8/25/2004

Interesting intersections - hate and fundamentalists

First Adam posted this and then Dave posted this. The intersection for me is that I'm really not a fan of fundamentalists (right wing evangelicals, whatever you want to call them) and Adam's post made me ask myself if I hate them The answer, I think, is no. Unlike a "recovering evangelical" like Dave I have no personal historical axe to grind with them, but what does get me is the fact that I've seen the judgmental attitudes of fundamentalists wound so many people - some I care about deeply, others I don't know personally, but have read their stories.

If there was some solid biblical evidence that wounding people and ostracizing them was in general a good thing I guess I could buy it, but the fact is that the being for whom our religion is named (not giving you any clues) was and is the embodiment of the antithesis to modern right wing fundamentalism. The fact that they don't see it makes them even more like the Pharisees of the gospels than ever. Have they ever read the "remove the plank from your own eye before criticizing the speck in your brothers"? (Matt 7:3) Or the story of the Pharisee and the tax collector (Luke 18:9-14). I wonder. I think one telling point with fundamentalists is that they love to quote the Old Testament (especially all the rules) and they love to quote Paul (he was big on rules too) but they really don't focus so much on the biblical Jesus (rules, what rules?). Hmm, I wonder why?

Anyway, I think what I hate is the arrogance and the hurt that it causes to others, not the people. After all, isn't it the fundamentalists who say, ever so often, "love the sinner, hate the sin"?




Comments:
I think it was the exclusionary nature of fundamentalism that really led me to question whether I wanted to remain inside. All that kept coming to mind were Jesus' words to the Pharisees about "shutting the kingdom in men's faces".

I've just published Part Two of my short series, by the way.

http://gracepages.blogspot.com/2004/08/why-leaving-fundamentalism-hurts-2-big.html
 
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