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Richard Wiig

Geert Wilders: Time to Unmask Muhammad

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Yes it does, because when you put anything in its wider context, which in this case is 1300 years, it becomes metaphorical, and only literal to those who wish to regress literally .

The context is not "1300 years" but just the context in which it is needed to get an informed understanding of that verse. That's given by the texts themselves, not 1300 years of history. I don't know what that textual context is, but I do know that Christians haven't taken that verse literally to run around with swords wantonly attacking people. Do you have even one instance of that verse being taken literally, as opposed to metaphorically? If there is an instance of it, is it mainstream, or an aberration,...

I have an historical one, the Crusades, the pogroms - actually that's two. 1300 years after the words were written, and later.

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Well it seems to do a good job of shifting the focus everytime...

As it is supposed to.

When I do it, the focus gets shifted from the propaganda hate message to one of looking at all sides and encouraging the reader to think for himself.

Michael

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she’s too selectively positive (this isn't an issue in the clip I posted).

Actually, she's very selective in the clip you posted and she makes a numbere of omissions and misleads people in her first few breaths.

You didn’t name any omissions or say where she misled. But, I just clicked on it and listened to the beginning, and I do think there’s something there worth calling her out on. She says Islam is pluralistic, respecting other “rightly guided” religions. Hmm, “rightly guided”, now that’s slippery. She means Judaism and Christianity, “people of the book”, as opposed to idolaters. When Muhammad finally conquered Mecca he personally went into the Kaaba and destroyed the idols, pluralism indeed. However, keeping with our comparative religious intolerance/violence theme, are you familiar with the Theodosian code? What was the penalty for worshipping an idol in the Roman Empire, within decades of Constantine’s conversion? I’ll spare you having to look it up, the answer is death. Pagan temples were closed by imperial decree, vandalized at will by Christian fanatics, and converted for Christian worship, this all starting under the rule of Constantius, the son of Constantine. If only someone had thought up the principle of separation of church and state…

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Joseph Smith was an oversexed plagiarist, and polygamy is an oppressive doctrine, and there could be a group of rogue Mormons right now plotting to blow up the Parliament Hill and kill all the men to create a fundamentalist Mormon Canada. But I'm not going to round up the teenage missionaries who appear regularly in pairs to enlighten godless Toronto, or besiege Bountiful. The moral price of such preventive measures is too high, and I don't think I could pay it.

A great civilization is not conquered from without until it has destroyed itself from within.

Will Durant,
The Story of Civilization

Resist the Mormon menace, remember Mountain Meadows. :mellow:

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I have an historical one, the Crusades, the pogroms - actually that's two. 1300 years after the words were written, and later.

You attribute the crusades to that verse? I'm interested to see how you link the two. Why did that verse hold sway for only two hundred years? If Christianity is militant in and of itself, like Islam actually is, then why are Christians today not acting on it? Why do you ignore everything else that was going on that led up to the Crusades, forces that had nothing to do with Christian teachings whatsoever but spurred the Crusades?

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I have an historical one, the Crusades, the pogroms - actually that's two. 1300 years after the words were written, and later.

You attribute the crusades to that verse? I'm interested to see how you link the two. Why did that verse hold sway for only two hundred years? If Christianity is militant in and of itself, like Islam actually is, then why are Christians today not acting on it? Why do you ignore everything else that was going on that led up to the Crusades, forces that had nothing to do with Christian teachings whatsoever but spurred the Crusades?

Um, the Church Militant is an active concept today, though the militancy has gone from literal to metaphorical, as has jihad in the lives of the majority of Muslims. Salvation Army anybody?

What two hundred years? Christians killed non-Christians, principally Jews, enthusiastically under the Inquisition until around the 1600s, to give them the benefit of a few years.Like Muslims they reserved the worst ferocities for apostates and heretics after that (the Thirty Years War etc) all urged on by preachers or priests who had the Bible memorized.

Christianity is now over 2000 years old. For the record, I am a Christian.

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You didn’t name any omissions or say where she misled. But, I just clicked on it and listened to the beginning, and I do think there’s something there worth calling her out on. She says Islam is pluralistic, respecting other “rightly guided” religions. Hmm, “rightly guided”, now that’s slippery. She means Judaism and Christianity, “people of the book”, as opposed to idolaters.

First, she neglects to say that Judaism and Christianity are not considered as rightly guided. The rightly guided are the ones on the straight path, and the only ones on the straight path are, Muslims. That is not her only ommission. Next she says that the Koran says there is no compulsion in religion, and that's true, but she doesn't go into the meaning of that, and neglects to say that it isn't the final word and that it doesn't mean what western people would naturally take it to mean. Third, she says that Muhammad didn't come to cancel out the teachings of Jesus, Moses, Abraham etc, but she neglects to tell people that he came to improve on their teachings so that people could be set on the straight path and that the Islamic message is superior. So far as I am concerned, the woman is evil.

When Muhammad finally conquered Mecca he personally went into the Kaaba and destroyed the idols, pluralism indeed. However, keeping with our comparative religious intolerance/violence theme, are you familiar with the Theodosian code? What was the penalty for worshipping an idol in the Roman Empire, within decades of Constantine’s conversion? I’ll spare you having to look it up, the answer is death. Pagan temples were closed by imperial decree, vandalized at will by Christian fanatics, and converted for Christian worship, this all starting under the rule of Constantius, the son of Constantine. If only someone had thought up the principle of separation of church and state…

No, I am not familiar with the Theodosian code. In pointing out what I already know, that barbarism was very common back then, that Christianity has a history of barbarity, etc, it adds nothing to understanding and solving the problem of Islamic jihad. Once again, it merely shifts the focus. I don't focus on the problem of Islam in order to apologise for Christianity. Christianity is simply another story so far as I am concerned, and at this present point in time there's no Christian movement rising up to impose itself on me or other non-believers. In fact, Christians around the world are being heavily persecuted in Muslim countries. Although I disagree with Christianity, and I know that belief in Gourd is irrational, and that there is much evil in the Christian doctrines, we both have a common enemy in supremacist Islam. Dealing with that requires focus, not destruction of focus. Start up a thread critical of Christianity and dissect to your hearts content, and I promise I will not step in to destroy your focus by making apologies for it by pointing out that other religions were nasty too. A good subject to examine in such a thread might be: "Why has Christianity been amenable to separation of Church and State, while Islam has not?" That would actually be an interesting thread.

Edited by Infidel

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Um, the Church Militant is an active concept today, though the militancy has gone from literal to metaphorical, as has jihad in the lives of the majority of Muslims. Salvation Army anybody?

What two hundred years? Christians killed non-Christians, principally Jews, enthusiastically under the Inquisition until around the 1600s, to give them the benefit of a few years.Like Muslims they reserved the worst ferocities for apostates and heretics after that (the Thirty Years War etc) all urged on by preachers or priests who had the Bible memorized.

Christianity is now over 2000 years old. For the record, I am a Christian.

What I wanted is to be shown how those historical events are tied to Jesus saying I come not to bring peace, but a sword. If Christianity is indeed militant at heart, then it will always be militant at heart, no matter how far it's followers, including you, might stray, they'll always be under threat of being called back to its heart. So, how do you make the link between Jesus's comments and the Crusades, opposed to the Crusades being a response to imperialist Islam?

Edited by Infidel

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that Christianity has a history of barbarity, etc, it adds nothing to understanding and solving the problem of Islamic jihad. Once again, it merely shifts the focus.

The reason for bringing up Christianity is the approach Geert Wilders uses in his piece. He’s attacking Islam qua Islam ("unmasking Muhammad"), the problems of modern day terrorism are derivative in his formulation. Demonstrating that historically Christianity and Judaism are just as bad is the main way of showing that he is, here comes that word again, a bigot.

If Christianity is indeed militant at heart, then it will always be militant at heart, no matter how far it's followers, including you, might stray, they'll always be under threat of being called back to its heart.

Do you dispute the fact that Christianity was militant as hell from the 4th century through the 17th? A major point I didn’t fully make earlier is that Christianity wasn’t complete until the 4th century, when it achieved political power. Until then it was like a philosophy with an ethical theory but without a political theory. Imagine the possibilities, mutatis mutandis, for Objectivism. Ethical egoism without the non-initiation of force principle. Yikes.

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Um, the Church Militant is an active concept today, though the militancy has gone from literal to metaphorical, as has jihad in the lives of the majority of Muslims. Salvation Army anybody?

What two hundred years? Christians killed non-Christians, principally Jews, enthusiastically under the Inquisition until around the 1600s, to give them the benefit of a few years.Like Muslims they reserved the worst ferocities for apostates and heretics after that (the Thirty Years War etc) all urged on by preachers or priests who had the Bible memorized.

Christianity is now over 2000 years old. For the record, I am a Christian.

What I wanted is to be shown how those historical events are tied to Jesus saying I come not to bring peace, but a sword.

They are tied in exactly the same way Mohammed's words are tied to historical and current events. They are used by religious leaders to urge actions which those leaders want to happen, for the variegated contextual reasons that people want things to happen.

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Look, Richard,

You talk a lot about the "heart of Islam" as if it exists in a book and not in the actual hearts of the people who practice it.

I had a student who was a professor of theology in Turkey and he asked me once what were the pillars of Christianity, as compared to the five pillars of Islam. To my distress I could only think of the Ten Commandments, then dimly remembered from my Sunday school days that there was only one. (I forgot the first one, monotheism altogether.

None of the five pillars, which most of the Muslims I know adhere to in their ways, mentions violence of any sort. This is the "heart of Islam" that exists, alive and beating, not the desiccated scrolls you brandish to justify your own beliefs and fears. This is not to say the words don't matter; "in the beginning was the Word" after all.

But we are long past the beginning now, and many more words have been said, and written, and heard.

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that Christianity has a history of barbarity, etc, it adds nothing to understanding and solving the problem of Islamic jihad. Once again, it merely shifts the focus.

The reason for bringing up Christianity is the approach Geert Wilders uses in his piece. He's attacking Islam qua Islam ("unmasking Muhammad"), the problems of modern day terrorism are derivative in his formulation. Demonstrating that historically Christianity and Judaism are just as bad is the main way of showing that he is, here comes that word again, a bigot.

If Christianity is indeed militant at heart, then it will always be militant at heart, no matter how far it's followers, including you, might stray, they'll always be under threat of being called back to its heart.

Do you dispute the fact that Christianity was militant as hell from the 4th century through the 17th? A major point I didn't fully make earlier is that Christianity wasn't complete until the 4th century, when it achieved political power. Until then it was like a philosophy with an ethical theory but without a political theory. Imagine the possibilities, mutatis mutandis, for Objectivism. Ethical egoism without the non-initiation of force principle. Yikes.

You begin with the assumption that he's a bigot and prove it by repeating the charge - not showing where he is prejudiced against people for matters over which they have no choice. Islam is not a genetic condition. Feel free to excuse modern day terrorism because dead people did bad things. As for Jesus and Moe, their words speak for themselves. Here are what are obviously the words the real life Jesus, who knew he would be crucified, making sure to call for mothers to murder their own children before he met his end:

34Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.

35For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.

36And a man's foes shall be they of his own household.

37He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.

38And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.

39He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.

40He that receiveth you receiveth me, and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me.

41He that receiveth a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet's reward; and he that receiveth a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man's reward.

42And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward.

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Ted, it's nice to see some honesty here. Anyone who puts this line - "Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword." - in a militant context, after seeing it in the context in the whole that it was delivered, is not an honest man.

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They are tied in exactly the same way Mohammed's words are tied to historical and current events. They are used by religious leaders to urge actions which those leaders want to happen, for the variegated contextual reasons that people want things to happen.

That's what you say, but I've asked you to show it. It's easy to see the link between what Muhammad taught and what today's modern jihadists are doing (as it is with historical jihadists) because they clearly, and proudly, point to Muhammads teachings and to Islamic law itself to justify their actions. But where's the link between the Crusades and the words of Jesus? Where is the call to wage war against non-believers within Christianity? That's what I'm asking you to produce.

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Look, Richard,

You talk a lot about the "heart of Islam" as if it exists in a book and not in the actual hearts of the people who practice it.

It is in a book, and in books. Islamic law is clearly written out in the four mainstream schools of Islamic jurisprudence. Followers of Islam don't look into their own hearts to decide what is haram and halal, they look to the scholars of Islam, who laid it all out in Islamic law based on the Qur'an, Hadith and Sira.

None of the five pillars, which most of the Muslims I know adhere to in their ways, mentions violence of any sort. This is the "heart of Islam" that exists, alive and beating,

The five pillars are not the heart of Islam. Submission to Allah's law is the heart of Islam.

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You begin with the assumption that he's a bigot and prove it by repeating the charge - not showing where he is prejudiced against people for matters over which they have no choice. Islam is not a genetic condition.

I don’t follow, you’re accusing me of circular reasoning? I don’t see it. As to Islam not being a genetic condition, I’m flabbergasted that you’d write that. Of course it’s not genetic, but one certainly is born to it (or not, preferably).

Feel free to excuse modern day terrorism because dead people did bad things.

When did I excuse modern day terrorism? WTF!!!????

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You begin with the assumption that he's a bigot and prove it by repeating the charge - not showing where he is prejudiced against people for matters over which they have no choice. Islam is not a genetic condition.

I don't follow, you're accusing me of circular reasoning? I don't see it. As to Islam not being a genetic condition, I'm flabbergasted that you'd write that. Of course it's not genetic, but one certainly is born to it (or not, preferably).

Feel free to excuse modern day terrorism because dead people did bad things.

When did I excuse modern day terrorism? WTF!!!????

I am accusing you of calling someone a bigot for criticizing voluntarily held beliefs. I bolded it for you. If your point is that Wilders is a racist, demonstrate it from his own words. I don't care what yours or Wilders' opinion of Christianity is. It is not bigotry to point out a killer's own actions and words and it is offensive to imply otherwise.

Edited by Ted Keer

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Um, the Church Militant is an active concept today, though the militancy has gone from literal to metaphorical, as has jihad in the lives of the majority of Muslims. Salvation Army anybody?

What two hundred years? Christians killed non-Christians, principally Jews, enthusiastically under the Inquisition until around the 1600s, to give them the benefit of a few years.Like Muslims they reserved the worst ferocities for apostates and heretics after that (the Thirty Years War etc) all urged on by preachers or priests who had the Bible memorized.

Christianity is now over 2000 years old. For the record, I am a Christian.

What I wanted is to be shown how those historical events are tied to Jesus saying I come not to bring peace, but a sword. If Christianity is indeed militant at heart, then it will always be militant at heart, no matter how far it's followers, including you, might stray, they'll always be under threat of being called back to its heart. So, how do you make the link between Jesus's comments and the Crusades, opposed to the Crusades being a response to imperialist Islam?

Those comments were USED to help start the Crusades. Medieval clerics were not in the habit of explicating Bible texts to their flocks. They told them what God wanted them to do. When Urban II ignited the Crusades at Clermont in 1095, he came "as a herald of Christ" to urge an eradication of the Muslims from "the lands of our friends" and liberate the holy places from the infidel. He promised they would be doing Christ's work and earn remission from their sins, and go to Paradise if they died fighting.

Sound familiar?

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I am accusing you of calling someone a bigot for criticizing voluntarily held beliefs.

Again I’m flabbergasted. A line from the Wilders piece:

There is no turning back once one has become a Muslim.

Then what if you were raised Muslim? Imagine if someone, let’s say Peikoff for illustrative purposes, wrote an article called “Time to unmask Jesus”, and made an argument that Christianity as such led to the murder of abortion doctors, and based on it’s genocidal history was about to destroy Western civilization, ending with “A public debate about the true nature and character of Jesus can provide insight and support to Christians all over the world who wish to leave Christianity”. Oh yeah, that would help.

As to the use of the word "bigot", let's try a side by side comparison:

the Islamic creed obliges one and a half billion people around the world, including the one million living in the Netherlands, to take Muhammad as their example.

The Catholic creed obliges it's adherents to grant their primary loyalty to the Pope.

Is the second anti-Catholic bigotry, if said in the context of, say, a Presidential campaign? I've seen Mitt Romney's Mormonism get attacked in similar fashion more recently.

That's enough, it's bedtime hereabouts. Maybe more tomorrow.

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Um, the Church Militant is an active concept today, though the militancy has gone from literal to metaphorical, as has jihad in the lives of the majority of Muslims. Salvation Army anybody?

What two hundred years? Christians killed non-Christians, principally Jews, enthusiastically under the Inquisition until around the 1600s, to give them the benefit of a few years.Like Muslims they reserved the worst ferocities for apostates and heretics after that (the Thirty Years War etc) all urged on by preachers or priests who had the Bible memorized.

Christianity is now over 2000 years old. For the record, I am a Christian.

What I wanted is to be shown how those historical events are tied to Jesus saying I come not to bring peace, but a sword. If Christianity is indeed militant at heart, then it will always be militant at heart, no matter how far it's followers, including you, might stray, they'll always be under threat of being called back to its heart. So, how do you make the link between Jesus's comments and the Crusades, opposed to the Crusades being a response to imperialist Islam?

Those comments were USED to help start the Crusades. Medieval clerics were not in the habit of explicating Bible texts to their flocks. They told them what God wanted them to do. When Urban II ignited the Crusades at Clermont in 1095, he came "as a herald of Christ" to urge an eradication of the Muslims from "the lands of our friends" and liberate the holy places from the infidel. He promised they would be doing Christ's work and earn remission from their sins, and go to Paradise if they died fighting.

Sound familiar?

So your point is that because some long dead Christians justified reconquering previously Christian land from the Muslims (who themselves conquered by force from the Christians, following the words of their prophet who explicitly preached war and the murder of non-believers) in contravention of the teachings of their own messiah, that Gert Wilders is a bigot for holding that one can meaningfully distinguish between the explicit teachings of the two religious figures?

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Those comments were USED to help start the Crusades.

What comments? The teachings of Christianity that call upon individual Christians to wage war upon unbelievers?

Medieval clerics were not in the habit of explicating Bible texts to their flocks. They told them what God wanted them to do. When Urban II ignited the Crusades at Clermont in 1095, he came "as a herald of Christ" to urge an eradication of the Muslims from "the lands of our friends" and liberate the holy places from the infidel. He promised they would be doing Christ's work and earn remission from their sins, and go to Paradise if they died fighting.

Assuring people that they are on Gods side is not the same as being spurred on by militant texts within Christianity. The Crusades were a response to an external Islamic imperialist threat, and appeals to peoples faith God to give them the motivation to fight is similar to appeals to peoples patriotism for their country.

Sound familiar?

No. It's actually a very different thing. Muslim jihadists today, and throughout the history of Islam, are not responding to any external threat, they are being moved by an internal imperative within Islam itself. I do not see any equivalent to that within Christianity.

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Um, the Church Militant is an active concept today, though the militancy has gone from literal to metaphorical, as has jihad in the lives of the majority of Muslims. Salvation Army anybody?

What two hundred years? Christians killed non-Christians, principally Jews, enthusiastically under the Inquisition until around the 1600s, to give them the benefit of a few years.Like Muslims they reserved the worst ferocities for apostates and heretics after that (the Thirty Years War etc) all urged on by preachers or priests who had the Bible memorized.

Christianity is now over 2000 years old. For the record, I am a Christian.

What I wanted is to be shown how those historical events are tied to Jesus saying I come not to bring peace, but a sword. If Christianity is indeed militant at heart, then it will always be militant at heart, no matter how far it's followers, including you, might stray, they'll always be under threat of being called back to its heart. So, how do you make the link between Jesus's comments and the Crusades, opposed to the Crusades being a response to imperialist Islam?

Those comments were USED to help start the Crusades. Medieval clerics were not in the habit of explicating Bible texts to their flocks. They told them what God wanted them to do. When Urban II ignited the Crusades at Clermont in 1095, he came "as a herald of Christ" to urge an eradication of the Muslims from "the lands of our friends" and liberate the holy places from the infidel. He promised they would be doing Christ's work and earn remission from their sins, and go to Paradise if they died fighting.

Sound familiar?

So your point is that because some long dead Christians justified reconquering previously Christian land from the Muslims (who themselves conquered by force from the Christians, following the words of their prophet who explicitly preached war and the murder of non-believers) in contravention of the teachings of their own messiah, that Gert Wilders is a bigot for holding that one can meaningfully distinguish between the explicit teachings of the two religious figures?

I don't know or care if Wilders is a bigot. The religious leaders, as you point out, are long dead, and to view the actions of their billions of followers through the narrow prism of the words those leaders said or wrote alone, instead of the layered centuries of thought, non-thought, knowable and unknowable circumstance, is unproductive of anything except further dissension.

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I don't know or care if Wilders is a bigot.

So you don't care whether he is or is not unjustly treated?

The religious leaders, as you point out, are long dead, and to view the actions of their billions of followers through the narrow prism of the words those leaders said or wrote alone

It is only certain actions that are of concern, and it is clearly through certain teachings that they are explained. What is actually wrong with identifying those aspects of Islam?

, instead of the layered centuries of thought, non-thought, knowable and unknowable circumstance, is unproductive of anything except further dissension.

So it should all be examined through thought and unthought, through knowable and unknowable circumstances? Sorry, but that's just gobbledegook not aimed at clarifying anything.

Edited by Infidel

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Um, the Church Militant is an active concept today, though the militancy has gone from literal to metaphorical, as has jihad in the lives of the majority of Muslims. Salvation Army anybody?

What two hundred years? Christians killed non-Christians, principally Jews, enthusiastically under the Inquisition until around the 1600s, to give them the benefit of a few years.Like Muslims they reserved the worst ferocities for apostates and heretics after that (the Thirty Years War etc) all urged on by preachers or priests who had the Bible memorized.

Christianity is now over 2000 years old. For the record, I am a Christian.

What I wanted is to be shown how those historical events are tied to Jesus saying I come not to bring peace, but a sword. If Christianity is indeed militant at heart, then it will always be militant at heart, no matter how far it's followers, including you, might stray, they'll always be under threat of being called back to its heart. So, how do you make the link between Jesus's comments and the Crusades, opposed to the Crusades being a response to imperialist Islam?

Those comments were USED to help start the Crusades. Medieval clerics were not in the habit of explicating Bible texts to their flocks. They told them what God wanted them to do. When Urban II ignited the Crusades at Clermont in 1095, he came "as a herald of Christ" to urge an eradication of the Muslims from "the lands of our friends" and liberate the holy places from the infidel. He promised they would be doing Christ's work and earn remission from their sins, and go to Paradise if they died fighting.

Sound familiar?

So your point is that because some long dead Christians justified reconquering previously Christian land from the Muslims (who themselves conquered by force from the Christians, following the words of their prophet who explicitly preached war and the murder of non-believers) in contravention of the teachings of their own messiah, that Gert Wilders is a bigot for holding that one can meaningfully distinguish between the explicit teachings of the two religious figures?

I don't know or care if Wilders is a bigot. The religious leaders, as you point out, are long dead, and to view the actions of their billions of followers through the narrow prism of the words those leaders said or wrote alone, instead of the layered centuries of thought, non-thought, knowable and unknowable circumstance, is unproductive of anything except further dissension.

I am glad you admit, along with Wilders, that the explicit teaching of Muhammad is evil, and that those who follow his literal exhortations are a threat worth focusing upon. I am not sure, however, which exhortations of Jesus you find less threatening due to the fact that he too is dead.

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The religious leaders, as you point out, are long dead, and to view the actions of their billions of followers through the narrow prism of the words those leaders said or wrote alone, instead of the layered centuries of thought, non-thought, knowable and unknowable circumstance, is unproductive of anything except further dissension.

I am glad you admit, along with Wilders, that the explicit teaching of Muhammad is evil...

Carol,

Man, is that a weird conclusion.

Are you writing in secret code or something?

:)

Michael

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