January 3, 2014

"10 signs that religious fundamentalism is going down" — a badly headlined item at Salon.

Badly headlined because "going down" is only intended to mean in decline, but it has (presumably unintended) alternative meanings: 1. the violent sense, implying that attackers are taking it down (as in the phrase "You're going down"), and thus evincing dicey hostility, and 2. the sexual sense, which is silly, but the photo under the headline is of Phil Robertson — famous for graphically expressing his preference for classic penis-in-the-vagina sex — so that mental detour is easier than usual.

Anyway... it's a listicle at Salon, compiled, I suppose, to cheer up the kind of people who hope religion will die out or at least turn into something not fundamental, something bland and pliable. This deathwatch has gone on for an awfully long time. From the debate in the House of Representatives over the Bill of Rights:
Mr. Scott objected to the clause in the sixth amendment, "No person religiously scrupulous shall be compelled to bear arms."... There are many sects I know, who are religiously scrupulous in this respect; I do not mean to deprive them of any indulgence the law affords; my design is to guard against those who are of no religion. It has been urged that religion is on the decline; if so, the argument is more strong in my favor, for when the time comes that religion shall be discarded, the generality of persons will have recourse to these pretexts to get excused from bearing arms.
When the time comes that religion shall be discarded... When did he imagine that time to be? I doubt if Valerie Tarico, the listicle author at Salon, is any more prescient than was Congressman Thomas Scott in 1789.

ADDED: Damn the headline writer for making me remember that awful, old Bruce Springsteen song "I'm Goin' Down" ("I'm sick and tired of you setting me up/Setting me up just to knock-a knock-a knock-a me down/Down, down, down/'m going down, down, down, down...").


EDH said...

I really like that Springsteen song.

I suspect it resonates better with men than women.

n.n said...

I disagree, religion is not in decline. In fact, with progressive morality, religious fundamentalism has enjoyed a resurgence. Today, not only is human dignity negotiable, but human life is literally interchangeable and disposable throughout its evolution from conception to death. The very terms and circumstances of reality are selectively ignored as people dream of sex, money, and ego gratification.

Humperdink said...

Ten signs progressivism is tanking:

1) More people in poverty than ever before. The war on poverty is lost. The US should withdraw from this war.
2) Smallest labor participation rate in decades.
3) The US is the brokest country in the history of the world.
4) Highest rate of SS disability claims in US history (reflective of the true unemployment rate). From worker to unemployed to disabled.
5) SS is getting more exposure as the Ponzi scheme that it is.
6) Labor union membership continues to sink like the Bismarck. The only growth area is in the government.
7) Medicare is broke.
8) Detroit!!!
9) Chrysler Corp, saved by the Bamster, will be fully owned by Fiat in a few months.
10) And lastly, Obamacare, wholly designed and implemented as nirvana by the Progs, is unraveling before our very eyes.

Quayle said...

Those among us that posit that so-and-so religious person is on the wrong side of history clearly haven't stopped to consider how long religion, and Christianity as one example, has survived through innumerable local governments and lots of geopolitical empires.

What is happening is what Joel saw:

"Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision: for the day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision."

Or as Jeremiah saw, and using language in which "Jacob" and "The House of Israel" (not Israel the state) is representative of those that choose the Lord's way:

"For I am with you, says the Lord, to save you; I will make an end of all the nations among which I scattered you, but of you I will not make an end. [And, if we feel the urge to get smug and arrogant] I will chastise you in just measure, and I will by no means leave you unpunished"

Sam Will said...

That phrase, "You build me up to build you up, only to let me down" was originally by Hank Williams.
George Will had it in one of his columns about liberals.

Smilin' Jack said...

Religion will never be discarded. The stupid, like the poor, will always be with us. Also, that's a great Springsteen song.

Humperdink said...

@Smilin' Jack

I have to laugh when people label the religious stupid. Although I do not consider myself religious - I am a Christian.

The following excerpt should brighten your day: "Obama selected more than 70 HLS (Harvard Law School)alumni and faculty who will assist him in crafting law and policy in areas as diverse as the economy, the environment, and the military." (2009)

We are in the best (and brightest) of hands.


Sam L. said...

Salon has a sale on sense (non, one (1) ea.).

Unknown said...

I agree with your distaste for the Springsteen song. However, not all songs entitled "Going Down" are bad, as the Jeff Beck Group proved.

jr565 said...

Is religious fundamentalism going down in Iraq? Thanks libs.

grackle said...

Springsteen had one kind of good album – his first. It showed promise. After that it all went downhill in the music department. Not another good album in the bunch.

Religion going down? I count Progressivism as a religion, replete with saints(JFK, RFK, Obama, etc.), commandments, sin, sacrifice, heaven and hell. Not a whole lot of redemption and forgiveness, though.

SJ said...

When they say "religious fundamentalism", what do they mean?

What would be growth, distinct from change?

I've seen large, long-term changes in the world of Christian belief that never made it to the headlines. And I've seen pastors and ministries get mentioned for their strangeness, while other ministries are ignored because they do things that aren't easy to notice and summarize in a news story.

n.n said...


Religious people, notably Christians and Jews, are the founders of modern civilization, including: science, technology, art, etc. It is indeed weird when people classify religious people as stupid. There is nothing inherent to moral philosophy which causes a progressive dysfunction of mind or body.