Monday, June 13, 2016

Orlando and the Plague of Fundamentalism

I got a call from my brother yesterday morning. He's gay. Naturally the Orlando massacre came up in our conversation. The discussion got around to religious fundamentalism, people of that rabid religiosity that infests the world today - Muslim, Christian, Judaic, Hindu, hell even Buddhist. There you will find the murderous malignancy of intolerance.

I wondered how many good Christian folks went to church yesterday seeing God's hand at work in Orlando.

Fundamentalism is rooted in scriptural inerrancy. Every word, no matter how malicious, is the word of God. If God says homos are to be put to death, well it's right there in writing. Has to be true. How warped does a mind have to be to believe that shit?

Imagine a world free from fundamentalism of any stripe. Imagine.

16 comments:

Lorne said...

Those who calm religious authority for their hatred, Mound, are using that simply as an excuse. To claim this or that from the Bible is to hew to a very primitive interpretation of the Old Testament which emerged, after all, from a tribal religion. It shows its adherents to be backward and totally lacking in any real spiritual insight.

the salamander said...

.. I've long marvelled at the fundamentalist fallacies.. the bizarre fervour .. the sanctimonious certainty.. that their respective invisble friend or friends up there.. are the only real one or ones.. Knowing that things get lost in translation or when whispered in an ear and passed on, then retold or expanded on or turned to advantage or to validate a war or genocide is also grounds for deep suspicion in my view. Of course I grew up surrounded by nuns and predatory Brothers and as an altar boy became adept at close encounters with the priests..

But adding religion of any sort or flavor to.. say governance or education, or the military or even dinner conversation makes for a dangerous combination. Add money or power - control as well & you have a flammable status quo. Fundamentalism is essentially a disease or mood disorder. Usually lots of people die & unfortunately, the wrong folks die. Never fear.. The great USA of A is holding their next presidential election with a fundamentalist candidate.. Trump is kind of a devolved or mutant Republican fundamentalist with his very own religion.. ie himself. Clinton is yet another bizarre political fundamentalist of the Neoliberal Church. It won't surprise me to see the american beast tearing at itself, howling and screeching and being sure to reach out and maim & kill as well. Hell, we missed out on Ted Cruz going truly bigtime and the bizzaro spectacle of that alone would have been spectacular.

For now the USA has a new and complicated villain's body to circle around and sniff bravely.. the Orlando shooter. As far as the religious right can see, he was wondrously perfect & perverted. Afghan descent, probably an ISIS sleeper cell all by himself & he served their Lord by going after the LGBT sinners in a gay bar, where they probably shared the bathrooms. what more could they ask?

The Mound of Sound said...

@ Lorne - I don't think fundamentalism is ever long on spirituality. Fundamentalism is a doctrine of exclusivity that sharply distinguishes between the true believers and everyone else. Spirituality is something that can be shared among religions, even to those without a faith. I think that's been one of the things Pope Francis has brought out.

The Mound of Sound said...

@ Sal - back in the day when I wore a uniform, the officer corps in the US was heavily Episcopalian. The moderate, Anglican faith was one factor that seemed to lead to promotion.

Today, evangelical Christianity has become the religious prerequisite. Remember the fundamentalist US army general, Jerry Boykin, who got up on stage to publicly denounce Islam saying he led his troops into battle knowing "my God was a real god, his god was an idol."

From what I've read, the US Air Force academy has become a glorified fundamentalist church camp. Bacevich discusses the corrosive effect fundamentalism has had on the US military in his book, "The New American Militarism." It's a good read.

Pamela Mac Neil said...

Religion, especially fundamentalism rests on the premise of faith versus reason. Faith asks a person to accept beliefs without proof, including the existence of God. Reason asks a person to think conceptually, to analyze and to deduce in order to acquire knowledge. No discovery, invention, or new idea ever came from having faith. All of our knowledge essentially comes from the exercise of reason and thinking. Aristotle, probably one of the greatest minds that ever lived said "The onus is on he who asserts the positive", which simply means if a person says something exists, then it is their intellectual responsibility to prove it. Anyone today who chooses to think and I'm including you Mound and a number of others on this Blog,is outside of the cultural norm. In fact I would surmise that a number of people on this blog at some point in their lives had to choose between using their intelligence and being an outsider or conforming to many of societies various non-thinking groups. All faith requires conformity.The fact that in the 21st century, religious beliefs is dominant, I see as a prelude to tyranny.

I don't know if you have ever heard of a man by the name of Vladimir Bukovsky. He was a dissident when the Soviet Union was communist. He said, it's not that the state wants you to become a communist, it's not that the state wants you to learn communist ideas and it's not that the state even wants you to believe in communism. All the state wants you to do is OBEY! So too do almost all religions.

The Mound of Sound said...


Pamela, I think this flourishing of fundamentalism is ominous. The inherent exclusivity of it posits the world as true believers and enemies of the true faith. There's no peace to be found in that rancid mentality. This isn't a matter of religious freedom. It's a matter of religious intolerance and the extremism that begets. These assholes deserve all the derision and scorn we can heap upon them and that starts with the Home Team first.

Pamela Mac Neil said...

I agree Mound. Neil Macdonald actually wrote a great article on this same subject. I read it on National Newswatch.

The Mound of Sound said...


Was that article recent, Pamela? I'd like to read it.

UU4077 said...

"Scriptural inerrancy"? Really? First they have to read in the original language and understand the original cultural setting. Not happening? So, they're full of crap.

Really - did Joshua (aka Jesus to the Greeks) condemn "homosexuality"? No. Then what's the problem? (And, don't give me Paul/Saul's take. He never knew Jesus.)

The Mound of Sound said...

@UU4077. Are you familiar with Chris Hedges. He's the son of a Presbyterian minister and he holds a Masters of Divinity degree from Harvard.

If you haven't read it you should get your hands on a copy of "American Fascists: the Christian Right and the War on America."

Pamela Mac Neil said...

It was written yesterday Mound June 13th. It was on the CBC, but I read it on National Newswatch. Hope that helps.

Pamela Mac Neil said...

Just go to National Newswatch Mound and put in Neil MacDonald under search and his article will pop up.

the salamander said...

.. lest I forget .. if you have not read it, at least review some reviews of Under The Banner of Heaven - John Krakhauer, who wrote Into Thin Air. Re the Morman murders, North Dakota I believe.. The fundamentalism of The Mormans is mind blowing, built on a house of cards & a batch o mystical nonsense translations. Fastest growing religion in The USA .. quite prepared & capable of functioning outside the law

Anonymous said...

That's funny a few years ago you wrote that your "gay brother" had died of AIDS. It's still in the Internet. Is it a coincidence or does the truth need outing?

The Mound of Sound said...

Pretty sure I didn't, Anon. He's still doing just fine although he can be grouchy at times. See you, S.

Anonymous said...

We have a copy of you saying that so let's put the two versions side by side and let people decide.