When learning about another religion, if you look for those things that are
"Virtuous, lovely, of good report, or praiseworthy," you will probably
I'm a live and let live kind of guy. Sidewalks are not a one way path.
This is a good thing and certainly is flowing the way of Jesus teachings.
Intellectually I am wary of all but very limited immigration of Muslims into the
US, but I extend the hand of friendship to all Muslims that I meet.
@jlindow "What religious text prescribes the death penalty for being gay, a
fortune teller, a witch, an infidel, disrespecting your parents, adultery, or
picking up sticks on the wrong day?The Bible, of course."The Bible is actually a collection of books. Some are historical. Some
contain doctrine to be followed. Some are written for a specific audience.
Which book(s) are you talking about? Are they in the Old or New Testament? Do
these books contain doctrine that Christians are supposed to follow?The Koran and the Bible are as different as the people who follow them.
@Jlindow – “A curious atheist wants to know.”As a
fellow atheist, your points would be relevant if we were living in Europe 500
years ago when a significant segment of the Christian population was being
animated by those parts of the OT.Today, virtually no Christian
takes those parts seriously (i.e., acts on them) because they have been
sufficiently modernized and secularized by the Enlightenment and (in America)
our founding principles.This is clearly not the case in much of the
Muslim world.That said I categorically reject Patriot’s
Orwellian and completely un-American approach. Instead we need dialogue and the
ability to ask (and have answered) critical questions in a respectful manner.“No ideas (including religious) are above scrutiny and no people
are beneath dignity.”
What religious text prescribes the death penalty for being gay, a fortune
teller, a witch, an infidel, disrespecting your parents, adultery, or picking up
sticks on the wrong day?The Bible, of course.How would
you feel being lumped in the same category as Westboro Baptist Church and Robert
Lewis Dear Jr?Would you support the government placing spies in
Christian churches because some people who claim to be Christian call for or
commit acts of violence?Would you feel free to worship if you
thought mentioning parts of the Old Testament out loud could get you on a no-fly
list?A curious atheist wants to know.
This is a terrific event and goes a long way towards building communities based
upon shared values. And I appreciate the Imam’s openness to sincere
questions and his willingness to answer them. In that spirit I would
like to ask the following questions:1.What is the difference between
Islam and Islamism?2.Are either or both compatible with the U.S.
Constitution (esp. the 1st amendment)? Please elaborate.3.Please
explain the doctrine of Jihad (e.g. an inner spiritual struggle to something
else?) and its relevance in today’s society.4.Do you support
blasphemy laws?Please accept these questions in the spirit of
respect and mutual understanding.Thank you.