Of Paradoxes and Manna from Heaven
By Manuel Valenzuela
01/19/06 "ICH" -- The rise of Christian fundamentalism in the United States is a profound paradox, a reality that in the natural evolution of human endeavor should not exist, an anathema to the inevitable progression of humanity and civilization, a manifestation that is at odds with what we would expect to exist in the wealthiest, most open and some would say the most learned nation the world has ever seen. Yet, not only does this variant of extremist religion exist in the land of plenty, it thrives, becoming a growing threat to the continued vitality of the nation.
Indeed, a movement already clandestinely growing and attracting more souls before 9/11 was given a gift from the heavens, quite literally, on that fateful day, creating images and emotions that transformed the way millions of Americans saw the world. Suddenly, and unexpectedly, terror fell from the sky like the vengeance-filled thunderbolts of Zeus, spawning a fear and insecurity never before seen inside a nation that had never been attacked on its continental soil. The world was transformed, along with the psyches of millions of people whose beliefs ratified in their minds that the destruction of the World Trade Center was a religious manifestation conjured up by God himself. Paranoid, afraid, uncertain and insecure, thinking themselves living in a troubled world on the verge of its last throes, millions traumatized by the events of 9/11 turned to fundamentalist religion for the salvation reserved for the end of days, answers to most troubling questions and the false comfort that religion offers in times of cataclysm and need.---
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