Wednesday, November 09, 2022

Fundamentalist Christian Religion, the Abuse of Truth and the Decline of American Democracy

In some respects, it is difficult to fathom that a considerable portion of the American population currently embraces an ideological perspective that flaunts statements, distorted propositions and absurd notions that not only challenge and abuse the truth but seek to undermine it. Those who espouse such ideas seem to be so cavalier in their pronouncements that they do not recognize the essential damage that this inflicts on the body politic. This worldview is extremely distorted and out of synch with the realities of the human world in the twenty-first century.

However when one takes into account the role that religion and, more importantly, Fundamentalist Christian religion plays in the lives of its followers, this reality becomes more readily understandable for so much of the tenets of religious thinking are delusional in nature and are not representative of reality. As a matter of fact, the alternative reality that is presented as given often runs counter to ordinary experience.

There is, in fact, no spirit world nor any supposedly divinely-inspired compendium of edicts or unassailable commandments that must be obeyed. Fundamentalism paints a picture in which humanity is constantly pursued by evil and satanic forces that can only be subdued by those who conveniently align themselves with a truth woven from a completely manufactured version of reality. From this perspective, individuals and groups that desire to see and accept the true nature of things are seen as a menace and a threat and, therefore, are both feared and despised.

From this myopic perspective, science and the progress of human knowledge are held suspect. This point of view does not abide democracy, for the essential character of democracy holds that all individuals are equal and have the inherent right to express and share their views and participate fully in the political life of society. From the fundamentalist standpoint, this cannot be allowed, for it is clear that when a people choose to take this path, fundamentalist thinking would rapidly become obsolete.

Theocracies such as those in Saudi Arabia and Iran provide a glimpse into the extremes of violence and relentless repression that religious fundamentalist rulers will utilize to counter the movement of true human progress. It would be most unfortunate if the experiment in American democracy were to be undermined by a blind embrace of such a delusional worldview.

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