Fundamentalism – Aaim Austin http://aaimaustin.org/ Sun, 25 Sep 2022 07:33:48 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.3 https://aaimaustin.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/icon-5-120x120.png Fundamentalism – Aaim Austin http://aaimaustin.org/ 32 32 Who owns religious freedom? : Christian fundamentalism can hinder progress, but cannot stop it | East Bay Express https://aaimaustin.org/who-owns-religious-freedom-christian-fundamentalism-can-hinder-progress-but-cannot-stop-it-east-bay-express/ Wed, 21 Sep 2022 16:25:02 +0000 https://aaimaustin.org/who-owns-religious-freedom-christian-fundamentalism-can-hinder-progress-but-cannot-stop-it-east-bay-express/ As a keynote speaker at Notre Dame Religious Freedom Summit Conference in Rome last July, Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito said “religious freedom is under attack.” Speaking at an earlier Notre Dame event, William Barr said it was an “assault on religion…not decadence: it is organized destruction.” When Barr and Alito, Roman Catholics, say religion, […]]]>

As a keynote speaker at Notre Dame Religious Freedom Summit Conference in Rome last July, Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito said “religious freedom is under attack.”

Speaking at an earlier Notre Dame event, William Barr said it was an “assault on religion…not decadence: it is organized destruction.” When Barr and Alito, Roman Catholics, say religion, their concern is Christianity. They, along with evangelical ministers, regularly assert that their beliefs are under attack, that our modern society is decadent, and that the cause of our moral decadence is a decline in religiosity.

If this claim were valid, one would see moral decay associated with increased crime rates. But the data shows something quite different. As religious belief has declined, crime rates have also declined. And Denmark, Sweden, and other western democracies that are much more secular than the United States have much lower crime rates. The correlation may be coincidental, but statistics imply that crime and religious belief go hand in hand.

Few people would think that, but Freakonomics economists Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner argue for an indirect relationship. They show that the drop in the crime rate is a consequence of Roe v. Wade, which reduced the number of unwanted children who would have been more likely to wander off. Levitt and Dubner’s conclusion is controversial, but if correct, future generations will see an increase in crime, due to the Christian Crusade, which overthrew Roe.

But an even more compelling question is who is attacking Christianity? While neither Barr nor Alito provide an answer, hate crime statistics offer some insight. Fifty-eight percent of all hate crime victims were targeted due to racial bias, 20.1% due to bias against religion, and 16.7% due to gender discrimination. sexual orientation.

In the religion category, prejudice against Jews was highest at 60%, followed by anti-Muslims at 13%. Christian groups, including Catholics, Protestants and other Christians, make up 9%. Thus, of all hate crimes in America, crimes against Christians account for less than 2%. This is serious business, but while Jews are almost seven times more likely to be victims of hate crimes, it is Christians who complain. Shakespeare would think that “Christians protest too much”.

Yet, as Christians present themselves as victims, they have gradually gained power and influence. Six of the nine presiding justices of the Supreme Court are Christians. There was also a majority of Christian fundamentalists in the Trump administration: Secretary of Education Betsey DeVos, Attorney General Bill Barr, Vice President Mike Pence, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo , EPA Chief Scott Pruitt and Housing Secretary Ben Carson…the list goes on. Christians have never been more influential than they were in the Trump administration just two years ago. And Christians still dominate the Republican Party. Christianity is certainly not in immediate danger.

On the other hand, the number of people who identify as Christians is declining. Christianity, in particular fundamentalism, is threatened, not by a group of elitist liberals or by an organized conspiracy. Religion is threatened by progress, the advance of civilization and science, in particular the advance of secular humanism. Every generation in the United States is less religious than the previous one.

The Revolutionary War was much more than a rebellion against King George and repressive taxes. It was a hug from dearthquakesecular humanism and rejection of the oppressive collaboration between theocracy and monarchy that had dominated Western culture and denied individual freedoms for 1,000 years.

Secular humanism was conceived in the Enlightenment philosophy of the 17e century and realized in the creation of America, which rejected both religion and monarchy as the basis of government. Since the Revolution, individual freedom and human rights have been progressively extended, ending slavery, guaranteeing women’s right to vote, guaranteeing civil rights, allowing interracial and same-sex marriage and guaranteeing the rights of gay and transgender people. Rather than moral decline, secular humanism has generated a more just, inclusive society that recognizes that people are simply what the God of nature wants them to be.

Thinking Christians understand that while Christ’s teaching of love of neighbor is central to a meaningful life, fundamentalist worldviews are no longer relevant. The people have not gone astray; they found better ways to understand and deal with the complexities of modern society. Reason and facts have proven more effective than myth and mysticism. Prayer can offer hope and comfort, but modern medicine heals.

The success of secular humanism is further reflected in our increased understanding of the physical world and advances in technology. Our understanding of relativity and quantum mechanics as well as space exploration, the internet, and genetic science testify to the power of humanity’s ability to reason. Whatever one believes to be God, it is certain that mankind has developed, or received, a superior intelligence and the ability to reason, which we seem compelled to use.

Christian fundamentalism can inhibit progress, but cannot stop it. Banning books, covering up historical facts that make children uncomfortable, or requiring creationism to be taught along with evolution are wrong and futile. As John Adams said, “Facts are stubborn things.” The facts supporting the evolution and the facts that led to the civil war will always exist. Germany is setting a good example. There, teaching about the Holocaust is compulsory. Teaching the history of slavery and our treatment of Native Americans should also be needed here. Americans can rightly be proud of our heritage and aware of our accomplishments and failures.

The Enlightenment philosophy inspired the founders, but they did not abandon religion. Many were Christians. And Christianity has had a positive impact on our culture. Martin Luther King, Jr., for example, awakened our collective conscience to the atrocities of Jim Crow. But if Christianity is to be a force for good in modern society, it must come to terms with reality and our reasoned understanding of the modern world.

It may be wishful thinking. Today, white Christian nationals prefer to fight, openly opposing humanism. Despite a secular constitution, they falsely claim that America was founded as a Christian nation. They criticize Jefferson’s ideas about the separation of church and state, say our laws must conform to Christian teaching, and they work to restrict voting rights and individual liberties. But then, freedom, equality and democracy were never the goals of Christianity.

By opposing secular humanism, Christian fundamentalists are opposing what inspired the Founding Fathers and the founding of America. With their confused and misguided view of American history, white Christian nationals attack what they claim to save. They are on the wrong side of history, and there is no stopping progress.

Bob Topper is a retired engineer and is unionized by voice of peace.

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Yogi’s Inquiry: Madrasa Teaches Fundamentalism, Waqf Board Will Grab Land… Uttar Pradesh Won’t Tolerate Anymore https://aaimaustin.org/yogis-inquiry-madrasa-teaches-fundamentalism-waqf-board-will-grab-land-uttar-pradesh-wont-tolerate-anymore/ Wed, 21 Sep 2022 09:54:45 +0000 https://aaimaustin.org/yogis-inquiry-madrasa-teaches-fundamentalism-waqf-board-will-grab-land-uttar-pradesh-wont-tolerate-anymore/ Lucknow: There has been a lot of ruckus over two decisions of the Yogi government of Uttar Pradesh. The first is the survey of unrecognized madrasas and the second is the survey of waqf properties. The government believes that it is necessary to carry out this survey to improve the educational system in the madrasas, […]]]>
Lucknow: There has been a lot of ruckus over two decisions of the Yogi government of Uttar Pradesh. The first is the survey of unrecognized madrasas and the second is the survey of waqf properties. The government believes that it is necessary to carry out this survey to improve the educational system in the madrasas, to fight against corruption. The government has also started working on it quickly, and on October 25, reports from all districts will be sent to the government. In contrast, when the Madrassa inquiry was announced, all opposition parties began to oppose it. But the edge of this protest was dulled when all major institutions including Darul Uloom Deoband backed the Yogi government’s inquiry decision. By now, the issue was getting cold and the parties started aiming for another Yogi government decision. In fact, the government has revoked the 1989 mandate to register public properties like waste rock, waste, etc. as waqfs in the state. With this, the government has started the survey of Waqf properties in UP, this survey will also be completed by October 8th.

Now the policy has also intensified regarding the investigation of the properties of this waqf. SP leader Akhilesh Yadav clearly opposes the madrassa inquiry and the waqf inquiry. Akhilesh Yadav clearly says that we are against the investigation, the investigation should not be done. The government must only make Hindu-Muslims. Those who claim that there is a trillion-dollar economy, tell them, will the trillion-dollar economy be achieved by carrying out a survey in madrasas?

But a slight change in the attitude of AIMIM can be observed this time. He does not vocally oppose the Waqf inquiry like the Madrasa inquiry but definitely raises questions about the intention of the Yogi government. AIMIM leader Asim Waqar said that over the past 15 years there have been big scams in Shia and Sunni Waqf councils. The former chairman of the Shia Waqf Board broke the scam record. There was a CBI investigation into this, an FIR was filed. Asim Waqar asked where is this report? When did he go to jail for fraud? Asim Waqar said the chairman of Sunni Waqf Board was appointed in the BSP government, he also remained the same chairman in the Samajwadi government. If the BJP government came, then the same president was part of it too? The BJP government returned, again the same president. He said if there is an honest investigation, there will be big manipulation.

After Madrasahs in UP, now Waqf Board ownership will be investigated, Yogi government canceled 33-year-old order
On the other hand, UP government’s Minority Welfare Minister Dharampal Singh says Waqf properties are very important. The waqf is the property of God, no one has the right to take possession of it. The government began to conduct this investigation with a clear intention. Orders have already been issued to identify Waqf properties and take action.

What is the problem
In fact, the Yogi government had recently ordered a survey of unaided madrassas across the state. On this, Asaduddin Owaisi of AIMIM first protested, later all opposition parties including the SP raised questions about the intention of the Yogi government. Interestingly, this investigation got the support of all operational units of the UP madrassa. In this sequence, a big meeting regarding the Madrasa inquiry was held at Darul Uloom Deoband recently. In this document, supporting the government’s decision to carry out an investigation, it was clearly stated that madrasas built on government land are illegal. They must be deleted. After the meeting, Maulana Arshad Madani, Chairman of All India Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind said that the order issued by the government regarding the Madrasa investigation is justified. There is nothing wrong with that, so the government should be supported. He urged the madrasas to answer all questions posed by the government in the investigation. Nothing abnormal was found in the investigation. As such, the investigation must be supported. A resolution was passed at the meeting that the government’s investigation would be supported.

Darul Uloom Deoband’s big announcement on the UP madrassa investigation, backed the UP government process…will the heckling stop?
After the announcement of Darul Uloom, the policy of madrassas had been reduced a bit. But now another Yogi government decision has started the cycle of rhetoric again. In fact, the Yogi government has announced that it will conduct a review of public properties registered as Waqfs in Uttar Pradesh. The government was of the opinion that in 1989, based on an erroneous order, public properties such as wasteland, wasteland, etc. were registered as waqf properties. This ordinance was against both revenue laws and the Waqf law, so the Yogi government canceled this 33-year term.

In this case, the Department of Minorities issued instructions to all commissioners and deputy ministers of the UP to review these properties, which were registered in the Waqf against the rule. They must be canceled and the income records must be corrected. The government has set a deadline of October 8 to complete this whole process.

What was this command?
On April 7, 1989, the Department of Revenue issued an order stating that the properties of Waqfs are mainly registered in the form of waste rock, Usar, Bhita, etc. in the revenue registers, while there are Waqfs on the spot. These properties, lands must be properly recorded in the revenue registers as to the Waqf property status (cemetery, mosque, Idgah) and then demarcated. It is alleged that based on this order, many such properties in UP, which were sterile, unused, etc. in the income registers, were recorded as Waqf in the registers.

Madrasa investigation: A private school was operating in the name of Madrasa in Amroha, now the government money will be recovered
All eyes on the Muslim vote bank
Let us tell you that the Muslim population of UP is considered to be just over 19%. This population occupies a decisive position of 30% in the 71 Vidhan Sabhas of the state. At the same time, the Muslim population of the 141 seats in the Assembly is larger than the average Muslim population in the state. From a political point of view, whether it is a madrassa survey or a waqf property survey, both are directly related to the Muslim society and whether it is the BJP or the SP-BSP , all are now trying to woo the Muslim vote bank. The BJP wants to make inroads in the Pasmanda society by reforming the system as they have the largest number of Muslims in Uttar Pradesh. Their children are educated in madrasas and their interference in waqf properties is negligible.

On the other hand, Akhilesh Yadav’s SP has been the first choice of Muslim society, so he tries to be friendly in raising these issues. There is also a reason, in the UP assembly elections of 2022, the BSP was reduced to only one seat and the Muslim vote bank contributed significantly to the 111 seats obtained by the SP from Akhilesh. Even after this defeat, Mayawati admitted that the Muslim vote bank went directly to the PS. Now Mayawati is increasingly trying to reach the Muslim vote bank. The goal is the 2024 Lok Sabha elections for everyone.

read this too
Nadwa Survey: Madrasah survey started at UP: Nadwa College welcomes, Akhilesh says – deep wound to faith

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Technological Fundamentalism: Faith in the Digital Age https://aaimaustin.org/technological-fundamentalism-faith-in-the-digital-age/ Thu, 15 Sep 2022 04:00:27 +0000 https://aaimaustin.org/technological-fundamentalism-faith-in-the-digital-age/ Respond to mostly unfavorable letters regarding his writing on consumerism and new technologies, Wendell Berry writes: “I can only conclude that I have scratched the skin of a technological fundamentalism which, like other fundamentalisms, wishes to monopolize an entire society and, therefore, cannot tolerate the slightest difference of opinion. ” Then, with a charming irony, […]]]>

Respond to mostly unfavorable letters regarding his writing on consumerism and new technologies, Wendell Berry writes: “I can only conclude that I have scratched the skin of a technological fundamentalism which, like other fundamentalisms, wishes to monopolize an entire society and, therefore, cannot tolerate the slightest difference of opinion. ” Then, with a charming irony, in a subsequent trial he adds: “Some of us, it seems, would be better off if we just realized that this is already the best of all possible worlds, and it will get even better if we just buy the right equipment. “

More than ever, we see the growing belief that technology will bring heaven to earth.

But the technological fundamentalism that Berry identified in the late 1980s pales in comparison to our current mood toward technology. More than ever, we see the growing belief that technology will bring heaven to earth.

Trust in technological progress

I addressed this fundamentalism years ago in a Publish explore the unshakeable belief that technological progress will inevitably triumph over all our economic, social and physical ills. Most of us regard technological innovation, in its various forms, as entirely good and devoted to improving human life. As Berry says, we all participate in this “sectarian” faith.

We are worshipers, believing that our digital deities will give us brighter futures, happier lives, and fewer problems. However, as Berry goes on to say, “The existence of the future is an article of faith.” This hope is therefore unfounded. The future does not exist. It won’t necessarily be better either. One need only recall the utopian optimism sustained by technological progress at the start of the 20th century, until the two bloodiest wars in history made this faith untenable.

Most view technological innovation as entirely good and devoted to improving human life.

Despite the common sense of Wendell Berry’s observations, almost all of us subscribe to a fundamentalist faith in technology. These beliefs are evangelistically preached by tech companies and their zealous consumers. From apps to new devices, we believe technology enriches life. And as Berry writes: “At the slightest hint of a threat to their complacency, they repeat, like a chorus of toads, the notes issued by their business leaders. The past was dark, painful, servile, meaningless and slow. The present, thanks to the only purchasable products, is significant, luminous, alive, centralized and fast. The future, thanks only to more purchasable products, will be even better.

Berry’s words are terribly prophetic, and therefore extremely relevant to those of us living in the digital age.

The digital trinity: smartphones, streaming and social media

None of us can imagine a world without smartphones, streaming services and social networks. Even though this digital trinity is less than 20 years old, we all believe that our lives are more “meaningful, bright, alive, centralized and fast” because of it. And, as Berry puts it, “thanks only to more buyable products,” the future “is going to be even better.”

We religiously believe that “purchasable products” will improve our lives.

The rate at which we replace our appliances proves Berry’s point. We religiously believe that “purchasable products” will improve our lives. The same can be said of the unprecedented amount of time we spend consuming media, scrolling through mostly nonsensical streams online, or passively allowing Netflix to play the next episode. Despite mounting evidence that these habits are harmful, few of us regularly disconnect from our technology or engage in social media and streaming fasts. We simply cannot abandon them, not even periodically. Our faith in technology has given way to adoration and devotion. “O Israel, here are your gods” (1 Kings 12:28).

A few final questions

Has the miraculous advent of the Infinite Scroll really enriched our souls?

Certainly, countless other posts could be written on this topic. So let me wrap this one up with a few questions that I hope will fuel further thought and perhaps interaction. Is the digital age as fulfilling, meaningful, happy and delightful as those profiting from its success claim? Has our faith – our devotion and almost religious worship – been rewarded? Has the miraculous advent of the Infinite Scroll really enriched our souls? Have the hours sacrificed on the altar of streaming services brought a blessing? Finally, isn’t it time to reconsider the dogmatic belief that these new technologies only make our lives better?

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How Nathan Fielder Discovered Religious Fundamentalism https://aaimaustin.org/how-nathan-fielder-discovered-religious-fundamentalism/ Tue, 13 Sep 2022 00:34:44 +0000 https://aaimaustin.org/how-nathan-fielder-discovered-religious-fundamentalism/ Reading time: 5 minutes Nathan Fielder’s New Show Repetition covers a myriad of topics, including secrets, emotional repression, social anxiety, connecting with other human beings, and parenting. As with many of Fielder’s projects, it’s metatextual and voyeuristic in a way that engenders deep discomfort in the viewer. It’s a comedic show that lives off of […]]]>

Reading time: 5 minutes





Nathan Fielder’s New Show Repetition covers a myriad of topics, including secrets, emotional repression, social anxiety, connecting with other human beings, and parenting.

As with many of Fielder’s projects, it’s metatextual and voyeuristic in a way that engenders deep discomfort in the viewer. It’s a comedic show that lives off of cringe-worthy moments where we watch people we can’t believe live in this world espouse ideas we never imagined people might think of.

But while making this show, Nathan Fielder stumbles across something the show never wanted to address: religious fundamentalism.

Family values. Courtesy of HBO.

Nathan Fielder is Jewish. He’s not very forthcoming about it. He mentions that he stopped going to the temple because it was “boring”. In fact, the only time he talks about his religion is when it is mentioned by others.

Which means he has to talk about his religion, quite often, in Repetition.

The basic premise of the show: Nathan, who is profoundly socially awkward, would like the opportunity to prepare for major life events by rehearsing them in advance, so he wants to give others the opportunity to make same.

He helps a man who lied to his panel about his upbringing, helps a woman prepare for motherhood, and helps a man trying to convince his brother to give him his grandfather’s inheritance. Along the way, we laugh at the startling reality of these people and how they behave under absurd circumstances. His comedy has always been based on squeaky moments of pseudo-reality.

But in his new show, Nathan Fielder is forced to satirize religious fanaticism and bigotry.

Nathan’s second experience is with Angela, a woman who wants to be a mother but hasn’t found the right person to settle down with. Nathan finds her a home in Oregon and goes through the logistical ordeal of constantly casting child actors so she can experience motherhood without actually giving birth.

Angela is, in polite terms, quite religious.

Satanic rituals are everywhere. Courtesy of HBO.

After what she describes as a dark past of alcohol and drugs, she threw herself into Christianity. At one point, Nathan and a child actor dress up for Halloween. Instead of being excited for them, Angela explains to Nathan that Halloween is when Satanic rituals are performed. Despite Nathan’s evidence to the contrary, she is adamant that Satanism is everywhere.

One of the only times Nathan loses his temper is when Angela gives him a list of the many things in the world run by Satanists. It may be during his fourth rant about occultists that Nathan finally asks if she could write down a list of all the things that are occult rituals so he can keep track.

Part of the experience is finding her a man to help her start a family. When she meets a man she loves, he is just as fundamentalist as she is.

Each number is a reference to the Bible. There are a million cosmic coincidences that only he can see. He also smokes weed before driving and, by his own admission, never uses a condom during sex. When Nathan goes home, he finds the man fighting with his roommate because the roommate is tired of being bombarded with constant Bible talk.

Suddenly, it seems like religion pops up in every episode. Why? A big reason is the new setting.

The Pacific Northwest is one of the whitest regions in the United States, and despite having the highest overall proportions of non-religious people in the country, it also has large swaths of extreme religious fundamentalism. Oregon had Black exclusion laws that discouraged black settlers and entered the union as “white onlyState. The KKK has had some of its greatest political victories in the Northwest, and neo-Nazism thrives there nowadays. The idea that places like Portland are liberal tags is complicated by both the story and by recent events.

That’s why when helping a man rehearse the conversation with his brother about their grandfather’s inheritance, the man casually mentions that his girlfriend can’t be a gold digger because ‘she’s ‘Jewish’ and ‘you know how Jews are with money.

Religious tension comes to a head when Nathan, now settled in the house to help Angela raise their fake child, wants to introduce the child to Judaism. She categorically denies him the opportunity to do so, then explains that her favorite movie is apocalypto.

So he does it in secret.

He begins to take their fake child to a Jewish teacher. The teacher eventually confronts Angela, which leads to a deeply uncomfortable argument.

Soon, this conflict leads Angela to leave the show because she cannot compromise her values. But she never was asked compromise their values. He was only asked to introduce another set of values ​​as well.

If that isn’t Christian supremacy cloaked behind a polished facade, then nothing is.

Even with the child actor who plays Nathan’s fake son, a conflict arises with the actor’s mother, who asks Nathan to explain to their son that he is not Jewish. When Nathan satirically explains that Judaism is made up and he’s going to hell, the actor’s mother firmly agrees.

But the show is not just about anti-Semitism and that (despite reports to the contrary) is alive and well. This is the arrogant and illogical nature of all religious fundamentalism.

After Angela leaves and her fake son’s Jewish teacher arrives to celebrate Hanukkah, she has a talk with Nathan. This conversation did not need to be included in the show. If the show was only about attacks on Judaism, it would have been cut.

In this scene, the Jewish teacher corners Nathan about the Palestinian conflict and how the media favors it, informing Nathan that he must support Israel. When he refuses to be drawn into the conversation, she nags him about using the show as a platform to support Israel until he finally has to change the subject.

The works of Nathan Fielder never intended to examine religion. They didn’t need it. His show ain’t like Boratusing satirical docu-style to bring out the true feelings of bigotry in unseen parts of the United States.

But in this part of the country, where despite the crisp reputation of the region, Christian supremacy and intolerance of all kinds continue to rage, the show must remedy this. Nathan seems bored or disinterested in religion. He only wants to include her in the life of his fake child because he is pushed by his parents because he so rarely stands up for himself in relationships.

Prepare for all of life’s possibilities. Courtesy of HBO.

The show inadvertently shows that the growing Christian religious fundamentalism in the United States can no longer be ignored. It is among the almost anti-socially insistent people who are convinced that everything is a sign and deny the fundamental reality of facts. As Borat showed, in key moments, bubbling anti-Muslim hatred after 9/11.

Repetition shows that if people can be this comfortable with their religious fundamentalism, then Christian supremacy might already be here.

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Originalism “ill-conceived twin of religious fundamentalism” https://aaimaustin.org/originalism-ill-conceived-twin-of-religious-fundamentalism/ Fri, 09 Sep 2022 10:00:12 +0000 https://aaimaustin.org/originalism-ill-conceived-twin-of-religious-fundamentalism/ For the editor: As a religious studies professor at Cal State Bakersfield, I realized years ago that legal originalism is the ill-conceived twin of religious fundamentalism. (“How the plague of originalism is taking hold of the Supreme Court”, Opinion, September 6) UC Berkeley Law School Dean Erwin Chemerinsky says, “Originalists choose from historical records to […]]]>

For the editor: As a religious studies professor at Cal State Bakersfield, I realized years ago that legal originalism is the ill-conceived twin of religious fundamentalism. (“How the plague of originalism is taking hold of the Supreme Court”, Opinion, September 6)

UC Berkeley Law School Dean Erwin Chemerinsky says, “Originalists choose from historical records to support whatever conclusion they want.” But in reality neither originalists nor fundamentalists use history, only texts out of context.

History involves context, context, context, and both fundamentalists and originalists ignore this.

In the Bible, Jesus says unequivocally that there is no divorce, period. But he also says in another passage that there can be no divorce “except for sexual immorality”.

So what is “original”? And what is the context? Scholars suggest that Jesus is trying to protect helpless women who, if divorced, could end up on the streets helpless.

In the Quran, the word “hijab” refers to a curtain separating male and female worshipers in the house of the Prophet Muhammad. Only later does it mean headgear. Context, context, context.

Originalism, like fundamentalism, is acontextual and ahistorical, and neither should determine how we live now.

Tim Vivian, Bakersfield

..

For the editor: Supreme Court originalists should be careful what they wish for. Embracing originalism consistently would greatly reduce the power and influence of the court.

The framers of the Constitution never made the judiciary more powerful than the legislative branch of the federal government. Instead, they gave Congress the power to control the extent of what the judiciary could do.

Congress has the power under the Constitution to increase or decrease the jurisdiction of the judiciary and could significantly limit the scope of the federal judiciary to its original jurisdiction, as the Constitution expressly states. Congress could restrict or entirely repeal the power of judicial review of legislation that the Supreme Court took upon itself in Marbury v. Madison in 1803.

If Congress did these things, much of the Supreme Court’s power would revert to the legislature, as the framers clearly intended. Congress would resume its primacy as the representative of the American public.

Yes, it’s politically impossible right now, but given the current political upheaval, anything can happen.

Eleanor Egan, Costa Mesa

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How fundamentalism does more harm than good to a religion https://aaimaustin.org/how-fundamentalism-does-more-harm-than-good-to-a-religion/ Wed, 24 Aug 2022 15:28:00 +0000 https://aaimaustin.org/how-fundamentalism-does-more-harm-than-good-to-a-religion/ Why do we throw stones, use sticks or shoot bullets in the name of religion? Why do some of us attack an author? Most of us are deeply religious, but we don’t resort to such steps. The question is who does it? Those who have hidden fundamentalism and aggressive fanaticism within themselves. It is not […]]]>

Why do we throw stones, use sticks or shoot bullets in the name of religion? Why do some of us attack an author? Most of us are deeply religious, but we don’t resort to such steps. The question is who does it?

Those who have hidden fundamentalism and aggressive fanaticism within themselves.

It is not necessary to find such people simply in mathas, monasteries, mosques or churches. One can easily find such people, wearing suits, traveling from airports, conversing fluently in English or working on iphones and laptops. We can find such people anywhere in the world.

Contrary to popular belief, modernity not only leads to rationality and a progressive vision, but also to fundamentalism and religious identity fanaticism in part of society.

As we have seen in the age of globalization and neoliberalism, religious fundamentalism is growing rapidly. We keep talking about religious fanaticism in India on our prime time news programs but fail to see that most of the religions in the world such as Christianity, Judaism, Islam and Buddhism have produced their own version or fundamentalism, directly or indirectly. These versions have been reinterpreted in the fundamentals of their religions in their own way.

World conditions have provided space for the evolution and expansion of new religious sects among various religions. In India we have so many religious sects with international influence such as Sai Baba, Sri Sri Ravishankar, ISKCON, some Sufi, Buddhist and Jain missions, Ram Krishna mission etc. working globally to spread their messages. National boundaries have been blurred through cyber-connection, social media and electronic channels.

Global modernity has allowed the birth and rise of both liberal and fundamentalist versions of religions. All of these versions of religions create a cumulative impact on religious identities across the world.

While fundamentalists interpret religion in a more fixed, rigid and fanatical way, the liberal version adapts, adapts and negotiates in changing times and gives space for expansion.

People of various religions turn to fanaticism mainly because of an identity crisis. Their sense of identity is based on a sense of superiority over all or a now-gone golden era, which makes them tough and aggressive. This crisis is mainly the result of misperceptions.

Factors such as unemployment, economic difficulties, imbalance of political representation add to this, but it is not necessary that only the poor and the unemployed turn to fanaticism.

Sometimes growing wealth leads to a sense of higher identity. When they realize that reality is contrary to the illusion of identity, some sections react aggressively and use violence as a means of affirmation. The money used for terrorist activities and stone throwing is mostly illegal, acquired by the wealthy.

On the other hand, religious fundamentalism provides immense emotional inputs, giving a sense of heaven to aspired superiority. This package attracts people. This is why the number of Christian fundamentalists in North America, Europe and Northern Ireland; Muslim fundamentalists in Pakistan, Afghanistan and some Middle Eastern countries; and Buddhist fundamentalists in countries like Myanmar are growing. These fundamentalist versions of these religions appear as a danger for the ethos, the values ​​and the image of this same religion.

In the real sense, they hurt their religion more than others.

Badri Narayan is Professor and Director at GB Pant Social Science Institute, Prayagraj, and author of “Republic of Hindutva”. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not represent the position of this publication.

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Idaho librarian resigns over political climate of ‘extremism’ and ‘militant Christian fundamentalism’ https://aaimaustin.org/idaho-librarian-resigns-over-political-climate-of-extremism-and-militant-christian-fundamentalism/ Mon, 22 Aug 2022 16:37:52 +0000 https://aaimaustin.org/idaho-librarian-resigns-over-political-climate-of-extremism-and-militant-christian-fundamentalism/ A Idaho library director tendered resignation, citing political atmosphere of ‘extremism’, ‘militant’ Christian fundamentalism» and « intimidation » as causes of his premature departure from the public institution. “I want to thank the Boundary County Library Board for giving me the opportunity to serve as Director of the Boundary County Library,” Library Director Kimber Glidden […]]]>

A Idaho library director tendered resignation, citing political atmosphere of ‘extremism’, ‘militant’ Christian fundamentalism» and « intimidation » as causes of his premature departure from the public institution.

“I want to thank the Boundary County Library Board for giving me the opportunity to serve as Director of the Boundary County Library,” Library Director Kimber Glidden wrote. , in an announcement shared on the library’s website. Facebook page.

“My experience and skills have enabled me to help the district move towards a more current and relevant business model and implement updated policy and best practices,” added the director, who joined the institution at the end of last year. “However, nothing in my background could have prepared me for the political atmosphere of extremism, militant Christian fundamentalism, bullying tactics and threatening behavior currently being used in the community.”

Ms Glidden said she plans to step down on September 10 as head of the library in Idaho’s northernmost county.

The Boundary County Library is located in Bonners Ferry, one of the most remote destinations in the western state, especially during the winter months, and serves approximately 12,000 residents.

The library boasts on its website that it was awarded the Best Small Library in America in 2017 by library newspaperthe industry’s premier publication.

Early in the year, however, board members began to face a growing wave of parents and community members who challenged the library’s policies regarding the borrowing of books that they perceived as “pornographic,” reflecting how far the culture war waged by conservatives who believe books with LGBT+ themes are “dangerous” can reach into small-town politics.

In districts and states across the country, parents, guardians and even state-elected politicians are challenging any material that touches on issues of sexual orientation, gender identity or even race, fearing that inclusion such topics only manipulate the minds of children.

And according to the American Library Association (ALA)These types of attempts to ban books from libraries, schools and universities hit a two-decade high last year, with the national group finding 729 examples of such challenges.

The most commonly targeted books were those written “by or about black or LGBTQIA+ people,” the group noted.

For the Boundary County Library, these same themes proved to be what initially prompted a group of parents and residents to form a group called the Boundary County Library Board Recall, whose stated mission “is to protect children from harm. explicit content and grooming”.

Lee Colson, who represents Zone 5 on the library’s board, said that once the group started advocating for the removal of books dealing with LGBT+ themes, it just “ballooned.” snow from there”.

More recently, the group of concerned parents had launched a petition to remove four of the five members of the library’s board of trustees, including Ms Colson, after the institution revised a policy regarding the collection and selection of new materials from library.

“The selection of materials will not be affected by such potential disapproval, and Boundary County Library will not place materials on ‘closed shelves’ or label items to protect the public from their contents,” states the new policy, according to the library’s website. .

The group’s parents, who also took issue with Ms Glidden joining the library at ALA in May, posted on the group website about their growing concerns that the association “has a clear mission statement that doesn’t match the moral fiber of most members of our community,” while sharing a link to an article written by a site alt-right news outlet that describes the national nonprofit as guilty of promoting “grooming” for allowing LGBT+ content on the shelves.

The Independent contacted the group to comment on the petition but did not hear back immediately.

The group has also repeatedly presented a list of books that are frequently touted in right-wing circles as problematic titles as the cause of their fear, but officials pointed out that none of these titles are currently in the curation of the library.

“So what they’re really trying to do is limit our ability to select books to be part of our collection,” Ms Colson told the Idaho Press.

When a person requests a title, the institution’s librarians can request the material from a neighboring institution through an interlibrary loan process. If enough requests for a specific title are made, then the library has the power to make that book a permanent part of its borrowed collection.

“We get books that people want to read,” Ms Colson added.

The outgoing library director said she would have tendered her resignation immediately, except for the fact that the library’s annual budget is due next month and that she would prefer to stay to guide them through the boredom of this. process before leaving. .

“Boundary County is a warning,” Ms Glidden told the Idaho Press, after pointing out once again that none of the titles on the so-called bad books list are held at the institution. “It’s not about books.”

Titles that have recently been criticized by right-wing conservative groups not only include LGBTQ+ material, but also those that deal with race and politics.

Parent in Texas reportedly tried to convince Katy’s school district to remove book about former first lady michelle obama because it promotes “reverse racism” against white people, while a Tennessee The school board recently removed “Maus” – a graphic novel that chronicles the horrific Holocaust experience of the author’s parents – after ruling that the content was inappropriate for children.

And the knee-jerk reaction to ban the books goes higher than local school districts. Governor of Florida Ron DeSantis banned more than 50 math textbooks in April, after a Department of Education concluded the material was too “woke”, noting that it included “critical race theory” and the “unsolicited addition” of social learning concepts -emotional.

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Carver School of Social Work Has Been a Victim of American Fundamentalism, Writers Say – Baptist News Global https://aaimaustin.org/carver-school-of-social-work-has-been-a-victim-of-american-fundamentalism-writers-say-baptist-news-global/ Wed, 17 Aug 2022 11:04:09 +0000 https://aaimaustin.org/carver-school-of-social-work-has-been-a-victim-of-american-fundamentalism-writers-say-baptist-news-global/ The dismissal of Diana Garland in 1995 as Dean of Social Work at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary had less to do with his public conflicts with the Kentucky seminary leadership than with the rise of fundamentalism in the SBC and American evangelicalism, according to author and historian Melody Maxwell. Maxwell, an associate professor of Church […]]]>

The dismissal of Diana Garland in 1995 as Dean of Social Work at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary had less to do with his public conflicts with the Kentucky seminary leadership than with the rise of fundamentalism in the SBC and American evangelicalism, according to author and historian Melody Maxwell.

Maxwell, an associate professor of Church history at Acadia Divinity College in Nova Scotia, Canada, spoke on the latest episode of the “Making Baptist History Public History” webinar series presented by Baptist History and Heritage Society.

“Garland’s dismissal was not simply the product of his public disputes with [SBTS President Al] Mohler. Instead, it resulted more broadly from tensions building up as conservative control overcame moderate tolerance,” Maxwell said.

She is co-author of Speak Up: Carver Church School of Social Work of Southern Baptists and Its Predecessors, 1907–1997.

Diana Garland

After graduating from Southern Seminary, Garland became the founding dean of the Baylor University School of Social Work for a decade before his untimely death in 2015. This school now bears his name in his memory. Southern Seminary closed the Carver School in 1997.

Garland and the Carver School of Church Social Work she ran at Southern Seminary fell victim to conservative mistrust of the Department of Social Work as a whole, Maxwell said. “Social ministry efforts, which Southern Baptists had undertaken to some extent throughout their history, came into question as denominational leaders feared that liberal influences had tainted them. But this controversy clearly resulted from and was paradigmatic of the larger conflict between moderates and conservatives within the SBC.

Maxwell was joined in the session by his do the talking co-author Laine Scales. Like their 2019 book, they traced the history of the Southern Baptist social work movement and the educational institution that shaped and nurtured it.

Scales says the Carver school was started as Woman’s Missionary Union Training School for Christian Workers in 1907 before becoming the Carver School of Missions and Social Work in 1952. The school merged with Southern Seminary in 1963 and was renamed the Carver School of Church Social Work in 1984.

Scales also pointed to the historic and ongoing tensions that ultimately led to the closure of the Carver School by denominational forces who viewed social work and women in leadership positions with suspicion.

This strain was present from the start, as women in training schools were allowed to take limited courses at Southern Seminary, but not for credit. Women were also not allowed to use the common dining halls or social areas, as they lived and took most classes on their own nearby campuses.

“The seminary was to assure Southern Baptists that women were not preparing to preach.”

“The seminar was to ensure Southern Baptists that women were not preparing to preach,” Scales said.

While the curriculum for the first 40 years led to bachelor’s or master’s degrees in missionary training, the courses also included classes to prepare women for married life, Scales said.

“They practiced music and speaking skills in daily women’s chapel services. A student recalled years later that students were always reminded to stand next to the pulpit when speaking in public, as no lady would stand behind the sacred desk.

Goodwill Center, operated by WMU Training School, ca. 1915.
(Photo by Southern Baptist Historical Library and Archives)

The 1950s saw new developments, including a curriculum focused as much on social work as on missions, and registration open to men and people of color. The school took in its first two black students in 1955.

Despite these changes, enrollment declined and income with it, in part because women were allowed to enroll in seminary. When the SBC refused to increase funding to fill the gaps, all assets of the Carver School were transferred to the SBC and the program was incorporated into Southern Seminary in 1963, Scales explained.

The institution was resurrected as the Carver School of Church Social Work at Seminary in 1984, gaining full accreditation from the Council for Social Work Education, Maxwell said. The school’s return was inspired by Carver alumnus Anne Davis, who had joined the seminary’s religious education faculty in 1970. She was a proponent of church-based social work designed to collaborate with d other ministries of the church.

“Davis often said the church, to be the church, must be involved in social ministry,” Maxwell explained. “She implicitly challenged the position that some Southern Baptists and other Evangelicals had on social ministry, which they viewed as a distraction from the heart of the gospel.”

Garland, who was hired by Davis and eventually succeeded him as Dean of the Carver School, took the concept further with the belief that “Christian social workers could help the church understand the needs of people, define those needs as a ministry challenge and find ways to equip church members for effective service,” Maxwell said.

But these practices, coupled with the teachings of the Carver school on the underlying social causes of suffering and healing, caught the attention of conservatives who were in the process of taking control of the SBC and its institutions.

“These kinds of systemic understanding of social problems were actually suspect among many Southern Baptist conservatives who viewed individual sin as the root of people’s problems.”

“These kinds of systemic understanding of social problems were actually suspect among many Southern Baptist conservatives who saw individual sin as the root of people’s problems. And these differing perspectives were soon to come into open conflict within Southern Baptist life,” she said.

The open struggle began to build shortly after Al Mohler became president of Southern Seminary in 1993, Maxwell said. He and Garland clashed when he refused to hire a professor for the school of social work due to the candidate’s openness to women in ministry.

“He then shifted his concerns to the nature of church social work. He claimed that the culture of social work and (Christian theology) were not absolutely congruent,” Maxwell said. “He told Garland that he was deeply suspicious of any therapeutic modality.”

Mohler also opposed the National Association of Social Workers’ code of ethics, which prohibits discrimination based on age, sex, sex, race and sexual orientation, she said. “In Mohler’s eyes, this code demonstrated a moral neutrality that left no room for denominational Christianity.

Accordingly, the Carver School, its professors and students found themselves at odds with the seminary leadership and the conservative movement they represented within the SBC, Maxwell said.

“Christian social workers, like those at the Carver school, believed that their faith gave a strong impetus to social work. A commitment to non-discrimination, as Garland and the Carver faculty understood, meant providing equal service to all customers, as Christ would have. And they believed that Christian social workers could then counsel their clients in a way consistent with their Christian beliefs. But the board of directors and Mohler believed that faculty members should unequivocally voice their conservative positions and publicly sever themselves from the social work accrediting body, regardless of the consequences.

While Mohler and the SBC have won these battles, the spirit of the Baptist social work movement lives on. Campbellsville University is now home to the Carver School of Social Work, while Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama, and Baylor University in Waco, Texas have faith-based social work programs, noted Scales.

“These are places where the seeds of what (the Carver school) started have continued to bear fruit.”

Related Articles:

Diana Garland, social work educator and bridge builder, dies

Baylor renames School of Social Work for Dean Diana Garland

Social work leader Diana Garland’s legacy points her children to justice and mercy

From Carver School to Baylor: A Legacy of “Making the Word” | Analysis by Laine Scales and Melody Maxwell

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Bill Maher slams ‘dangerous’ religious fundamentalism behind Salman Rushdie attack: ‘Don’t come at me with Islamophobes’ https://aaimaustin.org/bill-maher-slams-dangerous-religious-fundamentalism-behind-salman-rushdie-attack-dont-come-at-me-with-islamophobes/ Sat, 13 Aug 2022 13:56:34 +0000 https://aaimaustin.org/bill-maher-slams-dangerous-religious-fundamentalism-behind-salman-rushdie-attack-dont-come-at-me-with-islamophobes/ By Brent Furdyk. 15 hours ago As Salman Rushdie fights for his life after being brutally stabbed on Friday while giving a talk on stage, Bill Maher has spoken out about the circumstances behind the attack on the author. Rushdie, Maher’s friend and frequent guest on his politically charged HBO talk show “Real Time,” has […]]]>

By Brent Furdyk.

15 hours ago

As Salman Rushdie fights for his life after being brutally stabbed on Friday while giving a talk on stage, Bill Maher has spoken out about the circumstances behind the attack on the author.

Rushdie, Maher’s friend and frequent guest on his politically charged HBO talk show “Real Time,” has lived under a fatwa since 1989, when Iranian leader Ayatollah Khomeini ordered Muslims to kill Rushdie in reason for the alleged profanity contained in his book. satanic verses.

READ MORE: Author Salman Rushdie attacked ahead of New York stage talk

“The news is not good,” Rushdie’s agent Andrew Wylie said. New York Times, revealing that doctors had placed Rushdie on a ventilator to breathe. “Salman will probably lose an eye; the nerves in his arm were severed; and his liver was stabbed and damaged,” Wyle said.

Maher spoke about Rushdie’s attack on Friday’s edition of “Real Time,” telling viewers that “a friend of mine, a dear friend of mine, a good friend on this show, was stabbed today. today”.

Maher explained that “Sal had had enemies in the past,” referring to the Ayatollah’s fatwa, and detailed the circumstances of the attack.

“Sal was in Chautaugua, giving a talk — how’s that for the irony — about how the United States is a haven for writers and other artists at risk of persecution,” Maher said.

“And making that speech itself is unthinkable in most Muslim countries. Salman Rushdie living in most Muslim countries, without being stabbed every day, is unthinkable,” he added.

READ MORE: Bill Maher blasts ‘The View’ for suspending Whoopi Goldberg over Holocaust comments

“So don’t call me Islamophobic,” Maher said, challenging those who would view his criticism of Islamic fundamentalism as Islamophobia.

“Phobic means fear, doesn’t it? Well, Sal had a good reason to be scared. And when you say phobic, that’s just a way to cut the debate. You know, they use transphobes, Islamophobes, and we should have a debate about that,” he said.

“These things don’t go away,” the Maher concluded. “Islam is still a far more fundamentalist religion than any other religion in the world and that means they take what is in the holy book seriously and that has been dangerous for a long time. It’s always dangerous.

‘Real Time’ guest Piers Morgan pointed out that it’s not just Islam that’s problematic, but fundamentalism within every religion, especially when it impinges on someone’s ability to speak. freely.

READ MORE: Bill Maher challenges Bella Thorne’s anxiety: ‘What’s got you upset?

“Defending free speech starts with something you can’t stand,” Morgan said, explaining that you may disagree with someone else’s opinions, “but you should be able to tolerate their right to have a different opinion”.

Morgan said he saw a similar development from America, comparing the attack on Rushdie to comedian David Chappelle being attacked while performing on stage.

“It’s crazy,” Morgan said. “When you stray into violence, it ends with Salman.”

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Salman Rushdie will never be safe. This is fundamentalism. https://aaimaustin.org/salman-rushdie-will-never-be-safe-this-is-fundamentalism/ Fri, 12 Aug 2022 20:10:05 +0000 https://aaimaustin.org/salman-rushdie-will-never-be-safe-this-is-fundamentalism/ Reading time: 3 minutes Chautauqua, NY— As author Salman Rushdie was preparing to give a talk at the Chautauqua Institution on August 12, an assailant rushed onto the stage and stabbed him repeatedly. As I write, Rushdie is in surgery, her attacker in custody. Thirty-three years have passed since Iranian Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini issued a […]]]>

Reading time: 3 minutes





Chautauqua, NY— As author Salman Rushdie was preparing to give a talk at the Chautauqua Institution on August 12, an assailant rushed onto the stage and stabbed him repeatedly. As I write, Rushdie is in surgery, her attacker in custody.

Thirty-three years have passed since Iranian Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini issued a fatwa (an Islamic legal ruling) demanding Rushdie’s execution for the senseless crime of blasphemy. The fatwa, issued on February 14, 1989, followed the publication of Rushdie’s satanic verses, a novel inspired in part by the life of Muhammad.

Lest religious fervor be insufficient to inspire Rushdie’s assassination, Iran added a $6 million bounty that still stands today.

On February 18, four days after the fatwa, Rushdie apologized for offending:

I recognize that Muslims in many parts of the world are truly distressed by the publication of my novel. I deeply regret the distress the publication has caused to the sincere followers of Islam. Living as we do in a world of multiple religions, this experience reminded us that we all need to be aware of the sensitivities of others.

But once fanaticism has set its sights, nothing can undo it, as Khomeini made clear the next day:

Imperialist foreign media falsely alleged that Islamic Republic officials handed down the death sentence on the author of satanic verses will be retracted if he repents. Imam Khomeini said: This is 100% denied. Even if Salman Rushdie repents and becomes the most pious man ever, it is incumbent on every Muslim to use everything he has, his life and his wealth, to send him to hell.

Psychologist Bob Altemeyer, creator of the right-wing authoritarianism scale, notes that religious fundamentalism by definition cannot be flexible in its moral judgments, which create immutable categories that impose order in a chaotic world. “Religious fundamentalists believe in the superiority of their religious teachings and in a strict division between the righteous and the wrongdoers,” Altemeyer said.

In 2006, on the anniversary of the original edict, when rumors swirled that the fatwa was no longer in effect, the Iranian government’s Martyrs’ Foundation has made it clear: “Imam Khomeini’s fatwa regarding the apostate Salman Rushdie will be in effect forever.”

In 2019, Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei repeated the claim, calling the fatwa “solid and irrevocable.”

Such inflexibility is the organizing principle of worldview. If Muhammad’s goodness is immutable, then anyone who thinks he has criticized or mocked the Prophet is definitely and immutably evil. Once damned, there is literally no mechanism by which Rushdie could be redeemed. To say otherwise would be to admit an error in the initial judgment or to compromise on the defense of the Prophet, two options unthinkable for the fundamentalist spirit.

“Imam Khomeini’s fatwa regarding the apostate Salman Rushdie will be in effect forever.”

Foundation of Martyrs and Veterans of the ISLAMIC REPUBLIC OF IRAN

This is, more than anything, the clear and present danger of fundamentalisms of all kinds.

“Once again we are reminded of the costs of criticizing the faith, of refusing to grant it the privilege of being above the right to free speech,” said Muhammad Syed, co-founder of Ex-Muslims of North America, in response to Rushdie’s attack. “We must not let the violence of fanatics silence us. We must stand firmly with those who satirize, criticize and even ridicule the faith, which has proven time and time again to be a valid target.

Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini died five months after rejecting Rushdie’s apology, but his fatwa, the grotesque idea that “it is incumbent on every Muslim to use all he has, his life and his wealth, to send him to hell” as an emblem of faith – which was always certain to live as long as Rushdie. Just as an interwoven sense of grievance makes any resolution to the religiously saturated Israeli-Palestinian conflict impossible, so the knife, even if it survives, will always be aimed at Rushdie’s neck.

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