What is it with religious people and outrage over pictures?

Just to be thorough, let’s look at religions other than Christianity and Islam – for once.

Most religions come in many forms – from relatively liberal ones to insanely fundamentalist ones.  While I am willing to have respect for some religious practices (as long as they are strictly self-imposed by adult individuals), it is a serious mistake for a society to give a ‘carte blanche’ of ‘respect’ to all things religious.

Just because something is ‘religious’ does not automatically make it worthy of respect.

For example, there is a Hasidic Jewish sect living in New York which is so misogynistic, it forbids any and all photographs of women.

(To their credit – the women within this sect/cult have chosen to not hold a driver’s license rather than have their picture taken.  This is way more respectable than demanding that society accommodate them with a no-photo driver’s license, as some religious cults have done.)

This group puts out a ‘newspaper’ called ‘Der Zeitung’.

In this newspaper, they have published the now famous photo of Obama, Biden, Hillary Clinton and a bunch of other people ‘watching’ as the seals storm Osama’s hideout and kill him.  The catch is – they have removed from the picture the image of the two women present:  Hillary Clinton and Audrey Tomason (a staffer in the background).


“Because of laws of modesty, we are not allowed to publish pictures of women, and we regret if this gives an impression of disparaging to women, which is certainly never our intention,” the Der Zeitung statement said.

Yes: to these religionists, ‘modesty‘ is more important than the truth!!!

Shame, shame, shame, shame!

This type of religion does not deserve respect – to the contrary.  Giving it even a pretense of respect is an offense to us, our culture and our laws.  It is no better than radical Islam or radical Christianity or radical facsism/communism/whatever-ism!!!

Now, let’s leave radical fundamentalist Judaism behind and turn our attention to Hinduism:  the religion that brought us ‘the suicide belt’ and pioneered the use of women in suicide bombings

Many Hindus are reportedly ‘outraged’ over a picture of the goddess Laksmi.

Noe, I am not a Hindu, nor am I an expert on Lakshmi – but I am a little bit familiar with her and her worship.  A friend of mine worships Lakshmi.  A few years ago, when one of ther daughters (roughly my age – a scientist with similar interest and personality to me) suddenly died, I stood in for her during a Laksmi-worshippping ceremony which my friend and her daughters had been planning before the sad event.  So, I have learned a little bit about Lakshmi in particular…  I rather like Lakshmi – think wise and loving and tolerant Shakti.

Which is why I was so surprised when so many Hindus were offended by pictures of Lakshmi – on swimwear!

Lakshmi is the goddess of wisdom and fortune and sharing and female sexuality!  A skimpy bathing suit is a perfect place for an icarnation of her image!  It is a uniquely empowering place for this particular goddess to appear!  Well, at least according to my admittedly limited knowledge of Lakshmi…

Still, even if it were not it good taste – which I think it was:  I do love that swimsuit! – Lakshmi is the goddess both of being charitable and of wisdom.  The designer meant well – she honestly thought she was honouring the goddess by including her image in her collection.  Lakshmi is also the goddess of material gain – both helping one earn it as well as guiding one on how to be charitable and perform charitable works.  The key is – she IS the goddess to pray to if you wish to make money….

Yet, those who are outraged say:

Lakshmi was meant to be worshipped in temples or home shrines and not for pushing swimwear in fashion shows for mercantile greed of an apparel company, Zed argued.


She is the goddess of making money!!!

And of wisdom and understanding – so she would ‘get’ the good intent behind the bathing suit!

Plus, she is the goddess of beauty and channeling feminine powe!!!

All this makes me wonder if religionists can be trusted to even understand their own religions!  Rather, it seems to me that they wish to use it as a tool of coersion, to get power for themselves over others!

This face of ‘religion’ is definitely not worthy of ANY respect – EVER!

12 Responses to “What is it with religious people and outrage over pictures?”

  1. CodeSlinger Says:


    What buys you status in a religious community is piety.

    And easiest the way to show how pious you are is to be histrionically outraged about something trivial that someone else did, that can be interpreted as impious by a sufficiently improbable stretch of the imagination. The more improbable the better, because it shows how pious the stretcher is. No ordinary person would even notice, but this person is so pious that he is outraged!

    And the one exhibiting the most ostentatious display of outraged piety rises to the top of the pecking order.

    This leads to a competition of being “holier than thou” which inevitably results in the formation of ultra-strict fundamentalist-literalist sects within every religion.

    But this phenomenon is not limited to religions. One sees it everywhere.

    In political philosophy it leads to the formation of extremist movements, both left and right.

    And even in daily life it leads to conspicuous consumption driven by the desire to “keep up with the Joneses.”

    In every case, it leads to excesses which subvert and destroy something which was originally useful and beneficial. It stems from what might be the tragic flaw in the human character:

    We take what works, and push it until it breaks.

  2. CodeSlinger Says:


    By the way, I have to take exception to your description of the Hasidim as “misogynistic.”

    Misogyny is hatred of women.

    The Hasidim do not hate women.

    They hate impiety in general, and immodesty in particular, in a distorted and exaggerated way which came about much as I described in my previous comment.

    Calling this attitude “misogyny” misses the point entirely, and serves only to lend apparent support to the palpably false feminist premise that hatred of women is the only possible reason for making the man the head of the household.

    This is one of the corrosive falsehoods which was instrumental in the use of feminism by the cultural Marxists to undermine and destroy Western culture.

    Such thought viruses are easily defeated by demonstrating their fallacy whenever they rear their ugly heads.

    Which is precisely what political correctness attempts to forbid.

    Xanthippa says:


    in this instance, we will have to disagree.

    Most vehemently.

    All forms of sexual seggregation are a symptom of fear of the other and loathing of the self. As such, they must be excised from any society that aspires to nutrure healthy, well-adjusted individuals.

    • CodeSlinger Says:


      This claim is just as dogmatically exaggerated as the Hasidic claim that all photographs are immodest.

      Equality, in moral and legal terms, is one thing.

      Treating people the same, who are not the same, is quite another.

      Look at it this way: the axioms of arithmetic apply equally to all numbers, but to claim that there is no difference between even and odd numbers is absurd.

      In the human sphere, such absurdity results in injustice.

      To ignore the differences between men and women – in the name of equality or anything else – wrongs them both.

      Xanthippa says:

      Each person is an individual.

      To lump all humans into two categories and to ignore the differences between individuals – in the name of equality or anything else – wrongs each and every one of them!

      • CodeSlinger Says:


        Yes, exactly!

        But you won’t get far in accounting for individual differences if your dogma doesn’t even permit you to account for the fact that each individual, broadly speaking, belongs of one or the other of exactly two sexes.

        Nor can you afford to ignore the fact that there will always be a few statistical outliers who are difficult to classify and require exceptional consideration.

        For each question, there is an optimal level of generality.

        Some questions can only be dealt with using detailed knowledge about an individual.

        For other questions, it is enough to know whether the individual is male or female.

        Therefore your statement that “all forms of sexual segregation are a symptom of fear of the other and loathing of the self” is patently false.

        Xanthippa says:

        Sorry, CodeSlinger, but you cannot have it both ways.

        Either, you acknowledge that we are individuals.

        OR, you can play ‘group politics’.

        Sure, people can be categorized into various ‘groups’ by a variety of things!





        Social skills…

        ….plus a million other ways.

        That does not make it acceptable – legally and socially speaking – to hang a group identity on someone instead of recognizing their individuality.

        Either you accept group politics – or you reject this as an evil thing which serves to divide society into groups which are then granted different legal status.

        You cannot reject it as evil in some instances and accept it as gospel in others.

        That way, legally enforced social divisions lie.

        If all people – each and every individual – are truly to be equal in the eyes of the law, then we must stop playing the group politics game, which divides people based on ‘groups’ into which individuals can be defined as belonging.

        For all laws as well as bylaws….and rules.

        This includes group identity by gender.

  3. CodeSlinger Says:


    Not only can you “have it both ways,” but you must.

    That is to say, generalization and individuation do not form a dichotomy, they form a continuum.

    As I’ve already pointed out, for every issue there is an optimal level of generalization, at which that issue is most effectively addressed.

    To act reasonably and justly, we must neither over-generalize nor under-generalize.

    Generalization is the act of sorting the myriad individual objects in the world (including people) into groups, according to contextually relevant attributes, such that members of each group are more similar to each other than to members of other groups.

    It must be remembered, however, that such groups have fuzzy boundaries – they are like clouds, which interpenetrate at the outskirts, and not like bubbles, which don’t.

    Dividing things into groups by generalizing is how we think.

    Without generalization, we lose the ability to discern patterns, and without that, we cannot understand the structure of the world we live in.

    Without generalization, the ability to think is seriously impaired.

    And that is why cultural Marxism endlessly repeats the mind-numbing mantra “you mustn’t generalize.”

    Without the ability to form your own generalizations, you are unable to resist the destructive effects of the carefully-crafted generalizations foisted upon you by cultural Marxism.

    The truth is that recognizing and applying the optimal level of generalization in each context is an essential component of rational thought and rightful action.

    In any case, we are hard-wired to think in terms of groups.

    Like any other intrinsic characteristic of human nature (religiosity, for example), you cannot abolish it.

    Therefore you must work with it.

    Xanthippa says:

    All that you have said above does not address the point I was making.

    Sure – we use generalizations and prejudices to seek patterns in the world about us.

    As in, think about.


    I do not have a quarrel with this.

    Not in the least!

    What I DO have a quarrel with is when these generalizations become entrenched in law.

    In other words – once you draw up laws, by-laws and firm social rules based on these generalizations, you are creating a society based on group identity politics.

    And THAT is the problem.

    In other words, regardless of what groups particular individuals may or may not belong to, each and every person must be treated equally, as an individual, by ‘the law’.

  4. Steynian 447st « Free Canuckistan! Says:

    […] ZANFIPPA– Yes: to these religionists, ‘modesty‘ is more important than the truth!!! …. […]

  5. CodeSlinger Says:


    Now you have retreated from your original statement. To keep the discussion on topic, let me repeat it here.

    You claimed that the prohibition of photographing women, by a particular sect of Hassidic Jews, constitutes misogyny. And you justified this statement by further claiming that all forms of sexual segregation are symptoms of fear of the other and loathing of the self.

    I rebutted this by saying:

    “Equality, in moral and legal terms, is one thing.

    “Treating people the same, who are not the same, is quite another.”

    Your latest comment essentially reiterates and expands upon those two sentences of mine. So we seem to be in agreement about this – but it contradicts your original position.

    This is best seen by noting the internal contradiction in your last sentence. You state:

    “regardless of what groups particular individuals may or may not belong to, each and every person must be treated equally, as an individual, by ‘the law’.”

    But differentiating between individuals is a finer degree of distinction than differentiating between groups. Therefore, one cannot properly take individual differences into account, unless one has already accounted for differences at the group level.

    Because laws and customs apply to everyone, there is no choice but to frame them in terms of generalities and groups.

    And because no two individuals or situations are the same, there is no choice but to require exceptional circumstances to be accounted for, when they are relevant.

    Sometimes the specifics alter the conclusions drawn at the general level, and sometimes they don’t.

    For a contextually relevant example, consider that by custom and law we prohibit public immodesty, and we prohibit it for everyone.


    Immodesty is defined differently for men and women. A bare-chested man is not guilty of it, but a bare-chested woman certainly is.

    This has nothing whatsoever to do with fear or loathing. It is a simple consequence of the fact that women have breasts and men don’t.

    The only exceptional circumstances one can imagine concern borderline cases and statistical outliers: whether the situation really is public, whether the individual really is male or female, and so on. But none of this weakens the core issue, which can only be expressed at the group level:

    Modesty is necessarily defined differently for men and women.

    Now, I personally believe that modesty should remain a matter of custom, and the law should not be involved at all. But the argument remains valid either way.

    The Hassidic custom regarding modesty, then, is just an exaggeration of the usual one. So there is no apparent basis upon which to doubt that they exaggerated it for the same reason that other religious sects exaggerate such things: to show off how extremely pious they are.

    Thus, while such histrionic displays of conspicuous piety may be misguided and even harmful, they have nothing whatsoever to do with hatred of women.

    By uncritically accepting it when feminism dogmatically calls things misogyny, we are blinded to their true nature.

    And that is precisely why feminism is so useful to the cultural Marxists.

    • xanthippa Says:

      I’m at a loss as to how to answer to you. Social customs and laws are not as separate from each other as you seem to imply. Often, the one is the codification of the other – so let’s not pretend otherwise.

      Seggregation leads to fear of the ‘other’ – you have a nasty feedback loop right there.

      ‘Modesty’ is another word for ‘self-loathing’.

      Methinks that you are making my point for me!

  6. CodeSlinger Says:


    Yes, laws and customs are closely related. But in modern societies there is an important difference: if you fail to observe a custom, you face the disapproval of your peers, but if you fail to observe the law, you face punitive action by the state.

    The state has no business interfering in people’s lives unless someone’s rights have been infringed. Most customs can be ignored without infringing anyone’s rights. Therefore, most customs should not be codified as laws. When they are, you have a nanny state.

    Segregation, in this context, means expecting different things from different kinds of people. This is very unlikely to cause fear. It’s much more likely to reduce stress.

    But… modesty is another word for self-loathing?

    Not at all.

    Modesty is part of civilized behaviour, closely related to politeness and decorum.

    It is both considerate and prudent to refrain from behaviour that makes it harder for other people to maintain their veneer of civilized behaviour.

    The sight of a man’s bare chest does not make it harder for a woman to act like a lady.

    But the sight of a woman’s bare breasts certainly does make it harder for a man to act like a gentleman.

    It’s that simple.

    Xanthippa say:



    Using that reasoning, you might as well just toss a burqa on me!

    The very basis of your argument is tragically flawed.

    I would have used those same words andd statement to explain just how ludicrous this line of argument is. I am shocked you do not see it and don’t know, honestly don’t know, how else to illustrate my very point!

    It has been 20 years since we have fought – and struck down – the Ontario laws that treat a woman’s chest as shameful while a man’s chest as acceptable. And, yes, I was active in that battle.

    It was a victory for all humanity when we won it – I can’t believe there are still people stuck in that demonstrably erroneous position…and that you would be one of them!

  7. CodeSlinger Says:


    You keep using words like shame and loathing, but they have nothing to do with modesty.

    Religious types try to equate modesty with shame, because they have an agenda to push.

    Feminists try to equate it with misogyny, because they, too, have an agenda to push.

    But, I repeat, it has nothing to do with either.

    In my last comment, I explained modesty by saying that it is both considerate and prudent to refrain from behaviour that makes it harder for other people to maintain their veneer of civilized behaviour.

    I thought that was clear enough, but apparently not. So let me spell it out.

    In the natural order of things, it’s just plain stupid for a woman to flaunt herself at men unless she wants some untamed brute to hold her down and have his way with her.

    If a man faces a severe penalty for doing what she is tempting him to do, but she faces no penalty for tempting him, then there is another possible explanation for her behaviour, and that is…

    Cruelty, of the same kind that makes nasty children poke a caged bear with sticks.

    Western feminists, who want the state to protect them from the natural consequences of their immodesty, are just like those nasty children.

    They are spoiled brats who want to have their cake and eat it, too.

    Few things are more corrosive to the foundations of Western society than catering to these spoiled brats.

    And that, as I said, is precisely why feminism is so useful to the cultural Marxists.

    Xanthippa says:

    Is this some sort of a joke?

    Because it certainly is not funny.

    • CodeSlinger Says:

      No, Xanthippa, this is no joke.

      It is a requiem for a culture.

      But it is ironically fitting that you ask.

      Xanthippa says

      Not what I meant.

      Repeating arguments that have already been refuted – and soundly – does not make them true, whatever your wishes!

  8. CodeSlinger Says:


    I don’t see where you’ve refuted a single thing I’ve said.

    Indeed, it seems that you stopped trying a few comments ago.

    Before that, most of your arguments were against things I didn’t say, and since then you’ve mostly expressed your disapproval of what I’ve said.

    But disapproval is not refutation.

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