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Sun Jun 12, 2016, 09:29 AM

Would it be helpful to call radical, violent anti-homosexuality what it is,

rather than blaming a religion?

This is meant as an "honest question", meaning it's an idea that occurred to me but I'm not sure how valid it is. I'm hoping for a rational, civil discussion.

This is motivated by the discussion of last night's nightclub shooting, but of course we don't actually know the shooter's motivation yet. But a speculation on another thread that he might have had "radical Islamic ties" got me to thinking, does it really matter what religion is driving the hate and the belief that murder is an appropriate action? Doesn't it hinder the ability for the core adherents of the religion to progress away from these harmful root beliefs, if their religion is constantly being tied to it based on the actions of extremists? No one thought Timothy McVeigh represented Christianity. He wasn't described as a "radical Christian terrorist". He was described as being "radical anti-government" or something like that.

We know that Islam isn't the only religion that includes subgroups who interpret their holy texts as saying that homosexuality is "against God's law". We know that Islam isn't the only religion that includes subgroups who believe they have a right to impose their beliefs on other people, including by violence. Islam may be the one that's most in the news for Americans at this time. But doesn't it perpetuate a vicious cycle to continue to link being anti-gay with Islam?

What if we (and the media) dropped the reference to religion and just called out the hateful belief?

What do you all think?

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Arrow 27 replies Author Time Post
Reply Would it be helpful to call radical, violent anti-homosexuality what it is, (Original post)
MH1 Jun 2016 OP
cleanhippie Jun 2016 #1
MH1 Jun 2016 #5
Bluenorthwest Jun 2016 #13
cleanhippie Jun 2016 #14
MH1 Jun 2016 #18
BumRushDaShow Jun 2016 #2
Donald Ian Rankin Jun 2016 #3
BumRushDaShow Jun 2016 #6
Donald Ian Rankin Jun 2016 #8
BumRushDaShow Jun 2016 #11
Ace Rothstein Jun 2016 #20
BumRushDaShow Jun 2016 #21
malaise Jun 2016 #9
BumRushDaShow Jun 2016 #12
Donald Ian Rankin Jun 2016 #4
MH1 Jun 2016 #10
Bluenorthwest Jun 2016 #7
MH1 Jun 2016 #16
Bluenorthwest Jun 2016 #23
MH1 Jun 2016 #27
Matrosov Jun 2016 #15
Humanist_Activist Jun 2016 #17
MH1 Jun 2016 #24
justiceischeap Jun 2016 #19
MH1 Jun 2016 #22
JCMach1 Jun 2016 #25
HassleCat Jun 2016 #26

Response to MH1 (Original post)

Sun Jun 12, 2016, 09:31 AM

1. Religion is the foundation from which homophobia grows.

Why would you want to absolve religion from something it has created?

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Response to cleanhippie (Reply #1)

Sun Jun 12, 2016, 09:38 AM

5. Why? to break what I perceive as a vicious cycle

Where the subconscious notion equating Islam with being anti-gay is constantly being reinforced by these references. Not only for people who would stubbornly and hatefully feel that way and actively seek out justification by the Quran, but also for moderates who are just trying to be "good Muslims" or "good Catholics" or maybe even "good Orthodox Jews" (not too sure about the last one, but I think they are anti-gay as well).

I would have less problem if the media would say generically "radical religious terrorist", because I do agree with your premise. But they don't and they won't.

It sounds like you either disagree with my premise - the idea of subconscious reinforcement that makes the problem worse , when linked to a specific religion - or, you don't feel that is a sufficient reason to change the way we talk about these actions.

Then would you say that McVeigh should have been referred to as a "radical Christian terrorist" rather than just radically anti-government?

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Response to MH1 (Reply #5)

Sun Jun 12, 2016, 09:53 AM

13. What about the vicious cycle that leaves all of those dead bodies in Orlando?

 

Shouldn't that be the focus of our concerns?

Your comments are utterly devoid of empathy for the LGBT community.

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Response to MH1 (Reply #5)

Sun Jun 12, 2016, 09:57 AM

14. Notice I stated religion, not Islam.

I agree that the media fans the flames with their "Islamic terrorist....", when they should just be listed as "Religious terrorists..."


But religion IS the cause of homophobia. Religion IS the problem...

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Response to cleanhippie (Reply #14)

Sun Jun 12, 2016, 10:04 AM

18. Thank you. I think we agree on that point,

that "religious terrorist" would be better than calling out a specific religion. I think that would go some distance to reduce the negative effect (i.e. fanning the flames) that I am considering.

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Response to MH1 (Original post)

Sun Jun 12, 2016, 09:33 AM

2. (McVeigh) "He wasn't described as a "radical Christian terrorist""

Same thing happened with Dynann Roof, who killed 9 black people in a church.

We are back to reserving terrorizing oppressed groups by locals as "non terrorism" if it's not related to "Islam".

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Response to BumRushDaShow (Reply #2)

Sun Jun 12, 2016, 09:37 AM

3. McVeigh and Roof are bad examples - neither's motivation was primarily religious.

Try Eric Robert Rudolph or James Kopp, perhaps?

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Response to Donald Ian Rankin (Reply #3)

Sun Jun 12, 2016, 09:39 AM

6. Why is Roof a "bad example"

when he did his deed in a church and he, along with other confederate flag-humping white supremacists are obviously motivated by their twisted version of Christianity and the inferiority of blacks?

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Response to BumRushDaShow (Reply #6)

Sun Jun 12, 2016, 09:43 AM

8. What has being in a Church got to do with it?

He murdered black people in a church because that was where they were; I believe that law enforcement officers think that if he could have murdered them in a school he'd have been even happier with that.

And no, I don't think Christianity had much to do with his motivation; I think it was almost exclusively about his hatred of black people.

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Response to Donald Ian Rankin (Reply #8)

Sun Jun 12, 2016, 09:45 AM

11. You just torpedoed your own argument

given that he could have gone into a store to find black people and done the same. Yet he did it in a church and specifically planned to do it there (versus anywhere else).

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Response to BumRushDaShow (Reply #11)

Sun Jun 12, 2016, 10:15 AM

20. Because he probably figured a church is softer target than a store.

I don't think too many people are carrying at church.

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Response to Ace Rothstein (Reply #20)

Sun Jun 12, 2016, 10:19 AM

21. What?

You have red states all over the place pushing for open carry in churches. Every place that there are people is a "soft target".

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Response to BumRushDaShow (Reply #2)

Sun Jun 12, 2016, 09:44 AM

9. I see a slight shift

They're now using the term domestic terrorism.

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Response to malaise (Reply #9)

Sun Jun 12, 2016, 09:46 AM

12. Yes

Seeing that on MSNBC.

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Response to MH1 (Original post)

Sun Jun 12, 2016, 09:37 AM

4. No, I think it would be unhelpful to obfuscate the fact that this was religiously motivated.

There are Muslims who are not anti-gay, but to suggest that for the majority who are being anti-gay is not linked with Islam is simply wrong.

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Response to Donald Ian Rankin (Reply #4)

Sun Jun 12, 2016, 09:45 AM

10. Why not "radical religious terrorist"?

I think there are moderates and progressives who maintain a religious identity, who could move the modern practice of their religion off of the more regressive beliefs pushed by the extremists. But if they are constantly being told that to be a good <insert religion here> you have to be anti-gay, they just absorb that as part of their identity.

I'm just asking the question. I personally would rather have the actual harmful belief called out as harmful, and have that belief be shamed by society. Shaming an entire religion isn't going to work, and if it does come to a declared "War Against Islam", we just might lose. I'm pretty sure we're losing the undeclared war.

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Response to MH1 (Original post)

Sun Jun 12, 2016, 09:39 AM

7. How do you integrate the fact that ten Islamic countries execute LGBT as a matter of course

 

in public and while holding a Koran that they say is the reason they kill them? Is that just happenstance in your theory? Don't you think that the religion does matter if that religion is widely used as excuse for doing terrible things in an organized fashion? Stoning gay people to death, chopping off heads? Those who do those things own their actions. Why do you claim their actions must not be mentioned?

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Response to Bluenorthwest (Reply #7)

Sun Jun 12, 2016, 10:00 AM

16. Several points.

1. Absolutely religion matters. I'm not a fan of any country basing its government on a religion. It seems to be a recipe for the most fundamentalist, nasty and unforgiving interpretation of the religious texts to be institutionalized in that country's laws. This pattern is not limited to Islam either. (Although at this point in time, I would agree that Islam may be the most broad reaching in this approach and therefore the most evil in terms of sheer numbers of people subject to these harmful ideologies.)
2. The topic is what language we use in the media to refer to violent, ideological actions that occur in the US. Sorry if my OP was not clear on that point.
3. What about Uganda?

I want to be clear, I am NOT a fan of Islam as it occurs in its more virulent forms. Neither am I a fan of Christianity in its more virulent forms, either. Yet I call myself a Christian, because there is a solid portion of the Christian world that does not adhere to the beliefs of its more vile adherents. How in the world the haters can act that way and call themselves "Christians", I have no idea. My point is that to marginalize the hateful beliefs, I think it might be helpful to stop tying the hateful belief to the religion, as if anyone who follows that religion must hold that belief. My point is simply about the adjectives we use to describe the terrorist or the terrorist action, not about the more in-depth discussion of the event.

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Response to MH1 (Reply #16)

Sun Jun 12, 2016, 10:27 AM

23. Uganda has discussed but does not execute. They are nearly as bad anyway and that's your faith.

 

I'm not sure what your 'Johnny does it too' thinking contributes here.
And you did not even try to explain how you rationalize not mentioning the religion that is the stated motive for the many States which execute LGBT.

Let me be clear with you. The victims of those executions are also Muslims. So the choice is about which Muslims you stand with. Do you stand for the man with his head on the block awaiting the lash and the blade or do you stand with the man who is executing him? They are both Muslims.

I stand with the victims. How about you?

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Response to Bluenorthwest (Reply #23)

Sun Jun 12, 2016, 10:42 AM

27. Actually, I - DID - explain EXACTLY why I think the religion shouldn't be mentioned.

In the original post.

That is the whole point. I am looking for a rational discussion of a theory. The theory is that the use of a reference to a specific religion is counterproductive.

Let me re-phrase counterproductive in terms you might appreciate: by "counter productive" I mean that in the long run, CREATES MORE VICTIMS.

You can argue that the theory is incorrect, that calling it "anti-gay" would create more victims, or have no effect, than continuing to call it "radical Islamic". I'm open to argument on those terms, as that is what I asked for by posting the OP.

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Response to MH1 (Original post)

Sun Jun 12, 2016, 10:00 AM

15. McVeigh wasn't motivated by religion

 

He was a terrorist who happened to be Christian.

If religion was a motivating factor, then of course it should be called out.

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Response to MH1 (Original post)

Sun Jun 12, 2016, 10:02 AM

17. Beliefs create motivation, plain and simple, and the source of such beliefs needs to be...

critically examined.

There are a lot of outright evil beliefs within many of the world's religions, the only reason why we don't see more reports of Christian terrorism is because they have been blunted by 500 years or so of secularist enlightenment. Islam needs to be to be blunted as well.

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Response to Humanist_Activist (Reply #17)

Sun Jun 12, 2016, 10:34 AM

24. I absolutely agree with your post. But -

the question I'm raising with my OP is whether there is a negative effect when headlines and news ledes link a harmful attitude to a specific religion. (Particularly when no such link has even been proven, as is the case with last night's event.)

My premise - albeit tentative - is that the use of a term like "radical Islamic terrorist" overgeneralizes the motivation to Islam, when really the motivation is the hatred of gays; and in doing so, reinforces the attachment of moderate Muslims to the idea that they must be anti-gay to be "good" or "true" Muslims; which is thus counterproductive to the secularist enlightenment many of us wish for. (I wonder if any social studies have been performed on this question?)

It may be that the hatred of gays was inculcated in the shooter by his religion. But is it really religion, or is it culture? When a woman in Pakistan has acid thrown in her face for some perceived misbehavior, many here will say it isn't due to the religion of Islam, but rather the "culture" she and the perpetrators are part of. I think the reason for that, is that many people see a clear geographical/demographic link to such incidents, which suggest that it is isolated to certain cultures rather than a practice common to all Muslims. If this is a valid argument, then if it can also be shown that being violently anti-gay is similarly not common to all Muslims, then why not consider it cultural as well? And then what would we call that "culture"? I am suggesting we call it what it is, "anti gay". (Or maybe a better term with the same meaning.)

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Response to MH1 (Original post)

Sun Jun 12, 2016, 10:12 AM

19. I don't know how I feel about your argument

As an atheist and a member of the LGBTQ community, I happen to know "religious" folk that condemn me more for my atheism than my sexuality. My aunt for example is a very devote Episcopalian and has much more issue with my atheism than my lesbianism. She loves me and wants to see me in heaven.

So to condemn all religion and all people of faith for something extremists do is just another sort of extremism.

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Response to justiceischeap (Reply #19)

Sun Jun 12, 2016, 10:21 AM

22. Thank you for the thoughtful response.

I've also noticed that in many places in this society, atheism vs. religiosity seems to be a bigger prejudice than even sexuality or race.

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Response to MH1 (Original post)

Sun Jun 12, 2016, 10:36 AM

25. Sorry, but no way to sugar coat it...

Islamic law is profoundly anti-homosexual...

Plus it's a bit quick to judge that it isn't just political.


However, even that is splitting hairs when talking about Jihadism.

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Response to MH1 (Original post)

Sun Jun 12, 2016, 10:41 AM

26. Religion provides the justification.

 

We all tend to be suspicious of persons who are not like ourselves. Religion tells us it's OK to kill those people because they don't obey God's rules and regulations. Religion is an enabler of all sorts of nasty things.

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