Religious fundamentalism: an attitude of spiritual and in some extreme circles even physical warfare toward opposing belief systems and ways of viewing the world.

The religious fundamentalism that I personally encountered was not accompanied by a desire to be involved with physical violence and warfare. With that being said, there was still very much a warrior mentality within this church, but more in a spiritual and ideological sense. This is actually consistent with Biblical language and teaching.

This warrior mentality stems from wanting to protect and safeguard unverified statements about the human condition.

The main weakness that I want to point out here is that when any religious community becomes dogmatic and isolated from other forms of thinking and criticism, then this community will inevitably develop some very strong lines of confirmation bias. What becomes acceptable and normative within one isolated community is not recognized by other communities that have striven to be more open to other theological options.

When I was a Christian, and even before my big switch into Atheism I was beginning to recognize the arrogance and ignorance that can arise within some communities that fail to recognize the need for self criticism. On the one hand these communities, I think, are trying to model a kind of loyalty and dedication to their faith and to their God. Their goal is to live a virtuous and commendable life.

Now here’s what I can do for many of my Christian friends that many will refuse to acknowledge about me. I can look at their lives and acknowledge where they are trying to be commendable and virtuous. I can say, “hey, great job! You are a good natured individual.” Depending on the spectrum that many people fall into doctrinally, many, by their theological commitment to the Bible will refuse to tell me that I am a good natured individual.

Especially since I have so openly dissented from my former faith position. The Bible itself puts me into a category of sin and rebellion. My only point here is that there are clear implications to what we believe. There are clear consequences that unfold as a result of which set of ideas about reality that we exalt as the most virtuous and truthful.

At the end of the day the Bible itself erects a mode of thinking that is still very tribal in my mind. It is black and white. There is only one king within this tribe. His name is Jesus! Everything that he said (or supposedly said?) about the human condition is the absolute truth. No need to fact check. Though I do appreciate more open minded Christians that are willing to engage with other religious and theological ideas.

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