Fundamentalism a dangerous cult

The Border Mail/January 21, 2004

Jeff Lewry makes a valid point about creationism (The Border Mail, January 16) but it is important to realise that it doesnt stand on its own; it has become but one of the pillars of Christian fundamentalism.

So from where and when did Christian fundamentalism originate? Its own literature reveals that it is really only the "new kid on the block."

It was the product of two Christian laymen thats right, unordained, uneducated in theology and self-appointed authorities in where else but the U.S., who, in 1909, released a series of 12 religious booklets called The Fundamentals.

The tenets that they put forth in these booklets were pretty much the "standard list" as far as Christianity is concerned, with the exception of one: the demand for Christians to accept the Bible as the inspired, revealed, infallible and inerrant word of God.

This final imperative was to change the standard set of beliefs in such a way as to set it apart from mainstream Christianity.

The booklets were published extensively in the next 10 years, with more than three million copies sent to those involved in spreading the Christian faith through the U.S.

Ridiculously simple, isnt it?

Two ordinary blokes woke up one morning, perhaps feeling that their preaching was a tad shabby and in need of a new attention-grabbing "sales pitch," and decided that they would redefine the Christian faith by giving a book which had been subject to almost two millennia of scrutiny and study, a new "spin," declaring it independently authoritative in itself.

In fact some Christian authorities state that they transformed the Bible itself into an idol, an emphasis which has damaged Christianity irreparably.

The resulting aberrancy opened the floodgates for any person of dubious character and motivation to claim that they were inspired by the word of God, or that they had received a prophecy, or that God instructed them, to lead believers in any direction they wish and to interpret the Bible in any way that serves their needs.

And anyone with a Biblical concordance can do exactly that, with consummate ease.

In his book Telling Lies For God, Melbourne University geologist, Prof Ian Plimer, demolishes every tenet of creationism being portrayed as science without exception and exposes the lies and scientific fraud which it has perpetrated.

Prof Plimer states that he has the utmost respect for those with Christian faith but considers fundamentalism a dangerous cult.

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