Wednesday, November 02, 2005

The Product of Fanaticism

I spoke to my Father the other day about the prevalence of religious conflict in the world, and how it seems to be growing more sinister as time goes by. He wonders why I worry about such things that are so serious. As the Great Powers, then the Superpowers, now the Hyperpower don't really war with one another any longer, fanatics are turning to religion as the new hyper-nationalism. We see this especially in the Big Three: Judaism, Christianity and Islam. While it is easiest, right now, to denounce Islam with the harshest criticism, Judaism and Christianity are not without their own demons.

(I hear lamentations often about why Islam cannot be a "religion of peace" like Christianity. I find this hard to swallow from most folks, but especially from Pops: he was a history major, came out of a family heady with Irish ancestry AND lived in Birmingham, Alabama.)

I could go on about those non-Islamic demons at length, the ones we like to pretend didn't happen. (Northern Ireland, Anti-Semitism in Europe, the Serbs, Oklahoma City, Birmingham 1963 and the 16th Street Baptist Church, the Branch Davidians, James Byrd in Jasper Texas, Matthew Sheppard in Laramie Wyoming, Eric Rudolph's one man war, Pat Robertson's desire to assassinate democratically elected leaders of other nations, and the occupation of Palestine come to mind...) One particular event that occured within many of our lifetimes reared its ugly head on my computer today.

I thought I should share.

Guys and Gals, we grew up in a time of Giants. Like 'em or hate 'em, their names will ring through history loud and clear. I've spoken of this before: Thatcher, Reagan, John Paul the Great, Gorbachev and Rabin. Every name brings back memories for all of us.

But this is about Yitzak Rabin, Prime Minister of Israel.

More to the point, it is about the slime who killed him. Was the cur who pulled the trigger some renegade member of Hamas? Perhaps a Neo-Nazi? Some other enraged anti-Semite? No, he was a Jewish fanatic so caught up and deluded in his own hyper-religious fervor that he would sacrifice from his own Nation one of the Pantheon of Heroes to the altar of self-righteousness.

I wish Israel would have shown him the same justice they showed Eichmann.

For a long time, I thought they had.

Then I read, today, that the beast is not only married, well read and listening to the radio, but is also arguing for a new trial, and the right to procreate.

I know that plausability and probability were discussed earlier this morning, but stranger things have happened. Israel, do what is right to this wretch and let him rot in your prisons. Do not let his sons populate the Earth while he stole one of your best away. You owe that to Rabin.


patsbrother said...

I don't know why I am compelled to do this kind of thing, but then I remember Wolf Blitzer's Middle East 101: Centuries of Conflict.

That's right. Centuries of Conflict. Dating back to the Arab Revolt in 1929. In the timeline, Blitzer had to jump back to Saladin to keep the chain going. I always wanted to point out the five hundred years of almost constant aggression in Western Europe, but I've never been a CNN correspondent.

Judaism, Christianity, and Islam are not the Big Three. The Big Three Western Religions, or the Big Two and A Predeceasor, maybe. Grouping these as the Big Three is a very Catholic thing to do, because of our connection with the Old Testament. Really, Judaism is the Little One, representing 0.22% of the world's religion, behind Christianity, Islam, the non-religious, Hinduism, African Traditional/Diaspora and other "primal-indigenous" religions, Chinese traditional religions, Buddhism and Sikhism. Just FYI.

Patrick Armstrong said...

Your first mistake is assuming Wolf Blitzer is some sort of fact - finding journalist as opposed to CNN's answer to the "Young and the Restless." Gotta get those ratings up somehow.

And the "Big Three" is a very American, and Western thing to do.

With respect to the other very important religions in the world, I know no Shinto followers ready to war over the status of Jerusalem. No Bodisavattas I am aware of have issued religious degrees urging war with entire hemispheres. There is no internationally mandated Confucian homeland.

Now, I know there are conflicts raging in other parts of the world. The Tamil Tigers of Shri Lanka, The Communist Party vs Everyone in China, Hindus vs Muslims in India and Kashmir, Tibet, All of Sub Saharan Africa.

One out of every four people in the world is Muslim. And the reason there's only 13-14 million Jews in the world is a direct effect of what happened last time we let fanaticism get behind the wheel.

But let's put misplaced political correctness and all inclusiveness aside for a moment and face two big fat facts: when you've got almost 80% of the world's nuclear weapons and at least 80% of the world's oil controlled by nations whose main religions are Chrisitanity, Judaism and Islam, you can be effectively called the "Big Three."

Especially if you actually live in the West, which is dominated by these three religions.

So it may be a very Catholic thing to say. It may be a very American thing to say. Hell, it may even be a very Western thing to say. But it is also a very correct thing to say, with nothing but respect to other religions, of course.

rosejaymi said...

*i actually posted this to the blog of page of the wrong patrick. meredith had to let me know of my mistaken identification. that was pretty funny.*

i'm a friend of meredith's and i happened to have read your latest comment on her latest blog and i cracked up.
you are very well written.
i'll probably be coming by from time to time to read your blogs. since you seem to touch on political and religious topics, i will probably try to get my brother to read your blogs as well.
well, that's all.
have a swell week!

Patrick Armstrong said...

Why, thank you RoseJaymi. Compliments are always appreciated.