22
May
08

Talking Points for 23 May

Hello, it’s Priya again with a few suggestions for what might make today’s programme. Thanks Ahmed for keeping this post ticking overnight.

BURMA AT LAST

The Secretary General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-Moon, says the military leadership in Burma is ready to let in all foreign aid workers. It’s nto yet clear exactly how this will work but a BBC correspondent in Bangkok says Burma has a record of making promises to the UN, only to withdraw them later.

This has been going on for a while, aid let in, aid not let in, meanwhile pople continue to die. With the spotlight having shifted somewhat to China (where the earthquake has killed more than 55,000 people) – have we given up on Burma? Is it just too frustrating waiting for the Burmese government to budge?

Or, as Zak suggested last night, is there another solution?

That’s one thing that hasn’t been discussed: for what anyone outside the country knows the coffers of loot in that country are not exactly empty so how about making them buy the food and shelter supplies aid that they can’t accept and enforcing them giving it to the people.

ISRAEL AND THE PRESIDENTS

John McCain has rejected comments from a Christian evangelist who said the Nazis enacted God’s will. He says he is strong supporter of Israel, while Obama says something similar, although his previous willingness to negotiate with countries like Iran appears to be turning off Jewish voters.

Is support for Israel a precondition for anyone wanting to be president of the United States?Have a read of this opinion piece in the Jerusalem Post.

IS ATHLETICS TOO BROKEN TOO FIX?

An American athlete who won an Olympic gold medal has admitted taking performance enhancing substances. Antonio Pettigrew made the admission while giving evidence at the trial of his former coach, Trevor Graham, who’s accused of involvement in the Balco laboratory doping scandal involving several star athletes.

Will you bother to watch the track events at the Beijing Olympics? Is athletics irreparably damaged? Or have we gotten so used to drug taking among star athletes that we hardly notice?

EXPENSIVE OIL

Producers say $200 oil is possible as prices hit record three days running. Given it’s importance to the world economy, and the record profits of Big Oil – should governments take over the management of oil production away from big companies? 

SOUTH AFRICA: HAS THE VIOLENCE SUCCEEDED?

Immigrants continue to flee South Africa after a week of xenophobic attacks that have killed 42 people so far. But, the South African Human Rights Commission reporteed yesterday that despite the focus on street crime and violent crime – it is actually ‘white collar crime’ (fraud, corruption Etc) that really hurts ordinary people.

Not that many people are paying attention.

IS THE DALAI LAMA IRRELEVANT?

The Dalai Lama will meet British Prime Minister Gordon Brown today, although not at 10 Downing Street, as the PM doesn’t want to offend China. The Tibetan leader’s tour around Europe has been extremely muted, despite the global protests over Tibet just a few weeks ago.

So is the Dalai simply irrelevant? Or has the earthquake in China changed our view of the Chinese as victims rather than oppressors? Or, as this nun puts it – is her more than just irrelevant, but actually a “religious dictator” who is of little use to Buddhism or Tibet?

“TEXAS HAD NO RIGHT TO TAKE KIDS FROM SECT”

Did the Texan authorties go too far in seizing amore than 400 children from a polygamist sect? Or did they do the right thing? Is the prospect of protecting just one more child from abuse more important than waiting for hard evidence first?  http://www.slate.com/id/2191009/

 AND ANOTHER SUGGESTION FROM LAST NIGHT’S BLOG

The world is gonna be a bipolar world again, they say. If that’s true, which super power is gonna compete the US? Is it India? China or Russia again???


93 Responses to “Talking Points for 23 May”


  1. 1 Amy
    May 22, 2008 at 19:44

    Ahmad,

    Best of luck!!! Hopefully now that things here at my house are returning to normal (out of town family is gone) I will be able to keep up tonight.

    Amy in Beaverton, Oregon

  2. May 22, 2008 at 19:47

    Hello Precious Ahmed… Guys, can someone of you kindly explain this to me ?! http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/7413134.stm. With my love… Yours forever, Lubna…

  3. 3 Zak
    May 22, 2008 at 19:52

    Myanmar escaped the discussion in regards to the inability of that government to accept diplomatic humanitarian aid today. Stories coming out of there are totally horrific. Children in denial giggling as they describe how their classmates lost limbs; and then one child in the room who lost a hand going completely catatonic, screaming and kicking the other children around her listening to that. For the lack of diplomacy I don’t think the government should be appeased- I can frame it that way. Based on the UN Sec. Gen. response it seems that something has to be done to hold that government reprehensible. Even if it is in the form of forcing them to give reparations to their people. That’s one thing that hasn’t been discussed: for what anyone outside the country knows the coffers of loot in that country are not exactly empty so how about making them buy the food and shelter supplies aid that they can’t accept and enforcing them giving it to the people.

  4. 4 Ahmad Hammad
    May 22, 2008 at 19:55

    Thanks Amy…
    🙂

  5. 5 Ian from Arizona
    May 22, 2008 at 19:59

    I have been reading the WHYS blog and have notice something that concerns me. I would like to ask all of the WHYS Listeners for their help in figuring out:

    · When did religion become viewed as a negative thing?
    · When did faith become a four letter (inappropriate) word?
    · When did having faith make my opinion less worthy to be heard than an opinion from an individual without a stated faith or religion?

    John in Salem on the blog asked why their can not be a discussion of abortion without religion. John and I had a good exchange but I would still like to ask “why should we have a discussion without religion”?

    Individuals based decisions on their paradigms; the way they view the world. Cliff Walker of Positive Atheism Magazine estimates that over one-fifth of the world’s population is some form of atheist or agnostic.

    That means that four-fifths of the world’s population believes in God. Four-fifths of the world has religious beliefs and those beliefs, along with other beliefs, influence their paradigms; influence what they believe and the decisions that they make.

    It has also been implied that people with religious beliefs can not have rational points. I would argue that people with religious beliefs are just as rational as those without. “Logic can be used to justify almost anything. That’s its greatest strength. It is also its greatest weakness.”

    Four-fifths of the world’s population believes in religion, but the one-fifth dismisses us because, according to their beliefs, it is not rational to have faith. Faith is a belief in something known but not seen. But even the one-fifth who does not believe in religion still believes in faith. Isn’t love faith? Isn’t hope that your children will make the right decisions in their life faith?

    Is 80% of the world’s population wrong?

    Bob in Queensland said on the blog that “religions (organized) seem to become the number one cause of strife and war in the world.”

    I do not agree with Bob’s comments. I’ve been trying to think of examples of what Bob is referring to, and I can not think of any modern examples. World War II was not caused by religious differences. It was caused by a Nazi Government trying to take over the world.

    The conflict between Israel and Palestine is not one religion against another but one of a people trying to remove a group that they see as invaders of their land. Religion is just used as an excuse.

    The United States did not invade Iraq because of a religious disagreement.

    The suffering in Myanmar (Burma) is not being caused by religion. The military government is stopping aid, from government and religious organizations, from reaching their people.

    The only close example I can think of that is close to Bob’s point is Al-Qaeda. These terrorist attack groups who do not agree with their beliefs, including their own people. The religion that they say they believe in, Islam, does not practice or preach this kind of behavior.

    It seems to me that the problems caused in the world are caused by individuals, and not religions. I am still learning about the world’s different religions, but I know of no religion that promotes violence. I have learned about religions that promote the betterment of their people, to grow and to come closer to an ideal.

    However, I know of people who promote violence. We call these people extremist. I know of extremist who say that they are acting on behalf of their religion, or their God, but whose actions go against their stated religions beliefs.

    I’m sorry for those who have had bad experiences with individuals’ who are religious. But why should the religions be blamed for the act of an individuals?

    I have always been amazed at the diversity of the WHYS Listeners, so I pose the questions to you. I look forward to your replies.

  6. 7 Will Rhodes
    May 22, 2008 at 20:44

    · When did religion become viewed as a negative thing?

    For that you have to blame both the fundamental Islamists and NeoCon Christians

    · When did faith become a four letter (inappropriate) word?

    See above

    · When did having faith make my opinion less worthy to be heard than an opinion from an individual without a stated faith or religion?

    It shouldn’t. If it does then you are either:

    1) Being tarred with the same brush
    2) Spouting the fanatic religious nonsense that were mentioned above.
    3) The person you are discussing something with has an inferiority complex
    4) You are preaching to a choir that cannot have their minds changed through normal debate.

  7. 8 Will Rhodes
    May 22, 2008 at 20:46

    @ Steve and Lubna

    Seems everyone is scared of the Christian faith?

  8. May 22, 2008 at 20:53

    Ahmad, welcome! What’s on the Menu tonight? 🙂

    As for the topic of Religion, I’m going to agree with what Will said, he is spot on with the Islamic extremism and NeoCon Christian comment in many peoples current views on Religion. Unfortunately the blanket is often applied to all religions and all persons of a Religion.

  9. 10 Amy
    May 22, 2008 at 20:57

    I’d love to get everyone’s thoughts on the latest from Rev. John Hagge’s claim that Hitler was actually doing God’s work. Because of Hitler, the Jewish people were able to return to Israel according to Hagge. This is coming from the man who is a major supported of Sen. John McCain.

    Amy

  10. 11 steve
    May 22, 2008 at 21:10

    @ Amy

    Every religious person says that any human action is doing God’s work. Not just Hilter, but anyone. Ever hear the “joke” about the guy who is stranded on the roof during a flood, and a boat came by to rescue him, but he refused, saying “God will rescue” me. Then a coast guard cutter came by, and he refused their aid saying that God will rescue me. The water level kept on rising, so a helicopter comes by, lowers a rope, and tells him to climb up. He refused, saying “God will rescue me.” The man, drowns, and finds himself at the pearly gates, and he sees God, and says to God, “Why didn’t you try to rescue me?” And God responds, “What do you mean? i sent the boat, the coast guard cutter and a helicopter!”

  11. 12 Ian from Arizona
    May 22, 2008 at 21:14

    ~ Will & Brett

    Thank you for your comments. I am grateful for them and I agree with what you both have said.

    I would not consider myself an extremist, and I hope no one else would, but yet my opinion has been dismissed, even here on the WHYS blog, as non-sense and irrational because I mentioned God in a post.

    Why should people be scared off by the Christian faith?

    I’ve been trying to figure out a nice way to say this, but are people who use that “blanket” so insecure in their own beliefs that they are incapable of having a conversation with someone who disagrees with them?

  12. May 22, 2008 at 21:17

    Hello Precious Steve… THANKS A MILLION for the link… It’s really sooooo lovely to learn that Israel and Iran do share some values together eh ?! :-)… And I wasn’t playing any game by the way…. I was only soooooo eager to understand what that raw was all about… You can’t just simply judge someone by making a comparison to another one… It’s as absurd as saying that ‘At the times of Saddam we were slaves’ when someone says ‘We Iraqis have been through hell since 2003’… Anyway Precious Steve, it’s always sooooo lovely to hear from you ! :-)… And to Precious Will in Canada : Am I afraid of the Christian faith ?? My most Precious girlfriend ‘Maryam’ is a devout Christian, and in my beloved district Al Karradah (a predominantly Muslim Shiite area) there’re six churches, all of them are socially and religiously active…Hope that answers your question !! With my love.. Yours forever, Lubna..

  13. 14 Amy
    May 22, 2008 at 21:20

    Sen. McCain has now distanced himself from Rev. Hagge like Sen. Obama did Rev. Wright. Rev. Hagge has said so many outlandish things that didn’t seem to bother Sen. McCain but now he is expendable. Sen. Obama disavowed the things that Rev. Wright said right away which is something that Sen. McCain never did. Sen. McCain actively sought the endorsement of Hagge. Maybe someone on his staff needs to do a little more research.

  14. 15 Amy
    May 22, 2008 at 21:22

    @ Steve,

    That was one of my late father’s favorite jokes. He even kept a toy helicopter on his desk as a reminder to not overlook the obvious when a problem came up.

  15. 16 Ian from Arizona
    May 22, 2008 at 21:24

    ~ Steve

    I have to respectfully disagree with your statement that “Every religious person says that any human action is doing God’s work.” I am a religious person and I do not believe that. This is an example of the blanket that Will, Brett, and I are speaking of.

    I do not believe that Hitler was doing God’s work. I believe that Hitler was part of God’s plan for humanity, but Hitler was doing the work of the Devil. I believe that we all have free agency, the right to choose. We can choose good or evil. Hitler did not choose good.

    Your “joke” is correct. I believe that God acts through his children. The “man on the roof” had God’s help and he choose to ignore it.

  16. May 22, 2008 at 21:29

    Ian,
    It’s not so much insecurity in ones own beliefs than the damage, level of control, and problems that have been caused in the name of religion, under the guise of religion, or as a direct result of religion, throughout history.
    This argument ignores many of the social and cultural benefits of religion but presents a very real and true feeling with people beginning to get ‘fed up’ with atrocities committed in the name of religion.
    As Will noted, these issues have mainly been sparked by fanatics, but the problems are live and well and should be addressed. I suppose that is one of the problems of being ‘part of’ an organized religion. You are often coupled together and your thoughts and ideals stereotyped in a similar way that college ‘frat boys’ are stereotyped.

    I’m sure without religion, groups would have formed and those groups would have been root causes of similar problems stemming from leaders, but no-one can tell. For some it is easier to denounce religion and not think about similar things continuing to happen in the absence of religion, simply due to human nature.

    Regards,
    Brett ~ Richmond, Va.

  17. May 22, 2008 at 21:34

    Oh my Precious Ian… I do agree 100% with what you said… And it’s really sooooo lovely to have you back on the WHYS blog again… It’s been rather a long time since we last heard from you ! :-)… A human being can be either good or bad, regardless of his/her faith and whether he/she believes in God/Allah/Lord or not… With my love… Yours forever, Lubna…

  18. 19 Ahmad Hammad
    May 22, 2008 at 21:35

    Thank You Brett:
    I agree with Ian from Arizona. No religion spreads extremism. Islam is a religion of peace and stresses upon its follower to be calm and just.

    Well, as far as the Menu is concerned, I think we should discuss the relevance of Poetry in the age of information i.e. Cyber Age.

    Does poetry still have any soothing effect to an already burning world?

    Since the WWIII would be supposedly fought on water, though to me it’s already in organogenesis but on oil, shall poetry be able to bring peace among the opponent nations as it had been a fashion in old days…
    More to come about Poetry, but I would love you people to write for and against the Menu first….

  19. May 22, 2008 at 21:37

    In addition to my statement, I have voiced my opinion on here many times about my problems with religion and religious ideals being imposed or forced down someone else’s throat. Or as Steve noted, actions being taken ‘in the name of God’. Such as NeoCon Christians crusade against homosexuals (the bigoted Falwell, among many), many churches support of Wars such as Iraq believing God wants us to be there, and other problems.
    My stance is, I have no problem with an individual of a religion. My problem is mainly when, again, those religious ideals are pushed upon me or anyone else against my will, either through social pressures or law, or those ideals conflict with peace.
    Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but there has arguably been no greater force in the history of mankind able to control, lead, or mobilize such large amounts of people, than the force of Religion. This unifying power is a threat when heads of religion use such power in an irresponsible manner.

  20. May 22, 2008 at 21:42

    Does poetry still have any soothing effect to an already burning world?

    I would say yes, but in less traditional forms. More now in music than in poetic print. The information and technology age has allowed for mass dissemination of material and especially music. Many poets and musicians write inspirational songs and songs that help us cope with everyday life and look forward to a brighter tomorrow.

  21. 22 Ahmad Hammad
    May 22, 2008 at 21:47

    “Take England but we won’t allow you to take away Shakepeare from us”, they say.

    Behind the present American Idea, Emerson, a poet stands.

    Pablo Neruda has become another name of Chile.

    Pakistan was the dream of Iqbal, again a poet.

    Does this world need a few poets to become liveable, to revolutionize the humanity towards good?

  22. 23 Ahmad Hammad
    May 22, 2008 at 22:00

    Well that’s true that poetry is getting mingled with music in greater proportion than ever before. But see, by doing this, the throw-away culture will be at loss.

    When we read something, we get the words imprinted into our brain. Then whatever comes to our taste, we revise loudly and thus, two media are involved in shaping up our personality that helps us behave accordingly.

    But listening to poetry amulgamated with music can’t leave that much impressions like the printed poetry coupled with a loud recitation does.

    It means, the nourishment of personality that poetry aspires remains unfulfilled.

    Poetry and the traditional potency of it still stands tall, still alive, just like water or air. But it is we who have tried to corner this beautiful form of expression. And consequetly now at the verge of spiritual barrenness…

    Let me introduce the eastern music here!

  23. 24 Will Rhodes
    May 22, 2008 at 22:05

    Does this world need a few poets to become liveable, to revolutionize the humanity towards good?

    No – it needs men and women with ideals that, before anything else, puts other people first.

    The world today is run by people who are, to say the least, selfish and egotistical.

    The world has become elite. It has returned to an era very similar to that of the late 19th century. Led, by the way, by a country that is self-centred and self-absorbed. Thankfully the world in itself is different. But reading the world through the eyes of those who post on blogs – you can see the chattering classes spewing their vitriol.

    That began a journey in 1925 and led to a cataclysmic disaster in 1939 – will it do so again, we will have to wait and see.

  24. 25 Dennis :)
    May 22, 2008 at 22:08

    Hi Ahmed:

    Good Evening from the Northern New York, where it is hailing
    outside (and raining)….

    Dennis~Madrid, U.S.A.

  25. 26 Dennis :)
    May 22, 2008 at 22:13

    Re:
    SENATOR McCAIN PROBLEMS WITH THE PASTOR HAGEE,
    This is a performance similar to Barack Obama’s problems with Reverend Jeremiah Wright….

    Both Wright and Hagee, both have moral problems with the words they used!

    Dennis~Madrid, United States of America

  26. May 22, 2008 at 22:15

    Ian,

    Religion is not viewed as a “negative thing”. A) Since we are founded on the idea that no law should be made simply because an action is not condoned by a religious doctrine, arguments based on one are immediately considered invalid. So there can never be a law that says, “You can’t eat cows because they are sacred” simply because the Bhagavadgītā (the Hindu bible) says so. No law can be written that says can’t sell liquor on Sundays because that is the “holy Sabbath”. Oh wait. I guess you can. B) While many of us have our “religious beliefs”, they are varied and wide. We all don’t agree upon the same sources of fact. Some believe in the Quran, some the Bhagavadgītā, and even some that believe in the bible only recognize the validity of half of it. Some of our beliefs are 180 degrees opposed.

    The word “Faith” meaning belief in something that can not be scientifically proven is always inappropriate in a debate. This is especially true if that debate is founded in scientific content. Your opinions when based in “faith” alone are deal breakers, conversation enders. No discussion can proceed when there are no tangible issues to debate. We can’t discuss the geniuses of the use of color in an art piece if we can’t first agree “upon roses are red.” We defiantly can’t when we can’t even agree upon what a rose is and what light radiation wave is perceive to be red. You can say, “the world is 6000 years old.” I can say, “But it isn’t. Science has proven with out doubt that the world is many billions of years old.” You can say, “The bible says it is 6000 years old and I have faith in the bible.” There are no points to contend with you. To come to resolution people need things they can see, touch, feel, hear, smell, or taste in order to confirm it. So when you preach from a strict perspective of faith, you can only convince the choir. The rest of the skeptical community is going to have to be convinced by other means.

    80% of the world includes people that believe in multiple deities, witch craft, suicide bombings, AIDS cured by having sex with virgins, corn flakes that develop into shapes of saints, mutilating female genitalia, slavery, and a vast array of “irrational” beliefs. If you are going to group yourself with the 80% remember the old adage about, “the company you keep”.

    WWII was fought to expel Jews. They were all German citizens, Just the ones that were Jewish had to be removed. Remove religion from the Israelis and Palestinian situation and you can’t tell the two apart. The US invaded Iraq because Bush believed “God chose him to lead the nation.” It is a war on Muslims. North Korea has nuclear weapons and is testing them, yet the US chose not to invade them. Instead we are at “war” in two Muslim countries. “If it walks like a duck…” Christian crusades, civil war, and all major conflicts men were inspired by their leaders because they were assured that “God wanted them to kill the other guys.” If don’t think it is about religion go spend a few weeks in the big desert.

  27. 29 Dennis :)
    May 22, 2008 at 22:35

    A problematic story on two grounds:
    1)Mental Illness
    2)Violence

    Dennis>>Madrid, U.S.A.

  28. 30 Dennis :)
    May 22, 2008 at 22:37

    A story we on World Have Your Say., talk about this item:

    The U.S. Military (Soldier) shooting bullets into the Qur’an, now there is violence and Rioting in Afghanistan…..

    Dennis~Madrid, U.S.A.

  29. 31 Janet T
    May 22, 2008 at 22:43

    @Ian in AZ-
    I don’t have problems with anyone’s religion as long as they keep it out of my life- I don’t want to be converted; I don’t want my government making decisions based on fundamentalist beliefs
    I was raised Catholic and still feel I was brainwashed for years- it creeps up 30 years later, at the weirdest times.
    I’ll be the first to admit I do not understand blind faith.

    @Ahmad- I’m still a big fan of “the walrus and the carpenter”

  30. 32 Will Rhodes
    May 22, 2008 at 22:49

    A real call of duty!

    Officer Jiang Xiaojuan, 29, the mother of a 6-month-old boy, responded to the call of duty and the instincts of motherhood when the magnitude 7.9 quake struck on May 12.

    “I am breast-feeding, so I can feed babies. I didn’t think of it much,” she said. “It is a mother’s reaction, and a basic duty as a police officer to help.”

  31. May 22, 2008 at 22:55

    Hello again to all of you my Precious friends… Please guys, check this out : iraqslogger.com. Two Iraqi journalists killed in separate events… With my love… Yours forever, Lubna…

  32. 34 Janet T
    May 22, 2008 at 22:58

    @ Will

    The world today is run by people who are, to say the least, selfish and egotistical.

    *************************************************
    Ok while not a world leader- did you see that Mariah Carey’s wedding (2nd or 3rd??) is supposed to cost over 4 million dollars? couldn’t that feed a small country for quite some time?

  33. 35 Dennis :)
    May 22, 2008 at 23:03

    Regarding the story about the Chinese Police woman breast-feeding babies, following the Earthquake….

    I think that she is a HERO (one of many)…..

    She didn’t have to do it, that is why i think she is a hero….

    Dennis~Madrid, U.S.A.

  34. 36 Ian from Arizona
    May 22, 2008 at 23:13

    ~ Dwight

    Thank you for your comments.

    Your comments disagree with your first statement “religion is not viewed as a negative thing”. You state that religion caused WWII, that there would be no
    conflict between Israel and Palestine without religion. You admit your belief that all wars were started because God told the nations leaders to kill the other guy. The points that you present all point to your belief that religion is a negative thing.

    And, with a degree in history, I would invite you to recheck your facts.

    Our country, the United States of America, was founded on religious beliefs. You are right in your statement that “that no law should be made simply because an action is condoned (or not) by a religious doctrine.” We do believe in the separation of church and State, but our laws, from the beginning of the country, are based on our founding fathers’ religious values.

    Why is faith “always an inappropriate in a debate”? If a debate is founded only in scientific content, then I would agree. However, not all debates are scientific in nature. Debates, like this one, must include all of our beliefs, including our religious beliefs. I do see your point; that if people are unwilling to recognize the possibility, however remote, that their beliefs are wrong, their can never be a true debate.

    The World’s religious beliefs do vary greatly and I am aware that these differences can cause conflicts. Does that mean that we can treat those with a belief different from ours as irrational and not worth listening too?

    Lubna, who practices Islam, and I, a practicing Christian, can discuss our religious beliefs without the desire to killing each other, without dismissing the others point of view. Lubna is one of my good friends and I do not dismiss Lubna because of her beliefs, even though they are different than mine. Her faith sustains her and helps her through this troubling time, something positive that religion gives her.

    You mention “the company you keep…” as a justification to treat people of faith poorly. Do you really believe this; you believe that stereotyping is justified?

    Since I believe in God, you deem me to have irrational beliefs?

    And, as for your final point; I do live in a “big desert”.

    ~ Janet T

    I’m sorry for your experience and I appreciate you sharing it with me.

    I do not understand blind faith either. However, at least in my case, I don’t think faith is blind.

    If you do not mind answering, why do you feel that the Catholic Church “brainwashed you”?

  35. 37 Ahmad Hammad
    May 22, 2008 at 23:14

    Good Dawn from Pakistan Dennis 🙂
    And thanks for joining us…

    Lahore is having a sigh of relief as she has just taken a shower after about two weeks’ hot weather.

    Please send us a few globules of ice from outside. 🙂

  36. 38 Amy
    May 22, 2008 at 23:20

    @ Dennis,

    I so agree that the Chinese policewoman is a hero. Doing something extraordinary in a time of need, especially without a second thought and without regard to self preservation, is what a hero is to me.

    As for Mariah Carey’s wedding and the cost, it is beyond me that celebrities who claim to give back spend that kind of money. Not that a wedding is a frivolous thing, but millions of dollars on one…… They could have spent a fraction of that amount and donated the rest.

  37. 39 Ahmad Hammad
    May 22, 2008 at 23:25

    The rulers of the west have shown the face of the rulers of China to their masses.
    Let the masses come closer to each and you’ll find how contradictory and paradoxical the observations of the rulers have been.

    A ruler see through the spectacle of his/her interest. And if the interest clashes the personality, the personality is denounced. This is what has been happening to the Chinese people when they were being put to the western world by the western rulers.

    However, what the breast-feeding chinese lady has done, could be seen in any society in a calamity…

  38. 40 Amy
    May 22, 2008 at 23:34

    Ahmad,

    I will do my best to send some the rain from Oregon your way!

    Amy

  39. 41 Ahmad Hammad
    May 22, 2008 at 23:37

    @ Will
    “The world today is run by people who are, to say the least, selfish and egotistical.”

    For this very reason I advocate the role of poets in a society. Let them come forward and see how the world becomes a haven of supreme values and spritual sublimities.

  40. 42 Dennis :)
    May 22, 2008 at 23:43

    @ Amy,

    Regarding Mariah Carey wedding, that is a waste of the media’s time…in times of crisis…

    I always watch great entertainment stories….

    Dennis>Madrid, United States of America

  41. 43 Janet T
    May 22, 2008 at 23:55

    @Ian in AZ

    Why do I think the Catholic Church brainwashes people? Let’s see: I started very young, went to Catholic school, only associated with other Catholics, was” confirmed” in the church at a young age (13) and basically didn’t have to think for myself or question any of the doctrine that was fed to me. When at age 20 I decided I couldn’t believe many of the major tenets, I stopped going to mass. I don’t believe the Pope is infallible. I think the Catholic Church has amassed great wealth and should use it for good rather than hording it. I think the Catholic Church oppresses women.
    But—–It still creeps back in- I feel guilt over things I shouldn’t (guilt is big in the Catholic Church) find myself believing in things almost out of habit, rather than using a rational mind. I found, at my father’s funeral last fall, that I could still recite all of the church prayers- this after 25 years of not stepping in a church. Maybe it is childish- on one hand I want to be agnostic but on the other I worry over a vengeful God. Oh and by the way- I do belive Jesus was a real person- it is documented- and I think most religions have taken his “message” and used it for their own power and greed.

  42. 44 Dennis :)
    May 22, 2008 at 23:59

    Ahmed

    in the winter on the east coast of the united states….i will
    be sending you some beautiful snow….

    Dennis~Madrid, U.S.A.

  43. 45 Dennis :)
    May 23, 2008 at 00:01

    Ahmad,

    I saw your note, about ICE outside, they maybe some up in the higher parts of my county….

    Thanks for welcoming me to the office!

    Dennis
    Madrid, United States of America

  44. 46 Ahmad Hammad
    May 23, 2008 at 00:10

    Well, it is said that the style of preaching of the pioneers of a religion is generally different from those of the followers/clerics.

    Violance paves the way through their rigid followership. Being the experts and authoratatives, these clerics every now and then engineer the basic teachings of their religion to best suit their rulers. And it has also been observed that the violance in a religion creeps through these politico-clerics. Be it the Crusade or any other Holy War with the exception of a few, the violance/bloodshed has been the identity mark of the very version of a religion which is used for the sake of political gains.

  45. 47 Will Rhodes
    May 23, 2008 at 00:11

    @ Janet T

    Ok while not a world leader- did you see that Mariah Carey’s wedding (2nd or 3rd??) is supposed to cost over 4 million dollars? couldn’t that feed a small country for quite some time?

    Miss Carey is – in my eyes, a jerk!

    She claims to be a diva – yet is trashed all over the world of music, people actually snigger behind her back.

    For a woman of such limited talent to demand rose petals in her dressing room is beyond me. She makes money for other people.

    Do you gather I don’t like Miss Carey?

    I can scream high – I could scream higher if I was paid the same as she!

  46. 48 Ahmad Hammad
    May 23, 2008 at 00:19

    @Dennis:
    “Good Evening from the Northern New York, where it is hailing outside (and raining)….”

    My teacher of English Language taught me that Hail, if it’s a verb, meant the downpour of the pellets of frozen rain. 🙂

    That’s why, I requested you to send GLOBULES OF ICE(pellets of frozen rain) and not Snow that falls on the peaks and valleys of highlands…

    Anyways, I’d be waiting for your snows in winter 😉

  47. 49 Dennis :)
    May 23, 2008 at 00:31

    Ahmed:

    I had a technical problem, @ 12.29AM Dispatch…Here is my updated
    note!

    I have a link that i can supply you with:
    In 1998, The Northern Parts of New York, had an ICE STORM…..

    SNOW: I will try to find a link for you.

    Dennis ~Madrid, United States of America

  48. 51 Dennis :)
    May 23, 2008 at 00:40

    For anyone else, you have questions about the 1998 ICE STORM in My region…

    Please leave me them and i will try to answer to my best of my ability!

    Dennis
    Madrid, U.S.A.

  49. 52 Dennis :)
    May 23, 2008 at 00:41

    Ahmad:

    Since you are in Pakistan! I need to send you and your country…My condolences and sympathy to the people of Pakistan, following the death of Ms. Benazir Bhutto.

    Dennis

  50. 53 Dennis :)
    May 23, 2008 at 00:43

    It has been raining on and off for the past few days……

    Dennis
    Madrid, U.S.A.

  51. 54 Ahmad Hammad
    May 23, 2008 at 00:45

    The world is gonna be a bipolar world again, they say. If that’s true, which super power is gonna compete the US? Is it India? China or Russia again???

  52. 55 Dennis :)
    May 23, 2008 at 00:58

    Ahmad,

    Bi-polar: Here is my predictions: India and China [with a little bit of Russia into the mix of good measures].

    Dennis
    Madrid, U.S.A.

  53. 56 Zak
    May 23, 2008 at 01:11

    Janet T and Will – forget Mariah Carey’s wedding or for that matter J Lo’s twins pics or Barry Zitos contract in ascending order from 50 to 128 mil; how about something which has been run through the US congress 100 times and failed 100 different ways. How about curbing the abhorrent waste of money put into each presidential candidates fund, that’s coming close to a billion this year and just imagine how many people in America have no homes or food on the table – that’s what makes me sick.

  54. 57 Ahmad Hammad
    May 23, 2008 at 01:14

    Thanks for your condolence Dennis. Benazir’s assassination was a great conspiracy or say, a part of the great game to destable/disintegrate Pakistan.

    The investiagations of the root cause of her assassination are gonna be carried out by the UN in near future and for that matter, the homework has already been done.

    From this text, we could extract some points of discussion for the 23rd of May 2008 e.g. the suspicious/non-satisfying role of the UN’s investigation agency into the murder of Rafiq al Hariri.

    Is the UN’s investigating agency really trustworthy and acceptible for all? If so, why investigation into Hariri’s murder hasn’t been able to satisfy people? Why people do trust the UN’s agency at all? Or even, is it capable of carrying out investigations at any soil with or without the residents of the soil???

  55. 58 Dennis :)
    May 23, 2008 at 01:24

    Ahmad,

    The death of Benazir Bhutto, was a conspiracy and a mystery…..

    Look @ Rafiq Al-Hariri, being “killed”….

    Then you have you have the death of John F. Kennedy in Dallas.

    [There are many others….].

    Dennis, Madrid in United States of America

  56. 59 Dennis :)
    May 23, 2008 at 01:30

    For my dear friend: Zak
    CC: Will and Janet T:
    Dispatch: 23 May 2008 @ 1.11AM

    I agree with you, ignore the celebrities for a while….I am more worry about the people that can not afford to get health insurance [unless you live below the poverty line, you are eligible for state subsidized medical insurance.]

    That cost of food and many people are unable to afford to feed themselves & kids….

    That increasing cost of gasoline [petrol]…Where i am from in New York….As of Wednesday, 21 May 2008…it is @ 3.99 per gallon for gas…..

    [I will come back in a little bit, i am going to have supper and
    work on laundry].

    Dennis>Madrid, U.S.A.

  57. May 23, 2008 at 02:13

    Here is a story about Queen’s grandson Peter Phillips and his Canadian bride, Autumn Kelly whose deal of $1 million with hello, a celebrity magazine, which was considered as denigrating.
    http://www.thestar.com/News/World/article/428523

    Liberal Democrat MP Norman Lamb told the Toronto Star the deal was both “tacky” and a serious “error in judgment” and that senior royals need to ensure it does not happen again.

    The furor about the payout began to build last weekend when Britain’s royal-thirsty press were limited to a handful of shots of the wedding to protect Hello’s exclusivity.

    Should royals sell pictures and the stories of their private lives to the press to make money?

    What effect can this have on the image of the monarchy in the eyes of the public?

    Should this also be extended to politicians, especially those in office, to give interviews to the press for cash?

  58. 61 Dennis :)
    May 23, 2008 at 02:37

    I found this story about Hairdresser loses dead fly case (in Canada)….
    On BBC News Website…..

    interest of full disclosure: on Wednesday, i was at my hair salon getting my hair cut….

    Dennis~Madrid, U.S.A.

  59. 62 Dennis :)
    May 23, 2008 at 02:40

    Several days ago, on World Have Your Say blogs, we had a discussion about Polygamy and etc to it….

    Updated story line: Court in Texas overturns the decision about the removal of the children….

    Dennis~Madrid, U.S.A.

  60. 63 Dennis :)
    May 23, 2008 at 03:26

    For anyone who watch(ed) American Idol this season….We have a Winner,
    David Cook!

    Dennis
    Madrid, U.S.A.

  61. 64 Dennis :)
    May 23, 2008 at 03:32

    Good Luck to the newest couple getting married…..Peter Phillips and Autumn Kelly

    Dennis in Madrid, U.S.A.

  62. 65 Amy
    May 23, 2008 at 03:47

    @ Will

    I hope your son’s hand is doing alright. My older daughter burned her hand last year on a waffle iron and ended up with 1st and 2nd degree burns. She is fine now with the exception that she doesn’t want to help make breakfast anymore…..

    @ Ahmad

    If the world does become bi-polar again, I am not so sure the US will be factoring into the equation anymore. It all depends on who wins our Presidential election in November.

    Amy

  63. 66 Janet T
    May 23, 2008 at 03:55

    sorry- to all, but american idol is my abosolute mindless TV fix- I can forget all the things at my business and employees and customers et al… and just watch these kids- I loved David Cook- congrats to him.

  64. 67 Dennis :)
    May 23, 2008 at 03:55

    Congraluations to the Manchester United Football Club win in Moscow…

    And now they have arrived back in the United Kingdom…

    cc: Will …

    Dennis
    Madrid, United States of America

  65. May 23, 2008 at 04:01

    Ian,

    I was answering statements as I read them in context. Religion here in a debate format is not considered a negative attribute. I am personally an agnostic Christian. Despite what Josh McDowell or C.S. Lewis says it is completely logical and possible to believe Jesus Christ had a great plan. It is also equally possible to believe that he was a lunatic that thought he was the descendant of a deity. When I debate I often defend Christian values. These values are not “negative” attributes; they are descriptive issues in a debate format. An assertion that we should turn the other cheek as Jesus said, is a preface. I am not turned on or off by the value of the statement. When you say that by “turning the other cheek and forgiving” ends the cycle of violence, then you have said something of merit and not solely religious.

    I too have had a little bit of historical review. I suggest you check out this link.
    http://altreligion.about.com/library/texts/bl_foundersquotes.htm

    I like it because it puts a lot of statements found in the Library of Congress in one site. It has quotes from the 4 majors that created the documents we hold so dear. I love this one.

    “As I understand the Christian religion, it was, and is, a revelation. But how has it happened that millions of fables, tales, legends, have been blended with both Jewish and Christian revelation that have made them the most bloody religion that ever existed?” – John Adams. Dec. 27, 1816

    If By “religious values” you mean “don’t kill”, “Don’t steal”, “respect authority”, and “try to keep it in your pants” then I must protest. You don’t have to have a religious background to see these are good ideas. Those are not “religious values” those are humane values. I will remind you a little of our history here in the United States as we were supposedly getting founded on these values. We were committing genocide on the natives. We were using slave labor to do our bidding. We were treating women as if they were second class citizens. We would look very much like the Muslims extremist we criticize if the technology of today made the world privy to our business and methods. Indian’s used to have a price on their heads and women didn’t get the right to vote until African Americans did. Are these the religious values you speak of?

    I believe you are the one who is “stereotyping” yourself. You said that, “I belong to this group and we make up 80% of the population so we should be heard as one.” Are you saying that you want to be grouped together with people of extreme ideals or not? Logic dictates that you must choose. I can not debate a person who is allowed to claim strength in numbers only when it is to their benefit.

    I knew you were going to say that about the desert. I meant “the big desert.” The bunch of worthless land that has been at war for 10,000 years. The dessert that will ultimately lead to reduction and possibly extinction of the human race unless we stop sucking its oil and fighting with its natives over it.

  66. 69 f0rTyLeGz in Portland
    May 23, 2008 at 04:22

    Good evening all…

    Funny how religion and politics keep crashing in the U.S.

    McCain Rejects Pastor’s Endorsement
    McCain rejects endorsement of televangelist after comments on Hitler surface

    http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/wireStory?id=4912796

  67. 70 Dennis :)
    May 23, 2008 at 04:42

    @ Amy

    I burned myself when i was younger!

    Dennis
    Madrid, U.S.A.

  68. 71 Amy
    May 23, 2008 at 05:31

    Time for me to turn in. Have a great day/afternoon/evening everyone!

    Amy

  69. 72 Dennis :)
    May 23, 2008 at 05:37

    Good Night it is after 12midnight on the East Coast….

    Dennis….Madrid, United States of America

  70. 73 Dennis Jr
    May 23, 2008 at 07:06

    @ Will…

    My dear friend….

    I have to agree with you, that Mariah Carey is a
    “jerk”….

    Dennis>>>Madrid, U.S.A.

  71. 74 Dennis Jr
    May 23, 2008 at 07:15

    i found some stories that have been talk about on world have your say over the past few days, and they maybe interesting for updates:
    1)Kenya arrests people connected with “witches” killing
    2)Tsvangirai, will be returning to Zimbabwe
    3)Cuba and the United States of America
    4)Ban Ki-Moon visits Burma, and has meetings with the government
    5)Afghan Koran (Qur’an) Turns Violent

    Dennis, Madrid, U.S.A.

  72. 75 Dennis Jr
    May 23, 2008 at 07:17

    @ Abdelilah ….

    As you wrote in one of your dispatches, about Politisario….

    The BBC News Website has pictures:
    “pictures: saharan anniversary” ….

    [i am sorry i wrote it on a post it note]….

    Dennis
    Madrid, U.S.A.

  73. 76 Dennis Jr
    May 23, 2008 at 07:21

    I have a problem for Peter or the World Have Your Say people!

    I have the same problems as Zak, regarding sending links….

    Could someone help…..Ros, has my contact information.

    Dennis>Madrid, U.S.A.

  74. 77 Virginia Davis
    May 23, 2008 at 08:42

    Almost 12:30 Friday am.

    Thank you Ahmad for the discussion raised about poetry and poets. My best role in this life thus far has been as a poet. A friend, musician/lyricist reminds me that poets are the unacknowledged legislators of the world. He tells me this because I have always been very “political.”

    Will: Please don’t discount poets – we are also people with good ideas and acting on them.

    Ian: my life has been easy because of being raised a Christian Scientist and having solid faith. Which has been enlarged by learning about other religions and faiths and practices. I could not become a member of “The Mother Church” because I could not affirm a “sole” commitment to the (Christian) Bible. And yet listening to my Grandmother Davis read the King James Version to me as a very young child “fashioned” my poetic voice.

    I read The Rubiyat of Omar Kayhamn (sp?) in high school. Here is a four line poem of my own: “I would meet my friends/As strangers/Encountered by design/Instead of accident.”

    Kenneth Patchen is wonderful; so is e.e. cummings and of course, Dylan Thomas. A few weeks ago I met Lucille Clifton and gave her a copy of her poem about riding the bus that I had managed to obtain from a Tri-Met bus. Then there is William Stafford, a WWII consciensoustous (sp?) objector, and poet laureate of Oregon.

    On and on – and then lyricists. And slam poetry. And the projects of the poets who get appointed to be poet laureates of the US. And Wallace Stevens (insurance) and William Carlos Williams (medicine) and Louise Bogan (poetry editor of the New Yorker – also a “crazy” lady). And Sylvia Plath and Anne Sexton – another woman poet who lives in the neighborhood has a poem which begins
    “Anne Sexton was a sexpot…..”

    Virginia in Oregon

    Virginia in Oregon

  75. 78 Abdul
    May 23, 2008 at 08:54

    Hi Dwight in Cleveland,

    I found interesting your references to the founding father’s views on religion. The founding fathers came from an era of increasing hostility in religion. England had in recent history switched State religion multiple times, and with every switch came new persecutions from the government. Of course, amongst all this, was the pressure from the Catholic church against England for their Protestantism.

    In addition to that, many of the earliest European inhabitants of the US were those who were fleeing religious persecution. Their disdain for State religion was only a natural one; seeing as how it was the cause of their flight away from their homeland.

    Later on in the post you argue that the United States was founded on “religious” values, and was responsible for the genocides and rape of the landscape (which it was responsible for, yes).

    Well, the founding fathers, as you proved with the quotes in your post, were vehement about separating religion from their government. You proved it yourself. Therefore, the rape of the “original” United States can not be argued to have come from “religious” values.

  76. May 23, 2008 at 13:03

    Abdul,

    The whole post was in response to “Ian from AZ”. It was Ian who stated that the US was formed on “religious values”. I was demonstrating through the writers of the constitutions disdain for state sponsored religion and the physical actions of the community that in fact the U.S. was founded on the back of some very twisted moral. It’s founders first settlers, and leaders did have good intents. We all know what they say the “The road to Hell” is paved in. They meant to do the right thing as they saw them. Since to the best scientific findings to date show that man created God and not the other way around, It is quite understandable that men who very long ago decided on some basics about what is write and wrong eventually wrote a constitution to include these values.

    I do not believe the country was formed on religious values as we would think of them today and that was my point. Sorry if it was confusing. It was late and I was being dragged away at the time.

  77. 80 John in Germany
    May 23, 2008 at 13:22

    The greed of most speculators has no bounds, and they don’t care a damn if the Oil prices go up to $300.00 a barrel.

    Even if we allow for the muftis pleas which they tell us daily, it is still the commodities speculators that are screwing us all into the ground, they know it, and are not worried. Cold calculating greed, is the motto of the new generation of finance jugglers.

    Even allowing for the heavy demand from the developing countries, the excesive tax taken by most Governments, the lack of investment in finding new sources, The heavy profits which have and will be taken by the suppliers. Those that do nothing at all to stabilise, ensure the supply of, and distribution of, are the persons that take the biggest cuts. Most of the Speculators.

    It is time that governments put a stop to the whole speculative system, it does not provide any support to employers, ensure jobs, finance search, pay any thing towards education or health services, ECT of the people around the oil sites, nor stabilise prices. Most Commodity Speculators are the leeches of the financial world, and it would work without them, they are nothing but unnecessary middle men, living of the hard work of many others. Regulating will not help, just ban the whole system.

    John in Germany

  78. 81 steve
    May 23, 2008 at 15:32

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7416627.stm

    Based upon visual inspection, Peter, you here? This airplane is derived from the De Havilland Comet, a catastrophically poor design jet airliner that resulted in several crashs. Is anyone shocked the derivitive is not airworthy either?

  79. 82 Tino
    May 23, 2008 at 16:00

    “John in Salem on the blog asked why their can not be a discussion of abortion without religion. John and I had a good exchange but I would still like to ask “why should we have a discussion without religion”?”

    I feel that religion has no place in discussing public policy whatsoever. Logic and reason is the only thing that applies to all people in the public sphere (well most anyway, though it should be all). Trying to make policy based on your personal beliefs is ridiculous. The religion in the US with the largest number of adherents is Catholicism (25%: http://www.gc.cuny.edu/faculty/research_briefs/aris/images/aris13.jpg). Even if you make policy based on all Christians (despite MANY differences within different denominations IE Mormons, which makes this idea unfeasible) that is still only ~76% of population. Thus, 24% would view things completely differently.

    This leads into:
    “· When did religion become viewed as a negative thing?”

    When it tried to impose its will on the public sphere, where it has no business entering. It also provides justification for terrorist attacks, in the case of Islam.

    · When did having faith make my opinion less worthy to be heard than an opinion from an individual without a stated faith or religion?”

    Your opinion is no less worthy – except for when you use religion as a justification. IE: Birth Control is wrong, because God says so. That is a load of crap.

    “It has also been implied that people with religious beliefs can not have rational points. I would argue that people with religious beliefs are just as rational as those without.”

    Completely disagree with the second part, as religion is inherently irrational. There is no logical basis that would allow one to conclude there is a Guy up in the sky with unlimited power and knowledge – and 100% pure and good. Especially when he NEVER manages to show himself or stop say the suicide bombing committed by an 8-year old. I DO, however, agree that religious people can have rational points.

    “The conflict between Israel and Palestine is not one religion against another but one of a people trying to remove a group that they see as invaders of their land. Religion is just used as an excuse.”

    Wrong (this is from the Hamas charter):

    “The Islamic Resistance Movement is a distinguished Palestinian movement, whose allegiance is to Allah, and whose way of life is Islam. It strives to raise the banner of Allah over every inch of Palestine, for under the wing of Islam followers of all religions can coexist in security and safety where their lives, possessions and rights are concerned. In the absence of Islam, strife will be rife, oppression spreads, evil prevails and schisms and wars will break out.”

    “”The Day of Judgement will not come about until Moslems fight the Jews (killing the Jews), when the Jew will hide behind stones and trees. The stones and trees will say O Moslems, O Abdulla, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him. Only the Gharkad tree, (evidently a certain kind of tree) would not do that because it is one of the trees of the Jews.”

    Islam is a violent religion, with violence openly promoted in the Qur’an. In addition, even if it wasnt, they are the only religion carrying out terrorist attacks – and certainly the only one justifying them with passages from their holy texts (numbers are sura and verse if you care to check it yourself):

    “Fighting is enjoined on you, and it is an object of dislike to you; and it may be that you dislike a thing while it is good for you, and it may be that you love a thing while it is evil for you, and Allah knows, while you do not know.” 002.216

    “We shall cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve because they ascribe unto Allah partners, for which no warrant hath been revealed. Their habitation is the Fire, and hapless the abode of the wrong-doers.” 003.151 [‘ascribing partners’ is interpreted to mean belief in the trinity. In other words, that God does not work alone, but has the holy spirit and his son as well]

    “Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.” 009.029 [Jizya is a tak leveled on non-muslims (Dhimmis). They are also restricted in many other ways]

  80. 83 Dennis Jr
    May 23, 2008 at 21:32

    REVISED
    Priya
    ***********************
    BURMA AT LAST
    i was the one who made the suggestion for the purpose of disclosure @ May 23, 2008 at 7:15 am

    Now for the updating information:
    Ban Ki Moon, Secretary General of the United Nations, was
    given a “clean” version of what is happening in Burma, following what
    happend in the country following the Cyclone…

    Dennis
    Madrid, U.S.A.

  81. 84 Dennis Jr
    May 23, 2008 at 21:35

    @ Steve

    Dispatch: 23 May 2008 @ 3.32pm

    I saw the link about the “NIMROD” incident…..The directive from The Ministry of Defense should have been in effect, when the first time there was a problem….

    Dennis~Madrid, U.S.A.

  82. 85 Dennis Jr
    May 23, 2008 at 21:56

    ISRAEL AND THE PRESIDENTS:::

    Israel and the Presidents (United States) [among other countries]….

    Support for Israel, in my opinion…needs to be a REQUIREMENT
    for any president…

    I support John McCain, decision not to accept the “support”
    from the Religious leader….Hagee.

    Dennis
    Madrid, U.S.A.

  83. 86 Dennis Jr
    May 23, 2008 at 22:26

    IS ATHLETICS TOO BROKEN TOO FIX:::

    Maybe it is needs to be repaired; nothing is too broken to be repaired…sometimes!

    EXPENSIVE OIL:::
    $ 200.00 a barrel is coming quickly……

    Dennis
    Madrid, U.S.A.

  84. 87 Abdul
    May 23, 2008 at 22:36

    Tino-

    You note that even if we made policies which all Christians believe in, 24% would still be in disagreement with those policies.

    The unfortunate fact is that we live in a democracy, and majority rules. If Christians base their desires off of their faith, then thats what they’ll get (assuming they’re the majority).

    There is nothing wrong with people incorporating their religious beliefs into a Democratic State, through the natural democratic process. There is no reason abortion should be allowed because 24% of people want it, instead it should be disallowed because more than 50% of people want it disallowed.

    A majority in the Constitution is defined as 50%+1. If any quantity more than half wants something, then that is how it goes. 50%+1. If the Christians in the US disagree with homosexual marriage, and they turn out an amount greater than 50% by any amount, then thats what the law is going to be.

    And, theres nothing wrong with that. As cliche as it is, if you are against those simple facts, then you “hate democracy.” Or at least hate “on” it.

  85. 88 Shirley
    May 23, 2008 at 22:53

    This is so late.

    Steve, Lubna:
    Messianic Jews my big fat toe. Those are Christians, plain and simple. They have nothing to do with Jewish beliefs.

    Amy, Steve:
    A person making an innocent error might have a chance of being accused of unwittingly doing God’s work. Someone who is responsible for the extermination of 11,000,000 people, half of whom were Jews, cannot possibly have done any work of God. Hagge makes me ill.

  86. 89 Dennis Jr
    May 23, 2008 at 23:26

    @ Shirley

    Dispatch: May 23,2008 @ 10.53PM

    Just a note! You are never late to join in on T.P. on World Have Your Say…..

    Dennis~Madrid, U.S.A.

  87. 90 Dennis Jr
    May 23, 2008 at 23:28

    SOUTH AFRICA: HOW THE VIOLENCE SUCCEEDED?

    By the looks of things going on in South Africa, it is succeeding to a very bad
    place……

    Immigrants are people from countries, that are having problems…..

    IS THE DALAI LAMA IRRELEVANT:

    Maybe a little….

    Dennis
    Madrid, U.S.A.

  88. 91 Dennis Jr
    May 23, 2008 at 23:36

    “TEXAS HAD NO RIGHT TO TAKE KIDS FROM SECT”

    I have to write this: That when there are reports about child abuse (real or not) , the authorities had a LEGAL RIGHT and duty to take the kids from the SECT…

    Dennis>Madrid, United States of America

  89. 92 Shirley
    May 24, 2008 at 02:11

    Lubna,
    For information on the Messianic Judaism cult and the difference between Judaism and Christianity, see the following:
    http://www.aish.com/spirituality/philosophy/Jews_For_Jesus.asp
    http://www.jewfaq.org/looking4.htm
    http://www.jewfaq.org/moshiach.htm
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Messianic_Judaism

    In the Wikipedia article, pay attention to the links to Judaism and the messiah at the very beginning and how they are different from the cult described in the article.

  90. 93 Tino
    May 24, 2008 at 05:31

    Abdul –

    You are so wrong I am not sure where to start. We have a Liberal Democracy, which provides for the rights of minorities by law. This is why the court recently ruled that paper bills need to be changed in some way, for blind people who represent <1% of the population. Such a move would be paid for by the entire population. This is providing for the rights of a minority group despite a possible majority disagreeing. In addition, the US has a separation of church and state provided for at every level of govt.

    “A Liberal democracy is a representative democracy in which the ability of the elected representatives to exercise decision-making power is subject to the rule of law, and usually moderated by a constitution that emphasizes the protection of the rights and freedoms of individuals, and which places constraints on the leaders and on the extent to which the will of the majority can be exercised against the rights of minorities”

    You said:
    “The unfortunate fact is that we live in a democracy, and majority rules. If Christians base their desires off of their faith, then thats what they’ll get (assuming they’re the majority).”

    However:
    “Currently, the Supreme Court applies a three-pronged test to determine whether legislation comports with the Establishment Clause, known as the “Lemon Test”. First, the legislature must have adopted the law with a neutral or non-religious purpose. Second, the statute’s principal or primary effect must be one that neither advances nor inhibits religion. Third, the statute must not result in an excessive entanglement of government with religion.”

    Thus, if they base their desires off faith, they will (THANKFULLY) not get their wishes. This is why when they argue for things based on faith they must use different rhetoric (IE= abortion: this is claimed to be murder, already illegal under law. They cannot say my religion forbids this so you must enact the law, even if they are the majority). Once again, religion has NO PLACE in the public sphere. Religious people can and should hold office. They can continue to believe what they wish. They could even publicly pray for all I care. What they should never, ever due is let their personal belief influence their public policy – for what I thought were obvious reasons….


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