My Mazamet

Life at № 42 by E.M. Coutinho

The Josiah Effect: How Moderate Religion Fuels Fundamentalism | Quillette

“In both Islam and Christianity, it is easy to dismiss fundamentalist doctrines as perversions of scripture. But the fundamentalists have a ready defense against this charge. When Curtis suggested that Anderson might be perverting Christianity, Anderson said, “Let the viewers read for themselves. Let them pull the Bible off their shelf and look up Leviticus 20:13, and then let them be the judge.”

Source: The Josiah Effect: How Moderate Religion Fuels Fundamentalism | Quillette

A must read. (Thanks Tildeb!) Read the comments section as well because in an almost eery way, comments confirm the author’s argument. The knee jerk reaction of the religionist is to deflect. One even says, “If this were true billions of Jews and Christians would be terrorists. They are not.”- except of course, they are/were. Through today’s lens events like the Massacre of Vassy or St. Bartholomew’s day would be described as religiopolitical terrorism. The French religious wars as a whole would fall into that category- and they alone have an estimated death toll of 2 to 4 million people. (Keep in mind that in the year 1500 French population is estimated to have been 15.5 million.) And I’d take the argument further. Catholic religious doctrine has been directly responsible for the spread of Aids in Africa. That may not be terrorism, but also results in death.

14 comments on “The Josiah Effect: How Moderate Religion Fuels Fundamentalism | Quillette

  1. acflory
    June 15, 2016

    This is a truly thought provoking article, but perhaps not in the way the writer suggests. I had my moment too, but I became an atheist. I suspect that most of the people who chat here had their moment at roughly the same age as well. So why have we not embraced fundamentalism?
    I honestly believe the answer lies not in religion, moderate or otherwise, but in psychology and child development. After all, even counting every young person drawn to ISIS or fundamentalist dogma, the numbers are vanishingly small. Unfortunately, like shark attacks, their effects are abnormally horrific.
    These are young men and women of a certain age who, for some personal reason, are /seeking/ something bigger than themselves. If they fail to find it in Islam or Christianity or the Hare Krishnas, they would find it with some other cult.
    Why they cannot be content with living as good, kind, compassionate people I do not know. 😦

    Liked by 2 people

    • “Why they cannot be content with living as good, kind, compassionate people I do not know.”
      My guess is that the trigger is unrealistic expectations of life. In other words: disappointment.

      Liked by 1 person

      • acflory
        June 15, 2016

        😦 I suspect you may be right, although some of the young men from Australia seem to have started out as petty criminals. Did they experience a road to Damascus moment as the article suggests? Or were they simply attracted to the romance of becoming ‘somebodies’? Meh, I think I just agreed with you.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. sallyedelstein
    June 15, 2016

    The fact that some fundamental Christians on social media rejoiced at the tragic death of LGBT Americans in the Orlando shooting serves as a cruel and powerful reminder that hate is still out there.
    Fundamentalists all many religions are troublesome. This past Sunday, a Baptist preacher stood at his pulpit in Northern California and delivered an impassioned sermon praising the brutal massacre at a gay nightclub in Florida telling his congregants that Christians “shouldn’t be mourning the death of 50 sodomites.”

    Opponents of gay rights legislation are ramping up, and their fear based rhetoric hark back to the not so distant past when the very notion of gay marriage was inconceivable if not downright frightening.
    By 1970 as gay rights became more vocal, pamphlets were produced filled with dire warnings of the dangers of homosexuality and the “coming revolution” invading the mainstream. For a look at one such homophobic comic entitled Gay Blade published in 1972 that predicted an ominous future filled with gasp…gay marriage,

    Liked by 1 person

  3. makagutu
    June 15, 2016

    That was a great read

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Clare Flourish
    June 15, 2016

    Mmm. I had a Gideons new testament, NIV, aged 12 at school and read it according to the daily readings suggested in the beginning. I then aged about 18 started reading Biblical commentaries, starting with The Daily Study Bible. I am extremely liberal as a Christian, and we observe lots of teenagers stop attending church around the time they stop doing things just because the family does them.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. inspiredbythedivine1
    June 15, 2016



  6. StakedinTheHeart
    June 17, 2016

    Here’s what’s happening in “secular” Turkey. The problem is Islam.


  7. consoledreader
    June 19, 2016

    He is relying too much on his personal experience rather than actual data. That’s always a dangerous assumption to make. So he assumes that his experience as a moderate Christian turned fundamentalist is true of all religious traditions. It’s not clear the same dynamics play out the same way across religions though.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Pingback: Catholic Communicator

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