Posted by Jimi on February 27, 2012
A lot of people have commented on this article and while they have all had thought provoking and interesting arguments about it, it is time for me to post my own feelings on it. Quite honestly, the judge was completely wrong in his ruling. We have specific laws governing freedom of speech (which does include expression) and these are not to be tossed away just because something offends you; we defend hate speech all the time i.e. the Westboro Baptist Church. It does not matter what the Muslim that assaulted Ernie Pierce thought, or the judge’s own beliefs (which in my mindset is grounds for the decision being overturned), attempting to stifle someone’s freedom of speech is a vile act, no matter what pretense you do it under.
Let’s put this into perspective shall we? This was a Halloween parade with a zombie Jesus and a zombie Pope walking along with Mr. Pierce, neither of them were attacked by Christians, so apparently the costume ideas were not all that horrible. So we are faced with a situation where a Muslim was offended and once it came before a judge, it was dismissed because of the judge’s biased towards the Muslim community… this is such a clear violation of the law it is not even close to funny. We are so stuck on this current trend of “Don’t offend the Muslims no matter what” that people that are perfectly within their rights are being the persecuted ones. I’ve had Muslim neighbors and we got along very well, I am not judging them all, however I am judging this man in this specific instance. He was wrong in his actions, very wrong, and if he has become a citizen of this country he needs to be sent back to citizenship classes and be forced to retake them to learn the laws of this land.
The idiot judge for this case, Mark Martin, should lose his robe, be disbarred and quite frankly face some jail time of his own. One quote from the trial is as follows:
In many other Muslim-speaking countries, err, excuse me, many Arabic-speaking countries, predominantly Muslim, something like this is definitely against the law there, in their society. In fact, it could be punished by death, and frequently is, in their society.
Here in our society, we have a Constitution that gives us many rights, specifically First Amendment rights. It’s unfortunate that some people use the First Amendment to deliberately provoke others. I don’t think that’s what our forefathers intended. I think our forefathers intended to use the First Amendment so we can speak with our mind, not to piss off other people and cultures – which is what you did.
Well Mr. Martin, this is not a Muslim country, hell it is not even a Christian country. As I have said before and will say forever the Founding Fathers intended this to be a secular nation and no one will ever convince me otherwise. Mr. Martin what happens in other countries and with their legal systems has absolutely no barring on judicial proceedings in this country, none at all, just like our laws and customs are not taken into account when it comes to courts in other countries. (Anyone else remember the youth that got himself caned in Singapore?) As for your “interpretation” of the First Amendment Mr. Martin… well this is why you will never advance any further in your career, the Founding Fathers did in fact intend for it to be used in this manner as they themselves used the same practice to send a big Fuck You to the most powerful nation in the world at that time completely denouncing England’s laws and customs.
As much as something someone does may offend you, such as burning the flag, you do not at any point have the right to assault them for it, it is that simple Mr. Martin. You Mr. Martin are trying to re-open Pandora’s box, you are trying to create a world in which chaos can rain supreme and whenever we encounter beliefs we do not accept or support we can beat them out… or perhaps in your twisted mind set it is only YOUR beliefs that matter, that could be interesting to study.
Either way, I am grateful to live in this nation and have the freedoms I do and I sincerely hope that Mr. Pierce pursues this case and does not let the simple-mindedness of Mark Martin rule. Perhaps I will get lucky and be brought before Mr. Martin on some drummed up contempt charge, I would love the chance for that as I am sure the ACLU would as well.
Posted in atheism, Deism, discrimination, opinion, Religion | Tagged: First Amendment, First Amendment to the United States Constitution, Freedom of religion, Freedom of speech, Hate speech, Mark Martin, Muslim, Religious belief, United States Constitution, Zombie | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Jimi on February 26, 2012
People amuse me, really they do. I just love how they assume because I have a working understanding, most of the time better than them, of the Bible that I have to be a Christian. While it is true that I have studied the Christian bible, I am be no means a religious person. The reason that I have studied the Bible is so that I can be prepared to debate someone when it comes to the text. When it comes to critical thinking and presenting a valid argument you have to know what you are talking about and be able to provide evidence for it, you cannot merely use the “Because” phrase.
Despite their best attempts, I have never been swayed to the Christian belief, it just holds to many inaccuracies for me to be able to accept it; not to mention the forcing of their beliefs on people. Christ told his followers to spread his message, he never intended for his followers to torture, condemn or otherwise mistreat those who could not accept his message. Personally, for me, the Jesus as portrayed in the Bible, loves me more for the beliefs I hold dear to than succumbing to the will of others and embracing a belief that has no meaning to me.
What are my beliefs? you ask. Well, I am not entirely sure myself. I am stuck somewhere between being an atheist and a deist. I cannot accept the Christian concept of God for the simple reason that what is portrayed in the Bible and what we live with these does are so completely different. We have no presence of God today, well, with the except of the church and the so called “faith of God.” That is not what the Bible shows us, God and/or Jesus was an obvious character throughout the book and suddenly he is gone now, even with the reasoning for that given it makes no sense for him to have allowed things to go this far. Seriously, look at the short amount of time that passed from Adam and Eve to Noah, he got so pissed off in that short span that he flooded the world, yet people like Hitler, Stalin and other assorted bad guys are allowed to walk the Earth with impunity.
However, getting back to the point I started with. Yes, I understand the Bible, I have studied it quite well and it has served me very well in various college courses for papers I have written, but, that does not make me a believer. My fellow students consistently are shocked to find that I am not a believer after reading my papers and yes, some even try to convert me and it becomes quite a mess when I refuse. People really need to learn to stop enforcing their beliefs on others, I do not try to get people to not be Christian, that is not my way or my place. However, for Christians it seems it is their lot in life to bring others to their faith, sorry, I don’t drink that Kool-Aid.
If I am wrong then so be it, however, history has shown us over and over that religious beliefs come and go quite often, look at the fate of Zeus, Jupiter and Odin as an example. It is in this spirit that I share the following quote from the 1981 version of Clash of the Titans
Zeus: Perseus has won. My son has triumphed.
Hera: A fortunate young man.
Zeus: Fortune is ally to the brave.
Thetis: What a dangerous precedent. What if there more heroes like him? What if courage and imagination became everyday mortal qualities? What will become of us?
Zeus: We would no longer be needed. But, for the moment, there is sufficient cowardice, sloth and mendacity down there on Earth to last forever.
Posted in atheism, Deism, Religion | Tagged: Bible, Christianity, Critical thinking, Religion and Spirituality | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Jimi on February 19, 2012
I am still rather new to this whole blogging thing and one of the blogs that I have happened to trip across is Amanda the atheist. Her blogs has provided me with some interesting insights, links and has given me new fuel for my own personal thoughts on belief and religion. Like any blog she discusses a wide variety of things, however it is her posts on religion/atheism that have provided me with some interesting critical thinking.
For the last few years I have been stuck on the decision as to whether I am a Deist or an Atheist. While a quick review of their definitions can show one that they are very different in meaning and thought actually having to debate the two internally shows they have a lot of similarities. I am 37 years old and I am still unsure of my religious leanings. I was not raised in a religious family at all. Weddings and what not at a church, some time at a Baptist Summer camp, but no real exploration into Christianity and when I would ask questions I was always shot down with the old stand by of, “take it on faith.” Well, that does not fit in with my personality, I am the type that requires proof for what I am expected to accept as fact.
People do amuse me though, take for instance something that happened in my Intro. to Lit. class the other night. We were discussing the short story “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been” and I was pointing out all the religious (Christian) connotations in the story. I do not know how it came about, but it was soon revealed that I do not accept the Bible as fact and then came the questions:
- How can you not believe in the Bible but make all these claims about the story? (Bible can be read by anyone, hello)
- Don’t you know Jesus died for you? (Honestly, in the current age we are in I could sue him for infringing on my right to sin.)
- You talk about the Bible as if you know it but don’t believe in it? (Well yes, how can you debate something without knowing it?)
- And many more…
I’ve read various versions of the Christian bible and of course different translations. How is anyone supposed to base a belief system off of something that is so self-contradictory? One of the topics I’ve researched is homosexuality, specifically the verses that are most commonly used to argue against it. The interesting thing is, the Bible does not in fact say what people think it does about homosexuality. Here is one of my favorite articles written about the subject, particularly considering the author himself is a reverend.
I do not understand how it is that a religion that is supposed to be built on love and forgiveness can have some of the most hateful people as followers? People wonder why I am so against any religious involvement in government and all I need to do is reflect on the hate that is shown by “honest christian” people towards those they deem unworthy. Why is it so hard to live and let live, to let others have their own lives?
When Christ compelled his followers to spread his message, he did not intend for you to throw us all on the ground and shove it down our throats.
Posted in atheism, Bigotry, Deism, discrimination, Personal, Religion | Tagged: Atheism, Bible, Christianity, Deism, Religion, Religion and Spirituality | 5 Comments »