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Old 10-19-2002, 08:28 PM   #1
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Religious Extremism

President Bush wants war on extremists, however, he is not looking at the extremists within our own country. The extremists who influence our elections, and push issues not with their fellow man in mind, but with their own agenda.

My question is "Why do the moderates in almost all religions and polical parties allow the extremists to have the stage?"

I have seen it typed here many times and it has led me to believe that many of you think extremists are the enemy. Why then do we allow extremists to dominate? Do we deep down inside believe that they have the morally supperior ground, or do you think moderate beliefs are not what the media chooses to show? Does the media encourage extremism?

Here is an interesting article to start things off.

Newsweek

Oct. 21 issue — One of the most troubling realities of the Muslim world today is the cowardice of moderates. Mainstream Muslim leaders—political and religious—do not condemn religious extremism often enough and vigorously enough. As a result, fundamentalists gain courage and their poisonous views go unchallenged.

UNFORTUNATELY, THE SAME phenomenon appears to be at work now with America’s own homegrown fundamentalists. Last week Jerry Falwell announced on CBS’s “60 Minutes” that Muhammad was “a terrorist.” (Falwell has subsequently—and unconvincingly—claimed that he meant no harm). His comments are part of a trend. At various points Pat Roberston has called Muhammad “a robber and a brigand” and described Islam as “a monumental scam.” Billy Graham’s son Franklin has chimed in as well, frequently calling Islam “a very evil and wicked religion.”

While there have been scattered condemnations from editorials here and there, there has been silence from the White House and most mainstream political and religious leaders. Commentators who froth at the mouth when they read of one crackpot mullah in Egypt saying noxious things about Christians or Jews are now silent. Forget about Islamic moderates for a moment; where are America’s moderates?

And in this case, the “extremists” are not obscure characters but rather three of the best-known religious leaders in America, with tens of millions of followers and huge political influence. Franklin Graham was invited by President George W. Bush to deliver the prayer at his Inauguration last year.

Islamic fundamentalists are having a field day with these comments, which have been played and replayed throughout the Muslim world. Al-Jazeera has broadcast fiery call-in shows on the controversy. There have been protests in India, Malaysia and Iran, and fundamentalists from London to Indonesia are saying, in effect, “We told you that America hates Islam.” Iran’s theocrats have used Falwell’s comments to rally the country behind their otherwise unpopular regime. Throughout the Muslim world, America’s friends—the reformers, the moderates—are embarrassed, while its foes are celebrating.

As it confronts a war with Iraq, the United States is trying to convince the Arab world that it is not at war with its people. The White House and the State Department have devised major new programs to tell Muslims that America is concerned about their welfare. Yet our case becomes much harder to make—and genteel efforts at cultural exchange will count for nothing—against the backdrop of bigoted ranting by preachers.

For the next decade or so at least, the single biggest issue for American foreign policy will be its relationship with the 1.2 billion Muslims around the world. Getting that relationship right will have a greater effect on protecting American interests—including the lives of American citizens—than any other. And Falwell, Robertson and Graham’s hate-filled campaign is lighting fires that could grow into a terrible conflagration.

For the fundamentalists, September 11 solved an urgent problem. Over the past decade they have been searching for enemies. Their old ones—abortion-rights advocates and homosexuals—have not proved as useful as they had been, because Americans have become more tolerant on social issues.

Immediately after September 11, Falwell and Robertson decided to use the tragedy to fire up their flock. In a joint appearance on national television, Falwell blamed the attacks on “the pagans and the abortionists and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People for the American Way, all of them who have tried to secularize America, I point the finger in their face and say, ‘You helped this happen’.” Robertson concurred.

Other fundamentalists joined in. Billy Graham’s daughter Anne Graham Lotz told CBS’s Jane Clayson on Sept. 13, 2001, that the tragedy took place because “Americans ... have shaken their fists at God and said, ‘God, we want you out of our government ... our business ... our marketplace’.” All this backfired. In the next few weeks the preachers were roundly condemned by hundreds of organizations, newspapers, magazines and politicians—including President Bush. Falwell and Robertson backed down, issuing apologies and claiming disingenuously to have been quoted out of context. Since then, they have stopped peddling that particular brand of intolerance. In Muslims, they have found an easier target.

As President Bush has repeatedly noted since September 11, confronting extremism works. It will work again at home if he would only try.

Fareed Zakaria
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Old 10-20-2002, 12:21 AM   #2
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The extremists in America have more money than those who oppose them, therefore it's easier for them to get away with what they do/say.
Money yells, not just talks.
I have no freaking idea why something hasn't been done to stop the Army of God for example.
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Old 10-20-2002, 02:30 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally posted by Sparkysgrrrl
The extremists in America have more money than those who oppose them, therefore it's easier for them to get away with what they do/say.
Money yells, not just talks.
I have no freaking idea why something hasn't been done to stop the Army of God for example.
I am sure they have more money than most and that contributes to their ability to continue to be on the forefront.

What is the Army of God?
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Old 10-20-2002, 02:42 PM   #4
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Funny you bring this up....

Jerry Falwell has said more than just "Muhammad is a terrorist." He stated the nature of his support for Israel, which has always intrigued me, considering that the Christian Coalition is, not only anti-Islamic, but also anti-Semitic. Pamphlets printed by them, a couple years back, attempted to convert both groups, as they were all destined for hell.

But now we know *why* there has been support for Israel from Falwell. According to him, Christ's "second coming" is supposed to happen once Israel reoccupies all of the "Holy Land," which I'm guessing consists of the West Bank as well. Apparently, once that happens, 2/3 of the Jews are supposed to die and the last 1/3 are going to be converted to Christianity. To Jerry Falwell, this is a "win-win situation," as the "second coming" also brings "The Rapture," and I'm sure he believes he is going straight to heaven.

...

Of course, why didn't "the rapture" happen a millennium ago, when the Holy Land was briefly in control of the Crusaders for a span of 20 years?

I don't think we really realize the level of Christian fanaticism we have in the United States.

Melon
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Old 10-20-2002, 04:03 PM   #5
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Re: Religious Extremism

Quote:
Originally posted by Dreadsox
1-President Bush wants war on extremists, however, he is not looking at the extremists within our own country.


.

2-As President Bush has repeatedly noted since September 11, confronting extremism works. It will work again at home if he would only try.

Fareed Zakaria
Melon-
I disagree w the first statement.
Bush and our entire country is currently seeking this fanatic sniper who will prolly wind up being a religious terrorist from abroad
OR
a religious polictical whacko homegrown here..

2 I agree w the 2nd statement here and now is the time to unite and stop seeing things in a finite way..

Most ppl are ok w Billy Grahm and Franklin G..
sure they mis-spoke here, though.

You can have Robertson and Falwell though..

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Old 10-20-2002, 04:21 PM   #6
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Diamond Buddy,

Those are my QUOTES. You also clipped the second sentence on the first one.

Let me replace it in context for you:

President Bush wants war on extremists, however, he is not looking at the extremists within our own country. The extremists who influence our elections, and push issues not with their fellow man in mind, but with their own agenda.


Different kind of extremist from the sniper.
My point is, the President is not speaking out against all extremists. As Melon was pointing out, these people support policies not because they are good for humankind, but to push their own agenda ie: the end of the world.
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Old 10-20-2002, 05:10 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by Dreadsox
Diamond Buddy,

Those are my QUOTES. You also clipped the second sentence on the first one.

Let me replace it in context for you:

President Bush wants war on extremists, however, he is not looking at the extremists within our own country. The extremists who influence our elections, and push issues not with their fellow man in mind, but with their own agenda.


Different kind of extremist from the sniper.
My point is, the President is not speaking out against all extremists. As Melon was pointing out, these people support policies not because they are good for humankind, but to push their own agenda ie: the end of the world.
yes ok i guess u r turning into Melon in my feeble mind
I think a sniper is an extremest too..they are all zealots..is my point

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Old 10-20-2002, 05:11 PM   #8
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Army of God

and their Manuel

they are responsible for the bombings and anthrax incidents at abortion clinics, which rarely get media coverage, not to mention their stance on gays
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Old 10-20-2002, 05:13 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by diamond

yes ok i guess u r turning into Melon in my feeble mind
I think a sniper is an extremest too..they are all zealots..is my point

DB9
I do not know if that is good for me or bad for Melon.
It is probably the influence of being in the Boston area.
They are exremists, but, don't you think even a liberal president would do all that he/she could do to help take this guy down?
My point is about the extremists who spout their gospel of intolorance and use the word of God to decieve.

Peace Buddy!!!!!!


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Old 10-20-2002, 05:14 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by Sparkysgrrrl
Army of God

and their Manuel

they are responsible for the bombings and anthrax incidents at abortion clinics, which rarely get media coverage, not to mention their stance on gays
these are another example of extremests..
and
I fear them more than Brother Graham..


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Old 10-20-2002, 05:19 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by Dreadsox


I do not know if that is good for me or bad for Melon.
It is probably the influence of being in the Boston area.
They are exremists, but, don't you think even a liberal president would do all that he/she could do to help take this guy down?
My point is about the extremists who spout their gospel of intolorance and use the word of God to decieve.

Peace Buddy!!!!!!


its good for the both of u Bostonian youths

Yes-u made some good points

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Old 10-21-2002, 09:59 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by diamond

its good for the both of u Bostonian youths
Diamond:

THis would be a great time for you to tell Dreadsox about your experience at Bos. #4.

~U2Alabama
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Old 10-21-2002, 11:52 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by melon
Of course, why didn't "the rapture" happen a millennium ago, when the Holy Land was briefly in control of the Crusaders for a span of 20 years?

I don't think we really realize the level of Christian fanaticism we have in the United States.

Melon
So if we take a pre-millennial view in our study of eschatology, then we are considered a fanatic? I think we need to be careful, on an individual level, of the extremism of our labeling.
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Old 10-21-2002, 12:01 PM   #14
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wink

Quote:
Originally posted by U2Bama


Diamond:

THis would be a great time for you to tell Dreadsox about your experience at Bos. #4.

~U2Alabama
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I dont have to.
Dread was in attendance that nite
Thank You-
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Old 10-21-2002, 04:29 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by nbcrusader


So if we take a pre-millennial view in our study of eschatology, then we are considered a fanatic? I think we need to be careful, on an individual level, of the extremism of our labeling.
I do not think that was implied anywhere. However,the point is that there are Extremist Christians that are supporting one side over another, not because it is moral, but becasue they hope to cause the rapture to happen. That is what is wrong. Their comments are not to help the situation, but to throw more fuel onto the fire and give people a reason to hate our country.
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