same fanatics, different costumes

I’d like your feedback on this opinion piece from the LA Times by former “Time” Middle East correspondent William Thatcher Dowell. I think it’s one of the best pieces I’ve read on American’s religious right, and the things they have in common with Muslim extremists, and I’m curious to know if you agree. Here’s a clip:

The current debate (over the Ten Commandments statues), of course, has little to do with genuine religion. What it is really about is an effort to assert a cultural point of view. It is part of a reaction against social change, an American counter-reformation of sorts against the way our society has been evolving. Those pushing to blur the boundaries between church and state feel that they are losing out — much as, in the Middle East, Islamic fundamentalists fear they are losing out to “Western values.”

The reactions are remarkably similar. In the Arab Middle East and Iran, the response is an insistence on the establishment of Islamic law as the basis for political life; in the United States, school districts assert religious over scientific theory in biology class, tax dollars are going to the faith-based, and the Ten Commandments are a putative founding document.

In fact, George W. Bush may now find himself in the same kind of trap that ensnared Saudi Arabia’s founder, King Abdulaziz ibn Saud. To gain political support, Saud mobilized the fanatical, ultrareligious Wahhabi movement — the movement that is spiritually at the core of Al Qaeda. Once the bargain was done, the Saudi royal family repeatedly found itself held political hostage to an extremist, barely controllable movement populated by radical ideologues. The evangelical movement in the U.S. nudged the president back into the White House, and Bush must now try to pay off the political bill for its support.

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  1. chris
    Posted March 9, 2005 at 9:16 pm | Permalink

    Who is the person that identifies as a Christian of any degree that does not support the increase in the minimum wage?

    Compassionate Conservatism=Christian Capitalism


  2. JF
    Posted March 9, 2005 at 9:28 pm | Permalink

    So why do we need a minimum wage at all? Just would like to hear how you see it. Nothing in the Constitution permits or requires the government to involve itself between an employer and employee as far as I know. The salary or wages should be agreed upon between the two parties involved and not the government. I believe that the marketplace should dictate what someone should make not the government.

  3. chris
    Posted March 9, 2005 at 9:39 pm | Permalink

    I am my brothers’ keeper. Karma.

    Dude, where do you live? I don’t know, ask, Elliot Spitzer, read the definition of exploitation. Have you never been screwed reg. labor? Have you never seen someone you care about being screwed. Seen a Jonathan Sayles movie?

    Have you ever seen anybody literally exploited and not felt empathy…sympathy?

    I could list the exploitations but do I really need to?

    Also, I did not want to comment about racist hiring practices in America. You know what I JUST CAN’T…because YOU will NEVER know.

  4. Posted March 11, 2005 at 11:22 am | Permalink

    if Mark Maynard fought Jeff Gannon who would win:

  5. Ken
    Posted March 11, 2005 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

    Uh-oh! I don’t think the religeous right is gonna like the outcome of Christianity vs. Islam.

  6. mark
    Posted March 12, 2005 at 12:51 am | Permalink


  7. mark
    Posted March 12, 2005 at 12:53 am | Permalink

    And Reality just beats Faith by a few jabs.

  8. Ken
    Posted March 12, 2005 at 1:12 am | Permalink

    The battle between Mark vs. His #1 troll doesn’t fare so well. It is probably because of the souls of all those dead fetuses festering in Limbo.

  9. mark
    Posted March 12, 2005 at 1:19 am | Permalink

    But look what happens when you enter

  10. Ken
    Posted March 12, 2005 at 1:27 am | Permalink

    I don’t get how you get more hits when you are fighting a current porn star as opposed to an ex-baseball player.

  11. mark
    Posted March 12, 2005 at 1:30 am | Permalink

    I don’t have to bring my a-game when I’m fighting washed-up ball players.

  12. Ken
    Posted March 12, 2005 at 1:39 am | Permalink

    Point well taken. If it makes you feel better, you TOTALLY kick his ass when you fight him when he’s wielding salad tongs.

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