Religion Is Terrorism

Holy Horrors: Witch-Hunts…

 

Accused “witches” first were stripped and searched for “devil’s marks” – then the torture began. The process usually ended in execution.

From Church and State, UK

Excerpt from Holy Horrors: An Illustrated History of Religious Murder and Madness, by James A. Haught (Prometheus Books, 2002). 

Chapter 10: Witch-Hunts

During the 1400s, the Holy Inquisition shifted its focus toward witchcraft, and the next three centuries witnessed a bizarre orgy of religious delusion. Agents of the church tortured untold thousands of women, and some men, into confessing that they flew through the sky on demonic missions, engaged in sex with Satan, turned themselves into animals, made themselves invisible, and performed other supernatural evils. Virtually all the accused were put to death. The number of victims is estimated widely from 100,000 to 2 million.

Pope Gregory IX originally authorized the killing of witches in the 1200s, and random witch trials were held, but the craze didn’t catch fire until the 15th century. In 1484 Pope Innocent VIII issued a bull declaring the absolute reality of witches—thus it became heresy to doubt their existence. Prosecutions soared. The inquisitor Cumanus burned forty-one women the following year, and a colleague in the Piedmont of Italy executed 100.

Soon afterward, two Dominican inquisitors, Jakob Sprenger and Heinrich Kramer, published their infamous Malleus Maleficarum (Witches’ Hammer) outlining a lurid litany of magical acts performed by witches and their imps, familiars, phantoms, demons, succubi, and incubi. It described how the evil women blighted crops, devoured children, caused disease, and wrought spells. The book was filled with witches’ sexual acts and portrayed women as treacherous and contemptible. “All witchcraft comes from carnal lust, which is in women insatiable,” they wrote. Modern psychology easily perceives the sexual neurosis of these priests—yet for centuries their book was the official manual used by inquisitors sending women to horrible deaths.

Freethinkers: And on the first day, I was an atheist…

 

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From The Freethinker UK

This is the story of my not so spiritual journey. Let us begin with my upbringing. I was raised in what can be described as an agnostic theist environment. For those unfamiliar with the term, it’s when you believe in a god (or gods), but don’t feel you can know for sure whether it, or they, exist.

My mother was brought up learning about several different flavors of Christianity (Lutheran, Catholic, Evangelical), while my father was raised in a Southern Baptist environment. Neither of them clung to faith, but fell more into the camp of “spiritual, but not religious”.

Suffice it to say that from a religious standpoint, I wasn’t pushed in any particular direction as I was growing up. As I matured into a young adult, curiosity led me to question what this god thing was all about. I asked a friend who worked at a local church (non-clerical) if he could procure a Bible for me. He thoughtfully obliged and I began, periodically, to read from it.

Shortly thereafter, I worked up the courage to attend my first services at a local Methodist church. It was a relaxed service (casual attire) where I met lots of friendly and welcoming people. At this point I was still non-committal to a place of worship, but it provided me the push I needed to really dig into scripture study.

During my biblical studies, I began to wonder if I needed to find a more permanent spiritual home. After some research, I happened upon Mormon.org, home of the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. After a few in-home lessons with the missionaries, I was making arrangements to be baptized. During my time as a member – roughly two-and-a-half years – I held several leadership positions.

 Sam Harris: Example of Muhammad…

 


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Freethinkers: People have been talking about hijab a lot lately…

 

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From Ophelia Bensonmon
The Freethinker

You Can’t Do Both

The Associated Press reported:
On the night of the California mass shooting, Asifa Quraishi-Landes sat on her couch, her face in her hands, and thought about what was ahead for her and other Muslim women who wear a scarf or veil in public.

The covering, or hijab, often draws unwanted attention even in the best of times. But after the one-two punch of the Paris and San Bernardino attacks by Islamic militants, Quraishi-Landes wanted to send a message.

‘To all my Muslim sisters who wear hijab,’ Quraishi-Landes, an Islamic law specialist at the University of Wisconsin, wrote on her Facebook page. ‘If you feel your life or safety is threatened in any way because of your dress, you have an Islamic allowance (darura/necessity) to adjust your clothing accordingly. Your life is more important than your dress.

h2Well that’s nice, but notice what it implies: that if you don’t feel your life or safety is threatened, then you don’t have “an Islamic allowance” to stop wearing hijab. In other words, you are required to wear hijab unless you think it’s putting you in danger. That’s in direct contradiction with the claim we so often hear, that it’s a choice to wear hijab. If it’s really a choice, why did Quraishi-Landes feel the need to go on Facebook to remind her Muslim sisters of the safety exemption? If it’s really a choice, why do women need any such reminder or permission?

Fundamentalism is the Tragedy of all Religions…

 

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From Dave Smith
Ukiah Blog
Redwood Valley

Christianism (Christian Fundamentalism), like Islamism, sexism and racism, denotes a bigoted and culturally agressive mindset, in this case the assumption that everyone is or should be Christian — and that being Christian is superior to being an adherent of other faithways. In its governmentally intrusive form, Christianism is the basis of Christian Dominionism.

Islamism (Islamic Fundamentalism), also known as Political Islam, is an Islamic revival movement often characterized by moral conservatism, literalism, and the attempt “to implement Islamic values in all spheres of life.” It utilizes certain Muslim “doctrines, beliefs and values as the foundation of a political structure that supporters of that ideology have called ‘the Islamic State’.”. Islamists can have varying interpretations on various Quranic suras and ayahs. Islamist views emphasize the implementation of Sharia (Islamic law); of pan-Islamic political unity; and of the selective removal of non-Muslim, particularly Western military, economic, political, social, or cultural influences in the Muslim world that they believe to be incompatible with Islam.

Jewish Fundamentalism: Militant religious Zionism, and both Ashkenazi and Sephardic versions of Haredi Judaism.

Deny, Denigrate, and Resist.
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White Americans are the biggest terror threat in the United States…

 

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Neo-Nazi protesters demonstrate near where the grand opening ceremonies were held for the Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center on April 19, 2009 in Skokie, Illinois.

From Global Post
Thanks to Ron

White Americans are the biggest terror threat in the United States, according to a study by the New America Foundation. The Washington-based research organization did a review of “terror” attacks on US soil since Sept. 11, 2001 and found that most of them were carried out by radical anti-government groups or white supremacists.

Almost twice as many people have died in attacks by right-wing groups in America than have died in attacks by Muslim extremists. Of the 26 attacks since 9/11 that the group defined as terror, 19 were carried out by non-Muslims. Yet there are no white Americans languishing inside the prison camp at Guantanamo Bay. And there are no drones dropping bombs on gatherings of military-age males in the country’s lawless border regions.

Attacks by right-wing groups get comparatively little coverage in the news media. Most people will struggle to remember the shooting at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin that killed six people in 2012. A man who associated with neo-Nazi groups carried out that shooting. There was also the married couple in Las Vegas who walked into a pizza shop and murdered two police officers. They left a swastika on one of the bodies before killing a third person in a Wal-Mart parking lot. Such attacks are not limited to one part of the country. In 2011, two white supremacists went on a shooting spree in the Pacific Northwest, killing four people.

Terrorism is hard to define. But here is its basic meaning: ideological violence. In its study, the New America Foundation took a narrow view of what could be considered a terror attack. Most mass shootings, for instance, like Sandy Hook or the Aurora, Colorado movie theater shooting — both in 2012 — weren’t included. Also not included was the killing of three Muslim students in North Carolina earlier this year. The shooter was a neighbor and had strong opinions about religion. But he also had strong opinions about parking spaces and a history of anger issues. So that shooting was left off the list.

The killing of nine people at a church in Charleston, South Carolina was included. The shooter made it clear that his motivation was an ideological belief that white people are superior to black people. The shooting has cast new light on the issue of right-wing terrorism in the United States. But since it can’t really use Special Forces or Predator drones on US soil, it remains unclear how the government will respond.
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