The politics of fear is a strategy as old as the hills. Mussolini, Hitler and Stalin did a fine job of creating common enemies as a ploy to disrupt internal disputes and all opposition. The Republicans seem to be doing a fine job of squeezing every drop of fear out of every tragedy that occurs in the world. They have become expert in making you believe that death and destruction await you around every corner and in every public gathering. They are great at finding scapegoats and thinly veil their support for conspiracy theories if it is to their political advantage. Surprisingly, this fear mongering and scapegoating seems to play best with evangelical, fundamentalist Christians, though what they have to fear is beyond me.
I thought an evangelical Christian who was truly devout would have no reason to fear anything, including death. They believe in an afterlife, don’t they? They believe in a Heaven, don’t they? They put all their faith in Christ, don’t they? So what is there to fear… poor, desperate immigrants looking for a safe haven? I just don’t get it!
I am one who espouses no religion at all… perhaps a spiritual consciousness… but obeisance to a religious authority outside myself… no way and never! All hell breaks loose as soon as one person says his god is truer that someone else’s god. Have we evolved so slowly that so many people still cannot think for themselves and distinguish fact from fiction or speculation?
I have very little fear… at least not from Muslim terrorists who claim ISIL as their heart and home. Que sera, sera. What will be, will be. However, I do fear some of my own countrymen. I fear white supremacists and racists. I fear being in a state that allows “open/carry” weapons. Some of them are automatic weapons… weapons of war. They are flaunted by trigger-happy dumbasses that believe every conspiracy theory embedded in their brainwashed minds. They believe that a Second Amendment on steroids is their birthright. I fear Wayne La Pierre and the NRA, both of whom I designate as true terrorists. Evangelicals… until they are willing to commit suicide for what they may perceive to be a greater good… are nothing but a bunch of hypocrites who scream religious fervor, but are too afraid of death to put their words into actions.
Jihadists, on the other hand, must be more devout than evangelical Christians. They also believe in an afterlife and a Heaven and prove that they are willing to die for their beliefs by blowing themselves up and many innocents along with them. They seem to have no fear of death because they are so devout in their faith they trust a glorious afterlife awaits them. So what’s up with you Evangelicals?
The evangelical, fundamentalist Christian will talk about the Rapture and all the goodies that await the devout followers of Christ, but I have to say that if it is a war of cultures ISIL wants, and the outcome is dependent on who is more devout, then ISIL wins hands down!
Luckily, there are people who call themselves Christian and follow the Gospel of Jesus (which by my account should take up no more than a pamphlet.) They do good works; their actions are charitable and loving. I distinguish these people from Christian extremists just as we all should distinguish between Muslims and Muslim extremists, Jews and Jewish extremists. In fact, almost every institution, religious or political, has its extreme factions. Fortunately, most times moderation wins the day… but not always!
Every now and then, history allows an extremist movement to win because it has generated enough sustained fear and has named the scapegoat that people can blame for what they think ails them. Anyone who knows anything about world history knows when extremists come to power, only mass suffering follows. Our greatest weapon against ISIL is to condemn religious extremism in all its forms, in all religions. Defeat Christian extremism and Jewish extremism and you will defeat Muslim extremism. Prove to the world we do not give in to homegrown fear mongering. If we should fear anything it is religious extremism and political extremism becoming one and the same.
Remember! What would happen if someone threw a culture war and no one showed up! You will not show up if you do not see the “other” in a person, but rather see yourself!
The Unapologetic Hippie