A recent pew poll (http://ncronline.org/NCR_Online/archives2/2006a/032406/032406h.htm) shows that the religious are more likely to favor torture than the secular. Bill Maher referring to guest Reza Aslan's No god but God (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/redirect?link_code=ur2&tag=onegoodmove-20&camp=1789&creative=9325&path=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%2Fgp%2Fproduct%2F0812971892%2Fsr%3D8-1%2Fqid%3D1143361264%2Fref%3Dpd_bbs_1%3F%255Fencoding%3DUTF8), said he was surprised how liberal and tolerant the prophet Muhammad was. Reza explained that in all religions the prophets don't invent the religions, but that "they take the social, and cultural, economic and political milieu they live in and and reshape it they recast it. They don't talk about the future they talk about the present." It is the followers that come after that create the religion, and they often get much of it wrong.
Aslan's point is well taken. The only problem is that there is no one around today--that I know of--who is willing to take the actual words of these prophets and re-define their respective religions accordingly. I can only imagine that anyone proclaiming to have re-codified the real Christianity or Islam would be locked up for heresy.
Oh, and another thing!
Why is it that guys from Washington like this Jack Kingston think that being a politician and an intellectual are mutually exlusive? Or that it's somehow cute to pretend they aren't all that smart? It wasn't cute when the hot girls in high school pretended to be dumb and it certainly isn't cute when our elected officials do it.