Peaceful? The Heck They Are!

Islam claims to be a religion of peace. As we can see from the reaction of its followers to a movie critical of Islam, made in the U.S., peace has very little if anything to do with Islam.mo-homer

Both Islam and Christianity, as many have come to realize, have always been and continue to be, a plague upon humankind. The resources usurped by these mega-religions could be more appropriately used to provide housing and food for the downtrodden. As far as religion is concerned, however, that would be counter-productive. The poor down-trodden and suffering masses just also happen to be the greatest source of new adherents to these two immoral banes of humanity.

Why is Islam aggressively violent? Whenever an authoritative philosophy comes into power, it exercises that power to enforce its dictates on everyone, not just its members. As their numbers increase, influence increases, as do attempts to force all others around them to conform to how the religion outlines people should live.

christian-soldier

Christianity is no different. In the United States there are still some states that preclude atheists from holding public office. There are six states that have articles in their Constitutions which prevent atheists from holding office.

  • Arkansas
  • Maryland
  • Mississippi
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • Texas

 These states have a highly religious population of the Christian persuasion, as well as office holders of the same ilk.

Everyone has heard some of the more prominent preachers of the Christian faith make demands that Atheists be arrested, killed, or deported. They are not joking. It doesn’t matter how much the rational think that these people are living a delusion, this delusion is dangerous and can spur them into taking real action. All they need is enough of their numbers in office. The Constitution will not be enough to protect anyone from their religious fervor as they will rewrite it, or reinterpret it to their liking as the school board in Texas is doing with textbooks. It may be that within the next few years we will have to endure an authoritarian Christian regime.

christian disposal

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16 Responses to Peaceful? The Heck They Are!

  1. Fred Levins says:

    Within a day or two of reading “Peaceful? The Heck They Are,” I encountered two relevant posts by a Turkish woman, Ceylon Ozbudak, who works as one of a few hosts on a San Francisco radio talk show, “Building Bridges,” on station WTPN. In her own fashion, she is an apologist for Islam.

    Her two posts are accompanied by her eye-catching portraits. They can be viewed at the Facebook page of “Scott A Boman” (no period after “A” and last name spelled “Boman,” not “Bowman”). Boman was a guest on Ozbudak’s radio show on the evening of Tuesday, September 18, 2012. Boman is one of my (Fred Levins) two-dozen Facebook friends.

    In the first of two posts (Date: September 17, 2012 on Boman’s FB timeline), she writes:

    “According to the Qur’an, war represents an ‘unwanted obligation’ which has to be absolutely carried out with strict observance of particular humane and moral values and resorted only when it is inevitable.”

    That is the opening sentence of a 3,400-word post.

    The second of two posts (Date: September 18, 2012 on Boman’s FB timeline) is mercifully concise: “Some of those who say that something is done in the name of religion may, in fact, misunderstand that religion and as a result, practice it wrongly. For that reason, it would be wrong to form ideas about that religion by taking these people as an example. The best way of understanding a religion is to study its divine source. Islam’s divine source is the Qur’an, which is based on concepts of morality, love, compassion, humility, sacrifice, understanding and peace. A Muslim who lives by those precepts in its true sense will be most polite, careful of thought, modest, decent, noble, just, trustworthy and easy to get on with. He will spread love, respect, harmony and the joy of living all around him.”

  2. drenn1077 says:

    An unwanted obligation? Perhaps this is true for the majority of those in Islam. They never make the news, and are never heard from. What we see is a vocal minority which seems not only desirous of war but gleefully inclined. Humane? Is cutting off a man’s head and then dragging the carcass, humane?
    I tried doing a search on Scott A Boman on the facebook site and nothing came up.
    The second post may be her understanding of Islam. If she thinks this stance is shared by all Muslims, then she is simply naive.
    How do you feel about the “Peacefulness” of Islam?

  3. Fred Levins says:

    I do not know why Facebook does not give results for “Scott A Boman.” He has 4,523 FB friends, so I think he has his privacy settings at the highest “public” level possible. When I put “Scott A Boman” into my query window on Facebook, I do get his FB account coming up, and it is the only result. Since I am one of his FB friends, that may not be too meaningful. Fortunately, there is another way to access his page, which I tested with my Internet Explorer browser. The URL to his site is http://www.facebook.com/scottyboman. (No period or slash at the end of the URL.) That should work for you in your browser.

    As an aside, while searching for the URL, I learned that Scott has a page on Wikipedia. The URL is http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scott_Boman. Please note that there is an underscore character (“_”) between “Scott” and “Boman,” which is hidden if the URL appears underscored in my post.

    In addition, I have “shared” the September 18th post, with its shorter message, on my FB page. The September 18th post has the “better” portrait included. It is worth checking out. Ceylon is a young, voluptuous blond. Please let Carol know that you are viewing the post only as part of your blog work, that duty calls. In any event, you ought to be able to see Ceylon’s posts on Scott’s FB page.

    I am interested in learning whether you are successful in viewing Ceylon’s posts on Scott’s Facebook page. If you are not, there are other approaches to take. However, I will be very surprised if there are any further problems.

    I take Ceylon’s second post (Sept. 18th) to be her understanding of Islam. In her long post, the earlier post (Sept. 17th), she explicitly states that it is not shared by all Muslims, and in some areas of the Middle East, it is not even shared by the majority of Muslims. Therefore, I think it is fair to say that her understanding of the reality in the area of the world where she comes from is far from being naive. However, I think her understanding of those who call themselves atheists is somewhat primitive. It is clear in the long essay that she does not have an accurate view of how most atheists conduct themselves in the world. It is clear that she does not think well of atheists.

    From my following of the news and public affairs, I get the impression that it is much easier to arrive at militancy for adherents of Islam than it is for adherents of the various religions that consider themselves to be Christian. However, the approach that circumvents passages supporting violence is probably roughly the same for both Islam and Christian sects: pay attention only to passages that support nonviolent, constructive action, and consider the problematic passages to no longer apply – perhaps with some explanation supplied — in the modern era, if they ever did. In any event, violent episodes from the past are significant only in that they are not ever to be repeated. Therefore, peaceful adherents read selectively, or “cherry pick.”

    It is noteworthy that Judaism, with its scholarly tradition of commentary on the Torah, has – in my considered opinion – done the “best” job of selective reading and thoughtful consideration. Judaism has evolved into a school of thought and an accompanying culture that many very accomplished scientists associate with, even though most (if not all) of the scientists are not theists. I haven’t verified this, but one of my MIT classmates told me that Jews are overrepresented in the ranks of Nobel laureates by a factor of ten. I think that all religions have a lot to learn from Judaism. Since I first encountered Jews at MIT and observed how well prepared they were for success as students at a major university — far better prepared than I was – I have thought highly of them. Of course, many of them were secular Jews, but not all. A few were Orthodox.

    Another topic which is on my radar screen is Buddhism. I have read that among some Asians, it is considered to be a form of atheism. It may be accurately described as a philosophy or a set of observations about the human situation, about the experience of life for a human. Two students in my St. Peter’s Class of 1969, among the most enthusiastic about Catholicism, became Buddhists as adults. I learned about this development at the 40th reunion of the Class of 1969 in 2009.

  4. drenn1077 says:

    The stories appear to have been removed. I went down his timeline to September 17 and there were no “eye-catching” photos of the lady to be found.

    As far as her being naive, that can occur when you are under the spell of a powerful religion. Many Christians are naive about their fellow Christians, believing, for instance, that given half a chance a fundamentalist would not impose his/her beliefs on all.

    All theists, be they Judaic, Christian, or Islamic, have a negative opinion of atheists. That’s okay, I am used to it.

    You will note that the most militant Muslims are in areas where they are either a majority, in great numbers, or in power. Also it appears that in both Christian and Islamic ranks, it is the fundamentalist that is the greater threat for violence.

  5. Fred Levins says:

    After reading your post stating that you examined Scott A Boman’s timeline and could not find posts related to Ceylon Ozbudak, I just checked (Sat., 29Sep2012, 2 AM). Both posts that I referred to, a 3,400-word post dated Sept. 17th, and a brief post superimposed on her portrait and dated Sept. 18th, are visible to me. I do not know what to think. You do have to wait for Boman’s timeline to fully load; he makes many posts.

    You first could not pull up Boman’s Facebook page. That hurdle has been cleared with further effort on my part. Now another obstacle.

    I have the short Sept. 18th post with the more striking photo posted as a “share” to the public on the wall of my Facebook page, which ought to be visible to you unless you have blocked my FB page. In any event, you can see Boman’s FB page. Your difficulties are inexplicable.

    Maybe it was in November 2011 that you invited people to offer suggestions as to how the MOA could conduct outreach. I posted as FredGrandLedgeMI that I had placed scans of Mormon greeting cards on my home page. The home page referred to was obviously that to be found on the MNJ Web site for FredGrandLedgeMI. You sent me a message that you could not locate the scans. It turned out that you were checking the FB page for “Fred Levins.” I directed you to my MNJ home page and you then succeeded in finding the images. It seems like it takes extra effort to share information with you.

    I trust that you have the ability to find Ozbudak’s posts on Boman’s timeline.

  6. Fred Levins says:

    D: “Also it appears that in both Christian and Islamic ranks, it is the fundamentalist that is the greater threat for violence.”

    True.

  7. Fred Levins says:

    “As far as her being naive, that can occur when you are under the spell of a powerful religion.”

    Ozbudak is bi-cultural. She is successfully conducting a radio talk show in her second culture in a cosmopolitan city (San Francisco) and not in her native tongue. As far as I know, you’ve spent your whole life in Mansfield except when you were in the Army. It strikes me that she is less likely to be naïve than are you.

  8. Anonymous says:

    An individual need not travel the world to gain an understanding of it, else, why books. Your flaw is that if you see qualities in someone that you admire you fail to see their flaws and get angry if someone else points them out.

  9. Fred Levins says:

    I will respond to the “your flaw” post elsewhere.

    There is a possible problem that did not occur to me until Saturday night, which might explain why you cannot see Ozbudak’s posts. Your computer might be lacking in some way or ways with respect to hardware or supported software or both so that Boman’s content at his FB page is not being completely loaded. The older your computer, the more likely that it is not up to the task.

    I suspected that you were being unnecessarily difficult to communicate with, but the underlying explanation may be related to technology. I apologize for the suspicion.

  10. Fred Levins says:

    We both know that books have their place, an important place. They enable one to gain knowledge and skills when employed properly. As one notable person – Bill Wattenberg, in Wikipedia – said, “If you don’t read books, you are doomed to remaining ignorant.” Although ignorance is relative, with the least ignorant having the best appreciation of their own ignorance when confronting the vastness of the universe (a significant theme worth returning to), I think BW’s meaning is clear. In any event, Immanuel Kant, I have read, never traveled more than seven miles from the place of his birth. I am not familiar with Kant’s ideas, but he succeeded in being influential and establishing his place in the history of philosophy. So you are right to the extent that understanding can potentially be gained in the absence of traveling the world, assuming that one takes advantage of what is available locally to an adequate degree.

    Related to what you refer to as “your flaw,” I detest instances of one person belittling another. It is bad enough when there is actually – in fact — a flaw to focus upon. That is usually bad in itself, unless it is approached in a constructive manner (a rare event), but why it is bad would require some explanation. Beyond that, I especially detest instances of one person belittling another when the belittler is focusing on someone who is actually their superior.

    What you referred to as “your flaw,” when properly described (not as you put it), is an essential aspect of my person, and something that I am not displeased about or presently inclined to change. I find it to be present also in people I call my friends, and they are people of high character. Their sharing “your flaw,” has in my estimation, assisted them throughout the decades so that they have accomplished a great deal in their lives, more than they would otherwise. This state of affairs is the result of decades of living.

    I must be specific about one aspect of this subject. I am not advocating imbuing a Pollyannish understanding of the world and the people in it. I am not advocating wearing rosy-tinted glasses while viewing the world on an hourly basis. As I see it, in one’s own thoughts, one must perceive reality as it is, with the highest level of objectivity that one can achieve by devoting himself to engaging life within strict sobriety (excepting coffee, of course). On any particular day, one’s survival can depend upon it. Although we are somewhat protected by layers of features provided by technology and society, in the long run our welfare is rooted in clearing viewing the world.

    People are flawed. If one can refer to the flaws of others in ways that moves one closer to promoting one’s long term enlightened interests of self and the personal goals one has embraced, I consider that to be constructive. It is very difficult to do.

    With respect to the specific topic of Ceylon Ozbudak being naïve (or not), in general I would say she is less naïve about the reality of the world than the average person because experiencing a foreign culture by living in it is a transformative process. It is so profound, those who are subjected to it describe the experience as “culture shock.” I have heard about it from the many students I have met and interacted with who came here (USA) to study and work. However, Ozbudak might be relatively naïve when it comes to certain specific topics, even if she is not in general as I judge her to be. As I see it, if DW judges her to be naïve (in general), what can one conclude about DW? In my view, Ozbudak probably perceives the world with greater clarity than does DW, as the reason given above in this paragraph.

  11. drenn1077 says:

    “I detest instances of one person belittling another”

    Unfortunately, you do not practice this stance yourself. You have “belittled” and insulted me numerous times in the short time you have known of my existence. Notice, I said known of my existence, not known me personally, in any measure.

    “Beyond that, I especially detest instances of one person belittling another when the belittler is focusing on someone who is actually their superior.”

    I am a little bewildered about this statement. I certainly hope that you do not consider yourself superior simply because of your experiences having been different than my own. As far as Ceylon Osbudak; other than her statements which seem apologetic and from what seem an air of superiority I know little of her. If she actually believes that the Koran is a book teaching peaceful behavior and if she indeed actually believes the myth of religion, then not only is she naive, but she has been scammed and does not even realize it.

    With respect to the specific topic of Ceylon Ozbudak being naïve (or not), in general I would say she is less naïve about the reality of the world than the average person because experiencing a foreign culture by living in it is a transformative process.
    As I see it, if DW judges her to be naïve (in general), what can one conclude about DW? In my view, Ozbudak probably perceives the world with greater clarity than does DW, as the reason given above in this paragraph.

    I have been exposed to other cultures via my military experience. I know that there are ignorant people, wise people, and knowledgeable people in all cultures. I saw this in Athens, Greece and again in Turkey. To assume an entire culture is composed of undiluted opinions, homogenous beliefs, is to assume in error. I also have seen people of other ethnic origins attempt to fit in American culture. They have found the language more than difficult, to say the least, and many of our everyday habits puzzling.

    Yes, I have many flaws, as no one and nothing is perfect. Before you list my flaws, perhaps you should take a good long look in the mirror, FL.

  12. drenn1077 says:

    I detest instances of one person belittling another. It is bad enough when there is actually – in fact — a flaw to focus upon. That is usually bad in itself, unless it is approached in a constructive manner (a rare event), but why it is bad would require some explanation. Beyond that, I especially detest instances of one person belittling another when the belittler is focusing on someone who is actually their superior.

    What I detest are people, no matter their achievements in life, no matter their advanced degrees, no matter the accumulated wealth of experience and knowledge of a lifetime, who feel they are above reproach, especially by those whose lot in life are not as great. I said this when I questioned Sam Harris’ assertions on whether or not we have free will, and I will say it again, no one is above criticism, not even in the top ranks of the field of question.

  13. Fred Levins says:

    Yes, indeed, if one thinks he is above reproach, he is making a mistake. In addition, if one issues a reproach, I think one should strive to be on solid ground concerning it.

  14. Fred Levins says:

    I wrote a post of more than 600 words in length, mainly (excepting the last paragraph) about the flaw ascribed to Fred Levins, “your flaw.” The subject was Fred Levins, and I had something to say about that. I would have gotten my main message across better if I had dropped the last paragraph.

    I made plenty of “I” statements in that long post. Of course, I do have flaws, and I have heard plenty about them from other people over the decades. However, concerning “your flaw” ascribed to me, which I wrote about, I do not see it as a flaw, when properly described, but rather as a carefully cultivated trait that is an asset of my character. That is the basic message. It is about me, with the exception of the final paragraph, in answer to what was written about me.

    The 600-word post was in response to one entered by “Anonymous,” probably you, but maybe a reader off to the side. Therefore, I referred to “DW” in the third person in that last sentence in the last paragraph about Ozbudak. Whoever was reading it, the post would then be clear. Perhaps you would have preferred my writing “Drenn Workman.” In any event, it was intended to be a neutral reference.

    Concerning your accusation, I do not recall ever belittling you, especially with intention, or even coming close to it, especially if we are discussing numerous occasions. I have disagreed with you (with the basis supplied), but as I see it, never in a belittling manner. If I ever disagreed with your analysis or conclusions, or asked questions in a Socratic manner, that (in my view) does not equate to belittling you. You will have to fill me in on one or two instances of my belittling you. I will consider them to see if an apology is in order. Anything that I have ever written that is some sort of criticism – whether you were involved or not — has been carefully considered, so I will be surprised if you can produce an actual instance of belittling.

    You write that I have insulted you. Together with alleged instances of belittling, you write that the instances amount to numerous times. Insults are more difficult to evaluate, because it depends upon factors in the mind of the person who takes offense, and those factors are not always apparent. I am interested in learning specifically about some of the instances of insult that you are recalling.

    From my perspective, I have criticized you most frequently for what I saw as your attempting to read minds. There have also been some disagreements on points of fact.

    Your comments and writing frequently strikes me as resting upon knowing what others are thinking without relying on their expressed thoughts. A recent example of this concerns your evaluation of one of Fred Pursley’s comments, where you accused Fred of committing a logical fallacy, and I pointed out that we didn’t know enough from Pursley’s brief comments to support your claim. That exchange followed a letter from a reader expressing pleasure at having been spared for quite some time from seeing yet another letter from Christian being published.

    As an example of a point of fact, I disagreed with you on whether Iran can be placed in the same category as North Korea.

    A recent example of my supporting one of your comments appeared following your statement (which was an aside) that you had celebrated an anniversary recently, maybe your 32nd. In connection with that, you supported the ability of homosexuals to marry or the equivalent, and I approved of that. I think that was in June.

    Concerning, “I am a little bewildered about this statement,” the people I regard as being superior people being subject to belittling have been third parties, not myself.

  15. drenn1077 says:

    It is particularly distressing to me that you do not recall the belittling and the insults as this indicates a failure of memory or even worse a callousness of character. I have neither the time nor inclination to reread the barbs and other jabs in the past correspondence. However , the major thrust was what resulted in my blocking you on Facebook.

  16. Fred Levins says:

    In thinking about this, I remembered a column you published on January 31, 2010, entitled “The Accommodators, also known as the enablers.” If I were a better person then, I could have and would have worded my reply differently. The result was that you unfriended me on the MNJ Web site. There are ways that I could have expressed disagreement without being hurtful, but I failed to do so. For that, at least, I apologize.

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