PDA

View Full Version : We drink at our own risk


SkepticDoc
04-08-2011, 09:06 PM
Any drinking increases the risk of cancer. (http://www.bmj.com/content/342/bmj.d1584.full)

Moderate drinking does reduce the risk of cardiovascular events, the question is what is the long term risk overall? What is the balance between total life expectancy, enjoyment of pleasures and quality of life?

Risk Increases With Every Drink

"The cancer risk increases with every drink, so even moderate amounts of alcohol — such as a small drink each day — increases the risk of these cancers," according to a press release from Cancer Research UK, which cosponsors the ongoing EPIC study, along with several European agencies.

"Many people just don't know that drinking alcohol can increase their cancer risk," said Sara Hiom, director of health information at Cancer Research UK.

"Cutting back on alcohol is one of the most important ways of lowering your cancer risk," along with not smoking and maintaining a healthy bodyweight, she said.

The researchers touch on this point in their discussion. They refer back to studies that have shown a beneficial effect of alcohol on death from cardiovascular disease, especially coronary heart disease and ischemic stroke, which have in the past led to recommendations to enjoy a drink to benefit the heart.

But they point out that "even though light to moderate alcohol consumption might decrease the risk for cardiovascular disease, and mortality, the net effect is harmful."

"Thus, alcohol consumption should not be recommended to prevent cardiovascular disease or all-cause mortality," they write.

No Sensible Limit

The researchers also emphasize that this latest study, in addition to several others, shows that "there is no sensible limit below which the risk of cancer is decreased."

This point was also made recently in an editorial in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute (2009;101:282-283), which accompanied findings from the British Million Women Study showing that even 1 drink a day significantly increased the risk for cancer (J Natl Cancer Inst. 2009;101:296-305).

There is no level of alcohol than can be considered safe.

At that time, editorialists Michael Lauer, MD, and Paul Sorlie, PhD, from the division of prevention and population sciences at the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute in Bethesda, Maryland, wrote: "From a standpoint of cancer risk, the message of this report could not be clearer. There is no level of alcohol that can be considered safe."

I may have to drown my sorrows later...

bjkeefe
04-08-2011, 09:25 PM
Any drinking increases the risk of cancer. (http://www.bmj.com/content/342/bmj.d1584.full)

Moderate drinking does reduce the risk of cardiovascular events, the question is what is the long term risk overall? What is the balance between total life expectancy, enjoyment of pleasures and quality of life?

Sing it, Joe. (http://www.videoanni80.com/view/2734/joe-jackson-cancer-1982-/)

Ocean
04-08-2011, 10:39 PM
And look at what it does to youngsters! (http://www.latimes.com/health/boostershots/la-heb-rodent-20110408,0,5568378.story)


http://www.latimes.com/media/thumbnails/storylink/2011-04/60758504-08133630.jpg

bjkeefe
04-08-2011, 10:47 PM
And look at what it does to youngsters! (http://www.latimes.com/health/boostershots/la-heb-rodent-20110408,0,5568378.story)


http://www.latimes.com/media/thumbnails/storylink/2011-04/60758504-08133630.jpg

That picture is absolutely heart-breaking.

Ocean
04-08-2011, 11:08 PM
That picture is absolutely heart-breaking.

Yes, notice the sadness in those little eyes.

operative
04-09-2011, 12:07 AM
Any drinking increases the risk of cancer. (http://www.bmj.com/content/342/bmj.d1584.full)

Moderate drinking does reduce the risk of cardiovascular events, the question is what is the long term risk overall? What is the balance between total life expectancy, enjoyment of pleasures and quality of life?


I may have to drown my sorrows later...

Ah, more reason to be LDS :D

graz
04-09-2011, 12:16 AM
Ah, more reason to be LDS :D

If you imbibed you might be less of a humorless prig?

rfrobison
04-09-2011, 06:11 AM
Ah, more reason to be LDS :D

..or Southern Baptist...or Muslim.

OK, so here's my one and only Southern Baptist joke:

Q: Why do Southern Baptists ban sex?

A: Because it might lead to dancing.

[RIM SHOT]

chiwhisoxx
04-09-2011, 12:15 PM
..or Southern Baptist...or Muslim.

OK, so here's my one and only Southern Baptist joke:

Q: Why do Southern Baptists ban sex?

A: Because it might lead to dancing.

[RIM SHOT]

here's my LDS joke:

Q: Why do LDS believe that Native Americans are the lost tribes of Israel?

A: ...I have no fucking idea. There's no punchline. Seriously, why the hell do they believe that?

handle
04-09-2011, 01:50 PM
here's my LDS joke:

Q: Why do LDS believe that Native Americans are the lost tribes of Israel?

A: ...I have no fucking idea. There's no punchline. Seriously, why the hell do they believe that?

LOL probably because the more absurd the mythology, the more people tend to buy into it, especially when you make the leap from mythological story telling to literal interpretation, then it becomes "truth"..

rfrobison
04-09-2011, 09:03 PM
here's my LDS joke:

Q: Why do LDS believe that Native Americans are the lost tribes of Israel?

A: ...I have no fucking idea. There's no punchline. Seriously, why the hell do they believe that?

Mmm, I'm not a Mormon (or Latter Day Saint, as Op prefers), so I'm not really qualified to say...And I'm too emotionally exhausted for a theological debate at the moment, so I'm gonna pass up the opportunity to comment further.

stephanie
04-11-2011, 06:41 PM
..or Southern Baptist...or Muslim.

OK, so here's my one and only Southern Baptist joke:

Q: Why do Southern Baptists ban sex?

A: Because it might lead to dancing.

[RIM SHOT]

I had always heard that as "sex standing up."

Regional differences, no doubt. :-)

stephanie
04-11-2011, 06:43 PM
here's my LDS joke:

Q: Why do LDS believe that Native Americans are the lost tribes of Israel?

A: ...I have no fucking idea. There's no punchline. Seriously, why the hell do they believe that?

I suppose others here are more equipped to answer that than me, but I've generally seen the LDS as part of a tradition of seeing the US at the center of Christianity -- the city on a hill=the US, for example. They just took it all the way.

stephanie
04-11-2011, 07:27 PM
Mmm, I'm not a Mormon (or Latter Day Saint, as Op prefers), so I'm not really qualified to say...And I'm too emotionally exhausted for a theological debate at the moment, so I'm gonna pass up the opportunity to comment further.

I think the appropriate theological debate for this thread is limited to "wine or grape juice?"

I always think it's funny when people try to take the position that it's not simply okay (in their view) to use unfermented grape juice for communion (I think LDS uses water, though), but that Jesus et al. really meant grape juice when they talked about wine. Kind of makes the reference at the wedding of Cana a little weird. I mean they not only were making way too big a deal about running out of some grape juice, but there's also: "Everyone serves good wine first, and then when people have drunk freely, an inferior one; but you have kept the good wine until now." Now does that make sense if it's just grape juice?

To be fair, the Methodists I know -- for whom Welch's grape juice was created, to use at communion (I think the Welches were Methodist) -- don't claim "wine" in the Bible actually means grape juice, just that it's a valid substitute, but I have met people who did.

operative
04-11-2011, 08:43 PM
I think the appropriate theological debate for this thread is limited to "wine or grape juice?"

I always think it's funny when people try to take the position that it's not simply okay (in their view) to use unfermented grape juice for communion (I think LDS uses water, though), but that Jesus et al. really meant grape juice when they talked about wine. Kind of makes the reference at the wedding of Cana a little weird. I mean they not only were making way too big a deal about running out of some grape juice, but there's also: "Everyone serves good wine first, and then when people have drunk freely, an inferior one; but you have kept the good wine until now." Now does that make sense if it's just grape juice?

To be fair, the Methodists I know -- for whom Welch's grape juice was created, to use at communion (I think the Welches were Methodist) -- don't claim "wine" in the Bible actually means grape juice, just that it's a valid substitute, but I have met people who did.

Members do stick to water, though water isn't necessarily, so far as I know, a formal mandate. Any acceptable beverage may be able to work, theoretically, but water is by far the easiest to work with, and if someone spills it, it won't stain. Since there are often plenty of small children around, this is a salient issue.

As for the issue of wine drinking in the Bible, it's not really something I pay much mind too. Knowing what we know today about alcohol addiction and the harmful effects of alcohol on the body, I'm plenty fine with the modern day guidelines.

stephanie
04-11-2011, 09:46 PM
Members do stick to water, though water isn't necessarily, so far as I know, a formal mandate.

Interesting.

As for the issue of wine drinking in the Bible, it's not really something I pay much mind too.

I wouldn't have thought so. It's not an LDS thing, since the LDS don't really do the whole sola scriptura thing. It's more of an issue for people of a more strictly fundamentalist approach to the Bible who want to say that wine is clearly prohibited (there are negative statements about drunkenness, but obviously acceptance, including by Jesus, of wine drinking -- it's part of a miracle, after all!) and in particular should not be used at communion.

Like I said, however, there are plenty of Christians who have been against drinking and use grape juice at communion without having to try and twist the wine references into something else (including the Welch-of-grape-juice-fame family themselves).

I don't drink, but I also dislike the idea of using anything besides wine at communion (although I'm not getting into a theological debate -- I was just kidding about that).

Starwatcher162536
04-12-2011, 02:30 AM
Doesn't adding wine, and alcoholic beverages more generally, to water offer some protection against many forms of water borne diseases? If so, a better theological argument [to me] for the contemporary banning of alcoholic beverages while simultaneousnessly acknowledging that the Bible seems to have no problems with the responsible consumption of alcoholic beverages is to put the Bible in a little historical context.

The people in the past had good reason to drink alcoholic beverages due to the prevalence of typhoid and other water borne diseases while people today in the developed world do not.

SkepticDoc
04-12-2011, 07:25 AM
I googled this:

http://www.beekmanwine.com/prevtopx.htm

http://churchhistory101.com/wine-alcohol-bible.php

Somewhere I heard or read that in early America a low alcohol content beer was a way to make water potable/drinkable. The large incidence of inebriated minors was one of the reasons for the temperance movements.

Ocean
04-12-2011, 08:22 AM
Doesn't adding wine, and alcoholic beverages more generally, to water offer some protection against many forms of water borne diseases? If so, a better theological argument [to me] for the contemporary banning of alcoholic beverages while simultaneousnessly acknowledging that the Bible seems to have no problems with the responsible consumption of alcoholic beverages is to put the Bible in a little historical context.

The people in the past had good reason to drink alcoholic beverages due to the prevalence of typhoid and other water borne diseases while people today in the developed world do not.

If it's toxic enough that diluted in water kills germs, one should figure it's not the kind of stuff for repeated human consumption. A bit of poison on occasion, perhaps, but not much or frequently.

bjkeefe
04-12-2011, 08:47 AM
If it's toxic enough that diluted in water kills germs, one should figure it's not the kind of stuff for repeated human consumption. A bit of poison on occasion, perhaps, but not much or frequently.

Hard to think that someone named Ocean would be against salt.

;)

Ocean
04-12-2011, 09:05 AM
Hard to think that someone named Ocean would be against salt.

;)

I wouldn't recommend that you drink the Ocean.

* (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/images/smilies/smile.gif)

stephanie
04-12-2011, 11:32 AM
I googled this:

http://www.beekmanwine.com/prevtopx.htm

http://churchhistory101.com/wine-alcohol-bible.php

Somewhere I heard or read that in early America a low alcohol content beer was a way to make water potable/drinkable. The large incidence of inebriated minors was one of the reasons for the temperance movements.

The second link includes some of the kind of laughable effort to explain away the Biblical references that I was talking about. It's not a concern for me -- I think it's silly to think you have to make the Bible more anti-alcohol than it is to justify abstinence -- but I think it should be embarassing for those who try to argue that the wine referenced at, say, the wedding at Cana wasn't alcoholic.

There were a lot of reasons for the temperance movement, including some very real social problems, not simply limited to minors. (Also a lot of less praiseworthy concern, including some real hypocrisy, class and race prejudice, and nativism.) Also, at least some options even in early America -- Ben Franklin was shocked, as he tells it, when he went to England as a young man and found the people he worked with basically drinking all day long, since other beverages were considered unsafe.

Another point would be that cultures can use alcohol in generally healthy and generally unhealthy ways, and a lot of the use in the US I'd put in the unhealthy category (especially in the mix of cultural backgrounds I happen to come from), which would be one reason to be wary of it, but also a reason not to approach it as all the same. I think the dishonesty of insisting that God said no, always and everywhere, that the liquid itself is inherently bad in every way, and that it can't possibly be referenced positively in the Bible is really a problematic approach, not so much because it misrepresents the Bible in a weird way (although that too -- I disagree with the fundamentalist approach to the Bible for unrelated theological reasons), but because anything based on dishonesty tends to be unconvincing. (Obviously my argument here is with people not here, so I'm sorry if this is too much of a tangent.)

A book I've been planning to start soon for the last week or so is The Alcoholic Republic (http://www.amazon.com/Alcoholic-Republic-American-Tradition/dp/0195029909/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1302618113&sr=1-1).

stephanie
04-12-2011, 11:52 AM
Doesn't adding wine, and alcoholic beverages more generally, to water offer some protection against many forms of water borne diseases? If so, a better theological argument [to me] for the contemporary banning of alcoholic beverages while simultaneousnessly acknowledging that the Bible seems to have no problems with the responsible consumption of alcoholic beverages is to put the Bible in a little historical context.

Oh, I think there are easy ways around the apparent contradiction, but tnot within the framework some put themselves in, and that's why they end up making the kinds of arguments I was talking about.

Your argument, though, doesn't strike me as a convincing theological one. Instead, it's rather similar to the "the prohibition on pork and shellfish is because they were dangerous then" argument. Off the subject, I suppose, but I don't find it convincing or compelling from a religious perspective, and wouldn't expect many to (especially many inclined to fundamentalist approaches, which I am not).

The problem is that it's easy enough -- independent of the Bible -- to frame the use as a necessary evil or even a sensible precautionary measure, and not as a celebratory part of life. But the latter is more akin to what you find in the Bible (including also negative references and warnings about overindulgence).

(I'd say similar things with the food prohibitions, but beyond that, tons of things were prohibited where you really have to reach to come up with practical explanations, like mixing fabrics. I think it's much more about categorization and keeping things in their right category and separated and so on.)

Also, if you are claiming a religious prohibition could only come from the Bible (which LDS don't, so their prohibition makes better sense IMO, but some fundamentalists do), then you have a problem, because the Bible doesn't ban drinking (just drunkenness). A sensible way of handling this, of course, assuming one wants to justify an anti-drinking rule, is to say that there's no reason to drink anymore and there are always risks of both over-indugence and of personal sensitivity or susceptibility, so better not to at all. But that doesn't really get you to "all drinking is a sin," as some would like to, based on the Bible.

In case it's not obvious, I think "people drank in the Bible" is a silly basis to insist that people need to drink today (other than communion, at least). I'm also not big on polygamy, and generally don't cover my hair.

Wonderment
04-12-2011, 03:09 PM
A book I've been planning to start soon for the last week or so is The Alcoholic Republic.

You might also want to have a look at AA: America Anonymous. (http://www.americaanonymous.com/)

Don Zeko
04-12-2011, 04:51 PM
I had always heard that as "sex standing up."

Regional differences, no doubt. :-)

Trust me, the more southern baptists you know, the more fun those jokes are. Personally, I'm a fan of the following variation on the above joke:

A Southern Baptist preacher, unable to focus his thoughts for Sunday's sermon, decides that he might have more luck if he wrote his sermon in the church on Saturday night. He arrives at the building and finds that the door is unlocked. Concerned, he walks towards the nave, and notices heavy breathing and rhythmic thumping noises as he approaches. He finally walks into the sanctuary to find two young members of the congregation enthusiastically copulating on the altar. "Thank goodness!" the preacher exclaims, "I was afraid they might be dancing."

Ocean
04-12-2011, 07:02 PM
I suspect Starwatcher was just trying to come up with an actual reason to justify the use of wine in the Bible, and based on that it may no longer be needed now. It's sort of giving it the benefit of the doubt in favor of rationality instead of assuming that everything was purely magical and ritualistic.

I do appreciate your comprehensive explanation. Most of us who are not religious aren't too involved with that level of detail.

stephanie
04-12-2011, 07:30 PM
I suspect Starwatcher was just trying to come up with an actual reason to justify the use of wine in the Bible, and based on that it may no longer be needed now.

Oh, sure. My point is just that it's not presented as a necessity, as medicine, so on.

Well, my broader point is that it won't matter to non-fundamentalists and is a really unsatisfying reason for people who are fundamentalists (or even non-fundamentalists who don't think everything in the Bible can be boiled down to a more mystical way of presenting common-sensical rules for good health).

But mostly my going on about this topic is less about that then because I used to know some Southern Baptists who'd make the arguments I've been arguing against and somehow it seemed relevant and kind of funny.* I don't actually expect most people here to care (or agree about the humor).

*Like when I went to a dry wedding in Alabama (with no dancing, and my date was a gay friend, so I like to think of it as the wedding with no sex, drugs, or rock 'n roll) and the bride's brother was up there giving a talk about what he said during his walk with Jesus, and someone else at my table said (quietly) "ask Jesus, no wine at a wedding, WWJD?"

Ocean
04-12-2011, 08:30 PM
Oh, sure. My point is just that it's not presented as a necessity, as medicine, so on.

Well, my broader point is that it won't matter to non-fundamentalists and is a really unsatisfying reason for people who are fundamentalists (or even non-fundamentalists who don't think everything in the Bible can be boiled down to a more mystical way of presenting common-sensical rules for good health).

But mostly my going on about this topic is less about that then because I used to know some Southern Baptists who'd make the arguments I've been arguing against and somehow it seemed relevant and kind of funny.* I don't actually expect most people here to care (or agree about the humor).

*Like when I went to a dry wedding in Alabama (with no dancing, and my date was a gay friend, so I like to think of it as the wedding with no sex, drugs, or rock 'n roll) and the bride's brother was up there giving a talk about what he said during his walk with Jesus, and someone else at my table said (quietly) "ask Jesus, no wine at a wedding, WWJD?"

I'm hoping that the married couple was an exception to such prohibitions. ;)

I admit I've only been to Catholic weddings (most), one Methodist wedding (my brother's), Jewish weddings, and of course, many civil weddings.

rfrobison
04-13-2011, 02:43 AM
[Not drinking wine at Communion is] more of an issue for people of a more strictly fundamentalist approach to the Bible who want to say that wine is clearly prohibited (there are negative statements about drunkenness, but obviously acceptance, including by Jesus, of wine drinking -- it's part of a miracle, after all!) and in particular should not be used at communion.

Like I said, however, there are plenty of Christians who have been against drinking and use grape juice at communion without having to try and twist the wine references into something else (including the Welch-of-grape-juice-fame family themselves).

I don't drink, but I also dislike the idea of using anything besides wine at communion (although I'm not getting into a theological debate -- I was just kidding about that).

My guess is that one reason most Protestant denominations don't go in for wine at the Lord's Supper has to do with Paul's admonition in I Corinthians 11:17-22 about people getting together to overindulge in food and drink, while others went without.

I share your bemusement at certain of my fellows who insist that Jesus never drank wine. When a rather severe Baptist friend of mine in college claimed so, I pointed to the miracle at Cana, as you did. He then claimed wine back in those days was like grape juice, something for which I find no scriptural evidence whatsoever.

I've often wondered why the Fundies don't make women in their churches pray with their heads covered, as Paul advised the Corinthians to do as well, but I've never thought to ask...

Florian
04-13-2011, 07:17 AM
I share your bemusement at certain of my fellows who insist that Jesus never drank wine. ....

I've often wondered why the Fundies don't make women in their churches pray with their heads covered, as Paul advised the Corinthians to do as well, but I've never thought to ask...

Jesus never laughed either, or at least the Apostles never mention it. How many Christians abstain from laughter?

By googling I found this from Psalms 104-15: Vinum bonum laetitficat cor homines. Good wine gladdens men's hearts.

Alcibiades famously says in the Symposium: “Ἐν οἴνῳ ἀλήθεια” (In vino veritas). Socrates, who both liked to laugh and enjoyed drinking (see end of Symposium), seems to me a better model than Jesus on this subject. Sancte Socrates, ora pro nobis.

Ocean
04-13-2011, 08:49 AM
I've often wondered why the Fundies don't make women in their churches pray with their heads covered, as Paul advised the Corinthians to do as well, but I've never thought to ask...

When I was a little girl it was still customary (at least for some) that women would wear a light veil or scarf on their heads as they entered church (Catholic). I don't recall when that went out of fashion over there, but by the time I was in my teens I don't think that it was worn any longer.

I know there are many parts of the world where it's still customary.

How about Protestants? How did that evolve? I mean if religious people don't get offended about the fact of evolution. ;)

Florian
04-13-2011, 10:14 AM
When I was a little girl it was still customary (at least for some) that women would wear a light veil or scarf on their heads as they entered church (Catholic). I don't recall when that went out of fashion over there, but by the time I was in my teens I don't think that it was worn any longer.

I know there are many parts of the world where it's still customary.

How about Protestants? How did that evolve? I mean if religious people don't get offended about the fact of evolution. ;)

Covering the head is still customary in parts of Italy, France, and Spain, although this is hardly a problem for most women since most women, like most men, never attend mass. The last time I was in Italy, there were churches that insisted that tourists, both women and men, be "decently" attired.

SkepticDoc
04-13-2011, 12:34 PM
"mantillas" (http://www.modestclothes.com/catholic.html)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mantilla

stephanie
04-13-2011, 04:54 PM
I share your bemusement at certain of my fellows who insist that Jesus never drank wine. When a rather severe Baptist friend of mine in college claimed so, I pointed to the miracle at Cana, as you did. He then claimed wine back in those days was like grape juice, something for which I find no scriptural evidence whatsoever.

Exactly. That's why I pointed out the "most people serve the good stuff first, and then the swill" bit, which I've always thought was kind of hard to explain away if it was just grape juice. (Also, just inherently amusing.)

Ocean
04-13-2011, 07:35 PM
"mantillas" (http://www.modestclothes.com/catholic.html)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mantilla

The pictures from the wiki page reminded of the "peineta", although that was worn many decades , if not a century ago in South America.

I think my aunt had given me a pink mantilla when I was little. Ay, ay, ay!

SkepticDoc
04-13-2011, 08:13 PM
I did not know that the origin was Islamic.

rfrobison
04-13-2011, 08:20 PM
Jesus never laughed either, or at least the Apostles never mention it. How many Christians abstain from laughter?

By googling I found this from Psalms 104-15: Vinum bonum laetitficat cor homines. Good wine gladdens men's hearts.

Alcibiades famously says in the Symposium: “Ἐν οἴνῳ ἀλήθεια” (In vino veritas). Socrates, who both liked to laugh and enjoyed drinking (see end of Symposium), seems to me a better model than Jesus on this subject. Sancte Socrates, ora pro nobis.

Mmm, I can't recall any direct scriptural references to Jesus laughing, that's true, though John 11:35 tells us that Jesus wept. Orthodox Christian doctrine says that Christ is both fully God and fully human. Thus it makes sense to me that He experienced the full range of human emotions, mirth included. I suspect Jesus may have known and shared a few good rabbi jokes.

And Matthew 9:9 ff. says that Jesus not only attended parties, but was known to consort with "sinners," something for which he took some heat, I'm told.

So my surmise is that Jesus was a lot less uptight about such things than many of his spiritual descendants have proven to be, unfortunately.

I can't speak to Socrates, since my knowledge of the sage is limited to a few of Plato's dialogues that I was assigned to read in college as part of a survey level Western Civilization class, but I suppose many great thinkers have enjoyed letting their hair down from time to time.

What about the noted philosopher Florian? :)

stephanie
04-13-2011, 09:00 PM
I did not know that the origin was Islamic.

Makes sense, I suppose.

I've always assumed that the common traditions of Muslims covering women's hair (or more, of course), orthodox Jews having women cover their hair in some way (wigs, scarves, and granted men wear head coverings also), and the references in St. Paul's letters to the importance that women cover their hair all reflected some kind of common tradition of the Middle East. (And granted that St. Paul was raised in the diaspora, but he would have gotten it from Jewish practice.) So if that's right, it's kind of funny as there would be a doubling of the influence -- first Middle Eastern custom affects the church rule that women should cover their heads, and then Muslim rule of Spain leads to a particular style thereof.

Just speculating, of course.

Wonderment
04-13-2011, 09:29 PM
Here is an interesting NYT article (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/13/world/europe/13barcelona.html) on bikini and burka-wearers uniting in Barcelona to protest laws governing attire:

A deputy mayor from the governing Socialist Party, Assumpta Escarp, acknowledged almost apologetically that the law was aimed not so much at nakedness in the streets as at improper dress. “In recent years it’s been not so much nudity, but semi-nude attire,” she said, “people going from the beach to the city, to museums and churches, in beach attire.”

Mr. Tunick’s art event (in which she did not take part) was “an artistic expression,” she said. “It’s another thing to visit the Sagrada Familia in a bikini.” That was a reference to the church by the architect Antoni Gaudí, a major tourist destination.

And...

Mr. Roca compares the campaign against nudity to a parallel proposal to ban the wearing of the Muslim women’s veil, often called the burqa, in public places, as several nearby cities in the Catalonia region have done and as the Barcelona City Council is considering. Mr. Roca called both measures forms of segregation. “It’s like ‘No Negroes,’ ” he said. Just as politicians fear that a burqa-clad woman has something to hide, he said, “they imagine an undressed person has something to hide, too.”

rfrobison
04-13-2011, 10:46 PM
Here is an interesting NYT article (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/13/world/europe/13barcelona.html) on bikini and burka-wearers uniting in Barcelona to protest laws governing attire:



And...

Seems to me the two laws are only superficially similar. The one seems a restriction on a particular form of religious practice, while the other falls under the rubric of public decency laws, which most societies accept as not too great a restriction on liberty. But trying to legislate good manners seems like a fool's errand to me.

As for the last bit about bikini-clad cathedral visitors, the objection is that they are revealing that which should remain hidden, rather than the opposite.

SkepticDoc
04-13-2011, 11:06 PM
My $0.02:

My impression is that the primary motive in banning the fundamentalist religious garb is anti-Islamic sentiment, it is rationalized by the real security concerns of a terrorist or criminal being able to conceal his or her identity behind a piece of fabric. It is OK to cover the head but not the face in France.

I am always amazed at the turns a discussion can take, from alcohol to religion!

rfrobison
04-13-2011, 11:10 PM
My $0.02:

My impression is that the primary motive in banning the fundamentalist religious garb is anti-Islamic sentiment, it is rationalized by the real security concerns of a terrorist or criminal being able to conceal his or her identity behind a piece of fabric. It is OK to cover the head but not the face in France.

I am always amazed at the turns a discussion can take, from alcohol to religion!

It is interesting, isn't it.

Florian
04-14-2011, 11:39 AM
My $0.02:

My impression is that the primary motive in banning the fundamentalist religious garb is anti-Islamic sentiment, it is rationalized by the real security concerns of a terrorist or criminal being able to conceal his or her identity behind a piece of fabric. It is OK to cover the head but not the face in France.

I am always amazed at the turns a discussion can take, from alcohol to religion!

Whether Catholic women must cover their heads in church has never been a concern of the French state. Likewise, whether Muslim women must wear burkas at home or in the mosque is no concern of the law. (As a matter of historical fact, the burka was not, until fairly recently, considered an integral part of Islam, outside such, shall we say, uncooth countries as Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan)

Call the law against burkas in public anti-Islamic if you like, but there will never be as much anti-Islamic bigotry in France as there is in the United States, as evidenced by this forum and by the public debate. The reason is simple: most French people, including Muslims (10% of the population), are not very religious.

Personally, I would be quite happy to see rich Saudis and others with their shrouded concubines return to their native country if they are so unhappy with the laws in France. Their contribution to French society is at best pecuniary.

handle
04-14-2011, 03:54 PM
Whether Catholic women must cover their heads in church has never been a concern of the French state. Likewise, whether Muslim women must wear burkas at home or in the mosque is no concern of the law.

So the loophole, if the Burka wearer gets "pulled over" is saying that she was on her way home from the mosque, or vise versa.

Call the law against burkas in public anti-Islamic if you like, but there will never be as much anti-Islamic bigotry in France as there is in the United States, as evidenced by this forum and by the public debate. The reason is simple: most French people, including Muslims (10% of the population), are not very religious.
Ah the old "you do it too, so you have no right to criticize" defense, a staple of the American right.
Personally, I would be quite happy to see rich Saudis and others with their shrouded concubines return to their native country if they are so unhappy with the laws in France. Their contribution to French society is at best pecuniary.
Another staple of the American right, "love it or leave it". Are you turning redneck on us?
Let me guess, it's OK because it's not stupid Americans making these arguments. Or are your statements intended to be ironic?
added: denquoteF

Florian
04-14-2011, 04:07 PM
So the loophole, if the Burka wearer gets "pulled over" is saying that she was on her way home from the mosque, or vise versa.


Ah the old "you do it too, so you have no right to criticize" defense, a staple of the American right.

Another staple of the American right, "love it or leave it". Are you turning redneck on us?
Let me guess, it's OK because it's not stupid Americans making these arguments. Or are your statements intended to be ironic?
added: denquoteF

Read it as ironic or not. I couldn't care less.

handle
04-14-2011, 04:25 PM
Read it as ironic or not. I couldn't care less.

Then why post your defensive rant? You love to type? You have a Burka fetish?

Florian
04-14-2011, 04:30 PM
Then why post your defensive rant? You love to type? You have a Burka fetish?

I wasn't ranting. But I have no need to justify myself or French law to an imbecile like you.

handle
04-14-2011, 04:48 PM
I wasn't ranting. But I have no need to justify myself or French law to an imbecile like you.

I beg your forgiveness sire, I was unaware I was graced by the presence of such genius. Your true gift was so cleverly hidden by the banality and absurdity of your rhetoric! How truly and utterly intellectually superior you must be, to engage in such believable subterfuge!

Florian
04-14-2011, 05:02 PM
I beg your forgiveness sire, I was unaware I was graced by the presence of such genius. Your true gift was so cleverly hidden by the banality and absurdity of your rhetoric! How truly and utterly intellectually superior you must be, to engage in such believable subterfuge!

There was no subterfuge. I simply have no desire to carry on a discussion with you on this subject, which has been amply debated in this forum before. You know nothing about the Muslim community in France, nothing about French law, and nothing about the barbarity of this particular Muslim practice, which has no place in France.

And besides you are a bore.

handle
04-14-2011, 05:09 PM
There was no subterfuge. I simply have no desire to carry on a discussion with you on this subject, which has been amply debated in this forum before. You know nothing about the Muslim community in France, nothing about French law, and nothing about the barbarity of this particular Muslim practice, which has no place in France.

And besides you are a bore.

Again with the cleverness! I bow to your superiority good sir! You almost had me taking you literally, but then my small but plodding brain kicked in, and I realized that if what you posted was truly what you thought, you wouldn't have bothered posting it! God you are smart!
Racism is different in France!!! Good one!! You are as funny as you are smart, I must bow once more....

Florian
04-14-2011, 05:24 PM
Again with the cleverness! I bow to your superiority good sir! You almost had me taking you literally, but then my small but plodding brain kicked in, and I realized that if what you posted was truly what you thought, you wouldn't have bothered posting it! God you are smart!
Racism is different in France!!! Good one!! You are as funny as you are smart, I must bow once more....


And what else can you do but bow and scrape? And now babble about racism?

handle
04-14-2011, 05:35 PM
And what else can you do but bow and scrape? And now babble about racism?

Your pretentious French guy character is stunningly hilarious! I bet you are from North Dakota! No I get it! (Wink wink)... the stupid Americans will think that things are different in France, with all the over the top mystique and all. Since the things you say are from France (wink), they are completely different circumstances from, say the American attitude towards the Irish or Italians in the 19th century. Well played sir!!
How can we help the Americans ban Mexican customs in the US? Please help, because their lack of respect for our culture is destroying our way of life!

Florian
04-14-2011, 05:58 PM
Your pretentious French guy character is stunningly hilarious! I bet you are from North Dakota! No I get it! (Wink wink)... the stupid Americans will think that things are different in France, with all the over the top mystique and all. Since the things you say are from France (wink), they are completely different circumstances from, say the American attitude towards the Irish or Italians in the 19th century. Well played sir!!
How can we help the Americans ban Mexican customs in the US? Please help, because their lack of respect for our culture is destroying our way of life!

You have no idea what you are talking about. The ban has been widely supported in France, both on the right and the left--indeed rather more on the left because it is seen as affirming the freedom and equality of women--- as well as by the majority of the Muslim community. This ban concerns at most a few hundred women, most of them recent arrivals and some of them not even of French nationality.

If you had ever lived in a Muslim country, as I have, or even knew anything about Islam, you would understand why this particular custom has nothing to do with religion and therefore nothing to do with "the freedom of religion."

operative
04-14-2011, 06:13 PM
You have no idea what you are talking about. The ban has been widely supported in France, both on the right and the left--indeed rather more on the left because it is seen as affirming the freedom and equality of women--- as well as by the majority of the Muslim community. This ban concerns at most a few hundred women, most of them recent arrivals and some of them not even of French nationality.

If you had ever lived in a Muslim country, as I have, or even knew anything about Islam, you would understand why this particular custom has nothing to do with religion and therefore nothing to do with "the freedom of religion."

I know that I've been through this with you before, but I will nevertheless say it again: I see no logic in the belief that having the state compel women to not wear a certain attire is affirming their 'freedom.' Nor do I see where the fact that some men in various Islamic countries force their wives to wear such dress a validation of the state's power to force them to not wear such dress. Do you really think that all Muslim women are incapable of deciding for themselves?

handle
04-14-2011, 06:17 PM
You have no idea what you are talking about. The ban has been widely supported in France, both on the right and the left--indeed rather more on the left because it is seen as affirming the freedom and equality of women--- as well as by the majority of the Muslim community. This ban concerns at most a few hundred women, most of them recent arrivals and some of them not even of French nationality.

If you had ever lived in a Muslim country, as I have, or even knew anything about Islam, you would understand why this particular custom has nothing to do with religion and therefore nothing to do with "the freedom of religion."

Oh shit, sorry! NOT racism... because it's FRENCH, and LEFT as well as RIGHT (wink). AFFIRMING is not FORCING in FRANCE. Because it's FRENCH.

operative
04-14-2011, 06:24 PM
A further point:
The nature of the bill reveals that it's not really about the women in question at all, it is rather about the French citizens who are uncomfortable with seeing a woman in a burqa. It only restricts the wearing of the garment in public. This will only cause women who wear such garments to remain in the house--you are, in effect, limiting their movement and their liberty even further than the restriction of what they may wear, out of concern not for them but the French majority.

Florian
04-14-2011, 06:59 PM
I know that I've been through this with you before, but I will nevertheless say it again: I see no logic in the belief that having the state compel women to not wear a certain attire is affirming their 'freedom.' Nor do I see where the fact that some men in various Islamic countries force their wives to wear such dress a validation of the state's power to force them to not wear such dress. Do you really think that all Muslim women are incapable of deciding for themselves?

The custom exists for one and only one purpose: the subjugation of women, both before and after marriage. I have no doubt that some women are quite happy to subjugate themselves to their husbands, especially if they have been brought up in total subjugation to their fathers and brothers. They may even think that they are freely choosing to do so by wearing a garment that originated in the tribal customs of Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia.

But this custom is foreign, I would even say repugnant to European notions of the freedom and dignity of women. The vast majority of Muslim women in France choose not to wear a burka, although many of them wear head scarves. I think the French law is simply ratifying what is already the choice of the majority of Muslims who live in France, while discouraging a custom that has, unfortunately, been spreading in the Islamic world in reaction against westernization.

AemJeff
04-14-2011, 07:34 PM
Oh shit, sorry! NOT racism... because it's FRENCH, and LEFT as well as RIGHT (wink). AFFIRMING is not FORCING in FRANCE. Because it's FRENCH.

Not that a little Florian baiting is a bad thing... But I don't necessarily disagree with his point of view here. I don't think it's unfair to view a burqa as a form of restraint, a means of direct control over women. If there was a religious custom that involved putting women on leashes in public, I'd have no problem at all with with any proposed ban. My understanding of burqas and how they fit in culturally where their uise is common (it's not originally an Islamic practice, btw, it originated as a Pashtun custom in Afghanistan) is that it's an ugly practice, no better than leashes and really not much different from a handcuff requirement.

AemJeff
04-14-2011, 07:41 PM
Pat Condell is a little more "forward" than I am on this issue, but I endorse much of what he says here, except that he's a lot harder on feminists than I think is warranted.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TlkxlzTZc48

Ocean
04-14-2011, 07:44 PM
The custom exists for one and only one purpose: the subjugation of women, both before and after marriage. I have no doubt that some women are quite happy to subjugate themselves to their husbands, especially if they have been brought up in total subjugation to their fathers and brothers. They may even think that they are freely choosing to do so by wearing a garment that originated in the tribal customs of Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia.

But this custom is foreign, I would even say repugnant to European notions of the freedom and dignity of women. The vast majority of Muslim women in France choose not to wear a burka, although many of them wear head scarves. I think the French law is simply ratifying what is already the choice of the majority of Muslims who live in France, while discouraging a custom that has, unfortunately, been spreading in the Islamic world in reaction against westernization.

This has been discussed before. I agree with your position on this matter.

If women are being brainwashed within their culture, and made to walk around in (symbolic) chains, a country that values certain freedoms and equality may decide to reject that practice. I've looked at this issue from several angles, and I can't bring myself to accept it. I think there's a limit to what should be to tolerated in the name of a cultural or religious practice.

I will not engage in further discussion since this topic has already been overly argued.

chiwhisoxx
04-14-2011, 07:45 PM
Whether Catholic women must cover their heads in church has never been a concern of the French state. Likewise, whether Muslim women must wear burkas at home or in the mosque is no concern of the law. (As a matter of historical fact, the burka was not, until fairly recently, considered an integral part of Islam, outside such, shall we say, uncooth countries as Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan)

Call the law against burkas in public anti-Islamic if you like, but there will never be as much anti-Islamic bigotry in France as there is in the United States, as evidenced by this forum and by the public debate. The reason is simple: most French people, including Muslims (10% of the population), are not very religious.

Personally, I would be quite happy to see rich Saudis and others with their shrouded concubines return to their native country if they are so unhappy with the laws in France. Their contribution to French society is at best pecuniary.

I think you're right about the burkas, but why I wish you'd stop going on about how Europeans can't possibly be as racist as Americans. Last I checked, it wasn't at American soccer games where black players were taunted as monkeys and pelted with stuff. Maybe you were making a narrow point about anti-islamic sentiment and not racism writ large, but I doubt it.

handle
04-14-2011, 08:02 PM
Not that a little Florian baiting is a bad thing... But I don't necessarily disagree with his point of view here. I don't think it's unfair to view a burqa as a form of restraint, a means of direct control over women. If there was a religious custom that involved putting women on leashes in public, I'd have no problem at all with with any proposed ban. My understanding of burqas and how they fit in culturally where their uise is common (it's not originally an Islamic practice, btw, it originated as a Pashtun custom in Afghanistan) is that it's an ugly practice, no better than leashes and really not much different from a handcuff requirement.

Baiting? Me? I'm an imbecile, and incapable of irony in florian's world, so that's off the table ;).
I don't necessarily disagree with his point of view here either, but legislating bans on attire are difficult to defend, and his lame ass attempts at support for this are not doing his point of view any good, and many smack of racist rationale, as I initially pointed out.
Good luck banning leashes on women, I think the S&M exhibitionists might take exception.
If they really find the culture repugnant, as he infers, then why not ban Islamists altogether? Is this the next step? Where does one draw the line? This probably doesn't end with Burkas and y'all might end up little embarrassed to have helped instigate the emboldening of a hate based movement... just saying.

Ocean
04-14-2011, 08:17 PM
Baiting? Me? I'm an imbecile, and incapable of irony in florian's world, so that's off the table ;).
I don't necessarily disagree with his point of view here either, but legislating bans on attire are difficult to defend, and his lame ass attempts at support for this are not doing his point of view any good, and many smack of racist rationale, as I initially pointed out.
Good luck banning leashes on women, I think the S&M exhibitionists might take exception.
If they really find the culture repugnant, as he infers, then why not ban Islamists altogether? Is this the next step? Where does one draw the line? This probably doesn't end with Burkas and y'all might end up little embarrassed to have helped instigate the emboldening of a hate based movement... just saying.

I'll only remind you about your own signature.

handle
04-14-2011, 08:31 PM
I'll only remind you about your own signature.

Good one! But this is one slippery slope we've seen get pretty slippery! It's self limiting like so many others, but the costs can be quite high.

Florian himself started this with:
Whether Catholic women must cover their heads in church has never been a concern of the French state. Likewise, whether Muslim women must wear burkas at home or in the mosque is no concern of the law.

So for him to now say the law is about freeing women at this point in the discussion is kind of at odds with his original assertion.

operative
04-14-2011, 08:36 PM
The custom exists for one and only one purpose: the subjugation of women, both before and after marriage. I have no doubt that some women are quite happy to subjugate themselves to their husbands, especially if they have been brought up in total subjugation to their fathers and brothers. They may even think that they are freely choosing to do so by wearing a garment that originated in the tribal customs of Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia.

But this custom is foreign, I would even say repugnant to European notions of the freedom and dignity of women. The vast majority of Muslim women in France choose not to wear a burka, although many of them wear head scarves. I think the French law is simply ratifying what is already the choice of the majority of Muslims who live in France, while discouraging a custom that has, unfortunately, been spreading in the Islamic world in reaction against westernization.

I certainly won't argue with the observation that the burqa is used to repress women (I've read and heard arguments to the contrary, but I remain unswayed).

Here's the problem I have: you're agreeing that some women freely choose to wear the burqa, but ascribe it to the influence of the repressive culture from which they come. You're on solid footing with that point. Culture certainly plays a huge role in establishing cultural norms, including sometimes establishing norms that we in the west find to be very backwards. We do on occasion compel people from different cultures to live in accordance with ours--for example, we don't allow plural marriages even if the parties involved come from a society where it is perfectly normal; we mandate that people wear clothing in public, even in instances where people come from cultures who have no mores about nudity. These are instances in which the cultures would clash to a degree that it would cause significant social disruption to permit such practices.

The burqa fails that test. We permit all sorts of other manners of subservience. A girl can leave school early, marry an older man, and not ever leave the house without him by her side. How is this not as restrictive as the burqa? Yet for some cultures this is normal, and we do nothing to ban it.

Moreover, if we're going to justify such action, why would we stop there? Why not also target Hasidic Jewish dress, or other more consevative Jewish sects? What about other Islamic headcoverings? There are even a few very traditionalist Christian sects who raise girls stressing a head-covering.

This is where my point is: if we're going to insert a role for the state in this respect, we set a certain interventionist role for the state, and it naturally can not stop there.

Also, what do you think the consequences of this law will be? this is what I was addressing with my second response. You are not going to get these women to change. They are simply going to stay locked up in their homes. They are going to withdraw from society, instead of involving themselves in society in a manner that may eventually lead to them rejecting more backwards customs. If you want these women to be liberated, by all means get them into society, do not pass legislation that will keep them out.

Ocean
04-14-2011, 08:45 PM
Good one! But this is one slippery slope we've seen get pretty slippery! It's self limiting like so many others, but the costs can be quite high.

Florian himself started this with:


So for him to now say the law is about freeing women at this point in the discussion is kind of at odds with his original assertion.

Whatever Florian said, take it up with him.

The way I interpret what he said, is that although the state isn't willing to go to the extreme of prohibiting what women wear in their homes or houses of worship, they can still send a strong message by putting limits to the same public display. I can imagine many women who can benefit from such ban, since they may oppose wearing a burqa but nor dare to challenge the practice.

I said I wouldn't get into this discussion again, so there's the end of it.

handle
04-14-2011, 09:07 PM
Just to clarify my position:
This statement could also be true:
I can imagine many women who can benefit from such ban, since they may oppose wearing high heeled shoes, but nor dare to challenge the practice.

I'm saying I agree regarding burkas, but culture is culture, and government intervention is maybe a little extreme, and could be misinterpreted as sanctioning hate groups.
I think it's more advisable to let cultures meld naturally as they usually do.

Looking at them as if they have bugs crawling out of their burka will probably do more in the long run than giving them some authoritarian force to rail against anyway.

Ocean
04-14-2011, 09:25 PM
Just to clarify my position:
This statement could also be true:
I can imagine many women who can benefit from such ban, since they may oppose wearing high heeled shoes, but nor dare to challenge the practice.

I'm saying I agree regarding burkas, but culture is culture, and government intervention is maybe a little extreme, and could be misinterpreted as sanctioning hate groups.
I think it's more advisable to let cultures meld naturally as they usually do.

Looking at them as if they have bugs crawling out of their burka will probably do more in the long run than giving them some authoritarian force to rail against anyway.

;)

bjkeefe
04-14-2011, 11:55 PM
I think you're right about the burkas, but why I wish you'd stop going on about how Europeans can't possibly be as racist as Americans. Last I checked, it wasn't at American soccer games where black players were taunted as monkeys and pelted with stuff.

So, a few hooligans at a soccer game implies something about ... an entire continent?

How many posts have you put up asserting that the endless parade of racist signs from the teabaggers means nothing except A Few Bad Apples?

operative
04-14-2011, 11:59 PM
So, a few hooligans at a soccer game implies something about ... an entire continent?

How many posts have you put up asserting that the endless parade of racist signs from the teabaggers means nothing except A Few Bad Apples?

Actually that's called a myth.

chiwhisoxx
04-15-2011, 12:03 AM
So, a few hooligans at a soccer game implies something about ... an entire continent?

How many posts have you put up asserting that the endless parade of racist signs from the teabaggers means nothing except A Few Bad Apples?

Probably not many? Some people prefer quality over quantity, believe it or not. Either way, it's rather telling that you could literally just swap your sentences and make the same assertion: Endless parade of racist hooligans at soccer games rather than a few signs at tea party rallies. By the way, protip: there have been more than few issues at soccer games in Europe, and there's also a difference in terms of how bad a sign is compared to screaming racial obscenities directly at someone. And if you really think the racism and soccer problem in Europe is confined to a "few hooligans", then you know nothing about soccer, although that hardly shocks me.

bjkeefe
04-15-2011, 12:13 AM
Probably not many?

LOL! Thanks for admitting there were some, even if it was out of awareness of how many there were to find. Baby steps.

[Added] I note the senior operative went with the old standby, from page one of the Republican playbook: deny, deny, deny.

chiwhisoxx
04-15-2011, 01:01 AM
LOL! Thanks for admitting there were some, even if it was out of awareness of how many there were to find. Baby steps.

[Added] I note the senior operative went with the old standby, from page one of the Republican playbook: deny, deny, deny.

no one over the age of 13 should type "LOL!" on the internet. and thanks for dodging everything I wrote. I know you nothing about racism and soccer in europe, so I suppose it's a good thing we don't have to have a tedious discussion about something you know nothing of. Not that that's a rare thing, but we cut down where we can.

operative
04-15-2011, 01:20 AM
LOL! Thanks for admitting there were some, even if it was out of awareness of how many there were to find. Baby steps.

[Added] I note the senior operative went with the old standby, from page one of the Republican playbook: deny, deny, deny.

Ironic given your standard "racist teabaggers" remark. I'm surprised you failed to include KOCH BROTHERS in the equation.

Florian
04-15-2011, 04:40 AM
.....These are instances in which the cultures would clash to a degree that it would cause significant social disruption to permit such practices.....

The burqa fails that test. We permit all sorts of other manners of subservience. A girl can leave school early, marry an older man, and not ever leave the house without him by her side. How is this not as restrictive as the burqa? Yet for some cultures this is normal, and we do nothing to ban it..

I will let Christopher Hitchens answer for me:

http://www.slate.com/id/2253493/

I would add that your remark about what "we" permit doesn't accurately reflect what "we" in France, i.e. the state permits: Girls cannot leave school early. I would also point out that the purpose of the burqa is to allow husbands to maintain control of their wives when they are "out of sight." That may very well be what some husbands desire, but it is contrary to our modern notions of the freedom and equality of sexes.

One doesn't have to go very far back in French and European history--no further than the 17th century in fact--to find that religion was used by husbands to subjugate their wives, although less so than in Muslim countries. See Molière's Tartuffe or the School of Wives. Indeed French law was rather patriarchical in character until the 1960s: wives couldn't open bank accounts without their husbands' consent and divorce for the wife was difficult under any circumstances. So French women, especially feminists, look with a very sceptical eye on the claims of Muslim women when they say that the right to don a veil or the burqua is an expression of religious freedom.

Also, what do you think the consequences of this law will be? this is what I was addressing with my second response. You are not going to get these women to change. They are simply going to stay locked up in their homes. They are going to withdraw from society, instead of involving themselves in society in a manner that may eventually lead to them rejecting more backwards customs. If you want these women to be liberated, by all means get them into society, do not pass legislation that will keep them out.

The law will annoy a few people for a while. It may even provoke a fanatic to an act of terrorism. But it will in the end, I believe, discourage certain forms of male domination that have no place in French society.

Florian
04-15-2011, 06:39 AM
I think you're right about the burkas, but why I wish you'd stop going on about how Europeans can't possibly be as racist as Americans. Last I checked, it wasn't at American soccer games where black players were taunted as monkeys and pelted with stuff. Maybe you were making a narrow point about anti-islamic sentiment and not racism writ large, but I doubt it.

It is not a "narrow" point. It would never occur to me to equate anti-islamic, anti-jewish, or for that matter anti-christian sentiment with racism. I would expect that the average adherent of any of the three monotheistic faiths would feel some hostility towards the adherents of the other two. That has nothing to do with racism.

I'm not qualified to comment on racism at soccer matches, although I know that it exists from reading about it. Soccer is a kind of religion in Europe, maybe the only religion left to "les classes populaires", so it wouldn't surprise me if some soccer fans vented their prejudices, racial or national(istic). British fans are notorious for despising everyone who isn't.....British.

Ocean
04-15-2011, 09:01 AM
Just to clarify my position:
This statement could also be true:
I can imagine many women who can benefit from such ban, since they may oppose wearing high heeled shoes, but nor dare to challenge the practice.

I'm saying I agree regarding burkas, but culture is culture, and government intervention is maybe a little extreme, and could be misinterpreted as sanctioning hate groups.
I think it's more advisable to let cultures meld naturally as they usually do.

Looking at them as if they have bugs crawling out of their burka will probably do more in the long run than giving them some authoritarian force to rail against anyway.

Hey handle, here are some links for you.

Facebook Women against mandatory hijab/burqa (https://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=118617421489188#!/group.php?gid=118617421489188&v=wall).

An article about Saudi cleric ruling (http://gulfnews.com/news/gulf/saudi-arabia/saudi-cleric-women-can-forego-veil-in-anti-niqab-countries-1.658787) from last year regarding banning burqas in France (and possibly other countries). That's how it should work. Tolerating abominable practices only serves the purpose of perpetuating them.

... if Muslim women are in a country that has banned the niqab, or full-face veil, or if they face harassment in such a place, "it is better that the Muslim woman uncovers her face."

Agreement

Numerous scholars of various Islamic schools of thought agree on this point, Al Qarni said.

"We must not confront people in their own country or other countries, or bring hardship on ourselves."

Done.

bjkeefe
04-15-2011, 09:22 AM
no one over the age of 13 should type "LOL!" on the internet. and thanks for dodging everything I wrote. I know you nothing about ...

My my. Such petulance.

LOL @ "I know you nothing."

stephanie
04-15-2011, 11:41 AM
Also, what do you think the consequences of this law will be? this is what I was addressing with my second response. You are not going to get these women to change. They are simply going to stay locked up in their homes. They are going to withdraw from society, instead of involving themselves in society in a manner that may eventually lead to them rejecting more backwards customs. If you want these women to be liberated, by all means get them into society, do not pass legislation that will keep them out.

Apart from the 1st Amendment issues, this is basically where I come from on the issue. Well this, plus a strong belief that we impoverish debate when it's all about what is legal or not. I think we should express cultural disapproval for such treatment of women and other like customs which offend our values. But I also think that it's really difficult to defend banning personal practices based on them being discriminatory when the subject of the ban include women who would claim that they choose the practice and consider it a religious requirement.

Finally, I think legally banning it -- something which is going to be seen, by many in the world and some minorities in the US, at least, as about religious discrimination (even though I would disagree that that was the real motive) -- would probably be counter-productive, cause people to dig in their heels and exaggerate the importance of the practice to them. Even people who don't care about the practice for religious reasons but would see it as a politicial statement (I'd compare with some of the growth of fundamental Islam as a response to oppression, including perceived oppression based on regulations about face-covering, in Iran and other countries). In contrast to this, I don't think it's a common practice at all in the US -- very rare, in fact -- and one of the many traditional practices that we normally deal with by trusting in our dynamic and attractive culture (including the secular and materialistic cultural that we may want to deplore at times). I'm not saying that we can't do anything about this; I'm saying that in the US the best way to do something about it is not by focusing on the law.

Oh, and I'm also not swayed by the fact that many Muslims would disagree that it's a legitimate expression of Islam or the fact that it's a cultural practice of a region that's been adopted. I think that's clearly true of any number of religious practices, and the courts (yes, this relates to US law, I don't care what France does on the question) don't get into the business of deciding what Islam (or Christianity or whatever) really does require and what religious practioners are deluded to think is a religious practice.

But as Ocean said, we've talked this to death before, so this is my last post on it too.

Florian
04-15-2011, 01:46 PM
But as Ocean said, we've talked this to death before, so this is my last post on it too.

Good, because you have said nothing, at great length, and in tedious English.

stephanie
04-15-2011, 02:08 PM
You're so cute.

Florian
04-15-2011, 02:21 PM
You're so cute.

You must be wearing your burqa, or perhaps you are a French woman at heart and love to flatter even men who insult you.

handle
04-16-2011, 03:11 PM
You must be wearing your burqa, or perhaps you are a French woman at heart and love to flatter even men who insult you.

Upon reading this exchange, I just can't help making a little suggestion you probably aren't going to like, or even consider, due to your extreme sophistication, and sense of social responsibility;), but Stephanie and Ocean, are light years closer to model citizens on this board than you or me, so you may want to dig deep for a grain of good faith, if you haven't squandered your last.
Why do I offer this advice? Because I get a real kick out of watching douches (pardon my french) like you ignore common sense suggestions in an ill advised quest to make total asses of themselves (a symptom of impaired self awareness?).
Unfortunately, in light of the above post, I regret that I have missed the opportunity for my input to have proven prophetic or, in the more unlikely case, preemptive. Next time, perhaps.

Shorter handle: Lighten up, Francaise.

Florian
04-17-2011, 06:36 AM
Upon reading this exchange, I just can't help making a little suggestion you probably aren't going to like, or even consider, due to your extreme sophistication, and sense of social responsibility

Correct. I will not even consider it. Ignorant, ill-mannered fool that you are you are not even aware that you began this exchange by your utterly stupid remark to me about my supposed racism and bigotry. And you expect me to respond politely to you. So, to use an expression that I am sure comes frequently to your lips: fuck off, asshole.

handle
04-17-2011, 05:39 PM
Correct. I will not even consider it. Ignorant, ill-mannered fool that you are you are not even aware that you began this exchange by your utterly stupid remark to me about my supposed racism and bigotry. And you expect me to respond politely to you. So, to use an expression that I am sure comes frequently to your lips: fuck off, asshole.

Ahhh the sophistication! The intellect! The completely missing the point!
The projection of your misinterpretations on me!
I pointed out that your rationale smacked of typical racist arguments. Your defensive stance served to reinforce my view on this, and made me suspicious that you may in fact be a racist (unconsciously?). Your response to this allegation was turbocharged defensiveness.... as Stephanie said, you're so cute.

But that wasn't the point of my last post, so let me explain in a manner that should be more accessible to your pretentious pseudo-intellectual method of processing text:
Stephanie: nice to you. You: be nice back. Or: you look like jerk.... Your choice.

Since I'm not a pretentious, angry, jealous, unhappy, frustrated individual, with delusions of exceptional cognitive abilities, I don't run around telling people to FO, so please try not to put words in my mouth, thanks :)!

Florian
04-18-2011, 12:29 PM
Since I'm not a pretentious, angry, jealous, unhappy, frustrated individual, with delusions of exceptional cognitive abilities, I don't run around telling people to FO, so please try not to put words in my mouth, thanks :)!

I put no words in your mouth. And I did not "project" anything on to you. I had no desire to pursue a discussion with you because I knew, from previous exchanges with you and from your idiotic response to my comment about the French outlawing of the burqa, that you are an ignorant, ill-mannered fool. I stick by my verdict.

I have no delusions about my cognitive abilities. Nor am I unhappy...except when I have to think about Americans like you.

handle
04-18-2011, 01:04 PM
I put no words in your mouth. I simply called you an ignorant, ill-mannered fool. I stick by my verdict.

A2D:
So, to use an expression that I am sure comes frequently to your lips: fuck off, asshole.

I have no delusions about my cognitive abilities. Nor am I unhappy...except when I have to think about people like you.
Oh, the snappy comebacks! The irony! You wound me Francaise! I bleed from your rapier wit! Your mad debate skillz kill me dead (really).


It's OK, you may mature into clearer self awareness, or not. Your extreme happiness is slathered all over this thread, I must say:)!!!

Florian
04-18-2011, 01:15 PM
Oh, the snappy comebacks! The irony! You wound me Francaise! I bleed from your rapier wit! Your mad debate skillz kill me dead (really).

It's OK, you may mature into clearer self awareness, or not. Your extreme happiness is slathered all over this thread, I must say:)!!!

I am not trying to wound you. On the contrary, I rejoice that an imbecile like you can exist. It almost makes me believe that there is a God after all--one who provides entertainment to the non-imbeciles.

handle
04-18-2011, 02:27 PM
I am not trying to wound you. On the contrary, I rejoice that an imbecile like you can exist. It almost makes me believe that there is a God after all--one who provides entertainment to the non-imbeciles.

That was sarcasm brainiac. C'mon.. your phoning it in, dude! Think of something a superior mind might come up with! Please? You're really sucking right now. Give me something to work with! ...snore...

Florian
04-18-2011, 02:48 PM
That was sarcasm brainiac. C'mon.. your phoning it in, dude! Think of something a superior mind might come up with! Please? Your really sucking right now. Give me something to work with! ...snore...

Feelings mutual, dude. You have yet to say anything of substance. But you are entertaining.

handle
04-18-2011, 02:49 PM
Ya missed a good typo (your - you're) too late!

handle
04-18-2011, 02:54 PM
Feelings mutual, dude. You have yet to say anything of substance. But you are entertaining.

Thanks, it's all we imbeciles have. (sniff)

handle
04-18-2011, 02:56 PM
Thanks, it's all we imbeciles have. (sniff)

Oh, and as you so astutely pointed out, telling people to fuck off.

Added: BTW, Found a nice characterization of you (http://www.flamewarriors.com/warriorshtm/artiste.htm)

Florian
04-18-2011, 03:15 PM
Oh, and as you so astutely pointed out, telling people to fuck off.

Added: BTW, Found a nice characterization of you (http://www.flamewarriors.com/warriorshtm/artiste.htm)

I am not an artiste, but thank you anyway for the compliment.

handle
04-18-2011, 03:19 PM
I am not an artiste, but thank you anyway for the compliment.
You're right, that aspect was generous. You are welcome.

Florian
04-18-2011, 03:41 PM
You're right, that aspect was generous. You are welcome.

Shall we leave it at that? You, not very generous. Me, not very grateful.

In any case, I am off to the cinema this evening.

handle
04-18-2011, 09:55 PM
Shall we leave it at that? You, not very generous. Me, not very grateful.

In any case, I am off to the cinema this evening.

It's OK, You can satisfy your dire need for the last word tomorrow, or later tonight. How's that for generous?

Au revoir!

stephanie
04-19-2011, 02:20 PM
Piss Christ destroyed by "French Catholic fundamentalists" (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/apr/18/andres-serrano-piss-christ-destroyed-christian-protesters)

Controversy has followed [Piss Christ]...but reached an unprecedented peak on Palm Sunday when it was attacked with hammers and destroyed after an "anti-blasphemy" campaign by French Catholic fundamentalists in the southern city of Avignon.

The violent slashing of the picture, and another Serrano photograph of a meditating nun, has plunged secular France into soul-searching about Christian fundamentalism and Nicolas Sarkozy's use of religious populism in his bid for re-election next year.

It also marks a return to an old standoff between Serrano and the religious right that dates back more than 20 years, to Reagan-era Republicanism in the US.... In 1989, rightwing Christian senators' criticism of Piss Christ led to a heated US debate on public arts funding....

...It was vandalised in Australia, and neo-Nazis ransacked a Serrano show in Sweden in 2007....

On Saturday, around 1,000 Christian protesters marched through Avignon to the gallery. The protest group included a regional councillor for the extreme-right Front National, which recently scored well in the Vaucluse area in local elections. The gallery immediately stepped up security, putting plexiglass in front of the photograph and assigning two gallery guards to stand in front of it.

But on Palm Sunday morning, four people in sunglasses aged between 18 and 25 entered the exhibition just after it opened at 11am. One took a hammer out of his sock and threatened the guards with it. A guard grabbed another man around the waist but within seconds the group managed to take a hammer to the plexiglass screen and slash the photograph with another sharp object, thought to be a screwdriver or ice-pick. They also smashed another work, which showed the hands of a meditating nun.

The gallery director, Eric Mézil, said it would reopen with the destroyed works on show "so people can see what barbarians can do". He said there had been a kind of "inquisition" against the art work.

In a statement, he said the movement against Piss Christ had started at the time of President Nicolas Sarkozy's ruling UMP party's controversial debate on religion and secularism in France. At a record low in the polls before next year's presidential election, Sarkozy has been accused of using anti-Muslim and extreme-right rhetoric to appeal to voters and counter the rise of the Front National.....

operative
04-19-2011, 04:04 PM
Piss Christ destroyed by "French Catholic fundamentalists" (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/apr/18/andres-serrano-piss-christ-destroyed-christian-protesters)

I'm against the destruction of other peoples' private property, but I think it's pretty telling that smashing a rotten painting is being equated with the sort of activities of Islamists. Islamists wouldn't have destroyed the painting. They would've stabbed to death the "artist", the whining 'art' show owner, and several others involved with the matter.

stephanie
04-19-2011, 04:40 PM
I'm against the destruction of other peoples' private property, but I think it's pretty telling that smashing a rotten painting is being equated with the sort of activities of Islamists.

(1) It's not a painting, it's a photograph. It's possible to debate its artistic merit.

(2) I hadn't noticed it being equated with any particular activities of Islamists. The Guardian article I linked did not make any such connection.

Islamists wouldn't have destroyed the painting.

They certainly might have. For example, Taliban destroys Buddha statutes. (http://www.commondreams.org/headlines01/0301-04.htm) Iconoclasts of various sorts have gone in for destroying art, and radical Muslims are (among other things) iconoclasts. They also have been known to destroy copies of works they dislike -- see, e.g., the burning of various copies of Satanic Verses. Might they also do worse? Yes, some might, but that doesn't mean that they wouldn't destroy the artwork or that the destruction of artwork that belongs to someone else is in some sense better just because others have done worse.

In any case, "French Catholic fundamentalists" are presumably not iconoclasts. I do think the article as a whole is perhaps more broadly relevant to some of the conversations that have been going on here.

I'm disappointed, because the "not as bad" or "false equivalent" argument I had been expecting people to pick up on (the one I found a little funny) was the "it's reminscent of the ruckus kicked up by American religious fundamentalists, when some Republican Congressmen threatened to cut off public funding" followed by even more examples of people in other countries the Guardian might think more civilized than the US (I really like the Guardian, but I don't think that's an unfar dig) actually attacking the artwork. Oh, the brutal Americans, debating public funding!

(To be fair, I do think there was more to the ruckus than that, though I don't recall hearing about any actual violence.)

operative
04-19-2011, 04:51 PM
(1) It's not a painting, it's a photograph. It's possible to debate its artistic merit.

(2) I hadn't noticed it being equated with any particular activities of Islamists. The Guardian article I linked did not make any such connection.


You're right that the Guardian article doesn't connect it to Islamists, but it and the people interviewed use the same language was one would use in describing Islamists, and I guarantee you that others will attempt to draw a more explicit comparison.

As for the artistic merit, sure, people can debate it however they wish. Personally I find it to be garbage. I'm also thoroughly disinterested in visual arts: I can think of few things more dull than having to spend time in an art museum.



They certainly might have. For example, Taliban destroys Buddha statutes. (http://www.commondreams.org/headlines01/0301-04.htm) Iconoclasts of various sorts have gone in for destroying art, and radical Muslims are (among other things) iconoclasts. They also have been known to destroy copies of works they dislike -- see, e.g., the burning of various copies of Satanic Verses. Might they also do worse? Yes, some might, but that doesn't mean that they wouldn't destroy the artwork or that the destruction of artwork that belongs to someone else is in some sense better just because others have done worse.

True. I should've said: They would've destroyed the picture. Then they would've issued a fatwa on the head of all those connected to it and proceeded to murder them.

bjkeefe
04-19-2011, 05:41 PM
I'm also thoroughly disinterested in visual arts: I can think of few things more dull than having to spend time in an art museum.

Noted for the record.

chiwhisoxx
04-19-2011, 06:00 PM
Noted for the record.

AHA! YOU CAUGHT HIM NOT LIKING ART! the record shall be pleased.

graz
04-19-2011, 06:06 PM
AHA! YOU CAUGHT HIM NOT LIKING ART! the record shall be pleased.

That the operative continues to parade his philistinism and prudery as praiseworthy is worth noting in itself. He's a freak -- lovable to his mother alone, perhaps?

operative
04-19-2011, 06:16 PM
That the operative continues to parade his philistinism and prudery as praiseworthy is worth noting in itself. He's a freak -- lovable to his mother alone, perhaps?

There are many worthy artistic arenas that I enjoy. Music, cinema, etc. 'Art' in the sense of Pollock's garbage, let alone the vulgarian trash of the artist mentioned in the article, not so much. It's an exercise in reading something into nothingness.

SkepticDoc
04-19-2011, 06:42 PM
It can affect our video game performance...

http://www.medpagetoday.com/Surgery/GeneralSurgery/26004?utm_content=&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=DailyHeadlines&utm_source=WC&userid=1519

stephanie
04-19-2011, 07:21 PM
There are many worthy artistic arenas that I enjoy. Music, cinema, etc. 'Art' in the sense of Pollock's garbage, let alone the vulgarian trash of the artist mentioned in the article, not so much. It's an exercise in reading something into nothingness.

Oh, c'mon. Your statement wasn't limited to particular artists, but "the visual arts." That's fine, although I can't personally relate -- people have their likes and dislikes among the arts. I don't care for mime, myself. However, after you've dismissed the whole field as uninteresting -- screw you, Giotto! -- you can't seriously expect people to take seriously pronouncements you have about the value of one artist or artwork, one painting or sculpture or photograph vs. others, can you?

operative
04-19-2011, 07:44 PM
Oh, c'mon. Your statement wasn't limited to particular artists, but "the visual arts." That's fine, although I can't personally relate -- people have their likes and dislikes among the arts. I don't care for mime, myself. However, after you've dismissed the whole field as uninteresting -- screw you, Giotto! -- you can't seriously expect people to take seriously pronouncements you have about the value of one artist or artwork, one painting or sculpture or photograph vs. others, can you?

I like select paintings--eg Dali's melting clocks. But I do find the overwhelming majority of art to be quite dull--that's a personal preference, not an attempt to dismiss it as a valid form of artistic expression (though I think that some 'art' is manifestly untalented gibberish, such as the picture in question). I certainly wouldn't claim to be anything resembling an expert or even particularly knowledgeable about the field (unlike film, which I feel quite comfortable discussing and analyzing). I simply can not connect to art. I can connect to film and music, but not art. I'm not a visual thinker, and I can't even draw stick figures with any level of talent.

TwinSwords
04-19-2011, 08:20 PM
I like select paintings--eg Dali's melting clocks. But I do find the overwhelming majority of art to be quite dull--that's a personal preference, not an attempt to dismiss it as a valid form of artistic expression (though I think that some 'art' is manifestly untalented gibberish, such as the picture in question). I certainly wouldn't claim to be anything resembling an expert or even particularly knowledgeable about the field (unlike film, which I feel quite comfortable discussing and analyzing). I simply can not connect to art. I can connect to film and music, but not art. I'm not a visual thinker, and I can't even draw stick figures with any level of talent.

And yet you are quite skilled at drawing cartoons.

operative
04-19-2011, 08:23 PM
And yet you are quite skilled at drawing cartoons.

Graphs =/= Cartoons.