Fundamentalism: Its a cause, what is it's effect?
Religion: Cause and Effect.
When you look at the world, the dominant influence over the minds of the common people is not a man, but an idea behind what one man and his birth and death represented. In the biblical cannon, there is a great prophet, the son of god, who was without “sin”. This prophet Yahweh, or translated into English as “Jesus” taught lessons that can make a person stronger spiritually, and gave them promise of a better place in the afterlife, and all you have to do is accept him with all your heart. I do not discourage his characteristics, but the cause of faith in him creates the effect of many acts of great violence against people of other faiths.
Acts of violence, over time, have occurred quite frequently. In recent history, on group of religious fundamentalist stand above all others. The Nazi's of Germany, sought not only world domination, but a religious fascism that is only comparable to the dark ages. A result of their actions was the near genocide of an ancient people. The Jews who have occupied the area of the world that is now the middle east, have been here since the beginning of literature, and in a matter of a few years, where almost killed off completely, for no reason other than their beliefs. How the Nazi Christian Fundamentalists saw the furtherance of the Aryan race as a just cause is mind boggling to me because the only true race is the human race. But this however isn't the only example. This has been occurring over time, as is shown in a multitude of examples.
The great crusades, which occurred for years, where a time of religious persecution. Weather you were Muslim or Jewish, you were a heretic in the eyes of the crusaders. The holy knights, or “god”'s army, fought to preserve the ideas of Christ, which in itself is a contradiction. What Christ sought to set as a belief was that acceptance should come regardless to belief, in essence, judge not lest ye be judged. This however was not the highlight of the biblical cannon. Regardless of his message, those who saw Christ as their savior never thought about that when they were slaughtering villages in the name of god. Why? In the pursuit of dominance those who would challenge to stand in the way of the power of theology are the only enemies that separate them from heaven.
However, this was not the only other example. The Spanish Inquisition was a horrific time period. All of the people of secular or naturalistic beliefs where burn at the stake, or decapitated by a horrible machine called a guillotine, people were dubbed a witch for no reason other than being suspected of doing witchcraft or sorcery. Heretics, or mis-judged Christians were killed for no reason other than their opposition of the church, or of their god. Reflection of these actions cause people to think that it was okay back then, but I must ask why not now? If it was gods will then then why would his mind change? Is he not the greatest being in the universe? Is not regret a human emotion? In fundamentalism there is no good.
But it is growing ever harder to escape fundamentalism. Our own nation, now, is fighting a religious war. In March, 2004, George W. Bush attended a conference of 30 million evangelists, at the National Association of Evangelicals. He thanked them on behalf of the nation for “doing God's work”. In 2003, General Boykin of the US Military stated at churches across the country that in the war on terrorism “the enemy is a guy named Satan”.
Religious fundamentalism is the effect of a cause that stands for something, that I can only hope will be used as guidelines, but not literal words of life. From these examples I can deduce that it is not a positive mindset to pursue fundamentalism. I see killing as a negative, and it can do no good, in a nation that was founded on the pursuit of peace and equality, I see the slow fade of democracy and the emergence of a strong theocracy as a drastic turn for the worse. I can only hope that this will change, but the only people that are willing to make a stand are few and far between.