I don't believe in giving into bullies. That is why when a person I criticized in a recent post started posting spittle-flecked comments spamming my site and cursing at me, demanding I change the post because he felt it was misleading while not explaining how the changes he wanted would affect anything I had said in the post I refused. My first response explained to him:
Jeff Id, if you think there is any relevant context I left out, you’re welcome to provide it and explain how it impacts anything I’ve said in this post.
And continued on to say:
I provided an excerpt from your comment because the excerpt was what I was discussing. As far as I can tell, nothing I’ve said would be impacted by anything I didn’t provide in the quotation. I can add more context if that would serve some purpose, but simply adding extra text to an already lengthy quotation because that text exists seems silly.
Further responses to him repeated this position, making it clear if he could explain how any parts of the quote I left out impacted anything I said in the post, I would add those parts in. Despite writing a ton of comments, however, he didn't even try to explain how the additional context would impact anything I had said.
Naturally, I didn't make any changes. I'm not going to change a post simply because a person spams my site and cusses at me, demanding I do so. I think that's sensible. Jeff Id, however, got furious about it and eventually wrote his own post where he continued to make an issue of this. The discussion continued, and I even wrote another post because of it.
It seems the discussion has finally died down though. As such, I am going to do something I wanted to do from day one. I am going to re-post the post Jeff Id complained about with the context he demanded I add in included.
Yes, from the first moment he made his demand, I wanted to agree to it. I wanted to agree to it because I wanted to show nothing of the points I made in the post would be affected by it to show why I scoffed at his demand. I just wasn't willing to give into his pathetic bullying. The compromise I came up with was I'd go ahead and do what I wanted to do, but I'd wait until the discussion died down so it was clear I wasn't giving into his bullying, but rather, am mocking him because his demands were stupid and did nothing to address anything I had said.
So without further ado, I am copying the post below exactly as it was before save for the addition of the words Jeff Id complained I hadn't quoted (I'm not even fixing typos). I encourage anyone to tell me if they think anything about the post's conclusions have been changed. I also encourage them to laugh at the petty, pathetic bully Jeff Id if they agree the post's conclusions haven't been changed at all, but it has become needlessly longer. So without further ado:
One of the things I've highlighted on this site a number of times is so-called global warming "skeptics" often don't behave like skeptics would or should. I won't bother dredging up past posts right now because I don't want to focus on global warming today. Today, I want to focus on the anti-Muslim bigotry which is growing in the United States. Today's topic involves a discussion which developed from one I've highlighted in a previous post, where I had said:
I personally believe Americans who can’t strongly and vigorously criticize Donald Trump for being a delusional and racist blowhard should be deported to another planet for the sake of the human race. But hey, instead, we give him billions of dollars and consider electing him president. And he’s not even threatening to murder us if we criticize him!
I want to continue on with that point. I don't think it can be stressed how obscenely Donald Trump and many people supporting him are behaving. I'm not just talking about the xenophobia and bigotry. In fact, I'm not going to discuss that at all today. Today, I'm just going to discuss the pure irrationality of this crowd.
Specifically, I'd like to highlight how this irrationality has apparently turned one "skeptic blogger," Jeff Id, into a parnaoid buffoon.
I'm talking about this comment Jeff Id wrote over at The Blackboard. I'm not going to go into all of it. I'm not, for instance, going to dwell on how he creates a strawman to savage by arguing against things nobody ever said. That would take too much time, and I don't want to rehash the discussions being had there. You can check them out if you want. For our purposes though, all that matters is this portion of his comment:
I’ve read this entire thread today and am surprised by many of the opinions here. A bit of common sense seems in order.
One problem Americans and modern westerners have is the fact that we have all been taught to accept all religion as though all religion is equal. The comments by several comparing Christian evils to those of Islam are so fantastically deluded I can’t even begin. Yes there are bad people of all relgions, but the reality of Islam as it is practiced can be seen across the cultures of the middle east. The repression of women legally and physically is rather hard to miss, as is what happens to those who wish to leave Islam. Then there is the blatantly obvious cries of god is great while committing mass murder as is vociferously advocated by their religious leaders. Which modern Christian religious leaders are calling for mass murder in exchange for going to heaven?
Almost to damned ignorant to discuss.
These are distinctly anti-western values. These values are things I want no part of in my country. Despite the demands of the intolerant left, I see no reason why I should accept these ignorant views as equal to my own. Like religion, or ridiculous political opinion, or Sharia law, all views are not created equal. There are many here who have already called this intolerance, I call it common sense.
There are plenty of muslims who act moderate and therefore see islam as good, but there are plenty of liberals who think what Obama has done to America is good too. I watched a video of a few guys with Jesus loves shirts be attacked physically and verbally by a crowd of hundreds of muslims in Dearborn Michigan. I was born in that area and much of my family grew up there. The influx of Muslims to that region has now almost fully displaced Christians and despite there being plenty of opportunities for the ‘peaceful’ muslims to speak out against intolerance, there was nothing but middle east style culture in evidence. Like the European no-go zones, the police refused to intervene.
No common sense moderate Muslims in sight. None of the outrage at how these Christians were being treated that you would expect from modern moderate muslims. I’m sure there was some outrage actually, but the religion as practiced doesn’t allow dissent and those who would speak out in that crowd would likely be punished.
Note that these United States muslims aren’t the ones being bombed. They aren’t the ones being persecuted. The only thing they have in common with the middle east muslims is their religion – and apparently their intolerance of any other religion.
We certainly don’t need more of that in the US or anywhere else in the world. I’m no fan of Trump either because it doesn’t make sense to me to trade one narcissist for another, but I certainly wouldn’t mind stopping all muslim immigration for a period of time. I’ve seen enough of it and want no part of their archaic lifestyle, belief system, repression of women, nor do we need to add another layer of nonsensical Sharia law. It certainly wouldn’t harm the US to say no to Syrian immigrants either. The very slight additional risk of bringing any of these people over is not worth it in my opinion, but compared to the rest of the nightmare this nonsensical world is, the issue barely makes the radar.
I don’t have any real answers to any of this but when faced with a group which behaves in a manner incompatible with freedom, we must see it with clear eyes. We cannot pretend that evils by individual Christians are equal to Imams demanding self-sacrifice against innocent people so their followers can go to heaven. It’s simply not a reasonable opinion to hold.
Now if you're a rational-minded individual who pays some attention to the news, you might already realize how utterly insane this is. While Jeff Id claims to be posting "common sense," the reality is what he says is largely delusional. I'm not worried about the little things, like how he says:
I watched a video of a few guys with Jesus loves shirts be attacked physically and verbally by a crowd of hundreds of muslims in Dearborn Michigan.
When in reality there weren't even a hundred people in the crowd he mentions. That sort of exaggeration is poor form, but it's minor in comparison to other things. For instance, Jeff Id says there were "a few guys with Jesus loves shirts" who got attacked. Look at this picture, and tell me, is there anything missing from his description?
For instance, Jeff Id might have mentioned this took place at the Arab International Festival, a festival where many Muslims attending. And that the "few guys with Jesus loves shirts" were part of agroup called Bible Believers who attended the festival specifically to protest and goad the people there. Or that they carried signs saying things like, "Islam is religion of blood & murder." Or that, you know... they mounted a pig's head on a pole to parade through the festival because they knew pigs were considered unclean by many Muslims.
He somehow left all that out. Instead, he just said "a few guys with Jesus loves shirts" were attacked by a crowd of hundreds of Muslims. According to this depiction, the Christians were innocent bystanders who should be sympathized with. I cannot begin to express how disgusting that is.
You see, Bible Believers is a Christian hate group which publishes all sorts of bigoted literature. I kind of want to show you the antisemitic filth this group publishes, but I can't bring myself to link to any of it. This group of people Jeff Id defends are literal deniers, as in people who publish material denying the Holocaust happened.
Jeff Id is painting antisemitc Holocaust deniers who traveled to an Arab International Festival for the sole purpose of antagonizing people with hateful signs and severed animal heads mounted on poles as innocent victims who did nothing wrong. And somehow, that's not the worst of it! He also says:
The influx of Muslims to that region has now almost fully displaced Christians and despite there being plenty of opportunities for the ‘peaceful’ muslims to speak out against intolerance, there was nothing but middle east style culture in evidence. Like the European no-go zones, the police refused to intervene.
If I were trying to be unfair, I would leave aside that the police did intervene. Multiple times. I won't though as I believe facts and truth have some relevance to the things we say.
You see, the police did intervene. On multiple occasions, the police demanded the Bible Believers stop using a megaphone as it was considered too loud (especially with the racist slurs they were shouting, which Jeff Id failed to mention). And later, the police intervened further by kicking the Bible Believers out of the festival. Jeff Id somehow manages to ignore that, instead pretending "the police refused to intervene." In reality the police did intervene, in a bad way. They likely responded that way because they didn't like the Bible Believers, but as the courts have since ruled, they were in the wrong.
So to be fair to the racist Christians Jeff Id portrays as innocent victims, the police did treat them unfairly. As hateful and disgusting as their behavior was, it was a lawful form of expression protected by the First Amendment. The police were wrong in kicking them out to stop the escalation of violence rather than addressing the people who actually committed the violence. That just doesn't justify this remark:
Like the European no-go zones, the police refused to intervene.
Becauses this is completely and utterly insane. There are no such things as "no-go zones." The idea Muslims are taking over neighborhoods and establishing areas where Sharia law is in effect is beyond delusional. There isn't the slightest basis for it.
There are, of course, some areas in some countries where police are hesitant to venture. Some of them have a predominantly Muslim population. That doesn't mean anything though. I live near St. Louis. I can tell you about plenty of areas police have, at one point or another, been hesitant to venture (Ferguson, anybody?). They weren't because those were "no-go zones" created by Muslims invading they country. They were because police are often disliked in the projects. Or as a quote from the Snopes article on this subject says:
[Some] confound the idea in France of a special economic zone with the problem of the cités, that is, regions in the urban periphery of French cities, that are populated by an underclass consisting largely of immigrants from Muslim countries. Comparable to the "projects" in the United States or "housing estates" in Great Britain, the relationship between the inhabitants of the cités and the police is often adversarial. For example, in a form of protest that has become a sort of annual tradition, 940 cars were set on fire this past New Year's Eve, primarily in the vicinity of the cités. Most French people would consider that police authority is, at best, tenuous in the cités and the police exercise extreme caution performing their duties there. As police would in the US in housing projects, or, these days, in Ferguson, Missouri.
There's actually an entire Snopes article on the idea of "no-go zones." The short version is, they don't exist. The longer version is, you have to be a complete and total moron to believe anything so completely ludicrous. An even longer version can be found in the Snopes article, but there's really nothing more that needs to be said.
There is a thing we call reality. Then, there is this other thing, where antisemitic Holocaust deniers carrying severed pig heads on stakes and signs with anti-Islamic messages like "Islam is religion of blood & murder" and "Turn or Burn" are innocent bystanders being attacked in no-go zones where Muslim invaders have enshrined Sharia law as the new governing doctrine.
I don't know what to call that thing. I don't have the words to describe how... I literally don't have the words. I'm honestly surprised I managed to write this much because I keep finding myself reduced to a stammering mass by how... just, ridiculous this all is.
As a closing thought, I want to emphasize that none of this should be taken as indicating all skeptics hold such insane views. It's just one prominent skeptic blogger. I'm sure he will be widely mocked and ridiculed because nobody would ever support or defend such insane claims. Surely no skeptic will speak in his defense.