Monday, April 8, 2013

G is for Gratuitous Fundamentalism

For the month of April I will be taking part in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge. I will be using two tools besides my trusty computer - my imagination and my dictionary -The American Heritage Dictionary, Second College Edition.. I will turn to the letter of the day, flip the pages and let my fickle finger of fate find the word. Then I'll write - might be a story, might be a rant, might be a poem. Who knows! Do let me know what you think. To go to the list of other participants go here *** I'm number 1414 - that's a heck of a lot of blogs and there are many more signed up below me. If you make a comment I will do my darnedest to check out your blog and comment. Spread the love around!

Gratuitous Fundamentalism 
gratuitous - adj. 3. Unnecessary or unwarranted: unjustified.
fundamentalism - n. 1. a. A Protestant movement characterized by a belief in the literal truth of the Bible.2. A movement or point of view characterized by rigid adherence to fundamental or basic principles.

Dear Jimmy Carter,
I read the other day that you have renounced the church of your youth because of their stated belief in the superiority of men and need to keep women subjugated. I understand that their stance is based on biblical verses. Thank you for standing up against this fundamentalism and indeed against all fundamentalism which, in whatever faith, is counter to living beings of all sorts. In nature to be rigid, as opposed to flexible, means the life force has fled and is therefore, always, gratuitous.

Here is the last paragraph of your letter:

The truth is that male religious leaders have had - and still have - an option to interpret holy teachings either to exalt or subjugate women. They have, for their own selfish ends, overwhelmingly chosen the latter. Their continuing choice provides the foundation or justification for much of the pervasive persecution and abuse of women throughout the world. This is in clear violation not just of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights but also the teachings of Jesus Christ, the Apostle Paul, Moses and the prophets, Muhammad, and founders of other great religions - all of whom have called for proper and equitable treatment of all the children of God. It is time we had the courage to challenge these views.
I read that you feel you can do this because you are not impaired by running for office or in need of others to approve your views. You say that world leaders are impaired by this and I think you are kind to give them that loophole. We need leaders like you and the other Elders to state what they truly believe not what they think we want to hear. We are in an emergency situation so I encourage you to continue your campaign and not fear that you are shaming others. Their shame if they do not stand up for what they believe. If, indeed, they believe that women are inferior to men then I would rather they stated that so we as their citizens will know where we stand.
Thank you so much Jimmy. You are what we call in my faith (Buddhism) a Bodhisattva with a true open and engaged heart - someone who puts the needs of others before their own - hmm ... sounds like a true Christian, no?

dear readers: this was a bit of finagling on my part. I'd already done F (frog) and Forgot and so did it again. Reluctant to give up either of these radically different bits of writing, I let go of my rigid grip on the rules and popped the word 'gratuitous' in before so I would have my g word.  hmm .... forgive me!


Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

Very interesting! I hadn't heard this about Jimmy...but he continuously surprises me. He makes a good point.

Margot Kinberg said...

Jan - Wow! I didn't know that about Carter either! I'm so glad that he has taken this stand. I've always admired some things about him and this just makes that all the stronger.

Jan Morrison said...

Hi Elizabeth and Margot - and, lest we forget, I'm a Canuck! I'm not sure when he did this - I thought it had just happened but someone told me it was a while ago. Wait a sec - I'm going to go find out! Yep! Three years ago. Unfortunately I was exposed to some terrible posts in my look and now must go wash off the slime and muck of the vitriolic I experienced. Euuuuh! People are so completely bizarre sometimes. And sometimes they are lovely - Jimmy Carter is lovely and I'm going to go sign up to The Carter Center - Waging Peace. Fighting Disease. Building Hope. Sounds good to me.

Debra Mauldin said...

A to Z April Blogging Challenge

Patricia Stoltey said...

A sneaky ploy, but very effective and for good cause. Excellent post, Jan.