Photocredit: islam-watch.org

Photocredit: islam-watch.org

By Rick Plasterer

The long standing sympathy of the religious left with Muslim activist groups, radical Muslim states such as Iran, and laws and policies, in particular restrictions on speech, which restrict classical freedoms in the name of combating prejudice, is part of the political and cultural landscape in the Western world. It is certainly one of the strangest alliances imaginable, between westerners committed to realizing Enlightenment ideals of life based on reason and personal and social liberation on the one hand, and on the other, militant components of a pre-Enlightenment religion committed to a theism of absolute divine monarchy and enforcing that monarchy in society at large. In particular, acceptance and advocacy for the sexual revolution is a major, perhaps even the most important, aspect of liberation theology as advanced in churches in Europe and America. Included in the revolution is both acceptance of sexual activities traditionally thought to be immoral (fornication, adultery, and sodomy), and the replacement of hierarchical relations between the sexes with sexual egalitarianism. More generally, liberationist thought seeks to diminish or eliminate punishment as a response to misbehavior or a means of social control. Yet this is one of the strongest contradictions between Islamist groups and liberationist movements.

The degree of contradiction can be seen in the willingness of Islamic societies to enforce their sexual mores. The actual use of punishment for consensual adult sexual crimes in the West was abandoned years before the more general social and legal abandonment of sexual morality. The aggressive legal drive to normalize homosexuality is now prompting changes in the law itself to penalize opposition to the sexual revolution, as legal scholar Robert George noted more than a year ago.

Read the rest here.


16 Responses to Western Liberalism and the Penalties of Islam

  1. Gus Ravenwheel says:

    Rick said…

    The long standing sympathy of the religious left with Muslim activist groups, radical Muslim states such as Iran, and laws and policies, in particular restrictions on speech, which restrict classical freedoms in the name of combating prejudice…

    You misunderstand the actual position of the religious left. As someone who is associated with the Christian Left, I’ve never heard anyone suggest that Islamic religious restrictions or oppressions are acceptable, moral or something to be tolerated.

    That we treat moderate, reasonable, NON-oppressive Muslims (ie, the VAST majority of the Islamic world) with respect and defend their rights to practice their religion and not be oppressed does not in any way suggest that we defend the more oppressive views of the more strident minority of Muslims. We are opposed to, for instance, the oppression of women, gay folk, religious minorities where EVER it happens – whether in more oppressive Christian OR Muslim circles.

    If you can cite no support for actual Christians of the Left who support oppressive behavior, I would suggest common decency would cause you to backtrack and clarify your meaning.

    So, I and my more liberal Christian friends stand strongly AGAINST all oppression of women and gay folk. Will you say the same?

    In Christ,

    Dan Trabue

  2. dover1952 says:

    Actually Dan. If given the power to do so, I remain absolutely convinced that the people here at Juicy Ecumenism would engage in oppreive behaviors quite similar to those of radical Islamists such as the Taliban. Fortunately, we live in a society where it is not yet possible for them to do so.

    I agree with you. My local church does not offically support the so-called “liberal sins” that were cited in the article. However, it does support equality for women. If that is a sin, then sign me up and Jesus up.

  3. Dan, Dover,

    If by oppression you mean free abortion at taxpayer expense, free abortion causing drugs, free sex education slanted to promote promiscuity and early sex, all of which studies show are correlated with consequent serious physical and mental health issues…

    If by oppression you mean not approving and affirming the lifestyle and behavior choices of those who call themselves by initials denotiong their sexual inclinations and who believe their conditioned emotional/physical responses comprise their identity and if by oppression you mean not believing or furthering the lie that people are either straight/gay or bisexual or transgendered, or multiple-oriented, or minor-attracted, or animal-oriented…

    If by oppression you mean warning those who choose to act on their feelings with high-risk behaviors that are not ever approved in Scripture, behaviors that the CDC reports result in 44 times increased incidence of HIV and 46 times increased incidence of all other STDs; that research shows are correlated with higher incidence of interpersonal violence, mental health disorders, suicides, addictions, cancers, bowel disorders, physical injuries, early death…

    Then, I am in favor of oppression, if oppression is teaching the truth about sexual promiscuity and sexual acts according to science, statistics (which back up the truth of Scripture) not politics and wishful thinking, that acting on one’s feelings do not comprise one’s identity and acting on our feelings does not predict a positive outcome.

    I am in favor of oppression if it means teaching the value of human life, compassion, and the common sense of abstinence, self-other respect, boundaries and chaste monogamous heterosexual marriage marriage, and of homes that are safe, stable, sane and healthy places for children to grow up.

    Then, I am in favor of that kind of oppression for women and people who have same-sex attraction…for their good, because of loving and caring what happens to them, just as GOD does.

    • Gus Ravenwheel says:

      To be more clear, I’m speaking about oppression in the sense of deying human rights and liberties that are God-given. I’m speaking of outlawing one’s sexual decisions – putting people in prison for being gay or lesbian or for engaging in sexual acts that are against some the religious opinions of some; I’m speaking of punishing men, women, children with jail or beatings for lives that don’t meet the religious standards of some; I’m speaking of telling women what jobs they can and can’t do because of their gender; I’m speaking of taking away freedom of speech for women or gay folk or the “wrong” religions…

      Oppression like that. You know, oppression.

      I’m against all of those, can you say the same?

      If not, then why don’t you encourage the author of this piece to substitute, “religious conservatives” for “religious liberals,” since it is clearly false witness to say that about liberals – and ridiculous since it’s the OPPOSITE of what liberals stand for?

      • Eric Lytle says:

        Please provide us examples of American conservatives “putting people in prison for being gay or lesbian.” If you are trying to whip up sympathy for Jerry Sandusky and his ilk, good luck.

        Btw, Fidel Castro, who is generally considered a saint by liberals, is notorious for putting a lot of gay men in prison. I guess it must be his deeply entrenched Christian conservatism that makes him do that. What a pity, those poor fellows oppressed by Castro’s religious opinions.

      • J P Logan says:

        Last time I checked, there are no women players allowed in pro football, basketball, baseball, or hockey. Does that fit your definition of “oppression,” or, as you put, “telling women what jobs they can and can’t do because of their gender”? You seem to get bent out of shape because some conservative Christian denominations don’t ordain women. Why don’t you start an Equality in Pro Football blog, show how concerned you are for all the poor oppressed women who are denied their God-given right to be linebackers? Think of all the opportunities that will give you to show how compassionate you are.

      • Gus Ravenwheel says:

        If a woman were qualified to be a linebacker and not allowed to be one due to her gender, yes, that would seem to be at least discriminatory (by definition) and, as such, unjust – a form of oppression.

        Are you saying that someone who is not qualified for a job can legitimately be discriminated against because of their gender or orientation? Is that REALLY the stand you want to take?

        Again, we can see that you all are talking a good game against oppression – as long as we’re only talking about oppression AGAINST Christians. But discrimination and other forms of oppression against others is presumably okay, since you won’t take a stand against it.

        I invite you to join progressives who consistently stand against oppression – wherever it occurs.

      • Gus Ravenwheel says:

        JP…

        You seem to get bent out of shape because some conservative Christian denominations don’t ordain women.

        ? I have not mentioned this, nor stated a position on it, as far as I know. At least not in this post.

        To be sure, I think those denominations who discriminate thusly do so in error. I think it is based upon piss-poor biblical understanding. Thus, I don’t “get bent out of shape.” Rather, as part of EXACTLY the stand against oppression that this post’s author is saying is missing on the religious Left, I am opposed to that sort of discrimination.

        To further clarify: I think we have two competing liberties here, the right of women to hold jobs and the right of religious people to practice their religion so far as it doesn’t cause harm to others. On the job issue, I’m willing to concede a compromise: Religious folk CAN choose who to hire or not, within their religious belief system. That gives them their liberty of religion, but only within their small little circles.

        However, they are NOT free to impose that religious belief upon others, which would be a conflict of others’ religious beliefs. So, the Catholics can choose to not hire gay or female priests, but they can’t tell other groups or belief systems that THEY can’t hire gay or female preachers or other workers.

        Eric…

        Please provide us examples of American conservatives “putting people in prison for being gay or lesbian.”

        I have not suggested that American conservatives have done thusly.

        THIS POST was about liberals (supposedly – as it turns out, this appears to be a false and slanderous charge, so far as I can see – since there has been ZERO evidence provided to support the false charge) who will not take a stand against oppression in OTHER COUNTRIES by Muslims. All I’m asking is are you conservatives prepared to take a stand against oppression wherever it occurs, just as we liberals are?

        So, while no (very few, anyway) US conservative Christians are supporting imprisoning “the gays” here in the US, Christians ARE doing so in Africa. In fact, some US Christians have been supporting African nations on this issue. I’m asking you a straightforward and simple question:

        Will you take a stand against Christians OR Muslims oppressing women or imprisoning gay folk for being gay, wherever it happens?

        If not, then perhaps the charge should be reversed: Clearly progressives are willing to stand against any and all oppression, but apparently the religious right (as represented by folk here, anyway) are not. Or, will you join with liberals in taking stands against oppression?

        Either way, I think you’d want to encourage the IRD people to remove this false, unsupported and slanderous charge, in the interest of honestly portraying “the other side’s” position.

      • J P Logan says:

        Quoting your earlier post:
        “Are you saying that someone who is not qualified for a job can legitimately be discriminated against because of their gender or orientation?”
        Do you have any clue how stupid that sounds? If someone is “not qualified for a job,” then not hiring them isn’t “discrimination,” is it? NOT qualified means NOT qualified, right? Would you like a world where someone can walk into a company and say, “you better hire me, because even if I’m not qualified for the job, I’ll charge you with discrimination”?

        I gather that you are on some kind of mission to make your minority group more acceptable (not working too well on this site, I might add), but if you really think an employer ought to be forced to hire someone who is NOT qualified for a job, you need help.

        Re your challenge to “take a stand for stand for gay folk”: what do you want? A notarized letter? A canceled check to some gay activist group? If this were the typical university, the freshmen would be forced to get “sensitivity training” and all that crap, but fortunately I’m a bit old for that. IRD can post whatever it wants, I don’t control the site. I have to say that your particular minority isn’t a high priority for me. When I see very high-profile stinking rich people like Ellen Degeneres and Rosie O’Donnell being treated like royalty, “oppression” just doesn’t seem like the right word. Ellen could walk into the most redneck podunk town in America and people would swarm around getting her autograph. “Oppression”? Sheesh.

  4. hannahsamuel3100 says:

    Dan, Dover,

    If by oppression you mean free abortion at taxpayer expense, free abortion causing drugs, free sex education slanted to promote promiscuity and early sex, all of which studies show are correlated with consequent serious physical and mental health issues…

    If by oppression you mean not approving and affirming the lifestyle and behavior choices of those who call themselves by initials denotiong their sexual inclinations and who believe their conditioned emotional/physical responses comprise their identity and if by oppression you mean not believing or furthering the lie that people are either straight/gay or bisexual or transgendered, or multiple-oriented, or minor-attracted, or animal-oriented…

    If by oppression you mean warning those who choose to act on their feelings with high-risk behaviors that are not ever approved in Scripture, behaviors that the CDC reports result in 44 times increased incidence of HIV and 46 times increased incidence of all other STDs; that research shows are correlated with higher incidence of interpersonal violence, mental health disorders, suicides, addictions, cancers, bowel disorders, physical injuries, early death…

    Then, I am in favor of oppression, if oppression is teaching the truth about sexual promiscuity and sexual acts according to science, statistics (which back up the truth of Scripture) not politics and wishful thinking, that acting on one’s feelings do not comprise one’s identity and acting on our feelings does not predict a positive outcome.

    I am in favor of oppression if it means teaching the value of human life, compassion, and the common sense of abstinence, self-other respect, boundaries and chaste monogamous heterosexual marriage marriage, and of homes that are safe, stable, sane and healthy places for children to grow up.

    Then, I am in favor of oppression for women and people who have same-sex attraction…for their good, because of loving and caring what happens to them, just as GOD does.

    I am NOT in favor of Islam’s form of oppression, totalitarianism, imperialism, misogyny, racism, slavery and barbaric violence against of women, men, children, Christians, every other religion, even other muslims.

  5. (Typos in original post now marked with asterisks)
    Dan, Dover,

    If by oppression you mean *objecting to* free abortion at taxpayer expense, free abortion causing drugs, free sex education slanted to promote promiscuity and early sex, all of which studies show are correlated with consequent serious physical and mental health issues…

    If by oppression you mean not approving and affirming the lifestyle and behavior choices of those who call themselves by initials denotiong their sexual inclinations and who believe their conditioned emotional/physical responses comprise their identity and if by oppression you mean not believing or furthering the lie that people are either straight/gay or bisexual or transgendered, or multiple-oriented, or minor-attracted, or animal-oriented…

    If by oppression you mean warning those who choose to act on their feelings with high-risk behaviors that are not ever approved in Scripture, behaviors that the CDC reports result in 44 times increased incidence of HIV and 46 times increased incidence of all other STDs; that research shows are correlated with higher incidence of interpersonal violence, mental health disorders, suicides, addictions, cancers, bowel disorders, physical injuries, early death…

    Then, I am in favor of oppression, if oppression is teaching the truth about sexual promiscuity and sexual acts according to science, statistics (which back up the truth of Scripture) not politics and wishful thinking, that acting on one’s feelings do not comprise one’s identity and acting on our feelings does not predict a positive outcome.

    I am in favor of oppression if it means teaching the value of human life, compassion, and the common sense of abstinence, self-other respect, boundaries and chaste monogamous heterosexual marriage marriage, and of homes that are safe, stable, sane and healthy places for children to grow up.

    Then, I am in favor of *what some call* oppression for women and people who have same-sex attraction…for their *best and highest interest*, because of loving and caring what happens to them, just as GOD does.

    I am NOT in favor of Islam’s form of oppression, totalitarianism, imperialism, misogyny, racism, slavery and barbaric violence against of women, men, children, Christians, every other religion, even other muslims.

    • Eric Lytle says:

      Hannah, you need to learn to speak liberal: “oppression” means “anything that upsets liberals.” Not letting two men marry is “oppression.” Give them ten more years and they will say it’s “oppression” to have laws against pedophilia. They are getting tired of flying to Thailand whenever they want access to child prostitutes.

      Liberals are cowards by nature, so you will rarely hear one say anything against Muslims, just as in the 1960s and 70s they said nothing against Communism. They rant against Christians because they know they can get away with it. Ironically, “liberal Christians” join right in. Funny to label yourself “Christian” and side with Muslims instead of Christians.

    • Gus Ravenwheel says:

      By “oppression,” I mean “oppression…” Causing harm to innocents.

      What is interesting is, despite the false/faulty claim made by the author, no serious progressive Christians that I know of are defending oppression done by Islamic extremists. I made that quite clear that I will gladly denounce any and all oppression against women, children, gay folk, folk of different faith traditions… it’s ALL wrong and I gladly stand by that.

      I then offer the question to you all and other than the apparently progressive “dover” and I (the so-called liberals), no one else is willing to clearly take a stand against oppression WHOEVER does it.

      Do you see how that makes the conservatives here sound like they’re just using the oppression of a few extremist Muslims to score political points when the same conservatives are not williing to come out against oppression themselves?

      Do you see how that seems hypocritical?

      • J S Lang says:

        No, I don’t.

        Is your point that, unless we support same-sex marriage, we have no right to speak out against ANY kind of oppression?

        Says who?

  6. dover1952 says:

    Well, you guys had better get mobilized for the next big fight. The gay marriage fight is just about over—and you guys are already on the losing end of that one—which is pretty much the consensus opinion. When that fight is over, the left will be moving on quickly and fully mobilizing for its next big national issue. That issue will be “mercy-killing” of old people and extremely sick people. Here will be the major supports they will offer:

    1) It is the loving thing to do—therefore it is the right thing to do. Jesus says doing the loving thing is more important than rules. (See ox in ditch on Saturday)

    2) Extremely old and sick people cost too much money.

    3) The amount of money that can be saved through “youth in asia” is absolutely staggering and could better go towards paying off the national debt.

    4) Animals are like members of our family. We already put them to sleep so they will not have to suffer. Why do we treat our animals better than our people?

    Now, I am not saying that I support this or any of these other things that you guys are always accusing Dan and me of supporting—simply by your own self-made assumptions. However, I think you are going to have your work cut out for you in opposing this new issue for several different reasons:

    1) We live in a society that is obsessed with mammon, largely because people like you here at IRD refuse to speak out against it and love the rewards that come from it. Anything that can make or save a person or a corporation an extra dollar in the good old USA is going to be hard to fight.

    2) You can bet your last nickel that the health insurance industry (the radical right’s own love child) will line up behind it because they stand to save $billions in profits by putting old and sick people to sleep so they do not have to pay for their care. The very highest health insurance costs of all are run up in the last few weeks of life. The insurance industry would sell Jesus and their own grandmother into sexual slavery to save bucks that big.

    3) Millions of Americans hate their parents for various reasons and would like to kill off the “sick old bag” sooner rather than later for revenge.

    4) Millions of Americans would like to kill off the “sick old bag” so they can get their inheritance sooner and pay off their gambling debts before “Deep 6 Vinnie” finishes them off.

    5) Doctors already do mercy killings of extremely sick patients on a regular basis by giving them “morphine dosages for pain control” that are really calculated to kill them. Why not just make legal what is already widespread practice?

    This is your next big fight. Are you ready?

    • Ben Welliver says:

      Whatever position you take, I’m sure Jesus would approve of it wholeheartedly. In fact, I threw away my Bible, I’ll just use you as my guide from now on.

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