This time Pope Francis attacked fundamentalism for being blind to reality.
"It is not a good strategy to be at the center of a sphere. To understand we ought to move around, to see reality from various viewpoints. We ought to get used to thinking."
Being blind to reality is another way of saying out of touch with it and that constitutes a form of mental illness.
Last year, "Kathleen Taylor, a neurologist at Oxford University, said that recent developments suggest that we will soon be able to treat religious fundamentalism and other forms of ideological beliefs potentially harmful to society as a form of mental illness."
We could called it a "delusional disorder" which is characterized by the presence of recurrent, persistent delusions.
Delusions are irrational beliefs, held with a high level of conviction, that are highly resistant to change even when the delusional person is exposed to forms of proof that contradict the belief."
To demonstrate, show a fundamentalist Christian any irreconcilable Biblical contradiction, of which there are many, and watch his neurosis attempt to perfect itself.
So why should we care? Because their regressive behaviors, if applied will take us backwards in a world immersed in the competition of science.
For instance, the fact the number of Republicans who choose creationism over the science of evolution has increased even though the entire body of biological science is based on it. Or that global climate change cannot destroy the planet because only God can do that even though the ice caps are melting.
But it's understandable. Monotheistic religions are based on a belief in a supernatural reality, where an omnipotent, supreme being lives, who looks like us, thinks like us and who dresses like the people in the Mideast, and is watching everything we do.
Lest we forget, Abraham, the father of all three monotheistic religions, Judaism, Christianity and Islam had a first encounter with God when he was called to sacrifice his only son to show his faith. Doesn't it sound delusional to believe a supernatural being would ask you to kill a loved one to show faith in "Him?"
Eventually, the spirit of this supreme being impregnated a virgin whose son was tortured and executed on a cross, buried and rose again after three days, so we could be saved from that same God's wrath. In other words, "He" was angry with us, but he loved us, so he sent us his beloved son, so we could torture and kill him and be redeemed.
"He" has proscribed and prescribed certain ordinary and trivial human behaviors. And by following or ignoring these rules we can guarantee or lose eternal life.
If the definition of delusion is a loss of contact with reality, then it seems to me that anyone who interprets these stories literally -- the fundamentalist -- is delusional.
It's readily obvious that these stories are detached from this reality. They are to be understood as mythological and not logical. Yet there are large numbers of Christian fundamentalists entrapped in them and in being so want to subject the rest of us to their delusions.
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