If you’re looking for the Unfundamentalist Christians blog, you’ve found it. We moved our blog here–archives and all–from its location on Patheos.com, where it was launched in the summer of 2013. Why the move? Mainly because we (along with, we know, so many of you) finally got fed up with all the ads, cookie downloads, and random emails from bottom-feeder advertisers automatically sent out to anyone who subscribes to a Patheos newsletter.
We understand Patheos’s desire to make money, of course. And we certainly appreciate that Patheos actually pays its bloggers, which so few sites do. For a blog such as ours, which does a lot of traffic, that monthly paycheck definitely helps. But ultimately we felt that we couldn’t in good conscience remain on a site so overwhelmed with ads.
So here we are, in a whole new place. And we’ve got a whole new name, too! We’ve changed our name from Unfundamentalist Christians to simply Unfundamentalist.
We did that because we want to extend the conversation we’re engaged in beyond the echo-chamber that has become the online world of “progressive” Christianity. We’re not in the slightest denying that we’re Christian; the document upon which this group was founded will not change. But we now want to emphasize that it’s time for the Christianity which we (frankly) have done so much to define and defend to move into that great big world which exists beyond those concerns exclusive to Christians and the Christian church.
Enough already with Christians talking only to other Christians, in other words. We are now officially bored by that. Therefore do we feel, and find, that it is time to move on to a little next level shit.
The ethics of real and true Christianity are universal; Christian morals are universal morals, and should be understood as such. The ethos expressed by our motto, Above All, Love, taken from Paul’s famous First Letter to the Corinthians, is one that resonates (or at least should resonate) as compellingly central for any person, anywhere, at any time. It doesn’t need the Bible to make it true. Jesus’s Great Commandment to love others as one loves oneself isn’t a sentiment unique to Christianity. It’s universal. “God is Love” (1 John 4:16) does (or, again, should) ring true for any person who believes in God, no matter their religion.
What’s right is right; what’s true is true; what’s good is good; what’s bad is bad. Christians have no unique or exclusive monopoly on morality. And it’s at the point where Christianity claims to possess its own special, true-only-for-Christians truths that it begins to slide into the toxic, power-mongering, fear-enflaming nonsense that so many today, with such good reason, believe Christianity to be.
We oppose religious fundamentalism, now and forever. And so likewise do we resist economic, political, and societal fundamentalism of every stripe. We oppose any mindset, practice or philosophy which holds any one race, class, or gender superior to another. And that is exactly what fundamentalism does. Fundamentalism always, always, always puts dogma ahead of compassion, rules ahead of reason, “principles” ahead of people.
At first it was important that we spoke directly to Christians: that we did what we could to destroy such horrendous “doctrines” as homosexuality is a sin, women should be seen and not heard, all non-Christians who die go to hell, and so on. So that’s what we did.
And now we’re simply broadening our scope of concerns. It’s just not enough anymore–and especially not these days–for us not to be talking to, and with, everyone, from every side of every issue that’s of so much concern to so many of us today.
So what now, exactly?
Well, now we do what we’ve always done best (see, for just one example, What Non-Christians Want Christians to Hear): We listen.
And, in order for us to listen, we need to hear from you! Find out how to join the conversation here.
John Shore, advice columnist for the Asheville Citizen-Times (the major daily newspaper of Asheville, North Carolina) is the founder of Unfundamentalist.