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Thread: Saving their Souls in Fallujah?

  1. #21
    Council Member Cavguy's Avatar
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    Good comments by all.

    I actually am surprised it took this long for an incident like this to happen, given the strength of the evangelical movement inside the military. I'll never forget walking patrol in Tal Afar past a poor Iraqi kid in a 'Jesus Loves Me' t-shirt that obviously had been given out by a prior unit. No one had an objection, but I'm not sure anyone in that particular dirt poor area could read English.
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    Council Member marct's Avatar
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    Hi WM,

    Quote Originally Posted by wm View Post
    Actually, I think it has been around in what was to become the USA since around 1620 when a group of folks landed at Plymouth Rock.
    Could be - there is certainly a long history of millennial movements in the US, and they tend to be the ones who produce extreme fanatics.

    Quote Originally Posted by wm View Post
    It has a habit of resurrecting itself (pun intended) until it gets slapped back down through other corrective belief experiences--I think most folks can identify further, more modern examples for Judaism after the Zealot Rebellion or Bar Kochba.
    Possible. I suspect that both the Expulsion from Spain and the 16th century millennial movements in Eastern Europe (e.g. Sabbatai Sevi) could play a part in it.

    Quote Originally Posted by wm View Post
    And WWI played an analogue to the 30 Years War for Christianity IMHO.
    I would agree that it did so for the concept of unilinear evolution (e.g. progress towards perfection; sort of the secular eschatology developed by Social Darwinists and others). For Christianity itself? I don't know about that, although maybe for Christianity in Europe.

    Quote Originally Posted by wm View Post
    I think the latter half of the 19th Century and the establishment/success of the modern Israeli nation state ought to be belief correcting experiences for eschatological Islam but, for reasons that elude me, have not yet become such.
    I suspect that the process goes back to a combination of Hoffer's observations on True Believers and to having a geographical locus for a religious group and seeing that religion being used as an excuse to smash the geographic locus. Just a guess, but it might be worth following up.
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  3. #23
    Council Member 120mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cavguy View Post
    Good comments by all.

    I actually am surprised it took this long for an incident like this to happen, given the strength of the evangelical movement inside the military. I'll never forget walking patrol in Tal Afar past a poor Iraqi kid in a 'Jesus Loves Me' t-shirt that obviously had been given out by a prior unit. No one had an objection, but I'm not sure anyone in that particular dirt poor area could read English.
    My own experience was kind of the inverse of this. When we encountered Iraqi vendors in the opening days of OIF I, they were well-stocked with "Christian" paraphenalia and were vainly trying to sell it to us. Icons, crosses, coffee cups, t-shirts, decorated bibles, you name it, they were trying to push it on us...

    Unfortunately for them, I think their marketing was based on an incorrect assumption of that same "evangelical movement inside the military". (We WERE "Christian Invaders" after all) Much is made about this supposed "movement", but in reality, I think it has more to do with American society's radical move to atheism, while the military isn't moving that direction quite as fast.

    My experience, as a Christian in the US Army, is that the vast majority of soldiers are much more interested in getting laid, getting drunk, getting high (without getting caught, of course) and avoiding work (extra points are awarded if you work harder to avoid the work, than just doing the work itself, of course....) more than proselytizing....

    But I'm interested in how many of the higher ranks become "neo-Christians" once they take command/get in que for a choice, promotable job....

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    Quote Originally Posted by Danny View Post
    However ... I doubt that the story is as big as made out to be in this article. It sounds to me like someone was searching for a story to write.
    Quote Originally Posted by selil View Post
    You have no idea how this is playing in the bayous and backwoods of the bible belt. Oh my gosh the absolute riot that any muslim who takes offense should be crucified (direct quote).... Ouch...
    You should see what Salafi sites saying on all this... It is not that small incident for them.

    This story remind me on time when Catholic "humanitarian" organization (CARITAS) refused to gave food and milk to people unless they can show them that one is Christian... So, I guess, story is big in many different circles regardless on polarity and with different reasons.

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    Quote Originally Posted by selil View Post
    The unformulated question in my mind is could this be an example of America producing our own radical Christian analog to Al Queda?
    Do you mean something like this?

    http://www.jesuscampthemovie.com/

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    Quote Originally Posted by 120mm View Post
    ... I think it has more to do with American society's radical move to atheism, while the military isn't moving that direction quite as fast.
    America's radical move to Atheism? I've traveled fairly widely across the country the last few years and can't recall anyplace without a healthy number of places of worship: church, cathedral, storefront, mosque, synagogue, commune, Buddhist temple, you name it. I also read about Wiccan, Druid, and assorted New Age meeting places. That polygamous Mormon compound in Texas currently in the news just serves to show you that there is SOME theistic association, no matter what floats your boat.

    Theism, of whatever form and denomination, seems firmly rooted in the USA. This is probably because of our lack of a state sponsored religion, which has proven quite detrimental for theism in other places.

    I have co-workers and inlaws who throw out the term "atheism" as a shorthand word for any group which is NOT characterized by a Protestant Christian, fundamentalist, Evangelical, premillenial dispensationalism approach to God.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Premillennialism
    But this is mainly because they believe that if you don't bring this kind of theistic approach, you are doomed to roast in eternal hellfire. Obviously this would include atheists. But a fiery eternity also awaits other theists, who just don't have the right theological answers.
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    Default Long time no see...

    Quote Originally Posted by Sarajevo071 View Post
    Do you mean something like this?

    http://www.jesuscampthemovie.com/
    ... Sarajevo. No, if you think that "Jesus Camp" is representative of our culture you'd be mistaken by magnitudes.

  8. #28
    Council Member marct's Avatar
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    Smile Hey Sarajevo!

    Quote Originally Posted by Sarajevo071 View Post
    Do you mean something like this?

    http://www.jesuscampthemovie.com/
    Quote Originally Posted by SWJED View Post
    ... Sarajevo. No, if you think that "Jesus Camp" is representative of our culture you'd be mistaken by magnitudes.
    Great to see you back! The "Jesus Camp" stuff is definitely not representative of US culture - far be it from me to say what is . So, what are the Safali and Wahabi boards saying about the incident?

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    Sarajevo's point, however, was that the film depicted "our own [US] radical Christian analog to Al Queda," not that it was representative of US mainstream culture.

    (Of course, despite some of the statements on the film, the camp's graduates don't typically engage in mass-casualty attacks on civilians.)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rex Brynen View Post
    Sarajevo's point, however, was that the film depicted "our own [US] radical Christian analog to Al Queda," not that it was representative of US mainstream culture.
    THANK YOU !

    Finally someone will read and understand words without having his bias implying something that was NOT said.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SWJED View Post
    ... Sarajevo. No, if you think that "Jesus Camp" is representative of our culture you'd be mistaken by magnitudes.
    Where did I said that!?


  12. #32
    Council Member marct's Avatar
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    Default Nah,

    Quote Originally Posted by Sarajevo071 View Post
    Where did I said that!?
    You didn't say that . It's a really good example of how extremist groups can come to be seen as "representative" of a culture, especially when they aren't . Actually, it's a good example of how stereotyping works, especially when there is a propaganda message associated with the stereotype. That, quoth he taking the conversation back to the Fallujah Affair, is why I was asking about what was being said on the Safali boards.

    Marc
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    Council Member 120mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tacitus View Post
    America's radical move to Atheism? I've traveled fairly widely across the country the last few years and can't recall anyplace without a healthy number of places of worship: church, cathedral, storefront, mosque, synagogue, commune, Buddhist temple, you name it. I also read about Wiccan, Druid, and assorted New Age meeting places. That polygamous Mormon compound in Texas currently in the news just serves to show you that there is SOME theistic association, no matter what floats your boat.

    Theism, of whatever form and denomination, seems firmly rooted in the USA. This is probably because of our lack of a state sponsored religion, which has proven quite detrimental for theism in other places.

    I have co-workers and inlaws who throw out the term "atheism" as a shorthand word for any group which is NOT characterized by a Protestant Christian, fundamentalist, Evangelical, premillenial dispensationalism approach to God.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Premillennialism
    But this is mainly because they believe that if you don't bring this kind of theistic approach, you are doomed to roast in eternal hellfire. Obviously this would include atheists. But a fiery eternity also awaits other theists, who just don't have the right theological answers.
    I'm simply referring to the large amount of people who are not associated, or do not submit to the discipline of their "religion". I tend to include those who belong to "invented" religions, such as Wicca, etc... (Show me their "Wiccan" heritage, and I'll think otherwise....) I guess if pressed, I'd tend to include the Easter/Christmas Christians as being functionally atheist.

    Combine this with the "American Taliban Is Consuming the Country" drivel that is being spouted by neo-atheists to rally their "base".

    The US is demonstrably becoming less religious, and less conservative. Despite the "double-speak" one hears from the anti-religious bigots.... One only needs to watch a movie, surf the web, listen to contemporary music, or read books on the bestseller list to understand that simple fact.

    While we do NOT need an "American Taliban" I think it is just as likely that "Taliban" will come from the Left as from the Right.

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    Quote Originally Posted by marct View Post
    You didn't say that . It's a really good example of how extremist groups can come to be seen as "representative" of a culture, especially when they aren't . Actually, it's a good example of how stereotyping works, especially when there is a propaganda message associated with the stereotype. That, quoth he taking the conversation back to the Fallujah Affair, is why I was asking about what was being said on the Safali boards.

    Marc
    Oh, one can easy imagine what they saying, right?! That is clear proof of "Americans trying to convert Muslims", "they are finally admitting what they are doing all this years", etc. Same old rhetoric from people who self appoint them self to safe guard religion... Never actually explaining if one is strong in they beliefs and have knowledge, why would one be afraid of someone else's talk or beliefs!?

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    Council Member marct's Avatar
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    Hi 120,

    Quote Originally Posted by 120mm View Post
    I'm simply referring to the large amount of people who are not associated, or do not submit to the discipline of their "religion".
    Ah, okay, that makes a lot more sense . The term "atheist" is a tricky one, simply because it has been used as a pejorative by so many people to apply to any group that disagrees with them. Personally, I wouldn't use it to apply to people who don't "submit to the discipline of their "religion"", the technical term would be "heretic" assuming they did not meet the bare minimum disciplinary requirements. As a note, I'm not using "heretic" in the pejorative sense, I'm using it in the technical sense of one who exercise their free will to choose to do or not do something that is (or is not) mandated by their religion.

    That first sense, however, of being "unassociated" is much more tricky and, I suspect, totally inaccurate in a number of cases. Their appears to be a presumption of association with an organized group, a "religion" in the sociological sense, but this is not necessarily a requirement for someone who is not an atheist. This is the "gray area" where we see the overlap of "spirituality" and "religion" with the first having to do with an individuals relationship with their god(s) and the second having to do with their relationship to other humans.

    Quote Originally Posted by 120mm View Post
    I tend to include those who belong to "invented" religions, such as Wicca, etc... (Show me their "Wiccan" heritage, and I'll think otherwise....) I guess if pressed, I'd tend to include the Easter/Christmas Christians as being functionally atheist.
    Got time for a couple of pints, Drew ? If you want the Wiccan linkages, read Ecstacies and The Night Battles both by Carlo Ginzburg. The specific linkage runs from the Benandanti, to Aradia and then to Gardnerian Wicca (there are also other lines as well, but none of them are well known). I also ran across groups during my MA fieldwork that I could track back over 500 years in continuous operation. To be totally fair, however, the groups that actually can be traced back are in a definite minority; probably less that 1% of the current Wiccan population.

    Quote Originally Posted by 120mm View Post
    Combine this with the "American Taliban Is Consuming the Country" drivel that is being spouted by neo-atheists to rally their "base".
    Yeah, I've heard that drek as well. I tend to view it as just another example of "religion" in the secular, non-theistic sense; "atheistic" in the sense that they don't personalize their "deities", but definitely "theistic" in the sense that they make a "god" out of political correctness.

    Quote Originally Posted by 120mm View Post
    The US is demonstrably becoming less religious, and less conservative. Despite the "double-speak" one hears from the anti-religious bigots.... One only needs to watch a movie, surf the web, listen to contemporary music, or read books on the bestseller list to understand that simple fact.
    If I were speaking as a scholar, I woud say that the US is becoming ore "religious", in the sense of being tied into group associations with transcendent symbol systems (not all of which are "religious" or "theistic"), and much less "spiritual". Your examples highlight, to me at least, the decreasing role of personal spirituality and its replacement with group-based "morality". Indeed, one of the common threads I have been following for some time is an increasing attack, usually by denigration, by many groups on individual spirituality, either inside a religious organization or outside of it. To me, this smacks of group-think hubris. W.B. Yeats said it better than me:
    Turning and turning in the widening gyre
    The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
    Things fall apart; the center cannot hold;
    Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
    The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
    The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
    The best lack all conviction, while the worst
    Are full of passionate intensity.
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  16. #36
    Council Member marct's Avatar
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    Default Same old, same old...

    Hi Sarajevo,

    Quote Originally Posted by Sarajevo071 View Post
    Oh, one can easy imagine what they saying, right?! That is clear proof of "Americans trying to convert Muslims", "they are finally admitting what they are doing all this years", etc. Same old rhetoric from people who self appoint them self to safe guard religion... Never actually explaining if one is strong in they beliefs and have knowledge, why would one be afraid of someone else's talk or beliefs!?
    Ah yes, the same old stuff! Honestly, I really loved your last point - why should they be afraid if they are strong in their beliefs?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rex Brynen View Post
    Sarajevo's point, however, was that the film depicted "our own [US] radical Christian analog to Al Queda," not that it was representative of US mainstream culture.

    (Of course, despite some of the statements on the film, the camp's graduates don't typically engage in mass-casualty attacks on civilians.)
    Good point.

    What scares me about people who can be manipulated so easily is that I'm not sure how much it would take to get them to do something. I'm not saying they are going to pick up crowbars and start killing Muslims off the bat, but little stuff. Even being manipulated to look the other way scares me. When looking at the videos out of some mega churches, what worries a lot of people overseas (and here) is not that people are radical right now, but rather how easily manipulated they are or appear to be. They wonder what would happen if tomorrow or twenty years from now their minister starts preaching that they go out and smash the windows (or kill) of a ________ (Circle one: Muslim, Hindu, etc.) What I think is feeding these perceptions in the ME is that they look at us and they see themselves.

    Although I believe this is very untrue for a very large majority of the population, I worry about those few who are that malleable. All it takes is a few radicals and enough people who are indifferent too or afraid and so remain neutral.

    It's not just in the religious right that many people see it, I see the same thing happening in the far left. It's just another form of fundamentalism.

    I have to state that in no way do I think we are anywhere near this now, but in a generation or two I worry about it. Again, nothing on the level of Al Qaeda, but I start to worry. (I am stating that I am in no way saying US mainstream culture is like this, but after watching some of they guys on tv in the middle of the night I can understand how one might think that.)

    Adam L
    Last edited by Adam L; 06-01-2008 at 02:09 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Adam L View Post
    I have to state that in no way do I think we are anywhere near this now, but in a generation or two I worry about it. Again, nothing on the level of Al Qaeda, but I start to worry. (I am stating that I am in no way saying US mainstream culture is like this, but after watching some of they guys on tv in the middle of the night I can understand how one might think that.)

    Adam L
    As long those people have U.S. Military to do fighting and killing for them there is no need for any Christian militia to start doing that on they own... If one have state apparatus and power behind him, there is no need to have revenge groups like that. Saying that, you are completely right pointing on those groups who are crawling on late night tv and calling for Armagedon.

    My opinion is, they are looking for official U.S. policy to support them and stand behind them (something like Jewish state behind zionist policy) with they military and financial support. Something maybe McCain can do since he openly welcomed John Hagee support... Not to say that Obama or Clinton are against supporting zionist or neocon policy without any question. They are ready stated such in they recent speeches.

    I think, we all have many reasons to be afraid all of that.

  19. #39
    Council Member marct's Avatar
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    Hi Sarajevo,

    Quote Originally Posted by Sarajevo071 View Post
    As long those people have U.S. Military to do fighting and killing for them there is no need for any Christian militia to start doing that on they own... If one have state apparatus and power behind him, there is no need to have revenge groups like that. Saying that, you are completely right pointing on those groups who are crawling on late night tv and calling for Armagedon.
    That's a very good point, especially since it deals with one possible interpretation of what is happening. I can certainly see how such a view could easily be spun in a media campaign, regardless of any truth to it. Personally, I have suspicions regarding the initial motivations of the neo-cons for going into Iraq; suspicions that really haven't been set at ease by some of the recent "I wasn't MY fault" books (not the Feith comes to mind, but...).

    At the same time, I really think that the vast majority of the US population thinks that these Christian "militias" (and I really don't like that term because it implies discipline and a willingness to suffer) are a bunch of twits. On a personal level, I've had run ins with two of them and, IMO, their "leaders" are power hungry materialists while many of their followers are deluded fools. As such, I suspect they are a god analog for fanatical splinter groups everywhere; they just haven't had to put their lives or material comfort on the line, and I doubt that the majority of them will .

    At the same time, there are a (larger) number of Christian sects that I have run across who truly practice what they preach but do not support or condone violence (as a note, I've also run a cross a number of Muslims who are exact analogs of them). People who have a strong, personal relationship with their god(s) tend not to be threatened by others who believe differently .

    Marc
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    Default Hi, Marc

    You will need to forgive me but word "interpretation" can very easily be apply to anyone else's look on what and why is all this happening right now. Real truth is in actions (individuals or countries) and reasons why they do such a things...

    But, with everything else I will easily agree with you. I agree with you regards the US population and some (true) believers. Problem today is that there are many wrongs which stopping those groups and/or individuals to step out more. In their minds dilemma is bothering them:

    If we are same, like some lip service we heard, how come that brute of fighting and killings, sanctions and bombing are only in they cities and homes? And, why when they go on democratic elections they are not accepted just because "others" don't like them, even that majority of people vote freely?

    So, I guess, my point would be that there are many different reasons why would one look at certain action and perceive it this or that way. After years of occupation and killings by the foreign troops, how would any of us look at they actions (those of occupation forces) and what would our reaction be?!

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