August 27, 2012

The "American Taliban" John Walker Lindh seeks more religious freedom in prison.

He's serving a 20-year sentence in the federal prison in Terre Haute, Indiana, and the request is for more group prayer — his sect "requires group prayer if it is possible" — and he also objects to needing to pray in his prison cell because he's too close to the toilet. He's represented by the ACLU, which characterizes the prison's rules as discriminating against religion (and not merely denying a special privilege to religion):
"This is an open unit where prisoners are basically out all day," said ACLU legal director Ken Falk, noting that inmates are allowed to play basketball and board games, watch television and converse as long as they speak English so the guards can understand.

"They can do basically any peaceful activity except praying," he said. "It makes no sense to say this is one activity we're going to prohibit in the name of security."
The government, citing a "radical, all-Arabic sermon" by Lindh, argues "that religious activities led by Muslim inmates are being used as a vehicle for radicalization and violence in the CMU."

147 comments:

Andy R. said...

I'm looking forward to the Christianists in America fighting for Lindh to have the right to practice his religion.

AJ Lynch said...

Lindh is obviouly grasping at straws to try and remain relevant and newsworthy.

Dante said...

Good point about Fairness, Andy. Should we allow Satanists to worship and discuss destruction in Prisons too?

Allow gangs to declare Crips and Bloods as a religion, and have group worship rights?

F said...

I agree with AJ Lynch on this. Always pushing, probing, extending the limits. And how ironic is it that the ACLU is pushing for this after all their work trying to ban crosses and creches?

Andy R. said...

And how ironic is it that the ACLU is pushing for this after all their work trying to ban crosses and creches?

This is only ironic if you're an idiot and don't understand the difference between what Lindh is asking for and what Christianists are asking for (in terms of their demand for governmental assistance in pushing their religion in public spaces).

The Drill SGT said...

what Christianists are asking for (in terms of their demand for governmental assistance in pushing their religion in public spaces).

note that Lindh wants government assitance to hold religious recruitment meetngs regularly in the public spaces.
he can pray in private, he wants more

Matthew Sablan said...

It seems to me that there should be no issue if these folks want to pray instead of play board games. Who knows? Maybe they'll have an epiphany and realize that there's plenty of perfectly nice people who practice their religion without embracing the violent aspects of it. Heck, most religious people could do with a little more praying, a little less evangelizing.

The Drill SGT said...

lest we forget, Walker's argument at trial was that he wasn't AQ, but just a lost lad fighting for his bro's These guys:

Taliban beheads 17 Afghan partygoers; 2 NATO troops killed

this is the message Walker wants to preach.

Andy R. said...

note that Lindh wants government assitance to hold religious recruitment meetngs regularly in the public spaces.
he can pray in private, he wants more


What are you talking about? Lindh is fighting against content-specific restrictions. The prison has said that speech they like is ok, but speech they don't like can be prohibited. Banning Islamic prayer but allowing other speech seems clearly unconstitutional.

Can you explain what kind of government assistance that you think Lindh wants?

Colonel Angus said...

I'm looking forward to the Christianists in America fighting for Lindh to have the right to practice his religion.

Why should they?

TWM said...

Not one tear for Lindh. He can pray in private. Fuck him past that.

EMD said...

I'm looking forward to the Christianists in America fighting for Lindh to have the right to practice his religion.

They're too busy fighting the War on Women.

Andy R. said...

Why should they?

Because if the precedent is set that content-specific governmental restrictions can be used to ban private religious speech, it will be used against Christians as well.

Matthew Sablan said...

"The prison has said that speech they like is ok, but speech they don't like can be prohibited. Banning Islamic prayer but allowing other speech seems clearly unconstitutional."

-- None of that is in the article. Link?

Matthew Sablan said...

"Because if the precedent is set that content-specific governmental restrictions can be used to ban private religious speech, it will be used against Christians as well."

-- The precedent that he can pray as often as he likes but is limited in how often the prison needs to accommodate group prayer? Time, place and manner restrictions are perfectly constitutional (even if I happen to see no harm in allowing more group prayer in this specific instance.)

Also note: The reason for the change, per the article, is that at one point, during a fire emergency, the people in group prayer -refused to act in accordance with normal procedures.- The privilege was revoked because during an emergency, they refused to comply with the guards. There's a perfectly valid reason to want to restrict this if they can't be bothered to act responsibly to avoid fire.

AJ Lynch said...

I have to question the sanity of anyone, like Hatman, who feels the need to defend the dopey Lindh and who also turns the issue into a "christianist" comment.


Matthew Sablan said...

I shouldn't say "are perfectly constitutional," but rather, "can be." In this case, the question is: Is it reasonable to restrict group prayer, given the prison's purpose, history, etc.? There's a valid answer to say both yes and no on instinct; the article leaves it open either way even more so.

TWM said...


"-- The precedent that he can pray as often as he likes but is limited in how often the prison needs to accommodate group prayer? Time, place and manner restrictions are perfectly constitutional (even if I happen to see no harm in allowing more group prayer in this specific instance.)

Also note: The reason for the change, per the article, is that at one point, during a fire emergency, the people in group prayer -refused to act in accordance with normal procedures.- The privilege was revoked because during an emergency, they refused to comply with the guards. There's a perfectly valid reason to want to restrict this if they can't be bothered to act responsibly to avoid fire."

Matthew, don't confuse Andy with facts and logic. He's into full Christianist mode.

EMD said...

-- The precedent that he can pray as often as he likes but is limited in how often the prison needs to accommodate group prayer? Time, place and manner restrictions are perfectly constitutional (even if I happen to see no harm in allowing more group prayer in this specific instance.)

Also note: The reason for the change, per the article, is that at one point, during a fire emergency, the people in group prayer -refused to act in accordance with normal procedures.- The privilege was revoked because during an emergency, they refused to comply with the guards. There's a perfectly valid reason to want to restrict this if they can't be bothered to act responsibly to avoid fire.


Man, that is soooo Christianist.

Darcy said...

Not one tear for Lindh. He can pray in private. Fuck him past that.

Er...Amen.

Andy R. said...

If there was a fire in a jail and a evacuation was ordered, and an inmate darted back into a cell to grab the Bible he was given at his first Communion, would it be ok to then ban inmates from having Bibles? Or to ban that inmate from ever having a Bible again?

If someone breaks the rules, then punish them for breaking the rules. But prior restraint on speech because you don't like how you think people might act if there is another emergency evacuation is clearly not ok.

Also, the article is alleging that in places and times where speech is generally allowed by inmates, a specific kind of speech is being banned. Do we all agree that this is happening?

Matthew seems to be arguing that this is both a content-neutral restriction, and that the speech restriction is punishment for prior bad acts. I don't find either of these arguments convincing, and they seem mutually exclusive.

Andy R. said...

There's a perfectly valid reason to want to restrict this if they can't be bothered to act responsibly to avoid fire.

Does the rule only apply to people that were part of the fire incident? Or everyone? Is there any reason to apply it to people that weren't there for the fire?

Andy R. said...

Should we allow Satanists to worship and discuss destruction in Prisons too?

Of course. What's so confusing about free exercise of religion?

Colonel Angus said...

Because if the precedent is set that content-specific governmental restrictions can be used to ban private religious speech, it will be used against Christians as well.

Perhaps when Christianist sermons call for the slaughter of non-Christianists we should welcome such content based restrictions.

Bob Ellison said...

I don't think Andy R. understands the arguments present. He only understands Lindh's argument, and the positive force that it presents to leftism.

What we have here is not a failure to communicate, but a failure to grok.

Matthew Sablan said...

He -can- practice his religion. We're just questioning what level of accommodation should be made by the prison, keeping in mind that the prison population (this sounds like a small facility of, what did the article say? Around 50 prisoners?) has shown it is not necessarily willing to act responsibly. I think the risk is acceptable (they can't really plan any terror attacks with the given level of surveillance), some people might think otherwise though. I also might think otherwise if I were actually there and not safely far away. Who knows?

Dante said...

If there was a fire in a jail and a evacuation was ordered, and an inmate darted back into a cell to grab the Bible he was given at his first Communion, would it be ok to then ban inmates from having Bibles? Or to ban that inmate from ever having a Bible again?

I thought you were talking about "fairness" and "hypocrisy" here. Now you are defending Christian rights?

Wasn't it you who recently exclaimed how you held all Christians to account for the warped actions of some Baptist Church somewhere in the US?

You can't expect anyone to take you seriously if you on the one hand attack a group based on the actions of a tiny percent of them, and then act as if your cockamamie thought "experiment" is going to convince anyone you actually care about the rights of these people.

Palladian said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Palladian said...

Andy R is just rooting for anyone who's against America. If Christians were against America, he'd root for them, too.

Tell me, Andy... when you were on one of your Zionist trips to Israel, did you travel over to the Palestinian territories and offer your Occupy expertise?

The Drill SGT said...

Andy R. said...
Lindh is fighting against content-specific restrictions. The prison has said that speech they like is ok, but speech they don't like can be prohibited.


LOL, maybe the Warden is Gay and dislikes Lindh's homophobic rants. Maybe he's a Feminist Progressive and abhors the Tallywackers war on women :)

maybe rge Catholic Chaplain put him up to it.

what TWM said. may he rot in his cell, I lose no sleep over his religious freedom

Andy R. said...

I thought you were talking about "fairness" and "hypocrisy" here. Now you are defending Christian rights?

I support the rights of Christians against unfair or unconstitutional governmental intrusion or discrimination. Even while I think Christians are dumb. I'm not sure why this is hard for you to understand. Are you not aware of principled civil libertarians? Defending viewpoints that one doesn't agree with is a classic ideal of liberalism for hundreds of years.

I'm a former member of the ACLU, and have worked in the past with FIRE, which is approaching civil liberties from a Christian perspective.

Matthew Sablan said...

In the fire example presented: You could reasonably restrict the inmate from owning any books after that, provided there was a library available or some other accommodation for getting to a Bible.

The situation of a single person acting in defiance is much, much different from an entire group banding together to thwart not just their own safety, as if it were a hunger strike, but to endanger others and ignore the employees/guards in the prison.

If any group in a prison starts encouraging each other to spite the guards and take dangerous risks, yes, yes you should limit how often they meet.

Because that's not the sort of behavior the prison should support.

Bob Ellison said...

Shorter Andy R.: "Some of my best friends are Christians, even though I hate them!"

Andy R. said...

did you travel over to the Palestinian territories and offer your Occupy expertise?

Yeah, I spent some time in Palestine. I did co-existence work in Israel and the West Bank with "Encounter" and "Breaking the Silence".

The Drill SGT said...

Bob Ellison said...
He only understands Lindh's argument, and the positive force that it presents to leftism.


the irony that the misogynist homophobic gospel of a dead pederast advances the leftist agenda is beyond my understanding

Dante said...

Should we allow Satanists to worship and discuss destruction in Prisons too?

Of course. What's so confusing about free exercise of religion?


Should goat and chicken sacrifices be allowed in prisons too, Andy? What about child sacrifice? I think some religions have used that in the past. Should we allow that?

Matthew Sablan said...

... oddly enough, talking with Andy and explaining possible reasons for the restrictions, I am somewhat close to persuading myself to go the other way and think this is a reasonable limitation on the prisoner's rights.

Andy R. said...

We're just questioning what level of accommodation should be made by the prison

The article is claiming that the level of accommodation he wants is for the prison not to ban his Muslim prayers in a time and place where he would otherwise be able to engage in speech.

Colonel Angus said...

I'm still not understanding why Lindh wasn't executed for treason. Isn't taking up arms against your country the definition of treason?

Bob Ellison said...

The Drill SGT said..."the irony that the misogynist homophobic gospel of a dead pederast advances the leftist agenda is beyond my understanding"

Well said. I think you're being sarcastic, but let me state it plainly for anyone who might read this: on the left, almost any force that advances the leftist agenda is valid. Dick Cheney almost got beatified by coming out for gay marriage! But that was probably a bridge too far. They still have memories, these lefties.

Matthew Sablan said...

His speech is -already- limited there. If he started up talking about how we should over throw the government, he'd be stopped. You're operating under the assumption he has complete and total free speech while in prison, which, ah, is not true.

Andy R. said...

Should goat and chicken sacrifices be allowed in prisons too, Andy?

There is well-established case law regarding free exercise of religion. I can't teach all of this to you in the Althouse comment section. To be brief and crude, government has to show some legitimate reason to limit religious speech, other than the fact that they want to limit the free exercise of that religion.

The prison seems to be saying, the group can get together and sing only negro spirituals but not muslim prayers. The fire explanation is completely unconvincing.

Should the fire incident mean that Muslim prayer can be banned forever? There can never ever be Muslim group prayer again because of one incident? That is a silly argument.

Matthew Sablan said...

Why are you assuming that individual cases specifically related to a prison should in any way be extrapolated to being similar to cases involving the public at large?

Andy R. said...

His speech is -already- limited there. If he started up talking about how we should over throw the government, he'd be stopped.

Is this the argument that the prison is making? Plotting to escape from prison is probably already banned. They don't need to ban Muslim group prayer on top of that, if they are trying to limit speech that would already be banned.

Matthew Sablan said...

Also, Muslim prayer -is not banned.- Simply the group prayers that they previously allowed. Not only that, it is not banned; it is restricted:

"Muslims are required to pray five times a day, and the Hanbali school to which Lindh belongs requires group prayer if it is possible. But inmates in the Communications Management Unit are allowed to pray together only once a week except during Ramadan."

So, again, is this a reasonable accommodation?

Colonel Angus said...

The article is claiming that the level of accommodation he wants is for the prison not to ban his Muslim prayers in a time and place where he would otherwise be able to engage in speech.

I'm not a lawyer, Constitutional or otherwise but aren't many of your Constitutional rights suspended or otherwise limited in prison?

One does not simply walk into the yard anytime one likes . Aren't visitations monitored, privacy non existant? Seems he doesn't like praying next to his toilet and wants to bond with his like minded murdering thugs. I'm not seeing his rights any more infringed than a non Muslim.

Dante said...

I support the rights of Christians against unfair or unconstitutional governmental intrusion or discrimination.

Well, maybe I have a different view point on all this business. As far as I'm concerned, it's what the Warden wants to do. I'd like to see prison gangs picking the crops, for instance, and doing the jobs "Americans" won't do.

If the warden wants the prisoners to wear pink, that's fine. No TV, no conjugal visits, fine.

If the Warden feels Christian group worship is OK, and won't disrupt his prison, fine. But, it's not a right. If he feels Muslim worship will disrupt his prison, or feels it is a negative, that's fine by me.

Even if the Warden is a Christian, and he feels that's OK, but Muslim worship is not, that's fine by me.

Even if the guy is a Muslim, and he feels group Muslim worship is OK, that's fine too.

It's prison, Andy. People do not have their constitutional rights in prison. They can be searched at any time, for instance. Their "Freedom to Travel," once used to strike down a California proposition as unconstitutional, has been removed.

So really, your argument is about extending your view of "Fairness" into prisons.

I suppose you would agree that not all religions can or should be equally accommodated in prisons. That is, you would not allow Voodoo goat sacrifices.

So stop with the "Fairness," and let the warden do his job.

Bob Ellison said...

Andy R., you said "Lindh is fighting against content-specific restrictions. The prison has said that speech they like is ok, but speech they don't like can be prohibited. Banning Islamic prayer but allowing other speech seems clearly unconstitutional."

That's pretty stupid. You show by other comments that you're a clever person, but as I said above, I don't think you grok the issues here. Can you expound on the above quote?

Andy R. said...

Why are you assuming that individual cases specifically related to a prison should in any way be extrapolated to being similar to cases involving the public at large?

Because prisoners still have rights. People keep throwing out random arguments about why this is ok:

1) Because of one incident with a fire, muslim group prayer can apparently be banned for everyone for all time.

2) Lindh is a bad man and he doesn't deserve any rights. And maybe should have been executed.

3) This isn't a content-specific restriction (even though it clearly is).

4) Muslim group prayer is about overthrowing the government, and can be banned for that reason.

Am I missing anything? Do people really find these argument credible?

EMD said...

... oddly enough, talking with Andy and explaining possible reasons for the restrictions, I am somewhat close to persuading myself to go the other way and think this is a reasonable limitation on the prisoner's rights.


I was all set to suggest that Lindh should be able to exercise his religious rights, but then I read the specifics of why those rules are in place, and I said "Oh, I can understand that ... those limitations seem reasonable."

Andy R. said...

If the Warden feels Christian group worship is OK, and won't disrupt his prison, fine. But, it's not a right. If he feels Muslim worship will disrupt his prison, or feels it is a negative, that's fine by me.

This is not how America works. You'll have to trust me on this, but what you're suggesting is clearly unconstitutional.

EMD said...

1) Because of one incident with a fire, muslim group prayer can apparently be banned for everyone for all time.

Is it Muslim group prayer, or any group prayer? The article doesn't truly elaborate on this.

Dante said...

There is well-established case law regarding free exercise of religion. I can't teach all of this to you in the Althouse comment section.

previously:

Of course. What's so confusing about free exercise of religion?

Nothing is confusing about it, Andy, nothing at all. It simply cannot be self consistent. Leave it to the Warden. These are prisoners. If the way they are treated is not "fair," tough.

Until you are willing to sign up for goat sacrifice, I'm not going to listen to your "fairness" arguments again.

Dante said...

This is not how America works. You'll have to trust me on this, but what you're suggesting is clearly unconstitutional.

Is it unconstitutional to ban the freedom to travel? Prisons are clearly unconstitutional by your reasoning.

Andy R. said...

"Oh, I can understand that ... those limitations seem reasonable."

Because of the fire? You're saying that inmates should be able to gather in groups and talk with each other throughout the day (as the article says they are allowed to do), they just shouldn't be allowed to engage in Muslim prayer?

If there had never been the fire incident, would everyone support the right of Lindh to engage in Muslim group prayer?

If so, should the fire incident be allowed to restrict the rights of people who weren't part of the fire incident? The article doesn't even mention if Lindh was part of the fire incident.

Matthew Sablan said...

Let's take each point and knock it down.

1) Because of one incident with a fire, muslim group prayer can apparently be banned for everyone for all time.
--> No. In THIS particular case with THIS particular group of people in THIS particular situation that Muslim group prayer can be restricted to once a week, except during Ramadan (the article doesn't make it clear, but I'm assuming they are permitted MORE group prayer then rather than less.)

2) Lindh is a bad man and he doesn't deserve any rights. And maybe should have been executed.
--> I've made no such argument.

3) This isn't a content-specific restriction (even though it clearly is).
--> It doesn't seem to matter -what- the content of the group would be. It sounds like it is simply been restricted to be more manageable/lower risk.


4) Muslim group prayer is about overthrowing the government, and can be banned for that reason.
--> No one said anything like that. Again, it has not been banned.

For someone who was working with the ACLU and FIRE, you make a lot of assumptions, bad logical leaps and seem to not understand some of the basics of law (like specific instances need to be looked at with their specific facts and that those facts may change how you interpret the law around them.) You need to step back, re-read the article, then reassess. You may still come to the same conclusion (group prayer should be fine), but at least get rid of the incorrect bits and look at it with the right facts.

Bob Ellison said...

1) Because of one incident with a fire, muslim group prayer can apparently be banned for everyone for all time.

I didn't see that point in the article, but Matthew Sablan cited it. But your conclusion is stupid. It's difficult to point out how. "Muslim group prayer...banned for all time" is not a reasonable conclusion. I feel like I'm typing for a toddler, but I know you're not that.

2) Lindh is a bad man and he doesn't deserve any rights. And maybe should have been executed.

Yes! You've got it!

3) This isn't a content-specific restriction (even though it clearly is).

See point 1 above. Let's say you've tossed a baby onto a burning pyre, saying it's your religion. We don't allow that, even though it's your religion. Got it?

4) Muslim group prayer is about overthrowing the government, and can be banned for that reason.

Yes! It can be banned for that reason!

Maybe Andy R. can learn.

Colonel Angus said...

) Lindh is a bad man and he doesn't deserve any rights. And maybe should have been executed. --> I've made no such argument.

That was me. Lindh was captured while taking up arms against his country. There was a time that was defined as treason and a capital offense.

Andy R. said...

No. In THIS particular case with THIS particular group of people in THIS particular situation that Muslim group prayer can be restricted to once a week, except during Ramadan

Ok, but the fire incident was in 2007. There are 24 Muslims in the unit with Lindh. If at least two of them have arrived since 2007, and weren't part of the fire incident, should they be allowed to engage in group prayer? I'm not sure who you are saying is "THIS particular group of people". Do you have any evidence that Lindh was even part of the fire incident?

I've made no such argument

Regarding Lindh being a bad man, other people made that claim. I was responding to the arguments that everyone has made in this thread, not just you personally.

It doesn't seem to matter -what- the content of the group would be. It sounds like it is simply been restricted to be more manageable/lower risk.

The article clearly say they can get together as a group and do things, as long as it isn't Muslim prayer (and other speech, which might be legitimately banned). This is a content-specific restriction. You must know this, because you know the reason for the content-specific restriction is because of the fire incident.

Regarding the fourth point, I think we both agree that speech about overthrowing the government might be able to be legitimately banned, but that has no bearing on whether or not group Muslim prayer can also be banned.

Andy R. said...

Let's say you've tossed a baby onto a burning pyre, saying it's your religion. We don't allow that, even though it's your religion. Got it?

Yes, I understand that. What is the relationship between burning a baby and Muslim group prayer? What is it about the prayer group that the prison would have an otherwise legitimate interest in preventing?

Matthew Sablan said...

"THIS particular group of people" -- Prisoners at the prison. And if you allow some of them to attend and not others, then you would be applying a rule non-uniformly. Unfortunately for the new guys, the old hands showed that the previous rules were not what the prison wanted. Should they revisit the rule? Yes. Until then though, it stands.

Content standards in prison is different than outside of it, so the fact that they can shoot the breeze about sports scores is unrelated to the fact that group, organized prayer is restricted.

If you're going to insist on saying that Muslim prayer is banned, this conversation won't be fruitful.

Dante said...

Yes, I understand that. What is the relationship between burning a baby and Muslim group prayer?

They are both free exercises of religion.

One you like, the other you don't. So one you support, the other you don't.

One you use to claim constitutional rights are being violated, because of whatever it is going on in your brain that makes you feel the way you do, the other you don't.

And if the baby thing is to visceral for you, how about "Fetus," or how about goat sacrifice.

Bob Ellison said...

Andy, you can't turn a reductio ad absurdum into a straw man that easily.

damikesc said...

The prison has said that speech they like is ok, but speech they don't like can be prohibited.

That's prison for you.

Hey, guess what --- they screen your mail if you're an inmate.

OMG! TEH FIRST AMENDMENT IS DEAD!!!

edutcher said...

The sect isn't dogmatic on group prayer, so it's up to the warden.

Andy R. said...

I'm looking forward to the Christianists in America fighting for Lindh to have the right to practice his religion.

Already done, moron.

See the American Revolution, War of 1812, 2 World Wars and the wars against Communism.

Not to mention the current War on Terror.

Covered in the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.

Bryan C said...

"This is only ironic if you're an idiot and don't understand the difference between what Lindh is asking for and what Christianists are asking for (in terms of their demand for governmental assistance in pushing their religion in public spaces)."

Lindh is a convict in a Federal prison. There are many things he is not permitted to do. Seems he already decided his personal freedom wasn't his first priority.

If Lindh were not in prison and was forming this prayer meeting in another sort of public space, I presume you'd support his right to do so?

"Banning Islamic prayer but allowing other speech seems clearly unconstitutional."

They apparently ban all non-English public conversation, for obvious reasons. Should they be required to hire multilingual prison guards? Maybe they could recruit them from the TSA.

Andy R. said...

As far as I can tell, the argument is that because of the fire incident, Muslim prisoners are allowed to gather in groups during the day, they just can't engage in prayer together. This restriction seems to apply to all of them, although it's unclear if they were all part of the fire incident. The ban seems like it could last forever. The prison, at least, is making no indication of when it would be lifted.

So, because of one incident with a fire, there is now a content-specific ban on a specific kind of religious worship that is applied to everyone. I'm glad there is a lawsuit about this, because don't think there is any way the prison will win with those facts.

Andy R. said...

I do like what happens when the Christianists realize that they aren't the only religion in America. This, for example:
Louisiana Rep. Valarie Hodges, R-Watson, is retracting her support for Gov. Bobby Jindal's voucher program, after realizing the money could be applied to Muslim schools, Livingston Parish News reports.

Hodges initially supported the governor's program because she mistakenly equated "religious" with "Christian," according to the report. Jindal's reform package allows state education funds to be used to send students to religious schools.


There is going to be such a freak-out among the bigot crew when they realize that we will be seeing radical government funded madrassas in America.

The only way they can push Christianity is by making room for Islam to take the same opportunity. But even private speech by Muslims in jail is already causing problems, wait until we start seeing government-supported Islam.

BarryD said...

I favor compromise.

Every time Lindh sings kumbayah all the way through while holding hands with a circle of gay prisoners, he earns himself another group prayer session with the group of his choice.

Andy R. said...

The prison has said that speech they like is ok, but speech they don't like can be prohibited.

That's prison for you.


Again, prisoners have rights. Prisoners have successfully sued for all manner of reasonable religious accommodations, and won. This isn't particularly controversial. Just because some of the rights for prisoners are being restricted (like how they don't have the right to have a gun), doesn't mean that a prison can arbitrarily restrict other of their rights.

Bob Ellison said...

damikesc, it's even worse than that. Those prisoners' second-amendment rights are not being respected.

Bob Ellison said...

"Just because some of the rights for prisoners are being restricted (like how they don't have the right to have a gun), doesn't mean that a prison can arbitrarily restrict other of their rights."

Yes. Yes, it does.

Dante said...

So, because of one incident with a fire, there is now a content-specific ban on a specific kind of religious worship that is applied to everyone. I'm glad there is a lawsuit about this, because don't think there is any way the prison will win with those facts.

And what a shame that is. It should be up to the warden to secure his prison in the way he deems best. Wardens should be chosen based on that and other factors, but the judgement of the warden should not be overruled unless there are real constitutional violations going on, like cruel and unusual punishment. And in that case, the warden is fired and a new one found.

As far as I'm concerned, your only argument is that it's not "Fair," yet you have been less than convincing you are willing to support truly "Fair" freedom of religion in prisons.

Matthew Sablan said...

"Prisoners have successfully sued for all manner of reasonable religious accommodations, and won."

-- So why aren't you even engaging on whether or not this is reasonable, and why have you studiously ignored (such as in your list of facts) that the prison HAS made accommodations (allowing extra group prayer during Ramadan, allowing one weekly group prayer session)? It's like you can only see the facts that improve your case.

Bob Ellison said...

"I do like what happens when the Christianists realize that they aren't the only religion in America."

There it is again! Divide and conquer. No, I don't care about any particular religion, but if I can use the right's arguments against them somehow, some way, even bending reality to do so, maybe we lefties will win!

Matthew Sablan said...

Also: Since group prayer sessions seemed to be something different than just everyone getting together and praying, do we even know the logistics behind it? Right now, for example, everyone just sort of mills about playing games, shooting hoops, etc. Maybe there's a lot more that goes into preparing an area for the weekly prayer session that we don't know about that might make the issue with setting up space/etc. an actual issue. That would be interesting to see; is there a large space open and always available, or would they have to clear out an area that is normally used for other things?

Andy R. said...

So why aren't you even engaging on whether or not this is reasonable

I'm saying that it is unreasonable for the prison to ban all Muslim group prayer for everyone because of the one fire incident. The exception during Ramadan seems to indicate that it can't be a major safety issue, or it would be banned year round.

I'm saying it is unreasonable to prevent any prisoners from engaging in group Muslim prayer if they weren't part of the fire incident.

Matthew Sablan said...

"I'm saying that it is unreasonable for the prison to ban all Muslim group prayer for everyone because of the one fire incident."
--> Good thing that's not what's happening.

"The exception during Ramadan seems to indicate that it can't be a major safety issue, or it would be banned year round."
--> Or it could show the prison is making a good faith effort at accommodating its prisoners. That's something we'll only find out when the facts come to light.

Matthew Sablan said...

"I'm saying it is unreasonable to prevent any prisoners from engaging in group Muslim prayer if they weren't part of the fire incident. "

--> Awesome! We're in agreement on this; it would be terrible if the prison completely banned Muslim prayer.

Andy R. said...

Since group prayer sessions seemed to be something different than just everyone getting together and praying, do we even know the logistics behind it? Right now, for example, everyone just sort of mills about playing games, shooting hoops, etc. Maybe there's a lot more that goes into preparing an area for the weekly prayer session that we don't know about that might make the issue with setting up space/etc. an actual issue. That would be interesting to see; is there a large space open and always available, or would they have to clear out an area that is normally used for other things?

If you had any evidence about this, it might complicate the situation. The prison is not making any claims related to this in the article. The prison is saying that Muslim group prayer used to be ok, and then it got taken away because of the fire incident. Why do we need to speculate about other possible reasons, when the prison had no problem with daily (!) group Muslim prayer until the fire incident.

Matthew Sablan said...

... That's simple. Perhaps before the prison learned that the prisoners may not take their safety seriously, they were willing to deal with logistical hardships imposed by those efforts. Now, they are no longer willing to risk people dying to accommodate prisoners who are unwilling to compromise with the guards. So, instead of bartering, the prison has offered them a take-it or leave-it option of once a week, with extra consideration during holy days.

Bender said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
PatCA said...

Why would the posters here, like the ACLU, believe that Lindh is not prosletizing for radical Islam?

Has he given any indication he has renounced his conversion?

Bender said...

I'm looking forward to the Christianists in America fighting for Lindh to have the right to practice his religion

Lindh's religion would saw off The Hat's head with a knife, and it is Christians who are the bad guys???

Andy -- are YOU in favor of Lindh having the right to practice his gays-should-be-killed religion?

Andy R. said...

it would be terrible if the prison completely banned Muslim prayer.

You're right, they have only banned group Muslim prayer during six days of the week.

I would be curious to hear the prison explain why it is ok one day a week, but not more often. Does it take more guards during the prayer days? Does it cause some other kind of problem? If the fear is that the Muslims will cause a problem during the next fire, is the idea that there would only be a 1 in 7 chance that they are praying during the next fire?

Andy R. said...

Lindh's religion would saw off The Hat's head with a knife, and it is Christians who are the bad guys???

I don't like radical Islam either. My understanding is that secular or non-extremists Muslims don't actually want America's help and would consider it counter-productive. If anyone has any ideas of what Americans can do to help combat radical Islam, I would be curious what your suggestions are.

John said...

Are they asking for group prayer in Arabic? If so, banning this would seem to be in keeping with prison policy or requiring all conversation to be in English.

If they are asking for group prayer in English, I don't see why they should not be able to.

I get the impression that they want to pray in Arabic. (The article was not clear) They are allowed to do this on their own, not as a group. As I said, seems reasonable to me.

John Henry

bgates said...

There is going to be such a freak-out among the bigot crew

Was that kind of language encouraged during your "co-existence work"?

Have you noticed you use terms like "bigot", "idiot", and other insults only to refer to law-abiding Christians, never Muslims who have been locked in a federal prison?

And why don't you call those locked up "Muzzies" or some such?

Matthew Sablan said...

No Andy, it has nothing to do with 1 in 7 chances of there being a fire, and everything to do with reasonable accommodation. Is the prison being reasonable? You seem to immediately assume bad faith on the prison's part, when, we have no clue. Lots of information is missing. It all may make perfect sense, or it could be horribly wrong. We'll find out eventually; with the information we have now, it can go either way.

Matthew Sablan said...

From the article: "They must speak English at all times except when reciting ritual prayers in Arabic." The only thing I'm confused about is if this includes during their group prayer sessions.

Colonel Angus said...

Lindh's religion would saw off The Hat's head with a knife, and it is Christians who are the bad guys???

Liberals typically are prone to embrace an ideology and especially a religion that is hostile to Western Civilization and/or Christianity. It speaks of a certain kind of self loathing I could never understand.

Andy's visceral hatred of Christians certainly reinforces my hypothesis since he has firmly entrenched his position that Lindh has been stripped of his Constitutional rights, rights he eschewed when he took up arms against his country.

Bob Ellison said...

"I would be curious to hear the prison explain why it is ok one day a week, but not more often."

This is an interesting question. It's a management problem. "Why did you do that? What were your reasons?"

The thing with prisons, parents, schools, and like institutions that the law recognizes, is that we grant them authority. We say "do the job within the rules, and we won't micro-manage you".

Prisons have the right to restrict their prisoners' rights to an extraordinary degree. We don't allow torture. But allowing the prisoners to sue for more group prayer, or more gravy on their potatoes, or more square footage, is silly, and un-American.

Matthew Sablan said...

"But allowing the prisoners to sue for more group prayer, or more gravy on their potatoes, or more square footage, is silly, and un-American."

-- I'd think having a legal system designed to check the power of the state is intrinsically American.

Colonel Angus said...

Was that kind of language encouraged during your "co-existence work"?

I must admit, I did get a belly laugh at the concept of co-existance work in a place where its children are indoctrinated that Israel doesn't exist on their maps.

Bob Ellison said...

Matthew Sablan, you're right. I guess I'm saying that litigiousness is anti-American, and sadly, that's not the case. It goes way back.

My point is that authority, once granted, should not be questioned on specious grounds. That's a big problem in America these decades.

Andy R. said...


But allowing the prisoners to sue for more group prayer, or more gravy on their potatoes, or more square footage, is silly, and un-American.

Here is an example of inmates winning the right to kosher food after filing a lawsuit. I consider inmates filing suit to fight against unreasonable restrictions on their religious practices a wonderfully American thing to do.

Bender said...

If anyone has any ideas of what Americans can do to help combat radical Islam, I would be curious what your suggestions are.

Perhaps you can go to some Islamic country, or even go hang out in Islamic blog sites, and blast and berate Muslims for being anti-gay and for advocating for the killing of gays.

edutcher said...

Hatman is the walking, talking definition of useful idiot.

I'd hate to be him when (if) he ever wakes up.

EMD said...

I get the impression that they want to pray in Arabic. (The article was not clear) They are allowed to do this on their own, not as a group. As I said, seems reasonable to me.

I see this as a huge point to consider. The possibility exists that group prayer in Arabic is more than group prayer — that it could be used for other forms of communication.

The English-only vs. Arabic POV negates even the need to address the fire concerns.

Perhaps the safety of non-Muslim prisoners is at play here, too.

One way to combat this would be to have guards fluent in Arabic. But is that a reasonable measure for the prison to take? Is it more reasonable to have the English-only limitation on speech?

Prayer is still allowed, after all.

Dr Weevil said...

Anyone else notice how Andy carefully omits any mention of the fact that "inmates are allowed to play basketball and board games, watch television and converse as long as they speak English so the guards can understand"? (ACLU's words, my emphasis.) He also avoids mentioning that the government cited "a 'radical, all-Arabic sermon' by Lindh". Although the ACLU implies that all prayers are banned, it sounds to me like it's only prayers in non-English languages. If some old-fashioned Catholics were in jail there, they could (I'm guessing) say their Hail Mary and Our Father aloud, or say their Ave Maria and Pater Noster silently, but they couldn't say their prayers in Latin out loud as long as they were outside and together. That doesn't sound like all that severe a restriction to me. (I was taught in Catholic school that you don't even have to move your lips while praying, that you only have to think a prayer for God to hear it. Does Allah not have that power?) Allowing them to pray out loud in Latin would offer obvious opportunities for plotting further crimes. Think of someone doing a Gregorian chant version of "My brother sent me a hacksaw blade hidden in the spine of a Biiiiii - ble. I'll let you know when the package arrives, and we can start the saaaaaaaw - ing".

Think of the scene in Evelyn Waugh where prisoners in the chapel pass news by singing it to the tune of the hymn they're supposed to be singing. Here are stanzas 2 and 5 (of 6):

"'O God, our help in ages past,'
'Where's Prendergast today?'
'What, ain't you 'eard? 'e's been done in.'
'And our eternal home.'

. . . .

"'Time, like an ever-rolling stream,
Bears all its sons away.'
"'Poor Prendy 'ollered fit to kill
For nearly 'alf an hour."

That's from Decline and Fall, Part II, Chapter III, "Death of a Modern Churchman".

Now think of the fact that prayers (or hymns) in a foreign language (Arabic, Latin, or any other) would be an even more secure form of communication.

EMD said...

It's interesting to note that Andy and Matthew can having a reasoned discussion that doesn't include the term christianist or bigot, etc.

Dr Weevil said...

Looks like EMD beat me to a large part of my point while I was leafing through Waugh and typing up what I had to say. Will Hatboy listen? All signs point to 'no'.

whoresoftheinternet said...

Amazing how the ACLU is always for religious freedom when that sect is all about blowing up American freedom.

ACLU has no problem with the government dictating to religions what they can and cannot do, however, when the religion opposes Mein Obama.

Remember when the ACLU said Obamacare's mandates on Catholic hospitals didn't violate religious freedom?

Yeah, real consistent freedom loving assholes, those ones.

Hopefully, somebody shoots up ACLU headquarters the way some homo-sympathetic lefty shot up Family Research Council. I'll bet that would get a lot more "outrage" and coverage from the chattering classes and Mein Obama.

P.S. I'm not advocating it at all. Just saying I wouldn't shed a tear.

Ironclad said...

I would like to know if other religions get congregational services and if so, at what frequency? Frankly, for Muslims, there is only one weekly prayer (Friday, noon) that is supposed to be held together (others can be done in private without issue). That prayer also usually ends up in a riot in most places as the Imam usually winds up the crowd with a denunciation of some "injustice." I wonder if the prison worries about that?

More to the point - is this not the government "establishing a religion"? since this is in effect giving a specific Salafi sect their own private session. Since I sincerely doubt that Lindh would allow a Shia to worship with him (takfir!), this is the government saying that one group of Muslims gets special privileges. Were I the prison warden, I would put a few different sects together to watch the fireworks.

My fervent prayer would be that Lindh would be reassigned to wipe Mr Hassan's ass for the rest of his life after the farce trial at Ft Hood is over.

Colonel Angus said...

If anyone has any ideas of what Americans can do to help combat radical Islam, I would be curious what your suggestions are.

Actually its up to Muslims themselves to clean up the dreck that is infesting their religion. Typically radical groups can only thrive when they have the support or at least the indifference of the indigenous population. Although we are constantly reminded that the radical segment of Islam is a small minority, they certainly punch above their weight. That tells us they either have the backing of a significant segment if of their society or there is enough indifference that allows them to continue to operate and recruit.



Andy R. said...

The English-only vs. Arabic POV negates even the need to address the fire concerns.

I can't figure out what the deal is with the English language thing. On the one thing, the article said that daily group prayer was allowed, until the fire. So apparently the prison didn't have a problem with the English language issue, before the fire. They also still apparently allow group prayer once a week during the week, with more during Ramanda, which is apparently in Arabic.

Maybe the prison is arguing that they can only afford to higher guards fluent in Arabic once a week. That would be an interesting argument for them to make, but probably not enough to convince the courts. The article said they are under video and audio surveillance, so I don't think it's too hard to get stuff translated if they need to.

Bender said...

The Christian approach -- Homosexual acts are contrary to the truth of the nature of the human person, but we should love those persons having a same-sex attraction.

The Islamic approach --
Homosexual acts are abhorent and gays should be killed.

The Hat approach --
Neverending bashing of the Christians who preach love for gays and defending Islamists who preach death for gays.

Andy R. said...

The Islamic approach --
Homosexual acts are abhorent and gays should be killed.


A lot of people seem to think Islam is a single undifferentiated mass. Are they not aware of the diversity of Muslims throughout the world?

Bob Ellison said...

"Maybe the prison is arguing that they can only afford to higher guards fluent in Arabic once a week. That would be an interesting argument for them to make, but probably not enough to convince the courts."

[I assume you meant "hire".]

But this is the very problem. To what extreme must the prison go to meet the prisoners' demands? If "the courts" say the wardens must pray toward Mecca, must they?

We must stop questioning authorities unless they actually step upon legitimate rights. Prisoners have very few legitimate rights. Don't get stuck on stupid.

Palladian said...

Are they not aware of the diversity of Muslims throughout the world?

There's not much diversity on that point, darling,

Well, unless you count the large number of Muslim men (and boys) who fuck around with each other in secret and then attend the hangings and beheadings of homosexuals the following day.

Oh, and if you're really rich and well-connected you can get away with it unmolested.

Sounds like just the sort of society that Andy R must love! Puts the thrill back into the anonymous hook-up, eh?

Palladian said...

Take Iraq for example. The criminal code was amended in 2001 to require the death penalty for homosexuality. Then that illegal war happened in 2003 and the legal code was returned to its pre-Baathist state, which did not criminalize homosexuality. But extra-judicial death squads, Lindh's comrades, murder homosexuals regardless of the legal status of gay people.

Colonel Angus said...

A lot of people seem to think Islam is a single undifferentiated mass. Are they not aware of the diversity of Muslims throughout the world?

Is there a Muslim nation that doesn't outlaw homosexuality?

You are confirming my hypothesis Andy. You seem to provide ample cover for Muslims while reserving your hate for Christians. And that's ok, its just you might have a bit more credibility if you were honest about it.

Dr Weevil said...

Poor Andy "can't figure out what the deal is with the English language thing" even after EMD and I explained it in some detail (and with some inadvertent overlap) at 1:06 and 1:07. He needs to think carefully about our comments and shut up until he's figured out what the deal is. It's really not that hard to understand.

Palladian said...

Is there a Muslim nation that doesn't outlaw homosexuality?

Turkey, Albania, Indonesia (except for the Sharia-controlled Aceh province), Jordan and Mali.

Homosexuality isn't specifically illegal in Egypt, but gay people have been prosecuted for "morality offenses", and of course, all that is up in the air now that the Muslim Brotherhood has de-facto taken over the country.

Palladian said...

But, of course, Lindh's pals are trying to change those outliers.

garage mahal said...

For some reason I don't think gays are faring any better than they were under Saddam.

buster said...

I don't know the details of Lindh's case or the pertinent law, but First Amendment rights can be restricted in prisons in ways that would be unacceptable outside of prisons. So Andy R.'s recitation of principles guiding the interpretation of the First Amendment doesn't prove anything or otherwise advance the discussion.

B said...

If the Warden feels Christian group worship is OK....

This is not how America works. You'll have to trust me on this, but what you're suggesting is clearly unconstitutional.


You're going to have to trust me on this. It's clearly NOT unconstitutional. Lindh is under duress after being found guilty of a crime in a constitutionally valid court. At that point, his rights were constrained. Legally.

He can't vote. He can't travel freely. And so on. If any rights due him under the constitution can be proffered WITHOUT interfering with his incarceration, (and that includes control of his movements, associates, and who he gathers with and when and in what manner), then he retains those rights and only those rights.

You don't know what the fuck you are talking about here because you don't have a clue about the law or the constitution. You have a personal interpretation that suits you, as you've shown time and time again, but it has jack shit to do with the law.

Michael said...

Palladian: Mali? Are you sure?

Andy R. said...

And so on. If any rights due him under the constitution can be proffered WITHOUT interfering with his incarceration, (and that includes control of his movements, associates, and who he gathers with and when and in what manner), then he retains those rights and only those rights.

You don't know what the fuck you are talking about here because you don't have a clue about the law or the constitution.


It seems Cutter v. Wilkinson supports the claims I am making and undercuts the argument being made by you and Dante.

Palladian said...

Michael,

Mali is sort of like Egypt, in that there are no specific laws against homosexuality but apparently gay people may be prosecuted using other, non-specific statutes. So Mali isn't exactly gay-friendly, but notable as one of the few Islamic majority countries that does not specifically criminalize homosexuality.

Andy R. said...

There are around 1.5 billion Muslims. What percent of them do you think want to kill homosexuals?

Comanche Voter said...

Well now we've got a thread dominated by Andy R who has his hobby horse--er hobby "camel" and he's going to ride it all day.

It doesn't appear that rational arguments will dissuade him, so we all might just as well stop flapping our gums at him.


Have a nice day Andy.

bgates said...

There are over 2.5 billion Christians. By how many orders of magnitude would the number of Muslims who want to execute homosexuals have to exceed the number of Christians who consider homosexuality a sin before adherents of each religion are treated with the same amount of venom by the more ill-mannered young leftists?

Andy R. said...

It doesn't appear that rational arguments will dissuade him

What are the rational arguments that you think failed to persuade me.

As far as I can tell, we are arguing if the prison's decision to restrict group muslim prayer after the fire incident was appropriate.

I'm not sure why you think that restricting the practice of Islam by Lindh is the rational approach while arguments allowing the practice that existed before the fire is somehow irrational.

net said...

By how many orders of magnitude would the number of Muslims who want to execute homosexuals have to exceed the number of Christians who consider homosexuality a sin before adherents of each religion are treated with the same amount of venom by the more ill-mannered young leftists?

That question assumes that the ill-mannered young douchebags base their venom something other than the fact that the popular culture serving as the only basis for their (his, actually - it's just the mentally-defective Andy) opinions opposes Christianity more than Islam.

It's simply unfair to ask Andy to honestly think about things. He's proven repeatedly that he's incapable of deviating from the most blatantly stereotypical poof.

Andy R. said...

The activism I do is based around my connections with the United States and Israel. Within the US and Israel, there are only about a dozen issues that I am personally concerned about.

There are a lot of bad people all around the world doing all kinds of bad things. It would be great if they stopped, but it's not something I can personally invest in. There are lots of people all around the world doing work on behalf of gay rights. I think that's great. Some of those activists are Muslims or they live in countries where the attitudes of Islam toward gay people is of primary concern.

What Islam thinks about gay people has no bearing on gay rights in the United States. When I was in Israel, I did work with an organization that was doing gay-rights work in the Arab community, both in Israel and Palestine. I don't happen to be in contact with that organization any more, and the activism I do related to Israel doesn't have anything to do with gay rights anymore.

It seems many of you want me to start engaging in activism about the oppression of homosexuals in Muslims countries. But don't you all agree with me that the Islamic oppression of homosexuals is a bad thing? Why are you telling me to take up this fight, if you aren't doing it yourself?

Bob Ellison said...

Andy R. said "But don't you all agree with me that the Islamic oppression of homosexuals is a bad thing? Why are you telling me to take up this fight, if you aren't doing it yourself?"

We spent a trillion dollars or so and shed about five thousand heroes' lives doing that. Did you not notice?

Bob Ellison said...

garage mahal said "For some reason I don't think gays are faring any better than they were under Saddam."

This would be interesting, if there were evidence. Can you cite something? I don't doubt that it's possible. Your "for some reason" preamble just sounds like a "I hate Bush" thing.

EMD said...

We spent a trillion dollars or so and shed about five thousand heroes' lives doing that. Did you not notice?

I suppose if you include the overarching human rights, this is accurate, but ... I think it was more for geopolitical advantages in trying to neutralize Iran.

garage mahal said...

Homosexuals have lived in fear in Iraq for years, notably since religious militia claimed control of the streets in the sectarian warfare that followed the U.S.-led invasion of 2003, which toppled Saddam Hussein. But Hurriya - whose adopted surname means "Freedom" in Arabic - says a surge in killings in the past two months is by far the worst he has seen.

Hit list on gays in Iraq raises alarm, 58 killed in 6 weeks

Pretty much a nightmare if you're gay.

Bob Ellison said...

I think it was more for geopolitical advantages in trying to neutralize Iran.

So what was WW2 about? Defeating Japan, the nation that forced the USA into the war? Then why did we sacrifice all those heroes in Normandy?

This "about" and "for" argument is stupid. If it makes for good things, who cares if the people who supported it wanted purple unicorns?

Colonel Angus said...

Andy is very liberal in his use of bigot when describing Christians yet quite deferential to Muslims who display a murderous hostility to homosexuals.

garage mahal said...

Andy is very liberal in his use of bigot when describing Christians yet quite deferential to Muslims who display a murderous hostility to homosexuals.

There is definitely some truth in that. The Taliban plays soccer with people's heads, there is nothing remotely close to that on the Christian side.

Bob Ellison said...

garage mahal, good link. That's awful stuff.

Colonel Angus said...

Since homosexuality is outlawed in the majority of Muslim countries, the nightmare of being openly gay is likely a matter of degrees.

garage mahal said...

Imagine being hunted down by fucking animal death squads. Pat Robertson suddenly doesn't look so bad?

bgates said...

Why are you telling me to take up this fight, if you aren't doing it yourself?

Mainly I just want you to leave the country.

whoresoftheinternet said...

What lefties like garage and easy andy have taught me vis a vis Muslim extremists is the following:

If you are tolerant of a lefty speaking his opinion but disagree, you will be verbally, legally, physically, and socially attacked and made a non-person by the left. If, however, you violently oppose any lefty's opinion and threaten to do so again in the future under no uncertain terms, the left will bow down before you and go to any length to defend you.

Sarah Silverman, the leftist whore, says it plainly in her book Bedwetter : she will attack Christianity but not Islam because Muslims would kill her.

That's lefty courage, speaking truth to power, right there.

Now sit back for a minute, non-lefties: what are the lefties teaching you to do?

And lefties: what are you teaching the non-left to do?

B said...

It seems Cutter v. Wilkinson supports the claims I am making and undercuts the argument being made by you and Dante.

Oh? Explain the relationship and how it is pertinent. Show your work.

You're a fraud coming and going Andy. I haven't from the start believed you had or have any principled position about your wide brush anti-gay Christian nonsense.

And this is more of the same. It suits you to consider yourself intellectually superior to conservatives and so you make shit up to convince yourself it's true.

It irks you that the vast majority of Christians in this country couldn't give a shit about your sexual persuasion one way on the other. They don't like and resist the drive to redefine marriage, but not because of gay. They'd do the same against polygamy. Your problem, is that you can't stand the that fact. That excepting some backwoods preachers, Christians don't think you're edgy, or cool, or a threat or much of anything. They may occasionally see you as sad lost and confused soul, but only occasionally. They simply don't care.

And they don't EVER see you as a victim. A spoiled, selfish, narcissistic, and self-indulgent child, yes. A victim, no.

Gary Rosen said...

The treasonous bastard is lucky he's still alive (referring to Lindh, not hatman).

EMD said...

So what was WW2 about? Defeating Japan, the nation that forced the USA into the war? Then why did we sacrifice all those heroes in Normandy?

I think we're quibbling. I'm cool with the human rights advances that can come with western intervention.

Bob Ellison said...

EMD, I said: "We spent a trillion dollars or so and shed about five thousand heroes' lives doing that. Did you not notice?"

...and you said: "I suppose if you include the overarching human rights, this is accurate, but ... I think it was more for geopolitical advantages in trying to neutralize Iran."

Now you say: "I think we're quibbling. I'm cool with the human rights advances that can come with western intervention."

You're belittling and misunderstanding history. America did all this just for some strange, inexplicable diplomatic advantage? How's that working out?

The USA military intervened in Iraq and Afghanistan in order to (1) protect America and (2) help the people there gain some freedom and autonomy. This is not all a big soap opera, especially for those individual military members.

harrogate said...

"The USA military intervened in Iraq and Afghanistan in order to (1) protect America and (2) help the people there gain some freedom and autonomy."

You really think it is that simple?

"This is not all a big soap opera, especially for those individual military members."

You're certainly right about the individual military members. But for those who run the show from some 3,000 miles away and counting? That's a different category altogether isn't it.

DEEBEE said...

Soooo, this XMas all believers have to do is to place a toilet near the creche and ACLU will be on thier side.

Robert Cook said...

"The USA military intervened in Iraq and Afghanistan in order to (1) protect America and (2) help the people there gain some freedom and autonomy."

Hahahahahahaha!

No, and...no.

Neither country was a danger to America, and we don't give a shit about their freedom or autonomy.

SGT Ted said...

This is what happens when you don't execute traitors. They continue their treachery and sedition.