Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Christian Fundamentalism

Christians are difficult to communicate with regarding their religion in general, because most Christians who will communicate with you are fundamentalists.

Christian fundamentalists are the ones who believe that the earth is less that 10,000 years old, was created in six literal days and is ruled by an invisible, unknowable, untouchable sky-god who takes an interest in our daily lives, answers prayers and smites entire cities due to one mean comment made by a lesbian comedian.

Christian fundamentalists can be identified by their rejection of science as a viable way to describe the cosmos, time, or anything else that is in conflict with the Bible.  Sometimes the fundamentalists turn violent.  Here are some examples:

  • The Medieval Inquisition is a series of Inquisitions (Roman Catholic Church bodies charged with suppressing heresy) from around 1184, including the Episcopal Inquisition (1184-1230s) and later the Papal Inquisition (1230s).  Heresy, in this sense, was anything and everything that the Christian leaders thought was offensive or went against the teachings they were spreading.
  • When Puritans settled in Massachusetts in the 1600s, they created a religious police state where doctrinal deviation could lead to flogging, pillorying, hanging, cutting off ears, or boring through the tongue with a hot iron. Preaching Quaker beliefs was a capital offense. Four stubborn Quakers defied this law and were hanged. In the 1690s fear of witches seized the colony. Twenty alleged witches were killed and 150 others imprisoned.
  • As soon as Christianity was legal (315), more and more pagan temples were destroyed by Christian mob. Pagan priests were killed.
  • Christian Emperor Theodosius (408-450) even had children executed, because they had been playing with remains of pagan statues.
  • In the early fourth century the philosopher Sopatros was executed on demand of Christian authorities.
  • Emperor Karl (Charlemagne) in 782 had 4500 Saxons, unwilling to convert to Christianity, beheaded.
  • Here the Christians "did no other harm to the women found in [the enemy's] tents - save that they ran their lances through their bellies," according to Christian chronicler Fulcher of Chartres.
I know that some inspired Christian is going to say, "Oh but that's ancient Christianity.  We are much better now."  To that I say that the Bible says that God never changes and that your faith is built on the foundation of these atrocities.  I also give you modern examples of Christian fundamentalism:
  • On July 1, 1976, Anneliese Michel, a 23-year-old student of a teachers college in Germany, died she starved herself to death. For months she had been haunted by demonic visions and apparitions, and for months two Catholic priests - with explicit approval of the Catholic bishop of Würzburg - additionally pestered and tormented the wretched girl with their exorcist rituals. After her death in Klingenberg hospital - her body was littered with wounds - her parents, both of them fanatical Catholics, were sentenced to six months for not having called for medical help. None of the priests was punished on the contrary, Miss Michel's grave today is a place of pilgrimage and worship for a number of similarly faithful Catholics (in the seventeenth century Würzburg was notorious for it's extensive witch burnings).
  • Abortion Doctor Murder:  March 10, 1993: Dr. David Gunn of Pensacola, Florida was fatally shot during a protest. He had been the subject of wanted-style posters distributed by Operation Rescue in the summer of the year before. Michael F. Griffin was found guilty of Dr. Gunn's murder and was sentenced to life in prison.
  • Abortion Doctor Murder: June 29, 1994: Dr. John Britton and James Barrett, a clinic escort, were both shot to death outside of another facility in Pensacola. Rev. Paul Jennings Hill was charged with the killings, received a death sentence, and was executed September 3, 2003.
  • Abortion Doctor Murder: December 30, 1994: Two receptionists, Shannon Lowney and Lee Ann Nichols, were killed in two clinic attacks in Brookline, Massachusetts. John Salvi, who prior to his arrest was distributing pamphlets from Human Life International,[6] was arrested and confessed to the killings. He committed suicide in prison and guards found his body under his bed with a plastic garbage bag tied around his head. Salvi had also confessed to a non-lethal attack in Norfolk, Virginia days before the Brookline killings.
There are many more instances of atrocities committed in the name of Christianity, but this post would be as long as a book.

Anyone who says that the world was formed with all of the creatures, man, the dinosaurs, the stars, the laws of physics after the domestication of the dog [source] have willingly chosen the path of ignorance.  While the path is easy to leave (by seeking and gaining knowledge), most fundamentalist Christians will not choose to do so.

Many Christians I have met have not gone to college, and their excuse is that "people who go to college are [insert random number here] percent likely to lose their faith and their salvation".  These people earn less money on average than the average college graduate - sometimes significantly less.  They are then comforted by their clergy who repeat "the meek shall inherit the earth" and other platitudes so they won't feel back about being stuck in poverty and teaching their children that being destitute is okay.

Christianity used to teach that the Earth was the center of the solar system, but that lie has been revealed.  Intelligent design will be next.

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