Sentenced to death for being a Christian

Recently, Asia Bibi released her book “Blasphemy: A memoir”. For those of you who have not read Asia’s account of her treatment as a Pakistani Christian in the press, it makes for a damning indictment of a country that already has problems curbing its Islamist image.

This is only heightened in light of the horrific attack on a church by two suicide bombers by the Pakistani Taliban only last week.

In July 2009, mother-of-five Asia, 46, went to the fields to pick strawberries in the Pakistani summer heat for 250 rupees (under $2.50 USD). When she went to get a cup of water from the nearby well, one of the locals screamed at the others not to drink the “haram” (forbidden in Islam) water after it had been drunk from by a Christian.

It didn’t take long for the rest of the women picking berries to go on the attack. When her religion was insulted and she was threatened if she did not convert to Islam, Asia was unrepentant. She told them in no uncertain terms “I’m not going to convert. I believe in my religion and in Jesus Christ, who died on the cross for the sins of mankind”. Jesus is not considered the son of god in Islamic mythology and is not believed to have died on the cross. Asia’s statement of her position alone was taken as an insult to Islam and sent her tormenters into a frenzy of hatred and abuse.

Five days later, Asia was attacked by the same mob again. She was taken to the village holy man. Unfortunately for Asia, this man preached an ultraconservative brand of Islam and had a hold on the local population. Asia was beaten, sworn at, spat on and told she must renounce her Christian faith and convert to Islam. After an ordeal that lasted hours, the police came and made arrests. Not of Asia’s would be lynchers of course, but of Asia herself: on the charge of blasphemy.

Asia was being charged on the grounds that her words, including a proclamation of her Christianity, were blasphemous. If Asia were to be found guilty, she would face the death penalty.

For four years now, she has languished in jail facing the gallows under 295c of Pakistan’s penal code. Even if released without charge, she is almost certain to end up the victim of vigilante violence like those who have fallen foul of the law before her.

And many have done so. Whilst Asia was arrested and jailed four years ago, the blasphemy law continues to claim victims.

In July, Sajjad Masih, another Christian targeted by the law was sentenced to life imprisonment for a supposedly blasphemous mobile phone text message despite the conviction being based on flimsy if not non-existent evidence.

To add to this, the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom recently released its report detailing Pakistan’s poor history on religious freedoms. In the last year and a half alone, the report documents 203 acts of violence in the name of religion. This led to over 1,800 casualties and 700 deaths in no small part due to the witch hunts of minorities enabled by the blasphemy law.

What happened next in Asia’s case is even more frightening. The governor of Punjab, Pakistan’s largest, most populous and richest province, openly showed his support for Asia calling for the scrapping of what he called a “black law”. Salmaan Taseer was eventually shot by his own bodyguard, Malik Mumtaz Qadri, whilst his other bodyguards looked on.

It didn’t end there. Minister of minorities, Shahbaz Bhatti, a Christian himself, was also gunned down in his car having just visited his mother. The Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack saying Bhatti was a “known blasphemer” as he had many times proclaimed his Christian faith and stated his belief in Jesus not as a prophet, as in Islam, but as the son of god.

Unfortunately, the blasphemy law is so vague and broad that it can be applied to even proclamations of faith antithetical to Islam and perversely, is based on the offence taken by others. In Asia’s case, she was arrested for offending the Muslims around her for voicing a difference of opinion on a matter of theology.

The final horror was the way in which Mumtaz Qadri, Salmaan Taseer’s assassin, was greeted by Pakistanis. After Taseer’s murder, there was a noticeable chilling effect. Asif Ali Zardari, the president at the time, suddenly went quiet. His hints of pardoning Asia stopped. Talk of rescinding 295c were nowhere to be heard. In death, Salmaan Taseer had been abandoned by his own political party. There is no talk of the new Pakistani administration rescinding the law.

On Christmas Day 2010, 200 people, exclusively Christians, marched in support of Asia calling for her release and the scrapping of the blasphemy law. Weeks later, 40,000 Pakistanis marched in support of the law which could see Asia killed. They threatened nationwide strikes and vigilante justice if the law was changed. The government cowered in fear at this show of Islamist force arranged by the political religious parties. Banners included “Mumtaz Qadri is our hero” and “We salute the courage of Qadri”.

A sobering fact: as Mumtaz Qadri left court, Pakistani lawyers showered him with rose petals. Meanwhile, Asia Bibi sits in jail waiting for her food to be poisoned, for her to be murdered by would be vigilantes or, horrifyingly, by the state itself.

At the time of partition, Pakistan’s non-Muslim population (which included modern day Bangladesh) stood at 23 percent. Today, it is down to as low as 3 percent. That figure is quite telling. In not challenging Islamism, Pakistanis have all but forced their non-Muslim countrymen to leave the country. Pakistani Christians today still look for a place where they can hope to not be burnt alive in their homes, have their churches attacked by grenades and suicide bombers like last week’s attack or their children arrested for perceived insults to Islam. This all stands in stark contrast to the way things had begun for this country back in 1948.

The founder of the nation, Muhammad Ali Jinnah said “you are free; you are free to go to your temples. You are free to go to your mosques or to any other places of worship in this State of Pakistan. You may belong to any religion, caste or creed – that has nothing to do with the business of the state”.

A secularist appeal for freedom of religion from the father of a nation. A far cry from a Pakistan now where Mumtaz Qadri is garlanded with roses as he leaves court a murderer. It was only this summer that one of the members of the most popular opposition party, Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf, shocked Pakistan’s national assembly by demanding the pardon and release of Qadri. Support for the assassin remains.

Asia’s story and the aftermath makes for frightening reading and reminds us of one of the consequences of Pakistan’s unchecked drift towards an inward looking tribalism that doesn’t include non-Muslims. Pakistan has over the decades shaped its identity through everything non-Muslim, non-Western and ultimately non-Pakistani. Of course the tragedy here is that Asia Bibi is just that: Pakistani. Her detractors seem to forget that the white of the Pakistani flag represents the country’s minorities.

Asia’s future does not look hopeful. Pakistan’s death penalty was suspended under a 5 year moratorium by the last premier, Asif Ali Zardari. The EU expressed its concern over the government’s having allowed the moratorium to expire. However, faced with a surge in violence from Islamist militants including the Pakistani Taliban, new Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has reinstated the death penalty to try and curb the growing threat.

Ironically, in a bid to deal with militants, reinstating the death penalty may allow Asia to be hanged by a blasphemy law that only continues to exist to appease Islamists to be found on Pakistan’s television screens politics. In a country of such contrast and contradictions, this doesn’t seem all that out of place.

Asia has said “I am given raw material to cook for myself, since the administration fears I might be poisoned, as other Christians accused of blasphemy were poisoned or killed in the jail”. If Pakistan cannot be pressured into either pardoning Asia or scrapping the blasphemy law, she may not even make it to the gallows.

Unfortunately, this is a much more likely possibility than her actually completing her appeal. Which only highlights the urgency of her plight and that of Pakistan’s persecuted minorities.

Zaheer Rayasat is a freelance writer 


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  • Gerry Leddy

    Praise the Lord. Philippians 1:21 (KJV) tells the Christian ‘For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.’ One would have to seriously doubt the testimony of any Christian who would complain about their own or another Christian’s persecution. Christ told us all in Matthew 5:11 (KJV) Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. ‘t’wuold be foolishly silly to complain about being called ‘blessed’ by our God

  • Harry Cunningham

    And herein lies the problem… religion of all sorts is a pox upon the earth. The sooner we evolve beyond the need for fairy tales, the sooner we can all get along.

  • Deb Shaw

    If you are not facing this kind of retribution for practicing your religion, you are not being persecuted. Another person practicing a different religion alongside you does not constitute persecution.

  • Shawn Forbes

    Joseph Stalin felt the same way.

  • Shawn Forbes

    Earlier this year in Pakistan three Christian women were stripped naked, dragged through the street and beaten by a mob. A few weeks ago, Taliban Commander Mullah Baradar was released from Pakistani jail, 2 days later the Taliban suicide bombed a Christian Church in Peshewar as a “gift” of gratitude. All of this can be easily verified & was widely reported. Pakistan is built upon extremism & terrorism. Why do you think Baloch, Sindh & Kashmiri want independence.

  • K Moore

    Muhammad (the Muslim prophet) married a 6 year old girl (Aisha) & had sexual intercourse when she was 9

  • K Moore

    500 Roman Citizens signed statutory declarations saying Jesus Christ rose from the dead after three (3) days from being crucified upon the cross; please explain that one Harry Cunningham

  • Lynda

    As a committed Christian I would be prepared to die for my faith, as did St Paul, St Stephen, St Matthew and millions of others since then. My Grandmother’s families were German missionaries who came to Africa and started a mission station in Ghana. When the troubles came they died as they had lived- without raising a hand to harm another human being. “For in My house are many mansions…” Live or die, Asia and other Christians persecuted in Pakistan by a militant misuse of Islam (all extremists are evil)- all persecuted Christians have a great reward in the live to come, and Jesus is with them. Religion is not the problem, Mr. Leddy, Satan’s power is, and he is not yet called to judgment. The end of the world is not yet come.

  • Bluedarky

    Premature Burial has happened throughout the centuries, you only need to look into reports of Vampires who’ve been dug up for the watchers to find bloodied fingers and scratchmarks on the inside of the lid, it is known to happen even today (abet very rarely) with our modern methods of detecting even the smallest heartbeat.

    The primary difference between Jesus and most people who were killed by premature burial is that his disciples expected him to return and buried him in a cave where he could escape from.

  • miln40

    On the other hand, Hitler was a big supporter of religious faith! Reductio arguments can go either way =)

  • Alain

    To be atheist in USA is close to be the same thing. Extremist christians are like extremist muslims.

  • http://twitter.com/NadineLumley Nadine Lumley Real

    “American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War On
    America”

    Chris Hedges’s book examines how Christian dominionists are
    seeking absolute power and a Christian state. This movement bears a strong resemblance to
    the young fascist movements in Italy and Germany in the 1920s and ’30s.

    http://www.democracynow.org/2007/2/19/chris_hedges_on_american_fascists_the

    http://www.amazon.com/American-Fascists-Christian-Right-America/dp/0743284437

  • Achron Timeless

    This is why you keep church and state very very separate. There are those who openly admit to wanting to do the same in the US, except for not being christian.

    If you want a frighteningly clear preview of what a “christian nation” would be, look no further than stories like this one. It’s the same religion, after all, just arguing over who their messiah is.

  • Achron Timeless

    Yep, the nazi soldiers even had belt buckles with “Gott Mit Uns” (God With Us) on them.

  • Adam Butler

    And the comments below show that the US is becoming just as hostile toward Christians… I fear Christians may be the target of the next Holocaust at this rate…

  • Adam Butler

    Or we could just look at what happen when Christianity ruled America… Slaves were freed, Civil Rights was passed, women got the right to vote… Surely you’re not comparing these events to hanging someone of another religion?

  • Adam Butler

    You mean extremist atheists wish they could treat Christians the same way extremist Muslims do. Christianity is a voluntary religion, one of love and forgiveness.

  • Adam Butler

    Except the Axis hated Christianity, and strongly pushed the ideas of Darwinism. The Christian Right are the ones that have always stood for freedom, and are constantly the ones defending freedom of religion.

  • Adam Butler

    There are different degrees of persecution.

  • Adam Butler

    And yet you worship this outdated idea of evolution which was pushed to justify multiple genocides over the past century.

  • Adam Butler

    And what was his faith? Darwinism!

  • Adam Butler

    So you think a man that had been without food or water for three days managed to push aside a large stone, AND sneaked past the Roman guards assigned to watch the tomb?

    That’s quite a miracle.

  • Achron Timeless

    You’re kidding right? The only reason slavery was overturned is because it became a simplistic talking point for why the north and south were different in the civil war. Leading up to that, there were far more bibles waved around in defense of slavery than in any attempt to end it.

    A favorite verse they used to justify slavery, out of MANY, was “Slaves, obey your earthly masters with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ. Obey them not only to win their favor when their eye is on you, but like slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from your heart.”

    Now let’s see here, civil rights.. which ones were those exactly? The ones that they’d just used the bible to justify enslaving, or the women who were always to remember that Eve was made from Adam and were never to be permitted to teach a man, or to speak in church? How ’bout interracial marriage then? There’s a wonderful picture of a South Carolina court house with fine upstanding christians wishing eternal torture upon people for wanting to get married. Half of it is when they protested interracial arriage, half of it was when they protested homosexual marriage. Same bible being used as an excuse to deny their civil rights.

    Need I go on, or will you just crawl back in your hole and refuse to face reality?

  • Adam Butler

    First off, I’d like to know where you’re getting this verse? Actually, I know where you’re getting it, and I know you probably already know this, but the word used is “servants”, not “slaves”.

    Secondly, Biblical slavery was nothing like slavery in the US, and the Bible was the primary pushing point for the Abolitionists. Not to mention even the laws pertaining to slavery were to protect slaves; much like polygamy and divorce, the Bible regulated slaverly despite clearly arguing against it, in order to minimize the abuses of the practice that God knew humans would engage in despite his warnings against it. The Bible was the ONLY book which spoke against slavery for thousands of years.

    As for not be able to teach or speak, the only thing it says is that women cannot be in the position of pastor or deacon. You once again are showing ignorance of the Bible, and haven’t even read the verses you’re lying about to fit your twisted world view.

    The Bible was the very foundation of interracial marriage, it was rednecks like you who wanted to remove the separation of church and state to have the state define marriages so you could prevent whites from marrying the blacks that you claim are inferior.

    It seems to me it’s homosexuals that are the ones trying to force their definition of marriage on others; why should someone of another religion be forced tor recognize their marriage?

    What’s next, are you going to try and convince me the Holocaust and the Moon Landing were hoaxes?

  • Achron Timeless

    Oh great, you’re one of those idiots who thinks a particular english translation is the “one true word of god” aren’t you?

    You’ve resorted to nitpicking the wording and pretending that these things aren’t said. If you’re already doing that instead of just admitting that it’s in there, there’s nothing I can do to help you.

    I will suggest in the future trying an exercise. Take a fair block of biblical text and change a few words to some equivalents to sidestep your indoctrination. I know you’re ok with doing that, because you just tried to do it in order to defend the indefensible. Here, we’ll just take a random verse:

    We instruct you, brothers, and urge you by the master Fred, that as you have received of us how you should act and to please Joe, so you would abound more and more. For you know what commandments we gave you by the master Fred. For this is the will of Joe…

    See, take away the names and honorifics you’ve been trained to react to, modernize the language a bit, and it looks like what it is: the ranting of an author beset with a delusion. You, obviously sharing this learned delusion, will not understand this point, but you didn’t understand anything of my last point either so I won’t exactly have my feelings hurt.

    I wish you well, truly I do, but you have to take off that blindfold for your own good. As all you’re going to do is rant insanity at me for pointing out the obvious, again, I’m going to leave you to do it without further replies.

  • Adam Butler

    You’re essentially arguing that the meaning of what’s said doesn’t matter… So in other words, you just admitted you’re willing to actively lie about what someone said to make them look bad.

  • miln40

    Huh? Darwinism? Do you mean the theory of evolution or its misguided application in the sense of social darwinism (they are very very different things)?

  • Adam Butler

    Both; social Darwinism is just following through on the philosophical ramifications of evolution. You can’t really have one without the other.

  • miln40

    That’s like saying you can’t have social security without a totalitarian dictatorship or capitalism without fascism. You can always take existing knowledge and push it to the extreme (usually by misinterpreting it, like with social darwinism), but it is not the knowledge itself that is evil.

  • Adam Butler

    The whole point of evolution was to justify the ideals of social Darwinism. The only reason the philosophy was pushed in the first place was to justify slavery, which was coming under attack at the time from abolitionists. Go read “On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life” and “The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex”, and you’ll see that from the onset, Darwin published his so-called “theory” (which evolution technically doesn’t qualify as… A scientific theory is more than just a guess) to defend the idea of we now call Social Darwinism.

  • miln40

    Now now, evolution is not just a guess. It works! If you are not happy with the robust fossil record, look at current antibiotic resistance development in bacteria, look at Mendel’s experiments, look at the pepper moth evolution (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peppered_moth_evolution). Those are all real, proveable, repeatble experiments. The Bible is neither ;). The point of science is to explain the natural world. It does not justify anything, ideologies do. Evolution explains how species change, where you take it from there, depends on your ideological slant.

  • Adam Butler

    The fossil record has not validated evolution, and has actually made it quite difficult for evolutionists to justify, especially with polystrate fossils.

    Antibiotic resistance is a misconception; the bacteria in question do not become resistant, the antibiotic kills off the ones that aren’t resistant and the ones that are remain.

    It is often said that if Mendel’s works were published a couple decades earlier, Darwin’s would have never been taken seriously; genetics has shown just how complex life is, and how far fetched it would be for one to claim that all lifeforms were designed by nothing more than random chance.

    As for the pepper moth experiment, this was proved to be a fraud… Besides that, even if it were true, it started with black moths and white moths, it ended with black moths and white moths… Nothing changed.

    I never claimed the Bible was a science book. I’m well aware of the difference between science and history, and what is within the realm of each (to a degree, I’m certainly not omniscient in either field, and admittedly, my studies of history are probably quite lacking compared to my studies in science).

  • miln40

    How is antibiotic resistance a misconception? The less fit individuals die off, with only those that have a survivable trait passing on their genetic material (though, I grant you, bacteria can be quite freaky and assimilate DNA from other bacteria).
    By polistrate fossils I hope you are not referring to the whole dinosaurs and people fossil records – it’s really hard to take those seriously. As with global warming, I think it makes sense to go with the scientific consensus – unfortunately the volume of knowledge is so large nowadays, that we have to rely on robust peer-criticized research, which quite unambiguously supports the theory of evolution. Mind you, I’m not saying that any dogma is being preached by malicious forces – it is just that the scientific world, using scientific principles holds one possibility (that of evolution) to be vastly more viable than the other (that of creationism).

  • Adam Butler

    But one group dying off means nothing; you need a new group to be created.

    As for polystrate fossils, they’re fossils that go through more than one layer of sediments, proving rapid sedimentation.

    As for global warming… What does that have to do with this discussion?

    And as for “peer-reviewed”, that’s nothing more than argumentum ab auctoritate. There are plenty of scientists who disagree with the majority view, and scientists have a long history of disliking it when science shows that old ideas have been wrong. “Science advances one funeral at a time”, after all. And besides that, even if you found evidence against Biblical creationism (I’m assuming that’s the kind of creationism you’re referring to here, my apologies if you meant another creationism, though my core point still stands), that would not provide any evidence for evolution.

  • miln40

    Ok, I read up on polystrate fossils, quite interesting stuff! Still, I see absolutely no problem in placing them with the proper geological context.
    I used global warming to illustrate another complex issue, on which it is impossible for a single individual to have a grasp of the whole topic, and we have to rely on teamwork and cooperation.
    I know my argument sounds like argument from authority, but it is not. Scientific consensus is not dogmatic and can be challenged at any time – this does not mean that any challenge is automatically correct, however. You have to present overwhelming evidence, and such has simply not surfaced, while evidence for evolution is large (another example: why do human embryos have tails in the first trimester?). Therefore, to the best of our knowledge, evolution is a fact, and so is gravity in the way that it is described.

  • Adam Butler

    You seem to be pretty open about this… If you asked me if I thought you were being dogmatic, I’d have to honestly say, no. You obviously disagree with me, but you’re legitimately discussing things.

    However, there IS a large bias in the scientific community against those who speak against evolution, regardless of the evidence. There will ALWAYS be opposition to anyone who speaks against any sort of consensus, regardless of the subject in question. Does this mean the consensus is right or wrong? Neither inherently, it just goes to show that a consensus really doesn’t effect something being right or wrong. But this is true of any point in history where science is giving us evidence contrary to the assumptions of the day, scientists are always the ones slowest to accept these changes because they don’t want to have to relearn their livelihood.

    As for embryology, this was was myth started by Ernst Heckel whose fraudulent drawings were used to push the idea. The human embryo at no point has a tail or gill slits.

    This is probably what you’ve seen: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/08/Haeckel_drawings.jpg

    These are actual photos: http://www.ichthus.info/Evolution/PICS/Richardson-embryos.jpg

  • Charles F. Morissette

    Except for that whole Hitler trying to create the perfect christian race. . . You seem to forget he believe the jews were evil since they killed jesus. The axis love them some jesus.

  • Adam Butler

    Nice try, but you seem to be forgetting a couple very important facts in your fabrication: Jesus was a Jew, and Christianity is a Jewish religion which sees the Jews as God’s chosen people.

  • miln40

    I’ve come to the conclusion that resorting to arguments and logic instead of trolling and name-calling makes for much more satisfying communication :)

    Now, the tail thing is definitely not a myth. It’s a well-established fact, with lots of research done on it. If you have access to scientific publications, you can have a look at a sample paper here, http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/aja.1001520108/abstract;jsessionid=7518B432F18427AE8DF30047DD54BA42.f02t03 w which deals with the issue. Actually, humans have a lot of vestigial organs, left over from when we were not so human, the wiki article on them is a good starting point: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_vestigiality

  • Shawn Forbes

    In the perfect world that would be wicked awesome, but if only that were true. Tricky thing with knowledge is that its not so black & white as we’d like it to be, truth and fact is very much based on perception and interpretation. Humans have a way of using facts and truths to support and justify nearly any agenda. The scientists who get tenure are the scientists who support their benefactors agendas, while the primitive priests and philosophers of ancient times who got paid (and kept their heads) also supported the agendas of their kings.

  • Adam Butler

    I think we can both agree there are plenty of people on both sides of the issue that could stand to learn that lesson… But I digress.

    The idea of humans having a “tail” is a misconception. If you’re talking about the appendages that they have in the embryonic state, those eventually become the legs. If you’re talking about people that have excess skin dangling from their rear, that’s not a tail from a biological standpoint; it looks like one superficially, but does not function like one. Besides that, the cocyx is not actually vestigial, several important muscles connect to the bone.

  • Charles F. Morissette

    I never said any of what you said isn’t true – though I don’t think all christians think that the jews are god’s chosen people (hell, I think most of them think anyone not of their specific denomination are damned to hell) – I’m saying hitler thought the jews killed jesus and that’s why he was killing them. Go listen to his speeches.

  • Robin Bressler

    I believe in freedom of religion but why can’t we have freedom FROM religion? Why can’t people stop persecuting everyone and mind their own damn business ?

  • Matt

    Oh shut up. Tell me about how Christians are being persecuted when there is a non-Christian president and CHRISTMAS ITSELF is no longer a federal holiday.

  • Matt

    I don’t think you actually know anything about Christian fundamentalists or real-life atheists. Life under Christian fundamentalism isn’t too different from Sharia. Women can’t do anything without their husband’s consent, any differing religious viewpoint is violently suppressed, etc. I suggest you look up “Quiverful” and “Help-meet”. The most rigid and extremist view of atheism is the stringent and unyielding separation of church and state, which, you know, Jefferson wanted, and the holding up as near-sacred of the principles of science.

  • Adam Butler

    Obama says hello, and many state run schools try to avoid the use of the word “Christmas” like the plague; see also the military.

    Also, I think the fact that people are being put to death for being Christians shows that nothing has really changed in the last ~2000 years in that regard.

    Also, when you have to start an argument with ad hominem like “shut up”, it’s pretty clear you don’t even believe your own words.

  • Adam Butler

    You don’t even know what Christian fundamentalism is, do you? As for extremist atheists, let’s look at Hitler, Stalin, Mao, and their ilk… Yeah, so much better than the love your enemies and forgive those who hurt you philosophy that fundamentalism teaches.(That was sarcasm.) Surely you don’t think they gave more freedom to dissent than the philosophy that freed slaves, pushed for civil rights, and won women’s suffrage?

    Also, making up stuff about how the Bible treats women doesn’t work when people can look it up on the internet; making up an argument and attributing it to your opponent and then defeating your own argument is called a straw man, and doesn’t help your debate position at all.

    Also, the whole point of separation of Church and State was to keep the state out of the church, so I’m not sure what that has to do with this. If you would actually read the letter that the statement comes from, it’s all about protecting the churches, which you seem to be against (well, against Christian churches, at least).

  • Matt

    I know Obama says hello, I attended a small semi-private speech he gave. In the middle east nothing has changed, but Christians reign supreme in the US and North America. Please tell me how Christians are being persecuted in the US, and don’t use that “War on Christmas” drivel. I believe my own words perfectly fine, I research them thoroughly.

  • Matt

    Communism by its nature must be atheist so people will look to the state for hope and guidance, so that covers Stalin and Mao. Hitler was a Christian. Christianity had virtually nothing to do with freeing the slaves, civil rights, and women’s suffrage.

    I didn’t make anything up about how the bible treats women. That was all on the Quiverful and Help-Meet movement, staunch fundamentalist movements within Christianity.

    The separation is about keeping the church out of the running of the state. I suggest you actually go ahead and read it. The Founding Fathers were staunch Deists, and were terrified about the idea of the church running the State, not the other way around. They had just fought against a church-run state, and went out of their way to establish a separation. Go ahead, look it up, I dare you. I am all for taxing any and ALL religious houses, especially the Christian churches in the US, since they seem so hell-bent on butting their unwelcome noses into national policy and politics.

  • ShelShock

    Yes, it is fortunate in America that you are not persecuted for being a Christian. It is unfortunate that you want to force your beliefs/values/morals on the rest of us and then hypocritically not view yourselves as just as bad as the Taliban. Here’s the deal guys: we don’t care if you want to be ultra religious and conservative. Just leave us the hell alone with your views.

  • Adam Butler

    I guess the fact that Christians are being forced to partake in religious ceremonies that go against their beliefs means nothing to you? Or the fact that Christians in the military are being dissuaded from practicing their faith? What you believe does not matter; belief has never been the issue. You can believe whatever you want, but facts are facts, they don’t change because they don’t fit with beliefs.

  • Adam Butler

    Okay, now I know you don’t believe anything you’re typing… Because right now, your history seems to be along the lines of what Holocaust deniers and moon landing deniers. I don’t even have to go into your post and point out what’s a lie, since the only part that was truth was the first sentence.

    Come back when you’ve actually done some research, then we’ll talk.

  • Matt

    Wow, calling a Jew a Holocaust denier. Way to be classy, dummy, and thanks for telling me you’re one of the historical revisionists who think all of the Founding Fathers were Bible-thumping Christians.

  • Matt

    Where in the US are Christians being forced to partake in religious ceremonies other than their own? Please tell me. Where are Christians in the military being dissuaded from practicing their faith? Do you mean the part about not condemning homosexuality? Because if you do that is a violation of the human rights of others, and that is a matter of law and not opinion.

  • Adam Butler

    Really? Mountains of historical documents showing that the Founding Fathers were staunch believers in the Bible, and those who accept that evidence are now the historical revisionists? You know what, forget what I said, you are WORSE than the Holocaust deniers. At least they’re generally just insane, you’re not even trying to convince me that you actually believe what you’re saying. You’re just a cheap troll that’s getting in some laughs and wondering just how far you can string me along before I catch on. Well, game’s up.

  • Adam Butler

    Making others partake in your weddings is a human right? I guess that must be right next to the part where slavery is a “right”. You can’t just claim anything you want to do is a right, especially when your so-called rights interfere with real rights.

  • Matt

    So Thomas Jefferson editing the Christian Bible to remove any mention of the “miracles” of Christ is something a devout Christian would do? Huh, good to know. While some of the Founding Fathers were clearly Christian, many of them were Deists, and had a great amount of respect for all faiths, especially Islam. Good ol’ Thomas Jefferson in particular owned a Quran, engaged with Islam, and fought to ensure the rights of Muslims in the country. But please, go ahead and call me a troll just trying to get in a few cheap laughs. It’s an easy out for me.

  • Matt

    Oh please. No-one is FORCED to partake in a wedding. No-one holds a gun to someone’s head and forces them to attend a wedding. And yes, if a homosexual condemned my straight lifestyle and persecuted me for it, that would be a violation of my civil and human rights. You know, the same way the Christian Right does to homosexuals in the United States. And please, tell me how my “so-called” rights interfere with yours.

  • Adam Butler

    Well, at least you admit you need an easy way out…

  • Adam Butler

    “No-one is FORCED to partake in a wedding.” Oh, I guess I must have imagined those bakers, the florist, and the photographer that were sued for not participating in gay weddings. I guess you’d also be angry if a black man refused to do any of those things for a KKK rally?

    Also, if you don’t understand how forcing people into slavery or to participate in religious ceremonies which conflict with their own interferes with rights…

    Why am I even bothering? Goodbye troll, you’ve wasted enough fo my time.

  • Matt

    Really? Usually it’s the one with rhetoric and vitriol who needs the easy out, but whatever lets you pray easier.

  • Matt

    So businesses are suddenly allowed to discriminate? Since you brought race into it, I wonder how you would feel if a bakery refused to provide a cake to an African-American wedding. Of course, if you were a Mormon you would be fine with it. Businesses are different, and here’s the funny thing: if a sign were hung in the shop, saying “WE RESERVE THE RIGHT TO REFUSE SERVICE” it would be fine. See, this is an example of reductio ad absurdum, taking a basic and simple argument to its ridiculous logical/illogical conclusion, such as saying that someone with an excellent driving record made a long road trip for the SOLE REASON that you prayed for them. “Christians are forced to serve the queers, next it’ll be the Spanish Inquisition against the Christians!” It’s absurd. A baker who provides a cake for a wedding isn’t FORCED to partake in the wedding. They are paid for a service, no-one ever asks the baker to attend unless it is a family friend. You don’t ask the dude at the tux shop to attend a wedding, because that’s insane. Like you: a close-minded bible-thumping hate-mongering Creationist bigot.

  • Skrilla Mcskrillerson

    Refusing business to someone is bigotry and against the basics of equality. It seems like you are the ignorant troll sir. Making up lies like a baker was forced to partake in a wedding. The baker was forced to make a cake. What he did is the equivalent to refusing to provide his business to someone because they are black. Just because you don’t get to have your slavery and bigotry without consequence does not mean your religious rights are being trampled on – all it means is that our government is not allowing you to trample the REAL RIGHTS of others.

  • Skrilla Mcskrillerson

    Oh it’s sort of like the crusades, except karma came back around didn’t it.

  • Skrilla Mcskrillerson

    LOLOLOL. No, slavery was actually justified via the Bible the same way the current war against gays is being waged off a few scriptures. If it wasn’t for Christianity, it’s arguable that slavery in America might not have ever existed; The Christians wouldn’t have had such an easy argument quoting a misinterpreted book if the book simply didn’t exist.

  • Skrilla Mcskrillerson

    And the overwhelming number of downvotes say: “You’re an inbred moron who hasn’t surpassed the average middle school child in terms of education.” The fact is that if it weren’t for Christianity, there’s actually a greater chance slavery would have never existed in our country.

  • Skrilla Mcskrillerson

    You’re just feeding a troll. Adam is a clueless moron.

  • Skrilla Mcskrillerson

    No, I agree with her point. It’s just unfortunate that so many Christians in America have waged a war against education. It’s sad that it’s 2014 and Texas just now started teaching common fact in it’s schools. How many decades of religious oppression prevented children from being told anything except a made up lie?

    Your rights end where another’s begin. Your right to practice your religion does not give you a right to tell children that evolution, which is as real as gravity itself, is false. It does not give your a right to refuse to allow a gay man in your restaurant any more than it gives you a right to deny service to a black man. Take your bigotry elsewhere Adam – from all your other comments I can tell that you are brainwashed. Atheists would never attack a logical and well thought out point like Deb made. They only attack inbred morons like yourself who try to enforce their beliefs on others and pretend it’s their right.

  • Adam Butler

    Oh, so for equality, I have to be forced to provide products for causes I don’t agree with? And actually, I find it funny you try to compare this to slavery while saying it’s okay to force labor, and doing what would essentially be the same as forcing a Jew to make a cake for a Nazi gathering, or forcing a black man to make a cake for the KKK. Of course, with the way the homosexual movement has been going, they might as well be the KKK… Forcing others to have the same beliefs as you is not a right, it’s not even morally justifiable; it’s nothing more than slavery, and the fact that you would try to say that to prevent slavery is somehow slavery… Well, I guess next you’re going to try and tell me that War is Peace and that Ignorance is Power?

  • Adam Butler

    You’ve never actually studied the Bible, have you? To say that the religion that ended slavery in western civilization- a feat that had never happened before- is somehow responsible for slavery existing is quite frankly idiotic. Are you one of those Holocaust and moon landing deniers?

  • Adam Butler

    You speak hatred, and yet call me a bigot? You call things like evolution a fact (it’s not even a valid hypothesis from a scientific perspective), and say that you have a right to make people slaves. Also, you assume I’m inbred… What? Are you really that desperate to hold on to your fragile beliefs that you have to completely make stuff up out of nowhere? That’d be like me trying to say that you eat babies…

  • Matt

    Haha, I figured that out real quick. But it was still an entertaining way to spend an afternoon.

  • Matt

    Refusing to serve someone because you hate them for race/religion/orientation is bigotry. That’s actually the definition of bigotry. No-one is forced to have the same views as you (thank goodness), but discrimination is illegal. If I went into a restaurant and they refused to serve me because I’m Jewish that’s bigotry and anti-Semitism, which is illegal in the US. It’s the exact same thing if someone refused to serve you because you’re a Fundamentalist Christian. Regardless of what you think, bigotry is bigotry, and it’s illegal in the US.

    Although as a Fundamentalist Christian I’m sure you think that prejudice against the LGBT community is simply aces. After all, they’re less than human and shouldn’t share the same good air as us straights….. (THAT is sarcasm)

  • Matt

    Southern preachers used Ephesians 6:5 to justify and perpetuate slavery: “Slaves, be obedient to those who are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in the sincerity of your heart, as to Christ;…” This is actually a matter of history. Documented, verified history.

  • Adam Butler

    Except you’re twisting the Bible to justify your view of slavery. That Bible verse doesn’t mention the word slave at all, and besides that, the book of Philemon within the Bible was the entire basis of the abolitionist movement. Besides that, Biblical slavery was very different from US slavery, and was treated in the same way as divorce and polygamy: Regulated to protect its victims, but never at any point encouraged or condoned.

  • Matt

    Southern preachers used THAT VERSE, Whatever its original intent or meaning, they used THAT VERSE to justify and propagate slavery, and justification for the horrific treatment of them.

  • Adam Butler

    So now you have to resort to argumentum ad hominem and argumentum ad populum because your points have been defeated. You accuse me of acting like a child, yet you’re the one resorting to name calling.

    If what you say is true, why is it that a Christian nation was the first nation in history to abolish slavery? Why is it that Christians like Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King, Jr. fought so hard to end such injustices? But I guess you just dismiss people like that as more “inbred moron[s] who [haven't] surpassed the average middle school child in terms of education”.

  • Adam Butler

    You mean people tried to twist the Bible to convince Christians to do something against the Bible? You can do that for just about any subject by ignoring context of verses, you can’t blame the Bible for people who directly oppose it… Though a hundred years or so from now, who knows? Maybe people will take your quotes out of context and say you were a strong supporter of the Bible just like you’re doing with other pro-slavery speakers like yourself.

  • Matt

    Really? I can’t blame the Bible for something it directly endorses? Since you already admitted that the Bible endorses slavery and sets down rules regulating it, the Bible didn’t really do anything to dissuade people from owning slaves at all. And actually it would be pretty awesome if people looked to my words for wisdom, since it would mean that my words were written down and used as a guide, for either good or ill.

  • Adam Butler

    The Bible never endorsed slavery. I already addressed this, but I guess reality is hard for you to accept, so I’ll state it again: Much like divorce and polygamy, God knew that despite his warnings, idiots would practice slavery anyways, so he put up some laws to protect the slaves. Just because people like you who haven’t actually read the Bible like to cherry pick a few verses out of context (and in your case, you love changing words in order to try and make the Bible fit your viewpoint), it does not change the fact that not only is the Bible an anti-slavery document, it was also the ONLY anti-slavery document until a few hundred years ago, and the book first called the practice into question in the first place.

    Also, the fact that you’re claiming you’d be okay with someone lying about your own words and twisting them to fit something you don’t believe is laughable. Either you’re lying about that, or you care so little about facts that you don’t care who lies, in which case you’d still be for lying yourself.

  • Matt

    You are the dumbest human being alive. I said I would be okay with people looking to my words for wisdom. At no point did I intimate that I would be okay with people lying about them.

    In several places in the Bible people are told that it is okay to take defeated soldiers as slaves. There are rules for how to treat them, but slavery is not forbidden. I do not twist words, you and the various translations of your so-called holy book do. If you want the original wording, learn to read Greek. The Bible, throughout its various incarnations and translations, is NOT an anti-slavery document.

  • Adam Butler

    Ad hominem, the last resort of the defeated. Now you’re backpedaling and admitting that it’s not okay for people to lie about the words of others? First you said it’s okay for you to lie about the Bible, then you said it’s okay for others to lie about you, now all of the sudden it’s not? Make up your mind. You’ve had your fun troll, it’s clear you don’t even believe your own words at this point.

  • Matt

    1. I never brought up lying, YOU did. Typical of a Christian who doesn’t know his book.
    2. If God was so against slavery, wouldn’t he have forbidden it, like he did with idolatry and working on the Sabbath?

    You are the reason why people are starting to get sick and tired of evangelical, fundamentalist, uneducated historical-revisionist Christians in the United States. It is very telling that a Deist Jew knows more about your own book than you do. Sadly, this would not be the case if you watched something other than FOX (isn’t) News and 700 Club, but I suppose that is too much to ask so I won’t. It also wouldn’t be the case if you read something other the pamphlet handed out by your church and the Bible. But I suppose that is also too much to ask so I won’t ask for that either.

    Clearly, CLEARLY you are also a young-earth creationist who believes the world was created six thousand years ago by a man with a beard who lives in the sky instead of billions of years ago, so I will kindly ask you to stop using pharmaceuticals and technology because their creation had nothing to do with God and everything to do with the scientific ingenuity of Man.

    So kindly go screw yourself you ignorant bigot.