Thursday, June 26, 2014

If only Muhammad's murderous misogyny were limited to shaking hands

It won't get published there -- we wouldn't want any moral clarity on an Islamic site; Muslims there might start thinking for themselves, maybe even listening to their consciences -- but here are my comments left in response to whether or not it is permissible for a Muslim man to shake a woman's hand:
Respect of women and their rights to their own body and whether or not they allow men to touch them is at the very core of this answer. Keep in mind, Allah is the one who knows best what he has created and what the needs and limits are for each of us. Shaking hands (and touching) members of the opposite sex when [not] closely related, is not permissable for Muslims according to the teachings of Islam.
Muhammad hated women (scroll down a bit here), which is why he preached and practiced polygyny, child sex slavery ('Aisha, the Mother of the Believers. And don't try to lie: she was only a poor, prepubescent nine-year-old when he started raping her as his favorite "wife"), sex slavery, rape, murder, wife-beating, and oppressive, discriminatory laws making women (and little girls) into chattel.

And don't try to justify his murderous misogyny by claiming it was done out of "respect" or "Allah knows best."

There's no one on Earth who doesn't know that Muhammad's laws regarding women are wrong for him.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

What it really means to be a Democrat

Some new website's supposed to help you find out the best place to live based on your ideology.

I couldn't help noticing the bias in some of the categories, and -- being the generous person that I am -- I whipped up a few explanations to help readers understand just what they're voting for.

Of course, Republicans today are often just as bad. They're little more than Democrats-in-Conservatives'-clothing and therefore utterly redundant and useless.

(And no, this is not a blanket condemnation of all Democrats; John F. Kennedy, for example, lowered taxes, believed in a strong military, and opposed Communism.

You know, what Obama would call a "right-wing extremist.")

Originally from here [edited]:
What the categories really mean:
A Democrat: You prefer the party of slavery, Segregation, the KKK, and institutionalized racial division, animosity, exploitation, and dependence. (And now Islamophilia.)
Pro-choice: You support a woman's right to murder her unborn baby while he or she is still growing inside her.
Pro-Environment: You support politicians manipulating, taxing, and regulating free peoples based on junk "science" and outright fraud. And you don't realize that climate change has been occurring since long before SUVs or George Bush ever arrived on the scene. (Medieval Warming Period, anyone?)
Pro-Gun Control: You want to be helpless against both criminals and tyrants, a policy which history has proven always works out well. (Unless you're a celebrity or politician, in which case, you've got bodyguards -- or the U.S. military -- armed to the teeth to protect you and yours. Why do you think that your children are more valuable than ours, again?)
Pro-Tax: You're "pro-tax" only as long as others are paying the taxes, not you. Like Bill and Hillary Clinton, you take advantage of all sorts of loopholes to get out of paying your "fair share." (And don't mention charity: Neither Barack Obama nor Joe Biden gave to others nearly as much as a Conservative family of five on one teachers' salary ... until they ran for and won the White House.)

Sunday, June 08, 2014

It's "Joseph, husband of Mary," not "Mary, wife of Joseph," or What's in a surname? Nothing we'd recognize, at least until the Middle Ages

A pastor asked recently how Luke, the author of his eponymous Gospel and the Acts of the Apostles, could have come up with such personal details of the events surrounding Christ's birth in his Christmas account, since he wasn't there. The answer, of course, is that he most likely interviewed Jesus' mother Mary. The pastor then asked for Mary's last name.

Knowing that people in those days didn't have last names, one participant answered "Theotokos" ("Mother of God"), because that title identifies Jesus' mother uniquely among every Mary, Miriam, Maryam, or Maria in human history.

The pastor's response? "That's a title, not a last name." His answer was that Mary's last name is "wife of Joseph."

Well, "wife of Joseph" is a title, too. And it doesn't appear in the New Testament. (Last names didn't exist until the Middle Ages.)

People did have appellations that indicated familial, occupational, or locational associations. John the Baptizer, Jesus of Nazareth, Leonardo da Vinci. In Matthew 1:16, Joseph -- Jesus' stepfather -- is referred to "Joseph the husband of Mary."

So, according to the pastor's logic, that would make Joseph's last name "the husband of Mary."

How do the Biblical texts actually refer to Mary, the mother of Jesus? The name "Mary" turns up fifty-four times in the ESV New Testament; only nineteen times does it refer to Jesus' mother. Here are a few examples:
"Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit" (Matthew 1:18).
"And going into the house they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh" (Matthew 2:11).
"to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child" (Luke 2:5).
"And Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, 'Behold, this child is appointed for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign that is opposed [...]'" (Luke 2:34).
And just "Mary" in a number of verses (e.g., Matthew 1:16, Mark 6:3, Luke 1:27, Acts 1:14). Interestingly, the Apostle John never refers to his adopted mom Mary by name (he uses "His mother" in John 19:25).

Adding context to Scripture can help us relate personally to the people, places, and events from so long ago, but it needs to be done truthfully. And a pastor should be the last one to err or worse, fabricate.

Sunday, June 01, 2014

Loreena McKennitt's buying what they're selling in Marrakesh Night Market

A foreign culture, moonlight, exotic foods, mystery, a general excitement in a crowded market ... what's not to like?

How about genocidal anti-Semitism? Universal commands to enslave or slaughter all who refuse the "invitation" to convert? Sacralized gender oppression, including rape, wife-beating, polygyny, and worse-than-second-class-status?

I'm sure Ms. McKennitt is unaware of what she's been sold. (Imagine the buyer's remorse when she finally unwraps that package!)

A response to the artist's musings here:
"women are veiled to a great degree ... I am stuck by the sense of intrigue the environment creates; as much is concealed as is revealed ... "
I love Loreena McKennitt, but she is totally out of her element here. These musings indicate a Westerner on vacation romanticizing the "other," a naive stranger delighted in her "tolerance" and "openness" but substituting her imagination for the reality of where she is.

A love of exploration, other cultures, and human creativity is wonderful, but all of those -- love, exploration, culture, creativity -- are diametric to Islam.

In other words, there may be moderate Muslims, but Islam itself is not moderate. And that's why a veil -- which might be mysterious on Ingrid Bergman or Audrey Hepburn -- is, on the devout, merely a symbol of Muhammad's violent misogyny and genocidal intolerance.

A culture's being infected with "kill the pagans wherever you find them" (Qur'an 9:5) -- and assorted other crimes against humanity -- disqualifies it from being exotically-romantic, doesn't it?