By Peter Fredson

(Preamble: I live in a small town surrounded by Christian symbols, buildings, music, bulletins, TV shows, etc. I get along well, and like, the great majority of 40 different brands of Christians inhabiting this small town. This blog does not apply to them.  But, I object strenuously to a few aggressive proselytizing, meddling True Believers.  I call people “fundamentalists” who intend to push their beliefs, dogma and symbols down everybody’s throats. So, whatever your definition of “fundamentalist” might be, mine takes priority here.)

Fundamentalist Christians are nice, honest decent folks.  I know this, because they tell me constantly that they are nice, honest and decent. And they are so nice that they want me to be exactly like them.  They want me to pray their prayers, worship their god, and obey all their taboos. They want me to believe that somebody disappeared about 2,000 years ago, but is going to come back again any minute…maybe tomorrow.  They want me to believe that he lifted up, off of the ground, went sailing up into the sky, past the clouds, without food, drink, oxygen, space suit or thermal underwear or any kind of propulsive power.  For all I know he is still less than a million miles away, somewhere beyond Arcturus. They tell me constantly that two geographical places exist which give their beliefs some meaning, but they have never specified the exact loci.  When pressed, they explain that it’s all metaphor.

They don’t want me to refer to acts of sex and excretion or general physiological functions without using Latin words.  They don’t want me to expose any part of my body which they specify is unexposable.  If a bit of mammary gland should become exposed the entire fundamentalist senate reacts in horror, veins popping in their foreheads, eyes bulging, and they rush to pass legislation meriting expulsion from civilized Christian society.  They don’t want me to act in any way which they specify is undesirable or unacceptable to them, and constantly refer to quotations from their sacred literature about stoning or burning people.  Their book is full of murderous passages, yet they are fine, honest and decent people.

They want me to treat all women as inferior to men, as having to obey any man, and as having no opinion which any male cannot override.  Their sacred book plainly says that women are for screwing, sewing, sweeping, cooking and raising children and should keep their mouths shut, their opinions to themselves, and must rush to provide their male with food and clean clothing and comfort when he comes home from making money or raising hell, or anything else that pleases his fancy.

They don’t want me to use my genitals, body, or mouth or mind in any way unacceptable to them, or at any time unacceptable to them, or in any place unacceptable to them.  They want me to obey all their rules, to accept their sacred beliefs, to obey their sacred anthology, and force me to give up anything that violates their sacred rules.

And, of course, they do all this for my own good.  Everything they do is for my own good, and if I object they can beat the devil out of me, or kill me, for my own good. They mean to do me good.  They mean to make me good, according to their definition of what is ‘good’. 

And, of course, they are absolutely right.  They have absolute truth absolutely; they are in full and exclusive possession of absolute truth. So anything that contradicts their version of absolute truth must be absolutely wrong. It must be very comforting to know you are in full possession of absolute truth and that you are destined to go eventually to some non-specific geographical locality, unless it is already filled up.

And they would correct you, for your own good.  They will do whatever is necessary to have you accept their version of what is absolute truth.  They will shun you, burn your house, write you long passionate (and largely illiterate) letters, persuade your neighbors to shun you, and they will boycott you or any business, they will persuade your employer to take your job from you, they will use the laws at their convenience against you, they would take away all your possessions, and if the law allowed they would imprison you, torture you, maim you and kill you with any one of several devices that these fine, honest and decent fundamentalists invented back in the Dark Ages.  All this is for your own good.  Similar fine honest decent loving Christians burned 100,000 innocent women as witches a few years ago, and then those fine honest decent folks said, “Oops, Sorry!”

And if the law doesn’t presently allow them to torture you, or seize your property, or murder you for not believing their beliefs, then they will work tirelessly to change the laws to permit them to torture and murder you….for your own good!

They would override all democratic values of free speech, free assembly, freedom of religion, freedom of press and make you conform to their frightening mold.  They would take away all of your liberties of expression.  They hide under the protections of democracy in order to eventually bury democracy.  Their agenda is total control.  Total control of wealth, of influence, of speech, of behavior, of opinion.  Nothing less will do.

And they will do all this because they love you.  Like Jerry Falwell, with eyes gleaming hell-fire, said he loved Larry Flynn.  “Love”, of course, is a Christian code-word for “You slimy bastard atheist scum, you are gonna scream in hell and I’m gonna laugh like crazy, watching you burn eternally.”

Otherwise, I’ve got nothing against fundamentalists.



  1. Having several of these types in my family (these ones work for Bob Jones University, a very scary place)I feel compelled to tell ya, I loved this post.  They have thought I was satan’s servant since I was a teenager…I’m sure they still do…I went to parochial schools, I regularly went to church as a child (albeit the wrong one according to them)and when they would quote their partial Bible verses, I’d continue it to try to show them they’re missing the point.  They don’t like that.  In fact when you do that, it’s the devil speaking through you.  In college I studied Ancient and Medieval History and Classical Civilizations, they told me that I would be lost forever because these studies lead you away from God.  Well now at almost 31 years of age, I think they finally gave up on me.  All I can say is Hallelujah!!!!

  2. In college I studied Ancient and Medieval History and Classical Civilizations, they told me that I would be lost forever because these studies lead you away from God.”

    No wonder… Any belief system desiring power over people is surely wanting to downplay any atrocities it has committed in its course of maintaining power over people.

    “I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do because I notice it always coincides with their own desires.”
    -Susan B. Anthony

    “When any government, or any church for that matter, undertakes to say to its subjects, This you may not read, this you must not see, this you are forbidden to know, the end result is tyranny and oppression no matter how holy the motives.”
    -Robert A. Heinlein

  3. i fel so sory for u cuz u dont no the TRUHT.  thos peeple hoo try and help u will be givven a gloory in heaven cuz they do the rite thing.  god works thru us cuz he cant convort u hisself.  god is allpowerfull!  u cant deni god!  u wil burn in hell but not coz i pray for u.  my frends wil pray to.

    sory for the long post oh and 1 more thing i am not iliter..illeter..elliter…I CAN TO READ!!!

  4. I’m glad it came through the way I intended.  I don’t post here enough for most people to know if I was serious.  I thought I’d better throw that last line in, just in case. wink

    Even so, on second read, I don’t make a very convincing moron.  My syntax and spelling in that post, while obviously wrong, is still too consistent for me to pass as a *TRUE* moron.  Which is even more sad.

  5. Actually, if we are including (as I originally suspected) the Spanish Inquisition, then the figure given of 100,000 is short by a magnitude of 3.  However, the fact that Fredson clearly says 100,000 WOMEN is the confusing part, as well as the cause.  I do not have any information for the demographics of those killed during the Inquisition, but somewhere over 320,000 people were burned.

    Some people today confuse the Salem, Mass. witch trials with those killed during the Spanish Inquisition.  The Inquisition was politically motivated, and tried to unify Spain under one religion, one ruler (initially, anyway.) It was an excuse to get rid of the Jews in that country, but could be used as justification for the killing of any old sunday-mornin’ heretic.

    So if we’re talking about JUST women killed for being witches, the number of 100,000 is high.  Counting the Salem trials and the Inquisition together, 50 or 60 is way low.

  6. Perhaps I did not make one point clear.  It is not about how many witches were killed. I would say that killing even ONE person as a witch, is one too many. It is not how MANY angels can stand on the point of a pin, but resorting to angels as an fictive operating mechanism in the first place. It is not that books like GONE WITH THE WIND and the BIBLE do not contain passages of literary worth, but that they are historical fiction, and should be read as such.

  7. E.T. – Not only learning of the atrocities committed by the church, but also the studying of the origins of belief systems.  It’s strange to me that the foundation of their belief system is ignorance.  Most of the reason why they didn’t like what I was studying is the fact that you learn of all the different mystery religions that cropped up at the same time, and the use of native beliefs being incorporated to gain more converts.  I always asked too many questions.  In the church I grew up in (Episcopal), I had a really cool minister that encouraged my curiousity.  I’m still good friends with him, he’s a great guy and also well educated.

    Skippy – you crack me up!  If that didn’t look close to some of the emails I have gotten in the past…I don’t know what does.

  8. But you have to admit they had a really cool way of finding out if you really were a witch with that dunking pole: strap you to a pole and hold you under water for ten minutes. If you lived, you were a witch and were burned at the stake. If you died, you weren’t a witch and were . . .  LOL

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