After watching the video of the pastor “speaking in tongues” at the same sex rally I decided to pen this.
I was involved for about 3 months with “The Way Ministry” when I was in my late teens. They spoke in tongues all the time. One night while on my own and I got “the gift”. I remember it as a “white light” experience and felt I was floating in the room (no mushrooms involved!) .When I told the group (ok cult) the next day they were all very happy for me. I must admit that for a few weeks I thought I was saved by Jesus and was certain of a seat when the end came plus all the other crap that comes with it. I am cringing as I recall it. I lost contact when university broke for summer and lost all interest in them. Anyway that was 30 years ago.
I am and have been an Atheist for several years. However I can still “speak in tongues” if I so wish. The words flow effortlessly – i.e. I do not form them before I utter them. I know with my scientific mind that I am not speaking a language. It may sound like a foreign language to some but I know it is not. Even when I try to scrutinise the words and work out if they are just rearranged phonemes it takes an effort to hear it as gibberish. I know science can explain it or will explain it fully and that it has nothing to do with anything religious.
I have not doubt that “speaking in tongues” originates in some part of the brain and maybe there have been MRI scans carried out (an interesting thesis for someone). However I can appreciate how people of faith are convinced it is “a gift of the spirit” and a sign from their god that they are saved. They may appear loony tunes to us but it is not as simple as that.
It is the confirmation bias that comes with being in a group or cult that further embeds the belief. They hear others speaking like that so it becomes more real as time passes. Then they appear as fanatics. By the way the pastor in the video was “translating” his tongues when he speaks in English.
So any science based ideas on the subject would be interesting. I remember hearing someone speak in tongues for the first time and his first two words were “corolla toyota”. That’s says quite a bit in itself.