Archive for Thursday, July 21, 2005

Faith-based terror

July 21, 2005

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To the editor:

Cal Thomas (Journal-World, July 19) deplores the supposed inability of Western moderns to unclutter their minds of historically ignorant, self-indulgent, pacifist ideas and see the connection between "private faith and public action" that drives Islamic jihadists to acts of terror.

What planet is Thomas living on? We secularists know better than anyone the character and danger of such religious absolutism. We have plenty of it in our own culture - historically and currently - and it is what we are continually striving against, no thanks to men like Thomas. His concern with jihadist trends in Islam is understandable, but where is his outrage over Christian extremism in America, the kind that inspired unrepentant abortion clinic bomber Eric Rudolph, for instance?

Where is his demand that we bulldoze the churches and imprison the preachers who foster such zealotry, as he suggests be done with certain mosques? Secularists see the common danger in all such mythical obsessions, and strive to move beyond primitive blood sacrifice that poses as justice.

Contrary to common slurs, secular humanists have plenty of moral fiber, if Thomas would care to notice. Committed secular moderns have higher and sounder convictions, more life-respecting values, less ignorance, less cynicism about humanity, less self-indulgent fixation on personal salvation and pious dogmatism than your average hard-core religionist. And with good reason: We never delude ourselves that we act with divine guidance. Thomas needs to get on the side of the earthly "angels," if he wants to stop faith-based terror.

Bruce S. Springsteen,

Lawrence

Comments

craigers 12 years, 4 months ago

Alright, I probably did take it out of context. My bad.

craigers 12 years, 4 months ago

Oddly enough, I agree with some of Bruce's letter. I agree with the outrage that we should have with those who bomb others/abortion clinics killing innocent people when the grounds for their actions were that the doctors were killing innocent unborn babies. That is not the way to fight against abortion. However, the fact that he lumps the conservative Christians all into the terror based religionists groups is absurd. The extremists that kill and make other moves that are contrary to the word of God ruin the name of Christians all over the place. And I would never say that non-Christians can't be good, but the fact is you can be a great person and try respect everybody equally but your good behavior and the morals that make you feel so good about yourself will never enhance your position to the God of this world. Good behavior will not get you into heaven. But that is a debate for another day and another letter. Extremists ruin the groups name in every case. Radical liberalists, radical islamists, the extreme christians. They all act out and cause people to hate the groups and the idealogy that they embrace. I will not say that I support being a moderate and thinking that everything is okay. I support the ideas of the radical conservative group but the extreme actions they take get us no where. Jesus said people will know we are Christians by our love, not our murdering to prevent abortions or other lavish acts.

Speakout 12 years, 4 months ago

Jesus said people will know Christians by their love.

How much love was in the heart of the Christian Nazis as they killed millions of Jews, Muslims, Gypsies, and other groups in Germany? How much love was in the heart of Queen Isabella of Spain who also killed those groups listed above? And the Crusaders who killed millions of Arabs and Muslims?

Extreme action in every case can be seen as wrong by those the actionists are opposing. Cal Thomas can never understand the extreme actions against his group, the Zionists, because he believes he is always right. He cannot accept what the outlaws of Islam are doing, because his group is the target even though his group has been targeting the Muslims for over a hundred years.

No terrorist group is right - Not the Islamic ones, the Jewish ones, the Christian ones or any ones. Killing innocent people is wrong in no uncertain terms.

While we say this, we have a movement in the USA that is pushing its views on everyone and it is not done through love. The group that pushes their religion down our throats is the beginnings of a terror group right here on American soil and we must remove them from power.

happyone 12 years, 4 months ago

And just who is this "we have a movement in the USA that is pushing its views on everyone and it is not done through love. The group that pushes their religion down our throats is the beginnings of a terror group right here on American soil and we must remove them from power" President Bush???

mefirst 12 years, 4 months ago

Craigers--doesn't it seem odd to you that good behavior alone isn't enough to get you into heaven? And, should that be the goal...getting into heaven? Seems to me the goalshould be to make this world a better place by being the best person I can. Following God's word, just to get into heaven, seems a bit selfish, doesn't it?

craigers 12 years, 4 months ago

When you choose to follow God's word and live the life of love that he has called us to, then we would make this world a better place. As Paul writes in Galatians 6:22- "But the fruit of the Spirit (Living by God's word) is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law." Being patient with people would eliminate child abuse (which is a large reason for homosexuality), road rage, and other things. Being kind would do the same and this is also one reason as well as goodness that people volunteer and help people that are in need. Getting along is what God called us to do. Faithfulness would deter our divorce rates and create better, longer lasting friendships among other beneficial things. When you put God's will first which is to be a servant to all, then there would be no such thing as selfishness. I feel that when God's word is truly obeyed we have the most beneficial and funtional relationships everywhere (work, home, politics, with strangers) which would foster a better world. But when people seek to fill their heart with good feelings by doing good deeds they become empty again and then start to need to fulfill their own personal needs. When you are content in everything by living a life of thanksgiving and praise to God, you won't be concerned about yourself but others. Mefirst, I hope this clarifies some things for you. Thanks for the question.

mefirst 12 years, 4 months ago

My desire to be a good person comes from my concern for others. I believe that other people deserve to be treated with kindness, compassion, and understanding, which serves as the basis for my behavior. I don't treat other people well because it feels good to me or because it fuels my ego.

craigers 12 years, 4 months ago

If all you got out of that was an attack on your motive to do good then I appologize.

mefirst 12 years, 4 months ago

Craiger--I was afraid you'd misunderstand my point. I'm in a hurry, otherwise, I'd elaborate. I didn't think you were attacking my motivation to do good.

craigers 12 years, 4 months ago

Something else that I didn't answer- I do believe that heaven should be the ultimate goal. When you go on a trip and you come back to your house, you are comfortable and it feels good to be home. That is what heaven is for each and every one of us, home. Some get to go home and others are taken to hell. The one place where we will be made complete is heaven where our heavenly Father resides. The Lord Jesus has proven himself to me and if you want to know how then I will tell you, but I realize that when I am in His presence here then I feel at peace and at home, and I can't wait to reach my final destination which is the place that He went to prepare for me.

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