Women attend a "Freedom of Speech Rally Round II" across the street from the Islamic Community Center in Phoenix on May 29, 2015. Photo courtesy of Reuters/Nancy Wiechec

How anti-Shariah marches mistake Muslim concepts of state and religious law (COMMENTARY)

(RNS) On Saturday (June 10), Marches Against Sharia are planned in more than two dozen U.S. cities. News like this might generate two conflicting instincts.

On the one hand, the claim that Shariah is taking over American law seems far-fetched — almost paranoid — and maybe linked to Islamophobia. (Indeed, in this case, the group organizing the marches, ACT for America, is described by the Southern Poverty Law Center as “far and away the largest grassroots anti-Muslim group in America.”)

On the other hand, you're probably not a fan of religious law, so if that's what Shariah is, you don't want to find yourself defending it – especially if it has anything to do with those ISIS videos.

Both instincts are right.  Shariah is not taking over American law, and the campaigns (and marches) against Shariah are unnecessary, serving only to increase fear and hatred toward American Muslims.

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But what about religion-based law? Turns out, American Muslims share those concerns — even those who follow Shariah.

Shariah is not “law” in our common use of the term. In the West, law is thought of as something that the state does. But the rules of Shariah don’t come from a state. This is why the phrase “Shariah law” is really confusing.

Shariah (literally, “way”) refers to the way God advises Muslims to live, documented in the Quran and the Prophet Muhammad’s practices.

A man holds an anti-Shariah poster as people protest against a mosque being built near Ground Zero in New York City on Aug. 22, 2010. Photo courtesy of Creative Commons/David Shankbone

Because these sources don’t directly answer every life question, Muslim scholars extrapolated rules from those sources with legal analysis called ijtihad. But – and this is crucial – they did this knowing they were human, and fallible.

They called their rules “fiqh,” meaning “understanding,” showing that they knew they could not speak for God. As more scholars engaged in ijtihad, more schools of fiqh grew.

Think of it like this: For Muslims, Shariah is God’s recipe for living a good life. But you can’t taste the recipe. You can only imagine a chef’s understanding of a recipe. Chefs use different techniques and different local ingredients, so the taste will change. Similarly, there is one Shariah, but multiple fiqh versions of Shariah from which to choose to live a Muslim life.

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To make things even more complicated for American observers, fiqh doesn’t neatly fit into Western categories of law and morality. Fiqh includes topics that Americans would call legal (grounds for divorce, charitable trust requirements), but also ethics and morality (the duty to rescue those in need), manners (hygiene, controlling anger) and ritual worship (fasting and prayer).

So, when a Muslim says she follows Shariah, that just means she refers to these rules as she lives her life. Does that mean she wants them to become the law of the land for everyone? No. She would be violating Shariah if she did. To understand that apparent paradox, consider how the “law of the land” worked in Muslim societies.

Before colonialism, Muslim legal systems were made up of  two types of law: scholar-made fiqh and "siyasa," laws made by rulers. Siyasa is very different from fiqh. It is not meant to guide individual Muslim lives but rather to serve the public good. Rulers made siyasa laws on things such as marketplace fairness, public safety and fair labor practices – i.e., laws that are necessary for society but not derived from scripture.

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The separation of fiqh and siyasa protected Muslim societies from becoming “one law for all” theocracies. Rather than enforcing one version of fiqh on everyone, Muslim rulers appointed different judges from different fiqh schools. This created a “to each their own” environment for fiqh choice as well as the religious laws of Christians, Jews and others.

But don’t countries like Iran and Pakistan, as well as the Islamic State group, impose "one Shariah for all”? Yes.

But not because of Shariah. Thanks to European colonialism, these countries are all nation-states, with centralized state law. Even Islamist parties don’t remember the separation of fiqh and siyasa. Unfortunately, they instead pursue “Islamization” through state enactment of “Shariah.”

Women hold placards during a march and rally in east London on Dec. 13, 2013. They were participating in a rally organized by British Islamist Anjem Choudary condemning use of alcohol and promoting Shariah. Photo courtesy of Reuters/Toby Melville

 This image is available for web and print publication. For questions, contact Sally Morrow.

So despite the fact that Islam does not have a leader or institution to dictate Islamic orthodoxy, Muslim nation-states have come to define Shariah for their populations – a power wisely denied to Muslim rulers for centuries.

Because of all this, sadly, most of the world’s Muslims are unaware of fiqh diversity and that fiqh rules do not apply to non-Muslims. This is why you see polls documenting that most of the world’s Muslims apparently want Shariah as the law of the land.

But wait. Those same polls also report that most of the world’s Muslims don’t want religious leaders influencing politics. Is that a contradiction? Not if you understand the difference between fiqh and siyasa.

In other words, deep down, Muslims know they want Shariah in their lives, but they also know that there is an important separation between state (siyasa) authority and religious (fiqh) authority. This idea has deep roots in Muslim consciousness.

In other words, Shariah is not “religious law” as it was known in Europe. So instincts against religious law can comfortably coexist with supporting Muslims’ personal desire to follow Shariah.

(Asifa Quraishi-Landes is professor of law at the University of Wisconsin Law School and a fellow at the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding in Washington)


  1. It’s the conservative Christians who are trying to get their bible-based beliefs into our state and federal law books – worry about them and not an imagined plot.

  2. I think we can all agree, regardless of political views, religious, cultural, etc., that there is always the “good” in religious laws why else do people follow. However, it is not the good intentions that have people concerned it is the warped, radical, interpretations that people do not want, and that goes for EVERY religion. Christians have done their share over the centuries of proving “love your neighbor” needs to be explained again. That is why governments have changed to secular, and we want to make sure it stays that way for better or worse.

  3. Regardless of a country’s system, law against drinking alcohol, suicide, euthanasia, abortion, fornication, adultery, prostitution, homosexuality, divorce, family planning, apostasy, etc are bad laws regardless of whether a country is a democracy, theocracy, socialist, communist, fascist, or whatever.

    Banning religious law is a clumsy way of protecting people who drink alcohol, are LGBT, convert to a different religion, etc from religious people who want to see those people punished either via the state or via vigilantism on the basis of religious law mandating such people should be punished.

  4. They should be talking about CHRISTIAN SHARIA LAW! That is more of a threat to us than Islam. Sec of education wants to close public schools or make them christian, sec of health said we should let god heal the sick/addicted, sec price said churches should replace healthcare, Texas wants to ban masterbation, courts are too busy keeping christians from taking over our secular govt to keep up with caseloads. State legislators have been overtaken by extreme christians who are trying over and over to have biblical law in america, Miss tried to get bible verses into law (judge stopped them).

    If christians would stop thinking ‘religious freedom’ meant taking freedoms from others, seculars wouldn’t have to constantly be stopping them in courts. Religions fail or succeed on their own merits in america, if your religion is failing our govt won’t bail you out.

  5. While the author may have provided some clarity for us, it may not be as clear, as is indicated in the text, to vast numbers of Muslims throughout the world.

  6. “Shariah is not “law” in our common use of the term. In the West, law is thought of as something that the state does. But the rules of Shariah don’t come from a state. This is why the phrase “Shariah law” is really confusing. Shariah (literally, “way”) refers to the way God advises Muslims to live, documented in the Quran and the Prophet Muhammad’s practices.”

    The writer makes a good point here: Sharia indeed is INDEED confusing! It certainly does not come from the state, because Sharia doesn’t recognize the state’s rule or power. The rule of ayutollahs and mullahs all that matters to Muslims! Sharia doesn’t recogize or guarantee the separtation of church and state, like the US Constitution does for everyone who lives in the US.

    I can’t bring myself to believe that Sharia represents the way God “advises Muslims to live.” Muslims may indeed believe that it’s documented in the Quran and the Prophet Muhammad’s practices, but “the Prophet” was a merely human and not any kind of divine messager from God!

    It is said that the beauty of the prophet’s favorite wife became the reason for all the “cloistering of women” that he turned into law for Muslims and treated as a divine commandment coming straight from Allah. Instead it was born of his own jealousy! You can’t get more human than that! What man today would NOT want to prevent the exhibition of his beautiful partner’s face and physique from the eyes of other men, as well as the lenses of movie and TV cameras!

  7. As per the author:

    Shariah (literally, “way”) refers to the way God advises Muslims to live, documented in the Quran and the Prophet Muhammad’s practices.”

    Since there is no God aka Allah or Gabriel, the mythical angel of the NT and of Islam, the Koran is simply the ramblings of Mohammed and his scribes (Mo was illiterate as per most imams), the entire defense of Islam and its laws by Asifa Quraishi-Landes is moot.

  8. Take a trip to Iran, please. DeVos does not want to make schools Christian, of course. She wants more choice and parental control.

  9. jim johnson, The way you discover if those “bible-based beliefs” are worth their salt is to see if they lighten the load of the recipient. Psalms 81:6 describes
    the process.

  10. read what she has said in public for the last 30 yrs, she wants all christian schools and has said so. says her life’s work is to get christianity into every area of our lives, school, work, govt, worship.

    my last response to you.

  11. This article is almost entirely obfuscation. When sharia apologists come my way I like to produce my personal copy of the sharia manual, Um Dat al Salik (Reliance of the Travellor) with its flyleaves showing the imprimaturs of the leading authorities of Sunni Islam, and say “Let’s discuss the actual documents rather than some vague abstractions, shall we?”

    The response is usually pretty revealing.

  12. J.J. Assuming this conspiracy of Christians putting their policies into the law, what harm is there in that, really? Stoning’s? Beheadings? Treating women as tilth etc. etc. ??

  13. Your ignorance is surpassed only by your arrogance. My cat knows more about Islam than you do and I would pay good money to watch a discussion between and the author of this article.

  14. This response is also pretty revealing. Thanks for the laugh.

  15. Don’t understand the reference – are you considering Exodus metaphorically?

  16. Israel has 4 religious courts to address primarily family law for Jewish people, Muslims, Druzes and Christians as well as a civil court. And it does not always run smoothly nor do religious courts like their rulings overturned. Divorce refusers under rabbinical law can be imprisoned under their authority.

  17. Her voucher program is excellent. Magnificent. Look at what our government schools are now. Hideous.

  18. A problematic article. Several problems with sharia.
    Let’s bring up a big one, apostasy, on which all schools of fiqh agree.
    In places where the apostasy rule is imposed or even threatened, the design of that rule prevents any Muslim who has doubts about Islam from speaking up.
    Article above seems to say, no big deal; sharia is not so bad. But clearly for apostasy, the sharia is bad, horrible.
    And the apostasy rules are not the only thing that is bad in the sharia.
    In the UK, they have sharia courts (for Muslims) that apparently mainly deal with family law. I presume people that carry signs saying ‘no sharia’ do not want sharia courts here. From what I have heard about how the courts operate in the UK, I certainly agree.
    We all are to be equal under the law here in the US. A separate law for some goes against that tenet of our amended constitution.

  19. Which only goes to demonstrate that in any context, religious courts are probably not the best way to adjudicate complex societal issues, which are better left to civil courts, as badly as they manage them sometimes.

  20. “In the West, law is thought of as something that the state does.”, writes the professor of US Constitutional Law and Islamic Jurisprudence.

    I disagree with this definition.

    In the West, law is thought of as the common ground societies agreed upon as their rules of living together, debated and decided by democratically elected representatives of such societies.

    No interpreting scholars, no tyrannic rulers, but democratic societies. Maybe that’s the real problem with (all) “religous ways”.

  21. Real harm is to the children if they don’t get a science education. No way Sharia is going into effect here in the US, so why get your panties in a bunch? Muslims here in the US observe Sharia where it doesn’t conflict with US laws – no problem.

  22. Muslims, are any other religious group, should be allowed to live according to the dictates of their conscience. I do think there is room for conversation about when this rises to the level of a community and certain actions (such as genital mutilation for young girls) is imposed. Nor should such religious laws enter in the mix in secular courts (such as it was legal for me to beat my wife according to my religion). But when a person choses to follow a particular code of behavior for himself/herself that is their own business.

  23. So laws that discourage behaviors such as
    1. DUI – keep irresponsible people from killing innocent people because of their substance use
    2. suicide – laws that protect people in compromised mental states from being taken advantage of (such as anti-bullying statutes)
    3. euthanasia – laws that protect people in compromised positions from being discarded by loved ones or medical facilities
    4. abortion – the wholesale slaughter of human beings is a good thing?
    5. fornication – don’t know of any laws against this
    6. adultery – military still has military law about this because it goes to character and intergrity
    7. prostitution – too often connected to human trafficking. Or do you think sex slavery is a good thing?
    8. homosexuality – again a person’s choice, but constitution protects those who disagree with this behavior – a cake baker shouldn’t lose his business because he/she can’t in good conscience support the behavior because of religious reasons.
    9. divorce – don’t know of any laws against this
    10. family planning – don’t know of any laws against this
    11. apostasy – don’t know of any laws (in the US) against this.

  24. What do people who say they want Shariah law in the US mean? Or aren’t there any people who say that, just people who fear that there are some people who say that?

  25. There is no such thing as the American Muslim. This is a misinformed and naive observation. Muslims follow Islamic teaching and doctrine. It is a wholly encompassing monotheism, which embraces jihad, death to apostates, radical Hadith teachings, the fatwa, misogyny and the sexual abuse oc children (ISIS). Islam–indeed all religions– are inherently inimical to human existence, perpetuate divisiveness and impede human progress. They should all be banned.

  26. Since you’re quoting scripture, pastor, here’s another one: Deuteronomy 21:18–2 says if you have a disobedient son you should bring him to the authorities and say: “This our son is stubborn and rebellious; he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton and a drunkard. Then all the men of the city shall stone him to death with stones.”

    Love how the deluded cherry-pick their verses.

  27. Don’t be so sure. You underestimate the psychopathy of relgion: It’s the dogwhistle for the mentally deranged. And if you think America is safe from mentally ill leadership, check who’s pres

  28. So are many private charter schools. They amount to government help for private corporations. Each school needs to be examined individually whether charter or public. Charter schools can be worse than some public schools.

  29. Competition is needed. De-regulating the government schools, also. End the Dept of Education. Home schooling is great, and the movement is growing and growing.

  30. Have you had your own tendency to paranoia checked lately?

  31. I agree to the extent that the concept of vouchers has legitimate potential, and already in limited application has proven successful despite hysteria from the Left. Present government schools work well enough for the gifted and the powerfully motivated, but for the balance of students the system is clearly failing.

  32. Your reply is entirely lacking in evidentiary substance.

  33. Your comment shows a great deal of the surety of youth, absent real life experience, as well as a skewed assessment of the history of religion. The practice of every form of religion doubtless includes a cast of villains, but not to the all pervasive extent you suppose.

  34. Yes. When vouchers are used correctly, they produce good results.

  35. 1. Prohibition makes all alcohol illegal, not just doing stuff under the influence. Various countries have had and do still have such laws. Countries where alcohol is legal do have anti-DUI laws even having a zero tolerance on BAC in drivers. I was criticizing prohibition.
    2. Anti-suicide laws make a crime for anyone to even attempt suicide, so that people who fail in their attempt land in jail.
    3. Anti-euthanasia law prevent people who want to die from having assisted suicide. Such laws don’t distinguish between voluntary versus involuntary forms. You can have laws against the involuntary form while the voluntary form is legal.
    4. Feti (or fetuses) become humans when they are born.
    7. Those aren’t the same thing as countries where prostitution is legal do have laws against sexual slavery.
    8. Dozens of countries have sodomy laws. America’s sodomy laws were only declared unconstitutional only around a decade or so ago. (Check the Wikipedia article LGBT rights by country or territory for a country by country list of examples of when and where such laws were reappeared or not.)

    List is too long to rebut each and every points. The point of the list was to criticize law in Islamic countries mostly, but they can apply to any and all countries with such laws. Not just America as it exists in the present, or any countries as it exists in the present.

  36. linda lee davidson, I don’t know why the verses we now know as the OT were included into the Hebrew. I’d “love” to get some insight to this! Nevertheless, it is what it is.

    You’d have to ask a rabbi.

    Now to offer 1 possible answer – a hack, really, or at most, a rule of thumb – to the first of part of your nice note – e.g. not argumentive nor ‘in your face’ – is to read a chapter ahead and behind the passage, you don’t understand. Let us know.

  37. I advise you spend some time visiting with Muslims in your community and listen to them. If you do so, your views will change.

  38. But their Sharia Courts are religious courts, not secular. If they deal with family law internally, as long as they obey the laws of the land, how can that be a threat to you?

  39. darius,

    Luke 15:11FF trumps any references from Deuteronomy. Both talk about dealing with rebellious teenagers! You would have to ask a rabbi why those verses are there.

  40. When I taught, the last thing that would motivate me was competition from any other school. What motivated me was the desire to give the students I taught the best education I could so they could become functional citizens. Every teacher I ever met feels the same way. If you think regular schools are “hideous,” why do we remain the best, most productive and powerful country in the world? That did not happen because public schools were or are hideous.

    You have the view you do because the Republicans were afraid of the power of the teacher unions and wanted to lessen that power. It started during the administration of Bush1 and has been pushed ever since. If you do some research, you will find that the corruption in the charter school system is common. There are some fine, well run charter schools, but the system is not outstanding. Charter schools as a whole do not do any better with student achievement than regular public schools.

    Home schooling has some benefits, but students who are home schooled in a homogeneous setting do not learn the interactive skills they need to function effectively in society. I’ve seen a number of them who are home schooled in elementary years, but are lost when the reach a secondary school.

    Nothing is perfect. Our educational system, regular public schools, charters, and home schools can do a lot to improve. To do so, they need community support. At this time, the vast majority of students (about 92%) go to regular public schools and will continue to do so. We need to continue to support them in every way. They aren’t going away. They are a bedrock of our republic.

  41. See you point except on #4. Have never heard a pregnant woman (who wanted her child) going around saying, I’m having a fetus. An unborn human child is still human.

  42. Sharia Courts in secular democratic nations are no different from Rabbinical Courts in the same places. They are a form of voluntary arbitration for civil matters or a way to resolve purely religious concerns. They exist for the same reason we have civil arbitration of other forms. Because litigants are more than allowed to plot the course of the resolution of their disputes. If they choose to do so out of the courts, they have that right.

    All such “courts” are bound by the same rules which govern all forms of voluntary arbitration. In fact there are instances where the laws specifically direct what they can or can’t do. They are subject to all laws of the land. Whatever you think these courts do in the US and UK, I believe it is mistaken.

  43. Even better, if those “Bible based beliefs” attack the rights and autonomy of others, they aren’t worth a load of fertilizer. Conservative Christians have been a far greater threat to religious freedom than American Muslims ever will be.

  44. My guess is a visit to the local Walmart in my neighborhood would send you into apoplexy with all the hijab wearing checkout girls.

  45. Not at all. Every bigot thinks they are an expert on the object of their scorn. Suddenly everyone thinks they are an expert on Islam after they quote some nonsense from Richard Spencer or Pamela Gellar.

  46. 4. Anti-abortion POVs depend entirely on ignoring the concerns of people in exchange for a phony pretense of caring for the unborn. To treat women as their chattel property. To be facetious, the answer to your question is YES! Because it means we are treating the private and intimate decisions of women with the respect that is deserved of all people. Their bodies, not your business.

    8. “a cake baker shouldn’t lose his business because he/she can’t in good conscience support the behavior because of religious reasons.”

    Of course they should. “Good conscience” is just a gloss for acting in a discriminatory manner in violation of laws. There is no such thing as well intentioned or conscientious discrimination. It is a malicious act designed to harm and demean people. If someone can’t exhibit the basic civility to treat customers in open commerce in a respectful manner, without interjecting their personal bigotry, they don’t deserve to stay in business. People who support such actions are entirely reprehensible and dishonest.

    9, 10 No laws against those ANYMORE. Thanks to large scale ignoring of religious concerns on the subjects.

  47. But its not a person, unlike its mother. Somehow when a woman becomes pregnant, she becomes your chattel property. No longer capable of making personal and private decisions without your go-ahead.

  48. Yes, they undermine public schools. And that is good because they are wasteful and union-controlled.

  49. Not any longer. They do very well.

  50. Agree that the principal with Rabbinical Courts is the same. I do not know enough about Rabbinical Courts to have a fixed opinion though I would tend to think they are not a good thing given what I hear happens in the sharia courts in the UK. If you want to read about the courts in the UK, here is a link from the Guardian, December 2016: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/dec/14/sharia-courts-family-law-women
    What I understand about them and I believe you will find supported in the British newspapers is that the courts are not fair to women.
    Striving for equal protection under law is tough as it is. I think it would be a mistake to introduce a second separate system of justice into the US>

  51. See my answer to Spuddie below. I think I address your question below.

  52. http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01rxfjt
    Above is an undercover BBC program documenting how the sharia courts work.
    Spuddie, just go to the link and see the description. I have not watched the BBC program but what they describe certainly seems similar to the concerns about these courts that I have heard.

  53. You will find that fairness is not really a strong trait in any of these religious courts, or even in secular forms of Alternative Dispute Resolution in general, when one is not represented by counsel or chooses to work outside courts.

    It puts them on par or with mandatory arbitration clauses in many contracts people sign. A system which strips people of their rights to pursue litigation, in favor of large corporations.

    The problem with a lot of the criticism is that it ignores that this is not really a justice system at all. It is governed by a right to contract. The same rules which permit their existence also permit other less controversial forms of out of court dispute resolution.

  54. Untrue. In many cases they are simply a legally sanctioned form of child abuse.

    Moreover in most cases it has nothing to do with providing a quality education as it does to create an indoctrinated child.

    Home schooling is not a public policy. It is an individual choice which requires far more resources than the average parent can put up with.

    Attacking public education is a cretinous stance. It posits the notion that entire segments of the population are unworthy of receiving an education. Moreover vouchers are simply patronage and corruption incarnate. Diversion of public funding, meant for public schools to go to political cronies, sectarian religious interests and outside contractors.

  55. Wrong.

    Public schools when properly funded and supervised work quite well.

    Betsy DeVos’s voucher plan in Michigan was wasteful and turned out abysmal results

    Charter schools and schools accepting vouchers do not look to students as their customers, but the government. In many cases they simply act to warehouse students.

    The whole libertarian/theocrat notion that education doesn’t work because it is government run doesn’t add up, nor make any sense as policy. NONE of the alternative “school choice” plans meet the most barest requirement of public schools. To provide education for an entire community. They intentionally undermine and destroy public schooling and then complain of it not functioning. Typical Conservative BS. Create a problem and then complain about it.

    Attacking public schooling is the notion of cretins. People uninterested in actual education but want to push religious agendas, find new ways to exploit the public, or just object to the notion of their children attending schools where they might be exposed to people of different backgrounds.

  56. You are wrong, of course. Liberals, in their promotion of sexual deviance, say that anything one does in one’s home is fine – except homeschooling.

  57. Homeschooling is an excellent way that responsible, caring parents are resisting the onslaught of Leftism in the government schools. There are now about 1.5 MILLION children being home-schooled.

  58. Left-wingers want to shut down homeschooling, of course, because children are educated outside of the government schools, and the unions fear them. So, in California, the Left attacked: The Superintendent of Public Instruction there, Delaine Eastin, a cats-paw of the union affiliate of the thuggish National Education Association, had her deputy write “parents who homeschool their children are operating outside the law.”

  59. We saw your Leftist ideology of His Highness, Obama, in a homeschooling issue with reflected our core values and freedom of religion: A German family fled Germany in 2008 because the “fatherland” enforced a law against homeschooling. The family was granted asylum in 2010, based on religious grounds. But would Lord Obama just let this go? Just let it be?

    No, no, no, no! The Obama administration decided to appeal that decision, and it won! The Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal! But under pressure, the Department of Homeland Security reversed itself and granted an “indefinite deferred status” to the German family. This was because the American homeschools and patriots helped, providing financial support, and writing masses of letters and calling Congressmen.

  60. “Back in the 1970s, only 13,000 students were homeschooled while today there are more than 1.5 million.

    A new study published in The Journal of College Admission suggests that homeschool students enjoy higher ACT scores, grade point averages and graduation rates compared with other college students. The finding are especially interesting because there has been a paucity of research focused on how homeschooled students fare in college.

    The research, which was conducted by Michael Cogan, the director of institutional research and analysis at the University of St. Thomas, focused on the experiences of homeschooled students at an unnamed medium-sized university in the upper Midwest.

    Here are some of Cogan’s findings:

    Homeschool students earned a higher ACT score (26.5) versus 25.0 for other incoming freshmen.
    Homeschool students earned more college credits (14.7) prior to their freshmen year than other students (6.0).
    Homeschooled freshmen were less likely to live on campus (72.4%) than the rest of the freshmen class (92.7%).
    Homeschoolers were more likely to identify themselves as Roman Catholic (68.4%).
    Homeschool freshmen earned a higher grade points average (3.37) their first semester in college compared with the other freshmen (3.08).
    Homeschool students finished their freshmen year with a better GPA (3.41) than the rest of their class (3.12).
    The GPA advantage was still present when homeschoolers were college seniors. Their average GPA was 3.46 versus 3.16 for other seniors.
    Homeschool students graduated from college at a higher rate (66.7%) than their peers (57.5%).

    Of course, the big knock on homeschool students is that they never develop social skills since their classrooms are often their kitchen tables and their mothers are often their teachers. Cogan, however, noted that another homeschool study that looked at more than 7,300 adults, who had been homeschooled, determined that the homeschool graduates were more likely to have voted and participated in community service than other adults.”


  61. The phrase “I’m having a child” is in the future tense. It means I will have one in nine or so months, not I have one right now.

  62. Nutballs looking to isolate their children from the reality around them. Yes I got that. It enables abuse as well.

    “There are now about 1.5 MILLION children being home-schooled.”

    And only a handful of nutballs like yourself consider it a policy to be carried out for the general public.

  63. Doesn’t counter the fact that homeschooling enables child abuse. Especially by religious nuts seeking to isolate their children from the modern world.


    “Homeschooling gives abusive parents the ability to deprive their children of food or confine them permanently. This is one way abuse in homeschooling situations differs substantively from abuse of children who attend public school. Teachers are trained to notice and report children who are constantly hungry, and free lunch programs provide needed sustenance for children who might otherwise go without food. It would be difficult for children attending public school to be literally starved to death by their parents, but the same is not true for homeschooled children. The story is similar for physical confinement. Children who attend public school by definition cannot spend their entire lives locked in a room or chained to a bed, but in the hands of abusive parents homeschooled children can.

    There are stories of homeschooled children locked in cages, forced to wear shock collars, or bound with zip-ties. There are stories of homeschooled children chained to their beds, severely malnourished, and starved to death. Access to food is wielded as a weapon, and physical restraint becomes a means to intimidate and control. Children homeschooled by abusive parents have died of starvation or been found so malnourished that their growth is permanently and significantly stunted. Some parents put locks or alarms on their refrigerator or kitchen cupboards. In some cases children have been kept in cages at night, locked in their rooms with a bucket to relieve themselves,imprisoned in a bathroom for months, or allowed out of their rooms for only one meal each day. There are also plenty of cases that are less severe than these but still incredibly damaging to children’s health and well-being. When it comes to both physical confinement and access to food, abused homeschooled children are at the mercy of their parents.”

    “In some cases, homeschooling families become cult-like as abusive parents’ desire for absolute control melds with extreme religious ideas. Marcus Wesson taught his 16 children that he was Godand “married” and fathered children with several of his underage daughters. He ultimately shot and killed nine of his children in the midst of a standoff with the authorities. Homeschooling offers individuals like Wesson the ability to isolate, control, and brainwash their children, and while Wesson’s case is extreme, it is repeated in various forms across the country. These situations are often characterized by a father who believes he hears directly from God, brutal beating used to keep the wife and children in line, long-term rape and incest, and a brainwashed fear of the authorities. Other situations are less extreme but no less totalistic. In these sorts of cases, homeschooling becomes a tool used to remove outside influences, isolate completely, and wield total control. Children in these situations not only do not have access to help, they also often know nothing outside of their family, with its emphasis on control and its extreme religious teachings and fear of outside authorities. In some cases, homeschooled children in such families have been known to take up arms and engage in stand-offs with police or social services.”

    Some homeschool parents deprive their children of medical care, or are opposed to modern medicine altogether. Some believe in faith healing, or practice unassisted home births. The results are sometimes fatal. In addition, without a school requesting medical records, there is nothing to ensure that homeschooled children visit a doctor, and some may go their entire childhoods without once being examined by a medical professional. Most states do not require homeschooling parents to submit their children’s immunization records, and some homeschooling communities have recently seen measles or whooping cough outbreaks as a result of the number of children who are unvaccinated.

    In some cases, children homeschooled by abusive or neglectful parents may go missing and have their disappearances unreported for years afterwards. Because these children are not in school, there is no teacher to notice their absences. In some cases other family members become concerned at a child’s sudden absence, but do not report the child as missing. Reporting a friend or family member is often difficult, and the parents may claim they handed a child over to other relatives, or that they turned the child over to his or her birth parents, or that the child ran away. Sometimes the parents fail to report the child’s absence so that they can continue collecting government checks based on a child’s disability. These children are often never recovered, and are sometimes found dead. In some cases, abductors claim to be homeschooling in order to conceal their victims from discovery.

  64. Not true either. Many Liberals engage in home schooling as well. Much of it started with them before it metastasized into a way to enable cult like behavior. Religious wingnut conservatives want to remove any trace of accountability and responsibility in monitoring home schooling. Making it a blank check for uselessness and abuse.

    Adding to such a cretinous stance are the attacks on public education. Not only do they want to ruin their children’s lives but the lives of others as well.

    Frankly I have no issue with home schooling if regulated vigorously. But it takes a severe lack of cognitive functioning and malice to suggest that it is a replacement for public schooling.

  65. Got a link to the story from an actual news source?

  66. Ok. Interesting point.
    Also, the sharia courts clearly have a different concept of what constitutes equity than we as a western society do. Having a separate religious court system does not promote the idea that we have one system of equity that we all work on together, to move toward a common sense of equity which, at least abstractly, should help integrate us and let us live in more harmony.
    And yet more, when there is a separate court system with quite a different sense of what constitutes equity, how are we to know when a person is being coerced to use the shadow law system. Why should a woman submit to an authority which in a divorce is very likely to award children to the father, which is likely to give her less inheritance than her brother, and which is likely to ask her to stay in an abusive marital situation.
    I do not expect to see sharia courts in the US and I am happy for that. Muslim reformers and ex-Muslims (i.e., atheists) who know the society from which they come and who have ideas that are compatible with modernity and with western values pretty much uniformly are against the sharia courts. I have yet to see a reformer or ex-Muslim who is for them. The UK, I believe, has made a mistake. Canada happily seems to be moving away from a mistake in this regard.

  67. “But don’t countries like Iran and Pakistan, as well as the Islamic State group, impose “one Shariah for all”? Yes.”
    I do not know about Iran but Pakistan does not impose “one Shariah for all.” Pakistan’s constitution differentiates between different fiqh and Shariahs and that’s why it says that Muslims will be treated according to whatever fiqh they believe. This recognition is clear and unequivocal.
    Secondly, Pakistan’s penal code is based on British colonial law and so unsurprisingly it is closer to the Indian Penal code than it is to any of the fifty Muslim-majority countries in the world (except Bangladesh which was once part of Pakistan). Shariah-based law in Pakistan is a very small portion of Pakistan’s laws. Mostly, Shariah is limited to Muslim personal law as it was during the British colonial era. Since the 1970s, there has been an increase in Shariah-based law (e.g. Hudood Ordinances, changes in blasphemy laws and Qisas and Diyat law) but it is still small, though it gets most of the news coverage as it is discriminatory to women and religious minorities.

  68. They are hideous now: Multiculturalism, counselors, special education run amok, American history either revised or watered down, discipline unenforced, police being stationed in schools, prayers and moment of silence removed, the ACLU involved with students’ “rights,” PE capitulating to “feelings,” emphasis on self-esteem, grade inflation, etc.

  69. Not “fear” of government unions in schools, but knowledge how unions do not care a whit about the children. You mention corruption in charter schools. Well, they are also government schools.

    You are wrong about home schooling. Those students usually have superior social skills. It is not good for a student to be put into a setting where there are fights, drugs, gangs, and other influences. Children who are homeschooled usually are part of the community of other homeschoolers, so apparently you are nescient on the subject.

    I have been around far more home schooled students than you have – obviously. They do very well at the high school level, and are actually superior in college.

  70. The government schools indoctrinate the children. Home schooled children have a better education overall. I used to help parents set it up when the STATE of Vermont made it very, very difficult for parents. I guided them to the Calvert School in order to meet the requirements of the STATE.

    It does not require so many resources. That is a lame excuse for those who are members or supporters of UNIONS or worshipers of GOVERNMENT in education and in our lives.

    Vouchers are the way to go.

  71. It is a matter of liberty also. You are obviously a government lover, based on your misinformation and beliefs about home schooling.

  72. Left-wingers have been promoting sexual deviance and prurience for decades. They just increase the level of depravity. It reached a new level of absurdity with the tranny nonsense. It reached its ugliness under Obama and Biden, the President and VP making it a national issue: It made us an international laughing stock, a shame. But liberals are obsessed with two main things: Skin color and sexual excess.

  73. The more home schooled, the better. Bravo for those parents.

  74. Nice cut and paste. A mindless google search, of course…. LOL

  75. People home school for many reasons. And yes, left-wingers also take children out of government schools. Bravo for them.

  76. Our government did not keep the national (not state) government out of religion for that purpose. It was primarily so people could follow their beliefs, and they knew that almost everyone was Christian.

  77. He has chosen the cliches that suit his jejune purposes. Besides, that is what DARIUS’ friends want to hear.

  78. It’s often more a matter of crony capitalism than competition. Children are not a consumer product. People home school for a variety of reasons that are often questionable such as not accepting evolution. We need a basic level of education that all children should achieve. You can call that regulation, but it is needed.

  79. Orthodox Jews follow Halacha, No one seems to object to that.

  80. Sharia courts aren’t actual courts to begin with (in developed democratic nations). You are looking at it from a skewed perspective here. It is arbitration. Many forms of arbitration are inherently unfair to certain parties. as long as we have a right to contract and alternative dispute resolution models exist, Sharia Courts can exist. I believe there should be limits to all these forms of arbitration. There is a lack of equity in many of these. But there is no cachet of hysteria associated with them and pro big business conservatives don’t want your attention in that direction

    As bad as religious courts can be, they pale in comparison to the inequity and pervasiveness of mandatory arbitration that finds its ways into various contracts people enter into. The same laws which allow for these, permit religious courts.

  81. Indoctrinate meaning don’t follow your sectarian views. Home schooling only works when regulated closely by the government. Abuse is far too common otherwise. It should be difficult to do. Most parents lack the resources and skills to do it. Your view of public education is cretinous nonsense. you seem to oppose the notion that the entire population is entitled to education.

    Vouchers don’t work and are corrupt at their basic level. I already posted the story which demonstrated that.

  82. Not at all. It’s about attacking the education of others to suit your personal desires. Home school your own kids. Leave others alone.

  83. Conservatives promote actual abuse. Somehow sexual assault never seems to be of concern when reactionary wingnuts speak of sexual depravity. You especially, promote child abuse.

  84. But it takes a complete cretin to suggest it is an alternative to public schools in general.

  85. Ever hear of a little thing called TAQIYYA? look it up! Satan gives muslims the right to LIE if it will save their lives (cowards) OR further the goal of islam. Now then, please tell us all what the ‘goal’ of islam is??? Heres a hint… … … The word islam means SUBMISSION!

  86. It is not for everyone. But vouchers and home schooling should be encouraged and widespread, of course.

  87. Leftists sexualize children. Leftism promotes depravity and prurience.

  88. In sharia law, a woman is not permitted to a fair share of an inheritance, and she can be stoned to death if she gets raped and can’t prove it was rape and not consensual! Also, a woman’s testimony in a sharia court is worth one fourth that of a man! Peoples opinions of sharia law are due to ignorance of sharia law. Learn about it, and you’ll see just how horrible it is, especially for women and gay people!

  89. Yes, it is about choice. You are against choice. That means you are against liberty itself.

  90. Sharia law insists it’s followers fight and “strike terror” to spread islam
    The Constitution insists there’s no state religion.

  91. I am unsure whether you consider sharia courts benign.
    You admit that there is lack of equity.
    I understand that you think the issue is even larger than simply religious courts and that is an interesting and important observation. Of course, the article we are writing in response to is about religious law.
    I have already expressed discomfort with sharia courts because of lack of equity and because I believe it hurts with integration of our society.
    You seem to see the issues involved in this. But is your conclusion different?Are you comfortable with sharia courts?

  92. Sharia courts are a form of arbitration. Meaning both parties to a civil dispute choose to handle it outside the courts using the law kg their choosing. It does not supplant court authority. It is simply contract law.

    Arbitration are allowed to use any laws they wish according to the agreement or contract of both parties. It can be the laws of Wisconsin, Islam, or Klingon Empire. It depends on what is agreed upon.

    My point is the discomfort you feel should not be limited to religious courts, but all forms of arbitration. Whereas in a religious court both parties are meant to be participating voluntarily, in other forms of arbitration you are forced into it as the small print of a contract you sign or agreement you enter into. It is far more pervasive and damaging to the rights of Americans in general.

    I am no more uncomfortable with sharia courts than I am with arbitration in general. When done voluntarily, it is like any other contract. Some fair, some terrible. When not so voluntary, it is terrible.

  93. I gather you feel uncomfortable with arbitration in general. Do you know how you would change it to make it better? Would you just get rid of it? What would you do?

  94. Make mandatory arbitration clauses in contracts void or voidable. Depending on how they are entered into.

    There is nothing unique to Sharia courts or cause for the panic they are drawing. This is simply an excuse to hold, “We hate Muslims” rallies.

  95. Interesting on arbitration.
    I do not agree with your claim about ‘we hate Muslims’. I have watched enough British TV on YouTube to know that there are plenty of people who have concerns about sharia courts who do not hate Muslims. Many Muslim reformers (who are Muslims) are foursquare against sharia courts.
    How much do you know about Islam?

  96. Please cite the substance of Mr. Thurman. He declares RCraigen both ignorant and arrogant without specifying in what manner. He argues on behalf of the mental acuity of his cat, hardly a serious or sound argument, nor is it evidential absent an exam of his cat’s knowledge of Islam. His only reasonable point is his suggestion that a discussion between RCraigen and the author of the article might prove illuminating.

  97. Actually I read the Psalms before and after – to try to interpret the cited verse (81:6) in terms of your general comment about lightening the load/bible based beliefs. So I still am not clear. Can you re-explain your comment? I may not agree with you but I can’t either agree or disagree with something that has flown right past me.

  98. You’re woefully naive. Read the Qu’ran and take it literally because they do.

  99. It’s called taqiyya…look it up…it’s called lying to the infidel (you) to reach their goals.

  100. Darius is more informed and awake for his age than most of you sheep marching to slaughter.

  101. Those who march for equality then support sharia are hypocrites of the worst kind. Female genital mutilation is happening here in the US in some Muslim communities and supported under sharia law. This is child abuse and another reason sharia should not and will not be tolerated in our country. We operate under a constitution whereby all are created equal and that includes women and little girls.

  102. ANY argument that posits “___ religion is inherently evil” is bigoted and ignorant. It makes no difference what religion is the subject. The entire line of argument is nonsense.

    It is crap when Neo-Nazis use it to discuss Judiasm by using random Talmud quotes. It is crap when 7th Day Adventists quote the Cathechism. It is crap when Evangelicals discuss the Book of Mormon.

    There is no reasonable point to be made with that line and form of argument. Bigots like to pretend their views are rational and acceptable to the public. It does not make it so.

  103. Rather than waste time and energy on a pursuit which is unhelpful to most Americans, of little use, and can be construed as organized persecution and bigotry, there are far better directions to look towards. It is far better to pay attention to how these alternative dispute resolution forms can strip the rights of ordinary citizens in mundane situations

    Mandatory arbitration is of far more danger to people and far less sensational than religious courts in general./


    “Amid concerns about the treatment of patients at nursing homes and assisted living facilities, a growing number of the companies that operate these businesses have begun including forced arbitration clauses in their residents’ contracts.

    These clauses take away the patient’s constitutional right to a day in court, and shunt all legal disputes into private (often confidential) arbitration. Additionally, most arbitration clauses also include a ban on class actions, so multiple residents of the same facility who were each wronged in the same way would nonetheless be barred from having their issue heard jointly. Rather, each resident would be required to go through the arbitration process on their own.”

    See also

  104. Taqiya is that it is OK to lie and pretend to convert to another faith if it saves your life. It comes from Jewish teaching. The idea that God knows their own and that martyrdom can be pointless.

    “If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed.”
    Galatians 1:6-10

  105. Does ISIS wire their payments to you or send you a check?

  106. Our government is meant to neither supports nor attacks religion. Religious entanglement in government always leads to sectarian discrimination. One cannot protect free exercise of religion of ALL faiths where separation of church and state is not present.

  107. The proposed solution is none at all. It all misses the important point. Public schools have a mandate to educate entire populations which private schools do not. Taxpayer resources should not be diverted into private hands which will not, nor intend to serve the entire public.

    Schools of any type work best when adequately funded and have oversight. It is not the private/public difference which is material. It is laissez faire/indifferent vs. well regulated and well funded.

    Public schools work when done with care. Private schools have no inherent quality to them which makes them superior.

    A privatized school system is inherently set up to warehouse the poor and create huge gaps in who is educated.

  108. No it isn’t. You aren’t offering a choice if you are destroying one option in favor of another. More conservative dishonest sloganeering.

  109. You obviously have given thought to the arbitration part of this issue and I respect that. I cannot say that I have considered that aspect much.
    The other part of the issue though is the context in which arbitration occurs and the degree for which one must be concerned about coercion. I am fully sympathetic to your arguments about arbitration. The reason I asked you about Islam is related to the issue of whether we can rely on those courts to be non-coercive. In many types of arbitration that occur outside of religion, I would absolutely agree that many arbitration clauses have coercive elements and I agree that is worth looking at. Sharia courts, a subset of mediation or arbitration cases, clearly have the problem of coercion and, in any place that they are not already established in the west, from my point of view, we should give no support tho their establishment.
    Admittedly, there is bigotry involved in many who are against Islam, particularly those who are not educated. But there is also much to be said against Islam as an ideology and many speak knowledgeably against the ideology, particularly the ex-Muslims who are atheists. Reformist Muslims continue to view themselves as Muslims but also see a great need for reform and for freedom of thought/speech within Islam. The beliefs of the atheists and of the reformers are largely aligned. Then there are many westerners who have simply learned enough about the history and religious books of Islam to develop an opinion that is not bigoted (i.e., is not directed against people but against ideas) but who speak strongly against Islam.
    I say all of this because I come to the question of sharia courts as someone who has spent a lot of time and effort learning about Islam. You come at the question from the arbitration side. It seems to me that we come to the same conclusion. Your conclusion is undoubtedly broader because you have looked at a broader issue, i.e., all of arbitration. I largely agree with you but have not looked at the broader issue enough to have formed a fixed opinion.

  110. True. Our NATIONAL government. Please be accurate and clear. When we were founded, several states had established churches, and it was no problem for the founders or forming a union.

  111. Wrong. It is a choice of whether or not to kill.

  112. Silly answer. I am done with this troll hole of a diversion. I can’t even pretend you have a sane position.

  113. The 14th amendment eludes you. As does history in the subject. Virtually all established churches were ended by the time of constitutional ratification. Arguing against separation of church and state is writing against free exercise as well.

  114. “Choice” is only a euphemism. It is used because the American people conflate choice with freedom. So, the idea is to associate abortion with choice. Then, those who advocate for abortions can say it is merely a choice. We all know it is far, far more than a mere “choice.”

  115. Please read what I write: I choose my words carefully. Read what I specifically wrote about our founding era.

  116. No, there were established churches AFTER we became a nation. The minutes of the constitutional convention are available online. Show me where there was ANY discussion about removing or disallowing states from having established churches and I will not only retract my statement but also apologize.

  117. Because of the links to the Church of England, the Anglican Church was disestablished in all of the colonies by the end of the war. But Congregationalism remained established in Massachusetts, Connecticut and New Hampshire FOR MORE THAN A HALF CENTURY AFTER THE WAR WAS OVER!

    The First Amendment satisfied those who DEFENDED ESTABLISHED CHURCHES! They welcomed it because it prohibited Congress from disestablishing or otherwise interfering with these STATE ESTABLISHMENTS.

  118. In 1789, it seemed possible that some of the southern states might re-establish the Episcopal church, and the legislature of Virginia SERIOUSLY CONSIDERED ESTABLISHING A CHURCH! And there would have been no problem from the national government.

  119. The church in Virginia was not disestablished until 1785.

  120. In Gitlow v. New York, the Court ruled that the 14th amendment made the free-speech and free-press guarantees operative within the states; then, until Cantwell v. Connecticut in 1940, the respective states actually could have established churches and even regulated religious observation.

  121. If you want to know more about Sharia look up Halacha. It also means “the way.” Only it Jewish and a lot of Jews follow it very carefully. It has nothing to do with the law of the land.

  122. You don’t object to the education that children are receiving in public schools when it comes to math and science an other subjects. You object to what you perceive as as bad ideology taught to public school children. For some reason you object to children who need it receiving special education as well.

    I don’t love or hate government, but sometimes it’s necessary even most conservatives admit that.

  123. That Jewish Court only offers an Ultra-Orthodox opinion. There aren’t any of the other denominations of Judaism represented in the Jewish Courts. Israel is parliamentary democracy and often no one party gains a clear majority. Therefore governments are always coalitions. The religious parties have proved to be shrewd negotiators.

  124. Thank you ISIS spokesperson for that ignorant panicky response. Let’s be honest here. The sole purpose of these “Anti Sharia” rallies is to promote persecution of American Muslims. The one group absolutely necessary for fighting Islamicist terrorism.

    Sharia courts here are not like their counterparts in autocratic states. The only danger we are in is if our own conservative Christian Taliban undermine and destroy separation of church and state. Then any theocratic system can form.

  125. Name one. Sharia courts only exist here at sufferance of the right to contract. You just want an excuse to rally against Muslims in general and call for their persecution in this country. Just what ISIS wants.

  126. Many children in government schools are getting inferior educations in math. The new “conceptual” math is the rage again in many schools, and it is harmful. It de-emphasized memorizing math facts, and that is very harmful.

    I do not object to special education, of course. It has merely gotten out of control, and students who simply lack motivation or live chaotic lives are deemed “handicapped,” then get dumbed-down work and grades for supposed “effort.”

  127. Spuddie,
    You let him get to you. Your answer goes beyond what is reasonable.
    We have had a great discussion and I think you can just answer others as you have answered me.
    Still hoping to get a response from you to my post below that starts with ‘You obviously’.

  128. I was taught conceptual math in Elementary School in the early 1960s. it hasn’t been taught that way in many years.

  129. Except for first amendment freedom of religion. They has a little sectioned scribbled in pencil “except Muslims”

    It was a demonstration of panic, bigotry and political manipulation. All well within the confines of freedom of speech.

    We have separation of church and state precisely to keep religious rules from being used to attack people. If you understand and uphold the concept there is nothing to fear.

    Too bad conservative Christians don’t. They differ from ISIS in ideology only in the most superficial manner.

    If you are willing to defend our nation and its principles then there is no danger. Otherwise you are simply enabling terrorism and religious extremism.

  130. Yet you are doing the bidding of terrorists because you are too ignorant and panicky to defend our nation’s freedom and principles.

    If you understand and defend both clauses of the first amendment: free exercise of all religion and separation of church and state, then there is nothing to fear. The people holding the rallies do not. They enable enemies of our way of life.

  131. Nah, it’s my stock response to that shtick.

    As I have said here and elsewhere the entire line of argument of quoting another religions scripture in a derogatory fashion is inherently useless and not worth addressing seriously. It’s SOP for sectarian prejudices of all stripes.

  132. It is recently making a comeback. The term might be different, but it is essentially that. I have seen the textbooks, and even a few training sessions. It would be this sort of garbage:

    How much does 4+4 equal?
    Good. Now show us other groupings (7+1, 6+2) that can result in the same sum.


  133. Linda Lee Davidson, Just to be clear, I don’t advocate death by stoning for anyone in 2017. Death by stoning was a particularly gruesome method of spreading the onus for the execution among all who hefted a stone.

    Ps. 81:6 talks about the Lord’s purpose, in taking some of the burden of the shoulders of the average Israelite. The rest of the Psalm 81 is a screed against this person’s actions: the aftermath of adultery is rarely pretty.

  134. Ok.
    I agree that you make an important contribution to the discussion by bringing in arbitration.
    I think that there is a whole other aspect to this issue than arbitration though and that is Islam. The reason that I do not think it can be ignored is because of the clear issues there are between Islam and the west at present. I do not think that you can entirely understand this other aspect unless you know a significant amount about Islam including history, scriptures and something about the different camps of thought that exist in Islam today (i.e., jihadists, salafists, moderates/conservatives, reformists and ex-Muslims). Another thing that probably is important is understanding some of the challenges that Europe has faced with immigration.
    But that is fine. I will not necessarily expect a response from you on this. Thanks for the interesting conversation.

  135. Said the person who wants to control women’s health, marriages of others, open commerce, education, clean air and drinking water. 🙂

  136. I asked first. And last week. She is a double black-belt. (no joke) 🙂

  137. My attitude towards this sort of thing is that the religion itself for this form of dispute resolution is of no consequence. Objections to the tenets of the religious faith really is an irrelevance because the participants are believers in that faith. They are supposed to voluntarily choose this sort of thing. It does not work when forced upon others or through coercion.

    My take on it is that those most likely to understand the nuances of their own sect/faith are in the best position to say whether this sort of forum is really right for what they want to do. They are the ones who actually would be willing to go through that sort of thing.

    I do not see ANY religion as being inherently antithetical to a free, developed democratic society. A society with religious freedom for all can find ways to make such things work without getting silly. But I see such societies being at odds with extremism.

  138. I have no idea what you think I support or denounce here.

    ” that “free exercise of religion” does not include absolutely anything anyone wants to do under the guise of calling it a “religious freedom.””

    Keep that in mind the next time you want to support discrimination in open commerce based on “sincerely held beliefs”

    “As I said, sharia and political Islam are seditious, odious, violent, harmful, criminal and illegal in the United States precisely because of it’s advocacy of violence, oppression, subjugation, enslavement and murder, none of which are valid exercises of “freedom of religion.”

    And you are entitled to your opinion. As freedom of speech entails. But you are bereft of facts as to what actually goes on here under the term Sharia. What happens in autocratic hell holes is different from what goes on in free democratic societies. But why bother learning facts when you can spew inflammatory garbage.

  139. I can only presume that the only reason that you do not see any religion as antithetical to a free society is because you have not studied Islam, at least in any depth. I could explain in some detail about why I consider Islam as it is now practiced to not be consistent with a free society but that is probably more than we should try to tackle here.

  140. Not at all. All religions have their nasty bits. No single one is somehow worse than others.

    I also don’t take armchair religious scholars here seriously either. A person reading Koran quotes from a Richard Spencer website does not make one an expert in Islam. Fact of the matter is Muslims have been in this country since inception. Muslim communities here are far better integrated with our way of life than their European counterparts. The US has the highest % of Muslim convert populations in the developed world. They are living in a free society and have been for some time.

    Understanding the nexus of religion and politics helps here. Islamicism in its current form is far more recent than people will admit to. Bear in mind 1-2 generations ago, these theocratic states and promoters of Islamicism were secular nationalists. Even Iran and Afghanistan.

    “why I consider Islam as it is now practiced to not be consistent with a free society”

    That is ISIS’s position. Islam as it is now practiced varies with the level of democracy of a nation and how it is treated by the political powers that be. Your statement is most untrue for the overwhelming majority of Muslims living in this country. The best example of this is the neighborhood I live in. Hudson County NJ has one of the largest Muslim populations on the East Coast outside of NYC. The predominately Muslim neighborhoods are integrated with Orthodox Jews, Hindus, Christians of various stripes. Groups which are at each others’ throats in many developing nations. But the US is the place where people leave ethnic conflicts behind. People come here to flee sectarian/ethnic violence.

  141. I do not have a fixed opinion on Robert Spencer. I have watched him speak once.
    We all are only armchair in any opinions we have other than areas in which we have particular expertise, particularly vocational expertise.
    There have been several areas which I have developed armchair expertise and even more than simply armchair expertise. Islam is one of those areas. Actually, Christian history and Christian theology is another. I am fairly knowledgeable about Judaism but do not have the same level of knowledge that I do in Islam and Christianity.
    I am sure that people get on together very well where you live. People get along well where I live also and we are quite diverse in religions and nationalities, particularly at the place I used to work. I am recently retired.
    True that ISIS is not consistent with a free society. But that is not what I am saying. There is more to the issue than that.

  142. I agree. The Department of Education should be phased out as quickly as possible. And totally.

  143. Yes. I am familiar with the Frankfurt School – Marcuse, etc. I am glad to see someone else who is. It is unfortunate that more people are not aware of what it has done in our culture. I do not think, however, they really did much damage to our schools until the late 1960s when they got control of the universities on a large scale. They were in the universities before that, but rather isolated.

  144. I have been told (as well as read) that Muslims are to obey the law of the land as long as they are able to practice (?) the five pillars of Islam.

  145. That’s not new math. That is just teaching children to think. That is what a good school should do.

  146. Yes, they falsely believe that they can “teach children to think” with that kind of math, while students in Japan, Korea and Singapore, with their memorizing, outdistance us more and more and more.

    It does SOUND good, but it is wrong. Best to memorize at the elementary level.

  147. We have been throwing billions at the public system for years, often with very poor results. If I were to adopt your argument, then I would suggest this: Dismantle the feckless, inefficient, and bureaucratic behemoth known as the Dept. of Education, return the tax revenues wasted there to the states and allow the states to not only allocate the resources as they see fit, but return control to local districts whose administrators presumably understand their own conditions and needs better than the Federal government. Plus this would create 50 laboratories where the best methods could be observed, tracked, and adjusted.

  148. Untrue and exaggerated. Where money spent is well, not siphoned off and oversight exists, public schools work wonderfully.

    Private schools are not a viable solution. They have no mandate to teach all kids, they aren’t necessarily better for being private. Taking money away from public schools is simply robbing Peter to pay Paul. Voucher programs don’t actually work. In many places it is just patronage and corrupt diversion of tax dollars to private hands.

    If conservatives aren’t going to spend time and energy on public schooling for the poor and working class, why are they going to do so for private schools? The plan is to warehouse the poor and use tax dollars to promote religious indoctrination. Even if legal for now, is a cretinous destructive approach to education. Theocratic parasites can find their own schools. They don’t need my tax dollars for it nor should they be the only viable choice because the others were destroyed.

    Your argument is garbage because conservative indifference and blatant attacks on the education system is the cause of most of the problems to begin with. It is akin to breaking ones leg and crowing about the new crutches you are offering.

  149. What a load of hot bull shit. For anyone that says shariah doesn’t apply to non Muslims try posting an offensive picture of Mohammed somewhere. See how that goes for you. Secular white westerners have died for this right to simply opt out of Islamic law. They’re coming for you. You’re all dead and you don’t even know it

  150. Lmao! Quite the bold statement there Spudie. I tell you what. Give me an example of any Muslim majority country, that formed a country like the US constitution then get back to me regarding how conservative Christianity (which was dominating the US as the constitution was made) is a danger to the fundamental right of religions within the US, more than Muslims “ever” will be. Oh that’s right. There are none. The closest you can come up with would be Indonesia and the last I heard, they just put a Christian man in prison for a year under their “blasphemy law”. What exactly did he say? He told the Muslims there not to interpret their precious Koran incorrectly, as to find an excuse not to vote for him lol.

  151. Out of a degree of respect for you, I will not respond in any other way than to disagree with your argument’s facts and substance. As I have just been assailed rather forcefully by two other people on other threads, my temper is running a bit hot right now, and I’d rather not provide a lengthy response in which I might launch a pejorative word or two. One might question my level of maturity or confidence if I can be so easily rattled, but I strive very hard to be courteous in my exchanges and vituperation by others gets my blood up. I think that you and I can at least agree that there is nothing more that will be profitable to either of us on this present subject.

  152. I do not doubt it, but I suspect there are others within the Muslim community who do not hold that view.

  153. “Give me an example of any Muslim majority country, that formed a country like the US constitution then get back to me regarding how conservative Christianity”

    Bosnia. Their biggest source of societal mayhem are the formerly genocidal ethnic orthodox Christian Serbs and Catholic Croats who tried to carve the country up.

    Moreover I do not judge people in this country by the standards of dictatorships. Muslims are not a danger to our country. They have no chance of upending religious freedom through use of political power like dominionists here. If you defend our first amendment, creeping sharia can never happen. If you compromise free exercise of religion and separation of church and state, you invite mayhem

  154. Bosnia is hardly a Muslim majority country at 51 percent when Christians amount to 46 so it’s definitely closer to even than not as we have in America for example. And just this year alone, they put 14 ISIS fighters in jail. The citizens of a country should be quite concerned about who they should/should not allow into their country when people like this can enter into it and kill in massive numbers. The facts are, wherever a Muslim population dominates in the world, that country has lots of turmoil and lacks the democracy and cohesion with others not of their faith. Poland is not as foolish as the other countries within Europe and guess what, they’ve had no terrorist events. But if people like you ran Poland, you’d change that pretty fast wouldn’t you. According to reports, more than 300 Bosnians have joined the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria making it one of the highest proportions of jihadists from Europe.

    “Moreover I do not judge people in this country by the standards of dictatorships.”

    I don’t know what this means however you judged Christians who were around long before the Muslims were in the West, to say they’d gladly impede the rights of religious freedom before them when there is ample evidence that where Muslims flock serious issues arise. You’re what one would call a muslim sympathizer.

    “They have no chance of upending religious freedom through use of political power like dominionists here.”

    Making absolutes of this sort is rather foolish since the rising population of Muslims can most certainly bring about serious problems and changes to a democracy or even civil wars. We can see the “vibrant cultural diversity” the muslims brought into France, Sweden, Germany, and the UK. We see the demands of the minority of Muslims are making in Canada with prayers in schools and fighting to cover up in banks or that M 103 motion.

    If the American people do not want this come to their country, then they have a right to resist it. No non citizen has a right to be there. Plenty more refugees to pluck from like the Christians and Yazidis who are being hunted down and exterminated over there in Iraq.

  155. Now you are just trying to split hairs because I found an example which didn’t follow your rather overused screed.

    “we have in America for example. And just this year alone, they put 14 ISIS fighters in jail.”

    And who was largely responsible for finding them? Fellow American Muslims. The people who you appear to be afraid of.

    A Duke University study from 2014 noted that, since 9/11, no fewer than 54 jihadist terror suspects or perpetrators came to authorities’ attention as a result of initial tips from members of America’s 3.3 million Muslim citizens.

    Muslim informants fingered more terror suspects than bulk data-collection did in the same period of time. Gen. Keith Alexander, director of the National Security Agency between 2005 and 2014, boasted that mass surveillance had prevented around 10 terror plots

    “The facts are, wherever a Muslim population dominates in the world, that country has lots of turmoil and lacks the democracy and cohesion with others not of their faith.”

    That is a nonsense statement bereft of knowledge of where these countries are and their history. “The Muslim World” is also entirely post colonial as well. One can say the same thing about most of Sub-Sahara Africa, South America and Central Asia with far different demographics. You are being lazy in blaming religion for what is a more complex situation. Laziness and ignorance informs your POV.

    ” Poland is not as foolish as the other countries within Europe and guess what, they’ve had no terrorist events” Its not really true

    You are quoting a WND article. A source of zero credibilty.

    ” We can see the “vibrant cultural diversity” the muslims brought into France, Sweden, Germany, and the UK.”

    Those countries have half-baked immigration policies with little to no naturalization. In France the government goes out of its way to attack Muslims. None of those countries have the religious freedom protections the US has. I don’t need to use examples of where they do things badly. American Muslim communities are not even close to the hotbeds of radicalism that their European counterparts are. In fact Muslim immigrants are far more upwardly mobile in the US than they are in Europe.

    How about you be more honest and find stuff about American Muslim communities instead of using nonsense examples of dictatorships and places with terrible immigration/naturalization policies. You

    “f the American people do not want this come to their country, then they have a right to resist it.”

    This, being the first amendment freedom of religion. Something you clearly have no regard for. If you had some regard for the separation of Church and state, you would not worry about religious extremists. You would have the tools to keep them in check.

    ” Plenty more refugees to pluck from like the Christians and Yazidis who are being hunted down and exterminated over there in Iraq.”

    Plenty of Muslims too. We do not make religious tests for immigration to this country. The last time they had such a policy, they sent tens of thousands of people away to be murdered. But given your propensity to take ISIS propaganda at face value, you lump victims and perpetrators alike. Just what they want you to do.

  156. I am sorry, but the concentrated attack on public education by Christian conservatives is repugnant garbage. Public education has been the primary form of social class advancement in this nation. Education for all is a right and a necessity in a free society. None of these “school choice” alternatives provide for education for all. They eschew the kind of oversight and public spending which makes for successful schools districts. They promote corruption and an entanglement of church and state which is corrosive to civil liberties.

    The primary objections to our public education system are:
    “Its a government system, therefore its bad!”
    “Everyone should go to religious schools!”
    “They won’t let us teach creationism or sectarian Christian belief!”
    “They won’t let us discriminate!”

    Most of these objections are either paranoid in nature or denote a selfishness of demanding public funding in service of private sectarian beliefs. Conservatives starve public services of funding and then complain of their inability to function. Offering “alternatives” which are neither adequate or useful for the public. But very useful for cronies and the wealthy.

    Vouchers do not work. Charter Schools work in a non-profit setting with the kind of oversight Republicans call “evil big government”.

  157. Just in your imagination or in the extremist web sites you read.

  158. That is also basic memorizing. Students in Japan and China are less innovative than American children. That’s why Apple and Microsoft are American companies. They just use China to manufacture their goods.

  159. No. It is true. Read about the Frankfurt School. Marcuse. The real push for sexualizing our children started in the late 1960s. But it was always there, underlying, with Leftism: Look at the Socialist movements, even from the early 19th century and after the Civil War: Spouse-swapping, end of marriage, open promiscuity, and so on.


  160. That is a myth. And children in the early grades should spend more time memorizing in math. And in other subjects – English – too. Not “memorizing” per se in English, but not this stupid journal writing instead of writing about novels and stories of quality. And this ridiculous “inventive spelling” instead of memorizing rules and exceptions.

  161. “Congress
    shall make no law respecting an establishment
    of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…”

    That would be unconstitutional.

  162. Historically that would be correct to a degree, though I think the founding fathers had a healthy appreciation following the religious wars and persecutions against the protestants in Europe, that it was best if government could not impose or restrict religious freedom for any faith participant.

  163. According to you logic an unripe tomato is not a tomato, toyota is not currently assembling “cars” on their lines, a artist is not painting a “picture”, a composer is not scoring music, and sense this is not complete I am not making a comment.

    Now I did, but not this one, as it isn’t complete. But now it is.


  164. A woman becomes responsible for the life of another human being, just like when a person drinks and should chose to not drive, just like when someone in uniform takes an oath and goes forth to war with a fellow service member, just like when a person has a conceal to carry license. We regularly hold people to expectations and accountability when they are responsible for the life of another human being.

    People are willing to dehumanize the unborn child so it can be discarded, just like people were willing to dehumanize practically anyone they saw a a liability so they could be ignored and when necessary discarded.

  165. Responsibilities involved are a private matter, not subject to your input or opinion. It’s not your body, it is never your choice. You don’t have to like, agree or even find a woman’s choices moral. Their lives are not dependent on your whims.
    Just because you don’t approve of the choices of others, it does not mean their autonomy and right to make choices disappear.

    Moreover, abortion bans don’t work for the purpose allegedly intended. But they do cause a rise in maternal deaths and injuries. What works to reduce abortion is instead easy and cheap access to effective contraception. If you can’t support that, you have no business talking about how to deal with abortion.

  166. Most Americans support abortion during the first trimester when only fanatics believe there is any sort of conscious or “spiritual” human life involved with ending a pregnancy. Support for voluntary, therapeutic abortion drops the closer to term a pregnancy gets. That’s why most states ban late-term abortions, except where the life of the mother is clearly at risk. That said, your effort to criminalize the personal emotional crises that women go through in making the decision to abort is what is the greater abomination. You do not have the right to judge.

  167. Anti-Sharia marches are the excuse of America’s social bigots to rally to their new “Confederacy” without having to raise the “Stars and Bars.” It allows them to masquerade as “concerned Americans,” when in fact their roots and legacy stem from the racism, sexism and intolerance of the Antebellum Pro-Slavery Era of the deep south. While the State has vested interest in keeping religious fanaticism out of the government, that includes Christian radicalism as much as any other form of religious intolerance. Christian radicals marching in protest against Islamic extremism just sounds like a reenactment of the “Crusades” of the middle ages.

  168. Yes. National government. Take a look at the state constitutions when we became a nation: Most of them actually had religious requirements to be able to run for office. This was not even discussed at the National Convention. It was up to the respective states.

  169. Your argument contradicts your points. Its like saying that an easel with even a fraction of a splotch of paint on it is already a finished painting. It’s like saying a score sheet with a fraction of a single note is already a complete orchestra. These are what calling a zygote a full human person with all the rights it entails is like. It’s like saying scrap metal is already a fully of red cars. See how absurd your argument is.

  170. I’m familiar with your arguments as you’ve stressed them often. Though I doubt you can verify the quote, “They won’t let us discriminate.” Apart from that, you did not address the question of dismantling the D. of E. and directly allocating those resources to the state systems of education which are in the public sector. This, I think would be vastly more efficient use of resources.

  171. “Now you are just trying to split hairs because I found an example which didn’t follow your rather overused screed.”

    51 percent isn’t splitting hairs. The two religions are too close in their numbers to give this as a good example of a majority Muslim population controlling their countries politics.

    “And who was largely responsible for finding them? Fellow American Muslims. The people who you appear to be afraid of.”

    Don’t strawman my arguments. I live and work around a lot of Muslims and get along fine with them because they’re more secular than fanatics who live and breathe their religion. What I am afraid of is the more a country has them, the more problems arise. Look to Europe to see how that’s turning out for them. You’ll find that 2/3 of them would not tell on their muslim brothers and sisters if they suspect them as being a terrorist. So don’t feed me nonsense that says because most muslims help spot them, somehow equates how most muslims think. The two are are mutually exclusive.

    “Those countries have half-baked immigration policies with little to no naturalization.”

    The immigration is the same policy on most immigrants coming there yet lets count up the Islamic Terrorist attacks vs any other attack from someone of another country. You’ll lose. Reveals to us that there should indeed be a concern from where western countries are getting their immigrants.

    “That is a nonsense statement bereft of knowledge of where these countries are and their history. “The Muslim World” is also entirely post colonial as well. One can say the same thing about most of Sub-Sahara Africa, South America and Central Asia with far different demographics. You are being lazy in blaming religion for what is a more complex situation. Laziness and ignorance informs your POV.”

    The statement is quite accurate and with plenty of examples to give. You base your argument on assumption, nothing more seeing you have no examples to give. The only one example you gave was a country that has 51 percent Muslims in it to 46 percent Christians or 49 percent non muslims, that’s it lol. Increase that percentage where they overwhelmingly hold power and get back to me if they’re still acting civil. Africa has it’s own issues. They’re exterminating “whitey” yet you barely hear a peep out of the mainstream regarding this.

    “In France the government goes out of its way to attack Muslims.”

    If attacking them means making them uncover their face in a society that was built on showing your face, then that’s a foolish argument. Same with forcing 3 mosques to shut down that produced terrorists.

    “How about you be more honest and find stuff about American Muslim communities instead of using nonsense examples of dictatorships and places with terrible immigration/naturalization policies.”

    Muslims in the US are in the minority at around 1 percent. Small numbers of people will mostly always behave. Again, the concern is having these numbers rise. The US wishes to protect it’s beliefs and culture, can easily limit those who come from areas that are in direct conflict with those beliefs. Then you have the pro muslim media who will do their best to cover up incidents regarding refugees in the US. Take the incident that happened in Minneapolis where 30 migrant muslims were yelling threats of rape and intimidation and Minneapolis’s largest newspaper, did not turn up a single story about story at Lake Calhoun neighborhood.

    “You are quoting a WND article. A source of zero credibilty.”

    The context of our discussion is on Muslim terrorism, not terrorism in general. I stand by what I said but I’ll clarify it just so you don’t misunderstand this time. There have been ZERO terrorists attacks in Poland because they’re not cucked like the rest of Europe regarding the onslaught of migrants coming into the country.

    “This, being the first amendment freedom of religion. Something you clearly have no regard for. If you had some regard for the separation of Church and state, you would not worry about religious extremists. You would have the tools to keep them in check.”

    People who belong to another country do not have a right into your country. Your freedom of religion applies to those currently living in it. If you believed in freedom of religion, then you must also be for allowing radical Islamics in as well yes? So long as they promise to behave of course lol. Because preventing them from entering is stopping them in on the basis of their religion.

    “Plenty of Muslims too. We do not make religious tests for immigration to this country.”

    You prioritize on who’s in the most danger first and that would be those two religions I first mentioned. If you saw that 99 percent of them of the thousands brought in were Christians, the left would flip their lid.

    “The last time they had such a policy, they sent tens of thousands of people away to be murdered. But given your propensity to take ISIS propaganda at face value, you lump victims and perpetrators alike. Just what they want you to do.”

    Yet ignoring the countless number of Christians and Yazidis or white Africans being slaughtered is somehow a good thing yeah? Because first come first serve after-all even if it’s 99 percent of Muslims every year until your country’s culture changes to suit their numbers and ideology because any Christian who shows his face in the refugee camps is pretty much dead meat. You’re the type who’s going to turn your country into a third world shit hole so long as you feel good about your own cultural suicidal politics.

  172. “They won’t let us discriminate.”

    That is my version of it. One of the chief “advantages” of parochial religious schools are that as private entities they can discriminate with impunity. Especially against the children of gay couples. All one has to do is see Betsy DeVos’s evasion concerning vouchers and tax funding to private schools which discriminate.

    “Apart from that, you did not address the question of dismantling the D. of E. and directly allocating those resources to the state systems of education which are in the public sector”

    Because lack of oversight is a major part of the problem. Devolving control to the state and local level only makes it easier to abuse the system and promote corruption. Education needs some kind of basic uniform standards. That is best done at the federal level. Not every state or locality has the resources to adequately fund its education system. Federal funding is part of the plan to fill in the gaps at such levels. Why turn down potential resources which could be used when they are available?

  173. “What I am afraid of is the more a country has them, the more problems arise”

    OK “___ Peril” talk. An update of the old arguments against having too many Catholics in a community, lest our nation be turned into a papist dictatorship. (An actual argument used in this country for many many years).

    “You’ll find that 2/3 of them would not tell on their muslim brothers and sisters if they suspect them as being a terrorist”

    Now you are just pulling nonsense out of your posterior and engaging in stereotypes.

    “The immigration is the same policy on most immigrants coming there”

    Absolutely wrong. You are ignorant of basic facts. Most of Europe does not have naturalization policies for people born in those countries to immigrant parents or grandparents. It is a recipe for multi-generational poverty and dissent. They create entire populations of people who have no country to speak of and are specifically excluded from the society.

    “People who belong to another country do not have a right into your country. ”

    So you are going to vacate the country and leave it for the Native Americans. So in addition to being anti-Muslim, you are a nativist bigot as well. Immigration is vital to this country for both preventing demographic decline and promoting economic growth. Areas with large immigrant populations also have some of the highest concentrations of wealth in the country as well.

    As I said before, if you uphold separation of church and state and free exercise of religion, you have the tools to deal with religious extremism. But you are more interested in attacking such things and coming up with bigoted nonsense that does nothing but enable it.

    “Yet ignoring the countless number of Christians and Yazidis or white Africans being slaughtered is somehow a good thing yeah?”

    Nope, False dichotomy. I don’t advocate turning back ANY refugee who comes to our shore. I believe its our duty to take them in. It is our strength as a nation.

    “You prioritize on who’s in the most danger first and that would be those two religions I first mentioned. ”

    No Sparky. We don’t do religious tests because as a nation we value religious freedom. Using stereotypes, bigoted assumptions and one’s sectarian prejudices as the basis for such things undermines such values. Why do you hate the American way of life so much?

    “You’re the type who’s going to turn your country into a third world shit hole so long as you feel good about your own cultural suicidal politics.”

    Said the person who has no regard for our free way of life, for our democratic system, and thinks our nation should have isolationist policies on par with North Korea.

  174. The aborted human being isn’t my body nor the mother’s body either.

  175. When you can take possession of a fetus, that argument won’t sound stupid.

  176. This concept of religious law is not unique to Islam—Jewish people have Halakha , and Catholics have canon law.

  177. And even the Arabic Jewish people call the Jewish law Sharia—Halakha is the Hebrew word for the same.

  178. I suggest that YOU learn more about it as you are blatantly wrong on the points that you mention.

  179. How dare you say taqiyya comes from jewish teaching!

  180. You mean How dare I say something accurate and not in line with hate sites (which do nothing but enable terrorists).

  181. muhammad was a mass murderer! If Hitler had started a religion and called himself a prophet and that Mein Kampf was a religious book, you’d be saying there are good neo-nazis and that the bad ones misrepresent the religion! Then you’d say that the idea of exterminating jews was a jewish idea! Hopefully anyone who reads your taqiyya simply googles it in order to see how full of it your LIE is!

  182. “If Hitler had started a religion and called himself a prophet and that
    Mein Kampf was a religious book, you’d be saying there are good
    neo-nazis and that the bad ones misrepresent the religion!”

    We have that already. Nazis were good Christian folk who followed the dogma at the time of Antisemitism and inherent racism. You chose a bad example

    Btw Neo-Nazis have first amendment rights as well. You can spew whatever you want in public provided it is not defamation, fraud, incitement to violence, or a deliberate harm to the public. You never saw the Blues Brothers???? Seriously???

    Religious Freedom means it doesn’t matter what you think any given religion believes. ANYONE has as much right to worship and become productive citizens of our nation as anyone else. Regardless of what people think of the religion. Provided of course they aren’t trying to break laws and harm people in the name of their faith. (Something most people calling themselves Christians won’t even do).

    There is no rational or sane argument, “____ religion is evil, therefore we must treat them as less than people”.

    Meaning Sparky, that I could be a Cthulhu worshiper and the articles of my faith involve exhorting the mass slaughter of all of the non-believers (just like all Abrahamic faiths btw) My scripture can be full of stories about how brave acolytes of the faith murdered people as sacrifices for the Great Old One who sleeps under the Pacific. I can even enact a mock ritual sacrifice in temples. ALL OF WHICH WOULD BE PERFECTLY IN LINE WITH THE FIRST AMENDMENT

    Moreover, as long as I and my fellow Chtulhu worshipers act civilly with everyone else and carry on our business in a legal and not harmful manner, there is nothing which can or should be legally done against me.

    Your posts demonstrate what kind of dangerous, bigoted and ignorant cretin lurks on the web for this subject. Fools like you enable terrorism and try to torch our freedoms in the name of “feeling safe”. More damage is done by panicky fools in this country than any foreign terrorist can do.

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