Friday, February 03, 2006

US State Dept: "87 Million Violent Extremists Giving 'Religion of Peace' a Bad Name"

10 Comments:

Anonymous ray b said...

From:

www.originaldissent.com

Christian Right too eager for Armageddon
By Tom Teepen, Cox Newspapers
October 18, 2002

ATLANTA — It wouldn't do to make too much of this, but it wouldn't do to make too little of it, either.

The long-standing support of Israel among American fundamentalist Christians is curdling in some quarters into an unthinking religious romanticism that moons for a general Middle East war, and the bigger the better.

And that has disturbing implications for the politics of U.S. foreign policy.

As many fundamentalists read the Bible, the creation of the state of Israel was the necessary step in animating a scenario that will lead to the second coming of Jesus and the triumph of heaven in the struggle against evil.

The return of Jews to their historic land will, in this prophetic vision, incite Armageddon, the end-days war that will install the reign of the messiah.

Hence the uncritical support of Israel on the religious right, cheering, for instance, the election of the hard-line Ariel Sharon, for all the wrong reasons, after the Palestinians turned their suicide bombers loose to blow off the generous peace plan offered by Prime Minister Ehud Barak.

Ironically — if not just plain cruelly — the ultimate victims in this drama will be the Jews the fundamentalists are now championing. The script calls for Jews either to convert at the last minute to Christianity or be doomed to the eternal torments of the resulting hell on Earth.

You could argue that the fundamentalists who carry matters to that extreme have invented a historic novelty: anti-Semitic support of Israel.

Plainly, not all religiously conservative, or even all fundamentalist, Christians buy into the keenness for the last battle, much less wish to egg it on. But doomsday-and-redemption novels and movies are big money-makers these days in religious right circles and numerous preachers tout the prospect from their pulpits.

One result is a cavalier, let's-you-and-him-fight attitude toward Mideast confrontation, in which incendiary speech is freed from the ordinary restraints of civility. If Armageddon is good — well, let's get it on!

So the former president of the Southern Baptist Convention, the Rev. Jerry Vines, called Mohammed a "demon-possessed pedophile." TV preacher Pat Robertson cast Mohammed as a "robber, a brigand ... a killer." The Rev. Franklin Graham called Islam "evil."

And the Rev. Jerry Falwell recently dismissed Mohammed as a "terrorist."

Falwell has since apologized — but not before his comments sparked a riot in the Indian city of Solapur in which eight died. And not before they helped to tilt Pakistan's parliamentary elections to fundamentalist Islamic parties.

Well beyond the notice of much foreign-affairs reporting but notorious throughout the Muslim world, this yearning for Armageddon and its concurrent contempt for Islam and antagonism to peace-making are cutting off U.S. policy options and undercutting U.S. credibility.

They are also building a constituency within the United States that threatens to punish office-holders who question any Israeli undertaking and, although only at the margins, they thus embolden the most confrontational Israelis.

It's a fair surmise that even most conservative Christians who accept the end-days story in theory are in no hurry to act it out. Their support of Israel is proportioned to reality. But a disturbing minority, including several popular preachers, is literally playing with fire.

2/03/2006 04:43:00 PM  
Blogger Bohemian Like You said...

Israel is being pushed into the Ocean by 25 Billionaire families that keep their populations under control with illiteracy, slavery, secret police, genocide, violence against women, execution of homosexuals...yet the Left demands that Israel cede more territory.

Mind boggling.

2/03/2006 05:02:00 PM  
Blogger f mcdonald said...

It is hypocritical for Washington to call the cartoons an offense to a religion when U.S. tax dollars have on numerous occasions funded obscene and vulgar insults to Jesus Christ.

I'll say this for the muslims; they believe strongly enough to be outraged by what they perceive to be sacrilege.

We find it hard to perceive much less acknowledge sacrilege as it pertains to Christianity.

2/03/2006 09:28:00 PM  
Anonymous Whitman said...

One comment I heard on the news by a Muslim while they were covering the cartoon story really struck me. He said, if the topic of the cartoon was Jesus then you would not stand for it.

So, here is the real delima. If the Muslims are right and this is an offense that should not be tolerated, then Christians too should be outraged daily! What about the "buddy Christ" in Dogma? What about the fact that we were told the 10 commandments are offensive? What about all those who said that "The Passion of the Christ" was antisemetic? What about school board decisions that tell us our belief in a creator is fiction or fairy tale? More recently, what about "The Book of Daniel" on NBC?

There are political cartoons, or TV shows, or movies, or magazine/newspaper articles, etc every single day that poke fun at or devalue the Christian faith. Where is OUR public outrage? Who is standing up for us? Why is it ok when they do it to Christians, but not ok when they do it to Muslims?

2/04/2006 11:38:00 AM  
Blogger MT said...

Maybe our world has become so PC that Bush can't call a spade a spade and talk about Islam as a non-peaceful religion. It sure seems to me that violance and terror is a very key part of it's foundation

Chris Matthews is correct that it's a matter of perspective, but only to the point that you're trying to understand how we got to this point. As a matter of policy, we have to stand up for what we believe is right and stop pandering. Islam is violent.

The state department got it wrong. Clint-ush doesn't get it. Very similar to the Bill Bennett rebuke.

2/04/2006 12:17:00 PM  
Anonymous ray b said...

"Maybe our world has become so PC that Bush can't call a spade a spade and talk about Islam as a non-peaceful religion. It sure seems to me that violance and terror is a very key part of it's foundation."

Islam has only been a concern for conservatives as a so-called violent and terror based religion since 9/11 (or when the issues had Israel in the mix).

Christanity had it share of violence and terror too. Today, religons of all kinds, including Christanity, keep people's minds locked. There are millions and millions of people out there, who actually believe that Adam and Eve existed, that Satan exists! The Tower of Babel explains how languages developed?? Talk about keeping people under control -- mind control. Sunday morning in America is a dreadful day when people are dragged to church, bored out of their sculls, only there because Mom and Dad and Apple Pie tells them they should be there. Religion is IGNORANCE.

I know you all agree.

2/06/2006 03:14:00 PM  
Anonymous insanehippie said...

This is similar to the "98% of lawyers give the other 2% a bad name."

I agree with the sentiment that President Bush shouldn't have sided with the raging muslims. But then again how would the infant democratic republic of Iraq take news if President Bush said that bashing Islam was A-OK?

I'm not a fan of biting my tongue when I think (at first) that I shouldn't. Hopefully when the new Iraqi government separates Islam-the-relgion from Islam-the-everything-else they can develop a real Freedom of Speech and Freedom of the Press and they can help root out this muslim instant-rage from the inside.

It will take time but it would be much better if Iraqis can clean up the corruption of islam from the inside than us doing it from the outside.

Remember that the instant-rage muslims of the world are like the always-protesting Democrats of America... Any attempt to forcibly pacify them will only bring on the victim mentality. We can help out Iraq and hopefully cleanse Iran with teenager and young adult help from the inside.

Much of the muslim world resents us not because of Israel, the Iraq War or some other BS, but instead because their religion is their entire reason for being. This can only be fixed from the inside with the help of secular Iraqis, hopefully secular Iranians and others.

(I've been reading Samuel Huntington's "Clash of civilizations for the second time since 2001.)

2/07/2006 12:51:00 AM  
Blogger Bohemian Like You said...

Ray B said:

"Sunday morning in America is a dreadful day...."

This is an awful lot of anger directed at a God which doesn't exist.

Remarkably tolerant too.

:)

2/07/2006 11:18:00 AM  
Anonymous Whitman said...

Ray B said:
"Christanity had it share of violence and terror too. Today, religons of all kinds, including Christanity, keep people's minds locked. There are millions and millions of people out there, who actually believe that Adam and Eve existed, that Satan exists! The Tower of Babel explains how languages developed?? Talk about keeping people under control -- mind control. Sunday morning in America is a dreadful day when people are dragged to church, bored out of their sculls, only there because Mom and Dad and Apple Pie tells them they should be there. Religion is IGNORANCE."

There has been violence in the past of Christianity. But if you are looking at violence, Nazi Germany and Stalin, both secular groups, have killed far more people than any religious campaign ever fought.

I happen to be one of these billions of people that believe in God and Satan, Adam and Eve, Heaven and Hell. And without sounding too prideful, I consider myself to be a very smart person with a higher than normal intelligence and deductive reasoning skills. Over 1.6 billion people world wide claim to be Christian with another billion or so claiming to be Muslim. In fact, if you take just semetic religions alone you can account for well over 1/3 of the world's population. Many of the brightest minds in history were Christians or Jews who believed in a real live God. Even some who went against some of the Churches thinking of their time remained believers in the one true God while saying they felt the Church was wrong on a few points.

To discount the wisdom, intelligence, and knowledge of what is historically most of humanity (people who believe in a god) with a few well placed phrases bleeds and cries of ignorance. Sure, there are people who are Christians who are ignorant. Sure, there are people who are belive in God because their parents and their parents parents believed in God. And sure there are those kids who are bored out of their mind on Sunday morning or Saturday morning. But there are people like myself who did not sit in the pews most of their life and who genuinly searched for truth. We are not Christians because of family, or friends, or lack of education. We are Christians because it is logical, it makes sence, and we have searched with an open mind.

2/08/2006 12:13:00 AM  
Blogger scott said...

I know i am a little late commenting but this ray b guy is just to moch! lol

Ray say"Islam has only been a concern for conservatives as a so-called violent and terror based religion since 9/11 (or when the issues had Israel in the mix)."
This is obviously not true since we tried to kill OBL under the Clinton era. Islam as a threat has always been an issue. It is just that we have to tolerate them for their Oil.

Ray then says "Christanity had it share of violence and terror too."
Obviously ray doesnt know much of history. While yes people like to point out the crusades as christians violent side, they forget that the crusades were started due to the Muslim crusades that had been going on for decades. The christian crusades were nothing more than christians stopping the violent spread of Islam.

2/20/2006 02:28:00 PM  

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