New data from polling firm Gallup shows that out of all the religious groups in the U.S., Muslims are most likely to reject violence, followed by the non-religious atheists and agnostics.
Through interviews with 2,482 Americans, Gallup found that 78 percent of Muslims believe violence which kills civilians is never justified, whereas just 38 percent of Protestant Christians and 39 percent of Catholics agreed with that sentiment. Fifty-six percent of atheists answered similarly.
When Gallup put the question a bit more pointedly, asking if it would be justified for “an individual person or a small group of persons to target and kill civilians,” the responses were a bit more uniform. Respondents from nearly all groups were widely opposed to such tactics, with Protestants and Catholics at 71 percent against. Muslims still had the highest number opposed, at 89 percent. Seventy-six percent of atheists were also opposed.
The Gallup survey, conducted over the course of a year, was designed to measure religious and non-religious attitudes toward violence 10 years after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
(Via: Raw Story)
Give the hawks their due: terrorism is an ongoing threat to the United States. In fact, it’s likely to pose a bigger threat with every year that passes, insofar as technological advances are permitting people with meager resources to obtain ever deadlier weapons. Heaven forbid they get a nuke or a killer virus. What the hawks fail to recognize, however, is that perpetual war poses a bigger threat to the citizenry of a superpower than does terrorism. Already it is helping to bankrupt us financially, undermining our civil liberties, corroding our values, triggering abusive prosecutions, empowering the executive branch in ways that are anathema to the system of checks and balances implemented by the Founders, and causing us to degrade one another.
I really want to support the U.S. action. I do. Gaddafi is a tyrant and a nutjob. I think this rebellion has a better chance of success with the help from the U.S. and the rest of the coalition.
Here’s the ‘but.’ There are other rebellions going on. Why aren’t we helping them? The answer is that it is not in our interest. Take Bahrain. The government has met protests with violence. Bahrain is good friends with Saudi Arabia, our ally and petroleum pusher. So we won’t help out Bahrain’s people no matter how fucked they are because it isn’t in our interest.
For me this delegitimizes any claim to our actions being for moral or humanitarian good. It’s just the big U.S. doing what it always does, using the military to further its interest.
Part of me says, “Who the cares as long as it saves some peoples’ lives?” The other part says, “Acting morally when it suits you isn’t really acting morally at all.” So I don’t know. What do you think?
In my opinion, any future defense secretary who advises the president to again send a big American land army into Asia or into the Middle East or Africa should ‘have his head examined,’ as General MacArthur so delicately put it.