News+and+politics religion philosophy the cynic librarian: Evangelizing the Terrorists

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Evangelizing the Terrorists

What is all this proselytization about and for? From my limited vantage point, what is needed in the world is not evangelization of the barbarians but evangelization of the heathen within our own midst. Jesus taught by example--were US Xtians who are out and about in the world preaching American relgion to stay at home and practice what the good book teaches in their own lives and in their own country, my guess is that that would be good news that others might take to heart and respect.

There is something seriously wrong with out culture and way of life--and the "cure" propounded by the good Xtians of our times simply does not address the real issues. And until they get it right, I do not think they should be out and about acting as though nothing is wrong at home.

The injunction to hate one's life does not imply suicide (nor did I imply this). I do not put it together with the other verse, as you do, to imply the notion that this life is meant that we are to recieve a good life now--but in the future life beyond this one. In the same vein, I do not think that it means blowing oneself up or others--the Christian notion of martyrdom, and all the examples from history, seems to show that it is an individual act that involves only the individual life. (and even this notion has moral issues that are not easily solvable.)

While postmodernsim has its serious faults (which I believe I am cognizant of), I do not see the characterization you provide as clear-cut as you do. There are so-called post-modernists who are very concerned about ethics and morality (I am thinking of the much-maligned Derrida, whose later writings are filled with profound ethical insights). Be that as it may, I am for relativism across the board--certainly not in a nihilistic sense but in the snese that one gets when one places all human moral and religious constructions into the context of original sin. This gives the lie to all human pretensions of formulating any system of values that might not be tainted by deception and self-interest.

"demanding that they follow our cultural norms...." What does that mean? Follow the laws, okay. Act civilized, okay. But to remain silent when injustices are committed in the name of these cultural norms? I doubt that you or anyone else think that a normal human being is not justified in speaking out against this. At least one impetus for "Muslim rage" is the hypocrisy of the west--while it speaks about civilized values with one side of its mouth it silently mouthes something else with the other side of its mouth. This "something else" is that unless you acculturate you are not one of us--if you don't allow your co-religionists to be slaughtered like dogs in the streets of Palestine, then you are being "unreasonable."

What I find amazing is that the same emotions and thoughts exhibited by the "terrorists" are those that we ourselves or others in our midst would feel and think were we to be in their shoes. Is this relativism? or simply realism? There is another commandment by Jesus that I think fits this context--

Mat 5:44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;
Luk 6:27 But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you,
Luk 6:35 But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and [to] the evil.

I have always been astonished that many Xtians, when they mouthe the commandment to love your neighbor, forget this part of the commandment. Why is that? Is it a convenient lapse of memory or simply an unconscious desire to make the gospel as easy to follow as putting on your shirt?

Did Jesus denounce or repudiate the terorists in his midst?* One can only tell what he did and that seems to have been to teach by example.

* The Christian testament notes that there were other terrorists besides Judas who lurked at the fringes of those who listened to Jesus' preachings. (Simon the Canaanite [also spelled Cananaean, Cananaean, Cananaean, or Kana`ani] and Judas Iscariot... Mat 10:4; Cannanite here is another name for the Zealot terrorists.)

No comments: