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← Lebanese march in Beirut to demand secularism

Lebanese march in Beirut to demand secularism - Comments

Luke_B's Avatar Comment 1 by Luke_B

The march of secularism cannot be stopped.

Sun, 25 Apr 2010 17:10:00 UTC | #462708

AndrewP's Avatar Comment 2 by AndrewP

A brave attempt to follow in Jefferson's footsteps, and put a boot on the neck of religion. Hope they make it so.

Sun, 25 Apr 2010 17:19:00 UTC | #462712

AshtonBlack's Avatar Comment 3 by AshtonBlack

Oh, that is a nice surprise. Wonder if the the faith heads will give a toss?

Sun, 25 Apr 2010 17:24:00 UTC | #462714

Corylus's Avatar Comment 4 by Corylus

Only religious authorities can register marriages, births or death or rule on matters of inheritance - so all Lebanese end up having different rights.

Muslims, for example, cannot adopt children; Maronite Christians cannot get divorced, and it is impossible for members of different sects to marry each other, while civil marriage is not an option here. [Emphasis mine]

That is the proper raison d'etre for secularism: simple fairness and the support of those who see equality as a 'good'.

Sun, 25 Apr 2010 17:27:00 UTC | #462716

BottomRamen's Avatar Comment 5 by BottomRamen

The French set up that shitty system. What a clusterfuck of a country.

Sun, 25 Apr 2010 17:46:00 UTC | #462723

Beachbum's Avatar Comment 6 by Beachbum

Oh, this is exhilarating news. Can you imagine the effect of a secular block at both ends of the rapture ready set as secular outlooks spread through the Middle East.

"History, I believe, furnishes no example of a priest-ridden people maintaining a free civil government. This marks the lowest grade of ignorance of which their civil as well as religious leaders will always avail themselves for their own purposes." ~ Thomas Jefferson

Sun, 25 Apr 2010 18:08:00 UTC | #462731

jcob82's Avatar Comment 7 by jcob82

I recently met the Lebanese deputy ambassador to the UN and she was one of the most intelligent, well educated people I have had the pleasure to meet and speak with. After talking with her I certainly feel there is reason to be optimistic about the future of the Middle East at least in regards to Lebanon.

Sun, 25 Apr 2010 18:29:00 UTC | #462734

ridelo's Avatar Comment 8 by ridelo

All together now: "This is the dawning of the age of reason. F... Aquarius!"

Sun, 25 Apr 2010 19:01:00 UTC | #462757

Duff's Avatar Comment 9 by Duff

This is all fine and good, but Hezbollah and the other religious cranks will seek these secularists out and cut their throats. Or more likely, plant bombs in the midst of their rallies. Which is the cowardly way these religious cranks usually operate.

Sun, 25 Apr 2010 19:08:00 UTC | #462760

msloane's Avatar Comment 10 by msloane

Lebanon is a good example of what results when the god virus attacks culture and government. It certainly makes for some whacky situations and complicated laws.

Sun, 25 Apr 2010 20:13:00 UTC | #462798

SilentMike's Avatar Comment 11 by SilentMike

Hezbollah has the rockets, the willingness to kill and to die, and the support of Syria and Iran, so I don't like their chances. But it's good that their trying.

If you want to secularize Lebanon, first you have to do something about the Tyrants from Tehran an Damascus meddling in their affairs. The true lords of Lebanon will never have it be a free secular state. That would not suite their agenda.

Sun, 25 Apr 2010 20:51:00 UTC | #462819

chawinwords's Avatar Comment 12 by chawinwords

Luke B, you said: "The march of secularism cannot be stopped."

Young, at least I hope young friend, you don't have any idea how wrong you might end up being.

It is at least as likely that there will be a marriage between powerful corporations, great wealth, and submissive social conservatives, using organized religions (a form of fascism).

Already, I have listened to and/or watched several powerful ministers use sermons and listened to several interviews of religious persons using scriptures,identifying what they call "Biblical capitalism.

Or to put it in Bible language, these anti-secular spokespersons, and their non-critically thinking followers, would make a compact with Satan in order to keep their social positions and power -- and tithing, etc. Do you really think so many of this sort will give up their mansions and privileges on earth, for a "???" mansions in some later heaven. Hey, the sort that can convince a human mind that if they kill for the cause on earth, they will receive 72 virgins (or whatever) in paradise, ain't gonna give up that easy.

It is such a short step from living your life for a God to killing others for that same God. Somebody had to do their thinking for them.

Sun, 25 Apr 2010 21:00:00 UTC | #462825

Philoctetes                                        's Avatar Comment 13 by Philoctetes

Not forgetting of course Israel's eager willingness to intervene. The situation could internationalise and we might be confronted with the decision of whether to intervene on behalf of fellow secularists. A bit like the International Brigades against Franco. Worse still our government might try to lead us in. Is that what we want (as Harry Enfield used to say) 'cos that's what'll happen.
I know it's very un-PC, but religious fundamentalists killing each other may be preferable.

PS I wrote the "Pope memo"

Sun, 25 Apr 2010 21:05:00 UTC | #462828

SilentMike's Avatar Comment 14 by SilentMike

Most likely scenario if Israel intervenes:

1) A shorts conflict.
2) Some dead Israelis, a lot of dead Lebanese.
3) A cease-fire forced on the parties.
4) A new international "solution" that purports to insure the security of Israel, The independence of Lebanon, and the disarmament of Hezbollah.
5) The complete and utter failure of said solution.
6) Distrust of international community in Israel driving populous even further to the right.
7) Disregard of international community in Syria and Iran continues and the carry on supporting Hezbollah.
8) People of Lebanon get screwed, again.

Same old story.

Sun, 25 Apr 2010 21:16:00 UTC | #462833

God fearing Atheist's Avatar Comment 15 by God fearing Atheist

I can but hope.

Sun, 25 Apr 2010 21:19:00 UTC | #462835

Fouad Boussetta's Avatar Comment 16 by Fouad Boussetta

"Muslims, for example, cannot adopt children; Maronite Christians cannot get divorced, and it is impossible for members of different sects to marry each other, while civil marriage is not an option here."

Truly amazing. I didn't know this.

Sun, 25 Apr 2010 23:13:00 UTC | #462860

Alternative Carpark's Avatar Comment 17 by Alternative Carpark

The Paris of the Middle east is now the Beirut of the Middle east...

Mon, 26 Apr 2010 03:34:00 UTC | #462912

RDfan's Avatar Comment 18 by RDfan

Lebanon is certainly a strange jewel in the Middle East. It's one of those countries where more of them live outside the country than inside it. Most Lebanese I know speak English, French and Arabic. Education is highly valued among them, and excellence, too. Ironically, sometimes, there is a greater chasm between Christian sects than between Christians and Muslims. Beirut also displays remarkable religious tolerance, its history notwithstanding. You can see bikini-clad sunbathers next to veiled women at the beach. Beirut was rated as the #1 place to visit by the BBC recently. Things are looking up, despite the dark clouds of history that hang over Lebanon. If all goes as planned, I will be there for a short break this year.

Mon, 26 Apr 2010 05:23:00 UTC | #462926

deftmasterofdisguise's Avatar Comment 19 by deftmasterofdisguise

I do hope secularism is achieved there.

But then I can foresee non-Lebanese neighboring countries interfering with Lebanese affairs, and creating all sorts of chaotic violence there to stop secularism.

Mon, 26 Apr 2010 06:30:00 UTC | #462943

at3p's Avatar Comment 20 by at3p

It would be nice to see Lebanon go secular, but I'm afraid they have more immediate concerns as Israel is itching to "get back" at Hezbollah for the defeat in 2006 and Lebanese society becomes even more divided... a cluster-fuck as a wise commentator put it.

I suppose the Middle East would be the last place on planet Earth where secularism gets established and religion is put on a leash.

Mon, 26 Apr 2010 11:09:00 UTC | #462996

ubermenschification's Avatar Comment 21 by ubermenschification

As a Lebanese i'm delighted to hear this news although i do think the struggle has just began and it might take decades.

The mass christian emigration since 1975 & the natural higher birth rate of the muslim population changed the face of Lebanon and turned it into a country more influenced by his close arab neighbors and to add oil to the fire, the conflict with Israel made this influence worst for it wasn't cultural influence but fundamental religious and Jihadist.

Mon, 26 Apr 2010 11:42:00 UTC | #463013

DeusExNihilum's Avatar Comment 22 by DeusExNihilum

Promising news! I truly hope that such a plan works, secularism is the way forward.

Mon, 26 Apr 2010 12:05:00 UTC | #463015

Steven Mading's Avatar Comment 23 by Steven Mading

Good on them. I wonder if it will backfire though. I fear the following scenario:
Step 1 - Secularize the system so that the three governmental positions that were previously sect-specific now are decided by normal voting.
Step 2 - Whichever sect has the majority (or terrorizes the others into not voting) gets all three positions now instead of just one.
Step 3 - Using that majority power, they remove the secularism that got them into power in the first place by enacting rules that favor their own sect.

When there is democratic voting, and a population that loves theocracy, you get sectarian rule by the majority sect and everyone else just gets screwed. Constitutional blockages to this can slow it down a bit, but they can't stop it entirely unless the population embraces and supports secularism as a people.

Mon, 26 Apr 2010 14:13:00 UTC | #463039

canatheist's Avatar Comment 24 by canatheist

What a ridiculous way of running a country. Maybe one day, when they collectively come to the conclusion that all religion is bullshit, they may say to each other "Boy, do I feel stupid now. Let's go have a beer together and see if we can't sort this mess all out".

Wishful thinking on my part, I know, but you never know.

Mon, 26 Apr 2010 15:56:00 UTC | #463073

Dr. Strangegod's Avatar Comment 25 by Dr. Strangegod

Climb aboard the Secularism Train! All are welcome! You don't need a ticket, just leave your gods and bombs at the door!

Mon, 26 Apr 2010 18:03:00 UTC | #463125

Follow Peter Egan's Avatar Comment 26 by Follow Peter Egan


Tue, 27 Apr 2010 07:10:00 UTC | #463280

zengardener's Avatar Comment 27 by zengardener

a pleasant surprise.

I wasn't expecting this, and would like to wish them the best of luck.

Tue, 27 Apr 2010 17:05:00 UTC | #463419

Steve Zara's Avatar Comment 28 by Steve Zara

Good for them. I hope the gays march as well.

Tue, 27 Apr 2010 17:32:00 UTC | #463427

A O CoCo's Avatar Comment 29 by A O CoCo

Small incremental beginnings.. not bad for a middle east country. They have my support.

Wed, 28 Apr 2010 02:14:00 UTC | #463503