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Death sentence for converting to a different religion

(16 Posts)
alexpolismum Fri 30-Sep-11 09:57:44

I only just read about this case this morning.

I renounced religion over 20 years ago and have been an atheist ever since. No one (well, apart from my mum!) has said anything to me about it, and of course I have not faced any judicial proceedings. How lucky we are to have freedom of conscience while this poor man faces death for converting to Christianity.

ripstheirthroatoutliveupstairs Fri 30-Sep-11 14:47:36

The former Anglican Bishop of Rochester, the Right Reverend Michael Nazir-Ali, said he could not advise Naderkhani to recant.

"As a Christian I can't do that," he told BBC Radio 4's PM programme.

"In a much lesser way I have faced these questions myself, and I would ask for myself for strength in this situation and courage, and that is what I would ask for him.
What a mealy mouthed tossbag, so it is better to die for your religous beliefs than live as an atheist or possibly pick them up later on.
This is why I have no time whatsoever for religion.
I'd like to know how much of a lesser way The Bishop of Rochester faced these questions.

alexpolismum Fri 30-Sep-11 14:52:25

I agree, ripstheirthroatout, that it is better to live as an atheist, but presumably Christians don't see it that way. Personally I would recant for all I was worth for the court and then continue to believe in whatever I liked in private.

Nazir-Ali was also a convert to Christianity from Islam, perhaps that is what he was referring to.

TipOfTheSlung Fri 30-Sep-11 14:58:47

I would say what they wanted to hear then get my family and myself out as refugees, then carry believeing what the hell I liked

CogitoErgoSometimes Fri 30-Sep-11 15:13:57

I thought dying for your beliefs was a fairly fundamental element of christianity. That's what the main man did, after all, and there's a grand tradition of martyrs that went to the grave rather than renounce their beliefs. I rather admire people like that and occasionally wonder what I'd be prepared to die for. Those of us with no faith may not understand why someone would take such a principled stand but I don't think calling anyone a 'mealy mouthed tossbag' really elevates the argument. hmm

NotADudeExactly Fri 30-Sep-11 19:25:54

Hmm, I can't really find much admiration for this to be honest. I just find the idea scary that people might be so convinced by something for which there is zero objectively verifiable proof that they would be prepared to face death for it.

Or so convinced of it being true and of their imaginary god being offended at people not worshiping him just the way he demands that they are prepared to kill those who agree that he's there but disagree on the particulars.

There's something really terrifying about a worldview according to which rationality is basically irrelevant.

chrchrch Fri 30-Sep-11 22:09:31

Quite, notadude, reality is absolute, and tis truly terrifying yours/theirs is the only one you/they can see.

Tyr Fri 30-Sep-11 22:16:58

I have no admiration for those who die for their delusional beliefs. I'd stop a bullet for my child; beyond that, self preservation is the highest law.
Say what you have to in order to survive.

meala Fri 30-Sep-11 22:54:25

How depressing and shocking that many of you on this thread are blaming this poor man rather than condemning those who act against their own laws and try to force a man to "change your views to ours or you die".

Why should a Christian, or any member of any faith, be forced to choose between their beliefs or their life! I believe that the international community should be putting pressure on Iran to release this innocent man. I am absolutely no respect for those who criticise his moral decisions.

To call this man delusional it is highly insulting. Just because some do not share his beliefs, this does not make your opinions and standards any more valid than his!! angry

I hope and pray that he is released soon.

NotADudeExactly Fri 30-Sep-11 23:03:46

Nobody is condemning the guy - what people are saying is that they don't find self sacrifice on the altar of an unfounded belief system heroic and admirable.

Of course people should be allowed to believe whatever they wish - in Iran and anywhere else. Nobody is condoning the death penalty for religious dissent here.

On a slightly pedantic note: yes, not believing in something for which there is no evidence is more valid than either this man's or the Iranian state's opinion from a strictly rational perspective.

meala Fri 30-Sep-11 23:09:01

On another pedantic note, there is plenty of evidence for a Christian God if you choose to look for it. Can you actually see the wind? No but you still believe in it because of what it can do.

I think that we will have to agree to disagree on this topic and I am really saddened by the narrow minded and judgmental attitudes on mumsnet. I am highly educated and would not go round believing in something daft. I believe that the main point has been totally missed by those wishing to make a mockery out of religion sad

meala Fri 30-Sep-11 23:09:47

I won't be coming back to this thread as I am finding it too depressing to read. I just hope this man and his family have some good news soon.

Tyr Fri 30-Sep-11 23:15:58

This getting sidetracked meala but at the risk of stating the blindingly obvious, there is no evidence for a christian god; never has been and never will be.
This man has at least one child. If he's prepared to leave that child fatherless over his ridiculous beliefs, there is something wrong with him.
That does not excuse the barbaric sentence passed on him or those who have passed it.

chrchrch Fri 30-Sep-11 23:18:28

Don't leave meala.

Notadude talks about rationality when the evidence is s/he is wedded only to rationalism.

Meala you are right that for one to be so limited in rationality is something to be pitied. And right too that all good wishes are due to this man and his family.

ripstheirthroatoutliveupstairs Sat 01-Oct-11 08:33:34

Meala my DH is highly educated (double first from Oxford) and yet he still believes in god.
We have had the conversation about dieing for your religion. Prior to DDs birth, he did say he would.
After DD he said he would die for her and nothing else.

CogitoErgoSometimes Sat 01-Oct-11 10:56:52

I'm horrified that the victim in this case is being villified simply for being a man of faith. We may not share his faith but suggesting that all he has to do is renounce it to save his skin because it's somehow ridiculous is exactly what his brutal persecutors would like to happen. Sometimes making a stand for what you believe is necessary for your personal integrity, if nothing else. It doesn't matter whether the principle at stake is religious freedom, democracy or equality.

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