October 5, 2022

Who stood with the prophet?

This is the conference I meant to attend, the one where they refunded my ticket after it was sold out. Organizers assured me it was just a problem with the computer system, and I believe that, since they never had an opportunity to look me up.

I still don’t know if I would have gotten in though, because another guy flew here from Florida, ticket in-hand and was denied entry at the door, because they recognized his name.  I don’t think that’s fair, but Damon Rosen is listed as an Islamiphobe on Loonwatch.  So I’m not surprised.  I don’t think I’m on any such list.

I’m still really pissed that I didn’t get to go.  As I am not on the mailing list of the reactionary redneck league, I had no idea that there would be such a massive protest of the event.

YouTube player

See that guy at 8 seconds in? The one who says “It’s THAT religion you need to fear“. Here’s where we saw him the first time, when he was protesting the Reason Rally in Washington DC.

I’ve seen him a number of other times too, all over the country.  How does he manage to travel everywhere, spreading hatred, and protesting reason wherever he goes?  So this time, he was in my neighborhood. Think of the video I could have made out of this!

The Muslims were even catching Hell from the Patriot Guard Riders.  I was IN the Patriot Guard Riders once upon a time! They’re a biker group formed to block the Westboro Baptist Church from ruining soldiers’ funerals.  When did they become a hate group?  So many confrontations for one venue!

Had I been able to get my ticket properly, I would have had notes or recordings of the event, and I would have been able to interview speakers or representatives on my podcast.  I might still be able to do that.  I’ve contacted organizers asking for a representative to be be on the show.  The purpose of which is to talk about the image of Islam in America. So we will talk about Charlie Hebdo, Damon Rosen, Raif Badawi, and probably any other relevant topic my audience suggests between now and then.

Event speakers say that Islam has a bad reputation because of the media.  While I agree that American news is often biased, sensationalist, inaccurate, deceptive, and unreliable, I still do not think they’re to blame for Islam’s ill-repute.  I have my own opinions of course.  I’m an antitheist, and I am not as sympathetic as some other liberals are. But neither am I a bigot.  I hate prejudice more than I hate religion.  So I don’t expect to contribute to the problem.

I don’t yet know who we’ll get on the show, and am still taking suggestions.  We might end up in a fight by the end, but that depends on my guest, and what he or she says.  I’ll be as generous as I can be.  At the very least, I will be fair.  When I interviewed Hamza Tzortzis on the Magic Sandwich Show, he told me that decapitation was the most humane way to deal with apostasy.  As soon as he said that, all civility was lost.  That’s why this time, I’m hoping to talk with a more reasonable person.

 

14 thoughts on “Who stood with the prophet?

  1. How does he manage to travel everywhere, spreading hatred, and protesting reason wherever he goes?

    I imagine that he’s a preacher somewhere, and he gets his sheep to give him money for this sort of thing, so he can run around spreading the fear love of the Lord to the godless.

  2. I know the common moniker prevailing liberal minded expectations in vernacular these days in the social realms of human circles, but it seems things are getting out of hand. Forget specifics underlying tenants amidst the ideological frameworks across religious spectrums: e.g., Islam, Christianity, politics, beliefs or non-beliefs, drug abuse, dating, etc.

    Let’s put all the specific aspects aside for a minute and simply discuss the apparent intellectual disconnect between Islam as a whole and every other religion as a whole. Do we really need to pretend as if every religion is equally stupid and dangerous? That doesn’t feel intellectually honest at all. When I first came to the Internet during the birth of social networking, people were very hard on me.

    They were brutally honest. Nobody cared if I was offended. Nobody regularly tried to offset any criticism of my religion by diluting their dissent, drenched meticulously in the salty lipids of alternating religious currents. Am I wrong? Does it just seem that way? Am I still unconsciously biased in favor of Christianity? Or worse, am I becoming a republican? Am I the only one who feels like this? Should I look into counseling? What’s the deal?

    For whatever reason, I am beyond grateful for the atheist and skeptic communities that helped unplug me from the prison of my origins. It’s because of people just like AronRa who first showed me the value of intellectual honesty. Before leaving Dubland, I was more afraid of doubt than I was in death itself.

    Had nobody challenged me, I would very likely still be trapped in psychological bondage, blinded underneath flashing lights of the Watchtower. There appears to be something different about the skeptic community in regards to Islam, or maybe I’m just racist or something. That’s certainly a much easier explanation than thinking too hard about it, though. But from my perspective, I see a lot of muslims making the same type of mistakes I made under the spell of Dubland.

    I can’t possibly say I know exactly what they’re feeling, but the blood on my own hands yells out to remind my religious friends of Islam of an important lesson escaping the Matrix of Dubland taught me about self assurance. Everybody thinks of themselves as less biased than everybody else.

    Rest assured, us humans are far from alone in this struggle to understand our origins. We all yearn for solid ground; we all want answers. Each and every one of us will at some point find themselves perched precariously atop shifting sands. Yet, we are not solely responsible for the crumbling foundations bequeathed through collective hands of our forefathers.

    Nobody should fool themselves into thinking its either sink or swim. One doesn’t necessarily need to swim, or even know how, to survive in the water. If you remember not to panic, it’s possible to float without overexerting yourself. In my opinion, every single God damned one of us wants it our way.

    I wanted JW theology to be correct. I was really looking forward to the new world and seeing my grandmother again, finally meeting my biological father. Yet, even if a supreme timeless creator does exist, it would always be easier to be wrong about God than to be right. That seems reasonable, right?

    Perhaps something needs to shift the dynamic in regards to our mode of criticism, at least to the extent we remind ourselves why we criticise others in the first place. When I say things in offensive ways, it’s not always intended simply to provoke. I often like drawing attention to things somewhat indirectly in order to make a point about something. In a way, when this is done right, it subtly reminds everybody what it is that makes us human: Namely, something I call entrenched emotional entanglement and the shareholders who love to hate them.

    1. Let’s put all the specific aspects aside for a minute and simply discuss the apparent intellectual disconnect between Islam as a whole and every other religion as a whole. Do we really need to pretend as if every religion is equally stupid and dangerous? That doesn’t feel intellectually honest at all.

      There’s a whole can of worms to open there. It depends upon whether we’re talking about the foundational version of the religion, as represented by a strict reading of the holy book, or the current incarnation of the religion.

      There’s also what sort of danger we’re talking about: direct or indirect. The very concept of faith-based thinking is one of the greatest dangers, in my mind. Once you have someone thinking like that, you can get him to do all sorts of insane things. All religions are equally dangerous, by definition, in that respect.

      Then, there’s the matter of scope and proximity. At present, I think Islam is a greater danger inside of an Islamic theocracy. The present version of Christianity is a greater danger within a supposedly-free, secular society. You might feel a little differently about Christianity if you lived in the US, because it’s currently raping our political system, over here. We have fundamentalists trying to slip things into our texts books, every year, as you can read about on this blog.

      Christianity has been tamed more than Islam has, but it’s become more insidious, in return.

      1. You bring up some good points here about Christianity becoming increasingly insidious, especially in the ways it prostrates itself into various factions of subversion by tactical disinformation. In fact, I’ll even go further than that and say The US Government are masters of propaganda, and Christendom has been at the heart of this unholy alliance for quite some time, — presumably long before it was even a country.

        Although I consider myself opposed to Christianity in general, it is often difficult to divorce yourself completely from your history. I was raised JW. Something about coming up in that environment leaves a lasting impression. I’ll probably always have various subconscious artifacts left over from the Halls of Dubland. I like to remember where I came from, though, because it’s one of the best strategies I have for avoiding the mistakes I already made.

        1. In fact, I’ll even go further than that and say The US Government are masters of propaganda, and Christendom has been at the heart of this unholy alliance for quite some time, — presumably long before it was even a country.

          I don’t know about that. The whole culture has been influenced by Christianity for quite a while, obviously, but the religious extremists didn’t start pissing on the Constitution until fairly recently. It was the 1950’s, McCarthyism, and all of the anti-godless-commie panic that got most of the religious bullshit stuck into government contrivances, which we’re still trying to sue back out. Up until then, the separation of church and state was a little better respected, at least at the state and federal levels.

          1. On this point, part of the reason the US is secular is because of the religious founders, as well as the atheistic/deistic ones. A lot of the founders were Protestant, and they were scared as hell of organized, institutionalized religion. They helped make the Constitution secular because they wanted to make sure they could keep the Catholic church from exerting influence on the government.

        2. I know what you mean about the JW stuff, though. I still have a lot of the character left over from being raised Catholic, even if it’s most of the blasphemous customs that Catholics practice, rather than the dogmatically correct ones. My favorite kind of swearing and profanity are distinctly Catholic.

          I’m probably more aggressively opposed to the Catholic church, since I came out of it, too.

  3. ALL religions are equally stupid, delusional, silly, and ridiculous!!

    BUT… because most people are fairly good, many incarnations of modern religions are NOT equally dangerous in the immediate sense. Most xtians sects are fairly mild in the immediate NOW, even isLame. But where they are extreme in their adherence to their books o’BS, or over the long term they have all shown to be equally bad. Just look at the history of all 3 abrahamic dimwits and the distortions in Buddhism. So yes ALL religions or more accurately ALL DOGMAS are bad.

    But in USA it is the xtians that need slapping down, in the midEast it is isLame, in England both need a good kick in the nuts.

    1. A lot of it depends upon your definition of dangerous, yeah. Most arguments boil down to a matter of definitions, at some point.

    2. ALL religions are equally stupid, delusional, silly, and ridiculous!!

      Oh please, have you even looked into Mormonism? IMHO it’s the popular religion which is the most ridiculous and the most inconsistent with reality – worse than even Scientology.

  4. @Anzwertree

    Someone can correct me if I’m wrong, but Islam and Christianity have done a bit of a role reversal from their respective pasts. Today’s Islamic states were leading the charge in mathematical progress while the church in Europe was busy doing its level best to morph the entire continent into North Korea. Today, Christianity has become Westernized immensely while the Islamic states have rejected their precocious past and regressed.

    Do we really need to pretend as if every religion is equally stupid and dangerous?

    Of course not, but religious people often like to point to things they perceive as worse than the transgressions of their own religion (Catholics LOVE doing this) as if that somehow makes their baggage okay. That’s not an argument. It’s a twisted tu quoque fallacy on steroids.

    1. Of course not, but religious people often like to point to things they perceive as worse than the transgressions of their own religion (Catholics LOVE doing this) as if that somehow makes their baggage okay. That’s not an argument. It’s a twisted tu quoque fallacy on steroids.

      I love the atheist version of this, where it’s somewhat a matter of pride and a bragging-rights competition, over who broke out of the more fucked up childhood brainwashing.

  5. I too am sorry you did not get to go, I think a view from your perspective would have been great.

    Sadly I see big problems there, do not get me wrong, I have a very sour taste in my mouth for theists and find many issues with the Mindset of believers. I see many waving our flag there as a religious symbol, it is not. Further more the same America they claim to love and stand by , is the same America that embraces all and allows the freedom we ALL enjoy, including muslims. The whole idea of “its our country, not theirs” is sickening. Nobody closed the door after these boneheads forebears hit our shores, there is a good chance many attendees are native born Americans.

    Basically I’m saying , we need to protect their rights to freedom of religion in order to expect them to protect our right to freedom FROM relioion.

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