Podcast #179 – Manchester TN Gets Ugly

After a local politician in Manchester, Tennessee posted an anti-Muslim image online, the American Muslim Advisory Council organized a public event aimed at encouraging discussion of religion diversity and informing citizens about the difference between free speech and hate crimes. The locals were less than receptive, booing, heckling and shouting down the speakers.

A high school valedictorian in Pickens County, South Carolina ripped up his pre-approved speech and instead recited the Lord’s Prayer–all in protest of school policy prohibiting sectarian prayers at school events.

The House of Representatives are appalled at the idea of allowing Humanists, Ethical Culturalists, and members of similar nonreligious groups to be chaplains in the US military. Never mind that there are plenty of soldiers who share those views and who deserve counseling from someone who shares their worldview.

There’s a slow trickle of churches dissociating themselves from the Boy Scouts in response to their recent policy change, which allows gay scouts but not gay scout leaders. It remains to be seen if this trickle will become a torrent.

Finally, we discuss The Revisionaries, a new documentary that looks at the recent (largely successful) attempt at religious conservatives to skew the Texas public school toward their worldview. The documentary is available on SundanceNow, Netflix, and elsewhere. For more visit TheRevisionariesMovie.com.

Plus: John recommends the late Muhammad Asad’s memoir The Road to Mecca, as well as the recent documentary about him. Asad was born in 1900 as Leopold Weiss, a secular Jew from the Austro-Hungarian Empire, who converted to Islam in his 20s, hobnobbed with all the movers and shakers in the Middle East, wrote a translation with commentary of the Quran that’s still in print, and went on to be one of the architects of Pakistan’s constitution and that country’s delegate to the United Nations.

To listen to this episode click here.

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One Response to Podcast #179 – Manchester TN Gets Ugly

  1. Lydia says:

    Just started listening to your podcast. I’m enjoying it….. but….. I have one criticism. On your last podcast, you referred to Victoria Jackson as a “harpy”. This term is a slur for women who do not meet society’s expectations for behavior/looks. In other words, this is a gendered slur, and using it is not cool. If you have a criticism of a person’s reasoning or behavior, then address your disagreement to that reasoning or behavior. I wish it went without saying that a person’s looks has nothing to do with the validity or strength of her or his argument. Unfortunately, your commentary on your past personal attraction to her gave the impression that your current criticism of her was somehow wrapped together with your assessment of her current state of attractiveness. (I hope that you did not intend to make her looks part of your criticism, but please own up to the fact that this is what you did.) To attack with a gendered slur is lazy. It feels misogynistic, it’s divisive, and it does not add anything to the conversation. It’s not an argument, it’s just a personal insult. It puts other women on warning in the same way that a racial slur puts those of another race on warning. The warning is that you don’t fight fair – idea to idea- but that you will hit below the belt with personal insults. From what I have heard of the rest of your podcasts, I really don’t think that this is your intention at all. In fact I hope that this was just a bit of sloppy thinking (pretty common in our society) that you will now be careful not to do. But I would ask that you be clear in your position of fair treatment.
    Thanks for reading, and considering my point of view. I hope you will agree with me, and commit to not using gendered slurs in the future. I would appreciate a response either way, to clarify your point of view for me and your other listeners.

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