A major cause of many of the problems presently facing the West in general, and America in particular, is the misguided application of a commonly accepted practice. In the West, especially in America, the overwhelming majority of people, whatever their personal belief system, act on, and base their actions on, the concepts embodied in the (broken record time) Judeo-Christian principles on which Western civilization is based.
Even the most aggressive and outspoken atheists believe they should be allowed, under our Constitution, to practice “certain rights” that are “endowed by their Creator,” who, according to them, does not exist.
Lest this be misconstrued as simply another attack on atheists, agnostics, abortionists, same-sex marriage advocates and practitioners of same, we are reminded that all these groups vehemently express, demand and now openly practice what they consider their “unalienable rights.”
Somehow, somewhere the why and how they are free to practice these “rights” have been lost in a common misconception. Here, in a nutshell, is the problem: Almost all adherents of Western civilization observe the same basic concepts of right and wrong, so all members of these societies think others “think like I think.”
Most think (or once thought) that there were certain things that were “right” and other things were “wrong.” Western societies basically ascribed to the same basic principles; so, as a result, almost any citizen of any westernized country could visit any other westernized country and anticipate finding people who, in essence, “think like I think.” There are certain things “one just doesn’t do; it’s not civilized.”
This “they think like I think” is at the root cause of many of our existing foreign policy debacles. When our politicians and diplomats enter negotiations with non-Western diplomats and politicians, the common failing is “thinking they are thinking like I think” and “meaning what I mean.”
As a young man in the U.S. military, I had a chance to visit many Western countries and some non-Western cultures. No matter where I went in the West, the laws, rules, social customs and thought processes were essentially the same. OK, so they drive on the “wrong side of the road” in Europe, but the people observed the same etiquette and adhered to “rules of the road.” Those drivers, even on the “wrong side,” thought like I thought. Agreed, some places, like Italy, were more Catholic than Protestant, and vice versa, but except for some places like Ireland, they managed to “live and let live.”
On the other hand, I also spent several years in countries operating as Muslim or Islamic cultures, and while some surface similarities existed, the basic foundational principles and most cultural practices were not even remotely similar.
“Peace” to non-Westernized peoples does not necessarily mean the same as peace to the Westernized mind. This is evidenced by the treatment of those who disagree with the existing rulers. In the Soviet Union, for example, the ruling Communist Party was committed to “peace,” which meant virulent atheism, and strictly prohibited the teaching and practicing of any religion; violators were subject to imprisonment or death. Today, any seeming modernization of these policies is almost totally for propaganda purposes to fool the West. The basis for its success is Western thinking: “We wouldn’t do that to Christians.”
A little closer to home: An increasing number of Muslims here in the U.S. are now demanding, in certain areas, the incorporation of Shariah law into the “unalienable rights” granted by the Constitution. And many Americans, who think Muslims are just like Baptists, except they wear robes, are saying, “Why not? They think like we think, religious freedom and all.” Well, not quite.
You realize, of course, that in most Muslim-dominated countries, women are essentially slaves who can be beaten by their husbands legally (“just not too severely”) and require the testimony of at least four men to substantiate claims that they were raped?
Homosexual rights? In as many as 82 countries and/or provinces, homosexuality is strictly forbidden. Gay couples can be put to death. Well, of course, as a Baptist, you might disagree with homosexuality, but you wouldn’t do that to someone, would you? Many Muslims do!
In at least seven, and possibly as many as 11, Muslim-dominated countries, homosexuals can be publicly flogged, imprisoned (for first offense), publicly stoned to death, hanged or decapitated.
Yes, I said decapitated.
The following are countries that find homosexuality punishable by death: Mauritania, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Iran, Somalia, United Arab Emirates, Somalia, parts of Nigeria and parts of Malaysia. According to the Boroumand Foundation, there were at least 107 recorded executions in Iran related to homosexuality between 1979 and 1990.
It is a serious mistake to assume that everyone views the word “civilized” from the same perspective; after all, the Muslim roots on which Islamic civilization rests are almost as old as the Judeo-Christian origins.
Let me again point out: This is neither intended as an attack or atheists, homosexuals or Muslims nor is it intended to be critical of the Europeans who have their steering wheels on, and drive on, the “wrong” side. It is merely one man’s attempt to point out that just because someone may wear the same kind of suit, drive the same kind of car, have the same color skin or even speak the same language as me, does not mean he, she or they “think like I think.”