Nick Berg: A Case Study In Fundamentalism

Came across a blog post concerning the Nick Berg beheading video (link no longer works) and snatched this little “gem” of a quote from it.

QUOTE: “Fanatic fundamentalism in any form is bad, mmm’kayyy?”

My response:

“So you’re saying that nothing on this earth is worth dying for. Our soldiers are fanatic fundamentalists… fighting for the fundamental principles of freedom, liberty, etc. American Revolutionaries were fighting for the fundamental principles of freedom, liberty, etc. I think what you’re saying is that you just don’t think what they consider worthy of dying for is what you consider worthy of dying for.

And it’s ironic because you’re appalled at this beheading because you’ve been raised with the Judeo-Christian ethic of “thou shalt not kill”. There have been times and places where this is considered appropriate behavior. Just not here in clean, sterile, pick-a-daisy USA.

Imagine that. Living in an age where the only appropriate behavior is believing strongly in nothing, where mediocrity is the banner-cry of the civilized.”

See the issue with Nick Berg is not Muslims doing horrible things to promote their faith. To them, this was a completely justifiable act in the name of Allah. At the base of this gory expression of zeal is a misplaced trust, a unfounded belief that Allah will reward their militant service for the Islamic religion. The reason these men were wrong was not essentially because of the means they used to accomplish an end, but the end itself. The end is almost always at the heart of the matter.

You may object, saying that a pragmatic would have a worthy end and questionable means, but I suggest that the end is wrapped up in the means. A woman who steals money from her company to help feed his family has more problems than just a hungry family. A man who throws his child down the stairs for talking back has greater problems than a rebellious child. Christians who slaughtered during the time of the Crusades might have done so with a noble end, but certainly not in a way condoned by Scripture. The end is never distinct from the means of obtaining that end, and those who say otherwise have an impure goal in mind.

So how do we address radical fundamentalism? Embrace it. Know the truth about love and holiness and be fanatical about it. This is the only way to be truly free. None of this pandering mediocrity meant to keep everyone comfortable.

(Some of you are afraid of what this post implies, but rest assured that it is because you do not know the truth about love and holiness.)