F36: Fun

Whether it is a Televangelist or a Mullah, they share a descriptor, a word that captures the essence of each one’s claim to power and authority, to each one’s belief system. That word is fundamentalist.

How deeply ironic. If I parse the word I come up with FUN and MENTAL. I double dare you to find anything humorous or lighthearted anywhere in these harsh, punishing worlds of domination and authority. I also challenge you to find any rational, intellectual focus. These groups don’t teach to the mind. They teach to the emotions; fear, shame, guilt and anger.

And about the ‘ist’ – well as far as fun or mental, it just ISN’T. So there.

I came across something that states this emotional aspect better than I have done.
One of the best descriptions about the psychology of religious fundamentalism was stated by civil rights activist Reverend Howard Thurman who was interviewed in the late 1970s for a BBC feature on religion. Here’s what he told the interviewer: "I say that creeds, dogmas, and theologies are inventions of the mind. It is the nature of the mind to make sense out of experience, to reduce the conglomerates of experience to units of comprehension which we call principles, or ideologies, or concepts. Religious experience is dynamic, fluid, effervescent, yeasty. But the mind can't handle these so it has to imprison religious experience in some way, get it bottled up. Then, when the experience quiets down, the mind draws a bead on it and extracts concepts, notions, dogmas, so that religious experience can make sense to the mind. Meanwhile religious experience goes on experiencing, so that by the time I get my dogma stated so that I can think about it, the religious experience becomes an object of thought."

The part that sucks is this.
As a progressive, a commited secularist and a woman; I am the enemy.

Many scholars see most forms of fundamentalism as having similar traits. This is especially obvious if modernity, secularism or an atheistic perspective is adopted as the norm, against which these varieties of traditionalism or supernaturalism are compared. From such a perspective, Peter Huff wrote in the International Journal on World Peace:

"According to Antoun, fundamentalists in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, despite their doctrinal and practical differences, are united by a common worldview which anchors all of life in the authority of the sacred and a shared ethos that expresses itself through outrage at the pace and extent of modern secularization." [emphasis mine]

You can read hundreds of words on fundamentalism, and I have, yet never come across these words: fun, humor, laughter, joy, happy, grin, giggle, pleasure or chuckle.

Unlike this . . .
My complete thanks to teh Portly Dyke for turning me on to the Mr. Deity series and this gem from the Lawrence Welk show. Warning: it is addictive.