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Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Feuding with Fundies

Today's post was inspired by a conversation I had with a friend on Facebook this morning as I was eating breakfast. My friend, who lives in India, recently entered into an online relationship with a woman here in the US.  After congratulating him on the happy news, I asked my friend a few questions about his new girlfriend to get an idea of what she was like. He explained to me that while she lives at home with her parents and is a freelance DJ on the weekends, there's a feud going on between her and her parents because her parents are fundamentalist Christians while she is an atheist.

When one thinks of the word "fundamentalist", at least here in America, two specific images come to mind: one of a howling preacher standing in front of a congregation, waving around a Bible and admonishing his congregants to be "saved" or burn in hell; and the other of Moslem terrorists posing for pictures while brandishing a Koran in one hand and weapons in the other.

Dubs and Osama-two sides of the same coin

To understand these seemingly contradictory images, one must first know what "fundamentalism" means. Linguistically, the term "fundamentalist" is based on the root word "fundament", which means "foundation". In each of these two images, the preacher and the terrorist, the individuals believe that what they are doing is the correct way to practice their religions because their respective sacred scriptures say certain things which are to be followed, word for word.

This is where the trouble starts. Because fundamentalists believe that THEIR way is the "right" way, it causes all sorts of problems in society at large.

If you look beyond the linguistic definition of "fundament", you'll also see it refers to an anus; more crudely, the ass hole.

Pastor Robert Tilton, also known as "The Farting Preacher", appropriately enough

Ultimately, the fundamentalist is an asshole.

By its very nature, fundamentalism of any stripe (from the religious to the secular) puts ignorance up on a pedestal and says "this is what you must aspire to be. Anything outside our sacred texts is sinful!" It's one thing to be able to cite the preferred religious/secular texts backwards, forwards, up and down; but it doesn't mean shit if it renders you incapable of functioning within society at large.

That is ultimately the big beef I have with fundamentalism. Because of the ignorance that results from being exposed to such an insular world, the thumper essentially spits in God's face by telling Him "Your creation is not good enough for me! Therefore, it's not worth learning about!" Religious fundamentalists deny themselves knowledge of sciences, history, philosophy, and even knowledge of other sects of their own faith, much less other faiths. Secular fundamentalists deny themselves knowledge of religious traditions and practices, as well as humanities; the "why" aspects of life.

Do yourself a favor. Don't be a thumper. Don't be an asshole

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