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Religion Bill Maher on Islam

CaptainObvious

Son of Liberty
V.I.P.
Maher graduated from Cornell, so I don't think he's uneducated. I know you're not talking about him specifically though, and generally I agree with you about people who swear excessively. He is a comedian and an entertainer more so than a political commentator or news anchor though, and that's just how most comedians are. For some reason a lot of people find vulgarity funny.
As to being educated, I am referring to the ability to think constructively and fairly. When people use that amount of profanity it leads me to conclude they lack basic critical thinking skills. One could be an avid reader and be able to think constructively without attaining a degree, while another could attain a degree but be unable to think constructively.

I understand he's a comedian, but I do think people use that excuse for his behavior way too much. He IS a political commentator, and when he calls someone a cunt or makes fun of someone's special needs kid not only do I not find it funny, I find him to be an idiot without the intellectual capacity to think critically and I find it cowardly for him to hide behind the "I'm a comedian" card.

Rush Limbaugh is an entertainer also, and I find calling women sluts to be just as stupid and juvenile. We can disagree on issues without using that kind of language.

Anyway, as to the topic of this thread, in this instance, I agree with him.
 

CaptainObvious

Son of Liberty
V.I.P.
I'm the same way. I enjoy good liberal arguments but Maher and Jon Stewart can't construct a sentence without dropping the F-bomb or much worse. What I find even more annoying about Stewart is his audience has the mentality of 5th graders. Stewart can say anything that has the F-word and his audience thinks its the funniest thing ever said. I don't know if Maher gets a more intelligent crowd or not, I haven't seen his new show enough to say.
I know. Whatever the statement is if Stewart just puts the F word in front of it they laugh like a bunch of junior high girls. Says a lot about the intelligence level of his audience.
 

MenInTights

not a plastic bag
I understand he's a comedian, but I do think people use that excuse for his behavior way too much. He IS a political commentator, and when he calls someone a cunt or makes fun of someone's special needs kid not only do I not find it funny, I find him to be an idiot without the intellectual capacity to think critically and I find it cowardly for him to hide behind the "I'm a comedian" card.

Rush Limbaugh is an entertainer also, and I find calling women sluts to be just as stupid and juvenile. We can disagree on issues without using that kind of language.

Anyway, as to the topic of this thread, in this instance, I agree with him.
This gig also allows him political cover. So Steward or Maher could say - ObamaCare is going to be great, premiums are going to go down, 30 million people are going to get covered, its not going to cost the government and anyone who says there are death panels are idiots because that's not true. And then when pushed on the issue years later because everything they said turned out to be completely wrong, the response is- Hey, I'm just a comedian.

Before Glenn Beck became a media giant, he did the same thing. He would often say - "What do I know, I'm just a rodeo clown." Beck doesn't do that anymore. Which is good. You should own your opinions and be man enough to admit when you're wrong if you're nobody like me or a leader of Obama-zombies like Stewart.
 

Van

Heavy Weapons Guy
V.I.P.
Ill admit I never watch his show. The few times I've seen him he has been extremely vulgar and I find him to be somewhat unintelligent. If you can't make a coherent argument without blurting the f word every other sentence I have pretty much no respect for you. If you happen to have a correct position on something that doesn't help your case all that much.
 

Hilander

Free Spirit
Staff member
V.I.P.

Sim

Registered Member
I'm often reading Quran and the Bible and have to disagree that these *sources* for the respective religions are very different, when it comes to violence. I'd say the New Testament is considerably more peaceful than both OT and Quran, but compared to the OT and the commandments of Moses' law, which are outright barbaric, Quran is tame. Also, there are enough peaceful and tolerant verses in Quran which could be the basis for peaceful interpretations (and in some cases, are). And for the sake of fairness, one should point out that Christians historically used to be violent barbarians too, for more than a millennium.

So the crucial thing is the interpretation. And that's where it gets tricky.

Islam, in theory, is not any more violent than Judaism is. Because for both religions, there are modern, appropriately peaceful interpretations. But while such interpretations are mainstream among today's Jews, they're not mainstream among today's Muslims.

Mainstream Islam is basically clinging to outdated, often intolerant or even violent interpretations. Some might say they are more honest about their religions than Jews are (because Jews today ignore the barbaric and violent commandments in their scriptures).

Christianity and Judaism were tamed and made peaceful by liberalism, enlightenment and secularism, whileas Islam was never affected by these movements.

Nevertheless, there are rather peaceful interpretations of Islam, such as the older Ahmadiyya or the newer Ankara school. But they aren't mainstream (yet).

Another problem about the behavior of many Muslims today is that from an outside view, we often conflate tradition and culture with religion. Things like female mutilation, for example, have nothing to do with Islam, but on the contrary, are often opposed by Muslim clerics.

So our perception of Islam boils down to two things:

1. Too many Muslims cling to "medieval", violent interpretations of their religion, although other interpretations are well possible.
2. Local traditions are often conflated with the religion of Islam, both in our perception and by many Muslims.
 
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CaptainObvious

Son of Liberty
V.I.P.
I agree, the influences of the enlightenment and liberalism affected Christianity and Judiasm and not Islam, but one also has to understand those codes that we find in Leviticus don't apply to Christians, while everything in the Quran does apply to Muslims.

Bill Maher and Sam Harris made some really good comments again about Islam:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vln9D81eO60

And Ben Affleck showed why he needs to stick to reading scripts and pretending to be someone else for a living, because he has to be one of the dumbest human beings on earth.
 

Sim

Registered Member
I agree insofar that Islam is not a race. It's a religion, and in a free country with separation of state and religion, no religion is off limits when it comes to public criticism. So just as Catholics, Evangelicals, different branches of Jews have to tolerate it when they're attacked (verbally, rhetorically), Muslims have to learn that this applies to them and their religion as well.

That said, I don't think much can be won by attacking Islam from a position of Christian superiority. When you feel the state should legislate Christian morals and dominate society, but other religions should not enjoy that right, you are a hypocrite, plain and simple.

Also, while wrong, I understand how it comes so many American liberals attack Christianity, but defend Islam. I guess that's mostly ignorance, because Christian political movements are an important, serious factor in American politics and society, while Islam is not -- at all. There are ca. 25% Evangelical Christians in America and another ca. 25% Catholics, but only 0.5% Muslims. Muslims play no role on the American stage, neither in domestic politics, nor in society. These people simply have no experience with Muslims. But they do have experience with radical Christians, and know they don't like it.
 
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The_Chameleon

Grandmaster
I've had discussions about Islam before on other forums. Many have brought up the atrocities in history committed in the name of the Christian god. That was then, and this is now. Yes, there are still many Muslims being killed by America and other countries generally associated with Christianity. Are these attacks religiously motivated? No. But is it easy to make it look that way? Yes. As a result, it becomes easier for extremist groups to "radicalize" Muslims by intentionally blurring the lines. As we continue to drop bombs on these folks the job of our enemy to recruit will become easier and easier. Then where are we?


What if we were to simply leave them alone? Get the hell out of predominantly Islamic states. Let them stone their women and kill their brethren who they see as less Muslim? What if we just left them to their barbaric ways and shut our doors to them entirely? They would of course complain if we tried to do that. They want their universities and the wealth and opportunities of the "Infidel" world, but seem unwilling to adopt the values upon which these things were built (and no I am not talking about slave labor).


Ultimately the Quran is not vague about "The Cause of Allah". It is not a commandment given to one group for one time, but to all who believe in the faith to be carried out for all time. Are there many people who call themselves Muslim but don't really have the desire to obey this "divine" directive? Yes. But now how are we supposed to recognize them from those who are more than willing to put Infidels "to the sword"?


I am not saying we shouldn't be tolerant of our Islamic brothers and sisters, but neither should we forsake vigilance to political theater. In the coming years I fully expect more incidents like those that occurred recently in Ottawa. They are going to be bringing the fight to us more and more in the coming years. Are we ready? Are we watchful? Or are we way too complacent? Are we brainwashed by liberal ideals to think we are untouchable so long as we're welcoming and accommodating, no matter how many bombs we drop "over there"?


I am not saying there's an easy answer here. It appears to me like the course is set and that things are only going to get worse. We need to be prepared for that eventuality. What I might suggest however to the Islamic community is a sort of branching. The formation of a distinct Islamic based religion that is uniquely labeled and which represents strictly a non-violent interpretation of the Westernized Quran. Maybe such a new religion could also be honored through unique symbols and icons. Let our peace-loving Islamic friends take a more recognizable stance. Will this prevent radical Muslims from entering the flock? No, but it will I think be much less appealing for them to try. Those that do would perhaps become unradicalized by their exposure to these fervently life-affirming teachings.


- Chameleon
 
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