Dying For An Illusion Of Paradise

Bob Jones
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Wednesday - August 16, 2006
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This is a pretty spooky future, isn’t it? Low-educated, low-expectation, religious nut-cases blowing up themselves - and others - in some weird illusion of Paradise Awaiting.

But remember that in the 11th, 12th and 13th centuries, European Christian warriors went off to slaughter and be slaughtered by Middle East Muslims and fully believed they’d go to Heaven for their trouble.

In my book of beliefs, there is nothing quite as silly as the conceit that there is God or Allah up there somewhere praising human warfare in his or her name.

I concede that however odd those beliefs may be, they certainly envelope many hundreds of millions of people.

In the years after the Crusades, the Inquisitions and Mary Queen of Scots, the West seems mainly to have gone to war over territory control. Even the assassination of archduke Ferdinand was about Austria vs. Serbia more than Roman Catholicism vs. Eastern Orthodoxy.

Israel-Palestinians and Kashmir are about land for strategic defense. Sudan about oil. The glaring, obvious exception has been Northern Ireland.

Now we seem to have guys - very few gals - willing to suicide-bomb (the Irish were too smart for that) hither and thither, and, if we believe their videotapes, they think they’ll get Paradise. Actually, there are not enough collected pieces to even give them a casket funeral. You get back a belt buckle and some teeth.

That Paradise stuff is as nutty as somebody on the Christian side thinking he goes to Heaven if he blows up an abortion clinic or shoots an abortion doctor.

A true political-terrorist-bomber might perceive himself no worse than the bombardier on a B-12 or B-52 dropping a load wherever. Or that F/A-18 missile pickler.

But if we’re coming into an era where the suicide bomber sees himself on a religious mission - I’d say Islam is dealing itself out of the realm. Truth is, it has been doing that for centuries by dealing women out of the human deck of cards.

If there were some overseeing God or Allah, why would he or she consider women unworthy? And why would he or she say “go kill some people in my name and I’ll give you a pass to the Great Palace in the Sky?”

Misled Christians of the 11th, 12th and 13 centuries had to work through such idiocies.

Contemporary Islam, too, must rethink some things.

My sense is that Radical Christianity and Fundamental Islam are really cults staffed by people of more blind faith than open-eyed education.

They are very dangerous because they have a Me Only attitude.

Where’s the room for Jews, Catholics, Atheists, Animists, Anthroposophists, Buddhists, Hindus, Sikhs, Daoists, Sufis and Bahais?

You blow yourself up, you just blow yourself up - and some other people.

You don’t go to Paradise.

The forensic pathologists pick up the pieces and put slivers of you in plastic baggies marked with chain-of-evidence numbers and initials.

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