William M. Briggs

Statistician to the Stars!

The Inevitable Red Skins Name Controversy Post

An early Cleveland tail-gating.

An early tail-gating.

Readers have been patiently waiting for the WMBriggs.com take on the Washington Redskins1 controversy, the gist of which is this: Lefties don’t like the name because they feel only they are allowed to worship skin color—generally to say it doesn’t matter at all and to insist it be tracked (and rewarded or punished) everywhere and always—while the Righties, who don’t give a damn about skin color but love tradition, wish the Lefties would take a long walk off a short dock.

Although it’s much been in the news, the Red Skins are only the tip of the political-correctness-berg. You probably weren’t aware, but there are many other teams targeted by the Outrage Police, even in baseball, the only sport of interest worth following in these once United States.

I did some research and was shocked at the breadth of the naming scandal. What follows is a brief summary of the mental agony which awaits us once these become more publicly known.

  1. Cleveland Indians: racist. The Mahatma Gandhi Appreciation Society (Ohio branch) insists the name does not accord with the non-violent philosophy of its idol after a fan was heard in the stadium shouting, “Kill ’em!” The group plans a stadium sit-in, and say they will eat only raw rice and the dandelions harvested from the parking lot until the name is changed.
  2. Minnesota Twins: homophobic. GLAAD issued a press release intended to jerk tears from readers, in which they groan that single-sex couples can’t have babies, twins or otherwise, and thus feel the name is an insensitive and constant reminder of their constituents’ disability. They suggested the new name The Inclusives.
  3. Minnesota Vikings: racist. The North-American Danes and Nordics (NADA) Knitting Club are incensed over the stereotyping of their ancestry, and point out that many Vikings did not cut open their victims’ chests and splay out their lungs jokingly as wings, and that many Vikings were gentle farmers.
  4. Detroit Tigers: speciest. PETA is angry that animals’ images are being used without their consent and are suing on their behalf, asking for three million dollars and a year’s supply of goats (to feed the tigers). Detroit is seen as a test case, which the teams from the Orioles to the Cubs are watching closely.
  5. Kansas City Royals: anti-democratic. The Howard Zinn fan club of Boulder, Colorado voted to have a vote to vote on the motion to publicize their discontent and announce that since it is 2014 there is no place for royalist thought anywhere in the world.
  6. Los Angeles Angels: theocratic. The American Atheists and Freedom From Religion Foundation joined forces to sue, claiming that since the mayor of that city once threw out a first pitch, there was an unconscionable mixing of state and religion. The parallel suit against the St Louis Cardinals was subsequently dropped after a Bright attended one of the games and realized their mistake.
  7. Texas Rangers: racist. La Raza are organizing a march to the stadium. Participants will carry posters of Chuck Norris’s Lone Wolf McQuade with red Xs painted over them. Special badges to identify marchers will be handed out, though it is expected these will be refused.
  8. Milwaukee Brewers: corrupting influence Mothers Against Drunk Driving are planning a special bake sale on the state capitol steps featuring snacks all under 100 calories.
  9. Pittsburgh Pirates: sexist. The Collation of Women’s Studies Departments expressed “outrage” that the very symbol of misogyny and rape culture should be praised. They said it was “one more indication of the cruel patriarchal tyranny under which we live”. The group plans a rally at the south side Dunkin’ Donuts to “raise awareness” and to cash in on their coupons for limited-time Pumpkin Delite donuts.
  10. San Francisco Giants: sizeist. The San Francisco City Council realized they were falling behind in the latest progressive craze and seized on the opportunity to make themselves feel superior to ordinary citizens. Realizing they had no legal merit to close the Giants’ stadium, one council member introduced a proposal to ban baseballs within city limits, “for the safety of the children.”

———————————————————————————–

1A professional franchise organized to play “football”, a game in which about four to five dozen men sit in booths far away from a field, directing another set of men to do very little and in short bursts, accompanied by a massive number of commercials.

64 Comments

  1. Whoa, there. I did not come from a group of “gentle farmers”. Please don’t make me drive out and illustrate this. (Just kidding, probably….) 🙂

    The only solution here is to remove all designations. We cannot use names as they are offensive, we can’t use numbers because some are larger than others, we can’t use colors, we can’t use the alphabet because some letters are further to the front than others. So, we can have two teams wearing identical uniforms with no team names competing against each other, without keeping score, because that is unfair too. I guess the comedic sports broadcasters trying to follow play-by-play might be worth it, but for now, my best advice is to just shut it all down Ayn Rand style and let everyone find out what it’s like to live in a world with
    “no offensive names”. I can’t wait for us to remove all the business names, school names, even people’s names (statistics show some names are more advantageous than others—so no more names). Those great ideas just keep coming and coming.

  2. If the name Redskins is racist (and meant out of hate to denigrate someone), why would a team choose it to represent themselves?

    “Oh hey everyone, since we all agree that we totally hate native americans, we should name a team that we want to be successful the Redskins! That way, when we cheer for the Redskins, everyone will really know that we hate them, like, so much.”

  3. The most absurd example of PC I’ve seen is that of a recruitment firm being told they can’t advertise for reliable workers because that would be discriminating against unreliable people.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/7079231/Advert-for-reliable-workers-banned-as-discrimination-by-Jobcentre-Plus.html

  4. Your first paragraph makes the key point. The lefties have too much of an inclination to make trouble and the righties are too civilized to make them shut up.

  5. Has anyone noticed that the NFL Redskins name controversy only came to a head AFTER the team started winning a lot?

    62 U.S. High School’s have teams named “Redskins” by the way: http://cnsmaryland.org/interactives/other-redskins/ There was no issues with those…until…the contrived hullaballoo about the NFL team made national news.

    The hyper-sensitivity regarding names appears to have taken off around 1979 when “they” started giving male names to hurricanes (“himmicanes”?) in a willful anti-chauvinistic gesture.

    Back in the 70s hippie-types were called “Freaks” and police “Pigs”; it was routine. The terms were/are unflattering, derisive, even intentionally hostile & provocative…but people back then were psychologically tougher, unlike modern-day citizens who’ve been wimpified by neurotic liberal indoctrination.

    Back then people the Freaks and Pigs had better things to do than feel sorry for themselves over labels; so when they had a confrontation they created an annual tradition:

    The annual Freaks vs. Pigs football game.

    “Freaks” and “Pigs” — the actual team names for several years running. I recall at least one year where the Freaks had a jersey & helmet logo much like the Jesus-like dude portrayed on Zig Zag rolling paper & the police had a cartoon pig for their logo. Nobody made any fuss about that. Back then. If anyone can find any photos of those creative logos please post’m.

    See, for example: http://www.taoslandandfilm.com/independent-films/Pigs-vs-Freaks-documentary or http://lansingpolicehistory.org/history/bull.htm or http://www.organissimo.org/forum/index.php?/topic/915-pigs-vs-freaks/
    This even inspired a movie: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0087834/

    Imagine, today, some college kids challenging local police to include calling them “pigs” … it would be a surprise if arrests & lawyers weren’t the order of the day because, today, the in-thing to do is find some clever means of feeling slighted, insulted, maligned … and sue someone over it. In the U.S., if you’re liberal, the goal is to be as much of a sissy as possible.

  6. Lefties don’t like the name because they feel only they are allowed to worship skin color…

    Are you serious? Of course, you are just kidding.

  7. Ye Olde Statisician

    September 17, 2014 at 11:08 am

    My high school still proudly calls their team “the Crusaders.”

  8. Gary, are you saying Mr. Briggs shuts up by writing this post?

  9. Briggs,

    Not all tradition is much loved by religious conservatives. Surely you don’t pine for the days of slavery, or anti-miscegenation laws? While you have little good to say about sexual immorality, as you define it, I doubt you would support the Levitican punishments for the acts proscribed therein. I’ll bet anyone here a Benjamin that you’ll not be lobbying in this space for overturing women’s right to vote. Or even liberals’ right to vote … though I might only bet a fiver on that one.

    Speaking of, do true liberals float, while true conservatives sink? We wouldn’t want to extend that long walk off a short pier by actually pushing them in as a test of their heretical political views would we? At the very least, think of all the genuine conservatives who might drown by so doing!

    Traditions change, and you recognize that as a good thing … but perhaps mostly when it doesn’t change on your watch? That Max Planck quote you posted a few days ago speaks to more than just scientific triumphs you know.

    Some liberals are silly of course, and I myself sometimes fantasize about cladding them in concrete shoes and pushing them off Berkeley Pier. Who knows, maybe I could incite a stampede and watch them run off the end of it like lemmings? Fits the stereotype, doesn’t it? All I’d need is a convincing rubber baby whale, a few gallons of fake blood, and a boat from which I could hurl some harpoons.

    Personally I think that affirmative action programs have outlived their usefulness, and serve more to perpetuate racism than not. When the U. of Cal. Board of Regents nixed admission quotas in favor of a strictly color-blind merit-based system a few years back, I celebrated. Predictably, nobody was more outraged than Cal admissions staffers. To this day, they’re openly attempting to subvert it since actually overturning the policy has proved a non-starter. Irony being that the fastest growing demographic on campus is Asian kids — which is a cultural phenomenon, not genetic. Yet, in at-large American society, Asians a minority.

    Is it that blacks and Hispanics are more stigmatized than Asians? Or is it that they have a culture of persecution, laziness and rebellion? Do they simply know that by appealing to white liberal guilt (or white conservative fears of lawsuits) that they can game the system?

    It’s not monolithic. And I’ve got anecdotes of all three mechanisms which indicate some mix of them being in play. What the ratios are and how real and prevalent the impacts are is difficult to tell. As you often point out, many social science studies are poorly executed and politically motivated. But it’s complex stuff, and even a well-done study will only ever approximate the myriads of actual societal interactions.

    Not that we’d easily give up our prejudices even if most such studies were impeccably performed. And we all like to play Outrage Cop. Righteous anger feels too damn good.

  10. Hey Brandon, I’d support overturning women’s right to vote (with the exception of a favored few like my wife, Sheri, Sarah Palin, etc…)

  11. Brandon, what I’d really support is a political science/history test to qualify for voting, to be made up and administered by Hillsdale College.

  12. Bob—Thanks for the exception. To be honest, there are days I would give up the right to vote if I thought it would help fix the mess in politics. I’m not really a fan of my own gender much of the time. I’d certainly support your idea of testing before voting. Heinlien I believe advocated in some of his novels the idea that only property owners should be allowed to vote. There’s some merit to that idea, also.

  13. RE: “Heinlien I believe advocated in some of his novels the idea that only property owners should be allowed to vote.”

    Why consult a sci-fi writer???

    In the U.S., early on, only white male property owners were allowed to vote (and, early on, the right to vote was a civic duty that was not optional–one could be prosecuted for not voting…though some groups, such as Catholics, were prohibited from voting at all by some states). After the Constitution was adopted each state had its specific criteria, which over time was diluted in inconsistent ways (e.g., white males could vote regardless of property while others could not…) .

    See: http://www.gilderlehrman.org/history-by-era/government-and-civics/essays/winning-vote-history-voting-rights
    and http://www.kqed.org/assets/pdf/education/digitalmedia/us-voting-rights-timeline.pdf
    and http://aolanswers.com/questions/founding_fathers_wanted_qualified_1868172757412

  14. JH,
    No, Briggs just scolds. He’s not into thought-policing by force. It’s the good guy white hat, you see.

  15. RE Gary — “Briggs…the…white hat…”

    See & read about the hat [& more] at: http://wmbriggs.com/blog/?p=3974

  16. Ken: I wasn’t “consulting” a scifi writer. I was merely relating an idea. I can easily Google voting rights in the US and learn all that the vast internet contains on the subject. I would have done so if that was my goal—to discuss past voting rquirements in the USA. It’s nice you have such a thorough understanding and knowledge of history and are willing to share. Since I lack this, I am left with “consulting” science fiction writers and apparently annoying you.

  17. Brandon,

    Perhaps a few Christians or Jews use Leviticus as guide for action or law whereas many Muslims see the Koran and the Hadith as vital to guiding their actions. But I find the rest of your post agreeable.

    Guess I should check my privilege at the door.

  18. BG,
    Conservatives know that liberals are crazy and giving a liberal a ballot is as dangerous as giving Adam Lanza an AR-15. For reasons of public safety, I think that liberals should have to pay a registration fee and take a test befor being allowed to vote. We could call it the poll tax and the literacy test.

  19. Sheri,

    I believe the Heinlein work you are referring to is “Starship Troopers”. The concept he set forth there was that only citizens could vote, and one could only become a citizen via “Federal Service” — i.e. military service. Here’s the relevant quote:

    Under our system every voter and officeholder is a man who has demonstrated through voluntary and difficult service that he places the welfare of the group ahead of personal advantage.

    Here are a few other select fragments which flesh out the thesis:

    Citizenship is an attitude, a state of mind, an emotional conviction that the whole is greater than the part…and that the part should be humbly proud to sacrifice itself that the whole may live.

    Liberty is never unalienable; it must be redeemed regularly with the blood of patriots or it always vanishes. Of all the so-called natural human rights that have ever been invented, liberty is least likely to be cheap and is never free of cost.

    When you vote, you are exercising political authority, you’re using force. And force, my friends, is violence. The supreme authority from which all other authorities are derived.

    Violence, naked force, has settled more issues in history than has any other factor.

    That last one is my favorite because it is so very true. The one on liberty is provocative as well. I enjoy reading our Declaration of Independence, but I always choke on a little on this famous line:

    We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

    I disagree with Jefferson. I hold these truths to be self-evident: rights are alienable, and not all (wo)men are created equal. Heinlein really put a weed up many liberals’ posteriors for the book being so militaristic … and I’m sure more than one commentator has called the book fascist. I’m not that sort of liberal, and I get a different message from the book — which is, “WAKE UP and deal with reality.”

    There are more extended relevant quotes here: http://dd-b.net/dd-b/misc/strooper-federal-service.html

    You’ll note that Federal Service is voluntary … there was no conscription. And I think the passage about the gummint getting more volunteers than they actually wanted is quite interesting.

    This got long. I’ll end simply stating my opinion that property ownership as a requirement to vote is a Bad Idea. Poly-sci/history testing makes a little more sense, but as Bob has alluded to with his delightful crack about Hillsdale College, that could get controversial in a big hurry.

  20. Bob, I’ll see your Sarah Palin with Hillary Clinton and raise you one Elizabeth Warren. If you call with Michele Bachmann, I might have to fold.

  21. Brandon: Yes, it was Starship Troopers, made into arguably the worst scifi movie since the theater version of Dune. The book was militaristic, the movie just full of gore and naked women (okay, it was in the shower…..).

    Okay, skip owning property, skip a test. Go to a straight tax, on everyone, corporations included, and then anyone getting government aid cannot vote. Also, congress cannot vote itself a raise, the people have to. Then we don’t have the people getting the handouts voting in the handouts. We could go whole hog (pun intended) and cut out all pork barrel spending, and no combining bills. Everyone has to have read legislation and pass a test before they can vote on the bill. Sure, I know we won’t go there, ever. But before the takers outnumber the takes and system collapses unpleasantly, we maybe should consider that a rational solution is better than just waiting for the inevitable. (i’m not hopeful on that. I do remember enough history to know that rarely if ever happens.)

  22. Brandon: I’ll throw in my not voting if we just avoid all those PMS liberal crazy women voting. 🙂

  23. Ray,

    Conservatives and liberals both know the other side is crazy … but here’s the key … the ones who yell loudest tend to drown out the sane ones. The winner take all style of radical idealogical politics will come to No Good if either party figures out a way to settle their widely publicized internal spats and take commanding control of all three bodies of the legislature. The current gridlock isn’t great, but it does have the benefit of providing some necessary balance.

  24. Ye Olde Statisician

    September 17, 2014 at 3:25 pm

    Heinlein’s novel Starship Troopers included a political system in which only veterans of a volunteer Federal Service possessed the franchise. It was a response in a way to Kipling’s “The Army of a Dream” (http://www.kiplingsociety.co.uk/rg_armydreamfirst1.htm). The idea was that such people had demonstrated that they held the well-being of society above their own comforts. Federal Service included military and non-military services. Those actively on service could not yet vote; only veterans. Hence, in Heinlein’s fictional system George McGovern and Michael Dukakis could vote, but not Dick Cheney or Bill Clinton.
    ++++
    In another story, The Moon is a Harsh Mistress one character proposes that only mothers be allowed to vote, since only mothers have biological skin in the future.
    ++++
    The franchise was once restricted to property owners because it was believed property owners had a stake in the prosperity of society.
    ++++

    If you establish a democracy, you must in due time reap the fruits of a democracy. You will in due season have great impatience of the public burdens, combined in due season with great increase of the public expenditure. You will in due season have wars entered into from passion and not from reason; and you will in due season submit to peace ignominiously sought and ignominiously obtained, which will diminish your authority and perhaps endanger your independence. You will in due season find your property is less valuable, and your freedom less complete.
    — Benjamin Disraeli

  25. Yawrate,

    The Middle Eastern theocracies are definitely bad news. Historically, I don’t see that Islam has been any more aggressive than Christianity or Judaism. Nothing in the foundational texts suggests much difference either, which one would reasonably expect given their common origins. Modern differences in practice are evident. One way I look at it is that Islam is running two or so centuries behind their Abrahamic cousins. For why, I’d start with the colonial period. Maybe a little further back to the Middle Ages.

    Something else to think about: the most populous nation of Muslims is Indonesia. They’ve certainly got their own post-colonial issues, but they have been rather successfully transitioning from Suharto’s faux democratic regime to a legitimate — albeit fairly messy — republican democracy. It’s not always a friendly place for Christians and atheists, and there have been a significant number of internecine Muslim pogroms and killings … there’s always some unhappy radical somewhere, most especially in developing nations.

    I don’t understand your comment about checking your privilege at the door, perhaps you could clarify?

  26. Ye Olde Statisician

    September 17, 2014 at 4:17 pm

    Historically, I don’t see that Islam has been any more aggressive than Christianity or Judaism.

    It must have been that jihad thingie that fooled folks.

  27. As a staunch conservative, I do agree that the “Washington Redskins” team name is very offensive. They should change it to something non-offensive, like maybe the “Omaha Redskins”.

    Our company softball team once played in a league with team names like “Scared Hitless” and the “Nads”. But that was a different era.

    Sheri – I agree with you on the potential merits of limiting voting to property owners. Except I’d just apply it to property taxes, and my rule would be ‘one dollar, one vote’. (Property tax increases tend to pass so easily that many districts have had to resort to super-majority requirements to keep the people from taxing businesses and homeowners out of the district.)

    And I’d go along with the testing requirement for voting, as long as I got to write the test, of course.

  28. Brandon,

    I disagree. Islam was spread primarily through war with an eye to plunder and slavery. That is why it spread so quickly through out the near east. The Prophet himself encouraged this by his words and behavior and in his time, large parts of the Arabian peninsula fell to Islam. His descendants were even more successful spreading Islam through out the Mediterranean and all the way to India and China. They were only stopped by vigorous and determined defensive efforts. They wouldn’t necessarily kill you or take you as a slave but once you converted you were in for life.

  29. YOS,

    I meant what I said about historically. See also that I’m going mostly on anecdotal comparisons of source texts.

    I suppose for the sake of appearing rigorous, we could always tally up estimated body counts on an estimated per capita basis from 4000 BCE or thereabouts to what … 1800 CE* seems about right, and then do a few regressions. But the error bars would be humongous. See also yesterday’s post:

    http://wmbriggs.com/blog/?p=13581

    Particularly all the good discussions about what’s really causing what here and/or whether the correlations are coincidental instead of causal.

    * Going to the mid-19th century would pick up some anomalies, and we wouldn’t want that to skew any beautiful theories.

  30. Mid-20th century I meant … dangit all.

  31. La Longue Carabine

    September 17, 2014 at 4:43 pm

    Offesive state names: Massachutsets, Ohio, Indiana!, Utah, Dakota x 2, Tennesee?, Illinois, Kansas?, Texas, …

    Offensive Cities: …

    Offensive personal names: …

  32. Wait, wait, wait just a minute. After reading this article, I’ve never been so offended. You say Dunkin’ is selling pumpkin donuts and I wasn’t informed?! First thing tomorrow morning I’m staging my own personal sit-in at the local franchise. This is indeed an outrage.

  33. Briggs,

    It is disappointing that you are unable to make the difference between a name that was used as an insult (red skins) (the same way the “N” words was not used to describes blacks in a flattering way) and names that are usually used out of respect (Braves, Chiefs) or as simple social name (Indians, Blackhawks). The name of the team could easily be replaced by the Reds.

    There are reasons why some complaints gain more outcry than others.

  34. And in Canada -where the media are desperate to get Obama-lite elected?

    The CFL roster:
    Hamilton Tiger-Cats
    Montreal Alouettes
    Otawa REDBLACKS
    Toronto Argonauts
    BC Lions
    Calgary Stampeders
    Edmonton Eskimos
    Saskatchewan Roughriders
    Winnipeg Blue Bombers

    OMG! We’re all evil! Evil I tell you!

  35. Ye Olde Statisician

    September 17, 2014 at 6:22 pm

    I suppose for the sake of appearing rigorous, we could always tally up estimated body counts on an estimated per capita basis from 4000 BCE or thereabouts to what … 1800 CE seems about right, and then do a few regressions.

    But you would first have to distinguish between wars carried out in order to promote Islam or Christianity, and wars incidentally carried out by muslims or Christians obedient to kings warring for other purposes. For example, it is difficult to think of the Great Northern War between Sweden and most everyone else in the North as a campaign to spread Christianity — or even Lutheranism; and the Wars of the French Succession, the Spanish Succession, the Mantuan Succession have rather obvious motives. Likewise, the wars between the ‘Osmanli sultans and the Safawid shahs probably had little to do with spreading Islam, the Sunnah, or the Shi’a. Perhaps like the Roman Empire and the Parthian Empire, or the Byzantine Empire and the Sassanid Empire, whoever sits on the Anatolian Plateau will always war with whoever sits on the neighboring Iranian Plateau. For that matter, the Barbary pirates were in it for taking slaves and ransoms, not for spreading Islam; and the Barbary war was not to spread Christianity but to put a stop to the corsair raids on shipping.

    I’m not sure why body count would matter, since that would be a function of the state of technology and medicine. Besides, neither Islam not any other religion sets out to kill people. Conquer and tax, sure. Convert, sometimes. Put down rebellions. But not simply to kill.

    So the jihad thing stands. It is an explicit command to the House of Submission (muslim-ruled lands) to bring the House of War (non-mulsim lands) under their rule. It began to subside after Talas River or the Delhi Sultanate. Much of SE Asia became muslim through trade and merchant colonies. Likewise the East African coast. West Africa was a mixed bag, though the most famous of their jihads — the Fulani jihad of Osman dan Fodio — was more a purification movement directed at the already-muslim Hausa States.

  36. YOS, almost always you are informed and informative. However, I’ll disagree with your assertion that
    “Besides, neither Islam not any other religion sets out to kill people”
    I cite (among other verses)
    Quran (2:191-193) – “And kill them wherever you find them, and turn them out from where they have turned you out. ”
    and the massacre of Jews at Banu Qurayza in 627 AD, all adult males were beheaded and women and children were sold into slavery, pretty much like ISIS/ISIL has done to Christians and others in Iraq.

  37. I know that I wouldn’t call a Native American a redskin to their face. Yes, loudness doesn’t equate to success. I would be loud, join the crowd, and possibly write a petition to China’s President to ask for his help if there were any teams with a nickname offensive to Chinese. (No, I have never been a Chinese citizen. ) Would I get what I want? It doesn’t matter, but I would have made my point.

    No, I wouldn’t ask you to check your privilege (with original intent) as if I would need anyone else’s approval.

  38. Brandon, American Asians are genetically smarter! 🙂

  39. Bob Kurkland

    As if Christian were so kind to jews in the middle ages. There were numerous progrom in pre-communist russia. While in western Europe their were numerous city level extermination of jews, etc.

    The religious war of the 16th 17th centuries Europe were worst than what is seen in Islamic countries today.

  40. YOS,

    But you would first have to distinguish between wars carried out in order to promote Islam or Christianity, and wars incidentally carried out by muslims or Christians obedient to kings warring for other purposes.

    Yes of course. And as we both know, it’s commonplace for two or more historians to disagree on such matters. So I have a personal rule: until demonstrated otherwise, assume that religion was NOT the main motivation for a given conflict. Even “demonstrations” can be dubious depending on sources and how far back we’re looking. As well, history tends to look favorably on the victors.

    Stripping away religion as a primary cause, my reading of history is that wars are generally the result of greed and lust — both of power and of women. Where religion is an arguable factor, I see it as no different from any other tribal, factional, ideological, cultural or “racial” difference. The root of the conflict remains the same: one culture feels superior in some way over the other and wants their land, their stuff, and (often, but not always) their women. Enslaving male captives has not been uncommon either.

    In short, I see religion primarily as just another differentiating label … as well as a motivating one that young men are willing to die for. If everyone became an atheist tomorrow, we’d still find some way to paint undesireable neighbors with stuff we want as inferior and/or inhuman. I believe the examples you list fit my thesis.

    I’m not sure why body count would matter, since that would be a function of the state of technology and medicine.

    My inclusion of estimated deaths per-capita was a nod toward any reasonable analysis requiring other comparative factors. Deaths per head is just an easy first approximation which is far less subjective than comparing weapon technologies, tactics, supply logistics, combat medicine, etc. It might also be illustrative to compare conquering commanders/armies by non-combatant civilians killed or otherwise brutalized … but that’s also getting into estimates with both high uncertainties and subjectivity depending on who published the figures.

    I like figures to go with the anecdotes. I don’t ultimately think that answering the question, “Which religion is the most violent?” is feasible unless where, when and why are specified, and some attempt is made to do quantifiable apples to apples comparisons.

    Does it matter? To me, not really. My main concern is contemporary affairs and specific issues, but history does interest me.

    Besides, neither Islam not any other religion sets out to kill people.

    I agree.

    So the jihad thing stands.

    In the context of what you say above I think we also agree. But I also stand on my previous comment about Old Testament/Koran comparisions. In response here also to yawrate, compare the following:

    Al-Baqarah (The Cow) 2:190-195 http://www.aaiil.org/text/hq/trans/ch2.shtml

    Al-Anfal (Voluntary Gifts) 8:55- 75 http://www.aaiil.org/text/hq/trans/ch8.shtml

    Deut. 20:10-20 http://biblehub.com/nasb/deuteronomy/20.htm

    How often have you seen those verses quoted out of context, (I see that Bob already posted the most damning bit from Sura 2 as I was composing this) either to make them look more violent or more peaceful?

    In full context, both passages read very much the same to me.

  41. Ye Olde Statisician

    September 17, 2014 at 8:51 pm

    As if Christian were so kind to jews in the middle ages.
    Compared to the treatment meted out by the pagan Romans? There were certainly horrible injustices, but in many cases it was less a matter of religion than of usury or mass panic on the part of the 99%. For example, the wave of panic that rode ahead of the arrival of the Pest often targeted Jews, but it was less because of religion than because of the fear that they were spreading the plague by poisoning wells. In Augsburg, the burgomeister owed a large sum to the moneylenders at 25% simple interest, so he liquidated his debt by opening the gates to the Jewish Quarter to the mob. At Regensburg, otoh, the guild militias turned out under arms and protected the Jewish Quarter there. In several cities, activists overthrew the town councils who refused to act against the Jews. But while you may find mobs ransacking the Jews and staging forced conversions and the like, you will not find the Church doing so and only seldom finding the kings doing so. We generally find the Church providing protection and denouncing the persecutors.

    The religious war of the 16th 17th centuries Europe were worst than what is seen in Islamic countries today.
    The War of the French Succession featured three noble houses struggling for possession of the Valois heritage. Each of the Houses had Huguenot and Catholic branches and switched sides with the fortunes of war. Henri of Bourbon, the eventual winner, was a Huguenot, but switched to Catholic because “Paris is worth a Mass.” IOW, there was not much of what we would call “religious fervor” in the struggle for the Crown.
    The same is true of the Thirty Years War, where religion was a surrogate for various political loyalties. Saxony, which was Lutheran, fought at different times for and against the Emperor. The German princes did not declare their independence of the Empire because they wanted to be Protestant. They became Protestant because they wanted to declare their independence from the Empire. The Winter King was defeated because House Hapsburg wanted to keep the Crown of Bohemia in the family. The Duke of Bavaria supported the Emperor because he was angling to take over the imperial vote belonging to the Palatine Elector. The King of Sweden may have been the only participant with genuinely religious motives: as a devout Lutheran, we was opposed to the Calvinists of Brandenburg (who by sheer coincidence occupied the Pomeranian coast that Sweden lusted for) as well as the Catholic Emperor. But he was financed by the Pope and Catholic France, the latter of whom later intervened directly on the “Protestant” side. At White Mountain, it is true, imperial troops charged into battle shouting “Sancta Maria!” but at Nördlingen they were shouting “Viva España!”

    This is what I meant when I said that we must distinguish actual wars of religion from wars engaged in by people who happened to adhere to a religion. The former are actually pretty rare.

  42. JH,

    American Asians are genetically smarter! 🙂

    [chortle] I’ll meet you halfway … I’ve noticed that the female persuasion isn’t hard on the eyes. I’ll end there before I completely forfeit my 5th Amendment rights.

  43. Sylvain Allard, as a Jewish convert to Catholicism, I am well aware of persecution of Jews by Christians. Indeed, as a child I suffered from this. Nevertheless, as YOS points out, such persecution was not sanctioned by the New Testament, unlike the dictates of the Koran, pace Brandon. We’re not talking about that golden time in the 9th and 10th century in Moorish Spain and elsewhere in the Islamic world, when Muslim, Jew and Christian lived in peace, but was overturned when the Muslim fundamentalists came to power. And we’re speaking not of the pogroms of past ages perpetrated by nominal Christians, but of the slaughter of present time perpetrated by Islamist terrorists, which mirrors the first century of the Muslim conquest.

  44. Sheri,

    Brandon: Yes, it was Starship Troopers, made into arguably the worst scifi movie since the theater version of Dune.

    Yabbut Dune had great costumes and set design. The guy who played Baron Harkonnen stole every scene he was in. Plus it had Sting and Sean Young at their most beautiful. Ok, Young looked better in Blade Runner.

    I flat out loved Starship Troopers for what it was — a rock ‘n roll shoot ’em up. I don’t go to a Voerhoven flick expecting high art. I could have done with not suffering through Denise Richards’ wooden acting, and I really wish Paul had stuck to the book a lot more faithfully … I’m not saying it’s a movie without a lot of problems. I also like a lot of bad movies, plus my date that evening loved it just as much as I did. The novel was, as per usual, far better. “Forever War” by Joe Haldeman is a must-read for its similarities and differences … and Ridley Scott is supposed to be doing the movie. In 3D no less, which I have mixed feelings about.

    /geek

    Go to a straight tax, on everyone, corporations included, and then anyone getting government aid cannot vote.

    As I see it, the main trouble with welfare is that it just throws money at the problem with no direct return. Love it or hate it, at least we got some lasting infrastructure out of the New Deal. The way unemployment insurance is completely backward — not an entitlement and which ends if the recipient doesn’t find work. How is that supposed to work if there are fewer job openings than there are people looking for one?!?

    Just. No. Make it an entitlement, and put people to work and/or send them for skills training in a sector that’s more in demand. Keynes didn’t get everything right, but neither did Rand. Look at how many jobs military contracts support. Fair is fair here — I’ll be the last liberal on the planet to argue that the defense industry is bad for the economy.

    Also, congress cannot vote itself a raise, the people have to.

    That’ll be the day …

    Then we don’t have the people getting the handouts voting in the handouts.

    So really you want to stop the handouts. I agree. Put them to work. Then it’s wages, not a dole. It will cost more in dollars, but the intangibles are important … people who are working and/or getting re-skilled feel better about themselves.

    Lazy bums wanting to be on unemployment is a fantasy … you’re not seriously going to tell me in 2008 that 6 million people simply got tired of working?

    We could go whole hog (pun intended) and cut out all pork barrel spending, and no combining bills.

    Congresscritters’ main job is to redistribute tax revenues back down to their own state. You have some cause to complain, in 2013, Wyoming got back $0.55 for every dollar it sent in, which is 8th lowest. In 2012, you got back $0.99, which was 12th lowest. The 2003-13 average is $0.855, ranked 14th lowest. You might be surprised to learn that over the same period, California is nearly tied with Wyoming at $0.854, ranked 13th.

    Everyone has to have read legislation and pass a test before they can vote on the bill.

    Who writes the tests and grades them? The GAO?

    Sure, I know we won’t go there, ever.

    Nor probably anything more effective. Like making Federal elections mostly publicly funded, overturning Citizens v. United, demolishing K Street, etc. One person one vote is great and all, but the real power in D.C. goes to who funds the campaigns and who can afford the most and best lobbyists. I know class warfare are dirty words on your side of the fence … but well … making that an epithet is one of the scams the right is running. The Dems (which I won’t claim as my party because they’re definitely not) pay lip service to reducing income inequality, campaign finance reform and all the rest, but it’s mostly lip service. They’re on the take just as much as the GOP side of the aisle.

    The middle class are mainly voting masses to give the appearance of a representative gummint, but that veneer is wearing thinner and thinner.

  45. Bob,

    And we’re speaking not of the pogroms of past ages perpetrated by nominal Christians, but of the slaughter of present time perpetrated by Islamist terrorists, which mirrors the first century of the Muslim conquest.

    Every time some brainwashed jihadi straps on a vest-full of RDX and vaporizes himself in a public market, the part of the Islamic world which isn’t celebrating is decrying the poor sod’s actions, condemning his leaders, and pleading that those are not the acts sanctioned by “real” Muslims or their religion of peace.

    I brought up the textual foundations of all three major branches of the God of Abraham specifically to point out that peaceful modern adherents bridle when the genetic fallacy is invoked on their respective religion. Christianity does enjoy somewhat a modern advantage in the New Testament paradigm switch — though when I’m feeling particularly cranky I’ll toss Matthew 5:18 into the mix — but mostly I’m NOT interested in smearing modern religions for the ugliness in their pasts. Civilization progresses, and that includes religion. I’m all for letting bygones be bygones and allowing forward progress.

    We’re not going to get there maligning entire religions for the evils of their past and present malevolent actors. Read yesterday’s post again: http://wmbriggs.com/blog/?p=13581

    Here’s the moneyquote: The “religiosity” for an entire country, garnered by small samples, is really representative of the entire population?

    In my mind he flubs it in the very next sentence: Hey, Mooney! Are all religions equivalent?

    When is a sample representative of a population, and when isn’t it? Is it not perfectly legitimate for me to write: Hey Briggs! Are all religious adherents equivalent?

    ISIS are right bastards, and I’ve got no compunction about bombing them into little bits. But I literally don’t give a crap about their motivations for slitting people’s throats, nor what religion the people’s throats are that they’re slitting. Truth be told, I’ve long since burned out caring much about people dying in third-world hell holes since there’s basically no stopping it short of invasion and occupation. And we’ve seen how well THAT works when we don’t really get behind it and actually commit to being the empire we try to pretend we’re not.

    No, ISIS gets to be a smear on the bottom of a crater in the middle of a bunch of sand because of what’s under it. We have little moral high ground over the suicide bomber for doing it except that I think we do a fair enough job targeting combatants. We could stand to work on protecting civilians after we’ve decimated the opposing forces, but here I digress. Point is, if we don’t stop ISIS with deadly force, they’re going to kill innocent civilians AND oil prices will go up.

    I’ll take the lower price at the gas pump, thanks. Nope, not a religious war at all. Yet I live in a nominally Christian nation, and we’ve killed far more Muslims in the past decade than the other way ’round since … what … the turn of the last century?

  46. Bob,

    The bible include both testament and you can find similar passage in the bible as in the Quran as you can see here:

    http://www.christianitydisproved.com/bible/violent-bible-verses.html

    The Bible and the Quran are very similar.

  47. Sylvain, as you may know, the main source for Christian theology and morality is the New Testament. It preaches non-violence and consistently stands up for the poor and the underdog, which is fairly unique. It is not by coincidence that a number of pacific movements that denounce the use of violence under any condition, e.g. Mennonites, Quakers, Pax Christi, have their roots in Christianity. I don’t know about Islamic pacific movements, but I am willing to learn.

  48. Sylvain Allard, as Allchemistry pointed out, your comments about the Bible are in error. See the post “Should we Shun the God of the Old Testament” to begin to learn what Scripture is about, particularly the statement of Joseph Ratzinger, Pope Benedict XVI, that the Old Testament is a road to the New. And, as Allchemistry said, I’d be very happy to learn about Muslim movements of peace and charity. See
    http://rationalcatholic.blogspot.com/2014/03/should-we-shun-god-of-old-testament.html

  49. Ye Olde Statisician

    September 18, 2014 at 8:01 am

    Yet I live in a nominally Christian nation, and we’ve killed far more Muslims in the past decade than the other way ’round since …

    Not that “Christian nation” stuff! If it was ever true, it ain’t now by a long shot. However, while protecting more muslims than ever before, we have perforce killed more, since it is generally muslims that the muslims must be protected from. The thing to keep in mind is that they are not being killed because they are muslims, while the school children kidnapped in Nigeria were taken because they were Christian.

  50. Brandon: Unlimited unemployment just keeps people sitting on the dole. When the benefits ran out last January, there was no mass increase in homeless. In fact, the number of jobs was reported to have increased and unemployment decreased all year, with extended benefits absent. Also, there a over 3 million jobs out there unfilled. I don’t have to tell you people chose not to work–the numbers do that. It’s not nearly as much of a fantasy as liberals want people to believe. Check how many people will work at a job they don’t like versus sitting at home and collecting disability, unemployment, SSI. Pretty amazing stuff there if one digs far enough.

    Obama originally ran pretending to endorse “The New Deal” type politics, which would have been fine. Paying people to do work that needs to be done instead of mailing them a check makes sense. Sadly, that was not what Obama actually was endorsing and people didn’t listen carefully to what his words were saying. In the end, complete government dependence was the goal with no work required.

    Happy you noted Dems give lip service to class warfare–though I would argue they perpetuate it. Wonder if we checked the political party of all those suing the Redskins……

  51. My comment about removing all tax exemptions would not be popular with the NFL, considering they are tax exempt. Maybe taxing them would convince them to stop being such bullies and using names like “Redskins”. We could promise to give back the tax exemptions if they stuck with names like “Powderpuffs” and “Daisies”.

  52. One anecdote to add to the conversation between Sheri and Brandon: a friend who was unemployed for over a year could not take several part-time jobs that were available because doing so would disqualify him from the government-supplied benefits he needed to maintain his family. Working way in excess of 40 hrs/week and juggling several jobs, not to mention the hard work of trying to find suitable full-time employment, would have put him underwater. This situation could not have been designed better to prevent the ambitious from working.

  53. The religious dialogue in this series of comments is a case-study illustration of people seeing only what they want to see and ignoring what they’d prefer not to believe. Sylvain Allard is correct.

    RE: “….we must distinguish actual wars of religion from wars engaged in by people who happened to adhere to a religion. The former are actually pretty rare. …”

    TRUE…HOWEVER…Christian violence has been rampant thru history—usually as persecutions against other Christians holding views considered heretical. Here’s a sampling: http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/religion/rel01.html The remark focusing on “wars” that are religiously-based while true serves to deflect attention—to ignore—the substantial violence in the form of mass-murder committed in what was/is considered proper faith; in other words, the focus only on ‘religious wars’ is a logical sleight of hand that allows the debaters to ignore so much other rampant & persistent religiously-based mayhem.
    Further, the historical record is very clear: Pagan cultures with many gods were very accommodating to other gods—provided the local gods were respected (Christians were persecuted for insulting the local gods—Christians were, in this regard, the original “atheists.” Jews got a “pass” & were a special case from the Romans because the Romans recognized the precedence of their faith & the Romans respected history in that aspect.).

    RE: “Christian theology and morality is the New Testament. It preaches non-violence…”

    THAT is only partly true—and partly false. Consider a favorite reference on this blog, Augustine, who gave this example: Suppose a man has gangrene in the leg and is going to die. The surgeon believes the only way to save him is by amputating the leg. Against the man’s will, the surgeon straps him to a table and saws off the leg. That is an act of extreme violence. But was that violence evil? Augustine said no. And if you find one exception to the idea that violence is evil, he concluded, then violence cannot be intrinsically evil. Thus, for medieval theologians, violence may or may not be evil; it depends largely on the intention of the perpetrator.
    BOTTOM LINE: Christian theology & morality has been demonstrably violent with the violence justified on theological philosophy. Largely thank Augustine for that.

    RE: “…it is generally muslims that the muslims must be protected from. The thing to keep in mind is that they are not being killed because they are muslims…”

    ANOTHER DISTORTION OF FACT; Muslims are killing Muslims because they, the killers, hold the proper doctrine & theology while the targets of the killing, are heretics needing to be excised from harmfully influencing others…so say the killers. That is precisely the same logic the Catholic Church applied with its several Inquisitions (not to mention the other murder & mayhem directed at protestants, etc.) – which the record makes clear were made demonstrations (public burnings, for example) in large part to influence the public in what was considered a positive manner. Spain’s Catholic monarch expelled Jews; Martin Luther endorsed the same including vandalizing their property, etc.—all in the name of safeguarding proper faith from the evil influence of heretical thinking. What we observe with radical Muslims today is basically the very same thing; only the trappings are different. A fact of Christianity most Christians are loathe to consider is how much that faith & doctrine has changed to accommodate society’s changing values (just look at all the varied denominations holding mutually exclusive core beliefs).

  54. Ken, to put a moral equivalence on the excess of some Christians in the dark, Middle Ages and the current and initial theologically supported brutality of Islamists is to betray a bias unyielding to rational argument.
    To suggest that
    “BOTTOM LINE: Christian theology & morality has been demonstrably violent with the violence justified on theological philosophy. Largely thank Augustine for that.”
    follows from the teaching of one who said
    “Though defensive violence will always be ‘a sad necessity’ in the eyes of men of principle, it would be still more unfortunate if wrongdoers should dominate just men.”
    is to engage in rhetorical non sequiturs that make your whole arguments futile and of no interest. And that is the last comment I’m going to have on anything you have to say.

  55. Here, by the way, is the standard of present day extremist violence with which to compare past excesses of Christianity.
    I was initially going to put a link to a video of the beheading (with a short knife) of a Christian priest but decided that was too much…if those of you who have the stomach for it, Google Syrian Rebels Behead Christian… RAW

  56. Ken,
    My mail was about the statement that the Bible and the Quran are very similar. I pointed out that the message of the New Testament is completely different from that of the Quran. You are entitled to your opinion that all religions are the same, but if you were forced to choose between living in Rome or Mecca, which one would you prefer?
    ( Hint: muslim refugees overwhelmingly prefer Rome)

  57. Ken, a quibble. The “christian” denominations you reference differ on secondary beliefs, not core ones. If they don’t adhere to the core, they’re not christian. The core is a set of tenets basically encompassed by 1) the divinity of Christ, 2) his substitution for and redemption of a sinful humanity, and 3) the Bible as the revealed word of God. Yes, there are slight variations on what this means, but the differences between christian denominations largely rest on religious practices such as worship style/time/place, ordinances such as baptism and communion, and lifestyle. Authentic christian faith and doctrine can’t change or they cease to be christian by definition.

  58. Ye Olde Statisician

    September 18, 2014 at 2:54 pm

    Christian violence has been rampant thru history—usually as persecutions against other Christians holding views considered heretical.

    Recte: “Violence has been rampant thru history.” Christians are no exceptions, being sinners like everyone else. (Atheists, being Calvinists are sometimes confused on this matter.) Often, theological differences have been used as surrogates for national or other movements. Examples include the adherence of Syria to Nestorianism or of Egypt to Monophysitism as means of expressing opposition to Greek imperial rule. Ditto: the Irish vis a vis the English. As the old joke ran: “If the king of England woke up Hindu, the Irish would be facing Mecca by nightfall.” On the retail level, the murder of the mystic Hypatia by a street mob in Alexandria because the imperial prefect and the bishop were on the outs and the Street said that she was instrumental in keeping Orestes from making kissy-face. But this was little different from other Alexandrine mobs — pagan, Jewish, or Christian, Egyptians vs. Macedonians, Egyptians vs. Romans, and so on.

    Pagan cultures with many gods were very accommodating to other gods—provided the local gods were respected

    This is not actually true. The Romans, for example, tolerated the religions of conquered peoples only if by some mental gymnastics they could shoe-horn their gods into some version of their own. Hence, Zeus was equated with Jupiter, Lugh with Mercury, and so on. But other things, like the Gaulish Wicker Man or the Germanic oak groves, were ruthlessly extirpated. Exotic religions like the Mysteries, Mithraism, Judaism, and Christianity were sternly resisted until a significant portion of the population had adopted them. (Esp. Mithraism, which many in the Army adopted). Judaism was given a pass only because it was of great antiquity; but this did not stop the Romans from profaning the Temple or from slaughtering the Jews.

    Muslims are killing Muslims because they, the killers, hold the proper doctrine & theology while the targets of the killing, are heretics needing to be excised from harmfully influencing others

    And yet throughout the history of the House of Submission, sunni and shi’a have lived together peacefully. When they have not, it is because one or another has become identified with some particular polity. For example: the Fatimids of Egypt were shi’a while the ‘Osmanlis of Anatolia were sunni; but they did not fight each other because of that. Rather, they fought for control of al-Shams (Syria-Palestine) just as the Egyptians and the Hittites did in days of yore. This is not to say that there are none with religious enthusiasms — the King of Sweden was a Lutheran enthusiast in the Thirty Years War; but the war itself was between Hapsburg and Bourbon. Similarly, the sunnis in ‘Iraq regard the shi’a as tools of the hated Aryans. They do not anathematize the shi’a because of their practice of taqiyya or because of the succession of Ali, but because (being the majority within ‘Iraq) they threaten the political dominance that sunni have enjoyed before the US invasion.

  59. Bob Kurland,

    Can you point to which verses in the new testament that makes homosexuality immoral? The answer is in the old testament not the new. The old testament is part of Christianity, though I agree that it should not. All the sins are found in the old testament, not the new.

    As for Charitable organization Hamas, hezbollah and the Taliban started as charitable organization that came to help to local population, but like christian missionaries they come with their own sense of moral.

    Muslim have little structure or hierarchy and they are mainly mosque based. They don’t have a person like the pope speaking as the authority for millions of Christians. Mennonite are very few in numbers and Quakers are more numerous and recently they have not been as pacifist as in the past.

  60. Sylvain, look up the Wikipedia article, “The Invincible Ignorance Fallacy”:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Invincible_ignorance_fallacy
    To see why this is my last reply to any of your comments.
    But for this time, in which of my comments did I say anything about homosexuality?
    But to refute your statement, showing your ignorance of the New Testament
    see the Pauline Epistles, viz
    Romans 1:26–27, 1 Corinthians 6:9–10, and 1 Timothy 1:9–10.
    And I was not the one who remarked about there being pacifist (not charitable) Christian sects–Quakers, Mennonites, Anabaptists of various types.
    And there are lots of these where I live.
    Please show me pacificist statements of those terrorist organizations you cite.
    Your statements are so mendacious they make my stomache turn.
    But we are told as Christians to forgive those who trespass against us, to love our enemy, so I will pray for your conversion.

  61. Sheri,

    When the benefits ran out last January, there was no mass increase in homeless.

    There was no mass increase in homeless in January 2008 either — oddly it dropped in 2009 then went back up where it was in 2010. Homelessness is a multi-factor phenomenon, and it doesn’t track well to unemployment figures alone. Most of the long-term unemployed have probably already lost their homes if they were owners prior to losing their job, or are already living with family members or generous friends.

    I don’t have to tell you people chose not to work–the numbers do that.

    The figures for this July I’m looking at say 4.673 million openings, unemployed 9.671 million for a rate of 2.1 job-seekers/opening. Close to where it was in Jan. 2008.

    It’s not nearly as much of a fantasy as liberals want people to believe.

    In Jul. 2009 there were 2.146 million openings, 14.601million unemployed for a rate of 6.8 job-seekers/opening. That’s a 50% decrease in number of unfilled jobs and a 90% increase in unemployment from Jan. 2008.

    I call that a nightmare, not a fantasy.

    Obama originally ran pretending to endorse “The New Deal” type politics, which would have been fine.

    Obama overpromises and underdelivers. However, New New Deal would have cost several times more than the recovery act. I don’t think FDR himself couldn’t have gotten it through the 111th Congress.

    In the end, complete government dependence was the goal with no work required.

    Even socialism, in the traditional sense of the word entailing state ownership and a centrally planned economy, required people to work.

    Happy you noted Dems give lip service to class warfare–though I would argue they perpetuate it.

    Those who fill the campaign coffers perpetuate it. That’s why class struggle is a taboo topic — royalty doesn’t like to be challenged.

  62. Bob,

    I’m Catholics though I have long realize the hypocrisy of religion which is why I’m not religious. I have also realize long ago that the Torah, Bible, and Quran have been written by men, not by god or people chosen by god. You are free to believe it but I have evolved passed this.

    The Gospel have been written at least a century after the death of the disciple, while the Bible, or at least the new testament was put together in the 4th century ad.

    Faith is really required to believe that Saint-Paul would have been the author of any of the epistle, or that Saint-John would have written Apocalypse.

    Everyone is free to believe what they want. What they can’t do is impose their belief on others.

    Each religion have there good and there bad. They have all committed atrocities of some sort. And none is better than the other.

    The Middle East has a big disadvantage in being at the Cross Roads of three continent and being war torn at almost every moment. No the organization I mentioned are not pacifist, but would you be pacifist if Chinese bought large parcels of land in the US and suddenly decided that these lands were an independent country. This is what happened with Israel, and you would expect Hezbollah and Hamas to be pacifist? Reverse the situation and you would be the one fighting for these groups. Hell in the US you already have people killing policemen over what they believe the USA should be. These person are not much different than these terrorist group.

    “But we are told as Christians to forgive those who trespass against us, to love our enemy, so I will pray for your conversion.”

    Don’t wait for my conversion I have already evolved beyond it. I don’t wish or await your conversion and I don’t consider you an enemy so I don’t need to forgive.

    I’ve had a lot of mean thing done to me over time, yet I never sought revenge against those who did me wrong. At worst I will smile when Karma returns to these persons.

  63. Bob,

    …if those of you who have the stomach for it, Google Syrian Rebels Behead Christian…

    Been there, done that many years ago. Darn near made me ill and I’m not generally queasy. I wanted to kill every last one of those mo-fos in the video, and whoever was funding them.

  64. YOS,

    The thing to keep in mind is that they are not being killed because they are muslims, while the school children kidnapped in Nigeria were taken because they were Christian.

    I refer you to your own comments further down, When they have not, it is because one or another has become identified with some particular polity and suggest to you that Boko Haram is a similar example.

    The glaring difference is that Muslim groups are fighting Christian groups. Christians are a slight minority in Nigeria with 40% of the population, Muslims having 50%, but Muslims in the north perceive their influence at the national level waning. Boko Haram appears to have been a spontaneous uprising, but as they are now evidently quite well-trained and financed to the point that the Nigerian army is loath to engage them, it’s strongly suspected that they’ve got financial support coming clandestinely from within Nigeria itself and that their religious fervor is being cynically manipulated for political aims.

    A telling development is that they’re now attacking Muslim Nigerian government officials and police for being “collaborators” with the national Christian regime. Also, quite obviously, they wish to goad Christian civilians into vengeful retaliations against Muslim civilians.

    These all are some of the oldest tricks in the book.

    Note that most Nigerian Muslims decry their acts, and disclaim them as true members of peaceful Islam.

    There are several notable and recent Christian on Muslim killings in Africa which were clearly reprisals for some other atrocity elsewhere, and even a few that appear wholly unprovoked. I don’t care to bother with citing them — the majority of African and Middle Eastern sectarian conflicts appear to have the Muslims as the more egregious aggressors. I say appear because that’s a popular narrative in Western conventional wisdom which also has a tendency to forget that Africa, like the Middle East, is composed of post-colonial states whose borders were not-so arbitrarily drawn by their ex-landlords for the very purpose of splitting up troublesomely powerful ethnic groups. Not only do many Africans not particularly care for their neighbors, more than a few quite understandably also don’t care for the remaining fingerprints of their since departed conquerors.

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