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The Compassionate, The Merciful by Nigel Gordon

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I was waiting to see if anyone was going to comment on this story, but perhaps you are just as stunned as I am at the subject matter. You have to give Nigel credit for a story that says everything we fear most about religion and fanaticism with such exquisite detail.

But I am reading a book about religious based murderers and so Nigel's short story fits right in with the book's author and his thoughts. To quote: "Religion did three things: divided people, controlled people, and deluded people."

Perhaps what Nigel has written is extreme fiction but it rings so true as to be frightful. Do these things happen...probably. There is no cause so righteous as to justify the taking of a life, that aspect of religion is a sickness of the human mind and spirit. Only true fanaticism allows for the killing of one's own to glorify a deity. Well done, Nigel.

I cannot say more, go read the story: http://www.awesomedude.com/nigel_gordon/compassionate__the_merciful.htm

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This story was a punch in the gut and a slap in the face. I've read few stories that shock one to the extent this does. It is powerful and frightening and what's so horrifying about it is that you know, you just know this is actually happening. Nigel has given us an amazing story that must be read by as many as possible. I just wish the people who need to read it could have the opportunity, though we know they never will.

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I'll throw my two pennies in too, or pence...

It was well written, it bring to life the unseen side which is hard to swallow but it does exist out there. I like the story but the content and what goes on in it makes me side with everyone else. I've read a couple others like this and it usually doesn't end well.

Good job on this. Maybe something uplifting for the next one?

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Powerful writing. Even though you are pretty sure what is coming, you read on with dread. It's difficult to write a story like this one, takes great willpower. Kudos!

Is there a way to achieve rapprochement between Islam and Christianity? Perhaps not between the violent fringes of each. The problem, then, becomes the need for the majority to control the minority. Sounds simple but it doesn't seem to work that way.


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"Islam is a religion of peace." How many times have we heard that? Okay, the Quran has some peaceful thought in it, but also some very hateful things as well.

I have a problem with a religion where it seems no one is in charge. A collection of Imams, all of whom can say what they want without regard to the others. That isn't religion, it is chaos. The wars that are being fought today have been going on for centuries based upon factions within the same religion. Christians gave up killing one another a long time ago but Islam seems to thrive on it.

Cultural differences in the Middle East support such fanatical thought...my tribe is better than your tribe...it all sounds like nonsense to Western ears. But preaching hate with religious support does exist in Christianity today, just not within the various branches under the Jesus franchise. The Christian fanatics used to support racism, and now it is anti-gay.

While no religion is pro-gay there are still gay members in both Islamic and Christian congregations. For some the need to believe in the spiritual has had some effect on basic religious practice among some denominations. But the heterosexual tribe still has a hard time imagining the gay tribe to be anything like normal humans. It's times like these that I love to point out that their belief system espouses that mankind is made in God's image so at least a part of that deity must be queer.

I know several priests who have headed for the liquor cabinet after a religious discussion with me. I urge all atheists to read the Bible and try to understand what faith is based upon. The Christian textbook is really a boring read, but try the Quran if you are feeling particularly masochistic. The Islamic faithful recite from it every day but that doesn't say they understand the meaning. Cultural differences...sigh. Cole is an eternal optimist if he ever thinks the twain shall meet.

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Is there a way to achieve rapprochement between Islam and Christianity? Perhaps not between the violent fringes of each. The problem, then, becomes the need for the majority to control the minority. Sounds simple but it doesn't seem to work that way.

Yes, just wait for the next prophet of God to arise and establish his own following. Then Islam and Christianity will unite against it.

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Camy, I found it fundamentally depressing in an extremist kind of way.

The story does however expose the horrid abandonment of reason and the manipulation of faith. And that does need to be told and Nigel does it very well.

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I, with the rest of you, salute Nigel for taking on the subject. Although the plot revolves around Islam, I think the central issue is the manipulation of a young man by religious leaders. This kind of manipulation occurs in many contexts and proceeds from many prophets.

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