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Getting Fundamentalists To Teach Love

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One of my favorite sports was debating Fundamentalists. As in all my debates with them, I was running up the score, and no chance of losing, I thought.



He used the phrase "Christian righteousness" and someone asked if a good example of righteousness was Bush. :P He said that he'd had many differences with Bush, but Bush was a secular leader, not a spiritual one, and shouldn't be thought of in the same way. :P:P Well, I said, what about abusive popes like Julius II, who even Machivelli denounced as a warmonger, and Urban VI, who murdered many of his cardinals? He replied, yes they were bad, but that was a long time ago. I said, "The only reason that we haven't had such violent popes was that after the Protestant Reformation, popes haven't had as much power". Then I mentioned Pius XII who had done nothing to denounce Hitler. The argument is made that Pius would have only caused the invasion of The Vatican had he denounced Hitler. I mentioned that he NEVER denounce Hitler, even though he lived to 1958. Then he said something, I forget exactly what, that could have been a microscopically positive comment about Hitler. I replied, "How dare you! Both my parents were German Jews. 1/3 of my family was murdered by them."


Later, he said my life would be much better if I practiced gratitude. My next thought was realizing how negative my comments were, and my purpose in saying them was to belittle him as closeminded and a supporter of violence.What I said wasn't about healing, but attack. My comments about even the holocaust weren't about my upset about his statements, but as a way to wound.I was using debate as a form of violence!







Then and only then, could I acknowledge fundamentalists as potential allies. They say come to Jesus or else you'll die. To me and others, that's the ultimate coersion. On top of that often people usurp Christian doctine, and that drives people away from the institution of Christinity, but in doing so, these people are following what they see as the most loving path!


Some of the points I've made above, are useful in catching fundamentists of balance, but then our job is to heal, to show them that it's better to simply say that people don't need to be told they must follow the teachings of Christ, but how much better their lives will be if they do come from a warmer, more loving philosophy.


Then I tell them that The Dalai Lama said "My only religion is kindness." and ask them if that statement is closer to the teachings of Christ or the Buddha, whose main teaching was detachment. Then I remind them that the person who demonstrated the biggest miracle though love was Gandhi, a Hindu. Then I tell them about people in the previous paragraph, who stay away from Christianity, because they're true Christians. Then I ask them if the real test of Chrisndom is saying you give your life to Christ, or living a loving life. Finally, I say the reason they're having so much trouble is that far more people can relate to the value of living a positive kind life, then getting them to call themselves Christians.

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Cynthia, I believe the attribution of that quote properly rests with that philosopher king, Walt Kelly's Pogo (circa '40s and '50s)!!!


You know the cartoon possum.


Another favorite Pogo quote: (my family used to love singing this Christmas song)

"Deck us all with Boston Charlie,

Walla Walla, Wash., and Kalamazoo!

Nora's freezin' on the trolley,

Swaller dollar cauliflower, alleygaroo!"



Info on Kelly and Pogo;





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Not to worry Cynthia. I think Pogo is a great philosopher.

:-) The other thing is that it reminds me, in a good way, of my deceased dad.

He LOVED Pogo, used to be in tears from laughter sometimes.



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Ahhh Meek, those humility building moments of enlightenment... just lay down for a while... and start again  :P


Somebody help me with the attribution for this oh too true quote:


We have met the enemy and it is us.    :(


Uggggg! I'd hoped there was an age limit to learn this kind of lesson.



When I was a teenager, I'd seen them talk about things as if they were the absolute truth, that no kid was qualified to repudiate, like we must be in Vietnam, I swore I'd never be so closedminded when I was an adult. This is one of those times I need to make good on that. In exchange for that, I've had a load taken off my shoulders, and life has been much easier.

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