Monday, February 9, 2009

Those who don't know their history, and all that jazz

It's a funny thing that comes up again and again in atheist, agnostic, and pagan blogs. As a rule, we know the Bible better than the fundies. Sure, we usually make fun of that fact, that we have read the whole damn book, most of the time more than once, and they haven't. At all.
When I was in school I remember learning about the early Catholic church, and how they kept God to themselves, allowing the poor masses only bits and pieces of the Bible. The reasoning was that the masses wouldn't understand the Bible and wouldn't understand the true way to God was through the Church. Eventually the printing press and standardize language rules allowed the Bible to be read by the masses, and then the Church splintered, and we all know what happened then. But the important thing was that bits and pieces part.
The fundamentalist church does not seem to advocate the reading of the entire Bible. I have heard of fundies that have actually never read anything but select passages. The preachers don't ever seem to say things like, "Hey, how about we start at the beginning?"
This has always reminded me of the early Church, the withholding of information to your people is a blatant power play, and I wonder sometimes if these people realize it? Now they have other options, other churches to turn to and find fellowship at. So why stay where you are, where your own holy book is just a collection of disjointed quotes advicating violence? I really can't answer that question, I can only offer a few idea's. The culture of fear that has been cultivated in this country may be a part of staying in these churches. They offer authority and and protection and promise horrors upon the enemy. And all you have to do is believe. That's terribly attractive to some people. Some are attacted to the power itself. Here is a place where you can rise far and fast, as long as you say the right things. Those things aren't really in the Bible, but that's OK, it says stuff close enough. Just keep your people so busy with Bible studies and activities that they never actually read what they are studying. But you start thinking that kind of thing and you are getting close to thinking that these churches are nothing but cults, because that is classic cult behavior.
It is something to think about, that a whole sect of Christianity has come full circle, back to the Church of the middle ages, despite Luther and the reformation and every other advance made to put the way to God in the hands of the people, there are still people who will hand it back and expect their "betters" to show them the way. It's sort of insane to me, but what do I know?


  1. I told a standard "if you read the bible, you would believe" evangelist that I had indeed read the bible, from beginning to end, many times in many translations.

    To which he replied, "You don't start at the beginning!"

    Silly me.

  2. Hahahah, of course not! If you start at the beginning who knows what you might find!


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