--> Getting It Right: Remembering London and Srebenica

Monday, July 11, 2005

Remembering London and Srebenica

Fifty-two souls shattered in a few seconds in London last week. Five THOUSAND men and boys marched away from their mothers and wives and massacred in Serbia.

Killing in the name of God - I'm not entirely sure that He is going to approve.

But as a dear old friend reminded me this weekend, Gandhi once said: "You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty."

I wonder if you can use Clorox on fundamentalism?


At 4:55 p.m., Anonymous Matthew said...

I'm sorry- fundamentalism? Fundamentalism isn't the problem here. Using the term to describe islamic extremists is merely one more way the left slimes traditional Christians.

At 5:30 p.m., Blogger Erin Airton said...

I'm a pretty conservative, pro-life, traditional marriage Christian.

But, fundamentalism is a belief that your faith alone knows the path to God and salvation - and hence far, far too much blood spilled in the name of God.

Fundamentalism alone is not the problem. Fundamentalism when stoked by fanatics, and combined with weapons and deeply felt historic grudges, leaves broken lives in mass graves - in New York AND Serbia.

Where do I put the fundamental line? I draw it straight through that grey zone where ONE path to God becomes THE ONLY path to God - and the followers of other paths less deserving of compassion and love and God's touch.

It is short steps from there killing commuters on their innocent way to the office.

At 10:28 a.m., Blogger Scott A. said...

Well said in the post and the rebuttal comment.

At 12:40 p.m., Blogger bob said...

Erin, terrific line with the clorox!

At 4:38 p.m., Anonymous Matthew said...

I need to check in more often- sorry I haven't responded.

So, any religion that holds that it is the only path to God is inherently dangerous?

Most orthodox forms of Judaism, Christianity and Islam believe that- are they all equally fundamentalist? All a few steps to murder? All equally vulnerable to the stoking by fanatics?

Inclusivist religious beliefs are not blameless either- Buddhism and Hinduism are fuelling conflict in India and Sri Lanka.

Holding to an exclusive revelation doesn't lead to holding outsiders to be of lesser dignity. To be frank, enmity betweenst groups, however differentiated, is a fundamental tendency of humanity. Finding causation is much tougher- but the bloody borders of Islam indicate to me that Islam encourages rather than discourages this human weakness. With regard to Srebenica, nationalist and ethnic hatred, even where the historical roots are religious differences is an entirely different thing than religiously motivated violence.

I'm sorry, but your definition of fundamentalism just isn't very helpful for your purpose, and the way you use it feeds the prevailing dislike of "fundamentalist" Christians.

At 6:07 a.m., Blogger Erin Airton said...

In a word...yes.

Yes, any fundamentalist religion is vulnerable to being high-jacked by extremists with an agenda.

And it isn't a stretch to include Christians (of which I am one) in this. Certainly our historic record is not one to be proud of - even in this century.


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