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Response to agnostic102 (Original post)

Tue Mar 22, 2016, 03:58 PM

41. Individuals do these things.

Whether they are Muslim, Christian, Jewish, or any other sort of religious followers. For instance, when we have an American school shooting, it's usually... "Damn, that was one severely messed up individual" When it comes to acts of terror, suicide bombings and so on... it's "Damn, we gotta do something about them crazy Muslims!" Ultimately, you get similar results. Innocent people dead - and usually the shooter also ends up dead, whether through suicide or police action.

I certainly don't doubt that there's a lot of hatred and ignorance being spread and taught to young children at the most basic level. When it comes to that though, it doesn't really matter if you're a Muslim extremist or a Christian extremist - it comes down to how you act. Don't think Christians in more, so called "Christian Nations" wouldn't act in exactly the same manner were the situation reversed. The history of the Crusades, the Inquisitions, and so on... clearly indicates this.

Poverty, oppression, the silencing of free thought and free expression... so many things play into this, but I believe poverty leads. I believe that if we increase financial equality as well as individual rights throughout the world, we will slow down this kind of extreme hate and violence. Give people a chance for a better education, for a life without crushing poverty or religious oppression, and I think we might have a better world in which to live.

To blame Islam as a whole, or Christianity, or any other religion... I believe is inaccurate. The people who commit these terrible acts of violence are individuals - and individuals should be blamed for their actions. As for those who preach hatred and the condemnation of other peoples in ignorance... well, there are plenty of "Christian" individuals who are just as guilty of this as radical Imams. Yes, they deserve part of the blame too.

I commend you for doing what you can to reach out to young people in your community. There will always be that battle for peace and compassion over zealotry and extremism, for coexistence over constant violence and war. I am also agnostic... religion doesn't make much sense to me, if it ever did. I think we can choose to do the right things because they are the right things. We can choose to live by the golden rule without some higher power telling us we must. We can be decent to each other because human beings are capable of empathy, of compassion, or courage and kindness.

The kind of things that Trump and Cruz are talking about are not at all solutions to the problem. They will make it worse. For ignorance begets ignorance, violence begets violence - and hate begets hate. How far is it from "We need Muslims to Register", or, "We need to patrol Muslim neighborhoods" to - "We need to put Muslims in concentration camps"?

Xenophobia is xenophobia. Hate is hate. Ignorance is ignorance. People like Trump and Cruz are just as guilty of spreading such as those Imams you are talking about.

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LineReply Individuals do these things.
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