Another Terrible Court Decision In Europe: Insulting A Religion Is Not Free Speech

from the wait,-what? dept

Let's start off with the basics, because if I don't, I know we'll be flooded with these comments: no, the European concept of "free speech" differs quite a bit from the American one. The American 1st Amendment creates extremely strong protections for all sorts of expression -- including insulting or offending expression. Europe has always been a bit more willing to shove various exceptions into the right of freedom of expression, while mostly paying lip service to the concept. Article 10 of the Human Rights Act says that you have the right to your own opinions and the freedom to share them without government interference but, in practice, Europe has always been much quicker in brushing that aside in order to engage in all sorts of censorship from prior restraint to rewriting history.

And, according to a new ruling from the European Court of Human Rights, another exception to free expression is that you can't disparage religions because it might hurt the feelings of religious practitioners. No, really.

The case, which was originally brought in Austria, involved a woman who hosted an event where she made a bunch of silly and misleading claims about Muslims and the Prophet Muhammad, in particular, claiming that because one of his marriages was to a very young girl, there was an implication that he was a pedophile (and further, strongly implying that other Muslims sought to emulate Muhammad). I'm not entirely clear as to why anyone cares what someone did over a thousand years ago (nor could anyone know with any real certainly what actually happened), but either way, some were offended by these comments -- and that's fine. If someone says offensive things, it's reasonable for some to take offense.

But to claim its a human rights violation?

Multiple lower courts found that such comments could not be permitted, and it finally went up to the European Court of Human Rights, where much of the discussion centered around what the court believed was a clash, of sorts, between freedom to express opinions and freedom to manifest religion. And, the court comes down in this with an argument that would be laughed out of any US court, in that it sets up a "balancing" test. As Ken White has explained multiple times, the Supreme Court in the US doesn't recognize any "balancing" test when it comes to free speech. In US v. Stevens, the Supreme Court explicitly rejected any sort of balancing test:

The Government's proposed test would broadly balance the value of the speech against its societal costs to determine whether the First Amendment even applies. But the First Amendment's free speech guarantee does not extend only to categories of speech that survive an ad hoc balancing of relative social costs and benefits. The Amendment itself reflects a judgment by the American people that the benefits of its restrictions on the Government outweigh the costs.

With this ruling, the ECHR has clearly stated that it's going in the exact opposite direction. It directly argues that one’s free speech can be limited by law if it somehow interferes with someone else's "religious feelings."

While the applicant stressed that her statements had never been aimed at disparaging Muhammad, she did not dispute the legitimate purpose of criminal convictions under Article 188 of the Criminal Code, namely to protect religious peace. The Court endorses the Government’s assessment that the impugned interference pursued the aim of preventing disorder by safeguarding religious peace, as well as protecting religious feelings, which corresponds to protecting the rights of others...

And, while Europeans may argue, this is madness. It is exceptionally dangerous to free speech. I'm not advocating that anyone should be running around spewing ignorant arguments about religious figures that people adore, but saying that you can block free speech if it will "prevent disorder" or "protect religious feelings," means that you've created a massive heckler's veto. All you need to do is claim that hearing the speech will make you and your friends riot, or say it's truly insulted your religious "feelings", and suddenly it means the speech is not allowed. That's crazy and will lead to lots of abuse and questionable situations where people censor themselves to avoid any liability at all.

There's also some truly bizarre and incomprehensible language about how, because free expression includes "duties and responsibilities", that also means you must "ensure the peaceful enjoyment" of others’ religious beliefs. And the court states this right after noting that freedom of expression should allow for offensive, shocking and disturbing comments from non-believers about a religion:

The Court reiterates the fundamental principles underlying its judgments relating to Article 10 .... Freedom of expression constitutes one of the essential foundations of a democratic society and one of the basic conditions for its progress and for each individual’s self-fulfilment. Subject to paragraph 2 of Article 10, it is applicable not only to “information” or “ideas” that are favourably received or regarded as inoffensive or as a matter of indifference, but also to those that offend, shock or disturb. The Court further notes that there is little scope... for restrictions on political speech or on debate on questions of public interest.... Those who choose to exercise the freedom to manifest their religion under Article 9 of the Convention, irrespective of whether they do so as members of a religious majority or a minority, therefore cannot expect to be exempt from criticism. They must tolerate and accept the denial by others of their religious beliefs and even the propagation by others of doctrines hostile to their faith

So, while that sounds reasonable, in the very next paragraph the court pulls out a "however..." and then proceeds to basically rip to shreds everything in the paragraph above.

... however, the exercise of the freedom of expression carries with it duties and responsibilities. Amongst them, in the context of religious beliefs, is the general requirement to ensure the peaceful enjoyment of the rights guaranteed under Article 9 to the holders of such beliefs including a duty to avoid as far as possible an expression that is, in regard to objects of veneration, gratuitously offensive to others and profane

And then it's right back to the old balancing game:

The issue before the Court therefore involves weighing up the conflicting interests of the exercise of two fundamental freedoms, namely the right of the applicant to impart to the public her views on religious doctrine on the one hand, and the right of others to respect for their freedom of thought, conscience and religion on the other

The Court, towards the end, tries to argue that it's really only the truly egregious insults that will matter, but gives little guidance at all on that:

The Court reiterates that a religious group must tolerate the denial by others of their religious beliefs and even the propagation by others of doctrines hostile to their faith, as long as the statements at issue do not incite hatred or religious intolerance. Article 188 of the Criminal Code (see paragraph 24 above) in fact does not incriminate all behaviour that is likely to hurt religious feelings or amounts to blasphemy, but additionally requires that the circumstances of such behaviour were able to arouse justified indignation, therefore aiming at the protection of religious peace and tolerance. The Court notes that the domestic courts extensively explained why they considered that the applicant’s statements had been capable of arousing justified indignation, namely that they had not been made in an objective manner aiming at contributing to a debate of public interest, but could only be understood as having been aimed at demonstrating that Muhammad was not a worthy subject of worship... The Court endorses this assessment.

And what if I were to join a religion focused on worshiping free speech -- and declared that this ridiculous ruling harmed my religious feelings by suggesting such worship was not only misplaced, but illegal? Would I then be able to claim the Court itself had violated my apparent rights to not have my religious feelings offended?

Again, no matter what you think of the nameless plaintiff's statements, which were silly, the idea that (1) that should be balanced against how upset it might make people and (2) that the balance should weigh against her, seems crazy and outright offensive to freedom of expression.


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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 26 Oct 2018 @ 11:14am

    It is religiously offensive for me to hear or read about any religion other than my own. So, all other religions must be hidden from public view.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 26 Oct 2018 @ 12:26pm

      Re:

      How to know who is in control... find the people you are not allowed to insult.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        btr1701 (profile), 1 Nov 2018 @ 2:29pm

        Re: Re:

        Oh, look! Europe has gone back to blasphemy laws. How very 12th century of them.

        One immediately wonders, however, if this is a universal law that will hold Muslims accountable for defaming the Christian and Jewish religions also.

        I have a sneaking suspicion not; this'll be another of those "it only works one way" type of things.

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    • identicon
      Teekrul, 26 Oct 2018 @ 12:27pm

      Re:

      Church Bells offend me.. We should melt them all down!!!

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 26 Oct 2018 @ 12:40pm

        Re: Re:

        Insulting a religion is not free speach..

        The hell its not.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 26 Oct 2018 @ 12:41pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Speech.. sp

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 27 Oct 2018 @ 3:05am

          Re: Re: Re:

          What is insulting a religion? If I quote from the hadiths wherein the prophet ordered the killing of apostates or from the multiple biographies of him, wherein he ordered the assasination of people insulting him, I am only bringing to light of which Muslims ought to be proud.


          Google for the age of Aisha, ridda apostasy Islam, or read the responses to similar questions under the islam or exmuslim Reddit sub.


          The women shouldn't have called Mohammed a pedophile, but simply quoted Islamic sources letting them speak for themselves.

          An excellent source is Reliance of the traveller spelling out what is permitted and forbidden under Islamic law.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            Stephen T. Stone (profile), 27 Oct 2018 @ 9:43pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            I am only bringing to light of which Muslims ought to be proud.

            What you are technically doing is highlighting words in the Qu’ran, yes. But with this admission, I can now say you are also trying to paint a billion people with a broad brush, as if all the world’s Muslims have uncriticial reverence for the prophet Mohammed and see what he is alleged to have done as something to emulate. You have no basis on which to claim that assumption as a fact.

            The [woman] shouldn't have called Mohammed a pedophile

            That ain’t it, chief. She had every right to say “Mohammed was a pedophile”. She should not be punished for some Muslims taking offense on behalf of their religion’s holy figure. What she did is no better or worse than if I referred to the Christian God as a mass-murdering authoritarian, considering God is cited by The Bible as the killer of several million people.

            No idea, including religious ideas, should ever be considered completely verboten. As much as I despise the ideas of racists, homophobes, TERFs, anti-choice advocates, and Kanye West, any idea they espouse that does not cross into “illegal speech” territory should remain legal to say. (Whether someone wants to give those assholes a platform is a whole other discussion.) By the same token, ideas and speech espoused by anti-racism advocates, pro-LGBT groups, pro-choice advocates, and Taylor Swift—including mockery of the racists, homophobes, etc.—should also remain legal. No idea, no matter how popular or heinous or downright ignorant, deserves to be protected against ridicule, mockery, and being torn to shreds by better ideas.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 27 Oct 2018 @ 11:04pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              "as if all the world’s Muslims have uncriticial reverence for the prophet Mohammed and see what he is alleged to have done as something to emulate."

              I don't even have to go to the shocking Pew poll results in England, just ask your moderate moslem on the street what they think about anyone criticizing their prophet. See where that leads you. While you're at it ask if anyone consider his deeds as only "alleged" or undeniable facts.

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              • icon
                Stephen T. Stone (profile), 28 Oct 2018 @ 7:01am

                just ask your moderate moslem on the street what they think about anyone criticizing their prophet. See where that leads you. While you're at it ask if anyone consider his deeds as only "alleged" or undeniable facts.

                If only one Muslim answers the way you do not think they will, your absolutist position is null and void. Think carefully about that before you imply—or explicitly state—that all the world’s Muslims feel the exact same way about their religion and its dogma.

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                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 28 Oct 2018 @ 10:41pm

                  Re:

                  How is the position that the majority of muslims thinks criticizing their prophet is off limits in any way an absolutist position? The fact that a minority tolerates such criticism doesn't make the position of the majority null and void nor any less threatening. Especially when we're already talking about moderate muslims.

                  reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 6 Nov 2018 @ 5:59am

                  Re:

                  So not all people at slt tight protests sre bad? And you espouse this view in the company you keep?

                  Yeah. I didn't think so.

                  reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 28 Oct 2018 @ 7:23am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Europe is genuinely afraid and who can blaim them? This all about islam and look at the murderers of recent times. Who can blaim them for appeasing the insanity?

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            Stephen T. Stone (profile), 28 Oct 2018 @ 8:16am

            look at the murderers of recent times

            How many murders can be directly attributed to followers of Islam, and how many of those murders can be directly attributed to religious motivations? What percentage of all murders in the entirety of Europe fit that narrow set of specific details?

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 28 Oct 2018 @ 10:42pm

              Re:

              Which number do you deem acceptable or in other words, at which percentage would you admit that Islam and not other circumstances are the main cause for such atrocities?

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          jaack65 (profile), 6 Nov 2018 @ 7:09am

          Re: Re: Re: Ya Cant Say Hell

          Hell is an Offensive word. Lock Him UP.

          Imaging enforcing these laws against Donald Trump's hate speech?

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  • icon
    hij (profile), 26 Oct 2018 @ 11:16am

    Erdogon will be thrilled

    All those comedians who thought it would be okay to make disparaging comments about world leaders will have to rethink their schtick now. Especially if those leaders also happen to be associated with a religious hierarchy. The House of Saud is relieved.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 26 Oct 2018 @ 12:29pm

      Re: Erdogon will be thrilled

      As is the holy church of Erdogan where he wants to be worshipped as GodEmperor of the new Turkish/Ottoman Empire.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 26 Oct 2018 @ 2:45pm

      Re: Erdogon will be thrilled

      Now all they have to do is send their goons to a different country and ... what do you think they will do?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 26 Oct 2018 @ 11:18am

    if it somehow interferes with someone else's "religious feelings."

    Well - that is easy to define and will in no way ever be twisted into something that was not originally intended.

    In addition, it is quite apparent from past history which religion will benefit, and which will not, from this legislation.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 26 Oct 2018 @ 9:13pm

      Re:

      Not any more. The new religion that takes offense to everything is now Islam. Christianity is offensive to everyone else now.

      Here's the obvious absurdity of the ECHR argument: religious statements that claim other religious views are false, dangerous, or otherwise detrimental. Patently offensive to the one religion, self evident to the espousing religion, but now both protected... Unless some particular religion is now going to be protected above others... which will be the true test.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Kyle, 27 Oct 2018 @ 7:19am

        Re: Re:

        "Wait. Wait. I think I can explain this whole thing. Marklar, these marklars want to change your marklar. They don't want Marklar or any of these marklars to live here because it's bad for their marklar. They use Marklar to try and force marklars to believe they're marklar. If you let them stay here, they will build marklars and marklars. They will take all your marklars and replace them with Marklar. These marklar have no good marklar to live on Marklar, so they must come here to Marklar. Please, let these marklars stay where they can grow and prosper without any marklars, marklars, eh or marklars."

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  • icon
    Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile), 26 Oct 2018 @ 11:19am

    I am an XXX will be an insult to anyone who is a YYY

    At some point they will get around to declaring the one true religon. Which one will it be? They have a thousand or more to choose from.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 26 Oct 2018 @ 12:05pm

      Re: I am an XXX will be an insult to anyone who is a YYY

      ... and that membership is not voluntary.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Coyne Tibbets (profile), 26 Oct 2018 @ 7:28pm

      Re: I am an XXX will be an insult to anyone who is a YYY

      Which one will it be? The religion of the last survivor of humanity, after killing the next-to-last survivor.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Cyber Killer, 26 Oct 2018 @ 11:29am

    Quite simple

    It's quite simple, isn't it? You're free to talk what you want, but you're not free to be an asshole (about religion or anything else). That's something Americans can't comprehend for some reason.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Chris-Mouse (profile), 26 Oct 2018 @ 11:39am

      Re: Quite simple

      Please define "being an asshole" in words that won't require spending a small fortune on legal fees to have a court decide what does and does not fit your definition.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        hij (profile), 26 Oct 2018 @ 2:23pm

        Re: Re: Quite simple

        If we want to outlaw being an "asshole" then we are going to need more prisons. (Cannot wait for the incoming verbiage, though, "If you outlaw assholes then only outlaws will have assholes.")

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 26 Oct 2018 @ 11:49am

      Re: Quite simple

      Everyone's definition of what being an asshole is or isn't is different and not capable of being put into law. You are literally insane to think you can impose laws like this without having the whole system collapse. This is government by committee and it cannot end well.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 26 Oct 2018 @ 12:08pm

      Re: Quite simple

      Assholery is in the eye of the beholder and it is most likely that one will not find two opinions on the matter that are identical.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 26 Oct 2018 @ 2:44pm

        Re: Re: Quite simple

        For example, I encounter several assholes a day in traffic but I'm quite sure they don't see themselves as assholes.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 26 Oct 2018 @ 2:48pm

          Re: Re: Re: Quite simple

          .. and each asshole is a bit different.
          One might be driving a BMW while another might be driving a Porsche or a Benz

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 26 Oct 2018 @ 12:09pm

      Re: Quite simple

      A mild criticism of a religious practice or belief can be "insulting" to someone from that religion. No matter how polite, the critic would still be seen as an asshole by the religious person. The critic shouldn't ever be silenced for expressing legally protected opinions about religion that happen to hurt the feelings of at least one religious person. And I would bet good money that you can't offer any good reason why that critic should be silenced.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Gary (profile), 26 Oct 2018 @ 12:13pm

      Re: Quite simple

      So only people of religion XXX can talk about that religion? Personally, I find all this talk about invisible men running the world to be pretty insulting. (And I'm looking at YOU, American Evangelical cults.)

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile), 26 Oct 2018 @ 12:34pm

        Re: Re: Quite simple

        The problem I see with that idea is that I was raised a Catholic, but no Christian would actually want to hear what I have to say about their religions today (though conversations with priests and other clergy tend to be both lively and comprehensive, and neither side wins anything). Technically that would make me a Catholic, or a Christian, but they would probably be insulted.

        What then?

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 26 Oct 2018 @ 12:31pm

      Re: Quite simple

      You're being an asshole by a Muslims view that Jesus was the Son of God.

      And vice versa. To christianity you're being an asshole for NOT saying he's the son of god.

      And to some religions you're an asshole for not yelling this from the streets, converting the heathens on a daily basis.

      So which is it?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 26 Oct 2018 @ 12:48pm

      Re: Quite simple

      What wild hair up your ass makes you deride American intelligence.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      John Roddy (profile), 26 Oct 2018 @ 1:05pm

      Re: Quite simple

      but you're not free to be an asshole (about religion or anything else).

      In that case, I'm afraid we're going to need to place you under citizens' arrest.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 27 Oct 2018 @ 1:58pm

        Re: Re: Quite simple

        I find this comment about religion to be offensive. please imprison yourself in the gulag of your choosing.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 26 Oct 2018 @ 11:31pm

      Be careful the standards you support, less they apply to YOU

      Your dismissive assault on free speech offends me. As such by your own standards it seems you need to shut up less you violate those very standards and make yourself out to be a hypocrite.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      The Wanderer (profile), 29 Oct 2018 @ 8:05am

      Re: Quite simple

      I am reminded of Spider Robinson's "Asshole Principle", expounded by one of the primary protagonist characters in his novel "Lifehouse".

      There's a good handful of examples provided (including Jesus), and a better explanation of it than I can give without digging out the book and transcribing the section verbatim, but the basic principle boils down to "Everyone is an asshole, and that includes both me and you".

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Anon E. Muss (profile), 26 Oct 2018 @ 11:43am

    Judges 6:31 "And Joash said unto all that stood against him, Will ye plead for Baal? will ye save him? he that will plead for him, let him be put to death whilst it is yet morning: if he be a god, let him plead for himself, because one hath cast down his altar."

    If your god/religious figure is so insulted by my blasphemy, let him take his own revenge upon me, otherwise, go f*ck off. I went to bible school too, I'm not afraid to use those lessons to contradict your own messed up interpretation of scripture.

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  • icon
    ECA (profile), 26 Oct 2018 @ 11:49am

    This is going to be Fun..

    trying to get religious beliefs to GET ALONG...
    By not saying Anything??

    and I REALLY love Christians(and other) that dont know their OWN religious history..

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      ShadowNinja (profile), 26 Oct 2018 @ 12:11pm

      Re: This is going to be Fun..

      and I REALLY love Christians(and other) that dont know their OWN religious history..

      Or their own religious teachings.

      A poll from a half decade ago found that a majority of Christians in Western countries believe that non-Christians who live a good & moral life can get into heaven. But if they read the bible or listened to their preacher they'd realize that such beliefs contradict their own religion. (they worship other gods a sin in Christianity & haven't been baptized)

      Another piece of irony, when they polled a ton of Americans on their knowledge of Christianity and other major religions, the ones who knew the most about those religions were... Atheists. And the Christian denomination that scored highest on knowledge of Christianity? Mormons, even though a lot of Christians don't consider them a part of Christianity.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 26 Oct 2018 @ 12:23pm

        Re: Re: This is going to be Fun..

        Yes, we have all seen those polls, just like the man on the street BS videos where they ask a bunch of people questions and then make sure their sample size is from all of the idiots.

        Happens everywhere, but as a Christian, I will agree that most of my fellow Christians don't know anything about their own religion. But the claim that Atheists (on average) have greater knowledge than any other Christian (on average) is pretty specious, in my opinion most atheists are just as ignorant as their religious counter parts.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 26 Oct 2018 @ 12:34pm

          Re: Re: Re: This is going to be Fun..

          Most atheists come from actually reading the religious texts, realizing they have unfixable contradictions and things that are flat out wrong.

          example: the sky is NOT an upturned copper bowl with holes poked in it (stars) where the light of heaven shines through

          It's not right to take slaves or beat your wife.

          It's not a "moral duty" for a woman to sacrifice two pigeons every month to atone for menstruation.

          People with crushed testicles are NOT utterly beyond redemption.

          and of course the Bibles ULTIMATE SIN: waking up every single morning without fail and praising god as your first thought. - thats the big unforgivable the victorians decided to remove because it was eating into the levels of church attendance.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 26 Oct 2018 @ 1:19pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: This is going to be Fun..

            Yea, most of that is bunch of intentionally misrepresentation by the Atheists that are looking for quick gotcha's. You can play the gotcha game with any religion. The bible may have been inspired by God, but still written by man and corrupted by man as well. There are failures in translations, typo's, and of course due to some of these misunderstandings like the whole Christ being nailed to the cross by way of his hands... well back then the word hands mean anything from the elbow to the fingertips so when Christ was nailed it could have been anywhere along those paths. Additionally the crucifixion practices of the Romans are well documented so everyone should have a good idea of how it all went down. If you truly seek God, then you will transcend any need for the bible and understand far more than any Atheist with a quantum computer ever will.

            In general, slavery is not okay, any servants you had were to be treated fairly. Men were to cherish their wives not beat them. The whole testicle crushing thing... well which one are you referring too, because there was a shocking amount of chatter over testicle crushing. many laws passed down in the Old testament were decided upon by mankind and God just allowed a few of them, even though He did not specifically agree that it should be done that way.

            And the Bible says what the ultimate sin is... and that is Blasphemy. Failing to praise God every morning you get up is not Blasphemy and neither is taking God's name in vain though that is not wise to be doing either. Speaking against God and mocking God is blasphemy. Sins that are not forgiven in this life or the next.

            Depending on which denomination you follow, I am non-denominational, they have all concocted all sorts of sins and evils that we should not be allowed for pretty shakey reasons.

            Pre-Marital sex is not a major sin for example, though many Christians advance that notion.
            Being naked is only people seeing your shame, not some hell worthy trespass.
            There is no such thing as the 10 commandments... there are actually more than that given to the Israelites by Moses, and there are only 2 great commandments as put for by Christ.
            Dancing, drinking, and partaking of herbs are not sins, they were given with purpose by God for our use, it's just that their misuse is what causes the sin.

            In most cases... Christianity is just like Atheism... a system of false believes based on what people think about life. They will happily take the parts they like and use them as an excuse to mistreat people and will eschew the parts they hate that accuse them of iniquity.

            God does not want people to have a religion... religion is the institution of man and how false God's and prophets are made. You will know ever false religion by the fact that they create Seminary and then one man must get another man's blessing to lead their religion in their God's name.

            What true religion would think they have the authority or wisdom to decide who is a worthy prophet? Only God creates those... and often times God has used terrible people to become prophets.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              Anon E. Muss (profile), 26 Oct 2018 @ 3:18pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: This is going to be Fun..

              ...understand far more than any Atheist with a quantum computer ever will.

              Actually, I'm pretty sure anyone with a quantum computer will probably understand the universe a lot more than most of us plebs.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              ECA (profile), 26 Oct 2018 @ 6:54pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: This is going to be Fun..

              AC..
              Where does the old testament come from..?
              NO PEEKING..
              Make a guess..
              Its still used today, by another religion..
              IF you want the best conversion, Look at that Book, not the christian one.

              Then comes the Hard one..
              When was the New testament discovered..When did they get it translated?
              How many books, and how many NOT published by the church..
              (go find the Full book of Solomon..Its very interesting)

              Which Means we lived by that OTHER BOOK, That has been Changed many times over many years..

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 27 Oct 2018 @ 2:01pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: This is going to be Fun..

              SO basically you're saying the bible (which says it's the literal word of god) contains LIES and falsehoods?

              Also the fact that in the gospel according to jesus "I come to you with a sword in my mouth not as a lamb, all my fathers laws remain and NONE shall pass away in my kingdom" basically says the entire book has to be obeyed literally word for word.

              Then you have the horror parts that got removed in the 19th century where jesus tells people to take the babies of unbelievers and swing them by their legs and smash their heads against a rock.

              So you've said your GOD isn't perfect, claiming Jesus made a mistake there too? are you gonna add a third testament?

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              • icon
                ECA (profile), 27 Oct 2018 @ 4:36pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: This is going to be Fun..

                Basically..That thinking the bible was Created BY CHRISTIANS..is stupid..
                And the NEW testament..isnt more then a few hundred years..We lived by the OLD testament for ALONG TIME..

                Want a link to the Original??
                The Tanakh..
                from the same people that gave you the Kabbalah..
                The Hebrew..

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 27 Oct 2018 @ 11:10pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: This is going to be Fun..

              "In most cases... Christianity is just like Atheism... a system of false believes based on what people think about life."

              The usual BS by christians who just can handle the fact the burden of proof for their weird beliefs in on them. Atheism is no system at all but a position on a single position: the atheist does not see sufficient evidence to believe there's a god. That's it.

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 26 Oct 2018 @ 2:16pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: This is going to be Fun..

            >example: the sky is NOT an upturned copper bowl with holes poked in it (stars) where the light of heaven shines through

            Maybe in *your* backwards religion, but to the One True Religion, the sky is Oblivion, and the stars are holes through which the magicka of Aether can travel through to Mundus and bless our lands. I bet you spurn Malacath in favor of the traitorous Trinimac lovers.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 26 Oct 2018 @ 2:54pm

        Re: Re: This is going to be Fun..

        "A poll from a half decade ago found that a majority of Christians in Western countries believe that non-Christians who live a good & moral life can get into heaven. But if they read the bible or listened to their preacher they'd realize that such beliefs contradict their own religion. (they worship other gods a sin in Christianity & haven't been baptized)"

        This varies by sect and doctrine. While your branch may believe that not all do.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 26 Oct 2018 @ 11:50am

    I practice the religioin of Asshattery

    I am a disciple of the religion of Asshattery (specifically the flying meatball monster sect).

    Our religion consists of making fun of all other religions as there can be only one. We will rule them all with an iron spork to the eye if anyone objects (don't be offended, it's the highest honor of our religion to be sporked).

    If we say the Pope is a lying devil on a rope, it's just how we feel (and we use pope on a rope soap exclusively... so we would know).

    If we say that Muhammad fellow seems to prefer the younger girls (and boys), we only speak from conjecture as it's been passed down in our hymns for at least a couple days...

    I am a special snowflake and I will sue anyone and everyone who tries to stop the spread of MY RELIGION...

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  • icon
    stderric (profile), 26 Oct 2018 @ 11:52am

    The Court notes that the domestic courts extensively explained why they considered that the applicant’s statements had been capable of arousing justified indignation, namely that they had not been made in an objective manner aiming at contributing to a debate of public interest

    This decision doesn't seem all that bad, and really shouldn't affect many people: after all, most discussions of a religious nature I've ever read or heard have all been quite objective and contributed greatly to public harmony.

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    • icon
      Coyne Tibbets (profile), 26 Oct 2018 @ 7:41pm

      Re:

      Reconsider, bearing in mind how the ruling defines "justified" and also how it clarifies a clear division between "objectve" vs. not. I think you'll find that both such definitions are very subjective...and law based on subjectivity is usually dangerous to freedoms.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 26 Oct 2018 @ 11:55am

    I wonder if this law will be used to punish Muslims who insult Christians or Jews. You know, in the name of keeping the peace...

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 26 Oct 2018 @ 12:37pm

      Re:

      Or punish anyone that says flying spaghetti monsterism isn't a real religion or that The Jedi are just trying to spoil census taking.

      Or the religion I just thought up called "don't go to church ever againism". The primary rules are you never go to church ever again for any reason and don't give ANY money to anyone religious ever.

      Amen/women/gender choice.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 27 Oct 2018 @ 11:12pm

      Re:

      If you look at how it's currently handled in European countries, especially in UK and Germany, it's the other way round. You can't critizice Islam without being blamed to be a racist (of all things).

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      • icon
        Stephen T. Stone (profile), 28 Oct 2018 @ 4:30pm

        Criticizing the tenets of Islam is different than disparaging Muslims as if they are a monolithic group wherein everyone adheres to the exact same specific dogma down to the last detail. One makes you a critic of religion; the other makes you an asshole.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 30 Oct 2018 @ 11:34am

          Re:

          There's a video on YouTube of a cleric speaking to a meeting hall full of Muslim men in English where he asks them how many of them believe that Sharia law and the punishments laid out in the Koran are perfect and should be implemented just as the Koran says and every single man raised his hand.

          Every Muslim may not feel the same way, but if a majority of them do, then it becomes a problem. If you insult a group of a dozen people and all but two of them want to beat you to a pulp for it, does it really matter that not every single member of the group wants your blood?

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 26 Oct 2018 @ 11:57am

    Religion is special in ths US as well

    Religion is one of the protected classes of people in the US. If you work for me, I can fire you for wearing shorts to work, but I can't fire you for wearing a turban. That's messed up too.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 26 Oct 2018 @ 12:05pm

      Re: Religion is special in ths US as well

      I can fire you for wearing shorts to work

      Until some people band together and declare it religious attire, like the people who wear colanders while getting a driver's license photo taken.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 26 Oct 2018 @ 12:14pm

      Re: Religion is special in ths US as well

      We have such rights for a reason: to prevent the oppression of people from minority religious sects (which includes people of no religion) at the hands of those in the majority religion. If letting someone wearing a turban as part of their religious beliefs isn't a massive burden on an employer, why should the person who would wear the turban be forced to stop wearing it?

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 26 Oct 2018 @ 12:28pm

        Re: Re: Religion is special in ths US as well

        Why should protection for crazy beliefs depend on whether they're "religious" or not? Wearing shorts isn't a burden for an employer either.

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        • icon
          Thad (profile), 26 Oct 2018 @ 12:43pm

          Re: Re: Re: Religion is special in ths US as well

          Why should protection for crazy beliefs depend on whether they're "religious" or not?

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution

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          • icon
            Thad (profile), 26 Oct 2018 @ 1:16pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Religion is special in ths US as well

            ...in hindsight, I should expand on that.

            The First Amendment does not, itself, protect individuals from religious discrimination by private entities such as a private employer.

            However, it's relevant because it establishes freedom of religion as a foundational principle of the US. (As does the no religious test clause in Article VI.)

            That's useful for understanding the context of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and why it includes religion as a protected class alongside race, color, sex, and national origin. Protection from religious discrimination is a foundational principle of the United States; hence, its inclusion in the Civil Rights Act is unsurprising.

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 26 Oct 2018 @ 5:46pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Religion is special in ths US as well

              It's not surprising, but is probably anachronistic. Since then, lots of things about our society have changed including how women and minorities participate.

              Protecting religion is as dumb as prosecuting speech offensive to the religious.

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              • icon
                Thad (profile), 26 Oct 2018 @ 5:52pm

                Re: tl;dr

                Protecting religion is as dumb as prosecuting speech offensive to the religious.

                ...yes, I'm sure allowing businesses to refuse to hire Muslims couldn't possibly have any negative consequences in 2018.

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              • icon
                Stephen T. Stone (profile), 26 Oct 2018 @ 7:16pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Religion is special in ths US as well

                "Protecting religion is as dumb as prosecuting speech offensive to the religious."

                We protect religion because yours might one day be the basis for a government's desire to oppress you, possibly even with violence. You'll want those protections then. You already have them now.

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              • icon
                nasch (profile), 26 Oct 2018 @ 9:07pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Religion is special in ths US as well

                Protecting religion is as dumb as prosecuting speech offensive to the religious.

                You want President Mike Pence and Vice President Mike Huckabee (or their like) with no protection of religious freedom or separation of church and state? Because I sure don't.

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                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 29 Oct 2018 @ 8:12am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Religion is special in ths US as well

                  Separation of church and state is not the same thing as giving special privileges based on religion (e.g., someone can violate uniform rules based on religion but not based on non-religious personal views).

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 27 Oct 2018 @ 3:23am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Religion is special in ths US as well

              NO, that's really a bad argument.


              The First Amendment is by design only applicable to state action, and just because the government shouldn't be permitted to do something does not explain why private conduct ought to be regulated.



              Also the Establishment Clause limits how government can speak in favor or against a religion, it does in no way explain or justify any restrictions on private speech.


              Note that the Establishment Clause also protects atheists, if the Muslim or Jew has a right to protection, same does the atheist and agnostic.

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        • icon
          Stephen T. Stone (profile), 26 Oct 2018 @ 2:30pm

          Re: Re: Re: Religion is special in ths US as well

          "Why should protection for crazy beliefs depend on whether they're "religious" or not?"

          Say 50 people in a group of 1,000 are Muslims and 700 of the remainder are Christians. For what reason should the Christians have the right to decide what the Muslims can or can't wear in public or while at work? And if the remaining 250 are split up in various numbers between different religious groups, including atheists, for what reason should the Christians have the right to dictate what those religious groups can or can't wear, say, or do?

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 28 Oct 2018 @ 7:31am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Religion is special in ths US as well

            If a person dresses so that the part of them visable is their eyes, that is illegal in all of the united states if that person goes out in public. It is not a matter of Christian dictating that.

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 28 Oct 2018 @ 12:52pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Religion is special in ths US as well

              If the word you’re missing is only then you are demonstrably wrong. Ortherwise you’re just incoherent.

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            • icon
              Stephen T. Stone (profile), 28 Oct 2018 @ 4:26pm

              You cannot cite the law that bans Islamic clothing in public—up to and including the niqab—across the United States because no such law exists.

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 29 Oct 2018 @ 8:14am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Religion is special in ths US as well

            Say 50 people in a group of 1,000 are Muslims and 700 of the remainder are Christians. For what reason should the Christians have the right to decide what the Muslims can or can't wear in public or while at work?

            Why should the Christians have the right to enforce what clothing the Christians should wear? If the other 250 are athiests, why shouldn't they have as much right to choose their clothing as Muslims?

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            • icon
              Stephen T. Stone (profile), 29 Oct 2018 @ 8:40am

              Hi there! I’m Stephen; welcome to my entire point.

              No one from any religion (and atheism is a “religion” for the purposes of this discussion) should have the right to enforce their dogma, their standards, their rules for living upon anyone else. A Catholic should no more be able to force a Protestant to live like a Catholic than a Protestant…well, you get where that logic is going. Relatedly, when deference to religious beliefs/practices presents an undue burden to someone else (e.g., employers trying to enforce safety regulations), that someone should have the right to say “don’t do that here” as a dictate rather than a request.

              You might now be thinking, “Well what about atheists and religious invocations?” Maybe you have some other “gotcha” jab about secularism vs. religion in the public sphere in mind. In those cases, the enforcement of equal treatment of all religious beliefs and religious sects under the law is not “enforcing secular standards” upon religion, in that those “standards” force people of a given religious sect to act/believe a certain way. If a Christian group is allowed to have a monument placed in a public park, any other religious group (again, this includes atheists) should be able to place their own monument in the same park. If Christians are allowed to give invocations before city council meetings and the like, all other religious groups should have the same right. How the Christians feel about other religious groups receiving equal treatment generally does not (and should not) matter.

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    • icon
      Thad (profile), 26 Oct 2018 @ 12:20pm

      Re: Religion is special in ths US as well

      If you're really concerned that you should be allowed to fire people who wear turbans, I suspect it isn't really about the turban.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 26 Oct 2018 @ 5:49pm

        Re: Re: Religion is special in ths US as well

        The only difference between a turban and shorts is that one is associated with a religion (it might not be the best example).

        The turban should be no more protected than shorts.

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        • icon
          Thad (profile), 26 Oct 2018 @ 5:53pm

          Re: tl;dr

          The only difference between a turban and shorts is that one is associated with a religion (it might not be the best example).

          In other words, the only difference between one article of clothing and another article of clothing is that one reflects something that is explicitly protected under the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and one isn't.

          That's not an insignificant difference, dogg.

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 27 Oct 2018 @ 10:47am

            Re: Re: tl;dr

            I think this train has gone off the rails. It's absurd that speech critical of religion should be banned, but at the same time, people around here don't see a similar absurdity in the way laws of the US treat religion specially.

            Why not protect all groups in a similar way? For example, why shouldn't punk rockers be protected in the same way that Scientologists or Christians are?

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            • icon
              nasch (profile), 27 Oct 2018 @ 11:09am

              Re: Re: Re: tl;dr

              Multiple examples have been given already pointing to the near certainty of terrible results if religious freedom were not protected. Either you do not understand or refuse to acknowledge them, so there doesn't seem to be much point in repeating them.

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              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 27 Oct 2018 @ 1:02pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: tl;dr

                So I suppose laws banning blasphemy are cool with you too. Religion is special, right?

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                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 27 Oct 2018 @ 1:32pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: tl;dr

                  Protections for religion are also protections from religion. Christians can't legally force atheists into church, and atheists can't legally force Christians out of church.

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                • icon
                  nasch (profile), 27 Oct 2018 @ 3:35pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: tl;dr

                  So I suppose laws banning blasphemy are cool with you too.

                  Of course not; that would infringe on freedom of expression. And since blasphemy doesn't infringe on anyone's rights, there's no justification for banning it.

                  If you want an honest debate, it's best not to put words in others' mouths. It's possible it was an honest misunderstanding, but I'm skeptical since I never said or implied that I would support laws banning blasphemy.

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                • icon
                  Thad (profile), 29 Oct 2018 @ 10:31am

                  Re: tl;dr

                  So I suppose

                  Thank you for clearly marking your strawman.

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 27 Oct 2018 @ 2:57pm

              Re: Re: Re: tl;dr

              The reason why not is that it hasn't are freedom of association and the lack of any other amendment to protect other groups.

              Say that head coverings and shorts are prohibited if they are a safety hazard to the shop environment. Those limitations are already in place.

              No matter who or what you are and what you can change it doesn't change the fact that wearing conductive substances metals around high voltage industrial or having them embedded in you is a terrible idea and that anyone should be barred from doing so to avoid hurting people and damaging expensive equipment unless there is a reasonable accommodation otherwise - like wearing a $5 insulative clothing over them.

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            • icon
              Thad (profile), 29 Oct 2018 @ 10:30am

              Re: tl;dr

              For example, why shouldn't punk rockers be protected in the same way that Scientologists or Christians are?

              Nice try. You really think I'm going to fall for the old "I'm going to make a statement without any argument to support it, and then say that you have to make an argument to refute it" trick?

              Not my first day on the Internet, son.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 26 Oct 2018 @ 12:38pm

      Re: Religion is special in ths US as well

      What if you're a model for a shampoo commercial and refuse to remove the turban.

      "trust me..under here is luscious wavy hair" ?

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      • icon
        nasch (profile), 26 Oct 2018 @ 1:17pm

        Re: Re: Religion is special in ths US as well

        What if you're a model for a shampoo commercial and refuse to remove the turban.

        If there is a legitimate job performance reason it's OK to discriminate. For example - OSHA says you must wear this helmet. If that's not compatible with your turban, you can choose to wear the helmet or you can choose to not have this job. Another example - this role is for a black man. Discrimination for the job on the basis of sex and race is fine.

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        • icon
          Stephen T. Stone (profile), 26 Oct 2018 @ 2:41pm

          Re: Re: Re: Religion is special in ths US as well

          "Discrimination for the job on the basis of sex and race is fine."

          Unless a job fundamentally requires someone be of a certain sex/gender or certain race/ethnic background? No, ScarJo, that kind of discrimination is not okay.

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          • icon
            nasch (profile), 26 Oct 2018 @ 9:01pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Religion is special in ths US as well

            Unless a job fundamentally requires someone be of a certain sex/gender or certain race/ethnic background?

            Right. Did you not read my whole comment? Or perhaps it wasn't obvious that these two sentences are related:

            "Another example - this role is for a black man. Discrimination for the job on the basis of sex and race is fine."

            Or on the third hand, maybe it wasn't clear that by "role" I meant a role in a play, TV show, or movie.

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 26 Oct 2018 @ 10:31pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Religion is special in ths US as well

              Like the race of a role has ever stopped Scarlet Johanssen.

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              • icon
                nasch (profile), 27 Oct 2018 @ 8:14am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Religion is special in ths US as well

                Perhaps just a joke, I can't tell. But not relevant. Just because movie makers often cast white people to play a character who in real life or source material is not white does not mean they are not allowed to require a particular race or sex for a role.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 26 Oct 2018 @ 2:54pm

        Re: Re: Religion is special in ths US as well

        What if ....

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  • identicon
    padawan learner, 26 Oct 2018 @ 12:14pm

    I assume European countries periodically conduct some sort of a census, does one have to declare a religion on said census and is there a list one has to choose from?

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    • identicon
      Talmyr, 30 Oct 2018 @ 3:13am

      Re:

      Yes we do. Here in the UK though, it is an optional question, and hence we get all the fun of people being Jedi or Pastafarian, and watching the authorities tie themselves in knots as to why these don't count as 'legitimate' answers or religions.

      No, there is not an 'approved' list, though.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 26 Oct 2018 @ 12:25pm

    THIS is why the EU needs to utterly blow itself to bits.
    UK is leaving. Spain is holding a referendum. Italy has said it wants to leave. Greece is getting kicked out, every single new applicant has frozen their application.

    The UK is so lucky to only have a few months left, and we can basically ignore this religious bigoted, self-serving evil non-elected pile of freedom of speech hating twats.

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    • icon
      Coyne Tibbets (profile), 26 Oct 2018 @ 7:50pm

      Re:

      I'll just say that you should withhold judgement until after the real downsides appear. Think there won't be any? Do you trust your government? Do you really think they've told you the worst news yet? Or is it more likely that the politicians have deferred the real bad news to be handed out by their successors?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Talmyr, 30 Oct 2018 @ 3:27am

      Re:

      Oh dear. Do you have any actual sources other than the Daily Express for this screed of nonsense?

      Besides, I thought you were all terrified of Turkey and other Balkan countries joining the EU and flooding our 'wonderful' country?

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 26 Oct 2018 @ 12:28pm

    The funniest thing is its now illegal to point out that the current Pope is wanted on TWO counts of murder in central america because he used to be a drug cartel hitman (all factual) and to point out Pope Benedict AND john paul II protected paedophiles, which in all likelihood means they too raped young children (because why would a non-paedophile protect so many monsters if he wasn't one himself?)

    but now you get prosecuted for pointing out the damn truth.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 26 Oct 2018 @ 12:53pm

    Please do not make jokes about midichlorians as that would be a serious affront to my Jediism.

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  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 26 Oct 2018 @ 12:56pm

    > The case, which was originally brought in Austria, involved a woman who hosted an event
    > where she made a bunch of silly and misleading claims about Muslims and the Prophet Muhammad

    Silly and misleading as in written down in the Quoran and the Haddith?

    > in particular, claiming that because one of his marriages was to a very young girl,
    > there was an implication that he was a pedophile

    Yeah that's what you get when you're married to an underage girl *and have sex with her*! You're a pedophile. Period.

    > (and further, strongly implying that other Muslims sought to emulate Muhammad).

    Which might be related to the idea in islam that Muhammad is 'the perfect man' who has to be adored and must not be critized by anyone. Nice example for this, see here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5TvsaOC3v38

    Also, do you really think Rotherham just came out of nowhere?

    > I'm not entirely clear as to why anyone cares what someone did over a thousand years ago

    How about the fact that more than a billion people in 2018 (!) care enough to organize their life around what happened back then and will do so with your life too as soon as they are in the majority? This can be witnessed by looking at countries with such demographics and realizing the state of free speech and the rights of apostates, homosexuals, women...

    It's sad to see that even Masnick has succumbed to drinking the leftist Kool-Aid.

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    • icon
      John Roddy (profile), 26 Oct 2018 @ 1:07pm

      Is there any actual point in that rambling somewhere? It'd be one thing if you had a bad take, but I don't think there's even a "take" in here to be bad in the first place.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 26 Oct 2018 @ 9:38pm

        Re:

        Oh really? How about the fact that Masnick's comment on the woman "who hosted an event where she made a bunch of silly and misleading claims about Muslims and the Prophet Muhammad" is simply factually untrue. The claims she made where in fact true.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 26 Oct 2018 @ 5:35pm

      Re:

      "How about the fact that more than a billion people in 2018 (!) care enough to organize their life around what happened back then and will do so with your life too as soon as they are in the majority?"

      ...we have a billion Evangelical Christians in the world?

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        Anonymous Coward, 26 Oct 2018 @ 9:43pm

        Re: Re:

        I simply can't fathom how you think this would make a point. Yes, the christian faith has dangerous believers as well, but

        a) that doesn't negate ANY of the dangers posed by islam to free societies

        b) even if you're living in the US the tally of attacks goes in favor of christianity

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Islamist_terrorist_attacks

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 26 Oct 2018 @ 10:29pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          You've never heard of Dominionism, have you, Squidward?

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 27 Oct 2018 @ 10:48pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            No, I haven't which actually supports the point about the lesser danger imposed by christian denominations, no?

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 28 Oct 2018 @ 12:54pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              No it actually doesn’t. It does however rather support your deliberate ignorance when it comes to what actual religious people believe and not the bullshit you think they believe.

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              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 28 Oct 2018 @ 10:48pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                Right, cause there's no videos posted in this thread were you can see what actual muslims think. It's all fake news, right?

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                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 29 Oct 2018 @ 1:39am

                  Resorting to moving the goalposts is kinda sad

                  You have the hardest time staying on topic for some reason. Mostly because all you have is garbage for arguements and are now desperate enough to start throwing any old crap at the wall to see what will stick.

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                  • identicon
                    Anonymous Coward, 29 Oct 2018 @ 10:48pm

                    Re: Resorting to moving the goalposts is kinda sad

                    So it's not garbage that the guy above suddenly throws domonionism in the mix as if it would have the same repercussions as Islam spreading its ideology around the world. Really?

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                    • identicon
                      Talmyr, 30 Oct 2018 @ 3:34am

                      Re: Re: Resorting to moving the goalposts is kinda sad

                      No, Dominionism is broadly identical to militant Islam, except that it has an actual chance of taking over the largest Western Democracy and nuclear superpower, and getting hold of all the nukes and a good chunk of Western media. So yes, very relevant. A lot of us are more concerned about that than the Muslim hordes so beloved of right-wing agitprop.

                      Sorry, I grew up under Catholic terrorism, I can't take Muslim terrorism as seriously as the dominant local religious terrorism, which is evangelical Protestant in the US. Like already sending mail bombs and shooting up synagogues. Or Ultra-Orthodox Judaism in Israel. Religion is insane, and 'true believers' are more insane, whatever the religion.

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                      • identicon
                        Anonymous Coward, 30 Oct 2018 @ 10:56pm

                        Re: Re: Re: Resorting to moving the goalposts is kinda sad

                        Okay, but so we're back at a numbers game, are we? Living in Germany I experience islamic influence on our society on a daily basis. Given the different demographic and politicians in the US, your experiences may very well differ but sincethis comments is the first time I ever hear of the supposed threat of dominionism I doubt it's as big as you claim.

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    • icon
      Coyne Tibbets (profile), 26 Oct 2018 @ 7:57pm

      Re:

      Yeah that's what you get when you're married to an underage girl and have sex with her! You're a pedophile. Period.

      Unless you lived 14 centuries ago when it was legal and considered perfectly normal in the place you lived.

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        Anonymous Coward, 26 Oct 2018 @ 9:56pm

        Re: Re:

        Yeah, underage girls are feeling lucky that 14 centuries later believers still think the prophet is the pinnacle of mankind that has to be emulated, huh?

        https://www.reuters.com/article/us-turkey-wedding-girl/turkish-photographer-praised-for-his-shot -to-stop-child-marriage-idUSKBN1K12GO

        https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/sep/01/thailand-malaysia -muslim-child-forced-marriage

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 26 Oct 2018 @ 10:27pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Counterpoint: The Catholic Church.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 27 Oct 2018 @ 10:51pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Actually it's not. Do you think the muslim girls raped by their husbands emulating their prophet (or merely justifying their behaviour based on his example) feel any consolation that there are boys being raped by christians priests? Really?

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 27 Oct 2018 @ 11:06pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Counterpoint Cathloic Priests still covering up for raping thousands of not even teen boys over who knows how many centuries decades.

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              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 27 Oct 2018 @ 11:21pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                Terrible (especially with the catholic church still getting away with it) but still no counterpoint. One religion rejects this behaviour while the other says it's fine.

                But if you really want to play the numbers game: even with many priests over the centuries who act(ed) against their faith, you won't be able to match the numbers of marriages to underage girls in islamic countries. Somewhere in this thread there's a link to the current situation in Turkey which is still somewhat moderate country.

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                • icon
                  Stephen T. Stone (profile), 28 Oct 2018 @ 7:26am

                  even with many priests over the centuries who act(ed) against their faith, you won't be able to match the numbers of marriages to underage girls in islamic countries.

                  Pain and suffering is not a contest with a “winner”. You can argue all day about which religion is “worse” about inflicting it (or covering it up), but those who suffer do not care about your perverse dick-measuring contest. And really, your insistence that we focus on Islam, its dogma, and how the billion Muslims around the world feel about said dogma feel like attempts to express hatred toward Muslims under the guise of “I’m just talking about facts”. I could do the same thing for various Christian sects; other than the broad brush I paint with “pedophile Catholic priests” jokes and comments on Dominionism/the Religious Right, I try to avoid doing that because I recognize reality: Not everyone in a religious sect feels the exact same way about the dogma.

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                  • identicon
                    Anonymous Coward, 28 Oct 2018 @ 11:09pm

                    Re:

                    I think you're moving the goalposts here. The OP disputed Mike's statement that the woman made misleading claims about the Prophet Muhammad. Now you seem to say, yes those claims actually weren't misleading, it's just islamic dogma. Big deal cause not every muslim adheres to it.

                    Given the sheer number of moderate muslims still supporting a lot of the really crazy ideas of said dogma (see Pew poll results for the UK e.g.), you have to wonder how an influx of people with such beliefs will influence free societies. I'd say a look at muslim majority countries will demonstrate quite clearly what living in a society where 'Not everyone in a religious sect feels the exact same way about the dogma' looks like.

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                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 28 Oct 2018 @ 11:54am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  Except no one really has the numbers on centuries of abuse. But keep digging bro.

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                  • identicon
                    Anonymous Coward, 28 Oct 2018 @ 10:51pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    Replying to the wrong guy? The alleged centuries of abuse come from the guy who claims abuse within the catholic church is somehow a counterpoint to the epidemic of underage marriages in muslim countries.

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                    • identicon
                      Anonymous Coward, 29 Oct 2018 @ 1:43am

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                      It’s kinda sad that your hatred of Muslim’s has blinded you the actual arguments being made.

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                      • identicon
                        Anonymous Coward, 29 Oct 2018 @ 10:49pm

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                        Nice how you simply insinuate hate instead of you know, enlighten people who (in your mind) don't understand the arguments being made.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 27 Oct 2018 @ 3:05pm

        Re: Re:

        Forget fourteen centuries ago - in the 19th century the age of consent was apparently ten or twelve in the United States. Edgar Allen Poe would be a sexual offender by modern standards - his wife was his thirteen year old cousin who died of tuberculosis when she was fifteen. The past is full of uncomfortable facts like this that our cherished standards are far more recent than we would like to think.

        https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/volokh-conspiracy/wp/2015/05/01/statutory-rape-laws-in-the -u-s/

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 27 Oct 2018 @ 3:17am

      Re:

      Unfortunately, every liberal or leftist defender of the right to utter blasphemy against Islam must preface his defense with a condemnation of Islamophobia or ignorance lest he becomes excluded from polite society.


      But one need to look no further than the laws of multiple Muslim majority nations, Malaysia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Maldives, Egypt and the Arab Middle East to discover why caring about what the prophet did centuries ago.


      The reason why Pakistan has capital punishment for blasphemy and apostasy from Islam is exactly that the prophet ordered the killing of people who insulted his new religion.

      The European Court is twisting the definition of untruth to justify crackdown on speech critical of Islam.


      A final note on the laws of Muslim majority nations, these aren't repressive relics imposed against the popular will but rather a result of what a large majority of the population wants.

      And democracy doesn't help either.


      When Maldives ratified its new constitution, a majority of the population voted for declaring all non-Muslims noncitizens, thereby subjecting apostates to capital punishment and loss of civil rights.

      Muslims are the only religious people who unashamedly call for killing apostates from their religion by large majorities.

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  • icon
    nasch (profile), 26 Oct 2018 @ 1:27pm

    Article 9

    the general requirement to ensure the peaceful enjoyment of the rights guaranteed under Article 9 to the holders of such beliefs including a duty to avoid as far as possible an expression that is, in regard to objects of veneration, gratuitously offensive to others and profane

    Here's Article 9:

    Article 9 – Freedom of thought, conscience and religion 1. Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief, in worship, teaching, practice and observance. 2. Freedom to manifest one's religion or beliefs shall be subject only to such limitations as are prescribed by law and are necessary in a democratic society in the interests of public safety, for the protection of public order, health or morals, or for the protection of the rights and freedoms of others.

    I don't see anything about a right to not be offended. I guess the EU court likes to just make up rights like US courts do. Unless they're saying insulting someone's religion infringes on their right to practice it. Which would be just idiotic.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 27 Oct 2018 @ 3:10pm

      Re: Article 9

      The sad and absurd part is that it would have been relatively reasonable and consistent and set the line as 'criticism is okay, incitement of violence is not' even if the definition of incitement has differences with the US ones yet they went full on batshit and went with protection from criticism.

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  • icon
    JoeCool (profile), 26 Oct 2018 @ 1:30pm

    Finally

    Well, THANK GOD! We can finally lock up all those damn atheists for claiming zombie Jebus wants us all to be cannibals. What? Only in Europe? DAMN!

    /s

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 26 Oct 2018 @ 3:01pm

      Re: Finally

      It is still ok to say "Bong Hits For Jesus" in the good ol US of A ...

      unless you are a high school senior in the city of Juneau, Alaska.

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  • identicon
    Glenn, 26 Oct 2018 @ 1:45pm

    Europe has a "Court of Human Rights" which exists, in actuality, to squash people's human rights?

    I see an oxymoron coming on (well, a whole bunch of oxymorons).

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  • icon
    NeghVar (profile), 26 Oct 2018 @ 1:49pm

    I see this leading to a state-run religion. Now they will be like many of the Arab nations. Religion and politics go hand-in-hand. A parallel of Sharia Law is instituted. And to promote another religion gets you thrown in prison or worse for insulting the state-run religion.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 26 Oct 2018 @ 2:48pm

    Marrying a 6 year old doesn't necessarily make him a pedo, but fucking her at 9 years old sure as hell does.

    Muhammed was a child rapist, amongst his many flaws. Further, majority Muslim countries have strenuously resisted efforts to ban child marriages on the grounds that doing so would be un-Islamic. This means that pedophilia is condoned by Islam.

    I eagerly await the no-true-Scotsman arguments.

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  • identicon
    Whoever, 26 Oct 2018 @ 3:28pm

    Perhaps Mike should read more of the page he linked to....

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Whoever, 26 Oct 2018 @ 3:31pm

    Perhaps Mike should read more of the page he linked to....

    An authority may be allowed to restrict your freedom of expression if, for example, you express views that encourage racial or religious hatred.

    However, the relevant public authority must show that the restriction is ‘proportionate’, in other words that it is appropriate and no more than necessary to address the issue concerned.

    Europe has a different history and culture regarding freedom of speech. Other examples include the fact that denying the holocaust is illegal in Germany and that (unlike the USA) money is not equated to speech in Europe.

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    • icon
      John Roddy (profile), 26 Oct 2018 @ 4:42pm

      Re: Perhaps Mike should read more of the page he linked to....

      And perhaps you should read more of the article you're commenting on? That's kind of the point.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Ron, 26 Oct 2018 @ 4:02pm

    A Joke

    Religion deserves to be ridiculed. Religion is the belief in something that makes no sense. To protect religion or the belief in a supreme being is an offense to those who actually have the ability to think. Religion needs to be eliminated. The European court has take one step closer to bringing back the Inquisition. Disgusting.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 26 Oct 2018 @ 4:12pm

    Europe will still make fun of scientology, and in Germany it is considered a cult I think.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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    identicon
    Sok Puppette, 26 Oct 2018 @ 4:44pm

    "Ignorant", "silly", "misleading"

    I know it's inconvenient and all, but there is zero historical dispute here.

    The concept of "pedophiles" is a modern one, so let's deal with the factual assertion. The factual assertion is that Muhammad first had sex with his wife, Aisha, when she was about nine years old (and he was somewhere north of 50).

    The first thing to notice is that whether some guy had sex with a nine year old girl 1000 years ago is a lot less relevant to the assessment of Islam as a religion than is the undisputed fact that pretty much everbody in Islam accepted for centuries that their prophet did so The Islamic establishment based all kinds of its rules about what was acceptable on that belief, and in some places still does so.

    It was treated as a simple, unremarkable truth in the Islamic world until it started to look like bad PR. Nobody suggested that Aisha was much older than nine until the 20th century. For that matter, nobody in the Christian world thought the question was all that important until the 19th or 20th century... because frankly it wasn't that big a deal to them, either.

    The distinctly secondary thing is that although you're right that nobody can ever be absolutely sure about what happened 1000 years ago, the evidence on this one is pretty strong.

    It turns out that, because Muhammad was both a powerful ruler and a powerful religious figure, and because he founded an empire that lasted for centuries in one form or another, there are some pretty detailed records about him and those around him. Aisha is a revered figure and people recorded every scrap they could get of anything about her, including much of what she personally said or wrote.

    She said he had sex with her when she was nine, according to a lot of sources many of which seem to be independent of one another.

    Now that revisionism has kicked in, some people claim that by "nine", she meant "nineteen", and that that was a common way of expressing numbers at the time in cases where the real number was obvious. The biggest problem with that, beyond the lack of much evidence of any such convention to begin with, is that the number nineteen wouldn't have been obvious. Marrying and having sex with a nine year old wasn't unusual at the time (as shown by the fact that the many reports about it both from near the time and for centuries afterwards don't treat it as a big deal). If she wanted it to be known that she was nineteen, she'd have had to say "nineteen".

    ... yet nobody disputes that she was an intelligent and erudite woman who was very gifted at making her thoughts understood.

    Then there are people who bring up the point that people in those times didn't keep much in the way of records and weren't very meticulous about numbers. This is of course both true and idiotic.

    Maybe Aisha wasn't sure whether she was nine or ten or eleven (or seven or eight), but she surely knew the difference between a nine year old and a nineteen year old. Even if she considered it COMPLETELY ACCEPTABLE to have sex with a nine year old (which she probably did), she would have known that the difference was biographically interesting and included it in her account. And if she didn't think it was acceptable, then she'd have had even more reason to be clear about the matter.

    That argument is particularly amusing because some of those same people are eager to claim that although Aisha and her biographers weren't very meticulous about her age, a couple of third parties were absolutely meticulous about both her sister's age and their relative ages. That lets them use those minor sources to do "exact" calculations to get an older age for Aisha (they manage to get her into her teens somewhere; still pretty damned young by modern standards).

    One of the "exact" facts they rely on, by the way, is an account that Aisha's sister Asma had all her teeth and all her faculties when she died at the nice round age of 100, and another was that Asma was a nice round ten years older than Aisha.

    But, hey, those were exact numbers and are not to be challenged, whereas Aisha was just kind of vaguely rounding off to nine and should be ignored.

    Sorry, no. The non-ignorant, non-misleading fact is that the historical Muhammad very probably had sex with a little girl. And, regardless of what that historical guy may have done, the mythic version of Muhammad that Muslims have been revering for centuries definitely had sex with a little girl, and they've only recently found any problem at all with accepting that.

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    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 26 Oct 2018 @ 5:36pm

      Re: "Ignorant", "silly", "misleading"

      ...so what?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 26 Oct 2018 @ 7:26pm

        Re: Re: "Ignorant", "silly", "misleading"

        I didn't bring up the topic. It was in the original text.

        The article throws out a bunch of irrelevant opinions about the actual speech in question. It says "she made a bunch of silly and misleading claims", and talks about "spewing ignorant arguments about religious figures that people adore". None of those characterizations have anything to do with the point. They're a small step away from open name calling, if it's a step at all.

        When people write articles like this, they always feel the need to make it very clear that THEY believe that the person whose speech they're defending is wrong, ignorant, bigoted, stupid, and a bad person.

        Well, as you say, so what? You're right. What does that particular name calling have to do with the subject? Nothing. What does it contribute to the argument? Nothing.

        ... and not only is Masnick's opinion about what's "silly", "misleading" and "ignorant" irrelevant, but it's also uninteresting. He's some random blogger. There's no sign that he knows more about Islam or Muhammad than any random person on the street. If he has any credentials that should make anybody care about whether he thinks this woman is ignorant or not, I sure don't know about them.

        Yet he feels the need to bring it in. He has to provide that little bit of ritual abuse. My guess is that's probably because he believes that if he doesn't he will be abused. And he may be right. He has to show the right amount of obesiance to "religious sensibilities" or whatever.

        Well, that'd be OK, except that his ritual abuse is factually wrong. I don't know what else this woman said, but the stuff he mentioned is an absolutely reasonable way of stating objective truth. In his eagerness to show that he's one of the Good Guys, he's leaving her to twist in the wind.

        If he actually cared about promoting useful discourse, as opposed to promoting his personal view of what the law should say, you'd think he'd spare a thought for the chilling effect of his offensive speech. I mean, hers at least has the benefit of being true.

        For that matter, if he cared about her case as a matter of actual human dignity, as opposed to as a convenient place to hang a bunch of arguments he was itching to make anyway, then he might think about whether she should be able to say things that are factually true, without having them called "silly", "ignorant", and "misleading" by random clueless bloggers.

        Furthermore, his rhetorical approach is bad rhetoric and actively damaging to the acceptance of his political approach to free speech.

        Framing things like that accepts the idea that of course we right-thinking types can always tell who the bigoted scumbags are. That invites the assertion that since we can always reliably identify and agree on who they are, there's no problem with shutting them down. Shutting them up isn't a "heckler's veto"; it's just the Obviously Right refusing to be annoyed by the Obviously Wrong.

        He's throwing aside one of the major practical justifications for having a strong free speech norm, namely the fact that even widely unpopular, uncomfortable speech is often true and that truth is valuable in itself as well as often useful.

        ... which is exactly the thought process that leads to the European approach he hates so much.

        It's not the minority of "hecklers" you have to worry about, at least not mostly. The bigger problem is, and always has been, the majority of Right Thinking Folk who care more about having the Right Opinions in Harmony than about having any real discourse about anything.

        It's repulsive to watch somebody keeping their hands oh-so-clean of any legal restriction on speech, while still being willing to join a mob and practically silence anybody uncomfortable by rhetorically spitting on them.

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        • icon
          Stephen T. Stone (profile), 26 Oct 2018 @ 7:53pm

          Re: Re: Re: "Ignorant", "silly", "misleading"

          "not only is Masnick's opinion about what's "silly", "misleading" and "ignorant" irrelevant, but it's also uninteresting."

          It interested you enough to comment with two multi-paragraph screeds. :)

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        • icon
          nasch (profile), 26 Oct 2018 @ 9:14pm

          Re: Re: Re: "Ignorant", "silly", "misleading"

          he might think about whether she should be able to say things that are factually true, without having them called "silly", "ignorant", and "misleading" by random clueless bloggers.

          Are you suggesting that she should be free of such criticism? In other words, that Masnick ought not to have the right to say such things? I must say, I'm having a hard time figuring out if you're pro freedom of speech or anti.

          He's throwing aside one of the major practical justifications for having a strong free speech norm, namely the fact that even widely unpopular, uncomfortable speech is often true and that truth is valuable in itself as well as often useful.

          I disagree. We must not let protection for speech hinge on whether it is true (except for narrow categories such as truth in advertising, sworn testimony, etc.), because then that just gives the power to censor to whomever decides what is true.

          It's repulsive to watch somebody keeping their hands oh-so-clean of any legal restriction on speech, while still being willing to join a mob and practically silence anybody uncomfortable by rhetorically spitting on them.

          Again, who gets to decide? Both of them are exercising their free speech rights, as are you. Is it not disgusting that you are rhetorically spitting on Mike?

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 26 Oct 2018 @ 10:00pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: "Ignorant", "silly", "misleading"

            > Are you suggesting that she should be free of such criticism?
            > In other words, that Masnick ought not to have the right to say such things?
            > I must say, I'm having a hard time figuring out if you're pro freedom of speech or anti.

            Of course not. Masnick and everyone else is free to criticize her. The problem with Masnick's criticism however is that his points are factually untrue. What the women said wasn't misleading or wrong in the least.

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 27 Oct 2018 @ 7:33am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: "Ignorant", "silly", "misleading"

              "What the women said wasn't misleading or wrong in the least."

              .... in your mind


              Other people may not see the world from the same perspective as yours, but you knew that didn't you?

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            • icon
              nasch (profile), 27 Oct 2018 @ 8:12am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: "Ignorant", "silly", "misleading"

              The problem with Masnick's criticism however is that his points are factually untrue. What the women said wasn't misleading or wrong in the least.

              OK, but if you think what's factually true is always generally agreed upon, you really haven't been paying attention.

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 27 Oct 2018 @ 1:40pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: "Ignorant", "silly", "misleading"

              You keep saying that’s its true doesn’t make it true by the way.

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              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 27 Oct 2018 @ 11:34pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: "Ignorant", "silly", "misleading"

                Sure. But I haven't any counter arguments posted that acutally dispute the facts. Posts with links that support the arguments have been flagged by the community and the usual arguments like "christianity is bad too" don't actually counter the veracity.

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          the one true god, 28 Oct 2018 @ 11:45am

          Re: Re: Re: "Ignorant", "silly", "misleading"

          says the religious scholar

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 26 Oct 2018 @ 10:02pm

        Re: Re: "Ignorant", "silly", "misleading"

        Yeah, why should you care about real-life consequences of harmful ideas 14 centuries later? You're no underage girl, right?

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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    Anonymous Coward, 26 Oct 2018 @ 4:53pm

    So you're denying the basis of Judaism and nation of Israel?

    > I'm not entirely clear as to why anyone cares what someone did over a thousand years ago (nor could anyone know with any real certainly what actually happened),

    Shorten that to 70 years and include myth of "the Holocaust", that it's illegal to question in Germany.

    Or does your statement only apply to others?

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 26 Oct 2018 @ 5:12pm

    All these problems could be solved if we just rounded up all the Christians and fed them to the lions.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 26 Oct 2018 @ 11:57pm

    'I'm not allowed to offend you? Challenge accepted.'

    This? This is exactly the sort of thing that results in people going out of their way to commit some good old fashioned 'blasphemy'. Telling people you're not allowed to 'offend' someone's religious beliefs just makes people want to to it more to spite you and your attempt to silence them.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 27 Oct 2018 @ 12:27am

      Re: 'I'm not allowed to offend you? Challenge accepted.'

      Christians to the lions!

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        That One Guy (profile), 27 Oct 2018 @ 1:14am

        No. Just no.

        One bunch of nutjobs killing those they don't agree with and/or that offend them is already one group too many.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 27 Oct 2018 @ 1:55am

          Re: No. Just no.

          They've had it far too good for far too long.

          Toxic masculinity, rejection of LGBTQ+, draining our planet of resources, just because they can't stand being made fun of.

          Round them up. Shoot the bigots. What are the rest of the kumbayas going to do, fight on their behalf?

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            That One Guy (profile), 27 Oct 2018 @ 3:08am

            The Inquisition/crusades: Terrible with a god AND without

            As I noted above, 'be careful what standards you set, lest they be turned on you'. Ignoring for a moment the massive ethical concerns involved, if killing people en-mass based upon their religious affiliation becomes acceptable, what makes you think you won't find yourself on the receiving end?

            How sure are you that, once that option is on the table that that you wouldn't find yourself facing the ultimatum of 'Cease your heretical ways and submit to your lord and master, or be purged from his holy lands so that you will no longer blaspheme and undermine his righteous rule'?

            Round them up. Shoot the bigots.

            Funnily enough you're acting just like the most extreme of them by calling for death of the religious(worse in fact than a great many of them, as calling for the death of someone is quite a bit worse than merely discriminating against them), so if bigotry is a capital offense, well, that's not going to go over so well for you.

            What are the rest of the kumbayas going to do, fight on their behalf?

            There's a word you may have heard before that would apply there: Martyr. If you don't think that 'kill the christians' wouldn't have an extreme and violent pushback then you're only fooling yourself, as even the previously non-violent would find themselves backed into a corner, and desperate people will do things that they otherwise would not, including kill to survive.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 27 Oct 2018 @ 7:35am

              Re: The Inquisition/crusades: Terrible with a god AND without

              The guy is a nut - probably has lots of bumper stickers saying so.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 27 Oct 2018 @ 7:35pm

              Re: The Inquisition/crusades: Terrible with a god AND without

              When the peaceful Christians martyr the bigots we treat them as bigots too. Then proceed as normal. "Peaceful" is a loosely used term anyway, religion is a vector for violence.

              Their fault for reacting poorly just because we make fun of them. It's not our problem their imaginary friend does such a shit job of protecting them.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • identicon
                John Yut Sang Cheung Groenvold, 28 Oct 2018 @ 11:11pm

                Re: Re: The Inquisition/crusades: Terrible with a god AND without

                Funny how you're worse than 99% of them, it's rare to see such a genocidally hateful tribalist.
                Atheism is a faith too, and communist atheism racked up the largest body count of any ideology in the 20th century.

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                • icon
                  That One Guy (profile), 28 Oct 2018 @ 11:44pm

                  Ah the classics..

                  'Atheism is a religion too!' and 'Atheists killed more people than other religions.'

                  Define religion and what makes a lack of belief one, followed by which tenants, dogma and doctrines in atheism suggest and/or demand the death of others.

                  reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                  • identicon
                    John Yut Sang Cheung Groenvold, 29 Oct 2018 @ 11:54am

                    Re: Ah the classics..

                    Clerics were put to death since the Jacobins revolted in France, but moreso under the Communists in Spain, China and the Soviet Union.

                    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Persecution_of_Christians_in_the_Soviet_Union
                    https://en.wikipedia.org/ wiki/Mass_killings_under_communist_regimes

                    An organized atheist ideology that includes the militant overthrow and oftentimes murder of the religious. If that's not a faith I don't know what is. Not all religions have a god either, if it's the central figure you feel is missing.

                    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                    • icon
                      That One Guy (profile), 29 Oct 2018 @ 3:38pm

                      Re: Re: Ah the classics..

                      Because they presented a threat to the power of those in charge. If you want ultimate power and authority someone running around claiming to speak for/represent the ultimate authority, and who has a significant following among the populace is a threat, and one that if you're brutal enough you'll want to squash.

                      That has diddly squat to do with atheism even if the ones engaged in it wore the label, as atheism has no doctrines or rules that would order or even suggest killing.

                      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                      • identicon
                        Anonymous Coward, 29 Oct 2018 @ 8:05pm

                        Re: Re: Re: Ah the classics..

                        And when someone with a religion does something horrible we condemn them for failing the higher standard they supposedly had. Bigots or failures. Survival of the fittest. That's why we're the winning side. Isn't atheism a wonderful thing?

                        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                  • identicon
                    John Yut Sang Cheung Groenvold, 29 Oct 2018 @ 12:12pm

                    Re: Ah the classics..

                    Oh, the links I provided include regular religious people being killed too, not just clerics of course.

                    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                • icon
                  nasch (profile), 28 Oct 2018 @ 11:44pm

                  Re: Re: Re: The Inquisition/crusades: Terrible with a god AND without

                  Atheism is a faith too

                  atheism: disbelief or lack of belief in the existence of God or gods.

                  faith: a system of religious belief.

                  Looks like atheism is not a faith.

                  reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                  • icon
                    The Wanderer (profile), 29 Oct 2018 @ 8:23am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: The Inquisition/crusades: Terrible with a god AND without

                    I think (at least part of) the confusion arises from the "or" in the definition you cite: the fact that the word "atheism" is used to refer both to absence of belief in the divine ("I don't believe in God" - a superset of agnosticism), and to belief in absence of the divine ("I believe there is no God").

                    The latter would qualify as a belief system, such that the term "faith" could be argued to apply in at least some cases, but the former would not - and yet they're both referred to using the same word.

                    As to communism - while it's true that authoritarian communism as implemented did kill huge numbers of people, and (so far as I'm aware) that authoritarian communism as implemented did incorporate atheism among its tenets, I see no basis for concluding that the killing arose from the atheism - much less that there are tenets of atheism which require, call for, or even lead to.

                    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                    • identicon
                      John Yut Sang Cheung Groenvold, 29 Oct 2018 @ 12:02pm

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: The Inquisition/crusades: Terrible with a god AND without

                      (pasted from above)
                      Clerics were put to death since the Jacobins revolted in France, but moreso under the Communists in Spain (during the civil war), China and the Soviet Union.

                      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Persecution_of_Christians_in_the_Soviet_Union
                      https://en.wikipedia.org/ wiki/Mass_killings_under_communist_regimes
                      ---

                      This is just two of very many examples.

                      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                      • identicon
                        John Yut Sang Cheung Groenvold, 29 Oct 2018 @ 12:14pm

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: The Inquisition/crusades: Terrible with a god AND without

                        A lot of regular religious people died too in the events described by the two above links, of course.

                        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                      • identicon
                        Anonymous Coward, 29 Oct 2018 @ 10:54pm

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: The Inquisition/crusades: Terrible with a god AND without

                        None of which proofs your silly idea that atheism is in any way similar to faith.

                        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                    • icon
                      nasch (profile), 29 Oct 2018 @ 12:51pm

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: The Inquisition/crusades: Terrible with a god AND without

                      True but it's a bit of stretch IMO to say that "I believe there is no god" is a system of religious belief. For one, it's not really a system, just a single belief. There's nothing more to it. Second, though it is a belief that has something to do with religion, the belief itself is not religious in nature.

                      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                      • icon
                        The Wanderer (profile), 29 Oct 2018 @ 8:25pm

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: The Inquisition/crusades: Terrible with a god AND without

                        Well, for some atheists it apparently is more complex, detailed, and even nuanced than that single one-sentence belief statement, and some of those atheists have (I think, based on what I've seen in quotelists and the like) been among the ones who have been sufficiently activist about their atheism to be relatively prominent and visible. (Unfortunately, I haven't bothered noting down their names, and I don't have the lists themselves in readily browseable form.) So it's possible that those who describe atheism that way are extrapolating from that sample set.

                        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                  • identicon
                    John Yut Sang Cheung Groenvold, 29 Oct 2018 @ 12:00pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: The Inquisition/crusades: Terrible with a god AND without

                    It certainly necessitates less unfounded beliefs, but the only scientific notion is agnosticism. There's no way of denying any such absolute existence as posited by religions without absolute knowledge.

                    More importantly however the doctrines of atheism, that there is no god and that belief in it is harmful features heavily in communist and pre-communist ideology, which has been extremely violent.

                    (pasted from above)
                    Clerics were put to death since the Jacobins revolted in France, but moreso under the Communists in Spain, China and the Soviet Union.

                    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Persecution_of_Christians_in_the_Soviet_Union
                    https://en.wikipedia.org/ wiki/Mass_killings_under_communist_regimes

                    An organized atheist ideology that includes the militant overthrow and oftentimes murder of the religious. If that's not a faith I don't know what is. Not all religions have a god either, if it's the central figure you feel is missing.

                    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                    • identicon
                      John Yut Sang Cheung Groenvold, 29 Oct 2018 @ 12:16pm

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: The Inquisition/crusades: Terrible with a god AND without

                      In a lot of the events described in the sources provided in the two links large numbers of non-clerical religious people were killed too, of course.

                      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                    • icon
                      That One Guy (profile), 29 Oct 2018 @ 3:22pm

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: The Inquisition/crusades: Terrible with a god AND without

                      More importantly however the doctrines of atheism, that there is no god and that belief in it is harmful features heavily in communist and pre-communist ideology, which has been extremely violent.

                      Certainly a... unique definition of atheism, though I might also go with 'dead wrong' given there are no 'doctrines of atheism', and the only attribute you can nail to the term is definitional.

                      If you believe in one or more deities, you're a theist.

                      If you do not believe in one or more deities, you're an atheist. This can include the belief that there is no god(s) rather than simply a lack of belief in them(and there is a difference), but it's not required to meet the definition.

                      Everything else is just frosting on the cake, extras you can add but that aren't required.

                      It's as true to say that atheism includes dictates and/or prohibitions as it would be to say that theism includes support for cannibalism/human sacrifice, believing that certain chucks of land are not only holy but so holy that you regularly need to bow to them, that a number of actions(some as simply as making a fire) are prohibited on certain days, or that certain animals are clean/holy/unclean.

                      As for your links, here's the problem you'll run into when you try to compare body counts: Atheism is a single position on a single subject, whether or not you believe in the existence of one or more deities. On it's own there is nothing there that could motivate someone to go out and kill someone else, so you'll have quite the time tying 'they were an atheist, they killed someone' to 'therefore it was their atheism that caused them to kill the other person.'

                      You might as well say that not believing in santa makes you a killer, because hey, if you don't care if you might end up on the naughty list why not go on a killing spree?

                      On the other hand, certain brands(I'll just cover christianity for the following, as I'm most familiar with that one) of theism can provide those motivations, ranging from death penalties for blasphemy(Leviticus 24:13-16), death penalties for being a witch(Exodus 22:18), the idea that there are certain groups of people 'chosen by god' who are better than others, and for whom if god 'gives' them some land that may already be occupied they are fully justified in killing everything in it with no mercy(Deuteronomy 2:33-34) and so on.

                      (Just to head one possible objection off at the pass, 'But that's the old testiment!' Same god, and unless someone wanted to claim that god was wrong back then the idea of it being just to kill in those examples has already been planted.)

                      Depending on the religion in question it can be trivial to make the argument that some people just need to die, and that is related to the religion, such that you can make the connection between 'they killed that other person while believing in religon A' to 'they killed that other person because of religion A'.

                      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                      • identicon
                        Anonymous Coward, 29 Oct 2018 @ 4:26pm

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: The Inquisition/crusades: Terrible with a god AND without

                        Call him a bigot and move on! Or... don't. See how he shoots himself in the foot. That'll teach him to hold himself to a higher standard. Fuck 'em!

                        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                    • identicon
                      Anonymous Coward, 29 Oct 2018 @ 10:57pm

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: The Inquisition/crusades: Terrible with a god AND without

                      "More importantly however the doctrines of atheism, that there is no god and that belief in it is harmful features heavily in communist and pre-communist ideology, which has been extremely violent."

                      See, you christians keep trying that and it always fails. Atheism has no dogma and it also does not say "there is no god". In that case the burden of proof would be on atheists to proof that. Since they don't say that but simply say that they don't believe a god exists until provided with sufficent evidence, the burden of proof still rests with you.

                      Tough shit you can't justify you beliefs.

                      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                    • identicon
                      Anonymous Coward, 29 Oct 2018 @ 11:22pm

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: The Inquisition/crusades: Terrible with a god AND without

                      Aw, you can't hold us accountable. Sucks to be you! Now leave or I shall taunt you again. LOL!

                      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 29 Oct 2018 @ 1:47am

                  Re: Re: Re: The Inquisition/crusades: Terrible with a god AND without

                  No, but thanks for playing.

                  reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 29 Oct 2018 @ 5:02am

                  Re: Re: Re: The Inquisition/crusades: Terrible with a god AND without

                  And even then everyone else rushes to the frontlines because you can't stop being a snowflake.

                  The only reason we let you fanatics live is because you're a punchline that never gets old. We're going to insult the fuck out of you and you're going to like it, because you're an idiot who believes in imaginary friends.

                  Fuck me, being an atheist is awesome!

                  reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                  • icon
                    nasch (profile), 29 Oct 2018 @ 7:58am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: The Inquisition/crusades: Terrible with a god AND without

                    The only reason we let you fanatics live is because you're a punchline that never gets old.

                    If that were at all true, you would belong in a mental hospital. But you're just another Internet Tough Guy who for some reason thinks it's cool (funny?) to pretend to be a psychopath.

                    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                  • identicon
                    Toteone, 29 Oct 2018 @ 12:08pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: The Inquisition/crusades: Terrible with a god AND without

                    You're very special (assuming you're fulfilling a need for that) being an internet psychopath who advocates the murder of about 7 billion people because he wants to kill any of those who happen to be annoying, and anyone who is upset at your murders should die too. Blah blah vector for violence, my faith that everyone who disagrees with me should die isn't a vector for violence...

                    Maybe you'll grow out of it or just continue to be a shitty human being in general.
                    Oh, and I've flagged your comments, since they're y'know, genocidal hate crimes and all.

                    Not every day you see a troll/attention whore to be worse than Hitler.

                    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                    • identicon
                      Anonymous Coward, 29 Oct 2018 @ 4:25pm

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: The Inquisition/crusades: Terrible with a god AND without

                      And as this thread has proven, pretty much everyone would rather side with atheists than risk losing the chance to make fun of you.

                      Face it, you're a member of a dying cult. If a war is fought in the name of atheism, you'd lose. If you retaliate, you're a bigot. If you don't... well, what reason do we have to stop? A set of mandates by an entity we don't believe in? Ha!

                      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 27 Oct 2018 @ 12:19pm

            Re: Re: No. Just no.

            "Round them up. Shoot the bigots."

            Some of the AC's around here are from the UK. That's not you, is it? Because if it is, you should probably remember that a comment like that is almost certainly illegal here - and is likely more than enough to get you prosecuted.

            --dg100

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 27 Oct 2018 @ 2:59am

    Child marriage and Islam

    Yes, Muslims care about what their prophet did, and the age of Aisha is well attested in respectable hadith collections.


    Another fascinating aspect of Islam is its prophets commandment that whoever turns away from Islam must be killed.


    The penalty for apostasy in Islam is death, and that punishment is directly derived from the sayings of the prophet. and guess which countries maintain capital punishment for apostasy, only Muslim nations.

    It's notable that several Muslim nations are unashamed about their intend to kill apostates from Islam, and that large majorities of Muslims endorse capital punishment for leaving Islam.


    Child marriage and the age of Aisha is directly correlated, because a truly Islamic state must be based on the Quran and the sunnah.

    One of the first acts of the new Islamic government after the Iranian revolution 79 was lowering the marriage age for females to nine years.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 27 Oct 2018 @ 7:37am

      Re: Child marriage and Islam

      Just another religion endorsing murder, what else is new?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 27 Oct 2018 @ 1:42pm

      Re: Child marriage and Islam

      That’s nice. Completely off topic and mostly bullshit. But nice that someone is keeping track for completely not racist reasons I’m sure...

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 27 Oct 2018 @ 11:40pm

        Re: Re: Child marriage and Islam

        It's not all off-topic because that is what the women's statements that resulted in the changes of the law was about. Have you read the article? Oh yeah, and funny you can only say that's BS but no where he is wrong. Funny that.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Jim P. (profile), 28 Oct 2018 @ 11:59am

    "Religious Peace"

    "she did not dispute the legitimate purpose of criminal convictions under Article 188 of the Criminal Code, namely to protect religious peace."

    This flat put presumes that some or all religious people may get violent if their little feelings get hurt. Which, for certain fanatical members of a number of major (and minor) religions is the "gospel" truth.

    What I find even odder is that these laws could easily be applied to almost any sermon any where in any religion since almost all claim they alone have the one true god (tm) and all the others are demon-inspired hoaxes.

    Not to mention any atheist that openly says he or she thinks all religions are a load of dingoes' kidneys risks not just death from the assorted followers of the "Religion of Peace" (There are several making this claim, all with millennia long histories of extreme violence to those who deny they are such) but now apparently faces criminal prosecution for upsetting the god botherers.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Jason Bourne, 29 Oct 2018 @ 5:35am

    I call BS

    I call complete and utter BS. The European Union are fascist nationalist - yeah, I said it. They're so drunk on their own power, they can't help but make horrible decisions which ACTUALLY DO affect human rights - like speech rights - because of someone's "feelings".

    And I can state unequivocally that this ruling will ONLY apply to Muslims who are offended. Europe, especially in recent years, has a long and documented track record of speech that offends both Jews and Christians.

    Funny how I don't remember THAT being a human rights violation.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    amandeep, 29 Oct 2018 @ 9:43am

    check new post

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Wyrm (profile), 29 Oct 2018 @ 11:18am

    The Court reiterates that a religious group must tolerate the denial by others of their religious beliefs and even the propagation by others of doctrines hostile to their faith, as long as the statements at issue do not incite hatred or religious intolerance.

    So, you must tolerate criticism, unless you can't tolerate it?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Oct 2018 @ 2:04pm

    Any religion that must enact unjust laws to quash criticism is essentially admitting it cannot stand on its own merits and is bullshit.

    This basically covers literally every religion out there, as they all view anti-blasphemy laws as a huge boon.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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