"Mean": Adj. - 'humble, obscure, or lowly'

O Thou Who camest from above,
The pure celestial fire to impart,
Kindle a flame of sacred love,
Upon the mean altar of my heart.

Spiritual thoughts by
Daniel J. Clausen, author of HOW GODS ARE MADE

A division of Codex Spiritualis

Sunday, July 24, 2011

The Norway Massacre, Fundamentalism and Philosophy.

Most everyone has probably heard of the horrific massacre that occurred in Norway recently, the evil of which I can hardly comprehend. I cannot adequately express my sorrow for the individuals and their families who were victims of this holocaust.

But perhaps you have noticed how the media has tried to characterize this man both politically and religiously.

Every article I have read has classified him as a "fundamentalist Christian." Of this, I am almost equally astonished as the event itself simply because the media does not seem to know the definition of the word "fundamentalist."

A fundamentalist is (quoting from the dictionary here) "A usually religious movement or point of view characterized by a return to fundamental principles, and by rigid adherence to those principles."
That means, in this context, that this man should have a radical and rigid adherence to the fundamental principles of Christ. If you know ANYTHING AT ALL about the New Testament and the teachings of Jesus Christ and the example of His life, you ought to know that not only was Jesus not a murderer, but He Himself was an innocent victim who was mercilessly executed.
For all practical purposes, Jesus was a pacifist, who when He was reviled, He reviled not again. He taught his followers to love their enemies and pray for those who use them. He said not to resist an evil person, but to in ALL circumstances return good for evil. Leo Tolstoy said it best in his book "Christ's Christianity": "As fire will not put out fire, so evil will not destroy evil. Good alone, untainted by evil, can overcome it."
Christ, when He was hated, did just as He taught. He prayed for, and forgave those who crucified Him, and did not even curse at them, let alone act out violently or resist.

Now, all of this to prove the very easy point that this man not only did not act Christian, but he cannot be called any sort of fundamentalist because a fundamental understanding and follow-through of the teachings of Christ will lead someone unequivocally to a lifestyle of radical love, even for your enemies.
So understand that. Because for a Christian, an enemy is not defined by who we hate (because we ought to hate no one), but rather an enemy is defined by who hates us. And even to them, the response is the same: To love at all costs, even our lives, because evil is only overcome with good, hate only by love, darkness only by light. Evil for evil only leaves evil, hate for hate leaves only hate, darkness for darkness leaves only darkness. No matter how justified we may feel about our evil or hate - the equation always pans out the same.

So this is the ultimate point: You cannot judge a philosophy by its abuse. You can only judge a philosophy by the end of its logical out-workings.
The reason why many people are afraid of Islam is because there is a very real, plausible and logical out-working that comes from a valid interpretation of the Quran. My saying so may annoy some, but thousands of people in hundreds of countries over many centuries have held those beliefs, not just the modern day terrorists. Jihadists are a very real form of Islamic fundamentalism because their worldview is derived from a plain reading of dozens of verses, backed by the actions of their own prophet and historical precedence.

You can derive an equally destructive logical out-working from Atheism. In a world where we are all a great big cosmic accident and I am just a product of my genes and less than that, I am just enzymes and hormones - in such a world there is no imperative for morality. I'm not saying an atheist cannot be moral - but morality for him is a preference, because objectively, every action is just an action in a blind universe. So with no strain of conscience, an atheist could murder millions and it could not be called wrong, because in such a world there is no good or evil, there are just events.

Steve Turner said it best:
"If chance be the Father of all flesh,
disaster is his rainbow in the sky,
and when you hear

State of Emergency!
Sniper Kills Ten!
Troops on Rampage!
Whites go Looting!
Bomb Blasts School!

It is but the sound of man worshiping his maker."

There is no such logical out-working that can be derived from a Christian Fundamentalist worldview. Anyone who does such a thing is not strictly adhering to the fundamental teachings of Christ and can only identify as a Christian in the most gross and blasphemous abuse and corruption of everything holy.

You cannot judge a philosophy by its abuse. You can only judge a philosophy by the end of its logical out-workings.