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Author Topic: What is wrong with fundamentalists?  (Read 2879 times) Average Rating: 0
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Riddikulus
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« on: September 20, 2009, 07:51:58 PM »

This is a question I have been struggling with for many years. Every time I encounter a fundamentalist (online or in real life) I wonder what makes them tick. What is it that makes a person a fundamentalist? By fundamentalist I refer to someone who is so convinced of their own rightness that they can discount everyone who disagrees with them as "a lost cause". When one disagrees with their interpretation one is declared ignorant of Scripture, because there can only be one way of looking at things as far as the fundamentalist is concerned; their way. Why is the fundamentalist so lacking in hope for their fellow man that they consider it perfectly acceptable to make themselves God's mouthpiece and declare that anyone who disagrees with them is "damned to hell"?  Is it upbringing that makes a person this way, or is it some sort of chemical misfunction in the brain? What is wrong with fundamentalists?

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« Reply #1 on: September 20, 2009, 10:00:42 PM »

This is a question I have been struggling with for many years. Every time I encounter a fundamentalist (online or in real life) I wonder what makes them tick. What is it that makes a person a fundamentalist? By fundamentalist I refer to someone who is so convinced of their own rightness that they can discount everyone who disagrees with them as "a lost cause". When one disagrees with their interpretation one is declared ignorant of Scripture, because there can only be one way of looking at things as far as the fundamentalist is concerned; their way. Why is the fundamentalist so lacking in hope for their fellow man that they consider it perfectly acceptable to make themselves God's mouthpiece and declare that anyone who disagrees with them is "damned to hell"?  Is it upbringing that makes a person this way, or is it some sort of chemical misfunction in the brain? What is wrong with fundamentalists?



i dont know, Christianity claims to be the one true religion, i dont think its hard to see why they feel any non-Christian is lost.
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« Reply #2 on: September 20, 2009, 10:08:07 PM »

Really? Do you feel confident enough to make such a claim about anybody? What about the Christian who disagrees with you? Are they a lost cause? Are they damned to hell?
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« Reply #3 on: September 20, 2009, 10:40:51 PM »

Really? Do you feel confident enough to make such a claim about anybody? What about the Christian who disagrees with you? Are they a lost cause? Are they damned to hell?

It sounds to me that you are talking about anyone who is a zealot or fundamentalist about any particular belief or idealogy, whether it be Christianity, Islam, or a political leaning.

I have often wondered this myself, and the only answer I can come up with is pride.
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« Reply #4 on: September 20, 2009, 10:43:15 PM »

Dear sister-in-Christ,

 I'm not sure that there is a one-size-fits-all answer to your question.  Sometimes people behave the way they do because they are fearful of the world; sometimes they have an inferiority complex and sometimes they're simply lacking maturity.  Of coarse, there are many other reasons I would imagine.  And I say "they", but really I think we all exhibit these types of behaviors from time to time.  Maybe, sometimes, we interpret their behavior as being fundamentalist because we don't understand where they're coming from.  It seems we all view our world with different types of filters that we acquire from our upbringing, sex, race, religion, culture, political outlook etc... Plus, we humans are wont to compartmentalize others because it helps us 'understand' or 'decipher' their behavior more easily.  I agree that this behavior is/can be very unsettling, but I'm sure I've exhibited a 'fundie' mentality from time to time.  I've found that trying to understand all of them is futile; rather, try getting to know each person as a friend and then we'll have a better grasp as to their behavior.  Hope this helped a little. 

 Gabriel
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« Reply #5 on: September 20, 2009, 11:09:03 PM »

Gabriel,

Good answer. I thank you.

Don't get me wrong; I know that we can all be uncharitable at times, I'm certainly no exception. But I'm not talking the ocassional a slip-up or reaction to provocation; even though it is wrong and inexcusable. I'm talking about people who are predictably and rampantly *right*, judgmental and hateful enough to declare that anyone who disagrees with their viewpoint is "a lost cause" or "damned to hell" or "a heretic" or much worse. These people have no doubts that every word that trots off their tongue or the end of their fingers is divinely inspired. They know that Harry Potter or evolution or the Freemasons or whatever-they-happen-to-be-against is satanic and if one disagrees, there is no reasoned exchange of opinions because one is immediately declared satanic by association. They know that Catholics/Orthodox/Episopalians/whatever are evil satan-worshippers; along with that atheist they just can't seem to get to convert: and none are worthy of respect. What is it that makes a person so confident, so lacking in conscience that they can condemn their fellow man without the slightest hint of remorse - and using the Scripture of a Loving God in the process?


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« Reply #6 on: September 20, 2009, 11:13:45 PM »

Really? Do you feel confident enough to make such a claim about anybody? What about the Christian who disagrees with you? Are they a lost cause? Are they damned to hell?

It sounds to me that you are talking about anyone who is a zealot or fundamentalist about any particular belief or idealogy, whether it be Christianity, Islam, or a political leaning.

I have often wondered this myself, and the only answer I can come up with is pride.

Handmaiden,

I agree that pride has a great deal to do with it, but pride is something that we all suffer from; yet not all of us who suffer from pride are fundamentalists. If that makes any sense.  laugh
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« Reply #7 on: September 20, 2009, 11:49:22 PM »

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« Reply #8 on: September 21, 2009, 12:46:42 AM »

Speaking s one who, in the past, has been seriously hurt by religious fundamentalism, I just don't know.  A fundamentalist is one who takes religion, which is supposed to give us peace and bring us closer to God, and twist it around into an instrument used to attack everyone and anyone who does not share their own views.  When speaking of fundamentalist, I do not necessary include all religious traditionalsit.  I have a great respect for traditionalism, especially Orthodox old calendared, who stand fast for something they feel is an important matter of the faith.  However, fundamentalism (to me anyway) is a system of belief that sucks all the love and joy out of a religion like Christianity and replaces these important truths with anger, fear, and hate.  While these people may believe they are well meaning, they can (and often do create a lot of hurt and frequently wreck lives with their rhetoric.

Holding a belief out for sincerity is good.  However when these beliefs become so blinded by irrational views then they become dangerous, not only to others, but to themselves as well.  I believe that it is religious communties themselves who should be on the front liens fighting these type of views and the people who espouse them.
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« Reply #9 on: September 21, 2009, 01:21:42 AM »

Really? Do you feel confident enough to make such a claim about anybody? What about the Christian who disagrees with you? Are they a lost cause? Are they damned to hell?

It sounds to me that you are talking about anyone who is a zealot or fundamentalist about any particular belief or idealogy, whether it be Christianity, Islam, or a political leaning.

I have often wondered this myself, and the only answer I can come up with is pride.

I think secularists can also be fundamentalists because they believe science and reason will lead us to perfection as humans. They develop pride in human intelligence, innovation and technology.  The belief that the progress of science and reason will lead to the perfecting of human society is no less absurd than what the fundamentalists teaches. What then happens is the man-centered belief system leads to delusion that man has the ability to create utopia on Earth. In this way, they share the same attributes of religious fundamentalists who peddle absolutes. Those who do not see as they see, speak as they speak and act as they act are worthy only of conversion or eradication. Utopian ideologues  have killed millions in the past (ie: Nazis and both Russian and Chinese Communists).
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« Reply #10 on: September 21, 2009, 01:21:46 AM »

I have a great respect for traditionalism, especially Orthodox old calendared, who stand fast for something they feel is an important matter of the faith. 
I wonder why that should be an exclusion criterion. Isn't an extremist Islamist "standing fast for something they feel is an important matter of the faith"? Why is what they do "fundamentalism", but if we do it, it isn't?
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« Reply #11 on: September 21, 2009, 02:16:02 AM »

Tamara,

Of course, anyone can be a fundamentalist, but that doesn't explain why they have that mindset. Are there psychological factors which contribute to Fundamentalism or is it purely a spiritual disease? Fundamentalism is unbalanced. Incapable of walking a moderate path, fundamentalists are extremists who are drawn to something that is always defined by them as more *holy* or *a higher truth* than everyone else holds to; everyone who, in their opinion, is blinded and incapable of that *pure faith* the fundamentalist attains.
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« Reply #12 on: September 21, 2009, 02:57:22 AM »

Tamara,

Of course, anyone can be a fundamentalist, but that doesn't explain why they have that mindset. Are there psychological factors which contribute to Fundamentalism or is it purely a spiritual disease? Fundamentalism is unbalanced. Incapable of walking a moderate path, fundamentalists are extremists who are drawn to something that is always defined by them as more *holy* or *a higher truth* than everyone else holds to; everyone who, in their opinion, is blinded and incapable of that *pure faith* the fundamentalist attains.

Well, I think Handmaiden was on the right track with her belief it stems from pride. Also, God has blessed us free will in order that we wouldn't have to submit ourselves to human distortions of truth. But it would seem one would have to choose to stop thinking in order to allow an ideal of any sort to blind a person. Instead, the fundamentalist chooses slavery to real God-given freedom. Perhaps the fundamentalist is afraid and needs man-made boundaries to feel secure in this life.
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« Reply #13 on: September 21, 2009, 04:43:59 AM »

I think that the "fear factor" plays a big part in advancing fundamentalist worldviews.  I also explain the very extremist, unbalanced views that a fundamentalist holds to some contributing factors of their personal upbringing.  Most fundamentalist I've met tend to have been raised either very strict, religious or secular wise, or very liberal by their parents.  This tends to create a very unbalanced, one way or no way, type of thinking amongst them  The first type of upbringing I mention is a logical conclusion of an overly strict childhood dominated by domineering parents.  In this persons mind, they need some type of rigid boundary system that cannot by arbitrated because that is the way they grew up and have come to understand life.  Since they havenow become adults and are no longer subject to their parents discipline, another figure must replace the parent as the dominating factor in their lives.  Since most fundies are of a religious nature, its no big suprise to find out what figure that they look to for guidelines in life.  This becomes God (or in many cases, God as interpreted through their religious leaders).
The second type of person, one with a very liberal upbringing may come to feel a sort of revulsion to having had such an undisciplined childhood and seek a fundamentalist path in order to compensate for that lax upbringing.  The sad thing is that most of these people are and never were really bad or wild as children (those that were often continue so throughout their lives feeling no guilt for not having boundaries as children.  These latter type of fundies feel a great deal of repressed guilt and usually suffer from a mild to severe inferiority complex.  They constantly see themselves as bad people who need some type of (usually every) guidelines and discipline to live by.  This is really made worse by their exposure to fundamentalist religion which usually seeks to make everyone feel guilty about everything. 

A fundamentalist often feels that there view is the only one because those views have become precisely that for them.  They could not imagine living a life outside of the structured world which they have placed themselves in and certainly cannot imagine anyone else doing so.  They therefore feel it is their duty to indoctrinate as many people as possible into their ideology so as to "share" with others that which has made them what they have become.  A fundamentalist needs our prayers and support  Often time fundamentalist groups operate In a  very cult like level and anyone seeking to leave those groups will be subjected to some very real pressure not to, both external and internal.  The latter, mental form of control is the worst.  Remember that a fundamentalist has serious psycological issues dealing with their own sense of worth as well as a constant guilt compels that afflicts them.  Since they also hold a very strict authoritarian view of God, it only follows that they believe this God will come after them in some way and try to cause harm to them in some manner.  It may seem silly to you if you've never experienced this type of thinking but, believe me, it can become a nightmare to those who experience it. 
A fundamentalist who tries to escape their rigid creed can go through some very hard times.  Many may sadly become either atheist or agnostics because of their experiences.  If you want to help a fundie get out of his worldview then show a lot of love towards them and try to explain That God is not a cruel tyrant who seeks to strike them down for very little infraction, but a loving father who they should turn to in faith and not out of fear.

Bob

PS.  I also think that secularist can become just as much a danger to our society as religios exremist. 
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« Reply #14 on: September 21, 2009, 11:38:14 AM »

Really? Do you feel confident enough to make such a claim about anybody? What about the Christian who disagrees with you? Are they a lost cause? Are they damned to hell?

I dont feel that confidence, but certain Scriptural interpretations provide that confidence. I used to be a fundamentalist -- I dont think I would have said people are a lost cause because anyone could be converted but i sure didnt believe that those who heard and rejected had any chance.
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« Reply #15 on: September 21, 2009, 08:44:36 PM »

Really? Do you feel confident enough to make such a claim about anybody? What about the Christian who disagrees with you? Are they a lost cause? Are they damned to hell?

I dont feel that confidence, but certain Scriptural interpretations provide that confidence. I used to be a fundamentalist -- I dont think I would have said people are a lost cause because anyone could be converted but i sure didnt believe that those who heard and rejected had any chance.

So do you believe that it might just be a wrong belief system that makes fundamentalists behave the way they do? 

What I'm trying to understand is why anyone is so convinced of their own rightness that they can forget the point of what they espouse and with lack of love discount everyone who disagrees with them as "a lost cause" and "damn them to hell".

Just off the top of my head, I'll give some examples of what I mean. Why do fundamentalists, who are so convinced that Harry Potter or Evolution or Catholicism is evil, blatantly and without conscience indulge in the evil of spreading lies about J.K. Rowling, Darwin, the Pope; without even batting an eyelash? How can people who claim to serve a loving God picket the funeral of a homosexual with hatefilled propoganda? Why do people believe that it's acceptable to slander, hurt and insult others in the furtherance of their cause, when their cause is supposedly the embodiment of truth and charity?

And with the next breath these very same people are saying that Christians are about to be persecuted for their beliefs and "upholding the truth". Surprise, surprise! If persecution is their way of "upholding their truth", it's hardly a wonder that persecution with be the backlash!
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« Reply #16 on: September 21, 2009, 09:35:44 PM »

This is a question I have been struggling with for many years. Every time I encounter a fundamentalist (online or in real life) I wonder what makes them tick. What is it that makes a person a fundamentalist? By fundamentalist I refer to someone who is so convinced of their own rightness that they can discount everyone who disagrees with them as "a lost cause". When one disagrees with their interpretation one is declared ignorant of Scripture, because there can only be one way of looking at things as far as the fundamentalist is concerned; their way. Why is the fundamentalist so lacking in hope for their fellow man that they consider it perfectly acceptable to make themselves God's mouthpiece and declare that anyone who disagrees with them is "damned to hell"?  Is it upbringing that makes a person this way, or is it some sort of chemical misfunction in the brain? What is wrong with fundamentalists?


I think that this is a bad premise. From part of your description, you could say the same thing about Catholics, Orthodox, Jews, Hindus or Muslims, although you seem to be referring to Protestant sects. Why lump them together with what has become a derogatory term? Also, I would be hard pressed to find a so-called fundamentalist preacher who would would condemn anyone to hell. I have come across ignorant laypersons who have done this but they are the exception. Most so-called fundamentalists believe in the Lord and in the Holy Scriptures. Their views stem from their understanding of the scriptures. Of course, as they are on their own in understanding the Word of God errors do creep in. Nonetheless, no true fundamentalist Christian would dare judge an outsider, to condemn him to hell. Seems like you are selectively choosing whom you will label as a fundamentalist.
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« Reply #17 on: September 21, 2009, 09:40:51 PM »

Why did the secularists I worked with feel they had a right to use guilt, shame and the cries for "equality" in order to try and get me to change my view when I calmly stated I didn't believe in abortion?

I didn't picket for the pro-life movement or shout out my beliefs in arrogance, I just shared them quietly when I was asked where I stood on the issue of abortion.

Fundamentalists come in all stripes. Christian fundies are no worse and no better than any others whether they be Muslim, Zionist, feminist, communist, etc.

Why just pick on them? Where I live, my middle school son was labeled "right wing" because he didn't believe in global warming or the democratic party platform. Parents stopped me in the street to question me about my twelve year old son's political views. They wanted to know why he held the political views he held. Who was feeding him the information that fostered his political views? I told them I let me son think for himself and to read information on both sides in order to come to his own conclusions. I was met with blank stares and looks of disbelief.
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« Reply #18 on: September 21, 2009, 09:51:41 PM »

Why did the secularists I worked with feel they had a right to use guilt, shame and the cries for "equality" in order to try and get me to change my view when I calmly stated I didn't believe in abortion?

I didn't picket for the pro-life movement or shout out my beliefs in arrogance, I just shared them quietly when I was asked where I stood on the issue of abortion.

Fundamentalists come in all stripes. Christian fundies are no worse and no better than any others whether they be Muslim, Zionist, feminist, communist, etc.

Why just pick on them? Where I live, my middle school son was labeled "right wing" because he didn't believe in global warming or the democratic party platform. Parents stopped me in the street to question me about my twelve year old son's political views. They wanted to know why he held the political views he held. Who was feeding him the information that fostered his political views? I told them I let me son think for himself and to read information on both sides in order to come to his own conclusions. I was met with blank stares and looks of disbelief.


Some people always want to think their opponents are screaming, violent thugs. I expect the people you describe really wanted you to be less quiet and rational, so that they could take pleasure in rubbishing your beliefs. As it happens, I suspect I disagree with most of the things you've mentioned in this thread, but if I were to disagree in less calm, reasonable term than you've used here, I would be in the wrong.

Though, I will say - most 12-year-olds agree with their parents with no need of prompting. He may disagree later ... so what? I am sure you will have taught him to argue in a sensible, understandable way, so you won't mind - you'll be able to debate with him.

Just what I think ...

L (who really should stop procrastinating and write her paper) xx
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« Reply #19 on: September 21, 2009, 10:03:12 PM »

This is a question I have been struggling with for many years. Every time I encounter a fundamentalist (online or in real life) I wonder what makes them tick. What is it that makes a person a fundamentalist? By fundamentalist I refer to someone who is so convinced of their own rightness that they can discount everyone who disagrees with them as "a lost cause". When one disagrees with their interpretation one is declared ignorant of Scripture, because there can only be one way of looking at things as far as the fundamentalist is concerned; their way. Why is the fundamentalist so lacking in hope for their fellow man that they consider it perfectly acceptable to make themselves God's mouthpiece and declare that anyone who disagrees with them is "damned to hell"?  Is it upbringing that makes a person this way, or is it some sort of chemical misfunction in the brain? What is wrong with fundamentalists?


I think that this is a bad premise. From part of your description, you could say the same thing about Catholics, Orthodox, Jews, Hindus or Muslims, although you seem to be referring to Protestant sects. Why lump them together with what has become a derogatory term? Also, I would be hard pressed to find a so-called fundamentalist preacher who would would condemn anyone to hell. I have come across ignorant laypersons who have done this but they are the exception. Most so-called fundamentalists believe in the Lord and in the Holy Scriptures. Their views stem from their understanding of the scriptures. Of course, as they are on their own in understanding the Word of God errors do creep in. Nonetheless, no true fundamentalist Christian would dare judge an outsider, to condemn him to hell. Seems like you are selectively choosing whom you will label as a fundamentalist.

Sorry, but I think that you have taken a leap to an incorrect conclusion. I apologise if that is my fault and I have offended you in any way. I haven't intended to lump anyone together for the sake of being derogitory, but to express my concerns and confusion about a particular kind of thinking - wherever it is found. I thought that I had clarified what I meant by fundamentalist. I certainly haven't limited them to Protestant christians, because I have met Orthodox Christians who fall into the category below. If there is a more correct term, I would love to know what it is.

By fundamentalist I refer to someone who is so convinced of their own rightness that they can discount everyone who disagrees with them as "a lost cause". When one disagrees with their interpretation one is declared ignorant of Scripture, because there can only be one way of looking at things as far as the fundamentalist is concerned; their way. Why is the fundamentalist so lacking in hope for their fellow man that they consider it perfectly acceptable to make themselves God's mouthpiece and declare that anyone who disagrees with them is "damned to hell"?  Is it upbringing that makes a person this way, or is it some sort of chemical misfunction in the brain? What is wrong with fundamentalists?
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« Reply #20 on: September 21, 2009, 10:08:03 PM »

Why did the secularists I worked with feel they had a right to use guilt, shame and the cries for "equality" in order to try and get me to change my view when I calmly stated I didn't believe in abortion?

Because they were fundamentalists.

Quote
Fundamentalists come in all stripes. Christian fundies are no worse and no better than any others whether they be Muslim, Zionist, feminist, communist, etc.

I haven't said they are.

Quote
Why just pick on them?

How is trying to understand what makes people tick, picking on them?

Quote
I told them I let me son think for himself and to read information on both sides in order to come to his own conclusions. I was met with blank stares and looks of disbelief.

Clearly you don't like fundamentalists telling you what to think. Bravo!
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« Reply #21 on: September 21, 2009, 10:37:26 PM »

This is a question I have been struggling with for many years. Every time I encounter a fundamentalist (online or in real life) I wonder what makes them tick. What is it that makes a person a fundamentalist? By fundamentalist I refer to someone who is so convinced of their own rightness that they can discount everyone who disagrees with them as "a lost cause". When one disagrees with their interpretation one is declared ignorant of Scripture, because there can only be one way of looking at things as far as the fundamentalist is concerned; their way. Why is the fundamentalist so lacking in hope for their fellow man that they consider it perfectly acceptable to make themselves God's mouthpiece and declare that anyone who disagrees with them is "damned to hell"?  Is it upbringing that makes a person this way, or is it some sort of chemical misfunction in the brain? What is wrong with fundamentalists?


I think that this is a bad premise. From part of your description, you could say the same thing about Catholics, Orthodox, Jews, Hindus or Muslims, although you seem to be referring to Protestant sects. Why lump them together with what has become a derogatory term? Also, I would be hard pressed to find a so-called fundamentalist preacher who would would condemn anyone to hell. I have come across ignorant laypersons who have done this but they are the exception. Most so-called fundamentalists believe in the Lord and in the Holy Scriptures. Their views stem from their understanding of the scriptures. Of course, as they are on their own in understanding the Word of God errors do creep in. Nonetheless, no true fundamentalist Christian would dare judge an outsider, to condemn him to hell. Seems like you are selectively choosing whom you will label as a fundamentalist.

Sorry, but I think that you have taken a leap to an incorrect conclusion. I apologise if that is my fault and I have offended you in any way. I haven't intended to lump anyone together for the sake of being derogitory, but to express my concerns and confusion about a particular kind of thinking - wherever it is found. I thought that I had clarified what I meant by fundamentalist. I certainly haven't limited them to Protestant christians, because I have met Orthodox Christians who fall into the category below. If there is a more correct term, I would love to know what it is.

By fundamentalist I refer to someone who is so convinced of their own rightness that they can discount everyone who disagrees with them as "a lost cause". When one disagrees with their interpretation one is declared ignorant of Scripture, because there can only be one way of looking at things as far as the fundamentalist is concerned; their way. Why is the fundamentalist so lacking in hope for their fellow man that they consider it perfectly acceptable to make themselves God's mouthpiece and declare that anyone who disagrees with them is "damned to hell"?  Is it upbringing that makes a person this way, or is it some sort of chemical misfunction in the brain? What is wrong with fundamentalists?


You did not offend me at all. I happen to think that the current definition of fundamentalist in your terms could be better applied to the terms extremist or zealot. In the broader context, fundamentalism is used as a broad brush to apply not only to the extremists or zealots whom you decry (with good reason) but also to those who hold fundamental beliefs. This new sense of the word is being used by folks who not believe in eternal verities, who are post-modern, or who simply want to eat their cake and eat it too.
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« Reply #22 on: September 21, 2009, 10:47:31 PM »

Why did the secularists I worked with feel they had a right to use guilt, shame and the cries for "equality" in order to try and get me to change my view when I calmly stated I didn't believe in abortion?

I didn't picket for the pro-life movement or shout out my beliefs in arrogance, I just shared them quietly when I was asked where I stood on the issue of abortion.

Fundamentalists come in all stripes. Christian fundies are no worse and no better than any others whether they be Muslim, Zionist, feminist, communist, etc.

Why just pick on them? Where I live, my middle school son was labeled "right wing" because he didn't believe in global warming or the democratic party platform. Parents stopped me in the street to question me about my twelve year old son's political views. They wanted to know why he held the political views he held. Who was feeding him the information that fostered his political views? I told them I let me son think for himself and to read information on both sides in order to come to his own conclusions. I was met with blank stares and looks of disbelief.


Some people always want to think their opponents are screaming, violent thugs. I expect the people you describe really wanted you to be less quiet and rational, so that they could take pleasure in rubbishing your beliefs. As it happens, I suspect I disagree with most of the things you've mentioned in this thread, but if I were to disagree in less calm, reasonable term than you've used here, I would be in the wrong.

I have to tell you, I was really shocked at the treatment I received. These ladies were all college educated, some with masters degrees from private universities. When we spoke about business and strategy for our company, they were calm, thoughtful and reasonable.

Quote
Though, I will say - most 12-year-olds agree with their parents with no need of prompting. He may disagree later ... so what? I am sure you will have taught him to argue in a sensible, understandable way, so you won't mind - you'll be able to debate with him.

Just what I think ...

L (who really should stop procrastinating and write her paper) xx

I would agree that most children that age do. But my son reads alot of information and is quite bright. We do disagree on certain subjects but I am always careful to let him follow his own conclusions.
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« Reply #23 on: September 21, 2009, 10:50:41 PM »

This is a question I have been struggling with for many years. Every time I encounter a fundamentalist (online or in real life) I wonder what makes them tick. What is it that makes a person a fundamentalist? By fundamentalist I refer to someone who is so convinced of their own rightness that they can discount everyone who disagrees with them as "a lost cause". When one disagrees with their interpretation one is declared ignorant of Scripture, because there can only be one way of looking at things as far as the fundamentalist is concerned; their way. Why is the fundamentalist so lacking in hope for their fellow man that they consider it perfectly acceptable to make themselves God's mouthpiece and declare that anyone who disagrees with them is "damned to hell"?  Is it upbringing that makes a person this way, or is it some sort of chemical misfunction in the brain? What is wrong with fundamentalists?


I think that this is a bad premise. From part of your description, you could say the same thing about Catholics, Orthodox, Jews, Hindus or Muslims, although you seem to be referring to Protestant sects. Why lump them together with what has become a derogatory term? Also, I would be hard pressed to find a so-called fundamentalist preacher who would would condemn anyone to hell. I have come across ignorant laypersons who have done this but they are the exception. Most so-called fundamentalists believe in the Lord and in the Holy Scriptures. Their views stem from their understanding of the scriptures. Of course, as they are on their own in understanding the Word of God errors do creep in. Nonetheless, no true fundamentalist Christian would dare judge an outsider, to condemn him to hell. Seems like you are selectively choosing whom you will label as a fundamentalist.

Sorry, but I think that you have taken a leap to an incorrect conclusion. I apologise if that is my fault and I have offended you in any way. I haven't intended to lump anyone together for the sake of being derogitory, but to express my concerns and confusion about a particular kind of thinking - wherever it is found. I thought that I had clarified what I meant by fundamentalist. I certainly haven't limited them to Protestant christians, because I have met Orthodox Christians who fall into the category below. If there is a more correct term, I would love to know what it is.

By fundamentalist I refer to someone who is so convinced of their own rightness that they can discount everyone who disagrees with them as "a lost cause". When one disagrees with their interpretation one is declared ignorant of Scripture, because there can only be one way of looking at things as far as the fundamentalist is concerned; their way. Why is the fundamentalist so lacking in hope for their fellow man that they consider it perfectly acceptable to make themselves God's mouthpiece and declare that anyone who disagrees with them is "damned to hell"?  Is it upbringing that makes a person this way, or is it some sort of chemical misfunction in the brain? What is wrong with fundamentalists?


You did not offend me at all. I happen to think that the current definition of fundamentalist in your terms could be better applied to the terms extremist or zealot. In the broader context, fundamentalism is used as a broad brush to apply not only to the extremists or zealots whom you decry (with good reason) but also to those who hold fundamental beliefs. This new sense of the word is being used by folks who not believe in eternal verities, who are post-modern, or who simply want to eat their cake and eat it too.

Oh, thank you, Second Chance! Yes, extremist or zealot are much better words for describing what I mean. So the question really is; what is wrong with extremists?  Wink Obviously, I know that anyone from any walk of life can be a extremist/zealot; but it is only Christian extremists who bring Christianity into disrepute. They confound me the most because they claim to know a loving and forgiving God, but are so unloving and unforgiving to others. Of course, we must show them love and forgiveness, and pray for them; something I often fail to do  Cry, but trying to understand why people are like this is helpful, at least to me. Thanks, again.

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« Reply #24 on: September 21, 2009, 10:58:11 PM »

Why did the secularists I worked with feel they had a right to use guilt, shame and the cries for "equality" in order to try and get me to change my view when I calmly stated I didn't believe in abortion?

I didn't picket for the pro-life movement or shout out my beliefs in arrogance, I just shared them quietly when I was asked where I stood on the issue of abortion.

Fundamentalists come in all stripes. Christian fundies are no worse and no better than any others whether they be Muslim, Zionist, feminist, communist, etc.

Why just pick on them? Where I live, my middle school son was labeled "right wing" because he didn't believe in global warming or the democratic party platform. Parents stopped me in the street to question me about my twelve year old son's political views. They wanted to know why he held the political views he held. Who was feeding him the information that fostered his political views? I told them I let me son think for himself and to read information on both sides in order to come to his own conclusions. I was met with blank stares and looks of disbelief.


Some people always want to think their opponents are screaming, violent thugs. I expect the people you describe really wanted you to be less quiet and rational, so that they could take pleasure in rubbishing your beliefs. As it happens, I suspect I disagree with most of the things you've mentioned in this thread, but if I were to disagree in less calm, reasonable term than you've used here, I would be in the wrong.

I have to tell you, I was really shocked at the treatment I received. These ladies were all college educated, some with masters degrees from private universities. When we spoke about business and strategy for our company, they were calm, thoughtful and reasonable.

Quote
Though, I will say - most 12-year-olds agree with their parents with no need of prompting. He may disagree later ... so what? I am sure you will have taught him to argue in a sensible, understandable way, so you won't mind - you'll be able to debate with him.

Just what I think ...

L (who really should stop procrastinating and write her paper) xx

I would agree that most children that age do. But my son reads alot of information and is quite bright. We do disagree on certain subjects but I am always careful to let him follow his own conclusions.

I don't doubt it! What I meant to stress was that, although these people you were speaking to seem to think that the most important thing is that a child should be indoctrinated into the 'right' way of thinking, you clearly don't put that example in front of him. If you're quiet and reasonable when you put your view forward, your child has the freedom to consider and work out for himself what he thinks. If you cared to indoctrinate him, I am sure it would not be hard to make him agree with you. What is much harder is to do what you do, and give him the freedom to think and question as he chooses - and the freedom only then , perhaps, to agree with you. But I suspect the people you met wouldn't understand this ...
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« Reply #25 on: September 21, 2009, 11:14:29 PM »


Quote

I don't doubt it! What I meant to stress was that, although these people you were speaking to seem to think that the most important thing is that a child should be indoctrinated into the 'right' way of thinking, you clearly don't put that example in front of him. If you're quiet and reasonable when you put your view forward, your child has the freedom to consider and work out for himself what he thinks. If you cared to indoctrinate him, I am sure it would not be hard to make him agree with you. What is much harder is to do what you do, and give him the freedom to think and question as he chooses - and the freedom only then , perhaps, to agree with you. But I suspect the people you met wouldn't understand this ...

You know Liz, the folks who stopped me in the street were friendly acquaintances of mine, who had a son the same age as my son. They never, until that point, gave me any reason to believe that they weren't open minded. They too, are bright, college educated, and quiet people. But I guess they weren't too happy about the lunch time debate sessions our sons were having in school. I was actually impressed with all of the boys who did this during the lunch hour. I mean who actually cares what conclusions they came to if they were having lively debates with one another. How exciting to have kids that age challenging each other's points of view. Instead, these parents were dismayed that some child in our community didn't hold the same political views as the majority do in the area.
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« Reply #26 on: September 21, 2009, 11:48:31 PM »

Riddikukus, fanaticism is fanaticism, irrespective of race, political persuasion, color or creed. Once their warped ideas take over their minds and their lives, it's almost pointless to argue the toss with them. I so tire of fanatics (I refuse to call them "fundamentalists") of any stripe, particularly Orthodox fanatics.
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« Reply #27 on: September 22, 2009, 12:51:00 AM »

Riddikukus, fanaticism is fanaticism, irrespective of race, political persuasion, color or creed. Once their warped ideas take over their minds and their lives, it's almost pointless to argue the toss with them. I so tire of fanatics (I refuse to call them "fundamentalists") of any stripe, particularly Orthodox fanatics.
See, again I have a problem with this simply being a phenomenon of people who hold "warped ideas". How do we define "warped ideas"? To Jews, Christianity is a "warped idea". Who decides which ideas are "warped"?
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« Reply #28 on: September 22, 2009, 01:41:39 AM »

Riddikukus, fanaticism is fanaticism, irrespective of race, political persuasion, color or creed. Once their warped ideas take over their minds and their lives, it's almost pointless to argue the toss with them. I so tire of fanatics (I refuse to call them "fundamentalists") of any stripe, particularly Orthodox fanatics.

Yes, I agree to an extent. Though, I'm more interested in correct attitudes than correct ideas. For instance, it doesn't bother me if someone believes Harry Potter, Evolution, Orthodoxy, British food are all evil and things they should steer clear of.  Wink It's really their choice. But other people have the right to disagree and expect some kind of respect in the process.

What I'm more confused by, I think, is that these extremists concoct dogma/rules/whatever that don't exist. Resistance is futile as far as they are concerned. You will agree or suffer the consequences. laugh The result in refusing to agree is villification. The lack of love and charity that emminates from said extremists/zealots/fanatics is horrifying. All because they can't just agree to disagree, but insist that one must agree with them. If one doesn't, one is treated with absolute disdain. To me, this borders on psychotic; which makes me wonder if such behaviour is a mental illness of some kind.
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« Reply #29 on: September 22, 2009, 01:47:25 AM »

Riddikukus, fanaticism is fanaticism, irrespective of race, political persuasion, color or creed. Once their warped ideas take over their minds and their lives, it's almost pointless to argue the toss with them. I so tire of fanatics (I refuse to call them "fundamentalists") of any stripe, particularly Orthodox fanatics.
See, again I have a problem with this simply being a phenomenon of people who hold "warped ideas". How do we define "warped ideas"? To Jews, Christianity is a "warped idea". Who decides which ideas are "warped"?

I don't know, ozgeorge. I actually wonder if it possible that even a good idea, like Christianity, becomes warped when somehow it causes one to forget the basis of one's faith is love, mercy and forgiveness? I mean, can one actually have the right ideology, but allow it to become warped by cloaking it in pride and hatred? Is that possible?

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« Reply #30 on: September 22, 2009, 02:15:28 AM »

This is a question I have been struggling with for many years. Every time I encounter a fundamentalist (online or in real life) I wonder what makes them tick. What is it that makes a person a fundamentalist? By fundamentalist I refer to someone who is so convinced of their own rightness that they can discount everyone who disagrees with them as "a lost cause". When one disagrees with their interpretation one is declared ignorant of Scripture, because there can only be one way of looking at things as far as the fundamentalist is concerned; their way. Why is the fundamentalist so lacking in hope for their fellow man that they consider it perfectly acceptable to make themselves God's mouthpiece and declare that anyone who disagrees with them is "damned to hell"?  Is it upbringing that makes a person this way, or is it some sort of chemical misfunction in the brain? What is wrong with fundamentalists?


I think that this is a bad premise. From part of your description, you could say the same thing about Catholics, Orthodox, Jews, Hindus or Muslims, although you seem to be referring to Protestant sects. Why lump them together with what has become a derogatory term? Also, I would be hard pressed to find a so-called fundamentalist preacher who would would condemn anyone to hell. I have come across ignorant laypersons who have done this but they are the exception. Most so-called fundamentalists believe in the Lord and in the Holy Scriptures. Their views stem from their understanding of the scriptures. Of course, as they are on their own in understanding the Word of God errors do creep in. Nonetheless, no true fundamentalist Christian would dare judge an outsider, to condemn him to hell. Seems like you are selectively choosing whom you will label as a fundamentalist.
I think what you're seeing is a confusion of concepts attached to the one word fundamentalist.  Within the context of this thread, the label is used in a more general sense than you seem to be presenting.  ISTM that you're thinking more specifically of the "back to the fundamentals" movement of those Protestants who formally call themselves Fundamentalists--note the UPPERCASE F.  There is a difference between Fundamentalists and fundamentalists.


IOW, I do agree with those who say that fundamentalist probably isn't the best word to use in this discussion, because of the confusion that emanates from its multiple meanings, that maybe extremist and fanatic are words that better communicate the essence of the phenomenon Riddikulus has described.
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« Reply #31 on: September 22, 2009, 02:51:38 AM »

I mean, can one actually have the right ideology, but allow it to become warped by cloaking it in pride and hatred? Is that possible?
Yes, I think this is possible. I think any ideology -even "the right" ideology- becomes pathological when we use the "top-down" approach to principles, that is "principles first, people second". I've always said that the most dangerous people in the world are "principled" people, that is, people who value "principles" above all else and apply them to themselves and others. While on the surface this seems like a good thing, it's actually imbalanced, unwholesome. The word for "perfect" and "whole"/"complete"/"well-rounded" are the same word in Koine ("telios"). In the KJV Our Lord says in Matthew 5:48:"Therefore be ye perfect as your Father in Heaven is perfect", but if we take it in context, it makes more sense to translate it as, "Therefore be ye whole as your Father in Heaven is whole." The example which Our Lord uses to show that God is what we translate as "perfect" is that He treats the good and the wicked the same. In other words God is not "Just" as we understand "Justice". Look at what Our Lord says leading up to His command that we be "perfect":
"“You have heard that it was said,  ‘You shall love your neighbour and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so? Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect."
Our example of how to be "perfect" like our Father is "perfect" is that God does not distinguish between "good" and "evil" people nor "just" and "unjust" people, but treats them the same. Sin stinks to God, but God treats sinners and the righteous the same by making the sun to shine and the rain to fall on both of them alike.  And this is what Our Lord asks us to emulate. This is a far cry from "applying our principles" to others.
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« Reply #32 on: September 22, 2009, 03:26:58 AM »

I mean, can one actually have the right ideology, but allow it to become warped by cloaking it in pride and hatred? Is that possible?
Yes, I think this is possible. I think any ideology -even "the right" ideology- becomes pathological when we use the "top-down" approach to principles, that is "principles first, people second". I've always said that the most dangerous people in the world are "principled" people, that is, people who value "principles" above all else and apply them to themselves and others. While on the surface this seems like a good thing, it's actually imbalanced, unwholesome. The word for "perfect" and "whole"/"complete"/"well-rounded" are the same word in Koine ("telios"). In the KJV Our Lord says in Matthew 5:48:"Therefore be ye perfect as your Father in Heaven is perfect", but if we take it in context, it makes more sense to translate it as, "Therefore be ye whole as your Father in Heaven is whole." The example which Our Lord uses to show that God is what we translate as "perfect" is that He treats the good and the wicked the same. In other words God is not "Just" as we understand "Justice". Look at what Our Lord says leading up to His command that we be "perfect":
"“You have heard that it was said,  ‘You shall love your neighbour and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so? Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect."
Our example of how to be "perfect" like our Father is "perfect" is that God does not distinguish between "good" and "evil" people nor "just" and "unjust" people, but treats them the same. Sin stinks to God, but God treats sinners and the righteous the same by making the sun to shine and the rain to fall on both of them alike.  And this is what Our Lord asks us to emulate. This is a far cry from "applying our principles" to others.

Thank you for this explantion, George. It makes a lot of sense. Pathological is the perfect description of the "prinicples first, people second" approach. The "principled" person is the one who will turn their pregnant, teenage daughter or their homosexual son out of their home; leaving other people to help pick up the pieces of that young person's broken heart.
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« Reply #33 on: September 22, 2009, 04:32:04 AM »

there is nothing wrong in being an extremist;

34“Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35For I have come to turn

“‘a man against his father,

a daughter against her mother,

a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law—

36a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household.’e

37“Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; 38and anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. 39Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.

What is wrong must not be submissivly tolerated with silence but it must always be corrected.By doing "a good" to someone , thinking you are doing good for them , you can actually do something bad , for what benefits for someone who is in fault to continue in fault, and the peace you are causing for one in this life can turn into an torment in the after life.So then of wich good doeth it benefit?Other than that , if you try to correct the one in fault by chastise , they will hear you words and the words will be printed into their consciousness when they try to do that again.What does the Scripture say , better correct your child while he is young and that God chastises everyone that He loves.So the chastisement can benefit for correction, but tolerance cannot.
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« Reply #34 on: September 22, 2009, 07:05:43 AM »

By doing "a good" to someone , thinking you are doing good for them , you can actually do something bad , for what benefits for someone who is in fault to continue in fault, and the peace you are causing for one in this life can turn into an torment in the after life.
Is God doing something "bad" when He makes the sun to shine good and evil alike?
Is God failing to "correct people's faults" when He makes the rain to fall on the just and the unjust alike?
Our Lord Jesus Christ commanded us to be like our Heavenly Father in this.
"For He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust......Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect."
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« Reply #35 on: September 22, 2009, 05:32:01 PM »

there is nothing wrong in being an extremist;

34“Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35For I have come to turn

“‘a man against his father,

a daughter against her mother,

a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law—

36a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household.’e

37“Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; 38and anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. 39Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.


The Orthodox Study Bibles says this of these verses:

Matthew 10:34,35; Just before His Passion, the most violent of events, Christ promised peace to His disciples. But the message here is that the existence of evil necessitates war. The earth to which Christ came was under the authority of Satan (John 12:31; 2Cor 4:4), who deluded the whole world. It is therefore essential that Christ wage war against the leader of vice with His weapons of virtue.

10:35-39;The gospel can create sharp conflicts within families because of unbelief and evil in people. To carry his cross to the end, a true disciple must be ready, if absolutely necessary to sacrifice even family relationships.

Quote
What is wrong must not be submissivly tolerated with silence but it must always be corrected.By doing "a good" to someone , thinking you are doing good for them , you can actually do something bad , for what benefits for someone who is in fault to continue in fault, and the peace you are causing for one in this life can turn into an torment in the after life.So then of wich good doeth it benefit?Other than that , if you try to correct the one in fault by chastise , they will hear you words and the words will be printed into their consciousness when they try to do that again.What does the Scripture say , better correct your child while he is young and that God chastises everyone that He loves.So the chastisement can benefit for correction, but tolerance cannot.

While there is nothing wrong with disagreeing with people, even to the point, if a "live and let live" agreement cannot be reached, of the sad severing of ties with a family member who cannot accept one's decision regarding Christ, there is certainly something wrong with disagreeing with them with contention and a lack of charity; using lies, slander, malice and manipulation to gain a point in one's favour; all of which are the weapons of the extremist. If Christ waged war against vice with weapons of virtue, shouldn't the Christian follow that example? The extremist, however, will actually resort to any weapon at their disposal; ultimately using unrighteous means to convince their opponent of vice, vice that is often merely subjective. Amongst the examples I have mentioned earlier, all have become sad indictments on unChristian behaviour within Christendom, with extremists resorting to lies and slander to counter supposed evils. This cannot be the intention of the verses you quote. If one cannot convince one's opponent by means of truth and reason, should one stoop to vicious fabrication to discredit what one disagrees with?

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« Reply #36 on: September 22, 2009, 09:25:45 PM »

I mean, can one actually have the right ideology, but allow it to become warped by cloaking it in pride and hatred? Is that possible?
Yes, I think this is possible. I think any ideology -even "the right" ideology- becomes pathological when we use the "top-down" approach to principles, that is "principles first, people second". I've always said that the most dangerous people in the world are "principled" people, that is, people who value "principles" above all else and apply them to themselves and others. While on the surface this seems like a good thing, it's actually imbalanced, unwholesome. The word for "perfect" and "whole"/"complete"/"well-rounded" are the same word in Koine ("telios"). In the KJV Our Lord says in Matthew 5:48:"Therefore be ye perfect as your Father in Heaven is perfect", but if we take it in context, it makes more sense to translate it as, "Therefore be ye whole as your Father in Heaven is whole." The example which Our Lord uses to show that God is what we translate as "perfect" is that He treats the good and the wicked the same. In other words God is not "Just" as we understand "Justice". Look at what Our Lord says leading up to His command that we be "perfect":
"“You have heard that it was said,  ‘You shall love your neighbour and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so? Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect."
Our example of how to be "perfect" like our Father is "perfect" is that God does not distinguish between "good" and "evil" people nor "just" and "unjust" people, but treats them the same. Sin stinks to God, but God treats sinners and the righteous the same by making the sun to shine and the rain to fall on both of them alike.  And this is what Our Lord asks us to emulate. This is a far cry from "applying our principles" to others.

Thank you for this explantion, George. It makes a lot of sense. Pathological is the perfect description of the "prinicples first, people second" approach. The "principled" person is the one who will turn their pregnant, teenage daughter or their homosexual son out of their home; leaving other people to help pick up the pieces of that young person's broken heart.

Although I agree with the general direction, this is a gross simplification: task v. people or principle v. people orientation come in various shades--it is rarely black and white. Such orientation can be measured by standardized tests and can be plotted on the x and y axes. I would bet that a bell curve exists, so that the extremes are in the extreme edges or minority. The example you gave above may be true, but so can a sociopath (who has no transcendent principles) or a narcissist (who is totally people oriented-himself).
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« Reply #37 on: September 22, 2009, 09:44:34 PM »

I mean, can one actually have the right ideology, but allow it to become warped by cloaking it in pride and hatred? Is that possible?
Yes, I think this is possible. I think any ideology -even "the right" ideology- becomes pathological when we use the "top-down" approach to principles, that is "principles first, people second". I've always said that the most dangerous people in the world are "principled" people, that is, people who value "principles" above all else and apply them to themselves and others. While on the surface this seems like a good thing, it's actually imbalanced, unwholesome. The word for "perfect" and "whole"/"complete"/"well-rounded" are the same word in Koine ("telios"). In the KJV Our Lord says in Matthew 5:48:"Therefore be ye perfect as your Father in Heaven is perfect", but if we take it in context, it makes more sense to translate it as, "Therefore be ye whole as your Father in Heaven is whole." The example which Our Lord uses to show that God is what we translate as "perfect" is that He treats the good and the wicked the same. In other words God is not "Just" as we understand "Justice". Look at what Our Lord says leading up to His command that we be "perfect":
"“You have heard that it was said,  ‘You shall love your neighbour and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so? Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect."
Our example of how to be "perfect" like our Father is "perfect" is that God does not distinguish between "good" and "evil" people nor "just" and "unjust" people, but treats them the same. Sin stinks to God, but God treats sinners and the righteous the same by making the sun to shine and the rain to fall on both of them alike.  And this is what Our Lord asks us to emulate. This is a far cry from "applying our principles" to others.

Thank you for this explantion, George. It makes a lot of sense. Pathological is the perfect description of the "prinicples first, people second" approach. The "principled" person is the one who will turn their pregnant, teenage daughter or their homosexual son out of their home; leaving other people to help pick up the pieces of that young person's broken heart.

The example you gave above may be true, but so can a sociopath (who has no transcendent principles) or a narcissist (who is totally people oriented-himself).

I'm sorry, I don't quite understand the point you are making. So can a sociopath or a narcissist... what?
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« Reply #38 on: September 22, 2009, 11:01:28 PM »

This is a question I have been struggling with for many years. Every time I encounter a fundamentalist (online or in real life) I wonder what makes them tick. What is it that makes a person a fundamentalist? By fundamentalist I refer to someone who is so convinced of their own rightness that they can discount everyone who disagrees with them as "a lost cause". When one disagrees with their interpretation one is declared ignorant of Scripture, because there can only be one way of looking at things as far as the fundamentalist is concerned; their way. Why is the fundamentalist so lacking in hope for their fellow man that they consider it perfectly acceptable to make themselves God's mouthpiece and declare that anyone who disagrees with them is "damned to hell"?  Is it upbringing that makes a person this way, or is it some sort of chemical misfunction in the brain? What is wrong with fundamentalists?



Hi, I am new here, but I have an idea what lays at the heart of fundamentalism coming from a non-denominational baptist background.  I see fear and anger, a deep wound which is generational, going back hundreds of years, on top of the wound caused from the ancestrial sin.  They fear anything of authority outside of scripture because of abuses in the west, sorry RC but it is true.  They fear the papacy as much as they fear satan.  I came to realize this when I was speaking to Orthodox as I described protestant views., realized I also held to the wound, but I have been set free but now I grieve for those whom I love who still struggle and still hold onto the defenses.  It is like an abused child who both hates, fears and loves his parent.

Does any of that make sense?
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« Reply #39 on: September 23, 2009, 12:47:11 AM »

It makes perfect sense to me.
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« Reply #40 on: September 24, 2009, 12:13:38 PM »

I mean, can one actually have the right ideology, but allow it to become warped by cloaking it in pride and hatred? Is that possible?
Yes, I think this is possible. I think any ideology -even "the right" ideology- becomes pathological when we use the "top-down" approach to principles, that is "principles first, people second". I've always said that the most dangerous people in the world are "principled" people, that is, people who value "principles" above all else and apply them to themselves and others. While on the surface this seems like a good thing, it's actually imbalanced, unwholesome. The word for "perfect" and "whole"/"complete"/"well-rounded" are the same word in Koine ("telios"). In the KJV Our Lord says in Matthew 5:48:"Therefore be ye perfect as your Father in Heaven is perfect", but if we take it in context, it makes more sense to translate it as, "Therefore be ye whole as your Father in Heaven is whole." The example which Our Lord uses to show that God is what we translate as "perfect" is that He treats the good and the wicked the same. In other words God is not "Just" as we understand "Justice". Look at what Our Lord says leading up to His command that we be "perfect":
"“You have heard that it was said,  ‘You shall love your neighbour and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so? Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect."
Our example of how to be "perfect" like our Father is "perfect" is that God does not distinguish between "good" and "evil" people nor "just" and "unjust" people, but treats them the same. Sin stinks to God, but God treats sinners and the righteous the same by making the sun to shine and the rain to fall on both of them alike.  And this is what Our Lord asks us to emulate. This is a far cry from "applying our principles" to others.

Thank you for this explantion, George. It makes a lot of sense. Pathological is the perfect description of the "prinicples first, people second" approach. The "principled" person is the one who will turn their pregnant, teenage daughter or their homosexual son out of their home; leaving other people to help pick up the pieces of that young person's broken heart.

The example you gave above may be true, but so can a sociopath (who has no transcendent principles) or a narcissist (who is totally people oriented-himself).

I'm sorry, I don't quite understand the point you are making. So can a sociopath or a narcissist... what?

They can kick out their pregnant, teenage daughter or their homosexual son not because of principles but because of a lack of them.
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« Reply #41 on: September 24, 2009, 09:13:27 PM »

I mean, can one actually have the right ideology, but allow it to become warped by cloaking it in pride and hatred? Is that possible?
Yes, I think this is possible. I think any ideology -even "the right" ideology- becomes pathological when we use the "top-down" approach to principles, that is "principles first, people second". I've always said that the most dangerous people in the world are "principled" people, that is, people who value "principles" above all else and apply them to themselves and others. While on the surface this seems like a good thing, it's actually imbalanced, unwholesome. The word for "perfect" and "whole"/"complete"/"well-rounded" are the same word in Koine ("telios"). In the KJV Our Lord says in Matthew 5:48:"Therefore be ye perfect as your Father in Heaven is perfect", but if we take it in context, it makes more sense to translate it as, "Therefore be ye whole as your Father in Heaven is whole." The example which Our Lord uses to show that God is what we translate as "perfect" is that He treats the good and the wicked the same. In other words God is not "Just" as we understand "Justice". Look at what Our Lord says leading up to His command that we be "perfect":
"“You have heard that it was said,  ‘You shall love your neighbour and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so? Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect."
Our example of how to be "perfect" like our Father is "perfect" is that God does not distinguish between "good" and "evil" people nor "just" and "unjust" people, but treats them the same. Sin stinks to God, but God treats sinners and the righteous the same by making the sun to shine and the rain to fall on both of them alike.  And this is what Our Lord asks us to emulate. This is a far cry from "applying our principles" to others.

Thank you for this explantion, George. It makes a lot of sense. Pathological is the perfect description of the "prinicples first, people second" approach. The "principled" person is the one who will turn their pregnant, teenage daughter or their homosexual son out of their home; leaving other people to help pick up the pieces of that young person's broken heart.

The example you gave above may be true, but so can a sociopath (who has no transcendent principles) or a narcissist (who is totally people oriented-himself).

I'm sorry, I don't quite understand the point you are making. So can a sociopath or a narcissist... what?

They can kick out their pregnant, teenage daughter or their homosexual son not because of principles but because of a lack of them.

No doubt, but can't sociopaths and narcissists also fall prey to religious extremism? In fact, aren't such people even more likely to corrupt any religious concept they might adher to, making their principles paramount in their minds; to the detriment of others? 
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« Reply #42 on: September 25, 2009, 12:23:42 AM »

Everything.
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