Believe those who are seeking the truth. Doubt those who find it.- Andre Gide
Dexter PeraltaPhi 2010 TR Theocracy or secularism? After seeing what these protesters have done and that they’re chanting death to Americans and all because they have a theocratic government I prefer secularism. There has to be a clear division between the state and religion, because the view of a few cannot be the view of all those who live in a country. The protests in the Middle East which is said to be caused by a cheap and mediocre video, which I find hard to believe because regular protesters don’t carry rocket propelled grenades, has gotten out of hand and their reactions to it are just ridiculous and shameful. The fact that they killed four Americans, including an ambassador which helped them fight for the exact thing they are protesting for, freedom of speech, makes me believe that they are an uncivilized and inhumane group of people. These extremist Muslims that are protesting don’t seem to understand that freedom of speech doesn’t just consist of being able to say things you want, but that it also consists of other people disagreeing with you or in this case insulting you. Just because someone insults you it doesn’t mean you should put a bounty on his head or worse kill people that had nothing to do with it. Imagine if everyone here in the United States reacted the same way when they are insulted, everyone would be in jail or dead. As a Catholic I find the desecration of religious figures and of the bible insulting and disgusting , but I’m not going to rally up all the Catholics in Miami and go kill the desecrators or try to get them arrest them. It is the desecrator’s and everyone’s, right to say what he or she believes without fearing for his or her life. And I find it appalling that this government has the audacity to apologize in the name of the American people for a basic fundamental human right. Religion makes people do crazy things, but no religion, at least not in this day in age, has killed people and attacked governmental buildings for desecrating a sacred image and no religion should is above others and especially not above the law.
A civic society should have a more secular tendency than theocratic, since religions are dogmas imposed by institutions in order to make us believe what they see fit better, we can see this throughout the history. Theocracy is a form of government in which government leaders agree with the leaders of the dominant religion, and government policies are identical or are heavily influenced by the principles of the dominant religion. Normally the government claims to rule on behalf of God or a higher power, as specified by the local religion. This leads to acts condemned by society (society focused on religion) as inappropriate are judged inhumanely, for example murders someone in the name of God. In my opinion, as a Christian, the extremist Muslims to be raised with that mentality are slightly exaggerated in the way they want to mediate the problem with the film, because is just an opinion, a lot of Christians documentaries and films have been produced and blaspheme some points of the Bible and not because of that people linked with Christianity take extreme decisions like kill the films producers or people agree with them.
Comment on blog: for an open minded secularism Everyone has the right to freedom and speech, you can say and do whatever you want with your freedom, but up to the point where freedom is legal. I think one person’s freedom ends when the next person’s freedom starts, so even if you are against some else’s beliefs, and you can express those feelings there is no need to invade someone else’s space or hurt other’s feelings. The person who desecrated Muslim beliefs has the right to freedom of speech but he did it in a way that is morally wrong and not necessary. On the other hand the desecrated is in all his right to respond in his own way of freedom of speech, although if one is seeking justice must act with justice, and killing someone doesn’t necessarily bring justice and is also morally wrong. I believe that true justice would be; Instead of everyone focusing their energy in hurting and killing they should learn to focus on understanding and complimenting each other.Justine Pezet
For an open mind secularism...I believe that everyone has a right to say what he or she wants and to believe in any religion that he or she chooses. However, I don’t agree with violence as a way to express what they may not believe in. If the religion or the person practicing religion doesn’t harm anyone personally, then I think that they should be left alone. It is a matter of respect. I pertain to a religion but just because a lot of people don’t believe in it, I will not judge them or do hate crimes to them. I think people need to get more educated with all types of expression and religion and just learn to accept that everyone is not going to have the same mindset when it comes to those things. I do believe in a God and I feel that only He can judge anyone for anything they do or say. As far as us, just let them be. -Karly Sandoval
Secularism is not only the best way of expressing our thoughts, but also the best ways to respect, and accept the opinions of other people. Some people think, that in order to make someone belief, and accept a specific religion they have to use violence and punishments, but this is not right, everyone has the right to belief or not belief in a specific religion. Now in some parts of the world saying “I do not belief” the punishment is dead or torture, and again this is not right. We have to learn to accept, and respect that not everyone has to think and belief the same things as everyone else. We need more education and more tolerance with our thoughts. We are humans not animals that need to fight and kill each other for our acts and beliefs. Cindy Castro
Loretta Thompkins-WilliamsonProf. Perez-TriffPhilosophy23 September 2012 For an Open Minded SecularismI am not secularism individual; I am a woman of faith. However, I do consider myself an open minded person. Therefore, after reading the information on the blog I have took a look at both sides. First, I have viewed how the muslin people are being prosecuted because of their religious beliefs. I concluded that these people and other have the right to wishop any God they choose to and that goes for all religious. Furthermore, I disagree with how the military on either side of the coin whether it’s the U.S or the troops in Afghanistan is desecrating these people sacred symbols and sanctuaries. Secondly, on the other hand, some of the religious communities are also at fault because they are returning evil for evil. Some of them are taking the law in their on hand by killing the violators as punishment. It’s senseless and it’s violates the Bill of Rights, when it states that we have the freedom of Speech, and also it violates the Ten Commandments when it states, Thou Shall Not Kill. Finally, when these laws was written did they only apply to some of the world or to the world as a whole?
Lorena PaniaguaThere is a big controversy with religion, because everyone views it from different prospective. In many religious places many people categorize them as something they have acted upon, heard or have seen, but not all can be classified as something negative for the unflawless acts of others. The Middle East protest was classified as a mediocre video, but if we were to look at it from different angles many acts which these people did were acts that the normal average Joe does not do, such as carrying irrelevant weapons and committing crimes with them, does not make any sense that for the acts of these shameful people the whole religion or country is looked at only one certain way. To me these people doing these acts are not religious and are more seen as devil worshipers, because that’s what they had in them, their inner demon was released and killed many people including four Americans , these poor people were just victims of these ridiculous acts. I personally believe these acts should be unlawful and severely punished and should have some sort of guidelines to this kind of behavior.
True secularism is rarely found. Mostly everyone believes in some form of diety or higher power, but practicing secularism may be a good idea. I am not saying to abandon religion, but I believe everyone would benefit from keeping their religions to themselves. Not everyone is of your same religion, and you cannot expect everyone to follow your same principles. Therefore, It is completely unacceptable to react with violence when something is not in accordance with your religion or someone does something that does not follow your religion. Although you may not support desecration, it is a form of freedom of speech, a right guaranteed to all American citizens. As stated in the post, desecration is not a new phenomenon and reacting with violence is not only the wrong thing to do, but it does not help your case. Violence only inflames and encourages further desecration, because those that desecrate receive what they want: a reaction. This cycle of violence and hateful crimes must be stopped. Everyone should be allowed to worship whomever/ whatever they desire and be left in peace regardlesss of their choices. Rhina M. Lara
For an open minded secularismI think that between secularism and theocracy, I would agree with secularism. America has given us the right to freedom of speech, and therefore we can protest against or for something without fearing for our life. In the East we fear the violence if we don’t agree with their beliefs. In America, we have a freedom of choosing the religion we want to believe in, but the government is trying to never a good referee. Sometimes the government has to get involved somehow and the question is… can the government be unbiased (secularist)? I don’t think the government can be truly secularist because there isn’t true freedom. American government is tweaking free speech like the post said, and that is already suppression of speech. In other words, true freedom of speech doesn’t really exist. I just think that as a government, America has the closest thing you can get to true secularism.Priscila CordovaTR 9:50
"one cannot claim to have a right he/she denies the other". Respect. On top of the rights wars, one should always have respect for others before everything and everyone. It should almost be a fundamentalist belief in every religion, this idea that we are all equal and that one cannot simply think of him/herself as superior. As such, though, shouldn't this be considered by both the narcissistic one and the thought-to-be lower other? By this I mean, if I believe and consider myself as equal and same-leveled as you and every other person, is it not my own duty to consider this when told otherwise? If a third-party man comes up to me enraged just by looking at the length of my skirt and consequently yells and calls me certain diminishing adjectives that are proper specifically for those not pertaining to his religion, is is not my duty to say, "OK, have a nice day" and simply take off? Or just stay there, wherever it is that I was when he said this. Because yes, if this is what I believe, that all of us share the same homeland, our planet Earth, and skin differences only our levels of pigmentation and our beliefs just the direction of where our prays go to, then it is my own problem to take others' words as their personal feelings and thoughts. May these words be insulting and diminishing towards me or my culture, it is my responsibility not to care, right? To know that, even though I do not think of myself as superior as someone using such words, but as someone who knows better, and yet not because I am capable of more. If a culture A perceives another as a wronged culture B, one that follows the wrong set of beliefs, etc., and therefore decides to attack (verbally, if not other) such population, both should be simply ignorant in the case of taken this attack as an insult. If this insulted culture A decides to take culture B's words in a diminishing and insulting manner, it is by their own fault. If their beliefs fall in those of tolerance and respect for others then they have to understand that it is in their position to be as calm and silent about it as possible. Here, I refer to them not falling into culture A's ignorance, where they have to disrespect others without backgrounds, and is what separates the mindful from the mindless. In the end, it is not the ignorant "attacker" who creates wars, it is the mixture of them and the ignorance "receivers" that have so much pride they cannot simply forget others' believed superiority. - Ana Federica Nava
In my opinion, judging and condemning someone to death just because they are desecrating others beliefs is an inhuman act that all it presents is a controversy to people’s religion. We, as humans don’t have the right to adjudicate someone else only because that person thinks differently and expresses his/her opinion openly. As a Christian, I think that God is the only being that can judge us in his own way. He is the only one that can take a determination over our actions. People have the right to express their opinions freely without being punished. We can think, say, and act in different ways. This is why God gave us a brain, so we can actually use it by processing thoughts and analyzing situations intelligently. As long as people’s opinions and actions don’t cross other’s boundaries by damaging and harming them psychologically and physically, then they should be allowed to speak freely. Jennifer Claussen
While I do not agree with the act of violence to justify a mean, it seems that throughout history mankind has found it to be inevitable. I feel it’s a matter of attitude and self reflection. Humanity has been quick to dominate. We should not use ethnocentrism in order to address current issues; it creates a division, and a feeling of superiority. One should avoid condescending, it can lead to resentment; instead one should try and respect differences. It takes more than tolerance, to be tolerant implies a passive approach, but it lacks the understanding of empathy. Empathy is about stepping out of your-self to try to understand others. We find it hard to do because it requires detaching oneself from an ego centric mentality. As humans we find it difficult to understand differences especially when we hold onto our beliefs strongly. With the current situation, in the Islamic religion it’s considered a sin to “allow” desecration. What I see is a group of believers dealing with fears and anxieties pertaining to their beliefs about life and death. Although secularism might seem like a better approach in dealing with politics and religion, It’s far from a practice in the United States we intertwine our politics with religion. For example conservatism from the Republican Party, we’d be fooling ourselves if we believed some of their ideals didn’t branch off from religion. I can’t say secularism would be the solution to issues the Muslim culture faces today. The Muslim culture is entirely different from ours and I know too little of it to say that it would work for that part of the world. Instead I would say that extremist took it too far by attacking the U.S. Embassy for an individual who acted alone in creating the video. That’s not to say this individual should be murdered or brutally attacked. Freedom of speech is important, but one should not do so with ill intentions. It would be an unbalanced logic if one thought they could create negativity and not expect it back. Yes the extremist could have chosen to turn a blind eye to the video just as the creator could have chosen to not touch the subject matter of Islam. It’s important to be aware that we all coexist together with similarities and differences, but share common humanity. Only by respecting each other’s differences will we obtain a common ground. We can be unlimited beings if we choose to be, but we also should acknowledge that we need balance in our lives.-Eliana Arita
Emma del reyReligious debate? I’ve never heard of it…does the debate ever stop. They say never talk about religion and politics. This article does just that and presents it in a equal way. Equality is what I want to write about and I feel this is what the article hints at in regards to religion and politics. The bicker of and within religion has been going on for centuries and will continue to go on until they realize their equality within our world. More than a freedom of speech we have a right to freedom of religion in America and I think this should be a right given to our world. Who is to say the other is wrong or right with such a personal and sensitive issue. And when we choose to include political stances within the controversy how much more hot and aggressive does it make it. Will our world ever reach equality in this area? I don’t know. But I do know something that must occur with a consensus of equality. It will actually make equality all the more easier to accept and walk in. the word I speak is forgiveness. This word is equality put in action. In other words forgiveness lived out in its truest essence would leave us with equality for all religion and politics. Better said a universal religion called reconciliation.
Everyone has a right to free speech in the United States for a matter of fact. However, you have the right to free speech to the extent to express your opinion. I do not believe that such law was created so people could insult other religions and etc. I believe that one has no right to judge and criticize other people’s belief if he/she has never studied and fully understood that religion. It is the same as saying I do not belief in evolution if you have never read it. Of course, how can you believe in it if you do not know what it is? Moreover, even if you do not believe in something, it does not make right for you to take off your anger towards this group of people.
I feel like we as humans in general should have the right to speak and express how we feel. Here in America we have the right to do so granted in other countries if you do so you can get punished by the law. But since here in America we won’t get punished by the law some people find it in themselves to perform this act. Now I can understand if someone can insult someone religious belief and feel insulted but that person shouldn’t have to retaliate by violence. I can relate because I have my religious views and each time I see someone making fun of my religion I feel insulted but because of that I’m not going to do anything violent towards them. If you have hate towards that person I can understand it but still that person life shouldn’t have to be at risk from words he said. Now there are other cases like when people burn Bibles or Koran’s or other religious texts that I feel that is un called for ,but once again violence shouldn’t occur because someone can start something and then that person can strike back and so on.Rodolfo Saborio
Although secularism seems to be the right way to go about government and religion, quiet a few countries in the world don’t seem to agree with this standpoint. Not even our own country. As world with religious tendency, it is hard not to occupy biased views in the government we desire. However, it is one thing to strongly believe something, and another to cause violence based on those beliefs. How can I to say my ideas are correct and others are not? Is violence a necessary condition for our lives? We can’t seem to live without it? Even with the United Nations we can’t seem to find a common ground amongst the worlds citizens. Is our inability to find ourselves at fault, the reason we can never seek justice and compromise? It seems to me a little understanding and humility could go a long way. But then again, who am I to say?
Sharlene Iraheta The idea of an open minded secularism is an idealistic theory. Yes, it'd be more convenient and much more rational if the general population could be convinced or taught how to be accepting of not only other people's religions, but also artistic taste, clothing choice, political values, sexual orientation, and many more topics that seem to cause tension between the true believers of each one. However, it just isn't going to happen. There are many little things that people choose to discuss about our current society, as well as other people's society, that involves artists and their art, as well as the religious and their pride. As an artist, I can understand that one's work can be perceived entirely wrong. While 'piss Christ' certainly be taken as desecration, if the artist says that its not and provides their artistic statement and explanation then their words are all we can take as truth. Even if the artist's goal was to spurn the religious people's anger to show just how opposite of their teachings they behave, it should definitely be more than okay. Discord has always been the beginnings of historic movements, whether its between religion and science/ philosophy, or art and politics, etc..., to have our current government, or any government for that matter, try to police these ever-conflicting ideals is a ridiculous idea. Yes, freedom of speech, should be free. Can it ever truly be? Only if its taught by parents, and kind people, and knowledgeable professors.
KELLY ESCOBARSecular is anything that has no relation with the church or with God, concerning all that is worldly, as opposed to the spiritual. With the secularism sacred gives way to the profane, the process by which religion is losing influence on society. Secularism is the way to talk about the decline of religious beliefs and practices that are seen in modern societies. Today the religion has gradually lost its influence on the habits and mentality of people, this means that man no longer needs religion, because he can thinks and decides by himself. Not like in the past and in some societies that still use the theocracy, as that system of government by a religious authority in the name of God and at the same time a community governed by this system. With this ancient form of government, the Governmental leaders agree with the leaders of the dominant religion, which the government claims to follow the doctrine in the name of God. With the theocracy many great atrocities have been committed in the name of God, and at the name of that same God great wars have begun. For all these reasons I believe that every human being has the right to choose their own beliefs and their own religion and should not be imposed by someone else.
Linda BaezPHI2010 TRFree Speech is founded on a simple truth; speech that needs to be defended is what westerner's would call "unpopular speech" Religious views,while these acts of violence against this "unpopular speech" (in the form of this offensive film) are the acts of muslim EXTREMISTS, and therefore must not be taken as representative of the muslim population as a whole, while this film may be considered as heresy it is important to bear in mind that while heresy may be a religious crime, it is NOT a crime that merits death sentences, or any punishment for that matter, all accross the world there are groups protesting the western prescence in non-violent ways, which while others may disagree with, is also another form of free speech that must be protected, in my opinion, these extremists need to look at their course of action and realize the hypocritical nature of their physical violence. Religious tolerance, while of utmost importance is pale in comparison to the idea of free speech (which is ironically the fundamental core of freedom of religion).
"For an Open Minded Secularism"Ah, but what is an open mind to a closed heart? It is part of our animal instincts to FIGHT or FLIGHT. It is only through experience that we learn to be civil. Our human nature is to fear that which we do not understand, and in that fear we tend to become aggressive. I think the point that desecration is acceptable because it is a challenge is lacking. You can challenge without desecration. and you can desecrate without challenging or even wanting to challenge. Shouldn't intention matter. To disrespect with the intent to aggravate is not an acceptable form of desecration.Martin Luther's 95 Theses may have been a desecration of the church, but its intentions were to challenge an unfair (fundamentalist?) authority.And a desecration such as the "Piss Christ," may not a be a challenge to the church as much as it is a desecration to the "sanctity of sanctity." If Serrano's intention was to deliberately enflame a community his desecration immediately becomes unacceptable. But i believe he wanted to challenge that which we may not understand in order to help us evolve spiritually, philosophically, and ethically. -Americo Padilla
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