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Christian Newspeak

Just like all cults, fundamentalist Christianity seems to have its own vocabulary. There are certain terms that seem to have pretty standard meanings, but when used in the fundamentalist Christian context they tend to mean almost the exact opposite.

The most overused term I hear is “Truth” with a capital “T.” To most people, something is true if we can verify that it in fact matches up with reality. However, when fundamentalist Christians use the term, they are specifically referring to a belief which as a point of fact cannot be verified and does not match up with reality. Truth is the belief that Jesus was the only begotten son of a deity who died for your sins (even though blood sacrifice in exchange for wrong doing makes no sense). Truth has become a particular belief about the world which has not and cannot be verified.

While many Christians will try to provide evidence for their claim of “Truth” the sad fact is that the evidence they present is so weak that it didn’t even convince them.  In general, Christians almost certainly became religious because they were taken advantage of when they were in a vulnerable position and probably even in a heightened emotional state or were just indoctrinated into religious belief at near birth. Attempts at providing reasonable arguments and evidence amounts to justification rather than facts or solid reasoning and when someone points out the flaws in their position, they almost always fall back to faith anyway. Faith for the record is non-verifiable by definition.

Another Newspeak term used in similar fashion is the use of the word “know.” Many times Christians have told me that they just know that the Bible is true and that God is real. They just “know” it. Really? Like truth, when we say that we know something it means that we experience with it. We can verify that some set of facts matches up with reality. But vague feels caused by heightened emotion can hardly be considered knowledge. Making a claim that one just knows something is true doesn’t make it so. The fact is that anyone can say that about anything. But that really doesn’t make it knowledge at least not in any intelligible sense.

A lot of times fundamentalist Christians tell me that they aren’t religious, they just have a “relationship” with God. As far as I am aware, a relationship is a two way street. Talking to one self does not qualify as a relationship.

The term, “Gospel” refers to four particular books of the New Testament which weren’t even written by the people whose name is ascribed to them. It does not mean absolute truth. In fact, if the Gospel of Mark wasn’t even written by a guy named Mark, I can’t see how someone could say that the term “Gospel” means unquestioned truth. Don’t take my word as Gospel on this though, research it yourself.

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  • http://myspace.com/beyondbabylon Brother Yama

    Muslims do it too. They probably all do.

  • http://www.myspace.com/DD_NU4EVER Diana

    I’ve heard and read these dreadfully misused terms too often. It’s a sad perversion of these fantastic words. I mean, a relationship is a wonderful thing. It’s full of love and trust and mutual respect…religion has none of that; religion demands obedience or ELSE. That’s not love, respect or trust no matter how you spin little quotes here and there. God is a violent amoral creature and Jesus is even worse, what with his thought crime and eternal damnation…god wasn’t even evil enough to think of torturing people after they died!

    Knowledge and truth are hard earned goals, and the road to them is filled with studies, tests that can be reproduced and facts that have been proven. An ancient text that contradicts what we know to be true can hardly be used to find truth. It’s simply an ancient literature that people are taking far too seriously.

    By calling their religion a “relationship,” they’re making the jump from god and holy father to BFF. And by using terms like “know” and “Truth” they create an atmosphere of certainty that doesn’t exist.

    It seems dangerous ground to me. This sort of perverse thinking should not be encouraged. If religion is a relationship then it’s 1. Grossly one sided, and 2. Mentally unhealthy. The acceptance of information from unreliable sources creates a detrimental habit of gullibility.

  • valmeow

    I just loved that he did that!!!