Remember when studying religion

I was watching a video on YouTube for Bill Maher’s show and what irritates me is when people claim the persecution complex when their religion is put under the microscope with this latest one being this one ( link ). I’m not agreeing with Bill Maher’s arguments which tend to be lacking in specifics regarding the direct referencing of not just first hand sources (religious texts) but also mainstream scholarly interpretation and how that relates to jurisprudence but the fact is there is a tendency of people who dislike the conclusions automatically assume they’re incorrect. When you talk about a religion there are two bias you need to avoid – firstly that you aren’t inserting your post-modern western interpretation onto the primary and secondary texts then claiming that your particular interpretation is ‘the’ interpretation of that religion. The second bias you want to avoid is setting out with an agenda and picking/choosing those sources that suit your agenda – “Islam is intolerant” then running off to quote Muhammad Ibn Wahhab writings and a Saudi Cleric. Both are as damaging to the discussing of religion because the focus moves from discussion of the religion as it is and instead creates an understanding of the religion akin to a caricature that doesn’t help anyone in terms of understanding the other.

One last word – just because you dislike what is being said doesn’t make what is being said as incorrect. If you have a counter critique then bring that forward instead of whining by claiming that the persons speaking is ‘bigoted’ then trying to make false equivalency arguments as the lady did in the video linked in the prior paragraph.

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