I found an interesting book via Debunking Christianity I thought I’d share. It’s called The Authoritarians by Bob Altemyers. As someone who was raised by and around fundamentalist Baptists, I’ve found all the chapters pretty fascinating – especially the fourth chapter as it deals with religious fundamentalists and what makes them tick.
This chapter has presented my main research findings on religious fundamentalists. The first thing I want to emphasize, in light of the rest of this book, is that they are highly likely to be authoritarian followers. They are highly submissive to established authority, aggressive in the name of that authority, and conventional to the point of insisting everyone should behave as their authorities decide. They are fearful and self-righteous and have a lot of hostility in them that they readily direct toward various out-groups. They are easily incited, easily led, rather un-inclined to think for themselves, largely impervious to facts and reason, and rely instead on social support to maintain their beliefs. They bring strong loyalty to their in-groups, have thick-walled, highly compartmentalized minds, use a lot of double standards in their judgments, are surprisingly unprincipled at times, and are often hypocrites.
The above, taken from the summary of the chapter, is exactly how I’d describe a majority of my relatives and their fellow church members in addition to some more choice words I’m sure Professor Altemyer would call “uncharitable”.
So, go read the book and pass it along.