As much as they claim to hate each other, right wing fundamentalist Christians and militant atheists actually have a lot in common. Bottom line: both groups lack all sense of nuance in their respective views of religion. And both generally view fundamentalist Christianity as the only true Christian faith.
Fundamentalism, according to a dictionary definition, is “characterized by a return to fundamental principles, by rigid adherence to those principles, and often by intolerance of other views and opposition to secularism.” Suffice it to say that extreme fundamentalists can be one tight-assed bunch.
Since fundamentalists reject as complete heresy any version of religious faith other than their own, they tend be intellectually incurious about other denominations.
(Not all fundamentalists meet this description, but the leaders of right wing fundamentalist churches generally do.)
Militant atheists can be equally dogmatic, wearing their disbelief as a badge of honor. Outspoken atheists often know very little about religion. As part of this general pattern of ignorance, they tend to assume that all religion follows the example of extreme fundamentalism.
Atheism is a perfectly honorable and appropriate life view. And most atheists don’t fall under my definition of militant atheism, which refers to those who becomes aggressively antireligious.
BartCop (whose website I still like in many other ways), for example, is an atheist who often ridicules religion. Here is something he said on the subject in a recent post attacking me (the comments I had made he was responding to, curiously enough, had little to do with religion as such):
First, all religions are money-grubbing crutches that are used by the weak and the stupid
to feel safe from the Devil that doesn’t even exist. The purpose of church is to steal money from the sick, the old, the dying and mostly, the stupid.
“Give me your money or the invisible, non-existent Devil will get you.”
Holy Mother of Koresh, who could fall for that horseshit con game except the extremely stupid?
There is no Devil so he’s not coming to get you.
To be honest, I’m not sure exactly what Bart was going for here: What he ended up accomplishing, however, was to make himself look like an ignoramus. It is, of course, possible to make an intelligent argument in favor of atheism, as recent bestselling books prove. But angry, militant atheists, like Bart, generally fall far short of that standard.
Many Christian denominations don’t come close to fitting Bart’s description. You can attend church every Sunday for a year in many liberal churches without once hearing a reference to the devil. Fire and brimstone is available, certainly. You can find it in fundamentalist churches stretching from coast-to-coast, but that no more represents the whole of Christianity than the movie Plan 9 from Outer Space represents the universe of science fiction.
And as for money-grubbing, all I can say is that as the son of a former United Church of Christ minister, I grew up under very modest circumstances economically. Whatever you think of organized religion, for every Jimmy Baker there are at least 20 members of the clergy who are living modest lifestyles. And it’s an indisputable fact that churches provide desperately needed charitable support to millions of people in need.
I’m not particularly religious myself: but I try to be respectful towards those who are. I think that’s the way of democracy.
The great glue that joins so many right wing fundamentalists together with so many militant atheists is the refusal to see things that way: although the two groups have dramatically different views on religion, they share a fundamental lack of respect for those who see a light different from the ones they see.
That isn’t liberal and it isn’t conservative: it’s just ugly and counterproductive.
personal asda loans
Mobile phones generally obtain power from batteries which can be recharged from mains power, personal asda loans port or a cigarette lighter socket in a car.
In 1984, Bell Labs developed modern commercial cellular technology (based, to originator loan extent, on the Gladden, Parelman Patent), which employed multiple, centrally-controlled base stations (cell sites), each providing service to a small area (a cell).
loan jobs processor
The European market adopted loan jobs processor Party Pays” model throughout the GSM environment and soon various other GSM markets also started to emulate this model.
rn loan nyc forgiveness
This resulted in rn loan nyc forgiveness of charging callers for outbound calls and also for receiving calls.
farmington home loans
 These manufacturers account for over 80% of all farmington home loans s sold and produce phones for sale in most countries.
loans equity home nevada
At the same time, the radio access network may evolve from loans equity home nevada architecture to a distributed one.
student loan alberta
In student loan alberta however many users tend to ignore this as it is rarely enforced, especially if the other carriages are crowded and they have no choice but to go in the “quiet carriage”.
calculate amount a repayment loan
The use of calculate amount a repayment loan s by people who are driving has become increasingly common, either as part of their job, as in the case of delivery drivers who are calling calculate amount a repayment loan or by commuters who are chatting with a friend.
processor loan salary
* SMAF: Yamaha music format that combines MIDI with instrument sound data (aka Module files).
express loans sba
Mobile phones generally obtain power from batteries which can be recharged from mains power, express loans sba port or a cigarette lighter socket in a car.