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View Diary: The Scarlet Letter Returns - Fundies Force Child Rape Victim to Confess Her Sin (203 comments)

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  •  Differences in religion are not about (39+ / 0-)

    the labels of "Christian", "Jewish", "Muslim"--they are about "reformed", "moderate", and "fundamentalist".

    The fundies of all religions have more in common with each other than they do with members of their own religions.

    And yet they screech and holler about the horrors of the fundies of the other religions.

    Religious people everywhere need to call out these fundamentalist nutjobs and actively fight against their existence. (As a church, not as people)

    I blog about my daughter with autism at her website

    by coquiero on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 06:20:21 AM PDT

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    •  One difference with Jewish fundies (15+ / 0-)

      is while you can convert, they don't actively seek converts or domination, they're very private. At least as far as I know.  I only know one family personally, they live down the street and bring us gifts on the holidays.

      •  They are still fundies of their own sort. (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Nulwee, coquiero, arpear, chimpy

        The reason they don't try to convert others or proselytize is because you have to be born into their faith.  God's in the DNA for them.

        'Destroying America, One middle class family and one civil liberty at a time: Today's GOP'

        by emsprater on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 07:27:54 AM PDT

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        •  the result of being mercilessly persecuted... (14+ / 0-)

          ... since forever-ago.  Crusades, inquisitions, pogroms, and so on, and finally the nazi holocaust.  

          Two other data points:

          = Jews fleeing the holocaust could take practically nothing with them.  Yet many many times, to the point where it has become legendary, they took their diplomas and degrees with them, and their books with them, even if that meant leaving everything else except one change of clothes and a toothbrush.  

          = Jews represent about 1% of the US population and about 25% of Nobel prizes in the sciences.

          So what you see there is a culture that has had to be somewhat paranoid in order to simply survive, but has managed to maintain a ferocious respect for an commitment to learning and education and excellence.

          There are serious lessons in that for all of us.  

      •  Judaism does not proselytize (16+ / 0-)

        From what I've heard, rabbis are required to turn down prospective converts three times to make sure they're sincere.  It goes back to the days when Jews were persecuted for supposedly seeking to undermine Christianity.

        My own faith, Unitarian Universalism, doesn't proselytize, though not for the same reason.  We do, however, strongly encourage new members to take a workshop called Building Your Own Theology so they'll know exactly what the movement is about before committing.

        •  a friend of mine converted. (9+ / 0-)

          Said he was required to study and study and study.... it was about as hard as taking his PhD.  

          Once you're in, you're fully in and fully equal: and there is no talk of who was "born" into the faith or who "converted."  

          Highly admirable on both points.  Many lessons to be learned.

          •  Unforunately some of the crazy fundie groups (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            chimpy, ER Doc, G2geek

            are making distinctions about whether you're in the "right branch" of Judaism, even among Orthodox branches.  Thankfully these fundies are still serious minorities, especially in the US, even though most of them started in the US (they have disturbing amounts of influence in Israel, particularly in the "settler movement").

            Read pp. 1-7 of Krugman's _The Great Unraveling_ (available from Google Books). NOW.

            by neroden on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 03:55:53 PM PDT

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            •  Yes, and this ties in with.... (0+ / 0-)

              ... the crazies' intent to fulfill the "end-times prophesies" that ultimately call for the destruction of Israel, the forcible conversion of some number of Jews to Christianity, and the slaughter of those who won't go along.

              Somehow they have managed to get certain factions in Israel to ignore the latter parts of the deal.  

              Beam me up, Scotty, humans are weird.  

      •  And there are perfectly lovely Christian (13+ / 0-)

        fundamentalists, also. I know a few. The line isn't drawn so much at theology, as it is drawn at sociology. "How does this particular congregation relate to each other and the wider world?"

        The Amish, for example, are existentially more conservative than pretty much any Southern Baptist congregation, but they aren't fire and brimstone and they don't lobby to make their beliefs the law. They're not fuzzy, cuddly carebears or anything...they can treat their own fairly harshly if someone steps out of line, up to the point of exile from the community (shunning). But they seriously don't roil my gut like some of the "mainstream" Christian fundamentalist and evangelical groups.

        They only call it class war when we hit back.

        by jayjaybear on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 07:58:27 AM PDT

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        •  Having been raised in the fundamentalist Catholic (14+ / 0-)

          culture (think no meat on fridays, the father has absolute authority, homeschool because public schools are EVIL, the most important political consideration is whether the politician is pro-life) I can agree with you.

          The people I knew growing up and to a lesser degree still associate with at times (if I'm spending a day with my mom and she wants to stop at so-and-so's house to drop off so-and-so dish, etc) were extremely nice on a personal level. None of our families really had anything - too many kids! So everyone helped out each other. Everyone was always cooking for another family, dropping off fresh veggies grown from their garden, helping someone repair part of the house or move. It's still that way...one of my mom's friends took hours out of her day in the summer heat last summer to help me move my stuff because I couldn't afford a moving van.

          These very same people are virulently anti-gay and wouldn't know "acceptance" if it landed on their faces and started dancing...

          It just strikes me as a senseless waste of a life, to have this sense of charity existing alongside a swell of hatred that is never questioned.

          "Here's to our last drink of fossil fuels - may we vow to get off of this sauce...shoo away the swarms of commuter planes...and find that train ticket we lost."

          by terra on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 10:07:44 AM PDT

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          •  I question the use of "perfectly lovely." (5+ / 0-)

            To my way of thinking, perfectly lovely people don't spew hatred. How many of the decent people you describe would shame the hell outof their kids for being gay? How many kids have killed themselves because of that type of rejection and shaming?

            Some good qualities don't balance that out for me.

          •  I'm always reminded of (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            neroden, JohnInWestland

            Arendt's descriptions of various Nazi officers.  When they finished their work day at a camp they were "perfectly lovely people"among friends and fellow aryan Germans.  Nearly everyone is nice face to face in conservation.  It's how people weild their political power and treat others abstractly that defines whether they are evil.  I'm sorry but it's impossible to simultaneously be a good person and a fundamentalist because of the core positions these people have about other groups, etc.

    •  Questions on Fundamentalism (6+ / 0-)

      Fundamentalists claim to organize their philosophy around a rigidly literal, or fundamental, interpretation of some founding creed or documents, and/or to make this philosophy fundamental to their life.

      The problem with founding both daily behavior and long-term life decisions on a strict interpretation of religious documents, is the nature of religious literature. Even those collections of folklore and inspirational tales that happen to include laws, often include laws that pertained to life in a certain region during a certain century. Sometimes those laws contradict other laws from the same tradition. Sometimes characters in the stories violate those laws without negative consequence.

      And, they might be so many laws, and they might be so overly restrictive that not even fundamentalists attempt to follow every one of them. A family might enjoy tying its dinner discussion in knots over modern cladistics versus ancient dietary restrictions, and as recreational logic, that might be a healthy diversion. But only an aberrant few will try to bend public law toward keeping the each of rest of us from eating our own individual choice of sea creatures.

      But, it's not just the laws, or even just those traditions that include written laws. Mostly, religions are founded on literature, because nothing as black and white as a legal contract can provide the kind of guidance that stays relevant for millennia, while encompassing both private life and public conduct. And, after living with the completeness theorem in logic for nearly a century, mankind ought to also suspect that no tradition of religious tales can guide one in every situation, while maintaining airtight, legal consistency with its guidance in other situations. Any traditional body of parables rich and diverse enough to be interesting to an audience born in diverse millennia and continents, and useful enough to inspire their thoughts and actions, cannot be expected to guide each reader to the same conclusions.

      But, fundamentalists would have you believe they possess the one true interpretation. They can show you words in their founding documents that back up their pre-existing cultural prejudices, so they present those prejudices as divinely a commanded plan. But, they have little patience when someone shows them words in the same document that lead to the opposite conclusion: all the while it's the cultural prejudice that guides them, and the religious text is only moral cover. You can argue rights, tradition, and words until you're blue in the face, but after a while, you'll feel that there's nothing for it but a good swift kick in the fundament.

      Why is there a Confederate Flag flying in Afghanistan?

      by chimpy on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 10:41:12 AM PDT

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      •  That is the reason I left a Protestant (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        chimpy, nellgwen, coquiero, blue muon, neroden

        Christian church and their emphasis on converting everyone to Christianity.  Many other religions, most older than Christianity, believe their religion is the only "true" one.  Who am I to tell them they are wrong.

        But, fundamentalists would have you believe they possess the one true interpretation.

        Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it. Helen Keller

        by Amber6541 on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 12:38:56 PM PDT

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