The Internet is flooded with emotional reactions to the program, including criticisms that Amanpour did not fully cover the religious history behind the fundamentalist nutbars* interviewed. The program did not claim to be a history of religion, so this criticism is irrelevant.
*Yes, I do mean nutbars in the sense of their not being emotionally stable and of their displaying an antisocial cognitive disorder. Militant fundamentalists are individuals who decry religiopolitical actions in one breath then justify greater atrocities in the next. Obviously, these hate-filled control-freaks decry acts against their religiopolitical position while self-justifying any act that they deem necessary to promote their selfish, indoctrinated religiopolitical position.
Rather than being a history of religious thought, "God's Warriors" is an examination of the fervent religiopolitical activites of fundamentalists from each of the three major J-C-I religions. Call Him Yahweh, God, or Allah, the fictional deity is the same deity for all the religions. Let's call Him "Yagoal" to indicate that there is ONLY ONE common J-C-I deity. One Father to Unite Us All. Except, of course, that human nature is more inclined to the divisive.
So, with a single, identical Yagoal, only the T-B-K books and the interpretive trappings differ. This sectarian nonsense is the cause of so much religious strife.
٭ I watched the first segment (Jewish fundamentalists, Conservative Zionists in Israel) with diminishing hope that the region will find peace. The battle is not so much over ideology as it is over which ideological group has control over lands and structures revered as Holy by virtue of the ideology. For the Palestinians it is a question of land from which they have been recently displaced by UN votes, by armed conflict, and by the zionist version of squatters rights. For the Jews, the book that Jews wrote (T) promises them ownership of land that has long been in the possession of others.
The zealot who claimed that Yagoal wants Jews to worship in areas that are now confined to Muslims did not seem to have wondered why, if Yagoal wanted this so much, Yagoal did not make an appearance to settle the matter. If Yagoal was interested enough to dictate a book (T), and then sent his Son to dictate a revision (B), and then sent another prophet to dictate another revision (K), then why is Yagoal showing so little interest in the current disputes? Why has Yagoal not cared about his Special Creation for the last 1,400 years? The answer is obvious to anyone who cares to think logically, but the entire series demonstrated that religious fundamentalism and logic very definitely do not mix.
ر I watched the militant Islamic fundamentalist segment with a mixture of disgust at worldviews that have regressed so far since the flowering of Islam and with concern for moderate Muslims, for Muslim women, and for the future of civilization in the face of such passionate desire for oppressive regression.
How could I respect a mother who was delighted that her son was a suicide bomber and murderer? Does she have Yagoal's personal assurance that her son is really in Paradise as reward for murderous deeds for which most religions threaten Eternal Damnation? Her son, in reality, is simply dead.
He threw away his life and the lives of others in the mistaken belief that he was not throwing away the only life that he will ever have in exchange for nothingness. He, Islamic puritan though he might claim to be, expected to be rewarded for his crime with ownership of some mythical number of virgins, presumably without veils etcetera. This is what comes of sexual repression! Muslims might despise American sexual freedom, but their notion of Paradise necessarily includes licence for sexual license.
Of course, deities do not actually exist, but even if Yagoal did exist, why would this Father want his children killing one another over misinterpretations of his edicts? Were the 10 Commandments just a first draft, and Yagoal has changed his mind in the interests of furthering conflict? Again, the answer is obvious, neither Yahweh, God, Allah, or Yagoal actually exist, so there is no deity Who will evince the least interest in the outcome of these bloody struggles.
Scientific knowledge has provided us with ample, internally consistent understanding of the world and our place in it. It is just that those who believe fervently in Yagoal and the man-invented Yagoal literature without any empirical, logical basis for that belief. Further, they refuse to believe in reality because they are personally empty and fear-ridden without external emotional props.
Despite all their tear-stained fervor and emotional declarations concerning the joy that obsessive belief in Yagoal has given them, the lives and psyche of all the fundamentalists appear to be in danger of complete collapse without crowd-promulgated mysterical** rituals and compulsive prayer.
Americans, of course, don't have to worry about fighting over ownership of the land in which they live. They stole that land from the Native Americans over an extended period of trickery, battles, massacres, imprisonments, forced marches and treaties. As for Holy Sites, only the Mormons are so daft as to believe that Jesus actually made a side-trip to America.
† Religious Right [sick] Fistian Americans crow about the supremacy of American democracy on the one hand and decry its political and legislative advances on the other. With sublime ignorance of the actual sociological mechanisms in operation, conservative religious bigots blame all that goes wrong in their society on any group that holds views that do not fit their own narrow, indoctrinated, hate-filled worldview. These bigots are not content to live moral lives in which they personally practice their own values, they wish to impose their rigid, punitive values on the entire society by subverting the political system.
In the final analysis, Amanpour did not need to decry the messages proclaimed by whatever fundamentalist platform. To any viewer with a logical turn of mind who values peace, justice, emotional health, social values, truth, education, or compassion, the fundamentalists damned themselves and their mysterical messages. Six hours of listening to fundamentalist obsessives should be enough to convince any rational person that theocracies present a threat to the wellbeing of all concerned, including (kaboom) the religiously obsessed themselves.
Obviously, the mysterically deluded viewer might deplore that fundamentalism associated with a different religious sect or denomination and would lack the capacity to see the anti-social component of his or her delirium of choice. Falwellists might consider themselves part of the "Moral Majority", but they are moralistic rather than moral, and they are, fortunately, still in the minority.
J-C-I = Judeo-Christian-Islamic
T-B-K = Torah-Bible-Koran
Y-G-A= Yahweh-God-Allah = Yagoal
Fundamentalism is a belief in absolute religious authority and the accompanying demand that this religious authority be legally enforced. Often, fundamentalism involves the willingness to do battle for one's faith. Fundamentalists make up only one part of any religion's followers, who usually fall along a wide spectrum of different interpretations, values and beliefs.
† Fistians = Fundamentalist Christians
** mysteria, mysterical = mystical (as in magic-thinking), masses (as in mob-mentality), combined with emotional hysteria. This is the pump-up-the-devotion-to-shared-prejudices that religi-evangelists employ to overcome the last vestiges of reason in rationality-deficient audiences.
"I think that Christiane gave the religious fundamentalists rope and they hanged
any justification for religious zealotry."
å Battle to Regress
Sites Elsewhere : God's Mysterical Warriors . God's Dupes . Links to video highlights .
Christiane AmanpourGod's Warriors