Re: [anthroposophy] "Christian reactionaries"?
- Dr. Starman, Lightsearcher and others are far more knowledgeable than I, Sarah. I'm going to think about this - it's very much as I seem to notice in the US but I'm not sure what is entailed in these specific events and need to have some knowledge of what's going on . I've never been so miserable in my entire life as while living in various Islamic cultures and countries, but I'm certainly not happy about Christian fundamentalism, either. During perhaps 6 months preceding 8/11 of 2001 this area was flooded with Arabs either enrolled in the local military language/spy schools or learning to handle crop dusting equipment and aircraft [small helicopters and single prop planes] while dragging their pathetic females around when necessary - all draped from head to toe in heavy black "tents" and wearing black sunglasses, all hallmarks of heavy duty Islamic fundamentalism.I'm very glad you posted this, too. I don't feel quite so dumb. :)Bright Light Always,SheilaStarman, Lightsearcher, Sheila etc, what are your thoughts, analyses on this?~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Christian reactionaries leading a new crusade
By Paul Sheehan
December 2 2002
Spare some empathy for Abbas Aly, a good bloke with a bad sense of timing and an even worse sense of direction.
Mr Aly has had a head-on collision with something much bigger than most people realise. He's trying to get a prayer hall built in Annangrove, a semi-rural area in Sydney's prime middle-class growth belt. It's the next suburb after Dural, Kenthurst and Kellyville. It's a growing area. Abbas Aly wants to grow a Muslim community into the mix.
Having stimulated some 8000 letters and calls of complaint, Mr Aly has learned three things the hard way. This is a community trying to keep the semi-rural feel by limiting commercial development. It is part of the closest thing Sydney has to a "bible belt". And right now the word "Muslim" has the same effect on the Australian psyche as the tug of a riptide during a swim at the beach.
The Lebanese-Australian beauty Nicole Gazal had the misfortune to get too close to the hot zone when she went to Nigeria two weeks ago as Australia's Miss World entrant and found herself under army protection while hundreds of people were murdered by Muslim mobs fired into action by mullahs. The mullahs didn't like a newspaper column by a Nigerian journalist, Isioma Daniel, a Christian woman who had the gall to suggest that if the prophet Mohammed were around he might want to marry one of these Miss Worlds. The term bombshell was given new meaning.
Isioma Daniel has fled to the United States. Nicole Gazal and the other 89 Miss World aspirants have fled to London. And the world has been reminded, yet again, that Christianity and Islam are becoming an increasingly volatile mix. This latest sectarian carnage, far removed from the normalised anti-Semitism of the Arab world, should wake us up to the biggest demographic change in the world today. It is much bigger than the rise of militant Islam.
While understandably obsessed with the medieval barbarism coming out of Islamic fundamentalist sects, the secular West appears oblivious to the powerful impact that Islamic fundamentalism is having on Christianity, and the rise of fundamentalist Christianity itself. Philip Jenkins, the distinguished professor of history and religious studies at Pennsylvania State University, believes the world is standing on a demographic and religious explosion on a scale not seen since the Reformation. He also believes Western society is informed by a media in large part dismissive, uninterested or hostile towards muscular Christianity.
His new book, The Next Christendom: The Coming of Global Christianity (Oxford), presents some explosive views. According to Professor Jenkins: "Across the regions of the world that will be the most populous in the 21st century, vast religious contests are already in progress, though so far they have impinged little on Western opinion. The most significant conflict is in Nigeria, a nation that by rights should be a major regional power in this century; but recent violence between Muslims and Christians raises the danger that Nigerian society might be brought to ruin by the clash of jihad and crusade. Muslims and Christians are at each other's throats in Indonesia, the Philippines, Sudan, and a growing number of other African nations ..."
The winners in this global struggle are those who are most uncompromising, most conservative and most combative, groups on both sides of the divide with what Jenkins calls "a strongly apocalyptic mind-set": "Perhaps the most remarkable point about these potential conflicts is that the trends pointing toward them have registered so little on the consciousness of even well-informed Northern observers ... I suspect that most see Christianity very much as it was a century ago - a predominantly European and North American faith."
How outdated this view has become. The missionaries have won. Worldwide, Christianity is moving towards evangelism, supernaturalism and neo-orthodoxy, which dominates Christian beliefs in Africa (360 million adherents), Latin America (480 million), Asia (313 million) and the evangelistic branches of Christianity in North America and the West (200 million), who not only outnumber the non-evangelical Christians, but exceed the demographic scale of Islam.
In 1900, Africa had just 10 million Christians, about 9 per cent of the continent's total population. Today there are 360 million African Christians, 42 per cent of Africa's total population. They have exported their faith back to its colonial source. Half of all London churchgoers are now black. The annual baptism total for the Philippines is higher than the totals for Italy, France, Spain and Poland combined.
This global demographic change is not heading in the direction of gay rights, women priests and soft liberalism favoured by the Western churches. Professor Jenkins has no doubt where Christianity is going in global terms: "The denominations that are triumphing across the global South [Third World] - radical Protestant sects, either evangelical or Pentecostal, and Roman Catholicism of an orthodox kind - are stalwartly traditional or even reactionary by the stands of the economically advanced nations."
The US President, George Bush, has a core constituency dominated by Christian conservatives, who have never been more numerous or more powerful. Australia is a far less religious country than America, but such trends co-exist here, largely ignored until someone like Abbas Aly trips over a fault-line.
On the global canvas, Philip Jenkins concludes: "As the media have striven in recent years to present Islam in a more sympathetic light, they have tended to suggest that Islam, not Christianity, is the rising faith of the world's huddled masses. But Christianity is not only surviving in the global South, it is enjoying a radical revival, a return to scriptural roots. We are living in revolutionary times. But we aren't participating in them. By any reasonable assessment of numbers, the most significant transformation of Christianity in the world today is not the liberal Reformation that is so much desired in the North. It is the Counter-Reformation coming in the global South. And it's very likely that in a decade or two neither component of global Christianity will recognize its counterpart as fully or authentically Christian."
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- --- In anthroposophy@y..., "Br. Ron" <rlloyd@d...> wrote:
> Those that think they can 'rise above' this polarization will findthat such
> ambivalence will not be an option.Hehe no dreaming it away won't do... but the more that will have the
courage to stand between the two trenches... exposed to fire from both
sides ... the less manpower there will be in the trenches.
- From: "Sören Groth" <sgroth@...>>>> Those that think they can 'rise above' this polarization will find
>>> that such ambivalence will not be an option.
> Heheno dreaming it away won't do... but the more that will have the
> courageto stand between the two trenches... exposed to fire from both
> sides ...the less manpower there will be in the trenches.Up to a point, I agree with you here, Soren.Yet such a suspension betwixt the poles has at it'sbasis on the assumption that both sides are reconcilable.But how can one reconcile the 'Will to Live'with the 'Will to Die?' (Eros vs Thanatos)BR
- I enjoyed your replies to the article. One of the obvious things that stood out to me with this article was that Christian fundamentalists are NOT 'dangerous' like Islamic ones. In their extreme form, you might get a few young irritating evangelical styled Christians knocking at your door, on rare occasions an abortion doctor has been murdered but, unlike Islamic fundamentalists, you don't find them plotting mass murder of innocents just for the sake of it.¸..· ´¨¨)) -:¦:-
((¸¸.·´ ..·´ -:¦:- Sarah
- sarahwh@... writes:
I enjoyed your replies to the article. One of the obvious things that stood out to me with this article was that Christian fundamentalists are NOT 'dangerous' like Islamic ones. In their extreme form, you might get a few young irritating evangelical styled Christians knocking at your door, on rare occasions an abortion doctor has been murdered but, unlike Islamic fundamentalists, you don't find them plotting mass murder of innocents just for the sake of it.
¸..· ´¨¨)) -:¦:-
((¸¸.·´ ..·´ -:¦:- Sarah
*******Yes, comparing Christian fundamentalism with the Islamic variety, to paraphrase the late Frank Zappa, is like comparing dandruff to decapitation. Christian fundamentalism, as you point out, has resulted in about two murders of abortionists, so few that we all know the cases. Contrast this to the record of Islamic fundamentalism over the past 30 years: Anwar Sadat, Leon Klinghoffer, the Israeli athletes at the Olympics, the Jewish woman passenger killed by Idi Amin after Israeli commandos rescued all the others on the Fourth of July 1976, our Marines killed in Lebanon, the diplomats executed in Iran, all the people on the jet that crashed in Scotland, the seamen killed aboard the U.S.S. Cole, the 3000+ people killed in the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, the brave passengers of the plane that crashed in Pennsylvania... all in addition to the thousands of Israelis and innocent Arab bystanders killed in the constant violence of this religion whose apologists claim constantly to be "really peaceful but misunderstood." Or, for that matter, compare Judaism with Islam. When an Israeli soldier uses violence on Palestinians assaulting him, he's brought up on charges, and it's an extremely rare event when a Jew goes crazy and machine-guns Arabs. But those are daily deeds for this violence-encouraging alleged religion, where murderers are considered heroes, not prosecuted. Ariel Sharon had to defend himself against charges that he was responsible when troops caused a massacre, but Yasser Arafat, appointed the dictator for life of the Palestinians by a convention of other Arab dictators, has never once been tried for his murders in Syria, Lebanon, Israel, and all over the world.
You see, the Western world has undergone an evolution leading to the recognition on the Christ within every person. The Eastern world has not gone through this in the mass, although souls are incarnating there who did experience it in an incarnation in the West. This is actually something which is going on within each soul, all over the world-- -- --but when an anti-life philosophy is used to brainwash someone from childhood on, that recognition is obscured or made impossible. And the worst part is, at the very time this anti-life philosophy is rising up in the world, courtesy of the Antichrist (or Sorath, as Steiner called him in the quote that began this discussion), it is also rising in misguided people in the West itself. Now is the time when the greatest treasures of the West, which means the knowledge we call Anthroposophy, needs to be brought to human beings more than ever. That's why it's so sad that people confuse Marxism or liberalism for spiritual knowledge, so the deluded Eastern world that needs to hear truth from us is being handed stones in place of bread. At the very time when people need to find that Christ so much, people in the Christian world have turned against Him, and can preach only another anti-life philosophy of hatred, class envy, and justification for violence-- -- -- nothing, I think, that leads to inner peace or to real knowledge of the Spirit.
But both versions of Ahriman's philosophy will be defeated eventually, as neither suits the real needs of the human spirit now. Always remember, it wasn't too long ago that another version of this same anti-life philosophy practiced in the Soviet Union looked like it would take over the world and last forever, but the drive of the human spirit for freedom, took it and discarded it into the Dust Bin of History. All of these hate-filled things will go the same way as Nazism. And whenever I look at childlike Christian fundamentalists, I remember the Jehovah's Witnesses. They are childlike and can certainly be irritating, but, just as only a child saw that the Emperor had no clothes, they were the only group in Germany that recognized Hitler as the Antichrist. While representatives of the Vatican negotiated with the rising Fuerher and even Jews contributed to his campaigns (not to mention anthroposophists playing the same foolish games of moral relativism they play today), he killed off every Jehovah's Witness in Germany. Sometimes only childlike people can see the truths that sophisticated thinkers look right past; for, "Thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes."