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Americans and religion

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Post 291 was removed by a moderator
292. Posted by Isadora (Travel Guru 13926 posts) 9y

I have cleaned up this thread and expect those posting to keep it on topic. Thank you.

[ Edit: Edited on Jun 4, 2007, at 7:04 AM by Isadora ]

293. Posted by mikeyBoab (Travel Guru 5077 posts) 9y

Quoting Isadora

I have cleaned up this thread and expect those posting to keep it on topic. Thank you.

Sorry Isa . . .

I'm interested as to how this thread came about, I mean, why "Americans" and religion - why not the French or South Africans? I think there must be some pre-conception that Americans are somehow different from others and I'm not sure that this is necessarily the case when it comes to religious fundamentalism, especially in the Christian sense.

Here in Scotland it is still illegal to buy alcohol before 12.30pm on a Sunday so that men can't be drunk in Church . . .

294. Posted by wouterrr (Travel Guru 3379 posts) 9y

Quoting mikeyBoab

I'm interested as to how this thread came about, I mean, why "Americans" and religion - why not the French or South Africans?

To get a proper discussion. and it worked. A lot of people did post interesting replies. I think not many people would have been interested if it was for example "Canadians and religion" or "Spaniards and religion".

295. Posted by Isadora (Travel Guru 13926 posts) 9y

Quoting wouterrr

Quoting mikeyBoab

I'm interested as to how this thread came about, I mean, why "Americans" and religion - why not the French or South Africans?

To get a proper discussion. and it worked. A lot of people did post interesting replies. I think not many people would have been interested if it was for example "Canadians and religion" or "Spaniards and religion".

How do you know??

Had it not been for the documentary that you watched, Wouter, then this thread would not have been of interest either. But, you did watch it and commented. You also voiced your opinion about faith-based voting.

Americans just happen to be entertaining to many people. I believe we fascinate people because there is so much diversity in one country. I'm not saying that other countries aren't as diverse - people just don't quite realize how large we are in size, comparatively. We are basically the best and the worst of almost every country in the world because our population is derived from immigrants. It's also easy to point and say "Look at those crazy Americans. Please explain yourselves." Ask someone for their opinion on Spain or South Africa and they may not have one. Ask for their opinion about Americans and the well will overflow, especially if it relates to politics and/or religion.

Isa now returns this thread to it's regularly scheduled topic.

296. Posted by Herr Bert (Moderator 1384 posts) 9y

I don't think that Americans are that entertaining. It's just because it is the only superpower left in the world, with the nuclear capacity to distroy the Earth a couple of times, that people are interested in who is voted President, and I don't think a lot of people (even in the US) would like it to have a religious lunatic in the White House.

297. Posted by wotthefiqh (Inactive 1447 posts) 9y

My intent in mentioning Sharia Law in post 273 was to make a quick comparison between 21st century western democratic secular American society with has an evolving social and legal system and Sharia Law, which is stagnant social and legal totalitarianism unchanged for more than 1,000 years.
There will be no "Christian State of America", but there could easily be the "Islamic State" of Egypt or Pakistan or Bangladesh or Lebanon or Algeria or Tunisia or Libya or Morocco or .......................

Quoting Herr Bert

there is no such thing as codified 'Christian Law' as opposed to say, primitive Sharia (Islamic) law.

Not that fast:

Most of the lawbooks and constitutions of the so called Western world are based on Christian rules, and by no-means you can say that the Sharia is primitive.
I think you mean Christian values, don't you, and there is a unbridgeable gulf between values and laws.
I can't think of any codified Christian Book of Law to match Sharia Law which details dress, dietary and behavioural practices, while expounding on punishments for theft (hand-lopping), adultery (death, and stoning for the woman), homosexuality (death) and apostasy (death).
From my cultural viewpoint, I can do nothing else but view Sharia Law as primitive, misogynist and ultra-violent.

That would be highly depending on which sharia you are talking about, as there is also no thing as one sharia, that is equal in every Islamic country, because that would depend in which Islamic movement is in power in that country.
The four classical Sunni schools of Islamic Sharia Law range from the Hanafi (Sharia Lite) through the Maliki and the Shafi'i to the Hanbali (Sharia Barbaric).
Think "Pizza Quattro Stagione". Exactly the same base but with different toppings, and where Hanafi (law with some liberal human reason) is the mild pepperoni while Hanbali is the jalapeno peppers (ultra-literal interpretation, and liable to literally take your head off).
It doesn't matter which way you slicea da pizza, you still get the same base.
In Turkey hundred of thousands of moslems recently demonstrated in the streets shouting 'No to Sharia Law', so are still having difficulties after 80 years of Ataturks' secular legacy.
They would certainly know more about the downside of Sharia Law than I do.
A few years ago the canuck province of Quebec was going to allow some parts of Sharia Law to be enacted, but progressive moslem groups, especially moslem women groups, rallied against the idea and in May 2005, the Quebec National Assembly unanimously supported a motion to block the use of Shariah law in Quebec courts.

The concept of a religious lunatic in the White House playing with his Minutemen (all in the best possible taste of course) is not totally beyond probability, but religious fanaticism will have to grow exponentially in the US before it reaches the madness of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his expectation of the imminent coming of the Islamic messiah, the hidden Twelfth Imam.

298. Posted by Herr Bert (Moderator 1384 posts) 9y

All good points, but isn't the US pizza, a Christian (values is indeed the word) based pizza?

What I meant to say is that the Sharia, is portrayed as this evil thing in which everything is wrong, which is not the case. It also has the thy shall not steal, thy shall not take somebody elses life etc ... in it. I am not saying the 'bad' stuff is not in there. (in some more, than in others)

But even some laws in so called Western countries based on christian values are not perfect, and don't make sense. (just an example is that you say in one law, that you can't discriminate on sexuality, but still deny same-sex couples to marry (purely a religious point of view))

299. Posted by wotthefiqh (Inactive 1447 posts) 9y

Quoting Herr Bert

All good points, but isn't the US pizza, a Christian (values is indeed the word) based pizza?
Laws are legislated, values are educated.
Laws are enforceable, values are desirable.
Christian values have changed over the past 400 years and are constantly evolving (I'm old enough to have seen and experienced lots of it). We no longer burn witches at the stake, we put them on Oprah and buy their 'My Personal Guide to Wicca' books.

What I meant to say is that the Sharia, is portrayed as this evil thing in which everything is wrong, which is not the case. It also has the thy shall not steal, thy shall not take somebody elses life etc ... in it. I am not saying the 'bad' stuff is not in there. (in some more, than in others)
Theft and murder are crimes among the Stone Age tribes of the Papua New Guinean highlands, so the comparison holds true.
I haven't heard of any Italians agitating for the re-introduction of ancient Roman Law, though the idea of seeing the pickpockets of Rome's Termini railway station crucified along the Appian Way does have a certain attraction.

But even some laws in so called Western countries based on christian values are not perfect, and don't make sense. (just an example is that you say in one law, that you can't discriminate on sexuality, but still deny same-sex couples to marry (purely a religious point of view))
That is the beauty of Western democratic culture. Always being challenged, questioned and eventually changed for the better by it's citizens.
There is a huge difference between the minimal discrimination you mention (unable to officially marry depending on geographical location) and the fact that homosexuality is illegal in almost all Muslim countries, and punishable by death in many of them.

300. Posted by wotthefiqh (Inactive 1447 posts) 9y

Quoting wouterrr

hey wotthefiq. u always come up with a lot of info. interested in history? or is that an understatement.
I found out many many years ago that mouthing off without some basic knowledge or understanding of the said subject can result in accusations of being a self-abuser, and I was certainly guilty then, and probably still am now in some instances
I simply like to understand the three primary foundations of my own culture (Greek philosophy, Roman Law and the Christian faith), the historical downsides (Crusades, Inquisition, etc) and the contemporary benefits of liberal democracy (universal suffrage, human rights, civil law as opposed to theocratic law, racial and religious tolerance, etc).
I also think it a good idea to understand what confronts my culture and my very existence.
My personal philosophy comes from the thoughts of Sun Tzu, Charles Martel (pbuh), Desiderius Erasmus, Voltaire, Winston Churchill and General George Patton.

btw; fiq = islamic law (shariah).....a reason for that? or is it just coincidence.
I could answer that question, but I have a black belt in taqiyya

What do you think? Coincidence?

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