Let us carry out a logical walkthrough of religious fundamentalists.
First of all, allow us to eliminate from our equation such issues as politics, family grievances, etc. I am talking about proper “redneck” “you’re going to hell coz you ain’t going to ma church!” religion.
True religion. The one where you have a book of laws and you obey those laws because otherwise You Are In Trouble With God. Which, let’s be frank, is “proper” religion: you can’t pick and mix the bits you like, can you?
First of all, let us assume that Mr A. is “religious”. The definition of this would be that Mr A. assumes the existance of, and announces his loyalty, to a deity. (Who this deity is is irrelevant for this excercise).
Once Mr A. has announced that he believes in his deity, then, in general terms, he assumes the mantle of the proclamations of said deity (and I defy you to find a deity who hasn’t issued such proclamations, whether it be through actual human prophets alive or texts from previous people who claim to have been in communication with that deity – all deities come with their own belief system).
Now, a common thread throughout all religions is an afterlife. That this current life is a sort of prelude to our eternal life with Him (ever notice how after 1 A.D. most deities are “Him”?) and that the afterlife is seperated in two, a “high” path and a “Low” path (usually High for good people, and Low for bad; i.e. Heaven and Hell).
Now, we have established that in the mind of Mr A.:
-There is a God.
-Human life is Eternal – we have a waiting period of some 70 (threescore and ten?) years here all together, but afterwards we pass to another phase of living.
-God has established a system by which people who adhere to His rulings live Evermore in Heaven, and people who do not go to Hell.
-Mr A., obviously, does not want to go to Hell, as it is for Eternity and while there may be get out clauses allowing him to transfer in the future to Heaven, best to start off as we mean to go on.
-Mr A. loves his fellow human beings and wants the best for them (for all eternity).
Now, if we truly believe that we all live for eternity, but unless we live to the codice passed down to us by our Deity we pass through a period of torment (or pain or suffering), surely it is our DUTY to help our fellow human beings (whom we love) towards the “high” path of love and compassion? Otherwise we ourselves run the risk of being judged unworthy and being sent via the “low” path of torment?
So we need to go out and “convert” our fellow human beings to our way of thinking, to show them the truth and the light.
See where I’m going with this?
What if we insert another line into the Codice which has been programmed into Mr. A’s mind?
Let’s see… something like “The practice of godworship must be destroyed”.
Or “The godworshiping nations must be destroyed”.*
Funny how many religions have a sentence like this inserted into their codices.
So we know have the logical deduction that:
God created us. God gave us Laws, and if we all Obey these Laws we shall be happy for Eternity because we shall all go to Heaven for Evermore. Those neighbours of ours that do not Obey Gods Laws are putting themselves at rish of going to Hell. I love my fellow human and as such must Convert them to follow my God. If they then refuse to follow my God they have condemned themselves, therefore I must concentrate my resources on protecting my fellow Believers against those who will be condemned by the Ultimate Authority.
At the end of this, and to make a long story short, I have to admit that I admire the deluded religious fanatics that have the courage to strap on a bomb and blow themselves up. Because they have the courage of their convictions. Yes, they’re mad sods who have been brainwashed by their political masters into becoming shortlived tools to benefit said masters, but that is the point of religion. And that is why when I see an Anglican on TV asking for another lump of sugar in his tea I laugh. Religion isn’t about tea. It’s about blood, and sex, and life, and Eternity for Everymore. It’s about “I live a life of pleasure for evermore” but “you are forever damned to unmentionable Hells of Torment you unBeliever”.
*The last two quotations are Deuteronomy 12:2-4 and Deuteronomy25:1-8. Deuteronomy, for those of you who don’t know, is the main “codice” part of the Old Testament, where the basic rules of life and Law are laid down as dictated by Yahweh. We now know it mainly as “the 10 commandments” (probably because the other 603 have nothing to do with our 21st century life).
P.S. If you have any comments regarding the above, allow me to remind you that “In the seventh year a foreigner may be pressed for payment of a debt (Deuteronomy 15:3)”. Not something that ought to be published along the Costas, me thinks.