New Meanings Of Extremism7853435

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We hear a whole lot about how to combat extremism nowadays, perhaps like a preferred word for fundamentalism. But who is extreme; are people being labelled 'extreme' by way of a non-extreme majority? A lot of this new labelling is driven by understandable fear. Post '9/11' the world population has watched radical new movements bent on western domination. In contrast, the medieval nation-states of Europe that, five or six 100 years ago were intent on conquests to boost their world-power status, appear as toothless old lions.


• SUBVERT SOCIAL ORDER

In our context there is certainly politico-religious extremism, where radical faith fuel and foment violent political engagement. As conceived by non-extremists these radical movements are threatening to subvert the current social order in the west by radical interventions that constitute a grave threat - to ensure the term 'extremism'.

In its most elementary form radical extremism seeks territorial advance and conquest of existing political powers. Some extremists use explosives to strike widespread panic and maximum carnage. Non-extremists anxiously see these movements as threatening to overthrow their long-established and hard-won tolerant and liberal democracies.

Such threats are believed to be with foreboding as the ultimate goal is the imposition of an entire new group of social values and spiritual beliefs amounting to forced mass 'conversion'. Such goals offer no freedom to dissent as they spread fanaticism, from which dissent means death.

• RESPONSES

How western democracies are responding to these invasive extremes is significant. Responses speak much of your own strengths and vulnerabilities. Some responses take presctiption the amount of heightened national security and intelligence alerts; some involve granting greater powers to police, and strategic counter-measures to forestall the covert plans of terrorists.

One alarming feature is the place the rise of liberal humanism understands, alone terms, what it really conceives to become a wider form of extremism. I say 'alarming', because for a lot of Christians, who in earlier generations were respected for his or her patriotism, effort and social compassion, are actually feeling ostracised and stigmatised, and a few built to feel that they also get excited about extreme activities. How can this be when Christians are profoundly opposed to fanatical violence in each and every structural form?

One basic reason must not surprise us; Christ's individuals this fallen world have invariably been despised and persecuted for their beliefs, since they separated themselves from your close connection to non-Christian life-styles, excessive pleasures and entertainments. And then, Bible-centred Christians have already been censured in the past for holding such views as a penal, substitutionary take a look at Christ's death, or to his true deity, and then for their view of sin and eternal, conscious punishment of those who preferred to reject Christ. Many non-Christians use a strong aversion to such beliefs that they can consider extreme. This is no surprise; the Bible teaches how the 'word of the cross is folly to people that are perishing' (1 Corinthians 1:18). And people are fully eligible to think such beliefs are extreme if they wish.

• That is FREE?

But what takes some unexpectedly is how the right to freedom of speech and freedom of conscience to keep various faith or none; rights and freedoms that grew under the wholesome Christian influences on post-Reformation societies, are now turned against Christians and taken from their website.

So deep is irony that to communicate now against homosexuality or same-sex marriage or abortion is taken by some secularists as being socially offensive and extreme. An enormous reversal has happened in which the new secular consensus rules. Biblical morality has largely been jettisoned, but western neo-paganism is discovering it isn't any match for radicalised Islam. Once, in Christianised societies, some behaviours were marginalised since they were resistant to the word of God. It is granted that some past sanctions were extreme, however, this in no way warrants pay-back time upon contemporary Christians.

Now, the older Christianised understanding of civil and social rights and freedoms to citizens, including minority religious beliefs, are now being given new secular and post-Christian meanings, which from a Christian viewpoint, represent losing genuine rights and freedoms - witness losing directly to duration of millions of aborted infants. A brand new secular totalitarianism is stalking our western democracies, and it's also time and energy to note the profound irony that enables the "lawful" slaying of innocents by abortion on demand, in light of the legislator's need to be spared ahead of the onslaught of other kinds of radical violence!

What is quite disconcerting for Bible-centred Christians is the current degree of confusion in how their very own beliefs are becoming associated and mistaken for radical, violent religious extremists.

• REDRESS

This kind of confused association needs urgent redress by an acknowledgement that violent terrorism and anarchy represent specific types of extremism towards which appropriate counter-measures must be sustained as well as improved. But that Christ-centred Christianity is simply by no means extreme in the modern usage of this secular term. It is about time to achieve greater clarity about what constitutes extremism, lest legislators using secular sociological assumptions fail to comprehend the roots that belongs to them reactions and handle up taking measures to prohibit time-honoured freedoms and cause unwarrantable trouble to people that aren't extremists.