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Nope, sorry

I grew up about two miles from a Footwashing Baptist church. It was where you turned left onto the dirt road that led to home, and by the time we got to that spot (if we were coming from Nashville) my mother and I had been on the road quite a while and were almost always shivering for a pee. I mention this because the church had an awesome brick shithouse to one side. It was nearly as big as the church. With what terrible longing we stared at that great cathedral of a pissoire when we passed.

It was locked, though. We tip-toed up and checked it out once. It had a glass window. And it was an eight-seater. Four holes on one side, four on the other. Visualize that at full capacity, folks.

Where I am now is largely Church of England. High church is basically Catholicism minus the pope. Bells and smells and ancient stone buildings. It is very old and beautiful. It is decorous and English. It seems a whole universe away from an eight-seater brick shithouse up a dirt track.

But it’s not. However much distance there would seem to be between snake handlers and Opus Dei, it is all Christian. They recognize the same sacred verses and celebrate the same holidays. They worship the same light, however much the light is bent through the prism of a hundred denominations. They are deeply related.

I understand how a prosperous middle class Muslim in some leafy London suburb would watch yesterday’s news and say that has nothing to do with me. But it does. Or, rather, it doesn’t, but it is a product of the same faith. A different interpretation of the same words.

Which isn’t to say: feel guilty. More like: choose.


Comment from S. Weasel
Time: May 23, 2013, 10:48 pm

That picture if from this church, though. Up the other end of the state, in the county where I was actually born.

I think I remember driving past that church on the way to visit my grandmother.

Comment from Feynmangroupie
Time: May 23, 2013, 10:54 pm

I’ve been having a grand ole time pointing out the hypocrisy of atheist Imgurians who gleefully mock Christians and belief in god whilst piously wringing their hands over the violent hatred towards the Religion of Peas.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: May 23, 2013, 10:57 pm

Ha! I’ve spent some time on Imgur for the last few weeks. I’m divided on it. Sometimes I think it’s funny. Sometimes I think it’s the dumbest place on the internet.

Of course, I’m in user submitted, newest first.

Comment from Can’t hark my cry
Time: May 23, 2013, 11:32 pm

Mm. OK. But–choose what? Are you saying “choose no faith?” Because, there isn’t any faith that hasn’t, at some time, had zealous followers who believed that physical violence, including killing, was a valid expression of their faith, condoned by the deity. Can Christians in general look at the work of the Westboro Baptist Church and say “that has nothing to do with me?” I’ll say up front that I think they can. However much they may share, each believer is an individual and can–and should–choose those aspects of the faith that work for them. And I think that goes for any faith, anywhere, at any time during history.

Comment from Feynmangroupie
Time: May 23, 2013, 11:52 pm

User submitted is the only area that I hang out in. It’s difficult to choose which battles are worth fighting when you only have 140 characters to make a point. Then again, I’m getting excellent practice in the art of the succinct rebuttal. Yay me.

Comment from woolie
Time: May 24, 2013, 12:45 am

Does this footwashing shit still go on?

Comment from Stark Dickflüssig
Time: May 24, 2013, 12:50 am


Comment from twolaneflash
Time: May 24, 2013, 1:02 am

You’re a Southerner by birth just like I am, bless your heart! I’ve got family in Nashville, and a great-nephew starting Vanderbilt on a full scholarship in the fall. I’ll bet the other two things you can’t forget are the smell in the outhouse (bag of lime in the corner) and the Sears-Roebuck catalogues. Those old hard-shell Baptists sure love their foot-washings, and if a dose of humility is good moral medicine, giving OR getting a religious foot wash will do it for you.

Comment from woolie
Time: May 24, 2013, 1:05 am

I realy dont mean to offend but, the only way I would allow even Mary Mag to wash my feet with her hair, I mean, how fucking degrading. Dont Get.

Comment from Stark Dickflüssig
Time: May 24, 2013, 1:25 am

Dont Get.

I agree, you don’t.

Comment from woolie
Time: May 24, 2013, 1:33 am

Oh here Stark, let me get that dogshit off your feet with my hair mmmmkay?

Comment from Subotai Bahadur
Time: May 24, 2013, 1:49 am

Which isn’t to say: feel guilty. More like: choose.

And the choice, individually and collectively, is the key.

Your mouth can make all sorts of soothing noises. But it is what you do that delineates your real choice.

Both in Europe and here, even Muslim groups and individuals who have a documented record of supporting terrorist attacks will purr to the media that Islam is a Religion of Peace™. And the media and the ruling elites will eat it up. But it is acts that count.

Under American criminal law, someone who aids and abets the commission of a felony is a principal accessory to the felony. A principle accessory is as guilty, and as liable, as the principal.

If someone wants to integrate peacefully into the society where they live; a fairly clear bright line is to neither kill members of that society for the crime of not being like you, and not to tolerate members of your group doing that.

If you don’t want to peacefully integrate into the society where you live, and want to still have the option to kill the “other” at will; then the society has the absolute moral right to take any means, including extremely prejudicial means, to protect its members. If you choose martyrdom, do not be surprised if you get it.

Both individual Muslims, and the Ummah collectively; are as guilty as the terrorist IF they know of the preparations for a terrorist attack, aid in the preparations for a terrorist attack, or aid in the escape of the terrorist and take no active steps to prevent the attack or apprehend the terrorist. What one does is what counts.

In a culture where execution videos qualify as light entertainment, hatred of the infidel is a constant undertone, and terrorist attacks are celebrated; attacks do not “just happen” without someone, or a lot of people, knowing in advance. That is where a choice is necessary, and inaction is a choice.

And just to be clear, the basic rule of actions superceding words holds for other than religious grounds. Case in point, in both our countries; Leftist politicians lie constantly on the campaign trail, pretending to be “moderates” who would never do all the terrible things that those evil extremists would do. And as soon as they are in office; whatever fresh Socialist Hell the farthest Left fringes of their party come up with will have their full support and votes. Words lie, actions count.

Subotai Bahadur

Comment from Nina
Time: May 24, 2013, 2:32 am

Which isn’t to say: feel guilty. More like: choose.


One of my best girlfriends is muslim, and she steadfastly maintains that these wackos are the minority and islam is really the RoP that GWB kept saying it is. She.does.not.see.it.

Comment from Mitchell
Time: May 24, 2013, 2:56 am

Their “holiest” of men & “prophet”, Mo, molested a 9 year old girl. As far as I’m concerned Islam is complete rot from the head down.

Comment from Uncle Al
Time: May 24, 2013, 2:59 am

Peace? Let’s be sure to define terms here. I well remember the Soviets claiming they were peace-loving. But (and this reminds me somewhat of To Serve Man) their determinant of a peaceful world was one that was totally communist.

To be honest, though, I find it hard to do other than blame bloody-minded violent psychopaths who happen to be motivated by Islam rather than the teachings of Islam itself. Don’t misunderstand: I reject those teachings in much the same way I reject virtually all organized religion. The real issue for me is that there are far too many bloody-minded violent psychopaths in our world, and a growing number of bloody-minded nincompoops who want to limit my ability and means to defend myself from them.

Comment from Oceania
Time: May 24, 2013, 3:26 am

Jewish Bolshevism? Killed 86 million Christian …

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: May 24, 2013, 11:45 am

Can’t hark…no, I understand devoutly religious people won’t choose no religion. I meant: choose whether your allegiance is with your co-religionists, no matter how homicidally insane their version of your religion is, or your neighbors and your country, even if your grandparents weren’t born here. Because mosque-going Muslims know who’s getting radicalized and are in a position to drop a dime. This murderer’s parents (the red-handed one on the front pages) raised him a Christian and moved away from London because they saw him headed in this direction. So many others must have seen it, too.

There are a lot of toxic fictions operating in Britain at the moment. One is that “British” means you hold a British passport, and nothing more than that.

Comment from Jeff Gauch
Time: May 24, 2013, 1:15 pm

Nina, there are around 1 billion Muslims on the planet. If jacknobs like this weren’t part of an extreme minority, we’d be screwed seven way from Sunday.

Our problem is that the vast bulk of Muslims want nothing to do with trying to stop the aforementioned jacknobs.

Comment from Ripley
Time: May 24, 2013, 1:35 pm

How about: Help stop it or you are morally complicit.

Comment from Can’t hark my cry
Time: May 24, 2013, 1:48 pm

As all Christians are morally complicit in the actions of every Christian, and all Jews are morally complicit in the actions of every Jew, and all Buddhists are morally complicit in the action of ever Buddhist? I agree with the point that if you personally know (or should know if you weren’t willfully blind) about something that is happening, you are responsible. But when categories are as broad as “we profess religious beliefs with the same name,” there is a limit to how much shared responsibility there is outside the relatively immediate group.

Comment from Oceania
Time: May 24, 2013, 1:54 pm


How to eradicate Muslims? Would you like to buy a Disease?

Comment from AliceH
Time: May 24, 2013, 2:44 pm

Can’t Hark

I would love to see some peaceful anti-terrorism Muslims groups or individuals show something like, for example, the active and visible pushback that Christians have demonstrated for each nasty Westboro antic/publicity stunt. Don’t tell me – SHOW me.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: May 24, 2013, 2:44 pm

No, not morally complicit. I’m not apportioning blame, I’m saying the in-group is in a better position than the out-group to spot rogues and to discourage toxic branches of their own religion.

This Telegraph article is interesting and kind of what I’m getting at. After the 7/7 bombings in the UK, mainstream Muslim groups issued statements that were arguably more sympathetic to the bombers than the dead. After this attack, they were swift and condemnatory. They are choosing sides better.

See, it’s no good telling people outside your religion “these people are other” if you’re not also saying it to the people inside your religion.

The US Christian community went through something similar with abortion clinic bombings.

Comment from Christopher Taylor
Time: May 24, 2013, 5:19 pm

The problem is that its a matter of us vs them. For all groups, they tend to be sympathetic toward their own group over others, even when they do something wrong. And for Muslims, they are taught even more strongly than other religious groups that they’re very separate from the rest of humanity.

Muslims are taught not that they are saved or set apart but that they are innately superior, that other peoples are dogs and scum, and that not being Muslim makes you less as a human being. Jews are sometimes, perhaps often, quite arrogant about being a chosen people and Christians can be pretty obnoxious about being saved (or elect, in the case of reformation-based Christianity), they tend not to go that far.

So yeah, they might be upset and horrified by what a Muslim does, but he’s a Muslim and the victim isn’t.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: May 24, 2013, 5:31 pm

That sympathy might be tempered by the fact he’s a recent convert and a black African (yes, there is prejudice among brown peoples, too).

Comment from Jon
Time: May 24, 2013, 5:47 pm

“Jewish Bolshevism” makes as much sense as suggesting Judaism had the same relationship to the Italian and German political movements of the 1930s, which I would not like to name.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: May 24, 2013, 5:59 pm

Heh. Have you not met our resident troll before, Jon? He’s nuttier’n a squirrel’s anus.

Comment from Bob Mulroy
Time: May 24, 2013, 6:31 pm

Whenever we were bored, we’d drive over to the snake handling church. It was ever such fun!

Comment from tomfrompv
Time: May 24, 2013, 7:07 pm

Oceania’s rants do inspire discovery though. This last one led me to “Reconstructionist Judaism”, an American born movement that explains why so many Jews vote Democrat, don’t give a fig about Israel, and basically love socialistic ideas, as long as they remain in the elite. It even has a wikipedia page. Who knew?

But as with everything, the ups has its downs. That same discovery led to shocking facts about Mr Selfridge, a PBS show I had once really liked. It seems Jeremy Piven, the star, comes from a family of Russian Jews who follow said doctrine. In Chicago. His parents founded Second City, where Jeremy learned his trade. They discovered leftist actors like Ed Asner.

And his aunt is, drumroll, Frances Fox Piven. Can’t watch that show now. Can’t stand the commies twisting history to suit their agenda.

On the bright side, the REAL Mr Selfridge was apparently a good guy. His grand-daughter married Orson Bean. Their daughter married Andrew Breitbart. Small world.

Trolls have value, just don’t expect to converse with them.

Comment from Clifford Skridlow
Time: May 24, 2013, 7:49 pm

This will clear things up . .


Comment from mojo
Time: May 24, 2013, 7:57 pm

The “mainstream” muslims have no problems stomping on the Sufis, but Salafis are out of bounds?

Tell me another one.

Comment from mojo
Time: May 24, 2013, 7:58 pm

PS: Don’t want to eradicate. If only they could say the same, eh?

Comment from mojo
Time: May 24, 2013, 8:00 pm



Comment from S. Weasel
Time: May 24, 2013, 9:09 pm

I cannot believe nobody wanted to talk about the eight-seater outhouse. You guys really let me down.

Comment from Ripley
Time: May 24, 2013, 10:07 pm

IDK,we may actually be thinking the same thing Stoaty, though expressing it differently. Complicity in this context is really about not acting on what you know — or what you may even avoid knowing. I think it also depends on what you are aware of and what options are open to you.

Example. My family is German and all my uncles served in the military during the War. After WWII everyone was faced with the truth of what had happened and who had been involved — and this was not just about Jews and gypsies. Germans (and my family among them) were faced with having not done enough,and we were also damned by the rest of the world for not doing more individually to prevent the crimes that were committed in the name of the German people. Germans were and still are told that they were morally complicit by not acting on what they did see or hear. It’s still hammered in school (and was when I was a schoolgirl and when I was at uni there), in the media, and in culture. Some Germans had been directly involved. Far more knew something of what was going on. Others heard rumors. All were subsequently condemned, and for generations. I grew up with that environment, and I was born long after the war.

While the scale of what happened is vastly different than decentralized terrorism, and a government was involved (and yes, we brought it on ourselves) in a systemic genocide, the central idea of associated complicity is similar. ALL were treated as complicit, especially if they had knowledge of the activities and failed to act, and this is pushed to this day and it really isn’t that different. BTW, in Germany there are good Samaritan laws that require one to render assistance in emergencies: you will be punished if you don’t stop to help.

How many “western” Muslims know what is being taught in the madrasas and preached in the mosques? Are they speaking out against it in their community or ignoring it? How many are trying to find out what IS being taught and preached? Do they have a responsibility to do so? Why or why not, and what should they do if they find that violence is being advocated? These questions are being treated very gently. We go after neo-nazi groups, which are outlawed in many places, and we condemn their words and shun them as individuals. Do “mainstream” Muslim communities treat their extremists in a similar way? Why should they not be expected to?

This doesn’t equate the actions of a few with guilt of the many for those actions. But there is a moral complicity if one allows such things to go unchecked or unchallenged, even if it is to speak out. There is a difference between a sin of commission and of omission, but there is still a sin in either case.

I’m also not saying that Muslims are evil, bad, or should be persecuted. I am saying that they themselves are not being held to a standard we appear to apply unequally. They are not being asked strongly enough to hold others accountable and to act on what they may see. It’s one thing to speak up in a totalitarian theocracy but another when you are in a western liberal democracy.

Perhaps we don’t expect enough of our fellow citizens, or think highly enough of them to ask them to hold the same standards. Is that right either?

Comment from tomfrompv
Time: May 24, 2013, 10:52 pm

Outhouses were necessary back in the day, but should be forgotten. The “aromas” were incredible. And did you ever have the nerve to look down?

I’m of the age to remember the days of “primitive” campgrounds run by states of CA, Ore, Montana. What that meant was there were no flush toilets, just outhouses. My Dad taught me how to avoid being nauseated by the outhouse smell and find yourself a nice thicket or heavily wooded area….sometimes you had to walk a long ways to get privacy.

Pretty ugly times. I much prefer the modern campground with flushers, separate stalls, wash basins, electric dryers, and sometimes hot showers.

I’ll bet you never faced the communal trough like the males. Far worse than any outhouse, IMHO. Impossible to ever forget.

Comment from AltBBrown
Time: May 25, 2013, 2:12 pm

Thanks for an interesting perspective.

Comment from Rich Rostrom
Time: May 25, 2013, 8:09 pm

Ripley: You have an excellent point.

But there are problems with an “analogous” response.

For instance, some Moslems have actively opposed jihadists, including major Moslem governments. The Pakistani army has had many men killed fighting the Taliban, maybe more than the U.S. Army. Saudi Arabia has arrested many terrorists and assisted the U.S. in the capture of others. Yet these are the two countries perhaps most responsible for Sunni jihadism.

There were no such contradictions with Nazism.

Then there is the root cause issue. We (the U.S. and its allies) decided that Nazism was wrong, period. We told Germans they were wrong to believe it or to support (even passively) any of its actions. This was easy, as the whole of Nazism was deeply complicit in abominable crimes.

But in the case of Islam: the problem is an interpretation of Islam, as practiced by a minority without formal organization or state power. That interpretation is not (as some would pretend) wildly eccentric: it is only a modest extension of commonly held interpretations. But it is not the dominant form of Islam. Thus there is no justification for declaring, as with Nazism, that Islam is Wrong and suppressing it.

That leaves the rather awkward choice of non-Moslems telling Moslems what interpretations of their religion are acceptable. To make it worse, the problem isn’t overt preaching of jihad: it is doctrines which approach jihadism without explicitly endorsing it, and indirectly foster jihadist thinking.

There are precedents, of sorts: the U.S. forced Japan to revise the doctrines of Shinto after WW II; and the British forced Hindus to abandon the practice of suttee. But neither fits the current situation.

Comment from Bob Mulroy
Time: May 26, 2013, 2:09 am

An eight-holer you say? Was it 4 facing 4 or 8 in a row. The snake handlers had plumbing, but my 4-H camp had two 16-holers.

Me? I like a little privacy during my afternoon meditations.

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