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Morality


© Steve Kelly

How much bad news can we take? Either caused by man or nature?

Meanwhile, I had hope that we had heard the last from Michele Bachmann when she lost her seat in Congress, but then Donald Trump decided to become the first sitting president in history to talk at the Values Voter Summit (a meeting hosted by the Family Research Council, a designated hate group).

Bachmann decided it was time to inform everyone that our president, who has never been religious in the least and seems to be trying to violate as many of the 10 commandments as he can, is a “committed believer” of Jesus Christ and a “man of faith”. How does she know this? Because vice president Mike Pence told her.

But apparently Bachman isn’t the most nutso person at the summit. Another attendee claimed “If there were twitter then, [Jesus] would have used it in a similar way, I think.” I guess he thinks that Jesus would have been tweeting about how Puerto Rico deserves having their island destroyed by a hurricane. Or that NFL players should be fired for “disrespecting our flag”. Or threaten to nuke North Korea. You know, all those things that come to mind when someone asks “what would Jesus do”.


Also published on Medium.

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34 Comments

  1. Wildwood wrote:

    If I were a believer, I would believe that any self respecting god would smite the self designated christians. Since no smiting has occurred it reenforces my lack of belief?

    Sunday, October 15, 2017 at 9:01 am | Permalink
  2. Hassan wrote:

    “Family Research Council, a designated hate group”; who designates hate group? Some liberal organization or congress or somebody else? How does this work

    Sunday, October 15, 2017 at 7:14 pm | Permalink
  3. Iron Knee wrote:

    Hassan, did you read the link in the original post?

    The foremost group that tracks “hate groups” is the Southern Poverty Law Center. Here’s their page on the FRC https://www.splcenter.org/fighting-hate/extremist-files/group/family-research-council

    They are designated a hate group not because they are anti-gay, but because they use lies and propaganda. And besides being anti-gay, they are racist.

    Monday, October 16, 2017 at 7:13 am | Permalink
  4. Hassan wrote:

    Yeah any group that takes liberalism (liberal morality) as standard to designate other groups as hate group does not have much credibility, other than for liberals themselves.

    Monday, October 16, 2017 at 5:22 pm | Permalink
  5. Jonah wrote:

    I think its poppycock that FRC is a hate group. Inciting violence against gays and muslims is protected by the 1st amendment. Gays and muslims should just have to live with this type of hate speech and shouldn’t have anyone stick up for them.

    Tuesday, October 17, 2017 at 2:25 am | Permalink
  6. Hassan wrote:

    Jonah, nice try lumping gays and muslims together. I am not aware of FRC’s any incitement of violence against muslims or gays (very opposite spectrum).

    Tuesday, October 17, 2017 at 7:50 am | Permalink
  7. Iron Knee wrote:

    FRC has spread lies many times, accusing gays of being pedophiles. That, by law, is hate speech. Has nothing to do with liberal morality. I’m really surprised that you are defending hate speech against gays. FRC has also endorsed hate groups that claim that blacks are subhuman. And finally, they organized illegal attacks against medical facilities.

    I’m sure you would be very upset about groups that would say and do the same things against Muslims.

    Tuesday, October 17, 2017 at 8:03 am | Permalink
  8. ThatGuy wrote:

    Hassan, take a look at who they invite to speak at the Values Voter Summit. Brigitte Gabriel and Frank Gaffney were there this year.

    Or you could just look at the head of FRC, Tony Perkins, who doesn’t believe Islam is a religion and therefore that the U.S. Constitution doesn’t protect Muslims. He apparently believes that the only Muslims who are true adherents of the faith are the ones who are terrorists.

    But sure, let’s OK the FRC’s incitement against LGBT folks because it only impacts OTHER people.

    Tuesday, October 17, 2017 at 8:08 am | Permalink
  9. Hassan wrote:

    I will be against violence and incorrect statements. But considering and preaching homosexuality as evil should not label one as hate speech. But again my definition or standards of hate speech do not match SPLC.

    Fundamental issue is unsolved, what is moral or immoral. From FRC it is moral perhaps to call muslims terrorists or blacks sumhumans other than calling homosexuality evil. From me, the morality is rooted in principles of Islam, and ofcourse in it being racist is immoral, or homosexuality is immoral.

    Muslim community (like african americans before) are being forced/played into accepting homosexuality as another group like them. I do not accept that premise that I must defend gays to defend myself. (defend here for morality, not physical violence, which all should be defended against)

    Tuesday, October 17, 2017 at 8:53 am | Permalink
  10. Bobsuruncle wrote:

    Not to poke holes in the morality of Islam, but didn’t Muhammad have sex with a 9 year old?

    I’m sorry, I know that we don’t change minds through brute force or argument, but I’m tired. Tired of false equivalency, tired of people disregarding facts, and tired of many things religious.

    If you think that you have a right to limit gays in their personal lifestyle, you are wrong. If you choose to not support them, so be it. This is the cake issue again. If you believe that baking a cake for someone is condoning everything about them and their activity, you are naive.

    To call a group that is non-partisan liberal because it condemns hate groups that target gays or religion or races is silly. Liberal, intellectual, progressive, compromise are not bad words.

    Tuesday, October 17, 2017 at 11:08 am | Permalink
  11. Hassan wrote:

    BOBSURUNCLE, yes Muhammad Peace Be Upon Him married Ayesha (marriage contract) when she was 7 and consummated marriage at age of 9 (after her puberty). And your point is that it is immoral based on … I am assuming 2017 standards of morality in most US states, christians and atheist alike?

    Tuesday, October 17, 2017 at 11:38 am | Permalink
  12. redjon wrote:

    So, Hassan… Bottom line is that supporting me or things/concepts I agree with is okay and non-discriminatory; while opposing me or things/concepts I agree with is unreasonable at best and may be a result of either far-right or far-left political philosophy, depending on which end of the spectrum I happen to occupy. Is that pretty much it?

    Good thing we have a Bill of Rights in this country, but it would certainly be a good thing IMO if that Bill of Rights was allowed to mature with regard to sexual identity/orientation in the same way that societal mores have regarding marriage to children have been allowed to mature.

    Conversely, perhaps we should also go back to other “acceptable” ancient customs such as slavery?

    Here’s a long quote that solves the problem for me at least:
    “Reason is indispensable to democratic self-government. This self-evident truth was a fundamental commitment of our Founding Fathers, who believed it was entirely compatible with every American’s First Amendment right to the free exercise of religion. When debating policy in the public square, our government should base its laws on grounds that can be accepted by people regardless of their religious beliefs. Public commitment to reason and evidence is the bedrock of a pluralist democracy.”
    — Bruce Ackerman and Todd Gitlin

    Tuesday, October 17, 2017 at 1:02 pm | Permalink
  13. ThatGuy wrote:

    Roman law stipulated marriage not before 12 or 14 years old for girls and boys, for whatever that’s worth, but we’re losing the thread here.

    You’re free to feel as you like about the LGBT community, but you shouldn’t be surprised when many are taken aback when a sitting president has a positive view of an organization that seeks to disenfranchise our fellow citizens (LGBT or otherwise) by spreading false, inflammatory information. For a lot of people, labeling others as evil or faithful to an evil religion is seen as being hateful.

    Tuesday, October 17, 2017 at 1:09 pm | Permalink
  14. Hassan wrote:

    REDJON, bottom line is that SPLC classifying some group as hate group (whether I personally agree or disagree on certain group) may not necessarily mean that rest of country will see same.

    Tuesday, October 17, 2017 at 1:40 pm | Permalink
  15. Bobsuruncle wrote:

    Hassan, I base my morals on me. I think that a 9yr old can’t make an informed decision as to sexuality. If your argument is that I need to base my morality in your god, well, demonstrate him.

    Do you truly want to make the argument that courting a 6yr old, and consummating that marriage at 9 is moral, at any time in history?

    I apologize for the rabbit hole, but like I said, I’m tired of people that hold beliefs that defy facts.

    I do agree with you that not everyone will agree that someone that is racist is, in fact, racist. They can deny facts all they want, but it doesn’t change the actual fact.

    For the vast majority of the Christian Right that voted for Trump, it truly shows how hypocritical people can be. When Trump condones Nazis and condemns peaceful protesting, and conflates it with protesting the flag and soldiers, and people stick up for Trump, I can only shake my head.

    Why has it become mainstream to disbelieve science and tolerate hate?

    Tuesday, October 17, 2017 at 5:24 pm | Permalink
  16. Hassan wrote:

    BOBSURUNCLE, you have your morals based on whatever you want to, as long as I do not have to be forced to accept them. I do not intend to enforce my morals on you, I just stated that SPLC can deem anyone as hate group which it disagrees based on its liberal morality.

    And I do make that argument that there are things that change from time and place. No body in world till 1905 deemed marriage of Muhammad peace be upon him to his wife at age of 9 problematic. But you have full right to deem it immoral based on your morality.

    Also my point is that do not conflate two issues (racism and anti-homosexuality) together. Well of course you are free to do so, but I know vast majority of muslims right now are forefront of fighting racism and active in BLM movement, but will be diametrically opposite on issues of homosexuality. So I am sure SPLC will label imams/scholars/organizations who are active against fighting racism, as hate group because they may not toe in line on gay stuff

    Tuesday, October 17, 2017 at 6:11 pm | Permalink
  17. Hassan wrote:

    FYI, some apologetic muslims may try to play around with age, and say his wife was 17 or 18. But that is incorrect. If you have 11 minutes, this is good academic video

    Tuesday, October 17, 2017 at 6:14 pm | Permalink
  18. Bobsuruncle wrote:

    Hassan, as always, I enjoy our brief conversations here. It’s nice to be able to speak, disagree, and move on.

    Last words on the topic, but as pointed out earlier, many cultures had laws and rules as to what age consent came about, and that was LONG before 1905. Even going by the Quran, women were, on average, experiencing their first mensus at around the age of 14 when Muhammed Peace Be Upon Him was around.

    In regards to conflating of the 2 mentioned items, I’m not quite sure where you’re going with that. I haven’t heard muslim’s speak up the rights of asians, hispanics, or others. In regards to the BLM, I haven’t seen it as a supported position from islam, just followers who believe that supporting it is in line with THEIR morals. If you want to say that they are Muslim, I would ask if they should kill all infidels, as is proscribed by that moral system.

    I can certainly see how many Muslims are homophobic. And I would expect them to be upset about a group that shares their view in that respect.

    But if you look at a Venn diagram, the aforementioned group contains both racist AND homophobic views. Feel free to not condemn them for their homophobia (not sure why, but I’ll let that go), but if they are racist, that’s still defined as Hate Speech, thus would still be defined as a hate group by definition.

    That’s like Christian’s saying Trump is a Christian even though he doesn’t attend, doesn’t pray, molests people, hordes wealth, and seemingly goes out of his way to punish the poor and needy. I just fail to follow the logic.

    So if you can help me understand, I’d be ever grateful. Again, I appreciate your willingness to be honest and upfront on these boards.

    Tuesday, October 17, 2017 at 6:45 pm | Permalink
  19. Bobsuruncle wrote:

    Thanks for the link, will watch it later this evening=)

    Tuesday, October 17, 2017 at 6:46 pm | Permalink
  20. Hassan wrote:

    BOBSURUNCLE if killing infidel was our morality, we would have wiped earth of them long time ago.

    Few muslims who are prominent (and there are many more) in civil rights and BLM are Imam Omar Suleiman (google him, he is close friend of Shaun King) and Linda Sarsour.

    Homophobic? May be if you define it that way, we are adulterophobic, alcoholophobic, usuryophobic, gambleophobic etc

    As far as Christian right supporting Trump. I will leave to them to explain and defend their decisions. I can say if he was Muslim (or pretended to be Muslim), there may be some divisions in Muslim community whether to be outright reject him or may be selectively criticize him for his non-islamic things but tolerate him if his net effect was good. But in Trump’s case his net effect is not even good. (unless spreading racism was considered good by some definition)

    “In regards to the BLM, I haven’t seen it as a supported position from islam”, not only it is supported by Islam, but this is a position that should be supported by American Conservative principles rooted in US constitution of life, liberty and pursuit of happiness. Killing a person unjustly is wrong in every major or minor religion, atheism or whatever ism is out there. The only people who can be against is just have to be outright racist with no other morality.

    Tuesday, October 17, 2017 at 7:21 pm | Permalink
  21. Hassan wrote:

    Also the vast majority of American muslims are blacks, unfortunately more immigrants are prominent.

    Tuesday, October 17, 2017 at 7:27 pm | Permalink
  22. Iron Knee wrote:

    Hassan, you need to be careful throwing around unsubstantiated “facts”. Of Muslims in America: 41% are white, 28% are asian, 20% are black, and 8% are hispanic. See http://www.pewforum.org/2017/07/26/demographic-portrait-of-muslim-americans/

    Wednesday, October 18, 2017 at 7:34 am | Permalink
  23. Hassan wrote:

    Iron Knee, interesting, let me dig up the study that I read which was different. Pew is definitely credible.

    Wednesday, October 18, 2017 at 8:59 am | Permalink
  24. Wildwood wrote:

    So he was sold a 6 year old girl whom he married and then decided at age nine he had waited long enough and consummated the marriage? This in spite of the fact that at age nine, she more than likely was years away from puberty. I’m not religious, but he makes Jesus look good. So homosexuality bad, pedophilia and selling and buying children good. Got it.

    Wednesday, October 18, 2017 at 9:28 am | Permalink
  25. Ralph wrote:

    Jonah – unless I’m sorely mistaken, the 1st Amendment DOES NOT protect against inciting violence against ANYONE. You can not cavalierly threaten me or my family, for example, with impunity and then hide behind the 1st. You can’t yell “fire” in a crowded theater (the classic example). You can march in the streets shouting “Jews will not replace us”, but I guarantee if they were shouting “Kill all the Jews, lynch the N*****s” in Charlottesville, they would have been dealing with a lot more public outrage and even legal consequences than Antifa brought forth.

    You can’t keep people from hating or wanting to kill, you can’t control what is in other’s hearts and minds, whether based in one’s religion or racial attitudes, but we all have the right to be free from intimidation or threats of violence.

    We live in interesting times, as the old saying goes. The Second Amendment is killing us, while the First is taking pot shots from comrade Agent Orange in the White House.

    Wednesday, October 18, 2017 at 10:15 am | Permalink
  26. redjon wrote:

    Hassan, back to your point… My opinion would be that any group that promotes hatred of anyone for ANY reason is correctly be classified as a hate group.

    Group hatred = hate group. Yes.

    Do hate groups have a right to free speech, the same as anyone else? Of course. Do they have a right to promote violence? That’s a grey area, as far as I know (and I am NOT an attorney so the extent of my knowledge about the law is shallow). Do they have a right to practice violence? No.

    How is there even an argument to be had about this?

    Wednesday, October 18, 2017 at 1:06 pm | Permalink
  27. Hassan wrote:

    WILDWOOD, it is interesting that you take a fact based on islamic texts (hadiths) that she was 9 when marriage was consummated, but you cannot believe that she had hit puberty from same sources. I think you can write thesis on when girls used to hit puberty in 8th century arabian desert.

    Wednesday, October 18, 2017 at 2:26 pm | Permalink
  28. Hassan wrote:

    WILDWOOD, and Jesus peace be upon him was good as well.

    Wednesday, October 18, 2017 at 2:27 pm | Permalink
  29. Jonah wrote:

    Hi Ralph. I was being sarcastic. Pretty much everything i wrote was the opposite of what i felt. I think Hassan got it but probably no one else did.

    Wednesday, October 18, 2017 at 2:43 pm | Permalink
  30. Wildwood wrote:

    I’m not an expert on puberty, but that aside Hassan, being sold and forced to marry, regardless of age is not a good thing.

    As a side note, my computer has gone to that landfill in the sky made up of old electronics, so I’m sorry it took so long to get back to you. I’m using the antique computer of my husband when I can get it. And it is so slow.. so so slow. Hopefully I can get a new one soon.

    Friday, October 20, 2017 at 1:17 pm | Permalink
  31. Hassan wrote:

    WILDWOOD we can agree on the part “being sold and forced to marry, regardless of age is not a good thing”, as it is against Islam to be sold and forced to marry. (neither of which was the case of Aisha marriage to the messenger of Allah, Muhammad peace be upon him)

    Saturday, October 21, 2017 at 6:52 am | Permalink
  32. Wildwood wrote:

    Hassan, a marriage contract is a sale of one person to another. A child of that age would have had no say in who and when she married and even had she had a say, was not old enough to be able to make a good decision in the matter. That aside, a religion needs to change as the world and it’s attitudes evolve. If a religion does not do that it’s going to be judged on today’s standards, not those of the Middle Ages.

    Saturday, October 21, 2017 at 8:48 am | Permalink
  33. Hassan wrote:

    WILDWOOD:

    You are judging religion by today’s standards, I am judging today’s standards by religion. (and your today’s standards are limited to western english speaking countries)

    In Islamic jurisprudence, an action can be in any of following 5 categories:

    1. Obligatory (must do, like praying, fasting etc)
    2. Recommended (highly encouraged to do and something rewardable)
    3. Permissible (most of human activities fall in this category, religion is neutral in foundation about it)
    4. Disliked (better to be avoided, may be sinful if persisted)
    5. Forbidden (must not do, person doing is sinful)

    Now based on time/place/culture/circumstances an action may change from its principle position. So for example eating pork is forbidden, but in case of person dying and has nothing else is available, it becomes allowed to eat enough to survive. Most of the matters in point number 3 either stay neutral, or can go up and down based on time/place/culture/circumstances.

    So age of marriage is something in that category. A muslim just needs to follow the law of the land in that matter. So there is nothing wrong with age of 18 here in most states or perhaps 16 somewhere in world etc. But we do not criticize one time/place/culture on based of that.

    I have lived in west and east, and perhaps traveling and living elsewhere may help you. My brother got married at age of 29, and do you know when he first met his wife? The day of marriage! (and happily married for 16+ years). You have no idea how things work elsewhere (and that does not mean they will work everywhere, just realize world, time is not limited to 2017 New York or whatever)

    Saturday, October 21, 2017 at 9:55 am | Permalink
  34. Wildwood wrote:

    Hassan thank you for the list of actions. But do the things that fall within each category evolve? I’m thinking of the countries that have bans on things like women driving, wearing western style clothing, getting an education, circumcision, stonings, and planned marriages. You say your brother has a happy marriage and that’s a great thing for him. But arranged marriages can’t all be happy. And as a male, would you really know if his wife is truly happy? She can say she is, she can do all the right things to indicate that she is, but unless you are a true confidant you can’t know.

    By the way, I’m enjoying this conversation and hope I have not offended you too much. A little offensiveness is kind of who I am. But I’m also very curious and interested in things I have little experience and knowledge of.

    Saturday, October 21, 2017 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

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