What is Religious Extremism?

•March 11, 2011 • Leave a Comment

There are many challenges that our planet faces today.  As one looks around we see many problems that our modern society is trying to cope with; environmental issues which impact Pouring over Religious textsAmerica, China and many other countries; the financial woes which confront us all are constantly in the news.  But one of the most dangerous problems we face is religious extremism.  While certainly Islāmic Jihadists are foremost in many people s minds, Islam is not alone ion extremist views.  Christian extremism is also on the rise as well as in Judaism to a more limited degree.  Religious extremism can be defined as a person or group that takes the position that  if others do not follow their ways, they will be damned.  While these extremists present themselves as deeply spiritual, religious fanaticism comes not from deep faith, but from a lack of it.  The only thing religious fanaticism really demonstrates is weakness on the part of the fanatic. Weakness in his own faith.

There is much confusion regarding terms that the media and other groups banter around, such as religious fundamentalism, religious fanaticism, and conservatism.  To many Prayerintellectuals and media types, these terms are essentially equivalent to religious extremism.  However there are important differences.  My religious conservatives lead quiet exemplary lives.  Religious fanatics or extremists, however, are often very aggressive, seeking to impose their views on other people or people groups.  These extremism often preach intolerance against all who disagree with their own viewpoints.  We have seen this with Islāmic extremists who cannot tolerate any adverse portrayals of Islam or its leaders or icons.  Fundamentalism as well is not fanatical in and of itself.  Many fundamentalists are truly seeking the roots of there particular faiths.  However, fundamentalism can quickly turn into dogmatic fanaticism.  These types often present themselves as holier-than-thou and openly condemn the practices and beliefs of the society around them with dogmatic certainty, promoting themselves as having a monopoly on the truth.

Recently, I had an exchange with a Christian women which upset my family and I as well as family of the women.  My wife and I have a home-based business.  Any successful internet business is utilizes social media such as Facebook, Twitter and such.  As part of our advertising effort we sent out LinkedIn invites to our contacts.  One of the contacts was a Christian woman of our acquaintance.  We had met this women through some friends of ours.  She was our friends mother and she has been to our Religious Bigotryhome and enjoyed our hospitality.  Some time after meeting this women, my wife and I made the decision to abandon our long-standing faith in the New Testament.  After receiving our social media invite many months later, she responding to it with condemnation and vitriol.   She wanted no part of us became we abandoned faith in Jesus and accused us of corrupting her son, stating that God does not hear the prayers of those who don’t profess faith in Jesus.  Of course we were shocked and hurt.  Our decision was not an easy one to make.  We struggled with it amid tears and anguish.  It was not an easy decision to make.  But our decision has brought us much comfort and peace.  And since that time my own studies and research, which is and always has been very extensive, have routinely confirmed our decision as the right one for us.

ARE YOU A RELIGIOUS EXTREMIST?

Below is a list of red flags or warning signs that you or your loved one is a religious fanatic or associated with an extremist group.

1.  A person that misinterprets a book of faith in order to cause hatred and ignorance towards homosexuals, lesbians, people of color, women, and anyone else that is different.  While it is ok to disagree with lifestyle choices, hatred toward some on the basis of their identification in a certain group is religious bigotry and is not ever condone by God.  Christian extremists who bomb abortion clinics are an affront to God.  God may well indeed disapprove and condemn the idea of killing of a fetus, but that is a far cry from committing murder and terrorism in the Name of God.

2.  A person that denies all logic, science, and common sense in order to find comfort in faith.

Islam3.  A person that believes it is okay to hurt and kill, as long as it is performed in the name of faith.  Islam believes that jihad is justified under the Quran.   One of the tragedies of Islāmic faith is how women are treated under Sharia Law.  In Iran and other Islāmic Republics or societies, Sharia is used to enforce aparthied against the female populace.  There are many reports, too many to mention here of so-called honor killings, which no civilized faith would endure or permit.

4.  A person that comes up with ignorant responses to disprove scientific facts, i.e, the Earth is 6000 years old (Even though it has been proven to be 4.5 Billion yeas old.)  Normative Judaism has long acknowledged that the Creation is far older than many people of faith realize.  It should be interesting to note that the ancient Kabbalist’s determined that the earth was 4.5 billion years old based on secrets contained with the ancient text of the Hebrew Torah.

5.  Anyone who is overly argumentative about what the Bible says.  It has been my experience that most religious extremists have a very poor grasp of what the Scriptures actually say.  Extremist is prone to taking biblical passages out of context to dogmatically declare their own view-point as the truth.  Many people fail to take into account that religious texts are produced by certain cultures.  For instance the Tanakh or Old testament was produced by ancient Israelites or Jews.  Much of what is contained within this text is culturally Jewish and often foreign to the Western mindset.  But religious extremists take passages which can only be understood culturally, and interpret and twist them according to their own modern ideas.

I look forward to exposing the fraudulent use of Scripture by religious fanatics and educating those who wish to understand what the biblical texts actually convey about God, Israel and Judaism.

HealthZombie

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