An oldie but goodie from the ever-insightful R. Joseph Hoffmann.
I’ve been puzzling about this recently: whether there is anything that Christian and Muslim fundamentalists have in common. I’ll leave the Jews and the Sikhs and Hindus to one side for a minute. Just because I want to.
First of all, you have to have a book to be a fundamentalist. It’s no good trying to say you take your religion seriously if you don’t have a page to point at or a verse to recite.
Theoretically, various gurus can exert the same sort of control that a book can exert over the mind of a true believer. But usually gurus begin by pointing at books as well.
That’s what both Jim Jones of People’s Temple, Inc., and David Koresh of Branch Davidian fame did. They were just the messengers, albeit the ones you had to sleep with to get the keys to the kingdom.
Read the entire here.