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Posted: 01 April 2008 04:37 AM   [ Ignore ]  
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Islam has surpassed Roman Catholicism as the world’s largest religion according to the Vatican.

Christianity as a whole still dominates but… wow…

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Posted: 01 April 2008 06:44 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]  
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I’m telling you guys, the days are coming when you will long for the reign of Christianity. Mark my words.

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Posted: 01 April 2008 10:21 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]  
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Bruce, why limit the choices to Islam or Christianity?  Isn’t there something/anything else to protect the world from Islam?

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Posted: 01 April 2008 10:21 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]  
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Jefe - 01 April 2008 01:20 PM
Bruce Burleson - 01 April 2008 10:44 AM

I’m telling you guys, the days are coming when you will long for the reign of Christianity. Mark my words.

A theocracy based on christianity would be a nightmare.  A different nightmare than islam, but still a nightmare.

There will never be a Christian theocracy again. When I used the word “reign” I simply meant that it is the predominant religion. Christianity as an organized religion has undergone too many reformations to ever be able to assert that kind of power again, which it was not designed to do in the first place. Islam is, as yet, essentially unreformed, and it’s core belief is theocratic, with no concept of separation of church and state. A predominantly Christian USA is what you have now, and it is no nightmare, even though it has its problems. What would a predominantly Muslim USA look like? You don’t want to know.

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Posted: 01 April 2008 10:25 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]  
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Skipshot - 01 April 2008 02:21 PM

Bruce, why limit the choices to Islam or Christianity?  Isn’t there something/anything else to protect the world from Islam?

Sure. Military superiority, which we have right now. But in a few decades, this option will no longer be on the table, and in any event, there are political and moral obstacles to its use. If you are thinking that “reason” will protect the world, watch what is going to happen to reasonable Europe in the next 20 years.

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Posted: 01 April 2008 10:39 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]  
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It is a scary trend.  But Islam, like any fiction, depends upon ignorance and fear to grow.  The probability of Islam, or for that matter any theocracy, taking the US by force; very unlikely.

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Posted: 01 April 2008 11:54 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]  
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It’s possible that the process of assimilation may result in the growing Muslim populations in Europe gradually becoming less extreme in their religious beliefs. This would be even more likely to happen in America since assimilation is a big part of the cultural landscape. It’s hard to avoid unless the population lives in a high degree of isolation like the Amish.

While only a small percentage of American Christians favor theocracy, the ones who do seem to have great influence. Two institutions with strong ties to the Bush Administration, Regent University and Patrick Henry College, have explicitly theocratic mission statements.

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Posted: 01 April 2008 12:17 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]  
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You are right Carstonio…but I venture that the fundamentalist violence is mostly a sociological phenomenon emerging from the conflict of rapidly growing technology and a slower growing human comprehension of the changing world.  It is only a matter of time before all mythology and wish-thinking will go the way of the dinosaur.  Religion only thrives when you have the dual power system of the armed leader (king/tyrant/despot/Imam) and the medicine man (preacher/rabbi/mullah), both dependent on the other for authority.  We are currently transcending the nation state paradigm towards one of a more international economic power-structure.  When people or nations transcend memes, that period is usually marked with some chaos and disruption before the paradigm shifts higher.  I think that we are merely watching that shift.  One would also have to calculate how the commodity of oil and the economy of oil have effected the politics surrounding Islam.  Those days are already past the apex point.

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Posted: 01 April 2008 12:35 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]  
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There’s that fear again, Bruce.  But it’s not the ordinary fear of the unknown but a fear of the unfamiliar.  Fear of the unfamiliar is at the heart of the immigration debate and racial politics.  It’s what allows socially acceptable and public condemnation of gays and atheists as dire threats to society.  It’s the end of the world as we know it.  It’s the fear that the unfamiliar (aka “change”) will not benefit “my/our” group and will actually replace “my/our” group with their’s.

I’ve noticed that at least since the Civil Rights movement there have been many unfamiliar groups which fought for legitimacy and equality and have not supplanted the group which fought to hold them down, but rather have taken a place alongside the dominant group.  I take your stance on this subject, to be “this town ain’t big enough for the two of us”, while mine is “what have you got to offer which will be mutually beneficial?”

I suspect, Bruce, you are not an absolutist towards many things in your life while defensibly so in others, as all of us are, however, I think we need to tone down the rhetoric that all Muslims are radical or have the penchant to be.  Change from the outside occurs when the inside is weak, and I don’t see American culture right now as weak.  To sound the warning that Islam is coming and it is stronger than America is crying “Wolf!”  Fringe groups will always be able to get in a cheap shot once in a while, but to say a cheap shot is enough to bring down the whole country is alarmist, unrealistic, and insular.

As for Europe converting/succumbing to Islam I am not in a position to say what will happen, however I will offer this:  Europe appears less assimilating of minority or outside groups than America.  If Sander is reading this perhaps he may give us his insight.  My brother-in-law spent five years living in Rotterdam and Amsterdam and was bluntly told by the Dutch that he will never be accepted as an equal in Dutch society.  I met his American professor who moved from Berkeley, CA to Amsterdam in 1970 and is married to a Dutch woman and she, too, shook her head that he will ever be put on equal footing in Holland.  Extrapolating this to my experiences in sundry European countries I get the feeling this view is common.  Now imagine being a Muslim immigrant and being told the same thing while your compatriot’s numbers are increasing to a level which cannot be ignored.  Constantly being put on the outside of one’s adopted homeland with no chance for assimilation it is not a stretch of the imagination to predict the reaction would become radical to attract attention to the plight (and don’t take this as my endorsement that radicalization is acceptable).

The biggest difference I see between America and Europe regarding Islam is that Americans will give Muslims a chance to prove themselves willing to assimilate, but I don’t get that feeling in Europe, and this is a source of the tension.

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Posted: 01 April 2008 01:35 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]  
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LogicAndReason - 01 April 2008 04:17 PM

I venture that the fundamentalist violence is mostly a sociological phenomenon emerging from the conflict of rapidly growing technology and a slower growing human comprehension of the changing world.  It is only a matter of time before all mythology and wish-thinking will go the way of the dinosaur…

I would add that another aspect was rapid social change along with technological change. We saw it in the United States when the civil rights and women’s rights movements sparked a fundamentalist Christian political movement.

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Posted: 01 April 2008 02:58 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]  
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Skipshot - 01 April 2008 04:35 PM

There’s that fear again, Bruce.  But it’s not the ordinary fear of the unknown but a fear of the unfamiliar.  Fear of the unfamiliar is at the heart of the immigration debate and racial politics.  It’s what allows socially acceptable and public condemnation of gays and atheists as dire threats to society.  It’s the end of the world as we know it.  It’s the fear that the unfamiliar (aka “change”) will not benefit “my/our” group and will actually replace “my/our” group with their’s.

I generally agree with you, but we are all pretty familiar with Islam and what it represents. I don’t have anywhere near the anxiety level with Mexican or Indian immigrants, or possible Mormon presidents, that I do with the prospect of a significant increase in Muslim influence in society. As far as gays and atheists are concerned, I would rather be governed by them any day than by Muslims. At least they would let me do what I wanted to do. I see the difference as fundamental.

Regarding the concept of fear of the unfamiliar, I am totally unfamiliar with the experience of being mauled by a lion, but I feel that my fear of being in a lion’s cage is justified. Same with Islam.

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Posted: 01 April 2008 10:01 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]  
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I’m not interested in having a strongly Muslim influenced society either, however the likelihood of it happening in the US is slim, as I hoped to convey with my point about assimilation.    Assimilation has an ameliorating affect on rebellious tendencies, however I will grant this assimilation must be from both sides to be successful and that both sides should know it takes more than one generation for this to happen, and very importantly, that the outside group be willing to give up more than the native group and the native group offer more than what the outside group is losing.

Give Muslims a chance to become atheists.

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Posted: 11 April 2008 11:22 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]  
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How would an islamic USA look like?

I guess like this: http://www.aes-group.org/ip.asp?number=12

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Posted: 11 April 2008 07:23 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]  
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Skipshot—
... I think we need to tone down the rhetoric that all Muslims are radical or have the penchant to be.  Change from the outside occurs when the inside is weak, and I don’t see American culture right now as weak.  To sound the warning that Islam is coming and it is stronger than America is crying “Wolf!”  Fringe groups will always be able to get in a cheap shot once in a while, but to say a cheap shot is enough to bring down the whole country is alarmist, unrealistic, and insular.

I think with Islam, one is prudent to keep in mind the worse-case-scenario, not as a form of rhetoric, but as a means of being realistic.  Because of Islamic beliefs of martyrdom, and a penchant for killing others along with that, Islam poses a very dangerous threat to civilization when WMD are combined with such a belief.  If Islam were to ever take hold in the States, it would not be through a weakened chipping away of our constitution or government, it would be a full-throttle, all-hell-breaks-loose kind of attack.  That this type of scenario is unrealistic in 2008, does not make it so at another time in the future.

Yet, ironically, fundamental Christians (of the Hegey type) also have their own vision of the end of the world.  That they may see the use of nuclear weapons as a legitimate means of spurring on the Rapture and Christ’s return may be a difficult pill for the rest of us to swallow, but not a realistic notion in the least.  It is the fundamental extremes in both religions that must be taken seriously by the rest of the world. Because to ignore or deny their messages in the name of rhetoric is just too easy to do.

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Posted: 12 April 2008 03:48 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]  
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Think more global please.

Many of you think that Islamic violence is something alien, far away. However in our globalised time the whole world is one.

Most Muslims live in areas of scarcity, especially of water, and of underdevelopment, in the sense of very low labor productivity (old machines, no science labs - lack of engineers and scientists). These societies are very easy to dominate if you figured out how to use the impoverished mob to your advantage.  This is done through the amalgamation of the traditional cult (already quite brutal) with modern political machines, hence “Islamofascism” acctually describes that well.

This happens to take place in the region of the worlds oil reserves, a resource that is still of vital importance to the world economy. Thus the people in power don’t have to work much: their revenue is save, a rising oil price as monopoly profit is a save income (check out Abu Dhabi on Google earth). They can squander around while they don’t have to worry about technical or scientific progress or any other cultivation.

You wondered about the rise of (russian-orthodox) Putin and totalitarianism in Russia? Oil, gas and the high price Europe is willing to pay for it. You wonder about why those Militias in Iraq are killing each other? Because of Religious ideology of course but also BECAUSE THEY CAN: they hope to control the land and do fine contracts with oil companies after the US withdraws, they don’t have to care for much else.

To get rid of this kind of blackmail politics by Islamic fancatics needs to get rid of the dependence on fossil fuels, to take away their economic base.

Ask your congressmen/women what they have done lately to wrench the USA of its dependency on fossil fuel. Ask the Presidential candidates over and over again to consider the Solar Grand Plan.

[ Edited: 12 April 2008 03:51 AM by Mel Olontha]
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Posted: 12 April 2008 08:26 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]  
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Mel Olontha - 12 April 2008 07:48 AM

Think more global please.

Many of you think that Islamic violence is something alien, far away. However in our globalised time the whole world is one.

Most Muslims live in areas of scarcity, especially of water, and of underdevelopment, in the sense of very low labor productivity (old machines, no science labs - lack of engineers and scientists). These societies are very easy to dominate if you figured out how to use the impoverished mob to your advantage.  This is done through the amalgamation of the traditional cult (already quite brutal) with modern political machines, hence “Islamofascism” acctually describes that well.

This happens to take place in the region of the worlds oil reserves, a resource that is still of vital importance to the world economy. Thus the people in power don’t have to work much: their revenue is save, a rising oil price as monopoly profit is a save income (check out Abu Dhabi on Google earth). They can squander around while they don’t have to worry about technical or scientific progress or any other cultivation.

You wondered about the rise of (russian-orthodox) Putin and totalitarianism in Russia? Oil, gas and the high price Europe is willing to pay for it. You wonder about why those Militias in Iraq are killing each other? Because of Religious ideology of course but also BECAUSE THEY CAN: they hope to control the land and do fine contracts with oil companies after the US withdraws, they don’t have to care for much else.

To get rid of this kind of blackmail politics by Islamic fancatics needs to get rid of the dependence on fossil fuels, to take away their economic base.

Ask your congressmen/women what they have done lately to wrench the USA of its dependency on fossil fuel. Ask the Presidential candidates over and over again to consider the Solar Grand Plan.


You don’t say it explicitly, but the Islamofascist force is prone on destroying western civilization.  We are Satan.  We can’t help but to think globally about the effect such disaster would bring to the world as we know it. Oil is a big contributing factor but the power of religious belief is a huge part of this equation. Reducing or eliminating our need for fossil fuels is certainly the most viable reactionary means we have available to disengage but it is not the complete solution.

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