Monday, October 5, 2009

There is only one answer...

Division street

There's a sharp division between religious America and secularists. Its no secret. The same holds true in Europe and around the world. And in some places there are also religion on religion hostilities waging... real fights with people dieing. The climate for peace has never been shakier. It certainly seems that there's little doubt - something has to give.

The basic question, of course, is does a higher being really exist? To make matters worse, polytheism with its multiple gods, only adds to the fire.

I tout reading as much as is written on this modern dilemma and this looks like a good read: Karen Armstrong, "The Battle for God." Here's an excerpt I found in a thesis paper by Juliette Bennett, "An Ethical Dilemma: Childhood Conversion in Christian Fundamentalism," which is in itself a good read.

In "The Battle for God," Karen Armstrong examines fundamentalism in Christian, Islam and Judaic religions, describing a perceived ‘terror of extinction’, a fear that secularists are trying to wipe them out.

Feeling as though their identity is under attack, fundamentalists have undertaken a
campaign to ‘re-sacralize’ society, a cause that has become ‘aggressive and distorted’,
initiating a ‘dialectical relationship with an aggressive secularism which showed scant
respect for religion and its adherents’.

This has essentially trapped secularists and fundamentalists in the ‘escalating spiral of hostility and recrimination’ that is visible today. This growing polarity between secularists and religious is causing a division within nations, as if there are ‘two nations: secularists and religious living in the same country [but] cannot speak one another's language or see things from the same point of view.’ She observes that ‘what seems sacred and positive in one camp appears demonic and deranged in the other.’

The above brings to mind at least one clear recollection (a rather humorous one) which clearly spoke words of fear when the proposed teaching of creationism failed before the courts in Dover, Pennsylvenia back in 2005: "We're being attacked," said Rev. Ray Mummert, "by the educated segment of the culture." ( I caution the reader, that what Rev. Mummert explains in the article linked here is apologetic, Christian style, in its bias slant. Read critically.)

There can be only one true answer to the being of gods or not, and the battle to decide the issue is clearly underway. Let's hope it remains a battle of words and no more.

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