for those laws.

2. Defend the right of an observer to judge the laws of a sovereign nation according to an objective standard."


I can do both - why not?

"You can't tell me to respect the right of Russia to make a law simply because you happen to agree with the law. Your judgment has no influence on my judgment at all."

True.

But do you actually understand the Russian law? The Russians take unruly dissent against the State, its citizens and beliefs seriously. They take Orthodox Christianity seriously.

We can argue about the religion and whether it promotes a socially just and fair society and how these beliefs are shared and upheld. We can also discuss the proportionality of criminal sanctions and whether they are just. All States make laws on the basis of their values and beliefs. It's their right. And yes, of course, they can be judged.

"And when did the definition of blasphemy become a fit subject for prosecution under civil law? Because that is the core issue here."

Please re-read what I've written above.

This isn't about blasphemy as the core issue; it is about the level of disrespect, motivated by anti-Orthodox Christian sentiment, that was the crime.

Blasphemy is not an offense in Russia, so far as I am aware. People do it all the time. But come on - in a Cathedral with such national religious symbolism and in front of the Real Presence of Christ?

"Blasphemy is an intentional act. It's called a 'guilty mind.'"

And if you're an atheist you have licence to blaspheme away with no constraints knowing it is offensive?

"You need to give me some reason besides "It was the law" if you want me to defer judgment."

I think I've tried to do that in the distinctions I've drawn above.

I'm thinking now of those yobs who urinated against War Memorials. Should they go unpunished? Or those who vandalised Churchill's statue. Did it matter whether they just wanted to urinate or whether they were wilfully offending millions?

I believe it is right to have laws in place to defend one's traditions, culture and heritage. This is subject to the qualifications given above about social justice and proportionality against offenders.

"The subject here is "Does this law constitute a good law?'"

"Good" being what by whose standards?

"What crime did these women actually commit - besides offending people, I mean?

But that was the crime!

"Who was injured? What was damaged? What is 'improper offense' anyways? And why wouldn't the concept of protecting people and their sacred spaces include (say) protecting people from being offended by the burning of a Koran?"

Because Christian States, by and large, promote proper tolerance and social justice and Islam doesn't? Because the deliberate public burning of the Koran to protest against State actions is different to an innocent act? What would happen in Russia if someone burned the Bible? I'm not too sure. We know what would happen in Saudi Arabia.

" ... you haven't demonstrated why Orthodox offense is somehow actionable while Muslim offense isn't.

I think I have. I also think we in the West should take more seriously insults not only against our Christian religion but also against those who built this nation.

"Nor have you demonstrated that this case was about proper conduct when scads of people believe it was about suppression of political dissent."

I think I've given my views on this.

And these scads of people are not Russian people.

29 August 2012 at 00:02  
Blogger Hannah Kavanagh said...

Hi John,

My point was that America has faced far worse than what Carl Jacobs has just described as a bunch of "neo-hippies". If that is the "fifth column" then I very much doubt you have much to worry about.

If American civilisation managed to survive a horrific civil war and then go on and win two world wars, plus a cold war, worrying about tree huggers in central park is, well, quite strange.

29 August 2012 at 00:09  
Blogger Hannah Kavanagh said...

Hi David,

Oh I won't take much notice of Kinderling.

29 August 2012 at 00:11  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Youthpasta: "Dan, you declare me to be a moral absolutist and yet you declare that just because you share some moral views with a few others that that automatically makes them right. How sanctimonious can you get!!!"

I'm not sure you really mean sanctimony, but hey. It's ironic, really. You have a religious belief in a god which automatically comes with moral absolutism attached. It's implicit that you think your beliefs make you right. How high-handed (if that's the sort of word you mean) can you get, etc!!!

I see no compelling evidence for your god. There isn't any, is there? No more than that for the Muslim god anyway, if you were to wave a airy hand at the existence of our reality itself.

So, I say we ought to work with our reality as we see it and that implies that we must work out a moral way of carrying on ourselves. To do that, we look within ourselves and reason and negotiate and share what we find.

So, on the one hand, we have someone who imagines a god, asserts an overblown explanation for our reality from almost nothing, and claims some sort of subjective certainty which he uses to lord it over others. On the other, we have someone with a necessary and openly stated lack of certainty who looks at human nature and our shared values and tries to find a negotiated way forward in a collective way.

If anyone is high-handed out of the two of us then I think it's you, matey. Also, I notice that you're now throwing abuse around rather than attempting to actually answer the core question I posed to you. Undue high-handedness, and obfuscation to boot. Oh dear.

29 August 2012 at 00:13  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...

DanJ0:

I'm sure you've been directed to Puddleglum's apologia before now, but it just struck me once more how apposite it is in the context of your exchanges with YouthPasta.

Being rather fond of looking at things through the lens of practice - a position that is hardly inimical to your own philosophy - I cannot help but observe that in the round there are often few differences between what the Western liberal atheist and the Western Christian end up doing. Sure, there's the absolute conviction in the objective existence of morality (and by extension, real justice), but I've not noticed a lack of conviction from either you or David B when it comes to those tenets (often shared) that you deem "essential".

Really, as far as I can see, the difference boils down to the fact that the atheistic philosophies are primarily self-serving, whereas the religious serve another external to themselves - even if that other is not really there. Oh to be sure - that doesn't guarantee "good behaviour" by your standards: I'm sure the 9/11 bombers felt sure they were serving an external Allah. But in a sense, Avi was not far off the mark in noting that the high-minded defence of Englightenment tends to evaporate when the chips are down. In such situations, the only authority who ultimately holds you to account is yourself. For the believer, even where all hope has vanished, even where there is no possibility of remembrance, there is God; and that belief, false or not, has been the drive for some of the most significant, and I would argue, humane acts in human history.

The difference between those "saps" kneeling before lions and the 9/11 bombers is of course that the former had a faith that enabled them to respond to a moment of crisis, whilst the latter had a faith that necessitated creating one, and indeed could not long survive without creating one.

The ones to keep an eye on, then, are those who see the validation of their views through the annihilation of others. An eye with a view to prevention when that annihilation is quite literal. But also in another way: it's a place to watch because whether it's thugs trying to kill a Downs girl, a bishop trying to burn heretics, a Chinese "rehabilitation centre", or those general affirmations of driving religion out of the modern world - that you'll see a greater abundance of faith, of people whose beliefs lick those of their assailants hollow.

I shall live like a Narnian.

29 August 2012 at 00:32  
Blogger John Magee said...

Inspector

Hope is the word for Catholics, Protestants, and all Christians.

Things are going to get bleak in the future and then after that even bleaker. Once I remember reading about someone who was a priest who, when he was asked what he would do if he knew the world would end tomorrow because of some catastrophe, he answered, "plant a tree"!. The person who asked him this was surprised and asked why. He answered, "even facing the end of the world for a Christian there is always hope".

Somehow our beautiful Western Christian Civilization with it's enormous accomplishments, much of it inspired by Christianity. We must be proud of it's ethics, creation of philosophy, our history, charity, the founding of the great universities of Europe in the Middle Ages, great art and architecture, music, science, technology, putting a man on the moon, etc. We will survive but our way of life will be a shadow of itself thanks to those who for the last almost 100 years since the Russian Revolution and before that the French Revolution set as their goal, based on Karl Marx's writing, to destroy it. They hate the concept of God. Christianity is what they hate the most. The martyrdom of tens of millions in the atheistic USSR after 1917 is proof of their hatred of Christianity.

It lives in our every day life in the secularist world and the pop culture of today in Europe, the USA, Canada, New Zeland

Educate yourself by reading non fiction books. Read biographies, and diaries of famous and not so famous people to discover how they got through difficult times. Do your own research on the internet about things that interest you and as you know that always branches out into discovering new stuff you never imagined happened or existed. Visit ancient churches, cathedrals, and museums. Read our history and be proud of it. Travel to interesting places like Italy and Greece as well as all remote of regions in countries like France, Germany, Spain, and other countries. Visit Vienna, Prague, and Munich, Venice, Budapest... St Petersburg, Russia. Cities that are still European. I have a whole list of these sorts of places that are the glory of Western Christian Civilization...

29 August 2012 at 01:11  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Dodo

I can do both - why not?

If you grant me the ability to judge Russian law, you grant me the ability to judge every Russian law. That means you forego the capacity to tell me to respect a Russian law simply because the Russians are sovereign in their own land. Judgment must be held subordinate to sovereignty or sovereignty must be held subordinate to judgment.

But do you actually understand the Russian law? The Russians take unruly dissent against the State, its citizens and beliefs seriously. They take Orthodox Christianity seriously.

The Saudis take unruly dissent against the Kingdom, its citizens and beliefs seriously. They take Islam seriously. Why then do you give the Russians latitude that you would never give the Saudis? Because Russia is a nominally Christian culture? Because Russia is (kinda) part of the West whereas Saudi Arabia is not? If we are going to differentiate between Saudi Arabia and Russia, shouldn't these facts lead us to demand more of Russia instead of less?

Blasphemy is not an offense in Russia, so far as I am aware. People do it all the time. But come on - in a Cathedral with such national religious symbolism and in front of the Real Presence of Christ?

Disrespect and anti-Orthodox Christian sentiment should not be criminal offenses. But read what you just wrote. You say it isn't about blasphemy and then conclude the sentence with "in front of the Real Presence of Christ." You can't help but admit that the offense derives from the perceived blasphemy. That's why Magee keeps thanking you for defending the Eucharist.

And if you're an atheist you have licence to blaspheme away with no constraints knowing it is offensive?

In the first place, all atheists know that God exists. They suppress that truth in an act of self-deception. Even so, atheists can willfully blaspheme. The mockery of unbelief is always willful.

I'm thinking now of those yobs who urinated against War Memorials. Should they go unpunished? Or those who vandalised Churchill's statue. Did it matter whether they just wanted to urinate or whether they were wilfully offending millions?
I have noticed that poeple on your side of the argument do this alot. You introduce actionable offenses that Pussy Riot was never accused of committing. This whole line of argument is a red herring. It also betrays the weakness of your position. In order to sustain your case you keep appealing to offenses that Pussy Riot did not commit.

I believe it is right to have laws in place to defend one's traditions, culture and heritage.

So then you admit this is about giving Christianity a privileged place in law. You said I was putting words in your mouth earlier, but here you admit it. But then, you haven't even established that this was an attack on Christianity as opposed to an attack on Putin and his Patriarch.

Because Christian States, by and large, promote proper tolerance and social justice and Islam doesn't? Because the deliberate public burning of the Koran to protest against State actions is different to an innocent act?

We are talkng about the laws of a nominally Christian state called Russia. If it's supposed to promote "proper tolerance and social justice" then why do you support an action taken by the Russian government when you would condemn an equivalent action should it be taken by the Saudi government? It's hard to avoid the conclusion that promoting "proper tolerance and social justice" means protecting Christian imagery from contempt - whether in Russia or Saudi Arabia.

carl

29 August 2012 at 01:11  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

29 August 2012 at 02:52  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

AIB, there's a lot of posturing going on in that debate which I think over-simplifies the whole thing. If one does not believe in a god with an associated absolute morality then one is not reduced to a free-floating form of morality where one is just as good as another. Theologians have recognised this by trying to cover their bases with a religious position on the concept of natural law and our sense of it. A typical explanation there seems to that their god imbued mankind with some sort of moral sense as part of our nature. Of course, people like me have an alternative explanation for it. Nevertheless, the apparent existence of it provides some grounding and reference points in all of this.

We never seem to get down to the practicalities despite my rubbing the noses of some people in real world realities on a regular basis. Religionists are in more or less the same boat as the rest of us. In their case, the hold up a shiny yardstick and say that we can have this to measure things by if we accept the underlying religious premises which are not obviously true by any means. The rest of us have to appeal to a shared sense of things, and argue from there using reason. In both cases, we ultimately rely on local power to enforce it if necessary.

There have been many attempts to formulate a formal moral theory by philosophers over the ages. Each makes the base assumption that a single, coherent theory can be formulated. Most capture somethng essential about morality, I think, from the Categorical Imperative to Utilitarianism to Virtue Ethics of one form or another. Each fails in some way, not only because of the core assumption which I think is probably incorrect, but because they don't result in outcomes in every case that we feel are right according to our moral sense. That is, we pass each through a real world filter at the end of the day. That surely implies some grounding.

29 August 2012 at 02:55  
Blogger Cressida de Nova said...

Belfast 19:59
sniggers and smirks..LOL!

29 August 2012 at 03:57  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Also AIB, I'm very happy for you to live like a Narnian if you wish. Feel free to spend your days rummaging through wardrobes if it makes you happy. The problem for me is not the dreamers and others wishing for nice things, it's the people who (say) write political letters to be read out from pulpits across the country and who (say) try to nobble governments with threats of excommunication for politicians who areen't toeing their line. Those people aren't nice Narnians and I don't want to live in the icy world they want to construct for the rest of us.

29 August 2012 at 07:03  
Blogger Youthpasta said...

Dan, you're right I meant hypocritical. Long day!
You are still avoiding answering my point:
What makes your moral view on the behaviour of those Muslims who would see this girl killed superior to their own? All I am seeing is you return to me and my beliefs, yet in this thread I have not expressed a single opinion (that I can remember, at least) on the matter.

29 August 2012 at 08:28  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Youthpasta, I answer every time only it doesn't suit you. I illustrate something fundamental in it by asking you much the same thing but you duck it every time. We both know why, I think.

I am nominally constructing ethical rules from principles recognised by pointing to shared values, aspects of human nature, and the human condition. The ethical rules are nominally maintained as part of a social contract.

What is it that you do? Well, you're doing your best to avoid confronting it but let me help you out. You adopt a set of ethical standards based on sectarian religious premises, attach an authority which many people don't recognise even exists, and treat the whole lot as something actually objective in the way that a physical phenomenon is objective when that's heavily contested.

I ask you each time how you resolve the conflict between the standard you allege is objective and the one Muslims allege is objective. Which is superior? Of course, you prefer to think yours is the one and they prefer to think that theirs is. In the absence of your asserted authorities, it's force of arms that count.

You're in the same boat as the rest of us at the end of them day. You hold up standards, make appeals to your fellow man, and hope they buy into it. At least in my case, I'm realistic about the whole thing and the appeals I make are based on what we see and feel. On the face of it, you're reduced to mere make-believe.

29 August 2012 at 11:39  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...

DanJ0:

" Each fails in some way, not only because of the core assumption which I think is probably incorrect, but because they don't result in outcomes in every case that we feel are right according to our moral sense. "

Each fails, because it hasn't convinced you. This is the single common theme: in each instance you are able to discern what is "essential" or not, but also to perceive failings. The seat of moral arbitration in all your posts eventually finds itself in the form of your own mind. Oh to be sure - I doubt it is a symptom of unusual ego. A mind that sees no reason but in human thought will naturally tend to resort to the mind it knows best, and the only mind it knows completely: its own.

Maybe that's the quality of morality that you lack: the ability to concede to another, and more - to submit to another, to something Exterior, to a sense of Someone else. It's always a double edged sword; one can have a mind bent to submission - the kind of minds that need crises. But it's also the fundamental basis for the most exceptional acts of humanity: the ability to submit entirely for the sake of someone else. Many religions have precisely that tenet at their heart: submission for the good of another for its own sake.

So I don't think you'll ever find what you're searching for until you have made it yourself; until it perfectly accords with that mind of yours, and is found pleasing by the seat of reason it enthrones itself on. Then you'll be a believer, and we can start the real conversation of theology. A question that you seem to think disallows religion, but which the religious know is the beginning of answers: "why your god instead of mine?"

29 August 2012 at 11:39  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...

I laughed heartily at your second post. It's exactly the response of the Witch: that beliefs are lovely dreams, pretty things for children. You don't mind me rummaging in Wardrobes so long as I don't come out of them. If I want to participate in the grown-up world, well - I'll have to get serious.

But you see, I'm for Aslan. The made up things of real forgiveness and real justice are a good deal more important than the ones of human culture. I'm going to stand by the play-world. And that means living like a Narnian. Not in a Wardrobe, but in your real world, in all those "practicalities" you "rub our noses in".

29 August 2012 at 11:47  
Blogger Youthpasta said...

Dan, I am happy to admit that I believe in ultimate law-giver who defines the morals that I seek to uphold. After all, I am a Christian and so to do otherwise would be hypocrisy.
However, this doesn't answer my point, AGAIN!
You declare that there is no absolute morality, due to the lack of an absolute giver of morals. As such that means everything is a free-for-all.
Problem is that you then declare that certain actions are wrong. For something to be wrong there has to be a baseline to work from. If you declare there is no baseline then you cannot declare something to be wrong. However, if you declare something to be wrong then you are declaring that there IS a baseline!
So which is it? Are the actions of the Muslims in this particular case wrong or is there no baseline?
For me there is a very clear baseline and they are most definitely wrong, but that in no way helps you out as you don't believe in the same baseline as I do, if indeed you believe in a baseline at all!

29 August 2012 at 13:19  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

AIB, of course you laughed heartily at the realist talking down your dreams. It's all very comforting because you believe your dreams are true and imagine people who don't as analogous to the witch rather than as potentially just nice, benevolent people with a pragmatic outlook. There's something of the conspriacy theorist in that little thing you've done: even people not taking it seriously are aupportimg evidence of the very thing you want to believe.

29 August 2012 at 13:37  
Blogger Cressida de Nova said...

Now you have been 'outed' as a wardrobe rummager Belfast it is time for others to come forward as well:)
There is nothing wrong with a Narnian wardrobe world. Better than Danjo's reality.

29 August 2012 at 13:46  
Blogger Youthpasta said...

Of course, with the idea of the multiverse Narnia might already exist!

29 August 2012 at 13:51  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Youthpasta, you don't seem to be reading and understanding anything I have said. It is most definitely not a free for all as far as I am concerned. Haven't I said that explicitly? Of course, you really want that to be the implication in order to make your beliefs seem more desirable to others.

I note that you are still avoiding facing the dilemma I've thrown back at you. What makes your absolute morality superior to the one Muslims adopt? How do you compare the baselines in the real world? Why should the Muslims in this story feel obliged to follow the ethics you prefer rather than their own?

Ultimately, either one or none of these various explanatory frameworks for our reality are true. By extension, the Christian and Muslim ones are either valid or not. The other might be approximately valid. In the real world, it just comes down to appeals and force of arms to decide which we collectively follow at any given time as I have said.

Moreover when one squints a bit at some of the religious comments on this, I think there's something quietly coming along for the ride. The Christian option seems a bit 'nicer' than the Muslim one and 'nice' seems quite desirable, doesn't it? Both have concepts of justice and mercy and duty/obligation built in and that seems quite 'noble', doesn't it? Blimey, that has a hint of sort of external criteria one might use in an appeal to one's fellow man. :O

29 August 2012 at 14:12  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Cressida, by what criteria is it better? ;)

29 August 2012 at 14:17  
Blogger John Magee said...

carl jacobs

You are a reasonable person and a Chrstian as am I. We come from two different tradition but we share the same roots in the Gospels.

Please remember that it is my opinion that any hateful disrespect or attack on one group of Christians is an attack on all Christians. The article above about the Christian girl in Pakistan is just one example. In her case it's Islam that is once again viciouslyu persecuting Christians in the majority Islamic world as they have done for the past 1,400 years since the time of Mohammed.

I hope you have noticed over the past several weeks I have on different occasions defended Evangelicals, other Protestants, my own RC Church, and now the Russian Orthodox.

In order to understansd the perspective of the Russian Orthodox Christians may I ask if you have any concept or historical knowledge of the horrific persecution the Russian and Ukrainian Orthodox Church's (also the Uniate Ukrainian Catholics in union with Rome, the small Baptist community, and the German Protestant Mennonite communities) endured after the Russian Revolution by the atheistic Marxist Soviet Union from 1917 until Stalin's death? After Stalin's in 1953 death under Kruschev churches that had been opened were closed but the scale of persecution of Christians in the USSR was't on the scale as it was under Stalin.

Tens of millions of people in the USSR were sent in box cars, 20 years before Nazi's sent Jews to their deaths in box cars to the extermination camaps in Poland, to die in labor camps in the Soviet Gulag in Siberia or other parts of the USSR. Most were Orthodox Christians. I am talking about as many as 60 to 70 million people. Not a small number and this all happened within the last 95 years since the Russian Revolution. Not all who were sent to the labor caamps to die were sent there because of their religion, a large % were, but almost all were Orthodox Christians by baptism, along with a large number of RC's from the Ukraine and later after 1939 from Poland and Lithuania.

If you can't accept the fact that what these women did was blaspehmy against the Eucharist (which it clearly was). Please try to understand that the Russian Orthodox after 1917 saw thousands of their churches destroyed by Soviet mobs, many of them were children the Communists had brainwashed to hate religion. Their believing parents had to see their children do these terible things to the churches they loved. Can't you understand that at the very least what these women did, in a Cathedral that stands on the site where another Cathedral was destroyed (blown up on orders from Stalin) in the early 1930's and represents to the Russian Orthodox a symbol of their national martyrdom under Soviet Communism from `1917-1919?

This Cathedral is a symbol to the Russian orthodox of their own holocaust under Communism. What these women did was at the very least an insult to the millions killed under Stalin for their faith. Can you accepth this?

I agree the punishment was out of proportion to the hateful intensions of these women, who by the way are feminists who support Western radical feminists, a group who are not know for being pro life or anti gay "mariage" or pro family.

I may add that England has a state church and so does Scotland. Here is the status of the established Church of England:

"One religious denomination in the United Kingdom is formally recognised and given a privileged status by the state. It is the "established" church of the nation. That church is the Church of England or Anglican Church.

Like the Royal Family and the lords, it is given special privileges."

When the Queen is in Scotland she immediately becomes the head of the Church of Scotland.

Russia and the Ukraine have their Christian roots going back to the conversion Vladimir I at Kiev in 988 AD. There were Christians in the Ukraine before 988 but that is the year the Ukraine and Russia officially accepted eastern Byzantine Christianity.

29 August 2012 at 15:21  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...

DanJ0:

I didn't say you were a witch, only that your response echoed hers, which it did, in tone and content. I make no accusation that you have been transforming yourself into a serpent and running around (or should that be slithering around) killing the Queen Mum!

What both Puddleglum and myself both affirm is that your world of only practicalities (whether you imagine them to be benevolent or not) is still naught to our play-world, which, far from withdrawing from the practicalities and realities, as you and the Witch allege, knows them intimately and properly.

What makes it better? How would you know if you'v only ever beheld the house-cat and never the Lion?

29 August 2012 at 15:25  

Post a Comment

<< Home

Newer›  ‹Older