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View Diary: A turning point for Christian fundamentalists (27 comments)

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  •  I'm no fundie, but... (none)
    I am a Presbyterian -- pretty mainstream.  That said, I think you're confusing/conflating (i) religious intolerance at the societal level, (ii) fundamentalist approaches to scripture (the Bible, the Koran, what have you), and (iii) doctrinal orthodoxy or tenets of the faith.  IMHO, thinking that one's religion is "true" has little/nothing to do with the assertions you're making.  Quite the contrary: isn't it a basic element of a "religion" to posit a belief system?  

    There are presumably as many examples as religions, but I'll use my own: if I'm not willing to say that Jesus Christ is the crucified and risen Savior (a central tenet of my faith), then IMHO I'm not really a Presbyterian (and the governing bodies of my church would agree).  I might be someone who likes the social events and wants to get my kid in their nursery school.  But here's the rub -- if I commit to the central tenets of my faith, then I MUST also believe (just to pick some examples) that Jews are incorrect in claiming that the Messiah is not yet come and Muslims are incorrect in claiming that Jesus was a prophet but was not divine.  Put another way, being a true follower of most major world religions (obviously not all) necessarily implies an explicit rejection of a substantial number of other religions.  News flash: major religions are not doctrinally compatible.  What would it be like to be a pious religionist if you didn't believe your religion was the one true religion???   It's an ancient (and perhaps sadly topical) joke: "Is the Pope Catholic?"

    So, hey, the problem with fundamentalists is not that they believe that the [insert other religionists] are intellectually incorrect, it's that the fundamentalists act like insane totalitarian assholes in the social and political spheres.

    Loyalty comes from love of good government, not fear of a bad one. Hugo Black.

    by Pondite on Thu Mar 31, 2005 at 03:01:05 PM PST

    •  I commend to you (4.00)
      the writings of Marcus Borg of Oregon State University.  He believes we are in the midst of a great upheaval in Christianity, a second Reformation, in which Christians are willing to admit that there are alternative paths to salvation.  According to him, this second reformation is also characterized by the ordination of women, the reassessment of homosexual activity, and the rejection of biblical literalism.  Of course, the Presbyterian Church is itself in considerable turmoil around many of these very issues today as conservatives attempt to wrestle for control of that church's structure.  Be careful you don't get left behind as the second Reformation takes root.
      •  I'll take that recommendation; (none)
        it sounds like Borg has his eyes open.  I'm not as doctrinal as my post might suggest; I do believe in what some call "progressive revelation".  I grew up in the Congregational wing of the UCC, and I love their slogan "God is still speaking" -- He's never stopped.  (My only diary had a thread on this in the comments.)

        Still, I hope you took my point that on some level, thinking that one has the "one true religion" is a defining characteristic (though not, as noted, a necessary factor) of "religious" feeling as opposed to, say, philosophy.  Indeed, a hallmark of much very genuine and laudable religious piety is conviction or faith that the tenets in question describe the ultimate reality of the universe.  Of course, the evil side of that facet also (in part) gives rise to the behavior you and I lament in the fundies.

        Loyalty comes from love of good government, not fear of a bad one. Hugo Black.

        by Pondite on Thu Mar 31, 2005 at 06:00:56 PM PST

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