The Straight Dope

Go Back   Straight Dope Message Board > Main > Great Debates

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 08-11-2010, 01:14 AM
Gus_Handsome Gus_Handsome is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Ramadan? Big Hypocrisy? Muslims Please Chime in

Ramadan? Big Hypocrisy? Muslims Please Chime in
________________________________________
Here's a question based on my observations of several trips I've made to the UAE during Ramadan, but first...

I understand Ramadan is a holy month, a time for Muslims to fast and pay tribute to God etc.

You've got the fasting during the day which also includes no smoking or drinking while the sun is up, no sex, then you've got your Zakat, and the entire month has a very nice vibe to it.

People are enjoying themselves at Iftar buffets in the various hotels, smoking shisha and generally having a nice time, but here is an observation followed by my question.

I noticed that during Ramadan, the majority of people stay up all night socializing, having fun etc, they sleep all day, and wake up just in time for the Iftar dinner bell to ring, then they repeat the process.

I see a bunch of my friends, they are up all night, gorging themselves, chain smoking and having a party every night, and come the morning, they sleep the day away.

So, if they are sleeping through the day, then where exactly is the sacrifice? There really isn't a fast is there? When so many people switch their schedules to offset the harshness of a true fast, it seems to defeat the purpose of any sacrifice.

This seems to be rather hypocritical, and all 'all knowing" God would be aware of the slipperiness of the schedule change.

By the way, I'm as agnostic as they come, so pleased don't think I am trying to center out Muslims (I have many Muslims friends)

Thanks
Gus

(Mods, could you please correct the terrible spelling mistake I made in the title? Thanks)

Last edited by Gus_Handsome; 08-11-2010 at 01:18 AM.. Reason: weak-ass spelling
Reply With Quote
Advertisements  
  #2  
Old 08-11-2010, 01:21 AM
Marley23 Marley23 is offline
I Am the One Who Bans
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Brooklyn
Posts: 78,234
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gus_Handsome View Post
(Mods, could you please correct the terrible spelling mistake I made in the title? Thanks)
Done.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 08-11-2010, 01:45 AM
even sven even sven is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 1999
A few thoughts, from someone who has lived in a Muslim area and participated in a couple of Ramadans there.

I think staying up all night to gorge on hotel buffets is not the typical experience. It's only in the last few decades in rather specific areas that people have amassed enough wealth to do that sort of thing. I'd venture that no matter what their religion was, that particular demographic would pretty much do the same thing. The idle rich are going to act extravagantly no matter what their circumstances are. I mean, look at the pope all covered in gold.

In much of the Muslim word, through much of history, breaking the fast has been a relatively low-key family thing. Where I lived in Cameroon they could not afford any special food- at best you might get an extra spoonful of sugar or maybe a splash of milk in the traditional porridge used to break fast. While people did nap more during the day, that's because it was so hot (usually above 100) that doing much work without water would put you in physical danger. I don't know anyone who outright just switched day and night- Ramadan or not the cows need to be milked, the kids need to get to school and the mango crop has to get to the market.

I think you are focusing too much on ideas here. Not every holiday is actually about what it claims to be about. How many of us actually take the "thankful" part of Thanksgiving any more serious than perhaps a round of "I am thankful for...." before dinner? We all know Thanksgiving is really about family, and the rest is just the excuse. I think Ramadan is more about having a shared community experience than it is about sacrifice. And it is excellent at providing that sense of going on a shared journey with your community. It really is a special time and it really does have a good "vibe" to it.

I think when people talk about Islam, they expect everything to be up to fundamentalist standards, which is pretty silly. Islam has plenty of casual and cultural adherents, who don't take stuff word-for-word but enjoy the culture of it.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 08-11-2010, 01:50 AM
PBear42 PBear42 is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Gus, I'm not a Muslim, but I have a good friend and co-worker who is. He observes Ramadan pretty much exactly as you would expect it to be observed. He works his regular shift, starting about mid-afternoon as he does the rest of the year, and waits for sundown to take a meal. Then he works the evening as he usually does. It's not a terrible hardship or sacrifice, but a real one. As religious customs go (I'm an atheist), it seems perfectly legitimate to me. And, I suspect, more typical than the window you've seen.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 08-11-2010, 02:21 AM
Tapioca Dextrin Tapioca Dextrin is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 1999
Ever been to New Orleans for Mardis Gras? I'm pretty sure that's not the official way to prapre for Lent
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 08-11-2010, 02:26 AM
Grumman Grumman is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
There's nothing wrong with using a religious holiday as an excuse for a more secular social event (see Christmas, Easter). But if you think Ramadan actually means something and you're following the letter rather than the spirit of the rule like that, you are deluding yourself.

Last edited by Grumman; 08-11-2010 at 02:26 AM..
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 08-11-2010, 03:42 AM
clairobscur clairobscur is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Paris
Posts: 16,513
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tapioca Dextrin View Post
Ever been to New Orleans for Mardis Gras? I'm pretty sure that's not the official way to prapre for Lent
Actually the original idea was that you would gorge on all the forbidden foods the day before the lent and have fun whille it was still allowed. So, no particularly surprising.

FTR, I know a number of muslims who don't follow the ramadan but nevertheless don't forget to celebrate the end of the fast at night.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 08-11-2010, 06:09 AM
TheMightyAtlas TheMightyAtlas is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
I am not a Muslim but I grew up in a country that was 97% Muslim. What you are describing is the behavior of a tiny minority. The more commonly observed behavior was working 12 hours of hard physical labor in 100 degrees and eating a few dates drinking a glass of salted lemonade and going off to the mosque to pray before heading home for a normal dinner. I used to keep one fast every year, just to appreciate what my friends were going through. I can tell you that it really increases your sympathy for the hungry.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 08-11-2010, 07:05 AM
The Sheikh The Sheikh is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Does it make a statement less believable if told by a Muslim? Then why do some people need to start off by indicating they are not Muslims?
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 08-11-2010, 07:12 AM
Marley23 Marley23 is offline
I Am the One Who Bans
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Brooklyn
Posts: 78,234
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Sheikh View Post
Does it make a statement less believable if told by a Muslim? Then why do some people need to start off by indicating they are not Muslims?
They're saying they don't have firsthand experience in fasting for Ramadan, and are describing what they have seen other people do.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 08-11-2010, 07:21 AM
Thudlow Boink Thudlow Boink is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Lincoln, IL
Posts: 22,808
Quote:
Originally Posted by even sven View Post
I mean, look at the pope all covered in gold.
What, you mean like in Goldfinger? That'd be something to see!

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Sheikh View Post
Does it make a statement less believable if told by a Muslim? Then why do some people need to start off by indicating they are not Muslims?
The thread asks "Muslims please chime in," so I guess the people chiming in feel they ought to say whether or not they're Muslims. Unfortunately, I don't know of any practicing Muslims currently active on the SDMB.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 08-11-2010, 07:40 AM
The Sheikh The Sheikh is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
sorry. Misunderstanding.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 08-11-2010, 07:45 AM
TheMightyAtlas TheMightyAtlas is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Nm

Last edited by TheMightyAtlas; 08-11-2010 at 07:48 AM.. Reason: said by others already
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 08-11-2010, 07:55 AM
Anaamika Anaamika is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
I have had firsthand experience fasting for Ramadan and I am not Muslim. It's as others say. Rich people do what rich people do. The rest of us have jobs, or, in those days, school, and can't afford to stay up all night and party.

(I had almost forgotten about those days until this thread. Ah, nostalgia...you bitch. )
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 08-11-2010, 08:19 AM
madmonk28 madmonk28 is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
I know many Muslims who feel the same way the OP does about people not really embracing the spirit of Ramadan. It's kind of like Christians who feel too many people don't embrace the true spirit of Christmas. As has been pointed out, not all Muslims behave the way you describe.
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 08-11-2010, 09:45 AM
yojimbo yojimbo is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Dublin, Ireland
Posts: 9,379
It's a bit like Puffins and Beavers and other animals are considered fish by the catholic church so they can be ate on fast days. Bending the rules is what humans are good at.

Quote:
Eight centuries before the Treaty of Europe, the European economic community doing the biggest business was the Hanseatic League, an alliance of cities which controlled trade right across the north of the continent. The League linked the salt mines of the East with the rich fishing grounds of the West and made a fortune supplying all of Europe with salted fish.

The salted fish tasted more of salt than fish but it had two massive selling points. The first was that the Catholic Church said you couldn't eat meat on Fridays or throughout Lent if you were a Catholic. The second was that the Catholic Church said you had to be a Catholic. For the League, with its virtual monopoly on salted fish, the 40 days before Easter were like Christmas come early.

But the Universal Church didn't become the biggest thing in Christendom without having the knack of being all things to all men. As Fr Ted Crilly put it: "The great thing about Catholicism is that it's so vague." Rather than condemn everyone to eating salted fish for 40 days non-stop, the Church blurred nature's boundaries with a series of sly derogations. By the time the theologians had finished, beavers, turtles, certain birds and other animals had been reclassified as fish, and therefore kosher to enjoy freshly served during Lent.

The monastic settlement of Skellig and its surrounds on the Kerry mainland enjoyed a special dispensation to eat puffins on fast days. One reason was that since puffins swim and eat fish logic dictates that they must be fish. The case of the barnacle goose provoked an even more convoluted theological debate. It looked like a goose and it walked like a goose, but the Church decided to determine whether it was a fish or a fruit.
http://www.independent.ie/unsorted/f...sh-268321.html
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 08-11-2010, 09:51 AM
Marley23 Marley23 is offline
I Am the One Who Bans
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Brooklyn
Posts: 78,234
Quote:
Originally Posted by yojimbo View Post
It's a bit like Puffins and Beavers and other animals are considered fish by the catholic church so they can be ate on fast days. Bending the rules is what humans are good at.
And then there are things like Shabbas elevators. I see them around the city sometimes and I always they violated the spirit of the religious law they are designed to work around. But what's it to me if people want to flout their own religious rules?
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 08-11-2010, 09:54 AM
AK84 AK84 is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
I am a muslim


You seem to be starting with the presumption that every muslim is devout and follows every ideal to the letter. Not the case.

For most of a working day, the fact its Ramazan means; nothing. You don't even start feeling the effects of a fast until around 4 pm, in other words near the end of a normal busines day. The exception is that well you don't eat. The second issue is that Ramazan is a good time for family; in todays modern world it is often the only time a family eats together regularly in a year.

The party all night and sleep all day crowd that you see do that year round, you just see it in sharp relief in Ramazan.
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 08-11-2010, 09:56 AM
Ferret Herder Ferret Herder is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Quote:
Originally Posted by clairobscur View Post
Actually the original idea was that you would gorge on all the forbidden foods the day before the lent and have fun whille it was still allowed. So, no particularly surprising.
There's 'gorging on Lent-forbidden foods the day before', and then there's "get stinking drunk night after night, show your tits/ogle tits, and generally do lots of non-Catholicism-approved stuff" for a couple weeks.
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 08-11-2010, 12:16 PM
CaveMike CaveMike is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marley23 View Post
And then there are things like Shabbas elevators.
In case anyone else had to look it up: Shabbat elevator
Reply With Quote
  #21  
Old 08-11-2010, 01:09 PM
Peremensoe Peremensoe is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gus_Handsome View Post
So, if they are sleeping through the day, then where exactly is the sacrifice? There really isn't a fast is there?
Do you not break fast when you arise?
Reply With Quote
  #22  
Old 08-11-2010, 04:04 PM
CrazyCatLady CrazyCatLady is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gus_Handsome View Post

This seems to be rather hypocritical, and all 'all knowing" God would be aware of the slipperiness of the schedule change.
Well, yeah. Haven't you ever seen the way church ladies cut their eyes at one another and go "mmm-HMMM" when watching or discussing someone from the congregation who's ostentatiously following the letter of the law while almost as ostentatiously ignoring the spirit of it? You get folks like this in every single religion ever formed, and nobody thinks this sort of thing counts in your favor with Og, except maybe for the people who do it. True believers, be they Muslim, Hindu, Jew, or any flavor of Christian, just roll their eyes, shake their heads, make little mmm-mmm-mmm noises, and move on.

But then, not everybody who follows certain customs that have religious origins worries about being in Og's favor. They just do these things because it's easier and/or more pleasant not to make waves by openly flouting the customs, or because the customs fit in with what they want to do anyway. I don't see anything hypocritical in that, myself.

And no, the majority of people don't completely reverse their schedules one month a year to get around the traditional fast. That would be completely unfeasible when you have things like, say, a job where you work during the day, or kids to send to school. During your visits, there are presumably offices and stores open, buses and taxis running, and someone preparing these buffets, right? How could that be happening if everyone is staying up all night and sleeping all day?
Reply With Quote
  #23  
Old 08-11-2010, 04:53 PM
Anne Neville Anne Neville is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Quote:
Originally Posted by even sven View Post
I think when people talk about Islam, they expect everything to be up to fundamentalist standards, which is pretty silly. Islam has plenty of casual and cultural adherents, who don't take stuff word-for-word but enjoy the culture of it.
This is true of any major religion. There are Christmas-and-Easter Christians. There are cultural Jews who don't practice Judaism. I'm sure there are equivalents in Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, and any other major world religion you can think of.

There are hypocrites in pretty much any category of people, because hypocrisy is a common human trait. No religion or philosophy has managed to get humans to stop being hypocritical.
Reply With Quote
  #24  
Old 08-11-2010, 05:14 PM
begbert2 begbert2 is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
It's only hypocritical if they are criticizing other people for doing it, right?
Reply With Quote
  #25  
Old 08-14-2010, 10:22 AM
Superfluous Parentheses Superfluous Parentheses is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
I went to high school with a bunch of Muslims and most of them kept the fast as you'd expect, though there were a few who were pretty much only doing it because their family was doing it and they'd sneak in some snacks and cigarettes during the day.

Since we were in high school there wasn't any possibility of just sleeping through the day.
Reply With Quote
  #26  
Old 08-14-2010, 03:11 PM
Guinastasia Guinastasia is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tapioca Dextrin View Post
Ever been to New Orleans for Mardis Gras? I'm pretty sure that's not the official way to prapre for Lent

Since Lent is the fasting part, you want to get all the boozing and partying and screwing done BEFORE you have to fast and stuff. Lent is the preparation for Easter.

So it IS how you get prepare for Lent -- get in as much fun as you can before you have to go through all the boring rituals and no meat on Fridays and feeling guilty and being told that you'll make the Virgin Mary cry.
Reply With Quote
  #27  
Old 08-14-2010, 07:09 PM
Attack from the 3rd dimension Attack from the 3rd dimension is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thudlow Boink View Post
Unfortunately, I don't know of any practicing Muslims currently active on the SDMB.

Angua
posted yesterday in the 'Great Viewing in Tonight's Sky' thread
Reply With Quote
  #28  
Old 08-15-2010, 08:27 AM
Novelty Bobble Novelty Bobble is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by CaveMike View Post
wow!.......just wow!
In the UK we aren't a particularly observant bunch so I've never seen anything like that before.

I take the hypocrisy of most religious adherents as granted.....but that? seriously? Which omnipotent being is that supposed to fool?

Thanks again to the straight dope, my ignorance has been fought but I've also been made a little sadder at such a waste of human ingenuity.
Reply With Quote
  #29  
Old 08-15-2010, 08:48 AM
Telemark Telemark is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Again, Titletown
Posts: 19,363
Quote:
Originally Posted by Novelty Bobble View Post
I take the hypocrisy of most religious adherents as granted.....but that? seriously? Which omnipotent being is that supposed to fool?
It's not intended to fool anyone or any deity. Judaism is a legalistic religion, and it is part of the history and tradition to examine the laws carefully to better understand them and G-d's intent. It may seem odd to you, but in the Jewish tradition it's what we do.

As you can see from the article, use of Shabbat elevators isn't universally accepted. There's a saying, ask 2 Jews and you'll get 3 opinions. It's part of what, IMO, makes Judaism a vibrant religion, even if I don't follow observantly.
Reply With Quote
  #30  
Old 08-15-2010, 10:02 AM
Novelty Bobble Novelty Bobble is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
OK Telemark. It isn't my intention to derail any further it just seems a particularly weird piece of reasoning. Either an elevator can be used or not.
Having said that, without the need to interpret holy writings there would be no possibility of a power structure and let's face it, the Jewish faith is not alone in that.
Reply With Quote
  #31  
Old 08-15-2010, 10:11 AM
Fear Itself Fear Itself is offline
ɯǝlqoɹd ɐ ǝʌɐɥ ǝʍ 'uoʇsnoɥ
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: Flavortown
Posts: 34,325
re: Shabbat elevators

Can devout Jews ride a bus on the Sabbath if they only exit at regular bus stops? Seems like the same thing.
Reply With Quote
  #32  
Old 08-15-2010, 10:43 AM
Captain Amazing Captain Amazing is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 1999
Posts: 24,683
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fear Itself View Post
re: Shabbat elevators

Can devout Jews ride a bus on the Sabbath if they only exit at regular bus stops? Seems like the same thing.
Not if they're orthodox, they can't.
Reply With Quote
  #33  
Old 08-22-2010, 03:48 AM
lee lee is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Ok, you want a example of Ramadan hypocrisy: My first job in a help desk at a major hospital, we were told that during Ramadan no one would be allowed to eat in the room where we answered phones because one of our co-workers was Muslim and fasting during Ramadan. This was a huge imposition because if you were the one at the desk, you could not leave without relief, if all those on duty were out roaming around fixing things, well you just had to stay there until someone came back. No cell phones so you could not just call them up and say get back here for a moment I need a biobreak, you had to wait for them to get back. They had cut staffing to the bone and were making all of us left work extra long shifts. It was SOP to eat between calls while on phone duty.

So fine, whatever, I could live with the inconvenience, right up until the point I came back from a series of calls and he was finishing up a sandwich and fries, and takes my coming back as his queue for leaving, sticking me with desk duty and no lunch. I fasted more than he did during that month.
Reply With Quote
  #34  
Old 08-22-2010, 04:45 AM
qpw3141 qpw3141 is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by Novelty Bobble View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by CaveMike View Post
wow!.......just wow!
In the UK we aren't a particularly observant bunch so I've never seen anything like that before.

I take the hypocrisy of most religious adherents as granted.....but that? seriously? Which omnipotent being is that supposed to fool?

Thanks again to the straight dope, my ignorance has been fought but I've also been made a little sadder at such a waste of human ingenuity.
I'm no great fan of religion but that seems a little unfair.

When the sabbath observance laws were first laid down it's doubtful that there were buildings with more than 3 floors - if that.

Are you allowed to walk up stairs on the sabbath?

Because that seems a lot more work than using a lift.

Do you think 80 y/o's should be confined to their accommodation all day?

The problems seems more that the people who are responsible for the religious laws take an slightly bizarre approach to the letter and spirit of the law, making absurd restrictions based on the letter whilst allowing enormous transgressions of the spirit.

But, then, who said religion had anything to do with sense.
Reply With Quote
  #35  
Old 08-22-2010, 09:20 AM
Attack from the 3rd dimension Attack from the 3rd dimension is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by lee View Post
Ok, you want a example of Ramadan hypocrisy: My first job in a help desk at a major hospital, we were told that during Ramadan no one would be allowed to eat in the room where we answered phones because one of our co-workers was Muslim and fasting during Ramadan. This was a huge imposition because if you were the one at the desk, you could not leave without relief, if all those on duty were out roaming around fixing things, well you just had to stay there until someone came back. No cell phones so you could not just call them up and say get back here for a moment I need a biobreak, you had to wait for them to get back. They had cut staffing to the bone and were making all of us left work extra long shifts. It was SOP to eat between calls while on phone duty.

So fine, whatever, I could live with the inconvenience, right up until the point I came back from a series of calls and he was finishing up a sandwich and fries, and takes my coming back as his queue for leaving, sticking me with desk duty and no lunch. I fasted more than he did during that month.
This reminds me of the guy in med school who couldn't do call on the Sabbath. He kept getting spotted at nightclubs downtown instead.
Reply With Quote
  #36  
Old 07-21-2014, 04:27 AM
Gray Global Gray Global is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Cheating

Well, I agree with the initiator of this thread. It seems to me completely ridiculous that during Ramadhan, the majority of those observing it spend much more money and gain weight on overeating expensive foods (lamb, desserts, etc.).

Is this how we relate to the poor?
Reply With Quote
  #37  
Old 07-21-2014, 06:55 AM
tomndebb tomndebb is offline
Mod Rocker
Moderator
 
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: N E Ohio
Posts: 39,994
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gray Global View Post
Well, I agree with the initiator of this thread. It seems to me completely ridiculous that during Ramadhan, the majority of those observing it spend much more money and gain weight on overeating expensive foods (lamb, desserts, etc.).

Is this how we relate to the poor?
Where do you get the idea that a majority engage in that behavior? The OP refers to a specific enclave of people in a single location. It might be a majority of those people, but it is not a majority of the billion or so Muslims in the world.

Hypocrisy, (religious or not), is a pretty common human experience, but so is being judgmental on inadequate (or incorrect) information.
Reply With Quote
  #38  
Old 07-21-2014, 07:20 AM
tomndebb tomndebb is offline
Mod Rocker
Moderator
 
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: N E Ohio
Posts: 39,994
Quote:
Originally Posted by yojimbo View Post
It's a bit like Puffins and Beavers and other animals are considered fish by the catholic church so they can be ate on fast days. Bending the rules is what humans are good at.



http://www.independent.ie/unsorted/f...sh-268321.html
Meh

First off, the original (middle eastern) rules applied to what we would now identify as endothermic creatures. Cold blooded animals were never regarded as part of the rule of abstinence. Thus turtles and lizards have always been excluded from the Catholic rules of abstinence. Then, as the church expanded into new areas, (and no Linnaean taxonomy was attached to the rules), people, largely uneducated, took different ideas of what the rules meant. Thus, a number of diving (underwater swimming) birds and mammals were identified with fish. In some occasions, (the capybara), there was outright fraud among the people of the diaspora, in others, there was simple confusion. Beyond that, many of the local decisions regarding what was "fish" were overturned by more competent authorities, (e.g., the barnacle goose).
Reply With Quote
  #39  
Old 07-21-2014, 07:38 AM
kayaker kayaker is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Western Pennsylvania
Posts: 24,491
Quote:
Originally Posted by Novelty Bobble View Post
Which omnipotent being is that supposed to fool?
The Omnipotent tend to come off as Mr Knowitalls. It must feel good to ride in that elevator knowing you just pulled one over on someone like that.
Reply With Quote
  #40  
Old 07-21-2014, 08:00 AM
Steve MB Steve MB is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Northern VA
Posts: 11,396
Quote:
Originally Posted by Attack from the 3rd dimension View Post
This reminds me of the guy in med school who couldn't do call on the Sabbath. He kept getting spotted at nightclubs downtown instead.
Reminds me of all the religious accommodations in prison for people who wouldn't be there in the first place if they'd obeyed the basic thou-shalt-not-kill/steal/etc rules.
__________________
The Internet: Nobody knows if you're a dog. Everybody knows if you're a jackass.
Reply With Quote
  #41  
Old 07-21-2014, 09:12 AM
BobLibDem BobLibDem is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Perhaps a parallel would be Lenten Friday fish fries. Sure, Lent is a time for abstinence and reflection, but it need not be miserable. As Jesus said, "When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show others they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full.
Reply With Quote
  #42  
Old 07-21-2014, 10:27 AM
astorian astorian is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 1999
Here's a general question: where is it written that religious observations HAVE to be unpleasant?

When I was a kid, the Catholic Church enforced the "meatless Friday" rule all year round. I always obeyed the rule. Why not? It meant we got to go out for a big cheese pizza every Friday night at our favorite local joint! It didn't feel like a sacrifice at all.

Are kosher laws extremely hard on Orthodox Jewish kids? They COULD be... but an Orthodox kid who grows up in a religious home in a religious neighborhood gets USED to the way things are. To ME, a ban on cheeseburgers would seem like an imposition, but to a kid who grows up in a home and region where that's normal, the kosher laws DON'T seem like a huge burden. To him, putting cheese on a burger is like putting ketchup on corn flakes- it's just something you don't do because it feels weird and wrong.

Fasting CAN be a very hard thing... or it CAN be a temporary discipline. Most Muslims fast for part of the day, then eat at other parts of the day.

In religious life, and in secular life, many of us do small symbolic actions. They're not all SUPPOSED to be a huge deal or an agonizing sacrifice.
Reply With Quote
  #43  
Old 07-21-2014, 11:03 AM
BrainGlutton BrainGlutton is offline
BANNED
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Tampa, Florida
Posts: 78,508
I would say that going from sunup to sundown without even a drink of water is a hardship observant Muslims feel, especially in the climes where most of them live.
Reply With Quote
  #44  
Old 07-21-2014, 12:04 PM
Bryan Ekers Bryan Ekers is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Quote:
Originally Posted by Superfluous Parentheses View Post
Since we were in high school there wasn't any possibility of just sleeping through the day.
I dunno - I managed it.
Reply With Quote
  #45  
Old 07-21-2014, 02:04 PM
Desert Nomad Desert Nomad is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
The whole time I lived in the UAE (3 years + many other lengthy visits), I have attended just one iftar dinner. It is certainly not the norm but is popular among non-Muslim Western expats.
Reply With Quote
  #46  
Old 07-21-2014, 02:33 PM
AK84 AK84 is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gray Global View Post
Well, I agree with the initiator of this thread. It seems to me completely ridiculous that during Ramadhan, the majority of those observing it spend much more money and gain weight on overeating expensive foods (lamb, desserts, etc.).

Is this how we relate to the poor?
Hmmmmmm........... I have lost weight this year. And last year. I have also gained weight some years.

Avoid over-eating rich, fried foods and you will not gain weight. If you don't you will. Ramzan does not change that basic fact.
Reply With Quote
  #47  
Old 07-21-2014, 03:21 PM
cmkeller cmkeller is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 1999
Novelty Bobble:

Quote:
I take the hypocrisy of most religious adherents as granted.....but that? seriously? Which omnipotent being is that supposed to fool?
It's not supposed to "fool" anyone. It's supposed to accomplish what we want without violating the laws that G-d laid out.

You seem to be under the impression that G-d said "Don't ride in an elevator." He didn't say that. He said "Refrain from (physically) creative work." This work has a precise definition. Using an elevator in an ordinary manner (e.g., pressing the buttons which actively completes a circuit to achieve your deisres) is creative work. Using an elevator that is pre-set to stop on every floor does not consist of creative work. Far from "fooling G-d", we are obeying him and every round-about contrivance that puts our convenience in line with said obedience is an expression of how important G-d's word is, to us.

Fear Itself:

Quote:
Can devout Jews ride a bus on the Sabbath if they only exit at regular bus stops? Seems like the same thing.
As long as he won't have to pay money, or carry something (like a bus pass) in an area with no Eruv, he sure can. Although it's recommended that one not do that (or ride a Sabbath elevator) except in circumstances of great need, because it gives (to observers who don't know the details of his contrivances to avoid Sabbath violation) the appearance that he is doing something forbidden.
Reply With Quote
  #48  
Old 07-21-2014, 04:27 PM
Claverhouse Claverhouse is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve MB View Post
Reminds me of all the religious accommodations in prison for people who wouldn't be there in the first place if they'd obeyed the basic thou-shalt-not-kill/steal/etc rules.

Breaking a law, and offending against one's religion, does not mean one is forbidden from practising that religion forever. Almost --- in the spirit of repentance --- the contrary.


Why should a murderer who keeps kosher, in addition to imprisonment have to eat what his religion proscribes ?
__________________
The efficiency and success of the Italian aviators in Tripoli are noteworthy, but must not be overvalued. There were no opponents in the air.

v. Bernhardi ---- Germany and the Next War
Reply With Quote
  #49  
Old 07-21-2014, 05:04 PM
aruvqan aruvqan is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Eastern Connecticut
Posts: 16,258
Quote:
Originally Posted by cmkeller View Post
Novelty Bobble:



It's not supposed to "fool" anyone. It's supposed to accomplish what we want without violating the laws that G-d laid out.

You seem to be under the impression that G-d said "Don't ride in an elevator." He didn't say that. He said "Refrain from (physically) creative work." This work has a precise definition. Using an elevator in an ordinary manner (e.g., pressing the buttons which actively completes a circuit to achieve your deisres) is creative work. Using an elevator that is pre-set to stop on every floor does not consist of creative work. Far from "fooling G-d", we are obeying him and every round-about contrivance that puts our convenience in line with said obedience is an expression of how important G-d's word is, to us.

Fear Itself:



As long as he won't have to pay money, or carry something (like a bus pass) in an area with no Eruv, he sure can. Although it's recommended that one not do that (or ride a Sabbath elevator) except in circumstances of great need, because it gives (to observers who don't know the details of his contrivances to avoid Sabbath violation) the appearance that he is doing something forbidden.
And when I was living with the Jewish gentleman I was default shabbas goy for the neighborhood. The verbal dancing around to get me to do something was amusing. [you can not directly ask someone to do stuff like turn on a light or turn on an oven, or drive someone somewhere.]

I will say that *in general* they are sensible, and if someone needs to go to the hospital, or get an insulin injection from someone it is allowed to get down and do it. Need takes precedent over laws. [though there was some crap going on a few years back about some ultra orthodox and ambulances or something like that.]
Reply With Quote
  #50  
Old 07-21-2014, 05:59 PM
AK84 AK84 is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Being the token muslim made me very popular for pub crawls, he will at least stay sober! Never had so much coke and pepsi in my life.
Reply With Quote
Reply



Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 03:14 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@chicagoreader.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Publishers - interested in subscribing to the Straight Dope?
Write to: sdsubscriptions@chicagoreader.com.

Copyright 2017 Sun-Times Media, LLC.