Today on Blogcritics
Home » The Fundamental Fear of Fundamentalists

The Fundamental Fear of Fundamentalists

Please Share...Tweet about this on Twitter0Share on Facebook0Share on Google+0Share on LinkedIn0Pin on Pinterest0Share on TumblrShare on StumbleUpon0Share on Reddit0Email this to someone

Nietzsche in The Gay Science tells us laughter always defeats the seriousness of sour tragedians. The serious professors of values so burdened and burdensome with the unbearable weightiness of their own leaden spirits—the Mullahs of righteousness encased in their sacrosanct academic orthodoxies—will always be surpassed by the joyous laughter of the courageous. Laugh always at the truth-sayers, for their seriousness is in the end the most inane of comedies, they themselves the greatest of unintentional buffoons. The fundamental fear of all fundamentalists, even those amongst us, is that we will laugh at them rather than fear them and their oh-so-serious rules, punishments and oh-so-dour compulsions. The essence of all fundamentalisms is fear, and fear cannot survive laughter. Those who most cherish their rules are the most fearful among us. They are the violently helpless, sharp-toothed mice, whose faith is no more than that their rules will save them, protect them from raucous life.

Yes, we will suffer. Yes, we will die. Yes, there are wicked people in this world who will hurt you if they can. Yes, some people do not fill out forms properly. Yes, some do not use the correct polite terms. Yes, some want to kill infidels. Some fart and belch loudly and leave yellow spots on the toilet seat. Laugh and you will live. The culture of life is a culture of laughter, and this is serious. The culture of death is a culture that confuses human order with the joyous mysteries of the world. When people plan, the gods laugh: this is the genius of the ancient Greeks. To conclude, if there was a Jesus, he certainly was no lover of rules. If Jesus was, he loved life fearlessly, and thus the inevitability of life’s raw most politically dubious humor. “Whose image is this and whose inscription? … Then repay to Caesar what is Caesar’s….” For what is Caesar’s is the coinage of fear. But what is God’s is Joy, Laughter, Acceptance, Life. And that remains the case even if God is dead.

Powered by

About carmine

  • http://adamantsun.blogspot.com Steve S

    The essence of all fundamentalisms is fear, and fear cannot survive laughter.

    If fundamentalism is about fear, and by your premise laughter kills fear, then laughing at the religious fundamentalism overrunning this country will kill it, right?

    Somehow I’m not comforted with that premise overall, but I like a lot of the little ‘mini-points’ throughout the post.

  • Mel

    “The essence of all fundamentalisms is fear, and fear cannot survive laughter. Those who most cherish their rules are the most fearful among us.”

    Reminds me of left wing fundamentalism and its fear of individual automomy and its lack of humor regarding challenges to its own orthodoxy. Is there anything so humorless as today’s strident liberal? What a bunch of goosesteppers!

  • http://gonzo-marx.blogspot.com gonzo marx

    ah..”Mel”..another travelled link for a new name…interesting

    i’m sure Carlin, Stewart, Lenny Bruce, Richard Pryor, Bill HIcks and a host of other “left” types would be proof enough that you own caterwauling was incorrect…

    unfortunately , around here…you got me

    how simple it is to spout the base deceit that anyone that doesn’t agree with your own viewpoint suffers from
    “its fear of individual automomy and its lack of humor regarding challenges to its own orthodoxy.”

    you might want to go and look at the actual congressional record for the last few months and see just what a laugh riot the GOP fundamentalists are tossing out there…

    the whole Terri Schiavo thing is such a hoot

    2 nights ago, Hostettler’s remarks, including the last bit he asked to have stricken form the record…you know about the whole “war on christianity” shenanigans

    there’s always Rick Santorum…he cracks me up just by breathing….

    but, some folks will continue to be completely oblivious to actual Reality, and instead live to Spin

    whatever works for you, i guess..

    but don’t expect to get away with it unscathed by Mirth when appropriate

    Excelsior!

  • http://www.biggesttent.blogspot.com/ Silas Kain

    To conclude, if there was a Jesus, he certainly was no lover of rules. If Jesus was, he loved life fearlessly, and thus the inevitability of life’s raw most politically dubious humor.

    I loved this article. Now I want to read the book. And Dr. Carmine is so right on about Jesus not being a lover of rules. He challenged the status quo. He challenged people to be individuals. Seems to me like Jesus was a liberal in a conservative time. Now they’ve taken Him off the cross and shaped His image into their liking. Jesus, if You are planning a return appearance, I’d think twice. Even after 2,000 years mankind still doesn’t get what You were trying to do.

  • http://georgepwood.com George P. Wood

    I’m laughing, but at Dr. Carmine, not with him, for two basic reasons: (1) Some fears are justified, and some are inevitable, indeed, biologically hardwired into us. The issue, then, is not whether we have fears (as opposed to laughs) but whether our fears are rationally justified. (2) How ironic that Jesus, whom Dr. Carmine claims didn’t love rules, nevertheless laid down the rule about repaying to Caesar what is his. Indeed, even a cursory scan of the Sermon on the Mount reveals a lot of instructions about anger, adultery, divorce, oaths, revenge, and love for enemies, among others.

  • PseudoErsatz

    Individuals who create an image of Jesus using Liberal or Conservative tools and then worship that image are clearly and simply idolators. For those truly wanting to meet the real Jesus, close your browser, turn off your computer, take down your Bible from that shelf, dust it off and read. Read, not to find passages that support this or that position, or to critique passages that make you uncomfortable, but just read with the goal of meeting the real Jesus. You will not be disappointed.

  • Nancy

    But it is NOT a given (to me at any rate) that the ‘real’ Jesus is in the bible. Most of what’s in there, IMO, is 3rd-century propaganda and re-writing. Kind of hard to meet the ‘real’ anyone, when they’re covered over w/a thick layer of whitewash, political agendas, and borrowed mythology.

  • http://georgepwood.com George P. Wood

    Nancy:

    Most biblical scholars—conservative and liberal—date the New Testament documents to the mid- to late-first century. Perhaps your argument is really with how later theologians interpreted those documents. Personally, I find the Gospel portrait of Jesus more challenging to my ideas and personal prejudices than any of the scholarly reconstuctions of the so-called “historical Jesus.”

  • PseudoErsatz

    Nancy: “Kind of hard to meet the ‘real’ anyone, when they’re covered over w/a thick layer of whitewash, political agendas, and borrowed mythology.” It’s good to know were in the same boat. I’m working on finding my real self, as well as show my real self to others also. I’m glad to hear some of what you are going through. Keep questioning.

  • Sister Ray

    As long as we’re citing Nietzsche:
    “…at bottom there was only one Christian, and he died on the cross.” – from “The Antichrist”