You can safely assume you've created God in your own image when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do.
The essence of Christianity is told us in the Garden of Eden history. The fruit that was forbidden was on the tree of knowledge. The subtext is, 'All the suffering you have is because you wanted to find out what was going on. You could be in the Garden of Eden if you had just kept your fucking mouth shut and hadn't asked any questions.
If your life is Christ, then your death will be only more of Christ, forever. If your life is only Christlessness, then your death will be only more Christlessness, forever. That's not fundamentalism, that's the law of non-contradiction.
So this is where all the vapid talk about the 'soul' of the universe is actually headed. Once the hard-won principles of reason and science have been discredited, the world will not pass into the hands of credulous herbivores who keep crystals by their sides and swoon over the poems of Khalil Gibran. The 'vacuum' will be invaded instead by determined fundamentalists of every stripe who already know the truth by means of revelation and who actually seek real and serious power in the here and now. One thinks of the painstaking, cloud-dispelling labor of British scientists from Isaac Newton to Joseph Priestley to Charles Darwin to Ernest Rutherford to Alan Turing and Francis Crick, much of it built upon the shoulders of Galileo and Copernicus, only to see it casually slandered by a moral and intellectual weakling from the usurping House of Hanover. An awful embarrassment awaits the British if they do not declare for a republic based on verifiable laws and principles, both political and scientific.
I bet you've seen the fundamentalist bumper sticker that says, God said it! I believe it! That settles it! It must be a typo because what the driver really means is, I said it! God believes it! That settles it!
My friend Adele describes fundamentalism as holding so tightly to your beliefs that your fingernails leave imprints on the palm of your hand... I think she's right. I was a fundamentalist not because of the beliefs I held but because of how I held them: with a death grip. It would take God himself to finally pry them out of my hands. (p.17-18)
I am pain stricken to say that, various “educational” institutions have adopted the medieval doctrine fear of the lord is the beginning of wisdom as their motto. Let me tell you this, fear of the Lord, Santa Claus, Krishna, Thor, Hulk or any other imaginary being brings merely the illusion of wisdom, not wisdom. And illusion of wisdom is a billion times more harmful than lack of wisdom.
Let it be admitted at once, mournful as the admission is, that every instinct in his intelligence went out at first to greet the new light. It had hardly done so, when a recollection of the opening chapter of 'Genesis' checked it at the outset.
These quasi-faithful are growing in strength. They are the fundamentalists today, and they abound in all the religions.
Grief, my friend, forces us to search our souls and find answers to issues that constrain us from becoming better human beings.
Faith goes hand in hand with the belief in a supreme purpose that includes everybody, a purpose that is for mankind’s ultimate peace, harmony and happiness.
The best way to avoid a catastrophic conflict of beliefs is to be more compassionate about other people’s beliefs as long as they do not advocate for prejudices, bigotry and sectarianism.
Holiness in the purest form is independent of all textual doctrines, all churches and all institutions.
Killing a bunch of Jihadis may be morally justified, to save humanity from their wrath, but it won't terminate Jihad for long. Jihad or Holy war would keep festering one way or another, until religious fundamentalism is eradicated from the human society. Until the whole humanity learns to scrutinize its most revered scriptures with the sharp tool of reasoning, Jihad will keep on striking over the world. If one does not have the basic conscientious capacity to refute the primitive textual verses of the scriptures that demand one to kill or torture another being for holding a different belief system than one's own, then that entity is no being of the civilized human society, it is merely a pest from the stone-age. No Quran, no Bible, no Gita, no Cow, is greater than the human self. There shall be hope for harmony and peace in the world, only when fundamentalism is destroyed forever. Harmony is not a luxury, it is an existential necessity of the species. And to achieve it, if a hundred Bibles have to be sacrificed, then be it. But for no Bible, Quran or Gita, can harmony be compromised.
The argument against faith is all based upon the rigorous analysis of the scriptures, and not upon the objective observation of the actual individual sensation of faith. Historical experiences of the Kingdom of God gave rise to all the scriptures in the world, but the scriptures themselves don’t account for the actual globally prevalent psychological element of faith or divinity in the human mind. Faith is a natural evolutionary trait of the human mind, selected by Mother Nature as an internal coping-mechanism.
The moment the religious population of the world begins to see the prophets what they really were - mortal teachers of the mortal world, a great portion of the world's religious conflicts shall vanish into thin air.
Mother Nature created God as a neurological anti-depressant sentiment, but Man tore that God apart into pieces and made citadels of differentiation out of them.
In a society of thinking humanity, it should always be, humans first, and then Gods, Krishna or otherwise.
A person may hold his own beliefs and creeds to be dearest, and nourish them with all his might, but the moment he starts preaching the exclusive greatness and dominance over all other systems of beliefs and creeds, the world begins to plunge into a death trap.
The one ultimate rule of the Quranic fundamentalists is “there is one God and Mohammed is his prophet”. Everything beyond that not only is bad, but must be destroyed forthwith. At moment’s notice, every man or woman, who does not exactly believe in that, must be killed.... This is not religion my friend. This is primitiveness at its worst.
Why should a religion claim that it is not bound to abide by the standpoint of reason! If one does not take the standard of reason, there cannot be any true judgment, even in the case of religion.
Fundamentalism not only fuels devastating acts of violence, but also all kinds of primitive prejudicial behaviors, such as Misogyny, Polygamy, Homophobia, and Islamophobia.
Many religions now come before us with ingratiating smirks and outspread hands, like an unctuous merchant in a bazaar. They offer consolation and solidarity and uplift, competing as they do in a marketplace. But we have a right to remember how barbarically they behaved when they were strong and were making an offer that people could not refuse.
People are never so completely and enthusiastically evil as when they act out of religious conviction.
How dismal it is to see present day Americans yearning for the very orthodoxy that their country was founded to escape.
Since Jimmy Carter, religious fundamentalists play a major role in elections. He was the first president who made a point of exhibiting himself as a born again Christian. That sparked a little light in the minds of political campaign managers: Pretend to be a religious fanatic and you can pick up a third of the vote right away. Nobody asked whether Lyndon Johnson went to church every day. Bill Clinton is probably about as religious as I am, meaning zero, but his managers made a point of making sure that every Sunday morning he was in the Baptist church singing hymns.
Have you ever thought what a God would be like who actually ordained and executed the cruelty that is in [the biblical Book of Revelation]? A holocaust of mankind. Yet so many of these Bible-men accept the idea without a second thought.
Misstraue jedem Politiker, jedem Regierungs- oder Staatschef, der seine Religion zum Instrument macht. Halte Abstand von solchen Politikern, die ihre auf das Jenseits orientierte Religion und ihre diesseitige Politik miteinander vermischen.
It strikes me often while I am in Iran that were Christian evangelicals to take a tour of Iran today, they might find it the model for an ideal society they seek in America. Replace Allah with God, Mohammad with Jesus, keep the same public and private notions of chastity, sin, salvation, and God's will, and a Christian Republic is born.
Every fundamentalism focuses on end times, and Armageddon is, in a sense, a rhetorical trope, an emphatic and overwhelming conclusion, meant to wrap up and make tidy the mistaken wanderings of history. For a fundamentalist the end is one of the forms desire takes, a passion no different from lust or avarice, intense with longing and the need for fulfillment and relief. It’s like they’re horny for apocalypse. They get off on denouements, which partly explains why Hell House never amounted to much more than a series of murderous conclusions. It focused only on that part of a story where life finds itself fated. Inside every act a judgement was coiled. Real people with their ragged and uncertain lives, their stumbling desires, their bleak or blessed futures, would only break into the narrative, complicating the story, dragging it on endlessly.
You know,” said Jehangir, breaking the silence, “it's only Muslims who use the term 'innovation' to mean something bad.
Many [Tudor-era religious radicals] believed then, exactly as Christian fundamentalists do today, that they lived in the 'last days' before Armageddon and, again just as now, saw signs all around in the world that they took as certain proof that the Apocalypse was imminent. Again like fundamentalists today, they looked on the prospect of the violent destruction of mankind without turning a hair. The remarkable similarity between the first Tudor Puritans and the fanatics among today's Christian fundamentalists extends to their selective reading of the Bible, their emphasis on the Book of Revelation, their certainty of their rightness, even to their phraseology. Where the Book of Revelation is concerned, I share the view of Guy, that the early church fathers released something very dangerous on the world when, after much deliberation, they decided to include it in the Christian canon.]
Looking at Great-Great Grandpa Baldwin's photograph, I think to myself: You've finally done it. It took four generations, but you've finally goddamned done it. Gotten that war against reason and uppity secularists you always wanted. Gotten even for the Scopes trial, which they say was one of many burrs under your saddle until your last breath. Well, rejoice, old man, because your tribes have gathered around America's oldest magical hairball of ignorance and superstition, Christian fundamentalism, and their numbers have enabled them to suck so much oxygen out of the political atmosphere that they are now acknowledged as a mainstream force in politics. Episcopalians, Jews, and affluent suburban Methodists and Catholics, they are all now scratching their heads, sweating, and swearing loudly that this pack of lower-class zealots cannot possibly represent the mainstream--not the mainstream they learned about in their fancy sociology classes or were so comfortably reassured about by media commentators who were people like themselves. Goodnight, Grandpa Baldwin. I'll toast you from hell.
The purpose of education should ultimately be the advancement of the species. And for this to actually happen, the world needs the kind of education by means of which character is formed, strength of the mind is increased and the human intellect is expanded beyond its own limits.
For a great many skeptics are put to waste. But this is meant in the sense that which they vainly focus their energy on ridiculing a certain tiny denomination of Biblical fundamentalism, a denomination seated just one chair away from unbelief; they, the skeptics, cannot believe because they are the most literal of fundamentalists: of those that which must interpret Scripture only by means of a sort of obsolete and dead script of intellectual incompetence. By all means, this is supposed to happen - Scripture states of itself that all thought and interpretation is folly without the Holy Spirit - but on the other hand, it seems, ironically, that if one thinks that the Bible is, in its true essence, an outdated text, he doesn't know much about the world around him nor those who live in it. Either that, or he doesn't know much about what it says in relation to the world around him nor to those who live in it. It's as though he, too, is dead to the world and it to him. He has no spirit: he can only possibly understand Scripture as deceased rather than the modern world's very living narrative.