Monday, May 12, 2008

Casting the Mold - Part 3 - The Mute Man

So far, I have addressed concerns with the person who can't see the reality right in front of his/her eyes, followed by the person who refuses to listen to the truth or some how justifies the reality into something they can accept. I want to wrap up this series by discussing a common reality with in the church today. This entire series has been focused around right wing fundamentalists, end time theology, and biblical literalists. But today, I want to speak about those in christianity and indeed religion in general, that do not espouse these types of destructive faith structures. Members of the church that understand what a metaphor is, and understand that the bible is man made, and that understand that there is no need to act the way fundamentalists do if their god is indeed all might and all powerful.

I have met and indeed discussed religion with many of these types of people. They are smart and intelligent but can't seem to let go of religion. They often accept that science is correct, and I have often been told by them that science only uncovers what god as already set in motion. Thus the discovery of evolution is merely the discovery of gods mechanisms for the advancement of all life. There are more of them then I had originally thought. However, they are willing to speak to me and engage christian fundamentalists in an anonymous fashion on a forum or chat room, but are unwilling to make a public stand against them.

These people I coin mute. Why? Because they "get it" to a much higher degree, but don't want to offend those that don't. Their refusal to stand up to fundamentalists and literalists in part allows such practices to continue in full force. If they were to stand up and speak out against it, would the church not eventually snuff out radical fundamentalism with the exception of a few straggling cults? An internal revolution would relegate such ridiculous beliefs as a talking snack and the destruction of the world to their proper place as a cult. People would then treat them as such instead of giving them air time and having to pretend like they believe something that is even remotely sane.

But they don't and they remain silent, not wanting to side with atheists and rationalists. Who really knows why, but I think it is out of fear. Fear that breaking that fundamentalist core will in turn break their religion completely. And they are right to fear that. If religious texts are not to be taken literally, then what is to say anything in it is to be taken seriously at all? After all, if you can ignore the immorality of god in the old testament, then you have just decided true right and wrong on your own in the very bible that you claim gives you morality. If you don't need a literal bible to determine morality, or any other book for that matter, then why do you need religion at all? And since it is religion that has determined that an all powerful being exists, then on what foundation does a belief in god exist at all?

Thus, at its core, religion IS the dangerous fundamentalism that I am speaking about. To demolish it, is to necessarily demolish religion. There is not much room for one without the other. But as long as the Mute exists in the church, there will always be flourishing fundamentalism, dangerous, and unashamed.

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