Sunday, August 13, 2006

The Better Way of Fighting Terrorists

"Nothing is as terrible to see as ignorance in action." -- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe


From Cenk Uygur on Huffington Post:
There are two schools of thought in the country right now. One is the Republican idea that we are fighting against Islamic fascism (whatever that is) and that we need to go on the offense against Muslim states that support the Islamofascist terrorists. It's hard not to laugh as you say it.

Islamofascists?

The second school of thought is that we can fight terrorism better by isolating the terrorists from the rest of the Muslim population, finding them and neutralizing them. The idea here is that instead of fanning the flames of hate and helping the Muslim fundamentalists spread their ideology to others, we work with the majority of Muslims in rooting out the extremists in their midst.

I can see Republicans reflexively getting ready to shout now - you can't work with Muslims, they're all Islamofascists looking to destroy our way of life. Other than being painfully stupid, that is incomprehensibly wrong. A great majority of Muslims have nothing against our way of life. They have no desire to take over Kentucky or to make sure the people of Alaska don't have freedom.

The idea that Muslims are looking to take over the world and are on the precipice of dominating militarily as the Nazis did is so laughable that I can't quite believe they're saying it out loud. Nazi Germany took France in five days. Are Islamic fundamentalists about to roll their tanks in to Paris and Prague?

These conservatives want to pick a fight - not just with the Muslim terrorists - but with all of Islam. Hardly has there been a more dangerous idea. A majority of Muslim countries have absolutely no intention of taking over the West, even if it was remotely possible. But they will fight to the death if you needlessly invade them.

But there is a better way. And ironically, we are implementing the better way right now in Pakistan. Pakistan is a country that probably has more Muslim fundamentalists than any other nation on earth. They don't just have a WMD program, they have nuclear weapons. And they have spread their nuclear weapon technology to other countries. And to top it all off, Osama bin Laden is sitting comfortably in northern Pakistan.

If the Republicans were honest and they actually believed in their own so-called principles, the most ideal country on earth to attack would be Pakistan. They have a thousand times more WMD than Iraq and Iran combined (which is pretty simple, since that number is just about zero). And they shelter the biggest terrorists in the world. On the other hand, they don't have much oil and they are not a direct threat to Israel.

But the reality is our strategy in Pakistan, while lacking in intensity and focus, is roughly the correct one. We are trying to isolate the Taliban and Al Qaeda sympathizers in northern Pakistan while working with the Pakistani government. If we invaded, we would have nuclear war with a country that has hundreds of millions of Muslims. Instead, we cooperate with them and they help us to foil the bombings in the London airport.

If we had chosen the route of "going on the offense" against Pakistan, there is an excellent chance we would have lost ten airplanes full of passengers this week.

This strategy has its clear downsides. We have to put more pressure on Pakistan to find and turn over Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri. We have to have tighter controls over their nuclear technology. But at least, this path is smart and doable.

And ironically, it is being pulled off by the very administration that is touting this nonsense war against Islamic fascists. It is clear that the administration doesn't even believe its own talking points. Otherwise, the 101st Airborne would be in Waziristan right now. So, why don't they apply this smarter strategy with the rest of the Muslim world?

I'm afraid it's because there are hardliners inside the administration that want to invade Iran - no matter what. So, they paint them as Islamic fascists and try to stir up more war fever. Just look at this ridiculous clip from Hannity and Colmes. It appears that Sean Hannity believes there is only one strategy for fighting against a couple of thousand terrorists spread out throughout the world - start a war with a couple of hundred million Muslims in select countries.

But, of course, there is a better way. The Democrats need to explain to Americans that war is not the only answer. The smarter strategy is to isolate the extremists and build up our relationship with moderate Muslims. Enlist the moderates to help us locate the terrorists and neutralize them - just like we did in the London plot we just foiled.

The American people are sick of war, just as the conservatives plot for even more wars. Democrats have to realize that pursuing the "isolate and neutralize" strategy against terrorists is not only sound policy but, at this point, also sound politics. People are eager for a better, smarter way of fighting terrorism. This is the time to finally offer it as an alternative to the endless wars the Republicans promise instead.

"A people who's primary aims are driving, shopping, and television are subject to terrorism at any time." -- Stephen Dietz

20 comments:

CyberKitten said...

I do like it when people talk sense.... It's like... a breath of freash air....

A 'war' on terror... What a joke!

Don't plan harder.. plan smarter!

We should fight terrorist the way that we have always (sucesfully) fought terrorists. The use of Intelligence, good police work, international co-operation and the ocassional shoot-out.

dbackdad said...

Our intentions are so transparent. We go after Iraq who has no terrorism until we destabilize the country and we let Pakistan and Saudi Arabia harbor and finance willy-nilly. I hate to keep going back to Syriana but there is a lot of truth in that movie. We keep letting our purported financial self-interest trump our moral self-interest.

Scott said...

I think part of the problem when we debate these issues is that we tend to lump things together too much. I think this shows in our own arguments, as well as when we listen to other peoples arguments. To me, the war in Afghanistan, the Iraq war, and the War on Terror are 3 very different wars that should be discussed separately or we make statements that might fit one but not the other.

So at any rate, I'll try not to do that as I write this.

One is the Republican idea that we are fighting against Islamic fascism (whatever that is)

If we are talking about Mahmoud Ahmadinejad here, and I assume we are because later war with Iran is alluded to, I'd like to know what he is if not a Fascist. Seriously.

Now I understand Liberal fears here, that using such terminology will pave the way to war for Bush & Co, but I see no harm in calling Fascism what it is. And I think we should hate it. Not go to war with it, there have been other fascists that we haven't gone to war with, but hate it. Btw, Fascism does not equal just like Hitler as the author seems to claim.

The second school of thought is that we can fight terrorism better by isolating the terrorists from the rest of the Muslim population, finding them and neutralizing them.

This may work in some areas, but it's not an absolute solution. The truth is that there are several countries where Fundamentalism is the majority. This is shown when parties like Hamas, Hezbollah, and the Alliance of Builders of Islamic Iran are elected by popular vote.

The reason this tactic worked in London was because it was in London. Plus Pakistan has much less hate for Westerners than most any other conservative Muslim state because they are preoccupied with hating India.

A majority of Muslim countries have absolutely no intention of taking over the West, even if it was remotely possible. But they will fight to the death if you needlessly invade them.

lol freedom fighters

This depends on whether you include Israel as "the West" or not. They certainly would like to see the end of them. Here's a simply way to sum up the Mid-East: If Muslims were to lay down all their arms, there would be peace in the Middle East. If Israel were to lay down all their arms, there would be no more Israel.

So, they paint them as Islamic fascists and try to stir up more war fever.

And at the same time Liberals paint them as freedom loving pacifists.

* in general *

Islam is a primitive religion that hates women, hates freedom of speech, hates free thought, and hates Jews. Furthermore they are willing to uphold those ideals violently. It's not just a small minority, in many cases it's the general population.

Doesn't mean we need to go to war with them, unless they attack the US first like Al-Qaeda, but painting them as something they are not doesn't help the situation either.

CyberKitten said...

scott - So what are you actually proposing... short of going to war with 'them'?

Are you saying that Islam shouldn't be allowed to exist? Such a policy is a perfect way of going from isolated incidents to a bloody global war. Is that what we really want?

If you're proposing that 'they' should be like us and then everything will be OK.... that's rather simplistic don't you think to say nothing of patronising. Maybe they don't want to be like us, or are you propsing the idea that they have no choice?

You comment about Hammas and Hezbollah being elected into power is interesting... unfortunately people vote and groups get elected - sometimes people you don't like rise to power democratically but what are you going to do... pick their candidates for them?

Scott said...

scott - So what are you actually proposing... short of going to war with 'them'?

Are you saying that Islam shouldn't be allowed to exist? Such a policy is a perfect way of going from isolated incidents to a bloody global war. Is that what we really want?

If you're proposing that 'they' should be like us and then everything will be OK.... that's rather simplistic don't you think to say nothing of patronising. Maybe they don't want to be like us, or are you propsing the idea that they have no choice?


No, or course not. Actually I would support a completely non-interventionist approach to foreign policy. No US troops on any foreign soil unless we are directly attacked by another nation or group. (i.e. 9/11 & Pearl Harbor)

If Iranians want a fascist dictator at their helm, far be it from us to stop them. So long as they keep to themselves I could care less. Hopefully such a thing will help spur an eventual revolution against Fundamentalism, where teenage girls are executed for being molested by males. Though at present time such a thing seems very far off.

I'd also like to see us finish what we started in Afghanistan, and actually declare war against Al-Qaeda.

I actually think Israel did a fine job of handling Hezbollah, but it probably was prevented from doing everything it needed to by International intervention. I suspect they succeeded in most of what they wanted though seeing as how quickly they agreed to the cease-fire.

History has shown that the only way to stop terrorists is with force. It's the way the Red Brigade and the Japanese Red Army were beaten. They are, by nature, people who only respect violence to solve problems. After all, they don't become "terrorists" until they commit violent acts. They've already foregone civil and democratic means of debate and instead have shown the only thing they respect is the gun.

Shawn said...

"The reason this tactic worked in London was because it was in London. Plus Pakistan has much less hate for Westerners than most any other conservative Muslim state because they are preoccupied with hating India."


Actually, there is a very strong anti-American feeling in Pakistan. Why so many people here are blind to the fact that much of the world doesn't adore America amazes me. We're not just the lumbering bully on the playground, we're too dumb to even realize that's how a lot of the world views us.

Islam is a primitive religion that hates women, hates freedom of speech, hates free thought, and hates Jews. Furthermore they are willing to uphold those ideals violently. It's not just a small minority, in many cases it's the general population.

As if to prove the point... Islam is far less 'primitive' than either Judaism or Christianity. Islam is the evolution of both the previous religions. It accepts and embraces the tenets of both. Equating terrorism with Islam is precisely the same as equating the Bush administration's war crimes with Christianity.

What part of 'Thou shalt not kill,' is so hard to grasp? They've got the same guidelines as Christians and - whoa, what a shocker - worship the exact same god.

So, they paint them as Islamic fascists and try to stir up more war fever.

And at the same time Liberals paint them as freedom loving pacifists.


That last part is the same bullshit that conservatives like to imply with all the 'cut and run' talk.

An asshole is and asshole no matter what their color, religion, or nationality, but you don't burn down the bar because some jerk inside started a fight with you. Sadly, Bush and the crones supporting him seem to be stuck in the 1800s mentality that the only good Injun is a dead Injun.

It's like they're performing surgery with a meat grinder and don't want to hear that they're botching the job.

But, what do I know? I actually believe that most people just want to live their lives in peace.

CyberKitten said...

shawn said: But, what do I know? I actually believe that most people just want to live their lives in peace.

I totally agree with you.

scott said: History has shown that the only way to stop terrorists is with force. It's the way the Red Brigade and the Japanese Red Army were beaten.

The Rad Army Faction etc.. were beaten by good old fashioned police work. Sure most of them died in a hail of police gunfire but that was to be expected. What didn't happen - even in Northern Ireland which was 100x worse than anything on the European mainland - was the use of heavy handed military force. No bombs were dropped on the city areas inhabited by sympathises, no tanks blasted through built up areas, no gunships fired missiles at the cars of known terrorists. You do not and cannot defeat terrorism by *using* terrorism on civilian populations. This is the HUGE mistake both the US and Israel continually fail to understand. Everytime you kill innocent bystanders (or even the terrorists themselves) you make even more mortal enemies. Killing terrorists does not kill terrorism. Haven't we learnt that yet after 50+ years of fighting them?

Scott said...

Actually, there is a very strong anti-American feeling in Pakistan. Why so many people here are blind to the fact that much of the world doesn't adore America amazes me. We're not just the lumbering bully on the playground, we're too dumb to even realize that's how a lot of the world views us.

What are you talking about? Did I say anything about the rest of the World not hating us? I'm fully aware of the anti-American nonsense that the majority of the world's anti-Semites and jealous masses adhere to. I said Pakistan hates India more than the West. That's it.

As if to prove the point... Islam is far less 'primitive' than either Judaism or Christianity. Islam is the evolution of both the previous religions. It accepts and embraces the tenets of both. Equating terrorism with Islam is precisely the same as equating the Bush administration's war crimes with Christianity.

What part of 'Thou shalt not kill,' is so hard to grasp? They've got the same guidelines as Christians and - whoa, what a shocker - worship the exact same god.


I'm not talking about their religious beliefs being primitive. I'm talking about the people who follow them. I equate Islam to terrorism because when the crazy Muslims who strap bombs to their wives and send them into crowded caf├ęs to kill civilians celebrate, they don't scream, "Freedom! Freedom! Freedom!" They scream, "Jihad! Allah! Jihad!"

To ignore the connection is to ignore what groups like Hamas and Hezbollah are actually saying.

Where is the Christian terrorist group screaming, "In Jesus name I kill you!" Oh, that's right it doesn't exist. Yeah, I know what happened 300 years a go, but my point from the beginning was that Islam is primitive religion, Christianity grew up.

Yeah, there are good Muslims. Tarek Fatah, who stepped down as a leader in the Muslim Canadian Congress after receiving numerous death threats for *gasp* supporting women's rights, is an incredible man. Unfortunately the amount of good Muslims seem to number the hundreds of thousands, which pales in comparison the millions or billions of Muslims that are out there. Look at what is happening in Malaysia, Somalia, look at who the Palestinians voted into office, or how the voting in Iraq went. Islamic fundamentalism is the only result of Islamic Democracies.

Shawn said...

Where is the Christian terrorist group screaming, "In Jesus name I kill you!" Oh, that's right it doesn't exist. Yeah, I know what happened 300 years a go, but my point from the beginning was that Islam is primitive religion, Christianity grew up.

If by growing up you mean gaining subtlety in warping one's religion to justify nearly any action, then I guess the Christianity of many Americans has indeed grown up.

Take the 'thou shalt not kill' bit.

In what way is justifiable to break that commandment? Well, somewhere in there we're allowed to kill in defense of ourselves. That doesn't make it less a sin, it just makes it somewhat justifiable in the context of human imperfections.

Hence, we needed the WMD argument to justify invading Iraq within the Judeao-Christian context of morality. No WMD, no justification. How did that one turn out?

Many try and stretch the theological point to include the concept of freeing others from oppression. That's a great thing to do, but there's no way to justify it within the Judeo-Christian context. But that's a whole theological debate.

To get back to the argument that the only way to deal with terrorists is through violence - well, that's quite simply a poorly thought out argument and is really a warping of the argument that you must confront such people with strength. It's too easy to confuse force and violence with strength. The reality is that most of the time force and violence are signs of weakness.

My belief is that the Bush administration in particular and several of the previous administrations in general have pursued a course of foreign relations that has directly caused the current situation we're now in. We're shortsighted in our thinking and most often address symptoms rather than root causes.

It's easy to say it's those Islamic fascists trying to destroy the world and blame it on their primitive religion. It's much harder to admit that maybe this Islamic extremism is a sympton of something deeper and that maybe we have played a large role in those causes.

Un-patriotic and un-American to say that? Well, if it's un-American to say that I think this country should be the best in world and should be a shining example of all that's right, then call me un-American. Being better than the alternatives isn't good enough in my book. We should be striving for more than that.

As for anti-American sentiments around the world, they're hardly more nonsense than our Islamic Fascist rhetoric. And in most cases, sadly, they have a stronger basis in reality than many of our views. Those wacked out Allah lovers took out a couple of buildings a thousands of innocent lives. We've destroyed a country and scores of thousands lives in Iraq.

Would you be angry if your family was killed and you had no way of grasping why. If your nephew was maimed, your uncle beaten, your sister disfigured and your parents killed and the only reason you could see was that a great powerful nation wanted to invade your country to pursue it's own aims, how would you feel?

Peace out.

dbackdad said...

I go off to work for a few hours and I miss all the fun. In general, CK and Shawn have hit the major points that I would have.

Scott said, "I think part of the problem when we debate these issues is that we tend to lump things together too much ... To me, the war in Afghanistan, the Iraq war, and the War on Terror are 3 very different wars ..." -- you and I may make this distinction but last time I checked, our government could care less what Lance in AZ and Scott in Illinois think. They DO view all of those as one war -- the WAR on TERROR -- and they have said so repeatedly. The author of this article is not taking to task our viewpoint, but rather the Bush administration's.

Also, you seem to agree with the use of the term, "Islamic Fascism", but you've generally applied it to Iran ... and I won't debate that right here. But Bush used the term when describing the British terror plot. When he paints Islam with such a broad brush and uses the term "crusade" when describing the War on Terror, is it any wonder that some peaceful Muslims may have a problem?

dbackdad said...

Heaven help us ... Bush has used that ridiculous term, "global war on terrorism", again, in reference to Lebanon

And just last week, Rove and his cronies (Kristol, Cheney) would have us believe the Connecticut senatorial primary was being watched by Al Qaeda. Exactly how stupid do they think everyone is? What a bunch of fucking parrots.

Shawn said...

Sadly, they have two presidential elections that sort of prove just how dumb people can be.

And just how ineffectual this administration is, is illuminated by the fact that the recent plot was not uncovered by the shiney new billion dollar Department of Homeland Security, but by Pakistani and British police work.

The Bush administration's big imput was to push for the plot to be revealed in time for the Connecticut primary.

greatwhitebear said...

"unfortunately people vote and groups get elected - sometimes people you don't like rise to power democratically but what are you going to do."

yah, like republicans and tories

Scott said...

The Rad Army Faction etc.. were beaten by good old fashioned police work. Sure most of them died in a hail of police gunfire but that was to be expected.

Right, which was my point earlier. When terrorism is in your home land it's easy to fight with police work. When it's in Afghanistan, you can't exactly send the NYPD in to have an old fashioned shoot out.

Like I said I like the way Israel handled the Hezbollah situation. They attacked the infrastructure that Iran and Syria were using to deliver weapons to them. They bombed civilian areas with... what was it again? Paper. Leaflets to warn civilians what was coming. Wouldn't it be nice if Hezbollah warned the Israeli citizens of coming racket attacks?

lol

Since Muslim terrorists like to build their military installations next to schools and hospitals, so Westerners will be sad and blame Israel when a bomb is slightly off, citizen causalities are inevitable. Israel often apologizes when they accidental hit an innocent target. Wouldn't it be nice if the Muslims apologized for such travesties? Oh wait, that's right, they're aiming for the civilians. My bad.

Sadly, the entire conflict could have been completely avoided if Lebanon would have simply sent troops down south and disarmed Hezbollah on their own. Any time over the last TWENTY YEARS would have been fine. Instead they elected them into office.

Or the UN could have done something about it over that time. Again, lol.

The only thing I can fault the Israel for over the last 50 years is not concerting to Islam. That's the only thing the could have peacefully done to avoid terrorists attacks.

Dback,

you and I may make this distinction but last time I checked, our government could care less what Lance in AZ and Scott in Illinois think. They DO view all of those as one war -- the WAR on TERROR -- and they have said so repeatedly. The author of this article is not taking to task our viewpoint, but rather the Bush administration's.

Agreed, but I like to keep them separate for the sake of my own thought process. There are some actions taken in the war on terror that I agree with, and some that I disagree with. Thus, I prefer to keep them separate for my own critical thought process. It's nice to actually know your name though.

Also, you seem to agree with the use of the term, "Islamic Fascism", but you've generally applied it to Iran ... and I won't debate that right here. But Bush used the term when describing the British terror plot. When he paints Islam with such a broad brush and uses the term "crusade" when describing the War on Terror, is it any wonder that some peaceful Muslims may have a problem?

Well to be fair I imagine he was using it in reference to the terrorists, not Muslims in general. I didn't hear what he said so I don't know.

I think Fascism fits a Muslim terrorists objectives well. I don't think their Theocratic ideals differ from Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's. Namely, dictoral rule (which is the result of almost any Islamic democracy), strict socioeconomic rules (treating women as less than human, laws against all manner of "unholy" sexual behavior by penalty of death), suppression of the opposition through terror and censorship (no free speech, Denmark anyone?), and typically a policy of belligerent nationalism and racism (or in this case nationalism and relgionism).

Hello Fascism.

Look, I'm not defending Bush here, I'm defending the proper means to defeat terrorism. Does Bush always say the right thing? No. Does he hardly ever say the right thing. Yes. That doesn't make every thing he does wrong. When we think like that we think partisan. And voting and making decisions partisanly is what causes Bush. It's the ultimate effect of such thinking. It produces "choices" like Bush and Kerry, and we all suffer the consequences.

And Shawn,

But that's a whole theological debate.

Indeed, but I guess you just started it.

1) "Thou shall not kill" is Jewish Law, not Christian law. That will, to you, seem like excusing murder or whatever on the part of the Christian. However this is not the case, it's merely important to keep things factual if we're going to have a theological debate, don't you think?

2) "Thou shall not kill" is one of what? 600 and some Laws? In those Laws is also the commandment to stone to death those who break certain laws including murder.

That doesn't make it less a sin, it just makes it somewhat justifiable in the context of human imperfections.

Now I prefer to keep theology out of political debate, but since you seem intent on including it I'll ask you this. Is it a sin to enact the commandment of God to kill a man in the name of Justice? You're honestly proposing that following God's law is sin?

To get back to the argument that the only way to deal with terrorists is through violence - well, that's quite simply a poorly thought out argument

It sure isn't and I logically showed why it is the only way. Why not address the point I made rather than just calling it poorly thought out and not offering a different view point.

My belief is that the Bush administration in particular and several of the previous administrations in general have pursued a course of foreign relations that has directly caused the current situation we're now in. We're shortsighted in our thinking and most often address symptoms rather than root causes.

Great lets address the root issue: Israel exists. Now what? You propose addressing that situation how? Doing what Muslim militants want and eliminating it?

Un-patriotic and un-American to say that?

Nope, and I didn't suggest such a thing. Having a dissenting opinion doesn't make you unpatriotic, but it doesn't make you right either.

As for anti-American sentiments around the world, they're hardly more nonsense than our Islamic Fascist rhetoric. And in most cases, sadly, they have a stronger basis in reality than many of our views. Those wacked out Allah lovers took out a couple of buildings a thousands of innocent lives. We've destroyed a country and scores of thousands lives in Iraq.

Would you be angry if your family was killed and you had no way of grasping why. If your nephew was maimed, your uncle beaten, your sister disfigured and your parents killed and the only reason you could see was that a great powerful nation wanted to invade your country to pursue it's own aims, how would you feel?


meh

I'd love to get into the nonsense that is anti-Americanism and American guilt but that's a whole separate situation that probably deserves a post to itself.

Scott said...

concerting = converting

Shawn said...

"Let there be no compulsion in religion"

Before getting into a theological debate on whether Jesus Christ advocated violence as an means to achieve - well, anything - maybe we should establish whether or not you actually believe in his teachings. If you don't, then it's just sort of moot argument don't you think?

But the fact that you seperate out the ten commandments from Christianity even though they've been addressed by Christ himself and also his followers, leads me think that maybe you're not going to be the best person to explain Christian beliefs, much less Muslem beliefs.

Christianity, after all, isn't exotic or foreign to us here in the U.S. and if it's so easy to miss one of the major points of New Testament, then how much easier to miss the point of the Koran, which I'm guessing you've never read.

The commandments, "Do not commit adultery," "Do not murder," "Do not steal," "Do not covet," and whatever other commandment there may be, are summed up in this one rule: "Love your neighbor as yourself."

But what do I know? I'm just a silly liberal. Cheers.

Scott said...

It's a moot argument because religion plays no part in my political thinking. Other than to say I'd prefer my Government to stay out my religion, and my religion to stay out of my Government.

However, since you persist on slaughtering basic Christian theology and, and then use your mis-interpretation to prove that not only do I not understand Christianity, but cannot conceivably understand Islam, I'm forced to defend my self... I.. guess. (?)

Wait, no I won't actually. Just go read the book of Galatians and come back and tell me the part where it says Christians are under Jewish Law. I'll wait patiently for your response.

But what does Paul know?

Shawn said...

Matthew 5:43-48 - 43 "You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' 44 But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47 And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

But what does Mark know?

Romans 13:7-10 - 7 Give everyone what you owe him: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor. 8 Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law. 9 The commandments, "Do not commit adultery," "Do not murder," "Do not steal," "Do not covet," and whatever other commandment there may be, are summed up in this one rule: "Love your neighbor as yourself." 10 Love does no harm to its neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.

But what does Paul know.

James 2:8-13 - 8 If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, "Love your neighbor as yourself," you are doing right. 9 But if you show favoritism, you sin and are convicted by the law as lawbreakers. 10 For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it. 11 For he who said, "Do not commit adultery," also said, "Do not murder." If you do not commit adultery but do commit murder, you have become a lawbreaker. 12 Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom, 13 because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment!

That James sure doesn't know his stuff.

Matthew 19:16-22 - 16 Now a man came up to Jesus and asked, "Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?" 17 "Why do you ask me about what is good?" Jesus replied. "There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, obey the commandments." 18 "Which ones?" the man inquired. Jesus replied, "'Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony, 19 honor your father and mother,' and 'love your neighbor as yourself.'" 20 "All these I have kept," the young man said. "What do I still lack?" 21 Jesus answered, "If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me." 22 When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth.

But what does Jesus know?

Yeah, that's me...just slaughtering basic Christian theology.

Galatians 5:13-26
13 You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love. 14 The entire law is summed up in a single command: "Love your neighbor as yourself." 15 If you keep on biting and devouring each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other. 16 So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. 17 For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law. 19 The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.


Yeah you're right, that letter to the Galatians sure does prove your point. There really are no laws in Christian theology. Must mean you're right about Islam teaching hate and violence.

Scott said...

sigh

You're a silly boy.

I'm almost positive I didn't say there were no laws in Christian theology. I'll go back in check though.

Nope. Didn't.

What did I say again? Ah yes, Jewish Law and Christian commandments are different. If you honestly think Christians ought to follow the Jewish Law, then do you think Christians should stone other Christians for violating the Sabbath? How about some good old fashioned animal sacrifice? Mmm-mmm-mm nothing says grace like good old works based faith! Since you've completely glossed over that point I'll just completely gloss over whatever stuff you've taken out of context there and get to your next point. (although it does look like that verse in Galatians you posted does say those who are led by the Spirit are not under law.)

Must mean you're right about Islam teaching hate and violence.

Nice thing about the Internet tubes is that everything you've written gets saved. Let's see, where did I say that Islam teaches hate and violence? Hmmmm. What was it I said again?

I'm not talking about their religious beliefs being primitive.

Oh wait, what's that now? I wasn't talking about what the religion was teaching? What the flip was I talking about then?

I'm talking about the people who follow them.

Ohhhh! I get it now. I'm talking about people. Actual people. Not beliefs. The kind of people who use public rape as a form of Government punishment. The kind of people who strap bombs to women and give guns to children. The kind of people who dance in the streets when 2000 innocent international civilians are killed. The kind of people who seek the destruction of an entire race of people. The kind of people who brainwash their children to become "holy warriors" at the age of 8. The kind of people who execute a 16 year old girl in a public square for daring to take of her veil in court. The kind of people who would turn around and tell the public she was actually 22, as if that would make it any better. The kind of people who accept 9 years old as an acceptable age of consent. The kind of people who jail human rights advocates for "opposing the regime." The kind of people who accept gender segregation in the form of woman only buses, elevators, and even parks.

I could care less what their religion teaches. It could teach the joys of lollipops and lemonade for all I care. As long as the results of the teaching are actions of violence and hate, it's a primitive religion.

Shawn said...

Nice thing about the Internet tubes is that everything you've written gets saved. Let's see, where did I say that Islam teaches hate and violence? Hmmmm. What was it I said again?

"Islam is a primitive religion that hates women, hates freedom of speech, hates free thought, and hates Jews. Furthermore they are willing to uphold those ideals violently. It's not just a small minority, in many cases it's the general population."

Mmm-mmm-mm nothing says grace like good old works based faith! Since you've completely glossed over that point I'll just completely gloss over whatever stuff you've taken out of context there and get to your next point. (although it does look like that verse in Galatians you posted does say those who are led by the Spirit are not under law.)

By the 'whatever stuff you've taken out of context' part, did you mean the words of the late great JC? See, there I go again, assuming that Christianity was based on following Christ's teachings.

As to the 'led by the spirit are not under the law' part, perhaps you missed the buildup.

Anyway, I grow weary of all this religious talk, so I'll end with a hearty high ho I like what Cenk has to say...

There's more, so much more, of him on the Young Turks at http://www.theyoungturks.com

Rainbows and unicorns.