Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Tony and Mel

Tony Blair says...'It is based on religious extremism. That is the fact. And not any religious extremism, but a specifically Muslim version'...also...'To defeat it will need an alliance of moderation, that paints a different future in which Muslim, Jew and Christian; Arab and Western; wealthy and developing nations can make progress in peace and harmony with each other'...full article



He speaks of Muslim extremism, but omits the need to control Christian extremism, the sort espoused by wackos like John Hagee in the USA, as well as the rampant Christian right wing who see church and state as one. He is right that we need an alliance of moderation, but we cannot force nations to become our allies.











Also in the news is Mel Gibson...


'Disney's efforts to emphasise its family-friendly brand have collided with its involvement with Mel Gibson following the actor's drunken, anti-Semitic outburst over the weekend'...
more

'Mel Gibson said Tuesday he is not a bigot and apologized to "everyone in the Jewish community for the vitriolic and harmful words" he used when he was arrested for investigation of drunken driving'...more


The star of Braveheart and the maker of the mediocre and over hyped Passion of the Christ. I wonder how the Right Wing Evangelicals, who hailed the Passion as the greatest evangelical tool for 2000 years and elevated Gibson to apostolic status, will react to his drunken anti Jewish outburst. Will they rally round their golden boy now that he has thrown them into direct conflict with their golden calf, Israel. Or will they discard him as a Catholic and abandon him. I reckon they will just remain silent, always the easiest option.


22 comments:

John Lunt said...

I disagree with John Hagee a great deal, and man I really have to watch it when I go to San Antonio. I'm sure those cornerstone church people are going to plant a bomb in the corner cafe because they're trying to spread their radical christianity. Suddenly the war in Iraq was concocted not by big oil but by the religious right. I guess Hagee somehow confused poor Hezbollah into launching rocket attacks at Israel and then manipulated Israel into taking action to defend their towns.
Statements like that won't get you very far. It's one think to discuss what the response of those who call themselves Christians should be to war - it's quite another to suggest that people like John Hagee are the ones driving or causing it.

Dave said...

Sorry John, but where did I suggest Hagee was driving or causing the war in Lebanon??
It is 'wacko' ideas that Israel are beyond reproach and that they have no need of Jesus Christ as they are kind of saved by their Jewish roots that makes the preaching of men like Hagee dangerous.
You do not have to plant a bomb to be radical, blinkered or fundamental. The Pharisees never resorted to terrorism, why bother when you can subjugate a nation with rules and guilt.

As Hagee says himself

We believe in the promise of Genesis 12:3 regarding the Jewish people and the nation of Israel. We believe that this is an eternal covenant between God and the seed of Abraham to which God is faithful. Our church sponsors a Night to Honor Israel to express our love and support for the State of Israel and the Jewish people.

There is a huge difference between the 'State of Israel' and the 'tree' into which we are grafted from Romans 9-11.

It seems that to be an evangelical you need to be pro democracy and pro Israel at least

Shieldsy said...

Have no idea who John Hagee is so can't comment on the guy. Don't think you have to be pro-democracy to be evangelical, but I do struggle with the 'replacement theology' that seems to have crept into a significant proprotion of the Church. Really struggle with how anyone can take a complete view of scripture and not see the significance of the nation of Israel in Gods plans & purposes ... past, present & future.

As for the idea that there is even the faintest glimmer of similarity between enavgelical Christianity & fundamentalist Islam ... truly beggars belief. As one Muslim commentator said recently, not all muslims are terrorists but the plain fact is that presently the vast majority of terrorists are muslims. Islam is at it's heart a violent & oppressive false-religion.

Dave said...

Really struggle with how anyone can take a complete view of scripture and not see the significance of the nation of Israel in Gods plans & purposes ... past, present & future.

Shieldsy, is that the current State of Israel or ethnic Jews.

As for the idea that there is even the faintest glimmer of similarity between enavgelical Christianity & fundamentalist Islam ... truly beggars belief

I don't find it beggars belief, I did say Christian extremism, but we do need to see what is really going on in the world and not just think that if someone is a christian they are good whereas muslim equals bad. So many see the Muslim as the Great Satan, as the Muslims see Christians the same way, what we have is a clash of ideologies.

As one Muslim commentator said recently, not all muslims are terrorists but the plain fact is that presently the vast majority of terrorists are muslims. Islam is at it's heart a violent & oppressive false-religion.

Twenty years ago in our experience the vast majority of terrorists were Irish, Protestants and Roman Catholics doing there work in the name of God, therefore by the above logic, Christianity is at it's heart a violent & oppressive false religion

Shieldsy said...

"Islam is at it's heart a violent & oppressive false-religion."

This statement isn't based on current terrorism but on the history of Islam ... take a look at any Islamic state. It's an old testament religion but without a foundation based on Divine revelation.

Shieldsy said...

"Twenty years ago in our experience the vast majority of terrorists were Irish, Protestants and Roman Catholics doing there work in the name of God,"

20 years ago, the vast majority of terrorists active in the western world were nationalistic organisations. Their nationalism was often divided along sectarian lines. However - and it's a very important however - they didn't do their terrorist acts to further the cause of their religion. Rather they did it for nationalistic motives not religious motives. I can't think of any IRA or Basque statements where they claimed to be carrying out their terrorist acts purely "in the name of God", or where they invoked scriptures to justify their deeds.

Shieldsy said...

On the Mel Gibson thing ...

[Might have been better if you'd done 2 different posts for these topics]

He's had the decency to give an unequivical apology. Christians aren't ever going to live a perfect life but we are expected to respond appropriately when we mess up. Think Mel has done that from what I can tell.

Non-celebrity Christians probably do and say similarly stupid/offensive things but never get called to account for them because of their non-celebrity status. I guess that's the downside of getting some worldly status ... "To those who much is given, much is expected'.

dinsy said...

Try reading the IRA manifesto some time if you think they are/were not claiming to be working to further their religion. (Hope I don't need to put a disclaimer to the effect that I don't think most catholics are terrorists!)

Shieldsy said...

I would be interested to read the IRA manifesto. Can you post a link.

So their primary motive was religious not nationalistic?

dinsy said...

Sorry Shieldsy, I don't have a link - a friend of a friend has a paper copy of the thing you have to swear to when you join the IRA. It certainly includes establishing the Pope as leader - I think over all the world, but certainly in the bits the IRA are particularly interested in - and to spread catholicism. I can't remember the whole thing. Sorry I can't be more specific. But it definately is motivated by "religious" aims.

dinsy said...

I see a lot of similarity between "right wing" evangelical christianity and muslim extremism. How about burning down abortion clinics? Terrorist attack? I say yes. Done by right-wing evangelicals, yes. It is the same attitude driving the actions, even though the actions are different.

Just out of interest, how can any religion be "a false religion"? Every religion is true to its believers, that's the nature of religion - satanism is true to satanists. Isn't a religion simnply a creed or belief system that its adherents believe to be true, and try to follow?

If not, how would you define religion?

Leane Curtis said...

erm...hi...i have no idea what this is about i just kind of clicked on it lol sorry!

my mate on a Christian recovery sight gave me this link, shes called mary and shes american; dont know much else apart from that!!
she said that i shud chat to you or look on here or something, i cant remember so thats what im doing..im in S.W. UK
ciao for now :)

Shieldsy said...

False religion is religion that is based on false premises. As you say, even Satanism is a religion, however it is a false religion. I know that talk of true & false and right & wrong makes post-modernists & liberals see smoke but I'm getting tired of all the word games and pussy-footing.

Drawing an equivalence between "right wing" evangelical christianity and muslim extremism would be laughable if it weren't so deplorable. 100's of millions of people - whole nations - are living in terror because of Islamic sharia law. And less your memory has faded already, only a few years ago some Muslim extremists hijacked 4 civilian aircraft, and turned several hundred civilians into suicide bombers against there own people killing 3,000 other civilians. Do you really feel the biggest threat to the worlds stability & security is evangelical Christianity? Do you regularly hear of evangelical Christians calling the faithful to lay down their lives to kill unbelievers. Are the worlds intelligence services worried about the next evangelical Christian attrocity? How many 'honour killings' were carried out in the UK by evangelical Christians last year? Sorry Dinsy it's that sort of that woolly, warped, intemperate nonsense that really makes my blood boil.

Dave said...

Hey leanne, good to see you, hope you know what you're looking for, drop ,me an email if you want at
micah78@micah78.plus.com

peace and I like the myspace thing

dinsy said...

Note, throughout this post I am not talking about all evangelical christians.

"Do you really feel the biggest threat to the worlds stability & security is evangelical Christianity?"

This is going to make you see red Shieldsy, but to the extent that right wing extreme evangelicalism (rwee) is driving american foreign policy, which seems bent on antagonising the muslim world (palestine, iraq, afghanistan, lebanon), then I do think that rwee is a major threat to world stability. The world was a safer place before bush began his crusade and blair was fool enough to support him.

"Do you regularly hear of evangelical Christians calling the faithful to lay down their lives to kill unbelievers?"

They have no need to - they have the biggest armies, the most advanced weapons, and their citizens are a long way away from the countries they are destroying. Some of them do stand on the sidelines approving of the destruction though.

Not sure what you mean by honour killings?

I am sure that the intelligence services in Iran for instance are not looking forward to the next rwee atrocity. It will probably be turning Iran into a similar battle ground to Iraq.

If calling your brother a fool can be equated to murder, then blowing up abortion clinincs can be equated to terrorism. If that is "woolly, warped, intemperate nonsense" then I'll stick with it. I repeat - it is the same attitude driving the actions, even though the actions are different. The actions are different in magnitude and in consequence but the attitude driving them is the same. It is equally wrong in both cases.

Shieldsy said...

I agree that blowing up abortion clinics is a form of terrorism. But in terms of relevance it's a bit like going into a discussion about the African Aids pandemic and saying,"Hold on a minute, before we get all self-righteous let's remember we've got people with infectious verrucas in our country". It makes you sound ever so self-effacing & self-critical but really . It's intersting how people always cite the blowing up of abortion clinics as an example of rwee. Just how often does that happen? And when it does, just how many times you hear that sort of action condoned or advocated by rwee?

George Bushes 'crusade' ... just remind me again what it was that prompted the invasion of Afghanistan & Iraq? Oh yes, it was the unprovoked murder of 3,000 civillians by suicide bombers. I happen to think the invasion of Irag was a mistake, but please spare me the conspiracy bullshit that says this was all the rwee's doing so they could go on a 'crusade'. This was an unprecedented attack, and for all the postulating that you and me like to do, I haven't got the faintest idea what I would do if I was the leader of a nation that had just suffered such an act of war.

As for the assetion that rwee "have the biggest armies, the most advanced weapons, and their citizens are a long way away from the countries they are destroying". So most western governments are the led by the demands of the rwee!! Oh purleaeeease! Are you in league with ChristianLies or something? And I guess Mother Theresa really was a money crazed neo-conservative.

Honour killings are where you murder someone for bringing shame on your religion ... like marrying someone of a different faith or converting to another faith. Like the police estimate happens dozens of times here in the UK.

Dave said...

George Bushes 'crusade' ... just remind me again what it was that prompted the invasion of Afghanistan & Iraq? Oh yes, it was the unprovoked murder of 3,000 civillians by suicide bombers.

Sorry Shieldsy, but what did this have to do with Saddam Hussein and Iraq? This was the CIA created Al qaeda and Mr Bin Laden, whose family are good friends with Bush. How does wiping out whole towns (Fallujah) ever bring reconciliation. This was Old Testament 'eye for eye' logic. Nations like the USA, UK and Israel haver the power and force to use diplomatic pressure to make changes, maybe we should go carpet bomb the North of England because of the suicide bombers on the London Tube.

If the 911 attacks were justification for invasion then surely they should have gone for Bin Laden, can we not see that this is what the terrorists want, all out war, we play right into their hands because we are so friggin stupid and unwilling to act like Jesus Christ.

Like it or not, a lot of Christianity is a sham, and total heap of crap, nothing but religion.

dinsy said...

Honour killings don't seem to have a lot to do with terrorists then, if they are carried out by members of ones own family! (Unless you think that all members of families who have carried out these killings are terrorists.)

I personally would resist living under sharia law to the death (my death that is, I would not kill another person, my choice not saying anyone else should do the same), I would never embrace Islam (though there is good in that religion, as there is in most of the world's religions).

The destruction of the WTC was nothing to do with Iraq. How many times does this need to be said? I don't think it was an act of war on behalf of Afghanistan either - just a man who I seem to remember the US/UK were supporting a while back against Russia, seem to remember US/UK were supporting Saddam Hussein's regime in Iraq while it suited them to do so as well. They were not bleating about democracy then. Dave has already responded to this one quite adequately so I won't say more.

No I am not in league with Christian Lies though I agree with some of what he says. You will please note that I said "to the extent that rwee is driving american foreign policy", and I referred to Blair's support of this. Do you dispute that America has the biggest armies, the most advanced weapons etc of any single nation? Show me where I said anything about any other western government. Please stick to discussing what i say, and not what you think i say.

It is the american drive for forcing its view of democracy on nations that do not want it, and doing it in such a way that is causing untold suffering to the people of such countires, and allowing the potential for civil war to break out there that I am talking about. I do believe that to an extent this is driven by rwee.

Anonymous said...

This is a very emotional topic we are discussing here, and one that is very current. It can become easy to take offence where none was intended, so I would like to add to any americans reading my posts on this thread:

It is only the extremism in the foreign policy of your goverment that I am against, I have nothing against america, or americans themselves. I am equally against my own country's government for adopting the same foreign policy.

Dave said...

Well said anon, I think we are all against injustice and oppression, at whatever level and from which ever source.

Shieldsy said...

Interestingly(!) enough - and at the risk of making myself sound incredibly high brow! - these 2 subjects (Middle East & Mel Gibson) are covered side-by-side in this weeks economist.

Very good articles. [I always recomend the Economist for the most impartial and disinterested news coverage ... especially of the Middle East. You can get a free weekly email news summary from them too, jsut sign-up on the website].

Meg said...

George Bush's brand of "rwee" has nothing to do with mine or many others', although I'm also a "right-winger." And as long as I'm at it, what's "extreme?" Is there any such thing as extremism in the defense of what's objectively right? (Funny, too, how, just 30 years ago or so, I was "middle of the road." I haven't changed my philosophies, but the U. S. and the world have changed their definitions of who is "right-wing" and what right and wrong is. Hubert Humphrey, if he were around now, would be considered a right-wing nut. So would JFK, truth be told.)

Mel Gibson was never any hero to me. I'm an ex-Catholic who has a brother in Opus Dei. IMHO, the RCC, especially its "cornerstone," the Eucharist, is blasphemy. Gibson violated the 2nd Commandment when he made "The Passion of the Christ" and I refused to see it. Mel Gibson can take a flying leap - but I'll pray for his salvation and exit from the RCC first.

Bush 43 is not a great or even a very good president, but at least he has core values and sticks to them. Was "The Incredible Sinkmaster," who also let bin Laden get away, better? The intelligence was that Al Qaeda was primarily based in Iraq. We've tried to get bin Laden in Afghanistan. Saddam Hussein, who put even family members into woodchippers, had to go. He should have done to him what we did to Eichmann.

As an evangelical Christian and a Reformed Protestant, I don't think it's my business or that of the U. S. military to foist "democracy" on the rest of the world. BTW, what we have here in the U. S. is a representative republic, not a democracy. We vote today in primary elections for U. S. Senate candidates, etc., and the general election will be in November. We're not a democracy.

God is sovereign over what happens in the world and I don't think the USA should be involved in or prevail in every conflict. We have enough of our own problems, but I do agree with those, including Ronald Reagan, who have said that this country, with its Declaration of Independence, its Constitution, its Civil Rights Act of 1964, etc., represents a shining city on the hill and the "last best hope..." What we should hang our heads over are our activist courts, however. They're a profound disgrace to our founding principles and the above-referenced documents.

Anecdotally speaking, another thing I resent, as an American woman, some of whose forebears have been here since 1642, is being subjected to a search and even frisk at my local airport by male security detail whose first language is Farsi or Arabic. This is political correctness in the absurd. It happens, though, every time I fly out of here. It's legalized assault. Our airport - and I live in a Canadian border city - is partially and for practical purposes under the control of Muslims. We certainly have reasons here for not feeling overly secure.

That's my American rant for the day...

 

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