Friday, August 22, 2014

Extremism in Any Form is Evil

Update:  8-28-2014:  A version of this made the op ed page of the Waco,  Texas,  "Tribune Herald" Thursday 8-20-14.

The beheading of American journalist James Foley by the Muslim extremist organization we call ISIS has brought to a head a very serious question:  what do we do about evident evil operating in our midst?  Mr. Foley’s murder is not the only crime  committed by these people:  thousands have already died at their hands in Syria and Iraq.         

ISIS is an example of religious extremism in operation “at full tilt”.  These are people who believe that God has told them to kill those who think differently from them,  in any way.  They believe so strongly in this,  that they are willing to commit any atrocity,  no matter how evil,  “in the name of God”. 

My reading of the Bible and multiple other religious texts leads me to believe two things:  (1) these scriptures are complicated and self-contradictory enough to support any interpretation one wants to promulgate,  simply by taking things out of context,  and more importantly (2) if that little voice inside you says “kill for God”,  that ain’t God you are listening to.  It’s Satan (or whatever name in any religion for the personification of evil). 

We are now faced with the rapid spread of a very evil idea across much of the middle east and Africa,  plus some other places,  including here at home.   Since before the 9-11 attacks,  we have been trying to fight this evil idea with military force,  and with police work.  In all the decades since,  we have not succeeded. 

We have also completely failed to recognize that it is not exclusively Muslim extremism that threatens us!  There have been Christian extremists willing to kill doctors and bomb clinics over here,  for many years now.  “Killing for God”!  That’s really Satan’s work. 

You must remember that all religions can be corrupted by the evil of extremism. 

Governments around the world have completely failed to stand up to this evil in any effective way.  You don’t fight a bad idea with weapons,  you fight it with a better idea. 

And that means that you demonstrate publicly and frequently why your idea is good,  while simultaneously demonstrating publicly and frequently why their idea is bad.  Our government is so hog-tied with “political correctness” that it has not ever done this,  and to this day it cannot,  “for fear of offending someone”. 

Not offending the bad guys?  That’s utter bullshit!

Folks,  the only folks who should be offended by such a message are the evil extremists themselves!  I really don’t care if I offend them,  they are Satan’s minions!  Death is too good for them,  but very expedient for the rest of us.

What all of us really have to do is get the truth out there,  to prevent the further spread of this evil religious-extremist idea,  no matter the religious label it bears. 

And spread it has,  especially among the uneducated and the downtrodden,  which is something I can understand.  Why educated persons would fall for an extremist creed is something I do not personally understand,  but the available data says that they do:  the Fort Hood shooter Nidal Hasan for one,  who held a doctoral degree in the mental health field. 

Since governments around the world,  especially ours,  are paralyzed by political correctness and completely ineffective,  this counter-message has to come from the grassroots.  I don’t care what religion we are talking about,  if there is a preacher of whatever stripe promoting violence and hostility from his pulpit,  then remove him!  Cast him out as the servant of Satan that he is.  Period. 

The rest of you,  testify to your neighbors,  especially those of other religions,  about how God does not demand that we kill unbelievers.  Right now,  it is crucially important that the good majority of Muslims speak out in exactly this way,  for it is Muslim extremists who are killing the most people right now.  But,  that does not let the rest of us off the hook!

It’ll take at least 2 or 3 generations to rid the world of this evil,  but we can do it,  all of us,  together.  Doesn’t matter what your faith is. 

The hell of it is,  political extremism is just as evil.  Examples include the Nazis,  the Fascists,  and the Communists,  just in the 20th century.  I see political extremism on the rise all around us,  right here in the US,  and it will eventually be just as deadly as religious extremism,  to the continued existence of a free people. 

Think about that,  before you forward your next political-email hit-piece.  

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