Church of Reality is a Religion of Courage

This post was written by marc on March 9, 2006
Posted Under: Religion

Dear Church of Reality Members,

I have been giving a lot of thought to issues regarding when to speak out against something and when to be silent and I believe that the Church of Reality is a religion that must speak out even if there are risks involved in speaking out. It’s interesting that when you write a set of sacred principles that it is in those principles that the answer lies.

The Church of Reality is a religion about reality and if we are afraid to speak the truth when speaking the truth is necessary then what are we? We are nothing. We would be Realists in name only. I believe that true wisdom comes from courage and that since we have a Sacred Principle of Courage that we can not afford the luxury of keeping our mouth’s shut while extreme fundamentalism takes control of the world.

I found an interesting web site on Islam that nails it. The scary part is that what they say there is true and one only need to look at the pictures to see that there are states of human deevolution that are worse that extinction. We absolutely must never let a religion like this be allowed to control the world through terrorism. Islam is not a religion of peace and love and one need mot look any farther than their prophet to understand why. What you do is what you believe and all I see from the Muslim world is hate, violence, murder, torture, and they must never be allowed to win.

I was raised Jewish, barely, but one of the things I remember as a child was seeing people with numbers tattooed on their forearm from Hitler’s concentration camps, and that is something that stuck with me. We are living in a world where that could happen again unless we Realists commit ourselves to ensuring that we will make sure it doesn’t. I’m not prepared to count on the Jews to do that job considering their own problems with violence. And if I don’t mention Christians here it’s not that I haven’t forgot them. They too have lost their minds and are a threat to the future of the human race. We as Realists can not allow either one of them to start world war 3 and wipe out our futures.

Back to Muslims. I found this web site and it moves me.

Faith freedom

Especially this song called Islam is not for me:

I personally am strongly moved over issues of the oppression of women. We live in a world where women are taught to be slaves to their Islamic and Christian husbands. The Prophet Mohamed is a child rapist. He married a 6 year old girl, but waited till she was 9 before he “consummated the marriage”. I don’t care who you are or what time or culture you live in, sex with a 9 year old girl is just plain wrong. It absolutely can not be justified under and conditions that I can think of. but because their holy prophet did it it sets an example that is still being followed today. 9 year old girls are still being raped. Women are still being stoned to death and hanged. Men are being tortured and murdered and over what? That we draw cartoons about the molester? And we are supposed to allow that because of sensitivity to their culture and religious beliefs? I don’t think so!

Yes it is true that Muslims have been abused by other cultures. They have been tortured and killed and are angry about it. But as Sam Harris pointed out, Buddhists have also been tortured and killed, but they aren’t going around expressing their hatred by the mass slaughter of innocent people. So there is a difference between Buddhism and Islam and Buddhism is clearly superior when it comes to matter of peace. Something that we should learn from ourselves.

I have decided that for myself that I am going to speak out clearly and without fear about the injustices of the world, even if it gets me in trouble. I believe that fear is a luxury that I can not afford and that I am actually serious about our principles and our missions and that we have a duty to transform the world into the proverbial “Garden of Eden” and that I believe that it is achievable.

One think to remember. They are not afraid to call us non-believers infidels and to declare that we deserve death and that we are intrinsically evil, have no value, and that we are going to be punished by burning forever in Hell to pay for the sin of having a wrong opinion abut the existence of the invisible cloud being. So I’m not strongly motivated to respect their religious sensitivities and offend them by suggestion that stoning a woman to death for a chastity violation is barbaric.

I haven’t determined how I’m going to proceed but I have decided that the Church of Reality should represent a position of strength and wisdom and that I am not going to let the fear that some crazy Muslim is going to kill me someday because of my cultural insensitivity.

Anyhow – I just felt motivated to say that and if it sounds like megalomania – we’ll no one’s perfect.

Let us dream the dream of a better tomorrow, and make it happen.

Marc Perkel
First One
Church of Reality

Reader Comments

THANK YOU. More of same, please.

All I ask is that we keep reminding Americans that right here at home, Christian fundamentalists and cults like LDS are working to move us to the same ultimate place that a lot (not all, decidedly) of Islam is at with respect to women.

How people who claim to be womens’ rights and human rights advocates can hide behind the goddamned Crusades as they defend Islam from charges of brutality against women (AND men for that matter) is totally beyond me, and their credibility is laughable/nonexistant.

(Yeah, yeah, I know, a lot of their best friends are Muslims and they would never do that, blah, blah, blah. Try telling that to women about to get stoned to death or girls about to be mutilated. If you hear through your apartment walls the sound of a woman being beaten within an inch of her life, do you only call the cops if she’s NOT Muslim? Time to get real.)

Much of what goes on in Islam, for WHATEVER reason, with OFFICIAL sanction is a cautionary tale for us. The reverse may also be true. Let us scream about ALL of it.

#1 
Written By Kate on March 10th, 2006 @ 4:46 am

Marc,

I am a Muslim, and I have been following your site for years now as you get more and more radical. What are you doing? It is completely obvious that the thing you want most in the world right now is publicity, yet you just unabashedly insulted 90-something percent of the world population in a single post, without leaving an iota of room for compromise. You are constantly just begging for interviews and debates, and you would absolutely LOVE some air-time to further express your views, but you cannot learn to keep a clear head… So once you’re done with your little “rantz” about how “Islam is a dangerous psycho religion,” here is MY challenge to YOU:

My name is Mohammed Aly, I have been a Muslim for sixteen years, and I am weary of having my religion mocked, so I will debunk EVERY single point you can bring against it. I have seen your site, and Faith Freedom, and other sites like it, and others worse. They are all lies and lies on top of lies, so if you think you can, bring me anything you wish, anything at all, and I will disprove it to you.

So there it is. Was Muhammad (pbuh) REALLY a pedophile? If so, do you have any proof? Does it all check out? How about those verses quoted from the Qur’an, did you bother to check out what they meant before forming an opinion about them? Did you at least think about seeing if they were taken out of context? Maybe if when it commands Muslims to kill unbelievers, it could be referring to a certain group? Does Islam call for violence or terrorism? There are plenty of websites out there that allege exactly this, and leave little proof. But if you really think that Islam is an evil faith, bring one issue at a time and I will quickly knock it out. My email address: alibombaye@hotmail.com

#2 
Written By Mohammed Aly on March 10th, 2006 @ 11:01 pm

OK – I accept the challenge.

Did the Prophet have sex with a 9 year old girl or not?

#3 
Written By Marc Perkel on March 11th, 2006 @ 9:48 am

Did Muhammad (pbuh) have sex with a nine your old girl?

No, he did not and you did not give me any proof for saying this. Next time, supply your proof, either from historical books or ahadith (plural for hadith, which means narrations). But since I assume that you are basing this claim off of Faith Freedom:

Here is the site with the specific claims:
http://www.faithfreedom.org/Articles/sina/ayesha.htm

Here is the site where Sina refers to a few different rebuttal pages and attempts to disprove them:
http://www.faithfreedom.org/Articles/sina/ayesha_age.htm

In the latter web page, Sina refers specifically to one page several times, but only tries to argue against about HALF of its content. I found the site:
http://www.answeringinfidels.com/content/view/74/84/

First read the third page, then the second, then the third again. You see anything missing? Hama al Nisa, the person who wrote the article, made many points that Sina simply ignored. I believe that these unchallanged claims form the basis of why Sina’s pedophelia argument is debunked.

Hama brought out many narrations that conflicted with the ahadith brought by people who allege Muhammad (pbuh) was a pedophile. When Hama said, “I think it is the responsibility of all those who believe that marrying a girl as young as nine years old was an accepted norm of the Arab culture, to provide at least a few examples to substantiate their point of view.” Sina says NOTHING. When Hama comments that these claims should have been documented by more than just one old man, whose memory was weak, and was reporting through a chain of people stretching from Iraq to Arabia, there is only silence on Sina’s part.

Sina argues that “The discrepancy between these two hadithes quoted by the same apologist, demonstrate their inaccuracy. It all goes to show that in those days numbers did not mean much. It is more likely that people forget the dates. But events are better remembered.” But Sina misses (or misrepresents) the point entirely, and here it is:

YOU HAVE NO PROOF. The narrations provided by Sina are WEAK, and there are many STRONGER narrations that conflict with this outright. This means that you should go with the more reliable version, not the one that happens to be the most convenient for the demagogues and hate-mongers. Furthermore, NONE of the crimes you have alleged towards Muhammad (pbuh) fit the overall picture of him, supplied by thousands upon thousands of more reliable sources, that show Muhammad (pbuh) as “an honest and upright man who had gained the respect and loyalty of others who were likewise honest and upright men,” according to the Encyclopedia Britannica.

I close my pedophelia argument with just another of Hama’s unchallenged assertions: “neither was it an Arab tradition to give away girls in marriage at an age as young as nine or ten years, nor did the Prophet (pbuh) marry Ayesha (ra) at such a young age. The people of Arabia did not object to this marriage, because it never happened in the manner it has been narrated.”

Besides the pedophilia issue, which is certainly completely baseless, there are many other similar assertions, based off of weak chains of narrations, which attempt to challenge the character and morality of Muhammad (pbuh). You may say that I am simply calling every negative or derogatory claim weak, but this is not the case. It is logical to rule out anomalies, especially ones that are passed down through a chain of people who are not entirely believable, just like a game of Telephone, as is the issue here. Does this mean that all the books of ahadith are to be rejected? There are some, like the followers of Rashid Khalifah, who say exactly that, myself not being one of them. The majority of the Muslims recognize that the Ahadith are necessary for the interpretation of Islamic practice, thought, and history, so we follow the major consensus supplied by strong ahadith from people whose integrity or reliability are not in question. This is the only way reliable way of gaining a true understanding.

#4 
Written By Mohammed Aly on March 11th, 2006 @ 12:55 pm

OK – let’s start with the basics. Do you admit that having sex with a 9 year old is wrong?

Do you admit that IF Mohammed had sex with a 9 year old that would be wrong?

#5 
Written By Marc Perkel on March 11th, 2006 @ 1:22 pm

Having sex with a nine year old girl is wrong.

Muhammad (pbuh) did not have sex with a nine year old girl. If he did, that would be wrong.

You have no proof he did, so stop using words like “admit.” Nobody is on trial here because you have no proof ir eidence of anything. The few narrations Sina pulled out are weak, and there are dozens more contradicting them.

#6 
Written By Mohammed Aly on March 11th, 2006 @ 4:37 pm

If you became convinced that Muhammad (pbuh) actually did have sex with a 9 year old, would you still be a Muslim? What would it mean if you found out that the prophet of God committed the kind of crime that would in America get him sex offender status after a long prison term as a child rapist? Would you still be a follower?

I’m asking this because from what I can see it’s generally accepted in the world of Islam that Muhammad (pbuh) married Ayesha when she was 6 and consumated it when she was 9. Most Muslims argue that it was an accepted practice back then and that Muhammad (pbuh) lawfully married her. My response to that is that a prophet of God should know better than that. So – your denial that it happened is a surprise.

I do intend to dig up references and I know that you must be aware there are a lot of them. So I will assume that after I dig up the references you are going to discount them?

#7 
Written By Marc Perkel on March 11th, 2006 @ 9:55 pm

Marc, do as you wish. I believe with every fiber of my being that there is no God but Allah, and Muhammad is his prophet and messenger. Muhammad (pbuh) stands as one of history’s most important and well-respected figures, and it is NOT generally accepted that he raped or harmed anybody.

I have no idea what you mean by these “references” you are supposedly going to give me. The only evidence you have for your claims about Muhammad (pbuh) are the narrations on Sina’s website, and it has already been proven that these should be tossed out as obvious innacuracies. Why are you so insistent that he was a criminal? The great faith you have in these sordid claims really troubles me. I thought your sole redeeming value as an athiest/realist was that you took stock in what is real. The only way I know of determining what is real is by applying logic and common sense to what I observe and am told by others. So logically, what do you do when you have two conflicting statements made about a man who is and always has been held in really high esteem? Do you go with the weaker source that is making the allegations, or the stronger one?

I do not care that there are some Muslims who instead of checking to see if these rumors were true when they first heard them, they tried to justify them or just shrug them off. They don’t know any better, so they just hold on tighter to their belief. That is what faith means.

I know this is a side-issue, but I was wondering, are realists in your religion allowed to have faith in anybody, or anything, since faith is anything but “rational” or “real?” What about imagination? Dreams? Aspirations? Sexual fantasies? These are necessary or at least conveniant to some, but they aren’t real– and can you truly know what is? I suggest you try taking a course in quantum physics at your local community college, so you can see just how truly “rational” our universe is. I also suggest looking up this nice skinny little novel called “Cat’s Cradle” by Kurt Vonnegut, which is a criticism of both religion and reason. Or you can look up this quote by Blaise Pascal, mathemagician extraordinaire: “The supreme achievement of REASON is to bring to see that there is a limit to REASON.” I can go on and on… There have been volumes written about the foolishness of pursuing or believing in only the things you can personally observe, yet this is your entire basis for not believing in God, just because he does not descend to personally reveal Himself to you on your whim.

I can just now see know how much fun you must have whenever you try and criticize other people’s beliefs and ideals, but that doesn’t make it right for you or anybody to outstep their boundries and tell out-right lies. I already know that you can come back at me hard with a quaint and well-worded response to the thoughts I expressed about your Church. Likewise, you cannot prove anything against Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him. So before making any more of your bitter attacks againt my faith, based on the 1-2% of extremist Arabs that seem to have gone completely insane and in no way represent the Muslim people, PLEASE stop and think. You have no proof that Muhammad (pbuh) was anything but good, and I will still debate this with you if it’s still absolutely necessary. But you should already know that you have nothing to fear from the truly Muslim people, so long as you do not violate our basic human rights. You have your religion, and I have mine.

#8 
Written By Mohammed Aly on March 12th, 2006 @ 3:07 am

OK – this debate is getting interesting. I’m moved the debate to the Church of Reality discussion forum. Here’s the link.

http://www.churchofreality.org/phpbb/viewtopic.php?t=450

#9 
Written By Marc Perkel on March 12th, 2006 @ 7:49 am