Posts

Showing posts from October, 2012

Could Fundamentalists Exist Without Being Motivated By Hate?

Image
That’s the gist of an all too common question. And when looking at the daily news, there’s clear reason for asking it. Recently we saw again what can happen when anti-Muslim Christians - this time using a film – chose to rile up anti-Christian Muslims. It’s as if both sides in such feuds thrive on the hatred of the other. And the psychological reality is, they do. Extreme right-wing religions play on the fears and insecurities of people growing up in a world that installs these in its children through what the late child psychologist Alice Miller calls “poisonous pedagogy.” In fact, their theologies enshrine and sanctify such childrearing practices. “There are countless theological explanations for the motives behind God’s inscrutable counsels,” Miller writes in The Truth Will Set You Free (2001), “but in all too many of them I see a terrorized child trying hard to interpret the mysterious actions of the [punishing] parent as good and loving, even though the child cannot fathom them …