On Iran and Israel: Does God So Love the World?

As the US faces a vote to restore full diplomatic relations with Iran, I fear that my Christian brothers and sisters will oppose these decisive and historic steps toward peace out of devotion to Israel.

Muslims, Mass Shootings and the Media

The most up to date tally of mass shootings in the U.S. shows that there have been 207 mass shootings in 2015 so far (where “mass shooting” is defined as four or more people shot in one incident). Shooting Tracker, “the world’s only crowdsourced mass shooting tracker,” provides the best record of these atrocities. While aimed at the U.S.’s overly generous gun policies, the site is revealing in at least one other regard: of the 207 mass shootings so far this year, precisely 1 (the July 16, 2015 Chattanooga murders) was committed by a Muslim. The other 206? It’s hard to tell because many suspects have not been identified. But, and here’s the point, they are not identifiably Muslim and Islamic terrorism was not identifiably the motive.

Franklin Graham and Christian Bigotry

165,533 people liked, 57,084 shared and 19,016 commented on Franklin Graham’s shameful and bigoted July 17 Facebook post:

Four innocent Marines (United States Marine Corps) killed and three others wounded in ‪#‎Chattanooga‬ yesterday including a policeman and another Marine—all by a radical Muslim whose family was allowed to immigrate to this country from Kuwait. We are under attack by Muslims at home and abroad. We should stop all immigration of Muslims to the U.S. until this threat with Islam has been settled. Every Muslim that comes into this country has the potential to be radicalized—and they do their killing to honor their religion and Muhammad. During World War 2, we didn’t allow Japanese to immigrate to America, nor did we allow Germans. Why are we allowing Muslims now? Do you agree? Let your Congressman know that we’ve got to put a stop to this and close the flood gates. Pray for the men and women who serve this nation in uniform, that God would protect them.

Of Popes and Politicians

217The recent papal encyclical on global warming, Laudato Si, asserts that climate change is real and caused by humans. Catholic Republican politicians, who have long claimed a symbiotic relationship between their religious commitments and their political views, have moved quickly to denounce the Pope. Rick Santorum, GOP presidential candidate and devout Catholic, said that the Pope is wrong about human-made climate change. The Pope, he said, should leave “science to the scientists” and focus instead on theology and morality. Jeb Bush, Catholic convert and GOP presidential candidate, chimed in:

Religion and the Politics of Fear

At the April 10-12 National Rifle Association’s annual convention in Nashville, Tennessee, speaker Steve Tarani issued a dire warning that Muslim extremists have set up “Islamic no-go zones” in cities across America. Moreover, he warned of the “5,000 known terrorist cells” and “homegrown violent extremists” currently operating in the US. He claims to have personally witnessed all of this when riding along with a member of the Detroit Metro SWAT team.

According to Kira Lerner at ThinkProgress, Tarani’s speech included the following:

Atheism, Islam and Evil

I ignored, at my peril, my friend/editor’s kind warning: “Don’t begin your blog with satire because some people won’t read past the first two paragraphs and won’t understand that you’re being satirical.” She was right. In the satirical opening paragraphs of my most recent blog, “Is Atheism Evil?,” I (satirically) argued, based on Craig Stephen Hicks’ murders of three Muslims, that atheism is evil. I thought what I wrote was so clearly false and morally vicious, every reader would get the point. But they didn’t. My bad.

Is Atheism Evil?

TEHRAN, IRAN - AUGUST 14: Iranian women in chadors walk at the Holy Shrine mausoleum of Ayatollah Khomeini on August 14, 2012 in Tehran, Iran. (Photo by Franco Czerny/Getty Images)

TEHRAN, IRAN – AUGUST 14: Iranian women in chadors walk at the Holy Shrine mausoleum of Ayatollah Khomeini on August 14, 2012 in Tehran, Iran. (Photo by Franco Czerny/Getty Images)

On February 11, atheist Craig Stephens Hicks killed three young Muslims in a dispute over a parking space. On atheist Hicks’ Facebook page, we learn of his associations with fundamentalist atheist groups such as Militant Atheism for the Soul, United Atheists of America, The New Atheists, and Atheists for Equality. The vast majority of his postings mock religious belief and religious believers. And then there’s the photo of atheist Hick’s gun in a holster, with the caption: “Yes, that is 1 pound 5.1 ounces for my loaded 38 revolver, its holster, and five extra rounds in a speedloader.”

موضع جالب جیمز کلارک: من شارلی ابدو نیستم

My blog in Farsi!

يكشنبه, ۵ بهمن ۱۳۹۳، ۱۰:۰۴ ق.ظ
  مسعود صادقی: کلی جیمز کلارک استاد دانشگاه نوتردام است که برای مخاطبان ایرانی بیشتر با کتاب بازگشت به عقل و نیز بواسطه سفر اخیرش به ایران شناخته می شود. مقاله اخیر او تحت عنوان آیا من باید شارلی ابدو باشم؟” در واقع آخرین یادداشت نامبرده در سایت شخصی اش می باشد که حقیر به محض مطالعه و علیرغم وارد دانستن نقدهایی بر محتویات و برخی مدعیات آن بی درنگ و شتابان آنرا ترجمه نموده و نهایتا با اجازه و ترغیب کلارک تصمیم به انتشار آن برای استفاده فارسی زبانان گرفتم. اولین پیام مهم این مقاله برای حقیر در واپسین جمله آن نهفته است: اگرچه بر آزادی بیان صحّه می نهم اما من شارلی ابدو نیستم.صرف نظر از اختلاف با کلارک در تعریف حدود و معنای آزادی بیان من با این موضع اخلاقی او موافقت دارم که می گوید هرچه حق right است الزاما خیر یا خوب good نیست. کلارک در بخشی از مقاله اش می نویسد:

“پنج میلیون مسلمان فرانسوی یک اقلیت قدرت زدایی شده هستند. جوانان مسلمان دوبرابر غیرمسلمانان محتمل است که بیکار شوند(در برخی از مناطق مسلمان نشین نرخ بیکاری بیش از چهل درصد است). ممنوعیت پوشش سر به شکلی نامتناسب مسلمانان را (در اظهار آزادانه دین خود) تحت تاثیر قرار می دهد. عدم پذیرش اعطای مجوز به ساخت مساجد موجب کمبود اماکن عبادی شده است. مسلمانان با تبعیض در اسکان مواجه هستند و بسیاری در فقر آشکار زندگی می کنند. قوانین، سکولاریزمی را که به نظر می رسد مستقیما مسلمانان را نشانه رفته است تقویت می نمایند. کوتاه آنکه مسلمانان فرانسوی از حیث اجتماعی، دینی و اقتصادی در حاشیه قرار گرفته اند.

Should I Be Charlie Hebdo?

It’s been a couple of weeks since two Islamic terrorists attacked and killed 12 people for publishing cartoons mocking the Prophet Muhammad. What lessons can we learn, when cooler headsB6wLoAvIEAAMZED prevail, from this horrific event?

The first lesson is theological. On that tragic and horrific day, Cherif and Said Kouachi, contrary to the most basic understanding of Islam, acted as gods. The first pillar of Islam is that there is just one God (Allah). And Allah alone has the authority to make ultimate decisions concerning human life. The Kouachi brothers, in assuming god-like authority over human lives, affirmed three gods – Allah, Cherif and Said.

Who Would Jesus Waterboard?

Ben Franklin once wrote that “it is better 100 guilty Persons should escape than that one innocent Person should suffer.” Dick Cheney, on the other hand, said: “I’m more concerned with bad guys who got out . . . than I am with a few that in fact were innocent.” When asked if he was bothered that at least 25 percent of those detained and tortured might have been innocent, he responded, “I have no problem as long as we achieve our objective. . . . I’d do it again in a minute.”