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 More on the Pope and Islam 
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Joined: Fri Sep 22, 2006 3:30 pm
Posts: 391
Location: Texas
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Hrafn wrote:
rmadison wrote:
Don't answer this if you have to go googling up the info, but I wonder how many of those other countries have separation of church & state built into their system of governments?

I'm not sure if any other country has "separation of church & state built into their system of governments" along the same lines as the US does. Most other western countries seem able to avoid excessive entanglement without the need for formalised separation (but most lack the degree of religosity of the US, so the issue tends not to be so politicised). Because of this, I suspect that the question is moot (as lacking other examples, we cannot tell how this affects the probability of violence).


Some countries do have separation of church and state written into their constitutions, although what it means varies. For example, Mexico has experienced both sectarian religious domination (including the Spanish Inquisition under Spanish rule) and religious wars (as late as the 1930s with the Cristeros Rebellion), so has a very different interpretation of separation of church and state:

Quote:
http://www.ilstu.edu/class/hist263/docs/1917const.html#Article24
Quote:
Article 24. Everyone is free to embrace the religion of his choice and to practice all ceremonies, devotions, or observances of his respective faith, either in places of public worship or at home, provided they do not constitute an offense punishable by law.
Every religious act of public worship must be performed strictly inside places of public worship, which shall at all times be under governmental supervision.


This is stated explicitly for education, although not as strongly under 2002 amendments as in the basic 1917 Constitution: http://historicaltextarchive.com/sections.php?op=viewarticle&artid=93#T1
Quote:
Article 3 - Every individual has the right to receive education. The State--Federation, States, and Municipalities--will provide preschool, primary, and secondary education. Primary and secondary education are compulsory.
The education that the State provides will try to harmoniously develop all the faculties of being human, and will instill in the student at the same time, love of country and awareness of international solidarity, in independence and justice.
I. As Article 24 guarantees freedom of beliefs, education will be independent of church beliefs and as such, it will be completely free of any religious doctrine.
II. This education will be based on the results of scientific progress and will aid the student in struggling against ignorance and its effects--slavery, fanaticism, and prejudice.

I rather like this language.

Here is how it is described in a Wikipedia discussion, whatever credit you give to Wikipedia discussions:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Separation_of_Church_and_State#Mexico
Quote:
Mexico
A precedent of limiting the rights of the church – especially the Roman Catholic Church– was set by President Valentín Gómez Farías in 1833. Later, President Benito Juárez enacted a set of laws that came to be known as the Leyes de Reforma between 1859 and 1863 in the backdrop of the Guerra de Reforma. These laws mandated, among other things, the separation of church and state, allowed for civil marriages and a civil registry, and confiscated the church's property.

Tensions also existed between the Roman Catholic Church and the post-Revolution Mexican government. Severe restrictions on the rights of the Church and members of the clergy were written into the country's 1917 constitution that led to the eruption of the Cristero War in 1926. In 1992 the government reestablished diplomatic relations with the Holy See and lifted almost all restrictions on the Catholic Church. This later action included granting all religious groups legal status, conceding them limited property rights, and lifting restrictions on the number of priests in the country. However, the law continues to mandate a strict separation of church and state. The constitution still bars members of the clergy from holding public office, advocating partisan political views, supporting political candidates, or opposing the laws or institutions of the state.

The constitution provides that education should avoid privileges of religion, and that one religion or its members may not be given preference in education over another. Religious instruction is prohibited in public schools; however, religious associations are free to maintain private schools, which receive no public funds.

According to the Religious Associations and Public Worship Law, religious groups may not own or administer broadcast radio or television stations; however, the Catholic Church owns and operates a national cable television channel. Government permission is required to transmit religious programming on commercial broadcast radio or television, and permission is granted routinely.

Source: International Religious Freedom Report 2004. United States Department of State. Last accessed: October 8, 2005.


In fact, the more general website (excluding 'Mexico' from the URL) lists eleven other countries besides the U.S. with separation of church and state in their constitutions.

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Tue Oct 03, 2006 2:50 pm
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Joined: Fri Sep 22, 2006 3:30 pm
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Jack Krebs wrote:
Good points. I like hrafn's list of criteria for establing something as quote-mining.

Supplying quotes to support one's position is not quote-mining. It is in fact something we try to teach students to do as part of good writing.


But to provide a citation to the quoted material, which rmadison did.

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Tue Oct 03, 2006 4:04 pm
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Hrafn wrote:
Chet wrote:
rmadison argues that Islam is directly responsible for the violence in the middle east.

I think you're putting words into rmadison's mouth here Chet. Whilst both rmadison (and myself) have explored the possibility that Islam may be a contributing factor, I could find nowhere where he assigned "direct responsibility" to it.

I would therefore suggest that you substantiate this claim by quoting where he "argues that Islam is directly responsible for the violence in the middle east."

Quote:
But the author specifically says we are not at war with Islam, and it is the radicals who are responsible.

And a number of the quotes rmadison used highlighted this fact. No quote-mining here.

Quote:
So even the quotes he assemble to support his theisis, don't.

No Chet, that is not rmadison's thesis, that is the thesis you put into rmadison's mouth -- making it your thesis! :roll:

Quote:
He has misused the author. He has quotemined.

No. The fact that his quotes don't match your thesis is no evidence whatsoever that he has quote-mined.

Quote:
By the way, Hinote, it looks like Hrafn has given you "fair warning"!

Not just Hinote, but everybody on this thread using flimsy arguments, garbled logic & unsubstantiated assertions and accusations. :D

Quote:
Watch out! He is really mad. (Note the frequent use of BOLD comments. A sure sign.) LOL

Oh dear, poor Chet cannot tell the difference between CAPS and bold. Either way, I have tried to do my best to avoid scaring/over-exciting the poor boy by just using italics for emphasis on this post. If that is insufficiently bland, then I suggest we put him onto a regimen of something soothing like the Teletubbies. :lol:


I suggest that a couple of trolls not be allowed to derail this discussion. A more-general discussion now revolves around Chet and Hinote -- the attention that trolls love.

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Tue Oct 03, 2006 4:15 pm
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Hrafn, I think you're right that homicides wouldn't include war deaths. Whether terrorist attacks count isn't clear.

That said, violence is violence, and as the report says, "In many countries that have suffered violent conflict, the rates of interpersonal violence remain high even after the cessation of hostilities – among other reasons because of the way violence has become more socially accepted and the availability of weapons."

It's also worth pointing out that "In 2000, the rate of violent death in low- to middle-income countries was 32.1 per 100 000 population, more than twice the rate in high-income countries (14.4 per 100 000)."

My feeling is that religion is not a useful way of understanding violence, while poverty, governance and social integration are good ways. To quote the report once more "The quality of governance in a country, both in terms of the legal framework and the policies offering social protection, is an important determinant of violence."

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Tue Oct 03, 2006 8:38 pm
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jswan wrote:
Some countries do have separation of church and state written into their constitutions, although what it means varies. For example, Mexico has experienced both sectarian religious domination (including the Spanish Inquisition under Spanish rule) and religious wars (as late as the 1930s with the Cristeros Rebellion), so has a very different interpretation of separation of church and state...

Of the list on the Wikipedia page, the Australian, French & Japanese models seem to be closest to the American (with the Mexican model being more punitive than the American, reflecting its historic problems with religious domination). The majority of the other states mentioned appear to have de facto rather than de jure seperation (Israel is an exception, in that ultra-Orthodox Judaism is granted considerable privileges).

I would note that the country with a similar seperation to the US's with the largest Muslim population, France, has experienced some significant rioting from its Muslim minority. Australia has also experienced some lesser problems with inter-communal violence involving its small Muslim minority.


Tue Oct 03, 2006 9:36 pm
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Quote:
Did a Critic of Islam Go Too Far?

A teacher in France is the latest to face death threats for daring to criticize the religion and its prophet's emphasis on violence

The French are always quick to quote Voltaire, but for the last week one of his bons mots has been particularly pertinent: "Even if I don't agree with what you say, I'm ready to fight to my death so you can say it."

What calls the phrase to mind is the plight of Robert Redeker, 52, a writer and high school philosophy teacher who has been under police protection and in hiding with his family since the newspaper Le Figaro published his op-ed piece about Islam on Sept.19. Entitled "Faced with Islamist intimidations, what should the free world do?," Redeker's article called the Koran "a book of extraordinary violence" that shows the prophet Mohammad to have been "a pitiless warlord, pillager, massacrer of Jews and polygamist." The very day the piece came out, Redeker started receiving e-mail death threats. In a letter to a friend published this week in Le Monde, Redeker wrote that one website condemning him to death included a map showing exactly where he and his family lived, along with photos of him and his workplaces. In the letter, published as part of an appeal of support signed by French intellectuals including Bernard-Henri Lévy, André Glucksmann and Elisabeth Badinter, Redeker writes that he and his family are being forced to move every two days. "I'm a homeless person," he complains. "I exercised a constitutional right, and I'm being punished for it right here on the territory of the Republic."

Redeker is only the latest in a lengthening list of Europeans who have been subjected to death threats from Muslims outraged by criticism of their faith and prophet. British writer Salman Rushdie survived the Ayatollah Khomeini's 1989 fatwa only by adopting a quasi-clandestine existence. Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh was gunned down on the street two years ago in Amsterdam for insulting Islam. His co-filmmaker, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, frustrated at living under constant police protection, resigned earlier this year from the Dutch parliament and moved to the United States.

The outcry over Pope Benedict XVI's recent comments about Islam, Redeker wrote, underlined that the religion was trying to stifle "that which is most precious to the West and which doesn't exist in any Muslim country: liberty of thought and expression." He claimed that France was "more or less consciously submitting itself to the dictates of Islam" by such gestures as banning string bikinis during this summer's Paris Plage, the annual beach party in Paris; setting up times when only women can visit public pools; and allowing Muslim schoolchildren to get special food in school cafeterias.

But Redeker expanded his critique from these examples to a broadside against Islam as a religion. He acknowledged that violence was commonly committed in the name of Christianity, but claimed that "it is always possible to turn back to evangelical values, to the mild personage of Jesus, from the excesses of the Church." Muhammad, he claimed, offered no such recourse: "Jesus is a master of love, Muhammad is a master of hate."

Support for Redeker has been widespread — but sometimes nuanced. Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin called his situation "unacceptable," a message forcefully echoed by French newspapers and teachers' unions. The minister of education, however, said that state employees should be "prudent, moderate and wise in all circumstances" — an implicit criticism that infuriated many of Redeker's supporters.

There was a touch of blame-the-victim in some Muslim reaction, too. Dalil Boubakeur, rector of the Mosque of Paris and president of the French Council of the Muslim Religion, told TIME that Redeker had made "grave errors" in treating questions of religion in a "purely subjective manner." But, he said, "we have to respond with arguments, not threats of violence. I deplore the situation he is in."

Beyond that, Boubakeur deplores what amounts to the further coarsening of relations between Muslims and non-Muslims in Europe. "This helps the radicals on both sides," he says. "The Islamist radicals say, 'See, they're still insulting Islam,' while the anti-Muslim extremists see Islam's propensity for violence confirmed." Boubakeur wants to see more active prosecution of what he calls "acts that provoke religious hatred." The French authorities, meanwhile, are more interested in finding the people who have threatened to kill Redeker.

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Wed Oct 04, 2006 12:19 pm
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Relating to the discussion of Seperation of Church and State on this thread, I direct readers' attention to this NY Times article.


Sun Oct 08, 2006 10:11 pm
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Joined: Fri Sep 22, 2006 5:38 pm
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Location: Kansas
Post Unconstitutional
I am amazed that no one had the cojones to oppose the Bush "Office of Faith-Based Initiatives" when it was first announced. This is clearly a violation of the First Amendment, which the government (including the present Administration) is bound to uphold.

Religion does not trump human rights, or IRS rules. It is only a temporary aberration, if U.S. voters are smart enough (which I doubt) to vote the bums out in 2006 and 2008.

Religion and government hand-in-hand was one of the main reasons the colonists decided to leave England. Puritans were persecuted because they weren't C of E. The Irish were persecuted because they were Catholic. Irish protestants beat up on Irish Catholics because they weren't protestants.

No particular religion, as far as I know, advocates violence against other religious communities. It's human beings who decide, for religious reasons, but probably actually for economic reasons, to attack those who don't believe as they do, and grab their land and resources.

As I hear on the news tonight, from a reporter who was a prisoner in Darfur for three weeks, a new, heightened round of violence is imminent there, just when we thought it could not get any worse. Reason? Stated: religion. Real: Scarce resources. It's you or me, brother. And if I have anything to do with it, it's gonna be you.

I submit that religious conflict masks other conflicts. It's just nobler to say it's for religion. Ala the Crusades.

Comments?


Mon Oct 09, 2006 8:48 pm
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I got a call from Brownback's office. I had written, expressing concern over the IRS investigation of a church in Pasadena. Evidently, a visiting preacher had suggested that Jesus would not be in favor of the war in Iraq.

When the staffer asked me what i wanted Brownback to do, I said that he should work to ensure that the investigation is even handed - after all, Dobson has just been quoted as saying something to the effect that a Christian couldn't vote for a candidate who was pro abortion, and I am not aware of an ongoing investigation by the IRS.

He said they were investigating the issue of the IRS investigations of churches and politics, and would get back to me.

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Mon Oct 09, 2006 8:58 pm
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Joined: Fri Sep 22, 2006 5:38 pm
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Post Get back to you?
Oh, yeah--

They'll get back to you. NOT.

When I heard Brownback was voting anti-abortion, I wrote him saying I thought abortion was a matter best left to the mother and her physician.

He sent me a letter that used the adjective, "gruesome" to describe abortion at least six or seven times.

I wrote back saying open-heart surgery is "gruesome," but I wouldn't ban it on that account. He didn't respond.

These "government-off-our-backs" Republicans seem to want government all over us when it comes to preventing women from choosing a safe, legal abortion. Or when it comes to warrantless wire-taps. And so on. Are we living in a police state, or what? I went to stand on the Plaza with the war protesters once. Did someone from the State Department take my photo, and am I now on a "terrorist list?"

This America scares me.


Mon Oct 09, 2006 9:00 pm
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Joined: Fri Sep 22, 2006 11:24 am
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Love your analogy between heart surgery and abortion, lcraig.
You must be very philosophically inclined. I think I will find your analogy quite useful.
Good job!


Tue Oct 10, 2006 10:40 am
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