Of course, compassion is not always a popular virtue. Religious people often prefer to be right rather than compassionate. Often, they don’t want to give up their egotism. They want their religion to endorse their ego, their identity. And that becomes dangerous. Then you get a clash of warring egos.
I think we’ve got to decode the fundamentalist imagery so that we learn to read these theologies. We need to see the fear and anxiety that lie behind a theology such as the rapture. I mean, if you took the rapture scenario to a psychiatrist and said: “I’m having these dreams of the imminent destruction of the world, with huge battles and genocide at the end of time, vast massacres and the final reign of horror and the tribulation,” a psychiatrist would say, “This is something deeply wrong here.”
The fact that in the richest nation and the most powerful nation in the world, so many people adhere to this extraordinary fear-filled fantasy shows that there are all kinds of anxieties and this inchoate distress that we can’t safely ignore.
Read the whole article:
FINDING MY RELIGION ~ Part 1: World-renowned religious scholar Karen Armstrong talks about today’s religious conflicts and how the past can help
by David Ian Miller, The San Francisco Chronicle ~ April 10, 2006