On the other hand

The state of my soul, and my rational concepts about religion, are sometimes (maybe always) two very different things (or in two different places). On the other hand, it seems to me that what I believe, and how I act (or don't act) on such belief, largely determine my future.

I am not a Christian fundamentalist; that is, I don't believe in the "literal truth" of Scripture - transparent, beyond interpretation, devoid of symbol or irony. On the other hand, I put great store by the literal meaning of the stories & sayings found there; and I think that within the much-scorned & so-called "right-wing Christian" (sub)culture, there are rich dimensions of experience & understanding which are often outside the range of mainstream mass consciousness. These dimensions have opened up simply because these "fundamentalists" have a serious fascination with the Bible. They read it carefully; they apply its old wisdom sayings & exempla & exhortations in surprising contemporary (everyday) situations (for better & worse). (I'm not just theorizing here... I've met & talked with many such people.)


Gary B. Fitzgerald said...

If fundamentalists interpret the Bible literally and, therefore, overlook or misunderstand the "symbol or irony" of the text, then of what value is their interpretation? Of what value applying "old wisdom sayings, exempla & exhortations" to contemporary situations if you don't actually understand what they mean? Isn't this what leads to nonsense like saying Obama is the anti-christ or that Hitler was part of God's plan because it led to the establishment of Israel?

I could read the entire works of Goethe in the original German but if I didn't actually speak German it wouldn't do me much good, would it?

Gary B. Fitzgerald said...

Isn't this why the fundamentalist ‘Christians’ are helping Israel, trying to exacerbate a bad situation and accelerate the animosity toward, and oppression of, the native peoples (i.e.: Palestinians) in order to expedite Armaggedon (Har Magiddo), the Second Coming, for their own purposes?

And you consider these people to be moral? (Love thy neighbor and all that rot). Shame!

I don’t think Sitting Bull or Geronimo would agree, either.