Thursday, July 07, 2005

Terrorists & Punks

Back on may 25th, while discussing Karen Armstrong’s insightful book, The Battle for God, I wrote:

a fundamentalist is a fundamentalist is a fundamentalist! And to deal with the fundamentalist forces behind what is being called ‘the War of Terrorism,’ we had better be aware of the dynamics of fundamentalism or we shall certainly pay a very heavy price!”

I want to add that, by the very nature of religious fundamentalism, a fundamentalist may also be a terrorist. Events today in London appear to confirm that. The last news report I read before beginning this blog stated that a group of the al Qaeda of Jihad Organization in Europe has claimed responsibility for today’s four bombings of London's transport system. Al Qaeda is a terrorist organization; by my reasoning, it is also a fundamentalist organization.

A couple of days ago, on July 5, I told the story of violence by wealthy youths in the Pocono Mountains area of Pennsylvania. In some ways, I see all violence as not only being ant-social, but the result of crazy thinking. Those kids in the Poconos somehow think that they can get away with anything, not only because their parents are wealthy, but because no one has ever confronted the abuse they bestow upon others. That’s bizarre thinking compounded by negligence on the part of their parents and law enforcement.

Fundamentalists perceive their religious life-style threatened by the secularism of the West and by modernity. They use that threat to rationalize acts of violence upon innocent people. That, too, is crazy thinking.

I am not saying that the Pocono punks and fundamentalist terrorists are crazy, although I suppose some might consider them to be. I am saying that their thought processes are somehow out of touch with reality. And I, for one, have no answer to that problem.

Over the past thirty or so years, I have attempted numerous dialogues with Christian fundamentalists. I have concluded that we speak different languages and miscommunicate even when we are agreeing with one another. Likewise with juvenile delinquents, be they eighteen or eighty: they seem to me to be so narcissistic that communication about the destructiveness of their actions isn’t easy.

So, I have no answers. I hope someone does.

1 comment:

  1. I really don't understand what a fundamentalist is.