Tag Archives: religion

Islam: Morally Abhorrent, Senselessly Regressive

Recently, I posted an islamophobic meme in which I said that it is morally abhorrent and senselessly regressive to think that it is normal to idolize and emulate the seventh-century barbarian known as the Prophet Muhammad. It was to be expected that the Muslim apologists would come in droves in defense of the greatest man who ever lived and their religion of peace.

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I received quite a bit of backlash (you can watch the video above for a systematic and epic takedown of a few of the comments, where I defend the meme using the Quran, Hadith, and Sira), but the truth is–everything in the meme is 100% accurate.

Muhammad WAS a homophobic, misogynistic pedophile. What facts substantiate this claim?

Muhammad the Homophobe

Muhammad is considered by all Muslims to be the perfect example, and therefore they will engage in slimy apologetic behavior that curtails their personal responsibility of the tenets of the faith to which they adhere, for what is advised regarding the treatment of homosexuals as per the doctrine.

In parts of the Hadith, it is advised that homosexuals be thrown off of the tops of high buildings and stoned to death (Surah Hud 11:82), and most scholars maintain this position while also recommending alternatives; such as keeping them imprisoned until death. According to the Saudi Ministry of Education Textbooks for Islamic Studies:2007-2008 Academic Year,

Homosexuality is one of the most disgusting sins and greatest crimes…. It is a vile perversion that goes against sound nature, and is one of the most corrupting and hideous sins…. The punishment for homosexuality is death. Both the active and passive participants are to be killed whether or not they have previously had sexual intercourse in the context of a legal marriage…. Some of the companions of the Prophet stated that [the perpetrator] is to be burned with fire. It has also been said that he should be stoned, or thrown from a high place.[1]

This section was removed, likely after the Saudi Textbook controversy and subsequent removals; including educational material that demonizes Christians and Jews or that urges holy war on the nonbelievers.[2]

Muhammad the Misogynistic Pedophile

After his marriage with his first wife ended in his fifties (due to her death), Muhammad took a six-year-old, Aisha, as a bride. At the age of 9, the marriage between Muhammad and Aisha was consummated (Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 7, Book 62, Number 64, see also Numbers 65 and 88; Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 5, Book 58, Number 234, see also Number 236; Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 9, Book 87, Number 140; see also Number 139; Sunan Abu Dawud, Book 41, Number 4915; Volume 5, Book 58, Number 234).

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This is often justified by depicting Aisha as an astute and mature woman for her age in an attempt to dismiss any charges of pedophilia. The concept of pedophilia being a manifestation of deviant behavior did not exist in the seventh century and Muhammad was acting in accordance with the culture of his time; however, Muhammad maintains a status among Muslims as the supreme example for human behavior despite the fact that he did take a child as a wife and had sex with her before she was capable of comprehending the full breadth of the situation.

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The United Nation’s Children Fund (UNICEF) reports that over half of the girls in Afghanistan and Bangladesh are married before they reach the age of eighteen.[3] This is the price that women and girls have paid throughout Islamic history, and continue to pay in sickening numbers, for Muhammad’s status “as an excellent example of conduct.”

child-marriages

Muhammad’s general view of adults of the opposite sex isn’t particularly rosy either. There are several examples available from the Quran, Hadith, and Sira to support the notion that Muhammad harbored a generally misogynistic outlook. He believed that women were cognitively deficient compared to men and that a woman’s witness is worth half that of a man’s (Sahih Bukhari 3:826). He said that most of the inhabitants of hell are women because they are ungrateful (Sahih Bukhari Vol 1:28); they deserve hellfire for having any objection to the way they are treated by their husbands, no matter what that treatment entails… Which can encompass beating your wife into subservience (Quran 4:34; also see Allah condoning the beating of Job’s wife-Quran 38:44).

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There was one occasion where a woman came to Muhammad and explained that her husband had been beating her because he was impotent and she was unsatisfied. Her skin was described as being bruised so badly that it was “greener” than the green veil she was wearing. Upon seeing the woman, Aisha remarked that she has not seen any women suffering abuse like her fellow Muslim women. Instead of admonishing the husband, Muhammad ordered her to return to him and submit to his sexual desires (Sahih Bukhari 72:715). Muhammad also struck Aisha in the chest for leaving the house without his permission (Sahih Muslim 4:2127) and laughed when he heard that his fathers-in-law struck Aisha for annoying him (Sahih Muslim 9:3506). Muhammad also said that a man does not have to give his reasons for why he beats his wife (Abu Dawud 2142).

 

In addition to the Quran, Hadith, and Sira, there are also many respected scholars that approve of wife beating. For example, Egyptian cleric, Abd al-Rahman Mansour, said in a 2012 televised broadcast that, in addition to discouraging the wife from filing divorce, beatings would inspire the wife to “treat him with kindness and respect, and know that her husband has a higher status than her.”[4]

Another prominent example is from Dr. Muzammil Saddiqi, the former president of ISNA (the Islamic Society of North America), a mainstream Muslim organization, who says that it is important that a wife “recognizes the authority of her husband in the house” and that he may use physical force if he is “sure it would improve the situation.”[5]

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Muhammad the Barbarian

As for his barbarism, Muhammad was a conquering warlord and proponent of wanton anti-Semitism. One such example occurred between February and March 627 when Muhammad ordered or carried out (reports varied) an attack on the Banu Qurayza tribe of Jews because he had been ordered to do so by the angel Gabriel. After a 25 day siege, the Banu Qurayza surrendered without a fight and Muhammad ordered the digging of trenches. Approximately 800 Jewish males who had reached the age of puberty (this was determined by checking to see if they had pubic hair) were bound, beheaded, and tossed into the trenches. The women and children were parceled out to Muhammad’s men as slaves for sexual servitude and labor. (Qur’an 33:09-10, 33:26; Abu Dawud 4390 & 2665; Shahih Bukhari 4:52:68 & 4:57:66; Ishaq/Hisham 693; Tabari, Volume 8, Victory of Islam).

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Another fine example of Muhammad’s barbarism and upstanding moral character occurred when an adulteress who became pregnant during her extramarital affair confessed her sins to Muhammad. Muhammad graciously allows her to have her child and wean him, but instead of forgiving her, he has her buried up to her chest and stoned to death. To be fair, Muhammad did initially turn her away, but she asked for forgiveness for her actions through Muhammad. However, after stoning her, Muhammad blessed and forgave, even going so far as to tell one of his generals to be gentle with his abuse during the stoning. Instead of forgiving her, allowing her to live, and raise her child, Muhammad created an orphan, the very people apologists claim Muhammad truly cared for (Sahih Muslim 17:4209).

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These are only two examples of Muhammad’s barbarism during his prophetic career. His barbarism continued with the draconian punishments he enacted and the commandments he established. The punishments that are prescribed in the Quran and the Hadith are extremely violent and not in proportion to the actual crimes committed in any reasonable sense. The repertoire of punishments include being stoned to death (Sahih Bukhari 83:37, Sahih Muslim 17:4192), crucifixion (Quran 5:33), public lashings (Quran 24:2; Abu Dawud 38:4469), amputation of the hands and feet (Quran 5:33 & 38; Sahih Bukhari 8:81:780-791), and beheading (Quran 5:33; Quran 8:12; Quran 47:4; Sahih Muslim 17:4214).

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These punishments can be applied for reasons such as adultery, fornication, consuming intoxicants, outrage against the caliph, apostasy, charges of blasphemy, accusing someone of illicit sex but failing to provide witnesses (four to be exact), missing prayer or praying incorrectly, and theft. These punishments, and the fact that they are sanctioned and prescribed directly by the holy texts that make up the religion, make Islam unsuitable for the contemporary world and are emblematic of the pre-medieval time in which Islam belongs. The institution of these punishments by Muhammad with the authority of Allah makes them applicable then, now, and forever.

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It is quite obvious that Muhammad was morally abhorrent and senselessly regressive, but I will go even further and say that Islam is morally abhorrent and senselessly regressive. Islam is the religion, doctrines, ideas, and culture that originated from Muhammad and following the religion the way he intended it and commanded it to be practiced. It should be clear, looking at the hundreds of jihadist attacks around the world every week, that when Muslim moderates call their literalists  “radical extremists”, what they are really saying is that the extremists adhere to their religion much more strictly than the moderates do. The moderates can’t be outraged or speak against it or else they demonstrate their own hypocrisy, but their silence inadvertently supports the extremism and allows the radicalism to continue.

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Painting Muhammad as virtuous moral character, even if he was prior to his rise to power, and denial of the detestable doctrines established by Muhammad in the Quran, Hadith, and Sira, is a refusal to acknowledge a major global issue.  The truth is that the words and deeds of Muhammad have been inspiring Muslims to commit acts of violence for 1400 years and these acts will continue unless we decide to be honest about what the character of Muhammad, and the religion he founded, really entails.

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In the words of Ayaan Hirsi Ali, “By declaring our Prophet infallible and not permitting ourselves to question him, we Muslims had set up a static tyranny. The Prophet Muhammad attempted to legislate every aspect of life. By adhering to his rules of what is permitted and what is forbidden, we Muslims suppressed the freedom to think for ourselves and to act as we chose. We froze the moral outlook of billions of people into the mindset of the Arab desert in the seventh century. We were not just servants of Allah, we were slaves.”

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Sources:

[1] http://www.hudson.org/files/pdf_upload/Excerpts_from_Saudi_Textbooks_715.pdf

[2]  http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5426633

[3] http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/1206979.stm

[4] http://www.memri.org/clip_transcript/en/3554.htm

[5] http://www.familysecuritymatters.org/publications/id.2543/pub_detail.asp

 

Touching the Wet Paint

It was George Carlin who said, “Tell people there’s an invisible man in the sky who created the universe, and the vast majority believe you. Tell them the paint is wet, and they have to touch it to be sure.”

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Have you ever taken a moment to reflect on this rationally? You were told at some point in your life that a god exists out there somewhere. Throughout your life it was reinforced by the people and you accepted it because of the repetition bias. The repetition bias is a cognitive bias in which there is a willingness to believe what we have been told most often and by the greatest number of different sources. This is why beliefs tend to be geographically based, which means that you will most likely adopt a belief in god similar to the one in your region and/or the belief your parents share. If you had been born in the middle east, you would probably be a Muslim. If you had been born in an Asian country, you would probably be a Buddhist or unaffiliated.

You may think that because everyone around you believes this that it must be plausible, but you would be falling victim to the belief bias. The belief bias is the tendency to judge the strength of arguments based on the plausibility of their conclusion rather than how strongly they support that conclusion. Belief bias in conjunction with confirmation bias–which is tendency for people to (consciously or unconsciously) seek out information that conforms to their pre-existing view points–will cause you to subsequently ignore information that goes against them, both positive and negative.

Once you are trapped in these revolving mental gymnastics, you might fall victim to the status quo bias, which is the tendency to like things to stay relatively the same, when presented with new, factual information. This belief can continue to be reinforced by pareidolia, which is a psychological phenomenon involving a vague and random stimulus, often an image or sound, being perceived as significant.

I’ve outlined just a few of the myriad biases that keep you from thinking logically and rationally. It’s not easy to question what you believe and it may make you very uncomfortable holding contradictory positions (cognitive dissonance), but you should never accept something just because someone told you to or because it feels right. Most people are ardent skeptics, but have never thought of turning that skepticism toward their personal beliefs. That’s why they have to touch the paint to be sure.

“Take the risk of thinking for yourself, much more happiness, truth, beauty, and wisdom will come to you that way.” -Christopher Hitchens


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Free Will is Not Biblical!

I am frequently told by Christians, usually ones that have never read their Bible, that their god has given us free will to choose. Today, I will be addressing this misconception.

There are a few reasons why Christians mistakenly believe this. One reason is to deal with the problem of evil. The problem of evil usually goes like this:

1. If an omnipotent, omniscient, and omnibenevolent god exists, then evil does not.
2. There is evil in the world.
3. Therefore, an omnipotent, omniscient, and omnibenevolent God does not exist.

The common apologetic is for the Christian to declare that their god has endowed us with free will and evil exists because we choose to do evil or we have chosen to sin. This allows them to get away with not placing the blame on their god as the author of evil (despite Isaiah 45:7).

Another reason they may say we have free will is because it is unacceptable to think that we will be held accountable for our actions unless we have free will. In other words, if everything is predestined and there is an eternal place of torture and unending agony, then God is responsible for every single person that endures that suffering.

There is one other reason that is sometimes used and that is that love demands a choice. To word it slightly differently, without free will we would all be robots who have no choice whatsoever.

Seems like this all makes sense, right? Even the Greek philosophers knew that the lack of free will led to some extremely unsettling implications, but where does this idea of free will come from? To be totally honest, it is Christian fan fiction. Free will is not taught by the scriptures. The Bible makes it very clear that predestination is a major theme and that all things happen according to God’s will. Let’s take a look at a few examples.

Most Christians herald Jesus, or Yeshua, as divine, the Son of God, and the Word. It is my understanding, then, that his words must be extremely valuable and without error. In John 6:44, Jesus says, “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day.”

This verse explicitly denies that man has a free will ability to equally accept or reject the gospel. The Greek text of this passage denies, in no uncertain terms, any inherent ability to either choose Christ or reject Him. The primary reason is that the Bible teaches that man is in bondage to sin and has a natural tendency to suppress the truth or to refuse the gospel at all costs. The Bible would have us believe that when a nonbeliever hears the gospel, he will always reject it.

The Greek text says ouvdeis dunatai evlqei/n prosj me (oudeis dunatai elthein pros me). This verse literally says that no one has the ability, in and of themselves, to cause themselves to believe in Christ. This one verse alone denies free will and since Christians think that Jesus is God incarnate, this is sufficient grounds to reject this idea once and for all.

Christians believe Jesus was God, but if there is one man responsible for Christianity—it would be Paul. You would think that a man who established the very fundamentals of Christian doctrine would know exactly what he is talking about, right? Let’s take a look. In Romans 8:7-8, Paul states, “Because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is NOT EVEN ABLE TO DO SO, and those who are in the flesh cannot please God (Emphasis added).”

I don’t think he could have made it any clearer than he does in this passage. It is painfully obvious that submitting to and pleasing God is directed by God himself.

In 1 Corinthians 2:14, Paul says, “But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised.”

This verse is so straightforward that it should not need an explanation. Man, in his natural state, is unable to accept God or the things attributed to his spirit.

Let’s take a look at one more example from Romans to put the nail in the coffin. In Romans 8: 28-30, Paul says, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been CALLED according to HIS PURPOSE. For those God FORKNEW he also PREDESTINED to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified (Emphasis added).”

This passage explicitly states that God calls people according to his purpose, he knew who they were from the beginning of time, and he selected them from many.

At this point, the free will argument should be totally blown out of the water, but allow me to present more verses that will demonstrate the Bible denies free will (Acts 4:27-28, Acts 16:14, Isaiah 10:5-16, Psalm 105:25, Ezra 6:22, Proverbs 21:1, Ephesians 1:11, Ephesians 1:3-6, Ephesians 2: 4-10, Romans 9: 10-15, Romans 9: 16-19, Romans 9: 20-21, 2 Timothy 1:9, 2 Thessalonians 2:13).

There are even a few verses that speaks of the ones that God has not chosen and what fate he has decided for them (Revelations 13:8, Ecclesiastes 7:13, 2 Thessalonians 2:9-13).

With the verses I have supplied directly from the book that Christians believe to be the holy inspired and inerrant Word of God, we can draw the following conclusions:

1. Humans cannot believe in Christ of their own choice.
2. Humans cannot subject themselves to God’s Law of their own choice.
3. Humans cannot accept the things of the Spirit as being true of their own choice.
4. Therefore, humans do not have free will.

Theologians usually respect the early church fathers as authority figures and believe they were inspired by their god to establish church doctrine. In that case, it is worth mentioning that there are many authority figures or church fathers who were respected predeterminists and held that free will was not a biblical concept, including; St. Augustine, Thomas Aquinas, Martin Luther, and John Calvin.

I have demonstrated, thoroughly, that the Bible denies free will and any element of choice in any works that we do. The Bible teaches that from the beginning of time, God has selected who will receive salvation and he will punish and reward people based on what he has predestined. Also, the Bible teaches that all things are in accordance with God’s plan. How does that make you feel? It seems unfair, immoral, and downright evil by any standards, right?

If the Christian God exists, then there is no doubt that it is the most malevolent being in the entire universe. A Good Christian God would choose that everyone be saved; however, the Bible explicitly makes the case that the Christian God has chosen for many to suffer. This plan of God, according to the Bible, has absolutely nothing to do with free will and everything to do with exercising power—without any regards for morality or free will.

This leaves us with quite the dilemma, either:

1. God is evil or immoral because he chooses that many will perish
or
2. The Bible is not the Word of God

Choose carefully.

*This post is adapted from a paper that I wrote in seminary that received a failing grade from my instructor. However, it was overturned by the Dean, who also was one of theologians who was paramount in translating the New International Version. I received a perfect score on the paper. I thought that was worth mentioning.*


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HellBroke Lucy Goes Ape Shit on Religion!

In what can only be described as a moment of drunken wisdom or lucid madness, HellBroke Lucy Dupre rages against one of the worst features of religion–rape and molestation.

Over the past 6 months of monitoring the Black Collar Crime Blotter and surveying the internet for news stories for my Hypocrite of the Week Series, I have noticed that approximately 5 pastors/priests/ministers are accused of and/or charged with child sexual abuse per day.

I can totally relate and agree with Lucy on this one. Something needs to be done and it starts with us.


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Re: Prepare for the Rapture!! PREPARE for War!

Well… We have more pandering to the apocalyptic crowd by the Armoured Christian. How many times have these people incorrectly foretold the end of the world? Far too many to count. Even the person who he calls his god, his lord, his savior, managed to screw up his own prediction.

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Before he comes here and says that “You need a relationship with the Lord to understand”, I would like to say that you can’t hide behind a fictional deity and claim to have access to knowledge without backing up the claim. If you truly have a relationship with a god, then it should be very easy for you to provide substantial evidence.

You see, I once believed that I also had access to this fictional god. I valued and trusted the people around me to be truthful, so I accepted it without question and from that point forward, I saw the world through the peephole of Christianity. Staring through a peephole looking at the outside world does not give you an accurate representation of what is outside. Finally, I mustered the courage to stop looking through the peephole and I opened the door. From that moment forward I have been free. I have been liberated from the shackles of religion. Armoured Christian, I encourage you to stop looking through the peephole and open the door.

Anyway, I figure this is a good time to talk about Yeshua’s failed prophecy and if he can’t get it right, what makes you think that anyone else could? Sometimes I get the apologetic that what Yeshua was speaking of was his transfiguration. Let me nip that in the bud now.

Matthew and Luke copied Mark. This is no secret. Why is this relevant? Mark, the first gospel, places the transfiguration before Jesus’ prophecy. So does Luke. Therefore, it is far more likely that Matthew attempted to correct the mistake. Also, the first century writers were certain that they were living in the last days. because Jesus told them so. They reference it a lot (Hebrews 1:1-2, 1 Corinthians 10:11, Hebrews 10:24-25, 1 John 2:18, James 5:8-9, 1 Peter 4:7, there are many more examples). Apologetics, or apologists, help no one. They make excuses for an omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent, omnibenevolent creator. No excuse will suffice for any being with those attributes.

Again, I challenge you to submit substantial evidence for the existence of your god, unless you don’t actually have a relationship with him.

Full video here for your viewing pleasure


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Skeptics Can Be Gullible Too!

Hemant Mehta gave a phenomenal presentation on the gullibility of skeptics at the recent Milwaukee Mythinformation Conference. It turns out that we are all bad at fact-checking and verifying sources, even skeptics. The internet has given all people a voice and this means that the internet is littered with bogus stories, unchecked “facts,” and half-truths that are spun and taken out of context.

Fact-checking is an arduous, labor-intensive process. A good fact-checker will verify every quotation and paraphrase by calling the person who was interviewed. He or she will ask to see the source for every assertion, requiring the writer to provide a reference. The drafts will be filled with footnotes citing refereed journal articles, interview notes, and reputable websites. A fact-checker will verify every single sentence.

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I’ve long said that atheists are the most superstitious and intellectually lazy people that I know. One of my coworkers would stake her life on the idea that ancient aliens built the pyramids, contrary to the evidence. It is not surprising that we don’t think skeptically and fact-check the way that we should. Humans are an intellectually lazy bunch. We get our thoughts, our culture, our behavior, our ideas, and even our religion from the people around us.


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Hypocrite of the Week #9: Pedophile Pastor with Long History, Includes Grandchildren

*At the time we recorded this video, we did not known that he had molested his grandchildren*

Roy Harriger, an ex-pastor has been found guilty of child sexual abuse. At 71 years old, Roy Harriger allegedly sexually abused 15 different victims in 3 different states over a 40-year period. This includes two of his grandchildren.

Harriger was charged more than a year ago, but continues to preach every Sunday at Community Fellowship Church in Johnson Creek. In fact, Judge James Punch has allowed him to remain free on the quarter million dollars bail that he posted.

The pastor’s son, Robert Harriger says his father should not be on the streets. “He’s found guilty of child molestation. That man should not be on the streets.”

“He’s a flight risk” says another son, George Harriger. “He could hurt my Mom he could hurt other people and stuff, he’s on the streets for eight more weeks until sentencing. This is just wrong. He should not be on the streets.”

Orleans County District Attorney Joseph Cardone admits he has concerns about Harriger remaining free on bail. “but this case did take several months to get tried and there hasn’t been a problem, and I hope that there’s not.”

There are so many things wrong with this situation. How do we stop this from happening?


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