China demolishes hundreds of churches and confiscates Bibles during a crackdown on Christianity

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Re: China demolishes hundreds of churches and confiscates Bibles during a crackdown on Christianity

#46

Post by Philip » Mon Nov 26, 2018 8:58 am

The problem is when we generalize from articles. Certainly there are extreme leftists who have an agenda that is radically out of step with the values of most Americans. And everyone supporting what conservatives would see as dangerous stances don't all have some sinister agenda - even when they support something that might lead to negative results. Many support things I see as highly problematic, but they don't necessarily have some evil agenda. But many on the extreme left obviously do. As do many of the far right. And a whole lot of people don't realize the implications of their views - particularly the younger they are. Everyone who disagrees with me is not an evil plotter to be demonized - we have to be careful with this stuff, because there will always be extremists on both sides whose intended chaos and mayhem are fertilized by both those on the left and the right - both of which are far less extreme - quit talking to each other and simply resort to demonizing people they disagree with as being outright evil. And we all should see where extremists all around are fanning the flames of hatred.

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Re: China demolishes hundreds of churches and confiscates Bibles during a crackdown on Christianity

#47

Post by Stu » Thu Nov 29, 2018 8:30 am

I'm sure Ed will defend this arrest somehow too.

Ex-Muslim Christian Pastor, Refugee From Iran, Arrested for Sharing His Testimony — in Minnesota

Late last month, Ramin Parsa, a Christian pastor who fled Iran as a religious refugee, was arrested for privately sharing his faith testimony in the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minn. He fled persecution in Iran and Turkey, only to find persecution in the land of the free and the home of the brave.

"I came to the U.S. as a political and religious — as a Christian — refugee. They oppressed me for my faith in Iran. I was stabbed in Iran," Parsa told PJ Media in an interview on Tuesday. Then last week, he was arrested for a private conversation about his faith, handcuffed to a metal chair for four hours without water, and later charged with trespassing.

"These things might happen in other countries, oppressive dictatorships, but not in America," the pastor said.

Parsa, a pastor at Redemptive Love Ministries International in Los Angeles, Calif., traveled to Minnesota for two days to visit two different churches. He went to the Mall of America (MOA) on Saturday, August 25, with an elder from one of the churches, and with the elder's 14-year-old son. Shortly after entering the mall, he struck up a conversation with two Somali-American women.

"Our conversation was casual. At first, we were not talking about the gospel," Parsa recalled. "They asked me, 'Are you a Muslim?' I said, 'No, I used to be a Muslim and I'm a Christian now.' I was telling them the story of how I converted."

A passerby could not stand the discussion, however. "Another lady told the guard, 'This guy is harassing us!'" MOA security came and told Parsa to stop soliciting. "I said, 'We're not soliciting.' But we just left," the pastor explained.

The pastor and his friends went into a coffee shop, bought a latte, and came out. Parsa told PJ Media he thought that would be the end of it. He was sorely mistaken.

"When we came out of the coffee shop, three guards were waiting for us, and they arrested me right there," the pastor recalled. "They came after me and arrested me, and said, 'You cannot talk religion here.'"

Parsa told security he was a pastor. "They told me, 'We arrested pastors before,'" he recalled, still shocked by the answer. "It was something normal for them, they were used to it."

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Re: China demolishes hundreds of churches and confiscates Bibles during a crackdown on Christianity

#48

Post by edwardmurphy » Thu Nov 29, 2018 9:26 am

Stu wrote:
Thu Nov 29, 2018 8:30 am
I'm sure Ed will defend this arrest somehow too.
First off, Stu, you're being dishonest. I'm not defending anybody. You frequently post stories that don't ring true, so I look them up to try and see if what you're claiming is what actually happened. Frankly, you should be doing that yourself. If you bothered to do a bit of fact checking you wouldn't be putting out so much erroneous information.

On this one, it's hard to say what really happened. The whole right-wing blogosphere went nuts over this, but I can't find anything else about the arrest other than the Bloomington PD booking report (TRESPASSING - REFUSAL TO DEPART).

What I can tell you is that, unlike you, I used to live about 3 miles from Bloomington, Minnesota, I dated a Bloomington cop for 3 years, I've met lots of other Bloomington cops, and I've been to the Mall of America.* I can tell you that the hysterical cries of "Sharia law in Minnesota!" are complete nonsense. I can also tell you that there's nothing - even in that extremely biased, sensationalized report - that suggests that Parsa was arrested for being a Christian.

As far as who is telling the truth - the Bloomington PD or the ex-Muslim turned YouTube preacher - I think my money is on the cops. Parsa might even have staged this entire thing as a publicity stunt to get himself more page views and followers. It was certainly in his interest to do so.

Anyway, feel free to keep sitting in South Africa and lecturing me about how people I've met are behaving in places where I used to live, because that isn't asinine at all.




* It sucks. I hate that place.
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Re: China demolishes hundreds of churches and confiscates Bibles during a crackdown on Christianity

#49

Post by Stu » Thu Nov 29, 2018 9:32 am

LOL just as I thought, he dismisses the arrest.
edwardmurphy wrote:
Thu Nov 29, 2018 9:26 am
What I can tell you is that, unlike you, I used to live about 3 miles from Bloomington, Minnesota, I dated a Bloomington cop for 3 years, I've met lots of other Bloomington cops, and I've been to the Mall of America.* I can tell you that the hysterical cries of "Sharia law in Minnesota!" are complete nonsense. I can also tell you that there's nothing - even in that extremely biased, sensationalized report - that suggests that Parsa was arrested for being a Christian.

Anyway, feel free to keep sitting in South Africa and lecturing me about how people I've met are behaving in places where I used to live, because that isn't asinine at all.
So now for one to comment on a topic one has to have lived in or nearby the area itself and to have dated a person in the area as well!!! Wouldn't that rule out 95% of Americans? Is it just Ed and his sources that are factual and count then. All news sources that conflict with Ed's opinion are deemed right-wing, conservative and biased and not worthy of discussion or can be held up as evidence. Got it!
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Re: China demolishes hundreds of churches and confiscates Bibles during a crackdown on Christianity

#50

Post by RickD » Thu Nov 29, 2018 10:44 am

Stu,

I'm not sure how it is in S. Africa, but in the US, if someone is asked to leave a private business(trespassed), and they refuse to leave, they can be arrested.
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Re: China demolishes hundreds of churches and confiscates Bibles during a crackdown on Christianity

#51

Post by Philip » Thu Nov 29, 2018 11:46 am

Again, media loves to put out the click-bait of sensational stories. Because "Boy Scout Does Good Deed" stories don't draw interest. Even good ideas and solutions aren't sexy to media - conflict and drama are! So, we really have to take a well-rounded look at diverse sources about such articles. Also, even when true, whatever story will typically be spun or played by both the right and the left as being indicative of their versions of reality. So, the additional question is, does whatever outrageous or negative story truly represent a larger and widespread truth, or is it not far more accurate to say, that in this or that specific incident, a conclusion can only be related to THAT or maybe a few other incidents. People read such emotion-grabbing stories and perceive them to be a greater societal truth.

Here's an example: Media always tends to report stories of prejudice against minorities far more than it does the other way around (minority prejudice and crimes against members of the dominate group). And so the message that millions get is, that such an incident is indicative of a dominate attitude of a certain race, and that such attitudes of terrible prejudice are far rarer, AS A PERCENTAGE ACROSS MINORITY RACES than it is across the majority race. It's a faulty perception! Because human beings, as a percentage of WHATEVER race, ALL have the same messed up attitudes and hatreds. But the widespread, media-driven perception is that majorities of whatever race, culture, or political control - all over the globe - are more evil, sinister, etc. than whatever type of minority (class, race, socioeconomic, or political group). And so both sides fight to spin popular perceptions that don't necessarily reflect the far broader reality. Believe me, the spinmasters of almost every organized group or subgroup are often spinning as opposed to accurately reporting whatever incidents. Of course, there truly are society wide trends of things that media correctly assesses. Point is, we gotta be careful as to what we perceive the broader reality, as opposed to what media actually reports.

There is a global website that runs a lot of articles, and that website leans much more liberal. It has a comments section. I can make a fair comment that is perceived to be a conservative viewpoint, and so often, it will be deleted by editors, but the view they favor will have hundreds of comments. It's because they only want to rubberstamp a certain view - and that's really wrong and dangerous. But that's just one example. There are plenty of far-right blogs, websites, or news shows that always will typically cherrypick a certain outrageous incident that they'll spin or showcase for their audience as being typical of those more liberal views - often when it's not truly a left/right issue. But media loves to output us vs. them articles, designed to demonize those whose views don't line up with their own. So, media are the middle men of information - they take whatever raw product, package it, brand it, and spit it out 24/7 - all designed to best grow a loyal audience that feeds their bottom line: $$$$ Never forget that - media manipulation of whatever truth is epidemic.

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Re: China demolishes hundreds of churches and confiscates Bibles during a crackdown on Christianity

#52

Post by edwardmurphy » Thu Nov 29, 2018 7:32 pm

Stu wrote:
Thu Nov 29, 2018 9:32 am
LOL just as I thought, he dismisses the arrest.
I'm not necessarily dismissing it, but I'm also not going to take Parsa's word for it. Perhaps in South Africa people get hauled out of malls for being Christian - I really wouldn't know - but here they don't, so the story seems unlikely. Did you notice that the only person quoted was Parsa? Nothing from the women who supposedly wanted to talk to him, or the woman who was supposedly offended by his behavior, or the arresting officers, just one guy claiming that he was arrested for something that people for which people aren't typically arrested.

So no, I'm not dismissing the story, I'm thinking critically about it. You, on the other hand, are completely ignoring all of the problematic details and swallowing it hook, line and sinker, simply because it supports your narrative. That's called confirmation bias.
Stu wrote:
Thu Nov 29, 2018 9:32 am
So now for one to comment on a topic one has to have lived in or nearby the area itself and to have dated a person in the area as well!!! Wouldn't that rule out 95% of Americans? Is it just Ed and his sources that are factual and count then. All news sources that conflict with Ed's opinion are deemed right-wing, conservative and biased and not worthy of discussion or can be held up as evidence. Got it!
That's not what I said at all, and you know it.

Let me give you a window into my process. When someone posts a story here (or elsewhere) these are some things that I think about and/or do:

1) Read the title. Was it sensationalized and strongly biased? If yes then that's a red flag and the article is likely to be garbage.

2) Read the article. Do the contents match the title? If no then it's probably garbage click-bait and the poster most likely didn't even read it.

3) Compare what the author is claiming happened with my understanding of how the world works. Do the claims match up with what I know about our laws, history, cultural norms, and the like? If not then it's probably garbage.

4) Look for signs of journalism. Are there sources cited? Quotes from people involved? Are multiple points of view addressed? If not then it's probably garbage.

5) Look at when the incident (or supposed incident) took place. Was it recently? If not then have there been any developments?

This one came up when I was responding to B.W.'s stories about Christians being told not to host Bible study classes or prayer groups, or whatever. On several occasions it turned out that there was more to the story, and that the folks involved had discussed things and come to a peaceful resolution months before the right wing blogoshpere picked it up.

6) Look at who else is covering the story. Did it get picked up by 7 pages of right wing blogs, but nobody else? Not even FOX News? Nobody? Sorry, this is probably garbage. If it was real then FOX would have it, the Alliance Defending Freedom would be litigating the matter, and it would have found its way to Donald Trump's Twitter stream.

7) If there are specific details in the article, like names, locations, and organizations I look them up to see if there's more to the story. There often is and the added context often changes things.

8 ) Were specific claims made? If so, I look them up and see if they're accurate and being presented honestly and in the proper context.

That reminds me of an article someone posted here saying that the Muslim population in the US was going to increase massively in the next twenty years. The title was all hysteria - OMG, Muslims everywhere! Sharia is right around the corner! Arm yourselves, people! That was followed by a dry as sand article stating that the Muslim population was likely to increase by upwards of 300% or something, from .003% of the American population to .01%. Alarming stuff, indeed.

There are probably other things I do as well, but that's all I can think of.

My point, Stu, is that you don't seem to be doing any of those things and you really ought to be.
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Re: China demolishes hundreds of churches and confiscates Bibles during a crackdown on Christianity

#53

Post by Stu » Thu Nov 29, 2018 11:58 pm

RickD wrote:
Thu Nov 29, 2018 10:44 am
Stu,

I'm not sure how it is in S. Africa, but in the US, if someone is asked to leave a private business(trespassed), and they refuse to leave, they can be arrested.
Did you even read the article? That's not what happened in this case.
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Re: China demolishes hundreds of churches and confiscates Bibles during a crackdown on Christianity

#54

Post by RickD » Fri Nov 30, 2018 4:16 am

Stu wrote:
Thu Nov 29, 2018 11:58 pm
RickD wrote:
Thu Nov 29, 2018 10:44 am
Stu,

I'm not sure how it is in S. Africa, but in the US, if someone is asked to leave a private business(trespassed), and they refuse to leave, they can be arrested.
Did you even read the article? That's not what happened in this case.
That's not what happened in this case?

Oh, so YOU were there? Why didn't you say so? I was just going by the article that you posted, that I did read, and it doesn't make sense.

He was "arrested" by security guards? Security guards at a mall, have no authority to arrest anyone.

I see two possibilities here.

1) He was illegally detained by security. In this case, if he can prove this, the mall is in deep doo doo.

2) The story is not true.

Maybe we'll hear more in the future.
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Re: China demolishes hundreds of churches and confiscates Bibles during a crackdown on Christianity

#55

Post by Stu » Fri Nov 30, 2018 4:44 am

RickD wrote:
Fri Nov 30, 2018 4:16 am
Stu wrote:
Thu Nov 29, 2018 11:58 pm
RickD wrote:
Thu Nov 29, 2018 10:44 am
Stu,

I'm not sure how it is in S. Africa, but in the US, if someone is asked to leave a private business(trespassed), and they refuse to leave, they can be arrested.
Did you even read the article? That's not what happened in this case.
That's not what happened in this case?

Oh, so YOU were there? Why didn't you say so? I was just going by the article that you posted, that I did read, and it doesn't make sense.

He was "arrested" by security guards? Security guards at a mall, have no authority to arrest anyone.

I see two possibilities here.

1) He was illegally detained by security. In this case, if he can prove this, the mall is in deep doo doo.

2) The story is not true.

Maybe we'll hear more in the future.
Well why did you even mention trespassing then?? - you made the massive assumption that he was in the wrong based on what? From his account it sounds like they've done this before.

I did google it and it has received some coverage in the Christian media.

You really think the media will pick this up, I highly doubt it. You sound more and more like Ed every day :wave:
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Re: China demolishes hundreds of churches and confiscates Bibles during a crackdown on Christianity

#56

Post by edwardmurphy » Fri Nov 30, 2018 7:39 am

Stu wrote:
Fri Nov 30, 2018 4:44 am
Well why did you even mention trespassing then?? - you made the massive assumption that he was in the wrong based on what?
Trespassing came up because Parsa was charged with trespassing.
Stu wrote:
Fri Nov 30, 2018 4:44 am
From his account it sounds like they've done this before.
Parsa told security he was a pastor. "They told me, 'We arrested pastors before,'" he recalled, still shocked by the answer. "It was something normal for them, they were used to it."
To me it sounds like Parsa was trying to argue that they couldn't arrest him because he was a Pastor, and the response was that Pastors don't get special protection and are just as subject to arrest as anyone else. I'm also going to guess that people try to preach at the MoA pretty frequently. It's a major landmark and tourist attraction.
Stu wrote:
Fri Nov 30, 2018 4:44 am
I did google it and it has received some coverage in the Christian media.
It's being covered by the right wing Christian media and other right wing outlets (and the Daily Stormer) as an example of anti-Christian persecution and creeping Sharia law. They're trying to gin up some outrage by claiming that Parsa was arrested for being a Christian, which is nonsense.

Anyway, Parsa goes to court on December 11th so I imagine we'll hear more about this over the course of the month.
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Re: China demolishes hundreds of churches and confiscates Bibles during a crackdown on Christianity

#57

Post by Stu » Fri Nov 30, 2018 7:42 am

The fact that he is even going to court is a joke, or do you think he deserves what he got?
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Re: China demolishes hundreds of churches and confiscates Bibles during a crackdown on Christianity

#58

Post by RickD » Fri Nov 30, 2018 7:56 am

Stu wrote:
Well why did you even mention trespassing then?? - you made the massive assumption that he was in the wrong based on what? From his account it sounds like they've done this before.
I mentioned trespassing because it was mentioned in the article. And I made no assumption of his guilt about anything. I made no judgement.
I did google it and it has received some coverage in the Christian media.
I couldn't find any articles besides christian/religious media.
You really think the media will pick this up, I highly doubt it. You sound more and more like Ed every day :wave:
Unlike some people here, I try to reserve judgement until I have enough facts, to make a judgement.

Like I said, if and until I see something more, I'll hold off on an opinion.
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Re: China demolishes hundreds of churches and confiscates Bibles during a crackdown on Christianity

#59

Post by edwardmurphy » Fri Nov 30, 2018 8:31 am

Stu wrote:
Fri Nov 30, 2018 7:42 am
The fact that he is even going to court is a joke, or do you think he deserves what he got?
You think it's a joke because Parsa's claims fit your narrative, so MoA security and the Bloomington PD must be lying.

Personally, I don't really know what happened. Parsa claims he's being persecuted, the Bloomington police say he was trespassing, and I wasn't there to see what happened. I'm skeptical of Parsa's claims, but I have no way of knowing anything for sure. And neither do you, by the way.
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Re: China demolishes hundreds of churches and confiscates Bibles during a crackdown on Christianity

#60

Post by Stu » Fri Nov 30, 2018 9:04 am

edwardmurphy wrote:
Fri Nov 30, 2018 8:31 am
Stu wrote:
Fri Nov 30, 2018 7:42 am
The fact that he is even going to court is a joke, or do you think he deserves what he got?
You think it's a joke because Parsa's claims fit your narrative, so MoA security and the Bloomington PD must be lying.

Personally, I don't really know what happened. Parsa claims he's being persecuted, the Bloomington police say he was trespassing, and I wasn't there to see what happened. I'm skeptical of Parsa's claims, but I have no way of knowing anything for sure. And neither do you, by the way.
But if you see it on MSNBC, CNN, the NYT or whatever other left news source you prefer then it is automatically true right?
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