Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: What! You too? I thought I was the only one.

-C.S. Lewis

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Fundamentalism and Hatred

Wow. Not sure how to react to this. Maybe it's dismissive to call this guy crazy, but his worldview is so far out of whack with what is acceptable in a civilized and pluralistic society that what else can I call it? I guess I don't have to call it anything, but I do have to reject it utterly. Now I don't think Iraq was the answer to the problem of foreign terror and it certainly didn't merit the tremendous amount of resources we've thrown at it. But does our being there "cause" such behavior? Listening to this guy talk, I can't see how anything other than a lifetime of listening to poisonous hatred from his religious leaders could have produced such a violent, anti-social man.

"I don't feel your pain," he said. "I have to admit I don't have any sympathy for you. I can't feel for you because I think you're a nonbeliever."
I hate to invoke Godwin's Law here, but saying that our actions "caused" this man and those like him to commit their nihilistic acts is roughly analogous to saying that the Treaty of Versailles "caused" Hitler to build the Nazi war machine and kill millions of "unworthies." Yes, every event is driven by its historical context, and maybe you could even make the argument that if France hadn't pushed for such harsh measures to be levied on Germany, World War II wouldn't have happened. But whither the hatred inside of a young ambitious Hitler? Men like this are not driven to anger and bile. Rather, their anger seeks out a driver.

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