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Extremists come in many colors, flavors (mmm .. chocolate), creeds, origins and types but they all have many things in common. Whether their particular type of extremist view is vegan, atheism, christianity, islam, wicca, pro-life, or whatever ignorant hate spewing view is popular this week, they all do the same things.
Extremists and zealots of all flavors will scream to the rafters about their “truth”. They will shun and ostracize anyone who disagrees with them, even people who are supposedly part of their movement. I have seen it many times, especially among religious fanatics. Propaganda, violence, and fear tactics are commonly used by these nutjobs, and then loudly denied. They will even reinterpret their own codes and ethics to reinforce their extremist views.
They should be feared by everyone, for they are the harbingers of doom. The truly frightening thing about them is that they think they are right and true. They remind me of a quote from “The Terminator”. Extremism is like the terminator, “It can’t be bargained with. It can’t be reasoned with. It doesn’t feel pity, or remorse, or fear. And it absolutely will not stop, ever.” You cannot coerce them or have a reasonable conversation with them. You will not convince them so don’t waste your time. It’s like trying to teach a pig to sing, it wastes your time and annoys the pig.
I’ve seen many people futilely attempt to “educate” someone with extremist views only to wind up in a shouting match. You cannot educate them. You can TRY to get them to think beyond their beliefs, but it will be a long and painful road.
Now for the good news. We outnumber them by a gargantuan margin. You hear about them more, but they ARE a minority. I know far more decent christians, vegans, muslims, atheists, etc, than extremists. There are plenty of decent people with a good grip on reality and a moral compass that doesn’t spin in circles. Don’t let the extremists change your mind about any view or perspective. They don’t speak for the rest of us, they only speak for themselves. Let them know in no uncertain terms that extremism and zealotry will not be tolerated. We will not bow to threats and terrorism, whether it is physical or verbal.