2004.05.27 reading is fundamentalist

reading is fundamentalist 2006.04.29 night of the living fundamentalists

night of the living fundamentalists


Funny; it shows how absurd and odd a fundamentalist reading of the final


some of the worst atrocities were by "godless" regimes. But they were, in a sense, fundamentalist. I'm begining to think fundamentalism is pretty much evil but right now I don't have a defintion of fundamentalism I'm happy with.


I did a little research into this subject matter and found it to be basically true. (at least for certain fundamentalists) This got me thinking. If we put a baby pig on every airline flight then all suicide terrorists would abort their missions as they would not want their souls to go to hell.


a new <a href="">CBS sitcom</a> about the romance between two former spouses of WTC victims</a>? Also, going on with yesterday's using pigs to stop Islamic fundamentalist terrorists, a piece on <a href="">Sexual fantasies of a suicide bomber</a> that talks about the relationship between


And for the record, I want to say it's not judaism I dislike, or even religion, but fundamentalism. And right now it seems like Israel is going through a right wing/fundamentalist resurgence.


Wired article <a href=",1286,53820,00.html">What Buddhists Know About Science</a>. I've always been really impressed with the respect the Dali Lama gives to science, that if science proved reincarnation wrong, Buddhists would have to rethink their view...a far cry from the Christian Fundamentalist viewpoint about evolution! And it does make me wonder if Western science is to quick to reject what it doesn't have simple explanations for...the trouble is with subjective stuff like the brain, it's tough to make good statistical measures, or gather objective data at all.<br><br>


<a href="">CAP Alert</a> has become a bit of an Internet joke. They provide movie reviews for Fundamentalist Christian parents, and pick on such oddball things (like adults in underwear, or having a "take care of #1" attitude expressed) that the reviews are kind of amusing. A more balanced view for parents seems to provided by <a href="">Screen It</a>...


You know, I'm still always a little startled when I hear about the ministers and other believers who are Christian but don't take everything about the Bible literally. (I think a lot of Anglicans are like that, according to one survey I heard about, and the preacher in the blog mentions that's one of the things he learned about Bible scholars in his pre-seminary schooling.) I think the church in America does itself a disservice with its Fundamentalist "incorruptable and literally true" reading of its holy book. I think that's certainly something that drove me from my faith. On the other hand, from a meme point of view, maybe "the American church" is doing better for itself with this kind of simple, easy to understand, take-it-or-leave-it belief. After all, people don't seem to be getting much more rational, or equipped to judge the scientific likelihood of some of the claims of the bible.

I'm not 100% which of these camps my mom falls into. But I think she's aware of how this kind of thought has kept me from the church, and that's why she's bugged that I like to listen to Christian radio, which tends to be very fundamentalist. I listen to it because I like to argue with the radio, and it's probably not fair that that radio is so tempering my view of the religion.


What struck me is how much more common atheism and agnosticism is in England, and how even Christian believers (including Richard Holloway) there tend to see the story of the Virgin Birth and Resurrection as allegories, not historical fact. Of all the people interviewed, there was only one strong defense of what I think of as "traditional" Christianity. I think one thing that we forget in the USA is how much of a Fundamentalist influence there is, relative to other Western democracies. (Someone once claimed that some ethnographers view the USA as a third world country that got lucky wealth-wise; given how strong fundamentalism also is in, say, African nations, I wonder if religious influence is one of the things that ties into that view of the USA.)


On my over I was listening to some Christian (oh, err, "Family") Radio, which is kind of how I keep tabs on the American fundamentalist right. And to be fair, some of the shows on it talk more sense than others. But it made me realize that I do have some "old school" ideas about marriage. Two or three years ago I was definately in the "marriage isn't that different from being shacked up" camp, and I guess that's still pretty true on a day-to-day basis. But now I realize that it really taps into this unusually strong sense of commitment I have...I'm a guy with relatively few moral absolutes, but keeping to commitments is one of them. I accept that there are going to be some marriages that are so fundamentally messed up, abusive and what not, that they should be ended, but Mo and I both agree we didn't have that kind of problem...and I believe in the power to self-direct personal growth, and that one of the points of something like a marriage commitment is to provide a shelter for the tough times, to give people a chance to make changes that need to be changed. I really don't put much stock into that whole "well I've just grown apart" shtick. (Or for that matter Mo's "well I just didn't <i>know</i> enough about myself to make that kind of commitment back then" or whatever it is she was saying last night.)<br><br>


in a piece called <a href="">Why terror?</a>, by Bhikhu Parekh. (Looks like that link might become subscription only after a while.) I think one thing we're <i>lousy</i> at is putting ourselves in the philosophical shoes of Islamic fundamentalist terrorists. Yes, they're inarguably evil, but when you begin with some of the same starting assumptions they do (mostly religion based, which is why some people point to religious faith itself being a problem) it's a rational and almost justifiable evil, not just being bad for bad's sake. And many in this country will not acknowledge that. Some of that refusal is justified; almost any behavior that seems to reward terrorism is suspect. But we're so fond of the stick that we tend to forget about the carrot, act as if you can't address some of the problems the terrorists draw their energy from while simultaneously showing little mercy in the pursuit of the people planning to strike.


The party of Lincoln and Liberty was transmogrified into the party of hairy-backed swamp developers and corporate shills, faith-based economists, fundamentalist bullies with Bibles, Christians of convenience, freelance racists, misanthropic frat boys, shrieking midgets of AM radio, tax cheats, nihilists in golf pants, brownshirts in pinstripes, sweatshop tycoons, hacks, fakirs, aggressive dorks, Lamborghini libertarians, people who believe Neil Armstrong's moonwalk was filmed in Roswell, New Mexico, little honkers out to diminish the rest of us, Newt's evil spawn and their Etch-A-Sketch president, a dull and rigid man suspicious of the free flow of information and of secular institutions, whose philosophy is a jumble of badly sutured body parts trying to walk. Republicans: The No.1 reason the rest of the world thinks we're deaf, dumb and dangerous.


Subway Series: <a href="">SHOW TUNES 2, FUNDAMENTALISTS 0</a>.


It really makes me want to start a big anti-fundamentalist "YOUR BELIEF IN GOD IS A GUESS" campaign, not that it would help matters anyway...hardly anyone changes their viewpoint thanks to a slogan. (But think about it..."faith" is all well and good, but think of all the other "faiths" your putting aside. Like the old Atheist saw about "so which god aren't you believing in?")

I wish I had a better historical understanding of how religous zeal and fundamentalism waxes and wanes in a culture, because right now right here it's definately on the rise, and it's hard to remember there tends to be a cyclical nature to it, that many generations are less religous-oriented than the previous one, not more. As much as the fundamentalists are shaping the world into a big Christianity vs Islam clash, the world has been a fundamentalists vs. secularists struggle...and the latter group is losing, badly. Except maybe in Eurupe.


And as much as I wanted Gore to win, I guess I'm just as happy Lieberman never became the VP, that frickin' puritan fundamentalist.


The idea that there can be prudential compromises on issues like the right to die, or same-sex marriage, or stem-cell research is a difficult one for fundamentalists. Since there is no higher authority than God, and, since there can be no higher priority than obeying him, the entire notion of separating politics and religion is inherently troublesome to the fundamentalist mind.


AM...I've drifted away from "keeping tabs on the (christian right wing fundamentalist) enemy" with


This kind of thing strengthens my distrust and, frankly, hatred of Fundamentalist religion. People who follow the liberal religious outlook think that their meta-belief might encompass pretty much every outlook, but it really doesn't; any belief system that mistakes faith for fact and acts accordingly is the enemy of the Moderates' viewpoint.


So many other people--especially in the United States and the Middle East--feel that their belief system needs to be all-encompassing or else it (and society) all falls apart...I guess its ground I've covered before...<a href="/scripts/searchblog.cgi?search=fundamentalist">search this site for "fundamentalist"</a> to see more about that, lest I repeat myself more than I already am.

Oh what the heck: <blockquote class="quote">"Since there is no higher authority than God, and, since there can be no higher priority than obeying him, the entire notion of separating politics and religion is inherently troublesome to the fundamentalist mind."<br><i>--Andrew Sullivan.</i></blockquote>


status! If certain right-wing and fundamentalist pressure-groups hadn't


Another note.... how many more hardline hardcore Islamic fundamentalist governments have to get elected before we realize that widespread democracy might not be our friend in the Middle East? By coincidence, I added an old political pin to my courier bag from a collection my dad had made... "President Nixon / Now More Than Ever". I like it because it can both be used as a sly-ish commentary on the people currently in office, but it also kind of reflects my belief that we would have been better served by a Kissinger-esque sense of "realpolitik" post-9-11 than what we ended up with.

I recently heard an interpretation that states Islam has been in kind of a dark ages for centuries now. It seems to me that there's an inverse relationship between fundamentalism and human advancement. I suspect a balance between faith and science is useful to a society, but looking at how the secularist enlightenment brought Europe out of its Dark Ages.... of course the trouble is that there's not much stopping the fundamentalists from co-opting the technology and other forms of progress a more balanced approach applies... this has been going on for a long time in the Middle East and I think can be applied to some of the political situation here and now.


In fact, all fundamentalists, fascists and idealogues can all just go screw. When concepts, ideas and personal power matter more to you than human individuals you've lost a valuable part of your own humanity.


And nice use of your veto on the Stem Cells. With 72% of Americans in favor of it, I hope it greatly helps to make a huge wedge between your party's unholy alliance of Fundamentalists and traditional Conservatives.


It's weird seeing his early stuff when he was a bit cutting edge, and not just in the weird "Fundamentalist Wacko" way.


He further argues that this might already be happening with Christian and Moslem fundamentalists.


Not my favorite Coupland work, lacking the constant flow of neat observations and ideas, but decent. For me the most striking bit was this series of apocalyptic visions of one of the central characters, dealing with MS, raised by foster families, most featuring an odd fundamentalist religious bent.


Looking at the Apple logo embedded on the back of my iPhone, shiny and reflective in contrast to the brushed metal around it, it occurs to me that if I were a fundamentalist, the bitten apple, with its clear forbidden fruit reference, appearing on more and more consumer devices (the iPod, no less, subverting millions of impressionable youth by isolating them into their own little musical worlds) would make me very suspicious.<center>


them, Fundamentalist Christianity acts as a bit of a strawman. And I


That site is so great, sometimes I wonder if my own spirituality would be different if his kind of left-leaning, activist voice - calling out literalist and fundamentalist extremists on a number of very valid points - had a stronger say in the pop-culture.


I think it does harken back to old issues of "why do we live?" I think everyone needs to work out their answer for this. For a certain fundamentalist outlook, the answer is simple: because God says human life is sacred... (and to be on the safe side, we should adopt as wide-ranging a view of "human life" as possible, which informs their stance on abortion.) (Does John 15:13, "Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends", add any nuance to the ironclad rule?)


<a href="">The Dawkins vs Armstrong dueling essays from WSJ</a> that my UU Science and Spirituality discussed last night. Dawkins is a fundamentalist literalist who just happens to have truth on his side. Doesn't mean he's 100% right though - I really think fundamentalism of all stripes is the core problem, when faith becomes more important than life. (But at least Dawkins is a fundie about the process - the scientific process - and not just the current result of that, the scientific consensus, such as it is.)


<blockquote class="quote">I'm starting to think that the the backwardness of any given culture is in direct proportion to the degree the Fundamentalists (be they religious or atheistic, like the commies) hold sway.</blockquote>

Of course, non-religious Fundamentalists have the inverse problem of <i>Logos</i> minus <i>Mythos</i> (Man, it's annoying that "Logos" looks like the plural of "logo"). At my UU Science and Spirituality group I said of Dawkins and his crew that I believe them to also be Fudamentalists, the difference is they probably have the facts on their side. But what they need to accept is those facts probably aren't what really matter to the human experience, and science is notoriously bad at showing us how to live, or why.


That's kind of the thing about the liberal religious tradition. The various flaovors of Fundamentalists can't all be right! But they're probably not all wrong, either. Like I quoted my fellow group member John a while back:


<a href=""></a> - Hitchens on the fundamentalist-friendly piffle of Prince Charles - (I gotta read Hitchens' memoir...)


from a BoingBoing theory on <a href="">Christian Fundamentalists and their distrust of Set Theory</a>... man, most of us can't hate something so abstract!


If you'd gone to a publisher in 1981 with a proposal for a science-fiction novel that consisted of a really clear and simple description of the world today, they'd have read your proposal and said, Well, it's impossible. This is ridiculous. This doesn't even make any sense. [...] Fossil fuels have been discovered to be destabilizing the planet's climate, with possibly drastic consequences. There's an epidemic, highly contagious, lethal sexual disease that destroys the human immune system, raging virtually uncontrolled throughout much of Africa. New York has been attacked by Islamist fundamentalists, who have destroyed the two tallest buildings in the city, and the United States in response has invaded Afghanistan and Iraq.


Burying normal human desires because you can interpret them as not fitting your politics is what fundamentalists do. It never works out.


3. If they weren't such a bunch of fundamentalist barbarians out to install a repressive region of utter intolerance, I'd almost have respect for these jerks. As it is I will just find it hilarious they are called "ISIS" just like the people in the animated series "Archer".


<a href=""></a> Oh, man. 5 years ago I found this project page. The begging the question of the fundamental correctness of everything Conservative is just mind boggling. "We know we're correct, and we share God's view of everything. So if anything in the Bible doesn't support exactly what we believe and how we believe it, it must be a mistranslation, and we can fix that." It runs so counter to other fundamentalist ways of thinking - swapping "the inerrancy of the Bible" for, like, "the inerrancy of us" (or maybe "the inerrancy of Rush Limbaugh") Check out the "talk" tab for extra awesomeness.<br>


Slate on <a href="">Why conservatives are talking about struggling white people the way they usually talk about black people</a>. I know it's too easy for me to think of neocons as cackling villains, but the whole big business / fundamentalist 'solid south' white coalition has bugged me for a long while; Trump's say-anything populism has driven a wedge in the that, and this article points to how some of that kind of business conservative might start sounding if they stop thinking they can no longer use pretending to care about fundie issues (like anti-gay-rights and anti-abortion) to keep those voters on their side.


<a href="">Skepticism on the Rise Worldwide</a>. I have no intention of becoming a strident atheist, or even a militant agnostic ("we don't know the answer to these things... AND NEITHER DO YOU") but still, I would think that the sheer number of faiths and beliefs would give fundamentalist "we have an exclusive line to The Truth" thinking pause. But the whole disastrous mess of fundamentalism isn't prone to that kind of thoughtful reflection or self-doubt.<br>


<a href="">Video from an undercover CIA operator</a> - This video is a great reminder that no one thinks they're the bad guy of the story (and yeah, the USA really acts more like Star Wars' Empire than the Rebellion). BUT - to understand why the differences between relatively rationale actors is so strong, you have to look to the starting premises. And when that starting premise is one of the unfalsifiable, supernatural faiths, especially of the fundamentalist variety, anything goes. There's no real limit to the amount of hate you can theoretically justify, and then if you look to basic humane principles to judge one of these faiths as superior to a different one (for example, the Judeo-Christian Fundamentalists aren't generally dunking suspected spies into nitric acid, I'd say that's a plus) then you're admitting that humane principles are important - even if you think that the humane principles only make sense when coming from God (which I think is false) at least you're outlining some potential common ground, so we should run with that and promote that flavor of humanity.


The symmetry between left and right is imperfect, and I do think the liberal viewpoint is ultimately more moral, somewhat more reality-based (if a bit too optimistic here and there) and has more robust mechanisms for correction from fundamentalist doctrine that the conservative side. The tribalism of both sides is nuts though - there's a lot of social pressure to toe the line.


The Syrians in general are sympathetic people, nice people. It is only the Muslim Brotherhood that makes the problem for Christians, but, then, fundamentalists are the same everywhere, are they not?" <br>


These two layers have been squashed together. In America, I blame fundamentalism. For a while, during the times of the Enlightenment, after the Scientific Revolution, Christian belief hitched its wagon to scientific finding. Those two layers seemed compatible. But as the base level started to pull away from simplistic, literal readings of the holy texts on the layer above it, fundamentalism doubled down, and started letting the upper level of meaning leach down and bleach out the level of simple facts. Or I guess we could say: before that time, the layer of facts was relatively flatter - there was less proof of it, fewer spikes, less ways where the obscure science facts mattered in day to day life. But it got spikier, and rather than moving on up, fundamentalist belief keeps trying to wash the spikes out. Hence, museums with Noah hanging out with dinosaurs and crap like that. <br>


I kind of hate that while the primary task remains legitimate sorrow for every victim of the tragedy and their communities, the secondary task is sorting out does this support or undermine my worldview viz a viz Guns Culture is a Serious Problem VS. We Gotta Watchout for Islamic Fundamentalist Terrorists. (And to repeat, more sacrifices to our <a href="">great god Gun</a>)


Besides being a product of my own neuroses, I think this reflects my upbringing in Western culture. Some Eastern outlooks I admire embrace moderation as a virtue in and of itself, but it's not a point of emphasis for the Evangelical Christian culture I was swimming. (My upbringing wasn't fundamentalist, but I see how a need for being Objectively Unassailably True is why we have young earth Creationists etc... in the West, God is often all about being The Ultimate, the complete, the total, all-knowing, all-loving, all-powerful, all-turned-up-to-11. We forget that there are other ways to interpret Him - how if you go back to the Old Testament you see a God who is sometimes all too human, almost petulant. The author Karen Armstrong does a good job of explaining how the Trinity covers a lot of old bases, from the unknowable, ineffable "Sky God" to the much more human types we see walking around Mount Olympus etc.)<br>


And so years passed. I became aware that my faith, while not fundamentalist, had been pretty brittle, and maybe I'd lost something leaving it behind. I tried to find that in the UU, which in its liberal New England form seemed to offer the fellowship without demanding sacrificing skepticism, and maybe provide insight into those other religions, and the commonalities in the human experience they might all share. I've kind of drifted from them as well (save for a "Science and Spirituality" reading group I still attend) - but I think I have found much of the sense of community and purpose in activist Band music (heck, the School of Honk meets Sundays, takes to the streets with horns, and constantly invites people to join them - very Salvation Army like!)


Sometimes fundamentalist interpretations (across religions) feel more consistent and true to me than more relaxed ones, even as I despise their conclusions and actions - but sometimes their extrapolations from their faulty initial premises have an admirable clarity. I reject their conclusions, of course, as will most humane people, believer and non-believers alike... but I then don't know how that's not a call to a universal humanism.


Heh, put like that it reminds me of the end of the world vision some Fundamentalists Christians paint for the end of the world, with repentant sinners pleading for mercy it is too late for.


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