Religious Affluence, Intolerance And Bombs

August 16, 2006

We noted in Useless Ceasefires And The Tragedy Of The Untermenschen, that

In the Arab world, hatred of Jews is taught, encouraged and rewarded- and that is why a ceasefire is meaningless. The hate, racism and radicalization of Arabs is nothing more than basic training for the next generation of terrorists. The deliberate and concerted effort to make anti Semitism a fundamental and basic tenet of Arab identity is a sickness- a deliberate attempt by dysfunctional political and religious leaders to create a lesser person, someone incapable of thinking for themselves and incapable of controlling their own destiny. These regimes, use religion to create a citizen they can easily control and manipulate.

Adolph Hitler wanted to create the uber-mensch- the ’super-man.’ It is becoming more and more apparent that the Arab world has deliberately set out to create the unter mensch- the ‘lesser-man.’ The nations of these ‘unter-menschen’ have created an identity for them- victims. Not just any victims, but ’special victims.’ Unlike the Jews that came out of Europe, these ’special victims’ will never be create what the Jews created- and thus, they are even more ’special victims.’ When you are a really ’special victim,’ the rules don’t apply to you. The psychopathology becomes ‘understood’ and even, in a way, acceptable. That is what we are seeing now.

A email exchange and conversation with a reader served as the impetus for this discussion. We want to examine how cultures and societies allow for their own implosion.

Cultures and societies develop as the result of a ‘collective affluence’ usually of material possessions or religious devotion. As with everything else, there can be too much of a good thing. All too often, affluence of any kind- material or religious, leads to a kind of moral poverty. What were clear examples of morality in the past, now become subject to ‘negotiation,’ so to speak. Luxuriating in material affluence have allowed parents to abrogate their own parental obligations and contract out child care (we had our say about that, here). An example of religious ‘affluence,’ can be found with the mother who planned to kill her own baby in the plot to blow airliners out of the sky.

Most faith is manifested in humility before God. In this case, the mother decides that she will sacrifice her child (without being asked, of course) because her faith is so great that she knows what God wants and expects of her. In fact, like many religious zealots, she and others like her, purport to speak for God and exercising the power of life and death in His name and on His behalf. These kind of zealots (while predominantly Muslim in our times, they can be found in all faiths) in fact see themselves as ‘Christ-like,’ more than mere humans with human failings.

They are driven with much intensity and ferocity. They have to be. They are usurping God of His dominion. They are speaking for/as God- and yes, they really do believe that. If that were not true, they would not behave the way they do. Of course, there is much dysfunction to be found. Apparently, God isn’t concerned with the situations in Algeria or Darfur, any more than he was concerned about Saddam reign of torture and death.

It is this kind of denial and disconnect from reality, fostered by dysfunctional Arab regimes, that has come to define Islam today.

Throughout the Arab world, religion has been used to develop an unhealthy and ever escalating narcissism. It is only through unwavering support of the regime, which is an extension of the faith according the religious ‘leaders,’ can one find favor in God’s eyes. It is only through that blind obedience that the individual finds themselves in God’s favor- and thus earns the right to speak on His behalf. It is that blind obedience that elevates the individual over all others.

Of course, religious doctrine in the Arab world, is whatever the regime du jour says it is.

Arab liberals and reformists are imprisoned, tortured or worse, if they dare ask why individuals or the community reap no benefits from the ‘enlightened’ leadership of the Arab regimes or from ‘religious leaders.’ Even as many courageous Arab reformers make desperate stands against tyranny and oppression, many Arabs in this country, luxuriating in freedom and liberty, are only to eager to defend these oppressive, racist and dysfunctional despots. They are in fact, no different than the American Bundists that believed Hitler was a saint sent by God.

If one were to look at the evolution of human society and history, it is evident that once a society and culture reaches the point where the wants and needs of the regime or religious hierarchy supplant the wants and needs of the community as a the center of importance, that society is in downward spiral. Gravity will not be denied.

Why is free thought and dissent, laudable and demanded in free and productive societies, resisted when it comes to the supporters of Arab tyrannies? Isn’t dissent always a good thing?

We have noted before that we need dissent as much as we need harmony. Without dissent, we atrophy and lose our edge, our sharpness. Dissent and harmony are the necessary evolutionary balance we need to move ahead. Vigorous debate has on more than one instance, been the foundation for ideas that have changed the world.

Dissent and harmony are the also the basis for redemption and spiritual serenity. It is only through the real struggle that we find meaning. One great theologian said, in effect, ‘The greater the Faith, the greater the struggle.’ We engage in public and personal dissent as if the who and what we are, will be defined daily by our actions and words.

Aren’t those truths applicable to the Arab world?

Those who support the current Arab regimes are hypocrites, from both political and religious perspectives.

We have said before and we’ll say it again:

When nations that are that are led by or are under the influence of tyrants or dictators, attempt to justify those actions, we can rightly assume that justification is false. Tyrants and dictators do not make moral choices, because moral choices can only lead to the demise of the tyranny.

Anyone that comes to the defense of tyrannical regimes and their leaders, have themselves made a conscious choice to defend and stand by what is immoral. They themselves consciously adopt an immoral posture.

The dysfunctions of material or religious ‘affluence’ are many, not the least of which is the hubris that always accompanies those dysfunctions.

Rights and freedoms are all to often taken for granted. All to often, we indignantly ‘demand’ our rights. We demand justice in court for any perceived slight and we demand health-care on demand. Well, those things and a host of other luxuries are not God given birthright. The reality is that these luxuries are available because those that came before us, built a culture and society that called for a common good.

What separates the western democracies and the Arab world is a lot more than ‘foreign policy.’ Decades and generations of hate and bigotry will not go away because of changes in foreign policy. Europeans, long on experience with appeasement, are learning that lesson the hard way. What is being demanded of them is capitulation to barbarism, this new Islam created by dysfunctional regimes easily identified by everyone, save for those in denial and equally as dysfunctional.

Many of our adversaries are suffering from religious ‘afflunence.’

Many of us are suffering from ‘material affluence.’

Moliere said, “The less we are like our ancestors, the less we deserve them.”

We had better start defending those things we hold dear. If we are perceived not to care for our values, why should our adversaries respect us – and our values?

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3 Responses to “Religious Affluence, Intolerance And Bombs”

  1. March Hare Says:

    I would qualify that the dissent must be honest, coming from a core belief or value and not merely a knee-jerk rejection of something because you don’t “like” it. I fear most of the dissent I hear in the U.S. is of the knee-jerk variety.

    The Right, BTW, can be as guilty of this as the Left.


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