Fundamentalism, as I have said elsewhere, is a faith in a compact doctrine “which is unprovable but unchallengeable by facts or by argument external to that faith, and which claims a universal application.” Pastor John Piper’s recent contra-Trump article provides a good example of a fundamentalist mode of argument. The essentials of Piper’s argument are I think adequately summarized as follows. Trump, he suggests, exhibits certain “sins mentioned in the New Testament…that destroy people,” including “unrepentant sexual immorality (porneia), unrepentant boastfulness (alazoneia), unrepentant vulgarity (aischrologia), unrepentant factiousness (dichostasiai) [and] strife-stirring… Read more Religion, Fundamentalism, Gnosticism, BLM: Part V →
Many people now know that social media providers suppress content at odds with certain political or ideological goals. What’s seldom discussed is that so long as content is irrelevant to those goals, social media will complacently allow it to destroy lives. Here’s a story about that. A few years ago a middle-aged, unemployed, do-nothing internet maven took to Facebook to assert, outlandishly and falsely, that my clients, their six children, and a portion of their church had organized a sex cult and were grooming and preying upon minors. His post… Read more Sex Cult and Facebook: How the Communications Decency Act Amplifies Obscene Libel →
Addresses the newly religious and intolerant left, and its opposition to the “counter-majoritarian features” of the U.S. Constitution.
Religion and politics organize power by means of narrative and of narrative’s embodiment in emplacements on the high and holy places. To be effective over time, a mobilizing narrative must… Read more Religion, Fundamentalism, Gnosticism, BLM: Part III →
The United States’ more than 200 million licensed (and sundry unlicensed) drivers blithely operate, at high speeds, passenger vehicles each weighing more than a mature rhinoceros, while eating, sampling intoxicants,… Read more Dos and Don’ts of Auto Accident Lawsuits →
Not all religions are fundamentalist, but many political movements are. We should not be surprised when political ideology shares the features and strategies of religion; since both organize power they follow the same patterns, as suggested by the very term “religiopolitical.” David Martin’s Religion and Power says it well: “Religion and all forms of politics participate in the common structure, the dynamics and the vocabulary of the social as such…At the heart of that vocabulary is myth as used by Georges Sorel in his Reflections on Violence…Myth is not a… Read more Religion, Fundamentalism, Gnosticism, BLM: Part II →
Reports and images of white suppliants, prostrate, kneeling, foot washing, or knitting, have led certain commentators to note the religious aspect of the Black Lives Matter agitation, some describing it… Read more Religion, Fundamentalism, Gnosticism, BLM →
In The Day the Dam Broke, James Thurber recalls the panic of 1913 when the populace of Columbus Ohio became unaccountably and mistakenly persuaded that the dam had collapsed. His description of the disordered flight from town is perfect: although they were “as safe as kittens under a cookstove…some of the most dignified, staid, cynical, and clear-thinking men in town abandoned their wives, stenographers, homes, and offices and ran east” when “a loud mumble gradually crystallized into the dread word ‘dam.’” As is so often the case with stories of… Read more The Year the COVID Broke →