Saturday, August 1, 2015

Fundamentalist violence in all faiths

We already know that there is a vicious strain of fundamentalist Islam that turns to violence in an effort to impose its views.

In India, fundamentalist Hindus have attacked those of other faiths, including Christians.

In the last few days, we have seen violence from fundamentalist Jews, for example in one case an orthodox man stabbing people at the gay Pride parade in Jerusalem, and in another, burning to death a Palastinian child in a protest over illegal settlements.

Christian fundamentalists are also violent.  In this country, abortion-related murders of and bombings are associated with explicitly Christian extremists.  Some Christian pastors have called for death for LGBT people. And a  recent article in Salon points out that Christian reconstructionism is inherently violent, anti-woman, and pro-slavery.  Recently, Christian conservatives have advocated calling in the national guard against legal processes they don't like, like abortion or same sex marriage (and if that's not government tyranny, what is?)

What is it about fundamentalists of all flavors, who see violence against others as justifiable?


JCF said...

I think some of it goes back to the concept of "fighting words"...which I get. Human beings have individual and group self-concepts which, when assertively denied by someone else, sets up a cognitive-dissonance which can be an almost physical pain. People then lash out at the source of the pain---another human being(s).

It's easy to say "sticks and stones yada-yada", but we see how hate-filled words can (for example) provoke self-harm among LGBT youth. To the extent fighting words are a voluntary choice, I think the speakers SHOULD try to exert some restraint (see re burning Qurans, for example).

But about the (latest) anti-LGBT attack in Israel, where queer people's mere EXISTENCE sets up this cognitive dissonance? That's the other side of it: the person experiencing the pain (the rabbi, here) is, I would say, merely mentally ill.

But it's a sticky wicket, to be sure. You can go on (for example) JoeMyGod and read that "ALL religion is mental illness!!!" [Yours Truly will just downvote, but I rarely engage---anymore ;-X ] To me, it seems like a qualitative difference between affirming faith in some kind of Higher Power, and being so freaked out by someone else's belief-system (or way-of-life) that attacking that other believer is your "logical" response.

Eh, I'm rambling now. My 2...3c.

JCF said...

Say her name: Shira Banki, 16 straight ally, murdered in the Jerusalem attack. Memory eternal, rest in the arms of the Holy One...