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We need an antidote to fundamentalism

It’s a shame that so many Americans are not aware of how the world sees them. They have such a high opinion of themselves and think that Parisians still piss in holes in the floor. They don’t see the sleek TGV’s racing across the French countryside, the modern architecture of European cities interspersed with communal gathering places of plazas and outdoor cafes.

They have no idea how embarrassing it is to know that the rest of the world is laughing behind their hands at American’s poor grasp of math and science, our denial of evolution and climate change, our total ignorance of who they think is the growing power in the world (they think it’s China).

Jane Caro, the social commentator from Australia says the world watches in horror as Americans roll back rights for women. That was a revelation to me. What Republicans are doing to women’s rights in this country is making the rest of the developed world’s women grateful that they don’t live here. We can’t blame that all on the GOP though. It was the way Democrats used sexism as a tool in the primary and general election campaigns, and fear of losing abortion as a cheap trick, that has accelerated the setback for women.

In general, we are looked on as stupid and greedy. But mostly stupid.

Our most conservative fundamentalists and “fools for Jesus” don’t particularly care. We can turn the rest of the world into a glass parking lot if anyone challenges us. Well, that ought to warm the cockles of everyone’s hearts. What makes us different from the Taliban at that point?

I’m only mentioning this because I’m sure there are people out there wondering why I spend so much time on fundamentalism and religious narcissism. I’m not anti-religious. There is no way I can peer into another person’s mind to discover what they believe or don’t believe. It’s none of my business as long as I’m left alone to follow my own conscience. I don’t have a problem with most practicing people. Most of them are good, charitable, kind and generous. But I do take issue with fundamentalists from any religious tradition.

When Obama pointed out that violent extremism is not limited to Muslims, I almost had a warm thought for him. Then it passed. But he’s got a point. What I really worry about is the fact that so many fundamentalist Christians have been conscripted into politics. They’ve been flattered and cajoled and have undermined what keeps us together as a nation. The Sovereign Citizen movement is one case in point. They’ve gone beyond states rights. They hold their children hostage, depriving them of citizenship. How is that different from owning slaves? What about taxes, their responsibility to vaccinate their children or any other obligation they have to the rest of us when times get tough?  When they have so much power to drag the rest of us kicking and screaming back to the 19th century, they also have the power to reawaken the worst abuses of that era to the rest of us economically.

Going into the 2016 election, I worry that there won’t be a powerful antidote to fundamentalism or that the candidates will be too timid to take it on. Someone better think of something fast. The rest of us need to reassert our right to live in the modern world otherwise we could become the next threat to it.


11 Responses

  1. Atheism is necessary but not sufficient. (BTW, I don’t consider myself an atheist but I do support their right to be respected and heard like any other American citizens)
    We really need to explore what conditions are necessary for making a fundamentalist. I’m going to bet that there’s something very dark lurking in the past combined with a strong desire to conform to a powerful tribe.
    There’s a psych experiment to write many papers about.

  2. I’m worried about the outcome of the next election.

  3. Unfortunately christian fundamentalists twist and distort true Christianity and the men in this movement use these distortions as a way to subjugate and enslave women. It’s really nasty stuff and you wouldn’t believe the abuse some women take from these men they are married to. They are brainwashed. I believe there are very few who truly follow Jesus Christ anymore. Jesus says in the bible that all humans are equal in His eyes. ” there is neither slave nor free, man nor woman, Jew nor Greek for all are one in Christ Jesus” is from the bible.

    • I’ve seen some of these guys openly disavow any interest in Christ’s teachings.

      Interviewer: Would Jesus Christ have approved of what you’re saying?
      Bill Donahue: I’ve never met the man.

      “Jesus died a long time ago” is a common refrain.

      • Too many of the fundies are the kind of people who, on that first “Good” Friday, could have been found in Pilate’s courtyard, screeching “Crucify Him!”. 👿

  4. Remember that Christian Fundamentalists would plant bombs at family planning clinics with the second one time go detonate after First Responders arrived on scene. That to me is the sum of Fundamentalism.

    • “Christian” Fundamentalists need to go back to the Gospels and read Jesus’s warnings about false teachers and blind guides.

    • I wonder how many of them turned 180 degrees and praised “Our Brave First Responders” after the 9-11 attacks.

  5. For some reason, fundamentalists of any religion, not only the fundamentalist versions of the Abrahamic faiths, tend also to be male supremacists. I don’t know why.

    Maybe because all or nearly all of the world’s major religions originated in southwestern or south-central Asia, which has been a realm of male-supremacist cultures for centuries?

  6. this is Very motivating, good read.

    • Dear Spammer:

      You smell like an ex-parrot! Go and boil your bottom, son of a silly person! I fart in your general direction! Your mother was a hamster, and your father smelt of elderberries! Now go away, or I will taunt you a sec-AWNN time!

      And if you come back, I will catapult a cow at you and maybe stab you with a banana! You have been warned, you empty-headed animal food trough wiper! 😛

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