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Fundamentalism (From “Addicting Info”)

Pope Francis Attacks Christian Fundamentalism Again, Says It’s ‘Not Healthy’
AUTHOR: STEPHEN D. FOSTER JR. JANUARY 3, 2014 5:10 PM

Prepare to hear more howling from conservative critics of the Holy Father. Pope Francis has called out Christian fundamentalism for being ‘not healthy.’
Pope Francis attacked Christian fundamentalism as “not healthy.”
On Friday, La Civiltà Cattolica published remarks that Pope Francis made in November during a meeting with the leaders of men’s religious orders. The pontiff once again blasted those who stick to extreme ideology and attacked fundamentalism for being blind to reality.

“It is not a good strategy to be at the center of a sphere,” the Pope stated. “To understand we ought to move around, to see reality from various viewpoints. We ought to get used to thinking.”

Ah, thinking. A concept that most conservatives fail to grasp either because they’re desperate to defend a hateful ideology that doesn’t work or they fear that their heads will implode from the effort. Of course, Pope Francis says being entrenched in such an obsessive ideology is unhealthy.

Pope Francis referred to a letter written by Father Pedro Arrupe in which he spoke of poverty and how “some time of real contact with the poor is necessary.” The pontiff believes that if people who have much spend time with those who are poor, they’ll be more sympathetic to their plight and be more understanding. Instead of believing that the poor are mere bottom-feeders who are lazy, wealthy conservatives would grow hearts and change their tune if they actually spent time with those who struggle in poverty.

“This is really very important to me: the need to become acquainted with reality by experience, to spend time walking on the periphery in order really to become acquainted with the reality and life – experiences of people,” Pope Francis continued. “If this does not happen we then run the risk of being abstract ideologists or fundamentalists, which is not healthy.”

In short, if we don’t do this, we risk becoming heartless conservatives who believe in hating everything and everyone instead of being more like Jesus.

Pope Francis has consistently stood against most of what Christian conservatives believe.
Pope Francis has been a relentless thorn in the side of Christian right-wingers. Ever since he became the head honcho of the Catholic Church, conservatives have viewed the new Vicar of Christ as an enemy. Far from being the harbinger of hatred that Christian righties wanted, Pope Francis has condemned hating gays, called for a more pro-women approach, advocated for environmentalism, and has strongly stood up for the poor, immigrants, and the marginalized. The man has even called upon Christians to treat atheists and Muslims with respect, kindness, and understanding. Pope Francis has pretty much condemned everything conservatives stand for here in America. And that includes their refusal to budge from a rigid, extreme, and narrow-minded ideology based on hate.

In October, Pope Francis called ideological Christianity “an illness” that needs to be more in line with the teachings of Jesus.

“In ideologies there is not Jesus: in his tenderness, his love, his meekness,” the pontiff declared during a daily Mass. “And ideologies are rigid, always. Of every sign: rigid. And when a Christian becomes a disciple of the ideology, he has lost the faith: he is no longer a disciple of Jesus, he is a disciple of this attitude of thought… For this reason Jesus said to them: ‘You have taken away the key of knowledge.’ The knowledge of Jesus is transformed into an ideological and also moralistic knowledge, because these close the door with many requirements. The faith becomes ideology and ideology frightens, ideology chases away the people, distances, distances the people and distances of the Church of the people. But it is a serious illness, this of ideological Christians. It is an illness, but it is not new, eh?”

Pope Francis has even criticized the superior complex that conservative Christians demonstrate on a daily basis. In front of an audience in St. Peter’s Square last month, the pontiff said that Christians shouldn’t act superior to others because:

“God reveals himself not as one who stands above and who dominates the universe, but as He who lowers himself. It means that to be like Him, we do not have to place ourselves above the others, but come down, come down and serve them, become small among the small, and poor among the poor.”

Pope Francis is calling out conservatives again by condemning Christian fundamentalism.
Fundamentalism is dangerous. It always has been throughout history. Pope Francis understands this, which is why he is condemning it. It’s an extreme ideology steeped in hate that is based on strict interpretations — most of which are actually misinterpretations — and outdated notions that have become unacceptable to society. The Christian fundamentalism practiced by conservatives fits this description perfectly, and Pope Francis just called it out again. And an overwhelming majority of Americans and American Catholics, as well as people all around the world, agree with the Holy Father. Clearly, it’s time for conservatives to change.

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from “Examiner.com”: Why don’t ‘moderate’ conservative Christians condemn religious extremists?

Why don’t ‘moderate’ conservative Christians condemn religious extremists?
May 23, 2012
By: Robert Sobel

Many conservatives often vote against their economic best interests because of how they connect on a personal level with the candidates. Rick Santorum campaigned on conservative Christianity which often got him in trouble.Michele Bachmann has been one of the loudest voices for the conservative Evangelical Christian movement.

One of the biggest divides in the United States is over religion and religious freedom. On one hand you have conservative Christians who are quick to point out that the “liberal media” and secular Americans are trying to strip away their right to believe in their religion. One the other hand, you have other Americans who want to be left alone to believe what they want without the fear of persecution from people of faith. The rest of America is also divided, ranging from “moderate” Christians to people of other faiths like Judaism, Islam, Hindus as well as people of no religious faith at all. What has made the news lately are radical extreme Christian pastors who have spoken their mind without any opposition from the conservative Christian right.

The month of May has proven to show the dark side of evangelical Christianity. CBS points out that this past week, North Carolina pastor, Charles Worley took to his church pew to preach extreme hatred for gay and lesbians Americans with the hope that they will all die out.

“Build a great big, large fence…100 miles long, put all the lesbians in there, fly over and drop some food…Do the same thing with the queers and homosexuals and have that fence electrified so they can’t get out and in a few years they will die out.”

According to a report from Think Progress, Worley has had a history of extreme rhetoric towards the LGBT community. In 1978, Worley was caught on tape stating that forty years prior, gays and lesbians would have been hung “from a white oak tree.” Also in North Carolina, Pastor Sean Harris was in the news in May when he advocated that parents beat their children if they suspect that they are gay.
“So your little son starts to act a little girlish when he is four years old and instead of squashing that like a cockroach and saying, “Man up, son, get that dress off you and get outside and dig a ditch, because that is what boys do,” you get out the camera and you start taking pictures of Johnny acting like a female and then you upload it to YouTube and everybody laughs about it and the next thing you know, this dude, this kid is acting out childhood fantasies that should have been squashed.

Can I make it any clearer? Dads, the second you see your son dropping the limp wrist, you walk over there and crack that wrist. Man up. Give him a good punch. Ok? You are not going to act like that. You were made by God to be a male and you are going to be a male.”

North Carolina also passed Amendment One earlier this month that not only bans same sex marriage in the state, but also civil unions and domestic partnerships. The outrage and fear over gay and lesbians is becoming worse than the fear agenda that has been pushed towards Muslims since the horrible attacks on 9/11. The radical religious extremism goes farther than two preaches and the state of North Carolina.

This past May, Wagoner High School in Oklahoma showed a video to their students that compared having an abortion to Hitler, Nazis and the treatment on Jews during the Holocaust. The film was given to the school by some local parents, but after fellow students and parents expressed disgust over the video, the film was confiscated and the school apologized.

The battle over abortion has become a major issue in the political landscape and the anti-choice agenda has been pushed and funded by the extreme fundamentalist Christian movement. With high profile preachers like Pat Robertson of the 700 Club and anti-choice and anti-gay groups like the Family Research Council and NOM (National Organization for Marriage) pushing a certain agenda, the war against women and equality is at the forefront of American politics.

With these extreme groups and individuals making their opinions loud and clear, a certain question needs to be asked. Christians and other religious Americans who consider themselves “moderate,” are often too quiet when these extreme groups make the headlines with hate and intolerance. While there are often a small group of religious Americans voicing their opposition, not enough do so to make enough noise to change the direction of the issues.

The Republican party and their conservative Christian base don’t always speak as clearly as Pastor Harris and Worley, but their silence does just as much damage. It’s possible to hold a certain position in your political and religious ideology without damaging the lives of others. If the United States is going to move forward in a direction that includes equality for all Americans, people of faith need to speak up when clear ignorance, intolerance and bigotry are being unleashed right in front of their eyes.
 

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