REAL Wellness Perspectives on Radical Islam and Christian Nationalism

REAL well being is a philosophy and life-style designed for consciously pursuing and sustaining intellectual and bodily wellness. It is targeted on 4 primary dimensions:

Reason (critical thinking);
Exuberance (that means and reason, pleasure, etc.);
Athleticism (workout and technology-based totally nutrition); and
Liberty (personal freedoms).

These four dimensions represent the acronym “R-E-A-L” in REAL well-being, and represent the focal point of competencies and practices related to this way of wondering and performing.

Radical Islam and Christian Nationalism are adverse branches of two religions. Both are incompatible with REAL well being. Radical Islam is universally understood as an existential hazard to all non-believers (infidels);

much less diagnosed is the danger of Christian Nationalism to our secular Republic in America.

Each of these extremes are discussed in turn.

Radical Islam

Ayaan Hirsi Ali wrote two influential (and controversial) books as regards to Radical Islam–“Infidel” in 2007, and “Heretic” in 2015.

I interviewed Ayaan in 2010 in Madison, Wisconsin in the course of her appearance (accompanied through a police escort charged along with her safety) on the annual Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) conference. This was 4 years after she became forced to flee Holland, as she had fled her local Somalia, for refuge in the West (NYC). It turned into an honor to engage this notable girl on a non-public degree. I recommend both books if interested in an appreciation of the toxic threats of radical Islam. The books screen what existence became like for Ayaan, and in large part remain so, for girls in theocratic Islamic nations. Both reflect the fact that a few of the primary liberties we take without any consideration, consisting of speech and worship (or now not!), freedom from need and from worry) are forbidden (particularly for girls) in Islamic countries. The existence tale Ayaan describes in Somalia mirrors the norms and traditions in Sudan, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and other Islamic states. In such international locations, dissent is unsafe and controls are each bodily and mental, the latter amounting to what Christopher Hitchens called, “thoughts-solid manacles.”

The tenets of Islam are enforced by means of male energy elites (imams, ayatollahs and theocratic officials). However, the imprinting is all-pervasive attributable to beliefs and rituals inculcated from start to maturity, and reinforced day by day through families, clans and groups. (Note the similarity of such indoctrination to the studies of kids raised in fundamentalist Christian cults, and to a lesser however nonetheless powerful diploma with the aid of almost all religions, in particular the Roman Catholicism of my early years.)

The outlook for ladies in Islamic nations is grim, and even within the West, the REAL wellness possibilities for orthodox Muslim ladies are darkish, at excellent. REAL wellness may be loved simplest when there are alternatives and choices, as well as opportunity resources of records about the nature of truth. At present, Islam is the simplest truth in Islamic theocracies, as Christianity is for most evangelicals, and as Christianity would be for every person below the rule of Christian nationalists. (More on that quickly.)

It seems improbable that Western (or different) girls conversant in freedom of choice regarding belief, dress, profession, behavior, marital accomplice etc could tolerate situations women endure in Islamic states. Most ladies and men discover it almost incomprehensible that many females in such societies have their sexual organs cut away to lessen temptations to enjoy sexuality. Such barbarisms and other grotesque practices and traditions are vividly defined in “Infidel.”

Ayaan writes that folks that declare Islam is peaceful and well suited with Western values are engaged in wishful wondering. She shows that to deal with Muslims and anticipate we are able to all just one way or the other get along is a comfort doomed to fail, because it betrays an insufficient expertise of the character of faith. Ayaan recommends that human beings turn out to be acquainted with the tenets of the Islamic religion. A nearer look at the Islamic holy e book (the Qur’an) and the written traditions of the Prophet Muhammad (Hadith) display that war in wellknown, and violence towards non-believers (infidels) mainly, are inevitable. Sadly, Islam gives uneducated, marginal real believers an idealized experience of meaning and motive that is injurious to their personal excellent pursuits and a peril to ours.

Ayaan shows that our task need to be to undermine, with the aid of education, a adverse, ruinous ideology, starting with efforts to discredit the misogyny and sexual repression endemic to the Islamic faith. She seeks nothing less than a rebellion through Muslim ladies. Liberation will not come quickly, however the slow haul to freedom and a higher high-quality of life have to be of interest to all well-being seekers who preference such values for themselves. Initiatives that mitigate the abuses and reeducate the trustworthy, however modest, may facilitate an Islamic emergence from the Dark Ages that Ayaan Hirsi Ali has defined.

Christian Nationalism

The conditions and concerns described through Ayaan approximately radical Islam foreshadowed what we now look at about Christian Nationalism in America.

Christian nationalism is a political theology that joins an extreme shape of patriotism with an ultra-conservative stress of Christianity. It fosters a claim that this usa became based as a Christian kingdom. According to the Freedom From Religion’s Andrew Seidel,

“Christian nationalism is based totally on lies and myths. It’s a permission shape that makes use of the language of go back, of getting returned to our godly roots, to justify all manner of hateful public coverage-or even attacks on our democracy… The January 6 insurrectionists believed have been combating for God’s selected one. And if God was on their facet, who might be towards them?”

Long before the upward thrust of this extremist sect, George Santayana warned about the history of Christianity in one among his essays:

“Christianity persecuted, tortured, and burned. Like a hound it tracked the very scent of heresy. It kindled wars, and nursed livid hatreds and aims. It sanctified, pretty like Mohammedanism, extermination and tyranny.”

Andrew Whitehead and Samuel Perry hint the affect and record the political energy of Christian nationalists in “Taking America Back for God: Christian Nationalism in the United States. Among the most prominent baby-kisser Christian nationalists are Mike Pompeo, Greg Abbott, Ron DeSantis, Tate Reeves, Kristi Noem, Ted Cruz, Louie Gohmert, Josh Hawley, and Marjorie Taylor Green. Please excuse if I not noted so many other deserving applicants for this dishonor; I ought to as properly have referenced the close to-entirety of elected Republican Party officials at kingdom and federal levels.

Martin Gardener ought to were some thing of a inerrant futurist when he spoke those phrases in 1998:

Bad science contributes to the constant dumbing down of our country. Crude beliefs get transmitted to political leaders and the end result is tremendous harm to society. We see this happening now inside the speedy upward thrust of the Religious Right and how it has taken over huge segments of the Republican Party.

Christian nationalism bears little resemblance to mind-your-very own-business

Christians, the nationalist fans include a flood of anti-democratic desires. Their time table includes restrictions on vote casting that render casting a poll extra tough for low profits and minority populations. In addition, Christian nationalists are anti-government, anti-vaccine and against women’s reproductive rights, homosexual marriage, delivery manipulate, embryonic stem cell studies and euthanasia. Adherents of this motion demand inclusion in their specific god thoughts at every opportunity, mainly Christian symbols and expressions of religion in colleges and authorities features. Thus, Christian nationalism is a serious risk to secular society, equality, fairness, and the rights of non-Christians.

The risk became dramatized with the aid of the Christian nationalist attack at the Nation’s Capitol on January 6, 2021. On this infamous occasion, Christian flags, apparel, songs, chants, crosses, speeches, “Jesus Saves” signs and symptoms, and “prayers for victory in Jesus’ call” have been grotesquely on show.

If Christian nationalists achieve making America a theocracy, January 6 will become a countrywide excursion.

How big is this pernicious motion? “Taking America Back for God” authors Whitehead and Perry found out when they carried out a big-scale national survey that confirmed approximately 20 percent of Americans “strongly include Christian nationalism.”

While to this point missing enthusiasm for martyrdom, suicide bombings, political assassinations and flying airplanes into homes, Christian nationalism resembles radical Islam in many respects. For example, at the same time as silent on expectations of virgins in Paradise, 65 percentage of ultra-modern evangelicals consider in the Rapture!

American ladies already have some sense of the way matters will be on this united states of america, if Christian nationalists herald an American theocracy, that is, earlier than their apocalyptic Rapture sets things right. There are many biblically-primarily based and novel-based totally debts of what the Rapture might appear to be–think, “The Republic of Gilead” as described inside the dystopian novel by means of Canadian author Margaret Atwood.

REAL Wellness

Why is spiritual extremism a well-being trouble? It’s because REAL well being prospers on reason and science, alternatives, unfastened speech, equality, tolerance for differences, and all way of private liberties and Enlightenment values we take as a right inside the West. These freedoms are not related or well suited with political Islam or Christian nationalism. Republican managed state legislations provide a brilliant lesson of what to anticipate if Christian nationalists benefit control of government. Abortion restrictions in the US are absolutely pushed by way of a non secular minority which seeks to impose its extremist worldview. The yr 2021 has been report-setting within the adoption of abortion restrictions -106 such laws were passed this yr on my own.

Self-righteousness, self-loathing and self-pity all breed the illiberal, violent approaches of Muslim and Christian extremism, distinct one from the alternative handiest in degrees.

“Infidel” and “Heretic,” and the a great deal expected Report of the U.S. House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol, are notable primers for REAL wellbeing seekers. All will enable Americans, secular and in any other case, with nicely justified issues about malevolent aberrations in those religions, to apprehend and help reforms to shield our democracy and loved freedoms.

Let us continue to be alert and paintings to do what we are able to to aid and guard a secular society where, as John F. Kennedy pledged in 1960, help for the separation of church and kingdom could be absolute.

Reason, exuberance and liberty would, past a shadow of a doubt, be lost if the American people truly believed and wanted a rustic that became “one country, beneath God.” This meaningless, mindless and fake slogan is bad enough (very horrific); the fact might be catastrophic.