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Extremists: Nutjobs or Smoke Detectors?


Are religious extremists (think WBC or something like them) a lone group of kooky folk that should be disregarded in the larger picture of things? Or are they just representing the most extreme form of beliefs that are common within the larger faith picture and should be seen a sign of something going wrong in a faith (a "where there's smoke, there's fire" sort of thing)? Or is it a bit of both?

And what do you think other members of their faith community should be doing about these groups (regardless of your opinion on the above)?

Answer Question
 
thalassa

Asked by thalassa at 7:56 AM on May. 6, 2012 in Religious Debate

Level 21 (12,044 Credits)
Answers (13)
  • I would dare to say that Westboro's message is not one quietly shared by most people.
    Westboro is not part of a faith community, they are a cult of their own
    adnilm

    Answer by adnilm at 9:06 AM on May. 6, 2012

  • Nutjobs

    Sharon
    momto2boys973

    Answer by momto2boys973 at 9:22 AM on May. 6, 2012

  • It could be because of were I live, but there those who secretly agree with some of what they say. You can tell by the little comments that will slip out every once in while. They just don't agree with the extreme views, and the way they go about expressing them.
    daps

    Answer by daps at 9:34 AM on May. 6, 2012

  • Depends. Extremist nutjobs in isolated family groups are just isolated nutjobs. When tehy start gaining numbers it becomes a smoke signal of a religion of denomination gone terribly terribly wrong and we should be warry because nutjob groups in large numbers can cause a LOT of harm.
    KristiS11384

    Answer by KristiS11384 at 11:03 AM on May. 6, 2012

  • It's easy to compartmentalize the WBC as nutjobs because they are a single unit that goes by a single name, and one which, fortunately, some of their adult children are starting to escape as they get old enough to understand what's going on.


    The American Family Association is a hate group which preaches the same message on a different format. It has several hundred thousand members and owns radio stations around the country with which they preach that message to the masses.


    There are over 50,000 members of Christian Identity groups, which preach only "white people" are children of Israel, and actual genetic Jews are evil (along with blacks, hispanics, Asians, non-Chrsitians, etc). -cont'd


    NotPanicking

    Answer by NotPanicking at 12:37 PM on May. 6, 2012

  • One million moms is another WBC style hate group, which thankfully has nowhere near 1 million members. It was around 30k when facebook deleted them as a hate group. They have their own website now, but it sets off my virus warnings, so find it at your own risk. They get national media attention every time they threaten to boycott a company which upholds first amendment rights or supports gay rights.

    Focus on the Family isn't as extreme as WBC or 1 million moms, but still preaches the same message. They've been caught altering scientific data in their quest to stamp out gay rights. The founder also writes "parenting" books which teach parents to basically mentally abuse their children into being straight (pretending to be straight), because the "worst" thing a child can grow up to be is gay.

    And these are just a handful of them. It's not one single isolated group. It's a national movement.
    NotPanicking

    Answer by NotPanicking at 12:44 PM on May. 6, 2012

  • It's not one single isolated group. It's a national movement.


    And this is when it gets scary and is a BIG smoke signal of a religion gone wrong!
    KristiS11384

    Answer by KristiS11384 at 12:45 PM on May. 6, 2012

  • because nutjob groups in large numbers can cause a LOT of harm.


    Just ask any American muslim about their feelings about 9-11.  Islam isn't dangerous because of its peace-loving followers.  It's dangerous because of the nutjobs in charge of islam, who fly planes into buildings, who bomb the shit out of their own people, and then quietly go home to their families and nosh on a bag of American-made cheetos.

    witchqueen

    Answer by witchqueen at 1:57 PM on May. 6, 2012

  • We should be actively working to see that the whole groups right to free speech is taken away.     wink mini

    mustbeGRACE

    Answer by mustbeGRACE at 3:27 PM on May. 6, 2012

  • IMO, its a bit of both. I see WBC and other groups like them indicative of issues in the wider faith group that kooks find it easy to latch onto and run with.

    Since I used them in my original question, I'll keep singling them out, but I probably could have used abortion clinic bombers or something. I'm not sure how someone can decry a group like the WBC simply as nutjobs when they share some of the same stances as mainstream conservative Christian organizations on topics like homosexuality or abortion, simply because they take it one step further as a political statement.The WBC does religion with Jesus and the Bible which technically makes them part of the Christian umbrella. Even if lots of other Christians don't agree with their methodology and would decry them, I know plenty of Christians that are in seeming agreement with them on points such as their radical rejection of homosexuality or abortion.

    thalassa

    Comment by thalassa (original poster) at 3:35 PM on May. 6, 2012

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