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As I was flipping through some channels I decided to stop for a few minutes on the funeral service for Ronald Reagan. One of the things I heard scared me. A lot. I know it’s nothing new, but it really crystalized some of the thoughts I’d been having lately. The quote I’m referring to is:
“Winthrop (John Winthrop, the Pilgrim leader) believed that the eyes of the world would be on America because God had given us a special commission, so it was our duty to shine forth. The Winthrop message became the Reagan message.”
This sense that America has somehow been appointed by a god, plus the whole “Manifest Destiny” stuff, really freaks me out. Especially the part about being appointed by a god. Don’t people see the pattern and realize that this has been used so many times throughout history to justify all kinds of evil acts? The US government says bad things about how the some Palestinians declared a Jihad, because it’s trying to use religion. But when the US says they are appointed by a god, and then goes to war with somebody, doesn’t that imply that their god is against their enemies?
Further, it still makes me laugh (in a sad way) , when I hear Bush officials talking about the evils of Religious and Islamic Fundamentalists. There is currently a huge surge of religious fundamentalism going on right in the US. I’ve never seen the country so polarized with religious causes. However, most people don’t notice that because no one sees their own religious views as being extreme. They obviously think they’re right, because they’re following their gods will. I found an interesting article talking about how all Abhrahamic religions have a major flaw in that they can’t peacefully coexist with any other religion. It is so ingrained that they are the correct ones, that it always leads to conflict. I wish I could find this link again.
Maybe we should all become Budhists – I’ve never heard of a war in the name of Budha.
The transcript I quoted from: http://www.nytimes.com/2004/06/12/politics/12text.html?pagewanted=2&ei=5062&en=9a67a59847cb1349&ex=1087704000
Interesting article talking about this, plus how it seems similar to Germany in the 30′s: