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Ramadan - Week 4

My third week of experiencing Ramadan is already documented, this is week four.

Ramadan has come to a close. It's the end of an old month and the beginning of a new. At the beginning of the new month, a festival called Eid ul-Fitr is celebrated for three days, while Muslims eat, play games, enjoy each others company and all around have a good, wholesome time with each other. Because I've been fasting all month, I wanted to celebrate Eid as well. Even though I'm the only one in my family who has been fasting, I still wanted to celebrate it with my family. So Saturday, we'll be having our own little "mini-Eid". It will be a pot luck, with assignments made to each of the family members. We'll have some games for the little ones, so they don't get bored while the adults converse with each other. It's going to be a lot of fun.

Initially, when I wanted to celebrate this month, I had three objectives in mind:

  1. Raise awareness that Islam is not a religion of Terror.
  2. Learn more about the Islam culture- what they believe, how they dress, why they pray, et cetera.
  3. Grow closer to God.

I can easily say that all three of these objectives were met far beyond anything I would have expected. I had no idea that I would make so many friends and learn so much. I received constant warmth from Muslims the world over, local and remote. I received encouragement and strength from family members, when I was tempted to break the fast, and stop Ramadan. I learned self-control over succumbing to temptation. But more importantly, my testimony and strength in God increased ten-fold. As a result of Ramadan, I'm a better person. I've elevated to a new height that I've not been before. I'm not saying this to boast. I'm saying this because I would highly recommend anyone else to participate, Muslim or non-Muslim. I may very well do it next year, and years following. It's such a rewarding and spiritual experience. I wouldn't trade it for anything.

It was unfortunate that I had encounters from people that don't see Islam in the true light. There were many times I had to defend this religion and its beliefs. I had discussions about the "Ground Zero Mosque" that were very politically charged. People have said things to me that I'm sure many probably regret saying now. However, despite these experiences, Ramadan was rewarding and uplifting overall.

Lastly, I had the opportunity to read the Qur'an from cover to cover during Ramadan. What a rewarding and uplifting book! For those who are unaware, it teaches many of the same commandments and doctrines that the Holy Bible teach. For example, no sinner can dwell with God, unless he be repentant and call upon God for forgiveness. It teaches of chastity, honesty and doing good to all men. It teaches against idolatry. It also teaches about the same Holy Prophets that are found in the Holy Bible. Namely Adam, Moses, Enoch, David, Solomon, Job and John. It teaches that Jesus was no the Son of God, but an Apostle as others who came before him. It also teaches that Jesus was not crucified for the sins of man, but that this is a perversion created by the Christians. And of course, it teaches about Muhammad, the last prophet who brought about the Qur'an through inspiration from the angel Gabriel.

All-in-all, the Qur'an is a good book. It reads different than the Bible, and for those who aren't used to eastern writing, it can seem a but redundant. However, I found the Qur'an very enlightening, and I found myself agreeing with most of its teachings (being Christian myself, there are some core beliefs that are different, obviously). If you are curious about the Qur'an, you can receive a gorgeous complementary copy from CAIR- the Council for American-Islamic Relations. It's a big hard-bound book, with glossy full-color pages. On each page is the original Arabic, a translation into English, a pronunciation guide on how to pronounce the Arabic with English characters, and an interpretation by the translator of the volume. Further, each Surah (chapter) is prefaced by a summary of what you are about to read, where that Surah fits chronologically with the rest of the book and some additional insight into the history of Muhammad during that time. In a nutshell, the length of the Qur'an is similar to that of the New Testament, and should be quick reading.

As a side note, I was quite upset to learn about Pastor Terry Jones willing to burn copies of the Qur'an, and the reasons why he thinks everyone should. It was clear to me that he has not read any verses from the Qur'an, or he and his congregation would rethink their position. I blogged an Open Letter to the Pastor, urging him to rethink his position. If he doesn't, I'll be praying for heavy rain, to prevent his bonfire.

I can't help but think of the crazy timing I've had in choosing to participate in Ramadan this year. First with the Ground Zero community center, now the Pastor burning Qur'ans. All in one holy month. My purpose for raising awareness that Islam is not a religion of evil was put to the test all month long. I was in many debates and conversations both in person and online. I'm glad I decided to do it this month. I just hope it did some good.

I wish all the Muslims in the world peace and posterity. May God bless you with great patience as you endure the hate from many American people.

Here is how my last week went:

  • 22 Ramadan- After having breakfast, the standard Grape Nuts and yogurt with orange juice, I had a Zinger, and no sooner did I eat it, then I immediately got sick. It was such a horrible mistake. And really, I don't know why I had one. I don't like them to begin with. I guess the idea of something sweet was too tempting. Anyway, all day I was sick to my stomach over eating that Zinger. Many times I thought that I should definitely take some medicine to feel better, but I couldn't bring myself to break the fast. My will was too strong to stop. I figured I could deal with it throughout the day, and I did. I was eager to eat something for Iftar, and take medicine to feel better.
  • 23 Ramadan- Today, I needed to get to the school earlier than normal to finish up some homework that was due for that day. So, I grabbed some breakfast at Burger King before starting the fast. Generally, I don't like fast food, but it held me over a lot longer than Grape Nuts normally do, and I didn't feel sick to my stomach like having that Zinger. Also, I attended Iftar at the University of Utah for the Muslim Students' Association University of Utah. An event that went from 6pm to 8:30pm. $10 at the door goes towards helping the victims of the Pakistan flood. It was a wonderful event, and it was good to meet more Muslims and converse with them why I was participating. As a result, I got home a bit later than usual.
  • 24 Ramadan- Went to school to get homework all caught up for the week, so I would be ready for Monday. I was in a study group, and a couple of times I was offered snacks. I declined, of course, and we continued our study.
  • 25 Ramadan- Today was fast Sunday for our religion. Normally, you start your fast the night before right after dinner, and you hold to the fast until dinner on Sunday. However, because I've been fasting all month long, I opted for continuing in the tradition of Ramadan, by opening my fast that morning, and ending it at sunset like normal. Also, I shared my testimony on fasting to my congregation at church.
  • 26 Ramadan- Struggled today keeping the fast. Had many times where I wanted to eat, and was very tempted to do so. Also learned about Pastor Terry Jones in Florida wanting to burn Qur'ans. I was floored and upset that someone could be so insensitive. After learning of this news, not only did I blog it, but I've been praying fervently that it rains in Gainesville, Florida.
  • 27 Ramadan- I was invited to a restaurant by a fellow student for Iftar. Her father owns a restaurant in Salt Lake City, and they fed me at no charge, while I ate with their family. It was good to "break bread", so to speak, with them, and learn about their family and history. I also finished the Qur'an. I was a bit behind in my reading up to this point, but I didn't have much left to go, and I got it done.
  • 28 Ramadan- Nothing much happened today. Finished off Ramadan with some pasta and corn. It's going to be weird not fasting tomorrow.

Happy Eid ul-Fitr!

{ 41 } Comments

  1. Osama Khalid using Firefox 3.6.8 on GNU/Linux | September 9, 2010 at 11:23 pm | Permalink

    Man, I'm amazed. :) You have such a great will, a extraordinary ability to reject prejudgment and to 'do it yourself'.

    Congratulations for having this experience, have a good Eid party tomorrow and Eid Mubarak!

  2. Aoirthoir An Broc using Google Chrome 5.0.375.125 on GNU/Linux | September 10, 2010 at 1:04 am | Permalink

    Aaron, Thanks for posting your experience. I too have in the past fasted during Ramadan as a learning experience. My take on it is quite a bit different from yours of course considering that I am a Pagan. Many of the things the Quran, Bible and other monotheistic holy books teach against, including some of the things you've mentioned are directly marginalizing to Pagan persons. Indeed such writings have been used for centuries as the cruxt of the monotheist to eliminate the polytheist through methods such as forced conversion, theft of our children, and even murder and genocide.

    For example the requirement for chastity is considered by some readers of the Quran and Bibles as violated by us gender-queer, pansexual, polyamorous folks. To this day homosexual persons, transexual persons, gender-queer and others of us face death in monotheistic lands (not simply Muslim lands either, a common myth and trope...). And this based on the very similarities that do exist between the Quran and the Bible.

    And of course the worship of many gods and goddesses is considered a violation of the Quran for, as you have said "It teaches against idolatry". (It is generally of little interest to the monotheist that we polytheists are not worshiping statues/idols but rather deities). The same is true of the Bible as well. One can rarely find opening practicing pagans in certain nations because to do so they take their very lives into their own hands. Even in nations more lenient we still face many repulsive attacks (accused of demon worship, accused of violence, jailed for crime based on "evidence" that we were wearing black or painting our nails black).

    All of the marginalizations we Pagans experience are based in these very same Holy Books. Some might say it is a matter of "interpretation" and those marginalizing us are simply misinterpreting the books, to which I say, your quotes demonstrate otherwise and further, we've read these books ourselves. So we're little deceived. True enough all of these books have beautiful passages which if followed without the other, ugly passages, would lead to great benefit to all of life on our little button in the sky. However, regretably such books do not just contain the beautiful.

    And yes it is a sad thing that so many humans seize upon the ugly passages, and ignore the beautiful ones. Such being human nature, it would have been grand indeed of the Almighty, when inspiring these books, had limited ze inspiration to just the beautiful, had let Muhammed know that it is ok to pray to other gods and goddesses, had told Moses and Joshua not to wipe out entire nations of people, had forbidden slavery to ze prophets, peoples, kings, judges, followers, worshippers, had not commanded to reject in any way, fashion or style, those with "disabilities", "uncleanesses", alternative sexual practices and lifestyles, and in all ways had tought humans to never marginalize one another. Yet that's not what occured and the results continue to result many centuries later in great hardships for Pagans and other polytheists and others still at the hands of the agents of the Almighty.

    And it is with that in mind that I write this lengthly comment. Can you not see how marginalizing your post is when you quote portions of a book that are entirely dismissive of an entire group of people (indeed entire GROUPS of people) in an effort to demonstrate the goodness in such a book? Would it not have been more beautiful to quote wherein The Noble Quran is most noble, that which says "There is no compulsion in religion"? How is it that forbidding the worship of the Gods and Goddesses of ones ancestors, or the Gods and Goddesses of one's choice, is to be seen as a good and righteous thing and something worthy of lauding rather than the other? How is it that policing persons adult, voluntary, consenting sexual behavior, is presented as an example of a thing that makes any Holy Book, good?

    Finally regarding the Preacher that would like to burn the Quran, let him know that I have a great many Pagan books which are considered not only unholy, but downright wicked and demonic by a great many monotheists and of course these books, unlike The Noble Quran, are not even monotheistic books, so they are all the more "evil". I would gladly trade him copy for copy any of my books for his Qurans. Then he can burn my books. I promise you, no Christian, no Jew, no Muslim, no Zoarastrian, indeed no monotheist of any sort will die at the hands of a Pagan for the offense of burning our books. We offer them gladly.

    Kind though sad, Regards,
    Aoirthoir

  3. Bashar using Firefox 3.6.9 on Ubuntu | September 10, 2010 at 3:50 am | Permalink

    @ Aoirthoir An Broc
    “There is no compulsion in religion?”

    This verse in the Holy Quran does not mean 'do whatever you want' or allow people to do whatever they want. The intended and correct meaning is that you cannot enforce people to accept Islam as a faith. In other words, if belief in Allah is not purely and deeply from within ones heart and with full consent then it will not be accepted by Allah.

    Secondly, Islam is the religion of Allah all knowing creator of the heavens and earth, sustainer of creation. Islam is the path that Allah wants his human creation to follow as a guideline upon which he will reward them with eternal pleasure. Islam was never meant to satisfy and cater to the whims and preferences of each and every individual or "group" on earth. How could it? when human philosophies, mentalities and natures are as numerous as the number of humans themselves. This definitely includes those groups whom you described as "marginalized" and who have absolutely nothing in common between them except that description. Hence Allah revealed his path and mandated his human creation to follow it but in a manner where there is no enforcing so it can also serve as a test. If one succeeds he will be rewarded beyond imagination and if he fails he will face the wrath of his creator, who gave him the whole gift of life, and whom he denied a simple acknowledgement while he had the chance in a full and fair manner. On numerous occasions the Quran calls life on earth a “Fitnah” which literally means a test. As a helping pointer, Allah has embedded in the hearts of humans a thing called “Fitrah” which is an inner peace and a soothing acceptance that one finds in his heart whenever he faithfully tries to establish the relationship with his creator. Many converts (or more correctly reverts) to Islam have experienced this inner feeling. Therefore Allah calls the disbelievers in Islam the “Kuffar” which in English translates to 'infidels' although the literal meaning of the Arabic word is 'coverers' because these people have managed to cover and suppress that inner feeling which is associated with Islam (a word that literally means surrendering to your creator). In Arabic, farmers are also called “Kuffar” because they cover seeds with soil.

    I do not mean to infuriate you more on Islam nor do I want this post to turn into an endless debate. I merely wanted to give you an authentic account of what Islam is in relevance to the verse of “compulsion” that you mentioned. I wish you all success in your quest for the truth.

  4. semko using Firefox 3.6.8 on GNU/Linux 64 bits | September 10, 2010 at 3:56 am | Permalink

    Eid Mubarak. :)
    The point of Ramadan is to become a better person, and it seems you have succeeded. MashAllah.
    Thank you for sharing your experiences.

  5. Bashar using Firefox 3.6.9 on Ubuntu | September 10, 2010 at 4:08 am | Permalink

    Aaron,
    May Allah reward you for these five marvelous blog entries.

  6. Elizabeth Krumbach using Google Chrome 5.0.342.7 on GNU/Linux | September 10, 2010 at 7:06 am | Permalink

    Very inspiring! Thank you for sharing your experience.

  7. Someone using Internet Explorer 8.0 on Windows Vista | September 10, 2010 at 9:08 am | Permalink

    This experience is definitely a gift from God to you. Thanks for sharing this wonderful experience with us!

  8. Someone using Internet Explorer 8.0 on Windows Vista | September 10, 2010 at 9:10 am | Permalink

    Just a minor comment: Ramadan is 29 or 30 and never 28 days ;)

  9. nizarus using Firefox 4.0b5 on GNU/Linux 64 bits | September 10, 2010 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

    عيــــــد مبـــــارك
    Happy Eid :)

  10. Fabian Rodriguez using Firefox 3.6.8 on Ubuntu 64 bits | September 10, 2010 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

    Hey Aaron - thank for sharing, I followed every word of it and learned a lot.

    Debate is good, authentic is too. Keep it up :) And thank you again.

  11. Leo using WebKit 531.21.10 on Mac OS | September 10, 2010 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

    I am deeply impressed. If people just did a little bit of what you did in the past weeks, in the sense of getting to know people from different cultures by living there customs and transitions with them, in order to learn and to grow, there would be a lot less pain in the world. The main problem is that people are afraid of what they don't know, and that most don't want to know.
    I live in Cologne, Germany. Currently a big Mosque is built near the center, this has raised a lot of anti-Muslim propaganda. I don't see where the point is, with some 10 percent of the city's population having a Muslim background, why shouldn't they have a mosque? It's currently under construction, but it already looks really impressive and I regard it as a welcome addition to our city's cultural life. I definitely plan on paying it a visit once it's finished.
    Thanks again for sharing your experiences!

  12. ebraheem using Firefox 3.6.9 on Ubuntu | September 10, 2010 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

    Eid Mobark to the Muslims .. and to you Aaron Toponce ..

  13. Aoirthoir An Broc using Google Chrome 5.0.375.125 on GNU/Linux | September 10, 2010 at 11:39 pm | Permalink

    Basher said "@ Aoirthoir An Broc
    “There is no compulsion in religion?”
    This verse in the Holy Quran does not mean ‘do whatever you want’ or allow people to do whatever they want."

    In every statement there are at least two meanings, that which is intended by the speaker and that which is understood by the receiver. Often there are many more meanings and nuances of meanings, especially considering in writings there are many receivers. While your interpretation is certainly valid, I prefer a new interpretation, one that marginalizes people less.

    "The intended and correct meaning is that you cannot enforce people to accept Islam as a faith. In other words, if belief in Allah is not purely and deeply from within ones heart and with full consent then it will not be accepted by Allah."

    I would contend that the history of the verse demonstrates there's a bit more meaning in it than this. In particular when Islam was small, of course it's followers are going to acknowledge the inherent right of all to practice their religion unmolested. Religions have a tendency to change this stance once they are the dominant religion in a region, particularly monotheistic religions. Is Islam really different from other religions in this regards?

    No matter the history and the "correct" interpretation, I am under no obligation to read a book in the manner others demand I should. Thus, contrary to anti-Islamists, I can find beauty within The Noble Quran. This verse, in the way it *should* be interpreted (a way that is beneficial to all lifekind) is a beautiful verse to me. However, contrary to Muslims, I don't hold that every single verse in The Noble Quran is beautiful and state plainly, just like about nearly every other book in history, that it has its ugliness.

    "Secondly, Islam is the religion of Allah all knowing creator of the heavens and earth, sustainer of creation."

    No. Islam is *claimed* to be the religion of Allah. Further Allah is *claimed* to be the all knowing creator of the heavens and the earth. There was a time when Allah was simply the head of a pantheon of likewise Pagan deities. Allah's symbol was the moon. In the vast majority of Pagan religions, moon deities are Goddesses. So the history of Allah, and her final arrival as an Almighty Deity, is not as simply as most monotheists would have us believe.

    "Islam is the path that Allah wants his human creation to follow as a guideline upon which he will reward them with eternal pleasure."

    This is a claim. We must not confuse claims with proven facts. Paradise is a claim common to religions. The monotheists tend to hold the us vs them mentality. The monotheists are entitled to paradise while nearly everyone else is not, as you indeed demonstrate in your further comments. Claiming you will get paradise and we will not, does not make it so. We Pagans on the other hand tend not to claim that we're entitled to some reward and you monotheists are not. Tir na Nog is indeed open to all.

    "Islam was never meant to satisfy and cater to the whims and preferences of each and every individual or “group” on earth."

    See here is more marginalizing language. My sexuality is not a whim. My life is not a whim. My preferences are not a whim. My need and natural right for food, health care, equal treatment under law, to worship those deities that have proven themselves worthy of my worship, my loves, affections, rituals, prayers, dances, songs, are not whims. Were Islam, Christianity, Zoarastrianism, and the other monotheistic faiths of the nature that simply said "this is how we live, but you, live how you will, you are equally entitled to all things we are", then we polytheists and other [scare-quote]marginalized[/scare-quote] persons would have no objections to your books and religions. It just seems that far too often your quite willing to dismiss us, as you just did, (and do throughout your post) as not quite as deserving of even basic human rights as you.

    " How could it? when human philosophies, mentalities and natures are as numerous as the number of humans themselves."

    Yes and this is a problem why?

    "This definitely includes those groups whom you described as “marginalized” and"

    Yes it most definitely DOES include those persons who are marginalized. I ask everyone to notice the use of scare quotes around the word marginalized as if I've made this shite entirely up and we're not being marginalized, not being murdered, not being stripped of our homes, property, rights, not granted equal access in courts, though tens of thousands of these events occur every day.

    "who have absolutely nothing in common between them except that description."

    Excuse me? Really? We have "absolutely *nothing*" in common with each other except the 'description' that we're marginalized? (Notice the implication again that we're not REALLY marginalized, it's just a description...the bad behavior of the monotheists that violently harm us, is just a 'description').

    Let me tell you we have a LOT more in common than our marginalization. We have in common that we are capable of great love and we express great love. We express love towards our family members, friends, neighbors, co-workers. We are full of all charity, sharing, assistance to persons like us and not. We share in common the desire to work, contribute to society, raise our children unmolested, build, grow, eat. We share in common laughter and smiles. We share in common an acknowledgement of the sacredness of life, not only that which is to come but THIS life. We share in common blood sweat and tears, anger, sadness, joy. We share in common putting our knuckles to the grindstone when someone needs help. We share in common richessnes and poorness of every sort.

    Whether we are pagan, atheist, polytheist, homosexual, transexual, bisexual, pansexual, childrearing, childless, male, female, intersexed, gender-queer, goth, straight, bikers, poor, light skinned, dark skinned, short, tall, fat, ain power or out, we share A GREAT MUCH in common, besides just "that description". The fact that monotheists tend to try to hurt us at every chance they get, does not mean that they *only* thing we have in common with each other is that baseless disenfranchisement by the monotheist.

    Indeed I am amazed that it tends to surprise the monotheist that not only do we have all of these things and more in common with each other, but we also hold them in common with you.

    "Hence Allah revealed his path and mandated his human creation"

    This is a claim not a proven fact. I for instance am not a descendent of the creations of Allah, or Yahweh. I am a descendent of the Firbolg, Fomorians, Tuatha De Danaan and Milesians, none of whom we created by any of the many Almighty Gods. The Tuatha De Danaan for instance were created by the Great and Noble Goddess Danu.

    "to follow it but in a manner where there is no enforcing"

    Unfortunately the Kyriarchy's of the nations tend to forget that part, and do indeed force their monotheistic beliefs and mono-culture upon a great many of us. Would to your Gods that you would obey your gods in that respect and leave those of us that have no part of your religions, out of your religion. You could start by petitioning the governments in your locale to rescind the abhorent laws they have against persons that are Pagan, Witches, Homosexual, Transexual, Transgendered, Gender-queer, Poly, and others that still to this day face violence at the hands of governments that claim they're not trying to force us to follow their religion.

    "so it can also serve as a test. If one succeeds he will be rewarded beyond imagination and if he fails he will face the wrath of his creator,"

    More marginalizing language. The very tool used to to harm us in this life.

    " who gave him the whole gift of life, and whom he denied a simple acknowledgement while he had the chance in a full and fair manner."

    Fair manner? Seriously? A person of unknowable power threatens puny humans if they don't acknowledge him, and we call this fair? No wonder the Kyriarchy has the ability to wield so much wicked power, when this is what we call fair.

    " On numerous occasions the Quran calls life on earth a “Fitnah” which literally means a test. As a helping pointer, Allah has embedded in the hearts of humans a thing called “Fitrah” which is an inner peace and a soothing acceptance that one finds in his heart whenever he faithfully tries to establish the relationship with his creator."

    So inner peace is denied to those that do not try to establish a relationship with the creator? What kind of creator is this that would do such a terrible thing to persons just because they won't be in a relationship with him? Any kind of person that does such is no person of righteousness, kindness or love. Love, gives it does not demand.

    " Many converts (or more correctly reverts) to Islam"

    There are no doubt those that were born Muslim and tried other things. Those persons are indeed reverts. I was not born Muslim, I was born Pagan. As a Pagan I can acknoweldge, and indeed do, the existence of all of the Deities, spirits, ancestors and others. It is a false teaching of Muslims that *everyone* is born Muslim. Making such a statement attempts to strip me and every other person not born Muslim or monotheistic, of our natural right to bodily autonomy. No person of monotheistic faith gets to tell me that my faith is false, my gods or goddesses are wrong, or what I *actually* am, just as I do not get to tell the monotheist what zir faith is.

    Indeed it is this very repudiation of my right to bodily autonomy and self definition that demonstrates all of the talk of monotheists of "acceptance" of other faiths, is just that, talk. Such talk is almost universally really only applied, if at all, to other monotheists. But the deception becomes quite apparent when the polytheist raises zir hand and says, "don't forget about me." and we see comments such as yours.

    So no, I was absolutely not born Muslim, and never will be Muslim or monotheist. I am a pagan polytheistic, pansexual, gender-queer, polyamorous, poly-experiential person and will remain so in this life, and all of my future incarnations.

    "have experienced this inner feeling.""

    I will never deny the inner feeling or the personal theistic experience of a monotheist, nor will I deny that of the atheist, or any other person. Your experience is yours, not mine and mine, though different than yours, does not invalidate yours, nor does yours invalidate mine.

    Therefore Allah calls the disbelievers in Islam the “Kuffar” which in English translates to ‘infidels’ although the literal meaning of the Arabic word is ‘coverers’ because these people have managed to cover and suppress that inner feeling which is associated with Islam (a word that literally means surrendering to your creator). In Arabic, farmers are also called “Kuffar” because they cover seeds with soil."

    I'm well aware of what NON-believers are called by monotheists. We are not DISbelievers anymore than you DISbelieve in the Ootoo Tadada Nalla Noolia that I just made up on the spot. You don't need to DISbelieve in it because it's never given you cause to believe in it.

    However, in my case, and just about that of every single Pagan I know, we're neither DISbelievers, nor NONbelievers. Being polytheists generally, we're believers in all of the deities, including every single one of the Almighty Deities.

    "I do not mean to infuriate you more on Islam"

    You do not infuriate me. You have said nothing about Islam or monotheism that I did not already know. Indeed you spake exactly the things I just said, and demonstrated a tiny portion of the very marinalizations that I wrote about originally.

    Understand it is not FAITH that infuriates me, and not the faith of Muslims any more than any other Monotheist. Rather it is the way persons who do not fit the mono-culture are treated by ALL of the Kyriarchies. Treatment that denies many equal access, equal rights, the right to life, freedom, justice, righteousness, love, devotion, FOOD, shelter, healthcare and other things that participants in the mono-culture take for granted as INHERENT rights for them, but are quite satisfied to deny to others.

    "nor do I want this post to turn into an endless debate."

    I think it is not a debate. You are saying the very same thing about monotheism that I said.

    "I merely wanted to give you an authentic account of what Islam is in relevance to the verse of “compulsion” that you mentioned."

    And your interpretation I am aware of. However, because of the harm that such an interpretation has caused so many, I have decided to reject that interpretation, and re-interpret the verse to mean something beautiful, rather than something marginalizing.

    "I wish you all success in your quest for the truth."

    I was going to say many thanks. However, I am aware of what mono-culturalists and monotheists often mean by "truth". If you mean to acknoweldge that truth is not mono only, and that my truth, though not your truth, is still indeed the truth, then I say thank you. If though by "truth" you mean monotheism, well then....

    Kind Regards,
    Aoirthoir

  14. Bashar using Firefox 3.6.9 on Ubuntu | September 11, 2010 at 3:09 am | Permalink

    @Aoirthoir
    If all interpretations of any legislation are taken into account the world would enter into a state of chaos. As an example, the US constitution is ultimately interpreted by the supreme court and not by any passerby. Same applies to Islam. Beautiful or not, if you aren't qualified your interpretation simply doesn't count.

    Regardless, as long as your heart is pumping you can freely chose your path. But eventually the truth will be revealed to you and you'll be fully held accountable for this choice. And although I completely reject, oppose and distance myself from your beliefs and practices I still, in abidance with my duty as a Muslim, sincerely wish and pray that you be given guidance to the truth without waiting for any reward or thanking from you.

  15. Aoirthoir An Broc using Google Chrome 5.0.375.125 on GNU/Linux | September 11, 2010 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

    Basher said "If all interpretations of any legislation are taken into account the world would enter into a state of chaos."

    Uh huh. Yeah cause treating human beings who are different from you with dignity instead of with violent separatist tactics always leads to chaos. Thanks for again proving exactly what I am saying about so many monotheists. You'll come up with any kind of twisted logic to justify harm done to those different from you, rather than just admiting the treatment is wrong and modifying your own behavoir.

    "As an example, the US constitution is ultimately interpreted by the supreme court and not by any passerby. Same applies to Islam. Beautiful or not, if you aren’t qualified your interpretation simply doesn’t count."

    Really? Wow. Again thanks for proving exactly what I am saying. Such language isn't surprising at all. We know that our interpretations don't count. How could they when WE don't count. But I got news for you, I am still going to reinterpret things in a manner that leads to less harm rather than more harm.

    "Regardless, as long as your heart is pumping you can freely chose your path."

    No I can't. At every turn monotheists will continue to create laws to prevent me from freely choosing my own path. And there are those far more marginalized than I. Can a gay man in Ohio choose to marry his other half? Of course not. So sorry this "freely choosing your own path" stuff is bunk in the mono culture.

    " But eventually the truth will be revealed to you"

    You know, as soon as I read this line I thought "I know EXACTLY what he is going to say next..." I knew from just those words you were going to take the tactic of essentially saying "in the afterlife you will find out we were right and you were wrong na na nuh na na [tongue out]". THAT is how common that monotheistic trope is.

    Understand this, I will not EVENTUALLY know the truth and truth will not EVENTUALLY be revealed to me. I KNOW truth already. Truth was revealed to me as a young child onward. Your threats of violence at the hands of an Almighty God in the afterlife, are not going to change the truth I've come to know. Indeed, if I have learned anything, it is that the truth depends not on threats and scare tactics.

    Though I am not Wiccan myself, I tend to agree with one of their tenets, "An it harm none, do as thou wilt." I hold all of the Almighty Gods and the Gods and Goddesses which are greater than those to this same accountability. Violence simply for disagreeing with someone is always unacceptable EVEN at the hands of The Supreme Being.

    "and you’ll be fully held accountable for this choice."

    And of course as I read on, I was proven right.

    "And although I completely reject, oppose and distance myself from your beliefs and practices"

    Right. And yet you as a monotheist demand equal treatment when you offer none. When persons Oppose the Quran, they're told they are wrong. Yet it is perfectly valid for you to OPPOSE my beliefs and practices, WITH NARY A WORD from this community. They'll abso-F'n-lutely stand up for your rights and speak out against those opposing Islam. Even when the ONLY THING in Islam we are opposing their opposing OF OTHERS, we're called Islamphobes. I think I can reasonably say no such accuser of us, will be calling you a polyphobe. Indeed where are the blog posts from Ubunteros when someone like you says PLAINLY that they oppose Homosexuals, Polytheists, Trans-Gendered Persons?

    Do you see me turning blue? No? Want to know why? Because I am not holding my breath for any actual real objections to the fact that you OPPOSE my faith, as others object when some oppose the faith of Muslims. Cause, after all Muslims are still monotheists, so it's wrong to oppose their faith, but NOT WRONG for the Muslim OR ANY OTHER MONOTHEIST to oppose the faith of a polytheist. Indeed isn't that why I wrote the first post in response to Aaron, that the tropes of value he found in the quran were the very thing Muslims hold in common with Chrisitans, the NUMEROUS marginalization of polytheists. How is that to be lauded?

    ANYONE have an answer here? ANYONE? Or are EVERY ONE OF YOU going to REMAIN SILENT?

    "I still, in abidance with my duty as a Muslim, sincerely wish and pray that you be given guidance to the truth without waiting for any reward or thanking from you."

    More monotheistic tropes. COMMON monotheistic tropes.

    Let's see..the monotheist has been told that the polytheist doesn't accept their truth, and has zir own. Does the monotheist accept this? And perhaps pray in private if ze is THAT convinced of the rightness of ze's own truth? No. Ze has to instead demonstrate the "superiority" of the monotheist to the polytheist.

    See, that's exactly why they don't JUST PRAY for us quietly on their own without telling us. Because the PRAYER is not the point. No, the point is that they MUST CONSTANTLY INFORM US that they are "praying for us". Meanwhilst joining with the Kyriarchy in orchestrating every machination of wickedness against us. As long as you join the Kyriarchy in denying basic human rights, your prayer is no prayer at all, and your stating you are praying, is merely a tactic to suggest your superiority to me.

    How about the next time you are going to pray for me, you pray that you gain a DIFFERENT understanding of scriptures that entitle you to harm me and the likes of me.

    Aoirthoir

  16. An interested reader using Firefox 3.6.7 on Fedora 64 bits | September 12, 2010 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

    "Your threats of violence at the hands of an Almighty God in the afterlife, are not going to change the truth I’ve come to know. "

    I think the above sentence encapsulates everything one needs to consider about religion. The Christian-Muslim religious doctrine of "no participation means suffering in the afterlife" is indicative of a vindictive god and thus, an imperfect, i.e. man-made, one.

  17. Dr.Mohammed using Firefox 3.6.9 on Windows XP | September 12, 2010 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

    WOW!God bless you !its a wonderful thing to find a such open-minded person, who truly understand and analyze things in such way different than the typical stereotype way.Happy eid , and happy Ramadan , and i hope you will try it again next year.p.s i liked your blog, following you for sure!

  18. Bashar using Firefox 3.6.9 on Ubuntu | September 14, 2010 at 6:00 am | Permalink

    @An interested reader
    "... and thus, an imperfect, i.e. man-made, one."

    I'm almost certain if you were called to fully submissive god you would still say the same thing.

    What really is man-made and imperfect is such reasoning and logic.

  19. Aoirthoir An Broc using Google Chrome 5.0.375.125 on GNU/Linux | September 14, 2010 at 7:00 am | Permalink

    "I’m almost certain if you were called to fully submissive god you would still say the same thing."

    Let me translate for you all. "If we could force you to submit to slavery, you would not say the same thing"

    Because that's really what it means.

    Sorry, but any god that requires people be tortured merely for not believing in her, is no righteous god at all.

    "What really is man-made and imperfect is such reasoning and logic."

    Notice that reasoning and logic is imperfect here. So a kind, reasonable, logical person thinks about reality and asks questions like,

    "is it right to torture people?",

    "is it right to murder people?",

    "when someone says that they are not murdering but merely protecting themselves and defending themselves, when they kill someone for simply loving another person, whether that person is another god, or a person of their same gender or sex (or worse both), is that really defense or is that murder also?"

    "Is it ok for the majority for *force* themselves on the minority?"

    "why does a person who tries to force everyone to follow mono-culture cry foul when someone objects to being forced by the mono-culturalist, and then insist that we are not treating them with equality when we object to their unequal treatment of us?"

    "are these things the traits of men, or an Almighty God, All Knowing, beneficent, loving, kind, righteous?"

    "If from a god is that god REALLY loving, kind, beneficent, righteous or would a god commanding these things really be a trickster, promising heaven, but delivering hell, both in this life and the next?"

    And when the answers to such questions are obvious, the monoculture tells us there is naught for us to do but ignore reality, ignore loving kindness, ignore truth, and bend the knee in submission, not really to God, but to them.

    An Interested Reader said:

    "I think the above sentence encapsulates everything one needs to consider about religion. The Christian-Muslim religious doctrine of “no participation means suffering in the afterlife” is indicative of a vindictive god and thus, an imperfect, i.e. man-made, one."

    Any god, man-made or truly existing on her own, that commands such, is to be despised because such a wicked act is not suddenly made righteous merely because of its implementation by a god.

    And the thing is, the conversations with monoculturalists shows they KNOW this. And this is why they have to constnatly use force and justify the force and violence against others. All the while they are insisting that they have strong faith or KNOW God. If our beliefs are so weak that we have to murder people who simply don't agree with us, that is not strong faith.

  20. Aoirthoir An Broc using Google Chrome 5.0.375.125 on GNU/Linux | September 14, 2010 at 7:03 am | Permalink

    An Interested Reader,

    I would also like to point out that had the original post been about the failings of yet another monotheistic group (in this case Islam but you could substitute any monotheistic group), the comments would have been filled supporting the monotheistic group. Ubunteros would have been all over it with all sorts of labels defining it as hate speech.

    Yet when the original post is pointed out to have marginalizing language against alternative sexualities, and polytheists, nary a word from the usual suspects. One or two voices raised, and the rest, who would normally be stomping all over blog posts like this, remain SILENT.

    So much for claims of intersectionality and inclusiveness.

  21. Bashar using Firefox 3.6.9 on Ubuntu | September 14, 2010 at 9:59 am | Permalink

    As I previously said,but to no avail, proper rationale dictates that you judge monotheistic religions by their official definitions not by whims and personal interpretations.

    Islam and Christianity have had the opportunity of once ruling the Planet and in a sense they still do. Despite your repetitive claims of shunning violence and spreading love, in your extremely lengthy, stubborn and intertwined posts I can easily speculate on the type of rule people like you would impose on others if they ever had the chance to rule the earth.

    Followers of monotheistic religions, as distant as they are from each other, at least have respected and acknowledged doctrines that they abide to and follow. They, despite occasional faults, unite in their understanding of moral values like 'fear of God', virtue, piety, chastity,righteousness and avoidance of sin. How is it ever possible to equate them with someone who took paganism simply as a mere challenge to people around him or only for the arrogant sake of standing out or as a way to lift off the burden of ethical teachings. How is it possible to equate those who follow divine doctrines with those who follow none but their genitals. Think of it, would a sane peron put his life in the hands of the latter type.

    Those who promote unrestrained filth, as defined by the majority of human beings, under the false pretense of freedom and logical reasoning.
    Type as much as you want. Unless you change you sick and undereducated mentality you shall stay "marginalized" forever.

  22. Bashar using Firefox 3.6.9 on Ubuntu | September 14, 2010 at 10:07 am | Permalink

    Don't demand respect when you're disrespectful of the truly respected. I still hope and pray that one day you'll be given back your sight so you can see the true path. And whether you like it or not, you only have your lifetime to make this significant finding.

  23. Aoirthoir An Broc using Google Chrome 5.0.375.125 on GNU/Linux | September 14, 2010 at 10:43 pm | Permalink

    Once again I get the pleasure of thanking Bashar for proving every single statement that I have made. Notice how every one of his words drips with unearned privilege and the belief in the right to disenfranchise anyone not inherently a monoculturalist (monocultist?). I am going to break this down as I have from the beginning.

    "As I previously said,but to no avail, proper rationale dictates that you judge monotheistic religions by their official definitions not by whims and personal interpretations."

    I've not said anything of monotheistic religions that is not true.

    "Islam and Christianity have had the opportunity of once ruling the Planet and in a sense they still do."

    No question that they do, often to the great harm of everyone else and each other. Even the in faith harm of monotheists is saddening to witness.

    "Despite your repetitive claims of shunning violence and spreading love, in your extremely lengthy, stubborn and intertwined posts I can easily speculate on the type of rule people like you would impose on others if they ever had the chance to rule the earth."

    Uh huh. Like I said a monotheist will often choose to twist the facts with great convoluted effort to maintain his fantasy. I am strongly objecting to REAL, HISTORIC, ONGOING, CURRENT and PROVEN violence against persons SIMPLY BECAUSE THEY ARE DIFFERENT. So my objections to such violence, MUST make me violent. Because I object to monotheists MURDERING a gay man for being gay, I MUST be violent myself. Because I object to monotheists jailing a person for wearing black clothes, I MUST be violent. Because I object to refusing the same natural GODDESS GIVEN RIGHTS to EVERYONE, regardless of sexuality, gender, self-identification, religion, age, ability, color, race, OR ANY OTHER SITUATION, CONDITION, or CHOICE that HARMS NO OTHER, I MUST be violent. This is called a game of three card monte. Notice though, while SPECULATING that I am violent, ze never ever says, "HEY I DONT OBJECT TO VIOLENCE AGAINST such and such group!" That is most telling.

    Now, what you are about to see is an enormous amount of tropes. You're about to see (or have already if you read his comments in the last two posts) just how disgustingly arrogant the mind of many monotheists have become. How they view anything other than them as less, and to do so, must simply make up falsehood after falsehood about them.

    What I do NOT EXPECT to see is a SINGLE PERSON who has defended Islam in ALL of these Ubuntu posts, STAND UP and defend the LIES that this monotheist is telling about Pagans. You see, it is WRONG to "lie" about Islam (you know, expose the violence of a monotheist) but it is OK and RIGHTEOUS to LIE about the Pagan. I DOUBT you will see a single post about these monnotheists stepping into the shoes of a Pagan, participating in our worship services, joining us at Imbolg or Mabon, honoring Mother Goddess, or our Earth Mother, joining hands in the circle of love, light and life. (I am not saying Christians have not done these things, I am suggesting I will fall over backwards (on video) should anyone like the OP do so. Why should we when it is easier to lie about Pagans, disenfranchise them and others and just ignore reality. So onward shall we....

    "Followers of monotheistic religions, as distant as they are from each other, at least have respected and acknowledged doctrines that they abide to and follow."

    Actually monotheists often tend to only respect each other when it entails showing how "evil" we Pagans are compared to them. But, when it comes to war after war, murder after murder, crime after crime to hold up one's own version of monotheism vs another's version of monotheism all of the sudden this imagined respect and acknowledge doctrines fade away. Do Muslims respect the monotheistic trinity of the Catholics? Do pentacostals respect the monotheistic Quran? Are there are great number of Christians and Muslims that will disrespect, even murder, monotheistic Jews?

    Sorry but this falsely claimed hand holding lovey dovey all monotheists all getting along with each other is a fable. Did you REALLY think ANY OF US reading this would BUY THAT lie? After all IF it WERE true, why would the OP need to talk about prejudices against Islam IN THIS VERY POST? However as I just said, you do have a great ability to join forces when it comes to wiping out we Pagans or marginalizing TEH GAYS and other persons that don't fit your limited and limiting world view. Congratulations.

    " They, despite occasional faults,"

    What occasional faults would those be? Would you include the murder of anyone not cis-gendered, straight, mono, able-bodied, as an occasional fault? Do you object to violence against those of us outside of your paradigm as a fault?

    "unite in their understanding"

    See answer above. Do you really expect us to believe that you are united in understanding the following things? If so, then is all this claimed marginalization of Muslims in these United States sheer bunk?

    "of moral values like ‘fear of God’, virtue, piety, chastity,righteousness and avoidance of sin."

    I am going to touch on this. Ze shows in the next statement that ze believes such qualities CANNOT belong to Pagans or Polytheists. And you will see how disgustingly ridiculous his claims about them are. But for now I want to cover each of these points in turn.

    "Fear of God". Well it is true that we modern Pagans tend not to fear our gods. Instead we respect and love them. Indeed, most generally our deities are not commanding us to this or that on the penalty of death. So we don't need to fear them. We're not forced to worship them either, and are always fully autonomous in our religious devotions. When Goddess says to us "For My law is love is unto all beings," how can we fear her? So yeah I have to go with ze on this one, we don't share "fear of god" with you monotheists, thankfully and joyously so.

    "Virtue" is defined among other things as "conformity to a standard of right, a particular moral excellence". Christians tell me they have this summed up in the Golden Rule "Do unto others as ye would have them do unto you." Hmm, I can agree with the moral excellence, the virtue, of such a statement. I find this statement in the Quran "there is no compulsion under religion" likewise virtuous, despite the unvirtuous ways some would have me accept it. So likewise we Pagans have in the Wiccan read "An it harm none, do as thou wilt." All three of these carry the virtue of not hurting others, indeed, treating others with dignity, love and respect. Would to Goddess not simply that you monotheists would adher to such virtues, but that we all would, and that includes us Pagans.

    "Piety" is defined among other things as "fidelity to natural obligations (as to parents), dutifulness in religion". Do any of you really think there is much difference in such between Pagans and Monotheists? Have you never seen a fellow Monotheist disrespect their parent or be respectful to them? Do you really imagine that it is a teaching of Paganism to disrespect family, the earth, life, or our natural obligations, when the entirety of Paganism worships all of these? As to dutifulness in religion, such for a Pagan is hand in hand with our natural obligations, because our religion is one OF nature. Many of our rituals celebrate family, children, harvest, planting, the phases of the moon, jobs well done by friends, building, growing, loving, devoting. Do you really really have think that you are more dutilful in your religious and natural obligations than we? REALLY?

    "Chastity" is defined among other things as "abstention from unlawful sexual intercourse". This is particularly interesting because down below we will see the implication that Pagans have no laws regarding their sexuality. This is patently untrue. Some Pagans quite agree with Monotheists that sexuality should be reserved between married partners. Some who do so, believe that marriage is the vital component, regardless of the genders of the couple. However, for most of us the law is simple, ADULT and CONSENSUAL. So in regards to "lawful" sexual intercourse, like you monotheists, we have rules, and like you, breaking those rules will have consequences. However, unlike you we do not force everyone to decide a single form of love. Rather, we insist that the bodily autonomy of all individuals be respected. You know, like we do in the rest of our laws. This is reasonable, beautiful and consistent.

    However chastiy is also defined as "abstention from all sexual intercourse". So we see even in the monocultural world there are those who think they are chaste, when in fact, by definition they are not. How would a monotheist who is not chaste in this respect, one who was married, having sexual intercourse with zir spouse, feel if they were marginalized for their "unclean" sexual practices?

    Finally yet another (among still more) definitions of chasity is "purity in conduct and intention". This is ESPECIALLY applicable in the case of the Pagan. Why? Because most of our rites, magical rituals, our spells, our conduct, our prayers, our beliefs, center upon the idea of good intention, purity in intention. A good spell, performed with bad intent, will come back a great many teach, threefold.

    So we see from just these three defintions alone, that indeed Christians, Muslims, Jews, Zorastrians, and other Monotheists, share quite a bit in common with Pagans and other Polytheists. That is, by some defintions you and we are chaste, and by some defintions you and we are not chaste. Should we really murder other people of DEFINTIONS? I mean honestly....

    "Righteousness" is defined among other things as "acting in accord with divine or moral law : free from guilt or sin". Well as a Pagan I can tell you that we Pagans have that free from guilt or sin thing down. You see, our concept of good and right is not that something is good and right simply because someone TOLD us it was good and right, or because someone TOLD US that a deity TOLD THEM it was good and right. So we don't live in fear of misteps angering an angry God. Rather we live in love. Now that frees us from the need to do something JUST BECAUSE blindly. Instead we can process each act on its own, think about repurcussions, and ways of benefiting not only ourselves but others. As a result, each of us might have a slightly different way of defining righteousness, but I think many of us would conclude what I have:

    "A righteous person is one that seeks to avoid harming others and seeks to help those who are being harmed."

    Not too far off the Wiccan Rede I suppose. Them Wiccans got me agreeing with them after all these years! :D Indeed, I have met many a Wiccan, Pagan, Christian, Muslim, Atheist, and others over the years that fit this definition. I thank Holy Isis for them all. And therein is the rub. That so many monotheists REALLY BELIEVE that ONLY a monotheist can be righteous. We Pagans don't believe ONLY WE are righteous. Indeed, we'll freely admit that we've run across many that are not, just as you have run across many monotheists that are not. Why pretend then that one or the other are incapable of goodness and righteousness? (Why indeed???).

    Now let us go into some more tropes. I quote Bashar again:

    "How is it ever possible to equate them"

    Equate them = those good values above...I hope I have shown how it is possible to equate them with a Pagan and the other marginalized and disenfranchised persosn who so many find incapable of good, goddessly qualities.

    " with someone who took paganism simply as a mere challenge to people around him"

    Now remember, Islam teaches that we are ALL born Muslim. That disenfranchises us, it is nothing short of unearned monoculturalist privilege, the complete rejection of my bodily autonomy and the theft of my right to self definition. Could we possibly just stop there? Why should ze when ze can enforce zir privilege even more and tell us Pagans WHY we became Pagans and in so doing NEVER ATTRIBUTE a good cause to it and only tell us we did it for nefarious reasons.

    Understand this EVERY ONE OF YOU, monotheist or otherwise. I did NOT BECOME Pagan. Pagan is WHAT I *AM*. It is what I have ALWAYS been and what I always SHALL be, in this life, in the next and in all of the other worlds, even returning back many incarnations from now in this world again I SHALL BE PAGAN. When I wore the shoes of a monotheist I WAS PAGAN. It is not something I choose to be, it is my NATURAL STATE. As surely as you have (or not) feet and hands, hair and breath, teeth and eyes, mind and heart and these are your natural state, so too is Pagan my natural state. And such seems to be the statement of nearly all of the Pagans I know. The word Pagan provided not a NEW CONDITION for the great majority of us, but rather a DEFINTION of that thing WHICH WE ALWAYS WERE.

    So no, you don't get off that easy Bashar. I didn't become a pagan as a "mere challenge" to people around me or for any of the other reasons you claim. Though I will emphasize IF I SO DID, that is my Goddess given right by Nature, so long as I am not harming another.

    "or only for the arrogant sake of standing out"

    I can tell you this in all factuality and a great many that know me, despise me or love me, will agree, I don't need to be pagan to stand out. Further, Paganism has little to do with my arrogance. My delusionally crafted greatness would exist with, or without Paganism. Indeed it is because I have such a large ego, that I don't need to physically harm persons with ideas different than mine. Would to Madracinto that I could take a tiny bit of my ego and give it to you and others, then, you would feel yourself so great, as to not need to enforce your world view on others.

    " or as a way to lift off the burden of ethical teachings."

    I have already covered a handful of the VERY ETHICAL teachings of Pagans. Indeed, how could ethics EVER BE a BURDEN? Not harming people isn't that difficult. Watch, I am going to not harm someone right now, as I sit here. .. Ok I am all done not harming someone. See? No effort, no burden. I was able to abide a very very ethical teaching without so much as lifting my little finger. Indeed, being not-ethical is the greater burden. In order to beat a person different from me, I would have to get out of the tub, get dressed. Go stomp around in the street. Look mean. Growl. I think growling is involved. Before all this I wold have to go through the great exercise of convincing myself that though their lifestyle ISNT FOR ME, that it likewise ISNT FOR THEM. To do that I have to convince myself I know better than them what they want. Then I have to start doing things like telling them what they think and then I would...oh fuhgit about it, I'm exhausted just THINKING about all this, much less doing it.

    So you see, the burden is NOT in being ethical. The burden is in being NOT ethical. For a Pagan at least.

    "How is it possible to equate those who follow divine doctrines"

    Um we do follow divine doctrines. See, we are THEISTS. In fact, we have a much wider range of divine doctrines that we can follow. One could actually make the argument that it is you monotheists that are not following divine doctines. For instance you ignore Zeus, Odin, Isis, Bridhe, to name just FOUR. Imagine all of their divine doctrines, which you do not follow. And what of the many other dieities? Nope, we Pagans, not so sorry to say, have this Divine Doctrines thing in the hand like Slim. But let's get to ze's REAL point shall we....

    "with those who follow none but their genitals."

    Um, All of the womb men I have been with would probably take great exception to this claim about me. I know it's TMI, but my drive isn't that of many others. But, why would that matter, since it's, you know, the facts. Getting your facts straight isn't really of much import to you in this discussion is it? But then maybe ze wasn't talking about me, but other (all) Pagans? I'm curious.

    In any case does anyone believe all we Pagans do is follow our genitals? I generally happen to follow my feet. Sometimes even my eyes and once in a while my Third Eye (they tell me I have one, I always thought it was just a great big psychic lump, but I defer to those who know more than me of those realms...).

    "Think of it, would a ***sane*** peron put his life in the hands of the latter type."

    Wow. Nice abelist trope you've got goin' on there. Anyone want to tackle that besides me?

    "Those who promote unrestrained filth,"

    Loving another is unrestrained filth. Practicing ADULT, CONSENTING behavior, safe sex, getting ACTIVE consent, stepping back when asked to by your partner, building them up, giving them devotion, treating them with kindness, holding their hands when in need, sharing lives together, is

    UNRESTRAINED FILTH.

    If the tropes of Bashar from the first to the present have not demonstrated ze's nature, I hope that this does. Notice that such loving acts are seen as unrestrained FILTH. Please note the guile of an individual and group demanding that WE treat then with equality, when their disdain for us drips off of their teeth like venom. Do you think that persons that consider us as such care for an instant in protecting us? Do you think they have not, would not ARE NOT doing what they can to disenfranchise us and prevent us at all costs from equal participation in society?

    And does this not demonstrate YET AGAIN why it was objectionable for the OP to use such commonalities amongst monoculturalists as why The Noble Quran is good, rather than quoting a verse which could be used to uplift us all?

    Is that crickets I hear? Of course it is because again, as always, those that will speak out against THIS FORM of disenfranchisement will be few and quite (as is the case when the rampant ableist posts are made).

    "as defined by the majority of human beings,"

    Hmm. Well the majority of the Tea Party members seem to be against certain buildings in NYC. So how do we all feel about that? Ya know this is one reason I love the Constitution of these United States. It allows for majority rule, while at the same time disallowing for the majority to do such evil acts as, you know, murdering people for being different. So there are certain decisions not alloted to the majority.

    Nevertheless I point out the duplicity in this statement. When the majority agree with ze, then that is taken as proof that ze is right. When the majority disagree with ze, well I am willing to bet my cauldron and my dragon incense holder, that ze will take that as evidence likewise that ze is right....I've noticed that trait among monotheists.

    (shhh..I've noticed it among Pagans too..but I will deny I ever said that :D ).

    There is some definition for this type of argument. Probably something like argumentum ad multitude or something. I have a different name for it. Argumentum ad bullshiteum.

    "under the false pretense of freedom and logical reasoning."

    Nothing false about it.

    "Type as much as you want."

    I tend to.

    "Unless you change you sick and undereducated mentality you shall stay “marginalized” forever."

    At least ze validates my belief that I am eternal. Thanks! :D And as long as people are marginalized, I will object to it. Notice again the use of scare quotes here folks.

    "Don’t demand respect"

    I don't demand respect. Respect is EARNED. I give respect to people after I've come to know them and the same circumstances goes both ways.

    I merely point out that you and your ilk demand respect for you and the likes of you, while not offering any to those that are different from you. Not only do you not respect them, but it seems a great many of you monotheists are quite willing to cause great harm to others.

    "when you’re disrespectful of the truly respected."

    You have made the nature of moral character clear. Should it surprise me that those who share your moral character (?) respect you and them you? No thanks, as I said respect is earned and that requires for me the nature of a person who is quite unwilling to act with or support violence just because someone doesnt obey their world view.

    " I still hope and pray that one day you’ll be given back your sight"

    Remember everyone what I said above about the monotheist constant insistence on telling the polytheist that ze is "going to pray for you". It is insulting. Notice, how disdainful ze has been of we Pagans. Would YOU want such a person praying for you? Fortunately Loki, Badger and Coyote are on my side in this one. The prayers are stopped cold :D.

    "so you can see the true path."

    Do you mean so that I can accept violence against people that disagree with me? No thanks, I'll eat a pizza instead.

    "And whether you like it or not, you only have your lifetime to make this significant finding."

    More veiled threats. "I am right you are wrong and you are going to suffer eternally for it na na nuh na na."

    Do you monotheists REALLY REALLY OMGOSH REALLY think THAT is going to convince a polytheist? I've said it before but I will remind everyone again, threats of any god, just as threats of any human, lend no moral weight to your claims of divine authority. All they do is mark you, and your gods as petty and petulant. You're not going to scare me into suddenly worshipping one or another version of a monotheistic, demanding, stomping God.

    See, the Supreme Being, is better than that. She's got no need to FORCE me to worship her.

    Many kinds regards to readers,
    Aoirthoir

  24. Bashar using Firefox 3.6.9 on Ubuntu | September 15, 2010 at 1:20 am | Permalink

    If you listen a tenth of the amount that you speak you might one day learn something.

  25. Aoirthoir An Broc using Google Chrome 5.0.375.125 on GNU/Linux | September 15, 2010 at 6:45 am | Permalink

    "If you listen a tenth of the amount that you speak you might one day learn something."

    This is yet another attempt at shaming language. Notice, not one actual point is addressed. Further notice, that though I've brought up multiple types of violence against a great many marginalized groups, none of these are addressed. Indeed they are plainly dismissed.

    The many words argument won't cut it, because that's what was said about the monotheistic prophets as well. Argumentum you have too many wordseum is still another form of Argumentum ad Bullshiteum and does nothing to shore up any of your claims.

    No, you've made it quite clear that the lives of those outside of your monoculture sphere don't count. This doesn't surprise me, monoculturalists have always been like this. But understand we're not going to be silent anymore. It it is time for monoculturalists to wake up and treat human beings with decency, kindness and love.

    Kind Regards fellow readers.
    Aoirthoir

  26. Aaron using Google Chrome 6.0.472.55 on GNU/Linux | September 15, 2010 at 7:48 am | Permalink

    @Bashar- I'll let you two go back and forth all day long on my blog. I encourage healthy debate, and I've watched it here. However, as soon as the debate starts getting personal, I'll start deleting comments. So, keep it clean guys. Thanks.

  27. Aoirthoir An Broc using Google Chrome 5.0.375.125 on GNU/Linux | September 15, 2010 at 10:53 am | Permalink

    Aaron, Thanks for allowing the healthy debate. It's one (among many) areas we agree, despite disagreeing in many as well.

    However, frankly, I hope you don't delete any insulting language. It is beneficial for others to realize just how deeply we are held in contempt. Maybe if they get it something might happen to change it.

    Also a word to all you monotheists out there who think i am talking about you, I learned a saying a while ago "if it ain't about you, don't make it about you." This is actually not as accusatory as it sounds. Basically it is a way of saying, when I say a monotheist does such and such, I am ONLY and SPECIFICALLY speaking about the monotheists that do such and such.

    There are a great many monotheists, Christians, Jews, Muslims, Zorastrians and other monotheists, that simply do not commit acts of violence and a great many that object to marginalizing polyculturalists. So when I am speaking about those monoculturalists that DO those things, i don't mean any of you that are not doing those things.

    Unless I am being specifically nasty about the Irish. I probably mean every rotten thing I've ever said about us. Even the drinkin' stuff :D .

    Thanks again for allowing the freeflow of ideas even if they conflict with your own Aaron. And if you ever wish to take the step to experience among we polytheists, the same kind of thing you experienced among Muslims, let me know, I am sure we can work something out :P.

  28. Aaron using Google Chrome 6.0.472.55 on GNU/Linux 64 bits | September 15, 2010 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

    @Aoirthoir An Broc- No problem. Healthy debate is always good, and can be very educational and uplifting. However, being an administrator of this blog, I will delete nasty comments, and I will censor out abusive language. I've done it in the past, and I'll do it in the future. I don't think I need to explicitly state that comments should be "family friendly", otherwise I would force registration to view and reply to, the comments.

    In terms of monotheism and polytheism, technically, Mormons (of which I am one), are polytheist. Although we worship only one god directly, we do believe that our god worships a god, and that we have the power to become gods. In other words, as a religion, we recognize that there are infinitely many gods, both before our god, and after him. This greatly separates us from the rest of theism, by a long shot.

  29. Bashar using Firefox 3.6.9 on Ubuntu | September 15, 2010 at 9:15 pm | Permalink

    @Aoir
    "This is yet another attempt at shaming language. Notice, not one actual point is addressed."

    The real 'shameful' language is calling attempts to reach out to you 'tropes'. Although I don't compromise my Islam, it is normal that in interfaith dialogue conversers try to find common ground in addition to clarifying their fundamental beliefs in the hope that this might spark some interest for the other party. I often engage in such dialogue and it mostly ends with a courteous 'nice talking to you'. In your case you started by an 'out of context' whining about being marginalized for you paganism and sexuality knowing that the likely readers of such a blog entry [involving Islam] perceive such issues as silly and perverse respectively (and we, including many many christians, are entitled to our opinion as much as you are). I even find the claim of marginalization as absurd. It is normal that people distance themselves from others whom behave in a repulsive disgusting manner. Isn't one entitled to avoid what he sees as wicked and unclean. These 'others' interpret this as being marginalized. It is simply an issue of different perspectives. Your perceive them according to your own personal reasons as being violent and unjustly controlling and they perceive you according to their reasons as blasphemous and impure. In spite of that, no one replied expressing their real view of your faith nor your claimed sexual behavior. This, if you ever noticed, is indicative of the good manners of the readers. Afterwhich, in your avalanche of words, you started implicating Islam for your misfortunes (again, from your perspective) when it is your abnormalities that is to blame (our perspective). I hope I'm clarifying a point here. But later, you take a step further and start defining Islam and translating verses according to your preferences which in an academic debate would make you look like a clown not because you can't have an opinion but because it's meaningless and can block efforts to reach conclusions when there are people with an opposing view around (whom you're talking about). At that point I stepped in to clarify the 'official' Islamic understanding of a couple of concepts that you mentioned and I really didn't mean offend or sound crude but it is in my interest that a true version of Islam is maintained. I even ended my post with a kind wish that no two decent humans would differ about. Yet in your ignorance, arrogance and disrespect you even rejected that. You then followed this by a river of bragging, whining and a plethora of baseless claims and musings in a writing style that is more suitable for a stand-up comedian or a radio talk show. You are even 'aware' of an audience and address your 'readers'. You see this is indicative of your purpose of posting here. Most likely you like typing and probably have nothing else, of value, to do. You haven't got the slightest interest in dialog, communication or understanding at any level. That is why reaching a conclusion or a minute agreement with you is extremely difficult or maybe even impossible. This is ultimately clear from your writings. This is the real “shaming language”. Me and several of my friends, on the other hand, came here coz we were amazed by this blog entry in which a 'Mormon' faithfully attempts to understand our religion unaffected by the media, his cultural norms and even his own religion which is unaccepted, as a faith, in Islam as he probably knows. To us, what he did was a very commendable act of patience and sincere open mindedness. This was very touching and many wanted to reach out and communicate even more. Then you came.
    Moreover your claim that I didn't address one point of your posts. How can I? You need whole books to sort out your confusion. You're the type of person that makes a false claim then builds a whole mountain on top of it. That is the most difficult type to communicate with. What makes it worse is that you don't even leave a chance for any exchange of points. And just because people around you don't have the time to disassemble and fix your life long accomplishment of mess, you think you're unique, correct and can win arguments. Intelligent dialog isn't constructed in this manner. You need to go step by step. Point by point. You need to assume that you are facing you converser in person and try to build on that. People usually get carried away when online and that is often not constructive. Yet most importantly you need to have an honest intention and commitment to find the truth. The ultimate truth is not a cheap commodity and people who undermine its value might never be able to find it.

  30. Aoirthoir An Broc using Google Chrome 5.0.375.125 on GNU/Linux | September 18, 2010 at 10:19 pm | Permalink

    Aaron,

    "No problem. Healthy debate is always good, and can be very educational and uplifting."

    I agree. It also exposes us to new ideas and sometimes changes our thinking. This can often be a good thing.

    "However, being an administrator of this blog, I will delete nasty comments, and I will censor out abusive language. I’ve done it in the past, and I’ll do it in the future."

    It's certainly your right. I also appreciate your using the word censor here. So many folks think that word only applies when the government does it and will insist if they censor, that since they are not the government, they are not censoring. They are, but they're under no obligation not to censor in their own space. Indeed, I support such a right.

    "I don’t think I need to explicitly state that comments should be “family friendly”, otherwise I would force registration to view and reply to, the comments."

    Truthfully I think kids are generally not reading these blogs. Even if they were the fair on public tv alone is far more 'unfriendly'. I'll trust your definition of family friendly when compared to others, since you seem to not be actually deleting comments merely for talking about [so-called] alternative lifestyles. Generally in Ubuntu I've found that merely saying one of my lovers is going out to dinner with one of their lovers is enough to get us poly folks blocked. They then speak as if they need to school us on not to talk sexually explicitly around children, when we've done no such thing. But that provides the excuse. As mentioned however, and as anyone reading can see, you've done not censored us.

    I will say however that the incredibly vitrolic hate spewed by Bashar is anything but family friendly.

    "In terms of monotheism and polytheism, technically, Mormons (of which I am one), are polytheist...This greatly separates us from the rest of theism, by a long shot."

    I would say in terms of sheer polytheism you share that in common with Polytheists in general. In terms of monotheism, you share the idea that the specific god you worship is the only one that ought to be worshipped. I understand that the Sun, Moon, Stars, Earth, Wind, Tree, River, Odin, Isis, Bridhe and others of these sort are not to be worshipped and constitute Idolatry. Thus, though I already knew about Mormon Theology, I spoke up when you mentioned the Quran's rejection of Idolatory. For reasons mentioned already.

    Indeed, many monotheists consider Mormonism Pagan, and consider your beliefs Idolatry. Many Muslims will consider the Christian Trinity, Idolatry. Many Christians will consider other Christian sects Idolatry. Many Christians will consider worship around the Kabaa Idolatrous. So Idolatry, like Piety, becomes a definition of the holder. So often it seems that THEY are idolatrous, while WE are not. This US vs THEM mentality is something we Pagans eschew, especially when it leads to violence.

    And that is the one thing that does indeed make Paganism different. We acknowledge all of the Gods and Goddessses and Goddiers (genderless deities) and Goddetties (mixed gender deites). But individually we can give preference to any specific one we want. The monotheists' lack of belief in our deities makes them not exist less at all.

    In any case thanks for providing a forum to discuss these things. Considering the hateful way we see some speaking, outright calling human beings disgusting, it is a wonder, as I have mentioned several times, that the usual suspects are holding fast their tongues. So having a place to expose the false claims made, is a nice thing.

    Kind Regards,
    Aoirthoir

  31. Aoirthoir An Broc using Google Chrome 5.0.375.125 on GNU/Linux | September 18, 2010 at 11:54 pm | Permalink

    Do we expect that Bashar will show any kind part of Islam or monotheism? Let's see.

    "The real ‘shameful’ language is calling attempts to reach out to you ‘tropes’."

    Sorry, but telling me and my kind that you are disgusted by us, is not reaching out to us. Telling me what I think, is not reaching out to me. Telling me that I am led by my genitals and that I chose Paganism only so I could F'c is not reaching out to me. Telling me that I chose to become a Pagan merely to be different or feel better than another, is not reaching out to me. Every one of these statements, and the great many others you have made about us outside of the monoculture, are tropes.

    One of the definitions of trope that Merriam Websters provides us with is "b : a common or overused theme or device". And yes, these are common AND overused themes from you monoculturalists about us polyfolks. We've heard them time and again. I would say, that there hardly goes by a day when someone finds out I am poly, polytheist, polysexual, polyamorous, that I don't hear such "common and overused themes", you know TROPES. Since these are common and overused themes (and false to boot), my informing you of this fact, is not shaming language. But, your use of these tropes IS shaming language.

    "Although I don’t compromise my Islam, it is normal that in interfaith dialogue conversers try to find common ground in addition to clarifying their fundamental beliefs in the hope that this might spark some interest for the other party."

    Alright, what common ground have you tried to find with me? Do you accept that homosexuals have the right to live unmolested by society at large and the right to marry, own property, inherit, visit their lovers in the hospital? Do you hold that a Pagan has a right to build a temple anywhere in the world, on any property that they own? Do you hold that I should be able to in my home or outside of it, bend the knee to MY gods rather than only yours?

    Here though is the common ground I try to attain with monotheists. We are ALL HUMAN and entitled to CERTAIN NATURAL rights. ALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL of us. Not a single person should be denied the right to live, love, work, share, pray (or not), marry, have or adopt and raise children, eat, farm, or ANY OTHER ENDEAVOR to which a person may put her hand, should be denied to her. Religion, doesn't matter. Gender, doesn't matter. Sexuality or marital status, doesn't matter. THAT is common ground. Telling me things about myself and other Pagans that are not true, IS NOT.

    "I often engage in such dialogue and it mostly ends with a courteous ‘nice talking to you’."

    Uh huh. When you engage with dialogue do you follow the pattern here of telling persons that they are disgusting? Because, you won't find me telling you "nice talking to you" when you say that about anyone.

    "In your case you started by an ‘out of context’"

    Hmm. Considering that the OP talked about idolatry and chasteness and we understand how those are falsely defined by monotheists, my objecting to their use as examples of the wonderfulness of any monoculturalist document, religious or otherwise, were right IN context.

    " whining"

    Very telling that you consider exposing the facts to be whining. So when Muslims complain about unjust treatment at the hands of the United States Federal Government, is that whining? I'm bettin' heads to stone, neither you nor any other Muslim thinks it is.

    " about being marginalized for you paganism and sexuality"

    Again, notice how Bashar dismisses the fact that MILLIONS of people throughout history have been MURDERED, BEATEN, ABUSED, DEPRIVED of PROPERTY and FAMILY, and been on the receiving end of numerous other forms of bad behavior at the hands of monoculturalists.

    And this is why I don't buy it anymore when monotheists demand equal treatment. They will insist that some sort of action is rotten, WHEN DONE TO THEM. But then when you say, hey they are doing that to us too!, they surround your complaints with scare quotes and insist it's just whining.

    "knowing that the likely readers of such a blog entry [involving Islam] perceive such issues as silly and perverse respectively"

    So where are the usual suspects here to object to this incredibly offensive speech? If I made the same claims were being made about Islam, we'd see post after post about how I am an Islamaphobe. Indeed, for my merely having objected to such hate speech by Muslims about me and Pagans, I've been called an Islamaphobe. But, it's perfectly alright for a Muslim to do so about Pagans and none say a word? Again I say this is why I DONT BUY IT ANYMORE when a monotheist claims anymore.

    "(and we, including many many christians, are entitled to our opinion as much as you are)."

    Well THIS I agree with. BELIEVE I am whatever you WANT to believe and want to MAKE UP about me. The OBJECTION comes when you cannot leave your religion to yourself and you MUST try to FORCE us to abide the monoculture. Murder, forced conversion or marginalization (jail, reduced legal options etc) are NOT acceptable. Belief, IS.

    "I even find the claim of marginalization as absurd."

    This is more argumentum ad bullshiteum. Cases of the sort that I have mentioned from the beginning are WELL DOCUMENTED.

    "It is normal that people distance themselves from others whom behave in a repulsive disgusting manner."

    Hmm. That sounds a LOT like the argument I've heard from Christians who want nothing to do with Muslims. I have a problem with it when they say it, and I have a problem when it's applied to Pagans.

    "Isn’t one entitled to avoid what he sees as wicked and unclean."

    Except, it never stops just at avoiding does it? It always moves into forcing us to be "clean" and "righteous". It never dawns on monoculturalists, that maybe forcing others to live as you demand is the truly unrighteous thing.

    "These ‘others’ interpret this as being marginalized."

    Hmm. So, when people want to avoid Muslims, not give them jobs, not serve them in eateries, not serve them in stores, not associate with them in school, and such, Muslims don't object to this kind of bad conduct?

    Oh wait, yes they do. In fact, that's one of the reasons this blog post was written in the first place. I'll keep these words of yours in mind the next time I speak to a Muslim who is objecting to behavior towards her/him that is the exact kind of behavior towards we pagans that I am objecting to.

    "It is simply an issue of different perspectives."

    NO it is NOT. Under no circumstances is it EVERY RIGHTEOUS to act with violence towards people because they are DIFFERENT. Why the stoodle noodle is that so hard for some of you monotheists to understand?

    "Your perceive them according to your own personal reasons as being violent and unjustly controlling and "

    Well yes, I perceive murdering people as a violent act, and those murdering as violent persons. Who'd thunk they're not ACTUALLY violent, it's just my "PERCEPTION". Did you REALLY type that?

    "they perceive you according to their reasons as blasphemous and impure."

    Hmm. See, this is another odd thing about you monotheists. You attempt to destroy faith in the deities, and you call US blasphemous.

    "In spite of that, no one replied expressing their real view of your faith nor your claimed sexual behavior. This, if you ever noticed, is indicative of the good manners of the readers."

    My "claimed sexual behavior"? What claims did I make about my sexual BEHAVIOR? I claimed I am polysexual and polyamorous. Further, I informed that my DRIVE is less than that of most. But my sexual activities, I've made no statement about. See, contrary to the belief of the monoculturalists and so many others who wish to silence poly persons, we DO have the good graces to not speak about our sexual activities when there MIGHT be children reading our words.

    " Afterwhich, in your avalanche of words, you started implicating Islam for your misfortunes"

    No I didn't.

    "(again, from your perspective) when it is your abnormalities that is to blame (our perspective)."

    Except, that I made no claims to misfortune. See, in MY case, because I have an overlarge ego, I've not had the mishaps with the monoculture that so many like me have. I stand up and immeditely resist the moment someone decides to constrain me to their boxes. So while I have experienced ATTEMPTS to marginalize me, they have all failed. As a result I've lived free and as I choose.

    Further, insulting language from the likes of you and others is not "misfortune". Indeed I am IRISH. So my objection to personal insults DIRECTED AT ME, is not that the words are insulting. It is rather that they are almost universally trope driven, thus easy for the "insulter". You see, in Gaeilge, one cannot insult someone with a few words. One must write pages, actually proving a point about something. Saying "You're an arse" is not an insult. And so too, the words you've written, while "insulting" aren't really.

    OTHERS however have not been so blessed as me. It is FOR THEM that I am speaking out.

    "I hope I’m clarifying a point here. But later, you take a step further and start defining Islam and translating verses according to your preferences"

    Yup. See, I prefer the interpretation of verses that do not lead to the murder of people different from me and different from others.

    "which in an academic debate would make you look like a clown"

    You've never actually looked up the meaning of the name Aoirthoir, have you? Looking like a clown is a beautiful and beneficial thing. I will note though that you are using a racial stereotype there since there is debate that the clown was nothing more than the Irish bum. (Red nose, baggy clothes, dirty etc). I bet, my informing you this is a racial stereotype won't prevent you from using clown in the future as an insult though will it?

    "not because you can’t have an opinion but because it’s meaningless and can block efforts to reach conclusions when there are people with an opposing view around (whom you’re talking about)."

    Right...so the conclusion that it's harmful to harm people is defeated because I choose to sway myself towards the less harmful meaning of a verse rather than the more harmful meaning of it...?

    "At that point I stepped in to clarify the ‘official’ Islamic understanding of a couple of concepts that you mentioned"

    I don't care about the official version of anything when that official version is used to harm people. I really don't get why it's such a hard concept that murdering people because they are different is NOT a righteous thing.

    "and I really didn’t mean offend or sound crude but it is in my interest that a true version of Islam is maintained. I even ended my post with a kind wish that no two decent humans would differ about."

    Let's see what that kind wish was shall we "I wish you all success in your quest for the truth."

    You're words later on however demonstrate without doubt little or great that that was no kind wish at all. The wish was not for TRUTH for me. The wish was for YOUR TRUTH for me. And anything outside of your truth IS NOT TRUTH. Your disdain for my truth, my gods, my religion, my worship, my experience, my concourse with the Gods, my rituals, my knowledge, my visits to the otherworld, my life, my loves and anything related whatsoever to MY TRUTH is exposed in your later posts. However, having been "wished well in my search for truth" so often, only to find exactly the kind of meaning you demonstrate, I found your words suspect from the start. You hardly proved my suspicions wrong, and indeed verified that which I knew.

    So, "no two humans would differ about" is entirely false. Indeed MANY of us differ on our truths and some of us, refuse any longer to have YOUR TRUTH forced upon us as if it is OUR TRUTH, when it is no such thing.

    "Yet in your ignorance, arrogance and disrespect you even rejected that."

    Notice, if we accept not the monotruth of the monoculturalist, THEIR experience has precedence over ours, and we're ignorant, arrogant and disrespectful. It is not enough for the monoculturalist that we not interfere in their lifestyles, but live our own. Indeed, merely living our own life is seen as a great insult to the monoculturalist. I wonder, does it make them question the veracity of their own truth, that they are so weak within it, they are bothered by the existences of other truths?

    "You then followed this by a river of bragging, whining and a plethora of baseless claims and musings in a writing style that is more suitable for a stand-up comedian or a radio talk show."

    Thank you. This is the nicest thing you've said to me.

    "You are even ‘aware’ of an audience and address your ‘readers’."

    Yes. It is publically posted, so imagine that, that I would be aware that others will be reading what I write here.

    "You see this is indicative of your purpose of posting here."

    And here comes the telling me WHY I do something. Don'tcha love it when people tell YOU what YOU think?

    "Most likely you like typing"

    Actually I do. I like things I am good at and I am VERY good at typing. Last time I was tested I could type 130 words per minute. With mistakes mind you. But still, that's a pretty decent number. This reminds me though of those folks back when I used to participate in medical research. See, there were folks that volunteered, like me to be test subjects. Then they would try to shame me for being a test subject. Um, dude you realize you're doing the same thing I am right? It was quite amusing. And now you're trying to shame me for posting on a blog comment. You know, the very same thing you are doing. Do ya wonder why I'm not shamed by such attempts at shaming?

    "and probably have nothing else, of value, to do."

    Well I could watch my Roku, but this is so highly entertaining and edumational.

    "You haven’t got the slightest interest in dialog, communication or understanding at any level."

    If the dialoge is "you polys are evil, wicked, disgusting, untouchable, deserve to die, will burn in hell...." and other such tropes, you're right, I'm not interested in "understanding". The curious thing is that so many of you monoculturalists make this claim about us as if you ACTUALLY WONDER WHY we're not up for your nonesense.

    "That is why reaching a conclusion or a minute agreement with you is extremely difficult or maybe even impossible."

    It's totally possible for a monoculturalist to reach an agreement with me if the agreement is "ya know, maybe people different from me DONT deserve to be ill treated just because they are different....."

    "This is ultimately clear from your writings. This is the real “shaming language”."

    Sorry doesn't cut it. Pointing out violence, is not shaming language.

    "Me and several of my friends, on the other hand, came here coz we were amazed by this blog entry in which a ‘Mormon’ faithfully attempts to understand our religion"

    Yeah, and notice he didn't have to call Muslims disgusting to do any of this. Maybe, rather than calling Pagans, Homosexuals and others disgusting, you could learn a thing from him. (I will note the use of quotes around the term Mormon.... why their use?)

    "unaffected by the media, his cultural norms and even his own religion which is unaccepted, as a faith, in Islam as he probably knows."

    Unaccepted?

    "To us, what he did was a very commendable act of patience and sincere open mindedness. This was very touching and many wanted to reach out and communicate even more."

    Right. It was very commendable because he spoke highly of Islam. I've yet to run into a monoculturalist that didn't find it commendable when people speak highly of THEIR FORM of the monocultural. Almost universally I've found them quite willing to speak negatively of other forms of monoculture and most certainly of any form of polyculture.

    "Then you came."

    Yes and made statements about monoculture which you backed up so well.

    "Moreover your claim that I didn’t address one point of your posts. How can I?"

    Just like I do. Quote me, defend or refute my point. Not that complicated really.

    "You need whole books to sort out your confusion."

    This is what we call in Gaeilge as a Cop-out.

    "You’re the type of person that makes a false claim then builds a whole mountain on top of it."

    Hmm, that's why, other than my re-interpretation of the verse that says "there is no compulsion under religion" to mean something less harmful rather than the way you interpret it as something more harmful, you've not actually refuted my "false" claims. Indeed, you've actually assisted me with deftness of skill, in proving at least one. I stated at the start how monoculturalists view us polyculturalists with utter disdain. You've used words like "disgust", "perverse", "oppose", and other tropes to refer to those different from you. So you've demonstrated a different, less honorable version of Islam, than the OP has experienced. The kind that I have experienced. You had a GREAT opportunity to refute me in this regard, and you failed.

    "That is the most difficult type to communicate with. What makes it worse is that you don’t even leave a chance for any exchange of points."

    Sure I do. In fact I respond to you POINT BY POINT. Try it, you might like it. But telling me that I don't leave a chance for exchange of points when I am responding each post, point by point, seems disengenious at best. No on is preventing you from quoting EVERYTHING I HAVE WRITTEN, point by point, and responding, point by point. You know what we call that? An "exchange of points".

    "And just because people around you don’t have the time to disassemble and fix your life long accomplishment of mess,"

    You give me too much credit.

    "you think you’re unique, correct and can win arguments."

    More of what I think. Here's what I think, what I thought right then when I read that, "I think I like chocoolate. Dark Chocolate. 80% Cacao Chocolate. ....." But why let what I ACTUALLY THINK get in the way of your TELLING ME what I think.

    "Intelligent dialog isn’t constructed in this manner. You need to go step by step. Point by point."

    You mean, for instance, by quoting EVERYTHING the person has said and responding to EACH POINT? I wonder, who is doing that in this "debate"?

    "You need to assume that you are facing you converser in person and try to build on that. People usually get carried away when online and that is often not constructive."

    So do you suggest, that I tell them they are disgusting and I want nothing to do with them, following your example?

    "Yet most importantly you need to have an honest intention and commitment to find the truth."

    Here we go again. I wonder what "TRUTH" we mean this time. Do you mean that I should value my experience? That I should listen to my gods and ancestors? That I should evalute righteousness by how gentle and kind someone is rather than how violent? What do yall think?

    "The ultimate truth is not a cheap commodity"

    Ah and there it is. Let me tell you what the ultimate truth is bra. The ultimate truth is that we all have different lives, experiences, needs, desires. The ultimate truth is, that all of the Almighty Gods and their demands, are not really THEIR demands. They are demands of humans that claimed to speak for them. See, it's not the "ultimate truth" or the Supreme Being we pagans are not believing. It is those of you who tell us something different than she has told us herself. Why should a Pagan believe you when God herself has spoken to us and what you say contradicts what she said? "My law is love" says she. Your law is death and control. WHY would ANY of the several Almighty Gods need to control that which they created and instead not love them?

    "and people who undermine its value might never be able to find it."

    Maybe. Or maybe, you'll find it despite undermining it.

  32. Bashar using Firefox 3.6.10 on Ubuntu | September 19, 2010 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

    @Aoir
    for the sake of reaching some kind of result I'll spare the bulk of your [allow me to use ur words] 'argumentum ad bullshiteum' and focus on your last concise paragraph.

    "The ultimate truth is that we all have different lives, experiences, needs, desires. The ultimate truth is, that all of the Almighty Gods and their demands, are not really THEIR demands. They are demands of humans that claimed to speak for them."
    Aoir, HOW DO YOU KNOW THAT? What IF there is a God who sent a messenger to convey his demands? Plz show me the steps that you performed to eliminate this possibility. I must know how you reached this conclusion. If you don't prove it then you are only speculating/guessing or probably even intentionally lying. Logical arguments can't be built on your guess work. You have no right to define the truth with baseless speculations. Do correct me if I'm wrong.

    "See, it’s not the “ultimate truth” or the Supreme Being we pagans are not believing. It is those of you who tell us something different than she has told us herself. Why should a Pagan believe you when God herself has spoken to us and what you say contradicts what she said? “My law is love” says she."
    No offense but WHO the heck is that She God?? And more importantly when and how did she speak to you? AND how come she hasn't spoken to me?And who told you it's a she? Aoir, Are you some type of prophet?

    "Your law is death and control."
    You're categorically wrong. In fact, this is a baseless claim that indicates pure bigotry. Islam's law is not death nor control. Islam brought enlightenment to the world when your Europe was rotting in its "Dark Ages". Islam sheltered its archenemies when they had no where to go. Where do think the Jews lived in the past 1000 yrs? Europe? where your ancestors' Church practiced the burning of live humans? definitely not. The examples are more than abundant but Orthodox Islam's law is NOT death and control. If Islam was a religion of death it would not have been accepted by a quarter of humanity today. Unless of course you think that these 1.5 billion are miserable culture-less peasants whose choices are not comparable to your superior and sophisticated intellect and thus not worthy of consideration. FYI if Islam was as you claim people would have simply left it in resemblance to what happened to 'your' church when it was abandoned by its own people (in the height of their misery, before the Industrialization) due to 'the law death and control'. However Islam doesn't follow the simple-minded “My law is love” that you yet have to prove to me. Islam has love for righteousness, hate for wickedness. Life for goodness, death for evil.... I know that we differ in the definitions of these terms but this is not my point. What I mean it that Islam is balanced in its approach and dealings. If you believe that evil somehow does exist on the planet the rule of love and nothing but love would be absurd [unless you convince me by letting me speak to your She God]. In fact, throughout history and till this day, it was never practiced even by pagan nations. The 'only love' rule is as invalid as the 'only death' rule. So now plz tell me how did you get that idea? Note that this is a historical and social issue that is under current study. I won't accept unproven personal analysis not hearsay from the She God [must speak to her first].

    “WHY would ANY of the several Almighty Gods need to control that which they created and instead not love them?”
    Why should not God control what he created. Logic dictates that the creator controls his creation and the creation is owned by the True creator. Your question makes no sense. Moreover, there is no conflict between control and love. As an analogy, haven't you ever seen parents who fully control their children yet ultimately love them. You must prove this implied characteristic (love but not control) in the Divine entity otherwise I'll rightfully accuse you of worshiping a clay toy god that you can conveniently form the way you want. And to me that is no longer a God. It would just be a clay toy.

  33. Aoirthoir An Broc using Google Chrome 5.0.375.125 on GNU/Linux | September 19, 2010 at 11:07 pm | Permalink

    Bashar said

    "@Aoir"

    My name is not Aoir. My name is Aoirthoir.

    "for the sake of reaching some kind of result I’ll spare the bulk of your [allow me to use ur words] ‘argumentum ad bullshiteum’ and focus on your last concise paragraph."

    Which means your insistence on point by point conversation was bogus. I've replied point by point and you have not. You have the opportunity to do that yourself, but you've not used it. Again, I notice that my points about murder of innocent persons go untouched. Is it so difficult to say "I disagree with certain lifestyles but Islam teaches that no one who is not harming another, should ever be harmed, even if that someone is practicing such things as polytheism. homosexuality, lesbianism, transexuality and other things we find wrong..."?

    I said :“The ultimate truth is that we all have different lives, experiences, needs, desires. The ultimate truth is, that all of the Almighty Gods and their demands, are not really THEIR demands. They are demands of humans that claimed to speak for them.”

    To which Bashar said:

    "Aoir, HOW DO YOU KNOW THAT?"

    How do I know what?

    1. The ultimate truth is that we all have different lives, experiences, needs, desires? - Do you REALLY NEED me to answer this or do you think we all have the same of any of these?

    Or rather...

    2. The ultimate truth is, that all of the Almighty Gods and their demands, are not really THEIR demands. They are demands of humans that claimed to speak for them.

    How I know number 1 should be obvious. How I know number 2 is likewise obvious. The things your "almighty" gods desire are exactly identical to petty humans. An Almighty god would have no use of such petty human concerns. But controlling humans certainly would.

    "What IF there is a God who sent a messenger to convey his demands?"

    If there is a god so wicked as to torture people for merely not believing in her, then that god's demands are unrighteous and her promises of paradise are lies. Her words are not to be trusted anymore than the words of any one else who is willing to torture another.

    "Plz show me the steps that you performed to eliminate this possibility."

    No. MY experience IS NOT your experience. MY truth is NOT your truth. There are no "steps" to truth, there are no "steps" to my experience and there are no "steps" to being Pagan. That is a distinctly monoculturalist worldview. "Show me your dogma, show me your central authority, show me your systems, show me HOW TO BECOME pagan..." One does not BECOME Pagan. One IS or IS NOT Pagan. Being a Pagan is not about ritual, systems, dogmas, it is about PERSONAL EXPERIENCE. So you are or you are not.

    "I must know how you reached this conclusion."

    I reached it through a personal experience with the divine.

    "If you don’t prove it then you are only speculating/guessing"

    One does not prove ones experiences, one experiences them.

    However, what is it I am guessing about? That we all have different lives, experiences, needs, desires? That it is NOT GOOD to TORTURE people, even if the torture comes from an Almighty God? Being more powerful does not make it just, it just makes such a god a bully.

    " or probably even intentionally lying."

    Notice again, difference, means not simply that someone is different, but that they are wicked. Notice again how ze has to impugn bad motives to my experience rather than simply accepting that we are different.

    However, again we return to the "what" I am "lying about". Am I lying that we are all different? Am I lying to say that torturing people is WRONG and an EVIL ACT?

    "Logical arguments can’t be built on your guess work."

    I'm not "guessing" that we all have different experiences. Nice try though.

    "You have no right to define the truth with baseless speculations."

    Baseless speculations? You mean for instance when you claimed that I chose to "become" a Pagan simply to "follow my genitals"? This despite the fact that Pagan is what I AM, not what I BECAME? Or do you mean for instance when you imply and even state outright that persons who are different from the monoculture, are not ACTUALLY being harmed by monoculturalists? Because surely you do not mean to suggest that my statement that we all have different experiences, lives, needs and desires is baseless, considering that is an absolute fact. Or do you mean to suggest that my stating that torture is wrong, even by a god, is baseless speculation? Do YOU SUPPORT torture?

    "Do correct me if I’m wrong."

    It is for you to correct yourself.

    I said: “See, it’s not the “ultimate truth” or the Supreme Being we pagans are not believing. It is those of you who tell us something different than she has told us herself. Why should a Pagan believe you when God herself has spoken to us and what you say contradicts what she said? “My law is love” says she.”

    To which Bashar replied:
    "No offense but WHO the heck is that She God??"

    The Supremem Being.

    "And more importantly when and how did she speak to you?"

    When hasn't she spoken to me? God speaks to us all every day in a great many ways. In her creation, in our experiences, in our dreams.

    "AND how come she hasn’t spoken to me?"

    That is between you and she.

    "And who told you it’s a she?"

    Are you asking who told me God is female? Because God is not female. If you ask why I use SHE when speaking of God I respond with a tad of Merriam Webster's definition of He and She:

    He -used in a generic sense or when the sex of the person is unspecified
    She -used as an alternative to he to refer to a person of unspecified gender

    My use of she is in this sense and in no wise implies female genitalia to God. Rather one might ask you, why do you use He when speaking of God? Do you intend to imply that God has male genitalia? Is God male? If not, then why are you using He? If you are using it in the sense quoted from Merriam Websters above, gender unspecified (or even non-existent) then there should be no objection to using She in the same manner.

    "Aoir, Are you some type of prophet?"

    This is entirely specious. My experience with the divine is no more, or less valid than your experience with the divine. One does not have to be a prophet to experience the divine. Indeed it should be clear from the fact that we Pagans experience the divine on a personal level, without the need of others, that there are no prophets among Paganism. Thus no Pagan would be calling zirself a prophet.

    Or did you ask me that simply because I referenced an unspecified, unknown gender with a female pronoun and the fact that I did so bothered you?

    I said: “Your law is death and control.”

    Bashar replied:
    "You’re categorically wrong."

    No I'm not. You've made it clear just how you feel about persons that are different from you. You hold them in utter disdain.

    "In fact, this is a baseless claim that indicates pure bigotry."

    No it doesn't. It is based entirely on your words. However, this is an example of why I no longer accept claims like this from monoculturalists. Anyone reading this is suggested to go back and read the sheer vitriol he has for persons who are not monoculturalists. He finds them disgusting, perverse, wicked when they are doing nothing more than living their lives, causing no harm to anyone. Yet, pointing out the controlling words he's used, is "bigotry", while his hate speech, is not.

    So we have the very nasty things and falsehoods he's spoken about polytheists, pagans and others which are viewed entirely as NOT bigotry. But, does he stop there? Nope. We're about to see him cross the racial divide and hurl racially motivated insults. Yet, he is not bigoted.

    Now, further in his statement he talks about Islam this and that though I specifically referenced HIM. I said plainly that "**Your** law is death and control," not "Islams law". Remember all along I have said there are beautiful things in The Noble Quran and that we should quote those things. The fact that he has yet to quote any of that beauty is telling. HIS law is death and control. So let's move on shall we.

    "Islam’s law is not death nor control."

    Answered in the preceding paragraphs.

    "Islam brought enlightenment to the world when your Europe was rotting in its “Dark Ages”."

    I am not European, I am Irish. We Irish were never considered to be European. We never had a dark age.

    "Islam sheltered its archenemies when they had no where to go."

    No it didn't.

    "Where do think the Jews lived in the past 1000 yrs? Europe?"

    Actually yes, Jews did live in Europe in the past 1000 years. The lived in many other places as well, Russia, the Middle East, Asia, and other places.

    "where your ancestors’ Church"

    You're talking about Christians. I'm Pagan remember?

    "practiced the burning of live humans?"

    EXACTLY. And those being burned alive were accused of guess what crimes...Ready?

    1. Homosexuality.
    2. Paganism.
    3. Witchcraft.
    4. Goddess Worship.
    5. Polytheism.

    You know, the very same things you find so abhorrent.

    "definitely not."

    The definitely not here refers to Jews being in Europe. But the facts of history tell another story. There were Jews in Europe all of this time.

    "The examples are more than abundant but Orthodox Islam’s law is NOT death and control. If Islam was a religion of death it would not have been accepted by a quarter of humanity today."

    I wasn't talking about Islam's law, I was talking about yours. But large multitudes following something is neither evidence for or against it.

    "Unless of course you think that these 1.5 billion are miserable culture-less peasants whose choices are not comparable to your superior and sophisticated intellect and thus not worthy of consideration."

    Their choice of religion, as I have said numerous times throughout these posts, is just fine, FOR THEM. My religious experience does not invalidate their religious experiences.

    "FYI if Islam was as you claim people would have simply left it"

    Again I made a claim about YOU, not Islam.

    " in resemblance to what happened to ‘your’ church when it was abandoned by its own people (in the height of their misery, before the Industrialization) due to ‘the law death and control’."

    I'm Pagan, not Christian. Is it that difficult a concept to understand that the Christian Church is NOT my church, since I'm, you know, not Christian? I'm Pagan. Simple math really.

    "However Islam doesn’t follow the simple-minded “My law is love”"

    The fact that you find love as a law objectionable really reveals a great deal about you.

    "that you yet have to prove to me."

    I don't prove my religious experiences, I experience them.

    "Islam has love for righteousness,"

    Muslims and those that say good things about Islam.

    "hate for wickedness."

    Polytheists. Pagans. Homosexuals. Transgendered. Transexuals. Cross-Dressers. Persons with 5 wives rather than the requisite 4. Lesbians. Gender-Queers. Polyamorous........

    "Life for goodness,"

    Practicing Muslims.

    "death for evil…."

    Polytheists. Pagans. Homosexuals. Transgendered. Transexuals. Cross-Dressers. Persons with 5 wives rather than the requisite 4. Lesbians. Gender-Queers. Polyamorous........

    Notice, he says here plainly DEATH for evil, and we know from his earlier posts that the list above IS EVIL to him. Yet, he says Islam is NOT a religion of death. He's right it's not. As long as you fall outside of any of the categories that they define as evil, which are under all circumstances benign, harmless.

    "I know that we differ in the definitions of these terms but this is not my point."

    Yeah we do. I don't define people as evil just for loving someone or worshipping someone.

    "What I mean it that Islam is balanced in its approach and dealings."

    No its not. If those categories are "evil" and islam means as you claim "death for evil" then that means that persons who are causing no harm to others face death. You know, the very thing I claimed at the start of this entire thing. THAT IS NOT BALANCED.

    "If you believe that evil somehow does exist on the planet the rule of love and nothing but love would be absurd"

    Notice how Bashar keeps implying or saying I have said things I never said. God's law is love. Simple. This does not mean people obey her law. I do believe EVIL exists, in the form of humans that are willing to murder people and act with violence and other forms of disenfranchisement towards persons who are harming no one.

    "[unless you convince me by letting me speak to your She God]."

    Notice how many references are made to my "She God". It really bothered you that I used a pronoun to refer to God? (The Supreme Being in this case...)

    But, if we're going to play this game lets play it right. How about you get Allah to tell me what entitles her to command her prophets to murder people merely for not accepting her. You might tell her in the meanwise that maybe people refused to accept her, because she was, you know, commanding them to be murdered if they didn't accept her.

    "In fact, throughout history and till this day, it was never practiced even by pagan nations."

    Actually there were a great many persons that practiced love. I will agree with you that the Kyriarchy has never practiced love.

    "The ‘only love’ rule is as invalid as the ‘only death’ rule."

    You've made it pretty clear your not opposed to death as a rule. You could of course say "I oppose death for Pagans, Polytheists, Homosexuals, Lesbians, and other alternative sexualities" but you won't will you?

    Now, "My law is love" is pretty simple. No where does that claim humans are only loving. But don't let a little thing like sticking to what I said stop you, when you can claim something else entirely.

    "So now plz tell me how did you get that idea? Note that this is a historical and social issue that is under current study. I won’t accept unproven personal analysis not hearsay from the She God"

    I already told you. But you cannot hear it because you are caught up in irritation at pronouns.

    "[must speak to her first].

    You get Allah to speak to me, and after she has done so, then I will introduce Allah, and you, to the Supreme Being.

    I said: “WHY would ANY of the several Almighty Gods need to control that which they created and instead not love them?”

    Bashar replied:
    "Why should not God control what he created. Logic dictates that the creator controls his creation"

    No it doesn't.

    "and the creation is owned by the True creator."

    No it's not.

    "Your question makes no sense."

    Right. Because you are a monoculturalist and can only see things from your perspective. It never dawns on the monoculturalist that persons with minds, hearts, feelings, should be, and are autonomous persons who OWN THEMSELVES. This idea that we are owned by a creator, is really a smokescreen to allow the Kyriarchy to claim ownership of us, in God's place.

    "Moreover, there is no conflict between control and love."

    Yes there is. Love is not controlling.

    "As an analogy, haven’t you ever seen parents who fully control their children yet ultimately love them."

    We're talking about ADULT, AUTOMONMOUS persons, fully capable of making their own decisions about how they live their lives.

    "You must prove this implied characteristic (love but not control) in the Divine entity"

    No. See, I am an individual autonomous person. I don't have to answer to any of the many demands you've made in this, or your other posts. Rather, it is YOU that must prove to me why I should live as YOU say I should. Since you are the one seeking to control me and others like me, or if we do not succumb, threatening us with harm of one form or another, up to and including death, it is your responsibility to prove your ridiculous claims.

    Keep in mind dear reader, those of us outside of the monoculture are not telling monoculturalists how to live. The only thing we demand is to be left alone to live as we choose without threat, violence, molestation or death at the hands of the monoculture and its criminals.

    " otherwise I’ll rightfully accuse you of worshiping a clay toy god that you can conveniently form the way you want. And to me that is no longer a God. It would just be a clay toy."

    This would bother me why? My religious experience is made no more, or no less, by your acceptance or lack thereof. Goddess is in the clay toy as much as she is in the heavens.

    A nice little ditty some of us Pagans like to sing:

    "We all come from the Goddess, and to her we shall return, like a drop of rain, flowing to the ocean. Isis, Astarte Diana, Hecate, Demeter, Kali, and Anna."

    Amen and Pass the butter.
    Aoirthoir

  34. Bashar using Firefox 3.6.10 on Ubuntu | September 20, 2010 at 5:53 am | Permalink

    Which means your insistence on point by point conversation was bogus. I’ve replied point by point and you have not. You have the opportunity to do that yourself, but you’ve not used it. Again, I notice that my points about murder of innocent persons go untouched.

    When I say point by point I mean not to deal with a thousand issues simultaneously coz that makes the topic very difficult to handle. It is only the sheer amount of ur writing that prevented replies to each and every word NOT because I'm not used to it. AND Islam doesn't kill innocent people although 'innocent' here doesn't necessarily follow your dreamy definition.

    Is it so difficult to say “I disagree with certain lifestyles but Islam teaches that no one who is not harming another, should ever be harmed, even if that someone is practicing such things as polytheism. homosexuality, lesbianism, transexuality and other things we find wrong…”?
    Nothing is difficult to say. What is difficult is to falsely modify definitions of concepts so that they suite one's agenda. If I say that I'll be lying and bending Islam to suite your guesswork life philosophy. Consequently I'd become like you. I'd rather evaporate first.

    How I know number 2 is likewise obvious. The things your “almighty” gods desire are exactly identical to petty humans. An Almighty god would have no use of such petty human concerns. But controlling humans certainly would.

    No it is NOT obvious. Firstly this is not a proof. It is merely another one of your baseless personal conclusions. Generalizing that similarity between the God and petty humans is indicative of falsehood is total nonsense. Many humans have goodness in them and the Almighty God has the full and complete goodness. The actions of human do not necessarily have to contradict God's will. Defining what doesn't suite you taste as “petty human concerns” is the problem here. Secondly, did you get this conclusion from? (that The God would have no use of such petty human concerns.). It's just a piece of your endless guesswork.

    “If there is a god so wicked as to torture people for merely not believing in her, then that god’s demands are unrighteous and her promises of paradise are lies. Her words are not to be trusted anymore than the words of any one else who is willing to torture another.”

    Again another baseless and unproven claim. Man, can't you find a script, a quote from ANY sacred or holy book. Anything that might help in starting an investigation into this statement. Something that might help me believe that this is a real creed and not another false speculation of yours. If you insist on baseless assertions your 'words are not to be trusted anymore'. Whether you like it or not, torture is part of the Divine punishment. The agony, distress, depression, fear of the unknown and even earthly disasters are merely a taste of what God is fully capable of, so beware. If your claimed gods really are the nice ones you claim them to be (and are against torture) why don't they stop agony on earth?

    No. MY experience IS NOT your experience. MY truth is NOT your truth.

    Yet another load of nonsense. The truth is one. There cannot be multiple truths. This is completely illogical. There is either my God or yours. The ultimately correct path is either Islam or your paganism (in this dialog). These 2 concepts cannot coexist. Me and you are at opposite sides of the spectrum. One of us has the truth. The other is a fake liar. If “ MY truth is NOT your truth” were a valid statement then you should get annoyed when you get 'marginalized' and battered by monotheists coz 'by your definition' it is still a truth.

    There are no “steps” to truth, there are no “steps” to my experience and there are no “steps” to being Pagan. That is a distinctly monoculturalist worldview. “Show me your dogma, show me your central authority, show me your systems, show me HOW TO BECOME pagan…”

    This paragraph is probably the pinnacle of your delusions. Who the heck are you to decide that paganism has no steps to it. Paganism is a philosophy and a way of life to some. Ways of life and methodolgies DO have steps. Losing ones sanity doesn't have steps.

    One does not BECOME Pagan. One IS or IS NOT Pagan. Being a Pagan is not about ritual, systems, dogmas, it is about PERSONAL EXPERIENCE. So you are or you are not.

    Empty words, baseless and meaningless. Unless its your version of paganism which ostensibly you're to free author as you wish. I'll be damned if this is the truth. Sounds more like dementia. When did you become a pagan? At birth. Did you have this knowledge when you where 10? did u know about the She god back then? Say yes and you're an explicit liar.
    If so, keep you personal experiences to yourself. They are not fit for humanity. We mostly (except you) haven't had these experiences. Therefore stop dictating us on how to behave because your beliefs which are based on your 'personal experience with the divine' doesn't apply to us.

    One does not prove ones experiences, one experiences them.

    That's nice way to escape an answer. FYI Islam is a religion for humanity, a way of life. It is not an experience. Especially not one of those “un-experiencable” experiences such as yours. Moreover if it was really an experience, when did it happen to you? Was it when you were born or afterwards? Did you become a pagan after the experience? Plz be reminded that if you say yes then you're lying coz just a few lines above you said that one is either a pagan or not. So what is the point of this claimed experience???

    However, what is it I am guessing about? That we all have different lives, experiences, needs, desires? That it is NOT GOOD to TORTURE people, even if the torture comes from an Almighty God? Being more powerful does not make it just, it just makes such a god a bully.

    Once again a full dose of your baseless personal reasoning. AND ONCE AGAIN when I say give me proof I do not mean whims and musings. You don't seem to understand the difference between your personal opinions and the concept of religion which is a way of life for humanity and not just yourself.

    Notice again, difference, means not simply that someone is different, but that they are wicked. Notice again how ze has to impugn bad motives to my experience rather than simply accepting that we are different.

    If I impugn your experience then that's because you aren't logically explaining it. And I won't accept that you're different. You aren't. Nobody is different. We're all humans. If accepting people cause they are different is sensible. Why don't you accept us the way we are and stop asking us to modify our religion. Or is this just a one way logic that applies only to you?

    Baseless speculations? You mean for instance when you claimed that I chose to “become” a Pagan simply to “follow my genitals”? This despite the fact that Pagan is what I AM, not what I BECAME?

    I still uphold this claim though you could replace genitals by desires to help you clarify the point. That you 'became' a pagan is still a baseless claim and you didn't help me establish its credibility at all. I'm afraid this might be a psychological problem rather than a matter of creed.

    Or do you mean for instance when you imply and even state outright that persons who are different from the monoculture, are not ACTUALLY being harmed by monoculturalists? Because surely you do not mean to suggest that my statement that we all have different experiences, lives, needs and desires is baseless, considering that is an absolute fact. Or do you mean to suggest that my stating that torture is wrong, even by a god, is baseless speculation? Do YOU SUPPORT torture?

    Yes I still do. Islam doesn't harm you. But there are punishments for crime. Torture is forbidden in Islam. Only the Almighty can torture. Humans cannot and should not. BTW this is an Islamic rule and I'm not making it up for the sake of this conversation.
    Although you still have more interesting dreams in the rest of your post, I have typed enough for this day. I do have other things to do. And I honestly feel we're overdoing it with Aaron. His blog isn't the right place for this feud. If you want to continue we can but on your personal email and addressing a single issue at a time instead of bulk meaningless iterations of the same point over and over again.

  35. Aoirthoir An Broc using Google Chrome 5.0.375.125 on GNU/Linux | September 20, 2010 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

    Bashar said:

    "When I say point by point I mean not to deal with a thousand issues simultaneously coz that makes the topic very difficult to handle."

    Really? I find it quite easy to reply point by point to everything you or another have said. Perhaps the monoculturalist mind is not as practiced as I have heard. Or perhaps it has nothing to do with the monoculture mind and everything to do with your mind.

    "It is only the sheer amount of ur writing that prevented replies to each and every word NOT because I’m not used to it."

    So you're used to my amount of writing, but my amount of writing prevented replies?

    "AND Islam doesn’t kill innocent people although ‘innocent’ here doesn’t necessarily follow your dreamy definition."

    You contradict yourself here or you are disengenuous. Let's suppose Islam commands the death of persons (according to you it does). One must then conclude whether those persons are innocent or not, to know whether Islam commands the death of innocents. If they are innocent, then indeed Islam commands the death of innocents.

    This presents a quandary if the persons whose deaths are being commanded have done no harm to anyone else, because this is really the only sane basis for defining innocents. We all remember that according to you (and according to you according to Islam) "innocent" doesn't fit my "dreamy definition" of someone who is causing no harm to another. So really all one has to do is change the definition of innocent to mean "someone who does exactly what we decide" and wammo bammo, Islam doesn't kill innocent people.

    I said "Is it so difficult to say “I disagree with certain lifestyles but Islam teaches that no one who is not harming another, should ever be harmed, even if that someone is practicing such things as polytheism. homosexuality, lesbianism, transexuality and other things we find wrong…”?"

    Now notice, all I am asking is whether we can agree that people who are not hurting others, should not be harmed. Can a monoculturalist JUST SAY THAT? Now, if they cannot say that, if they cannot say that a lesbian, homosexual man, pansexual, transexual or others SHOULD NOT BE MURDERED simply for their state of being, tell me, what kind of person is that person?

    Bashar replied: "Nothing is difficult to say. What is difficult is to falsely modify definitions of concepts so that they suite one’s agenda. If I say that I’ll be lying and bending Islam"

    So you support the death of people who are harming no one. Alright. Thanks for proving me right.

    "to suite your guesswork life philosophy."

    It's not guesswork that people who are harming no one, do not deserve to be treated with violence. It's called decency.

    "Consequently I’d become like you. I’d rather evaporate first."

    Like me in not wating to see people treated with violence simply for being different. You really detest us that much that you'd not like to spend the rest of your life not wishing violence on another?

    I said: "How I know number 2 is likewise obvious. The things your “almighty” gods desire are exactly identical to petty humans. An Almighty god would have no use of such petty human concerns. But controlling humans certainly would."

    Bashar replied: "No it is NOT obvious."

    You're right it's not obvious. To anyone that would like to see the deaths of innocent persons, it's not obvious that an almighty would have no need for the deaths of innocent persons.

    "Firstly this is not a proof."

    Right again. That takes a thinking mind. Anyone that supports the deaths of innocents is lacking a thinking mind in crticial, important areas, no matter how smart they are otherwise.

    "It is merely another one of your baseless personal conclusions."

    Actually it has historical precedence. Considering that the makeup of gods worldwide has mimicked exactly the culture wherein the god was expounded. That is people tend to choose out of the many Gods and Goddesses that exist, those that fit their culture most. Violent societies tend to choose violent gods. The few gentle societies that exist tend to choose gentle gods (and tend to have abundant resources). This propensity is so prevalent that atheists would say wherein the god was created rather than wherein the god was expounded. Being a theist, I disagree with them. In any case, nope, not baseless at all.

    "Generalizing that similarity between the God and petty humans is indicative of falsehood is total nonsense."

    It is indicative of historic fact.

    "Many humans have goodness in them and the Almighty God has the full and complete goodness."

    I agree that many humans have goodness in them. Which almighty are you speaking of out of the many that exist? I think your example proves otherwise though. An Almighty that demands the death of persons who are not harming others, doesnot have the full and complete goodness. Such an Almighty only CLAIMS to have goodness.

    "The actions of human do not necessarily have to contradict God’s will."

    Actions like murdering people simply for being different, even though they are harming no one?

    "Defining what doesn’t suite you taste as “petty human concerns” is the problem here."

    Murdering people for not harming others doesn't suit my taste. Imagine that. And this is seen as a problem. Very telling.

    "Secondly, did you get this conclusion from? (that The God would have no use of such petty human concerns.). It’s just a piece of your endless guesswork."

    Nope. It is a very logical conclusion based on the sheer defintion of an Almighty.

    I stated: “If there is a god so wicked as to torture people for merely not believing in her, then that god’s demands are unrighteous and her promises of paradise are lies. Her words are not to be trusted anymore than the words of any one else who is willing to torture another.”

    Bashar replied:

    "Again another baseless and unproven claim."

    Actually it is a very logical claim. Torture is immoral. Claiming otherwise is, immoral. Even if the one claiming is one of the many Almighty Gods.

    "Man, can’t you find a script, a quote from ANY sacred or holy book."

    Again the monoculturalist is trying to push a polyculturalist into zir framework. See, we polyculturalists have something called a CONSCIENCE. We are able to develop our conscience through experience, knowledge, consideration, thinking, observing, wondering and so forth. We can determine merely by looking at something that it is, you know, HARMFUL to another. Neither I, nor any other polyculturalist needs a book to tell us that FORCING INTENSE PAIN on a person (torture), is wrong.

    In fact it is a sad fact that too many holy books allow, command and celebrate violence, including torture. Care to quote from your holy book such places? It would be beneficial for the readers to know where The Noble Quran stands on the issue of murder and torture of persons who are not harming others.

    "Anything that might help in starting an investigation into this statement. Something that might help me believe that this is a real creed and not another false speculation of yours."

    Had I such books you would not listen to them. But since you keep missing it, I will tell you again, I AM PAGAN. We have no creed, no dogma, no central authority, no scripture, no one to tell us we have to do this or that or the other. We have instead PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY. We cannot just lazily murder someone like a monoculturalist and then claim "the devil made me do it..." er I mean "god made me do it." We are bound by the confines of human decency, not the pages of some book that commands violence. Anything that commands violence is to be repudiated.

    "If you insist on baseless assertions your ‘words are not to be trusted anymore’."

    When did you trust my words? Please, you are an adult? Act like one. Don't pretend that suddenly you are taking something away from me that you had never granted in the first place. My words are to be trusted, not on the basis of some other book, but on their own merit. Some of my words persons will agree with, some they will disagree with. In some cases, my truth is no anothers truth. In all cases, violence against persons causing no harm should be rejected.

    HOW DIFFICULT A CONCEPT IS THAT?

    "Whether you like it or not, torture is part of the Divine punishment."

    No it is not. Torture is CLAIMED to be a part of divine punishment by CERTAIN groups, mostly, but not always, monoculturalists. After all certain pagan groups had their "hells" as well. In EVERY CASE, societies that had such a concept, had a centralized and powerful Kyriarchy. But those societies (like the Keltoi of which I am one) that had distributed power, and personal bodily autonomy, tended to have next lives that were a blessing for EVERYONE. No need of divine torture.

    This really comes down to what the deity is allowed to do. It is important in centralized societies for the deity to be ALL POWERFUL and have ALL RIGHTS over EVERYONE, ownership as Bashar said in an earlier post. Why? Because the central authority in such a society will be claimed to be the enforcer of God's commands on earth. Thus, the central authority, the Kyriarchy, will be vested with the same authority as God. That is, the Kyriarchy will own waep men and womb men (and every man inside or outside of the gender binary). The Kyriarchy, like the God, will have FULL POWER over all decisions of the populace.

    However, in socities such as the Keltoi, that is the Irish, Welsh, Gauls and others, and socities such as a great many Native American Nations, there was no central authority. Rather each person was fully autonomous. There were chieftans, chiefs, kings and others, but their WORD was not law. And if they spoke against good, they could be deposed instantly (in Keltoi lands). In many Native American Nations, the chief's word did not even have to be obeyed, but was rather "advice". Out of RESPECT for his DEMONSTRATED WISE words in the past, people might listen to him.

    This then is a sharp contrast and why pagansim and vestiges of it existed so long down through the centuries in Eire. And I thank Bridhe and Lugh daily in my prayers for it. Because of such I am entitled to an incredible birthright of freedom of conscience. Including the free mind to recognize that torture, even when commanded at the hands of a God, is a wicked, immoral, vile and disgusting act which should in all cases be repudiated. It is the honor not of being Pagan, but of being human.

    "The agony, distress, depression, fear of the unknown and even earthly disasters are merely a taste of what God is fully capable of,"

    Actually those are human emotions and earthly events. God doesn't cause disasters, natural happenstance does. The ridiculous idea that disasters are punishments from God have led to the ridulous claims that natural disasters in Islamic nations are a punishment for Islam's not being Christian. The same things are said about war, that a people experience the hardship of war because they are being disobedient to God.

    These and other such notions, are logical when we are dealing with the primitive peoples (pagans, muslims, christians, etc) that do not understand science and how the world works. Once we move into an understanding of the Earth, then we, all of us, can move beyond primitive thought. It is for this reason that many Muslims eschew the idea that natural disasters are punishments from God. We Pagans and other Christians join such science minded, modern Muslims who seek not to blame God for things she's not done.

    "so beware."

    Or what? You'll beat me? Kill me? Considering that death comes to all of us, of what should I "beware"? I certainly have no need to 'beware" of the threats of an almighty god that has no sway in my life. See, my Gods and Goddesses are SO POWERFUL that they do not need to THREATEN people who do not worship them. Your god on the other hand is so petty and weak, that she has to consistently shore up her lack of authority with threats of violence, in this life, and the next.

    Did you think when you said beware and threatened me I would suddenly shake and quiver in fear? Did you think I would fall down and instantly obey your crudely wicked lifestyle that praises violence and murder? Again such words and threats are the words of a petulant child. I'm a grown up and not frightened by children's ghost stories.

    "If your claimed gods really are the nice ones you claim them to be (and are against torture) why don’t they stop agony on earth?"

    Another fundamental mistep of monoculture. MY gods and goddesses lay NO claim to being Almighty. See, that is YOUR realm. Rather, you should ask yourself why YOUR all powerful God Allah has not stopped agony on earth. Indeed why has she CAUSED agony if she is all powerful. Is she like a petty child pulling the wings from a fly's back?

    I said: "No. MY experience IS NOT your experience. MY truth is NOT your truth."

    "Yet another load of nonsense. The truth is one. There cannot be multiple truths. This is completely illogical."

    No it's not.

    "There is either my God or yours."

    Actually to you, that is your truth. To a Pagan it is not a monotheistic god OR a polytheistic collection of gods. Rather it is that your god is true AND our gods are true. Polytheism incorporates all gods. So the monoculturalist says either/or whereas the polyculturalist says both/and.

    "The ultimately correct path is either Islam or your paganism (in this dialog)."

    This is another example of monoculturalist either/or. We can have BOTH/AND. That is, as long as you are not acting with violent oppression of others, Islam could coexist right along side all of the Pagan religions. It's not your belief in God we object to, but violence. So the ultimately correct path can be Islam, Christianity, Isisism, Asatru, Celticism, and so on.

    "These 2 concepts cannot coexist. Me and you are at opposite sides of the spectrum."

    Sure they can. Now, we ARE at opposite ends of the spectrum. You think people being killed for doing no harm to anyone is righteous, I think it is wicked. But multi-theism can certainly coexist.

    "One of us has the truth. The other is a fake liar. If “ MY truth is NOT your truth” were a valid statement then you should get annoyed when you get ‘marginalized’ and battered by monotheists coz ‘by your definition’ it is still a truth."

    If monotheists were only disagreeing with me I would not get annoyed. I WELCOME debate, I am Aoirthoir, that name means I love to talk. As does the fact that I am Irish. But, getting battered, seing humans tortured, abused, knowing what they have suffered, because of "your truth" yeah, I will get annoyed at that.

    Again I want everyone to notice, how my mere objecting to violent tendencies of monoculturalists and calling out their underserved privilege andhow they use it to disenfranchise persons of every sort, makes me a 'fake liar'. (If I am a "fake" liar, does that actually make me a truth teller? :D ) Notice how violence is lauded. Notice how when I mention that one form of marginalization of persons is being victims of murder, Bashar puts scare quotes around the term marginalized, as if being murdered isn't a marginalization.

    I said "There are no “steps” to truth, there are no “steps” to my experience and there are no “steps” to being Pagan. That is a distinctly monoculturalist worldview. “Show me your dogma, show me your central authority, show me your systems, show me HOW TO BECOME pagan…”"

    Bashar replied: "This paragraph is probably the pinnacle of your delusions. Who the heck are you to decide that paganism has no steps to it."

    Um, a Pagan, cause ya know, it's probably Pagans that know what Paganism is all about. I love it how monoculturalists will try to define what Paganism is for a Pagan, when they have no experience in our paths. Then they are surprised when we say, Nope, that's not paganism.

    "Paganism is a philosophy and a way of life to some."

    No. It is MANY philosphies and MANY ways of life. No Pagan has a claim to a sole truth or a doctrine or a dogma for all other Pagans. We ALL find, and then walk, our own paths. Quite often our paths cross, and other times our paths diverge. Sometimes as Pagans we agree and sometimes as Pagans we disagree.

    "Ways of life and methodolgies DO have steps. Losing ones sanity doesn’t have steps.

    Nope. A monoculturalist would perhaps lose zir sanity if ze didn't have steps. Pagans on the other hand are free to live without others telling us how we are entitled to (or not) reach the divine. This reminds me of the argument that I hear from many monoculturalists "well if there is no hell, no almighty god, I would be out murdering, raping..." Uh really? Then you DEFINITELY need a hell and an almighty. Pagans on the other hand don't rape and murder because such things are wicked. We don't have to be threatend with punishments.

    I said" "One does not BECOME Pagan. One IS or IS NOT Pagan. Being a Pagan is not about ritual, systems, dogmas, it is about PERSONAL EXPERIENCE. So you are or you are not."

    Bashar replied "Empty words, baseless and meaningless. Unless its your version of paganism which ostensibly you’re to free author as you wish."

    Uh yeah. That's the f'n point of Paganism. One walks one's own path.

    "I’ll be damned if this is the truth."

    Damned if ya do and damned if ya don't. Keep in my this is MY truth. You are free to be a Allah fearing Muslim. But know, we in the polyculture are resisting your efforts to mono-anesthetize us.

    "Sounds more like dementia."

    Hmm, I wonder how Muslims would react if people started speaking so respectfully of them and their religion. No I don't. I've already seen how Muslims react when someone speaks in such manner about their religion. They cry foul, stomp, protest and demand the words of the "Islamaphobe" be removed.

    " When did you become a pagan? At birth."

    I already answered, but you are a monoculturalist, so I understand your need to have things told to you multiple times. I have ALWAYS been Pagan. Life does not start at birth or with conception, live begins much earlier and later than this.

    "Did you have this knowledge when you where 10?"

    Which knowledge? That people should not be tortured? Yes I did.

    "did u know about the She god back then?"

    I knew God before I was born. I have always been religiously minded. I've pointed out why i use she, interchangeably with he and even ze when refering to either God or others. But I should note the fact that someone chose to refer to God as a she, really got under your craw didn't it? You seem very focused on it. I'll ask again, when you refer to Allah as HE, are you implying God is a male and has genitalia? This seems in contradiction to what I know about Islam. If you think that, then it is logical for you to be angry that I refer to ze as she, because you would think that implies female genitalia (it does not). But if you use he in the general sense, then why so focused on the fact that I used she, likewise in the general sense?

    "Say yes and you’re an explicit liar."

    This is a claim. You know the same claim was made about Muhammed when he said he had spoken to Gabri-el. In any case I specifically told you how I have experienced God, but you heard not or ignored it. I have noticed that tendency among a great many monoculturalists.

    "If so, keep you personal experiences to yourself."

    No.

    "They are not fit for humanity."

    They are not fit for some humanity. Some find then quiet beautiful.

    "We mostly (except you) haven’t had these experiences."

    Here let me fix that for you:

    "We mostly *monoculturalists* haven’t had these experiences."

    There, feel better? I know I sure do. I will note however that I said that my experiences are not your experiences and you called me a liar for that. Then you turned around and said EXACTLY what I had said (you know, the thing that made me a liar) and said you haven't had my experiences. Imagine that, you say something it is truth, I say the EXACT SAME THING, and I am a liar. How very monoculturalist of you. Thanks for proving me right in yet ANOTHER thing.

    "Therefore stop dictating us on how to behave"

    Actually it is YOU dictating to us how to behave. See, when you threaten us with violence, murder, and all forms of discrimination, that's YOU doing the dictating. All we are doing is telling you to STOP dictating, and stop acting with violence to us. It's not really a hard thing either, you just have to , you know, NOT hurt people.

    Notice, please everyone, that telling them that harming people is WRONG, KILLING people is WRONG, well that's DICTATING to them. This is NOT uncommon among monoculturalist, especially groups that have large numbers of extreme monoculturalists like Islaml.

    "because your beliefs which are based on your ‘personal experience with the divine’ doesn’t apply to us."

    My experiences DONT apply to you. That's what I've been saying all along. And YOUR experiences DONT apply to ME. Now since our experiences don't apply to each other, or to ANY OTHER PERSON ON EARTH, how about you monoculturalists stop murdering people for being different?

    I said: "One does not prove ones experiences, one experiences them."

    Bashar replied: "That’s nice way to escape an answer."

    No it's not. It's a practical, factual, scientific answer. You've even said so above. YOU have not experienced my experiences. But, heck sake, why let the fact that you said EXACTLY THE SAME THING as me, prevent you from repudiating that thing as if somehow I am worse than you.

    "FYI Islam is a religion for humanity, a way of life."

    No. It is a religion for SOME of humanity.

    "It is not an experience."

    I don't think you know what the word experience means.

    "Especially not one of those “un-experiencable” experiences such as yours."

    Un-experiencable is your word, not mine. I've experienced them so they are quite experienceable.

    "Moreover if it was really an experience, when did it happen to you?"

    IT? I have experiences every moment of my life.

    "Was it when you were born or afterwards?"

    I had experiences in the womb, we all did. Your experiences were likely different from mine, from the womb onward.

    "Did you become a pagan after the experience?"

    I didn't BECOME Pagan. I AM Pagan. See, I'm, not going to let you define me for myself. I already know you're not a reputable person by the fact that you think it is ok to act with violence against persons of another faith. So why on earth would I let you start to define the boundaries of my faith for me?

    "Plz be reminded that if you say yes then you’re lying coz just a few lines above you said that one is either a pagan or not."

    Uh huh. So you thought you were going to "trick" me into saying I BECAME Pagan? Maybe you should have held this sentence for a reply after your "trick" worked.

    I will have been Pagan through ALL of my incarnations (this is my first incarnation). I'm not suddenly going to be like ...OMG he is so right I BECAME Pagan I was NOT ALWAYS Pagan ALL HAIL the monoculturalist who tricked me out of my "lie".

    Get this into your mind. I AM Pagan. I have ALWAYS been Pagan. I did not BECOME Pagan in the womb or anyplace else. I did not BECOME Pagan when I was born. I AM and WAS and ALWAYS SHALL be PAGAN. That bothers you immensely. Whereas your being a Muslim does't bother me at all. What DOES bother me is when you monoculturalists act with violence towards others and then GLEEFULLY so, like you in your writings.

    "So what is the point of this claimed experience???"

    This question is as a dismissive technique. The poly person's experiences have no point, to the monoculturalist, therefore they have no point. My experiences entire point is to be experienced by me. That and none other. They're not for you or any other and need no validation.

    I said: "However, what is it I am guessing about? That we all have different lives, experiences, needs, desires? That it is NOT GOOD to TORTURE people, even if the torture comes from an Almighty God? Being more powerful does not make it just, it just makes such a god a bully."

    To which Bashar again demanded: "Once again a full dose of your baseless personal reasoning. AND ONCE AGAIN when I say give me proof I do not mean whims and musings."

    You do not GET PROOF of my experiences. But, keep demanding, it helps show how the monoculturalist, including the Islamist, feels they have a right to DEMAND something from others. My life doesn't need your approval to be valid.

    "You don’t seem to understand the difference between your personal opinions and the concept of religion which is a way of life for humanity and not just yourself."

    Actually of the two of us in this conversation, I am the ONE that understands that.

    Your way: you are not worshiping my god, and living my way, therefore you are disgusting, deserve to die and be punished by my god.

    My way: Your way is different from my way, please feel free to live your way as you wish and leave me and everyone else to do likewise. My way probably isn't for you. So let's each live our way, and LIVE being the key word there.

    So nope, sorry. You're the one not getting it. My religion IS ONLY FOR ME, as I have said NUMEROUS TIMES throughout these many posts. Paganism has no dogma but if we were ever to have anything that is shared amongst most Pagans it is simply that, YOUR RELIGION for you, MY RELIGION for me.

    I said: "Notice again, difference, means not simply that someone is different, but that they are wicked. Notice again how ze has to impugn bad motives to my experience rather than simply accepting that we are different."

    Bashar replied: "If I impugn your experience then that’s because you aren’t logically explaining it."

    My God given right to to live and hold my faith does not require my explaining anything to you.

    "And I won’t accept that you’re different. You aren’t. Nobody is different. We’re all humans"

    Um, this is what I've been saying all along. If I am not different then why the need to kill and torture and punish people like me?

    "If accepting people cause they are different is sensible. Why don’t you accept us the way we are and stop asking us to modify our religion."

    So let's see. You have stated plainly that "Islam is death". That such death isn't for
    innocents, but that you and I have a different version of what an innocent is. That my version (people not harming others) is not Islam's version. That you cannot say that such persons who are doing no harm, DO NOT DESERVE TO BE F'N MURDERED. Thus one can conclude from everything you have said (and even a cursory reading of The Noble Quran), that Islam means death to folks like the Polytheist, The Lesbian, The Homosexual, The Trasngendered and more. (One can conclude the same about other monotheistic religions from reading their holy books). Indeed one can conclude this from the Laws of Islamic Nations, the way those laws are carried out and even violence at the hands of Muslims (and other monoculturalists) in lands where the Law does not support their violence.

    All of this violence being an attempt by the monoculturalist to force the polyculturalist and those outside of the mono-culture to change OUR religions and way of life. So when the polyculturalist says to you, a monoculturalist, JUST LEAVE ME ALONE UNHARMED, well, we're trying to get you to MODIFY YOUR RELIGION. We're not asking you to change your god, your prayers, your rituals, what you find moral or immoral, what you think is right or wrong. ALL we are asking is to be LEFT UNHARMED. Let me clarify that AGAIN.

    THE ONLY THING WE ARE ASKING FROM MONOCULTURALISTS IS TO BE LEFT UNHARMED.

    Yet in asking NOTHING ELSE FROM YOU we are told we are being UNFAIR, Islamphobic, hateful, evil, and all manner of other wicked things. Just for asking to be LEFT ALONE.

    No, the one NOT accepting differences here IS YOU. Telling you about your undeserved privilege and that murder is wrong IS NOT, controlling of you, it is RESISTING YOUR ATTEMPTED CONTROL OF US.

    And yet, with all of these words you still expect me to accept that Islam is a religion of peace. And so do so many.

    "Or is this just a one way logic that applies only to you?"

    Since I neither support violence against Muslims, nor practice it, yeah.

    I stated: "Baseless speculations? You mean for instance when you claimed that I chose to “become” a Pagan simply to “follow my genitals”? This despite the fact that Pagan is what I AM, not what I BECAME?"

    Bashar replied: "I still uphold this claim though you could replace genitals by desires to help you clarify the point."

    This is just yet a way of saying I really didn't "become" a Pagan out of religious convinction, but became one so I could do things that I wanted to do. "You're a liar and I, the one NOT living your life, get to tell you what you ACTUALLY think..." Good try. Fail.

    "That you ‘became’ a pagan is still a baseless claim and you didn’t help me establish its credibility at all."

    My religion does't need your support to be valid. It's credible for me and me alone.

    "I’m afraid this might be a psychological problem rather than a matter of creed."

    Hmm, again sounds quite a bit like what I have heard many Chrisitans say about Islam. Did you become a Muslim because you have a psychological problem? Are you Muslim because you like violence and wanted a religion that would allow you to practice it? See, when YOU tell OTHERS why they do something, that same thing can be said about you. How about you stop using such insulting language and actually complain about the thing you dislike me saying.

    I say "let's not hurt each other!"
    You reply "This is a psychological problem"

    I said..."Or do you mean for instance when you imply and even state outright that persons who are different from the monoculture, are not ACTUALLY being harmed by monoculturalists? Because surely you do not mean to suggest that my statement that we all have different experiences, lives, needs and desires is baseless, considering that is an absolute fact. Or do you mean to suggest that my stating that torture is wrong, even by a god, is baseless speculation? Do YOU SUPPORT torture?

    Bashar replied: "Yes I still do."

    Yes you still do what? Support Torture? Or state outright that we're not being harmed by the monoculture?

    "Islam doesn’t harm you."

    Alright, it is your assertion that persons like Homosexuals, Polytheists, are not being harmed by Islam. You are right that Islam doesn't harm ME. I am fortunate to not be living in an Islamic nation. So Islam has little power over me. The same cannot be said of others. You are flat out wrong here. Either you are lying or you are grossly ignorant of what happens to such persons in Islamic nations.

    "But there are punishments for crime."

    Crimes like being a polytheist, homosexual, wearing women's clothes and so on.

    "Torture is forbidden in Islam."

    Uh huh. But whipping, killing, beating, humiliating and so on are not forbidden. Indeed in a great many cases they are advocated. See, all we have to do is change the defintion of what constitutes torture and then we can say that Islam, doesn't torture.

    "Only the Almighty can torture. Humans cannot and should not. BTW this is an Islamic rule and I’m not making it up for the sake of this conversation."

    A god that tortures is wicked. As far as it being an Islamic rule, as I've already pointed out, all one has to do is define something as not consituting torture (such as unjustly jailing a person, beating them etc) to state that "we don't torture."

    Ya know Bush did that, change the definition of what torture is. Muslims and a great many were all up in arms about it worldwide. Maybe you Muslims and other monoculturalists could follow you own example and get up in arms about your own beatings and other forms of "non-torture" and then those forms of "non-torture" would stop.

    "Although you still have more interesting dreams in the rest of your post,"

    Dreams like Muslims, Christians, Pagans, Jews, Atheists, Hindus, Native Americans, and people from around the world living, violence free, without molesting each other with violence.

    "I have typed enough for this day. I do have other things to do. And I honestly feel we’re overdoing it with Aaron."

    Aaron's a tough kid, he can handle it.

    "His blog isn’t the right place for this feud. If you want to continue we can but on your personal email"

    I quite prefer our conversations to be public. It is beneficial for others to see the utter disdain you hold us Pagans in. The sheer contempt. Then, in the future when I make comments about how a Muslim, A PARTICULAR MUSLIM or PARTICULAR MUSLIM*S have acted with or threatend violence, they can remember your words and know it to be true. Then, when someone ignorantly shouts "ISLAMAPHOBE!" at me, for rejecting your and others violence, maybe, just maybe such persons will stand up and say NO! He is not an Islamaphobe, he is merely objecting to violence and we've seen such threats for ourselves.

    Because heaven knows, it's not like those accusatory tongues are going to step up now and accuse you of being a polyhater, despite your outright acceptance of violence towards us. But then why should they, we after all fall outside of their monoculture.

    "and addressing a single issue at a time instead of bulk meaningless iterations of the same point over and over again."

    Well then if it is repetition you wish to avoid pick a single point, I will reply to it singularly.

    Aoirthor

  36. Bashar using Firefox 3.6.10 on Ubuntu | September 20, 2010 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

    Maybe this will shed some light on to why your "LEAVE US UNHARMED" demands are rather queer.
    http://www.judiciaryreport.com/gay_violence_against_heterosexuals.htm
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/2038809/gay_bigots_use_violence_against_how_christians_voted/
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/2032937/gay_marriage_proponents_attack_elderly_woman/
    http://www.onenewsnow.com/Culture/Default.aspx?id=760780
    http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=80220
    All this [and many other incidents] while they're only an insignificant 1% whom most of which are hiding coz the american society hasn't fully accepted them yet. What will happen if (God forbid) they become 10%. While your phrases are very well structured they lack common sense. I claim that gays and pagans and all humans, even you, are inherently violent but didn't have the chance to express it coz at this particular moment you are stepped upon by the vast majority of society. I believe that if those social pathogens get in control they'll turn this place into more of a 'Mad Max' scene. Hence your twisted begging for compassion doesn't work with me. You are delusional and dishonest in your approach to the meaning of life.

  37. Bashar using Firefox 3.6.10 on Ubuntu | September 20, 2010 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

    One last thing. Do whatever you want to resist Islam but when it comes to practical life only the THE real Truth prevails. Your nonsense and dreamy efforts will simply fail because they are too unrealistic. Islam will flourish because it is sensible for those who seek the truth unhindered by structured stubbornness. Just watch how it grows and flourishes. Not just in Muslim nations but in 'your' society but in your neighborhood and maybe even your house. I hope you don't get too 'violent' resisting it.

  38. Aaron using Google Chrome 6.0.472.59 on Windows XP | September 20, 2010 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

    @Bashar and @Aoirthoir An Broc- Okay, that's enough. The discussion is getting personal and emotional. I'm asking nicely that both of you stop. It's clear to me where this debate is headed, and I don't want that to happen here. If you would like to continue via email, or some other method, that would be preferred. Both of you have left enough content in this post, and others, for many readers to think about. It's clear neither one of you will give up your view on deity, so arguing about it online makes zero sense. Thank you both for your input. May God (or the gods) bless you both.

  39. Aoirthoir An Broc using Google Chrome 5.0.375.125 on GNU/Linux | September 20, 2010 at 9:01 pm | Permalink

    Aaron, so be it and thank you. I'll leave it to say that the violence quoted by Bashar I also equally repudiated. Violence is not something I accept towards any group of persons from any.

  40. Jason Bunting using Firefox 3.6.12 on Windows 7 | November 29, 2010 at 5:19 am | Permalink

    Wow, that was quite the bash session - continuing to argue when neither side will concede anything. Reminds me of my mission in Texas; the bible-bashing would get quite heated, but never amount to more than bad feelings.

    And while I am sure you would agree that you don't officially speak for or represent the LDS Church, I must say that to share the idea that Mormons "believe that our god worships a god" is a bit of a stretch. Where did you find this doctrine? I am a convert to the church, nearly 15 years now, and am not familiar with this being taught. Yes, we know of the couplet of Lorenzo Snow, originally recorded in 1840, but official church doctrine it is not.

    You may want to read this:
    http://beta-newsroom.lds.org/article/approaching-mormon-doctrine

    Too many things in the historical record of the church that were said off-hand or unofficially have been construed as church doctrine, when such permission to do so was never granted. If we took for doctrine everything that came out of the mouth of an Apostle or even a Prophet, we would be in quite a mess.

    D&C 68:4 -
    "And whatsoever they shall speak when moved upon by the Holy Ghost shall be scripture, shall be the will of the Lord, shall be the mind of the Lord, shall be the word of the Lord, shall be the voice of the Lord, and the power of God unto salvation."

    When are a prophet's words doctrine? "[W]hen moved upon by the Holy Ghost." Prophets speak as men many times, and we can't forget that.

  41. Aaron using Konqueror 4.5 on Fedora | November 29, 2010 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

    Yes, as Lorenzo Snow's couplet says, "As man now is, God once was; as God now is, man may become.". Whether or not President Snow was moved upon by the Holy Ghost is not for me to say, nor is it my place to announce what is and what is not LDS doctrine. However, I know that the aforementioned couplet by President Snow is taught in Sunday School, LDS printed material, seminaries and institutes and throughout the LDS church as a whole. We firmly believe that God was once a man as we are now, and that His physical manifestation must have been created by a Higher Power than himself. I don't think that is a stretch at all. Of course, you're free to disagree, and I respect that. I'm no scriptorian nor doctrinal expert, so I may be incorrect, but I do believe that God was created, as was His God, ad infinitum, and we will follow the same eternal increase and progress that our God is doing now. It may not be something I teach in Elder's Quorum, but it is something I believe.

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