“It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing he was never reasoned into”

Jonathan Swift
"The Democrats have moved to the right, and the right has moved into a mental hospital." - Bill Maher
"The city is crowded my friends are away and I'm on my own
It's too hot to handle so I gotta get up and go

It's a cruel ... cruel summer"

Thursday, September 20, 2007

The Wonderful World of Warthogs

Welcome to “The Wonderful World of Warthogs,” the program devoted to examining our local warthog community, listening to their “historic voice” and seeing if we can learn anything from their incessant snorts and grunts.

On this edition of “The Wonderful World of Warthogs” we will examine warthog bottoms and try to answer a question submitted by Tiffany, an exotic dancer and mistress to a former commissioner candidate. Her question, and I quote here, is:

“In view of the current existential crisis in socio-political epistemology, is it possible to engage a warthog posterior in a reasoned, logical argument?”
Thank you Miss Tiffany.

To help us in answering this question on “The Wonderful World of Warthogs” we have as our guest today warthog bottom Mr. Tom, who recently appeared in a rejoinder to a critique of another warthog bottom who writes for the Amarillo Peccary-Buttocks.

Welcome warthog bottom Mr. Tom. Let’s get right down to it. We’re going to recap the points made against the Amarillo Peccary-Buttocks’ warthog bottom, then yours, and then we’ll respond.

First, Mr. H*nry, you compare a religion and a country, apples to oranges. There are also free Muslim countries and intolerant Christians.

1. No, there are no free Muslim countries. Even in Morocco, a liberal oasis in a sea of religious intolerance, it is a criminal offense for a Muslim to convert to any other faith.

Here Mr. Tom you have failed to address Mr. H*nry’s classic switch, which is like comparing the whole of Christendom, without its variety of denominations and range of tolerance to bigotry, to the nation of Togo. With his usual warthog bottom rhetoric H*nry construes Islam as monolithic and intolerant, setting the stage for the warthog dungfest that is to follow.

Having missed that point, you are wrong on the second. Many Muslim countries allow by law freedom of religion, including Judaism and Christianity. It must be added that this does not always mean religious groups are free from persecution, primarily in fundamentalist Islamic countries.

In Morocco, where Islam is the state religion, it is not a criminal offense for a Muslim to convert. Turkey, also a Muslim nation, is sectarian, and is more “liberal” than Morocco.

Second, Mr. H*nry, it is an Arabic language school, not a Muslim school or madrassa as critics are making out.

2. Right, sure it is.

Mr. Tom you offer no evidence whatsoever to suggest that this public school is a religious school. They teach Arabic and learn about Islamic culture. Must you be reminded that the First Amendment only permits public monies to support public schools?

Perhaps you are worried like some conservatives that being taught Latin will turn you into a pagan or learning Greek will make you a democracy loving homosexual. If any exposure to another culture is indoctrination then there must be many little mujahadeen out there from watching Disney’s “Aladdin.”

Third, Mr. H*nry, as a public school the focus on a particular language is perfectly legitimate. It is not one of the “many Muslim/Islam-focused schools” which are private religious schools, also perfectly legitimate in this country.

3. The world is filled with Wahhabi madrassas (funded by Saudi Arabia) that are teaching that non-muslims are decadent and must be destroyed.
While you are to some degree correct this is not to the point Mr. Tom. What do Wahhabi madrassas in the rest of the world have to do with Islamic schools in this country that are not Wahhabi? Not all madrassas in the Muslim world are religious schools and not all religious madrassas in the rest of the world are run by the Wahhabis. Are all Christian schools in the world fundamentalist teaching that Catholics are Satanists and the Pope is the Anti-Christ?

Fourth, Mr. H*nry, it does not follow that Arabic is the Muslim language, as Christians, Jews and Druze speak it, while many Muslims do not, including Iranians and Pakistanis.

4. Arabic is the primary language of Muslims everywhere. The Quran was written in Arabic, and the learning of Arabic is encouraged for all true believers.
Following this logic since the New Testament was written in Greek then the primary language of Christians is Greek, and the only true believers in the world belong to the Greek Orthodox Church. The rest of us are apostates.

Arabic cannot be the primary language of Muslims because 90% of Muslims do not speak it as their native language. It is true however that because the Qur’an was written in Arabic and its “true meaning” can be lost in translation the learning of basic Arabic is encouraged for Muslims.

Fifth, Mr. H*nry, even though you maintain the fiction of an Arabic religious school by begging the question about finding similar schools with a “Christian background,” can they in fact be found in Iran or Saudi Arabia? The answer, Mr. H*nry, is yes.

5. See #3. Most muslim religious schools teach the Quran and whatever interpretations of it that the mullahs running it happen to believe. They don't teach anything else.

You have completely missed the point again Mr. Tom. Mr. H*nry was asking if schools with a “Christian background” could be found in Muslim countries like Iran or Saudi Arabia. It was not about Muslim schools in Muslim countries teaching Christianity.

There are Christian schools in many Muslim countries, including Greek Orthodox schools in Iran. Mr. H*nry, being a warthog bottom, simply assumed there wouldn’t be any.

Sixth, Mr. H*nry, you would notice that the countries that “kill, maim and torture citizens with different religious beliefs” aren’t getting a free pass if you didn’t have your head up your ass.

6. Yes they are. Saudia Arabia, Egypt, Morocco, Lebanon, etc. are all countries that don't allow non-muslims any freedom.
Again you miss the point Mr. Tom. No one is ignoring those countries that abuse the freedoms of their religious minorities. Governments, international human rights organizations and religious and political rights groups within those countries report abuses, lodge protests, and push for reform. Just because Sean Hannity or Bill O’Reilly aren’t talking about it doesn’t mean those countries are getting a “free pass.”

As for your list and absolute generalization, wrong again. Saudi Arabia, officially an Islamic state, fundamentalist, strict, intolerant even of other Islamic, non-Sunni beliefs, does permit non-Muslim religious practice -- in private.

Egypt, Morocco and Lebanon legally recognize non-Muslim religious minorities and their freedom to worship. Lebanon’s appearance on your list is especially preposterous as over a third of the population is Christian and they are guaranteed representation in government.

Seventh, Mr. H*nry, to be charitable you seem to have the IQ of a retarded gerbil. Beyond watering the potted plants and making Less Simpson look twice as smart as you, is there anything else in your job description?

7. You don't sound particularly bright yourself.

Well, warthog bottom Mr. Tom, this does not look encouraging. Let’s go to a commercial break, after which we’ll attempt to answer a viewer’s question, which is “What sound does a warthog bottom make when it’s had a sharp stick shoved up its arse?"

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