Comment by Doug Paice on February 7, 2012 at 8:46pm

Gotta say I disagree, one of the common complaints about the fundamentalists is that they cherry pick, they claim that they follow the bible to the letter, but they choose the bits they like. Also remember that American Christian Fundamentalism  is relatively new http://www.catholic.com/tracts/fundamentalism and some of the basic teachings of Jesus aren't too bad (see http://www.atheists-for-jesus.com/) it's those teachings that the moderates follow.

Don't get me wrong I think it's irrational to think the book was divine, I'm an out and out atheist, but the fundies are way more irrational. 

One classic example of that, the fundies get all fire and brimstone about homosexuality but the same section of the bible also defines kosher dietary requirements they choose to ignore that bit, the moderates tend to ignore that whole section (looking at the new testament)

Comment by Jack Lawrence on February 7, 2012 at 11:42pm

Well my point is that the fundamentalists tend to convince themselves that they follow it to the letter, even they they really don't. And they tend to say that they believe the bible literally, whereas more moderate Christians will often enough openly reject the bible as being literally true.

But the more self-assertions you make about the character of god, the more you advocate being able to choose what you want to believe. And while in some ways this can be harmless, when it's something you base how you live upon it just becomes really irrational. 

Comment by Maria Anna Rivers on February 8, 2012 at 3:45am

I think you made some great points. But I'd still prefer the moderates to the fundamentalists, whether they are more irrational or not. If all the fundamentalists were moderates, then maybe we wouldn't have to put up with all this religion in politics.

Comment by Jack Lawrence on February 8, 2012 at 5:09am

Maria, I agree. I don't think we'd have much of a problem at all if everyone were moderates in their beliefs. I guess it's kind of weird to rant about them, but I just feel that they're the ones we should be spending our time trying to convince, because they're halfway there. You know? If the Christians in this country who are barely religious as it is were to become non-believers we'd have a very different country. One that might not breed as many crazy fundamental believers.

Comment by Maria Anna Rivers on February 8, 2012 at 5:22am

I guess it seems logical that it would be easier to convert moderates. For example, my husband grew up in a Baptist family and kind of just kept repeating what they taught him to believe. However, he is by no means a church goer or a person that will judge others for not believing. If he had been very devoted I don't think we'd have ever gotten married lol. But ever since I've been around him he has actually been admitting that some things I've pointed out about religion actually make sense and that there are a lot of things wrong with the religious community and its attitudes. I don't think that I will ever get the part out of him that believes that there is a God out there (thanks to the brainwashing he received ever since he was little). If I can't get him to abandon his religion I don't know if I can convince others who I don't share a house with haha. I wish there was a button I could push that would make all the world forget that religion ever existed. It would be very interesting to see how things might have turned out. Imagine!

Comment by Jack Lawrence on February 8, 2012 at 10:42am

Well Maria, it's lucky for you that he's as open-minded as he is. For a lot of couples there is quite a strain over religious differences. Being the vocal atheist that I am, I don't think it would be possible for me to maintain a relationship with a person who is extremely devoted in their faith either. Anyway, it's nice to hear of examples of people who don't let their faith-positions divide them. It's actually a newer concept to me, as I grew up in a very live-and-let-live area in New York. But now I live in Texas and have seen first-hand the way religion sabotages relationships of all kinds, including friends who have been disowned by their families. It's sad. And it's certainly one of the things that motivated me to start becoming vocal about this stuff.  

Comment by matt.clerke on February 8, 2012 at 5:14pm

I have to say, unless you go into mcdonalds on the sabbath and slaughter ALL the workers, then you're not a true christian... you're a moderate (obviously there are degrees of moderate-ness).

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