Sorry this is rather behind the times. Hope it is of some interest despite this.
quote:1. If Muslims had enough compassion for "infidels" to sacrifice all the man hours, money, equipment and goods to help another country unable to help themselves that we have done and continue to do for them, I'd say their religion would be worth listening to.
Forgive me, but that sounds awfully self-congratulatory. Would a suitably impressive demonstration of atheist charity make you consider becoming an atheist? What size would the sacrifice of cash/manhours have to be?
Buzsaw also said:
quote:2. Americans tolerate debate and freedom of religion, regardless of whether it is the majority religion of the nation.
I think fundamentalists of any religious creed have trouble with tolerance. To suffer someone to follow a religion that you as a fundamentalist do not is to condemn them to eternal torment, after all! When it comes to Islam in particular, I don't think its as cut and dried as you suggest. As you know, there was a small but significant Christian community in Iraq under Saddam Hussein. It has been there for centuries. Only very recently have their lives become more difficult. This is best explained as the result of the radicalisation of some Iraqi muslims, rather than some inherent intolerance in Islamic teaching.
Buzsaw said also:
quote:3. Likely it wouldn't happen, even if it meant millions of deaths. As with 9/11, Indonesian Muslim clerics and their flocks would likely have rather danced in the streets than to come to our rescue.
I don't think they were dancing because their religion is intolerant and cruel. I think the Palestinians we saw dancing on TV were doing so because they felt unfairly treated. Injustice, or even the perception of injustice can make people do pretty sick things (see also ETA, IRA, ETC..). Usually though, they will only do so when the injustice they percieve is sickening. Whether justified or not, Muslims feel a lot of injustice over Israel's treatment of Palestinians and America's percieved conivement.
Gosh, I just used the word percieved a lot.
quote:Look how meager the aid from oil rich Muslim nations was for their own brothers......and to think they'd care a snap about helping a contemptable infidel?
quote:The Tsunami leaves tremendous room for interpretation from the purly natural perspective as to why it happened and the spiritual perspective via Biblical reference. Was this part of God's judgement against man as some are saying?
Is there some room for a natural interpretation? If the answer is Yes, then this was not a judgement from God but merely another physical expression of a broken Earth. If the answer is no, then this thread would not exist. The event explainable by physics, the cause explainable by past events in the Garden.
Those are very good points.
While any natural diasaster involving the loss of life is tragic and tends to cause serious reflection, catastrophic disasters like the Indian Ocean earthquake of December 26, 2004 or the Great Lisbon Earthquake of November 1, 1755 plus its resulting tsunami do much more: They strip us--nations and individuals--bare. They show, demonstrate, reveal just how powerless and fragile we are (though we possess an astonishing amount of scientific knowledge and applications of that knowledge). It's almost instinctive to ask for God. Science takes fourth place, and religion, more precisely, God, takes first, second, and third. So one of the hard lessons we are being forced to at least pay close attention to is, humility. Correct me if I'm wrong or off base here.
Was the Indian Ocean disaster God's judgement or wrath? Was it Satan's power at work? Fast forward 250 years to the year 2255 and those questions will still be debated and struggled with. (Will the numerous articles published on this subject and the postings in this forum still exist?) When links to tsunami photo galleries were being exchanged and posted (circa early January 2005 and onward) one from a Bible website was posted that was quite interesting. Turns out it was the link to part 1 (January 3) of a series of photo essays collectively called "The Great Earthquake and Catastrophic Tsunami of 2004" (http://ChamorroBible.org/gpw/gpw-The-Great-Earthquake-and-Catastrophic-Tsunami-of-2004.htm). Although all the essays are interesting, the title to part 2 (January 4) really sticks with me: "God Still Remains In Control of the Earth". And in the final analysis (or as close as one can get to finality) that may be all we can say--in humility.
This message has been edited by NaturePower, 09 March 2005 12:38 AM