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Old 27th September 2007, 06:32 AM   #41
Lothian
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Originally Posted by tkingdoll View Post
Lothian, the police take action as soon as the posters are reported. I have reported them myself several times. They get taken down, and then more are put up in their place. Of course, I can only report the ones written in English.

Murderous = desire to murder, a la the posters. The exact quote is "the final hour will not come until the Muslims kill all the jews". This is an incitement to murder. If that can't be described as 'murderous' I don't know what can.
Threats and deeds are different. To me murderous suggests that the people concerned have an intention to commit murder not that they would like someone else to do it.

Quote:
How can you make an arrest if you don't know who put up the posters? I'm not sure what your point is.

Why would there be billboards imploring Muslims not to commit suicide bombings if there isn't a problem? Of COURSE the police are investigating. Muslim bookshops gets raided, etc etc. I believe there are entire departments dedicated to such things.
My point is that it is not typical and should not be tolerated.

Quote:
When was the last time you went through an area that is nearly 100% Muslim populated?
I was in Birmingham on Tuesday.
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Old 27th September 2007, 06:33 AM   #42
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The only places I won't read this book are a) around my in-laws and b) at work. My in-laws are aware of my religious views, but we get along great and don't really bring up the religion issue. At work, I know there are some Christians, some more into it than others. It's really basically the name of the book, and the fact that it's plastered in big letters on it. I just don't feel like having someone I get along with feeling like they're "under attack".
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Old 27th September 2007, 06:36 AM   #43
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You just said you live in Birmingham. Now you're saying you were there on Tuesday??!

When was the last time you went to Sparkhill? Alum Rock? Small Heath?

I'm not saying it's typical. In fact in two posts I went out of my way to say how UNtypical it is, how MOST Muslims are not like that, and how MOST of Birmingham is not like that. However, the point remains that if you read TGD in public in certain areas, you would run a very high risk.
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Old 27th September 2007, 06:37 AM   #44
Lothian
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Originally Posted by tkingdoll View Post
I suggest we meet up and I will take you on a little tour. Don't forget your copy of The God Delusion if you are so confident.
If only you had offered earlier. I had time to kill. (no pun intended)
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Old 27th September 2007, 06:39 AM   #45
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Originally Posted by tkingdoll View Post
You just said you live in Birmingham. Now you're saying you were there on Tuesday??!

...snip...
Lothian said he lived in the UK, not that he lived in Birmingham. (Fran had said "I didn't know things were quite this bad in parts of the UK.", Lothian responded with "I didn’t either and I live here.")
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Old 27th September 2007, 06:39 AM   #46
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Just musing. Who would a religious fundamentalist hate more? A person who strongly believes in a religion different to their own, or an atheist who rejects all religions equally?
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Old 27th September 2007, 06:41 AM   #47
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
Lothian said he lived in the UK, not that he lived in Birmingham. (Fran had said "I didn't know things were quite this bad in parts of the UK.", Lothian responded with "I didn’t either and I live here.")
Ah yes, so he did. Thanks. Sorry Lothian, carry on!

Yes, it's my experience that most people in the UK aren't aware of the growing fanatacism, or they dismiss it as media hype. Of course, who wants to think about it? Most people don't ever go through Muslim areas so they don't need to see or think about it.
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Old 27th September 2007, 06:43 AM   #48
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I used to work in Bradford, and it wouldn't have occurred to me not to read a book like The God Delusion on the bus on the way to work.
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Old 27th September 2007, 06:43 AM   #49
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Originally Posted by Professor Yaffle View Post
Just musing. Who would a religious fundamentalist hate more? A person who strongly believes in a religion different to their own, or an atheist who rejects all religions equally?
It is my understanding that the extremist Imams preach that unbelievers are worse than believers in other religions.
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Old 27th September 2007, 06:44 AM   #50
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Originally Posted by tkingdoll View Post
It is my understanding that the extremist Imams preach that unbelievers are worse than believers in other religions.
Really? That's interesting.
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Old 27th September 2007, 06:46 AM   #51
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Originally Posted by tkingdoll View Post
You just said you live in Birmingham. Now you're saying you were there on Tuesday??!
No Fran said "I didn't know things were quite this bad in parts of the UK" I said I live here as in the UK.

Quote:
When was the last time you went to Sparkhill? Alum Rock? Small Heath?
I was in a great Indian cafe somewhere near Moseley earlier this year. I don't know Brum that well to know where the areas you mentioned are.
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Old 27th September 2007, 06:47 AM   #52
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Originally Posted by Professor Yaffle View Post
I used to work in Bradford, and it wouldn't have occurred to me not to read a book like The God Delusion on the bus on the way to work.
Erm...does it not entirely depend on which areas your bus route passes through? All of Bradford is not equal to one square mile of Birmingham.

As I have said several times, this would not be a problem for MOST of Birmingham. But my bus route into the city, the 2 or 12, just happens to pass through a problematic area in which I would not risk being seen reading TGD.

I'm sure there are areas of Harlem in which one would not be seen doing certain things.
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Old 27th September 2007, 06:50 AM   #53
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I support the right to read anything, anywhere. I also understand why some (if not most) people might try to avoid any appearance of criticizing religion in certain places. Depending on where you live it is easy to forget that there are place in the "civilized world" where people will not respect your rights. This happened to me.

I have lived in Las Vegas for so long (where just about anything is tolerated), it is easy to forget the intolerance in the bible belt. On a visit to Texas I learned that wearing a "Bad Religion" tee-shirt is a good way to start a fight.

Sometimes people just want to be left alone, and we can't blame them for not being an activist 100% of the time.

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Old 27th September 2007, 06:52 AM   #54
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Must type faster........
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Old 27th September 2007, 06:52 AM   #55
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No problem reading any book in public. I value my reading too much to let that affect me!!
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Old 27th September 2007, 06:55 AM   #56
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I hate to admit this, but if I saw someone reading a Sylvia Browne or Deepak Chopra book, my first reaction would be to think less of them. Yes, they could be skeptics catching up on the “other side,” or otherwise inwardly cringing at what they read, but a knee-jerk reaction is a knee-jerk reaction.

OTOH, I wouldn’t consciously make faces at them, much less confront them in any way. Still, if they wanted my esteem, they’d have to work their way out of a hole.
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Old 27th September 2007, 06:55 AM   #57
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Originally Posted by tkingdoll View Post
It is my understanding that the extremist Imams preach that unbelievers are worse than believers in other religions.
Could be getting my books mixed up but I think Francis Wheen in Mumbo Jumbo talked about this from the American right point of view saying similar. Bush et all have more time for the fundamentalist Muslims, than the atheists like Saddam.
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Old 27th September 2007, 07:10 AM   #58
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Originally Posted by Ryan O'Dine View Post
I hate to admit this, but if I saw someone reading a Sylvia Browne or Deepak Chopra book, my first reaction would be to think less of them. Yes, they could be skeptics catching up on the “other side,” or otherwise inwardly cringing at what they read, but a knee-jerk reaction is a knee-jerk reaction.
I wouldn't automatically assume they believe it, but I would be annoyed at them for putting more money in these charlatan's pockets.
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Old 27th September 2007, 07:10 AM   #59
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Originally Posted by Ryan O'Dine View Post
Yes, they could be skeptics catching up on the “other side,”
Whenever I read up on what the nuts are up to now... I hide with the book to avoid the possible scorn of other skeptics misunderstanding what I am doing

Sure, we can inwardly think what we want of what we see people read, if we notice at all, it's our right. But as you say, the difference between you and a fundie type of person is that you wouldn't confront people with it.
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Old 27th September 2007, 07:20 AM   #60
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Originally Posted by tkingdoll View Post
I think most Muslims are moderate and nice people. But the murderous fundies happen to live in the one particular area my bus passes through. If your plane had posters up encouraging Muslims to kill non-Muslims, would you have read the book?
Absolutely not. I'm from the UK - can you say what area that is? What, exactly, do you mean by 'posters'?
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Old 27th September 2007, 07:21 AM   #61
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Originally Posted by tsg View Post
I wouldn't automatically assume they believe it, but I would be annoyed at them for putting more money in these charlatan's pockets.
Personally I would never pay full price for books that I know are "written" by people like these, who spew their nonsense for the sole reason of conning people of money. Luckily, if one wants to see what they argue anyway, one can download a copy or buy a used copy, and so on.

I guess many people do buy the shiny new copies though
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Old 27th September 2007, 07:29 AM   #62
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Originally Posted by Professor Yaffle View Post
I used to work in Bradford, and it wouldn't have occurred to me not to read a book like The God Delusion on the bus on the way to work.
Not even to avoid spoiling it by spilling your vindaloo on it?!
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Old 27th September 2007, 07:33 AM   #63
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Originally Posted by fuelair View Post
No problem reading any book in public. I value my reading too much to let that affect me!!
So you value it more than your health, or life? Methinks you've not really experienced the type of environment that tkingdoll refers to. Talk is cheap, eh!
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Old 27th September 2007, 07:45 AM   #64
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Fortunately, the worst thing I have to deal with are conversations like this:

Coworker: "I can't believe you would read that. He's wrong."

Me: "Oh, you've read this already?"

Coworker: "I don't need to read it because I know he's wrong."
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Old 27th September 2007, 07:51 AM   #65
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Originally Posted by tkingdoll View Post
Erm...does it not entirely depend on which areas your bus route passes through? All of Bradford is not equal to one square mile of Birmingham.

As I have said several times, this would not be a problem for MOST of Birmingham. But my bus route into the city, the 2 or 12, just happens to pass through a problematic area in which I would not risk being seen reading TGD.

I'm sure there are areas of Harlem in which one would not be seen doing certain things.
Just to be clear, I wasn't casting doubt on whether your perceptions of parts of Birmingham were accurate or not. I was just offering a different perception from another area which has a large Asian and Muslim population.

I travelled through Manningham every day, and travelled to pretty much every area of Bradford (also by public transport) to conduct interviews based at most of the GP surgeries and some of the schools in Bradford.
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Old 27th September 2007, 08:06 AM   #66
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Originally Posted by tsg View Post
I wouldn't automatically assume they believe it, but I would be annoyed at them for putting more money in these charlatan's pockets.
They might've borrowed it from a library (though a classmark should be visible) or even a woo-inclined friend or relative. I sure as hell never buy woo literature unless I absolutely can't get it otherwise. By and large, if you see someone reading such things, they will be woos, just as you typically won't have to worry about reading atheistic books in most parts of the UK. tkingdoll's experience is worrying, but not representative.

Speaking of which, I'd be interested in examples of people being assaulted for reading such books, from her or anybody else. I can't help but wonder whether this is just a fear of intolerant behaviour based on the intimidating posters she mentions and general atmosphere of racial tension. Does the one really follow from the other?
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Old 27th September 2007, 08:35 AM   #67
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Back in the early 1980's I worked as a Guard on the tube and was often suprised to spot men (usually suits) reading porn mags concealed inside the daily paper. If there may be a problem openly reading TGD perhaps this approach could work.

Or perhaps concealing TGD inside a porn mag would deflect attention...
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Old 27th September 2007, 08:40 AM   #68
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Originally Posted by JonWhite View Post
Back in the early 1980's I worked as a Guard on the tube and was often suprised to spot men (usually suits) reading porn mags concealed inside the daily paper. If there may be a problem openly reading TGD perhaps this approach could work.

Or perhaps concealing TGD inside a porn mag would deflect attention...
Are you sure it wasn't people trying to use a porn mag to conceal a copy of the Daily Mail?
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Old 27th September 2007, 08:52 AM   #69
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I can't read anything in public. There's that uneasy feeling of being off guard
that has stayed with me even after leaving the sort of life where that was an
issue. I do all my reading at home.

I think that if I was of a more exhibitionist bent, however, then purely
for the sake of peace I'd try to at least be aware of how the material might
be perceived by others in the immediate vicinity, before cracking open the
text for the day. For me (and, of course, YMMV) that's partly common
courtesy (only an oaf wilfully offends people just for the sake of their ego,
and offending someone is rarely a good way to make friends) and partly the
fact that some things just really aren't worth getting into a stupid argument
over (least of all Dicky Dawkins' lugubrious effusion).
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Old 27th September 2007, 09:03 AM   #70
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Originally Posted by RenaissanceBiker View Post
I live in South Carolina and I have a Darwin fish on my truck. I haven't had any problems, but then I also have a Harley Davidson sticker in the rear window and my hunt club window sticker has a deer in a crosshair.

My Darwin fish was stolen.

I don't really think they planned to put it on their car either.
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Old 27th September 2007, 09:05 AM   #71
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Originally Posted by TX50 View Post
For me (and, of course, YMMV) that's partly common
courtesy (only an oaf wilfully offends people just for the sake of their ego,
and offending someone is rarely a good way to make friends).
Good in theory.

I can see how taking TGD into a Church could be considered offensive.
What about an eruv ? Should a passenger on a bus put it away as the bus goes through an eruv ? What about as Tkingdoll says, taking it into a non sacred area with a large proportion of Muslims or Christians ?

How about reading it on the tube ?

The Koran and Bible each call for violence against non believers. Should I be offended that people read them in my company ? Where does courtesy limit their reading ?
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Old 27th September 2007, 09:06 AM   #72
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Originally Posted by TX50 View Post
I think that if I was of a more exhibitionist bent, however, then purely
for the sake of peace I'd try to at least be aware of how the material might
be perceived by others in the immediate vicinity, before cracking open the
text for the day. For me (and, of course, YMMV) that's partly common
courtesy (only an oaf wilfully offends people just for the sake of their ego,
and offending someone is rarely a good way to make friends) and partly the
fact that some things just really aren't worth getting into a stupid argument
over (least of all Dicky Dawkins' lugubrious effusion).
I'll take this on board when those of a religious persuasion adopt the same approach. While there are still posters outside churches telling me that some punter I have never met got himself killed on account of my sins, then I am not going to be too upset if my choice of reading matter offends people who think this an entirely reasonable thing to do.
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Old 27th September 2007, 09:14 AM   #73
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Originally Posted by TX50 View Post
I can't read anything in public. There's that uneasy feeling of being off guard
that has stayed with me even after leaving the sort of life where that was an
issue. I do all my reading at home.

I think that if I was of a more exhibitionist bent, however, then purely
for the sake of peace I'd try to at least be aware of how the material might
be perceived by others in the immediate vicinity, before cracking open the
text for the day. For me (and, of course, YMMV) that's partly common
courtesy (only an oaf wilfully offends people just for the sake of their ego,
and offending someone is rarely a good way to make friends) and partly the
fact that some things just really aren't worth getting into a stupid argument
over (least of all Dicky Dawkins' lugubrious effusion).
Well, as I said earlier, I wouldn't bring a porn mag into church. If I choose to go into a church I have accepted that there are certain rules there, if I don't want to follow them, I don't go in there. But if I sit on a park bench reading TGD, what do I care if an over-sensitive priest happens to walk by and see it? I would not be sitting there to make friends for that matter. I would be sitting there to get some fresh air while I minded my own business.

I agree that there are sometimes situations where people might bring certain reading material to certain places just to be provocative, and that might be rather childish in some situations, rude in others and down right stupid in yet others. But in a "normal" civilized country where church and state is separated and there is freedom of speech and religion, one should be able to be in a public place reading... whatever. It's not like I would go into someone's home to read something I know would offend them.

It can be a complicated issue, though, I agree, but in most public places I don't see why it has to be.
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Last edited by -Fran-; 27th September 2007 at 09:19 AM.
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Old 27th September 2007, 09:29 AM   #74
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Originally Posted by Southwind17 View Post
Absolutely not. I'm from the UK - can you say what area that is? What, exactly, do you mean by 'posters'?
The 'kill jews' posters are usually A4, white or yellow (eta I have seen pink ones actually) with black or red text. There are often sticker versions though, presumably because it's much easier to slap a 6cm sticker onto a bus stop or window as you pass. Bill posting runs the risk of getting caught red handed.

I've seen them in Small Heath, Sparkhill, Sparkbrook and Highgate, all inner city areas of Birmingham.

I just went out to pick up something and on my way took a photo of the billboard poster I referred to earlier. It's part of a campaign by a moderate Muslim group to discourage suicide bombings. Of course, this is only necessary because extremism exists, whether people want to admit it or not.



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Speaking of which, I'd be interested in examples of people being assaulted for reading such books, from her or anybody else. I can't help but wonder whether this is just a fear of intolerant behaviour based on the intimidating posters she mentions and general atmosphere of racial tension. Does the one really follow from the other?
Big Les, that's an excellent point. I don't know of any examples of someone being assaulted for reading an atheistic book on a bus, I was merely responding to the OP question by stating that that is not a risk I would take. However, I have myself been subject to physical and verbal attacks because I 'look' Jewish (and am, in fact, Jewish), including a knife attack. I have also had a Muslim taxi driver tell me that if he "got the call" he would "strap on the bomb and walk into the nearest synagogue". That, combined with the hate posters you see on the bus route, tells me that it's not a risk worth taking.
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Old 27th September 2007, 12:40 PM   #75
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Originally Posted by tkingdoll View Post
You can sit in your ivory tower and judge all you like, but until someone pulls a knife on you because they believe their god has told them to kill all non-believers, you aren't really in a position to condemn anyone else.

How many people on this forum are reluctant to read certain books in public because they fear for their lives?

There are many countries in the world where reading what you wish could get you beaten, jailed, or killed. I have no problem with people in those situations being cautious, though I also have great respect for those who choose not to be cautious.

I believe that, unless we vigorously exercise our freedoms, they will wither away. This is happening in the U.S. and in several other countries in the world.

I came out of the closet as a gay man over several years. I wish I'd done so earlier. I think my life would have been more honest, less fearful, and better.

About three years ago, I became quite angry and what Bush and his ilk were doing and put a fabric rainbow flag on my car. It flaps so much at highway speeds that I need to replace it every few months. It is beautiful.

I've gotten a wide range of reactions, including some threats. My partner and I drove the car with the flag on when we travelled to New Orleans just before Katrina. Frankly, I've gotten more angry reactions/mile in Minnesota than I did in the south.

I've been told by my sister that she will not tolerate that flag being on my car when I visit her house. This is the same sister who ordered my partner out of her house when she realized who he was and wouldn't allow her children to meet him again. I will not be seeing her again.

I don't know what ivory tower you think I live in, but I made some necessary decisions years ago and I plan to stick with them.
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Old 27th September 2007, 12:54 PM   #76
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Good for you complexity. You should re-read everything I wrote though, because I have on several occasions specifically stated that I would only be reluctant to read TGD in public on one specific bus route. Anywhere else is absolutely fine. A plane, a train, a coffee shop, anywhere, as long as it's not in that particular geographic region. I never said I would not read it in public. I said I would not read it on the bus in certain areas of Birmingham. And maybe Iraq.

If I read TGD on the bus in certain areas of Birmingham, I would risk getting followed and stabbed. The religious fundamentalism runs so high in those areas, there are billboards (as pictured above) imploring people not to be radicalised. This is a very real threat.

It's only idiocy or ignorance, not principles, that would move someone to read a book whose title calls believers DELUDED in an area with a current problem with religious fanatacism. How is it even worth the trouble? What amazing point would you be making by risking your own wellbeing just to cram in another 3 pages of reading?
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Old 27th September 2007, 01:45 PM   #77
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Originally Posted by tkingdoll
It's only idiocy or ignorance, not principles, that would move someone to read a book whose title calls believers DELUDED in an area with a current problem with religious fanatacism. How is it even worth the trouble? What amazing point would you be making by risking your own wellbeing just to cram in another 3 pages of reading?
Originally Posted by Complexity
There are many countries in the world where reading what you wish could get you beaten, jailed, or killed. I have no problem with people in those situations being cautious, though I also have great respect for those who choose not to be cautious.

I believe that, unless we vigorously exercise our freedoms, they will wither away. This is happening in the U.S. and in several other countries in the world.
This is a complicated question. I don't know exactly what to think. I can sort of see both tkingdoll's and Complexity's reasoning here.

On one hand I agree that it is stupid to voluntarily stick your head in the noose just to get to read a book, when you so easily can read it somewhere else without any risk at all.

On the other hand I agree with Complexity that we, as mankind, need people who will do just such things, because it might be that you can't read a book in one certain place today - but if you don't put your foot down somewhere, tomorrow you can't read it anywhere at all. (I know it's more complicated than that, but you know what I mean?)

Though I won't say I would be such a person, I am probably too much of a coward to insist on some principles in the face of danger, when it wouldn't seem worth the risk for me personally. I can certainly understand why all people can't be behind all of their principles all the time, no matter the situation. It's everybody's own choice in any case. One that I hope they will take with other people around them in mind. I can imagine it is different if it's only yourself you are risking, or if you have kids for example, or other people around you who might suffer from your fight for your principles, and who has not made this choice.

But I definitely see where Complexity comes from with this. I don't think he is wrong in principle, just that reality sometimes makes things more complicated than that.

Originally Posted by Complexity
I've been told by my sister that she will not tolerate that flag being on my car when I visit her house. This is the same sister who ordered my partner out of her house when she realized who he was and wouldn't allow her children to meet him again. I will not be seeing her again.
I'm sorry to hear that. I can't understand how someone can treat someone of their own family so badly. I am sure her kids will suffer more from being brought up with such prejudices around them, then what they would ever do just from knowing you and your partner. Her loss!!!
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Old 27th September 2007, 01:51 PM   #78
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Originally Posted by PAC View Post
Why is it that the religious among us are not concerned about reading the Bible or other religious texts in public? What does this say about the impact of religion on our siociety?
FWIW, when I was a practicing Presbyterian, I was pretty anxious about reading the Bible in public. It's sort of embarrasing to reveal (what I consider to be) private facts about myself in public forums, like the fact that I was am Christian. I'll also admit that I avoided reading the newest Harry Potter book in public, for fear of revealing that I'm the sort of person who reads Harry Potter.
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Old 27th September 2007, 03:18 PM   #79
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Originally Posted by -Fran- View Post

But I definitely see where Complexity comes from with this. I don't think he is wrong in principle, just that reality sometimes makes things more complicated than that.
I absolutely agree, and in principle we should all be able to assert our freedom to read anything we like in any area of the country we choose. But the reality is far from the ideal and I can't understand what amazing strides I'd be making for mankind by getting myself into hot water. "Yeah, that showed 'em! I called 'em deluded on their own doorstep" - that proves nothing to nobody.

I mean, in principle I should be able to walk through the city centre at night by myself, right? But who would recommend doing that, just to prove a point?

In the real world, some things are dangerous and if they are both unnecessary and avoidable then why do them? I don't need to read The God Delusion in an area where there are billboards asking Muslims to pretty please not commit terrorism. You could argue that that's exactly where the book needs to be seen, but I'm one small woman unable to defend herself and frankly I'm not the one to stand up and say "your religion is crazy" in the middle of Sparkhill. I have no deathwish and it would achieve nothing anyway.
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Old 27th September 2007, 03:25 PM   #80
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Originally Posted by tsg View Post
I wouldn't automatically assume they believe it, but I would be annoyed at them for putting more money in these charlatan's pockets.
l'd check first to see if it had a Goodwill or Salvation Army or library sticker on it. If so, less problem.

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