« on: May 18, 2006, 06:48:42 AM »
This thread is a gross disappointment.
Not only is it disappointing due to Trollick perverting the opportunity and turning it into a flame-war, but it's even MORE disappointing due to juvenille level of response. I'm particularly disappointed in you, red. I not familiar with most of these posters throwing out jr.-high-school obscenities, but in the time I've been around you've always seemed pretty solid and sharp. Even half-asleep and cranky after a long day, I would still expect better that this. ALL you guys disgust me though, and illustrate why liberalism will always be a minority position in America... even when you do agree with staunch liberals, you wish you didn't.
A quick comment about the level of Muslim extremism portrayed on Al-jazeera and Western media. I don't care which culture you're in, the mainstream media is going to be worthless whores whose only concern is ratings. Conflict and contraversy == ratings. This is why U.S. news broadcasts have devolved to the point where EVERY story is accompanied by two wacko guests, neither of which really represent anyone, just yelling at each other for five minutes. This is why the impression of Christianity one would develop from watching Western media would be shaped by Jerry Falwell calling homosexuals "Satanists", and Pat Robertson referring to feminists as "lesbian practicioners of witchcraft" and openly calling for the assasination of Venezuela's president.
Religious extremism is pervasive in the media because it's contraversial and drives ratings. That doesn't mean that reality is proportional to the portrayal. The face of "Christianity" in the media will always belong to the Falwell's and Robertson's... you'll never read about Quakers, who trend liberal, or mainline Protestants, who eschew extremism, or any Roman Catholic who is talking about an issue unrelated to sex. The vast majority of Christians, and I suspect the vast majority of Muslims as well, are moderates holding reasonable views.
At the same time, I strongly doubt that the Falwell and Robertson supporters, or extremist Muslims, are an insignificant minority in the 1-2% range. They may be tiny minorities in the respective intellectual circles that drives each religion's high scholarship, but their popular support among the ignorant and poor are no doubt higher. I would guess as much as 1-in-5 within Christianity today, and I'd be surprised if it were less than that in the Muslim world due to the economic disparities of that region.