9 March 2010 which crazies are the worst?
In comparing the Abramic religions it is impossible to avoid noticing the similarity of the extreme factions in each faith.
Born in the harsh deserts of the Middle East, the three spawned followers as unyielding as granite. Each is certain that it is the one true faith and that all others are false. The fundamentalist adherents of all three have adopted customs and traditions beyond the tenets of each faith laid down in the sacred texts. They enforce the acceptance of these behaviors among their own and, whenever possible, demand they be accepted by the populace at large.
One faith claims to have developed the concept of monotheism. One faith claims that there is a tri-partite deity with the third facet sharing pre-eminence with the primary facet. And the third faith has created a prophet that, though human, is afforded many of the aspects of a deity. Two demand the rest of the world adopt many of these customs for daily life.
One prohibits the manufacture of any representation of a human form. One prohibits the depiction of its chief prophet. One encourages the depiction of its chief prophet but many such depictions are so far removed from any possible historical accuracy as to be laughable.
The fundamentalists in all three faiths believe in the divine inspiration and to some degree, dictation, of the sacred texts. Though the oldest hand-copied examples are rife with errors and differences in translation, the most fanatical followers of the 2nd oldest faith insist that every word is accurate. In many cases they have based theocracies upon such texts and still want to do so in many instances. The oldest and youngest accept only the scribe-copied versions which present in the original language used.
The oldest will not fully write the name of the deity. It maintains that the text is so sacred that if a modern print edition is dropped it must be kissed upon retrieval by way of apology and to ward off bad luck. This begs the question: which version of the name of the deity is so sacred and powerful? One can, obviously, assume the original source language name to be so powerful. What about bastardized languages, pairing the old and a new into a third dialect? Is the new dialect equally powerful? Yeshivot are full of such discussions.
Also included in such customs and traditions, not demanded by the deity but developed by men, are head coverings and other items of clothing. The most fundamental of this faith wear hats at all times. This is custom, not law. Their outer clothing is suitable for mid winter in the Pale and was designed to make them appear foolish as well as to identify them for abuse by Poles centuries ago. So it makes absolute sense to continue such costuming in modern times and in sub-tropical latitudes. Well, it does to those who enforce such custom. They’re trying to live in a blend of modern times, pre-enlightenment Poland, and 2nd Temple days.
The youngest faith affords their book the status of a talisman as well. Riots have been organized over supposed insults to the book. During such riots the mob will have no compunction about desecrating those sacred books of other faiths. In fact those texts are often targeted.
This same faith is bent upon keeping its followers adherent to a lifestyle that has no later connection with the modern world, other than for weaponry and organization, than Spain at the time of Columbus. If possible, they’ll roll society back another 5 centuries. While doing that, they also want to conquer the world and convert everyone they can. Slaughter is sufficient for the rest and historical precedent exists.
The 2nd oldest faith still wishes to build a modern life but one that is based upon female subservience, upon refusal to recognize the accomplishments of science. They, too, want to conquer the world, convert everyone. They’ll do it by the sword if possible, by withholding food and water if necessary. They and the youngest faith intend to dominate all other cultures and supplant governments developed in the manner of the early U.S. with harsh theocracies in the manner of the Inquisitions and of the witch trials in Salem.
It’s a real toss-up who’s crazies are worse.
Judaism remains a small faith with no desire to convert the rest of the world. By and large it is happy being left alone by others. That, of course, ignores their insistence upon Israel becoming the “Greater Israel” that they believe it should be – see sacred texts.
Christianity has undergone some reform but even so still wants hearts and minds as well as culture and nations. Its fundamentalists are determined to have every aspect of life controlled by some aspect of Christianity whether it is religious-based or secular. In doing so, they are likely to severely damage the quality and content of education and daily life in the U.S. One only has to look at parts of Europe and all of Latin America for examples.
Islam needs a reformation desperately. The Arab states, Iran, and all the “stans” shine dimly as cultures which have been heavily damaged by fundamentalist religions and may never progress above the level of quasi-states controlled by bandits and religious tyrants.
Who’s crazies are the worst?
Here are some good graphic links I found enjoyable. You may too.