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Sounds Like Fundamentalism To Me

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Posted by Aurino Souza on July 3, 2003 17:19:54 UTC

Harv,

No offence but I just don't get it. First, what is the big deal with fundamentalism? I'm not bothered by fundamentalists anymore than I'm bothered by people who believe they are visitors from Andromeda. Why should my spirituality have any reference to people of dubious mental faculties?

But the real problem is this: in my eyes, what you call the liberal Christian is not different at all from a fundamentalist. I'm quite sure you can't contemplate the similarities, because you are focussing too much on the differences. But from my perspective, of being neither a liberal nor a fundamentalist, I can't see any meaningful difference.

Let me give you one example: the attitude regarding science. You may see it such that the fundamentalist interprets science through the eyes of religion, while the liberal interprets religion through the eyes of science. As far as I see it though, both liberals and fundamentalists are silly for thinking science and religion have anything to do with each other. It seems both positions are irrational reactions to the same problem: both perceive science as a threat to religion; one chooses to disfigure science while the other chooses to disfigure religion.

You call yourself a Christian but I recognize as much Christianity in your points of view as I recognize biology in a creationist treatise. Both strike me as nonsense. You say one can be a Christian and reject not only the notion that Jesus walked on water, but that such a feat is absolutely impossible to happen because science says so. You could just as well say you believe in astrology but don't believe the stars have any power over our destinies. I can't help but to perceive those kinds of arguments as nonsense.

Where I think both liberals and fundamentalists are wrong is that, no matter how I look at it, it seems perfectly possible for a man to walk on water. It happens all the time, so to speak. The fundamentalist thinks it's a fact that people can't walk on water, so he chooses to ignore the facts. The liberal thinks it's a fact that people can't walk on water, so he chooses to reinterpret religion so that Jesus may not, after all, have actually walked on water. But any reasonable person knows that it's not a fact that people can't walk on water, because any reasonable person is fully aware that seemingly impossible things happen on a daily basis.

Granted, we don't see people walking on water on a regular basis, or ever, but the ordinary Christian as I understand him is a man who understands how limited and imperfect his knowledge of reality is. He would never be so proud as to maintain that God, the creator of the universe, is not powerful enough to perform what is essentially a parlour trick. That would be sheer nonsense. In fact, the whole point of Christianity is the belief that God is powerful enough to save you from death. If you can't believe God can't perform parlour tricks, I doubt you can honestly believe he can rescue you from the terrible fate awaiting you at the grave.

Of course you will say there's no problem at all, that you have figured out how God does it. Well, as with fundamentalists, no point arguing with a "liberal".

Thanks for the feedback anyway.

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