Friday

Fundamentalists’ Hair Stand on End

After reading and studying all the religions of the world, it became easy for me to take membership in the U. U. [Unitarian Universalist] Church, then the Humanist Association, the American Civil Liberties Union, etc. So you see, I now belong to enough organizations from the other side of the fence that could make some fundamentalists’ hair stand on end. 

“Some of my best friends” are Bible people. Without them, I’d lose my environment. It helps keep one’s mind in proper balance. It would be terribly dull (but peaceful) if we all thought alike. Advanced knowledge and folklore would come to a standstill. 

Throughout history, education of the highest value (usually, but not always) has been the goal of “free thinkers." The early church deliberately set out to destroy all pagan books as a threat to their own doctrine. The book burners used censorship to control thought. As far back as the twelfth century, the Crusaders marched through Europe, burning all the books they could get their eager hands on. It was estimated to be over 30,000. and as many as 80,000 manuscripts went up in smoke, setting back civilization for centuries. It was the humanism of the Renaissance that brought a revival of classical learning that re-lit the lamps of Europe. Today we have the incomplete writings of only about 40 classical scholars. 

If the Fundamentalists want to censor books for their flocks, that’s their business, but to extend their authoritarianism to our public institutions, well, that’s a horse of a different color. 

"Comment" Kik-Backs, p. 88

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