Pagan fundamentalism. The Wild Hunt ran a great piece on the subject back in February, and yesterday Rachel (thanks for your thought-provoking post which was my launching point) put up more material on the topic.
At first it seems absurd that modern pagans would be anything less than completely tolerant and accepting of other religious views. How in the world can anyone who’s been marginalized try to marginalize someone else?
Sadly, it’s nothing new. There are plenty of minorities who are prejudiced against other minorities, persecuted peoples who in turn persecute others, abused people who abuse others, and so on. From individuals to groups, this scenario plays out again and again in human history. Early Christians were persecuted, and in no time launched inquisitions and witch hunts. Kids who are abused are at risk of growing up to abuse their own kids.
Fundamentalism is a sickness, a mental illness, a disease that strikes in every community and in every culture. In its most extreme form it can literally be a killer, leading to persecution, massacres, wars, terrorism, and abuse.
Perhaps we should put Fundamentalism in the DSM and treat it like we would any other mental disorder for which sufferers can be saved by early detection and intervention, therapy, and lifelong treatment.
After all, Compulsive Hoarding will likely be in the new DSM-5. Who is more dangerous, more sick, more in need of help? A fundamentalist or a person who fills up an apartment with newspapers?