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2.15.2020

"The radical Christian Right calls for exclusion, cruelty and intolerance in the name of God. Its members do not commit evil for evil's sake. They commit evil to make a better world. To attain this better world, they believe, some must suffer and be silenced, and at the end of time all those who oppose them must be destroyed. The worst suffering in human history has been carried out by those who preach such grand, utopian visions, those who seek...

"The radical Christian Right calls for exclusion, cruelty and intolerance in the name of God. Its members do not commit evil for evil's sake. They commit evil to make a better world. To attain this better world, they believe, some must suffer and be silenced, and at the end of time all those who oppose them must be destroyed. The worst suffering in human history has been carried out by those who preach such grand, utopian visions, those who seek to... implant by force their narrow, particular version of goodness. This is true for all doctrines of personal salvation, from Christianity to
ethnic nationalism to communism to fascism. Dreams of a universal good create hells of persecution, suffering and slaughter. No human being could ever be virtuous enough to attain such dreams, and the Earth has swallowed millions of hap· less victims in the vain pursuit of a new heaven and a new Earth. Ironically, it is idealism that leads radical fundamentalists to strip human beings of their dignity and their sanctity and tum them into abstractions. Yet it is only by holding on to the sanctity of each individual, each human life, only by placing our faith in tiny, unheroic acts of compassion and kindness, that we survive as a community and as individual human beings. These small acts of kindness are deeply feared and subversive to these idealists, as the Russian novelist Vasily Grossman wrote in Life and Fate.

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