What do you do when faced with two opposing view points, and the evidence point s overwhelmingly in favour of one, but your belief system, in fact everything you have been brought up to believe in, says its wrong and the other viewpoint is right?
Recently I had a conversation with a bright young fundamentalist student, who was struggling with his belief that god had created the world in 6 days (literally), as he could find no real evidence to prove that was correct and evolution was not correct.
His struggle was because he was not prepared to change his belief in a 6 day creation, and that what was in the book of genesis had in fact to be taken word for word literally.
Most people would find this view point extreme, whether a Christian or not, but such fundamentalist ideas are not uncommon. No one religion or culture has a monopoly on fundamentalist ideas. People in all walks of life, in all countries, can be subjected to ideas about their fellow human beings that cause anguish, hardship and death. The fundamentalist are not just the ones who strap bombs around themselves or others, they are not just the ones who picket the funerals of dead soldiers and praise god for their death, and they are not just the ones that let their children die because they expect their god to heal them. Just as damaging to people are the beliefs that they refuse to change even when the evidence is overwhelmingly there. The beliefs that say homosexuality is wrong, or evil or unnatural or the belief that women must submit to men, or that one must dress in a specific way. We, all of us, must always examine ourselves, look at our attitudes, our thoughts, our actions to make sure we don’t get stuck in thinking that is harmful to others, to grow and change and take on injustice where ever it is.