Extremists Are Everywhere. Aren’t They?


September 28, 2011

Extremism, along with its permutations, is a word tossed about with casual abandon and regularity today. It’s like all sides have read the memo dictating its use.

Muslim extremists

Right wing extremists

Extremist and extremism are good words to minimize truth. They are good words to marginalize people and issues.

Are not Muslim “extremists” actually the truest Muslims? Are they not the ones most like their founder, Mohammed?

Like the ordinary citizens who have been drawn to the Tea Party movement (energized by one spontaneous speech during a nationally televised newscast), Constitutional “extremists” are the ones who believe what the Founders and framers of the Constitution believed. That is: government should be strictly limited, and they govern by our permission.

Why is it that people who have conviction and adhere to the principles and ideas of the originators of their movements are called extremists? I think it’s because people don’t want to acknowledge the truth.

People are saying that those who believe we should live by the Constitution of these United States with its vigorously limited government, and that we should stick with the vision of the Founders, are extremists.

That’s akin to saying that people who think we should closely follow the owner’s manual for our cars are extremists.


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2 thoughts on “Extremists Are Everywhere. Aren’t They?

  1. Would you consider the West Boro Baptist people the “real” Christians because they are labelled extremists?

    • That is a very good question, and my answer is “no”. I would not do so. I don’t mean to make the point that there are never any extremists. My point was intended to be that it’s a handy word to toss around when we don’t particularly like what someone believes, or on the other hand when we want to excuse the behaviors of some. I believe that applying the term “extremism” to the murderous behaviors of some Muslims is disingenuous. If they are extreme, then so was their founder. I believe we need to recognize the nature of what’s going around the world in that realm. Mohammed would approve. They are simply following what their revered leader advocated and did.

      The US Founders would approve of the basic principles espoused by those who are commonly (and often disparagingly) called “Tea Partiers”, or worse. I believe the people who call them “extremists” simply do not like what the Founders sacrificially established for our nation. They want to see the very nature of the nation changed.

      My point: if persons are in essential agreement with the beliefs and principles of the founder of their movement or their nation, then by definition they are not extremists in that realm.

      Certainly there are extremists alive and well today. I cannot deny that. The Westboro Baptist folks are not, as far as I can see from reports I’ve read, what Jesus the Messiah taught and lived.

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