Given the blasphemy laws being proposed in the U.N. lately, I thought this an interesting peek into the other side's mindset. Palestinian opinions on the issue here. I was flabbergasted. Look at the first individual opinion listed. Do these people really understand what they are talking about?

Here's a sneak peek: "anybody who mocks religion has to receive a warning, and if he does not respond, the law will put him in jail for one to three months only, to teach him not to do it again because we must not forget about freedom of speech."

Here's the link:

Religion must atrophy the brain.

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The respondents are young students whose minds have been inoculated against free thinking. That much is obvious. The amazing thing is how many of them think speaking critically of religion of deserves jail time or actual death!
I don't find this very shocking at all- appalling yes, but not shocking. You have to try and imagine that you believe in say, Christianity. You believe in it with all of your heart and you follow it's teachings to the letter (at least as you were taught). Specifically questioning sacred texts or challenging god in any way are considered to be highly immoral. I'm just saying it stands to reason that they would want to have their beliefs validated and backed up by the law. That's why we do separation of church and state, right?
I see what you mean, david; I had thought the same. but does this makes sense?: "put him in jail for one to three months only, to teach him not to do it again because we must not forget about freedom of speech."
I think you misinterpreted what David was saying. David meant that we separate church and state to prevent others from passing "anti-blasphemy" laws, which are really just censorship laws. David wasn't agreeing with their beliefs, only saying that they are consistent within their twisted belief system. The bible is full of pronouncements from god calling for retribution against non-believers.

And no, punishing people for exercising their freedom of speech in order to defend freedom of speech does not make sense. Or was that your point?
yeah, was basically my point. I know he wasn't agreeing with them. Still on my soap box, I guess.
I agree Steve, and I think we need to raise the point, make people aware of it. We aren't being discriminatory or anti-Arab if we calmly point out that this is a problem with all religious fanaticism. I do think 9/11 caused a lot of quiet agnostics to wake up, see the severity of the problem of religion, and declare their atheism.
When I think about the media opening this can of worms, I get goose bumps... but then they start crawling. I don't have any faith in the media's ability to tackle this in a way that doesn't push more christians to fundamentalism. Either A. they'll treat it with too soft a hand and leave the idea that muslim extremists are the only dangerous ones or B. they'll swat this fly with a sledge and prompt more parents to send their kids to Jesus camps.
What I'm saying is I can definitely see why they're tap dancing. It's basically an issue of diplomacy and there's nothing that counters diplomacy like religious fervor.
I shouldn't laugh but that is funny!
Scary, scary stuff. Lewis Black is right about people with no sense of humor.
Anyone who wants to support religion had better be able to defend religion. In this regard, I refer to adults as being such defenders, as children and even some preteen and teenage youth may not have the skills necessary for rational debate. If those who wish to promote religion cannot provide a rational explanation for their stance, is it the fault of those who attack or mock religion using rational argument or the fault of those who argue a case which has no substance behind it?
Hi Mister Miller, I'm Mister Miller. :)
This is kind of what I was talking about in my response above. Your idea makes perfect sense to a fellow atheist. But a huge chunk of Americans don't care much for rational debates or explanation and these people will likely go the way of "the lord works in mysterious ways" or (worse yet) "this is proof of the coming armageddon." Believe me I wish we could tackle it your way but I can't help but think it could be catastrophic. Besides it's legendarily difficult to deal with an issue of passion using logic.
Greets, Mr. Miller!

I've made this point too many times in other places ... but the problem at least in part is an issue of laziness. Belief is easy; it doesn't require intellect or analytical thought or curiosity. The preacher-bird regurgitates his crap into the acolyte bird's mouth, whereupon the acolyte-bird regurgitates it again when questioned and on and on. "The Lord works in mysterious ways" is precisely such a lazy response to a question for which there is no rational answer ... which is why I hate that phrase with a royal passion!

What's worse, my understanding of the article is that the interviewees were children, very likely before an age where their ability to analyze and dismantle such crap would be even partially developed. Kids are sponges; they sop up whatever is given them whole and pretty much without a second thought, making the whole process of unlearning that much more difficult.




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