In his column in late May, Colombian columnist Carlos Palacio claimed there is no religious extremism, something that is obvious to anyone who spends more than two minutes pondering about the history of religion:
Anachronistic voices condemning contraception are not part of Catholic extremism. They are part of practicing Catholicism, period. Meanwhile the vast majority of women who call themselves believers and use contraception, are not examples of moderate Catholicism, but of people who must ignore the mandate of their religion in order to live a choice.
The millions of Catholics that warmly welcome the gay community in good faith are not being good Catholics but lousy Catholics. They are transgressing the mandate of a church that still considers same-sex unions to be abhorrent. Yes. Francis can say whatever he wants, but the doctrine remains inflexible. And in fact, the example is perfect because with regard to this specific case, there are many examples of messages of renewal presented by the Pope in good miked and publicized spaces, which were later contradicted by the same pontiff in the spheres of clerical power.
So vitriolic opponents of gay rights are the ones who represent faithfully the spirit of Catholicism, while the rest do nothing but to ignore the mandate of the church in order to follow their gentle instinct.
The vast majority does nothing but to move away from those precepts, domesticate them and, to a very great extent, ignore them so they can build what some call a decaffeinated belief that contradicts as little as possible their way of seeing the world. In other words, they are people who must move away from the mandates of their religion to be good human beings.
It’s crystal clear, the problem is not taking a belief to an extreme, but the fact that said belief is extremist in itself — a football referee or a poker player can be very purist with the rules, a ‘extremist’ if you like, and he will never kill anyone because that is simply not in his book.
Hard as it is to accept it, when so-called ‘fundamentalists’ charge their coreligionists with being traitors or sinners just for being moderates, they are absolutely right. The moderate decided to ignore certain passages —usually making absurd excuses, like the interpretation cop-out— to avoid the cognitive dissonance derived from the attempt to reconcile their holy book with secular ethics of the 21st century with which they live their daily lives.
Following the recent massacres, many media outlets insisted on the cowardly position of not mentioning the religious motivation; in the sporadic cases when they did mention it, they made sure to label the perpetrators as religious extremists — but, by definition, that’s not possible: they followed their holy book to the letter… and that’s how it is supposed to be, because what good is having millions of followers who claim their holy book is the absolute truth if they can ignore the inconvenient parts however they like?
Religion is about obeying blindly — hence they use faith. And the moderates’ lack of commitment is a direct affront to that established order.
(via Sin Dioses)