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Censorship Your Rights Online

Two Ways Not To Handle Free Speech 686

Posted by kdawson
from the hang-up-or-takedown dept.
Two stories in the news offer contrasting approaches by Web companies to questions of free speech. First YouTube: reader skraps notes that the Google property has recently banned the popular atheist commentator Nick Gisburne. Gisburne had been posting videos with logical arguments against Christian beliefs; but when he turned his attention to Islam (mirror of Gisburne's video by another user), YouTube pulled the plug, saying: 'After being flagged by members of the YouTube community, and reviewed by YouTube staff, the video below has been removed due to its inappropriate nature. Due to your repeated attempts to upload inappropriate videos, your account now been permanently disabled, and your videos have been taken down.' Amazon.com provides a second example of how to react to questions of free speech. Reader theodp sends along a story in TheStreet.com about how Amazon hung up on customers wanting to comment on its continuing practice of selling animal-fighting magazines. The article notes that issues of free speech are rarely cut-and-dried, and that Amazon is doing itself no favors by going up against the Humane Society.
Update: 02/11 04:25 GMT by KD : updated Nick Gisburne link to new account.
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Two Ways Not To Handle Free Speech

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  • Religion (Score:4, Insightful)

    by JoshJ (1009085) on Saturday February 10, 2007 @09:34PM (#17967754) Journal
    Doesn't surprise me that someone who criticizes religion gets censored. After all, religious ideas are completely sacred and can't possibly be questioned by anyone. That would be progress, and progress is WRONG.
  • Now wait a little (Score:5, Insightful)

    by JanneM (7445) on Saturday February 10, 2007 @09:36PM (#17967766) Homepage
    So some people are trying to silence magazines about a subject they object to, and Amazon refuses to be intimidated or allow them to intimidate others on their property. Sounds more like a good way to handle free speech to me.
  • by BigChigger (551094) on Saturday February 10, 2007 @09:39PM (#17967780)
    when it was Christianity, it was OK.
  • Google being evil (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jay2003 (668095) on Saturday February 10, 2007 @09:40PM (#17967788)
    Maybe now some of the Google is wonderful nonsense will stop. Censoring people on religious grounds qualifies as being evil in my book. Of course, after Google sold to out to please the Chinese government, it was clear Google had decided that greed was a better motive than not being evil.
  • by jdp816 (895616) on Saturday February 10, 2007 @09:40PM (#17967796)
    Private parties can do as they please. You have *NO* constitutional right to say what you want on their services. It may not be "nice" to do, but no one can stop them from doing this. Your right may vary by state, though.
  • Re:Religion (Score:5, Insightful)

    by grogdamighty (884570) on Saturday February 10, 2007 @09:41PM (#17967802) Homepage
    I know this is Slashdot, but did you read the summary? This Gisburne fellow posted quite a few videos about Christianity without any problems. It was only when he posted them against Islam that it became a problem, and that because a number of users flagged it. I'm guessing that what we are seeing here is not protection of religion, but protection is Islam - which Americans have an awkward relationship with right now due to the quandary posed by having a significant (and peaceful) Muslim minority while fighting against any number of predominantly-Muslim foes in the name of fighting terrorism. As you can see, it's the sort of fight that political correctness (in all its self-righteous glory) demands.
  • Re:Religion (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 10, 2007 @09:41PM (#17967808)
    Free enterprise is also "sacred", and it's no one's damned business what videos YouTube deletes from their own servers.
  • by DogDude (805747) on Saturday February 10, 2007 @09:46PM (#17967838) Homepage
    Amazon has a right to sell that filth if they so choose. I also have the right not to shop there, and to tell everybody I know that they condone this sick shit. I still don't see what this has to do with free speech.
  • by Bieeanda (961632) on Saturday February 10, 2007 @09:47PM (#17967848)
    Come on, this should be a no-brainer. Google, Youtube and Amazon are privately owned, privately administered and privately funded organizations. They are no more obligated to keep the videos of controversial speakers on line, or engage in conversation with people who have animal-rights concerns than anyone is obligated to read this post, or Slashdot is obligated to prevent it from being deleted. There is no contract implied here beyond a social one; said speaker can take his videos to other sites, and people who have a problem with Amazon selling cock-fighting magazines can take their business elsewhere. If Slashdot banned me for whatever reason, I could continue to post on Kuro5, or Digg, or any other equally private site that would let me in.
  • by tacocat (527354) <tallison1NO@SPAMtwmi.rr.com> on Saturday February 10, 2007 @09:47PM (#17967850)

    OK, I think I get the gist of the OP but let me see if I get this straight.

    You can make a movie called White Guys can't Jump but you can't make a movie called Black Guys can't swim (fill in swim with whatever).

    You can make "logical arguments" against Christianity. You can even make jokes about the religion and it's Members.

    But as soon as you breath a word against the Muslims you are silenced.

    We have a new minority in America. It's call the muslims. Please, if you are a male white American, add to your list of people not to offend: the Muslims. But remember, anyone can publicly deride the whites, males, christians but never speak ill of the jews, muslims, blacks (oh shit! sorry -- African American), mexicans, or anyone else who didn't have an ancestoral basis in North Western Europe along the paternal lines of the family tree.

    It's getting kind of crazy around here with all the people who are demanding both freedom of speech and respect for their own beliefs.

  • Re:Religion (Score:4, Insightful)

    by teknognome (910243) on Saturday February 10, 2007 @09:50PM (#17967876)

    Free enterprise is also "sacred", and it's no one's damned business what videos YouTube deletes from their own servers.
    It's a reasonable thing for a consumer to want to know, so they can make a more-informed choice about which businesses to frequent.
  • by wes33 (698200) on Saturday February 10, 2007 @09:55PM (#17967918)
    A lot of people here have noted that free speech does not extend to corporate America. Quite true - no one has a right to speak on youtube. But the interesting question is why does google choose to exercise their corporate prerogative so as to permit anti-Christian argumentation but not anti- Islam argumentation. This does intrigue me. I haven't seen either the anti-Christian or the (now banned) anti-Islam videos. Is there a real difference that would explain why the former is welcome on youtube but the latter is forbidden? There are a great many arguments revealing the fundamental irrationality of both religions. I don't see why google would not welcome both.
  • It's the Hypocrisy (Score:5, Insightful)

    by M0b1u5 (569472) on Saturday February 10, 2007 @09:56PM (#17967934) Homepage
    It's not the free speech, it's the hypocrisy. It's OK to bag Christianity, but not Islam? WTF is up with that?

    I can tell you: Christianity is used to being harrassed, and Christianity has shown itself to be nothing, if not resilient to this kind of thing. Whereas Islam is extremely poor at handling criticism; you might find yourself dead, burned, having some bizarre rushdie-like death sentence on you, or being chased by a bunch of brainwashed muslims.

    So no, you CAN'T make fun of Islam or point out the stupidity of living 14th century dogma in the 21st century.

    It's telling too, because a confident religion doesn't care what is said about it. Witness what's been said about Christianity! No, it's only a scared religion which reacts poorly to criticism - and the main reason (I maintain) is because even "devout" Muslims KNOW that what they've been told is a load of stinking horse shit, but it is impossible to speak out against it.

    Loud voices openly criticising Islam might start the tide against Islam, and that would result in the modernisation of that religion, and those who currently hold the power in Islam would see their power vanish almost instantly. So this issue continues to be about the power Islam wields over women, and other people. It's certainly got nothing to do with religion per se, in my view.
  • Terminology (Score:5, Insightful)

    by SuperBanana (662181) on Saturday February 10, 2007 @09:56PM (#17967936)

    You have to remember this -- there is no guarantee of free speech from any corporation.

    That's because everyone perpetually equates "free speech" with "censorship". Censorship CAN be a violation of your right to free speech, but not always- and this case is a perfect example. Others say that censorship cannot be done by a corporation; that's also wrong. Everything you watch on TV is run past network censors. Anything you watch in the movie theater, also (most likely) run past censors.

    Youtube's actions are censorship. They are not violation of anyone's "free speech" rights. Nothing stops the gent in question from posting his commentary on his own website, or publishing commentary in any number of forms of other media (for example, printing a booklet or printing a newsletter.) If the government comes knocking on his door and takes his computer and printer and says, "You can't print this, Muslims don't like it", that is a violation of his right to free speech.

  • by flyingfsck (986395) on Saturday February 10, 2007 @10:01PM (#17967960)
    In general, your freedom ends where someone else's nose begins...

    Freedom of speech doesn't imply freedom to slander, libel or incite. It rather means freedom to discuss any topic in a dry, boring, responsible, sane, adult, philosophical manner.
  • by JoshJ (1009085) on Saturday February 10, 2007 @10:02PM (#17967968) Journal
    So corporations can take away your rights?

    The founders flat-out messed up because they had no idea that big business would have the power it has today. They had no idea that the internet would put the ability to curtain free speech in the hand of corporations rather than the government.

    Had they known that, I suspect rather strongly that they would have phrased the Bill of Rights differently.

    The rights of corporations are secondary to the rights of individuals.
  • Re:Religion (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 10, 2007 @10:09PM (#17968010)
    >I think Muhammad was addressing polytheists, not Christians.

    Perhaps, but Islam views Christianity as polytheist, due to the concept of The Trinity.
  • Re:Religion (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Scrameustache (459504) on Saturday February 10, 2007 @10:18PM (#17968060) Homepage Journal

    I'm guessing that what we are seeing here is not protection of religion, but protection is Islam
    I dunno, they might just be covering their asses, like in the 90s, when the card game "Jihad" was renamed "Vampire" because some people pointed out that if they didn't rename it, they'd learn the true meaning of the word.

    Sometimes it's political correctness, sometimes it's fear for your safety.
  • by jpardey (569633) <j_pardey@hotmail.cEULERom minus math_god> on Saturday February 10, 2007 @10:26PM (#17968110)
    I remember, a week or two after september 11th, me and my father were riding our bikes down the road, and a minivan driver asks us for direction. He was dark skinned, and the first thing he said to us was "Please, I am not an Arab." Can you believe that? The area I live in is fairly culturally and racially diverse, and seems in no way discriminatory, yet this man thought he had to say he was not of a certain race to talk to us safely.

    Arabs and Islam have been demonized for ages, and more so now in this "post 9/11 world" than ever, it would seem. Now, think about those political cartoons that Islam was so terribly intolerant of. They showed a religious figure as a terrorist, using his "towel" to hold a bomb. This wasn't just against the religion, this was against a whole group of people, painting a whole religion with one brush. Would a Christian be happy to see a cartoon of Jesus dressed as a klansman? Or maybe Jesus stabbing an Arab child through the heart with a cross? Perhaps some, but the majority would see this as an insult and a totally unfair generalization.

    I doubt very much that Islam is somehow less tolerant of insults to it than any religion is. I can certainly say that Muslims in general are pretty fucking pissed at being called terrorists, and their religion being constantly demeaned. Of course, if they complain about it, the western world uses their offence as a mark of a religion intolerant of critique. It is a snowball effect that makes the Iraq War just that much easier for Americans to swallow.

    Youtube blocking the video is a step in the wrong direction. They are pretending Muslims are children. The effect will just be more people believing it. And on the other side of the world, the hatred will just make Muslims think of Americans less highly in general.
  • by Blakey Rat (99501) on Saturday February 10, 2007 @10:26PM (#17968116)
    Posting videos to a website isn't a "right", it's a freebie offered by a corporation so that they can make revenue by showing ads alongside the video. Saying you have the "right" to post to YouTube is like saying that you have the "right" to get a free toy when you buy Cheerios.

    In what way, exactly, is Google taking away somebody's rights? Please, I'd like to know.
  • by Descalzo (898339) on Saturday February 10, 2007 @10:29PM (#17968128) Journal
    The way I understand it (which may be flawed), when Wal-Mart caves in, it caves in to market pressures. When they 'censor,' they are censoring what they are willing to sell, not what the artist can produce. Wal-Mart's refusal to push somebody else's idea of art does not constitute censorship, despite what your article says.

    Your link makes it sound as though there's some Church Lady in the back of every Wal-Mart Distribution Center who is bleeping out the F-Bombs on each individual CD that comes her way. And her neighbor with an airbrush, blurring out all the nasty cover art. No, they come to Wal-Mart pre-censored, and not by Wal-Mart executives. If you want to blam someone, blame the artists who are willing to violate their artistic integrity for the sales boost they get from having their albums sold at Wal-Mart.

    Don't kid yourself. Amazon doing what they think is best for themselves, as is Wal-Mart.

  • by adrianmonk (890071) on Saturday February 10, 2007 @10:30PM (#17968132)

    Private parties can do as they please. You have *NO* constitutional right to say what you want on their services.

    Thanks for saying this. I remember years ago when The Last Temptation of Christ [imdb.com] was in theaters, it was controversial where I lived (Dallas, TX), and theaters were picketed. Some chose not to show it, and others cried "censorship!" when this happened.

    Looking back on it, it was probably pointless and stupid to picket the theaters, and I think it was wrong for anyone to demand that theaters not show the movie, but it was not censorship. Freedom of speech means that the government cannot restrict you from saying what you wish. It does not mean that anyone else is somehow obligated to help you say it. If they were, that would be a restriction on their freedom. The people who owned the theaters had the right to make a business decision not to show the movie if they thought that would win them brownie points with the protesters. And that's as it should be. The alternative would be to live in a country where some government authority could force a movie theater to show movies it didn't want to show, which would be asinine.

  • by ChromeAeonium (1026952) on Saturday February 10, 2007 @10:34PM (#17968164)
    Okay, say you run YouTube, and you've got some guy ranting anti-Christian bullshit. What's the Christian reaction? 'Hey, you're an ass' Now its anti-Muslim bullshit. What's the general Muslim reaction? 'Hey, you're an ass' Problem is, Islam has more fringe loonies than Christianity, and mocking Christians is less likely to get you killed. In their position, I think a lot of people criticizing the move probably would have chickened out and pulled the guy off, too. It reminds me of some play that was canceled in Germany because one scene had the decapitated heads of Jesus Christ, Buddha, Poseidon, and the prophet Mohammad on chairs, and it was cancelled because everyone was afraid of the Muslim reaction. This has happened before, and it will happen again.
  • by DigitAl56K (805623) on Saturday February 10, 2007 @10:35PM (#17968174)
    So wait.. YouTube is bad because it didn't defend free speech, but Amazon is bad because it did and it is Kevin Kelleher's opinion that going up against the Humane Society might be a bad idea?
  • by Nimey (114278) on Saturday February 10, 2007 @10:40PM (#17968216) Homepage Journal
    Hartman: I do not look down on niggers, kikes, wops, or greasers. Here you are all equally worthless.
  • by JanneM (7445) on Saturday February 10, 2007 @10:48PM (#17968262) Homepage
    As for Amazon hanging up on them, well, you have the right to voice an objection but that doesn't mean they have to listen. If Amazon was deleting comments or otherwise preventing people from making their opinions known, that might be a case for freedom of speech...

    Well, no. Amazon can within very broad limits decide what gets said and not on their site. "Free speech" is not a right you have on private property. They could pull most any kind of comments at impunity and your rights would pretty much extend to taking your comment business elsewehere.

    Of course, the Human Society is claiming the material is illegal, and if that's true it adds a whole other aspect to the situation - but I don't know enough about whatever laws may apply so I can't comment on that.

    More to the point, the Humane Society is not the arbiter of what is legal and not. And Amazon is not the publisher of the material. If the Humane Society has issues with the legality, they should get in contact with the police or a prosecutor, and address the magazine publishers, not Amazon.

    They're just using harassment as a way to stop ideas they don't like - which, in the long run, probably harms their cause more than it helps. I'm very much against blood sport, but right now I feel like laying down a bet on a dogfight just to spite these hateful morons.
  • Re:Religion (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 10, 2007 @10:51PM (#17968276)
    This Gisburne fellow posted quite a few videos about Christianity without any problems. It was only when he posted them against Islam that it became a problem, and that because a number of users flagged it. I'm guessing that what we are seeing here is not protection of religion, but protection is Islam - which Americans have an awkward relationship with right now due to the quandary posed by having a significant (and peaceful) Muslim minority while fighting against any number of predominantly-Muslim foes in the name of fighting terrorism.

    The answer for the different reaction is quite simple. At most, Christians will protest outside Youtube/Google's offices. Muslims will blow them up.
  • by the eric conspiracy (20178) on Saturday February 10, 2007 @10:54PM (#17968296)
    So corporations can take away your rights?

    Exactly what right is a corporation or person taking away from you when it decides to hang up on your phone call? Surely you do not have a right to force someone else to listen to your speech.

    Similarly with Youtube. There isn't anything in the Constitution that guarantees you the right to use somebody else's web site, printing press or megaphone to distribute your viewpoint. Such a concept would in fact infringe on other rights under the Fifth Amendment and the Constitional ban on bills of attainder. You can speak all you want - how you get your message to others is YOUR problem, not someone else's just because they have an jim-dandy established distribution channel that you might want to use to put forth your opinion because it would be a lot more work for you to build your own distribution channel.

    The founders certainly DID NOT mean to abrogate property rights when they cast the First Amendment. Just because Youtube is a convenient forum you are not suddenly granted an inalienable right to use it however you want irrespective of the rights of the owners. If you want to get your message out there is no guarantee by anyone that they have to pay out (Youtube like any other web site has to pay for the bandwidth it uses) to give you a free ride for your crackpot theories.

    Your concept of corporate power holding back your free speach is also ridiculous. Exactly what is Youtube doing that prevents you from setting up your own web site and publicizing it? Nothing.

    They had no idea that the internet would put the ability to curtain free speech

    Exactly what does the internet do to curtain(sic) free speach? To me it looks like it does exactly the opposite. $8.95 for a domain name and $10/month for a hosting package and you can spout off in almost unlimited fashion. In fact never before has it been as easy to get out whatever outlandish idea you might have.

    Had they known that, I suspect rather strongly that they would have phrased the Bill of Rights differently.

    In exactly what way? Even in the days of the Founders channels of distribution like the press were owned by individuals. In fact since such channels were more limited than what we have now it was much harder to get an idea out without significant financial backing.

    The rights of corporations are secondary to the rights of individuals.

    Poppycock. The two are exaactly the same. Corporations are the private property of individuals. By threating the two differently you are depriving these individuals of their property rights without due legal process as guaranteed by the Constitution. Forcing a corporation by law to carry your video is EXACTLY the same thing as forcing Joe Smith to pay a tax that will give you financial support for your package of wacko ideas. The idea is totally unacceptable and contrary to all basic ideas of life in modern society.

  • by Rugikiki (948563) on Saturday February 10, 2007 @11:07PM (#17968388)
    You do realize that Amazon _didn't_ cave, right?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 10, 2007 @11:17PM (#17968460)
    them and it is very clearly defined in federal law that you cannot sell or even possess such videos for profit.

    I saw a video on the National Geographic channel last night that showed hyenas eating the guts of a gazelle while it was still alive. Pretty sure they were selling commercial time on that show, too.
  • by dsanfte (443781) on Saturday February 10, 2007 @11:18PM (#17968482) Journal
    Anyone who criticises Islam is accused of being racist, and has the full weight of Political Correctness thrust down upon them. This is utter bullshit.

    It is our RIGHT to criticize ANY religion, be it in the spirit of Martin Luther, or in the spirit of Frederick Neitzche. It doesn't matter.

    Now, to ban a man for making a video of quotes from a book, simply the quotes, and calling that "inappropriate hate speech", that is a fucking travesty, and a symptom of everything that's wrong with giving certain groups special treatment. It may not be a violation of any of his rights, since Youtube is a private entity, but it's still a bitter pill to swallow. A man has been silenced because quoting from a book was deemed "inappropriate".

    I suppose nobody at Youtube figured that, if the quotes are inappropriate, maybe it's the author(s) of the book itself that should be blamed, and not the messenger. No, truth takes a back seat to making damned sure nobody could possibly be offended by anything.
  • by oohshiny (998054) on Saturday February 10, 2007 @11:22PM (#17968522)
    Freedom of speech doesn't imply freedom to slander, libel or incite. It rather means freedom to discuss any topic in a dry, boring, responsible, sane, adult, philosophical manner.

    Yeah, and that's what the video apparently was doing. I mean, how does showing a sequence of direct quotes from the main religious text--nothing more--amount to "slander, libel, or incitement"?

    In fact, the problem here is on the side of the religious nuts: they are offended by any criticism of their religion. Should we limit free speech according to whether the target of criticism is offended? I don't think so.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 10, 2007 @11:24PM (#17968538)
    I'm not kidding that the Terrorists win again (most terrorists we fear these days are the Muslim Jihadists like Bin Laden). Yes Google is being hypocritical, and I know they can choose what is banned or allowed on YouTube. The reeal difference between the two in this case is mostly they fear being blown up or shot at. It would be better if they just admitted they were scared.

    Remember the Mohammed cartoons last year? The violence, and most newspapers or other outlets would not show them. Remember SouthPark getting censored? Hello, is anybody there? This is the fear by the terrorists and Jihadists want you to have if you cross them.

    They may not represent all Musilims, but there are more than just a few loonies, it looks more like 10 to 25% of them think this way. This accomodation will not work long term, they will want more, and there will be more fighting not less. Better to stand up for our culture, than let it be taken away piece by piece.
  • by snilloc (470200) <jlcollins&hotmail,com> on Saturday February 10, 2007 @11:31PM (#17968610) Homepage
    Indeed, the Mohammad episode concluded with a purposely blasphemous hodge-podge of Jesus crapping on people and the like. Comedy Central let it through. (The cut Mohammad scene was an innocuous three-second clip of Mohammad handing a guy a fish.) When the usual folks complained about the depictions of Jesus they were making South Park's point for them - there wouldn't be a violent retaliation for the completely disgusting and inflammatory images they had portrayed.
  • Re:Religion (Score:5, Insightful)

    by praksys (246544) on Saturday February 10, 2007 @11:35PM (#17968656) Homepage
    Someone needs to start a new religion that can speak freely - and as a religion it will be protected. Take down notices can be vehemently fought on religious grounds. Fight fire with fire, as it were...

    Unless you start decapitating people, no one is going to take you seriously. No one takes christians seriously now that they no longer set fire to people who disagree with them.
  • by KingKiki217 (979050) on Sunday February 11, 2007 @12:06AM (#17968854)
    I certainly would be offended by a cartoon of Jesus stabbing anyone, especially someone who disagrees with him, with a cross, as would most any Christian, but I think you'd be hard-pressed to find enough crazies to riot and burn stuff en mass over it. That, I think, is the main difference between Christians as a group and Muslims as a group: the number of crazies who are willing to riot over cartoons and what other people think about them.
  • by ornerycat (1062586) <softdelusions@gmail.com> on Sunday February 11, 2007 @12:22AM (#17968966) Homepage
    Most of us aren't criticizing the article because we condone YouTube's censorship. I, for one, am criticizing the use of such rhetoric as "freedom of speech" when such a phrase simply does not apply. Many people still view private censorship as a violation of their "freedom of speech." Such a misconception is dangerous. If we start conflating "rights" with "privileges," then how are we going to distinguish between the two? This alone justifies such criticism.
  • Re:So what (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Sinanju (588194) on Sunday February 11, 2007 @12:26AM (#17968986)
    Actually, I think the lesson is that if you want Google/YouTube to respect your religious sensitivities, you need to make a practice of blowing things up and beheading people. Civilized protests of the sort that most christians do just doesn't seem to have the same impact.
  • by cronohyper (1044990) on Sunday February 11, 2007 @12:39AM (#17969056)
    I don't recall thousands of Christians taking to the streets and burning everything in sight when the documentary "The God Who Wasn't There" came out. Hell, the documentary received very little media attention at all. I bet it would be very different if they made a documentary named "The Holy Prophet Who Wasn't There". You didn't see Jews burn down Iranian embassies whenever Amedinijad made holocaust denying remarks. But hundreds of people died in riots and Danish embassies were burned down just because a Danish newspaper made some cartoons in bad taste. Yeah, I guess Muslims must be "pretty fucking pissed" over something so minor as cartoons. I'd hate to see what would happen if someone made an anti-Islam documentary or if a prominent politician publicly insulted Islam.
  • by ewieling (90662) <ericNO@SPAMfnords.org> on Sunday February 11, 2007 @12:42AM (#17969066)
    Well not anymore. They used to burn you at the stake, go on crusades, and generally kill anyone that was not christian.
  • by jmorris42 (1458) * <jmorris&beau,org> on Sunday February 11, 2007 @01:22AM (#17969346)
    > but never speak ill of the jews

    You haven't been paying attention. Anti-semitism, Holocaust Denial and outright jew hatred are now pretty much mainstream on sites like Daily Kos and DU. So as long as you are a deranged leftie Jews are now in season. Best I can figure they have decided that if they throw Israel under the bus the terrorists will stop hating us. Pathetic if you ask me, but I'm just a right wing reactionary neocon.

    Sorry if this is too much truthiness, but when I have to pick sides in the Middle East I'll take the only one with a representitive government and basic liberties over the 7th century rejects. And as for the "Palestinian", to paraphrase Kos himself, "screw em." They elected a terrorist government when they could have had peace and a real country of their own, let em live with the consequences of their stupidity.
  • Re:Religion (Score:4, Insightful)

    by mrchaotica (681592) * on Sunday February 11, 2007 @01:23AM (#17969350)

    Such a religion already exists: Pastafarianism [venganza.org]. Or, at least, if free speech isn't already one of its tenets, it's a young enough religion that I'm sure they'd add it if you asked nicely. rAmen!

  • by The One and Only (691315) <[ten.hclewlihp] [ta] [lihp]> on Sunday February 11, 2007 @01:25AM (#17969366) Homepage

    The average white (caucasian) male American between 15 and 55 is the most discriminated and censored group in the US.

    Other than holding the most disproportionate amount of economic, political, and military power of any population in world history, you're absolutely correct.

  • by rtechie (244489) on Sunday February 11, 2007 @01:32AM (#17969420)
    If the Koran has a meaning, it can be translated, and of the millions of English-speaking Muslims in the world there must be a few who are up to the job of translating it correctly. ... The difficulty of translation always gets raised any time anyone mentions any of the terrible things the Koran actually says that Muslims and Muslim sympathizers would like it not to say. It gets tiresome, particularly as it always gets raised as if it were a new and interesting issue instead of an old and tired one. Muslims have been complaining about this for decades. Don't you think its about time that some Muslim leaders got together and produced an authorized edition?

    Subtle gradations of meaning can be lost during translation. The fact they you don't know this simply shows that you haven't done a lot of translation, especially of ancient languages. Jews don't consider translations of the Koran as authoritative (or even "holy", in any sense) for exactly this reason. The same is true of many Hindu, Buddhist, and Taoist texts. For example, any "serious" student of Taoism is expected to learn ancient Chinese.

    Bible translations vary widely too, and there are a few cases where even good translations differ on substantive matters, but the gist of the sentiment is almost always clear

    No it isn't. There are often radical differences in translations which can lead to serious doctrinal differences. Part of the split between Protestant and Catholic has to do with the interpretation of various passages. You're coming from the perspective of an unbeliever to whom such fine distinctions don't matter. They do to Christians.

    And you also don't seem to recognize the awesome effort put into translating the Bible into English by Christians. Literally BILLIONS of USD has been spent, and literally centuries of effort. There certainly ARE English translations of the Koran, it's just that they aren't as precise as the Bible translations because nowhere near as much effort has been spent translating them and there is less incentive to do so as the Islamic academic culture strongly prefers study of the Koran in Arabic (see above). I find it unlikely that Islamic scholars are going to risk the integrity of the Koran by altering this culture.

  • by Chandon Seldon (43083) on Sunday February 11, 2007 @01:33AM (#17969428) Homepage

    It doesn't have to be unconstitutional to be unethical.

    If Google wants to provide a public forum in the form of YouTube, it's better if they don't censor the videos there on the basis of topic. They are legally required to censor certain content (pornography involving animals or children). They are socially expected to censor other content (any other porn and certain extreme violence). Beyond that, they deserve a raft of shit for any censorship - not because they don't have the right to control their content, but because the public forum is much more useful if they allow it to be used.

  • by bleifuss (821130) on Sunday February 11, 2007 @01:38AM (#17969464)
    Who cares about silly differences in beliefs. If an individual or group chooses to believe in christ and follows his teachings, that makes him or that group christians. That's the definition of the word "christian". A church that is officially called "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints", states that Christ is the savior and central to their beliefs and teaches that their members should follow his teachings, is clearly a christian church regardless of other beliefs. The same could easily be said about Catholics because others don't beleive that praying to saints is correct. Realize that this practice is as backward to many christians as modern day prophets and other books of scripture beyond the bible. I've always found the "Mormons are not christians" statement ridiculous. They are Christians but with different views like many other churches.
  • The difference (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Brandybuck (704397) on Sunday February 11, 2007 @01:43AM (#17969492) Homepage Journal
    What's the difference? Figure it out for yourselves:

    -----

    Martin Scorsese releases a film that was mildly heretical to Christianity. Some Christians stand around with placards protesting. Some boycott his movie. Most yawned and flip the newspaper to page two.

    The very same year Salman Rushdie publishes a book that is mildly heretical to Islam. He received death threats and had to go into hiding. Noted peace activist turned Mulsim, Cat "Peace Train" Stevens, affirms that Rushdie should be killed. A fatwah was issued against booksellers (I was one) selling the tome. To this day, Rushdie remains in hiding.

    -----

    Over a decade later another movie was released that was mildly heretical to Christianity. A bunch of Christians boycotted it. A few sermons were preached from a few pulpits. That was it. Dale Brown and Tom Hanks made a lot of money.

    Near the same time, a Danish newspaper publishes some cartoons, a few of which were mildly heretical to Islam. The Islamic world threw a shit fit, and engaged in violent protest for weeks. People died. Newpapers around the world tossed out principles held since the dawn of the Enlightenment and refused to print the cartoons.

    -----

    An opera that is planning to portray the severed heads of religious leaders is cancelled out of fear of violence... not because of the head of Jesus, but because of the head of Mohammed.

    -----

    Are you beginning to see the picture? Certainly Christianity has a checkered past, but it embraced the Enlightenment and Reformation. It has moved past its sins. But Islam remains rooted in a violent medieval mindset.

    I used to think it was just a small group of fanatic extremist Muslims that were the problem. But then I started to realize that mainstream Islam was not condemning the fanatics. They were being awfully quiet. Where was the outcry from mainstream Islam over suicide bombings? Where was the outcry from mainstream Islam over Hamas and PLO thuggery? Where was the outcry from mainstream Islam over Wahabism? Over femail genital mutilation? Over "honor" killings? Over the torture and murder of homosexuals?

    Western Civilization needs to STOP pretending that Islam is a religion of peace. It needs to stop sheltering Islam in the blanket of political correctness. It needs to stop pretending that the camel isn't in the tent. It needs to take a break from bashing Christianity and recognize where the real danger lies.
  • by senahj (461846) on Sunday February 11, 2007 @01:48AM (#17969516)
    > That's because Christians don't blow things up when you disagree with them

    Your facts suffer from selection bias.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eric_Rudolph [wikipedia.org]

    http://www.answers.com/topic/james-charles-kopp [answers.com]

    The KKK

    The IRA

    et. alia. usw. et cetera et cetera et cetera

  • by rtechie (244489) on Sunday February 11, 2007 @01:55AM (#17969554)
    I can tell you: Christianity is used to being harrassed, and Christianity has shown itself to be nothing, if not resilient to this kind of thing. Whereas Islam is extremely poor at handling criticism; you might find yourself dead, burned, having some bizarre rushdie-like death sentence on you, or being chased by a bunch of brainwashed muslims.

    This has nothing to do with Christianity and everything to do with Western secularism. You can thank ATHEISTS like Thomas Paine for the freedom of religion we enjoy in the West.

    Christians INVENTED the concept of "heresy", murdering people who believe very slightly differently than the way you do. The Catholic church became the dominate Christian sect by slaughtering everyone else. Christianity, much like Islam, has spread almost entirely through the sword. "Convert or die" has been the Christian mantra since at least the 4th century.

    Everyone here is missing the context. YouTube has been banning anti-Muslim videos much more often than anti-Christian videos because the anti-Muslim videos have been MUCH more offensive and racist. Videos accusing Muslims of raping children, using children as suicide bombers, claims that all Muslims are suicide bombers, graphics of Muslims murdering Christians and Jews, truly offensive depictions of Mohammed (like graphics of Mohammed raping children), calling Arabs "towel heads" and "sand niggers", etc. Similar video simply has not been posted anywhere NEAR as often with Christianity and other religions, but when it is, it's banned too.

    And this hasn't happened just once, it's happened thousands of times. YouTube has rules against posting offensive and racist videos. I haven't seen the video that was banned, but even assuming it was fairly tame one can easily see how YouTube might remove it in a knee-jerk manner.

  • by rtechie (244489) on Sunday February 11, 2007 @01:59AM (#17969566)
    Mormons believe in and worship Jesus Christ as the Savior of all mankind, as the Son of God and as the only perfect man who ever lived.

    What more does it take to be called Christian? Christians are followers of Christ and Mormons follow Christ.


    "Orthodox" Christians are Trinitarian and follow the Nicene Creed. Mormons do not, therefore they are not "orthodox" Christians but heretics as defined be the universal catholic church (by this I mean the Roman Catholic Church, the Coptic Church, the Orthodox Church, the Anglican Church, and most Protestants). Mormons follow a prophet and holy texts that contradict large sections of the New Testament and who are specifically rejected by the universal catholic church as frauds.

    In fact, from a doctrinal point of view, the Mormon faith sits in a very similar position as Islam. Muslims accept the validity of Jesus as a prophet, but reject the Trinity and instead follow a later prophet and his holy texts.

    So Mormons are Christian pretty much in the same way that Muslims are Christian.

  • by marafa (745042) on Sunday February 11, 2007 @02:01AM (#17969576) Homepage Journal
    theres nothign wrong with the bible. nothign at all but
    its not the word of god, its a biography of jesus and what ALLAH told him. by paul and mark and matthew and ...
    oh and also it wasnt translated correctly by king james ii et al (how many hundreds of years and what kind of mutation did the meanings of those words go thru?)
    plus the translators had a bias and a direction to their translating

    as far as i know the most accurate gospels would be the red sea scrolls and the gospel of barnabas.
    what never heard of them? i wonder why the pope dint tell u about them ...
  • by 56ksucks (516942) on Sunday February 11, 2007 @02:14AM (#17969642) Homepage
    Just because someone claims Christ doesn't mean Christ claims them.
  • by neoshmengi (466784) on Sunday February 11, 2007 @02:20AM (#17969668) Journal
    "Orthodox" Christians are Trinitarian and follow the Nicene Creed. Mormons do not, therefore they are not "orthodox" Christians but heretics as defined be the universal catholic church (by this I mean the Roman Catholic Church, the Coptic Church, the Orthodox Church, the Anglican Church, and most Protestants).

    I agree that Mormons are not "Orthodox" Christians as you've defined them. Mormons do however worship and follow Jesus Christ as their Savior, God, and Messiah. A Christian is simply a follower of Christ and Mormons follow Christ.

    It's also quite interesting that you bring up the idea of heretics. There was a point in history where Protestants were viewed as heretics and were persecuted for their beliefs. Are they Christian? Obviously they are. Were they Christian? Obviously they were, but weren't accepted into the majority because their beliefs differed from the mainstream.

    So Mormons are Christian pretty much in the same way that Muslims are Christian.

    There is a difference between acknowledging Christ, and worshipping him. Muslims don't believe in and worship Jesus Christ as the Savior of all mankind, as the Son of God and as the only perfect man who ever lived.

    Many Jews acknowledge Christ as a prophet, but they don't believe that he was the Messiah.

    Some Buddhists see Christ as an 'enlightened individual'

    Mormons are Christian because they worship and follow Christ. These other groups are not Christian because they neither follow nor worship Him.
  • by gregorio (520049) on Sunday February 11, 2007 @02:34AM (#17969752)

    I'd hate to see what would happen if someone made an anti-Islam documentary or if a prominent politician publicly insulted Islam.
    They simply murder [wikipedia.org] anyone who disagrees with them.
  • by lordmatthias215 (919632) on Sunday February 11, 2007 @02:39AM (#17969782)
    Aye, the King James version of the Bible does have some inaccuracies in the translation, but they have been corrected in more recent versions translated from the original Gree, Aramaic, hebrew, etc. and because the original texts in the original languages are much more available to common people than in the 1600's (I believe that's the right century...), they can't exactly hide any intentional mistranslations anymore- there are enough (though not a whole lot) of people who learn the old languages that could call them out. And I'd have to disagree with your thesis that the Red Sea scrolls would be more accurate gospels than the ones we have today, since the scrolls contained only copies of the Torah and other books which are now part of the Old Testament, and make absolutely no mention in Christ, as they were for the most part written before his ministry. They do, however confirm the accuracy of Old Testament texts to at least Jesus' time, which was heartening for Christians and Jews. As for the Gospel of Barnabus, I have no first-hand knowledge of the text, but from what I understand it was removed because its authorship is under scrutiny, and because it goes against the whole rest of the New testament in the basic tenets of the faith- basically the equivalent of Jesus saying to love your neighbor, then turning around and commanding his disciples to stone the prostitute, a practice which although unfortunately practiced by a lot of Christians, is not really in keeping with the faith. Oh, and I was not under the impression that Allah would have told Jesus to tell everyone he was the son of God, if he were only a prophet secondary in importance to Mohammed who would come later. Of course I also don't understand why Mohammed's followers would want to destroy those who follow another of Allah's prophets as infidels. I know the Christians haven't exactly been nice to the Muslims, what with the Crusades and all, but certain leaders inn the Muslim community do more than reciprocate- something that I'm sure is as much out of keeping with the Quran as the Crusades were with the Bible.
  • by fj3k (993224) on Sunday February 11, 2007 @02:49AM (#17969826)

    Christians is a name Christians define as those who believe the bible with first preference and everything else in relation to that. The reason we do it that way is because we don't want people saying they have more authority than what's there because what's there is what Jesus taught or fairly well consistent with what Jesus taught.
    Is this not a fair distinction?

    As for the King James being mis-translated (which someone mentioned above), that's hardly significant, especially in the modern era, as all the different translations are based on the earliest available manuscripts (not on previous translations, and the dead sea scrolls have since been included).

    Also, on the topic of Nick Gisburne, can we have this article changed slightly; I don't generally accept misquotes as part of logical arguments. For example, he asserts that Mark 7:9-10 is telling us that "Jesus criticises the Jews for not killing their disobedient children", which is grossly inaccurate. Jesus is being criticised for not following the law to the letter (something Gisburne tries to tell us Jesus is all for at another place), which Jesus replies to by giving an example of where the Jews don't follow the law to the letter, but consider themselves justified in doing so. I'm doing a quick statistical analysis of his claims, and so far he's averaging around 13% accuracy per claim (weighting based on the severity of the quotes as presented, the relative severity in context, and how fair what he claims the verse says is, given the first two points), but keep in mind he gives no hint of counter points (verses that contradict his view); that 13% is purely on the points he gives as arguments for Jesus supporting cruelty.

    Sadly, despite the hype this is just another in a long line of arguments that attempts to explain why a rational person can't believe in God and fails miserably. If you do have a rational argument against Christianity, or just that disproves God, please let me know. (I'd give you my email, but the spam protection it has is lousy; I'm looking into an alternative address (preferably that I control) that I can publish safely for this purpose)

  • by Bananatree3 (872975) * on Sunday February 11, 2007 @02:53AM (#17969850)
    will have its great people and bad apples. I haven't lost hope in Google in terms of being a fairly morally-conscious company, but I do realize in such a massive company there'll be people (like the Gootube staff member who deleted this dudes vids) who don't match the same level of morality (in this case, for freedom of speech).

    While there is Google playing up to China, and other such "evil" things, Google in my book is much better than Yahoo or other companies in terms of policy. This situation it was one lowly Gootube staff reviewer, not a company-wide policy that messed up. Yahoo made it policy to hunt down and hand over dissenter idenities to China.

  • by unity100 (970058) on Sunday February 11, 2007 @02:54AM (#17969856) Homepage Journal
    Islam is particularly not a religion that says 'turn them your other cheek' - it actually encourages retaliation against 'the infidel'. 'infidel', 'against the religion' concepts are broad, and can be reevaluated to suit anyone's wish.

    hence, whereas christians wont be attacking the site, trying to ban the site in sweden, argentina, russia or anywhere, it cant be said for the muslims, especially those in arab countries. even so that the guy himself would easily be the target of attempts on his own life, if only some sheikh (curious concept, as islam does not allow priest class) showed him as a target with a 'fetva'.

    it seems that youtube is covering itself from islamic intolerance, something which we experienced with the denmark cartoon event.

    in middle east, and immediate nearby islamic countries, for over 50 years now, unlimited number of varied publications, some even with the hand of government, are condemning, villifying, demeaning, insulting west, western countries, their prominent contemporary and historical figures, demeaning christianity, jews, buddhism, anything you can think of that are not islam, and even insulting. they have all been doing that, or allowing that. however when not even the same thing, a much lesser offense is done in a western country, it suddenly became a scandal.
  • by Fulcrum of Evil (560260) on Sunday February 11, 2007 @03:17AM (#17969956)

    When they 'censor,' they are censoring what they are willing to sell, not what the artist can produce. Wal-Mart's refusal to push somebody else's idea of art does not constitute censorship, despite what your article says.

    Yes it is. Since they command such a large portion of the market, they can say 'we demand sanitized versions of your music' and get their way more often than not. Since the publisher is already producing one version, there's a good chance they'll abandon the more faithful recording with all the objectionable crap left in, so only the walmart version is produced. Basically, Walmart's position allows it to distort the market, so it's different.

  • by Zanth_ (157695) on Sunday February 11, 2007 @03:35AM (#17970044)
    Funny, if you go back a few more centuries, folks in power were doing this to Christians just for being Christian. It isn't about what one believes in, it comes down to who is in power and how they exercise it. Sadly, power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. So when a bunch of Christians happened to be at the helm of Europe, if anyone was trying to combat them in even the mildest of ways, they were punished, and sometimes this meant death. The fallacy so many love adhere to is that that somehow all Christians in 1000 AD or so were murdering crazies. Of course this is completely erroneous. But it makes for a great uninformed point that plays to the incompetence ignorance of many.
  • by zakezuke (229119) on Sunday February 11, 2007 @04:39AM (#17970468)
    That's because Christians don't blow things up when you disagree with them.

    Ummm... yes they do. Someone else pointed out some fine examples... but aborition clincs [religioustolerance.org] are a big issue among many "Christian" groups.

    Any fundamental religious group scares me.

  • Re:Censorship (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 11, 2007 @05:13AM (#17970664)
    Please, tell me you aren't being serious. The Christian religion is every bit as violent as Islam. Perhaps you've heard of the Crusades -- how many people were killed by Christian hands back then? It's really not terribly different than the Jihad some Muslims are trying to fight today. Need something directly from the Christian holy book to prove the point? Try Matthew 10:21 -- "And the brother shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father to the child: and the children shall rise up against their parents, and cause them to be put to death." A few verses later (Matthew 10:34), Jesus clearly states "Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace but a sword." The Christian Bible is full of this stuff if one actually bothers to read it. It's a quintessential example of Orwellian doublethink.

    So yes, you're right, the Islamic terrorists are truly the most devout Muslims. Will you now carefully consider who the most devout Christians might be? The answer may surprise you. Isn't it also time for the entire world to realize that Christianity, by its very nature and essential principals, openly supports, encourages, and propogates terrorism of the worst kind?

    Getting back to the point, though.. I suspect the video was flagged for review by people who thought it was offensive to Muslims, but was subsequently removed due to copyright infringement in the audio portion. Call it a technicality, I suppose.
  • by LinuxIsRetarded (995083) on Sunday February 11, 2007 @08:32AM (#17971406) Homepage

    Ummm... yes they do. Someone else pointed out some fine examples... but aborition clincs are a big issue among many "Christian" groups.
    And just as your statement shows- just because someone labels himself "Christian" doesn't mean he is Christian. Being a Christian means believing that Jesus Christ, the sole son of God, died on the cross to forgive the sins of mankind. It also means that you follow the teachings of Christ. Becoming born again is not an inward achievement- it is an act of God. God changes your heart and sets your mind on His ways rather than the ways of the world. I cannot simply claim myself to be a Christian and make it so- God performs the conversion. Subsequently, my actions (for the most part- we still have inner conflict with our sinful nature) reflect my dedication to Christ. Actions that endanger others' lives are not in line with Christ's teachings. Someone who blows up buildings in the name of God seems suspect to me because his actions don't reflect what Scripture teaches (and what God sets our hearts on). Read the book of Romans- it clearly spells out what being a Christian truly means. It's not simply a label. Otherwise, I'd claim myself to be an excellent golfer. My actions don't need to reflect my title, right?
  • My own perspective (Score:2, Insightful)

    by petrus4 (213815) on Sunday February 11, 2007 @08:59AM (#17971510) Homepage Journal
    I just watched a video yesterday where Nick was talking about his situation. This was only a few days after having watched a video from someone else, TheAmazingAtheist, which was a critical rant about Christianity.

    Personally, I'm getting just as sick of fearful, ranting atheists as I am of militant monotheists who insist that everyone must subscribe to their beliefs or die. I don't believe for one moment that YouTube should be silencing only the atheists and allowing Muslims and Christians to continue to speak, but I'd have no problem at all with it if they were impartial in shutting both groups up. Their debate is entirely subjective and emotional on both sides and benefits nobody.

    Both groups need to accept that other people have every right to their own beliefs, and that if we don't want to accept their belief system, that that is a valid choice. I will also admit to being less sympathetic towards Islam in this situation; Muslims have never been willing to accept the idea that other people should not have to accept their belief system, and I really feel that the only reason why the atheists are being as vocal as they are is because of how threatened they are feeling. There are some atheists who think that the only way that their belief system can survive is if monotheism ceases to exist. Richard Dawkins is only the most prominent of these, but there are many others as we're seeing here.

    The Islamic world needs to accept once and for all the fact that, apart from anything else, the non-Islamic world is several times larger than it is. It would also seriously help Muslims' case if they'd stop behaving quite so much like the Borg. Resistance in this case fairly evidently is not futile; Charlemagne and the Knights of Malta were among the first to prove that, and other members of the non-Islamic world have managed to fairly consistently demonstrate it since.

    To both groups, I say this. You can keep your own beliefs yourselves, but I am not either atheistic or Islamic, I have no desire to be, and I'm not going to be. Deal with it.

    I also have no real sympathy for Nick Gisburne as an individual...from everything I've seen, the guy is a whining pain in the neck, and I can also remember thinking what a truly moronic jackass TheAmazingAtheist was when I was watching his rant a few days ago. The rest of you might say that Gisburne being obnoxious as an individual isn't the point here, and that it's free speech as a principle that's at stake. What you're not seeing is that as someone else said, YouTube aren't a government, and Nick also wasn't paying them for the hosting service. He has plenty of other options for hosting his material, archive.org and p2p being only the two most immediately apparent.
  • Re:Religion (Score:5, Insightful)

    by 0star (886611) on Sunday February 11, 2007 @01:12PM (#17973354)
    That is the point exactly. All the anti-Christian bigotry, like the posts here that just assumed that Christianity was the focus of the story because it "is" stupid, patriarchal, evil, stoned or burned people at the stake (hundreds of years ago, and don't pull up an isolated incident or two to say it still happens), feels no fear to express their opinion. They do of Islam, because a significant minority threatens or uses violence any time they feel Islam was insulted. For example, during the controversy of the Danish publishing some cartoons poking fun at Islam Islamic protestors carried signs like "Behead those who insult Islam". So this incident has nothing to do with religious freedom of speech and everything with Islamic radicals inhibiting freedom of speech through fear. Sadly, too many of the people here and other places that claim to be so for freedom of speech and expression stay qiuet or even support Islmalic radicals suppressing it. Usually because the west was colonial at one time or because Chimpy McHitler is still Us president.
  • by Surt (22457) on Sunday February 11, 2007 @03:34PM (#17974584) Homepage Journal
    He made a claim about 'most denominations'. You declared him wrong, and as proof, offered one source about one denomination.
    I can also tell you, with certainty, that many catholics believe the bible is without error, regardless of what the official policy of the higher ups in their organization may say.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 11, 2007 @04:19PM (#17975038)
    "I am not sure why you feel the need to offend people."

    Good point.

    So why are Moslems offending Americans by calling the US the "Great Satan"?

    Why are Moslems offending non-Moslems by calling them "infidels"?

    Why is that insane jerk who runs Iran offending Jews by claiming the Holocaust didn't happen?

    Why are Moslems constantly commiting acts of terrorism and barbarism against innocent people? Hmmm, I agree with you absolutely - I am not sure why they feel the need to offend people. Are you? Tell me, why are these violent so-called "religious" people being such offensive assholes?

    Martin Luther King basically said, "Judge people by the content of their character, not by the color of their skin."

    It seems to me like those who are "offending" any religious zealots are doing basically the same thing. The character of religious zealots SUCKS! So of course they should be offended. Offending religious zealots is the only rational response to the offensiveness of their zealotry.

    There is something truly perverse, sickly, and un-Godly wrong with someone who offers violence in response to a mere cartoon.

    When, oh when, oh when, will the few Moslems who have a sense of humor (if any) rise up against their humorless violent zealot cohorts?
  • by LinuxIsRetarded (995083) on Sunday February 11, 2007 @09:07PM (#17977206) Homepage

    And just because someone is Islamic doesn't mean they are, or act like Islamics.

    If you look back at my post you'll see that I made no such claims to the contrary. I was merely addressing a statement about "Christians" committing atrocities.

    Alas, I don't have a hotline to God, so I can't verify you partook in God's heart and mind recall, nor can I verify anyone else's participation in this program.

    True- you can't possibly know my relationship with God. No one but God can. However, you can see my faith revealed through my actions (1 John 2:3 "We know that we have come to know him if we obey his commands."; also refer to James 1:19-27 and James 2:14-26). This was the point I was making. If my actions are clearly contradictory to scripture, you can most certainly doubt the sincerity of my faith. Just as when I shoot 114 on the golf course, you can correct me when I claim myself to be an experienced golfer.

    I would also say that those who Molest children in the name of God are not acting in accordance with the Christian Bible. I would also say they are sick bastards, not just because they feel the need to have sex with those who haven't developed any seconadary sexual attributes, but those who commit such acts seem to think God wants them to.

    Wow. While I definitely agree that child molesters are most certainly not following the teachings of Christ, I highly doubt that those who do feel that it's Gods will that they molest children. You're referring to priests, which (as far as I know- I'm not Catholic) are required to possess detailed knowledge of Scripture, which in no way ever encourages anyone to molest children. Scripture clearly dictates that sexuality is God's gift to married men and women and refers to any sexuality outside marriage as adultery (noting that Jesus explicitly equated lust with adultery as well).

    But if you are going to say Islamics blow up buildings, Christians do as well. To think otherwise is bigotry.

    While it is possible for a follower of Christ to blow up a building (as we all are sinful), it is highly unlikely. The same may apply for Muslims as well. I simply don't possess a knowledge of Islam to know what its teachings are. I've actually suggested that our Sunday school class study other religions so that we can avoid the stereotypes perpetuated by the media and actually understand the basis for these religions. From what I do understand, Islam is a works-based religion where God requires service for salvation, which is a concept entirely contradictory to Christianity.

    Which version of the Book of Romans? There are more translations than you can shake a stick at.

    Yes, there are. The message remains the same across the board, though (barring any oddball translations). I'm primarily familiar with the NIV and the KJV. I've also seen The Message, the NAS, the NLT, and the NKJV, and have yet to see any discrepancies. Each gives the message of God's love and mercy despite man's continual rejection of His ways.

    But no version of the bible is trully clear.

    Do you mean entirely? If so, I find that hard to believe. If you haven't yet glanced at all the translations I've listed above, perhaps any one of them might be easier to understand. I prefer the NIV [bible.com] over the others and find it easiest to read. If you're speaking about portions of the Bible, I will agree that certain prophecies which have not yet come to pass are not truly clear (the end time prophecies in Revelation are a prime example). Fortunately, the gospel of Jesus Christ has been plainly stated for all to receive- and that's all that matters.

    If I were to claim to be Christian I would have to accept that those who follow Islam are also brothers.

    You have to define your u

  • by LinuxIsRetarded (995083) on Monday February 12, 2007 @07:22AM (#17981034) Homepage

    As for heaven, I have no idea how to get there.
    All you need to do (or can do, for that matter) is accept Jesus Christ as your savior. Accept that he is the only son of God who was sacrificed on the cross as an eternal atonement for your sins. There are no rituals or no works to be performed. This simple (yet crucial) acknowledgment and acceptance is all you need. Read the gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) and you will see that Jesus knows the heart of man perfectly. His offer of salvation is the only way to correct our sinful nature and make us right with God so that we can spend eternity with Him in heaven. This offer is open to all.

    God will fuel your desire to follow Christ and change your heart.

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