Gandalf Stormcrow

A bringer of news. A wielder of truth. If you wish to remain in the shadow of ignorance or delusion, this is not the place for you. Go back to the shadow! Those thoughts will not avail you here! YOU SHALL NOT PASS!

Archive for the month “February, 2013”

Really?! A “Good” Muslim?

Yesterday, I stumbled onto an online discussion wherein people were arguing back and forth about religion. It appeared that the participants were a mixture of muslims and christians, and they seemed to be having a good time verbally whacking one another with their insults. (Funny how “peaceful” and “loving” religious people can be, isn’t it?) Anyway, one of the posters made a comment that so-and-so was “a good muslim.” That got me thinking. What the hell does that even mean?! Seriously! What does that mean? I thought about it awhile, and this is what I came up with:

Perhaps the “good muslims” are the hundreds of millions of so-called “peaceful muslims” we’ve heard so much about (an extremely formidable force, one would think) who have risen up against the so-called (“very small number” of) “extremist” muslims, and who have openly and publicly denounced them and run them out of the religion so the rest of us can see with our own eyes that “those extremists don’t represent islam as a whole and that most muslims really are peace-loving, friendly people.” No… wait… that has never happened. Ever. Hmm. The so-called “peaceful muslims” certainly are all strangely quiet for some reason and seem to be allowing the atrocities and terrible injustices to continue completely unchallenged. No, the only vocal opposition to muslim atrocities against women, gays, and non-muslims I have ever heard of comes from non-muslims. Interesting, isn’t it? That’s important. Don’t ignore the obvious. It always means something.

Young gay men hanged in Iran. Their crime: Existing and desiring happiness, freedom, and equality.

Young gay men hanged by “good muslims” in Iran. Their crime: Existing and desiring happiness, freedom, and equality.

Since islam (the religion itself) is sick, perverted, destructive, controlling, and evil, it seems to me that there is no such thing as a “good muslim” unless one means a person who is “good at” being a muslim (i.e., totally compliant with all the doctrinal dictates of the religion and who is completely submissive to its prophets and its “chosen” leaders’ instructions and whims — regardless how barbaric and harmful to others they may be). In that vein, perhaps the “good muslims” are those who actually believe that women are a lower-class of human being and can, therefore, be held in eternal bondage, be treated like property, be deprived of their most basic human and civil rights, and be raped or even murdered on a whim. Or perhaps the “good muslims” are those who believe that gays are an “abomination” and should be killed in the streets, or that girls and women should never be allowed freedom, equality, or an education. Maybe they are those who quietly accept and support the wholesale murder and oppression of untold millions of gays, women, and non-muslims (even if they aren’t publicly vocal about it, but they embrace it in their hearts because of their faithfulness to the religion of islam itself). Most muslims, I believe, know exactly what is going on in the name of islam and thus, are complicit through their support of and participation in the “system,” even if they may not actively participate in the most brutal aspects of it themselves. After all, it’s what muhammad told them to do… right? A “good muslim?” Really?!

Click to Enlarge. The bodies of two gay men—bound and executed in the street in Iraq.

Iraq: The bodies of two young gay men — bound and executed in the street by “good muslims.” Their crime: Daring to exist.

No, there is no such thing as a “good muslim” as you’re probably thinking of it, I think. Doubtless, though, there are many inherently good people who just happen to be entangled in, and practice the islamic religion in a very watered-down, generally non-compliant way (which necessarily makes them “bad muslims” in my opinion, but it makes them slightly more appealing as neighbors and fellow citizens, because their actions and behaviors are far less dictated by their sick, perverted religion, and more dictated by their own, innate sense of human decency). No doubt many muslims hate being trapped in the sickness of islam but fear for their lives, because the penalty for apostasy is death. Interestingly, almost all religious people (regardless of their religion) belong to the same religious belief system as their parents (and were indoctrinated in their youth). Thus, most muslims were simply raised in muslim families and cultures, and were indoctrinated from their earliest years, so they have a warped perspective — a sense of right and wrong that is different from most of the rest of the world — and may not know any better (not that that is, or should ever be, an excuse for atrocious behavior toward other human beings). Many muslims are simply victims of brainwashing (youthful indoctrination) and are required by their religion and cultures to obediently submit (and don’t forget that islam means “submit” — not “peace” as many deceptive muslims will tell you) themselves to their religion’s doctrines and standards of behavior for the whole of their lives, so it’s not fully their fault that they think the way they do. If they aren’t actively harming others or supporting those who do, they need to be educated with truth (even if it offends them) — not hated. If they are harming others, they need to be stopped — and hated. Either way, islam (as a religious institution) is to blame for the atrocities that happen in the muslim world, and as such, it should not be accepted or tolerated as a valid or “peaceful” belief system. This is the goddamned 21st century, after all — not the 6th century!

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And please remember… the term “muslim” is neither a racial nor an ethnic identifier — no matter what anyone ever tells you. It is not encoded into a person’s DNA in any way, so it is not a genetic identifier that one is born with and cannot help. One is not born muslim, or christian, or jewish. Everyone is born atheist. Everyone. Even you. One is either indoctrinated (i.e., brainwashed) into religion by their parents while in their youth (and is likely enslaved for life), or one chooses it (or is seduced into it) as an adult. Thus, being a muslim is a religious CHOICE. So remember, whenever one insults a disgusting, hateful, oppressive, destructive, intolerant, misogynistic retard religion (the belief system itself) one is not automatically applying the insult to all of the people who choose to (or claim to) “practice” that religion. Such derogatory labels often do apply directly to the individual constituent members of the group, though. Within the “muslim” group, for example, the same derogatory labels that rightfully apply to the religion itself, also apply individually to the practitioners and supporters of that religion, to the degree that they are personally involved in, directly or indirectly supportive of, or quietly tolerant of the atrocities, the oppression, the mental enslavement, the social intolerance, and the cold brutality for which the religion of islam is so widely known. Yes. They. Do. By personally involving themselves in the activities of, the continued existence of, and/or the expansion of a religious system to which many very derogatory labels rightfully apply, or by quietly supporting such a system (rather than actively speaking out in direct opposition to it), individual people have applied the same derogatory labels to themselves through their individual, personal behaviors and choices. They have personally applied these labels to themselves, and cannot, therefore, claim to be “offended” by their use, or falsely claim that you have applied such labels to them by calling the religion what it actually is. And think about this: People (even muslims who may be trapped in the system and have no way out) who do not support what islam is and does to so many millions of people, would never be offended in their hearts by the application and use of such labels — whether directed at the religion itself, or to those within the religion (even as a general reference) who are directly or indirectly responsible for carrying out, supporting, or enabling the nightmarish oppression and brutality that is islam. Therefore, people who make public claims of “being offended” by the use of so-called “hateful” labels when referring to islam (the belief system itself), cannot be in the group of muslims who do not support (in their hearts) the existence and spread of the religion and its inherent brutality. They cannot be “peaceful” muslims—unless they are also incredibly confused and misguided, because islam is anything but peaceful.

Need another example of “peaceful” islam at work? In the following video “good muslims” burn three poor victims alive for no other crime than being  gay in a cruel execution according to the teachings of Islam and Islamic Sharia law. (**Warning: Extremely Graphic! This made me cry.)

The religion itself should be called what it is, though—sick, perverted, rabid, oppressive, controlling, bigoted-as-hell (even against other religions and cultures), brutal, merciless, backward, homophobic, misogynistic, and very, very, very destructive to society and to the proper and free evolution of the human race — not to mention the fact that it, like all other religions, is based on silly myths and fairy tales (as are all religions). Those who actively participate in such a religion and cause harm or oppression to others (and those who support and defend those who do such thingsdeserve to have those same labels applied to them. Yes. They. Do.

Another muslim woman being executed.

Yet another muslim woman being executed by a “good muslim.” Her crime: Probably something horrible like being raped by a “good muslim.”

The religion of islam is like old testament christianity brought into in the 21st century — backward, bloody, brutal, controlling, merciless, fear-inducing, and absolute. This shit does NOT deserve to be respected or tolerated—in any form. No. It. Doesn’t. Listen to your conscience and your common sense — not to politically correct bullshit.  Then call this religion exactly what it is. Your heart and your sense of human decency will give you the right words. Don’t over think it. Don’t rationalize or make excuses for it. It is what it is, as they say. A twisted, brutal religious philosophy like islam should never be given a pass in human society for fear of insulting the sensibilities of its members and supporters (and thus, be allowed to spread unchecked and ensnare other free peoples). Truth matters. It is true that all religion is bad for human society and the evolution of the human race, but islam is a special breed of dangerous and disgusting. Civilized people should not be tolerant of it or make excuses for it. Look again at the images above. Watch the video if you dare. These things are not the exception. These things are the standard in the muslim world. They happen every day. Islam is brutal. It is dangerous. It is unforgiving. It is final. Its spread — its very existence — should be opposed at every opportunity. I encourage you to speak out in your own way, and try to make a difference — for those who can’t. Somehow, you need to speak out. Every. Voice. Counts.

BTW, I just read this morning that it is projected that by 2030 (Only 17 years from now!), muslims will be the majority in England — due to extremely high immigration and birth rates. Think about what that means — to the people of England, and to the West at large! If (or rather, when) that happens, one very great domino will have fallen…

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Peace…

I am here to challenge your comfortable and familiar perceptions and paradigms — to help awaken you — to make you think.” — AAJG

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Separation of Church and State and the Power of Religion

“The thing to notice about a theocracy is that the “will of God” will always look suspiciously similar to the prejudices and ambitions of those who claim to know what God wants.” — Brad R.

“Religion is inherently dangerous to human society. If it is allowed to exist, it must be carefully controlled.” — AAJG

Click to Enlarge. Iran: Forth Public Hanging in Arak in less than a week. This 23-year-old man was hanged in public on Wednesday, February 20th in the city of Arak.

Click to Enlarge. Iran: The fourth public hanging in Arak in less than a week. This 23-year-old man was hanged in public on Wednesday, February 20th, 2013 in the city of Arak.

All religions claim to have unique, god-given legitimacy and the moral authority to carry out their “god’s” will. Of course, that is completely ridiculous, since there are no gods. Religion has perpetrated this hoax on the people of the world for far too long. Unfortunately for religion, the fact that there are no real gods, means that they (as religious entities or institutions) possess no real, intrinsic power or moral authority over us. In fact, religion (by itself) has very little authority or power over people, and that which they do posses is only perceived to exist. It exists only in the minds of those who become fooled by, and entangled in, the madness of religion.

Religions derive their actual power and authority over others through infiltration into our governments. By becoming intertwined with a people’s government and laws, religion acquires official legitimacy and a portion of that government’s actual power and legal authority over the citizenry. The degree to which “separation of church and state” (a very beautiful concept) exists and is held dear and actively practiced within a society, religions are either held in check or they (whether state-sanctioned or otherwise) hold legitimized, powerful, and oppressive control and legal authority over the people within that society. Where absolute separation of church and state exists, religions are far less harmful to the citizenry, and they have no official or quasi-official legitimacy or authority to impose their will upon the people. Thus, they must rely on seduction and brainwashing (especially the children) to obtain and maintain their membership, and they must convince their members to do their bidding — but they possess no legal authority to punish or harm people, or to impose their will onto that society. Granted, the predatory seduction, indoctrination, fleecing, and manipulation of the naïve, the desperate, the weak, the disaffected, the gullible, and the willing are still bad things which should be opposed and publicly exposed, but they don’t represent the “raw power” that government can give them — the power to do us real harm. Where there is little or no separation of church and state (such as in Iran, which combines elements of a modern islamic theocracy with so-called “democracy”), religion is overwhelmingly powerful and, under the authority it gains from its intimate marriage with government, it imposes its morality and its will on the people of that nation with brutality and without mercy. There is not a single theocracy on earth whose citizens are happy, equal, and free; and there never has been. Think about it.

Click to Enlarge. The horror of religion. A muslim woman being prepared for stoning—after being raped.

Click to Enlarge. The horror of state-sanctioned religion. A terrified muslim woman being prepared for stoning — after being raped.

Thank goodness we live in America where that doesn’t happen, right? Well, sort of. Religion is quite powerful in America and it affects our lives (through the power it derives from its affiliation with our government) in many ways, but it’s nothing compared to nations like Iran and others in that area of the world. The primary thing that holds such heinous religious atrocities at bay in America, I believe, is the fact that we have a fairly healthy respect for the concept of separation of church and state (though I believe it should be made absolute and written into our constitution as inviolable). Were it not for that, we might be in very deep shit too. And don’t be fooled into thinking that the difference is that christianity is the dominant religion here, rather than islam. While it is true that christianity appears to be far more “evolved” and civil than brutal and merciless islam (at least in the current era), it is also true that christianity has a past (and a present) of its own; and if given free reign and the legal powers of our government there is no imagining how it might devolve into an (old testament) islam-like religion again. Don’t forget that both christianity and islam are both abrahamic religions that have many things in common — doctrinally, and in terms of shared lineage, prophets, etc. No, the real difference, in my opinion, is the degree of separation of church and state that we enjoy in America — which greatly limits the power of religion over us. Still, religion (and not just christianity) has been able to infiltrate our government and laws (to a degree) and impose its will on us in much more subtle (but still very real) ways — and it is constantly striving to gain greater power over us through a deeper, more intimate and permanent marriage to our government. So the same problems and concerns apply here in (quasi-theocratic-ish?) America under the constant and tremendous political and social influence of christianity, judaism, and islam (and other religions) on so many areas of our lives — just to a far lesser degree than countries whose government and state-sanctioned religion are fully and happily married.

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How much more free and peaceful might American society be (or human society for that matter), if not for the pervasive, stifling, and deleterious influences of religion and its supporters on humanity. Imagine an America — or world — in which there was still freedom to practice the religion of your choice (though I can’t imagine why any thinking, rational person would want to), but in which there was also total and absolute separation of church and state that was specifically described in and specifically mandated by the constitution — to ensure that religion (ALL religion) is permanently excluded and held separate from our government and its power and legal authorities over us. Imagine if, in America, there were:

  • No official recognition of religion whatsoever.
  • No laws based on religious precepts, or which are designed to support a religious philosophy.
  • No lobbying of government officials or agencies by religious organizations, groups, or individuals (or their representatives).
  • No donations or campaign support to government officials or to candidates for political office of any kind by religious organizations, groups, or individuals (or their representatives).
  • No special tax breaks for religious organizations, groups, or individuals.
  • No pro-religion speeches given by public officials, while acting in their official capacity or while using taxpayer funds or assets.
  • No advocating of any religion or any deity as part of other official speeches given by government officials.
  • No special laws designed to create the illusion of “equality” of religions or the legitimacy of any religion.
  • No government-sanctioned prayer or official religious ceremonies or events using tax-payer funds.
  • No special allowances made by the government for the practice of one’s chosen religion (even if the government is your employer).
  • No official recognition of religious holidays or special occasions.
  • No mention of or practicing of religion in public schools and no special allowances made by the school for the practice of one’s chosen religion during school hours or on school property.
  • No military or congressional chaplains paid for with taxpayer funds. (Civilian clergy could volunteer to serve as military chaplains as a sort “mission trip” and be fully and financially supported by their home congregations — which would probably be the first worthwhile thing they had ever actually done in their careers.)
  • No prayers at official government events, which are part of the ceremony or event.
  • No public officials attending religious events or ceremonies in an official capacity, or using taxpayer funded assets (including Air Force One).
  • No taxpayer monies spent on religious holidays, celebrations, observances, or displays.
  • No religious displays of any kind on any public property.
  • No swearing of official oaths of office on religious texts.
  • No inclusion of “…so help me god” in official oaths.
  • No more “In God We Trust” printed on U.S. currency or any official document.
  • No inclusion of religion in the political or governmental discourse or processes in any form whatsoever, except that which is designed to ensure the absolute, unconditional, and permanent separation of church and state in America.

Imagine an America in which the individual is guaranteed the right to practice their chosen religion, as long as they did so peacefully and within all existing laws, but in which there is no official recognition of the religions themselves (as entities or institutions) or special legal protections for them (as entities or institutions) on any level of government. Imagine an America in which the only laws governing religion were those which regulate, govern, limit, and control religious institutions and their activities — to keep them in their place and to protect the citizenry. Imagine the freedom and peace we might enjoy!

You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one.”

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Peace…

I am here to challenge your comfortable and familiar perceptions and paradigms — to help awaken you — to make you think.” — AAJG

Labeling the Dissenter

“The loud and vocal dissenter against organized and state-sanctioned hate, bigotry, oppression, violence, and intolerance (such as that which exists as a result of religion), is not a “hater” and he is not being disrespectful even if he publicly shames, ridicules, and greatly offends the sensibilities of those he opposes and their supporters.” — AAJG

“Respecting” Religion?

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I was reading an online post the other day wherein someone said something derogatory about Jesus. Naturally, there was a flurry of back and forth commentary. One of the posters admonished the posters and readers that people should, “Respect all religions, even if it’s with your silence. If you disagree with it, you don’t need to voice your opinion.” I thought about that comment for a few moments, and decided that I needed to respond—and to write about it briefly in my blog.  And I won’t even discuss the fact that every American has the constitutionally protected right to express their opinions on any subject they choose—even if some others find it “offensive.” No, I won’t even focus on that, because the right to speak freely is a given, and even jesus and muhammad are fair game. (The use of lower case in their names is very much intentional.)

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Click to Enlarge.

To those who would say that religions should be given automatic respect simply for existing (especially their own religion, of course), I say this: Religions (as institutions) do not deserve respect. Religions (and those who choose to affiliate and associate themselves with religions and who are acting as religious leaders, defenders, apologists, or advocates) must constantly prove themselves worthy of respect—which they (i.e., the institutions themselves) have never done. In the name of religion, billions of people all over the world are (currently!) oppressed, divided, swindled, manipulated, deceived, brainwashed, used as spreaders of hate, deprived of human rights, imprisoned, or murdered every single day—and this has been going on for millennia! How can anyone with a conscience be “silent” about this, or give “respect” to religions or to religious figures? Thankfully, there are growing numbers of people who refuse to be silent and let this backward shit continue unchallenged—in any form or iteration. I am glad to live in a society that protects the speech of individuals—the speech of the outnumbered. And I am glad that so many good people are able to overcome the well-intentioned religious indoctrination (the brainwashing) they received as children and are willing to speak out against the establishment-sanctioned, and long-ago metastasized cancer of religion. There need to be more, because religion is not innocuous to human society—and it certainly isn’t beneficial.

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Click to Enlarge.

Be “respectfully silent?” Uh… no. I submit, that to be silent is not “respectful”—it is to approve. To be silent is not “respectful”—it to be complicit. I would much rather speak out and have those responsible for such atrocities and injustices (and those who participate in them through their “respectful silence”) think me disrespectful, than to allow the disease of religion to spread any further and to ruin or take one more life. Religions do not ever “deserve” respect. What they deserve is careful scrutiny. They deserve to be questioned. They deserve to be controlled and limited, because they are predatory by nature. Scrutiny, questions, reasoned thought, science, truth, and the free exchange of ideas are the bane of powerful, controlling institutions like religion FOR A REASON—because religions are inherently secretive, corrupt, divisive, extremely bigoted, bogus, oppressive, über-controlling, intimidating, manipulating, intolerant, progress-inhibiting, thought-suppressing, for-profit, power-grabbing, influence-peddling, criminal enterprises that cause far more harm to human society than they provide good.

Religion predates the formation of governments, I believe, so it was likely the religions of the world that originally taught/required people to group themselves together and hate and discriminate against the other religious and non-religious “groups” because they were different and served other “gods” (and they still do this shit—on the written instructions of their “gods” and their “prophets”). It was religion, therefore, that likely planted the original seeds for things like bigotry, and racism, and sexism, and oppression, and intolerance, and societal division in the hearts of mankind. I don’t believe these things exist naturally in the hearts of most people. It seems rather obvious to me that humanity learned these behaviors from participation in religion, and through blind obedience to its sick, twisted, divisive precepts, which people have long ago begun to apply more broadly toward one another. These concepts and behaviors were reinforced and greatly solidified in our societies when governments began to form and divide and control us more completely and effectively; but it was religion, I believe, that started it all and which still serves as the primary “moral” justification for its continued existence in society.

Click to Enlarge. Notice what she's wearing.

Click to Enlarge. Notice what she’s wearing.

Besides, if religions were legitimate—if the “god’s” they serve were actually real, who among us mere mortals could find fault in them or their “holy” religious doctrine? Who could judge or criticize an institution based on, and governed by, a truly infallible, perfect, all-powerful, omniscient “god of the universe?” It’s just ridiculous and silly and the people of the world are divided and hating one another for no damned reason.

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Peace…

I am here to challenge your comfortable and familiar perceptions and paradigms—to help awaken you—to make you think. — AAJG

Before you speak to me about your religion…

“Before you speak to me about your religion, first show it to me in how you treat other people.  Before you tell me how much you love your God, show me in how much you love all His children [especially those with whom you differ or disagree philosophically].  Before you preach to me of your passion for your faith, teach me about it through your compassion for your neighbors.  In the end, I’m not as interested in what you have to tell or sell as I am in how you choose to live and give.”  Corey Booker, Mayor, Newark, New Jersey

** Note: I’m not certain whether Mayor Booker was referring to a specific religion or not, but in my mind this rule applies to ALL religions—but most especially to Christianity and Islam, in ALL of their forms and iterations.

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