A frequent topic of mine here is the ramblings of right-wing blogger Avi Green. In a post this past Monday, Green goes on the attack labeling me an “apologist, would-be politician” and a “leftist moonbat.” This due to my criticisms of Green’s writing which you can read here, here, here, here, here, here and here.
Seeing as he’s a political blogger, it’s only fitting for this site to cover his posts and of course correct him where he’s either factually incorrect, outright delusional or just hypocritical. He accuses me of becoming “nasty and arrogant” in my writing. Arrogance is an absolute trait of mine, but “nasty” doesn’t quite portray the snark correctly. In his normal hyperbolic writing, this is on the level of Daily KOS vs. Pamela Geller, though I’m “less significant” in Green’s mind. In the end I wonder if I’m so “insignificant” why does Green care what I have to say?
As usual, I must play the level headed one, using fact and reasoning to carefully pick apart his rather lengthy attempt to put me in my place. So, lets began, shall we?
I’ll overlook the comment about this blog being “boring” (we can’t all have babes of the month now can we Ari?), and just get to Green’s first point, which is my coverage of the right’s issues with Peter David’s recent story in X-Factor concerning a character being Muslim. I remind Green it’s just a story, in his assertion that Muslims would dislike mutants (seriously, we’re grown adults arguing this?). He attempts to deflect my argument by changing the subject, a favorite tactic of his:
Taking things quite literally, I see. Just a sign that he really doesn’t want to argue. But all he’s doing is falling back on a classic argument at the same time: it’s all “just stories”. But with ludicrous real life issues thrown in. Sci-fi may be make-believe, but the damage done by al Qaeda is not.
Of course I take the writing “literally” as it’s the basis of Green’s argument. By saying Muslims would find “any mutant who didn’t practice Islam” as inferior, he himself takes the situation out of the fantasy world and bases it in reality. The tool of allegory to teach a lesson or issue through story is lost by doing so.
Again the “Muslim as a terrorist” portrait constantly portrayed on his website is evoked. I’ll use logic and bring us back to reality. There are Muslims who are terrorists, just like there are Jews, Catholics, Christians, people of all backgrounds who are. To paint an entire religion or belief system as evil, due to the actions of a few is narrow minded and to not not do so for all is hypocritical.
Mr. Green then admits the phrase of “moderate Muslims but not moderate Islam” is a phrase someone else has used. Does this matter? If anything it shows the lack of citation that peppers Green’s posts. It doesn’t matter who said it originally, just that he’s using it. Are all Irish Catholics bad because of the IRA? I can understand the idea of just a subset of people are “evil” is a difficult topic and it’s hard to not paint everyone who shares traits with that subset as “evil” too. But by not doing so Green is a hypocrite. But don’t worry, others have issues with this as well, it’s a tough line to walk one Congressman Peter King has trouble with.
Green then focuses on women’s roles through religious doctrine:
In Judeo-Christianity, it is considered abominable to molest a woman. However, if young Mr. Schenker were to consider what the Koran’s Sura 2:223 tells:
“Your women are your fields, so go into your fields whichever way you like”
And also what Meredith Jessup relates happened to her in Egypt, maybe he’d be able to understand that Islam completely condones molesting women, and burka/chador or not, even then a woman isn’t safe in many Islamic countries. Unfortunately, we can’t expect someone who worked for a loon like Kerry to be rash.
Yeah, I’m the mean spirited while jabs like “loon” are thrown around. But, lets actually dive into this, because in recent news we even see how other religions treat women as second class citizens. It was yesterday that a Hasidic newspaper had to post a statement as to why two women were Photoshopped out of a photo of President Obama and his staff watching the raid on Osama bin Laden. But it’s this statement I find the most interesting:
In Judeo-Christianity, it is considered abominable to molest a woman
That’s Judeo-Christianity with Western morals added in, not what the Bible or Torah actually says. As Green enjoys quoting scripture, I’ll do my best to back my facts up with examples as well.
Deuteronomy says rape is ok, as long as you pay the father. From Deuteronomy 22:28-29 NLT:
If a man is caught in the act of raping a young woman who is not engaged, he must pay fifty pieces of silver to her father. Then he must marry the young woman because he violated her, and he will never be allowed to divorce her.
On slavery, pillaging and rape, Deuteronomy 20:10-14:
As you approach a town to attack it, first offer its people terms for peace. If they accept your terms and open the gates to you, then all the people inside will serve you in forced labor. But if they refuse to make peace and prepare to fight, you must attack the town. When the LORD your God hands it over to you, kill every man in the town. But you may keep for yourselves all the women, children, livestock, and other plunder. You may enjoy the spoils of your enemies that the LORD your God has given you.
That it’s ok the murder a rape victim, from Deuteronomy 22:23-24 NAB:
If within the city a man comes upon a maiden who is betrothed, and has relations with her, you shall bring them both out of the gate of the city and there stone them to death: the girl because she did not cry out for help though she was in the city, and the man because he violated his neighbors wife.
Deuteronomy seems to have a lot on the subject. From Deuteronomy 21:10-14 NAB:
When you go out to war against your enemies and the LORD, your God, delivers them into your hand, so that you take captives, if you see a comely woman among the captives and become so enamored of her that you wish to have her as wife, you may take her home to your house. But before she may live there, she must shave her head and pare her nails and lay aside her captive’s garb. After she has mourned her father and mother for a full month, you may have relations with her, and you shall be her husband and she shall be your wife. However, if later on you lose your liking for her, you shall give her her freedom, if she wishes it; but you shall not sell her or enslave her, since she was married to you under compulsion.
I guess in Judeo-Christianity molestation is bad, but rape is quite ok in God’s eyes (as well as genocide, murder, pillaging and slavery). Once again I punt it back to Green. If you condemn one religion for it’s “acceptance” of rape, I sure hope you’d condemn Judaism and Christianity and all others who do so as well. As I’ve shown above, they seem to have no problems with it.
And interesting how he considers a picture of a pretty model more concerning than an act of violence against a woman. Does this mean that if we put up a whole gallery of pictures of Sports Illustrated models we’ve literally committed a crime? Only to someone as begrudging as he is, apparently.
I have no issues with pictures of women, I’ve looked at a few, but it’s hard to take serious a website that decries the molestation and rape of women, when itself objectifies them.
Green fixates on Mohammed’s marriage of a 6 year old girl of which Mohammed had relations when she was the age of 9. I don’t disagree with this as fact, nor do I think it’s ok by today’s standards.
Notice how he doesn’t clearly condemn Muhammed or acknowlege his own actions, like he wants to avoid an actual condemnation of Islam’s “prophet” or recognize that Muhammed’s beliefs are what Islam itself was built upon, and from what I can tell, seems to consider Christianity more of a problem.
In my original retort, I again brought up the double standard that this behavior isn’t isolated to Islam and that Catholic Priests abused young men and women. I pointed out this is is a hypocritical stance (notice a pattern?). Green ignores this fact, instead attempting to refocus the attention that I somehow think “Christianity” is more of a problem. If you read that post I point out Green’s hypocrisy, not overlooking what Mohammed did, just pointing out fact (there’s that crazy word again) that there are more men of religion who have committed these acts. I’m waiting for Green to condemn those acts as I have condemned all of them, no matter the religion. I don’t pick and choose what disgusts me based on what God one prays to, instead I condemn the act(s) and who committed them.
When it comes to Mohammed and his marriage to Aishah, I thought this paper was an interesting read as to the history concerning it (good and bad) and the historical and cultural context of the time. Context and cultural norms for different time periods are difficult concepts I guess.
Green then shows his homophobic nature:
He seems oblivious to how, as this study tells, many of the priests who committed the rapes were gay, and apparently is more comfy to damn Christianity as a whole. On homosexuals, on the other hand, it appears he’s taken a PC route.
I’m guessing after the Muslims, the Gays would be next in Green’s world.
But Green admits to the wrongs committed by other Religions:
Of course Christianity’s followers of yore have done some very bad things. The Crusaders didn’t make a difference between Judaism and Islam, and even King David did something very wrong when he sent Bathsheba’s first husband into frontline combat where he’d be likely to get killed, all so he could marry her instead. But he doesn’t consider how following the Spanish Inquisition, Christianity did make an effort to reform, and by the end of the 19th century, most totalitarians were of a fairly secular nature, thanks to Karl Marx. I guess the French Calvinists and Protestants don’t get any credit for their efforts to make improvements, nor does Pope Benedict for his own effort to clear the Jews in Jesus’ death? That’s sad.
Going with that logic, does the good some Muslims have done to write the wrongs committed by others make that all good? I guess committing the act is ok, as long as you apologize for it after. So, it comes back to a question again, should all acts, no matter who they are perpetrated by, be condemned?
I also found humor in this:
But he doesn’t consider how following the Spanish Inquisition, Christianity did make an effort to reform, and by the end of the 19th century, most totalitarians were of a fairly secular nature, thanks to Karl Marx.
Karl Marx the commie/socialist is good for something I guess!
I challenged Green to do some good or put together a conservative political comic of his own. I even offered to promote and chip in some money to fund the comic. Instead of raging against Muslims, I suggested he use his traffic to raise funds for victims of 9/11 or fight to make sure first responders are cared for. I point out I see 0 posts on his website concerning the well being of first responders and Green challenges me to back it up. When I search for “charity” I found 0 posts raising money for the victims of 9/11. For the word “fundraising” it’s 0, for “money” it’s 0 and “first responders” has some posts where the words are mentioned with 0 actually calling for Congress to care for them. Again, I lay down the challenge to help the victims of tragedy, not just rage against an entire religion. One act does some good, the other achieves nothing.
Green might have missed the issue about making sure the funding is there to care for first responders, so here’s a video from the Daily Show, where someone with a platform and audience does some good. They eventually got the funding.
Green continues onto the subject of my criticism of his criticism about Sarah Glidden’s The Waiting Room.
Notice something funny about the links he used? They’re from Wikipedia! LOL. Just how does a site anyone can edit prove automatically what he wants to buy? Besides, my problem isn’t the free education, in and of itself, it’s whether it allows free ideas.
I can understand how Green would dislike a website where ideas are exchanged and facts are backed up with citations. One can look at the bottom of a Wikipedia article at all of those citations and realize it’s all just made up. A free forum where others can challenge your facts isn’t good enough for Green. I could of linked directly to the UNESCO fact sheet I cited, but why not link to an entire article that gives the good and bad? I guess I’ll just stick to quoting Fox like Green does, at least they’re “fair and balanced.”
And where would I get the idea that Green dislikes “free education?” How about Green’s own words:
…the political cartoon site says the colleges were free, which sounds vaguely similar to the notions some communists/marxists/socialists have of how to do things
But towards the end of the rambling Green gets interesting citing a purchase I made of Brad Meltzer’s Identity Crisis (you are what you read I guess?), another shot at my former boss John Kerry and a really strange attempt to connect himself Dave Medved (as if his family once knowing someone matters).
So what have we learned here? If anything, that Mr. Schenker is a sadly angry and vindictive man on his part, who detests the right no matter how much he may try to deny it. And that’s a shame, but I guess we can’t expect much better from someone who worked for John “you’ll end up in Iraq” Kerry. What a shame, if anything, that I can’t call him my lantzman.
I could go on and on and say “some of my best friends are Republicans or of the right persuasion” but that argument sounds silly. I absolutely don’t hate the right, in fact on some issues, I’m conservative. What I detest is hypocrisy, something Green shows off time and time again in his rants. Whether that hypocrisy is on the left or the right, it doesn’t matter, I’ll point it out and challenge it. I also am disgusted by blind hatred. Labeling an entire religion or an entire people for the acts of the few is close minded and has no place in civil society or civil debate. Again, whether that comes from the right or the left, it doesn’t matter. Condemn those who commit the act, condemn those who praise the acts, condemn the act itself. Don’t paint broad strokes due to the acts of so few and absolutely don’t pick and choose what to condemn just based on the God they choose to pray to.
In the end I realize no matter how much fact or logic I use in my writing, I will never change Mr. Green’s mind. Sometimes you need to let it go and just accept that a “hater’s gonna hate.”