Where I used to live, I had good neighbors who believed I was going to burn in hell for all eternity because I didn't Accept Jesus as My Own Personal Savior, which was a lot more complicated in their fundamentalist church than it is in, say, Lutheran (not counting the Missouri Synod folks), which I considered myself more or less. Accepting Jesus, in their view, also involved believing in a literal interpretation of the Bible (which, of course, is impossible without much non-literal interpretation considering the contradictions in that work but Christian Fundies do not think that they are doing any non-literal interpretation nor that there are contradictions--maybe I will get to this later or maybe some other day). These good neighbors had a passel of kids who all liked me and would cry tears as they begged me to believe as their parents did. If that isn't child abuse, nothing is.
It has been suggested that I write about the similarities between Islamic and Christian fundamentalism. I'm going to be getting the main list from Bruce Gourley's excellent college paper that I found online. I'll put my own spin on each of the items.
1. The Modern World is The Enemy
In order to keep their kids away from it, my neighbors eschewed television except for approved videos, homeschooled, lived out in the country where neighbors were few and far between, associated almost exclusively with members of their church, and allowed their children to read only pre-approved books.
At the time I left, the educational emphasis was starting to differ for the boys and the girls, the girls needing the girly disciplines such as cooking and childcare and the boys needing to know how to shoot and track. Of course, none of them were going to go to college; the rapture was coming well before they were going to be of college age. This freed up limited funds for anything the Man of the House deemed important rather than those pesky savings accounts. Don't get me started on that.
2. Do Not Tolerate Other Worldviews
My neighbors taught their children to laugh at the beliefs of other people. They laughed at Hindus for their reverence of all life forms (animism!). They laughed at Catholics for having statues in their churches (idol worshipers!). They laughed at Buddhists and Muslims and Mormons. But, they would state, it isn't really funny because all of them will go to hell and burn for eternity unless they are saved.
3. There's a Written Word of God and each Word in it is True
For the life of me, I can't reconcile "turn the other cheek" with "eye for an eye." The Christian Fundies have no trouble with this, among other apparent (at least to us unsaved ones) contradictions.
Here is a site where you can buy bathing suits that aren't going to set anyone's anything afire. Christian burkha all the way.
Still working on this at "press time." Will finish it one of these days.
Speaking of dolls, Jeff made the Snopes Urban Legends pages with this story. It made me laugh tears so in case you haven't heard/read it, there it is.
I wish there were a place where you could pay the 1950's equivalent for 1950's medicine. A combination of that place for stitches, Mexico for anitibiotics and the internet for advise could take care of 90 percent of what I need. We live only about 6 years longer than we did in the '50's and the increased cost of medical care is so disproportionate that it should make us do some serious questioning.