Hot Topics, v. 2013
A place for careful, clear, respectful discussions of difficult topics. No flame wars, please. This isn’t the rest of the Internet (as you may have noticed).
Saturday, 25 May 2013
Life, the universe, pies, hot-pink bunnies, world domination, and everything
A place for careful, clear, respectful discussions of difficult topics. No flame wars, please. This isn’t the rest of the Internet (as you may have noticed).
as suggested by Robert, in response to Piggy’s post on the random thread:
Good riddance. Maybe next time we can get someone who doesn’t protect child rapists, or maybe even someone who doesn’t try to block all kinds of social progress? Honestly, I think there are many better people to have as heroes.
I’m not sure why you’re offended that Lizzie pointed out that he tried to protect priests who have molested children, as that isn’t a lie she made up to slander you personally, but a thing which actually happened.
Additionally, I don’t see why you feel Lizzie’s perspective is the hateful one, since Benedict XVI also believes that acting upon gay urges is sinful?
I don’t personally approve of Pope Benedict XVI’s actions, nor do I find him inspiring, but hearing Lizzie’s comment, as well as yours, makes me feel uncomfortable.
Piggy said that he had spent most of his life being called an idiot, a bigot, and a pedophile because of his faith; having grown up in an community that comes very close to being hostile to those of faith, especially Christian faith, I can well believe it. Often, the Internet seems to encourage that same hostility. Lizzie’s comment did not say “he tried to protect priests who have molested children”; it said “Good riddance… [he protected] child rapists… [and tried] to block all kinds of social progress.” I hate to use the tone argument, but I do feel that it’s important to note that religion is, and most likely always will be, a very personal and sensitive issue for most of us. Because of that, it worries me when I see comments about these hot-button issues that aren’t phrased carefully.
Anyone is certainly entitled to despise Pope Benedict XVI, and entitled to celebrate the fact that he is gone. However, doing so on the Internet, an area specifically known for its vitriolic arguments and tactlessness, means that more sensitivity is often necessary for more sensitive arguments.
Additionally, I feel that Piggy would be allowed to think that Lizzie’s perspective was “hateful” even if he also believed that Pope Benedict XVI’s perspective was “hateful” as well. It is possible for two opposing sides to both act in a reprehensible way.
Again, I urge sensitivity, careful wording, and as much respect as possible. If, as Piggy and muselover feel, Hot Topics causes people to feel “offended, depressed, and unable to think clearly”, then we have certainly gone off the rails somewhere. I take pride in being a part of an online community that does not engage in the mindless fury of other parts of the Internet; I would like to continue enjoying that pride.
I agree with most of your points; however, not engaging in mindless fury goes both ways. Piggy’s taking “deep offense” without explaining why he was offended or how we could discuss the topic in a way that would make him less offended seems pretty mindless to me. Granted, marginalized groups need safe spaces where they don’t have to do that, but being part of a religious group which has long held the majority and exercised significant control over other groups does NOT make you marginalized, even if people on the internet upset you sometimes.
He never said that “being part of a religious group which has long held the majority and exercised significant control over other groups … [makes] you marginalized.” He said that he had “most of [his] life being called an idiot, a bigot, and a pedophile because of [his] faith.”
Yes, Roman Catholocism has “long held the majority and exercised significant control over other groups,” but that’s irrelevant. First, you made it sound like he was using that as an argument towards it being marginalized, when needless to say, there was nothing like that in his post. That may have been accidental, but besides that, you strongly implied that its status in the past (and in some places, the present, but MuseBlog is not one of them) as dominant makes it impossible that it’s being marginalized here and now. It doesn’t. The world isn’t that simple. If you really want to argue that it isn’t marginalized, I suggest explaining what your criterion of marginalization is that doesn’t include the widespread prejudice he has apparently faced.
I’d also like to point out that, as the comments here offended him so much that he decided to leave the conversation, it’s quite plausible that staying focused on them for long enough to explain the details of what offended him would have been too stressful. If that’s the case, I really wouldn’t necessarily consider it mindless fury (although it does depend on what offended him; without knowing that, I’d rather not make a definitive statement),
My criterion for marginalization is being denied rights. Name calling is bad, yes, but it’s not the same as, say, not being able to get the legal and financial protections of marriage because of someone else’s faith. Just to choose an example.
Finding something offensive is not exclusively dependent on the ‘marginalisation’ of your religious organisation. By your definition ‘of legal rights’ I’d say that many women, for example don’t consider themselves marginalised. That doesn’t make it okay to insult women freely simply because women make up half the population, have an impact on society etc.
Even if this weren’t the case, it is still of course possible that individual members can feel that they attacked for their beliefs by other people, despite the overall Church having such power. In my opinion, you can’t say to someone that they have no right to feel offended by something, simply because their church is powerful.
I never said Piggy had no right to feel offended! I said that I personally thought it was rude on his part to be so offended as to refuse all discussion, as I have a hard time seeing how he, a straight white Christian male, has faced so much discrimination against him that he needs a safe space from it. (Especially since the person he’s defending represents the exact reason why I sometimes need safe spaces.) It’s his choice to refuse discussion, and he’s free to make it, but I’m free to criticize it as well. He still has yet to provide any reasons why he thought the Pope was a good role model, and I think that without those reasons, all we can really do is speculate and argue about his intent.
And actually, to use your example, I would argue that women do make up a marginalized group, as last time I checked the Equal Rights Amendment is still not federal law, women still don’t make equal pay to men, and they can lose their bodily autonomy fairly easily with little to no recourse. (It doesn’t matter whether they personally feel marginalized, as long as they respect that others might.)
To continue from my last paragraph, on respect: I’m sorry if you think I’m disrespecting him, but as I stated earlier in this thread, being called names is NOT the same as systematic oppression, and I find his implied claim that they are equivalent offensive based on my personal experiences being non-straight.
You say you have a hard time seeing how Piggy needs a safe space from ‘discrimination’. Although you might not find Lizzie’s comment offensive, he obviously did. I respect that you personally may not think he has grounds for refusing discussion on the matter, but I don’t believe it’s up to anyone else to rule on whether or not he’s valid in feeling offended.
Men, then. Or white people. You could probably construct a case for why any sort of group has been ‘marginalised’ at one time or another. As I said, though, even if you don’t consider that Catholics could be a marginalised group, I don’t believe this gives you free rein to be deliberately offensive to members of that group (in the style of ‘oh look I’m perfectly allowed to offend people since they don’t belong to a marginalised group, clearly if they feel upset about that, well, look at everything their group done to me.’)
You might feel ‘systematically oppressed’ by Catholics/the Pope, and you might believe this is way more difficult to live through than being ‘called names’. However I don’t think it was as slight or trivial as you make it seem: Piggy’s beliefs are important to him I’m assuming, and an important part of him – who’s to say he must find it less hurtful than your experience of being ‘systematically oppressed’?
I don’t believe he was deliberately trying to make both injustices sound equivalent – whether you feel offended by something is personal, and obviously every person has different things that make them upset. You can’t really equate it with someone else and say ‘my problems are bigger than your problems, therefore you shouldn’t refuse discussion though it may be a sensitive issue’.
Sorry for the double post, but I want to add that I am in no way attempting to say Lizzie’s actions or yours are on an equal level to homophobia. I am simply trying to say that a “hateful” position on Pope Benedict XVI’s part does not automatically negate or erase a reprehensible action by someone who dislikes him.
Um, as far as I know, “hateful” means “full of hate.” I have never met anyone, Catholic or otherwise, who hates everyone who has ever done anything they perceive as sinful. Even if Benedict XVI does (because I don’t really know much of anything about him at all), you said that the opinion, “Acting on gay urges is sinful,” is hateful in itself. For obvious reasons, I think that many people holding such an opinion will negatively impact society and individuals, but I don’t see anything in it that implies hatred for those who act on gay urges or for that matter anyone else.
As I said, I don’t know anything about him at all. I don’t know nearly enough to say whether or not his entire perspective is hateful. All the same, I think it’s important to make a distinction between viewpoints that you personally consider harmful (and I agree that it is!) and ones that actually involve, well, hate.
Although to be completely fair, Lizzie didn’t actually say that she hated Benedict XVI, either. She did sound quite scathing, though, whereas I know plenty of Christians (If Benedict XVI isn’t one of them, then this wasn’t indicated) who think that all humans sin and are still quite non-scathing towards people (which you would expect, as love and forgiveness are such a fundamental part of their doctrine).
I guess ‘hateful’ may just be a word that gets used too often when we mean ‘harmful’ or something else negative.
I thought the Catholic practice was, especially in this case, “hate the sin, not the sinner”. But I don’t think in this case you can separate them. I can only speak for myself, of course, but as a person who isn’t straight I feel that saying it’s sinful to act on desires I have which are just as God-given as any other desires of mine is a personal attack on me and those like me.
I’ll leave you with a quote I found via googling “benedict xvi gay marriage”:
“Pope Benedict XVI denounced what he described as people manipulating their God-given identities to suit their sexual choices – and destroying the very ‘essence of the human creature’ in the process.”
I’m not sure about you, but describing something I find fundamental to myself as “destroying the very ‘essence of the human creature’” seems pretty hateful to me.
I’m pretty sure Catholics believe that some desires, including the ones we’re talking about, came as a result of the Fall, so they wouldn’t consider them “as God-given as any other desires.” Even if they’re right, though, and acting on them is a sin (and I really don’t think that’s the case), it should be obvious most people who do so don’t know that. And there are people who recognize that, and while, if they have those beliefs, their actions do tend to make life worse for non-straight people through (for instance) voting, there are people among them who are not technically prejudiced in the sense of considering them inferior, making ungrounded assumptions about individuals based on their sexuality, or holding any conscious ill will towards them. I want to make this clear because in your first paragraph, you say things that, again, could apply equally to people like that as to people like you say Benedict XVI is, and while you have every right to wish they would change their minds, I think it’s important to distinguish between them and those who actually hate non-straight people.
Reading your quote about Benedict XVI, though, it does sound like he somehow thinks that non-straight people are knowingly going against the will of God. That’s pretty absurd no matter how you look at it, and it does seem like something that could be viewed as a personal attack. It’s possible for someone to say all that without hatred, but it does seem like if he had much actual respect for non-straight people, he wouldn’t have used words like “manipulate” that have the connotations that they do.
“down with this sort of thing!”
I know basically nothing about the issues here, and I’m not going to comment on them.
I will say that I would be pretty offended if somebody wandered in to my grandmother’s funeral and announced ‘I’m glad she’s dead. I always hated her because of X”, even if they had a point.
Lizzie’s comment struck me as not especially unreasonable, but badly timed and poorly phrased. Not trying to speak for Piggy or anything, but I imagine he would have been less offended if an argumentative post hadn’t come on the heels of his personal, emotional story.
Since I’ve already started to comment on this again: I posted it because I felt that piggy’s post exhibited such a degree of sycophancy for someone who I find morally repellant that I felt the blog needed someone to represent an alternative viewpoint. I stand by what I posted.
I won’t quarrel with the content, I don’t know nearly enough to enter that field. I still feel there were gentler ways to say the same thing, that probably would have been more effective and less abrasive.
In general, I feel that if two intelligent people disagree on something major, then it’s fairly likely one of them is misinformed. If you’re trying to accomplish something in a discussion, I would imagine it pays to go in with a tone that doesn’t antagonize the other side right off the bat.
I think you make a good point, but I don’t necessarily agree that ‘if two intelligent people disagree on something major, then it’s fairly like one of them is misinformed.’ I’m curious as to why you think this is the case?
I question your use of the word ‘sycophancy’. I don’t want to put words in Piggy’s mouth, but as I remember it Piggy was saying that here is a man who has significantly influenced his life, and whom he considers very important.
He was not saying that everyone should look up to the Pope in the same way as he does. I am fairly sure Piggy is aware that many people do not share his own beliefs.
It is good to hear different opinions on the ‘Blog, of course, but as Errata said, to me it also seemed a bit ‘badly timed/poorly phrased’.
I assume that Piggy finds the Pope an inspiring person. Clearly, you do not. I personally don’t have a reason to look up to the Pope for any religious or spiritual reasons – but I respect the fact that others/Catholics do.
You have your reasons for finding him morally repellant. Piggy, who intends to become a priest, would certainly disagree with you there. (As I see it, you expressing your ‘alternative viewpoint’ in an almost confrontational reply is not going to make Piggy suddenly think Oh yes, the Pope was a terrible person, how could I and so many others have ever thought he had even a shred of good in him.)
To both you and errata, why are you assuming that a. the purpose was to start a discussion and b. that I want to persuade Piggy, specifically?
That said, I’m a bit disappointed in the discussion – there’s been a lot of tone trolling, a lot of silencing techniques (i.e. this is not the right time to discuss this, respect uber alles, etc), and some misinformation and non sequiturs, but unless I missed a post, no one’s been like “this is why I respect the pope, this is why I think x or y or z.” It’s all been bickering about the sage stuffing before the goose is caught.
Using the term tone trolling seems a bit excessive to me. I’m just not sure why anyone would disagree with me when I say that this should be a place for respectful, civil and courteous discussion, even if you vehemently disagree with someone’s personal opinion. I am simply trying to ensure that MuseBlog remains a place where people feel their views will responded to in a well-mannered way, whether or not those responses agree or disagree.
What was your purpose?
I’m quickly stopping in to say that “this is not the right time to discuss this” is not a “silencing technique”- it’s my opinion, and I wish you would respect it, but it’s not like I can command people to stop arguing- and no one is demanding “respect uber alles,” just some courtesy.
This entire discussion is upsetting to me. I wouldn’t have imagined that MuseBloggers could collectively be so abrasive, and I think I will leave this thread.
“Hot Topics only makes me feel offended, depressed, and unable to think clearly.”
That just about sums it up for me as well.
…Oh. I was kind of hoping to hear your point of view. If you’re that offended, though, I can certainly understand why you would decide to just step out of this, and I can’t say you’re wrong to do so. Anyway, I don’t know anywhere near enough about this to have an opinion, but I’m very sorry you feel that way.
Not defending what he’s done, but- “good riddance” because he’s ill enough to make him want to renounce the papacy? Seems a bit mean.
Would anyone like to explain papal infallibility to me? I can’t bring myself to read the incredibly long Wikipedia article on the topic (and my mother’s explanation left me confused, since she’s very anti-Pope), but it sounds to me like it could be used to bring huge, (in my view) positive changes to the Church? If a Pope were to say that contraception was actually Biblically sanctioned, or that there was nothing in the Bible about not ordaining women, could those rules be stricken down? (I don’t expect a Pope would actually declare any of those things in the new future, but the possibility interests me.)
I’m pretty sure there are only certain situations in which a Pope’s word is considered infallible. If a Pope did say something like that in those circumstances, though, then… well, I’m not sure what would happen.
Well, I’m Jewish, but here’s the gist of what I know:
The Catholic Church has declared the pope infallible. That means, according to the hierarchy of the Catholic Church, whatever the pope declares when invoking his infallibility (there’s a special term for when the pope goes “I’m being infallible now so this is true”, but I can’t remember what it is) is the word of God.
Many Catholics accept papal infallibility and believe that what the Pope declares is, in fact, the word of God. However– and this is something I had no idea about until I became good friends with some Catholics and was recently able to discuss religion with them– not all Catholics agree with papal infallibility. No summary could really do justice to how good this Catholic’s discussion of papal infallibility is, so I will just paste it here (censored for swearing):
“One argument I used to have to go round and round with people was ‘but don’t you have to believe everything the Pope says, because he’s infallible??’. Answer: no, that is dumb as [snip]. He is an old guy on a chair. He is a very holy old guy and I respect his authority and I read what he says with great care, but if it is [snip], I do not feel obliged to adopt it, any more than I would feel obliged to adopt any [snip] anyone else told me.
I like being Catholic precisely because of the scope it affords me for my own opinions. It is a heavily customisable religion, and I have modded mine with abandon. It leaves me with a basic set of premises about God and stuff, which I believe because no-one’s ever given me a good reason not to, and a really solid liturgical framework to build into my life and give it a bit of structure. Every Sunday morning, no matter how hungover I am, I have to haul myself out of bed and go to Mass. I sit there for an hour and a half, in a beautiful building, surrounded by light and colour and music and incense and ceremony and order and people, and I think about God, or about my thesis, or about girls, or about Homestuck, and it doesn’t matter. I have to shake people’s hands, and a forced regimen of shaking a stranger’s hand and smiling at them once a week does the inner self no harm at all. I come out feeling better. There’s a reason temples in video games are usually save points.”
Then he discusses something called the “renewal of baptismal promises”, which, from what I understand, are a list of questions that Catholics are asked every Easter. There are six questions, and they can basically be summed up as the following: do you reject Satan, and do you believe in God?
This same person says: “If I ever stop being able to say ‘I do’ to one of those, I will have to go away and rethink. If that list is ever expanded to include Do you believe the Pope is always right? or Do you agree that gay marriage is a bad thing? I will stop being a Catholic. Until then, I’m on the list. And every so often they let me sing ‘O God of earth and altar’, which is always a bonus.”
So. Religious lesson of the day! Hope this has been informative. Actual Catholics, please feel free to chime in in case I have gotten things wrong, since I am not in any way an actual Catholic. (I must warn up front, though, if your objection is “but this person is not actually a Catholic since they do not accept papal infallibility”, I will have to strongly disagree with you, since I believe with all my heart that– as another Catholic friend of mine said– “nobody on earth has the right to demand any conditions of me on that front. Faith is not simple and it cannot be boiled down to ‘i believe enough of [x] things to make me [y]’.”
The term you’re looking for is ex cathedra.
Now, you’re going to object quite strongly to what follows, but I hope that you don’t take it as an attack on you or your friends. I don’t want to be combative, but I’m an ex-catholic, I spent a lot of time researching this, and it’s a pretty common discussion I find myself getting exasperated with.
I’m afraid your Catholic friend may not have been paying attention in Sunday school. Not that his beliefs are unreasonable, on the contrary they’re quite common. (It’s sometimes called “Cafeteria Christianity”- maybe I won’t have the mashed potatoes or accept the trinity today.) But they are not in line with the teachings of the Catholic Church, and the Church has final say on these matters. There are other church structures, like Congregationalist, that allow for doctrine to be defined from the ground up, but the catholic church is very much a top-down organization. That same Easter Mass that reviews baptismal promises? It also includes this affirmation: “I believe and profess all that the holy Catholic Church believes, teaches, and proclaims to be revealed by God.”
But you say “Faith is not simple and it cannot be boiled down to ‘i believe enough of [x] things to make me [y]’.” A catechism is literally a list of things you must believe to be an official Catholic.
Q. 554. Could a person who denies only one article of our faith be a Catholic?
A. A person who denies even one article of our faith could not be a Catholic; for truth is one and we must accept it whole and entire or not at all."
I’m not exaggerating when I say that consciously rejecting a church teaching is heresy and immediately spiritually separates you from the Church. After that it just snowballs, if you take communion you’re doing so improperly and blaspheming.
Now, he’s still on the list. They like to keep names on the list. Hell, I’m still on the list, and I explicitly deny the divinity or even existence of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. But if you’re registered Democrat and vote party-line Republican, your registration doesn’t mean much, does it? Your friends are undoubtedly culturally Catholic, but they’re also heretics.
You are right that I do object very, very strongly; however, I do not feel that I will be able to clarify my objections in a) a way that will be convincing, and b) a way that will not feel confrontational to you or to others reading.
I feel that it’s probably time for me to leave this conversation, as I don’t feel comfortable.
Some personal context: My experiences with the Church were emotionally manipulative and abusive. I was deeply invested, and I feel deeply betrayed. I get agitated when people talk about casually attending church because the church is in no way casual or flexible. It actively oppresses people I love. And I believe that ignoring the terrible parts so you can enjoy the good is irresponsible because it implicitly condones the church in its present form.
I hope I’m as empathetic as you someday.
You’re entirely right, some people really are happy in the church, those who aren’t are having struggles I can empathize with but not hurry, and I shouldn’t begrudge them any of that. (I don’t, consciously, at least).
It feels like seeing a friend in an abusive relationship; they’re saying things like “My love will change him” and “He’s right, I am a bad person, but he forgives me.” I don’t want them to get hurt like I did. Spelling out the institution’s clear and strict doctrinal stances against them is the only way I know to demonstrate the imbalance.
I don’t know how much of this makes sense as I’m rushing to breakfast, but:
Lizzie, I fully believe that you are entitled to your own opinion. I would be the first to defend that right.
You could say there oughtn’t be grounds for complaint about your criticism of the Pope, given that influential figures in so many other spheres are freely criticised or attacked by the media all the time (politicians, celebrities etc.)
While I don’t necessarily think that religion should have this special status, the fact of the matter is that it does. In this world, whether you think it should be this way or not, it is still a very personal thing for millions of people such as Piggy.
I just wonder if your anti-Pope beliefs are so strong that you absolutely cannot refrain yourself from writing such an – almost caustic – post, as the reaction shouldn’t have been too hard to consider.
I am not advocating the principles of censorship but sometimes, for the sake of a nicer world, it may be better to not shout every personal opinion loudly from the rooftops.
As I see it, religion seems to be a particularly touchy subject in society. (Maybe because it’s so personal, people can get defensive about their beliefs easily, perhaps more so than if one were to insult something else about them. I don’t pretend to know why.)
Insulting someone’s religious beliefs seems to generally arouse condemnation. Personally I don’t think religion should be so much more ‘protected’ than with things such as politics, where journalists are almost expected to attack politicians on a daily basis. But there are millions of people in the world who have strong religious beliefs, and I don’t believe few more instances of anti-religious derision is going to change a culture of faith that has existed for eons.
Maybe caustic was not the right word (as I said, I was late for breakfast when I wrote my above post) but especially the phrase ‘good riddance’ seems – to me, anyway – a bit hostile or scornful.
I’m not saying opinions should never be expressed; of course I’m not. I am saying that it would be better if they were expressed constructively. I don’t think, however, that one comment on the largely self-contained universe that is MuseBlog is going to cause all religious people everywhere to go ‘hang on, she’s got a point, we’ve all been idiots for looking up to the Pope.’ I don’t know enough about the Pope, but whatever the Pope may have done that Lizzie finds so reprehensible, I am sure there are many out there who could point to reasons as to why he has been a positive spiritual leader for Catholics worldwide. Lizzie and others are completely free to think that his ‘negatives’ outweigh the ‘positives’, but I think that anyone who holds divisive opinions should be careful about understanding – not synonymous with ‘agreeing with’ – the other side.
I’d just like to say one thing. You’re all comparing criticism of religion to criticism of politicians, and saying the the first should be like the other.
Now, I may be alone in this opinion, but I don’t approve of how political criticism is conducted on the national or even global level right now, and would not be in favor of anything moving towards that model. I feel like most media outlets don’t talk about facts and instead get talking heads to take quotes out of context and slam the other side into oblivion. I think that ultimately this keeps everyone more ignorant and more biased
There a certain section of the press that is solely bent on scandal-mongering, and not whether or not someone can do their job effectively. Aspects of people’s personal lives are brought out and dragged into the mud, and I can think of two or three recent instances like that right off the top of my head. I wish that we all had a bit more basic decency and respect for human dignity.
I’ve probably been very unclear about everything I’ve said. Firstly, though, I will agree with you in wishing we all had a bit more basic decency.
This is slightly off on a tangent from previous points I’ve raised on this thread, but: as controversial as this is, what I think I’m essentially trying to say is that religion should be no more protected from criticism than other aspects of people’s identity such as their political beliefs. Whether this means religion should be totally open to ‘scandal-mongering’ as you say politics is, or politics should be less open to ‘scandal-mongering’, is not really what I’m judging here. I don’t think ‘scandal-mongering’ and ‘dragging aspects of people’s personal lives in the mud’ are constructive forms of being critical and questioning. I agree with you there.
However, I believe that the ability for people to critical and questioning of things they hear is important to preserve. Some journalists are caustic for the sake of being caustic, and I am not saying this is a good thing. But being able to question or disagree with someone’s beliefs should not, to my mind, be considered so offensive. Just as the actions of politicians are scrutinised by the press, and not necessarily in a negative way – why should religious figures and religion in general be granted immunity?
I will no doubt come under a lot of fire for saying this, but take the case of the Danish cartoons controversy. They were widely considered unnecessarily hateful or baiting, which I understand. However, I simply wonder whether there would have been the same outcry had it been a politician or celebrity being featured rather than Prophet Muhammad or any other religious figure.
For example, if I considered politics to be a very important part of my life, even personal life, and admired a certain politician. Supposing this politician were to be caricatured almost disrespectfully in a newspaper. I could be deeply offended, but I doubt many people would consider such a cartoon to be blasphemous; there would not be such a public fuss about it all.
All I am saying is that, as far as I have been able to observe, there is this inconsistency or difference between the way religion is treated and the way most other topics are treated.
Thank you for clarifying. I don’t know a terrible amount about Islam specifically. I wonder why the Muslim belief that religious figures should not be depicted must be extended to non-Muslims or non-religious people as well. I do not think I need to follow the Five Pillars and pray five times a day, or whatever it is.
If religious figures are not to be depicted in artwork, to me, the justification (for this being upheld in the media) should not just be ‘because a religion says so and religion is uncriticisable’. Rather, the reasons behind not creating or publishing such artwork should stem from basic human respect, as you would do for anything considered hateful.
The Muslim belief (Aniconism) is that figurative images are on the whole not a good thing because they’re at best false depictions of real things, and at worst idols. Pictures of Allah or Muhammad might be worshiped in place of the “real” Allah and Muhammad. In Christianity, Catholics are accused of this, with relics and such. The Byzantine Christians went through a period with a similar belief, causing Iconoclasm. Islamic art has done wonderful things with geometric forms, flora, and calligraphy.
There is no room for others to be right, in the mind of a fundamentalist. Their version of Islam is correct, and anyone non-Muslim must be converted or killed. It’s as simple as that.
Whoops, good point! That’s exactly what they’re trying to prevent.
I feel like pointing out that that wasn’t the only reason people got upset. There was definitely a feeling that this was an added insult to injury. That after 9/11 Muslims faced a lot of discrimination–people just…insulting us, judging everyone based on the actions of the few. And especially in Europe, where they’re even more of a minority group. Those cartoons were disenfranchising them even more. They weren’t aimed at a specific faction, they were aimed at everyone and the immigrant community in Denmark in particular, most of whom hadn’t done anything wrong.
And a lot of people said, we spend our time in the West following your rules, we’ve adapted, acculturated, here. We respect you. Why can’t you respect us? And were it any other group, if the cartoons had been anti-Semitic in nature, or anything else, there would have been far more of an outcry. People would have spoken up, said it was hate speech.
And the huge controversy over free speech that came out of this came off more like we should just suck it up. We can’t ask people to respect us and our religion even that much, we should just take it. It wasn’t just that the cartoons were published at all, it was that nobody defended us.
…just adding in my two cents, because after debating whether or not to post this for two days I have decided I need to speak my view about this. So congratulations, guys. I almost never talk about religion for a reason. Thanks for making me break my silence! I’m going to go hide in a corner now.
“But there are millions of people in the world who have strong religious beliefs, and I don’t believe few more instances of anti-religious derision is going to change a culture of faith that has existed for eons.”
According to Pew polling, 14% of all Americans claim no specific religious affiliation. A third of American adults under 30 are religiously unaffiliated. Maybe they’ll become religiously affiliated as they grow older, but that has not traditionally been the case. My personal conclusions on this subject are that traditional religions are having trouble adapting to a world with the internet. I’m sure some cultures of faith won’t change, but at the very least the world around them is.
If the figures, as you say, show that religions are ‘having trouble adapting’ and maybe slowly becoming less influential – personally, I think that is a good thing. I respect the fact that other people, who may think religion should be a vital part of everyone’s lives, will vehemently disagree.
Even if religion is dying out, though, I don’t think that disrespectful comments here and there are going to accelerate the process of fewer Americans being religiously affiliated. The world may be changing, but it’s evident that many people do still consider their religious beliefs to be very important to them. The fact that they are becoming fewer in number, over the years, does not diminish the importance they might place on their faith. For this reason I don’t believe that respect for other religious beliefs, even from non-religious people such as me, is outdated or no longer necessary in this ‘changing world’.
I think there’s a pretty strong case to be made that the reason religious affiliation is dropping at an accelerating rate is because more people have access to more information. I’m pretty sure this conversation isn’t going to change Piggy’s mind, but how many undecided Musers are reading this thread? They’re not commenting, but I bet they’re here. Anti-religious derision might present a perspective they never considered before.
I have no doubt that many people are as fervently religious as ever. And people should be respected. But ideas can’t feel. Ideas should be dismantled and strewn about and examined and challenged and disrespected, and only then reassembled and used if they’re worthy. Their respect must be earned.
I won’t go on about this at length, but I will just say that I am not against dismantling religion, if that is what you are saying. However, I do not think a dismissive comment of ‘good riddance’ is constructive to this aim. There are more calm and rational ways of arguing for or against religion.
As for your comment about ideas only being used if they’re ‘worthy’ – I wonder about your use of ‘worthy’. You or I may not find Catholicism’s ideas ‘worthy’ in the sense of being a correct worldview, but I’d say it’s pretty clear that millions of people do find these ideas worthy and think they have much merit. Does this not deserve our respect, even if we don’t agree?
We should respect the right those people have to their ideas and lives, but the ideas themselves are never above critique. Especially when they are foisted on others.
Could you please clarify how Piggy was ‘foisting’ his view on others by expressing his personal admiration of the Pope?
I don’t think Vendy was talking about Piggy here. I believe he was referring to the Pope/church.
I didn’t mean to say he was. That sentence was a more general nod to things like legislation. In the specific, I believe that there is an undue amount of respect demanded when talking about the pope, and that his policies are so important and influential they should be addressed frankly.
I am not saying we must tiptoe around all controversial topics without ever expressing any opinions. Frank discussion of the Pope and other figures/policies is fine.
I am talking about respect for fellow ‘Bloggers (ie Piggy in this case) who should be able to express his view – valid inasmuch that it is his own opinion – without having someone immediately reply in such an uncompromising way that seems to discourage further discussion.
Piggy was upset enough by the post to not want to continue discussing the Pope following it. How does this encourage a frank airing of views from all sides?
I agree that “Good Riddance” was harsh, and obviously has not benefited the conversation. The rest of Lizzie’s statement however, was entirely factual, and I stand behind that. I agree with Rebecca’s post (9) on tone, but I’m also afraid that when talking about a powerful institution, using couched language equates to giving up ground before the issues have even been discussed.
It should be clear to everyone that an anthropology major I am not – I wouldn’t know the first thing about answering this question in any significant way.
This won’t be a terribly coherent answer, I’m sorry, but anyway – as I potentially touched on slightly in an earlier post, I think it may have something to do with the fact that many people consider it a very personal part of their lives. Of course there are other factors that would be considered highly personal. But because for so many people their religious beliefs define so much of what they do, there could be a tendency for people to get defensive about such beliefs more easily, because they affect most of their opinions, actions, or general outlook on life.
I don’t disagree that for many people, whether religious or non-religious, there are other things that they consider to be personal and to have an large influence on their lives. But perhaps because religion is so widespread in society, and has formed such an crucial part of history whether we agree with it or not, it has become an aspect of one’s beliefs that is more prominent in the public sphere.
Additionally, perhaps the strong community element in many organised religions has made such organisations and faiths quite highly visible. Religious organisations such as the Catholic Church have substantial influence on many aspects of society. The large majority of the world’s population still hold some sort of religious belief, and faith seems to be something that spans race, ethnicity, culture, gender etc.
I don’t know how much of this made sense. But there you have my humble attempt at a response.
Ah, I thought you were speaking hypothetically. I would also be curious to see what oxlin has to say especially given her anthropological background, then.
What I got out of what Lizzie’s post said:
- she is glad that this particular pope will no longer be pope
- this is because she did not agree with many of his opinions and actions and actions he has taken because of these opinions
- he has an influence on many people, who take their opinions from his, and his particular opinions happen to go against social values that she (and others) would like to see progress
- there are people she likes better in the world and she thinks should be looked up to instead of him
What Lizzie’s post did not say:
- that all Catholics are bigots
- that all Catholics are pedofiles
- that all Catholics are idiots
- that people who believe in any religion are bigots, pedophiles, or idiots
- that specific people are any of the above
- that she outright hates anyone who is religious
- that she hates religion
Church doctrine does and has changed. Just think about the counterreformation, or vatican II
As I recall, the Counter-Reformation affected church organization, structure, and movements, not church doctrine. I don’t know much about Vatican II, but I think it had to do with the way services are conducted (in vernacular languages) and the way that the role of the Church is interpreted, not its particular spiritual teachings.
SFTDP: By “spiritual teachings,” I mean its interpretation of the Bible and its stances on things like contraception, homosexuality, and abortion.
Choklit Orange is correct here, the Counter-Reformation and Vatican II both had to do with the mundane world, i.e. the running of the church and services, and relations with other churches. The Church, as Piggy said, believes that morals are universal and immutable.
CO, to address a question you had earlier about papal infallibility- the pope is only infallible when he’s speaking ex cathedra (literally “from the chair”, a cathedral is the seat of the bishop in his diocese). This means that he’s speaking about church matters while in charge of the church and clearly saying so. If the pope never says he’s speaking infallibly, then he’ll never be infallible. Finally, the pope cannot contradict sacred tradition or scripture, which is probably what you were wondering about.
Didn’t Pope Benedict XVI change the church’s stance on where the souls of unbaptized babies went after death?
Limbo was never an official church teaching.
Ahh. I’ve never really been 100% clear on what was up with that, thanks.
ex-catholic and medievalist popping in here to point out that there are moralities in the bible that are no longer followed (especially in the old testament) and that if fundamental church doctrine has changed drastically since its inception, there shouldn’t be that much of a problem with social issues.
i also want to say from a personal perspective, the priests that have had the most influence on me have been the ones that were open to social change, and that preached acceptance and forgiveness over finger-pointing and intolerance. issues like contraception and gay rights are what’s driving massive amounts of young people away from the church right now, because the church’s current stance exposes a huge and fundamental hypocrisy
Kind of following on what Selenium said about when shouting one’s opinions from the rooftops is appropriate: Pope Benedict is resigning. In about two weeks, his decisions won’t affect the Church, yes?
I feel like the time to criticize, bash, or argue about his policies was during his actual papacy, and that doing so now is really, really unnecessary and rather harsh. There have been seven years in which to protest things he’s done, and I know many people have, but right now, since he’s not going to change anything, there isn’t much benefit to declaring what we didn’t like about him; I think the offense it would cause (and is causing) people who respect him as a religious leader is not worth any positive effects it might have.
SFTDP: All of you are really smart, and I’m sure you would know before posting something like “good riddance” (I’m just using that as an example, because there are a lot of Pope-related statements I think are offensive on this thread) that a Catholic would be offended by your remarks, which makes me wonder why you would post it at all.
To paraphrase a wonderfully powerful and completely museblog-inappropriate song by Tim Minchin, if you’re more offended by what’s been said than by what’s been done perhaps you should reexamine your priorities.
I’m offended by what’s been done (I think most of us are). Why add extra offense with what you say?
Whether or not the intent was to add offense, however, it would seem that that was an effect.
GAH LIZZIE THAT IS THE WORST POSSIBLE SONG TO GET STUCK IN YOUR HEAD WHEN YOU’RE ATTEMPTING TO DODGE RELIGIOUS ARGUMENTS
I disagree with the last part of your post, about how this isn’t a time to talk about it. He’s retiring, so yes, he will be gone, but someone new will be selected to take his place. Although I was technically raised Catholic (and my family are all Catholic), even now when I am not religious, who becomes the next Pope will have an enormous impact on my life and SO many others. By talking about the actions of the soon-to-be-former Pope, what we liked or did not like about his opinions or actions, we can figure out what we want from the next Pope, or figure out what to expect from the next Pope based on how his views are similar to or different from Benedict XVI’s.
Religion may be a personal thing, and I can understand why people may not like to talk about it, but we are talking about a single person who has the power to sway the views of literally millions of people. That’s important. It is, right now, a “hot topic” in the news and what happens next will affect many of us for many years to come. If now
and re: Catholics being offended by things on this thread: I don’t think that’s necessarily true. I told my roommate, who was raised Catholic all her life and still is, about the Pope’s announcement yesterday and she was overjoyed because she didn’t like him as Pope at all. My immediate and extended family are all Catholic, and I am 100% sure my parents did not like this Pope or approve of many of his actions and fairly sure most of my extended family feel quite similar. Everyone can have their own opinion, regardless of religion,
Everyone can have their own opinion, yes. 74% of American Catholics are satisfied with the leadership of the Pope.
I understand what you are saying about talking about the actions of the current Pope being important and how that might influence expectations of the next Pope. However, I admit I can’t really understand how Lizzie’s original comment (‘good riddance’ etc.) would have been constructive to this purpose in any way though – I learned little from that particular post other than that she has an extremely negative, hardline view of the current Pope.
You all appear to have LOTS AND LOTS of opinions. This is a fantastic thing.
The focus, weirdly, seems to still be less on the fact that the most celebrated holy man in the world is stepping down as director of the most powerful religion in the world and more on two comments. This is the internet – we are all entitled to express our own opinions, but we also have to remember that other people have their own opinions as well and no matter what you say, someone is going to find offense in it. Tread lightly. Tread as if you are waltzing drunk in a minefield in the middle of the night with your shoelaces tied together.
So here’s what I think.
I think that Lizzie’s argument was unintentionally inflammatory and stated in a very black-and-white way that could easily be seen as disrespectful.
I think that Piggy was understandably offended by parts of it but found some offense where it was not intended, subconsciously or otherwise (not to imply that the rest was).
That’s all. People interpret things differently.
It is good for people to apologize for offense they’ve caused regardless of how offensive they believe themselves to have actually been.
It’s also good for people to not take some things entirely personally.
Just my thoughts. I offend people all the time and don’t apologize for it and I have incredibly thin skin and take everything extremely personally, so please goodness nobody perceive this as me telling all of you mere mortals to shape up and get on my level.
And now I’ve stopped in for the first time in a few weeks I’m going to stop back out, until tomorrow at least.
Selenium/1.1……….2 — The nesting’s getting a bit ridiculous so I’m going to reply down here.
“You could probably construct a case for why any sort of group has been ‘marginalised’ at one time or another.”
There is a huge difference between “hm, if I go back far enough/travel enough, this one instance might make a case for marginalization” and “I am being denied rights at this very moment because of an immutable part of my being.” You seem to think that the former is what I mean, but the latter is actually what I am referring to.
“I don’t believe this gives you free rein to be deliberately offensive to members of that group”
Neither do I! I can only speak for myself, but I wasn’t trying to be deliberately offensive. I simply saw no need to tiptoe around the subject when Piggy had already used words like “hateful” in reference to specific people on the blog.
“who’s to say he must find it less hurtful than your experience of being ‘systematically oppressed’?”
I can’t control how hurtful he finds anything, obviously. But I can state my opinion, which is that I think it’s ridiculous that he finds people who have no power over him saying something tactless but true about a public figure whom he likes to be “deeply offen[sive]” when I am still denied basic human rights in a large part of the world because of that same public figure.
And my point is why be tactless about expressing your opinions?
As I see it the more important issue here is not whether or not Piggy’s offense at the comment is equal to your being ‘denied basic human rights’, but the language and style of language appropriate when discussing such obviously sensitive issues.
Personally I don’t know when it would be acceptable to use tactless or insensitive language to express something when there are far less inflammatory alternatives of making the same point. That’s all.
Your point, as far as I can tell, is “since you didn’t express your opinion in a way that I find polite, I am free to ignore what you’re actually saying and concentrate on the tone of your argument instead.”
1. Thank you for quoting my post in such a way as to make it seem like LGBTQ* rights are insignificant compared to not making waves. It makes my point about marginalization just as well as, if not better than, anything I could have said.
2. I don’t see how my language was inappropriate, given the language used by Piggy. Please point out where I’m being insensitive/tactless. Give specific examples, if possible.
3. If you want to talk to Lizzie about her tone, go ahead, but I’m pretty sure this conversation has already been had and she believes that any offense she could have inadvertently caused while expressing her opinion is insignificant compared to how offended she was by the Pope’s actions.
1. I would never, ever intend to make LGBT rights seem insignificant. You think your rights are being denied and you feel offended by that. (I would like to know whether you blame the Pope directly for this.) However, insensitive and potentially disrespectful comments almost go against Piggy’s right to believe whatever he wants without feeling victimised.
2. I am sorry if I was unclear. My point about tact, and lack of it, was referring to Lizzie’s original comment – if you want examples, the language: ‘good riddance’, ‘block all social progress’ seems to me to be rather generalising and insensitive. Perhaps you have different standards of what you find or don’t find offensive. The timing of it, also – I notice that the comment was intended as a direct reply to Piggy’s own personal post.
3. Again, whether or not this is what you mean to imply, I still have the impression that you are trying to equate one person’s feeling offended with another’s. Lizzie’s not prevented from feeling personally offended by the Pope’s actions; neither are you. Piggy’s offense at Lizzie’s comment shouldn’t be trivialised or devalued (‘any offense she…caused while expressing her opinion is insignificant…) It’s not mathematics – it seems to me that you find one more ‘insignificant’ than the other.
All I am saying is that since these issues are so obviously personal, would it not be better if we refrained from being tactless? Individual opinions are great, but the concepts of decency and respect – as the thread reminds us – shouldn’t be overlooked…
Robert – True, but responding to tone exclusively when the other person is trying to discuss content is a silencing tactic.
1a. While obviously the Pope isn’t forcing anyone to go against LGBT* rights, he has a huge influence on many people. Piggy and others have argued that the Pope would be excommunicated if he tried to speak out in favor of gay marriage, but there is a difference between being virulently against something and simply not supporting something. The Pope has chosen to be virulently against gay marriage, and speaks out against it at every opportunity, and I do blame him for that.
1b. Does Piggy have a right to believe whatever he wants without feeling victimized? If so, I believe that right ends where my right to equality begins.
2. I can only speak for myself and not for Lizzie, so I’ll leave this alone.
3a. I did not mean to equate feeling offended. I meant to equate the actions which led to the offenses.
3b. “‘any offense she…caused while expressing her opinion is insignificant…” You missed the beginning of this quote. “She believes” it, and has stated so earlier in this thread. I said nothing about what I believe. I can only speak for myself, so I’m not going to pursue this.
There’s nothing wrong with decency and respect, but I’d appreciate it if you addressed the content of my posts instead of simply attacking them for being disrespectful. I hope you didn’t mean it this way, but as I said to Robert earlier in this post, responding only to the tone of comments when someone is trying to make a point about content is a tactic often used to make the content seem insignificant and wrong, especially when the content is controversial.
I don’t know enough about the specifics of the Pope/papal actions/Catholicism/gay rights etc., to be able to respond to content at the proper level such a discussion would require.
I hope I have not given the impression that I’m all for fiercely debating the content of two original posts. What I’ve felt more strongly about on this thread is the tone, and not the content. I understand the content is controversial. I don’t mean to take a side on whether the papacy has been positive or negative. I don’t have strong feelings about the Pope’s actions as I don’t know enough about it.
All I’m trying to maintain is that respect should be preserved. That is what I have been trying to express (albeit not necessarily coherently), more so than the nature of the content or whatnot. A bit of courtesy never goes amiss. I can’t see why that concept would need to be so subversive.
I think there has been so much discussion about this because some MBers (or at least I) do not want to see this kind of tone becoming a sort of precedent or pattern for both Hot Topics and the rest of the ‘Blog. If I am talking about this at length it is because I am trying to find reasons for common courtesy that would be acceptable to everyone including the fiercely-opinionated among you.
Much of this thread has been a discussion centered around the tone of the original posts, yes, and I think there’s good reason in that. The content may be important to many of you, which is fine, and if you have strong opinions about it you are of course free to debate it here.
But I would like to say that we are allowed to be concerned about the respectfulness of the language here. MuseBlog isn’t like the rest of the internet. As I have tried to say several times, there is little that can’t be phrased in a more civil and tactful way.
Emphatic language is fine; language on the verge of abrasion, in my opinion, is not. I have explained several times why I found the nature of the original comment more than a little insensitive. You may rather debate the ideas, but word usage is important.
You can accuse me of being silencing or cowardly if you wish, but I don’t see anything weak in being mature and showing respect, no matter the differences of opinion. Call me naïve but I honestly can’t see why it seems to be so difficult to understand, either.
I don’t know if this is the right thread to post this on, but here goes.
I’ve been wondering for a while before this all ever happened whether MuseBlog was still a community where I fit in. Last night, reading through this thread, I came the closest to a panic attack that I have been in about a year. That is– an enormous deal for me. I’ve spent the past year learning to deal with triggers for panic attacks when they come, and for that to happen in what I consider one of my safest spaces is the one of the biggest warning signs my brain can possibly throw up for me.
I don’t feel comfortable here, and I don’t feel safe here, and I don’t feel that I’m in the same community that I joined. I have confirmed for myself that this is no longer really the right space for me, and I’m leaving MuseBlog. I don’t know if this is going to be for a little while or for ever; I certainly hope it’s for a little while, but I feel that it’s going to be for longer.
I wish you all luck, and I do love all of you, more than I’ve ever been able to express.
Oh, no, Cat’s Eye, I’m so very sorry, especially so if it’s partly my fault.
I do hope you will feel up to coming back sometime in the future. We will all miss you very much; you are such a wonderful and caring person. I also wish you the best of luck!
I’m sorry you feel this way, and I’m sorry that you found my comments upsetting and/or triggering. I hope you do what you have to in order to feel safe (and of course I hope you can return, but feeling safe is more important.)
I am very sorry you don’t feel the blog is a safe space, and I hope I didn’t contribute to that. It certainly wasn’t my intention.
De-extinction: should it be done? I’ve seen this come up a few times, on National Geographic and in Scientific American, so it seems to be a current object of discussion among scientists. De-extinction is basically cloning extinct animals to make them, well, not-extinct, and it’s gone from speculative science to something that looks more and more viable, if not necessarily practical.
I’ve read up on it and come to the conclusion that most of it really isn’t practical. These species went extinct for a reason. They belong to habitats that don’t exist anymore, and if they do exist they are much reduced. Yeah, you could clone one or two novelty specimens for a zoo, but de-extinction would mean the creation of a sustainable population. Plenty of other species right now are in danger of extinction, and we need to focus on what we currently have, and boosting their population.
On the other hand: Wooly mammoths!
I do think the practicality of resurrecting a species decreases the longer it’s been extinct. De-extinction of passenger pigeons or Carolina parakeets? Considerably more feasible than wooly mammoths. We know what eastern woodland forests are supposed to be like more than Pleistocene tundras, and I think that fewer of the supporting species that make up an ecosystem have gone extinct…although one of the major species of the eastern forests when those birds were alive is basically gone. I mean, American Chestnuts aren’t extinct but given how frequent they are they might as well be. Which returns us to trying to save what we have rather than reintroduce something that we can’t care for.
So apparently the reason de-extinction has been such a big topic recently is because last week National Geographic hosted a Tedx conference on the subject in Washington DC. I am suddenly curious to know if Robert went.
10- I see your point, but SABAH TOOTH TIGAHS
Well, sabertooth CATS…
11.1- Tigers sound cooler!
Naw I agree with FantasyFan. Maybe in the future we’ll have a better understanding of how ecosystems work, but right now I don’t think we’re prepared to deal with giant Pleistocene critters.
A friend of mine posted on (social network) about how Christians shouldn’t be against gay marriage even if they are against gays in any way, because God loves everyone despite their choices. I said that I agreed with everything except the “choices” bit. The response:
“Choices as in what you do with your life. Everything is a choice. Drinking, doing drugs, being gay it’s all a choice.”
My reply in a nutshell: “…no.”
“There is a very consious choice lol You are not born gay, because women and women and males with others males cannot reproduce, so obviously it is not the way nature was designed. But that of course is my opinion!!! Just like you have yours.”
(I know this should probably be in R&P, but that thread has too many posts and we need a new one and this one has technically only had two real topics.)
*possible nitpicking warning* I can kind of see something to claiming that it is a choice even though your orientation isn’t. But, I don’t see much difference between “I could avoid doing X, but it would cause more harm than it’s probably worth” and “I am literally incapable of stopping myself doing X”.
And if you don’t have a problem with homosexuality in general (as neither you nor I do), it shouldn’t matter, as far as the morality of it is concerned, if someone is acting on their orientation out of compulsion or choice.
As for their second statement… no. Just no.
I’m in this roaring heated debate about pretty much this topic with one of my friends. He can’t seem to get past “being gay is a choice (and it is a sin so gay people should stop being gay and repent)(and we are doing them a kindness by outlawing gay marriage)” so I am writing up a hypothetical situation in which he is straight but in this hypothetical situatuion people are “normally” gay and he doesn’t know how to come out as straight to his conservative Christian dads. To make him understand that being gay is as much of a choice as his being straight is a choice.
Re: this person: Yeah, basically just no. That’s… wrong in so many ways.
Sounds interesting. A bit like the Noughts & Crosses series by Malorie Blackman, maybe?
I’ve never read that *googles* but… I guess so. It almost evolved into a weird fanfiction involving my friends. But yeah.
Ask them if they made a choice to be straight. They’ll probably respond with “well er no but that’s the DEFAULT because it’s NATURAL.” In that case, ask if they think infertile people should be forbidden to marry because they can’t reproduce.
(This probably won’t change their mind, but it might make them think about it differently for a moment. Optimistically.)
Thanks! I’ll keep that in mind.
FantasyFan, I also didn’t feel good when every article I read was focusing on that Saudi man as a suspect. They never mentioned a compelling reason why he should be suspected – and from what you say, there never was one – and that worries me from the bottom of my stomach.
Re: FantasyFan’s remarks on racial/religious profiling
I’m saddened that the Saudi student was tackled after the attack, but at the same time I can understand the decision to give chase in the heat of the moment. What is unacceptable has been the treatment afforded him afterwards by the police and media.
Amanda Palmer, please stop. Stop before I actually start not respecting you.
What’d she do?
I’m a little curious about y’all’s thoughts on the Day of Silence, because I’ve heard both objections and praise from other queer people and both sides seem to have a pretty valid argument.
I personally think it’s a good idea at least for my school, because we’re a pretty liberal community and it helps draw attention to the cause. There have been a few incidences of people going “hurr hurr you can’t talk so I’m going to make fun of you” but they’re pretty isolated.