Ramblings & ephemera

Fundamentalism as limited reading

From Douglas Rushkoff’s “Faith = Illness: Why I’ve had it with religious tolerance“:

When religions are practiced, as they are by a majority of those in developed nations, today, as a kind of nostalgic little ritual – a community event or an excuse to get together and not work – it doesn’t really screw anything up too badly. But when they radically alter our ability to contend with reality, cope with difference, or implement the most basic ethical provisions, they must be stopped. …

As I’ve always understood them, and as I try to convey them in my comic book, the stories in the Bible are less significant because they happened at some moment in history than because their underlying dynamics seem to be happening in all moments. We are all Cain, struggling with our feelings about a sibling who seems to be more blessed than we are. We are always escaping the enslaved mentality of Egypt and the idolatry we practiced there. We are all Mordechai, bristling against the pressure to bow in subservience to our bosses.

But true believers don’t have this freedom. Whether it’s because they need the Bible to prove a real estate claim in the Middle East, because they don’t know how to relate something that didn’t really happen, or because they require the threat of an angry super-being who sees all in order behave like good children, true believers – what we now call fundamentalists – are not in a position to appreciate the truth and beauty of the Holy Scriptures. No, the multi-dimensional document we call the Bible is not available to them because, for them, all those stories have to be accepted as historical truth.

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