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L’Amour est plus fort que la haine… et, apparemment, que l’Islam

No matter how oppressed some of us may feel by the sometimes radical statements and legislation of South Dakota's Christian fundamentalists, let us remember that our Christian friends don't kill us.

Gunmen attacked the Paris headquarters of French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo this morning, killing twelve people and wounding seven. Witnesses heard the gunmen shouting "We have avenged the Prophet Muhammad."

Charlie Hebdo has flipped the bird at Islam in the past and paid a heavy price in violence committed by Muslim extremists:

In November 2011, its offices were fire-bombed after it had published a special edition, supposedly guest-edited by the prophet Muhammad and temporarily renamed “Charia Hebdo”. The cover was a cartoon of Muhammad threatening the readers with “a hundred lashes if you don’t die laughing”.

The petrol bomb attack completely destroyed the Paris offices, the magazine’s website was hacked and staff were subjected to death threats. But six days later, it published a front page depicting a male Charlie Hebdo cartoonist passionately kissing a bearded Muslim man in front of the charred aftermath of the bombing. The headline was: L’Amour plus fort que la haine (Love is stronger than hate) [Julian Borger, "Fight Intimidation with Controversy: Charlie Hebdo’s Response to Critics," UK Guardian, 2015.01.07].

charlie-hebdo-coverNo Christian offended by my blog commentary, criticism, and occasional satire has burned down my house or physically attacked me. When Kurt Evans* and Larry Kurtz badmouth the entire Catholic Church, good Catholics Troy Jones and Patrick Duffy don't get out the shotguns. The most vile Christian fundamentalists in America shout a lot, but they and their opponents trade slogans and signs, not bullets.

And as far as I know, no followers of Jesus are calling themselves the Christian State, waging terrorism, forcing conversions, and killing thousands of people to forge a Caliphate.

I am reminded of my friend Martin back in high school who wrote a letter to the editor when the local movie theater piously announced it would not be showing Martin Scorcese's Last Temptation of Christ. Martin, a devout Christian, and a fresh high school graduate—the same age as many of the Muslim jihadis propagandized and recruited by ISIS—wrote that his faith would not crumble before a strip of celluloid.

Evidently these gunmen and far too many Muslims believe their god and their prophet will fall before a drawing, a piece of paper, or an unkind word. They apparently do not believe that love is stronger than hate. They feel they must defile the City of Love, the City of Light, the City of Enlightenment, with their murderous fear, all because some harmless French dudes said silly things and drew silly pictures of a guy who's been dead for 1400 years.

A faith so fearful, hateful, and thus weak does not earn my tolerance, let alone my respect.

*Update 19:53 CST: We should note that Kurt Evans badmouthed one Catholic, not the entire Catholic Church, and even apologized for it, saying "it's wrong to use pejorative labels that devalue and dehumanize other people." But our Catholic friends perceived him to be badmouthing Catholics in general... and they still haven't shot him.


  1. Porter Lansing IV 2015.01.07

    Messrs. Troy Jones & Patrick Duffy...How about a bill to remove the law that Native Americans who were removed from their parents homes and sexually abused at Marty Indian School can't sue like every other person abused by Catholic priests and staffers can? Hmmmmm? SoDak is the only state that refuses justice to these sexually abused by statute of limitations. "All goes along quietly out here," one priest wrote in 1968, with "good religious and lay faculty" at the mission. There are troublesome staffers, though, including "Chappy," who is "fooling around with little girls -- he had them down the basement of our building in the dark, where we found a pair of panties torn." Later that year, Brother Francis Chapman was still abusing children, though by 1970, he was "a new man," the reports say. In 1973, Chappy again "has difficulty with little girls."

  2. mike from iowa 2015.01.07

    Haven't religious christian kooks denied healthcare to people who desperately needed it and some of them have died? They've also cut foodstamps and heating assistance which is a mockery of the lord they profess to love and follow.

  3. Owen reitzel 2015.01.07

    Tell that to the family of the abortion doctor who was killed for performing a legal procedure by a Christian.

  4. tara volesky 2015.01.07

    Mr. Lansing, the bill where Native Americans can no longer sue was signed by the man we sent to Washington DC. The historical trauma Native Americans deal with gets worse every generation because there has been nothing done to expose and hold the Catholic Priests and White Politicians accountable for their sins. It's SD's dirty little secret.

  5. Moses 2015.01.07

    Could it be EB-5 OOR Photo op.

  6. mike from iowa 2015.01.07

    Christians are acting downright hostile to other religions in Burma and Thailand. Found out reading about Karen people and their religions.

  7. Porter Lansing 2015.01.07

    @MsVolesky....Wondered if anyone else even knew of this travesty of human rights. No wonder one political party has such disdain for SoDak's real forefathers (the indigenous). This party is "ridin' dirty" with a trunk full of suppressed SOW (selfish overiviliged white) guilt.

  8. Jenny 2015.01.07

    Christians have slaughtered and destroyed whole societies, Cory. Don't kid yourself. 99% of Muslims are decent people. You know better than this!

  9. Jenny 2015.01.07

    What about all those Christians that hate Obama because of their crazed thinking that he's a Muslim?

  10. tara volesky 2015.01.07

    The media does not report and investigates the crimes and inhumane travesties that are brought about by the powers that control and oppress the less privileged and vulnerable. Mr. Lansing, there needs to be a sexual abuse summit where Native Americans along with any other race can come forward and tell their stories how their Governments knowingly allowed these abuses to happen and are continually allowing it to happen. This has got to stop.

  11. tara volesky 2015.01.07

    When we had an all candidate debate in Pine Ridge, in which Daugaard, Rounds and Noem again where no shows, when the topic of foster care was discussed, it was amazing how many people are affected by child abuse.

  12. jerry 2015.01.07

    It is all about the religion of oil. Oil is the destroyer of the world and we here just gave a nod of approval to more of its problems. No religion has clean hands on all of this. This hatred goes back to the crusades and then some. I do think that the our CIA has done so much mischief to the world that it cannot help being the way that it is in so called modern times. When the CIA removed democracy from Iran to install the Shah was one of the keys to why a lot of what is going on is going on.

  13. I understand your argument when used for a certain segment of Muslims, but I am a little surprised that you've used the actions of a group of criminals to denigrate the faith of billions. This is one of the rare occasions where your logic is not sound.

    Set aside any discussion of what is true--that is debate for people inside a religious faith, not for those on the outside. Look only at the utilitarian value of religion in society. There are many, many people who are better people--or at least, are striving to be--because of their faith.

    How many "good" Muslims would it take to redeem the faith in your eyes? I would argue that if even one person is a better person because of his or her Muslim faith, your universal denigration of the faith does not logically hold up.

    I'd point you toward the thousands of Muslims working toward peace and condemning acts of violence by other Muslims:

    By your logic, the actions of Westboro Baptist, for example, or Timothy McVeigh, the many who have killed abortion doctors in the name of Jesus, mean the Christian faith is no longer deserving of tolerance or respect.

    I'd invite you to consider a different tool than you used here and paint with a brush that's not so broad.

  14. Bill Fleming 2015.01.07

    Sorry, Cory, but I'm afraid we can't quite so easily excuse our own culture from having horrific conflicts like this.

    That said, the terrorists are always wrong, and violence is never the answer. The supreme irony here is that the target of the violence are cartoon artists, comedy writers, and their editors and publishers. A war on words, pictures and humor. Yikes!

  15. Barbara 2015.01.07

    This is the problem:
    "Evidently these gunmen and far too many Muslims".
    Leave out that last prejudicial phrase and the overly broad and unsupported generalization that follows: "A faith so fearful, hateful, and thus weak..." and you have a message I doubt anyone here would argue with. But including it is insulting to a peaceful religion and it's many adherents around the world who abhor and denounce the murderous acts committed by these terrorists. And even if their Islamic faith has nothing except the name in common with the beliefs of either state-sponsored nationalists or unhinged lone radicals, Muslims like those in my circle of friends have once again been lumped with these criminals. You didn't say "all Muslims" but you included "far too many" in your choice of words.
    And as far as not fearing bullets from SD Christians, ask why abortion providers in SD dating back decades have worked in high-security clinics, worn bullet-proof vests and carried handguns in response to threats from groups claiming to act on behalf of their Christian god. Others have already referenced some of the violence towards indigenous and other disadvantaged groups in the state.
    Nationally - - and globally - - there have been violent attacks, massacres, and genocides committed in the name of religion including Christianity. And finally, there's this: "If we look at worldwide attacks – instead of just attacks on U.S. soil – Sunni Muslims are the main perpetrators of terrorism. However: Muslims are also the main victims of terror attacks worldwide."

  16. Roger Cornelius 2015.01.07

    As with most Americans I am a strong advocate of the 1st Amendments Freedoms along with a Free Press, not just for our country, but for countries around the world.

    What I don't understand is why any form of media finds it necessary to taunt any religion. The Muslim extremist are a violent bunch waiting in the rafters to attack for any insult whether real or insinuated.

    Why is it necessary to feed that madness by cartoons, editorials, etc.?

  17. Bill Fleming 2015.01.07

    Good question, Roger. Here's one person's answer:


    "Satire must always accompany any free society. It is an absolute necessity. Even in the most repressive medieval kingdoms, they understood the need for the court jester, the one soul allowed to tell the truth through laughter. It is, in many ways, the most powerful form of free speech because it is aimed at those in power, or those whose ideas would spread hate. It is the canary in the coalmine, a cultural thermometer, and it always has to push, push, push the boundaries of society to see how much it’s grown.

    Our society is possibly the freest that humankind has yet produced and that freedom is predicated on one central idea: the right to speech. That right is understood as a natural extension of our very existence. In America, free speech is so important that the men who wrote our Bill of Rights put it first, but followed it up with our right to bear arms. To me, that’s always been a pretty strong message: Say what you want and, here, take some guns to make sure no one tries to stop you. But in this state of widespread social change – probably the most profound in centuries – we need to make sure that the ideal of the second amendment never, ever trumps the power of the first. That brute force never negates ideas."

  18. john tsitrian 2015.01.07

    I'm posting one of the cartoons as a gesture of solidarity and invite all other SD bloggers to join me.

  19. Porter Lansing IV 2015.01.07

    @Tsitrian....posting that on the ISIL website, you SOW? (selfish overpriviliged white) Have some courage or shut down your self-consumed ego.

  20. bearcreekbat 2015.01.07

    It is hard to respect any religion that emphasizes the tribalism that divides humanity, whether Islam, Christian, or whatever. These superstitions that turn people against other people are a major weakness of our human race.

  21. john tsitrian 2015.01.07

    No sweat, Porter, I took it down.

    Never mind, all. I took it down.

  22. Porter Lansing IV 2015.01.07

    Posting an affront to ISIL on a SoDak blog is akin to so many males I hear in lounges, country clubs, men's groups etc. courageously spewing the "N" word to castigate the protesters and the President, knowing full well there isn't a black person within 300 miles to punch them in the nose. Until you can say it to their face it's just bigotry.

  23. larry kurtz 2015.01.07

    Steve Hickey tweeted: "If you're ever wondering if Allah and the Judeo-Christian God are the same, here's a significant difference... one of them forbids we avenge"

    Far more have died avenging the christian god than all the others worshippers combined.

  24. john tsitrian 2015.01.07

    The speed and the reach of the internet does not put geographic limitations on content. This is not a "lounge or a country club," it's a wide-open venue where utterances like the ones you abhor make immediate contact with the public. I have readers all over the world, including some of the Arab states, per google analytics, so I know enough to measure every word. That your passion was inflamed enough to harpoon me with a series of incorrect assumptions and name-calling was enough to make me drop the whole idea.

  25. Roger Cornelius 2015.01.07

    I'm not attacking or blaming Charlie Hebdo for today's attacks and murders, it does raise some questions for me.
    As I understand it from CNN news, Charlie was put on a assassination or hit list for previous cartoons about Islam, apparently they have been on that list for sometime.
    Why would they continue to push the buttons of such a radical and irrational group of militants when there was an obvious threat to their own security.
    Along with the freedom of speech we all should enjoy comes the consequences of those words, how prepared must we all be for speaking our minds?

  26. leslie 2015.01.07

    doesn't "interview " also fall within this discussion? seems a little irresponsible to be poking north korea, a la little bush/cheney neocons ect.

  27. Bill Fleming 2015.01.07

    John T., in line with your instincts, and the speed of information these days, check out some of the images other artists are posting today:

    p.s. Who is Porter Lansing? And is the "IVth" the same guy as the one without the Roman Numerals? Or are there actually four of them?

  28. Jenny 2015.01.07

    Is Hickey going to fight the muslims now like Billy Graham's son?

  29. leslie 2015.01.07

    anyone know if france's strong military response in africa recently put them more in the bullseye?

  30. Ben Cerwinske 2015.01.07

    The people in Paris didn't deserve this. However, too often people provoke others for it's own sake rather than to make a poignant statement. Also, is there a difference between a pastor burning a Koran and what this magazine did? The pastor was accused of spewing hatred, but this magazine has been framed in heroic terms...

  31. Steve Sibson 2015.01.07

    "These superstitions that turn people against other people are a major weakness of our human race."

    Like whites oppress colors and males oppress females?

  32. Porter Lansing IV 2015.01.07

    @Mr.Fleming....I'm Porter Lansing IV. May I help you, sir?

  33. Daniel Buresh 2015.01.07

    Blame the group for the actions of a few?.....quite an interesting topic which is more than likely going to make hypocrites out of everyone. From the day we start grade school, we are punished as a class, to entering basic training for those military folks, you are punished as a group. When a kid opens fire on a classroom, those mainly on the left demand we restrict all gun owners for the actions of a few. When a doctor performs late term abortions, those mainly on the right demand we close all clinics because of the abuses of a few. Catholic Priests? Islam militants? Pedophile white foster parents? Liberal leeches? Soul-less Republicans? You can go on and on with these scenarios and I bet everyone finds themselves on both sides and we all seem to justify it with our own beliefs, may they be correct or not. It happens in every thread on this blog, gross characterizations and broad classifications of groups of people.

    What does this all have in common? In every case, those wrongfully punished make it their mission to put more pressure on those causing the issues either through reform, or all out expulsion. Is it right?....I guess that depends on who you ask and which agenda they are trying to push. To continue to justify a religion that has failed to evolve with todays basic standards of human decency is going to be a tough hill to climb after this incident and the ones that will most undoubtedly follow. Tolerating does not equate accepting. We should not be forced to accept every ideology we come across, but we should tolerate it for as long as it doesn't deride the rights of others. To have hate for Islam does not make you an islamophobe or a racist anymore than it does for having hate for fascist killing regimes or even nazi-like ideologies. I don't have to like Islam, but I will tolerate it as long as they don't give me a reason to otherwise. IMO, it's time the muslim community steps up to the plate and cleans up their own. When 1,000 muslims in Britain were polled in 2006, 78% felt that the latest Danish Cartoons at the time warranted punishing the people who published them through the court system. To me, along with many other agreements that they seem to have with the extreme militants, that says they may say they hate these sorts of incidents, but they really don't care about stopping them, nor will they go out of their way to stick up for the rights that we believe every human being should have. I have a certain level of disdain for all religions, but I feel Islam in its current form has no place in our modern world. It's barbaric. It's inhumane. It's destructful for women's rights and lgbt causes. It's time something changes. Whether you agree with my assessment or not, the fact remains that we can make these statements without fear of being murdered....and that's what truly was attacked today. Christopher Hitchen's videos will be making their rounds before too long and Europe just got a little bit more on edge as far as the treatment of muslims go. As other journalists have stated, attack on satire only makes it more relevant and it will be met with even more satire. I say everyone should post an image of a coward with a gun upset over a guy with a paintbrush or a pencil. They can't kill us all.

  34. Bill Fleming 2015.01.07

    Yes, Mr. Lansing IV, can you confirm that you are the same Mr. Landsing who posted the note to "@MsVolesky" without using the suffix "IV" and if the "IV" is therefore optional, or conversely, that you prefer it always be used.

    And next, are you the author of the "Dakota Farmboy Cookbook" as seen on Amazon. com?

    And finally, do you know of any type of ego that is not (by definition) self-assumed, and whether there is anything inherently remiss or untoward about one's having assumed one?

  35. Bill Fleming 2015.01.07

    Oh oh, I think I may have misspelled Mr. Landsing's name wrong up there. Sorry.

  36. Bill Fleming 2015.01.07


  37. PlanningStudent 2015.01.07

    The difference between Christianity and Islam is in the text and writings... The number one commandment in Christianity is LOVE THY NEIGHBOR... Jesus summed up all of the Old Testament and all of his own teaching with that one commandment. You CANNOT kill in the name of Christianity with out bastardizing its teachings. Now with Islam based on the text and teachings of the prophet you CANNOT be a good Muslim without killing or converting a non-believer if you come upon one. When you kill in the name of Islam in many cases you are fulfilling the teachings and text. That is NEVER the case in Christianity. When leaders of the Christian faith convinced people to kill each other in the name of Jesus they were wrong and misrepresenting the text. When ISIS or Al Qaida convince people to kill each other they really are fulfilling many different texts and teachings. Read for yourself. Go get Karan, its in there for everyone to see.

  38. larry kurtz 2015.01.07

    christians slaughtered 52 million in the new world alone.

  39. larry kurtz 2015.01.07

    Until the perpetrators in Paris are captured, suspect Mossad/IDF.

  40. bearcreekbat 2015.01.07

    Planning Student, if you want to rely on what the NT literally asserts that Jesus said about killing, you might review Revelation 2-23. Many theologians do not believe that this is to be taken literally, yet the words are there for appropriation by anyone wanting to kill.

  41. Barry Smith 2015.01.07

    For the most part I agree with Daniel Buresh's assesment above, and he writes it so much better than I ever could. I would add this though. It is not incumbent on us to tolerate or respect any religion, it is however incumbent on us to tolerate and respect everyone's right to believe any nonsense that they want, without interference. It is also incumbent on us to not tolerate any of those beliefs being used against the basic human rights of any individual.

  42. caheidelberger Post author | 2015.01.07

    Jenny, yes, Christians have done nasty things. How's the record for Christian folks lately? How many journalists are Christians shooting in the name of God? How many police? Show me some, and I will hold them just as accountable as I would the shooters in Paris today. Show me an endemic pattern of Christian radicals using Bible verses to justify premeditated murder, and I'll hold all the Christians accountable for not doing enough to tamp down that radical perversion of what ought to be a faith of peace.

  43. caheidelberger Post author | 2015.01.07

    Tara, you're not even on the topic. Pick a different thread.

  44. bearcreekbat 2015.01.07

    Cory, what about modern Christians using the Bible to justify torture as described in the above Salon link? And according to another Salon article from 2009, "The interrogation and detention regime implemented by the U.S. resulted in the deaths of over 100 detainees in U.S. custody — at least."

  45. caheidelberger Post author | 2015.01.07

    Barbara, I stand by the phrase "far too many Muslims." No Muslims should believe that their faith will crumble before a satirical cartoon. The Muslims who do believe that, even if they number only in the hundreds (who chanted Death to France and demanded punishment for the cartoonists in 2012), are too many, and they carry a weak faith not worthy of my respect.

  46. tara volesky 2015.01.07

    Sorry Cory!

  47. Steve Hickey 2015.01.07

    Your sentiments here toward Christians are appreciated Cory. Larry is incorrect about Christians slaughtering in the name of God. Despite very misguided and misconstrued dark periods in Christian history we are far from the worst offenders.

    Glad to see cartoonists everywhere stand up for free speech. Honestly it's been a beef of mine- cartoons putting Christians in a bad light okay, but no cartoons against Islam. Even still on CNN, Christ in piss okay; yet they won't show the Charlie Hebdo cartoon on air.

  48. jerry 2015.01.07

    When we hear this coming from a senator, it should cause us to pause. Are we going to continue to be in a religious war as Graham alludes to? If this is so, then we had better prepare two graves. Remember where we were the last time this group controlled the war drums and how that has worked out for us.

  49. jerry 2015.01.07

    Muslims see their fellow citizens killed each day from drones making life and death decisions on guilt or innocence regarding their lives without malice. I am certainly not condoning the murderous act that took place in Paris, but in the larger context of what is happening now and what has already happened, there does seem to be an eye for an eye mentality here.

  50. caheidelberger Post author | 2015.01.07

    Heidi, I will denigrate the faith of anyone who tolerates these murders. I agree that such maleficent cowards are likely the minority.

    Christian radicals who kill abortion doctors harm their fellow believers as well. Christian killers make their faith look bad and raise questions about what weaknesses that religion may have that allow criminals to construct scriptural justifications for their evil actions.

    But hey, is the killing of abortion doctors an accurate comparison here?

    First, consider the Tiller murder. The doctor's killer, Scott Roeder, was a piece of work. But he appears to have been a sick mix of mental illness, anti-government yahoolery, and some God-says-so nuttiness. His crime was lone-wolf nutbarism (may I say nut-barbarism?), fueled by bad Christianity but not entirely dependent on it. One could reason out a justification for killing doctors to protect defenseless unborn creatures from death without over opening a Bible.

    We don't know the exact nature of the Charlie Hebdo killers' psyche (stay tuned; the French may have arrested two and killed the third). Maybe they are just crazy. Maybe they are just terrorists looking for an excuse, hoping to fuel a greater conflict. Or maybe they are what their words suggest they are: angry Muslims avenging their prophet for the blasphemy of infidels.

    But whatever these guys are, their crime hinges necessarily on reading the Quran. You can't frame "Those guys made cartoons; therefore, let's kill them!" without Islam, or at least without some perverted version of Islam. Thus, I'm not convinced that the Christians-killing-abortion-doctors discussion is an entirely apt analogy to the murders at Charlie Hebdo.

    I hope Ro Wassem, a Muslim writer on Patheos, is right, that the Quran provides no textual justification for the murders we saw in Paris today. Every Muslim needs to step forward and make that argument. Any Muslim who fails to do so, any Muslim who accepts the idea that those who mock or just draw their prophet must be punished, have a weak faith that deserves ridicule.

  51. Douglas Wiken 2015.01.07

    The only way to counter terrorism is to make that terrorism produce exactly what the terrorists don't want. Every publication valuing freedom of speech and press with the resources to do it should be publishing the satirical material.

  52. larry kurtz 2015.01.07

    Steve Hickey's involvement in South Sudan is a lesson in a failed war in the name of god.

  53. caheidelberger Post author | 2015.01.07

    Steve—really? CNN won't show the Muhammad cartoons? Not cool!

    Andres Serrano's art—I could include that in my examples. No one shot Andres Serrano or the NEA officials who funded his marinated crucifix. Ah, but I do see that someone vandalized his photo in Avignon in 2011, and museum workers there did receive some unrealized death threats. Bad, bad Christians...

    ...but hang on: I'm saying, "It's just a picture. Chill out." I'm ridiculing those who would act with violence against the creators of mere pictures, saying they are foolish to think their God would perish before an unflattering earthly representation. But at the same time, I praise Philippe Val, who tells us that humor, ridicule, and free expression are the "arme absolue," the absolute (perfect? ultimate?) weapon against the bastards who perpetrate such evil. Should I really ridicule partisans who would respond with force against my perfect weapon?

  54. larry kurtz 2015.01.07

    What part of John 3:16 etched on bullets, drones and tanks escapes the stricken?

  55. caheidelberger Post author | 2015.01.07

    Jerry, that clip of Senator Lindsey Graham on Hugh Hewitt opens a whole different can of works. It's one thing for us to ridicule the weak faith of those who believe their God will perish before earthly satire (or earthly anything). Senator Graham ignores the fact that, in a way, President Obama is ridiculing the fake religion of ISIS: he's saying, "You guys aren't Muslims! You're just murderers!" But Senator Graham is also concocting lies (Obama doesn't really want to destroy ISIS? Come on!) to accuse the President of weak foreign policy (which of course raises the question of just what Senator Graham would have us do: invade and annex Syria? nuke it?).

    That's all very different from saying that a religion that moves people to shoot cartoonists deserves no respect.

  56. caheidelberger Post author | 2015.01.07

    Well, Dan, Steve, there's that.

  57. bearcreekbat 2015.01.07

    Cory, My reading of the Quran is consistent with Ro Wassem's position. While I assumed there would be many exhortations to kill others because of everything I had read and heard from the media, when all was said and done and I finished the book I found little, if any, textual justification for killing non-believers.

    In contrast, my reading of the entire Bible revealed language that encouraged and justified much more violence against non-believers than did the Quran. I guess we should be thankful that modern Christians have decided to pick and choose what commands to follow rather than obey the entire holy text.

  58. Steve Hickey 2015.01.07


    "my reading of the entire Bible revealed language that encouraged and justified much more violence against non-believers"

    With all the respect in the world, this statement reveals a very superficial understanding of the Bible. There are definitely violent sections, however what you are missing is what was happening in those sections and why. Jesus died so no one else would have to and he taught no violence. The book ends with violence because God steps in during unbridled lawlessness and brutality on earth. The antichrist is called Beast not because he looks like Chewy or some Sasquach but because his nature is cruel to the core. Christians are not called in those sections to kill in return, God steps into history and deals with the beast himself. He ultimately removes everything that hinders love.

    Christianity is about love and life though clearly not all those who call themselves Christians have behaved that way.

  59. Barry Smith 2015.01.07

    You have a superficial understanding of the Bible but I know what it says. Geee I think I have heard that before somewhere :-)

  60. larry kurtz 2015.01.07

    Steve: you're dying. Your public atonement here isn't lost on any of us but defending christianity only lessens your credibility with those of us seeing you as a the only progressive in the legislature. You need us way more than we need you: call, raise or fold.

  61. jerry 2015.01.07

    Of course Cory. Graham is doing the same work as the radicals are doing with these weak minded mentally challenged murderers in France. When you get someone with any kind of power that is able to stir the hatred, you have problems. I would paint Graham with the same brush as those who polluted the minds of the murderers in Paris. Different religious undertows, but cut of the same kind of cloth. Find the puppeteers to eradicate the problems.

  62. Barry Smith 2015.01.07

    bearcreekbat.. It was a long hard struggle to drag Christianity out of the dark ages so that it more closely conforms to modern morality and we should be thankful. It is sad that Islam has decided to stay in the past.

  63. bearcreekbat 2015.01.07

    Steve, thanks for your kind comment. I share the same respect for you and your willingness to discuss the Bible with me.

    I cannot argue with you that by merely reading the text of the Bible (King James translation) that I have at best a superficial understanding of the meaning of the text. Yet, there are so many passages that literally support the rape and murder of innocents. Lets start with the Passover story, celebrated every year by so many religious groups. What could possibly justify the killing of every first born child of the Egyptians? These children did nothing to offend God or the captive Jews, yet they were toast. And what could possibly justify the enslavement and rape of young Midian girls, and the slaughter of the male children and the non-virgin women as described in Numbers 31? And the Revelation cite at 2-28 purports to be Jesus himself saying he intends to slaughter Jezabel's children.

    It seems odd that smarter folks than me can read this text but decide it means something different that the words appears to mean on their face.

  64. caheidelberger Post author | 2015.01.07

    Jerry, should I know this Bill Donohue guy? He says the cartoonists have themselves to blame for provoking violence with their abuse of liberty? Ugh.

  65. caheidelberger Post author | 2015.01.07

    Bearcreekbat, I appreciate your informed comment on the content of the Quran. If the text doesn't urge killing, where do all the misreadings come from?

  66. jerry 2015.01.07

    No, you should not know him or anyone or anything like him. These are the types that drive men to do the unthinkable. This man is a highly placed religious representative that the world is full of. These empty beings have the power to persuade and that is why they are listened to as if they are in the know. They are not, murder is murder.

  67. caheidelberger Post author | 2015.01.07

    Salman Rushdie, who knows a thing or two about cowardly responses to art, doesn't single out Islam for criticism:

    "Religion, a mediaeval form of unreason, when combined with modern weaponry becomes a real threat to our freedoms. This religious totalitarianism has caused a deadly mutation in the heart of Islam and we see the tragic consequences in Paris today. I stand with Charlie Hebdo, as we all must, to defend the art of satire, which has always been a force for liberty and against tyranny, dishonesty and stupidity. ‘Respect for religion’ has become a code phrase meaning ‘fear of religion.’ Religions, like all other ideas, deserve criticism, satire, and, yes, our fearless disrespect" [Salman Rushdie, statement on English Pen, 2015.01.07].

  68. Deb Geelsdottir 2015.01.07

    Hickey said: " . . . this statement reveals a very superficial understanding of the Bible."

    I am sure the same can be said for non-Muslims about the Koran. I'm also sure that there are as many understandings of the Koran as there are of the Bible.

    It's no more acceptable to lump all Muslims together than to lump all Christians in with Timothy McVeigh, Westboro Baptist Church or Christian Identity religion.

  69. bearcreekbat 2015.01.07

    Cory, as Steve H recognizes I am no religious scholar, I just read the text of each holy book. My comments were intended as a comparison of violence between the two books.

    I did find a web site that purports to identify Quran passages that can be interpreted to incite violence. It also mentions passages from the Hadith, which I have not read.

    It is interesting reading how the article interprets various Quran passages to justify violence against infidels or non-believers. Most of the quoted passages seemed to me to be more like a promise of eternal damnation by God (Allah), similar to the Bible, rather than exhortations for living Muslims to kill or harm non-believers. Obviously, some folks read the passages differently.

    I suppose the Bible could be construed in a similar manner since the Bible seems a bit more explicit in accepting atrocities inflicted on others, as indicated in the three passages referenced in my post to Steve H. Don't get me wrong, I am not in any way trying to defend the people who use the Quran to justify evil acts any more than those who use the Bible for the same purpose. Nevertheless, an uneducated reader like myself did not come to the same conclusions about the passages cited in the linked article as did the more educated authors of the article.

    Harming others is a pernicious attribute adopted by some folks who claim to be Muslims or Christians, and in each case it appears that they can find justification for such hatred and harm in their respective holy books.

  70. Steve Hickey 2015.01.07


    "These children did nothing to offend God or the captive Jews, yet they were toast."

    Today we have a very low view of God and a very high view of ourselves. The Bible paints a different picture. God is holy, absolutely righteous. Humanity, including children, are fallen– born with a bent toward sin. In light of this, God was both just and justified to judge severely both Pharaoh and Egypt. And he was just and justified to judge Israel when they rebelled.

    Since we can't be good enough, this is where Jesus comes in– our judgment fell on him and he died so no one else has to. It was the greatest demonstration of love (another massive difference with Islam, where there is no love(filial) of God toward humanity).

    Another consideration is that we view death very differently than God. The Bible teaches people ought to fear the second death and not the first. There is Biblical and empirical evidence that God gives children and believers a grace sufficient to die. Just like he gives sufficient grace to stand under trial and suffering, there is a grace to die.

    At the Oklahoma City bombing many witnesses saw angels in the dust cloud. The belief is that God sent angels to those dying there. Many times I've been with dying people as a pastor and police chaplain and this grace to die (for those at peace with God) is evident– people feel a hand on their shoulder, they hear their name called, their countenance changes as if they saw something wonderful and then they are gone. It's very comforting for family to know God is present in death.

    Certainly I respect all your beliefs. The reason I wrote these things here is to give a Christian view of God killing and kids dying. The only one justified to kill today is God but his disposition is to extend mercy after mercy. We don't want God to tolerate evil forever, if he did that he wouldn't be just. He never asks us to avenge him and commands that we not. Islam is different from Christianity in this regard, and many other regards.

  71. Porter Lansing 2015.01.07

    Mr. Hickey,
    You have an unsettling certainty about a subject (the world's spirituality) that is wide open to varied interpretation. Your particular interpretation lacks any substantiation beyond your continual ranting and bloviating. Is Madville Times your personal pulpit or are you always this self-consumed?

  72. Steve Hickey 2015.01.07

    Porter. It's not very often I motor on here about Bible stuff. The subject the post and subsequent comments were such that I felt like sharing. I do have other pulpits. How did you get self-consumed out of my statements?

  73. caheidelberger Post author | 2015.01.07

    Porter, I don't hear bloviating. I hear Steve offering Biblical perspective, just as I welcome Bearcreekbat's Quranic perspective, and the perspective anyone else with an informed opinion.

  74. bearcreekbat 2015.01.07

    Steve H, I think you may have missed my concern when you responded, "God was both just and justified to judge severely both Pharaoh and Egypt." I was focused on the innocent kids, not the disobedient Pharaoh or Egypt.

    As I read your response you seem to be saying the children of Egyptians deserved to be killed, the male children of the Midians deserved to be slaughtered along with their mothers, the little virgin Midian girls deserved to be slaves and raped, and Jezabel's babies killed by Jesus. You are a kind man who objects to the death penalty so I really cannot understand how or why you would attempt to justify such atrocities based apparently on Adam and Eve's original sin.

    Then you mention the sacrifice of another innocent - Jesus - as if that was some sort of loving act. I suppose you approve of God's directions to Abraham to sacrifice Isaac, and God's treatment of the holy man Job, just to test his faith, and God's decision to kill Lot's wife because she looked the wrong way during the most traumatic episode a human could possibly experience. If such treatment of otherwise innocent men, women and children is what makes a deity "holy, absolutely righteous" then perhaps we need new definitions of those terms.

    Another interesting detail is that under the terms of the Bible God really doesn't kill anyone, rather he takes them from this life and places them in a life of eternal bliss or torment. I suppose since all those kids I described deserved to be taken from this world they also are currently enjoying eternal damnation in Hell since they had the sting of original sin. I don't understand how any one could see that as just eternity for those kids.

  75. Porter Lansing 2015.01.07

    My first impression and informed opinion on sociology is that rant is self-consumed bloviating.

  76. CLCJM 2015.01.07

    Steve, I have to say that I agree with quite a bit of your explanation of the Bible's teachings about killing those who don't share our faith. I'm pretty much a liberal and hadn't heard your own interpretation of the Bible. I didn't expect, necessarily, that I'd have as similar a view as I know I don't always agree with some of your political views.
    I think that religious people who think that they must avenge their spiritual leaders or god(s), make them appear very weak. Such beings, if they have the power and authority that is ascribed to them, shouldo be fully capable of wreaking revenge without the help of us mere mortals. What God did to the Egyptians is an example of that. And they were warned of everything that would befall them.And God didn't punishave them for not believing, but for their refusal to free the Israelites.
    Thanks for your sharing your Christian views on this particular subject. Comments expressed here should help all of us to better understand each other and hopefully, eventually, get to a place where there's a little less hate and a little more love.

  77. Steve Sibson 2015.01.08

    " I was focused on the innocent kids, not the disobedient Pharaoh or Egypt."

    Then oppose abortion BCB. They don't deserve to die due to the disobedient actions of their mother and father.

  78. Steve Sibson 2015.01.08

    "I don't understand how any one could see that as just eternity for those kids."

    That is because you are a nonbeliever who has eyes but cannot see and ears but cannot hear. I just read today that the path to destruction is wide and the path to eternal life is narrow. So BCB, what eternal fate do you predict for those millions of aborted children?

  79. Steve Sibson 2015.01.08

    I believe this supports the premise of Cory's post:

    In other words, the on-line magazine alleges that, like the Quran, there are Biblical verses with open-ended commands to violence that are not bound by historical context within the passage itself.

    Our first clue that this probably isn’t true is the scarcity of Christian terrorist groups. Not too many people are losing their heads to fanatics screaming praises to Jesus (or Moses, Buddha or the many Hindu gods either) as they are to shouts of “Allah Akbar!” That there are so many Islamic terrorist groups composed of fundamentalists (or purists) of the Muslim faith is enough to impress any reasonable person that there is something far more dangerous about Islam.

    My studies have concluded that the Bible and the Quran are exact opposites. While the Bible's Old Testament contains acts of violence taken by man as ordered by God, The New Testament ended such actions. Islamic scholars point out that Muhammad started out with a peaceful loving approach in regard to nonbelievers, but once he obtained power, he went down the path of killing apostates. So that does explain why today there are no Biblically legitimate Christian terror groups and many Islamic terrorist groups that uses Islamic texts to justify their agenda.

  80. larry kurtz 2015.01.08

    Sibby believes catholics are not the christians who wiped out 52 million in the New World.

  81. Douglas Wiken 2015.01.08

    Any argument that relies on religion of any kind for support is a fundamentally flawed argument.

    Religion is evil deception and nonsense.

  82. Barbara 2015.01.08

    I agree that Muslim extremists who commit or Muslim believers who support or tolerate these acts deserve condemnation. I agree that they have a faith that seems pathetically weak. What I seek to clarify is that powerful condemnation for these acts reliably comes from Muslims themselves. The fact that this condemnation is not widely reported, or if reported, not believed (see the comments section to see what I mean: ), adds to the problem I am trying to identify. While not even remotely a Quranic or even a religious expert, I do have enough contact with practicing Muslims to know that this statement is inflammatory and incredibly hurtful: "But whatever these guys are, their crime hinges necessarily on reading the Quran. You can't frame "Those guys made cartoons; therefore, let's kill them!" without Islam, or at least without some perverted version of Islam." These Muslims would respond in the strongest voice possible, that YES, a million times yes, of course you can commit a crime like this without reading the Quran. These terrorists, they would say, are no more Islamists than the Westboro Baptist Church members (all six or so) are Baptists. There is no place for such acts in the Muslim religion. It is not "at least with some perverted version of Islam" it is ONLY with some perverted version of Islam. From the link above: “We hope that Canadians and others around the world understand that these sorts of acts that unfortunately continue to take place are being perpetrated by a small minority of people who are completely deluded about what Islam stands for.
    “These individuals are completely misunderstanding the faith, they are distorting it and anyone who justifies violence in the name of Islam is completely un-Islamic and unfortunately people may continue to link the wider community with these sorts of actions. It is up to us to say, ‘This is not what our faith teaches.’” From lay Muslims: From Muslim scholars: Again, whether any of these condemnations from Muslims or explanations of what the Quran does or does not mandate from Muslim clerics are believed is doubtful. Here is one response to the frustrating position Muslims who live amongst us find themselves: Do some Muslims gather to support terrorist acts with death to the infidels chants? Yes. But especially for those of us from states like SD with vanishingly small Muslim populations, little if any direct contact with Muslim people, and therefore a greater reliance on media to inform us, that fringe population, while worthy of condemnation needs to be clearly isolated from the vast majority of Muslims who do not deserve to be conflated with them, even in passing.

  83. Steve Sibson 2015.01.08

    Douglas, then include the religion of Darwinism, or what we call science today.

  84. jerry 2015.01.08

    What a story Larry. I am not Charlie for many reasons and this is just one more. You and Mr. Wiken are correct, we have a lot of our own problems right here with religious danger and race issues. Perhaps we should clean the dung from our own house before we wage war on others.

  85. Steve Hickey 2015.01.08

    Yep, lots of bad over the centuries in the name of religion, including Christianity. But you'd have to have blinders on to not see that far more good comes from it, of course depending on what it is.

    The values of Christianity have changed the world for the better and would change our nation for the better if they were lived by people of any or no faith at all. There are various social and political philosophies and so I'd vote for trying the social and political philosophies of Jesus, instead of Marx or Mao or Reagan or Obama. This is why I don't fit well in my political parties box or in yours.

    What would the values of forgiveness and restoration change if applied to our criminal justice system? What would the values of generosity and neighborliness change if applied to banking and corporate finance? Jesus taught self-government and also championed a work ethic and frowned on entitlement, independence, self-reliance and a disregard for the well-being of others. What would the values of peace and non-violence do to our industrial military complex? What would the values of concern for the most vulnerable do for the unborn and the environment? What would the values of home and family do to our communities?

    On that note, I go to Greece a couple times a year and have watched them in a full-on economic downspin. Yet they have intact families structures there, so if I lose my job, we live with my parents and even great-grandma is there to watch the little kids. There is food to share. Here in America it's survival of the fittest. What would our schools look like if we didn't teach survival of the fittest as the rule of life and instead championed the values of loving societal lepers.

    I'm not talking about getting people converted to a religion. Gandhi followed carefully the values of the Sermon on the Mount and Jesus and stayed Hindu.

  86. Bill Fleming 2015.01.08

    Pastor Hickey, have you read Kurt Vonnegut's last book 'Man Without a Country'? I bet you would like it. The philosophy he lays out is quite similar to the one you just outlined. Lots of reference to the Sermon on the Mount and the writings of Abraham Lincoln. Man, sometimes those atheists make the best darn Christians... Have you noticed? ;-)

  87. larry kurtz 2015.01.08

    "A most interesting finding from that study indicates that the less contact tribal youth had with the outside world and the more intact their tribal traditions, especially their language, the lower their suicide rate."

  88. jerry 2015.01.08

    Of course, religion has its place. As long as its place is one of just being there if you need it. Religion should not intrude on people's lives to try to control it or the female bodies of those in their care. Religion should speak truth to injustice and stand equally for all. All religions have a disdain for the plight of women.

    You mention Greece. Greece, like France, Italy, Spain and the rest of the EU has a strong social identity. These countries have time off if you have a child or if you need to care for a loved one, in short, they support the plight of women. That shows in the make up of the governments. So being socialist is not anything new as that is how the society itself is. What is interesting about Greece is how if fell so deeply into the hole of austerity. Goldman Sachs ran Greece completely into the ground and then had the audacity to put one of its own in as the leader of the country. On the 25th of this month, I predict that Greece will stay in the Euro but will demand forgiveness of the outrageous loan payment schedule they have been forced to live with. The Greeks will rise from this when they boot the crony capitalists from their shores.

    Also, in your stance against "entitlements" What is your description of those? What entitlements are you speaking of? If you are speaking of food stamps, good news for you, 1 million of our fellow citizens have now been forcibly removed. There was some kind of passage in the Book that speaks of feeding the masses with a couple of loaves of bread and a couple of fish. Where they not entitled to take nourishment?

  89. Steve Sibson 2015.01.08

    "sometimes those atheists make the best darn Christians"

    Bill, thanks for tying oxymoronism to Hickey's false teachings. Was this the line that set it up:

    "Gandhi followed carefully the values of the Sermon on the Mount and Jesus and stayed Hindu."

    So Gandhi was equal to Jesus? Jesus was a great moral teacher, and so was Gandhi? Even atheists can reach the status of godhead? All you have to do is deny God first.

  90. Steve Sibson 2015.01.08

    Hickey said:

    "I go to Greece a couple times a year and have watched them in a full-on economic downspin."

    Jerry said:

    "Greece, like France, Italy, Spain and the rest of the EU has a strong social identity. These countries have time off if you have a child or if you need to care for a loved one, in short, they support the plight of women."

    One plus one equals two.

  91. Steve Sibson 2015.01.08

    So Fleming, how do you Ghandi loving socialists who believe Ghandi followed the teachings from the Sermon on the Mount, deal with this passage from Matthew 6:

    31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

  92. larry kurtz 2015.01.08

    Jesus of Nazareth was a socialist. Jesus Christ is a fascist.

  93. jerry 2015.01.08

    One plus one equals many.

  94. Bill Fleming 2015.01.08

    Sibby, your passage from Matthew sounds to me like a pretty good argument that, contrary to our friend Pastor Hickey's claim, Jesus was pro-entitlement, doesn't it?

  95. Steve Sibson 2015.01.08

    No Bill.

  96. larry kurtz 2015.01.08

    Do you really expect to reason with Sibson, Fleming? Or are you offering stale intellectual bubblegum as an olive branch?

  97. Steve Hickey 2015.01.08

    Sibson is toxic with mean accusatory spirit. Reasoning with him is an exercise in futility. Nothing about him reminds me of Jesus except his beard. He hurts the cause. I forgive him.

  98. Bill Fleming 2015.01.08

    Olive flavored bubblegum. Good idea, Larry. Wish I'd thought of it. ;-)
    Mostly, I just thought it was interesting that Sibby brought up the very Bible passage I was remembering (the "Lillies of the Field" idea) when I read (and am still trying to parse) Hickey's litany of things he believes Jesus liked and didn't like.

  99. leslie 2015.01.08

    kurtz' comment about 52 million people killed in the new world, hickey's that you'd have to have blinders on not to recognize the good religion has produced, and MFI's cite concerning the catholic church's suit against SNAP and the economics of settling with victims one at a time (and of course in SD legislating against Indian victims) leads me to say: stunning, putrid. :(

  100. leslie 2015.01.08

    is sibson a radical christianity-ist? is that why he completely dominates this blog as his avenue to spread his "gospel"?

  101. Bill Fleming 2015.01.08

    Leslie, I can never figure out what Sibby thinks. Every time I start to think I get it, he changes his mind. Seems like he comes here because he believes he has something to say, but after all these years, he's never quite figured out how to say it. So he keeps trying, and trying and trying. It's his mission in life. To figure out what he thinks.

    But as for his Matthew question, here's what I think the passage really says, in modern musical terms. And I bet Pastor Hickey probably will agree with me.

    Sibby, of course, will not.

  102. larry kurtz 2015.01.08

    Sally Kohn ‏@sallykohn Dec 21
    Muslim shooter = entire religion guilty

    Black shooter = entire race guilty

    White shooter = mentally troubled lone wolf

  103. Jenny 2015.01.08

    My take on Sibby's diagnosis is that he is a biblical narcissist and suffers from the late effects of Catholicism. Possbily some sort of trauma in regards to religion happened to him and Sibby is trying to make peace and come to terms with it.

  104. Steve Sibson 2015.01.08

    Oh yes, the familiar attack by the deceived every time the truth becomes to clear to them.

    Mr. Hickey, exactly how popular was Jesus back in the day? Did he ever use an accusatory approach when confronting the hypocrites?

  105. Steve Sibson 2015.01.08

    "sometimes those atheists make the best darn Christians"

    That has to be the top hypocritical quote of the day. Of course you have to understand that it is coming from a master of deception.

  106. larry kurtz 2015.01.08

    Ooooo. Now you're a master baiter, Bill!

  107. Bill Fleming 2015.01.08

    Nothing hypocritical about it, Sibby. Ironic maybe, but no hypocrisy in it. When an "atheist" loves his neighbor as much as he loves himself, and follows the golden rule, he's following Christ's 2nd commandment to the letter, as far as other human beings are concerned. The rest has to do with with his/her relationship with the absolute, which of course is intensely personal, and basically none of anyone else's business.

  108. Bill Fleming 2015.01.08

    Takes one to know one, Kurtz. Just don't jerk and drive, buddy. ;-)

  109. Steve Hickey 2015.01.08

    Jesus was winsome. The crowds came for miles to hear him and touch him and be touched by him. When the going got tough Jesus found himself alone. But then his following grew and grew and grew. It was noticed by those who interacted with Jesus' disciples... people could tell they had been with Jesus. Sibby, I can't tell that you've been with Jesus. There is no fragrance of Christ. Only burning sulphur.

    Sibby, you are the religious hypocrite and pharisee of the first order. You are dogmatic, legalistic, you strain gnats and swallow camels, you put barriers between God and the very people he's trying to reach, etc.. Basically as you've heard me say before, you are the self-appointed arbiter of all that is true and you run alone, unaccountable to anyone in the Body of Christ. That's a dangerous place to be. You make noise, throw stones and lack love. You measure others by a far stricter standard than you measure yourself. And, if we are to judge people by their fruit, I can think of no one in the eight years I've known you who you've won over to your version of things. Is the world a better place because of you? You need Jesus, brother.

  110. jerry 2015.01.08

    Burning sulphur, yikes.

  111. Steve Sibson 2015.01.08

    "When an "atheist" loves his neighbor as much as he loves himself, and follows the golden rule, he's following Christ's 2nd commandment to the letter"

    But the atheist completely violates the First commandment by denying God. Nothing ironic about that.

  112. JeniW 2015.01.08

    Steve H., Steve S. continues to be PO'd at Cory, seems to be unwilling to forgive Cory, so he is doing what he can to sabotage Cory's efforts and blog spot.

  113. larry kurtz 2015.01.08

    yet the second and tenth amendments are more important to you than the first, sib?

  114. Steve Sibson 2015.01.08

    "Jesus was winsome." So much so that they nailed him to a cross.

    "Sibby, you are the religious hypocrite and pharisee of the first order."

    Your reversal of position on the death penalty and claiming it came from the Bible makes you Representative Hickey, a legalistic hypocrite and a false teacher. See Matthew 15 for Jesus' support of the death penalty:

    Then some Pharisees and teachers of the law came to Jesus from Jerusalem and asked, 2 “Why do your disciples break the tradition of the elders? They don’t wash their hands before they eat!”

    3 Jesus replied, “And why do you break the command of God for the sake of your tradition? 4 For God said, ‘Honor your father and your mother’ and ‘Anyone who curses his father or mother must be put to death.’ 5 But you say that if a man says to his father and mother, ‘Whatever help you might otherwise have received from me is a gift devoted to God,’ 6 he is not to ‘honor his father’ with it. Thus you nullify the word of God for the sake of your tradition. 7 You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you:

    8 ‘These people honor me with their lips,
    but their hearts are far from me.
    9 They worship me in vain;
    their teachings are but rules taught by men’.”

  115. Steve Hickey 2015.01.08

    And the other irony Sibby, are people who profess to keep the first commandment who flunk Relationships 101 as related to the second commandment. When you don't love people and treat them well Sibby, the Bible says... how can the love of God be in him? You throw derogatory designations at all of us. It's revealing.

  116. larry kurtz 2015.01.08

    the death penalty carried out without a criminal trial is murder: one can imagine courts in Jesus' time killing innocents was commonplace.

  117. bearcreekbat 2015.01.08

    Bill, it may be true that "When an "atheist" loves his neighbor as much as he loves himself, and follows the golden rule, he's following Christ's 2nd commandment to the letter, as far as other human beings are concerned."

    What I find intriguing is the motivation for such behavior. It would seem that the Christian who is motivated by the fear of the wrath of God on judgment day is the rational actor. Since, the atheist doesn't fear God's wrath and doesn't even believe in a judgment day, his or her motivation for loving his neighbor comes from a different source, often an internalized set of moral values - perhaps even some "categorical imperative" ala Kant unique to humanity.

  118. Bill Fleming 2015.01.08

    Like I said, Sibby, that's really none of your business nor mine.

    I have no way of knowing what a given person means when they say "God" and neither do you. Nor do we need to.

    But let's say, for example, that "God" means everything there ever is, was, or will be, and almighty, omnipresent, omniscient, eternal, and beyond all understanding. How would it even be possible to deny such a thing?

    Simply coming from a space of loving everyone you know and everyone you don't pretty much covers it, as far as I can see.

    And if that doesn't work for you, maybe it's because your God concept is too limited. That of course would be your problem, and yours alone, so you'll just have to deal with it.

    Let's just say that you wouldn't be the first person to try to sell God short.

  119. bearcreekbat 2015.01.08

    As for Sibby's assertion that atheists violate the 1st commandment, this shows that Sibby has apparently not even read (or perhaps has forgotten) the actual text of the 1st commandment: "You shall have no other gods before Me."

    Obviously since atheists do not believe in any god, an atheist would be in full compliance with the directive to "have no other gods." It is interesting that none of the 10 commandments textually directs any of us to believe in either God or Jesus.

  120. Bill Fleming 2015.01.08

    Bearcreekbat, I hear you. Superficially, if one's motivation to love comes out of fear, you have to wonder how genuine the love is, don't you?

    But conversely, what if love was instead an ancient (and unconscious) key to survival as a species? (i.e. what if our very existence depended on it?)

    And what if our task as individuals is to bring that love from the unconscious into consciousness? (Okay, that's Jungian, I know, but what the heck. That's as close as I can get it to science and evolution theory without sounding like I'm trying to preaching the Gospel to an "atheist" ;-)

  121. Bill Fleming 2015.01.08

    Thank you, Mr. Kurtz. Good link.

  122. mike from iowa 2015.01.08

    You have to reproduce to survive. Reproduction does not include love or marriage but lots of ugly,dirty,disgusting belly bumping,knee knocking acrobatic SEX.

  123. Steve Sibson 2015.01.08

    BCB, you are confused between the Old Testament commandments and the New Testament version that Fleming was referring to. The Old Testament 2nd commandment is not about loving others.

    Why didn't you straighten him out Fleming, instead of piling on. Like I have been saying, you are a master at deception.

  124. Steve Sibson 2015.01.08

    "When you don't love people and treat them well Sibby"

    So helping the deceived understand the truth is not loving them Mr. Hickey? Sorry that that process includes exposing your false teachings, but it is a Biblical duty.

  125. larry kurtz 2015.01.08

    "As a teenager Rudolph was taken by his mother to a Church of Israel in 1984; it is connected to the Christian Identity movement, that believes whites are God's chosen people. He has confirmed religious motivation, but denied racial motivation for his crimes."

  126. Bill Fleming 2015.01.08

    The two commandments Jesus referenced as being the "greatest" came from the Old Testament, Sibby.

    What's to explain?

    "Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD: And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might." —Deuteronomy 6:4-5

    "Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the LORD. "
    —Leviticus 19:18

  127. Steve Sibson 2015.01.08

    'Obviously since atheists do not believe in any god, an atheist would be in full compliance with the directive to "have no other gods."'

    Not when atheists believe their superior wisdom and reasoning capabilities make them as gods.

  128. Bill Fleming 2015.01.08

    I have never heard BCB come anywhere near presenting himself as a god by virtue of his reasoning, wisdom or anything else, Sibby.

  129. Steve Sibson 2015.01.08

    Fleming, he just question God's justice on this thread.

  130. leslie 2015.01.08

    interesting-bible citations on military assault rifle scopes purchased under public contract violate contract specs. wonder if non-public contract scopes have such metal etchings?

  131. Douglas Wiken 2015.01.08

    Remember Proverbs, "A proverb on the lips of a fool hangs limp like the legs of a fool."

    Despite my comments about religion the non-religious parts of the 10 Commandments seem to make a lot of sense and are probably the basis for most legal codes.

  132. Porter Lansing 2015.01.08

    Wie deaktiviere ich meine Teilnahme an diesem Thread. Es ist eine Verschwendung von meinem Posteingang Bandbreite.

  133. Bill Fleming 2015.01.08

    "Fleming, he just question God's justice on this thread."

    That's not a problem for me. Sibby. I'm wondering why it is for you? How is it any of your concern? BCB has a mind. Are you saying your God doesn't want him to use it? Or are you saying that you, Steve Sibson doesn't want him to?

    Sounds to me like you are the one trying to play God here, not BCB.

  134. Bill Fleming 2015.01.08

    Einfach aufhören zu lesen und hier zu schreiben, und Ihr Problem wird gelöst, Porter.

  135. Steve Sibson 2015.01.08

    Like I have been saying, Fleming is master at deception. Sad you admit judging God is OK as part of your tactics.

  136. larry kurtz 2015.01.08

    God @TheTweetOfGod 15 hours ago
    Today, in the spirit of #JeSuisCharlie, insult the hell out of Me.

  137. larry kurtz 2015.01.08

    God @TheTweetOfGod 2 hours ago
    Elvis Presley would have turned 80 years old today if he were alive, which he is.

  138. mike from iowa 2015.01.08

    This Trihicon non-sense first came to light when dumbass dubya was Potus.

  139. Steve Sibson 2015.01.08

    Porter, how do you not know that it could be close to the end of the game? Disobeying parents are one of the signs.

  140. larry kurtz 2015.01.08

    "Israeli forces injured a total of 1,190 Palestinian children in the West Bank during 2014, according to a UN agency report. The figure, contained within a weekly briefing covering the period 23-29 December, accounts for 20 percent of all Palestinian injuries. UN OCHA noted that 280 of the injuries were recorded in July in the Jerusalem governorate, in the context of confrontations with Israeli occupation forces after the murder of Mohammad Abu Khdeir, and in light of Israel’s attack on the Gaza Strip. More than in 1 in 5 of the child injuries were caused by Israeli forces’ use of live ammunition, with the rest from rubber-coated metal bullets, tear gas inhalation, and assault."

  141. bearcreekbat 2015.01.08

    Bill, I was listening to an interesting lecture today by Yale professor Dr. Tamer Gendler. She suggested there was a recent study that tended to confirm one of Plato's student's argument that human act in a moral fashion because other humans can see them. One test placed a jar seeking donations underneath a flower display, which received very few donations. The follow up was to replace the flowers with a photo of two open eyes and the donations increased by 90%. She asserted that humans may well have an internalized psychological compulsion to behave in a moral manner when they think someone is watching. That would certainly explain moral actions by folks who believe God is watching, and it might help explain moral actions by atheists on the theory that other humans are watching behavior.

  142. Bill Fleming 2015.01.08

    Makes total sense, BCB. Have we ever talked about Julian Jaynes's book on bicameralism? He makes a pretty strong case that the another "person" who is watching us is the other half of our own brain, as does Sam Harris in his new book, "Waking Up."

  143. caheidelberger Post author | 2015.01.08

    Porter, I can hit a button for that....

  144. Barry Smith 2015.01.08

    See Porter Cory is the god here :-)

  145. leslie 2015.01.08

    porter, feed a troll here and you get 180 comments. "sad that you didn't understand" that on the 1st post, "but thanks for making the my point" that sibson's buttons get pushed here. (sigh...)

  146. Roger Cornelius 2015.01.08

    (Mitchell, SD) Steve Sibson announced today that he will start a new blog, the tentative name chosen is Sibby Online.

  147. larry kurtz 2015.01.08

    Roger, my gut told me Sibby Online is being sued for defamation and has been served a cease and desist order: curious whether Mr. Sibson would care to comment on my gut batting about .750.

  148. caheidelberger Post author | 2015.01.08

    I leave the burden to prove that Christianity does more good than harm on Pastor Hickey and his fellow believers. I leave the burden to prove the same of Islam on its imams and believers.

    Barbara, I understand the distinction between a violent few and a faithful and peaceful multitude, but I stand by the distinction I make in the dependence of the crime on some form of the faith. The murders yesterday appear to have been committed in the name of the Muslim God. How many crimes are in the news that are committed today in the name of the Christian God, to punish blasphemers against the Christian God?

  149. caheidelberger Post author | 2015.01.08

    Pastor Hickey, for the record, were I teaching evolution in my classroom or even discussing it, I would make clear that "survival of the fittest" is a descriptive scientific statement relative to conditions, not a normative statement applicable to moral or political action.

  150. caheidelberger Post author | 2015.01.08

    Larry's mention of Sally Kohn's tweet on the allegedly differing media reactions to Muslims, blacks, and whites committing gun crimes does give me pause. I would contend that all these Americans shooting each other at such high rates compared to most other civilized nations suggests something fundamentally flawed about the American civil religion and a failure of the vast majority of peaceful Americans to denounce and root out that gun violence.

    Anyone care to entertain that analogy?

  151. Bill Fleming 2015.01.08

    Cory, such a discussion (your first paragraph) will ultimately boil down your having to decide whether large scale civilization has been a good thing or a bad thing for mankind, because, like it or not, it has been organized around and driven by religion since its inception. That's just the way it is.

    A better argument perhaps would be whether or not (or to what extent) it has outlived its usefulness and/or whether it has been replaced by a new mythology based on quantum theory, relativity, the big bang, natural selection and neuroscience.

    In the latter case, we will still find ourselves searching for meaning, coming up with the best answers we can muster, and alas, still making a million mistakes and coming up short of the whole answer. :-)

    As to your last question, there are people being killed en masse every day because they are members of the "wrong" race or religion, unfortunately. Xenophobia and genocide are by no means an exclusive trait of wayward zealots of the Muslim faith, sad to say.

  152. Deb Geelsdottir 2015.01.08

    Wenn Sibson übernimmt einen Kommentar Abschnitt, Mager ich es, oder ganz zu ignorieren.

  153. Porter Lansing 2015.01.08

    Thanks, Cory. Surprised no one commented on my offensive Christian black preacher post since this thread BEGAN as a commentary over offensive comedy and the deaths it wrought and then it became a "Here's what I can google about Christ, competition.....must be a cold, stay at home day up there. Or, arguing about personal faith is a Dakota hobby?

  154. grudznick 2015.01.08

    Ms. Geelsdottir, I don't speak French or do French Math so could you provide a commentary for those of us nonFrenchies?

    Does that say "Mr. Sibson you are insaner than most?"

  155. bearcreekbat 2015.01.08

    If these various religions are, in fact, an underlying reason that perpetrators believe and hence use to justify killings and other arbitrary atrocities, discriminatory laws, and even the attempts to remove women's rights to safe health care (regardless of the danger to the pregnant woman) when making the extremely personal and difficult decision to terminate pregnancies, perhaps those folks that leave atheism and become instead anti-theists are morally justified.

    "Anti-theism requires a couple of specific and additional beliefs: first, that theism is harmful to the believer, harmful to society, harmful to politics, harmful, to culture, etc.; second, that theism can and should be countered in order to reduce the harm it causes. If a person believes these things, then they will likely be an anti-theist who works against theism by arguing that it be abandoned, promoting alternatives, or perhaps even supporting measures to suppress it."

    If I understand your spouse's chosen field Cory, anti-theism would be a tough road for you to travel. For me, I think I was an anti-theist for a time who eventually concluded that atheism was a better position precisely because of the fact that, as Steve Hickey pointed out, there is some good that came come to individuals and society through religious beliefs. As Steve said, religion has been the source of both evil and good, and if such beliefs can encourage better treatment of our fellow humans in many cases, who am I to criticize or complain.

  156. Deb Geelsdottir 2015.01.08

    "Mr. Sibson Sie insaner sind als die meisten."

    There you go, my friend Grudz.

    (I do not speak German, but I have a good Translate app. Sneaky.)

  157. grudznick 2015.01.08

    I like it, Ms. Geelsdottir. Now I can say, in the king's French "Young Dr. Bos insaner sind als die meisten". You have taught me much this fine day.

  158. Deb Geelsdottir 2015.01.08

    It's the least I could do, Mr. Grudz. Besides, in the near blizzard conditions here in St. Paul, there's not a lot going on.

  159. jerry 2015.01.08

    Benghazi, remember the right wing bullshit about this place? Remember what they said that the attack on this place could never have been done because of a silly video that portrayed the Prophet in a bad way? Seems like these kinds of things get those fellers all worked up, so why is this one different?

  160. Deb Geelsdottir 2015.01.08

    Annie Dillard is a skilled writer who's been very successful. I believe her description of Sunday worship is very apt.

    "It is madness to wear ladies' straw hats and velvet hats to church; we should all be wearing crash helmets.
    Ushers should issue life preservers and signal flares;
    they should lash us to our pews."

    I believe church should comfort the afflicted, and Afflict the Comfortable.

    Churches need to do a lot more afflicting of the comfortable.

  161. caheidelberger Post author | 2015.01.09

    Afflict the comfortable—Deb, if I had to go to church, that's one of the maxims I would follow.

  162. caheidelberger Post author | 2015.01.09

    Jerry, while the comment gets me thinking, I want to assure readers that my critique is not based on race. I'd give Mormons as hard a time if their radicals were going around shooting people in the name of their God. Their church doctrine does appear to ahve a problem challenging sexual violence.

  163. caheidelberger Post author | 2015.01.09

    A guy who's been chased by fatwa is o.k. in my book to have a beef with theism.

  164. caheidelberger Post author | 2015.01.09

    BCB, you are right: anti-theism would not fly well at my dinner table or in our financial planning. But everyone at my table is anti-dystheism—i.e., against theism gone bad, against sloppy theology, against the perversion of Scripture to serve evil. I am willing and able to coexist with a wide variety of worldviews that are able to function without violating the principles of the Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. But if your religion tells you to shoot people who mock you or deny women equality, and I will go from a- to anti- fast.

  165. Steve Sibson 2015.01.09

    "But everyone at my table is anti-dystheism—i.e., against theism gone bad, against sloppy theology, against the perversion of Scripture to serve evil."

    Sad that perversion of Scripture to serve evil is what you are promoting Cory (generally know as postmodernism, spiritually as New Age, and historically as ancient Mystery religions and in regard to so-called Christians of today like Hickey...Neo-Gnosticism), so in the words of Jesus...hypocrites.

  166. larry kurtz 2015.01.09


  167. Bill Fleming 2015.01.09

    I think Cory is talking about Al Quaeda and ISIS style perversions of the Muslim faith who specifically use words like "jihad" along with their horrendous acts in order to incite the kind of reaction against the whole Muslim faith that we see in some of the far right blog posts.

    Reactionary bigots like Sibby fall right into their trap, and so promote hate and division among us instead of peace and brotherhood.

    Just as the KKK and Sibby don't represent all Christians, these terrorists shouldn't be confused with being representative of the entire Muslim faith.

    The vast majority of the victims of these radical groups are Muslims.

  168. Bill Fleming 2015.01.09

    The key to identifying these kinds of fanatics is their nihilistic rhetoric. All they want to do is tear the fabric of society apart.

  169. Steve Sibson 2015.01.09

    "The key to identifying these kinds of fanatics is their nihilistic rhetoric. All they want to do is tear the fabric of society apart."

    Just like the cultural Neo-Marxists who promote white male Christian conservative so-called capitalists as the oppressors of the under privileged.

    That would include you Fleming...hypocrites.

  170. JeniW 2015.01.09

    Matthew Chapter 10 verse 14.

  171. Steve Sibson 2015.01.09

    "Reactionary bigots like Sibby fall right into their trap, and so promote hate and division among us instead of peace and brotherhood."

    Fleming made a false accusation in order to create and/or foster hatred toward me (hypocrisy). This is the truth, presented by Dr. Mark Gabriel, he cannot accept:

    Ten years have gone by since I accepted the Lord Jesus as my Savior. He called me and gave me a personal relationship with Him—something that Islam never offered.

    I have never stopped crying for my Muslim people, whom I left behind, asking the Lord to deliver them from the darkness of Islam. As you read the pages of this book, you will come to understand how great this darkness is. It is the teachings of Islam that have produced terrorists who seem capable of any kind of evil in the name of Allah. Now the whole world wants to understand what Islam teaches. A great amount of misinformation has been shared in the media and on the Internet. My goal is to help you see plainly why these people do what they do. I don’t want to motivate you to anger, however. I want to motivate you to believe—to believe for the fall of Islam and the release of its captives, in Jesus’ name.

  172. Steve Sibson 2015.01.09

    JeniW, don't forget verse 15.

  173. Bill Fleming 2015.01.09

    Muslims are not the enemy.

  174. JeniW 2015.01.09

    Thanks for the laugh of the day Steve S.

    I know that you are still PO'd at Cory, and seem to be unwilling to forgive him for believing what he believes.

    You will never change Cory's beliefs, only he can do that in his own time.

  175. Steve Sibson 2015.01.09

    "You will never change Cory's beliefs"

    JeniW, that is Biblically correct. But I am sorry you think that this is funny.

  176. larry kurtz 2015.01.09

    Another miserable day in Mitchell: eh, Sibby? You poor sap.

  177. Steve Hickey 2015.01.09

    So today Sibby calls me a neo-gnostic. Oh, the stupidity of that comment. Surprised he can even spell it. Truly a sad and miserable human being.

  178. leslie 2015.01.09

    sibson, from the foxhole slurred the science of evolution as religion, i think.

    fascinating though is that slow evolving of the brain and mating produced the chemistry of dopamine, oxycontin ect mentioned in kurtz' medical journal cite. many contemporary examples in the media of evolved systems gone awry like sugar/heroin/cocaine, our addiction to alcohol, behavior, adrenalin, ect as technology speeds up human life, i guess it may not be surprising that jihadists are motivated with rage like a spurned lover, leading to world wide terrorism ensconced in religious text, and blaming the west.

    deGrasse Tyson calls it a mental frailty of psychological "argument from ignorance". bill o'reilly's defense of baby jesus and christmas. in corporate america we just have call-centers brimming with swinging lust from boredom.

    the wonderful world of chemistry (i dropped out in h.s.) that impels behavior. as has been said: not my circus, not my monkey. yet. we are all no smarter than our hormones so give teenagers a break from misbehavior!

  179. JeniW 2015.01.09

    No, Steve, it is not the Bible that I think is funny, it is how you use the Bible to support your perspective and you do not adhere to the the teaching of Matthew 10:14.

    You can be angry at Cory for as long as you want to, and continue to sabotage his blog site, but you will have all that anger to harbor and Cory will not change his perspective.

  180. Steve Sibson 2015.01.09

    JeniW, it is not funny to make false accusations, such as I am here because I hate Cory. What I don't like is deceptions, false accusations, and people following the way of this dysfunctional world.

    Why would Matthew 10:14, in proper context, apply here?

  181. Bill Fleming 2015.01.09

    Nihilist to the core.

  182. Bill Fleming 2015.01.09

    Meanwhile the nihilist terrorists in France at both locations have made arrangements to have themselves exterminated. It's over, it seems. At least for now.

  183. JeniW 2015.01.09

    Steve, you seem to be angry at Cory based on your comments that you direct toward him. I did not write that you "hate" him, You just seem to be angry at him, and unwilling to forgive him.

    I referred to Matthew 10:14 because it mentions that if people will not listen and change by what is told to them, it is time to "shake the dust off your feet" and move on. Cory is not going to change his perspective by what you tell him.

    You could probably use your time more productively by having your own blog that would be of interest to like minded individuals, and/or those who are searching for different perspectives.

    But, it is your choice to be angry at whomever you want to for as long as you want to, but IMO, you should stop name-calling (for example what you called Steve H.)

    Why not keep it simple and say, "I disagree (or agree) with..., because...., without the personal attacks.

  184. Steve Sibson 2015.01.09

    "Surprised he can even spell it. Truly a sad and miserable human being."

    So Mr. Hickey, is that an example of being winsome? Or should we correctly label it hypocrisy?

    Using extra-biblical secret knowledge directly from God to support your reversal on the death penalty, and then tell the media that your reversal comes from reading the Bible deserves to be challenged.

    And JeniW, Matthew 10's context is Jesus advising his apostles. I am not saying I am an apostle. Modern day apostles are things that Hickey believes in. So take the issue up with him. And speaking of the New Apostolic Reformation and its Neo-Gnostic tendencies, see this:

  185. Steve Sibson 2015.01.09

    "Why not keep it simple and say, "I disagree (or agree) with..., because...., without the personal attacks."

    Because I am not personally attacking Cory or anybody else on this blog. I am attacking deceptions.

  186. larry kurtz 2015.01.09

    Revision: South Dakota christianist marginalized, falling through cracks like Oklahoma City bomber.

  187. JeniW 2015.01.09

    Because I am not personally attacking Cory or anybody else on this blog. I am attacking deceptions."

    So you are attacking what you perceive as others' deceptions. That means others can attack what they perceive your deceptions are, and call you names.

    Fair enough. No one will win, but oh, well.

  188. Steve Sibson 2015.01.09

    JeniW, I did not tie Neo-Gnosticism to Hickey because I wanted to attack him. I wanted others to understand the deception, including himself. Here is more on Gnosticism and its influence on the New Apostolic Reformation. This excerpts explains Hickey's responses and personal attacks:

    "Their followers never question their teachings and are warned not to do so."

    This explains the gnostic component:

    The New Apostolic Movement is based on the revival of gnosticism. Gnosticism is based on the idea of secret knowledge. NAR is gnostic because it also believes in secret revelation by angels and through visions. It might sound good until you understand that their revelations are anti-scripture.

  189. Steve Hickey 2015.01.09

    "extra-biblical secret knowledge directly from God"

    Stifle Sibson. Nothing could be further from the truth on my death penalty conversion. And, you are a total ignoramus on this New Apostolic Reformation and your assumptions of my involvement in it past or present. You bear false witness repeatedly. Quit Googling crap and go to a real school if these subjects interest you. Or better yet, come sit down with someone like me and ask me what I really believe. The invitation is open.

  190. mike from iowa 2015.01.09

    Rev Hickey,did you know before the election that a new pipeline would not free up rail cars for farmers? Rounds was aware of it. How many others in your party knew the truth but didn't say anything?

  191. Steve Hickey 2015.01.09

    No, Mike. I'm in no circles where this is discussed.

  192. larry kurtz 2015.01.09

    Hickey, truce: unblock me.

  193. Steve Sibson 2015.01.09

    Hickey is tied to the hip with IHOP and Mike Bickle. More research:

    I watched a special on GODTV last New Years Eve’s featuring Mike Bickle at IHOP. He was teaching young people at a huge conference. It hit me while watching that he was just all talk and had absolutely no substance. Over and over again he was telling these young people to Live For the Lord and to be Holy, Holy, Holy. But he did not give any scripture. Without scripture and the Holy Spirit, these young boys and girls were doomed to fail. When people fail in love, have no control over sin in their life, and have not the joy in times of trouble…..they become discouraged and may turn away from the Lord. It is only through the power of the Holy Spirit that we can be holy. We have no righteousness of our own.

    These are the ones who may need to reach out into an unknown mystical world for a spiritual “fix”. Gnosticism provides this spiritual fix.

  194. mike from iowa 2015.01.09

    They teach the bible at International House of Pancakes? No wonder pancakes have holes in them.

  195. Steve Sibson 2015.01.09

    Funny Mike :) The IHOP I am talking about is the International House of Prayer in Kansas City. That is where Hickey came from.

  196. larry kurtz 2015.01.09

    "Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon said on Thursday that there is no reason for a criminal investigation into the Gaza war’s “Black Friday” incident, in which the IDF reportedly killed 130 to 150 Palestinians and wounded hundreds more, mostly civilians, following the August 1 kidnapping of Lt. Hadar Goldin, who was later found to have been killed."

  197. Steve Sibson 2015.01.09

    Steve Hickey jumps me for using Internet research. But I found this admission by Hickey on his website confirming his gnostic tendencies by admitting his vision that involved Jesus Christ:

    I’ll put myself here in a vulnerable position and share a mystic experience that happened to me. One Sunday morning in between services I was particularly discouraged, wanted to quit, was tired of unfair criticism from people with a far greater “log in their own eye,” and one uninvolved brother made his way up to me to tell me all the ways I was missing God. I wanted to go home and not come back. Those who’ve planted a church know it takes everything out of you and people still want more. Five minutes later I was in the front row entertaining the thought that maybe the brother was right. Worship was starting and I closed my eyes and tried to get in a better state of mind and turn it all over to God. With my eyes closed, up and to the left of me I saw one who I believe to be Jesus sitting on a throne. He looked at me and gave me one nod. This was not a “hey, good to see you” nod. It was the nod of approval and I know that because of the deep, profound and instant effect it had on me.

  198. larry kurtz 2015.01.09

    God ‏@TheTweetOfGod 1 minute ago
    The eternal reward for dying for your religion is being dead.

  199. Jenny 2015.01.09

    Sibby, you are obviously a very unhappy person. I don't know what has happened in your life to make you so bitter, and I actually kind of feel sorry for you. What would bring you peace? We are people who have opinions and beliefs and we're not going to change them for you. We're not bad people, Sib. Please just let us enjoy Cory's blog, and agree to disagree.

  200. Jenny 2015.01.09

    So what if Hickey claims he saw Jesus. Does that make him a bad person to you? So what, Sibby. Does it matter? Frankly I'm getting sick of you bashing a man that is in poor health and in need of a lung transplant. That's pretty low, Sibson.

  201. mike from iowa 2015.01.09

    Israel also wants to try Palestinians for war crimes in US courts. I'd be careful who I accused of war crimes if I was Israel.

  202. mike from iowa 2015.01.09

    Sibby has a pony tail? A conservative? Yikes!

  203. Steve Sibson 2015.01.09

    OK, now let us get back on topic, and that is the promotion of violence. Hickey defended Todd Bentley, who claimed God told him to get an 80 year lady in the face in order to heal her. Excerpt from Hickey's web site:

    I appreciated Peter Kirk’s post yesterday on this topic of violence and the Kingdom of God so you’ll want to check that out.

    This is from Peter Kirk's post:

    It seems that C.S. Lewis’ conception of God allowed him to do apparently violent things to demonstrate that he is real. And from Matthew 11:12, at least as interpreted by Roger (and I know that there are other interpretations), it seems that Jesus also endorsed the use of violence in advancing the kingdom of God.

    Now the world in the 21st century insists on wrapping everyone in cotton wool and treating violence against anyone (unless there is some rumour totally without evidence that they might somehow be linked indirectly with someone who has contemplated something which just might be considered terrorism) as the ultimate moral evil. And it seems that the critics of Todd Bentley have bought into the world’s thinking on this. But these are not the values of the Kingdom of God.

    Amazing the kind of stuff one finds on the Internet. And Hickey tells me not to believe it. Now will he has to tell us not to believe what he promotes on the Internet?

  204. larry kurtz 2015.01.09

    Steve on Steve violence: priceless.

  205. Jenny 2015.01.09

    I think Sibbinator is just jealous b/c he always wanted to be a pastor.

  206. larry kurtz 2015.01.09

    Exactly, Jenny: coveting is only one hypocrisy Sibson sleeps with.

  207. Steve Sibson 2015.01.09

    Good-bye Jenny:

    If the reader comes across the phrase “Haters are gonna hate,” probably the best advice is: FLEE! “Haters” is usually shorthand for “Those nasty people who can’t appreciate what I’m saying.” or “How dare you disagree with me!” or (if one is or pretending to be a Christian) “I’m sincere! Don’t use your Bible against me!“

  208. Steve Hickey 2015.01.09

    Larry - you are back in the circle of trust and unblocked. My simple rule for friends is they be friendly. Sibby remains outside that circle until he can behave and quit shoving sticks in everyone's face. What. A. Jerk.

    Sibby loves boxes. He has God in boxes. He has all of us in boxes with labels - neo-this, false-that. I don't like boxes or live in them. They are safe for him. he is a small person who lives in a small world. The breadth of the Body of Christ globally would cause him to wet his pants if he had any idea of the diverse people out there who follow Jesus.

  209. larry kurtz 2015.01.09

    Don't let the door hit you in head on your way out, Sib.

  210. larry kurtz 2015.01.09

    Thank you, Rep. Hickey: going to DWC to read your tweets just isn't fun anymore.

  211. Roger Cornelius 2015.01.09

    Sibson covets Cory.

    If you have read one comment from Sibson you have read them all.

    Larry any more information on that defamation lawsuit against Sibby Online?

  212. Roger Cornelius 2015.01.09

    At 14:37 Sibson says "OK, let's get back on topic,". by all means Sibson let's get back on topic. The topic here is the violence against Charlie and two additional terrorist attacks today in Paris by the same murderers of the Charlie staff.
    Fortunately all but one of the terrorists have been killed.
    Among those killed today was a female policewoman and a Muslim policeman. A female terrorist is on the run and being hunted.

  213. Steve Sibson 2015.01.09

    "quit shoving sticks in everyone's face"

    But it is OK for Todd Bentley to kick an 80 year old lady in the face with bikers Jesus said to the hypocrites

    Mr. Hickey, want to discuss the conference in Huron called Gathering the Generals last summer? Are you going to explain when the NAR jihad will begin?

  214. Jenny 2015.01.09

    Sibby, is it true that Sibby Online is being sued?

  215. Steve Sibson 2015.01.09

    No Jenny, but there is a plan to send Joel's Army to silence my exposure of Hickey's true agenda (note C Peter Wagner are friend from Fuller Theological Seminary):

    In fact, as it turns out, Rick Warren was personally mentored by none other than C. Peter Wagner himself--Wagner being, in essence, "Mr. Joel's Army" (as both the person who coined the phrase and has led the rebranding of NAR groups since to things like "Elijah's Army" and so forth once the "Joel's Army" brand got to be too well known in apologetics circles).

    Not only was Warren mentored by him, but apparently still praises the dickens out of Wagner and looks up to him as a role model in his book "The Purpose Driven Church":

    4. Dr. C.Peter Wagner. This man has also been cited as a successful leader by Rick Warren. You have noticed his name above. Who is Wagner and what does he believe? He is the professor of Fuller Theological Seminary, School of World Mission, Pasadena California. He believes in Dominion Theology, Kingdom Now, which is the premise that the Kingdom of God is already here! Wagner’s spiritual warfare book, “Territorial Spirits,” is a compilation of the writing of such people as Paul (David) Yonggi Cho, Larry Lea, Jack Hayford and others who accept the neo-dominionist doctrines.
    . . .
    On p. 127: he mentions favourably C.Peter Wagner, an apostate teacher...

    In case you were curious, yes, this would be the same C. Peter Wagner who has literally accused non-NAR churches of being demon possessed for wishing to maintain their orthodoxy.

    The Gathering of Generals, Joel's Army, and defending the violence of Todd Bentley, and we don't have to worry about violence coming out of the apostate so-called Christians?

  216. Steve Sibson 2015.01.09

    correction to last comment:

    (note C Peter Wagner and Hickey are friends from Fuller Theological Seminary):

  217. Steve Sibson 2015.01.09

    Hickey said:

    "The breadth of the Body of Christ globally would cause him to wet his pants if he had any idea of the diverse people out there who follow Jesus."

    From the previously used link:

    As it turns out, the initial article hints at Warren actually using a variant of what is known now as the "Seven Mountains" Strategy--a literal NAR playbook on how to essentially set up a Joel's Army "fifth column" to take over the very foundations of modern society:

    A key aspect of dominionist thought is a conviction that the Scripture gives the church a mandate to take dominion over this world socially and culturally before the return of Jesus Christ. Mr. Warren's global plan is a strategy to realize a dominionist vision of churches, states, and corporations forming partnerships to bring about a new world order to make way for Christ's return by establishing a literal, physical kingdom of God on earth. In order to build this earthly kingdom, Mr. Warren plans marketplace ministries - business ventures with a veneer of missionary compassion that slip into a country in order to transform it systematically through the governmental, corporate, and social sectors. And that is why Mr. Warren calls himself a "stealth evangelist" - because he wishes to cloak his dominionist agenda, which is the establishment of an earthly kingdom that reflects his skewed vision of Christianity.

    According to Mr. Warren, the establishment of this earthly kingdom requires "foot soldiers." As part of his plan, Mr. Warren said he would encourage laypeople to "adopt" needy villages overseas in order to plant churches, expand business opportunities, educate children, influence governments, and overthrow corrupt political leaders, whom he described as "little Saddams." Mr. Warren said his purpose is to enlist "one billion foot soldiers for the Kingdom of God" in the developing world. And the stadium crowd roared its approval.

    It literally did not hit me until sections of the "Seven Mountains" Strategy publicised in the "Transformations" videos were analysed: the "P.E.A.C.E. Plan"

  218. Jenny 2015.01.09

    You have serious issues, Sibby. I don't know why I even bother with you. You are totally obsessed with Hickey b/c he's a pastor, and I personally think you suffer from Asperger's Syndrome, biblical narcissism and the late effects of Catholicism. Hopefully Cory will get here soon so he can end this freakshow.

  219. larry kurtz 2015.01.09

    Howzzat being on topic workin' for ya, Sib?

  220. Steve Hickey 2015.01.09

    Hey Sib, I was just in KC for an IHOP conference. Sam Brownback was there too. But wait, he's Catholic. It must be the new world order that Christians are dropping old divisions and praying together.

    When the EMPs go off and you lose Google, how will you know what to think about who is good and bad?

  221. Roger Cornelius 2015.01.09

    It is gratifying to see that Sibson is staying on the Charlie topic. Talk about being focused?

  222. Deb Geelsdottir 2015.01.09

    Hickey, I stopped reading Sibson's comments quite some time ago. I can deduce that he has been attacking you by reading other's comments.

    Sibson seems especially incensed by any variation of well-educated religious professionals. I urge you to ignore him. He carries no weight here, and his bizarre thinking patterns effectively deflect rational arguments.

  223. Steve Sibson 2015.01.09

    Mr. Hickey thanks for the feedback.

    Deb, no thanks for your lack of Biblical analysis on this debate. But it was expected.

    Larry, being on topic means true Biblical Christians catch hell form all sides.

  224. Steve Sibson 2015.01.09

    "When the EMPs go off and you lose Google, how will you know what to think about who is good and bad?"

    You haven't seen my library Steve. But I only need one book...the Bible. Thanks for asking. I hope I have given you things to think about Steve. The rest is up to the Holy Spirit.

  225. Steve Sibson 2015.01.09

    "You have serious issues, Sibby."

    Thanks for the compliment Jenny. Most have issues that don't matter.

  226. Roger Cornelius 2015.01.09

    Is Sibson staying on the Charlie topic like he suggested?

  227. Steve Sibson 2015.01.09

    Roger, are Biblical Christians who do not go along with ecumenical apostate Christianity (being winsome) going to suffer the same fate as those in Paris who died at the hands of the Islamic terrorists? The Biblical description is the Great Tribulation.

  228. Roger Cornelius 2015.01.09

    There is no great religion, they are all dangerous.

    What is happening in Paris tonight is the personification of evil by evil terrorist. As the events in Paris play out, it becomes less and less about religion and more about those with delusional thinking, delusional thinking also applies to Sibson.

  229. JeniW 2015.01.09

    Why does God have the need of all the drama of Revelation?

    God could just simply wipe out all living things, and the entire universe in less than a second.

  230. grudznick 2015.01.09

    Why did God need a starship in that trek move back in the 70s? My other friend Bob could tell you.

  231. grudznick 2015.01.09

    The French are ones to talk, eh?

  232. JeniW 2015.01.09

    Grudzie, God had nothing to do with the Star Trek movie.

    God would not gain a profit from such venture, so would not waste time being involved.

  233. caheidelberger Post author | 2015.01.10

    I find the discussion of Sibby and by Sibby tiresome and uninstructive.

  234. Steve Sibson 2015.01.10

    Bill, why does the Jains' symbol include the swastika?

  235. larry kurtz 2015.01.10

    Same reason American Indian tribes do, Sib.

  236. caheidelberger Post author | 2015.01.10

    Bill says Muslims are not the enemy. I agree. I encounter many Muslims in my current wanderings who do not actively threaten my life, my family, or my liberty. One Muslim over the past few months has handed me a Quran in an attempt to convert me. Another declined to handle my salami in the checkout line. No harm there.

    But Bill, I'm going to wander back to some thin ice. Jihadism is a prominent and destructive worldview. It is recruiting young men to commit violent, terrorist acts in the name of Islam. There may be practical actions we can take—and here, we is Christians, Jews, secularists, anyone the jihadist can label infidel—to stanch jihadism, like increasing foreign aid to mitigate poverty and other social conditions that foster the desperation on which radicalism feeds, avoiding military adventurism in Muslim countries. But killing the idea of jihadism must be done by Muslims themselves. Parents, siblings, lovers, imams, community leaders must tell their young men and women, "No killing. No violence. Murder is an insult to Allah."

    In that regard, don't Muslims own jihad? Don't they bear the responsibility to absolutely reject jihad and stop their young people from falling into that deathly trap?

  237. caheidelberger Post author | 2015.01.10

    P&R Miscellany calls the Paris rampage "an act of muslim terrorism, supported and endorsed by large numbers of muslims around the world. Until that changes, we are at war." I haven't seen the numbers he alleges. And we can't be at war, because ultimately, we can't fight the war. Muslims must fight the war against jihadism for us.

  238. caheidelberger Post author | 2015.01.10

    Grudz, "God" needed a starship in Star Trek 5, The Final Frontier, which was released in 1989. However, you offer a splendidly Kurtzian riposte that ought to be delivered to every jihadist: "What does Allah need with a Kalashnikov?"

    Like the being at the center of the galaxy, the God of the Paris terrorists now rotting in a morgue is a weak, ridiculous, and false God.

  239. Steve Sibson 2015.01.10

    "And as far as I know, no followers of Jesus are calling themselves the Christian State, waging terrorism, forcing conversions, and killing thousands of people to forge a Caliphate."

    Cory, have you read the Oath of the Society of Jesus, or what we call the Jesuits (Note the current Pope is a Jesuit)? Excerpts:

    "I, ..........., now, in the presence of Almighty God, the Blessed Virgin Mary, the blessed Michael the Archangel, the blessed St. John the Baptist, the holy Apostles St. Peter and St. Paul and all the saints and sacred hosts of heaven, and to you, my ghostly father, the Superior General of the Society of Jesus, founded by St. Ignatius Loyola in the Pontificate of Paul the Third, and continued to the present, do by the womb of the virgin, the matrix of God, and the rod of Jesus Christ, declare and swear, that his holiness the Pope is Christ's Vice-regent and is the true and only head of the Catholic or Universal Church throughout the earth; and that by virtue of the keys of binding and loosing, given to his Holiness by my Savior, Jesus Christ, he hath power to depose heretical kings, princes, states, commonwealths and governments, all being illegal without his sacred confirmation and that they may safely be destroyed."

    "I furthermore promise and declare that I will, when opportunity present, make and wage relentless war, secretly or openly, against all heretics, Protestants and Liberals, as I am directed to do, to extirpate and exterminate them from the face of the whole earth; and that I will spare neither age, sex or condition; and that I will hang, waste, boil, flay, strangle and bury alive these infamous heretics, rip up the stomachs and wombs of their women and crush their infants' heads against the walls, in order to annihilate forever their execrable race. That when the same cannot be done openly, I will secretly use the poisoned cup, the strangulating cord, the steel of the poniard or the leaden bullet, regardless of the honor, rank, dignity, or authority of the person or persons, whatever may be their condition in life, either public or private, as I at any time may be directed so to do by any agent of the Pope or Superior of the Brotherhood of the Holy Faith, of the Society of Jesus."

  240. grudznick 2015.01.10

    Jesus, Sibby.

  241. Bill Fleming 2015.01.10

    Cory, i don't think you wander so much onto thin ice as you do wonder your way into a paradox. On the Muslim side, you (and perhaps many of us as well) have taken the word 'jihad' to mean something very specific, when in fact, I doubt any of us have any real sense of what the word means to a Muslim. Indeed, you will here plenty of Muslims claim that what the extremists of their faith are doing isn't jihad at all. So I hesitate to make a call there, other than to say that i agree with you that it has to be up to those to whom the word has cultural relevance to sort it out. it's certainly not a word i would insist on using, especially if most Muslims don't. it gets into the kind of fights Christians have over which ones are the true christians, or that Republicans have about RINOs. We don't need the word to condemn the behavior, do we?

    On the other hand, there is apparently an ethic that goes 'we are such a tolerant society that we can no longer tolerate the Muslim intolerance.' Which seems to me to be either just another mask for bigotry, or, as i suggest above, a true moral paradox. Which is it?

  242. larry kurtz 2015.01.10

    Paraphrasing John Mitchell: "don't listen to what we say but rather watch what we do."

  243. larry kurtz 2015.01.10

    Maybe he meant Dan Rather, rather....

  244. bearcreekbat 2015.01.10

    And then there is the Islamic group calling themselves Boko Haram. The Saturday RC Journal reports that they have just perpetrated the "deadliest massacre in the history of Boko Haram" of literally hundreds of women, children and old people (who couldn't outrun the killers) in Yola, Nigeria. I was a bit surprised that this gruesome event received virtually no coverage while the terrible killings in France has been 24/7 news of virtually every new channel.

  245. Bill Fleming 2015.01.10

    'Kill one man, and you are a murderer. Kill millions of men, and you are a conqueror. Kill them all, and you are a god.'

    - Jean Rostand, Thoughts of a Biologist

  246. Steve Sibson 2015.01.10

    " I was a bit surprised that this gruesome event received virtually no coverage while the terrible killings in France has been 24/7 news of virtually every new channel."

    BCB, the media works for the Ruling Elites. To these people, population control in Africa is OK.

    Bill, you are still pushing the mantra of the ruling elites. You must not have taken the time to read from one who knows more about Jihad than you:

  247. Bill Fleming 2015.01.10

    I have quite a few Muslim friends, Sibby. How many do you have?

  248. grudznick 2015.01.10

    Bill, you're not still counting me among your Muslim friends, are you, or do I need to explain that I'm not a Muslim again?

  249. Bill Fleming 2015.01.10

    Grudz, explain it to me again. Last I knew, you were a whirling-dervish Sufi who read Rumi and Gibran. A tidy little prophet. When did you give that up? Was it the pork chops or what? I forget. Did you lose your way? :-)

  250. Roger Cornelius 2015.01.10

    I recall studying Jainism years ago and admire their restraint and passion for non-violence. The problem is that most religions, both ancient and contemporary are closely linked to cultish behavior which I do find dangerous.
    Besides that, when you start making exceptions the list becomes endless.

  251. Bill Fleming 2015.01.10

    Interesting, Roger. So are you saying that all religions and religious thought should be banned because they are all dangerous and bad for society?

  252. Roger Cornelius 2015.01.10

    Absolutely not Bill, the only banning of anything that I would endorse is banning Sibson from Madville.
    What I am saying is that organized religion has become more dangerous now then ever before because of the weaponry involved. As people become more ingrained in their religion, as Sibson demonstrates, their psychosis takes over all reason and good becomes bad and bad becomes good. It is no longer a fight of ideals and decency, but violence.
    The cartoon Charlie was attacked for is nearly 5 years old, that shows these killers held a grudge for 5 years, who holds a grudge for that long? Those with a mental disorder, right?
    As I mentioned earlier on this thread, Charlie was on a hit list for a long time and yet the editors and publishers did little or nothing to protect themselves and staff members.
    Christians kill Christians with regularity, Muslims kill Muslim at alarming rates, including a young Muslim police officer at the Kosher grocery store yesterday.

  253. jerry 2015.01.10

    bull puckey Mr. Hickey.

  254. Roger Cornelius 2015.01.10

    Lassanna Birthily ushered six customers of the Kosher Grocery in Paris to the basement freezer at the store when the gunfire broke out, he is being hailed as a true hero by the media, those who lives he saved, and by the French police.
    And by the way, he is Muslim.

  255. bearcreekbat 2015.01.10

    Fascinating link Rev. Hickey - Thanks. Here is the other side of the coin identifying murders and slaughters by Christians against non-Christians, including this assertion -

    "Surpisingly few know that Nazi extermination camps in World War II were by no means the only ones in Europe at the time. In the years 1942-1943 also in Croatia existed numerous extermination camps, run by Catholic Ustasha under their dictator Ante Paveli, a practising Catholic and regular visitor to the then pope. There were even concentration camps exclusively for children!"

    Although I did not add up the numbers, it looks to me like Christians probably win the contest by killing even more non-Christians than Muslims killed non-Muslims.

    Meanwhile it looks as if most of the killings of non-Jewish people by Jewish folks took place in the Old Testament. I couldn't find much after that, but the numbers from the OT are up there.

    And Buddists killing of non-Buddists is also documented, but the numbers I could find are relatively small compared to the other religions.

    And here is an article that describes mass killings allegedly by Hindus:

    And then there are those dang Jainists, they won't even kill a bug, let alone kill a non-Jainist human being.

    Overall I think Christians get the prize for slaughtering the most, and widest variety, of peoples, while Islam seems only a close second place.

  256. caheidelberger Post author | 2015.01.10

    Bill, thank you for mentioning the paradox of tolerance. I ran hard into that paradox in my SDSU "Human Relations" class, a new part of the teacher training curriculum back in 1992. The class was about multiculturalism, and I was in my Rush Limbaugh phase. I waged rhetorical war on my two profs, Kathryn Penrod and Lowell Amiotte, and our atrocious textbook (name escapes me, but it sits on a shelf back at the lake, tattooed with protest and mocking marginalia). I pointed out to them the inherent paradox, the unworkable contradiction of making tolerance a primary value. Penrod and Amiotte told me that wasn't what they were advocating, although the plain text in our book and the content of every lesson said that's exactly what we were doing. I remember asking how we love-every-culture teachers would respond to the fundamentalist Muslim father (or any father from any culture) who would tell us not to teach his daughter that she could seek higher education and a professional career outside the home. Penrod and Amiotte never laid out consistent philosophical basis on which we could properly, morally address other cultures who get certain principles wrong.

    I have long since abandoned Rush Limbaugh. My SDSU experience did ingrain in me, however, a fierce aversion to value relativism. Tolerance is at best a conditional value. I can tolerate all sorts of things, as long as they don't conflict with my primary values.

    But, secular atheist nihilism be darned, I cling to the moral axiom that certain values must be absolute and universal. I view jihadism (a word I adopt to describe these killers who like to shout jihad to justify their destructive behavior, even if they themselves are misusing the word according to the Muslims they betray) as bad. I view the culture that produces it with concern. And out on what Penrod and Amiotte might call thin ice, I dare to suggest that members of the culture that jihadism targets can properly make a claim on members of culture from which jihadism arises to put a stop to jihadism.

    Tolerance would prevent me from crossing that cultural border. I decline to don those moral handcuffs.

  257. Steve Hickey 2015.01.10

    Oh please bear creek, nazi Germany's wasn't a Christian genicide against infidels, though the German Church tolerated it until it was too late to openly resist it. (And though there was Catholic cuddling with Hitler. No one in the camps shouted praise Jesus was they were herding people to the gas chambers. The numbers aren't even close. Islam celebrates death, Christianity is about life. Muslims kill to please God, Christians die so others can live.

  258. Bill Fleming 2015.01.10

    Why not call it what it is, Cory? Terrorism, bigotry, and murder? Why use a word that 1) you most likely don't understand and 2) tends to sanctify an abhorrent behavior. In other words, you, as an athiest don't believe in jihad anyway, so why use what is (to you at least) an essentially meaningless term? Especially when you have perfectly good alternative words to describe precisely the behavior you don't intend to ever tolerate.

  259. jerry 2015.01.10

    Yes Roger, this man is a Muslim from Mali, very interesting African country that was once a French colony. The history of the place is fascinating to go along with Timbuktu as well.

  260. bearcreekbat 2015.01.10

    Rev, Hickey, please don't misunderstand my post. I am not advocating or supporting any murders regardless of the thinking (or non-thinking) behind the act. I was simply trying to provide a relative factual context in response to your post about Muslims who kill.

    As for what the folks that sent others to gas chambers said, or who they praised, I think your assumptions are just that - something to minimize Christian guilt. We do know that these camps were based on religion - a hatred of Judaism, and we also know that the major religion in Germany during these horrid times was not Islam - and I think you probably know what the major German religion was during these times.

    The bottom line is that killing for any religious belief seems wrong, wouldn't you at least agree with that idea?

  261. Deb Geelsdottir 2015.01.10

    C'mon Hickey. You said, "Christians die so others can live." While that's true of a large majority of present day Christians, you know there are glaring exceptions around the world.

    Your blanket statement about Muslims and Christians is not an absolute truth for either religion. I will give you that, at this point in history, the violence of the Muslim extremists is dominant and terrible. But your generic condemnation is inaccurate and exacerbates the problem.

    Extremist Islamists and extremist Christianists are indistinguishable in the results they produce. The only variable is numbers.

  262. Kurt Evans 2015.01.10

    Steve Sibson wrote:
    >"Cory, have you read the Oath of the Society of Jesus, or what we call the Jesuits (Note the current Pope is a Jesuit)? Excerpts: ..."

    The supposed Jesuit oath Steve Sibson cited above (2015.01.10 at 10:43) is a modified version of a Robert Ware _forgery_ from the late 1600s, and the website from which Sibson quoted it is giving "Bible believers" a bad name. I'm not aware of any reliable historical evidence that any Catholic, Jesuit or otherwise, has ever taken that oath.

  263. JeniW 2015.01.10

    Steve Hickey, do you know of someone in Sioux Falls who practice Islam and is eager to kill others, and just waiting for the best opportunity to do so?

  264. jerry 2015.01.10

    From seeing all the misinformation that Sibson posts, you can tell he is gullible. I'll bet his house is full of gadgets that he has purchased on the tee vee infomercials.

  265. David Newquist 2015.01.10

    Religion has become irrelevant in defining morality. It is appropriated and pronounced as justifications of ill-will and to provide rationale for thoe atrocities we wish to inflict on others. Some practice the Christiainity of the Inquisition; some of the Sermon on the Mount. God is created from the images of our intentions. The voices of the Muslims who detest and denounce are not strong enough to penetrate the cacophony of rage. They cannot pierce the raging debate over the right-to-kill, whether the police are merely doing their jobs in killing unarmed people, or we have the right to execute in standing our ground, or to assassinate the character of those who annoy us. The new media has not provided a process for defining an elevated humanity; it has merely given amplification to the sound and the fury of which Shakespeare wrote back when we thought we were moving into an age of enlightenment.

  266. Deb Geelsdottir 2015.01.10

    I think Prof. Newquist has written an accurate description of religion, and Christianity and Islam especially, in the 21st century. It's unfortunate, and saddens me, but I believe it's true.

  267. David Newquist 2015.01.10

    Should read: detest and denounce the jihadist call to kill

  268. Roger Cornelius 2015.01.10

    It is sad that this thread has become a pissing contest for who is responsible for the most murders committed in the name of a God. I'll await the awarding of 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place trophies.
    We should all agree that Christians, religious groups of all kinds and Muslims have murdered innocents in the name of their god or faith.
    Christians and Muslims alike also know, just as most of us do, that murder is wrong regardless of who commits it.
    While doing some research today on early Civil Rights activists and seeing how that history played out, I recognized a similarity with Muslims.
    For years most of the early Civil Rights leaders were Christian leaders and pastors, most of the organizations founded by the Civil Rights were faith based and relied heavily on a belief in non-violence.
    In the late 60's that movement changed to one of violence by the Black Panthers and similar groups. Fortunately the Civil Rights Act was made into law and it mitigated the violent movement somewhat.
    The non-violent Civil Rights advocates openly denounced the violence of the Black Panthers and there was a split in the movement, it still exists today but with little impact to the cause.
    Thus it is with the Muslims, they were a peaceful and non-violent religion from the beginning, look at what some elements have become today. They no longer represent Allah and his beliefs, they represent violence and murder.
    It is not justice to condemn all Muslims for the acts of murder by some, nor is justice to condemn Christians for all they have murdered for centuries.
    If there is to be a conclusion to the current madness the first is step is to stop demeaning all Muslims for the hateful actions of a few.

  269. Deb Geelsdottir 2015.01.10

    Excellent summarization Roger. Thanks.

  270. Roger Cornelius 2015.01.11

    In listening to the coverage of the events in Paris, the American media professional terrorist experts continually refer to the Muslim terrorists.
    In contrast, the French officials and media hardly if ever say Muslim, they call these terrorist what they are, terrorists.

  271. caheidelberger Post author | 2015.01.11

    Interesting difference, Roger, in that press coverage. Perhaps I have something to learn from my French counterparts.

    Maybe I'm about to wander off on a tangent here (not that anyone in this thread will mind! :-D ), but when Roger said that organized religion is more dangerous than ever due to the weaponry the fringe can access, I thought, "Why can't the forces of good in Islam (or Christianity, or any world religion) use modern technology to organize spectacular, world-captivating displays of love and nonviolence that drown out the evil and madness so easily facilitated by the Internet and big guns? Is good that much harder to do and to make exemplary than evil?"

    1.6 million people marching in the streets of Paris in solidarity behind the leaders of 40 countries, walking with their arms linked in the open air... that's kind of spectacular. So is this:

    "Several hundred Spanish Muslims carried banners saying "Not in our name" at Madrid's Atocha square, next to the train station where bombs on rush-hour trains killed 191 people in March 2004, Europe's deadliest Islamist terror attack" ["Charlie Hebdo Solidarity Marches Sweep World," Deutsche Welle, 2015.01.11].

  272. caheidelberger Post author | 2015.01.11

    Bill, do I not get to use the word that the terrorists use? I mean, we can argue about whether Nazis were really Nationalist Socialists, but their term stuck.

    Any religion should be appalled to see its principles and its name used to justify terrorism, bigotry, and murder. I will agree that the majority of Muslims are appalled by jihadism committed in the name of a god whom the majority insists counsels peace.

    But they at least have a marketing problem, if not a full-blown theological problem. The "Allah" brand is being used to recruit lots of young men and women to leave their families and go fight holy war in the Middle East. Moms and imams need to lay down some law and not let their boys hang around with terrorists, pick up guns, and start shooting innocent people.

    Where is the Christian jihad? Are most Christians just too comfy in their Joel Osteen McMansions to go waging war?

  273. jerry 2015.01.11

    Of course, there is another side to all of this that we really do not want to look at and that is history. The western world's historical colonialism has taken a long time to come home to roost, but it would seem we are here now. I would agree that it has to do with greed rather than religion so then it also has to do with wage disparity and the diminishing of the middle class.

  274. Bill Fleming 2015.01.11

    The word 'crusade' has been culturally appropriated, as you suggest, Cory and no longer carries the religious overtone for most of us westerners. But to illustrate my point, your saying you want us to go on a crusade against jihad would have the opposite cultural effect than what you intend, I fear, because both of those words have different connotations for Muslims than they do for us.

    All I'm saying is if we want to fight a war and want to use words and pictures instead of bullets, we should think carefully about which words and pictures are going to help - and which ones might actually hurt - our cause.

  275. larry kurtz 2015.01.11

    This seems like a good time to remind South Dakota that Leonard Peltier is serving a prison sentence for defending his country against ethnic cleansing.

  276. Bill Fleming 2015.01.11

    Jerry, yes, that's the real 'elephant in the room' and it invites a term that almost nobody wants to see any more: 'class struggle.' As is often the case, social problems are labeled as 'religious' or 'racial' when in fact, it is the poor and weak, struggling to improve their life circumstances, and in the process, butting up against the rich and powerful.

  277. Bill Fleming 2015.01.11

    Where it gets really weird is when you have a congress that is 80% white, 80% male and 92% Christian using rhetoric to the effect that somehow they are the ones being 'oppressed.'

  278. Bill Fleming 2015.01.11

    ...and persecuted...

  279. jerry 2015.01.11

    Agreed Bill Fleming, and it would appear after all the posts that most still think of this as an attack of religions. Until we understand the forces that are dividing us, so we can deal with them, we will continue to be lead astray by those that have the most to gain. The reality of the killings in Paris started a few years ago with the unrest in the slums of Paris so this attack has been in the pressure cooker for some time. In short, if people perceive their lives and situations as hopeless, then you get anarchy. The bigger the discrepancy in wealth and power, the more anger.

    Ah unbalanced capitalism, where there are few winners and hundreds of millions losers.

  280. Deb Geelsdottir 2015.01.11

    I want to interject for background, that Christianity has a similar perception problem. The minority of Christians are opposed to equal rights for all Americans. That's regardless of age, skin color, income, religion, gender, sexual identity, occupation, creed, marital status, etc.

    Yet, the perception is that generic Christians are angry, mean-spirited, judgmental, cruel, ignorant, power craving, and petty. And a few of them are murderous. They kill people outside of their own group.

  281. Roger Cornelius 2015.01.11

    In between the NFL playoffs today, the Pack beat the Cowboys Yeah, I watched some of the coverage of the solidarity rallies in Paris, Trafalgar Square and elsewhere around the world.
    The French handling of the Charlie attack is impressive and well done. With 5 to 6 million French Muslims living in the country, they were not condemned and in fact stood with the French people in support.
    Other non-violent Muslim communities around the world also showed their support and brotherhood with their own rallies.
    Perhaps the tide is turning.

  282. CLCJM 2015.01.11

    I started reading some of these comments yesterday but finally got through them just now. So much here I don't even know where to start trying to make any comments. I think I've heard many views here but I think in the end perhaps the common thread we should all take out of this may be pretty well summarized by jerry's post at 19:45: "...if people perceive their lives and situations as hopeless, then you get anarchy. The bigger the discrepancy, the more the anger." I saw a lot of that this fall leading up to the election. People are so convinced that they are powerless and as jerry said the result is anarchy or desperation and irrational violence and attacks on anyone or anything that seems to represent the problem or blocks any resolution to it.
    There seems to be many different groups who are fighting against many injustices but I think until we realize it's really all one problem and unify to take power back, it will only get worse. What the Republicans are already doing in the first days of this Congress is only a warm up. I hope it will scare people to action and certainly to realize not voting has consequences. I know this is a bit off the thread but it's relevant because we're really talking about class warfare as much as religious wars. Thanks so much for everyone's comments. I'm learning a lot from all of you even though I don't always agree with everything that's said. Of course, that's, I hope, at least part of the purpose, civil discourse to learn, share and find common ground to solve problems.

  283. caheidelberger Post author | 2015.01.14

    Mustafa Akyol writes in the New York Times that the Muslims getting all militant about blasphemy have no Quaranic justification for the actions. Akyol says the proper response to blasphemers like Charlie Hebdo and me is "Just 'do not sit with them' — that is the response the Quran suggests for mockery. Not violence. Not even censorship."

    Akyol exhorts Muslim leaders thus:

    "Wise Muslim religious leaders from the entire world would do Islam a great favor if they preached and reiterated such a nonviolent and nonoppressive stance in the face of insults against Islam. That sort of instruction could also help their more intolerant coreligionists understand that rage is a sign of nothing but immaturity. The power of any faith comes not from its coercion of critics and dissenters. It comes from the moral integrity and the intellectual strength of its believers" [Mustafa Akyol, Islam's Problem with Blasphemy, New York Times, 2015.01.13].

  284. Roger Cornelius 2015.01.14

    As the world continues to discuss the idea of freedoms of speech and the press today, it was reported that there have 50 plus arrests of people for making terrorist comments and/or threats.
    Is there a distinction between the satire of Charlie and people saying stupid things?

  285. bearcreekbat 2015.01.18

    I got the above link from a recent Salon Article, which also provided this link with pictures of African children being harmed because they were thought to be witches:

    The Salon article is very pertinent to your initial thread Cory and provides a deeper analysis of why people kill and harm others, using religious documents, such as the Bible, the Koran and the Torah, as a justification.

  286. bearcreekbat 2015.01.18

    I keep happening on to stories about modern Christians who commit terrorism and murder, and groups such as the Army of God that treat these killers as Christian martyrs.

  287. jerry 2015.01.18

    bearcreekbat, Here is another brick in the wall to show how easily we are lead into the belief that religions are against one another. They are manipulated for the God of money and power, real simple stuff, follow the money and you will find the puppeteer. Take for example Mike Rounds and his choice of who call the shots for him. It is the Israeli government, pure and simple. Lindsey Graham, the same and he has publicly said as much. These guys will direct more American blood and treasure to Israel, that we could be using for our own people, in the name of stopping Islam. In reality, taxpayer money is being used for their own purposes that have nothing to do with combating Islam. Do you ever wonder why ISIS never ever attacks Israel? Take a look at the border with Syria, seems like there would have been opportunities for those, but no, Israel is supporting them with logistics, moolah and medical help, courtesy of the American taxpayer. Think it is impossible?

  288. bearcreekbat 2015.01.19

    Jerry, I think you are correct that there is much more than mere religion that drives terrorist acts, and money may well be a major factor. I read an interesting argument that the "will to power" as described by Nietzsche is a key factor. The author argued that those people who see themselves without power are more likely to join groups who seek to gain power through violence. Since all the main religious books have passages that justify violence, these folks seeking power can use language from these books to convince themselves or their recruits that their violent acts are not immoral.

  289. Deb Geelsdottir 2015.01.19

    I think you have nailed it BCB:

    "these folks seeking power can use language from these books to convince themselves or their recruits that their violent acts are not immoral."

  290. leslie 2015.01.19

    kareem abdul-jabbar editorializes this week in TIME that violence in the name of religion is all about money, the goons are merely automated drones manipulated by others with selective dogma.

  291. caheidelberger Post author | 2015.01.20

    BCB, thanks for that Salon article. It's heavy stuff, indicting all religions the same way we can indict alcohol. The majority of people who drink alcohol never get drunk and crash their car or beat their kids. But lots of car wrecks and violence are connected to alcohol abuse.

    Hmmm... maybe we need Fundamentalists Anonymous, for people who just can't hold their religion. I wonder: is there any detoxing people who get so drunk on religion that they would kill in the name of their gods? And if they can detox, do they then have to stay away from religion completely for the rest of their lives, just as alcoholics have to stay away from the bottle?

    Salon's examples of American Christian missionary dollars fomenting violence against "witchcraft" and homosexuals are definitely relevant to this discussion. Our missionaries don't sink to the level of ISIS by outright advocating murder and recruiting terrorists from vulnerable people, but they are spreading a worldview that appears to facilitate violence in the name of a deity.

    Power: I caught some of historian Daniel Jonah Goldhagen's genocide documentary Worse than War while subbing in social studies last week (yes, my job is cool). Goldhagen interviews a participant in the Rwanda genocide who speaks of the feeling of supreme power he got from killing his fellow Rwandans. He said he felt he could do anything.

    Yet that sense of empowerment is false. That killer in Rwanda was being used, as Leslie notes from Abdul-Jabbar's essay, like a cheap drone by his government to carry out a genocidal agenda.

    Abdul-Jabbar argues that we don't hold all Christians accountable every time a bunch of Klansmen burn a cross. Says the author:

    Ironically, terrorism is actually an act against the very religion they claim to believe in. It’s an acknowledgement that the religion and its teachings aren’t enough to convince people to follow it. Any religion that requires coercion is not about the community, but about the leaders wanting power.

    I look forward to the day when an act of terrorism by self-proclaimed Muslims will be universally dismissed as nothing more than a criminal attack of a thuggish political organization wearing an ill-fitting Muslim mask. To get to that point, we will need to teach our communities what the real beliefs of Islam are. In the meantime, keep my name on speed-dial so we can get through this together.

    I hope I'm not missing or misrepresenting Abdul-Jabbar's point, but he appears to agree with two of my points: that violence and intimidation are signs of the weakness of the violent man's faith, and that believers have an obligation to educate their communities—believers, possible recruits, and non-believers alike—about the real nature of their beliefs and thus inoculate their believers against the disease of terrorism in the name of their gods.

  292. bearcreekbat 2015.01.20

    Cory, the missionaries who stir the pot about witchcraft and sexual preference are most troubling.

    To the extent violent jihadists who use religion to justify their actions are seeking to better their living conditions with more of the material benefits of society, or are seeking more power, it is possible to adopt policies to address these issues, potentially lessening their perceived need for violence to satisify such needs.

    The "non-violent" missionaries, however, seem to be motivated by attitudes that are much more difficult to address. Providing these missionaries with increased resources or more power would only increase their ability to engage in pernicious activities rather than reduce them. The "need" they seek to fulfill by spreading intolerance of homosexuals and fear of witches is based on superstitions peculiar to their particular faith. It is not clear how society can curtail or satisfy such a need to propagate intolerance with rational public policies, absent a direct campaign challenging the teachings of their religious books. Such a challenge seems inconsistent with the 1st amendment "free exercise" clause and could arguably run afoul of the establishment clause.

  293. leslie 2015.01.20

    Salon seems to be exploring the "ism" of religiosity. "THE RIGHT'S HOME SCHOOL TRICK" by frank schaeffer a fundamentalist turned-aetheist who helped start the religious right's war on secular america establishing a theocracy.

  294. Deb Geelsdottir 2015.01.20

    Abdul-Jabbar is right. When I hear Christians upset because religion is out of bounds for public institutions, I tell them that religious education of their children is not the public's job. It is the sole responsibility of the family and their church.

    In Lutheranism when anyone is baptized, promises are made before God by the parents, godparents, and congregation. Those promises are to bring the child to church, to Christian education, and to set an example at home by the parents and godparents. The congregation promises to provide that education, (Sunday School, confirmation classes, adult education classes) and provide a Bible (usually to 3rd graders) and other needed resources.

    I don't see any state, national or public resources in the mix. Any congregation I've been a part of would have found that ludicrous and heretical. It's simply not the state's job.

    I wonder if there are fundamentalist sects that do say something about forcing the state to fulfill the sect's mission for it? I'll see if I can find out because that could be very interesting.

  295. Steve Sibson 2015.01.20

    You are right Deb, we need to stop funding public education.

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