I thought the general tenor of these exchanges was to validate a different and accepting view of others unless they proved themselves hateful and destructive. Saudi Arabia is the home of a particular extreme form of Islam: it is not all Islam. I understand the objection to that. But to shift the terms in this way is to fall into the same intolerance--Saudi Arabia is not itself a religion.

And please don't now equate me with some mindless and naive support of any kind of hatefulness or intolerance: I don't care what religion is used as cover--what matters is the behavior. There are many many kind and loving Muslims, just as there are kind and loving Catholics in countries filled with pedophile priests and kind and loving Presbyterians in countries with rigid forms of Calvinism. And all have their hate-filled people who pervert it.

The question for Western countries, I think, is not what anyone thinks of a god for themself, but whether they wish to impose it or use it for cruelty. That takes more complex analysis than equating a religion and a country. Hitler claimed to be a Christian; it doesn't mean he was or that Germany in the 1930s could be equated with Christianity.

And can anyone imagine Jesus burning Korans as the preacher in Florida planned?

>>> Chokh Raj 09/13/10 10:48 AM >>>
And they say it's a tolerant religion -- then who is intolerant, the religion or the people???


--- On Mon, 9/13/10, Mikemail wrote:

No diversity whatsoever - overt practise of any religion other than Islam is strictly forbidden. No churches, temples, chapels or any religious buildings other than countless mosques, many quite attractive, but not usually in an ancient way, as befits Saudi Arabia. 
Unfortunately, no Ampleforth outreach here, David.

----- Original Message ----- 

From: David Boyd 

To: [log in to unmask] 

Sent: Monday, September 13, 2010 10:28 AM

Subject: Re: On this day/For Carroll in particular

Jerome's remarks chime with me after my experiences this Saturday, when, as part of Whitehaven UK town (the only place in the UK to have been attacked in a guerilla / terrorist raid by the American Navy, but we'll forget that, Mr. Jones...) we were treated to a tour of a few of the town's churches.

In many UK towns now, doubtless mosques and temples might have been on the tour, but we covered a lot of the spectrum, from dour-ish Presbyterian/Nonconformists via Anglican 'Happy-Clappy' Low Church and Anglican High-ish Church to the visually stunning Roman Catholic Church, which is still operated by Benedictine Monks as a 'mission' from their very distant abbey.

The common denominator in all this denominational diversity was very obviously the sincere faith; goodwill and tolerance of all those who met us and proudly showed us their places of worship and explained a little of their faith and even let some of our number have a try at ringing some changes on all their bells.

For some TSE-content, suppose The Hippopotamus comes to mind - but what's the Biblical fragment - In my House there are many mansions.......etc.

It was an all the absolute antithesis of bunker-mentality and hatred and bigotry, which is why I mention it here.

(I can well understand Mike's discomfort in having to live in a far kess diverse and tolerant society.)