.................Actually it is neither of those things................ it's racism..... plain and simple....
....I find the current state of religious extremism in all faiths to be somewhat.......... well..... hilarious...
The reason?.................. it is all bullshit.
That's right - it is one big fat lie. A big fat lie covering up the real thing.
Racism & Selfishness.
At the end of the day, people are inherently stupid. Really. There is a saying of Judge Judith Sheindlin's that I love.... "Go outside and touch every third person you see and you are touching an idiot"- The sad part of it - is that it is true.
As a fan of Star Trek I am a huge fan of Gene Roddenberry's vision for humanity (stick with me I am going somewhere with this). Mr Roddenberry believed that eventually humanity would move beyond the one human trait that stops our species from achieving a world without hunger, poverty, war or homelessness .................................. selfishness.
Unfortunately, Gene was about 600 years ahead of his time and the most radical idea he had to contend with was Communism.
Now - we have Islamic Extremists, Jewish Hardliners, Christian Maniacs, Nationalist Morons, Ant-Government Militias ........ and they all have one thing in common and it has nothing to do with G-d.
They are all racists who hide their inherent ugliness behind the beauty that is traditional religion (the perverted texts of Islamic Jihadists does not count).
Ultimately, these people simply hate because someone is different - kind of like the Right Wing arm of the Republicans and other conservative political parties. Oh hang on - are there any centrist conservatives LEFT anywhere?? I'm not so sure there are.
You just have to look at the Tea Baggers in the USA. The Liberal Coalition in Australia. The Saudi Government (actively funding terrorism btw but the US turns a blind eye), and the new Nationalist movements on the European continent.
How proud we should be of ourselves.
We have - since 9/11 - polished hate until it has begun to glow so bright that we can't see anything else.
We can't see the damage it causes because we only see the Mexican family next door that was able to buy a better car than ours and they could ONLY have done it "by stealing our jobs and wages".
We can't see how obstructionist our new "security oriented" view is when it comes to those pesky Muslims because the people across the road look nice but how do *I* know she doesn't have a suicide bomb strapped-up and hidden underneath that robe??
We can't see the pain that is caused by not allowing same sex partners to marry because we are too intent on looking at our pastor who is telling us that heterosexuality will cease to exist if we allow those "bestiality loving, immoral practicising" homo's to marry.
We refuse to see the long term damage that is being done to international relations because "we know that those damn Palestinians are ALL Hammas loving terrorists that really want to take out ALL westerners". There couldn't possibly be any moderates in the territory as we know they really are LESS evolved than us whiteys in America and Australia.
At the end of the day - the vision of a world at peace with itself will never happen until we get over our personal and societal selfishness - a selfishness fueled in part by our own racism.
Just to put things into perspective... right now..... on this day.... we have the financial ability and resources stockpiles to end the hunger and housing crisis that is present in the world.
Yup - if we chose to.... we could end hunger, homelessness and improve global health RIGHT NOW........... but we won't .......... because it would mean someone somewhere would have to give up some of their money. And people are simply too selfish and too racist to do that.