Here's the article in Danish First of all, I hope it's ok to post links to sites that aren't in English because this is a really good opinion piece. For context, there has been a lot of news about...
Here's the article in Danish
First of all, I hope it's ok to post links to sites that aren't in English because this is a really good opinion piece.
For context, there has been a lot of news about activists burning the Quran in Sweden and Denmark - Turkey has withheld Sweden's Nato bid because of it, and Russia has been accused of influencing events in order to attempt to destabilize western countries. So it's a whole thing.
I translated the article through DeepL and did some small edits and added occasional context in [brackets]:
Apostate Muslims - this is why we protest the Quran
It is an insult to apostate Muslims if the government gives in and criminalises the burning or desecrating of the Quran - we have fought to free ourselves from the Quran, now you want to protect the perpetrator.
I'm an apostate - ex-Muslim. It's hard to get there. Doing away with Islam can have completely incalculable consequences. And if the government gives in to the Islamic countries that want to restrict freedom of speech in Denmark with threats of violence and economic pressure, it will be much harder to break free from Islam and live a free life in the future.
Because it's not just about Quran burnings or Rasmus Paludan [very controversial far-right activist who has done Quran burnings in Denmark and Sweden many times]. It's about criticising Islam, which will not be tolerated. To signal this to the Islamic countries - that they should focus on legislation in their own countries - The Association of Apostates is therefore protesting on 22 August in front of the Turkish embassy in Copenhagen.
But it is just as much a signal to the Danish government.
The Association of Apostates is Denmark's first organisation for ex-Muslims, and we know how difficult it is to come to terms with Islam - because we have done it ourselves. But if criticism or mockery of Islam is criminalised as it is in Islamic countries, the apostasy process becomes even more difficult, because you also have the law against you.
A conformist who defends their abuser
Many Muslim apostates lead double lives: Outwardly, they live by Islamic rules. Some go to the mosque, pray and fast because it is expected and because they have to keep up appearances even though they have lost their faith. This is due to a fear of the incalculable consequences that an apostasy from Islam can have for the individual person.
It is not Allah's punishment that is feared, but rather the traumatic consequences of societal pressure or ostracisation. As a result, many often end up complying with Islamic traditions and expectations from family and friends.
This can range from marriage, which must be to a Muslim, to the circumcision of male children. To survive in this situation, many choose self-deception, trying to fit in with the group by denying reality and defending Islam, despite feeling no connection to the religion.
People who have been victims of domestic violence often describe that after the breakup, they find it difficult to let go of their partner. Apostate Muslims also experience this dependency. You end up as a conformist who defends your abuser. You keep the label of 'Muslim' because it is far more unsafe and full of conflict to call yourself an apostate.
The law is a slippery slope
In many of the Muslim countries that will now dictate legislation in Denmark, there is death penalty and imprisonment for apostasy and blasphemy. Gay rights are violated and women are treated as second-class citizens. As ex-Muslims, we see how Islamic dogmas and traditions are gaining more and more influence in Denmark.
Hijab, which represents discrimination and inequality between men and women, is promoted as the norm. But the reality is that for ex-Muslim women in Denmark, removing the hijab often has serious consequences.
The month of Ramadan is promoted in the same way as Christmas, even though for many ex-Muslims, Ramadan is a month where social control is heightened because Ramadan is about getting closer to Allah - a god you don't believe in.
If the government yields in regards to blasphemy or desecration of the Quran, it's just another step down that slippery slope. A slippery slope where ex-Muslims live under social control or in exclusion.
But fortunately, we live in a free country like Denmark, where there is room for critical thinking and where you have the right to believe what you do and do not believe. Where you have the right to draw what you want [reference to drawings of the Prophet that caused an international incident in the 2000s] and, in protest, burn, shred or make paper aeroplanes out of a book whose content you find repulsive or disagree with. Like when Poul Nyrup demonstratively tore the pages out of Fogh's book back in 2001. [Nyrup is a Social Democrat and debated Fogh of Venstre, a right-wing party, on TV during the election campaign]
Protect the victim, not the Quran
At The Association of Apostates, some of our members say that one of the things that bothers them about Islam is that Islam calls itself the religion of peace, but at the same time believes that you should receive 100 lashes if you have sex before marriage. Here, the members refer to the Quran's Sura 24:2 which reads: "As for female and male fornicators, give each of them one hundred lashes, and do not let pity for them make you lenient in enforcing the law of Allah, if you truly believe in Allah and the Last Day. And let a number of believers witness their punishment."
Should a woman who is critical of this content of the Quran also be punished by the government if she tore out the pages of the Quran in protest? Or burned it? If the woman had been subjected to the act prescribed by the Quran, should she just keep quiet and respect the holy scriptures?
I certainly don't think so. But that's what's being suggested in the government's proposal. [They want to ban burnings of the Quran in places like in front of embassies]60 votes
I've been seeing some cool software in the church space lately with lots of fancy bells and whistles that handle many different aspects of running a church (social, presentation, tithing, etc.)....
I've been seeing some cool software in the church space lately with lots of fancy bells and whistles that handle many different aspects of running a church (social, presentation, tithing, etc.). However, not all churches, especially small ones, can afford them or have members savvy enough to set it all up and maintain/operate them. I thought this could be a cool thread for free and or open source software that churches can use can use (Does not necessarily need to be design specifically for churches).
Here is a list of paid examples:
- Renewed Vision
- Microsoft Office
Here is a short list of FOSS alternatives:
- Free Show
- Rock RMS
- Renewed Vision
Hi Tildes! Long time lurker here who recently got an account. I love the long-form thoughtful discussion here and thought this might generate some interesting replies. I and my partner left a...
Hi Tildes! Long time lurker here who recently got an account. I love the long-form thoughtful discussion here and thought this might generate some interesting replies.
I and my partner left a high-control religious community (fundamentalist evangelicalism, think a Canadian version of the Shiny Happy People doc) eight years ago, and the experience was like a bomb going off in our life that we still find ourselves recovering from in many ways.
Growing up in that environment led to us having an extremely strong, and very possibly distorted, sense of what community is. People that treat you like family; bringing meals when you're sick, throwing you wedding showers, helping with home repairs, being shoulders to cry on... the works. Of course, as we later found out, this community could very easily be turned against you by certain powerful members of it, and it turned out there were many many strings attached that only became visible once we bumped up against them. When we left Christianity our entire community essentially disowned and ghosted us and we were left adrift.
It's now been eight years and we've managed to develop some friendships with folks that we hang out with once in a while, but nothing that even approaches the level of closeness and "family" that we felt in the church.
But maybe that's not normal or a realistic expectation? The funny thing about being so immersed in a subculture like that your entire life is that when you're suddenly on the outside of it, you realize you don't really have any idea what normal is. I still feel like I don't a lot of the time.
So: What insight can you share? Has anyone had a similar experience? What do your social communities look like out here in the real world? How do you find them?72 votes
A summarized transcription of the video No One Wants Sensuality. Source PDF Q: Bhante, you once said that the only reason one gives into sensuality is because one doesn't want it. What do you mean...
A summarized transcription of the video No One Wants Sensuality.
Q: Bhante, you once said that the only reason one gives into sensuality is because one doesn't want it. What do you mean by that?
Ajahn Nyanamoli (Nm): Well, what I meant was that universally, literally every human mind, regardless of the culture, education or religion, when a desire in regard to anything obtainable through the senses arises, that desire is oppressing. Desire is a need, a thirst, a hunger, it pressures you to act. You don't have to act and that's the whole point. As a human being you have a choice. But when desire arises, the automatic response is to give into that pressure of desire, and why would you be giving into the pressure of any desire? It's because it's unpleasant. If the pressure of the desire is neutral or pleasant, you wouldn't then make any effort and spend time trying to gain what your desire wants, because you'll already be at ease. But that desire is already unpleasant and in order for you to try and deal with that displeasure, you just give in to whatever the desire promises. That's what I mean, by engaging in sensuality, you do so to be free from the sensual pressure of the desire. When people say, "No, I enjoy my senses." That's a mistake, because if they were to stop and think, "When there is an unsatisfied desire, is that pleasant? Is that what I want?" They would realise that it isn't, or, "Can I fulfil desire by giving in to it?" No, you can never fulfil desire, because the point of desire is to stay a desire.
Q: It's based on non-satisfaction.
Nm: Exactly, it requires non-satisfaction for it to be. That's why if you stop and think about it you realise the only reason you are engaged with sensuality is because the pressure of sensual desire is unpleasant and you don't know any other escape from that pressure other than the temporary release of sensual indulgence.
That's the whole point, whenever you encounter any form of displeasure, your only way of trying to deal with it is through acts of sensuality, which is why and how people turn to food, music, sexual intercourse or even meditation hoping for some pleasurable experience to lift them up when they're feeling down or depressed, they just commit harder to sensual activity, because that's the only thing that seemingly relieves oneself of that pressure. However, you're just making it worse because the more you're dependent on running away from that pressure of sensual desire, the more pressure that desire will exercise over you.
Q: So what should you do?
Nm: Well,in a way, you don't have to do anything. If you start seeing your own sensual desires as something that's controlling you, something that you are enslaved by, then you have to start seeing that 'nature' before you give into the desire. And then it becomes obvious, clear as day, that it's very unpleasant. Even sometimes when you can satisfy your desires, but maybe not quick enough, that's unpleasant. Either way, that desire is rooted in a disagreeable feeling, i.e. that pressure that's very unpleasant. So if you want to free yourself from it, you have to first start restraining your senses and from making it worse through giving in to that pressure of desire.
You're training yourself to be stronger than something else. But in order to start doing that, you need to start resisting that thing. If you just habitually give into desire, and at the same time expect to somehow magically be free from the pressure of the desire, well that's just a contradiction in terms. Restraint needs to come first if you want to be free from desire. Then the obvious painful nature of the desire in itself becomes apparent. Initially when people start restraining, they notice more pain and they assume that it's because of their restraint. But it isn't. The restraint cannot cause you pain, it can only reveal the underlying pain of the desire that is already there.
Imagine that you're tied to five powerful animals and they are running towards the objects of their desire, you naturally run with them to avoid that extra painful pull that you will experience if you try standing your ground. The animals are stronger than you, they pull you. It's unpleasant. But that doesn't mean that that initial pain is not there if you run with them. Running with them enables them to pull you even harder. So initially, you have to accept that sharp pain of restraint, which eventually you can see that actually it's not the restraint that's the problem, the restraint just shows you what happens when these animals are pulling in their respective domains. If the animals wouldn't be pulling, there wouldn't be any pain revealed by the restraint. Imagine the animals are tamed and calm, and they just move around slowly and you can just remain seated and not have to run with them. You are restrained, the senses are tamed and there is no pull, no pain.
It's something anybody could benefit from, just learning how to say no to themselves, gradually, in regards to this and that, in regard to unnecessary things like luxuries and indulgences. Because each time you give in carelessly like that, the animals get more to feed on which means they get more powerful, which means each time they pull you, you'll be less and less able to resist those desires.
Quite often, and I'm pretty sure many people can relate, your own desires take you to places you don't want to be, that you know you will regret even before you go there, yet you can't help it and you're just dragged there. How will it then be when old age or sickness sets in? When your senses start to fail, yet your mind is fully dependent on that pleasure that you get from that temporary satisfaction of your desires. When the only resemblance of relief from any disagreeable feelings, is now taken away. When the senses can't enjoy sense objects anymore, when eyes can barely see, when it's hard to hear, when it's difficult to chew, when the body doesn't move correctly, when it's not young and doesn't have that much energy. Yet your mind is dependent on that constant chasing after sense pleasures and now that's just taken away. How will it be when the unpleasant feelings arise, and they will, and you have even less ground to deal with it.
Q: It will feel like an unwanted solitary confinement.
Nm: Exactly. That's why people are terrified of solitude. They can no longer escape what they have been running away from.10 votes
In the worst case scenario that Reddit dies; I'm going to miss the /r/exmormon community the most. It's a religion that is not easy to leave (many societal repercussions); and many ex-members...
In the worst case scenario that Reddit dies; I'm going to miss the /r/exmormon community the most. It's a religion that is not easy to leave (many societal repercussions); and many ex-members experiencing a "faith transition" rely on the discussions in that sub (275K+ subscribers).22 votes
The internet is a very diverse place but sometimes with the "default" north american skew, it may not seem like it. If your culture or people or faith group or spiritual practice is celebrating...
The internet is a very diverse place but sometimes with the "default" north american skew, it may not seem like it.
If your culture or people or faith group or spiritual practice is celebrating something today or soon, would you care to share?
Many of us used to have smaller groups on another site to celebrate things together or hold rememberances, and perhaps tildes being a together kind of community can celebrate and learn together instead of segregating into silos.
- today's date please
- what cultures and groups celebrate or commemorate this day or period?
- what is the celebration's origins and purpose?
- how does one celebrate?
- how has it changed over the years or stayed the same?
- is it reoccurring and on what calendar system?
Looking forward to learning more from other traditions and groups!13 votes
Share your favorite argument for the existence of God below. Background: I'm an atheist (and have been for a decade) who's been interested in Christian Apologetics since I was a young Christian....
Share your favorite argument for the existence of God below.
Background: I'm an atheist (and have been for a decade) who's been interested in Christian Apologetics since I was a young Christian. As I entered adulthood, I found myself losing my faith, largely because I grew up in a fundamentalist, Young Earth Creationist household which taught that evolution and God are incompatible. While I no longer believe in this lack of compatibility, my belief in God never came back. I've tried to give it an honest effort, and there are many compelling reasons why I want Christianity to be true:
- Reunification with loved ones who've passed
- Absolute moral justice exists
- A plan for my life, and meaning in my suffering
- Access to unconditional love; to have a personal relationship with my creator
- Surviving my own death
For a variety of reasons seemingly outside my direct control, I still don't believe. It doesn't help that I've been introduced to strong arguments against the existence of God (e.g. the problem of evil and its subsets) which have rebuttals of varying quality from Christian philosophers. I don't think this lack of belief is my fault, or for lack of trying; I can't make myself believe anything. I try to be open to arguments, and this has led to an obsession with revisiting apologetics.
Now I think of apologetics as at least a fun mental exercise; combing through the arguments, atheist rebuttals, and responses to those rebuttals. That's probably strange, but it tickles the right parts of the brain to keep me engaged.27 votes
In lieu of a ~spirituality group I figured a dedicated thread could be nice. Posting in this group was suggested by a fellow tildo. So friends, what does your spirituality mean to you? How would...
In lieu of a ~spirituality group I figured a dedicated thread could be nice. Posting in this group was suggested by a fellow tildo.
So friends, what does your spirituality mean to you? How would you define yourself? What impact has it had on your life?
For me, I'm a Christopagan and my faith means a lot to me. The Christian Trinity, Santa Muerte, and Krishna are my rock. The Buddha is a good source of inspiration too, but I don't particularly follow him. I also find a lot of meaning in the Tao de Ching, but I wouldn't necessarily consider myself a Taoist, although I agree with a lot of what it says .25 votes
I was inspired by this comment by @rogue_cricket in another discussion on spirituality. I was going to simply reply, but I think it could be a fun, new topic for recommendations and it didn't seem...
I was inspired by this comment by @rogue_cricket in another discussion on spirituality. I was going to simply reply, but I think it could be a fun, new topic for recommendations and it didn't seem to fit the overall conversation over there. Since I'm brand new, let me know if I'm doing this wrong and if I should just reply instead.
So what are everyone's symbols or rituals? Whether you are Christian, Buddhist, Athiest, Agnostic, Muslim, etc., what are some things that make you feel more connected?
Here's my contribution:
A little context: I call myself agnostic. I believe there might be something bigger out there, but that it doesn't make much sense to put a face to it or try to figure out what it wants from us. Since I don't prescribe to any particular religion, I have come up with my own ways to feel the serenity of connecting with whatever it is (The Universe, God, Nature, etc.):
Tibetan Singing Bowls:
My friend bought a big, expensive, crystal bowl that I used several times while meditating. The vibrations are supposed to resonate with and activate the chakras in your body. I found a smaller, more affordable set on Amazon. While they don't have the same gut-vibrating power as the large, crystal bowl, they still help my meditation sessions immensely by giving me something to focus on.
Character Asset Stones:
As a member of a 12-Step program, we are supposed to constantly work on weakening our character defects by strengthening our character assets, but I always seem to have trouble remembering them in the moment. My sponsor suggested painting words such as "kindness," "generosity," "honesty," and "forgiveness" on small river stones. I will randomly pick one out of a fish bowl before I leave the house every day, and carry it in my pocket, reminding me all day to work on that one particular character asset. I feel that little spark of connection and a sense of satisfaction every time I get to practice my asset for the day.
Sitting Quiety and Observing:
This one is very hard for me, as my brain always defaults to wanting to scroll something or do something. I've found that it works best if I have something interesting to focus on. I'm fortunate enough to live near the beach, so sometimes I will just go watch the waves for a while. Sometimes I people watch on the patio of Starbucks. It's important for me to leave my phone elsewhere, or I'll want to pull it out and check texts-emails-reddit-grindr-blah-blah-blah. But sitting quietly and just being for a little while, enjoying the sights and sounds, "stopping to smell the roses," makes me feel connected to the Universe.
I'm looking forward to some more ideas...13 votes