Monday, January 28, 2008

** Xtians to fear Xtian nation?

Christians Should Fear A Christian Nation
Robert Weitzel, Countercurrents
26 January, 2008

Legend has it that two thousand years ago President Bush’s favorite philosopher dodged the treason bullet by giving a group of Pharisees his honest opinion on the separation of church and state. Appreciating the wisdom in keeping heavenly and earthly concerns separate, Jesus advised them to “Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s; and to God the things that are God’s.”

Regrettably, the 2008 presidential frontrunners of both parties are ignoring Jesus’ advice regarding the preferred relationship between church and state by professing—ad nauseam—their undying fidelity to the Christian Right’s version of morality and its vision of our nation as their exclusive fiefdom.

Consider the statements of two Republican candidates. Senator John McCain said he believes the “Constitution established the United States of America as a Christian nation.” Mike Huckabee said we should “amend the Constitution so it’s in God’s standards . . ..” McCain is pandering. Huckabee is deadly earnest. But keep in mind, many a democratic nation has been trampled because politicians were outsmarted by those whose boots they licked.

At least one sitting Supreme Court Justice shares Huckabee’s “deadly earnest” regarding God’s standards. In a 2005 Supreme Court case considering whether a monument inscribed with the Ten Commandments sitting near the entrance of the Texas State Capital was unconstitutional and tantamount to government endorsed religion, Justice Scalia lectured the plaintiffs, “It is a symbol that the government derives its authority from God. That’s what it is about. Our laws are derived from God.”

It is of no little consequence when a Supreme Court justice pronounces that our laws are based on ancient biblical commands rather than on the “godless” Constitution. In essence, Scalia is saying that the secular democracy envisioned by the Founding Fathers should be a Christian theocracy as envisioned by a determined sect of fundamentalists.

Not only do the folks who share Huckabee and Scalia’s “deadly earnest” want to change our nation’s Constitution, they want to change its history as well.

Rep. James Forbes (R-VA), backed by thirty-one other Representatives, has proposed House Resolution 888 designating the first week in May as “American Religious History Week.” The purpose of the bill is to affirm “the rich spiritual and religious history of our Nation’s founding and subsequent history . . . and for the appreciation of and education on America’s history of religious faith.

If passed, this Resolution will be as divisive and detrimental to the study of American history in public schools and public squares as intelligent design creationism has been to the study of evolution. It will—as it is meant to—bolster the Christian Right’s claim to both our nation’s past and its present.

Michael “Mikey” Weinstein, founder of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation and former White House counsel during the Reagan administration, said that “House Resolution 888 is perhaps the most disgraceful, shocking and tragic example yet of the pernicious and pervasive pattern and practice of unconstitutional rape of our bedrock American citizens’ religious freedom by the fundamentalist Christian right.” Mikey is not known to mince words.

That a good number of the Framers of the Constitution were Christians is undeniable. But it is this fact that speaks strongly in defense of their decision to build the “wall of separation” between church and state that keeps government out of the business of religion. Their concern was not necessarily for the rights of the nonbeliever, but for the believer’s freedom to choose which creed he or she will embrace.

The particular genius of the Founding Fathers was their understanding that a Christian nation can be a dangerous place for both believers and nonbelievers. They knew that government prescribed religion—usually that of the most politically connected sect—invariably leads to intolerance and tyranny.

James Madison, writing in defense of this notion, asked the question, “Who does not see that the same authority which can establish Christianity, in exclusion of all other religions, may establish with the same ease any particular sect of Christians, in exclusion of all other sects?”

If there is any doubt as to the salience of Madison’s question for a secular democracy, one need only consider a promise made by Pat Robertson, the fundamentalist voice of the Christian Right and 1988 presidential candidate. In a stump speech Robertson assured his audience that “after the Christian majority takes over this country, pluralism (non-fundamentalist beliefs) will be seen as immoral and evil and the state will not permit anyone to practice it.” If Robertson or Huckabee or Scalia or Forbes have their way, our national motto will be modified accordingly, E Pluribus Fides Unum—Out of Many Beliefs, Only One.

It is a small thing for people of faith to allow religion to creep onto the public square. What harm is there in something as seemingly innocuous as a reference to God in the national pledge or motto, a moment of prayerful silence in the classroom or in a nondenominational prayer at a high school graduation? Why not give equal time to creationism in public schools or support faith-based organizations with tax dollars?

And what person of the “true” faith will object to their child’s daily recitation of the Christian pledge of allegiance: “I pledge allegiance to the Christian flag, and to the Savior for whose Kingdom it stands, One Savior, crucified, risen and coming again, with life and liberty for all who believe.” And for those of us who do not believe or who believe a little differently?

In 1817 John Adams wrote to Thomas Jefferson, “Do you recollect, or have you ever attended to the ecclesiastical strife in Maryland, Pennsylvania, New York, and every part of New England? What a mercy these people cannot whip and crop, and pillory and roast, as yet in the U.S.! If they could, they would.”

Both believer and nonbeliever have a vested interest in the secular nation envisioned by the Founding Fathers; a nation whose “godless” Constitution and social pluralism ensures the kind of democracy in which the practice of any religion, or none, is an inalienable right.

Robert Weitzel is a freelance writer and contributing editor to Media With a Conscience. His essays regularly appear in The Capital Times in Madison, WI. He has been published in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Skeptic Magazine, Freethought Today, and on popular liberal websites. He can be contacted at:

Sunday, January 27, 2008

** Fair skin sells

In India's huge marketplace, fair skin sells
By Rama Lakshmi, Washington Post
Jan. 27, 2008

MUMBAI, India - The TV ad shows an Indian movie star walking on a beach, flaunting his brand-name sunglasses and his six-pack abs. A white woman in a black bikini drops on the sand from nowhere, and then another woman drops down. Soon, a bevy of white models literally falls from the skies, and the movie star runs for cover.
A green-eyed model from Iceland puts her arms around him and whispers seductively, "The fall collection . . . baby."

The ad is for a sunglasses company, but its approach is hardly unique in the world of Indian advertising. These days, the faces of white women and men, mostly from Eastern Europe, stare out from billboards, from the facades of glitzy, glass-fronted malls and from fashion magazines. At an international automobile show this month in New Delhi, most of the models were white.

The presence of Caucasian models in Indian advertisements has grown in the past three years, industry analysts say.

The trend reflects deep cultural preferences for fair skin in this predominantly brown-skinned nation of more than 1 billion people.

But analysts say the fondness for "fair" is also fueled by a globalized economy that has drawn ever more models from Europe to cities such as Mumbai, India's cultural capital.

'Deep-rooted in our psyche'"Indians have a longing for that pure, beautiful white skin. It is too deep-rooted in our psyche," said Enakshi Chakraborty, who heads Eskimo India, a modeling agency that brings East European models here.

"Advertisers for international as well as Indian brands call me and say, 'We are looking for a gori [Hindi for white] model with dark hair.' Some ask, 'Do you have white girls who are Indian-looking?' They want white girls who suit the Indian palate."

Indians' color fixation is also evident in classified newspaper ads and on Web sites that help arrange marriages. The descriptive terms used for skin color run the gamut: "very fair," "fair," "wheat-ish," "wheat-ish-medium," "wheat-ish-dark," "dark" and "very dark."

Family elders here commonly comment on a newborn baby's color, after checking out the gender. One of the best-selling skin creams in India is called Fair & Lovely. A men's version, Fair and Handsome, was launched last year.

"The Indian mind-set prefers light skin. My pictures are routinely Photoshopped to make me look a bit lighter -- a lot lighter, actually," Riya Ray, 23, a dark-skinned Indian model, said with a laugh. "But when I work in Britain and France, my color is praised as exotic. It is a two-way trend: Indian models are going abroad, and foreign models are coming here."

White models, who usually visit India on three-month work visas, earn $500 to $1,500 for a single shoot, a rate that is relatively low, largely because the models tend to come from developing European countries and are new to the international scene. Bollywood stars, cricketers and top Indian supermodels, on the other hand, command large sums from top brands.

Less inhibited: Advertisers say that white female models appeal to them because they are typically less inhibited than their Indian counterparts when it comes to showing skin and posing in lingerie.

Tanya Bohinc, a 25-year-old Slovenian model, has lived in India for the past month, going on shoots for perfumes, clothing and hotel chains, while battling the rest of what India has to offer: omnipresent mosquitoes and spicy curries that wreak havoc with a sensitive stomach.

"I can sense the local fascination for my skin color here," said Bohinc, who has modeled in seven countries. "I think it has to do with the fact that the British ruled India for so long." Bohinc said she's been trying out for small roles in Bollywood films and learning Hindi lines. A growing number of Bollywood film choreographers are now hiring white dancers in song-and-dance scenes.

International fashion magazines in India, such as Cosmopolitan, Elle, Marie Claire and Vogue, regularly feature white women in their spreads. The fashion features editor of Vogue's Indian edition, Bandana Tiwari, calls the approach "going glocal," combining the words "global" and "local" to describe the new urban Indian consumer.

"When we put the white model in Indian clothes, it is a cultural exchange. It shows India's economic self-confidence," Tiwari said. "Of course, it also caters to the general feeling that 'fair' and 'beautiful' go together. For a rickshaw-puller who earns $2 a day, seeing a fair-skinned woman is an escape, a fantasy."

Some advertising insiders contend that the trend is partly an attempt to give products an international look. But this quest is limited to hiring Caucasians. Africans and East Asians rarely make an appearance.

"So many international brands are entering India, and they use white models to emphasize their foreignness. To compete, Indian companies also want to feature white faces," said Rohit Chawla, a fashion photographer and advertising filmmaker who has worked with white models. "The perception is, if you put a white face to your product, it is a quicker route to sales."
A popular footwear and clothing brand, Woodland, began working with white models for its Indian print ads two years ago. A company official cited both the marketing and cultural strategy behind the decision.

"We opened two stores in Dubai last year and are now looking at Hong Kong and Kuala Lumpur. We now want to say we are a global brand," said Lokesh Mishra, general manager of marketing at Woodland Worldwide. "And we are also playing on the typical Indian mind-set that thinks if the white people are wearing our brand, then it must be good."

Thursday, January 24, 2008

** Religious tolerance is the answer

Religious tolerance, not conversion, is the answer
- Jessica Montgomery,West Virginia U.

Religious tolerance is an issue that has been brought to my attention in recent weeks.

It all started a few weeks ago when I was talking to a few younger girls at the horse stables.

They couldn’t have been older than 14 years old. For one reason or another, I mentioned the fact that I am a Buddhist. Their reactions, I can honestly say, made my head spin.

One girl asked me how it was possible that I did not believe in God.
Another asked me how exactly I planned to re-route my supposed trip to Hell.

The questions went on, each being more preposterous than the next. I asked if they believed in evolution.

One of the girls remarked, “Do you honestly believe we came from monkeys? Science is just here to test our faith.” Another girl chimed in and informed me that in Bible school they learned that Charles Darwin admitted “making up” evolution on his deathbed. And right now, I really wish I were making this up.

I am all for freedom of religion. In fact, lay it on thick. Those girls could possibly be right about the whole thing, but that was not the issue. What I find disturbing about the aforementioned situation, however, is that today’s youth should be learning how to think critically and be open-minded.

Instead, in places where we should see children learning to embrace diversity of thought, we see religious indoctrination that will undoubtedly lead to intolerance and conflict. See the Middle East for examples.

If anyone has seen the 2006 documentary, “Jesus Camp,” they should be well aware of the religious indoctrination of this country’s youth.

In this documentary, pastor Becky Fisher attempts to train children into what she calls “God’s Army.” She likens her camp to Islamic extremist camps, and expresses her wish to see children in this country radically laying down their lives for the Gospel just as children are in countries such as Pakistan and Palestine. Why? Because Pastor Fisher exclaims, “We have the truth.”

In the United States, we are assured freedom of religion. But when children are brought up in environments where they are constantly and incessantly preached to about the need to form “God’s Army,” are they really free from religion?

I find no harm in bringing up a child to hold a certain faith. However, in the interests of forming a productive and successful generation of future leaders, children should be brought up learning tolerance of other ideologies.

It is sad to see what our world has come to. If one were to examine all major world religions, one would find that although the details may differ, the message is the same - be a good person. Although many religions define “good” in different ways, it isn’t hard to find the commonalities.

For example, killing is looked down upon in most religions. If religions would just stop bickering over the details of their theology and embrace the parallels that most of them hold, everyone would be better off.

I am not insisting that any one religion is any better or worse than any other. Certainly all religions have their positive and negative points.

Furthermore, one can pick out extremists in every religion.

When children are brought up in closed-minded environments where they are taught that their set of beliefs are the only ones that can possibly be true, it is sure to cause problems in the future.

All the Islamic suicide bombers in the world wouldn’t be able to convince Christian zealots to embrace Allah. Conversely, all the Jesus Camp pastors in the world wouldn’t be able to convince Islamic radicals to convert to Christianity.

It is counterproductive for people to try and impose their own religious faiths on others. Instead, people of all religions should work together to help solve the problems that exist in the world today as opposed to creating more.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

** Servant of God
Devadasi - Servant of God
by Jyotsna Kamat

First Online: December 01,2005
Last Updated: December 22,2007

Dr. Kamat takes a look at the historical context of the institution of Devadasis. In the course of history the so called "temple women" were both honored and exploited in the name of God.

The author points out that at one time, they were regarded as honorable professionals, and are responsible for development of many of India's performing fine-arts. - Ed.

Dedicating dancing girls to temples in the service of God was not peculiar to India. Many ancient civilizations, like those of Babylonia, Cyprus, Phoenicia, Greece, Mesopotamia, Egypt, and Syria employed young girls to propitiate their deities in their respective temples.

In the temple of Corinth, we are told, hundreds of prostitutes lived in the precincts of the temple and the main income of the shrine was from the income of these courtesans.

Contemporary norms found no stigma if rich clientele associated themselves with such women, who in their spare time entertained the rich and wealthy. India was no exception.

Although ancient texts like Vedas, Upanishads do not mention Devadasis (servants of God), institutionalized worship of idols in temples during early centuries of Christian era led to the practice of dedicating women to temples as laid down in the puranas.

Thus some puranas (Agni Purana and Bhavishya Purana) specifically state that the best way for a man to obtain Suryaloka (heaven of sun god) was to dedicate a group of dancing girls to the temple of sun.

For many kings and rich merchants it was the most affordable way to earn merit! (Punya)

Over a period of time all the "pampered family deities" of kings and nobles started getting pretty and talented servants for different rituals performed for the deity (befitting a great king or deity) like bathing, dressing, offering flowers, music and dance.

Their main job was to dance and sing as also playing musical instruments, while the priests of the temple offered sixteen kinds of services. But smaller temples employed them for cleaning the temple premises, fetch water, make garlands of flowers, etc.

By the time Hiuen Tsang came to India (7th century) Devadasi system was firmly established. He had noticed a large number of them in the sun temple of Multan (now in Pakistan).

In Somnath temple (which was destroyed and looted by Muhmmad Gazni) there were five hundred dancing girls and in the great Tanjore temple built by Rajaraja Chola (10th century) there were four hundred.

Temple Woman Depicted in a Hoysala Sculpture
Just like the kings employing women for various chores in the palace, women were employed in temples for different seva or services like fanning, holding chamar during procession, preparing ointments for the idol. They also participated in state-plays enacted before the deity during festivals.

Some of the Devadasis were highly accomplished and earned lot of wealth. Many courtesans were of charitable nature. The biggest tank in the state of Karnataka for instance, was constructed by Shantavve, a Devadasi, in the 11th century (water tank that spread ten miles and fed 7000 acres agricultural land in Chennagiri taluka of Shimoga district.) It is called Sulekere (Prostitute's Lake) by the locals and subsequently renamed as Shantigagar. Even today (year 2005) it is as serviceable.

There were seven types of Devadasis as per Hindu tradition.
Datta -- self-dedicated, or given to deity
Vikrita -- Purchased or self-sold to God,
Bhritya -- servant for supporting family
Bhakta devotee -- Devadasi
Abducted and deserted at the temple
Alankara--donated by kings or nobles to their family deity
Rudra Ganika or Gopika--appointed by the temple for specific services

The last two find mention in inscriptions as well and hence it is seen that their job was primarily service of the deity. Since they were wedded to the deity, they could not marry a mortal.

However they had to cater to demands of the employer or the priest and as is a common curse of India, a separate caste came into existence. The sons of temple women continued as temple staff or musicians and daughters became dancers and musicians.

For centuries Devadasis continued to be custodians of fine arts. They studied classics (Sanskrit and regional languages.) Set to music lyrics and played and taught various musical instruments and kept the tradition of Bharatanatya or Indian classical dance alive. No stigma was attached for their profession.

Their presence at marriage and other festive occasion was required. some got the tali (auspicious thread of a bride) tied by a Devadasi during wedding.

But the arrival of British followed by missionaries dealt a cultural death blow to the institution of Devadasis.

The Europeans could not distinguish between Devadasis, prostitutes, and street nauch girls. It was considered vulgar and lowly to attend concerts of Devadasis or attend dance performances.

English educated Indians were suddenly aware of their status and the laws were passed to ban the practice.

By then the impoverished dancing women had to take recourse to prostitution for mere survival. The abolition of Devadasi system in 1920s did help to stop exploitation of poorer women in the name of religion.

But superstitions regarding dedicating female child still continue in parts of India, such as the devotion to Yellamma.

Invading the Sacred @

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

** Encouraging widows

Please Do, and Please Don't
Encouraging widows
Miriam Neff
Jan. 2008

There are many ways individuals can encourage widows on their journey. But it's often hard to know what to say, for fear of making things worse. So let me offer some "Please do" as well as some "Please do not" suggestions.

1. Please do stay connected. Do not assume we need "space" to grieve. There is already a huge hole in our universe.

2. Please do say you are sorry for our loss. Do not tell us you understand, unless you do from personally experiencing the loss of a spouse. We would rather you tell us you do not know what to say than tell us the story of losing your friend or even close relative. We may be able to listen to your story later, but not now.

3. Please call and ask specific questions, such as "Can we go for a walk together? May I run errands for you? Meet you for coffee?" Do not say, "Call me if you need anything."

4. Please refer to our husband's acts and words, both serious and humorous. We are so comforted by knowing our husband has not been forgotten.

5. Please invite us to anything. We may decline but will appreciate being asked. Do not assume we no longer want to participate in couples events.

6. Please accept that we are where we are. Marriages are brief, long, healthy, dysfunctional, intense, remote. Death comes suddenly or in tiny increments over years. Again, our experiences are so different, as are we. So are our journeys through grief. Do not assume we go through the grief process "by the book."

7. Do say, "I've been thinking of you" rather than make a conversation-only offer, such as "We'll call you, and we'll go out to dinner"—unless you can follow up. We'd love that, too.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

** India not theocracy’

Taslima on Live chat: ‘India is not a theocracy’
Thu, Jan 17, 2008 - IBN:CNN

New Delhi: Bangladeshi author Taslima Nasreen achieved a meteoric rise to fame in the 1980s for her strong feminist views, which are often seen as criticism of Islam and religion in general.

Her literature has won her millions of admirers all over the world. At the same time, she has been dogged by controversy from the day her book, Lajja, was published. She currently lives in India in exile.

In her first-ever web chat, the Bangladeshi author had interacted with readers on IBNLive for well over two hours and fielded their questions on a range of issues including literature, philosophy, on life in general, social issues and gender questions.

She did this interaction from a laptop and on the phone from an undisclosed location where the Indian Government is keeping her.
Here we reproduce the full text of the chat.

Raj:Hi Madam, how does it feel being away from Kolkata? Secondly, has your perception changed about Indian politics now, I mean about the type of secularism, freedom and democracy we are having here?

Taslima Nasreen: I feel very depressed, forced to live out of Kolkata after being thrown out from the city I had been living in. I don’t want to lose my faith in Indian secularism. I hope that I will be allowed to go back home.
Paritosh: Do you wish to go back to Bangladesh, your own motherland?
Taslima Nasreen: The Bangladesh Government does not allow me to go back to my own country. My citizenship rights have been violated and trampled upon for 13 years.

Canadian Desi: Hello Taslima, I’m from Canada. When I heard about the tragic scene of your press conference, I was totally devestated to learn that this thing is still happening in India. A lady can’t write her feelings and experience openly in 21st Century. I’m proud of India, but that incident had shaken me. Keep up the good work.

Taslima Nasreen: I am also proud of India. It is only a handful of fanatics who cause trouble of this kind. Otherwise most Indians, I believe, are liberal.

Silent Moderates @

Saturday, January 5, 2008

** I Don't Respect Your Religion

I Don't Respect Your Religion
-by Cenk Uygur
Dec. 27, 2007

It appears Muslim fundamentalists just assassinated Benazir Bhutto in Pakistan. It is not entirely clear they were responsible however. Not only was there a bombing (usual trademark of fundamentalist attacks), but Bhutto was also shot.

So, it could be some other forces in Pakistan who were opposed to the former Prime Minister, including the government of Pervez Musharraf (after the assassination, Bhutto supporters were chanting, "Dog, Musharraf, Dog.").If it was religious fundamentalists, it wouldn't be the first time. It would be about the one billionth time religious folks have resorted to violence to settle disputes. And they usually kill people trying to bring peace or empower others.

Egyptian President Anwar Sadat was killed by a Muslim fundamentalist for making peace with Israel. Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin was killed by a Jewish fundamentalist for trying to make peace with the Palestinians.

While Christian fundamentalists are busy trying to create the next Armageddon so we can all die. What a pleasant lot.Why do they do this? Because they're supposed to.

Read the Bible, the Torah and the Koran. They are all full of violent, bloody fantasies that teach you over and over to kill your enemies.Christians love to think they are the exception to this rule.

They'll say the Old Testament doesn't really apply anymore because the New Testament overruled all the gory, masochists violence of the earlier book. So, then I guess Genesis isn't true either since that's in the Old Testament? Oops.

Then, you'll get the excuse that Jesus was the Prince of Peace. Yeah, I know, that's why in Matthew 10:34 he says, "Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword." Sounds down right Christian of him.

But even if you can make up pathetic excuses for this obvious blood-lust and call to violence, it doesn't matter. Because in the end Jesus murders almost all of us anyway.Jesus doesn't just kill the "liars" and the "sexually immoral" and the eight other categories of people who get thrown in "fiery lake of burning sulfur."

He kills all of the "unbelieving" folks as well. If you don't believe in Jesus, you get the lake of fire! What a swell guy.In most interpretations of Islam, Jesus is the prophet that returns at the end of time to kill everyone, too. The fundamentalist Jews also believe in a Messiah that comes to kill everyone and start the world over again.

So, pretty much every major religion agrees -- God is a murdering tyrant.If you don't kiss God's ass enough, he will kill you. And then for good measure, he will roast you over an open fire for the rest of time. You know who does torture? God does. If you don't believe in him and grovel at his feet for eternity he will torture you forever. That's what your religion teaches you and you want me to respect that?You know what I say to that -- Hell no!

If Jesus really comes back to kill everyone (except his sycophants who sucked up to him enough to earn his pitiful mercy), then I'll fight him. He is a ruthless, bloody, senseless killer. The worst tyrant the world has ever seen. All of the religions believe in this absurd, sick fantasy.Then they wonder why their followers wind up starting wars and killing people who disagree with them.

Plenty has been written about how Christianity was made up in the Council of Nicaea by a bunch of bishops who cherry-picked inconsistent accounts to serve their political purposes (that is a slightly over-simplistic account, but everyone acknowledges that the Bible was written decades after Jesus died and was assembled by others who never knew Jesus or heard what he actually said).How can anyone know this, and still believe in this nonsense?

For the sake of sanity, I will assume that people who still believe in organized religion are ignorant of its history (and believe me, Judaism, Islam and Hinduism have equally ridiculous histories -- to people who aren't brainwashed by these cults, the most amusing thing is to watch one cultist claim that all the other religions are wrong but his is right).But you can't claim you don't know the ending.

Everyone knows what happens at Armageddon. Almost all of us get killed by God. Knowing this, you expect us to respect that guy? Why should I? He plans to murder me.This is the point when believers will tell you that you have a choice and you can avoid Jesus killing you if you just promise your unending loyalty to him (and presumably watch him kill the rest of humanity in front of your eyes).

I think Saddam Hussein used to say something similar. So did Stalin and Mao and every other dictator in the world. If you promise me your loyalty, then I won't murder you.No thanks. I don't have to respect that.

In fact, we are doing the world a great injustice by still respecting this lunacy.The funny thing is how touchy religious people are. They will get offended at the drop of a hat. Christians reading this now are so mad they can hardly contain themselves. Just calm down, your God promises to torture me forever anyway. What can you do to me that he can't?

Meanwhile, Muslims are sharpening their swords as we speak. They get to shoot people in the neck and watch them bleed to death, as they likely did to Bhutto today, but we can't publish a frikin' cartoon of their prophet?Muslims who don't understand the irony of saying, "I will kill you if you say my religion is violent" are the dumbest people on earth.

So, we have to live with these barbarians. But I don't have to respect them. They can say anything they like about us and even look forward to the day where we all die a fiery death at the hands of their Leader. But we can't offend them? Please.

If you are offended by the fact that your religion is made up, cruel, violent, barbaric and ridiculous, that's your problem, not mine. If I'm right, you're living your life based on a silly lie. If you're right, I'll be murdered by your prophet and then roasted in hell for eternity.

I think it's fair to say I should be the one offended.For the record, I'm not. Harry Potter is just as likely to come to life and kill me for not believing in him as Jesus Christ is. I'm not offended by your sad, little fantasies. But please spare me your righteous indignation about how I hurt your feelings.URL:

Unbeliever @