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Three little words that have pissed so many people off.





foumy6
Okay so last year I was at a concert for the band Avenged Sevenfold and I bought a t-shirt that says "God hates us" on the back. God hates us is a song off their newest album Nightmare. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6-zlh-xYA_k
(Just a little side note here, do not instantly think this is a satanic band who has all anti god songs
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mzX0rhF8buo&ob=av3e

Okay, so I wore the shirt obviously and as I was walking down the street I had a cup of soda thrown at me by a passing car. Then when I went in for a haircut and a week later I was at a party and the barber came up to me and started telling me that all his customers complained about my shirt and he told me never to wear it in there again. And on yet another occasion I was tapped on my shoulder and asked why I want to burn in hell so bad. I have also been asked several time whats wrong with me I have had people yelling prayers at me and everything. Luckily there have been actual intelligent people I have talked to about it and explained that it is just a song title.

I just cant believe that just because I have a shirt that has three words on that just because it has "God" in it followed by something negative that people feel that hey can do all this stuff to people. WHy has this country that is suppose to support freedom of religion come to this that if someone doesn't believe what you do that you have the right to harass them. I sure if the shirt said "God loves us" nobody would have a problem with it.

here is a pic of this shirt:
http://cn1.kaboodle.com/hi/img/c/0/0/ec/b/AAAADLG9HSoAAAAAAOyzzw.jpg?v=1283519167000[/url]
foumy6
p.s. the youtube links and img links wernt working so thats why they are urls
Peterssidan
I see your point and of course people should not treat you bad because the way you dress but what is the reason to wear such a T-shirt? Is there any reason other than provoking people? If that is not the case I think it is misuse of the freedom you talk about. With freedom comes great responsibility you know.
foumy6
I wear the shirt because Avenged Sevenfold is my favorite band I a really thought that more people would be mature about it.
Peterssidan
If a person that doesn't believe in a god wear such a T-shirt I can't see it as anything else but a provocation. Not against me because I have no such belief but to the persons that do believe in some kind of god.

One thing I can't understand is how they know that the word god refers to their god when there are many number of gods world wide. If they consider their god to be all good and never hate they should simply assume that the T-shirt is referring to some other god.
ExMachina
What country do you live in out of curiosity?

Plenty of people walk/drive around with t-shirts/bumper stickers that support or endorse religion, in particular Christianity, here in the United States. If they feel as though they can heckle and abuse someone for expressing their belief in the absence of a God (a misinterpretation in your case), then as an atheist I will now feel entitled to throw garbage out of my car at anyone I see driving around with one of these.
foumy6
ExMachina wrote:
What country do you live in out of curiosity?

Plenty of people walk/drive around with t-shirts/bumper stickers that support or endorse religion, in particular Christianity, here in the United States. If they feel as though they can heckle and abuse someone for expressing their belief in the absence of a God (a misinterpretation in your case), then as an atheist I will now feel entitled to throw garbage out of my car at anyone I see driving around with one of these.

I live in the US as well, and I like your idea lol cause im an atheist too
Nameless
If you choose to wear a shirt with an obviously provocative phrase on it then um, more fool you for thinking that a few insecure / overly sensitive people aren't going to be provoked by it. It does sound like you've been particularly unlucky but I don't really know, I usually wear unlabelled clothing.
ocalhoun
Nameless wrote:
If you choose to wear a shirt with an obviously provocative phrase on it then um, more fool you for thinking that a few insecure / overly sensitive people aren't going to be provoked by it.

It would be nice to think that we have freedom of religion and freedom of expression though...

This goes beyond simply writing laws; the society as a whole needs to respect these freedoms.
(And if necessary, be forced to respect these freedoms*.)

Being persecuted for an expression like that -- even if you did mean it -- is utterly wrong. Such persecution needs to be fought and overcome, NOT excused and succumbed to.
There are far too many people -- in this country and around the free world -- who somehow think that freedoms don't apply to people they don't like, and it needs to stop.



*I am usually against government coercion, but protecting the rights of citizens is one of the few times that it can be legitimately used.
ExMachina
ocalhoun wrote:
There are far too many people -- in this country and around the free world -- who somehow think that freedoms don't apply to people they don't like, and it needs to stop.


Ha! I had to laugh at this line, so true.
ocalhoun
ExMachina wrote:
ocalhoun wrote:
There are far too many people -- in this country and around the free world -- who somehow think that freedoms don't apply to people they don't like, and it needs to stop.


Ha! I had to laugh at this line, so true.


Not funny. It's a serious problem.
ExMachina
ocalhoun wrote:
ExMachina wrote:
ocalhoun wrote:
There are far too many people -- in this country and around the free world -- who somehow think that freedoms don't apply to people they don't like, and it needs to stop.


Ha! I had to laugh at this line, so true.


Not funny. It's a serious problem.


Well of course it is, but the phrasing just makes it sound absolutely ridiculous because that's how people actually think. "I don't like this person so that's all that matters." The absolute idiocy with which people act and think has to be taken with some amusement otherwise the problems of the world and it's inhabitants would crush in sadness and despair. Like this: Crying or Very sad Crying or Very sad Crying or Very sad

Wink
Nameless
Freedom of expression is awesome and all, but so is a little forethought. Don't get me wrong - a culture which allows even mild abuse of someone for wearing three words on a shirt is far from ideal and the individuals in question probably have their own psychological issues. If you wanted to brazenly walk in public and challenge that culture, good for you. But if you're just trying to quietly support a band, there are probably better ways to go about that without it being mistaken for provocation.

I mean, if somebody walked into my fast food outlet and the one thing they had decided to show the world at large about themselves was a large sign reading 'atheist, go to hell!' ... I'd probably be annoyed too, even if I found out later that it was advertising a new fantasy novel wherein Atheist (ah-thist) Bladeborn struggles to cast aside his prophecy of bloodshed and restore peace between an above-ground race and tragically warped underground demonic farm animals. Or something.

You pick your battles.
deanhills
Peterssidan wrote:
If a person that doesn't believe in a god wear such a T-shirt I can't see it as anything else but a provocation.
Completely agreed. And the other way round. Christians going overboard with their T-shirts too.
jmlworld
I think its offensive to wear such t-shirt. Its in the category of racism and sexism in my books. You're offending someone's believes. Unfortunately, they didn't include this in the blacklist of freedom of expression and speech.
Nameless
jmlworld wrote:
I think its offensive to wear such t-shirt. Its in the category of racism and sexism in my books. You're offending someone's believes. Unfortunately, they didn't include this in the blacklist of freedom of expression and speech.

I'm not sure if that last line is supposed to be taken literally or as a criticism of overly restrictive laws. Regardless, passively offending a few sensitive members of group theists via choice of clothing is a far cry from the kind of active descrimination that still sometimes goes on against gender or race groups.
jmlworld
Nameless wrote:
jmlworld wrote:
I think its offensive to wear such t-shirt. Its in the category of racism and sexism in my books. You're offending someone's believes. Unfortunately, they didn't include this in the blacklist of freedom of expression and speech.

I'm not sure if that last line is supposed to be taken literally or as a criticism of overly restrictive laws. Regardless, passively offending a few sensitive members of group theists via choice of clothing is a far cry from the kind of active discrimination that still sometimes goes on against gender or race groups.


Well, they can wear whatever they want, but people should respect the freedom of religion. It's disturbing to abuse people's believes and I'm not sure why you'd say its less harmful than racially abusing someone.

Laws were supposed to protect the people, their rights, ethnicity, culture, religious believes, gender, etc. But there are few ambiguous rules which give the atheists a work-around to exploit and to offend someone's believes.
loremar
jmlworld wrote:
Well, they can wear whatever they want, but people should respect the freedom of religion. It's disturbing to abuse people's believes and I'm not sure why you'd say its less harmful than racially abusing someone.

Laws were supposed to protect the people, their rights, ethnicity, culture, religious believes, gender, etc. But there are few ambiguous rules which give the atheists a work-around to exploit and to offend someone's believes.

While it is true that people have the freedom to choose a religion and have the right to not be restricted to do so, or be judged based on his religion alone, religion isn't immune to criticism which is part of freedom of speech. This is especially true when religion takes the position to abuse other people's rights for example "discrimination against homosexuals". So in some cases, people actually have the right to offend other people(offend by means of criticism through negative comments and ridicule).

You shouldn't equate respect for ethnicity and sexuality with respect for religion. The former is given since birth, the latter is suppose to be earned. So not all times, you are obliged to respect religion. You can disrespect them if you have good reason to do so.

If a t-shirt says "God hates us", that is his own sentiments and has nothing to do with people who believe in God. If you force someone to stop wearing with such sign, then you are stepping against his rights for free speech. You should have good reason to do so beside from the fact that you didn't like his sign. If it says "Christians are Evil", then it could be offensive and out of place since you can't judge a person alone by his religion unless of course all Christians are in fact evil and that they are in fact evil because they are practicing evil as taught by their religion. If you can't justify what you say, then you might be stepping someone's rights. That also goes the same for a t-shirt that says "Atheists are Evil". You should have a good reason to wear that kind of t-shirt before I strip you naked lol.
ExMachina
jmlworld wrote:
Nameless wrote:
jmlworld wrote:
I think its offensive to wear such t-shirt. Its in the category of racism and sexism in my books. You're offending someone's believes. Unfortunately, they didn't include this in the blacklist of freedom of expression and speech.

I'm not sure if that last line is supposed to be taken literally or as a criticism of overly restrictive laws. Regardless, passively offending a few sensitive members of group theists via choice of clothing is a far cry from the kind of active discrimination that still sometimes goes on against gender or race groups.


Well, they can wear whatever they want, but people should respect the freedom of religion.


That cuts both ways, respecting freedom of religion includes respecting atheists who have chosen not to believe in any religion at all. However, this is hardly the case, and atheists are frequently depicted as social pariahs.
foumy6
ExMachina wrote:
jmlworld wrote:
Nameless wrote:
jmlworld wrote:
I think its offensive to wear such t-shirt. Its in the category of racism and sexism in my books. You're offending someone's believes. Unfortunately, they didn't include this in the blacklist of freedom of expression and speech.

I'm not sure if that last line is supposed to be taken literally or as a criticism of overly restrictive laws. Regardless, passively offending a few sensitive members of group theists via choice of clothing is a far cry from the kind of active discrimination that still sometimes goes on against gender or race groups.


Well, they can wear whatever they want, but people should respect the freedom of religion.


That cuts both ways, respecting freedom of religion includes respecting atheists who have chosen not to believe in any religion at all. However, this is hardly the case, and atheists are frequently depicted as social pariahs.


I agree and just reading the posts here I have found a person who dont seem to think atheists should deserve respect. I mean just look at how people view Christopher Hitchens.
ocalhoun
jmlworld wrote:

Well, they can wear whatever they want, but people should respect the freedom of religion. It's disturbing to abuse people's believes and I'm not sure why you'd say its less harmful than racially abusing someone.

Freedom of religion just means that you can practice whatever religion you want.

It does NOT mean that people can't insult your religion.

Freedom of religion cannot override freedom of expression because nobody has the right to restrict the rights of others.
Bikerman
The idea of automatic respect for religious beliefs is, frankly, dangerous nonsense. As I have frequently pointed out, nobody (I hope) suggests that every viewpoint is worthy of respect. The view that children are fair game for sex, for example, would not strike most people as something to be held in esteem.
So why, then, should people be expected to hold in esteem the view that they are sinners damned to eternal torment and that the religious person is morally superior due to their profession of faith in a set of extremely dodgy 'truths'. Christians like to pretend they 'respect' Islam, but they don't. Respect means treating with esteem and any Christian, by definition, believes that Islam is profoundly wrong at the most basic level - the divinity of Christ. Likewise any Muslim, by definition, believes that Christianity is profoundly wrong in its central dogma. Similarly if someone believes that 2+2=5 then it would be perverse to suggest that this belief be respected by people who know it is nonsense. If you start chucking respect around for stupid beliefs you simply encourage more stupidity.

Perhaps the problem is with the word 'respect' - I suspect it is. Insofar as the word can be applied, it can be much better applied in the principle of freedom of expression. I do not have to respect the beliefs of a Muslim or Christian to respect their right, as individuals, to hold whatever beliefs they choose. Indeed this is a much more powerful and defined position, because it leads inescapably to the conclusion not that I must simply 'respect' religious viewpoints - whatever that actually means - but that I must actively and consistently resist any attempt to stiffle the expression of such beliefs - whether I believe them myself or not - even if I consider them objectionable and false.

That is a much better basis for what, I suspect, is ACTUALLY required here - not respect for particular beliefs - which is pretty meaningless when you get right down to it, and downright dangerous in some cases - but tolerance of those beliefs, and, far more importantly, the committment to stand against any attempt to silence those beliefs.
It is HARD to put yourself on the line to defend the right of some religious zealot to spout nonsense, but that is a requirement for those of us who truly believe in freedom of expression. This is a much more real and demanding committment than empty words about 'respecting belief', which are, in any case, normally mouthed by people who actually are demanding respect only for THEIR particular beliefs.

People who believe as I do are quite serious when we say that we will stand-up against any attempt to deny free expression - even if the person being denied is religious in a way which we find ridiculous, and even if that involves some personal risk.

I wonder how many Christians, or Muslims come to that, would risk a kicking to defend that same right for me? I've already met one Muslim in here who would not only NOT defend that right for me, but actually advocates killing me for exercising it.

Respect? Don't make me laugh!
Nameless
jmlworld wrote:
It's disturbing to abuse people's believes and I'm not sure why you'd say its less harmful than racially abusing someone.

A guy attends an interview for a job he really wants in a small company, but the current female employees feel edgy about working around a male. He's now jobless.
A guy is heading home from a late night out when a policeman stops to question him because he's black and looks mistakenly suspiciously. He misses his bus and is stranded for the night.
A guy walks down the street and notices another guy cheerfully going about his business while wearing a shirt with three words that the first guy doesn't agree with. Both continue with their day.

One of these things is not like the others. Let's keep this scenario in perspective.
Bikerman
Actually I would go much further.
We ALREADY accord religious belief an absurd amount of respect. That is why people like Dawkins and Harris are treated by many as extremists when in fact both make measured, reasonable and well argued points against religion, and both are clear that people should be free to believe what they wish, and do not advocate trying to supress religion in any way. That is seriously regarded by many people as an extreme position....how ridiculous is that?
There is a deep feeling that religious belief IS special and should NOT be challenged. That is one reason why lunatic beliefs have survived and prospered.

Imagine suggesting that the 'fact' that the moon is made of cheese should not be challenged - and insisting that it should actually be taught to young children as fact. Many religious beliefs are no less idiotic, yet people defer to them and feel compelled to refrain from addressing the idiocy. Indeed, the fact that I don't feel so compelled marks me out, to quite a few posters, as an 'extreme' voice. If one objectively examines my postings there is no extreme position at all, and no advocacy of extremism, simply criticism of religion. That in itself has come to mean extremism and it is not only ironic, it is stupid and dangerous.
foumy6
Personally i think that religion causes to many problems so thats why I choose not to believe in it, and what happened to me with this shirt is a prime example of what I am saying. The government always says that you freedoms only go so far, so why isnt that the case here? is the freedom of expresstion being taken to far? I don't know like I said personally i think religion has been cause problems sense it first started and has been causing war and much more, but hey thats just my opinion.
ocalhoun
foumy6 wrote:
The government always says that you freedoms only go so far, so why isnt that the case here?

Regardless of what any government might say (governments can be very wrong, after all), your freedoms do have a limit. That limit can be very precisely defined though: your freedoms stop where they begin to infringe on the freedom of others.

ie, The only legitimate restriction of freedom is to restrict the freedom to infringe upon the rights of others.
Quote:
is the freedom of expresstion being taken to far?

Only if it restricts the freedoms of others.

For freedom of expression, this doesn't happen often. The commonly recited example of 'yelling "fire" in a crowded theater' restricts the freedom of others because it often leads to the death or injury of others.
I don't see any way that wearing an anti-God T-shirt restricts the freedoms of others though.
(And don't even try 'freedom of religion'. You're perfectly able to practice whatever religion you want, no matter what people write on their shirts.
An anti-God shirt no more infringes on your religious rights than an anti-gun shirt infringes upon my right to bear arms.)
jmlworld
ocalhoun wrote:
Freedom of religion cannot override freedom of expression because nobody has the right to restrict the rights of others.

Isn't it against the freedom of speech?

What about if certain religion harshly criticizes homosexuals and the followers of that religion express their opinion about homosexuals?

ocalhoun wrote:
Only if it restricts the freedoms of others.

And abusing a religion could be part of the freedom of speech, but it may instill emotional and moral neglect in those who believe that religion.

ocalhoun wrote:
It does NOT mean that people can't insult your religion.

I'm not bothered if an atheist wears such t-shirt, its part of what they believe. They can do whatever they want for their own good. BUT its against the basic rules when their initial motive to wear such t-shirt is to offend other people for what they believe.

This may sometimes influence indirect damage against a business. Take example for Foumy's original post. The barber asked him to leave, because his customer base were believers with strong dislike against abuses towards their religion.
catscratches
jmlworld wrote:
ocalhoun wrote:
Freedom of religion cannot override freedom of expression because nobody has the right to restrict the rights of others.

Isn't it against the freedom of speech?

What about if certain religion harshly criticizes homosexuals and the followers of that religion express their opinion about homosexuals?
Then they have the right to do so, which they do, frequently.
foumy6
ocalhoun wrote:
foumy6 wrote:
The government always says that you freedoms only go so far, so why isnt that the case here?

Regardless of what any government might say (governments can be very wrong, after all), your freedoms do have a limit. That limit can be very precisely defined though: your freedoms stop where they begin to infringe on the freedom of others.

ie, The only legitimate restriction of freedom is to restrict the freedom to infringe upon the rights of others.
Quote:
is the freedom of expresstion being taken to far?

Only if it restricts the freedoms of others.

For freedom of expression, this doesn't happen often. The commonly recited example of 'yelling "fire" in a crowded theater' restricts the freedom of others because it often leads to the death or injury of others.
I don't see any way that wearing an anti-God T-shirt restricts the freedoms of others though.
(And don't even try 'freedom of religion'. You're perfectly able to practice whatever religion you want, no matter what people write on their shirts.
An anti-God shirt no more infringes on your religious rights than an anti-gun shirt infringes upon my right to bear arms.)

First of all you are jumping to the conclution that it is an anit-god tshirt which it is not! that is what I am saying it is simply a song where if you listened to it and acually understood the lyrics then you would get it more, but I think that just when people see it they automatically think that it is anti god, but then there are the people who will just ask me about it and once I tell them that it is just a song they dont care anymore.
deanhills
foumy6 wrote:
First of all you are jumping to the conclution that it is an anit-god tshirt which it is not! that is what I am saying it is simply a song where if you listened to it and acually understood the lyrics then you would get it more, but I think that just when people see it they automatically think that it is anti god, but then there are the people who will just ask me about it and once I tell them that it is just a song they dont care anymore.
OK. So according to jml's definition you are not wearing the T-Shirt to offend any one, you are wearing it because whatever is written on it pleases you? So that should then make it OK? So all that it needs is a little bit of communication to straighten the meaning of what it says out with those who do not immediately understand what the lyrics mean? And of course compassion with those who do not immediately understand what the lyrics mean if they don't know the song.
Bikerman
Why would one have compassion for someone who threatened violence based on THEIR OWN misunderstanding? And what makes you think that simply explaining the intent is either required or likely to be effective?
If I wear or say something that another person finds a problem then lets be completely clear - I don't HAVE a problem - THAT PERSON has a problem. There is no onus on me to explain myself because I don't have a problem. If the person then threatens me, in effect trying to make HIS problem into MY problem, he has committed a criminal offence and my response would not be compasionate, it would be to call the police.

Neither is explanation likely to work. Salman Rushdie explained the metaphysics of the Satanic Verses many times and explained that he didn't intend to offend Muslims and that he was sorry if such offense had been taken. It didn't change a damn thing. Muslims all over the world saw it as their duty to kill him if they had the chance, and Muslim leaders either actively ecouraged it (Khomeni put a cash bounty on his head, for example) or had the cheek to suggest that this was all Rushdie's fault, whatever happened, and that Muslims - those followers of the 'religion of peace' - had every right to threaten Rushdie.

You see this in these very forums with more than one Muslim defending the notion that people who upset them should be killed or silenced - and people seem to be hypnotised by the bull into actually sympathising with the thugs because they have had their feelings hurt.
PATHETIC! People who behave like petulant children, and threaten others with violence or death, should not be 'sympathised with', they merit no compassion. They should be roundly castigated by all right-thinking people, and where merited they should be tried and, if convicted, locked up for incitement to murder, conspiracy to murder, incitement to violence, threatening behaviour, criminal assault - and/or whatever other offences apply in their particular case. They are dangerous, violent criminals - nothing more. Compassion my arse - lock them up.
ocalhoun
jmlworld wrote:
ocalhoun wrote:
Freedom of religion cannot override freedom of expression because nobody has the right to restrict the rights of others.

Isn't it against the freedom of speech?

What about if certain religion harshly criticizes homosexuals and the followers of that religion express their opinion about homosexuals?

Indeed, what if?
There is nothing wrong with that.
As long as they keep their actions restricted to speech and other forms of expression alone, there is no problem, since they are not infringing upon the rights of anybody else.
It only becomes a problem if those words are accompanied by actions that do infringe upon the rights of others.
Quote:

ocalhoun wrote:
Only if it restricts the freedoms of others.

And abusing a religion could be part of the freedom of speech, but it may instill emotional and moral neglect in those who believe that religion.

So let it instill 'emotional and moral neglect'.
There is no such thing as a 'right to not be emotionally or morally neglected', so instilling such things doesn't infringe upon anybody's rights.

As for the 'neglected', living in a free society requires thick skin. Get over it, or start/join a non-free society.
Quote:

ocalhoun wrote:
It does NOT mean that people can't insult your religion.

I'm not bothered if an atheist wears such t-shirt, its part of what they believe. They can do whatever they want for their own good. BUT its against the basic rules when their initial motive to wear such t-shirt is to offend other people for what they believe.

Against what basic rules?
Who has made rules against offending people?
Simply being offended is not an infringement upon anybody's rights, so there is no justifiable way to restrict the rights of others to prevent such offending things.
Quote:

This may sometimes influence indirect damage against a business. Take example for Foumy's original post. The barber asked him to leave, because his customer base were believers with strong dislike against abuses towards their religion.

As long as the person being asked to leave was asked to leave because of something he chose to do/be, I have no problem with that.
If he was being asked to leave because of something he was born into, however, that would be a problem.

foumy6 wrote:

First of all you are jumping to the conclution that it is an anit-god tshirt which it is not!

Well, not really, just trying not to add any additional complications.
The point is, even if it was an explicitly and implicitly anti-god shirt and it was being worn solely for the purpose of offending people, it should still be protected free speech.
You shouldn't need to justify it by explaining that it isn't actually anti-god.
Nameless
foumy6 wrote:
First of all you are jumping to the conclution that it is an anit-god tshirt which it is not!

This topic kind of reminds me of this xkcd comic:

foumy6
I wear the shirt because its for my favorite band and originally i planned on buying a different one, but all but this one were sold out I dont show hate to any religion I am what i am and I dont care what you choose to be as long as you dont force it on me.
Hello_World
This kind of reminds me about the people who say gay people should keep it in the bedroom and not be 'proud' and kiss in public etc.

It also reminds me about a little cartoon issue of Muhummad... although far less extreme.

----------------------------------------

Edited by Hello World...

ok then... Smile
Bikerman
No, I wasn't referring to you. My point was not to single out any individual here for criticism - I was speaking generally about 'people' - not specifically about individual posters here. I don't think that personalising the general point would be helpful - it rarely is in debate.
loremar
Bikerman wrote:
PATHETIC! People who behave like petulant children, and threaten others with violence or death, should not be 'sympathised with', they merit no compassion. They should be roundly castigated by all right-thinking people, and where merited they should be tried and, if convicted, locked up for incitement to murder, conspiracy to murder, incitement to violence, threatening behaviour, criminal assault - and/or whatever other offences apply in their particular case. They are dangerous, violent criminals - nothing more. Compassion my arse - lock them up.

I second that. No violence should come out from anyone's mouth. Except for me, I only wish some people should be hit by lightning or some meteorite or getting hit by a train or a truck. lol. I don't pity them when they die, to be honest. Except for the lost family who are innocent.
deanhills
Bikerman wrote:
If I wear or say something that another person finds a problem then lets be completely clear - I don't HAVE a problem - THAT PERSON has a problem.
OK, let's look at your Avatar then - and check who has the problem. I'd be most curious to know why your Avatar is the anti-Christ? Is it because you believe in the Anti-Christ? Exactly what is your objective with having an anti-Christ in your Avatar? If you believe in the anti-Christ then I'd say you're on OK ground. But if you are using the Avatar to needle Christians, then I'd say you're the one with the problem.
Bikerman
Err...a few basic points:
a) The 'anti-christ' is not the devil in Christian theology* - I would expect any Christian to KNOW that.
b) Christian theology contains many demons and devils, so even if my avatar were a devil then you would have no clue WHICH devil.
c) Sad that I have to point this out (I thought the meaning of the avatar was both obvious and mildly humorous, and I certainly didn't think that anyone would - or could - think it represented the antichrist - a singularly ignorant association for any supposed Christian to make). It OBVIOUSLY represents 'Devil's Advocate' - or at least I think it would be obvious to anyone who thought about it for a moment and who knew at least a small amount about Christianity. It is a devil/demon, holding a book, and appearing to lecture or make a point - an advocate.

If I wanted to depict the antichrist I would simply have used a photo of a normal looking person. The antichrist appears as a person (or actually as people), not a devil/demon. Duh!* It is actually pretty hilarious - you are determined to find offence but you haven't got a clue what to be offended about, so you make the really bad decision to bluff with the 'antichrist gambit'. Anyone who has followed my postings for any period should know that I usually call bluffs about religion - so it was a doubly bad move.

So, in a nutshell, any potential problem that you perceive is the result of your own ignorant interpretation, and a pompous, self-righteous, and above all hilarious, determintion to FIND offense. It has nothing to do with my avatar** Classic.

As I said, I have no problem, and trying to make this MY problem simply won't wash - at least with anyone with any knowledge of Christianity.

* Christianity 101 - especially for Christians who know nothing about their own religion.
Quote:
The term or title antichrist, in Christian theology, refers to a leader who fulfills Biblical prophecies concerning an adversary of Christ, while resembling him in a deceptive manner. The antichrist will seemingly provide for the needs of the people but deny them ultimate salvation.

Wiki

** Why any Christian would be offended by an image of a demon/devil is equally mysterious. Have you ever actually examined the front of many old Cathedrals? Devils and demons adorn many religious buildings and are frequently used in Christian iconography - and in characature form much more 'offensive' than my little avatar.
deanhills
Now this is typical Bikerman when he is trying to evade questions he comes with lots of noise and insults. I asked you whether you believed in the subject of your Avatar and you did not answer my question. I will add another question, exactly why have you chosen this Avatar? What is the statement you wish to make?
loremar
deanhills wrote:
Now this is typical Bikerman when he is trying to evade questions he comes with lots of noise and insults. I asked you whether you believed in the subject of your Avatar and you did not answer my question. I will add another question, exactly why have you chosen this Avatar? What is the statement you wish to make?

I think he already told me why a long time ago.
http://www.frihost.com/forums/vp-1037015.html#1037015
loremar wrote:
I hate it but I must admit your right.

Don't get offended but your avatar really tells who you are.

Bikerman wrote:
It doesn't offend me in the slightest. The avatar is meant to be humorous - it plays to a view of me that some theists hold - a religious 'devil'. It is wrong, since am not religious and don't believe in any devils/satan etc, but I got tired of pointing that out and decided to simply play to the image...ideally I would have liked an image which said 'Devil's Advocate' but I tried messing around with a devil's head on a lawyer's body and it didn't really work. I might knock another one up using an image wearing the gown and wig of an English Barrister - but that would be a bit more parochial and not everyone would see the underlying joke.

It is suppose to be humorous, I guess.
Bikerman
deanhills wrote:
Now this is typical Bikerman when he is trying to evade questions he comes with lots of noise and insults. I asked you whether you believed in the subject of your Avatar
So you start out with a blatant lie... You did not ask me whether I believed in my Avatar at all. You assumed it is the antichrist and what you asked was WHY my avatar IS the ANTICHRIST.
Quote:
and you did not answer my question.
And you follow up with another lie..I gave you a precise and pretty complete answer which I will happily summarise for you:

It isn't, and the fact that you think it is reveals deep ignorance of Christianity on your part, followed by a pathetic attempt to appear offended by something YOU invented.


I also explained EXACTLY what the image represents but as usual you either didn't or couldn't read it.
DEVIL'S ADVOCATE.
deanhills
loremar wrote:
It is suppose to be humorous, I guess.
Thanks Loremar. Well said. Doesn't look humorous to me at all. Definitely did not make me giggle. Now this one is cute don't you think?



Bikerman wrote:
I might knock another one up using an image wearing the gown and wig of an English Barrister - but that would be a bit more parochial and not everyone would see the underlying joke.
Think that is a great idea. Much more dignified I'd say.
loremar
I thought this one might pull it off.

Ghost Rider103
I don't see this thread going back on topic anytime soon.

-close-
Ghost Rider103
I'm unlocking this thread on request of the OP.

Please stay on topic with the original post.
foumy6
Thank you ghost rider Smile, but now back on to topic I just hate that even though we are free to choose that we are still judged for it, even by the government if a cop came up to two people because he received a report that one of them had punched the other I guarantee the officer is going to assume it is the one in black wearing a god hates us t shirt.
Nameless
If you can't be judged by the conscious choices you make, what are you to be judged by?
ocalhoun
Nameless wrote:
If you can't be judged by the conscious choices you make, what are you to be judged by?

The problem is when you are judged unfairly by those conscious choices... not judged by the merit of the choice, but judged by the failure to conform to the 'correct' choice -- especially in matters where the correct choice cannot be determined with certainty.
bukaida
Believe in something is a personal idea and usually is harmless. The problem comes when the attitude is " Believe and make others believe". Look at the history, you will find lots of examples.
ocalhoun
Split several posts off of this topic into a new one, because it was getting off-topic again.
tidruG
There are a couple of points here:

First—freedom of religion/expression. My own personal stand on this is that while it's good to have freedom, there's always a line (which is subjective, of course). Can I cloak myself with the freedom of religion to go around shouting "Atheists are going to burn in hell! Let's kill them all now and put them out of their misery!". It's obviously a provocative statement, and it begs a question as to whether such free speech should be allowed.

As ocalhoun points out-
Quote:
your freedoms stop where they begin to infringe on the freedom of others.


Second—The issue with the T-shirt. I'm actually surprised that you've received such reaction. You probably live in a part of town where people are very religious and, more importantly, less tolerant.

My personal opinion is that, ideally, everyone should have freedom to wear what they want, think what they want and express what they want (within the confine that it doesn't do damage to others, which I'm willing to admit is a subjective caveat...nevertheless...). However, it's not an ideal world, you're living in a society and in a society, you give some, get some. Budge a bit, compromise. If you know you're going to get crap for wearing that T-shirt, don't wear it around town. Wear it when you go for concerts, etc.

Ocalhoun wrote:
An anti-God shirt no more infringes on your religious rights than an anti-gun shirt infringes upon my right to bear arms.

Right you are, but again, it's not an ideal world. Your freedoms are restricted or defined by the society you live in.

I equate this to the kind of dressing you would do for the society. If you live in India, for example, don't walk around in a bikini, unless you want to get stared at. In some of the conservative parts of India, don't kiss in public, people will not like it and you could get in trouble.

Bikerman wrote:
You see this in these very forums with more than one Muslim defending the notion that people who upset them should be killed or silenced - and people seem to be hypnotised by the bull into actually sympathising with the thugs because they have had their feelings hurt.
PATHETIC! People who behave like petulant children, and threaten others with violence or death, should not be 'sympathised with', they merit no compassion. They should be roundly castigated by all right-thinking people, and where merited they should be tried and, if convicted, locked up for incitement to murder, conspiracy to murder, incitement to violence, threatening behaviour, criminal assault - and/or whatever other offences apply in their particular case. They are dangerous, violent criminals - nothing more.
In this particular example, I'm inclined to agree with you. However, as a pragmatist, I'd like to point out that we're all humans and we get provoked. It would be prudent not to walk into a gay bar and shout "YOU FAGGOTS ARE GOING TO BURN IN HELL!". That's akin to trolling, or to put it simply, "asking for trouble". The intention is to go and provoke people, disturb them. Though you have the freedom to go do/say whatever you like, you're likely to face the consequences.

Quote:
but now back on to topic I just hate that even though we are free to choose that we are still judged for it, even by the government if a cop came up to two people because he received a report that one of them had punched the other I guarantee the officer is going to assume it is the one in black wearing a god hates us t shirt.
That's because as humans, we have our biases and we view the world subjectively by default. By the way, your statement is too general. If the cop was a fan of Avenged Sevenfold, he might know what your t-shirt refers to.

Quote:
If you can't be judged by the conscious choices you make, what are you to be judged by?
Off-topic, but simple...why should you judge anyone at all? If you form opinions of others before you get to know them, you could potentially be limiting yourself from a great friendship, from love, from anything. Einstein had ridiculous hair, for example.
deanhills
Great post tidruG. Sounds like one of tolerance. I feel quite strongly about tolerance too. For example if someone is a religious nut and trying to push his/her beliefs down the throat of other religious or non-religious people that would be crossing the line for me too. And ditto if the non-religious would do the same to the religious. This part of your post particularly impressed me as I see this as the equivalent of trolling too:
tidruG wrote:
However, as a pragmatist, I'd like to point out that we're all humans and we get provoked. It would be prudent not to walk into a gay bar and shout "YOU FAGGOTS ARE GOING TO BURN IN HELL!". That's akin to trolling, or to put it simply, "asking for trouble". The intention is to go and provoke people, disturb them. Though you have the freedom to go do/say whatever you like, you're likely to face the consequences.
BigGeek
In the US Marines we had a saying "I may not agree with anything you have to say, but I will defend with my life and my rifle your right to say it".

Upon joining the Marine Corp you are asked to take a vow as with all the US armed forces, to defend the constitution of the US, which affords things like freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and so on.

It really does not matter what he has written on his t-shirt, no one has the right to harm, harass, threaten, or discriminate against him because of what is written on his t-shirt.

Be that as it may, I also have to say that I agree with all the posts in that digression is the better part of valor, and good decisions are best made taking all things into account, like walking in a gay bar with a t-shirt that says "ALL HOMOSEXUALS ARE SINNERS AND WILL BURN IN HELL" may not be the best decision to make if you value your health, and body. You might end up in the hospital.

Like getting thrown out of Walmart for wearing a pro gun shirt.....honestly I wasn't even thinking about wearing the shirt, I was working in the yard, and went to Wally World to get some fertilizer and top soil, and I was dumbfounded when I was asked to leave, which I did so after I made my purchase, which they let me make.....we are offended by your t-shirt and don't want you wearing it while shopping, but we will take your money before we escort you out!!!

I the case of the "God Hates Us" t-shirt, it didn't even have any anti-religious sentiment to it if you ask me? Honestly, is it the Christian god, the Buddhist god, the Muslim God, not to mention the fact that it implies a religious belief in that you must believe in god to be able to hold the belief that said god hates us.

I agree with Bikerman, the moment someone threatens you for anything no matter how trivial, call the cops. I've had to call the cops before when threatened, and I will tell you, they do not care about religious beliefs, opinions, being offended or not, the moment you threaten anyone, you are guilty of assault, you have broken the law, and can be arrested and charged with a crime........killing someone because they offended you, will land you in prison, or death row, and no amount of crying that your god gives you the right will alter your fate Cool

That's the way it should be Very Happy
ocalhoun
BigGeek wrote:

Like getting thrown out of Walmart for wearing a pro gun shirt.....

lolwut?

Most walmarts sell guns.
Why would they kick you out for wearing a pro-gun shirt?
BigGeek
On the front of the shirt it had a smiley face with a bloody hole above it's right eye, and the second amendment written below that. On the back it had the round yellow ball, with the left corner blown out and blood spatter, as if the back of the smiley face had been blow out by a bullet, and below it read "What part if "shall not be infringed" do you not understand?".

The store manager was upset about the graphic violence depicted by the smiley face, and felt that it was offensive to their customers. She said that it was inappropriate attire for their store, and yes they sell firearms, however she did not care about the pro-gun aspect of the t-shirt, just the bloody smiley face! She felt that it was a commentary on Walmart and their smiley face bargain guy!

I politely explained that it was a work shirt and I meant no commentary in wearing it!

I was in line with my gardening supplies and the shirt was dirty and my jeans were also dirty, it was obvious I was working in the yard, and I explained that it was a work shirt, so she let me make my purchase and then asked me not to wear that shirt in the store again. Rolling Eyes

I saw a Hispanic gentleman wearing a t-shirt that read "F%&k me like an ANIMAL" and had a picture of two dogs humping on it, and no one said anything to him about being offensive Shocked

Go Figure!

No doubt Formy6's t-shirt set a few people off, the one thing that you can rest assured on is that people will always find something to be offended over Very Happy
deanhills
BigGeek wrote:
No doubt Formy6's t-shirt set a few people off, the one thing that you can rest assured on is that people will always find something to be offended over Very Happy
True. I personally however don't like to wear T-Shirts with writing on them. I just don't like people reading stuff off me.
tingkagol
I believe a store like Walmart has the right to put up rules and regulations (written or arbitrary) in their own establishment, and they most certainly can make you leave its premises if you violate these "rules". These could cover anything from wearing "offensive" t-shirts to running butt-naked along the aisles, whatever.

Outside the Walmart premises, however, it's a different story.

Quote:
I saw a Hispanic gentleman wearing a t-shirt that read "F%&k me like an ANIMAL" and had a picture of two dogs humping on it, and no one said anything to him about being offensive

That's cause everybody enjoys sex. To quote the office (for no particular reason):
Quote:
Salesman: You see, I sit across from a man. I see his face. I see his eyes. Now does it matter if he wants a hundred dollars worth of paper or a hundred million dollars of deep sea fishing equipment? Don't be a fool. He wants respect. He wants love. He wants to be younger. He wants to be attractive. There is no such thing as a product. Don't ever think there. is. There is only sex. Everything is sex.


Smile
BigGeek
tingkagol wrote:
I believe a store like Walmart has the right to put up rules and regulations (written or arbitrary) in their own establishment, and they most certainly can make you leave its premises if you violate these "rules". These could cover anything from wearing "offensive" t-shirts to running butt-naked along the aisles, whatever.

Outside the Walmart premises, however, it's a different story.

Quote:
I saw a Hispanic gentleman wearing a t-shirt that read "F%&k me like an ANIMAL" and had a picture of two dogs humping on it, and no one said anything to him about being offensive


Thing is - the guy was in Walmart, the day they told me my T-Shirt was offensive Confused

Of Course I didn't say anything about it, just said yes mam, and left as soon as I had my supplies. Sure I agree with any business reserving the right to ask anyone that is not behaving with in acceptable standards to leave their store or business, no argument there. I was just a little shocked that he was in line 3 people behind me, and she said nothing to him.

I guess you are right, it's OK if it is about sex, but it is offensive if it is about shooting a smiley face, or some other offensive statement, like "God Hates Us". Very Happy Cool
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