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Gary L. Bennett

Reader comment on item: Islam Dispatches Santa Claus, the Bible, and Winnie the Pooh
in response to reader comment: Re: "Islam dispatches Santa, the bible and Winnier the Pooh"

Submitted by Daisy (United States), Feb 9, 2006 at 00:17

Mr. B. FYI ...
# Prayer was the norm in public schools in America until prayer was dragged out by force a few decades ago.
# The 10 Commandments are foundational to the moral structure of the West.
# I was not aware that equal rights for women were banned in this country ... and guess what? I'm a woman.
# As for gays .. mainly they are men and women and as such, have equal rights to each other and everyone else. Social acceptance of same sex marriage deserves, and is receiving, full civil discourse.

Having said all this, do I believe there is such a thing as a literalist approach within religions other than Islam? You bet. Here's the big difference: if some Christians, or a few Jews or a group of Buddhists decide to go concrete in their beliefs .. it hardly makes a social difference; this is because the greater religious bodies they belong to are healthy enough to absorb (and even reprimand) the relatively few literalists who comprise a subset of the main (and flexible) religion. This is a VERY different phenomena than seen in Islam which, in it's mainstream, suffers severe literalism (and tyrannical dictatorial governing forces that keep Islam petrified add significantly to this problem).

Mainstream Islam is not up to correcting the even more extreme fundamental expressions emanating from all sects of Islam. I believe the main corrective to Islamic fundamentalism is to help Muslims to dismantle their dictatorships ... which rely on Islamic fundamentalism to forward their awful tyrannies. ME (and other) Muslims live within this destructive cycle every day .. the cycle of fear creates rigid thinking. Of course, this fear cycle is not limited to religious fundamentalists ... It's possible to see abundant examples of concretized Liberal Fundamentalism every day of the week.

Finally, you misapprehend the Constitution when you say: "The founders were right -- get religion out of the government.
Thank the Enlightenment for our godless Constitution!"

Mr. Bennett, you have it exactly the opposite of accurate: The 'founders' wanted the government out of religion/ not religion out of the government .. and our Constitution is most certainly not 'godless'. Some movements within the Enlightenment tried, but did not succeed (one is tempted here to say, "Thank God") to eliminate God. If you don't appreciate religion, just say so. But, if you want to know about the Constitution, might I recommend that you take the time to read it and understand what it says? It's a marvelous (and miraculous) document and deserves to be understood. And, as an American, I think you are actually obligated to know the Constitution's meaning.
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