Posts tagged ‘Islam’
Readers outside the UK may be unaware of the teddy bear incident that has been one of the headline stories the UK press this week. For those of you who don’t know, Gillian Gibbons, a primary teacher from Liverpool, recently went to Sudan to work. She asked her class for ideas for what to call the class teddy bear. One pupil, named Muhammad, suggested “Muhammad”. Someone on the school’s administration staff reported the incident and Gillian was charged with insulting Islam – a crime which could have resulted in 40 lashes, a six month prison sentence, or a fine. Gillian, who protested that no insult was intended, was found guilty and given a 15 day prison sentence. Because of public demonstrations against the leniency of the sentence, she is being kept in close police custody for her own protection.
The philospher A.C.Grayling argues that no religious person is automatically worthy any more respect than any other person. In fact, if anything, the opposite is the case. Faith is a commitment to belief, contrary to evidence and reason. Therefore to believe something against evidence and against reason is irresponsible and ignorant and merits the opposite of respect…
It is the evening of September 11th, 2007 – the sixth anniversary of the terrorist attacks on American soil by Islamic Jihadists. I am driving home from work, listening to the ceremonies and tributes paid on NPR. I am nearly home. Just as I round the corner to an adjacent street, I see this new message on the church marquee:
You are reading that marquee right. The good folks at Skyline Baptist Church have seen fit to place this threat of eternal fire to the heathen and the promise of eternal paradise to the saint to commemorate this anniversary…
Ok, it took me a long time to get round to it, and I know the entire rest of the Western World did it ages ago, but I have just finished reading Richard Dawkins’ The God Delusion. Whatever your faith is or even if you have none, I can thoroughly recommend this book. I chuckled my way through ‘The God Delusion’ even though one doesn’t normally laugh while reading science, logic or theology texts (not that those categories can adequately describe the book’s contents). It was a stimulating, entertaining, passionate, and challenging read.
Dawkins describes how after 9/11 in the US, and after 7/7 in the UK, many people agonised to find an explanation for the seemingly puzzling behaviour of the suicide bombers. That’s an issue many people in Germany are asking today following the recent revelation that at least two of the suspected terrorists were German citizens. But as Dawkins points out – in one sense the key to the puzzle is relatively simple. The people were simply acting out things that they really believed. They weren’t necessarily weird or strange people. They had just adopted a belief system and were then carrying it out in the best way they saw fit. They were following their religion…
de-Conversion.org, our new community site, is now online. This community site is an extension of the d-C blog. Both sites offer resources for religious skeptics or de-converted religious apostates in their own unique way: while the blog tenders opinion pieces primarily relating to the Christian de-conversion experience, our new community site extends the experience to all religious skeptics and apostates throughout the online populace while introducing a variety of additional options.
Upon visiting the home page of de-Conversion.org, a guest will be able to see the latest articles written by any member of the de-Conversion community. Articles fall into one of the categories or special features that deal with the subject of religion and/or non-religion. There are categories that center on reviews, such as book, film, journal, or even reviews of religious institutions. Other categories are more philosophical in nature, dealing with ethics, science, and theology. In addition, we keep up on the latest religious news through our investigate journalism section, “God News.”
We also have a forum where community members may discuss any number of topics, including ideas that have been brought up in featured articles. The forum will continue to expand as our community does…
I was recently browsing through the book “When God was a Woman” by Merlin Stone. In this book, Stone gives a historical view on how men initially gained control of society and began the journey of suppressing women’s rights. Stone explores what life was like in a society which worshiped a female creator and why later male religions fought to suppress that earlier worship. I can’t help but wonder how different this world would be if God continued to be a woman instead of becoming a male warrior God who committed atrocities to make Hitler and Saddam’s actions pale in comparison.
In a previous blog “Humans owe their long existence to women – not men”, Stellar1 addressed the effects of women on the survival of humans:
According to anthropologist Robert Sussman of Washington University and co-author of the 2005 book “Man the Hunted,” early humans were more often prey than predators. The article says the evidence is in the “many fossils and skulls containing holes made by big cats and talon marks from raptors.”
Humanity as a whole has struggled with the issue of gender equity in the modern era. Combined with the teachings of the majority of the holy scriptures of today’s major religions, progress is slow in coming. Of course, there are nations classed as non-religious or secular nations where women are also viewed as second class citizens. However, I should point out that it is not their lack of religious beliefs driving this belief but more the views and traditions of that particular culture.
Similarly, theism itself does not classes women as second class citizens but the beliefs of specific theist religions. In fact, one can be a theist and believe in gender equity just as one can be an atheist and believe the opposite.
A core value of this blog is that we: