Fundamentalists all over the world are still making their presence known by being louder. There is not really more of them or anything. It's a squeaky wheel thing that is costing many nations trillions in any and all currency. Lives are be taken and I am not sure the reasons for these losses are very legitimate.
It is not even so much about the money though that is such a huge waste. It is really all about the human lives and so-called collateral damage everywhere you look. Ruined cities, closed countries, and too many wounded people in hospitals everywhere. Cameras and government spies and torture chambers all make you wonder where the humanity went. Money spent on things we blow up rather than useful text books or fire trucks.
Bombs For Jesus Sake?
Are we stuck at a point where aerial bombardment is our only viable choice?
Do we really all really need so many thermonuclear weapons in bunkers worldwide or lost somewhere out West? If it comes down to global annihilation what's the big stink about sharing one weapon rather than paying so much to stock so many different bombs?
Extreme beliefs are so in our face we find them almost fascinating to read about. That is a problem as well. Wouldn't it be better to be reading Curious George to your kids right now?
Not the Majority
Don't be fooled into thinking these fundamentalist beliefs dominate the mainstream. People believe so many things I even see extra cars parked outside the Buddhist temples these days. And many local people arrived at group meditation by public transportation back when I lived on 16th Street.
We mix yoga with temple or attend a Taoist retreat and learn Reiki. It's all about expressing what we want to, the way we want to, when we can. It can be part of a community or a very personal expression or nothing at all.
Meanwhile, Waziristan and many more regions of Pakistan have gone totally fundamentalist, no matter how moderate the original populations in some regions once were. I would move somewhere else too if they blew up my church or even my moderate mosque. Pakistanis are forced to do this more often than the international community cares to admit.
Extreme religions are settling in Texas, Toledo, and Tucson. Tehran, Tel Aviv, Gaza, and Riyadh are home to some rather hard-line sects. People are sort of trying to get along, don't get me wrong now, but I am concerned about the overall lack of real progress. Everywhere on Earth.
Peace in Some Places
People of many religions do still live peacefully in some places, without squashing their neighbors like bugs on a windshield. But all over the planet but there are still many people who really have to lay low, in so many places. Catholics finally got the right to go to church in China. Tibetans, I don't know. Christian Serbians and Muslim Kosovars, not really. There's progress, I suppose, but peace is coming at very lethargic pace.
Fundamentalist Islam is all the rage these days in several key regions around the world and no doubt in locations where government's least suspect. Their leaders thought it would be cool to take out a few skyscrapers in Manhattan, the Tube in London, Madrid at rush hour, the surf shops on Bali. A very religious way indeed to deal with your spiritual issues. Did Allah really suggest that course of action somewhere down the line?
Everyones Got A Jihad To Pick
Fundamentalism in general also seems be a bastion for certain Hindus, Jews, and Christians in the new Millennia.
The Right-wing Christian Right movement in the U.S. appears to function more like a massive corporation these days than any town church I ever saw growing up. Some churches have grown to the size of WalMart no less. Other congregations are into using welfare polygamy moms as breeders or protesting at funerals for dead soldiers.
Where is the church or temple teaching in that? Where's it say Jesus, Mary, or Joseph advocated that nonsense?
Moses would not have approved of cluster bombs.
Zionists in the Occupied Territories use all kinds of methods to run off local Palestinians, including dropping used baby diapers in drinking wells. Hamas guys take only one Tel Aviv bus ride, but loaded for bear. Israel lobs cluster bombs where kids will play one day. It all adds up to a mountain of misery and nothing much gained.
I understand these folks disagree but com'on now. Surely those desperate acts are way, way out of line, even for extremists, right?
Right-wing Hindus found it spiritual to conduct a pogrom in a Muslim part of one town in India. Of course there was some retaliation, I would not sit back and take that from anyone of any faith. Instant Karma was around long before John Lennon penned the song.
I know it is a mess to try and draw the line between radical beliefs and one man's choice of religion. Wishing for Armageddon or The Rapture has to be out there on the lunatic fringe. Right alongside packing your Toyota with explosives and taking one last joy ride though Baghdad.
Ignoring the true history of the Grand Canyon or age of most fossils, petrified wood, and mountain ranges, still ranks real low on most people's list of core spiritual beliefs.
And The Root Causes Are...
There are many other conflicts, hiding behind the thin veil of many religions, that I have not mentioned here. Examined closely they look more like land grabs, hoarding wealth from resources, misogyny, and downright murder than any belief system I have studied over the years.
Luckily the masses are content with loving thy neighbor and doing unto others. Perhaps temple, mosque or church on Friday or Saturday or Sunday. We have to work the rest of the week just have to enough extra to put in the the donation box or gas tank. Which ever comes first.
Give Peace A Chance
Isn't it about time the entire world started real peace talks, maybe some place isolated and indifferent to the issues like Malta? Or the International Space Station? Or maybe Vegas? Who cares if the talks take decades, any progress would be better than the bloody mess everyone is making in the name of religion now.