On Fundamentalism


– isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

“If one takes the time to check into history,
one discovers that texts from the source we call Holy Scripture
have been used in the past
to defend the divine right of kings
and to oppose the Magna Carta;
to condemn Galileo
and to assert that the sun does indeed rotate around the earth;
to justify slavery, segregation and apartheid;
to keep women from being educated, entering the professions, voting or being ordained;
to justify war, to persecute and kill Jews;
to condemn other world religions;
and to continue the oppression and rejection of gay and lesbian people.

The Bible has lost every one of those battles
and has been demonstrably wrong in each of those conflicts.
Surely this record is sufficient to demonstrate
that a faith system “received from Holy Scripture”
is built on a very weak reed.”
Bishop John Shelby Spong

The above passage points toward this idea: that the problem isn’t fundamentally in the words, the book, or even necessarily the ideas themselves when certain books (eg, The Bible, The Koran, etc) are used for purposes that for now we’ll just describe as ” insane.”

The problem is with the person who is reading it. Plenty of people read books – including the Bible and the Koran – and become better people for it.

The crux of the matter, then, doesn’t lie in “reading” or “not reading” the right book, but the person who is reading it.

It’s a matter of self-knowledge.


“Know thyself.”
– The Oracle of Delphi

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