Bill Maher Essay Alan Watts Essays Online

BILL MAHER’s recent rant against Islam has set off a fierce debate about the problem of religious violence, particularly when it comes to Islam. Maher, who has argued that Islam is unlike other religions (he thinks it’s more “like the Mafia”), recently took umbrage with President Obama’s assertion that the terrorist group known as the Islamic State, or ISIS, does not represent Islam. Maher’s view, Islam has “too much in common with ISIS.”His comments have led to a flurry of responses, perhaps none so passionate as that of the actor Ben Affleck, who lambasted Mr. Maher’s own HBO show, for “gross” and “racist” generalizations about Muslims.

Yet there is a real lack of sophistication on both sides of the argument when it comes to discussing religion and violence.

The differences between Tibetan Buddhists living in exile in India and militant Buddhist monks persecuting the Muslim minority known as the Rohingya, in neighboring Myanmar, has everything to do with the political cultures of those countries and almost nothing to do with Buddhism itself. On the contrary, every faith is rooted in the soil in which it is planted.

It is a fallacy to believe that people of faith derive their values primarily from their Scriptures. People of faith insert their values into their Scriptures, reading them through the lens of their own cultural, ethnic, nationalistic and even political perspectives.

Everything about him was f-Maher is no stranger to being at the center of a controversy, with one of the first times he faced massive backlash stemming from comments he made about the terrorist attacks on 9/11. "Now, I have nothing against comic books — I read them now and then when I was a kid and I was all out of Hardy Boys.

How a worshiper treats these conflicting commandments depends on the believer.

If you are a violent misogynist, you will find plenty in your scriptures to justify your beliefs.

What a member of a suburban megachurch in Texas calls Christianity may be radically different from what an impoverished coffee picker in the hills of Guatemala calls Christianity.

The cultural practices of a Saudi Muslim, when it comes to the role of women in society, are largely irrelevant to a Muslim in a more secular society like Turkey or Indonesia.

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