Fundamentalism, the radicalization and polarization of America
I am a voter registered as an Independent.
I grew up in a Fundamental Evangelical Protestant Faith and can no longer accept the contention that I am right and someone else is wrong because of a difference of opinion.
Since I am not privy to Absolute Truth, every belief that I hold is just an opinion and I accept the same premise for everyone else.
1: a : often capitalized : a movement in 20th century Protestantism emphasizing the literally interpreted Bible as fundamental to Christian life and teaching
b : the beliefs of this movement
c : adherence to such beliefs
2: a movement or attitude stressing strict and literal adherence to a set of basic principles <Islamic fundamentalism> <political fundamentalism>
verb (used with object), radicalized, radicalizing.
- to make radical or more radical, especially in politics.
verb (used without object), radicalized, radicalizing.
- to become radical or more radical, especially in politics.
verb (used with object), polarized, polarizing.
- to cause polarization in.
- to divide into sharply opposing factions, political groups, etc.:
The controversy has polarized voters into pro-abortion and anti-abortion groups.
- to give polarity to.
- a belief or judgment that rests on grounds insufficient to produce complete certainty.
- a personal view, attitude, or appraisal.
- the formal expression of a professional judgment:
to ask for a second medical opinion.
- Law. the formal statement by a judge or court of the reasoning and the principles of law used in reaching a decision of a case.
- a judgment or estimate of a person or thing with respect to character, merit, etc.:
to forfeit someone’s good opinion.
- a favorable estimate; esteem:
I haven’t much of an opinion of him.
There have always been, and will always be, opinions which appear to some as right, while the same opinions appear to others as wrong. That is human nature. We must accept that simple fact or be forever condemned to cycles of war.
The mystic Joseph Campbell said: “everything that you do is evil for somebody”.
In every country, in every religion, we find those who view an opinion as right, while others find that same opinion to be wrong. Within every country and within every religion there is great diversity of opinion. Throughout history we have had war, conflict and violence in the name of nationalism and in the name of religion, each side ready to fight to the death for their opinion.
We are all different…each and every one of us. We have always been different, we will always be different. We must learn to accept our differences with patience, tolerance, understanding and love or else we will be in continuing strife forever.
Our diversity must be accepted, not denied or attacked. There can never be peace without acceptance of “what is”. All war, all battle, all human conflict is our refusal to accept the way things actually are.
The diversity of mankind will never be overcome by national governments or by religious leaders. Our diversity is the very reason that we exist. We exist to be individuals, we exist to be different. We must accept this simple fact if we want to find the heart of peace. We must simply accept “what is”.
Yet within the tapestry of all of this diversity, with all of our individual opinions, and with all of our individual needs, there is a common center that we all share, regardless of nationality, or race or religion… and that is the center of love.
For those who see through the eyes of love, there is only love, nothing else really matters. Let us move past all the pointing out of differences through tolerance, understanding, patience and love. Nothing else will ever bring peace.
Mankind has tried to overcome his diversity with war, violence, hatred and persecution for thousands of years and yet he never seems to learn the lesson…it has all been a complete failure.
When people don’t like someone else’s opinion, the general reaction is to try to get the other person to change. But that is not the call to action which Life gives to us. The call to action is not about changing the world outside of us, but changing the world within us.
We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them. Albert Einstein
We need a new way of thinking!