A Simple Question

Why does anyone listen to Fundamentalists?

Seems like a reasonable question...

I was pondering this today, and I decided to put it into a Facebook-friendly graphic.

As someone who teaches World Religions, it seems fairly obvious to me that fundamentalists – Muslim, Christian, Jewish, Zoroastrian…doesn’t matter – have a consistent history of always being wrong about everything.  So, with that said, why does anyone give them any credibility when they come out with new pronouncements about whatever it is they oppose in this generation?

In particular, why does the news media pretend like they have a valid perspective that needs to be given equal credibility or air time alongside what non-fundamentalists think?

Fundamentalism is not about faithfulness to a religious system.  The views opposed by fundamentalists of past generations invariably become so culturally normative that even future generations of fundamentalists have to accept them.  Most “creationists” for instance claim to take the Bible literally while still accepting that the Earth is not flat and that it orbits the Sun.

Fundamentalism is about the obdurate defense of ignorance in the face of logic and reason for the purpose of preserving a bigoted and imbalanced social order.  The issues may change, but the fundamentals of fundamentalism never do.

More importantly, everyone always ultimately realizes how wrong the fundamentalists of preceding generations were.  So, why haven’t we figured out yet that we should just ignore them?

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