14th October 2011

“Islam will not change its policy on apostasy until, like Christianity, it is forced to by a loss of political power.”


10 Responses to “14th October 2011”

  1. captainzero Says:

    This quote reaches back to the quote on the Taliban a couple days ago but it’s the flip side that irritated me so much then. Christians just love to think of themselves as a civilizing force full of sweetness and light. To do this requires one to ignore all but the last hundred years or so. As wise old Anon points out, Christianity had to be pulled kicking and screaming away from its native bigotry and violence.

    But it HAS evolved. No question. But for any absolutist religion this begs the question: Were you right then or are you right now? You can’t be both. And in either case, it ought to at least provoke the thought of a third possibility: You were wrong both times.

    But I digress. While the moderating force of political exile might be a dandy way to get muslims to stop whipping their women, killing homosexuals and blowing up girl’s schools I’d hate to have to wait for them to lose what political power they have in order for them to rein themselves in. In one sense, I suspect moderation was an easier path for Christianity because it at had for most of its history a power hierarchy that could mandate change. This doesn’t exist in Islam. Any asshole with a beard can whip himself up a following and call himself imam. It’ll be a while.

  2. archaeopteryx Says:

    Unfortunately, captainzero, evolution is about adaptation, not progress.

    If memetic evolution follows the same broad methods as the genetic variety and the conditions are suitable, christianity will become even more horrible (it already has adapted to local conditions in different parts of the world).

    I like your metaphor of assholes with beards. Not literally, though.

  3. Sinjin Smythe Says:

    Bearded assholes! Cap’n that had me on the floor roaring with laughter!

    I’ve never had any religious belief so I can’t be a religious apostate, but I recognize many exist.

    I do think the present circumstance is tipping. I get a lot of hope from Ayaan Hirsi Ali and her AHA Foundation http://theahafoundation.org/

    There are so many new apostates but the pool of the religious is enormous. I think the ranks of “apostates” is growing at a blinding rate but it remains an enormous body of the faithful.

    I’d liken it to the speed of the Voyager spacecraft which is traveling at 115,000 miles per hours. The speed is amazing but the distance is so great: 10 billion miles.

    It has been since 1977 and at that speed and only now is the craft about to leave our solar system. http://www.nasa.gov/vision/universe/solarsystem/voyager_agu.html

    I wonder what the status of apostacy is 30 years from now?

    I have to believe that “any asshole with a beard” preaching will be perceived as an “asshole with a beard”. Like the dope you used to see ambling about Times Square with the sign around his neck warning about the end times.

    Like Voyager’s speed, the growth in the number of apostates, atheists, agnostics, humanists, freethinkers, et cetera, we can’t help but to travel a great distance, to put a significant dent in the ranks of the religious, and then like Voyager be standing on the precipice of entering the freely blowing winds of the final frontier of human existance. A realization of human potential that will mark time in ways more dramatic than anything in our history.

  4. CaptainZero Says:

    Arch – Of course you are right. Moderation is a memetic evolution and just like the other kind it responds to its environment. In this case, the political environment. I agree that we could be back to witch burning and heresy trials in very short order given the right circumstances.

    Not to be dour but one can imagine how those circumstances could arise. Recommended reading: Collapse – How societies choose to succeed or fail, by Jared Diamond. Dovetails nicely with Asimov’s Foundation series about the collapse of a galactic empire and the resulting primitivization and conflict.

    Sinjin – I hope your optimism is well placed.

    Have a good weekend, heathens!

  5. Jeff Says:

    I hate to be a kill joy, but in Christianity, it doesn’t take a beard to be an ass(w)hole with a beard. Take a look at just about 1/2 of all cable channels on a Sunday morning (excluding HBO/Showtime/Starz/Cinemax). The Catholics have their own channel, and the protestants have a couple, as well as buying time on all the rest.

  6. Sinjin Smythe Says:

    Cap I admit to being an optimist. I think if we have made it this far we can make it indefinitely.

    I recognize the dangers and the threats and yes I realize we could be back to the stone age in no time (see Afganistan, Iran, et cetera)

    Pat Robertson, Billy Graham, Earnest Angely, Jim and Tammy Fay Bakker, Joel Olsteen, Ted Haggard, Oral Roberts, Jerry Falwell. What do they all have in common? No not criminal records, not all of them have criminal records. No not all have been caught in homsexual actions that conflict with their anti-gay positions.

    They are all rich. The have all made their fortunes taking advantage of the least among us.

    I’ve never though being wealthy was more important than being honest and decent but that is just me. These guys have no problem swindling the dumb, the elderly, the most vulnerable out of their money.

  7. CaptainZero Says:


  8. Sinjin Smythe Says:

    WOW! Cap!

    There was a line I remembered from an episode of Hogan’s Heroes that went like this “One sure thing, when you steal from a thief he will never call the cops”.

    Forgetting the Hogan’s Heroes reference, as it was probably the best thing to have come from the series, I think it could be rephrased to address the Kansas City Bishop.

    Maybe “One sure thing, when rape the little boys do so serving under the Bishop who has raped them to, he will never call the cops”.

    I know its a stretch but I have to believe the fair Bishop has some guilt on his hands, and some other stuff we shouldn’t talk about.

  9. R J Says:

    sinjin and others…………

    interesting piece on bishop finn. i lived in kansas city mo

    for 32 yrs, and i remember when he came on the scene.

    i pegged him for a weasel then…………and i aint changed my

    mind since. the guy is fulls s–t. nice to know he and his

    pals plan to defend themselves “vigorously. ”

    i will tell you something. when it comes to


  10. R J Says:


    out and out lying , sneaky, covering up bastards……….

    the top of the line are the fine members of

    the salvation army !!!! crooked as a dogs’

    hind leg………………..

    and, i’ll tell you THIS too…….they’re NEVER above

    taking advantage of the poor slobs that turn to them

    for help……………….kids and adults.

    a really REALLY horrible organization.