Tuesday, August 14, 2007

War on Religious Extremism

One of the comments by Sisyphus (at The fearful gospel of Bill Sali over at Red State Rebels) has stuck in my mind since I read it the other day...

Let's rename the

"War on Terrorism"

to the

"War on Religious Extremism".

War on Terror” is typical of our society’s trend to call garbage men “sanitation engineers” and other vague euphemisms that conceal accurate functions and characterizations, which sanitize missions and tasks involved, and deflect our attention from the true definition of the subject under discussion.

I’m still processing why this impacted me so much… tell me what you think…

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What started out as a tongue in cheek suggestion ballooned. As I tried to explain I've been struck by the atrocities caused by religion and religious extremists over the millenia much of which is so illogically violent it seems comical from hindsight.

The component I find so disturbing in the traditional media, partcularly talk radio, is the propensity to cast things in the us v. them, black and white scenario to the point that many people believe we are or must be at war with all of Islam. These are false choices and they are rooted in the divisive tactics utilized by the Roves of the country. They actively exploit the belief system of many fervent believers, partcularly the end timers, who are convinced that Jesus' second coming is tomorrow. The exploitation is so successful that many are now convinced that war is not only their patriotic duty but is becoming a religious obligation. There is no separation of church and state for these folks and given half a chance they will turn this into a Christian nation. I saw it when the children in Jesus Camp were compelled to pray to a cardboard cut out of George Bush or the July 4th parade in Idaho Falls this summer where entrants were festooned with flags resembling the American flag with a cross where the stars should be. These church sponsored floats did not have St. Francis ministering to the poor or examples of Christ's forgiveness. Instead they had armed soldiers with a full array of weaponry. Downright scary.

And it is of course the use of Orwellian terminology that pervades politics today. The label is exactly the opposite of what it does. Patriot Act leaps to mind. War on terror--how does one declare war on a tactic? I am very concerned with the future of the world and I believe that the zealots on both side have far too much media exposure out of all proportion to their actual strength or importance. And I believe you and other bloggers starting a dialogue are the key to the solution.

There is so much more to say on the topic and I hope I touched on some of your concerns. Certainly I'm not a believer in "war" as a solution to the world's problems. But as others have pointed out what is happening in the world today including politics in this country is an assault on reason which our founding fathers would certainly reject out of hand.

Thanks for the dialogue.