August 17, 2006

"I’m never dragged in to immaterial rows by inconsiderate, useless men."

Enthuses Yvonne Ridley, who used to write for the Sunday Express, but after being kidnapped by the Taliban in Afghanistan in 2001, converted to Islam and now hosts a talk show on the Islamic Channel:
[She] wears a hijab that covers her hair and neck [and] said that Islam for her is a welcome antidote to Western libertinism. “What’s more liberating — being judged on the size of your I.Q., or on the size of your bust?” Divorced, with a 13-year-old daughter, she has stopped drinking and having flings. “I never sit in, waiting for the telephone to ring,” she said, "and I’m never dragged in to immaterial rows by inconsiderate, useless men."
What dismal, minor problems people solve with religion. Aren't you embarrassed to present the religion you want us to respect as a cure for your mundane immaturity about boyfriends and drinking? What a stupid either/or choice you thought you had! The real question is why you only see the world in terms of such extremes. The West only represented libertinism and forced you to drink and have meaningless sex, so you had to jump into a system that imposed all sorts of limits on you. You bring up I.Q., but you sound as if you had no functioning mechanism of reason and judgment in your head. If you're so smart, how about controlling your own behavior and using some judgment about who gets to entertain himself with your body? And if you hadn't figured out how to do that yet, what made you competent to select a religion that tells you want to do? How can you decide you don't want to be free if you haven't yet learned what freedom is?

There's much more in the linked article. Read the whole thing. I gave the NYT a hard time yesterday about an article about a Muslim school in NYC, but this article has quite a different tone. And the headline is quite a change from yesterday too: "Hungry for Fresh Recruits, Cult-Like Islamic Groups Know Just When to Pounce."

ADDED: I note that religions of all sorts are pitched as solutions to mundane problems. In particular, Alcoholics Anonymous seems to be based on the idea that you can't solve your own problems, but must refer them to God.

52 comments:

Royce said...

"I used to be all f@#ked up on drugs. Then I found the Lord. Now I'm all f@#ked up on the Lord."

Cheech and Chong

bill said...

translation: "I'm so smart I chose a religion to make decisions I wasn't smart enough to make myself." Yeah, good luck with that.

Royce, your code is too impenetrable to solve:
forked?
funked?
farked?
fisked?
fluked?
flaked?

Stymied, I am.

Pogo said...

"Cult-like"?

I guess that's as close as they can come without flat out stating "Islamic Cults". A step forward in this article, after the step back in the other story yesterday.

In another era, this woman would have found communism to slake her parched soul. Funny how these types don't ever learn how credulous they are, how gullible, how prone to idolizing their worldview.

And bill, its fooked.

knoxgirl said...

Ann, this is one of your posts where I'm reading and chanting inn my head at the same time: "Go, Ann, go!"

This woman is and was an idiot.

MadisonMan said...

Another way to shirk responsibility.

The appeal to an unemployed bounder is that Islam, with its anti-Western slant, allows him to blame his lack of success on society, rather than on himself. It's not my fault!

Of course, that person is still unemployed, but now they're an unemployed convert, and everyone knows that no one will hire a Muslim! It's not my fault!

It's not bimbo Yvonne's fault that she was sleeping with any Tom, Dick or Harry. It's society!

Dave said...

The only thing I ask of the religious is that they consider the depths to which religion has sunk man (or, in this case, woman).

Ann Althouse said...

It's worth noting that this phenomenon isn't limited to Muslims. I note that Alcoholics Anonymous is based on the idea that you can't possibly take personal responsibility for your problem but must surrender yourself to God (presumably, usually, Christian-style).

tjl said...

It's particularly hard to understand the thought process of someone who knowingly adopts Islam

(1)after being kidnapped and held hostage by the Taliban; and
(2) being fully aware after experiencing #(1) that as a woman she will never be considered the equal of any man.

It makes me think of the penitent monks in "Monty Python and the Holy Grail" whacking themselves in the head with wooden boards.

El Presidente said...

I hate it when people surrender their freedom to an ideology.

tcd said...

Alcoholics Anonymous people are alcoholics first, and Christians second. I know a lot of devout Christians who do not consume alcohol and the Bible is not a substitute drug for them either. Healthy people will practice religion in a healthy way.

Smilin' Jack said...

It seems to me that Islam is simply filling the void left by the dearth of new, indigenous cults here in the West. We haven't come up with an interesting new religion since the Comet Hale-Bopp guys ten years ago, and even that was pretty lame. With our current knowledge of psychology and social dynamics, we should be able to invent much better religions than a bunch of stone age camel herders. People aren't going to get any smarter or saner, so we need to find out what appeals to the wacky among us and divert them into more innocuous ways of wasting their lives. Christianity just isn't cutting it any more, despite the laudable efforts of the fundamentalists. Scientology and Raelianism were a good start, but now we need to take it to the next level.

Atticus said...

Some people may need help to overcome their particular problems. Is that so bad? Why make fun of them because you think they chose a stupid solution? AA has saved many people from a dismal life; so what if it isn't a solution I would choose?

Poking fun at why someone chooses religion to explain their life...that's too easy. Pick a harder target. If you want to point out how religions use unethical methods to gain converts, have at it. That's different from "ignorant slut."

jeff said...

I'd call that about the most complete case of Stockholm Syndrome I've heard of.

37383938393839383938383 said...

If you're so smart, how about controlling your own behavior and using some judgment about who gets to entertain himself with your body?

This woman is not surrendering her freedom or denying personal responsibility. The point is that Islam offers her the categorical that objectification and instrumentalization of human beings is always wrong, thus human beings necessarily have certain duties and obligations to each other arising from the moral fact of human dignity. Western freedoms, however, possess no such categorical: to the extent feminism tells women to objectify themselves for their own purposes before men can, it still tells them to objectify themselves, which is inherently degrading. So what you mean by the use of judgment in exercising freedom, this woman sees as deciding to what extent she will degrade herself for instant self-gratification. It has nothing to do with some man victimizing her by "entertaining himself". She is not claiming she is a victim -- she is claiming that Western thought blinds one to simple truths, like that no one should be objectified or instrumentalized for any reason, even their own purposes. Her complaint is that there is too much freedom in the Western world -- not that there is freedom at all. She has no problem with freedom so long as it entails obligations and duties to other human beings as human beings and to ourselves as human beings. Her point is that the lack of recognition of this moral truth anf lack of social forms reinforcing it leaves individuals without the ability to "exercise judgment" without committing dehumanizing acts against themselves. It is a trap. Look at your language, Ann: "your body". Her problem is with the concept that a body is property. It is not property to be possessed, even self-possessed; it is a fundamental incident of life that was God-given and can be God-taken-away. Your attitude toward self-ownership of one's body is inherently means-oriented rather than ends-oriented.

Ron said...
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Ron said...

Some of the best argumentation on Chez Althouse! Brava! And I also applaud the brief nudity in the Amazon ad for "Sweety!" Good timing on that one!

JenL said...

Her point is that the lack of recognition of this moral truth anf lack of social forms reinforcing it leaves individuals without the ability to "exercise judgment" without committing dehumanizing acts against themselves.

Critical Observer, I have to disagree with you there. You believe that exercising freedom over her own self is inherently dehumanizing - something I will never accept. If I choose to engage in a sexual relationship with a man, what's dehumanizing about that? If I do it in an irresponsible and thoughtless way, there will be consequences, but even then I wouldn't agree that it is necessarily "dehumanizing."

Why do you believe that it is "dehumanizing" to do something very human? Under what circumstances would you agree that it is NOT "dehumanizing" to have a sexual relationship? Only when it is approved of by your religion? Sorry, but I'm not going to allow your religion (or mine) to substitute for my own judgment.

monkeyboy said...

Does radical Islam not objectify women as well?

Cover your hair or your evil woman rays will turn men mad, you must only be seen by your husband because he owns you, laugh in public and any man has the right to beat you.

Mr. Gobley said...

Saying religion is the problem is missing the point.

Human nature is the problem. Religion can serve as a host, as can politics, law enforcement, therapy, wealth management -- any endeavor in which human beings aim or profess to act for the good of other human beings.

The Drill SGT said...

Her most intersting line was:

The greater Muslim community is transnational and supranational,” she said. “It gives them an identify and a togetherness which is inevitably going to be against the West, because of their identity with other Muslims.”

that pretty much answers all the questions. There are two sides and she's on the other one.

SteveWe said...

smilin' jack: The new religion of this era is ecology. It has its converts, martyrs, proselytizers, unscientific belief system, end-times scenario, and flagellants.

criticalobserver: I may be wrong about this, but I've found that ideas that require more than 25 words to express miss the point entirely. I rather doubt that Ms. Ridley was thinking about objectification when she became a "revert."

Ann and others: One of AA's 12-steps is to rely upon a "higher power" -- not "surrender" or "submit." That higher power could be the God of Abraham, the Deus of Jefferson, or "whatever" as some might say. Nevertheless, AA does stress that it's your choice to make -- remain sober or surrender to your weakness.

But, AA certainly pushes the idea that alcoholics "require" AA to succeed. (And that belief in AA is also widely held by those outside of AA.) Obviously, the AA-way or the "highway to perdition" meme is false.

tcd said...

I guess she wasn't satisfied with being just an ignorant slut, now she's an ignorant terrorist slut.

How long before Ann gets death threats? Or perhaps a complaint by CAIR?

HaloJonesFan said...

Whenever I see articles or statements like this, I always wonder if the speaker also got a clitorectory. After all, sex should be about love, not just physical pleasure, right?

ignacio said...

There exist slaves who love their slavery.

The Drill SGT said...


HaloJonesFan said...

By inference she is not married, therefore By definition she is celibate. She must have been lectured first hand what the punishment was for lewd and adulterous conduct was. Rocks! Big Rocks!

rmc said...

I gotta take issue with lumping AA in with actual religions, especially Islam. I'm only speaking from my own experience of knowing people who have been helped by it, people for whom it hasn't worked, people who dealt with their problem drinking in other ways, and from some Al-Anon visits that I didn't find personally useful.

AA does speak of a God and has prayer-ish elements, but those are really tools to pry off ingrained thought & behavior patterns that commonly plague alcoholics. Issues of control and shame work in a spiral with problem drinking, and for people who've wrapped themselves tightly in that, it's a pretty effective Newtonian system. A person in motion in that cycle tends to stay in that orbit, absent an external force. The "letting go to God" and owning-up factors that AA groups advocate and assist are psychological analogues to Archimedes imaginary Earth-moving fulcrum, giving the alcoholic a way to deflect her ongoing uncontrolled motion. (I'd better lay off the physics analogies before Schrodinger's cat shows up.)

I've known irreligious AA members who've said "OK, don't call it God, call it a higher power, call it the group, or call it your coffee cup, but recognize that trying to control this yourself hasn't worked. You gotta get outside your own head". Admittedly, people who already believe in God will have an easier time adopting AA methods, but AA's use of religious elements is a means not an end. They don't claim to give otherworldly salvation, and don't try to impose their will on non-members. (I know some judges used to "sentence" offenders to AA, and I'm glad/hopeful that that's stopped.) They did start as a Christian group, but have distilled their approach to focus on the temporal sobriety goal. Despite the spread of 12-step-ness to other areas, AA's main literature doesn't claim that its methods are useful beyond the area of chemical dependency.

Your mileage may vary, in terms of knowing people whose 12-stepping was annoying or seeing AA caricatures on TV. But my experience with religion and with AA tells me their overlap is more procedural than anything else. (Caveat: Sc13nt0l0gy may have some AA-type trappings, but I know next to nothing about it, and don't want to bring out the trolls.)

It'd be ridiculous to suggest that everyone in every circumstance should quit trying to solve his own problems and refer them to God. AA says that some people with certain problems will find their tools useful, and are welcome to join. The approach of the woman in the NYT article is more like throwing yourself (back) under a steamroller to keep from scratching an itch, a steamroller that's being aimed at everyone in sight.

(Apologies for the brain dump. Stevewe said some of this, but pithier.)

Sanjay said...

I just think you're skewed off-base, Professor Althouse. I mean, sure, religion seems to solve people's goffy problems (or I guess in the case of alcoholism or exteme promiscuity, serious problems that can probably be solved other ways). Fine. I think most religious people would agree with that. I got no problem there.


What I think the issue ought to be is, the idea that the _reason_ to approach religion is _because_ of these problems, rather than other issues of communities, a search for meaning, or an innate response to one's own understanding of God. And I'd like to think this what-I'm-going-to-call-"deeper" stuff is what should be motivating people, but I don't really have a lot of quibbles whith her I suppose, it's sort of a "whatever makes you work" thing.

Then again I'm what people call a Hindu (and it's Lord Krishna's birthday today, everyone!) and, I dunno, maybe I'd see it differently if I didn't have a religious connection.

Pastor_Jeff said...

"I’m never dragged in to immaterial rows by inconsiderate, useless men."

No, honey, you just get dragged into global wars against western civilization by incosiderate, useless men who treat you like property.

Legalism isn't the answer to libertinism. All that does is make the desires spill out in other unhealthy ways -- like death wishes against a supposed 'oppressor.'

Don't be surprised to find that the men you're now hanging around with turn out to be sympathetic to terrorism becuase of the "evils" of the civilization you despise. You may be asked one day to hide something under that burkha besides your evil woman hair rays. And I wouldn't count too much on traditional Islam respecting you for your IQ.

Brian O'Connell said...

“What’s more liberating — being judged on the size of your I.Q., or on the size of your bust?”

It would depend on where one's natural advantage was. I don't think people with low I.Q.'s would find it liberating to be judged on their I.Q.

To the extent it's an innate characteristic, it seems a bit, well, judgmental to judge people on it.

Both forms of judgment- I.Q. vs bust- are really about one's utility to others, not about any inherent value in human beings.

But this is rather academic. Islam's "protection" of women has little to do with liberation and everything to do with men's property rights.

Harkonnendog said...

This poor lady was kidnapped.

This didn't happen that long ago, and she may have simply accepted conversion rather than live her life scared of being attacked my Muslims again.

Unless you've had the living hell beat out of you or gone through similar trauma, and know how that can effect you, then it is probably hard to understand how that kind of experience can shift your thinking. I'm not saying she was beaten into believing, by the way. I'm saying that she isn't some socialite who just replaced drugs with religion. We don't really know her story.

To give an example of how brainwashed she is... this is from her Wikipedia entry:

Indeed she says she "was horrible to [her] captors. I spat at them and was rude and refused to eat. It wasn't until I was freed that I became interested in Islam." [3]

This is a genuine example of a person who shouldn't be judged that harshly because we haven't had similar experiences.

37383938393839383938383 said...

You believe that exercising freedom over her own self is inherently dehumanizing - something I will never accept.

This is pure rhetoric that obviously misses or obscures the point it purports to be responding to. If you read more carefully, there is no ultimate dispute over whether individuals can or should exercise freedom. The question is whether treating oneself as a means to maximize sensory pleasure or maximize fame, or wealth, is good. Are there people who believe that is true? Yes. Steroid-using baseball players believe that. Drug-users believe that. Prostitutes believe that. But the mere fact that you made a choice does not make the choice right.

If I choose to engage in a sexual relationship with a man, what's dehumanizing about that?

The mere fact that you made a choice does not make the choice right. And Western thought, just like your comment, blurs that distinction. The woman is glad she found a philosophy that does not blur the difference between having choice and making good choices. Under your theory, what is wrong with being a self-chosen crack whore who leaves her newborn to die in a dumpster?

J said...
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J said...

"Clearly, only a minuscule percentage of converts turn to active radicalism, and there are many reasons for converting: an admiration of Islamic texts and practices; a desire by women to remove themselves from what they perceive as the aggressive sexualization of Western life; the countercultural rebellion of the younger generation against their parents’ liberalism; a sense of outrage at Western policy in places like Iraq and Lebanon."

Other than the first example, how are any of these things reasons to adopt a religion?

"What’s more liberating — being judged on the size of your I.Q., or on the size of your bust?"

"Appearance Not Important! This is unbelievable! Finally this is an ideology I can embrace!"

-George Costanza

"I note that Alcoholics Anonymous is based on the idea that you can't possibly take personal responsibility for your problem but must surrender yourself to God"

Not true. AA preaches that you can't overcome alcoholism without God's help, but it doesn't teach that the alchoholism is someone else's fault, though the "disease" terminology arguably says that it's nobody's fault.

Ann Althouse said...

J, I'm reading the first three of the 12 steps:

"We admitted we were powerless over alcohol—that our lives had become unmanageable.

"Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

"Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him."

Powerless... turn our will and our lives over...

Please address this language of surrender and restate your point.

Pogo said...

The association between addictions to alcohol or drugs and excessive religiosity suggest the two are related. But how?

Does the destruction following alcoholism's wake create a loss of mastery over oneself?

Do the two run together, genetic pairs, one signalling the risk for the other, or two extremes on the same continuum?

Does drug abuse destroy sufficient critical faculties as to demand a fervent grasp for solid ground, best achieved within a rigid authoritarian social system that relieves one of the need to think and risk?

Are we designed to seek God, but too often mistake Eros, Bacchus, and Mars for the Divine?

JenL said...

The mere fact that you made a choice does not make the choice right. And Western thought, just like your comment, blurs that distinction. The woman is glad she found a philosophy that does not blur the difference between having choice and making good choices. Under your theory, what is wrong with being a self-chosen crack whore who leaves her newborn to die in a dumpster?

Uh-huh. So you think that, morally speaking, the choice to have non-marital sex falls somewhere near the choice to murder a child? You keep repeating that "making a choice does not make the choice right" - my point is that making a choice that you (or all of Islam, or all of Christianity, or 80% of the population) disagree with does not make the choice wrong.

J said...

"We admitted we were powerless over alcohol—that our lives had become unmanageable.

"Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

"Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him."

I don't see any blame being assigned in the first two statements - just acknowledgement that alcoholics are past the point of recovery without assistance. I view the third statement as repentance, which necessarily involves "taking responsibility", but for the lapse, not the recovery. I'm not sure what your religious background is - I'm Methodist, if that helps explain the religious prespective.

Jeff said...

"Islam for her is a welcome antidote to Western libertinism. “What’s more liberating — being judged on the size of your I.Q., or on the size of your bust?”
True. We all remember the Doctors, Lawyers, Judges, Teachers and others in position of power and education who were women in the Taliban society.

lucas m. said...

I have a few things to say on the subject of AA. In my personal experience, one of the main staples of AA is the saying "One day as a time". This is reflected in the meetings as "Just for today I will not drink. Tomorrow is another day, and I will deal with that when it arrives. Just for today, I will remain sober." AA gives the persons afflicted with addiction hope. It achives this by allowing them to realize that they have a disease process. Part of this disease process is the fact that they have become psychologically and physiologically dependant on a substance. To assist with this process, the basic structure of AA is founded on a peer support group (The annoymous meeting members) and a belife that you can recive help to recover from your addiction. The faith portion is just part of it to help inspire the participants to find the strength that they need to achive their goal of sobriety.

As a side note, AA does acknowledge responsibility over the actions in one's life. The part that it says that it is powerless over is the effects of alchol (or substance of choice). One of the further up steps, (nine I think) is to find all the people that one has wonged and make amends. Personal responsibility is a critical part of AA.

reader_iam said...

the categorical that objectification and instrumentalization of human beings is always wrong, thus human beings necessarily have certain duties and obligations to each other arising from the moral fact of human dignity

Am I correct in reading your comment, CriticalObserver, as saying that Islamic (Eastern) thought presents this categorical whereas Western thought does not? If so, are saying this is, well, categorically the belief and attitude of all adherents of Islamic (Eastern) thought?

I'm having a tough time squaring the idea of "objectification and instrumentalization of human beings is always wrong" with the actions taken by [note how carefully I'm selecting words so as not to be broad-brush] some members of the more fundamentalist, radical subset of Islam. Seems to me that civilians specifically and purposely targeted for destruction by terrorists are being viewed nothing but objects and instruments: means to someone else's arbitrary end.


If a conservative, fundamentalist Muslim eschews and condemns such acts, which objectify and instrumentalize humans, I'll accept that they believe what was presented in the comment in which the italicized text appeared. If not, such a sentiment is, simply, nonsense by virtue of selectivity and implementation.

downtownlad said...

Well, I'm certainly not impressed with her. It would be interesting to see if she thinks her kidnapping is justified by Islam. Or if she deserved to be killed because she wasn't a Muslim. My hunch is yes on both counts.

Whenever I meet a truly devout religious person, my opinion of them instantly goes down a notch. I know that I'm instantly dealing with someone who doesn't know how to deal with facts.

reader_iam said...

To put it more simplistically (and pithily!), I may not be wish to be judged by my bust size, but I can think of far worse and more lethal ways to be used as an object or instrument.

Johnny Nucleo said...

There's something more going on here, I think, than a party girl using religion as a substitute for self-discipline. I think we're going to see more and more conversions to Islam in post-Christian Europe in the coming years.

In the old days the Judeo-Christian tradition provided the West with a framework through which to view the Universe. People were devout to varying degrees - some people even thought the whole thing was bunk - but the framework was solid enough, and people more or less knew where they stood in the Universe.

No longer. The Enlightenment began the slow but steady rotting of the framework. (I don't blame the Enlightenment. The Enlightenment was good. But we tragically misread what the Enlightenment portended.) Now no one knows what the hell is going on. Where do you turn when you don't know what the hell is going on? You can look to the past - but in the West we have been taught that the past is evil - or you can look to the future.

But what is the future? Once, we thought it was Communism. But only the flakiest of flakes believes that anymore. What about the less flaky flakes? To what will they turn?

Enter Islam. It's new. It's exotic. It's non-Western - in fact, it's anti-Western. It's not as nebulous as Buddhism or as freaky as Hinduism. It's perfect.

Jonathan said...

The NYT article softpedals Ridley's views on jihadism. For example, check out this warmly sympathetic obituary that she wrote for the notorious Chechen jihadi Shemil Besaev, architect of the Beslan massacre.

Both or her husbands were Muslims. It seems possible that she was attracted to Islam for some time before she converted. Maybe it was the anti-western vibe, and she eventually decided that the best way to get that feeling full-strength was to become a Muslim herself? Who knows.

Johnny Nucleo's last paragraph puts it well.

I agree with Drill SGT that she is on the other side, and that's the main thing to remember about her.

37383938393839383938383 said...

JenL: my point is that making a choice that you (or all of Islam, or all of Christianity, or 80% of the population) disagree with does not make the choice wrong.

Except that has nothing to do with any point that I made. I don't actually care how many men you choose to have sex with, but the point is that whoring yourself out is wrong. Not because I care or do not care or disagree or do not disagree with the choice, but because you are degrading yourself. Likewise, regardless what percentage of the population supports genocide, state-sponsored genocide programs are wrong. If you want to whore yourself out (or do other wrong things), go ahead, but don't expect others to respect your ill-informed choices (or not to find relief in belief systems that decry your ignorance).

Someone else made a point that was relevant to my argument. I was responding to Ann after she had broadened her comment to reflect all religion. Still, I should have been clearer that "Western thought" meant "modern Western thought". Modern Western thought is criticized by Catholicism and other Western religions, not just Islam. I was making a general critique of modernity (which is a Western development) in defense of the woman's statements. I'm not a Muslim, or even religious, but I think knee-jerk liberals who assume Islam is misogynistic and assume modernity's instrumentalizing reason and disenchantment of the natural world is liberating and enlightened are unreflective xenophobes who probably attended low-quality colleges. See JenL. These are the kind of people who think Bush eats babies for breakfast.

37383938393839383938383 said...

1. Am I correct in reading your comment, CriticalObserver, as saying that Islamic (Eastern) thought presents this categorical whereas Western thought does not?

If you take "Western thought" to mean "the intellectual underpinnings of modernity," the answer is yes. If you mean Western religions, e.g., Catholicism, then no. I should have been clear I meant secular thought and was using Western to stand for more than one thing.

2.If so, are saying this is, well, categorically the belief and attitude of all adherents of Islamic (Eastern) thought? [sic]

Even without my clarification, 2 does not follow from 1. I think you are under the impression that I am a Muslim who is defending Islam. I am not. I was defending the reasonableness of this woman's conversion to a religious viewpoint.

tjl said...

Critical Observer states, "I was defending the reasonableness of this woman's conversion to a religious viewpoint."

No, Critical, what is at issue in Yvonne Ridley's case is not her conversion to a religious viewpoint. What is so troubling about Ridley is her conversion to this specific form of religion after her specific experience of abduction by the Taliban.

Ridley suffered brutal mistreatment by members of a group whose cruel and misogynistic acts set a standard that will never be matched. (Remember those executions of women in the soccer stadium?) Ridley now expresses regret that she was unkind to her captors!

I don't think Ridley is simply using Islam to duck responsibility for making choices in life, as some commenters have suggested. Ridley's behavior is masochistic in the extreme. It's disturbing to watch someone reveling as she licks the boots that trample her down.

JenL said...

Except that has nothing to do with any point that I made. I don't actually care how many men you choose to have sex with, but the point is that whoring yourself out is wrong. Not because I care or do not care or disagree or do not disagree with the choice, but because you are degrading yourself.

So CriticalObserver thinks 1) that I'm a whore for having had a stable, non-marital relationship with a man for the last decade. Further, CriticalObserver beleives that it simply doesn't matter that I believe that my choice is moral, correct, and perfectly acceptable. You see, CriticalObserver KNOWS that my choice to have non-marital sex is immoral, degrading, and dehumanizing, and I must be a stupid person who attended a subpar college if I can't understand this.

Wow. THAT is the kind of fanaticism that scares me. Going back to my original question, CriticalObserver - you think there is no situation in which I could have sex outside of marriage that you would not think consists of me not only sinning but also degrading and dehumanizing myself. And you think that my opinions on the subject simply don't matter.

Boy - guess I'd better get a copy of whatever book you consider holy and start studying it, and make sure I have your email address to ask you for clarifications, because I'm just too stupid to make good decisions without your help.

SippicanCottage said...

"...dragged into immaterial rows by inconsiderate, useless men" might be the most perfect distillation possible of all the time I've ever spent on the internet.

Dogtown said...

Yet another flighty, reductive condemnation from Ann. This time, it's A.A. that's in her sights, a program and success story which she clearly knows nothing about.

Have you read the A.A. text, Ann? Have you experienced its program directly, and honestly? If you had, you would know that it does not resemble religion by any measure, it puts a strong emphasis on personal responsibility, clearing up the wrongs in one's past, and practicing rigorous honesty in all facets of life.

Your blithe dismissal, coming clearly from a position of stunning ignorance, does little to help the image you wish to present as the highbrow blogress.

reader_iam said...

CriticalObserver: Actually, I had given no thought whatsoever to personal profile, and you really have zero basis to think I had. Now that you've brought it up, I tried to figure out what, if any, assumptions I have about you, personally, as a commenter. Sometimes I do, with fellow commenters, but as often I don't. Don't really have any, in your case, except that I suppose was assuming you're male (that's not loaded, by the way; it's just the only thing I came up with).

I also don't think I was saying #2 was following from #1. I was trying to get clarification of what you were saying, given the broader context, and how some adherents of a religion that "has a categorical" the non-instrumentalization of people can somehow have no problem using people as objects in some rather significant ways.

That's all.

MICHAEL said...

THE SACRED BULL

I imagine 12 STEPPERS have sold their souls to the devil. Fortunately, I was saved through the power of Jesus Christ, but for many years had been exposed to the evil “satanic cult” (Alcoholics Anonymous) Wilson (AA) has prostituted himself & deluded many thousands (12 Step Groups) by worshipping the god Moloch (Ba’al the Sacred Bull). It all started with his (Wilson) “drug induced hallucination”….
Here are references to seances and other psychic events….
Bill would…”get” these things …long sentences, word by word would come through….” (22)
, he asked for guidance….The words began tumbling out with astonishing speed….(23)
So A.A.’s 12 Steps were actually received verbatim from the demonic world. It is not surprising, then, that the effect of A.A. upon many of its members is to lead them into occult involvement. In 1958, Wilson wrote to Sam Shoemaker,Throughout A.A., we find a large amount of psychic phenomena, nearly all of it spontaneous. Alcoholic after alcoholic tells me of such experiences… run nearly the full gamut of everything we see in the books. In addition to my original mystical experience, I’ve had a lot of such phenomenalism myself.(24)
Wilson’s “original mystical experience” was his alleged “conversion” –a classic occult encounter: “Suddenly the room lit up with a great white light. I was caught up into an ecstasy…it burst upon me that I was a free man…a wonderful feeling of Presence, and I thought to myself, ‘So this is the God of the preachers! ‘ A great peace stole over me….”(25)
This was not the “God of the preachers” but the one who transforms himself “into an angel of light” (2 Cor 1l:l4)-a light that often transforms those involved in the occult. The experience was so profound that Wilson never touched alcohol again. Satan would he more than willing to deliver a man from alcoholism in this life if thereby he could ensnare him for eternity and inspire him to lead millions to the same destruction!
Wilson joined the Oxford Group and regularly attended its meetings at Calvary Church (NY), pastored by Episcopalian Sam Shoemaker. Shoemaker urged his hearers to “accept God however they might conceive of him….”(26) Here was the origin of Step 3’s “God as we understood him.” God does not respond to those who call upon false gods. Jesus said, “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent” (Jn 17:3). God’s judgment comes upon them “that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ (2 Thes 1:8).
I will set my face against that man & his family & will cut off from their people both him & all who follow him in prostituting themselves to MolechI will set my face against the person who turns to mediums & spiritists to prostitute himself by following them, & I will cut him off from his people. (Leviticus 20: 5, 6)
Moloch the God Ba’al, the Sacred Bull, was widely worshipped in the ancient Near East and wherever Carthaginian culture extended. Baal Moloch was conceived under the form of a calf or an ox or depicted as a man with the head of a bull.
Hadad, Baal or simply the King identified the god within his cult. The name Moloch is not the name he was known by among his worshippers, but a Hebrew Moloch (in the Septuagint Greek translation of the Old Testament), or Molech (Hebrew), is no different than the word Melech or king, transformed by interposing the vowels of bosheth or ’shameful thing’. translation. The written form.
He is sometimes also called Milcom in the Old Testament.

I beg you Steppers to to get out while you can (12 Step) or end up as “Bull Headed”, Steppers!!

Peace Be With You
Micky