After the tragic attacks in Paris, the continual and constant collision of varying ideas and values is taking off on social media. With the Syrian refugee issue on hand, many on my friends list have voiced their beliefs and concerns about every possible outcome. I’ve seen people voice their legitimate caution while others spew blatant propaganda with the desire for religious and even racial ostracization. I even saw someone mention using the nuclear bomb in Syria, which is a view which should be mocked, ridiculed and shamed.
Among those I am in friendly disagreement with (who haven’t blocked me) say something like “You don’t see any christian radicals the way you see ISIS” or something of the sort. This shows that there is a fundamental misunderstanding with the definition of “radical”. Radical is not synonymous “devout”, radical is close to “fundamental”, but it is more closely identified as an extreme often done through derailment. A radical ice cream man isn’t a man who worships ice cream, sells and talks about ice cream 24/7, and devoted his life to ice cream. A radical ice cream man is a man who sells ice cream, and then also slashes the other ice cream truck’s tires out, or may mix opium in with the ice cream to addict customers, or may steal quantities of cream and sugar at night from a warehouse.
This post isn’t about separating ISIS from Islam, there is plenty of documentation online to explain that better than I could. Now getting back to the statement, “You don’t see any christian radicals the way you see ISIS.” Actually yes, you do.
Remember Kony 2012? The guy who proclaimed himself the spokesperson of God and a spirit medium, primarily of the “Holy Spirit” which the Acholi believe can represent itself in many manifestations. Leader of the LRA which is responsible for an estimated 100,000 deaths, displacing over a million, and thousands upon thousands of child abductions and recruitment.
“Fifteen days go by. I’m tired, but I stay another week. One evening, on patrol with French troops, I see something. On the side of the road in one of the neighbourhoods plunged into darkness, I see a commotion. I see a body. There’s cries of hatred and of madness. I don’t understand the scene and it hurts to fully fathom what happened. “Holy shit, they were eating that guy,” says a soldier with night-vision goggles. The next day, or maybe the day after, everyone was talking about this Muslim that the Christians had eaten. “We’re gonna do the same to (President) Djotodia, we’re gonna eat him!” said one smiling demonstrator before the president resigned.”
Well how about places other than Africa? What about Nagaland? Ethnic cleansing done by the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Isak-Muivah) which tried to usher in a Christian Theocracy. At least 35,000 people were killed.
What about in the United States? Army of God, bombing abortion centers and gay nightclubs. Also, don’t forget about the KKK which easily fits the definition of terrorism. They even have a belief that “Jesus was the first Klansman.” America is not any different, there are a number of other groups I left out for the sake of repeating myself too many times.
There entire branches of christian theology called Dominionism and Reconstructionism which both argue for the implementation of a Christian Theocracy. Many of the above christian groups follow the same train of thought. However, before you assume that those believers have disappeared in the last couple years, might I direct your attention to this guy.
Remember the starbucks red cup story a few weeks ago? That was this guy. Joshua Feuerstein is his name and he has gained national attention by riding every sensationalist wave in order to gain support and seep (con) money from supporters. He once proposed that Christians violently fight back against gay rights with guns.
Even his wife has pushed a Christian Dominionist agenda using Dominionist language and rhetoric.
Joshua Feuerstein currently has 1.8 million followers on Facebook. Now, I know there’s that continuing argument, “but these people in the US haven’t beheaded anyone.” What if this same type of radicalization existed outside of a culture with an overarching legal system. What if some of this same radicalization that JF pushes occurred in the middle of a power vacuum in the middle of the desert?
I have some more thoughts and even a theory about religious radicalization, but I’ll save that for the next post.