US religion and the current conflict

Ok, for the past week, many of my Christian friends have assured me that this is exactly what Revelations say is going to happen. This is not the first time that they have pointed this out. I also heard it during the Gulf War and any other circumstance that even remotely lines up with what the bible says. Then I hear our president say we are “on a crusade to stamp out evil in the world”. Crusade? Stamp out evil? Why all the religious references?

The fact is that we all know that this was a tragedy, one that is so reprehensible it is hard to find the words to describe. We should do what we can to eliminate this threat so our children can have a safer place to live. But this is sounding like a holy war from our perspective as well as theirs and I have a problem with that. This is not entirely a Christian nation. Many of us have very different beliefs and I for one, am having trouble stomaching this religious spin on the whole thing. Can’t we just keep this focused on what was done to our nation, and the assault that was made on our freedom and democracy. I understand that Bush is a Christian and that is fine, but it seems a very important line, church and state, is being blurred in the process. I think mentioning that “we should all pray” in a presidential address is disturbing. There is no entity that I pray to, and that is supposed to be ok in this country. Besides, I think the victims of this attack need a lot more than prayer to get through this. They need assistance and support. I won’t even justify Falwell’s remarks in this post. They were disgusting.

  Don't get me wrong, I want justice. I want paybacks, hell, I'm not even opposed to paybacks with a vengeance. I wouldn't mind seeing a very large crater where Bin Laden used to reside. But a new Crusades? No thanks.

Anytime anyone says “This shows that the world is about to end and Jesus is coming back”, I’m reminded of Jesus saying he will return like a thief in the night. No one will know the time or day of his return. Anyone who claims to have “solved” the riddle of when he will return is in essence saying that he or she is smarter than Jesus. :smiley:

While it may have been an error to say that the US will go on a crusade against terrorism, crusade the word is not like Crusades the events. It’s semantics, and a rather silly reason for critics to jump in saying it’s a fight against Islam (or some BS like that).

As for the Revelations…well, it doesn’t say this will happen. It’s a bunch of very general, symbolic descriptions of events that could really mean ANYTHING that someone wanted to interpret it to be.

“Oh my Lord, Bill Clinto got a blowjob, which means there is much wailing and gnashing of teeth, and Bill Gates is the great evil that will take over the world…ARMAGEDDON IS NEAR!!” :wink:

It’s not all that silly to the people who are actually convinced that the US does intend a war against Islam.

Just because some people want to believe a silly notion does not make that notion any less silly, but rather makes those people silly.

(Disclaimer: This is aimed at people who choose to believe this even know all the facts)

:shrug: It’s not worth going into.

It may very well be semantics to us but how that word or statement is perceived by other parts of the world may be another story. I just think that bringing religion into this conflict on our part, makes it a far more dangerous undertaking. How our actions and ideals are perceived will greatly influence our support from many nations.

Watch the Front Line episode on the Apocalypse sometime.

Even the dead sea scrolls contained Apocalyptic passages. The Christians have been predicting the end of the world ever since the destruction of the first temple in Jerusalem. It seems to be an ingrained function of most fundamentalist Christian thought. I suppose it allows them to feel that sense of urgency the rest of us find so annoying.

As to a “New Crusades”, isn’t that just the exact same type of intolerant fundamentalist drivel that the Islamic splinter groups are spewing? It’s like arguing with a moron, most people won’t be able to tell the difference.

OK, but it’s equally silly to use rhetoric that is only going to inflame the passions of those involved. If you’re trying to impress upon an African American that you’re not bigoted, it’s generally accepted that one does not call him a nigger. Just as one who is trying to convince moderates among the Islamic faith that this isn’t a war against all Muslims shouldn’t talk about going on a “crusade.”
(Come on, Andros, don’t give up yet.)

You’re right, the word “crusade” shouldn’t have been used. I know it isn’t the same thing as “the Crusades”, but that’s what many Muslims would think of when they hear the word. And I think that this could reasonably have been foreseen. But it’s a forgiveable oversight…

Speaking of semantics and words which should never be used in the same sentance, I nominate:

I’m glad Doctor Jackson picked that up! :smiley:

Except Bush said that it’s a “crusade against terrorism”. That does not equate to “Crusade against Islam…again”.

People make way to much of a fucking fuss over a single damn word.

Like we made such a fucking big deal over the word jihad? Or holocaust? Or lynching?

Some words are loaded. For Muslims, crusades is a loaded word. Given the circumstances, it is a word to be avoided.

And I live in the US and have talked to my neighbors. I am unconvinced that some of us do not intend to fight a war against Islam and not terrorists. Is it surprising that Muslims feel the same way. There have been over 500 attacks against Arab Americans since September 11th. Mosques have felt a need to set up special security.

Remember that much of the Muslims of the world don’t speak English. They have to depend on having a word like crusade translated for them. Do you want to depend on the Islamic press translating it with the correct nuance? Like we have translated jihad? There are a hell of a lot of Muslims out there, I’d rather not have them have crusade translated as “Holy War against Islam” for them

You missed everything I’ve posted in this thread. I’ve said that “crusade” shouldn’t have been said because of semantics. I should have added translation problems as well, but oh well.

All I’m saying is that people yelling, screaming, and bitching about saying “crusade against terrorism” (not Islam).

You know, the only comparable word in there is holocaust. Holocaust and crusade are both just normal words, both of which that are named after those words. Loaded words or not, people still need to actually try to realize that those words can still be used without referring to either of the events that have the same name as the word.

Shit, I knew I would do this…

This should read:

“All I’m saying is that people yelling, screaming, and bitching about saying “crusade against terrorism” (not Islam) are making too big of a deal about the word crusade, and take it out of context to sound like Bush means Holy War.”

and this:

“Holocaust and crusade are both just normal words, both of which have events that are named after those words.”

AFAIK, as a Christian and an American, the first person to throw out the loaded word “crusade” was bin Laden, who did it yesterday in what struck me as a pretty transparent ploy to inflame Muslim Pakistanis.

That said, I think the OP’er needs to find some smarter and/or more moderate Christian friends.

I think I heard George W. Bush say it a while ago. I don’t think it’s a big deal and I don’t think anyone who takes offence is justified in doing so, but in hindsight (and we all know hindsight is 20/20) I think it would have been better not to use the word, just to avoid misinterpretation. I don’t think that’s unreasonable; in fact I think that if anyone on George W. Bush’s team of speech-writers had thought of this they probably would have used a different word.

Usama bin Laden, of course, used it on purpose, knowing its potential effect. But that kind of reinforces my belief that George W. Bush wouldn’t have used it if he had thought of the likely misinterpretation.

But of course if one could think of everything, all this never would have happened.

Actually, I think it has most in common with the word jihad. An Arabian friend assures me that the common meaning is “struggle” but you seldom see it translated that way in the US press - you see the less common usage “holy war.”

Or Krushchev’s “we will bury you.” Which probably didn’t mean he was going to kill us all, but was most often interpreted that way by the American people, helping fuel years and years of cold war.

No, the word “crusade” was not used yesterday by Bin Laden for the first time. It was in Bush’s speech. I also just saw on CNN that the white house apologized today for the use of the word in that speech, saying it was poor judgement considering the inflammitory nature of the word to Muslims.

Also, not to offend but I think I’ll keep my current Christian friends as they are all good people and I think the world of them. I don’t think their intelligence is the issue, nor how moderate they are. Some are very moderate, some are not. Are you saying that the “smart” Christians interpret it correctly but others do not? That seems a bit arrogant but typical.

MUSICGUY, I’d bet dollars to donuts that none of your “moderate” Christian friends are spending a lot of time talking about the End Days and Armageddon and how this is all playing out just like it says in Revelations! Moderate Christians don’t spend a lot of time or energy on apocalyptic predictions. If your moderate Christain friends do talk about how the modern world is lining up with Revalations, then you and I probably have a different definition of the word “moderate.”

To clarify my other point: I understood Bush to be using the term “crusade” in in its generic, non-relgious sense – a crusade on poverty, a crusade on drugs, a crusade on terrorism. If he then realized that Muslims take the term “crusade” to inevitably imply a religious crudade, he apologized. Bin Laden, OTOH, clearly and intentionally mischaracterized the Western “war on terrorism” as a relgious crusade, for reasons that IMO remain obvious – to inflame Muslim Pakistanis.

The bottom line for me is that I find the premise “this is sounding like a holy war from our perspective” as well as theirs to be ridiculous. To the extent your Christian friends leave with you the impression that Christians consider this to be a holy war, or a relgious war, or an apocalyptic war, they come across IMO as neither moderate nor smart. And you should at least recognize that it is not the opinion or belief of many Christians, such as myself, who, while never claiming to be smart, nevertheless do feel they are moderate.