An interesting concept was introduced to me today. Its a mystery to me why its never been introduced or, if it has, why I never grasped it. I was watching a documentary film about the Kansas board of education and its hearings in 1999 to decide the definition of science for its students and subsequently to teach microevolution and big bang science. One of the witnesses called to the stand during the hearing was a man from Istanbul, Turkey. He was a Muslim and an educated man, though I'm not aware of his exhaustive background.
For years all I hear out of Muslim criticisms of the US revolve around us not being "spiritual enough" and our imperialistic, capitalist brainwashing being the root of all evil in the world. Of course, all I hear is nonsense. That doesnt make any sense to me, nor should it.
On the other side of that, all I've ever said about Islam are things ranging from criticisms of the Quaran and Mohammad to attributing the physical wars on the US to the idea that Muslims hate our Constitution and our way of life, being a product of a clash of civilizations. If thats all it was, then yes, it is a manner of black and white and they are wrong.
What this man said was phrased a way in which I had never heard it before. He said something along the lines of the idea that Muslims are opposed not to a Christian way of life, our constitution, or our ideals of liberty. He said America has fundamentally changed in the past 50 years in such a way that is clearly problematic to humanity. He made the example of watching American TV in the 80's, where a popular show in Turkey was "The Little House on the Prairie." He then drew a comparison to TV today, which is comprised of reality shows and vulgar humor, and made a black and white distinction I began to see clearly.
Muslims hate the same thing I hate: the pungent disease rotting this nation from the inside-out called secular humanism. It comes in flavors like Atheism, Scientific Naturalism, Materialism, and Socialism. And Christians in this country are far from exempt from the infections it causes. As a society, we have been morally decaying, and I dont mean that in the way that fundamentalists often site it as an argument against gay marriage legislation. I mean that in the way of "open your eyes and see the country we live in." The norm for students is getting drunk every weekend. Boys and girls are deriving their self worth from each other, usually in the form of hooking up as often as possible. Drugs are everywhere, self injury and depression are commonplace. And I'm not gonna get all high and mighty conservative style and say that you dont have the right to do that, and I joined the US Army to fight for you to have those rights, but that doesnt mean the complaints arent legitimate. Its all about ourselves. How much money? How much status? How good does it feel? Whats in it for me? I love the free market and I love democracy, but this nation clearly has issues that go much deeper than simple problems of governance.
It makes me sad to think about all this and really analyze the problems in this country, but the Muslims hit the nail on the head. Now I still have major problems with Mohammad and the Quaran and I am not ignorant of the fact that many fundamentalists Muslims have decided to use abhorrent measures to attack us, but I want to thank my fellow believers in God for your steadfast stand against this destructive worldview and for holding true to real faith and morality and I'm sorry that I have judged you so harshly when we have much in common.