Is This an Unrealistic COEXIST Sign?

This image has been making some rounds on Facebook and found its way into my inbox:

It looks like a funny response to the image until you start reading it and find out its Christian propaganda.

Do Muslims want to convert or kill non-Muslims? The Koran says yes, but (obviously) most Muslims don’t accept that. The same goes for the Bible, with all of its violent passages. We’re fortunate that in the cherrypicking that religious people do, most come to their senses when it comes to killing non-believers.

Gay people are far from intolerant of the religions that do everything they can to suppress them. Part of the reason some progressive Christians don’t fall in line with the Christian bigots is that they are fully aware of the gay Christians in their presence. They’re in no need of being “cured” and the Christians know there’s no good reason to deny them equal rights.

It boggles my mind why any gay person would continue to be part of a faith that wants little to do with them, but for whatever reason, a lot of people in the GLBT community still go to church.

I had no idea Pacifists hated Jews and loved Muslims. I had no idea Pacifism was even a religion. News to me.

And then there’s that last sentence. Christianity “poses no threat to the others”? Really? Christians aren’t an obstacle to gay rights? Christians wouldn’t close down every abortion clinic in the country given the chance? Christians aren’t trying to turn their religious beliefs into law? They’re not ruining science education in this country?

They may not be killing everyone in sight, but there’s a reason there’s so much pushback against the faith: They’re a huge threat in America.

Coexisting is a nice theory, even if there are good arguments as to why it’s completely unrealistic. But the things written on this poster are the wrong arguments.

(Thanks to Liz for the link!)

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • Anonymous

    I’d also like to add that I continually see links to Christians being attacked in Africa by Muslims. In reality, these are tit-for-tat battles between “Christian villages” and “Muslim villages” with the atrocities varying in their severity randomly between the two. But you only see 1 side in the Christian media sites that get linked…though a few of them will mention in passing in the last paragraph, well after their readership has formed a sympathetic link with 1 side.

    I’d also like to cite the burning of suspected witches in Africa, etc. The major 2 world religions and their denominations still see Africa as some type of colonial extension of themselves.

    • http://disienai.tumblr.com/ Semipermeable

      I traveled to Uganda last year as a student to work at some of the wildlife parks. I was invited back to some villages, and I saw both ‘rich’ houses made of concrete and poor houses made of mud, metal scraps and so on. The local school was a communal building that was in terrible condition even though they worked hard to keep it up. We were able to gift them with books, school supplies and chemistry sets, but it never felt like enough.

      But what really, really got me was the local church or mosque buildings. They all had glass windows, nice benches, holy books and instruments. Some were even made of stone while children outside their walls went hungry, for food and education. 

      Those religions didn’t give a fart about the community, and every gift came with religious strings.

      • Anonymous

        In both camps, the more evangelistic religions are the conservative brands. The Saudi oil money is being used to fund lots of the mosques in Africa as well as pay for Koranic studies scholarships in Saudi Arabia itself.

        • http://disienai.tumblr.com/ Semipermeable

          Yes, I did find it strange that those two seemed to dominate the culture, with almost no mention of any smaller more local religious or any other large religions.

  • Anonymous

    Islamic violence is certainly a threat on a regional scale, where it’s mixed with politics. That causes lots of smaller wars, but it’s not a global threat and not one that’s directed against any particular religion. Radical Muslims have no issues with killing other Muslims either.

    In Western society, Islam is more of a cultural issue. A tiny number of extremists aside, the problem is that large numbers refuse to culturally integrate and instead build a parallel society. Which wouldn’t be much of an issue at all if it weren’t so backwards, like their – sometimes violent – suppression of  young women who do take up western customs. Their relatively high unemployment rate also leads to some problems with drugs and general criminal activity. The “sharia law” stuff is really nonsense that completely detracts from the underlying problems

    In the West it’s Christianity that’s the real threat to society. They don’t have to resort to violence. Christianity can use its sheer numbers and massive political powes to force the people they hate into submission by passing laws against them and creating a hostile culture

    Btw, the Pacifism thing is a reference specifically to the Israel/Palestine conflict. Whoever that wrote thinks pacifist (whoever that is) favor the Palestinians over Israel. But of course that’s greatly simplifying the situation

  • Andrew

    First of all, this poster is annoying as fuck to read. There, that’s out of the way.

    I expected the message to have some profound or at least thought provoking message. In actuality, it is inaccurate and meaningless. The final conclusion, that Christianity is the necessary element to allow everyone to coexist doesn’t follow whatsoever from the previous statements.

    Frankly, I’m rather underwhelmed.

    • http://disienai.tumblr.com/ Semipermeable

      Yeah, I have seen similar graphics that linked each symbol with passages to the source books forbidding tolerance or advocating violence. I assumed this was going to be along the same vein at first.

  • Anonymous

    More than pro-Christian this little thing is virulently anti-Muslim. Also saying that gays are “intolerant” of religions that by the admission of the makers of this sign have supressed them is like saying that the Mayans were “intolerant” of the Spanish Conquistadores who made it their business to enslave, conquor and forcibly convert them (to Christianity, incidentally). It’s not intolerance, it’s self-defense.

    As for the anti-Muslim message I again find myself irritated by the ridiculous over-generalization of Islam by people who likely have little to no clue about the different schools of Islam and probably don’t even know that there are actually different kinds of Islam just as there are different kinds of Christianity.

    It’s especially irritating because extremist Islam is most certainly a problem (though a vastly overblown problem that causes most of its damage through our overreactions) but by pretending it’s just one thing the message is delegitimized. This notion that Islam is somehow fundamentally different and totally unable to modernize is absurd. I’ve been to Turkey, where a self-identified Muslim girl nochalantly drank tea in the hotel lobby (she was the receptionist) in fully modern clothing (no scarf, of course) in the middle of Ramadan while explaining that she believes in God but didn’t really go for the whole fasting thing. Certainly she was ignoring vast swaths of the Koran while identifying as a believer…just like the crushing majority of American Jews. Judaism is no less brutal in its texts, yet most Jews (other than the über-crazy Orthodox) get by ignoring most of it. Islam hasn’t evolved that far in that a larger proportion of its people follow more strict interpretations, but there’s no reason to suppose they can’t and it certainly doesn’t help when you tell Muslims that Islam MUST mean death to the infidel. The Taliban are already saying that, they don’t need corroboration from our side.

    • Anonymous

      Yes, many Christians are fully willing to ignore parts of the Bible that they don’t like. Muslims can do that with the Koran as well. The Middle East needs to go through the Enlightenment.

      P.S. Some people say that Islam needs a Reformation. But A) they’ve already had a reformation. That’s why there are Sunni and Shiite Muslims and B) the Reformation only made Christianity more violent. No, it is the Enlightenment that they need.

      • http://disienai.tumblr.com/ Semipermeable

        I have always thought that for most good people, being kind and disinclination to do mass harm will in outweigh a dusty text. Perhaps I am naive.

      • A_Faithful_Reader

        Unfortunately there is a catch to this: You can compare Islam with Christianity to some extent – and the similarities are vast - but it’s not all the same. A big and dangerous difference beteween the two religions is is the way the bible and the Qur’an respectively are seen by the devout people. While not every Christian believes in the Bible being the excact word of God, Muslims generally do. Not doing so actualle makes them apostates. I think this is a great obstacle on the way towards Enlightenment. And I’m not sure if the Islamic world will ever able to reach something like Anlightenment.

        • A_Faithful_Reader

          I’m sorry for the awful typos =.=

        • Demonhype

          Islam is six hundred years younger than Christianity.  About six hundred years ago, Christians were taking their own religious text seriously enough to torture and kill others.  I love when people want to freeze-frame a particular moment in history that looks favorable to their side and claim that this is the only way it can ever be.  Christians have not always been as they are now, and nearly every aspect of Christianity where they don’t take their holy book to be the exact word of god is because Christianity was dragged kicking and screaming into a better more enlightened age, and some rather significant portions are still kicking and screaming.  A handful of nice liberal Christians doesn’t erase the existence of the GOP right-wing authoritarian Bible-believing fundies who look upon the Dark Ages as a Golden Age that needs to come back.  For these people, the only problem with the Islamic world is that Christianity isn’t the dominant religion–they’re just fine with the societal functions, just not the religion. 

          And to people like this, not believing the Christian bible anymore makes
          you not a Christian but an apostate.  The fact is that no particular
          Christian gets to define what Christianity is any more than any
          particular Muslim (or Christian) gets to define what Islam has to be.  
          This sounds dangerously like the kind of argument where only the nice
          Christians get to count as Christians and only the nasty Muslims get to
          count as Muslims, so if a Muslim doesn’t go around killing unbelievers
          or supporting such killing, s/he doesn’t really believe their book is
          the word of god and therefore doesn’t “count” as a Muslim but as an
          apostate.

           I’d like to meet these Christians who don’t think the Bible is the
          exact word of god because there seem to be a hell of a lot of them from
          where I’m sitting.  I’ve gotten the “God wrote it (or wrote it through men, but he totally wrote it) and so it’s good and what objection could you possibly have against it?” from liberal Christians, for example, and much worse from the more conservative variety.  And way too many of the latter are holding important
          office in our (US) government and make no secret of their fanaticism, so
          I’m just not  buying the “oh, Christians who believe the bible is the
          word of god don’t exist or if they do they’re just a tiny powerless
          minority”. 

          If Christians who were happily killing for Jesus a few hundred years
          ago could eventually water it down enough that they could ignore the
          violent mandates in their own book, then there is no reason to think it
          impossible for Muslims.  And guess what?  That is actually beginning to
          happen (see I Claudia’s message above, for example).

          The only problem is that those kinds of Muslims don’t get much press, for the same reason the poor black woman working three jobs in the ghetto while trying to provide for her kids doesn’t get much press–because it doesn’t deliver a sense of superior righteousness to the target audience of the news corporations.  Much easier to just focus on the one guy with the gun and expand from that to believing that everyone in that ghetto or middle eastern village are just born and trained to be evil.  It titillates and makes you feel good about yourself at the same time.

          • Summer Seale

            I agree most of what you posted.

            However…. =)

            I often get the remark when debating with people about the “Islamic World” that Islam is younger than Christianity by hundreds of years, and that they are currently in their dark ages (or Reformation). I agree. I also agree that it took us hundreds of years to fight ourselves out of those horrific bloody periods in our history.

            What I do not agree with, however, is that Islam has to make the same mistakes that we have made. The reason is: We’ve done it; it’s been cataloged and recorded. All they have to do is pick up the books recounting all the hundreds of years of tyranny and mistakes which we made to avoid them.

            That’s how you learn: you build up on the knowledge and mistakes made by others in the past. It isn’t as if they are starting from zero (where our culture started from when it all first began), so they don’t really have an excuse. They have vast points of reference on what to avoid, how to build secular societies and democracies, and why science matters and religion doesn’t.

            They have books, they have access to the same libraries which we use, and they aren’t reading it – or at least not absorbing it. Saying that they have to start from scratch is like saying that everyone who goes to Medical School has to start from zero instead of reading up on all the gathered knowledge we have acquired through the mistakes and successes of other people in the past.

            So, it’s not an argument which I buy and it isn’t an excuse.

      • Anonymous

        I wouldn’t call the Sunni/Shiite division a “reformation”. That schism happened just after Mohammed’s death, so it’s not like their was a unified Islam for hundreds of years before philosophical differences tore them apart. Their division was more of a war of succession than a matter of religion, though their beliefs have divereged since.

        If I were to compare anything to a “Reformation” I would say that the crucial (and tragic) moment came when the philosophical currents changed from one where progress and knowledge were exhalted as godly values to one where knowledge became a threat (right around our Dark Ages) to faith. Previous to that time the Islamic world was a haven of philosophers and scientists while the Christian world was a backwater of fundamentalism and persecution. Then the Christian world had its Enlightenment (which is to say we started the long slog of subverting the grip of religion) while Islam plunged into its Dark Ages, from which in many places it has yet to emerge.

        • Anonymous

          That’s not really an accurate portrayal of the historical forces involved, the characterisation of the Christian & Muslim worlds is more than imprecise, and the timeline’s a bit off. Though I agree that the Sunni/Shiite split is not really analogous to the Reformation–except in that it created a bunch of different denominations, some tied more to oral tradition than others.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ann-Kenevan/1438937341 Ann Kenevan

        Christians are New Testament.

    • guest

      what she said. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=553145445 Gordon Duffy

    Christianity poses no threat? Hah! Tell it to the dominionists!

    • Tasuret

      Moar like tell it to the people who are threatened by dominionists.

  • http://profiles.google.com/sourblaze David

    I could not agree more with you, Hemant.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Cyndi-Soderlund/100000514861261 Cyndi Soderlund

    I find it sad that what could be a simple, peaceful message would be used by Christian fundamentalists to try to prove, once again, that their myths are the best myths and everyone else is either sinful or irrelevent.  

  • http://fatpie42.livejournal.com/ fatpie42

    Oh you DON’T agree with this Islamophobic poster. Thank f*** for that.

    Glad to see everyone in the comments so far has agreed that this poster is profoundly dodgy. There are too many racist pr**ks on the internet.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/John-A-Anderson/100000016895400 John A. Anderson

    Did anyone else notice that the sticker admits that Christians oppress gays? Instead of blaming Christians, of course, the sticker merely notes that the oppression makes gays “intolerant” of Christians. Kind of like African-American slaves 200 years ago resenting whites, the ungrateful bastards.

    • http://disienai.tumblr.com/ Semipermeable

      And it isn’t even true, some of my closest religious friends are lgbtqia(..). Though I must say that I personally was raised in a largely secular way, and it wasn’t until I became aware of the religious motivations of the anti gender/sex minority and feminist pushbackers that I ever really began having strong negative reactions to religion and a lot of religious dogma. Previously I had thought of it like a cute archeic story/philosophy with a ‘be kind and forgive’ moral, I had no idea how seriously some people took it.

    • The Captain

      Actually after reading it again, is is much more cheeky and shitty than that.  It is not admitting to “oppressing” gays, it’s admitting to “suppressing” gays, two different meanings. “oppressing”implies that an injustice is being done, “suppressing” implies that what is being done is necessary. I bet you that the creator of this views the “suppression” of gays as a natural and good thing and for them this is not a admission of anything wrong. For them, it’s just like “suppressing” the mafia for example. 
      Yea, that’s how shitty you have to assume the religious think to get to the bottom of their choice of words.

    • http://www.facebook.com/jesop.ash Jesop Ash

      History is rarely the way they tell it to you in the media.

      http://cofcc.org/2012/03/americas-first-slave-owner-was-a-black-man/

    • http://www.facebook.com/jesop.ash Jesop Ash

      Warning graphic descriptions of slave history.
      Human trafficking one of the worst atrocities in history but like any
      other must be taught truthfully and honestly. Here lies more facts from
      that era that do not fit the Mainstream Narrative.

      http://www.revisionisthistory.org/forgottenslaves.html

  • The Captain

    “I had no idea Pacifists hated Jews and loved Muslims. I had no idea Pacifism was even a religion. News to me” 

    This is a thinly veiled jab at anyone who supports a balanced peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians. That whole sentence is set up to victimize Jews by recounting the holocaust, then blaming pacifist (or those that support “peace”) for “supporting” the evil muslims by not wanting to destroy them apparently. Remember, as much as christians dislike non-christians they really hate the idea that Palestinians might treated as equals to Israelis.

  • http://www.facebook.com/joe.zamecki Joe Zamecki

    I cannot coexist with a torture device, or even a symbol of one. 

  • Anonymous

    This is just a nutjob poster.  That’s a subtly different set of interpretations of the symbols.  The “e” with the integrated male/female symbols is supposed to mean equality of sexes that I’ve seen.  Other versions have “e” with a tiny “=mc^2″ in it to represent science.  It’s the first  that says the e means gay rights.  While I understand why the poster creator would think that, it just says they didn’t go to any effort to seek out existing interpretations before making up their own.

    Christians do seem to conveniently forget that people of their faith have massacred jews often, and over the span of millennia.  It wasn’t until the Nazi Holocaust did they start to rethink their prejudice against Jews in meaningful numbers.  They killed accused Wiccans in Europe into the 18th century, easily.  The witch trials at Salem, MA was just a tiny taste of what went on in Europe.  They burned heretics at the stake.  Then there were the inquisitions.

    • Anonymous

      Not to contradict your argument, but nobody killed Wiccans before the 1950′s, since there weren’t any before then. There were accused witches, but Wiccans and historical witches are two different animals, despite the fantasies of modern-day Wiccans.

  • http://www.laughinginpurgatory.com/ Andrew Hall

    Both Christianity and Islam are barbaric myths born out of the mad dreams of psychotic minds. A pox on both of their houses.

  • Anonymous

    Tolerance is not a realistic possibility. A great article about the problems with tolerance can be read at: http://www.raoulwallenberg.net/articles/tolerance/ 

    • The Captain

      Intentional or not, that was a wonderful example of what sophomore philosophy students can come up with.

      I especially loved how it admits to there being a “magnitude of meanings” within the concept, then spends the rest of the time arguing against just a few, as if that was now the whole (A Straw Man basically). But the best part was how it argues to replace “tolerance” with the concept of “neutrality” which other than being contrary to all evidence does not exist, would in the meaning of this article, mean that all people would then hold the same beliefs. So it argued for the removal or tolerating our differences, by removing those differences altogether. What a load of garbage.

      • Anonymous

        Thank you, this article always generates some good discussions. And it’s discussions that we need! Actually one thing that I came away with is the possibility of the need of acceptance to get us to neutrality. And you have to reach some sort of conclusion or understanding of others. I can’t be neutral about stoning but I can be neutral of homosexuality, but it takes reaching out, real work and honesty on your part to arrive at those conclusions.  

        • Anonymous

          Neutrality about homosexuality generally results in condoning discrimination and bullying. It might sound nice in theory, but in practice it means standing by and doing nothing while people get hurt.

          There is a school district in Minnesota that has a so-called “neutrality policy”. It prohibits teachers from discussing homosexuality in class, which is also means that they can’t meaningfully address the bullying of LGTB students. That has let to a very hostile climate and to several suicides in recent years.

          Sure, if you’re not a position of authority over other people, standing by usually doesn’t result in direct harm. Such when a teacher or boss witnesses bullying and doesn’t intervene. But standing up against such things still has a positive effect on society.

      • http://www.miketheinfidel.com/ MikeTheInfidel

        Frankly, I’m just bothered that it used “magnitude” to mean number. The word is “multitude,” folks…

  • Anonymous

    That’s why I prefer this sticker:  http://www.fictionstickers.com/

    Yes, that poster is blatantly anti-Islamic. But I’m not going to sit here and defend the peaceful Muslims from the hateful Christians. Or vice versa. I’m of the school of thought that moderate/liberal religious followers give safe harbor to fundamental whack job religious followers. They are all deluded. They are just different degrees of delusion.

    I don’t want to coexist with religion. I want it to go away. I want its adherents to wake up and realize they don’t need it, would be better off without it, and are missing out on a lot of wonderful things in this world by burning effort, time, money, and brain cells on religion. 

  • Norm

    Can’t remember where I first saw it, but my favorite take on the whole “Coexist” meme was a bumper sticker that read “Coexist: it would be so much easier if we didn’t have all this religious nonsense to worry about.”

  • summarizer

    In short, some christian(s) read the “Coexist” sticker and decide to decline the invitation.

  • JC

    Also RE: The last statement: Why do the Christians think the original sticker is “directed against” them? I mean, isn’t the whole point of the sticker that everyone should COEXIST? It’s not directed “against” anyone!

    • The Captain

      “Why do the Christians think the original sticker is “directed against” them?”

      Because here in the US if they are NOT getting a handjob from society, they think they are being raped.

  • Mr Z

    To get things straight, there is no  coexistence. It is not possible.  The dogma of various ‘faiths’ demands that there be no coexistence. Coexistence is antithetical to religions. They are not even permitted to coexist with the facts. Coexistence is just another of so many yellow brick roads. Truly, coexistence only becomes possible when the road you walk is the same road you travel to lose your religion. The tolerance taught by religion is tantamount to pax romana. Anyone who thinks coexistence is possible is either naive or pushing for it as part of the largest religion in the region, thus giving them head count majority rule in the pax romana that coexistence would bring.

    On a related note: @$#% coexistence!

  • Nicole S

    The poster is silly, as is the idea of co-existing itself. 

    As for the argument with the faiths…. One cannot pick and choose beliefs within a faith that cites back to a historic text. There is no such thing as extreme Islam or moderate Islam, only extreme or moderate Muslims. Same with Christianity or any other long-standing religion. The threat comes from people not realizing that. If you choose to align yourself with the faith, you align yourself with the followers of it at all levels, not just your chosen one. If you don’t want to be lumped together, you need to create a new religion. 

  • Anonymous

    The bit about pacifists taking the Muslims’ side is a reference to Israel.

    The bit about gay rights being suppressed by all religions is false. Certainly the big 5 today haven’t been kind to gay people, but many splinters of those, and many older or less popular religions, didn’t have the same hang-up.

    Muslims are not committed to conflict with Christians and pacifists, and have coexisted with them in the past. These conflicts have more to do with politics than religious tradition. The relationship between Islam and Judaism is more ambiguous. In any case, most modern Muslims probably find it easier to understand other monotheists than pagans.

    And of course, Christians have failed spectacularly to avoid hurting gay people and people of other religions. I’d bet good money that the person who made this image has some sympathy with the people who wring their hands over the location of mosques and supposed encroachment of sharia law in the US (which would be a sensible fear only in a country with a sizable Muslim population and no analog to the First Amendment).

  • http://religionsetspolitics.blogspot.com/ Joshua Zelinsky

    Most of the comments have already given a pretty good summary of why this is garbage and why pretty much every religion on that list has a history of going at each other.  (I do think that the original does have a tiny valid point which is buried in its general stupidity- at this point in time, of the religions on the list, Islam is by far the one creating the most trouble for members of other religions or people who are not religious. But one should be clear that that’s very much not the historical trend.) 

    But there’s really a more fundamental issue: If for almost any of these religions, if an interpretation is correct, then they really should be going at each other. Christianity, Judaism and Islam all consider the belief in multiple deities to be one of the worst things possible. Many forms of Christianity consider belief in Jesus as the son of God to be necessary to salvation. Frankly, the pair of the religions which seem to theologically be most compatible on the list are Islam and Judaism. But in practice those are the two which in the last sixty years have been the most at each others throats.  If people actually believe what they claim they believe in then they should be at each others throats. I suppose that for sake of general peace and stability of humanity, I should be happy that so many people are really that confuzzled about what they actually believe that they can repeatedly state beliefs which necessarily imply conflict and violence and then not act on them. 

    • Summer Seale

      I disagree that Islam doesn’t have a historical trend of invading others. I know that many people think that it is a mostly recent thing, but that is simply not true.

      Charles Martel wasn’t killing Muslims in Poitiers who came only to sun themselves on the fields of France. They happened to be invading Europe – *three hundred years before the first Crusade*.

      For some reason, people appear to forget this unpleasant little fact about Islam.

      Now, I am not blaming Islam for this any more than I blame Christianity or Judaism – that’s the way the world was back in those days. You took land from your enemy in whatever name you happened to follow, and people who didn’t agree with you simply were put to death. *Everyone* did it at some point. Jews did it thousands of years before the rest, and they stopped doing it only when the Romans came in and kicked their butts.

      What I am trying to say is that Islam has always been violent in principle, much like other religions. And going around saying that it’s only a mostly recent thing with them is absolutely wrong. It is also absolutely wrong to say that it started as a reaction to the Crusades (and before anyone thinks that I am defending the Crusades, I certainly am *not*.)

      • http://religionsetspolitics.blogspot.com/ Joshua Zelinsky

        I don’t disagree with your statements by and large, but there’s nothing you’ve said that actually disagrees with what I wrote. The Crusades are definitely not the only example of Christian violence directed towards other religions. They were doing it well before Islam was substantially on the scene, and they continued it in all sorts of ways even when there weren’t any Muslims to respond to. I agree that Islam has a long history of violence. But the historical trend doesn’t have Islam as a front-runner. Christianity and Islam are pretty close to tied. And if one looks at the history one gets the impression that the main reason Judaism never was a serious competitor was due to the small size of the religion not due to peaceful doctrines. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Andrew-Carvin/100001033684440 Andrew Carvin

    A hypothetical person has an X that they believe tells him/her to do things, and a part of their belief in X is an afterlife where everything is so much better than this. To get there they have to do everything that X tells them to which includes incredibly violent acts of evil.

    Replace X with Barney The Purple Dinosaur.

    Now replace X with (insert deity’s name here).

    Do you really want people like this in our society driving our buses, taking care of our children, making decisions about national defense, roaming our streets armed with guns, etc.

    X is an invention of the human mind with no basis in fact/science/reality beyond what any particular person prefers to believe. What if a person’s preference changes to something evil?

    Do you see how this could be a problem?

    Religious people have no moral responsibility whatsoever.

    That’s why they can say they value life one moment, and then call for the death of people who don’t accept their imaginary friend the next.

    Religions are fundamentally death cults that portray life as a miserable thing to be endured, and after you die you will get sky pie in the sky pie kingdom, and sit next to the pie god.

    It does not surprise me at all that religious people don’t care about conservation, saving endangered species, preserving the natural world, or really doing anything constructive/positive. In their eyes all is filth and evil if it doesn’t come from a book that a bunch of uneducated sand jockeys who thought the world was flat wrote over 2000 years ago.

  • Zentai Dreams

    Cherry-picking people who need an imaginary friend(s) and/or imaginary stuff like karma and ceremonies for their mental health can usually coexist. Fundamentalists can’t. Sometimes it’s hard to discern who is who.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Joe-Hanson/591477729 Joe Hanson

    I have never liked that sticker, it just supports ignoring problems instead of addressing and fixing them. This post inspired me to a non Christian propaganda version.

    http://truth-saves.com/images/cant-coexist.jpg

    • Summer Seale

      I like your redoing of the poster, but let me ask you:

      Where in Judaism does it say that their way is the only way? Jews are forbidden to go out and convert anyone. Jews don’t really care about other religions…the religious Jews that I know mostly are a pain in the ass to other Jews, not to people of other faiths. You don’t get Jews knocking on your door telling you that you’ll go to hell if you don’t believe in Judaism. Heck, you don’t even get that in Israel where most of the religious Jews are a real blight on the society. They’ll try to convince you to be religious, but they won’t approach non-Jews and tell them that they have to convert.

      • Anonymous

        Mainstream Judaism (especially Reform Jews) is easily the most agreeable of the Abrahamic faiths. I agree that they are the easiest to live with.

        Let’s face it. We won’t get rid of religion any time soon. So we have to find some way to coexist. The more liberal sects of each faith belief in stupid things, but compared to their fundamentalist cousins, it’s possible to live with them without causing too much trouble

        • Mr Z

           Are you fucking serious? We do NOT have to find some way to coexist. Damnit, my rights are what must survive, not the beliefs in fairy tale bullshit that those of faith have. NO, it is NOT possible to live with that buillshit without causing trouble. Apparently you are completely unaware of the shit stew we live in that is a DIRECT result of religion and a general tolerance for it. Pardon me, but your idea here is fucking idiotic. Lets all cooperate with bullshit ideas so we can get along. Where the fuck are your critical thinking skills? Do you enjoy the role of surrender monkey? Get this straight in your mind, ALL bullshit beliefs are DANGEROUS. Every capitulation you make to bullshit beliefs is a surrender of your rights to a life free of oppression. I’d wish you good luck but your kind are as dangerous to my life as those believers who which to oppress me. Fuck you.

          • http://twitter.com/FelyxLeiter Felyx Leiter

            Wow, what a jerk.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Joe-Hanson/591477729 Joe Hanson

        I’ll admit most of my knowledge is related to Christianity and I don’t know too much about Judaism but are not the texts of the Old Testament part of Judaism and from Judaism? They are filled with texts saying kill those of other religions and kill everyone in a city if even only one person there worships another god. Plus don’t Jews call themselves the “chosen people”?

        1 Kings 21:10, Exodus 22:20, Deut 13:10, 13:12-16, 20:15-18, 17:2-7

        As for what Stev84 said, Judaism is the least of my concerns too when it comes to dogmatic systems.

  • http://www.facebook.com/AnonymousBoy Larry Meredith

    I thought it was pretty sketchy but didn’t quite know why until I reached the last sentence. The only time this image mentions Christianity is the last sentence, which suggests that the original image is directed at Christianity and Christianity poses no threat to anyone. That is just laughable. Leave it to Christians to think that any comment about religion in general that doesn’t directly reflect positively on Christianity is therefore a direct attack on Christianity, and then respond to it by saying everyone included in the sticker is fighting with each other except Christians, who are loving and welcoming and accepting of all. Herp Derp, blatant bias.

  • http://eternalbookshelf.wordpress.com Ani Sharmin

    “Cross Symbol/Christianity is who the sticker is directed against but poses no threat to the others.”

    This is exactly the kind of attitude that prevents people from coexisting with each other:  the idea that any one group is flawless and that no amount of discrimination from that group against the others should be considered wrong.

  • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ Anonymous

    “Not a threat”, my ass.

  • Gus Snarp

    Patently absurd. They apply the “no true Scotsman” fallacy to Christians, but extend the violence of some Muslims to the entire religion. Either Christianity and Islam are both threats, or only extremists among Christians and Muslims are threats. But not Islam is a threat and Christianity is not. Same with pacifists, some pacifists support Palestine over Israel, therefore all pacifists support Islam over Judaism? That does not follow. GLBT are, as you said, often Christian, only some of them are actively hostile to religion, certainly not the whole equal rights movement. It’s typicall bumper sticker propaganda from the right (and make no mistake, it’s not just Christian, it’s a very right wing political kind of Christian) – bad logic, bad sense of humor, completely nonsensical on the face of it to anyone who gets what they’re saying, utterly insignificant to most people who don’t even hear the dog whistles in it, and seen as completely brilliant by those who agree with it.

  • Erik

    Good post, Hemant. I was becoming quite angry while reading the poster, thinking of all my responses, and then you said all of the things I was thinking

  • Rockon

    “Do Muslims want to convert or kill non-Muslims? The Koran says yes, but
    (obviously) most Muslims don’t accept that.”

    I don’t see any of the “moderate” Muslims going out of there way to stop Sharia Law or to riot publicly against the calls for jihad. The most I have heard from them is that it makes them look bad, which is different from saying “it’s wrong and let me show you how we’re trying to stop it.”

    “The same goes for the
    Bible, with all of its violent passages. We’re fortunate that in the
    cherry picking that religious people do, most come to their senses when
    it comes to killing non-believers.”

    Violent passages in the Bible? There are things explained in the Bible that have context. Do you care to cite examples and explain the proper context for those examples. Also, there are things mentioned in the Bible (like a man married to several wives) as having taken place. Just because it’s mentioned in the Bible, doesn’t mean the GOD of the Bible is approving.

    “I had no idea Pacifists hated Jews and loved Muslims. I had no idea Pacifism was even a religion. News to me.”

    Along with many liberals in the OWS movement, you haven’t notice the ever increasing noise from that crowd about the “damn Zionists in Israel?”

    “Gay people are far from intolerant of the religions that do everything
    they can to suppress them. Part of the reason some progressive
    Christians don’t fall in line with the Christian bigots is that they are
    fully aware of the gay Christians in their presence. They’re in no
    need of being “cured” and the Christians know there’s no good reason to
    deny them equal rights.”

    First, your argument here is based on pseudo-science and false pre-suppositions. Homosexuality is not “a people” but a feeling and a behavior. Progressive “Christians” aren’t really Christians at all. REAL Christians don’t “cherry-pick;” they believe every thing the GOD says is Truth, rather than manipulating Scripture to create “god” in the image of man and his/her whims and desires. By the way, “cured” is a word used by homosexual activists when it comes to the issue of change. I know many people who have left homosexuality behind them in both practice AND desire. You’re being intolerant of them by claiming they “don’t exist” or are “fooling themselves.” If somebody wants to “live out” homosexuality, that is their business. We, Christians, just don’t believe that their (what should be) private bedroom habits should be a political activist movement.

    “It boggles my mind why any gay person would continue to be part of a
    faith that wants little to do with them, but for whatever reason, a lot
    of people in the GLBT community still go to church.”

    I agree with you here (in a way). Proud sinners (those who are caught up in proud open homosexuality) are being hypocrites if and when they call themselves “Christians.” They would be much more honest if they just embrace a position of non-belief. Christian churches welcome people with same sex attraction who know acting on those desires is sinful and unhealthy with open arms on Sunday and at Bible studies. And that is how it should be, because that is what is True to GOD’s word on the issue. By the way, one doesn’t need to be a “Bible-thumper” to figure out that homosexual behavior is unhealthy for individuals and society. Google “JohnBiver Debunking the Argument” and explore the data provided within that article. (And that data only scratches the surface)


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