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Egypt Charges Man for Blaspheming Christianity

In a rather unusual move, Egyptian authorities are prosecuting a well-known reactionary Muslim for committing blasphemy — not against Islam, but against Christianity, after he tore up a Bible in front of the American embassy in Cairo. The Saudi Gazette reports:

The case against Ahmed Mohammed Abdullah is a rare example of Egypt’s blasphemy laws — often condemned by rights groups as restrictive of freedom — used against someone who allegedly insulted a religion other than Islam.

Abdullah, also known as Abu Islam, was filmed during a protest outside the embassy two weeks ago as he stood before the crowd and ripped up the holy book…

Contempt toward “heavenly” religions — a term usually taken to include Christianity, Islam, and Judaism — is punishable by up to five years in Egypt. But lawyers and rights groups say the definition of contempt of religion is vague and has been used frequently against critics of Islam only, not other faiths.

This is just as unjust as prosecuting someone for anti-Muslim speech. Blasphemy laws are wrong, period, no matter what religion is being offended or what country it takes place in.

Comments

  1. says

    Blasphemy laws just seem so infantile. It’s be like if we passed a set of laws banning anyone from bad-mouthing the Harry Potter books, or any fantasy books at all, because we might hurt the authors’ feelings.

    We wouldn’t be able to make fun of Star Wars fans because they might get upset and beat people up.

  2. benjohnson says

    “This is just as unjust as prosecuting someone for anti-Muslim speech. Blasphemy laws are wrong, period, no matter what religion is being offended or what country it takes place in.”

    While I agree with this in general, I would also say that the “ungust-ness” of it will not be noticed by the Muslim majority until this sort of law is enacted against them as well as for them.

  3. criticaldragon1177 says

    Ed Brayton,

    I agree with you. I oppose all Blasphemy laws. It goes against the very principal of freedom of speech.

  4. schmeer says

    Jasper,
    I find your lack of faith… disturbing.
    (Are you choking yet? I haven’t quite gotten this force-choke thing down yet.)

  5. says

    One of the things I most appreciate about being an atheist is a complete lack of attachment to symbols. It’s baffling to think of being more than slightly bothered by someone defacing or destroying a copy of something I value. If you bought a copy of Darwin’s Dangerous Idea and burnt it or scribbled images of penises all over it, I’d think you were an idiot, but I wouldn’t be offended. I sure as hell wouldn’t try to pass laws requiring that you be sent to prison for it.

    A picture of my mom? Yeah, I’d think you’re an even bigger idiot, because my mom is a really good person. But again, so long as it’s your picture and not one you stole out of my photo album, I wouldn’t much care.

    Terrence Deacon, in his excellent book The Symbolic Species, theorized that humans are so attached to symbols that they have made symbols of themselves, which is why the thought of death is so painful and afterlife beliefs abound. But he doesn’t– to my mind– properly explain why some people become so attached to symbols that they’re prepared to kill for them, whereas others could hardly give less of a damn.

  6. Michael Heath says

    Wouldn’t it be great if liberal Christians across the world rose up in defense of Ahmed Mohammed Abdullah inalienable right to burn a Bible in the public square? To the point all informed Muslims in the greater region where Egypt is located took notice. What a teachable moment; I hope it isn’t squandered.

  7. says

    I disagree a little. Impartiality is more just than bias, even when enforcing a bad law. It’s more just if all pot smokers are imprisoned than if only poor black ones are, even if you think pot should be legal. Similarly, a law that defends both majority and minority religions is more just than one that defends only the majority religion.

    Plus, of course, we’d probably pass much better laws if all laws had to be enforced completely impartially and without exception.

  8. jnorris says

    Aren’t all those Christians outraged by the Egyptian and Libyan riots at our embassies suppose to be rioting in front of the Egyptian embassy? Isn’t Fox News suppose to lead/report on it?

  9. says

    Contempt toward “heavenly” religions…is punishable by up to five years in Egypt.

    That’s not much of a punishment. They’re already in Egypt.

  10. grumpyoldfart says

    In years to come when Egypt’s Muslims are prosecuting Christians for blasphemy, they will point to this case and say, “See, it’s not a one-sided law, we are fair to everyone.” It’s called forward planning.

  11. Sastra says

    Gretchen #6 wrote:

    But he doesn’t– to my mind– properly explain why some people become so attached to symbols that they’re prepared to kill for them, whereas others could hardly give less of a damn.

    I haven’t read the book yet. I have it, but it sits on my slowly growing Shelf of Shame (books I purchased but am ashamed that I have not read.) It occurs to me though that how attached one gets to symbols might be somehow connected to abstract vs. concrete thinking. The ability to work with abstractions — or, rather, a difficulty in working with abstractions — might easily lend itself to belief in essences and magic. Spiritual realms in which meanings and symbols have real power and real existence rest on a mind making what is abstract, concrete.

    The ability to reason abstractly comes later in our development. I think religion co-opts the simplicity and ease of how we think as children and either fosters it in general, or just in the one area.

    If you burn a flag or a book which represents something, then you have committed damage on both a physical and spiritual level. As above, so below; as below, so above. Basic magical thinking … also known as superstition, supernaturalism, spirituality, or religion.

  12. says

    @Gretchen:

    But he doesn’t– to my mind– properly explain why some people become so attached to symbols that they’re prepared to kill for them, whereas others could hardly give less of a damn.

    Terror Management theorists and an assortment of others would attribute the differences to different levels of death anxiety. Connection with symbols invested with immortal nature are reassuring, according to this view. A perceived attack on immortality symbols would provoke greater aggression in those who experience higher levels of death anxiety, or so the theories go. The aggressive reactions are like a fight response in an encounter with a predator. So at a primitive psychological level, desecration of an immortality symbol or blasphemous attacks on immortality symbols would be experienced as forms of predation among those who invest heavily in the anxiety-allaying functions of these symbols.

    If this is true, we should expect to see aggressive reactions to symbol desecration (or blasphemy) among those who are constitutionally more anxious about mortality, within cultures that promote an under-seige mentality and in places or circumstances that engender a sense of omnipresent threat.

  13. laurentweppe says

    If you bought a copy of Darwin’s Dangerous Idea and burnt it or scribbled images of penises all over it, I’d think you were an idiot, but I wouldn’t be offended

    The real problem -which has nothing to do with blasphemy per se- is that when a muslim bigot in Cairo, or a christian bigot in Florida destroy a religious book, they are not merely expressing they’re lack of love for the book’s content: they are expressing a murderous intent toward the readers of the book: it’s a way to say “I can’t slaughter the people who take this book seriously, so until I have a way to do so, I will destroy the next best thing“.

  14. says

    I disagree a little. Impartiality is more just than bias, even when enforcing a bad law. It’s more just if all pot smokers are imprisoned than if only poor black ones are, even if you think pot should be legal. Similarly, a law that defends both majority and minority religions is more just than one that defends only the majority religion.

    Assuming this isn’t the only time they punish a muslim doing it, I’m inclined to agree. There were pretty serious concerns about the new government in egypt taking minorities seriously, and it’s a little reassuring to see this kind of thing happening in that context.

    I mean, yeah, end the blasphemy law, sure. Preferably not over this too. But while it’s up, don’t just use it on Coptic Christians (or anyone else not in the majority)

  15. abear says

    Muslims blaspheme against Xtianity all the time by denying the Trinity, the virgin birth , and the godhood of Jebus.
    Hopefully, the Egyptian government will act on this outrage by jailing most of its’ citizens and banning the Quran and the Haditha where these offending doctrines are contained. That would go at least some way to healing the rift between the two religions of peace and tolerance.

  16. Gvlgeologist, FCD says

    I too thought of pointing out that Xtians didn’t riot when this happened (probably very few even knew). But I bet the Egyptian response to that would be something like, “Well, of course not, since he was arrested and will be punished.”

    Whereas with our pesky free speech, the idiots that made the movie/burned the Koran, etc. weren’t punished.

  17. says

    Michael Heath,

    Wouldn’t it be great if liberal Christians across the world rose up in defense of Ahmed Mohammed Abdullah inalienable right to burn a Bible in the public square? To the point all informed Muslims in the greater region where Egypt is located took notice. What a teachable moment; I hope it isn’t squandered.

    Liberal Christians? I am a conservative Christian and I will state publicly that I don’t care what he does with a bible. He can burn it, eat it, use in for toilet paper. It is his right. Not having a spokesman or a pope there is nothing else we can do except what I just did: state that what he does is his business.

    laurentweppe,

    they are expressing a murderous intent toward the readers of the book: it’s a way to say “I can’t slaughter the people who take this book seriously, so until I have a way to do so, I will destroy the next best thing“.

    You know this how? You can read minds?

  18. cry4turtles says

    What if there were a pope or spokesperson (FTFY) there? Can’t you just see the fur a-flyin’!

  19. abb3w says

    It’s a bad law. However, if the resulting harms are impartially directed, it seems more likely to encourage making a better law.

  20. Reginald Selkirk says

    Blasphemy laws are wrong, period, no matter what religion is being offended or what country it takes place in.

    I disagree with you and criticaldragon1177. Blasphemy is a form of defamation, and most places already have laws against defamation.
    .
    However, I think that no third party charges should be allowed. Any deity who believes He/She/It/They have been blasphemed should be allowed to show up in person to file charges.

  21. Michael Heath says

    me earlier:

    Wouldn’t it be great if liberal Christians across the world rose up in defense of Ahmed Mohammed Abdullah inalienable right to burn a Bible in the public square? To the point all informed Muslims in the greater region where Egypt is located took notice. What a teachable moment; I hope it isn’t squandered.

    heddle writes:

    Liberal Christians? I am a conservative Christian and I will state publicly that I don’t care what he does with a bible. He can burn it, eat it, use in for toilet paper. It is his right. Not having a spokesman or a pope there is nothing else we can do except what I just did: state that what he does is his business.

    I’m using the term ‘conservative’ and ‘liberal’ in the political sense. Conservative Christians currently hate Muslims most passionately; to the point they’re frequently make the absurd claim the current administration favors Muslims over Christians. So I have zero confidence they’d ever join such a cause, even if Muslims didn’t happen to be one of their most favored boogeymen of the moment.

    In addition my suggestion goes well beyond merely not caring, but instead hoping liberal Christians would make a point as Christians that they celebrate speech rights, even the right non-Christian religionists burning the Bible. It would resonate far more than a bunch of secularists like myself doing this. And my hope has some basis given the laudable history of liberal Christians defending our civil rights.

  22. says

    Michael Heath,

    but instead hoping liberal Christians would make a point as Christians that they celebrate speech rights, even the right non-Christian religionists burning the Bible. It would resonate far more than a bunch of secularists like myself doing this.

    How do you expect them to do that? You seem to want some sort of grand gesture. But their is no mechanism for a grand gesture. Apart from individuals answering when asked, or commenting on blogs (what else can they do?) the primary statement is from silence: we are not rioting or issuing fatwahs.

    BTW, what do you want from atheists opposing Sam Harris’s views on racial profiling, torture, or eastern mysticism? Do you want a grand gesture?

  23. says

    Michael Heath,

    Conservative Christians currently hate Muslims most passionately; to the point they’re frequently make the absurd claim the current administration favors Muslims over Christians.

    Some do. Some atheists (you?) hate Christians. It’s a big world. Some conservative Christians do not hate Muslims. I don’t. None that I know of personally (and I’m sure I know more than you) have ever expressed in my presence a hatred toward Muslims–unless you define hatred as saying Mohammed was a false prophet. None that I know of make the absurd claim that the current administration favors Muslims over Christians. Your bigoted generalization is falsified even if I am the only conservative Christian who does not fit your stereotype. Though I’m far from the only one.

  24. iangould says

    Here’s the thing: blaphemy laws in the countries that still aply them are intended to prevent communal violence, as such, they’re used as much or more against members of the dominant relgioon who seek to incite violence against religious minorities as they are against critics of the dominant religion.

    Similarly apostasy laws are frequently applied to prevent the forced conversion of members of religious minorities ot the dominant local relgion.

  25. Michael Heath says

    Me earlier:

    . . . hoping liberal Christians would make a point as Christians that they celebrate speech rights, even the right non-Christian religionists burning the Bible. It would resonate far more than a bunch of secularists like myself doing this.

    heddle responds:

    How do you expect them to do that? You seem to want some sort of grand gesture. But their is no mechanism for a grand gesture.

    Sure there is. There are inter-faith organizations whose leaders could champion and coordinate a response. They could also do a petition like the ones change.org produces. They could do a grass roots video series like the “It Gets Better” video series. They could coordinate something through AU or even the UN.

    I’m not expecting all liberal Christians to band together, I instead merely hope some number would organize a response that reverberates. I realizes it’s a bit of a pipe dream, though not the extent it would be if I hoped conservative Christians would help, they are the sole large group generating the hatred in this country that is directed towards Muslims (and gays for that matter as well).

    heddle writes to me:

    Some conservative Christians do not hate Muslims. I don’t.

    I never argued otherwise, I was describing what the general population of conservative Christians in the public square are doing, which is claiming that Obama: isn’t one of us (birtherism is really high among conservative Christians), that he’s a Muslim instead of what he clearly is – a Christian, and his administration is favoring Muslims at the expense of Christians. Here’s a popular video amongst conservative Christians, I’ve received this several times via email where it’s now over 8 million views: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tCAffMSWSzY . The last Pew poll in July showed 34% of conservative Republicans think the president is a Muslim http://goo.gl/TPYMr. I think it’s safe to assume that number is significantly higher when we parse out the percentage of conservative Christian Republicans given they are the ones driving this belief in the public square, like the people Ed blogs about here on a weekly basis.

    heddle writes to me:

    None that I know of personally (and I’m sure I know more than you) have ever expressed in my presence a hatred toward Muslims–unless you define hatred as saying Mohammed was a false prophet. None that I know of make the absurd claim that the current administration favors Muslims over Christians. Your bigoted generalization is falsified even if I am the only conservative Christian who does not fit your stereotype. Though I’m far from the only one.

    You’re smart enough to know you can’t possibly measure how many I conservative Christians I know vs. how many you know. So why make the claim? It’s irrelevant anyway, I’m using what’s moving the national debate as my premises, not my own personal observations as you repeatedly assert as if they’re representative.

    One thing befuddles me. You post here regularly, yet you comment as if neither Ed or anyone doesn’t regularly blog or report about is moving conservative Christians in the public square. It’s one of the biggest stories of our generation and yet when I bring up the topic I’m a bigot in your eyes. It’s as I’m some lone voice in the wilderness describing some alternative reality when all I’m doing is discussing what we see in the public square and based on the reports I read.

  26. dingojack says

    laurentweppe (#14) – In short:
    Wherever they burn books, in the end will also burn human beings.” – Heinrich Heine
    Right?
    Dingo

  27. says

    Michael Heath,

    Yes, I do suspect you are a bigot when it comes to Christians. Your describing me, at times, as an “outlier” because I don’t fit your stereotype is just a variant of “you’re a credit to your race.” And I suspect my knowing more conservative Christians than you is not going out on a limb.

    The bottom line is that “Christians” as a group are not responsible for making a statement about free speech that is loud enough and dramatic enough for your satisfaction.

    Applying your same logic I’d have to demand that atheists (in some arena other than our tiny part of the world, the blogosphere) make some publicized, joint statement that Bill Maher is a moron when it comes to science. Because if they don’t, then it is reasonable of me to ascribe to atheists in general his germ-theory-denying anti-vax pseudo-scientific woo. After all, he was friggin’ atheist of the year and he has a huge following–it is as reasonable for me to appoint him as your spokesman as it is for you to appoint, say, John Hagee (or pick someone) as mine.

  28. dingojack says

    SCIENTIST: … and then there was this data point, but because it’s σ was +6.4 we called an outlier…
    HEDDLE: Ooh you bigot!
    @@
    :) Dingo

  29. Michael Heath says

    heddle writes:

    The bottom line is that “Christians” as a group are not responsible for making a statement about free speech that is loud enough and dramatic enough for your satisfaction.

    What a misrepresentation of what I write. I rarely even refer to Christians as a whole. You wish I were a bigot because it would justify your denying the actual nature of conservative Christians, which is that they’re predominately right wing authoritarians who are the primary group advocating bigotry and hatred towards gays and Muslims in this country. I’ve done my homework on this subject, you just deny it.

    heddle to me:

    Applying your same logic I’d have to demand that atheists (in some arena other than our tiny part of the world, the blogosphere) make some publicized, joint statement that Bill Maher is a moron when it comes to science.

    I think that would be awesome. I hope for the same for the very same reasons. I’m not sure why you find it insulting for me to hope liberal Christians speak out in some organized fashion on this issue. My hope here had nothing at all to do with religion, but instead the effectiveness of victims speaking out on behalf of human rights; because it resonates. Contrary to your claiming I’m a bigot, I advocated such precisely because they’re both Christians and that population has earned the respect it’s garnered for defending speech, including from me as I’ve repeatedly noted in this forum.

    Why do you avoid my question on why you target me for the evidence-less claim of bigotry when all I do is report what anyone even semi-informed on the religious right has long-observed? Why isn’t Ed a bigot? His continual blogs and political activism in meat-world condemning and ridiculing this group is far more effective than my efforts. Are Religious Right Watch bigots? Is it OK to report raw data and provide illustrations of bad behavior, but bigoted to make conclusions on that data representative of what the data reveals?

  30. says

    Michael Heath,

    Why isn’t Ed a bigot?

    Because Ed does not routine write careless blanket generalizations like

    Conservative Christians currently hate Muslims most passionately

    I have never seen Ed write anything that sloppy. Ever. With you it is routine.

    Furthermore, unlike you, a non-negligible fraction of what Ed writes does not end up referring to Sarah Palin and then by explicit extension “conservative Christians” and in many instances our infinite evil.

  31. Michael Heath says

    So heddle,

    Do you think the positions Sarah Palin takes on are not representative of the bulk of conservative Christian voters? Where again, I’m using the term ‘conservative’ in the political sense.

    Why do voting patterns, surveys, Republican campaign ads, and conservative media target conservative Christians as I describe them if they don’t take on the positions I note? Fox has had record breaking viewership and profits since they’ve started to promote hatred towards Muslims (which really started to amp up on the Spring of 2008).

    Do you disagree with what science has found to date regarding the psychology of conservative Christians and how they act out? Like what Chris Mooney collects and reports in The Republican Brain; which are studies by scientists mostly building upon the findings of Bob Altemeyer. Do you claim conservative Christians are not mostly RWAs nor developing their children to be RWAs; in spite of the evidence?

    I remain comfortable with my observation that conservative Christians acting in the public square hate Muslims though some of the polling could be revealing racism towards blacks expressed in the guise of bigotry towards Muslims. E.g., the incredibly high rate of Republicans who believed the president wasn’t born here, that he wasn’t one of us, that he was a Muslim which was over 50% in the GOP for while and even higher in the Bible Belt states.

    Why didn’t you respond to my assertion that the only group out there that effectively enables bigotry towards gays, both legally and culturally, is conservative Christians? Do you concede they hate gays to the point they want them back in the closet with no equal rights or not? If not, who stands between gays and equal rights and societal acceptance for them and their children, if not conservative Christians? I’m fully cognizant that elderly voters along with black and Hispanic Christians vote against equal rights for gays, my question is directly related to the bulk of voters and the group most actively promoting bigotry towards gays. Do you think it’s OK to hate gays as conservative Christians do, which is why you avoid that topic and seem offended by their growing hatred of Muslims? I ask because I find conservative Christian hatred of gay people far more immoral than their hatred of Muslims, yet you seem offended by pointing out their hatred of Muslims while avoiding their hatred of gays.

    Right now I’m surmising you must conclude that the conservative Christians Ed reports are on are either ‘no true Christian’ or they exist within some tiny minority and do not represent conservative Christian voters. In spite of the evidence which explains another story.

    Have you ever studied the religious right? Ever read any books on the subject? Your denial of what has been going on in the public square since the 1970s is stunning.

    Heddle, how do you morally justify belonging to a church which won’t marry gays? I understand churches should have legal right to practice bigotry towards gay people (though I don’t think they should get tax breaks when doing so); but how you do justify promoting a religion and practicing a faith that subjugates gays to being less than equal to you or I when it comes to our right to marry and raise a family? Are you sticking with your religion because you hope to reform your fellow believers to accept gay couples and families?

    Re my supposed sloppiness vs. Ed. I’m cognizant that Ed likes to blog about individuals without doing the heavy lifting of putting analyses together which explains the behavior of populations. His illustrative examples takes plenty of time on their own and I’m grateful for his work. However these people Ed blogs about predominately do not exist in some outlier population you seem to hope they do. And there is an enormous volume of population studies which are consistent with what I note in this forum; Andrew Sullivan is one blogger that does an excellent job of pointing to those empirical findings. While some of those Ed reports on are off the deep end and not representative of conservative Christians, e.g., Victoria Jackson, Ray Comfort being two; people like Rick Warren, Jerry Boynkin (popular with homeschoolers), James Dobson, Pat Robertson, Sarah Palin, Michelle Bachmann, and Rick Santorum are popular with tens of millions of conservative Christians because of what I report here.

  32. says

    Michael Heath,

    Why didn’t you respond to my assertion that the only group out there that effectively enables bigotry towards gays, both legally and culturally, is conservative Christians? Do you concede they hate gays to the point they want them back in the closet with no equal rights or not?

    Of course I do not concede that–it is manifestly false. Because I know too many theologically conservative Christians such as myself who will say, if anyone should ask, that gays and lesbians and anyone else should enjoy the same human rights as we do.

    And you’ll go on pretending that we don’t exist, or I am a 5 sigma outlier, or if we don’t drop everything and write op-eds for the Times then it doesn’t count. Or claim “oh, what I really mean by ‘conservative Christians’ when I make a sweeping, disparaging generalization about ‘conservative Christians’ is actually a subset along the line: ‘politically conservative Christians in the public square who are followers of Sarah Palin and are slavishly devoted to Israel.’ And you should know that!”

  33. Michael Heath says

    me earlier:

    Why didn’t you respond to my assertion that the only group out there that effectively enables bigotry towards gays, both legally and culturally, is conservative Christians? Do you concede they hate gays to the point they want them back in the closet with no equal rights or not?

    heddle writes:

    Of course I do not concede that–it is manifestly false. Because I know too many theologically conservative Christians such as myself who will say, if anyone should ask, that gays and lesbians and anyone else should enjoy the same human rights as we do.

    So you personally claim to know some people, therefore the fact, the reality, that gays do not have equal rights and continue to be reviled by tens of millions of people is a mirage? You’re really wedded to this argument that if you don’t research a population’s actual attributes as I do prior to expounding, it must not be true and anyone that states otherwise must be a bigot. In spite of the fact I’m criticizing people who demonstrate bigotry, as if that makes me a bigot. That is of course the Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity argument you’re using here. Or if you instead concede the institutional and cultural bigotry of gays continues, which group(s) is it that denies gays their rights and seeks to keep them in the closet if not conservative Christians?

    Can a gay couple get married in your church? Can a gay married couple become members of your church? Can women even preach to men in your church? Can women teach Sunday School to adult males? Could a single gay man who is out of the closet become your church’s head pastor if he or God really forbid, she, excelled in all other areas; or is his or her being an unrepentant gay an automatic disqualifier? I honestly don’t know the answers with the exception of the first two where I suspect your church is bigoted towards gays.

  34. says

    Michael Heath,

    You’re really wedded to this argument that if you don’t research a population’s actual attributes as I do prior to expounding, it must not be true and anyone that states otherwise must be a bigot.

    Um no. I have no argument with anyone who is careful or even mostly careful with the language. You are not. You are utterly careless. You make blanket generalizations, just like other bigots. “Conservative Christians blindly support Israel” is the same kind of statement as “Gay men are hopelessly and unremittingly promiscuous.”

    Can a gay couple get married in your church? Can a gay married couple become members of your church? Can women even preach to men in your church? Can women teach Sunday School to adult males? Could a single gay man who is out of the closet become your church’s head pastor if he or God really forbid, she, excelled in all other areas; or is his or her being an unrepentant gay an automatic disqualifier? I honestly don’t know the answers with the exception of the first two where I suspect your church is bigoted towards gays.

    All irrelevant. I support discrimination by religious entities on the basis of their doctrine. Gays do not have a right to get married in any specific church, or women preach in any specific church. Atheists do not have a right to be baptized in a specific church while simultaneously denying the existence of god. I understand that I don’t have a “right” to get married in a Roman Catholic church, a mosque, a synagogue, a Greek orthodox church, a wiccan temple, etc. Or even John Hagee’s Baptist church should he choose not to preside over my wedding because I deny a young earth and the doctrine of the Rapture.

    The only universal is that we all have (or should have) the right to get married by the state. (*)

    If you are willing to qualify you statement: it indeed appears that many conservative Christians believe that gays have or should have the right to get married and all other civil rights pertaining to education, health care, employment, military service, etc. — but they are still evil bastards because they believe that their church can discriminate based on doctrine in matters of whom they hire to preach, teach sunday school or marry — well then I would not have a basis to complain.

    But you won’t. because you’re a bigot. So you’ll continue to make the same unqualified generalizations.

    There is a reason that I only ever call you a bigot. Because of the regular commenters (at least the ones I read) you are the only one who routinely champions such grotesque stereotypes without even a pretense of qualification.

    —————–
    * I would not be opposed to a law that said only the state can officiate a wedding–and religious ceremonies have no legal bearing.

  35. Michael Heath says

    Me earlier:

    Can a gay couple get married in your church? Can a gay married couple become members of your church? Can women even preach to men in your church? Can women teach Sunday School to adult males? Could a single gay man who is out of the closet become your church’s head pastor if he or God really forbid, she, excelled in all other areas; or is his or her being an unrepentant gay an automatic disqualifier? I honestly don’t know the answers with the exception of the first two where I suspect your church is bigoted towards gays.

    heddle responds:

    All irrelevant. I support discrimination by religious entities on the basis of their doctrine. Gays do not have a right to get married in any specific church, or women preach in any specific church.

    heddle please answer the question, you entirely missed my point of reference, which had nothing to do with legal rights and questions. My questions are not at all irrelevant when it comes to whether you personally are a bigot towards gays and women.

    I wasn’t asking these questions to understand whether you’d support legally protecting their rights, but instead whether you personally promote gays and women being treated as equal humans or if you belong to an organization which discriminates against gays and women. I’ve already noted the government doesn’t have any delegated powers to stop such discriminations in organizations like churches though I don’t think they should get tax breaks. This is about whether you are a bigot or not heddle. I do think one can belong to a bigoted organization like a biblically inerrantist church denomination, but only if they’re actively engaged in reform to end such bigotries. So again heddle:

    Can a gay couple get married in your church? Can a gay married couple become members of your church? Can women even preach to men in your church? Can women teach Sunday School to adult males? Could a single gay man who is out of the closet become your church’s head pastor if he or God really forbid, she, excelled in all other areas; or is his or her being an unrepentant gay an automatic disqualifier? I honestly don’t know the answers with the exception of the first two where I suspect your church is bigoted towards gays.

    Your continued accusation I’m a bigot for my noting the source and justification for bigotry and who the bigots are; all while you apparently belong to a bigoted church while having taking no individual initiatives to work to end such bigotries . . . Well that doesn’t resonate much as a quality argument, but instead demonstrates projection on your part. I think in order to avoid the fact you’re a bigot, so you project on that someone like me with no qualms on pointing out who the bigots are and why they’re bigots.

    Now my premises in the previous paragraph might be wrong here which is exactly why I ask the questions you avoid. Your church might be an incredibly rare one, one which I’ve never encountered within those who argue for biblical inerrancy, who treat gays and women as equal human beings. Or I may still be wrong because you may be actively seeking reform in your church to end such bigotry. But I can’t know that unless you answer the questions I continue to ask. My current suspicion here is based merely on the fact that nearly all conservative Christians who are biblically inerranists are bigots towards gays and women precisely because they belong to bigoted organizations that promotes bigotry of gays and women in their church, with no appetite to end their bigotry.

    Re your continued refusal to opine on how gays are denied their humanity in the public square if not by the numbers of conservative Christians and their arguments which attempt to justify such bigotry: Why do you continue to avoid answering my repeated questions on if not conservative Christians who foster this reality, then who? Who are these sub-populations which vote for bigotry in the tens of millions, show up in the polling data, and consume media such as Fox News? Why do Republican politicians and their media promote bigotry targeted towards conservative Christians if conservative Christians aren’t bigots?

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