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Sticking to a hard line

Just occasionally one comes across a piece in the media that makes you think, irrespective of where you stand politically and/or in terms of religious belief (or lack of it).

Throughout recent history there have been continuous internal interpretation discussions/arguments going on between adherents of major religions (let’s just take Christianity and Islam in this instance). Most specifically over whether their books of record – the Bible in the case of Christianity, the Quran in Islam’s – ┬áis the actual, inviolate, word of God or not.

Must their contents to be taken literally and applied to the letter, or (alternatively) – on the basis that inevitably given that they were both written, or ‘taken down’, a thousand years ago and more ago – is it permitted that each generation of human beings, using the line that these tomes were understandably (obviously) intended to apply to the social conditions ‘of their time’, can interpret them in the light of how human society has developed since to any given present day?

The conflicts between the fundamentalists (as I describe them here) who believe, for example, that the Bible must be applied absolutely to the letter, and the ‘evolutionists’ (i.e. those who would seek to be more flexible) will never be resolved.

Nevertheless, occasionally, one comes across something that might seem to make either group of believers at least re-examine its supposed principles.

Here’s one, an article by Valerie Tarico that appears today on the website of – THE INDEPENDENT