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Pastor faces execution in Tehran for apostasy - Comments

Sean_W's Avatar Comment 1 by Sean_W

Please, someone have the courage to point out that this man would rather leave his son fatherless than not earn his reward in heaven. Whatever Iran may be, it can't be much better to allow this man to become a hero. Shame on Christians everywhere.

Thu, 29 Sep 2011 04:17:49 UTC | #876196

Steven Mading's Avatar Comment 2 by Steven Mading

Comment 1 by manilla_wise :

Please, someone have the courage to point out that this man would rather leave his son fatherless than not earn his reward in heaven. Whatever Iran may be, it can't be much better to allow this man to become a hero. Shame on Christians everywhere.

Your pathetic attempt to blame the victim is noted. Regardless of whether it's because the victim is nonreligious or because the victim is of a differing religion than the dominant one in the area, in either case a law that mandates that you are required to profess agreement with the official dogma of the dominant opinion in order to even be allowed to live is indefensible.

Thu, 29 Sep 2011 04:20:58 UTC | #876197

Red Dog's Avatar Comment 3 by Red Dog

Comment 2 by Steven Mading :

Comment 1 by manilla_wise :

Please, someone have the courage to point out that this man would rather leave his son fatherless than not earn his reward in heaven. Whatever Iran may be, it can't be much better to allow this man to become a hero. Shame on Christians everywhere.

Your pathetic attempt to blame the victim is noted.

X2

Thu, 29 Sep 2011 04:22:31 UTC | #876198

Steven Mading's Avatar Comment 4 by Steven Mading

From the article:

Pastor Nadarkhani denied ever having been a Muslim, but the prosecution argued successfully that he was of “Islamic ancestry”.

And for anyone who has ever said that Richard is making a mountain out of a molehill when he argues that it is wrong to label children with the religion of their parents, THIS RIGHT HERE is a direct consequence of that disgusting practice, plain as day. If your parents were Muslims, then you are automatically considered an apostate if you don't grow up to follow the same religion as your parents, even though you never once believed in the religion and therefore never really changed your mind as the word "apostate" would imply.

Thu, 29 Sep 2011 04:29:27 UTC | #876201

Sean_W's Avatar Comment 5 by Sean_W

Comment 2 by Steven Mading

Who said anything about defending Iran? I certainly did not. I hoped to point out the insanity of Christianity and its potential for martyrdom.

Thu, 29 Sep 2011 04:30:29 UTC | #876202

UGAtheist's Avatar Comment 6 by UGAtheist

It is most certainly Iran at fault, much more so than the christian evangelical fellow and this is an issue of human rights. Having said that, they're both presenting dogma. Even if Iran were to back down on this, it wouldn't be for the sake of religious pluralism or tolerance in general. If the guy gets a pass it would only happen because he is still going by one of the "people of the book," faiths.

To put it bluntly, it's a no-win situation for the international community. Christians will probably see it as incitement. Muslims will certainly see it as incitement if it gets derailed by the international community. Ironically, i'm betting some of the most bitter fundies to rage about it will be right-wing protestant christians and sunni muslims who would (under any other circumstance) not identify at all with the christian defendant or shi'a muslim government in quesiton.

Thu, 29 Sep 2011 04:38:41 UTC | #876204

Red Dog's Avatar Comment 7 by Red Dog

Comment 5 by manilla_wise :

Comment 2 by Steven Mading

Who said anything about defending Iran? I certainly did not. I hoped to point out the insanity of Christianity and its potential for martyrdom.

You are criticizing someone who is taking a principled stand to resist dictatorial authority. The fact that you (and I) don't agree with the principles he is sticking to is irrelevant. I support people even if I don't agree with them. If Mr. Nadarkhani were refusing to renounce atheism what would you say then?

The fact that we don't agree with his principles is irrelevant. If we believe in reason and critical thinking over force and authority then we should support anyone who resists arbitrary authority even if, no especially if we don't agree with their ideas.

Thu, 29 Sep 2011 04:39:46 UTC | #876205

Sean_W's Avatar Comment 8 by Sean_W

Red Dog,

In what way am I not supporting this man that is both different from your support and of any consequence?

He is absolutely wrong to risk leaving his son fatherless on account of his religion. Not all principles are equal, and I'm not of the mind to put principles before people very often, if at all. However, if I thought my words were of any value beyond this Internet forum then I might not have posted them, because I may have done just that (put principles before people).

But as it is, I am comfortable being both deeply sympathetic toward, and afraid for this man--do you offer another support-- and utterly disappointed in him and his fellow Christians.

If Mr. Nadarkhani were refusing to renounce atheism what would you say then?

I don't think I have a serious answer for that.

Thu, 29 Sep 2011 04:52:49 UTC | #876207

Steven Mading's Avatar Comment 9 by Steven Mading

Comment Removed by Author

Thu, 29 Sep 2011 04:59:03 UTC | #876208

Steven Mading's Avatar Comment 10 by Steven Mading

Comment 8 by manilla_wise :

Red Dog,

In what way am I not supporting this man that is both different from your support and of any consequence?

He is absolutely wrong to risk leaving his son fatherless on account of his religion. Not all principles are equal, and I'm not of the mind to put principles before people very often, if at all. However, if I thought my words were of any value beyond this Internet forum then I might not have posted them, because I may have done just that (put principles before people).

Your characterization of this as "putting principles before people" is very misleading because it presumes that people's right to speak freely isn't an important thing for people. You're acting as if the principle "stop telling me what religion I have to be" is somehow anti-people.

Thu, 29 Sep 2011 05:03:13 UTC | #876209

Eyerish's Avatar Comment 11 by Eyerish

"Mr Dadkhah said he was “95 per cent” confident that “reason will prevail” and his client would escape execution, but acknowledged that the five judges — two of them clerics — warned that they would have to take “specific actions” if Pastor Nadarkhani did not renounce his faith."

Don't expect that "reason will prevail" on either side. The Irainian judges are not known to put reason and fact before for their religion. But on the other side this guy is prepared to die for something he cannot prove either. Whilst dying for a cause can be noble such as giving a life to save another person, but to die for your faith when all you have to do is tell a white lie to the court and pretend to renounce his faith is a waste of a human life. To me it is beyond reason why a person would chose death (and it his choice now) than to say a few words of bullshit that would get him out of the execution. I know people will say 'but it is the principle that he stands behind as an expression of freedom'. But lets be clear here - even if the pastor publicly renouced his faith for the judges he would still consider himself a Christian in his heart and in his private beliefs which is where religion of any kind belongs - as a personal and private matter which everyone has the right to and the freedom to as long as it does not harm anyone else.

That said about this particular situation. No one should be persecuted because of their beliefs whether it a belief in a god or not and certainly no one should be persecuted for changing their mind.

Thu, 29 Sep 2011 05:06:05 UTC | #876211

wtfbits's Avatar Comment 12 by wtfbits

Comment Removed by Author

Thu, 29 Sep 2011 05:15:57 UTC | #876212

Sean_W's Avatar Comment 13 by Sean_W

Comment 10 by Steven Mading

That is a fair point Steven. It is not an anti-people principle, and were this pastor's circumstances different, we wouldn't be disagreeing about anything. As it is, can you tell me exactly where you and I disagree?

If it is that I said anything at all derogatory about the victim in this, then I understand. I would be more surprised if we actually disagreed on the content of what has been said, for example I can't disagree with anything you said here:

Regardless of whether it's because the victim is nonreligious or because the victim is of a differing religion than the dominant one in the area, in either case a law that mandates that you are required to profess agreement with the official dogma of the dominant opinion in order to even be allowed to live is indefensible.

Thu, 29 Sep 2011 05:27:47 UTC | #876214

Neil1974's Avatar Comment 14 by Neil1974

Comment 13 by manilla_wise :

Comment 10 by Steven Mading

That is a fair point Steven. It is not an anti-people principle, and were this pastor's circumstances different, we wouldn't be disagreeing about anything. As it is, can you tell me exactly where you and I disagree?

If it is that I said anything at all derogatory about the victim in this, then I understand. I would be more surprised if we actually disagreed on the content of what has been said, for example I can't disagree with anything you said here:

Regardless of whether it's because the victim is nonreligious or because the victim is of a differing religion than the dominant one in the area, in either case a law that mandates that you are required to profess agreement with the official dogma of the dominant opinion in order to even be allowed to live is indefensible.

I'm with Manilla on this one, although I would have said it differently. I totally support a principled stand however it has also been said that parents do not have the luxury of principles. The point being that although I support this poor man his first responsibility is to his child and certainly not a religion.

Thu, 29 Sep 2011 06:15:03 UTC | #876219

valla's Avatar Comment 15 by valla

Iran is just applying what is mandated in the Koran. Unfortunately this is a perfectly logical decision for a confessional state: believers have to be discouraged to damn their souls by abandoning the true faith.

Thu, 29 Sep 2011 06:27:40 UTC | #876221

Evolved Primate's Avatar Comment 16 by Evolved Primate

"Shame on Christians everywhere."

I knew, even before reading the comments, that it would be Christians that would be blamed, that Pastor Nadarknani would be in the wrong, and that (see UGAtheist) somehow American Christians would be smeared.

I am disgusted. But it happens all the time, at richarddawkins.net, The Panda's Thumb, Pharyngula and all the self-conscious "scientific" blogs, "skeptic" blogs; an aggressively blind eye to the horrors of Islam, Marxism is seen as mainstream, and milquetoast modern American Christians are "American Taliband."

Last time I visited this site there was a story about a Toronto journalist who was trying out his brand new digital camera in a public square and was mobbed by Muslims and assaulted by a Muslim woman in her hijab who screamed at him that he couldn't take pictures because "We are Muslims." The journalist complained to the politically correct Toronto police and was ignored of course. Once one Canadian commenter suggested that the journalist wasn't on the side of political correctness, the commentators were on the side of the Muslims.

Thu, 29 Sep 2011 06:38:55 UTC | #876223

longpete's Avatar Comment 17 by longpete

Manilla is perfectly correct IMHO. If this guy had decided to worship the great god Tharg, no-one would hesitate to accuse him of putting stupidity before his children's well-being. Because he has become a pastor in a main-stream mythology organisation, everyone talks about his right to religious freedom.

That said, the Iranians are, of course, complete murdering thugs, and the very concept of obliging someone to believe something is a concept I just can't get my head around.

Thu, 29 Sep 2011 06:48:19 UTC | #876224

danconquer's Avatar Comment 18 by danconquer

Last week Saudi Arabia chopped a living, breathing person's head off for the wholly imaginary crime of something they call sorcery.

Did 'our' representatives in the F&C Office protest over this? What about the Department of State? Did they publicly condemn it? Calling Mr Hague... MR HAGUE?... Hello?!... What is your view of the Saudi's?... Oh! There you are William! Hanging out with your chums!

Thu, 29 Sep 2011 07:51:57 UTC | #876228

Bobwundaye's Avatar Comment 19 by Bobwundaye

Manilla is completely off target with his criticism since he would almost certainly not blame an atheist for refusing to claim a belief in God in order to save himself. In fact, that atheist would be held up as a hero, and the government that treated him in this manner would undergo a sever criticism.

Comment 14 by Neil1974

I'm with Manilla on this one, although I would have said it differently. I totally support a principled stand however it has also been said that parents do not have the luxury of principles. The point being that although I support this poor man his first responsibility is to his child and certainly not a religion.

Utter tripe! With this sort of reasoning, humanity would still be in the grips of slavery and every other inhumane activity. There are many people who throughout history put their principles before family, without whom, we in the west would not have the freedoms we do.

Comment 16 by Evolved Primate

If you have noticed, atheists have come down on both sides of this. Look at how quickly Steven Mading and Red Dog responded to the Manilla_wise's atheism-gone-mad reasoning. Get off your "oh, we poor Christians have it so tough..." horse and stop being so selective in your analysis.

Thu, 29 Sep 2011 07:59:08 UTC | #876229

danconquer's Avatar Comment 20 by danconquer

Comment 16 by Evolved Primate :

The journalist complained to the politically correct Toronto police and was ignored of course. Once one Canadian commenter suggested that the journalist wasn't on the side of political correctness, the commentators were on the side of the Muslims.

No, that wasn't my reservation about that case at all, nor was it most others peoples as I recall. My reservations were about the fact that you were doing (and have done again, right now) the very same thing for which atheists routinely, and correctly, condemn supernaturalists: Which is to say that you appear to accept uncritically as fact an uncorroborated eyewitness account provided by someone with a known track record for wildly exaggerating things out of all proportion.

There were numerous implausible aspects about that particular anecdote. Pointing them out and expressing doubts about the veracity of ONE MAN'S account doesn't somehow pigeon-hole me into being "on the side of the muslims", however much you might like to reduce everything into a crude binary system.

You are now talking about that story as it if it did indeed actually happen. I'm not saying for certain that it didn't. But you are writing with certainty as if it definitely did. So I want to ask you now... How did you confirm this? By what method did you confirm that this anecdotal story is indeed true and did indeed occur exactly as told? How?

Thu, 29 Sep 2011 08:02:53 UTC | #876230

Functional Atheist's Avatar Comment 21 by Functional Atheist

I am appalled that the principle of Freedom of Conscience, which is part of the UN Declaration on Human Rights, and is widely considered a Universal human right, without regard to borders or nations, is so casually dismissed by Manilla and Longpete. You ought to be ashamed of yourselves, for you ARE siding with the Iranian thugs here.

Freedom of Conscience does NOT extend merely to those with whom we agree. It is a UNIVERSAL principle. Don't you get it? If a man can be executed for his Christian beliefs, he can be executed for his Buddhist beliefs, or his atheistic beliefs, or his Flying Spaghetti Monsterism. Picking and choosing the beliefs that are worthy of defense from the ultimate penalty is utterly unprincipled and displays a shocking ignorance of history, law, and ethics.

I say again, I am appalled. Never have I read more profoundly offensive and stupid comments on this site, and I urge the Moderator to review this comment thread!

Thu, 29 Sep 2011 08:11:20 UTC | #876231

Cartomancer's Avatar Comment 22 by Cartomancer

This is what comes of having an official place for clerics in a country's legislature. Only very backward countries indeed still do that.

No wonder Mr. Williams has been silent on the matter up to now...

Thu, 29 Sep 2011 08:33:15 UTC | #876234

MattHeavyweight's Avatar Comment 23 by MattHeavyweight

Comment 19 by SpirituallyAtheist

Manilla is completely off target with his criticism since he would almost certainly not blame an atheist for refusing to claim a belief in God in order to save himself. In fact, that atheist would be held up as a hero, and the government that treated him in this manner would undergo a sever criticism.

I would say, you are are the one completely off target. I doubt any atheist would have a moment of doubt as to what to do in the situation. They would put their familiy first and save themself. If they let themself be murdered, then they would be an idot, and I doubt many would see them as a hero. It is precisely because this pastor is a Christian that his delusion is making him put his stupid beliefs before his family and his own life. An atheist would not have the same problem.

Thu, 29 Sep 2011 08:34:34 UTC | #876235

thebaldgit's Avatar Comment 24 by thebaldgit

A logical outcome sadly from being run by a theocracy, which will only interperate its religious rules so as to instill terror in its own people and sickened contempt in other countries. Who says religion cannot be used as a weapon for its participants own ends.

Thu, 29 Sep 2011 09:16:07 UTC | #876242

MrClaw's Avatar Comment 25 by MrClaw

Well, I for one don't think Christianity's worth risking one's neck over - it's manifestly ethically retarded, the historicity of Jebus leaves a great deal to be desired and we'd all be a great deal better off without it.

That said, it is seriously vile that a punishment of this kind should be handed down to an individual for the simple crime of changing one's mind. Any state that denies a citizen the ability make their own mind up is, to that extent, one which must be deplored.

I don't know what good it will do, but we can try writing to our MPs. There is also a petition (below). Yes, I know it's a Christian site, but it's the only one I can find, and by signing it you're hardly taking a baptism...

Petition

MPs

Thu, 29 Sep 2011 09:21:15 UTC | #876246

sunbeamforjeebus's Avatar Comment 26 by sunbeamforjeebus

Man insists he won't say he believes in one set of bullshit over another set of bullshit.His choice, they're all fucking mad and it's all fucking bullshit, now what's on Sky Sports?

Thu, 29 Sep 2011 09:31:01 UTC | #876248

littletrotsky13's Avatar Comment 27 by littletrotsky13

Comment 23 by MattHeavyweight :

I doubt any atheist would have a moment of doubt as to what to do in the situation. They would put their familiy first and save themself.

I can't say I agree. In a situation where the choice is between freedom and life I would at least have a considerable deal of thinking before deciding either way, and right now, without the threat of immininent death over it, I couldn't say which one I'd choose.

Our condemnation should be directed entirely at Iran for the apostasy death penalty, not at the man being convicted of it. Whatever inane belief he chose in his place, he should have the right to choose it.

Thu, 29 Sep 2011 09:42:06 UTC | #876250

Rosbif's Avatar Comment 28 by Rosbif

If allowed to live, as an evangelist, he will preach homophobia, creationism and discrimination against heretics in a male dominated theocratic society. They couldn't allow that in Iran now .... oh wait ...!

Of course the Iranian government are murdering thugs and wrong to do this, but they are freely practicing their religion (which involves killing apostates) which is all Mr Nadarkhani is asking to do.

Thu, 29 Sep 2011 09:47:17 UTC | #876252

Rosbif's Avatar Comment 29 by Rosbif

.... from Black Adder III ....

" Well, it is so often the way, sir, too late one thinks of what one should have said. Sir Thomas More, for instance -- burned alive for refusing to recant his Catholicism -- must have been kicking him- self, as the flames licked higher, that it never occurred to him to say, "I recant my Catholicism."

Thu, 29 Sep 2011 09:48:13 UTC | #876253

ridelo's Avatar Comment 30 by ridelo

Well, if I was locked up in a madhouse and I could escape from it by saying "alakazam kazam!", I would do it. But I'm only an atheist.

Thu, 29 Sep 2011 09:58:39 UTC | #876255