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National Cathedral expected to reopen in time for 9/11 anniversary
National Cathedral was opened to reporters Thursday for the first time since the Virginia earthquake.
September 1st, 2011
06:27 PM ET

National Cathedral expected to reopen in time for 9/11 anniversary

By Padmananda Rama, CNN

Washington (CNN) - National Cathedral officials intend to reopen its doors in time for 9/11 prayer services, a spokesman said Thursday.

The Washington landmark has been closed since parts of its Gothic structure were damaged during last week's earthquake.

President Barack Obama is scheduled to give a keynote address at an interfaith service at the cathedral on the evening of September 11. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta will also speak during a service Friday, September 9.

"I think that if the secretary of defense and President Obama are coming, that means it's safe to be here," cathedral spokesman Richard Weinberg told members of the media during a press tour of the cathedral's nave, the first since the 5.8 magnitude earthquake on August 23.

As the cathedral prepares to welcome the president and hundreds of guests, workers were busy Thursday afternoon securing the massive structure. Inside, they strung safety nets across the cathedral's vaults about 90 feet high, supported by steel beams.

"What had happened in the earthquake is the ceiling shook and some of the mortar between some of the joints in the stonework up above shook loose. This is just a precaution," head stonemason Joe Alonso told CNN while holding small pieces that fell during the initial quake.

"We feel nothing huge has been compromised, just these little bits of mortar so we're stretching this safety netting to catch if any more little pieces were to come down."

Alonso, who's worked at the cathedral since 1985, says he's inspected every part of the structure since the quake. Portions of its iconic central tower suffered extensive damage when three of its four pinnacles cracked, sending pieces falling on its roof. But Alonso says the cathedral's interior is safe.

"The basic structure down here, the main structure remains sound. That energy (from the earthquake) is transferred up, up, up through these very thick walls, just transferred up and that's where it ended up doing the most damage, on those slender exterior pinnacles and gablets and finials," Alonso explained.

He said he and his team of stonemasons and engineers started working on securing the cathedral immediately "after the earth stopped shaking."

"It's great that people will be able to see we are doing everything we can to get this cathedral back in operation because of the vital role that it fills," he said.

In a show of ecumenical support, the Catholic archdiocese donated $25,000 to support repairs to the cathedral, an Episcopalian church. Meanwhile, services for its congregation are being held at a nearby synagogue, the Washington Hebrew Congregation.

"The National Cathedral holds a special place in the hearts of all of us in Washington. So many recognize it as a national house of prayer," said Cardinal Donald Wuerl, Catholic archbishop of Washington, while announcing the donation. Cathedral officials estimate repairs will ultimately have a multimillion-dollar price tag.

The landmark has traditionally hosted presidential inaugural services, funerals and several interfaith services, including those now planned for the 10th anniversary of September 11, titled "A Call to Compassion."

Alonso said he and his stonemasons "will be tucked off to the side somewhere" as the president addresses the nation in a live broadcast the evening of September 11. Having witnessed many services, Alonso says he recognizes the significance of hosting an event focused on remembrance, even while the cathedral itself is in the midst of repairs.

"This cathedral serves a vital role in this country. There have been many events here, funerals for presidents and services of mourning," Alonso said. "We had the one after 9/11, 10 years ago, so we just have to show the country that the cathedral is here and what it stands for and that it's going to be open so that the president can talk to the country."

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Church • DC

soundoff (108 Responses)
  1. David Johnson

    You said: "Now for the truth, or as we like to say the rest of the story.Very bad translation you got there(if indeed you are not misquoting the text), and provably wrong.To start with they were not little children, they were youths,young persons of an age old enough to go into the countryside on their own,without their parents."

    2 Kings 2:23-24 King James Version (KJV)
    23And he went up from thence unto Bethel: and as he was going up by the way, there came forth little children out of the city, and mocked him, and said unto him, Go up, thou bald head; go up, thou bald head.
    24And he turned back, and looked on them, and cursed them in the name of the LORD. And there came forth two she bears out of the wood, and tare forty and two children of them.
    The king James clearly states that they were "little children".
    Quite frankly, the age of the victims is a moot point. God is said to be all just. The punishment clearly did not fit the crime. All the more heinous, because the victims were children, but justice was not served, no matter their age.

    You said: " Even your KJ translation does not say they were killed it says tare.The youths got a whipping ,they were mauled, not killed and rightly so."
    Tare – verb Archaic . simple past tense and past participle of tear.

    September 13, 2011 at 2:15 pm |
  2. John

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aGSvqMBj-ig
    ..

    September 5, 2011 at 9:44 am |
    • .....

      Garbage ALERT – junk video, click the report abuse link this person is a TROLL

      September 6, 2011 at 11:04 am |
  3. Byrd

    The Key to the Freemason's and the Church's Gordian "Not"

    To the tune of the Hokey-Pokey:

    First you can, and then not
    Again you can and your mind is skull f*ucked
    So you do the hokey-pokey and turn yourself around
    That's what it's all about.

    There's the loopback key, hidden in a damned nursery rhyme, that keeps you forever logically wondering and never quite getting there. And it's a man-made and managed key that is evil and finally broken beyond repair.

    And that's what it's all about. Now wake up and smell the sour coffee, People... and you know I had another word in mind.

    That's what it's all about

    Solution was as simple as that and right there all the time. Who would'a thunk it...

    September 3, 2011 at 4:33 pm |
    • Denise

      You had me at "skull f*ucked." Sign me up!

      September 4, 2011 at 12:35 am |
  4. Byrd

    What does it matter whether it opens or not? No one actually hears or thinks about it anyway. Consider this little mind-twister they throw at you daily:

    Thou Shalt not steal. Seems simple enough but your mind never gets beyond that simple sentence because it's a paradox telling you first you shall and then instantly negating it. It just so happens the human brain has a problem with that particular grammar construct and its inquisitive nature keeps rolling it around so that you never get beyond the simple concept itself. It's a dirty little trick and unfortunately, for us now, and them later, it's embedded in our language. That's the real secret the Freemasons have been hiding all the years: the programming source code for humans: the English language. Kinda like COBOL for you programmers out there. The Freemasons apparently run the Assembly code underneath. Really nasty.

    Nasty? They don't now the meaning of the Word, yet.

    September 3, 2011 at 4:07 pm |
    • John Richardson

      Dang, and I thought some of the Christians around here were loopy.

      September 3, 2011 at 6:07 pm |
    • J.W

      This made me laugh

      September 3, 2011 at 6:16 pm |
    • *frank*

      A freemason dingo took my baby!

      September 3, 2011 at 6:38 pm |
  5. Colin

    HotAirAce – Herbie tends to disappear – or shout out names – when he is backed into a logical corner.

    September 3, 2011 at 2:55 pm |
    • herbert juarez

      OOPS colin you can't get away from that lying thing can you?

      September 3, 2011 at 3:06 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      Hey herbie, please explain to us how Colin is lying. Seems to me he is speaking the absolute truth!

      September 3, 2011 at 6:39 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      And not surprisingly, herbie continues to hide!

      Maybe he's busy getting his beliefs strengthened as his local house of stupidity, errrr, worship... Maybe he's busy praying to his imaginary friend, asking it to stop those pesky atheists from asking simple questions he can't answer... Maybe he's huddling with the likes of Adelina, HeavenScent and the rest of that ilk on the ultimate proof of their god(s)... Maybe He's realized the only way not to look like an even bigger fool is to remain silent...

      September 4, 2011 at 11:30 am |
  6. The Original

    Abrahamic religion(Christianity) – the pure cause of the survival and wellness of far more than 300 million Americans.

    September 3, 2011 at 2:17 am |
  7. myopinion1

    Peace2All- From reading all the postings within this thread, it looks like there is a lot of agreement, and a certain amount of disagreement. So, here is my 2 cents worth from what I've read. Peace2All, I think, from reading your posting that you have it right, and (in general), I am (mostly) in agreement with you. I do think we do need to be careful of pegging a group as a whole with the same brush, but I get that you are not suggesting that. I definitely am for your view of valuing the individual, as is obvious from your quite eclectic and diverse group of friends, but also realizing that a lot of the beliefs that govern world views of certain individuals can, without question, have potentially detrimental effects on all of us.

    It appears that you have seemed to have worked out a way for you personally, and you are advocating the same for others, of finding a balance of understanding and tolerance, while also being careful of groups of people that have ideologies that promote harm to those that are not part of these groups.

    That hardly seems radical, nor anything that the liberal apologists should be all up in arms about. If anything, it seems to be one of the few (sane) stances or positions one can take.

    As for the conversation in general, you, BG, Awkward Situation, ect seem to be all making excellent points, as does John R bringing up good questions.

    Frogist, I really don't understand what you didn't get , as it appears to me anyway that you totally misunderstood and misrepresented the main points of Peace2All's message.

    September 2, 2011 at 3:44 pm |
  8. no

    silly willy kneeling at the altar!!! someone's prayer is answered!!!!

    September 2, 2011 at 9:51 am |
  9. William Demuth

    Glad to see they fixed the old girl up.

    Now lets see if the Washington Monument fairs as well.

    I have a freind who is a geometry buff, who keep insisting the thing monument is tilted.

    Looks the same to me!

    September 2, 2011 at 9:46 am |
  10. Peace2All

    @Awkward Situations

    Hey -Awkward...

    Interesting discussion you have going between you and @BG. I think that you both are making some good points, although... @BG hasn't been back to respond much yet, I'd like to join in on the discussion if you wouldn't mind. I think @BG would be o.k. with me jumping in here.

    You Said: " Good thing the United States declared its independence from England or else we would have bullsh.it propaganda like this making its way through our home schools trying to teach a lot more than just "creationism". These English state-funded "faith schools" are incredibly disturbing and sickening to me as I believe they serve as brainwashing mills for innocent little kids. "

    I definitely agree with you to a certain extent that they certainly can and do serve as brainwashing mills for innocent little kids. However, it doesn't necessarily mean that all of the information being taught on the current religious, theo-political, and cultural problems are inaccurate. Quite the contrary, especially when you compare it with what is 'actually' happening in a good portion of the western european countries. Also, as you know, in many Arab countries, they are indoctrinating, through their own school systems, and specifically through their twisted ideology of 'radicalized' Islam, tremendous hatred towards the U.S. and others.

    You Said: " I am an atheist. I do not support religious stupidity or interference of ANY kind. I do not think it is healthy for adults to have an imaginary fascist dictator in the sky who watches and listens to every move they make. "

    I am a (neo-animist taoist quantum physicist, w/agnostic-atheistic tendencies) ! LOL... So, I definitely agree with you here on your main points. Unfortunately... and I think one of the points that @BG is making is that these countries 'do' support their 'religions' and the often 'twisted stupidity' that goes along with it. From beliefs, flow behaviors. I believe that these 'behaviors', especially coming from countries and a religion whose ideologies get so twisted into a platform for immense hatred toward non-muslims, ... we 'should' be very watchful and mindful. I would rather be watchful and mindful now...than sorry later, when it's too late.

    You Said: " I think multiculturalism is great because culture is what makes a people unique and interesting. What I absolutely detest is the divisive nature of religious mind control that makes good people do horrible things without question based on fear. In a nutshell, I blame the religion not the culture. Culture can change and adapt whereas religion can not because of the threat of eternal dam.nation or whatever other scary stories you tell to grown up adults to scare them. "

    Sure, I understand where you are coming from on that, and to a certain extent you are correct. And... multiculturalism is certainly not the only thing that makes a person or a group of people interesting, yes...? While I do val-ue multi-culturalism, one of the problems that I think that @BG makes reference to is the 'lack' of many sub-cultures within the U.S. to blend in and learn English, and contribute and be a part of the society as a whole. They much too often, by choice, remain and keep themselves isolated, without any desire to as-similate into the main-stream. If they as-similate, it certainly doesn't mean that somehow they are going to lose their heritage or cultural identi-ty.

    Your detesting the "divisive nature of religious mind control that makes good people do horrible things" is again, part of what the whole issue is about, in the opinions of people like myself, @BG and others. It is these very things(indoctrination, radicalization, mind control, etc...) that are helping to fan the flames of hatred towards an enemy, and that enemy tends to be the west, and most specifically the U.S. So, again... being mindful as to the realities of our world and the constantly changing volatile situations becomes critically important to our safety.

    You Said: " I don't blame the culture, I blame the religion. However, I feel that no matter what we are first and foremost human beings when we come into this world. No amount of frustration or rage I may have towards religious ideologies will ever cause me to lose my humanity towards my fellow primates. Some of them are crazy, so what, we'll deal with it somehow. That's why we have government, laws and regulations; morality and ethics; education.. to help ensure positive survival and progress into the future. We don't need to create more lines that divide, we're better than that."

    I'm not so sure that it is just 'one' factor to blame such as religion. There are so many factors that come into play regarding the current theo-political climate in the world, that it is hard to pin it all down. You may feel that "no matter what, we are first and foremost human beings when we come into this world." Again, unfortunately, 'not everyone' has that same world-view as you. Some, obviously see themselves as better/worse/different... or just plain pi-ssed off and... are willing to kill themselves and others in the name of their religion. And you say that no amount of frustration or rage you may have towards religious ideologies will ever cause you to lose your humanity toward your fellow primates.

    Yet... again... that may be your 'code' or 'world-view' but it is blatantly obvious that... it is 'not' a 'code' or 'world-view' that a lot of others choose to live by. For someone to strap on a back pack full of explosives and kill hundreds if not thousands of people, the reality of that person is so far removed from 'your' world-view and we as a whole, are so far apart, that unfortunately more lives will continue to be needlessly lost in relationship to the theo-political climates and it's twisted religions and ideologies.

    You said that "some of them are crazy...and 'so what', we'll deal with it somehow." You say our laws, morality, ethics, education, etc...? Of course I sincerely hope that most if not all of these problems can and will be dealt with through our Consti-tution and SCOTUS. However, again, we must remember that we are dealing with a vastly large group of people (some-not all) that do 'not' share the same ethics, education, laws, etc... We already have had some groups of Muslims trying to insti-tute 'Sharia Law' in our country. It is 'already' a problem over in wester europe.

    I'm afraid that your "so what, we'll just deal with it... somehow" doesn't quite represent or give credibility to an on-going and ever-evolving problem between the crazies, whether they be Christians or Muslims, who may very often value 'death' more than life, and have no problem blowing themselves up and taking us and many other innocents with them.

    The bottom-line is to take this to an even further reality, I believe it is widely held as credible that not only are there crazy zealots looking to get their hands on working tactical thermonuclear warheads, but would, without blinking an eye, use them against you and I and the rest of the people of the U.S., as well as other non-muslim countries around the world.

    And all of this... is being attempted by virtue of the fact of the very things you claimed to hate earlier in your posting where you said: " What I absolutely detest is the divisive nature of religious mind control that makes good people do horrible things without question based on fear. In a nutshell, I blame the religion not the culture. Culture can change and adapt whereas religion can not because of the threat of eternal dam.nation or whatever other scary stories you tell to grown up adults to scare them. "

    And, many of these countries and cultures are getting this insidious indoctrination day in and day out of hatred towards the U.S.

    @Awkward, now don't get me wrong. My circle of friends is a cultural melting pot... Jews, Muslims, Christians, Buddhists, Hindu's blacks, hispanics, asians, gays, straights, agnostics, atheists, etc... and I love them all and appreciate all of our differences, and respect our common values of trust, care, kindness, acceptance, etc...

    But even a few of the Muslim's that I have seen are extremely concerned about the 'crazies' in their countries that would love to kill Americans. Heck, It's not just Muslim's, we've got our own crazy Christians that I'm sure would love to bring on the 'rapture' a bit quicker if they could. What was it... a year ago or so, where we had 500 or so militia men out in the woods of Michigan training with automatic weapons and spouting from the Bible, and especially the book of revelations. Their intent, as I understand it, was to go and kill as many people, especially in the government as they could. Talking about bringing on the "End Times" ... YIKES !!!!

    So, with that said... I'm all for taking each individual and judging them as I get to know them, but at the same time being very wary as to certain radical ideological groups that may wish to do us harm.

    Respectfully,

    Peace...

    September 2, 2011 at 4:32 am |
    • Peace2All

      ****Apologies... Was supposed to be posted within the conversation with @BG & @Awkward Situations down below.

      Peace...

      September 2, 2011 at 4:43 am |
  11. CrystalRiver

    What America needs is repentance and turning back to God, not re-opening of empty church buildings.

    September 2, 2011 at 3:27 am |
    • Martin T

      What America needs is to get faith heads like you out of the public conversation.

      September 2, 2011 at 9:32 am |
    • hahaha

      Abrahamic mythologies are the cause of 1,000s of american deaths. They are the last thing anyone needs.

      September 2, 2011 at 3:38 pm |
    • Keith

      Martin T, Right on! Let's round them up and put them into camps. Sieg Heil!

      September 2, 2011 at 8:23 pm |
    • CrystalRiver

      Abrahamic religion(Christianity) – the pure cause of the survival and wellness of countless millions of Americans for 400 years.

      September 3, 2011 at 2:21 am |
  12. CrystalRiver

    We as humans all have our time-limit on earth, but the 9-11 was symbolic that secular USA's crumbling and a new era for Muslims to gain freedom and human rights through her.

    September 2, 2011 at 12:44 am |
    • William Demuth

      We need to reinvade your miserable little hell hole..

      September 2, 2011 at 8:45 am |
    • DamianKnight

      How do you figure that 9/11 was anything more than a bunch of extremists who were angry at the United States and decided to take advantage of lax security and destroy a few buildings?

      September 2, 2011 at 10:59 am |
    • CrystalRiver

      Damian, sometimes we understand history by looking back.

      September 2, 2011 at 11:43 am |
    • CrystalRiver

      ...And sometimes we understand by going back. Can your silly American car hit 88 mph? No? Then no wonder you can't travel to the past like I can! >:)

      September 2, 2011 at 1:26 pm |
    • Anti Christian Taliban Schizophrenics

      CrystalRiver

      We as humans all have our time-limit on earth, but the 9-11 was symbolic that secular USA's crumbling and a new era for Muslims to gain freedom and human rights through her.

      ----
      You are partly right. The muslims will gain power after the christian taliban opens the flood gates with imposing religion through government. The christians will be a victim of intolerance when muslims start imposing their morals.

      September 2, 2011 at 1:31 pm |
    • hahaha

      We as humans have limited time... thats it.. we all have a flash of time and space to experience our consciousness and help secure the future of our species. There is no greater threat to that then religion.

      September 2, 2011 at 3:41 pm |
    • The Original

      The third CrystalRiver is a fake. Sharia Law is better than the Western Sodomy. Islam survived 1,300 years; Sodom only a few decades. @Hahaha: There is eternal judgment after death. You need Jesus for salvation.

      September 3, 2011 at 2:14 am |
  13. CrystalRiver

    No matter how the anti-christian Americans pile up lies, all the writings, records, literature and architecture testify that America is a Christian nation who borrowed everything from the Bible and from the Christian Britain.

    September 2, 2011 at 12:41 am |
    • CrystalRiver

      If I pray hard enough, Jesus will give me super powers.

      September 2, 2011 at 1:25 pm |
    • hahaha

      Many countries have christian crap. What makes our country great are the philosophies of the age of enlightenment and reason that are founding fathers utilized.... not the mythologies of the dark ages.

      September 2, 2011 at 3:44 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Shut up, Addle-brain. You're a moron.

      September 2, 2011 at 9:56 pm |
    • The Original

      The second CrystalRiver is a fake. USA did not exist without Christianity.

      September 3, 2011 at 2:10 am |
  14. Colin

    The motivation for the 9-11 attackes was religious. 100% religious. Bin Laden didn't even try to dress it up any other way. The attack was part of his plan to establish a new fundamentalist Islam caliphate.

    Perhaps a more fitting memorial to the 3,000 who were killed by the poison of religion would be turning this altar to a Bronze Age sky god into a museum dedicated to the dissemination of knowledge.

    September 2, 2011 at 12:39 am |
    • LinCA

      It is possible. From the article linked below: "A 13th century gothic church, it offers its visitors a breathtaking high ceiling, a majestic nave, grand ornamentation, and an opportunity to worship: not at the great altar of God, but at the many altars of literature.".

      http://crossroadsmag.eu/2008/03/between-two-selexyz-dominicanen-as-church-and-bookstore/

      September 2, 2011 at 12:49 am |
    • Mark from Middle River

      Colin, there are good acts done by the Religious followings of the Faith. Substantially more, so why just focus on the negatives and not also give the positives?

      September 2, 2011 at 1:17 am |
    • Colin

      Hey Mark. True, but the story was about the 9-11 anniversary. Not exactly religion's shining moment.

      September 2, 2011 at 1:20 am |
    • Mark from Middle River

      >>>"Hey Mark. True, but the story was about the 9-11 anniversary. Not exactly religion's shining moment."

      Yep, but the National Cathedral was the place where numerous Faiths gathered after the attacks and stood as one, including members of the Islamic Faith. So, 9/11 was not a shinning moment but the period after with churches, synagogues and mosque coming together..... certainly showed that in the darkness we have no problem shinning brightly. 🙂

      September 2, 2011 at 3:41 am |
    • @skidMark

      you misspelled "shitting"

      September 2, 2011 at 7:17 am |
    • hahaha

      Mark, as a vast number of our species needs a security blanket and do good deeds in hope of a reward (just as horrible deeds are also done for the same reward) yes there are many positives. But, how do you know that if humans were to leave the dark ages and truly except how special we are to each other (all we have in this vast cosmos) that would be better to each other?

      September 2, 2011 at 3:48 pm |
  15. Dave836

    I always love Cathedral architecture. It's extremely beautiful to me. The Notre Dame de Paris will always be my favorite building in terms of artwork.

    September 1, 2011 at 8:12 pm |
    • Awkward Situations

      Notre Dame is a classic. Make sure you go and see Burgos Cathedral in Spain if you haven't already. If you like gothic architecture you surely should not miss visiting this gem.

      September 1, 2011 at 9:15 pm |
  16. *frank*

    The episcopalians killed baby jesus!!!

    September 1, 2011 at 7:32 pm |
  17. Keith

    This denomination is at the forefront of gay marriage.

    September 1, 2011 at 7:08 pm |
    • Daniel

      Your point being?

      September 1, 2011 at 8:39 pm |
    • *frank*

      Panetta's going to marry Obama?

      September 1, 2011 at 8:50 pm |
  18. Hurray

    Ring the Church Bells!!!!

    September 1, 2011 at 6:53 pm |
  19. A Theist

    I think for the majority of believers who sub.scribe to any particular faith, an ecu.minical service can be a dis.app.ointing thing...
    Not to say it isn't right for those who believe that all religions point the same way or something similar, but at least as a Christian I can say an ecu.min.ical service is not a place to go for a sermon.

    All the same, that's not really what the service on 9/11 is for. It's to unite the shared faiths of the American people under one roof and recognize the tragedy that we all suffered from a seriously troubled group of individuals. I look forward to seeing the multi-national, multi-racial, multi-everything nation come together and share an experience.

    September 1, 2011 at 6:49 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      ALL religious services are disappointing...

      September 1, 2011 at 8:54 pm |
    • BG

      @ A Thiest

      " I look forward to seeing the multi-national, multi-racial, multi-everything nation come together and share an experience."

      National identi ties are being usurped by masses of immigrants. National subsidy and support programs are being sucked dry. Immigrants establish communities in an effort to sequester themselves from other races that they find objectionable. I'm not talking about ghettos where moving out isn't optional. I'm referring to the mobile and/or affluent. From Chinatown to Little Italy; Miami/Dade County to Dearborn; from communities in Jersey, Dayton and Atlanta to the extremes of the "no-go zones" in England, France and Scandinavia.

      Multiculturalism is a failure on a local, national, and global scale.

      The "experience" you're waiting for has happened, repeatedly, in myriad places around the globe. It's never been pleasant.

      September 1, 2011 at 9:13 pm |
    • Awkward Situations

      @BG: I hear places like Iran and North Korea don't have many "problems" with multiculturalism. I don't understand what your panic is all about.
      Are they building fences around their neighborhoods and policing themselves? Are you afraid they're going to gather enough infrastructure and attempt to secede? Seriously, what is the root of your concern here (besides the glaringly obvious). The total population of the united states is a bit over 310 million. What sort of numbers are we looking at here in these suspect pocket of communities? What insignificant percentage of our total population would that comprise of?

      What are you afraid of? I'm just trying to understand your paranoia. I've seen it parroted around these parts quite a bit. They're only our fellow human citizens. It's not like they're aliens from outer space that we could just round up like District 9.

      September 1, 2011 at 9:31 pm |
    • BG

      @ Awkward

      Exactly what kind of response do you think you're going to get when you start out with "your panic, paranoia, fear, or root of your 'glaringly obvious' concern?"

      September 1, 2011 at 10:00 pm |
    • BG

      @ Awkward

      Here. Go tell the BBC the root of their "glaringly obvious panic and paranoia." (Ofstead is the British national school administration.)

      [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xnOdD46WI0M&w=640&h=390]

      Yet the academy director claims to be teaching a "multi-cultural & multi-national" curriculum. Sure she is.

      "Fences" can take many forms.

      September 1, 2011 at 10:26 pm |
    • Awkward Situations

      @BG: I have actually seen this clip before.
      May I recommend another video on this subject by BBC Panorama:
      part 1 – http://youtu.be/uRH6EV5rRMU
      part 2 – http://youtu.be/E2wPYpv0i4M

      Good thing the United States declared its independence from England or else we would have bullsh.it propaganda like this making its way through our home schools trying to teach a lot more than just "creationism". These English state-funded "faith schools" are incredibly disturbing and sickening to me as I believe they serve as brainwashing mills for innocent little kids.

      I am an atheist. I do not support religious stupidity or interference of ANY kind. I do not think it is healthy for adults to have an imaginary fascist dictator in the sky who watches and listens to every move they make.. I could go on and on but you get my point.

      I think multiculturalism is great because culture is what makes a people unique and interesting. What I absolutely detest is the divisive nature of religious mind control that makes good people do horrible things without question based on fear. In a nutshell, I blame the religion not the culture. Culture can change and adapt whereas religion can not because of the threat of eternal dam.nation or whatever other scary stories you tell to grown up adults to scare them.

      I don't blame the culture, I blame the religion. However, I feel that no matter what we are first and foremost human beings when we come into this world. No amount of frustration or rage I may have towards religious ideologies will ever cause me to lose my humanity towards my fellow primates. Some of them are crazy, so what, we'll deal with it somehow. That's why we have government, laws and regulations; morality and ethics; education.. to help ensure positive survival and progress into the future. We don't need to create more lines that divide, we're better than that.

      Plus, it's easier to babysit adults with imaginary friends when you can keep an eye on them and make sure they're not doing anything naughty like giving lessons from school textbooks on how to hate the Jews. [dam.n it they just can't catch a break!]

      Cheers! 😉

      September 2, 2011 at 1:32 am |
    • BG

      @ Awkward

      " I don't blame the culture, I blame the religion."
      So would that be the fault of the chicken – or the egg?

      " I think multiculturalism is great because culture is what makes a people unique..."
      Because people are both defined and constricted by their 'culture?' Change is impossible? Individuality is lost? That's the inherent contradiction between 'liberalism' and multiculturalism, isn't it.. (rhetorical)

      Hey, CNN... how about a story specifically on Multiculturalism, Cultural Relativism and Culturalism? Then folks can discuss it on-topic. We can get into all the philosophical, economic and political justifications and contraindications of multiculturalism vrs. ethnocentrism. Yeah, sure.. it'd be fun. How many readers do you think actually -know- what multiculturalism is?

      In the meantime, Awkward, chew on this and tell me if you think Ken Hechtman is on-target.

      http://www.amnation.com/vfr/archives/011146.html

      September 2, 2011 at 4:21 am |
    • Peace2All

      @Awkward Situations

      Hey -Awkward...

      Interesting discussion you have going between you and @BG. I think that you both are making some good points, although... @BG hasn't been back to respond much yet, I'd like to join in on the discussion if you wouldn't mind. I think @BG would be o.k. with me jumping in here.

      You Said: " Good thing the United States declared its independence from England or else we would have bullsh.it propaganda like this making its way through our home schools trying to teach a lot more than just "creationism". These English state-funded "faith schools" are incredibly disturbing and sickening to me as I believe they serve as brainwashing mills for innocent little kids. "

      I definitely agree with you to a certain extent that they certainly can and do serve as brainwashing mills for innocent little kids. However, it doesn't necessarily mean that all of the information being taught on the current religious, theo-political, and cultural problems are inaccurate. Quite the contrary, especially when you compare it with what is 'actually' happening in a good portion of the western european countries. Also, as you know, in many Arab countries, they are indoctrinating, through their own school systems, and specifically through their twisted ideology of 'radicalized' Islam, tremendous hatred towards the U.S. and others.

      You Said: " I am an atheist. I do not support religious stupidity or interference of ANY kind. I do not think it is healthy for adults to have an imaginary fascist dictator in the sky who watches and listens to every move they make. "

      I am a (neo-animist taoist quantum physicist, w/agnostic-atheistic tendencies) ! LOL... So, I definitely agree with you here on your main points. Unfortunately... and I think one of the points that @BG is making is that these countries 'do' support their 'religions' and the often 'twisted stupidity' that goes along with it. From beliefs, flow behaviors. I believe that these 'behaviors', especially coming from countries and a religion whose ideologies get so twisted into a platform for immense hatred toward non-muslims, ... we 'should' be very watchful and mindful. I would rather be watchful and mindful now...than sorry later, when it's too late.

      You Said: " I think multiculturalism is great because culture is what makes a people unique and interesting. What I absolutely detest is the divisive nature of religious mind control that makes good people do horrible things without question based on fear. In a nutshell, I blame the religion not the culture. Culture can change and adapt whereas religion can not because of the threat of eternal dam.nation or whatever other scary stories you tell to grown up adults to scare them. "

      Sure, I understand where you are coming from on that, and to a certain extent you are correct. And... multiculturalism is certainly not the only thing that makes a person or a group of people interesting, yes...? While I do val-ue multi-culturalism, one of the problems that I think that @BG makes reference to is the 'lack' of many sub-cultures within the U.S. to blend in and learn English, and contribute and be a part of the society as a whole. They much too often, by choice, remain and keep themselves isolated, without any desire to as-similate into the main-stream. If they as-similate, it certainly doesn't mean that somehow they are going to lose their heritage or cultural identi-ty.

      Your detesting the "divisive nature of religious mind control that makes good people do horrible things" is again, part of what the whole issue is about, in the opinions of people like myself, @BG and others. It is these very things(indoctrination, radicalization, mind control, etc...) that are helping to fan the flames of hatred towards an enemy, and that enemy tends to be the west, and most specifically the U.S. So, again... being mindful as to the realities of our world and the constantly changing volatile situations becomes critically important to our safety.

      You Said: " I don't blame the culture, I blame the religion. However, I feel that no matter what we are first and foremost human beings when we come into this world. No amount of frustration or rage I may have towards religious ideologies will ever cause me to lose my humanity towards my fellow primates. Some of them are crazy, so what, we'll deal with it somehow. That's why we have government, laws and regulations; morality and ethics; education.. to help ensure positive survival and progress into the future. We don't need to create more lines that divide, we're better than that."

      I'm not so sure that it is just 'one' factor to blame such as religion. There are so many factors that come into play regarding the current theo-political climate in the world, that it is hard to pin it all down. You may feel that "no matter what, we are first and foremost human beings when we come into this world." Again, unfortunately, 'not everyone' has that same world-view as you. Some, obviously see themselves as better/worse/different... or just plain pi-ssed off and... are willing to kill themselves and others in the name of their religion. And you say that no amount of frustration or rage you may have towards religious ideologies will ever cause you to lose your humanity toward your fellow primates.

      Yet... again... that may be your 'code' or 'world-view' but it is blatantly obvious that... it is 'not' a 'code' or 'world-view' that a lot of others choose to live by. For someone to strap on a back pack full of explosives and kill hundreds if not thousands of people, the reality of that person is so far removed from 'your' world-view and we as a whole, are so far apart, that unfortunately more lives will continue to be needlessly lost in relationship to the theo-political climates and it's twisted religions and ideologies.

      You said that "some of them are crazy...and 'so what', we'll deal with it somehow." You say our laws, morality, ethics, education, etc...? Of course I sincerely hope that most if not all of these problems can and will be dealt with through our Consti-tution and SCOTUS. However, again, we must remember that we are dealing with a vastly large group of people (some-not all) that do 'not' share the same ethics, education, laws, etc... We already have had some groups of Muslims trying to insti-tute 'Sharia Law' in our country. It is 'already' a problem over in wester europe.

      I'm afraid that your "so what, we'll just deal with it... somehow" doesn't quite represent or give credibility to an on-going and ever-evolving problem between the crazies, whether they be Christians or Muslims, who may very often value 'death' more than life, and have no problem blowing themselves up and taking us and many other innocents with them.

      The bottom-line is to take this to an even further reality, I believe it is widely held as credible that not only are there crazy zealots looking to get their hands on working tactical thermonuclear warheads, but would, without blinking an eye, use them against you and I and the rest of the people of the U.S., as well as other non-muslim countries around the world.

      And all of this... is being attempted by virtue of the fact of the very things you claimed to hate earlier in your posting where you said: " What I absolutely detest is the divisive nature of religious mind control that makes good people do horrible things without question based on fear. In a nutshell, I blame the religion not the culture. Culture can change and adapt whereas religion can not because of the threat of eternal dam.nation or whatever other scary stories you tell to grown up adults to scare them. "

      And, many of these countries and cultures are getting this insidious indoctrination day in and day out of hatred towards the U.S.

      @Awkward, now don't get me wrong. My circle of friends is a cultural melting pot... Jews, Muslims, Christians, Buddhists, Hindu's blacks, hispanics, asians, gays, straights, agnostics, atheists, etc... and I love them all and appreciate all of our differences, and respect our common values of trust, care, kindness, acceptance, etc...

      But even a few of the Muslim's that I have seen are extremely concerned about the 'crazies' in their countries that would love to kill Americans. Heck, It's not just Muslim's, we've got our own crazy Christians that I'm sure would love to bring on the 'rapture' a bit quicker if they could. What was it... a year ago or so, where we had 500 or so militia men out in the woods of Michigan training with automatic weapons and spouting from the Bible, and especially the book of revelations. Their intent, as I understand it, was to go and kill as many people, especially in the government as they could. Talking about bringing on the "End Times" ... YIKES !!!!

      So, with that said... I'm all for taking each individual and judging them as I get to know them, but at the same time being very wary as to certain radical ideological groups that may wish to do us harm.

      Respectfully,

      Peace...

      September 2, 2011 at 4:33 am |
    • @Peace

      less verbiage, pls
      my eyeballs have shriveled up and you hardly said anything at all

      September 2, 2011 at 7:24 am |
    • Frogist

      @Peace2All: I don't think anyone is saying we ignore the issues of certain cultures disliking/hating the US. But I think linking the hate of certain few violent groups with all muslims or immigrants everywhere is wrong. It is not what this country is about. And Awkward Situations is absolutely right that we must not offer up the equality that we say we believe in for some kind of all-encompassing mistaken prejudice based on fear. I'm with Awkward on this. Treat people with trust until you have reason to treat them otherwise. Unless you mean that when you meet someone from a culture you have heard dangerous things about you should treat them differently until they prove they are worthy of trust, which is what I think BG is saying, and which I think is really impossible to do and be fair for a majority of people, I guess I am honestly confused about the difference between what Awkward thinks and what you think?

      September 2, 2011 at 10:33 am |
    • JohnR

      Among the issues worth sorting out: To what extent is multicultural simply minority culture conservatism or even preservationism? I can see potential value to that in the cases of aboriginal cultures that are threatened with being totally swamped by colonial cultures and therefore lost altogether, but do the same concerns even hold in the case of immigrant culture? If not, what is the point of "officially enforced" multiculturism in the immigrant context?

      September 2, 2011 at 11:04 am |
    • BG

      Awkward said " We don't need to create more lines that divide, we're better than that. "
      Trouble is that many of the immigrant 'communities' are doing just that, witness the islamic 'curriculum' being plied in British publicly-funded schools (or independent sharia courts, or mass halal distribution, or.. etc.. ) No reasonable person could deny that this is cause for concern; even Awkward agree on the school issue. What's curious is why Awkward, given his stated objection to a clearly racist islamic school curriculum, continues on to maintain that it is -our- responsibility not to "create lines that divide." Can anyone say 'cognitive dissonance?' Only Awkward can explain his thinking here.

      @ Peace
      You picked up on Awkward's contradiction immediately.

      @ Frogist

      " Treat people with trust until you have reason to treat them otherwise."
      This is naive, especially in this day and age. Tell me, Frogist.. do you pick up hitch-hikers? Why not? Do you take a walk on the 'bad' side of town or hang out in parking garages at 2am by yourself? Why not?

      Reality trumps altruism -every- time. What you -think- should be.. isn't.

      "Unless you mean that when you meet someone from a culture you have heard dangerous things about you should treat them differently until they prove they are worthy of trust... and which I think is really impossible to do and be fair for a majority of people..."

      This is a crux issue that many liberal apologists either haven't been able to, or refuse to, acknowledge. Why don't we pick up hitch-hikers? Are we bigoted against people on foot with their thumbs out? No, dear. There's good prudent reason, and it has nothing to do with bigotry, racism, the KKK or anything else other than demonstrated incidents of heinous human behavior. Are all hitch-hikers mass murderers, or do the murderers and rapists among them just give hitchers a bad name? Now, what if the government sponsored 'hitch-hiker fairness' programs to enhance our sensitivity to the needs of the transportation-impaired?

      "I guess I am honestly confused about the difference between what Awkward thinks and what you think?"
      That's because Awkward is confused by his own thoughts, so he's really not a very good benchmark. I'm pretty sure that, based on his statement, that Peace2All is clearly in agreement with me.

      @ JohnR
      " If not, what is the point of "officially enforced" multiculturism in the immigrant context?"
      A fine observation, and the tip of an iceberg or realization. This is a discussion that needs to happen on a national level, and soon. We can either pursue it here or wait for CNN to run a 'story.' Sadly, I think that the general CNN audience here might be a bit offended by the reality of posits like (. for DOT):

      kenanmalikDOTcom/essays/against_mc.html -or- hermeticDOTcom/bey/pw-multicul.html

      September 2, 2011 at 12:25 pm |
    • myopinion1

      Peace2All- From reading all the postings within this thread, it looks like there is a lot of agreement, and a certain amount of disagreement. So, here is my 2 cents worth from what I've read. Peace2All, I think, from reading your posting that you have it right, and (in general), I am (mostly) in agreement with you. I do think we do need to be careful of pegging a group as a whole with the same brush, but I get that you are not suggesting that. I definitely am for your view of valuing the individual, as is obvious from your quite eclectic and diverse group of friends, but also realizing that a lot of the beliefs that govern world views of certain individuals can, without question, have potentially detrimental effects on all of us.

      It appears that you have seemed to have worked out a way for you personally, and you are advocating the same for others, of finding a balance of understanding and tolerance, while also being careful of groups of people that have ideologies that promote harm to those that are not part of these groups.

      That hardly seems radical, nor anything that the liberal apologists should be all up in arms about. If anything, it seems to be one of the few (sane) stances or positions one can take.

      As for the conversation in general, you, BG, Awkward Situation, ect seem to be all making excellent points, as does John R bringing up good questions.

      Frogist, I really don't understand what you didn't get , as it appears to me anyway that you totally misunderstood and misrepresented the main points of Peace2All's message.

      September 2, 2011 at 3:49 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @Frogist

      Hello C.K... ! Hope that all is well.

      You Said: " @Peace2All: I don't think anyone is saying we ignore the issues of certain cultures disliking/hating the US. But I think linking the hate of certain few violent groups with all muslims or immigrants everywhere is wrong. "

      Now, Frogist... I 'know' that you know me well enough by now, from the multi-tude of postings over the last year and a half with you, and... from looking up at what I wrote above, in terms of my cultural melting-pot group of friends, and by taking each person individually, no matter what their religion, etc...etc...

      Why would you even begin to think that " I " would so over-generalize in such a way that to (quote you): " Linking the hate of certain violent groups with 'all' muslims or immigrants everywhere is wrong." I've never done such a thing, and am not advocating that here. That would certainly be a form of 'bigotry' and I am definitely 'not' a bigot. So, we are in agreement... I believe that to be wrong too.

      And, I think my close 'Muslim' friends wouldn't take kindly to that kind of thinking by me, yes...? 😀

      ***However, if that is how my posting came across to you, and even as well as you know me, that you 'still' formed that opinion, then it's possible that someone else might too... so for that, I must **apologize** for the lack of clarity in my communication...'my bad.' !!! That definitely bothers me. I hope that I can clear up some of what I meant to say.

      One of the main points that I was making is that it becomes difficult to separate the believer from his/her beliefs. As these beliefs are their world-view... it tells them what is right or wrong for them and in the world, so since we can't really separate the believers from their beliefs, I am just saying it behooves us to truly understand what a person's world-view truly is, and take appropriate actions accordingly. As already stated, I have Muslim friends, but their particular world-views 'do not' include the radicalized crazy twisted Islamic doctrines that a lot of Muslims in the world ascribe to, that includes killing non-muslims and innocents.

      So, of course, when I meet someone, I take the time to get to know them...and... trust gets earned over time in a relationship.

      But again, there 'are' without question many distorted people with crazy ideologies that part of their goal is to harm as many people as possible. So, obviously, I wouldn't automatically link or assume that every Christian because of their ideology of the rapture or the second coming, if given the chance would hasten this 'rapture' by pushing a nuclear button to speed up their meeting with Jesus. Or that every Muslim secretly wants to carry a back-pack on full of explosives to get to Paradise.

      However, there 'are' these 'radicalized' ideologies, without question, that 'do' exist in our world that people believe in/follow, etc... and we can't just pretend that they don't exist. An example would be the KKK. Frogist, if you were out walking in the woods and came across a 'night time' ritual led by the guys in the white robes and the pointy hats, how 'comfy' would you feel...? I am assuming not so much, nor would I, as we can't just totally dismiss the ideologies from the people, especially when they are known to associate with the hate groups directly or indirectly. Are they all 'bad' people...? Probably not... but, you are going to proceed with caution, given their beliefs and backgrounds, yes...?

      When the Westboro Baptist Church came to my city, and I almost (accidentally) hit one with my car as the person ran in front of my car with a banner that said "Kill all the Gays"... I had to take a few deep breaths, so as not to go out and start something that would lead to trouble. Another radical ideological group.

      Frogist, this has already been another long post by me, and I would prefer, if you happen to make it back here... to comment on what I've written so far...and ask any additional questions, before I go too far down a certain track that may not be relevant to what you want to discuss.

      Always a pleasure.... Looking forward to your comments/questions, -Frogist.

      Respectfully,

      Peace...

      It is not what this country is about. And Awkward Situations is absolutely right that we must not offer up the equality that we say we believe in for some kind of all-encompassing mistaken prejudice based on fear. I'm with Awkward on this. Treat people with trust until you have reason to treat them otherwise. Unless you mean that when you meet someone from a culture you have heard dangerous things about you should treat them differently until they prove they are worthy of trust, which is what I think BG is saying, and which I think is really impossible to do and be fair for a majority of people, I guess I am honestly confused about the difference between what Awkward thinks and what you think?

      September 2, 2011 at 5:00 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @Frogist

      ***Apologies*** I didn't delete the rest of your posting at the bottom of my post. I'm 'really' tired. It's been a looooooooooong week.

      Regards,

      Peace...

      September 2, 2011 at 5:09 pm |
    • BG

      @ Peace2All

      Sounds like you deserve a Labor Day rib-eye.

      September 2, 2011 at 6:10 pm |
    • Frogist

      @Peace2All: I do know you from as long as I've been on this blog and I do wonder what you are saying in practical terms. We have no other choice but to deal with people person to person. Individual to individual. Of that we are in agreement. But how exactly does that apply in practical terms to a group of muslims or immigrants? A group of muslims or a group of immigrants does not elicit the same kind of reasoned respose a group of KKK would because muslims are not KKK and neither are immigrants. You generally cannot tell what kind of belief a person or groups of persons have by looking at them. Unless they specifically wear pointy white hoods. So the comparison doesn't hold water.

      September 2, 2011 at 6:13 pm |
    • BG

      " ...A group of muslims or a group of immigrants does not elicit the same kind of reasoned respose [sic] a group of KKK would..."

      Jesus Christ on a bike. Now clansmen are more rational than muslim immigrants. Where -are- you getting this stuff from?

      Here... http://www.thomasrobb.com/tiREMOVEtk443022111.htm. (delete the REMOVE between the ti & t)

      And that's the -best- they can do.

      Quit while you're.. well, not really ahead, but at least you won't go any farther backwards into the land of 'I've totally discredited myself..."

      If I know Peace he'll bend over backwards in a sincere attempt to mollify you, but I'd be surprised if he'd change his repeated answer to you. But go ahead and keep pushing in an attempt to elicit the answer you want.

      September 2, 2011 at 6:44 pm |
    • Frogist

      @BG: I am not saying the KKK is more reasonable than a bunch of muslim immigrants. I can see how you would misunderstand my words. What I mean is that the fear of a group of pointy white-hooded people is more reasonable than fear of a group of immigrants. The one group is obviously dangerous the other is not. And I would like to know whether it is fair to compare muslims and immigrants to the KKK. It was both you and Peace2All who have brought up the comparison, not me. I do not find it a fair comparison at all but I welcome an explanation if think you have one.
      I am not trying to elicit a response or looking for credit. I am genuinely confused and am seeking answers. If you have none to provide or want clarification, I will do my best to explain. But take heart, because the response was not addressed to you so you do not have to reply.

      September 2, 2011 at 7:05 pm |
    • BG

      @ Frogist

      " is (it) fair to compare muslims and immigrants to the KKK..."

      I wasn't trying to make a parallel. In fact, I was trying to convey the – absence – of any pre-conceived prejudices. If I understand Peace's example, my impression was that he was only speaking in terms of an example of a known ideology having an influence on one's reaction. He, certainly, can clarify for himself.

      September 2, 2011 at 7:34 pm |
    • Frogist

      @BG: Then maybe that's where the confusion lies. It is a known ideology that one must beware when dealing with the KKK. But is the ideology of muslims and immigrants a known value? Apparently it is not, considering how varied their opinions and experiences are. Which is why I am still asking in terms of groups of muslims or immigrants how does your analogy fit? And how can you practically apply "beware the danger of known ideologies" to muslims, immigrants and anyone different from ourselves without succu-mbing to unfair prejudices?
      Most likely I will not be able to get back to your responses till much later, but I am sincerely curious about the answers.
      Have a great weekend all.

      September 2, 2011 at 8:15 pm |
    • John Richardson

      Some general points: I think we can all agree that there's a difference between any random group of, well, anyone versus a group of people openly acting as a hate posse such as klansmen in full klan regalia. But I wonder whether people are generally aware just how fascistic some strands of so-called "multiculturalism" really are. Not all, mind you. But where some people take it can be truly hair raising. Multiculturalism gets attacked a lot from the right in the US and I'm afraid that that can inspire a sort of lazy minded "the enemy of my enemy is my friend" response in some consider themselves left or at least anti-right. But there have been some cogent criticisms from the left as well. When multiculturalism becomes a form a hostile separatism with strong culturally conservative aspects, it's ludicrous to assume that the universalist, progressive left should be automatically sympathetic, though I'm afraid some do, or at least did when I was exposed to a fair amount of this nonsense on campus in the 80s and early 90s. (I'd like to think we've moved on, but I'm far from completely sure we have.)

      September 2, 2011 at 8:20 pm |
    • John Richardson

      Christopher Hitchens on what multiculturalism too often and too easily transforms itself into:

      http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/show/267029

      September 2, 2011 at 8:26 pm |
    • John Richardson

      Another eminent leftist, Nat Hentoff, who supports much of the multiculturalist agenda, on its excesses:

      http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/feb/9/the-cost-of-criticizing-jihadists/?page=

      September 2, 2011 at 8:46 pm |
    • Awkward Situations

      Ahhh... just logged back on to CNN! Give me a few moments to read all these comments so I can post a proper response. Be right back fellas.

      September 2, 2011 at 10:01 pm |
    • BG

      @ Richardson

      This, I believe, is a linchpin issue upon which everything else is connected. It's time that the issues of multiculturalism, pluralism, cultural relativism (and now recently, in resistance to multiculturalism, 'culturalism,' become the pertinent topics of the day. And -not- simply from a polarized political perspectives.

      The problem seems to be the (alleged) cultural, economic and political benefits to a fledgling global economy through mass immigration to once-dominant western countries. One World? NWO? The name is unimportant. All I know is that I haven't figured it out yet.

      September 2, 2011 at 10:11 pm |
    • BG

      @ Awkward

      I have to go, but I'll look for your postings tomorrow.

      @ JohnR

      I need to delve into this. I'm looking at essays similar to this:

      http://www45.homepage.villanova.edu/david.thunder/Articles/Value%20Pluralism%20Response%20to%20Crowder.pdf

      September 2, 2011 at 10:14 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @Frogist

      Hi @Frogist... and @BG thanks for hangin' in there with me as I try to get these thoughts out of my head onto the blogs here.

      O.K. Frogist... I'm going to try and make this as simple as possible, and again, you can fire me back some questions/comments as needed.

      You Said: " @Peace2All: I do know you from as long as I've been on this blog and I do wonder what you are saying in practical terms.
      We have no other choice but to deal with people person to person. Individual to individual. Of that we are in agreement. "

      O.K... so far so good. We are in agreement.

      You Said: " But how exactly does that apply in practical terms to a group of muslims or immigrants? A group of muslims or a group of immigrants does not elicit the same kind of reasoned respose a group of KKK would because muslims are not KKK and neither are immigrants"

      So, we are in -agreement- when it comes to 1 on 1 or person to person as you call it. And why is that...? Partly, my guess is that we get to know them, who they are, what they believe, what their values are, how they act, etc... yes...?

      Now... you are asking me for my opinions as we switch the conversation from individuals to looking at a 'group' of people. Well, on one level the same principles of analysis and evaluation apply right..? I used the KKK as an example. Just like when it's 1 on 1 or person to person, we find out their ...values, beliefs, what's important to them, philosophy, actions, etc... right...? So, when we look at the KKK and we look at their(as a 'group' or as a 'whole') 'values', 'beliefs,' philosophy,' ideology,' and of course... their "actions." We 'decide' or 'discern' in objective and relative terms about the 'group' in question... in this case, the KKK, and whether we may define this group as good/bad/neutral... something we want to join... something we want to stay the heck away from, etc... Correct...?

      You can take 'any' group and basically apply this process. You mentioned Muslims and immigrants. Well, let's take a look at those.

      You Said: " But how exactly does that apply in practical terms to a group of *muslims* or *immigrants*? A group of *muslims* or a group of *immigrants* does not elicit the same kind of reasoned respose a group of KKK would because muslims are not KKK and neither are immigrants"

      So, 'Muslims' as a group...? O.K... well, what values, beliefs, philosophy, ideology, actions, etc... do we generally see from Muslim's...? Now we are talking about a 'group' of ~1.6 Billon people. However, if you were to look up the different sub-groups of Muslims that are listed as terrorists groups vs. friendly groups on the CIA or FBI, etc... you would find some sub-groups that have values, and specifically take 'actions' that you and I most likely would not approve of. Like killing people, yes...? So, we might say that... this particular Mosque, organization, etc... etc... looks/sounds like they are pretty good or...not.

      And of course, that doesn't stop you from having the opportunity to get to know 'anyone' in 'any' of these groups, but as I said earlier... from beliefs and thoughts, form a persons world-view, and from their world-views comes their..."actions"

      So, I know a lot of very nice Muslim's who 'do not' belong to the 'groups' that are doing harm to others (at least as far as I know).

      You mentioned 'Immigrants.' Well, that is a very va-gue and indefinable term, so far. I'm not even sure how 'immigrants' got into this conversation, but I don't have any particular problems with immigrants, unless they are breaking the law, etc... But, again, I have some friends that know some people that are immigrants. I have met them. Nice folk ! But, in general, as far as 'immigrants' go... I would apply some kind of evaluative rules regarding 'which' immigrants in particular to end up coming to a well-reasoned decision.

      Now, let's look at the second part of your sentence, where you said: " A group of muslims or a group of immigrants does not elicit the same kind of reasoned respose [sic] a group of KKK would, because muslims are not KKK and neither are immigrants."

      Actually, my friend... I feel the need to question you on that statement (respectfully, as always) as it doesn't make a whole lotta' sense to me. Because, as I currently understand what you just said, it is not not necessarily accurate(unless you correct me with further information/data). There are so many variables that come into play that you are assuming that a group of Muslims or immigrants could not elicit the same kind of 'reasoned' 'response'...? Really...? Who says...? They certainly well 'could' elicit the very same response. It depends. Lets say that the response that gets elicited by the KKK from people passing by is..."Fear." You can't think of any scenarios where a group of people passing by a 'group' of Muslim's might also, elicit ..."Fear"...? Of course you can ! And BTW- I'm not talking about people dressed in white robes and hoodies, etc... There could very well be all kinds of different reasons that a 'group' of people might 'elicit' a certain response, such as "Fear" which again, may have absolutely -0- to do with their clothes or uniforms, etc...

      So, the use age of the KKK by me and @BG most certainly 'does' hold water, especially here in terms of practical applications in terms of evaluations of individuals and groups. Making evaluations isn't just about 'what someone looks like' and whether or not they are wearing 'pointy hoods.'

      In ending...@Frogist, it is through this kind of thinking process, (which is one of many different ones) of looking at and evaluating 'groups' this way we can make some determinations as to the over-all basics as to who they are, what they are about, and what kinds of actions are they likely to take. And as importantly, are these people or groups someone/ that we want to be a part of of and/or support, or not.

      So, especially as we discuss different religions as we do here on the blogs, making strategic evaluations about people and groups, without over-generalizing and labeling them, is a useful and valuable skill to have.

      So... THAT is the "practicality" of what I'm talking about or this is what I'm saying in "practical terms."

      @Frogist, I sure hope that this has helped... and if you have more questions/comments, please let me know.

      Respectfully,

      Peace...

      September 2, 2011 at 11:41 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @BG @Frogist @John R @Awkward Situations @myopinion1 etc... etc...

      I will check back in with you all tomorrow on this thread as this has been a fascinating and enlightening conversation.

      Thanks everyone ! 😀

      Respectfully,

      Peace...

      September 2, 2011 at 11:49 pm |
    • Frogist

      @Peace2All:
      Yes, we must discern whether each organization is friendly or non-friendly. And yes it's much the same way we evaluate people individually. And I never said a group of muslims could not elicit the same reasonable fear response. I am saying that you can't approach all muslims as if they should all elicit that fear response. Like I said in the beginning, I am not advocating ignoring obvious signs of danger from individuals or groups. I just don't think the danger is coming obviously from all muslims. Which is where I think I disagree with your friend BG who still has not clarified his position whether he believes all muslims need to be scrutinized with greater attention than everyone else.

      "as we discuss different religions as we do here on the blogs, making strategic evaluations about people and groups, without over-generalizing and labeling them, is a useful and valuable skill to have"... Of course that's true. That's what I've been trying to say all along. But I don't see a lot of that in the scrutiny currently going on in the public which seems to be based on nothing but appearances and fear of the unknown rather than honest evaluation of individuals and organizations. Is it a fair evaluation when you're looking for an excuse to hate someone?

      Look it sounds to me like we agree on most everything. Except maybe BG's unclarified insistence that muslims deserve more wariness than other groups of people. I agree some muslim groups may be more dangerous than others, just as some Christian or atheist ones at that. But I'm afraid in my experience I do not have reason to advocate greater fear of muslims than anyone else.

      September 3, 2011 at 2:20 am |
    • Peace2All

      @Frogist

      Wow... C.K... you are up late ! Good to see you. 😀

      O.K... So, per usual it sounds as if we did a lot of writing, when in actuality we are and have been in agreement.

      You Said: " And I never said a group of muslims could not elicit the same reasonable fear response. I am saying that you can't approach all muslims as if they should all elicit that fear response."

      And I agree with you on that...and... I as well 'never' said that somehow approaching 'all' muslim's will elicit a fear response. So, we are good there too.

      You Said: " Like I said in the beginning, I am not advocating ignoring obvious signs of danger from individuals or groups. I just don't think the danger is coming obviously from all muslims. "

      I agree here too. Certainly the dangers are not 'just' crazy radicalized Muslims. As you know we have plenty of homegrown crazies here in the U.S. including but not limited to our very own peace loving Christians.

      You Said: " Which is where I think I disagree with your friend BG who still has not clarified his position whether he believes all muslims need to be scrutinized with greater attention than everyone else. "

      Yes, I believe that -BG's position would be more scrutiny on some levels towards Muslims. You know, BG and I went 12 rounds back in the day when he was honestanon. But, we both hung in there, and I have come to appreciate his wisdom. He can be a genius at times (IMHO). It's just that most people dismiss him out of hand, and don't make it past his ad homs to really get to learn and understand where he is coming from. I'm definitely not saying that he and I agree all the time, however, I've learned that some of my best learnings come from the people where we really see things differently. And he is one of them.

      But, I think your question to him is very fair, and I hope that he (BG) makes it back here to respond to you.

      You Said: " "as we discuss different religions as we do here on the blogs, making strategic evaluations about people and groups, without over-generalizing and labeling them, is a useful and valuable skill to have"... Of course that's true. That's what I've been trying to say all along. "

      And obviously me too !

      You Said: " But I don't see a lot of that in the scrutiny currently going on in the public which seems to be based on nothing but appearances and fear of the unknown rather than honest evaluation of individuals and organizations. Is it a fair evaluation when you're looking for an excuse to hate someone? "

      Well, not just doing our best here on the Belief Blogs to help educate people, but as well as 'really doing' it out in public. Education, empathy, care, consideration, tolerance, etc... I would imagine you do it too...?

      And is it a fair evaluation when you're looking for an excuse to hate someone? Well, I don't think so... in order to hate someone, people are usually doing what they can to pile on the justifications and reasons, so they can hate someone.

      You Said: " Look it sounds to me like we agree on most everything. Except maybe BG's unclarified insistence that muslims deserve more wariness than other groups of people. I agree some muslim groups may be more dangerous than others, just as some Christian or atheist ones at that. But I'm afraid in my experience I do not have reason to advocate greater fear of muslims than anyone else. "

      Yes, I believe we are in agreement on everything. Again, as for -BG's position let's see what he has to say for himself. Again, if you can get past the snarky... he is a pretty cool guy, and definitely can be extremely bright.

      But I'm with you in that I would love to hear his comments regarding this situation.

      Good talking with you -Frogist, as always ! You are one of my best buddies here on the blogs. Truly a pleasure !

      Regards,

      Peace...

      September 3, 2011 at 3:53 am |
    • Awkward Situations

      @BG:

      – I have no issues with culture or multiculturalism and I do not view it as a threat to human life, unlike religion. Culture is what makes a people unique. I should have clarified that it is not the ONLY thing that makes a people unique. People can choose whether they want to be defined and/or constricted by their “culture”. Culture can be redefined and changed; it is adaptive and not limited to strict boundaries – unlike religion. I don’t understand why you think culture and individuality are mutually exclusive. There have been numerous influential people with an American cultural background who can be considered to have a strong sense of individuality. In fact, I believe the American culture to be one of the best nurturing grounds for individuality.

      – I got the feeling from one of your posts that you were implying that I don’t know what multiculturalism is. I thought maybe I had it wrong so I made a cursory glance on wikipedia and I didn’t see anything in direct conflict with my own intuitive definition of the word. Obviously, I hope it should go without saying that I reject blindly embracing the religious values of different people especially when they are in violation of the law and rights of individuals.

      – I am religiously intolerant. I can’t tolerate any kind of religious stupidity, especially if it is destructive. I am especially intolerant of people using religion as a justification for their hate towards our fellow human beings born as hom¬_ose_xual and/or transgender. I am also very intolerant of the religious-based oppression and disrespect towards the portion of our species who bare the physical burden of reproducing if they choose to do so – women. Religion does not deserve my respect and I think it is silly when people feel compelled to give respect to the self-appointed charlatans of religious insti_tutions. However, I am not a bit_ch. I’m usually pleasant and polite to anyone I meet. I only get religiously intolerant when it’s in my face or being forced upon me. I choose my battles... or just take it out on the CNN religion forum. 😉

      – I stand by my statement that we don’t need to create more lines that divide because we’re better than that. I don’t understand how this statement and my objections towards English faith schools consti_tutes a “cognitive dissonance”. They are the ones guilty of using religion to create lines that divide. I don’t live in England and I don’t know much about the British monarchy. All I know is that their religious insti_tutions are capitalizing on the lack of a wall of separation between church and state. It is not my position to appease the demands of insti_tutions based on myths and lies – doing so gives them more power and a sense of legitimacy.

      – By the way I haven’t had a chance yet to take a look at the links you posted. Also, what is the meaning of “One World” and “NWO”? If it was just a passing comment then no need to respond but if it means something can you please clarify because I don’t know what these terms refer to.

      – Thanks for your replies.

      September 3, 2011 at 8:07 am |
    • Awkward Situations

      @Peace2All:

      – You’re the first “neo-animist taoist quantum physicist, w/agnostic-atheistic tendencies” person I have ever interacted with!

      – I don’t think the information being taught on the “current religious, theo-political, and cultural problems” is inaccurate at all. The BBC journalists did an excellent job on revealing some of the negative consequences of faith-based schools in England. I am well aware of the indoctrination going on in schools located in various Arab countries which is rather disturbing as well. It’s ingenious on their part to “get-em-while they’re young” and encourage them to love their servitude to an imaginary character and his psychotic messenger. They want to make sure that they keep on loving their servitude by making an enemy out of the one thing that could save them from the mas_s delusion – freedom of speech and expression – both of which the U.S. represents.

      – I agree that we should be watchful and mindful of the nations that teach hatred towards non-muslims. Do you also think we should be watchful and mindful of the immigrants who come from those nations? You said that from beliefs, flow behaviors. That must apply to your beliefs as well I suppose. Does that mean you would be watchful and mindful of all immigrants from those types of nations? How would you determine their nationality anyway? What if they’re naturalized citizens? How do you determine when you will stop being watchful and mindful of them?

      – I think it’s reasonable to as_sume that the threat level is quite low for immigrants who leave their homeland in order and come to the U.S. and get jobs and have a family and raise their kids. If that’s all part of their plan in order to commit an act of terrorism – then it’s a pretty stupid plan. The U.S. wouldn’t even be able to prevent that in the first place. Unless of course the usual red flags get raised. Sometimes shi_t happens and there isn’t anything you can do to prevent that shi_t from happening to you. That’s the world we live in. We just have to keep safe and be smart because in addition to terrorists, we have sociopaths and psychopaths who live among us.

      – Regarding multiculturalism and as_similation. I agree that there may be some communities that keep themselves isolated. That’s an issue that can be worked on but it’s not a hopeless endeavor. I can’t imagine that the level of isolation is so intense that it would flow on and on to future generations. New York City started out with pockets of immigrants. It’s not so bad now. We’re always going to have immigrants. The U.S. is a young country and unique like no other. Our previous generations took care of their immigrants and helped them as_similate – that responsibility didn’t end with them, we have to continue the effort. It’s a part of the American experience, if you will. lol.

      – I know that not everybody shares my worldview that we’re all human beings and shouldn’t lose our humanity toward others. I don’t really care because I’m not trying to convince people to be humanitarians. I’m trying to get people to stop having delusional fantasies about imaginary gods. I’m trying to get people to stop hating themselves because they feel like they are “sinners” and were born as rejects. I want more people to live in reality so that I can have chats with them about their true worldviews sans the supersti_tious. I want to hang out with other humanitarians or philosophers or existentialists or nihilists and enjoy life and get advice on how I could make enough money to go into space and orbit around the Earth for a little while. To be honest with you the only real interaction I have with atheists is on the internet. I only know one other person in my group of friends who is an atheist. I never realized how much religion, god, death and the afterlife dominates the thoughts of the religious until I became an atheist. The entertainment value I get out of being on the other side is priceless but it gets dull after a while when you’re the only one laughing.

      – My “so what, we’ll deal with it somehow…” more or less reflects that I’m not a good politician. I’ll leave it up to lawmakers to work out the details. I just hope that one day we’ll have a government filled with god-less politicians. For now my involvement is limited to gay marriage rights, abortion rights, legalization of marijuana, and keeping the christian fundies out of our classrooms.

      – Alrighty then. I hope I didn’t go too far off on tangents! Take it easy.

      September 3, 2011 at 8:29 am |
    • Awkward Situations

      @Frogist:

      – I think we are in agreement about some of our opinions especially regarding the negative consequences of making sweeping generalizations. I don’t deny the sad reality of the situation as it stands but I try not to be too cynical. I don’t think it’s the right way to go about solving major issues. Adopting an atti_tude like this in response will only lead to more complicated problems – much like the Hydra in Greek mythology, slay one head and it will grow two more.

      – I like what you said here: “But I think linking the hate of certain few violent groups with all muslims or immigrants everywhere is wrong. It is not what this country is about.” It’s true, that’s not what this country is about. I’m sure there are many counterparts in the muslim world who don’t hate the U.S. or buy into the propaganda that all Americans are evil and immoral.

      – However, when it comes to trust I have to agree with Peace2All – trust is earned. My trust towards people I do not know is neutral. The nature of the relationships formed over time dictate whether I trust someone or not. In addition, trust isn’t necessarily an all-or-nothing principle. It can be situational – for example, I can trust my friend to be responsible when borrowing my vehicle but I can’t trust her with my money. I hope that makes sense.

      September 3, 2011 at 8:33 am |
    • Peace2All

      @Awkward Situations

      Good morning -Awkward !!!

      You Said: "- You’re the first “neo-animist taoist quantum physicist, w/agnostic-atheistic tendencies” person I have ever interacted with! "

      Yeah... a lot of people on this blog over the year have asked me what are my beliefs. I usually just say 'agnostic'... as I really don't spend much time trying to figure out the 'Ultimate Nature' of the 'All.' So, that is my way of piece- mealing together, a conglomeration of world-views that tend to work for me as perceptual filters. Of course, subject to change !

      You Said: " I don’t think the information being taught on the “current religious, theo-political, and cultural problems” is inaccurate at all. The BBC journalists did an excellent job on revealing some of the negative consequences of faith-based schools in England. I am well aware of the indoctrination going on in schools located in various Arab countries which is rather disturbing as well. It’s ingenious on their part to “get-em-while they’re young” and encourage them to love their servitude to an imaginary character and his psychotic messenger. They want to make sure that they keep on loving their servitude by making an enemy out of the one thing that could save them from the mas_s delusion – freedom of speech and expression – both of which the U.S. represents. "

      I agree... Keeping their kids isolated and in the religious hate-filled radicalized ideology of Islam, does nothing to help with the short and long-term prospects of creating and developing a society where there is more of the kinds of actions and behaviors that move our society forward socially, economically, etc...

      There is a lot of 'propaganda' out there in many areas. I don't know if you saw the movie: "Jesus Camp" but if you haven't it's worth watching to see how our 'Christians' start indoctrinating our 'very' young children about Satan, hell, sinners, the evils of anyone who doesn't believe in Jesus, etc...

      You Said: " I agree that we should be watchful and mindful of the nations that teach hatred towards non-muslims. Do you also think we should be watchful and mindful of the immigrants who come from those nations?"

      I'll leave that up to our Government to decide who needs watching and who doesn't. Unfortunately, because of the times we live in, (I'm guessing here) that pretty much anyone coming from any country, but especially from countries like Iran, Afghanistan, etc... get vetted by our government.

      Interesting side note... my wife and I have a friend of ours who just so happens to be from... 'Iran.' She's an M.D. and well-respected in her field. She is also an incredibly sweet and kind person, and has shared stories of how she realizes that it's just a sign of the times that she is going to go through some 'extra checking' when she travels, or even in conversations with some people, when the word 'Iran' comes up, she can visibly see them get uncomfortable. She has actually lost some clients when they found out, she was from 'Iran.'

      This is the kind of stuff that I think you, -Frogist, and I are talking about here. Getting to know someone and trust them, as opposed to broad over-generalizations and fear would go a long way to helping to create more connections in our society.

      You Said: " You said that from beliefs, flow behaviors. That must apply to your beliefs as well I suppose. Does that mean you would be watchful and mindful of all immigrants from those types of nations? How would you determine their nationality anyway? What if they’re naturalized citizens? How do you determine when you will stop being watchful and mindful of them?"

      No... that does 'not' *mean* that I would be watchful and mindful of all immigrants. Again, I trust enough in our government to take care of the vetting process of 'anyone' coming to our country.

      As for the rest of your questions, I don't have any answers for them. However, I will say this. As you quoted to -Frogist that you agree with Peace2All that 'trust must be earned'... that is how I operate with basically anybody that is new, that I don't know. That also applies to any 'group' of people or organization as well.

      Again, if you read my postings, you can see that I have an extremely diverse circle of very close friends: Jewish, Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, Gay, Lesbian, straight, white, black, hispanic, asian, etc... etc...

      And we have all become friends based on mutual values, respect and interests, and behaviors that are in line with each other over time, where we trust each other.

      This way of evaluating and assessing seems to work for me, and allows a continual building of a values social network in our society.

      You Said: "- I think it’s reasonable to as_sume that the threat level is quite low for immigrants who leave their homeland in order and come to the U.S. and get jobs and have a family and raise their kids. If that’s all part of their plan in order to commit an act of terrorism – then it’s a pretty stupid plan. The U.S. wouldn’t even be able to prevent that in the first place. Unless of course the usual red flags get raised. Sometimes shi_t happens and there isn’t anything you can do to prevent that shi_t from happening to you. That’s the world we live in. We just have to keep safe and be smart because in addition to terrorists, we have sociopaths and psychopaths who live among us. "

      We are in 'full agreement' on this.

      You Said: "- Regarding multiculturalism and as_similation. I agree that there may be some communities that keep themselves isolated. That’s an issue that can be worked on but it’s not a hopeless endeavor. I can’t imagine that the level of isolation is so intense that it would flow on and on to future generations. New York City started out with pockets of immigrants. It’s not so bad now. We’re always going to have immigrants. The U.S. is a young country and unique like no other. Our previous generations took care of their immigrants and helped them as_similate – that responsibility didn’t end with them, we have to continue the effort. It’s a part of the American experience, if you will. lol. "

      Well, I am with you there, as I would certainly like to see and experience a lot more of this.

      You Said: "- I know that not everybody shares my worldview that we’re all human beings and shouldn’t lose our humanity toward others. I don’t really care because I’m not trying to convince people to be humanitarians. I’m trying to get people to stop having delusional fantasies about imaginary gods. I’m trying to get people to stop hating themselves because they feel like they are “sinners” and were born as rejects. I want more people to live in reality so that I can have chats with them about their true worldviews sans the supersti_tious. I want to hang out with other humanitarians or philosophers or existentialists or nihilists and enjoy life and get advice on how I could make enough money to go into space and orbit around the Earth for a little while. To be honest with you the only real interaction I have with atheists is on the internet. I only know one other person in my group of friends who is an atheist. I never realized how much religion, god, death and the afterlife dominates the thoughts of the religious until I became an atheist. The entertainment value I get out of being on the other side is priceless but it gets dull after a while when you’re the only one laughing. "

      Man... you said that well !!!! You sound like someone I would like to get together with and hang out and have a beer and discuss all of these topics. Sound good to you...?

      You Said: "- My “so what, we’ll deal with it somehow…” more or less reflects that I’m not a good politician. I’ll leave it up to lawmakers to work out the details. I just hope that one day we’ll have a government filled with god-less politicians. For now my involvement is limited to gay marriage rights, abortion rights, legalization of marijuana, and keeping the christian fundies out of our classrooms. "

      Wow... interesting, I share with you some of those very same interests !

      Now we (definitely) need to get together and have that beer !!!

      – You Said: "Alrighty then. I hope I didn’t go too far off on tangents! Take it easy."

      Nope... spot on... and... very much enjoyed our discussion. I hope to have more of these with you on the blogs.

      Respectfully,

      Peace...

      September 3, 2011 at 2:44 pm |
    • BG

      Hi all ! Got my head stuck under the kitchen sink there for a while. New fridge ice maker water line.

      Lot's being said here for a sub-100 post story. Let me absorb it all and reply in a bit.

      September 3, 2011 at 4:14 pm |
    • BG

      OK – I'm just going to go 'down the line' and respond in order of the posts. So, even though Frogist may be the last to read this, she's first in the que.

      @ Frogist

      Part 1

      "But is the ideology of muslims and immigrants a known value?"

      Well, if islamic 'ideology' is detailed in the koran, and the koran is 'perfect as written' (as professed by both the koran, and its believers) the clear answer would by yes. All that's required is a little koranic study (as is so often suggested by muslims) and western cultures are becoming increasingly aware of islamic 'ideology' as time goes on. The koran is essentially a 'mission statement' of the author's position (as told to him by/whom etc.). Depots, dictators and autocrats, self-appointed or not, are always seemingly driven to pen their 'life's story,' beliefs, rules and regulations, etc.. The koran is no different. It's basically a 'field manual' for the management and application of a system, in this case a theocracy. Mein Kampf ("My Struggle – sound familiar?) was simply the author's statement of his beliefs, hatreds, and plan for acquisition of those that didn't share in his beliefs. Mao, Stalin, Marx.. everyone gets 'published,' usually sooner than later in their 'careers.'

      Regarding the Bible, Torah, etc.. here's the most concise observation I can offer. It's from Yigal Carmon, the former Israli colonel in the IDF and founder of the Middle East Media Reseach Insti tute, who made the following statement:

      " ... I participated in a conference organized by the Spanish government to commemorating the 11 March 2004 Madrid train bombings...following a comment by a Muslim participant that we shouldn't mention jihad (our 'struggle,' auth.) in connection with the terrorist attacks – because jihad is something that Muslims respect – I got up and responded as follows: 'I'd like to relate to this comment not as an academic, but as a Jew....We Jews have in our Bible the edict of 'an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.' But our sages – many centuries ago – replaced this principle with the principle of compensation. God, of course, knows the word 'compensation.' If He had wanted to say that, He would have said it. But He chose the explicit command of 'an eye for an eye.' Our sages decided that this was no longer acceptable, and dropped it. The same is true of the Christians with regard to the Inquisition: First they believed that it was God's will, but later dropped it. It's only because we've already been through this that I take the liberty of suggesting to you Muslims that you, too, drop the edict of jihad, which isn't even one of the five pillars of Islam. It doesn't suit the humanistic principles of the 21st century."

      Islam -is- capable of doing the same. They choose not to, and that, in and of itself, makes anyone who identifies themself as a 'follower' of islam suspect. In terms of 'selling' islam as a 'religion of peace,' muslims, by their resistance to change, become their own worst detractors. Their silent approval both perpetuates and condones the koran's both suggested and directed commands of violence.

      So yes. We need to be acutely aware of muslims, more so than most any other group. Now, if a fractional group calling themselves "The Reformed Peacful Muslims." opened a mosque, I'd probably contribute to their clothing drive. Hoo-rah. Trouble is they're not 'allowed' to.

      Are they. (rhetorical)

      September 3, 2011 at 5:39 pm |
    • BG

      @ Frogist

      Part 2

      "... in terms of groups of muslims or immigrants how does your analogy fit? And how can you practically apply "beware the danger of known ideologies" to muslims, immigrants and anyone different from ourselves without succu-mbing to unfair prejudices?"

      Hard-core bikers (not "Wild Hog" 50 year olds) walk into the neighborhood bar. Bangers are sitting around the parking lot. A half-way house for convicts is established on your block. Grafitti begins showing up on the outside walls of the Dunkin' Donuts. You city police proudly announce more frequent drug busts (when was the last time they made such a big deal over pot? Oh, now it's heroin... how much? Holy crap.) And now its... "put your bag up here, please sir... and take off your shoes."

      There's a huge difference between a bias and a bigotry. A bias is an opinion built on evidence. Biases are the normal and natural outcomes of informed or experiential knowledge. Everyone has biases. Or at least they should if they're not total couch potatoes.

      Bigotry is based on prejudice. Prejudice is opinion based upon unfounded, unsupported, undeserved perception.

      Once again.. we all (well, most reasonable people) have a bias against bangers, bikers, hitchers, dealers. And now bombers. Muslims are now proving themselves worthy for the reasons noted in Pt.1 above. Guilt by association? Of course. Then disassociate. Take off the colors. Do something, because you're getting dragged down in the court of world opinion. The outcome of the Arab Spring can either be a start, or yet another nail in islam's coffin as a viable and truthful 'religion of peace.'

      September 3, 2011 at 5:50 pm |
    • BG

      @ Awkward Situations

      " Culture is what makes a people unique."
      Let's talk from a 'macroeconomic' cultural perspective. Culture is what defines similarities within the larger group. In America, to identify someone as an Italian, Indian, Mexican, etc.. is inherently constricting, pretty de-constructing, potentially insulting, and is only really useful in a geographic sense. "Sure, I'm a Polish Mexican by descent, but really I'm an American!" You've heard that. We all have. (Then we think "wonder how that happened," so we ask for the story... and it's usually pretty entertaining. ) The Polish-Mexican is the micro-cultural component. America is the macro. (One might argue that there's a global perspective in which America is the micro; we're all fat, lazy, and greedy. Trouble with that is there is no real identifiable macro community which has a common perspective. Who exactly thinks we're fat and lazy? France? We think they're incompetent winos. Canada? Wimps. You get the idea... what, the U.N.? They hate us anyway..) So pragmatically we're left to work with the internal American 'example.'

      Now if -someone- identifies -themselves- as a particular xyz... we naturally presume that they either have a particularly strong identi ty, allegiance, or other association. When someone says they're "Muslim," and omit the "American" component, there's a natural skepticism. Other cultural groups learned this long ago, ergo we have African-Americans, Italian-Americans, etc.

      "Multiculturalism" and "pluralism" suggest that the cultural groups composing a society are more important than identification of the society itself as an cultural 'enti ty.' All the cultural groups composing the 'country' of America are equal in importance, value, tradition, need, etc.. This position is obviously arguable from 'realist' perspective – but then the realists find themselves being called 'bigots' responsible for 'class warfare' within the society. I know... it's a game. But as John Richardson offered, it's a dangerous one.

      "Culture can be redefined and changed;"
      Only over time. Abrupt changes to a culture detract from the definition of that culture. It ceases to become "xyz" and becomes something different. Now, if changes happens over 10, 50, or 100 years, we can think of it in terms of 'cultural' change as opposed to political disruption within the culture.

      "... it is adaptive and not limited to strict boundaries – unlike religion."
      Booooo! Come on. Religion changes all the time. New ones fragment from old dogmatic ones. Even the rules within the dogmatic sects change over time. Books are re-written, re-interpreted, changed, etc... The only "religion" (in quotes because -it- calls itself that, not me) is our buddy Islam, who steadfastly refuses to formally change -anything- about itself because it's "perfect" just-the-way-it-is. (Thank you very much, now please leave the mosque...here, take this copy of our Koran on you way out. Good day.)

      "I believe the American culture to be one of the best nurturing grounds for individuality... I hope it should go without saying that I reject blindly embracing the religious values of different people especially when they are in violation of the law and rights of individuals."

      But that, Awkward, is exactly what neo-liberalized multiculturalism is all about. Again, please reference JohnR's links. I"ve provided some others. Multiculturalism, in it's purest form, is evil, dividing and disuniting. We have 'countries' for a reason, and multiculturalism is at odds with all the world's respective nations' goals of independence and national unity. It's been tried. The Brits, French, Dutch, Swedes (the most tolerant democratic nation on earth) have admitted it. Conservative members of parliament (MP) are being elected in those countries in record numbers. The citizenry want unlimited immigration stopped. They want the burning of their schools stopped. They want the no-go zones eliminated. They want their countries back.

      "I stand by my statement that we don’t need to create more lines that divide because we’re better than that."
      Again, your statement is misguided. "We're" not the bad guy here. Go talk to the sharia courts and no-go zones in Great Britain. Go talk to the management of Columbia, Harvard and Princeton universities who have specially-designated times for muslim women to swim in their pools. Don't you recognize apartheid when you see it, Awkward? 'The Cognitive Dissonance' comment was in reference to your comment about the inappropriateness of islamic schools vrs. -we- being responsible for creating lines of division. They are, not us. (well, except for the boys in Murfreesboro.. "hey Buck, you gotta' match?") That's clearly not the best way to go about it... The answer is far more complex and time-consuming and far less violent.

      "By the way I haven’t had a chance yet to take a look at the links you posted."
      Please do so. But understand that I'm not a follower of the likes of Alex Jones, Prison Planet, or such. Neo-liberal university essays are another matter.

      "Also, what is the meaning of “One World” and “NWO”?
      Keep digging. You'll find out shortly, and then you can make your own decisions.

      Good exchange. Keep in touch. (FYI, I can be a pri ck sometimes when I'm a bit short on patience with someone – Friends exempted.)

      September 3, 2011 at 7:13 pm |
    • BG

      @ Peace2All

      Whew! But I have to say, this really is an important thread we've got going on here.

      " Yes, I believe that -BG's position would be more scrutiny on some levels towards Muslims."
      True. Yes, that would be the case. 'Some levels' is probably the key to the discussion.

      " You know, BG and I went 12 rounds back in the day when he was honestanon. But, we both hung in there, and I have come to appreciate his wisdom. He can be a genius at times (IMHO).
      You, Peace, are a fellow with impeccable insight. Shucks.. too kind. No, really.. any second now everyone else is going to jump in here, blast your critical thinking skills and tell you that you're whacked for associating with me.

      "It's just that most people dismiss him out of hand, and don't make it past his ad homs to really get to learn and understand where he is coming from."
      Then again, I dismiss most everyone that doesn't demonstrate the ability to rub two neurons together....

      Best to you, and stay in touch.

      September 3, 2011 at 7:32 pm |
    • Awkward Situations

      @Peace2All:

      Good evening!

      – Have you attained "omnipresent supergalactic oneness" yet? That is the only plausible reason I can think of as to how you are able to maintain your composure on a religion forum out of all places. Nice job!

      – From what I gather in your last post, it seems like we're in general agreement about most of the issues that have been brought up. Just a few points of dissent but overall a very engaging discussion. I appreciate you articulating your point of view – I feel like I definitely gained from it and that my time here was put to good use.

      – No, I haven't seen 'Jesus Camp'. I'll be sure to watch it soon, sounds interesting. Thanks for the recommendation. May I suggest 'Ace Ventura 2: When Nature Calls' – A very enlightening and cerebral work of cinema. Be prepared to think. You may have to watch it more than once to pick up on the intricate plot points.

      – I sympathize with your friend from Iran. It really would suck if a patient leaves you over something like that. Oh well, good riddance to idiot patients anyway. Let them go torture some other doctor about why they can't figure out how they got so overweight on a sedentary lifestyle without exercise and if you have a pill for that.

      – You're like the Brad and Angelina of friends! I don't care how lame that sounds. I bet the fun never goes stale with a group like that. Good times.

      – Beer? Yes, please! I have no idea how the logistics of that would work but I hope the invitation is on the table indefinitely. That's really very nice of you even if you're just being polite. In the mean time I'll see you around on this blog. My activity on here can be spotty depending on how busy my schedule is as I'm sure yours is too. Bookmark this thread – If I go MIA for a long time I'll leave a note here or something.

      – Thanks for the good chat. Until next time.

      September 4, 2011 at 12:19 am |
    • Awkward Situations

      @BG:

      – First of all, I appreciate your thorough explanation regarding culture and multiculturalism. Are you taking me to school or something? 🙂

      – I definitely want to read up on this subject matter. As it stands right now I sort of understand where you're going but something tells me there is a major flaw with this argument. It sounds like you're more-or-less picking apart semantics. You didn't really go into identifying what you think the real-world practical problems are with multiculturalism.

      – ["In America, to identify someone as an Italian, Indian, Mexican, etc.. is inherently constricting, pretty de-constructing, potentially insulting, and is only really useful in a geographic sense."] I completely disagree. When did it become an insult to identify a person by their ethnicity? In the sentence after that you talk about Polish-Mexican Americans. I would qualify 'American' as their nationality and 'Polish-Mexican' as their ethnicity. But here you're talking about macro- and micro- cultures? Again, it looks like you're picking apart semantics as well as re-clas_sifying "identifying characteristics" into categories that don't make much sense.

      – ["When someone says they're "Muslim," and omit the "American" component, there's a natural skepticism."] Care to explain how you qualify 'natural skepticism'? Again, in this case it's all about semantics. Ethnicity = Muslim. Nationality = Muslim American (or is it American Muslim?.. not sure). In any case, that's quite a big leap to make from semantics to skepticism.

      – I didn't understand the next paragraph at all about multiculturalism and pluralism.
      – The paragraph after that – general agreement here.

      – Next you compare the changing texts and creation of new sects in Christianity to the unchanging text of Islam. You then conclude that because they have not changed their original holy text it means they refuse to change because they believe everything is perfect the way it is. I don't understand your point here. Why would they WANT to change their text which they consider holy? They have preserved the text in its original language and they even memorize it in that fashion.

      – Alrighty then, I'll stop here. I'm genuinely curious about what's going on here so I'll take a look at the links and whatnot at a later time.

      – I appreciate the eye-opening discussions. Didn't start out on a good foot but it totally redeemed itself! 🙂 Thanks for admitting that you can be a pri_ck. I knew you would come around eventually. Jokes!

      – My activity on here can be spotty depending on how busy my schedule is as I'm sure yours is too. Bookmark this thread – If I go MIA for a long time I'll leave a note here or something. Take it easy, see you around.

      September 4, 2011 at 12:24 am |
    • Frogist

      As promised...

      @BG:
      So you're saying that all muslims are violent or intolerant or support violence and intolerance because the book they are associated with talks of violence and intolerance? But that only works if muslims are only influenced by the Qu'ran alone.You say of changing their book, "Islam is capable of doing the same. They choose not to..." You do realize that the religion or the book does not, and never will define completely the way a believer behaves. If the truth is that humans are influenced morally by evolution, our surroundings, our neighbours, then much as with Christians, muslims will never hold to only what is in a book or only one version of what is in their book. There are so many versions of Islam that we know that to be true. Maybe a lot of muslims have already pulled away from their religion in many ways. There are millions of muslims in this country already who are not violent or intolerant but you seem to refuse to acknowledge that secularism in them because they still use the word "muslim". You want a greater sign... a mosque of your approval as defined not by their needs but by yours. And I think that's ridiculous and a little self-centered. No matter what the religious call themselves, it will never define them completely or consistently especially over the millions of muslim people across the world. I find your words disingenuous. I don't think you would support any mosque, because no matter the denomination, they will always be muslim and I think that will never be good enough for your approval.

      On a side note: Hope your new ice maker is working out.

      @Awkward Situations:
      I don't think there really is such a thing as "trust neutral". We all carry biases with us where we will always trust some people more than others. That marker moves a lot. The thing is how do we figure out what is fair and what is unfair in how we treat an individual. We must be wary of our reactions based on nothing but external, untested half-truths. But I do agree that we never all start off trusting another person completely.

      @Peace2All:
      Hey! Yes, I am often up very late, just rarely ever on CNN blogs with you guys.
      One of the things that did confuse me initially and right up till this last post of yours was BG's insistence that all muslims should be treated differently and your odd "approval" of his position. It absolutely didn't mesh with what I know you have said and demonstrated towards people here on the blog in the past. I can see a difference in your positions now. Certainly we can learn from those who disagree with us, but how much harder it is when you have to push against someone's ego or need to put another person down. You above all others have seemed to find a way past most anyone's insecurities to welcome and debate opposing points of view and still come out with an appreciation for that person's contributions. It is an impressive skill, and one that I am sad to say, I have very far to go to achieve.

      September 6, 2011 at 10:42 am |
    • BG

      @ Frogist

      First off, thanks for the followup response. Somehow I -knew- that you'd be back for closure on this.

      I can't make my point any clearer. I think that the bottom line is to whom we choose to assign responsibility for this problem. I feel it appropriate for muslims to accept the responsibility of changing the perception of their 'religion' which has been maligned by their own people. You do not, and instead assign the responsibility to onlookers who must accept, at face value, the muslim capacity, intent, and sincerity to adapt. I don't think you could be any more wrong, and In this respect we'll have to agree to disagree.

      My larger concern is your atti tude toward Peace2All. You and he are among the brightest and most articulate among all the contributors on these blogs. You're also among the most headstrong, which is a mixed blessing (obviously I'm allowed to say that..) But in all candor, Frogist, when I read this.. I was a more that a bit put-off on a couple of levels, not just for the appearance of a swipe at me, but more importantly the intimations against Peace.

      You said:

      "I can see a difference in your positions now. Certainly we can learn from those who disagree with us, but how much harder it is when you have to push against someone's ego or need to put another person down."

      If you don't approve or agree with someones perception, fine, but don't allege a debater's "ego or insecurities" have corrupted the listener's logic. You should have learned long ago not to debate style over content. (debate team, right?) If I were Peace, I'd be a bit insulted over this. Everyone's opinions are malleable, some due to psychological influences, some due to logic. But I don't think that Peace is the impressionable sort, and certainly not by the likes of me – especially with our history. I don't hold that kind of power over anybody. I don't know anyone that does. Well, maybe Paul Krugman... (and Obama, initially.. but that's over now. )

      I don't presume to suggest that our blogging 'relationship' is stronger than yours and his, but he and I know each other probable better, at least in my view, than the vast majority of others in here. If he's changed or modified his take on something, it's been of his own accord, and by his own discernment. I do think you're a little miffed that Peace changed his perspective, but essentially you're being dismissive of his decision by making 'excuses' available to him. Well, enough of all that.. and if I've misread your language and intent, I'll apologize in advance. This is just the way it reads to me.

      Icemaker quit – nothing to do with me, I just hooked up the water service. Brand new refrigerator with a bad compressor.
      Baah !!

      Take care, be well, and thank you for the consideration of a pleasant chat. After all, you and I have a minor history over the past many months as well. We could just never seem to pull it together. Maybe my head is just harder than yours..

      Regards

      September 6, 2011 at 11:28 pm |
  20. Martin T

    Yay I guess???? NOT too excited, I do love the architecture, but the purpose is certainly LOST on me..

    September 1, 2011 at 6:29 pm |
    • herbert juarez

      They don't come much more LOST than you.

      September 1, 2011 at 6:53 pm |
    • john

      how in the world of all things possible can the meaning of this evade you? please tell me, PLEASE tell me you are joking.. or at least trolling or something.. please

      September 1, 2011 at 8:04 pm |
    • Colin

      Hello Herbert.

      A friend of mine (who was actually valedictorian of our high school) went into the field of paleontology. He works at the University of Melbourne in Australia, where they are doing research on the earliest Aboriginal settlements in Australia and the development of the many languages spoken by the Aboriginals in Australia.

      Their latest theories suggest that man made it to Australia at least 60,000 years ago, during the penultimate Ice Age and that their languages diversified as they spread throughout the continent.

      Fortunately, you have told me that this can’t be right, as the World is only one tenth as old (about 6,000) years and that all Australian Aboriginal languages were made by god in the Tower of Babel. Further, the Ice Ages did not even happen.

      It makes me wonder where Australian Aboriginals come from if they were not on Noah’s ark and evolution is a lie, but I’m sure I’ll find the answers in the Bible.

      Thanks Herbert, it's good to know that all we need to read to understand history, biology, paleontology, archeology, and about 20 other scientific disciplines can be found in the Bible.

      Do you think we should burn all the books that are inconsistent with it?

      September 2, 2011 at 12:59 am |
    • herbert juarez

      @colin
      You have a nasty habit of putting words in others mouths that were never uttered.No where in the postings, in my short participation with cnn, have I ever suggested a 6000 year old earth.Since this has happened repeatedly ,I am left to the conclusion that you are a habitual liar and therefore anything you say must be considered suspect.

      September 2, 2011 at 7:19 am |
    • Martin T

      @ John, the "purpose" of a National Cathedral is useless in a secular government. Our government can not and should not condone or endorse ANY religion whatsoever. THAT is what is lost on me, the "NEED" for such a place.

      September 2, 2011 at 9:36 am |
    • JohnR

      @MatrinT It's actually NOT the "national" cathedral in any official sense. It's the name given by the denomination that runs it (Episcopalians). Of course, it IS a sort of "honorary" national cathedral in the sense that many state funerals and other national/governmental ceremonies have been held there due to it being in DC. But it has no official stutus and is neither owned nor run by the government.

      September 2, 2011 at 10:56 am |
    • HotAirAce

      So, herbie, how old is the earth? And how are you doing with proving that your virgin Mary wasn't an adulterous whore? If you can proof this then you must accept that there is a strong probability there are no gods – not even just one. Your religious house of cards is collapsing around you...

      September 2, 2011 at 2:50 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      Of course, I meant to type "If you can't prove this ..."

      Herbie, you've had oodles of time to produce your proof, and I don't see anyone jumping in to help you, so I can only assume that you and your believer buddies have finally learned that you can't prove a negative, and that it is not up to non-believers to disprove your fantastical claims about god(s) and the jesus myth.

      September 2, 2011 at 11:49 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.