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RE: (Fwd) Re: Message from an Iranian about the WTO attack

From: Post, Ethan <>
Date: Wed, 12 Sep 2001 12:18:25 -0700
Message-ID: <>


Could you please clarify what the term "religious bigot" means when you use it and perhaps provide a few examples of what types of groups would be considered religious bigots according to your definition?

Ethan Post

>-----Original Message-----
>From: Eric D. Pierce []
>Sent: Wednesday, September 12, 2001 12:46 PM
>To: Multiple recipients of list ORACLE-L
>Subject: (Fwd) Re: Message from an Iranian about the WTO attack
>------- Forwarded message follows -------
>Date sent: Wed, 12 Sep 2001 10:46:29 -0700
>You can't be serious.
>America has supported exactly the kind of violence that we
>were subjected
>to yesterday against the palestinian people for decades.
>Figuring this stuff out is is not rocket science or mystical alchemy.
>Research the modern history of the Middle East, and you will
>find that at
>the end of WWI, the european colonial powers lied to the Turks
>and Arabs
>and specifically architected a political structure that was
>designed to
>destroy and weaken muslim civilization (not that muslims
>didn't have their
>hands full with their own internal problems) in order strengthen the
>geopolitical and economic position of european powers.
>I'm not "taking sides", those are the facts. Both "sides" in the
>Israeli/Palestinian war are full of racism and religious bigotry.
>Here is a good resource for understanding the problem:
>(see below for excerpt from Rabbi Lerner's article)
>On 12 Sep 2001, at 18:31, David Chance wrote:
>Date sent: Wed, 12 Sep 2001 18:31:25 +1200
>> I'm living in New Jersey, and at least 2 of my daughters school
>> friends appear to have lost parents in this tragedy.
>> It's not easy to explain to her how the people doing this
>> actually believe that is what God wants of them.
>> It was very trying watching the news and seeing people in other
>> countries, men, women and even children, cheering the events of
>> today.
>> Maybe thats something I never want to undersatnd.
>A World Out of Touch With Itself: ' Where the Violence Comes From
>by Rabbi Michael Lerner Editor, TIKKUN Magazine
>There is never any justification for acts of terror against innocent
>civilians--it is the quintessential act of dehumanization and not
>recognizing the sanctity of others. The violence being
>directed against
>Americans today, like the violence being directed against
>Israeli civilians
>by Palestinian terrorists, or the violence being directed against
>Palestinian civilians by the Israeli army occupying the West
>Bank and Gaza,
>seem to point to a world increasingly irrational and out of
>control. It's
>understandable why many of us will feel anger. Demagogues will try to
>direct that anger at various "target groups" (Muslims are in
>danger, though Yassir Arafat and other Islamic leaders have
>denounced these terrorist acts). The militarists will use this
>as a moment
>to call for increased defense spending at the expense of the
>needy. Right
>wing may even seek to limit civil liberties. President Bush will feel
>pressure to look "decisive" and take "strong" action--phrases
>that can be
>manipulated toward irrational responses to an irrational
>attack. To counter
>that potential of mass panic, or the manipulation of our fear
>and anger for
>narrow political ends, a well-meaning media will instead try
>to narrow our
>focus solely on the task of finding and punishing the
>perpetrators. These
>people, of course, should be caught and punished. But in some
>ways this
>exclusive focus allows us to avoid dealing with the underlying
>issues. When
>violence becomes so prevalent throughout the planet, it's too easy to
>simply talk of "deranged minds." We need to ask ourselves,
>"What is it in
>the way that we are living, organizing our societies, and
>treating each
>other that makes violence seem plausible to so many people?"
>Its true, but
>not enough, to say that the current violence is a reflection of our
>estrangement from God. More precisely, it is the way we fail
>to respond to
>each other as embodiments of the sacred. We may tell ourselves
>that the
>current violence has "nothing to do" with the way that we've
>learned to
>close our ears when told that one out of every three people on
>this planet
>does not have enough food, and that one billion are literally
>starving. We
>may reassure ourselves that the hoarding of the world's
>resources by the
>richest society in world history, and our frantic attempts to
>globalization with its attendant inequalities of wealth, has
>nothing to do
>with the resentment that others feel toward us. We may tell
>ourselves that
>the suffering of refugees and the oppressed have nothing to do
>with us--
>that that's a different story that is going on somewhere else.
>But we live
>in one world, increasingly interconnected with everyone, and
>the forces
>that lead people to feel outrage, anger and desperation
>eventually impact
>on our own daily lives. The same sense of disconnection to the
>plight of
>others that operates in the minds of many of these terrorists. Raise
>children in circumstances where no one is there to take care
>of them, or
>where they must live by begging or selling their bodies in
>put them in refugee camps and tell them that that they have
>"no right of
>return" to their homes, treat them as though they are less
>valuable and
>deserving of respect because they are part of some despised
>national or
>ethnic group, surround them with a media that extols the rich
>and makes
>everyone who is not economically successful and physically trim and
>conventionally "beautiful" feel bad about themselves, offer
>them jobs whose
>sole goal is to enrich the "bottom line" of someone else, and
>teach them
>that "looking out for number one" is the only thing anyone
>"really" cares
>about and that anyone who believes in love and social justice
>are merely
>naive idealists who are destined to always remain powerless,
>and you will
>produce a world-wide population of people feeling depressed,
>angry, and in
>various ways dysfunctional. Luckily most people don't act out
>in violent
>ways--they tend to act out more against themselves, drowning
>themselves in
>alcohol or drugs or personal despair. Others turn toward
>religions or ultra-nationalist extremism. Still others find themselves
>acting out against people that they love, acting angry or
>hurtful toward
>children or relationship partners. Most Americans will feel
>puzzled by any
>reference to this "larger picture." It seems baffling to imagine that
>somehow we are part of a world system which is slowly
>destroying the life
>support system of the planet, and quickly transferring the
>wealth of the
>world into our own pockets. We don't feel personally
>responsible when an
>American corporation runs a sweat shop in the Phillipines or crushes
>efforts of workers to organize in Singapore. We don't see ourselves
>implicated when the U.S. refuses to consider the plight of Palestinian
>refugees or uses the excuse of fighting drugs to support repression in
>Colombia or other parts of Central America. We don't even see
>the symbolism
>when terrorists attack America's military center and our trade
>talk of them as buildings, though others see them as centers
>of the forces
>that are causing the world so much pain. We have narrowed our
>own attention
>to "getting through" or "doing well" in our own personal
>lives, and who has
>time to focus on all the rest of this? Most of us are leading
>reasonable lives within the options that we have available to
>us--so why
>should others be angry at us, much less strike out against us? And the
>truth is, our anger is also understandable: the striking out
>by others in
>acts of terror against us is just as irrational as the
>world-system that it
>seeks to confront. When people have learned to de-sanctify
>each other, to
>treat each other as means to our own ends, to not feel the
>pain of those
>who are suffering, we end up creating a world in which these kinds of
>terrible acts of violence become more common. This is a world
>out of touch
>with itself, filled with people who have forgotten how to
>recognize and
>respond to the sacred in each other because we are so used to
>looking at
>others from the standpoint of what they can do for us, how we
>can use them
>toward our own ends. No one should use this as an excuse for
>these terrible
>acts of violence--the absolute quintessence of de-sanctification. I
>categorically reject any notion that violence is ever justified. It is
>always an act of de-sanctification, of not being able to see
>the divine in
>the other. . We should pray for the victims and the families
>of those who
>have been hurt or murdered in these crazy acts. Yet we should
>also pray
>that America does not return to "business as usual," but
>rather turns to a
>period of reflection, coming back into touch with our common humanity,
>asking ourselves how our institutions can best embody our
>highest values.
>We may need a global day of atonement and repentance dedicated
>to finding a
>way to turn the direction of our society at every level, a
>return to the
>most basic Biblical ideal: that every human life is sacred, that "the
>bottom line" should be the creation of a world of love and
>caring, and that
>the best way to prevent these kinds of acts is not to turn
>ourselves into a
>police state, but turn ourselves into a society in which
>social justice,
>love, and compassion are so prevalent that violence bec
>[...text truncated by web site error]
>------- End of forwarded message -------
>Please see the official ORACLE-L FAQ:
>Author: Eric D. Pierce
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Author: Post, Ethan

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Received on Wed Sep 12 2001 - 14:18:25 CDT

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