Disclaimers, notices, and warnings about this subject matter
The content of this blog is of an extremely serious nature. Although this material will be very controversial here in the Bible belt where religious fundamentalism clearly reigns, it may hardly warrant a glance from those living in more progressive parts of the country where larger numbers of residents agree with our premise.
What if everything you’ve ever been taught about religion is wrong: not just misguided, but completely false? If you have a strong opinion about your religion and also possess the kind of ego most people have, then you are probably not capable of having a mind open enough to honestly consider that possibility. Let me save you some time; you might as well leave and go visit another website.
This is certainly not an anti-Christian blog or any sort of anti-religion blog. If you’ve gotten the impression we are anti-Christian, or that we are atheists, then either we authors, writers, and contributors have not been sufficiently clear about our motives and our mission in what you’ve read so far (entirely possible), or there have been misunderstandings, misinterpretations, or premature assumptions.
We’re rational, New Thought- and Deist-oriented, science-respecting, relatively objective agnostics who are strongly in favor of global peace, health, and responsibility in such areas as care for the environment, practice of religion and spirituality, advocating for health and peace, and so on.
This blog exists for the sake of truth. We aspire to build a respectable and respecting pro-truth compendium, not an anti-anything resource. If one must describe this blog in a negative way (that is, as a blog that stands against something rather than a blog that’s for something), then let this be an anti-fundamentalism blog. We are staunchly pro-truth, pro-spirituality, pro-unity, pro-appreciation, and pro-oneness; and as such, we cannot and do not endorse or encourage fundamentalism or extremism.
At this point it is absolutely crucial to understand what we mean when we say we’re not fans of fundamentalism. If the term fundamentalism is not properly defined at this point, then the information we endeavor to convey will be muddled, unclear, and confusing.
When we speak of fundamentalists, we are referring to groups and individuals who strongly believe (or even claim to know) that they, and only they, have the correct & true answers when it comes to religion or politics – and that all opposing or even differing religious and political viewpoints are flat wrong (or, in the more extreme cases, even evil).
It’s pretty clear to many of us that fundamentalism – a collection of viewpoints generally requiring a closed mind in order to persist – is not truly in accordance with universal spiritual principles such as acceptance, tolerance, compassion, kindness, love, etc.
The deep and unfortunate irony is that the more extreme the fundamentalism, the more convinced the fundamentalists are that they actually DO subscribe to, and even live by, basic spiritual principles.
We do not wish to convey a negative message; we have a strong urge to remain upbeat and to spread a positive, exciting message to our readers. But how can we possibly endeavor to discourage a particular thing (e.g., fundamentalism) without being negative? This is one of our primary challenges; therein lies the rub, so to speak!
Knowledge vs. practice
WARNING: Knowledge about spiritual and religious matters is not a substitute for genuine spiritual practice. Action is required in order to proceed along the path. While there’s certainly nothing wrong with study and research (in fact, we believe independent, objective review is absolutely crucial in progressing toward truth), the process of gaining and expanding one’s religious or “spiritual” knowledge does not in itself represent a full spiritual practice.
We’ve concluded that, in general, everything is “spiritual”; there is no distinct line separating the spiritual from the non-spiritual.
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What if we are wrong?
Of course, we readily acknowledge the fact that we might be wrong about all this.
If we were not mentally prepared to hold this position, there is no way that the authors, contributors, and writers of this documented truth-seeking project could claim open-mindedness and objectivity, much less convince readers of it.
Were we to deny the possibility that a group or individual somewhere on earth – apart from our own motley crew – actually knows the factual, historically supported religious truth, our positions would be no different than the religious fundamentalism we consistently discourage throughout these articles.
We realize there’s a chance (an extremely small, miniscule chance by our estimation) that one of the many thousands of world religions that have existed throughout human history may be, or might have been, the “one true religion.” There’s a speck of a chance that one of the Mormon views is the real truth. We admit, however unlikely, that one of the branches of Hindusim, Jainism, or Islam might be the worldview closest to actual reality. And we are equally prepared to state for the record the possibility that perhaps one of the many hundreds of Christian fundamentalist sects, groups, or denominations is the one true faith. Or, the truth could very well be one of the forms of Buddhism, whose leader (His Holiness the Dalai Lama) has stated they will modify any aspect of their belief system proven wrong by science or other similarly weighty, convincing empirical evidence.
It is far more likely, however, that all of the major religious and spiritual traditions contain grains of truth, long obscured by tradition, dogma, misinterpretation, and misstatements (both accidental and intentional). Fundamentalist-flavored religions seem to have been rendered virtually meaningless to the objective observer, the highly intelligent, and the intellectually honest seeker. For many reasons, we predict that real religious fundamentalism will continue to decline. (We also believe that “fake” religious fundamentalism exists; that is, we believe most of those who join certain fundamentalist groups probably do not actually believe in the tenets being set forth and have other reasons for joining these groups.)