In this world, extremists (in no matter what walk of life we’re talking about) are basically the people who screw things up for everyone else. Take for instance Iranian extremists and conservative extremists. The truth is, most Iranian people don’t hate Americans and most Americans don’t hate Iranians. I worked with a woman who was from Iran. She used to tell me that, obviously, there are hardliners in Iran similar to what we have here – but most people there couldn’t care less about the United States or even Israel for that matter. The angst, the hostility and the aggressive rhetoric is mostly driven by extremists.
That’s what I find so ironic about a lot of this. When you get right down to it, Iranian extremists and these far-right religious radical Republicans are the same type of people.
- Believe society should be governed by a theocracy.
- Oppose abortion, gay and women’s rights.
- Use hostile anti-Iran/anti-U.S. rhetoric to stir up the sheep who follow them.
- Use religion to manipulate people into supporting people in power who don’t have their best interests in mind.
- Believe that their religion is the only acceptable one.
- Fiercely oppose change or progressive ideas.
- Often use aggressive pro-war rhetoric when discussing the nations or people they oppose.
- Don’t want to see the Iran deal succeed.
Obviously I could have added a few more things to that list, but I think I made my point. While their religions are different, the foundations on which both groups are built are extremely similar. Both groups are intolerant, judgmental, hostile and use religion as a tool to manipulate those who follow them.
I always find it entertaining to read about the hard-liner groups in Iran speaking out against the nuclear deal, seemingly hoping it fails, much in the same way Republicans in this country are doing the very same thing.
And the bottom line is, the reason why these two groups of people hope diplomacy fails is because they want a holy war. For these folks it isn’t really about leaving well enough alone, or “live and let live,” it’s really about religious fundamentalism and their belief that “the other side” is the enemy.
It’s all so stupid. These are supposed adults acting like spoiled children who expect everyone to do what they want. No matter how old I get, I’ll never understand why people give a damn about what religion someone else follows. Imagine how much better off this world would be if people kept their religion at church and at home.
I have so much else to deal with in my life, the last thing I care about is what someone else believes happens to them after they die. If someone wants to believe that there’s some spaghetti god that turns our souls into pasta after we die – I do not care. As long as they’re not trying to force their views on me or suppress my rights, how does it ever impact my life?
At their core, fundamentalists are small-minded, ignorant control freaks who have some warped obsession with telling everyone else what they should or shouldn’t believe. That level of fanatical idiocy often breeds anger, hostility and violence. Just look at human history and all the horrific violence that’s been carried out in the name of “a loving god.”
So, when I describe a group of people who:
- Oppose abortion.
- Reject gay rights.
- Believe women are secondary to men.
- Think government should be derived from religion.
- Are more than willing to use hostile and violent rhetoric when discussing other religions.
- Often try to force their religious views on others.
- Use religion to manipulate millions into supporting policies that aren’t in their best interests.
You have absolutely no idea if I’m talking about Iranian extremists or right-wing Christian fundamentalists – because both groups share those “values.”
At the end of the day, what do we really have? Groups of religious fanatics fighting over sets of beliefs that none of them can prove actually exist.