May 5, 2006

by Reb Yudel
Douglas Rushkoff: Fight Fundamentalism with Scripture

:: Douglas Rushkoff - Weblog ::

Right now, America's true believers are locking down its laws along with its Bible. They are fighting the science of evolution because it accepts that things change over time - and such change is incompatible with static, everlasting truths. They are doing to today's progressives the very same thing that the Bible's Egyptians were doing to the Israelites. And they're doing it in the name of a God who they believe they'll meet when they die. This is the very mindset and behavior the Bible was written to stop.

Perhaps the best way to kill their God, in fact, is to take charge of the Bible. It is - in my own opinion as a media theorist - the Greatest Story Ever Told, and deserving of our continued support and analysis. For my part, I'm writing Testament, which I hope will bring these stories - told both in their Biblical context and as a near-future sci-fi fable - to people who might never have stumbled across them before.

For others - especially our friends involved in the occult arts - I'd hope they consider using some Bible imagery and characters in their work and rituals. They're just as potent as anything in the Mahabharata, and far more resonant with the Western popular culture in which most of us actually grew up. For those of you looking for an authentic tradition in which to base your art, music, or fiction, consider the themes of revolution, universal justice and mind expansion a they're depicted in allegories from Eden to Babel and characters from Joseph to Jesus.

By appropriating these characters and metaphors as our own, we instill them with the power they require to release the stranglehold that true believers have over the myths built to help us face the truth, instead. Their success in making the Bible seem like a sanctimonious tome is just another testament to the deleterious effect of surrendering one of the best books ever written about sacred magick to people whose lives depend on ignoring the possibility of escape from the nightmare of eternal bondage to a vengeful deity.

The more we can make its mythology relevant to our present, the more easily we'll bring those who believe in it out of the past.

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