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A Muslim Christian Democrat's crucifixion

The Local · 27 Apr 2010, 14:29

Published: 27 Apr 2010 14:29 GMT+02:00

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For five days, seven hours and 38 minutes, the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) seemed to be just the party Chancellor Angela Merkel has always wanted.

That’s how long it took between the appointment of Aygül Özkan, a Muslim born in Germany to Turkish immigrant parents as the new the social affairs and integration minister of Lower Saxony, and the call by a conservative Bavarian parliamentarian questioning whether she was in the right party.

During that brief period, the Christian Democrats and their Bavarian allies appeared to be a tolerant, modern political party. A party even gays, Muslims, and career women with children could support. A party that could occasionally put ideology aside while searching for fair solutions for the common good. But Germany’s conservatives have now once again embraced the divisive narrow-mindedness of right-wing hard-liners like Roland Koch and Edmund Stoiber.

How did it come to this? Özkan found it hypocritical that despite Germany’s alleged separation of church and state, the country’s schools are allowed to nail crucifixes to their walls. In a matter of hours, her new boss, Lower Saxony’s state premier Christian Wulff, angrily denounced her comments. The state welcomed crucifixes on its school walls but was against Muslim headscarves for teachers. Full stop. Wulff didn’t even feel the need to explain the glaring double standard he was promoting.

Özkan was even forced to repudiate her call to ban Christian symbols from Germany’s public schools.

But that won’t make the crucifix question go away. In 1995, Bavaria’s top court forbid hanging them in classrooms since it went against both religious freedom and the governments supposed neutrality. Last year, the European Court of Human Rights issued a similar ruling on a case in Italy. So why are we even talking about whether or not crucifixes belong in state schools? Or, even better, why hasn’t the CDU considered the possibility that maybe Özkan is right?

No-one would have suggested a CDU minister with German roots should leave the party after such a comment. But the reaction in this case was so hysterical because it was a seemingly fully integrated Muslim who was asking why Islam – a religion followed by millions of German citizens – is clearly discriminated against no matter what the conservatives claim.

Because this is what we’re really talking about here. There are only two rhetorical possibilities for supporting Christian symbols at educational institutions while banning their Islamic counterparts. Either Christianity is seen as worthy of extra support or Islam is seen as a religion that must be kept out of the schools. Both go against Germany’s basic and clear constitutional principle of separating church and state.

Recently, the CDU had made some important strides in the area of religion. Just by uttering the words, “Islam is part of Germany,” at the start of the so-called Islam Conference, then-Interior Minister Wolfgang Schäuble did more for integration than millions of euros ever could. Amid all the (justified) calls for Muslims to respect the constitution and learn German, he created a solid foundation for entering talks with them. He made it clear: We respect your faith.

One of the CDU’s most important roles in German history has been its ability to include conservatives with a tendency toward chauvinism and intolerance in the democratic process. In a time when Islam and Christianity desperately need something in common to prohibit open confrontation, the CDU could once again assume this role. But it’s ignoring it instead.

In its place are populist party politics. That the more liberal conservative Christian Wulff – rather than the reactionary Roland Koch – was the one who came to the defence of Christian symbols is worth nothing, just as much as the silence of the party members who recently showed their more tolerant tendencies. Where is North-Rhine Westphalia’s integration minister Armin Laschet? Where is Wolfgang Schäuble? Not a word.

It’s easy to guess why: no one wants to kick off an internal discussion on such an emotional topic this close to the election in North Rhine-Westphalia. The allegedly tolerant party leadership fears that the bulk of the party isn’t ready to follow just yet.

But there are even tactical arguments in favour of the CDU clarifying its position on Islam. Many Muslims would be classic CDU material. The party would benefit from their conservative leanings, especially when it comes to family and social policy.

Story continues below…

Wulff is attempting a precarious balancing act. On the one hand, he wants to reach out to Muslims and Germans with Turkish roots with the appointment of Özkan. But then he leapt at the first opportunity to show the more conservative party members that nothing has changed in the CDU’s chauvinistically Christian world view. He’s going to have to pick a side, however.

When Wolfgang Schäuble announced the Islam Conference, he said intolerant corner pub-style populism shouldn’t be allowed to set the agenda. Instead, he said average Germans often wanted leadership on tricky societal issues. Where is Schäuble now when his party needs him? It seems his conservatives could use a little reminder.

This commentary was published with the kind permission of ZEIT ONLINE, where it originally appeared in German. Translation by The Local.

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

16:43 April 27, 2010 by Freedom_Beats_Socialism
There is no such thing as separation of church and state anywhere on the earth. The promotion of a total lack of values as the basis of a governmental system or the idea that all value systems are somehow equal and must therefore be tolerated at all costs requires the dismissal of the very history of freedom.

Free will and freedom itself is a Christian idea, not secular atheist and most certainly not islamic. For just one example, John Milton in the 17th century argued for freedom of the press, the idea being to identify, discuss, air out, and discard un-Christian values and practices. The entire article above tries to once again beat down the idea that there can even be a superior set of values, showing just how intolerant it is. And, freedom of expression or belief in the islamic world? Don't kid yourself. islam takes advantage of freedom, or force, whichever works sooner, to impose itself on once-free peoples.

Secular atheism, communism, socialism, and islam are antithetical to freedom of thought and freedom of speech. There really is one value system that is superior to all these thought police systems. Think about it.
16:47 April 27, 2010 by So36
Somebody needs to get off his libertarian-Christian high horse long enough to realize Steve Forbes and Jesus are not the only messiahs out there.
16:54 April 27, 2010 by LancashireLad
So how does atheism oppose freedom of thought? How did the Spanish Inquisition promote it? How did those catholic priests promote freedom of thought in their victims?

True free will is the ability to chose which religion you want to follow ... should you wish to of course.

Please tell us how a secular government is based on a total lack of values? How can that advocation of tolerant acceptance of other religions, dismiss the very history of freedom?

Your arguments are not just weak but contradictory.
19:25 April 27, 2010 by whatzup
A secular government is an unattainable ideal. With nothing but fuzzy "humanistic" values it could never survive onslaughts from either the left or the right. Christian Wulff was right to shut down Aygül ízkan as quickly as he did. The muslim immigrant culture is probing for an opening to hijack christian europe and its attendant freedoms. This one time it was frustrated but this only the beginning.
20:14 April 27, 2010 by michael4096

All religions branching off from the old Abrahamic story suffer from this delusion that they have a monopoly on social ideals, freedom and righteousness. It was one of the reasons the romans, who were in fact very, very tolerant of other religions, used to feed 'em to the lions.

Its easier to let it go - there are never any lions around when you need them.
21:19 April 27, 2010 by LancashireLad

I fear you are correct in my comments falling on deaf ears, but as I have always seen from religious fanaticism of any type - people eventually get hurt. Usually badly. I bet innocent Muslims also died in the Twin Towers. I bet innoncent Muslims also died in London in the July 7th bombings. No weapon understands religion.

This is why I always rail against any religion that tries to bludgeon its beliefs on me. Actually I take your point about religions stemming from Abraham. I have often wondered if Bhuddism, Shintoism, Hinudism, Rastafarianism etc. have ever committed wars or atrocities in the name of religion and as far as I can tell no they've not (disclaimer: I've not studied this deeply there may well be cases)


Again I see a religious fanatic confusing real life with imagination. Could I please point out that "left" and "right" are political views not religious ones? Your assertion that a secular government could not stand up against "political" debate is complete nonsense and proves nothing whatsoever.
21:55 April 27, 2010 by Freedom_Beats_Socialism

I'm reading a lot of tired old straw man arguments, trying to bludgeon your beliefs on others.

It is impossible to separate church from state because one's value system = one's religion = one's politics = one's voting. The current state religion is secular atheism, which is intolerant ONLY of Christianity. Mistaking islam for a friend since it is also the enemy of Christianity and other infidels, it willingly climbs into bed with a deliberately deceptive existential threat. By the time you understand what sharia "law" is doing to you, it will be too late. What moral authority will you then call upon to resist it and survive?
23:31 April 27, 2010 by LancashireLad
Read your own first post and then ask who is doing the bludgeoning. BTW as I have stated, I am an atheist and therefore do not have beliefs to bludgeon onto anybody.

BTW did you *really* have a problem with muslims before the Iron Curtain came down? Or were you rallying against communism then? I'll bet you were. So what' s changed?
00:31 April 28, 2010 by RobCon
I get very nervous when I see Germany tap dancing on slippery slides.

Germany is changing along with the rest of Europe and not for the better. During the last 80 years of German history, when Germany begins discarding religious symbols, it is usually the sign of scary times ahead.
00:46 April 28, 2010 by CPT/USA

Do or Can atheist's even exist in the Muslim governed world?

Are they permitted to or are they persecuted?
01:01 April 28, 2010 by wubba

"I am an atheist and therefore do not have beliefs to bludgeon onto anybody."

Thats the biggest load of horse pooty I have ever heard. Though belief is often associated with religion, the context in which you are using it its contradicting yourself.

Belief: an opinion or conviction. (among other definitions)

There are many definitions regarding religious belief, and that that extent you are correct, you don't have any belief in regards to any religion, however, you do have an opinion (which you have vocalized) and you do have a conviction (you believe you are correct).

As for your statement about bludgeoning, yes you are correct. Many religious people attempt to spread their beliefs through questionable (and sometimes downright horrible) practices. Do not think any ideal or group think is exempt from fanatics. Many atrocities have been done in the name of atheism (granted it is a more recent occurrence and therefor fewer examples than the historical atrocities of Christianity). Hindu-ism, Buddhism and many other religions have as well had history of violence (many instances are due to conflicting religions within a region). It is also a common misconception that religious kingdoms (ei medieval Europe) fought many of its wars for religious purposes. Most of these wars were fought for state and economic reasons and masqueraded as a war of religion in order to gain some semblance of legitimacy (even though religion is a worse reason)


As for this spectacular quote "Secular atheism, communism, socialism, and islam are antithetical to freedom of thought and freedom of speech." Get real. It is any group, religion, government, or entity is given unchecked power.

"The current state religion is secular atheism, which is intolerant ONLY of Christianity". I think you are missing the point of secularization. Secularization wishes to remove all forms of religious symbolism and influence from the government and public (government sponsored) sector. It does not take sides. The secularization of Europe is one of the best things that has happened in the past 100 years, do NOT kid yourself. Sure, religion will always play a part of politics, that is the point of a democracy, but the thing about a democracy is its fair. You may not always win, but at least you can represent your viewpoints.

My fingers hurt.
01:57 April 28, 2010 by vonSchwerin
The author writes, "No-one would have suggested a CDU minister with German roots should leave the party after such a comment."

I'm curious what Wulff, Stoiber, Koch & Co. would have said if the social affairs and integration minister's name was "Hannah Goldstein" or "Jehuda Cohen" rather than "Aygül ízkan". Would the reaction have been as fierce?
09:09 April 28, 2010 by LancashireLad
Hi Wubba,

For me the word "belief" implies acceptance of something not proven. No God has been proven to exist. That is what I mean when I say I have no beliefs. BTW I am not trying to advocate that everybody should become atheist. I am just trying to stop the fundamentalists twisting the truth of their own religion to their own political ends. My statement stands.

I very much take your point about wars for non-religious ends being cloaked in religion. This is the main reason why I have hated religion for a long time. Just look at Iraq, Afghanistan and (now more stable) Northern Ireland. I would be interested to know of any atrocities in the name of Atheism (granted I believe Stalin was atheist, but he acted in the name of Communism did he not?). I can't bring any to mind myself at the moment.

The biggest problem with the entire "religion" mess is that, as I have said here before, man is a tribal animal. He needs to belong to some form of community. If religion did not exist another banner would be found to rally behind. There's my pessimism/realism showing through again.

Hope your fingers have recovered.
15:07 April 28, 2010 by wubba
Communism both requires and utilizes atheism. I'll explain what I mean by that in a second, but first let me point out that since organized atheism is a fairly new concept in human history (people united by disbelief), specific examples are far less numerous than that of organized religion. Also for the sake of argument I will be excluding all religions that do not believe in a "God" (Buddhism specifically) since I believe we are talking about irreligion as opposed to the strictest definition of atheism.

That being said, the vast majority of atheistic organization is that of the state. It is not uncommon for governments to weaponize a (ir)religion (as seen throughout most of western history). A few examples of state sponsored atheistic oppression can be seen here.


These examples pale in comparison to the extremes of the larger sects of religion, but I find this to be more of a "proof of concept" idea. You may notice that most of these examples are of communist states. Communism is reliant upon the concept of atheism in two major ways.

First (a more practical reason), as described by Karl Marx, religion is counterproductive to communism. It can promise a better afterlife regardless of a persons position in _this_ life. Whereas the ideals of communism promises rewards in _this_ life if every member of the commune contributes equally to the society. It Marx's ideal, religion prevented people from reaching their full productive potential.

The second and less recognized reason is that of power. The highest power in a Communism cannot be external, it must be internal. The communist party in Soviet Russia was seen as the pinnacle of power, this would not be possible if the people were allowed to believe in an all powerful personal God. You often see a "cult of personality" as a surrogate for organized religions.

Regardless of being "state sponsored" atheism, it still is atheism. Similarly many atrocities committed by organized religion are also state sponsored and attributed to the religion itself, and not the institution that weaponized it. (
15:21 April 28, 2010 by wenddiver
Does anybody think that anyone who would do something so absolutely negative to their party is the best person for the post?
15:33 April 28, 2010 by Der Grenadier aus Aachen
Christian Democratic Union. That first word kind of gives it away.
16:00 April 28, 2010 by wubba

"The biggest problem with the entire "religion" mess is that, as I have said here before, man is a tribal animal. He needs to belong to some form of community. If religion did not exist another banner would be found to rally behind. There's my pessimism/realism showing through again."

That is more realism than pessimism. Evidence of this is overwhelming (religion, nationalism, hooliganism, etc.) I have scoured the internets looking for someone insightful enough to point this out. I feel vindicated. Thank you for restoring even a shred of my hope for humanity.
16:02 April 28, 2010 by Freedom_Beats_Socialism
Wubba and LancashireLad: Y'all seem to still miss my simple point.

I write this with all respect, not a finger poke in the eye.

Claiming to have no beliefs is itself a belief system. I read your faith statements that there is no God, etc., etc., which is an unproven faith.

Free will is the freedom to choose your beliefs. Secular atheism (a belief system) bludgeons its beliefs onto the unwilling. Same for izlam, socialism, communism, or any other "ism" that fails to recognize how all people are internally wired. When a certain class of people believe they are fundamentally superior to others, let's call them rulers, there is trouble ahead.

Christianity requires that the believer treat his fellow human beings as he/she would wish to be treated -- no lying, cheating, stealing, etc. For example, the US Civil War was a Christian movement to free slaves (many of whom were captured by moslems in Africa and sold to slave traders). Self control is internally imposed, an exercise in free will, not externally bludgeoned onto you by a bureaucrat or a fatwa.
16:05 April 28, 2010 by BR549
Regardless of the ongoing religious debate, the CDU will probably have some collateral damage over this fiasco. They probably assumed Ms. Oezkan would be a good Muslim lap-dog and just be seen and not heard.They just wanted to use her as some sort of PR laurel branch with no substance behind it. Looking at her track record, this lady is a go getter and I hope will give her CDU counterparts a little pay-back later. I don't think she said or did anything to warrant the idiotic behavior of the CDU represenatives or the general public. Also, the quote about the crucifix being a symbol of tolerance to all religions in the public schools was a comlete farce. All people, regardless of their religion, should keep their beliefs a private matter and not force it on others or demean those who believe differently.
16:21 April 28, 2010 by Prufrock2010
Freedom_Beats_Socialism (above) eloquently illustrates a point I have made and will continue to make; to wit, it is my belief that the greatest evil ever conceived by human beings is religion.

As that is merely my opinion, it cannot be disproved. But the historical record of evidence to support that opinion is not anecdotal. The atrocities committed in the name of religion from time immemorial are endless.
16:48 April 28, 2010 by BR549

I could not agree with you more. All organized religions are about control and intolerance. I wonder sometimes if religion will dismantle civilization or even destroy the world. THOU SHALL NOT KILL (unless he/she isn't one "us") LOL
16:55 April 28, 2010 by Freedom_Beats_Socialism
Thanks for the kind comment, Prufrock2010, but I have to respectfully challenge the statements/thinking of both you and BR549.

Has religion (and you know I am including the belief of no beliefs, the secular atheists) done anything good?
17:16 April 28, 2010 by LancashireLad
Hi Folks,

I'm glad that we all seem to agree that organised religion is probably the biggest problem facing mankind today. I also take the point that atheism (read "any organised symbology") can also be used for atrocities althought in the case of communisim it was enforced atheism, not people who chose to be atheist then being controlled. I see that as slightly different. thanks to Wubba by the way for the Wiki link - it hadn't occurred tome to look there My decision to become atheist was driven by the very point we finally seem to be agreeing on - religion has been twisted to be just plain nasty. The irony is, it also gives great comfort to many.

We still seem to have a problem in this thread of a belief that christianity is all good. Christianity is not alone in requiring its adherents to treat others as they would themselves be treated (the caveat currently appearing to be "unless they are muslim"). Humanism at the very least also advocates this. No lying, stealing, cheating? Please. There isn't a society on the planet that doesn't suffer from that.

"Self control is internally imposed" .... unless you met the Spanish Inquisition, unless you go to a German school at the moment and get the crucifix rammed down your throat (to coin a phrase)

Wubba - I'm glad to have helped.
17:22 April 28, 2010 by BR549

Uh, not really. People who sincerely believe in their religion may feel inner peace, be compassionate to others, not cheat, steal or lie. But one dosen't need religion or even a belief in God to have identical morals. The heads of Christianity and Islam alike are in the "soul" (pardon the pun) business of control over the masses and power. Look at the historical relationship between the Vatican and European rulers. Actually, the Vatican and Roman Catholic Church was simply a transfer of power when the Roman Empire fell. Instead of being a governing empire, it Governed through religion. They changed the term Caesar to Pope. Pagan beliefs, dates and icons were integrated into Christianity beef up the numbers.Maybe like, Christmas Trees??

Also, your comment about the Civil War being and the slavery issue beng a Christian Movement was way off as well. The US civil war was over state rights. Ending slavery was just a political stage to justify the Federal government to use force. Yes, slavery is WRONG and never should have happened in the first place, but it wasn't the real isssue. Read about Lincoln's statements over the subject and read about Liberia.

BTW, I am not bashing religious people. Just finatics who can't accept those who are different and justify hatred and violence to promote their beliefs.
17:36 April 28, 2010 by wubba

I would counter your argument by saying man kinds worst invention is war. Religious was is only a subset of War itself. Religion is often attacked because it is so visible, and extremely easy. However, when you dig deeper you realize institutionalized religion corrupts the very ideal of religion. This holds true for any ideal really. Communism, in theory, should have been the pinnacle of a social environment. However, when the human element is added to the equation, the ideal is corrupted and you end up with a totalitarian state.

It would be difficult for non-Christians to argue against the social justice preached by Jesus Christ. This ideal, like any other, can and has been corrupted by the human condition.


_Your_ Christianity preaches free will, however many extremists group go to great lengths to silence dissension. This can also be applied to any other religion or irreligion (atheism included).
17:47 April 28, 2010 by michael4096
To all those that point out that the party's name includes the word 'christian':

Surely, the party name should be the slave of the party's membership and not vice versa. Thus if the party wants to bring itself into the 21st century then surely it can, possibly changing the name later, though that was not requisite for Britain's Labour party.

@BR549 - well said, but it is possible that the 'collateral damage' is actually positive. Jury is still out.


I suspect that I would disagree with you even if I did understand what on earth you are talking about.

No atheist has ever banged on my door trying to convert me. No laws exist saying its sacriligeous to believe in god. I've never seen 'On the Origins of Species' nailed up on a classroom wall or Dawkins expect people to kneel before him. There isn't any atheist fund for the poor to donate to so the 'atheist priesthood' can live in un-worked-for splendour.

It is true, some people in the past have hijacked the term 'atheist' for their own personal doctrine/political motives and some even tried to create de facto 'atheist' religions. However, in English, there is currently no accepted doctrine of any sort associated with the word 'atheist' and therefore, apart from the fact atheists don't believe in any gods, the meaning of the word, nobody can make any other generalizations about them.
18:02 April 28, 2010 by Freedom_Beats_Socialism
Good, civil discussion all. I think we're agreeing that organized religion can be used for both good and bad purposes. I'm of the opinion that Christianity is the sole promoter of freedom, by requiring adherents to impose self control on their behavior. In other words, that control does not need to be imposed by any "ism" from the outside and people tend to get along, treating others as they would wish to be.

An aside regarding wars in the islamic Middle East: a Bush mistake was to think the West can impose freedom on a culture that has no history of freedom of anything, much less freedom of thought. By the way, doesn't "impose freedom" read like an oxymoron? They vote sharia law in as soon as they can.

@ Prufrock2010: Regarding Jesus and social justice, one may wish to be careful here. "Social justice" has been perverted to be justification for welfare by the state. The problem with state welfare is that 1) it steals from the productive and 2) it corrupts the recipients by replacing industry and thrift with sloth and greed. Social justice as preached by Jesus was for the individual, who cannot slough off his/her obligations onto the state. As you note, welfare practiced by the state corrodes the character of all.
18:16 April 28, 2010 by wubba

"No atheist has ever banged on my door trying to convert me. No laws exist saying its sacriligeous to believe in god. I've never seen 'On the Origins of Species' nailed up on a classroom wall or Dawkins expect people to kneel before him. There isn't any atheist fund for the poor to donate to so the 'atheist priesthood' can live in un-worked-for splendour."

Of the five examples you gave in this paragraph, I have personally experienced 2

- A atheist admitted trying to convert me to atheism for my benefit,

- Though it was not "On the Origins of Species" my gradeschool had posted up on a pin board examples of evolution and the process that is involved.

I do know of many atheist groups in Sweden and the Czech Republic that request dues from their members in order to "spread reason".

And laws have existed that "discourage" the belief and/or worshiping of a deity.

My statements by no means make any attempt to justify or defend religious sects that are guilty of most, if not all, of the examples you gave. It is just more of a "take a step back" moment.
18:28 April 28, 2010 by michael4096
They vote sharia law in as soon as they can.
This quote is untrue. Muslim country voting patterns are very similar to voting patterns in non-muslim countries. Where people can rely on general security and so concentrate on personal advancement and wealth creation they vote against restrictive parties and for liberal ones. Where people are unhappy with the norms, they tend to vote fringe and extremist.

Strongly, religious groups such as those advocating sharia usually do well when there is insecurity and rampant corruption. A fact well known to those advocating strong religious states from Indonesia through Afganistan to Israel. Keep the people on edge.
18:34 April 28, 2010 by Prufrock2010
Even though I didn't make the comment you attributed to me (above), I will respond. You are conflating your particular interpretation of christianity with your political beliefs, which are, if not reflective of the American evangelical right wing, at the very least libertarian. Certainly I can't speak for Jesus any more than you can, but I suspect that if he could speak for himself he would encourage a social welfare system that would provide for the poorest members of society who could not provide for themselves. Even many christian priests and ministers encourage and participate in such efforts, to their credit. They know that there can be no social justice if society is itself unjust.

Your argument that "[t]he problem with state welfare is that 1) it steals from the productive and 2) it corrupts the recipients by replacing industry and thrift with sloth and greed" is particularly ironic as we witness the debacle of arrogant Goldman Sachs executives stonewalling a congressional committee and attempting to justify their perfidy with the defense that they had no obligation to disclose their despicable conduct because there were no laws in place requiring such disclosure. These are the people who steal from the productive members of society strictly in the service of their particular deity -- greed. These people produce nothing of value and make billions of dollars for themselves, at the expense of all of society. These people don't know the meaning of "industry" and "thrift." When you begin to decry a "welfare state" that provides social safety nets for the less fortunate, you might first look to a corporate welfare state that thrives on institutionalized corruption to the derogation of the commonweal just as it puts the global economy at risk. If that is an example of your christian libertarian philosophy, give me atheistic secular humanism any time.
18:36 April 28, 2010 by michael4096
@wubba - point taken - I won't pick nits

Recently, there was a scandal in Britain about an advertising campaign with busses carrying the slogan "There is no god. Now get over it and have a nice life." or some such. I did wonder who paid for it :-)
18:45 April 28, 2010 by wubba
The British Humanist Association, Richard Dawkins (whom I have respect for), Ariane Sherine, and thousands of donators. Total donations up to £153,516.51.

19:02 April 28, 2010 by michael4096
Thanks for the pointer. I like the bit at the end about the kids complaining about being labeled before they could decide for themselves.
19:52 April 28, 2010 by xyz_79
Christianity is a great religion if the LORD is running it but if u go down to JESUS i am not so sure; the same way ISLAM can be very promising if RAAB or KHUDA is running it but if u go down to the likes of MOHAMMAD and others i am not very sure...
01:25 April 29, 2010 by Logic Guy
Well, as a Christian, I can honestly say that if Christianity is observed correctly, then it has the potential to do extraordinarily wonderful things for the world. There are problems only when people fail to follow the Holy Bible.

There really is no such thing as seperation of church from state. The "psychology" of every nation on earth is based upon a particular religion. Therefore if the citizens of a nations don't commit to a particular religion, then someone from the outside will come along and establish one.
09:37 April 29, 2010 by srpolla
Islam is not a religion.. its an imperial ideology..... its a religion which is at its peak and is about to become extinct
10:22 April 29, 2010 by michael4096
@Logic Guy

Translating: if people do wonderful things then wonderful things are done

a. nothing to do with any religion

b. tautological

and you really should change your handle
11:04 April 29, 2010 by Prufrock2010
Logic Guy (misnomer) --

Have you ever read the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution? Did anyone ever explain to you what it means and why it was ratified?

Those are of course rhetorical questions. The answers are obvious.
13:38 April 29, 2010 by Talonx
Religion, as an institution, has no special claim to morality. Spirituality, as a system of belief, has no special claim to morality. Morality is natural and part of being social, ants have a morality, dolphins have a morality, we also have a morality and though religion may attempt to formalise and codify morality it's there regardless.

To claim that politics is an outgrowth of religion is in the least an oversimplification. More properly I think one would say politics is a reflection of an espoused philosphy. Philosophy can be rational or unrational, religion is the latter, ethics is the former. I think you'll find that more just societies go for the rational rather than the interpretation of verses written thousands of years ago, hence the coupling of secularization and standard of living in the world today.
01:55 April 30, 2010 by Logic Guy
Well, Prufrock2010, what you are failing to understand, is that all things must be interpreted. Perception is only the appearance of things. Perception is the "initial" response and the thruth is the "final act." Listen to what people say, and then watch what they."

The Human Being Concept has been so troubled, because humans don't place nearly enough value on the truth.

If you think, for even a second, that America and Germany aren't Christian nations, then perhaps you should go and study the meaning of logic. It is the only thing in the universe that is perfect.
08:33 April 30, 2010 by Prufrock2010
Logic Guy --

Where do you come up with this sophomoric drivel?
09:50 April 30, 2010 by LancashireLad

Logic and humans aren't anywhere near a perfect fit because we are natural and pure logic is mechanical. Euthanasia may seem a "logical" choice. Claiming that there is only one way to do things (follow the bible) is actually completely illogical as there are always more ways to accomplish anything.

"Truth is the final act?" What kind of drivel is that? And in any case "truth" in the context of religion etc. is what someone else wants you to believe, unless it can be backed up by proven fact (note the word proven).
12:02 April 30, 2010 by scout1067
"Either Christianity is seen as worthy of extra support or Islam is seen as a religion that must be kept out of the schools" Both are correct. Muslims should all go back and push turds around in the sandbox they came from. They can accept the fact that Europe has been Christian for 2,000 years or go home. AT least Europeans are not strapping bombs to themsleves or blowing up Muslim train stations full of women and children as some Muslims have done.
12:10 April 30, 2010 by Prufrock2010
scout --

"AT least Europeans are not strapping bombs to themsleves or blowing up Muslim train stations full of women and children as some Muslims have done."

Maybe not, but Timothy McVeigh did a pretty good job of blowing up innocent men, women and children in Oklahoma City 15 years ago. Granted he wasn't a Muslim. He was just a christian U.S. Army veteran.
14:09 April 30, 2010 by LancashireLad
"Muslims should all go back and push turds around in the sandbox they came from"

Why is it that (as far as I can tell) all of the Muslim haters on this forum cannot raise themsleves above this level?
14:17 April 30, 2010 by Prufrock2010
It tells you something about the mindset and mental acumen of bigots and xenophobes.
14:40 April 30, 2010 by LancashireLad
Indeed. I've just made my mark for the upcoming UK elections. The BBC website has a summary of each of the 5 main parties and the BNP. The BNP is just plain frightening.
18:07 April 30, 2010 by tlwinslow
While it would be nice if Germany's govt. separated church and state the U.S. way, and even nicer if it had a First Amendment that protected speech, the fact that Islam has always been a supremacist ideology that demands Muslims be given superior rights to non-Muslims is incompatible with all Western govts., and can't be covered-up or glossed over. In Sharia countries even today it's a crime to display a cross on a church or even to repair it or build a new one, and this command goes back to Muhammad, so when Germany shows its tolerance by allowing Muslim immigration and even allowing a Muslim to become a minister, her remarks strike a raw nerve since she says nothing about what's happening in Egypt and Saudi Arabia for example. Islam isn't a race, it's an ideology that covers every aspect of life, religious, social, moral, economic and political, and Westerners who confuse opposition to Islam with racism need to get a clue and study Islam and its history. Master all the key facts free online with the HIstoryscoper and do yourself a favor. http://go.to/islamhistory
18:58 April 30, 2010 by Lochinvar
Let's go back to the issue of the cross or crucifix on the school walls in Germany.

Is there anybody who would permit a swastika?

But the swastika used to be the symbol of the life-giving Sun!

The Nazis, by the way, were neither atheist nor significantly pagan.

Hitler was Roman Catholic, and never excommunicated.

Aygül ízkan was correct in attempting to push Germany in the direction of religious neutrality, and picked a particularly odious target for her protest.

The crucifixion was death by torture, perhaps less horrible than death by stoning,certainly more horrible than beheading.

As a symbol being displayed before children who are not Christian, it is hard to think of anything more offensive -- other than the swastika's Nazi connotations.

I presume that a Muslin woman who had joined the Christian Democrats is unlikely to be a fanatical adherent of Islam.

By the same token, I think most Jews do not believe in genocide, although the book of Deuteronomy contains a command to commit genocide against certain Canaanite peoples.

I trust that my Christian friends, of whom I have several, do not in fact suppose that I shall endure everlasting torture after death, just because I consider the phrase "true as the Gospel" equivalent to "mythical".
23:50 April 30, 2010 by Logic Guy
Well, you are actually correct LancashireLad, in that humans and logic are not a natural fit. This is why so many people do illogical things. It is simply impossible for a person to do as they should, if they lack discipline. I'm sure everyone agrees with this.

Emotions and logic are opposites. This is honest fact.
00:06 May 1, 2010 by Ich
If you think that islam should be given the benefit of western civilizations' best, you haven't read the koran, or Mein Kampf. islam, today, is the budding fungus on something that went dormant after failing to conquor the world in 800 and 1680, while Europe progressed from the Rennaissance to governance by consent of the governed. It is oil money that revived islam, exactly wher it left off: an intolerant, religious tyranny of clerics intent on world conquest. Check ou islamic science: purification by camel's urine: flies' wings, a cure for AIDS: immodest dress causes earthquakes-the koran would be a joke book, if it weren't so lethal-exactly like fascists.
10:57 May 1, 2010 by Prufrock2010
Ich --

Points well taken. I believe that all theocracies are by definition fascistic, which is another reason why I have no use for religion. I have never encountered a democratic religion, and most, if not all, espouse theocracy.
11:37 May 1, 2010 by Harry Latour
Most of the problems with fanatacism are caused by the priests,mullahs,etc of that reliion and how far the indocrinated believers are willing to go to do their will.For instance,they always use easily led young people to blow themselves up.I wonder why none of these old greybearded mullahs never strap the TNT around their own bodies????Oh I get it,,,too old to handle the ''virgins''.
12:19 May 1, 2010 by KerrAvon
Grownups LEAD (preferably themselves) ...only children feel the need to FOLLOW !

Whenever I see power coalescing I become deeply suspicious, Islam is in this state currently. So I am against it. Christianity on the other hand is in decline, and has been for a long time therefore it is NO threat. Simple.

I WILL NOT be dictated to by anyone (over my dead body) period !

go to: http://www.infowars.com/ ...and wake up !
15:33 May 1, 2010 by hanskarl
Those who refuse to learn from history are condemned to repeat it. Sometimes one must step back from their erudite convictions and openly consider this simple statement.

To be realistic, humanism is the greatest threat to any belief system as it is a belief system in itself. "Man is the measure above all things" (Protagoras in the 5th Century). The Romans borrowed it from the Greeks and forced all to worship Caesar. Those who refused were martyred. The Renaissance synthesized it with Christianity. The enlightenment secularized it. It was declared a religion by the Supreme Court in 1961. It is the second oldest and undoubtedly the largest religion on the planet.

Friends, the whole of it all is that this is a spiritual battle. One can have their belief systems and there will be many battles fought and won. But only one system will win the final war. Scary indeed.
16:34 May 1, 2010 by fair1day
This lady is clueless.

She needs to talk to Waffa Sultan.

"separation of church and state" was written by Thomas Jefferson to a Baptist church. It is in NO other documents.

Stop with the perpetrated stupidity.
17:17 May 1, 2010 by Prufrock2010
fair1day --

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion."

Have you ever read that text? Do you have any idea in which document it is written?

So who's clueless?
22:26 May 1, 2010 by michael4096
..forced all to worship Caesar. Those who refused were martyred.
Wrong again. The romans had many gods and religions and were very tolerant of conquered peoples and their religions. They even stole some, notably the greek pantheon.

Even when emperors started promoting themselves to deity, they didn't stop people having their favorite gods as well. Christians were not fed to the lions because the romans did not accept the christian god but because the christians would not accept all the other religions.
23:21 May 1, 2010 by looshe

Your information is incorrect. Islam is a religion, if you want to know more about it's teachings go to the one and only real source, The Quran.

Don't look at cultures that are of this religion because they are two seperate things. You can't look at what a certain country does, and blame it on the religion because that is just dumb.

Christianity, Judisim and Islam all believe in one God the same God. They are not enemies. If anyone bothered to actually look at the religions and compare them they would see that the SIMILARITIES are outnumber the differences, since they all believe in the same prohphetic descendants.
00:54 May 3, 2010 by Freedom_Beats_Socialism
@looshe: Just a gentle challenge here, not a finger poke in your eye.

My understanding of izlam is that it demands that all infidels submit or die. And it issues fatwas on apostates. I don't believe that is true of either Judaism or Christianity.

Christianity is uniquely superior to all other isms because it tries to persuade you, it tries to engage your free will to choose to behave properly toward other people, thus allowing the believer who controls his or her own behavior to be free instead of restrained by outside power. Christianity does not bludgeon anybody nor does it randomly blow them up. And think about the irony in that the central figure allowed himself to be killed in the worst possible manner, allowed the perpetrators the freedom to do as they pleased.

Christianity has given rise to the freedoms of the West, such as freedom of speech, freedom of thought, or the freedom of a teacher or school to put a crucifix on the wall of a classroom. One's value system = one's religion = one's politics = one's voting. There is no such thing as separation of church and state: what the first amendment means is that the GOVERNMENT shall not force a particular religion on its citizens. BUT, a "free" society is free only if it is moral and religious, as President Adams said. One is reminded of the source of such freedom by the crucifix and it is to a Western government's advantage to allow the young to be reminded of the source of their freedom. After all, what is there to be afraid of?
09:09 May 3, 2010 by freechoice
Have you heard of the phrase, you win the world, you lose your souls?
11:32 May 3, 2010 by michael4096
Christianity does not bludgeon anybody
Chistians are killing people in africa today in the name of religion. There is a thread on here about an attempt to withdraw education from a girl in germany because they haven't yet convinced her that christianity is the right religion. Even today, christianity bludgeons people - and, not so long ago, in northern ireland, you were bludgeoned for being the wrong flavour of christian. I think you need new spectacles.

And, yes, islam bludgeons people too. It also boasts inter-flavour bludgeoning - just like christianity. Maybe you can invent some metrics to prove that islam is a bigger bludgeoner today than christianity, though I doubt if it would apply very far into the past.

There is nothing special about christianity as opposed to islam except that secular governments have put paid to excesses. And, where they haven't, like allowing priests to police themselves, guess what? More bludgeoning!
15:00 May 3, 2010 by Freedom_Beats_Socialism

I submit to you that it is not Christians doing the bludgeoning. Sure, that may be what they call themselves or even more likely what an enemy press conveniently labels them, but as I wrote above the central figure allowed himself to be executed in the most vicious manner possible at the time. Can you imagine mohammad allowing himself to be mocked or spat upon, much less crucified?
16:02 May 3, 2010 by punkinside
Uuuuh this is going to be ffffuuuunn

@Freedom_from_Socialism, you said:


My understanding of izlam is that it demands that all infidels submit or die. And it issues fatwas on apostates. I don't believe that is true of either Judaism or Christianity.

Christianity is uniquely superior to all other isms because it tries to persuade you, it tries to engage your free will to choose to behave properly toward other people, thus allowing the believer who controls his or her own behavior to be free instead of restrained by outside power. Christianity does not bludgeon anybody nor does it randomly blow them up. And think about the irony in that the central figure allowed himself to be killed in the worst possible manner, allowed the perpetrators the freedom to do as they pleased.


Have you read your bible?

lets see some of the people you are required to kill:

Kill Nonbelievers

They entered into a covenant to seek the Lord, the God of their fathers, with all their heart and soul; and everyone who would not seek the Lord, the God of Israel, was to be put to death, whether small or great, whether man or woman. (2 Chronicles 15:12-13 NAB)

Death for Adultery

If a man commits adultery with another man's wife, both the man and the woman must be put to death. (Leviticus 20:10 NLT)

Death to Followers of Other Religions

Whoever sacrifices to any god, except the Lord alone, shall be doomed. (Exodus 22:19 NAB)

Kill the Entire Town if One Person Worships Another God

"If, in any of the cities which the LORD, your God, gives you to dwell in, you hear it said


that certain scoundrels have sprung up among you and have led astray the inhabitants of their city to serve other gods whom you have not known,


you must inquire carefully into the matter and investigate it thoroughly. If you find that it is true and an established fact that this abomination has been committed in your midst,


you shall put the inhabitants of that city to the sword, dooming the city and all life that is in it, even its cattle, to the sword.


Having heaped up all its spoils in the middle of its square, you shall burn the city with all its spoils as a whole burnt offering to the LORD, your God. Let it be a heap of ruins forever, never to be rebuilt. (Deuteronomy 13:13-17 NAB)

Jesus is also into killing non-believers:

¦#39;I tell you that to everyone who has, more will be given, but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. 27But as for these enemies of mine, who did not want me to reign over them, bring them here and slaughter them before me.¦#39;¦quot;

Beg your pardon?

I'll try and ignore some of the other incredibly misguided comments for now.
17:17 May 3, 2010 by wubba

You grossly misrepresenting the passage. Its actually kind of clever what you did. First you labeled Jesus as someone who would love to kill non-believers. Okay, fair enough, lets see what you have to back that up. The quote you used was used in such a way that the first person was implied to be Jesus. Incorrectumundo. This quote is actually from "The Parable of the Ten Minas" and is considered to be moot with respect to its message. Either you knew of this and deliberately tried to mislead people, or you just need to do a bit more reading before you post things :p.


As for the old testament quotes, it should also be noted most Christians believe in the "new covenant." A covenant that centers around "love thy neighbor" and all that fun stuff.

Its cool that quote the bible, but please refrain from twisting the quotes to server a purpose they were never meant to.


I respect you as a fairly moderate poster, but you too need to be a little clearer in you statements. "Chistians are killing people in africa today in the name of religion." I can only assume that you are talking about the conflict in Nigeria, which is a tad more complex than you let off.


Gives a good background on the conflict. It is primarily between northern Muslims (self described natives) and souther Christians (described settlers) The conflict has been bloody, in fact, but it was sparked with the attempted "non-secularization" of Nigeria. The northern (islamic) tribes wanted to impose sharia law, and the southern tribes (christians) opposed it. What started off as a noble effort to protect Nigeria against a theocratic state quickly devolved into bloody tribal conflicts. If you were not referring to this specifically, well I apologize. Either way, some of us may have learned something new: Headlines are misleading.
17:45 May 3, 2010 by Freedom_Beats_Socialism

I do enjoy your challenges! Your arguments are exactly why John Milton in the 17th century argued for freedom of speech. All the bad practices and values of Christianity would thus be identified, exposed, aired out, freely discussed, and discarded if unworkable. In Shakespeare's phraseology, the truth will out.

So, please, continue firing away. No other system of values (izlam, atheism, socialism, etc.) except Christianity encourages freedom of thought and freedom of expression as the very means of purifying how it is practiced by believers.
17:50 May 3, 2010 by LancashireLad
Logic Guy,

Discipline does not equate with lack of emotion, neither does lack of emotion equate to discipline.

That aside, what are you referring to here as "discipline"?

a) Following a set program, robot-like

b) Correct chastising of children to enable them to operate effectively in society

c) Something else

My statement above referred more to a) than b)
18:05 May 3, 2010 by punkinside
See you christians like to have it both ways. Homosexuals are an abomination but you can wear clothes from two different threads and eat pork. Even though "For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished." Matthew 5:18 -- which would necessarily mean jesus was contradicting himself, or at least lying to ease the minds of the jews used to their rules.

The "new covenant" interpretation would explain the constant "ignoring" of some of the commandments though (most notably the 5th) How do you know which rules are you supposed to follow (e.g. how to treat your slaves) and which not (e.g. killing everyone in a village burning everything down as an offering)

In any case, Freedom_Beats_Socialism, and to some extent yourself are saying that "Christianity is uniquely superior to all other isms ". My counter-argument goes like this:

a) Historical: Holocaust of the previous inhabitants of israel, crusades, inquisition, witch trials, northern ireland, and a very, very long etc. Plenty of killing in the name of YHWH god going on there. The western value system, with its democracy, capitalism and freedoms is what it is no thanks to christianity, IMO. For the most part of these 2010 years of our lord, christians lived under totalitarian Kings that ruled by right given to them by god. Women were mostly treated as they are today in the middle east. Most of these changes were bitterly opposed by your churches. Middle-eastern value systems, as much as I loathe them, seem to be just a couple of hundred years behind on the social/political evolution of man kind.

b) Allowing for the "new covenant" argument, and assuming that you take the old testament to be as much the word of god as the new testament, I wonder how people reconcile their image of jesus' all loving, groovy god with the fire and brimstone, kill nonbelievers and stone a bunch of people to death god of moses. That is one mighty change of heart.

c) The modern western value system, which I will admit could be partially derived from what some 2nd century people wrote about this jesus character, is better served by being secular. Everyone is the same under the law. have headscarves, christians can't have crucifixes. Period. While I think the "Happy holidays" instead of "Merry Christmas" crowd is taking it a bit too far, I agree that a state or government in an open democracy should not show preference of one religion over the other.

Finally, I clearly misinterpreted the parable, having read it a long time ago and just quickly searched for the quote. I did not wish to be disingenous.
19:07 May 3, 2010 by michael4096
I submit to you that it is not Christians doing the bludgeoning.
That is the problem isn't it. Christians bludgeon - but, they're not real christians, just calling themself so. Why are they not real christians? Can you really put yourself up there as an arbiter of who is real?

However, when it comes to the things some muslims do in the name of islam, its different - they are real muslims. The hundreds of millions of muslims that would never, ever "randomly blow up" - your words - innocents don't represent islam - but, the bombers do.

So when christians bludgeon, they're individuals; when muslims do the same, they represent an insidious religion. Your logic is smelly.


When I was writing, I was thinking of uganda and the state-sponsored murder of homosexuals in the name of christianity. There are other examples such as the murder of abortion doctors in the us.

However, thanks for the link, I did learn something.
03:54 May 4, 2010 by zzzxtreme
as a muslim, I'd say this is cool
09:12 May 4, 2010 by LancashireLad
Her comments or this thread.

BTW this is the longest thread I have seen on Toytown in terms of both posts and duration.
14:30 May 4, 2010 by Freedom_Beats_Socialism

The fallacy of your argument equating bludgeoning is that izlam does not learn from its mistakes whereas Christians are directed to fix their incorrect practices. In fact, izlam means infidels are to submit or be beheaded and is spread by the sword. That is not free will, free will being a Christian concept from the get-go.

Jihad bombers are exalted whereas bombers gleefully labeled by secular atheists and the statist, leftist media as "christians" are rightly excoriated and purged.
17:30 May 4, 2010 by LancashireLad
"Christians are directed to fix their incorrect practices"

Please explain that to his holiness regarding the abused children in his church that he does not seem to be particularly bothered about.

"free will being a Christian concept from the get-go."

So free will didn't exist before Christ?
17:51 May 4, 2010 by punkinside
"The fallacy of your argument equating bludgeoning is that izlam does not learn from its mistakes whereas Christians are directed to fix their incorrect practices. In fact, izlam means infidels are to submit or be beheaded and is spread by the sword. That is not free will, free will being a Christian concept from the get-go."

You conveniently ignore more than a thousand years of christian bludgeoning, which has stopped mainly thanks to the secularization of the states where people may call themselves more or less free.

How long did it take christians to accept Galileo's ideas? How long will it take for them to accept Darwin's?

And you didn't read your bible once again. (It really doesn't surprise me that most of the hardcore haven't really read their bible properly)

Muslims are just a little behind on the social/political evolution. They haven't learned from their mistakes *yet*. While I find their practices abhorrent, and am just this side of lets just bomb them all to bits and force the horribly disfigured survivors how to treat women properly, but to even imply that the west is "better" BECAUSE of christianity is just laughable. The west is better IN SPITE OF christanity.
20:02 May 4, 2010 by Freedom_Beats_Socialism
@LancashireLad: You're correct. It did. In a sense, Christ "simply" clarified and reinforced that point.

@punkinside: I ignore nothing. If anything, that history justifies what I write.

By what authority do secular "free" people claim their freedom? How do they justify keeping their rulers at bay?

Regarding Darwin, it is a faith that life arose through random, purposeless processes.

Regarding Galileo, aren't you conceding my point that Christianity is self-correcting?
10:10 May 5, 2010 by beema
Without going into a long diatribe about the problems of the islamic culture now pervasive in Europe, some useful websites might help some people here to understand what we are facing. These websites are factual and frightening:- islamineurope.com. / www.jihadwatch.com. / anti-mullah.com, atlasshrugs.com/ danialpipes.com - and so on. Watch the 15 minute film 'Fitna' available on the web - without prejudice. These sites are run by people who have and are studying the islamic invasion of the West/ Europe spelling out quite clearly the danger within. Believe it if you will, ignore it at your peril. ps the burkha and hijab are not islamic but conceived by muslim men to subjugate their women - some women are so brainwashed that they no longer think for themselves in the same way that suicide bombers are, and/or are too scared to do otherwise for fear of death by family members. We are not allowed to prance about naked, neither should we be allowed to walk about covered in a tent.
11:59 May 5, 2010 by punkinside
So we're going to argue about chickens and eggs. Is christianity self correcting, and the whole reason why some people have enjoyed the greatest amount of freedom in the history of man for the last couple of hundred years?


So lets walk through it:

a) Democracy is not a christian invention. Last I heard it was te greeks that came up with that one.

b) Enlightenment, and all our nice republics and freedoms started coming into existence in the 18th century. More than a 1000 years after Christianity became a major official religion. Until then kings ruled by the right given to them by god and the pope.

c) If there's something religions are NOT good at, is correcting themselves. You see? They all invariably have some book. Dictated to them by the almighty himself. And this book contains instructions on how to live your life. You can't reason with the book. It doesn't matter what you think, the book says what it says and there's no changing it. There may be some wiggle room somewhere, but the gist is unchanging.

What christians HAVE gotten good at is IGNORING, as you do, most of what they don't like on the book, and trying to force on other people to do the things they like about the book.

So, Onan gets the axe in genesis for spilling his seed and thus people can't wear condoms, but the dietary requirements need not be heeded because jesus died for our sins.

Secularists are the ones that have given you all your freedoms, if it were up to the church, you'd still be nothing but a serf to some king, that has to answer to a guy in rome, thinking the earth is flat. That is the way they would've wanted it.
15:15 May 5, 2010 by Talonx
It's so cute when the fundies get confused.

@ freedom_beats_socialism

You've stated, "christianity is self-correcting", actually that's science that's self-correcting. Christianity, like all other religions is self-preserving, that's a little bit dfferent.
15:53 May 5, 2010 by Prufrock2010
Talonx --

You are correct. And over the millenia no religion has been more consistently anti-science than christianity. It remains so to this day among the fundamentalists.
16:08 May 5, 2010 by Talonx
@ Prufrock

It's just so cute when the fundies get god-of-the-gaps confused with self-correction, I hadn't heard that out of someone since highschool CCD.
17:15 May 5, 2010 by michael4096
The fallacy of your argument equating bludgeoning is that..
I don't have an argument, never did, just pointed out that your arguments reduced to...

- bad muslims -> islam

- good christians -> christianity

- bad christians -> some individuals playing with themselves

I can't say anything about your arguments regarding good muslims because you don't seem to think they exist.

I then went on to say your logic was 'smelly'. True, others may have use big word such as 'hypocritical', but I can't spell worth a damm

Your reply didn't attempt to show where my analysis was flawed, indeed it continued to underline what I said by talking about fixing mistakes. Surely, the first rule about fixing mistakes is admiting that you've made one! But, christianity hates failibility, I guess. Don't panic, islam also hates it and you're in good compamy.
18:47 May 6, 2010 by fair1day
Does anyone here know how to use logic? If you do I would gladly listen to you.

Lots of emotion here and only a couple of folks knowingly "using" logic.

Stop with the perpretrated stupidity for all the rest.

Dr. John Warwick Montgomery said it correctly about the rest,

".......sounds like a statement that the village idiot would make...."
00:17 May 8, 2010 by Prufrock2010
fair1day --

You exemplify Dr. Montgomery's observation.
08:38 May 9, 2010 by freechoice
Christianity represents freedom and democracy.

Islamic society are repressive and backwards in terms of human rights.

It's kinda of scary to go back in time!
09:10 May 9, 2010 by Talonx
@ freechoice

Why do your people never actually read the bible. Or have you read it and just excised all memory of it? I'm a freakin' atheist and I've read it 3 times. Shame on you.
09:26 May 10, 2010 by LancashireLad

Any chance you could back your statement up? What logic would you apply here? I really am interested to hear this (yes, I am english, no this is not sarcasm)


The Inquisition isn't something that backs up your claim. Please tell me how abusing children (granted, so far only accusations but there's a lot of them) promotes freedom and democracy in their minds.

Hi Talonx,

This time I'm 100% with you ;-) It never ceases to amaze me how "christians" take the bible as the word of god, despite the fact that not a single word was written by Christ and we have no proof that any of it was written by "God".
12:00 May 10, 2010 by michael4096
Christianity represents freedom...
Another wishful thinker.

For centuries, slavery and apartheid were legitimised by the bible. Read the genesis story of ham's curse. Black people are black and born to slavery in perpetuity because god was angry that their ancestor ham saw his daddy, noah, naked and drunk.

Note that most jews, muslims and non-pauline christians tend not to take this story seriously.

However, some american christians were still using the argument to keep their churches white-only in my life time - as a child, I remember a visiting american 'missionary' being booed although, as I had never seen a black man, I didn't really understand what was happening.
15:33 May 10, 2010 by Major B
Dear The Local,

This story has received the attention you wanted and openned up dialogue and discussions about the Christian/Islam conflict and cross culcultural relationships. It is time to take the picture and article off the front page this. This strong and proud muslim woman is going up against a lot -- a Teutonic culture several thousand years old and ancient European fears of Islam. In a way the Jews in Europe had it much easier because of their religion's closeness to christianity. Fortunately for the Muslims in Europe, the ancient and relatively modern pograms against Jews, along with European integration, should prevent the persecution the Jews have faced. Go ahead and remove this article. It is beginning to appear that you all are singling out this courgeous woman for undue scrutiny and I am sure that is not your intention.
01:25 May 11, 2010 by homer63109
From the looks of some of the pictures of people on the town in , any religion would be helpful. Will homosexual German men wear burkas?
22:02 May 14, 2010 by Yahu777
A Moslem Christian - interesting. I suppose the names of political parties don't mean anything any more. I have long assumed (40 years) that Christian Democrats were both Christian and Democrats. Though I have to admit that some of their policies were making me wonder if that were true. If Europe's "Christians" were half as devout as the world's Moslems, 90% of Europe's social problems would disappear. Woops! That thought is politically incorrect!
13:47 May 19, 2010 by scout1067
Why is this article still on the front page of the Local?

I understand that most of you buy the "Islam is a religion of peace" kool-aid but is pushing atheism any better?
15:15 May 19, 2010 by Prufrock2010
scout --

"is pushing atheism any better?"

Yes. People don't routinely slaughter others in the name of atheism. They do it in the name of their particular god.
15:39 May 19, 2010 by wubba

"Yes. People don't routinely slaughter others in the name of atheism. They do it in the name of their particular god"

Brazen, no? I have cited specific examples of the slaughter of people in the name of atheism on this very article (NOT atheists who happen to slaughter).

No one should push any sort of (ir)religion on any body else. (ir)Religious beliefs _should_ be personal. The mindset of "I am better than you" does more do contribute to the problem than the solution. Arrogance leads to poor results.
12:46 May 20, 2010 by scout1067

Notice, I am not pushing any particular set of religious beliefs, and make no mistake Atheism is just as much a belief system as any other religion.

I just wonder why this CHRISTIAN Democrat is surprised at the reaction she gets from inserting herself into the debate over her Muslim views. What exactltt would you like to see, religion outlawed entirely in favor of some ideal of a totally secular society? Dream on.

How dare those Christians defend their beliefs and their position that Germany is a Christian nation? They only have 100+ years of history on their side.
13:53 May 20, 2010 by Talonx
@ Wubba

What's brazen, is you attempting to paraphrase Marx without ever having read him.

Marx, firstly, was not a communist in the russian since (a bolshevik), he was a communist of the sort that never found manifestation. Just before he died, before even any form of state communism existed, he famously stated, "If this is Marxism, I'm no Marxist".

Additionally, Marx was no advocate for the abolition of religion by any central authority. Marx said the religion was the "opiate of the masses", Marx had previously used opium for pain from injury and saw it as an amazing substance (which he never became addicted to). Given this experience one could maybe conclude that he thought it could do both wonderful and horrible things (any one of his time period would also know of addiction). I ultimately, perhaps, did not see either pain or opium as necessities.

Regardless, Stalinism, is so named as it entirely breaks from any interpretation of Marx which came before (Lenin, Trotsky, etc...) or after (Barrier, Kruschev, etc...), regardless of the fact that Marx would likely not have approved of any policy of Bolshevism/Vangaurdism.

Anyways, maybe you read all that and you know a bit more, maybe not, maybe you'll just keep on believing what you believe abouttexts you've never read.

But, at least it's out there that somone who's made it a point to study this stuff thinks you're talking out of your #ss.


"We give our highest rewards to those who convincingly disprove established beliefs" - Carl Sagan

Seems kind of the opposite to religious belief to me.

Nobody said anything about making any laws. It's actually already the case in most Bundes that if a student says something or a parent complains the cross has to be taken down, though they risk ostracism.

As for secularization, it's a matter of ethical principle, not simply historical/cultural inertia. Hell, why don't we keep doing everything we've been doing for '100+ years' (there's a really nice entry on 'at least 100 years ago' on encyclopaedia dramatica).
20:32 May 20, 2010 by wubba
@Talonx You do more to bolster my point than counter it.

Firstly I did not declare Marx to be a communist, I stated that Stalinist communism derived many of their beliefs from Karl Marx. It is with this being said I gave examples of a corrupted ideal (in this case communism.) In this case the ideal was corrupted to the point of mass murders in the name of Atheism to forward Stalinism. Any ideal can, has and will be corrupted. It makes no difference if it has anything to do with religion. An institutionalized ideal is prone to corruption. This has been my stance this entire thread.

The statement was brazen because I believe it to be false through my research. I have yet to hear an argument that convinces me otherwise.

You are correct, however, that I poorly chose my terminology, Stalinsm was the correct word choice. Stalinism, though it may be a derivative of Marx's communism, differs from Marx's communism in many aspects.

As for Marx specifically. I never mentioned his desire to abolish religion, though one can interpret such a message from his "Critique of Hegel¦#39;s Philosophy of Right" I believe Marx thought that with the evolution of society the question of religion would "right" itself.

As for the specific Issue you brought to my attention. There are two main schools of though when the topic of Marx's view of religion are approached.

One, is that religion is simply the symptom of an oppressed class/society/etc. It is a creation of the people so that they are "content" in being oppressed as they will be rewarded through their religion. As you said the "opium of the masses" that assist in reliving the pain of oppression. Marx would argue that when society reached its pinnacle (Marx's Communism) that religion would no longer be a necessity for the people because of the absence of oppression and eventually die out.

The other is a derivative of the first. That religion itself is impeding progress by allowing the lower oppressed classes to be content with their situation.

"The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." -Marx

Which I interpret Marx as saying "When people decide to stop believing in an illusion (religion) they are are no longer content and will be free to fight against their oppression" Similarly it can be read in reverse. "When people decide to fight against their oppression they will the be free of the illusions that made them content with their oppression"

The reason I brought it up was that Stalinism generally drifted to the extreme end of "remove religion to free the people".

I do not claim to be a Marxist expert, so I apologize if I misinterpret his writings. Regardless, I still stand by my statements to Prufrock.
10:43 May 21, 2010 by Talonx
@ Wubba

Sorry I responded so harshly the first time, there are many on these boards who regularly post nonsense and thoughtless garble.

That being said, your response was well thought out and you do seem to have read a bit :).

As regards, Marx's views on religion, it could not be said that he advocated for state athiesm, ever. Nor could it be interpreted as such without the necessary decontextualization which Stalin heaped upon it. It's quite clear that marx saw religion as a symptom and liberation from traditional modes of economy, not laws, as an inevitability (note I do not use the term solution, as Marx didn't speak of solutions, he spoke of historical determinism).

Regarding Stalin on this front, and I'm not the first to make the observation, what stalin pushed resembled a state religion. Atheists, as far as I know, don't declare miracles as Stalin did, a miracle requires the supernatural, the supernatural requires non-rational faith based belief as opposed to normal belief predicated on evidence. Further, the atrocities he did commit, sans not letting people go to church, were done in the name of mono-culture not atheism.
13:22 May 21, 2010 by scout1067

In what way is atheism not a belief? I have not seen any convincing proof for the existence or nonexistence of God. Belief in God requires faith; contrariwise, belief that there is not one only requires a suspension faith. There is no physically compelling scientific evidence for either position.. I am not advocating either faith or atheism just advocating respect for traditions.

It is kind of like the argument about why I should learn Spanish in the States. Why would I? I don¦#39;t expect everyone I meet in Germany to speak English to me, I am in their country after all so it behooves me to learn to speak their language doesn¦#39;t it? I am simply stating that Germany is a majority Christian country, (practicing or not is irrelevant). How could Muslims, Buddhists, Animists you name it reasonably expect to come here and have the Germans bend over backwards to avoid offending them?

The 100 year remark was an example of my fingers being faster than my brain, I meant to type 1000+ years of Christian heritage.

What exactly is the ethical principle behind secularization? You got me with that one because I have no clue what you are talking about.

Once again, Why is this article still on the Front Page of the local.
02:28 May 22, 2010 by Talonx
@ scout

I never said atheism wasn't a belief. I merely stated that it was not an unrational belief as all relgious belief necessarily is. I am satisfied with the suspension of belief based on the 'absence of evidence' (the definition of faith-based belief). Otherwise, why not all of us worshop a pink tea pot or an invisible pink unicorn, just as many compelling arguments can be made for either as can the judeo-christian god.

Germany is as dynamic and open to change as any other nation, it is a moving socio-economic entity that is just as deserving of development and humanitarian evolution as the next state. Why would you resign it to the graves of any religion.

As for 1000+ years, there exist even better links on 'at least 1000 years ago' on ecyclopaedia dramatica.

The ethical principle behind secularization is that in a secular society all are more welcome than would ever be the case in any society that purports to have a particular religious vantage.
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