Saturday, 21 September 2013

The ups and downs of fundamentalism

I don't know when I wrote this.  Probably in 2009 or early 2010.  It inevitably paints a simplistic picture, but captures some of the feelings I had when I was a Christian fundamentalist - the sense it gave me of having a defined place in the cosmos, but at the same time, of being under relentless scrutiny. From other notes I made around this time, it's safe to say I was going through a fairly anti-religious phase!


It must be terribly reassuring to be a religious fundamentalist.  However dreary your daily life, however demeaning your job, you can boost your self-importance with the thought that you are a valued warrior in a transcendental battle between good and evil.

Your boss overlook you?  The girls don't like you?  So what?  The Creator of the universe Himself has selected you personally for some spiritual task that no-one else can do.

Yes, it must be comforting.  But also - what a burden!  Every encounter a potential holy battle.  Were you supposed to offer that woman a word from the Lord, that woman at the bus stop reading Dan Brown?  Have you, by failing to address her, set off (or failed to set off) a chain of world-altering events?  Or can you comfort yourself with the thought that, since God's will must always be done, it cannot have been His will that you disturb her?   Perhaps.  Perhaps all is well.  He has chosen you.  But never, never forget - He is always watching!

Forget the feeling of importance.  I'd rather be able to clear my drains without worrying that I ought instead to be clearing a path for the Almighty.  Imagining that ever-wakeful celestial gaze would paralyse me.

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