Who IS this guy?!

'Niceguy' Eddie

Political Talk Show Host and Internet Radio Personality. My show, In My Humble Opinion, aired on RainbowRadio from 2015-2017.

Feel free to contact me at niceguy9418@usa.com. You can also friend me on Facebook, follow me on Twitter, and Tumblr, and support my Patreon. Also, if you don't mind the stench, you can find my unofficial "fan club" over HERE. ;)

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Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Freedom of Religion

In the past, I’ve certainly made no secret about my feelings towards religion. In fact, I’ll admit that I'v not been shy about treating it with open hostility. But through it all, I have claimed to hold Religious Freedom as a matter of principle: That while freedom OF religion REQUIRES freedom FROM religion, it is still, “FREEDOM OF RELIGION.” And the time has come for me to defend this principle, and to defend what might be my least favorite religion of all, ISLAM, from a violation of this principle.

I want to issue, without equivocation, a strong condemnation of the new laws in France and Turkey banning the public wearing of Headscarves by Islamic women, and the new law in Syria banning of the wearing of the full veil by female Islamic teachers in the classroom. These laws are clear violations of these individuals' basic human right to free religious expression and represent what I believe to be an abhorrent violation of human rights.

Wow – where did THAT come from? I mean… The whole idea of the veil? I find beyond absurd. It’s a symbol of the oppression of women in particular, and of people in general by the Religion which, more egregiously than any other in the world, seeks to dominate all forms of government and public life, and which invariably seeks to outlaw all other forms of religious expression. Islam is, IMHO, the worst religion for this reason: It carries by far the most restrictive superstitious taboos, has by far the least tolerance for dissent and violation, and if left unchecked, aggressively integrates itself and it’s tenets into the State and into the Public Laws. And once it does this, it commits grave violations of human rights and despicable acts of human suppression. And to the extent that any country in the middle east (or anywhere else) DOES NOT do this, it is directly proportional to how SECULAR their government remains. IOW – it’s like I said before: How crazy you are is X times the amount of how religious you are.

So how can I so strongly condemn Islam and yet defend the veils, headscarves and burkhas? Simple: It all comes down to freedom.

I have said before that I can respect anyone’s religious beliefs provided that they are kept:

1) Out of the classroom
2) Out of our laws, and
3) Out of my face

An Islam – at least within Islamic states – aggressively violates all three. So if we’re talking about a case where someone is FORCED to wear a scarf, veil or burqua? Or for that matter, FORCED to pray, FORCED to fast, FORCED to tithe, etc… Then yes: I condemn that. But it is not the place of ANY government to tell someone who BELIEVES in that level of modesty (for example) and CHOOSES to wear the Scarf, Veil or Burqua that they CANNOT.

Just as government should not be able force any religious prohibition upon me, nor should any government prohibit me from accepting a religious prohibition voluntarily should I choose so. (Hey, this applies anywhere: I fully support the rights of nudists and naturists everywhere as well. But that doesn’t mean I’d support outlawing clothes!) No human being should be told that they MUST or CAN NOT participates in a religious ceremony, practice, tradition, custom or taboo.

The Separation of Church and State must be ABSOLUTE, for the protection of BOTH ENTITIES.

I don’t see how it can be any clearer.

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BTW – I’d like to point out that this reasoning is very consistent with other positions that I hold with equal vigor:

1) I abhor abortion, but would protect most abortion rights.

2) I despise guns, but oppose most gun control measures.

3) And (in this case) while I despise what the Veil represents, and condemn its forced usage, I cannot abide the idea that it would be TAKEN AWAY from someone who believes in it, and choose to wear it for themselves.

And these are not contradictory, because for me, it comes down to CHOICE: I may not agree with the choices you make but I fight, kill and die for your right to make them. (And I will also fight, kill and die to prevent you from taking them away from someone else!)

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One last thing…

It should be noted that the ALCU, that “secular enemy of organized religion everywhere” (according to the Christian Funny-Mentalists in THIS country) agrees with me.  And I applaud them  for their efforts in each and every one of those cases!

6 comments:

  1. "I can respect anyone’s religious beliefs"

    Not me. I only respect religious beliefs that can be rationally defended. I assault and ridicule the rest. There are a few decent religions out there, all but one of which (obviously) aren't mine, and I respect them. But there are a whole lot that deserve no respect.

    "3) Out of my face"

    I only want it out of my face if I've heard it before. I want stuff that I haven't heard before in my face.

    Probably veering off topic, but politics and religion are both subjects which people are no longer allowed to talk about, and both are brooding a hive of bottomless idiocy. The just-keep-it-to-yourself mentality is self-defeating and needs to end. Ideas need to be passed around so that the stupid ones get exposed to the selection process.

    The internet is pushing us towards thicker skins, coarser dialog, and more argumentative asses, and I'm hoping it continues so that it breaks down the walls that insulate stupidity.

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  2. Steeve,

    You know... I don't disagree with what I think you're saying, exactly, but I think I disagree with how you're saying it... LOL

    "I only respect religious beliefs that can be rationally defended. I assault and ridicule the rest."

    As do I. Which is why I ridicule ALL of them. ;) But we've been over THAT.(And we'll have to revisit it at one point, I promise, but not HERE.) In any case, please see the NEXT bit, because I can't really make this statement in a vacuum...

    "I only want it out of my face if I've heard it before. I want stuff that I haven't heard before in my face."

    Actually "out of my face" only appies to judgement and attempts at conversion or recruitment. In an accademic sense, religion FASCINATES me. And I'm always keen to find out more about what different people believe, provided they respect miy right to not believe and CAN DEAL with my non-belief. I've spoken at great length to Jews, Hindu's, Wiccan's... you name it... about their faith. I don;t believe a word of it. Not a word. But I'm FASCINATED by it and INTERESTED in hearing about it all the same. And provided they understand and remember that my interest is a purely ACADEMIC one? (And ore OK with that?) We got on like a house on fire.

    "politics and religion are both subjects which people are no longer allowed to talk about,"

    Actually 'don't talk religion or politics' is a VERY OLD cliche. Thing is? I'm fairly moderate. Liberal, yes, but MOD-ER-ATE. I'm not a hard-core ANYTHING, except for thinking for myself. And I'm also not afraid to hear and discuss different POV's, even playing a little devil's advocate in the process. I used to LOVE that kind of deep, topical, philosophical conversation. Now? Post-Fox News? Post-9/11? Post-Rush? Post-Bush? You can't talk to ANYONE about ANYTHING anymore, unless you already knwo they're more liberal than you are! EVERYONE on the right is like a rabid dog! They can't STAND ANY questions, or even any "devil's advocacy" AT ALLL! It's absurd. It's not even a question of right and wrong anymore. No one can acknowledge a "good point" and simply agree to disagree anymore. It's like they smell "liberal" and they smell BLOOD. And really? The biggest reason I'm a liberal is that I can't accept that kind of thinking no matter WHAT the issue is! Thus, I'm rejected by conservatives, even if I agree with them! If I don't share th eir ZEAL and the HATRED of ALL opposing achools of thought? I'm not a REAL conservative. So these days, being an independant thinker makes you a liberal by default!

    (And yet thay fuck-nut, Floyd, thinks "sheeple" is even remotely clever, the fuckin' dumb-ass.)

    "The internet is pushing us towards thicker skins, coarser dialog, and more argumentative asses, and I'm hoping it continues so that it breaks down the walls that insulate stupidity."

    See... I disagree here. Which is surpsiing because here I am issue "CONDEMNATIONS" (and teh occasional CHEAP SHOT) over the interent! LOL. But I think that all we've gotten due to the internet is REALLY GOOD at being BELIGERANT. If you had to talk to someone face to face, and never had the internet? It's likely neither of you would be as agressive as you are on the net, anonymously. But that's all we get any PRACTICE at these days! The subtle art of pursuation, the fine art of disagreeing without beuing disagreeable? Is GONE. And as much as I'd like to blame Fox, or Rush, or Bush (etc...) the INTERNET is probably the BIGGEST factor in the decay of personal communication, because it takes the "personal" right out of it!

    OTOH... There's no doubt it WILL continue, as you wish, the only debatable point is where it will go and whether that's good or not.

    Thanks for your commment.

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  3. What about the muslims in Europe and other places of the western world, making a minimal effort to respect and to adapt themselves to the norms existing in the hosting countries?

    You claim you're not religious and yet you seem very reigious about certain words such as Freedom. Well, freedom as you see it is to be found only in the jungle. You're promoting the jungle.

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  4. "No one can acknowledge a 'good point' and simply agree to disagree anymore."

    That comes from me as well as rabid conservatives, because if their "good point" has absolutely zero going for it, I won't agree to disagree. They either agree with me or they hurt the country. (That applies to objective certainties, not to any issue in which their gray is different than mine.)

    "If you had to talk to someone face to face, and never had the internet?"

    That someone would never hear most of my talking points because I wouldn't be able to get them out properly. They would then continue to believe things that are guaranteed to be false.

    We probably disagree on the cause of the loss of the "fine art of disagreeing without being disagreeable". I think that both sides need to have minimally valid points before peace can exist. Then it becomes about searching for the truth. But since this point isn't a certainty, we can disagree amicably on it.

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  5. I also support the Islamic community's right to appear as though the last 300 years haven't existed.

    Though (if you haven't noticed yet,) Islam's anti-women vibe rubs me the wrong way... It's not France's right, or responsibility, to ween them off of their ridiculous customs.

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  6. @Duta,

    As usual you have challenegd me with a point that I hadn't really considered, so I'd like to address it at greater length in my next post. Please come back and check it out, becasue it is a really interesting point. I just can't adequately respond as a comment.

    @Steeve,

    Oh, absolutely. If a "point" has no value, then it should be called out as such. I'm not shy about calling bullshit, "bullshit" in real life or online. I just remember a time when you could argue with someone without "liberal" or "moonbat" or "Right Winger" or "Wingnut" coming into the conversation. When you could argue POINTS and PRINCIPLES and it wasn't about who was more AMERICAN or who loved or hated their country more... and I'm guilty of it as well, but irrelevant bullshit like that. It really STARTED goping that way when Limbaugh rose to popularity., Early 1990's. He'd elevated being an asshole into an artform. But most people still wouldn't act that way themselves (at least none that I ever encountered) until the 'Net. (And 9/11, and Bush, etc...) But trolling the 'net gave people far more practice being ABUSIVE than being PURSUASIVE. I'm not saying it's a BAD THING, just that it may have done SOME harm along with the good. I still say the 'Net is a VERY GOOD THING, just that despite being a tool for communication, it may have actually degraded many of our communication skills.

    @Dradeeus,

    I had hoped that my own contempt for religion in general and Islam in particular was clearly expressed here. ;) I'm certainly NOT pro-Islam in ANY WAY. (Just as I'm not really pro-RELIGION in any way.) But yeah I'm with you: The anti-woman (shoot, anti-EVERYTHING) vibe of Islam absolutely rubs me the wrong way as well. And thus I'm totally (and not surprisingly) against the idea of Muslim Caliphates like Iran, Saudi Arabia, etc... That whole model of government is insane. And given the choice, moany women throw off most of Islam's more restrictive trappings the first chance they get. But it's as you say: It's not ANY GOVERNMENT's right or responsibility, to ween them off of any ridiculous customs they CHOOSE to follow.

    Thank you all for your comments.

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