A Good American

by: Kysen

Tue Dec 01, 2009 at 01:31:48 AM EST



It never ceases to frustrate me how ignorant so many of my fellow Americans are about the Muslim faith (or, really, about any faith beyond Christianity). There are over a BILLION Muslims on this silly planet of ours, and merely a fraction of a fraction of them are 'terrorists'. Yet, the entire faith gets slapped with the broad brush whenever a follower of Muhammad wreaks havoc. Did the atrocities committed in Bosnia by Christians against Muslims (genocide!) represent all Christians? Does the attempt by Christian leaders in Uganda (with the possible backing of Christian leaders here in the States) to make being HIV positive and homosexual punishable by death represent all Christians? IMO, no single group of followers throughout history have been more 'terrorizing' than Christians; yet, for some reason, seldom do you hear Americans lashing out at the followers of Christ for the evils committed by a tiny fraction of their brethren. In both cases the blame is misplaced. It is evidence of ignorance and fear of the unknown and unfamiliar...of the need to blame 'other' and 'different' for the evils and ills of the world. And it has been used to manipulate the majority against the minority in countless ways since the beginning of time. It is such fear and hatred and ignorance that are to blame for terrorism, not any particular faith (or its followers).

I have noticed several conversations and comments about Muslims in recent threads on the Moose. While visiting family for Thanksgiving, something I read here reminded me of an email exchange from a few years back. A friend received a hateful forward in a mass email blast, and she asked me to help her pen a response to 'reply to all'.... You will find the result below the fold.



Kysen :: A Good American
I am attaching the entire reply (with permission), starting with the original gnasty email, followed by her edit of it and then her personal commentary. My apologies if the formatting is a bit off. I tried to keep it as true to the original as possible.





Can Muslims be Good Americans?

Something to think about.
Coexistence of Judeo-Christian and Muslim Societies ?
Food for thought
Bigoted or not........just read and think and draw your own conclusions.

Can Muslims be Good Americans?

Can a devout Muslim be an American patriot and a loyal citizen? Consider this:

Theologically, no. Because his allegiance is to Allah, the moon god of Arabia.

Scripturally, no. Because his allegiance is to the five pillars of Islam and the Quran (Koran).

Geographically, no. Because his allegiance is to Mecca, to which he turns in prayer five times a day.

Socially, no. Because his allegiance to Islam forbids him to make friends with Christians or Jews.

Politically, no. Because he must submit to the mullah (spiritual leaders), who teach annihilation of Israel and destruction of America, the great Satan.

Domestically, no, because he is instructed to marry four women and beat and scourge his wife when she disobeys him (Quran 4:34).

Religiously, no. Because no other religion is accepted by his Allah except Islam (Quran, 2:256)

Intellectually, no, because he cannot accept the American Constitution since it is based on Biblical principles and he believes the Bible to be corrupt.

Philosophically, no, because Islam, Muhammad, and the Quran do not allow freedom of religion and expression.

Democracy and Islam cannot co-exist.

Every Muslim government is either dictatorial or autocratic.

Spiritually, no, because when we declare "one nation under God," the Christian's God is loving and kind, while Allah is NEVER referred to as our heavenly father, nor is he ever called love in the Quran's 99 excellent names.

Therefore after much study and deliberation....perhaps we should be very suspicious of ALL MUSLIMS in this country.

They obviously cannot be both good Muslims and good Americans. Call it what you wish...it's still the truth. If you find yourself intellectually in agreement with the above, perhaps you will share this with your friends. The more who understand this, the better it will be for our country.

The war is bigger than we know.


Can Catholics be Good Americans?

Something to think about.
Coexistence of American and Catholic Societies?
Food for thought
Bigoted or not........just read and think and draw your own conclusions.

Can Catholics be Good Americans?

Can a devout Catholic be an American patriot and a loyal citizen? Consider this:

Theologically, no. Because his allegiance is to the Pope, the ruler of a foreign city-state.

Historically, no. Throughout history, nations ruled by the Catholic Church have been amongst the most repressive, oppressive, and war-mongering on record. Exhibiting a distinct lack of compassion and disdain for freedom of religion, their historical record is the antithesis of what our Nation stands for.

Ideologically, no. Because his faith was an inspiration for Nazism. ("I learned much from the Order of the Jesuits. Until now there has never been anything more grandiose, on the earth, than the hierarchical organization of the Catholic Church. I transferred much of this organization into my own party" -Adolf Hitler).

Socially, no. Because his allegiance to Catholicism forbids him to make friends with Protestants or Jews. (blasphemers and the killers of Christ)

Politically, no. Because he will use the political platform to further the causes of his true leader, The Pope.

Domestically, no. Because polygamy is accepted (the Bible is rife with men w/ multiple wives), they are anti-woman (women are not to speak in church. 1Cor. 14:34-35, 1Timothy 2:11-15), and they are anti-handicapped (the 'afflicted' are not to enter church. Lev. 21:16-23).

Religiously, no. Because no other religion is accepted by his God except his own. (Acts 4:12, John 14:6)

Intellectually, no. Because he cannot accept the American Constitution since it is based on Protestant Biblical principles written for a nation founded by those fleeing the persecution of Catholic rule.

Philosophically, no. Because Catholicism, Jesus, and the Bible do not allow freedom of religion and expression.

Ethically, no. Because his Church concealed crimes against children and protected those guilty of them.

The Protestant Christian nation of America has historically seen his leader, The Pope, as the Anti-Christ. The militant Catholic group IRA/Sinn Fein and their allies are responsible for terrorist attacks that have killed over 2000 men, women, and children.

Spiritually, no. Because when we declare "one nation under God," it is the Protestant Christian's God. Not the God of those who worship the mother of Christ and bow to the leader of a foreign nation.

Therefore after much study and deliberation....perhaps we should be very suspicious of ALL CATHOLICS in this country.
.They obviously cannot be both good Catholics and good Americans. Call it what you wish...it's still the truth. If you find yourself intellectually agreement with the above (God forbid) , perhaps you will share this with your friends (one would hope not) . The more who understand this, the better it will be for our country (my ass).
.
The war
(on ignorance) is bigger than we know.

***Of course, the above is RIDICULOUS. It is just as ridiculous as the initial forward about Muslims was. I could create equally ludicrous lists 'proving' that Jews, African-Americans, Italians, Germans, American Indians, and even Women are incapable of being 'good Americans'. We cannot let Theological hubris distort our view of our fellow Americans. The more who pull their heads out of their myopic and bigoted rears, the better it will be for our country.

I am a practicing Catholic and a product of the Parochial School System. My parents and grandparents were treated as lesser citizens because of their Catholic faith. My father now laughs about being called a 'mackerelsnapper' in grade school, but, at the time it was meant to be hurtful..and it was. America has both a history of inclusion, and a history of exclusion. We are at our strongest when we embrace the differences amongst us, and at our weakest when we condemn them. In order for our Nation to continue to succeed, we must learn to stand United. Not divided.

"But no matter how hard Catholics strived to prove they were good, upstanding, patriotic American citizens, some Protestants would never accept them, simply because they were Catholic."

Can Muslims be Good Americans? Of course. To suggest otherwise is as laughable as saying that Catholics cannot be Good Americans.

Are there radical Muslims? Yes, without a doubt. Are there radical Catholics? Again, yes. In fact, with no exception, there are radical elements of every faith. Radical Muslims no more represent Islam as a whole than radical Catholics represent Catholicism.

Today, we are at war with the radical element of the Muslim faith. We are not at war with Islam. Think about it, 30 years ago Great Britain could have (and likely would have) labeled Catholics as their greatest terrorist threat. 30 years ago (actually, until fairly recently) it was the radical element of the Catholic faith that was bombing innocents in Great Britain. The majority of Catholics are not terrorists any more than the majority of Muslims are.

We have Muslim soldiers fighting on the front line for our country. We have Muslim teachers molding our youth. We have Muslim doctors/nurses/police officers/ fire fighters working to care for and protect the citizens of our grand nation. These men and women work alongside Christians, Jews, Hindus, and Atheists. Americans all.

To proclaim oneself a Christian, yet forward the hateful missive that prompted this reply, is hypocritical at best. The Christian message is one of Love and Hope, not Hate and Fear.

Prejudice itself is a form of terrorism.

Bottom line, if you have read this far, Catholics and Muslims both are fully capable of being 'good Americans'. As is anyone of any faith who embraces and upholds that which our nation stands for.....Liberty, and Justice, for ALL.

"Let us be instruments of peace. Where there is hatred, let us sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; where there is sadness, joy."
- St. Francis of Assisi

Fight the good fight.

Christianity:
So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets. -Matthew 7:12

Judaism:
What is hateful to you, do not to your fellow man. That is the entire law: all the rest is commentary. -Talmud Shabbat 31a

Islam:
No one of you is a believer until he desires for his brother that which he desires for himself. -Sunan

Buddhism:
Hurt not others in ways that you yourself would find hurtful. -Udanavarga 5:18

Brahamism:
This is the sum of duty: Do naught onto others which would cause pain if done to you. -Mahabbaratas: 6517

Confucianism:
Is there one maxim which ought to be acted upon throughout one's whole life? Surely it is the maxim of loving kindness: Do not unto others what you would not have them do unto you. -Analects 15:23

Taoism:
Regard your neighbor's gain as your own, and your neighbor's loss as your own loss.
- T'as-Shang Kan Ying Pi'en


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A Good American | 66 comments
Actually, the Golden Rule goes a bit further than just those... (2.00 / 11)

Part of the reason I attended Unitarian services was to find common ground with folks of disparate faiths, and share our lessons.  


Whether it sprang up in multiple societies (2.00 / 7)
or spread from one original, it has obviously been accepted as a universal truth. Perhaps, The Universal Truth

This is not a recession. It's a robbery.

[ Parent ]
ROCK ON!!! (2.00 / 7)


I am years behind and decades ahead. ~ Somebody else, I am certain


Can't help myself... (2.00 / 7)


I am years behind and decades ahead. ~ Somebody else, I am certain


[ Parent ]
Fantastic diary. (2.00 / 8)
Pretty much sums up my feelings about it.  

This is not a recession. It's a robbery.

Everyone...look quick! (2.00 / 12)
It is the rarest of Moose rarities...a Kysen diary....catch it while you can!  ;)

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I hope all Moose had a peaceful Thanksgiving filled with love and laughter (and lots of food).

;)


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Woof! (2.00 / 7)


John Askren - "Never get into a pissing match with a skunk."

[ Parent ]
Dude... (2.00 / 6)
...you just waltz in and blow the friggin' doors off the place.  Well done, Broheme.

Earth is the best vacation place for advanced clowns. --Gary Busey
 


[ Parent ]
Bravo, Kysen. (2.00 / 5)
I'm mad impressed, as usual. :)

[ Parent ]
Hey lady! (2.00 / 5)
where you been?

John Askren - "Never get into a pissing match with a skunk."

[ Parent ]
... (2.00 / 6)
I tripped and fell down that damned rabbit hole (AGAIN). :)

[ Parent ]
welcome back to the land of the living (2.00 / 5)
or whatever we are...

John Askren - "Never get into a pissing match with a skunk."

[ Parent ]
psssst... (2.00 / 5)
I'll have a (long overdue) surprise for you very soon...

Earth is the best vacation place for advanced clowns. --Gary Busey
 


[ Parent ]
you're such a tease... (2.00 / 5)


[ Parent ]
You picked up on that, eh? (2.00 / 6)


This is not a recession. It's a robbery.

[ Parent ]
Here, let me fix this for you. (2.00 / 8)
...ignorant so many of my fellow Americans are about the Muslim faith (or, really, about any faith beyond including Christianity).



"When Fascism comes to America, it will come wrapped in teh stupid and waving a gun" ~ Esteev on Wonkette

Good catch! n/t (2.00 / 6)


Come to me in my dreams, and then
By day I shall be well again!
For so the night will more than pay
The hopeless longing of the day.


[ Parent ]
Hah! (2.00 / 5)
Touché!

;)

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[ Parent ]
Very cool and quite clever. (2.00 / 7)
I LOL'd. ; )

Come to me in my dreams, and then
By day I shall be well again!
For so the night will more than pay
The hopeless longing of the day.


Though it was 3-4 years ago.... (2.00 / 6)
I very much remember sittin' down with her to write it...there was much laughter involved.  ;)

BTW...thank you for your CSS skillz, Madame Editor...your patience was very much appreciated.  


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[ Parent ]
No problem! (2.00 / 5)
Anything for a fellow Moose. ; )

Come to me in my dreams, and then
By day I shall be well again!
For so the night will more than pay
The hopeless longing of the day.


[ Parent ]
My eyes seem to want to tear up right now. This is why I come here. nt (2.00 / 9)


The older I get... (2.00 / 8)
...the more I come to understand that there will always be a disporportionate amount of teh crazy, teh stoopid, and teh razist -- here and everywhere.  The burden for all remaining decent folk is to keep the meathead hordes at bay to whatever extent possible.  It's like mowing a big lawn that needs a fresh cut once you've reached the far side.  If we slow the growth, and/or the lawn gets a bit smaller for our efforts as we shift our lancscaping duties to the next generation, then we've done alright.

This is why I so desperatly want to kick assclowns like Glenn Beck in the sack -- they're walking behind us sprinkling noxious weed seed.

With this diary, you've taken a nice turn at the helm the mower, Kysen.  Eternal vigilance!

Earth is the best vacation place for advanced clowns. --Gary Busey
 


Motley Moose Landscaping Co. (2.00 / 7)
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[ Parent ]
Hubba, hubba. (2.00 / 7)


"When Fascism comes to America, it will come wrapped in teh stupid and waving a gun" ~ Esteev on Wonkette

[ Parent ]
I wandered into one of those "Christian" tv channels last night. (2.00 / 7)
Usually I zoom right past but I stopped because there was a graphic that included a Middle Eastern guy who looked like a terrorist with his face shielded.  The tv guy was talking about Arabs.  When he opened his Bible I changed the channel but he obviously was conflating Arabs with Muslims with terrorists, presumably partly to justify unconditional support for Israel.

People who watch this kind of thing either don't know any better or choose not to know any better.  The dude on the tv reads a passage from the Koran or the Bible that supports his POV and perpetuates that Muslims bad, Christians good meme.

I've never had anything against organized religion (I just haven't felt the need to go to church on a regular basis) but I'm beginning to.  Not painting with a broad brush is difficult.

"When Fascism comes to America, it will come wrapped in teh stupid and waving a gun" ~ Esteev on Wonkette


Loved your diary. (2.00 / 8)
My youngest brother was a wingnut during Bush's first 4 years.  He lives in Alberta where he was trying to form a chapter of the John Birch Society in his spare time.  He used to talk about the Islamofascists, etc.  Then he met a woman, fell in love and married her.  She is Muslim, quite liberal and her family moved to Canada from Iran.  As a gesture of good faith to her family, my brother became a Muslim (he told me he was considering also becoming a Jew just to be fair).  Not sure he'll ever be a raging liberal but she has worked wonders on his attitude.

yet, for some reason, seldom do you hear Americans lashing out at the followers of Christ for the evils committed by a tiny fraction of their brethren.

We don't dare.  They're armed to the teeth and hate everyone who isn't them.


Awesome Kysen (2.00 / 5)
So broad in his thinking.
Great email exchange, and what you added is completely on the money. Though you're not British, what you said here I remember, and always remember when I hear the intolerance which is bandied around today

Today, we are at war with the radical element of the Muslim faith. We are not at war with Islam. Think about it, 30 years ago Great Britain could have (and likely would have) labeled Catholics as their greatest terrorist threat. 30 years ago (actually, until fairly recently) it was the radical element of the Catholic faith that was bombing innocents in Great Britain. The majority of Catholics are not terrorists any more than the majority of Muslims are
.

Kysen, you're too smart and broad minded to be Ivy League

You're in a league of your own...

The p***artist formerly known as 'Brit'


A Good American (2.00 / 9)
Being a good American doesn't require a religion or what faith you are into. What matter is that you are truly a good person inside and out. I think this is very an inspiring post. Thanks!  

Bingo. (2.00 / 6)
And welcome to the Moose, where techies of all stripes are always appreciated.

!~)

John Askren - "Never get into a pissing match with a skunk."


[ Parent ]
Precisely. (2.00 / 7)
Democrat, Republican, or Independent -- Catholic, Muslim, or atheist -- it's being a good person that truly matters. And I think you'll find Chris above to be one of the staunchest believers in that doctrine: That regardless of ideology, it is fundamental decency that matters. And in that I would firmly agree with him.

By the way, many welcomes to The Moose, techy. ; )

Come to me in my dreams, and then
By day I shall be well again!
For so the night will more than pay
The hopeless longing of the day.


[ Parent ]
Don't forget us Pagans, Indigenous (2.00 / 6)
priests/practitioners and poly-theists ;)

We are good American's too.  Often ignored are the millions of practitioners of indigenous belief systems around the world, simply because we don't have "organized status".  

"If you're in a coalition and you're comfortable, you know it's not a broad enough coalition"

Bernice Johnson Reagon


Good Americans maybe (2.00 / 4)
But let's face it, until y'all get those Renn Faire people in check and the Newage folks to quit yapping, it's going to be a hard road to hoe...

/Yes, I accept that the Nichiren do Buddhism no favors...


[ Parent ]
Begging Your Pardon (2.00 / 4)
Most Pagans are content to operate without mainstream structure or public image management, it is in many respects anathema to our beliefs.  And it is a 'big tent,' bigger, I'm guessing, than you might think.

My understanding of Paganism is it lets the chips fall where they may as far as theology is concerned and allows for the subtle influences of each person's perceptions to weave whatever magic they will.  Pleiadeans included:


"Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law. ...love is the law, love under will."

Aleister Crowley

It's a broad 'church,' no argument there.


[ Parent ]
Yes. (2.00 / 3)
As long as they are a minority. Let them become the dominate religion and see how fast that changes.

This is not a recession. It's a robbery.

[ Parent ]
Heh. (2.00 / 4)
I could not agree more. Humans seem to have a propensity toward elevating one's personal beliefs over others when in power. I would prefer people to stay out of my spiritual beliefs, just like the Constitution says.

I am years behind and decades ahead. ~ Somebody else, I am certain


[ Parent ]
Modern Paganism... (2.00 / 3)
And 'dominate religon' have no juxtaposed meaning, in my understanding.  It would be like suggesting that the chthonic beliefs of myriad primitive societies, however varied, were the 'dominant religon' before the rise of organised and priestly matriarchy.  

Just look at the Greek and Roman polytheisms, while arguably small 'p' pagan.  In spite of every effort they could no more prevent the religious practices of neighbouring cultures from indelibly altering their own pantheon than they could police their own population from the resultant cultist apostasy.


[ Parent ]
Yes, let's look at Greek and Roman polytheistic religions. (2.00 / 2)
Could you remind me again what the charges were that were brought against Socrates? Or, perhaps, we could discuss the persecution of the early Christians by pagans? Then again, maybe we should discuss the human sacrifice that was common to many pagan religions. Or, the continuing strife in Africa between different tribes with different pagan beliefs. I can go on, if you'd like.

Now, if you are talking about some new-age, neo-paganism then maybe you have a point. But, I'd consider any claims made by neo-pagans to be the representative of paganism as quite egotistical. They are a tiny minority of pagans.  

This is not a recession. It's a robbery.


[ Parent ]
Hey John! (2.00 / 2)
That is one of my favorite songs!



I am years behind and decades ahead. ~ Somebody else, I am certain


[ Parent ]
I Knew That... (2.00 / 1)
Comment would put the cat among the pigeons.  You may have noticed I cited the Greeks and Romans as small 'p' pagans, but never mind, we can go there.  Socrates was accused of corrupting the youth and impiety.  From recollection the impiety charge was not proven and a jury of citizens found him guilty, mostly for being a general nuisance.  Plato's account suggest that Socrates was indeed pious and his mysticism more solidly grounded in Athenian mythology than most of his contemporaries.  Their 'scripture' was pretty much Homeric, the actual mythology was varied from region to region.  He was given the opportunity to suggest his own punishment and he proposed that he be given free dinners at the Prytaneum; the prosecutor, admittedly an Archon and therefore a religious figure, suggested death.  As for his actual accuser, Meletus:


He says that Socrates corrupts the young, and that Socrates is the only one to do so, but he can not provide a motive for why Socrates would do this. Socrates shows that if he were to do this it must surely be in ignorance, for no man would intentionally make bad those living around him. Concerning the accusation that Socrates believed in strange spirits and not the gods of the state, Socrates tricks Meletus into saying that spirits are the offspring of gods, and since no one believes in flutes playing without flute players, or in horses' offspring without horses, how could Socrates believe in the offspring of gods without believing in gods?

Meletus Wikipedia

Meletus was not the brightest spark in the fire, apparently, and many suggest it was Anytus, a leading democrat and enemy of the 'tyrants,' who actually conspired against Socrates.  Socrates' true crime may have been that he was Critias' teacher, one of the despised Thirty and an oligarch, giving a strictly political interpretation.  There is a 'Christ-like' quality surrounding Socrates' martyrdom.

To see the early Christian prosecutions as anything but political is arguably a grave historical mistake, given the contemporary tolerance for cults such as those of Isis and Osisris, Judaism, Mithra and Manichaeism, Orphism and Bacchus, to name just a few.

And there is no doubt that human sacrifice was widespread in the chthonic 'paganism' and the polytheistic matriarchal priestly religions, I'm just wondering at the point you are making here.  That doesn't seem to suggest 'paganism' is doctrinaire in historical practice, which is my point.  And in this respect I am calibrating a fine line between the 'paganism' to which I refer and the institutionalised religious practice of later Druidic and Celtic faiths.

Your comment about 'the continuing strife in Africa between different tribes with different pagan beliefs,' however is more to my point.  Taking things to extremes, to be sure, and more in line with my comments about chthonic practice, but surely evidence of paganism as the antithesis of an institutionalised 'dominant religion' in this example.

And, no, I am not restricting this to a discussion of neo-paganism, among my most significant spiritual mentors I count Socrates, at least as far as he is reported by Plato.  Not to mention the Christ.  And Eastern influences like Lao Tzu as well as, counterintuitively, Buddha and some of the early Mahayana Zen teachers; Buddhism has a distinctly pagan quality as originally taught, before it became accreted priestly dogma.  Of course Steiner, Crowley and others are 20th century influences, but in may respects they are just transcribing ancient teaching into a modern metaphysical lingua franca.


[ Parent ]
What would be the typing equivalent (2.00 / 1)
of biting one's tongue? Crossing one's fingers? Whatever it is, I just did it and it proved successful.

I'm going to skip the bit about Socrates and just about everything else you wrote, because it doesn't really apply to my point. And, that is rather simple. Religion, whether you believe it to be of human origin or divine, is certainly only practiced by humans. Any human organization that deals with religious topics can, and will, be twisted to take power over other  humans minds and bodies. Not all end up going that route, but those that don't are usually the ones that never become dominate.

One could argue that almost all examples of religious excesses have roots in the politics of their times. The Christian martyrs of East Asia are good examples, as are the Catholic martyrs of England. That doesn't undermine my point. It only reinforces it. Allow a religion to become dominate and it will be perverted and used for power.  

This is not a recession. It's a robbery.


[ Parent ]
Fingers Crossed (2.00 / 2)
I think we are arguing at cross purposes.  My 'religious' epiphany, and that is a word I would rarely use to describe it, only occured after my belief that 'any human organization that deals with religious topics can, and will, be twisted to take power over other humans minds and bodies.'  Only then.

What more can I say?  Perhaps my spiritual belief is not religion as you understand it but it certainly satisfies my quest for humility and faith.  What else can I say?  Some things are perhaps better left unexplained.


[ Parent ]
This suggest another interesting discussion. (2.00 / 2)
What is religion? Can beliefs that have only one adherent be called religion or do they only qualify for that label when others share the same beliefs? I wonder what the Supreme Court has ruled on that subject?

This is not a recession. It's a robbery.

[ Parent ]
Gee... (2.00 / 2)
That's a thought.  I always took my freedom of religious belief as a given, especially if I keep it to myself.  Where Paganism is concerned there's always the fire code and public decency statutes to consider, I suppose.

[ Parent ]
Not to Mention... (2.00 / 1)
Controlled substances, disturbing the peace and corrupting the morals of minors.  Sigh.

[ Parent ]
Well, (2.00 / 2)
there is that whole dancing naked in the moonlight and eating Christian babies to take into account.

This is not a recession. It's a robbery.

[ Parent ]
Never Considered... (2.00 / 2)
The Christian babies thing.  Christian babes, well that's a different matter.  There's nothing like dancing naked on the beach in the moonlight to raise one's spirits and lower one's inhibitions...  Ever been to a doof?

[ Parent ]
Nom nom (2.00 / 2)
Christian babes or Christian babies.  They's both good eatin'.

Earth is the best vacation place for advanced clowns. --Gary Busey
 


[ Parent ]
Seriously, (2.00 / 2)
surely the SC has ruled in cases that involve things like drug use or conscientious objectors who claim a personal religion.

I'm off to do a little research...

This is not a recession. It's a robbery.


[ Parent ]
That didn't take long. (2.00 / 3)
United States v. Seeger

Defining Religious Belief
Central to the issue of conscientious objector exemption has been the definition of religious belief. The 1917 Draft Law provided exemption only to thosewho were members of a "well-recognized religious sect or organization . . . whose existing creed or principles [forbid] its members to participate in warin any form." This, in effect, meant only organized religions in the traditional Judeo-Christian sense. In United States v. MacIntosh (1931), though, Chief Justice Charles Evans Hughes's opinion slightly expanded the definition. He wrote that the "essence of religion is belief in a relation to God involving duties superior to those arising from any human relation." This definition became the basis for that adopted by Congress when it revised draft laws in the 1940s.
The Selective Training and Service Act of 1940 reflected growing tolerance ofreligious diversity. It allowed conscientious objector status to persons conscientiously opposed to "war in any form" because of "religious training andbelief," even if that belief was not contained in the dogma of an establishedchurch. In 1948, Congress changed the law to specify that religious trainingand belief should require belief "in relation to a Supreme Being involving duties superior to those arising from any human relation but [not including] essentially political, sociological, or philosophical views or a merely personal moral code."
Daniel Andrew Seeger, an agnostic, was convicted in the District Court for the Southern District of New York for refusing induction into military service.Seeger had filed for exemption in 1957, after his student draft classification had expired and he was reclassified 1-A. In his exemption claim, he declared that he was conscientiously opposed to war in any form because of his religious belief, but neither acknowledged nor denied a belief in a Supreme Being. He used the writings of philosophers Plato, Aristotle, and Spinoza to support his ethical belief in moral integrity "without belief in God, except in the remotest sense." Though his belief was determined to be sincere and based upon individual training and belief, Seeger was denied exemption because his claim was not based on "belief in relation to a Supreme Being" as specified inthe draft statute. The trial court convicted Seeger, who appealed. The courtof appeals reversed the trial court's decision, ruling that the Supreme Being requirement in the draft law distinguished "between internally derived andexternally compelled beliefs" and thus was an "impermissible classification"under the Fifth Amendment's Due Process Clause. The Supreme Court, which considered Seeger's case along with the related cases of two other defendants, Arno Sascha Jakobson and Forest Britt Peter, unanimously affirmed the appellatecourt's judgment.
Since the lower court had found Seeger's belief to be sincerely held, the issue in question was the definition of religious belief. This question, said the Court, was a narrow one--whether the phrase "Supreme Being" as used in thestatute meant only the orthodox concept of God, or a "broader concept of a power or being, or a faith, `to which all else is subordinate or upon which allelse is ultimately dependent.'" Examining the development of draft laws since 1917, the Court found no evidence that Congress wanted the act to apply only to those holding traditional theocratic beliefs, and noted the "well-established congressional policy of equal treatment for those whose opposition to service is grounded in their religious tenets." In his opinion for the unanimous court, Justice Clark wrote that the draft law's terminology was meant to include all religions, and further emphasized that exempting some religions but not others would be unconstitutional. Under this interpretation, the Courtfound, the proper test of religious belief should be "whether a given beliefthat is sincere and meaningful occupies a place in the life of its possessorparallel to that filled by the orthodox beliefs in God of one who clearly qualifies for the [conscientious objector] exemption."
Justice Clark noted that this construction appropriately acknowledged "the ever-broadening understanding of the modern religious community." He cited thework of theologians Paul Tillich and John A. T. Robinson, Bishop of Woolwich,and the analysis of ethicist David Saville Muzzey, as well as the findings of the Second Vatican Council, as examples of this more tolerant understanding. And he emphasized that it is not the role of government to judge the truthof any person's religious beliefs. "As Mr. Justice Douglas stated in United States v. Ballard (1944) . . . ," Clark wrote, "Men may believe what they cannot prove. They may not be put to the proof of their religious doctrines or beliefs. Religious experiences which are as real as life to some may beincomprehensible to others."
But, Clark emphasized, Congress clearly stated that the conscientious objector exemption should exclude persons whose beliefs are based on a "merely personal moral code." The Court determined that Congress intended this part of thelaw to exclude those whose moral code was not related to religious belief. Since the Court had already determined that Seeger's claim met the standard for religious belief, it could not therefore be considered a merely personal moral code. "We think it clear," Clark wrote, "that the beliefs that prompted [Seeger's] objection occupy the same place in his life as the belief in a traditional deity holds in the lives of his friends, the Quakers." The Court upheld the circuit court's reversal of Seeger's conviction.

Read more: United States v. Seeger http://law.jrank.org/pages/136...




This is not a recession. It's a robbery.

[ Parent ]
Whew... (2.00 / 2)

...whether the phrase 'Supreme Being' as used in the statute meant only the orthodox concept of God, or a "broader concept of a power or being, or a faith, 'to which all else is subordinate or upon which allelse is ultimately dependent.'

...the proper test of religious belief should be 'whether a given belief that is sincere and meaningful occupies a place in the life of its possessor parallel to that filled by the orthodox beliefs in God of one who clearly qualifies for the [conscientious objector] exemption.'

Works for me.


[ Parent ]
For Example... (2.00 / 2)

In the United States, the use of peyote for ritual purposes is protected only for members of the Native American Church, which is allowed to cultivate and distribute peyote. However, the genuine religious use of Peyote, regardless of one's personal ancestry, is protected in Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada, and Oregon.

Psychoactive drug Wikipedia



[ Parent ]
I still have a little trouble with this. (2.00 / 1)
Does a set of personal religious beliefs qualify as a religion if it is only held by one person? At what point do personal beliefs constitute a religion?

This is not a recession. It's a robbery.

[ Parent ]
When... (2.00 / 2)
God believes you?

[ Parent ]
Hee... (2.00 / 2)
What I'm getting at, I guess, is that there is more to a religion than a set of beliefs.

This is not a recession. It's a robbery.

[ Parent ]
I'm Wondering... (2.00 / 2)
If it matters what the mundane definition might be.


Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's, and unto God the things that are God's.

And so forth.


[ Parent ]
Only to a nitpicker like me. (2.00 / 3)


This is not a recession. It's a robbery.

[ Parent ]
BTW, (2.00 / 3)
at the moment, I'm reading a fascinating account of 'The Family' written by Jeff Sharlett. Scary stuff, indeed. It is quite long, but worth the time to read if you want to understand this mindset.
http://www.harpers.org/archive...

This is not a recession. It's a robbery.

[ Parent ]
'Sharlet' (2.00 / 2)
preview is my friend, preview is my friend, preview is my friend, preview is my friend, preview is my friend, preview is my friend, preview is my friend, preview is my friend, preview is my friend, preview is my friend...

This is not a recession. It's a robbery.

[ Parent ]
Read It... (2.00 / 3)
When it came out and there was some suggestion of Hillary's association.  Sullivan's been on the case recently too.

[ Parent ]
I read excerpts when it came out (2.00 / 3)
a few years ago, but didn't delve into it then, because I thought they were a fringe group. Everything that has come out about them since then has changed my mind on that. I've read more recent claims that Hillary is a member or a supporter of the group. People like this scare the living daylights out of me.

This is not a recession. It's a robbery.

[ Parent ]
Me Too (2.00 / 3)
And it aligns quite nicely with our preconceived paranoid narratives about power-broking among the world's elite too.  The Ugandan connection is equally scary.

It seems Warren is pretty unconcerned about the publicity as well.


[ Parent ]
I'm sorry, but most Newage rhymes with sewage for a reason (2.00 / 2)
in that it is less a belief system, as a trendy way to justify things that they already like doing. They elevate a mis-match and pastiche of beliefs without rhyme or reason, and often throw in some generic "Eastern" flair for effect as well, and have as much to do with faith as slapping a Jesus Fish on the back of your car makes you Biblical scholar.

My ex-wife explored Wicca, and even the odd bastardization that Crowley espoused. I have known some folks who have explored many of the older traditions, and found them to be just as dedicated to their faith as anyone, but Renn Faire "pagans" are on par with Christmas and Easter Baptists. Or the oddly dedicated Buddhists who use "karma" as an excuse to say that people are poor because they were wicked in a previous incarnation, and thus deserve nothing.


[ Parent ]
Well... (2.00 / 1)
I'm still open to 'the subtle influences of each person's perceptions to weave whatever magic they will.'  Or not as the case may be.

[ Parent ]
Yet people have always done this. (0.00 / 0)
Some of the more cosmopolitan areas of the ancient world were very much like that. The early history of Christianity was also somewhat similar. People adopted the new religion in addition to their old religion. You can still see that in some sects.

This is not a recession. It's a robbery.

[ Parent ]
I have many friends who are deeply religious, (2.00 / 4)
but I am extremely suspicious of organized religion of any sort. The "religious" folk's I respect, live their faith, whatever it may be. However, please call me a anarchist in matters of spirit. A thinking person following the Golden Rule certainly will not harm anyone, and may actually help the world be a better place.  

I am years behind and decades ahead. ~ Somebody else, I am certain


A Good American | 66 comments
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