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Thursday, January 21, 2010

Interfaith Alliance head protests Bible verses on military gun sights

By Bob Allen, Thursday, January 21, 2010, Associated Baptist Press
WASHINGTON (ABP) -- A Baptist leader is calling on President Obama to conduct a formal investigation into revelations that a United States military contractor stamped references to Bible verses on combat rifle sights used, unknowingly, by troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Welton Gaddy, president of the Washington-based Interfaith Alliance, said the episode "is only the latest in a long line of violations of the boundaries between religion and government within the military." He urged Obama to develop guidelines that "ensure that religion no longer plays an inappropriate role in our armed forces."continue reading

See on the same shelf:
  • Justin Trottier: Weapons bearing scripture & google's Islam censorship: catch me tonight on the Michael Coren show CTS TV @ Facebook
  • Google struggles with religious sensitivity: "Google results offend Christians, but if you search for “Islam is” Google will give you no search suggestions.
  • You Can’t Make This Stuff Up—Bible Verses on Gun Sights Ronald A. Lindsay, January 21, 2010
  • More News via Google's images
  • Sunday, January 10, 2010

    Google struggles with religious sensitivity

    "Google results offend Christians, but if you search for “Islam is” Google will give you no search suggestions.
    It wasn’t long ago experts claimed that we were entering the age of secularization. Instead the headlines of the new century have become dominated by religious fervor, not at least because of the rise of Muslim militants and 9/11." continue reading @ Pandia Search Engine News

    See also:
  • Google favouring Islam? Matthew Moore, Expressbuzz, 11 Jan 2010
    Google has denied favouring Islam over other religions in its suggested searches, after allegations that phrases criticising the faith had been censored.
  • Google 'censors its website so anti-Islam  searches fail to appear   Daily Mail   Neil Millard

  • Google suggests Islam is nothing

  • "The metaphysics of search, The Register, 11th January 2010

    Google's search Suggest function treats Islam a bit differently from the other major religions of the world. It's willing to suggest "Christianity is bullshit" or "Judaism is false," but if you begin to ask what Islam is, it won't suggest a thing..."

  • Is Google Censoring Islam Suggestions? Wired News

  • Friday, January 08, 2010

    Proselytization, admittedly, is fraught with complications - Thought for the day

    By Michael Gerson, Friday, January 8, 2010 Washington Post:
    "Proselytization, admittedly, is fraught with complications. We object to the practice when an unequal power relationship is involved -- a boss pressuring an employee. We are offended by brainwashing. Coercion and trickery violate the whole idea of free religious choice based on open discussion.

    But none of this was present in Hume's appeal to Woods. A semi-retired broadcaster holds no unfair advantage over a multimillionaire athlete. Hume was engaged in persuasion.

    "Persuasion, by contrast," argues political and social ethics professor Jean Bethke Elshtain, "begins with the presupposition that you are a moral agent, a being whose dignity no one is permitted to deny or to strip from you, and, from that stance of mutual respect, one offers arguments, or invites your participation, your sharing, in a community." 

    The root of the anger against Hume is his religious exclusivity -- the belief, in Shuster's words, that "my faith is the right one." For this reason, according to Shales, Hume has "dissed about half a billion Buddhists on the planet." Continue reading: Brit Hume's Tiger Woods remarks shine light on true intolerance

    How to suppress American Muslims (and throw Sikhs and Jews under the bus)

    By Rajdeep Singh, January 8, 2010, Altmuslimah

    "At a time of fear and hostility toward Muslims, ID documents offer bigots a simple way to wreck the socio-economic mobility of religious minorities (that Sikhs, Jews, and others might be impacted is usually an afterthought). The act of redefining photo ID standards by law to slam religious minorities has an economic dimension, but it also constitutes a form of dehumanization. For the faithful, religious headcoverings are not merely articles of faith but also integral and inseparable components of their identities as human beings. They are a source of self-definition and strength..."

    Wednesday, January 06, 2010

    Free to criticize religions but not with hate: Bombay high court

    Swati Deshpande, The Times of India TNN 7 January 2010, 01:11am IST
    MUMBAI: In a significant ruling, a three-judge bench of the Bombay high court on Wednesday held that in India, criticism of any religion -- be it Islam, Hinduism, Christianity or any other -- is permissible under the fundamental right to freedom of speech and that a book cannot be banned on those grounds alone.

    However, the criticism must be bona fide or academic, said the court, as it upheld a ban issued in 2007 by the Maharashtra government on a book titled `Islam - A Concept of Political World Invasion by Muslims.' The book contained was an "aggravated form of criticism made with a malicious and deliberate intention" to outrage the feelings of Muslims, the court said.

    Delivering the landmark verdict on Wednesday, the court has in a rare instance upheld the state's ban on a book but at the same time brought joy to civil rights activists when it held that, "in our country, everything is open to criticism and religion is no exception. Freedom of expression covers criticism of religion and no person can be sensitive about it."

    The bench, comprising Justices Ranjana Desai, D Y Chandrachud and R S Mohite, said, "Healthy criticism provokes thought, encourages debate and helps us evolve. But criticism cannot be malicious and must not lead to creating ill-will between different communities... (it) must lead to sensible dialogue." The courts must strike a balance between the guaranteed freedom and permissible restrictions, "a difficult task", as the 150-page HC verdict penned by Justice Desai observed...

    A person may have a right to say a particular religion is "not secular", said the HC, but it cautioned against rabid contents "reeking of hatred for a particular community" and "malafide exercise to stir communal passions".

    The HC also found "totally unacceptable" the author's argument that banning the book in the age of the internet is passe and pointless.

    The book contains "highly objectionable and disturbing" statements about the author's wishful thinking of an impending war between Muslims and others and how Indian Muslims want to convert all Hindus, attack temples and Hindu women. Statements like these are "likely to incite people to violence and may promote violence, enmity or hatred". Full article
    See also:
  • Hate Sermons: Free to criticize religions but not with hate: High Court Decision on Hate; a new international precedent
  • Tuesday, January 05, 2010

    Atheists Celebrate First-Ever Invite to Mayor's Interfaith Breakfast

    By Roy Edroso in Citystate, Featured, Religion
    Monday, Jan. 4 2010 @ 4:33PM
    "Ken Bronstein was excited to notify us of a great coup: six members of his organization, the New York City Atheists, attended Mayor Bloomberg's annual Interfaith Breakfast this weekend. It's believed to be the first time nonbelievers have been invited, as nonbelievers, to the event.

    We asked Bronstein why atheists would even want to attend an Interfaith Breakfast, seeing as they don't, in point of fact, have faith.

    "Oh, we have faith," Bronstein told us. "Just not in God." continue reading

    On the same shelf:
  • Annual Interfaith Breakfast on Parliament Hill Born
  • 'I Sold My Soul on eBay' - Faithwise Review of the Week
  • Atheist, Naturalist, Secular humanist, Or None-of-the-above
  • Atheist Ashu Solo threatens human rights complaint after Saskatoon councillor’s dinner blessing, Betty Ann Adam, Postmedia News
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