A couple of quotes from Beyond Fundamentalism: Confronting Religious Extremism in the Age of Globalization by Reza Aslan which I introduced yesterday.
How true does this seem to you?
"'The Crusader spirit runs in the blood of all Westerners.'" -- quoting Sayyid Qutb, "the twentieth century's most influential Islamist thinker" (pg. 63)
What are the implications of thinking of God this way? Do you imagine God this way as well?
"God, as conceived of in the ancient mind, was not a passive force in war but an active soldier. Central to biblical ideas about cosmic war was the belief that it is not human beings who fight on behalf of God, but rather God who fights on behalf of human beings. Sometimes God is the only warrior on the battlefield. When the Babylonians conquered Mesopotamia, they did so not in the name of their king but in the name of their god,Marduk, who was believed to have sanctioned, initiated, and commanded each battle. The same holds true for the Egyptians and their god Amun-Re; the Assyrians and their god, Ashur; the Canaanites and their god, Baal; and most especially, the Israelites and their god, Yahweh." (pg. 67)
Other thoughts, questions or observations? Any lessons to be learned? Morals to the stories?