Monday, August 23, 2010

From Where Do All of These People Come?

So last night, once again, what I thought was a logical discussion degenerated into a shouting match from the other side. I don't know if I just attract these folks or what but I am beyond tired of the BS. So read on to see the conversation unfold... Note that I feel that O--- J- H------- did a wonderful job of keeping things civil in the midst of the madness and I appreciate that.

Grant Smith: Stand up and speak out against bigotry and intolerance!!!

J--- O------: I will say this, I'm all for religious freedom. For everyone. That's one of the things that makes this country great! However, to put a mosque that close to ground zero...c'mon dude. They're just doing that to start crap. would seem like it worked. Because of a group of idiots, the whole religion is suffering. Hmph...sounds a bit like Christians. Because of a group of idiot Christians, we're all painted as hypocrites.

J--- O------: But I will say that was a VERY good article. I especially like what the Reverend Michael Kinnamon said. It does make sense to me. Thank you Grant.

A----- P----- O------: I say let them build it and let God sort it out. Burning the Quran isn't going to help anything, it's just creating more of a problem. I know it sounds lame, but seriously...what would Jesus do in this situation? He wouldn't approach it with hate and protest.

O--- J- H-------: I'm in agreement with J--- on this one....yea, they have the right to build a mosque, but it is clearly provocative and arrogant. I just think it is insensitive to the victims of 9/11, and out of respect for them they should move their mosque. It'd be like building a US aviation museum in Hiroshima after nuking it. They have every right to build it, but it doesn't help in mending already-strained relations between the muslim and non muslim world....I think that this was the perfect opportunity for the muslims to offer to move the mosque out of respect for the families of 9/11. It would have been a kind gesture that would have helped relations tremendously. Instead, this small group demands sensitivity from everyone else while showing no sensitivity to the victims, and that makes the angry crowd even more intolerant towards the larger Muslim population. It's no excuse for intolerance or bigotry, but its clearly not helping matters.
Grant Smith: A) It isn't a mosque, it's a cultural center that is slated to include a mosque. B) It's not at ground zero, it is blocks away. There is an existing mosque that is closer to ground zero that no one has said a thing about. C) If it was a Christian center, how would you react?

A----- P----- O------: I response to C), Christian terrorists didn't destroy thousands of lives on 9/11. Naturally, it wouldn't bother me in the least bit. This center/mosque is in poor taste, but if it is meant to will be. I hope they are expecting all the negativity that is going to come their way though.

Grant Smith: A-----, Christian terrorists have destroyed many more lives over the course of the religion's history yet Christian churches exist everywhere.

Just because some morons CLAIMING to be Muslim committed a horrible act in the name of God doesn't mean that every Muslim should be punished.
J--- O------: And herein lies the problem. My wife is right, it WASN'T Christians who did this. It was Muslims. Plain and simple. There's no, what if. There's no, but what if it was. It just is. It IS in poor taste. My guess is the current mosque that's already there isn't being insensitive and flaunting and drawing unneeded attention to themselves. This group is. And that is where THEIR problem is.

Grant Smith: This group IS NOT. The attention was heaped upon them, they didn't ask for it.

See above.

A----- P----- O------: And there are no Christian terrorists. If they destroy lives, they aren't true Christians, no matter what label they put on themselves. I never said any Muslim should be punished. One of our very good friends is a Muslim and I love him like a brother. He's one of the best people anyone could meet.

J--- O------: You're right Grant. Every muslim shouldn't be punished. But...when a radical group of "christians" in Arizona threaten to kill our President, ALL Christians are blamed. When a radical group of "christians" in California protest military funerals, ALL Christians get looked at differently. Is it fair? No. Is it fair to the Muslims? No. But...welcome to America. If people are just now figuring THIS problem out, which seems to be the case here, then this nation is F%$KED!!!

Grant Smith: So the Christians that invaded the Holy Lands over and over again weren't Christian? The Inquisition and Spanish Inquisition that tortured and killed untold numbers of people in the middle ages for heresy weren't Christian?

If you take that stance, I would say you need to give the same courtesy to Islam as their's is also a peaceful religion...
Grant Smith: J---, just because bigotry exists doesn't make it right. That's not a justification.

A----- P----- O------: Again, I'm not blaming any religion for anything. It's all on the individual. And knowing what the Bible says, a Christian would not perform any act of terrorism. No harmful act is done in the name of Christ because HE wouldn't stand for that.

Believing and doing should go hand in hand. If more people understood that preaching the message isn't solely done with words, but also with actions...there would be a lot less confusion and hatred towards religion.
Grant Smith: Then, A-----, why are you differentiating between the building of an Islamic center versus the building of a Christian center?

J--- O------: Grant, at what point did I say it was right? Oh that's right...NEVER! Dude, I think it's time to get off this little soap box you've so righteously placed yourself upon and THINK! While you're trying to be sensitive toward the Muslims, and it's noble, I assure you, you are smacking the faces of every single victim and their families with your stance of "Tolerance". By your stance, and opinion, you have managed to show more respect toward a foreign group of people, than you have people who were born and raised right in this very land that gave you a home as well. Remember dude, it's the AMERICAN soldier that is allowing you to defend terrorists. It sure as heck isn't the islamic soldier. I'm an American, and I'm PROUD of it! And if you can't respect THAT from EVERYONE...then you're not nearly as "tolerant" as you are trying to make everyone believe you are. I'm just sayin'...A----- P----- O------: I said to let them build it. I just think that they know what they are doing and that it is in poor taste. Any negativity directed towards them should be expected. Not right, but expected. Really, out of all the places they could build...why this location? Because all attention will fall on them. It's what they want and you'd have to be blind to not realize that.

Grant Smith: I'm sorry, J---, but you're wrong. I'm not defending terrorists and it appears to me that you are implying once again that all Muslims are terrorists because that is who I'm defending.

In fact, I'm defending ALL religions, including yours, because that's what tolerance is all about.

YOU, my friend, are the one slapping faces here. The First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America states "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;" The American Soldier is out protecting that right for Chritians, Muslims, Hindus, Neo-Pagans and every other religion and people that imply that all practitioners of a given religion are terrorists are the ones being un-American.

By the way, there are plenty of Muslims in the military alongside the Christians, the Wiccans and even the Buddhists.Grant Smith: Actually, A-----, they picked that location to help the community heal. Unfortunately, the country would rather scream in protest against that healing then actually look past the actions of a few morons to see the beauty of a peaceful religion.

J--- O------: Um...I'm confused. At what point did I ever say all muslims were terrorists? Again...NEVER! I ask that you please refrain from putting words in my mouth. Seriously dude...You're not defending Christians. I've never seen you defend Christians. If anything, you vilify us. I don't know what the intentions of this muslim group is with their mosque. But I DO know that it is in TERRIBLE taste. And if you can't see that, he of massive tolerance, then you're more blind that I originally thought.

J--- O------: And by the way, you just blasted Christians for something that happened thousands of years ago. How is THAT defending Christians?

J--- O------: And that WASN'T Christians. It was catholics. They don't count. HAHAHAHA!!!

A----- P----- O------: Just like pedophiles shouldn't be within a certain distance of schools due to the potential "threat", an establishment as such within the radius of Ground Zero is in poor taste. Screw congress and laws at this point. It's about morals and respect. If the people wanting this built had tolerance, they would realize that this is not morally right. POOR TASTE.

Grant Smith: J---. From your own mouth: " Remember dude, it's the AMERICAN soldier that is allowing you to defend terrorists."

I'm defending Muslims, you say I'm defending terrorists. Do the math.

A----- P----- O------: Riiight...I really believe that they are trying to heal the community. Please! That's such a load of crap. After the uproar that has been caused, they should realize that they are doing more harm than good and choose to move on.

J--- O------: Oh crap...LoL! Sorry...How exactly do you know that they aren't part of the "terrorists"? Could it be that they are? Sure. That is why I believe America is upset with this. It's the HUGE potential.

Grant Smith: A-----, there's no potential threat involved in a cultural center.

Grant Smith: So there you go, J---. You've just shown your colors. You've called out Muslims and Catholics this evening, who's next?

Grant Smith: And by the way, the Catholics were one of the FIRST organized Christian groups out there.

J--- O------: Dude! WTF?!?! Get off your HIGH HORSE! You are NOT better than me, yet you keep acting like it. In fact, all you're proving yourself to be is a stubborn, narrow minded idiot who REFUSES to listen to any sort of opinion whatsoever. "OH,... I'm Grant. I'm right, you're wrong! MY opinion matters more." SERIOUSLY?!?! I said the catholic thing as a joke. Notice the "HAHAHA" after what I said? OBVIOUSLY NOT! I'm done dealing with you. It's apparent no one can talk ANY sense into you. All I know is, the "Cultural Center" is in BAD FRIKIN' TASTE! If you can't see that, then I implore you to join them. See just how "peaceful" they truly are!

A----- P----- O------: Notice I put "threat" in quotes? No? Well I did. Meaning that there isn't necessarily a threat at all, but morality comes into play here. Right vs. Wrong. Like I've said all along...let them build it! I really don't care because I didn't personally lose a loved one during 9/11. What I think won't make one bit of difference anyway. I put the whole travesty in God's hands.

Grant Smith: I'm not the narrow-minded one here. I'm not the one claiming that Islam is out to destroy America because of the actions of a few delusional morons.

Just because Timothy McVeigh bombed the Oklahoma City Federal Building doesn't mean everyone that claims to be Christian is a terrorist. Do you think it would be in BAD FRIKIN' TASTE! for them to build a Christian center near that location?

Everyone wants to jump down these people's throats when they've done NOTHING wrong. Damn right I'll defend them the same way I stand up for ANY oppressed group. I'm tired of ignorance, stupidity and bigotry making my life and the lives of those I care about hell and it's gone on for thousands of years. Humanity needs to WAKE UP and it starts with everyone taking a stance like mine.
Grant Smith: A-----, so do the Muslims. The problem is that you say it's in bad taste but that you say a Christian center would be perfectly fine. That's where I have a problem. You're differentiating based upon religion. Hopefully God will open your eyes and you'll see the point I've been trying to make. I'm not trying to be an ass, I'm just trying to point out that this whole thing is being driven by fear, ignorance and bigotry on the part of groups that don't necessarily understand Islam or, far worse, groups that don't WANT to understand and would rather just brand everyone as a terrorist based on his religious affiliation.A----- P----- O------: Any oppressed group? Even if what they are doing is wrong? Wow! That's just what humanity needs. How about defending that cop that killed the motorcyclist? His posse decided to stand up for him without a thought of what the family of the deceased may be feeling. Hurry, I hear they could use some support too b/c they are giving Indy police a bad name. **note, that is laced with sarcasm**

J--- O------: How are you tolerant? Because you're all about a FOREIGN group and their "rights"? They're NOT American. They aren't protected by OUR Constitution. You defend YOUR stance, and I will DIE for mine. You are tolerant of EVERYTHING except ...for Christians. Period. You have slandered ALL Christians in this thread, and in others. Oh and by the way, McVeigh was only said to be a "christian" by...drum roll please...MUSLIMS AND ATHEISTS! HAHAHA!!! Figures huh? Two groups who have nothing better to do than to try to destroy the love and joy of Jesus. You can say all you want that he was a Christian. But...sadly, he wasn't. TRUE Christians aren't like that. TRUE Christians offer peace, love, and hope. He did NONE of those. And NO, you will NOT stand up for ANY oppressed group. What the heck do you think Christians are? Christians aren't repressed? Think about it dude. YES, they are! Almost EVERY right a Christian has has been yanked out from under them. We can't pray in school (not even privately), we can't gather in "groups". You have a very skewed world view. And I feel sorry for you when that world view finally comes into focus.

A----- P----- O------:
And I see your point, I just don't agree with it. I have a right to disagree. Just like you're trying to make a am I. Again, I have nothing against Muslims. I just think the building site is a mistake.

Grant Smith: So, once again, we're back to claiming that the building of a religious center is wrong because a few morons claiming that religion committed an atrocity nearby.

In that case, there are plenty of religious centers around the world from plenty of religions that need to be removed to avoid offending people. Let us start with every Catholic church in Ireland where the Celts used to practice pre-Christian Paganism until mass conversion forced everyone to follow the Holy Roman Church or die.

That's obviously not the way it works, is it?J--- O------: Say...I believe it is 2010. Not...however long ago it was. And again, "Christians" didn't do that. Catholics did. I love how every wrong thing the Catholic Church does falls into the lap of ALL Christians. I'm NOT Catholic. Nor will I ever be. You trying to blame Christians today for the travesties of yesteryear is like my African-American BROTHER (who happens to be Muslim) blaming YOU for his ancestors being slaves. It's just ignorant!

A----- P----- O------: There's a lot of wrong in the world. The people protesting THIS PARTICULAR BUILDING are choosing to take a stance (just like you are). Why is it wrong of them, but right for you? Just because history has examples of people not getting their way doesn't mean it should continue.

Isn't this what you're whole point is about? Standing up for what you believe in? Both parties are doing just that and the three of us going back and forth on FB isn't going to change on damn thing on the outcome. Sit back and see where this goes. In the meantime, I'll be praying about a peaceful resolution that benefits everyone.A----- P----- O------: *one (sorry)

J--- O------: It's wrong A----- because it's not Grant's stance. Plain and simple. It's not the stance he wants them to take. Thus, it's the wrong stance.

Grant Smith: I have ONLY 'slandered' (it's actually libel because it is written) Christians in this discussion to point out how others across the country are slandering and printing libel against Muslims.

I don't know what country you live in but there are MILLIONS of American Muslims, both naturalized and natural born in this country and they are JUST as American as you and me.

Regardless of who said McVeigh was or was not a Christian, the point still stands and he is only one of MANY examples. Another would be the man who recently walked into a CHURCH and SHOT a doctor DEAD for performing abortions. I believe that was in Kansas. The point is that ANY group can have minorities that do NOT represent the whole and to classify the whole group based on that minority is BIGOTRY.

By the way, YOU CAN PRAY IN SCHOOL PRIVATELY. However, I don't want to have to say Christian prayers in school because I'm not Christian so damn right that school-mandated prayer needed to go away. The First Amendment requires separation of church and state to protect ALL of our religions, not just Christianity. And the same goes for gathering in groups too.Grant Smith: Yes, J---. Let us just call all Muslims terrorists and feel better about hating them for their beliefs. Sorry, I call FOUL.

Grant Smith: Yes, A-----. We should all stand up for what we believe! However, our beliefs should NOT be based on fear, ignorance or stupidity. That's when problems occur.

I think your idea of prayer is a great one.

J--- O------: Again, it's wrong of me to not like this thing being built because it's not your opinion. I am my own person, and I have a right to feel how I feel. Just as you do. If they aren't terrorists, and they're as "peaceful" as you claim them to be, even though you don't know them, then they would move to a different location and show the love and "peace" that you're claiming they have. I don't like the building. I don't care for the building. I do not think that the building should be built. Point made? I hope so. I have MY stance. Whether you think it intolerant or not is completely moot. I will pray, and have been praying that no matter what happens, it happens peacefully. That it happens without another life being needlessly taken. That it happens so that ALL can come to a mutual agreement. THAT is my stance. Peace dude. Peace. For a pagan, you don't have much of it being as how intolerant of mine and my wife's opinions you have demonstrated.Grant Smith: You definitely have a right to feel how you feel. However, I won't stand by and let people use religion or fear to justify irrational feelings.

I am intolerant only of ignorance, stupidity and bigotry.

O--- J- H-------: I find the people who hate muslims because they think the religion is evil are ignorant and bigoted. However, the 9/11 families and victims have a right to feel angry whether it is rational or irrational...they are the true victims here...not the ones trying to build the mosque...which is why I feel they should back off and move the mosque elsewhere as it is causing such a stir, valid or not. Even the mayor tried to talk them into moving and they refused to back down.

O--- J- H-------: just a little more sensitivity on all sides and this problem goes away!

Grant Smith: O---, I appreciate your comment. However, I do not agree that the vicitims of the 9/11 attacks have a right to hate Muslims. They have a right to hate Muslim extremists, religious extremists and extremists in general but Islam did nothing to them.

As far as the cultural center goes, I don't feel that it is disrespectful. As I stated, it isn't as if they want to build a minuetted mosque on the site with a 'WE WON' flag which is how this is being framed. It's a cultural center that is blocks away.Grant Smith: By the way, thank you for the thoughtful comments.

J--- O------: Ugh...

J--- O------: Grant...I really do respect you, and your opinions. However, I think that this time you're not part of the solution. I think that you might be part of the problem. You're no better than the idiots who are protesting this thing being built. Just my opinion. I am now...finished.

J--- O------: You're just on the opposite side of the fight. No better. Just different.

Grant Smith: You're entitled to your opinion but, apparently, we agree since you just said that those who are protesting it being built are idiots.

However, you're the one that just posted a scripture whereby Christ told us to love one another and that is all I am doing here. I'm loving everyone regardless of whether he is Muslim or Christian or any other religion. I don't see how that is part of the problem.

"A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another." - John 13:34

I like that scripture.

Grant Smith: Also, I think intolerant and bigoted are more accurate than idiot.

J--- O------: You're not loving those who don't want this thing built. You just see it as "OK".

Grant Smith: I love them fine. I don't love their ignorance, stupidity and bigotry. I've stated this several times.

J--- O------: It's easy to love those who have the same views and beliefs that we have. However, it proves true love when you can love them even through your differences.

Grant Smith: Indeed. And I show my love through education.

J--- O------: You call it education, I call it being just as ignorant, intolerant, and stupid as those you're trying to "educate". If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even 'sinners' love those who love them. - Luke 6:32

Grant Smith: If I only loved 'those who love me' then I wouldn't be fighting for people I've never met.

O--- J- H-------: I wasn't trying to insinuate that they have a right to hate Muslims....I was just saying that a lot of hurt was caused and people respond to grief differently. I'm against the death penalty, but if someone harmed someone very close to me, I... might feel differently out of anger. You might be blessed with the ability to never hate even when harm is done to you, but the natural response is to be angry and sometimes that anger is taken out on people that do not deserve it. It doesn't solve anything, nor is it right, but with such a huge tragedy, I can't imagine how hard it is to control the anger. This is why I feel that nothing should be done to instigate the victims and tolerance should focus on them until time heals their wounds a bit better.

I think most of the 9/11 families are mainly outraged at the thought of the extremists celebrating overseas, claiming the mosque as a victory, even though that is far from the purpose of this mosque. Most probably do not hate Muslims, but when they see that this group is not backing down over their concerns, it causes more anger and negative feelings about the religion. There are even muslims that see the problem that this is causing. Look at Raheel Raza's (from the Muslim Canadian Congress Board) plea to the mosque builders to stop the confrontational behavior...

I don't want to see any anti-muslim/anti-christian sentiments anywhere in the world, and I feel that the mosque situation is pouring salt on old wounds even though that wasn't the intention. A lot more wounds would heal if they would just move the thing instead of arrogantly putting their foot down. That's my 2 cents!Grant Smith: I would be outraged by the extremists' celebrations as well but I would not punish good people here for the sins of others.
So there it is, another night spent fighting the good fight. It's a waste of time most of the time but at least I feel like I tried...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Applaud you for having the courage to take on this discussion Grant. It's bizarre how strongly people feel about an issue that has no factual basis but is based solely on fear & ignorance. But I guess we have right-wing media to thank for stirring up the emotion of those easily led.

I wonder what the reaction would have been had someone mentioned the minor detail that all the scientific evidence suggests the towers were brought down by controlled demolition, NOT burning planes and that there is serious question as to who was actually responsible for 9/11.