|New Civilization News: Fundamental Madness|
15 comments3 Aug 2006 @ 13:03 by dempstress : 'fundamentalism as a mental disorder'
Yes, I'll go with that. Any sort of fundamentalism. Any individual or system which trys to say 'I'm right and you're wrong, and you'll live under the constraints I choose because that's what 'god wants' '. I heard someone on the radio here recently saying that 'god is offended' about something or other, and I fell about. Not, you understand, 'that's the sort of thing that might be offensive to god/a god', but 'god is offended'. Come the afterlife I hope the numinous-whatever upends him and slaps his backside for his presumption.
3 Aug 2006 @ 15:52 by scotty : Best
article in these here logs in a long long time !
Thanks Tresor !
3 Aug 2006 @ 22:53 by Quinty @220.127.116.11 : Couldn't agree more
with old Zepp.
And in the Middle East we may be fully engaged in realizing a self fullfilliing prophecy. World War III? is this really necessary?
4 Aug 2006 @ 17:09 by jobrown : Thank you, Jazzo!
Finally! Someone joining me in the struggle against Fundamentalism of all flavors & shades. For so long I've been alone here, warning the more "normal" ones, by preaching the dooms and tribulations put forth by these Lunetics! Everyone of the "Fundies" is dangerous, that's for sure!
The ONLY thing that will have ANY impact on their blind stupidity ( or should I say stupid blindness) is to stop scraping our foot in some sort of of polite apologetic manner -as if their agenda had any true Merits, worth respect and consideration -not to mention why we would continue to let these sick ideas of theirs to go UN-questioned, UN-challenged and UN-corrected any longer!...
Thanks again, Jazzo. This really gives me HOPE! : )
5 Aug 2006 @ 12:45 by jazzolog : Converting Fundamentalists
For once the charge of elitist may have to stick on liberals. Fundamentalist power grew everywhere over the past quarter century while liberals sailed onward in worlds of their imaginings. We really aren't that different from them---except in a single crucial regard. We don't declare it a crime if they don't agree with us. That difference in belief systems must be addressed.
Discussing things with fundamentalists can be a real pleasure. Often they see many problems the same way and agree solutions must be reached...and that governments ought to do it rather than wait around for someone to discover a profit motive.
Where things get rough is an encounter with a matter of religious faith. I remember a long dialogue with a fundamentalist friend a few years back and the subject was Al Gore. She said she'd vote for him gladly...except for his position on abortion. That was it. Case closed. End of discussion. In the past I think we've let fundies get away with this approach...and just left them alone with their strict ideas. Obviously this has been a huge mistake.
Fundamentalists can change their minds however...even if fellow humans can't be involved in the process. The news media is not being gentle with Pat Robertson's announcement that he now "believes" in global warming. http://msnbc.msn.com/id/14171691/ When something like this happens and a gesture of conciliation is made from their side, it would be good if we curbed our resentments and not get all self-righteous.
9 Aug 2006 @ 06:40 by Ben Tremblay @18.104.22.168 : it's just words?
"Don't play what's there, play what's not there." I saw Joseph Campbell on TV last night ... nice stuff, myth. What came to mind reading the Davis quote was how Campbell commented on European culture not being tuned into integration ... the safe binary of good/bad ... the dualism of want/despise ... no sense of exploration ... the demonic, unacknowledge, becomes the devil. Which, of course, isn't the point ... the point is that the good shrivels, like a flower without rain.
Folk hold beliefs for their own reasons ... however deluded, we aren't entirely irrational.
That's what I've wanted to explore with my "Participatory Deliberation". Oh, hey, just today I realized I could reconceptualize it as Glass Bead Game. Do you think "Ludi" would serve as trademark? Unfortunately it's already been taken by the folk who created GameNeverEnding (which didn't restart after beta ... heh)
10 Aug 2006 @ 19:21 by Quinty @22.214.171.124 : Sodo
Richard - who is Sodo?
Do you have any information on him? I was wondering where that quote came from, and who the author is? If there's much of anything there?
11 Aug 2006 @ 10:39 by jazzolog : Sodo [1641-1716]
I really don't know. I ran across the quotation here http://users.libero.it/seza/koan2gb.htm (you'll discover I took the liberty to change the season) and realized Sodo had said something else I like about following one's shadow on a walk home in the moonlight. Googling the name can lead to total frustration, since the word "sodo" means a meditation hall, specifically for the education of monks. It would not be unusual for a monk simply to take a name like that. You know it is a spiritual tenet in Zen to leave not a trace behind. From Sodo we may have his dates and a couple of Haiku...and that's it. I'd settle for such fame. Perhaps plugging in his dates you will find more.
11 Aug 2006 @ 15:32 by quinty @126.96.36.199 : Thanks
What a fascinating page!
21 Aug 2006 @ 07:53 by vaxen : Since...
''funda-mental-ism'' seems to be the subject of the above discourse I hope you won't mind too much, people, if I place this article here. I deem it a very important article and thought that, in lieu of the present company, it might be an agent for change. If it is too long please feel free to delete, jazzolog.
Irshad Manji: The Trouble with Islam Today
In the following essay, author and lecturer Irshad Manji discusses the driving philosophies of her book "The Trouble with Islam Today" as well as the need and historical basis for independent, progressive thinking in Muslim culture.
It's an open letter
"The Trouble with Islam Today" is an open letter from me, a Muslim voice of reform, to concerned citizens worldwide — Muslim and not. It's about why my faith community needs to come to terms with the diversity of ideas, beliefs and people in our universe, and why non-Muslims have a pivotal role in helping us get there.
The themes I'm exploring with the utmost honesty include:
the inferior treatment of women in Islam;
the Jew-bashing that so many Muslims persistently engage in; and
the continuing scourge of slavery in countries ruled by Islamic regimes.
I appreciate that every faith has its share of literalists. Christians have their Evangelicals. Jews have the ultra-Orthodox. For God's sake, even Buddhists have fundamentalists.
But what this book hammers home is that only in Islam is literalism mainstream. Which means that when abuse happens under the banner of Islam, most Muslims have no clue how to dissent, debate, revise or reform.
"The Trouble with Islam Today" shatters our silence. It shows Muslims how we can re-discover Islam's lost tradition of independent thinking — a tradition known as "ijtihad" — and re-discover it precisely to update Islam for the 21st century. The opportunity to update is especially available to Muslims in the West, because it's here that we enjoy precious freedoms to think, express, challenge and be challenged without fear of state reprisal. In that sense, the Islamic reformation begins in the West.
It doesn't, however, end here. Not by a long shot. People throughout the Islamic world need to know of their God-given right to think for themselves. So "The Trouble with Islam Today" outlines a global campaign to promote innovative approaches to Islam. I call this non-military campaign "Operation Ijtihad." In turn, the West's support of this campaign will fortify national security, making Operation Ijtihad a priority for all of us who wish to live fatwa-free lives.
That's the book. The question now becomes: What possessed me to write it? Once I tell you a little about me, I think you'll see where my own passion comes from.
Why I'm struggling with Islam
As refugees from Idi Amin's Uganda, my family and I settled just outside of Vancouver in 1972. I grew up attending two types of schools: the secular public school of most North American kids and then, for several hours at a stretch every Saturday, the Islamic religious school (madressa).
I couldn't quite reconcile the open and tolerant world of my public school with the rigid and bigoted world inside my madressa. But I had enough faith to ask questions — plenty of them.
My first question for my madressa teacher was, "Why can't girls lead prayer?" I graduated to asking more nuanced questions, such as, "If the Koran came to Prophet Muhammad as a message of peace, why did he command his army to kill an entire Jewish tribe?"
You can imagine that such questions irritated the hell out of my madressa teacher, who routinely put down women and trashed the Jews. He and I reached the ultimate impasse over yet another question: "Where," I asked, "is the evidence of the 'Jewish conspiracy' against Islam? You love to talk about it, but what's the proof?" That question, posed at the age of 14, got me booted out of the madressa. Permanently.
At this point, I had a choice to make: I could walk away from my Muslim faith and get on with being my "emancipated" North American self, or I could give Islam another chance. Out of fairness to the faith, I gave Islam another chance. And another. And another. For the past 20 years, I've been educating myself about Islam. As a result, I've discovered a progressive side of my religion — in theory.
But I remain a hugely ambivalent Muslim because of what's happening "on the ground" — massive human rights violations, particularly against women and religious minorities — in the name of Allah.
Liberal Muslims say that what I'm describing isn't "true" Islam. But these Muslims should own up to something: Prophet Muhammad himself said that religion is the way we conduct ourselves toward others. By that standard, how Muslims actually behave is Islam, and to sweep that reality under the rug of theory is to absolve ourselves of any responsibility for our fellow human beings.
That's why I'm struggling. That's why I'm passionate. And that's why I call myself a Muslim Refusenik.
A Muslim Refusenik is...
By Muslim Refusenik, I don't mean I refuse to be a Muslim. If I did, why would I care enough to write a book that puts me on the front lines of anger, hate, even death threats? By Muslim Refusenik, I mean I refuse to join an army of automatons in the name of Allah. Many Muslims applaud Jewish Refuseniks — those soldiers who protest the military occupation of the West Bank and Gaza. In the same spirit of conscientious dissent, we've got to protest the ideological occupation of Muslim minds. An occupation perpetrated by our own mullahs, imams and civic leaders.
In that spirit, I'm asking Muslims in the West a very basic question: Will we remain spiritually infantile, caving to cultural pressures to clam up and conform, or will we mature into full-fledged citizens, defending the very pluralism that allows us to be in this part of the world in the first place?
My question for non-Muslims is equally basic: Will you succumb to the intimidation of being called "racists," or will you finally challenge us Muslims to take responsibility for our role in what ails Islam?
"The Trouble with Islam Today" is a wake-up call for honesty and change on everybody's part. Through the book and this website, let's create conversations where none existed before.
21 Aug 2006 @ 09:23 by jazzolog : More Specifically
this link may save a bit of time (since that splash page is likely to change next week)~~~
I missed NOW on Friday, as we had other things to do in town, and I didn't record it. Thank you Vaxen for highlighting the interview, and it certainly is appropriate to this thread.
2 Sep 2006 @ 11:26 by jazzolog : Is Jesus Whispering Lies In Bush's Ears?
By William Rivers Pitt
t r u t h o u t | Perspective
Friday 01 September 2006
All I have is a voice
To undo the folded lie,
The romantic lie in the brain
Of the sensual man-in-the-street
And the lie of Authority
Whose buildings grope the sky:
There is no such thing as the State
And no one exists alone;
Hunger allows no choice
To the citizen or the police;
We must love one another or die.
- W.H. Auden, "September 1, 1939"
I had jury duty yesterday, and spent the better part of the day sitting on a hard wooden bench in a holding room waiting for the call. I was thrilled and honored to be there, because I am still a sucker for the basics of our system. The Army, the Navy, the Air Force, the Marines, all our bombs and guns and missiles, our entire military arsenal, is certainly part of what makes us strong as a nation.
But the better part of our strength comes from simple days like the one I spent in that jury room, days where ordinary citizens come together to participate in the fair administration of justice. In that room with me were men and women, old people and young people, representatives of every race and religion and class to be found in America. This is our strength, and it was a privilege to be a part of it.
So it is with rising bile and a bottomless rage that I consider the recent invective from Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and his boss, George W. Bush. According to these nabobs, I am a morally untethered appeaser of fascism. I am the witless executor of a bleak fate, a willing associate and ally of terrorists and terrorism. I am no better than those who allowed the Nazi boot heel to crush the innocent and the defenseless.
Why? Because I opposed the Iraq occupation before it began, because I have opposed it since it was undertaken, and because I believe it is past time for a plan to be established that removes our troops from the killing fields of Baghdad.
Astonishing, no? For the first time, a significant majority of Americans now believes the invasion was a terrible mistake. For the first time, a significant majority believe it was comprehensively lied to by the Bush administration as the rationales for this bloodbath were rolled out. For the first time, a significant majority has divorced Iraq from the larger struggle against terrorism, divorced itself from the idea that "Iraq is the central front of the War on Terror." If I am an appeaser, a supporter of terror, an enabler of murderous extremism, at least I am not alone.
Taken objectively, the incendiary accusations leveled by Rumsfeld and Bush against a majority of the American people are fairly easy to understand. With a little more than two months to go before the midterm congressional elections, the Bush administration and its GOP allies cannot help but realize that they have lost the trust of the American people. If the midterms become a referendum on Iraq, on Katrina, on the stewardship of this administration, Rumsfeld and Bush will be staring down the barrel of something they have managed thus far to avoid: accountability.
Bush, in a recent interview with NBC's Brian Williams, denied that his administration ever conflated Iraq with al Qaeda or Osama bin Laden. This was a desperate lie. On March 9, 2003, less than two weeks before "Shock and Awe" was unleashed on Baghdad, Condolleezza Rice appeared on CBS's "Face the Nation." "We know from a detainee - the head of training for al Qaeda - that they sought help in developing chemical and biological weapons because they weren't doing very well on their own. They sought it in Iraq. They received the help." The detainee in question, Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi, was never considered reliable by American intelligence, and by 2004, all data received from him was pulled and discarded by the CIA. Rice's lie was merely an accent in the symphony of deception that led us to our current bleak estate.
I could fill page after page with the lies and misrepresentations proffered by the Bush administration regarding Iraq, but this has been done countless times already. Rumsfeld and Bush are no longer trusted, their lies no longer carry weight, and so they have resorted to denouncing a majority of the citizens they supposedly represent. Worse, they chose to do so by raising the specter of Hitler and Nazism. This is nothing less than a rank attempt at rhetorical intimidation, and it is disgusting.
I thought about all of this while sitting in that jury room, while doing my small part to serve the better angels of our system. I tried to come up with an appropriate response, but kept returning to the words of Keith Olbermann. Olbermann, a favorite television personality of mine since his days at ESPN, anchors the MSNBC news program "Countdown." On Wednesday night, Olbermann offered a personal comment of his own to Rumsfeld and Bush. It was perhaps the most eloquent denunciation of all that has transpired I have heard to date.
"Mr. Rumsfeld's remarkable speech to the American Legion yesterday," said Olbermann, "demands the deep analysis - and the sober contemplation - of every American. For it did not merely serve to impugn the morality or intelligence - indeed, the loyalty - of the majority of Americans who oppose the transient occupants of the highest offices in the land. Worse, still, it credits those same transient occupants - our employees - with a total omniscience; a total omniscience which neither common sense, nor this administration's track record at home or abroad, suggests they deserve. Dissent and disagreement with government is the life's blood of human freedom; and not merely because it is the first roadblock against the kind of tyranny the men Mr. Rumsfeld likes to think of as "his" troops still fight, this very evening, in Iraq. It is also essential. Because just every once in a while it is right, and the power to which it speaks, is wrong."
"The confusion we - as its citizens - must now address, is stark and forbidding," continued Olbermann. "But variations of it have faced our forefathers, when men like Nixon and McCarthy and Curtis LeMay have darkened our skies and obscured our flag. Note - with hope in your heart - that those earlier Americans always found their way to the light, and we can, too. The confusion is about whether this secretary of defense, and this administration, are in fact now accomplishing what they claim the terrorists seek: the destruction of our freedoms, the very ones for which the same veterans Mr. Rumsfeld addressed yesterday in Salt Lake City so valiantly fought. And about Mr. Rumsfeld's other main assertion, that this country faces a 'new type of fascism.' As he was correct to remind us how a government that knew everything could get everything wrong, so too, was he right when he said that - though probably not in the way he thought he meant it. This country faces a new type of fascism - indeed."
I am no appeaser of fascism, for I have fought this administration at every step. Millions have done the same, and will continue to do so. To stand in opposition to this new type of fascism, embodied in the hypocrisies and lies of men like Rumsfeld and Bush, is as much our patriotic duty as the time I spent in that jury room.
The appeasers are the ones who continue to march in lock-step, who swallow the pabulum of official misconduct and spew it back without thought or care. The appeasers would have us forget all the falsehoods, all the death, all the scare tactics, all the failures. The appeasers would have us kneel, submit, acquiesce to a government that cares little for the truth and cares for its own people not at all.
Don Rumsfeld and George W. Bush have insulted the people of this nation. They have sullied our honor, lied to us and given nearly 2,700 American soldiers and countless thousands of civilians over to death. They have used our fears for their own political gain, deliberately and with intent. They are the shame of a generation, and their falsehoods will echo long down the corridors of history.
William Rivers Pitt is a New York Times and internationally bestselling author of two books: War on Iraq: What Team Bush Doesn't Want You to Know and The Greatest Sedition Is Silence. His newest book, House of Ill Repute: Reflections on War, Lies, and America's Ravaged Reputation, will be available this winter from PoliPointPress.
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