April 02, 2015

"Will the mosque be the last bastion of religious freedom in Western societies?"

Brian LilleyArchive

Liberals claim to value diversity, tolerance and a "live and let live" attitude. However, we see a double standard being enforced.

Christians are always being told they have to change their values to suit society.

Yet for some reason, other groups, like Muslims, are told the opposite -- that society will happily change to suit their religious beliefs.

What can be done about this hypocrisy?

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commented 2015-04-05 18:32:19 -0400
Thanks for your equally long reply, Nicole Beaudoin. much appreciated. This reply will be much shorter. The most fundamental difference between religion and culture as I see it is: Religion is a declaration about objective truth, and therefore either true or false; Culture is how someone was raised, and completely subjective to the culture the individual was raised in. Generally different cultures not only do no harm, but enrich society. That is until those cultural practices infringe on the rights and freedoms of others around them, engage in barbaric practices within their own cultural communities that are anathema to western civilization, or, supplant Canadian Law and grant special privilege. When the British occupied Indian, there was the practice in Hindu culture that when a man died, all his property was burned up with him in the funeral pyre, including his wife. When confronted by the British Military, they said, “but it’s our culture; it’s our tradition!” The Military brass responded, “OK, You can have your culture and traditions. But after you’ve carried out you little tradition, we’d like to carry out one of our own. You see, we have this tradition where we like to take men who burn women to death and hang them by the neck from a gallows until they are dead!” See, two very incompatible cultural traditions. I like the British cultural tradition much better.
commented 2015-04-05 12:40:13 -0400
Happy Easter David. May you learn to live in peace. Your hatred has infected your very soul.
commented 2015-04-05 10:46:55 -0400
Mike & Marty what can I say. Well Marty I just happened to be around when the nation’s of the world ,all of which refused to allow Jews into their countries during the war ,feeling guilty ,agreed to take land from Palestine and give it to the Jews. Shortly after the Jews stole more land and settled on this stolen land and will shoot anyone caught walking on land belonging to the Palestines. There in lies the problem.
Now it appears the boss of the USA has fallen out with Israel and our boss has fallen in with Israel. Should be interesting.
commented 2015-04-05 09:11:39 -0400
One of the best places to learn much about many subjects. I do thank the posters for expressing their views in such acceptable and polite writings. And, it is obvious that many of you are very knowledgeable. Thank you, indeed.
commented 2015-04-04 23:56:05 -0400
Oh, Mr. Kitchen. Your not just a Liberal troll, but an Islamic apologist. My stomach churns when reading your apathetic posts, but now you have overreached your intelligence by a country mile in this comment section. I hope your salary commensurates with your dedication to troll decent media sites. If not, I would suggest ‘get a real job’.
commented 2015-04-04 20:26:12 -0400
WOOPS… I thank you for it.
commented 2015-04-04 20:25:29 -0400
Nicole B. Even though your post was longish, it was very succinct. I
commented 2015-04-04 19:03:27 -0400
Maurice Potvin, perhaps the paths you and I are on are more similar than you have interpreted with regard to religion versus culture.
Religion runs deeper than culture and is of greater value/importance, I completely agree, although there is a fine line between the two so that they are often joined at the hip, so to speak. Witness the practice of having small statues of gods around the house, as is practiced in East Indian faiths. To most this is practicing their religion, but in actuality it is the practice of culture.
The wearing of the Hijab, Niqab, etc. is WITHOUT A DOUBT culturally controlled. Nowhere does the Qur’an state that this head gear or tent must be worn. It was instigated as a way to control women (a.k.a.“property,” or the “temptress”) and to absolve men from having to control themselves (what a concept!). The Book of Islam says that women (and I hope, men) must dress decently/virtuously, and that males must avert their eyes so as to not soil the females with their lustful gaze. Coming up through the ages, Muslims of both sexes agreed that a woman’s hair turns men “on” (I suspect they meant that seeing the overly sensual hair on a woman’s head makes men’s little heads get big) and must be covered. Today, many Muslim women say that they choose to wear the veil because it gives them some sort of freedom. I won’t pretend that my opinion is fact, but I believe that—if it is true they aren’t forced by their parents or Mosque, or peer pressure to wear the head and body camouflage—the young women who say this are doing so as a way of turning a mode of third-party control into something acceptable to them, as in: I am choosing to cover myself as “a sign of respect for my body”, or as a [unfounded] “sign of respect” for Islam. But the practice is NOT dictated by the religion and as a culture or male-originated tradition, can be left behind when becoming a Canadian, either as a choice or as a refugee.
Thus, as I intimated earlier, if Canadians continue to allow arbitrary culturally-induced practices, such as: allowing women to cover their faces when swearing allegiance to Canadian laws and/or who desire to travel, and shop incognito in public; such as allowing Muslim taxi drivers to turn away sober clients because they are transporting liquor, or blind passengers who are accompanied by their seeing eye dogs—both practices currently occurring in Winnipeg; such as permitting the carrying out of Muslim ceremonies in schools with male and female students separated; such as allowing male students to demand that they not work on projects with females (as occurred in Halifax); such as allowing Sharia law to dictate conduct over and above Canadian law… and if we continue the swearing-in of new Canadians who cannot even function in one of our two official languages, who the hell are we? “But it’s harmless,” many limp-wristed short-sighted individuals say. “The nation was built with immigrants who brought in their own religions.” To all I say: beware of the thin edge of the wedge.
Canadians must draw the line, and soon. Tolerance and understanding is one thing, overriding our values is quite another. We are a becoming a nation of “everything goes” (unless of course you are a heterosexual non-First Nations white Jew or white Christian, or God forbid a hard-working non-unionized taxpayer, in which cases you MUST follow Canadian law). We are turning into a nation of citizens whose motto is “If you don’t like these principles, we have others,” which is staring us in the face with the likes of the rich boy-wonder Trudeau and his merry band of followers (who can only be members of the party if they agree to not oppose abortion. But that’s another issue).
Religion is one thing. Tradition and culture is quite another. The latter of the two should be tolerated, as is truly the Canadian way, but not invited to drown or muddy Canadian values and way of life.
(As you see, I too could go on, so don’t worry about being long winded. Something to do with our French names? I really wish, though, that I could use fewer words to express my thoughts, because I have been told that I “sermonize”. I don’t, really. It just takes me a long time to get my point across. But I am working on it.)
Best wishes.
commented 2015-04-04 15:38:06 -0400
David Kitchen It doesnt sound like you follow current events or history, do some research on your own, but I’ll give you a couple reasons Prime Minister Harper opposes this ‘Islamic State’, while supporting Israel. Israel is a reasonable democracy (ie. their election just last month) formed following the WW2 genocide (lead by a guy named Hitler, you may or may not be familiar with him) of Jews and the attempted extermination of their people worldwide, Israel was formed and Jews from around the world immigrated there freely. The ‘Islamic State’ as you refer to it, consists of Sunni Muslims who have raped, tortured and murdered in mass numbers anyone who does not share their interpretation of Islam (including other Muslims). Additionally the ‘Islamic State’ leaders continually encourage their followers to terrorize and kill the infidel (that is you and me) all over the world. Their ambitions do not end with the portions of Iraq and Syria they currently control, which is evident in their group continually spilling into and terrorizing other country’s.
Not to mention muslims have several country’s/states to reside in: The Islamic Republic of Iran, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan (to name a few) all have muslim populations over 90%, and you disagree with the jews having one small piece of land to call home?
commented 2015-04-04 13:30:36 -0400
Maybe one of you can help me understand Mr. Harper. He reconizes Israel which is a Jewish state but is prepare to go to war when Islam wants an Islam state. The head of the British Commonwealth is The Church of England. Represented by an unelected Queen. This is again OK with Mr. Harper. Help me you followers of the far right.
commented 2015-04-04 13:05:52 -0400
This delves into the legal version of cultural Marxism that is political correctness. Unless you agree with my world view 100% you shouldn’t go into business. It’s not for you and your conscience to decide. Doesn’t mean another baker down the street might do your bidding instead. It’s a private business. It violates someone’s ability to exercise their right of conscience as provided in the Constitution. To use discretion as opposed to discrimination. This just further reinforces that tolerance, cultural diversity, and pluralism, apply to anything but Christianity. Gay activists will continue their attacks violating religious freedom until there are either no Churches left or they are unrecognizable state run facades subject to political approval which appears to happening.

The hypocrisy and double standards are myriad. Business succumbs to the pressure of militant gay communities. Walmart slams business here but not in China. Apple happily sells in Saudi Arabia but threatens businesses in North America. It proves, beyond doubt, that the gay agenda is not just about their freedom to practice a sexual orientation, but the suppression of free speech. Interestingly, our society appears to reject the notion of a God who will judge them and that violating religious freedom and being selective and inconsistent is fine. We no longer live in a free country backed by an inviolable Constitution. Instead we are guided by popular culture, political whim and corporate power plays. What else in our Constitution is free to ignore or be removed?
commented 2015-04-04 08:21:27 -0400
Understanding the meaning of God is where the trouble is. This topic has been covered by others for thousands of years .It requires no more debate.Religion, faith, beliefs are all subjected to doubt. All religions stem from what we like to refer to as pagan beliefs. Institutions, symbols, and rituals make up most of what we call religion.
The problem lies in not knowing that God is love .Nothing else. We all have the ability to love. And also to hate. When we choose to love we are doing the will of God when we hate we are not doing the will of God. It is that simple. Stop trying to complicate something that is so simple,
commented 2015-04-03 22:58:24 -0400
As far as I can see, the Progressives and Muslims go hand in hand in saying “live as I live, or else” – maybe that’s why they get along so well.
commented 2015-04-03 18:48:52 -0400
Nicole, I’m not at all sure what you’re trying to get at. The way the HOC is working these days, IS like a committee. They get together, discuss and vote on a subject. Sounds like a committee to me. And better according to whom? Well, let’s see… How about each and every candidate that runs for any leadership position. It’s basically a mandatory staple to include those words in a candidacy speech. And who says I don’t exercise my voting rights? Do you know me in person? Have I once said I DON’T vote? And to say that we commentators are the reason that Christian bashing is running rampant is such a ludicrous statement, I can’t even begin to put it into words other than this. Your ignorance is only blinding you to the facts, and your zeal is leading you down a very radical road.
A good attempt at a rebuttal, though.
commented 2015-04-03 17:45:53 -0400
Nicole Beaudoin, have you ever read the Satanic Verses in the Quran?

To all Muslims. There is only one Profit and his name is Geert Wilders. A very brave man.
commented 2015-04-03 17:02:51 -0400
Nicole Beaudoin, you seem to think of religion as a cultural thing, and therefore completely subjective. It is not. It is a statement about one believes to be objectively true and, therefore, can never be subjective, but must necessarily be either true or false, right or wrong. That may seem harsh, but that’s only because we also so frequently misinterpret the meaning tolerance, and the meaning of “having an open and receptive mind”. The very concept of the word “tolerance” contains within it the notion of disagreement. And having an open and receptive mind does not mean that one doesn’t believe their position is the exclusive objective truth; it simply means that one is always open to the possibility that they may be wrong. I know we often associate a religion with a particular culture, ethnicity, or family tradition, but that isn’t religion. These things may determine the religious traditions we’re born into, but ultimately we all have to make up our own minds about what we believe. We may also borrow our philosophy, our code of ethics, or our moral conduct from a religious tradition, but that isn’t religion either; not unless we believe the foundational claims of that religion to be literally and historically true. Some of us identify the practice of rich, colorful ancient rituals and ceremonies as religion, but these things are merely the outward manifestations of religious expression. Pure religion must have a spiritual, a behavioral and an intellectual component. The spiritual component of religion deals with matters of the heart, and refers the depth and intensity of the relationship between the religious observer and the object of their worship. The behavioral component of religion refers to how the religious observer lives out this declaration of religious belief in their daily lives. However, in this post I’m focusing more on the nature of religious belief, in other words the intellectual component of religion. This component refers to that which the religious observer believes to be the objective truth with regards to the nature of Creation and the identity of the Creator, and all the related truths that would logically flow from that belief. Religion by its very nature is un-provable, which is why religion is called faith. So religion is that which the religious observer believes to be objectively true about Creation and the Universe. Every cosmic view is a religious faith, whether those who hold those views want to admit it or not. As for the Universe and how it came to be, there are only three possibilities; 1) God created it from nothing, 2) It just spontaneously popped into existence, or 3) It has existed from all Eternity. Each one of these scenarios may seem ludicrous and illogical from a human perspective, but since we cannot deny the existence of the Universe, obviously one of them is necessarily true. As for the religious or theistic perspectives there are only four 1) naturalism or atheism – no god, 2) monotheism – one god, 3) polytheism – many gods, and finally 4) pantheism – god and the universe are one and the same. Since each one of these belief systems mutually excludes the others, only one of them can possibly be true. That means that the others must necessarily be false. Regardless of which one of these we choose to believe, faith is a prerequisite. Sorry to be so long winded and preachy. Sometimes when I get started, I just don’t know when to stop. Sorry.
commented 2015-04-03 15:54:35 -0400
If people don’t vote they don’t have the right to complain.
Whether Islam, even in the most “moderate interpretation” is a religion or not , I still cannot group it with other faiths.
Are there any Muslims who don’t believe in the Caliphate? Some say they don’t want to kill me, but they still want to take over the west. Islam seeks to absorb others ,and their territory. Islam is not tolerant of other religions. Everyone but Muslims are infidel’s.
Is there such a thing as a moderate Muslim, and why don’t they speak up to help people like me understand. I would really welcome a conversation about it with some. I admit that the few Muslims I know are ex- Muslims. I know no others. Do Muslims in Canada want to take over the country or do they want to live side by side with us.
I just can’t see how a religion or ideology which professes love and peace can possibly be either of those things when you can’t get them to speak up for love and acceptance of others. Why don’t they speak out against the violence in the name of their “religion”? (Please don’t mention the crusades again, its always done out of context, Christians have the New Testament now). Where are these moderate Muslims?
commented 2015-04-03 14:23:42 -0400
“… use control to make us a better nation…” according to whom, Jason? The word “better” is subjective, usually uttered in defense of committee positions to which no member of the group truly holds, but, not wanting to stand out, and wanting to move forward (“let’s not get stuck on this point in the agenda. Let’s make a decision and move on to another question”), a committee decision is reached and set into motion. This democratic method of reaching agreement is but ONE reason why people need to use their hard-earned democratic right and social RESPONSIBILITY to go out and vote for the member who espouses most of the principles to which you hold. And I to which I hold. And to which a fellow passenger on the bus to which she holds. To a large extent this Christian-bashing by Muslims, so-called atheists (“there are no atheists on a sinking ship”), and homosexuals are a result of people like all of those here, people with principles and strong points of view, who don’t exercise their power come election time. On a different point, to the woman below who wrote that she has realized that Islam is not a religion: you are wrong. Islam, like Judaism, like Christianity, are faiths based on good. Yes, on good. The problem has always been in the interpretation of the books of these faiths. I am a Christian, but count Jews and Muslims among my friends (and a Buddhist too). Their faiths, in their simplest forms, are beautiful and lead to honest living. But add radicalism in the mix and you get what is happening now.
commented 2015-04-03 12:27:09 -0400
Wow. This is quite the conversation I waltzed into. I find it stimulating. What we have here in this thread alone, is the basis of what freedom truly is. The ability to discuss, think and express your views without massive persecution, as well as a certain acceptance of said views. I may not get a lot of recognition or attention as many of you great commentators, but I have tried to shed my views here and there is the interest of freedom, and my right as a free citizen of the earth.
What things boil down to ultimately, is that politics have evolved (or devolved) to a point where our leaders try to use control to make us a better nation, until personal bias and opinion enter into the issues. After which it becomes not political as we know it, but a personal vendetta. And when religious “freedoms” enter into these issues, the problems that tend to surface become tenfold, due to a personal viewpoint. An ideal leadership is the ability to stand by a neutral conviction, tempering wisdom into a tool in which any personal opinion cannot enter into. The last bastions of freedom at large must be our places of salvation.
commented 2015-04-03 08:10:42 -0400
I just sent twenty bucks to the fund to support “Memories Pizza” , the establishment that has been attacked by the American Media , the LGBT groups and businesses like WalMart and Apple who do not support religious rights. I am told that Apple has more stores in Tehran than they do in Indiana . A country that openly hangs homosexuals. Yet they will will not support the preservation of religious freedom and liberty in North America , based on their misguided defense of gay rights. I have never been a big supporter of WalMart , and I am usually resistant to “boycots”. But I have no interest in supporting businesses that have jumped on the gay bandwagon . Busineses like WalMart do this for two reasons. One, it is good economics. But more importantly, they are under threat by the LGBT groups to bend to their values and ways or face consequences. Well, we as Christians can certainly impose consequences as well. I have written to WalMArt expressing my views and will no longer support them. Maybe many more should start taking actions because words don’t seem to matter.
commented 2015-04-03 01:01:03 -0400
Ron Voss – “Not by revolution but more slowly through what he termed ‘a long slow march through the institutions’”

What you have posted is disturbing, something I have read before, but disturbing none the less. It is evident all around us.

I don’t think I will understand how so many can desire a Marxist communist life. Don’t they know their life would be hell on earth to satiate the elite?
commented 2015-04-03 00:22:49 -0400
Hi, Freethinker, so nice to hear from you again. I feel like we’re getting to be real pals. (By the way, you do accept things on faith. Otherwise, you’d never get out of bed in the morning. How do you know you won’t fall through the floor? I’ll bet you accept that on faith. Faith simply means that one has confidence that the object of their faith is capable of performing the function that it was designed to perform. That being the case, the greater your faith, the less aware or conscious you are of the fact that you are operating in faith. For example, when I travel anywhere, I just jump in my car, start it up and drive. Since it’s a dependable car, I don’t give it a second thought. I don’t ever think about whether or not it will start or get me to my destination. In the past, I’ve had other cars where I was very aware that I was operating on faith… and that faith was very weak because they were lousy cars, so you see, Freethinker, you got faith. Isn’t that wonderful? We have something in common.)
commented 2015-04-02 23:51:59 -0400
Joan, i personally don’t accept anything on “faith”, being a skeptic on all issues. Atheists do not have the burden of proving god doesn’t exist because they don’t make that claim. I’m more than happy to live my life in the real world, ignoring imaginary concepts altogether. thank you very much. For you to make an assumption of what I base my world view on because of YOUR belief “system” shows a bias in your thought processes according to your own world view. You should find out more about atheism before your paint us with your flavour of brush. Watch a few ‘atheist experience’ youtube videos to get the most commonly accepted viewpoints of atheists today…
commented 2015-04-02 23:50:04 -0400

Atheists do meet regularly and belong to various Humanist associations and societies across Canada, eg Humanist Canada, Ontario Humanist Society, etc. etc. These groups meet regularly and recognize the teachings and views of various celebrated humanist figures. This activity is, in itself, is a form of secular ritual practiced by humanists.

One has to ask if you are a true atheist or simply indifferent. Are you a true atheist ‘believing’ there is no God or Supreme Being ‘seeking’ fact or reason to disprove the existence of a God? Or do you simply not care if there is a God or Supreme Being?

Faith without reason is fanaticism, whereas reason without faith is relativism. Atheism is a morally relativist religion.

If you are an atheist and attending a Catholic Church, I doubt you are there because you don’t believe. You are there because you want to believe and God brings you to where you are supposed to be for a reason. Why do you think you’re talking to all of us?
commented 2015-04-02 22:54:12 -0400
Atheism is, strictly speaking, a faith. A belief system. Atheists cannot prove God does not exist; they believe it. They accept that view, that idea, on faith.
commented 2015-04-02 22:27:19 -0400
Happy belated atheist day. April 1
commented 2015-04-02 21:56:33 -0400
Janice, atheism is the position one takes when they don’t accept the claim made by others that a god exists primarily because of a lack of any evidence to support that claim. To call it a religion is ludicrous. One’s opinion on one issue does not a religion make. Most people who consider themselves atheists don’t meet regularly with other like minded people and there is no commonly accepted base of ideas outside of this one rejected claim. Atheists are as varied as the people you see walking down the street, and your churches are probably populated with lots of them. (I’m not one of them, though).
commented 2015-04-02 21:12:19 -0400
Janice Glover, good post. I really appreciate it. Ron Voss, great insight, thanks.
commented 2015-04-02 19:42:37 -0400
Peter Netterville, there is a lot behind your observation, “The very fact that Christianity itself is being singled out while other religions are not is in itself an indication that there is something different about Christianity from the other religions, otherwise it would not be singled out as it is”. I know, I make a lot of reference to “cultural Marxists”, but that needs to be considered to explain why primarily Christianity and Christians are specifically targeted and why as Brian observes, “Christians are always being told they have to change their values to suit society”. An explanation provided in the selection of articles below.
Political Correctness/Cultural Marxism
Excerpt: “America today is dominated by a system of beliefs, attitudes and values that we have come to know as ‘Political Correctness’. For many it is an annoyance and a self parodying joke. But Political Correctness is deadly serious in its aims, seeking to impose a uniformity of thought and behavior on all Americans. It is therefore totalitarian in nature. Its roots lie in a version of Marxism which sees culture, rather than the economy, as the site of class struggle”.
One of the contributors cultural Marxism, Hungarian Marxist Georg Lukacs “believed that for a new Marxist culture to emerge, the existing culture must be destroyed”.
Cultural Marxism
Excerpt: “Many other leaders in the cultural Marxist movement could be mentioned here, including the Italian Marxist, Antonio Gramsci (1891-1937).  In 1921 he cofounded the Italian Communist Party, but his hopes of a speedy revolution did not materialize. He came to see that cultural forces, including Christianity, were standing in the way of the revolution. He realized that the most important mission for socialism was to ‘capture the culture’. Thus he began to speak of ‘the long march through the institutions’.”
So, What Did Really Happen to “Christian Canada”?
Excerpt: Two men important in this, Antonio Gramsci of Italy and Gaylord Lukas of Hungry.  They concluded that the Christianized west stood in the way of worldwide Communism. Gramsci said that the Christian worldview infused throughout the west that  has to be subverted. He and the cultural Marxists that followed him concluded that the West would have to be de-Christianized. Not by revolution but more slowly through what he termed ‘a long slow march through the institutions’.”
commented 2015-04-02 19:08:37 -0400
Brian, the text for your post said, “Liberals claim to value diversity, tolerance and a ‘live and let live’ attitude”. The problem today, just as human sexuality is fluid, so is the meaning of words. So what is meant by “liberal” let alone “tolerance”?
At Encyclopedia Britannica, I found that “liberalism” is “a political doctrine that takes protecting and enhancing the freedom of the individual to be the central problem of politics. Liberals typically believe that government is necessary to protect individuals from being harmed by others; but they also recognize that government itself can pose a threat to liberty.” I think that is somewhat what you had in mind. However, when I Googled for a definition of “liberal”, I came up with Merriam-Webster, for example, saying “believing that government should be active in supporting social and political change”, that is, favoring an increase in government spending, power, and control. At another site, I found, “A liberal is someone on the left wing of politics — the opposite of a conservative.” I don’t think the latter was what you meant by “liberals”, but today, according to the latter predominant definition, “liberals” are nothing less than politically-correct “progressives” or “cultural Marxists”, as Dr. Joe Boot characterized them yesterday. So, “live as I live or else” is indeed their rallying cry!