Thoughts About Fundamentalism

The following is a photo of President Bush junior holding a prayer meeting at the White House shortly after 9/11, led in prayer by Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld (I know, you couldn’t make this stuff up, could you):

Led in prayer by Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, right, President George W. Bush joins his Cabinet as they bow their heads Friday, Sept. 14, 2001, before beginning their meeting in the Cabinet Room of the White House. Photo by Eric Draper, Courtesy of the George W. Bush Presidential Library

Here’s a photo of President Obama also holding a prayer meeting in the White House:

Since 9/11 both Presidents have been responsible for the deaths of millions of innocent people (some estimates say that it’s approaching 20 million people slaughtered). You could gasp for breath here, but we still have to get onto President Trump, who must surely be the final President of what is known as the ‘United States of America’. Trump pays lip service to Christian fundamentalism (Trump is just a clown), and his government is riddled with religious extremists, not least his Vice President Mike Pence (be careful what you wish for when you want to get rid of Trump), and of course the American government is almost entirely controlled by a foreign set of religious headcases known as Zionists. I’m now going to lay out here what the Presstitutes will never tell you. It’s all true (go look it up):

The latter part of the 20th century, leading into the 21st century, saw an unexpected rise in religious extremism, be it Muslim suicide bombers at one end of the scale, to the bombing of abortion clinics by Protestant fundamentalists at the other. In the 1950s and 1960s religion became increasingly marginalised by science and reason; but then in the 1970s and 1980s it came to the fore once more. Religious people realised that they had the power to fight back against secularism and modernity. Fundamentalism largely stems from fear, in much the same way that secularism does, and is a reaction against a changing world that’s often hard to understand.

In recent times the spirtual side of humanity has been somewhat surpressed by scientific rationalism, a rationalism which has been so successful in the western world that it’s now generally believed that reason is the only avenue to truth; whereas in more traditional societies reason was seen as complimentary to myth, which was another way of looking at reality from a more spiritual, intuitive, mystical angle. With regard to this different kind of truth, you can make a comparison to art. You can’t say what a piece of music by Mozart is about, or prove why it works, but it is telling you something, it is affirming something. Likewise you can’t look at religious doctrine in a rational way, because reason and science does not really address questions of ultimate meaning. Tragedy is a good example. When something tragic happens we are more likely to console ourselves with things like poetry or music, or weeping with a friend, rather than turning to reason for answers.

American Protestant fundamentalism was the first to surface in modern times. Early in the 20th century the Protestant began reading religious scripture in a literal way, as though it were scientific fact. Before then, people read scripture in a more allegorical, mystical way. Islamic fundamentalism didn’t come along until later in the 20th century. The West looks at the Ayatollas & Co as some throwback to medieval times, but this is not the case. In the past very few Muslim women wore a veil. The clothed from head to toe stuff is quite a recent interpretation of Islam. In fact you could say that modern fundamentalism has become a complete distortion of religion, because the cornerstone of all of the world’s great faiths is compassion; love thy neighbour and all that. Fundamentalist theology, be it Protestant or Islamic or whatever, is one of rage, resentment and revenge.

And this is what runs the United States of America at the moment, along with good ole greed.

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