Putting the Mental in...!
Fundamentalist! Ah yes, what a wonderful pejorative label! It would appear tis a very useful tool to disenfranchise anyone of religious persuasion we believe is too 'black and white' or we simply find their perceived dogma distasteful... We brandish the term with self-righteous gusto and 'presto', the target of our disdain is dismissed as no longer worthy of consideration.
Granted, belligerence accompanying hubris emphatic, poorly thought through data that refuses to consider all forms of legitimate evidence, can be off putting to say the least, and may even warrant the use of this 'label' in a correct fashion. However, this description is not what attracts this disparaging evaluation, well at least in my experience. But if we are going to be consistent with the use of this term, then we must be able to apply it to anyone holding any position in like fashion. Guess what? It's not just classical religious figures or positions to which this can be applied, it can also be applied to other 'fundamentalists'....
That aside, this description is often not what attracts this disparaging evaluation, well at least in my experience. No, in our insecure, confused and increasingly passive post-modern framework, this 'tag' can be given to anyone who has conservative values, is not agnostic, who has 'landed' on an issue (after lengthy thought and investigation) or doesn't 100 percent validate liberal ideas.....remarkable!
What of the play on words... FUND-a-mentalist? Obviously any and all who seek to sway, if not the position then the purse of the hearer is at risk of 'copping' this tag! (check out the video below)
Yes there are and have been from the beginnings of the New Testament, those who would 'peddle the Gospel for personal gain' (as even the Apostle Paul noted) but that, as with Paul, should not prevent the pure of heart from seeking to know and walk with the ONE who is the Fundamental Truth behind not merely life, but the cosmos!
For the Christian, pluralist, pantheist and agnostic alike, despite abuses and misuses, please understand that the power of God is not only real and available, it is imperative! Too precious, way to precious to be left in the hands of slick operators to be manipulated and abused!
However, be careful that we don't let the appalling indiscretions of a small Christian minority blind us to the growing and abusive fundamentalism of other theists, deists or even atheists! For example, if you have read Richard Dawkins book 'The God delusion' then you will totally understand what I am referring to! Please be, if not careful, then aware that regardless of, cynical diatribe, purportedly erudite 'academ-o-babble' all couched in dismissive witty repartee, is not, and will never be, a good substitute for well thought through, evidence rich and lucidly tabled argument.
For those who claim to be Christian there can only ever be one celebrity in Christendom - one 'all in all' and it is no woman or man! It is the King of Kings! It is Jesus the Christ!
For the others, if not the Christ, then what celebrity (be it person, principle, priority or path) - what metaphoric 'idol' do you genuflect before at your altar of philosophical underpinnings?
When it is all distilled down we must understand one thing...we all bow down to something and all of us are captivated by some principle, process, path or priority - a worldview, whether we believe it or not! What then becomes the task, at least for those who ponder more than their navels or stock portfolios, is that we have to convince ourselves that which we bow to is not only 'right', but hopefully affirms us as 'free thinkers' in a world of either reemerging 'neo-positivism' or post-modernism. We need this so we can continue to keep our existential posture, both unshaken and up right in the midst of all the multitude of philosophical storms that assail a very complex and mind boggling existence!
How does the existential posture, that is your worldview, fair? Kick the living daylights out of the 'fundamentals' of it and see if it holds!
Regardless of your 'god of choice' the ensuing counsel would be worthy of attention...
"Test all things and hold to what is good!"
1 Thessalonians 5: 21