Monday, September 6, 2010

Having fun with Fundies

Having fun with Fundies

During a talk I was having the other day the Westboro creeps came up. These are the dudes who protest soldiers’ funerals and hold up signs that say such glorious things like, “God hates you”. Aren’t those guys fun? Who wouldn’t sign up for that ride?

Recently, my friend at posted a blog about how it is becoming harder and harder to distinguish the satiric from the sincere. You may have heard of Edward Current? If not, I highly recommend a quick search on YouTube. Edward is satire. He wants to show how ridiculous the arguments are by showing how they lack any spine or bite. Yet often people mistake Mr. Current for an authentic believer. Why?

Mrs. Betty Bowers is another perfect satirical example. Perhaps she is easier to spot as satire, but I wouldn’t be surprised if someone made the mistake to call her a real believer. Are the satire and the sincere so close? Yes, they are.

Try to make the ridiculous sound more ridiculous and what you end up with is ridiculous. And because there are so many flavors of bat-shit crazy out there, it is hard to distinguish that which is supposed to be too crazy to be true from what is so crazy it must be true.

You’d think that when fundamentalists sound just like the people trying to parody them, people would stop becoming fundies. But that is not what’s happening. The trend is that people are moving away from the middle, and to the extremes. On one hand you have fundies and on the other, me: the atheist. This is why I think Christians feel threatened by Muslims and atheists. We are all trying to get people from the middle, the moderates. Fundies hate moderates. I’m torn on them myself. But this is where our groups enjoy the largest growth, by converting, or de-converting, the moderate.

For me, this is great. See, I’ve no problem with fundies. They do my work for me. Tell me you think the Westboro dudes are right. Go on, tell me you agree with this hate group. You don’t? I’m shocked. You think Al’Quida is a bunch of crazed lunatics? Even Muslims think so? Wow. I’m just floored.

See, the extremists are easy to spot, and dismiss as extremists. Once all members of religious cults are indeed extremists, the world will more easily see there is no merit in believing in the supernatural, expect to control people to do radical violence in the name of god.

Of course, that will mean we will be left to face each other. We will have to acknowledge we do not always agree, but work to find suitable compromise. We will have to test and re-test, think and re-think, evaluate and re-evaluate. No longer will we hold to dogma, but we will change our beliefs when evidence shows us we were wrong. God isn’t here; we are.

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