University Of Pennsylvania Professor: Arrest The Makers Of That Anti-Muslim Movie

One Professor suggests we sacrifice yet more of our freedom in the wake of the embassy protests in the Middle East.

Anthea Butler, an associate professor of religious studies at the University of Pennsylvania, earned some ire earlier this week when she stated this on Twitter yesterday:

“Sam Bacile” is supposedly the man behind the anti-Muslim “film” that sparked the protests in Egypt, Libya, and Yemen, although it appears rather obvious that this is a psyeudonuym because nobody in Hollywood seems to know anyone named “Sam Bacile.” Additionally, there’s a real question of how much of a “film” this thing any event, not that this really matters given the violence that has been incited by religious rabble rousers in its name. Due in no small doubt to the heat that she took for making this comment, Butler has locked her Twitter account but she took to the pages of USA Today to explain her position:

[W]hy did I tweet that Bacile should be in jail? The “free speech” in Bacile’s film is not about expressing a personal opinion about Islam. It denigrates the religion by depicting the faith’s founder in several ludicrous and historically inaccurate scenes to incite and inflame viewers. Even the film’s actors say they were duped.

Bacile’s movie is not the first to denigrate a religious figure, nor will it be the last. The Last Temptation of Christ was protested vigorously. The difference is that Bacile indirectly and inadvertently inflamed people half a world away, resulting in the deaths of U.S. Embassy personnel.

Bacile’s movie does not excuse the rioting in Libya and Egypt, or the murder of Americans. That is deplorable. Unfortunately, people like Bacile and Terry Jones, the Florida pastor who provoked international controversy by burning copies of the Quran, have a tremendous impact on religious tolerance and U.S. foreign policy.

The first sentence of that last paragraph strikes me as entirely disingenuous because, in calling for Bacile’s arrest, Butler is essentially saying that he is both morally and legally culpable for what people a half a world away, who most assuredly had never seen his movie and were merely acting on what they were told by rabble rousing religious authorities. Butler is saying that Bacile should be held legally responsible for the riots, and presumably the deaths of four Americans, because it was his movie that was the match that light the flame. In reality, of course, the match that lit the flame were the people who riled up the crowds in Cairo and Benghazi, they were the ones who incited these people to riot, and, in Benghazi, they were the ones who apparently brought so much passion out in the crowd that they were willing to desecrate a dead man’s body. How is “Sam Bacile,” or whoever is behind this video, responsible for any of that?

Denegrating religion may be offensive to some people, but it also happens to be completely legal. We don’t have blasphemy laws in this country, we have a First Amendment, and that means that people have a right to practice their religion and that other people have a right to attack their religion, either by calling it a fairy tale full of lies, or by just ridiculing it. That’s what things like The Last Temptation Of Christ or The Book of Mormon are allowed to exist in this country. Some people might find such things offensive, but there’s nothing in the Constitution that says that you have a right not to be offended. Just as you can go door to door trying to convert people to your faith, someone can come through the neighborhood right behind you passing out literature explaining why what you believe in is just plain nuts. If someone finds out about that and commits an act of violence, that’s not your responsibility, that’s the responsibility of the person who committed the violent act and, perhaps, whoever may have incited them to do so.

There’s nothing wrong with arguing that being deliberately provocative and insulting about a topic as sensitive as religious is boorish and stupid, but when you start taking up Butler’s position and start suggesting, even half-heartedly that such people should be put in jail for speaking then you’ve crossed a pretty dangerous line. If people can be imprisoned for speech that people on the other side of the planet find offensive, then how long will it be before people start calling for people with opposing political, cultural, or social views should also be punished? I wonder how Butler would feel if someone said she should be arrested for something she said in her classroom at the University of Pennsylvania because they found it offensive.

Butler closes her piece with this:

While the First Amendment right to free expression is important, it is also important to remember that other countries and cultures do not have to understand or respect our right.

This is utter nonsense. Yes, it’s true that there are few if any places left on the planet that have the same respect for freedom of speech that we do, but that’s something we should be seeing as a point of pride, not apologizing for, and certainly not something we should be punishing people for. If the people of the Islamic world cannot accept that we have freedom of speech in this country and that one is free to believe in, not believe in, or mock the existence of any of the Gods that people on this planet worship, then that’s their problem. Butler is a coward for even suggesting that we should surrender to the mob.

Andrew Exum, who served as an Army Ranger in both Afghanistan and Iraq, made this point last year when Afghans were rioting over Terry Jones’s Koran burning stunt:

If opportunist clerics want to inflame a crowd in Afghanistan because one idiot out of 300+ million Americans does something grotesque and stupid, fine. In the YouTube era, there is nothing the U.S. government can do to prevent such gross provocations aside from denounce them ex post facto, and we are all, as global citizens, adjusting to this new reality where a speech act in the state of Florida can lead to a massacre in Balkh Province. But when the first U.S. soldier in Afghanistan dies because of the actions of Terry Jones, we can take comfort in that fact that he or she will not have died in vain. He or she will have died defending the very document he or she swore to protect in the first place.

This could equally apply to the circumstances we face today. There is absolutely nothing that we can do about a radical cleric in the Middle East who wants to use some obscure YouTube video to stir up blood lust in crowds comprised, especially in nations such as Afghanistan, largely of people who are best only semi-literate. Indeed, there have been numerous examples over the years of these types of clerics making up blatant lies about the United States, the West, and Israel and feeding them to a people who are, sadly, all too willing to believe them. What Butler and others who think like her want us to do is to react to this clerical incitement by restricting the individual liberties of American citizens, as if this is going to placate them anyway. If it weren’t this “film,” there would have been something else that some cleric somewhere would use to incite a crowd to violence, there always is. We’ve already sacrificed enough of our freedom in the name of the “War On Terror,” we don’t need to start sacrificing our most precious liberties as well.

FILED UNDER: Law and the Courts, Middle East, US Politics, , , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Brett says:

    Great post. I agree that the real villains here are the scumbag ultra-conservative Islamist clerics, who in both the Egyptian and Yemenese protests were critical in riling up crowds to protests and violations of embassy sovereignty. Without them, odds are that film would have received little reaction and faded out of public view.

    The same thing happened with the Danish Cartoon Riots back in 2005. The cartoons had come out many months before the protests, but nobody cared until a bunch of Islamist Imans went around the Middle East displaying them (along with some fake ones, like the Mohammed pig sketch), deliberately trying to rile up protests and anger.




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  2. Rob in CT says:

    Absolutely not, professor. But this is obvious to everyone here.

    The rest of her argument boils down to “reckless asshole does reckless, assholish things, therefore jail” which does not follow. Reckless asshole has rights, and didn’t break any laws (as far as I know).

    it is also important to remember that other countries and cultures do not have to understand or respect our right.

    Heh, it sure is. But not how she means it.

    It does make sense to take this into account when you evaluate the Egyptian embassy statement, I think: remember the audience it was designed for, and the situation at the time (I still think it was poorly worded, mind you). But it doesn’t work, at all, as an argument to put the Youtube jerk in jail.

    an associate professor of religious studies

    Free speech is clearly not her area of expertise. To put it mildly.




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  3. Raoul says:

    Who cares what a professor from some institution says.




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  4. Gustopher says:

    The “free speech” in Bacile’s film is not about expressing a personal opinion about Islam. It denigrates the religion by depicting the faith’s founder in several ludicrous and historically inaccurate scenes to incite and inflame viewers.

    That’s actually how I would describe the Bible.




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  5. PD Shaw says:

    Quick, the U.S. Consulate needs to send a diplomatic mission to the University of Pennsylvania to perform cultural outreach and explain our system of government in the hopes of avoiding misunderstandings and building bridges of friendship with other communities and cultures.




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  6. stonetools says:

    If the people of the Islamic world cannot accept that we have freedom of speech in this country and that one is free to believe in, not believe in, or mock the existence of any of the Gods that people on this planet worship, then that’s their problem. Butler is a coward for even suggesting that we should surrender to the mob.

    Doug, its not just their problem. Its the problem of American personnel in the Middle East who are facing death and injury because of the release of that video. You’re sitting at your desk in your office and spouting ACLU boilerplate while innocent people die far away. I’m not really sure who is the coward here.

    But when the first U.S. soldier in Afghanistan dies because of the actions of Terry Jones, we can take comfort in that fact that he or she will not have died in vain. He or she will have died defending the very document he or she swore to protect in the first place.

    You could certainly argue that soldiers sign up to die for the Constitution . Innocent civilians, both Arab and American, who have died as a result of this video? Not so much.




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  7. stonetools says:

    Sig.! Block quote fail.

    But when the first U.S. soldier in Afghanistan dies because of the actions of Terry Jones, we can take comfort in that fact that he or she will not have died in vain. He or she will have died defending the very document he or she swore to protect in the first place.

    You could certainly argue that soldiers sign up to die for the Constitution . Innocent civilians, both Arab and American, who have died as a result of this video? Not so much.




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  8. Scott says:

    Do we really need to provide a platform for anybody who wants it? What she said is basically and fundamentally stupid and should be ignored. Sure she has the right to say what she says but we have the right not to hear it.




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  9. Gustopher says:

    Butler is essentially saying that he is both morally and legally culpable for what people a half a world away, who most assuredly had never seen his movie and were merely acting on what they

    I agree with Butler that the makers of the film are morally responsible. If the obvious, easily foreseen consequence is mangy mobs killing people then yes, you are morally responsible.

    Legally is another matter, of course.

    “Mangy” above was supposed to be “angry” — but was autocorrected. I think I like mangy better…




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  10. Vast Variety says:

    This professor seems to have forgotten about a piece of paper called the Constitution. Terry Jones and “Sam Bacile” are lower than dirt in my opinion but they have done nothing illegal. They have every right to be hate filled bigots and spread their filth just like the Westburro baptist Church.




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  11. mattb says:

    Two points:
    (1) If a grand jury could actually be convinced that this film was created with the intent incite this level of violence, then, yes — this guy should be arrested.

    (2) Number (1) is all but impossible to prove and almost all the facts in this case are against it. See The Atlantic for a great overview of how high a bar incitement is (and should be).

    This article is a great reminder of the fact that like any expert, a Professor is only an expert in her particular field. When it comes to American Consitutional Law she clearly #fails.




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  12. Tsar Nicholas says:

    Not surprising. Liberal arts professors are not the brightest bulbs in the display case. Hell, this Butler clown wouldn’t be able to pass a bar level exam on the 1st Amendment if you spotted her half the questions and tutored her as she went. That she’s at a Ivy League school only means that if your kid is attending her classes then you’re paying waaaaaay too much tuition instead of far too much tuition.

    In any event, this is going to be a very bad week for the loopy left. Harsh reality to a leftist is like sunlight or garlic to a vampire. They can’t take it. Ergo they’re going to act out and they’re going to say some really dumb and some really deranged things. Par for the course.




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  13. george says:

    @PD Shaw:

    Quick, the U.S. Consulate needs to send a diplomatic mission to the University of Pennsylvania to perform cultural outreach and explain our system of government in the hopes of avoiding misunderstandings and building bridges of friendship with other communities and cultures.

    That raised an honest laugh-out-loud.

    And yeah, I find her views as offensive as the views she’s trying to outlaw (ie both are extremely offensive). The difference is, I’m not asking that she be put in jail for expressing them. I wonder if she appreciates why its important that she be allowed to state her opinion, despite some people finding them offensive.




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  14. stonetools says:

    @mattb:

    So your argument is we do nothing? That we just sit here with our thumb up our a$$ and wait for the next Jones stunt that will result in the loss of innocent life?
    It’s one thing to say , “I disagree with you , but I defend to to MY death your right to say it.” Its another to say, “I defend to the OTHER INNOCENT PEOPLE”s death your right to say it.” Doesn’t seem so heroic then, does it?




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  15. mantis says:

    Why should we care what a religious studies professor says about free speech?




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  16. michael reynolds says:

    @Tsar Nicholas:

    She teaches religion, not “liberal arts.” Non-liberal arts, you might say.




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  17. R.Dave says:

    Doug wrote: “Butler is essentially saying that he is both morally and legally culpable for what people a half a world away [did].”

    I’m pretty damn close to a free speech absolutist, so I completely reject the notion that “Bacile” should be legally culpable. Is he morally culpable, though? I think the answer is an obvious yes. When you choose to take an action, knowing that it will likely result in harm to others, you bear some moral responsibility for that harm. The degree of moral responsibility depends on a number of subjective factors – e.g., the morality of the precipitating action itself and your intent in doing it, the foreseeability, likelihood and severity of the resulting harm, the involvement of intervening moral actors, and so on.

    When we’re talking about a guy making a bigoted movie with the intent of fostering further bigotry and offending the targets of that bigotry, knowing full well that doing so will likely result in serious and potentially fatal harm to others…yeah, I have no problem saying that guy bears some moral responsibility for the harm, despite the presence of intervening moral actors.




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  18. george says:

    @stonetools:

    So your argument is we do nothing? That we just sit here with our thumb up our a$$ and wait for the next Jones stunt that will result in the loss of innocent life?
    It’s one thing to say , “I disagree with you , but I defend to to MY death your right to say it.” Its another to say, “I defend to the OTHER INNOCENT PEOPLE”s death your right to say it.” Doesn’t seem so heroic then, does it?

    So you’re suggesting that anytime anyone gets violent because they offended by some activity or stunt, that the stunt should be banned? Should Norway have banned the activities that got Brievik murderously angry?

    I suspect all you’ll do is create a market for people getting violently angry. Want something banned? Killed some folks while protesting it.




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  19. mattb says:

    @michael reynolds:

    She teaches religion, not “liberal arts.” Non-liberal arts, you might say.

    Actually, Michael, he’s right on that particular count. She doesn’t teach religion, she teaches “Relgious Studies” — i.e. the academic study of Religion. That’s about as high modern liberal arts as you get (it only would be higher if it was “Comparative Religions).




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  20. stonetools says:

    @george:

    So you’re suggesting that anytime anyone gets violent because they offended by some activity or stunt, that the stunt should be banned?

    No, but I do say is someone engages in speech over and over that causes the loss of innocent life, we should take action. Here is a guy who shouts ” Fire ” in a crowded theater over and over. We need to find a way to hold him accountable. And we can do that without starting down the road to Stalinism, as some seem to think.




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  21. mattb says:

    @stonetools:
    If you want to exist in a society that values the Freedom of Speech, then generally speaking there is no *legal* action that should be taken — unless of course you can build a case for it that fits within the laws we all live by.

    This was not — as the Atlantic article discusses — “Fire in a crowded theatre” (neither was Schenk btw). If you or someone else can prove otherwise, be our guest.

    While we remain a nation of laws, we need to live by those laws. After all, they are there to protect us as much as they are there to protect “them” (lest the devil round back on us).

    Now moral outrage and moral pressure… that’s an entirely different thing. But that is fundamentally outside of government.




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  22. mattb says:

    @stonetools:
    Again, let me suggest you read the Atlantic article as this does not meet the “Fire in a Crowded Theatre” standard as it has evolved.

    http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2012/09/that-anti-muhammed-film-its-totally-protected-by-the-1st-amendment/262324/

    One could argue that it met “Fire in a Crowded Theatre” as construed in Schenk vs. US. That said, we all would be worse off if that was the case (as Schenk is up there in the decisions that the Supreme Court got “wrong” in hindsight).




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  23. grumpy realist says:

    Let the punishment fit the crime….pick up Bacile and dump him in Egypt in the middle of a mob that was incited by his “film-making.” I suspect the criticism will be quick and effective.

    Sorry–freedom of speech may be a right, but it also carries with it responsibilities. You make a film deliberately to encite riots, you should reap the consequences of those riots PERSONALLY.




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  24. stonetools says:

    Now moral outrage and moral pressure… that’s an entirely different thing. But that is fundamentally outside of government.

    Is moral outrage working out, really? Actually, its been futile.

    What about the loved ones of the people who have died? What do they get out of ” moral outrage?”




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  25. PD Shaw says:

    Putting aside the issue of jailing, the idea that one does not have the right to denigrate another’s religion is right out of the response to Salmon Rushdie’s The Satanic Verses. A split was formed between the emerging multi-cultural left, who saw the work as some sort of cultural imperialism that was not true speech, but an attack on emerging cultures. The Old Left, less respective of religion, but more absolute on civil liberties, took the defense.

    Its a bit too easy for people to condemn a “film” they’ve never seen associated with a low class outsider. But does the source and content really matter? If Mark Twain and Rushdie got together and did an animated You-Tube religious parody that was insightful, caustic and artful, would people be saying the same things? (I believe Butler would be, as would Michael Reynolds)




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  26. rudderpedals says:
  27. MstrB says:

    @michael reynolds: At a Jesuit school Theology is very liberal arts




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  28. stonetools says:

    @mattb:

    I did read it. It maybe that it is possible to prove that the makers of video intended to incite violence. I’d like someone to try.

    What’s clear is that every time someone does one of these stunts, there are riots and somebody dies. That is impressing me more than abstract argument right now.

    Certainly the Pentagon thinks that it will inflame violence: as indeed it actually hasEmpirical observation appears to trump abstract analysis here .




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  29. mattb says:

    @stonetools:

    What about the loved ones of the people who have died? What do they get out of ” moral outrage?”

    Not much. But laws are designed to protect societies not individuals. It’s true that often the two types of protection overlap (and sometimes the way a society is protected is through protecting the rights of the individual). But there are cases — this being one — where they appear to part ways.

    Likewise, could not the same argument — soothing the hurt of loved ones — be used to ague for military strikes on Libya? After all, why not wipe the people who committed this attack off the face of the earth in righteous vengeance?

    Further, why stop with arresting the people involved with the film. To your point, both have caused significant suffering, if not death. Why not just execute them on the spot?




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  30. mattb says:

    @stonetools:

    Certainly the Pentagon thinks that it will inflame violence: as indeed it actually hasEmpirical observation appears to trump abstract analysis here .

    There is a fundamental difference between opinion and fact, just as there is a huge gap between “asking” (what the Pentagon did) and “ordering” (which the Pentagon does not have the power to do).

    I understand your outrage — and to be clear this is outrageous behavior — but as the Atlantic Article demonstrates, it is extremely difficult to prove it is ILLEGAL behavior.




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  31. David M says:

    It’s almost certainly free speech that should be protected, so the call for his arrest seems unwise. I’m not defending the films content, but I think anyone publicizing the film is just as morally culpable. This includes the Jones, and the Egyptian blogger and television station.

    Someone posting something stupid or offensive on YouTube is not news. Treating things like this as news is arguably more irresponsible / dangerous than making it. (Reporting on the protests is different.)




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  32. Rafer Janders says:

    @stonetools:

    So your argument is we do nothing?

    If we don’t do nothing, what would your preferred something be?




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  33. Rob in CT says:

    So your argument is we do nothing?

    Pointing out that the views expressed by frothing loons are not shared by the US government or a majority of its citizens, as SecState did? That’s not “nothing.”

    If by “nothing” you mean “not arresting people” then, yes.




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  34. DRE says:

    We’ve already sacrificed enough of our freedom in the name of the “War On Terror,” we don’t need to start sacrificing our most precious liberties as well.

    Amen to that! And that includes the right of a Religion professor to express an opinion I disagree with as well, even if it is stupid. Politicians have the same rights. The fact that Romney’s stupid and incorrect statement has turned what should have been a clear denunciation of violence and a unified expression of our values into an increasingly circular and meaningless debate about the right to say stupid things is a reason to deny him the White House, not a reason to lock him up.




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  35. JKB says:

    Hey, the crowd was also reportedly chanting about Osama bin Laden so maybe we should pickup that guy who not only ordered bin Laden’s killing but keeps running around bragging about what a manly man he is for killing bin Laden.

    But let us look at what the professor implied. She implied that we should arrest people who in exercising free speech inflame uncivilized people a quarter a way around the world to do violence to any convenient Western person. Remember, they are animals, uncivilized and cannot be expected to refrain from violence when they hear about something that makes them angry.

    Oh, and dear professor, the world is much larger than you imagine. Halfway around the world would be China.




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  36. al-Ameda says:

    That these Islamic Radicals needed a pretext like that movie is laughable. What if it was said that a series of comments by Michele Bachmann caused these events, would it follow that Bachmann should be detained? That professor needs to take another pass through the constitution.




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  37. PD Shaw says:

    Doing nothing? Like the Muslim Brotherhood, which last I had heard (six hours ago) had not condemned the attacks? Yes, stating that the views in the “film” are not shared by the US government or a majority of its citizens seems like nothing, because it so blinking obvious you would think it doesn’t need saying, but it does. The MB should have quickly condemned the attacks, indicated the government did not support them and would work with American officials in enhancing security and investiging criminal misconduct.




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  38. Andre Kenji says:

    I think that´s more complicated because I don´t remember any of these defenders of free speech arguing that Ernst Zundel should no have been arrested, for instance.




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  39. george says:

    @JKB:

    Hey, the crowd was also reportedly chanting about Osama bin Laden so maybe we should pickup that guy who not only ordered bin Laden’s killing but keeps running around bragging about what a manly man he is for killing bin Laden.

    Yup. I suspect the professor would agree, arguing that killing bin Laden seemed to have incited a crowd. And since the order ultimately came from Obama, we should lock up the President for doing the equivalent of shouting, “Fire!” in a theatre. Because the ultimate goal is to keep people from being angry at you.

    The odd thing is, I don’t think I can make up a parody that strikes me as any more far fetched than her actual statement. I still can’t believe some people want our laws to be set based on other people getting violent. As someone said in another thread, this is a tactic open to any religion, or belief system. Upset about gay marriage? Have a few violent demonstrations. Upset about corn syrup in soft drinks? Kill a few people noisily. There’s no problem it can’t solve, right?




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  40. DRE says:

    @Andre Kenji: I’m willing to say that Ernst Zundel should not have been arrested in the US for his published works, and in fact he wasn’t. Canada and Germany have their own rules.

    On the other hand, the government of the United States, through any of its spokespersons, is perfectly within its rights to say that we abhor, deplore, condemn, reject… the views he expresses in his published works. This is the part I don’t get about this whole debate.




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  41. jukeboxgrad says:

    Doug citing Army Ranger Andrew Exum:

    there is nothing the U.S. government can do to prevent such gross provocations aside from denounce them ex post facto

    Doug, you didn’t focus on this statement, but it’s the heart of the matter. It’s what the current fuss is really all about. “Denounce them ex post facto” is exactly what the embassy did, and Mitt’s reaction to this is to denounce the embassy.

    The people leading these crowds are saying this to their followers: ‘this video would not exist if the US government did not want it to exist; notice the US leaders who refuse to denounce the video, and who denounce anyone who denounces the video.’ They’re talking about Mitt; Mitt is playing into their hands.

    Take a look at the statement Mitt read yesterday morning. In those 450 words, there is not a single word condemning the video itself. By refusing to denounce the video, he’s feeding the fire, and encouraging those mobs. Everyone understands that ‘Bacile’ is provoking those crowds, but a lot of people don’t understand how the GOP is also irresponsibly provoking and enabling them.

    Sen. DeMint said this yesterday, defending Mitt:

    It was disheartening to hear the administration condemn Americans engaging in free speech that hurt the feelings of Muslims

    Mitt and DeMint are flatly saying that Exum is wrong, and that the government should not “denounce them ex post facto,” because to do so is to “condemn Americans engaging in free speech.”

    I think everyone realizes that what ‘Bacile’ did is morally wrong but also legal. I think everyone (or almost everyone) also realizes that Butler is wrong. Those questions are relatively easy, and relatively unimportant. What’s important is the position Mitt has taken. It’s important because he’s running for POTUS, and because a lot of people are not understanding how toxic, dangerous and wrong his position is.

    Exum is right and Mitt is wrong. Even certain GOP leaders understand this, which is why we don’t see more of them rushing to defend Mitt.

    As DRE just said:

    On the other hand, the government of the United States, through any of its spokespersons, is perfectly within its rights to say that we abhor, deplore, condemn, reject… the views he expresses in his published works. This is the part I don’t get about this whole debate.

    Exactly. And it’s not just that the government has a right to do this. Under the circumstances, it has a responsibility to do so. Mitt seems to not get this, which means he is deeply clueless and irresponsible.




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  42. PD Shaw says:

    @Andre Kenji: I had to google to figure out who Ernst Zundel is. I don’t remember commenting on him in particular, but I’ve certainly criticized German law in this area.

    But Zundel reminds me of something that’s bothered me. We can’t be sitting here spending all of our time and energy scolding people on the fringes of discourse. We don’t want our Presidents scanning YouTube for videos to disagree with. Some of these people love the attention and use the condemnation to build a case of victimization and conspiratorial designs by the establishment. You end up feeding the trolls.

    We need to remember the Alex Knapp Rule. Always ignore the Westboro Baptist Church.




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  43. DRE says:

    “Let me state very clearly — and I hope it is obvious — that the United States government had absolutely nothing to do with this video. We absolutely reject its content and message. America’s commitment to religious tolerance goes back to the very beginning of our nation,” Clinton said at the State Department, as she held a pre-scheduled meeting with Moroccan leaders.

    But the violent reaction to the video has been unacceptable, she said. “Violence, we believe, has no place in religion and is no way to honor religion. Islam, like other religions respects, the fundamental dignity of human beings, and it is a violation of that fundamental dignity to wage attacks on innocence.”

    What Doug (maybe) and James and others here are arguing leads to the conclusion that this statement is completely out of line. She is speaking as Secretary of State, at the State Department. Why are people still talking about the embassy statement when there is such a clear example of “Outrageous” government statements? Why no posts condemning such statements from Clinton or from Obama himself?




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  44. Hello World! says:

    There was a time when people were put to death for talking about Jesus Christ. There was also a time when people were put to death for talking about science. This is why we should support everyones right to free speech.




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  45. David M says:

    @PD Shaw:

    We need to remember the Alex Knapp Rule. Always ignore the Westboro Baptist Church.

    Exactly right, and a quick look at the timeline of events at TPM shows the video was on YouTube for 2 months before anyone cared. Everyone should have kept ignoring it.




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  46. Herb says:

    Someone was wrong on the internet? First time that’s ever happened…..




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  47. MattT says:

    @rudderpedals: I posted other links in a previous thread, notably to Jeffrey Goldberg’s blog at the Atlantic. The filmmaker, a convicted con man who misled the cast and crew of the film as to his intentions, now claims to be a Coptic Christian, but he initially claimed to be an Israeli Jew who funded the project with donations from “about 50 Jews.” His consultant said they expected that the film would lead to violence, and they compared themselves to Theo van Gogh. As someone pointed out, the trailer was on Youtube for two months before anyone noticed….one of the timelines out there claims that it was a Coptic Christian who first promoted the film in Egypt a few days ago. The filmmaker also (now) claims to be a Coptic Christian….is there a connection between him and the promoter in Egypt? And why the initial claim of a Jewish quasi-conspiracy – the better, maybe, to inflame Muslim outrage?

    I think it’s worth serious investigation by authorities, at least, as to whether this was a premeditated effort to incite violence. The key difference here from art like “Piss Christ” and atheists poking fun of Christians is the expectation by the filmmakers of a violent response.




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  48. bill says:

    so if mormons went all crazy about southparks “book of mormon” play would they need to be jailed too? of course the fact that it all happened on 9/11 seems lost of the mainstream media- this films been out since july i believe. to suffice, it appears to be a staged assault on US soil.




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  49. TastyBits says:

    @MattT

    … The key difference here from art like “Piss Christ” and atheists poking fun of Christians is the expectation by the filmmakers of a violent response.

    The main difference is that Christians do not fly planes into buildings, but I am sure it is rude to notice such things in polite company.




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  50. PD Shaw says:

    @MattT: There’s no crime here.

    When the Illinois NAZIs wanted to march through Skokie, the home of many Holocaust survivors, they certainly intended to provoke a violent response. It would prove a sick point.




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  51. jukeboxgrad says:

    tasty:

    Christians do not fly planes into buildings

    True, Christian terrorism generally takes other forms.




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  52. bill says:

    and the plot thickens!

  53. MattT says:

    @bill: No, because the producers of “Book of Mormon” did not expect or intend to provoke violence.

    @PD Shaw: thanks for that analogy. Does it matter whether the Holocaust survivors in Skokie had any history of violent responses to such provocation, as do conservative Muslims in the Middle East?

    IANAL but my sense of justice is prodding me that such knowing provocation that does result in violence, and comes with no artistic, editorial or documentary merit attached (as one could argue for the “Satanic Verses” or even for many of the Muhammad cartoons of a few years ago) should result in some moral and legal liability.




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  54. grumpy realist says:

    @MattT: Yeah, I wouldn’t have shed a tear if a bunch of Holocaust survivors had loaded up to the limits the 2nd Amendment allows, then letting loose….”Sorry Officer, must have had a flashback.”

    Trolls will provoke and continue provoking until they get a response. Which means either make sure they have their freedom of speech rights in the proverbial caged area 45 miles from anywhere and ignore them totally, or hit them so hard they know to never do that again. Freedom of speech is one thing. Aggressive fighting words deliberately trying to provoke a violent response is another, especially when the people that get killed aren’t the instigator, but totally innocent 3rd parties.




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  55. matt says:

    @Rob in CT: Reckless asshole has a long history of fraud and might of committed more during the production of the video..




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  56. TastyBits says:

    @jukeboxgrad

    True, Christian terrorism generally takes other forms.

    Is this a joke? Was this done by a high school junior?

    (1) The Spanish Inquisition was not about religion. It was about power and wealth.
    (2) The Great Briton examples are not about religion. They are about power and wealth.
    (3) Northern Ireland was not about religion. It was about power and wealth/land.
    (4) I am not familiar with India, but I doubt this section is any better
    (5) Norway was not about religion. Breivik was a nut, and he was a nationalist.
    (6) Romania was fascist and anti-semitic.
    (7) Kony in Uganda is a cult leader, but there are other issues in the area.
    (8) In the US, the anti-abortionists may be termed terrorists. I do nt agree, but I will give you that. The KKK and militia groups are not about religion.
    (9) I am not familiar with Peru, but it sounds like more nonsense.

    You may want to do some research and rewrite the article.




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  57. jukeboxgrad says:

    Shorter Tasty: no true Scotsman would ever do such a thing.




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  58. stonetools says:

    @mattb:
    And I’m back.

    Further, why stop with arresting the people involved with the film. To your point, both have caused significant suffering, if not death. Why not just execute them on the spot?

    Not really that opposed to that.




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  59. stonetools says:

    @Rob in CT:

    Pointing out that the views expressed by frothing loons are not shared by the US government or a majority of its citizens, as SecState did? That’s not “nothing.”

    If by “nothing” you mean “not arresting people” then, yes.

    Arresting them might not be appropriate, but having the DOJ take legal action against them under hate speech statutes or prosecuting them for incitement to riot seems appropriate. Having the victims file suit for wrongful death also seems a possible. The “charity groups” that funded this may also be a target under anti terrorism statutes

    If Terry Jones was somehow made to accidentally fall out of a tall building, I wouldn’t be be unhappy either.




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  60. TastyBits says:

    @jukeboxgrad

    Really? This is your retort? Wikipedia articles do not constitute an argument.




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  61. jukeboxgrad says:

    If you already understand the concept of No True Scotsman, then you don’t need the article. If you don’t, then you do.

    The only thing worse than someone ignorant is someone who is determined to stay ignorant.




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  62. PD Shaw says:

    @MattT: The lawyers tried to argue that seeing the NAZI flag marching through their city would feel like a direct attack by the Holocaust survivors, so as to constitute “fighting words,” which the government could enjoin under the “Fighting Words” exception to the First Amendment.

    As I recall there were two problems. One, the audience wasn’t captive. They had the choice of whether to watch the parade, but even those caught by surprise are expected to look away the same way they would if they happened upon a swastika that wasn’t part of an organized activity.

    Second, I believe the Court was unwilling to create different standards of conduct for different audiences. They didn’t want a standard that essentially said you can never offend a Quaker since they should be expected not to react violently, but an asshole is always easily offended so the government can almost always protect assholes. Where do Holocaust survivors fall on this continuum? Muslims, American or foreign? The Irish? The Court said the words must be fighting words for the common man, as a matter of common knowledge.

    The fighting words exception to the First Amendment appears theoretical.




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  63. Herb says:

    @TastyBits: Oh, I see. When Christians do it, they do it for power and wealth. When Muslims do it, it’s all about religion………..

    Brilliant.




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  64. David M says:

    How much value is is a right to free speech, if it depends on not offending anyone else? Pretty much the whole point (to me anyway) of the first amendment, is that it protects my right to say something that offends someone else, and protects their right to say something that offends me.

    Someone’s free speech rights should not be curtailed just because someone else doesn’t have any self control and might riot.




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  65. bill says:

    @MattT: so telling some religious wackos that their god sux is a offense now? they need to drag themselves into the middle ages at least, they’re an embarrassment to their own history.




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  66. TastyBits says:

    @jukeboxgrad

    When you know a little more about history get back to me.




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  67. jukeboxgrad says:

    I know enough about history to understand why you’re refusing to address what Herb said.




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  68. An Interested Party says:

    Ergo they’re going to act out and they’re going to say some really dumb and some really deranged things.

    Oh, in other words, they’re going to follow your lead…

    …that guy who not only ordered bin Laden’s killing but keeps running around bragging about what a manly man he is for killing bin Laden.

    Oh please, if Bush had ordered the successful killing of bin Laden, he would have had something tattooed on his bicep and displayed on Fox News 24/7 to commemorate the occasion and there would have been immediate calls from people like you to repeal the 22nd Amendment and to have his face chiseled on Mount Rushmore…

    By the way, just as it isn’t politically correct in certain circles to mention how much violence is committed in the name of Islam, it seems to also not be politically correct in certain other circles to mention how much violence is committed in the name of Christianity…the fact of the matter is that there are plenty of loons and evil people out there who are perfectly willing to commit all kinds of atrocities in the name of their particular religion, but if we are going to use things like that to indict one religion, we might as well use that to indict all religions…




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  69. TastyBits says:

    @Herb

    The items in the Wikipedia article were not Christian terrorism, but a case could be made for the anti-abortionists. Witch trials, especially Salem, could have been used. The 1st Crusade could also have been used. The Spanish conquest of the Aztecs and the Western expansion into the Pacific Islands are two more. These are just a few examples. Christianity was central to each of these.

    The Spanish Inquisition was about confiscating the wealth and land of infidels and heretics. Ferdinand and Isabella needed both. Northern Ireland was about quelling rebellions, rewarding nobles, and taxes. In England, many of the religious strife was a struggle between the Pope and the Crown. The KKK is a terrorist organization, but they terrorized black folks primarily.

    For good measure, the spread of Islam into Spain was about power and land. The Ottoman Empire was Islamic. Islam was not the purpose for the Empire, but it was used as a pretext to gain power within the governing bureaucracy.




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  70. jukeboxgrad says:

    As he said: “When Christians do it, they do it for power and wealth. When Muslims do it, it’s all about religion.”




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  71. bandit says:

    Only 2 comments from lunatics wishing death upon people. A constrained response.




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  72. TastyBits says:

    @An Interested Party

    Historically, you can find examples of Christianity using violence for religious goals, and I have provided a few. I could provide more, but I will leave the rest to somebody else. The problem is that you will have difficulty finding many contemporary examples. In the West, using religious violence to obtain a goal has not been legitimate for at about 200 years.

    For the first 4 years of South Park, Matt Stone and Trey Parker had Jesus in many episodes. It was funny, but it was sacrilegious. During all this time, Matt and Trey did not have death threats. After the Danish cartoon crisis, they produced three episodes with Muhammad, and the adherents a certain religion took offense. A security was required for their safety.

    In civilized society, one does not kill for a sleight to one’s religion.




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  73. An Interested Party says:

    In civilized society, one does not kill for a sleight to one’s religion.

    Indeed, nor does an entire religion get indicted by the violent actions of a relatively small number of people…




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  74. TastyBits says:

    @jukeboxgrad

    Quoting somebody is the same as providing a link. This does not make your argument.

    If you want to make an argument for Christian terrorists, I would suggest you start with the anti-abortionists, but you may want to use the witch hunts. You should stay away from the Crusades, but if you must use these, limit yourself to the 1st. There are other examples, but you will need to do the research.




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  75. jukeboxgrad says:

    I would suggest you start with the anti-abortionists

    I already did, years ago (in that comment, follow the link).




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  76. TastyBits says:

    @An Interested Party

    Indeed, nor does an entire religion get indicted by the violent actions of a relatively small number of people…

    One does not indict any group by the actions of a “relatively small” number of people, and one does not choose which groups are excluded. “Relatively small” is a relative concept. A bullet has a “relatively small” amount of lead, but it is deadly nonetheless.

    If the adherents of a religion comport themselves without resorting to violence in a civilized society, this would indicate that the religion was not the problem. In this case, the problem may be a local issue. Refusing to acknowledge a problem will not make it go away.

    I would suggest there is a regional problem, and religion is being used as a pretext.




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  77. Herb says:

    @TastyBits: I have to give you credit for engaging my somewhat dismissive comment, and your subsequent answers have provided food for thought.

    I have to say, though, that some of the things you wrote didn’t sit well with me, if only because they’re so general, so –frankly– full of weasel words and qualifications, as to be almost meaningless.

    “In the West, using religious violence to obtain a goal has not been legitimate for at about 200 years.”

    I take your point, but then I think of all the exceptions. Like….do the Nazis count?

    Also….do you think Muslims are incapable of being motivated by wealth and power? Have you ever heard of Saudi Arabia?




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  78. TastyBits says:

    @jukeboxgrad

    I already did, years ago (in that comment, follow the link).

    I notice you are have a very high opinion of yourself. Is knowing how to insert hyperlink a sign of intellectualism? If so, you are are quite the intellectual.




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  79. TastyBits says:

    @Herb

    The Jewish problem always seems to be solved by confiscating their wealth and land. The Nazis, KKK, and al Qaeda are not trying to further a religion. In the US, religious outrage results in boycotts or marches. There are some exceptions, but these are small groups.

    As I noted, the Ottoman Empire is an example of Muslim wealth and power. For 600 years, religion was a component of the empire, but as with the Holy Roman Empire, religious importance varied. Saudi Arabia and the surrounding countries have not been historically significant.

    The “Super Best Friends” (2001), “Cartoon Wars Part II” (2006), “200” (2010), and “201” (2010) episodes of South Park had Muhammad, and somehow American Muslims were not driven into a frenzy. I suspect the problem elsewhere is cultural. Religion is a part of the culture, but its influence varies in different places.




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  80. jukeboxgrad says:

    Is knowing how to insert hyperlink a sign of intellectualism?

    No, but asking that question instead of addressing what happened in Murphy NC is a sign that what happened in Murphy NC is a subject you want to avoid.




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  81. bill says:

    @David M: it looks like it was a planned attack any way, on 9/11 of all days. the film is not the major cause, an more organized assault on US interests is more like it. the mainstream media seems to be lacking much information on this for some reason. “outing” the films producer’s real name for no reason seems kind of lame at the very least.




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  82. Mikey says:

    @TastyBits:

    The “Super Best Friends” (2001), “Cartoon Wars Part II” (2006), “200″ (2010), and “201″ (2010) episodes of South Park had Muhammad, and somehow American Muslims were not driven into a frenzy. I suspect the problem elsewhere is cultural. Religion is a part of the culture, but its influence varies in different places.

    I believe there are factors of culture and of government. The cultural factors are probably traceable very far back, to principles of tribe and honor that long pre-date Islam. The government factors are more current, and involve oppressive governments deliberately stirring their people against convenient scapegoats, using religion as a pretext to provide a “safety valve” for the frustrations of the oppressed. In this way, the corrupt governments are able to deflect the violence that should rightly fall on themselves.

    American Muslims, having to a great extent assimilated into American culture, don’t have to deal with either of these things.




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  83. mattb says:

    As a few other people have pointed out, reducing this to “relgion” is a fundamental mistake for a variety of reasons. There are deep socio-historical, governmental, economic, and geo-political factors at play here.

    To suggest that Islam is the defining factor is to ignore the rest and overplay the role of religion in the complex mechanism we call culture. It also requires one to ignore all the data that undercuts their argument.

    Does Religion play a factor? Sure. But is the the defining factor? No.

    The film provided the spark if you will — but the results have far more to do with decade, if not centuries of history, than they do with the specific actions of some bigots in the US.




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  84. george says:

    @mattb:

    The film provided the spark if you will — but the results have far more to do with decade, if not centuries of history, than they do with the specific actions of some bigots in the US.

    I agree. Which is another reason not to bring in censorship (legal as opposed to moral). By the time something like that film can spark a riot (assuming it actually did, and the whole thing isn’t really just a political manipulation – see your comment above), then if not one spark, there’ll be another. At that point of percieved historical wrongs, people are just looking for an excuse to riot, and will find one one way or another.

    Though I’ll add, that even if the film sparked the riots by themselves, I still wouldn’t ban them (moral condemnation is another thing), because the cure (long term censorship of ideas that some people don’t like) is almost guaranteed to be worse than the riot.




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  85. TastyBits says:

    @jukeboxgrad

    Engaging with you will be a futile exercise. You will provide multiple links interspersed with a few sentences. These sentences will be neither original nor insightful, and very little of what you write will be cohesive. I followed your link, and it was tangentially related to my original comment. Your argument that Eric Rudolph is a fundamental Christian terrorist is a mishmash. Before establishing your first argument, you begin to argue that the GOP supports Rudolph, and you cite Palin, Falwell, and McCain to support your argument.

    I have “seen this movie before”, and it always ends the same. I will need to make your argument for you. I am tired of Wikipedia jockeys. A series of links does not make an argument. As I stated, one could use anti-abortionists to support the argument that there is Christian terrorists, but you are not that one.

    If Christians reacted to “Piss Christ” the same as Muslims reacted to the Danish cartoons, disparaging Christianity would be treated very differently.




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  86. DRE says:

    @TastyBits: I notice you are have a very high opinion of yourself.

    Project much?




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  87. DRE says:

    @TastyBits: A series of links does not make an argument.

    I know better than to engage here but sometimes I just can’t help myself. You seem to be saying that evidence is not argument, and that may be true. However, organizing evidence which is relevant to the discussion and responsive to other arguments is. On the other hand the following are not arguments:

    Engaging with you will be a futile exercise.
    Is knowing how to insert hyperlink a sign of intellectualism?
    Quoting somebody is the same as providing a link. This does not make your argument.
    When you know a little more about history get back to me.
    Really? This is your retort? Wikipedia articles do not constitute an argument.
    Is this a joke? Was this done by a high school junior?
    You may want to do some research and rewrite the article.




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  88. jukeboxgrad says:

    tasty:

    Engaging with you will be a futile exercise. You will provide multiple links interspersed with a few sentences. These sentences will be neither original nor insightful, and very little of what you write will be cohesive.

    I’m impressed by your ability to predict the future. Where can I buy a crystal ball like yours?

    you cite Palin, Falwell, and McCain to support your argument

    Because I cited multiple examples of how the GOP is in bed with Christian extremists, and those people are part of those examples.

    Your argument that Eric Rudolph is a fundamental [sic] Christian terrorist

    Are you claiming that he is something other than a Christian terrorist? And the problem is not just that he’s a Christian terrorist. The problem is that he was supported by the Christians of Murphy NC, including pastors who supported him. He was also supported by Palin when she refused to say that he is a terrorist.

    These facts might be inconvenient for you because they contradict the picture you were painting when you jumped into this thread with this remark: “Christians do not fly planes into buildings.”




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  89. DRE says:

    @TastyBits: If the adherents of a religion comport themselves without resorting to violence in a civilized society, this would indicate that the religion was not the problem. In this case, the problem may be a local issue. Refusing to acknowledge a problem will not make it go away.

    I would suggest there is a regional problem, and religion is being used as a pretext.

    By the way, I would suggest that this is the point that Herb and jukeboxgrad have been making, in response to your “Christians don’t fly planes into buildings”, which implied that a specific religion was the problem, rather than a pretext.




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  90. jukeboxgrad says:

    Exactly.




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  91. TastyBits says:

    @DRE

    My initial comment was retorted with a link to a Wikipedia article title “Christian terrorism”. The article was ridiculous. I pointed out the problems, and in a late comment, I provided examples that could be used to support the “Christian terrorism” argument. I received links and quotes as a response. One of the links was to another link with instructions to search for “Rudolph”. I did, and I was not impressed. There were more links, but there were a few sentences included.

    There was a discussion about intellectuals in the comment with “Rudolph”. Hence, the “opinion” snipe. I do not consider myself to be an intellectual, and according the link, I am “anti-intellectual, by definition”.


    “Christians don’t fly planes into buildings”, which implied that a specific religion was the problem, rather than a pretext.

    I intentionally constructed my sentence. If I wanted to imply that a specific religion were the problem, I would have reworded the sentence.

    Muslims do fly planes into building along with a long list of other activities. For this reason, denigrating Islam is not allowed, but denigrating Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, and Hinduism is allowed. The original post was about free speech, but I delved off into a side discussion about Muslims.




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  92. mattb says:

    @TastyBits:

    Muslims do fly planes into building along with a long list of other activities.

    I avoided this the first time… I can’t do it a second time…

    Muslims fly planes into buildings in the same way that Christians engages in one of the most efficient and systematic acts of religious/ethnic genocide in recent memory.

    You are correct that the Holocaust wasn’t an act of terrorism persea. But somehow sectioning it off into a safe place where it can’t be brought into the conversation is a fundamentally dishonest move (or rather a way of ensuring that you cannot lose the debate).

    You are correct that countless Christians who assisted in the Holocaust were not terrorists. But pretending that Religious difference played no part in the persecution of Jews and the ultimate sanction of them in Germany is as false as pretending that Islam had nothing to do with 9/11.

    And note that Far Right radicals in Germany did use Christian doctrine (including, unfortunately the writings of Martin Luther) and biblical passages as justification for persecuting and eventually moving the Jews to concentration camps.

    Of course to suggest that EVERY CHRISTIAN or EVERY MUSLIM is responsible or approves of the acts of these few — or that these acts are ultimate caused or perpetuated by Religion (and carving out all of the other socio-economic-historical-geopolitical factors) is ultimately the act of a weak (at best) argument.

    Again, the vast amount of Muslims worldwide have not rioted. Even in the Near East, the vast majority of the population — of Muslims — haven’t risen up. But your phrasing of the situation — as far as I can tell — ignores all of this. Islam in this case is always retrograde. Christians on the other hand, are more or less always civilized.

    It’s an ugly argument. It’s a fundamentally flawed argument.




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  93. DRE says:

    @TastyBits: Well, then your entire discussion with jukeboxgrad was off point, because your careful wording was misinterpreted by everyone who responded, and jukeboxgrad’s response was therefore lost on you. I am comfortable saying that he was not disparaging Christians, or claiming they are prone to terrorism. He was making the point that any religion can be used as an excuse for terrorism, which is why his “true Scotsman” post and Herb’s follow-up were exactly on point. Unfortunately all of the snide remarks masked the fact, which I can see in rereading a number of your posts, that you were agreeing with them, even while disparaging them.




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  94. mattb says:

    @TastyBits:
    If it isn’t your intent to single out a religion, then I’d suggest you really need to change the way that you are writing things.

    BTW, it should also be noted that if one moves beyond a global view, towards specific localities — especially ones where there is a specific State Sponsored religion — one sees many cases where blasphemy of Buddism, Hinduism, etc does in fact spark off these sorts of riots and killings.

    Again, this has very little to do with the Religion specifically, and is far more about the oppression of minority groups and the quelling of any sort of dissent.




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  95. TastyBits says:

    @jukeboxgrad

    If your argument is “Christians do perform terrorist acts”, say it. If in support of that argument you want to cite examples, do it. You are going to need more than one example, but that is not difficult. Unless “Palin, Falwell, and McCain” are examples of Christians performing terrorist acts, they have no relation to the premise.

    This is not a difficult argument to make. I have got you started, but you can finish it. The problem is that once you have finished the argument it has no relation to my original comment. You pulled one part of my comment out of context, and you proceeded to build a case against it. I think that there is a Wikipedia article about this, but you can locate the link.

    You are correct. I am not addressing Rudolph because it is inconvenient. Instead of falling into your trap, I have put forth a number of statements that could be attacked. Defending these statements would require a substantial amount of time, and there would still be a substantial counter argument to make against my statements.




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  96. TastyBits says:

    @MattT


    … The key difference here from art like “Piss Christ” and atheists poking fun of Christians is the expectation by the filmmakers of a violent response.

    The main difference is that Christians do not fly planes into buildings, but I am sure it is rude to notice such things in polite company.

    This has still not been addressed. When Christians begin rioting and blowing up stuff, the “Piss Christ” will be considered hate speech.

    I have not addressed Islam or Muslims. I have addressed the impact on free speech by certain actions. As I thought, it is rude to notice such things.




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  97. regbs says:

    @TastyBits, Your ignorance of the virtue and necessity of free speech is an indictment against the Left’s hijacking of the Western world’s academy and the Left’s contempt of Western civilization. In the 21st century, a review of 17th century fundamental foundations of Anglo-Saxon liberty should not be necessary. But start yours with a review John Milton’s Areopagitica.

    Your argument fails in attributing actions to speech. Speech does not remove any actor’s volition. Your “as a result of” attempt to connect speech to murderous rioting thousands of miles away is absurd, dangerous and irreconcilable with free speech. By your reasoning, a government may justify censorship by alluding to the most absurd and tenuous causation. The Left has always hated free speech. Every Marxist government outlaws it; Left-wing extremists from the ADL to militant gay rights lobbies claim that free speech yields violence.

    It’s important history to recognize that Fascism flourished in catholic societies with severe curbs on political liberty. Despite the freedom that existed to form political parties, communicate and advocate freely throughout Protestant Scandinavia and the WASP world, Fascism was never politically viable in any predominantly Protestant country – never garnering more than 10% of the vote. In contrast, the papist societies’ oppressive Weimar and royalist Italy were where Fascism flourished.

    Freedom of speech dilutes and weakens extremism. The censorship you advocate strengthens extremism. Oliver Wendell Holmes’ marketplace of ideas was right. Cas Sunstein’s and your declaration that Holmes and liberty are obsolete are irreconcilable with the Constitution’s guarantees, which is why the Left uses euphemisms like ‘living, breathing Constitution’ to ignore the restrictions on government power that prevent tyranny.




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  98. jukeboxgrad says:

    tasty:

    You are correct. I am not addressing Rudolph because it is inconvenient.

    Thanks, that’s what I thought.




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  99. DRE says:

    @TastyBits: This has still not been addressed. When Christians begin rioting and blowing up stuff, the “Piss Christ” will be considered hate speech.

    Of course it has.

    mattb says:

    Friday, September 14, 2012 at 13:27
    …Again, this has very little to do with the Religion specifically, and is far more about the oppression of minority groups and the quelling of any sort of dissent.

    If that doesn’t deal with it I am at a loss to see what your point might be.




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  100. TastyBits says:

    @mattb

    … pretending that Islam had nothing to do with 9/11.

    I think there is a strong case to be made that Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda hijacked Islam, but that is a different argument.




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  101. TastyBits says:

    @regbs

    … The censorship you advocate strengthens extremism. …

    I am not sure what led you to this conclusion. If you provide the basis, I will correct it immediately.

    My position is that there are no exceptions for bad behavior. I do believe a sovereign country can make its own laws, and if they want to tolerate bad behavior, that is their problem. To be clear, I do not distinguish by religion.




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  102. TastyBits says:

    @mattb

    If it isn’t your intent to single out a religion, then I’d suggest you really need to change the way that you are writing things.

    Because you are confused by my way of writing things, I must change to accommodate you? I specifically constructed my sentence to avoid denigrating any single religion. If I understand correctly, I am required to construct my sentences to ensure that I do not offend a reader who may misinterpret what I have written.




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  103. regbs says:

    Congratulations. By your method, any individual or group can censor whatever it likes if it gets mad enough, throws a big enough fit, and causes enough destruction.

    Bigotry is subjective. So is offensiveness. If you don’t like a point of view, argue against it, ignore it. Since you missed the memo, the compromise that’s worked with free speech is that you tolerate what you dislike in exchange for others allowing you to express what they might dislike.

    Anyone could declare on of your points of view bigoted or otherwise objectionable. By your approach, you would bear whatever resulted from the objecting parties’ reaction.

    Frightening rejection of God-given rights in order to seek some elite’s approval.




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  104. mattb says:

    No one is forcing you to change anything.

    My point is, given that so many commenters seem to be having similiar problems understanding what you are trying to convey, if clear communications is your goal, you are not expressing your ideas as clearly as you think you are.




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  105. mattb says:

    @TastyBits:

    Parsing @regbs thought-salad leads me to think that his “responses” to you have far more to do with his personal axes than anything you actually wrote.




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  106. jukeboxgrad says:

    tasty:

    I specifically constructed my sentence to avoid denigrating any single religion.

    You said this:

    Christians do not fly planes into buildings

    That statement has no meaning unless you are trying to convey this idea: that when people “fly planes into buildings,” it has something to do with the fact that they are something other than Christian.




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  107. jukeboxgrad says:

    You also said this:

    Muslims do fly planes into building along with a long list of other activities. For this reason, denigrating Islam is not allowed, but denigrating Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, and Hinduism is allowed.

    While also saying this:

    I do not distinguish by religion

    You’re all over the map. You remind me of Mitt.




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  108. TastyBits says:

    @DRE

    I did not bring religion into the discussion. @jukeboxgrad linked to a Wikipedia article about Christian terrorism, and I addressed the article. My comments were about Christian terrorism, and specifically about the examples in the article. I agreed that an argument could be made that anti-abortionists are Christian terrorists. I would include Eric Rudolph in that group, but apparently, a separate discussion was required. Christian terrorism in relation to free speech issues would have been a better discussion.

    @Herb brought in Muslims, and the discussion veered in that direction. In that discussion, I took the opposite position. I argued that wealth and power were applicable to Muslims and Muslim countries. In this discussion, it should have been apparent that religion was not a differentiator.

    I would like anybody to show how I have disparaged any religion.




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  109. jukeboxgrad says:

    an earlier tasty:

    Your argument that Eric Rudolph is a fundamental Christian terrorist is a mishmash.

    a later tasty:

    I agreed that an argument could be made that anti-abortionists are Christian terrorists. I would include Eric Rudolph in that group

    I hope all the different tastys can get together and decide what story they want to tell.




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  110. TastyBits says:

    @jukeboxgrad


    “Christians don’t fly planes into buildings”, which implied that a specific religion was the problem, rather than a pretext.

    I intentionally constructed my sentence. If I wanted to imply that a specific religion were the problem, I would have reworded the sentence.

    Muslims do fly planes into building along with a long list of other activities. For this reason, denigrating Islam is not allowed, but denigrating Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, and Hinduism is allowed. The original post was about free speech, but I delved off into a side discussion about Muslims.


    You’re all over the map. You remind me of Mitt.




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  111. TastyBits says:

    I hit the wrong button.
    @jukeboxgrad


    “Christians don’t fly planes into buildings”, which implied that a specific religion was the problem, rather than a pretext.

    I intentionally constructed my sentence. If I wanted to imply that a specific religion were the problem, I would have reworded the sentence.

    Muslims do fly planes into building along with a long list of other activities. For this reason, denigrating Islam is not allowed, but denigrating Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, and Hinduism is allowed. The original post was about free speech, but I delved off into a side discussion about Muslims.

    This is the quote in context. You missed the sentences before and after your quote.

    A case can be made. You have not made it.

    You’re all over the map. You remind me of Mitt.

    I assume you are referring to Mitt Romney. You are tedious and trifling, but I knew that from my crystal ball.




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  112. TastyBits says:

    @mattb

    I understand what you are saying, but the problem is that I am being prejudged based upon the preconceived notions of the reader. Many of those responding to my comments seem to have an assumption that I am prejudging a religion. This may or may not be the case, but I have respond to the actual content not my perceptions.

    I strive for intellectual honesty and philosophical consistency. If that offends somebody, it is not my problem. (This is a general comment, and it is not directed at you.)




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  113. DRE says:

    @TastyBits: I strive for intellectual honesty and philosophical consistency. If that offends somebody, it is not my problem. (This is a general comment, and it is not directed at you.)

    I said earlier that I knew better than to engage, and I really should have followed my better judgment. Too late for that now, but after this I’ll shut up.

    Nobody was offended by your intellectual honesty and philosophical consistency. People disagreed with what they understood you to be saying. You responded with insults and style criticism, and whatever argument you were trying to make was lost in the noise. I have made a genuine effort to figure out what your point is or was. I went back and read all your comments again and tried to look at the context. I actually thought I had it at one point but your responses to Mattb made me decide I was wrong, so I went back and looked again. Nothing. Clearly it was a waste of my time.




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  114. jukeboxgrad says:

    I strive for intellectual honesty and philosophical consistency.

    Of course. That’s why you said this:

    Your argument that Eric Rudolph is a fundamental Christian terrorist is a mishmash.

    And this:

    I agreed that an argument could be made that anti-abortionists are Christian terrorists. I would include Eric Rudolph in that group

    And haven’t bothered to explain why you contradicted yourself.

    Or maybe your point is that you agree with my conclusion about Rudolph, but don’t like the argument I used to support my conclusion. Which means you’re a pedantic clown, because you didn’t a) express this distinction or b) show any problems with my “argument” or c) show your allegedly superior argument.




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  115. TastyBits says:

    @DRE

    It is really not that difficult. If Christians were to riot and blow up stuff whenever Jesus was denigrated, “Piss Christ” would be investigated to determine if there was “a premeditated effort to incite violence.” Ms. Butler’s tweet would have been, “How soon is Andres Serrano going in jail folks?”

    Christians are used because the original quote was about the “Piss Christ”. If this is offensive, change the nouns. “If Chicagoans were to riot and blow up stuff whenever the Bears were denigrated, pro Packers bumper stickers would be investigated.”

    … You responded with insults and style criticism …

    I have tried to address any comments in a respectful and thoughtful manner. Most of the comments had nothing to do with my original point, but I addressed them nonetheless.
    If you mean @jukeboxgrad, I was being kind. I addressed this issue in an earlier post to you.




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  116. jukeboxgrad says:

    I have tried to address any comments in a respectful and thoughtful manner. … If you mean @jukeboxgrad, I was being kind.

    Naturally. That’s why the very first words you said to me were these:

    Is this a joke? Was this done by a high school junior?




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  117. TastyBits says:

    @jukeboxgrad

    … your allegedly superior argument.

    These are your words not mine. I have not made any claim to having a superior argument.

    Or maybe your point is that you agree with my conclusion about Rudolph, but don’t like the argument I used to support my conclusion.

    This is how it works:

    Premise – Eric Rudolph is a fundamental Christian terrorist.
    (1) Show that Rudolph is a terrorist.
    (2) Show that Rudolph’s terrorism was to further the Christian religion.

    Falwell, Palin, McCain, Dinosaurs, anti-intellectualism have nothing to do with supporting your premise. This creates a mishmash.

    You can then use this to support another premise, and this is how you construct an argument. At least, that is how “a pedantic clown” does it.




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  118. jukeboxgrad says:

    Rudolph is a fundamental Christian terrorist.

    The first time you said “fundamental” I thought it was a typo. Now I realize you’re just illiterate.

    This creates a mishmash.

    That’s a good way to describe your practice of failing to separate your own words from the words you are quoting.

    I have not made any claim to having a superior argument.

    Then I guess you have no argument at all, because you never told us why you said this:

    I would include Eric Rudolph in that group [Christian terrorists]




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  119. TastyBits says:

    @jukeboxgrad


    True, Christian terrorism generally takes other forms.

    Is this a joke? Was this done by a high school junior?

    This is the quote in context. The article is a joke. It was started 8 years and this is the best the authors can do? “The Gunpowder Plot of 1605” is the terrorist incident from Great Britain section. I am stunned. I did acknowledge that the anti-abortionist example in the US section could be worked into an argument.




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  120. TastyBits says:

    @jukeboxgrad

    tasty:

    You are correct. I am not addressing Rudolph because it is inconvenient.

    Thanks, that’s what I thought.

    I thought this was settled. You are right. I am wrong.




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  121. jukeboxgrad says:

    I did acknowledge that the anti-abortionist example in the US section could be worked into an argument.

    Of course. And you also said this:

    Your argument that Eric Rudolph is a fundamental Christian terrorist is a mishmash.

    But you provided no alternate argument, so I guess your argument is that the best argument is no argument at all. Thanks for clearing that up.

    You are right. I am wrong.

    I’m glad we could find this common ground.




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  122. TastyBits says:

    @jukeboxgrad

    I should have thanked you for addressing my comments directly. I am not sure what the connection Rudolph has with my original comment.

    The problem with what you wrote in the Volokh is that it is an indictment of the right. There is no problem with doing that, but it is different than the Rudolph is a Christian terrorist. Break it apart into two separate parts.

    The problem with Christian terrorism is that there is very little of it, and it is difficult to equate it with Islamic terrorism. This is why the Wikipedia article has to stretch to find incidents. The case would have been made a long time ago, and after 8 years, the authors have not been able to do better.

    Your Volokh comments did have one point which is related to my side discussion of the problem being regional, and this may be the connection I am missing. Rudolph was supported or tolerated by the surrounding community. Terrorists are rarely supported by the community in the the US and Europe, but in areas where there is support, terrorists and terrorism flourish.

    My original comment had nothing to do with Muslims or Islam. If my wording caused prejudices to be exposed, that is not my fault. Prejudice is a big problem in the US, and I have commented on it extensively in a previous thread.

    My comment is and was about free speech being less free because of certain actions. Christians were included because of “Piss Christ” in the quote. It could have been worded differently:

    “The main difference is that Illegal aliens do not fly planes into buildings …”

    This does not fit into the context of the quote. If the original quote included Ann Coulter and her books, it would have fit. “If illegal aliens rioted and blew up things whenever their status was denigrated, Ann Coulter would need to be investigated every time she wrote a book.” The original quote did not include Ann Coulter’s books, and therefore, illegal aliens were not appropriate.

    Again, my original comment was never addressed.




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  123. jukeboxgrad says:

    Terrorists are rarely supported by the community in the the US and Europe

    Palin refusing to say that Rudolph is a terrorist is an indication that you’re wrong. Another famous terrorist whose terrorism is routinely denied “in the the US” is Menachem Begin.

    Another indication that you’re wrong:

    Muslims and Americans are equally likely to reject attacks on civilians as morally unjustifiable.

    Link.

    my original comment was never addressed

    Another indication that your favorite position is this.




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  124. TastyBits says:

    @jukeboxgrad

    Palin refusing to say that Rudolph is a terrorist is an indication that you’re wrong. …

    The one does not follow the other. Refusing to denounce something is not the same as supporting that thing. If this were the case, any Muslim who did not denounce each bad action done by a Muslim would be supporting that action.

    I dislike (f*cking hate) asking somebody to denounce something because a stereotype links them to that something. Muslims do not need to denounce terrorist actions by Muslims to prove they do not support terrorist actions by Muslims. It is demeaning and repulsive. Sarah Palin is not exempt from this. She is not required to denounce anything to prove she does not support it.

    Muslims and Americans are equally likely to reject attacks on civilians as morally unjustifiable.

    My original comment had nothing to do with any of this. Your prejudice has allowed you to stereotype my comment. In none of my additional comments did I make these claims. The fact is that I specifically stated the opposite. If the problem was religion, we would see American Muslims rioting and blowing up stuff, but that is not the case.

    My conclusion is that it is a regional and cultural problem with Islam as a pretext, but that is the condensed version, Religion is a factor in some instances, but not necessarily in the way it is usually portrayed. Also, there are American Muslims who support terrorism, but they are the exception.

    I saw your “head in the sand” link in your Volokh comments. It was silly then, and it is silly now. I am always impressed with the talents of intellectuals.




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  125. jukeboxgrad says:

    If this were the case, any Muslim who did not denounce each bad action done by a Muslim would be supporting that action.

    This is a bogus analogy. If it was a Muslim leader (not just “any Muslim”), and they were specifically asked about a specific terrorist act by another Muslim (not just any random “bad action done by a Muslim”), and they specifically refused to call it “terrorism,’ it would be entirely fair to accuse them of “supporting that action.” Especially if they had a track record of complaining about lots of other kinds of ‘terrorism.’ And this corresponds to what Palin did. Did you even follow the link to read the interview? I have a feeling you didn’t.

    If the problem was religion, we would see American Muslims rioting and blowing up stuff

    If the problem is not religion, you shouldn’t be making statements like this:

    Christians do not fly planes into buildings




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  126. TastyBits says:

    @jukeboxgrad

    Requiring anybody (leaders included) to “swear a loyalty oath” is demeaning and repulsive.

    I am not required to ensure that my comments do not fit your stereotypes. Your prejudice is your issue. In the US, millions of people are prejudged by the stereotypes of somebody. It is vile and disgusting. I would suggest that you are part of the problem, and you may want to eliminate some of your prejudices.

    @TOO TALL

    If your still out there, I am trying brother, but we have a long way to go. (If somebody could pass this to him, I would appreciate it.)

    Right is right, and wrong is wrong. I try to keep it straight.




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  127. jukeboxgrad says:

    Requiring anybody (leaders included) to “swear a loyalty oath” is demeaning and repulsive.

    Expecting Palin to describe Rudoph’s terrorism as terrorism has nothing to do with “swear a loyalty oath.”

    A helpful comparison is Imam Rauf, who was described by WSJ as a “secret radical,” even though he repeatedly did what Palin refused to do: explicitly condemn terrorism by his own people. But I’m sure at the time you were rejecting those attacks on Rauf as “demeaning and repulsive,” right?




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  128. TastyBits says:

    @jukeboxgrad

    A helpful comparison is Imam Rauf, who was described by WSJ as a “secret radical,” even though he repeatedly did what Palin refused to do: explicitly condemn terrorism by his own people. But I’m sure at the time you were rejecting those attacks on Rauf as “demeaning and repulsive,” right?

    Imam Rauf is NOT required to “explicitly condemn terrorism by his own people” in order to prove to you that he is not a terrorist supporter or any other thing your prejudices dictate. Let me restate: Nobody is required to denounce anything to prove to you that they are not what you think they are.

    If the WSJ requires Imam Rauf to “explicitly condemn terrorism by his own people”, the WSJ is wrong, and they are vile and despicable. This in no way justifies your disparaging anybody because of your prejudices. Your logic places you in with the other vile and disgusting haters. I would have thought that you would have backed off by now, but apparently, your hatred is too deep.

    You know nothing about me except what I have written on this blog and the glittering eye, but I suspect that this is the only thread you have read. If you can find anything to suggest that I would support your assumption, please post it. Otherwise, F*CK OFF.

    Right is right, and wrong is wrong. I try to keep it straight.




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  129. jukeboxgrad says:

    Imam Rauf is NOT required to “explicitly condemn terrorism by his own people” in order to prove to you that he is not a terrorist supporter or any other thing your prejudices dictate.

    Really? Is that what you said when it mattered?

    You know nothing about me except what I have written on this blog and the glittering eye

    You’re Dave Schuler? Then I don’t know why you’re not posting as Dave Schuler. Anyway, you seem to have linked approvingly to a post condemning Rauf for not doing enough to “swear a loyalty oath.”

    Contradicting yourself seems to be a specialty. Like I said, you remind me of Multiple-Choice Mitt.




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  130. TastyBits says:

    @jukeboxgrad

    I post in the comments. The same as here, and I have the same handle. Obviously, I am not Dave Schuler.

    Contradicting yourself seems to be a specialty. Like I said, you remind me of Multiple-Choice Mitt.

    Let me guess. Mormon leaders need to denounce anything your stereotype ascribes to them. The problem with bigots is that their bigotry is not limited to one group. You will keep exposing yourself, and the number of groups you hate will grow. Fortunately, bigots cannot help themselves. This allows them to be drawn out and exposed.




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  131. jukeboxgrad says:

    Let me guess.

    “Guess” is the right word for what you’re doing. Where did I ever say the problem with Mitt is his Mormonism? What you have in common with Mitt is standing firmly on both sides of every available fence.




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  132. TastyBits says:

    @jukeboxgrad

    I am quite impressed. I thought surely Mormon leaders would need to denounce polygamy, terrorism, or one of your other stereotypes. So far, Sarah Palin and Muslim leaders are required to prove that do not fit your stereotype but not Mormon leaders.

    I could be accused of stereotyping haters, and that would be correct. I hate bigots. They are vile and disgusting. Haters usually also hate other haters. I would suggest that you not let the other haters know that you are OK with Mormon leaders.




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  133. jukeboxgrad says:

    I thought surely …

    That’s because you think lots of things that have no basis outside your imagination.

    Now you need to either show that I’m an anti-Mormon bigot, or apologize for describing me as one.




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  134. TastyBits says:

    @jukeboxgrad

    You are tedious and trifling. Thumping “intellectuals” was fun in my youth, but it became boring years ago. “Intellectuals” are neither intellectually honest nor philosophically consistent. With enough time and the Socratic Method, it is like “taking candy from a baby”. Since most “intellectuals” are not quite as smart as they think they are, it usually does not take much time to expose them as idiots.

    I thought you would back off the prejudice a long time ago, but instead, you decided to expose your stereotypes of Muslims. Your requirement that Muslim leaders denounce terrorism by people that happen to share his religion is astounding. You are trafficking in stereotypes and engaging in religious bigotry. It is vile and disgusting.

    In your zeal to disparage Mitt Romney, it is only a matter of time before your religious bigotry is extended to Mormons. I will NOT ever apologize to a bigot.

    Trafficking in stereotypes is usually effective because stereotypes have a basis in reality. The problem is when the victim does not fit the stereotype. Far too often, the result is tragic. On this board, the result is merely exposed stupidity or hurt feelings, but it provides justification for anybody to use stereotypes.

    I am finished with you. You have been exposed, and you refuse to reform.

    @TOO TALL

    One more piece of trash has been tossed onto the garbage pile. PEACE.

    Right is right, and wrong is wrong. I try to keep it straight.




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  135. jukeboxgrad says:

    Blah, blah, blah. This is what you said:

    Let me guess. Mormon leaders need to denounce anything your stereotype ascribes to them. The problem with bigots is that their bigotry is not limited to one group.

    You accused me of being an anti-Mormon bigot. You need to either show proof, or apologize. I’ll be waiting patiently.

    Your requirement that Muslim leaders denounce terrorism by people that happen to share his religion is astounding.

    If I am leader of a group and a member of my group engages in terrorism, and I am specifically asked about that, there is a problem if I pointedly refrain from describing the terrorism as terrorism. This doesn’t just apply to “Muslim leaders.” It applies to all leaders. Palin failed this test. This is an important fact you’re trying really hard to ignore.




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  136. TastyBits says:

    For anybody still following the discussion, some of what is being discussed was in a link @jukeboxgrad directed me to read. For those who did not follow the link, here is a synopsis:

    @jukeboxgrad has put together an indictment of Sarah Palin and the GOP. He establishes Rudolph is a terrorist through several links. He puts forth that the community has supported Rudolph, and therefore, they are terrorist supporters. This is a good point, but the argument then turns to Sarah Palin. She does not denounce Rudolph, and this proves she is a terrorist sympathizer. There are several links to follow for this. Falwell, McCain, and the GOP are thrown in with more links.

    At this point the target (me in this case) is invited to denounce Sarah Palin’s refusal to denounce Rudolph’s terrorist actions. Anybody who does not denounce Palin is a terrorist supporter. I am guessing at this point @jukeboxgrad and the target begin going back and forth about Palin. At this point, I did not follow the stereotype of a right wing nut. I first ignored, then conceded, and finally turned his argument back onto him.

    In order to force the Palin terrorist support issue, he demanded Muslim leaders denounce terrorist acts by other people based upon a similar religion. My Mormon comment was to draw him out further, but I was getting tired of the nonsense. Follow the link to verify:

    I already did, years ago (in that comment, follow the link).

    One of the links is to a picture of a guy with his head in the sand, and he linked to it for me.

    There was also an ongoing discussion about intellectuals being elites. @jukeboxgrad’s position was that intellectuals are elite, and anybody who disagreed was an anti-intellectual. This is where my “intellectual” sarcasm comes from.

    @TOO TALL was a commenter I was discussing racism, prejudice, stereotypes, and bigotry. I told him that I would try to educate the ignorant, and those who refused to reform were bigots. Unfortunately, he has to live with bigotry because of the color of his skin. There was a lot we did not agree upon, but this was not one.

    My original comment was related to the free speech issue, and this has never been addressed. None of the side-show issues were in the original comment. Through his attempts to drag me into a debate about Sarah Palin (and whatever else), @jukeboxgrad has been exposed as intellectually dishonest and a trafficker of stereotypes. His bigotry is a result of the intellectual dishonesty, but it is vile and disgusting nonetheless.




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  137. jukeboxgrad says:

    the argument then turns to Sarah Palin. She does not denounce Rudolph, and this proves she is a terrorist sympathizer

    I’ll let Rick Moran explain it to you. In case you don’t know, he has impeccable right-wing credentials. Link (10/25/08):

    THE MORAL COWARDICE OF SARAH PALIN … The answer is, yes – I prefer to go down in flames, hitching a ride with the Valkyries to Valhalla rather than cheerleading for a man who would choose a woman as his running mate with such a wretched moral sense.

    … Sarah Palin is refusing to call people who would bomb abortion clinics terrorists. Yes, she condemns their actions. But she is parsing the definition of terrorism so as not to offend that small, but vocal part of the conservative base who may not see clinic bombers as heroes, but refuse to place their actions in a a moral context that equates the tactics of the jihadis with the Eric Rudolphs of the world.

    This is moral cowardice. The purpose of bombing abortion clinics (it hasn’t happened in a decade) is exactly the same as fanatics who set off car bombs in crowded markets; that is, to intimidate and to terrorize people.

    … The death of innocents perpetrated for political ends, be it fewer abortions due to the terrorizing of women and fewer abortion clinics due to their destruction, or the blowing up of a marketplace to intimidate and frighten people into abandoning support for their government is terrorism. It is always terrorism. It was terrorism yesterday, it is terrorism today, and it will be terrorism tomorrow. And anyone who can’t make the moral judgment that this is so is, in my opinion, a coward – especially since if Palin had admitted that bombing abortion clinics was terrorism, she would have angered a small but significant part of the conservative base.

    … Palin’s parsing is an ignominious example of a politician who would rather pander to the extreme of her base instead of taking a clear, unambiguous moral stand against political violence. She should be condemned for this by those on the right who claim moral ascendancy over the rest of us due to their religious beliefs as well as any thinking conservative who cares about the moral standing of our candidates.




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  138. TastyBits says:

    I will state this once again. Possibly your sick & twisted f*cktard brain can comprehend.

    NOBODY OWES YOU A REASSURANCE THAT THEY ARE NOT DOING WHAT YOUR SICK & TWISTED F*UCKTARD BRAIN THINKS THEY WILL DO.

    Once again:

    NOBODY OWES YOU A REASSURANCE THAT THEY ARE NOT DOING WHAT YOUR SICK & TWISTED F*UCKTARD BRAIN THINKS THEY WILL DO.

    Furthermore scumbag, you cannot claim your prejudice is only against Muslim leaders. Making one person accountable for the actions of another because they share the same religion is disgusting, and you cannot limit your bigotry to the Muslim leaders. Prejudice, stereotypes, and bigotry are vile and repulsive.

    Let me go even further. This should really get your scumbag mind going. Imam Raul does not owe you anything, and as long as he is not violating any laws, he can advocate anything he wants. It is none of your f*cking business. I have seen him a few times, and he seems to polite to tell you to f*ck off. I will tell you F*CK OFF.

    It is because of scumbags like you that young black men cannot wear hoodies and Sikhs cannot wear turbans. They fit some sick & twisted f*cktard’s stereotype. F*CK YOU and your stereotypes.

    I do not care how many of your right wing buddies you want to quote. It is always the same with bigots. You all want to quote somebody to make your point. At some point you will begin quoting scientific “studies” proving that the Muslim brain is not as fully developed as the white man. F*CK YOU.

    You will never get an apology from me. You are a bigot, and I despise you and your kind. F*CK YOU.

    Also, Sarah Palin does not owe you or your right wing buddy any explanation, apology, denunciation, or anything else either of your sick & twisted f*cktard minds can dream up.

    NOBODY OWES YOU A REASSURANCE THAT THEY ARE NOT DOING WHAT YOUR SICK & TWISTED F*UCKTARD BRAIN THINKS THEY WILL DO.




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  139. jukeboxgrad says:

    f*cktard … F*UCKTARD … F*UCKTARD … scumbag … scumbag … f*cking … f*ck off … F*CK OFF … scumbags … f*cktard’s … F*CK YOU … F*CK YOU. … F*CK YOU. … f*cktard … SICK & TWISTED F*UCKTARD

    I was pretty sure you didn’t mean it earlier when you said this:

    I am finished with you.

    Promises, promises.




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  140. TastyBits says:

    @jukeboxgrad

    Upon rereading what I wrote, I realize that I went over the line, and I should not have called you a f*cktard. I also take back the sick & twisted mind. I still think it is intellectual dishonesty, not bigotry that is driving you, and I would prefer to not think of you as a bigot. I was using the “looks like a duck, …” logic, and I should not have. It was wrong, and I apologize for it.

    I cannot stand bigotry. It is vile and disgusting. I have allowed it to cloud my judgement. Right is right, and wrong is wrong. I try to keep it straight, but in this case, I failed. I am correcting myself.

    I do object to you accusing me of using religion as a link when I have not, but you are doing exactly that. I also object to your quoting me out of context to make it look like I was disparaging Muslims. In my opinion, that is what you are doing, but I am required to prove the case. I have not, and therefore, I will back off that also. To be clear, I am not accusing you of disparaging Muslims or disparaging anybody else.

    Finally, I will not take your “Sarah Palin test”, and when I am given an “Imam Raul test”, I will refuse to take it also. You can be sure that there is someone who will replace her with him using the same argument. It is demeaning, and I reject it.




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  141. jukeboxgrad says:

    Yet another demonstration that this was a joke:

    I am finished with you.




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  142. moyerrp says:

    I disagree with your assessment. While Bacile (or whoever they are) certainly has the right to denegrate any religion they want, they do NOT have the right to endanger American lives. The makers of the anti-Muslim film KNEW that the film would inflame the emotions of the Islamic peoples in the Middle East. Whether or not they meant to harm or kill Americans overseas is not the case. Much the same as the driver that did not mean to run over and kill the pedestrian, the driver is still responsible for thier actions and could be charged with vehicular manslaughter. If they are not held responsible, than it should be legal to yell “fire” in a crowded theather.




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  143. Obviously the muslim world is not fit for freedom. Too stupid, ignorant, and superstitious to handle a poorly made video by a coptic christian Egyptian who may have a legitimate complaint about how Islamist treat non-believers. Is that what the Russian Senators are trying to say?




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