Reviving the spirit of civil disobedience

Martin Luther King, Jr.

Image via Wikipedia

Unitarian Universalists have recently started an effort to engage in the sort of civil disobedience that civil rights activists like Martin Luther King Jr and his followers did in the 1950s and 60s, and Mohandas Ghandi did in India a generation earlier.

http://www.uuworld.org/news/articles/178994.shtml

Utah UU convicted for environmental activism

Federal jury faults Tim DeChristopher for blocking auction of oil and gases leases.
By Donald E. Skinner
3.7.11
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The Earth’s core irony of anti-Muslim bigotry in Europe

Take a look at this video:

There are several issues here that the video does not address.

First, Islamic immigrants who come to a Western nation tend to be more moderate in their views even upon arrival, and their children and grandchildren may become even more liberal in turn. The only reason why some Muslims may become radicalized later is because they are treated as second-class citizens in a country they were born in because they are Muslim.

Second, immigrants are allowed into a European country because its native population is falling or not growing fast enough already, and such a situation results in workers becoming more valued for their labor, thus labor movements become stronger and workers’ wages will increase, making it harder for business owners to get extremely rich. To counter this, corporations that dominate an industry will seek to increase the workers’ population through encouraging immigration. But doing this means introducing new people with different cultures. And this is a problem? Only for bigots.

Third, European nations seemed to have no problem invading and taking over Islamic parts of the world in the past. In particular, France not only conquered areas like Algeria and Tunisia, it legally made Algeria a part of France, not just a colony, and the Algerians had to fight long and hard to throw off French rule.

Note that immigration of Latinos to the United States is also mentioned in the video. Bigotry against Hispanic culture also fuels immigration restrictions in the USA. Also, the USA conquered and still holds land once controlled by Mexico.

You cannot take in millions of people to lower workers’ value, then turn around and scream about those workers being different from you. That sort of crock needs to be put down.

If you expel the Muslims from Europe, then the workers remaining will demand greater wages because there are fewer of them. Are you prepared to pay them more?

If you keep the Muslims in Europe, then treat them as equals, and accept that your demographics will change.

Also, people raised in Muslim families do not necessarily stay Muslim forever. There are plenty of former Muslims:

http://www.apostatesofislam.com/

http://formermuslimsunited.org/

Need I also mention that the idea that a culture will die out because its population growth drops and reverses itself is bull$#it? You can have a culture evolving and prospering no matter what the size of the families that make it up. You just pass on that culture to the fewer children you have, period.

The Universal House of the International Teaching Center of Justice

The Seat of the Universal House of Justice and...

Image by Adib Roy via Flickr

This ironic title above refers to the incestuous relationship that has recently been established between two major bodies of the Baha’i Administrative Order (BAO) : The Universal House of Justice (UHJ) and the International Teaching Center (ITC).  The former is the supreme governing body of the BAO, while the latter’s membership is appointed by the UHJ. The bureaucratic nature of this system is illustrated by the “alphabet soup” I used here, much like that of American governmental institutions. Note also that the buildings of the Baha’i World Center look a lot like the governmental buildings in Washington, D. C. Would you call this spiritual?

When the UHJ was first established in 1963, its membership included former members of the International Baha’i Council (these had been appointed by Shoghi Effendi) and members of various National Spiritual Assemblies.  Later, the UHJ established the ITC, intended to take the place of the dwindling Hands of the Cause of God. Over several decades, however, more and more members of the UHJ have tended to come from the ITC, until today, ALL the UHJ members were elected from the ITC’s membership, which was appointed by the UHJ previously. This is known as a “feedback loop”. The result is a system that is by nature extremely conservative and not open to new ideas that could allow it to adapt to changing circumstances.

This is truly no better than the Roman Catholic Church, in which the Popes are elected by the College of Cardinals, and these Cardinals are themselves appointed by the previous Popes!

The law is closing in on David Mabus!

David Mabus aka Dennis Markuze, is a Canadian lunatic who for years has been attacking atheists and scientists in every public forum he could reach, and getting banned for it. His first target was James Randi and he has expanded his list of targets over the years to anyone who appears to reject theism. He even attacked me on my blog a couple of times. He is able to get around the banning by morphing his screen name and using internet cafes. His messages, which often include death threats, are always rambling and totally disjointed screeds that a twelve-year old in his mother’s basement might send, if the kid had no sense of shame.

And now it looks like he is about to get busted!

This bastard needs to be jailed for life! Sign this petition to help put him away!

http://www.change.org/petitions/montreal-police-take-mabus-death-threats-seriously

Contradictions of orthodox Islam

For the sake of argument, I define “orthodox” in Islam as including the beliefs common to both the Sunni and Shi’a Muslims, though the Sunnis themselves say only they are orthodox (much like orthodox Christians may be defined as including much more than the denominations called “Orthodox”, including Catholics and most Protestants).

There are several issues in Islam I find contradictory and thus I would never become a Muslim, even if I were to ever believe in a god again.

  1. Islam is said to be a world religion, appropriate for all peoples of the world to follow. This is absurd because Islam also makes Mecca the city that all Muslims must pray to five times a day and to make a pilgrimage to at least once in their lives. Islam also makes Arabic the default language for the Quran and for Muslim prayers and calls to prayer. Even Roman Catholicism no longer makes Latin the default language for Mass around the world. A truly worldly religion would have NO default language, no one city as the center of prayer and pilgrimage, and would see holiness in all places. We Unitarian Universalists might regard Boston as a place of historical significance to us, but we don’t pray to it!
  2. Islam is said to be the final religion, the Quran is Allah’s final revelation and Muhammad the last of the Prophets.   This contradicts the idea of Allah as an all-knowing, all-powerful, and thus totally sovereign deity. If Allah wills another revelation by a new Prophet, as Baha’is have claimed, it is not for anyone to deny this. The argument that past revelations have been corrupted is pointless, since Islam is still divided into various sects. A truly pure and uncorrupted revelation from Allah would never have allowed this.
  3. Islam condemns idolatry. Really? Then Muslims should stop regarding the Quran as the Word of Allah. Even official histories of Islam admit that it wasn’t put together until some years after Muhammad’s death. Why didn’t Muhammad himself do this? Also, walking seven times around the Kaaba in Mecca during pilgrimage looks too much like idolatry to me! It’s just a building! Also, see point 1 above.
  4. Islam teaches that men can have no more than four wives at a time. Then why did Muhammad have nine or ten wives at the time of his death? Muslims should make up their minds; you cannot hold Muhammad as a supreme example of Muslims to follow and then ignore that he himself broke a basic rule of marriage!

Theocracies by nature are evil

Religions as tools for social cohesion are indeed valid reasons for having them, since people are by nature social beings. However, using any religion that has demonstratively false dogmas as that tool is by nature unethical because you are encouraging people to lie to others about reality. It is even worse when you have a government take that religion and use force to make everyone follow it. All this does is make many people into hypocrites who act a certain way in public while privately doubting or denying the religion. This results in greater corruption. It is no coincidence that the ones who often come across as the most moral and are also deeply religious also turn out to be the most hypocritical. I think the reason for this is because their moral values are simply not based on anything real and things that are not based on reality are themselves not real. If you need to believe in the Bible, the Quran, or some other scripture to believe in God, to be moral or function in a social order, then you are actually a dangerous person because you will resort to all sorts of dishonest arguments, claims and assertions to keep your faith. Likewise, getting a government to enforce your religion on everyone merely makes the government dishonest. We shouldn’t tolerate this any more than we should tolerate mob bosses taking over a government.

Thus, Islamic states like those of Saudi Arabia and Iran are contemptible and should be condemned and opposed at every turn, and the concept of Sharia (Islamic law) should be completely thrown out in all societies. They are simply phony by nature!

The ultimate blow to global warming denialism

Denialists are not interested in truth or consistency of any kind. Instead, they have a dogma and an agenda and will take advantage of any arguments that serve these things, even if those arguments don’t really fit together. Nowhere does this become more obvious than in the issue of global warming.

John Cook, who runs the website Skeptical Science, has assembled a long list of contradictions made by global warming denialists. With this, he and other contributers totally wreck what little credibility these political and pseudoscientific hacks ever had!

http://www.skepticalscience.com/contradictions.php