The Fundamentalists Want your Life

women with burka

FUNDAMENTALISTS There are different types of fundamentalists, Christians, Jews, Muslims, Communists, and a whole lot more. This is not a complete list by any means, but sufficient to tell the story. Fundamentalism often has a religious connotation, since the term was originally used by Christians who wanted beliefs to be taken back to their fundamentals. So if the Bible said the world was created in six days, that’s exactly what it meant, no argument. There was no room for evolution, since it was not mentioned in the Bible. This literal belief system resulted in an emphasis on the origin of the beliefs and a rejection of any other opinion or explanation. Fundamentalists, no matter what their beliefs, all have the same characteristics: intolerance for anyone else’s viewpoint; a belief that they are following the only true way; that things must be done exactly as they say; and all people who are not in their sect are grossly mistaken, stupid, or just plain evil. Each sect believe that God has given them specific instructions in their particular “Bible”. The word of God cannot be challenged. And how do we know that it is the word of God? Because their book/ document/… Continue reading

Sin for beginners

Ned Flanders: I’ve done everything the Bible says — even the stuff that contradicts the other stuff! TRIBAL TABOOS Sin goes back to the earliest days of humanity; it was not called sin then, but breaking a taboo. These taboos were put in place for practical reasons, rather than spiritual reasons — incest, fouling waterholes, and killing clan members were not good for the tribe. Judaism, Christianity, and Islam have elevated taboos into sin: a crime against God. In Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism, the closest they get to the concept of sin is that wrong deeds have to be purged, usually by some unpleasant process. ORIGINAL SIN When God created humans, She gave them an instruction: do not eat from the apple tree (the tree of knowledge). But Adam and Eve disobeyed, thus they became the first sinners and — rather unjustly — all who were born after them were declared to be sinners from the moment of birth. That doesn’t leave us with much free-will! At least with Islam they do not believe everyone is cursed with original sin. We each create our own sin by ‘disobedience to God’, rather than inherit it. The concept of original sin did not appear… Continue reading

– Freedom of choice –

   Have you ever thought about why you have the religious beliefs you have? What made you choose to be Protestant rather than Catholic, or Muslim rather than Jewish?  There is an expression: “Hobson’s Choice” meaning that you take what is offered or nothing at all. I heard that this expression came from horse lender Hobson, (rent-a-horse), who would not allow riders to pick and choose among his horses, but offered them the first horse in the stable or none at all. What has this got to do with religion? Quite a lot for most people! Children brought up in a Christian family usually become Christian, often within a few weeks of birth, those who are born into a Muslim family usually become Muslim, those born into a Jewish family are  Jewish. Even worse: if your parents are a particular denomination such as Catholic or Protestant, Sunni or Shia, then their children will almost certainly follow their parents. You are, it would seem, born into the “one true religion“. Where was your choice? You were given Hobson’s choice. Did you ever examine the other religions/ philosophical beliefs without looking through the eyes of your religion? Did you ever consider another… Continue reading